Emily Amanda Rockwell was born 31 January 1833 in Jackson County Missouri to Orrin Porter Rockwell and Luana Hart Beebe. Emily came across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley.
In 1849 at the age of 16, Emily went on to California, the polygamous bride of Hyrum Gates. They lived in Greenwood, California, a mining camp. Emily was the first woman in the camp. The camps were rough with poor sanitation and poor housing. Hyrum struck it rich at Gold Run. Hyrum’s two sons Thomas and Solomon joined Hyrum and Emily. On 5 September 1850 Hyrum died. Emily was a widow at age 17.
In 1851 Emily married Henry Willard Brizzee, a Mormon Battalion boy. They lived in Sacramento, California. They had two sons: Charles Porter Brizzee, 5 September 1852; and Henry Willard Brizzee Jr., 29 April 1854. Apparently things didn’t go good for Henry and Emily and they separated and were divorced.
Emily married William Andrew Woolsey in about 1856. Two children were born to them: William Richard Woolsey born 29 June 1857, Niles, Alameda, California; and Lulu Belle Woolsey born 14 May 1860, Washington, Alameda, California. William left and returned to the Salt Lake Valley.
On 10 September 1865 Emily married David Monroe Tyrrell in Donner Lake, California. David was a mining supervisor. They lived numerous places in Nevada, going where the mining was.
David was the father to all four of Emily’s children.
In about 1880 David and Emily bought a ranch in Grouse Creek, Utah. Their cabin was in Etna. The three sons lived close by and Lulu Belle lived in California.
Emily’s mother, Luana, came to live with her in Grouse Creek in about 1892. At that time Luana was blind. Emily cared for her mother until shortly before her death in 1897.
Emily’s husband, David Monroe Tyrrell died in 1897 and she buried him in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
Grandma Tyrrell, as she was known by her family and friends, was a wealthy land owner and livestock rancher. One time Emily left for Salt Lake City to make some purchases. She boarded up her log home. While she was gone someone broke into her house and stole some things, among them was a necklace of gold nuggets, but they didn’t find the gold bricks that were hidden under the fireplace floor. So the invader built a fire in the middle of the floor of Emily’s home and left. The fire fizzled out. When Emily came home she saw what had happened and offered a reward for the person responsible for the act. She never found out who did it.
Emily’s daughter, Lulu Belle, died in Grouse Creek, Utah on 27 March 1899 and her son Charles Porter died in 1902. They are both buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
She lost four of her family in five years time.
Emily remained at her cabin in Etna for the rest of her life. She died in Lucin, Utah, while under the care of C.C. Harrington and his wife. She had been ill for about 20 days. She is buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery by the side of her father, Orrin Porter Rockwell.