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Mary Lewis Lillywhite

Dorothy’s Great Grandmother

Mary Lewis (seated between brothers) pictured with her siblings. One brother is not pictured.

Children of Benjamin and Mary Lewis Lillywhite. Back row: William Mitchell, Mary Jane. Middle row: James Ezra, Nellie LaVern, David Horace, John Philip. Front row: Lewis (Dorothy’s grandfather), Isabelle, Joseph Henry, Catherine.

Mary’s Life Sketch

Written in 1914 at the time of her death

Mary Lewis Lillywhite, daughter of Phillip Lewis and Catherine Evans Lewis, was the eldest in a family of six sisters and three brothers. She was born in Llanelly, Wales, July 27, 1845.

She was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at the age of eight years. She emigrated to Utah in the year 1863 at the age of eighteen, crossing the plains, walking most of the way from St. Louis, Mo to Utah with a company of Saints driving ox teams. She was the first of her father’s family to emigrate to this country, and was christened at that time by her family “The Star of the West” on account of leaving her native land first and alone; blazing the trail across the ocean and the Great American Deseret for the gospel’s sake. Her coming was the primary cause of the early coming of her father five years later and subsequently the remainder of the family, all of whom settled in Utah.

Crossing the Plains

On her perilous trip across the plains and during her early life in this country she was beset with many trials and hardships the same as many other saints had to pass through in those days. However, she met conditions as they presented themselves from time to time with fortitude and courage and always with a determination to overcome every obstacle.

Living in Beaver

After arriving in Utah she proceeded to the southern part of the state locating in Beaver City, Beaver County, making her home there. She was married to Benjamin Lillywhite Jr. in Beaver December 25, 1866; from which marriage eleven children were born ten of whom now survive her. Her posterity now numbers eleven children, forty-one grandchildren and eight great grand children making a total sixty, fifty-four of whom are still living. It is a significant fact that she was the first born of her father’s family; the first to leave her native county and all that was dear to her there, alone for the gospel sake and is now the first to depart this life.

Life of Service

Mary Lewis Lillywhite

Her life was spent in the service of her family and in helping all who needed aid, the sick and distressed of her neighborhood, all knew her kindness and shared her hospitality. Her work officially in the church has been general with the Relief Society to which splendid service there are numerous testimonies.

She has lived a life of self-sacrifice always thinking of and doing for others, never thinking of herself. She was one of God’s most true and faithful mothers, steadfast, true to her faith, true to her husband and family and true to her God. Her life’s example to her family is a lesson of sublime purity, nobility, love and courage. May she rest in peace.

Mary Lewis Lillywhite


John Swindlehurst

Matilda Orwin Lillywhite’s grandfather on her mother’s side. Matilda was Dorothy’s grandmother, making John her great great grandfahter. John came to Utah in 1868, and was one of Utah’s prominent men.

Margaret Mitchell Lillywhite

Dorothy’s great great grandmother, whose husband was Benjamin Lillywhite Sr. We do not have Benjamin’ story.

Benjamin Lillywhite Jr.Mary Lewis Lillywhite

Dorothy’s great grandparents. Benjamin Jr. is Margaret Mitchell Lillywhite’s son.

Lewis LillywhiteMatilda Orwin Lillywhite

Dorothy’s grandparents. Lewis is Benjamin Lillywhite Jr.’s son. Matilda is John Swindlehurt’s granddaughter.

Joseph LillywhiteMary Ellen Willden Lillywhite

Dorothy’s great great uncle Joseph Lillywhite, son of Benjamin Lillywhite Jr (her great grandfather), took part in the two well-known pioneer stories that follow…

Lee’s Ranch Indian Raid

Joseph Lillywhite was severley wounded in this raid, which contributed to an early death.

San Juan Mission

Joseph Lillywhite and his family joined this mission, also known as the Hole in the Rock expedition.