Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Benjamin Laws History

Born: February 10, 1825
Died: February 10, 1916

Benjamin Laws was the son of Edmund Laws and Mary Bowers Laws. He was born February 10, 1825 at Hockwold cum Wilton, Norfolk County, England. He was baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Brandon, Suffolk, England on March 27, 1851 by Richard Smith.

On October 24, 1851 he married Mary Hart, daughter of William Hart and Frances Norton Hart. They arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 29, 1868. They received their endowments and were sealed to each other December 20, 1869. Mary Hart Laws was the mother of two sons, William Hart Laws and Robert Laws. She died March 25, 1881 at Johnson, Kane County, Utah.

On September 21, 1882 Benjamin Laws was married in the Endowment House at Salt Lake City, Utah, to Emily Nash. She was born September 19, 1851 at No. 1, Saint Peters Street, Walworth Surrey England. She was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, August 8, 1866. She died at child bed October 27, 1884. The child was named Benjamin Charles, and it died at birth.

On March 31, 1886 Benjamin Laws married Elizabeth Waterfall in Logan Temple. Elizabeth Waterfall was born at Deptford, Middlesex, England, January 16, 1842 or 1843. She was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints February 2, 1883 at the Whitechapel Branch, Middlesex, England and was married to Benjamin Laws in Logan, Utah, in 1886. She died October 8, 1911 at Richfield, Sevier County, Utah. She had no children.

In addition to the three wives named above, Benjamin Laws was sealed in the temple to the following women: Harriet Welfare, Sarah Bray, Nancy Shumway, Orilla Shumway, and Sarah Waterfall.

On September 3, 1912 William Hart Laws and family arrived from Mexico and made their home with his father Benjamin Laws at Richfield, Utah until Benjamin died February 10, 1916 on his 91st birthday.

Benjamin Laws had two brothers, John and Robert, and four sisters, Susan, Martha, and two named Elizabeth. This probably indicates that the first Elizabeth died in her infancy, before the birth of the second Elizabeth. The brother Robert died in New South Wales, Australia, July 1, 1881. Nothing at present is known about the other children.

Notes at the bottom of the page also list the following handwritten information:
Mary Hart
Born May 24, 1830
Brandon, England
Died March 28, 1881
Johnson, Utah Fern’s handwriting says “Bill”

Source: Copy of typewritten manuscript found in the genealogy book of Fern Laws Palmer, great granddaughter of Benjamin and Mary Hart Laws through their son, William Hart Laws. Word document was typed 1-27-06 by Deniane Gutke Kartchner, 3rd great granddaughter of Benjamin Laws through Fern Laws.

William Hart Laws History, Author Unknown

Born: 16 Sept 1850
Died: 19 May 1933

In 1864 William moved with his family to London, England. While there he served as telegraph messenger for Magnetic Telegraph Company, Charing Cross. He left London in May 1868 for the United States on the ship “American Congress” and arrived in New York on July 4, 1868. In 1868, he left Long Island, New York by rail for Laramie, Wyoming, and from there he went with Captain Seeley’s ox train to Salt Lake City, arriving there on 29 August 1868.

He lived in Centerville, Davis, Utah, until April 1873. William left with an ox team to go into Arizona. He crossed the Colorado River, and went into Moenkopi County. Later William returned to Johnson, Kane, Utah. While there he met the girl of his choice, Miss Jennie Ann Johnson and married her.

He was the postmaster there, also served as ward clerk in the church, 8 yrs, and taught school some. While living in Johnson, eight children were born to them, three of whom died there also.

In September 1891 William and Jennie Ann moved to Colonia Diaz in Old Mexico to help colonize that area. Two years after going to Old Mexico another girl was born, making a total of nine children for them. One son and their eldest daughter died while there. The daughter, Alfreda, left four small children, three girls and one boy, so they took these children into their home to raise. William served as a ward clerk for twenty years while living in Diaz.

In July 1912, he and his wife and four grandchildren were driven from Old Mexico by the warring Mexicans. They left with just enough food, bedding etc. for two or three days, thinking they could go back later, but they weren’t allowed to ever go back.

On July 28, 1912, with their meager supply, they left Hachita, New Mexico, for Utah. They went to Richfield, arriving there Sept. 3, 1912. They lived with Williams’ father, Benjamin, until 1916, when he died. In 1920, William moved to Blanding, where he spent the rest of his life.

Poem “by W.H. Laws 25 Jan 1921”

We cannot of course, all be handsome.
And its hard for us all to be good.
We are sure, now and then, to be lonely,
And we don’t always do as we should.
To be patient is not always easy.
To be cheerful is much harder still.
But at least we can always be pleasant,
If we make up our minds we will.

It pays every time to be kindly,
Although you feel worried and blue.
If you smile at the world and look cheerful,
The world will soon smile back at you.
So try and brace up and look pleasant
No matter how long you are down.
Good humor is always contagious
But you banish your friends with a frown.*

*Although it says here that William Hart Laws wrote this poem, it is more likely that he just liked it and included it among his papers. I surmise this because the entire poem with minor word changes is found on page 367 of a 1913 issue of The Friend, a "Religious and Literary Journal" out of Harvard, published in Philadelphia. The credit included with the poem in this book simply says Young People's Paper. It's frying my brain, though; I heard this poem in some other setting recently and I can't think where, and maybe it's very obvious to someone out there!! (-Deniane Kartchner, 8/8/09)

Source: From the typewritten family history documents of Fern Laws Palmer, granddaughter of William Hart Laws through his son, Julian Asa. Word document entered on computer 1-27-06 by Deniane Gutke Kartchner, 2rd great granddaughter of William Hart Laws through Fern Laws’s daughter, Lurlene. The memories above were among these documents. Original is probably located with Wayne’s wife, Jean Kartchner Laws in Carbonville, Utah.

Mary Ann Gadd Rowley History

Born: September 6, 1848
Died: November 18, 1924

Member of the Willey Handcart Company

Mary Ann Gadd Rowley, daughter of Samuel Gadd and Eliza Chattman, (Chapman) was born September 6, 1848 in Harwell, Cambridgeshire, England. When seven years of age she left England with her parents for America and Mormonism. They were two weeks crossing the ocean. They arrived in Iowa City the latter part of June or first of July. They left Iowa City in Captain Willey’s handcart company for the long trek across the trackless plains. Mary Ann passed her eighth birthday on the Platte River. They company expected to reach Salt Lake City before winter set it, but it came much earlier than usual, and was very severe and many hardships were endured. Mary Ann, with nothing but rags on her feet, led her mother, who was snow blind for three days as she pulled the handcart.

She carried a piece of an ox hoof for three days and at each camp she would roast it and eat the part that was roasted and then carry it to the next camp and repeat the process. This was all she had to eat during those three days. Her father and two brothers died and were buried on the plains.

They arrived in Salt Lake City in November 1856, and later went to Nephi where she did housework and tended babies for her board. Her mother and brothers and sisters gleaned wheat and threshed it to make bread, and braided the straw into hats which were sold to help make a living. Later she was working at Bishop Udell’s waiting on tables. The authorities were there for dinner one day, and when she came into the room to serve Bishop Udell said, “This is one of the handcart girls of Captain Willey’s belated company.” President Young laid his hand on her head as he looked at her, and said, “Somebody will have to pay for this.”

At the age of 16 she was married to John Rowley and together they pioneered and endured the hardships of the early Utah settlers. She was the mother of 12 children, seven sons and five daughters.

In 1889, she left her mother and with her family started for Old Mexico. She drove a team practically all the way, over rough roads and through dangerous streams with her baby in her arms. When they crossed Lee’s Ferry they drove their outfits onto the boat and were ferried across, then the boat was anchored and the team driven onto the bank. When Mary Ann’s team reached the bank, she and the children were still in the wagon, and they discovered the boat was not anchored, and had begun floating down stream. Her husband turned pale and began urging the team to pull. They had to work hard but finally got the boat onto the bank and safely anchored. She said it was through faith and prayers they were saved, as it was more than a team could do without help.

They arrived in Mexico in the fall of 1889. In a strange land of strange people, and as far as they could see, nothing but mesquites (a thorny bushwood). Soon after their arrival there, one of her married daughters died, leaving two babies and this added to the gloom and desolation, but through it all she would kneel and pray to God for strength and thank him for his blessings. They cleared land and planted grain and with rock and adobes built them a house. In 1893 her husband died leaving her with little to live with and a large family to raise, but through her splendid influence and her faith in God they all grew to be splendid men and women and good Latter-day Saints.

The little town of Colonia Diaz grew and prospered, and in a comfortable home with beautiful surroundings with her children about her, she was happy until July 1912, when she, with the rest of the Saints, were driven from their homes by Mexican bandits.
Mary Ann, in company with some of her children, returned to Utah. She lived in Provo for a few years, then went to Blanding, San Juan County, Utah, where she again found peace and comfort in her little home until May 1924. She returned to Provo to visit some of her children. While there, she took sick and died with cancer of the liver, November 18, 1924.
She worked as a Relief Society Teacher for a number of years and was always willing and on hand in sickness or trouble.

Source: Copy of typewritten manuscript found in the genealogy book of Fern Laws Palmer, great granddaughter of Mary Ann Gadd Rowley through her daughter Eliza Jane. Word document was typed 1-27-06 by Deniane Gutke Kartchner, 3rd great granddaughter of Mary Ann Gadd through Fern Laws.

Lucy Cordelia Johnson Laws History

Lucy Cordelia Johnson was born September 18, 1891, in Colonia, Diaz, Old Mexico. Her father’s family had moved down there to help colonize that country. The baptism of Lucy was October 1, 1899.

The following story of her life is written by her as told to her daughter Fern Laws Palmer:

"The thing I remember about my home in Diaz, was the beautiful lawns about it, along with the shrubs. The mock orange trees were special to me because of the many fights we kids had with them. John, one of my older brothers, loved to hit me with oranges and duck me in the irrigation ditch that ran passed our home. I remember many a time he held me under that tap and pumped water on me.

I went to school until I was in the eighth grade, then I had to quit and help my mother with the work at home. When I was 14 years old, my father found me a job working for a lady who had just had a baby. I took care of her and the baby and did all the house work for only 75 cents a day. [In those days the mother stayed in bed for 10 days, so she had to be bathed each day also.-Fern] I remember it nearing conference time and I wanted a new hat to wear to conference so bad that I took all my money from the job and bought me one.

I started my courtship with June when I was 14. My father thought I shouldn’t go with him, but wanted me to go with another fellow, so my brother John would have to take me to the dances and etc. June would often get John’s girl and then we would trade when we got to the dance.

After my father could see that we were serious, he consented to our marriage. We were married on the 12th day of May, 1909, at our home. We were married by William Derby Johnson, June’s uncle. We served dinner to 100 guests. At our reception, we received many necessary things to keep house with. The only thing lacking was a stove.

We bought a home in Diaz, and stayed there until the Mexican Revolution. Asa and Lurlene were born to us there. Julian Asa was born on the 9th of May, 1910, and Lurlene November 13, 1911. When the Mexicans were causing so much trouble June had to be gone as a “minute man.” One night Eva and I stayed together. Lurlene had the croup and we tried to keep her quiet because we knew the rebels were patrolling our street and if she cried we might get shot. She didn’t cry at all in the night!

On July 28, 1912 the Church authorities thought it would be best if we would leave for a short time. So we packed what we thought we would need for a few days and left. June was one of the minute men to stay there and guard our property. I left with Father, Mother, and Eva, taking the two kids.

We had everything we took in one wagon. We made camp just over the border in the U.S. It rained on us that first night. We came to Hatchita, New Mexico and stayed there from July until November. We lived in tents and on G.I. rations. June caught up with us, and there he tromped adobes for 75 cents a day.

We left Hatchita in November with everything in the same small wagon. We were unable to get back to Diaz and get any more of our belongings. The Mexican bandits destroyed everything we owned.

Some days we would travel only a mile per day, the roads being muddy. We had sickness, and we had very little to eat most of the time. When we reached Bluewater, New Mexico we traded our buggy, guns and everything we could spare to Joe Hatch and Charlie Ashcroft for food. When we got to the San Juan River, we hired men with our last money to help us across.

All we had left to eat was dried apples, biscuits and beans. Eva and I hired Indians for 10 cents apiece to carry Rose and Lurlene across the swinging bridge. The bridge was flipping so hard from the wind that Mother had to kneel 3 times to get across. When we finally made it across, little Lurlene just sighed as if she were so relieved.

We stayed that night on the river banks. Everything was wet from crossing the river, so we washed the next day.

When we came to Fruitland, there were people lined along the road with food of every kind for us to eat. The Bishop let us have hay and grain for our horses. We went on to Farmington, and there we met Ashcroft and his sister with food and bedding. When we left for Blanding, we had plenty of supplies to live on.

We made our last camp at Jacob’s Well, before reaching Blanding. My brother John met us there. People were very kind to us. Bishop Hansen Bayles let us have pasture for our horses and we were able to find a place to live.

We stayed in Blanding from April to August, then we went on to Richfield, where June’s folks were. While there, our third child was born. William Hart (Bill) was born on November 14, 1913. We stayed in Richfield for two years and then moved back to Blanding.

We made our permanent home in Blanding. Shortly after arriving there, our fourth child was born. James Parley was born on August 30, 1915. Then came our next three; Harry Boyd was born on July 23, 1917; Fern was born October 25, 1919; and Elwood Wayne was born November 5, 1921.

In the time we spent in Blanding, one year was spent at Indian Creek, one at a sawmill at Devil’s Canyon, and eight years at Carlisle. We also spent the spring at several different places, cooking for the sheep shearers. We spent the happiest years of our life at our ranch at Alkali Point. Many the times I can remember burning bushes and hoeing weeds, riding with June to look for cows, and just plain being happy spending my life with him."

Added by Fern
[During these times of her life, Lou taught Primary, Sunday School, and Mutual, along with being a Relief Society teacher. She was always willing to join the fun of her children and their friends.

In spite of all her hardships, and the days she spent lying in bed, she was always cheerful, always willing to help someone in need, sometimes risking her own health.
She was a very good seamstress, and made her children’s own clothes. She made many quilts, and helped her neighbors with their sewing.

The last years of her life were an inspiration to any one who saw her. It didn’t matter when you would go to her house or how miserable she felt, she didn’t complain once. Only the day before she left this life, did she say, “Fern, do you really think it’s worth the effort to live?” She passed away on January 20, 1951.]

1917 Registration Card

Fern Laws

Scott, did you color this one a long time ago?

June Laws

Painting by Bernetta Garner Barton, Riddell Barton's second wife (Riddell's first wife was Lurlene Laws, June's daughter).

Dwight Laws

The Three Musketeers and a Stowaway

This photo is of "The Three Musketeers," namely Georgan Hurst (Burtenshaw), Fern Laws (Palmer) and Marva Jones (Laws). They were best friends and did everything together. I restored this photo which was very damaged. In the process I just couldn't figure out why Fern's left hand looked strange. I finally realized someone is standing behind her! I think it may be Lynn, Fern's husband.

Left to right- Harry and Parley Laws as extras at Monument Valley for the movie, "Kit Carson." See comments below. 

Lucy Cordelia Johnson Laws

Lurlene Laws Barton

Mary Jane, details?

Harry and Marva Laws

Is this in front of their home in Blanding?

Laws Sweethearts

I originally sent this out on Valentine's Day...
Parley's family? We need the scoop... Where is this? And the horse's name is ....?

Asa Laws

I love this photo! Asa's family, help me out? When was this photo taken?

Laws and 'In-Laws'

Parley and Mariam Laws.
Bill and Dot Laws.

Asa Laws and Blanding Main Street

June Laws Family, 1920 Census

These two census records show the June Laws family in the year 1920. Parley, Harry and Fern show up on the top of the second page.
This is the Laws family crest that Fern had in her scrapbook.

June Laws Family Photo Collage

There was some discussion through past emails about whether to spell Lucy Cordelia Johnson's nickname "Lou" or "Lu." (I think) I determined it was "Lu."

Laws Connections to Willie Handcart Company

As I was studying the Willie Handcart Company I realized how many of us June Laws Line-rs have connections. I made this 8x10 chart to make sense of everything and to have something to display. If anyone wants me to add their name and how they fit, and then email you a copy that you can print, let me know. (Just realize if I get bombarded you might not get it immediately! And please give me the names I need to add, because I really don't know how everyone fits.)
Mary Hart (b. 1830) is Benjamin Laws' wife and the "HART" of the family members named "William Hart Laws." (Is there still one in every generation?) She was the daughter of William Hart (b. 29 January 1802) and Frances Norton (b. 27 December 1801). Mary was child number three of ten children, six boys and four girls, all born in Brandon, Suffolk, England, with the exception of John their seventh child who was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England.

This 1900 Census shows Benjamin Laws and wife Elizabeth on lines 15 and 16.

Benjamin Laws is the oldest Laws ancestor for which I have a picture. He was born in England on February 10, 1825 and came to Utah in 1868. For 30 years he resided in Richfield; when he died he was "the oldest man in Richfield" according to his 1916 obituary in the Richfield Record.