Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Morgan 10: Samuel Linton and Ellen Sutton Linton, Part 1 of 3

Samuel Linton
b. 27 June 1828 Tyrone, Ireland
m. 26 April 1858 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
d. 21 May 1916 Nephi, Juab, Utah
b. 24 May 1916 Nephi, Juab, Utah
Wives: (1) Ellen Sutton, (2) Eleanor Coolidge Chase
Father: William Linton; Mother: Elizabeth Selfridge

Ellen Sutton Linton
b. 22 January 1832 St. Helens, Lancashire, England
d. 1 or 2 April 1909 Nephi, Juab, Utah
b. 5 April 1909 Nephi, Juab, Utah
Husbands: (1) Charles McKetchney, (2) Samuel Linton
Father: John Sutton; Mother: Mary Ellison

County Tyrone, Ireland

Nephi, Utah; May 1908. Samuel Linton, the son of William Linton and Elizabeth Selfridge, born June 27, 1828, in the County of Tyrone, Ireland. My father emigrated to St. Johns, New Brunswick, about 1834 or 1835.

Saint John River, New Brunswick, Canada

When I was 6 or 7 years old I helped father all I could piling brush and light wood such as I could handle. I remained with my father until I was twenty (20), when I went to Philadelphia, with the approbation of my parents. I took passage on a Brigantine loaded with spare timber for New York which I helped to unload. It took us four days. I then took a train for Philadelphia where there was a job waiting for me. I was among strangers, but my friends were very kind to me.

The Linton gravesite at Westminster Cemetery outside Philadelphia, 2005.

Cemeteries tend to move around a lot in Philadelphia. William started out in a different cemetery, but ended up here. There are a number of other family members also buried in this cemetery. 2005.

The next year, 1849, my sister Sarah Jane came on. She lived with my cousin Robert Selfridge his wife and one child. She lived with them until she married Mathew T. R. Ralston. The next year (1850), the family came on. Father only lived a year after he came to Philadelphia (1851). Five years after my father died (1856) I heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and how I came to hear it was this:

There was a great infidel, Joseph Barker of Ohio. He gave out a challenge to any of the ministers of the day to debate with him on the divine authenticity of the Bible, or the being of a God. There was an old gentleman that took him up. They had five nights of a discussion. The Old Presbyterian could do nothing with him. I went every night. This set me to thinking. I made up my mind to go and hear every sect and party that professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In looking over the advertisements in the Daily Ledger to see which of the sects I should visit, I saw the advertisement of the Latter-day Saints which read like this: “Elder Samuel Harrison of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would preach at ten o’clock on Sunday at 7th and Callow Hill, and he would show that neither Protestant nor Catholic had the true gospel preached to them.” This took my attention. I thought they were the most presumptuous people I had heard of, to style themselves the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I thought I must go and hear them first. I was there on time.

The corner in Philadelphia where Samuel Linton first heard the gospel preached. It's not much to look at now; there are no original buildings on any of the four intersections. Here's what the area looked like about thirty years later. Here is a bit of history of the branch at Seventh and Callowhill from the point of view of the RLDS. ("Brighamites" means the part of the church that went to Utah under the direction of Brigham Young.)

The people began to gather in. I thought they were the most sociable, happy people I had ever seen. The Elder came in and went up on the stand and gave out a hymn. I thought it, and the prayer, was the most sensible I had ever heard. He preached from the New Testament, and quoted passages of scripture that I had committed to memory in Methodist Sabbath School, but he applied them in such a different light that it bothered me to understand it. I had inquired about these Mormons, and they said they were Old Joe Smith’s followers, that he had dug up a golden Bible, and they didn’t believe our Bible. Well, I thought that if this is the Book of Mormon, it is very like our Bible, and thought I would ask him to let me see his Book of Mormon, but before he sat down he held up the Bible and said this is the Bible translated under King James that I have been preaching from. That was enough for me. I could see they had lied about the people. When meeting was over I was in no hurry to go. There was a man by the name of Luts, a perfect stranger to me. He asked what I thought of the preaching. I told him I had no fault to find. I asked him a great many questions. He answered me satisfactorily. He told me if I would come back in the afternoon, he would lend me a book, which, if I would read, I could learn a great deal about the Gospel. I read it, I was convinced that the Lord had restored the Gospel and the authority to administer the Ordinances thereof, I applied for baptism. They asked me if I had considered the consequences. He asked me if I was ready to have my friends turn against me and have my name cast out as evil, and suffer persecution, and perhaps lay down my life. I considered a moment, and I thought the former-day Saints had to take all these chances, so I told him I was prepared for all this. He said on these conditions you may be baptized. They were about three weeks before they were ready to go. There were quite a few baptized. There was plenty of ice to be moved, so we had a cold bath. We were all right. We took no harm. This was the first of January, 1854.

Part 2.
Part 3.

Photo of Tyrone County, Ireland from www.flickr.com/photos/deviant-87/1998085204/. Photo of St. John River, St. Johns, New Brunswick from www.flickr.com/photos/greencolander/15548027/. Photo of Philadelphia taken in May 2009. Photos of the Linton graves in Philadelphia taken in July 2005. Photo of Samuel and Ellen from lintonfamily.org.

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