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 Phoebe <I>Odell</I> Merrill

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Phoebe Odell Merrill

  • Birth 22 Apr 1788 Cambridge, Washington County, New York, USA
  • Death 26 Jan 1862 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
  • Burial Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
  • Plot C_1_10
  • Memorial ID 30995326

Daughter of Jonas Odell and Lucy Milda Weaver

Married Samuel Merrill, 10 Sep 1802, Whitestown, Oneida, New York

Children - Samuel Bemis Merrill, Polly Matilda Merrill, Emily Phelps Merrill, Justin Jared Merrill, Lucy Ann Merrill, Philemon Christopher Merrill, Albina Mariam Merrill, Phoebe Lodema Merrill, Melissa Ruth Merrill, Ferdinand Daniel Merrill, Daniel Morgan Merrill

History - Phebe (or Pheobe) Odle (or Odell) was born in April 1788 in Byron, Genesee County, N.Y., to Lucy Milda Weaver and Jonas Odle. When Phebe was about 3 she moved with her family to Albany, N.Y., where she met Samuel Merrill.

There were hundreds of families of American Revolutionary soldiers gathering at Albany at this time. Most of these families were from the New England states. Samuel Merrill came to this area as a boy in the family of his father, Jared Merrill.

Phebe and Samuel were married Sept. 10, 1802, in Oneida County, N.Y., when Phebe was 15 years old. They moved into a one-room log cabin which had been built with the help of all the boys and men of the community. At this cabin Phebe bore her three eldest children. War parties of the northern Indians often passed through the area on their way to the Ohio River, and Phebe's father was killed after one encounter with the Indians. After this Phebe began helping her mother care for the youngest children (her brothers and sisters.

In 1819 a number of Odles and Merrills moved back to Genessee County. The move was made during the winter to lessen the chances of another encounter with the Indians. Eight more children were born to Phebe and Samuel in this area. Again in 1831 the family decided to move, this time to the newly settled territory of Michigan. Phebe's family built a home at Shelby's Township, Macomb County, Michigan. About this time missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints entered the area. Phebe and her husband joined the Church and moved to Nauvoo or Carthage, Illinois, by 1832. Here they lived for more than 10 years.

When the decision came to abandon Nauvoo and travel west to the Salt Lake Valley, Phebe was 60 years old. Her early frontier training gave her a knowledge of herbs and their uses, so she was called upon frequently to nurse sick people in her company.

Phebe and Samuel traveled to Council Bluffs, Iowa, but did not stay long. Their training made them valuable trail blazers. They reached the Salt Lake Valley on Oct. 1, 1847, in Captain Jacob Foutz' company. They settled in Salt Lake City and soon many of their grown children joined them in the area.

Phebe died in Salt Lake City on Jan. 26, 1862, and was buried in the Salt Lake City cemetery. Samuel had entered plural marriage in 1853 with Anna Frederickson. This couple had two children together. Samuel survived Phebe by 16 years and died in Salt Lake City on Sept. 25, 1878.

Phebe was a quiet woman. She had a reputation for discovering sick or discouraged people and nursing them back to good health. Her talent made her a great asset to the Church in its early years.

By Daryl James from "James/Hatch One Minute Histories" (1994).



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  • Created by: SMSmith
  • Added: 30 Oct 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 30995326
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Phoebe Odell Merrill (22 Apr 1788–26 Jan 1862), Find A Grave Memorial no. 30995326, citing Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by SMSmith (contributor 46491005) .