John Menzies Macfarlane

John Menzies Macfarlane

Stirling, Stirling, Scotland
Death 2 Jun 1892 (aged 58)
Saint George, Washington County, Utah, USA
Burial Saint George, Washington County, Utah, USA
Plot A_A_6_2
Memorial ID 117701 · View Source
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Scottish Latter-day Saint Pioneer, Hymn Writer, Choir Director, Judge and Civic Leader

His father died when he was thirteen. When he was sixteen he moved with his mother, brother and sister to Glasgow, and in 1852 came with his family to Utah. He moved to Cedar City in 1853. In both the Sessions Settlement and in Cedar City he taught school.

He married Ann Chatterley December 30, 1854, and they had ten children, the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth dying as young children.

John married Agnes Eliza (Tillie) Heyborne on October 9, 1866. They had nine children, eight of whom lived to adulthood.

In 1868, John M. took his wives to St. George, and later, in 1879 married Elizabeth Jane (Lizzie) Adams. They had seven children, five of whom reached adulthood.

He was a farmer, teacher, surveyor, attorney, and judge and also led the local choir in Cedar City and later in St. George. He was a prominent early settler in Cedar City and in St. George. If his crops hadn't failed the year he tried to set up shop in Toquerville, he might have been a prominent member of that community.

He was the first postmaster of Toquerville, and the first postmaster south of Cedar City. He surveyed many sites around southern Utah and Eastern Nevada.

He was a defense attorney in the trial of John D. Lee and he also served as a County Prosecuting Attorney and District Attorney.

In 1879 he was elected as probate judge, which was a county judge in the Territory of Utah and served there until 1883 when he resigned due to the fact that he couldn't carry out his duties because he was in hiding often from federal marshals looking for polygamists.

He left with his third wife Lizzie for Mexico to avoid arrest, and lived an interesting life in Mexico for several years. His second wife Tillie, and some of her children joined him in Mexico in 1891.

In 1892 he returned alone to St. George to get some medical attention, and died there from heart failure as a complication of diabetes.

He is best known for composing two hymns that are still sung in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He wrote both words and music to "Far, Far Way on Judea's Plains", and he composed the music to "Dearest Children", lyrics written by his associate Charles L. Walker.

(Adapted from a account by John A. Macfarlane, given at the Macfarlane Family Reunion October 21, 2005)

( Thanks to Find A Grave contributor Carl W. McBrayer for historical account)

Utah Cemetery Inventory

Name: John M. MacFarlane
Birth Place: Stirling, Scotland
Death Date: 2 Jun 1892
Death Place: St. George, UT
Cemetery: St. George City Cemetery
Source: Sexton / Grant
Grave Location: A_A_6_2
1880 United States Federal Census
about John M. Mac Farlane
Name: John M. Mac Farlane
[John M. MacFarlane]
Home in 1880: Saint George, Washington, Utah
Age: 17
Estimated birth year: abt 1863
Birthplace: Utah Territory
Relation to Head of Household: Son
Father's Name: J. M.
Father's birthplace: Scotland
Mother's birthplace: England
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: Works On Farm
Marital Status: Single
Race: White Gender: Male

Household Members: Name Age
J. M. Mac Farlane 46
A. C. Mac Farlane 43
A. E. H. Mac Farlane 34
E. J. Mac Farlane 22
Jonna. B. Mac Farlane 19
John M. Mac Farlane 17
Sarah A. Mac Farlane 12
Agness E. Mac Farlane 10
R. U. Mac Farlane 7
Cathrine Mac Farlane 5
William Mac Farlane 2
Jennie B. Mac Farlane 1
Emma Mac Farlane 6M




  • Maintained by: Max Turpin
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 1 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 117701
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Menzies Macfarlane (11 Oct 1833–2 Jun 1892), Find A Grave Memorial no. 117701, citing Saint George City Cemetery, Saint George, Washington County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Max Turpin (contributor 46863402) .