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 Jane Geneva <I>Robinson</I> Bybee

Jane Geneva Robinson Bybee

Clay County, Nebraska, USA
Death 7 Jun 1922 (aged 73)
Uintah, Weber County, Utah, USA
Burial Uintah, Weber County, Utah, USA
Plot 2-28-E4
Memorial ID 61414 · View Source
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Daughter of Joseph Lee Robinson and Laurinda Maria Atwood

Married Byram Levi Bybee, 14 Jul 1865, Mountain Green, Morgan, Utah

Children - Laurinda Geneva Bybee, Alice Elnora Bybee, Annabell Bybee, Byram Lee Bybee, Emma Lucene Bybee, Laron Lafayette Bybee, Maud Laun Bybee, Joseph Orin Bybee, Laura May Bybee, Zina Pearl Bybee, Sylvia Josephine Bybee

History - Sometime between 1856 and 1858, Byram Lee moved his family to Mountain Green, up Weber Canyon, in Morgan County. While there, Byram Levi, now a young man of 15 or 16, met a very lovely young lady, Jane Geneva Robinson. Her father, with one of his wives, and family, had pioneered Mountain Green.

Byram Lee's family lived only a short time in Mountain Green and then returned to Uintah. However, it was long enough for Byram Levi to decide he wanted to marry Jane and he wasn't too happy about moving back to Uintah, at this time.

In 1858, when Johnson's Army threatened the valley, the Bybee's, along with other Mormon families, moved south to Dixie, as instructed by Brigham Young. Byram Levi went with his parents. However, about a year later, Byram still thinking of the "lady fair," at Mountain Green, received permission from his parents to return to their home in Weber County so he could court Jane. His mother baked him some bread, his father gave him several cows, and with his gun and very few personal belongings, Byram bade his parents goodbye, not realizing that would be the last time he would see his father alive. Byram Lee Bybee died in Washington, Utah on the 27 June 1864, and was buried there. After his death, his wife, Elizabeth Ann (Betsy) Lane Bybee, moved to Smithfield, Utah to live with their son, Robert Lee. She died in Smithfield, 7 May 1867, and was buried there.

For nearly a month Byram trudged along, telling his cows of his thoughts and dreams, his hopes and fears. When he was hungry, he would milk the cow, catch some milk in the cup, dunk some bread in the milk and have his meal. He could not hunt for food, although he was an expert with the gun, because he had to watch the cows. However, he did spend a night or two along with way with some of the saints and was well fed.

When Byram reached Uintah, he lost no time in preparing for his marriage. At least the courting began. He would ride his horse over the Indian trails in horseshoe bend in Weber Canyon, to Mountain Green to see Jane. He would take her to a dance, and more often than naught, he would play his fiddle, call the dance, and square dance with Jane all at the same time. He was a good singer and a good violinist, although he had never had a lesson and played by ear.

His courting won the "Lady," and Byram Levi and Jane Geneva Robinson were married in Mountain Green, on Jane's 17th birthday. She was born while her parents were crossing the plains, on 14 July 1848, to Joseph Lee Robinson and Laurinda Maria Atwood. They were sealed on 2 February 1867 in the Salt Lake Endowment House.

Byram and Jane built their home in Uintah by the side of a hill, near a spring. It was a two storied adobe home. There were several bedrooms upstairs, a large kitchen and a large living room down stairs, an outside door on the west and one on the south. They also had a large porch on the south, several feet high, to dry their fruit.

The water for household use was carried from the spring; the stove used for heating and cooking was a four hole wood stove. They always kept a one gallon capacity teakettle on the stove and always the fire was burning to have the water hot.

Jane would catch rain water for washing clothes. The water was heated in a large tube on top of the stove. Later, they bought a stove with a reservoir that held five gallons of water, and finally they got a stove with both a reservoir and a warming oven.

They used candles for light and Jane made her own candles. They had not refrigeration, so the meat was kept in a salt solution called brine, which cured the meat. Then the meat was hung in the basement for summer use. During the cold months they would kill a beef or hog and hand it in the granary to cut as needed. Everyone was welcome at the Bybee home, friends or strangers, and no one ever went away hungry.

The family did not have many luxuries, but they did have an organ, and many wonderful evenings were spent listening to the organ and singing songs together as a family. All of the girls learned to play the organ. Byram loved music and gaiety, but abhorred confusion.

Byram was a stern man, but loving and kind. He would not allow his children to bicker or find fault one with another.
Most of the children went barefoot around the home and yard, only wearing shoes on special occasions and to church on Sunday.

The Christmas Holiday was very simple. They did not have a tree. The children would hang their stockings on the windowsill and in the morning they would have candy, nuts, raisins, and an orange in their stocking. Thanksgiving holiday was always observed by having a chicken dinner and mince pies and plum pudding.

Byram was about 5'9" tall and weighed about 160 pounds. His wife Jane was about 5' tall and weighed about 175 pounds. Byram was of sandy complexion, blue-grey eyes, medium brown hair, and a full, well-trimmed beard. He always stood as straight as an arrow.

Byram was a leader in the community; a Justice of the Peace; and an Indian interpreter. He also helped clear the land of sagebrush, dig irrigation ditches, repair channels of the Weber River and build the road thru Devil's Gate in Weber Canyon. This project was hard because there wasn't any dynamite for crushing the large boulders, so they used hammers to pound the boulders until they were broken into pieces small enough for the men to carry them.

Byram also tried prospecting in Cottonwood Canyon, but his project was not lucrative and was of a short duration. He was the road supervisor for the first Uintah Dugway which was built in 1898 and wages were $1.80 a single hand, for ten hours work, and $3.40 a day for a team, plow or scraper and they had to furnish their own equipment.

In the late 1860's and early 1870's, Byram and his brother David operated a sawmill in Cottonwood Canyon in Morgan. They manufactured railroad ties for the U.P. Railroad. Byram also used his expertness as a marksman to supply the camp with deer and bear meat, along with pine hens. One of the canyons in that area is called Bybee, after the sawmill.

Byram lived most of his life as a farmer and stockman. He raised fruit, mostly apples, corn and some alfalfa. They always paid their tithing with produce. They would also give fruit to the Indians for them to dry for their winter use.

The Indians always went to a spot unknown to Byram for their winter camp, but each year as spring came, so did the Indians, and they would make their camp on the hill above the Bybee home.

The horse power threshing machine would tour the country and visited Byram's farm each threshing season. The workers would always stay overnight and were fed the best food Jane could prepare. However, they also helped themselves to any fruit or produce on the farm and would waste much, even food provided for their animals...which upset Byram very much because he always believed that to "waste not was to want not." He was always glad when threshing season was over. Their main source of income was derived from their cows. They would make and sell butter for about 15 or 20 cents per pound. This job was Jane's.

In 1879, there was a diphtheria epidemic and Byram and Jane's family was afflicted. They were advised to give their children whiskey, but, being a religious family, they declined. However, two of their children died: Alice Elnora, and Anna Belle. Alice had planted a white rose bush by the west side of their house and realizing that she was going to die, requested roses from this bush be placed on her grave. Ten days after Alice passed away, Anna Belle succumbed. She, too, knew she was going to die and she asked for wild flowers from the hill side be placed on her grave. After the death of these two daughters, the other children were given whiskey and recovered from the disease.

As mentioned, Byram was an expert sharpshooter and an avid hunter. He would build his own ammunition. He had a long handled spoon which he put in front of the fire grate, melt the lead and pour it into a bullet mould. When it cooled he would have a perfect bullet. The next night he would load the shells and crimp them many times, they then were ready for use.

At this time, there were no specified season or limit on wild game and Byram furnished several meat markets in Ogden, and an Ogden hotel with wild meat. He would take the hides from the deer to the Indians for tanning. They would tan them and return to Byram one hide out of every three, so he always had plenty of buckskin strings.

Although during his life he was strong, erect and active, the last six months of his life, Byram Levi was an invalid, suffering from an unknown malady, getting weaker every day, and although he never complained, he was in terrible pain and his body withered away until he could not walk and was carried by his son, Orin.

Byram Levi Bybee was known and loved for his honesty and integrity, and ever ready wit. He was a hardworking man and devoted to his family. He died free from debt on 7 July 1905, at Uintah, Utah and was buried there. His wife, Jane Geneva Robinson, died at her home in Uintah on 7 June 1922, and was buried by her husband, Byram Levi Bybee.

Two years after Byram died, his sister Rhoda Bird Bybee Bair came to visit her family, whom she had not seen in over 64 years. She had married before Byram was born and her husband was bitter toward the Mormons and would not allow Rhoda to visit her family. After her husband's death, she came west, but too late to see her youngest brother, Byram Levi. After Rhoda's visit, she returned to the east. She was the only one of Byram Lee Bybee's family that did not join the church.




  • Maintained by: Leslie P. Fowers
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 61414
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jane Geneva Robinson Bybee (14 Jul 1848–7 Jun 1922), Find A Grave Memorial no. 61414, citing Uintah Cemetery, Uintah, Weber County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Leslie P. Fowers (contributor 46928696) .