Friday, June 22, 2012

Mary Ann Ray

Mary Ann Ray was born to Giles Bartholemew Smith and Mary Ann Mears Ray on April 4, 1846 in Whitstable, Kent, England.

Mary Ann Mears Ray in 1905 at 90.

She was the fifth child of nine. Her father was a mariner and oyster dredger and provided well for his family. Her mother taught her how to be a lady in manner and speech. Mary Ann, with her mother and 4 sisters, would wash their clothes by rubbing them together, instead of using a washboard, and did their cooking in a public oven.

Mary Ann joined the Church in 1860, a few years after her mother. Her brother, William, was baptized in 1865. A year later, Mary Ann left for America with her brother and his wife. (Mary Ann's father died in 1864 and her mother decided to stay in England and eventually remarried.)

They set sail from England on 6 May 1866 on the ship Caroline and were at sea for 6 weeks. They landed in Castle Gardens, New York. After a few days they left for New Haven, Connecticut by steamboat. They traveled by train on there way to the Missouri River. While on the train, eleven train cars fell on their sides in an accident. They train car that Mary Ann was traveling in as well as the one directly in front of them did not turn over and no one was seriously injured. They sailed up the Missouri River to Wyoming, where they were met by by ox teams from Utah sent to the Missouri River to help the Saints who were traveling to Utah. Richard Rowley was called to serve in one of these groups.

The couple became aquainted during the journey back to Utah. They were married October 1, 1866 in the home of George A. Smith in Salt Lake City, UT and made their way together to Southern Utah.

Their first home was in Paragonah. Richard took the covered wagon that he had used to guide the company across the plains from its wheels and placed it on the ground. This was their “home” until after their first child, William Giles, was born (1867). Soon after, Richard built a small adobe home in Parowan. Over the years, Richard added two wings onto the existing home. It became one of the finest homes in town. Friends, relatives and even strangers were welcome in the Rowley home. In fact, Willford Woodruff and his wife stayed in the home and went to Parowan Canyon with the family.

Richard and Mary Ann in 1890. Ages 45 and 44.

Their second child, Mary Ann Elizabeth, died before her second birthday. The rest of Mary Ann’s children lived to adulthood. The remaining eight were: Frances Louisa, Richard Edward, Thomas Henry, Mary Jane, Emily Charlotte, Astella Sarah, and George Samuel.

Richard Rowley Family, 1906.
Back: Richard Edward, Frances, William, Thomas, Mary Jane.
Center: Mary Ann and Richard.
Front: Emily, George, Sarah

Mary Ann was a proper, English woman and kept a tightly home. A portrait of Queen Victoria was a focal point in her home and she would point at it and say, “That’s my Queen.”

Richard and Mary Ann in about 1925.

In her later years, Mary Ann developed problems with her feet. This made walking difficult. She died March 22, 1927 in Parowan, Utah.

Check out Find A Grave to see Mary Ann's headstone.

See Richard's post for additional photos and information.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Richard Rowley

Richard Rowley, son of William and Ann Jewell Rowley, was born 10 February 1845 in Suckley, Worchestershire, England. William and Ann were baptized in May of 1840 after hearing the gospel from the apostle Wilford Woodruff. Richard was born almost five years later. William died when Richard was only 4 years old.

Ann Jewell Rowley

By this time his family was reduced from prosperous tenant farmers to destitute day-laborers. When the offer came for the Rowleys to use funds from the Perpetual Emigration Fund to come to Utah, they gratefully accepted. After 6 weeks at sea on the “Thornton” and enduring the hardships of the Willie Handcart Company, the family made it to Salt Lake, although they lost a sister, Eliza, on the plains. Richard was 12 years old at this time but showed his maturity on the plains when he noticed a man in their company was missing. He borrowed a horse and rode to find the man.

When the family reached Salt Lake, Richard and his sister Louisa were sent to Tooele County to work for a man named John Tate. Richard was only 13 years old at the time and became home sick for his mother. Louisa had married and left and in September of 1857 Mr. Tate told him he could leave if he wish. Almost immediately, Richard was on his was without asking for any food and only the clothes he was wearing. After a short time, Richard became sick with Mountain Fever. He was found on the road and first taken to Louisa's home in Springville and then to Nephi to his sister Elizabeth's home to recover. In October, he finally joined his mother in Parowan where he lived the rest of his life.
Richard was ordained and Elder on 29 January 1864, according to his autobiography.
In his autobiography Richard wrote: "As a boy I had great faith in the Gospel and great respect for the authorities of the Church and always had the courage to defend the Gospel and its authorities in my weak way" (spelled corrected).

A good example of this courage was shown when Richard was when he was called to drive an ox team to the Missouri River to meet a group of Saints coming from England and lead them to Utah. In the company was Mary Ann Ray. By the time they reached Salt Lake City, they had decided to be married. They were married by George A. Smith in his Salt Lake home on October 1, 1866.

Richard and Mary Ann in about 1890, ages 45 and 44.

Their first home was in Paragonah. Richard took the covered wagon that he had used to guide the company across the plains from its wheels and placed it on the ground. This was their “home” until after their first child was born when Richard built a small adobe home in Parowan. As the family grew (the couple had 9 children, 8 who grew to adulthood) rooms were added. Eventually it became one of the finest homes in Parowan.

Richard was proud to become a citizen of the United States of America on November 9, 1894 after living here for nearly 40 years.

The 1900 Census record shows Richard as head of household and lists his wife and 6 of their children. The census indicates that he was a farmer, that he owned his farm outright, and had a home.

Closer view of Richard's family on 1900 Census.

Richard Rowley Family, 1906.
Back: Richard Edward, Frances, William, Thomas, Mary Jane.
Center: Mary Ann and Richard.
Front: Emily, George, Sarah

Richard was very involved in the community and although he had no formal education, with help from his wife, he became a fine speaker. His learning materials were a newspaper and a dictionary. He served many positions in the community including Justice of the Peace, pound keeper and City Coucilman.

Richard was a farmer and he and his family worked hard to provide for themselves. He wasn't a large man. He was about 5'6" and never weighed more than 135 lbs. He was a very neat person. In fact, his granddaughter remembered that his clothes were never dirty, even when working in the yard.

Richard and Mary Ann, 1925.

In his late years, Richard was had what was then called "senility," but it was most like Alzheimer’s. His daughter Frances cared for him as well as the other children. Richard died December 2, 1929 in his home Parowan, two years after Mary Ann's death.

Richard's death certificate.
Notice that is says cause of death is "Apoplexy" which was a term used for a stroke.

Richard is buried in the Parowan Cemetery. Click here to see gravestone on Find-a-grave.

Click HERE to read Richard's autobiography.