History of John Shelley
Contributor: Keirgan Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
HISTORY OF JOHN SHELLEY
John Shelley was born the 28th of May, 1831 and was christened the 19 of June, 1831 in Farmcote, Shropshire County, England. He was the fifth child born to James Boyer and Elizabeth Bray Shelley.
When John was about seventeen years of age missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints contacted the Shelley family and taught them the message of the gospel. They soon felt that it was the true Church. On December 2, 1848, his Mother and Brother, Thomas, was baptized members of that Church. A few days later on December 19, 1848 John was baptized.
The family often talked about America, where the Church was organized. Families were encouraged to go to that country and join with the Saints in the Rocky Mountains. After many discussions with missionaries and others about the valleys they decided that they would like to be with the Saints and so for a time made preparations to make a new home in America.
The entire family, except Martha, decided to go, but it was a very serious consideration for John as he was in his twentieth year and had become acquainted with some fine and attractive young ladies in his native land. There were many uncertainties in the new adventure. It was certainly a challenge for a boy of his age. After much though and consideration he decided to go with the family.
Two months travel by ship across the ocean was a thrill and yet at times a bore to the lad. It was a joy to him when he again put his feet on land at New Orleans, but it was only a few days until the family proceeded by steamer up the Mississippi River. Thing were going well and they felt that they were proceeding well towards their destination. Then came the sorrowful event. His Mother was drowned in the River as she attempted to draw a bucket of water from the stream. It was a great sorrow to John that he was a well-grown man and yet could do nothing to rescue her. He missed his mother so very much for he had had great confidence in the help she would be able to give him in getting adjusted to the new land and the unknown people. The love of his father and the faith that Our Heavenly Father could and would always be near gave him hope as they traveled on.
From St. Louis, the family, except for William and his wife and children, started across the plains. This was a strenuous and often difficult journey, but John was especially intrigued with the Indians. He was very much interested in their dress, way of life, and living conditions. His keen observance of them made him capable of telling a great many things about them in later years. He was good storyteller throughout his life. He loved to gather people around, especially children, and relate experiences and fanciful stories to them. He would often hold them in breathless suspense as he told story after story.
The family reached Salt Lake on the 3rd of October, 1851. On the recommendation of Brigham Young, John, with his father and brothers, James and Joseph, and sister, Sarah went to Lake City (American Fork) to live. They arrived there October 25, 1851.
John spent a great deal of time helping with the family sawmill, which was a very great asset to the community. This industry required a great deal of physical work, but because of John's age and strength he was a genuine help.
On January 1, 1865, he married Ellen Gibson. She was born on the 6th of November, 1847, in Donaghadee, Down, Ireland to William and Elizabeth Kennedy Gibson.
Five daughters were born to them, Elizabeth, Alice Jane, Mary Ellen, Isabel Voila, and Malinda.
John died on the 5th of April 1903, in American Fork. Ellen died December 1, 1926 in American Fork, Utah.
This material was taken form family group sheets, and facts given by family members.