Thursday, December 13, 2012

Robert Wilson


Robert Wilson


Robert Wilson was born 29 April 1819 in Lightwood-green, Flintshire, North Wales, a son of William Wilson and Catherine Davis of Overton, Wales.

He spent his early life in Wales, being one of a family of eleven children.  When he was just a small boy his father died, leaving his mother with a large family to care for.
The missionaries of the Latter Day Saints church had visited their home in Overton, Wales, and his mother, some of his sisters, Robert and his brother Richard, embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ and so decided to leave their native land immigrating to America.  He was sent on a short mission of eight months to a year laboring in the state of Ohio, with a man by the name of Thomas Dutcher as his traveling companion.
While in Ohio, Robert met and married his first wife Mary Ann Point on 23 June 1843.  This was in New Portage, Summit County, Ohio.  She was the daughter of Nathan and Eleanore Point who were pioneers of 1849.  Mary Ann was born 14 January 1816 in New Portage, Ohio.

 Robert and Mary Ann made their home in New Portage, Ohio, and their first child, a girl, was born 7 May 1844 and died 11 November 1845.  They called her Catherine.  The moved from Portage to Lyhoga Falls, Ohio, settling there.  Their second child, a boy was born 8 September 1845; they called him William G. Again death stepped in and took this child away on 5 September 1846.  A little girl was born to them 25 September 1847; they called her Phoebe Ann.  After this baby was born, Robert and Mary Ann decided to move on to Mount Rose, Ohio.  The stayed there for a while then moved on to Nauvoo.  They lived here a short time.

The Saints were preparing at that time to send a company of Saints to Salt Lake Valley.  Robert was anxious to get to Salt Lake.  He was lucky to secure a job driving a wagon and team of oxen across the plains for a man by the name of John S. Fulmer.  With his wife and baby girl, and also his wife’s parents, Nathan and Eleanore Point, they joined this group.  Leaving Kanesville, Iowa, 10 July 1849, with the third company under the supervision of Captain Silas Richard, they started the long journey westward.  Just before reaching Salt Lake, their baby girl became sick and passed away 8 October 1849, four days before arriving in Salt Lake Valley 12 October 1849.  We never knew if this child was buried on the way or taken into Salt Lake for burial.  Robert and Mary Ann settled in Salt Lake while her parents and family went on to California.  Robert and Mary Ann made their home in the nineteenth ward in Salt Lake City.

Shortly after their arrival in Salt Lake, Robert married as his second wife, Mary Ann Baldwin.  She was born 2 March 1823, a daughter of Caleb Baldwin.  They were pioneers of 1848.  Her father Caleb Baldwin, one of the brethren who had been imprisoned with the Prophet Joseph in Liberty Jail, died in great Salt Lake Valley June 11, 1849.

After arriving in Salt Lake, Robert and his first wife had a son born to them 1 October 1850 and this little boy only lived eleven months.  He died 10 August 1851.  They called him Robert after his father.  I can imagine how heart broken these parents were after having all four children taken away from them by death.  Once again they were blessed with a son born 31 December 1851 in Salt Lake.  They called him Robert H.

His second wife, Mary Ann Baldwin Wilson, gave birth to a son 17 August 1850 and called him Robert C.  Another son was born to them 23 July 1853.  They called him Richard E.  Both were born in Salt Lake City.

 In the year 1853 Robert was called upon to help settle Kaysville, Utah.  He moved his second wife, Mary Ann Baldwin Wilson, and their two small sons to Kaysville with him.  His first wife and small son remained in Salt Lake.  While living in Salt Lake Robert was called upon to go out and meet one of the hand cart companies and guide them into Salt Lake Valley.

On the third of April 1853 he married Ann Blood as his third wife in Salt Lake, making a home for her in Harrisville, Utah.   She was born 13 August 1837 at Hair Hill, Derbyshire, England, a daughter of William and Mary Stretten Blood.  Her first child was born 11 December 1854 in Harrisville, Utah.  They called him William H.

 Robert’s second wife had a daughter born to them 16 November 1854.  They called her Mary Ann.  She was born in Kaysville.

 Robert’s first wife, Mary Ann Point Wilson, who had crossed the plains with him, could not understand plural marriage and was very unhappy.  He must have loved her very dearly as he decided to take her and their small son to California.  Robert and his first wife, arriving in California, settled in Canyon Creek Eldorado, where Robert became interested in mining.  He found a gold ledge and took out a claim.  From what was told to me by his only living daughter, Olive Wilson Harper, in July 1960, her father became quite well to do, but did not like mining.  She told me some gold from his mine was minted into coins and it has been said the coins, when heaped in a pile would cover an old fashioned dining table.  From some of these coins Robert had two gold earrings made which he held in his possession until many years later when one of these earrings was given to his daughter Jane Wilke Wilson.  This was later made into her wedding ring.  The other earring was given to her half-sister, Esther Wilson.
My father told me that my great grandfather, not liking mining, became tired and just left his claim.  Disagreeing with his first wife, he just picked up and left California, leaving her and their son with her people.  He went back to New York, going by way of the Isthmus of Panama.  After arriving in New York he bought a team and wagon and once more crossed the plains with the church train with Captain Homer Duncan in charge, arriving in Salt Lake 14 September 1857.
Returning to his second wife, Mary Ann Baldwin Wilson in Kaysville, Utah, he found she had given birth to another daughter born 18 June 1856 after he had left her.  She was called Lenora A.  Also his third wife, Ann Blood Wilson, had a son born after he left her in Harrisville, born 12 November 1856.  He was called James D.

 Back with his two families he again continued living as he believed and wished.

 Robert again married, taking as his fourth wife, Mary Blood, a sister to his third wife, Ann Blood.  They were married 3 April 1857 in Salt Lake.  He took her and made a home in Harrisville, Utah.

He was an active pioneer in Harrisville and Weber County being elected justice of the peace, was made a High Councilor and Patriarch.

President Young sent him on a mission to help settle Dixie County, in the southern part of Utah.  This was very hard for him to do as now he had three wives and 13 children to care for.  It was not easy for them to leave their many friends and face the hardships of a new country.  But by their faith and trust in the Lord and their religion they accepted this responsibility and with his three families, Robert journeyed to Santa Clara, Washington County, Utah.  They worked hard in this new country until Robert, the husband, became seriously ill and was released from the mission.

His third wife Ann and family and his fourth wife Mary and family returned with him to Harrisville, Utah.  But his second wife, Mary Ann Baldwin Wilson, and her family remained in Escalante, Garfield County, where she died 20 April 1877
His first wife, who stayed in California, never came back to Utah, so through family separations we never knew if their one surviving son, Robert H., ever grew to manhood.  Mary Ann Point Wilson died in California in the year 1895.  She was sealed to her husband Robert 27 Oct 1896 after his death by some of the family.
Living in Weber County until the year 1881, they made another move; he with his two wives and families, went to Grouse Creek, where they camped for the winter.  In the early spring of 1882 he moved with his two families to Oakley, Idaho.  They were among the first settlers of this place.  Three other families accompanied them from Utah to Idaho at this time: namely Critchfields, Martindales, and Daleys.  These families were very active in the settling of the town of Oakley, Idaho.

Robert Wilson homesteaded 160 acres of land there just two and one half miles from the main part of where the city is today.  Here they cleared the land of brush with a grubbing hoe and planted their crops.  The cabin Robert built was one of the best built cabins in that time.  This was where Ann, his third wife, lived.  He built on for his wife Mary on the ground where my father and mother live today.  These two families lived in harmony; they practically lived together.
Robert held various positions in the Church.  He was set apart as Senior President of the Seventies Quorum.  He was called upon to serve a mission back to his native country and left on 17 February 1886 being gone for twenty months laboring in the Eastern States and England.  He returned home in October 1888.  During that time the United States was trying to put down plural marriages and the Army searched his homes and also his sons homes.  After their difficulties were settled and when the Cassia Stake of the Latter Day Saints church was organized in Idaho, he was set apart as the first Stake Patriarch.  He held this office until his death 18 September 1895 at the age of 76 years, leaving a large posterity.
He was the husband of four wives, father of thirty-nine children; twenty four sons and fifteen daughters.  At the time of his death his two wives, seventeen sons and nine daughters, sixty-eight grandchildren and eighty-five great grandchildren survived him.  He was laid away in the Oakley Idaho Cemetery.
---This history written by a great grand-daughter, Venice Irene Critchfield Williams in 1961. 


I can't seem to get rid of this sideways headstone photo??!!!!??  Sorry!!

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