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 William Thomas Van Noy

William Thomas Van Noy

Pike County, Missouri, USA
Death 2 Mar 1900 (aged 72)
Richmond, Cache County, Utah, USA
Burial Richmond, Cache County, Utah, USA
Memorial ID 17655814 · View Source
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The Van Noy family was driven from France to England, then to Holland, and then back to England, and finally to America by religious intolerance. The name in France was Noy. Then when they arrived in Holland Van was added to the family name as an honor. It is probably as old a Baptist stock as can be found in America.

The Van Noy family came from Hugenot migration to South Carolina in a ship with Francis Marions grandparents about the year 1699. A.D. The ancestor, John Van Noy was born the day they landed at Georgetown, South Carolina. His father fought under the banner of Oliver Cromwell and was related to him by marriage. They settled on Staten Island, New York where John Van Noy father, died in 1699. Leaving his property to his wife Rachel and sons and daughter.

It is the family of Francis Van Noy the second son of John and Rachel Van Noy, that interests us. He married about 1715, a daughter of Cornelius Anderson. Francis Van Noy lived to be eighty-five years eighty-five years of age, leaving three sons (1) John (2) Andrew (3) Cornelius and (4) Hannah.

This John Van Noy, born 1775 married Elizabeth Kilby. They moved to Missouri. They had a son Nathaniel. This Nathaniel and his wife Margeret Tinsley are the parents of William Thomas Van Noy.

William Thomas Van Noy was born 13 March 1827, in Pikes County, Missouri, he had eight brother and sisters. He lived in the state of Missouri until he was 22 years of age. He started with a company of emigrants to California at the time of the gold rush in 1849. They traveled by way of Salt Lake City and while there he became very ill and could not go on. The saints being very hospitable, he was taken in and cared for by James Hendricks and Drussella Dorris Hendricks and family.

December 18, 1850, he was baptized into the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In 1851 he was married in the Endowment house to Catherine Tabitha Doris Hendricks. there were born to them eleven children, seven girls and four boys.

In the year 1859, December 25, he was married to Agnes Burrell. She was born in Glasgow, Scotland and immigrated to this country. She worked in the home of William and Catherine. She took out her endowment in 1859 and they were married in President Brigham Young's office under the order of plural marriage. To this union eleven children were born, six boys and five girls. All but one of this family grew to manhood and womanhood. He lived in Richmond the greater part of his life, but in the year 1878 he moved to a ranch in Riverdale, Idaho. There his hard struggles and sorrowful times began. Only four families were living there at those times.

About 1866 or 07 he with Dave Eccles and Chas. Nibly built a saw mill on high Creek called Van Noy Mill site. This is about seven or eight miles up the canyon from Richmond. He also helped build the old High Creek Grist Mill.

In the year 1879, February 21 his second wife, Agnes, died leaving ten children, all-single at the time, but two. Within two years after her death, his first wife died, leaving him sole protector of a large family of twenty children.

There were indications of his being a great inventor; some of his inventions were never finished because of his sudden death and his failure to get a patent on them. Following are some of them: A heat ventilator, which was like a transom, when the room got to a certain temperature it world automatically open and ventilate the room. He made a small wagon with self-brake on it. When it started down hill the brakes would automatically shut down. He was making a shot-weighing machine at the time of his death. He invented another scale that would weigh and tally the cost at the same time, but he was unable to realize anything from it because he wasn't able to finance it. This invention was stolen from him and put on the market by a friend that he trusted. With improvements it is in use today in almost every store. He had his had earned savings taken by fraud, but he was a man of determination in what he undertook to do and wasn't easily discouraged.

He raised sugar cane and made his own molasses. After the cane was nearly matured long blade knives like sickles were used to strip off the leaves. The stocks were cut by the same instrument and laid in piles and hauled into sheds for further ripening because of the early frost. After lying for a few weeks it was put in a grinding machine the power being manufactured by horse going around in a circle. The juice was extracted and put in a vat. It was boiled and skimmed until the vapor and steam turned a blue cast and then it was put in forty gallon barrels. About two of these barrels were used each winter.

He also tanned hides and made shoes for his family to wear. He was good carpenter. He made a beautiful piece of furniture, and novelties. He made a chair for John Bair and early pioneer, which is still well preserved and stands in the Richmond Pioneer Relief Hall.

About 1881 or 82, Henry Gibson, William Thomas Van Noy, and Samuel Rosekelly owned and operated a sawmill in Beaver Canyon, Montana. Van Noy intending to make a trip to Ogden to sell some lumber, was persuaded to leave the mill on an engine that was going in the evening, instead of waiting for the train in the morning.
He put on his coat and removed it three different times before he was persuaded to go. He rode in the engine cab with the engineer and fireman. He was sitting with his left leg under the seat when the engineer discovered a boxcar off the main line ahead and he call to them to jump. The engineer and fireman jumped, but Van Noy couldn't his left leg was caught under the seat. The impact of the engine and box car caused part of the engine to be torn and his leg was mangled. The engine still kept going and in this condition he got out and stopped it. He had to have his leg amputated below the knee from result. He always said if he had listened to his promptings he never would have suffered this misfortune.

He urged his family to get as good an education as possible. He taught them what he could at home and then a school house was built where he taught the children of the families in the vicinity of Riverdale, Idaho. This he did without pay.

He experimented a great deal with fruit trees, grafting different kinds.
About 1874 he homesteaded 160 acres know as the Falls which was called Riverdale later. In 1875 he built a flume and a footbridge across Bear River making an irrigation ditch from Mink Creek to the ranch, in 1878 from frozen ice the flume was wrecked. In 1879 he started to build another canal. It went up about 2 miles north of the homestead and built a dam, which is now called the Narrows. It took two years of hard labor with pick and shovel to build this canal.

About 1887, he built a ferry across Bear River. It was made by means of a pulley at each side of the river with ropes between. You would sit in a boat and swim the horse across, the wagon being taken over before high waters.

He was a great lover of music and played the violin very well. He played for dances and social gathering. He also made several violins of maple and pine and composed music.

Thirteen years after the death of his second wife he married Katie Bagley. Five children were born to them, one boy and four girls.

He lived on a ranch from 1878 until a few years before his death. Although he was unable to attend church, he never lost faith. He always had family prayers night and morning as he had been taught to do in the homes of the Saints.

To show his faith in the Church, he often made the remark, "When I die, don't come dressed in black unless I leave the church. Other wise dress in what the weather will permit." He died 2 March 1900. He was a man of high standards, Honest in his dealing and loved by all who knew him. He was the only one who came west and joined the church that we have record of. (his family)
At his death, 2 March 1900, he was the father of twenty-seven children and 125 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. To date there are 18 pairs of twins. All the first wife's children are dead, four children of the second wife's are living at present, and all of the last wife's children are living. His posterity is very numerous. This material was gathered from the following book, "A Family History and Genealogy"

Presented by Daughter Zellnora Van Noy Olsen
Ovid, Idaho
Copied Aug 1946 recopied by Mabel Parker in 1953
Daughter of Utah Pioneers

  • Maintained by: Don Shelley
  • Originally Created by: Penny G. Douglass
  • Added: 24 Jan 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 17655814
  • Don Shelley
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Thomas Van Noy (13 Mar 1827–2 Mar 1900), Find A Grave Memorial no. 17655814, citing Richmond City Cemetery, Richmond, Cache County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Don Shelley (contributor 47103546) .