History of Ephraim Smith
Contributor: guthrm Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Ephraim Smith was born October 16, 1850 at West Bromwich, Safford, England to Susannah Harback and Thomas Smith, Ephraim was baptized December 28, 1866. He remarked to a friend “That’s the girl I am going to marry.” He did so a year and a half later on April 13, 1868. He and the girl, Elizabeth Hudson, daughter of Thomas and Lydia Wayne Hudson were married in England and this marriage was later solemnized in the Endowment House April 10, 1876. Their aim after they were married was to migrate to Utah.
Ephraim had very little schooling; in fact, he always said he never went to school after he was out of pinafores. He started carrying hod for the brick masons when he was seven years old. This way he learned the brick mason trade.
Ephraim and Elizabeth had three children when they left England, on borrowed money and what Ephraim could earn as an under steward on the boat. The children were Joseph born May 10, 1869, Hyrum born December 18, 1870 and Alma Ephraim born November 1, 1872.
Alma died on the train and Brother Elijah Box, a missionary who helped them leave England, took him off and attended to the funeral and burial in Logansport, Illinois on July 26, 1873.
The family arrived in Ogden in August 1873, Ephraim had 25 cents in his pocket and the boys saw a peach pie in the bakery window. They bought it and it was not very fresh, but the family was so hungry that they ate it anyway.
They were friends of Rozie Box, the wife of Elijah Box, and the daughter of Lorenzo Snow. Sister Box helped them to move to Brigham City, where they built their first home. Ephraim tried to find work and did anything he could to make a living, he even walked to Salt Lake City at one time, looking for any work he could get to feed his family. He was so covered with mosquito bites that he looked like he had smallpox when he got back to Brigham City.
Susan Elizabeth was born November 16, 1873 in Brigham City and a short time later they moved to Ogden. They built a home in Ogden where the courthouse is now. It had no floor and was without a door when they first moved into it. They hung a curtain at the door and slept on the dirt floor. The snow blew in and when they got up one morning, they could see by the tracks in the snow where a bear had been wandering around the cabin. Ephraim sold this place for ten dollars when they left Ogden.
In Ogden, he worked for script, which was paper money put out by the church. One could not get money for this script, but it could be used for groceries and clothing at the various stores. Then the church would redeem it from the various businesses. At one time, he built a brick wall around the estate of D. H. Peery. For this, he was paid only $1.25.
Susannah Elizabeth was born in Brigham City November 16, 1873 and died in Ogden January 20, 1881, of black diphtheria. She was buried in that city. When the family left Ogden, D. H. Peery bought the plot where Susannah was buried.
Ephraim and Elizabeth had three children while living in Ogden: Ephraim Harback born January 1, 1875, Nellie Louisa born December 20, 1877 and Silas Hudson born June 21, 1880. The family moved from Ogden to Murray. There, Aaron was born October 25, 1882. Right after Aaron was born, they moved to Granger. There, they ran a small store and post office for that area. Mannassah was born while they were living in Granger. He died February 1888 and was buried in West Jordan. They lived in Taylorsville at the time Trieste was born on March 28, 1887.
Ephraim moved to all these places after he left Ogden in order to build smelters. He did brick work in the buildings and in the furnaces. He read the blueprints, which was remarkable for a man with his limited education.
The family lived for a time in Great Falls, Montana. There Ida was born January 30, 1889, the first white child born in that city. Ephraim supervised the building of furnaces in the smelter in that city.
They moved back to Sandy when that job was completed and there, Wilford was born June 4, 1892. He died December 31, 1892 and was buried in Taylorsville. Pearl, the thirteenth child, was born in Granger September 11, 1894 and the family returned to Sandy just a short time later and Pearl was blessed there.
Ephraim was supervisor in the various smelters. He was instrumental in building. In this way, he made a very good salary.
The family built a beautiful brick home in Granger in 1892. It is at about 4200 West and 4100 South and is still standing, although it burned a number of years later and is now covered with stucco. They named their home Pleasant View Cottage. The family was living in Sandy at the time and Silas and Aaron hauled bricks and lumber from Sandy to Granger for this home.
It was the most beautiful and elaborate home in Granger, in fact, it is said to have been the most beautiful home west of the river. The house was built with two large bay windows on each side of the recessed porch. The front door opened into a large hall covered with red wallpaper and with an elegant red chandelier. This hall led straight through the house to a large dining room with a fireplace with an oak mantle to match the furnishings in the room. One side of the dining room was a large “buttry”, as pantries were called at the time. The east side opened onto a large porch that went the full length of the room. On the south, the dining room was connected by a hallway attached to the house and leading to a kitchen. This was a brick building by itself.
On each side of the hall from the front door were two large rooms, one was the master bedroom with a fireplace and the other was the living room with another fireplace. These fireplaces were very ornate. One of them had tile that showed a carriage drawn by four horses. They were all beautiful stone and marble. Some had pillars of Birdseye maple holding up the mantle. The other bedrooms were connected to these rooms and the dining room. They always had a hired girl to help in the keeping of this house.
The house was surrounded by beautiful, well-kept grounds with a circular driveway coming up to the front porch. They had a gardener to care for these grounds.
Ephraim was very meticulous in the things he did. His yard was arranged with everything exactly to plan. He planted an orchard and every way you looked, the trees were in an exact row with the same space each way.
All the outbuildings were made of brick. There was a brick granary south of the house. The well had a beautiful curbing of brick and stone, with a roof over it and a bucket and a rope.
The family left this home, but did not sell it and moved back to Sandy when Ephraim was brick mason foreman of the Sandy smelter.
In 1894, when he was a foreman at Sandy, Ephraim fell into a vat of hot matt. He jumped out and ran and fell into a stream of cold water that ran through the smelter yard. This set the matt into the burn on his body. He was very badly burned, but his wife kept his body soaked in olive oil. This healed the flesh and the matt was picked out of his body with tweezers by patient family and friends.
Ephraim built smelters in Old Mexico and El Paso, Texas. He and his wife moved to these places. He also built smelters in Great Falls, Montana, Leadville, Colorado, McGill, Nevada and all through Utah. He built and then worked as foreman at the Yampa smelter in Bingham. He supervised and he and some of his sons maintained the furnaces. He built a smelter in Arizona and Joseph, Silas, and Aaron and their families lived there until the smelter was built and the furnaces were underway.
Ephraim and Elizabeth lived for several years in Granger, at this time he worked at the Murray smelter as brick mason supervisor. Then, in about 1910 or 1911, they bought a home in Salt Lake City on Sherman Avenue between third and fourth east. This was a lovely home and he kept it and the grounds beautifully. A few years later, he bought a home on Harrison Avenue in the same general area. He later bought a house on thirteenth south, and another on third east and thirteenth south. These two were adjoining. He bought some property and lived for a time at 6400 South State Street.
Ephraim and Elizabeth lived in a great many places and always made a home wherever they were. They had thirteen children, four of them died at an early age, but they reared nine to maturity.
He was very strict and stern with all who were associated with him, his family and the men who worked under his supervision. He was also honest and upright and believed in honesty in all his dealings.
He could scarcely read and write when he came to this country, having quit school at an early age. He taught himself to read and write and to read blueprints. He also learned to read and write Spanish, in order to work with the Mexicans when he built a smelter there. The smelting company sent him to school for this purpose.
He worked as long as his health would permit, which was sometime in his seventies. He often said, “It is better to wear out than rust out.” In his later life, he kept up the yards and repairs in the various houses he owned.
Ephraim died October 12, 1928, leaving a large posterity and anyone who can call him Grandfather should feel greatly blessed and proud of their heritage.
Retyped and uploaded by Ephraim’s great, great granddaughter, Kristi Jackson (granddaughter of Lois McCormick).