Hay view from Castle

Hay view from Castle
Hay-on-Wye, Powys (formerly Breconshire), Wales. The "Town of Books" (and Vaughans!)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

One More Clue

In the continuing search to find Elinor's grave (and at least we're on the right continent now), we find one more tantalizing clue in the Springfield City Cemetery, Utah County, Utah:

Photo by Grant L. Vaughn, August 31, 2013 (replacement photo)
This is the grave marker for another of the plural wives of Charles Hulet in the Springville Cemetery that you can see here. So what is there of interest in this one above?

Well, several things.

First, it's obvious that grave monuments don't last well over the ages. That was shockingly evident in the more humid Welsh border country we visited a few years back. Sandstone isn't best stone for the eternities either. This one has significantly deteriorated since 1857. The conclusion I draw from that is that if Elinor is buried here, and if there was a stone marker, it very well could have deteriorated beyond recognition.

Second, 1857 is significant. Charles Hulet was still alive and it's the same year he was sealed to Elinor. This death is noted as December 17, 18[ ]. We are taking Family Tree at its word that it was '57 which seems reasonable considering the age and style of this marker. And the significance here is that Hulet likely had this marker placed for this plural wife. I need to go back and check (or someone else can and report in) on the Springville Ward records where I didn't find any reference to Elinor/Eleanor to see if any Elizabeth Frampton or Hulet is there. (Her maiden name was Hough which apparently ended up as "Huff," now apparently missing from the sandstone.)

Third is the fact that while Hulet was likely involved in thes burial, there is no indication of  Hulet's name on it. The missing part of the name could be Hulet, and it could fit. But so could "Hough" or "Huff." Even an "H" wouldn't help clarify that. I don't know what to think about Elizabeth's previously deceased husband David Frampton referenced as "consort" except that the dictionary says it could mean "legal spouse" more common in archaic times. Maybe it was some way to designate her as a plural wife? Maybe the civil marriage was considered of less importance than a sealing under the restored priesthood? I dunno. But very interesting is the fact that Family Search does not show a sealing to Charles Hulet.

Another tidbit is that checking the cemetery records, all the wives of Charles Hulet, except the first one that died long before he joined the Church and settled in Springville, are buried in the Springville Cemetery but not all next to him. It probably wasn't the practice in those days to think too far ahead on family plots. And, it may have been unlike the plural marriages entered in the combative years of the 1870s and 80s when defiantly proud patriarchs ended up having all their wives buried side by side. (In our first year of marriage, my wife and I would bike to the Provo Cemetery and stroll among the headstones looking for the polygamist families. Guess we should have gone to Springville.) It may have still been a little secretly discrete in the 1850s. The practice hadn't been announced publicly until 1852. [A friend of mine who is a Mormon History expert, especially of the 19th Century in Utah, indicated her surprise that Hulet would be reticent about revealing plural wives. After 1852 everything was out in the open and President Young's Reformation of 1857 was the height of plural marriages entered which is exactly the period of Hulet's sealings to Mary Lawson Kirkman and Eleanor Jenkins Vaughan.]

We are planning to check all available Springville Cemetery records. There's a book at FHL and the Sexton has historical records. There may be a hint somewhere if not likely a name as that already would have turned up when cemetery plots and lists were prepared and are now on-line. We should also check on who put that newer monument on Charles Hulet to see what information they had as to why Eleanor Jenkins Vaughan was included.

And I think I know where they got that name "Eleanor." I went last Friday to see the Special Collections at the LDS FHL. Those are LDS Temple records that require a recommend just to get in the door. You can't copy anything or even type on a computer. Penciled notes are all that are allowed. My graphite scratches reveal that the day Eleanor was sealed to Hulet, he was also sealed to two other wives, one living, and one deceased. The deceased one was Margaret Noah who joined the Church with him in 1831. The other living one, besides Eleanor, was Mary Lawson also a widow from the handcart companies of '56 her husband, Peter Kirkman, having died near Devil's Gate (Martin's Cove or Bitter Cottonwood Creek). She died in 1899 and is buried in Springville. So, I think the person who placed that monument to Hulet got the information on Mary and Eleanor from Special Collections too.

So where does that leave Elinor ("Eleanor" to Hulet)? Hopefully, in Springville. As Hulet died in 1863, whatever he did or didn't do with regard to Elinor's burial could very well have disappeared with time as she had no descendants here in Utah until 1886. And she could have survived him ending up with only a wooden grave marker and no one to care for it. If she was a somewhat secret wife even if only to be taken care of, it's no wonder that no record other than the Temple record would indicate anything with regards to a sealing to Hulet just like Elizabeth Hough/Huff. And if there was some burial record with Eleanor's name attached in any of its variations, it would already be available in the cemetery lists. We'll work on what we can for other little hints in the cemetery records. There are unmarked graves, after all.

And for at least some amount of time, in 1856-57 and beyond(?), she had to exist somewhere in some ward record. Maybe we should try Provo? Any other ideas out there? Spanish Fork?

Anybody want to go to Springville next week with me?

Lunch time, August 26, 2013 & continuing.

I just checked a couple of typed lists in the FHL of all the graves in Springville compiled from Sextons' records. They were dated 1936 and !959. Cynthia, Margaret, and Mary all appear with their surnames previous to becoming plural wives of Charles Hulet. No sign of our Eleanor. In fact, Charles Hulet doesn't even appear, which is odd. I can understand no surviving grave marker, but how is it he is not in the Sextons' records? Maybe they didn't start until after 1863? I'll call and find out. And somebody knew something to put the monument for him up. And Margaret Noah Hulet, who died 15 April 1851, is claimed to be the first person to be buried in the Springville Cemetery. A modern stone has her name. Is it in the right place? Cynthia Davis Clyde died in 1874 and is buried in Springville. Her grave marker makes no mention of Hulet either.

After visiting the cemetery today (a full report to follow), we learn that Margaret Noah Hulet, Cynthia Clyde, and Mary L. Kirkman are all buried close to the Hulet monument in the same plot. The plot is otherwise filled with Kirkmans, except for one, "empty" grave. Elizabeth Huff Frampton is a few strides off but in the same section.

Why didn't anybody catch my typo when I wrote "Peter" Frampton for "David?" You guys gotta keep on me!

Any theories or additional information to consider are welcome. But isn't the rule to look for the simplest explanation possible?


  1. You are a dear dear man!!! I have been looking at this wonderful blog you have put together and I am not only impressed with the love and work you have put into this, but I find myself so mesmerized by Elinor and even feeling somewhat of what she must have felt when she entered into the Salt Lake Valley.

    All the information you have put into this is wonderful on so many levels. It will touch many people in time as I believe it will with my
    children. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    I enjoyed your remarks on your connection and your feelings and how well you put this blog together.

    I cannot help but feel that Elinor was instrumental in me finding the Church at the young age of 22 years old. The Elders prayed, opened up a phone book and their fingers went to my name and they called me. The phone rang, they introduced themselves and asked me if I wanted to hear more. I asked them to come right over. I have no doubt.

    To know we have Pioneer Heritage literally helps fulfill my Patriarchal Blessing. This is beginning to touch others and will so many more.

    Thank you again, this truly is what Joseph talked about, the Spirit of Elijah, bringing the hearts to the Fathers and Children.

    With much love, your Cousin, Cheryl

  2. Thank you so much, dear Cousin Cheryl! (Is your application in yet for the DUP?)

  3. Grant- I am a direct descendant of Elizabeth Hough Frampton. I actually went to Springfield cemetery about 6 years ago to find EHF's gravesite. While searching for the headstone, I found Charles Hulets headstone, and I was floored that my GGG Grandmothers name was on the grave of Charles Hulet. I had always thought that she was sealed to David Frampton in Nauvoo- David was a close associate of the Prophet Joseph, and was with him in Liberty jail. While visiting on memorial day about 3 years ago, I noticed a lady and her daughter at Charles' grave, so I went to talk to her to see if she had any information. She said she didn't know much about any of the other wives- (I can't remember which wife she had descended from- I wrote down her name and email, but somehow lost the information), but she said it's quite possible that Elizabeth wasn't actually "married" to Charles- she said he had taken care of several widows, and was known to be a great guy. I have a page from the DUP books on EHF, and it states she died at the home of her daughter Sarah- my great-great grandma's house in 1857. Her death notice also mentions that she's the widow of David Frampton, but doesn't mention Charles at all. Charles is a mystery I'm still researching. Actually, i learned about your blog from Sandy Allison from the DUP museum in Springville. I hope you find more information about your Eleanor. Feel free to contact me via email @ paulcooley2955@gmail.com

    1. Thank you! That is very helpful information. Elinor/Eleanor appears to have come with a daughter & son-in-law who mysteriously disappear from Utah records as well. We are trying to find them in hopes that we will find Elinor too as it appears she may never have been in the Hulet household just like Elizabeth.


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