The Missionary Wives and Parents Organization


Martha Spencer Bushman and daughter, Martha Ruth Bushman (m. Griffin)

Lehi, Centennial History, Hamilton Gardner, The Lehi Pioneer Committee, 1913.
by Lorena G. Abbott

In July 1897, eleven women, whose husbands were serving as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, met at the suggestion of Amanda Broadbent at the home of Laura Salzner to read letters and talk about their missionary husbands.

Again in August they met at the home of Sarah Knudson and read letters from their husbands and the blessings the missionaries received before leaving on their missions.
The eleven missionaries were: Joseph S. Broadbent, Levi A. Phillips, Christian Knudson, W. Frank Butt, T. Fred Trane, Elias A. Bushman, Hyrum Baker, Franz Salzner, Mark Austin, John Y. Smith, and Thomas Halverson.


Elias Bushman, Missionary

Shortly after the August meeting the eleven women had their picture taken together [photo, p. 398]. Then on September 24, 1897, they met at the home of Amanda Broadbent and effected an organization to be called The Missionary Wives Society, with Mrs. Broadbent chosen president and Laura Salzner, vice president and secretary.

They met at one of the homes each month and read the letters they had received, and visited. A hot supper was served after which they had a program and testimony bearing. They invited many friends to join them. When a missionary returned home he would visit the meeting and tell of his experiences as a missionary, then his wife would be automatically dropped from the organization. He and his wife were often special guests at following meetings.

At 11:00 a. m. on November 5, 1897, the missionary wives met at the home of Mrs. Broadbent to fast and pray for the family of Louis [sic] Bushman, who had died from typhoid fever while laboring as a missionary in the Southern States. They met the train bringing the body home and followed behind the pall bearers to the cemetery, where Elder Bushman was laid to rest. The pall bearers were returned missionaries, and Elder W. Frank Butt accompanied the body home from the mission field. Louis [sic] was the husband of Martha Spencer Bushman.

Lewis and Martha Spencer Bushman were married 1 November 1894.  He died at age 25 while on his mission in Kentucky.  Martha Spencer Bushman never remarried. They had one child, Martha Ruth Bushman who was born in 1897.  Lewis is the son of Martin Benjamin Bushman and Lucinda Ladelia Goodwin.


Lewis and Martha Spencer Bushman


About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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