|Birth: ||Mar. 17, 1854|
|Death: ||Feb. 18, 1889|
This biography is a compilation of information taken from his biography, written by his wife, Mary Ellen Godfrey Meacham, as well as details recorded in her personal biography as written by herself and finished by her grandson, Darwin Elgin Meacham, as it was dictated to him by her.
Erastus Darwin Meacham Jr. (Darwin), second son of Erastus Darwin and Martha Jones Meacham, was born March 17, 1854 at Springville, Utah. He moved from the Provo area to Southern Utah with his family when he was a young boy, this was during the Black Hawk Indian War (1865- 67). His father was often called to help fight the Indians when they would raid the settlers. Their lives were always in danger, and when the Scouts came in with news that the Indians were coming it was Darwin's job to beat a big drum to warn the settlers. He spoke often of the horror of those days, people were almost afraid to sleep for fear their scalps would be taken and their homes burned before morning.
Darwin's father finally traded the farm for a team of horses and moved to Salt Lake City, he later moved to North Ogden. He left his wife and children in a place he rented from a Mr. Campbell and went to work for the American Fur Co. trapping in Montana. He was gone for two years. Darwin and his mother worked and kept the family. They suffered many hardships as theirs was a large family and they weren't able to earn much money to support the family.
Darwin and his family became acquainted with the family of Joseph and Mary Reeves Godfrey in approximately 1870 when he and his family moved to North Ogden. Darwin and his brother, Elisha, married the two daughters of the Godfreys and a third brother, Francis Carter Meacham, married Mary Reeves' granddaughter from her first marriage, Mary Jane Coleman.
Darwin married Mary Ellen Godfrey on her fifteenth birthday, April 1, 1873 in North Ogden, Utah, where they made their home for about five years. On October 14, 1875, he and Mary Ellen had their first baby, George, who died at birth. On Feb 15, 1877 they had a son, Darwin Elisha Meacham.
That spring, Erastus and Mary Ellen took their young son and moved to Park Valley, in the northwest part of Utah, to make a home. There they built a one room log cabin with a dirt floor. They had about 20 cows to milk. The women milked the cows and sold the butter to keep the family while the men worked in the canyons to harvest logs for building and to make railroad ties to sell. While in Park Valley, Darwin went into the business of hauling freight from Kelton to Idaho and Montana. It would take 4 months to make the round trip. While in Park Valley, Darwin and Mary Ellen had 2 more boys and 2 girls.
March 31, 1988, the family left Park Valley and moved to Star Valley Wyoming. They arrived in Star Valley on May 19, 1988. Once there, Darwin built a one room log cabin for his family. On Oct 17th, he and Mary Ellen had another son, Ira. As winter wore on, the family and their neighbors became low on provisions. The men decided to go hunting to provide meat for their families. The men had gone into the mountains on a Tuesday, on Friday two men returned before noon but Darwin was not with them. They reported the Darwin had gone around the mountain tracking some deer. He did not want to come home without meat for the families.
Mary Ellen watched impatiently for her husband. Late in the afternoon she saw him approaching the cabin but knew something was wrong. When she reached him, he told her he had been caught in a snow slide (avalanche). His gloves and boots were frozen to him and his clothes were packed full of snow. They got his boots and gloves thawed off and the snow out his clothes. Doctor Cranney was summoned, but he could do nothing for Darwin.
Darwin said that he had started the slide himself and had come down behind it over the rocks and stumps. He had broken several ribs and punctured his lungs. Pneumonia set in. Mary Ellen sat with him all night. He told her "no matter what happens, always thank the Lord I got home. I thought too much of you and the children to die up there in the snow and you never know where I was. So when I got to the bottom, I got up by taking hold of a little tree and I prayed for the Lord to help me to get home, and I would not complain. I got here but not by my own strength. I thank the Lord for that and try not to complain". After three days, Darwin passed away on February 18, 1889 with but one dime in his pocket, leaving Mary Ellen to raise 6 children.
Erastus Darwin Mecham (1826 - 1899)
Martha Jones Mecham (1832 - 1903)
Mary Ellen Godfrey Meacham (1858 - 1938)
Darwin Elisha Meacham (1877 - 1953)*
Joseph Arthur Meacham (1879 - 1956)*
Gilbert Mecham (1881 - 1951)*
Mary Edith Meacham Yeaman (1883 - 1968)*
Lizzie M. Heap (1885 - 1966)*
Sylvia Amaretta Mecham Alvord (1848 - 1873)*
Erastus Darwin Meacham (1854 - 1889)
Martha Maria Mecham Burton (1857 - 1947)*
Elisha Jones Mecham (1859 - 1946)*
Margaret Elizabeth Meacham Coleman (1862 - 1908)*
Francis Carter Meacham (1866 - 1954)*
John Hyrum Mecham (1870 - 1939)*
Richard Lafayette Meacham (1873 - 1875)*
Maintained by: LJ
Originally Created by: Deb Stewart
Record added: Jun 10, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27473409