Saturday, January 19, 2008

Emma Hinton Wright (1868-1932)

This history was compiled by RaNae L. Christensen from the writings of Genevieve W. Christensen and Mina W. Crosby and from a conversation with Ruth Wright Christensen Blake.

Emma was born May 27, 1868 in Mountain Dell, Utah; to John Nock and Emma Spendlove Hinton. Mountain Dell was a small town in Washington County near Virgin City. Emma was very young when her parents moved to a home in Virgin City. She attended school in Virgin.

School was just held during the winter months. She learned to read and to write, which seemed to be of the most importance.

In 1874 President Brigham Young organized the United Order in Virgin. Emma's parents joined the United Order; they turned in their animals and other property. When it was over they had nothing left but some land and a team, so they made a new start.

The Wrights lived across the Virgin River in a town called Duncan's Retreat. The young people in these parts visited each other and had dances and parties together. This is how John Moroni Wright met Emma Hinton.

On June 16, 1885; Emma married John Moroni Wright in the St. George Temple. They lived in Duncan's Retreat for several years. Flood water took the Wright's garden and orchard. When the high water got close to their home, John put his furniture and family in his wagon and started north. At this time, they had one child, Wallace. About the time of the flood, the farmers along the Sevier River were putting dams in the river and sending the water on the farms (in Millard County).

There had been a road built from Salt Lake City to California and the Wrights traveled on this road until they came to Millard County. All of South Millard County was known as Deseret at that time. Later when enough people moved into that part of the country, they named the land south of the river Deseret and the land north of the river was called Hinckley.

John and Emma went north into Hinckley and located west of the California Highway. They chose a nice sandy spot. It was the spring of 1887.

That summer they lived in a tent made by stretching the wagon cover over a pole. Their food that summer consisted of bread and Dixie molasses. They had to get their drinking water from a well owned by William H. Pratt. John became ill that summer and when Mr. Pratt saw how sick he was, he took John and his family into his home and he and his wife took care of them until John was well.

In the fall of 1886 the Wrights moved into a two-room building owned by B. W. Scott. In November of 1887 their son, Joseph Moroni, was born. That winter they lived in this two room building. In the spring 1888, they got the title for the land from the government under the Homestead Act. During the summer, they built a one-room house of adobes that John’s brother, Frank, had made for them. The roof was made of logs and the boards were covered with mud. A few years later, they added another room. The older children were born in this home. The old home was down in the field quite a way (it was 1/4 mile from the highway) and we had to go down a lane to get there. We did have many happy times in the old two room home. They were large rooms and Mother had two beds in the front room and a couch in the kitchen that was opened up into a bed at night. The rest of us slept on the floor. They would make the beds on the floor at night and take them up in the morning. It was a lot of extra work. In the summer the boys slept in a covered wagon box.

When Ianthus was born, there was something wrong with his legs so he couldn’t straighten them out. Emma prayed about this because there were no doctors in Hinckley. One night she dreamed that she was walking up town. She met Bishop Pratt and they stopped and talked. He asked her about her family and she told him about Ianthus. He said, “Sister Wright take him to the Salt Lake Temple and have him blessed there and he will be healed.” A few days after this dream, she went up town and she did meet Bishop Pratt. They stopped to chat and he asked her about her family and she told him about Ianthus. He told her to do just what she had dreamed about. They took him to Salt Lake to the temple and he was healed.

One morning when Ianthus and Mina were quite small, they went with Mother in the one horse buggy to take the milk to the creamery. The horse ran away and tipped Mother and Ianthus out of the buggy. Mina was sitting in the middle so she wouldn't fall out. She wanted to sit on the outside but Ianthus wouldn't let her. Ianthus didn't get hurt but mother did and a short time later a baby boy was born. He was ill at the time of his birth and only lived six days. They named him Bernard.

In the spring of 1902 they had saved a little over $300. They had planned to build them more room but that spring John was called to go on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He went to the Northern States Mission. He was assigned to labor in Council Bluffs, Iowa; with an Elder Joshua Terry. During the time John was on his mission, Emma took care of the family and raised a garden. At night she would put the children to bed, then she would do sewing for the neighbors who needed it done. With the money she earned, she bought clothing and other necessities the family needed.

On May 20, 1904 John received an honorable release and returned home. Soon after he returned from his mission, John raised a good crop of alfalfa seed and received a good price for it. With this money, they built a nice two story home close to the highway. Joseph Moroni Wright built the home for his parents and their family after he returned from his mission to Australia.

When Laurence was ten years of age, the cousins from Salt Lake left a sheep camp and a dog at our place while they went home for Christmas. Between Christmas and New Years, Laurence took the cows to the field. This morning when he came back down the lane the dog ran out and barked at the horse. The horse not being used to dogs shyed and Laurence fell off. It hurt him internally and he lived until the middle of February. The sisters of the ward offered to prepare Laurence for burial, but Emma wanted to do that and make his clothes. That year the flu was so bad the funeral was held outside on the front porch.

Emma served in the Presidency of the Young Ladies Mutual Organization for several years. She helped make burial clothing and prepare the dead for burial also.

When the church built the Millard Academy in Hinckley, the Wrights opened their home to teachers and students. The Wright home was clean and well organized so the students could enjoy boarding there. Emma cooked the meals and her daughters helped with the cleaning and did the dishes. Camilla Eyring (wife of President Spencer W. Kimball) boarded at the Wright home when she taught at the Millard Academy. She taught Genevieve and probably her sisters how to do cutwork.

There were two teachers staying there at different times who taught at the grade school. They lived near Provo and had both been student body presidents of the Brigham Young University. These teachers were A. J Tippets and G. Edward Johnson.

The students were from all over Millard County. Those from Deseret, Oasis, and Abraham came Sunday evening and went home after school on Friday. The students from other towns like Holden, Meadow, Lynndyl, Leamington, Oak City, and Fillmore just went home for holidays.

For several years, the Millard Academy was a LDS Church School, then the Church decided to turn the school to the State because they could not afford to support so many. As Delta was more central, the new school was built there.

With all her years of hard work and toil, Emma developed a weak heart and her health began to fail. She died April 24, 1931; at the age of 63 at Hinckley and was buried in the Hinckley Cemetery. She outlived her father by nearly three years and her mother by nearly two years.

Emma Hinton was admired by many for her organization, her self-sufficiency, and her love of family. She was rather reserved and she spent her time doing for her family. Emma bore John fourteen children: Wallace Hinton, Joseph Moroni, Mary Ann, John William, Spencer Hinton, Genevieve, Zina, Mina, Ianthus N., Bernard B., Vernell, Chester Eugene, Laurence Leon, and Glade Merwin. Bernard died in infancy and Laurence was about ten years old when he died. Zina was a young mother of three when she died of a bad heart condition. The others lived to adulthood.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ena Wright Gladden (1919-1986)

This is a personal history as written by Myrtle Langston, Ena's mother. This was written and included in Myrtle's book of remembrance. I have not corrected any spelling but I did add paragraph breaks for convenience. Ena is my paternal grandmother and I remember her from when I was young. She was a good woman.

Ena was born in the hom[e] 1/2 block straight west of the Millard Stake Academy in Hinckley Millard Co. Utah 16 Aug. 1919. The family moved from the farm 23 July 1919 where we had moved to escape the Flu, as 1918 was the first bad year of the flu (the year my bro. Charley died with flu while on a mission in Tongan Islands) An incident happened before Ena's birth I desire to relate. Ena was due to be born Aug. 10 - on a Sun. when she didn't arrive, Joe & I took a ride with "old Snip" hitched to our buggy (one seat) & rode by Sister a widow Mary E. Lee's home - (She nursed me & brot all 4 of our children. Wallace Joe's Dr. brother helped with Ruth, after Sis. Lee had done 1/2 of delivery) We ask her if there was a possibility the baby would wait till Joe returned from a Drainage meeting in S.L. on the following week. She said, "Well, you've waited this long, why can't you wait till he does return." Joe returned Thurs. nite & Ena was born 10 a.m., on Friday. We were still living in the 2 rooms that Norda was born.

Ena has always been a healthy child - for which we were thankful. She was sweet, lovable, & pretty - my mother thot her adorable. Shirley Langston & all neighbors children came & played with our children acting out shows for pins. Ena loved to swim in the Langston's (my Fathers) swimming home at the corner of his lot. It was one of the Town's favorite swimming places - an irrigation ditch. Our home was one in which we taught the children to pray, & attend Primary S.S. Sacrament Meeting & church functions. We were poor in worldly goods or money but we were very happy & tried to help in the Lord's work. Her teachers loved Ena & so far as I know she gave them no trouble.

Both in District and High S. she took parts in plays operettas & operas. She always was obedient to help in home. But now she says Norda tried to "boss" her, & it went against her spirit to be "bossed." Norda was trying to get the tasks done her mother left for the 2 girls to do. I think 5-6 girls made up her crowd of girls as she grew into her "teens." There were only a few boys near her age in Hinckley, so this group went with boys from other towns. This, her parents felt badly about, but couldn't correct it. Hence it was a constant worry to us, her parents.

Ena was a first class dancer, & loved shows, was always happy & laughing. All who have known Ena, all her life, have loved her. Tragedy struck in our home when she married at 17 to a boy from Kentucky, who worked in "CC" Gov't work west of Hinckley, James David Wood. Of course it wasn't L.D.S. temple marriage as he was not L.D.S They stayed in Hinckley for a while then went to Caliente & lived in part of Norda's home. After a year's time she went to Cedar Hospital where Iris was born. J.D. has never seen Iris nor Ena since he saw her in the hospital in Cedar City. Her second marriage came during 2nd world war, as she married Eskel D. Carlson & they had two children, David & Ann. They were divorced & her 3rd marriage was to Everett Gladden of Virginia. He came to Tooele Ordinance Depot where she was living & supporting her 3 children. They seem happy today 18 Feb. 1953. They hope to go to temple soon as possible. They seem not to have children - but are happy with their three.

They are wanting a new home in Tooele & hope they get one soon. Their new De Soto requires $107.00 monthly - & can't save. E.&E. have had trips every summer to fish, hunt, & see Everett's folks in Durango Colorado. It's hard for E&E to save money - living costs are so high, rent, car payments. They both earn fair wages, & are happy in their home. Both are active in the church for which Joe & I are thankful. They have the blessing on the food but not Family prayer. They pay some tithing, I don't know how much. So they have much to do to get a temple recommend. I'll quit writing today 18 Feb. '53 & let Ena fill in the rest as she desires. Everett has quit smoking & is putting on lbs. of weight.

The following vital information was also included with this history:

-- Father's name: Joseph Moroni Wright
-- Mother's maiden name: Myrtle Kezia Langston
-- Born: 16 August 1919 in Hinckley Millard Co. Utah
-- Blessed: 24 August 1919 by her father
-- Baptized: 16 Aug 1927 in canal by the gust mill - west, by her father, Joseph Moroni Wright
-- Confirmed: 16 Aug 1927 by her father
-- Married to: Everett Gladden on 9 April 1948 in her Sister Norda's home in Tod Park by Presiding Elder of Tod Branch by the name of Charles F. Adams
-- Patriarchal blessing: by Willis E. Robison on 16 August 1935

Leonard Lucius Mecham (1890-1972) Obituary

Here's another obituary I hadn't previously identified. This is actually Myrtle Langston's brother-in-law, the husband of Myrtle's older sister (by 4 years) Ella.

MILFORD - Leonard Lucius Mecham, 81, Milford, died of natural causes Feb. 3 in a Milford hospital. Born Oct. 22, 1890, Salt Lake City, to Joseph Preston and Phoebe Elizabeth Hale Mecham. Married Ella Langston June 19, 1912, Salt Lake LDS Temple; she died Aug. 22, 1953. Contractor carpenter. Survivors: sons, daughters, Max L., Milford; Laurence, Lakewood, Calif.; Hale D., Bountiful; Mrs. Roy T. (Agnes Kay) Lomax, Salt Lake City; 13 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; brothers, sisters, Lumar, Las Vegas; Kenneth, Mrs. Carlos (Beth) Anderson, both Hinckley, Millard County; Mrs. Don (Etta) Bishop, Mrs. Sterling (Myrtis) Bennion, both Delta, Millard County. Funeral Monday, 11 a.m., Milford LDS Ward Chapel. Friends call Southern Utah Mortuary, Milford, Sunday, 7-8 p.m., Monday after 9:30 a.m. Graveside services Monday 4 p.m., Wasatch Lawn Cemetery, Salt Lake City.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Calvin Dalton (1893-1972) and Mary Winsor Dalton (1897-1972) Obituary

This one was a little weird. It was an obituary I had in my records that came from the book of remembrance of Myrtle Langston and I had no idea how these people were related to me. After a little digging, I found out he was Myrtle's first cousin, which makes him my, um, well, check out the graphic above. It's a bit tragic that they both died on the same day, though I suppose there are few better ways to go to the afterlife than with the one you love. There must be a story there.

The obituary reads:

Calvin Dalton, 78, and Mary Winsor Dalton, 74, his wife, 1605 E. 5600 South, died Feb. 14, 1972 at home of a heart attack.

He was born Dec. 6, 1893, Rockville, Washington County to Alonzo and Adella Hall Dalton. Married Mary Winsor Sept. 5, 1922, St. George Temple. Building contractor, 45 years; high priest, Cottonwood Seventh Ward; former counselor in bishopric, St. George; former high priest group leader; veteran WW I.

She was born Feb. 21, 1897, St. George to Andrew Nielson and Agnes Macfarlane Winsor. Married Calvin Dalton. Relief Society president; former member St. Gorge Stake Board Relief Society school teacher; member Emigration Stake Relief Society Board.

Survivors: sons, Calvin W., North Salt Lake; Kay Blaine, Salt Lake City; Robert A., Ogden; nine grandchildren. Mr. Dalton's sisters, Mrs. Marguerita Wood, Salt Lake City; Mrs. Lavern Smith, Seattle, Wash.; Mrs. Arva Mathie, North Ogden. Mrs. Dalton's brother and sister, Karl Chambersburg, Pa.; Mrs. Ruth Carson, Sunnyvale, Calif.

Joint funeral services will be Thursday 2 p.m., Cottonwood Seventh Ward chapel, 5565 Neighbor Lane. Friends call Wednesday 6-8 p.m., 4670 Highland Dr. and Thursday at the chapel one hour before services. Burial, Holladay Memorial Park.

A second newspaper clipping was included which reads:

DALTON - Joint funeral services for Calvin and Mary Dalton will be held at 2 p.m. in the Cottonwood 7th Ward Chapel, 5565 Neighborlane (1610 East). Friends may call Wednesday 6-8 p.m., at Curtis-MacKay Cottonwood Mortuary, 4670 Highland Drive, and Thursday one hour prior to services at the church. Funeral directors, Curtis-Mackay Cottonwood Mortuary.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

James Bevan (1821-1894)

The following information was derived from a variety of different sources, none of them named. Where possible, I've included photographs to illustrate several aspects of his life.

Some basic information:

-- James Bevan emigrated to America in 1842 on the ship "Hope" arriving and settling in Nauvoo, Illinois,May 14 1846.
-- He was a member of the Mormon Battalion, enlisting at Council Bluffs, Iowa, in the Company A, under Captain Jefferson Hunt. Because he got sick, he was assigned to Lieutenant W.W. Willis' detachment, wintering in Pueblo, Colorado. He came to Utah on July 28, 1847 with Captain James Browns' Company, after passing through Pueblo, Colorado.
-- After 14 months in the Salt Lake Valley (at the time part of Mexico) he returned to what was then the United States and found his wife. He had eleven children with Mary Shields and also married Mary's friend Isabell McPherson.
-- He came to Tooele in 1852 and was a Captain of 10 in the Echo Canyon Campaign against General Johnston's army.

A personal history, unedited except to add paragraph breaks, follows herein:

James Bevan was the son of John and Ann Bairfoot Bevan of Herefordshire, England where he was born October 19, 1821. When he was twenty-six years of age he heard the Gospel as preached by the Mormon missionary Wilford Woodruff and was baptized. He left his native land with other converts, hoping to join the Saints in Zion.

[James travelled on the ship called "Hope" to New Orleans, Louisiana, arriving on 1 April 1842. The first two pages of the ship records are shown here, the second page of which illustrates his name on line 123 with his age of 22 being recorded with a profession of "Labourer".]

About this time the United States was having trouble with Mexico and James Bevan was among the volunteers to join the Mormon Battalion. When the sick detachment was sent to Pueblo, James Bevan was a member of the group. Although James was a strong, young man, he became ill, and was left by the side of the road. He often told his children how he lay alone until he saw a man on horseback approaching him. When the man saw him he dismounted, gave him some water and medicine, then disappeared as quickly as he had come. James began to feel better and started on his way again. He found the camp of the Battalion and was warmly greeted. Many believed that a messenger from God had saved his life.

[I visited the Mormon Battalion Museum in San Diego, CA, and took the following pictures. The statue is not James Bevan, but the plaques show his assignment to Company A.]

He arrived in Salt Lake Valley, July, 1847. In the year 1850, James returned to Council Bluffs where he married Mary Shields on the 9th of May. Upon his return to Salt Lake he acquired a tract of land and took up farming. During the period of the Johnston Army episode, James was Captain of ten men stationed in Echo Canyon. He was Senior President of the 43rd Quorum of Seventies for many years. Death came to James Bevan at the age of seventy-three on October 26, 1894.

The following image is of a newspaper article from the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin, which is a memorial to James Bevan. It is listed as being written by James Dunn and was published on 9 November 1894.

The previous section of the history was tagged with a name of "Alice Bates Herron", who may have been the original author. The following section of history is somewhat redundant, again with an unknown source, but contains a very interesting story about James and a local native when he resided in Tooele, Utah.

Bevan, James, a member of the Mormon Battalion, was born in Herefordshire, England, Oct. 18, 1821, baptized October, 1840, emigrated to America in 1842, crossing the Atlantic in the ship "Hope," and arrived at Nauvoo, Ill., May 14, 1846. He enlisted as a private in Company A of the Battalion, at Council Bluffs, and on account of sickness became a member of Lieutenant W. W. Willis' detachment, which wintered at Pueblo. He arrived in G.L.S. Valley the following summer under Capt. James Brown. After remaining in the Valley about fourteen months, Bevan returned to the States, in company with Howard Egan and others, but came back to the Valley in the spring of 1852 as a married man, and located in Tooele, Tooele county, Utah, where he resided the remainder of his life. He died Oct. 26, 1894 at Tooele.

James Bevan came to Utah, July 28th, 1847. He was in Captain James Brown's company, who was in charge of the sick detachment of Saints. As a member of the Mormon Battalion, James Bevan helped bring the sick Pioneers to Utah. Later he served as a Captain in the Echo Canyon Campaign when Sidney Johnston's Army made their hostile entrance into Utah in 1857. He suffered many hardships, through that winter; the snow was deep and the men had to wrap burlap sacks around their feet to keep them from being frozen.

As a settler in Tooele, Utah, he helped build the city. He hauled logs from the canyons to be used in the building of homes and schoolhouses for the people. One time while he was in the hills, loading logs in his wagon to help with the building in the village, he paused in his work to fry some pancakes for his lunch. It was customary in those days to carry some flour, a frying pan, and other provisions when in the hills.

This time he had his fire made and a pancake cooking when he was startled to hear a noise behind him. Turning quickly to see what caused the noise, he was face to face with Weiber Tom, a very large and fearsome Indian, whom all the settlers feared. The Indian looked very mean, raised his tomahawk and said, "I kill you!"

James Bevan wasn't a coward, but he feared the Indian because he was unarmed and no match for so large an Indian. He offered a silent prayer to God and then he reached over to the fire and handed the cooked pancake to the Indian, saying, "You eat." To his surprise Weiber Tom took the offered cake, said, "Me eat." More pancakes were baked and the Indian ate until he was well fed. To James Bevan's surprise, Weiber Tom walked to the wagon that was being loaded with logs and helped him load them. When the load was completed, he climbed on the wagon with him and rode out of the hills to the home of James Bevan, where he saw the family and was given more food.

From that time on he was a friend of the Bevan family. It was a common sight to see the Indian at their home. He would ask if Cap. Bevan was home. If he wasn't, he would wait out in the yard, and when he saw him coming with his team and wagon, he would run to meet him like a child.

Joseph Wright (1818-1873)

This is a biography which was compiled by RaNae L. Christensen from two other biographies that were written by unknown authors. It is titled "Joseph Wright: Son of Grace Shepherd and John Wright".

Joseph Wright, son of Grace Shepherd and John Wright was born 25 Dec 1817 at Bubwith, Yorkshire, England. He was a butcher by trade in England. He moved from Bubwith to Tadcaster, Yorkshire, where he joined the church in England March 14, 1848. His Wife, Hannah Mariah (Marie) Watson, had joined the church July 27, 1837, before her marriage to John. (Four children were born to them in England and they were Eliza Anne, William, Emily, and George). George and Emily passed away in 1846 in England.

After joining the church he served as a leader of the Tadcaster Branch until his departure for Zion in January 1849, aboard the ship “Zetland.” Joseph, Hannah, and their two children, Eliza Ann and William, made the voyage. After nine weeks on the ocean, they arrived in New Orleans and proceeded to St. Louis via steamboat. Here Hannah gave birth to a baby girl. They named her Martha. She passed away April 15, 1848. After a short residency in Kanesville, they obtained teams and wagons for the westward journey.

They arrived in [the] Salt Lake Valley September 28, 1849, and after a short residency in Salt Lake City, they bought some land in the Millcreek area at what is now 200 West and Central Avenue (4000 South). Here they erected a two story house and settled down to farming, stock raising, and the rearing of a family.

While crossing the ocean, Joseph and his family had become well-acquainted with the William Fryer family and on January 4, 1857, Brigham Young married (and sealed) Joseph Wright to William Fryer's daughter, Mary Ann, in his new office in the Beehive House. Joseph took his new bride to his home in Millcreek, where she and Hannah continued with their responsibilities together.

In July 1857, Joseph was called [to] assist the Home Guard in resisting the advance of Johnston's Army. During his service in Echo Canyon, his wives and children moved to Spanish Fork until peace was established and they could happily return to their home in Millcreek.

On February 16, 1857, he was ordained a Seventy in the 22nd Quorum of Seventies. In the October Conference of 1862, Joseph was called out of the congregation on a five year mission to help settle Utah's Dixie. He accepted the call and on November 11, 1862, left Millcreek with two wagons loaded with provisions, some horses, oxen, other livestock, his wife, Mary Ann; her 18 month old son, John Moroni; and his two older sons from Hannah, William and Joseph Alma. Joseph drove one wagon (loaded with grain) pulled by two yoke of oxen, Mary Ann drove the second wagon pulled by two teams of horses and little John Moroni was tucked safely inside the wagon. The two older boys rode some other horses and herded the remainder of the livestock. Hannah Mariah remained at their home in Millcreek along with her three daughters, Eliza Ann, Mary Hannah and Elizabeth Jane. They had a fine home and a prosperous farm in Millcreek and it must have been a sad parting for the whole family.

After three weeks of traveling, the group arrived at the small community of Virgin, where they remained until they could locate some land with feed for his livestock. He turned them out on the range at [a] place called Goulds, south of Virgin City. Shortly after arriving in Virgin, they were able to purchase some property from Appleton Harmon at Duncan's Retreat, a few miles from Virgin. This property was located on the banks of the Virgin River.

The family began farming, raising livestock, and operating a freight line between Dixie and Salt Lake Valley. Joseph was very liberal with his means in helping those that were in need; he furnished many a family that was poor with supplies, food, etc. He also loaned grain to a great many people and a large amount of it was never paid back. He furnished the money to finish the log school house at Duncan's Retreat so that meetings, schools, etc. could be held in it.

He helped establish the following enterprises: The Virgin City Co-op store, Touquerville Store, Washington Factory, Kanara sheep herd, Kolob Ranch, Canana Ranch, and etc. He bought the first threshing machine that was used there, that both threshed and separated grain. It was hauled all the way from California by teams at a very great expense.

The Indians stole thirty head of his valuable horses and two mules. These horses and mules were worth about five thousand dollars. He furnished horses and supplies for expeditions against the Indians. He was also appointed to the home guard. The Indians were very troublesome and had to be watched. They would often make raids on the towns and kill some of the settlers and steal their horses, cattle, and etc.

He was always ready when called upon by those in authority to perform any duty or go wherever he was called.

Severe flooding along the Virgin River washed away much of the farm established by Joseph and his family, even threatening the home. In January 1893 his faithful wife, Mary Ann, and her children were forced to move. They moved to Hinckley where two of her sons had settled a few years previous.

Joseph was the father of fourteen children. Hannah bore him eight children and Mary Ann Fryer bore him six children.

Mary Ann Fryer Wright (1838-1931)

The following is an autobiography of Mary Ann Fryer Wright, entitled "Life of Mary Ann Fryer (Wright)". The autobiography indicated that it was collected by dictation and written by her granddaughter Carrie Wright Probet.

At the request of my children, I shall try to give my history as near as I remember it. I was born September 8, 1839; at Stroxton, Lincolnshire, England. My father, William Fryer, son of John and Elizabeth Smith Fryer, was born March 9, 1813. My mother was Ann Colton Fryer, daughter of Francis and Mary Colton, born at Corby, Lincolnshire, England, on May 5, 1810.

When I was about six years of age my father moved to a place called Spittle Gate, near Grantham. In the fall of 1846, my father, being at Grantham, met up with two men, William and Charles Palmar, from Australia. These two men were looking for a place to board, so father allowed them to come and stay with us. One of these men proved to be a Latter-Day Saint. He explained the principles of Mormonism to my parents and they believed and were baptized in January of 1847.

At this time there were no Mormons in the place where we lived. After Father was baptized, he was ordained the Presiding Elder and he, together with local Elders sent from a nearby Branch of the Church, began preaching the Gospel. They held meetings at our home and also on the street corners. Before long a number of people were converted and a Branch of the Church was established. The First Mission President that came to our place was Simeon Carter from America. (We always took care of the visiting brothers when they were in that neighborhood.) The people were very bitter towards the converts and did many things to persecute them. My father did most of the baptizing and was called “John the Baptist” by the people. I was baptized by my father when I was eight years old.

As time went on more people were converted and a building was rented for the use of the Saints. It was at this place that my father gave his farewell address to the Saints before leaving for America. They all thought a great deal of him, and were deeply touched when they listened to his farewell speech.

We left our home in England in January 1849 and sailed from Liverpool on the ship Zetland. Orson Spencer was President and there were 358 souls aboard. We landed in New Orleans. It was here that my father contracted the disease and on May 5, just three weeks after we arrived, he died. My mother was left with eight children, and the baby, which had been born on the ship, died that summer. I was the only girl in the family.

After Father died we didn't have the means to come to Utah but it was my mother's desire that we should gather there as soon as possible. In 1853 we were living six miles from St. Louis when the following incident happened. Two of my girl friends wanted me to come and spend an evening with them, so they sent some boys to ask me to come. I asked Mother if she was willing for me to go. At first she felt that she would rather not have me go because it was so dark, but she asked me if I would like to go and when I said I would she consented. As soon as the boys heard this they ran back to tell the girls I was coming. When I got ready to go Mother told me to take a light because it was terribly dark and the many deep open coal pits in the area would make the way very dangerous. I took my light and started out. I hadn't gone very far when the light went out and I was left to find my way in the dark. I finally saw a light over to one of the neighbors and thought I knew just where to go. I started on what I thought was the right path; coming to a slight raise, I remember thinking I had never been that way before and then I knew no more. When I came to I was in the bottom of one of the coal pits, laying my hand on my arm.

When I didn't reach the girls’ home they went to my place to see what the matter was. When Mother found that they knew nothing about me she was very much alarmed and immediately began to search for me. My brother, William, went to the neighbors and they told him they had heard a voice in the direction of the coal pit. He ran to the pit and heard me calling. He came to the opening and called, “Oh, my sister, my sister!” Then a crowd came and they let a man down to bring me up. He asked me if I was hurt and I told him I didn't know. He put a rope around me and they drew me up. When I got nearly to the top the man leaned over the pit for fear that contact with the air might cause me to faint again.

It was surely an exciting time, one woman fainted and another went into hysterics. My mother was almost wild because she didn't know how I would be. I had no broken bones, but was badly bruised. The next day some of the men measured the pit and it was fifty-five feet deep.

I will record here two other accidents which happened to me in later life. The first of these occurred while we were on the move south. I was driving one of my husband's teams, following just behind a neighbor (Bro. Helm), when we came to a bad place in the road. He didn't have time to warn me before I came to it. The wagon was heavily loaded with flour and I had nothing to hold to when the wagon went over the bad spot. I fell out and one of the wheels ran over me.

The second accident happened when I was coming from Dixie to Hinckley on a visit. We decided that by driving a little after night we would be able to even up each day’s journey. As we were doing this we came to a washout in the road. I was sitting close to the side of the wagon and the jolt threw me heavily to the ground, hurting my head and shoulders; however, I was not seriously injured and soon recovered.

While we were at St. Louis, Horace S. Eldredge came there on business along with Alonzo Buckland, a returned missionary. These brothers came often to visit us at our home and there was a branch of the church there. When they saw how anxious Mother was that we should gather in Zion, Brother Buckland offered to take my younger brother and me with him. He had a team and wagon all fitted out. He was also going to take a sister whose husband had emigrated the year before and was then residing at Salt Lake. This lady, he said, would be company for me. Mother asked counsel of Brother Eldredge, and he advised her to let us go. It was then decided that two other brothers should go, so that I would have one of the older brothers with me.

We boarded a steamboat with Brother Eldredge and Brother Buckland on the 4th of June, 1854, Brother Eldredge being in charge of the Church Train. We went to Fort Leavenworth and then went to the camp ground where Saints were camping. We traveled together for some time and were divided into companies with a captain over each company.

When we were organized into companies, my younger brother and myself were in one company while my two older brothers were left behind to come in the Church Train. I didn't see them again until some time after we reached Utah. Just before we started on our journey, Brother Buckland took sick and died. His sister and her husband and a younger brother by the name of James were in the company, so the brother took charge of the teams. There was danger with the Indians that year as the prior emigrants had had trouble with them.

The journey was long and tiresome. We used to start out and walk ahead of the train as it was too hot to ride in a covered wagon.

On our journey we met Orson Spencer and Ezra T. Benson, who were going back to St. Louis on business. I made myself known to Brother Spencer and asked him to go and see my mother when he reached St. Louis and tell her where he had met us. Brother Spencer promised to do this and said, “So you have left your mother and are going to Utah alone?”

He blessed me and asked me to go and visit his family when we reached Salt Lake and tell them where I had seen him. He told us about the roads and journey ahead of us. I must mention here that Brother Spencer did not live to return home; he died while away and his body was afterwards brought home for burial.

On one occasion on the road, we met an independent company known as the “Land Company,” named this because they were traveling all the way from St. Louis by land. There was a man named Thomas Harry with them, whom I knew in England. (He later settled in Provo and his daughter married William Farrar of Provo.) We stopped and talked to them for a while and then our company decided to move on as it was advised the trains be some distance apart.

There was a camp of Indians just back of us, across the creek. While the men were hitching up, another girl and myself started out ahead. We went for some distance. It didn't seem so far to us but when we listened we could not hear the wagons coming. Finally we started back but still could not see or hear anything of them. We kept going until we reached the “Land Company” which had camped for the night; still our company was no where in sight. We stayed with them; they made us a bed on the ground. Just after we had gone to bed a Brother and two Sisters from our company came and asked the people if they had seen two strange Sisters who had turned off some distance from the main road and had missed their camp. They mentioned they had looked everywhere to find them but to no avail. We then arose and went back with them.

As we traveled along we could often tell just how far ahead another company was by the remains of their camp fires. Sometimes they would put the skull of an animal with the name of the Captain of the company written on it.

We arrived in Salt Lake, September 21, 1854. I made my home for awhile with Brother Buckland's family in what was then called Session Settlement (now Bountiful) and then with Horace S. Eldredge's family in the 13th Ward.

In the spring of 1855, I was rebaptized in City Creek, east of Eagle Gate by Brother Horace S. Eldredge. I then made my home for awhile with Zina D. Young, who lived east of the Eagle Gate and a little south of the log row. I was living there when the Beehive House was being built. In those days a girl was glad to have a place to call home without receiving wages.

In 1855 came the grasshopper famine. In 1857 I was married to Joseph Wright of Mill Creek who had crossed from England on the same vessel with us. He had arrived in Salt Lake in the fall of 1849. We were married (and sealed) by President Brigham Young in his office at the Beehive House.

My husband was in President Young's company celebrating the 24th of July at Big Cottonwood Canyon when the news came that Johnston's Army was coming. He afterwards was called to Echo Canyon to help keep the army from entering the Valley. While he was there we were busy preparing to move, if necessary.

We moved with most of them from Mill Creek to Spanish Fork. We went prepared for whatever might happen but we didn't know what it would be. We took all the provisions possible. President Young advised us to grate our potatoes and make starch of them which we could keep and which would be equal to arrow root. A treaty was made with Johnston's Army and we were very glad when word came that we go back our homes.

In March, 1861, I received my endowments in the Endowment House. My mother emigrated in 1859. I was then living at Mill Creek. My brother William came from Salt Lake City and told me that the company my mother was with would arrive the next morning. I went to Emigration Square, where a company was camped and was told the company would not arrive until afternoon. After dinner we were sitting in the wagon watching the company pass. I couldn't sit there so I got out and started down the street looking in each wagon as it passed. Finally I caught sight of mother walking behind one of the wagons. I rushed into her arms and called out, “Oh, my mother, my mother!” It was indeed a happy meeting.

During this occurrence a girl was standing by the fence watching us. When she saw the meeting she said, “Do stop and talk to me.” I stopped and talked to her and found that she, like myself, had left her mother as I had done. She had been very touched by the meeting between me and my mother.

Many girls had made this sacrifice in those days and it was indeed a sacrifice. My mother died August 13, 1867 and was buried in the Salt Lake Cemetery. In the fall of 1862 at the October Conference my husband was called from the stand in the Old Tabernacle to go on a five year mission to help settle Dixie. On the 11th of November we left Mill Creek to go to Dixie. We were three weeks on the journey. We stayed awhile in Virgin City and finally moved to a place called Duncan's Retreat.

On account of the Black Hawk War in 1866, we were compelled to move from Duncan's Retreat, which was a branch of the Virgin City Ward, to the fort at Virgin City for protection. During the war my husband was a home guard and used to fit the men out with horses. During this time of the Indian troubles, a band of horses were stolen by them from my husband. Most of those horses were made up to the people after the trouble was over, but we never received any recompense for the loss of our horses. My husband helped in building the Washington Factory in Dixie and the store in Virgin City. My husband died June 12, 1873 at Duncan's Retreat, leaving me with six children, four boys and two girls. I lived in the United Order in 1874 and 1875. I was set apart as second counselor in the Duncan Relief Society by William Haslam on May 4th, 1884. In the year of 1887 two of my sons moved to Hinckley on account of the high water washing so much land away. The water began washing away my orchard and vineyard. It came so close to my house that I was compelled to move. This we did, arriving in Hinckley January 9, 1893.

On January 12, 1896 my youngest daughter died, leaving two children, the younger being only 12 days old. After her death, I cared for the children. At the age of 10 years the girl was taken home by her father. I kept the boy until he was married. In December 21, 1900 my youngest son Edwin died of pneumonia, leaving a wife and three children, two boys and a girl.

On January 4, 1894 I was set apart as a teacher in the Hinckley Relief Society by Bishop William P. Pratt. On February 7, 1904, I was set apart as treasurer of the Hinckley Relief Society by Bishop William P. Pratt.

I have twenty-seven living grandchildren, seventeen boys and ten girls. Five of my grandchildren are dead: four boys and one girl. I have at present twenty-three great grandchildren.

Six of my grandsons were in the late World War [I], three were in France and three in the United States.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Myrtle Kezia Langston Wright (1892-1956)

The following was taken from a history written by the hand of the subject; spelling and grammar have not been corrected, though paragraph breaks have been added for convenience. This personal history was found in a book of remembrance that she herself collected and compiled.

When I was 3 1/2 yrs, father brot us to Hinckly Millard Co Ut. to live 1896. Our home was 2 rooms, & we used log granary for bedroom. Built large cellar - 1/2 rock & 1/2 adobe walls, roof mud & straw covered with dirt put over log beams & slab boards. I slept there. For 11 yrs we lived in that home then bot LeRoy Young's home & farm. There I lived till I married in 1915. Built us home 2 blocks west of High S. Lived there till we moved to Salt L. 1939, & here we still live. Apr 15, '48. My vocation has always been in my home. Avocation is church work - Primary & M.I.A. My special talent is to love music, play piano a little, sing & direct choruses choir & S.S. 10 years contest singing my specialty. Since coming to S.L. my activities have lessened. Poor health is mostly the cause. I had a singing mother's cho. in 31st ward first winter we were here - then later, one in Nibley Park Ward. Now I am Stake Guide Leader in Primary. Attended schools in Hinckley for grade & High school - (Millard Academy it was then) graduated from 8th grade 1908, from H.S. 1913. Taught school 2 years - first one at Salem Ut. Co. Utah. Second at Hinckley. Married 1915.

Have traveled little - took 2 trips to Cal. & one to Mesa Temple, many trips to Manti temple & Salt Lake temple. I am now working in genealogical work in Fairmont ward & a Stake Guide leader in Primary Assn. I was released as Stake Guide Leader in 1950. Stake Board with Elva Stewart as Pres. gave me a blue basket vase. 3 Board members were released the same day at a party given in our honor at Carma Peterson home on her back lawn. It was one of first socials I had attended since my stroke Mar 3, 1950. During the time I was convalescing, Norda, Ena, & Ruth each stayed a week with me after 10 days in Holy C. hospital. Then Margaret Benson stayed for 6 wks, which gave me time to do my own work.

Dr. Clausen, a nice fellow & Dr. too is my Dr. I have every confidence in him & he has made check ups to know my progress. He says I have done real well. At this date, 2-10-51 he thinks I have come a long way towards recovery altho' he says people don't shake off a "nervous exhaustion" heart & nerves. But I am thankful every day for my recovery - use of hand & limbs & will continually pray for continued health. I've taken treatments from Dr. Drurya Chiro & he has done me a lot of good. I like him so very much. Joe has been a darling to me - so thotful, kind & considerate. I do pray I won't ever be a burden to him in any way - that I can always do for him until my call comes. He will take me to see the children - Ruth at Provo, Glen at Ogden, Norda at Tooele, Ena at Tod, nearly every Sunday P.M. To be with our children is a bit of heaven on earth.

Glen & Jean are looking for their baby in July - Happy that's!! Joe & I read to each other & enjoy our evenings together more now than we've ever done - What a dear husband he is! May God's choicest blessings always give him good health & that when one of us leave the other, we can soon be reunited-. I had our ward do a group of sealings for my mother's people on Jan. 29-51. Then Feb. 2 I had a group of our Degrey line baptized for - I was b. for 5 names, & it was my first - a heavenly wonderful experience. Hope I can do more. Aunt Annie W. died today 2-10-51 of a stroke. What a nice release for her! Joe & I are taking Afton & Wallace down. During this last mo. Glen & Jean have gotten - Matag (her Mother's wedding gift) "Adler" sewing machine, & new car. I'm so happy for them. Glen is really deserving of his car, bless him. Hope Ruth & E can - but she goes to school for his Dr's Degree this summer if he stays at BYU.

Nov '51 Carl & Ruth both teach Earl at B.Y.U. Both like it fine in Provo. My health has been good - still see Dr. C. every month. 10 Feb. 53: Well, here we are, Joe & I living in Ogden at the Ut. Industrial school. Joe hurt his leg during summer of 1952 causing a part of his vein about his knee to die, full of coagulated blood, so he can't work outdoors, so Claude Pratt, head of In. School gave Joe & Ben Bishop a job in Administration Bldg. remodeling the basement. I am happy here with Joe - will have different experiences - I enjoyed Relief here last Tues. Hope to get to know people. We pay $16.00 mo. rent = 3 rooms kitchen & bath; get milk each day - see Glen & Jean 2-3 times weekly - their beautiful new baby boy is growing nicely - so is Janice. Joe & I was with Study Gp. Sun. at Parnell's & Cleo Hinckley's. We came to [?] in a blizzard. Saw Dr. C. Sat. Feb 7. Says my heart is fine - not much fribulation - me to not worry about cancers, heart etc. & get well. He is a good Dr.

The following vital information was also included:

-- Father's name: Jacob Heathcote Langston
-- Mother's maiden name: Alice Maude Hall
-- Born: 15 December 1892 in Rockville Washington Co. Utah
-- Blessed: 22 December 1892 by Jacob Heathcote Langston
-- Baptized: 15 December 1900 in Hinckley canal by Jacob Heathcote Langston
-- Confirmed: 15 December 1900 by James S. Blake
-- Married to: Joseph Moroni Wright on 4 June 1915 in Salt Lake Temple by Alvin F. Smith
-- Endowed in: Salt Lake Temple on 4 June 1915
-- Sealed to spouse in: Salt Lake Temple on 4 June 1915
-- Patriarchal blessing: by James P. Terry, John Ashman & Willis E. Robinson
-- Special appointments: As Primary Stake Secy & Treas. of Millard Stake when 15 yrs old. & worked as a Stake Leader either in Primary or M.I.A. all married life.
-- Died: 10 February 1956
-- Buried: Salt Lake City on 13 February 1956

Images of the record, written in her own handwriting (except for the death and burial information, which was written by an unknown person) are included here:

The Beginning of the Experiment

I've created this blog site as an experimental tool to help me manage and distribute the many family histories with which I have been blessed to come in contact. Very little of the histories published here are the result of my own work, but are the result of valiant efforts by many of my ancestors and other relatives. I devote this blog to them, and, of course, to the good people who's histories these are.

My intent is to include with each blog entry a little graphic to outline my personal relationship with the subject. Where photographs are available, I intend to include them. Many of the histories that I have are in hard-copy, and I have not yet had the opportunity to digitize their contents, so they will reside in this blog as photographs until such time as I can type or otherwise convert them to text (or until some kind soul does it for me!).

I do intend to focus primarily on personal histories, but will also include any other form of documentation that comes my way, including obituaries, marriage licenses, etc.

Readers who wish to contribute to this blog by offering content or by copying the text from the photographed pages may email me directly with any content. Please do not spam me! Email to gladdenfamilyhistories a t And thank you for visiting this site.

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