Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jane Vail Johnson Pioneer History

Jane Vail JohnsonJane Vail Johnson came from a home of wealth and education. She joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when only 15 years old and pioneered the rest of her life. With her parents she pioneered through Ohio to Missouri where she married Francis Lee, a young man she met at their home in Indiana.

Jane Vail Lee and Francis lived in wagons, under wagon covers, in log and adobe houses, in tents at Liberty, Clay County Missouri; at Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri; at Payson, Adams County, Illinois; at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois; at Jamestown, Andrew County, Missouri, and points in between.

After staying behind for two years to raise crops and animals for other saints going west, the Lee family arrived in Salt Lake City in 1850. A few days before, President Brigham Young had asked Francis Lee's brothers if they would settle Tooele, Utah. So without unpacking their wagons, Jane Vail Lee moved on with her husband.

After eleven years in Tooele, the Francis Lee family was called to move to Dixie where they experienced both flood and drought.

Finally, in and effort to find feed for their animals, they discovered Meadow Valley and moved there about 1864. Again Jane Vail and her family built a home and farm from nature.

It was in Meadow Valley, later called Panaca, Nevada where Jane prevented an Indian from invading her cabin by hitting him with firewood when he tried to get her to give him her husband's rifle which was hanging over the fireplace. She stood less than 5 feet tall, but terrified the Indian.

After Francis' death, Jane Vail Lee turned her home into the only hotel in the area, where she did a good business serving California travelers and miners. [I have a picture of the Hotel, I think]

Sources: Nauvoo 5th ward list. Tooele and Panaca Ward Records. Panaca tombstones. The Samuel Lee Family History, a Century in Meadow Valley, Jane Vail Johnson Lee's diary. Family Bible. LaRae Free Kerr.

On the hundredth anniversary 24 Oct., 1935. Their posterity numbered 675 descendants 225 separate families 125 son-in-laws, 110 daughter-in-laws have married into the Lee Family

Patriarchal Blessing given to Jane Vail Johnson Lee at Nauvoo, Illinois, in Mar., 1845, by Patriarch John Smith. Daughter of Jacob Johnson Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Edwards, b. 30 Sept., 1815 at Morris Co., New Jersey.

Dear Sister Jane:
I lay my hands upon thy head in the name of Jesus Christ and seal upon thee a father's blessing, it being my office to bless the fatherless. As thou art a daughter of Abraham and of the same lineage with thy companion, thou hast a right to the same blessing and priesthood with him. Thou shalt have power over the destroyer in thine house; sickness shall flee from thy family at thy rebuke. In the absence of thy companion in as much as your faith is one with your companion. Your children shall live until they are old and shall be the pride of your heart. They shall increase and become very numerous and shall be numbered with the excellent of the earth. Thy years shall be according to the desires of thy heart. Be a comfort to your companion all his days and you shall not be separated only for a little while. You shall come up in the morning of the first resurrection with him unto Eternal Life. Be patient sister, suffer not your faith to fail and not one word of this blessing shall fail. Even so Amen. (Church History Office Vol. 9, p. 15)