From Woman’s Exponent

Salt Lake City, Utah

December 15 & 24, 1899




Mrs. Emily Dow Partridge Young, wife of the late President Brigham Young, and one of the distinguished heroines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, departed this life, Saturday, December 9, 1899, at 4 o’clock, aged seventy five years, nine months and ten days.


Mrs. Young was born in the town of Painesville, Geauga County, Ohio, on February 28, 1824. Her parents were Edward Partridge and Lydia Clisbee Partridge, and were both of them born in Massachusetts, but moved to Ohio with their parents when young people, where they became acquainted, married and settled in Painseville. Bishop Edward Partridge, the father of Mrs. Young, was the first Presiding Bishop ordained in the Church. He was baptized December 11, 1830, at Seneca Falls, New York State, by Joseph Smith, whither he had gone to see the Prophet.


Mrs. Young grew to womanhood under the influence of the Gospel, and has been faithful and devoted to the work throughout her whole life, never swerving to the right nor left. With her the Gospel was ever uppermost. The purity of the life of this good woman is and has ever been beyond question, yet she has known such persecution as but few women have experienced. In Kirtland, in Missouri, in Nauvoo, everywhere that the Saints have settled, Mrs. Young has been associated with them and passed through the trials and tribulations incident to the history of this people. Her autobiography written by herself and published in the “Woman’s Exponent,” gives some of the most thrilling instances that have transpired among the Saints.


Mrs. Young was gifted intellectually—if she had cultivated her talent for writing, and could have given us reminiscences of the experiences of the Saints that would have been a valuable acquisition to Church history.


Mrs. Emily D. Partridge Young was one of the first women to accept and enter into the order of plural marriage. She became the wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith with the full and free consent of his wife, Emma Smith. After his death she again entered into that order and was married to President Brigham Young, and received her blessings and all the ordinances of the house of the Lord in the Temple at Nauvoo, and with her husband crossed the Mississippi River in Feb. 1846, at the time of the exodus of the Saints from Illinois.


During that wearisome journey she experienced many hardships, being in delicate health and traveling with a young babe at that most inclement season of the year; but she never murmured or repined, but bore patiently all the hardships incident to the journey and life at Winter Quarters afterward.


The eldest son of Mrs. Young, born in Nauvoo, died in the city at the age of seven. He was named Edward Partridge Young, and was a very bright and promising boy. Sister Young has been the mother of seven children, Emily Augusta, her eldest daughter, is the wife of Bishop H.B. Clawson; Caroline, the second daughter, is the wife of President George Q. Cannon; her only living son, Prof. Don Carlos Young, resides at present in Provo, and is connected with the Brigham Young Academy; Miriam is the wife of Bishop Leonard G. Hardy, and recently moved to Canada (the only one absent from the city); Josephine is the wife of Dr. A.D. Young. A daughter, Lura, the youngest child, died when seven months old. Mrs. Young has over forty grandchildren, several great grandchildren, a numerous posterity, and all in the faith of the Gospel in which she believed and for which she made great and noble sacrifices. Mrs. Young was a very retiring, modest and reticent woman, but as firm in her convictions as the everlasting hills.


Mrs. Young passed away peacefully at last, although she has suffered with sickness considerably during the last few years. Her death was the result of general debility brought on by a kind of nervous prostration and weakness. She was greatly beloved by her own family and also loved and revered by the family of her late husband, and the women of the Latter-day Saints who had the pleasure of her acquaintance. She died at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Clawson, in the Twelfth Ward, though her own home is in the Second Ward. Verily it may be said of the saintly woman, “Her children rise up and call her blessed.”


The funeral services were held in the Twelfth Ward meeting house and were of a most interesting character. There were many floral emblems placed upon the bier (?) beautiful designs and loose flowers, fragrant with perfume, as was her sweet life of purity and loveliness. The casket was pure white and the house was draped with white; there were no symbols of death and no feelings of gloom. Tears were shed in love and sympathy, but only for the separation from one so well beloved.


Counselor Wardrop conducted the exercises. President George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith were present, and of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Brigham Young Jr., F. M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale and H.J. Grant.


The singing was by a quartette of male voices, George D. Pyper, H. S. Ensign, James Dunbar, and J. D. Spencer. The first hymn rendered was “Art Thou Weary.” Then an eloquently sympathetic prayer by Elder Seymour B. Young. The quartette, “The Savior Will Comfort You”, was feelingly given.


President Brigham Young (Jr) was the first speaker. He testified to his high regard for the deceased and spoke of her many virtues. Apostle F.M. Lyman followed in a similar strain, alluding to the sterling characteristics of the Partridge family. President George Q. Cannon dwelt upon the noble life and many admirable qualities of Sister Young and of her being a woman of literary ability, although she had been backward in exercising herself in this direction. President Joseph F. Smith delivered the principal discourse, relating many notable instances and events that had transpired in the days of the Prophet Joseph. The speaker seemed filled to overflowing with the Holy spirit. The closing hymn was “The Night of Rest,” and the benediction was by Apostle J. F. Smith.


Sister Young was buried in the City Cemetery; a long line of carriages following the hearse to the last resting place of the deceased, where the earthly tabernacle of the dear departed one was consigned to the grave, which was dedicated by Apostle Teasdale. And another of the illustrious heroines of the days of the Prophet Joseph has gone to meet him on the other side.