Cambria in Hillsdale County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The people honored here are members of an American pioneering family.
This brief history is their story.
In 1628, young John Leavitt, newly arrived in America, became a settler at Hingham, Massachusetts. Two wives, Mary Lovett and Sarah Gilman, bore John seven sons and six daughters. A son, born to Sarah Gilman, Moses Leavitt, married Dorothy Dudley and settled in Exeter, New Hampshire. To them were born 13 children. Their son, Joseph, and his wife, Mary Wadleigh, settled northward in Deerfield, New Hampshire. One of Joseph's nine children, Nathaniel, settled with his wife, Lydia Sanborn and their large family on Leavitt Hill, near Grantham, New Hampshire. All these generations of the family were engaged in various aspects of the timber trade. The men were also soldiers, serving in the Colonial Wars, the French and Indian Wars and in the American Revolutionary War.
Nathaniel and Lydia had 12 children. Their son, Jeremiah, married Sarah Shannon. They became the forebears of the early western Leavitt family. In the late 1790s, with seven small children, Jeremiah and Sarah migrated still further north, and
In 1817. Jeremiah died. Sarah remained at the head of their growing family. Always a devout Christian family, their faith in God had sustained them through decades of struggle. But they had never settled on a single religious denomination with which to place their faith. In 1835, missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints passed through the neighborhood leaving tracts and books containing the doctrines of the Church. Most members of the family eagerly embraced the doctrines. Being among the believers, mother Sarah Shannon Leavitt urged her family members to prepare to join the main body of the Church, then at Kirtland, Ohio.
It was a time of wrenching decision. Nearly 40 years before, Jeremiah and Sarah had come to the Canadian valley of Stanstead County, Province of Quebec, to carve out a home for themselves and their family. Their homes and farms were well established. Now, 55 of their number prepared to depart into the unknown. All five of Sarah Shannon Leavitt's sons and their families would join the trek. Three daughters with their husbands and children made ready to leave. They left Hatley in July of 1837. Two daughters, with their husbands
Sickness and hardship exacted a heavy toll upon the group. Nathaniel Leavitt died at White Pigeon, Michigan. Josiah Leavitt died at Sturgis Prairie, Michigan. John Leavitt, his son, Thomas, his grandsons, Barney Alfred Brown and Horace Brown, all died at Cambria, Michigan. John's daughter, Cinderilla, died at Burton, Geauga, Ohio. At Twelve Mile Grove, Illinois, four family members perished: Mother Sarah Shannon Leavitt, her son, Weare Leavitt, his son, Jeremiah, and Sarah's grandson-in-law, Benjamin Fletcher. Sarah's granddaughter, Sally Ann Chamberlain died near Nauvoo, Illinois. At Bonaparte, Iowa, Jeremiah Leavitt II died. His grandson, Levi William Snow died at Montrose, Iowa. At Council Bluffs, Iowa, or near to there, eight more family members perished: Sarah Shannon Leavitt's daughter, Betsy Leavitt Adams, her daughter-in-law, Lucy Rowell Leavitt, two grandchildren, Lydia Leavitt Snow and Weare Leavitt, her grandson-in- law, John Huntsman, and her great-granddaughters, Orliva Farlin and Isora Louisa Jones. Another granddaughter, Louisa Leavitt Jones, died at St. Joseph. Missouri.
By the time the family arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, 22 of their number had died. Those who arrived safely became pioneer settlers across the Great American West.
A westward-bound pioneer family
Here they endured sorrow and loss.
To Honor the Memory of John Leavitt
Born to Jeremiah and Sarah Shannon Leavitt, 27 July 1792, Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire. Died 17 February 1852, Cambria,
Married Lucy Rowell, 13 March 1822. Born 15 August 1803, Hatley, Quebec, Canada, to Thomas B. and Lydia Hawes Rowell. Died 23 July, 1858, near the Platte River, Iowa.
Josiah Leavitt, born 1824, Compton, PQ, Canada. Died 24 June 1896, Ogden, Utah. Married Charlotte Lane.
Lucinda Leavitt, born 5 July 1825, Compton, PQ, Canada. Died 25 Dec. 1904. Loa, Wayne, Utah. Married Benjamin Franklin Brown.
Cinderilla Leavitt, born 12 March 1827, Compton, PQ. Canada. Died 16 June 1841, Burton, Geauga, Ohio.
Orilla Leavitt, born 10 February 1829, Compton, PQ, Canada. Died 20 April 1896, Provo, Utah, Utah. Married Philander Brown.
Lyman Utley Leavitt, born 24 May 1831, Compton, PQ, Canada. Died 23 Feb. 1912, Pine, Ariz. Married Ellen Adell Brown; (2) Ann Eliza Hakes.
John Quincy Leavitt, born 1 Oct. 1833, Compton, PQ, Canada. Died 27 Sept 1913, Garland, Ut. Married Melinda Minion; (2) Cynthia T. Elmer.
Sarah Leavitt, born 21 Feb. 1836, Compton, PQ, Canada. Died after 1919, California. Married James Adams Chamberlain.
Phoebe Leavitt, born 27 January 1838, Chardon, Geauga, Ohio. Died 12 March 1914, Loa, Wayne, Utah.
Flavilla Leavitt, born 8 April 1842 in Burton, Geauga, Ohio, Died 20 March 1863, Centerville, Davis, Utah. Married John Adams.
Thomas J. Leavitt, born 8 February 1847, Cambria, Hillsdale, Michigan. Died 3 July 1847, Cambria, Hillsdale, Michigan.
To Honor the Memory of Cinderilla Leavitt
Born to John and Lucy Rowell Leavitt, 12 March 1827, Compton, PQ. Canada. Died 16 June 1841, Burton, Geauga, Ohio.
To Honor the Memory of Thomas J. Leavitt
Born to John and Lucy Rowell Leavitt, 8 February 1847, Cambria, Hillsdale, Michigan. Died 3 July 1847, Cambria, Hillsdale, Michigan.
To Honor the Memory of Horace Brown
Born to Philander and Orilla Leavitt Brown, 23 July 1849, Cambria, Hillsdale, Michigan. Died 1849, Cambria, Hillsdale, Michigan.
To Honor the Memory of Barney Alfred Brown
Born to Benjamin Franklin and Lucinda Leavitt Brown, 1853. Cambria, Hillsdale, Michigan. Died 1854, Cambria, Hillsdale, Michigan.
Erected 2003 by Western Association of Leavitt Families.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is January 27, 1838.
Location. 41° 49.526′ N, 84° 39.589′ W. Marker is in Cambria, Michigan, in Hillsdale County. Marker is on Cambria Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4010 Cambria Rd, Hillsdale MI 49242, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Reading American Legion Veterans Memorial (approx. 4.7 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 4.7 miles away); Reading Civil War Memorial (approx. 4.9 miles away); Joel Doty Cemetery (approx. 5.2 miles away); Sandy Beach / Baw Beese Lake (approx. 5.9 miles away); Hillsdale County Veteran Of The Year (approx. 6.4 miles away); Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (approx. 6.6 miles away); Wilhelmina Stock (approx. 6.7 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on August 28, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 16, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 111 times since then and 71 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 16, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.