Compiled by Alice Memmott Adams, with additional information added by Glenda Joyce Memmott Black in 2003. Edited by Guy L. Black.
William Franklin Ivie, a son of James Russell Ivie and Eliza McKee Fausett, was born 18 Dec. 1826, west of Shelbyville, Bedford, Tennessee, the second son of fifteen children.
David Anderson Ivie, grandfather to William Franklin, owned a great deal of land and many slaves in Tennessee. He was formerly of Georgia, and was ruined financially, as were many other men in the southern states, when many of his slaves ran away. He freed all the other slaves that the family owned, and migrated with all his family to Missouri. Since he still had slaves after his move, his most loyal slaves must have stayed with him. While in Missouri, the Ivies quickly procured considerable lands and possessions.
In 1832, Parley P. Pratt brought the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to the Ivie family; they readily accepted it. William Franklin’s father and mother were baptized 11 Sept 1832. When he was old enough William was baptized on 10 May 1835, most likely in Florida, Monroe County, Missouri, where his family lived at the time. This was the same year that his sister, Polly Ann, and the famous writer, Samuel Clemens, were born in that same town—Florida, Missouri.
They had lived in various towns in the state of Missouri for about seventeen years when the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were preparing to move westward. Several of the Ivie children left Missouri to join the Saints at Council Bluffs, Iowa, arriving 14 June 1846. Anderson at age 73 and Sarah at 65 must have thought the trip would be too difficult, because they stayed and lived their lives out in Holiday, Monroe, Missouri.
The Ivies found their long time friends, the Allreds, and most likely set up camp with them at the Allred Camp. They had no sooner made camp when news arrived that war had broken out between the United States and Mexico.
On the 30th June 1846, Brigham Young received an emissary from the Federal Government, Captain James Allen, who bore a letter from General Kearney asking whether the Saints would enlist from among their number four to five hundred able bodied men to march into California and take possession of the area. Brigham Young’s reply was, “Captain, you shall have your men.” Within two weeks five hundred Mormon men had enlisted for service. On July 16th 1846 they began their unparallel march of 2,000 miles on foot across the barren desolate waste of the southwestern part of the United States as part of the Mormon Battalion. Their accomplishments stand to this day as a mark of honor and fidelity to their church and to their country.
William Franklin’s older brother, Richard Anderson Ivie, and his father’s brother, Thomas Celton, enlisted to serve. Richard was nineteen and Thomas was only a few years older than him. Richard’s wife, Elizabeth Dobson stayed with the family and went west with them.
With the depletion of this number of men from their group, Brigham Young realized that it would be impossible to take the group on to the Rocky Mountains. He was left with the formidable task of organizing the thousands of Saints on both sides of the Missouri into passable winter quarters. It was a task to dismay any but the strongest men. At first there were 3,000 to 4,000 men, women, and children; but before the winter was over the number swelled to over 12,000. It was Brigham Young who encouraged them by telling them that they would be able to take care of themselves and survive, which most did; however many also died for the cause.
Because of the cooperation he had received from Brigham Young, Captain Allen assumed the responsibility of saying that the Saints could locate at Grand Island until they were able to continue their journey west.
They were there from 1846–1848, when they left with Brigham Young’s second company for SaltLake, City, Utah.
They stayed in Salt Lake City a couple of years, where William met and married Malinda Jane Young, in Salt Lake City, December 1850. She was the daughter of Alfred Douglas Young and Anna Chappell. She was born in Jonesboro, Union Co. Illinois. 8 Nov 1833. She died 15 Jun 1902, in Scipio, Millard, Utah.
They later moved to Provo and lived there about nine years. Six children were born to them while there. William was a great influence in helping to build the community and the church.
He was a member of the colonizing program of the state of Deseret with his father and uncle and the clan. Their first project was building a road up WeberCanyon, but the difficulty and cost of road building was so great it was decided to give it up for the time.
Brigham Young called him to go to Ephraim, where he and the Ivie clan were a part of the fort building. They built an irrigation system, dug ditches, built fences, and cultivated land.
From there they went to Mt.Pleasant, and then to RoundValley, which was later called Scipio, doing the same projects.
Round Valley was a high cold valley with rich black soil and plenty of water from the run off of the mountains, forming a small lake with two streams—one went to Graball, a small community near the mountains, and the other stream remained undeveloped.
The Ivies settled near the undeveloped stream and called it “Ivies Creek.” They felt the need to build a dam so the water could be preserved to water the fields. They became a part of this project, working as a team with others to complete the task. They dug ten miles of ditch to reach the fields.
Before they left Provo, William married Malinda’s sister, Sarah Emily Young, on 13 Mar 1856, in polygamy. Sarah was born 11 Aug 1841, in Gibson County, Tennessee to Alfred Douglas Young, and Anna Chappell. She died 20 Jan 1926 at Scipio, Millard, Utah.
Malinda was the mother of fifteen children, and Sarah was the mother of nine. They were known as the “Happy Family,” which demonstrated a lot of love, understanding, patience, cooperation, organization, and a lot of hard work on every one’s part to maintain that large of a family.
William was a successful farmer. He faithfully prepared and cared for his soil, raising more grain per acre than those around him. He was a good provider, and taught his children to hunt and fish.
The people of Scipio were continually having trouble with the Indians. Indians would steal the cattle, horses, sheep; they were continually raiding and begging for food. On the 16th of June 1816, William’s father, James Russell Ivie, went out to the field to check on a cow that had a new calf. The Indians shot him full of arrows and stripped him of all his clothes except his boots. They also shot another young boy who was herding cows. This was a great shock to all the family and town’s people, especially to William, as he was very close to his father.
William loved horses, and raised a fine blooded Stallion for breeding purposes. It was characteristic of him to have his horses decorated with fancy rings. His yards were always well kept.
He was a devoted church member, always serving where he was called, and always helping others. He was called by Joseph Smith to participate in Zion’s Camp, along with his father, James Russell Ivie, and John A. Ivie.
Brigham Young counseled everyone in the ScipioValley to move to the center of the valley and build a fort, because of the Indian trouble. The Ivies obeyed, and were the first to build their log homes. Their property was northwest of the public square.
William’s deep concern was providing an education for his family. He and his father, James Russell Ivie, were assigned to get the logs from the mountains to build the first school house. He took care of the fields of the school teacher, Mary Ann Martin, which helped to pay for his children to have enough schooling that they could read, write, and do arithmetic.
Spelling bees and times table contests were sponsored by this good man and held at his home. His home was a place for people to come and read the newspaper, which was a two column strip half the length of the daily times.
Malinda and Sarah were good cooks, seamstresses, and wonderful mothers, taking care of their many chores and responsibilities, without complaint.
William was just an ordinary American citizen living a quite useful life, loving his family, and doing the best possible in home, church, and civic life. He passed away 4th August 1880, with severe cramps in the stomach.[i]
[i] Vital Records, Cemetery, and Obituary Sources: Birth Certificate: No primary source of birth found. Almost all secondary sources agree that he was born December 18, 1826. His grave marker indicates he was born December 18, 1826. The 1870 Census claims he was 43 as of June 16, 1870 (meaning he was born between June 17, 1826 and June 18, 1827), which agrees with the grave marker. In addition, the publication Conquerors of the West: Stalwart Mormon Pioneers Vols. 1 and 2 under the entry for his father, James Russell Ivie, lists William Franklin’s birth date as December 18, 1826. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah also lists him as being born on December 18, 1826. Heart Throbs of the West, Vol. 9, Pioneers of 1848 also agrees with the December 18, 1826 birth date. Alice Adams Memmott, the primary author of the foregoing history, is the only person who states a different date (September 18, 1827). Alice Adams Memmott, “Sketch of William Franklin Ivie and His Wives, Malinda Jane Young and Sarah Emily Young,” The Eugene and Lillie Memmott Journal, Volume Seven 1990 (No publisher, 1991), p. 51. As it appears that Alice is mistaken in her date, I have changed the birth date to reflect the predominate view. Marriage Record: No primary source found. There is a conflict in the secondary records, which list marriage between Sarah Emily Young and William Franklin Ivie as occurring on one of three dates. The three dates are: March 3, 1855 (Edmund West, compiler. Family Data Collection – Individual Records [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000), March 13, 1856 (Alice Adams Memmott, “Sketch of William Franklin Ivie and His Wives, Malinda Jane Young and Sarah Emily Young,” The Eugene and Lillie Memmott Journal, Volume Seven 1990 (No publisher, 1991), p. 55), or March 13, 1855 (Ancestral file for Sarah Emily Young, AFN: 25GW-H5 on familysearch.org). Death Record: Headstone located in Scipio, Utah, Old Pioneer Cemetery, lists date of death as May 4, 1880. Grave Location and Cemetery Directions: Located in Scipio, Utah, Old Pioneer Cemetery—Southeast corner of 200 South and 200 East, Scipio, Utah. Obituary: No known obituary.