- Name: James Joseph Castleton
- Born: January, 25, 1829 Lowestoft, Suffolk, England
- Died: November 26, 1882 Salt Lake City, Utah
- Related through: Dan's grandmother Melva Castleton
James Joseph Castleton was born January 25, 1829 in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England to Joseph Castleton and Mary Smith. He was the oldest of ten children.
His father was a fisherman. As a young man he served an apprenticeship as twine and rope maker for a Mr. John Gall, a ship owner. This was a good trade at that time, but rope making by machinery became general, he then became a fisherman.
He was 24 years old when he was approached by the Mormon missionaries. He became very interested and after much study and prayer he knew the gospel to be true. He was baptized on January 18, 1853 by Elder John Gibb, in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England.
On January 2, 1854 he married Frances Sarah Brown who had been converted and baptized into the church October 12, 1853. Together they fully embraced the teachings of the Gospel, they took an active part in the local church affairs in England. But the spirit of emigration or gathering took hold of them and they wanted to join the body of the church in Zion.
On June 4, 1863 they started for Zion with their four sons, Charlie, Will, George, and Frank. The family sailed on the ship Amazon with 882 or 895 other Saints under the direction of William Bramall. After six weeks and three days at sea they landed at New York Harbor. From there they traveled by train as far as Florence, Nebraska. They then took up the laborious journey to cross the plains. Thomas E. Ricks met them and directed the Company from Florence. Although they traveled with the ox-teams it can be truthfully said that they traveled almost the entire distance on foot.
They arrived in Salt Lake City on Sunday, October 4, 1863. The first cold winter was spent in a tent on Second and "D" Street. Despite the hardships incident to such a labor at that period of the settlement of these valleys, a murmur of complaint or regret was never heard. They had left all for their religious cause they had known to be true and truly endorsed that scriptural utterance, "No man having put his hand to the plow and looketh back is fit to go to the Kingdom of God."
Soon they moved into a small house with a mud roof, located on the same lot. A son, Jim, was born in this house while neighbors held umbrellas over the bed because rain washed the mud through the dirt roof above the bed.
As soon as he was able to do so, James bought the corner of Second Ave. and "L" Street, ten rods square, and constructed a two room adobe house. Later it became the store warehouse for some time.
After coming to this country James was a gardener for Brigham Young for many years. He also had a fine home garden, from which the family was supplied with abundant vegetables and fruits, especially grapes.
When his health started to fail, the family decided to build a small store onto the house, which was to be handled by his wife Frances and son Arthur. They became so busy, another son Will left his position with S.P. Teasdale to help out.
For many years James Joseph was sick and unable to work. On the evening of November 26, 1882 he passed peacefully away, leaving Frances and six sons. It was said by one of their son Frank, "Father and Mother were stalwart Latter-day Saints, were good citizens, were true and honest and left us a priceless heritage, a good name, sterling characters. May we always honor and revere their memories."
Taken from sketches written by his sons Wallace C. and Frank M. Castleton. Also from "Church Chronology" By Andrew Jenson. Thanks to Grandma Melva for sharing this history with us.