EMILY JOHNSON was born in 1853 in Salt Lake City. She was the daughter of pioneers Philo Johnson (1814-1896) and Experience Almeda ("Speedy") Brown Ellsworth Johnson (1820-1896). Her father was one of the original 143 pioneers who came with Brigham Young in 1847.

Emily and Joseph Wightman

Emily Johnson married Joseph Wightman on 25 July 1869, in Salt Lake City, when he was 20 and she was almost 16. Joseph and Emily received their endowments and were sealed for time and eternity in the Endowment House in Salt Lake on October 21, 1872.
In the census of 1880, Joseph and Emily "WHITEMAN" and four children (Joseph A., Evaline, Charles, and William) are listed in Thistle Valley, Utah County. Joseph, 31, is listed as a farmer. They moved back to Payson within a year.

Joseph and Emily had ten children:

  • JOSEPH ALTON (1871-1926), who married Mary Loas GREEN;
  • EVALINE LADELL (1874-1901), who married William Tell HARPER;
  • EMILY MINNETT ("Minnie") (1875-1878),
  • CHARLES PHILO (known as PHILO C., 1877-1947), who married Rosa Tobitha WRIGHT (he was a popular mayor of Payson during the Depression years);
  • WILLIAM DAVID ("Will") (1879-1944), who married Sarah Florence WRIGHT;
  • LILLIAN ALICE (1881-1882),
  • WAYLAND RODGER (1884-1955), who married Abbie WOOD and later Laura Adell CALLISTER;
  • MARTHA (1885),
  • ORIN LYNN (1888-1891), and
  • DORA MAY (1890-1918), who married DAVID SHULER.

    All were born in Payson except Uncle Will, who was born in Thistle. Four died as infants or young children. Both surviving daughters died as young mothers, many years before their mother did in 1926.
    Joseph and Emily also raised a grandson, William Oran "Skeet" Harper (1901-1966), whose mother Eveline died when Skeet was born.
    Emily's mother "Speedy" Johnson died 13 Mar 1896 in Payson at age 76. Her father died just three weeks later 3 Apr 1896, at age 81.
    Joseph and Emily were active in the Church. Emily, and all except one of her surviving brothers and sisters, were sealed along with the deceased ones to her mother Speedy Brown Ellsworth Johnson, and Speedy's first husband German Ellsworth in 1888 in the Manti Temple. Emily was also proxy for her grandmother Johnson (Sally Abigail Griffin Johnson) on that trip.
    Emily Johnson Wightman died 18 June 1926, at age 72. She is buried in the Payson Cemetery, near her parents. Her husband Joseph was buried next to her four years later.

    Information Compiled
    by Karen Bray Keeley

    INTERNET Adaptation
    by Sandra S. Bray