Mary Ann Mitchell Davis, dear friend of Elizabeth Degen Bushman

In 1840 my 3rd Great-grandmother, Elizabeth Degen Bushman and her husband, Martin were taught the gospel of Jesus Christ in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania by a Mormon missionary named Elisha H. Davis.  Elisha served as a missionary for many years.  He traveled to England in 1844 to preach the gospel there.  On Christmas day in 1846 Elisha married Mary Ann in London, where he presided over the London Conference.

The Davis and Bushman families eventually came West and later settled in Lehi, Utah where they renewed their friendship.  Mary Ann and Elizabeth became dear friends.  They were both spiritual women, and members of the Lehi Relief Society.  Elizabeth served the community as a midwife.  Elizabeth had the gift of tongues and Mary Ann had the gift of interpretation of tongues.  Mary Ann sat with Elizabeth as she was dying in 1878.   Elizabeth offered a beautiful prayer in tongues, which Mary Ann interpreted (see below).

These pioneer women are dear to me.  They are heroines and saints.

Davis Elisha Hildebrand and Mary Ann portraitMary Ann Mitchell Davis 1822-1892
Written by her Husband, Elisha H. Davis

Mary Ann Mitchell Davis was the daughter of Robert and Sarah Hunt Mitchell and was born in London, England, October 19 1822. She was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1842.  She was married to Elisha H. Davis in London, December 25, 1846. she emigrated with her husband to the United States March 7, 1847. She lived in Winter Quarters, Nebraska one year, in Iowa three years and immigrated to Utah in 1852.

She received her endowments in Salt Lake city, March 24, 1854 and was sealed to her husband March 32, 1854. She was made a president in the Primary Association of Lehi, October 16, 1888, working in that capacity several years and commenced to be a faithful worker in the Sunday School in 1867 and continued to be a very diligent and faithful worker therein until her death September 14, 1892. She was treasurer of the Relief Society many years and an energetic and useful laborer therein until her death.

She had great influences over the young whom she won to her by her strong affection and undying love. She was a true wife, and most affectionate mother, beloved by nearly all who knew her. In poverty she never murmured, but worked beyond her strength for her family.

As a saint, she lived a holy life, and had the gift of interpretation of tongues which she received in her early association with the Church and retained until her death. She received her second anointing with her husband Aug 15, 1864 from George A. Smith.

Biography from the Lehi Centennial History.
Mary Ann Mitchell Davis, the daughter of Robert and Sarah Hunt Mitchell, was born in London, England, October 19, 1822; was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-­day Saints, in 1842; and was married to Elisha H. Davis in London, December 25, 1846. She set sail with her husband for the United States on the day of her marriage, and settled in Winter Quarters, Nebraska, where she lived one year. She was in Iowa three years, and then emigrated to Utah in 1852.

In Lehi, Mrs. Davis has held many offices of trust and honor in the organizations of her sex. For many years she was the treasurer of the Relief Society; was the third lady teacher called to labor in the Sunday School, in 1866; and continued to act until the time of her death.

On the 16th of October, 1888, she was set apart as a president in the Primary Association, a work with which she was connected for a number of years. She had great influence over the young, whom she won to her by strong affection and undying love. She was a true wife and a most affectionate mother.

As a Saint she lived a holy life, and had the gift of interpretation of tongues, which she received in her early association with the church, and which she retained through life. She died September 14, 1892.

Her family consisted of the following children: Mary Ann, born near Council Bluffs, Iowa, October 31, 1848; living at present in Lehi. Elisha Hildebrand, born near Council Bluffs, February 7, 1850; now living in Lehi. Sarah Agnes (Mrs. Charles Karren), born on Keg Creek, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, March 21, 1852; now living in Magrath, Canada. Orinda Jane (Mrs. Dilbert H. Allred), born at Bountiful, Davis County, Utah, April 14, 1854; now of Lehi. George Edward, born in Bingham Fort, near Ogden, February 4, 1857; now of Lehi. Alphonzo Mitchel, born February 19, 1859, near Lehi; still residing in Lehi. Edith Richards, born near Lehi, December 17, 1860; died. Sabina Ann, born near Lehi, December 9, 1862; now of Salt Lake City.

Davis, Mary Ann Mitchell headstone

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Elizabeth was a typical Swiss girl, with dark brown eyes and hair, and a stout build. She was five foot four inches tall and 140 pounds in weight. She was exceptionally healthy until near her death at age 76. Considerable of the last 25 years of her life were devoted to work as a practical nurse and midwife. She was exceptionally spiritual in nature, and enjoyed many spiritual gifts, even the gift of tongues which she had spoken ever since she joined the L. D. S. Church.

On May 6, two weeks before her death, she spoke the following prayer in tongues. It was interpreted by her old friend, Mary Ann Davis.

“My Father and my God that dwelleth in the Heavens. The father of my spirit and the spirits of all men, look upon me in mercy because I am thy daughter and I feel that I am about to pass the valley and shadow of death, but I fear no evil for thou wilt be my prop and my stay. My mind is as calm as a summer’s morning and I have a peace that passeth understanding. Permit me, Oh God, to depart in peace, for my body not to be racked with pain and anguish. Lay underneath me thy arms of love to be my stay and my support. “Oh my Father, a joy unspeakable fills my breast because I shall soon behold Thy face. Fools have said in their hearts, there is no God, but I know that Thou art the Living God, I have trusted in thee, and have never been confounded. Oh Lord, I have been many years from thy presence, I have endured many trials, pain and anguish of body, but I thank thee for my body thou has given me, for my mission and my work to do upon earth. “I have done my work and through Thy grace I have kept my body pure and undefiled for which I thank Thee, Oh God. Oh my Father, comfort the hearts of my family and friends which are dear to me. I shall only be separated from you for a little season. In the morning of the resurrection I shall arise without this frail body having an immortal one. “Oh my Father, a joy unspeakable fills my soul and rapture fills my heart for the veil will soon be rent and I shall behold my companion and children that have gone before me. I shall meet them with joy and not with grief and more I shall behold Thy face and enjoy Thy smiles and Thy presence and bask in Thy favor forever more. “Oh my children and friends, be true to God and His work and He will take you through the gates of death and there will be a light in the valley for you. My Savior will let me lean on His arm so I will not be afraid nor fear any evil. My heart rejoices in God, my Savior. Although my body has pain and anguish, have faith and pray for me that I may depart in peace and when you lay me in the grave, mourn not for me but rejoice that I am delivered from this body of anguish and if you shed tears, let them not be of bitterness. Be faithful to the truth and all shall be well with you. We shall only be separated for a little season. God bless you all. Oh Lord, grant that my name may not pass into oblivion, but that it may be from generation to generation, because I have tried to keep Thy commandments. Amen.”

Elizabeth never rallied or gained her strength from this last illness, but could converse and enjoy the company of her children and friends.


About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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4 Responses to Mary Ann Mitchell Davis, dear friend of Elizabeth Degen Bushman

  1. Pingback: Missionaries are Remembered. | Our Washington Yakima Mission

  2. Pingback: Missionaries are Remembered | Ann's Words

  3. Mary Nielson says:

    Thank you. I am named after Mary Ann. I come through her daughter Sarah, her granddaughter Orinda, and her great grandson Jack Thomas, who is my dad. He was born and raised in Canada and carried over that delightful British accent. My husband and I served a mission in London 2014. Thanks so much for sharing all you have.

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