REBECCA RHODES PARRISH
Daughter of Nathan Rhodes and Phebe
Rebecca Rhodes Parrish was born 14 Oct. 1776 at Danbury, Dutchess County, New York. Her father was Nathan Rhodes, born about 1738, Danbury Dutchess County, New York. Her mother, Phebe (last name unknown) was born about 1740 at the same place.
Rebecca’s ancestors were the first to settle Rhode Island and from them it was named. She was the oldest child of a family of seven. The names of the children of Nathan and Phebe Rhodes in order of their births are: Rebecca; Phebe; Eunice; Rachel; Martha; Mary; Simeron.
Rebecca married Nathan Parrish, a Methodist, son of John Parrish, Sr. Nathan was born 14 May 1774 at Levingston, Mannor, New York (?) Columbia Co. N.Y. (?)
This couple settled in Central New York and were among the pioneers of this part. We have little information concerning the progress of their lives but we are sure it was spent in worthy endeavor. On the family records we find that from the year 1797 to the year 1823 that twelve children were born to them. Their names in order of birth are: Nathan, Jr. (b. 23 July 1797) at Grandville, Washington Co., N.Y.; Sanford (b. 17 May 1799) at Fontann, Washington Co., N.Y.; Amanda (b. 24 March 1802) at Brownville, Jefferson Co., N.Y.; Ezra (b. 4 May 1804) at Brownville, Jefferson Co., N.Y.; David (b. 9 Oct. 1806) at Brownville, Jefferson Co., N.Y.; Hulda Theodotia (b. 23 Mar. 1808) at Grandville, Washington Co., N.Y.; Emaline (b. 29 May 1810) at Brownville, Jefferson Co., N.Y.; Olive (b. 16 July 1812) at Brownville, Jefferson Co., N.Y.; William Rice (b. 29 July 1816) at Brownville, Jefferson Co., N.Y.; Henry Strong (b. 17 June 1818) at Brownville, Jefferson Co., N.Y.; Nancy Sarepta (b. 18 Dec. 1820 at Brownville, Jefferson Co., N.Y.; George Washington (b. 26 March 1823) at Brownville, Jefferson Co., N.Y.
The Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints found the Nathan Parrish family at Brownville, Jefferson County, New York. They and some of the members of their family readily accepted the Gospel and were baptized in 1833.
Nathan took suddenly ill with infection from a boil, and when he realized that he was close to death he requested that his son Henry Strong care for the Mother and the home. This request seemed strange because Henry was the tenth child and only sixteen years old, but he was the oldest son not married so he accepted this responsibility in all earnestness, and he felt that he could not marry while his mother lived.
Shortly after Nathan died (1834) Rebecca, with the assistance of Henry, moved with several of the children with the Saints near Richmond, Ray County, Missouri.
They endured all the mobbings and hardships of those memorable days. Later they settled 55 miles south of Nauvoo at Pigeon Creek and afterwards moved to Nashville, Iowa, 4 miles from Montrose, near Nauvoo, Illinois.
When the Prophet selected a certain number of young men and crossed the Mississippi River to take up a line of march for the Indian Country or Rocky Mountains, the Parrish family cooked up provisions for them, and their horses were quartered in the Parrish Stables ready to mount. But through the importuning of his friends, the Prophet returned and was confined in the Carthage Jail and martyred.
The history of Rebecca’s son, Henry, states that he was present at the laying of the corner-stone of the Nauvoo Temple and also when Brigham Young was chosen President of the Church and heard him speak in the voice of Joseph. In as much as Rebecca and Henry and others of the family were living together it is reasonable to suppose that she shared some of these marvelous experiences.
The Parrish family were not among the earliest emigrants to Utah. Henry Strong and others helped fix wagons and prepare the Saints to cross the Plains.
Rebecca and Henry Strong and about eight of her children and in-laws left Council Bluffs 23 July 1852 with Captain Clark’s Company and started for Utah. After almost three months journey across the Plains, they arrived in Salt Lake Valley 11 Oct. 1852.
The following April, the family came to Bountiful. Henry Strong rented two acres of land from John Pack. Later he purchased ten acres of the same property and built a log house. Two years later he bought land in East Bountiful, built a two-story adobe house where Rebecca resided for a short time before her death.
There is record of her having been endowed 8 Mar. 1854 in the Endowment House not four years preceding her death.
She died 5 Sept. 1858 at the age of 82 and was buried in the Bountiful Cemetery. Salt Lake Temple records show that she was sealed to her husband 21 Feb. 1934.