Brief History of Mary Ann Levi Riddle
Mary Ann Levi was born July 30, 1835, in Gosfield, Essex County, Ontario, Canada. Her parents were Frederick
Levi, Jr. and Julia Ann Carroll Levi. Not much is known about her early life. She was the second child in a family
of five. Her father, Frederick, Jr. was born in Essex County, Ontario, and her mother, Julia Ann Carroll was born
in Cork County, Ireland. They were Mormon immigrants to Utah, who settled in Ogden. All five children grew to
adulthood and married. Mary Ann and Isaac were married in Ogden in 1853. They lived in Ogden for the next year,
where their first child, George, was born and died. Then Isaac was called on his mission and Mary Ann went with
him. Isaac written about the places he pioneered and the things he did, but not much about living conditions and
how the family engaged in those times. Isaac was a good provider and surely did the best he could, but the family
moved frequently. Each of their five other children was born in a different place in Southern Utah, and we know
that Joselina was born in a "wagon box."
In June of 1864, shortly after he was released from his mission, Isaac moved the family to Pine Creek, where
they lived for the next ten years.
In the fall of 1867, an epidemic broke out with what was called 't putrid sore throat." It is now known as
diphtheria. In those days there was no known cure for it and many children died. Isaac and Mary Ann lost all three
of their daughters: Madora, who was five, in September; Mary Ann, eleven, in October; and Laura, the baby, not quite
four, in November. This left only Joselina and his older brother, Isaac J. from the first family.
Most of the rest of what we know comes from Laura R. King, who wrote: "Father and Uncle Isaac have both told me
their mother was a very fragile woman, very accomplished for the time, doing beautiful embroidery and sewing her
own clothing, some of which my mother in her possession as long as she lived. The costumes spoke of culture and
refinement, were well made of fine alpaca, trimmed in satin back velvet ribbon. All of the pleating was so even,
the stitches so fine as not to be visible. There were tiny hats and gloves for each costume.
Grandfather Isaac spent ten years on an Indian mission in Southern Utah and Arizona and Southern California. On
one occasion when he returned, he brought my grandma a beautiful dinner set of Spanish origin. I have in my possession
at this time one of the plates. He had occasion to trade with Spanish merchants who had goods that at that time were
unheard of elsewhere. Grandmother's house was well furnished, and had almost the first factory made carpet, which was
called "States and it was believed by some of the poor people that their feet would almost sink in the soft pile or
Grandmother could not endure the pioneer node of living and after giving birth to her sixth child she was never well
again. Father was eleven when she died, and he says he cannot remember her leaving her room except to ride out with
grandfather or to go to conference. Grandfather kept a hired girl and had a lady come in and help with sewing spring
In the fall of 1867, a daughter developed "putrid sore throat." Everyone was afraid of that, and only grandma's
faithful friend Mae Murdock stayed until death relieved her. Then grandma and the hired man took the body and went
to the cemetery, where the Bishop met them and helped them inter the remains. Poor grandmother failed rapidly after
her little girls died. She was naturally of a jovial nature, often joked about her condition and never complained,
but in the spring after burying her little girls, she had been so very sad and quiet and had finally taken to her
One morning in the spring of 1871 she was worse and sent for her friend Mae Murdock. The person she sent did
not understand that grandma was worse, so she did not go immediately. Before Mae arrived, grandma had sinking spells,
and when Mae came she was past seeing but knew Mae's voice.
Almost her last words were about her boys. She was silent for a while and then said, "Oh, Mae, I rate to leave the
boys. Don't tell them I am dying, will you? Little Silney has stayed so close to me since the girls left." Although
father (the little Silney referred to) was eleven years old he doesn't seem to have been as old as the eleven-year-old
children of today." End of Quote.
Mary Ann passed away in Beaver March 3, 1871 and is buried there. She was 35 years old.
The Frederick John Levi family traveled from Keg Creek, Iowa to Salt Lake City, Utah
in the James Holt Company in 1852.
Members of the company were the following:
||Date of Birth
|Holt, Franklin Overton
||31 July 1852
||10 November 1929
||10 February 1804
||25 January 1894
|Holt, Joseph Overton
||8 October 1848
||2 November 1853
|Holt, Leroy Payne
||27 March 1838
||10 November 1910
|Holt, Mary Ann
||11 January 1840
||22 February 1916
|Holt, Nancy Catherine Overton
||28 October 1850
||25 April 1931
||12 July 1821
||7 May 1906
|Holt, William Alma
||25 August 1842
||11 May 1920
|Levi, Barbara Jane
||24 July 1837
||13 May 1909
|Levi, Charlotte Ann
||20 December 1839
||20 September 1872
||16 May 1833
||8 January 1909
|Levi, Frederick John
||17 October 1800
||11 April 1865
|Levi, Joseph Hyrum
||30 December 1844
||29 June 1902
|Levi, Julia Ann
||17 August 1809
||3 March 1887
|Levi, Mary Ann
||30 July 1835
||3 March 1872
|Smith, Dr. William
Mary was born on July 30, 1835 in Gosfield, Essex, Ontario, Canada to Frederick John Levi II and Julia Ann Carroll.
On March 6, 1853, Mary married Isaac Riddle, an LDS Pioneer. Isaac Riddle's autobiography
does not state exactly where they were married but it does state that he worked that summer on the Bear River 80 miles north
of Salt Lake City so it is possible that they were married in that area. They were married in Salt Lake City, Utah.
At the end of the summer, they invested in 50 acres of improved land, horses and cattle. It appears from his biography
that this farm was near Ogden, Utah. They spent a happy Fall and Winter in their new home. On March 6, 1854, their son was
born. He lived only two weeks and his name was George. Mary became very ill.
Isaac's biography states that she was not expected to live. It was at this time that he left her to go on a Mission
for the church among the Indians in Southern Utah. Though his autobiography makes it sound as though he did not return
until the Fall of 1858. It is obvious that he must have been home in February of 1855 since their second child, a daughter
was born on December 7, 1855. He was again home in February of 1857 since another son was born on December 17th, 1857.
Considering the weather in that part of the country, my guess would be that he traveled extensively during the Spring,
Summer and Fall and was home during the Winters. His autobiography states that this particular mission with the Indians
was the best and the hardest ten years of his life. I would imagine it wasn't easy on Mary with her husband being gone
so much of the time either.
In 1858 when he returned home, he sold the farm and invested his money in a sawmill probably the one he built in
Pine Valley. He spent much of his time traveling dealing the business of the sawmill and the mission with the Indians,
leaving Mary alone to deal with her family.
In 1859, another son was born followed by two daughters in 1861 and 1863. The 1860 census shows the Mary Ann living
in Pine Valley with Isaac, her daughter,Mary, Isaac's mother, her two sons, Isaac Jr and J.M. and a young man named
Jackson Curley from Georgia
In 1867, the family was living in Beaver during a diphtheria epidemic and all three daughters died. Mary Ann who had
not been in the best of health and had been a semi-invalid since the birth of her last child never got over the death
of her daughters. She died on December 3, 1872. She was survived by her two sons who went to live with Isaac and
his second wife.