Ellen Elizabeth Abbott was born 14 April 1837 in Brockport, Monroe Co., N.Y., and died in Ammon, Bonneville Co., Idaho.
Ellen Elizabeth Abbott was the first child of Ruth Markham and Joshua Chandler Abbott (born 14 Aug 1805 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. We understand the Markhams and Abbotts left the New England country and went to Missouri where the Mormons were organizing. A temple record card indicates Ruth Markham was baptized in1840 when Ellen was 3 years old. We have record of another daughter, Mary Abbott, being born in Ohio about 1839 and dying at age 6, and another son being born in Illinois about 1843 and dying at age 18 months.
When Ellen was 9 years old, her father joined the Mormon Battalion and her mother also went along with the Battalion as a nurse, leaving Ellen with her mother's sister, Betsey Elizabeth Markham Gardner. Betsey married Elias Gardner on December 9, 1846 and Ellen accompanied the Gardners on their journey across the plains in the second Brigham Young Company.
Ellen suffered all the many hardships at Winter Quarters and also as they were crossing the plains with the rest of those brave and courageous pioneers. They landed in the Salt Lake Valley [in September 1848].
Ellen's mother Ruth arrived in the Salt Lake valley on 29 Jul 1847, with the sick detachment of the Mormon Battalion. Ruth Markham Abbott gave birth to her last daughter, Emily Ann, on 27 Dec 1848 in Salt Lake City. Some say Ruth's husband, Joshua Abbott, returned to Salt Lake and to his family and started to build a home on land with a spring and then left for California and the Gold Rush. Others say he never returned to Salt Lake from his Mormon Battalion march, but went right on to California, never returning to his family. We do know he left his family and went to California and never returned.
After helping to start building Salt Lake City, the Gardner families moved to Payson, Utah. The call came to Elias Gardner to enter into polygamy, and temple records show he was sealed to Ellen Elizabeth on 9 Feb 1852, making her his fifth wife. Shortly after their sealing, Elias was called on a mission to England and was gone from his families for three years. When he returned, Elias and Ellen began their family.
Elias Gardner was born 2 April 1807 in Vernon, Oneida Co., N.Y., and died 15 Feb. 1890 (or 1891) in Annabella, Sevier Co., Utah.
He first married Harriet Smith on 1 Jan. 1826.
He secondly married Amy Pritchard on 13 Feb. 1832.
He thirdly married Betsy Elizabeth Markham in 1846.
He married his fourth wife, Diana Hanchett, on 1 Nov. 1847.
He married for the fifth time to Ellen Elizabeth Abbott, daughter of Joshua Chandler Abbott and Ruth Markham, on 9 Feb. 1852. (A record has been found indicating the Ruth Markham was either sealed or married to Elias Gardner on this same date, as she had been abandoned by her husband, Joshua Chandler Abbott.)
Ellen and Elias were the parents of 11 children, all of whom lived to adulthood. They were:
1- Elias Gardner Jr., born 14 Dec 1857;
2- John Gardner, born 11 Feb 1860;
3- Ellen Elizabeth Gardner, born 2 Oct 1862;
4- Ruthetta Gardner, born 25 Dec 1865;
5- Joshua Abbott Gardner born 12 Sep 1867;
6- George Gardner, born 17 Apr 1870;
7- Manesetta Gardner, born 4 Mar 1873;
8- Orawell Gardner, born 18 Mar 1875;
9- Ira Gardner and 10- Iris Gardner (twins) born 16 May 1877;
11-Martha Jane Gardner, born 12 Dec 1880.
Ellen continued to work to help support her family, tailoring men?s suits, making and selling hats, and nursing and caring for the sick in families throughout the church in many towns and wards. For years the Gardner families were troubled with the Indians and at times were driven from their homes. Sometimes they had to leave all their bins full of wheat and smoked hams, sides of meat, etc. to make new homes. They moved from Payson in 1868 and lived in Salem, Richfield and Central Willow Creek, finally settling in Annabelle.
Ellen was called by Brigham Young to be President of the Faith Organization of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was active in that work until the time of her death.
Four of Ellen's sons served missions for the church: John, George, Joshua and Ira.
Her husband, Elias, died 15 Feb 1891, leaving a large family, but they all learned to work and helped her and themselves earn a livelihood and provide for the home.
Ellen's only sister, Emily Ann Abbott, died (in 1880) and left four children to Ellen's care. Ellen's hard work included maintaining a home for them as well as her own. Ellen's daughter, Ruthetta, also died in 1880, leaving a family of four children that Ellen helped to care for. Ellen's Patriarchal Blessing said that she would be a true mother in Israel, and that she was. According to her temple record book, she did temple work for friends and ancestors in he Manti temple.
After Elias died, Ellen and part of her family moved to Ammon, Idaho, east of Idaho Falls. At home with her at that time were Joshua, Orawell, Ira and Martha Jane. John and George also homesteaded around the Gardner canal which they built in the Ammon foothills. They all worked and took up land and made beautiful farm homes and were considered prosperous farmers in the Snake River Valley.
Gladys, the oldest daughter of Orawell, recalls walking to Grandma Gardner's each evening with a pail of milk. Grandma would always have a treat for her. The door to the root cellar was in the kitchen, and it would sure smell good when Ellen would open it to get an apple or when she would have a cookie ready to give her. Ellen was always sweet and cheerful.
Ellen passed away at her home in Ammon on 17 Jul 1916 at the age of 79 years. She was loved by all who knew her, and was a wonderful homemaker, always understanding, happy and cheerful and doing good to everyone. She was called Aunt Ellen and is remembered by her hard work and her cheerful, kind way.