ANN ETTA ECKERSLEY DRAPER
By Erma Taylor Livingston & Wanda Livingston Bond February 17, 1956
Obtained from DUP Museum History Dept. by Carolyn J. Christensen
Ann Etta Eckersley was born in Oldham, Lancashire, England on October 15, 1834. Her parents were William Eckersley and Hannah Hardy Eckersely.
Her mother embraced the gospel in England, after hearing it explained by a Mormon Elder. At the age of eleven, she, with her parents and three sisters, Mary, Fanny and Sarah, ages 8, 5 and 3 months respectfully, emigrated to American on a sailing vessel known as the Palmyra. They were six weeks crossing the sea.
They first settled in St. Louis. A baby boy was born there in 1846, and was named James Henry Eckersley. Six weeks later he died. Ann’s father died in 1847. Both of the deceased were buried in St. Louis. (Note-CJC: For details of William’s murder, see his history.)
Her mother worded that the Planter Hotel, then known as the largest in St. Louis. With the money she earned, she saved enough to take her family up the river to Council Bluffs. While living there, she met and married John Crompton. To them a baby girl was born, but died and was buried in Council Bluffs. (Note-CJC: See history of John Crompton & Hannah Hardy for more details.)
They, both being members of the Latter Day Saints Church, soon began to plan and prepare to follow the Saints to Utah, and in the Spring of 1853, they left in an independent company. Their captain was Edward Pugh. When they reached the North Platte River in the state of Nebraska, a baby girl was born, which they named Margaret Emma. *1. They forded the river the next morning, and they arrived in Utah in September.
That fall they picked up potatoes on shares and earned enough to last them through the winter. They then moved to Little cottonwood, where they resided for two years, then to Cedar Valley (Camp Floyd area) but because of the Indians being on the warpath, they moved to American Fork in 1856. *2 Here they passed through all the hardships of pioneer life. Many times they were without bread and lived on thistle roots and wild berries. The first grain they raised was barley, because it ripened earlier than other grain. This they ground in a hand coffee mill and made bread from it.
I remember hearing my great-grandmother Crompton tell how one Christmas when my grandmother Ann Etta was working for a family who were much better off financially than they were, the lady gave her a pan of white flour and the day off, so Ann Etta walked six miles to bring the flour home to the family for their Christmas dinner. Great grandmother said that was the best dinner they had eaten since crossing the plains. *3.
At the age of 23 years, Ann met and married William Lathrop Draper. They were married in Draper, January 1857. The later years of their life was spent in the old home at Freedom, Sanpete, Utah. They both died in that home.
Ann Etta was a very hard worker, and to help with the family expenses she did much sewing. The one item she was an expert at was making men’s trousers, fixing them just a little better than anyone else could. She also taught sewing classes in Moroni and Freedom. Her children’s dresses were beautifully made, all sewed by hand. She was outstanding at designing her own patters for eyelet embroider. She also corded the wool, spun the yarn and wove the material for their dresses.
She loved to visit and mingle with people. She would go to visit at a home where the mother was ill or had been taken from the family or where other members were ill. She would get there before sun-up and stay until sun-down, doing washing, ironing, mending cleaning house, or any other task needing to be done in the house. I don’t think she ever left a home without a needle, thread, and thimble in her skirt pocket.
She was a midwife and for years was the only help to be had for miles around,. Her charges were from fifty cents to one dollar for caring for the mother and baby for three weeks, and within needy homes there was no charge. In many homes where a contagious disease had taken a loved one, she did the preparing of the body for burial.
She had a beautiful voice and did much part singing. *4. She was a very outspoken person, but would never say anything uncomplimentary of anyone not present.
After the death of her husband, she took her aged mother and step-father into her home and cared for them until her mother’s death. The step-father then went with his own children.
She was a very graceful dancer and was an accomplished step dancer, taking part on many programs. She was invited to dance at the Black Hawk Encampment at Ephraim, but as she was walking on the icy sidewalk, she fell and not realizing the extent of her injuries she continued on the place of entertainment, dancing for hundreds of onlookers with her fancy steps, little dreaming this would be her last performance. This was another act of courage that this wonderful woman gave for her succeeding generations to read of and call her blessed.
This accident caused a paralysis which caused her to spend her last years in a wheelchair.
I am thankful to be her granddaughter. I knew and loved her, and I feel she was a choice spirit sent by God to fulfill a wonderful mission and set an example for us, her posterity, to follow.
She passed away at Freedom, Utah, in the evening of June 10, 1915, leaving a large posterity.
1. Note-CJC: John Crompton had a sister named Margaret in Council Bluffs, but no record of her can be found after they left Council Bluffs. She was not included in the roster of the Edward Pugh group. Did they name their baby after a deceased sister of John? Also, for more details of the birth of Margaret Emma, see Hannah’s history.
2. An interesting incident concerning the Indians being on the warpath is in the George Kirkham Histories.
3. The “I” throughout this history would be Erma Taylor Livingstone who told this to Wanda Livingstone Bond.
4. For more about her singing, see the history of Fannie Eckersley Brown Draper, her sister; also in that history is more about her husband’s death, and the plural marriage family in which Ann Etta lived.
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The above history was written by my mother, Erma M. Taylor Livingston, wife of earl Livingston.
The following is an account of a story told me several times by my mother. It is a story of her grandmother, and great grandmother, Ann Etta Eckersley Draper. I am the 4th child, a daughter, of Earl and Erma Livingstone. (Written by Wanda Livingston Bond)
At the time Ann Etta was young, the church leaders were encouraging the young ladies to marry into polygamy. Ann Etta had gone to a church meeting where this was being preached. She, wanting a man for herself, sharing him with no-one, stood up in the meeting, expressed her feelings on the subject, then whisked down the aisle and out of the church building.
The visiting brethren often had dinner at the home of Ann Etta’s parents, John and Hannah Hardy Crompton. This day was such a day. Ann Etta was there to help serve the meal. She was recognized by one of the brethren as the outspoken young lady who had left the church in the middle of the meeting. The visiting brother commented on the matter. Ann Etta, not being afraid to speak up on the subject told him that she didn’t plan to share her man with any other woman.
She and William Lathrop Draper were married 19 Jan 1857 at Draper, Utah. On 19 Aug 1863, her took a second wife, Ellen A. Wilhelm. On 13 Aug 1864, he married Ann Etta’s younger sister (widow) Fanny Eckersley Brown.
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The following information was taken from a history written by Fern A. Johnson and Erma Taylor Livingston.
Ann Etta’s sister Mary married Peter Erikson.
Ann Etta’s half sister, Elvira Crompton was born in 1856 in Little Cottonwood, Utah.
Ann Etta’s husband, William Lathrop Draper was the son of William draper and Elizabeth Staker Draper, born 4 March 1938 in Kirtland, Ohio, and died 3 May 1887 in Freedom, San Peter, Utah.
Children of Ann Etta and William Draper
Ann Maria Draper b. 21 Nov 1856, Spanish Fork d. 3 Dec 1943, Provo
md. Andrew Whitlock 21 Mar 1877
Mary Delina Draper b. 10 Feb 1860, Draper d. 22 Nov 1946 , Freedom
md. Martin A. Taylor 13 Jul 1879
Julia Ann Draper b. 14 Feb 1862, Draper d. 16 Feb 1862, Draper
William Albert Draper b. 2 May 1863, Rockville d. 22 Feb 1864, Rockville
Elnora Hannah Draper b. 18 Oct 1865 d. 20 Jun 1939, Axtell
md. Vasco H. Taylor 6 Jan 1885
Lathrop Lee Draper b. 6 Sep 1868 Chicken Creek d.31 Aug 1869, Chicken Creek
Loren Staker Draper b. 13 Aug 1870, Moroni d. 18 Mar 1950 Pueblo, Clrd
md. Francis Taylor 6 Jan 1885
Ella May Draper b. 5 May 1875, Freedom d. 5 Mar 1912, Freedom
md. James Elmer Simonsen 1898
William Love Draper b. 12 Dec 1877 , Freedom d. 27 Jan 1962, Salt lake City
md. Hannah Jensen 12 Jul 1905
Andrew Adolphine Draper b. 4 Apr 1880, Freedom d. 2 Aug 1880, Freedom