Isaac Huff Losee

Derik’s 4th Great Grandparents

Isaac Huff Losee

Sarah Gilbert

Blog: Isaac and Sarah Losee by Carl T. Cox

Sarah Gilbert and Isaac Huff Losee

Isaac Huff was born October 5, 1816 at Hallowell, Upper Canada. He was the son of David Losee and Lydia Huff.  Sarah Gilbert was born May 6, 1822 in Yurmonth, Upper Canada. She was the daughter of Rufus Gilbert and Bethias Carpenter.

Howell Township
Upper Canada

Isaac and Sarah were married on February 7, 1838 in Toronto, Kent Co, Upper Canada. Later that year they moved to Walson, Montgomery, Michigan to make their home. Two years later, while in Waton, Michigan, their first child was born, Rufus Gilbert Losee. He was born on March 24, 1840. In October 1840, they heard about the Mormon Church through LDS Missionaries. On January 10, 1841, they were baptized and became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by Henry Lamerouf. On June 16, 1841 they moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. On November 10, 1841, Rufus died. On August 10, 1842, Isaac and Sarah’s second child, Elizabeth Jane Losee, was born.

They were married February 7, 1838 in Kent County, Upper Canada. Later that year they moved to [Kalamazoo] Michigan [or Walson, Montgomery, Michigan] to make their home. Two years later in October of 1840 they heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached by Latter Day Saint missionaries.  They were Quakers before here the gospel.  January 10th 1841 they were baptized by Henry Lamerauf became member of the church.

Lima, Adams county Ill.

Shortly thereafter, on June 16, 1841, this young couple and small family left Kalamazoo Michigan to seek a home with the body of saints in Nauvoo Ill.  It is very likely that they went south to Nauvoo to Lima, Adams county Ill. To make their home.  Isaac’s parents David and Lydia Huff Losee, and his older brother Abram and at least two of his sister lived there and were members of the Lima Branch when it was organized on the 23rd of October, 1840 by Hyrum Smith. On November 10, 1841, Rufus died. Elizabeth (Eliza) Jane Losee was born here on Aug, 10 1842

On May 11, 1843 Isaac was called to a full time mission in Michigan and Upper Canada. Sarah went with him and stayed with her folks in Michigan, while he traveled as a missionary. They returned to Nauvoo later in the fall of 1844.  Sarah’s twin brother John Rich Gilbert joints them.

During these years, the saints were cruelly treated by their enemies and the strife and turmoil among them got steadily worse until the spring of 1845 mobs were formed against them, their property destroyed, many of the homes were burned.  The saints were ordered to leave, which they did. They took with them only food, clothing and few necessary household belongings.

Their hardships were many indeed, but their faith held them steadfast.  Their numbers were few but they didn’t lack for courage.  They decided to come west where in the valleys of the mountains they might live their religion as they chose.  On 6, March 1845 Rebecca was born.

Winter Quarters, Iowa

On January 12, 1846 they went through the Nauvoo Temple and received their endowments.  Than on April 1, 1846 they crossed the river on their way to the west.  They stayed that winter with a company of the saints in Iowa.  When they stopped in Iowa where they built shelters, repaired wagons, made clothes, cleared and plowed the land and planted corn for the saints who were to follow later.  After leaving Nauvoo three children were born to them whole residing in Iowa David Alma, Mary, and Isaac. Than they continued on toward Council Bluffs Iowa, a little later they cross the Missouri River and located in Winter Quarters. Isaac was a builder and all around handy man, so his services were needed to help build up these temporary rest places

Sickness and poverty were their lot that year, and it was six years before the group of Saints were able to continue on their journey.  With a company of Saints Isaac and Sarah left Iowa on June 15th 1852, commencing the long hazardous trip westward.  Covered wagons were their house, and the camps along the way were the only homes they know.  Fording rivers, building roads that loaded wagons might pass safely over and finding forage for their animals made progress very slow.  Some days only a mile or two was made because of mud and breakdowns.  Some streams made it necessary for rafts to be built, strong enough to carry the wagon across.  Cooking was done over open fires and at some places fuel was hard to obtain.  Conveniences were few, but not all was trouble and pain.  Many happy hours were enjoyed in music and song on evenings while gathered around the camp fires.

Sarah walked and drove an ox team and often carried Isaac Jr., her one year old. They arrived in Salt Lake City on September 15th 1852.  With thankful hearts and new determination Isaac and Sarah set about making a new home in Zion.  What is now called Sugar House ward was their home for a short time. Then President Young request they moved to Lehi, Utah to establish a settlement here Sarah was born on November 1, 1853.  The they went to Cedar Fort, and they were among the first families there. After leaving Cedar Fort, now the family of ten in a wagon drawn by a pair of three years old steers was on their way to Manti.

example of scythe and cradle used for cutting wheat

They were called to Manti to help build a town there. But the Indians were so hostile the people moved to Gunnison Utah.  This was the time of the Walker War.  Isaac engaged in farming while there and built four rooms, two story rock house which was considered very nice at the time.  Harvesting was also, very primitive.  Grain was cut with an implement called a cradle, wielded by one man, then raked together and bound in bundles also by hand, then thrashed by driving horses over the bundles. . The bundles were laid on hard ground in a circle with heads all pointing in to the center, and then Isaac’s horses would be harnessed and driven over the grain until it was mostly thrashed.  Then the straw was thrown off and finished with large sticks by beating it until the grain was all shelled out.  To separate the grain from the chaff it was poured from pans onto a large canvass.  When the wind was blowing a little, the chaff would blow away while the grain would fall on the canvass.

Lovisa Losee (Barney) – Derik’s 3rd Great Grandmother

On 27 November 1855 Martha Ann was born, than on 5 March 1858 Oliver Bethia was born, then Lovisa was born on 11 Jun 1860, than Lydia Almire was born 30 June 1862. Also the Losse’s adopted John Story who was born on 28, September 1856.  At this time their children numbers ten three sons and sevens daughters.

The Indians at this time were very hostile and it was necessary for the settlers to be on guard at all times to protect their lives and property.  David Alma, when he was fifteen years old, acted as messenger to carry messaged to the soldiers during the Black Hawk war.  At the age of 16, David served in the army as a home guard and also in the field of battle with his father, where they had many hazardous escapes from being scalped by Indians.

Isaac seemed to be gifted in the art of home building and with his own hands fashioned the articles that were essential in furnishing the home and clothing for family.  Besides farming he did copper work, making wooden tubs, barrels, butter churns, and a vessel called a Keeler in which bread was made.  He also, made brooms from the broom corn he raised.  Shoe making was another art in which he took especial pride, making the tacks from seasoned hardwood, and often the children’s shoes were made from the tops of men’s worn- out boots, and laces made from buckskin.

While living at Gunnison, Sarah cheerfully did her share going about doing the things that fell to her as the mother of a large family.  The laundry was done on a wooden washboard.  She made her own soap and starch and tallow candles to uses for light.  Clothing was real problem.  After the sheep were sheared, the wool was sent to the carding mill to be returned in rolls ready for spinning and weaving into cloth for clothing for the family.  Sarah and the girls knitted socking, carded bats for quilts, braided straw from which the straw hats were made.  She was amid-wife and assisted in bringing many babies into the world.  Although she had no medical training she did a good job of it.  God was ever with these brave women and gave them strength to meet the obstacles which they were constantly facing.  Later in her life she was able to get her nursing certificate.

Spanish Fork, UT.

They later helped to settle Redmond Utah.  During the Black Hawk war Isaac moved his family to Spanish fork to live, an already established settlement this was in 1866 Isaac built a log house close to the home of Stephen Markham.  For a short time when the Indian were raiding the Losee’s and the Markham’s lived together.  They soon moved to town and Issac built another home and it was located at First east and 5th North where Mary A Holmes’s home now stands.  It was an abode house and Isaac planted a good orchard there.  He would bring wagon loads of fruit for the family to dry, some of which they sold.

In 1867 Isaac was called on a mission, but was released because of ill health. On 26 November 1868, Isadira was born.

A few years later when land was opened for homesteading, their home was sold to Thomas Matley and the Losee family procured a homestead south ward of Spanish fork, then called the New Survey.  In 1887 Isaac moved with his family to Orderville to join the United Order.  His oldest daughter Elisa Cox and his two sons, Alma and Isaac lived there.  Later their daughter Olived Stock moved there.

Isaac Losee cabin in Tropic Garfield Utah. photo by Kerry Boren
Cannonville / Loseeville

The order broke up in 1885 and in 1886 Isaac moved with his family to a place near Cannonville and started a town. The name chosen for it was Loseeville.  Their children settled around them and they joined the Cannonville ward.  The family lived in Loseeville and farmed and raised bees.   Here Isaac spent the remainder of his life working among the Indians and teaching them to farm.  He blessed many Indians babies and old chief insisted of giving him his name gave to the name of Losee Isaac after the good white man friend. He helps care for the sick and many times divided his food with them.

On February 22, 1891 he died as he lived, a brave courageous pioneer.  Sarah with four of her children stayed in Loseeville. But dreaded cancer was praying upon her and she succumbed to it died 28 February 1893 they are buried in the Loseeville cemetery.

Loseeville Cemetary

Note: The the little ghost town of Loseeville, settled in 1855, was located about two miles east of Tropic in east valley.  In the beginning the little town grew rapidly, but the lack of water proved to be a major obstacle with settlers depending on that priceless substance from Henderson and North canyons. Later they were able though much difficulty, to obtain some from Pine Creek, which they took to the brink of the canyon and then turned down Henderson canyon. Seven wells were dug, but only one struck water. Water was then hauled in barrels from a source about a mile way. Flooding of the Paria each spring and river banks of wide mud isolated the town of Loseeville from the main corridors of shipping to receive goods and mail and in typical pioneer determination picked up the two public and moved them to Tropic to help bolster a settlement there. Nine years after it was settle it was abandon all that remains of the town in 13 graves in a small cemetery.


The United Order – Episode 21