Neriah Lewis Jr.

  and Rebecca Hendricks Wife (1)
See Children of Rebecca Hendricks
  Martha Catherine Youngblood Wife (2)

Neriah Lewis, Jr. was born 27 April 1816 in Simpson County, Kentucky. He was the 10th child of Neriah Lewis and Mary Moss. About 1836 Neriah married Rebecca Hendricks, who was the daughter of Samuel Hendricks and Rebecca Dorris. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Carlinsville, Macoupin County, Illinois. On the 14th of October 1837 their first child was born, William Hendricks Lewis. Their second child, Benjamin Marion Lewis, was born 20 March 1842, and Neriah Robert Lewis, their third child was born 10 March 1843. All three children were born in Carlinsville.

In the winter of 1846-7 Neriah and Rebecca, were visited by David Lewis, (Neriah’s brother), who preached the gospel to them. They were converted, and joined the church, a few weeks later sold out and moved to Nauvoo. After a short time in Nauvoo they started for the great-unknown west, traveling through Iowa to the Missouri River. A crude flat boat was constructed on which they crossed the Missouri River. They joined Bishop George Miller’s company and continued their journey westward, hoping to reach the Rocky Mountains that same season, however, after a few hundred miles winter came on and meeting some Ponca Indians who invited them to winter with them, they did so.

It was a cold hard winter and they suffered much from the want of food. About eighty persons of their company died of scurvy that winter. During the fall and early winter they dug roots, which they called Hog Potatoes. They were a great help but later the frost became so intense, the ground freezing three or four feet deep, there could be no more digging roots. When cattle died of hunger and cold, some of the people would dress, boil and eat the meat. One night the cattle stampeded and went over the wagons as though there was nothing in the way, and made kindling of most of their wagons and contents. As soon as winter broke up, they made their way back to Winter Quarters, here they remained and farmed during that season. Neriah and his family moved to the Iowa side of the Missouri River and lived there for one year, where their 4th child was born, Rebecca Louisa Lewis, born 18 Sep. 1848. Neriah moved his family next to Platt County, Missouri near St. Joseph, where they remained for two years. After earning sufficient means to purchase a good outfit to come to the valley, they started again for Utah in 1851. At Winter Quarters they joined Arson Pratt Company, with James Cummings as Captain of the one hundred and Orums Bales, Captain of fifty.

A short distance out on the plain they left the old road and went around Elkhorn, which compelled them to travel about 500 miles without a road. They had a successful trip and arrived in Salt Lake City the 7th of October 185l.

Neriah purchased a home in the 15th Ward of Salt Lake City and farmed the following season. In the fall of 1852 Neriah and Rebecca moved with their family to Centerville, Davis County, Utah, but remained only for a short time, returning again to Salt Lake City. On the 11th of November 1854, Neriah’s wife, Rebecca, died leaving six motherless children, four of their own and two belonging to Rebecca’s brother.

The family then purchased a farm at Fort Harriman, a short distance from Salt Lake City where they farmed for a short time. About the end of the year, Neriah married Martha Catherine Youngblood, who was born on the 15th of December 1836 in Perry County, Alabama. She was the daughter of John Youngblood, and Edna. They moved to Farmington, Davis County, where their first child, Arza Lewis, was born. Next they moved to Richmond, Cache County, Utah where William Hendricks Lewis (Neriah’s oldest son) had settled. Neriah made his home in Richmond for the remaining years of his life. His brother, Beason, also lived there for many years.

Neriah and Martha had nine children, with the exception of the oldest, the other eight were all born in Richmond. Neriah, who like his four brothers were pioneers in the Church in the early days, and was loved and respected by all who knew him. He remained faithful to the Church and gave much of his time and talents all the days of his life. He died 22 July 1890 in Richmond.

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