Friday, August 4, 2017

Mahetable Bennett Seeley

Mehitable (Bennett) Seeley

Mehitable (Bennett) Seeley
by Belle H. Wilson
Mehitable was the youngest child of a family of twelve children born to Amos and Anna (Duncan) Bennett. From various sources came the conflicting dates of Mehitable’s birth as: 17 Nov 1779 or 17 Oct. 1780. The Bennett family was listed in the 1790s in Orange County, N. Y. However, they must have moved back and forth from Orange County to the northeast part of Pennsylvania several times because of Indian attacks and destruction of property.
October 1985
In the History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, Vol. 1, p. 182, 183, we found this brief account of the Bennetts:
“Amos Bennett and his family were living in Wyoming, PA, at the time of the Indian attack (July 3, 1778) occupying a log house. During the progress of the battle, a party of Indians came near and were discovered. One of Mr. Bennett’s daughters, out of curiosity, opened the door, but was instantly pulled back into the house and door reclosed. Scarcely had the inquisitive girl been dragged into the house when a bullet struck into the door-post where she had stood a moment before . . . About the year 1785, Mr. Bennett removed with his family from Orange County, N. Y. to Wyalusing, Pa, where he lived until 1791, then purchased property and settled permanently in Asylum Bradford County, Pa. He built a little tub-mill at the falls just below the road on Bennett’s creek . . . His house stood on the flats. Mr. Bennett died in 1813. His wife Anna died 1814.”
Amos Bennett left a Will, which is included in this collection, in which he named his twelve children. However, here is listed the children with their spouses as found in the printed history quoted above: Amos, Jr. married Amy Wilcox and lived in North Towanda. Thomas went to Genesee County, N.Y., married, and later lost his wife (name unknown). John married Hannah Vargason and lived in Albany Township, Bradford County, N.Y. Gideon - nothing more known - but was named in his father’s Will of 1812. Daniel married in the Genesee County, N.Y. and died there. Nathan went to Genesee County, married Polly Ellsworth and joined the Mormons. Benjamin married Betsy Abbatt of Wyalusing. He was drafted in the War of 1812 and was discharged after reaching Danville, Pa. Susanna married Joshua Bailey, lived in North Tawanda.
Justus Azel had lived with his parents, Justus and Sarah (Stuart) Seeley in Canada, so after a few years in Pennsylvania he returned to Pickering Home District in Upper Canada in 1811 with his parents, his wife, Mehitable, and their five children who had been born in Pennsylvania. The children were: Rachel, born 2 Sept. 1801; Rebecca, born 4 July 1803; John born 8 June, 1805; Elizabeth, born 29 July 1807; and Mary born 24 Jan., 1810.
Hetty (Mehitable) married Justus (Azel) Seeley and removed with her husband to Canada. Prudence married Jacob Strickland of Wysox, Pa. and went West with her husband about 1811. Martha married Richard Benjamin, lived in Asylum, Pa. Hanna married Benjamin Acla, lived in Asylum. After years of research it has been established that Amos Bennett Sr. was born 20 Mar. 1739 at Locke, Cayuga Co., N.Y. near the Finger Lakes, the son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth (Smeallie) Bennett. Ebenezer was the son of Thomas and Ann Bennett. Extensive research has not yet established the Duncan ancestry beyond Anna - wife of Amos Bennett. Mehitable was about twenty years of age when she met and married Justus Azel Seeley on 9 April 1800 in Luzerne Co., Pa.
John Taylor, a minister in nearby Toronto, Canada, had a congregation of devout Christians who were studying Christ’s Church. The Seeleys were member of this group. When Parley P. Pratt and his companion came from Kirtland, Ohio, preaching the restored Gospel, John Taylor and many of his congregation became baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In January 1812, a war broke out again with the United States. Justus Azel was drafted by the English into the military service and was assigned to barracks at Toronto Canada where he stayed until mid-May 1812. When illness of his wife, Mehitable, necessitated his return home on furlough, his father Justus substituted for his son. On 18 May 1812, Mehitable gave birth to a son, William Stuart. That same day, Justus Seeley died at the barracks as the newest grandson was born. While living at Pickering, Home District, Upper Canada, three more children were born to them: Justus Wellington, born 20 Jan. 1815; Sarah Ann, born 27 Aug. 1817; and David Seeley, born 12 Oct 1819. Mehitable, her husband and children, resided in Upper Canada until 1838. The Seeleys, following conversion, made the decision to gather to their Zion, then in Far West, Missouri. William, his wife and family, along with his parents, Justus Azel and Mehitable, went by way of the Great Lakes in steamers, while David and Justus Wellington traveled in wagons.
When the mobs drove the Saints from Nauvoo, the aging Justus Azel and Mehitable traveled with their sons and families to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, arriving in October 1846. Here they remained in humble circumstances until 6 June 1847, when they crossed the Missouri River and started Westward with a Pioneer Wagon Train on 13 June 1847. [Note: During that terrible winter at winter quarters, their daughter Elizabeth lost 3 of her 4 youngest children, leaving 6 remaining, the oldest, James being only 17. They also emigrated with Elizabeth’s parents in 1847.]
They expected to meet in Missouri, but because the mobs had driven the Saints back toward the Mississippi River, it was not until November 1838 that the family was re-united in Calhoun Co., Illinois. In the Spring of 1839, they moved to the vicinity of Burlington, Iowa, where they stayed until the Spring of 1841 when Justus Azel, Mehitable and three married sons, William, Justus Wellington, and David located at Nashville, Lee County, Iowa. [Note: Their daughter Elizabeth and her husband James Young and children were also with them.] Here, during a few peaceful years, they welcomed the arrival of several grandchildren. On 3 Feb 1846 this faithful couple, Justus Azel and Mehitable (Bennett) Seeley, were endowed in the Nauvoo Temple, but mobs drove the participants out before the eternal marriage ceremony was finished. After a long, strenuous trip, the Seeleys arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley on the 29 Sept 1847. Here they lived a short time in Old South Fort. The Seeleys were witnesses of the miracle of the Gulls the following summer. In May 1849, Mehitable and Justus Azel Seeley had Patriarchal Blessings from John Smith. (copies enclosed)

The aging parents moved to Pleasant Grove, along with their son William and family. They were living there in March 1858 when Justus Wellington and his family returned from seven years pioneering in San Bernadino, California. Justus Azel Seeley died in Pleasant Grove, Utah, 1 April 1859 and he is buried there. Rather than remain alone, Mehitable moved to Mt. Pleasant, Utah to spend the few remaining years of her life with her children who had been called to settle in Sanpete County. Mehitable died 2 Aug 1861 and lies buried in Mt. Pleasant. Her posterity is numerous. They revere her name and her faithfulness in living a Christlike life. She lived the principles of the restored gospel and her testimony brought her through the many sacrifices and trials she was called to endure. NOTE: This couple was sealed by proxy in the Manti Temple 27 June 1868 after Justus Azel Seeley appeared in a dream to one of his sons, reminding him of the unfinished ordinance at the Nauvoo Temple in 1846.
Justus Azel Seeley 

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