Biography of Ann Thompson
Contributor: Tyler Created: 4 months ago Updated: 4 months ago
Biography of Ann Thompson by Verla Wilkes, great-granddaughter
Ann Thompson birth certificate from Somerset House shows birth registration as Ann. 1850 Census in London, England, lists her as Agnes. The family regularly refer to her as "Annie Penelope" and in later life she was affectionately known as "Aunt Annie."
Ann "Annie Penelope" Thompson was born in London, Middlesex, England, the sixth child and fourth daughter in a family of twelve. Her parents were Joseph Lewis and Penelope Thompson Thompson.
As soon as possible after her father came to Providence, Rhode Island, he brought other members of the family to America. The two oldest, Susannah and Henry, with Jane, age 9, and Ann, age 7, set sail on the ship "Robenia". Ann was a beautiful child, being younger and without her mother, she was watched over well by the sailors aboard. She remembered them teaching her to climb a rope ladder which they made for her. The children spent their time playing games and watching the waves. They landed in New York 21 May 1855, and were soon happily reunited with their father, who was now a foreman for Gorham and Sons. It was a happy day when later that same year the rest of the family joined them in Providence.
The next seven years were happy growing years for her. What schooling she received was in Providence. There was still the desire to join the Saints in Utah, and the family was planning to do this.
Annie was in Rhode Island when Abraham Lincoln was running for President of the United States of America, and was privileged to watch the boat race up Narragansett Bay between Lincoln and his political opponent. Lincoln won the race.
She, together with her parents, came to Utah with the John R. Murdock Company. The trip across the plains was not an easy one for a young girl. She helped care for the baby and younger children. The boys would hold onto her skirts as she walked. Her legs ached at night. There was singing and dancing around the campfire in the evening to revive their spirits after the day's trek. The company arrived in Utah September 27, 1862.
The family moved to Clarkston, Cache County, Utah, where they made the family home. While here Annie met James Israel Clark whose father helped settle the area and for whom Clarkston was named.
Annie married James Israel in Clarkston on February 11, 1866. They were sealed in the Endowment HOuse on 20 December 1867, by Heber C. Kimball with T. Taylor and W. W. Phelps as witnesses. Their oldest son, Jimmie was later sealed to them in the Logan Temple 22 July 1937.
James and Annie were both good step dancers and were often called to dance together on programs and make entertainment. They lived in the Benson Ward, Cache County, Utah, where their family of twelve children were born.
The following information is taken from "History of a Valley", Cache Valley 1956 Centennial Book: Benson: In conference in 1870 Brigham Young suggested the desirability of locating on the land on the Bear River bench which was subsequently called "Benson". AS a result of President Young's suggestion, Israel J. Clark (Annie's father-in-law) Indian Interpreter, William Ricks, David Reese, Alma Harris, and Joseph Thatcher all of Logan, and George Thomas and Charles Reese of Hyde Park spent the winter of 1870-1871 in building houses into which their families move din the spring of 1871. The small settlement grew slowly since it lacked irrigation water. In 1883 the canal was completed.
The life of a pioneer wife and mother was not an easy one. Her heart was heavy with grief as only a mother can know as she buried four of her children before moving to Idaho in 1897.
Henry was drowned in Bear River at the age of three. His father and older boys were fishing and young Henry followed them to the river, and fell in. They did not find the body until sometime later. It was wrapped in a blanket and buried on the river bank in 1875.
Elizabeth Maud died at the age of 18 months in 1881.
Annie Penelope died as a result of complications of the measles in 1890, at the age of 14 years.
Marion died in 1895 of typhoid fever, at the age of 21 years.
Another heartache came when Joe left home as a young man, and with the exception of one letter was never heard from again.
Of his childhood and early remembrances of his mother, Alf, child number eight, writes on 17 February 1965: "I'm proud to have had a wonderful mother like mine. To think of one bringing twelve into the world and all the work and heart break it took to raise them. She had the cooking and feeding of all of us. She made our clothes, and did the washing on a wash board. I remember the first sewing machine she had. She worked it with a rocker with her foot. She helped raise a lot of chickens, turkeys, ducks, and rabbits. She would help a lot of the time with milking the eight to twelve cows they kept. They raised most all kinds of fruits. She kept us in school and sent us to Church and did it all with a smile. We never lacked for things to eat, they always had beef, mutton, and pork which they raised themselves. Mother was a wonderful singer, and she and dad step-danced well together. There were many hardships, but they did get many pleasures out of life. She taught us to be honest. Mother had a happy disposition and did everything with a smile."
Their eldest son, Jimmie, and his family had homesteaded in the Upper Snake River Valley. In 1897 James and Annie moved their family to Idaho, settling in Teton City.
Once again there was pioneering to be done in this new country.
Annie's husband helped improve the irrigation systems, assisted in building roads and other projects of the time. He died 3 May 1909, and was buried in the Teton-Newdale Cemetery.
Annie's home was her haven. She loved to have her children and grandchildren around her. She loved to prepare and do for them. Her hardships and heartaches were many. The last fifteen years of her life, she was blind, yet she was never heard to complain. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren would come up to her chair and her skillful fingers would tell her who they were. She had beautiful white hair which Vonnie always kept so pretty and neat. Grandma always wore a white front apron over her dress. Glen and Vonnie were at home with her when she died 21 November 1932. She was laid to rest beside her husband in the Teton-Newdale Cemetery.
Those she left behind will long remember her patience and the love she showed for others. She had affectionately been called "Aunt Annie" by those of the community who had known and loved her.
Joseph Lewis Thompson and Penelope Thompson Thompson
Contributor: Tyler Created: 4 months ago Updated: 4 months ago
Joseph was born 8 February 1815 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. Few children of these times learned to read and write. Joseph learned to do both. While his writing showed that he had not learned to punctuate and that his spelling was somewhat faulty, he wrote with a beautiful, legible hand. There was in him a real desire to learn and achieve. Since he became a silversmith, it is logical to assume that he served a long apprenticeship under some master silversmith. He learned the meaning of work done according to exact standards. Joseph and Penelope were married the 28 December 1836. To this union twelve children were born, five in Birmingham, four in London, and three in Providence, Rhode Island, all except the 11th child lived to be married. It is safe to assume that this was a close knit family where love and fun were mingled with hard work and discipline.
During this lifetime Joseph exhibited interests, traits and talents, which show that he had unusual natural ability and had received training in music, drama, dance and boxing. There was an opportunity for training development of these talents in the town of Birmingham at that time. It would be very interesting to be able to view some of their family gatherings. Traditions using these talents lived on with their children and grandchildren.
The families of Joseph and James Godson Bleak were close friends and neighbors in London. Joseph and James worked for the same company. Joseph named his 9th son James Godson, and much later, James Bleak married one of their daughters, Jane. The two families were visited by the LDS missionaries in 1848, according to the records of the White Chapel Branch. The act of joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was one of real courage. By doing this, Joseph was dismissed from his work---thus unable to get any work. He went from town to town seeking employment of any kind.
In 1831, Jabez Gorham of Providence, Rhode Island formed a co-partnership with Henry L Bebster and added to his jewelry industry, which Gorham had owned and operated since 1813, the manufacture of silverware. Work was done by hand. The main products were spoons, thimbles, combs, and other small articles. Gorham visited Europe for the purpose of acquainting himself with the manufacture of silverware in other countries, engaging skilled workmen. Family tradition says that in the spring of 1854 Joseph was chosen from 300 factory hands to come to Providence RI to help build and operate a silversmith factory. It is hard to imagine the feelings Joseph had, leaving his wife, expecting James Godson, and eight children. It was for their good and to save passage money, that the decision was made. Their desire to move to Zion was a powerful motivating factor. This decision would eventually affect the lives of thousands of people, bringing great blessings upon them. A decision which was probably made after much thought and prayer and with the approbation of our Father in Heaven. We need to give many thanks for the courage of these great ancestors. Four of the children joined Joseph in Providence leaving on the ship Robenia and landing in New York 21 Ma 1855.
Penelope was of fair complexion, with blond hair and blue eyes the family thought she was descended from Norman people who came to England with William the Conqueror. She sailed to America on the Quickstep, arriving in New York 24 Dec 1855 with her 5 youngest children.
While crossing the Ocean, they ran into a dense fog. Suddenly there came into sight another ship sailing crosswise to them and directly in their path. Unable to stop the Quickstep crashed into the side of the other ship killing all aboard. The Quickstep was so badly damaged they had to put into port for repairs. What a wonderful happy reunion it must have been for the family!
Joseph established the policy of recreation each Saturday afternoon for the employees of Gorham and Sons. Shooting, racing, boxing and high jumping being included. Joseph taught his sons the science of boxing, he was a boxer of considerable skill and had boxed in the ring. None of his sons could hold their own with him, even after he was getting along in years. He was about 6 feet tall, slender and very agile.
Penelope's health was not good after the birth of her last son, Joseph and the children began preparing to go west. It was a family cooperative venture. Eliza, their daughter knit newbies and crocheted toboggans, skating caps, and baby booties and jacket to sell to a firm in Providence. Their oldest son, also worked as a silversmith. In June 1862, Joseph and Penelope, and children traveled by rail to St Joseph and then by steamboat to Florence, as three of their children had done the year before. Here they purchased a wagon and four yoke of oxen which they christened Duke and Dan, Lion and Bay, Speck and Buck, Balley and Brand. They left Florence on the 24th of July in John Murdock's second company which consisted of 700 people and sixty-five wagons. Penelope was unable to walk, so the older girls had to take over much of the work and tending of the 10 month old baby as they crossed the plains. Joseph's singing and dancing talent helped to revive spirits around campfires at night.
In October they settled into a dug out in Logan. It is recorded that in the summer of 1864, sixteen men lead by an Indian interpreter, Israel Clark, went into the beautiful meadows of Clarkston. Among this group was Joseph Lewis Thompson. He is reported as saying,"It is the prettiest little valley God has ever made, and it is all ours. In the Spring of 65 Joseph and Penelope moved there. It must have been a tremendous adjustment, a highly skilled silversmith, accustomed to life in the city, trying to eke out a living on a small farm, of farming, he knew nothing! When asked if he didn't regret leaving his fine home and work to come to Utah, he replied. "I came here for the gospel, and the gospel is worth everything." They lived in the old fort at Clarkston, where Penelope passed away, in 1867. She had never been able to regain her health after her son was born. She was the first one buried in the Clarkston Cemetery, where she was taken by a wagon drawn by a team of oxen.
Mr Gorham wrote to Joseph asking him to come back to Rhode Island, offering him a house and lot and a job for himself and each of his boys as they got old enough to work. To this offer Joseph wrote back saying, "If I cannot live here in Utah, I can die here." He remained in Clarkston.
He married Carolyn Griffin, 22, and later her sister who had been widowed became a plural wife. Their life stories are very interesting, the fact that these women were married to him is evidence that he possessed sterling qualities.
What a splendid entertainer he was, when they were dancing the plain quadrille, if Joseph in any part of it, would step=dance, the rest of the dancers would step back and watch him. He would dance until he was exhausted and the crowd would beg for more. He had a warm and outgoing personality. We would call it charisma and empathy. As we, the numerous descendants of this good couple, view their lives, who among us is not filled with gratitude and thanksgiving.