Elizabeth Partridge Tillotson

Elizabeth Partridge Tillotson and Edwin Whiting

Elizabeth Partridge Tillotson was the daughter of Samuel Tillotson and Sarah Partridge. Elizabeth was born April 15, 1814. She married Edwin Whiting on September 21, 1833. Edwin was born on September 9, 1809 in Lee, Berkshire County, Massachusetts to Elisha Whiting, Jr. and Sally Hulet. Sally, the eldest daughter of Sylvanus Hulet and his wife Mary, was the sister of my great-great-great-grandmother Tryphena Hulet.

Edwin Whiting also married (concurrently) Mary Ann Washburn, Almira Mehitable Meacham, Mary Elizabeth Cox, and Hannah Haines Brown.

The Edwin Whiting Family Online Archives has comprehensive information about Edwin Whiting and all of his wives and children. Genealogical information there is probably more correct and up-to-date than what I present below.

Edwin Whiting

Edwin Whiting
Husband of Elizabeth Tillotson

Elizabeth and Edwin were early converts to the Mormon religion. They moved away from the Brunswick, Medina County, Ohio area: first to Illinois, and then to Utah in 1849. Edwin was a nurseryman by trade. He established a tree nursery, a sawmill, and a retail store after moving to Utah. He was a member of the Utah legislature in 1859-1860 and was also Mayor of Manti, Utah.

The files of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers offer these anecdotes about Edwin Whiting:

Edwin Whiting was a pioneer of 1849, having joined the Church in Ohio and had been with the Saints through all their wanderings. When they reached Salt Lake City in October 1849, they thought their journey over, but Brigham Young sent them on to Manti, another three weeks' journey. As they drove through Springville, Mr. Whiting said that it looked like a fertile spot and he would like to stop there.

Mr. Whiting was a nurseryman and loved everything that grew. In 1854, he was sent on a mission back to the States and when he returned he brought with him trees, shrubs, flowers, and seeds. Many were from his father's orchard and garden in Ohio. These he planted in Manti, but the climate was too cold and the fruit usually froze. Brigham Young then advised him to move to Springville and try his trees there. He moved his family there in 1861 and found that the climate was ideal for his kind of work.

To obtain his evergreens, he went up the canyons and got the small trees. He would take some of the soil with each root. He would then wrap them so as to keep some of the native soil in place. These were packed securely in the wagon box. He always marked the trees so that they could be set the same way they stood in the canyon. Many of the evergreens and fruit trees were planted throughout the county. Among these was the large cedar tree that for many years stood in front of the Second Ward church. This tree was brought from the nearby canyon in 1861 and planted by Mr. Whiting, being nurtured and cared for by him.

Edwin's granddaughter Harriet Jensen described her grandfather this way:

Grandfather Edwin Whiting and his family were typical early residents of the canyon. Some of the first needs of the pioneers were to have land for crops and water to make them grow; also to be near where they could obtain wood for cooking and heat. Hobble Creek Canyon had plenty of trees, not only for fuel, but, also the large pines were used as logs for building houses, or to be sawed into lumber. Edwin Whiting had taken up 160 acres on Union Bench (now Mapleton) and divided it among his older boys; but as the young ones grew up, there was need for more land. By this time Joseph Kelly and others were ranching in Hobble Creek Canyon, so grandfather decided to homestead land in that vicinity. One log cabin was built on the Whiting homestead, and here they took turns staying and working the land. Brush and trees had to be cleared off the land and ditches made. For the Bench land, it meant going up the canyon where the elevation was as high as the land and making a ditch around the hillside. I remember, as a small girl, going with my uncle Fred to the site of the dam to see whether there were any breaks in it.

They had a fine range for cattle and raised hay, grain and vegetables. People were eager to locate where there was a spring. Well do I remember carrying water up the bank of the creek in a little brass kettle which had been brought across the plains. We grandchildren seemed to feel that we had a share in the old home, which was one large room made of logs, with a small window and a large fireplace in one end where grandmother used to do the cooking. She would pull some of the hot coals on the hearth -- a large flat stone in front of the fireplace -- place the bake kettle on them; then, with her tongs, put more red coals on the kettle lid. Almost every afternoon we would carry water to sprinkle in front of the house, which made the ground hard, and also kept what little grass was growing around the house, green and inviting. In the spring she would take newspapers, saved during the winter, to paper the logs. This was the first time I had ever heard of wall paper.

At first this was a summer home, then finally a school house was built and the families stayed the year around. This building had only one room, but, it served as school house, church and amusement hall. Children rode their horses to school. The Whitings had a sawmill up the canyon above the original log home. They did most of their logging in the winter, using half of a bob-sled to put one end of the log on and letting the rest of the log slide on the snow. By spring there was a good pile of logs. Edwin M. Whiting bought a steam engine and for a number of years furnished the lumber for Springville. They moved the sawmill wherever there was suitable timber. It was 16 miles up to the Whiting Ranch from town and took about five hours, with horse and wagon, to get there. There was always plenty of fish in the creek, and wild chicken and deer in the hills.

The following is a list of those who ranched in the canyon during its early settlement; Mr. Cutler followed by a Mr. Kelly, Cyrus Sanford, Myron and Milan Crandall, Al Roylance, Moroni Fuller, William Gallup, James Holley, Orson Mower, Erastus Clark, Royal Clements, Charles Johnson, and Levi Kendall. In those early days Charley Williams operated a sawmill on the creek. They took adverse possession (land not surveyed) but later congress passed a law to legalize the land so that they could get possession of their deeds. Farther up the canyon was the Packard Ranch. Alpheus Curtis, Wallace Johnson and Edward Snow also lived there. The Adams family now live on the original Whiting Ranch.

A marker, up Hobble Creek Canyon reads: "In memory of Edwin Whiting, pioneer, born September 9, 1809. Died December 8, 1890. Home-steaded this ranch in 1871. Erected August 17, 1935 by his family."

Elizabeth and Edwin had eleven children:

Edwin Whiting died on December 8, 1890 in Mapleton, Utah County, Utah. Elizabeth Partridge Tillotson died February 4, 1892 in Springville, Utah County, Utah.

Photo of Edwin Lucius Tillotson from E. Ward Tillotson's manuscript The Tillotson Family in America. Photo of Elizabeth Partrdige Tillotson Whiting courtesy Bryan Whiting. Remaining photos from Frank Esshom's book Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah. My thanks to Brooke Haws for correcting some of the above information.

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Last modified by pib on April 20, 2010.