Biography of George STAPLES
Contributor: Ted L Jensen Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
(From his own Biography)
William Staples, a son of George and Laurette Rappleye Staples, was born in Rockville, Washington County, Utah, Dec. 25, 1866. His father George Staples was sent to Southern Utah to make peace with the Indians, because of his ability to appeal to the Indians. He believed as Brigham Young said, “That it is cheaper to feed the Indians than to fight them”.
The Indians came often to the Staples home to be fed, and since George was born he had been a favorite with these Indian Braves. He had been held on their laps (which meant on their bare legs, much to the distress of George’s mother.)
The George staples family decided to move from Rockville to Kanosh, when William was just six years old. The Indians gave him a bow with twelve brightly painted arrows as a going away present, this was considered by them as the finest present they could make for a little boy.
The family only stayed in Kanosh a few years, then moved over the mountain to Sevier County where William got a job herding cows along the Sevier river. He was very fond of riding wild horses and rode one until he had trained it, but continually changed tame horses for wild ones, which continually worried his mother.
While herding cows he learned to use a rifle, and could shoot the wild geese which few over the slews. He often watched Captain Ace Holley train his Cavalry of troops. One day William asked Captain Holly if he could join the troops and in a jocular way Captain Holly answered, “If you parents are willing you may”, and jokingly he added, “You are an expert with a horse and rifle”. William was only twelve years old. Thinking to discourage William, Captain Holly explained, “You see, Will, you have to furnish your own horse and rifle”, but William had his own horse and had spent his cow-herding money for a rifle. The father agreed to let William join, and Captain Holly let him train each day until school began in the fall. Strange to say, William was first in line when the orders were given, since he had the fastest horse, and was afraid of nothing.
When Will was fifteen years old the family moved to Arizona. It was Will’s job to drive a herd of twenty-five wild horses, on a cut-off trail ahead of the family, then when he got to a certain camping place, come back and help his ten year old brother drive the cattle to that same camping ground, as they moved much more slowly than did the horses.
While on the way to Arizona, Will caught up with a man driving wild horses through Clear Creek Canyon. The road was full of big rocks covered with ice and the man had lost control of his horses. Will soon rounded them up and had them in a corral in just a short time. The man was amazed at the skill of this fifteen-year old boy in handling his riding pony over those icy boulders. He said he expected the horse to fall any minute and kill the boy, while the boy was perfectly at ease during this difficult task. Will worried his mother terrible, because she knew he would try anything, especially if no one else dared to do it.
They lived on a forty-acre farm and owned another farm of 160 acres. Will helped his father manage the farms. He also mowed hay by the acre for other farmers. After about five years in Arizona, the Staples family, along with many other families decided to move back to Utah. The Staples family moved to Elsinore in Sevier County.
When they arrived in Clear Creek, on their way back to Utah, they stayed overnight with Louise, an older sister of Will, and here Will met Mary Ella Crane who was working for Louise. Mary Ellen and William staples were married Dec. 30, 1887. Will took a load of grain and flour to a mining camp and sold it. Came back and leased a farm and some cattle and began farming. On Nov. 10, 1888 a baby boy whom thy named William Ray was born to Will and Mary Ellen. In a short time Will and Mary Ellen moved to Kanosh where the rest of their children were born. Grant Devere, born Dec. 11, 1890; Owen Crane, born June 2, 1899; Harold A., born Sept. 16, 1902.
Mary Ellen was made President of the Primary of Kanosh, then Stake President of the Millard Stake Primary. Later she served as President of the Relief Society, President of the Daughters of the Pioneers, and Chairman of the Red Cross. Will was set apart as President of the Young Men’s Mutual Association where he served for several years. He also became County Road Supervisor. In 1898, Will was called to serve a mission in the Southern States. Shortly after Will left for his mission, May Ellen gave birth to a baby boy, whom they named Owen Crane.
When Will returned from his very successful mission, he was made Superintendent of the Sunday School. He was also elected a member of the Town Council, and served for eight years. While on the Council the town installed a new water system. They could not bond the town for as much as the water system cost, therefore the Councilmen signed notes to borrow enough money to finish installing the water system.
He was also made Chairman of the Old Folks Committee, and later set apart as a Stake High Councilman.
Will took many contracts to resurface State Roads and County Roads. In this way he made enough money to send his boys on missions. On April 24, 1943, Mary Ella, wife of William, was taken in death, leaving a loving and very sorrowful husband. William died October 21, 1952 and is buried in the Kanosh Cemetery beside his beloved wife.
Biography obtained from the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Fillmore, Utah, Territorial Statehouse Museum.