Mary Ann Brown Pulsipher

  Husband: Zerah Pulsipher
11 Children:
Mary Ann Pulsipher (1816-1816)
Iona Almira Pulsipher (1817-1868)
Nelson Pulsipher (1820-1824)
Mariah Pulsipher (1822-1892)
Sarah Ann Pulsipher (1824-1909)
John Pulsipher (1827-1891)
Charles Pulsipher (1830-1915)
Mary Ann Pulsipher (1833-1913)
William Pulsipher (1838-1880)
Eliza Jane Pulsipher (1840-1919)
Fidelia Pulsipher (1842-1846)
Father: John Brown
Mother: Sarah Fairchild
Show Pedigree
Mary Ann Brown was born on 2 Mar 1799 [or 22 Mar 1798?] in Kent, Conn. to John Brown and Sarah Fairchild Brown. She was known by the name Mary. They moved to Pennsylvania when she was six. She records: "My parents taught me to be honest, industrious, and to keep the Sabbath Day. They were very strict Methodists. When I was about 13 years old I thought I ought to join the Methodist Church. It was the only church I knew much about. The preachers came every week to preach at father's house. I told him I wanted to join the church and he said I could. I did not know but they would call on me to relate a great experience when I was converted, but I could not have told them. All they did was to put my name on the class paper for six month's trial. When six months were up the preachers said, `Here is Sister Mary. She is a good, faithful, worthy Sister. I motion that she be taken in full fellowship.' I was voted in."

"Perhaps one year passed and not a word was said about baptism. I said to the preacher, `Do you believe baptism to be a duty for us to obey?' He said baptism was not a saving ordinance, just to answer a good conscience. I said, `I see by reading the New Testament, I consider a duty -- a command.' He said, `What say?' I said there was only one way that looked to be right--to be immersed and buried in the water." The minister led her to the water and had her kneel in it. "He dipped a little water, said over the ceremony, and poured it on my head, while he stood on the bank--did not wet his feet. I thought if baptism was to answer a good conscience, I was not satisfied. It looked like mockery to me, but I had done my duty."

"I lived in Pennsylvania until I was married in 1815 [18 Aug. 1815, Susquehanna County] to Zerah Pulsipher.... We lived in Pennsylvania seven years...and moved to New York... There we heard the gospel preached for the first time by the Latter-day Saints."

"I think I was in the Methodist Church about 20 years before I heard the true gospel. We happened to see the Book of Mormon. We borrowed it, read it, and believed it, but did not know anything more about it. We were very anxious to know more about it. It wa not long before a Mormon preacher [Jared Carter] came. We had a great many questions to ask. He told us how the Book was found and translated. He said baptism by immersion was the only right way. It was for the remission of sins. I thought that looked right. In a short time some were ready to be baptized. I wanted to be at the first opportunity, but Satan thought he would hinder it. The night before baptism, I was taken very lame with rheumatism or something. I was so sick I could not get around much. As they were fixing to go, Brother Carter said to me, "Sister Pulsipher, if you will do you duty, you shall be healed." I took a cane and hobbled to the water and went in. It was a very cold day, but I came out well, left my cane, and went away rejoicing."

"It was not long before the news went around that Brother and Sister Pulsipher were Mormons. Some would not believe it until they came to see us. We had plenty of visitors. Some came to try to convince us that it was all delusion. They thought they could reclaim us, but went away disconsolate. Others came to inquire. They said if we had got something better, they wanted to know it. They would be baptized and go home rejoicing."
"We were baptized in the year 1832 by Jared Carter. He baptized about 20 in that place, then ordained my husband Zerah Pulsipher and left him to preside over the church. He baptized more. We stayed there about two years, then moved 20 miles to Fabius." Then they moved to Kirtland, Ohio.

"Went to Kirtland, there had my blessings from the first Patriarch in this Church, Father Joseph Smith [the Prophet's father]. He said I should have my friends with me in this church, and that I would be the means of saving and redeeming them. I believed every word, but did not understand how it could come to pass. I never had heard nor thought of being baptized for the dead. He said I had left all for the gospel, I should have a hundredfold in this world and in the world to come, life everlasting, with many more good blessings if I would be faithful."

After Zerah help build the temple, he was one of the council who led a large camp to Missouri. "We stayed in that place one month; then we were driven from there by the mob. Then we went to Far West and stayed there through the winter. Then we had to go again. We started in March [1839] for Illinois. We stopped about 25 miles from Nauvoo, in Bear Creek Woods" where they stayed about two years.

They then moved to Nauvoo where her last child Fidelia was born, an intelligent child who also died there at age four. They helped build another temple there and received their temple endowments there. "Then we started with the rest of the Church west to find some place where we could live in peace. We were two years, not forty, in going to Salt Lake. We helped cultivate the bare desert and make it `blossom like the rose.' My husband was one of the City Council most of the time we were there."

"Then we were called to go south three hundred miles and help cultivate another barren desert. We have lived ten years in this place, Hebron. We have enjoyed great blessings, lived in peace, none to molest or make afraid.... My husband was called away by death in January 1872. He lived to a good age, and then went down to the grave like a shock of corn, fully ripe. I am spared yet."

Eight years later, she added, "I am almost 81 years old, have lived and enjoyed myself well with my children along time....I pray that they may live in peace, be united, and keep all the commandments of God. If riches increase, set not your heats on them, but lay up treasures in Heaven. It is the only safe place that we can lay up riches. I would like to have my children live near together to help and comfort one another. May God bless you all."

Mary died on 7 May 1886 in Hebron, Utah and was buried there by the side of her beloved husband Zerah. Before dying she went to St. George and lived with her daughters Sarah and Eliza for several months and then returned to Hebron and lived with her son John for about two years.

Before she left Hebron she recorded on 16 Oct 1883, "I have been in Hebron from the beginning. I located with my boys as they were herding cattle at Shoal Creek when the main part of this country was a desert... With the help of my boys, I built the first house out of the fort. If I should die away from here I want to be brought back and buried here with my friends that are awaiting for me behind the veil. I have been in this church 52 years; passed the persecutions with the Saints, but never felt to complain, but that all would be well."

From the "Autobiography of Mary Brown Pulsipher" and also her children's words in Pulsipher Family History Book, Terry/Nora Lund, SLC, 1953, pp. 26-32. [Bracketed comments added by John P. Pratt]