Friday, April 15, 2011

William Hazelgrove Pidcock

  • William Hazelgrove Pidcock
  • Born: January 18, 1832 Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England
  • Died: November 27, 1906 Ogden, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Margaret Udy 

William Hazelgrove Pidcock was born January 18, 1832 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England. He was the only child of Thomas Pidcock and Martha Hazelgrove. Thomas Pidcock was a military officer, so during the war between India and England he took his wife Martha to India with him. After their return to England their son William was born. Both parents had been married before and had older, grown children from these previous marriages.

William’s father died when he was 12 and at 13 he became an apprentice to a man named Sam Vickers to learn the trade of whitesmith. The contract required him to stay until he was 21. In his journals he stated that the family he apprenticed with starved the help and he would go to his mother’s each day for food.

In 1847, when he was 16 years old, he stopped in the town square to hear some preaching. He listened to two missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He liked their message and attended Sunday night meetings. After reading and studying he soon knew the doctrine they preached was true and on May 2, 1848 he was baptized.

There was persecution and oppressive antagonism at work which he endured patiently until he was 20 years old. Then it became intense and he broke his apprenticeship and left with the approval of a lawyer and the owner’s son, George Vickers.

He left Mansfield on foot with two pence and his spare clothes in a box. At Chesterfield he stopped at a lodging house and found an LDS family that helped him. He soon had work and preached in different towns. After two years, having saved enough, he bid his mother goodbye and left for America on the ship “Marshfield” The ship left Liverpool, England on April 8, 1854 and were bound for New Orleans. Four days after setting sail he married Hannah Blench, an LDS girl he had been courting for awhile.

From New Orleans, they traveled up the Mississippi and traveled emigrant style in covered wagons to Salt Lake City in the William A. Empey Company. They arrived in Salt Lake City October 23, 1854.

He started a blacksmith shop on Main Street in Salt Lake City and lived there for a year before the family moved to Ogden. Here he purchased a lot on 27 Adam Street and a tent to live in. He eventually built an adobe house on this property.

He was a member of the Weber County militia and was involved in the Utah War of 1857. In 1860 he was among the volunteers to drive an ox team to Omaha to help bring more emigrants to Utah. In Omaha he met George Q. Cannon who asked him to return with a handcart company, which he did. There were 21 handcarts and eight wagons in this company. They arrived in Salt Lake City September 24, 1860. Then he joined his family again in Ogden.

In Ogden, they started a store and sold all kinds of medicinal herbs. Hannah had training as a nurse and William became knowledgeable in the use of herbs. Their store was very successful and William also became manager of the Ogden branch of the ZCMI store when it was run a co-operative store. He proved to be a very successful merchant.

William returned to England in 1869 and 1870 for another mission. He labored in the area where he had lived and helped many of the converted families come to Utah.

Both William and Hannah loved the gospel and had gone through much for it. After talking it over, they decided to live the law of polygamy and Hannah gave her consent for William to take other wives. He married Fannie Branson August 5, 1870. On October 31, 1870 he married Annie Burton and on December 23, 1872 he married Annie’s sister Sarah Burton. Each family had their own home. We are descended from Sarah.

Both Burton sisters married William just after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley. They were also from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England, where William was from. He made rooms from them in the upper level of his store on Washington Avenue. In 1873 the balance of the Burton family came to Utah including their mother and father and some brothers.

When the government started cracking down on polygamy, William was sent to prison for “unlawful cohabitation.” He was sentenced for 13 months but was released after six months possibly for good behavior.

When the Manifesto was given and approved my members of the Church in 1890 Hannah met with the other three wives. At her suggestion they decided that William should stay with Annie since she had the youngest family. She also advised them to each get her home in her own name before having the marriage dissolved.

Annie and William decided to move to Cardston, Alberta, Canada. They arrived there in 1885 and remained there for seven and a half years before returning to Ogden. In Ogden, William acquired a small store and adjoining house where this family lived. He died at his home on November 27, 1906.

This article is based on two articles I found in the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers archive. One was written by a granddaughter Mary Pidcock Jordan and I don’t know the name of the other author.


  1. I'm a decendent of William Pidcock and Sarah Burton. Its wonderful seeing this information as it provides more details on William then I previously had. I always new about the multiple wives, but I was always taught that William had a total of 8 wives and 38 children.

  2. I am doing research for the Weber County Daughter's of Utah Pioneers Museum. Items donated to the museum, by Maud Martin, are the spectacles, pill box, and satchel owned by Hannah Blench Pidcock. Anything info you can provide about Hannah's midwife activities would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Debby DeGroot