In Chenago County, State of New York, on the 28th of March, 1806 a wee
came to gladden the home of Hyrum and Martha Barrus Keyes. They named this baby
Elisha Barrus Keyes. Nothing is know of this early life until at the age of 32 on the 28 of
March 1838 he married Joanna Case Worden at Grafton, Lorraine County, Ohio. She was
16 at the time, being 16 years his junior. She was born 17th of February 1822 in Antwerp,
Jefferson County, New York, the daughter of Amos Prentiss and Mary Case Worden.
Elisha and Joanna made their home in Grafton, Ohio. Their first child was born
there on 10th of May 1841. She was given the name of Celia Anzenette.
The Keyes were good, hard working religious people, seemingly content with their
way of life. All this changed , however, when Humble Mormon Missionaries, who were
diligently seeking out the honest in heart in that locality, found Elisha and Joanna Keyes
and taught them the true gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The
message sank deep into their very souls. This was a new and unpopular religion at the
time and the Keyes had some realization that to become affiliated with it would mean
much sacrifice, but they could not squelch the burning testimony they had of its
truthfulness. Consequently, they were both baptized members of the Church on the 16th
of July 1841.
The missionaries had encouraged them to join the main body of the church in
Illinois as soon as possible. Hence their second child Mary, was born January 8, 1843 in
Shahane Grove County, Illinois. However she died August 27, 1843. Next Martha was
born 16th of January 1845 at McQueens, Mills County, Illinois.
Joanna Keyes' mother, Mary Case Worden, died in Nauvoo on August 28 1843.
In the Nauvoo baptismal records it state that Joanna Keyes was baptized for her father
Amos Worden, her mother Mary Worden, her grandfather Joseph Worden, her
grandmother, Amy Worden and her sister Hannah Worden. This was April 28, 1844. In
the early days of baptism for the dead it was permissible for women to be baptized for
Along with the rest of the saints in Nauvoo and vicinity, the Keyes family endured
much, including mob violence and persecution. In 1846 when Brigham Young, the
president of the Twelve Apostles directed the great exodus from Illinois across in
Mississippi River into Iowa, Elisha, Joanna and their little children also left Illinois and
traveled into Iowa to the temporary camp at Bentenport. Here, under the most difficult
and trying circumstances, Joanna gave birth to a little girl, Sarah Ann. It was believed that
she died as an infant.
The Keyes family then moved to Mt. Pisgah, Iowa, Brigham Young decided it
was a good place, well situated for a settlement for the homeless refugees. Several
thousands acres of land was fences off for cultivation and crude homes were made. The
Keyes family remained here for about four years, where two more children were born:
Elisha Burns, born 28 November 1848 and Hyrum Henry, born 2 February 1851. He died
October 13, 1851.
By 1852 Elisha was able to get a suitable outfit together to make the long trek
across the pains to Utah. The Keyes family was assigned to travel with the Eli B. Kelsey
Company. This company was the nineteenth to leave Kanesville, Iowa. There were 100
souls in the group which arrived in the valley of the Great Salt Lake October 16, 1852.
The Keyes family was delighted to at least be with the main body of the church in
the Valley of the Mountains, far away from their enemies. They were listed as living in the
Tenth Ward in Salt Lake City, where they were re-baptized on October 28, 1852. It was
here that Joanna gave birth to a daughter, Joanna Isabell on 31 August 1853. Elisha was a
carpenter by trade so he gave freely of his time and talents while he lived in Salt Lake
toward the temple construction.
Elisha and his family moved to Provo where Elisha worked at his trade and did
other jobs to make a living for his family. Joanna adjusted well to this pioneer community.
They were active in the church and Elisha was ordained a High Priest. On the 27th of
September 1855, the life of Elisha Barrus Keyes came to an abrupt close in Provo. True,
age 49 was not old in years for a man such as Elisha to be called "home", but his life time
had been one of varied experiences and accomplishments. His children who grew to
adulthood married and had families that were living monuments to his fine character. The
greatest heritage they received from their father was the fact that he had the courage to
accept Mormonism and to stay steadfast and true to the Church and its teachings through
all the persecutions in Illinois and the privations of making a home in this new territory of
Joanna was left a widow at 33 years of age, with here children ranging in ages
form 15 to 2 years. Polygamy was being extensively practiced and when a church stalwart
George Bentley asked her to be his plural wife, she accepted. This marriage took place on
February 20, 1856. George B. Teeples was born 17 March, 1803 in Rochester, New
York. He married Hulda Colby and crossed the plains in 1848. They eventually became
the parents of 10 children. Joanna Teeples gave birth to her first child by him, Rhoda
Elvira on the 23 of September 1857 in Fort Supply, which was the first in Utah and later in
Wyoming. A call was made from Utah County in 1856 for families to go to Fort Supply,
and this was probably when the Teeples family went. Because Johnston's Army was
approaching, the people were evacuated and the fort burned.
The Teeples families were among those who went to Ogden, a fast growing
community in Weber County. Joanna gave birth to Jacob Amos Teeples on February 5,
1869, then twin girls were born September 27, 1862. Joanna knew deep sorrow when
Antoinette died on the 8th of March 1862 and Marietta died May 2, 1866. She would
have had 11 children in all.
It is not know why or when the Teeples family left Ogden and journeyed south to
Parowan, Iron County, then next they lived in Cedar Springs, which was later named
Holden, Utah. Here she was left a widow for the second time. George Bentley Teeples
died September 18, 1884. (The first wife Hulda, had died June 10, 1882). He was 81 at
the time of this death.
A short account of each of Joanna's children follows: When Celia Anzinete was 15
1/2 years old, she married Alma Taylor at Fort Supply on December 3, 1856. They settled
in Ogden in 1857 and pioneered Franklin, Idaho and Vernal in Uintah County, Utah. Celia
was the mother of 13 children. Here husband died August 10, 1910 at Vernal from
injuries received in a run-a-way. She took care of there mother in her old age. Celia died
in Vernal September 9, 1913.
In 1864 Martha Keyes married her brother in law Alma Taylor as his plural wife.
She was the mother of four children and died February 21, 1875, perhaps in Vernal.
Elisha Burns Keyes Married Lillis Louisa Barney in 1871. They
made their home in
different settlements in Southern Utah. First in Pine Valley, then to Parowan, back to Pine
Valley, then to Vermillion and Annabella in Sevier County. He lived in Annabella 23 years
and died there on April 10, 1911 at age 62. He and his wife had a family of 10 children.
Joanna Isabelle married Thomas Yardley in Parowan, Utah on February 30, 1871.
Joanna lived in Parowan all her married life and died February 19, 1892 at the age of 38.
She was the mother of 11 children ranging in age from 19 years to 3 months old.
Rhoda Elvira Teeples married Newell Green November 12, 1871 and she died on
January 8, 1889. He died August 9, 1931 in Montpelier, Idaho. Rhoda could have been
divorces from him and married to someone else. He and his second wife were married in
Jacob Amos Teeples married Sarah Elizabeth Bennett in Garden City, Utah,
September 24, 1882. About 1884 they moved from Holden to Menan, Idaho. They had a
family of nine children. His wife Sarah died in 1906 and in 1907 he married Elsie
Whitmill. He died November 11, 1937 in South Gate, California.
Being left alone Joanna Keyes Teeples appreciated her oldest daughter taking her
into her home in Vernal. She received tender loving care until she died May 5, 1902 at the
age of 80 years. She died in Vernal in the community of Ashley and was buried in the
community in the Rock Point Cemetery. (probably later moved to Provo, Utah)