Benjamin Lewis History
Early Church Membership Records
Benjamin was among the faithful ones who yielded his life to the bitter enemies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early days of the LDS Church. Benjamin was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1835. His wife Joanna also became a member of the Church and stood faithfully through all the early trials and hardships. Benjamin was made president of the branch in Simpson County, Kentucky when that branch was organized. In the spring of 1836, Benjamin and his family moved to Macoupin County, Illinois, and in the summer of 1837 they moved to Caldwell County, Missouri. When the mob began shooting at Haun's Mill, many of the women took their children away into the woods. Among them was Joanna Lewis with her six children. They remained in the woods through the night. When Joanna returned to her home at dawn, she found Benjamin, her husband, at the side of their home severely wounded. He had received a bullet wound in the breast while in the blacksmith shop. Despite the terrible condition he was in, he had managed to reach his home, a distance of one hundred rods. He was gently assisted into the house and the family did all they could for him. The bullet, which had lodged in his body, was emitted from his mouth, and he died after bearing a strong testimony of the gospel. He also asked his wife to remain with the body of the LDS Church. Benjamin was not buried in the well with the other men killed at that time. The following evening his brother Tarlton and his wife Malinda dug a grave where Benjamin's body might be buried. Tarlton was badly wounded and was unable to do much digging, so the work fell into the hands of Malinda. Wrapping Benjamin's lifeless body in an old coat, they tenderly buried their beloved, husband, father, and brother. With courage beyond understanding, Joanna picked up the threads of her life. She was determined to remain with the body of the LDS Church that she might raise her children under the influence of the gospel for which their father had given his life. Word had been sent to Joanna's family back in Kentucky of the death of her husband. Joanna's sister, who had married Benjamin's brother Beason, was sent to take the bereaved family back to their old Ryon home where she could live in wealth and comfort. In order to escape the pressure that would be brought to bear by her people, she moved from place to place that they might not overtake her. A few months after the death of her husband, her youngest child died. There seems to be no account of her life for some time. We know, however, that she later settled with her children in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. She found peace in serving others, helping the sick, and those otherwise in need of help. During the last year of her life, she had a paralytic stroke and was tenderly cared for by her young daughter Martha Ann. She died 6 February 1846, just as the Saints were being driven from Nauvoo. Thus ended the life of a noble wife and mother who endured hardships for her faith and preferred the blessings of the gospel to the worldly wealth and comfort. United in death, before the journey of the Saints was ended, we are sure that with Benjamin and Joanna Lewis, "ALL IS WELL".