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 Ellen <I>Sanders</I> Kimball

Ellen Sanders Kimball

Telemark fylke, Norway
Death 22 Nov 1871 (aged 48)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Memorial ID 65768 · View Source
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Daughter of Osten (Ystein) Sondresen and Aase Olsen (Olsdatter)

Married Heber Chase Kimball, 5 Nov 1844, Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois

Children - Samuel Chase Kimball, Augusta Kimball, Rosalia Kimball, Jedediah Heber Chase Grant Kimball, Joseph Smith Kimball

History - In the village or parish of Ten, Telemarken, Norway, was born in the year 1824 a little girl who in after years was known as Ellen Sanders Kimball. No part of this title was hers originally, her maiden name, Ellen Sanders, being bestowed upon her in America, probably for the reason that it was more easily pronounced than the Norwegian name with which she was christened as an infant in her far off native land. She was the daughter of Ysten and Aasa Sondrason, and her own full name was Aagaata Ysten Dater Bake, which by interpretation is Aagaata, Ysten's daughter, of the Bake farm. She was the third born of the household, there being in all seven children, five girls and two boys, namely, Caroline, Margaret, Ellen, Helga, Sondra, Aasa and Ole. Helga's name was Anglicised to Harriet, and Ole was surnamed George.

Ellen's father was a farmer, and though not wealthy, was considered prosperous in that country, where the sum of two thousand dollars, which would have covered the value of his earthly possessions, was deemed at that time, among folk of his class, quite a fortune. As a farmer's daughter among the mountains of Norway her life was doubtless frugal and peaceful, and her habits industrious and thrifty. She possessed a kind, sympathetic heart and a very hospitable nature, but was not always of a happy disposition. Her moods were often extreme, sometimes merry, sometimes melancholy. She had an intelligent mind, and her spirit was brave and true.

In the early part of 1837, when Ellen was about thirteen years old, her parents, with a view to improving their temporal condition and providing more liberally for the future of their children, resolved to emigrate to America. The farm was sold and the family fitted out for the journey. Leaving home, they proceeded to Skeen, or Dramen, and embarked for Guttenborg, Sweden, where they arrived in the early part of June. There they took passage on board a Swedish brig laden with iron and bound for New York.

Among the passengers, likewise emigrating with his parents to the New World, was a lad named Canute Peterson. He was about the age of Ellen, both having been born the same year. If young Peterson possessed the same genial qualities that characterized the man in after life, which there is no reason to doubt, he probably did much for the homeless emigrants, his countrymen, in whiling away the tedium of the long voyage over the ocean. The Hogan family, relatives of the Sondrasons, came in the same ship. The company, after several weeks upon the sea, landed at New York about the middle of August. At Chicago, to which point they proceeded, Ellen with her parents and the rest of the family separated from the Petersons and Hogans, who remained in Illinois, and went to the State of Indiana, where her father took up land, built a house, plowed and put in crops. He was a generous man, so much so that he had retained but little of the means realized from the sale of his possessions in Norway. After paying the passage of himself and family over the ocean, he had quite a sum of money left, but had lent or given away the greater part of it to poor people whom he met on the way. He had a stout heart and a strong arm, however, and went to work with a will to found a new home in the land of his adoption.

About a year after they landed in America, Ellen's mother sickened and died. Her elder sister Margaret had died some time before. Some three weeks after her mother's death, her father, who was ill at the same time, also succumbed and passed away. Thus thick and fast misfortunes fell upon them. The orphaned children, left among strangers, soon lost what remained of their father's property, and a year or two after his death, removed from Indiana to Illinois, making their way to La Salle County, where dwelt some relatives and others speaking their native tongue. There the children separated, the girls finding employment as hired help in families, and the boys securing labor suited to their tender years. They were about eight miles from the town of Ottawa, where Ellen lived in service for a while. Up to this time neither she nor her kindred had heard of Mormonism, or if hearing of it, had formed any definite idea concerning the new religion, which had swept over several of the states and had been brought to the attention of the government at Washington. Nauvoo, the gathering place of the Saints, was about one hundred and eighty miles from La Salle.

Sometime in the year 1842 Elder George P. Dykes and a fellow missionary named Hendrickson came into La Salle County preaching the Gospel. In the spring or summer of the same year, Ellen joined the Latter-day Saints Church, being baptized, with her brother Sondra, by an elder named Duall. Her sister Harriet joined several months later. A branch was raised up in La Salle, numbering nearly one hundred souls; Ole Hyer being its president, and young Canute Peterson a member. Subsequently Apostles Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Parley P. Pratt visited the place to organize a stake of Zion to be called "New Norway." Some surveys were made, and the project was then abandoned. In October, 1844, Ellen Sanders with her sister Harriet, her little brother Sondra and Canute Peterson went to Nauvoo, arriving in that city a day or two before the general conference of the Church. Sondra returned to La Salle with his employer, Jacob Anderson, who had brought the party by team to the city of the martyred Seer. Ellen and Harriet continued to "live out," the former first dwelling in the family of Charles C. Rich, and afterwards in the family of Heber C. Kimball, of which, on the 7th of January, 1846, she became a permanent member. She and her sister Harriet were both married to Apostle Kimball in the Temple by President Brigham Young.

At the organization of the Pioneer company on the Missouri River, Ellen Kimball was permitted to accompany her husband upon the westward journey, for the hardships of which the toils and trials of her early life had well inured her. She was poorly prepared, however, for the scene of desolation into which she was suddenly ushered when on July 24th, 1847, she gazed for the first time upon the barren valley of the desert-laving Inland Sea. During the absence of her husband, who on August 26th of that year set out upon the return journey to the Missouri River to bring the rest of his family to the Valley, Mrs. Kimball dwelt in the fort erected by the pioneers. Subsequently she had a home on City Creek. While living in the fort her first child was born, a son named Samuel, who died within a year. Of the four children born to her, subsequently, the eldest two, Joseph S. and Augusta, were twins, who died in their youth.

In 1869, the year after the death of her husband, Mrs. Kimball removed with many others of his family to Meadowville, in Bear Lake Valley, where she lived with her children. She still owned property in Salt Lake City, and several times visited her friends here. In the summer or fall of 1871 she returned for the last time to the Valley which she had been one of the first to enter nearly a quarter of a century before. She came to consult a physician regarding a dropsical affection that was troubling her. Temporary relief was obtained, but she suffered a relapse, and repairing to the home of her brother, Sondra Sanders, in South Cottonwood, on the 22nd of November, 1871, she breathed her last.

Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 8, p. 177

Biography of Ellen Sanders

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, Brigham Young Pioneer Company (1847); Age at Departure: 22

Family Members

Gravesite Details Information for this memorial was obtained from the 1900 register of the cemetery and from the families of those buried here.




  • Maintained by: SMSmith
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 65768
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ellen Sanders Kimball (11 Apr 1823–22 Nov 1871), Find A Grave Memorial no. 65768, citing Kimball-Whitney Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by SMSmith (contributor 46491005) .