Wife #4, MARY JANE MILLER (BLAZZARD) HILL, daughter of Sarah Searcy Miller Bleazard

May 22, 2009 

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Wife #4 - Mary Jane Miller, Sarah Searcy Miller's daughter, was married to John Hopwood Bleazard the first time when she was 14 years old.  John Smith performed the first ceremony.  Mary Jane Miller (and her mother, Sarah Searcy Miller) were both sealed by President Brigham Young to John Hopwood Bleazard on March 30, 1848 at 6:00pm at Winter Quarters, Indian Territory, and such was witnessed by Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards.  Her first child, Sarah Ann, was born when Mary Jane was 16 years old. When Mary Jane testified in Court she said her second child by John Bleazard was a "son' and that he was born shortly after she divorced John and when she was living with her mother.

I have transcribed as accurately as possible her words, leaving out duplication.  Only her answers under direct examination and re-examinations are in the document and not the questions that were asked.   Mary Jane Miller (Blazzard) Hill was 88 years old when she spoke as an Intervener at the Third Judicial Court District action beginning in 1890 and relating to John Hopwood Bleazard’s Will.  

          Mary Jane mentions the marriage of John and Sarah Searcy Miller and says they had six children.  She then said, “Thomas was the last one. He is one of the Plaintiffs, was born in Salt Lake. He was born in August. He is about thirty-two, I ain’t sure...They were all their children . . . and they were living together as husband and wife. They ceased living together a little while before Thomas was born . . .


          “I am acquainted with John (Searcy) Blazzard.  I lived with him nineteen years . . .  I can state how he got his injury. Well, he got up on a little stool by the side of the table when he was about thirteen or fourteen months old, just big enough to climb up and his father was in a raging tantrum. He was awfully high tempered and he ran through the house and the stool was a little in his road, as he went past there was a chair or something sitting between them, and he spoke to this little child, he said: ‘Get down from there, John!’ and, of course, the little child didn’t pay any attention to it, and he put his shoe under the stool and throwed it clear up, and the child, it struck the child’s head against the ceiling, the board ceiling in the house, and he came down and lit on his head; for a while we thought he was dead. His neck was broken. When he came out of that he didn’t know anything - just seemed for three or four months he didn’t know a thing, looked up like he was catching at something, and he never got any mind afterward - no sense to know anything much... He was older than Mrs. Steers . . . He cannot transact any business, he don’t know the value of nothing...He cannot read or write if he does anything...When ( ?) in two years he was staying with me for awhile; if you put him to work he is apt to forget it and he would lay down and not know what he is doing.”


          “I did not know John Blazzard before he married my mother. . . I went out to work to a place and while I was gone they was married, and then he came back for me. I was not present at the marriage at all. I knew who married them by what my mother told me, not of my own knowledge.


        "I was married to John H. Blazzard myself at Winter Quarters. It was about . . . March or April, I thought it was April I never paid any attention to it, only that it was in the spring of the year. . . I cannot deny or assert that on the (----?) day of March 1848, about six o’clock in the evening in Winter Quarters that Brigham Young, in the presence of Willard Richards and Wilford Woodruff, as witnesses, married me and my mother to John H. Blazzard at the same time.


      . . . now I tell you that I had never been married before I married there. I was fourteen years old then. . . Uncle John Smith they called him, was the one who said my ceremony with Blazzard. Brigham Young was not there when that was done; he came here to the mountains with the pioneers, the day I was married. My mother was not married to Blazzard when I was. She lived with him at the same time. There was no ceremony at the same time. We did not stand up together. I was married more than once to Blazzard. When Brigham Young came back he had the ceremony over again. I don’t remember when it was. The time that Smith married me was before that. I cannot remember whether Brigham Young married my mother to Blazzard at the same time he married me to Blazzard...The Smith who first married me to Blazzard was an old man, an Uncle of Joseph and Hyrum. I think they used to call him Uncle John Smith. Brigham Young married me to Blazzard before we left Winter Quarters. It was when he came back and I don’t know the date. I don’t know how long it was after Smith married me. I never have seen a record of that marriage.  I know when they put the record down when I was married; of course I seen them do the writing, I supposed that was what they were doing . . . I know Willard Richards was one of the witnesses because we went to his house. I was church divorced from Blazzard. I believe my mother was divorced in the same way on the same day. . . I can’t tell whether it was on the 30th day of June 1881 (?) or not... It seems to me that she married Blazzard after that. I don’t remember whether she married him again and then was divorced from him by the church. . .I understood by her that she married him again. I don’t know that she was divorced again in 1857 from him by the church about the time they separated or not.


          “I remember their separation.  They would get a rumpus up once in a while and live apart and then come back. I lived with Blazzard as his wife five years, I believe. I had two children by him. One of them is dead. I don’t know the year that the first child was born (Sarah Ann) I was sixteen when she was born. The first child is alive. She is 41 or more.  She is one year older than this Mrs. Steers, about a year younger than John (Searcy).


          “Blazzard and myself lived in the 18th Ward after we came to Salt Lake. The same house where my mother lived. The first child was born in Missouri. The second child was born here. . . He was living with both of us as his wives there in the same house.


       "...My mother went to Washington after she separated from John H. Blazzard. She stayed in Salt Lake I think a couple of years, maybe longer. I guess John (Searcy) was 10 or 11 when the family moved away to Washington. I guess all the other children of my mother by John H. Blazzard can read and write- I don’t know what John (Searcy) does down there. . . . From 1859 or 1860 when they went away from here I never saw him until about two years ago. . . I do not know anything about what Thomas does. I do not know what James is doing...John came to me in September and went away in the winter. A month or two. I was living in Huntington, Emery County then. . . I had a farm there. I got John to cut me some corn one day and he laid down and went to sleep. He can’t keep his mind long enough to keep anything . . . He could not count, I used to try to get him to count when he was a little fellow but he never knowed enough.


          “The youngest child that my mother had by her marriage to Blazzard was Thomas. I don’t know whether he was born in 1857 or not.  They were not living together when he was born any how, they had separated. Had been separated for awhile . . .


          “My last child with Blazzard was born a year after we came into the valley. . .  I believe it was 1850 when we came in. I had left him when my last child was born.  My mother had left him too.  Me and mother was living together after we left him. I believe we left him at the same time, but I ain’t sure. I came and lived with mother.


          “I was there when my last child was born. My mother and myself were both living in the same house with Blazzard as his wives, when that first child was begetting. I lived with my mother until I left entirely. I did not live with Blazzard when my last child was born, we separated before.


          “Of the three children by Blazzard’s first wife, the girl married, and the two boys lived with us. 


            "I testified that John H. Blazzard had a wife before he married my mother. I believe her name was Betsy Poole. I never was acquainted with her. I guess it was his wife, he lived with her - as I understood before he married or commenced living with my mother. He didn’t have any children by that woman. . . It was his first wife that had the three children, before he married Mrs. Poole.  Her maiden name was Nowall. . . I never was acquainted with her. One was Elijah … one was Robert, the next was …Ann . . .  I knew them all. They were living in Nauvoo. They came into the valley with me. Two of them - one of them died back there, she died after we left Nauvoo. He (JHB) came out here and left one of his first wife’s children back there. I don’t know how old she was then, she had a couple of children. . .  These children of Blazzard’s by his wife Nowell (Newell) came to live with Sarah Blazzard at the time she married him.


          “The first thing he (JHB) said was he asked me how I liked my new father, that was in a kind of joking way, that is all I remember particular about it.


          “Everybody in the town knew about the marriage. I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and still continue to try to be.  It has been a practice and a custom of the church where marriages has been solemnized between two parties for the purpose of cementing it for eternity, to go through another ceremony of marriage.  It is called the celestial marriage. Certain authorities had that privilege of doing it and others didn’t. That was the practice at the time I married at Winter Quarters. Brother Brigham Young assumed to exercise that authority at that time to celebrate what was celestial marriage. My marriage was that to Blazzard and was first solemnized by a man by the name of Smith. Afterwards when Brigham Young came back, he had been out here to the mountains with a pioneer company .. . . he performed the sealing ceremony. . . I heard of a good many people who had been married according to laws of the country, going through a second marriage of that kind . . . I was fourteen in January and this marriage was in March. . . I separated from Blazzard before my second child was born.


          “There was trouble between Blazzard and my mother all the time. On that account and other troubles. My mother gave her consent to my marriage because she had to, I guess. She didn’t want to I don’t suppose.  My first child was born in Holt County, Missouri about a year and a half after the ceremony was performed between myself and John H. Blazzard – October of the following year. My next child was born in Salt Lake. The date of his birth was the 30th of September, three years after the other. I don’t know whether it was one or two years after we came to the Territory, we came in October, and it was in September when he was born – three years I guess.


          “My mother consented to my marriage with Blazzard, that was the order them days. I don’t know as I ever heard her complain before I was married. I don’t know as I ever heard of anyone going through the sealing ceremony prior to mine.  They always held that there was only one at a time was authorized to perform that ceremony. That was our counsel or religion I don’t know who told me. I don’t know as any one of the Apostles could do it, unless he was appointed. I never knew or saw Mrs. Nowell. I did not know nor ever saw Betsy Poole. I suppose if they had not been dead I should have . . . seen them around. 


          “My mother never told me anything particular about her marriage, only how they got acquainted. She said he came and seen her chopping wood and wanted to know if she didn’t want to get married and have somebody do her work for her. He said he was alone and had nobody to do for him. That was their first conversation. She said she married him to have a home. They got married right off as quick as they could. . . I don’t know as she told me where they were married. I think it was Hyrum Smith that married them as near as I can keep it in my memory. She told me something about the man who married (them) pronouncing blessings upon them and hoping that they would get along good. . .


         “My mother and John H. Blazzard were living together as man and wife a year before the prophet was assassinated. Betsy Poole has children by Mr. Poole, she did not have any by Blazzard. Just one of the children came here that I know of. . ."


In the daughter of the Utah Pioneers story the date of the marriage is listed as March 30, 1846 in Winter Quarters. IIn another paper the date is March 16, 1846.  Does someone know which date is correct?  
Also in the story it states that Mary Jane and her daughter, Sarah, and her mother (Sarah Searcy) left Illinois in 1848 and walked across the Plains in the Captain Hopper Company.  I believe that Mary Jane her daughter and mother were with John Bleazard and that they came to Utah with the Wilford Woodruff Co in 1850.  If anyone has additional information,  please let me know. - joan bleazard thomas
There is another picture of Mary Jane on the above site:
"...Mary Jane Miller was born in Beardstown, Cass, Illinois, USA on 9 Jan 1832. Her father was James Miller and her mother Sarah Searcy Miller (Bleazard). On the above site is found that she was a Pioneer in 1848 with Capt. Hopper's Wagon Train. That she was married to John H. Blazzard on 30 March 1846 in Winter Quarters, Nebraska.  Her children by John Bleazard were Sarah, Mary Ann, (died as a child).
Mary Jane married Isaac Hill on 27 Oct 1852 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She and Isaac's children are: Elizabeth 22 Sep 1853; Jacob Bingham 6 Jan 1858; Eliza Homer 3 Jan 1860; Samual Robert 11 Jan 1862; Margret Ella 21 Jan 1864; Joseph Young 17 May 1866; Sylvia Annie 14 May 1868; Emaline Martha 6 Apr 1870 and Hyrum Smith 6 Aug 1873.  
This is the story of Mary Jane that is on the above site.
"Mary Jane Miller was born in 1832 in Illinois.  Mary Jane embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ with her family when she was twelve years of age and was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is believed that her father, James Miller, died at Nauvoo, Illinois, while working on the temple.
Mary Jane and her mother Sarah Searcy were married in polygamy to John H. Blazzard (30 March 1848) , and Mary Jane bore two children.  Mary Jane was later granted a divorce in 1851.
Mary Jane, her daughter Sarah, and her mother left Illinois in 1848, and walked across the Plains in the Captain Hopper Company.
Mary Jane and her sister Martha, married Isaac Hill in polygamy on 27 October 1852.  Their husband was called as a bishop's councilor and then as bishop.  During the time he served in the bishopric, Mary Jane and several other women were called and set apart to serve as nurses by President Brigham Young; a calling she served until her death.
In September 1864, Mary Jane and her husband Isaac, received a call from President Young to go and help settle the Bear Lake region of Idaho.  They settled first in St Charles and then in Fish Haven, Idaho.
The first winter was extremely difficult, they got snowed in and couldn't get supplies.  They had very little food and warm clothing, and the winter was bitter cold.  Mary Jane learned to ice fish on Bear Lake, to help supplement their food supply.  The second winter was also harsh.  Their food supply was again meager because of the cricket plague during the summer, however, they were able to build an adequate shelter to protect them from the cold and snow. 
Mary Jane's husband, Isaac, died in June of 1879, and one year later, in 1880, Mary Jane and her family accepted a call to go to Castle Valley.  They left in the spring and arrived in Huntington in July.
She and her son, Hyrum, farmed in Huntington Canyon and nearby, until 1892, when they returned to Fish Haven, Idaho, where she remained until her death on 5 February 1896, after being a widow for over seventeen years.  She was buried in St. Charles, Idaho, beside her husband. 
Mary Jane was a true, faithful and devoted Latter-day Saint.  She was truly a wonderful pioneer woman of great faith and fortitude, honored by all."