|Birth: ||Aug. 21, 1840|
County Down, Ireland
|Death: ||Jan. 19, 1933|
Born at Crawfordsburn, Down, Ireland
Daughter of John McCleve and Nancy Jane McFerren
Married Dr. Priddy Meeks, 14 Nov 1856, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Children - Mary Ellen Meeks, Hyrum Smith Meeks, Charles Mason Meeks, Elizabeth Dalton Meeks, Heber Jesse Meeks, Alfred Randall Meeks, Nancy Meeks, John Priddy Meeks, Sarah Deseret Meeks, Joseph Meeks
History - Mary was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Irish Sea when she was eight years of age. The McCleve family embarked on the ship Enoch Train and in due time arrived in Boston, from which place they took a train to Iowa City where they joined the Daniel McArthur handcart company for the trek to Utah, arriving in Salt Lake City September 26, 1856. There were seven children in the McCleve family, Margaret, Mary Jane, Isabella, Eliza, Joseph, Alexander and John. The father died two days before the company entered the valley.
Mary Jane went to work for a family named Gifford, but that same autumn was married in polygamy to Dr. Priddy Meeks who was nearly sixty-two. She was not yet seventeen They lived at the north end of Long Valley Canyon when the Berry brothers were massacred by Indians in 1866, but moved away with the other settlers. Upon their return Mary Jane commenced practicing midwifery.
Ellen Meeks Hoyt wrote: "I remember mother took care of five pair of twins during her time of bringing babies. If my memory and those of other people who lived here is right, she never had a woman or a baby die out of the seven hundred cases she cared for. She used to walk great distances, three and four miles to look after her patients. She has come home with some of her clothes gone—had torn them off to make some poor woman more comfortable. Once she came home in her stocking feet. We asked her where her shoes were. 'The poor woman had none, so I gave her mine as I have another pair at home.' Father was a Thompsonian doctor and she learned the use of herbs that grew around us from him. She was blessed and set apart. I do not remember which apostle it was. She was humble and prayerful in her calling. Never felt she was doing too much. Her wonderful disposition and sweet nature assisted her greatly in her labors.
"In summer she sometimes rode the hayrack, but in the winter she often went in a bob-sled dressed in her fur cape and with a fascinator wrapped around her head. Sometimes she would have to go fifty miles to far-away farms and ranches. Once when someone called to get her she was away attending others. The children became quite alarmed when they could not find her, fearing that she might have fallen in one of the vats of the tannery, which stood near the hills across the street. But in due time she returned. She never left a woman until she was properly taken care of. One night while going up a canyon, the horses became frightened and ran away, throwing her out of the spring seat. She hit the front of the wagon, bruising her face and loosening some of her teeth, which caused her a great deal of pain for a number of years. She practiced midwifery in Long Valley for twenty years. As long as the Order was in existence, she put her allotted $3.00 into it. Sometimes she was paid in store goods, some times vegetables or flour. If she received produce it went into the common storehouse; if she received neither produce nor money, her labor was noted in the books, to accumulate as a dividend. She waited on the three wives of one man and earned enough to buy father (Dr. Priddy Meeks), a headstone."
In 1900 one of Mrs. Meeks patients lived at Moccasin Ranch thirty-two miles from Orderville. She went to the Heaton home early to be sure she would be there in time for the birth but had to wait much longer than she anticipated. When Mr. Heaton asked what the bill would be Mary Jane answered, "Well, Brother Heaton, my usual fee is three dollars, but since I have been away for several weeks I guess it had better be six dollars." Mr. Heaton gladly gave her ten dollars.
Pioneer Meeks continued with her work until ten days before her death. She passed away in the historic town of Orderville, January 19, 1933, of pneumonia.
Utah Death Certificate
John McCleve (1807 - 1856)
Nancy Jane Mcferren Ellsworth (1815 - 1879)
Priddy Meeks (1795 - 1886)
Joseph Meeks (1857 - 1913)*
Nancy Jane Meeks Asay (1859 - 1950)*
Hyrum Smith Meeks (1861 - 1939)*
John Priddy Meeks (1863 - 1863)*
Sarah Deseret Meeks Morris (1864 - 1954)*
Mary Ellen Meeks Hoyt (1867 - 1947)*
Heber Jesse Meeks (1869 - 1934)*
Charles Mason Meeks (1872 - 1873)*
Elizabeth Dalton Meeks Fackrell (1874 - 1954)*
Alfred Randall Meeks (1877 - 1961)*
Sarah McCleve Young (1834 - 1912)*
Catherine McCleve Russell (1836 - 1869)*
Margaret McCleve Hancock (1838 - 1908)*
Mary Jane McCleve Meeks (1840 - 1933)
Isabelle Wilkins McCleve Durfee (1843 - 1918)**
John T. McCleve (1845 - 1867)*
John T McCleve (1845 - 1867)*
Joseph Smith McCleve (1847 - 1919)*
Eliza Roxy McCleve Ellsworth (1849 - 1913)*
Daniel Bell McCleve (1851 - 1852)*
Alexander Gilmore McCleve (1854 - 1897)*
Diana Jane Ellsworth Allen (1858 - 1922)**
Davisel Ellsworth (1860 - 1940)**
Created by: SMSmith
Record added: Feb 02, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 70378