Bill Hickman's Ten Wives

When he was excommunicated from the LDS church in about 1867, all of them left him except for Bernetta, his first wife. 

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1  Bernetta Burkhardt  (click here for obituaries.)
Born 8 August 1812.  They married 12 April 1832; she was 19.  Their 8 children were born:   Elizabeth Helen 13 Apr 1833;  Sarah Catherine 23 Feb 1835;  Ellen about 1836;  Edwin Thomas about 1837;  Rebecca about 1839;  Joshua about 1842;  William George 27 Jun 1844;  Bernetta "Kitten" 1847.

2 Sarah Elizabeth Luce
Born 11 Sep 1829 in Vinelhaven, Maine.  They married 30 Jan 1846 in the Nauvoo LDS Temple.  Sarah arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in the Summer of 1847 in the 2nd Company led by LDS Apostle Amasa Lyman.  She gave birth to a child in Salt Lake in the spring of 1849.  Although married to William A. Hickman at the time, he never claimed the child as his because he had remained in Winter Quarters Iowa through the year 1848). See page 48 of Brigham's Destroying Angel. She was probably a sister of Jason Luce.  According to the diary of Patty Bartlett Sessions, the child was born 9 Feb 1850 and named William Adams Hickman, Jr.   In 1853 Sarah married William Albert Beebe.

3 Minerva Wade  (click here for her life story)
2 September1829 to 23 December 1918.  They married 1 May 1849; she was 19.  Their 8 children were born William Adams, Jr. 14 Feb 1850; Sarah Maria 15 Sep 1851 (she married William Frances); Moses Edward 8 Aug 1853; Lerona Minerva 12 Jan 1856 (she married Jesse Giles Vanderhoof); Margaret Wade 13 Mar 1858; Survivor 22 May 1860; Warren Wade 31 Aug 1862; Mary Ella 28 Sep 1865 (she married Frederick Kohlhepp).

4  Sarah Basford Meacham
10 October 1834 to 25 November 1909.  They married 18 August 1850, while crossing the plains.  She was 16.  They were sealed 24 Dec 1855.  Their 4 children were Deseret N. 4 Aug 1856; Joseph Smith 12 Jun 1859; Phoebe Delilah 8 Oct 1861; Rhoda 28 Mar 1864.

5 Sarah Eliza Virginia Johnson
Born 7 March 1829.  They were married 28 March 1855, she was 26.  Their 5 children were:  Laura Isbella 17 Feb 1857; Luke Johnson 1 Mar 1858; Caroline Emily 5 Apr 1864; Julia Amy 5 Apr 1864; Susan Malija 2 Sep 1861. 
  On 14 September 1870 Bill sued Frank Moreno, "Spanish Frank" to regain custody of his three daughters Laura, Susan, and Caroline, then living on an isolated ranch in Rush Valley.  Frank and Eliza refused to give up the children and a few days later he was killed by a shotgun blast.  This was the beginning of the worst of Bill's troubles.  Eliza is said to have moved to Butte, Montana and married Edwin Sherman, who owned a funeral home. 

6  Margaret (Shoshone Indian) (we don't have a picture)
Born about 1820.  They were married 28 March 1855, she was about 35.  They had no children.

7  Hannah Dyantha Harr (Horr)
3 August 1832 to 27 July 1917.  They married 11 September 1853 she was 17.  Their 2 children were:  Lorinda 25 Jan 1857; Alvin Forthugh 6 Jan 1858.

8 Martha Diana Case Howland (widow) (click here for her life story)
8 October 1823 to 16 March 1872.  They married 2 November 1856, she was 33. Their 4 children were Jordan River 6 Aug 1856; Don Carlos 4 Jun 1862; Avilda Diana 20 Jun 1859; Mary Rozina 17 Jun 1864.

9 Mary Jane (Lucretia) Harr (Horr) (we don't have a picture)
Born December 1837.  They married 30 August 1856, she was 21.  They had 2 children:  a daughter whose name is unknown, and a son, Vie.  Dates are unknown.

10 Mary Jane Hetherington (click here for her life story)
20 March 1840 to 29 May 1923.  They married 27 June 1859, she was 17.  They had 2 children:  Hyrum Smith 26 Oct 1861; James Barton 27 Feb 1865.

The pictures were scanned from Leonard Arrington, Hope Hilton, and Golda Busk, Profiles of William Adams Hickman, 1980, p. 90,
    except for the picture of Brenetta, which was provided by Diane Butcher ( 
Additional information came from Hope Hilton, Edwin and Elender Webber Hickman, Some Progenitors and Descendents.  Early Pioneers of Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri and Utah, 3rd Ed., Aug 1878, pp. 134-135.

To return to the William A. Hickman page, click here.
To return to the Hickman Index page, click here.
  MRS. BERNETTA HICKMAN, a wife of the notorious Bill Hickman, died in Park City on the 27th last.  Her body was taken through Ogden this morning on the way to Nephi for burial, accompanied by her son George and her son-in-law, J.F. Allen, and wife.
--Ogden Herald, Dec 31 1886

  Mrs. Brenetta Hickman, the first wife of the notorious Bill Hickman, died at the residence of her son-in-law, John Allen, in this city last Tuesday evening, of old age.  The deceased was a noble and strong minded woman and was generally well liked.  Her age was 76 years last August.  The remains were taken to Nephi yesterday for interment by Geo. Hickman, her eldest son, and Mr. and Mrs. Allen.  The sympathies of every one are extended to the sorrow-stricken family.
--Park Record (Park City, Utah), Saturday Jan 1 1887

From the following obituary, one may be led to believe that Bernetta at some point had joined the Reorganized LDS Church:

  HICKMAN.---Sister Bernetta Hickman died December 28th, 1886, in Park City, Utah, at the advanced age of 76 years and 4 months.  She was sick but a few days, when she passed peacefully away.  Those who remember reading the experience of a "Mother in Israel," in the Herald, may have a fair idea of her devotion to Christ and the right.  She was loved by all who knew her; she was tried even as by fire, and her rest surely will be glorious.  About three weeks before her death, Sister Allen, her daughter, dreamed that her [Bernetta's?] mother came and said, "I have come for you;" her answer was "All right, I will go."  Funeral services in the Saints' Chapel, Salt Lake City, by R.J. Anthony and Ethan Barrows.
--RLDS Saints' Herald, Jan 15 1887 p.47