Sketch of the Life of Martin and Elizabeth Bushman

Today, April 1st, is the Birthday of Martin Bushman, my 3rd Great-Grandfather.

This is a copy of the edited diary of John Bushman, which was copied by himself from the original diaries into a large journal during the later years of his life. The book from which this typewritten copy was made is of the ledger type about 8 x 11 inches in size. The writing was entirely in ink. The latter part of the journal which records the death, etc. was in other handwritings. The original from which this copy was made is now in the hands of members of the John Bushman Association, of which Fred Bushman of Salt Lake City, Utah was the Chairman. [Now in Church Historian’s Office.]

Copied by the Brigham Young University Library 1935.

[This bound manuscript is kept in the Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library, Special Collections. This Life Sketch was found at the end of John Bushman’s journal entries and was retyped here by Ann Laemmlen Lewis, September 2005. Spelling and punctuation from the original have been retained.]

[The original handwritten copy of this is found in Jacob Bushman’s Temple Record Book, pp. 1-10. There are slight variations.]

Written by their son Martin Benjamin Bushman

Bushman, Martin           degen-elizabeth-portrait

Martin bushman was born April 1st 1802 in Lancaster Co. Pennsylvania.. US. He was the son of Abraham and Ester Franks Bushman. His parents had ten children four boys and six girls. They were of German descent, Their ancesters came to America about the year 1753, Martin Bushman received a good common education in his boyhood days, he was raised on the farm, and understood all the branches as carried on in those days, He was a very skillful hand at sowing grain, also at using the sycle to cut grain, and the sythe to cut the grass for hay. And he spent the winter months in threshing the grain with the flailing their large barns, as there were not Threshing Machines in those days. He also took great pride in taking care of the cows and horses, and could always get employment in those occupations. He was a very strong and healthy young man, he stood six foot high, and weighed about 175 pounds, he had light brown hair and blue eyes.

At the age of twenty five he had found it necessary if he wished to be happy in life to have a companion to share joys and sorrow with him. He found her in the person of Elizabeth Dagen of the same state in which he lived, she was born in Basel Switzerland on the 12th of September 1802, Her Parents were John Casper and Maria Graff Dagen, her mother died when she was an infant therefore she never had a mothers care. And love to guide her in her youth. She had a good education in her childhood, then she had to work for her own living, at the age of fourteen she came with her father to America, they had a very long voyage on the ocean and suffered much for food and water.

After arriving in America she was again put out at service to earn her own living, she was a child of good character and strong will power, and was able to work her way along in the community in which she lived. The experiences she got between the age of 15 and 25 seemed to prepare her for her future life, at twenty five she could read and write and speak the English Language as well as her native language. She also learned to cook and to do all kinds of household work, she was also very handy with the needle, she was an expert with the spinning wheel, and could spin the wool into yar, and the flax lint into thread ready for the loom. she could milk the cows and make butter and cheese, she could go into the field and bind up and shock the grain. and at that age she was strong and healthy, she had black eyes and hair was short in statue but stoutly built, weighing about 140 pounds, she was a good specimen of a Swiss maiden, She accepted the hand of Martin Bushman and they were married march 20th 1827 and made their home near their parents and lived happy togather gaining many of the comforts of life, and had dear children born unto them, living there untill 1840 when some Latterday Saint Missionaries came to their home and brought to them the plan of Salvation as revealed through Joseph Smith the Prophet,

They investigated the Doctrine and embraced the same, feeling that it was from the Lord and that it was the only true Church, they concluded to gather with that people, after selling his property and settling of his affairs, and built his Parents a home his Parents nor any of his Relatives joined the Church, he wished to leave them in comfortable circumstances, He bade them all Farewell and took his family and journeyed to Nauvoo Illanoise, they traveled with horse team over the long journey After many hardships and trials they arrived among the Saints in Nauvoo, and they had the privelidge of seeing the Prophet whom they loved and were happy to meet, They rented a farm from Edward Hunter near Nauvoo and went to work with all their energy to make themselves comfortable, every thing prospered in their hands, they were able to feed and cloth their children and they helped to build the Temple the Saints were building at that time.

Every thing was peace and prosperity for three short years then the dark scene was before them, Their Prophet was slain in cold blood their people plundered and in September 1846 they were driven from their homes leaving their crops standing in the fields and every thing else they had only a few things they could put in into a wagon. A short time previous to this the Mother took her children by the hand and led them to the Temple that they might see it and behold its beauty out side and inside too, that perhaps when they got old they might remember how it looked, it was a place that they had loved and a place where they had recieved their Sacred blessings.

After taking a few things in their poorly prepared wagon and a light team for a long journey, they took their last look at the Beautiful City of Nauvoo and started on their dreary journey through Iowa. Winter soon came on and they suffered greatly with hunger and cold, They had two of their children die, two girls through exposures they had to endure, one was nine years and one was a year old. They died but one week apart, they had to be placed in their graves without coffins as there was nothing to be had to make them with, their bodies were lightly wrapped and a few branches of trees laid over their bodies to protect them from the dirt. The Father and mother greatly mourned their loss but they still continued the journey with the Saints, after much suffering and hardships they arrived in the Western part of Iowa.

They stopped at a small place called Highland Grove near Council Bluffs. Here again the Husband tried to make wife and children comfortable, he built them a house of logs and covered it as best he could with sticks and dirt, He then went into the state of Missouri and labored to procure them something to eat, after working for some time he recieved for his pay some corn meal and pork and a few other little things, he then returned to his Family with a Joyful heart that he had procured something to eat for them. He then took up some land and raised some crops, he stayed there four years and was prospered so he had sufficient to bring him to Utah, in May 1851 he started on that journey, They had one wagon with two Yoke of oxen and two Yoke of cows hitched to it and sufficient provisions to last the family five months.

After traveling five months with tired limbs and glad hearts they arrived in Salt Lake City, they only stopped there one week and then went south 30 miles to Lehi there again they procured land and built them a home. It was here their early training became most useful to them, it was over a thousand miles to where any of the nessary supplies could be obtained, therefore the only thing they could do was to procure it from the soil, Then it was the husband raised the grain and threshed it, also the corn and vegatables, he also went to the canyon and procured wood to burn and timber for building, he raised sheep that they might have the wool to make into cloth, the wife then in her place knew how to take care of the wool and spin it into yarn and weave it into cloth that she might cloth her husband and children.

In this way they prospered in the land, and they felt to thank the lord for bringing them to this goodly land, and for preserving their lives through all the trials and dangers they had passed through. They came to Utah when it was a barren desert and in connection with their colaborers the Latterday Saints they made it to blossom as the rose. They made beautiful homes and nice places of worship.

They lived in Lehi 24 years in peace. They had ten children born to them six boys and four girls, five of them being alive at his death, the others having passed away. Martin Bushman departed this life Oct. 10th 1879, aged 68 years, he was an honest upright man and a good Latterday Saint, he received his blessings in the Nauvoo Temple and recieved his Priesthood under the hands of Hyrum Smith being ordained a Hight Priest. He was an affectionate husband and a kind to his children, he never turned the stranger away hungry.

Elizabeth Bushman survived her husband 8 years, she lived to see her sons and daughter all married, and seen her grand and great grand children, she remained quite healthy almost up to the time of her death, she died May the 21st 1878, aged 76 years she died a faithful Latterday Saint and was pure and undefiled from the sins of the world. She was a loving wife and a kind mother, she spent much of her time with the sick and afflicted she will live in the hearts of many of her sex for years to come for her kindness to them in sickness and sorrow.

This biographical sketch was written Jan 10, 1920. She has now been dead 12 years she has still three sons living Martin B. Age 79 years John 76, Elias at 70. This was written by his son Martin B. Bushman as a token of respect for his parents.


About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

Thank you for visiting! I hope you enjoy the things shared here.
This entry was posted in Ann Lewis Personal History, Family History. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s