Elizabeth Adelaide Dolbel - from Jersey to Utah

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By TimBooth


Eliza Adelaide Dolbel, daughter of John and Susan Esnouf Dolbel, was born on 26 February, 1834 in Jersey. She received her education in France, where she attended an English school.


Eliza and her mother, Susanne, nee Esnouf, were converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and were baptised in 1854. They left Jersey and went to Utah, leaving her father and only brother John, who had not been converted, with the promise that they would follow within a year. But this promise was never fulfilled.

Eliza and Susanne made their way as far as St Louis, Missouri. There they remained for some time, Eliza working and caring for her mother. Sometime later they, with a company of pioneers, left St Louis and crossed the plains with ox teams. They reached Utah when Eliza was 22 years old.

After working in Salt Lake for two years she married Christopher Lister Riding, as his second wife. Soon after they were married they moved to Provo, taking Susanne with them. They remained there until they were among the first called to settle Dixie.

Eliza went straight to Santa Clara to make her home. She had one child at this time. She lived in Santa Clara until the Big Flood destroyed their home and property, then they moved to St George, her husband having been called to help build the Temple.

First home in St George

Her mother died while she was living in Santa Clara and was buried in the cemetery there. Her first home in St George was a dug-out on the corner of First North and Main.

She had many terrible experiences while living here. There is one that is told which shows her courage. An Indian came to the door and wanted food. Eliza gave him some, but he wanted more. She refused and he threatened to shoot her. She did not waver, but stood in the doorway and told him to shoot. When he saw she was not afraid, he called her very brave and left.

After a time Christopher Lister built a small adobe house. Later he used this as a shop and built a larger house on the same lot. Most of their children were born and raised there.

Eliza had very poor health in the later part of her life and lived with her son Joseph most of that time. She died on 15 September 1908. She had 14 children, 79 grandchildren and 93 great grandchildren.

Christopher Riding

Eliza's husband Christopher Lister Riding was born on 10 February 1816 in Burnley, England. Little is known of his parents, except that his father was a baker who owned his own shop.

At an early age Christopher was apprenticed to a tinsmith. He was good at his work, and became a master mechanic. He married Mary Ann Hale, a girl born and raised in his hometown, late in 1839 or early the following year. The young couple were baptised on 14 February 1840 by Brother John Cottam. Three years later, on 5 June 1843 Christopher was ordained a priest and set apart to assist in the work of the Burnley branch of the Church.

In 1847 the family had collected enough to leave for the United States, a dream they had had ever since they joined the church. At that time they had two living children and had buried their first baby. They went as far as St Louis, where their lack of finance compelled them to stop for five years. They finally saved enough to purchase a wagon, a yoke of oxen, two cows and supplies enough to last the family across the plains. They now had four children.

When they arrived in Salt Lake City, they were housed temporarily in the little house, one-roomed log, which is now in preservation on the temple grounds. Soon Christopher bought a plot and built a two-room house. He found work plentiful and was becoming prosperous. While in Salt Lake he met and married his second wife,Eliza Adelade Dolbell.

At the time of the Great Move he took both his families to Provo. The family never returned to Salt Lake as Christopher received a call to go to the Dixie Mission. This came in a letter from Brigham Young, which was delivered by Jacob Hamblin. He returned to Salt Lake City long enough to dispose of his house and lot, for which he received in exchange a yoke of oxen and wagon.

He was a loyal member of the church and a regular attendant at Sacrament meetings, though he was never very active in public affairs due to the nature of his work. He was a great reader, spending every evening in this way. He died on 29 November 1887 after an illness of only six days. He had 22 children, eight by his first wife and 14 by his second.

Frank Dolbel Riding

Frank Dolbel Riding, son of Christopher and Eliza, was born on 2 June 1874 at St George, Utah. His father was a tinner and his sons worked in the shop with him learning the trade, which provided many of the essential things of the home such as cups, pans, buckets, strainers, lanterns and many others.

In 1887 Christopher was given the job of putting a metal roof on the St George Temple. The boys were to assist in this work, but before they started the job their father died, so a Mr Spencer arrived from Salt Lake City to assist the Riding boys in removing the old roof and replacing it with metal.

Frank was 13 when his father died, leaving a large family to provide for themselves. Frank helped his brothers John and Joseph in the tin shop when he could not get other employment.

Frank had a tin shop in Beaver. While working there he met and married Nettie Walters on 15 December 15. After their wedding they lived in Beaver for some time then went to Bridger, Wyoming. In 1901 they moved to Bend then Mesquite, Nevada. In 1911 the family moved to Tropic. This was a new place and Frank took up the plastering trade and did some work as a rock mason. He built a large house for his family and planted an orchard of fruit trees.

Frank played the guitar and encouraged the young people to sing dance and have a good time. He and his brother furnished the music for public dance. For three years Frank was assistant superintendent of Sunday School and four years he was superintendent.

On 22 January 1914 his wife died, leaving him six children, the youngest being 17 days old. On 16 June 1916 he married Miriam Adele Cox Wilson, a widow with eight children, one of whom was married. His family now numbered 15 at home. To this union three children were born.

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