Our Bennett/Simpson Roots

A Distinguished Heritage

Emily Stevens

EMILY STEVENS (26 Nov 1825 – 10 Nov 1895) was born in Rowde, Somerset, England the daughter of Issac Stevens and Mary Marshmann.
Emily Stevens

Emily Stevens

Emily married Abel Stephen Halliday on 24 Dec 1848 in Melksham, Wiltshire, England.  Following the marriage, Emily and Abel settled in Towbridge, England where they lived during the time that their first three children were born.  Sadly, of their first three children, only son John Thomas survived birth.  In all, Emily and Abel had nine children of record:

  • William Halliday (5 Mar 1849 – 5 Mar 1849)  Born in Towbridge, England.  Died at birth.
  • Samuel William Halliday (5 Sep 1850 – 5 Sep 1850)  Born in Towbridge, England.  Died at birth.
  • John Thomas Halliday (17 Jan 1852 – 30 Aug 1861)  Born in Towbridge, England.  Died in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Martha Halliday (10 Oct 1854 – 10 Oct 1854)  Born in St Louis, Missouri.  Died at birth.
  • Mary Jane Halliday (11 Nov 1855 – 5 Oct 1856)  Born in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Died at the age of 10 months.
  • Mary Ann Halliday (12 Dec 1856 – 12 Dec 1856)  Born in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Died at birth.
  • James Halliday (15 Jun 1858 – 15 Jun 1858)  St Louis, Missouri.  Died at birth.
  • Mary Ellen Halliday (31 Jan 1860 – 3 Sep 1911).  Born in St. Louis, Missouri.  Married Willard Flinders, 29 Nov 1875.
  • Stephen Eli Halliday (2 Nov 1862 – 10 Mar 1940)  Born in St. Louis, Missouri.  Married Agnes Simpson 2 Nov 1886.

While living in England, Emily and Abel were baptized members of the LDS Church.  Not long after, opportunity came for Emily and Abel to come to the United States to join with other Latter-day Saints.

On 5 Feb 1853 Emily and Abel set sail on board the ship “Jersey” with their infant son, John Thomas, as emigrants from Liverpool, England to the U.S.  Their ship arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana 22 Mar 1853.  The journey from England to the United States was led by Emily’s brother-in-law, George Halliday, who had been assigned by church leaders to arrange passage for a group of 314 church members to the United States – Emily, Abel, and young John Thomas among them.

After arrival in New Orleans, arrangements had been made for the group’s immediate travel up river to Keokuk, Iowa, where they encamped nearby in preparation for their travel on to Salt Lake City, Utah with the Texas Independent Company.  Emily and Abel intended to travel with the group on to Utah that summer of 1853, but Emily suffered an accidental  gun shot wound to the lower leg inflicted by Abel after his return to camp from a hunting trip.  Because of the injury, it was necessary for Emily and Abel to stay behind seeking medical help until Emily was well enough to travel west by wagon.  Emily and Abel left the encampment at some point following the accident, and settled in the St. Louis, Missouri area for a brief time.  The following year, they came to Utah and settled in the Salt Lake City area, as evidenced by the 1856 Utah Territory census.

For reasons unknown, Emily and Abel returned to Missouri before 1860.  It was while living in St. Louis that son, John Thomas, died on 30 August 1861 of “marasmus emaciation”.  John Thomas was buried in the Holy Ghost Cemetery in St. Louis.  Church records of 30 October 1862 indicate that Emily and her children, Mary Ellen and Stephen Eli, were members of the Dry Hills Branch of the LDS Church.  Abel was not listed among the members of the congregation at that time.  Accounts of Abel’s life vary after 1862, some indicating that Abel died in 1862, others indicating that he died in 1867, while others suggest that Abel became increasingly intemperate and he and Emily divorced.

Charles Dalton

Emily and her two children, Mary and Stephen, remained in Missouri until June 1867 when arrangements were made for them to return to Utah by wagon train as members of a Mormon Pioneer migration company.  A history written by Mary A. Halliday Fowers and Lithia Halliday Dalton, great granddaughters of Emily, provides the following account of Emily’s return to Utah:

“In the latter part of June 1867, the George Dunford Company with a train of 22 wagons of merchandise, a mess wagon drawn by mules or horses, and 4 carriages for the families, left St. Louis for Utah.  Emily Stevens Halliday was a cripple, having had her right leg shot off and later amputated below the knee.  She did all the cooking for the company and rode all the way as she couldn’t walk.”

We also found a record of that Company written by George Dunford, and it said; “A Sister Halliday and her two young children came with us as the cook.”

The Halliday and Dunford families were together in England, in St. Louis, and also in the Salt Lake Valley, and must have been very good friends.

Emily and her children arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, where they were met by Brother John Rich from Morgan, Utah.  John Rich and his wife, Lydia Pond Rich, witnessed the accidental shooting of Emily’s foot, near Winter Quarters, and she wrote about it in her journal.  They apparently stayed with this family for a time.

It was while living in Morgan County that Emily met and married Charles Dalton, a widower with seven children.  According to church records, Emily and Charles were married on 3 Oct 1868 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.

After their marriage, Emily and Charles moved from Morgan to the new settlement, Peterson, and then in 1870 they moved on to South Hooper, now West Point, Davis County, Utah where they settled and remained until their deaths.  Charles died on 18 May 1891, and following his death Emily was cared for by her children, Mary and Stephen, until her death on 10 Nov 1895.

History of Emily Halliday (By grand daughter, Mary A. Halliday Fowers)

“Emily Stevens Halliday (weaver), a daughter of Isaac Stevens and Mary Marshman, was born in Rowde, Wiltshire, England 26 Nov 1825 (film #087036, Item 452, L.D.S. Branch Records, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England). She was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 30 Jul 1849 in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England at age 24, 1 year after her husband’s baptism, by Elder George Dunford. Emily married Abel Stephen Halliday 24 Dec 1847.  She was the mother of nine children, five sons and four daughters.  Seven died in infancy and childhood and only two grew to adulthood.  She and her husband and two children emigrated to Utah on 29 Jan 1853.  They crossed the plains with ox teams and endured the trials and hardships of the journey.

In the year 1868 she went back to St. Louis where her husband died on 3 Oct 1868 at the age of 42 – she was 43. In the year 1869 she again came back to Utah. During the journey across the plains her right leg was shot off by a gun being accidently discharged.

She settled in Morgan County, Utah where she was married to Charles Dalton, a blacksmith, who was a widower with 7 children, whom she raised. On 1 Mar 1870 they moved to Hooper, Utah along with her two children by Abel Halliday, Mary Ellen Halliday, 10, and Stephen Eli Halliday, 8.

Their house was built of boards straight up and down with cane squeezings for the roof which was later replaced with an adobe house. Her education was medium. She was a Counselor in the Relief Society. She had great faith and courage, great gifts of the gospel and sacrificed a great deal. She was very charitable and had divine guidance. Her traits of character were good.  She resided in Hooper until her death which occurred 10 Nov 1892, 2 weeks before her 70th birthday. She was survived by one daughter, one son and 11 grandchildren.”

I have found some information on Emily Stevens Halliday Dalton, that was in a diary written by, Lydia Pond Rich, on file at the History center;   film # 0485 341.  She states: ” We had started for the gathering place of the saints in June 1853. We went from St Louis, up the Mississippi river, to Council Bluffs. We camp at Kanesville till the company was ready to start. The captain was Moses Daley. While there a dear sister met with an accident and lost her foot.   It was shot off by her husband who had been hunting and was showing the boys in camp how lost his game; he pulled the wrong trigger and shot his wife in the leg.  She was getting her baby to sleep at the time; but there was not much sleep in the camp that night. It was quite a trial for us to leave her.  There was an arrangement made as so on as she was able, for her to come on.   But she went back to St. Louis with her husband and they came to Utah, the next year and lived in the City.   Her name was Emily Stevens Halliday.”


One thought on “Emily Stevens

  1. Hi. My g-g-g grandmother is Lydia Pond Rich of whose diary was quoted in Mary A. Halliday Fowers’ History of Emily Halliday.

    I’ve found a website about Emily Stevens Halliday Dalton at https://familysearch.org/patron/v2/TH-303-44687-348-14/dist.pdf?ctx=ArtCtxPublic

    In this article, on page 9, there is an extended version of the quote of my g-g-g- grandmothers diary. I was wondering if you happen to know who wrote that pdf file at the familysearch.org website. I need to know if there truly is additional writings that I am missing of my g-g-g-grandmothers diary or if that was a accidental “merged quote” from two sources. The version I have is what was quoted here on this page.

    Thank you for any help.

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