Friday, September 3, 2010

David Morgan Williams and Elizabeth Richards

  • Name: David Morgan Williams
  • Born: May 18, 1832 Llansbdid, Breconshire, Wales
  • Died: October 23, 1924 Malad, Idaho
  • Related through: Erin's grandfather James Madson
David Morgan Williams was born at Llansbdid, Breconshire, Wales, on the 18th of May in the year of 1832. He was the son of Morgan and Ann Williams. His father died at the age of thirty-eight of scarlet fever, leaving his mother a widow with two sons, David and Edward. David's only sister, Ann, drowned when she was a small child. His mother came to this country and lived to be 81 years old. She died at Council Bluffs, Iowa, December 29, 1891.

David heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints when he was 16 years of age. He writes in his Journal --"I was 16 years of age, in my native land; one Sunday morning a woman came with a pamphlet in her hand and gave it to me. Its name was 'Yu hen grefydd', which means 'The Old New Religion.' I believed it for I wanted the religion that Christ taught. But I waited about two years before I was baptized. After my baptism, I had to wait a few weeks before I got a testimony from heaven that I had done the will of God." He was the first of his family to join the church as far as he knew, converted and baptized at the age of 18 in Wales.

He came to this country in February 1854, and continued on to Utah. He was one year making the trip. He camped at St. Louis, Missouri, for a while to get ready and crossed the plains with a company of pioneers.

Soon after reaching Salt Lake City, he met Elizabeth Richards, a daughter of William and Harriet Jones Richards. She was born February 25, 1837, at Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire,Wales. Elizabeth came to American on the ship, "Chimborazo", arriving at Philadelphia May 22, 1855. She later came across the plains with a company of Saints under the presidency of Elder Francis St. George. David and Elizabeth were married in Salt Lake City on July 3, 1856. Elizabeth was a very industrious, little woman and worked hard all her life. She stood 4 feet 6 inches tall and wore a size 13 (child's) shoe.

After living in Salt Lake City for a short time, they moved to California. David chose farming as his profession and they first settled in the Sacramento Valley. Over the years they moved around to various places in Northern California and Nevada.

In the 1870 they decided to go back to Iowa. David's mother, Ann Williams, lived in Council Bluffs, Iowa -- so this could have been a reason for the return to the area. The family lived there for about two years, then moved back to Salt Lake City.

David writes in his Journal: "We were in Iowa in 1871 and came back to Utah the latter part of July, 1873. After failing to have work in Salt Lake City, I went to Bingham Canyon and started to work for Eli B. Kelsey making a new road. I continued working there until the road was done. After that I worked with Peter Reynolds for Morris and Evans for 57 days on their Clay Bed in Bingham Canyon and again worked for them at West Jordan until the work was done -- or the grading part of it. After that I came home to my family in the city for the winter."

They lived here for about three years. Life was hard during their stay in Salt Lake City. Jobs were hard to find and with such a large family they had to ask for assistance from the Church to feed and clothe them for one whole winter. Elizabeth took in washing to help keep food on the table during the lean years.

Family group of David Morgan and Elizabeth Williams taken approximately 1892. Front Row seated: David M. Williams and wife Elizabeth. Second Row L. to R. Ann Amelia, David Moroni, and Elizabeth. Back Row L. to R. Candace, Emma, Harriet Matilda (our ancestor), Mary, and Martha Alice. Two other children died, Delilah in 1892 and Margaret in 1881.
Their next move was to the north -- and this time they settled in Malad Valley -- about 16 miles north of the Utah-Idaho border. This was a beautiful little farming community and they first made their home in St. John, which was about three miles northwest of Malad proper. Having traveled from one state to another in hopes of finding a location to suit them, they decided to spend the rest of their days in Malad valley. However, they did move one more time to a 160-acre farm in what is known as Elkhorn, about four miles to the northwest of St. John. It was on this farm that most of the family grew to maturity.

Elizabeth Richards Williams died November 21, 1911, and David Morgan Williams died October 23, 1924. They are buried in the St. John Cemetery, Oneida County, Idaho. David and Elizabeth had ten children and 72 grandchildren.

Source: This article was written by Artella Williams Larsen (granddaughter) and can be found in the book St. John, Oneida County, Idaho: A collection of personal histories from the time of the first settlers to the present day, p. 263-264. The photos came from Welsh Mormon and

1 comment:

  1. The place where David was born is Llanspyddid, a small village just west of Brecon. After his mother (Ann) came to the USA (about 1870), she remarried to David Abel.