The Life Story of Daniel Jones
Contributor: MargieW Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Daniel Jones was one of the earliest settlers of South State Street, Salt Lake County, Utah (now East Midvale Ward). He was born July 9, 1840 at Cardigan Shire, South Wales, a son of John Jones and Sarah Davis. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints April 26, 1862 by Elder James Goff. Mr. Jones was then in his 22nd year. He left his native land the same day on a sailing vessel in route to America. He arrived in Salt Lake City on October 4, 1862. He remained in the city only a few days, then he went to East Millcreek to live with the family of John Davis, where he soon was engaged in cutting and hauling timber for building and fuel, from the nearby canyons, using ox teams for that purpose.
While living at the Davis home, Daniel met a young English lassie by the name of Sarah Newman. She, too, was a convert to the LDS church. She was born December 20, 1840, at Wiltshire, England, a daughter of William and Mary Newman. On being converted by the LDS missionaries, she left her native land and her parents and all to come to Utah and join the saints in Zion. On May 24, 1864, she became the wife of Daniel Jones. The marriage took place in the Salt Lake Endowment House. They were very happy together, and they continued their residence at East Millcreek for about three years.
Daniel Jones was one of the first men to haul rocks for the Salt Lake Temple. He hauled them by ox team from the quarry in Little Cottonwood Canyon to Salt Lake City, making two or three trips each week.
In the spring of 1867, they took up their abode on South State Street, which is now 7500 South State Street. They lived in a covered wagon box while he hauled logs form the canyon to build a large log room, which was very comfortable. He dug a well, built a barn, a corral, fenced his land and planted shade trees around his farm. He beautified his home and farm with pigs, chickens, hay and grain. Daniel Jones was the first man in Utah to import and plant alfalfa seed, which he imported from his native land at a fabulous price. He was reprimanded and ridiculed by all who heard about it. People said that he was “only planting another noxious weed, which would cause more pests and would have to be exterminated.” But Brother Jones was very courageous and undaunted. He energetically planted and harvested the crops, which proved to be a great blessing to many of the settlers. He engaged in farming, stock raising, poultry and many other industrial activities in the early days, with more than average ability. He homesteaded land for himself and several of his neighbors when the Patent was received from the US Government; he let each neighbor have the land they had previously settled on and each man paid his share of the homestead expense.
Daniel Jones was widely known and highly respected as a good neighbor, successful farmer, good Latter-day Saint, and an honest tithe payer. He always paid the tenth row of everything in the field for tithing; also the tenth animal, tenth pound of butter, eggs, money, work and everything he possessed. His barns and granaries were always filled with at least three years supply ahead for emergency.
Brother Jones and his wife, Sarah, were the best of good neighbors. For many years, there were only three families between Salt Lake City and Dry Creek (now Cresent):
1. Ebenezer Thayne, at what is now Union Avenue and State Street, came about the year 1861, west side of State Street.
2. Charles Sharp, who came in the Spring of 1865 and settled on the west side of State Street. Now 7594 South State Street.
3. Daniel Jones came in the spring of 1867 and settled on the east side of State Street, now 7500 South State Street.
Times were hard; money, food and clothing very scarce, clothing had to be spun and woven at home or hauled across the plains by teams, as the railroad was not yet across the country to the Rockies. Mrs. Sarah Jones had enough cloth for a cotton dress. Mrs. Ann Sharp had enough cloth for a tight-fitting basque. Sarah was taller and Ann was a little fleshier in stature, but each half dress was made so either could wear it. If Mrs. Jones went to the city, she borrowed Mrs. Sharp’s basque; if Mrs. Sharp went to meeting, she borrowed Mrs. Jones skirt. They also did their laundry, borrowing and lending. Sarah had a washboard and a flat iron. Ann had a washtub. Each shared with the other for several years. They shared each other’s joys and sorrows better than most sisters; one always welcome to anything the other had. They were always the truest friends and neighbors throughout life.
Daniel Jones filled a two-year mission to Wales in the years 1874-1875. While Dan was on his mission to his native land, he met a family by the name of Evans, who had grown children, a son and two daughters—Charles, Joyce, and Jane. The three young people joined the LDS church, left Wales, and immigrated to Salt Lake City. They lived at Millcreek until October 2, 1876, at which time Ellen Joyce Evans became the second wife of Daniel Jones in the Salt Lake Endowment House. Charles and Jane then made their home at the Jones’ until they also married. Jane married Robert Walters. Charles married Esther Sharp.
The marriage of Dan and Joyce brought much joy to Sarah, as well as to Joyce. Sarah was not blessed with motherhood, but she always loved children. Joyce and Sarah loved each other very dearly and Sarah loved each new baby as her own and nursed it just as tenderly. The log homes built by Dan and Sarah were soon replaced by a more spacious brick one containing six rooms (two apartments). Here they lived happily and the family increased. The second child, Ann, died at about five years of age of diphtheria, but the other two then living escaped, or at least recovered.
This was about the time their trouble began. A band of ruffians came to Utah and began to persecute every family they found living in polygamy, many times going to homes of the saints by day or by night, arresting the man and having him torn from his family, prosecuted and sent to prison, where he must pay $300 and serve six months as a criminal on a diet of bread and water, while his family suffered because of his absence and his support, just because they were living as God had commanded them.
Many times Joyce and her small children were forced to flee to shelter at the home of some distant neighbor, or sometimes to Lehi or Provo City to keep Dan from being taken by the would-be, pretended officers of the law. One time, she went to New Mexico and stayed for quite a long time, but she remained true to her family and the religion she believed. She bore ten children: Sarah Ellen, Ann, Daniel, Mary Jane, Mabel, Elizabeth Joyce, Owen John, Evan Arthur, Leonard Thomas and David Charles, eight of whom are living at the time of this writing (1959).
Finally, Daniel Jones was arrested and, like the rest, was incarcerated in the State Penitentiary for the full term of imprisonment and paid the full cash penalty. After his arrest, Joyce and the children returned home, where she assisted Sarah in running the farm with the help of a hired man. Sarah was a very capable manager of farm and finance. The farm produced vegetables, fruit, butter and eggs, which were carefully taken care of through the week and were taken to regular customers in Salt Lake City each and every week on Saturday by team and wagon, regardless of weather or other unavoidable conditions.
After Mr. Jones was released from prison, he built another two-room brick house north of the family home for Sarah to occupy, leaving the larger one for Joyce and her then large family.
The Jones family always attended Sacrament meetings regularly, tended their animals regularly, three times each day, including driving all horses and cows to the ditch twice daily for water. They were very prosperous and happy as a family and generous with their neighbors.
Sarah caught cold on Sunday while going to a Stake Conference in a white top buggy on a stormy day, contracted pneumonia and died a few days later. She was buried on May 10, 1902 in Murray City Cemetery.
After the death of Sarah, Daniel and Joyce carried on with the farm for some years and reared nine of the children to maturity. When Daniel’s health failed, most of the children were married and he and Joyce spent their few remaining years with their children in Sandy, Utah.
Daniel Jones died at the age of 86 years, 9 months and 20 days and was buried in Murray City Cemetery May 3, 1927. Joyce lived to the age of 71 and was buried May 19, 1929. All are buried in Murray City Cemetery, Block 1, Lot 5.
Written by Mrs. Ada Pate,
A lifelong friend and nearest neighbor
Presented at Daughters of Utah Pioneer – Highlanders Camp
By Mary Jo Hansen, a great granddaughter
Retyped and uploaded by Daniel’s great great granddaughter, Kristi Jackson (granddaughter of Lois McCormick).