Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
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Pioneer 1847 Companies

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Decker (Little) (Hanks), Harriet Amelia , 1846 (age 20), Iowa

Harriet Amelia Decker, 1846, Iowa (including death of husband, Edwin Little, at Richardson's Point)

Harriet Amelia Decker was born 13 March 1826, at Phelps, Ontario county, New York, the daughter of Harriet Page Wheeler and Isaac Decker. The family made several moves while Harriet was still a young child; first to Cattaragus county, New York; then to Portage, Ohio, and later to Franklin and Kirtland, Ohio. While living in Portage the family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Harriet was nine years old when she was baptized. The Decker family became close friends of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and Lorenzo Dow Young. They traveled with the Saints to Missouri and then to Illinois. Harriet experienced the fear of the mobs who persecuted the members of the Church.

While living in Winchester, Illinois she met Edwin Sobieski Little, son of Brigham Young's sister, Susannah, and James Little, and was married to him in her father's home by Joseph Young, on the 22nd of March, 1842. Edwin was 26 years of age and even though she was only 16, she was well trained in home making. Their son, George Edwin, was born 6 August, 1844 in Nauvoo, Illinois.

Harriet's mother and father separated the 9th of March, 1843. She later married Lorenzo Dow Young, brother of Brigham Young. Harriet's sisters, Lucy Ann and Clara Decker married Brigham Young. Her sister, Fanny, married Feramorz Little, a brother of her husband; so Harriet and her family were closely associated with the leaders of the Church.

During the time of the exodus from Nauvoo Harriet and Edwin with their son, George, crossed the Mississippi River and it is recorded in Harriet's history, "that Edwin was helping his Uncle Brigham Young across the river with the wagons, when the ice broke through throwing him into the icy water. He gained shore in safety but was chilled and wet."

When the Saints arrived at Richardson's Point, fifty-five miles from Nauvoo, they remained there a few days and several of the brethren found work for which they received corn to sustain their teams. It was here Edwin Little was taken ill with lung fever. He was removed to a house two miles from camp but his condition continued to grow worse and he died on the 18th of March, 1846. He was buried near the present site of Keosauqua, Iowa, in a grove of trees a few rods from the road. The Saints stayed in Winter Quarters the winters of 1847-8.

Source: Our Pioneer Heritage © Carter, Kate B., ed. 20 vols. Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Documents and images are exerpted by permission from the LDS Family History Suite CDROM from Ancestry.