BIOGRAPHY OF JAMES WILLIAM WILSON
Contributor: ashlin2008 Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
James William Wilson was born 28 November 1862 in Mount Pleasant, Sanpete, Utah Territory to George Deliverance and Martha Ann Riste Wilson. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 5 October 1871 at the age of 8.
His mother, Martha Ann Riste, was born in Derby, Derbyshire, England on 23 September 1840 to James Thomas and Mary Riste. James was a bricklayer. Mary’s father, John Richards was very much opposed to her marriage to James because ofhis financial setting. John was a very rich man. She also had two brothers,James, who died at the age of 21, Hyrum, and two sisters, Myrah and Lavina.
When the Mormon missionaries went to England they met and converted James and Mary and the two girls. Martha Ann was baptized 13 February 1852. Martha was a beautiful singer and sang for Queen Victoria in England. She would sing at many of the meetings which the Mormon Elders arranged.
His grandfather, John Richards tried to get Mary and James to forsake their religion and stay in their native land, but James Thomas came to America in 1853 on the ship Falcon and worked to send money to bring his family. He settled in Santaquin, Utah, Utah Territory. During the year, before they sailed to America, Mary’s father died. Mary went to the house the day the will was read. The will stated, “if Mary would give up her religion and stay in England that she would have half the estate.” Mary listened as the lawyer read the will. Everyone waited for her answer. Finally she jumped to her feet and cried,“Let my father keep his money. I’m going to America.”
His grandmother, Mary, with her daughters Lavina and Martha Ann, worked to help earn their money for their trip to America. They sailed on the ship Juventa and arrived in the New York harbor some time in 1855 after some stormy six weeks on the ocean. The captain said it was the worst storm he had ever seen and if it had not been for the Mormons and their prayers, the ship surely would have gone down. During the trip, Martha Ann fell, striking her back on a large pole. She spent the rest of her voyage in bed.
They headed west after their arrival. They were in the Milo Andrus Company,leaving 4 August 1855 from the outfitting area of Mormon Grove, Kansas, which was near Atchison. They came to Utah with the assistance of the Perpetual Emigration Fund. There were 461 individuals in the company. They were the last company to head west for the season. Captain Andrus wrote in his journal that they had a “scanty number of experienced men which caused a great burden on him.” They were also lacking broke cattle and drivers.
His mother, Martha told how they had to tie a rope around her mother’s waist and then to the back of the wagon when they crossed the Mississippi and other large rivers to keep them from being washed away and drowned. Lavina and Martha Ann walked all the way across the plains to Utah. They would walk each day and pick up buffalo chips and carry them in their big aprons to burn on the fire at night. Martha was often asked by the group to sing her inspiring songs at night around the campfire. The company was unable to go on when they reached the Green River and waited for help from Salt Lake because most of the men, women, and children were almost barefoot and destitute of clothing. They crossed the Sweetwater River on October 4, 1855 with three inches of snow on the ground and it snowed hard all that day. They arrived in the Salt Lake valley on 24 October 1855. Mary and thetwo girls had to travel to Santaquin after reaching the valley because that’s where James was living.
His mother, Martha Ann, married George Deliverance Wilson on 21 September 1856 inthe Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah Territory. George was born 28 December 1807 in Shelburne, Chittenden, Vermont to Deliverance Jr. and Lovina Fairchild Wilson. He had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 1 August 1834 at the age of 26, being baptized by Oliver Cowdery. He was ordained a Seventy in August 1836 by Lyman Sherman.
His father George Deliverance, married Mary Ellen Johnson on 7 February 1842 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. They had two boys. Mary Ellen died giving birth to the youngest, who also died. He asked his mother-in-law, Julia Hills Johnson to care for his only living child. He came with the Uriah Curtis Company in 1852. He was a member of the Mormon Battalion and ended up with the sick detachment to Pueblo,Colorado. The child was still with his in-laws when they got to Utah. He took his son David to live with him in a house that he and two other men had secured to live in and there he and David lived for some time. He was 48 years old when he married Martha Ann. She was just 16.
George Deliverance was a Mill Wright and helped to build up southern Utah. He built mills and sawed timber for homes all through southern Utah. To this union were eleven children born, plus David Johnson Wilson born 7 June 1843 to George Deliverance and Mary Ellen. He was a half-brother to the eleven. Mary was born 6 May 1857 in Santaquin, Utah, Utah Territory; George Hyrum was born 4 October 1858 also in Santaquin. From there they moved to Mount Pleasant, Sanpete, Utah Territory. Martha Ann was born 29 July 1860 and James William was born 28 November 1862. Joseph Dill was born 12 December 1864 in Monroe, Sevier, Utah Territory.
Jesse Stephen was born 1 August 1867 in Scipio, Millard, Utah Territory. Levinah Emeline was born 14 April 1870 in Overton, Lincoln, Nevada; Davis Israel was born 31 August 1872 in Panguitch,Garfield, Utah Territory. The last three children were born in Hillsdale, Garfield, Utah Territory. John Thomas was born 7 April 1876; Sarah Ann was born 31 May 1878; and Elen Almira was born 6 April 1880.
At one point his mother had become very weary of moving so many times. She felt she could not continue any longer. When her husband talked of moving she stormed back at him, “George, if you go, you’ll go alone for I shan’t go with you. I’m not a goin’ to pick up an’ leave our ‘ome and drag our children off in the back woods again.” He said nothing, but continued to pack. She told him again she wouldn’t go. He packed up the wagons and came into the house and started gathering up his clothes and personal belongings. She watched him sadly, convinced he would go it alone then said, “George ‘ave you got a good place fixed for my box?” And they were off again.
Whe nGeorge was 79 years old, he passed away early in the morning on 18 October 1887. He got the children up to start working, then sat down in his chair to read the scriptures and slipped away,leaving Martha with nine children still in the home to finish raising them alone. George was buried 20 October 1887 in the Hillsdale Cemetery, Garfield, Utah Territory. Martha Ann died 8 October 1915 in Hillsdale, Garfield,Utah at the age of 76. She was buried 10 October 1915 in the Hillsdale Cemetery.
James Willia mmarried Lydia Annie or “Lil”Johnson on 12 June 1889 in the Manti Temple, Manti, Utah Territory at the age of 26. Lydia Annie was born 13 September 1868 in Toquerville, Washington, Utah Territory to Seth Guernsey and Lydia Ann Smith Johnson Sr. She was baptized into the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1876 at the age of eight. She was endowed 11 December 1885 in the St. George Temple at the age of 17. She was 20 when she married James William.
They had eight children, four girls and four boys, all born in Hillsdale, Garfield, Utahexcept for the last child. William Alma was born 19 January 1890; Levina was born 8 November 1891; Lydia Eva was born20 October 1895; Martha Annie was born 3 August 1897; Mary Myrtle was born 7July 1899; George Junius was born 26 August 1901; Joel Arthur was born 4 September 1903; and Joseph Hyrum was born 23 February 1907 in Panguitch,Garfield, Utah.
James died 30 July 1907 in Panguitch, Garfield, Utah at the age of 44, just five months after the birth of their last child. He was buried 1 August 1907 in the Hillsdale Cemetery, Hillsdale,Garfield, Utah. Lydia died 23 January 1958 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah at the age of 89 and was buried 28 January 1958 in the Hilsdale Cemetery, Hillsdale, Garfield, Utah