William Lorenzo Marble
Contributor: Ted L Jensen Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Story of William Lorenzo Marble
William Lorenzo Marble was born October 29, 1829 at Huntsburg, Geauga County, Ohio. He was the 3rd son and fifth child in a family of eleven children born to Nathaniel Marble and (Polly) Mary King.
Lorenzo’s father died in Nauvoo in 1845, when Lorenzo was about sixteen years old. Three of the children died there the same year and it is thought that their deaths were due to diphtheria.
In 1846 at the age of 17 he was baptized and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Lorenzo’s mother married again while she was in Nauvoo, but we don’t have the name of the husband. This marriage was not a happy one. Lorenzo used to tell how the step-father demanded the earnings of the children to use as he saw fit and there were few privileges enjoyed by them.
Mob violence was being experienced by the Saints at this time, and at one time Lorenzo was thrown into the Mississippi River by one of the mob. The man’s name was Joe Rawls. He said, “He can drown with the rest of the dogs we are throwing in.” They wondered if a Mormon could swim as good as a dog. But Lorenzo said God saved him. He couldn’t swim on top but he did a little under the water, which was swift and swirling and he paddled and floated down stream a short way and got out. He asked the name of the one who threw him in and always remembered it. His brother, Silas, was killed by a group of men who thought to rob him of his earnings which he had received that day.
Lorenzo’s hair was light brown, his eyes light blue, his height, 5 feet, heavy set, and he was very religious. As a boy he worked at many occupations and places. Oft times right along with grown men. At one time when his brothers were splitting rails, he ran along a log and as one ax came down it cut his foot just back of the toes. His foot was entirely cut off except for some skin on the bottom. His mother put a thin board under his foot and bandaged it to the board. In time the wound healed but always left a scar. He had a dent across his foot and he always walked with a limp. Especially in later years.
Things became so unpleasant in Nauvoo that Lorenzo decided to join a group of Pioneers and come out West. He told his mother of his intentions and offered to help her leave too, if she would. She decided to leave her husband and take her family West. She and seven children came across the plains.
To get ready for the journey Westward, she baked pies and cakes and let her children sell them at camp meetings. When she had saved $10.00 she bought a light wagon with the money, and used one horse and one ox (or maybe a cow) and started Westward. They came with one of the Appleton Harmon Companies. According to the report written by Henry M. Marble, they came to Utah in 1851.
After reaching Utah, they were aided by the George Stringham family until they could get started on their own. Lorenzo went to Manti, Utah, and helped quarry rock for the building of the homes in Manti. He later went to Salt Lake and got his mother. Sometime later she married Steven Taylor and in about 1852, Lorenzo took three days off from his work and went to Salt Lake to marry a girl whom he had known during his childhood days. This young lady was Sarah Marinda Hanchett, daughter of Martin Hanchett and Sarah Mecham. Lorenzo and Marinda were married in the Endowment house in Salt Lake. After which Lorenzo returned to Manti with his 17 year old bride and they lived in a little one-room log house. They lived there for about 10 years.
It was about 1862 when Lorenzo sold his little home in Manti and moved his family to Richfield. They stayed there for about two years. The Indian troubles soon drove them back to Manti for safety. Lorenzo built a two room rock house upon his return to Manti. He quarried the rock near the Temple. This house had a fireplace in each end and a good cellar underneath. A few years later, Lorenzo with his growing family moved to Salem.
When the first canal was being built in Spanish Fork Canyon to Payson Hill, Lorenzo bought a good size piece of land and did a lot of work on the canal. He cleared and farmed his piece of ground as soon as possible. He also bought two good lots near the Fort and here he built a log house and planted a fine orchard. He also had an almond tree of which the family were very proud. He raised wheat, corn, sugar cane and all kinds of fruit. He sold a lot of molasses too.
Besides being a stone mason and builder of houses, Lorenzo made brooms, whips and tar and sold his products to Camp Floyd, which was a three or four day trip from home. He also acted as an Indian interpreter and could speak their language.
Lorenzo didn’t have any schooling. His son-in-law, Danial Wells Jackman, taught him to read after he was 50 years old. He was a good latter Day Saint. He was a full tithe payer. I remember my Great Grandfather only after he had reached a ripe old age. He had a long white beard, his eyes were dim with age and he used a cane. I remember his love for little children. They clamored for a place on his knee. He took the little ones for a “ride in the old Horse” and sang ditties to them to keep them happy. He loved music and sang many hymns from memory. Among his favorites were, “Oh Ye Mountains High”, “How Firm a Foundation”, “Come, Come Ye Saints, and “Poor Way Faring Man of Grief”. He loved to go to church and even when old and crippled, quite deaf and partly blind he insisted on getting ready for church each Sunday and hoped that by some means, he would be able to get there. When the family protested saying that he knew he couldn’t make it, he would say “It is better to be ready and not go, than not be ready.” When his grand children hid the axe protesting wood cutting was too hard for him, he replied, “don’t you know it is better to wear out than to rust out?” He had many other such sayings by which he put over unforgettable lessons to his family.
Grandfather was ambitious and hated to be idle. He cleared and proved up on a quarter section of land in Idaho after he was 70 years old. One cold winter day while he was working on his land the severe cold damaged one of his eyes, causing the pupil to break. He could see very little with that eye after that.
Lorenzo marble died in 1917, at Central, Sevier County, Utah and was buried there by the side of his wife. She passed away in 1899. He was 88 years old and Marinda was 63 years old when she died.
Written by Mary A. Marble Hermansen
Compiles from all available sources and my own memory 1964-1965