IILOUISA SHILL RICHINS 1829-1902
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Louisa Shill Richins
Louisa Shill was the twelfth of twelve children born to Robert Chapple Shill (1789-1865) and Prudence Goulding (1787-1851). Louisa's brother is or (1821-1910)
Louisa was born in England on June 22, 1829. She was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 17 July 1846, just after she had turned 17. She and her brother, Charles Goulding Shill, converted Charles Wager Richins who became her husband, 27 January 1851, when she was 21. They made their home in Gloucester, where their first child was born. Charles emigrated in the Joseph W. Young company, arriving in Salt Lake City on 10 October 1852.. One year later he sent for Louisa and their daughter. They sailed from Liverpool on the 8th of April 1854 on the steamship "Marshfield", landing at New Orleans, Louisiana 29 May 1854, arriving in Salt Lake City in the fall.of 1854.
Charles and Louisa lived in SLC for 7 years. In 1860, they were called to settle Henefer, Summit County,Utah. Charles took a second wife Esther Stove Ovard. They lived in the "Big House" together. Louisa continued to have children, 10 in all. Charles sent her to settle in Arizona with their oldest and two youngest children. He bought two new wagons and arranged for her family, provisions, and a herd of cattle on 3 October 1877, they started their jounney by ox team and covered wagon. shortly after, Charles married as third wife, Agnes Mary Willmott.
Louisa became dissatisfied and returned to Utah with her two youngest children. The three wives now lived in the "big house" together. After the Manifesto, Charles took his third wife to Mexico and Louisa returned to Arizona and bought 5 acres of land with the money Charles gave her. From time to time, she would visit him in Mexico.
Louisa was an herb doctor and a midwife. She attended many of the women, in the Settlements at the birth of their children, receiving no pay, but serving, only for the love of serving. Occasionally she was asked to help in the care of sick animals which she willingly did.
She was a good cook and her speciality was the baking of big light-brown loaves of bread. She also made the butter and cheese, an art she learned well while living in "the big house". She loved to write letters and became an ardent stamp collector by saving the postage stamps from all those she received. She was a quiet stately woman with small beautiful hands. She was small in stature and always dressed neatly. She commonly wore a blouse and skirt or a very plain dress, dark laced shoes and a sun bonnet with slat stays to hold away from her face. On Sundays, she wore a poke bonnet hat with an artificial flower usually a rose, pinned on the center front. She passed away from a stroke 28 April 1902 in Mesa. at the age of 63. Charles outlived her 10 years, passing away in Mexico. [Other family records indicate Louisa died on April 28, 1902 and Charles died on August 27, 1903.]
Louisa Shill was born in Syde, Gloucwarwe, England the 22 June 1829 to Robert Chappel Shill and Prudence Goulding. She was the youngest of 12 children. Unlike most families in that time period none died young. All lived long enough to marry.
The Mormon Missionaries came to Gloucestershire Co., England in the later part of 1845 and 1846. It was at that time that Louisa, her brother Charles Goulding Shill, and some of the other members of her family heard the elders and accepted the Gospel. She was baptized by George Humphries on 17 July 1846, just after she had turned seventeen.
We have no record of how Louisa and Charles Wager Richins met but we do know that Louisa introduced him to her brother, Charles Goulding, who helped her teach him the Gospel. On 31 Dec 1849 Louisa's brother, Charles Goulding Shill, baptized Charles Richins. He was confirmed a member of the Church that same day by Bro. C. Blackwell.
Charles Richins and Louisa Shill were married at Syde, Gloucestershire, England, 27 Jan 1851 a little over a year after she had introduced him to the Gospel. A baby girl was born to this young couple, at Fastens Ash Granham, Gloucester, England, on 9 Sept 1852. They named her Hannah Louisa.
Five months after little Hannah was born Louisa's husband Charles left for Zion. He set sail from Liverpool, England for America on 28 Feb 1853 on the steamship "International". He journeyed across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley by Ox Team in the Company led by Joseph W. Young.
The Company arrived in Salt Lake Valley the 10 Oct 1853.
Louisa remained in England with her baby. About a year after Charles arrived in America he sent for her and little Hannah. Louisa was given ticket #138 ordered under the Perpetual Immigration Fund from the Great Salt Lake Valley. She and daughter Hannah left their home in Syde, Glouchestershire, England. They sailed from Liverpool, 8 April 1854, on the Steamship, "Marshfield" and landed at New Orleans, Louisiana, 29 May 1854. There is no record of how she crossed the Plains to Salt Lake Valley.
Charles and Louisa lived in Salt Lake City for 7 years. In 1860 Charles recieved a call, from Pres. Brigham Young,to to go to the Valley of Heneferville, located east of Salt Lake City on the first "Pioneer Trail" and the Weber River. Here he was to help settle the area and organize a branch of the Church. In 1861 Charles moved Louisa and their two small children, they had at that time, to the sage covered Valley of Heneferville. There they lived in two tents near the bank of the Weber River. Later dug outs were made in the hillside to live in to endure the severe winters. As time went on brick rooms were built over the dug outs. Each year additional rooms were built. When completed the house was a two story structure with 15 rooms and a porch on three sides. It was a beautiful home and it soon became known as "The Big House".
In 1865 Charles was ordained Presiding Elder of the Heneferville branch. In 1877 he was set apart as the first Bishop by Church President Lorenzo Snow. He held this position for 30 years. Louisa was the first of Charles' three wives. Each wife had 10 children. "The Big House", in which the family groups lived, was a veritable hive of activity to meet the needs of this big family. There were many chores and much work to be done. Louisa had charge of the milk and cream, churning the butter, making the cheese and getting the eggs ready for market.
Louisa was an herb doctor and a midwife. She attended many of the women, in the Settlement, at the birth of their children, receiving no pay, but serving only for the love of serving. Occasionally she was asked to help in the care of sick animals which she willingly did. One room in "The Big House" was used by Louisa to mix and store her medicines. No one else was allowed to enter the room.
This all came to an end when the "Manifesto" was issued dropping plural marriage as a Church practice. Louisa's husband, Charles, gave her some money and she, with her two youngest children, accompanied her two married children to Arizona. Brigham Young advised them to go to Arizona to help settle that area.
Louisa bought 5 acres of land in Mesa with the money her husband gave her. Despite owning the property she always made her home in Mesa with her daughter Prudence Richins Bond and son-in-law Joseph Bond.
Louisa kept up her herb doctoring in Mesa and was very much needed. She also was kept busy being a midwife and assisted in the delivery of many babies born.
Louisa was a good cook and her speciality was the baking of big light-brown loaves of bread She also made the butter and cheese, an art she learned well while living in "The Big House". Grandma Louisa loved her grandchildren and neighbors too. When they would gather at the Bond home she would always have bread and jam sandwiches and cookies and candy ready for them. Louisa loved to write to her relatives and friends and much of her corresponding was in foreign countries. She became an ardent stamp collector by saving the postage stamps from all the letters she received.
Louisa was a quiet stately woman with small beautiful hands. She was small in stature and always dressed neatly. She commonly wore a blouse and skirt or a very plain dress, dark laced shoes and a sun bonnet with slat stays to hold it away from her face. On Sundays she wore a poke bonnet hat with an artificial flower, usually a rose, pinned on the center front.
Louisa went into Mexico on several occasions to visit her husband Charles and his third wife, Agnes Willmott Richins, and family.
Grandma Louisa Richins was known to everyone who lived in Mesa, Arizona. Just to know her was to love her. Her life was indeed a busy and useful one. She was always willing to help those in need, even in her advanced years. She was a staunch member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She lived the Gospel faithfully and served her Church well.
On 28 April 1902 Lousia Shill Richins died from a stroke. Interment was in the the Mesa City Cemetery.
In Syde, Gloucestershire, England, three miles from Sheepscomb, Louisa Shill was born June 22, 1829, the youngest of twelve children born to Robert Chappel Shill and Prudence Golding.
Louisa, along with her brother, Charles Golding Shill, and others of the Shill family heard the Mormon elders and accepted the gospel. Louisa was baptised at Caudle Green July 17, 1846. She shared the gospel with as many friends and family as possible, thus introducing the gospel to Charles Wager Richins, who later became her husband.
Charles and Louisa were married at Syde, Gloucestershire, England on January 27, 1851. Their first child, Hannah Louisa, was born at Fastons Ash, Granham, Gloucestershire, England September 9, 1852. It was their fervent desire to gather with the Saints in Zion. Charles, who left for America first so he could have a home ready for his family, arrived in Salt Lake Valley October 19, 1853.
Louisa and her daughter, Hannah, left Liverpool, England, April 8, 1854 on the steamship Marshfield and docked at New Orleans, Louisiana, on May 29, (From one death date listed as August 18, 1854, it is assumed that the child, Hannah, died crossing the plains.) Louisa arrived in the Salt Lake Valley sometime during the latter half of 1854.
From that time to 1860 Charles and Louisa lived in Salt Lake City where three more children were born; Charles Robert Richins (b. 25 Mar 1856) ; Wellington Richins (b. 18 Jan 1858) ; and Prudence Priscilla Richins (b. 8 Jan 1860).
In 1860 they were called by Brigham Young to go to Henneferville, 36 miles northeast of Salt Lake City on the Pioneer Trail, to settle and to help establish a branch of the Church. Their son, Golden Freeman Richins, was born there on March 31, 1861, but died one month later .
(Around the turn of the century the town was referred to simply as Henefer, Summit County, Utah.)
Three weeks before Louisa gave birth to her fifth child, Charles entered polygamy with his marriage to Esther Stowe Ovard. She had been employed as a housekeeper and assisted Louisa during her pregnancy. They all lived in two tents which they pitched near the Weber River while they made three dugouts in the side of the hill. These served as their home for one year, after which time two rooms of red brick were built over the dugouts. The following year three more rooms were added and eventually the twostory house consisted of fifteen rooms and became known as the "Big House."
Louisa gave birth to ten children, five of whom died in infancy. Other children born to Charles and Louisa included: Orson Oriel Richins (b. 2 Apr 1862) ; Louisa Rebecca Richins (b. 26 Mar 1864) ; a stillborn (b. 18 Sep 1866) ; Judith Shill Richins (b. 11 Sep 1867) ; and Marland Golding Richins (b. 14 Mar 1871).
Louisa, herself, was an herb doctor and midwife, who attended many women at the birth of their children. Many said of her, "She always served willingly in time of sickness to man or animal. To her, sickness was sickness, whether in man or beast."
Housekeeping required much of Louisa and Esther, especially since a large room was used as a meeting house until one was built in 1872. It was also used as a funeral home and many wedding receptions were held there. The "Big House" was home to most of the Mormon emigrants as they came down through Echo Canyon on their way to the Salt Lake Valley. There was seldom a meal which wasn't shared by someone outside the immediate family. Relatives and friends from England were welcomed, fed, and allowed to stay until they could get their feet on the ground. Charles was known as a friend to the Indians; this also required extra cooking for Louisa and Esther as food was often given to the Indians in friendship.
The work of the wives was multiplied when the "Big House" was used as a tithing and fast offering settlement house while Charles was Presiding Elder and Bishop. Many of the general authorities of the Church were overnight guests which created extra work, but Louisa and Charles stated that they "felt honored and blessed to be favored of the Lord."
Charles, feeling the pressure from the government, and knowing that President Brigham Young had advised Latter-Day Saints to go to Arizona to help settle various areas, decided to send Louisa and her family there. He bought two new wagons and arranged for Louisa to take her family, provisions, and a herd of cattle.
On October 3, 1877, they started their journey by ox team and covered wagon. The trip through mountains and desert was strenuous and accompanied by many heartaches. On the journey Louisa was midwife to two grandchildren. One of the baby boys died after five days and Louisa's son took the body by horseback 15 miles to Moenkopi, Arizona, a Mormon settlement, and buried him. The family finally arrived in Thompson Valley where they lived six months.
Louisa became dissatisfied and returned to Utah with her two youngest children. Shortly thereafter, Charles married his third wife, Agnes Mary Willmott. In spite of persecution, Charles still felt that it was his responsibility to live the law to the best of his ability. For several years the three wives and Charles lived peacefully at the "Big House."
In 1882 Louisa decided to join her older children and their families in Arizona. Before leaving Henefer by train, Louisa was given sufficient money to later purchase five acres of land in Mesa, Arizona. She continued her earlier practice of medicine and as midwife. Louisa, a stately woman, was affectionately known by everyone in Mesa as "Grandma Richins."
President Wilford Woodruff, in 1890, issused the "Manifesto" declaring an end to the practice of plural marriage by the Church. On several occasions Louisa visited her husband and his third wife who had moved to Colonia Diaz in Chihuahua, Mexico with many other Saints to support their polygamist families. Louisa returned from one of these trips to Mexico in time to assist in the delivery of another granddaughter.
Louisa died of a stroke shortly after that on April 28, 1902, in Mesa, Arizona. Her husband, Charles, followed her in death over a year later on August 27, 1903, at Colonia Diaz, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Louisa was always a staunch member of the Church and lived the gospel faithfully. Though most of their worldly possessions had been lost, the wives maintained their love and devotion to Charles and to one another, as well as to the families of each other.
Information taken from history compiled by J. Alden Richins; also "Henefer, Our Valley Home" by Fannie Richins and Maxine Wright.
Submitted by Beverly Richins Porter (great-granddaughter).
PAF - Archer files = Orson Pratt Brown + (3) Elizabeth Macdonald : Elizabeth Macdonald + Pardon Milo Webb > Marguerite Webb Brown + Otto Stronach Shill < Charles Golding Shill + Harriet Stronach Paynter < Robert Chapple Shill + Prudence Goulding > Louisa Shill. Louisa Shill and Charles Golding Shill are sibliings.
Photos courtesy of Anita Jones Smith. Daughters of Utah Pioneers biography submitted as indicated.
To read more about Louisa Shill Rchins in Mesa see "Life Story of Louisa Shill Richins")
Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude, page 2570-2571. Includes photo.
http://www.richinsonline.com/genealogy/d2.php - Lots of Richins Genealogy. Rebecca Louisa Richins married Benjamin Lewis Blackburn on 28 Dec 1885. (38) child Louis Bernard Blackburn b 27 Oct 1917 died 30 Apr 1918 Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (Mesa 1st Ward record); two children Mary Louis and Idona Rebecca both baptized 5 Nov 1905 another son? born Wellington Ellias 22 Sep 1899 Escalante, Utah, (Mesa Ward record #122 pt 1 or 02410 #84) -- Escalante Ward #6273 pt 1 1900 or 025924 pg 17 has b as 12 Sep 1899, blessed 7 Jan 1900)
Marland Golding Richins was married to Hannah Zelnora Johnson on 17 Jan 1900 in Colonia Diaz, Chihuahua, Mexico by Anthony W. Ivins. She had children: -Grace b 7 Jan 1902 Colonia Diaz, -Louisa J. 13 Jun 1904, -Zelnora 26 Mar 1906- 8303 Diaz Ward Rec. pg 53
Photos of Prudence Priscilla Richins and husband Joseph Bond contributed by Curtis Bond <email@example.com>
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