Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Samuel DeGrey (1861-1945)

Samuel DeGrey was the third son and child born unto Alfred DeGrey and Anne Maria Raybold. He first saw the light of day on November 2, 1861 at Dudley, England. His father had remained in England when his grandmother took her daughters and went to America after joining the Church.

Alfred had courted and married Anne Maria Raybold, and probably would have remained in England had it not been for the efforts of a young Mormon missionary from Utah. The young man was Henry Aldous Dixon, husband to Sarah DeGrey, who was Alfred's sister.

Elder Dixon urged Samuel's father to take his wife and children and join his mother and sisters in Utah. Finally he was persuaded to do just that, and so it was that Samuel, when but a young lad, came to a new land and home in Utah with his parents. There he saw for the first time his Grandmother DeGrey and all of his aunts and uncles. It was a happy reunion for the DeGrey family.

The family of Alfred DeGrey lived in a small house on 7th East and went to church in the Eleventh Ward. It was some years after their arrival in Salt Lake City that Samuel was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church.

The family seemed to be quite active in the Church during the early years in Utah. Samuel met the girl who was one day to become his wife at some ward activity when they were both quite young.

During the first years after Alfred DeGrey brought his family to Utah, the family may have had some difficulty in getting established financially. It is known that Samuel lived with his sister, Maria, and her family in Provo for some time. Jobs for young men were not to plentiful in those days. Samuel was the gardner for Brigham Young. He not only planted and tended the gardens to maturity, but he harvested the foodstuffs for the kitchen and for storage for winter use.

Samuel had two brothers and five sisters, namely: John, born October 18, 1856, died in infancy; Alfred, born on July 26, 1859; Maria, born February 17, 1865; Selina, born on March 17, 1866; Lizzie, born April 30, 1868; Sarah born November 27, 1873, married James Olsen; and Louisa born January 31, 1875, married Al Pitts.

When a young man, Samuel began courting Maria Jarman, the young girl he had met at Church. They attended the ward activities, weekly dances, picnics, and Sabbath services together. They did not go "steady", but found pleasure in each others company off and on for a few years. Then they were married.

For about two months they rented two rooms on 9th East. Soon after, they moved to a home across the street from their present home site. There they lived for about one year. A son was born to them on December 24, 1889. He was blessed and given the name Alfred for this grandfather, Alfred DeGrey. After the arrival of the new son, Samuel moved his family to a little house to the rear of their present home. There they had the necessary additional room for a thriving young lad. This son grew to maturity as a good and kind man, although he was never very religious in later years. He has a family and at the present time (August 30, 1950) resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A tiny daughter who made her appearance in the DeGrey home on May 1, 1892, was blessed and given the name of May. Two years later the little girl died on May 17, 1894. A third child, a son, Sidney, was born on January 20, 1899, just ten years after the first child. He grew to maturity, married, and is living at this date (August 1950). He was always quite religious. He tried to do his duty whenever called to do so. As long as he kept active in his church work, he was doing fine. Then he became slack, lost his testimony of the true gospel and finally, in later years, joined the Episcopalian Church.

Samuel was a religious man, but was never active. He attended church services off and on at the Eleventh Ward. He was always a willing donater to anything sponsored by the Church, but regardless of faithful urging from his good wife and friendly concern from his neighbors and friends, Samuel made no effort to advance in his religious standing. He held no priesthood at the time of his death. The fault may have been not entirely with Samuel, but somewhat with those who failed to teach him of the fullness of the Gospel. He lived a good life, always desirous to assist his neighbors and friends, always honest and upright in his associations with men. His lack of desire for progression in his Church may have stemmed from fear and backwardness.

Samuel was a blacksmith by trade. However, during the first years after he married, he worked in the sugar factory in Sugarhouse. Then he worked at the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, and sometime later he worked on a "short line" of the railroad. He worked in the shops as a blacksmith.

Samuel, during the last five years of his mortal life, suffered with ailments incident to age, but he was never bedridden. He passed away about five years ago (this being 1950) on December 6, 1945. Since that time his faithful wife, Maria, has had his work done in the Salt Lake Temple.

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