The History of Walter Roach (May 11, 1865-January 23, 1956)
Contributor: Dan Clark Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
The History of Walter Roach (May 11, 1865-January 23, 1956)
Walter Thomas Roach, the fifth child of William and Ruth James Roach, was born May 11, 1865 in Spanish Fork in a small two-room adobe house which sat back in the lot where James Swenson’s house now stands. That makes Father one of the oldest residents now living in the Fourth Ward.
There is where Father grew up in his boyhood days and of course like most boys he was lively and mischievous. He has told me of when he and other boys would torment some of the older residents by tick-tacking their windows and knocking on their doors and by doing those pranks. Those older gentlemen would chase them. Sometimes they would catch them by outsmarting them by running around the block in the opposite way.
When Father was 16, he was hired out to work for a company of men to work at a railroad construction job, which was out in Castle Valley. This is out some distance from Price, Utah. In order to get there they had to go up Spanish Fork Canyon and the mode of transportation in those days was by team and wagon to haul equipment and other supplies. The road from P.V. Junction, now Colton, was very rough. In some places they would have to hold on to their wagons to keep them from tipping off into the canyon below. They had to ford the Price River which was very dangerous. They had to weight their wagon boxes with rocks, so they would not float away because the water was so deep. The horses had a very hard struggle to swim and pull the wagons too. Well, they finally reached the place to set up camp out in the desert. Father’s job was to haul water in a tank drawn by four horses. The place where they got the water was up in the mountains in the holes in the rocks where the rain and the snow water would lodge. They had to dip it up to fill the tank. This job was a night job as it was 15 miles from camp and it was too far to make it all in the day time.
Father had many stirring experiences with crossing the deep washes and the bad floods that would come. They would have to be on their guard so as not to get caught in one of these washes because the floods took everything with them as they came rushing down. Well, the summer went by—they were out there three months, and they had to leave because they couldn’t work there in the winter. This was quite an experience for a 16 year old boy.
The next year when he was 17 he was going back on the same job. He was driving a team hitched to a wagon loaded with supplies to take out where they were working. Near the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon the railroad and wagon trail parallel each other for some distance and coming up behind him was a steam locomotive pulling a train. With the noise of the puffing engine and also its whistle frightened the horses he was driving and they began to run. He could not manage them and they stayed of the road, ran over a large rock and tipped Father off. One of the wheels of the wagon ran over his body and his head and cut and bruised him very severely. The injuries were so bad that he nearly bled to death. It seems he was supposed to have been killed although he was very near death. These wounds have now caused skin cancers, the scars of which can now be seen on his face. So went his boyhood days.
When he grew into manhood, he of course got to going out with girls, as is natural. He met a very fine Danish young lady by the name of Kristena (Christena) Olena Mortensen (January 30, 1866 – June 6, 1906), whom he courted nearly two years, and then they married March 17, 1886 in the Logan, Utah Temple. This young couple began housekeeping in a small adobe house upon the bench, which they called it then. It was located where 6th East and Center Street are now. The little old house has now been torn down. Here is where their first child was born. He happened to be telling this story now.
A year later they built a house on their own lot on 6th East and 3rd North where Ruth and Lorin Olsen now live. This is where five more children were born. One died in infancy. This is where we all spent our younger lives living happy together. Father had to work hard to support his young family. But through it all Father and Mother were happy together. I remember how we used to whistle while doing our chores outside, and then at night he would romp with us children and get the baby on his lap and sing. Father used to sing pretty well. Our childhood days were quite pleasant. Father was a pretty good hand at breaking young horses in his younger life. I remember every spring he would break one or two horse to work. Some of them were wild and mean. But he could manage them and teach them to be good reliable horses. He used to do a lot of work getting timber out of the mountains such as wood to burn in the stove and logs for buildings and poles for fences which all required hard work. He was very active in his younger years and still is in this his 90th year.
I remember too when Father and I were younger we would work together and many times we have ridden horses among the cattle together. Oh! Yes! We were pretty good pals.
Father was quite active in church work. He served in the YMMIA (Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association); counselor in the Sunday School Superintendency, served as chairman of the building committee where the fourth ward meeting house was built and many other ways. So he had a very well rounded life.
Our mother died when we children were quite young. I was the oldest at 18 and the other four being younger left Father with a great responsibility on his hands, which was sad indeed. Father was nearly broke up at this time.
Now my brethren and sisters, it would not seem right if I did not mention our stepmother’s part in our lives. About two years after our mother’s death, Father married Caroline “Lena” Larsen Boyack, a widow with two young boys. This made a large family for us. There were four children born to this union. And they are now grown up to be respectful men and women in your community. And I love them all. I wish to tell you here publicly that I for one do respect our stepmother very much. Now in closing, my brethren and sisters, and especially you younger folks, love and respect your parents and do as our Lord has said, “Honor thy father and mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”
*Composed by William Walter Roach, first child of Walter Thomas Roach (1888-1980), Midvale, Utah, 1954, and written by Ida Jenkins Roach (1901-1973).
Walter Thomas Roach
Born May 11, 1865 in Spanish Fork, Utah to William and Ruth James Roach. Because everyone in Spanish Fork knew almost everyone else, Walter became acquainted with Christena Olena Mortensen as they were growing up together. They were married March 17, 1886 in the Logan, Utah temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He was a long time farmer and stockman. He once served as the Spanish Fork City Constable.
He served in the church as an assistant superintendent of the Sunday School; counselor in the YMMIA and served on the building committee for the new Fourth Ward church.
He died January 23, 1956 at the age of 90.
Christena Olena Mortensen
Born January 30, 1866 in Holbek, Denmark to Soren Peter Mortensen and Nicolena Olsen Mortensen. She and her parents and other brothers and sisters joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Denmark and they immigrated to America when she was eleven years old.
Times were hard with few conveniences to be had. She supported her husband in his church work and devoted her life to her home and family. She liked to crochet and knit and was a beautiful seamstress.
She became ill and died while having surgery. She was 40 years old. She died June 6, 1906.
Hannah Caroline Larsen
Born May 23, 1875 in Spanish Fork, Utah to Lars and Johanna Jensen Larsen. She married Robert A. Boyack on December 15, 1897 and they were the parents of two songs, Archie and Joseph. Mr. Boyack died February 20, 1901 and Joseph died of typhoid fever when he was 16 years old. After the death of her husband, she did a lot of sewing in order to support herself and her sons.
She married Walter Thomas Roach October 21, 1908. When writing the history of his father, William Walter Roach wrote the following; “When our mother ided it left Father wihta great responsibility which was sad indeed and all heartbroken. He then married Caroline “Lena” Larsen Boyack, a widow with two young sons, Archie and Joseph. They were very good boys. I wish to mention that I will always hold much love and respect for our stepmother for she was a real good mother to us children.
She served in the church as secretary of the Relief Society for many years and was a Primary teacher. She enjoyed crocheting, a variety of needle work and also made many quilts.
She died September 24, 1956.
Children of Walter Thomas and Christena Olena Mortensen
1. William Walterb. Apr. 14, 1888Spanish Fork, Utah
d. Oct. 3, 1980
m. May 5, 1913, Jennie Fox
m. Aug. 25, 1968, Nina Grace Sherbondy
2. Florence Christenab. Feb. 21, 1890Spanish Fork, Utah
d. Mar. 7, 1974
m. Oct. 22, 1907, William Hyrum Huntington
3. Ruth Olenab. Sept. 4, 1893Spanish Fork, Utah
m. Nov. 18, 1914, Lorin Olsen
4. Earl Sorenb. Jan. 9, 1896Spanish Fork, Utah
d. Aug. 13, 1968
m. Dec. 20, 1916, Amanda Burgess
5. Melvin Thomasb. June 18, 1898Spanish Fork, Utah
d. Feb. 6, 1899
6. Rex Mortensenb. Nov. 26, 1900Spanish Fork, Utah
d. Nov. 7, 1970
m. Ida Bessie Jenkins
Children of Robert A. Boyack and Hannah Caroline Larsen
1. Archibald “Archie” Robertb. Oct. 8, 1898Spanish Fork, Utah
d. Sept. 12, 1985
m. June 13, 1923, Hazel Elnora NobleSLC, Utah
m. July 7, 1977, Nancy Hannah Harrison
2. Joseph Larsenb. Feb. 9, 1901Spanish Fork, Utah
d. Oct. 22, 1917Spanish Fork, Utah
Children of Walter Thomas and Hannah Caroline Larsen
1. Myles Bb. Oct. 5, 1909Spanish Fork, Utah
d. July 14, 1987
m. May 29, 1940, Emily Marie Simkins
m. Oct. 14, 1970, Lois Gleason
2. Walter Deanb. Nov. 30, 1911Spanish Fork, Utah
d. June 25, 1981
m. Mar. 9, 1940, Florence Jones
3. Hannahb. Jan. 2, 1914Spanish Fork, Utah
d. Dec. 15, 1991
m. May 17, 1935, Merrill D. Hawkins
4. Jessieb. Sept. 4, 1917Spanish Fork, Utah
d. Aug. 19, 1999
m. June 25, 1937, Manuel Edward Clayson
Hannah Caroline Larsen
Contributor: Dan Clark Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
HANNAH CAROLINE LARSEN, a daughter and eighth child of Lars Larsen and Johanne Jensen, was born 23 May 1875, at Spanish Fork, Utah. Bpt. 1 Nov 1883, End. 15 Dec, 1897, BIC.
Hannah was one of a family of five brothers and five sisters. She received her early education in the public schools of Spanish Fork, Utah.
Hannah married Robert Archibald Boyack on 15 Dec 1897, in the Manti Temple; and this union was blessed with two sons, [name redacted--see footnote] and Joseph Larsen.
Robert Archibald Boyack, a son of Joseph Gibson Boyack and Jessie Archibald, was born 15 Jun 1877, at Spanish Fork, Utah. Bpt. 2 Jul 1885, End. 15 Dec 1897, MT. He died in early manhood from typhoid fever, 20 Feb 1901, just eleven days after the birth of his second son, Joseph.
Hannah Caroline exemplified in her life those sterling qualities that grew out of her pioneer heritage. She was a skilled seamstress, and in her widowhood she earned much of her livelihood in this manner. She was an excellent cook, and on occasions took in boarders during those early years when she was alone with her two young sons.
One thing her family learned from their mother was how to work and how to manage their money. Mother was always known for her generous hospitality. Visitors never left the house without being invited to remain for a meal. Countless relatives and friends delighted in her home canned fruits, jams, jellies, and vegetables, and the homemade breads and cakes that were served at her table.
True to her pioneer heritage, Hannah was skillful in the management of her household. Her thrift and industry insured an abundance of the necessities of life, enough for her family and some to spare for others.
She was a friend to everyone, and they commonly called her, "Aunt Lena." Aunt Lena was loved and respected by all who knew her. When relatives, old and young came to town, there was always one place they must go. They must go to see Aunt Lena, because those who knew her best loved her most.
Aunt Lena was always active in church work. For 16 years she served as the secretary and treasurer of her ward Relief Society, and for many years she served as a visiting teacher. She also gave devoted service in the Primary Organization.
Hannah married (2) Walter Thomas Roach on 21 Oct 1908, in Salt Lake City, Utah; and of this marriage four children were born: [names redacted].
Walter Thomas Roach, a son of William Roach and Ruth James, was born 11 May 1865, in a small two-room adobe house at Spanish Fork, Utah. Bpt. 13 Aug 1874, End. 17 Mar 1886.
Walter was reared in Spanish Fork, and married Christina Olena Mortensen on 17 Mar 1886. To this union six children were born: [5 names redacted], and Melvin, who died when just a baby. When the children were real small he had the misfortune of losing this good wife, leaving him with these five children. After two years, he married Hannah Caroline Larsen Boyack, who had the misfortune of losing her husband also. She had two boys with her husband, Robert A. Boyack; and four children were born to this good couple: [4 names redacted].
Walter had to work hard to support this large family, and he had a good wife that really helped him for she was a super good manager. We children were taught how to work for which we are all so thankful for at this time. They were farmers by trade, and there was always something to do. We were always kept busy. Walter loved horses and spent much of his time breaking young horses. He was always proud to drive his pretty team. He loved to talk to people and was not afraid to speak to people and got acquainted with them readily. He loved to travel and to visit with his relatives especially those who were in Idaho. He lived a good long life. He died 23 Jan 1956, at Provo, Utah, age 91 years.
Hannah Caroline Larsen Boyack Roach died 24 Sept 1956, age 81 years.
Source of information: [their youngest child: name and address redacted].
[From book "Lars Larsen and Johanne Jensen Larsen with their Ancestors and Descendants", compiled by Thelma Perry Johnston, copyright 1978, Spanish Fork, Utah, p. 554-556. Copied with permission from current copyright holder, Ron Johnston, with qualification that no personal details are published about anyone who hasn’t been dead at least 50 years.]