Question: How old was Samuel H. Marble when he was called to be in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company in 1847?
Answer: Samuel Harvey Marble was born on October 6, 1822, at Phelps, Ontario County, New York, the second child and oldest son of eleven children of Nathaniel and Mary (Polly) King Marble. Sometime around 1824, Nathaniel took his family to Huntsburg, Geauga, Ohio where there was a thriving settlement with churches, schoolhouse, and organized military companies in each town in the state for protection.
About 1836, a debate took place between the Reverend Tracy and Joseph Smith Jr, which continued two days. There were also several other Mormon Elders in attendance. The debate was held in the schoolhouse, and the question debated was “Are prophets needed at the present time?” Joseph Smith contended that they were needed, and that it was in accordance with scripture that prophets were ordained now as in the time of Moses. Soon after the debate, twelve families joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nathaniel and Mary were among those who joined the Church. Samuel was about fourteen years of age at this time.
In 1839, Nathaniel moved his family to Spring Point near Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, to be with the Saints and later moved to Nauvoo in a home about a block from the Mansion House. He and his sons helped build the Nauvoo Temple. The family lived in Nauvoo for about five years. The Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum were murdered on June 27, 1844, and brought back to Nauvoo for burial. Samuel would have been there at that time and viewed the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum in the Mansion House.
In February 1845, Samuel was twenty-two years of age, and was baptized in Nauvoo by Chester Loveland. Samuel’s father, Nathaniel, died on September 29, 1845 at the age of 45, and was buried in the Nauvoo Cemetery. Four of Samuel’s sisters and one brother also died in Nauvoo.
After having to leave Nauvoo in 1846, Samuel made his way to Winter Quarters with his mother and remaining siblings. In 1847, Samuel, age 24, was asked to be in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company. He was part of the 5th Company of Ten led by Stephen H. Goddard. His future wife, Celestina Ann Rowley, came across the plains in June 1847 with the Edward Hunter/Joseph Horne Company. On July 16, 1848, Samuel and Celestina were married. They had their first two children in the Salt Lake Valley. Samuel’s mother, Mary, came west with Samuel’s other siblings in the Harmon Appleton Company, arriving in Utah in 1852.
Samuel was shortly called as one of nine men under A.L. Lamoreaux to establish a ferry on the Green River in Wyoming to earn revenue by transporting California and Oregon immigrants. The group also established a blacksmith shop. After this assignment, Samuel returned to Utah and settled in Manti, Sanpete County, where he was elected a city councilman in 1851. In 1853 he became a member of the 23rd Quorum of Seventies. He lived in Manti for several years, and lived in Nephi for a short time. Samuel and his wife had five more children, four in Manti and one in Nephi.
Samuel then moved to Springerville, Arizona, where he lived for 35 years. He resided near Casas Grandes, Mexico, for four years, returning to Arizona when the Diaz government succumbed, making his home near Stanley, Arizona. His wife, Celestina, died on September 19, 1910 (age 84) in Mexico, and was buried there.
Samuel died on March 16, 1914, at age 91, and was laid to rest in the newly selected and beautiful cemetery, one mile west of Stanley, Graham, Arizona. The city of Stanley no longer exists.
Source: “Biographies of the Original 1847 Pioneer Company,’ Church News, Updated, 14 October 2009; Obituary, FamilySearch.org; “Life Story of Nathaniel and Mary Marble,’ FamilySearch.org; FindAGrave.com