Tuesday, January 27, 2015

52 Ancestors: #4 James William Palmer (1860-1931)

For week 4 I am featuring James William Palmer, my great grandfather: Me - my mother - Joseph Martin Palmer - James William Palmer. The following history is taken from a life sketch written by his daughter, Chloe Amelia Palmer Nelson.

James William Palmer1860-1931

James William Palmer, son of Zemira Palmer and Sally Knight Palmer, was born September 23, 1860 in Provo, Utah County, Utah. He was the sixth child of twelve children, six sons and six daughters.

Very little is known about James' childhood and early life. However, we do know that, like most pioneer families, his parents moved from one place to another quite frequently.  Some of his boyhood homes were:  Provo, Meadow Valley , and Springdale in Utah. As a boy James helped with farming, sheepherding, or whatever there was to be done.
Myrtle and James William Palmer
The Palmer family moved to Orderville, Kane County, Utah, where they lived the United Order for ten years.  It was here that James met Mary Ann Black, a daughter of William Morley Black and his wife, Amy Jane Washburn Black.  James and Mary Ann were married in the St. George Temple on June 25, 1879.  Mary Ann died the same year - reportedly in childbirth - leaving James  a widower at the age of nineteen.

Two years later James married Olive Myrtle Black, daughter of William Morley Black and Maria   Hansen Black, a half-sister to his first wife, Mary Ann. They were married December 1881, in the St. George Temple and spent their honeymoon traveling by team and wagon from St. George to Orderville.  It was in Orderville that their first  child, William Zemira, was born on December 3, 1882.  On December 25 that same year James married Eva Minerva Black, a full sister to James first wife, Mary Ann.  

In the spring of 1884 James and  his two polygamist wives, and baby Will, moved to Snowflake, Navajo County, Arizona, where they lived with James's brother, Asael. It was there in Uncle Asael’s home that James and Myrtle's second child, James Asael, was born on October 12, 1884.

James and his family had been in Snowflake only a short time when President John Taylor, who was then President of the LDS Church, advised all polygamous families to move to Mexico. James' brothers, Asael and Alma did not want him to go to Mexico, and they gave him some cattle and land as an inducement to stay. But James felt he should heed the advice of President Taylor, and it was not long until he and his family, and what few supplies could be hauled in one wagon, were on their way to Colonia Diaz. His brothers gave him a team of mules which faithfully and securely, carried their load to Colonia Diaz, Mexico. The family stayed only long enough to plant and harvest a crop. They reached Diaz on March 31, 1885.

From Diaz the family went to San Jose, a little Mexican town near Colonia Dublan, Chihuahua, Mexico near the Casas Grandes River. The adults tried to catch fish from the river but usually caught turtles. Fish were needed to help supply food for the family. Many a meal consisted only of cornbread and water gravy thickened with cornmeal. James planted and raised corn and potatoes at San Jose. The potatoes were so small that it took twenty for just one serving. They ground the dried corn in an old-fashioned coffee grinder to get meal for bread, gravy and cooked cereal.

 The James Palmer family next went to a pioneer camp near where Colonia Juarez is now located. At this camp they built forts or stockades in which to live, eight or nine families living in a stockade. Their only stove was a campfire in the yard. It made no difference how hot the summer or how cold the winter, their scanty rations were cooked on the same stove. They named the pioneer camp “Stringtown.”   James' family had just moved into their part of a stockade when a pair of “twin” boys was born, October 14, 1886, Ellis for Myrtle and Edson for Eva.  Several months after the "twins” arrived, the little colony of stockaders were eating their scanty noonday meal when suddenly it seemed that the whole earth began to shake. The tremor was just a minor part of the Mexico earthquake. It did not damage Stringtown much, but scared a year's growth out of the people.

In the spring of 1887 James hitched his faithful mule team to the wagon and with his family pioneered their way up the steep, rugged San Diego dugway to Corrales. It took almost two weeks to make the trip of only forty miles. Because the earthquake had shaken the road up so badly, they had to rebuild it as they went along.  Corrales was a beautiful, picturesque little valley bounded on one side by the Sierra Madre Mountains. On the other three sides were mountains, hills, pine forests and two rivers - one running south and north, the other running east and west. The two rivers met a very short distance from where James built the three-room log cabin in which both families lived. The additions to the family caused the home to be as crowded as a can of sardines and Eva moved to another small log cabin.

 When James and his family first came to Corrales, they lived in their wagon under pine trees until the log cabin was finished. During the first year there they built the log cabin; dug an irrigation ditch from the box canyon to the farm; plowed lands; planted and harvested crops; cut and hauled firewood; and made a corral and shelter for the mule team. All of his life James took great pride in having sleek, well-cared for horses and cattle.
James Palmer, one of his wives and children
. During the twenty-six years in Mexico James was blessed with twelve sons and ten daughters, the majority of whom were born in the little three-room cabin.

 Even after the most difficult years had passed and James had accumulated horses, cattle, a good ranch and all kinds of barnyard animals and fowl, he, as well as the other people in the mountain colonies and ranches had to be ever alert and on the watch for unfriendly Mexicans and Apache Indians. According to legend, Chief Geronimo's son, while yet very young, followed in his father's footsteps and led a very hostile band of Apache Indian into the mountains. It was they who were molesting and terrifying the people. They stole horses and cattle and would go into the fields at night, helping themselves to corn and potatoes.

Although James loved his children and did everything in his power for their comfort and well-being, he had very little companionship with them. He never took time out for relaxation except on Sunday, and that was strictly "go to church day.”
James had many faith promoting experiences. He was bitten by a rattlesnake once while hoeing corn in his bare feet. He had no shoes. On another occasion he camped in the oaks at the foot of the San Diego dugway and made his bed under a large oak tree. He was almost asleep when he was prompted to move his bed. He tried to ignore the prompting and go back to sleep, but he could not, so he moved his bed. About an hour later, one of the terrible electrical storms the country was accustomed to headed James' way. The big oak he had moved from under was shattered with lightning. The prayer he had offered before going to bed was answered.
While throwing corn fodder from the barn loft into the manger below, James fell and broke two ribs. There were no doctors in the country. The only remedy the family had for all kinds of sickness, accidents or anything was faith in the healing power of the priesthood. James was also saved from being killed by a big, brown bear through prayer. Another man was killed by the bear.
An exciting but sad experience happened on Sunday, July 4, 1910. Lightning struck James' barn and it was burned to the ground. His wife, Eva and son, Newell were lucky enough to get all the horses and cattle out of the barn, but the effects of the lightning caused Old Glory's death three days later. Old Glory was a thoroughbred horse for breeding purposed, for which James had paid $1,000. The death of the horse was quite a shock to James and a large financial loss in those days.
James was accustomed to have very severe headaches. They caused him to be delirious at times. These headaches, along with worry and loss of the horse, caused James to become very nervous and discontented. He decided to make a trip through Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, thinking the change would improve his health, and it did. It also brought a big change in the families' lives, for James never returned to Mexico.
James W. Palmer decided to make a new start at Grayson, Utah which is now called Blanding. The new start would not have been so difficult if he could have sold his property at Corrales and Pacheco. But soon after he left Mexico, the Mexican Revolutionaries started making trouble for the people in the Mormon colonies. They became so dangerous by 1912 that the President of the LDS Church, Joseph F. Smith, advised people to leave. It was thought that the trouble would soon be over and the colonists could return to their homes. Most did not return, however, except a very few.
When James decided to stay at Blanding, he sent for his wife, Eva and her unmarried children to move to Blanding. 
Myrtle and her family left Pacheco and Corrales with the rest of the Corrales and Pacheco people Tuesday morning, July 28, 1912. That was twenty-seven years after James had settled at Corrales. After twenty-seven years of hard labor and sacrifice, James now had no earthly possessions except the two teams and what few supplies and household goods could be hauled, plus a few horses his son, John, drove across the line and on to Blanding. Regardless of this, James was not broken spiritually. He had laid up for himself treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves cannot break in and steal. He was ready and willing to make a new start and was very successful
James developed his farm, not far from Blanding, to be one of the best, if not the very best, in the country. During the cold winter months when he could not work on the farm, he carried mail from Blanding to Buff by team and buggy in order to get money for shoes, clothing and other necessities. Most of the food was produced on the farm and in the home garden, but money was scarce.
James was of a quiet, reserved nature and would not tolerate anything loud, boisterous or obscene. He was very neat and particular, and viewed everything he did with pride. Public speaking was very difficult for James, but when he was called upon to speak in any church meeting he humbly responded.
James was a faithful church member. No man ever paid a more honest tithe. More than once the Bishop said, “Jimmy Palmer goes through his bins and sorts out a big tenth of the best he has for tithing.” Of course, in his day, tithes and fast offerings were paid with produce such as corn, potatoes, beans, squash, molasses, cornmeal, eggs, poultry, livestock, lumber, or whatever the people had. James was also ever ready with labor and means when a church or school donation was called for.  He also held several responsible civic positions such as school trustee, water supervisor and president of a stockholders' association. 
James kept going, and was never idle until his failing health forced him to slow down. He did not completely quit until he was helplessly confined to his bed. Finally, even the most efficient doctors could do nothing for him. He grew weaker until February 20, 1931, when he breathed his last breath at 9 AM Friday morning. James William Palmer's funeral was held on February 21 at the Blanding chapel and he was laid to rest in the Blanding cemetery.

obituary - San Juan Record 2-26-1931

Related post: Olive Myrtle Black Palmer (1865-1949) 

  • History: "James William Palmer 1860-1931" written by his daughter, Chloe Amelia Palmer Nelson
  • Obituary: San Juan Record  February 23, 1931
  • Find-a-Grave.com
  • FamilySearch.org Family Tree

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Children of Abram William and Sarah Jane Rogers Burgess

As a follow-up to the last few posts here are the thirteen children 
of Abram William and Sarah Jane Rogers Burgess

MARRIED - 17 March 1899 
St. George, Washington, Utah
George Raymond Hardy
6 January 1876
Saint George,Washington,Utah
8 January 1954
Hinckley, Millard, Utah, United States
Belle Vilate Burgess
3 October 1881
Pine Valley,Washington,Utah
15 April 1955
Sioux City, Woodbury, Iowa

Raymond Willard Hardy 1900-1983
Alice Hardy 1902-1974
William Augustus Hardy 1906-1908
George Ellwood Hardy 1910-1911
Clark Burgess Hardy 1914-1950
Carl Rogers Hardy 1916-1997
Grant Capener Hardy 1919-1999
Lloyd Burgess Hardy 1922-2009

Abram Burgess (Abe)
1 October 1883
Pine Valley, Washington, Utah
4 February 1964
St. George, Washington, Utah
MARRIED - 5 Feb 1906  
St George, Washington, Utah
Mary Maudeen Whitney
18 February 1886
Panaca, Lincoln,Nevada
16 September 1974
St. George, Washington, Utah
Hettie Burgess  1907-1993
Elsie Burgess  1908-1991
Mary Burgess  1915-2004
Verna Burgess  1917-2007
J Burton Burgess

MARRIED 24 May 1904
Clifford Sullivan
18 November 1883
Saint George, Washington, Utah
17 October 1958
Provo, Utah, Utah
Diantha Burgess
10 April 1885
Pine Valley, Washington, Utah
16 May 1910
St. George, Washington, Utah

Maud Sullivan 1905-Deceased
Baby Sullivan 1910-1910

Milton Burgess (Mit)
25 February 1887
Pine Valley, Washington, Utah
19 August 1951
Central, Washington, Utah
MARRIED - 5 September 1912  
St. George, Washington, Utah
Clara Cannon
30 May 1891
Pinto, Washington, Utah, United States
31 October 1990
St. George, Washington, Utah

Robert Knell Burgess  1915-1945
Audrey Burgess  1917-2009
Bonita Burgess  1918-1998
Rodney Cannon Burgess  1922-1997
Clive Milton Burgess

Mary Burgess (Mame)
6 January 1889
Pine Valley, Washington, Utah Territory
14 October 1978
Monrovia, Los Angeles, California
Frank Woodbury Jarvis
2 June 1886
St. George, Washington, Utah
14 February 1919
Hinckley, Millard, Utah

Mary Jarvis 1908-1984
Abram Burgess Jarvis 1910-1923
Kathryn Jarvis 1912-Deceased
George Frank Jarvis 1914-2009
Anna Jarvis 1916-1997
MARRIED  24 May 1924  
Nephi, Juab, Utah
Chester Louis Skinner
11 January 1883
Beaver, Beaver, Utah Territory
2 August 1968
Monrovia, Los Angeles, California

Jacqueline Skinner 1927-1989
Leo B Skinner


David Burgess
29 January 1891
Pine Valley,Washington,Utah
17 October 1955
St George ,Washington, Utah

William Burgess
11 January 1893
Pine Valley, Wash, UT
11 January 1893

MARRIED - 23 Jul 1915
Laura Elizabeth Owen
8 April 1896
Washington, Washington, Utah, United States
12 September 1973
Karl Burgess
22 December 1894
Pine Valley, Washington, Utah
18 October 1963

Abram Owen Burgess  1916-1996
Karl Elwin Burgess  1919-1976 ?
Murray Curtis Burgess  1923-2005
Albert Taylor Burgess  1926-2010
William Dale Burgess  1934-2011

MARRIED 16 Sep 1919 
St. George, Washington, Utah
Levi Empey
15 December 1896
Saint George,Washington,Utah
1 June 1961
Dora Burgess
20 April 1897
St. George,Washington,Utah
27 May 1963

Meryl Empey  1920-1974
Veryl Empey  1920-1990
La Ree Empey  1922-1998
Dorothy Empey  1924-1993
Edith Empey  1929-2001
Josephine Empey  1933-2014

Kate Burgess
24 December 1899
ST. George,Washington,Utah
27 February 1961
MARRIED  17 Nov 1922
Vivian Milne
5 July 1891
St George,Washington,Utah
3 September 1948
St. George, Washington, Utah

Vivian Clyde Milne  1927-1980

Jane Burgess
23 July 1902
St. George, Washington, Utah
2 March 1982
MARRIED  6 September 1922
Edward Parry Brooks
5 April 1890
St. George, Washington, Utah, United States
31 December 1979

Eugene Parry Brooks  1927-2001

MARRIED  9 Sep 1923  
Washington County, Utah
Alvin Alfred Jones
19 Nov 1902
Holts Ranch near Enterprise, Washington, Utah
13 Feb 1992
Saint George, Washington, Utah
Thelma Burgess
21 October 1904
St George, Washington, Utah
16 March 1996
St. George, Washington, Utah

Maxine Jones  1925-2004
Iris Jones  1927-1985

Lucille Burgess
31 July 1907
St George, Utah
9 JUN 2000
Burley, Cassia County, Idaho
MARRIED  10 May 1930  
Kanab, Kane, Utah, United States
James Thomas Tegan
1 September 1900
31 OCT 1976
Burley, Cassia County, Idaho

Aileen Tegan  1931-1937
William Blaine Tegan  1939-1986
Bruce Thomas Tegan  1944-2006
Byron David Tegan  1944-2010
MARRIED 16 January 1986
Delno Avon Smith
10 April 1917
Burley, Cassia, Idaho
6 July 1987

Related Posts:

Saturday, January 10, 2015

52 Ancestors: #2 Sarah Jane Rogers Burgess 1863-1926

Sarah Jane Rogers Burgess (1863-1926)
Sarah Jane Rogers Burgess is my great grandmother 
Me - My father - Grandfather Milton Burgess - Great Grandmother Sarah Jane Rogers Burgess
Sarah Jane was born on 3 August 1863 in St. George, Utah to David and Mary Ann Mayer Rogers. Sarah Jane was the first baby born in St. George after the settlers moved onto their lots.
Sarah Jane (known as Jane) grew up in the early days of  St. George. Life was not easy in the early days of the pioneer town called Dixie. It was a dry, hot desert. Water and food were scarce. Jane's father was a carpenter and worked on the tabernacle and temple which helped keep their family fed.
Jane had two brother and six sisters. Her sister, Emma passed away before her third birthday.

Jane and her sister, Erazma married two of the Burgess brothers from Pine Valley. Jane married Abram William Burgess in the St. George Temple on 30 December 1880.

Jane and Abram helped in the first pioneering effort in Mesquite Nevada. Because of flooding this project was abandoned. They lived several places before settling in St. George about 1890  - Pine Valley, Mountain Meadows and at Foster's Ranch (north of the present town of Veyo).
The first eight of Jane and Abram's thirteen children were born in Pine Valley. Willie (William) died at birth and is buried in the Pine Valley Cemetery.
Back of the Burgess home
Abe and Jane's last five children were born after they moved to their home in St. George. Jane and Abram sold their interests in the north part of the county to buy their home on 400 West and Tabernacle. The move in part was to offer better education opportunities for their children.
Sarah Jane Burgess - Mary Elizabeth Empey
Julia Ann Hardy - Erazma  Mayer Burgess
Here is a nice picture of Sarah Jane Rogers Burgess and three of her sisters. Jane is on the back left. 

Jane was a wonderful mother and hard worker. Her children loved her. She was a great cook and seamstress - making new clothes and remaking old ones. She taught them to have faith in God and be honest, obedient and to love one another. Jane enjoyed her children and they remember their birthday parties and sharing their dating lives with her. She loved growing flowers and her son sent home different varieties from his mission in Florida for Jane to try to grow.

Sadly Sarah Jane Burgess lost her life in an auto accident when she was 63 years old. This was one of her only trips and several of her family members were traveling with her. Here is the report of the accident and her funeral in the Washington County News...

Mrs. A.W. Burgess of this city was almost instantly killed last Friday, June 18, where the car in which she was riding, driven by her son-in-law, Alvin Jones, went off the grade and turned over in trying to avoid hitting a truck loaded with furniture, 22 miles north of Paragonah.
The car and the truck were both going in the same direction and the lighter car wished to pass the truck which was going slowly. It signaled but Mr. Burgess says he believes the truck driver (who had the middle of the road) did not hear the signal, for instead of giving more room it crowded over toward the small car just as it was passing. To avoid being hit, Jones moved his car further to the side, up the side slope, causing it to turn over Mrs. Burgess went through the side window, the car falling on her. Her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Vivian Milne, were following behind in another car, rushed to the spot and Mrs. Milne held her mother's head on her lap until she breathed her last. She lived but a few minutes and was conscious though she could not speak. The party was en route home from Salt Lake when the accident occurred.

--Sarah Jane Burgess's daughter wrote a lovely tribute letter to her mother--
A letter to her long-departed mother, 
Sarah Jane Rogers Burgess 
by Lucille Burgess Tegan
Written on Mother's Day, May 8, 1983

Dear Mother,
I look across the years and see myself playing at your feet. I'm almost like a little shadow that follows you everywhere.
My whole world centers around you. Even though you've raised eleven other babies, you make me feel warm and special and wanted.
I still remember on one occasion our visit to the family farm -- I wasn't much more than a baby then -- a terrible lightning and thunderstorm descended down upon us. The rain, driven by the wind, and the roar of the elements was frightening. You reached down and gathered me in your arms and wrapped me in a large gray shawl.
After that, nothing else mattered, I was safe and protected and loved, and I was happy.
You may think it strange I would remember this after all these years. Still, you can see right from the beginning, what an influence you had upon all our lives.
You taught us to have faith in God, to be honest, and obedient and to love one another.
For we could see in you, your love for the Lord; you were grateful for His blessings. We knew of your sacrifices for us, even though we took many things for granted.
The hours and days you spent sewing, always sewing, making new things, making over old things. The thousand and one tasks.
Even you patience with me when I let the mother cat in the house and she had her babies on top of your bed.
The birthday parties. The loaves and loaves of delicious bread and especially those wonderful buttermilk biscuits.
We all knew of our love for beautiful flowers, and when we coaxed you to have your picture taken, you chose to stand by the honeysuckle vine, because of the sweet fragrance of the blossoms.
I well remember some of my sister's courtship days. How you lived along with them, their joys and sorrows. Using each teaching moment to guide and help them; and you did just that, Mother dear, you can be proud of them.
I've wished many times you could have been with us, even just for a few more years.
I can see you standing so straight and tall with your lovely black hair so neatly arranged, just a beautiful woman among women.
Do you remember, Mother, the night before you left on your only vacation trip how you called me late that night on the phone. Wishing we could be together and share the joy of that happy vacation. How little did we know it was our farewell to each other.
Ah, what would we do without sweet memories that reflect the treasures of the heart.
Many times since your leaving I've prayed to God and asked Him to help me pattern my life from the beautiful example you set for us.
Your gifts to me, and they are many, I will always cherish.

Thank you, Mother.

P.S. Somewhere I read:

A Mother is the guardian angel for the family,
The queen, the tender hand of love.
A Mother is the best friend anyone ever has.
A Mother is love.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Abram William Burgess - part 2

This is part two of my post on Abram William Burgess and includes his obituary and death certificate.  See part one here

Abram William Burgess's obituary posted in the Washington County News on 8 October 1936 -

Abram W. Burgess, Dixie Pioneer, Dies At Home October 3
Furneral services for Abram Burgess, Dixie pioneer, who died Saturday, October 3, [1936] were held in the St. George stake Tabernacle at 3 p.m. Monday. Milton E Moody of the South ward presided.
Mr Burgess had spent Saturday in his field and was apparently in his usual conditon of health. He had gone to the corral after six o'clock and when found by his son, Carl, a little later, was lying near a haystack. Death was attributed to heart failure.
The opening prayer was offered by Andrew N. Winsor. The quartette sang, "Lead Me Gently Home".
Speakers were Jeter Snow, former Bishop of Pine Valley, John T. Woodbury, Sr. and George W. Worthen. Mr. Snow told of their boyhood days together and related experiences; told of his great love for the departed and of the great admiration he always felt for the family. Mr. Woodbury related early Dixie history and the history of the Burgess family and paid tribute to the life of Abram Burgess. Mr. Worthen spoke of the passing of Mr. Burgess of the resurrection and the hereafter, expressed his appreciation for having known him and his family and paid a fine tribute to his life.
A violin solo, "One Fleeting Hour", was given by Mrs. Irene Everett accompanied by Mrs. Ada Cannon.
The closing number was a vocal solo, "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine", Bishop Vernon Worthen.
The closing prayer was offered by H.T. Atkin and the grave in the City Cemetery was dedicated by Mayor Albert E. Miller.
Abram William Burgess was born in Salt Lake City, July 16, 1857, a son of Harrison and Amanda M. Hammond Burgess and came with his parents to St. George in 1862 when they were called to help settle this Dixie country. In September of the next year a group was called to Pine Valley to work in the lumber camp Mr. Burgess went with his parents and as a young boy was taught under the direction of his father and others how to prepare lumber for building purposes. He was married in the St. George Temple, December 30, 1880, to Sarah Jane Rogers of this city and made his home in Pine Valley until 1897 when he moved with his small family to St. George where he has since resided.
His chief occupations have been lumbering, farming, stock-raising and he has been active in Church work. Although he had but few advantages educationally those who knew him say he became a well read and highly intellectual man, keeping in constant touch with national and political affairs. He served for a number of years as an M.I.A. board member in Pine Valley. He came from a family of 11 children and is the father of 11 children. These are as follows:
Mrs. Belle Hardy, Hinckley; Mrs. Mary Skinner, Monrovia, California; Abram, Milton, David, Carl, and Mrs. Dora Empey, Mrs. Kate Milne, Mrs. Jane Brooks of St. George; Mrs. Thelma Jones of Veyo and Mrs. Lucile Tegan now residing in Idaho. One brother, Isaac Burgess of St. George and one sister, Clara Bracken of Central. Also 50 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.

Abram's headstone:

Abram's death certificate:

Related posts:

Abram William Burgess
Sarah Jane Rogers Burgess
Children of Abram William and Sarah Jane Rogers Burgess

Sunday, January 4, 2015

52 Ancestors: #1 Abram William Burgess

I'm a year late but I am taking the "52 Ancestors 52 Weeks" challenge this year. Abram is  #1.
Abram William Burgess 1857-1929
Abram Burgess is my great grandfather 
Me - My father - Grandfather Milton Burgess - Great Grandfather Abram William Burgess

 Abram Burgess was born in Salt Lake City, Utah territory on 16 July 1857. Abram was the sixth child of Harrison and Amanda Melvina Hammond Burgess.

Abram's family was one of 309 families called to settle in Southern Utah during the October 1861 General Conference of the LDS Church. So Abram was four years old when he moved to southern Utah. His family spent their first winter south of St. George in the Fort Pierce area where there was grazing for the cattle they brought. In the spring they went up to Pine Valley where they made their home and set up Abram's father's lumber mill. His father helped saw logs used for pipes in the organ in the Salt Lake Tabernacle and lumber for buildings including the St. George Temple and Tabernacle as well as homes in the area.

Abram spent his formative years in the small, beautiful town of Pine Valley where he worked hard and also enjoyed friends, church and social life there.

Abram's younger brother Isaac says that their young days were spent helping their father build a home and doing what they could do to help their parents in the struggle to make a living for a family of eleven - six boys and five girls. They started early doing a man's work. They would cut grain with a cradle and help haul and stack the grain. They milked 25 or 30 head of cows and also helped their mother make cheese and butter. They either had to herd cattle or take them to the hills in the morning then go get them at night. As they got older they helped their father make lumber at his sawmill. Abram's father, Harrison Burgess was one of the first to put a sawmill in the Pine Valley Mountains. They used ox teams to get the logs to the sawmill. The sons helped their father saw blocks off of trees which they would split and shave-off to make shingles. They would take the shingles to sell in the mining town of Pioche, Nevada. ... During this time the brothers worked most of their time at the sawmill making lumber to help build up the country.:

Abram was educated in part by his father's first wife, Sophia. 

His Daughter, Lucille writes:
"Grandfather Harrison Burgess's first wife was a school teacher, and she begged Grandfather to take a second wife because she was unable to bear children. Aunt Sophia said, "It isn't fair that you have no one to carry on your name, and have no children of your own." She told Harrison, "If you promise me you will do this, I will educate your children."
"Father said she never forgot that promise. He would always try to hide from her, so he could go play with the other kids, but she always found him and Grandpa supported her about this schooling."
"Later Dad told me what having a good education meant to him. He said, "My life has been so rewarding. I can read - and understand what I read. It's not only to be able to read for enjoyment, but to know what's going on in the world, to understand the scriptures, and to follow political events in the governing of our country."

In the spring of 1874 Abe (as he was called), Jeter Snow and Thomas W. Burgess went north to seek work. They cut and burned wood for coke to be used in the mining and smelting industries in Rush Valley and later chopped and hauled wood in American Fork Canyon.

A few years later Abram and his best friend, Jeter Snow went to Nevada looking for work. They were unsuccessful as they traveled north so went back to the Panaca and Pioche area. 
Jeter Snow and Abe Burgess (seated)

Here is the story from a history of Jeter Snow written by his daughter:
"Their long search for work and the return trip had all been on horse-back.  They had to take many days and let their horses rest frequently while  traveling through those seemingly endless sagebrush, lonely valleys.  Abe was riding a little cayuse mare he had purchased in Pioche when they left on their trip.  The mare was much too small for him.  All along the trip Abe had tried to sell, trade or even give her away, but with no luck. When they got back to Panaca, the cayuse was in such bad shape that Abe gave a man a dollar to kill her.  It took all the coins both father and Abe had to  raise the dollar for the shooting of the mare.  It was a sad ending to an eight-week trip."
 "Jeter and Abe stayed in Panaca and worked for some time.  They cut wood,  burned wood for charcoal and did anything else they could to earn a little money."

 They never worked in the mines, but burned coal for the smelters. They also hauled wood and freighted some. They were away from home for two years.

Abram Burgess married Sarah Jane Rogers in the St. George Temple on 30 December 1880. She was the daughter of David and Mary Ann Mayer Burgess born on 3 August 1863 in St. George, Utah. She died in an automobile accident on the Buckhorn Flat (23 miles north of Paragonah) at age 62 on 18 June 1926.
Abram and Jane were married over 45 years. Thirteen children were born to this couple. They lost one son at birth, William or Willie as is written on his headstone.

Abram's daughters write of their time growing up:

 Mame (Mary Jarvis Skinner) writes:
"In the spring of 1882 my parents with his brothers and a number of other families went down to settle Mesquite Flat. They got the water out on the ground and crops in and the rich soil made things grow beautifully, when just before harvest time the floods came down the Virgin River and washed out the ditches and , as I remember them telling me, a lot of the crops and the rest died for lack of water. So Pa and his brothers went back to Pine Valley where they lived farming, logging, and cattle raising until the summer of 1895. They sold their home and spent that summer at Foster's Ranch on the Clara Creek" (this was apparently north of Veyo)

Abram's brother Isaac Burgess also tells of their time in Mesquite (Nevada):
"About the year 1880 my father and his boys were called or requested to go take the water on what was then called Mesquite Flat. There were some others called at the same time. ..worked there with others for three years, building homes, and clearing land, and putting in crops, a ward was organized.. We also hauled salt rock from the Muddy Valley to St. George to the Wooley, Lund and Judd store to get groceries to live on. We were just getting along so we could live, had cut 30 acres of grain, had it all shocked also 15 acres of hay all cut and piled. I think it was about July, and then it was all destroyed by the big flood water [which] went through fields, washed grain and hay away - some clear into the Virgin River, destroyed all our past work, filled up our ditches, etc. ... We stayed a few weeks longer, made a small ditch to take the water through as the large ditch was completely filled up. But we were not able to do much. After all the loss we suffered, we took the chills and fever, a disease very common in that country then ... So having lost about all we had we went back to Pine Valley, this time our main work was farming."

"The spring of 1896 I think it was Pa bought the home where we lived  (in St. George) and he never left it. We spent the summers at the Ranch and the winters in St. George. Father and Uncle Jode owned the Ranch together and also the farm in the Clara field. In about 1904 or near there, Pa traded his share of the Ranch for Uncle Jode's share of the field in St. George and stayed there except when he was taking care of his cattle which he still ran up at the Ranch."

Lucille Tegan:
"In St. George Father bought a home by the Black Hill, [the southwest corner of 400 West Tabernacle Street] and twenty-six acres of farming land in the Santa Clara fields. He also bought many acres of range land, and leased acres of range land from the federal government."
"He told me many times in the first years of purchase, the feed in the hills was so good it reached to the bottom of the stirrups on his saddle. Then as the years went by the climate changed. The Dixie country became - most of the time - a hot, dry desert wasteland. Just imagine those faithful pioneers trying to reap a harvest from that dry, parched soil."
"Father tried to farm and raise cattle. When those dry years came he lost so many head. In those days one couldn't obtain a loan from the government to purchase feed for their starving animals. I can imagine our father with a heavy heart watching his cattle die one by one. Then every day feeling that hot wind blowing in his face, and wondering if it would ever cease."
"I think father's legs and knees bothered him most of the time. He was always getting them hurt. I can remember seeing him sitting on the lounge [that] Grandfather Rogers made, his face white with pain, and the doctor pulling gauze from an incision he'd made in father 's leg, to rid him of infection or blood poisoning caused by a bruise to the bone."
"... Dad [liked] to have us children go with him on trips to the ranch and to the farm in the Santa Clara fields. Thelma and I would sit in the back of the old white-top buggy with our feet and legs dangling out at the back and going through the creek bed. Dad would trot the horses and we would sing to the top of our voices we were so happy."
"Another thing I remember about father was his love for flowers. On his rides in the hills he would get off his horse and gather wild flowers, that we might enjoy them too. It seemed like we always had a vase of wild flowers in our home. Seemed like Mother liked to place the flowers on the back of our big flour box, so she could see them as she spent a great deal of time in the kitchen."
"When I think of that huge flour box, and how happy Dad and Mother were to get it filled in the fall so would have our winter supply. It brings back lots of happy memories. I remember dad as he emptied the last sacks of flour in the bin, he would push his hat to the back of his head and smile in a strange happy way at us kids."

"One of my fondest memories is of my mother reading aloud to us in the evening or Pa singing and telling us of his experiences and Mother knitting with her eyes closed. Many are the times we all went to sleep lying in front of the fireplace and then Pa would carry us all to bed."
"Father said he hated to be so reserved, and wished he could talk more, and let people know just how he felt. I remember many nights I'd hear Father and Mother talking in bed until I would go to sleep. If they every felt like quarreling they didn't do it in front of us children. It was always peaceful and orderly in our home."
"When Mother was killed he really suffered so much. [She died in an automobile accident in 1926.] He said it was terrible to feel her grow cold and stiff in his arms."
"Father was so independent. During the Great Depression many people accepted relief from the government. Father didn't believe in it. He felt like as long as you could work, you should strive to take care of yourself. (He had the same philosophy as Brigham Young.) So he started raising chickens to sell, and he also kept laying hens."
"He died [in 1936] suddenly one evening while doing chores. When they lifted him to bring him into the house his little worn wallet fell from his pocket. In that little purse they found enough money for all his burial clothes. So even to the end he was strong and wise and independent. What a wonderful example for all of us."
"... there never was a more humble or sincere man in the world. He never pushed himself forward."
"I've tried to show what a noble and honest person he really was. He loved his family; and Mother and Dad brought much happiness into their home. There were many joyous occasions we shared together."
"In material things our needs were many, nevertheless, we realized they did the best they could for us. Times were hard, and we accepted what they could give us, and were grateful for their sacrifices."

Belle Vilate Burgess • 1881-1955
md: George Raymond Hardy

Abram Burgess • 1883-1964
md: Mary Maudeen Whitney

Diantha Burgess • 1885-1910
md: Clifford Sullivan
Diantha died unexpectedly after a miscarriage at age 25

Milton Burgess• 1887-1951
md: Clara Cannon

Mary Burgess • 1889-1978
md: Frank Woodbury Jarvis
md:Chester Louis Skinner

David Burgess • 1891-1955

William Burgess • 1893-1893

Karl Burgess • 1894-1963
md: Laura Elizabeth Owen

Dora Burgess • 1897-1963
md: Levi Empey

Kate Burgess • 1899-1961
md: Vivian Milne

Jane Burgess • 1902-1982
md: Edward Parry Brooks

Thelma Burgess • 1904-1996
md: Alvin Alfred Jones

Lucille Burgess • 1907-2000
md: James Thomas Tegan
md: Delno Avon Smith

See Abram William Burgess part two with obituary, headstone and death certificate here.

Family records held by Cindy Burgess Alldredge

Privately published histories:
"A Short Sketch of My Father: Abram William Burgess" author: Mary (Mame) Burgess Jarvis Skinner
"Our Father - Abram William Burgess"  Lucille Burgess Tegan
"The Life of Jeter Snow 1855-1936" author: Larue Snow Carter

WPA Interview:
"Brief History of Isaac H. Burgess" St. George, Utah -- September 16, 1935

Related Posts:

Abram William Burgess - part 2
Sarah Jane Rogers Burgess
Children of Abram William and Sarah Jane Rogers Burgess