Seth Benjamin Tanner

March 6, 1828 - December 3, 1918


This history was compiled and written by a Great Great Granddaughter, Mary Ann Hunt Parker. 12-29-2013

Seth Benjamin Tanner was born March 6 1828 in Bolton, New York. His parents were John Tanner and Elizabeth Beswick Tanner. He was welcomed by a large family of brothers and sisters, counting himself the family had 22 children. Seth Benjamin's father John Tanner had three wives the first two having died.The first wife was Tabitha Bentley Tanner, the second wife was Lydia Stewart, and the third wife and Seth's Mother was Elizabeth Beswick.

Seth was four years old when his parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

He was in his seventh year when they moved to Kirtland, Ohio to join the main body of the Church. At the time of the move to Missouri in 1838, he was then ten years old, and when they settled in Montrose, Iowa he was twelve years old.

During the six years they remained in Montrose, he changed from a boy to a man. During those six years Seth and his family endured some hard times.Trouble from the mob was almost a contant thing. He learned what it was to be a Mormon at this time.

Seth Benjamin Tanner traveled with the Willard Richards Company departing from Winter Quarters, NE in July 1848. He traveled with a wagon company at the age of 20 for 99 days. He traveled with his Father John Tanner age 69 and his mother Elizabeth Beswick age 44. hey crossed the plains and came to the Salt Lake Vallley. His family settled between the two cotton wood creeks, about ten miles south of Salt Lake City. They took up land and began to farm. It was said Seth, wasn't very intrested in farming. He would later take another path in his life.

Seth Benjamin married a lovely young lady named Charlotte Levi in 1855. She was born 30 December 1839, in Chili, Hancock, Illinois, to Frederick Levi and Julia Ann Carroll Levi.

They had a family of seven children,four sons and three daughters. John Tanner born 1860-, Frederick Tanner born 1862,Benjamin Seth Tanner born - 1864, Joseph Baldwin Tanner born -1887, Charlotte Anne Tanner born - 1870, Elizabeth Tanner born -1871, Amelia Jane Tanner born 1872.Then as fate would have it Mother Charlotte died,several weeks after the birth of her seventh child.The lives of Seth and his seven children were turned up side down. They were all so sad life looked very bad,Charlotte's death was hard to take, they all thought their hearts would break.

My Father was John Donald Hunt,Grandson of John Tanner 1860 -1947. John Tanner was the son of Seth Benjamin Tanner.Don Hunt wrote his Grandfather John Tanner's life story and in his history he tells that John Tanner -1860 was only twelve years old when his Mother Charlotte passed on. I quote from his history, It presented quite a problem for Great Grandfather Seth Benjamin Tanner,the children were all farmed out to relatives,on both sides of the family, they were often moved from one family to another. They were split up.John Tanner 1860 was with his Mother's family, Joseph Hyrum Levi, Charlotte's brother. John came to Sevier, Utah or as it was them known the "Cove". John was with Joseph Hyrum for several years, until he was old enough to get on his own "End Quote".John Tanner _ 1860 was a Cattle and sheep man and a farmer.

It was about four years from the time Charlotte died, until Seth Benjamin married again,so the children lived with kinfolk for several years. Seth married Anna Maria Jensen in 1976.

Charlotte Elizabeth Tanner Hunt was a Granddaughter of Seth Benjamin Tanner and Charlotte Levi Tanner, her father was John Tanner 1860. Charlotte Tanner Hunt, her Mother Julia Etta Powell and brothers Jessie, and Gene Tanner lived for two and one half years with Seth Benjamin Tanner, while John Tanner 1860 Seth's son logged in the hills of Flagstaff,Arizona."Quote from Charlotte Tanner Hunts life story,whenI was five years old we moved to Grandfather's ranch, he lived in Tuba City, Arizona.We were without company, the only companion was my Grandfather Tanner,I would follow him while he was working on his farm.While living on the ranch, we heard shooting, and that evening,Lott Smith's son Sam came by and told us the Indians, had shot his Father. The next morning Grand Father Tanner went to see what he could do to help care for Lott. we were all alone, and my Mother Julia Etta Powell Tanner was so frightened of the Indians that she took me and Jessie and Gene across the meadow and we hid in a cave all day.My Grand father Seth Tanner would take me on his knee and tell me stories, and sing to me. "End Quote".

Seth was chosen by Brigham Young to go on a explority mission with James Brown down to Arizona to search for a suitable place for settlement. He later returned to Utah, and married Anna Maria Jensen in 1878.He took his family to Arizona, to his isolated cabin on the Little Colorado. You could look all around and see no one in any direction. Anna Maria had no children but she raised some of the children of Seth Benjamin Tanner and Charlotte Levi.

Seth helped with the hole-in-the-rock expedition, he joined the expedition as a guide for the initial exploring party. Guiding them up to the Bluff area, after they reached Moenkopi in the Navajo Country. They should have listened to Seth, because it took them six months to get through the hole, and across the red rock country. It would have taken them six weeks to have gone the way Seth told them to go.

Seth Benjamin got along well with the Hopi and Navajo Indians, and he could speak thier languages, and was often called to help deal with Indian problems.

Seth was called (Hostin Shush) which ment "the man who is strong as a bear". His sons were called young bears (Hush Yazzi). The way Seth got his name was , a large branch was blocking the road. Seth looped his arm around the tree branch and held tight to his saddle, with the other arm. He spurred his mule, the tree broke in the middle. His fame spread among the navajo people,so they named him "the Man who was strong as a bear".

Seths descendents even today have a chain of Tradeing Posts through out the South West.

He engaged in prospecting and mining in the area, but didn't seem to have much success.

Seth Benjamin Tanner died at the age of 90 on December 3rd, 1918, in Taylor, Navajo, Arizona, and he is buried in Taylor, Navajo, Arizona in the Taylor Cemetery. The cemetery is now called

Seth Benjamin Tanner has descendents today, who have all kinds of occupations,Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Nurses Schoolteachers, Farmers, Ranchers, Dentists, Mechanics, Bankers, Cooks and many more.He has had descendents who have held,many positions in the church, Bishops, and many others,from all branches of his family.

Seth was a kind, gentle, loveing man, and we all can be glad he was our ancester. He would be proud of his large posterity, and all the accomplishments they have had.

Sources for the above history of Seth Benjamin Tanner are Below.
1 - Life Story of John Tanner - 1860 -1947 son of Seth Benjamin Tanner written by Great Grandson John Donald Hunt, son of Charlotte Elizabeth Tanner, Hunt.
2 - Life Story of Charlotte Elizabeth Tanner Hunt - Granddaughter of Seth Benjamin Tanner.
3- Overland Travel - Mormon Pioneers (1848) Seth Benjamin Tanner (Age 20).
4- Family records and group sheets of Mary Ann Hunt Parker,great great granddaughter of Seth Benjamin Tanner.
5- Internet and census records.
6- Book Titled (Frederick John Levi and his family - 1800-1864-Dewey and Paul levi. Book was published in July of 1994.