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 William Henry “Bill” Longhurst, Jr

William Henry “Bill” Longhurst, Jr

Fordwich, City of Canterbury, Kent, England
Death 31 Mar 1925 (aged 71)
Woodruff, Rich County, Utah, USA
Burial Woodruff, Rich County, Utah, USA
Memorial ID 146391 · View Source
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By his son Wm Albert Longhurst- 27 Dec 1948

On April 6, 1853, the same day the cornerstone was laid for the Salt Lake Temple, a son was born at Deptford, Kent County, England, to William Henry Longhurst and Ann Preston. He was named William Henry Junior, the fourth child in the family. At age 8, following his father's trade he started working in Her Majesty's Shipyards as an apprentice. One day, while distributing wooden pegs to the workmen he fell about forty feet and was picked up for dead. Later he contracted small pox and was very sick. His sister, Clara, scrubbed him, breaking the pustules and letting out the poison. With administration and faith he was healed but he always had the scars.

He was baptized by his father April 6,1861 at Deptford. June 1, 1864 the family left London for America on the sailboat "Hudson."
An epidemic of measles broke out enroute and many lost their lives but the Longhurst family's lives were spared. They arrived in New York City six weeks and three days from departure and traveled by train to St. Joseph,Missouri and there prepared to start to Utah by ox teams. Thomas, age 13, and William, 11, had to do most of the driving as their father spent most of his time repairing wagons and building caskets for some who died on the way. It took 120 wagons to bring the saints to Utah. Captain Hyde was in charge of the group. According to church recorsds William Hyde's company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on Wednesday October 26, 1864 and the Longhurst wagon parked about twenty feet from the NE corner of the present City and County Building. William, known as Bill, obtained a job as errand boy at Fort Douglas under Captain Wingate and was given clothing and money which helped the family greatly during the winter.

In the spring the family moved to Bountiful. They lived in a dugout but later built a one-room house. They had 20 acres of land in the mouth of the canyon. The boys hauled timber on shares to put up fences. They also cleared bush from part of the land. In 1869 William Sr. and his son Charles whetn to Echo, Utah to work on the Union Pacific Railroad as it ws being buitlt across the country.

In 1870 grandfather William Henry with S.C. Putnam, William Reed and Charley Card located her in Woodruff. They lived in a dugout on the east side of the highway between Dry Creek and Goose Creek. They spent the winter working on homes. In the summer of 1871 grandfather moved his family to Woodruff to a one-room log house located where the church and amusement hall now stands. They operated a small store. Grandfather received for his house and land in Bountiful, one team of old mules, one linchpin wagon and a government harness which was brought to Utah by Johnson's Army, and 5 gallons of black sorghum. The fellies and tires on the wagon had to be wrapped with rawhide to get to Woodruff.

Grandfather, Tom, Bill, and Charley went to Hilliard to work in the tie camp and charcoal kilns for two or three winters. Bill worked on the long flume filled with water carrying the timber to the railroad.

On December 11, 1873, grandmother died, leaving a large family. Two daughters were married at this time but there were seven boys at home, the youngest being not quite six years of age. The daughter Marintha was 15 and she cooked and card for the family until she married Charles Whitiington 3 years later in 1876. Ann Preston Longhurst was the first person buried in the Woodruff cemetery.

Some years later grandfather joined the Order of Enoch going to Arizona. He wrote to Bill to come to Arizona and bring the family. Bill got four head of horses, harness and wagon and went to each member of the family and asked them if they wanted to go and not one of them would go. Bill then went back to Bountiful and ran a store for some time.

About this time Bill Rounds, Aunt Amelia's husband, was running a saw mill at Santaquin Canyon where the soldiers were getting the Indians together to put them back on the reservation. They sent for the Rounds to come to town for safety but they decided it was safer there. They sent Bill to Santaquin for supplies. Aunt Amelia gave him a sack of biscuits. The Indians would come from behind the rocks and oak brush and would want to know where the soldiers were. Father Bill would satisfy them by giving them biscuits. He went through unharmed and returned home with supplies.

Bill returned to Woodruff and worked on a large cattle ranch for Crawford and Thompson. He trailed cattle from Boise, Idaho to the Wind River in Wyoming. While working for them he went, on March 26, 1881 to look at the cattle east of Randolph. A blizzard came up which was so bad he couldn't find the way home. He built a fire of cedar, took his saddle blanket, wrapped it around and stayed all night. On his way home he passed cattle frozen to death standing up. He had burned his overshoes and boots so bad that before he got to the ranch they dropped off his feet. By the time he got to Aunt Marintha Whittington's at Garden City his feet were frozen and the flesh came off his toes like a thimble, leaving the bone all bare. He got proud flesh in them and nearly lost his life.

Later on he worked for S.V. Frazier, cutting ties on Woodruff Creek. While carrying supplies into camp he, and I.V. Bateman were caught in a snowslide. Eastman was completely buried and Bill covered to his head. They floated those ties to Coleville, Wyoming by way of Woodruff Creek and Bear River.

William Henry Longhurst Junior was re-baptized 2 Mar 1884 by Byron Sessions and confirmed March 2 by William Henry Lee. He was ordained a Seventy 25 July 1886 by Charles R. South. 2 October 1884 he married Betsey Jane Dean in the Logan Temple. He went back to work for Byron Sessions for about a year. They built a one-room dirt-roof home east of where the Albert Longhurst home is now. William Albert, was their first child, born there 4 Aug. 1885. The next child, Betsey Jane, was born 23 April 1887 in the same place.

They leased Ezekial Lee's ranch for two years. During this time Mary Ann was born 28 December, 1888 at grandmother Dean's home. In the fall of 1890 they moved to the homestead where Asael now lives which is North of Woodruff. They moved the little one-room house on it.

Making a living, breaking land and fencing it with no money or equipment was a real problem but even with that situation we never did go hungry, although we had very little variety. Our clothing was well patched and darned, thanks to our mother, Betsy Jane. We went barefooted during the summer months to save our shoes. As time went on one more rom was added to the house, more land was broken up and things in general were a little better.

The next important event was a baby boy, George Leonard. He was born 20 September 1891. Clara Marintha was born July, 1892.
In the last summer months of 1892, a real bad epidemic of diphtheria broke out and nearly every family in the town was stricken with it. My wife, Effa Genett Cook, with her family, moved to Woodruff from Garden City. In the fall her older brother, Willie, passed away with it. They burned everything they had in their house. In ten days her mother came down with it. Her baby was just 6 months old. Effa, being the oldest but only seven, could not do much toward taking care of three children. Father, Bill went into the home taking care of the mother and weaned the baby from the breast. The girls could not remember to call him Brother Longhurst so one day he told them to just called him "Uncle Bill" and as a family they always called him that, then the town people started and it wasn't long until this was what he was known by. Effa says she will never forget how kind and gentle he was to them.

On July 22, 1893 another baby girl joined the family. They named her Clara Marintha, after two of Bill's sisters. She was called Rinthie. Betsey Jane was given the nickname of Beck and Mary Ann was always called Myrt.

In 1892 when Cox's Army marched you could see men coming and going any time of the day, begging and coaxing for food or work. As we became old enough for school we had to walk a mile and the church was across the street from the schoolhouse.

Father Bill was always very prompt with his work. He was firm, but kind with any thing he undertook to do. I have often said, "Tell me the time of day and I can tell you what he is doing." He grew a large garden filled with vegetables that would grow in Woodruff, and also had rows of English Red Currants adn patches of rhubarb. Sometimes in the summer cases of currants were picked and hauled in a wagon to Evanston to be sold to the grocery stores. He made most of the living selling butter and eggs. He always had credit at the store. He bought wagons and machinery with butter and eggs. He never went in debt. He never signed a note until he was 70 years old. This was when he bought a neighbor's farm. In the summers of 1904, 1905,and 1906, he went with the Geological Survey, as a cook. In 1909 he built a new five-room home. This is still in use.

Asael Dean was born 22 December, 1906. There was 13 years between he and Marintha. This made a total of three sons and three daughters in the family.

Bill as ways loved good horses and cows. He bought the first registered holstein bull in Woodruff in 1905. He always took part in dramatics and public entertainments. He always enjoyed singing and was a member of the choir all of his life. He was a leader in water conservation, building good roads and took part in politics. He was active in church and civic affairs in the community.

But in the last years of his life his health was poor. He died at his home in Woodruff, 31 March, 1925 and was buried 3 April, 1925 in the Woodruff Cemetery. Cause of death was pneumonia.

written by son William Albert Longhurst
with some additions by granddaughter
Lenore Cornia Bruce




  • Maintained by: A.Bell
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 146391
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Henry “Bill” Longhurst, Jr (6 Apr 1853–31 Mar 1925), Find A Grave Memorial no. 146391, citing Woodruff Cemetery, Woodruff, Rich County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by A.Bell (contributor 46518784) .