The History of Richard Carlisle
Richard Carlisle was born in the town of Riseholme, Lincolnshire, England, April 30, 1798, the
son of Thomas Carlisle, Jr. and Elizabeth Taylor.
At Willingham, Lincolnshire, on June 29, 1822, he married Jane Field(s). Jane was born
November 10, 1795 in Willingham, Lincolnshire, England, the daughter of Matthew Field(s) and
Theirs was a case of love at first sight. Since Jane was eleven years the elder, it was rather
difficult for them to marry just at the time of his proposal. So he asked her if she would wait five
years for him. She replied, “Why certainly I'll wait, and not only five years, Richard, but ten if
Their first child was Thomas Fields, born April 10, 1823 in Stow Parish, Lincolnshire. 'Mary was
born September 10, 1824, at Sturton (in Stow Parish), Lincolnshire. Joseph was born July 21,
1826 at Sherwood, Nottingham. Benjamin was born May 18, 1828 but lived only seven days
Then triplets were born June 3, 1829: Matthew, Richard Jr., and Jane. Since triplets were very
unusual they received many beautiful gifts. Even the Queen of England sent them quite a sum of
money. However, on October 4, 1829 Matthew and Jane both died, being but five months old.
Little Richard lived to the age of five years and died on July 28, 1834.
Martha was born March 16, 1831. She lived not quite five years and died April 18, 1836. This
was a great sorrow to lose five of their children in so short a time. Then the family moved to
Swenton, Nottingham, where John was born February 9, 1833. Alice was born October 9, 1835
at Nottingham in the shire of Nottingham.
Richard worked in the lace mills of Nottingham for a few years. However, as his boys grew
older, he could see that it was not the place for them. They returned to Lincolnshire and settled at
Kexby where Richard Matthew was born June 21, 1840.
Upon returning to Lincolnshire, Richard was employed as farmer and gamekeeper for a very
wealthy English lord, brother to Sir Robert Peel of the English Parliament. This gave the children
greater educational opportunities - a real blessing - since schooling was difficult to obtain then.
Richard and Jane were refined and noble characters. When they heard the gospel preached by
Joseph E. Taylor, they were baptized. Richard was baptized July 30, 1849 by Edward Taylorl and
was confirmed the same day by William Laythorp. Jane was baptized August l1, 1849. Both
were re-baptized November 26, 1849 by Arza Adams and reconfirmed November 26, 1849 by
Isaac Houston2 (In the early days of the church the practice of rebaptism was common.) The
same day Richard was ordained an elder by H. F. Culler (the surname was some what illegible in
A branch of the church was organized and Richard was appointed Presiding Elder. Their home
was always open for lodging for the elders.
With acceptance of the gospel their main object was to save sufficient funds to gather to Zion.
With the help of their daughter Mary, who was working as a pastry cook, they were able to bring
their whole family with them. Mary had a generous employer in whose service she was able to
save a year's salary. Her employer died. In her will she left Mary a year's salary. This made it
possible for the family to leave for America. They sailed on the ship "Ellen".
"52nd company 'Ellen' 466 souls.
"The ship 'Ellen' sailed from Liverpool on Monday, January 6, l85l, having on board a company
of saints consisting. of 466 souls under the presidential care of Elders James W. Cummings,
Crandall Dunn, and William Moss.
"The ship remained anchored in the river opposite Liverpool until the 8th about 11 o'clock a.m.
when anchor was weighed and the saints were soon under way with a fair wind. The good 'Ellen'
ran at the rate of 7 miles an hour till about 11 o’clock at night when she struck a schooner
thereby breaking her jib boom and main fore-yards. The following day the captain put into
Cardigan Bay, North Wales, to repair and in a few days the ship was ready for sea again. But the
wind on the very day the vessel put into port changed to an unfavorable quarter and remained
there for three weeks. She remained in port and the saints considered the accident that had
happened a blessing to them as they were comfortable in port while hundreds of people were
being tumbled about on the face of the troubled seas. During the storm many vessels were also
wrecked and hundreds of human beings consigned to a watery grave. The captain at length
became impatient and although the wind still continued unfavorable the ‘Ellen’ again weighed
anchor on the 23 of Jan. and put to sea. But the wind blew a strong gale from the direction the
ship wanted to sail and consequently only a little progress was made for several days. On
February l, however, the wind changed to a favorable quarter, the 'Ellen' set out to sea and the
passengers soon lost sight of the Irish coast. From that time they enjoyed pleasant weather and
fair winds and on the night of 14 March the 'Ellen' anchored in the Mississippi River off New
Orleans, making the passage from Cardigan Bay, which is 12 hours' sail from Liverpool, in 7
"During the voyage 10 deaths occurred. Two adults, namely James Wright from Skellow and the
wife of William Allen from the Birmingham conference, the remainder were children. Brother
Wright and Sister Allen died of fever. Four of the children died with the measles. Three of
consumption and one of the inflammation of the chest. The measles broke out among the
immigrants the day they left the dock and nearly every child on board had them besides several
adults. Altogether there were about 70 cases. Many of the children also suffered from what Elder
Cummings terms the tropical cough which was something similar to the whooping cough.
“During the voyage six marriages were also solemnized and one birth took place. Immediately
after leaving port the presidency on board divided the company into 12 divisions or wards
allotting 10 berths to each division and appointed a brother over each; then these 12 divisions
were divided into two and a president appointed to preside over each 6. So that there were 12
companies in the steerage with a president over each and two to preside over the whole. The
second cabin was organized in like manner. The priesthood were also organized and presidents
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appointed over them to see that they attended to their duties. This company organization was
found to be of great utility in preserving peace, good order, and the health and comfort of the
saints while on board. President Cummings and his two counselors watched over their flock with
the utmost care and in meeting in counsel with the brethren who had charge of the smaller
divisions they could easily learn the condition of every saint on board. If any were sick or in
want or in transgression they were made acquainted with it and immediately adopted measures to
relieve the wants of the needy and to prevent iniquity from creeping into their midst. Many were
appointed to visit every family twice a day and to administer to the sick.
"In New Orleans the company chartered the steamer ‘Alexander Scott' to take the immigrants to
St. Louis, Missouri. They paid $2.50 per head for adults, all luggage included, and half price for
children. The company left New Orleans on the morning of March 19 and landed in St. Louis on
the 26 after a good passage. Two children died coming up the river and one child was born."3
A number of the immigrants who were not prepared to continue the journey right away found
employment in St. Louis while the others proceeded on their way to the Bluffs. The Carlisles
apparently remained in St. Louis until the following spring.
After reaching St. Louis, Jane was stricken with cholera and died an June 24, 1851.
Although a search of emigration records in the Church Historian's office has been made, the
writer has been unable to find a record of Richard Carlisle and family crossing the plains.
Therefore it is not known how many of his children accompanied him on the journey. Mary
secured employment and remained behind (Probably in St. Louis) where she married a fine
young man from the church. 4
Some time later (the exact time has not been ascertained) she traveled to Utah. Thomas came
with an independent company which brought the first sugar machinery. There is also a card in
the Emigration files stating that Alice Carlisle crossed the plains in company of Capt. David
Wilkins, leaving July 15, l853, and arriving in the Valley that fall. Richard’s daughter Alice
married a David Wilkins; so this is probably the same person.
At any rate there is a record of "John Carlisle and five persons" crossing the plains in the Seventh
Company under Capt. Henry Bryant Manning Jolley. John was one of Richard's children and
was an adult. Therefore, we assume this to be the rest of the Richard Carlisle family, with two
other people travelling with them. Captain Jolley’s company left Kanesville early in June of
1852 with a company of nearly 340 souls. The company arrived safely in Salt Lake City
When Richard reached the Valley he settled in Mill Creek or Cottonwood, as it was then called.
He was given a patriarchal blessing October 30, 1853 in Salt Lake City by the Patriarch to the
Church, John Smith, and it is recorded in Vol. 12, p. 553.5
Richard was ordained a high priest July l, 1860 by Reuben Miller.6
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Sometime following their arrival in the Valley, his son Richard M., in visiting in the ward, met
Mrs. Maria Crook Dunsdon, widow of Thomas Dunsdon. Her husband had also died of cholera
at Council Bluffs while immigrating to Zion. On returning home Richard M. told his father he
believed she would make him a good wife. Richard immediately went to see her. They talked
things over and he proposed to her. She wanted a little time to make up her mind, saying she
would go to Salt Lake and get the advice of Brigham Young7.
Later Maria Dunsdon consented to be his wife, but told him she wanted to be sealed to her first
Richard admired her for being loyal to her dead husband. On April 27, 1869 they went through
the endowment House and had their endowments, and the sealing was done for their dead
companions. Maria was proxy for Jane and Richard stood as proxy for Thomas. This sealing was
performed by Joseph F. Smith, who became the President of the Church8.
Maria proved to be a very loyal, true wife to Richard. They later had temple work done for quite
a number of their ancestors on both sides.
It is not known exactly when he moved to Alpine to make his home, but Journal History entries
would lead us to believe that he moved there about 1855, since there are a number of references
to Richard Carlisle from that time on.
July 24, l855, Journal History, page 3, records that during the big celebration at Alpine City, at
the afternoon meeting addresses were given by Isaac Houston, Morris Phelps, Thomas J.
McCullough, Richard Carlisle, Thomas Carlisle, and others, interspersed with very appropriate
singing by the choir, toasts, etc. music, dancing, comic songs, and other highly gratifying
performances enlivened the remainder of the day and evening. One of the many toasts was: "The
bee hive - may her honey increase and her drones depart." Committee of Arrangements: Isaac
Houston, Morris Phelps, Thomas J. McCullough, David McOlney, Richard Carlisle, John
Richard must have been well esteemed in the community as well as a good speaker, because he
also participated as a speaker .in other similar celebrations as recorded in the Journal History.
Together with a few of the leading citizens of Alpine he also signed a public proclamation
representing the people of Alpine, in support of President Young's address and public notice
protesting the government’s sending prejudiced and unworthy officials to administer the law in
the Territory of Utah. This proclamation was dated January 17, 1858.
A big territory wide display (probably the forerunner of the State Fair) was held October 9, l859
for the purpose of encouraging greater skill, ingenuity, and industry among the citizens. The list
of awards was published in the Deseret News. Richard Carlisle (along with a few others)
received top rating for “Specimen Mountain Wine”.
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He held many important positions in the church, but the early ward records did not have
information concerning calls to positions, etc.
Richard was stricken with rheumatism and Bright’s disease which caused him great suffering for
Before being crippled so badly he took great comfort in gardening. He made leather knee-pads so
that he could work on his knees to pull the weeds. Finally he was forced to give up his work
He was a great Bible reader, being of a very studious nature. Although he was unable to work in
later years, he was always pleasant and happy, and passed many enjoyable hours in conversing
with his many friends who called on him at his home.
Men with characters like Richard Carlisle will never be forgotten, for they have left landmarks
along the streams of time that cannot be hidden. He had often made the remark that he did not
wish any costly monument; because a good, honest life was the way he wished to be
He died April 10, 1879 in Alpine, being 81 years old at the time.
May his beautiful life be a beacon light for all his children and many descendants.
The original history by Martha Healey Strong stated he was baptized by Jos. E. Taylor,
but Alpine ward records gave Edw. Taylor. The name of the elder given in the history
took the gospel to them, was retained from the original history.
Alpine Ward Records.
Church Emigration files and Ships' Stories filed in Room 310 Church Office Building
From Martha Healey Strong's original history.
Patriarchal blessing file, Church Historian's Library.
The card giving this information was in "Early Church" files and the stake was given as
Cottonwood. This, however, conflicts with previous dates in Journal History, as related
beforehand, where we find Richard busy with affairs in Alpine as early as 1855.
This information was taken from Martha Healey Strong's original history and at this
writing it is not certain exactly where this incident occurred.
From Endowment House Records. Their civil marriage date is unknown. Because they
are listed in Alpine Ward records with Richard's children, it is assumed that they were
married and settled in Alpine long before they went to the Endowment House in 1869.
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This history was written in November, 1956, by Dora D. Flack (wife of LeGrand Flack) from the
original history written by Martha Healey Strong, to whom this writer is indebted: Additions and
corrections were made from the family group sheet, records in the Historian's Office and the
Church Records Archives, Alpine Ward Records, Early Church files.
Robinson Family- Oregon
3 years ago