Sarah Helen “Sallie” <I>Conrad</I> Bunnell

Sarah Helen “Sallie” Conrad Bunnell

Elmira, Chemung County, New York, USA
Death 23 Jul 1903 (aged 92)
Provo, Utah County, Utah, USA
Burial Provo, Utah County, Utah, USA
Plot Block 4 Lot 55
Memorial ID 12246743 · View Source
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By Oliver B. Huntington: Sunday, June 13, 1897:

I conversed with one old lady 88 years old who lived with David Whitmer when Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were translating the Book of Mormon in the upper room of the house, and she, only a girl, saw them come down from [the] translating room several times when they looked so exceedingly white and strange that she inquired of Mrs. Whitmer the cause of their unusual appearance, but Mr. Whitmer was unwilling to tell the hired girl the true cause, as it was a sacred, holy event connected with a holy, sacred work which was opposed and persecuted by nearly everyone who heard of it.
The girl felt so strangely at seeing so strange and unusual appearance, she finally told Mrs. Whitmer that she would not stay with her until she knew the cause of the strange looks of these men.
Sister Whitmer then told her what the men were doing in the room above and that the power of God was so great in the room that they could hardly endure it; at times angels were in the room in their glory, which nearly consumed them.
This satisfied the girl and opened the way to embracing the gospel.
Note: The "hired girl" here referred to was Sally Heller Conrad, who later became the wife of David Edwin Bunnell.

Sarah "Sallie" Hellen (also recorded Heller) was a daughter of German immigrants and was niece of Mary Conrad, David Whitmer's wife. James Lewis Nielson, great-grandson, recorded the following in his History of Sallie Heller Conrad:
"As a young girl of nineteen she was the housekeeper in the Peter Whitmer home when the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery finished translating the "Book of Mormon." Because of persecution they had to work in secret. Sallie would see the Prophet and Oliver come down out of the attic room after working long hours. She remembers them looking like angels. She was aware that something strange and unusual was taking place. Finally she insisted that Sister David Whitmer, her aunt, tell her the truth. Sister Whitmer had to reveal to Sallie what was taking place. She warned her that if she let the secret out, their lives would be in danger."

An article appeared in the Church News, 5 Jan, 1980, in which "Sallie Heller Conrad" was mentioned among those who attended the meeting in the Peter Whitmer Sr. home when the church was organized 9 Apr, 1830. Nine days later, she and David Edwin Bunnell were married in the Whitmer home, and 21 Sep, 1831 both were baptized. They immigrated to Utah with their family of eight children.
One story is told by Vera Gray Williams, a great-grand-daughter, that they rough a peach tree with them and planted it in their garden in Provo. The crickets came and Sarah, fearing they would destroy the tree, unwound some wool stockings and wrapped the yarn around it, and thus saved the tree. Later, she removed the yarn and knit more stocking.
"Sallie was a very neat and clean housekeeper. Pearl Bunnell Newell relates an instance about helping her Grandmother make bread. Everything had to be spotlessly clean before the bread-making was started Pearl had washed her hand carefully with soap and hot water and dried them on the family towel. Grandmother Sallie questioned her about her hands. She wanted to know if she had cleaned her finger nails and what towel she had used to dry her hands. She insisted Pearl re-wash her hands and wipe her hands with a special towel reserved for the person mixing the bread. Only after this could she start mixing the dough which was kneaded by hand." (James Lewis Nielson)

See more Bunnell memorials in:

  • Maintained by: L Despain
  • Originally Created by: Broncyn
  • Added: 3 Nov 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12246743
  • Michael Shea, MD
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sarah Helen “Sallie” Conrad Bunnell (19 Sep 1810–23 Jul 1903), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12246743, citing Provo City Cemetery, Provo, Utah County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by L Despain (contributor 46999228) .