Hyrum Ellis Jones
Contributor: cindykay1 Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Life of Hyrum Ellis Jones
Written by Isabelle L. Jones and read at the Jones Reunion
September 7th 1957 at St. George, Utah
Hyrum Ellis Jones was born October 11, 1867 at Beaver Dams, Arizona, to William Ellis and Martha Vaughan Jones. He was their fourth child. Their first two sons, Thomas Davis and William Vaughan, both died in infancy. His sister, Mary Amelia, was three and Grandfather fifty years of age when father Hyrum was born.
I would like to take a minute here and relate a few facts pertaining to Grandfather's interesting and rather eventful life. From childhood he was religiously inclined. He learned early in life the value of prayer and to read the bible. At the age of seventeen he joined a sect known as Independents, but was not satisfied with their doctrine so later affiliated himself with the Wesleyan Methodists. He preached their doctrine for four years, or until he heard the message of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, from the Mormon missionaries in 1840.
After attending Latter -day Saint meetings and investigation for more the six months, he accepted it and was baptized the 27 of June 1841. He states that he received a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel that day that remained with him throughout his life. The next year, on the 2nd of February 1842, he left his native land, his home and loved ones and sailed for America to join the main body of the Saints.
We, his posterity, can well appreciate the strength of his testimony which prompted him to come here; for he never again saw any of his family, he being the only one to join the church.
He arrived in Nauvoo, TIlinois, April 13, 1842. Having cast his lot with the Saints, he suffered with them all the hardships and trials in their exodus from Nauvoo and the long trek across the plains and pioneering a new home here in the west.
I mention these facts to show the background or home to which father Hyrum was welcomed almost ninety years ago. Any of the physical comforts he lacked as a child was more than compensated by the spiritual values he received.
On December 23, 1867, when he was scarcely more then two months old, his family, with others of that community, experienced a most terrifying and destructive flood that swept down the Beaver Dam wash, overflowing its banks and washing away several homes. The entire population vacated their homes and fled to the nearby hills, taking what belongings they could with them. Grandfather states in his journal that his home was not washed away, but left with one corner overhanging the river. Of course, this made it necessary to leave their home; and, when we consider this was in the middle of the winter, with a two-month old baby, we know it was indeed a very trying ordeal for
Them. Grandfather made a shanty from materials salvaged from his house, in which they spent the remainder of the winter.
In the spring the family moved back to Utah where they lived in several towns before settling permanently at Gunlock. Grandfather moved around to where he could find employment. He was a qualified schoolteacher, having received his education in Whales. He was also an expert brick maker-both of which were good vocations. However, school was only held a few months each year and everyone was so poor he could not pay much for his services. So it became necessary that Hyrum and his brother, Edwin, begin working while real young to help support the family.
As a young man he admired many young and attractive women, but it was the sweet and charming Nancy Jane Hunt to whom he gave his love and affection. They were married the 29th of November 1893 in the S1. George L.D.S. temple and sealed together for time and all eternity.
I have heard of my mother and others comment on what and exceptional handsome couple they were and of the love and consideration they always showed each other.
The early years of their marriage were happy, busy ones; building a home and providing for the needs of their children: Ellis, Clarence, Vaughn, Alvin and Joseph as they arrived.
During the winter of 1905-06 they lived in Pine Valley, Utah, where the winters were long and cold. It was at this time that mother Nancy's health became impaired. Her baby Joseph was born March 11th, 1906 but he lived only a few days then passed away. She did not regain her health after this pregnancy. Finally dad moved her to Gunlock to be near her mother, hoping that the warmer climate would be beneficial to her. However, she continued to become weaker and passed away on June 12th, 1906 in Gunlock, Utah.
I find words inadequate to describe the grief and sorrow this father and his sons suffered in the loss of their beloved wife and mother. She was not only a faithful Latter¬day Saint, but a refined and devoted wife and mother. This, however, was not the first time that dad had been called to part with loved ones by death, for his own mother died when he was only nine years old. Five years later his sister, Mary Amelia, passed away at the age of eighteen. Then in 1895 his sister, Dinah Ann, died while still a young woman, leaving a husband and two small sons. Within the next few years his father and grandmother also passed away.
The year following mother Nancy's death was a very difficult one for dad and the boys. It was necessary for him to be employed away from home most of the time, so the boys stayed with Grandma Hunt and other relatives.
The next August, August 7th 1907, dad married Mary Lois Truman Hunt, who also had four children. This provided to be a pretty good arrangement for it kept the boys
Together instead of being separated with living with the relatives as they had been doing most of the time after their mother's death. To this union came two more children: Jacob M. and Velma May.
Dad was always a hard working man and seldom had difficulty finding employment for he was strictly honest, dependable and congenial to work with. However, with the low wages and his large family to support, he had quite a struggle trying to get ahead financially.
I had always admired and respected dad for his family, but it was not until I became a member of the family after my marriage to his wonderful son Vaughn that I really got to know him and fully appreciate his sterling qualities.
I can think of no one who has kept and lived the great commandment given by the Savior, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, might, mind and strength and thy neighbor as thyself' more completely then he has.
He has always been a faithful and active member of the church, has held many positions of responsibility; always honored and magnified the Priesthood he holds, paid his tithing and other church obligations.
His council and advice is sought by both friends and relatives, and he has often been called to administer to the sick because of his great faith and humility. His words of understanding sympathy have brought comfort and consolation to many in time of trouble and sorrow.
He instilled in his sons all the fine principles and characteristics of noble manhood. The marvelous example of his own life was the finest and most impressive teacher they could have. All five of his sons were married in the Temple. Two have served as bishops, two are veterans of World War I and all are good, honest and capable men.
Several times during his later years his family met together on his birthday anniversary to honor him with a dinner.
On his 80th birthday Vaughn and I had an open house for him at our home. We cherish the memory of this occasion for he is always so appreciative of everything done for him that it is very heartwarming.
In August of this year dad and Aunt Mary celebrated their golden wedding. Open house was held for them by their children at the home of their daughter Beatrice Leavitt, in Gunlock. Many relatives and friends called to greet them during the day.
Since his family is grown and circumstances permit, he has spent part of each year working in the temple. He has officiated for hundreds of souls who had passed away without having had an opportunity to perform these ordinances for themselves.
A few years ago he became very ill and, although he has recovered his health, his failing eye-sight has kept him from continuing his work at the temple. Then, too, his aged wife's health is poor; so he spends most of his time with her, for they are very devoted to and dependent on each other.
At present they are living quietly in St. George enjoying the warmth of Dixie sunshine.
In one month and four days he will have received another milestone in his life: his 90th birthday and anniversary.
He still enjoys attending church services and taking his daily walks. His mind is clear and keen, his health is fair-and he has that same pleasant smile that has endeared him to all of us.
May he continue to enjoy the fruits of a life well lived and find joy and rejoicing in his posterity.
"That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better then he found it; who looked for
The best in others and gave the best he had."
Robert Louis Stevenson
Hyrum Ellis Jones
Contributor: cindykay1 Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Hyrum Ellis Jones
Son of William Ellis Jones
(Dessie Jones Reber gave her kids this writing of her Uncle)
In 1867 a small group of Southern Utah Pioneers were called to settle the Beaver Dam Arizona area. It was here, on October 11, 1867 that Hyrum Ellis Jones was born to William Ellis and Martha Vaughan Jones. Beaver Dam was then thought to be in Utah but later surveys showed that it was in Arizona. A large flood came through soon after and much of the farm land was lost.
As a child, Hyrum lived in Clover Valley, Santa Clara, Leeds and Hebron. It was in Hebron when he was nine years old that his mother suffered a fatal case of pneumonia. His grandmother, Dinah Davies Vaughn, then moved from Salt Lake City to Southern Utah to help William care for the children. She was a trained doctor of her day and continued to earn a living by caring for the sick. Hyrum and his brothers Edwin and James learned early to work. Their sisters Mary, Amelia and Dinah Ann helped the grandmother keep house.
Hyrum earned the reputation of being a hard worker and was well known for his “Fast Axe”. His son, Vaughn, stated that he marveled at the number of cedar posts his father could cut in a day.
Along with farming he carried the mail, freighted and often worked for B.J. Lund and Bishop Franklin Holt. He liked animals and worked with horses. He never owned a car or learned to drive, however, he enjoyed walking throughout his life.
In 1893, he and Nancy Jane Hunt were married in the St. George Temple. They were blessed with five sons: Ellis Wilson, Clarence Amos, William Vaughn, Alfred Alvin and Joseph Allen.
Joseph Allen was born in March 1906, in Pine Valley, and lived only a few hours and was buried in the Pine Valley Cemetery. It had been an extremely cold winter and Nancy had developed a terrible cough. When she did not improve, she was moved to Gunlock where she died on June 12, 1906 and where she was buried. Consumption was her problem and would now be known as TB.
This was not the first or the last tragedy to Hyrum’s life. Besides the death of his mother at age 37, both his sisters died young; Mary Amelia at age 18 and Dinah Ann at age 22. Two brothers had died in infancy, and then the loss of his beautiful 29 year old wife was almost more than he could bear. Through his immense faith and the need to care for his sons he was able to go on.
He was a deeply spiritual man and was often asked to bless the sick. His son, Vaughn, reported that as a young Elder he sometimes accompanied his father, and as they were leaving his father would tell him if the patient would recover or not. He was so in tune with the spirit that he was given this knowledge.