Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lucy Cordelia Laws funeral service and cards

Laws Obituaries - Wayne and Harry

Laws Obituaries - June, Asa and Lurlene

Mariam Laws graduation from CEU

Parley and Mariam Laws

Parley Laws Obituary and Funeral Program

James Parley Laws, one of Blanding’s beloved citizens for many years, passed away on Saturday, October 11th* at his home. He had been in poor health for many years but gallantly kept at his job right up till the last. Many days he went to work when he could scarcely get out of bed, but he always gave the job at hand his best.

He was born in Blanding on August 30, 1915 to Julian Asa and Lucy Johnson Laws, and was the fourth in a family of seven children. He had two brothers and a sister who were older, and two brothers and a sister younger.

While they were growing up they lived at Carlysle Ranch just out of Monticello. During their early school days they parents drove their children to Tarb, a small town, in a buggy pulled by horses in order that they could attend school. Later, their children attended school in Monticello and in Blanding.

As Parley grew up, he worked at any kind of job he could find to earn a living, including sheep herding, ranching and farming. When he was in the 10th grade in school he left to work for the Adams brothers to help them with their ranch and stock.

At 25 years of age he met and married Mariam Black on November 25, 1940 and one daughter, Shirley, and two sons, James A. and Francis C., were born to them. During this time Parley worked for Leon Adams, for the uranium mill in Monticello, the Blanding mines company and the Independent Lumber Company. In 1959 he went to work for the San Juan County Road Department as heavy equipment operator, and was still employed here at the time of this passing.

Parley enjoyed the out-of-doors and loved nature. He also loved to work with his small herd of cattle and always had a fine horse which he loved to ride. He was a kind and loving husband and father and took delight in entertaining his grandchildren and liked to have them around him.

His niece, Norma Laws, made a tribute to him from a small, weatherbeaten stump of a tree which included a miniature horse, a bull, several wild animals and a pair of skunks. He adored the simple things of live and was modest and unassuming.

He is survived by his wife, Mariam, his son James of Moab, his son Francis of Blanding, and daughter Shirley Trent of Lakewood, California; 12 grandchildren, one brother, Wayne Laws of Price, and one sister, Fern Palmer of Blanding.


Friday, August 14, 2009

1930's SJH Basketball Team

I need to check some sources to see what exact year this is, but I believe it's 1936. Fern is holding the ball and Marva Jones (Laws) is to her left.

Fern Laws

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Transcontinental service is here!

This is an example of early newspaper display advertising for full schedule transcontinental rail passenger, freight, and express service.

With the driving of the "Last Spike" at Promontory Summit, U.T., on May 10, 1869, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific were finally joined after almost six years of construction to complete the first link between the Atlantic and the Pacific to be made entirely by rail. One week later on May 17th, full scheduled transcontinental rail passenger, freight, and express service officially opened to the public for the first time with the commencement of daily east and westbound Express train service by the CPRR over its entire 690 miles of track between Sacramento and Promontory to meet the UPRR's 1,086 mile line to Omaha. (A short time later the official interchange between the lines was moved 61 miles further East to Ogden.)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wm. Hart Laws' involvement with transcontinental railroad

A.J. Russell view at Promontory Summit, Utah. May 10, 1869.
Photo belongs to National Park Service

The following is an excerpt from A Story of William Hart and Jennie Ann Johnson Laws by Donna Laws Hemingway, a granddaughter. Clink on “Donna Laws Hemingway” in the labels links to read more about Donna and this now out-of-print book.

Upon arriving in Salt Lake City, Benjamin took his family to Centerville, Davis County, Utah to live. William Hart and possibly his father Benjamin went to work on the Railroad. The transcontinental railroad was working hard to get the railroad across the United States connecting the east and west coast by rail. This would greatly help the Saints coming to Utah. They would no longer have to come by ox team.

William Hart Laws liked to tell about being at Promontory Point when the two trains met and the last spike was driven in the rail to connect the east and the west together with an iron rail.

This did not end the making of railroad connections. This was the main line across the United States but Salt Lake was still not connected. The Transcontinental only came to Ogden. There was still work to do to get the trains to Salt Lake so that the Saints could come all the way to Salt Lake. There was much being produced in Salt Lake and other communities that could be shipped to the east and west coasts to help build up the State. In like manner much was needed from the outside to help with the building and settling the new communities.

William H. must have stayed in this business of helping build the railway for some time, at least until 1870 when the tracks were laid all the way to Salt Lake City. We have a copy of an invitation he received to attend the Utah Central Railway Jubilee, and his reply with regrets that he did not get the invitation in time to make the trip. With regards to the celebration that took place at the Jubilee the headlines read:


Saturday January 10, 1920


There is an interesting description of those attending this big celebration. All who had worked on the Utah Central rail getting the train from Ogden to Salt Lake were invited to attend the day, a banquet for some 300 people. After the banquet, there was a meeting held in the tabernacle with President Heber J. Grant and others who spoke. Then a lovely evening of music was presented.


This afternoon at 2 o'clock carne whistles, auto horns resounding shrilly throughout the city heralded the exact minute 50 years ago when President Brigham Young drove the last spike into the Utah Central railroad at Salt Lake. Many local citizens joined heartily in the thrill of the five-minute siren blasted remembering the days when they had done their bit to bring the steel rails to this valley. Edward H. Anderson, editor of the Era, joined the ranks of veterans telling of the time when 11 years of age he carried water for six weeks for the men laying the steel road. "The sage brush near the springs at Hooper was just about as tall as I was,” he declared. "Where now are all the garden farms of Weber, and Davis County was but open prairie stretching uninterrupted to the lake. There were the Sand dunes and the wild flowers and the little groups of men laying rails, placing ties and driving in the spikes which fastened the steel rails together."

The very last spike driven into the road made from iron mined at iron county, Utah, by James Lawson, has been for some time in the L. D. S. Church museum. The chair used by President Young in the private car in which he traveled over the Utah Central has been given to the Daughters of the Pioneers!!

William’s reply to his invitation shows the regrets he had at not being there with the others whom he had worked with 50 years ago.

Engines from the two companies, the Union Pacific (right) and the central Pacific (left), met at Promontory Summit, Utah, on 10 May 1869 to commemorate the completion of the transcontinental railroad with the driving of the golden spike.

Benjamin Laws' parents and early years

The following is an excerpt from A Story of William Hart and Jennie Ann Johnson Laws by Donna Laws Hemingway, a granddaughter. Clink on “Donna Laws Hemingway” in the labels links to read more about Donna and this now out-of-print book.
William (Hart Laws)'s father Benjamin, was the son of Edward or Edmund Laws christened 12 August 1782 in Feltwell, Norfolk, England. His Mother was Mary Bowers christened 17 October 1788, Elsworth, Cambridgshire, England. They had seven children three boys and four girls, Benjamin being the sixth child and youngest boy.
Benjamin had a very rough life. When he was eight years of age he said his mother kissed him good night and sent him to bed. When he awoke the next morning she was dead and buried. There was a cholera epidemic in the town and many died of this very dreaded disease. His mother and two sisters died with cholera within two weeks time, the other two girls had died earlier, leaving his father and the three boys John, Robert and Benjamin. This was August 30, 1832. There were 14 burials recorded in Hockwold and 35 burials in Wilton for the year of 1832 in the little village of 946 people.
They remained in Hockwold cum Wilton and worked for land owners. John the oldest Brother married 18 November 1843 and lived in Mildenhall, Suffolk, England. By 1851 Robert was married and had two children and he went to Australia to find better living conditions.
After the marriage of Benjamin Laws and Mary Hart, October 24, 1851, they lived as a family and attended the Brandon, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Branch and took an active part. They must have still lived in Weeting with Broomhill and probably worked for the same land owner. March 10, 1853 they had another son, Robert. He was given a name and a blessing in the Brandon Branch, 24 April 1853.

Mary Hart family information

The following is an excerpt from A Story of William Hart and Jennie Ann Johnson Laws by Donna Laws Hemingway, a granddaughter. Clink on “Donna Laws Hemingway” in the labels links to read more about Donna and this now out-of-print book. She wrote the findings of her research in first person; so “I” refers to Donna.
Mary Hart was the daughter of William Hart, born 29 January 1802 and Frances Norton, born 27 December 1801. They had 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. Mary was child number three being born in 1830, and the first daughter in the family.
The Hart family was more of a stable family [in contrast to her husband’s family, father was Benjamin Laws, who moved around and whose records are harder to find, DK]. They were in Brandon for several generations and evidently owned land. However, they were not a marrying family. I have looked for years for the marriages of our Hart Ancestors and they have all been hard to find. Many I have not found.

We have the picture of great grandmother Mary Hart. I had always said, "She must have Indian blood in her. She has a high forehead and just looks like an Indian to me." Everyone assured me that she did not have any Indian blood in her. She was born and raised in England and was all English. While I was in England I found that her Great Grandmother was a Skilks. I had never run into that name in England so I wrote a very knowledgeable researcher who had helped me many times when I was stuck on my research. He said, "Mrs. Hemingway, Skilks is not an English name. At the period of time you are searching, 1745, the manor houses were most happy to have dark skinned servants in their manor houses. Slaves were brought in, take your choice, Indians from America, Indians from India, Black people from Africa. They were sold to the owners of the Manor houses to work for them, and the men who bought them would give them their freedom to marry and have families, but they still worked for the owner of the Manor house. Well, I chose Indian, as her granddaughter looks like she has Indian blood in her. There is my funny story in my research. I have since found a family of Skilks. It would have had to have been her grandfather that would have been brought to England in the 1650's as a slave. But what ever, it is an interesting story to me.

Benjamin Laws Book

There appears to be a book available about Benjamin Laws, written by Donna Laws Hemingway, a great granddaughter, entitled He led the way: Life story of Benjamin Laws, 1825-1916. At one time it was selling on Amazon.com but is now out of print. The ASIN is B0071R30I, publication date 1987. It appears there is a copy on file at the LDS Family History Library, along with these other titles by Donna:

Anna Katrina Louise Christoffersen Petersen Bradford, 1872-1940
Frands Peter Petersen : a faithful obedient pioneer
A story of William Hart and Jennie Ann Johnson Laws

Obituary: Donna Laws Hemingway

Published: Thursday, April 24, 2008 6:10 p.m. MDT

Donna Laws Hemingway

1920 ~ 2008

Donna Laws Hemingway passed away peacefully, April 22, 2008 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was born April 24, 1920 in Blanding, Utah the daughter of Wilford Derby and Mary Laws. She graduated from Brigham Young University in 1942. She taught school in Pleasant Grove, Blanding, Lehi, Utah and Eureka, Nevada. She married Donald W. Hemingway in the Salt Lake Temple on June 21, 1946.

She was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served as the first Stake Primary president in the London England Stake. She served as Young Women president and Relief Society president many times. She enjoyed taking groups of Young Women for temple service. She served four missions with her husband in Hawaii and Australia. She was a temple worker and a lifelong genealogist serving in the Family History libraries in Hawaii and Salt Lake City. She submitted tens of thousands of names of ancestors for temple blessings. Her greatest joy was monthly family home evening with her family. No visitor ever left her home hungry.

She is survived by her husband, Donald W. Hemingway and six children, David Hemingway (Gay Etta); Delwin Hemingway (Janice); Michael Hemingway, (LeeAnn); Mary Dawn Bywater (Ed); Flora Shumway; Jan Mecham (Ray, deceased); her sister, June Hawkins; 34 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

A viewing will be held at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple on April 25, 2008 from 6-8 p.m. and 10:00-10:45 a.m. prior to funeral services held April 26, 2008 at the LDS chapel at 135 North A Street at 11:00 a.m. Interment: Elysian Burial Gardens, 1075 East 4580 South, Murray at 4:30 p.m. Online condolences at www.larkincares.com

© 2009 Deseret News Publishing Company | All rights reserved

Below is the info on a book I am getting information from:

A Story of William Hart and Jennie Ann Johnson Laws by Donna Laws Hemingway

Available through LDS Family History Library on microfilm (2055457 Item 5) or at the FamilySearch Center at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City (929.273 L44).

An early map of the area in which William Hart Laws was born. Note the spelling "Weeting with Bromehill".

William Hart Laws Born in Weeting with Broomhill, Norfolk, England

The following is an excerpt from A Story of William Hart and Jennie Ann Johnson Laws by Donna Laws Hemingway, a granddaughter. Clink on “Donna Laws Hemingway” in the labels links to read more about Donna and this now out-of-print book. She wrote the findings of her research in first person; so “I” refers to Donna.


William Hart Laws was born 16 September 1850, at Weeting with Broomhill, Norfolk, England, the son of Benjamin Laws and Mary Hart. His parents were not married at the time he was born.

They were both farm workers in the little village of Weeting with Broomhill. Benjamin said he went out in the fields to work and Mary did not come. He went back to the living quarters and found that she had given birth to their son. On the 3 November 1850, they had him christened or baptized into the Church of England in the Brandon, Suffolk, England, Parish Church. He was given the name William Laws Hart. When I found this I knew why I had never been able to find the marriage of this couple.

You need to know a little about the living conditions and the area where they lived. Weeting with Broomhill had a population of 303 people in 1845, It was a farm area where they grew turnips, barley, seeds for hay, wheat and rye. Barley was made into malt which is the staple commodity of the county. There were lots of cattle, sheep and turkeys raised and sent to market. Basically this was a farm industry with many hired men and women to work. The pay was very low and they struggled to make a living. Having to pay only a few cents for a marriage was more than many could afford and many lived a common law marriage.

This was the situation at the time the Mormon missionaries came to Norfolk and Suffolk, England to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many listened and joined the church, Benjamin and Mary being two who were converted, Benjamin being baptized 27 March 1851. Mary could not be baptized without being married since she had their child. They were married 24 October 1851 at Thetford, Norfolk, England. Mary was baptized 30 December 1851, into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

These little villages are all within a five mile radius even though they are in two counties. In Utah we think of villages at that time being miles and miles apart like 10 to 50 miles. However, in England they are very close together, and the Parish churches were close enough together that everyone could easily walk to church. The Church was the center of their living. That is why we find the christening in one parish and the marriages in another, and the deaths in another. They just went where it was convenient, or where they felt the most comfortable in their situation.

Brandon where Grandpa William always said he was born is a good sized town of 2,000 people at that time. There was a marketplace and a shopping area. I am sure that is why it is the place he remembered in his growing up. He was christened in Brandon.

The Laws ancestors have been families that have moved and been rather difficult to find. They moved nearly every generation. In England they do not have a record in the Parishes of the moving in and out. William's father and mother must not have known their Grandparents, because they did the temple work, in the Endowment House and the St George Temple, for Grandma and Grandpa Laws, Grandma and Grandpa Hart, Grandpa and Grandma Norton and Grandpa and Grandma Bowers. This is all we knew of their ancestors.

William Hart Laws Memories of Granddad Laws, By E. Wayne Laws

William Hart Laws was born 16 Sept. 1950, Brandon, Suffolk, England to Benjamin Laws and Mary Hart. My memories of Granddad began when I was around seven or eight years of age. He lived across the street, west, from Dad and Mother’s home in Blanding, Utah. Granddad was about 78 years old. Mother cooked meals for Granddad as she prepared meals for our family. My brothers and sisters and I took turns taking a tray of food to him. We all wanted to be the one to take it to Granddad because besides loving him, we knew there would likely be a treat in it for us. I remember putting the tray on the kitchen table and just as I would get to the door to leave, my dear little granddad would say “Just a minute.” He would then go into his bedroom. I could picture in my mind’s eye – Granddad sticking his chubby hand into a paper bag, because I could hear the rustling of paper, then he would come out with two or three pieces of hard tack candy for me. That might not sound like much of a treat to some folks, but during the depression, a couple with a family of seven weren’t able to provide many things in the way of treats, even hard tack candy.

Granddad was a typical Englishman, he carried some hard tack candy in his vest pocket, also, and it seemed like he always had a piece of it in his mouth. It was a special treat to me when he occasionally reached in his vest and then handed a piece of that wonderful candy to me.

I remember Granddad as a short chubby man who, most of the time, spoke with authority, especially when he would say, “It’s 9 o’clock, time all honest folks were in bed and thieves were a travelin.”

I was eleven or twelve and was at Granddad’s when the crude wooded crate containing Grandmother’s head stone was delivered. It was unloaded out on top of the cellar. As Granddad tore the crate apart, to our surprise, he discovered a nickel which had been unintentionally dropped and had wedged between the newly poured stone and the crate. Granddad picked it up and quickly put it in his pocket. We then inspected the stone where the coin had pressed hard enough to wear a round, rough spot in the upper left hand corner. I share this incident so that anyone observing the stone, which is in the Blanding cemetery, can see that rough spot and know what it is and the interesting incident behind it.

I remember of many times peeking through the cracks of a shed at Granddad’s to see the little green and red wood freight wagon in there. Any of the grandchildren who knew about it kind of coveted it, but we all knew that it was to go to Aunt Wilma’s son, Teddy. In the late 1980’s I fell heir to a badly abused one that I picked up at the garbage dump. In spite of the pitiful state it was in, I restored it to an almost perfect condition. I painted it forest green and bright red as Granddad’s was. These wagons were large enough for a little boy to pull his pals around in and were a real pride and joy to those lucky enough to own one.

A fussy man was Granddad—his corn had to be planted ‘just right.’ That’s what Granddad did his last day of life—plant corn ‘just right.’ The last person Granddad spoke to was me and I was the last one to speak to him, this is because he and I were planting corn in his garden plot. At about 11:00 a.m. he told me he was tired and was going to go rest a bit. The porch on the east side of his house was a big one, 8 x 12 and was roofed. He often would lie on this porch with a pillow under his head. It was to this porch that he retired at this time. When I went home, Dad’s question was “Why?” “Granddad got tired and went to rest for awhile.” I spent a couple of hours helping Dad get things ready to go to the ranch, then Dad went to check on Granddad. He found him still sleeping. It was unusual for him to nap for so long a time and it caused Dad some concern, so he kept an eye out towards that house across the road. Checking later Dad found that Granddad had left the porch and had gone into the house to lie on his bed. Being the meticulous Englishman that he was he had locked the door for privacy. I must mention here that Granddad was hard of hearing and didn’t rouse to Dad’s call. Dad got his own key so he could go in and check to see if all was well. Granddad seemed to be sleeping normally but Dad remained concerned over his father, so he didn’t make his intended trip to the ranch but stayed, instead, to keep check on Granddad. He also let other family members know of his concern for this dear old man.

Granddad was not alone, but was surrounded by loving family, when he peacefully slept his way into Paradise. This he did on May 19, 1933. He was prepared for burial by Relief Society sisters, as there was no mortuary near at that time. His body was tenderly and carefully cleaned, after which, ice-filled two quart bottles were packed around him until almost time for the funeral services. Ben Redd had built the coffin and Granddad was lovingly dressed in his temple clothing and placed in it.

I feel privileged to have known and associated with a man such as Granddad. He was special to me.