Tuesday, January 13, 2009

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.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to Uncle Wayne for taking the time to write this down. How wonderful it is to get to know this great grandfather of ours. I've never heard of him until today. Deniane, thanks for starting this blog.
    Love, Necia Palmer Seamons (another granddaughter of Fern Laws Palmer through her son, Jack)