Frances Amelia Kimberley Turley b. 22 June 1800, d. 30 Aug 1847 Winter Quarters, Nebraska

WQ headerFrances is one of my hero grandmothers.  I will find her someday and embrace her and thank her for the hard things she did.  She sacrificed all she had to provide a future for her family in a Zion she never saw.  Frances is my 3rd Great Grandmother.  She died on this day at Winter Quarters 168 years ago.  She was the mother of 10 children and at the time of her death, she was only 47 years old.

And should we die before our journey’s through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!

William Clayton penned these words to “Come, Come Ye Saints,” while crossing Iowa in the spring of 1846.  The anthem became a favorite to the weary saints who had been expelled from their homes in Nauvoo–an anthem of triumph but also one that foreshadowed disaster.

By August of 1846 the Saints had endured a hasty departure from Nauvoo, insufficient provisions and scanty diet, inadequate and improvised shelter and endless spring storms. They were tired. They were weary. They were hungry. “July and August,” Lorenzo Snow recorded in his journal, “witnessed a general and almost universal scene of sickness,” the sick greatly outnumbering the healthy. “It was indeed a distressing scene. A great number of deaths occurred.”

Here is part of the Family Memorial Theodore Turley kept, chronicling each of his family members.  Shown here are the entries for Frances Kimberley, his wife, their daughter Frances Amelia, and her babe Frances G. Daniels, who died at Winter Quarters.WQ Family Memorial

Theodore and Frances Turley and nine of their ten children were among the Saints settled at Winter Quarters during these trying times. On May 12, 1846, four-year-old Jonathan Turley was laid to rest.  In March 1846 Theodore buried a plural wife, Sarah Ellen Clift. And then on August 30, 1847, Frances Amelia took her last weary breath. Those who transcribed her death records listed her cause of death as “disease scurvy.” She was 47 years old.

On the first of December 1847, Theodore and Frances’s daughter, Frances Amelia Daniels, age 23, gave birth to a daughter, also named Frances. The two did not survive. Mother, daughter, and granddaughter, each named Frances, were laid to rest in the same cold grave.  Their lives were spent, their souls set free. Theodore lost six members of his family in this place.

We hear of scurvy on ships in the olden days.  We’re told that fresh fruits like citrus help prevent scurvy.  Here is a heart-breaking description of what scurvy is and how Frances and many others died:

Scurvy can be found most prevalent in cold environments, and is characterized by a pale and bloated complexion, spongy gums, spots on the skin, offensive breath, hemorrhages, foul ulcers, and extremely offensive stools. As the scurvy advances, respiration is hurried, teeth become loose, gums are spongy, breath is offensive, old wounds reopen, and the amount of urine is small. The intellects, however, for the most part remain clear and distinct. In the last stage of the disease, the joints are swelled and stiff, the tendons of the legs are rigid, hemorrhages break forth, and diarrhea or dysentery may arise. The patient will bruise even with the slightest blow.

Etiology: The scurvy is caused first of all by the lack of fresh food, especially a diet lacking Vitamin C. A diet consisting of salted food will produce this disease. The reason that salted provisions increases the prevalence of the scurvy is because they are drained of their nutritious juices, which then becomes extracted. The disease is more prevalent in cold environments than warm and is caused by cold and moisture, deprivation of fresh provisions, confinement, want of exercise, neglect of cleanliness, labor, fatigue, and sadness.

Treatment: In order to treat the scurvy, the patient must have a diet of fresh vegetables. It is important that the patient partakes of foods that contain native acid such as oranges and lemons. Many plants such as mustard, horseradish and garlic have also proved. The spongy state of the gums is improved by washing the mouth with sufficiently diluted mineral acids.

Source: Hooper, Robert M.D. F.L.S. Lexicon-Medicum; or Medical Dictionary. New York: J. & J. Harper, 1826; Scholl, B. Frank. Library ofHealth: Complete Guide to Prevention and Cure of Disease. Philadelphia: Historical Publishing Company, 1944; Winslow, Kenelm. The Home Medical Library,

This model shows what Winter Quarters looked like when the Saints gathered there:WQ ModelWQ Map WQ Cemetery     WQ Cabin     WQ Avard Fairbanks monument.WQ Cemetery entrance

Frances, her daughter, and her granddaughter share burial plot #20 in the Winter Quarters Cemetery.  The site is located on the lower edge of this cemetery map:WQ Cemetery Map

WQ Turley GravesWQ Grave 20 TurleyWQ Ward 15 Death notes

Here are some artist’s depictions of what it may have been like in 1846-47 in this place:WQ Art 1 WQ Art 2 WQ Art

Today a beautiful temple stands next to the burial grounds.    WQ Temple

If you have family members who passed through Winter Quarters, you will find this BYU project website helpful to learn more about them and their time there.

WQ Project BYUHere is information from this website about the Theodore Turley Family.
Below you see members of the Theodore Turley Family listed in the records for the Winter Quarters 15th Ward.

WQ Fifteenth Ward Turley Family

Here is information about each of the Turley families.WQ Theodore & Frances FamilyWQ Mary Clift Family

WQ Sarah Ellen Clift Family deaths

WQ Eliza Clift Family

WQ 15th Ward Death CausesWQ Sickness plaque Winter Quarters Memorial Plaque

I believe that all that was lost will be restored.  Our bodies will be resurrected in their perfect and natural state.  Families will be re-united.  The Prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon taught:

22 There is a space between death and the resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul in happiness or in misery until the time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works.

 22 Yea, this bringeth about the restoration of those things of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets.

 23 The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfectframe.

 24 And now, my son, this is the restoration of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets—

 25 And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God.

The day will come when we shall join our loved ones.  I feel them watching over me now, urging and nudging me to make right choices, as I try my best to follow their examples. When I meet Frances and my other family members, I want to be able to look into their eyes and let them know I did not waver, that I stayed true to the gospel of Jesus Christ that binds us together.

Theodore Turley Photo

Here is Theodore, the patriarch of our family.  He died in Beaver, Utah in 1871.  This photo was taken at the end of his life.  There are no known photos of Frances Amelia Kimberley Turley.  There is a photo of another Frances Turley descendant circulating on Family Search and Find A Grave listed as our Frances.  It is not her.  Please don’t perpetuate that problem!

If you’d like to learn more about Frances Amelia Kimberley Turley, here’s a research paper I wrote a few years ago about what I’ve learned of her life:

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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