Stephen Shingleton Life History
Contributor: koand Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Stephen Shingleton was born March 10, 1826, at Mulsford, Bershire, England. The greater part of his childhood, he lived with his grandparents. When about 15 years old, some young lady was so much in love with him, she would walk 20 miles to see him. When 19 years old, he married Elizabeth Roth, who bore him with four children, Harry, Richard, Ester, and Stephen. She was a very delicate woman, finally becoming an invalid some time in her 60s. She heard of the Latter-Day Saints Gospel preached, she joined the church, later Stephen joined and was baptized by Brother Keep. Stephen was a very large man being 6 ft. 3 in. in his stocking feet and weighting 250 pds., while Bro. Keep was not more than 5 ft. and very small. It was a funny sight to see such a small man baptizing such a large man. In later years, people had quite a laugh about it. Mr. Keep lived to be 94 years old and had little white curls around his head. He was so deaf, he could not hear the Tabernacle Organ when standing at the side of it. He used to visit Stephen at home in later years.
After Stephen joined the church he was a local preacher and would stand on the corner and sing and preach. He had a very strong voice and would attract people's attention by his singing. He was an employee of the Great Western Railway in England for 20 years, and was quite well-to-do before coming to Utah, May 23, 1866.
Stephen, when 40 years old, with his wife and four children, also a niece, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, on board the ship American Congress which left England May 23, 1866 with 350 Saints aboard. The Saints were under the direction of John Nicholson. The vessel was a sailing vessel and took six weeks to cross the ocean, and it was a terrible trip, too much for the delicate wife. The ship arrived at New York City July fourth and the emigrants reached Wyoming Nebraska, the outfitting place for crossing the plains July fourteenth. Just as Stephen and family arrived at New York, his wife Elizabeth died, and he had to go on, to cross the plains with his motherless children. He had to leave the casket on the station platform not being able to see her buried, which was a terrible trial all his life.
On July 19, under the Captaincy of John D. Holladay, Stephen and family left Wyoming, Neb., with the ox team emigrating Saints and arrived in Salt Lake City, September 25, 1866, just being 4 months on the trip. Shortly after arriving in Salt Lake City, Stephen met Maria Embling, a young woman whom he had met a few times in England, at the railroad station. They had known each other very well in England. They were married in the Endowment House, and Phil Margetts, the veteran actor, gave a little reception for them at his home. They rented one of his rooms for a little while, and had a table, and a few boxes for furniture. They were always great friends of Phil Margetts and family.
Stephen and Maria purchased quite a large piece of land on the corner of sixth West and Second North Street. They built a small four room house for which Maria took in washing to pay for their home. They had a four hole stove for which they paid $90, four chairs, kitchen chairs which were $5 a piece, matches 50 cents a box.
Times were very hard, sometimes they had scarcely enough to eat and after being so well to do in England, Stephen and sons would go out with blankets on their backs and find work. One time Maria had nothing in the house to feed the hungry men. So she chopped up some candles and made a suet pudding. Candles those days were made out of mutton suet. When the men saw the pudding they could not guess where she had gotten suet, but finally guessed.
One time Stephen, Maria, and daughter Ester went to Promontory Point where tracks for railroad were being laid. He saw Chinamen. They were 20 miles from any one but Chinamen, and Stephen carried a scare to his grave where one had struck him. Stephen was also a railroad man in Ogden where they lived for a while. They then came to Salt Lake, where he was section boss in laying the Denver Rio Grande railroad tracks.
They then opened a store on Second South, between State and Second East, where the Old Hippodrome theatre was.They did pretty good, so moved their goods to the living room of their home, and had their store there, on the corner of Second North and Sixth West, where the store is still standing today, after 54 years. About 1890, they built a large store on the same corner. In 1894 or '95, through giving so much credit they had to assign, but soon opened up larger and better than ever. The worry had been too much for Stephen, and he passed to his reward on September 2, 1896. He was 70 years old and still faithful and true to the Gospel after many hardships and trials.
A son, Isaac, and a daughter, Louisa, had been born to Stephen and Maria.
In the early days of pioneering, Fast Day was held on the first Thursday in the month. People left their work and fasted, to go to meeting.
Stephen most always bore his testimony and made the building ring with his strong voice. He lived to sit in the door, and sing the songs of Zion. He never went to school a day in his life yet could read anything.