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Robert Cowden Egbert Sr.

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Robert Cowden Egbert Sr.

Birth
Sullivan, Sullivan County, Indiana, USA
Death
2 Nov 1863 (aged 42)
Deseret, Millard County, Utah, USA
Burial
Fillmore, Millard County, Utah, USA Add to Map
Plot
142_8_4
Memorial ID
View Source
Married Seviah Cunningham, 1 April 1846, Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois

Children - Robert Cowden Egbert, John Charles Egbert, Alvin Clark Egbert, Francis Marion Egbert, William Ward Egbert, Sarah Catherine Egbert, Joseph Samuel Egbert, Seymour Dudley Egbert

Robert Cowden Egbert was a Utah Pioneer and member of the Mormon Battalion during the war with Mexico.

He was buried on Nov. 5, 1863 at Fillmore Cemetery, Millard County, Utah. A headstone is also at Granite, Salt Lake County, Utah.

Biography - Robert Egbert was one of twelve children of John Egbert and Susannah Hahn. His parents were from Staten Island, New York and Hagerstown, Maryland. When John and Susannah were married in 1802, they sought opportunity and adventure by going west along the Allegheny and Ohio rivers to settle in Breckenridge, Kentucky. In 1816, soon after the Battle of Tippicanoe, they moved to Sullivan in the new state of Indiana. Robert Egbert was born there in 1821.

In 1831 and 32 the whole frontier country was electrified by the news that a young man named Joseph Smith had found a golden book hidden in Western New York State and that the book had been given to him by an angel. He even said that he had seen God and Jesus Christ, who had instructed him to form a new church.

While John Egbert, from the experiences of his boyhood, was disgusted with religion, (he had been apprenticed out to a Catholic Cobbler as a boy to learn the harness and shoemaking trades) he felt that this might be something different. He walked several hundred miles over the western part of the State and secured a copy of the Book of Mormon. He read it eagerly and believed its message. Soon after, John and Susannah Egbert (52 and 44 respectively) and their 12 children including 12 year old Robert were baptized in 1833. They moved to Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, which had been designated as a gathering place of the saints.

The Egberts in Missouri, 1833 - 1838

That summer, the Egberts built a home and planted crops. Ron Romeg of the Missouri Mormon Frontier Association believes they would have lived in the Little Blue Settlement east of Independence on other peoples land. But there had been problems with the original non-Mormon settlers. Many of the original settlers were from the southern states and favored slavery. Most of the Mormons were from New England or the northern states. There had already been disturbances where the Mormon press had been destroyed and two church leaders tarred and feathered.

The home of the Egberts, being on the outskirts of the settlement, was one of the first to be raided by mobs that fall. The family, on being appraised of the approach of the mob, hurriedly cut a bolt of homespun cloth, then being woven on the family loom, hid it in the loft of their dwelling. The home was ransacked, everything of value was taken. The barn was raided and one of their most valuable horses was stolen. Later the leader of the mob was seen riding the horse.

During the raid, John Egbert asked one of the mob for some tobacco; the mobber replied he would rather give him a piece of lead, whereupon John opened his shirt, bared his breast, and told him to shoot. This display of nerve evidently cowed the bravado of the mobber.

They were forced to leave their crops, nearly ready to harvest, for Clay County, Missouri. Four years later, in 1837, they had to leave their homes again for Far West, Missouri, 30 miles further north. Robert’s father and brothers owned 240 acres of land about 3 miles northwest of the Far West Temple site. Two years later, they were driven from Missouri, traveling in the dead of winter to Illinois where Nauvoo was founded in 1839.

Robert and Seviah Cunningham Egbert, married April 1, 1846

Seviah Cunningham Egbert's family was from Massachusetts and joined the Mormon Church in the early 1830's. They also came to Missouri and lived through similar trials.

When in Nauvoo, Seviah, then 17 met Robert Egbert who was 25 years old. He was working on the Nauvoo temple at the time. They were married in the Nauvoo Temple on April 1, 1846; just one week before the Parks and Gardners arrived in Nauvoo from Canada. It is possible that they would have left within a week or two of David and Ann Brooks Park and may have encountered the Canadian Company on the trail across Iowa. They had barely gotten married when they left Nauvoo to travel west, stopping 2 months later at Council Bluffs.

Robert Egbert Joins the Mormon Battalion, 1846 - 1848

While in Council Bluffs, the president of the United States sent orders to Brigham Young to send 500 men to fight in the Mexican War. Robert Egbert was in the 1st Company (A) of the Mormon Battalion and left for Fort Levenworth, Kansas on July 20, 1846. Two of his brother’s in law, Gordon and Orin Beckstead also joined as a part of this company. The Battalion traveled to Mexico and on to San Diego and Los Angeles being the first to raise the American flag over that city on July 4, 1847.

There they were released on July 20, 1847 and most of them including Robert traveled back up through Northern California. They met many of the “Brooklyn” saints at New Hope on August 21st and camped 2 miles from Sutter’s Fort on August 26th. They gathered supplies and arrived at the site of the Donner Party tragedy on September 6th and viewed the remains of those who had died 9 months earlier. That same day they met Sam Brannan returning from his visit with Brigham Young. Brannan told them of Brigham Young’s unwillingness to leave the Salt Lake Valley and said, “ when he (Brigham) has fairly tried it. He will find that I was right and he was wrong, and will come to California.”

The next day, they met Capt. James Brown, of the Pueblo detachment of the Battalion, who Brigham Young had sent to advise them to stay in California for the winter unless they had means to sustain them in Salt Lake. Approximately 100 of the Battalion Members continued on to Salt Lake going by way of Fort Hall, Idaho and arrived in Salt Lake between October 16 and 27, 1847. Thirty-two of the battalion were eager to meet their wives and families and pushed on arriving in Winter Quarters on December 17, 1847. A number of the Battalion men who went back to California worked for John Sutter and were there when Gold was discovered on January 24, 1848.

Robert Egbert stayed the winter of 1847-1848 in Salt Lake being fed and housed by Wilford Woodruff’s family. He intended to return the next spring to Council Bluffs to bring his wife and wagon to Utah.

In the meantime, Seviah Cunningham Egbert had remained in Council Bluffs and had not heard any news of her husband. Her father had left the Church in Nauvoo; became a follower of Sidney Rigdon and encouraged her to do likewise. After her husband had left with the Battalion, she was very lonely, and suffered through the two winters of 1846 and 1847.

Seviah's Trek to Utah, 1848

Seviah's granddaughter Carrie Despain wrote, "In the spring of 1848, as other saints were preparing to go west she decided to drive her own team and go with them. She did not know if Robert was dead or alive, but Robert’s brother Joseph, (who had been a part of the Brigham Young Company of 1847 and had returned with Brigham Young’s returning company of 108 on August 26th to Winter Quarters to get his own family), helped her yoke her oxen and she drove her own ox team all the way across the plains. As they traveled, Seviah was so lonely and wished so much to know where her husband was and if she would ever see him again. She became so wrought up over his absence that she would cry as she traveled along."

"All at once, she looked up and saw a man coming from the opposite direction. Very strange, she thought, as there were no human beings, except Indians, for hundreds of miles. She tried as he drew near to hide her face in her sun-bonnet. The road was very narrow; he could hardly turn out past the wagon for the high brush on both sides of the road. When he turned out however, he stopped by the wagon and inquired if this was Robert Egbert's wife. She said yes. She supposed it was a messenger from California who had seen her husband. He said, "Here is a letter from him to you."

She took it and it was written in his own handwriting. It said that he was well and that he would meet her at the head of the Sweetwater (River, in middle Wyoming). She looked up then to see if the man was still in sight and stopped and asked her brother-in-law Joseph Egbert, if he had seen the man. She wished to inquire further about her husband. Joseph had not even seen him although he had never left the road and the wagon trails being so narrow, no on else could hardly have left it. She thought it very strange and put the letter carefully away in the front of her basque (?). She thought later on she would read the letter again but it was no where to be found."

"She rejoiced and her spirit was buoyed up and she did not shed anymore tears. The saints finally arrived at the head of the Sweetwater in Wyoming, stopped to pitch their camp once more. She was so elated and looked so hard to see Robert. He was there but was not looking for her as he supposed she was waiting back there in Council Bluffs for him to come after her. As he looked over the immigrants teams and outfits, he came across one ox team he recognized. He thought it looked like his own but was not sure. He scrutinized and laced around as much as he could without seeming impolite by those in the wagon. He got a pretty good look, however, into the wagon and who should he discover but his young wife Seviah. He was certainly surprised and told her he was on his way back to get her. She told him about the letter he had written and she had received. He said he had never written a letter, nor had he had any chance to send one." For years, they both marveled over this strange experience."

They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 1848 and were sent by Brigham Young to settle Provo in Utah County.

Colonization of San Bernardino, California, 1851 - 1857

In the spring of 1851, Robert and Seviah were called by Brigham Young to take their family and go with a company of 400 to settle San Bernardino, California. They left March 21, 1851; stopped at the Big Springs in Las Vegas in May of 1851, and arrived in San Bernardino in late June 1851.

After living there for 6 years, the settlement, which had grown to 7,000 inhabitants, was disbanded in the fall of 1857 with the approach of the "Utah War". Robert and Seviah Egbert returned to Fillmore, Utah. Robert Egbert died in 1863 shortly after speaking in church where he told of his impending death, that his time for departure had come. He died within a few days at age 42, leaving his wife Seviah and seven children. Seviah moved to northern Utah, where she lived until her death in 1913.

This information is from the privately printed book "Pioneer Ancestors of David Wesley Egbert and Marva Lucinda Hillyard" complied by Martin W. Egbert in 2000

Bibliography

Carson, Elvira Egbert (Sister of Robert Egbert), Egbert Family History Records, 1901 Interview by H. Carson Healy, a grandson., BYU Library Special Collections
Despain, Carrie S. (Granddaughter of Robert and Seviah Cunningham Egbert), Egbert Family History Records, The History of the Cunninghams and the Egberts, BYU Library Special Collections
Nebeker, Estelle Egbert, Gardner Family History Records
Carter, Kate B., The Mormon Battalion, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers 1992

Mormon Battalion, Company A
Married Seviah Cunningham, 1 April 1846, Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois

Children - Robert Cowden Egbert, John Charles Egbert, Alvin Clark Egbert, Francis Marion Egbert, William Ward Egbert, Sarah Catherine Egbert, Joseph Samuel Egbert, Seymour Dudley Egbert

Robert Cowden Egbert was a Utah Pioneer and member of the Mormon Battalion during the war with Mexico.

He was buried on Nov. 5, 1863 at Fillmore Cemetery, Millard County, Utah. A headstone is also at Granite, Salt Lake County, Utah.

Biography - Robert Egbert was one of twelve children of John Egbert and Susannah Hahn. His parents were from Staten Island, New York and Hagerstown, Maryland. When John and Susannah were married in 1802, they sought opportunity and adventure by going west along the Allegheny and Ohio rivers to settle in Breckenridge, Kentucky. In 1816, soon after the Battle of Tippicanoe, they moved to Sullivan in the new state of Indiana. Robert Egbert was born there in 1821.

In 1831 and 32 the whole frontier country was electrified by the news that a young man named Joseph Smith had found a golden book hidden in Western New York State and that the book had been given to him by an angel. He even said that he had seen God and Jesus Christ, who had instructed him to form a new church.

While John Egbert, from the experiences of his boyhood, was disgusted with religion, (he had been apprenticed out to a Catholic Cobbler as a boy to learn the harness and shoemaking trades) he felt that this might be something different. He walked several hundred miles over the western part of the State and secured a copy of the Book of Mormon. He read it eagerly and believed its message. Soon after, John and Susannah Egbert (52 and 44 respectively) and their 12 children including 12 year old Robert were baptized in 1833. They moved to Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, which had been designated as a gathering place of the saints.

The Egberts in Missouri, 1833 - 1838

That summer, the Egberts built a home and planted crops. Ron Romeg of the Missouri Mormon Frontier Association believes they would have lived in the Little Blue Settlement east of Independence on other peoples land. But there had been problems with the original non-Mormon settlers. Many of the original settlers were from the southern states and favored slavery. Most of the Mormons were from New England or the northern states. There had already been disturbances where the Mormon press had been destroyed and two church leaders tarred and feathered.

The home of the Egberts, being on the outskirts of the settlement, was one of the first to be raided by mobs that fall. The family, on being appraised of the approach of the mob, hurriedly cut a bolt of homespun cloth, then being woven on the family loom, hid it in the loft of their dwelling. The home was ransacked, everything of value was taken. The barn was raided and one of their most valuable horses was stolen. Later the leader of the mob was seen riding the horse.

During the raid, John Egbert asked one of the mob for some tobacco; the mobber replied he would rather give him a piece of lead, whereupon John opened his shirt, bared his breast, and told him to shoot. This display of nerve evidently cowed the bravado of the mobber.

They were forced to leave their crops, nearly ready to harvest, for Clay County, Missouri. Four years later, in 1837, they had to leave their homes again for Far West, Missouri, 30 miles further north. Robert’s father and brothers owned 240 acres of land about 3 miles northwest of the Far West Temple site. Two years later, they were driven from Missouri, traveling in the dead of winter to Illinois where Nauvoo was founded in 1839.

Robert and Seviah Cunningham Egbert, married April 1, 1846

Seviah Cunningham Egbert's family was from Massachusetts and joined the Mormon Church in the early 1830's. They also came to Missouri and lived through similar trials.

When in Nauvoo, Seviah, then 17 met Robert Egbert who was 25 years old. He was working on the Nauvoo temple at the time. They were married in the Nauvoo Temple on April 1, 1846; just one week before the Parks and Gardners arrived in Nauvoo from Canada. It is possible that they would have left within a week or two of David and Ann Brooks Park and may have encountered the Canadian Company on the trail across Iowa. They had barely gotten married when they left Nauvoo to travel west, stopping 2 months later at Council Bluffs.

Robert Egbert Joins the Mormon Battalion, 1846 - 1848

While in Council Bluffs, the president of the United States sent orders to Brigham Young to send 500 men to fight in the Mexican War. Robert Egbert was in the 1st Company (A) of the Mormon Battalion and left for Fort Levenworth, Kansas on July 20, 1846. Two of his brother’s in law, Gordon and Orin Beckstead also joined as a part of this company. The Battalion traveled to Mexico and on to San Diego and Los Angeles being the first to raise the American flag over that city on July 4, 1847.

There they were released on July 20, 1847 and most of them including Robert traveled back up through Northern California. They met many of the “Brooklyn” saints at New Hope on August 21st and camped 2 miles from Sutter’s Fort on August 26th. They gathered supplies and arrived at the site of the Donner Party tragedy on September 6th and viewed the remains of those who had died 9 months earlier. That same day they met Sam Brannan returning from his visit with Brigham Young. Brannan told them of Brigham Young’s unwillingness to leave the Salt Lake Valley and said, “ when he (Brigham) has fairly tried it. He will find that I was right and he was wrong, and will come to California.”

The next day, they met Capt. James Brown, of the Pueblo detachment of the Battalion, who Brigham Young had sent to advise them to stay in California for the winter unless they had means to sustain them in Salt Lake. Approximately 100 of the Battalion Members continued on to Salt Lake going by way of Fort Hall, Idaho and arrived in Salt Lake between October 16 and 27, 1847. Thirty-two of the battalion were eager to meet their wives and families and pushed on arriving in Winter Quarters on December 17, 1847. A number of the Battalion men who went back to California worked for John Sutter and were there when Gold was discovered on January 24, 1848.

Robert Egbert stayed the winter of 1847-1848 in Salt Lake being fed and housed by Wilford Woodruff’s family. He intended to return the next spring to Council Bluffs to bring his wife and wagon to Utah.

In the meantime, Seviah Cunningham Egbert had remained in Council Bluffs and had not heard any news of her husband. Her father had left the Church in Nauvoo; became a follower of Sidney Rigdon and encouraged her to do likewise. After her husband had left with the Battalion, she was very lonely, and suffered through the two winters of 1846 and 1847.

Seviah's Trek to Utah, 1848

Seviah's granddaughter Carrie Despain wrote, "In the spring of 1848, as other saints were preparing to go west she decided to drive her own team and go with them. She did not know if Robert was dead or alive, but Robert’s brother Joseph, (who had been a part of the Brigham Young Company of 1847 and had returned with Brigham Young’s returning company of 108 on August 26th to Winter Quarters to get his own family), helped her yoke her oxen and she drove her own ox team all the way across the plains. As they traveled, Seviah was so lonely and wished so much to know where her husband was and if she would ever see him again. She became so wrought up over his absence that she would cry as she traveled along."

"All at once, she looked up and saw a man coming from the opposite direction. Very strange, she thought, as there were no human beings, except Indians, for hundreds of miles. She tried as he drew near to hide her face in her sun-bonnet. The road was very narrow; he could hardly turn out past the wagon for the high brush on both sides of the road. When he turned out however, he stopped by the wagon and inquired if this was Robert Egbert's wife. She said yes. She supposed it was a messenger from California who had seen her husband. He said, "Here is a letter from him to you."

She took it and it was written in his own handwriting. It said that he was well and that he would meet her at the head of the Sweetwater (River, in middle Wyoming). She looked up then to see if the man was still in sight and stopped and asked her brother-in-law Joseph Egbert, if he had seen the man. She wished to inquire further about her husband. Joseph had not even seen him although he had never left the road and the wagon trails being so narrow, no on else could hardly have left it. She thought it very strange and put the letter carefully away in the front of her basque (?). She thought later on she would read the letter again but it was no where to be found."

"She rejoiced and her spirit was buoyed up and she did not shed anymore tears. The saints finally arrived at the head of the Sweetwater in Wyoming, stopped to pitch their camp once more. She was so elated and looked so hard to see Robert. He was there but was not looking for her as he supposed she was waiting back there in Council Bluffs for him to come after her. As he looked over the immigrants teams and outfits, he came across one ox team he recognized. He thought it looked like his own but was not sure. He scrutinized and laced around as much as he could without seeming impolite by those in the wagon. He got a pretty good look, however, into the wagon and who should he discover but his young wife Seviah. He was certainly surprised and told her he was on his way back to get her. She told him about the letter he had written and she had received. He said he had never written a letter, nor had he had any chance to send one." For years, they both marveled over this strange experience."

They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 1848 and were sent by Brigham Young to settle Provo in Utah County.

Colonization of San Bernardino, California, 1851 - 1857

In the spring of 1851, Robert and Seviah were called by Brigham Young to take their family and go with a company of 400 to settle San Bernardino, California. They left March 21, 1851; stopped at the Big Springs in Las Vegas in May of 1851, and arrived in San Bernardino in late June 1851.

After living there for 6 years, the settlement, which had grown to 7,000 inhabitants, was disbanded in the fall of 1857 with the approach of the "Utah War". Robert and Seviah Egbert returned to Fillmore, Utah. Robert Egbert died in 1863 shortly after speaking in church where he told of his impending death, that his time for departure had come. He died within a few days at age 42, leaving his wife Seviah and seven children. Seviah moved to northern Utah, where she lived until her death in 1913.

This information is from the privately printed book "Pioneer Ancestors of David Wesley Egbert and Marva Lucinda Hillyard" complied by Martin W. Egbert in 2000

Bibliography

Carson, Elvira Egbert (Sister of Robert Egbert), Egbert Family History Records, 1901 Interview by H. Carson Healy, a grandson., BYU Library Special Collections
Despain, Carrie S. (Granddaughter of Robert and Seviah Cunningham Egbert), Egbert Family History Records, The History of the Cunninghams and the Egberts, BYU Library Special Collections
Nebeker, Estelle Egbert, Gardner Family History Records
Carter, Kate B., The Mormon Battalion, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers 1992

Mormon Battalion, Company A


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