Clarissa Dempsey Fackrell was born at Rensalairville, Sempranius, Cayuga, New York, the 6th of April 1824. She was the daughter of John Dempsey and Betsy White. She moved, with her parents and others of her mother's family, pioneering the Eastern part of Michigan. They homesteaded at Buchanan. She received a good education in the schools of Michigan and was fortunate to receive some training in medicine and nursing under the direction of her cousin, Dr. Jacob White. She met and married Joseph Crumb Fackrell 28 August 1845. They moved to Wisconsin where a fire destroyed their home and they then moved to Illinois.
While plowing in his field, Joseph Fackrell was told by John Boise of a Latter-Day-Saint meeting. They left the horses in the field and went. At this meeting, Joseph Fackrell was told to prepare to leave for the West in the Spring. Later, he dreamed of the place he was to have in West Bountiful, of the spring at the corner of his place and of his brother watering horses. Clarissa Dempsey Fackrell said, "Joseph, if you believe in this church, I will go with you to Utah." So he joined the Church and they came across the plains in 1852. On arriving, the scene that met their eyes was the same as the dream. Clarissa Dempsey Fackrell was soon baptized and spent her life in faithful effort for its betterment.
Her cousin says, "Clarissa later left Michigan to join the Mormons and has never heard of her since."
At the time of the move, Clarissa drove her oxen. Joseph Fackrell and son were helping with the cattle. Coming around the mountains at the point of narrows, one of the oxen got the line over his horn and was taking the wagon and all over the bank, she with seven children, three of them sick with Mountain Fever. Susan Fackrell, a sister-in-law, seemed to hear someone say, 'Go back, Susan, Clarissa is in trouble'. She went and saw, and with a baby in her arms, went to the edge of the bank and unfastened the line.
Clarissa fed her children with a teaspoon, raising 14 children to maturity. All but three received their endowments in the temple.
The young people gathered at her home where they sang and enjoyed husking bees, peach cutting and all the entertainment of the time. She helped with the sick where she used her training skillfully and pleasantly.
She took her children and traveled to the Lake where she got water, which she boiled down to obtain salt.
She bravely withstood the cricket and later the grasshopper devasta-tion. Her children were at church meeting, and Maggie Grant said of her that "Clarissa Dempsey Fackrell was as fine a woman as came to Utah, among the sturdy pioneers."
She died of measles. the 5th of July 1869, leaving a large family of small children. She was buried in the Bountiful City Cemetery. She had lived in West Bountiful from 1852 until the time of her death.
Above history taken from family information as related by children and relatives.