David Levi, Merchant and Farmer, was born on May 16, 1833 in
Gospeil Essex, Ontario, Canada. He was the 1st child of
Frederick and Julia Ann Carl (Karl) Levi. He married Ann
Gillispie in July of 1858 in Ogden Utah. They had six children,
five girls and one boy. He married Christine Gillies in 1871.
They had seven children, all boys. Ann Gillispie was born on
July 25, 1842 in Glasgow, Scotland to John and Janett Sinclair
Gillispie. Christine Gillies was born on May 8, 1852 in New
Castle, On Tune, England, to Robert and Ann Gillispie, Gillies.
David had three sisters, Mary Ann, Barbara Jane, and
Charlotte; and one brother Joseph. When David was only five
years old, the family moved to Illinois. The settled in Keg
Creek, Hancock County and this is where David's parents joined
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In 1847, the family
moved to Mt. Pisgah, Illinois, and this
is where David was baptized in 1853.
written by his Granddaughter, Norma Jensen Easton
Chapter 2 of the book: "John Frederick Levi
and His Family (1800-1864)"
When David Levi was born on May 16, 1833 to Frederick John
Levi and Julia Ann Carroll, the family likely lived on the farm
owned by his parents about one half mile west of the Ruthven
Post Office on Lot 8 of the Second Concession, Township of
Gosfield, or possibly on Lot 230 South of Talbot Road West in
the Township of Mersea about 4 miles East of the Leamington Post
Office and about half way between the present City of Leamington
and Wheatley. Both of these farm properties were owned by
Frederick and Julia Ann Levi at the time. The Ruthven and
Leamington Post Offices, both on Talbot Road are about 2 miles
apart making about 7 miles between the home and the farm. Why I
believe they lived on the farm close to Ruthven and in Gosfield
Township is that the deed upon sale of Lot 230 in June, 1836 to
Issac Russell the deed recited" "Frederick Levi of the Township
of Gosfield, County of Essex and Western District of the
Province of Upper Canada, Yeoman, and Ann his wife". It would
appear that they lived in the Township of Gosfield, or were they
were of Gosfield but were conveying their land in Mersea to
Issac Russel. The Township line between Gosfield and Mersea
township runs between the two Post Offices.
David was however, only about three years old when he moved
with his parents to Toronto. He probably lived with his mother,
Julia Ann and Father Fred, but his two half brothers, William F.
Boring and Henry Boring may also have lived with them.
The family probably moved to Toronto, either before or after
the farming season in the summer of 1836 when the year's crops were,
according to history, a disaster. Their land in Gosfield (lot 8),
the probable home, was not sold until October 1838 (possibly
about the time they departed Toronto for Missouri). Before they
moved to Toronto, he had been joined by a little sister, Mary
Ann, she was also born in Gosfield (and not Mersea) on July 30,
Where the family lived in Toronto is unknown, but probably
above the mercantile business in Market Square. Their stay in
Toronto was short and by 1838 they were moving again when David
was barely 5 years old. While there he was joined by another
little sister, Barbara Jane, born on the 24th of July, 1837.
David probably remembered very little of the moves to Missouri
and to Illinois, but possibly remembered the hardships and good
times, some of which are related by his sister Barbara Jane,
later in a history of her life.
The family probably arrived in Missouri and then the Nauvoo
area by 1839 and may also have moved several times in Nauvoo
before their departure in 1846 so David grew to a lad of nearly
13 years of age before that wintry trip across the Mississippi
River. While in Hancock County, Illinois, his family was blessed
with a sister Charlotte, born December 20, 1839 in Chili, which
lies at the very southern border of the county, 13 miles
directly south of Carthage. This was probably their first home
in Illinois. It is believed, however, that it was not their only
home in Hancock County. A brother Joseph Hyrum was born December
30, 1844, at Keg Creek, which is believed to be about 2 to 3
miles directly East of Nauvoo along Parley street, close to the
then Joseph Smith farm.
A total of about 6 years would be spent in Iowa, probably at
or in the vicinity of Mt. Pisgan, and on the plains of Iowa,
Nebraska, and Wyoming before arrival in the Salt Lake Valley in
1852. It is believed that David may have made a trip to the
Great Salt Lake Valley in 1848, before his family came in 1852.
He would then have been about 15 years old and his brother
William F. Boring 18.
After a few days in Salt Lake, the family was directed to
Ogden, where they were to make their new home. David, who was to
young to be baptized into the LDS Church when his father or his
mother were baptized, was baptized by Thomas Dunn in 1853 and
was ordained a Seventy by Joseph Young and became a member of
the 1st Quorum of the Seventies in 1854.
We learn that David worked on the North Ogden Canal which was
dug in 1856-1857 bringing irrigation water to farms in the
Northern Ogden area. Apparently, both men and women worked on
this important project. John Q. Blaylock in his History of North
Ogden is quoted as saying: "Women helped dig the canal. Old
notes state that Mrs. John Cardon worked alongside her husband
while digging the canal along the cut from the mouth of Ogden
Canyon to Twelfth Street. The following helped build the North
Ogden Canal, David Levy, Isaac Riddle, ... and others.
Construction on the canal was stopped during the first
winter of digging. Traditions says the Cardon family and the Dan
Stahli family pitched tents in protected spots in the bed of
digging and lived there during the winter.