Melissa Averett Turnbeaugh
(1853-1927) Daughter of Elijah Averett and Cherrizade Grimes
By Mrs. Minnie Paxman
Born in Manti, Utah March 19th, 1853. She was a daughter of Elijah Averett and Cherrizade Grimes, and was married when thirteen years of age, to William Riggs, by whom she had two daughters.
Some years later, she married William Turnbeaugh, by whom she had nineteen living children, in addition two pairs of twins that died because they were born premature making twenty-five children born to her. (Twelve of these are living.) One of the children weighed 15 pounds at birth.
She was the first white child born in Manti and came to Dixie in 1862. She passed through many hardships in the early days of the settlement of Dixie. Indians killed her only brother, Elijah Jr., in 1866.
Her parents were among the first to be baptized after the organization of the Church. They came across the plains in 1848. Her father helped work on the foundations of all four Temples in Utah.
As a girl she helped pick cotton and shear sheep. The cotton and wool were the first to go through the factory at Washington, Utah.
She and her husband made many trips to Arizona, and passed through many hardships in helping settle towns there.
Sister Turnbeaugh was a king and loving wife and mother and was always kind to the needy. It gave her joy to have her friends come in and talk of the gospel for she was a devout Latter-day Saint.
The last three or four summers have been spent in Cedar City and the winter in Washington, Utah. She passed away at Cedar City, April 13, 1927. Funeral services were held in Washington Utah, April 15, 1927. She was laid to rest by the side of her husband in the Washington Cemetery.