John T Hickenlooper (1836)

Hello Family, When I decided to send out all the material I’d gathered, I decided that I would restrain myself when it came to editing—not easy for an editor. This charming biographical sketch by Sarah Williams Jones, granddaughter of John Thomas and Elvira Hickenlooper, has a few typos, alternate spellings, and punctuation problems, but I’m leaving it the way it came. You can cut and paste and format it to match your other family texts. This is part of the material I got during a visit to the library at the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum. In addition to the anecdotes in the sketch there are some details in this piece that I didn’t know before, such as where they went when they went South at the approach of Johnson’s army. This points up the value of locating and sharing traditions from the different branches of the family.

For the descendants of Thomas Hickenlooper and Jane Hickenlooper Jewart, John Thomas is the only son of William Haney Hickenlooper’s first marriage. He and Elvira had two daughters, only one of whom married. So this line “daughtered out” and although there are many descendants, none bare the Hickenlooper name. The family has been entered in the Ancestral File and you can get information on them by doing a search for John Hickenlooper at and choosing the Ancestral File results. You will know you have the right person when you see John Thomas HICKENLOOPER (AFN: 27B2-HF) and Elvira Martha FULLMER (AFN: 1F2J-W0). If you want a GEDCom file, you will have to get it at a Family History Center or print the online family group and enter the information in your own program. I haven’t gotten around to doing this and don’t want to hold up the flow of information until I have everything perfect. Of course, if someone wants to create a GEDCom and send it to everyone, I’d certainly be the first to say thanks.

My grandmother Florence Hickenlooper Jensen thought Aunt Elvira to be a “splendid woman” and a “through LDS.” She particularly admired Uncle John and Aunt Elvira’s grace in the quadrille. I seem to remember that Uncle John portrayed Uncle Sam in Pleasant View pageants. You’ll see why. Uncle John died relatively young and Elvira had to sell the farm and move in to Ogden.

A word about the photo. It belonged to my grandmother and now belongs to my aunt, Jessie Jensen Behunin, who has allowed me to borrow photos to make negatives and to share scans with the extended families. Because these are intended to take the place of expensive negatives, the files are large and you should save it to disk. If you want to make a smaller file then open the file in an image application and save it again with another name and a lower dpi.

Research is still going on with the Edwards line and I hope to share a working GEDCom with you soon. Remember to download PAF4 from if you don’t have a genealogical program.

Best regards to all,

Jean Ohai

John Thomas Hickenlooper Pioneer of 1847

John Thomas Hickenlooper was born July 7, 1836 in the town of Leachbourgh, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, a son of William Hainey and Sarah Hawkins, Hickenlooper. He was the youngest of three children. The two sisters were Jane, who married Stratton Thornton, and Belinda, who was married to Edward Wade, a member of the Mormon Battalion , He was a half brother to Orson H., Charles A., and William Hickenlooper and of Rachael McLane all of Pleasant View,and of Rebecca H. McCune and George Hickenlooper of Salt Lake City.

The family came to the Great Salt Lake Valley on September 22, 1847, his father’s forty third birthday and when John was just past eleven years old. They settled a half block south of the Old Fort (Pioneer Park). They also had a farm “over Jordan” in the western range of Salt Lake City.

On November 16, 1856 he married Elvira Martha Fullmer, a daughter of David and Rhoda Ann Marvin,Fullmer Her father was a member of the First Legislature of the Territory and a Regent of the University of Deseret, Now University of Utah.

He went with Captain Lot Smith to Echo Canyon where he participated in the manouvers of the Militia in defense of the Colony and in keeping General Albert Sidney Johnston’s Army from entering the city. He was detailed to march with an extra hat on the end of his sword, across the gap, back and forth, giving the appearance of a large company of men, when there were in fact just a few at that place. He also went with the others to capture and burn the Army Supply Wagons and afterwards to sell salt to the hungry soldiers to eat with their sale meat.

While at Echo, his first child, a daughter, Sarah Ann, was born, September 30, 1857. (She later married Ezra H.G. William, a son of Dr. Ezra G. and Henrietta Elizabeth Crombie, Williams) .When she was six weeks old he was sent home to help move his family south. His father moved his family to American Fork and her father moved his family to Fillmore, the southern State Capitol where he was a member of the Legislature.

When the trouble was over, he moved to his home in Salt Lake, and on March 12, 1861 his second daughter, Elvira Caroline was born. His time was spent on the farm and in quarrying rock in the canyons, digging irrigation ditches, grubbing sage brush and stones from the field to aid in working the soil for crops, and in helping to build houses for the people who were coming to the Valley. All the Colony worked together and played together.

Life of the Pioneers was no easy matter, yet they found time to laugh and enjoy the Community life, the dances, the plum, peach, and apple cuttings, the quilting and rag bees, the picnics and swims at Back’s Hot Springs, the Canyon outings to gather the wild cherries, service berries, and currants for winter supplies, all helped to keep the settlers united as well as the Church activities could.

A week before Christmas 1863, John went with other young men to Little Cottonwood Canyon to gather Christmas trees and logs for a gala celebrations in the wards. (His father was bishop of the Sixth Ward) He planned to bring a small tree for his own children and the little girls were eagerly awaiting his return. The cousins and smaller brothers and sisters had been making paper chains and stringing popcorn for the decorations.

On this occasion he met with an accident that almost cost him his life. The men had obtained their loads and were ready to start back for the city when it began to snow heavily, so heavily that they could hardly see each other or the trail ahead. Just as they reached a narrow place, the heard a terrific grinding noise and saw a cloud of snow come hurtling down almost in front of them. They lashed up the horses and made a run for the road ahead. Several wagons got by but John’s was in the very path of the snow slide. His wagon was completely buried. He lost his hat, hurriedly cut the traces and released the horses, crawling to the back of one of them just in time to miss being buried with the wagon. The frightened horses plunged ahead and managed to crawl out of the drift. He tied his handkerchief over his head to keep his ears from freezing and made his way carefully around the slide to see if the men behind were safe. They unhitches their horses and circles over the mountain, around the slide, leaving the wagons where they were and made their way into town for help. The Christmas trees and logs were beyond recovery for the Celebration. In fact they were not recovered until the next Spring and John found his hat many yards from where it had blown off his head.

When he arrived the little girls, expectantly waiting, were disappointed but they were too young to understand. However the mothers had a plan. After the children were in bed they went to the yard and gathered currant bush branches which they pushed through the broom straws and placed the broom upside down in a bucket which they filled with apples to hold it firm. (These apples had been hoarded for this accasion). Then they strung the paper chains and popcorn all over the “tree” and hung doughnuts and cookies on the branches and heaped the meager preasants underneath. The children were so thrilled the next morning that they did not miss the real Christmas tree.

John paid a visit to his sister, Belinda, in Pleasant View in 1865 or 6. She had married Edward Wade, one of the Mormon Battalion, who had bought land from Captain James Brown. He heard there was land to be bought and sent for John, who rented a small farm about 1866 and remained for a few months until he could get the place he wanted. He bought one at the site of the Pleasant View School , across the street from the meeting house. It extended south and contained about forty acres. He went to Salt Lake City and moved his posessions to the new home about 1868 and made arrangements to put in his crops.

The railroad was coming and many men, on the advice of Brigham Young, went to work on the road bed and in cutting and hauling ties. It is to be presumed that John went with them to get money to improve his land, as others of the North Ogden Settlement did, until it was time to attend to his crops. As his farm was situated at the foot of a hill, he was fortunate to miss the early and late frosts, so that he had the reputation of raising the first early peaches, melons, sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and early vegetables in the settlement.

He was instrumental in organizing the Farmers’ Union of which he was elected Secretary, a position he held until his death, which occurred March 5, 1900 from Bronichal Pneumonia, contracted while administering to a sick animal. His home was always open to friends and relatives, some of whom made it their home for several years.

He was a member of the School Trustees and a President of the ____ Quorum of Seventies and President Joseph McMurrin of Salt Lake City preached his funeral sermon. As attested by his many friends, the funeral cortege reached over a mile in length and that on a cold March day. They had come to pay respects to a friend and to a Pioneer of 1847.

– Sarah W. Jones (Granddaughter).

This copy, made available through the courtesy of the International Society DAUGHTERS OF UTAH PIONEERS, may not be reproduced for monetary gain.