WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
MARY ADELIA CARBINE
BIOGRAPHYMary Adelia Carbine was born February 29, 1824, in Cairo, Green County, New York. She graduated from a seminary for girls in her fifteenth year and began teaching. She continued in that profession until her fiftieth year and was always a student --desiring to learn some new fact every day of her life.
Mary's family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints while she was still in her teens. She moved with her family to Nauvoo, Illinois. It was in Nauvoo that Mary met and married Amos Northrup. They were one of the relatively few couples to be married in the Nauvoo Temple. Their first child, a daughter, was born just before the Saints were driven out of Nauvoo.
Shortly after reaching Winter Quarters, Mary's young husband was murdered by an unknown assailant on Christmas Day. Until her death she grieved at Christmas time for her first and greatest love. By that time, Amos and Mary had two children, Eugenia and Llewellyn, but Llewellyn died and was buried in a grave along the trail west. Eugenia died as a teen in Utah.
Not knowing where to turn and concerned for the welfare of her tiny family, Mary married Robert C. Petty just before the Saints left Winter Quarters. Robert was a captain in the Wilford Woodruff company. Mary and Robert had three children, Ella, Adelia, and Roberta. Shortly after they reached Utah Robert Petty was called on a mission to the area known as the Indian Country. Robert died in the Indian Country in 1856, but Mary did not learn of his death until six months later.
Mary again faced the problems associated with widowhood and providing for a young family. Her choices were few. She became the second wife of George Roberts Grant. Mary and George also had two children, Francisca, a little girl who was scalded to death in infancy, and a son, Edmund Carbine Grant. It was not long before Mary faced another difficult situation. George Roberts Grant was called before a Bishop's Court over some difficulty with a hired hand and unjustly excommunicated from the Church. When President Brigham Young heard about it, he made a special trip to Kaysville where the Grants were living and tried to get George to come back into the fold. George, however, could not be persuaded and had decided to go to California. Mary did not want to go to California because she would not be recognized as a legal wife in that state. George, who was quite well-to-do, made provision for her and her tiny son and left them in northern Utah.
As before there was only one course open to Mary-marriage. Therefore, in the early 1860s, Mary was married for a fourth time to William Warren Taylor. Soon after their marriage she moved, with her husband to Harrisburg, Utah. Later the family moved to New Harmony. Mary and William had three sons: Albert Eugene, Francis Green, and James Edgar Taylor. This marriage, too, was a source of heartache for Mary. William Warren Taylor died tragically in New Harmony when a cellar caved in on him.
Mary Adelia Carbine Taylor was appointed Postmistress of New Harmony, Kane [sic] County, by the Postmaster General of the United States on September 24, 1878, and served in that capacity for 25 years. The loss of her eyesight eventually forced her to relinquish that position. She also served as one of the first school teachers in New Harmony, teaching at the John D. Lee property until she got her own home. She worked as postmistress during the day and taught school at night. Mary also washed, corded, and spun wool into cloth to support her family.
This great woman died at the home of her daughter, Eleanor Roberta Petty Hamilton, in Delmar, Lincoln County, Nevada, on November 13, 1906. She was 82 and had lived a life filled with joy, sorrow, challenges, service, and accomplishment. She is buried in the New Harmony Cemetery.
REFERENCESTimeline of Significant Events in the Life of Mary Adelia Carbine
Compiled by M. Shane Symes
Short biography of Robert Cowan Petty and his two wives
Short biography of William Warren Taylor and his two wives
Find-A-Grave endtry for Mary Adelia Carbine Taylor