Sunday, June 12, 2011

Life Sketch of Jane Cadwallader Brown

1832-1908 (75 Years)


Jane Cadwallader Brown was born 5 June 1832 at Birmingham, (southeast of Sandusky) Erie, Ohio to Abia William Brown and Abby Cadwallader Brown. There is very little known of her early childhood life. Her parents were Quakers, and she was a quaint sweet little Quaker girl, very small with real dark hair and eyes. In 1847 or 1848 William Derby Johnson Sr. fell in love with her and they were married on 9 November 1848 in Nauvoo. She was just 16 years of age and he was 24.

William adored Jane, she was his queen all his life. Nothing was ever too good for her, he got her the best of everything, the finest most convenient homes that money could buy and the best that could be built at that time, and nearly always had hired help for her.

Though they had a large family of 12 children, she always took much interest in her neatness in dress and appearance. She did all kinds of lovely handwork and sewing, and especially making many beautiful quilts. Her work was the neatest and of the very best. Much of the time she wore a neat black taffeta dress and bonnet.
In 1861 they came to Salt Lake and built a nice home which was located on the spot where the Union Pacific Depot now stands. Wherever they went they had a store and sold all sorts of merchandise. In William’s merchandising business they often sold bakery goods, pies, cakes and bread that were made by Jane.

While in Salt Lake they owned a large herd of dairy cows, which they milked by hand. It was the duty of two of their children (girls) to milk and make the 50 pounds of cheese each day. They did not do all the work themselves; but oversaw it all. They often had Indians working for them.

In the fall of 1870 they sold the Salt Lake place and moved to St. George, Utah, and from there moved east to what was to become Johnson, Utah (near Kanab). This town was named for William Derby and his brothers who came later to settle there. They were the first family to arrive there 22 April 1871.

They were comfortable and happy with a good home, fine garden, flowers, orchard, park and fishpond.

Jane served as the Relief Society President of the Johnson ward for several years.
Jane’s wish that William not go into polygamy was granted. He did have one other woman sealed to him but he never lived with anyone except his beloved wife Jane.

Wilma Fillerup Turley, her first great-grandchild, who was eight years old at the time of her death, remembers her well. She writes, "Our home was next to hers and we loved going over to visit her. Honeysuckle grew about the pillars of her porch and scented the air when in bloom which I dearly loved. Her house was a big stuccoed two-story building, well built with a cellar also, and a bath tub, the only one in Diaz at that time (they carried water by hand to it). Grandma Great was small, neat, with sparkly black eyes and kind to us and we loved to go and see her and her interesting house with the up-stairs and cellar and her parrot "Loro" and cage of canaries. How happy I am to remember my great-grandmother, just wish I could have known my great-grandfather."

Jane died twelve years after her husband’s death on 19 January 1908 in Colonia Diaz, and is buried there with him.

Compiled January 1994 by Joyce Whiting Packard from the following records:
1. "Wilma’s Family Life Sketches," by Wilma Fillerup Turley.
2. "The Johnson Informer," Johnson Family Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 3, August 1954.

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