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Elijah Funk Sheets
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Birth: Mar. 22, 1821
Charlestown
Chester County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jul. 3, 1904
Rexburg
Madison County
Idaho, USA

Son of Frederick Sheets and Hannah Page

Married Margaret Hutchinson, 16 Jan 1846, on a ship 15 minutes from Liverpool, England

Married Susanna Musser, 6 Apr 1847, Winter Quarters, Douglas, Nebraska

Married Elizabeth Leaver, 8 Feb 1857, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Married Emma Spencer, 7 Dec 1862, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 1, p. 614

Sheets, Elijah Funk, second Bishop of the Eighth Ward, Salt Lake City, Utah, is a son of Frederick Sheets and Hannah Page, and was born March 22, 1821, in Charlestown, Chester county, Pennsylvania, where his early boyhood was passed. Being left an orphan at the age of six years he lived about two years with his grandparents Page, after which he found a home in the family of the late Bishop Edward Hunter, who at that time was a wealthy farmer in Chester county. Engaged in farming and stock-raising, be remained with Mr. Hunter for nine years. His opportunities for attending school were very limited, amounting to about six weeks a year from his eighth to his sixteenth year. Though raised on a farm, young Eliah was naturally inclined to mechanical pursuits, and at the age of seventeen he apprenticed himself for three years to Mr. Taylor Dilworth, to learn the trade of a blacksmith. While thus employed he first heard the restored gospel preached by Elders Edwin D. Woolley, Elisha H. Davis, Erastus Snow, Lorenzo D. Barnes and others; the latter was the principal instrument in the hands of the Lord to raise up a branch of the Church in Chester county, Penn. Young Eliah was converted to the truth at once and was baptized by Erastus Snow July 5, 1840. In 1841 he emigrated to Nauvoo, Ill., arriving there in September. In April, 1842, he was ordained to the office of an Elder, and was also one of about a hundred men who volunteered to work six months on the Nauvoo Temple without pay. Sept. 4, 1842, he left Nauvoo, in company with Joseph A. Stratton, on a mission to Pennsylvania. They were gone twenty months, during which time they baptized about sixty souls; they returned to Nauvoo May 4, 1844, with a company of thirty emigrating Saints. Soon after his return to Nauvoo, Elder Sheets was called on another mission, this time to Great Britain. Together with Elders Joseph A. Stratton, Elisha Davis and J. B. Meynell, he arrived in Liverpool, England, Aug. 24, 1844. He labored successfully in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Herefordshire and Radnorshire, and spent considerable of his time in visiting the different branches and encouraging the Saints. He presided over the Bradford conference several months and later had charge of the Herefordshire conference. In returning to America, he went as a passenger in the ship "Liverpool" which sailed from Liverpool, England, Jan. 16, 1846. He was one of the Elders called home to receive his blessings in the Nauvoo Temple, before the Church left for the wilderness; but the company arrived too late for him to enjoy that privilege. On the day of his departure from Liverpool he was married to Miss Margaret Hutchinson, of Radnorshire, on shipboard, Elder Wilford Woodruff performing the ceremony. Soon after his return to Nauvoo, he made preparations to go to the west, and with an [p.615] outfit consisting of a yoke of oxen, a cow and an old wagon (borrowing an additional yoke of cattle from Joseph A. Stratton), he crossed the Mississippi river about the 1st of May, 1846. He spent the winter of 1846-47 at Winter Quarters, where his wife took sick and died Feb. 1, 1847. Their only child died a few weeks later. April 6, 1847, he married Susannah Musser, and two months later resumed the journey westward. He crossed the plains as captain of ten in Perregrine Sessions' company of fifty, which arrived in the Valley Sept. 22, 1847. With his young wife he located in the "Old Fort," and during the winter of 1847-48 he assisted in making roads into the canyons; hauled wood for winter use and cut logs, and built a house in the fort for his family. In the spring of 1848, he went to work with Burr Frost, in a blacksmith shop, and followed his trade, besides doing a little farming, till December, 1850, when he was called on a mission to Iron county as one of Geo. A. Smith's company of pioneers to that part of the country. Thus he became one of the first settlers of Parowan. He remained on that mission about six months and then returned to Salt Lake City, where he soon afterwards was elected a member of the city council and alderman of the first municipal ward, which office he held continuously for about twelve years. May 11, 1856, he was ordained to the office of a High Priest and Bishop and set apart to preside over the Eighth Ward. Previous to that he held the position of a president in the second quorum of Seventy, having been ordained a Seventy April 9, 1845, by Wilford Woodruff, while on his mission in Great Britain. Feb. 8, 1857, Bishop Sheets yielded obedience to the higher law of marriage by taking to wife Elizabeth Leaver, with whom he subsequently had ten children. May 11, 1861, his wife Susannah Musset died in Salt Lake City. She had borne him seven children. Dec. 7, 1861, he married a fourth wife, Emma Spencer, who subsequently bore him ten children; she died in May, 1890. In 1868 Bishop Sheets was called by Pres. Brigham Young to go to Provo, Utah county, where he was chosen as a counselor to Pres. Abraham O. Smoot at the time the Stake of Zion in Utah county was reorganized. He also acted as a member of the city council and alderman of Provo city and took an active part in the building of the Provo Woolen Factory. Agreeable to the counsel of Pres. Brigham Young, he took a grading contract, together with Abraham O. Smoot, on the Union Pacific railroad. They organized a cooperative company, numbering 75 men who all made good wages. The contract represented $50,000. In 1869-70 Bishop Sheets filled a short mission to the States of Pennsylvania and New York. Besides preaching the gospel he visited many of his relatives and friends, and gathered considerable of his family genealogy. He also spent a pleasant time at Washington, D. C., in the society of Captain Wm. H. Hooper, who at that time was Utah's delegate to Congress. In 1870 Bishop Sheets was appointed assessor and collector of Utah county. April 28, 1871, Pres. Brigham Young appointed him traveling Bishop in Utah, Juab, Millard, Sevier, Sanpete and Tooele counties. He also accompanied Pres. Young and others on a visit to Bear Lake valley, Soda Springs and other parts of the northern country. In August, 1871, he was appointed to take charge of all the Church stock and sheep and also of the Church pastures, in place of Briant Stringham, who had died. He filled that position over sixteen years. In 1872 he accompanied Pres. Brigham Young on a mission to St. George, and at the general conference of the Church held April 8, 1873, he was chosen and sustained as an assistant trustee-in-trust of the Church. He occupied that position as long as Pres. George A. Smith acted as trustee-in-trust. Having yielded obedience to the principle of plural marriage at an early day he, among many others, became a prisoner for conscience sake in 1888. On the 13th of October of that year he was sentenced by Judge Sanford to eighty days' imprisonment in the Utah penitentiary and to pay a fine of $150 and costs of court. Having served his term and paid his fine, he was released Dec. 31, 1888. On the occasion of his release the Saints of the Eighth Ward turned out en masse and gave a grand ovation in his honor. Prior to his imprisonment he had been an exile for four years, being hunted by U. S. deputy marshals. Since the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple, in 1893, Bishop [p.616] Sheets has been one of the leading workers in that sacred edifice, and having now attained the ripe age of eighty years he is remarkably bright and strong, both physically and mentally. As a missionary abroad, a pioneer of the west, a presiding Church officer, a Temple worker and a business man, his noble characteristics and unflinching integrity has become thoroughly established and universally known, and there are but few men in the Church who are more extensively and favorably known among the Saints of God than Bishop Sheets. Having now presided over the Eighth Ward about forty-five years, he is the oldest acting Bishop in the Church. For some time he has been a widower, his four wives having all passed away. Of his 28 children, 21, namely 11 sons and 10 daughters, are yet alive. On the occasion of the celebrating of the eightieth anniversary of his birthday his grandchildren numbered 49; and he had one great grandchild. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouses:
  Susanna Musser Sheets (1827 - 1861)
  Elizabeth Leaver Sheets (1839 - 1892)
  Emma Spencer Sheets (1845 - 1900)
  Margaret Hutchinson Sheets (1819 - 1847)*
 
 Children:
  Margaret Sheets (1846 - 1847)*
  Nephi Musser Sheets (1850 - 1905)*
  Martha Musser Sheets Davis (1861 - 1959)*
  Jedediah Spencer Sheets (1863 - 1906)*
  Mary Ann Leaver Sheets Wright (1863 - 1940)*
  Emma Spencer Sheets Rigby (1865 - 1936)*
  Edward L. Sheets (1867 - 1947)*
  Ellen Leaver Sheets Wells (1870 - 1899)*
  Elijah Spencer Sheets (1873 - 1947)*
  Blanche Spencer Sheets Emms (1876 - 1949)*
  Ray Spencer Sheets (1887 - 1915)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Salt Lake City Cemetery
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA
Plot: E-3-2
 
Maintained by: SMSmith
Originally Created by: Judie Latshaw Huff
Record added: Dec 05, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 31967996
Elijah Funk Sheets
Added by: Judie Latshaw Huff
 
Elijah Funk Sheets
Added by: SMSmith
 
Elijah Funk Sheets
Added by: Sarah K
 
 
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-Anonymous
 Added: Sep. 6, 2014

- SMSmith
 Added: May. 5, 2009
 
 
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