James' last view of the Cherry Creek homestead cabin, after lockup of the cabin in October 1923.
James and Sarah with daughter, Lucy Ellen Williams Price, (standing left) and grandchildren (left to right) Velma, Ralph, and cousins Marjorie and Keith Cox, in front of Jim's "starter" dugout cabin at the Cherry Creek homestead, July 1921.
Jim sights a possible dinner at Lofgren, near Tintic, Utah.
A 1911 picnic in the foothills of Salt Lake City behind Jim's home. Left to right: Jim, granddaughter Florence Wiseman, Sarah Williams, Ada Williams Miller (holding baby Harold Miller), Ellis Miller, Edward Miller, Lester Miller, Lula Miller, Olive Williams Wiseman, and Ivy Rachel Williams.
George Frederick Williams at age 2 1/2. Fred died at the age of seven in 1905.
Jim and Sarah at work to get rid of the tall sagebrush at the Cherry Creek homestead. Daughter-in-law, Marie (Jay's wife), is helping.
James Clark Williams, Scotsman turned frontiersman, in front of his self-built log cabin on the Lofgren, Utah, homestead, about 1917.
James and Sarah set up "Winter Quarters" in the Lofgren dugout cabin. Jim later built a log home over the dugout. About 1917.
James and his helper, "Sam," at work for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad in Salt Lake City.
James stands near his home at 765 West 100 North (now 200 North), Salt Lake City, in his baker's garb. Jim's daughter Sarah ("Sadie") and her husband Nephi Cox stand in the background.
Jim has a successful hunt in Idaho, 1904.
James with daughter, Lucy (left), and wife Sarah Rogers Williams, probably about 1898.
Birth: October 15, 1854, Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Death: June 13, 1925, Union, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Parents: Alexander Williams and Catherine Clark, both born in Scotland
Married Sarah Rogers
Death Certificate State of Utah
Spouse: Sarah Williams Rogers Denny (1858 - 1945)
Burial: Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA -
found on findagrave.com
JAMES CLARK WILLIAMS(Son of Alexander Williams and Catherine Clarke)
Jim always chuckled when he told the story about a time when he was a young boy delivering bread. Bread was delivered very early in the morning while it was still hot, and the loaves were carried on a board supported on his head. It had been raining the night before, and the streets were muddy and slippery. He took a large step over a puddle and slipped, spilling the bread loaves in the mud. Knowing that there wouldn't be any more bread baked until the next day, he took a penknife and scraped the mud from each loaf and proceeded to deliver it to his customers. Jim was always fond of travel, and when he was nineteen years old, he decided to start a business of his own in another country. He attended lectures about New Zealand with a pal, "Alick" Cameron. James made his decision and left Scotland on 18 March 1874 as second steward on the ship "Dunedin," bound for Canterbury, New Zealand, with 400 immigrants on board. (This was the first of a total of six trans-oceanic voyages Jim was to make in his lifetime.)
The ship being short on skilled labor, Jim was appointed assistant to the chief steward, serving the first class cabins and officers. The chief steward was too fond of his liquor, and as the cruise continued, most of his duties descended on Jim. When the ship arrived at Port Littleton, New Zealand, on 3 July 1874, the Captain offered James the position of chief steward if he would make the return trip to Scotland, but James refused the position and uniform. He wanted to stay in New Zealand.
Jim and his companion Alick traveled over most of the north and south islands. They were both sincere members of the United Brethren church, and when they were miles away from anyone else, they used to meet together on Sundays and have their Sabbath meetings alone. Finally, Alick went to Auckland. He later sent for Jim, stating that he had a job for him. Jim joumeyed to Auckland and made his home there. He took letters of introduction with him to the Cook Street Christian Brethren church.
In Auckland, James met Sarah Porter Rogers, and "Jimmie" and Sarah were married 11 October 1876 by Reverend W. McDonald, a Scotch minister of Episcopal denomination. Their first child, Ada, was born 14 July 1877, and on 4 July 1879, their second child, Edith Mable ("May"), was born.
Sarah also belonged to the Christian Brethren church in Auckland. In 1880, when Mormon missionaries arrived, a few of the Christian Brethren went to some of the LDS meetings out of curiosity and looked in on the formal public debates held at that time between the Christian Brethren and the Mormons. The result was that several families joined the LDS church in March 1880, among them James and Sarah. They were baptized 18 March 1880 in the graving dock in Auckland by Elder John P. Sorenson. Jim Williams was ordained an elder on 6 June 1880 by John P. Sorenson.
[Note by James Clark William's wife, Sarah:]
It was my husband's custom to always rise early, and when he worked at the biscuit factory in Auckland, he had to be at work at 7:00 a.m. He would get up soon after five, as he had a long walk of several miles to his work. He would make the fire and get some water boiling for his "burgoo." Burgoo is a Scotch breakfast dish made by pouring boiling water in a bowl half full of course steel-cut oatmeal. He would put a good sized lump of butter in the middle and some salt, then stir until of the right consistence. Ada and May were very fond of that and would get up in their nighties to have some of day's burgoo before he went to work. He would also help prepare the older ones for bed while I took care of the baby. Then after prayers, he put them in bed. He then had them sing with him, "Oh Ye Mountains High" and others, but that seemed to be the
favorite. And how those dear little one could sing - Ada could sing up and down the scale before she could talk, and the others came along in due time. [End of note.]
Shortly after joining the Church in Auckland, James was set apart as first counselor in the local LDS branch under President Nicholas H. Groesbeck, of Springville, Utah. Although there was no active persecution of Mormons in Auckland, Jim Williams and other new LDS converts now found it difficult to find new employment, and they frequently heard the refrain, ''We've no place for Mormons!"
Jim decided to join the company of Saints which Elder Groesbeck was organizing to immigrate to Utah. They left 18 March 1882, two years to the day from when Jim and his family were baptized. James left his family behind, fully expecting to prepare a home for them in Utah before he sent for them. However, after his arrival in Salt Lake City, James came to the notice of the LDS Church Presidency. After he had been in Utah about six months, they had a conference with him, with the result that James was called to return to Auckland as a full-time missionary. He was set apart by George Q. Cannon who promised that he would go in safety and return in safety with his wife and family. This was verified in every detail. Jiin left Utah in September 1882.
In those days, missionaries traveled without "purse or scrip." James had money to pay his way to San Francisco and enough more for room rent for three days before the ship sailed. He figured he had barely enough left over to pay the first $50 towards his ticket, but he would have to work to pay for the rest of the passage. He contacted the captain of the ship and tried to make arrangements to work his way as a chef, but the captain replied they had a good chef, and all the other jobs on the ship were filled. When James told the captain he was a Mormon missionary, the captain brought his fist down on the table and said, "I wouldn't take you if you paid me $100?" Very disappointed and worried, James went back to the hotel, but he could not sleep. He knelt down and prayed earnestly to his Heavenly Father that he would be able to go with that ship. A voice came to him and said: "Trouble yourself no more. You will go with that ship." He had received the conviction he would sail on that particular ship. Putting all worry behind him the next morning, he went out to Golden Gate Park to spend the day.
While sitting in the park, a well-dressed man approached James and asked if he would like employment at a good salary. James refused, saying that he was going on a mission to preach the gospel. The man tried to discourage James from going on the mission and urged him again to accept the job offer, but James held to his purpose. The man finally left. Jim turned to watch him go, and discovered that the man had entirely disappeared. It seemed that every effort was made by Satan to entice him not to go.
On 22 September 1882, James spent some time at the courthouse in San Francisco. He filled out an application for United States citizenship, signing the required Declaration of Intention as "J.C. Williams." By signing, James officially renounced "all allegiance and fidelity to all and any foreign Prince, Potentate, State and Sovereignty whatsoever, and particularly to Victoria Queen of Great Britain and Ireland." James' commitment in favor of his new country was definitely set.
(However, it would be another 10 years before James would become a fully naturalized citizen.)
Before he left the hotel on the morning the ship was to sail, Jim went to label his trunk for Australia. A voice said, ''Label it for New Zealand." He hadn't been near the ship since the captain said he wouldn't take him. Jim paid his hotel bill and went to the wharf. He arrived at the dock about an hour before the sailing time, and the first man he met was the captain. The captain said, "I have been looking all over for you Since yesterday." The second steward had suddenly taken ill, and the captain now wanted Jim to work for him for the full passage.
The ship was a passenger boat, and Jim had many opportunities to preach the gospel. The ship didn't dock at New Zealand, but in order to leave the mail there, a packet boat would come out and pick it up. The ship would then go on to Australia where the passenger would take a return ship to New Zealand.
The day before the ship was due at Auckland, James had just finished preaching a sermon to the passengers, when the captain, who had taken quite a liking to him, stood up and announced that Jim Williams had a wife and three children in Auckland, New Zealand, and the captain would pass the hat around for donations to help Jim on his way. There was about two hundred dollars in the hat when it was given to James. The captain later privately told James, "Mr. Williams, I'm going to let you off at New Zealand, a thing I don't do very often-but don't say a word to Billie!" (Billie was the head steward.) Later, Billie came to James and said, "Mr. Williams, I'm going to let you off at New Zealand-but don't say a word to the captain!" Thus, James was allowed to leave the ship in New Zealand.
When he reached his family in Auckland, he found everyone well and happy. After spending a few days with his friends and relations, he and his companion, Alma Greenwood, of Fillmore, Utah, went on their way, preaching the gospel among the Maori tribes.
Jim preached mostly in the vicinity of Auckland, where he was branch secretary for the Saints and later became Presiding Elder. (Many years later, after the construction of the New Zealand Temple, a plaque would be placed on the site honoring the early LDS missionaries in the area, including James' name.)
The Williams family had many spiritual experiences which further strengthened them as a family. One occurred at the Williams home in Auckland. A man with a long flowing beard came to the door one day and asked for a drink of water. They gave him one and he thanked them kindly and went out and shut the door. It occurred to Jim that the man might be hungry too, so he opened the door with the intent of calling him back. It was just a few seconds later, but the man had disappeared. There was a long lane leading from the house to the street and nothing to hide behind. After searching all around and not finding the stranger, Jim was impressed that they had just had a visit from one of the three Nephites.
On 25 July 1883, Amy Catherine Williams, their fourth child, was born to James and Sarah. James was honorably released from his LDS mission in October 1884, and the following month, Jim and his family set sail for the United States. James, his wife Sarah, and their four children sailed from Auckland on 9 November 1884 on the steamship Zealandia. They were accompanied by Sarah's father, George Whitmore Rogers, and Sarah's 19 year-old brother, David George Rogers. (Although Sarah's sister Ann Porter Rogers Drysdale) remained behind with her new husband, Ann later wrote that she was "one" with the LDS converts; however, her health was so frail that she was afraid the shock of baptism might be too much for her heart and might hasten her death.)
It took one week to get to the island Tutuila, another week to get to Honolulu, and still longer to get to San Francisco. LDS records indicate the Zealandia arrived in San Francisco 14 December 1884 carrying 3 elders and 11 immigrants bound for Utah. After completing this voyage, James had traveled nearly 35,000 miles by sea during his lifetime.
The Williams family remained in San Francisco only a few hours, staying at the Brown hotel, then boarded the train for Salt Lake City. Upon their arrival in Salt Lake City, they spent the night in the old Tithing House. The next day, the family took a train for American Fork, Utah, where they were to make their home for 19 years. Jim and Sarah were given a recommend to go to the Logan LDS Temple by Bishop W. B. Smith of the American Fork Ward, and on 4 November 1885, they were sealed as husband and wife and had their four little girls sealed to them for time and all eternity:
Ada Marion, born 14 July 1877
Edith Mabel "May," born 4 July 1879
Lucy Ellen, born 5 September 1881
Amy Catherine, born 25 July 1883
Five additional children were born in the covenant to Jim and Sarah while living in American Fork:
Sarah Hanna, born 7 October 1886
Olive Beretta, born 29 March 1889
James Buchanan, born 13 March 1892
Ivy Rachael, born 7 April 1895
George Frederick, born 21 September 1898
James' first property of record in American Fork was a city lot on east Main Street that he purchased 6 March 1886 for $175 from James Spratley. It contained a little more than an acre and a quarter, located on the southwest corner of Lot 2, Block 2, Plat A, and fronted Main Street from the northeast corner of 200 East eastward for over 320 feet. James sold the lot to Henry T. Adamson for $195 in February of 1888. (A Wells Fargo bank and several other businesses occupy the property today.)
Meanwhile, James had been looking toward going into business for himself. In 1888, he went into temporary partnership with Harry Morrison in Salt Lake City to market James' Hot Scotch Pies. (These pies later became famous as "Morrison's Meat Pies" and are still sold as such.) Jim would work in Salt Lake City during the week, then walk to American Fork to spend Saturday and
Sunday with his family. James found the weekly separation from his family too taxing, and the partnership with Morrison was suspended. (In later years, Jim would work with Morrison again while living in Salt Lake City.)
In December 1888, James and Sarah took out a mortgage to pay for a 40-acre farm located by the Mitchell Water Ditch, about 2 1/2 miles directly north of downtown American Fork, just east of present-day Highway 74. The property had been owned by Aleda A. DeHaan, of Salt Lake County. The purchase price of $500 included surplus water rights from the Mitchell Ditch, plus 9 acres of bench water rights. James and Sarah also had a 1/12th interest in a surplus water ditch constructed by William D. Robinson, Oscar Hunter, William Hunter, and A. Winn. The property had easy access to water and was in a pretty location. Two years after James and Sarah bought the farm, the assessed tax value had risen to $950. (The farm site now comprises virtually the whole of what is today known as the Pheasant Hollow residential development, immediately north of the Tri-Cities Golf Course.) While farming on the side, James worked for seven years as clerk in the American Fork Co-op store and also as a clerk in a butcher shop. By 24 May 1894, James and Sarah had paid off all indentures against their beautiful 40-acre farm.
On 28 September 1892, James Clark Williams received his cherished Certificate of Citizenship in Provo, Utah Territory. Jim had first applied for his U.S. citizenship papers while in San Francisco on 22 September 1882. Over the years, Sarah and the children lost their English/New Zealand accents, but James would retain his sharp Scottish brogue until his death .
The Williams family had their fun times in American Fork. They enjoyed sleigh riding, buggy riding, and going to the lake for a swim. At times, Jim and Sarah would take their family up the canyon to stay overnight. They would also take them out to Utah Lake. They would pile lots of hay and quilts on the wagon for the outings, and the children would happily laze or nap all the way home.
In 1894, James was called by Bishop William D. Robinson as ward clerk of the American Fork Ward and served for several years before the town was divided into four wards. He was secretary of the Ecclesiastical Board and Sunday School superintendent. He loved singing in the church choirs. Jim was eventually ordained to the priesthood office of a seventy by Abram H. Cannon. (Abram H. Cannon's line of authority as a seventy was through Wilford Woodruff, who was ordained a seventy by the Prophet Joseph Smith.) James continued to make repeated sacrifices in behalf of his Church, both financial and otherwise; his service was so enthusiastically offered that it got to the point that Jim's quorum leader told him, "Brother Williams-stop! You have done ~ore than your share."
James served in public office four years as the Assistant County Recorder. Afterward, he declined the entreaties of the leading political leaders in Provo to run for Recorder. However, while remaining in American Fork, Jim consented to serve a term under Mayor Joseph J. Jackson as the Justice of the Peace, and he became "Judge Williams." While serving as City Justice from 1902 to 1904, he officiated over the marriage of his daughter Amy to her husband, Charles "CharI" Joseph Brems, on 18 June 1902.
James and Sarah had sold their beautiful farm sometime before 1900 and had been renting a home in American Fork City. About 1904, James and Sarah left American Fork to travel to Taylor, Idaho, where they stayed the better part of a year to help their daughter Lucy and her husband Angus Price run their new farm.
By 1905, James and Sarah had permanently moved from American Fork to Salt Lake City to operate a restaurant. James and Sarah at first shared a house on 274 East and Fourth South with their daughter Ada and her husband Ed Miller. In December 1905, James and Sarah paid $1400 to buy two city lots from William and Emma Jones; one carried the address of "76 West 100 North" (present-day 200 North); the other, "17 Grape Street," (now 117 North Almond Street). The Williams house was set about 40 yards up the hill from First North street. Two doors to the west was the home of LDS apostle John Henry Smith whose children often played with the Williams children. President Joseph F. Smith, President of the LDS Church, lived just around the corner to the west and north, barely a block away.
Jim had a large oven built into the hillside by his home and went into the pie factory business selling his famous Hot Scotch Meat Pies. He opened a pie shop at 61 West on First South (located across the street from the present-day entrance to Crossroads Mall in downtown Salt Lake City.) As Jim's grandson Irvin Fox later remembered, "The shop was next door to Baer's Saloon, and a door had been cut between the two establishments to permit Baer's bartenders to pick up hot pies to serve with their beer." Jim sold all kinds of cakes, cookies, candies, ice cream, bread, and soda water. He made his own bread, cakes, and ice cream (with a lot of help from his wife Sarah and the girls), He also had an ice house and sold ice which he put up in the winter and would sell in the summer.
Jim's daughter Olive was the assistant baker. His small son Fred and some of his grandsons, such as May's son Irvin, or his daughter Ada's boys, would load up a red wagon with pies and big cans of broth and pull the wagon the two blocks from his home down to the shop. Several other family members helped out with the baking, and James was able to provide employment for some of the family at the shop.
While living in Salt Lake City, James and Sarah took in their widowed daughter May (Edith Mable Williams Fox) and helped raise her two children, Verda May Fox and Irvin Fox. On Sundays, James would wait at his pie shop for his grandchildren to come, then he would take their hands and walk with them to church. Jim was very fond of his grandchildren. He often would take as many of them as he could fit on his knees and tell them stories about his youth. Jim was also fond of playing tricks on others: somehow or another, the Master Baker's pranks would often involve targeting the victims with generous portions of flour!
Tragedy struck the James Williams family when George Frederick "Fred" Williams, the
youngest child, contracted pneumonia and died at the age of seven on 30 December 1905. In sorrow, Sarah gathered up all of Fred's Christmas toys and locked them away in a trunk.
James and all the family belonged to the Caledonian Society and to the Scots "Thistle Club." James' daughter Ivy had a fine plaid costume and cap made by her mother Sarah, and Ivy learned all the Scots dances and jigs. To rehearse, James would whistle the tunes for her while Ivy practiced her dance steps. She danced such numbers as the "Sailor's Hornpipe," "Irish Washerwoman," and the "Sword Dance." Ivy performed to the bagpipe bands at all the Caledonian and Gaelic celebrations. James, naturally, furnished all the meat pies and other bakery goods. Family members also remembered that James played the bagpipes. Many good times were had at Saltair, Lagoon, Liberty Park, or Wandamere Park. Wandamere in those days was a recreation park with a dance hall that had a live twenty-piece orchestra, a bowling alley, a motorcycle and bicycle race track, a merry-go-round, and all the arcade games.
By 1910, Jim was working again with Morrison and Sons, baking and selling the Morrison Meat Pies. Jim and Sarah were living at yet another location, at 303 North Third West (present-day 403 North and Fourth West).
In 1911, James' granddaughter, Lula, became seriously ill after a play practice. When she arrived home, she was shivering so she sat on the large oven door to get warm. Still she shivered. She lost consciousness with a high fever. She was put to bed with double pneumonia. She was unconscious for almost three weeks. Her mother Ada made a poultice of Denver mud and put on her chest. Lula's hands were tied to the bed so that she would not scratch her chest. The doctor told the family nothing more could be done. On Thanksgiving day, Grandpa James Williams came into the bedroom and laid his hands on Lula's head and gave her a blessing. He said, "You will get well. You are to bring to earth some of God's choicest spirits and you will have a long and wonderful life." Lula said she heard every word of the blessing. She did recover and lived a long life. However, during the illness, Lula lost all of her hair. Ada made her an Indian headpiece out of braided black silkstockings, and Lula was still able to be Pocahontas in the play.
Between 1912 and 1916, James and Sarah lived at 343 West Rosella Avenue (present day Reed Street). It may have been about this time, living near the railway yards, that Jim accepted employment at the Denver and Rio Grande Railway shop.
In February 1915, Jim began to seriously follow through on his plans to obtain a homestead. Government land in Juab County was available to homesteaders who filed for entry. The homesteaders had to annually live seven consecutive months or more on the chosen property and significantly improve and cultivate it over a period of three years. Jim chose a 320 acre plot near Lofgren, just south of the Tooele-Juab county line and east ofthe West Tintic Mountains, and filed claim. Between 1915 and 1916, Jim and his family built a dugout home and cleared 80 acres of sagebrush in an effort to establish a dry farm on the west desert property. Two of Jim's sons-in-law, Fred Wiseman (Olive's husband) and Ed Miller (Ada's husband) had also filed claims on property immediately to the east of Jim's claim.
By this time, Jim was over 60 years old. Homesteading was hard work, and Jim's health and stamina were not what they used to be. By June of 1919, Jim had given up trying to convert his stubborn waterless desert claim into farmland. Instead, he now had his eye on a different property just 10 miles away, located on the opposite side of the West Tintic Mountain range in the Cherry Creek area. Already, he and his family had held family gatherings on the property, and he found it compatible with his needs. The property was near the ranch where his daughter Sadie (Sarah) and her husband, Clarence Nephi Cox, were working at the time. Not far to the south was a series of sand dunes (now known as the Little Sahara Recreation Area).
Jim wrote to the Secretary of the Interior requesting permission to relinquish the Lofgren homestead in favor of the other at Cherry Creek. His letter stated that he lived upon the Lofgren tract during the summers of 1915 and 1916, that he constructed a good dugout costing $125, cleared 80 acres of sagebrush, cultivated 10 acres, fenced 2 1/2 miles with cedar posts and net wire, built corrals, and did other work. Jim advised that he abandoned the claim, after all of the fore mentioned effort, on 1 April 1919 because there was no water. Jim had wanted to make it a permanent home, but there was no place fit for a well and no culinary water available. He wrote, "I find it an unprofitable proposition to live on a piece of land and have to haul water 2 1/2 miles for culinary and domestic purposes. " He added that if could not have a homestead with culinary water on it, he would rather go entirely without a homestead.
Jim's application to return the Lofgren homestead back to the government was at first denied, but apparently approved upon appeal. The same day Jim applied for relinquishment, he had applied for a second homestead entry on 321.32 acres of new land near Cherry Creek. The Cherry Creek property had surface water up to 10 feet deep and good soil. At the same time, Jim's son-in-law, Clarence Nephi Cox, filed a similar homestead claim on adjoining land to the east. Jim's application was approved 12 June 1920, and in mid-August, Jim established residence at Cherry Creek.
Jim's new land was choked with huge sagebrush plants-an indication of good soil, in Jim's estimation. He wanted a well, so he used a divining rod to find water. What he found was a natural spring that flowed continually and always had ice-cold water. He built a wood frame cabin to incorporate the spring water and called the house Spring House. There was a running creek nearby where Jim and his grandchildren built a dam and created a deep swimming hole.
As early as 1918, the Cherry Creek property had became the designated place for all of James and Sarah's extended families to gather for summer camp outs or for the annual deer hunt. The families would arrive and set up their individual tents (some of which became semi-permanent dugout-type abodes), and then enjoy each other's association for several days at a time.
Jim was now only one mile away from the home of his daughter Sadie (Sarah) Williams Cox and her husband Nephi. Unfortunately, on 3 March 1920, Sadie died of childbirth, along with her child. Before and afterward, Sadie's children frequently stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Williams at Cherry Creek. They were often joined by their cousins.
There was no road from the house to the main road on the sagebrush laden property, so when Sadie's older children came to stay, Jim would give the youngsters an axe and pace off a certain amount of road footage to be cleared of sagebrush. The children would energetically attack the bulky sagebrush which often towered twice their height, knowing that when they had cleared the assigned footage, they were free to go to the nearby creek and play in their self-built swimming hole.
The relative isolation of the homestead made it difficult to attend LDS Church meetings. After spending the winter months in Salt Lake City, James would generally return to Cherry Creek in March and stay until early November. James and Sarah were now members of record of the relatively new West Tintic Branch during the summer months. Although they had been unable thus far to attend any of the meetings, they looked forward to participation with the branch members. It was with dismay, then, in spring of 1921, that they read in the Deseret News that a church court had been held in the Tintic Stake. Five members of the West Tintic Branch had been excommunicated, seven had been disfellowshipped, and the branch had been dissolved. Jim learned that a self-appointed prophet named Moses S. Gudmundson had been forming a communal society on Gudmundson's West Tintic homestead, comprising about 60 followers, mostly from Springville. The group had strayed into polygamy, and the Church had taken action.
James promptly wrote a letter to Robert Wilkins, the Tintic Stake clerk and inquired where he and Sarah were to attend meetings now. He wrote, :•••I never heard or knew a word of their misdoings till it was made public, and myself and wife feel very sorry indeed, also disappointed, as we have looked forward to being able to meet with them." Jim enclosed several tithing receipts from his Salt Lake City ward as evidence of his constant loyalty to the Church and sent a contribution of $60 and a roll of fencing wire for the Church meetinghouse fund.
By the end of 1921, Jim had cultivated 25 acres of his Cherry Creek homestead, planting and harvesting 10 acres of rye and a combination of wheat, oats, corn, alfalfa, and potatoes. He had built a house valued at $500, dug a well and a cellar, built a stable and a chicken coop, and had done considerable fencing. He was now 67 years old and feeling every year of it.
The summer of 1922 was difficult for Jim. Although he planned to extend his cultivated land (necessary to meet homestead requirements), it was all he could do to maintain the 25 acres he had already developed. His rheumatoid arthritis, always constant, became aggravated, and he left the property early that fall to return to Salt Lake City and seek medical help. He and Sarah moved into a small frame house next to the home of their daughter, Lucy, and her husband Angus Price, on Angus' farm in Union, Utah. Jim's Church records were forwarded from the Tintic Stake to the Salt Lake 14th Ward, then forwarded again in February to the Union Ward, Jordan Stake.
Jim's daughter Lucy and her brother Jay helped take care of Jim and Sarah over the winter of 1922-1923. In February 1923, Jim was still ailing. Worried that he would be unable to comply with a homestead requirement that the prospective owner could not be away from residence on the property for more than five months, he wrote to the Department of the Interior, requesting a four week's extension of the residence time due to illness. The Department responded that Jim was in no danger of having his ownership contested in this case, since he had always "complied with the law in every particular. "
Jim was finally able to return to his cherished Cherry Creek ranch in April. Shortly after returning, he received word that his daughter, May (Mabel), ill with cancer for several months, was failing. May died in Salt Lake City, 16 May 1923.
Jim wanted to extend his cultivated acreage in order to comply with homestead requirements, but his health and personal matters constrained him, and by summer's end, he had managed to cultivate only the same 25 acres he had improved earlier. He returned to his daughter Lucy's home in Union in November of 1923. Because of his advanced arthritic condition, he would never return.
Jim's patent on the Cherry Creek homestead was due to expire unless he could prove his claim. He corresponded with the Department of the Interior indicating the health disability which had prevented him from fully meeting the three-year requirements for cultivating the land. On 2 April 1924, Utah Senator Reed Smoot forwarded a letter from the Land Office to Jim confirming that Jim's ownership of the homestead could still be patented in his name if he provided proof of his disability. Jim's notice of intention was filed according to law during the month of May in the local Juab County newspaper, the Eureka Reporter, and Jim was able to submit final proof of disability before a Salt Lake notary the next month.
On 31 October 1924, the Department of the Interior notified Jim and Sarah that his cultivation of 25 acres during the years 1921-1923 was deemed "satisfactory compliance" for the requirements of ownership. Jim's homestead ownership patent was approved. He was now the owner of the 321.32 acres (legally identified as Homestead Entry, #024429: Lot 4, SW 1/4, NW 1/4, SW 1/4, Section 3; N 1/2, NW 1/4, Section 10; Township 12 South; Range 5 West.)
Unfortunately, Jim's advancing age had taken its toll, rendering him unable to return to the property he now owned outright. Jim and Sarah continued to stay in the small house on the farm belonging to Lucy and Angus in Union, Utah. Both would remain there until their respective deaths, although Sarah would eventually remarry and outlive Jim until 1945. (Their Cherry Creek homestead land would be maintained by his daughter Ivy Williams Ekker and would eventually become part of the Ekker family holdings.)
Jim Williams attended the Union Ward meetings in the Jordan Stake. Jim would be called to the stand on several occasions to share his experiences of faith. After hearing Jim preach on one such occasion, one woman in particular was impressed by his words, and she went to thank Jim with tears in her eyes. Her son had been called to go to New Zealand on a mission, and she had been greatly troubled about it. She told Jim that through his preaching, she felt comforted and was now full of joy and thankfulness for her son's call.
Although he was physically ailing, Jim remained full of his usual good humor. Jim would often regale his grandchildren with stories of his early years. Sometimes he recounted some of his missionary experiences, such as the time when he and his companion were traveling in the outback areas of New Zealand without purse or scrip. On one occasion, during a driving rain storm, he and his companion found refuge for the night in a haystack. After they made comfortable burrows, and as they were sleepily congratulating themselves on finding such a snug and warm sanctuary, they began to realize the haystack was full of other life-in fact, the whole haystack was an infested rat's nest! Their night wasn't so comfortable after all.
On another occasion, still in the outback traveling without funds, James and his companion had not gotten along too well that day and remained at odds over some inconsequential matter. As evening approached, they were fortunate to be invited to stay the night at a large house. When their host told them they could either share a room or each have a separate bedroom, the two Mormon elders were still feeling a spirit of contention, and they decided to spend the night apart to cool their differences.
Jim later related that during the night, he became aware of footsteps entering his room. Although he saw no one, an unseen force immediately began to violently shake the bed! Now fully awake, Jim leaped out of the bed, but found no one. He decided maybe he should spend the night with the other elder, after all, and he went into the other room.
As he and the other elder were sharing the remaining bed, they were again attacked by an invisible influence. This time, there was a violent upheaval, and the two missionaries were abruptly tipped to the floor with the bed and mattress dumped on top of them! At this point, the elders forgot their differences; they joined together in prayer and invoked their priesthood to rebuke the influence.
Jim forever afterward took this experience as an object lesson, teaching that it is always necessary for missionaries to stay in tune with the Holy Ghost and avoid contention and acrimony.
James had a chance to tell more stories when his family held a celebration at the Price farm for his 70th birthday on 15 October 1924; however, his health continued to falter. Finally, after a full and rewarding life, not of worldly possessions, but with a great legacy received from diligently serving his Heavenly Father and being a faithful husband, father, and friend, James Clark Williams died in Union, Utah, 13 June 1925. He was buried 16 June 1925 in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. His wife Sarah survived him for nearly twenty years and was buried by his side in June 1945.
DeseretNews, Monday, 15 June 1925, p. 6
"Former Utah County Officer dies at Union"
UNION, June 15
James Clark Williams, 70, died at the family home Saturday.
Mr. Clark was born in Kirkcaldy, Fifeshire, Scotland, Oct. 15, 1854. He sailed for New Zealand in March, 1873 as second steward on the ship Dunnedin andfinally settled at Auckland where he married Sarah Rogers. They joined the Church in 1880, and he came to Utah in 1882. He soon went back as a missionary and was a branch president when released in October, 1884.
The family settled in American Fork where he was ward clerk and Superintendent of the Sunday School. In civil life, he was active in politics, having been justice-of the peace and also county assessor.
The family came to Salt Lake in 1903, where he was in business, but some years moved into this section [Union Fort, Utah].
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, June 16, at 3:30 p.m. in the Union Ward chapel. Interment will be in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
PATRIARCHAL BLESSING GIVEN TO JAMES CLARK WILLIAMS
August 11th 1885
A Patriarchal Blessing by Zebedee Coltrin upon the head of James C. Williams, son of Alexander Williams and Catherine Clark. Born Oct. 15th 1854, Kirkcaldy, Fifeshire, Scotland.
Bro. James Clark, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I lay my hands upon your head and seal upon you a Patriarchal Blessing.
Thou art of the seed of Abraham, the House of Joseph and the lineage of Ephraim. I seal upon thy head a Father's Blessing for thou art a lawful heir of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood.
In as much as thou wilt keep all the commandments of the Lord, thou shall attain unto all the blessings of eternal lives, and the choice blessing of the Heavens shall rest down upon you and the light of the Lord. Thou shall attain unto all the blessings of eternal lives, and the choice blessings of the Heavens shall rest down upon you, and the light of the Lord shall dwell with you, and every organ of your mind shall be filled with the inspiration of the Lord, for thou was called and chosen of the Lord before the foundations of the earth were laid to come forth in this dispensation to assist in building up a Holy Zion upon the earth, and thou shalt be able to go forth among the nations of the earth and shall be enabled to bring many to a knowledge of the truth, for the mighty power of the Lord shall rest upon you, and proclaim the Gospel among the inhabitants of the earth and proclaim unto them the principles of eternal life, and thou shall have power to do a great and mighty work upon the earth, for thou wast raised up and came forth upon the earth for this purpose to assist in building up a Zion of the Lord upon the earth, for those shalt be enabled to preach the Gospel in the courts of the kings and amidst the nobles of the earth, and thou shalt be enabled with the voice of a trumpet to proclaim the Gospel with a power among the inhabitants of the earth, being filled with the mighty power of Jehovah, and many of the wicked shall tremble before thee, and kings and rulers shall bow in thy presence, for thy voice shall be so powerful that the highest shall tremble before thee, for the faith that once rested with the Brother of Jared shall rest down on thee, and the mighty power shall attend thy works, and the elements shall tremble before thee, and the winds and the seas shall obey thy voice.
And thou shall become the Father of a mighty people and the Holy Priesthood of the Lord shall rest down upon them throughout all their generations, and thy sons shall become mighty men before the Lord, and the power of the Lord shall rest down upon them and many of them shall become apostles and prophets, seers, and revelators, and shall be kings and priests unto the most high.
They shall become a great and a mighty people dwelling in the midst of the Zion of the Lord, and thy daughters shall become mighty women before the Lord, filled with wisdom and intelligence of the most High, and shall become mothers of a multitude of men and women who shall become sanctified, dwelling in the presence of the Lord God of Israel, whose posterity shall be as numerous as the stars in the Heavens, and unto their generations there shall be no end, and great shall be the rewards in the Heavens.
And thou shall have power to receive all the blessings and sealing powers that shall be given in the Holy Temple of the Lord, and shall behold the Lord when he shall come to his Temple, and thou shall be enabled to do a great work upon the earth bothfor the living and the dead. Thou shall assist in the redemption of thy father's house, and thou shall become a mighty prophet in the midst of the sons of Zion, and the angels of the Lord shall administer unto you, for thou shalt converse with them face to face as one man converses with another, for the day will come when the angels of the Lord will be thy daily companions, for thou art of the pure blood of Jacob and have a right to all the blessings of Joseph, and thou shall gaze upon the visions of the Heavens and shall be clothed with salvation as with a garment, and thou shalt remain upon the earth until thou art satisfied with life, and thou shall become a man of mighty faith before the Lord, and there will be no miracle too great for thee to do when it shall be for the salvation of Zion, and thou shall be numbered with the Lord's anointed and shall become a king and priest unto the most High, and no hand that is lifted against thee shall prosper, and peace shall dwell in thy habitation throughout all thy days upon the earth, and thou shall behold the Lord when he shall come in the clouds of Heaven and thou shall receive an everlasting inheritance when the ancient of days shall sit, and shall have power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection and shall be numbered with the sanctified before the Lord.
And now Brother, I seal all these blessing upon thy head from thee up and to all the powers of exaltation and thrones and dominions and powers of eternal lives, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Resource: History by Charles Irvin Fox
History by Lucy Williams Price
Family records of Marilyn Brady Elkins
Family records of Calvin and Margaret Price
Utah Death Certificates, 1904-1956 for James Clark Williams
|Name:||James Clark Williams|
|Titles and Terms:|
|Death Date:||13 Jun 1925|
|Death Place:||Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah|
|Estimated Birth Year:||1855|
|Death Age:||70 years 7 months 28 days|
|Race or Color:|
|Father's Name:||Alexander Williams|
|Father's Titles and Terms:|
|Mother's Name:||Catherine Clark|
|Mother's Titles and Terms:|
|Digital GS Number:||4121018|