Sunday, December 7, 2008

Joseph Alva West

Joseph Alva West was born 12 September 1851 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Chauncey Walker West and Mary Hoagland. His parents moved to Bingham’s Fort, Weber County in 1855 and subsequently to Ogden, Utah, where Joseph went to grade school. He later became a student at Deseret University (now the University of Utah) in Salt Lake City.

During the winter of 1865, Joseph, along with a number of other young men in the territory, was called by President Brigham Young to learn telegraphy in anticipation of the proposed Deseret Telegraph Line that was to connect Paris, Idaho and St. George, Utah. Joseph served as operator in the Ogden office, beginning in 1866 and in the Provo Office.

In 1867, again at the request of President Brigham Young, Joseph was sent by his father to Salt Lake City to study surveying under Jesse Fox. By 1868, when just 18 years of age, Joseph had become so proficient that he was qualified to act as Deputy Territorial Surveyor. He was subsequently elected surveyor for the City of Ogden, and county surveyor for Weber County. He became a civil engineer during the building of several railroad lines, making extensive surveys from Salt Lake City through central Nevada to California, into Oregon and Idaho. He also surveyed prospective railroad lines south to Los Angeles including three lines through Death Valley. The Deseret Evening News of February 25, 1881 said of Mr. West, “Joseph A. West is said to be one of the best field engineers in the west.” He was the chief engineer for projected lines all over the west, many of which were built.

Joseph A. West was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was ordained an Elder on 17 Feb 1865. He was ordained a Seventy on 20 Mar 1869 and a High Priest on 21 Oct 1877. He served as a High Councilor in the Weber Stake for five years and as Superintendent of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association in Weber Stake. He was also the editor for several publications for youth in his community.

On 4 Mar 1873, Joseph married, Josephine Richards, daughter of Apostle Franklin D. Richards & Jane Snyder in Salt Lake City, Utah. Together they had eight children, the last of whom, Charles Henry, was born in 1890 in Ogden.

In 1882, Joseph was called to serve a mission to England and left home on the 22nd of April. In June of the following year, he was appointed President of the London Conference and traveled widely throughout the British Isles including portions of Europe during his tenure there. He is said to have ascended Mt. Vesuvius as part of his travels.

In 1885, he was nominated and elected to the legislature. During his tenure, he served as part of a contingent sent to Washington, DC to ameliorate the escalating tensions between the people of Utah, their appointed governor, and the United States Government. This was a difficult time for Utah as the notorious Edmunds Tucker bill directed at polygamous marriages in Utah was before Congress. During his time in Washington, DC, Mr. West appeared before the full judiciary committee of Congress and made a two-hour argument against this bill. An extensive report of this argument was carried in the Utah newspapers.

On 24 Feb 1888, Joseph West married Sylvia Ann Child, daughter of Warren Gould Child and Martha Jane Elmer. According to family records, they were married in Juarez, Mexico. Their first child was born in San Francisco, California in 1890. They had 10 children, seven of whom lived to be adults.

In 1889, Mr. West went to Oregon to work for the Sumpter Valley Railway as chief engineer. From 1889 until at least 1910, Mr. West lived in alternately in Baker City, Oregon and in Ogden, Utah.

In 1911, the year Joseph’s last child, Fred Lawrence Albert West, was born, he published a family genealogy and history entitled, “Francis West of Duxbury, Mass. And Some of his Ancestors and Descendants: Including the Descendants of Chauncey Walker West, late of Ogden, Utah, and Abraham H. Hoagland, late of Salt Lake City, Utah”. A link to a copy of this book is available in “Google Book Links”.

On 17 April 1926, Joseph A. West died. He is buried, along with other family members, in the Ogden City Cemetery in Utah.

Of Mr. West, it was said that, “Anyone meeting Joseph A. West face to face would know at once that he is an individual embodying the elements of what in this country we term a "square" man--one in whom to have confidence, a dependable man in any relation and any emergency. His quietude of deportment, his easy dignity, his frankness and cordiality of address, with a total absence of anything sinister or anything to conceal, foretoken a man who is ready to meet any obligation of life with the confidence and courage that come of conscious personal ability, right conception of things and an habitual regard for what is best in the exercise of human activities.” (Noble Warrum, ed, Utah Since Statehood, Volumes 1-4, Chicago, IL, USA and Salt Lake City, UT, USA: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1919.)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Place of burial for each wife

Where was each wife buried? A simple question. A question not easily answered, but here goes. Thanks to others who have researched this West family, we are almost done with finding the answer to the question about place of burial. Only TWO burial places remain unknown. With eight out of ten wives being buried in the Ogden City Cemetery, I thought it would be nice to add a link to the online search option for the cemetery. When you find the one you want, the map that's provided will show you exactly where the person was buried. Print out the map so you can see the place of burial when you join us at the West family reunion next May 2009 !

Mary Hoagland
  • Ogden City Cemetery, Plat A, Block 5, Lot 21
Mary Ann Covington Stratton
  • Ogden City Cemetery, Plat A, Block 7, Lot 12-5W
Sarah Elizabeth Covington
  • Ogden City Cemetery, Plat D, Block 7, Lot 12-4W
Martha Joiner
Jeanette Nicol Gibson
  • Ogden City Cemetery, Plat A, Block 5, Lot 21
Adaline Amanda Wright
Angeline Almeda Shurtliff
Mary Ann Covington (buried as Mary Ann Ross)
  • Ogden City Cemetery, Plat E, Block 1, Lot 3-2E
Susan Hannah Covington
  • unknown
Louise Mariah Musgrave
  • unknown

Mary Ann Covington 1815-1908

We have three separate manuscripts about Mary Ann Covington that document her life and her marriage to Chauncey Walker West:
  1. "Biography of Mary Ann Covington Stratton West" by Ruby Brown Clayson. This manuscript was found at the BYU Harold B. Lee Library in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. Ruby was Mary Ann's grand-niece. We discovered this manuscript because of a comment added to an earlier blog entry about Mary Ann. This biographical sketch was originally submitted to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers by Ruby. The sketch is almost two pages long, typed, plus a title page.
  2. "Biographical information regarding the Brewer family ca. 1917-1972". The manuscript is located at the Church Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, MS9352. The collection of papers includes an exact copy of the biography found at BYU, except the title page was missing. Even though the title page was missing, we assume the sketch was written by Ruby Brown Clayson. (Note that this manuscript collection also included a six page biography of Chauncey Walker West titled, "A Biographical Sketch of My Grandfather West.")
  3. A second biographical sketch about Mary Ann Covington was found in the same manuscript papers as listed in item two above. The second sketch was titled, "A History Written by Marie West Belnap in 1972." This was a one page history about the life of her great-aunt, Mary Ann Covington. I believe Marie West Belnap was the daughter of Charles Covington West, and Charles was the son of Chauncey Walker West and Sarah Elizabeth Covington. (Please add a comment if you have additional information about this assumption.) 
Mary Ann Covington was born 31 March 1815 in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England to Berrill Covington and Elizabeth Hodges. The Covington family was baptized into the Church in 1840 and in 1842 Mary Ann and her brother Berrill Jr. immigrated to the United States. Mary Ann stayed in St. Louis, Missouri for a year and then migrated to Nauvoo, Illinois.

While living in Nauvoo, Mary either worked in the home of the Prophet Joseph Smith, or both lived and worked in the Prophet's home. (See sketch 1, 2, and 3 which document both senerios. Mary was eventually married to the Prophet's brother William, assumably in Nauvoo. According to the sketch written by Ruby Brown Clayson, the Prophet counseled her not to live with William as his wife, so she never did.

Sometime before 1847, Mary Ann was married to Joseph Albert Stratton. A record of this marriage has not been located thus far. (If anyone has already searched for and found an original marriage record, please feel free to add a comment to this blog entry.)

Joseph and Mary Ann migrated to Utah in 1847 with the Daniel Spencer/Perrigrine Sessions Company. See the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847-1868 website for more details about the company. (Note that some of the previous biographical sketches about Mary Ann and Joseph stated that they crossed the plains with the Joseph Horne company and that Joseph served as a clerk in the company. The records do not support this information.) Three years later, on 30 October 1850, Joseph Albert Stratton passed away.

Two years after Joseph's passing, Mary Ann Covington Stratton married Bishop Chauncey Walker West. Mary's grand-niece, Marie West Belnap, wrote that Mary was "sealed in the President's Office to Mr. Stratton, with Chauncy Walker West acting as proxey for him. Then Mary Ann married for time only to Chauncey Walker West so he could handle and manage her money and property, in building many businesses in Ogden." (Spelling was not changed, see sketch #3)

Three years after their marriage, she moved to Ogden, Utah and remained there the rest of her life. Mary Ann did not have any children. Mary had some "beautiful crystal and silver" that she brought to Utah. We assume these items were brought from England to the United States when the Covington family immigrated in 1842. (sketches 1-3)

Marie West Belnap wrote that Mary was "a staunch upholder of the faith, and had many positions of honor and trust in the Church Organizations. She was for a number of years President of the Relief Society in the second ward of Ogden [and] later was a councilor in the Relief Society in the Third Ward. At one time Mrs. West possessed a considerable amount of Ogden Property, largely in the business district, which gave her much prominence in civic affairs as well as in Church. She was widely known and beloved by all." Mary died 5 October 1908 in Ogden, Weber Co., Utah and was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery, plat A, block 7, lot 12 in the northeast corner of the lot. (click on links to Mary's death certificate online at FamilySearch Record Search and the cemetery link to a map that shows where she is buried.)

The Daughters of Utah Pioneers has a photograph of Mary Ann Covington in their collection.

Note: Ruby Brown Clayson's full name was Ruby Wray Thornton. She married (1) Marion Abram Brown, and (2) Eli James Clayson. Her parents were Simeon Covington Thornton and Elizabeth Robenia Steggell. Her grandparents were Thomas Ephraim Thornton and Priscilla Covington. Her great-grandparents were Berrill Covington and Elizabeth Hodges. Berrill and Elizabeth were the parents of Mary Ann Covington, the focus of this biography. 

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jeanette Nicol Gibson

Jeanette Nicol Gibson

On 10 July 1857 Chauncey married his fourth wife, Jeanette Nicol Gibson. Jeanette was born in the village of Paisley in Renfrew, Scotland, the daughter of William Gibson and Janet Nicol. Her parents were converted to the Mormon faith and received permission from the church to come to Salt Lake City. William Gibson kept a detailed journal, now in the archives at the Latter-day Saints’ library in Salt Lake City, in which he wrote:

In the beginning of January 1851 I & my family embarked with a Company of Saints at Liverpool on board the Ship George W. Bourne bound for New Orleans. When we arrived after a voyage of eight weeks I was appointed President of the Company. On arriving at New Orleans I charted the Steamer Concordia to take us up the River to St. Louis where we arrived after a quick trip of one week the latter end of March. [See National Archives Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, 1820–1902, Microfilm 259, Roll 33, November 1, 1850–March 21, 1851]

In May 1853 I started with my family for the Valley in Capt. Clawson Company. Went by way Keokuk & then took the old Mormon rout through Iowa to Council Bluffs & from that over the Plains to Salt Lake City where we arrived the middle of Sept 1853. [Transcribed from the original handwritten manuscript, written in pen by William Gibson. The manuscript consists of three volumes in bound notebooks in the LDS Church Historical Department, Salt Lake City.]

William Gibson was, by trade, a wood and iron turner. He died in Salt Lake City on 5 June 1875. His wife, Janet (Nicol) Gibson, died there eight years later on 12 June 1883. (William is pictured at the left)

Heber West (pictured below) was the only of Jeanette’s three children to survive to adulthood. Heber’s younger sister, Ada Ann, was born two years after him but died at the age of twelve in 1873 — a traumatic event for her fourteen year old brother. Jeanette delivered one other child, another son, David Gibson West, born 4 October 1864, but he died less than a year later in June 1865. Only two months later, Jeanette Gibson West died at the age of 25 on 4 August 1865. [The portrait of Jeanette Nicol Gibson shown here was painted posthumously. The original painting is now owned by my uncle in California.]

Heber and Ada were then raised in the Salt Lake City home of their uncle, John Sharp, a railroad contractor who was also from Scotland. They appear in the Sharp’s large household in the 1870 census. In 1880, Heber was still living in the same home. At the time of the census John Sharp was not at home (perhaps he was away on a mission) and the household was headed by his wife, Annie Gibson Sharp, Jeanette Gibson West’s sister. John Sharp was a major contractor on the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. Also, Heber’s grandmother, Janet Nicol Gibson, was now living in this same family at this time.

About this time, Heber met Alice Clara Bell. She was the third of six children born to the brief marriage of Millard P. Bell and Harriet Leah Husbands. Alice was born in Salt Lake City on 29 January 1864.

Heber West and Alice Bell were joined in marriage in a ceremony held at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City on Heber’s birthday — 8 January 1884. They made their home in the rough-and-tumble frontier town of Pocatello, Idaho, where Heber worked for the Union Pacific Railroad as a master mechanic in the central roundhouse. He prided himself not only in his skill as a mechanic, but also in his style of dress, always careful to be resplendently attired. For their first breakfast, Alice prepared two eggs for Heb. He was a superstitious man, and asked her never again to serve him an even number of eggs. So from that time on he had three.

Apparently he also suffered from a bit of a temper, for the following article appeared on page 3 of The Deseret News on Tuesday evening, 25 November 1890:

A telegram was received in this city today by Hon. John Sharp, stating that Heber W. West, son of the late Bishop Chauncey West of Ogden, had been shot and killed at Pocatello last night. No Particulars were given. Pocatello was communicated with and the following message was received:

Pocatello, Idaho, Nov. 25 (Special to the Deseret News) - Last night while a dance was in progress at a saloon and dance house here, H. W. West, a machinist employed in the Union Pacific shops, was shot and instantly killed by Deputy U.S. Marshall Chas. Phelps.

It seems West was becoming noisy and was ordered off the floor by Phelps, this led to hot words and Phelps was knocked down by West. While on the floor, Phelps drew a revolver and shot West through the heart. The murderer made his escape but was captured by Sheriff Woodin at Eagle Rock, Idaho, at eleven o’clock this morning.

The deceased lived in this city for several years and was well known. He was employed in the machine shops of the Union Pacific Railway Company at Pocatello. He leaves a wife and two children.

As reported, Charles Phelps was caught trying to make his escape. He was returned to face trial, as The Idaho News newspaper noted four days later on 29 November 1890:

Charles Phelps, United States Deputy Marshal, charged with the shooting and killing Heb West in the notorious dive, den and saloon, “555,” at Pocatello after midnight Monday night, is undergoing a preliminary examination before Judge Hopkins as we go to press. . . . Not more than one or two of the witnesses have been examined, but the general opinion on the outside is that Phelps will be held for the next grand jury.

Chauncey West's Ogden Home

Chauncey West’s Ogden Home

Chauncey West was appointed presiding Bishop of Weber County in November, 1855, a position that he retained until his death. That fall, Chauncey moved his family from Salt Lake City to Ogden. His home there occupied “almost the entire block in the very center of what is now the business part of Ogden City, between Washington and Grant Avenue and between 23rd and 24th Street. He built his home and a large barn on Main Street and planted almost the entire block into an orchard and a vegetable garden.” [Genealogical Journal, Utah Genealogical Association, volume 22, page 16.]

Note: the street names in Ogden have changed from what they were when Chauncey lived there. The attached map (taken from the 1884 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map for Ogden) shows the earlier street names: Third (for 23rd), Fourth (for 24th), Main (for Washington) and Young (for Grant).

His estate on that block included numerous buildings, fields, and orchards. In Ogden, Chauncey “entered the lumber business on a rather large scale . . . . [He also] built and operated a tannery and used the leather in making boots, shoes, harnesses and saddles. Also on 24th Street, he built a wagon and blacksmith shop. . . and had a meat market on the same street. Near the center of the block on 24th Street, he established a very fine livery stable, and across the street on the corner of Main and 24th Street, he built and operated a hotel called the Ogden House.” [Genealogical Journal, Utah Genealogical Association, volume 22, page 17.]

“By 1861 plays were presented in Chauncey West’s barn located at 2375 Washington Boulevard.” [Roberts & Sadler, A History of Weber County, page 186.]

According to family stories, the main house had a suite for each of his wives, each one with a sitting room and bedroom. Each wife had a small house of her own on the block occupied by Chauncey’s estate. These “sitting rooms” in the main house were in addition to those separate homes. The wives shared in the household chores on a regular basis, two or three each week working together doing the cooking, cleaning, washing, and so forth, for the large family. The dining room was especially large and on at least one occasion young Heber was chastised for riding his horse around the dining room table!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Top of monument, facing west

The two names on the top of the monument facing north are for two of Chauncey's children. Transcription and details include:
  • Margaret West, died 1848, aged 1 year. She was born 23 September 1847. Her mother was Mary Hoagland. The cemetery plat sheet listed her birth place as Green River, Wyoming and  died at Salt Lake, Utah in 1849. Note that the year of death is different on the monument than it was on the plat sheet.
  • Chauncey W. West, died 1895, aged 46 years. This was the first son born to Chauncey Walker West, so in many records he is listed a "Jr." His mother was Mary Hoagland. He married Sylvia Snow, daughter of President Lorenzo Snow and Sarah Ann Prichard. Chauncey and Sylvia had four children, three girls and one boy who was also named Chauncey Walker.
  • A third child, named Josephine, daughter of Mary Hoagland and Chauncey Walker West was listed on the bottom section of the north side of the monument.
  • Mary and Chauncey's children who lived to adulthood were Joseph Alva West and John Abraham West.

Bottom of monument, facing west

A transcription and added details about each person listed on this section of the monument:
Children of C.W. West
  • Josephine  D. 27 Dec. 1862 A.5 Yrs. (daughter of Mary Hoagland. We do not have an exact date of birth, but if she died at age 5 as carved on this monument, her year of birth would be 1858.)
  • Sarah E. D. 23 Feb. 1859 A. 9 Ms. (Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of Sarah Elizabeth Covington. Born 23 May 1858)
  • Victoria  D. 27 Aug 1865 A. 11 Ms. (Victoria, born 16 June 1864, daughter of Sarah Elizabeth Covington.)
  • Martha P., D. 1 Jan 1867 A. 2 Yrs. 11 Ms. (Martha Parmelia, born 24 January 1864, daughter of Martha Joiner.)
  • David G., D. 6 Jun 1865 A. 8 Ms. (David Gibson, born 4 October 1864, son of Jeanette Nicol Gibson.)
  • Ada A., D. 3 Oct. 1873 A. 11 Yrs. (Ada Ann, born 3 october 1861, daughter of Jeanette Nicol Gibson.)
  • Eugenie  D. 16 Aug. 1861 A. 11 Ms. (Eugenie aka Eugene, born 28 Aug 1860, son of Adaline Amanda Wright.)
  • Juliette D. 9 Feb 1865 A. 9 Ms. (Juliette, aka Julia Etta, born in May 1860, daughter of Adaline Amanda Wright.)
  • Lester D. Mar 1866 A. 4 Ms. (Lester, born in November 1865, son of Adaline Amanda Wright.)
  • Adaline  D. 14 Aug 1870 A. 10 Ms. (Adaline, aka Adeline, born in October 1869, daughter of Adaline Amanda Wright.)
  • Cynthia A.  D. 29 Oct 1867 A. 4 Ms. (Cynthia A., born in June 1867, daughter of Angeline Shurtliff.)
  • Melissa J. D. 4 Aug 1870 A. 1 Yr 5 Ms. (Melissa J., born in March 1869, daughter of Angeline Shurtliff.)
  • Orlander D. 13 June 1866 A. 11 Yrs (Orlander, born in July 1865, son of Mary Ann Covington 1841-1920.)
  • Louisa D. 15 Aug. 1870 A. 22 Ms. (Louisa, born in 1868, daughter of Susan Hannah Covington.)
  • David Loudon  D. 24 FEB 1863 Aged about 36 Yrs. (not a member of Chauncey's family, have no other information about him)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Angeline Shurtliff's headstone

Angeline Shurtliff, wife of Chauncey Walker West. She was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery, but not at the West family plot where other family were buried. We do not know who had this monument placed on her burial site, especially because both of her children, daughters of herself and Chauncey died in infancy. Perhaps she remarried after Chauncey's death and had other children by a second marriage who had this monument placed for her. The information on her monument reads:

Angeline Shurtliff
Wife of C. West
Feb. 8, 1843
Jan. 25, 1910

The information from the cemetery plat sheets on FHL microfilm 1672572 includes the following details:
Angelina West
Father: Elisah Shurtliff; Mother: Cynthia Noble; Husband: C. West
Born: Massa, Feb 8, 1843; Died: Roy, Utah Jan 25, 1910; Buried: Jan 27, 1910, Ogden City Cemetery. [Massa was an abbreviation for Massachusetts. Her death certificate is available online at FamilySearch Record Search and also the Utah State Archives website.]

The north side of the West monument

During the summer of 2003 I spent some time at the Ogden City Cemetery taking pictures of monuments and headstones for ancestors on both my lines and my husband's. This monument is for Chauncey Walker West, my 2nd great-grandmother's first husband.

The monument was destroyed several years ago by vandals one night. Evidently the damage was done by kids who drove their car into the monument, breaking it into pieces. An attempt was made to put the pieces back together, but the evidence of the damage is clearly visible. This view of the monument was taken from the north, looking south in the late afternoon. The writing on the stone book is worn, but the following was barely readable, the left side of the open book reads:

"Even __ from __ __ forth blessed __ are the dead who die in the Lord" D & C page 13

The right side reads: "Thou who asleep in Jesus __ God bring with __" I Thes

The section under the stone book and before the bottom section reads: "Erected by Joseph A. West as a tribute of affection to the memory of departed family this June 1879"

The bottom section of the north side of the West monument is etched with the details for Chauncey's death, and two of his wives. The inscription reads:

Chauncey W. West
Died 6th Jan 1870
Aged 42 Yrs 11 Ms 3 Ds

Mary Hoagland
Died 7 Aug 1870
Aged 41 Yrs, 6 Ms, 16 Ds

Jenette Gibson
Died 4 Aug 1865
Aged 25 Yrs 3 Ms 23 Ds

Joseph Alva West was the owner of the two adjoining lots where several West family members were buried. Joseph paid $200.00 for perpetual care for both plots (Lot 21, Block 5, Plat A and Lot 20, Block 5, Plat A).  The plat sheet states that there were no surface indications to show where each person was actually buried, but that the "monument called for 24 interments on this and adjoint lot 20-5-A. Our records show two adults and five children." The plat sheet also stated that additional information was taken from an old record book dated 1859-1887 and on page 276 there was an indication that Louisa West, age 1, and Adeline West were also buried in the area where the monument was later erected. (See FHL film 1672571 for the plat sheet cemetery record.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

John and Adelia West Hoagland

On the south side of the West family monument in the Ogden City Cemetery is the burial information for Chauncey's nieces and nephews, children of his sister Adelia. Since the monument is being replaced by the West family organization in May 2009, we would like to include the descendants of the Hoagland family in the special dedicatory services. If anyone knows Hoagland family members who would be interested in the West family reunion and monument replacement, please forward this information on to them. The Hoagland children born to John and Adelia [West] Hoagland were:
1. Alice Cornelia (died when she was nine years old and was buried at the West family plot)
2. Mary Adelia (died when she was seven years old and was buried at the West family plot)
3. John Aaron
4. Quincy Alva (died when she was seven months old and was buried at the West family plot)
5. Elizabeth (died when she was six months old and was buried at the West family plot)
6. Louis Gerald
7. George Quincey
8. Franklin Leo
9. Winnetta W.
10. Clarence Aaron

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Albert Andrew West

Albert Andrew West, son of Chauncey Walker West and Adaline Amanda Wright. Albert was born 10 June 1862 in Ogden, Weber, Utah. He married Julia Amelia Anderson on 16 April 1887 in Ogden. Albert and Julia had five children, three daughters and two sons:
Elnora Amelia West (1887-1978)
Albertha Amanda West (1889-1954)
Albert Raymond West (1891-1911)
Clarence Josiah West (1893-1976)
Juanita May West (?-1967)

Albert died when he was 31 years old, on 19 April 1894 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho. He was buried 21 April 1894 at the Ogden City Cemetery.

Ten years after Albert passed away, his wife Julia remarried. On 21 December 1904 in Big Timber, Sweet Grass, Montana, Julia Amelia Anderson West married Oscar Benjamin Curtis and they had four children. See the Benjamin Kingman Curtis Blog include the Oscar Benjamin Curtis marriage post for more details about the Curtis family. Children:
Anita M. Curtis (about 1904- ?)
Oscar Andersen Curtis (1907-?)
stillborn male child (1908)
Jetta Lorraine Curtis (1910-1951)

At age 63, Oscar preceded Julia in death on 22 January 1921. Fifteen years later, Julia passed away on 27 October 1936. She was 70 years old and was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Farr West

I am a member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers organization and every month we study a portion of our pioneer history. In November 2003 the lesson was on the history of Weber County, Utah and then in January 2004 the lesson was about the pioneers of Weber County. I learned something about Chauncey Walker West in both lessons. I always thought that the town of Farr West in Utah was named after FarWest, Missouri, a town well-known in the history of our pioneers. I learned differently when I read the lessons.

"Sometime between 1852 and 1860, Chauncey West settled farther west in Harrisville in an area called West Harrisville." This was the beginning of the settlement later named Farr West.... It was not until 1890 that the west part of Harrisville was organized into a ward and named Farr West after two early settlers in Weber County, Lorin Farr and Chauncey West." (DUP Lesson for November 2003, History of Weber County compiled by Lou Jean S. Wiggins, p 110-111. The history for Farr West was originally taken from "The Story of Farr West," by Lila B. Garlick, which is part of the DUP History Collection and not available at the Family History Library.)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Reading old worn out gravestones

We are going to be replacing the monument that marks the burial site for Chauncey Walker West in May 2009. Some of the writing on the monument is completely worn away, making it impossible to read any of the words. I keep thinking there's got to be a way to read the old carvings on the monument that is over 100 years old. This morning while cleaning my office I ran across an article that I read on England's BBC News website last October. Luckily I had printed the article and tucked it in a safe place, making it possible to find today. The article told about some new technology that was making it possible to read the old worn out headstones that are scattered throughout England. Some of the pictures in the article showed that nothing was visible to the eye, but after the scans the writing was completely visible. The technology was developed by scientists at Carnegie Mellon university in the United States. Check out the article if this is something that intrigues you too: Scans reveal lost gravestone text from the BBC News website. Maybe there's still something we can do to help us read the words that are worn out on Chauncey's burial site monument.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mary Hoagland 1829-1870

On 11 February 1829 Mary Hoagland was born at Royal Oak, Oakland county, Michigan. On 9 May 1846 Mary was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A few days later she married Chauncey Walker West on 16 May 1846 in Nauvoo, Hancock county, Illinois. She was seventeen years old at the time of her marriage. Chauncey and Mary had five children, two girls and three boys. Unfortunately both daughters died in infancy. The sons lived to adulthood, married and had children of their own:
  1. Margaret H. West (1847-1848)
  2. Chauncey Walker West, Jr. (1849-1894)
  3. Joseph Alva West (1851-1926)
  4. John Abraham West (1856-1925)
  5. Josephine West (1862-1862)
Mary passed away in Ogden, Weber county, Utah when she was 41 years old. She was buried at the Ogden City Cemetery. The inscription on the headstone states that she was 41 years, 6 months, and 16 days old at the time of her death. The burial location was at Lot 21, Block 5, Plat A.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The India Mission

The Guide to Mormon Diaries and Autobiographies by Davis Bitton includes an entry for Chauncey Walker West's mission to India. The Guide states that Chauncey's record is on file at HDC (Church History Department of the LDS Church) and is an autobiography for 1852-1855. "The India Mission," was published in the Deseret News 5 (1855-1856): 198, 206, 230, 264, 286. This record was a "series of five letters describing missionary activities in India and Ceylon, 1852-55." The following links are to the letters that were printed in the Deseret News and are now published in the Utah Digital Newspapers online collection:
"The Nobility of Failure" was a devotional address given on 29 June 1999 by R. Lanier Britsch, a BYU professor of history at the time this address was given. Among the things he said in his talk, include the following:

"...Defeat is not the end for truly good men and women.

"Today I will share with you in brief form the story of 17 men who served the Church in a cause they considered a failure. The cause was the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to India, Burma, and Siam (Thailand) between 1851 and 1856. I first became aware of this great chapter in Church history when I wrote about it in my master's thesis. Recently, with many more sources and resources, I have rewritten the story of the mission: Nothing More Heroic: The Compelling Story of the First LDS Missionaries in India (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1999)."

"The elders who served were obedient. They trusted in the Lord and in their leaders. Among these elders several announced publicly upon their arrival in Utah that they were ready to accept any future assignments from their priesthood leaders. Elder Chauncey Walker West wrote:

"I feel grateful to my Father in Heaven that my life has been spared to mingle again with the saints in these peaceful valleys, and I now report myself on hand for duty whenever the servants of God call, for the Priesthood is my law.
["The India Mission: Letter No. 5," Deseret News 5, no. 36 (14 November 1855): 286]"

Britsch closed his talk by saying, "That we may learn to distinguish between what appears to be success and what is success in eternal terms is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

Early labors blocked

In the Church News, 16 Sep 1978, was an article about Chauncey Walker West's mission experience in Ceylon: "On their way to a mission assignment in Siam in 1853, Elders Chauncey W. West and Benjamin F. Dewey found their way blocked by political disorder in Berma (through which they had planned to pass) and by the monsoon season. They decided to take a ship to Ceylon and see what success they might have in preaching the gospel there.

"A British military officer they met on the ship kindly rented a carriage and gave the Mormon elders a tour of the island. It was beautiful and fertile, quite different from arid Utah. 'The road to the cinnamon gardens was smooth, leading through beautiful groves of cocoanut and breadfruit trees, interspersed now and then with small fields of rice.' This description, written by Elder West in a letter, continued with a description of a visit to a long house where natives were peeling and curing cinnamon. A plantation owner showed them lemon, orange, plantain, mango, nutmeg, clove and guava trees, 'after which he took us to his pineapple bed and told us to pick what we wanted.'"

The two elders attempted to preach the gospel in Ceylon, Galle, and in Colombo, but were continuously turned away. "Discouraged by their lack of success, the missionaries returned to Galle. 'The weather being very hot,' wrote Elder West, 'it took us five days to walk to Galle; we slept upon the ground, and our food was rice and cocoanuts. We passed through 37 native towns.'"

"In Galle they were able to find a ship to take them to Bombay, India and ended their missionary experiences in Ceylon, after having been there for only two months." (original article was written by Jeffery O. Johnson and was part of a series produced by the Church Historical Department.)

The West family monument

During the summer of 2003 I spent some time at the Ogden City Cemetery taking pictures of monuments and headstones for ancestors on both my lines and my husband's. This monument is for Chauncey Walker West, my 2nd great-grandmother's first husband.

The monument was destroyed several years ago by vandals one night. Evidently the damage was done by kids who drove their car into the monument, breaking it into pieces. An attempt was made to put the pieces back together, but the evidence of the damage is clearly visible. This view of the monument was taken from the north, looking south in the late afternoon.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A case for Mary Ann Covington

Did Chauncey Walker West have two wives by the name of Mary Ann Covington? This post will answer that question. Searching all the currently available published resources did not answer this question, but an unpublished biographical manuscript available at the Church History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints solved the mystery.

The title of the manuscript is "Biographical information regarding the Brewer family ca. 1917-1972," MS9352. I obtained a copy in 1999 of the pages that answered the question about Mary Ann Covington.

The title page of the manuscript is a dedication written by the author, "To my three girls, I dedicate this book that they might know the things of the past and preserve the things of the present for the future" The book of papers included a six page biographical sketch of Chauncey Walker West, who the author states was his grandfather. Then on pages 137-138 was a biographical sketch of Mary Ann Covington Stratton West. The details in the sketch that answer the question about her relationship to Chauncey Walker West include:

Mary Ann Covington was born 31 March 1815 at Bedford, Bedfordshire, England, the third child of Berrill Covington and Elizabeth Hodges.... She emigrated to Utah in 1847 in company of her husband, Joseph Albert Stratton.... They came to Utah in 1847 in Joseph Horne's company.... Mary Ann's husband died October 30th 1850 and in 1852 she married Bishop Chauncey Walker West and moved to Ogden three years later where she lived the rest of her life.... She was never blessed with children but she spent a life of service to her Church and her fellow man.

Mary Ann Covington Stratton West died on 5 Oct 1908. The second person by the name of Mary Ann Covington was born in 1841 and died in 1920. Both women were buried in the Ogden City Cemetery, located in Ogden, Utah. The second Mary Ann (1841-1920), had two children, Orlander West (1865-1866), and Milton Josiah West (1868-1937), both of whom were also buried in the Ogden City Cemetery.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Puzzle pieces concerning Chauncey's wives

Chauncey Walker West was married to two different sets of sisters:

1st Set:
Mary Ann Covington (born 1815) and Sarah Elizabeth Covington (born 1835) were sisters.

2nd Set:
Mary Ann Covington (born 1841) and Susan Hannah Covington (born 1850) were sisters.

The two Mary Ann's were also related to each other, being aunt and niece. Their relationship comes through Josiah Covington, brother of Mary Ann (1815) and Sarah Elizabeth (1835). Josiah married Susan Freeman and had six children. Two of his daughters married Chauncey Walker West.

Chauncey's Story

Much has already been written about Chauncey's life, his wives, children, and ancestry. This blog is dedicated to the keeping the memory of his life alive for all his descendants.

I am not a direct descendant of Chauncey, but I definitely have an ancestral connection. My claim to this great man comes through his fifth wife, Adaline Amanda Wright. After Chauncey's death, Adaline married Isaac Augustus Canfield. Adaline and Isaac had two children, a boy and a girl. Their son died in infancy and their daughter, Ella May Canfield, grew to adulthood, married William Rushmer Curtis, and had twelve children, one of which was my grandmother Ada Curtis.

When searching the ancestry of Chauncey Walker West and Isaac Augustus Canfield, the story comes full circle. By comparing their ancestry, we discover that they were first cousins. When I made this discovery, I understood why my grandmother Ada loved the stories about her "West" ancestors because they were her grandmother Adaline's ancestors through both of her husbands, Chauncey and Isaac. In addition, grandma Ada was named after one of her "West" cousins.

A lot of conflicting information exists about Chauncey's wives. Some have recorded that he had nine, and others have ten. After a considerable amount of research, including diaries and autobiographies located at the Church Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have been able to completely resolve this confusion. The details that unravel this mystery will be included on this blog.