Grandfather's Wives - By the Family

Elizabeth Partridge Tillotson-300x426

Elizabeth Partridge Tillotson, grandfather's first wife, was the mother of eleven children. She was honored by the other wives and thought of as coming first after grandfathher in the Whiting home. She was a very quiet, refined, klind-hearted and industrious. As a child, I see her very old as one who had passed through many sorrows and trials, who had struggled hard and had overcome the obstacles that stood in her way. She seemed to be descending the hill and looking toward the sunset of life. She taught school before her marriage and had charge of the Sabbath School for small children for many years after coming to Utah. She had a very brilliant mind, yet was simple and reserved in her appearance and manner. As I remember the old home, the picture uppermost in my mind is the old arm chair she sat in with its black velvet cushion and raw hide bottom, one of the chairs made from the native wood by grandfather, in which she reclined by the old Charter Oak cook stove. Her children and grandchildren have her, many admirable qualities.

(signed) Wayne Johnson


Almira Mehitable Mecham-300x381

Almira M.. Mecham. was born May 13, I824 in New York. She was grandfather's second wife and was the mother of seven children. She did not live in the big house, but Grandfather built her a home near by where she lived and raised her children.

Edward, her eldest son, was dependable and aided in the support of the family. She was a good nurse and gave service to neighbors when needed. Many babies saw the light of day for the first time in her faithful care. She was kind and gentle, even tempered and gracious to everyone. She respected Elizabeth, the first wife, as the head of the house hold along with Grandfather and was congenial with the other wives who taught correct principles to her children who loved, honored and respected her. Leaving friends and relatives, as a young girl, she came to Utah as a pioneer and when she suffered poverty and many other hardship common to the early days. May these faithful souls be rewarded in the great beyond.

(signed) Gertrude P. Killpack


Mary Elizabeth Cox

Some great man has said that every man is justified in saying I have the best wife and the best mother in the world. I heartily agree with him. When memory takes me back to my childhood days, I wonder what I could have accomplished without my mother, with her loving care, wise counsel and advice. She had three titles: Mother to a favored few -- Grandma to a large number -- and Aunt Mary to a host of loving friends. She spoke no evil. She was patient and uncomplaining in sorrow and adversity. She loved young people and children, joining in their games and amusements until the day of her death. She was never idle; could nit, read and rock the cradle at the same time. Mother loved to play the quiet home games of her day. About the only time I ever heard her swear was when I was able in a game of checkers to maneuver around and take three or four of her men. Then she would exclaim. "O the devil" perhaps meaning me. Mother was a devout Latter Day Saint and came as near living perfect life as mortals ever attain.

By John C. Whiting



Hannah Haines Brown was born in Clumbiana, Ohio, June 21, 1834, daughter of Abia Brown and Abbie Caldwalder. Hardships and trials of early pioneering softened her life, giving her a lovely disposition. She was ever charitable, tolerant, thoughtful of others, sacrificing and joygiving. As a child of fourteen, at the time of Grandmothers death, I cannot recall ever hearing her speak an angry word. Quoting from a letter written in 1843 by her father to his mother, Ann Haines Brown, which I have in my possession, and nearly one hundred years old, he says: My dear little girls are a great help to their mother and me. Jane is taller than Ann, but Ann is quite womanly and trusty, but Hannah is the flower of the flock in every way. She excells her sisters in industry, and if she keeps on will excell in personal appearance. All through her Grandmothers life, she had these chacteristics which make her a sweet and lovable woman. She made this statement that all the other wives of Grandfather were to her as sisters and she loved and respected them in their homes as such.

By Hannah Bird Mendenhall


Mary Ann Washburn Noble

Mary Ann Washburn was born in November, 1828 in the town of Sing Sing, New York. She joined the Mormons and came to Utah when a young girl, leaving her sweetheart behind which was a heart ache and sorrow through all her life. She named her youngest son for her first love, Monroe Frink. Arriving in Utah, she married Joseph Noble, but after their second child came, she was separated from him and married Edwin Whiting, my Grandfather. She had two sons, Daniel Abraham, my father, and Monroe Frink. She did very fine hand sewing, especially on temple clothes for herself and others. Her hemming and stitching were unexcelled. She was known to be one of the best house keepers. She was overcome with sorrow when her youngest son, Monroe went away to Arizona among hostile Indians, but was overjoyed at his early return. She had many serious trials and hardships in her life. She died at the age of fifty-four years, October 10, 1882.

By Mary R. Smith

Source: From the Marie J. Whiting Collection. All spelling and punctuation original.