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John Bills, The Pioneer 1819-1853

John Bills, The Pioneer 1819-1853

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Published by Leena Rogers
John Bills, was born September 19, 1819 in Blairsville, Indiana County, State of Pennsylvania. A convert to the LDS Church. He died in 1853.
John Bills, was born September 19, 1819 in Blairsville, Indiana County, State of Pennsylvania. A convert to the LDS Church. He died in 1853.

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Categories:Types, Research, Genealogy
Published by: Leena Rogers on May 14, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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John Bills19 Sep 1819 - 19 Feb 1850
John Bills was about the 14 child born to Alanson Bills and
Electa Hill. John had ten older brothers, two older sisters and probably a brother John who had died young. His parents werearound 45 years old at the time of his birth. His mother died of complications of child birth and is buried in the Clarksburgcemetery. It was also at Clarksburg that Robert, nearly 2 and baby John were placed to be cared for.The Bills family consisted of:Hiram b. 1796; Cyrus b. 1799; Franklin b. 1800; Elijah b. 1802;Sarah b. 1803; Ensign b. 1804; Sires b. 1806; Baxter b. 1807; Charles b. 1812; Electa b.abt 1814. Warren b. 1815; Robert b. 1818; John b. 1819. [There may have been a John born abt 1810 who died young].The following is the Story of John Bills as written by Derrill Smith Bills, great grandsonof John Bills. Derrill Smith, known as “Bus” throughout his life, was the son of DavidBills who was the son of William Andrew Bills. William Andrew was the oldest son of this John Bills. I now quote Derrill’s record:John Bill’s Story
(From the records of William Andrew Bills, son of John Bills,who accompanied him to California, November 1849. Copy from my father’s record that he left in a small record book. Record of William Andrew Bills, Sr.)
I hereby record all the information I have of my grandfather, Allisson Bills, also of mygrandfather and grandmother on my mother’s side.My grandfather, Allisson Bills was born in the United States of America the latter part of 1700 but what part I do not know. In regard to my grandmother, his wife, I knownothing.My grandfather on mother’s side, whose name was Scott, was born in England the latter  part of 1700. Also my grandmother Scott, whose name was Bedford, was born inEngland the latter part of 1700. None of the above ever heard of the gospel that I amaware of.
This beautiful temple picture shows it as it appeared the summer of 1846after its dedication to the Lord, and as it appeared to John Bills. Here, the preceding & Jan 1846, before dedication, John Bills and his wife,Elizabeth Scott Bills were endowed in an early morning session with sixother couples by a calling from the church presidency.
My father, John Bills, was born September 19, 1819 in Blairsville, Indiana County, Stateof Pennsylvania. My mother, Elizabeth Scott, was born in Arbury, near Halifax,
Yorkshire, England, January 1, 1817. She and my Aunt Ann, mother’s sister, and their  brother came to America in 1822 or 1823. My father and mother were married whenquite young in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My Aunt Ann married HyrumMikesell. They reared a large family, joined the Church and moved to Utah and settledin Salt Lake City in an early day.My father was baptized a member of The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints July10, 1836. My mother, Elizabeth Scott Bills, was baptized a short time previous to father, but the same year.My father was a tailor bytrade and kept a clothingstore. When he joinedthe Church, he lost prettymuch all he had insettling up and in thedrivings he underwentwith the Saints. After  being driven from Far West, [Missouri] we wentto Rushville [Missouri]where I remember beingquite well, although itwas the first place of myrecollection. And fromRushville, we moved toCommerce (later  Nauvoo), Hancock County, Illinois in thespring of 1839, andassisted in building upthat beautiful city of about twenty thousandinhabitants and a finetemple to the Lord, whereon January 7, 1846, myfather and mother received their endowments and were sealed over the holy alter in the bonds of the newand everlasting covenant. Father was a president in the 19 Quorum of Seventies,
organized July 27, 1845 in Nauvoo. He was also a general in the Nauvoo Legion. Being
Historical Comment from a Brochure (copied by Derrill Smith Bills:When the Saints were driven from their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois in February of 1846, they were forced toestablish temporary camps in southwestern Iowa and eastern Nebraska. The highest concentration of homeless Saints settled on both sides of the Missouri River near the future site of Council Bluffs, Iowa.The headquarters settlement on the western side of the river in Nebraska was called Winter Quarters. Hereabout 5,000 members of the church lived from September 1845 to June 1848. This community served as adeparture point for companies making the trek westward to the Great Salt Lake Valley.Through cooperative action, they plowed fields and planted crops and built over 1,000 dwellings–either cabins of hewn logs or dugouts hollowed out of the hillsides. In the winter of 1846-47, Brigham Youngwrote the following description of the settlement:“Our great city sprang up in a night, as it were, like Jonah’s gourd. It is divided into 22 wards over which22 bishops and their counselors preside. No one suffers from want of food or raiment, unless it is throughhis own fault, that is, in not asking for it or being too lazy to work. But the fact of so many houses being built in so short a time is proof of the general industry of the people which will bear comparison with thehistory of all nations of the earth and in all the periods of time.”Some historians have estimated that as many as 600 of the Saints died as a result of hardship or diseasewhile at Winter Quarters. Many of the dead, most of whom were either infants or the elderly, were buriedin the Winter Quarters cemetery, now located in Omaha as a point of historical interest. Located on the siteis a beautiful statue and an impressive monument bearing the names of those known to have died and been buried in the area.
a tailor, he made the clothes for Joseph and Hyrum, and cut out and supervised themaking of the uniforms for the first company of the Nauvoo Legion.In the spring of 1846, father with most of the Saints moved west to Winter Quarters, andstayed there until he raised a crop in 1847. He then gathered up an outfit and in theSpring of 1848 we moved west to the Salt Lake Valley, Utah and lived in the fort built bythe pioneers the year previous. In the spring 1849, we moved out and settled in LittleCottonwood, a half mile below where Union Ward meetinghouse now is in Salt LakeCounty (700 East 7200 South). We raised a crop and after father made his family ascomfortable as possible, he started on November 9, 1849 on a business trip to Lord,California. Before he reached his journey’s end, he was taken sick and grew worse untilwe reached San Jouqin Valley, at the Pechecho Pass, where he died and was buriedFebruary 19, 1850. Father took me with him and after his death I worked and earned alittle money. In the fore part of August I started home taking the north route, travelingwith Apostle Amasa Lyman. I arrived at our little home in cottonwood, Salt LakeCounty, Utah, the latter part of September 1850.The following year my mother remarried again (1851) to a man by the name of Lazenby,and in 1854 they moved to Lore, California, taking my four younger brothers with them;namely, Robert, Charles, Franklin, and Samuel.Also my mother had one son by Lazenby by the name of Joseph. Their aim was to jointhe Mormon settlement at San Bernardino, Lore, California. But on the way, mother metwith an accident, by a gun shot wound, which caused her arm to be taken off, from whichshe never recovered. She grew worse until she died at what is called the Mountain

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