Click on this image to order the book

Click on this image to order the book
The book version of James Gammell's life story is now available. Click on this image.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Elizabeth Gammell Harris

Elizabeth Gammell Harris
photo courtesy of Jan Zollinger
James Gammell and his second wife, Elizabeth Mahala Hendricks, named their daughter Elizabeth Harriet Mahala Gammell.  Libby, as they called her, was James’ second child and his first daughter. She was named Elizabeth Mahala after her mother and Harriet after James’ first wife, Harriet Fitzgerald, who had died.

Elizabeth Gammell Harris and her eight surviving children
Photo taken after 1906
courtesy of Jan Zollinger
At the time the photo was taken eight of her thirteen children were still living.  Her husband, Eli Harris, died in 1902 and her oldest child, Drusilla, died in 1906.  Two children died in a diphtheria epidemic, and one of her twin boys died shortly after birth.   (Portraits of Eli and Drusilla hang on the wall behind them.)

At age sixteen Libby married twenty-five-year-old Eli Harris in the old Endowment House in Salt Lake City. She made her wedding dress with her own hands.   Not only did she make the dress, but she first made the fabric. The raw fleece of sheep is greasy with lanolin, so she had to wash it in hot water and some sort of detergent, then rinse it, squeeze it, and dry it. Then she carded, combed, and spun the wool fibers into yarn, and then wove the fabric on a loom. She gathered herbs to dye the cloth. From the finished fabric she made her wedding dress.  


  1. Hello, Deborah,
    I'd been interested in knowing just how we are related.