HISTORY OF BARBARA JANE LEVI WATTS
Given to Sally Kanosh Camp D.U.P.
Donor—Granddaughter Alice Jane Watts Bowen
Millard County Camp
Stella H. Day Historian
The word “Pioneer” is symbolic of greatness, vision, courage, integrity and endurance.
Through God’s blessings which accompanied the Pioneers, a Great Commonwealth and Empire was
established in the Rocky Mountains. It took a people of great faith to carry on in face of
diversity, struggle, and pestilence while moving form place to place and at the same time
rearing families. Baldwin Harvey Watts and his loyal wife Barbara Jane Levi Watts of whom
this story is written, proved faithful to their God and the mission they were to perform as
pioneers they were tested and tried. They were strong in the faith, and held steadfast to the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They lived by the council given by those in authority.
Barbara Jane was the daughter of Frederick Levi, who was born 17 Oct. 1800 in Essex, Canada.
Her mother was Juliann Carroll, born 16 Oct. 1800, at Cork, Ireland. Born to them were the following
children: David Levi born 18 May, 1833 at Essex Co., Canada; Mary Ann Levi born 3 July 1835 at Toronto,
Canada; Charlotte Levi born 20 Dec. 1839 at Chilic, Hancock, Canada; Barbara Jane born 24 July 1837 at
Toronto, Canada; Joseph Levi born 30 Dec. 1844 at Keg Creek, Illinois.
Soon after the first Missionaries of the Church were sent into Canada, they made many converts.
Barbara Jane’s father, mother, and their little family were converted and it was around eight years
between the time they left Canada until they joined other Saints who were also going to Church Headquarters
in Illinois. Their youngest son was born at Keg Creek, Illinois. They lived in Nauvoo a short time when the
Saints were leaving Nauvoo for the trek westward.
In 1852 the Levi family started West—going through all of the trials of pioneering. They arrived in Utah
Territory without losing any of their family. They settled in Weber County. Ogden, Utah was their first home
in the West. To connect the life and circumstances prior to Barbara Jane’s marriage to Baldwin Harvey Watts
we write some of the highlights of both the Watts and Levi family lives.
Baldwin knew the Prophet Joseph Smith. When his father and mother, Robert Harrison and Elizabeth Heath,
came to Nauvoo as converts to the Church from Mississippi, they lived in the home of Joseph Smith. Here
they received blessings from the Prophet. Elizabeth, their oldest child, received her Patriarchal Blessing
from Joseph Smith’s father. The parents received their Endowments in Nauvoo Temple. Robert Harrison was a
bodyguard for the Prophet Joseph Smith. They lived at Nauvoo and came to Utah in 1850. Both the Watts and
Levi pioneers settled in Ogden, Utah.
Barbara married Baldwin Harvey Watts 26 Oct. 1856. On the 8th of July 1857, they were married in the
Endowment House by President Brigham Young. Because of the approach of Johnson’s Army Brigham Young told
several families to move to Springville. Barbara went there with her mother and family. When conditions
settled down the families left Springville. In the fall of 1855 Juliann Carroll’s family left Springville
and moved to North Ogden. In company with David and Joseph Levi they moved again to South Spring Creek
Huntsville, near Ogden.
At this time Baldwin was called by Brigham Young to help colonize in Oregon territory. He was among
the first 27 men chosen. He was a special messenger for Brigham Young to bring reports of the colonization
at Fort Lemhi. The first trip back to Salt Lake City after spending some time at Fort Lemhi, he married
Barbara Jane Levi, 26 Oct. 1856. Then he went back to Fort Lehmi. After a year at Fort Lemhi the Indians
became hostile. Many men were killed. During his last attempt to reach Utah with reports to Brigham Young,
he escaped death as he fought his way back to Salt Lake City. Many of his company were killed by the Indians.
His horse was killed and he walked most of the way to Salt Lake City.
The next mission was in the fall of 1864 when they, with many others, were sent to colonize in Southern
Utah. Baldwin and Barbara Jane first came to Kanosh, and he was soon asked to go to Beaver, Utah, where there
was much trouble with the Indians in that locality. Baldwin served in the Black Hawk War, and at Cove Fort did
some heroic deeds. The men stationed there belonged to the Militia. After about 18 months in Kanosh and Beaver,
they went back to Huntsville. They lived there until 1867, then came back to Kanosh and made permanent residence.
Baldwin spoke Shoshone, Piute, and Navajo languages. The story of Barbara Jane’s early married life was very
In the winter of 1869-1890 there was an epidemic of Typhoid Fever, and their oldest son, Harvey, and oldest
daughter Juliette, died of the disease.
Their first home in Kanosh was a three-room log house. The second house built in Kanosh was owned by them also.
The next home was the first sandstone home built in this locality. Baldwin hauled the rock from the nearby canyon.
He and his small son, Robert, hauled the first rock for the Church. This rock was used for the cornerstone of the
Church erected in 1895. Their house still stands. The mantle, which was around the fireplace, is in the Daughters
of the Pioneer Building. It was put there by a granddaughter, Alice Jane Watts Bowen.
Grandma Watts had a great responsibility rearing her children because of Baldwin having been called on so many
missions. She was also alone to rear those children as so many pioneer mothers were. She was blessed for having
her mother, Juliann Carroll Levi, live with her for many years. Her mother was one of the first home nurses in
this locality. Barbara Jane followed in her footsteps—would go any time, night or day, to attend the sick. Even
cared for sick folks in her own home.
When Baldwin was called on a Mission for the Church to England, she had a hard time rearing her 4 children, and
making a few dollars to help him on his Mission. At this time she took seriously ill, and was never well after
One of her neighbors wrote a tribute to her. The courage and integrity of Sister Barbara Jane Levi was evident in
all she undertook. She loved everyone and made sacrifice for all she knew in the community. She told the following
circumstance: “George Crane and his family were welcomed into the Watt’s home. Houses were scarce, living quarters
crowded. Barbara and Baldwin proved the proverb, “Where there is heart room there is hearth room”. The Crane children
had Measles and the little family of Barbara Jane got the Measles from them, and two of the family died.”
The following children were born to them:
Henry Baldwin Watts—born 15 Aug. 1851.
Juliette—born 15 March. At Huntsville
Charles William—born 9 Jan. 1862 at Huntsville
Barbara Jane—born 2 Dec. 1864 at Huntsville
Charlotte Anne—born 9 Jan. 1868 at Kanosh, Utah
Harvey Franklin—born 17 Jan. 1870 at Kanosh, Utah
Etta Elizabeth—born 21 March. 1872 at Kanosh, Utah
Barbara Jane Levi Watts passed away after a very eventful life 13 May 1909 at Kanosh, Utah.
Barbara Jane Watts Hopkins, daughter of Barbara Jane and Baldwin, lived to be 93 years old. A few years before her
death she dictated an interesting story of family life which was dear to her. Some of the highlights of her life in
Kanosh under pioneer conditions are as follows:
“Our first home was 3 log rooms. We burned candles for light. We had candle molds of different sizes. We melted grease
and put a wick made of carpet warp in the center of the mold and poured grease on the mold and cooled it, the candle was
finished, and it was taken form the mold ready for use
Our pioneer beds were corded wooden bedsteads. They had four legs with posts and knots on top. Laced all around the
sides and ends with bed cord rope, which served as springs. We had trundle beds made like the larger ones. We would
slide the small beds under the larger ones during the day, pulled them out at night. Our mattress was made of straw
or corn shucks put in ticking. In our home we had feather beds. We bought duck and chicken feathers from the Indians.
My Mother had the first sewing machine in Kanosh. Some of the first machines turned with a crank. We did our washing
on a scrubbing board. Grandma Watts was a beautiful aristocratic lady. She was always dignified. She looked like a queen
as she sat in her high backed rocker. Her son, Harvey, got this chair after his Mother’s death. It is prized in the home
of a granddaughter, Alice Jane Bowen. We grandchildren loved to sleep in her cozy bedroom with the old-fashioned box stove,
dresser, bed and cedar chest, in which she kept rock candy for treats.
One style of old flat iron had a pipe sticking up in the middle of the iron, and we put hot wood, [or] coal in it to
keep the iron hot. It was very heavy.
As children, we gathered sego bulbs form the fields and hillside, then cooked them for food. My mother cooked all kinds
of leafy vegetables such as nettles and pigweed greens.
Father had one of the first mountain ranches in this locality. Today the mountain is still known as Watts’ Mountain.
There is a spring in Kanosh Canyon named after me. It is Ducky Spring. One time when we were coming from our mountain
ranch I strayed away. When they found me I was at a spring, so it was named Ducky Spring.
When the Indians got on the warpath Father would always go to their camp and make peace among them. He was a good
friend of Chief Kanosh.
Brigham Young was a confident friend of my Father. He stayed at our home when he came to Kanosh. One day Brigham
Young was expected to come to Kanosh. Everyone in town went to meet him between Meadow and Kanosh. Before he arrived
we threw rocks off the road, so Brigham Young could enjoy his ride to Kanosh.
Chief Kanosh was a good Indian. He was always preaching to the Indians telling them to not steal or kill. He often
came to our home just at dinnertime, especially on Sunday.
We used to trade horses to Indians for pine nuts. Even today I enjoy telling of the good qualities and characteristics
of the Indians in the Kanosh Camp.”
Tribute to Grandma Watts written by her granddaughter Lottie Kimball. Lottie grew up in Grandma’s home. She wrote
this in 1943.
Did you ever see her?
A noble pioneer was she
In form she was tall and stately
Possessing modest dignity.
She followed the Master’s example
In doing right for wrong.
Where there is heart room
There is hearth room.
This Proverb ever was her song.
She was fond of children
Maybe it is too true
She spoiled us just a little
As fond grandparents often do.
I hope sometime we will meet again.
I long once more to hear her say,
“I’m so happy to see you children.
Are you carrying on the right way?”
Barbara Jane Levi Watts, daughter of Frederick and Jiliann Carrol Levi, was born July 24, 1837 in Toronto Canada. Her mother,
Juliann Carroll Levi, was born Oct 16, 1800 in Cork, Ireland while her father Frederick Levi was born Oct. 17, 1800 in Essex,
Barbara Jane had the following brothers and sisters:
David Levi, b. May 18, 1833; Essex, Canada
Mary Ann Levi b. July 3, 1835; Toronto, Canada
Charlotte Levi B. Dec. 20; Chilic, Hancock, Canada
Joseph Levi b. Dec. 30 1844; Keg Creek, Illinois
In 1852 the Levi family started west, and arrived in Utah in the fall where they were sent to Ogden, Utah. Also sent to
Ogden were the members of the family of Robert Harrison and Elizabeth Heath Watts, one of whose children was Baldwin Harvey
Baldwin Harvey Watts and Barbara Jane Levi were married Oct. 26, 1856 but on July 1857, they were married in the Endowment
House by Brigham Young.
Because of the approach of Johnston’s Army, the Baldwin family together with the Frederick Levi family moved to Springville,
but just as soon as the scare was over the two families moved to Huntsville, Weber County. Baldwin was again called to Ft. Lemhi,
Oregon as a special messenger to report to Brigham Young on the settlements in Oregon. Most of the men who were sent to Oregon
were killed by the Indians and Baldwin had his horse killed and had to walk many miles back to Salt Lake City to carry messages
to Brigham Young.
In the fall of 1864, Baldwin and his family were sent to Southern Utah to help colonize there; they came first to Kanosh and
then to Beaver. Baldwin served in the Black Hawk War, and was a member of the Militia at Cove Fort. After eighteen months they
were moved to Huntsville where they lived until 1867, when they moved to Kanosh permanently. Their first home was made of logs,
but later Baldwin built a sandstone home, the first stone home in Kanosh. Baldwin and his son Robert hauled the first rock for
the church, which was erected in 1895. The mantle, which was around the fireplace, is kept in the Daughters of the Pioneers
Building in Kanosh, given to them by Alice Jane Watts Bowen, a grand daughter.
The responsibility of raising the family was on Barbara Jane as Baldwin was constantly being called on different kinds of
missions for the church. Barbara was fortunate to have her mother, Juliann Carroll Levi, live with the family for many years.
She was one of the first home nurses who came to Kanosh, and Barbara Jane followed in her mother’s footsteps. She went whenever
called be in the middle of the night or any other time. She even cared for some sick in her own home. When Baldwin was called
on a preaching mission to England, Barbara had a difficult time earning enough to support her family and send a few dollars to
her husband to help him on his mission. While Baldwin was on this mission, Barbara became ill and was never very well after
that. She, however, tried to do all she could to help those in need. Houses were very scarce so Baldwin and Barbara invited
the George Crane family to live with them. The Crane children had the Measles and the Watts children contracted them. Two of
the Watts children died.
The following children were born to Baldwin and Barbara Jane:
Henry Baldwin b. Aug. 15, 1851
Juliette b. March 15, 1853 at Huntsville
Charles William b. Jan. 9, 1862; Huntsville
Barbara Jane b. Dec. 2, 1864, Huntsville
Charlotte Ann b. Jan. 9, 1868, Kanosh, Utah
Harvey Franklin b. Jan. 17, 1870, Kanosh, Utah
Etta Elizabeth b. March 13, 1909 Kanosh, Utah, and is buried in the Kanosh Cemetery.