Alma Harris, son of Emer Harris and Parna Chappell, born 6 Jun 1832 in Brownhelm, Loraine, Ohio.

He married Sarah Earl, born 2 Jul 1835 in Scarborough, York, Ontario, Canada; died 19 Jun 1927 in Logan, Cache, Utah; buried 21 Jun 1927 in Logan, Cache, Utah, daughter of William Henry Eark and Sarah Ferdon Syphers. When Alma was born June 6, 1832, his parents were both members of the church and his father, Emer, was serving a mission.

The lives of Alma Harris and Sarah Earl ran parallel for many years before they courted and married in Ogden, Weber Co., Utah, on March 15, 1854.

Alma and Sarah had 10 children. Alma died 10 Aug 1900 in Logan, Cache, Utah; buried 13 Aug 1900 in Logan, Cache, Utah.

A man with a mustache and beard.

In the spring of 1831 Emer Harris and Parna Chappel had moved their family to Kirtland, Ohio to unite with the saints. In the Fall, they moved to Brownhelm, Ohio, where Alma was born, while his father was serving a mission. The Harris family lived briefly in Florence, where Charles was born, and then moved to the “Foy farm about three miles southeast of Kirtland on the Chardon Road land”. (MHH Jour.) Martin Harris had a farm on this same road, and Uncle Preserved lived in Mentor, Ohio.

During the five years Emer and his family lived in Kirtland, missionaries had converted many people to the church. Kirtland now counted two thousand members. Emer had worked on the temple as a carpenter. This beautiful House of the Lord, built by the sacrifice of the members, including the sisters’ china crushed in its stucco finish, sparkled like the hopes of the saints. Revelation was being received by the Prophet and the First Presidency, the Twelve and the Seventies were functioning. Alma was a young child and the trials of the saints had not yet begun.

In April 1836, Heber C. Kimball gave a blessing to Parley P. Pratt prior to his leaving on a mission. He was told of a people in the Toronto area who were ready to receive the gospel. While there Elder Pratt met John Taylor, a former Methodist preacher, and baptized him and others in a group that had been studying the Bible together. It is likely William Earl and his family were part of this group, as John Taylor was a close friend of the family and a little later, he baptized William and Sarah, his wife.

In the summer of 1836, Sarah’s family arrived in Kirtland. Her brother, Jacob, tells of attending school in a room of the temple.  Locally the financial problems were increasing, as new members had little money to conduct their necessary business, and the number of saints continued to increase. Many came with no means to sustain themselves. The Kirtland Safety Society "Bank" was formed to help this problem, but failed due to poor economic conditions as a whole, and wild land speculation was followed by a serious depression. Most blamed the Prophet for their financial losses and many lost their testimonies in the process. This and other problems caused some to apostatize and begin persecuting those who still followed the Prophet Joseph.

The saints were gathering in upper Missouri and the Kirtland saints were urged to join them. The Earl family started for Missouri on the fifth of September 1838 and arrived at “Uncle Ezekiel’s” on October twelfth after traveling 872 miles. But is was no longer their “destination”, for conditions in Missouri had worsened to such an extent that mobs (technically referred to as militia) were committing atrocities against the Mormons, and Gov. Boggs was about to issue the "extermination order".

Threats were abundant: every Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants found would be burned; guns were to be surrendered. Alma often told a story about his experience with the militia/mob. Only two weeks after arriving, his family was forced to leave the state and seek a new home. Emer, upon hearing of the burning of scriptures, determined they would not burn his Book of Mormon. Taking a wooden chest, he cut one end off to make the books fit tightly. He invited others to place their books there also,  and then fashioned a false bottom by adding a lining of Fuller’s cloth. The chest was filled with clothing. Emer walked in the woods and fields, keeping watch over the family at a distancee and keeping his weapon to obtain food. The wagons of the family were stopped by the milita, and Mother Parna was asked if she was a Mormon. She answered, “Yes, and I thank God for it!” The leader said, “We will have to search the wagon.” She answered, “Go ahead, you have driven us around so much we have nothing but rags.”  As the men searched the wagon, their leader picked up Alma, who had been standing in the snow in his bare feet, and placed him on his horse while the search continued, saying there was no need for him to stand in the snow. The men didn't notice that in the keyhole of the chest was off—center due to shortening the chest. Finding nothing, even after opening the wooden chest and searching, the family was released to continue their journey.  They journied over one hundred miles in snow, rain and mud to Quincy, Illinois.

Alma was six and a half when the family reached Quincy. He had already lived on six farms, traveled over 870 miles to Missouri, nearly 150 back to Quincy and would stay there only a short while before moving to Nauvoo.

Sarah Earl’s father, William, chose to take his family to Missouri as a member of “Kirtland Camp”. He was one of the signers of the constitution of this group (DHC Vol. 3 p.93), and the record stated his family consisted of eleven members. The camp was divided into groups and made a much slower trip to Missouri than Emer because they were pledged to assist one another till they reached their destination, and so they stopped several times along the way to earn enough to continue. They left Kirtland in early July and arrived in Far West on October 2, 1838. This was a difficult journey, and many would not have been able to go without the aid of the Camp. William Earl seemed generally to have sufficient and to spare. He was a cooper and could generally find work, so he was a help to other members in their journey.


When they arrived and found they could not plan to stay, William was one chosen as a caretaker remaining in the Far West for three months after the Extermination order. With several others, he was part of a group permitted to pass through the County during the winter. An effort was being made to gather the member’s livestock and goods and aid them in the move, and most of the members of the church were under strict regulations and orders from the military authorities of the state.  Three months after the Extermination order, a mutual assistance pact was formed to assist members in moving to Quincy. (Earl Reunion Rep. 1941)

By the Fall of 1840, both Alma’s and Sarah’s families were living in Nauvoo.  The Harris family was in the Nauvoo Second Ward when the town was divided into four wards on March 1, 1841.

The city of Nauvoo grew from a small swampy area to a city of over 1200 homes and buildings in just two years. Another temple was started. The Nauvoo Legion, with Joseph Smith at the head, was a state-chartered militia, and the city, too, had been granted a charter. Some wanted the favor of the “Mormons” because they were a growing force in the state due to their number. Some were frightened of this same power and began to work against them. The members did what they could to keep peace and continued building the city. Schools were established, and even a University.

In their youth Alma and Sarah had the opportunity to hear the Prophet Joseph and others speak on the truths of the gospel. Sarah’s history records watching the Prophet play ball, lead the Legion in its drills and speak to the saints. She was ill at the time of the martyrdom and was told by her mother of the events of the funeral. Alma’s sister “Fanny” died in December of 1841.

Like many others, Emer worked on the temple whenever he could. The Prophet felt the urgency for it to be completed, but the saints were struggling with so many things, having been wiped out in their moves, that progress was slow. It was not finished when Joseph and Hyrum were killed.

Emer continued his work on the temple. The baptismal font had been completed in late 1841, and many baptisms for the dead had been done. Sarah’s parents were baptized for some of their family. When the temple was completed, many saints had an opportunity to receive their endowments. Emer and Parna received their endowments on January 30, 1846, and William and Sarah S. on the same day, although not in the same company. The ordinances were only given for two months, and the temple had been guarded continually since the death of the Prophet Joseph as many sought to destroy it. Hundreds thronged to the temple day and night until Brigham Young said it was no longer safe to continue and they must prepare to leave.

The exodus began again. Many had a hard time selling their property to gather what they needed in the way of wagons, teams and supplies to move on. The citizens in the area saw little need to pay them for what they would soon have to abandon. Whether the Earls and Harrises “sold out” or “pulled out,” we do not know. The Earl family stopped along the way for the various members to work as they made their way to Council Bluffs. Sarah indicated that they traveled to the Salt Lake Valley with relative ease because of careful preparation. They were well-outfitted and had food left to carry them into their first season in the valley. The Earls traveled in the Tenth Company under David Evans and arrived 10 the Salt Lake area on September 15, 1850. (W. Woodruff Jour. #298,141) Two of Sarah’s brothers went with the Mormon Battalion to California and then to Utah.

Alma’s family came to Utah in sections. He came west with his half—brother, Martin Henderson Harris, and his mother, Parna. Traveling in the Sixth Company, which began with 42 wagons, they were soon divided into two groups and assigned to Captain Herman Persons “ten” in Joseph Young’s group. They arrived September 23, 1850, ahead of their original group, which arrived October first. Little was recorded by Martin H. in his journal about the crossing. He recorded that some took ill with cholera, and a few died. They encountered rain and mud to slow their progress. Alma was eighteen. We may picture him driving the wagons and doing a man’s work on the trail and in the camp, for he is no longer a boy being moved from place to place. As they neared Wyoming, Martin wrote: “For the last few days been in sight of hundreds of buffalo at a time. Hunters killed some.” After a few days spent in Salt Lake, they traveled to Ogden, going first to Brown’s Fort on September 27 and then to Ogden Fort on September 30. Preparations were started for the oncoming winter by cutting several tons of hay and winter wood. They built a log house and then put their cattle into “the herd”.

The 1850 census, taken later that fall, records:

Martin H. Harris - 31 - Farmer

Parna - 59 (came west with Ezekiel Kellogg)

Joseph - 20

Alma - 18

Father Emer and the others came in 1852. He and Dennison settled In the Provo area.

Three and a half years after arriving in Ogden, Alma and Sarah were married. They made their home In Ogden until 1861. William Emer b. 1854 and Alma Albirto b. 1856 were born there, and then Lafayette was born 1858, in Farmington, followed by Eleonor and Jesse in Ogden. Lafayette was born during the move “south” to empty the cities before Johnson’s army could reach them. The army had been camped In Echo Canyon, and some rather drastic measures were planned since no one seemed to know what their purpose was. The settlements were to be burned rather than occupied, and certain men were to station themselves on the sides of the passes to roll rocks down to halt them if necessary. Alma was assigned to this duty. Sarah’s brother, Jacob Tompkins Earl, lived in Farmington. She may have been there when her child was born. Only two or three months were spent away from their homes by the settlers as the army passed through the valley and set up camp in the western valley, away from any settlement of saints.

Alma spent eleven years in Ogden and aided in building the forts and stockades to protect the settlers from attack as some Indians in the area were still hostile. It was also said he aided in building homes. While living there, Alma was ordained a Seventy on February 17, 1859.  Joseph Harris lived where downtown Ogden’s main business district is located now, between 23rd and 24th on the East side of the street. Martin H. Harris settled north of Ogden near  Four Mile Creek, and the town of Harrisville, Utah, was named for him in honor of the many contributions he made to build the area. He was responsible for opening the first school in his own home.

Sarah Earl’s parents, who first settled in Ogden, had moved to Logan and in 1861, Alma and Sarah joined them.  Elleonor (according to census spelling which is often wrong) was eight months old when the 1860 census was taken and died in Ogden at the age of seventeen months.

A page of handwritten notes and a notebook.

Upon arriving in Logan, the family spent the first winter with the William Earl’s. Alma and Sarah’s first home in Logan was located on the corner of first west and first north. While living there, Delmon, Letty, Charles and Frank were born, and Delmon died. Zelley was born in Benson and died at 10 months. Cache Valley, and Logan in particular, had been opened in 1859, and those who settled were advised by the authorities to secure farming claims but to obtain a home site in the settled areas for protection. “Uncle Birt”, Alma’s son, wrote an article for the Improvement Era several years before his death which describes his young pioneer days. “We endured many hardships in Utah, living in one—room log houses with dirt roofs, with no furniture, no stoves. Cooking was done over a fireplace. We slept on straw beds using Indian robes for bedding. We went bareheaded and barefooted and were indoors from five to six months during the winter, at which time we could do no work except feed the hogs and cattle and chop wood for the fireplace. We kept a few sheep and made our own clothes. I spun yarn on an old-fashioned spinning wheel to make cloth for our family. A weaver could weave about two or three yards a day on an old-fashioned loom. Shoes were put together with wooden pegs. We raised sugar cane and ran it through wood rollers, catching the juice and boiling it down to make molasses. We cut wheat with a cradle, threshed it with a club, and blew the chaff out by the wind, then ground the wheat in a coffee mill, later we had a tannery, carding mill, flour mill, blacksmith shop, and shoemaker. On Christmas, we would have doughnuts, and molasses candy in our stockings and our toys consisted of a clumsy sled and a bow and arrow. Our only amusement was an occasional dance, where we took wheat for a ticket. If you had the toothache, the only remedy was to pull it out….” “When Brigham Young came to Logan to hold a conference, we had no building large enough, so we built a bowery of willows and sat on benches with no backs, the children sitting on the ground.” (Alma Albirto Harris, A Glimpse of Pioneer Life)

At that time Brigham Young suggested the Benson Ward area should be settled. Alma, Israel Clark, William Ricks, David Reese and Joseph Thatcher of Logan and George Thomas and Charles Reese of Hyde Park spent the winter preparing houses for their families and moved in spring of 1871.  The area did not grow much at first because available water only came from the sloughs. In 1883, the Logan 3rd Ward Canal was completed to Benson. (History of a Valley, Joel Ricks)

A page of an old book with writing on it.


Pages from Alma's Journal

In a notebook full of assorted ranch records, "cures", inventive doodles and financial notes, we have no way of knowing what sorrow prompted Alma to make this comment. "I was just wondering whether a man ought to try to outlive a disappointment or kill himself (we are told God is love, and if God is denied to a man, what's the use of trying to struggle on?"
We have so little of his own personal writings and yet after making this entry he continued to live on, striving to do much good and serving God to the end of his days.

The burial expenses listed may be for Lafayette. He died in 1897, during the period Alma was carrying the notebook.


For a few years, this area attended church with those of Hyde Park. When the actual Benson Ward was established on June 14, 1877, Alma was called to be the first Bishop. The ward was small, only nineteen families settled along the Bear River. Five months after its organization, Alma gave a report at the Second Quarterly Conference of the Cache Valley Stake indicating that they were meeting in the homes of the saints for services. During those years the Logan, Salt Lake and St. George temples were under construction, the Logan Temple being dedicated in 1884. Alma and Sarah had traveled to Salt Lake to be endowed and sealed in the Endowment House on November 24, 1874, rather than wait for the temple to be completed. Polygamy was causing many problems, and many were being brought to trial by civil authorities. Special funds were asked to help them defend their cases. Alma received a letter from the church asking all church leaders to assist in obtaining these funds. The temple project required donations of goods, labor, and money for several years. Continued attention to tithing was urged as the church had no other cash flow (the government had seized the church's assets).

Indian troubles were lessening under Brigham Young’s direction to feed them and befriend them. Sarah and Alma raised an Indian girl called Namanasawats. They purchased her from the tribe because she had no one to care for her. She was called Ann and lived with them until her death in 1867 at age 20 from T.B.

Alma was a musician and played for dances and other entertainments. Several of his children had this talent and played for events in the valley, including college graduations and programs at the Thatcher Opera House. When Cache Valley was made a military district, Alma had been made the leader of the band. Charles and Frank were known for their violin and cello talents, but according to Charles, they also played in the Fireman's band, with Frank playing a trombone and Charles the coronet.

A black and white photo of an old barn.

The home in Benson, Cache Valley Utah was moved there by a 4 oxen team. 

Alma Harris Home Logan

Alma's last home in Logan was  demolished in 2022 to enlarge a commercial center. 

A view of the valley from above.

Alma Bishop of the Benson Ward, Cache Valley Stake, during 1877. Settled along with 19 other families along the banks of the Bear River, scattered over a large district of the country. Deseret news 14 Nov 1877.

Cache Valley is a broad arid agricultural valley in northern Utah and southern Idaho largely drained and irrigated by the Bear River. Alma settled along the banks of the Bear River Northwest of Logan.

A few papers from Alma’s time as bishop, as well as deeds, notes and business records, were preserved by Charles M. Harris and are now owned by Alma Frank Harris, son of “young Frank”, who kindly made them available to enliven this history. A small leather-covered notebook was carried for several years, the cover being worn completely out. Ranch records, cures for man and animal, inventive doodling, notes of this and that found their way into it. The washing machine patent papers and related letters were preserved, as well as the probate record of Alma’s estate. Several interesting letters in regard to the Logan temple and political problems of the time give us insight into their lives. The 1880s were a period of intense difficulty for the saints, both from the “gentiles living in the area and those sent in to enforce federal laws. Those who were living in polygamy were denied the right to vote or hold office. From the tone of the series of letters concerning President Merrill of the temple one can see how difficult things were in Utah nearly forty years after the saints came west to be free of persecution.

Two puzzles present themselves concerning Alma’s church service at this point in his life. Records of mission calls show him called in 1874 to the Northern States, but we have no record of his going. He was made bishop in 1877, and a listing of the Benson Ward in church records reads “…outgrowth of Hyde Park, first settled in 1871 organized as a ward 14 June 1877 with Alma Harris, Bishop. Succeeded in 1890 by Henry Wm. Ballard.” It is said Alma served for nearly twenty years. Mission records again list him as being called to the Northern States in the spring of 1890 and returning in the Fall of 1893. However, the collection of his papers contains a medical release in Nov. of 1890. In this time period, Bishops were sometimes called on missions, and others acted in their place until they returned. Perhaps they counted the time before Benson became an actual ward and he was the overseer; speculation proves nothing, but it is hoped more research will. Until then, we are left with some conflicting information.

In the 1860 census of Weber County, he listed himself as a laborer, but in later years, he is shown as a farmer, dairyman, inventor, musician, and businessman. He manufactured and sold some of his inventions, in particular the washer and table. At the time of his death at age 68, he was about to become an active partner in the Harris Music Company. He had gone to Rexburg to talk to Frank about it and see the family there. In his letter home, he spoke of “Ross" and the children. She was the widow of his son Lafayette. He also mentioned having noticed the heat while there and seemed not to have felt too well. The letter was written on August 4, 1900. He returned home and died unexpectedly on August 10th. Alma and Sarah had moved to Logan a few years previously and were living in a home at 63 West 3rd South. They shared a love of flowers, and Alma had planted many around the home.

Sarah was left the home and lot of 80 sq. rods, household furniture, 77 acres of land and 1 milk cow, according to the probate of the estate. Value was placed at $1427.50. Later, Frank and Rose moved just west of Sarah. Jesse and his wife Sarah had a home on the east. Their children were raised where "Grammy" could watch them play and enjoy their company.

In speaking at Alma's funeral, Apostle Moses Thatcher said of him he “.... was born an heir to God’s Holy Priesthood, the robes of which he never dishonored”. A few years after Alma’s death, Frank and his wife Rose moved just west of Sarah and Jesse and his wife Sarah had a home on the east. Their children were raised where “Grammy” could watch them play and enjoy their company.


Sarah Earl was born July 2, 1835, to William and Sarah Syphers Earl in Toronto, Canada. Her grandfather, Henry Earl, was among a group of Loyalists who had left America in 1783 and founded an area called New Brunswick in Canada. Sarah’s parents had moved in 1825 from St. John, New Brunswick, to Toronto in Upper Canada. Around 1836, the family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and moved to Kirtland, Ohio.

In the spring of 1838, Sarah with her family joined the Kirtland Camp, a company of 515 souls who were leaving Kirtland because of persecution. Under the leadership of the First Council of the Seventy, the company of 105 families made the journey of 900 miles. It was a perilous trip, and poverty was the lot of the group. They occasionally stopped along the route to work so that they might gather more supplies and continue onward. (The Journal of this company is in “History of the Church, Period I. vol. ii, chs. IX & X)

Upon arriving among the saints in upper Missouri, they settled at “Adam-on-di-Ahman, on October 4, 1833.

They were given a most cordial welcome at Far West before moving to “Di-Ahman,” and the description of that reception by the Prophet exhibits the spirit in which the gathering of the people was being carried out: “The Kirtland camp arrived in Far West from Kirtland. I went in company with Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, Isaac Morley and George W. Robinson, met them some miles out, and escorted them into the city, where they encamped on the public square directly south and close by the excavation for the Lord’s house. Here, friends greeted friends in the name of the Lord. Isaac Morley, patriarch at Far West, furnished a beef for the camp. President Rigdon provided a supper for the sick, and the brethren provided for them like men of God, for they were hungry, having eaten but little for several days, and having traveled eleven miles this day, eight hundred and sixty miles from Kirtland, the way the camp traveled.”

Of the camp’s arrival at “Di-Ahman,” the Prophet in his journal said: “This is a day long to be remembered by that part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, called ‘The Camp’, or “Kirtland Camp No. 1’, for they arrived at their destination and began to pitch their tents about sunset when one of the brethren living in the place proclaimed with a loud voice: ‘Brethren, your long and tedious journey is now ended; you are now on the public square of Adam-on-di-Ahman. This is the place where Adam blessed his posterity, when they rose up and called him Michael, the Prince, the Archangel, and he being full of the Holy Ghost, predicted what should befall his posterity to the latest generation.’

Within a month, the whole county was in turmoil. Persecution by the “old settlers” and mobsters and militias under state order created a wave of violence and lawlessness against the Mormons. On October 27, Governor Boggs issued an order to the state militia that the Mormons must be exterminated or be driven from the state. On the 31st of the same month, Joseph Smith and many other church leaders were arrested and eventually left as prisoners in Liberty Jail.

On November 2, a Missouri brigade was dispatched to “Di-Ahman” with instructions to disarm the Mormon and affect its surrender. Five hundred men arrived, formed a hollow square and ordered, “Within one hour, every man is to be within the square with all his arms and ammunition”. Sarah’s brother Jacob, who was 15 at this time, wrote about the incident: “We were all obliged to give up our arms. I would not have given my gun, but would have hidden it, but for Mother’s advice to give it up.”

The Earl family, along with the others, was eventually forced out of their settlement. Brig. Gen. R. Wilson, who was placed in charge of “keeping order’, issued a permit which read: “I permit the following persons, as a committee on the part of the Mormons, to pass and repass in and through the County of Daviess during the winter, to wit: William Huntington,...William Earl,...Henry Humphrey - upon all lawful business.”

Brigham Young and other leaders began to organize ways and means of effecting the Mormon’s removal from Missouri. Ways had to be provided for moving the poor and destitute. On January 29, 1839, William Earl was one of many who signed a mutual assistance pact to assist in removing the members, including his own, from Far West and vicinity to Quincy, Illinois. Land and many personal possessions had to be sold.

From Quincy, the Earl family went to Springfield, where they resided for a time. Upon leaving Springfield, the family was among the first to arrive in Commerce, an area bought by the Church for gathering the Saints together. (Commerce was changed to Nauvoo on April 1, 1340.)

Sarah lived in Nauvoo and was a witness to its tremendous growth and development under the inspired leadership of Joseph Smith. She described him as a remarkably handsome man who was strong and agile. When he was dressed in full uniform and mounted on his black horse commanding the Nauvoo Legion, Sarah stated ‘he was of a most noble and princely bearing”. He had a magnetic personality, and the Saints loved him.

Sarah was baptized in 1843 in Nauvoo. She remembered a meeting once held in a little grove of trees near the temple where the Prophet spoke. He said the Saints would find a home in the far West. He said, “This people will be gathered together in a place of refuge and safety in the Rocky Mountains -- even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings”.

At the time of the Prophet’s death, little Sarah Earl was ill, so her impression of that tragic period is secondhand. Her mother came home from the funeral service and told her that the dead Prophet and Patriarch looked as innocent and peaceful as a child asleep.

The Earl family was among the first to leave Nauvoo. They did not go immediately to Winter Quarters but stopped at various places along the way to work. When they reached Winter Quarters, the sons of the family built a house of sod. Sarah’s father, an excellent cooper, went down to Missouri to pursue his trade and earn enough money to bring his family on the western pilgrimage. While he was gone, the call came for the battalion to march to Mexico. Brigham Young requested that two of the Earl boys, Jacob and Jesse, go. Sarah’s mother was reluctant to allow Jesse to leave her because he was only sixteen years old and was a sickly, delicate boy. Brigham Young said, “Sister Earl, I promise you that if you let your boy Jesse go with the battalion, he will be restored to you safely, a strong, robust man.” This promise was entirely fulfilled. The terrible hardships and struggles that he went through caused this weak lad to develop into an unusually vigorous man.

After the boys left with the battalion, the Earl family joined their father in Missouri, where they all found employment. They prospered here so well that when they departed with a company westward from Council Bluffs, Iowa, in June 1850, they were well-equipped. They had several wagons, a number of horses, four ox teams, and four milk cows. Sarah’s father made a little churn into which they put cream from the night’s milk and the strippings from the morning’s milking. The churn was set in one of the wagons, and the jolting movement, as they traveled, churned the cream into butter. In the evening, Sarah’s mother put a nice, fresh pat of butter before the Family for their supper. The entire Company would stop on Saturdays to bake bread, dry buffalo meat, and wash. Sundays, they would rest and hold religious services. After arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, Utah, on September 11, 1850, they had enough flour, hams and bacon to last them for over a year.

With the Earl family, traveled a California-bound emigrant who was a wonderful violinist. Sarah would never forget the sweet strains he drew from his violin in the wilderness. She would always remember the thunder and roar of the buffalo hoofs as they galloped in mad stamped over the hills with the Indians in pursuit. Nor at night when she would awake, find the campfires all out, the heavens jutted with a billion stars, and over the vast, vast prairies, hear the buffalo trailing, trailing by. Not at all strange is it that a young girl so susceptible to harmonies and dissonances of sound should grow up to be the mother of musicians and music-loving people."

The Earl family, members of an ox train company under the charge of Captain David Evans, arrived safely in the Salt Lake Valley in September 1850. (David Evans is Ann Kelley Harris’ great, great, great grandfather)

The Earl family located on the old Goodyear Claim (Ogden), and in 1851, when Weber Stake was organized, Sarah’s father became a member of the High Council.

A black and white photo of an older woman.

Who had arrived in Utah in a company before her. Sarah and Alma settled in Ogden, where five of their children were born: William Emer – 1854, Alma Alberto – 1856, Lafayette – 1857, Eleanor – 1859 and Jesse – 1861. They then moved to Logan, being some of the first settlers in the area. Here, four more children were born: Lettie – 1865, Charles Martin – 1866, Frank – 1868 and Zelly – 1873.

Sarah was a radiant woman. She was sweet and gracious and intensely interested in life, showing enthusiasm over commonplace chores such as baking bread. Her love for music was a beautiful part of her life. She had a deep and abiding affection for Alma, a choice love that lasted through the years.

Members of the family who remember her related: "She had many friends. Sometimes, she and Aunt Letty (who never married and stayed with her) and her granddaughter Lettie (Jesse's daughter) would go walking to visit neighbors in their section of Logan. In good weather, she would get dressed up in the afternoon, pin one of her yellow roses on her dress, and sit on the porch visiting with those who came to call and passing the time of day. She used to say, "I don't mind the comers and goers; it's the comers and stayers..."

She had an indomitable ninety-one, she was determined to bake her cake. Lettie was staying with her, and Grammy had her bring the ingredients to her as she leaned and sat on the edge of the table. She stirred them together and made the cake!

She lived as a widow for 27 years, having many of her family close by and she stayed active until the end. She was fairly spry, and her mind was bright. When she did become ill and dying, she refused to "take to her bed" and chose to lie on the red plush couch in the parlor! She died of "infirmities incident of old age" at 92. She lived the "pioneer stories" we were all raised listening to at Sunday School. After following the path of the saints from Kirtland to Far West and back to Nauvoo and then across the plains, she pioneered in 3 Utah towns; bore 10 children and buried 3 of them before they were 2 years old. She was the "Bishop's Wife" for nearly 20 years and lived in covered wagons, sod houses, dugouts, log cabins, and finally her lovely home. She had a sense of humor, a zest for life, and just a touch of stubbornness to carry her to the end, still vital and fighting.

Alma had passed away on August 10, 1900, and Sarah joined him twenty years later June 19, 1927.


William Emer HARRIS, born 3 Dec 1854 in Ogden, Weber, Utah; died 27 Oct 1904 in Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho; buried 30 Oct 1904 in Hyde Park, Cache, Utah. He married on 4 Nov 1877 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah Katherine Sarah Perkes, born 12 May 1861 in Belleville, St. Clair, Illinois; died 7 Sep 1957 in Smithfield, Cache, Utah; buried 10 Sep 1957 in Hyde Park, Cache, Utah, daughter of James Perkes and Mary Ann Gibson.

Alma Albirto HARRIS, born 25 Feb 1856 in Ogden, Weber, Utah; died 29 May 1939 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; buried 1 Jun 1939 in Inglewood, Los Angeles, California. He married on 16 Jan 1890 in Logan, Cache, Utah Rosella Juliet Carlston, born 17 Jan 1868 in Fairview, Sanpete, Utah; died 4 Mar 1951 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; buried 8 Mar 1951 in Inglewood, Los Angeles, California, daughter of Hans Thoresen Carlston and Margrette Magdaeline Haarby.

Lafayette HARRIS, born 2 May 1857 in Farmington, Davis, Utah; died 17 Mar 1897 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah; buried 20 Mar 1897 in Logan, Cache, Utah. He married on 24 Dec 1879 in Logan, Cache, Utah Louisa Roselinda  Clark, born 15 Mar 1863 in Logan, Cache, Utah; died 1 May 1938 in Logan, Cache, Utah; buried 4 May 1938 in Logan, Cache, Utah, daughter of Israel Justice Clark and Louisa Eynon.

Eleanor HARRIS, born 3 Nov 1859 in Ogden, Weber, Utah; died 1 Apr 1861 Ogden, Weber, Utah.

Jesse HARRIS, born 16 Jan 1861 in Ogden, Weber, Utah; died 8 May 1926 in Logan, Cache, Utah; buried 12 May 1926 in Logan, Cache, Utah. He married on 13 Jul 1904 in Logan, Cache, Utah Sarah Elizabeth Holliday, born 6 Jun 1883 in Pleasant Valley, Emery, Utah; died 9 Dec 1923 in Logan, Cache, Utah; buried 12 Dec 1923 in Logan, Cache, Utah, daughter of George Holliday and Isabella Grace Wallace.

Delmon HARRIS, born 1 Jun 1863 in Logan, Cache, Utah; died 28 Mar 1865 Logan, Cache, Utah.

Letty HARRIS, born 2 Nov 1865 in Logan, Cache, Utah; died 30 Jul 1937 Logan, Cache, Utah.

Charles Martin HARRIS, born 29 Nov 1866 in Logan, Cache, Utah; died 7 Oct 1963. He married on 8 Nov 1894 in Logan, Cache, Utah Olive Adeline Durfee, born 24 Dec 1870 in Wellsville, Cache, Utah; died 23 Sep 1941, daughter of Nephi Durfee and Amanda Thomas.

Frank HARRIS, born 2 Aug 1868 in Logan, Cache, Utah; died 7 Feb 1960 in Logan, Cache, Utah; buried 10 Feb 1960 in Logan, Cache, Utah. He married 31 Mar 1890 Nellie Jones; on 22 Jun 1904 in Logan, Cache, Utah Rose Jane Hughes, born 16 Dec 1879 in Mendon, Cache, Utah; died 3 Dec 1961 in Logan, Cache, Utah; buried 7 Dec 1961 in Logan, Cache, Utah, daughter of Henry Hughes and Rebecca Bassett.

Zelley HARRIS, born 16 Nov 1873 in Benson, Cache, Utah; died 24 Sep 1874. Cache, Utah.