Samuel Deer Davis

Another family history story.  This one is interesting in that his Idaho case went before the United States Supreme Court in Davis v. Beason.  This is the biography of Samuel Deer Davis (1859-1923) written by Dean G Grow, his great-grandson.  Samuel Deer Davis married Mary Jane Williams, daughter of Sarah Jane Davis and John Haines Williams.  Mary is the sister to David Davis Williams who I also previously shared his biography.

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“This is the history of my great-grandfather, who was instrumental in the legal attempts that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints undertook to counter the continuing political and legal assault against the Church due to the practice of polygamy in the late 1880’s not only in Utah but in Idaho where he lived.

“Samuel D. Davis was born in Salt Lake City on 22 July 1859 to David Woodwell Davies and Mary Deer.  Samuel’s father had been a missionary in his native Wales for seven years before coming to America.  Aboard ship, David met his bride-to-be, Mary Deer, also a native of Wales.  When they arrived in Kansas City, Missouri, it was too late in the year, creating a delay in getting to the Salt Lake Valley.  So they decided to marry.  This occurred on 25 November 1852, in Kansas City.  They most likely traveled across the plains with a group of Welsh immigrants in the summer of 1853.

Samuel Deer Davis

Samuel Deer Davis

“After arriving in Salt Lake Valley, David being a painter and a glazier, set up his home and they began their life there.  David and Mary’s first son, David Thomas was born on 4 March 1854 in Salt Lake City.  Their second son, Woodwell was born in 1856 in Salt Lake City.  David was sealed to Mary on 2 March 1856 in the Presidents office in Salt Lake City.  At the same time and place, he was sealed to Elizabeth Berry, thus becoming a polygamist.  Elizabeth being a native of Bath, Summerset, England.  Their third son, Samuel Deer as indicated earlier was born in 1859.  They were all shown on the 1860 U. S. Census, living in the 8th Ward in Salt Lake City.  It was soon after that, Woodwell died, date unknown.  Their fourth and fifth sons, twins, Hyrum Eynon and Joseph were born on 15 August 1862.  Joseph died as an infant, but Hyrum lived to adulthood.  Their last son, Septimus was born and died soon after in 1864, probably about the time that his father David Woodwell, died of consumption (Tuberculosis) on 20 March 1864.  Thus Mary was left with three boys ages 10, 5, and 2.  I was unable to determine what happened to Elizabeth Berry.

“In November of 1864, Mary married a man named George R. McLaughlin of whom we can find no record of birth, death or census information.  They had a son George R. Jr. who was born 27 August 1865.  Their second child, Mary Ellen was born about 1866 and died soon after.   Mary’s second husband, George treated her harshly and abandoned her many times.  One time for almost a year.  The last time, she heard he was living in Cheyenne, Wyoming and had no plans to return.  She divorced him on the 20th of January 1868.  Thus Mary was continuously left with four boys to feed and care for.  It was soon after this that she became seriously ill and the doctor told her she would soon die.  Her last son, George was a toddler at the time.  A neighbor, Charles and Jemima Walker offered to adopt George and Mary regretfully consented as she didn’t want to leave such a young child.  Not long after, Mary recovered and went back to the Walkers pleading with them to return her son, but they refused.  They were still neighbors in the 1870 Census with the Walkers showing George as their son at age 5.  George died 29 January 1889 at the age of 24 in a train accident returning to Sugar House, Utah from an outing with friends to Red Bluff Quarry.

“Toward the end of the year, Mary met John Evan Price, another Welshman and became a polygamous wife of his on 26 December 1870.  Mary was 39 years of age and 14 years his junior.  He was in good financial circumstances at this time according to their granddaughter.  He had settled in Samaria, Oneida, Idaho on April 16, 1868 with one other family, being one of the first.  He is also credited with giving Samaria it’s name.  Several others settled there the next month.  A branch of the Church was organized there in November of 1868.  Elder Lorenzo Snow, then of the Twelve Apostles, visited in July of 1869 and approved of the city plot, encouraging the settlers to continue to build and plant there.

“John brought Mary and her children to Samaria after their marriage.  Two additional children were born to this union, Margaret Ann Price on 10 January 1872 and Elizabeth Jane Price on 17 March 1875, both in Samaria.  Unfortunately, John died within a few years on 22 June 1878 in Samaria leaving Mary a widow again.  But this time she was left in good circumstances where she was able to sell off property to new immigrants to Samaria.  She reverted back to her Davis name after 1880.  Her sons were now getting older.  Her oldest, David Thomas was married in Samaria to Amy Ann Sawyer on 7 January 1879 just 6 months after John Evan Price died.  Mary was the postmistress of Samaria for many years and the Relief Society President for 17 years in Samaria.  Eliza R. Snow stayed in her home during a conference in Samaria.

“Her second son, the subject of this manuscript, Samuel D., had no formal education but only that which was from his mother, Mary.  He married Mary Jane Williams on 11 Oct 1882 in the Endowment House in Salt lake City.  Their first child, Sarah Jane, was born in August of 1883 and died the same month.  Their second child, Woodwell Williams was born 17 November 1884.  It was during this time that his wife encouraged him to get some formal education.  He started by attending the district school in Samaria.  Afterward he attended the James Chandler school in Washakie, Utah.  It was a great sacrifice and struggle as he continued to farm and support his family during that time.  He had so much success as a scholar in Washakie, that in 1886 he attended the Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah.  He also studied law during his evenings.  His third child, Edgar Williams was born on 1 March 1887.  He soon became a partner in a law firm in Malad, Idaho of Evans, Gibbs and Davis.

Mary Jane Williams Davis

Mary Jane Williams Davis

“At this time there was much pressure on the local LDS communities by the Idaho politicians who were strongly anti-Mormon, about the Church practice of polygamy.  75% of the population lived in the eastern half of the state and about 20% of those were L. D. S. which meant that they represented a large voting block.

“These following steps were in relation to the 1884-1885 law, not the 1889 one which was taken to the Supreme Court.

“From E. Leo Lyman’s “Political Background of the Woodruff Manifesto”:  “William Budge, the leading spokesman for the Church in Idaho, tried to bring as much pressure as he could on the outcome of the case.  Budge used Utah Congressional delegate John T. Caine to generate pressures on the Judge Berry through political friends back home.  He also traveled to the Blackfoot judicial headquarters to confer with Berry before he rendered his decision.  The judge, who recorded the conversation as accurately as he could recall, claimed the Church leader first quoted U.S. Solicitor General Jenks as saying that if the test oath law was taken before the United States Supreme Court, “it would not stand for a moment.” Budge also stressed the crucial nature of the pending decision on the continued allegiance of the Idaho Mormons to the Democratic party (Berry 1888).

“Berry’s reply demonstrated considerable admiration for Mormon industry and economic accomplishments but firmly stated his intent to “administer the laws as they were.” He made it clear he could not allow political considerations to affect his decision and expressed regret that the Mormons could not bring their marriage relations into “regulation step” with the rest of American society (Berry 1888). The published decision {Idaho Daily Statesman, 17, 20 Oct. 1888; Wood River Times, 16, 17, 24 Oct. 1888) not only upheld the test oath but ruled the Mormon arguments that they no longer taught or practiced plural marriage were merely a temporary posture of no importance so long as the general Church had made no changes on the question. The kind of concession necessary to relieve the disfranchisement onslaught, Judge Berry stressed, was a formal renunciation of the doctrine at a Church general conference, not unlike what actually occurred several years later.”

“From the Encyclopedia Britannica: “They enacted a law in 1884-1885 that all county and precinct officers were required to take a test oath abjuring bigamy, polygamy, or celestial marriage; and under this law in 1888 three members of the territorial legislature were deprived of their seats as ineligible.  An act of 1889, forbade in the case of any who had since the 1st of January 1888 practiced, taught, aided or encouraged polygamy or bigamy, their registration or voting until two years after they had taken a test oath renouncing such practices, and until they had satisfied the District Court that in the two years after they had been guilty of no such practices.

“The earlier law had been tested by the Church in the territorial federal courts, but was unsuccessful.  This 1889 law, regarding voting, was commonly called “The Idaho Test Oath” which meant essentially that if you were a member of the Church, whether practicing polygamy or not, you could not vote and was retroactive to January 1 the year before.  It appears that the Church decided to test this law all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

“In Samaria on Oct 27, 1888, 26 men including Samuel D. Davis asked to have their names removed from the records of the Church with apparent approval of the Church leaders so that they could vote in the November 1888 election but primarily to provide a test case.  There were about 30 in Malad City who did the same thing.  The new law having been enacted after the men had voted, they were indicted almost a year later for conspiracy to break a law that wasn’t created until the following year.  The case became known as “Davis vs. Beason” and can still be found today by searching the internet.

“From the Deseret News on September 21, 1889:  “The perjury case against Mr. Evans of Malad having been disposed of in the District Court of that place, the next matters of importance tackled were the conspiracy cases. Indeed there was practically but one case, fifty six persons having been included in one indictment.

“The matter came up for trial before Judge Berry on Tuesday, Sept. 10th [1889]. There was much disappointment among the virulent anti-“Mormon” element over the result of the case of perjury against Mr. Evans and the officers said that in the conspiracy matter they would get a jury together that would convict this time.  For this purpose they scoured the country and imagined they had got what they wanted when the panel was completed.

“The charge preferred in the indictment against the fifty-six defendants was substantially that they had conspired together to break the laws of Idaho Territory, notably the Idaho test oath law, by agreeing to vote at an election when they knew that they had no right to do so.

“The case was tried and at 6 p.m. on Wednesday was given to the jury.  On Thursday the 12th at 2 p.m. the jury came into the court with a verdict, in which they found fifty-five of the defendants not guilty and one guilty.  The latter was Samuel D. Davis of Samaria.

“A new trial was asked for Mr. Davis by counsel for the defense and denied, and the  court sentenced him to pay a fine of $500.  The fine was not paid and Mr. Davis placed in jail for a maximum of 250 days [$2 a day].  Judge Berry was applied to for a writ of habeas corpus which was also denied, and an appeal from his action was taken to the Supreme Court of the United States.

“The matter is in the best possible shape it could possibly assume for final adjudication. None of the acquitted fifty-five defendants can be again placed in jeopardy on the same subject, either under the title of conspiracy or any other.  The appeal to the Supreme Court involves the validity of the infamous test oath law, which will therefore be decided one way or the other.

“The defense was conducted with marked ability, the attorneys being Mr. J. S. Rawlins of Salt Lake, and Mr. J. N. Kimball of Ogden.   Mr. Standrod and “Kentucky Smith” appeared on the part of the prosecution.”

“From the above article it is clear that it was “arranged” in advance that one person would be the focal point for the test case.  That person, having probably volunteered due to his legal schooling, was none other than Samuel D. Davis.  He obviously knew that he would spend some time behind bars, but was willing to do that for the Church.

“To give a better idea of the named individuals in this case, they are as follows:  Charles H. Berry, a former attorney general of Minnesota, later on, an associate justice of the Idaho Supreme Court who would have jurisdiction as the Judge in this case in Malad City.  Joseph S. Rawlins was a city attorney in Salt Lake City and worked with Brigham Young and following Church leaders on matters of law.  He later served in the Congress of the U. S. and assisted in gaining statehood for Utah.  He was also known as the “Red-headed Reactor of the Rockies” because he made such a fight about the confiscation of the Church property.  It was through his efforts that the property was eventually restored.  J. N. Kimball also served as a defense attorney for the Church in Ogden.  Drew W. Standrod came to Malad City, Idaho from Kentucky with his parents and took up the practice of law there.  He was elected as the prosecuting attorney there twice and later became a judge moving to Pocatello.  “Kentucky” Smith is actually H. W. Smith who was an anti-Mormon lawyer of prominence in Ogden, Utah and the author of the “Idaho Test Oath” law.  He also later became a judge in Idaho.  Sheriff Harvey G. Beason was an appointed sheriff who was just 29 years old at this time.  His was the other name in the test case.  He soon after moved to Montana and then to Gillette, Wyoming where he lived until his death in 1939.

“From another article in the Deseret News written in Samaria on September 30, 1889.

“”A very strange scene was witnessed here on the 25th inst. (Sept 1889)  It will be remembered that Mr. Samuel D. Davis of this place was found guilty not long since at the District Court held at Malad City, of voting at the election held here last fall contrary to the provision of the anti-Mormon Test Oath law, and that he was sentenced to pay a fine of $500 and costs, pending payment of which he was sent to the county jail.  He applied for a writ of habeas corpus which was denied by Judge Berry.  Application was then made direct to  Washington for a similar writ.  Here it was thought the matter would rest for the present. But not so; on Sept. 13, Sheriff Beason came to Samaria and levied an attachment on Mr. Davis’ property having an order from the court to sell at public auction enough to cover fine and costs.  On the  25th inst. said order was carried into effect.  Sheriff Beason, Attorney Standrod, Treasurer D. Tovey,  Commissioner P. Fredrickson and a few others came over.  The sale began at 2 o’clock.  Mr. Davis’ only horse was sold to Meyer Kohn of Malad, for $21.00. (Mr. Kohn has since offered to return the animal for the same price), which was about one-fifth his real value.  Mr. Davis interest in the firm of Evans, Gibbs, & Davis was knocked off to Standrod for $190.00.

“It was the Intention to sell the little home where Mrs. Davis and her two little children reside, but the title being defective it was abandoned. This was all that could be found to sell and the sale came to a close.

“The sheriff seemed very dry after his labors for he and his companions indulged quite freely.  They had apparently come over well prepared.”

“This article indicates that Samuel’s family also suffered because of the case.  The article was incorrect in that there were “two little children” in the home.  My grandfather, John Vincent “Vin” Davis was born on 6 July 1889 and was just a few months old when this took place, which means that there were two little children and one infant.  It also indicates that his fine was reduced almost 40% by the $211.00 amount recovered in the sale.  Therefore his sentence would be reduced by about 100 days, leaving 150 days remaining to be served.  From the Deseret News on 11 January 1890, it indicates that the hearing was held in the U. S. Supreme Court, probably a day or two earlier.  The hearing is several pages of arguments both for and against which I will not be discussing here.  It can also be found on the internet by searching “Davis vs. Beason”.  The ruling was handed down on 2 February 1890, upholding the Idaho law.  At this time Samuel had been in jail for 113 days.  I was unable to determine whether he remained the last 30 some days in jail or whether the Church paid the balance of the fine to release him or whether he was reimbursed for his personal losses.  During this era many members sacrificed much for their belief.

“President Wilford Woodruff issued the “Manifesto” a few months later on 24 September 1890, ending plural marriage in the Church.  The Idaho law was changed in 1893, the disqualification was made no longer retroactive, the two-year clause was omitted, and the test oath covered only present renunciation of polygamy, thus allowing members to vote once again.  It took until the 1980’s to get similar wording in the Idaho State Constitution removed.

“Samuel D. Davis continued in his practice of law and in 1899 he was appointed Probate Judge of Oneida County, Idaho.  He was twice elected to this office.  In 1901, after the formation of the Idaho State Bar, he took the examination for the bar and was admitted to practice in all the courts of the state.

“His wife of 21 years, Mary Jane Williams Davis died on 19 March 1903 in Samaria.  Later that year he moved his family of boys to Malad City to continue his practice and opened a new law office there.  His brother-in-law,  Isaac B. Evans, who had been on a mission in the south, introduced him to a woman in Salt lake City, whom he had known while on his mission.  She was Alice Godwin, daughter of Handy Haywood Godwin and Elizabeth Ann Naylor Godwin.  They were natives of Clinton, Sampson, North Carolina.  She was a true daughter of the old south.  Samuel was very interested and she was interested also, but I’m sure was concerned by the thought of finishing the raising of 7 boys.  But apparently she was up to the task as they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on 13 November 1905.  She bore him 3 more children.  First, Mary Naylor Davis, 13 September 1906, second, Alice Deer Davis, 18 January 1908 and Samuel Godwin Davis on 6 March 1911, all in Malad City, Idaho.

“He continued in Malad City until moving to Salt Lake City about 1918.  He was there in the January 1920 U. S. Census.  He probably moved to Twin Falls, Idaho in the summer of 1920 to accept employment as the City Attorney.  Two of his boys followed him there.  One, Eugene, who was still living with him and the other, John Vincent and his family, who was still living in Samaria.  In June of 1923, he was made the Twin Falls Police magistrate, but unfortunately, he died within 6 months on 13 December 1923.  After the funeral, his body was shipped back to Samaria to be buried.  His second wife, Alice moved to Salt Lake City, where she died 13 January 1945.  Her body was also returned to Samaria to be buried.

“From the Twin Falls Times News:  “Judge Davis was early admitted to the bar in Idaho, and served as county attorney and probate judge in Oneida county.  He attracted wide attention in the early days by his success as an irrigation and criminal lawyer.  It was his boast that some of Idaho’s best known attorneys had begun their legal training in his office.  He was an active and prominent member of the L. D. S. Church serving as member of the High Council in Malad and Twin Falls.”

“Thus ended a long legal career in the State of Idaho and the life of a man who was willing to stand for  his principles, even risking all his possessions at one time.  He died at the age of 64, which would be considered still young by today’s standards.  His part in the legal battle was apparently unknown to his children, grandchildren and their descendants.  My mother did mention many years ago that she had heard about the voting issue.  Those of his children as indicated earlier were very young and would not have known about the landmark legal case, unless he had related it to them.  He was a good man and his story needed to be told, so that all would be aware of his sacrifice during another time of great difficulty in the history of the Church.

Grandpa and Grandma Wanner

I have previously provided a limited history of Johann Georg Wanner and Anna Schmid.  As I wrote that history and compiled some other histories, I kept finding a couple of references to a history written by Edna Wagstaff Owen.  I started trying to contact a member of that family and to see if they had a copy of that history.  Fortunately after some time, a copy of that history was provided.  I now provide it in full with minimal edits.

Wanner Family about 1895,

Wanner Family about 1895,

Grandpa and Grandma Wanner
Compiled and delivered by Edna Wagstaff Owen at the Wanner, Schmid reunion at Lagoon in Farmington, Utah on Saturday, 17 June 1978
I was asked a few day ago to represent Mary Wanner Wagstaff’s family at the 1978 Wanner – Schmid reunion, to do something on the program. I haven’t had much time to get ready for it and really didn’t know what I could do. After much thought and meditation, I decided it would be nice to honor Grandpa and Grandma Wanner by telling you a few things I can remember about them.
On 6 June 1870, a little 24 year old man from Holzgerlingen, Germany, John George Wanner and a beautiful 21 year old girl, with beautiful auburn hair named Anna Maria Schmid from Holzgerlingen, Germany were married and started a life for themselves together.
This lovely couple, we love to call our grandparents, became the proud parents of 10 children – 5 boys and 5 girls, all of whom lived long good lives, except 2 sons, who died in Germany and dear Aunt Pauline, who passed on at the age of 37. Their youngest daughter Wilhelmina is here with us today and we are honoring her. She is 90 years young. They have had 73 grandchildren born to them and now their posterity runs into the hundreds.
They dearly loved these children and tried untiringly to bring them up and taught them by example as well as precept. Some of the great qualities they left us always to love the Lord and our fellowman. To be honest always and how to work. I don’t know of one of their children, grandchildren or great grandchildren, who haven’t tried very hard to do this.
Grandpa and Grandma never lost sight of what they left Germany for – which was the Gospel and to live in America where they were free and could worship as they choose.
It was in May 1891 while Grandpa was working on the highway, two missionaries came along and told him about the Gospel and the Lord’s work. In October 1891, they and their three eldest daughters were baptized. George was the first to be baptized in July 1891 and came over to America with one of the missionaries, Brother Terrell from Providence, Utah. Louise, Frederich and Pauline were baptized in June 1894. Gottlob in June 1894 and Wilhelmina in August 1896.
Grandma took the missionaries in and accommodated them with beds, food, etc. and helped them with the German language.
Over in Germany, it was the custom for women to do the farm work, cutting of the hay with a scythe and putting it up by hand. When the children needed shoes or dresses, the shoemaker and the dressmaker would come to the home to do these services.
In writing this little history and remembrances about Grandpa and Grandma Wanner, I thought it would be proper, nice, and informative to tell just a little about the country they lived in before coming to America.
Germany had been a great country and has produced many great and talented people. It has become known as the land of poets and thinkers. Germany as a nation state did not exist until the German Reich of 1871. The Roman Empire was in control for five centuries. It is a diversified country – wooded areas account for 29 percent of the land, providing beautiful forests with hiking trails. The people of Germany love nature and most of the homes have plants and flowers in them.
Germany has become known for its beautiful castles and for being a progressive country. Germany has been described by some of our relatives and friends who, have visited it, as a very beautiful country of mountains, streams, rivers and beautiful forests.
Grandma left behind a sister, a brother and her father. She was the only one that joined the church. She was the youngest in her family. Grandpa was the only one in his family also that joined the church.
What a serious though it must have been to them as they contemplated the LONG, LONG JOURNEY TO AMERICA AND THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE CHURCH WHICH THEY BELONGED TOO.
I wonder if any of us grandchildren can even realize what it meant to undertake the task of bringing their family to America. They sold their property in Germany and packed up the thing they could bring. They left behind their friends, loved ones, and many happy memories. It was brave family, who loved the Lord, were grateful for the Gospel Plan and for their membership in the TRUE CHURCH ON THE EARTH. Such was their faith, and it was enough to bring them through every trial, every hardship, every discouragement that came their way. They triumphed in the end and WE AS THEIR POSTERITY HAVE BEEN GREATLY BLESSED BY THEIR WISDOM, FAITH, AND ENDURANCE.
They rode the train for a day and then got on a ship and went up the Rhine River. This took them three or four days. They then rode the train another day and got on a ship on the North Sea that took them to England; the sea was very turbulent and they had a rough voyage.
At Liverpool they boarded a ship and was on the ocean 13 days. They stayed in New York for two days and in Chicago one day and a night. They then rode the train straight to Franklin, Idaho. They arrived on the 18th of June 1893. This was Uncle Gottlob’s birthday. It was 85 years ago tomorrow.
They were met by their son George and Fred Nuffer, who was the man George was working for. They brought a buggy and wagon and took the family to Brother Nuffer’s place in Cub River. Here they stayed about a week; then purchased the farm of John Nuffer in Glendale, Idaho. It was during this week Grandpa took his daughter Mary, my mother, and they walked to the Bear Lake County seeking a farm and a home to see what was available there. They slept on the ground at nights and saved some of their bread to feed the bears so they wouldn’t bother them. They had to take off their shoes as they forged streams. It was a rough trip.
From Glendale they bought a farm in Whitney and from here to Preston. In 1910 they moved to Logan, Utah to be near the Temple where they could go often. In Logan, they lived at two or three different places, but I wasn’t able to find out for sure. The places I distinctly remember was on 3rd North and two or so block East and their last home in Logan was a lovely home thy built located on 4th North and two blocks East.
The first Sunday they were in Glendale, Grandpa and Grandma went to church with these five beautiful daughters and two sons. My dad, William Addison Wagstaff was the ward clerk and mother had on a red dress; dad looked down at her and winked. You see dad was well past 30 and not married. I bet he thought here is my chance. Of course there were other nice gals available, but he hadn’t married and we are happy he choose mother.
Grandma soon joined the Relief Society and in the minutes of the meetings that I have, tell of her bearing her testimony often and donating eggs, wheat, calico or whatever, when ask to do so.
They had a strong testimony and remained true to the Church and were ardent Temple Workers till their last days on earth.
I feel these parents, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have accomplished so much in that time 85 years tomorrow, all of the children have gone to the Temple, many have done Temple work and many of the grandchildren and great grandchildren also. Many have gone on Missions. There are Bishops, Doctors, poets, Nurses and professional people in the family.
I being one of the younger ones of Grandpa and Grandma’s grandchildren, I have had the privilege of attending the funerals of some of their children and their children’s mates and many of the grandchildren and I have really been thrilled and lifted up about the wonderful things that have been said – of their good lives – their devotion to their families. I have felt so thrilled and humble to belong to such a good family and I know for a fact the wonderful words that have been spoken are true, because I have observed and could say Amen to it all.
I have felt many times that if Grandpa and Grandma could see their posterity and how wonderful, faithful, devoted they ware; with a strong testimony and ardent Temple workers; they surely would be thrilled and happy.
They taught their children the way they should live by example and precept and each in turn taught their children the same principles and they in turn did the same to their children. This is very commendable, I am sure.
While in Germany, Grandpa worked on the roads and was a road overseer. He also worked in the Black Forest and fought in the Civil War in Germany in 1865 and the war of 1870-71. He also owned a little farm and cattle. He wasn’t a very large man about 5 foot 6 inches. He always looked well dressed, clean and very nice.
Grandma was about 5 foot 3 or 4 inches and had a good shape. She always fixed her hair so beautiful, she looked nice and well dressed. I can remember this beautiful black knit winter dress she had and she always wore gloves.
While in Logan Grandpa always had a lively horse, a good looking single black buggy and a real snazzy buggy whip. This one place they lived on in Logan had an extra lot where he grew hay for his horse and he’d cut it with a scythe. They also always had a nice garden and beautiful flowers. As I remember this home was on 3rd North and a few blocks East.
They were hard working, thrifty people and handled their affairs very well. They really made hay while the sun shone and were able to retire at a reasonable age and had enough to live on plus an estate they left.
Speaking of hard working people which they were, their children were also. I know Mother always worked in the fields, had a lovely garden – flowers and fruits and berries. Also plus making soap, butter, curing meat and those good sausages and canning besides washing on the board and knitting stockings for all of us 8 children, one pair for Sunday and one for school and everyday use. I know mother’s sisters and brothers were of the same caliber.
Now I have just mentioned Mother mostly, but I guess because I knew her better, but I have observed through my life and I know for a fact that all their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have been hard working people and early risers. At least I and my brothers and sisters and all my children know how to work, so some of it has rubbed off.
I am sure life for them in Germany was hard. It wasn’t always sunshine and roses. Of course all of us knew we’d have trials and sorrows to go thru when we came to earth and I’m sure they had their share.
Grandma lost her mother at age two and she was said her stepmother wasn’t very good to her. She said her father was a weaver and Grandma had to walk many miles through dark woods at night to deliver the linen to different customers. She’d carry it on her head with arms and hands to help. Often she was afraid she prayed and was never harmed. She said many times all she had to eat was a piece of brown bread and potato peeling soup, but she was thankful for that.
I feel sure Grandma and Grandpa had many happy times, but they also knew sorrow. It must have been heart breaking to loose their two little boys at a tender age and have to leave them buried in Germany, when they came to America. I’m sure as most all parents are, they were grieved at times over their children’s actions.
In Germany they all worked hard to help make a living. Grandma and children would do most of the farm work and care for the animals, so Grandpa could work away on roads, etc to bring a little extra means in. They would put the hay up and spend long hard days getting wood in from the forest for fuel for winter.
At Christmas time and other special occasions, they could have white bread and some little cakes. They had beautiful Christmas trees decorated, Grandma really tried hard to make a sweet happy home and life for her children. Now I’d like to quickly relate a few things I can remember about them.
I can remember Mother and Grandma most always conversed in German and she’d also always write letters often to her in German. She was so good at keeping up her correspondence. She’d always send love and kisses to us kids. At Christmas time they always sent a check to their children and 50 cents for each of us grandchildren. I thought I was really rich to have this half dollar to spend.
The last time I saw Grandpa was in December of 1921, when he came to Ogden to Aunt Pauline’s funeral. In February 1922 he had just finished helping to pay Aunt Pauline’s funeral expenses when he took sick and died. I believe it was of Pneumonia.
The last time I saw Grandma was in July 1929, when we stopped in to visit her on our way to Idaho. We took her some nice fresh strawberries from our garden.
I can remember how sad and lonely she looked. She had carried on alone for almost 8 years. She was a dear and faithful to the end. She passed away in December 1929. I can remember how sad I was and what a lovely funeral they had and the nice things that were spoken of her.
As a child I can remember going to Logan on the U.I.C., Railroad, or sometimes called the Galloping Goose, with Mom and Dad to visit them. It was the joy of my life. They always made you welcome and shared willingly what they had with you.
It seemed we always had the same thing for supper. She would sauté a little onion in the fry pan and then add boiled potatoes cut up or sliced and browned, a piece of cheese, bread, butter and applesauce, but oh! It was good. It was such a thrill to sleep on her feather bed.
I can well remember they always went to the Temple and I can see them now walking Temple hill in high gear, especially Grandpa.
They always had some mints for the Grandchildren and you always got loves and kisses. I didn’t always like Grandpa’s kisses and his beard would tickle my face and his kisses were kind of wet, but I knew then and I know now also that he loved us all.
What a thrill it was to go to Logan to be baptized and stay at their place and I was always so happy when they came to visit us, or we went to visit them, especially after Grandpa died and Grandma spent time with us is Ogden.
They were really hospitable and in 1917 Annie our sister and Mary Wanner Andra stayed at their home while taking a course in sewing and pattern drafting at the college.
Electricity at their home in Logan was cheap and they’d burn the lights most all day and night. I was really fascinated by them, as when we lived in Glendale we just had kerosene lamps, until the last two years, when we had gas lights.
It seemed to me as a young child when Grandma would kneel beside her bed to say her night prayers, she’d sure pray a long time – always I the German language, but I now realize it was a sweet humble and sincere prayer.
When I go to Logan now and to the Budge Clinic, I look across the street to their last beautiful house and well remember going there to visit them many times.
There are many reasons why we should honor and love our Grandparents, but among their most wonderful accomplishments, we would have to list their diligent pursuit in genealogy and Temple Work. Both Grandma and Grandpa had a great deal of research done to find the names and vital information concerning their progenitors. Each one of us are taught to do this by the leaders of our church. Grandma and Grandpa carried on this responsibility to the best of their ability for many years. I am sure when they learned of the statement of Prophet Joseph Smith to the effect if we neglect this important work we do so at the peril of our own salvation, that it aroused in them a never ending desire to see that nothing was left undone, that was within their ability to do.
After having had the research done they were able to secure the names of hundreds of their dead ancestors and spent many many hours I the Temple acting as proxy for those who never had the opportunity to hear the Gospel and take upon themselves the sacred covenants, which are necessary for exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom.
I am most grateful to them for their integrity and not only teaching the highest principles of honorable dealings in their daily affairs, but for the example of following the Savior’s admonition “To love one another and to do our best to help those in need”.
Dear cousins, second and third cousins, in-laws and others, our grandparents are long since gone, but I am sure their memory lives on and it could be said of them they laughed a lot and cried a little. They aren’t really dead for no man dies as long as there is one living person in the world who remembers them with fond memories and no man really dies as long as there are people on earth who really loved them. This can be said of them, many many people loved them for what they really were. They had many many friends and as I have told Horace many times, I truly loved my Grandma and Grandpa Wanner.

Maria Christina Jacobsen Housley

I stumbled upon this history of one of Amanda’s ancestors and I thought I would make it available.  Maria is Amanda’s 4th Great Grandmother.  This was compiled by Emma Housley Auger (1895-1969), Maria’s granddaughter.

George and Maria Housley

George and Maria Housley

Maria Christina Jacobsen Housley was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on April 6, 1845.  She was the daughter of Jorgen Jacobsen, )born in Svrrup Mill (Feyn) Odense Co. Denmark, on January 20, 1815) and Bertha Kristine Petersen, (born in Vedberks, District of Sol and Copenhagen Amt. Denmark, in the September 16, 1821, the daughter of Hans Petersen and Ellen Catherine Strom).

Grandmother had one older brother, Hans, (born April 18, 1844) and two younger brothers Christian (born November 30, 1846) and Ferdinand (born December 28, 1848).  Two younger sisters Athalie Hedevine (born March 21, 1851) and Rastime Willardine (born December 22, 1853).  All her brothers and sisters were born in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Her parents were married April 9, 1843.  They joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on September 28, 1851.  Her father was ordained to the office of a teacher on May 2, 1853, and a priest on August 22 of the same year.

Her father was an orchardist and rented the place that he lived on.  This place contained a very comfortable house with several rooms, a yard with outbuildings, a good orchard and gardens.

In the year of 1854 with many of their friends, they started their journey Zionward.  My grandmother, who was nine years old at that time.  She remembered the day they left their dearly beloved home forever.  On reaching the beach, a man came to the carriage side and tried his utmost to induce their father to leave his children in Denmark, even if he had to go to Utah himself.  The children were not able to describe their feelings, as the man stood and pleaded with their father on the subject.  The very though of any one wanting to separate them from their parents was very exasperating.

It was only a short time until they boarded the ship (that was an old vessel).  A few minutes into their journey the people began to be sick.  This family was no exception.  After going part of the way, the ship rocked so hard that it dipped water on the dock.  This kept the men working very hard to keep the water pumped off.  There was a great deal of sickness among the people on the vessel and a number of deaths.

After a long, tiresome journey over the ocean, across the Gulf of Mexico and then up the Mississippi River in a steam boat, this large group of Danish people landed in Kansas.  Food had been scarce and they were very hungry.  A man who lived there was very anxious to sell them some meat, so they bought some, cooked it.  And ate it.  Being weak, all the people of the company got sick and many of them died.  Among the dead were my grandmother’s father, two brothers, and two sisters.  After they had eaten and became ill, they learned that the pigs had had cholera so the meat was poison.  They could not buy coffins, so they sewed sheets around their dead and buried them the best they could under the circumstances.  This left my grandmother, Maria, Christian, and their mother to continue the trip across the plains.  My grandmother, Maria, was very sick, nigh unto death, and her mother almost lost her mind.  These were sorrowful days.

After a few days delay (for this is all it took for the deaths and burials to take place), they were fitted out with oxen and cow teams.  Several yoke of oxen and two cows lead each wagon in an independent company.

There were generally two families to each wagon.  Two men would get on each side of the team and try to lead them on the road.  They had several stampedes, for the Daines were not used to driving oxen and the oxen were not used to the Daines.  Not many of the, if any, had ever seen an ox until now.

They saw a great many Indians and buffalo on their way.  They got along nicely with the Indians, and killed some of the buffalo as they came along.  They arrived in Salt Lake City in the fall of 1854.  They managed to get some potatoes, which tasted better to them than anything they had ever eaten in their whole life.

This family has a hard time making a living.  Christian went to work for a man named Jackson Allen in Spanish Fork, Utah.  My grandmother lived with an English family who had recently come from England, by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Shipley.  She was taken in by this family to be raised as one of their own.  She remained with them for about three years.  During this time they taught her to read, write, and to speak the English language.  They also taught her to do house work and to care for the family.  Their children made all manner of fun of her peculiar language.  She felt so badly about this hat she prayed to the Lord, asked him to help her forget the Danish language, and she did forget it.

She met a young Englishman by the name of George Fredrick Housley.  He also lived in Draper and occasionally worked for the Shipley Family.  When she was about 14 years old they were married in Salt Lake City.  They continued to live in Draper for about six years. On February 22, 1862, they were sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.  Four children were born to them in Draper, two boys and two girls.

From Draper they moved to Paradise, Cache, Utah, where they purchased a small farm.  Eight more children were born to them, one boy and seven girls.  They were very poor financially and their children had but very little schooling.  Most of them went to work while young to help provide a livelihood.  The boys worked in the canyon cutting logs and hauling lumber.

She was a very good cook, some of her specialties, which her family enjoyed most, were “Nofat Dumplings” which were made from veal, pork, beef, and onions chopped together then seasoned with salt and pepper.  The dough was made with suet and wrapped around the meat and boiled.

“Danish Dumplings” – Heat one quart of milk in a skillet or heavy pan. Stir, while sifting in the flour, until thick.  Remove from heat, cool, add two eggs, and a little baking powder.  Dip by spoonfuls into boiling broth, cover, and continue to boil for about fifteen minutes.

She also made some little cakes out of liver which she called “Faggots”.  It was slightly boiled; ground liver with onions, seasoned with salt and sage.  Make into little cakes by taking a spoonful and wrapping it in a square of leaf lard or lacy lard which comes from the inside of the pig.  Fry just until the lacy lard is golden brown.  “Yorkshire Pudding” – which was just eggs, milk, and flour stirred up together and baked in piping hot grease.

Grandmother was as active in the church as her health would permit.  For some time while her husband was away from home, she went without shoes.  They think this was the cause of her having rheumatic fever.  She went to the Bishop and told him of the condition, he gave her a pair of men’s shoes which she was unable to wear.  From this time on she had a weak heart and then dropsy.  A lot of the time after her sixth or seventh child was born, she was unable to walk, nevertheless, she was quite cheerful and taught her children from a bed or a chair.

She passed away in March, 1896, of dropsy at the age of fifty-one.  After she was placed in the coffin, she continued to bloat until her body burst.  The undertaker tapped the coffin and set a bucket under it to catch the water.  The bucket had to be emptied a time or two during the funeral.

Burial was in the Paradise Cemetery beside her infant daughter, who preceded her in death.

Leaving your mark

For this week, I thought I would share a photo of me in Chorley, Lancashire, England.  We had gathered for a Zone Conference and were waiting for the chapel doors to open.  At the time I thought it was a great idea to write something in the dew on the grass.  I guess something akin to writing something in the sand on the beach.  “Elder Ross was here.”  I hope my mark in England and Wales is a bit deeper than this jolly picture though.  The Preston England LDS Temple stands in the background behind me pointing to my handiwork.

Elder Ross written in dew on Preston Temple Grounds

Wanner-Schmid Wedding

Jakob and Salome Schmid are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Anna Maria to Johann, son of Johann and Anna Wanner.  Johann and Anna were married 6 June 1870 in Holzgerlingen, Böblingen, Württemberg.

Anna Maria Schmid was the third child of three born to the marriage of Jakob Frederick Schmid (he went by Frederick) and Salome Notter on 21 January 1849 in Holzgerlingen.  Solome was 38 years old when Anna was born and died two and a half years later in Holzgerlingen.  Anna’s father, Jakob, then remarried to Agnes Margarete Hasenmaier in 1852.  Unfortunately, Agnes passed away a year and half later when Anna was barely over 3 years old.  Jakob remained single as far as we know and raised the two girls and boy on his own afterward.  Jakob was a weaver.  Anna likely had few if any memory of either of her mothers.  Anna was christened the same day she was born.  Below is a picture of St. Mauritius’ tower in Holzgerlingen where Anna was christened.  This tower has been there since the eleventh century.

St. Mauritius Church in Holzgerlingen where Anna Schmid was christened

Johann Georg Wanner was the fourth child of five born to the marriage of Johann Friedrich Wanner and Anna Maria Marquardt on 18 October 1845 also in Holzgerlingen.  He was christened the next day in the same church as Anna.

St. Mauritius

St. Mauritius from the nave looking toward the chancel.  Inside this church is where Johann Wanner was christened

Holzgerlingen is a small town and it is very likely that Johann and Anna knew of each other growing up if not more personally.  Johann and Anna were married 6 June 1870 in the same church in which they were christened.

The altar of St. Mauritius in Holzgerlingen where Johann and Anna were likely married

The altar of St. Mauritius in Holzgerlingen before which Johann and Anna were likely married

Johann and Anna welcomed a baby boy named after his father on 29 October 1870.  Young Johann Georg was christened the next day in the same church, likely before a congregation seated in the below nave.

The chapel/nave of St. Mauritius where family sat for generations if not hundreds of years attending church

The chapel/nave of St. Mauritius where family sat for generations if not hundreds of years attending church

Johann and Anna welcomed Christina Wanner 30 March 1872 in Holzgerlingen.  She was christened on 1 April 1872.

The train platform at Holzgerlingen

The train platform at Holzgerlingen

Between 1872 and 1873 Johann and Anna moved to Grünkraut, Ravensburg, Württemburg.  This is about 50 miles to the south.  We don’t know why they moved to this tiny town.  It was in Grünkraut that Maria Magdalena Wanner was born 12 September 1873.  She was christened 14 September 1873 but I do not know which church the family used in Grünkraut.

Johannas Wanner was born 23 June 1875 and christened the same day in Grünkraut.  He died later that year on 5 November 1875.  He was buried at Atzenweiler according to family records, but I cannot find this place so it must be an area nearby Grünkraut.

Johannas Frederick Wanner came 28 July 1878 and was christened on 3 August 1878.  He died 12 November 1878 and is also apparently buried at Atzenweiler.

On 30 March 1879 Johann and Anna welcomed Luise Sophia Wanner.  Christening followed 6 April 1879 in Grünkraut.

Jakob Frederick Wanner appeared 14 January 1881 with christening 23 January 1881.

Fred told a couple of stories I think proper to share here.  I cannot verify accuracy or the time frame.  “They left the farm work to Grandfather and the children.  They used the milk cows to do the farm work and then would milk them morning and night.  They also got wood from the forest for fuel.  It rained a lot in Germany so the out buildings were connected to the house.  One time Grandma went downstairs to get some fruit.  She reached over and touched something hairy and she thought it was the devil!  It was a cow that had wandered down from the barn.  Dad didn’t talk much about his life as a child but he did say he got a drum for Christmas and then it would disappear about New Years Day and he would get it for Christmas again the next year.  He may have been joking.  The family belonged to the Lutheran Church and was very religious.”

Pauline Wanner arrived 1 April 1884 in Atzenweiler and was christened 10 April 1884 in Atzenweiler.

Gottlop Wanner showed up 18 June 1886 in Kronhalden with christening 29 June 1886 in Atzenweiler.

Lastly, Wilhelmina ended the caravan on 12 September 1887 in Atzenweiler and was christened 19 September 1887 in Atzenweiler.

During the summer of 1890 LDS missionaries visited Grünkraut.  The missionaries apparently visited with Jakob, Anna’s father.  The missionary showed Jakob the Book of Mormon and Jakob took the missionaries home with him.  The missionaries lived with the family for a time and the Wanner family was converted.  Johann Georg Jr was the first to join the LDS Church on 11 July 1891.  Johann Sr, Anna, Christina, and Maria were all baptized 16 October 1891.  Jakob, Anna’s father, joined 22 February 1892.

Johann Jr emigrated to America with Elder Theurer.  They went to his home in Providence, Cache, Utah.  We don’t know who Elder Theurer is, but he helped Johann Georg, now John George, find employment with Fred Nuffer who lived in Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho.  Elder John Theurer had converted the Nuffer family in Germany, so it was likely a sibling of John who helped find John Jr his employment.

In 1893, the family emigrated from Germany.  John, Anna, Christina, Maria, Luise, Fredrick, Pauline, Gottlop, and Wilhelmina all departed Liverpool, England on 3 June 1893 on the Arizona.  They arrived on 13 June 1893 at Ellis Island in New York, New York, New York.  Immediately, the family caught multiple trains through Chicago and Salt Lake with the last stop at Franklin, Franklin, Idaho near where John Jr met them with a wagon.  The family arrived at Franklin on 18 June 1893 where John took them in to Preston.  It was in Preston that Luise, Fred, and Pauline, were baptized 7 June 1894.  Gottlob followed on 6 June 1895 with Wilhelmina 6 August 1896, all in Preston.

The family immediately began to integrate with society.  Christina married Charles August Nuffer 1 February 1894 in the Logan LDS Temple.  John Jr married Eliza Stirland 14 November 1894 in the Logan Temple.

Wanner Family about 1895,

Wanner Family about 1895.  Standing (l-r): Maria (Mary), Christina, Johann (John but went by George), Pauline.  Sitting (l-r): Anna, Jakob (Fred), Luise (Louise), Wilhelmina, Gottlop, Johann (John).

Maria, now Mary, married William Addison Wagstaff 17 June 1896 in the Logan Temple.  Luise, now Louise, married Jeffery Marcelin Bodrero 16 March 1898 in the Logan Temple.  John Jr remarried after divorce to Regina Frederike Nuffer 31 August 1898 in the Logan Temple.  Jakob, now Fred, married Mary Elizabeth Carter 30 September 1903 in the Logan Temple.  Pauline married William Henry Crossley 14 December 1904 in the Logan Temple.  Wilhelmina married Moses Bodrero 18 December 1907 in the Logan Temple.  Gottlop married Rebecca Hicks 16 November 1908 in Preston.

The Wanner family purchased a farm from John Nuffer, a brother to Charles and Regina, near Glendale, Franklin, Idaho.  Fred purchased the farm from them around 1910.  John Sr and Anna moved to Logan where they were living at 791 North 500 East when the 1910 Census was taken (the whole family was in Preston city limits for the 1900 Census).  On the 1920 Census I believe they lived at 304 East 500 North, but the census is unclear exactly what street 304 is on, but going from the pattern of the census taker I believe it is the address I have listed.

Johann Georg Wanner 1921

John died 16 February 1922 of pneumonia in Logan.  Anna listed their address as 272 East 400 North in Logan.  He was buried on the 19th in the Logan Cemetery.  She also died of pneumonia but on 9 December 1929.  She was living at the same address when she passed away.  She was buried 12 December 1929 next to her husband.

Anna Schmid Wanner

Shop in Skelmersdale

Here is a photo from the mission log that I still find humorous and I thought I would share here.  There are not many photos that I can absolutely pin down its location, but this is one of them (with obvious assistance within the photo).  The shop is located in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, England.  I just looked it up on Google Maps and the shop is still there although zooming in  on Google you can see they have changed the advertising in the window.  Which is probably likely to happen in the 13 years since this photo was taken.  However, I hope the photo is clear on why it was comical to Americans.  I will not comment on how many questions this window provides to my mind.  The photo was taken in the fall of 2000.

Shop in Skelmersdale, Lancashire

Most of you are likely already aware, but I try and post something each week.  Some weeks you can tell I have less time and these types of photos although not really historically important to me provide great fodder for filling weeks when necessary.

Jordan-Watkins Wedding

Thomas and Margret Mordecae Watkins are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Margret to David Jordan, son of Benjamin and Mary Evans Jordan.  David and Margaret were married 21 September 1839 in Merthyr-Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales.

Much of the history below is taken from the sketch written by David and Margret’s granddaughter Martha Evans Anderson (1870-1930).  I have fleshed it out with dates and additional detail from source documents.

Margret Watkins was born 10 September 1816 in Merthyr-Tydfil.  She is believed to be the second of 5 children born to Thomas and Margret Watkins.  We really do not know a whole lot about Thomas and Margret Watkins.  A number of stories have survived which are shared below.

David Jordan was born 7 February 1820 in Merthry-Tydfil.  He is the first of four known children born to Benjamin and Mary Jordan.  Just like Margret’s parents, we really do not know much about this family.  At least minimal family history dates or stories have come down regarding either line.

Benjamin and Mary Jordan “were of a religious turn of mind and taught the Bible when he was just a boy, refined and of a gentle manner.”  Mary Jordan passed away in April 1843 when the family was still young.  The family consisted of David, Jane, Sarah, and John.  The Jordans were “a very refined and considered High Class people and of a high moral and religious character.  They were always proud of their personal appearance, always well dressed.”  The brothers were “devoted brothers, they lived and worked together with kind and friendly for each other.  When David and Margaret had children they all lived as a loving family together…this brother was named John Jordan.”

We really do not know anything of the Courtship between David Jordan and Margret Watkins.  “At this times Wales was in a prosperous condition and David and Margret were soon settled in which was very comfortable and spacious.  They had an extra room so that his father and one brother could live with them in their home.  His father lived only two weeks, when he died.  His brother continued to live with David and his wife.”

“Margret (Watkins) Jordan lost her mother when she was very young, leaving her father with a family of small children.  While the family was without the mother’s care, Margret met with an accident which left her with a crippled arm for the rest of her life.  This happened when she was about 2 years old…when her sister was carrying her on her back, when she slipped and fell.  Margret cried for days from pain before they learned that she had a broken arm at the elbow.  It had already started to set, it had been so long since it happened that they thought the child could not stand to have it rebroken and set properly, so it was never properly taken care of.”

“Margret’s father married again and brought into their home a most worthy and wonderful new mother to the children.  Grandmother used to tell us that she never remembered her real mother but their step mother was all that our real mother could have been.”

“When Margret was still in her teens and because of her crippled arm, she was apprenticed in a school for sewing.  The sewing at that time was all done by hand, they had no sewing machines.  Margret took to that kind of work very readily and was very satisfied to become a very good seamstress, while still a very young woman.  She was able to construct some of the finest work in the area.”

“Margret had a blind brother who learned to play the harp.  He was often requested to play, to entertain for groups at entertainments.  He carried his harp with him everywhere he went.  He was employed to play at different places and went alone to his employment places with his harp.  He became very popular and was loved by all his friends and family.”

“Margret continued to follow her trade as a seamstress after her marriage to Grandfather David Jordan, because she was very popular among the people of her community for her sewing.  As her family duties increased on her time, they had six children, two of which died in infancy, she gave up a lot of her sewing and devoted most of her time and energies to her family responsibilities.”

“David and Margret were among the very first in their area to embrace [T]he Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They were baptized [18 January 1849].  Their children all grew up in the church.”

At this time there was a large branch of the Mormon church in their area of Wales.  “Their family was very faithful and devoted to their new church.  David was a good singer and also a composer and poet.”  He composed a number of beautiful poems.  One song was in honor of the Prophet Joseph Smith.  “As children, we remember hearing him sing this beautiful song, the music was very sweet and the words were all in Welsh.  We only understood it in part, but there was just something about the song that touched us very deeply.”

When they embraced the LDS church they had two little children, Mary and her older sister Gwyn who were 3 and 5 years old.  They were raised in the LDS church and were baptized when they reached 8 years old.

David and Margret’s first son was Thomas Jordan born December 1840 in Merthyr-Tydfil and dying June 1841.  We know very little about this little boy.

The first daughter was Gwenlliam Jordan born 2 August 1842 in Merthyr-Tydfil.  She was baptized in August 1851.

The second daughter was Mary Watkins Jordan born 5 December 1844 in Merthyr-Tydfil.  She was baptized 1 January 1852.

“David was a coal miner.  He and his brother went to work every day in the coal mines.  They were paid good wages at the time, so they did very well economically.”

“One day David’s shift in the mine interfered with his Priesthood meeting so he traded shifts with a friend of his.  He was the secretary of his group and felt like he should attend his Priesthood meeting.  Grandmother Margret told us that she remembers the incident very well.  It was a beautiful day and all was peaceful and calm.  Then at 9:30 am word came there had been an explosion in the mine.  People rushed to the place and it was soon learned that a large number of miners had lost their lives in the explosion and among them was David’s friend who was working in his place.  This was a great sorrow for David.  He loved this man very much and he was there instead of David.”

“As time went on, conditions changed.  Little by little the miner’s wages were reduced causing hard times.  Then there were strikes putting them out of work entirely for months.”

“Their two girls had by now grown into their teens.  They found employment and became independent.  There was also two little boys in the family.”  These two boys would have been David and Thomas.

Charles Jordan was born 3 November 1848 in Merthyr-Tydfil.  He died in December 1848.

Margret Jordan was born 26 Jul 1850 in Aberdare, Glamorganshire, Wales.  She died in June 1852.

David Moiah Jordan was born 7 June 1854 in Merthyr-Tydfil.

Thomas Jordan was born 17 March 1857 in Merthyr-Tydfil.

Ann Watkins Jordan was born in 1861 and we do not know how long she lived.

“Margret now returned to her sewing again to support the family during the hard times.  In a few years, the two girls got married and came to Utah, leaving their parents and the two brothers in Wales.  This happened in 1864.”

I have previously written about Gwenlliam Jordan and her marriage to David D Williams at this link.

“David and Margret had now been members of the LDS church for 20 years.  They were however very happy and contented until their daughters left for America.  They were also making every effort to join their daughters in Utah.

“Then they were made very sad by the death of their youngest son.  He was 11 years old.  Many of the members of their church had gone to Utah and they were feeling lonesome and sad.”  David Moiah Jordan died 14 October 1865.

“The Elders that served as missionaries in their area always found a big welcome in the Jordan home, even in the middle of the night would stop by and found a welcome and told them that it was like coming home.”

“They themselves were making every effort to prepare to go to Utah themselves.  They were planning to sail with the next company of Saints that were to leave by ship for New York.”

“It was now 9 years since their two daughters had gone to Utah.  One day the Elders called on them and told them that the next ship would sail in three weeks.  They counted their money which they had saved and it was not enough.  So they decided that they would have to wait for a later sailing date, until they could accumulate some more funds.”

“When they had secured the money they needed, they sent word to their daughters of their plans so they would expect them.”  The Jordan’s departed 29 July 1872 from Liverpool, Lancashire, England.

“After a lazy and weary journey crossing the Atlantic Ocean, they landed in New York City, on the 13th of August 1872 and remained in New York with their 15 year old son.  They found employment and remained there until October.  They received a letter from their 2 daughters containing money for them to continue to Utah.  Some of the money came from their daughter Mary’s husband, who sold his team of horses to get the money to send to them.”

They arrived in Brigham City, Box Elder, Utah on 10 November 1872 “after visiting in Ogden with their oldest daughter Gwenie Williams, and then they continued on to Brigham City where their daughter Mary Evans lived.  It is useless to try and describe how happy they all were to be back together again after 9 years of being apart, and praying for the time when they could all be together in Zion.”

David and Gwenlliam Williams

David and Gwenllian Williams

“The first winter in Utah was very hard on them because of the extreme cold temperatures and the abundance of snow.  It was particularly hard on Grandfather David because he was used to working underground in the coal mines of Wales.”

“Their daughter Mary and her husband William Evans were living in their two room log cabin at 1st East and 3rd South, just one half block south of the First Ward Meetinghouse.  They had 4 children by now, Margret, Mary Jane, Martha, and Abraham, who was just one week old when their grandparents arrived in Brigham City from Wales.  These newly arrived grandparents remained with William and Mary and their 4 children in their small home the rest of the winter of 1872.”

“At this time the railroad was being built from Ogden to Logan and the three men, Grandfather Jordan, son-in-law William, and the 15 year old son (Thomas) of David and Margret Jordan, all found work building for the railroad.  It was very difficult for David and his son to endure working out in the awful cold weather through that first winter.”

“Two years later, William Evans purchased another house on a large lot.  The house had 4 rooms in the Third Ward at the corner of 3rd West and 3rd North.  It was on the northwest corner of the intersection.  When they moved into the bigger house with their 4 children, they sold the old house to David and Margret who lived in their log home for the rest of their lives.”

“They lived comfortable and made it very attractive and comfortable.  They were neat and tidy people and they kept a beautiful garden which they were very proud of and they produced a lot of products for their table.”

“They were very interesting people to talk to and had many interesting and the conditions and memories of their lives in Wales and the extensive knowledge and testimony of the gospel, made it always a pleasure to visit with them.”

“As time went on they worked at many different things that there was to do around Brigham at that time, which was all real hard labor.”

David and Margret attended the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah to receive their own endowments on 10 October 1878.  David and Margret were sealed to each other the same day.

“Their son Thomas grew into manhood and they decided that they would build themselves a better house.  They erected the foundation and bought as much of the material for the house as they could the first year, with hopes that the next year they thought and hoped that they could continue building the house.”

“However, the winter came and there was no work to be had for them.  Their son Thomas decided to go to Evanston, Wyoming to work, putting up ice, and they had some relatives.  He obtained employment in one of the coal mines near by.  He was doing well and was very happy there with the thought that he would be able to help his parents with their new home building.”

“This was not to be because Thomas was severely injured in an accident and word was sent to his parents at Brigham City.  His father, David, went to Evanston to see his son but Thomas died just one hour before his father arrived on February 28, 1880.”

“This was a great sorrow to Thomas’ family and destroyed all their hopes for completing their home building plans.  When spring came, David sold all the building materials that he had accumulated for their new home, spent the rest of their lives in the original small log house.”

“Their sorrow over the loss of their son weighed so heavily upon them that it changed their life’s hopes for the future.  However, their faith and convictions in the gospel and the LDS Church which they accepted in Wales; and the trust in their Heavenly Father never failed them.  Faithfully they continued to attend all their church duties and their testimonies grew and were wonderful to hear them speak.”

“Grandfather David was able to adapt himself to most any kind of employment; and with the products of their well kept garden and the fruit that he raised in the years at their home, they had a comfortable living.”

“They also took a great interest in the Temple work of the church and were some of the first to attend the new Logan Temple after its dedication in 1877.”

“They had their family genealogy all in order so that when the temple was ready, so were they.  They traveled to Logan often to do temple ordinances for the members of their family and stayed a week at a time on many occasions to do this temple work.”

“This work of love continued until David’s health began to fail, but he continued to obtain information and prepare records on the members of their family for the work to be done in the temple for their dead ancestors.”

David and Margret were sealed to all their children in the Logan Temple 27 June 1888.  Gwenlliam and Mary were both happy to be physically present for the occasion.  All of the other children had passed away prior.

David Jordan

David Jordan

“Grandfather David Jordan’s life came to a peaceful end November 26, 1893 in Brigham City, Utah.  So peaceful and sweet was his passing away that our family can be proud of that dear old Grand Sire.  He was the first fruits of the gospel in our family.”

“Grandmother Margret was not the last one in their little home, and she felt the loss of her companion very keenly, but she was visited and comforted by her living daughter and grandchildren.  She wanted to continue living along in their home.”

“It had been 25 years since she and her dear husband came to live in that little log cabin; and there she wanted to stay until she could go to join her dear departed companion.”

“She lived another 7 years after her husband died.”

Mary Jordan Evans, LaVan Jones, Margret Evans Jones, Margret Jordan

Mary Jordan Evans, LaVan Jones, Margret Evans Jones, Margret Jordan

“She died November 19, 1902, at home in Brigham City, Utah.  She was buried in the Brigham City Cemetery beside her beloved husband.

A side note at the end of the above: “This was written by granddaughter Martha Evans.  This story was copied from a note book, in the hand writing of Martha Evans.”  “It is probably a repetition of the story I have previously translated from his hand-written record that I have previously had translated and distributed some years ago.  However, I am sure that it is more more in detail than the one I translated previously because there is much more of it.  Yours truly, Wesley Anderson 10 May 1986″

Gwenlliam passed away 3 September 1900 in Slaterville, Weber, Utah.  Mary passed away 8 December 1923 in Brigham City.