Louisa Mellor Clark

The oldest living daughter of James Mellor and Mary Ann Payne, Louisa Mellor Clark was born on May 23, 1840 in the town of Leicester, England.  Louisa had 11 siblings.  Some of the first missionaries in England introduced the gospel to Louisa’s parents – James accepted it as the true Gospel first and not long after that, Mary did as well.  They joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Leeds, Yorkshire, England in the year of 1844.  Ten years later, at the age of fourteen, Louisa was baptized by Elder Newton in Leicester Conference.1

Louisa Mellor ClarkThe notions of sacrifice and commitment were first and foremost in Louisa’s household.  Before making the trek to Utah, her father served as a Branch President in Blaby, England and later as a Branch President of the Leicester Branch.  He also served as a local missionary, often traveling 30 miles each Sunday to preach in several different towns, and Louisa often accompanied him on these trips.2

On the day their ship was set to depart from Liverpool, Louisa’s mother, Mary Ann, went into premature labor and gave birth to conjoined twins that died after a few hours.  Mary Ann was so ill that she had to be transported to the boat by stretcher and was told by a doctor that she would die. Though she had no strength, Mary Ann did not die.  Louisa was left to care for her many younger siblings by herself while her father attended to her mother.4

Mary Ann regained a little strength by the time they arrived in America, but it wasn’t much.  The Mellors were members of the Martin Handcart Company.  Travel was difficult; at times the snow was 4-5 feet high, forcing them to shovel a path before moving forward.  Hence, progress was very slow and provisions almost gave out.5  One day Mary Ann sat down on a boulder and wept.  Louisa told her sister, Elizabeth, to take good care of the family, and that she would stay with their mother while the handcart company continued.  Before attending to her mother, Louisa prayed to God that he would protect them and help them to reach camp.  On her way back to get to her mother she found a pie in the road, which gave her mother enough strength to make it back to camp.  Many times Louisa and her mother would feel like giving up, but then would remember how wonderful the Lord had been to spare them so many times, and offered a prayer of gratitude instead.  They went on their way rejoicing while walking the bloodstained path of snow.6

Louisa was sealed the second wife of Edwin Clark in 1868 in Salt Lake City, and had nine children.  Sister Louisa Mellor Clark died December 25, 1911.7

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1 Louisa Mellor Clark’s Autobiography, biofia.com

2 Louisa Mellor, Lake Mead Trek, Brenda and Dave Larsen

3 LDS Women’s History, Thursday March 4 2010,

4 Louisa Mellor Clark’s Autobiography, biofia.com

5 Louisa Mellor – Martin Handcart Company

6 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 17, p. 305

7 Autobiography – Louisa Mellor, familysearch.org