|Birth: ||Jan. 15, 1846|
|Death: ||Dec. 24, 1937|
Buried 26 Dec 1937; Sanford Cemetery Record.
The following information is from Sherry Smith:
Daughter of John Doyle Lee & Nancy Bean
Loving stepdaughter of Zachariah Bruyn Decker
Married Lars Pedersen Mortensen, 10 Oct 1865, Salt Lake City, Utah, Utah
Cornelia was a pioneer of Salt Lake City, 1848; Provo, 1849; Parowan,Utah, 1851; and Sanford, Colorado, 1887. She grew up with the building of Parowan, with natural leadership ability, inherited, perhaps from her father who also played an important part in the building of Parowan. With her keen intellect and constant desire to obtain
knowledge, she developed early into a power that was felt for good wherever she went.
She had little formal schooling; books were scarce and time to read them even more so. As she spun and wove as all pioneer women were required to do, she placed a book directly in front and conveniently near the spinning wheel or loom. As she worked she caught a few words or a thought which she stored in her memory, which she was able to call forth in her many public duties throughout her life. Her ability to lead and direct public affairs reached the point where many declared her to be the most outstanding woman of southern Utah.
In the fall of 1910 at the fairgrounds in Salt Lake City, her son recorded, "I walked up the steps of the platform holding Mother by the arm. Elder John Henry Smith called, 'Bro. Mortensen, bring your mother and sit with us.' As we approached he put his arm around her, then
turning to me, said, 'You have a wonderful mother. I have known her since her infancy. She has the best blood in this nation in her veins.
Don't ever do anything to cause her sorrow.'
"Again, in 1918 while Emeline B. Wells, a life-long friend of Mother's, was convalescing in an apartment in the Hotel Utah, Mother was there to spend the day.... I went there to see her. As I arose to leave, Aunt Em said almost the exact words that Elder Smith had said, but added, 'Had your mother lived in Salt Lake instead of the country,
I am afraid it would have been President Cornelia Lee Mortensen in place of President Emeline B. Wells, General Relief Society President of the Church. I say this in all seriousness for your mother is one of the few natural born leaders.'"
When Parowan celebrated its centennial, much of the program on the twenty-fourth of July was devoted to the memory of persons who had once lived there. Lars and Cornelia Mortensen were referred to as,perhaps, the most outstanding couple of early day history. A poem written by their son, Arlington, was read as a tribute to their memory. That, in view of the fact that they had moved away from Parowan sixty-four years before, was bona fide evidence of the esteem in which they were held.
Cornelia served her church continually for twenty-five years. She was good in obstetrical nursing, having a record of upwards of two thousand deliveries with but two losses. She died at the age of ninety-two.
Cornelia & Lars had 12 children.
John Doyle Lee (1812 - 1877)
Nancy Bean Decker (1826 - 1903)
Lars Pederson Mortensen (1842 - 1910)*
Cornelia Adella Mortensen Mickelsen (1865 - 1889)*
Helena Laurette Mortensen Peterson (1868 - 1939)*
Lars Hanmer Mortensen (1870 - 1967)*
Minnie Montez Mortensen Adams (1874 - 1895)*
Rulon Erastus Mortensen (1879 - 1960)*
Wilford Woodruff Mortensen (1886 - 1893)*
Created by: Lee Lee
Record added: Jun 19, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7596216
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Added: Nov. 25, 2007