William Martin Jacobson
Contributor: Simini Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
WILLIAM MARTIN JACOBSON
(Written by his daughter Leona Marie Jacobson Pope)
22 January 1879 – 7 February 1970
William Martin Jacobson was born 22 January 1879, Randolph, Rich County, Utah, the son of Olavus Jacobson and Mary Amanda Wilcox. His father and grandmother came to Utah in the Christiansen Handcart Company in 1857. Olavus was 12 years old, his mother Ingaborg Olsen Jacobson was a widow in Norway when she heard the missionaries and joined the Church. Her older children disowned her, would not listen to the truth, so with her young son she came to Zion. William’s mother was Mary Amanda Wilcox, the daughter of Henry Wilcox and Martha Simmons. She was born in Kanesville, Iowa 10 March 1850 while the Saints wintered there. While crossing the plains, her father and older sister were buried on the plains. Her mother came on with her baby in her arms. Later in Utah she married Wyman Parker, and had four children, she died when Amanda was nine years old. Amanda was raised in the Parker family, whom she loved. Her ancestry goes back to the Mayflower to John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, whose parents were also on board, but they died during the first hard winter at Plymouth. John Howland, a young man, was swept overboard the Mayflower in a violent storm, he clutched a rope as he went over and clung on. The sailors noticing the rope unwinding, pulled it in and he was still holding on. It was a million in one rescue. He was also a progenitor of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s mother. Amanda’s folks, with her grandparents were among the early converts in Canada, they joined the Saints in Missouri, went through the persecutions there and helped build Nauvoo, were a part of the early migration. Olavus Jacobson and Amanda Wilcox were married November 1867 and with two small sons were among the early settlers of Randolph, Rich County, 1872.
William was the fifth child and grew up on a ranch. He had a rather small frame. He was very active and healthy, but did suffer from broken bones through accidents. It was a cattle country, being too high altitude for many crops, the growing season was short but fast. He liked dramatics and took place in many local productions, was always active in the Church and his desire for an education, after getting all that was available locally, attended the Paris, Idaho Academy, then the B.Y.A. in Provo. It was while he attending it that he met Emma Peay, and won her heart and hand.
He had a knack or gift of discernment that helped him many times to find lost cattle or other things, he had what he called his lucky rock and when needing help would go there and pray and meditate and get the answer. One time he was inspired to go up the Bear River in search of some cattle, he reached there just as the cattle had been rounded up and sorted out, his brand being unfamiliar to the ranchers there, his animals were in the herd that was to go to Wyoming that day. The fall of 1899 he and another fellow were hired to go and bring in the cattle that were missed in the general roundup. When the fellow hadn’t shown up at the appointed time, he started out with the pack horse, expecting him to catch up with him, but he didn’t, he located the cattle that had been sorted out from the west side of Monti Christo. Their roundup was finished but they had left the Randolph cattle corralled, so he drove them up to the top of Manti, it was late and started to snow. He made camp there, the next morning the cattle had gone back down the other side, so he went after them, when he got them back his pack horse had gone, so without food or bedding he succeeded in getting the 70 head of cattle back home.
His activities were varied, he wasn’t afraid to undertake new ventures. He had one of the first Ford cars in Randolph. He used it to carry the mail and passengers as well as pleasure. It was easy for him to talk to people, he had a wonderful memory for names and faces. He was Y.M.M.I.A. Superintendant after moving to the Randolph Ward, also Stake Board member, when Woodruff Stake extended into Wyoming as far as Lyman and Evanston. He held many positions in the other wards he lived in, Provo, Hinckley, Lehi and finally back to Provo and the University Ward. The last few years he used crutches to get around but they didn’t slow him down or keep him from his duties. He worked at Geneva Steel for some time, also for the Utah Central Block Co. He was still working into his eighties. His final illness put him in the hospital in January of 1970, where he spent his 91st birthday, passing on 7 February 1970. After a long and very useful and interesting life, loved and respected by family and friends alike. Many stories could be told but time and space do not permit here. His wife Emma survived him by five years, she missed him very much , and was ready to go meet her loved ones when her time came to go. She was a great lady and a wonderful example of love and courage to all who knew her.