His­tory of Betsy Jane Ten­ney Loose Si­mons

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This beau­ti­ful por­trait of Betsy Jane Si­mons can be seen at the DUP Mu­seum at the City Cen­ter in Payson. The mu­seum has many por­traits and his­to­ries of early set­tlers of the area.

Betsy was born Dec. 1, 1824, in Hanover, N.Y., the daugh­ter of Wil­liam Webb Ten­ney and Elkza Webb. Her par­ents were Methodists. They first heard about the gospel in the win­ter of 1833-34. They were bap­tized in Septem­ber of 1834.

The fol­low­ing April they moved to Far West and in 1839 they moved to Illi­nois.

Betsy mar­ried Robert Loose on Jan 24, 1844, in Quincy, Ill. They had three sons: Warren, Wil­liam, and Charles Ed­win.

Robert passed away July 5, 1854. Her fa­ther had also passed away by this time, leav­ing her mother a widow. By 1859 Betsy and her mother El­iza de­cided to come to Zion. They left Quincey on April 27, 1860, with the Warren Wallings Wagon Com­pany. They ar­rived in Salt Lake on Au­gust 9, 1860, and then moved to Payson.

Betsy ap­proved of plu­ral mar­riage and on Aug. 24, 1861, be­came the plu­ral wife of Or­rawell Si­mons in the En­dow­ment House in Salt Lake. They had two chil­dren, a son named Ge­orge Grant and a daugh­ter named Emma El­iza. Emma died when she was 2 years old.

Or­rawell Si­mons had three wives. The first was Martha Di­zon, the sec­ond was Betsy Jane and the third was Kate Bald­win. The fam­ily lived in har­mony un­til the laws on polygamy made it nec­es­sary to change. Mr. Si­mons there­fore re­tained his first wife Martha and pro­vided homes for the other two, set­tling upon each a com­fort­able al­lowance.

On May 7, 1868, the Re­lief So­ci­ety was or­ga­nized and Betsy Jane was or­dained as the first pres­i­dent in Payson. She served in this po­si­tion for 20 years.

Betsy was a school teacher in Il­lionois and also taught in Payson for many years. She died on Jan­uary 14, 1904, at the age of 80 in Payson.

*** Free­dom is the right to tell peo­ple what they do not want to hear. - Ge­orge Or­well

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