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Lawrence County Illinois


 

Sandra Hendricks who is in charge of the Family History Center in Vincennes sent me (2-11-98) the following article that she found in the "Herald Democrat" newspaper of Martin Co, IN, for Friday 23 October 1885: submitted by Laura Armetta
 

"Mormons in Illinois.  A Wealthy Widow Caught in the Toils. 

A Colony of Converts Start for Salt Lake City. 
VINCENNES, IND., October 20.--

George Ramsey, a full-fledged disciple of Brigham Young, and a zealous expounder of the Mormon doctrine, has recently worked up considerable bad blood in Dennison Township, Lawrence County, Ill., about eighteen miles west of this city.  Ramsey was a well-to-do farmer, and, for a number of years, has been preaching secretly Mormonism and polygamy to his neighbors, whom he would invite to his home.  During these "protracted meetings" real live Mormon elders, detailed by the head of the Church at Salt Lake City, would be present to officiate.  Their pilgrimages from Utah to Lawrence County, within the past few years have been very frequent, but, from all acounts, Ramsey and the elders have only succeeded in converting thirteen people in the whole county to the faith, all of whom have taken their departure for Salt Lake City, and are, no doubt, by this time familiar with all branches of the religion.  Among the neighbors who were always invited to Ramsey's house to see the elders was a Mrs. Dean, whom everybody in the township regarded as a strong-minded woman of the highest respectability.  She is the mother of five children, and the widow of a gallant soldier, who contracted disease in the late war and died one year after receiving an honorable discharge. 

Years after the death of her husband Mrs. Dean received a pension amounting to about $3,000, with which she purchased a desirable farm, and seemed to be living happily and contented thereon with her children, until Ramsey began to impress her by day and by night with the "blessings" in store for her if she would only embrace the iniquitous teachings of Mormonism and accept the doctrines as he had done.  At last she yielded, and disposed of her farm to aid in defraying the expenses of the colony to Utah.  Her children, however, knew nothing of her intentions until she got ready to start, and, when the time of her departure came, all of them except two--a weak-minded son and a daughter--refused to go. 

The colony was composed of Lewis Ramsey (blind) and wife, Geo. Ramsey and wife and a daughter Mollie, a charming music teacher; two sons, aged fifteen and seventeen years, and three younger daughters; Mrs. Dean, son and daughter.  Ramsey was unable to sell his farm, hence his anxiety to convert Mrs. Dean, for without her assistance the colony could not have gone.  The feeling in Dennison Township is very strong against the Mormon elders, and should they ever return to Lawrence County for fresh recruits, as predicted, they will meet with a warm reception."

Elder Daniel Gibbs had two nieces who married Brigham Young.
 
Lizzie Belles had a 1st cousin Geo W. Ramsey, a Mormon who lived east of Pisgah about 1/4 mile until he moved to Utah in 1885. 

 

 

 

 

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