James William Siddoway
Contributor: keliemerson Created: 4 years ago Updated: 4 years ago
No history of Teton, Idaho is complete without extensive reference to James William Siddoway. In his death, the community lost one of its most valued and representative citizens. He is a man who contributed in marked measure to the development and up building of this section of the state and who, at all times, was upright and showed splendid characteristics. He commanded the respect and confidence of all those who knew him.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah on September 14, 1861, he was the first child of Robert and Emma (Jackson) Siddoway. They had come to America in about 1858 from their native country of England.
James William spent his youth in Salt Lake City pursuing his education. He remained with his parents until his marriage, devoting his time and attention to farming and the operations of a threshing machine near Salt Lake City continuing in business until he moved to Fremont County, Idaho in 1885.
He lived in a tent the first year he was in Teton. He engaged in the operation of a sawmill and later included manufacturing flour for several years. He preempted land and filed on land adjoining the town of Teton. He bought farm property from time to time and for many years continued the cultivation and improvement of his land. In partnership with his brother, (Frank or Amos) and his father-in-law, James Briggs, he organized the Teton Mercantile Company, which developed into a big concern. One of James’ grandsons remembers riding the derrick horse to pull the bricks up when the new Teton Merc was built where it still stood into the 21st century. James was the president of the Company until his death. He instituted a policy in the conduct of the business that led to its rapid growth. His business methods were ever of a most progressive character and his energy and industry brought him prominently to the front of everything that he undertook. He became engaged in sheep raising and was identified with the industry for about 18 years. During this period he was the president of the Wool Growers’ Association and president of the irrigation companies in effort to bring about modern day progress and improvement. His cooperation was sought in connection with every project for public good and it was well know that he carried forward to successful completion whatever he undertook. In his vocabulary there was no such word as “fail”. When one avenue of advancement seemed closed, he would carve out another path whereby he might reach the desired goal. At all times his activities and purpose measured up to the highest standards.
In March of 1886, he married Ruth Ann Briggs, a daughter of James and Caroline (Clark) Briggs who were natives of England. They came to America in early life, crossing the plains with one of the famous handcart companies. James’ father and his brother froze to death while on the way.
To this union were born eleven children: Emma, James Clarence, Caroline, Francis Robert, Kenneth William, Edith Caroline, Vera May, Clara Ruth, Ernest R., Lizzie, and Eva.
James and Ruth owned the first home to have a shingled roof in Teton. Neighbors all helped with the house. They hauled logs to Rexburg to have the shingles made. The men worked for $1.50 a day and boarded themselves. Later they had the first car in Teton, a Reo with curtains. They were the also the first to have a telephone.
James’ son, Ern, remembers the bobsled his father used to check on his four herds of sheep. He would heat a large rock and put it in the bottom to help keep warm. He would go to Tetonia and all over. He always had three or four hired men. Ruth cooked for the hired men most of her married life. James never expected his hired men to do things he wouldn’t do. Sam Schwendiman worked for him at one time and he taught Sam to speak English. When Sam died he lost the best friend he ever had. He was never too busy to take time out for his family. He never allowed his girls to work in the fields. They stayed at home with their mother and worked. Ern said he could never remember his parents ever having a quarrel or speaking a cross word to each other. James loved to fish and loved pretty flowers, quite often he would pick one and bring it in the house and put it in his wife’s hair.
James was the father of Teton and was recognized as a most influential factor in the ******** of the first ward meetinghouse in Teton for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was likewise largely instrumental in developing the water system for Teton. In addition to his interests, he carried on general farming for years and was the owner of two thousand acres at the time of his death.
James remained a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was a counselor to Bishop Jacob Johnston in Teton for fourteen years. His political endorsement was given to the Republican Party and he served as county commissioner of Fremont County for one term, was a member of the town board of Teton, and was chosen to represent his district in the State legislature. His official duties were discharged with the same thoroughness and fidelity that marked the conduct of his private business affairs. He remained throughout his life a good strong man—strong in his honor and his good name, strong in his ability to plan and perform. The sterling traits of his character established him high in public regard and his example should remain as a source of inspiration and encouragement to all who knew him. He died on September 9, 1917.
James Briggs Entry found in Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah by Frank Esshom (1913)
Contributor: keliemerson Created: 4 years ago Updated: 4 years ago
Briggs, James (son of John Briggs, born Feb 3, 1813 and Ruth Butterworth, born April 23, 1817, both of England) He was born Jan. 4, 1845. Came to Utah Nov. 30, 1856, Edward Martin Handcart Company.
Married Caroline Clark April 29, 1865, Salt Lake City (daughter of Benjamin Thomas Clark and Ann Schugar, former of Sugar House ward, Utah, pioneer Oct. 14, 1853, Cyrus H. Wheelock company, latter died in England). She was born April 28, 1845 and died March 23, 1909. Their children: John b. Aug. 3, 1866, m. Sarah Elizabeth Gillett Oct. 21, 1884; Ruth Ann b. March 19, 1869, m. James W. Siddoway March 11, 1886; James Lorenzo b. May 3, 1871, m. Mary Naylor June 1896; Benjamin Thomas b. Nov. 12, 1872, m. Charlotte Hawkins Dec. 14, 1898; Caroline Emma b. Nov. 26, 1874, m. George R. Trowbridge April 28, 1897; Clara b. June 11, 1877, m. Roy P. Anderson April 28, 1896; George Albert b. Feb. 14, 1879, m. Eva Blackford Sept. 5, 1906; Joseph Edward b. June 20, 1885, m. Isabella Weir July 30, 1905; Daniel Arthur b. April 7, 1888 Family home Sugar House ward, Salt Lake County.
Seventy; missionary to England 1882-98; president Manchester conference. Veteran Black Hawk Indian war. Died Feb. 15, 1905.