Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Isabella Sproul Stephenson Biography


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Typed by Vaun E. Harrison on 21 Jul 1991

Isabella Sproul Stephenson, daughter of Andrew Sproul and Mary McSporran, was born March 14, 1838, at Paisley, Abbey Parrish,Renfrew County, Scotland. Three children were born to Andrew and Mary. Isabella was the first child and was named for her grandmother, Isabella Black. The next child was a little girl, Anne by name, who lived to be but five years of age. Andrew was the only son to live.

When Isabella was still very young, she, with her parents and younger brother, made the long dangerous journey across the ocean. In those days, there were few comforts aboard the ship, and often very little food and warmth. This weary family finally settled inFlorence, Nebraska, where they remained for a short time. While in Florence, Isabella's mother was laid to rest, and Isabella, her father, and brother Andrew, continued their long tedious journey across the plains. It would be difficult for us to imagine what it must have been like with no roads, and the wilds on every side, no bridges, strange country, and a seemingly endless journey ahead.

They arrived in Salt Lake City in 1856, or 1857, when the city had only been settled about 10 years. After the weary saints had rested briefly, they started building homes for themselves. Isabella was very proud of her new log cabin with its sod roof. And hers was the task of keeping the home in order, and taking the mother's place. She was still young and this was quite a responsibility. Her father was a musician, and composed many pieces of beautiful music.

A few years later, while living in Salt Lake City, Isabella met Harris Shannon Stephenson, and they were married October 4, 1862. Soon after they were married, they moved to Richmond, Utah, where seven of their nine children were born. Often Isabella left her family with the older children, and went about the neighborhood nursing among the sick and poor. She always had a house full of everyone's children around her, who came to be cheered by her motherly kindness. While helping with the sick in Richmond, she and her husband, Harris Shannon, had a most interesting experience. They were called to the bedside of a very sick child. There was, at that time, a man living in Richmond who claimed to have great healing powers, even to the extent of performing miracles. When Isabella and her husband arrived at the home, they found this man there. The father of the sick child asked the Elders to administer to the child, which they did, but the child passed away following the administration. This miracle man rebuked the parents and the Elders, and told them they had insufficient faith. He then asked the parents to send the Elders away, and leave him alone with the child, and he would bring it back to life, and it would never die. The Elders left, and the miracle man went in the room and prayed over the child and burned a flame over its face, and in a little while, the child began to cry. The family said they never saw anything to equal the suffering of the child. They asked the Elders to return and dedicate the child. They asked Harris Shannon to be mouth in the dedication. He turned to the father of the child, and told him he could feel the influence of an evil power in the room, and asked the family and the Elders to kneel with him in prayer.. In this prayer, he rebuked the evil spirits, and demanded them to leave. The miracle man crawled to the door on his hands and knees during the prayer, and fled down the street. The Elders then proceeded with the dedication, and the child passed quietly away, proving our belief that, although Satan may have great power, the Lord will be the conqueror, and the elect will not be deceived, for they will be able to discern between the two powers.

From Richmond, the family moved to Lewiston, Utah, where they built their home, which is still standing. In this home the two younger children were born. The family went through many hardships, but remained faithful, paid an honest tithing, and truly lived their religion. They took an active part in the church activities, and the interests of the saints were their interests also.

Harris Shannon Stephenson was called on a mission to the Southern States, and while there, his Third daughter died. The daughter's faith in her father's administrations was so great that just before she died, she said, "If father was here to administer to me, I would not have to die." He was a man full of faith, and many who knew his great faith felt he was blessed with the power and gift of healing.


1 comment:

  1. This is a history of my great-grandmother, written by her daughter (my maternal grandmother), Alice Ann Stephenson Wheeler.
    Sandra Coffman Ashcraft 2/19/14