Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Marva Jones Laws, Fern Laws Palmer, and Georgan Hurst Burtenshaw in front of Galbraith's Confectionery.

Ferns Laws (Palmer) and Georgan Hurst (Burtenshaw).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

History of Emma James

Francis G. Laws, San Juan County Sheriff 1973

Francis G. Laws San Juan County Sheriff

I found the link to this awesome photo on San Juan Mortuary's memorial page.  http://www.kenhochfeld.com/utah11.html

Ken has taken some FABULOUS photos of Blanding folks. The photos were taken in 1972-73 and are part of "They Call It Home: The Southeastern Utah Collection."  The photos all have this awesome retro feel to them... Made my day to just look through all of them! Check out Ken's website and see who you find!!!!

Here are some of the names: Galbraith, H. J. Kartchner (I love this photo!), Cardon Jones, Von Hunt, Charlie Sipes, Dorothy Nielson, William Riley Hurst, Rigby Wright, DeReese Nielson and his cowboys, Justin and Blanche Black, Olin and Hazel Oliver, Phillip and Mable Hurst, Britta Bradford, Herman Butt, Pearl Butt, Ida Nielson, Iva Hatch, Sam Shore and Son, Gordon Hawkins family, Kelly Laws and friends, Mike Acton. 

Please help identify photo, collecting histories for descendants of James Harvey Glines

Mary Jane Vuyk writes, "I am enclosing a couple of pictures that I want to put on the site ... I  want them out where others can see them and help me to put names to the pictures." 

If you know who these ladies are, please contact Mary Jane at m.vuyk@q.com.

Also, Mary Jane is collecting histories for the descendants of  James Harvey Glines. If you have anything to share, please contact her!

Family album cover

Mary Jane Vuyk is in the process of scanning a family album that has over 60 pictures in it - this art is the cover! Looking forward to posting the photos as Mary Jane gets them scanned!

Riddell and Lloyd Barton

This photo was contributed by Mary Jane Vuyk of her dad Riddell Barton (on the right) and Riddell's younger brother Lloyd (on the left). Mary Jane writes that the photo was taken "when they were little girls as my dad always said." 

Francis Laws eulogy

Francis Gordon Laws
January 19, 1946 – May 25, 2012

This eulogy was given by Francis Laws’s sister Shirley Trent at his funeral. Thanks to Mary Jane Vuyk for transcribing it and making it available to everyone.

Francis Laws was born to Parley and Mariam Laws and joined a big sister, Shirley and a big brother Jamie at home.  He was born in what we called the “Old Shaggy House” in Blanding, San Juan on 19 Jan 1946. Dr. Bayles delivered him
Francis grew up tagging Jamie around and doing everthing he did.  We lived in Blanding for awhile and then we moved to Alkali and our Dad dry farmed for several years until I (Shirley) was old enough to go to school.  Then we moved back to Blanding and bought a piece of land and moved an old sheep herder’s shack onto it and lived in two rooms until they started adding on to it.
Francis loved to ride a horse and he and Jamie and their friends used to go out riding all day with a sack lunch and a water bag.  Francis was thrown from his horse on one trip and Jamie and whoever was with them put a splint on it (they learned how in Boy Scouts) with their belts and some sticks and brought him to town and Mom took him to the doctor. The doctor told her that the boys had done a good job of putting the splint on it.

We spent a lot of time at the ranch and Francis and Jamie picked up rocks and sticks while Shirley drove the pickup.  I received an e-mail from one of the many friends that Francis had and he remembered raising doggie labs with Jamie and how much fun they had doing It.  Jamie even remembered the names of the lambs they had.  They would get them from Alma Redd.

The boys spent quite a bit of time in Montezuma Creek with Grandpa and Grandma Black and they had an old car they fixed up and hot-rodded around down there.  They had fun at everything they did.
Francis went to grammar school at Blanding Elementary and he graduated from San Juan High School.  He worked until he was old enough to be drafted into the service of our country and served a tour of duty in Vietnam.  He was always proud to be a veteran. He met and brought his wife, Eleanor and her two children, Mark and Dana into our lives, and they had three more sons together, Brandon, Eric and Reese.
Francis and Eleanor lived in Blanding for a few years and he worked driving trucks for Junior Cosby and Sierra Tree Farms hauling logs off the Elk Ridge and LaSal mountains. Sometimes he would haul for Lester Crain, hauling ore from Fry Canyon to the Moab mill through Hanksville.  He was paid $30.00 a load and it took all day to make a trip. Highway 95 was not paved at that time.

When the veterans’ preference law went into effect in order to hire more Vietnam veterans in the country, Francis applied and was hired by the San Juan County Sheriff’s office as a deputy.  He moved his family to Bluff and then when John Dufer retired he was required to move to White Mesa. After a year he was replaced by a tribal police and he moved his family back to Blanding. Soon after he was approached by Junior Hoggard to drive his water truck to his drilling rigs on Deer Flats and Francis quit the county.
He drilled two water wells in town. One was for Eleanor and one was for his mother. He liked his job, but was often required to be away from home for ten days at a time.

Francis loved to hunt deer and often took his wife and sons out to Alkali and Bulldog to hunt. They had to gut and skin their own deer and clean their own fish.  He taught them all he had be taught.

His hobby was to find old vehicles and rebuild the engines, especially jeeps. His friends soon bought jeeps for themselves and they would go with Francis and their young families on the mountain and Bluff on dirt roads. The challenge was to get there and back without driving on any paved roads.

All the kids learned a new game of tag while riding. They would stop and gather pinecones to throw at each other. Francis would drive very fast and park behind big bushes and as the other jeeps passed by his kids would bombard the other jeeps with pinecones. It was fun until Mark fell out of the jeep and Eleanor said “Enough!”

Other times, he would take them “sand duning”. After Mark bumped his head on the roll bar and broke the windshield with the unhurt part of his head, Eleanor pointed the way home.

In 1999 Francis bought his first truck and went into business for himself. He hauled locally and cross country. His love of trucks never waned. He bought seven during his business career.

Francis went to work for Clint Howell on the south rim of the Grand Canyon and promised him a year, but ended up staying eight years. He moved his family there for the last six months of the job.

He taught his sons to drive trucks, run heavy equipment and fix their own cars. He was often heard to say, that if he had all the tools his kids had lost, he could open his own tool store and retire a wealthy man.
In his later years, he and Eleanor would go in the truck and see the country, picking up loads to haul on the way.  Most of the time they would run with Glade Young, his good friend. Francis remembered those as fun times.

He had friends everywhere he went, and reunited with them at truck stops, exchanging news about other jobs and friends. He said the largest city he had ever seen was Toronto, Canada, and when he went to Southeast Asia, he had gone so far east, that he met himself on the way. He and Eleanor would discuss where they might go on vacation and he would say, “No, I’ve already been there.”

He finally got tired of long hauling and went to work for S & S hauling asphalt for Staker Parsons. At last he found something he could enjoy and make money at it. Above all he could stay put for the summer and retire for the winter. His mother for winter driving was “If I might have to chain up---I won’t go.” He purchased a camper and lived at the job all over the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. After he was diagnosed with cancer in August 2011, Francis underwent treatment and had to stay home to mend, but was so sad that he couldn’t go drive. One day Glade, Curtis Perkins and Scott Marion picked him up and took him to breakfast. “Just like old times,” he said.  His day was not complete until he received a call from one or all of these close friends.

He worked with or for some good men; Junior Cosby, George Petty, Curtis Palmer, Junior Hoggard, Clint Howell, Reed Hurst and many others. They brought jobs and revenue to our county and were willing to teach the young men to work various trades.

Francis loved his children and grandchildren with all of his heart and called then on the phone frequently when he was on the road. He called his wife and told her goodnight and “I love you” every night when he parked the truck for the night.

His last words were, “I’m going home.”

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wilma, Julene, Dorthea, Geneva and Rhea Laws, abt. 1958

Photo contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Wilma, Julene
Dorthea, Geneva

June and Helen Laws

Photo contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Julian Asa Laws and second wife Helen. Photo taken in 1953 at June's daughter Fern Laws Palmer's home.

Harry Laws, Robert Laws about 1958

 Harry Laws holding son Robert Laws .
Harry Laws.

Photoscontributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Geneva, Wilma, Dorthea, Julene and Rhea Laws

Photo contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Clockwise, l to r: Geneva, Wilma, Dorthea, Julene, and Rhea Laws

Dwight, Hart, Val, Kleston and Asa Laws

Photo contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Back row, l to r: Dwight, Hart, Val, Kleston Laws
Front: Asa Laws

Boyd, Asa, Hart and Val Laws

Photos contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Back: Boyd, Asa
Front: Hart, Val

Boyd Laws, 1958

Photo contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Laws Family Photo

Photo contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Back, l to r: Riddell Barton, Bill Laws, Dot Laws, Lu Laws, June Laws, Marva Laws holding Lou Ann Laws, Parley Laws, Miriam Laws holding Jamie Laws
2nd row: Kay Barton
Front row, l to r: Shirley Laws, Bill Barton, Clark Barton

Keed Laws, 1936

Photo contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Larry Keed Laws was born on 19 May 1936 and died 10 Oct 1936 (see death certificate on this blog).

Bill and Dot Laws Family

Photo contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Back row: Bill, Julene, Kleston, Wilma
2nd row: Rhea, Dorthea, Geneva, Dot
Front row: Val, Asa, Hart

Asa, Kleston, Val and Hart Laws about 1958

Kleston in back with Asa, Val and Hart Laws.

L to R: Asa, Kleston, Val and Hart Laws

Photos contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Laws men group photo

Photo contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

L to r:  Bill Laws, June Laws, Harry Laws, Clark Barton, Kay Barton, Riddell Barton, Parley Laws
Front: Bill Barton

Riddell Barton holding Dawn 1940

Photo contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Lucy Cordelia Laws 1939

Photo contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Harry Laws holding Lynda Lu Palmer

Photo contributed by Mary Vuyk/Lou Ann Grover

Friday, September 2, 2011

Listening in on our pioneer past

Pioneer Songs

By clicking on the link above you will be treated to several songs sung by the pioneers as they carved civilization out of the West, as sung by their descendants in 1947, when they were recorded for the Library of Congress's Archive of Folk Culture.  These examples were recorded in 1946 and 1947 by Austin Fife and his wife Alta as they gethered songs passed on in the folk tradition—either learned firsthand from the writer or passed down in families and communities.

Of particular interest to the Laws family is a song written about the railroad. William Hart Laws, who was in his 20s, was present at the laying of the last rail at Promontory, Utah. He wrote that he was near the back, not close enough to see the actual driving of the spikes. Directly after the Transcontinental Railroad was finished, he worked on the Utah Central Railway from Ogden to Salt Lake.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Abia William Brown, Sr.

This link takes you to the fascinating story of William Derby Johnson's father-in-law, William Abia Brown, Sr. The man was a stowaway on a ship, became a sailor, was shipwrecked three times, rescued by pirates, sold as a slave in Turkey, escaped and returned to America and became a doctor before marrying his sweetheart, Abigail Cadwalader.

Ezekiel and Julia Hills Johnson

Here's a link to a blog covering the histories of Ezekiel and Julia Hills Johnson:

Ezekiel was considered one of the first martyrs of the Church, and he wasn't even a member!

Friday, July 15, 2011


Since Wm. Hart Laws, our ancestor, was present at the driving of this nationally historic event, the following festival might be of interested to his descendants:



August 13, 2011

Cab tours of the Jupiter and 119 will be conducted throughout the day by volunteers and park personnel. Re-enactments of the Last Spike Ceremony will occur at 11:00 am and 1:30 pm. Visitors can test their skill at a variety of activities such as buffalo chip throwing, wood stoking, relay races,  checkers, triangle tough of rope.   Other activities include Operation Life Saver (Railroad safety education program), musical entertainment throughout the day, also the speeder and handcar will be returning by popular demand.

This year we are adding a game called Trivi Rail (this is similar to the board game trivial pursuit) as there can only be 6 players at a time you are welcome to sign up in advance by contacting the visitor center desk (435) 471-2209 ext 29, times will be provided.  You can also sign up that day.
The Visitor Center will open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 5:00 p.m. No entrance fees will be charged on this special day and all games, activities, and entertainment are free. Food will be available to purchase through Culinary Concepts or bring your own picnic.

Come on out for some relaxing fun and fresh air, and learn a little more about this great park! Just some reminders the weather in August is usually hot and sunny so water and sun screen are a must.   Animals must be kept on leash, picked up after and also will need water.  With the extra moisture we have had this year the insect population it up so bug spray is suggested.

Special Note:  As there will be raw eggs for some of the relays this year you may want to bring some extra clothing to change.


Golden Spike National Historic Site is located 32 miles west of Brigham City via State Highway 13 and 83. Take exit 365 off Interstate 15.

Additional information can be obtained by calling the visitor center at 435-471-2209, ext. 29 or by checking the park’s website at www.nps.gov/gosp.

Golden Spike NHS

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Relay Games: Water Transfer, Egg & Spoon, Egg Toss, Three Legged Race, Three Man Tough of War, Buffalo Chip Throwing, and Boiler Stoking
Board Games: Checkers, Ring Toss, Snakes and Ladders, and others.
Handcar Rides / Speeder Rides
Operation Lifesaver: inside the visitor center
Golden Spike Movie: Visitor Center main auditorium

Starting times
09:00 a.m.       Visitor Center Opens
09:30 a.m.       Arrival of Jupiter & No. 119
10:00 a.m.       Trivi Rail game
                        Musical Entertainment
11:00 a.m.       Re-enactment of Last Spike Ceremony
12:00 p.m.       Trivi Railroad game                
Musical Entertainment
01:00 p.m.       Locomotive Demonstration
01:30 p.m.       Re-enactment of Last Spike Ceremony
02:00 p.m.       Trivi Railroad game                
Musical Entertainment
03:30 p.m.       Locomotive Demonstration
04:30 p.m.       Departure of Jupiter & No. 119
05:00 p.m.       Visitor Center Closes

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Food Vendor: will be Culinary Concepts

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Life Sketch of Jane Cadwallader Brown

1832-1908 (75 Years)


Jane Cadwallader Brown was born 5 June 1832 at Birmingham, (southeast of Sandusky) Erie, Ohio to Abia William Brown and Abby Cadwallader Brown. There is very little known of her early childhood life. Her parents were Quakers, and she was a quaint sweet little Quaker girl, very small with real dark hair and eyes. In 1847 or 1848 William Derby Johnson Sr. fell in love with her and they were married on 9 November 1848 in Nauvoo. She was just 16 years of age and he was 24.

William adored Jane, she was his queen all his life. Nothing was ever too good for her, he got her the best of everything, the finest most convenient homes that money could buy and the best that could be built at that time, and nearly always had hired help for her.

Though they had a large family of 12 children, she always took much interest in her neatness in dress and appearance. She did all kinds of lovely handwork and sewing, and especially making many beautiful quilts. Her work was the neatest and of the very best. Much of the time she wore a neat black taffeta dress and bonnet.
In 1861 they came to Salt Lake and built a nice home which was located on the spot where the Union Pacific Depot now stands. Wherever they went they had a store and sold all sorts of merchandise. In William’s merchandising business they often sold bakery goods, pies, cakes and bread that were made by Jane.

While in Salt Lake they owned a large herd of dairy cows, which they milked by hand. It was the duty of two of their children (girls) to milk and make the 50 pounds of cheese each day. They did not do all the work themselves; but oversaw it all. They often had Indians working for them.

In the fall of 1870 they sold the Salt Lake place and moved to St. George, Utah, and from there moved east to what was to become Johnson, Utah (near Kanab). This town was named for William Derby and his brothers who came later to settle there. They were the first family to arrive there 22 April 1871.

They were comfortable and happy with a good home, fine garden, flowers, orchard, park and fishpond.

Jane served as the Relief Society President of the Johnson ward for several years.
Jane’s wish that William not go into polygamy was granted. He did have one other woman sealed to him but he never lived with anyone except his beloved wife Jane.

Wilma Fillerup Turley, her first great-grandchild, who was eight years old at the time of her death, remembers her well. She writes, "Our home was next to hers and we loved going over to visit her. Honeysuckle grew about the pillars of her porch and scented the air when in bloom which I dearly loved. Her house was a big stuccoed two-story building, well built with a cellar also, and a bath tub, the only one in Diaz at that time (they carried water by hand to it). Grandma Great was small, neat, with sparkly black eyes and kind to us and we loved to go and see her and her interesting house with the up-stairs and cellar and her parrot "Loro" and cage of canaries. How happy I am to remember my great-grandmother, just wish I could have known my great-grandfather."

Jane died twelve years after her husband’s death on 19 January 1908 in Colonia Diaz, and is buried there with him.

Compiled January 1994 by Joyce Whiting Packard from the following records:
1. "Wilma’s Family Life Sketches," by Wilma Fillerup Turley.
2. "The Johnson Informer," Johnson Family Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 3, August 1954.
SOURCE: http://johnson.naflod.com/william_d_johnson_sr/lifestory.html

Life Story of William Derby Johnson Sr.

1824-1896 (71 Years)

William Derby Johnson was born 27 October 1824, in Pomfret township (near Fredonia), Chautauqua County, New York, a son of Ezekiel and Julia Hills Johnson. He was the fourteenth child born into that family of sixteen children. When the Mormon Church was founded in 1830, he was six years of age. Two years later, in the spring of 1832, his mother, Julia Hills Johnson, "left Pomfret with her family of fifteen children to join the Prophet Joseph Smith at Kirtland, Ohio, in defiance of the wishes of her absent husband, Ezekiel." Julia’s oldest son, Joel Hills Johnson, had already joined the Mormon Church and had been instrumental in his mother’s joining. At the time of her baptism, the Prophet laid his hands upon Julia’s head and gave her a blessing for bringing such a large family into the Church. Julia’s family, including her married children’s families, is represented as being one of the largest families ever to join the Church and move West. Ezekiel, her husband, never joined the Church. He remained quite bitter until the time of the martyrdom. The death of the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum Smith impressed Ezekiel as being so unjust that his feelings mellowed greatly toward the Mormons. He died in Nauvoo in 1848, as a result of a beating administered to him in reprisal of his defense of the saints in Nauvoo against mobs.

William Derby Johnson was baptized while the family was living in Kirtland, according to Church records, 9 April 1836, by Samuel Bent. They moved to Springfield, Illinois for several years before moving to Nauvoo.
They started west with the Exodus in 1846, but returned and came later in 1849. Because his father did not join the church at the time his mother did, there was quite a bit of confusion and difficulties in the home, and a large family to support.

On 9 November 1848, William Derby Johnson married Jane Cadwallader Brown, (born 5 June 1832 in Birmingham (southeast of Sandusky), Erie, Ohio the daughter of Abia William Brown and Abby Cadwallader), in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, where they remained until the exodus in 1849.

The family stopped in Kanesville, Iowa, (Council Bluff area) for several years before coming on to Utah. In 1848, he signed a petition in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, to secure a Post Office in that county. He served as deputy postmaster in Kanesville, as well as in Florence (now Omaha), Nebraska for a period of two years.
William was employed by his older brother, Joseph Ellis. Joseph Ellis Johnson owned and operated a general merchandise and drugstore along with his printing business in Kanesville. While he was away on pioneering explorations, business with the Indians, or other journeys, William was left in charge of sales and medicine making. From that time forward, wherever William Derby Johnson settled, he carried on with merchandising and the making of medicines with herbs; in Florence (now Omaha), Nebraska; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Johnson, Kane County.

Concerning his use of herbs for medicines, a granddaughter, Jane Cadwallader Johnson Parry, wrote of him many years later.

"My grandfather, William Derby Johnson, Sr., was a pharmacist and he made a medicine we called ‘essence of life.’ It was good for fevers, intestinal inflammation, etc. In fact, he told us it was a cure for cholera. He also made a stomach powder that was just wonderful and a salve we called ‘Johnson salve.’ Of course the recipes were kept very "hush-hush." I have the one for the salve. It is good, but it is hard to get the ingredients to make it with."
After arriving in Kanesville, Iowa, their first child, William Derby Johnson Jr., was born. Years later he wrote in his diary,

"April 1852 we moved to Traders Point, about six miles from Council Bluffs. I had small pox soon after we moved and came near dying. In April 1853 we moved to Council Bluffs. Early in the spring of 1855, my father went into the woods and cut his own timber and build a store one and one-half stories high; finished it in forepart of summer. Father had saved from his wages, (as clerk in Uncle Joseph’s Drug Store), $250.00 in cash; this he took to St. Louis and bought fancy notions, candy, etc., and got credit for $50.00 and commenced merchandising..."
William Derby Johnson Sr. tells of an interesting experience he encountered one day while hauling a load of merchandise for his store in Council Bluffs. As he traveled along at about midday, he came across a man walking along the road. William stopped and the man climbed up beside him. The stranger said to him, "You are planning on camping at this certain spot tonight." He then told William not to camp there as he had planned, but to change his camping plans as there would be Indian trouble that night... He also gave him some other advice. The stranger then got down from the wagon and bid him good day. William turned to the stranger to inquire his name, where he had come from, and where he was going, but to his amazement the man was nowhere to be seen. He had disappeared as suddenly as he had come. However, William followed the stranger’s advice and changed his camping place... He learned later that the immigrants who had camped there that night were all slaughtered by the Indians.
The Johnson’s second son, Elmer Wood Johnson, who was also born in Council Bluffs, 18 May 1854, gives the following account of their next move.

"We moved to Florence, Nebraska, when I was nearly two years of age. At that time our family consisted of Father, Mother, my brother, William Derby Jr., my baby sister, Jennie Ann and myself. My father kept a store there of general merchandise and we lived in a two-story house.

"In 1861 we crossed the plains with ox team with an emigrant train of Mormons. Cousin Sixtus Johnson, son of Uncle Joel Hills Johnson, was captain of the company. Father had a wagon with four head of oxen and another with two; also a wagon with two horses.

"Our group now consisted of Father, Mother, Willie, eleven years old, myself 7, Jennie 5, Julia 3, and Etta Elmera 1 year, Father’s widowed sister, Almera Barton and her three daughters, Della, Alvira, and Julia, and my Mother’s brother, Abia William Brown. The horse team wagon was occupied by my mother and the children. When camping they formed a half circle to the left and one to the right. In the center they would make a big fire and spend the evening holding meetings, singing, dancing and having an enjoyable time...

"My brother Willie drove one of the ox teams. He loved to read and would often ride along reading, paying no attention to the gait of the oxen until they would get far behind and father would send me back to punch them up so Willie could catch up with the company.

"We arrived in Salt Lake in the fall of 1861. Father bought a house on South Temple about the center of the present Union Pacific Depot. He improved the house and built onto the building until we had a six-room house, three rooms on the ground floor and three bedrooms upstairs. His store was in one of the lower rooms facing north. Our lot of one and one-fourth acres was all planted to orchard, berries, and garden. It was good to have fresh fruit and vegetables again.

"In November, 1870, we were advised by President Brigham Young to move to Southern Utah. My father’s family now consisted of myself, Jennie, Julia, Etta, Abia, Byron and Josey. My brother Willie was married and my sister, Nancy, who was born in Salt Lake City, had died in infancy. We lived that winter in the town of Washington, five miles from St. George and in the spring went to Kanab country and settled in what is now known as Johnson (previously called Hay Canyon). We built a four-room house and commenced tilling the soil. There we had numerous Indian troubles and they were so insulting we were advised to spend the following winter, 1872-1873 in Kanab. By spring the Indian trouble had settled down and it was apparently safe, so we moved back to Johnson.
"At Johnson, father built a house, adobe, four rooms above and five below, with a big porch and a store. Father always had a stock of goods on hand to sell. He had a shop where he made trunks, household furniture and harnesses. His motto was, "Always have something to sell and sooner or later someone will buy it."
From William Derby Johnson Jr’s. diary we read of this period.

"The last of April we moved all the folks to Johnson. We all worked hard, plowing, planting, etc., but in July the grasshoppers came and ate up nearly everything. Uncle Benjamin got discouraged and went back to Spring Lake. That left only Father, Nephi, and Sixtus to hold the place. On account of Indian uprisings and difficulties we were counseled to leave and move into the larger settlements. Therefore, we went to Kanab in September and got rooms in the old Fort."

Three other children were born to Jane and William while living in Johnson. They were Carlos Smith, Hannah Zelnora, and Lodemia Viola. Carlos and Lodemia both died in infancy and are buried in the Johnson cemetery.
W.D. and his family made many fine improvements in Johnson. They had a good garden, orchard, flowers, park, fishponds, and they raised chickens, ducks, and other farm animals. He was a very humble man and never wanted his good deeds to be talked about. He never wanted to be called upon to speak in Church. He was very strict about being on time, and was always in the lead when it came to helping with Church buildings. He stood five-feet-six inches tall, and weighed 160 pounds, had dark complexion and dark hair. He paid his tithing and Church donations faithfully and taught his children to be strictly honest.

Many years later, his children said that one of his peculiarities was at mealtime, when he insisted on eating his dessert, pie or cake, at the beginning of the meal, as he always said if he had to leave off anything it would be the potatoes and gravy and not the cake.

His family also told that he always gave a long sincere prayer at mealtime. When the children were hungry, it seemed long indeed. But they always knew that when he came to the part of asking the blessing on the potatoes and gravy that the prayer was almost over.

W.D. Johnson Sr. dammed up the stream and made a pond in the center of the valley, also one on the west side under the ledges, in which he raised fish and kept ducks. His family later said that he was so fond of his fish, he even had names for many of them; that when he’d feed them, he’d call them by name and they’d swim up to get the food.

His granddaughter, Jane Cadwallader Johnson Parry, says that her father, William Derby Johnson, Jr., told her the following story about her grandfather while he was living in Johnson.

Jane’s Story
"One day some little ducklings got away from the pond and their mother. Grandpa saw them and heard their squawking. He tried to drive them to the pond, but they wouldn’t go. So he caught them one by one and put their heads between his fingers and started toward the pond.
"The ducks kept squawking, of course, so he ran with them, afraid that they would die before he got them there. He was going so fast that when he neared the pond he couldn’t slow down enough, and into the pond he went with the ducks.
"Getting out, he looked all around to see if anyone had seen him take the plunge. Not seeing anyone, he went on about his work. By noon when Grandma called him to dinner, his clothing was dry. Grandma asked him, ‘William, why didn’t you come in and change your clothes when they were wet?’
"How did you know that I got wet?" he asked.
"I saw you fall into the pond with the ducks."
"Fine thing," Grandpa bristled, "you would let me stay out there and catch my death of cold, instead of calling me in to change my clothes."
"But Grandma just said, "William, after all, I thought you were old enough to KNOW."
The Johnson ward was not fully organized until 7 August 1877, as part of the Kanab Stake. William Derby was the presiding priest but had no counselors. His wife Jane served as Relief Society President. It was a small ward and when most of the Johnson brothers and their families went to Mexico the little ward soon fell apart and was disorganized on 8 June 1901.
William Derby Johnson went to Arizona about 1888 and a little later in 1889 or 1890 he moved on to Colonia Diaz, Mexico where his son William Derby Jr. was living. (His notes say Diaz, Mexico, 21 September 1890.) They sold their property in Utah for $50,000 and were able to build a very fine home, the finest house in the colony.
A letter appearing in the Deseret News (15 Jan 1889) says: Bishop Peter A. Lofgreen of St. David Ward in Graham County, Arizona, in the St. Joseph Stake had called William Derby Johnson as one of his counselors. A note in church history related that William Derby Johnson Sr. was re-baptized 13 Aug 1881, by his son William Derby Johnson Jr. and was re-confirmed the same day by him.

William Derby was ordained a High Priest in Diaz, Mexico, on 27 March 1894. He was ordained a Patriarch on 22 December 1895, by Francis M. Lyman in Colonia Diaz, Mexico.

He was a quiet, stern man and complied with his wife’s every wish, one of which was that he did not go into polygamy, though he did have one other woman sealed to him, he never lived with anyone except his beloved wife Jane. They were a very energetic couple and very generous. No one ever went hungry or without a bed around him. Both he and his wife were very kind and conservative. He was a leader in building up the communities in which he lived, and tended strictly to his own business, and kept his word good always. When he told his children to do a thing, they knew he really meant it.

He died in Colonia Diaz, Chihuahua, Mexico on 13 April 1896, of stoppage of the kidneys and old age, at the age of 71, leaving his wife "well fixed" and near loved ones. Everyone in the town was at his funeral. He was buried in Colonia Diaz, as was his wife, Jane, who died 19 January 1908, twelve years after his husband. William Derby expressed the desire that he did not want to be buried in a casket covered with cloth, as he wanted a stained wood casket. But when he died they were unable to find such a casket or a wood to take a stain; so they covered it with a black velvet.
Zeno Martel Johnson drove the team on a spring delivery wagon, with William Derby Johnson Sr’s. body to the cemetery in Colonia Diaz. He said the wind was blowing terrible that day in April.
William Derby Johnson Sr. and his wife Jane Cadwallader Brown were a very kind couple and a remarkable one, long to be remembered by their many relatives and friends who knew them.The posterity of William Derby Sr. and Jane Cadwallader Brown numbered 12 children and 107 grandchildren. There children are:

William Derby Johnson Jr.
2 May 1850
17 Oct 1923
Elmer Wood Johnson
18 May 1854
6 May 1936
Jennie Ann Johnson
31 Mar 1856
2 Aug 1925
Julia Abby Johnson
22 Apr 1858
8 Nov 1919
Ester Almera Johnson
2 May 1860
13 Jan 1919
Mary Maria Johnson
28 Jan 1863
6 Oct 1863
Abia Ezekiel Johnson
29 Jan 1865
7 Nov 1932
Byron Elwood Johnson
13 Jan 1867
16 Apr 1904
Joseph Hills Johnson
28 Jan 1869
27 Nov 1927
Carlos Smith Johnson
6 May 1871
20 June 1872
Hannah Zelnora Johnson
12 Aug 1873
6 Mar 1920
Lodemia Viola Johnson
14 Jun 1876
2 Aug 1877
Compiled January 1994 by Joyce Whiting Packard from the following records:
1. "Romance of a Church Farmhouse," by Adonis Findley Robinson.
2. "Wilma’s Family Life Sketches," by Wilma Fillerup Turley.
3. "The Johnson Informer," Johnson Family Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 3, August 1954.
copyright 2005 Brian Simper

Source: http://johnson.naflod.com/pictures

William Derby Johnson, Sr. and wife Jane Cadwallader Brown.
Source:  http://johnson.naflod.com/pictures/full/wdj&jane.jpg