Lettice Brown <I>Eckersall</I> Redford

Lettice Brown Eckersall Redford

Whitefield, Metropolitan Borough of Bury, Greater Manchester, England
Death 1 Mar 1900 (aged 86)
Wellsville, Cache County, Utah, USA
Burial Wellsville, Cache County, Utah, USA
Memorial ID 39779362 · View Source
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Lettice's mother died in August, six months after she was born, leaving six children: Thomas, John, Alice, David, James, and Lettice. The family was very poor. As the children grew up and were old enough to work, they did their share to keep the family together. The girls did the housework and cooked also helped by working in the cotton factories, thus enabling the family to obtain the bare necessities needed in life. Her father married Elizabeth or Betty Whittaker, 12 Aug 1817, at Prestwich, England.

Lettice worked in the factory and lived at home with her family where she was happy, as they were very kind to her. They were spiritually-minded people. They also taught their children to be honest and thrifty. Lettice with expressive brown eyes and dark hair grew into a beautiful young woman. She had a typical English personality, a romantic and lovable temperament. From early childhood she had been a talented singer, rendering leading solo parts in the local church choir of which she was a member.

She met and married William Crossley. A daughter was born to this union, 19 Nov 1836, whom they christened Betty. William died of consumption, 2 July 1837. Lettice was heartbroken. She and her little daughter returned to live with her father also back to her old job at the factory to help with expenses.

One evening as she was on her way home from work, she was attracted to a crowd in the street and joined them. She learned they were LIDS missionaries and as they were singing a Mormon Hymn, she listened to the words, finding them different from any song she had ever heard. The elders then preached to the group. She became very interested and often attended their meetings secretly and unbeknown to her father, because of his bitterness towards the Mormons and their religion. Elder Walker baptized and confirmed her in 1840.

One evening as Lettice was preparing to attend a meeting, her father inquired as to where she was going. She hesitated to answer him and he suspected she had been attending the Mormon meetings. He was very angry and denounced her religion, giving her a choice of abandoning it or leaving home. Rather than sacrifice the peace of mind she had found in her new religion, she packed her few belongings and bid her little daughter goodbye, as her father had forbidden Lettice to take the baby with her. It was winter and a bad storm raged on. The ground was covered with snow. She started down the street and was befriended by a neighbor, Mrs. Mary Mather. Lettice made her home with these good people for some time. Her older sister, Alice, lived thirty miles away. She had always been friendly toward Lettice but had been sick much of the time. Lettice went to visit her but not too often as her money was limited. Lettice was the only member of her family to join the Church.

She became acquainted with Robert Redford who wanted to be friendly with her but had very little encouragement until he was baptized into the Mormon Church. Their wedding date was set for 12 Apr 1841 and after Banns, (the less expensive way to be married. Three succeeding Sundays their intent of marriage on this date also the names were announced from the pulpit by the minister. During this three week waiting period any person was at liberty to come forth and state reasons why the marriage should not take place) was solemnized in the Collegiate Church of Manchester in Lancashire County. Both were twenty seven years of age. Five sons and one daughter were born to them.

Because of their religion it became more difficult to make a living from their green grocery business. Robert and Lettice discussed their financial difficulties with the elders of the church and he was advised to immigrate to America. When Lettice gave her consent for him to go she felt it would not be long before he could earn enough money to send for her and the children. Robert sailed for America 27 November 1854 on the "Clara Wheeler". Lettice never saw him again as he died before she left England.

After their father left the two older boys tried to go on managing the business by taking the donkey and cart about but they could not make enough to keep the fainfly going so they finally had to sell it to someone else. Joseph Smith and John, ages 13 and 11, obtained employment at the Print and Dye Works but were allowed only half day's work until they reached the age of 14.

Two months after Robert's departure their sixth child, Ephraim, was born 6 July 1855 at Halfacre. It was difficult for Lettice to make a living for her family. As times became worse, flour was very scarce and she was fortunate to get enough to make bread for her family. After the bread was made she would gather her children around her in prayer to thank the Lord and ask that it might last until she could get more for them. They were admonished to never waste anything, not even a crumb of bread. The family would have gone hungry many times had it not been for the missionaries, who called on them often.

Lettice worked in the factories with her children to help make the living. They worked at Farrer's Factory. The family moved to Besses oth' Barn then later to Chapelfield, located on the hill leading into the City of Radcliffe. They attended the LDS Church Branch meetings there. Lettice taught her children love and devotion for the gospel and how to sing the gospel hymns.

At the age of nineteen Joseph Smith was determined to see what he could do to relieve the family from their poverty. They had received no money from their father for passage to America1 so at the wish of his mother, he contacted his aunts and uncles for assistance. He received nothing but scoffs and discouragement. He made up his mind to go to America. Lettice decided if Joseph could get there then John should go too. Soon after they had gone Ephraim took hick with consumption and suffered for three years. The Elders came often to administer to him. During one of these visits Elder Hatch said he was prompted three times to ordain Ephraim to the office of an Elder, and finally followed his promptings, doing the ordination. Abraham was somewhat confused as to what was going on when he heard the Elders mention in the prayer that Ephraim would go on a great mission. He asked his mother if this was so. Being hard of hearing, Lettice had not heard all of the blessing which had been given to her son. Abraham repeated it for her and after hearing it she said her boy was not going to be with them for long. Ephraim had saved some pennies which had been given to him during his illness. These he gave to his mother, saying she would have a hard time to bury him. He passed away 8 Nov 1865 at the age of ten. It truly was a hard time for Lettice also a very sad one. At this time she had a dream about her husband passing away in Utah and the exact place in the cemetery where he was buried. She later related this incident to her family.

After the death of Ephraim, Ann came to America with a family, tending their two children on the journey to pay for her passage. She was twenty one years of age. It was a sad parting, leaving her mother and two younger brothers in England. Finally the money came for Lettice and her dream was at last realized when she and her two sons left Liverpool, 30 June 1868 on the steamer, "Minnesota", fourteen years after her husband had gone to America.

As the boat pulled into New York Harbor Lettice saw Ann on a ferry boat. They were reunited and went to the immigration office to find they had two days in which to get ready to leave with the Saints for Utah. Lettice was very ill on the way but by the time they reached Laramie, Wyoming, she had recovered enough to continue the journey to Salt Lake City by wagon. They traveled from Laramie in Richard Williams' wagon in Chester Loveland's Mule Train, consisting of forty wagons and about four hundred passengers. Imagine their joy and happiness when about half way to their destination, they met John. He had been called to help with a Cache Valley Train to convey immigrants and take a load of flour to meet Seeley's Train. It had been four years since Lettice had seen her son, John.

They reached Salt Lake City, 20 Aug 1868 and arrived in Wellsville three days later where they lived with John for a short time. The youngest son, Roberts built a large home with a room for his mother, Lettice. (Now the Walker residence) She lived in Robert's home for twenty years and was lovingly taken care of.

The family was very active in Civic and Church affairs. They were devout members of Mt. Sterling Ward which was organized in 1895. Even in her later years Lettice loved to sing. Some of her grandchildren attending church just previous to her eighty-sixth birthday said her voice was still clear and strong. She was rugged in health and had a testimony of the Gospel so strong it animated her very being.

The week following her eighty-sixth birthday, she had retired for the night and Robert had gone to tuck her in. She asked him to turn her on her side. He did so and she remarked to him, "That is fine, now I shall sleep". When Robert entered her room next morning he found her just as he had tucked her in the night before. She had quietly passed away in her sleep. This was 1 March 1900 at Mt. Sterling. She was buried 3 March 1900 in the Wellsville Cemetery be4de her husband. She left a large posterity.
(The foregoing history was taken from family histories belonging to her children and grandchildren.)
Robert Redford and Lettice Eckersall had the following children:

1. Betty [Eckersall] Redford,
2. Joseph Redford
3. John [Eckersall] Redford,
4. Ann [Eckersall] Redford
5. Abraham [Eckersall] Redford,
6. Robert [Eckersall] Redford,
7. Ephraim Redford

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  • Created by: Jess Brown
  • Added: 23 Jul 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 39779362
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lettice Brown Eckersall Redford (22 Feb 1814–1 Mar 1900), Find a Grave Memorial no. 39779362, citing Wellsville Cemetery, Wellsville, Cache County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Jess Brown (contributor 47138782) .