Mary or Maria Burkhardt 3rd wife of John Brown.(John born 26 Nov 1831)
This information was written by David grandson of Mary. He is the son of Mary's only daughter Ada Elizabeth. This was written October 2012. His statement "The story may not be the gospel truth in all aspects, but it is the best I can do from what I can remember (and keep in mind, sometimes I forget what I had for breakfast the day before.)
Things I remember and come to mind concerning the family of Maria or Mary Burkhardt Brown.
In Switzerland, the last name was spelled Burkhard. Sometime after arriving in the United States, a "t" was added at the end of the name making it Burkhardt. In German (& Swiss) a final "d" in a word is pronounced as a "t". I assume that this might be the reason for the change in spelling. Maria Burkhardt changed her name to Mary Burkhardt. The rest of the family also changed the spelling of the last name to Burkhardt at some point in time.
Mary was the 2nd of 13 children. Her parents were Friedrich Burkhardt and Elizabeth Stauffiger, all of Switzerland. The family joined the church in July of 1877 while living in Switzerland. All 13 children were born in Switzerland and 4 died and were buried there. The other 9 children died in the US. The reason that the children were born in different places is the father-Friedrich Burkhardt-was a butcher and moved from place to place in order to butcher the livestock of people living in various areas.
I am not sure when the family left Switzerland to come to the United States. Mary was perhaps the first to come in about 1886. I do not know with whom she may have traveled. I was told that she came across the plains by train. She worked for Bishop Samuel A Wooley of the 9th Ward in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was during this time that she met and later married John Brown. Her parents and some or all of the other children came in about 1890. At one time they lived in Cherry Creek, Idaho, just south of Malad City. On various occasions, my mother remembers going by train from Salt Lake City to Malad by train to visit her grandparents. They picked her up by buggy in Malad City and brought her to Cherry Creek. We took my mother to the area her grandparents lived in and she recognized the church she attended there. We were not able to locate the home. Her grandparents-Friedrich and Elisabeth Stauffiger Burkhardt-later moved to and died in Salt Lake City.
When John Brown and Mary Burkhardt were married in 1887, she was his 3rd wife. His first wife, Sarah Haynes died in 1874. At the time of his marriage to Mary, he was married to Eleanor Caffall. John Brown and Mary Burkhardt had 7 children-6 sons and 1 daughter. My mother, Ada Elizabeth Brown Aamodt had 3 older brothers and 3 younger brothers and no sisters. The oldest child, Orson Winfield Brown, lived only about 8 months. William Earl Brown was about 17 when he died and Friedrich Jacob Brown was about 18 or 19 when he died. The other 4 children married and had families. When I was born, my 3 living uncles were married and moved away, and I do not remember seeing them except for times when they came to visit their mother and/or sister. We had no car and walked or used public transportation to get from place to place. Because of this, we did not visit relatives, they visited us.
The Polygamy problem split families throughout the church, and so it was with my grandfather Brown and his two wives. John's 2nd wife, Eleanor Caffall, died in 1907. I have no idea how he spent his time while Eleanor was still living. She still had a son living with her (I believe) at the time of her death. The other son was married in 1900. At some point in time, John built a home at 239 South 11th West in Salt Lake City for Mary and her 7 children. It is likely that he moved in with Mary after the death of his 2nd wife. Because John Brown had been a polygamist, the Brown children living at 239 South 11th West were looked down upon by many and it was a difficult time for Mary and for the children. (added by Linda Hoskins-John married Mary for the second time 28 October 1908 after the death of Eleanor)
Soon after the death of Uncle Frank's 1st wife, his son Frank Lukens Brown came to live with my grandmother. Three days after Frank Lukens Brown was born, his mother died, leaving his father a widower.
We lived just a few blocks east of my grandmother and on occasion I would go and bring in coal and wood from the woodshed. Her house was heated by 2 or 3 coal stoves. One day she asked me to have my father come. She wanted to talk to him-she had no phone. She asked him if she could come and live with us as it was getting difficult for her to be alone. As I was the only child home, she moved onto my room and I moved to the bedroom in the basement. She lived with us until she passed away in 1953. Although we all lived in the same Ward (15th Ward), I never saw my grandmother in church except for one time. She came to bear her testimony on a Fast Sunday shortly before her death.
Her Patriarchal blessing said in effect that she could pick the time she wanted to die. One day while living with us she told my mother to get her burial clothes ready. She said that her husband (my mother's father) had visited her and that it was time for her to "come home". She was ready to again be with long gone family and wanted to let my mother know that she would soon be returning. Not many days later, she died in her sleep.
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Sharing stories like this to be passed on to posterity is priceless. I liked the way you incorporated feelings against polygamist families and the way it portrays values. Great job. Thanks for sharing.
i'm hoping a relative will see this note. my grandmother is ada elizabeth brown aamodt. she is the daughter of john brown and mary burkhardt brown. i'm doing a family history and i would love any help anyone could give me. thank you.