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Home > Family History > General > Moses Clawson Biography

Moses Clawson Biography

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Note: Moses Clawson's original 1853 autobiography is preserved in the BYU library, where copies are available for study. His original diary covers a short period from Sept. 1855 through Dec. 1856 in the Ogden area, tithing records from his mission in England, a speech he gave on the ship Ellen Maria, Salt Lake Second Ward school building trustee accounts, and a few southern Utah accounts. It is in the possession of Eldon R. Clawson. No other original writings of Moses Clawson are known, but much information on him and his relationships have been gleaned from the writings of Warren Foote, his cousin.

Born 8 Oct. 1801 in Dryden, New York to Ebenezer and Lowly Foote Clawson, shortly after their move there with her brother David Foote, her mother, Rebecca Barker, and step-father, Ezekial Sanford. Ebenezer Clawson died 12 Aug. 1806 and Lowly remarried a few years later to Josiah Richardson.

Josiah helped raise the six Clawson and later four Richardson children. Charles Webb and Louisa Foote Clawson had a son, Moses Foote Clawson, born on his Uncle Moses' 20th birthday, 8 Oct. 1821. They divorced soon after and Louisa remarried a widower named Amasa Carr. Their son was also raised by Josiah and Lowly Richardson.


Moses married Cornelia Brown, daughter of William and Hannah Sweet Brown, on 28 Aug. 1821. She was born 22 Oct. 2803 in Salisbury, New York. They had seven boys and five girls, two of which died as young adults. After their first child, Eunice, was born on 14 May 1822 in Dryden, they moved west about 100 miles to Greenwood, Steuben County. There, their next six children where born; Ebenezer 18 Oct. 1823; William Henry, 6 Nov. 1825; George Washington, 4 Sept. 1827; Wallace, 18 Sept 1829; Lola Amanda, 12 Mar. 1832; Moses, Jr., 25 Mar. 1834.

David Foote, Moses= brother-in-law, was the first to join the Mormons. Josiah and lowly Richardson also joined the Mormons later. Moses, his wife and his youngest sister, Lola and her husband Elijah M. Allen, joined the Mormons 2 march 1835. In the spring of 1836, Moses moved his family to Missouri, by the way of Kirtland, Ohio. On the way to Kirtland, his oldest boy Ebenezer Clawson, was run over by a wagon, butting his head severely. Some missionaries in the area administered to him, he recovered and even drove a wagon again he next day. In Kirtland, Moses and Cornelia received their Patriarchal blessings from Joseph Smith, Sr., then continued on to Missouri. The Saints had just been driven out of Independence by mobs. Moses was advised to go to Caldwell County where he settled about three miles from Far West. Moroni Clawson was born 1 Jan. 1837.

Mob troubles co tined to follow the Mormons, resulting in a State militia of 5,000 men called to punish and expel the Mormons from Missouri. They gained control over the Mormons at far West, where the Mormons had gathered for protection, many living in tents. Moses was imprisoned for over two weeks with 60 to 70 others, including Joseph Smith, Jr., in the Richmond, Missouri jail. Sarah Jane Clawson was born 24 Jan. 1839. The Mormons were not allowed to hold public meetings. Moses Clawson was ordained a Seventy at this time. The Mormons agreed to move out of Missouri, so Moses settled next in Pleasantvale, Pike Co., Illinois.

Ebenezer Brown, Cornelia=s brother, and William Draper also went to Pleasantvale, later know as New Canton. They raised a small branch of the Church, with Draper as president. Eunice, Moses= oldest daughter, was married 17 Mar. 1840 to Lorenzo Jackson in Pike County. In 1852 Lorenzo and Eunice moved to Sonoma County, Calif. Moses= son Ebenezer married Malinda Clift 1 Feb 1844 in Pike County, and the lived most of their lives in New Canton.

In 1840, Moses moved to Lima in Hancock County. Cornelia Eliza Clawson was born here 18 or 19 Dec. 1843. Moses was sent on a mission to the eastern United States, which he returned from in 1844. He was on another mission in the he East, but returned home when Joseph Smith Jr., was murdered. In 1846, they and their neighbors were burned out by the mobs and forced to flee to Nauvoo. Artimesia Clawson was born 9 Feb. 1846 in Nauvoo.

The family moved on to Kanesville, Iowa with the LDS Church. Lola Amanda Clawson died there on 13 June 1848 and Wallace Clawson died 22 Mar. 1849 of consumption tuberculosis). David Clawson was born 6 April 1849 George Washington Clawson signed up with the Mormon Battalion, but it is uncertain if he, or his brother, William Henry Clawson, went with them in 1847. Moses was ready to go west in 1847, but was asked to stay and build wagons to help others get to Zion. William Henry Clawson married Mary Stoddard her 22 June 1849.

In Oct. 1849, the family arrived in Salt Lake City and was given a lot in the Second Ward. Moses was called on a mission to England the next spring and was gone three years six months. While he was gone, William Henry Clawson and his wife and George Washington Clawson went to the California gold fields with a group of Church sponsored Mormons in late 1850. William Clawson had tow children in California before he died in an accident in 1853. William=s widow returned to Utah and married George S. Dalton who lived in Centerville, Utah. On his return from England, Moses Clawson presided over the LDS immigrant ship Ellen Maria, which had 299 saints aboard. He later served as Captain over a company of 56 wagons across the plains to Salt Lake City, arriving in Sept. of 1853.

In 1853, the older children were married or on heir own. Cornelia was near death. Moses got word of her condition ad arrived ahead of the company. Just prior to her death he married Sarah Ann Inkley on 25 Sept. 1853. Cornelia died 22 Oct. 1853, and was buried in the Salt Lake Cemetery.

Moses met Sarah in England and she came with his group across the ocean. She nursed him when he was ill while aboard ship. Sarah intended to marry William Taylor whom she had known as a missionary in England. She did not want to be one of several wives and so changed her plans. She married Moses on 25 Sept. 1853. Sarah and Moses has six boys and seven girls, four of which died as children. Moses was 52 and Sarah was 20 when married.


Last Updated on Sunday, 25 July 2010 07:47  

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