Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sarah Durham

Sarah Durham was born in Oldham, Lancaster, England to John Durham and Isabella Thompson on 6 June 1825.

John, about 35 years old (1835) and Isabella, nearly 90 years old in about 1880.

When Sarah was still young she worked in the Nottingham cotton factory which was famous for its lace.

Sarah was baptized a member of the LDS church on 18 June 1843. One brother joined the church as well, but the rest of her family was devastated.

Sarah married William Morris on 2 August 1848 in St. Johns Church in Failsworth. Both were Mormons at the time and may have decided to be married at St. Johns to please their families.

In 1862, Sarah, William and 6 of their children made their way from England to Parowan, Utah. One daughter, 10 year old Sarah Jane, passed away of Mountain Fever in Wyoming and was buried on the roadside. (See William's history for more information on their journey.)

Sarah was the mother of 9 children (including William T. Morris), but lost 4 while they were young. One baby was buried in England before they came to America, Sarah Jane and twin boys, Joseph and John who both died of Cholera Infantum at 10 months of age.

Sarah grew up in a well-educated family. The family was also very talented in music. Sarah couple sight-read and sing in a rich alto to even the most difficult music. She was a member of the Parowan Choir, a prestigious group lead by her brother, Thomas Durham.

William and Sarah were sealed in the St. George Temple on 13 March 1870.

William and Sarah in about 1900. Will would die in November of that year.

Sarah has black hair and black eyes. She had a quick mind and a quick tongue. She was active in the Church and active in the community, including politics.

At 5 feet tall and less than 100 pounds was known as "Little Grandma" to her posterity. One evening when she was past 80, her son was playing a lively song on the piano. She came from her room with a little lampshade on her hear. She held out her skirts and danced like a little girl.

Sarah was remembered as an excellent cook and immaculate housekeeper. Her home was full of flowers and other lovely things.

This valiant pioneer died on 3 July 1916 in Parowan, Utah at the age of 91.

Click HERE to see Sarah's gravestone on Find A Grave.

To see Sarah on the 1880 and 1900 census, see William's post.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

William Morris

William Morris was born 16 November 1820 in Burswardsley, Cheshire, England to Joseph Morris and Elizabeth Vernon.

William's father was a shoemaker. In his early 20s, William began working in the coal mines at Failsworth. He eventually became foreman of the mines.
William was baptized on 1 May 1842.

William married Sarah Durham on 2 August 1848 in St. Johns Church in Failsworth. The couple moved to Dukinfield where they opened a little shop. The business did very well and they were able to provide for their family.

Between 1849 and 1866 the couple welcomed 9 children to their family.

William and Sarah were both baptized into the LDS Church before their marriage. After 14 years, they saved enough money to join the Saints in America.

In 1862, the couple and 5 children traveled from England to Utah. William carried their ailing baby, William T., nearly the entire trip. The family sailed from England on the Mancester.

William and his family on the register for the ship, Mancester.

The company which the family traveled with made their way from New York, into Canada, to Chicago, the St. Louis and finally to Florence, Nebraska where they were met with ox teams to take them to Utah. From Florence to Salt Lake they traveled with the John R. Murdock company. The family, minus one, arrived in Parowan, UT on 10 October 1862. Their daughter Sarah Jane died in Wyoming of Mountain Fever and was laid in a lonely grave by the roadside.

In Parowan, William also became sick with a fever and an Indian known as "Doctor Bill" performed ritual ceremonies and prayers for him. William always believed that this saved his life.

At 44, William was called to help establish a settlement at what is now Panquitch, UT. Walking on snowshoes from Panquitch to Parowan for supplies, he became "snow blind" and later completely lost his sight after cataract surgery.

He and a neighbor, William Wilcock, also blind, would often walk together. One day they missed a bridge and fell into a creek. William laughed and said, "If the blind lead the blind, they both fall in the ditch."

William and Sarah were sealed in the St. George Temple on 13 March 1870.

1880 Census

1900 Census

William died in Parowan, in the home he built, on 5 November 1900 at the age of 80.

He was remembered as kind, gentle man, a good farmer, shoe maker, church worker, town builder, and neighbor. He had red-brown hair and deep blue eyes. His son, William T., said, "I loved to be with my father...a more honorable, upright man that my father cannot be found."

Click HERE to see William's gravestone on Find A Grave.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"My Tobacco Money"

When I was about 16 years old a lot of the boys with whom I chummed began to use tobacco and they tried to get me to smoke or chew with them, but I had always disliked the tobacco habit so I told them they could smoke if they thought it would do them any good, but I was going to take the money they would spend for tobacco and put it in a fund and buy books with it. I asked several of them how much they spent a week on tobacco and took an average of the lot and laid that much away each week until I had accumulated a nice little sum which I spent for a set of books consisting of 16 volumes containing information of various topic that were very useful to me. I continued this until I had secured quite a little library. One Christmas day when the band of which I was a member came to our home to serenade, as was one of the good old customs, now nearly done away with and very seldom heard of. My uncle took occasion to show the members my library and told them that was bought with my tobacco money. They asked if I had been selling tobacco. "No," said my uncle, "He has stopped the sale as far as he is concerned. These books represent the money he would have spent if he had followed the fashion and been a smoker."

By William T. Morris