According to police, Adams stopped a suspected drunken driver at 2100 N. 1200 West just before 11 p.m. Friday. Adams reportedly ticketed the man for DUI and asked him to step out of his vehicle. In the process of being handcuffed, the man was somehow able to free one hand, grab a small handgun and begin shooting, Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Harris said.
A wounded Adams was still able to shoot the assailant numerous times before the man got into his car and drove away with Adams’ handcuffs dangling from one wrist.(*)
Lott Russon, Sr. was born January 1, 1829, and Eliza Round was born October 21, 1830, in England. The couple married December 25, 1850, and converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints (LDS/Mormon) two years later. To support his growing family, Lott worked in foundries and coal mines.
Elisha Peck, Sr. was born in England April 26, 1850. When he was three years old, his mother, Phebe Turner Peck, died. Four years later, his father, Elisha Peck, also died. At age twelve, young Elisha joined the LDS Church. When he turned seventeen, he served as a missionary in the Birmingham District. There he met Lott and Eliza Russon’s oldest daughter, Charlotte, who was singing in the Mormon Street Meetings. After completing his mission in 1868, Elisha immigrated to Lehi, Utah, working for the Union Pacific railroad on route to earn his fare.
When Elisha read in the Deseret News that Charlotte Russon had moved to Salt Lake City in the fall of 1869 and was living in the home of Peter Nebecker, a wealthy sheep rancher, he walked the 30 miles to visit his English friend. Their meeting was joyous and the two corresponded for more than a year before Elisha had the courage to ask for her hand in marriage. In 1870 they were sealed in the Endowment House in Temple Square. Their first Lehi home was a 12-foot by 14-foot, one room home with a dirt floor.
In the fall of 1871, Eliza R. Russon, still in England, received a letter from Peter Nebecker informing her that through the Perpetual Emigration Fund, arrangements had been made to convey her entire family to Utah. Eliza ran 2 miles to the coal mine and exclaimed to her husband Lott, “Take off those muddy clothes; we’re going to Zion!” The couple and their eight children soon journeyed from England to America, traversing the country on the new Transcontinental Railroad. In Lehi, the family of ten settled in the small home of Elisha and Charlotte Peck for a short time. In a few days, Elisha Peck, Jr. was born.
In 1885 Lott Russon, Jr. and Elisha Peck, Jr. purchased the bench land covered with wild sagebrush on which this monument rests. For four generations, the Russon and Peck families have their living from farming, and descendants of both families are still here. This property now includes homes, a park, and a beautiful LDS Chapel that was dedicated in 2007.
Left picture caption: “Elisha Peck, Sr. and Charlotte Russon
Right picture caption: “The next generation, The Elisha Peck, Sr. Family, which began November 7, 1870
Top Row: Leonard, Alice Redman, Thomas, Elisha, Jr., Eliza Graham, Isaac
Bottom Row: Sarah Saboy, Moroni, Elisha, Sr., Charlotte, John, Blanch Pearson
The Gifts Given to Them
As we try to visualize the present impact of this pioneer story, we realize that this monument is only a reminder of the gifts that came to this large family and what they have returned to the community.
The Russons and Pecks came to a relatively new country with frontiers of virgin land where men and women were free to speak and worship in liberty, and where the founders had struggled together to establish an honorable government.
We must acknowledge the missionaries who brought them a new religion and philosophy of life. We must also remember Peter Nebecker and the Perpetual Emigration Fund which made traveling to America financially possible for those families.
The Gifts They Returned
Russon and Peck descendants have made monumental contributions to religious and civic affairs. Their progeny have made their mark as mechanics, engineers, artists, morticians, physicians, lawyers, teachers, and professors. Men and women have served in every branch of the military and have fought and died to defend their American ideals. While many still live in this area, many more have scattered across the nation and throughout the world.
The initial reason why Russon and Peck family members settled this area was their devotion to the LDS Church. Their dedication required much faith and was buffered by considerable adversity. In this lay-member-ministry church, they served with diligence. Many family members have served as full-time missionaries throughout the world.
Today we face our own challenges. Yet as we look back from our comfortable homes and high-tech conveniences, we express gratitude to our forefathers who suffered much, yet left us a legacy of virtue, fortitude, and dedication to God and Country.
The ground we are standing on, from 900 feet west to 1,168 feet east and 2,800 feet north, was covered with wild sagebrush before 1885 when Lott Russon, Jr. and Elisha Peck, Jr. purchased it. Family members ultimately fenced the property and dug irrigation ditches. For the next 122 years, the Russons and Pecks raised hay, grain, sugar beets, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, peas, and corn. They cultivated fruit orchards and berries and raised horses and herds of beef and milk cattle. Other development began about 2007.
Left pictures caption: “Lott Russon, Jr.” and “Elisha Peck, Jr.”
Left bottom drawing caption: “Russons sorting onions”
Upper right picture caption: “Hauling Hay, 1930s”
Middle right picture caption: “Binder Cutting Grain 1924”
Bottom right picture caption: “Peck Dairy”
Peter Julius Christofferson (1843-1910) was born February 16, 1843, in Saersley, Holbek, Denmark, to Hans and Elizabeth Nielsen Christofferson (Christopherson). Following the conversion of his father’s family to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they emigrated to Utah, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on September 15, 1859.
On September 10, 1864, Peter married a fellow Scandinavian convert, Anna Peterson, in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Nine children were born to this union. The family resided in Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete County, Utah for four and a half years. During this period, Peter participated in the Black Hawk Indian War and was noted for his bravery.
In 1869, Peter moved his family to Lehi, Utah, and had a brick home built on the southwest corner of the intersection of 100 West Main Street.
In 1876, he was called by Brigham Young on a settlement mission to northeastern Arizona, where, in 1877, he settled his family, along with the James Robertson and John Bushman families, who were also from Lehi, on the Little Colorado River. Peter became the first bishop of the Omer Ward. In 1879, he served a short-term mission to the Native Americans in Arizona, New Mexico, and northern Mexico. In 1881, the Arizona Cooperative Mercantile Association was organized, and Peter was named to the Board of Directors and served as superintendent of the store for three years,, and, at the same time, he started a farm.
As a prominent local priesthood leader, Peter was instructed by Wilford Woodruff to take a second wife. He married Sarah Hulda DeWitt on February 13, 1881, in the St. George Temple. Peter and Sarah also had nine children.
In 1884, Peter and five other prominent Latter-day Saint men were indicted for violation of the Edmunds Act, which made Polygamy a felony. He and two other men were sent to the Detroit House of Corrections for a term of three and a half years of hard labor. During his incarceration, he was a correspondent to the Deseret News, reporting on their condition as “a prisoner for conscience’ sake.” After serving nearly two years, the men received a hand-written pardon from President Grover Cleveland in October 1886. Upon his return to Arizona, he found that his farm had been taken over by land jumpers.
In 1889, Anna and her children, with the exception of Joseph, moved back to Lehi to get medical treatment for their son, Lafayette, who had contracted scarlet fever. Peter moved his and Sarah’s family to the Mormon colony in Colonia Diaz, Mexico, where they resided until 1896, when he moved the family back to Arizona. During these years, Peter traveled between the families. Sarah and her children moved by team and wagon to Lehi in 1900, reuniting the two families after an 11-year separation.
Peter resumed his business activities as a trader under the name of “PJ Christofferson & Sons” and was elected the first full-time marshal of Lehi. He was active in the LDS Church and was superintendent of the Sunday School for several years. Sarah and her children resided in a home at approximately 250 East 1350 North, while Anna and her children lived in a home at 1415 North 600 East.
Peter died February 3, 1910. His posterity now numbers in the hundreds, with many of his descendants prominent in civic, business, education, and religious fields. A great-grandson, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2008.
Anna Peterson Christofferson (1842-1927), the fourth child of Anders and Marna Anderson Peterson, was born October 23, 1842, in Bjersjoholm, Sweden. Anna and her family were converted to the LDS Church and belonged to the first branch organized in Sweden. The family emigrated to America in 1862 and made their home in Lehi, Utah.
After she married Peter Julius Christofferson, they were called by Brigham Young to make their first home a Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete County, which was a dangerous post. There, Anna gave birth to two children; the second child, John, died of scarlet fever. The little family moved to Lehi, where Peter had the first brick house in the town built for Anna; four children were born in that home. Her third child, Zachariah, died of diphtheria.
In 1876, the Christoffersons were called to help colonize a new settlement in northeastern Arizona. After living in a fine home near her family for more than seven years, Anna went with her husband. There were no roads, and she had to help push wagons up mountains and across long stretches of sand. Her seventh baby was born in this Arizona settlement.
The Christoffersons and two other Lehi families were called to colonize three new towns in four years. When Anna did not have wheat, she used coarse black barley to make bread for her family. Their home was lighted with homemade candles or a dish of grease with a rag in it. Peter was called to be the first bishop, and when general authorities came to visit, Anna made room for them in their humble little home. Anna’s last two babies were born in these last settlements.
In 1879, Peter was called to serve an eight-month mission, leaving his family in lowly circumstances. Wilford Woodruff called Peter to enter into the principle of plural marriage, and Anna consented to his marriage to 17-year-old Sarah Hulda DeWitt. When Peter later served in prison for polygamy, Anna and Sarah were left with nine children to support.
In November 1888, scarlet fever struck the younger members of the family, and Lafayette, Anna’s youngest child, was left with residual health concerns. Anna and her children traveled to Lehi in 1889 to seek medical help for him. Her sixth child, Rachel, died that year.
After Sarah’s death, Anna, who was then 62 years old, took Sarah’s youngest children into her home to raise. Six years later, when Peter died, she became the single parent to those children. Anna died November 10, 1927, at age 85. Records describe her as a small woman with a patient and cheerful disposition.
I realize more fully now – my position on this earth – How I by Thee and aided – In any act of worth.
Sarah Hulda DeWitt Christofferson (1863-1904) was born March 26, 1863 at Big Cottonwood in Salt Lake City, Utah, to parents Abel Alexander DeWitt and Margaret Miller Watson, both Mormon converts. She cherished her childhood in the Salt Lake Valley by attending school in the winter and playing in fields in the summer.
Her father was called by LDS Church President Brigham Young to colonize the Little Colorado River area in northeastern Arizona. The family began their journey on November 10 1874. They arrived in Kanab, Utah, “as the sun was sinking” on January 1, 1875. For the first time, Sarah experienced poverty. The family lived in Kanab before moving south to Arizona in 1880.
When Sarah was almost 18 years old, she married Peter Julius Christofferson as his second wife. Sarah labored with Anna, the first wife, to create a home and live the gospel in a community that was hostile to polygamists. Sarah worked as a clerk in a store where Peter was manager. She gave birth to two children before her husband was sentenced to prison for polygamy. During his incarceration, she wrote, “We all did what our hands could find to do.” After Peter’s return, the two families lived in separate houses, and Sarah took in sewing to help provide for her children.
In 1889, to escape polygamy persecution, Peter moved Sarah and their children to the Mormon settlement of Colonia Diaz, Mexico. Her baby was only a few weeks old. Anna moved to Lehi, and Peter traveled between the two homes during the next 11 years. Sarah was often the sole provider for her children, selling milk from her cows, until the cows died of a disease. Later Sarah sold flour, which Peter left with her. She now had seven children. Sarah enjoyed serving in the stake young women’s organization. When Peter was away, Sarah got out her pen: “Weary worn and tired, dear pen I come again to thee…” She poured out her fears and frustrations by writing, “To me you all seem doubly dear – I seem to prize you better, and one thing more within my heart – I’ve learned to prize – a letter.”
In 1896, Peter moved Sarah and her children to Arizona to improve their living conditions. A short time later, the baby, Malcolm, tragically died in an accident. Another child was born in 1898.
In August 1900, Sarah and her children journeyed through the unsettled wilderness of Arizona and Utah with a horse team and a wagon. She was sad to leave her parents and siblings in Arizona, but there was a joyful reunion in Lehi for Peter’s two families. Peter made a farm for Sarah and her family on part of a vineyard in northeast Lehi. David Ward recalled that everyone ate and slept in both homes as “brothers and sisters of a happy family.” In 1902, Sarah gave birth to her ninth child. Sarah died on November 17, 1904.
W.A. Knight first raised the idea of a Lehi Soldier’s, Sailor’s and Marine’s Memorial Building five weeks after Armistice Day (11 November 1918). Architects Walter E. Ware and Alberto O. Treganza, under the direction of Mayor Sydney Gilchrist, designed the three section structure to incorporate a memorial hall (center), a City Hall (south) and a Carnage Library (north). The Library was dedicated on 30 December 1921 during Mayor James H. Gardner’s administration. The remainder of the building was completed during the administration of Mayor Joseph S. Broadbend. Dedication services for the $55,000 center, the first municipal facility in America erected to the memory of World War I Veterans, were held on Memorial Day, 31 May 1926. Since then the building has hosted numerous civic, community and religious functions including the W.P.A., Alpine School District, the Lehi Second Ward, the Lehi Fifth Ward, American Red Cross, Alpine Soil Conservation District, the Ground Observation Corps, the National Rifle Association, the Lehi Junior Wildlife Association, the Lehi National Guard, the Lehi Senior Citizens Center, and Lehi American Legion Post 19. The municipal part of the building has housed City Hall, two jails, a fire station, the Lehi Ambulance Association, and the Lehi Police Department. The Memorial Building, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is currently being restored as the future home of the John Hutchings Museum.
This cabin was built by John Austin in 1868 on Bull River (3500 North Center). John’s son Parley married Charlotte Butt in 1884. They moved into the cabin which had been vacated by Parley’s parents. In the late 1890’s Parley built a home in Lehi and moved the cabin to his property and used it for a granary.
In the late 1940’s, Hyrum Gray, who married Parley’s daughter Charlotte, moved the cabin to his property and used it to shelter calves. Perhaps the cabin was kept, for it was where Charlotte was born. The cabin next passed to Elmo Gray, Hyrum’s son, and was used to shelter calves.
In the 1960’s the property was sold for the I-15 Freeway. The cabin was moved to Carrol Smith’s property and again used to shelter calves. Carrol then passed the cabin to daughter and son-in-law, Eric and Marilyn Larson, and it was still used to shelter calves.
In 2012, the Lehi Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers purchased the cabin and moved it to its present location.