ELIZABETH JANE GREEN
Biography by Cora Beck Adamson and amended by Rodney Orr Chapman
19 Feb 1840 – 2 Apr, 1890
Elizabeth Jane Green was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, South Wales, 19 Feb 1840, the daughter of Richard William Green and Anna Phillips. Elizabeth was the second child in a family of nine children, she being the eldest daughter. Richard Charles 1-15 Mar 1838, Elizabeth Jane 19 Feb 1840, Ann 1841, David Donovan 27 April 1842, Edward Staffard 27 Apr 1842, Mary Ann 22 Feb 1846, Charley James 9 May 1848, Hannah Maria 3 Aug 1850, William Richard 10 June 1853.
It is rather difficult to say whether Elizabeth was born in Wales or England for Newport is a sea coast town on the Bristol Channel. Monmouthshire is a county in England, but for some statistical and ecclesiastical purposes is also included in Wales. Therefore, the Greens were living in Wales and England too.
We have two pictures of Greens: one of Richard William Green and one of Anna Phillips, parents of Elizabeth Jane. They are evidently some of the first tintypes ever made. These tintypes are in the possession of Hamilton and Candace Orr, children of Osborne and Emma Orr, the grandchildren of Elizabeth Jane. They live out in Clover, Utah. All of my life, I have heard Mother speak of her cousins at Clover and the wonderful times that she had with Candace and James as children in Avon, Cache County, Utah.
It was a great thrill to me to walk up to the door of a lovely house in Clover and ask of a very pretty lady just about my mother’s age, “Are you Candace Orr?” She answered that her name was Candace Walters, but that she used to be Candace Orr. After being made welcome and talking for a while, I asked her if there were any pictures of her grandparents. I also told her that at one time my mother had visited with Candace’s mother and that she had shown my mother a lovely picture of Elizabeth Jane Green Orr. Candace said that somewhere in the house she had an old picture of her grandmother that was taken as a young girl. She brought out a little cedar chest and I was so excited for at last I was going to see a picture of my Great Grandmother. However, she couldn’t find the key to the chest, so it was difficult to hide my disappointment.
She very graciously told me that she would take the picture to a photographer and have one made and sent it to me. I was so disappointed, I could have cried. Her son Dale, sensing my disappointment said to his mother that he could take the hinges off the chest without harming it in any way. She consented and very soon I had the pleasure of looking at a picture of a lovely young girl with beautiful long black hair. Her hair was parted in the middle and hung loose to her waist. She had nice even features and large expressive dark eyes. Although, we are not certain, we can assume that her eyes must have been brown because so many of her descendants have such large brown eyes. She was very well dressed and had on a pretty necklace and beautiful earrings. She looked as if she were the daughter of well-to-do people. Information gathered to date would indicate that this picture is of Elizabeth Jane’s mother, Anna Phillips, taken before she left Wales in 1850.
Candace said that she knew that there were some more pictures, but that they were down in her mother’s old home and that her brother Hamilton lived there at the present time. She said that she would go down and see him in a few days and see if she could find the pictures and that she would sent them to me. I was so impatient and anxious that I coaxed her to come with us and finally we went down to Hamilton’s house.
He lived in a little picturesque frame house, covered with Lilac bushes so that you could hardly see the windows. Part of the rooms were in a lean-to on the back. Hamilton’s big friendly dog lay on the floor by his knee and I envied him his quiet life. He has never married and I don’t think that I have ever met a better looking man or a nicer one. He must have spent a lifetime of devotion to his mother and stayed on the farm at Clover and raised a few head of beef and a few acres of hay and not asking much of this life, but just to have his dog and his solitude.
One wonders why he did not marry and raise a family. And why he had not joined in the hustle and bustle of getting all of the things from this life that we work so hard for. One also wonders if these are the important things when so much is missed by the hurry of our daily life. It made me thing of the Samuel Walter Foss poem, “House By the Side of the Road, i.e. Let me live in the House by the side of the road and watch the rest of the world go by.” We might add here that the world does hurry by.
Candace asked Hamilton about his mother’s pictures and he answered “I don’t know, I’ve never touched them.” Candace asked if she could get them and he gave his consent. She went into the other room and came out with some pictures carefully wrapped in tissue and brown paper. It was such a thrill to find a picture of Elizabeth Jane Green as a young mother and five of her sons, a picture of my grandfather James Copeland Orr, taken before he left on a mission, a picture of Charley, Walter, Richard and Earnest. Some of these pictures had been taken up at Mercur, probably when the boys had taken some produce to market or gone up to Mercur on a date or to a dance. Mercur at this time was one of the biggest towns in Utah and the people of Clover and St. John sold nearly all of their produce at Mercur.
After showing me the pictures, they were very reluctant to let a so-called stranger take them. They had never seen or heard of me before that day and the pictures they had, had been treasured for a century by these people and their parents before them. For the tintype of Richard Green and his wife must have been taken in Wales before 1853.
Richard Green and his family had been converted to the Mormon Church in Wales by the missionaries sometime before 1853. Richard Green forsook the great honor that he held as Grandmaster of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Newport, England. When he heard of the great truth, he readily gave up his home and all, to join the saint in America. His wife, Anna Phillips, was a member of the Rebeccas and she too joined her husband and came to America on the Sail Ship Martha Whitmore in 1853. Elizabeth was 13 years old at this time.
I talked to Hamilton and Candace for some time explaining to them the purpose for wanting the pictures and the great desire I had to share the things of importance that I found out concerning our ancestors. They told me that I could take the pictures, providing that I did not mail them back to them. This meant that I would have to deliver the pictures in person. No one will ever know the thrill of happiness that was in my heart when I was able to deliver the pictures back to Clover and restore them to their owners. I also gave them some copies for their loved ones.
When the Green family left England, I don’t think they could even imagine the long tedious journey that lay ahead of them in the land of America for it was to be nine long years before they could again have a home in the land of the Rocky Mountains. After eleven weeks on the ocean, they landed at New Orleans. We do not know anything of their trip from there, but we do know that they did not come to Utah until 1862. They Evidently stayed at Lincoln, Nebraska. Richard W. Green came to Utah a year before the family. They joined him here in Utah in 1863. On the microfilms in the Genealogical Library someone has written a history of Hannah Green, sister of Elizabeth and it states: “Hannah Green came to American at the age of three on the sailing ship Martha Whitmore which left Liverpool October 1853, and it required eleven weeks to cross to New Orleans. It was eight years, however, before the family came to Utah having left Nebraska City 2 July 1862, and arriving in Salt Lake 22 September 1862. They were about ten weeks on the plains. The trip across the plains was made by Ox team, independent of any organized company.”
Brother DeStJoer was captain of the company of the Saints on the ship. Elizabeth and her family remained in Salt Lake City visiting friends until after General Conference in October 1862, and then moved out to Tooele County, seeking locations at Pine Canyon by Grantsville and finally settling at Shambip. Shambip means “rushes” and was the original name of Clover.
While remaining at Lincoln, Nebraska the family stayed at the home of Jerry Whitehouse. Hannah related an interesting incident of buying three chickens from the Whitehouse family with the money she had found along the Pioneer Trail coming to Nebraska. The money was in the denominations of half dimes and dimes and amounted to about a dollar.
Richard W. Green engaged in raising hemp and making rope. This rope was sold in Salt Lake City. The first year that he made this rope was in 1864, and he was awarded three prizes at the State Fair. He had brought the hemp seed (marijuana) to Utah together with other seed including rye and flax. He also built two mills on Clover Creek. This is a lazy little stream of water that flows down through the little town of Clover and on each side grows beautiful green grass and willow trees. This must have looked very refreshing to the pioneers as they drove through the hot sage brush country of Rush Valley.
Richard, a brother of Elizabeth, built a cane mill in 1866 and made molasses to sell. In the year 1865, a fort was built around the Shambip meeting house due to an Indian scare. The stockade was built of upright posts and the pioneers spent two weeks in the fort. The old fort was so crowded that they decided that they would take chances on being killed rather than congregate there.
Very shortly after settling in Shambip, Elizabeth must have met James Orr, who at this time was thirty two years of age. James had joined the church in Scotland when he was about nineteen years of age. He came to Utah with his parents in 1853, and they settled in Grantsville. He was the son of Robert Orr and Elizabeth McQueen Orr. James and his brother Matthew moved to Clover where land was good and very inexpensive. The story has been told that one day in Clover, Matthew spotted two of the prettiest girls of a family who had recently come to Clover from England riding in the back of a wagon. Said Matthew to James, “I’ll take that one and you take the other.” They did! Matthew married Mary Ann Green and James married Elizabeth Jane Green.
Elizabeth had lovely black hair that she wore long and was a very beautiful person. James could play the violin and dance the Highland Fling very well. They were married sometime in 1863, very likely in Clover or Shambip, as it was then called. James had his endowments in the old Endowment House in Salt Lake in 1858, so it is unlikely that Elizabeth and James were married in the Endowment House because her endowments were not done until 1901.
On the first of January 1864, a son was born to this couple and they names him James Copeland Orr. The Copeland name was for his Great Grandmother Elizabeth who was born in Ireland. They lived in a small log house in Clover and James worked on the farm and played the fiddle for the people to dance in the evenings. He sold all of his produce up in Mercur. Elizabeth was the mother of seven boys, all born between the years 1864 and 1877: James Copeland, Osborne Llewelyn, Charlie, Malcolm C. Walter Scott, Richard and Earnest Eugene.
It must have been a great disappointment to this lovely mother when her last baby was born for it was a little girl and within a few hours after birth died. She was never in good health after this. None of the boys were ever baptized at eight years old and the question that arises in our minds is that after these two devoted parents had joined the church and made such a great sacrifice to come to Utah, why did they not have one son baptized at the age of accountability?
When James was 24 years of age, he was baptized in Grantsville, Utah with Zine St. Joer, his cousin, and in 1888 was called on a mission for this church. They say that his mother didn’t want him to go as perhaps she had a premonition that she would never see this eldest son again in this life. James left on his mission 8 November 1888 to the Southern States. In June the following year, Osborne was married to Emma Williams. They had a wedding supper in Clover and set the table for thirteen persons. Elizabeth, being rather superstitions, said that she would not sit down to the table with thirteen plates on it, so another plate was placed on the table and James’ picture was laid on the plate.
Osborne and Emma, during the summer of 1889, left on a trip to Malad, Idaho and took Charlie and Malcolm with them in a wagon. It was a very hot day when they came to the Bear River so Charlie and Malcolm decided to take a swim in the cool river. To the great sorrow of this family, Charlie was drowned. Osborne and Malcolm tried in every way to save this young man but to no avail. They found his body and made the sad trip back to Clover to tell the parents and rest of the family of this tragic incident. Charlie was just 23 years of age. It is said that Elizabeth never really got over it. Does one ever get over the loss of a loved one or do we merely get used to not having them around?
Malcolm had tried his very best to save his younger brother, but was not successful. Malcolm was very well liked by all who knew him but to the dismay of his mother, he drank to excess. His father James also over indulged. It is supposed that this could be the reason why James Copeland Orr was so opposed to drink and why he always cautioned his family to never drink alcohol under any circumstances. He had seen what it could do to the people that he loved so much.
Elizabeth died of cancer of the liver 2 April 1890. It was a great loss to her family. A letter was sent to James in the Southern States Mission, but he was not able to come home at this time. Three months later word was sent to him that his father was very ill. He started for home and when he got off the train at St. John he was surprised to see his family waiting for the train to arrive, as he hadn’t had any way to let his family know when to expect him. He was told the family was there to pick up a coffin that had been unloaded on the siding. He asked who it was for and he was told that it was for his father. It must have been a sad home coming for this eldest son of this fine couple as he rode home to Clover on his father’s casket.
This beautiful woman left a fine heritage for her sons and a great love in the hearts of these fine boys that she had raised. James always used to tell his children about his mother’s beautiful black hair and how pretty she was. His oldest daughter was named Maggie Elizabeth and he always said that she had hair like her Grandmother. She was a wonderful mother and she had taught her children well. My Grandfather was one of the best men that ever lived and I am sure that his brothers Walter, Osborne, Richard and Ernest were good men also.
Malcolm, one day after being on a drinking party, came to the home of Osborne and Emma, where he was living at the time and said that he was going to Nevada to the gold mines and get rich. He said that if he didn’t get rich that he would never come back. Emma, his sister-in-law thought a great deal of Mac and begged him to go to bed for a while and that she would get him something to eat. She also told him that if after a good nights rest he still persisted in going that she would fix his clothes for him and help him on his way. Her efforts were futile however. He crawled into a wagon and left with very little money and clothing. It was a sad day for Osborne and Emma. Candace said that her mother cried for a long time about Uncle Mac. Mac was approximately 30 years of age when he decided to leave home. He was last heard of somewhere in Nevada. He then disappeared and they have never heard from him again. The last thing they heard about his was that he left Abatrope, Nevada on a cart with a man by the name of Priest. At the time they said he was carrying two or three hundred dollars with him. Abatrope is near Gold Hill, Nevada. It was said by some that they think he might have been murdered for his few dollars. His brother Osborne, at one time hired a detective to look for him. His brothers naturally felt bad and would always wonder what happened to him. In spite of his over indulgence with alcohol, everyone in Clover that can remember Mac speaks well of him. In hunting for a picture of Malcolm, it seemed at first as if we were not going to be able to locate one. Then someone remembered that there was one of Mac with the Green boys.
I wrote to Wallace Severs, a son of Elizabeth Orr Severe (an aunt of James Copeland Orr), sister of James Orr and daughter of Robert Orr and Elizabeth McQueen Orr). Wallace Severe sent me a picture of Walter and also another one of Charley. Malcolm was a very good looking young man. Wallace also stated in a nice letter to me that James Copeland and his cousin Douglas Todd left Clover together to go to school Douglas graduated from the Karl G. Maeser School at Provo, but James went to school at the LDS College in Salt Lake City.
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