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Morgan Family Pioneer Heritage

Harriet Neeley Strong

Harriet was an early Idaho pioneer. It took a while for us to identify her picture, which explains why she is in the "Unidentified" section of this website.


The woman in the picture above has been identified as Harriet Neeley Strong, wife of William Strong. She was born 10 Sept 1839 in Quincy (or Nauvoo), Hancock, Illinois. She died 28 December 1923 at Ucon (Willow Creek), Bonneville Idaho. Her parents are Lewis Neeley and Elizabeth Miller. She married William Strong 17 Apr 1856, Salt Lake City Utah. William Strong died in 1888.

Harriet Neeley Strong was the mother of Mary Lodema Strong Dodge. Frank and Mary Dodge homesteaded in Willow Creek (Ucon) in 1890. Frank and Mary had followed Mary's older sister's family to Idaho. Another sister, Emmeline, and her husband Nathan Freeman came and homesteaded in the Milo area in 1892. Harriet Neeley Strong's husband died in 1888 and in 1894 Harriet moved to Idaho where her daughters had settled. Harriet moved to Willow Creek (Ucon) Idaho and homesteaded 160 acres to get land for her three youngest boys.



Rebecca Freeman

Harriet Neeley was born 10 September 1839 at Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. She was the daughter of of Lewis Neeley and Elizabeth Miller. Harriet spent her early years in Nauvoo, where she was a witness to many of the tragic events that took place there. The Neeley family left Nauvoo early in 1846 with other Saints and made the long arduous journey across Iowa. They settled in Winter Quarters, Nebraska waiting for the time to go west. On January 25, 1847 Harriet's mother gave birth to a baby girl. On February 2, 1847 her mother died of complications of the childbirth brought on by exposure and hardship. The baby Elizabeth died 6 months later 3 August 1847.

On June 24, 1847 Harriet's father married Sophia Parsons Ketchum. Sophia was a widow with four children. Sophia was not always kind to the Neeley children, or to her own children. Life became difficult for the 8 year old girl.

In 1850 the Neeley family joined the Warren Foote wagon train to travel to Utah. After arriving in Utah, Harriet looked for a home away from her father and step-mother. She found jobs working for other people where she could live in their homes and support herself.

One day after visiting with her sister Mary Jane and her husband Jonathan Wright in Brigham City, Harriet started to walk back to Salt Lake City, hoping someone would give her a lift. Becoming tired she stopped at a house in Ogden and asked for a drink of water. She fainted while there and was ill for several days. This was the home of William and Martha Alvord Strong. These people became good friends and on 17 April 1856 Harriet was married, as a plural wife, to William Strong. They lived in Ogden until 1857 when the approach of Johnson's army forced everyone to move south. The Strong family moved to Springville, Utah County, Utah. In 1864 they moved back to Salt Lake City making their home in the Tenth Ward. William and Harriet had thirteen children.

William Strong had served in the Mormon Battalion. During his service he developed rheumatic fever which damaged his heart. He was partially disabled most of his life. This left Harriet with the responsibility of being the homemaker but also caring for the farm. They had a home in Salt Lake and another in Emigration Canyon where they spent the summers. They not only farmed but pastured cattle for people in Salt Lake City. Harriet made butter and took it to the city where she sold it or exchanged it for her families needs. Because of their hard work in 1888 they were able to move from their old log home in Salt Lake into a nice brick home. Shortly after moving to the new home, on the night of December 24, 1888, William died in his sleep. Harriet still had 7 young children at home.

Because of his military service William had been receiving a government pension. After considerable difficulty because of having been a plural wife, Harriet was able to get her husband's pension.

In the early 1890's Harriet's two daughters Emmaline and Mary and their husbands moved to the Upper Snake River Valley in Idaho. Their reports of good land available for homesteading encouraged Harriet to move there where her younger sons might have a better chance to obtain land. She sold the land in Emigration Canyon to buy a team, cow and implements for the new farm. The family homesteaded land where the town of Ucon, Idaho is now located. At first they lived in a one room log cabin but in 1897 they were able to move into a nice three-room house. Trees and flowers and a lawn made the home a comfortable place.

In 1899 the railroad came through the area. Harriet's home stood right in their way. They moved the house about a quarter of a mile west, but the flowers and lawn all had to be planted again.

In the spring of 1900 Harriet suffered a paralytic stroke, leaving her unconscious for several days. The family feared she would not live, but through their prayers she did recover but was never able to do physical work after that.

On January 13, 1904 Harriet passed away at her home. Funeral services were held in the Willow Creek Ward in Idaho. Her body was shipped to Salt Lake City where a second funeral service was held in the Tenth Ward. She was buried beside her husband in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

UnIdentified Pictures

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