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Elizabeth Russell was born February 11, 1817 at Sholts, Linlithgowshire, Scotland. Her parents, William and Margaret Marshall Russell, lived on a small farm owned by the family. Work and responsibility came to Elizabeth early in her life.
In 1835, at the age of 17 years, she married Thomas Archibald. She was a mother of ten children: James, Margaret, William, Robert, John, Elizabeth, Christina, Alexander, Andrew and Agnes.
Elizabeth's religious nature responded naturally and ardently when she heard the words of truth and light presented by LDS missionaries who had come to her native land. She was baptized in 1848, along with her husband Thomas. She was a devout member of the LDS church.
Just nine years later, in 1857, her husband died leaving her a widow with ten children. Later, one child died.
At that time, LDS converts were being encouraged to gather to Zion, in the United States. It was a tremendous undertaking for Elizabeth, to prepare to emigrate to America and then cross the plains to Utah, with such a large family and no companion to help her. By the time they were ready to go, three of her boys were married, but through her faith, determination and good management, she brought every member of her family to Utah. Elizabeth and her four youngest children came to America in 1862 on the ship Wm. Tapscott (microfilm #0025691, page 155). Several of her adult children followed the next year as they were able to get money.
During her life time she related often how Apostle Franklin D. Richards had blessed her and promised her that she and her children would reach Zion in safety. When they landed in New York, at the customs house, it was found that all their belongings had been stolen. Among the treasures was a gold wedding ring which had been handed down for several generations. This grieved Elizabeth a great deal, and in telling of her trip to Utah, her joys and sorrows, she would always say, "I didn't grieve over anything like I did over the loss of my grandmother's wedding ring."
With the loss of all their worldly possessions, it was impossible to go on to the Utah valley that season. The boys of the family had been coal miners in the old country; so that being the only kind of work for which they had been trained, and as it was necessary to gather some means before they could go on , they worked in the coal mines of Pennsylvania for some time. Then with the aid of kind friends who were raised up to them, they were able to start westward the following year.
The Saints were very kind and helped her all they could. They arrived safely in Wellsville, Utah in the year of 1862. This settlement was largely made up of families from Scotland, who had come to Utah for the Gospel's sake. Elizabeth resided there until her death on April 25, 1908; living to be ninety-one years of age. For six years prior to her death she lived with her oldest daughter, Mrs. Margaret Hendry.
When Elizabeth was past fifty, she had the misfortune to slip and break her leg. Because of the rude surgery of those frontier days, anyone suffering a broken leg was almost invariably doomed to be lame the rest of their days. And so with her. The imperfectly set limb caused her much distress and she walked with a limp. But in spite of this handicap, her days were filled with industry and she enjoyed life and lived richly.
Her sons wives adored her. She had the ability and tact to deal justly and diplomatically with the members of her large family. At regular intervals she visited the families of her sons and daughters to help with the mending, the knitting and to darn the homemade stockings and socks. These were gala occasions for her grandchildren, who looked forward to these visits with so much anticipation. Her favorite chair would be arranged and the cushion set just right in the place she loved best by the sunny, south windows. The entire family held consultation to plan something to make her visit pleasant and to have something extra nice for dinner when she came.
She had a lovely speaking voice with a rich Scottish brogue.
She loved the theater and in her youth had delighted in taking part in plays. She attended all the performances presented in Wellsville in those early days, even after she was eighty years old. She went in winter as well as summer. The manager of the playhouse saw to it that there was always a seat of honor in the middle aisle near the front for "Grandmother Archibald" whenever a play was presented.
Her eye sight was good and she never wore glasses in her long life.
Her embroidery work was exquisite. As each of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were born, she presented them with a dress or slip made the old-fashioned length and elaborately embroidered.
People loved to be in her company and to do her honor. As she grew older, it seemed her pleasure in the society of others deepened, and she drew people to her because of her sweet understanding and broad sympathy. So many parties and anniversary gatherings were held in her honor, in which the best talent of the town contributed their part. When the program was finished she would say "Now let's all sing some of the songs of Zion we sang long ago in Bonnie Scotland." Her favorites were: "The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning," and "Come, Come, Ye Saints." At her request all joined in the singing.
From a newspaper dated 1903 we read where a birthday party was held at her daughter's home to celebrate her 86th birthday. At this time only six of her ten children were still living. John, the oldest one, was in Scotland on a mission; Alexander was a member of the Wellsville city council; Robert was living in Rexburg, Idaho; Elizabeth was in Teton, Idaho; Andrew was living in Cardston, Alberta, Canada; and Margaret was in Wellsville. During the birthday party worthy mentions were made and choice musical selections given by Dr. George Phillips and Daniel L. Walters.
From another newspaper dated February 11, 1908 (a few weeks prior to her death) we read the following: "On February 11 a grand family gathering took place at the home of Mrs. Margaret Hendry, the occasion being the 91st birthday of her mother, Mrs. Archibald. About 100 of her offspring and a few invited guests assembled to pay special honor and respect to the grand old lady. Many of them came long distances. Once grandson came from Alberta, Canada. After partaking of a splendid supper, prepared by the family for this wonderful occasion, the evening was spent in music, short speeches, and singing. Some of the good old hymns they used to sing sixty years ago, when Mother Archibald and her husband were baptized, were sung at the request of Grandma. They all sung her favorite hymns "The Spirit of God Like A Fire is Burning" and "Come, Come Ye Saints."
Her picture showing five generations was published in the Deseret News. At the time of her death in 1908 her posterity numbered 433. She had 10 children, 118 grandchildren, 277 great-grandchildren, and 22 great-great-grandchildren.
She remained true to the faith, a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints all her days. Her last words of counsel to her family were to live the Gospel. With her death which occurred peacefully in Wellsville, Utah, in February 1909, passed a lovely soul who will be a shining jewel in our Father's crown.

This history was taken from two others,
one by Jesse Archibald Atkinson, a grand-daughter;
and one by Margaret Jane Stuart.

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