Thursday, September 8, 2016

52 Ancestors: #16: George Holyoak Sr. (1799-1881)

Our family has a rich heritage of pioneer ancestors who were willing to give up all – homes, family and at times even their lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a history of George Holyoak Sr. who willingly came to Utah from England in 1854 losing his dear wife and two daughters on the journey.

George Leo Holyoak 

George Eli Holyoak was born January 17, 1799 at Yardley, Worcestershire, England, the son of Isaac and Ann Bird Holyoak. He was the youngest of 8 children.
Several of his children’s histories tell of growing up in “Rose Cottage” in Yardley Wood, a suburb south of Birmingham, England. Climbing roses almost covered the house, the yard was full of beautiful flowers, and the grass was green almost all year. From this lovely home and beautiful surroundings the children say that they inherited a love for flowers and beauty. They were also taught to be industrious and religious.
The Holyoak family listened to the Mormon missionaries but it was rather hard at first for George, the father to see the Gospel light. He was perfectly willing for his good wife, Sarah Green, and other members of his family to attend missionary meetings and other gatherings but felt that the Church of England had always been good enough for his family and therefore it was good enough for him.
One day something happened that changed all this. His baby, which he dearly loved became quite ill. It was so sick they were afraid it might die any minute. His wife, Sarah, asked if he would run through the fields and get the Elders. He went, thinking it would be of no use, sure they could do no good. The Elders came gladly, laid their hands upon the child and blessed it. Through the powers of the priesthood, it was healed. He was sure then the Spirit of the Lord was with the Elders and that they had something very precious and dear. His church seemed to lack something. He started to investigate and it was not very long before he was converted. George was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Birmingham, England on December 3, 1841.
George was ordained an elder in England, where he served as a faithful teacher for many years. The President of the Conference at that time was Brother Crook. The held their meetings in a carriage house in Peck Lane and also in the home of George Holyoak. They had been holding them at his home for three months before he joined the Church. He remained in England for about eleven years after joining the L.D.S. Church. During this time, he saw the power of God made manifest many times.
George and Sarah’s oldest son, William’s first wife died just days after the birth of their son, Nehemiah. The grandparents – George and Sarah brought the baby into their home to raise. William married again and he and his second wife were also members of the LDS Church emigrated to America in 1850. They stayed in Missouri, where he found work. Their son, George Jr. emigrated in 1851 and joined his brother and sister-in-law in Missouri. George Jr. married while living there.
In January of 1854, George Holyoak Sr. and his family started to emigrate to Utah. They sailed on the ship Windemere with over 400 other Saints. The Holyoak group included, George and his wife, Sarah; their daughters, Sarah and Ann; son, Henry; and grandson, Nehemiah; plus their married daughter, Mary Knowles with her husband and two children. (note: Joseph James who later married Sarah was on this same voyage) The journey was difficult. It was not long until some of the people were sea sick. Then small pox started to break out with some deaths and burials at sea. This outbreak was stopped by a priesthood blessing.This means of travel was very new to most of them being the first time they had been at sea. The stove broke loose and caught fire and the ship started to leak. Men, women and children worked with buckets and pans dipping the water out so they wouldn't sink. For some time the weather was so calm that they basically drifted until there was enough breeze for the sails. They had to go on half-rations at the end of the journey. Finally, after nine long weeks on a stormy sea they arrived in New Orleans. Those who’d had small pox were taken to a hospital and they rest were sent up-river to Quarantine Island near St. Louis, Missouri. Here they camped at the Missouri River where George's oldest daughter, Mary Holyoak Knowles, died of cholera, leaving her husband with two small children.
When they were able to leave the island the Holyoak met up with their sons, George and William and their families. George Jr. and his family traveled on with the family and William followed a few years later.
The family traveled in the Darwin Richardson Company (1854) departing on 17 June 1854 and arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on 30 September 1854. We don’t have a personal account of the journey from the Holyoak family but I have included personal experiences from others in the company at the end of this narrative. It was a hard journey. There were about 40 wagons with two or three families per wagon. Most walked all of the way. Cholera struck the company several times and there were many deaths.
The Holyoak family lost two more family members on the journey: George’s dear wife, Sarah died of mountain fever (some records say cholera) and ten days later a second daughter, Ann, died of the same complaint. They were buried sewed into blankets and buried on the plains of Nebraska. You can imagine how it must have been for George to leave his faithful wife and two lovely daughters behind as he journeyed to the Salt Lake Valley.
It took a great deal of courage and faith to continue onward to the land of promise walking all the way. The arrived in Salt Lake City, weary and footsore, but they were very happy saints, sure it was worth every effort and very pleased as all pioneers were at what they had accomplished. They arrived in Salt Lake City on the 30th of September 1854. At that time, there was little there but sage brush. George remained there a short time before moving with the rest of his family to Parowan, Iron County, Utah where he was called to settle.
While he was in Salt Lake City, his daughter, Sarah, was married to a very fine young man--Joseph James. Joseph had traveled most of the way west with their company. They were married in a covered wagon. The bride wore a calico dress.
George received his endowments on the 14th of October in 1859 at the Salt Lake Endowment House. George settled in Parowan in company with George A. Smith and other good brothers. His two teenage children and grandson went to Parowan with him. Nehemiah was with him until his father, William came to Utah two years later and also settled in Parowan. George married again about 1862 to a widow named Ann Brazier Gunn. There may have been another wife also named Ann Wactin.
George Holyoak Sr. remained in Parowan for the remainder of his life, a faithful pioneer, a good father and a true Latter-day Saint. He was the father of 8 children who were all faithful members of the Church and very proud to be the sons and daughters of such wonderful parents as George and Sarah Green Holyoak. They always remembered with true love and devotion the wonderful inheritance they received from these wonderful pioneers who were so willing to sacrifice for a just cause and a Gospel which meant more than life itself to them. George died the 27th of October 1881, in his beloved country. He is buried in Parowan.
George Eli Holyoak birth: 17 January 1799 in Yardley Wood, Worcestershire, England death: 27 October 1881 in Parowan, Iron, Utah,s married: 17 January 1825 in Yardley Worcestershire, England
Sarah Green birth: 2 July 1797 in Kings Norton, Worcestershire, England death: 26 July 1854 Near Big Blue, Hamilton, Nebraska
William Holyoak birth: 12 April 1825 in Yardley, Worcestershire, England death: 28 March 1914 in Parowan, Iron, Utah
Mary Holyoak Knowles birth: 10 March 1827 at Solihull, Warwickshire, England death: May 1854 near Kansas City, Clay, Missouri
George Holyoak Jr. birth: 1 Sep 1829 at Solihull, Warwickshire, England death: 15 March 1921 in Parowan, Iron, Utah, United States
Ann Holyoak birth: 6 January 1832 at Yardley, Worcestershire, England death: August 1854 in Wyoming, United States Eli Daniel Holyoak birth: 1833 at Solihull, Warwickshire, England death: 20 January 1838 in England
*Sarah Holyoak James birth: 4 August 1835 at Yardley, Worcestershire, England death: 25 October 1916 in Ogden Weber, Utah
Henry Holyoak birth: 5 March 1839 at Moseley Wake Gre, Yardley, Worcestershire, England death: 23 January 1926 in Ogden, Weber, Utah, United States
Hannah Holyoak Lefevre birth: 25 March 1841 at Birmingham, Warwickshire, England death: 2 August 1920 in Panguitch, Garfield, Utah
(those in Red died coming to Utah)
*our ancestor

Family Records in possession of D. Larsen
Pioneer Overland Travel database
Mormon Migration - BYU
old website now found in the internet archive:


Verl I Alldredge 1918-2008: How Verl got to his beloved Arizona Strip

How Verl got to his beloved Arizona Strip
-September 6, 2016 – his birthday anniversary
From excerpts from “Verl I and Ada Helen Nelson Alldredge – This is our Story” by Darlene Larsen and “Life Sketch of Maria Delila Van Leuven Alldredge” (Written by Delila in January 1952)
This is the telling of how Verl got to the Arizona Strip.  Verl’s mother, Delila was the second wife of Isaac (Ike) Alldredge in a polygamist family. His first wife was Annie. The family/families were living in the Mexican colonies and were forced from their homes during the Mexican Revolution in 1912. They had to leave their home, land and everything they owned in Mexico. It was very difficult for the refugees to start over with nothing. They lived many places before Delila and her family were able to settle in Mt. Trumbull.

                In 1912, the Alldredge family was driven out of Mexico by the Mexican Revolution. Over the next nine years Delila and her children made their home in several places in Utah and Nevada including Eureka, Aurora, Hinckley, Delta, Abraham, St. Thomas, Kaolin, Mesquite and St. George. In 1913 a son, Lelan Dee was born to the family while in Aurora, Utah.
                Isaac took Delila and her children to Eureka to stay with her mother and brother Lafe while he and his first wife, Annie and their children went looking for a farm. Ike was able to lease a grape vineyard in Mesquite, Nevada. Lafe and Ed, Delila’s brothers, drove Delila and her four children to St. George. Her husband, Ike met them there and took them on to Mesquite. The family lived there for a couple of years.
                Verl was born to Isaac and Delila while they were living in Mesquite, Nevada on 6 September 1918. He was born in a tent on the west side of the town. Delila was attended by a midwife. Verl’s older sister, Lurie said that her mother was in labor all day and was happy that their father was with them at that time. Delila had a hard time and so did the baby but they both survived the ordeal. Isaac wanted to name the baby, Verl Isaac but Delila wouldn’t agree. So he was named Verl I Alldredge. With just an initial for a middle name.
Dee and Verl in wagon - Hinckley area

                Ike was discouraged in Mesquite and moved Annie and her family back to Hinckley, Utah hoping to farm there. Delila stayed in Mesquite until February 1919. Verl was five months old when Delila and her family moved to Hinckley by train. They didn’t have a permanent home while there but stayed in the Delta/Hinckley area for two years even living in the blacksmith shop at one point. The family was blessed to survive the worldwide flu epidemic during this time. Verl contracted whooping cough which developed into pneumonia. It was only through a priesthood blessing that his life was spared.
                Annie and her children finally moved to St. George while Delila stayed in Delta to cook and do the laundry for Ike and the men who were working at the sugar factory there.
                On January 1, 1921 Ike loaded two wagons and headed to St. George with Delila and family. It snowed a foot the night before they started. They were on the road 13 long, hard days. Fifteen-year-old Irvin drove one team and Delila, two-year-old Verl and Lurie rode with him. Nora and Dee rode with their dad. It snowed most of the way and was so cold. When they stopped to cook, Isaac would scrape the snow away and make a circle for a fire and a place for the children to sit. At night he heated rocks, wrapped them in blankets and put them in the wagons where they slept to help keep them warm.
Verl - Mt. Trumbull
                One of the horses pulling Irvin’s wagon slipped on ice going down dugway on the Black Ridge above Bellevue (now Pintura). It scared them all but the horse managed to get its footing and didn’t go over the edge of the ridge. Further down the dugway they arrived in Bellevue (Pintura) and saw the sun shining after all the snowy, icy days. What a happy bunch! The kids got out of the wagons and played in the sand. The family arrived in St. George about the 15th of January.
                The older children started school in St. George where they got the measles – except Irvin, who’d had them as a baby in Mexico.  Delila contacted her family who were living 60 miles south of St. George in Mt. Trumbull Arizona. Her parents and brothers moved there while Delila was living in Hinckley. Her sister, Chloe and her family were already living there. Delila’s father, Newman Van Leuven had died there on 14 October 1919. He was the first person buried in the little Mt. Trumbull cemetery. The land for the cemetery was donated by the Van Leuven family.
                Delila let her family know that she was in St. George and in March two of her brothers, Lafe and Cornelius came to St. George to see her. They told her about the land in Mt Trumbull and all of the crops they were growing. They had a piece of land picked out for her to homestead if Isaac would let her use his name. Irvin went back to Mt. Trumbull with her brothers at that time. The next month Delila’s brother, Cornelius, came back to St. George and took Delila and her children to Mt. Trumbull on 17 April 1921. She liked it so well that they decided to stay. She did take a homestead and they lived in a little log house made out of posts until they were able to get some lumber and built a 4-room house. Then they made a 2-room cellar and lived in that while the boys made a 5-room and a bath adobe house. Delila and her family lived there until 17 May 1936 and then moved back to St. George because of the water situation. They could not dry farm when the rains stopped during the 1930s.
                Mt. Trumbull or “The Strip” was a great place for a boy to grow up and Verl lived there from age two to 17 – his formative years. He loved the Arizona Strip* all of his life. The country was harsh and times were hard, but everyone who lived there was in the same situation and didn’t know anything different. Verl’s sister, Lurie said, “We were all poorer than church mice, but we didn’t know it because everybody was the same.”
Verl and Dee and goats on the mountain.
Dee and Verl under same tree 65 years later.

*The area was cut off by the Grand Canyon from the rest of Arizona and that is why it is called the Arizona Strip or just “The Strip”.

Friday, March 18, 2016

52 Ancestors: #15 Joseph H. James (1855 – 1908) Obituaries

Joseph Henry James was my husband's great grandfather. James H. James is the father of Michael's maternal grandmother, Nellie Mariah James Nelson. 
There are a lot of histories of Joseph H. James online (see sources below) so I am just putting his obituaries here. Joseph H. James died at age 52 in an accident at his new sawmill in the Mexican colonies in 1908.  -cba
Wedding Photo - edited

Joseph H. James Dead
Word was received in Bountiful the first of last week to the effect that Joseph H. James, on of the pioneers of Sunset, Arizona but now a resident of the colonies in Mexico, had been accidentally killed on the 25th of last month.
He and a Mexican were working repairing a chute at his sawmill when a log came down and killed both of them almost instantly.
A very large family remain to mourn his loss.
 His original home was in Ogden where his mother still lives.
 In 1870 he left Ogden and went to Arizona in George Lake's company settling at Obed which settlement was later abandoned on account of the locality being so unhealthy. He then joined the sunset company wehre he remined until the said company was dissolved.
The spring of 1885 he moved to Old Mexico locating at Diaz. Later he moved to his present home in Hop Valley, which is about twenty miles from Juarez.
He was about fifty two years old.
Mr. James visited Israel Call, P.P. Wilber, Joseph Hyrum Holbrook Surly and Joseph J. Holbrook last fall when he and ...
 Davis County Clipper 1908-05-15 Joseph H. James Dead

Former Ogden Man is Killed in Mexico
Republican Special Service.
  Ogden, May 1 - In a telegram received by relatives in Ogden, the death of Joseph James, 52 years old, formerly of Ogden, but of late years a prosperous citizen of Juarez, Mexico, which occurred a week ago Saturday was announced.
  Mr. James was in the mountains working with his Mexican help at a large sawmill which he operated. While moving a pile of logs one slipped and rolled on him and crushed his body so that life was extinct in thirty minutes. The same log instantly killed one of the Mexicans.
  The family of which Mr. James is the oldest boy, has lived in Ogden for years. His mother, Sarah James and several brothers in Ogden and Wilson Lane survive him, in addition to a large family in Mexico.
  Joseph James left Ogden nearly 20 years ago for Mexico and was one of the first colonizers in Juarez. He was bishop of the colony for several years, well to do in business affairs and considered one of the foremost citizens in that section of Mexico.
Joseph H. James was known as a jokester. Here is a link to a page with some of his humor: J.H. James' Humor
Utah Digital Newspapers:

Friday, January 29, 2016

52 Ancestors: #14 Mary Louisa Elder Nelson (1861 – 1916)

Mary Louisa Elder Nelson is my husband's great grandmother on his mother's side of the family. She is the mother of his grandfather, James Mark Nelson.

Mary Louisa Elder Nelson was born on June 5, 1861 in Grantsville, Utah which is in Tooele County. The family pronounces her middle name, Louisa as "Lo-eye-za" with a long "O" and long "I" sound. Her parents were Claybourne M. and Mary Caroline Elder. They didn't live in Grantsville very long and in her first year the family were called to southern Utah. Her father was asked to take his sawmill and also to help with Indian problems. This proved to be a pattern in Mary Louisa's life as she lived many places throughout her life. She was mostly in Southern Utah in her formative years. Her family were some of the first settlers of Duncan's Retreat, a ghost town near Virgin, Utah. The settlement had a lot of problems with flooding of the Virgin River and was eventually abandoned. At age 9 Mary Louisa is listed in the 1970 Virgin, Utah census as Louisa.

Mary Louisa was 16 years old and cooking at a lumber camp in southern Utah when she met her future husband, Price William Nelson in 1877. They were married in the St. George temple on January 11, 1878.  He took her to St. George with his ox team on a load of lumber.  Her parents came along in a wagon drawn by horses.  When they got to Grafton the wagon broke down but her father let them take his horses and wagon and Mary Louisa's mother went with them to St. George.  Price William and Mary Louisa had their first child, Claybourne Edmund in November that year. 

We find Price William, Mary Louisa and their one year old son listed as living in St. John Village, Apache County, Arizona on the 1880 census.
Price William and Louisa had nine children together. We can follow the places the family lived by the birth places of the children. 
Claybourne Edmund (1878) and Price Williams (1882) were  born in Mesa, Arizona. Hyrum (1884) was born in Sunset City, Apache County, Arizona. James Mark (1885) was born at Lee's Ferry, Coconino County, Arizona. Mary Louisa (1888) and Rhoda May (1890) were born in Cave Valley, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico. Charlotte Lorane (1892) was born in Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico. Jonathan Pratt (1895)  and George Smith (1897) in Oaxaca, Bavispe, Sonora, Mexico. (Mary Louisa -back row - died at age 14 shortly after this photo was taken.)

In 1912 the Nelson family were among the refugees who had to leave the LDS Mexican colonies because of the Mexican Revolution. The family never returned and had to start over again in the United States. Price William states in his autobiography: 
We were "living in Oaxaca, Sonora, Mexico, at the time of the rebellion in 1912. The Mexican rebels soon after destroyed my whole life's earnings. I was pretty well-to-do at the time. I had a beautiful home right on the shores of the Bavispi River. The Mexican troops remained in our area about three weeks, taking me prisoner when they left, leaving my family penniless. After some time I was released to return to my home and family. On the twelfth of August 1912 we left our beautiful home and everything we had, never to return."

Price William and Mary Louisa with  their children still at home moved to the United States and settled in Utah. Mary Louisa only lived four years after their return to the United States. She died at age 55  on June 15th 1916 in Kanab, Utah. She was buried there but is also listed on her husband's headstone in St. George, Utah.

Mary Louisa was a polygamous wife and mother of nine children. She lived a hard pioneer life in many places and circumstances. Like many stalwart pioneer women there is very little written about her time on this earth.
Headstone in Kanab, Utah cemetery. The death date is incorrect.
The death certificate below shows the date as June 15, 1916

family records in possession of D. Larsen and R. Nelson
History of Claybourne Montgomery Elder
History of Price William Nelson

Thursday, January 21, 2016

52 Ancestors: #13 Price William Nelson (1855 – 1946)

This posting is much longer than expected as I planned to just add a few background stories in this week's blog which is about my husband's maternal great grandfather, Price W. Nelson. -cba


Price William Nelson (Jr.)
Price William Nelson was born on 29 August 1855 in San Bernardino, California to Price Williams and Lydia Lake Nelson. Price W. had an interesting childhood as the family was very poor and lived many places including such difficult places as San Bernardino, California; Franklin, Idaho; the Muddy Mission in Nevada, several places in southern Utah, the Missions of Arizona and the Mormon Colonies in Mexico.

Price W.'s parents came to Utah in 1850. His father, Price William Nelson was in the Benjamin Hawkins Company  and his mother, Lydia was in the James Lake Company (James was Lydia's father). His parents met on the journey across the plains and married soon after arriving in Utah. In 1852 Price and Lydia joined with those who had journeyed to California and settled in San Bernardino. And that is why Price W. Nelson was born in California in 1855.

Note: Pres. Brigham Young wanted to quickly build a "continuous line of stations and places of refreshment"  between Salt Lake City and the Pacific coast for missionaries and emigrants going to and from the Pacific Islands. He also asked the colony to be self-reliant and experiment in growing and manufacturing products such as olive oil, grapes, sugar cane and cotton. In the Spring of 1851 Brigham Young journeyed to Payson to speak to and bid farewell to 200 colonizers off to California; but when he got there he found 437 men, women and children gathered. Many wanted to escape the harsh climate and poor economic conditions at that time. His clerk noted that President Young was “sick at the sight of so many of the Saints running off to California.” Disappointed, he left without addressing the travelers.
Fort San Bernardino 1852
One year later in 1852 Price William and Lydia Nelson moved with their first child to California. This was a great opportunity for this young family. Lydia  says they journeyed by team to San Bernardino, and liking the place, decided to make it their home. Price William (the father) went into the saw-mill business with Amasa Lyman and Charles Rich. The mill ran during the winter but closed in the summer on account of the lack of water. During this time for seven years they moved each fall from the valley to the mountains and returned to the valley in the spring. Three children were born while they were in California including Price W. in 1855. Two years later at the time of Johnstons' Army and the Utah war Brigham Young called the California colonists back to Utah and the Nelson heeded the call and moved back to Utah when Price W. was two years old. 

The Nelson family lived several places the next nine years including Payson, Utah; Franklin, Idaho; and Logan, Utah for six years where his father operated a sawmill. Price W. says of their stay in Logan: "We were very poor and during the cold winter we had to stay indoors most of the time for want of proper clothing. If I went to the corral or to a neighbor, I had to go through the snow barefooted. We suffered much from the cold weather."   

The Nelsons were then called to the Muddy Mission in southern Nevada. They arrived in 1866 when Price W. was still ten years of age. His history tells of several incidents during his childhood there. It was very hot in the summer there and an opposite experience to the cold in Logan. One tale is told of barefoot children walking home from school there. "They would take their bonnets, aprons, or some green brush in their hands, run as far as they could, throw them down and stand on them until their feet cooled off. Then run again." Price W. attended school there in an adobe schoolhouse with sand floors. He tells of one teacher he liked and one that he did not like. He says that his parents were industrious and hard-working and he thought a lot of them, but like many children he was disobedient at times. He did say that as he grew older he learned to love and respect them. 
Brigham Young at Muddy Mission 1870
Southern Nevada was a harsh land with rattlesnakes, scorpions, crop-destroying grasshopper and Indian troubles. Many left the mission or paid someone else to serve in their place. Price W.'s mother told that for them it was an ideal climate and very productive soil, and they followed farming for a livelihood. They lived comfortably in Nevada for six years.  Conditions were favorable for the building of comfortable homes and they had an abundance of such things as could be produced from the soil, but had difficulty in obtaining clothing. 
There were troubles with the state of Nevada and when the state demanded a high tax paid in silver or gold instead of goods the people were advised to leave by Brigham Young after he visited the area in 1870.. The family acted immediately on the advice and left their homes and fertile land with luxuriant crops almost ready to harvest, and went to Glendale in southern Utah, arriving there with their large family and only what provisions they could carry in one wagon. Price W. says they suffered with cold and hunger while making the move. He, his brother and father drove all the  loose cattle to Utah and twenty-five  horses to Beaver Dam for the people of St. Thomas. This was hard work on foot in the winter. Price W. tells that his father had found some canvas tenting and which his mother used to make some pants for the boys. He says, "It was so stiff and hard that mother had to use an awl to make them and after they were made they would stand alone. After I had worn mine a few days they broke in two across the seat, by the pockets, in front of the knees, and across the back. You can well imagine how I looked but I cared very little about it as I was used to rags."

After spending about six years in Utah  living in Utah, the family moved to the missions of Arizona.  Price Nelson had helped his family move to the Little Colorado River in Arizona and returned with his father to Glendale, Utah in October of 1876 to retrieve the remainder of their possessions.  When it was time to return to Arizona, Price decided to stay and go into business for himself.  He was 21 and had little more than the shirt on his back. He told, “At the time my father left me sitting on the corral fence we had but little bedding and three shirts for the two of us so he gave me two of them and kept one. “   Price eventually found work and later got a contract to deliver logs to a saw mill.
 Price W. tells this story of dating his future wife, Mary Louisa Elder Nelson:  

Price W. and Mary Louisa
"It was during this summer (1877) that I courted my first wife.  She was just 16 that June and I was 21.  Neither one of us had ever kept company with anyone before but the instant we saw each other we spotted each other.  She was cooking at Seamon’s camp just a few hundred yards from where mine was.  In connection with this I should tell of my old buckskin pants.  They were all the pants I had, and I had worn them over two years.  I don’t think an article of clothing was ever hated worse.  I did own two shirts so I could keep one rinsed out and fresh.  I always worked until dark; in fact, I never thought of unyoking my team until then.  I would get my supper, go to a little ice-cold spring and bathe all over, brush and shake out those buckskin pants, and go see Mary Louisa.  I did all my sparking in those ugly pants, but if I wanted to go anywhere of a Sunday her father loaned me his suit.  I know I must have been a hard looker, with no way to fix up much, but I tried to keep clean and I always seemed to look good to her." 
Price William and Mary Louisa Nelson were married on January 11, 1878 in the St. George Temple.

Price W. and Mary Louisa Nelson family before 1902

Price W. and Louisa had nine children together, two died while young. They lived in Arizona, the Mexican Colonies and Utah. Louisa died in Kanab, Utah on June 15, 1916. 

Price W. and Charlotte Annie Tanner Nelson
Price W. married into polygamy. He met Charlotte Annie Tanner in Arizona and they were married in the St. George temple on January 14, 1886. They had six children together with only one living.  Charlotte Annie lived in Arizona and the Mexican colonies but after a family journey to the United States in 1904 she did not return to Mexico with the family. She and her teenage son, Joseph stayed with her Father in Arizona. Charlotte Annie died in Eagar, Arizona on August 3, 1939.

Price W. and Mary Louisa moved to Utah after they were forced from their home by the Mexican war. They left all behind and had to start with nothing once again. Mary Louisa passed away just four years after leaving the Mexican colonies.
1918 group photo with Price W and Annie
one year after their wedding
After the passing of his wife, Louisa, Price W. married a third time on August 19, 1917 to Annie B. McCotter in Durham, North Carolina. She was a "mail-order" bride. When Price W. journeyed to North Carolina to get Annie it was during World War I and he had a hard time finding work. Many did not trust him because of the war and how he was different from those living there. He writes that he thought he would have no trouble in getting work. But it was a problem, although he did get some work in the cotton factory at a very small wage. He says, "It was in the time of World War and all strangers thought I was a spy. I looked so different to their own home people. After I was there some weeks, I took my grip [a small suitcase] and hiked out afoot and alone in the country, looking for work. I traveled, inquiring for work saw milling or working in the timber, but I was spotted as a spy and turned down everywhere I went in the country, looking for work."  (Apparently someone even called the sheriff on him.)
"It was still drizzling rain. I went to the highway and traveled on in the dark. I felt lonesome and outcast in the dark–a stranger in a strange land, 3,000 miles from home, and not a penny. I had come on a very sacred errand and I prayed for the protecting care of our good Father as I went on in the dark and rain. I continued to pray and I was directed to a lone farm house to one side of the wood. It was still raining. I never saw the house till I came right to it. I rapped on the porch floor and said, "Hello." The answer came back, "Hello, Mr. Nelson, come in." A man got up lit a lamp, opened the door, took me by the hand and said, "Come right in. I will fix you something to eat, then I will show you to a bed." He asked me no questions. I prayed and wept for joy for the answer to prayer; I was guided to a friend." 

 "I landed in North Carolina in June. In August we were married by one of the missionary elders. Then we had to remain there till December waiting for money from home. It finally came, and we landed in Salt Lake on the 13th of December, and on the 14th we went to the Temple and were sealed as husband and wife on the 14th of December 1917. 
Annie and Price William Nelson
Price W. and Annie were married for nearly 30 years until his passing. Annie apparently found Utah as different as Price found North Carolina. Annie continued to live St. George  and was known as Aunt Annie by his children and grandchildren. Annie died on February 7, 1958 in Provo, Utah.
Price William and five of his sons
Price William Nelson died on May 17, 1946 in St. George, Utah and is buried there beside two of his wives. He stayed true to the faith throughout his interesting and often difficult journey in this life.

Personal papers and records held by D. Larsen
"Biography of Price William Nelson" by his grandson, Rodney Nelson
"Lydia Ann Lake Nelson"  - as told to and written by her grandson, Joseph N. Brinkerhoff
"Claiborne Elder and the Courtship of Mary Louisa" - by Price Nelson
Phone interview with Rodney Nelson
Phone interview with Darlene Larsen

Monday, January 11, 2016

52 Ancestors: #12 Mariah Elizabeth Durfee Van Leuven 1852-1940

My husband's great grandmother was Mariah Durfee Van Leuven. She is the mother of his grandmother, Delila Alldredge.


Mariah was born to Jabez and Celestia Curtis Durfee in Springville, Utah on 31 March 1852. Mariah's father was called to help settle Cedar City, Utah when she was very young. The family lived a fort there at first because of problems with the Indians.  So Mariah's early years were spent in Cedar City - her father planted the first orchard in the area. Mariah's brother, Eliel died while they were in Cedar City. He was just 18 months old.
The Durfee family was released from their call to Cedar City and returned to Springville. On the journey home a storm hit the family and they lost all of their belongings. After several years of deprivations and hard work the family was able to get back on their feet. Mariah was always a great worker, helping her father like a man in the fields, hoeing cane corn and gathering it.  She helped him make delicious molasses
Mariah's father was later able to build a larger two-story brick home with a large orchard for the family on Main street in the south part of town. There was a large room upstairs where people from town put on plays and held dances.
Mariah's husband, Newman Van Leuven also grew up in Springville. They were married on November 7, 1870, in the Old Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Mariah and Newman spent the first five years of their marriage in Springville where their first three children were born.
In 1875 Mariah, Newman and their children moved to Willow Bend (now Aurora) in Sevier County, where they homesteaded 160 acres of land. They pioneered in that valley for 22 years.   Newman later named the town, Aurora.  Mariah's parents and some of her other family members also moved  to this new community.

Mariah's daughter, Delilah tells that "Mariah raised a bounteous garden, and chickens, geese, and sometimes turkeys.  Every six weeks she and her girls picked the geese and used the feathers for lovely feather beds and pillows.  They husked and shelled corn, and washed and carded wool for quilts.  They knitted socks and sweaters and hoods.  Mariah never let anything go to waste."
All through these struggling days she was active in the church.  She and her cousin were Relief Society teachers together for twenty years.  Their district at times was across the river two and a half miles.  They would take their children with them – pulling in an express wagon [holding] the ones who were too small to walk so far, and carrying their babies in their arms.  Mariah was always ready and willing to help her neighbors, often going two miles to help with a quilt. Newman and Mariah loved to dance the waltzes, the schottish and good old square dances, and could dance with any of them.
Mariah's husband took a plural wife in 1979. He married Adelaide Broadhead in polygamy. Ten years later he served 4 months in the penitentiary (from Oct. 10 1889 to 17, Feb. 1890), for living in polygamy.
In November 24, 1897 the family sold all in Aurora and left for Old Mexico, where it was pioneering and struggle and hard work all over again. Many other family members moved to this area where they could practice their religion freely. Newman's second wife did not go with them.
Mariah, Newman and family lived in different parts of Mexico the first two years. They finally settled in Morelos, Sonora which was a Mormon community. From the stories of those who lived there they worked hard but also had many good and happy times.
Newman had to go to Salt Lake City as he had bone cancer in his leg. He ended up having the leg removed to save his life.
Shortly after Newman left those remaining in Mexico had to leave their prosperous farms and home and move back to the United States because of the Mexican insurrection in 1912.  They just turned their cows, pigs, and chickens loose and left their homes and belongings. Mariah and her family left with very sad hearts. The family members moved around to get back on their feet again. They lived in Utah, Nevada and Arizona eventually settling out on the Arizona Strip at Mt. Trumbull in 1919 where their daughter Chloe (Bundy) lived.
Newman only lived six months at this new home. He was buried in the Mt. Trumbull cemetery on a hill near their homestead.  By 1921 several of Mariah's children and their families were living at Mt. Trumbull.
Mariah was very involved in the small community. She served as Relief Society president at Mt. Trumbull at age 75. She was known for her thrift and her fearless compliance to her faith. She endured many hardships as she helped to pioneer several new communities.

Mariah remained living in Mt. Trumbull surrounded by her children until 1936 when drought cased many of the family to move 60 miles north to St. George, Utah.
Mariah died March 13, 1940 at the home of her daughter, Delila in St. George and was buried next to her husband in the Mt. Trumbull cemetery.

She lived a most useful life of faithfulness and integrity, and was a wonderful mother to all her family.
Mariah's Funeral

Obituary for Mariah

I love this headstone. There is now a modern one also.

family records in possession of D. Larsen
Life History of Newman Van Leuven by his daughter, Delila Alldredge
History of Jabez Durfee and Celestia Curtis Durfee
Washington County News on Utah Digital Newspapers

Hulett's Landing

I was so excited to visit the hamlet of Hulett's Landing on the northeast side of Lake George while on our history trip in May 2013.  It's a beautiful area on the shore of the lake but away from the more tourist-y areas on the other side of the lake.

My 3rd Great Grandfather William Burgess Sr.'s brother, John C. Burgess and his family were early settlers of this area.

early tintype of John C. Burgess

 John C. Burgess was an early settler in the hamlet of Hulett's Landing. It is located on the east side of Lake George in Dresden township, Washington County, New York about 14 miles to the southwest of Putnam where his John C. lived in his youth. It is a heavily wooded, mountainous area and the lake was the main transportation at that time. There are many islands in Lake George including Burgess Island and Little Burgess Island both near Hulett's Landing. These islands are part of a state park and have campsites on them.

John C.'s son, Hiram was the township enumerator for the 1865 New York state census. He wrote the following about the area at that time:

Pleiades gravemarker
"This town is a very rough mountainous one, poor for farming, poor for anything, with neither town store or post office and we have to go from three to eleven miles to get our mail matter..."

John C. Burgess's first wife was Pleiades Brewster born 14 October 1788 in Becket, Windham, Connecticut. They were married in Pawlet, Rutland, Vermont on 15 October 1815. According to one source they had two daughters named Anna and Louisa. We do know that they had a son named John on 9 July 1821 just 20 days before Pleiades death on 29 July 1821 at age 32 most likely from childbirth complications.

John C.'s next married Achsah Christie Davis. She was listed as a widow so her maiden name is most likely Christie. There were Christie families in Washington county New York at that time. They had eight children.

John C.'s daughter, Emeline married Philander Hulett - the hamlet is named for the Hulett family who first settled there in 1804.

Andrew Burgess
John C.'s son Andrew Burgess was a photographer during the Civil War working with famous photographer, Matthew Brady. Andrew was even more famous for his inventions and patents for firearms. His folding shotgun was unique and is still sought after. The video below tells about the shotgun and  this link tells more about Andrew Burgess and his guns.

John C.'s other children also did well for themselves. Lewis was a merchant in Hague, a town on the west side of the lake. Others stayed in the area and some pioneered in the west. Lewis, Andrew and Emaline had winter homes in Florida. Emeline and Philander Hulett's home in St. Augustine is on the National Registor of historic places.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

52 Ancestors: #11 Newman Van Leuven 1848-1919

(I am going to try the 52 Ancestors challenge again this year. Last year I only got to number 10 but I'll do better this year... -cba)
Newman Van Leuven is my husband's great grandfather: Michael - Verl -Delila - Newman
Newman Van Leuven was born in Atcheson, County, Missouri on November 24, 1848.  He was the 13th child of Cornelius and Lovina Draper Van Leuven. His parents were living in Missouri after being forced from their homes in Illinois because of their religion. They lived in Missouri while working to get teams and supplies so they could join their fellow Saints in Salt Lake City. Newman's mother had 13 children of which he was the last. However only he and his two brothers, Dunham and Calvin, lived out of the thirteen.
Newman was still three years old when he journeyed across the plains with his family in the Robert Wimmer Company arriving in Salt Lake City on September 15, 1852. His family settled in Springville which is fifty miles south of Salt Lake City.
Newman received a good education for those times while growing up in Springville. He liked to wrestle, write poetry, and was a good carpenter. He became a school teacher. When Newman was 17 his pistol accidentally went off when he was riding a horse. He was hit in the leg above his ankle. He'd earlier hurt his knee while wrestling. These injuries bothered him for years.
Newman married Mariah Elizabeth Durfee on November 7, 1870 in the Endowment House in Salt
Lake City. They were both raised in Springville and had known each other since childhood. They made their home in Springville for the first five years of their marriage. Their first two children were born in Springville. In 1875 they moved to Willow Bend, Sevier County, Utah where he was postmaster and homesteaded 160 acres. He pioneered in that valley for 22 years. The town was later named, Aurora, by Newman. He and Mariah had seven more children while in Aurora. Sadly they lost their 3 year old son, Newman Franklin, when he accidentally drank lye.
Newman took a second wife as was the custom at that time. He married Adelaide Broadhead on 27 November 1879. They had five children. Ten years later he served four months in the penitentiary from October 10 1889 to February 17. 1890 for living in polygamy as he would not give up his family.
This is an 1889 picture of men in the penitentiarymconvicted of polygamy.
(I don't think Newman is in this photo.)
On November 24, 1897 Newman moved to Mexico with Mariah and their children. His second wife, Adelaide chose not to go with him. In Mexico it was pioneering and struggle and hard work all over again.  Newman sold his farm and home in Aurora and chartered a freight car to take the household goods and the animals, wagons and tools, and sent his son, Lafe along with the belongings.  The rest of the family went on the passenger train via Denver, Colorado to Demming, Texas.  At Demming, the wagons were fixed up and loaded with their belongings.  After a two week layover they got through customs at the border, where President Ivins met with them and assisted in getting them through the customs check.
They lived in different parts of Mexico the first two years, finally settling in Morelos, Sonora which was a Mormon community. They built a home; were flooded out; moved and built again. They worked hard to build a new life in Mexico. They were forced to leave with others by the leaders of the Mexican revolution.
Newman in 1898
In 1912 just before they had to leave Mexico, Newman had to go to Salt Lake to the hospital for his leg, he had carcinoma, or bone cancer and had to be operated on twice to prevent it from creeping into his blood system. They soon amputated and so he stayed in Salt Lake with his daughter, Lavina Ashby until late in 1914 when he came to Kaolin, Nevada where his wife and oldest son, Lafayette, had taken up some land and were trying to make a home. In late fall of 1916, Lafayette had Newman and Mariah come to Eureka, Utah where he had found work. They lived there until March 1919 when they came to Mt. Trumbull, Arizona where they made their final home.
Newman was a great sportsman.  He liked to hunt and fish.  He loved to play baseball and pitch horseshoes.  Until he lost one leg he went hunting with his boys.  He loved the gospel, and worked in it all through his life.  He was always jovial, making merriment wherever he was.  He believed that a good laugh was better than a dose of medicine. Newman and Mariah were hard-working pioneers who loved to dance when he was able to do so - square dancing, waltzes, the schottish.
Newman was always a source of inspiration to his family and all who knew him. Although he had only one leg and had to go on crutches, he certainly led an interesting and active life. He had been a carpenter by trade and made innumerable beautiful articles in the last years of his life. His hobby, however, was writing poetry.
Newman loved his Trumbull mountain home on the Arizona Strip. He was happy there and said that it would be his last home on earth. It was he who laid out the cemetery for Mt. Trumbull on a lovely knoll in one corner of his own homestead. Newman died at the age of seventy-one on October 14, 1919 and was the first to be laid in that cemetery. Up to the time of his death he was full of spirit and even with the loss of one eye and one leg he still did many interesting things – went to all socials and took part.  The last social gathering he went to was a wedding at which he gave two or three comic readings, keeping everyone laughing.  He lived only two weeks after that.

Newman always advised his children to keep their eyes, ears, and minds open, as there was something new and good to be learned every day.

Newman wrote poetry throughout his life. It was said he wrote a poem at the death of his son that I have not been able to find. Please let me know if you have a copy of that poem. Here are links to a couple of his poems: 
The Two Roads - Their Consequences by Newman Van Leuven
The Normal Class by Newman Van Leuven

Family records held by D. Larsen at this time.
A Brief History of Newman Van Leuven by his daughter, Delila Van Leuven Alldredge
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel website
Prisoner List - bottom of page