Friday, October 22, 2010

Robert Price

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Greatgrandfather, Robert Price

Recently, I was able to obtain a copy of the book, Robert Price, by Ezra J. Poulsen. I had read it forty years ago shortly after it was published. Robert Price is my maternal great grandfather . Mother had a copy of this book and I'm not sure who ended up with it after her passing. It would do us all well do find a copy, they are currently out of print, and read it and reflect deeply on the faith, strength, and ability of this man. He was an early settler in the Bear Lake Valley having immigrated to the United States and Utah after his conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was called to assist in the establishment of the Bear Lake Colony by Brigham Young, and though he had lived most of his life in a big city, he accepted the challenge and accomplished many truly miraculous thing there during his lifetime. One of the things he did toward the end of his life was to create a sawmill at the head of Worm Creek. This was an area of road less wilderness located in the mountains west of and between Bloomington and St. Charles. There used to be an old iron steam engine there years ago and I had seen it some twenty five years ago while hiking in the area with some of my sons. I can't remember exactly which ones, except I know Justin was with me. When I read the Robert Price book this past week I determined to go and see if I could find the old steam engine which my great grandfather had some how gotten up to the head of Work Creek. I hiked and found the area I thought it was in but no steam engine. Perhaps it has since been hauled out and sold as scrap metal. That would have been a difficult project in and of itself. The day was not wasted though. I had time to contemplate the life of one of my ancestors and to count my blessings for my heritage. I saw several old tree stumps that appeared to have been left after the trees had been fallen, maybe a hundred years ago by one of the workers for my great grandfather. It was a singular and humbling experience.
The photo above is a picture of my great grandfather Robert Price.  The name Robert Price was printed on the bottom of the Photo by my mother, Edna Hymas Eborn.  He  was born at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England in 1835.  He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  when he was baptized by and Elder Smith on September 4, 1853.  He was eighteen years old and living alone in the great city of London at the time, having struck out on his own some three years earlier.  His faith in the restored gospel grew and never faltered.  He married Matilda Kelsey on October 13,1855 at Clerkenwell, a district in the North end of London in the borough of Finsebury.  She had previously converted to the Church, perhaps in the Dover area of southeastern England where they had lived previously.  Some time later, at the direction of Church leaders, Robert Price entered into the practice of plural marriage.  His second wife was, Sussanah Juchau, who was a friend of the family and had actually accompanied Robert and Matilda Price across the Great Plains to Utah leaving with the Milo Andrus Company from Florence, Nebraska in July of 1861.  At the time the United States were engaged in the great Civil War, it haven broken out in April 1861.  Faraway Utah in the Rocky Mountains must have seemed a heaven on earth in spite of the rigorous journey and the difficulties of pioneer life in the West at the time.  Susannah Juchau, through whom our family descends was just fifteen years old at the time and drove one of the Robert Price family wagons to Utah and assisted the frail Matilda with the children and other family chores.  Robert and Matilda had serious reservations about the principle of plural marriage, but the agreed to follow the instructions of their Church leaders and were glad to have Susannah, a capable, loving and trusted friend as a part of the family.  They were married March 2 1864 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Robert would later take three additional wives.  For the most part the lived amicably together, not in the same house, in Paris, Idaho
where Robert and his families settled following a call from the Prophet to relocate to the Bear Lake Valley in 1869, just six years after its settlement by Apostle Charles C. Rich and a company of pioneers in 1863.
     My Grandmother, Elizabeth Price, was the daughter of Robert Price and his wife, Susannah Juchau Price.

The above photo is a picture of my grandmother, Elizabeth Price Hymas.

The above photo is of three daughters Robert Price, Elizabeth, Polly, and Grace.  Ezra J. Poulsen refers to them as the "inseparable ones".  They were daughters of the same father and different mothers, and growing up in the small village of Paris during pioneer times had become very close friends as well as sisters.  They were all married on the same day in the Logan, Utah LDS Temple, September 18, 1879.
      I'm very glad I reread the book, Robert Price. I learned a great deal about my greatgrandparents and grandparents that I had not recalled from my previous reading.
by Bart

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