Philinda Merrick

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Philinda Clark Eldredge Merrick Keeler was a founding member of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo.

She was born on August 2, 1809, at Weybridge, Addison County, Vermont, to Abner and Frances Goodell Eldredge. She married Levi Merrick (also spelled Myrick) in 1827 and they had four children. They were baptized in about 1833 and in 1838 journeyed to join the Saints in Nauvoo. They stopped at Hawn’s Mill and were attacked by a mob the same day. Her husband was murdered and her nine-year-old son was wounded and she stayed at the mill until he died about a month later.

The money she had from the sale of their home had been stolen by the mob. Her father-in-law offered to take her and her children in if she would renounce her faith, but she refused.[1] She lived in the Joseph Smith home and took in sewing.

In 1842, she became a plural wife to Vinson Knight but was widowed the same year. She married Daniel Keeler in 1846 and bore two more children. When they were driven from Nauvoo, they moved to St. Louis where they lived from 1847 to 1852. Although ill with consumption, she left that year to gather her children to Zion in Utah. She died near Fort Laramie in July 1852.