Joseph G. Hovey and Martha A. Webster Hovey

Hovey, Joseph Grafton - picture

Joseph Grafton Hovey grew up in the Boston, Massachusetts area in the early 1800’s.  He was born on the 17th of November, 1812 in Cambridge to Thomas and Elizabeth (Seaver) Hovey.  Joseph was the youngest of ten children.

When he was just three years old, the family moved to a small farm near Newton, which was about seven miles outside of Boston.  The whole family worked and enjoyed the living on the farm for the next fifteen years.

Thomas, Joseph’s father, made a good cider that was in demand. Every fall he took his cider to Boston and returned with a wagon load of supplies.  In the fall of 1830, Thomas took his cider to town and loaded up his wagon with lumber for a barn that he was building.  During the return trip home, he fell asleep and fell off and under the wagon, which then passed over his neck and shoulders, killing him.  This was very hard on the family. Joseph’s mother took the lose of her husband especially hard.

Joseph was seventeen when his father died.  He decided that he wanted to learn a trade.  He took himself off to Boston and learned to be a carriage maker. Joseph did quite well in this business for the next few years until poor health made him take a break for some time at the age of twenty-two.

This same year, 1833, Joseph married Martha Ann Webster in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Martha was seventeen years old and the daughter of Josiah and Hannah (Grant) Webster.

Martha was born on the 24th of December, 1814 in Portsmouth.  The young couple married on July 2nd, 1833.  I know that while Joseph was sick, one of Martha’s uncles had been his doctor. This is purely speculation, but I’m imagining that is how the two met.

After the wedding, the couple moved to Boston and Joseph took up the carriage business again.  After a short time, he became ill again.  The couple then moved to Chelsea, Massachusetts where they stayed for the next couple of years.

Joseph and Martha’s first two children were born, twin girls, Elizabeth Woodville and Martha Ann, on the 11th of May in 1835.

Two of Joseph’s brothers, Orlando and Stephen, were living in Quincy, Illinois and wrote several times, encouraging their younger brother to join them.  On June 12th, 1837, the young family started off on their journey.  They went by railroad and steamboat. It took them twelve days to arrive at their destination.   One of the twins, Martha. was sick with consumption by the time that they arrived at Joseph brothers house.

Joseph’s brother, Orlando, was a doctor, practicing the Tomsonian system of medicine. This was an alternative medicine, herbalism, that Joseph was familiar with because it is how he had been treated during his illness back in 1833.  Orlando asked Joseph to join him in his practice.  Both the Hovey brothers worked as doctors for some years.

Tragedy struck the small family on the 11th of October, 1837 when little Martha died of consumption.  Two months later, Martha gave birth to the couples first son. They named the little boy Grafton Wallace, but he only lived to be eight months old, dying on August 26th of 1838.

In 1839, the Joseph Hovey family moved about 50 miles away to Pike county, Illinois.  Joseph continued to practice medicine there for the next two years.

On June 8th of 1839, Martha gave birth to a second son, Joseph Grafton II. (Who became my 2nd great grandfather!)

Some of the Mormons who had been run out of Missouri were living in this same area.  One day, an elder of the church came to the Hovey house for medicine. Martha knew that he was one of the newcomers, so started to question him on his religion.  Joseph and Martha liked what they were hearing and begin to study the Book of Mormon.  On the 4th of July, 1839, the couple were both baptized into the Mormon religion.

A call was put out for the people of this religion to gather at Nauvoo, Illinois, about eighty miles from where the Hovey family lived.  They decided to go, selling their possessions in preparation.

Arriving in Nauvoo in early November, the family found that there were few houses to take shelter in. It was bitterly cold and the only place they could find to stay was a stable that was partly falling down. It rained so hard that night that they had to find a tent instead.  Joseph soon received a one acre lot from the church and built a small log cabin. In the meantime, the family lived in the tent for two months until the cabin was ready.

The Saints were not left to live here peacefully. Some were kidnapped, houses were burnt down, people arrested and hanged. The locals did not want them there.  The people went ahead with their plans to build a city and a temple.  Joseph continued helping people with his medicine and soon found himself working as a stone cutter in the quarry as well.

By 1842, things had settled down. The village was thriving, the temple in progress, the farmland providing food.  Martha had another son, Thomas Josiah, named after both Martha and Joseph’s fathers. Just seven months later, little Thomas took sick while he was teething and died on August 2nd of 1843.   Three of their five children have now passed away. I can’t even imagine how hard that must have been.

There was more turmoil, more hatred and arrests of some of the Mormon leaders.

During this tumultuous time, Martha gave birth to another son on June 13th, 1844.  This poor babe only lived a month. That poor mama.  How heartbreaking for her.

A year later, on July 17th, 1845, a baby girl was born.  They named her Hannah Adelaide. It was the easiest labor Martha had ever had.  The two living older kids, Elizabeth and Joseph, both had the whooping cough.

More houses and properties are being burnt by the mob. Two hundred buildings and a lot of grain went up in flames.  It must have been such a scary time.  About this time, the Saints decided that they needed to move on, to go into the Wilderness and find another place.

On December 1st, 1845, Joseph finished his stone work on the baptismal fount and agreed to build a shop and begin to build wagons for the journey into the wilderness.

His diary tells how he worked himself night and day to get all of the work done. How he didn’t get the provisions that he was promised for his family but he worked himself sick anyway.  How his constitution was broken down before the trip even begin. How he drove his family in the wagon while he was sick and shaky, how he could barely stand.

They left Nauvoo on June 28, 1946.  Joseph had to secure a boat to get their wagon, cattle, and their oxen to the other side. Martha was afraid that the boat was so heavy that they would all drown, so she kept the children and stayed on the ground.  Joseph came back for her and the kids once he got the rest of their load situated on the far side of the river.

Joseph wasn’t the only one sick.  He was called on to doctor about ten people on the first few days out on the Mormon Trail.  They traveled for for a month and a half before Martha finally had to admit that she too was ill.  She hadn’t wanted to admit it to Joseph because she thought he might get too discouraged and not want to go on.   Brigham Young drove their wagon for a time because Joseph and Martha were both to sick.

By the time the party had reached winter quarters, Martha was extremely sick.  Joseph wasn’t much better and baby Hannah was sick as well.  Martha was very concerned for her husband and baby and asked for someone to please go care for her husband.  Those were the last words Martha spoke. She slipped into what seems like a coma from Joseph’s description in his diary.  He was able to sit with her for her last few hours and mentioned how peaceful she looked. It was the 16th of September, 1846.

Martha is buried in the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery in Florence, Nebraska.

Hovey, Martha Ann - Omaha, Nebraska

After she passed away, Joseph renamed their youngest daughter in her honor. He changed her name from Hannah to Martha Jane.  Joseph was still so sick that he boarded the baby with another family at winter quarters for $1 a week.

Sadly, baby Martha contacted the measles and passed away on January 19th, 1848.  She was 2-1/2 years old and is buried in the same plot as her mother.

Joseph married for a second time.  Sarah Currier was his second wife and they married at Winter Quarters.  The couple had a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth born in 1850 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A third marriage was to Sarah Louise Goodridge.  Sarah and Joseph had a son but both the mother and the baby died in childbirth.

In 1852, Joseph married for the fourth time to Lusanna Goodridge.  They married in Utah and went on to have eight more children.

Once in Utah, Joseph was one of the first settlers in Millville, about eighty miles north of Salt Lake City.  In 1860, Joseph was chosen as the Bishop of the Millville ward. He served there for three years. Back in Salt Lake City, he helped to build the temple.

Salt Lake City Temple

Joseph Grafton Hovey was a stone cutter on the temple and other buildings in temple square.

Salt Lake City Temple Information

Salt Lake Temple Information sign says that the stone was granite and was hauled 23 miles by ox-drawn wagon from Little Cottonwood Canyon to build the temple. That would have been Joseph doing some of that work since he was a stone cutter.

Joseph passed away on May 6th of 1868 in Salt Lake City. He was 55 years old.

Joseph is buried in the Kimball-Whitney Cemetery in Salt Lake City.

Engravings on the grave marker - Joseph Grafton Hovey

Stacey Roth and Paula Niziolek with 3rd great grandfather - Joseph Grafton Hovey

Finding our third great-grandfather’s grave. I’m on the left and my sister, Stacey Roth, is on the right.

Kimball Cemetery Sign - Salt Lake City


(Joseph and Martha are my 3rd great-grandparents on my maternal side.)

Hovey, Joseph Grafton Line












Mary Ann Hulse Hovey

Hovey, Mary Ann Hulse

Mary Ann Hulse was born in an area of Manchester, England called Ardwick on the 26th of November in 1848.  Her parents were Charles Wesley and Ann (Smith) Hulse.  Mary had one big brother, Henry Edward. She was the second born of thirteen children.  The rest of Mary’s siblings would be born in the United States.

Ardwick was a factory town at this time, full of railroad’s, factories, and terraced housing.

Manchester Napier St. (2) - Ardwick

(This picture comes from the Manchester Photographic Archives and would have been very similar to the housing of the village at the time Mary Ann was born.)

Little Mary Ann was baptized on the 23rd of May. 1849 in the parish of St. Simon and St. Jude on Granby Row in Manchester.  This parish was part of The Church of England and was founded in 1842 but closed in 1906.

Shortly after Mary’s baptism, the family left England bound for the United States of America.  They landed in New York where they stayed with a cousin of Charles’ for a couple of weeks before moving on to Tiverton, Rhode Island where Mary’s dad had found work.  The Hulse family stayed in this area for five or six years.  It is my understanding that while here, they had joined the Mormon religion.  Around 1858, they moved to an area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania due to persecution of their religious beliefs.

In 1862, when Mary was 13 years old, the family traveled to Omaha, Nebraska and joined up with other Mormon pioneers traveling to Salt Lake City under the guidance of Henry W. Miller.

Mary got a new baby brother while they were on the trail, but a two year old little sister, Amelia Emma, died along the way.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be to have to bury her and leave her behind.

The company reached Salt Lake City in mid-October of 1862.  The Hulse family settled in Millville, Utah, about 80 miles north of Salt Lake.

Mary was just 17 years old when she married Joseph Grafton Hovey II on June 8th, 1866 right there in the couple’s hometown of Millville.

A little over a year later, the couple’s first child was born, a daughter, Martha Ann.  Over the next thirty years, twelve children would be born. Two little girls would die while still small.  Mary Ann was 48 years old when their youngest daughter, Nesta was born. Holy cow! She had to have been exhausted by then.


(The Joseph and Mary Ann Hovey Family)

Joseph and Mary Ann raised a large family.  They were active within their church and farmed their land.  Both Joseph’s and Mary Ann’s families lived nearby and were all active in their community.

On April 14th, 1908 Joseph passed away.  Mary Ann was a widow at 59 years old. The couple had been married for just short of 42 years.

In the 1910 census, Mary is now listed as a farmer, farming the land where the couple raised their family.

I can’t find her in the 1920 census, but she shows up again in 1930 at the age of 82.  Mary is now living in Hyrum, Utah with her daughter and son-in-law, John and Nesta Lauritzen.  Hyrum is just about 5 miles away from Millville, so she didn’t go too far.

Mary Ann passed away on the 15th of April in 1934 at the age of 85 years old.  Her cause of death is listed as bronchitis on her death certificate.

Hovey, Mary Ann Headstone - Millville, Utah City Cemetery

Mary Ann and Joseph are buried next to each other in the Millville City Cemetery in Millville, Utah.


(Mary Ann is my 2nd great-grandmother.)

Hovey, Mary Ann Hulse Line

Amy Mae Hovey Dallas


Amy grew up in the heart of Mormon country.  Her daddy had traveled over the Mormon Trail in an oxen drawn wagon and arrived in Utah when he was only 9 years old.

When Amy Mae Hovey was born on the 26th of August in 1885, the Hovey family lived in Millville, which is about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City.  Most families in the area were farmers or worked at one of the two local sawmills.  Amy’s father, Joseph, was listed on various census’ as both “Farmer” and “Woodcutter”, so I think we can safely bet that he not only farmed the land but also worked at one of the sawmills to supplement the families income.

Amy’s parents were Joseph Grafton Hovey II and Mary Ann Hulse Hovey.  Amy was the 8th born of twelve children. It must have been a busy and bustling family!  They were part of the LDS faith.  Home life would have been centered around family, work, school, and church.

When Amy was 22, her father passed away from an enlarged heart. Her youngest sister was only 10 years old.

On December 22, 1909, Amy married Walter Clark Dallas in Clawson, Idaho.  Clawson is a small town in Teton county, Idaho.  Amy’s life would be full of excitement and adventure as Walter’s wife.  The first year of their marriage, the couple lived as boarders in Jackson, Wyoming where Walter was working as a government fur trapper.

On the 24th of April, 1911, Amy and Walter welcomed their first child, Irma Ann followed by a son, Walter Hovey in 1912.  All told, they would have eleven children.  My own grandmother, Leoma Nesta was born on April 28th, 1920.  She was the 7th of the twelve kids.

One family story is about the birth of the eleventh child, Mary Ireta.  Mary came too quickly and it seems that Walter helped Amy to deliver her right on the floor of their kitchen in Vinyard, Utah.  It was 1925 and Amy was 39 years old.

Their youngest son, Billy, was born two years later when the family had moved to Oregon.  The Dallas family was living in Jerome Prairie, Oregon and Walter was a gold miner.

By 1940, Walter and Amy had moved their family once again. They were living in rural Plumas county, California.  Walter was once again mining.

From everything we know, listening to my grandmother talk about her parents, it seems that Walter and Amy had a deep love for each other.  I’m sure that made it easier for her to uproot her family time and again to move on to the next adventure.  From Utah, to Idaho, to Wyoming, back to Utah, on to Oregon, and finally California.  They never stayed in one place for too long.

Walter died on June 7th, 1943.  They had been married for 34 years.

I remember seeing pictures of my great-grandmother Amy, pictures that I don’t have copies of, where the large goiter that she had was visible.  She was a beautiful lady, even with the goiter.  Grandma always said it was caused from an iodine deficiency, but knowing what I know now, Amy had severe thyroid problems.

Amy died on the 26th of November, 1944.  She passed away in the University of California Hospital in San Francisco, California.  I believe her death was due to complications of her thyroid disorder.  From family accounts, the doctors had wanted to remove it, but she was too afraid and did not have the surgery.

Dallas, Amy Mae Headstone - Oroville, California

Both Amy and Walter are buried in the Memorial Park Cemetery in Oroville, California.


(Amy is my great-grandmother. She is the mother of Leoma Nesta Dallas Simmons, who is my own mom’s mother.)




Joseph Grafton Hovey II


Joseph Grafton Hovey was born on June 8th, 1839 in Quincy, Illinois to Joseph Grafton Hovey and Martha Ann (Webster) Hovey, later living in Nauvoo, Illinois where many of the LDS faith settled, until they were driven out of Illinois for their religious belief’s. The family moved on to Omaha, Nebraska for a time where two little sisters were born and died, along with Joseph’s mother, Mary, when he was eight years old.  The family later moved on to Utah, settling in Millville where Joseph lived out the rest of his life.  At the age of 27, on June 8th, 1866, (his birthday!), Joseph married Mary Ann Hulse.  The following year, in 1867, the couple welcomed their first daughter, Martha A., the first of thirteen children.  Joseph and Mary’s 10th child, Amy Mae became my great-grandmother.  Joseph was active in his church and community throughout his life.  He passed away at the age of 68 on April 14th, 1908, the cause listed as “acute dilated heart caused by old age.”



Joseph and Mary are both buried in the Millville, Utah city cemetery.


From Millville Memories, A history of Millville, Utah, From 1860 to 1990                           by The Cache County Historic and Preservation Commission.

Joseph Grafton Hovey, II was the son of Joseph Grafton Hovey and Martha Ann Webster. He was born at Pike County, Illinois. His parents moved to Nauvoo, Illinois and lived in a tent for two months until his father could build a log cabin. They suffered the persecution heaped upon the Saints (Mormons); and after they were driven out, they gathered at Winter Quarters (Omaha, Nebraska), where his mother died when Joseph was eight years old. He came to Millville in 1860 and assisted in the establishment of this community. On January 8, 1866, he married Mary Ann Hulse, the daughter of Charles Wesley and Ann Smith Hulse. She was born November 26, 1848, at Manchester, England, and came to Millville in 1864. Joseph made his living by farming. He and Mary Ann were the parents of: Martha Ann (Joseph Perry), Joseph Grafton (Sarah Catherine Jessop), Hyrum Alonzo (Elizabeth Wilcox), May Amelia, Sarah Elizabeth (John Arthur Hen rie), Lillian Vilate (Emil Brandt), Frances (Charles Taylor), Amy (Walter Clark Dallas), Bert (Fontella Williams), Mary (Louis Noel), Hazel (Percy Chandler) and Nesta.

(This is an excerpt from diaries of Joseph Hovey, Sr.  I have included just a short passage here that references Joseph Hovey II as driving his father’s wagon.  The full text is very long. It is typed out as it was written, spelling and all.)

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868

Source of Trail Excerpt:
Hovey, Joseph Grafton, Reminiscences and journals 1845-1856, vol. 1, 130-75.

Tuesday Noon May 9th 1848 Started from Winterquarters for the Valley in the Mountains with My Wife Sarah and Joseph an Elizebeth and old Mage the dog, 3 Yoake of Cattle 2 Cows of my own and 2 waggons[.] My famley waggon 19 hundred[,] on baggage waggon 27 hundred[,] 20 hundred for Br. Heber [Chase Kimball]. We being all in a torable degre[e] of health notwith standing we being some what beat out Labouring so Excessively to get a way according to the Command of Br. Heber[.] we being only 7½[.] days in getting reddy[.] the quickest fit out that I know any one have done for I <we> did work from morning til knight as fast as we could spring and Br Heber said I was a first rate fellow & had done well[.] we arived at the stoping place about sun two hours high to gether with Br Heber 5 wagons and Br Jacobs Company 13 wagons[.] in all 20 waggons[.] Campt beside a Run of water[.] our waggons all in a row making a fence on one cide[side] and the run of water on the other[.] this making a yard for our Cattle by Cuting some treas round to keep the Cattle [from] getting mired. I Could not do much for I Cut my hand just before I started with a syth[,] the hole wet [width] of my hand. Josep[h] drove my family wagg[on] and I the Bagag [Baggage.] I was Called on to Pray By Sister [Priscinda] Buel[l] and Daniel in the Evening[.] said that I being Apointed By Br. Heber I should be Cinder a father[.] so asembled and prayed and thanked God that he had prospered us as that we have got started to the Vally &c
May 10 I arose[.] the morning it thretning rain[.] went see a bout the cattle[.] it being showry and vary windy[.] Camp 7 Miles from Winter Quarters (1848)

Br. William started for home this Morning[.] he Came up with us in two horse Buggy together with Br Brigham [Young] and Br Hyde[.] Br Heber was quite unwell having a Chill the night before an[d] he did not deam it wisdom to Come this knight & I tuck [took] forepart of the watch untill one Oclock for we are oblige to keep four gards out on account of the Lamnites taking our Cattle

the Eleventh[.] this morning it was quite plesant but Cool[.] I went out with the Cattle after Breakfast[.] finished a letter for my Wife Sarah to her Brothers and Sister to Low[e]ll Mass. Stating her Thankes for the[i]r belevenan [benevolence] for sending on ten dollars By Br Benson and also to send on some more if they felt disposed and God would bless them.


Our dear great grandfather gave so much to the latter day saints group. Too bad they treated him so shoddy when he finally gave his special property to them.
Did you know Brigham Young then ordered the family to be shunned? That is why Grandma Amy Hovey (Dallas) left at 18 to go to Wyoming. Grandma Leoma (Dallas) Simmons told me this story many times while I was growing up.  ~ Marvalene Simmons


(Joseph Grafton Hovey II is my 2nd great-grandfather.  He is the father of Amy Mae Hovey, who is the mother of my grandmother, Leoma Nesta (Dallas) Simmons.)