|Birth: ||Jan. 6, 1817|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Feb. 3, 1906|
Daughter of Seth Dustin & Elizabeth Redfield
Married Philemon Christopher Merrill, 20 Sep 1840, Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois
Cyrena Dustin was born Jan. 6, 1817, in Le Roy, Genessee County, N.Y. She moved with her parents and siblings to Portage County, Ohio, when she was about one year old and remained there until she left home at 21. "I never had good health and was never expected to do anything around the house, and all the family waited on me," she records.
Cyrena first heard the Gospel when she was about 19 and was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder James Emmett a year later in March 1837. "I am the only one of my father's family that ever embraced the Gospel, yet I know that my father believed and, had it not been for some unwise conduct in one of the Elders whom my father had befriended and assisted, he probably would have been baptized at the same time I was," she says. Her brothers and sisters were mortified at her joining the Church and persecuted her until she left home.
In the summer of 1837, Cyrena visited Kirtland and viewed the Temple. She returned home and spent the winter with her parents and siblings, but determined to move with the Saints to Missouri when the time came. Her parents opposed this move and tried everything in their power to keep Cyrena home.
On the trip from Randolph to Far West, Mo., Cyrena's company had to pass Cyrena's parents' house, and Cyrena was afraid her father would see her and force her to stay. "But as we neared home we saw the hand of the Lord in causing a dense fog to envelop the house until after we passed," Cyrena says. "We could not see even the signboard at the street door."
Cyrena became sick on this journey and some expected her to die, but her health improved. Soon Joseph Smith, Sr., found work for her with an aged couple in Little Platte, Mo., about 20 miles from Far West. In the spring of 1839 Cyrena rejoined Brother Stanley's company and traveled with them to Quincy, Ill. At Quincy Cyrena met a paternal uncle who had joined the Church in Ohio, and she lived with his family a short while. She worked through the summer at $2 per week until she saved enough to move to Nauvoo, Ill., in the fall of 1839.
While working at a home in Nauvoo, Cyrena waited on a dinner guest named Philemon Christopher Merrill. Philemon returned after a journey and married Cyrena Sept. 20, 1840. Eleven months later their first child was born in Nauvoo. The small family fled Nauvoo Feb. 6, 1846, and headed toward the Rocky Mountains with an early company of Saints; however, Philemon volunteered for the Mormon Battalion and Cyrena waited for him in Iowa until he came back for her. They arrived in Salt Lake City together Feb. 17, 1850. Cyrena and Philemon helped settle parts of northern Utah and southern Idaho, and then the Church called them to help settle Arizona.
They led a company into St. David, Ariz., where Cyrena remained the rest of her life. She died in Layton, Ariz. (now Safford) Feb. 3, 1906 at age 88. She had eight children.
Many thanks to Mike H. for these wonderful photo's
Philemon Christopher Merrill (1820 - 1904)*
Philemon Alasandra Merrill (1845 - 1897)*
Malissa Merrill (1848 - 1880)*
Morgan Henry Merrill (1850 - 1896)*
Thomas Stephen Merrill (1853 - 1912)*
Seth Adelbert Merrill (1859 - 1901)*
Safford City Cemetery
GPS (lat/lon): 32.80622, -109.71485
Created by: Schott Family
Record added: Aug 21, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29217816
For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. ~William Penn|
Added: May. 28, 2012
~ Rest In Peace ~|
Added: Aug. 23, 2008