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A Brief Sketch of the Life of George Thatcher

A BRIEF SKETCH IF THE LIFE OF GEORGE THATCHER

1824-1899

            To Ambrose Thatcher and Dinah Brown on the 6th of Nov. 1824, in the town of Wottundredge, County of Gloucester, England, was born a son, George Thatcher. Born into poor but very humble circumstances.

            His father was a laborer and wages were small. Due to such poor circumstances George started to work when a young boy in in [sic] factory with his father. He served his apprenticeship as a dyer.

           

            At the age of seventeed [sic] George left the factory, hoping to better conditions. He went to Wales; where he worked under ground in the Iron mines. The only schooling was what he learned himself and at church.

 

            While working in the iron mines he labored with a very low class of people. Quoting from his journal he states. “I associated with the most proferm swearers and drunkards; so that my mind became contaminated in sin to the degree that I began to think that my curse was unpardonable. Some time I had to think to reform my course, and be better and become a member of some society or other as I thought that they were all right.

           

            The thought not once entered my mind that there was but only one true church on the earth until I heard the Latter-Day Saints, which was in the year 1849. For my own part I was not prejudiced. Any religion at all.

           

            Although I had heard much said against the Latter-Day Saints, that they were a bad people, and they did not believe in the Bible, and they say that all will go to Hell if they do not join them. So more out of curiosity than anything else I went to hear them as they were preaching out of doors in the neighborhood where I live. I saw some nine or ten persons standing together and a great many standing a distance off. There was a Welchman preaching, but I did not know much he was saying. Next an Englishman stood up by the name of Jonas Paray, and his text was the 16th Chapter of Acts Verse 31. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Which made an impression on my mind for some time after. I resolved to go and hear more the next opportunity. I went to their meeting place several times. They taught me that if I could be baptized into their church, and make up my mind to serve the Lord I should have a testimony that the thing was true. So I thought that if anyone needed any thing I did.

           

            So with three more I went and was baptized on the 13 of Aug 1849 by Thomas Paray and was confirmed the 15th of the same month under the hands of Thomas Giles and Thomas Paray in the Blina Branch of the Monmouthshire Conference.”

            [missing text]

            …hopes of converting all his friends; however much to his disappointment as meets all converts, his friends didn’t see the truth of the gospel. This didn’t lesson George’s testimony for he held fast to the truth.

 

            He was ordained to the office of a teacher in the year 1950 by Thomas Giles and Thomas Paray. Shortly after joining the church, George returned home. His father had died while he was away. His brothers and sisters felt that he had disgraced them by joining the church, and would have nothing more to do with him; however his mother stood true to her boy. She often invited his friends to her home, but she never joined the church.

 

            On the 6th of Oct 1850 George was ordained to the office of Elder in the Melchizideck Priesthood. This was at Kingswood and under the hands of Joseph Stay and James Stephens and Henry Olpin.

            On the 14th of Aug. 1854 George was appointed to act as preciding [sic] Elder over two branches of the church. He spent a great deal of his time visiting among the saints, preaching the gospel and holding meetings. He enjoyed his work, and sitnessed [sic] the power of the Lord manifest on many occasions. Many were baptized into the church through his influence and teaching of the Lord’s work.

 

            On the 9th of Nov 1854 a certificate was received from Brother France saying that George could go to America. So several days were spent visiting saints and bidding them farewell. On Sunday 19th of Nov.  He bid his mother good-bye. She begged him not to go but his desires were too strong. He left his mother in a flast of tears.

            By train, he went to Liverpool, and applied for a berth, but received no answer. On 21st he spent getting his things on board ship. On Nov. 22nd he received a ticket entitling his to a berth on board the “Clara Wheeler.”

           

            On 23rd the ship was towed out of the harbor. George was to preside over a district. The saints were divided into districts. Due to great winds and the heaving of the sea, the boat was towed back up the channel. Many became ill due to the roughness of the water.

 

            Therefore on Dec 7th 1854, after a day of fasting and prayer, the winds calmed and the “Clara Wheeler” was again towed out of the channel. Many ...[may be missing text]…Many died on the trip across the ocean and were buried in the sea.

 

            The 11th of Jan 1855 the boat first docked at New Orleans. Some got off and got provisions. They arrived in St. Louis, Missouri on 22nd od [sic] Jan. Took eleven days to go up the Mississippi River.

            George secured work in St. Louis for supplies and money to move on. After a few days he moved to different places and securing work each time moving farther west.

 

            The journey across the plains was begun n 5th of June 1855. George was a driver of an ox team. He arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah on the 15th of August.

 

            He went to the Salt Lake Tabernacle and saw Brigham Young for the first time on 19th of August. After arriving in the Salt Lake valley, George settled in Farmington, Utah. On the 13th of Dec. 1857 George married Emma Bond, who was a neighbor and a friend in England. They were married by John H. Hess of Farmington.

           

            A son was born to this union on 17th of Sept 1858. They named him George Bond. When he was about 10 days old, the father George, was called with others to go out and meet Johnson’s Army. He had not gone far when a boy was sent after him with a message that his wife was very ill, and for him to come back. Emma died 10th of Oct. 1858.

 

            Soon after her death he took his young son and moved to Provo, Utah. Here he engaged in freighting to the settlements south of Provo. It was in Provo where he purchased a home which still stands at 111 South 7th West.

 

            His wife’s relatives and his friends helped to care for little George. When he was five years old his father married Hannah Bond, on the 25 of Jun 1863. They were married by Andrew Scott, Provo. Hannah was Emma’s Sister.

 

            Their married life was all too short as Hannah died on the 20th of March 1864 in child birth.

           

            On the 9th of Nov 1864 George married Mary Rees. They, too, were married by Andrew H. Scott, Provo. To this Union was born Mary Emma, Thomas, Harriet, Sarah Ellen, Elizabeth Ann, Hagar Jane, Dinah, Ambrose, James Albert, Joseph, John Alma, Eunice Pearl, and Wilford Ernest.

            George was as active in his religion in Utah as he had been in England. At different times he was called to act as body-guard to Brigham Young. He also served in the Black-Hawk War, in Captain Cluff’s Company, where they were called to help settle Indian uprisings.

 

            When the Woolen Mills were opened George was called by Brigham Young to take charge of the finishing department. Here he worked until his health failed him in 1894. He was stricken with Palsy which left him a semi-invalid.

 

            A Horse and buggy was given to George, by a friend and everyday during the latter years of his life he could be found taking an afternoon drive.

 

            His mortal life ceased 19th Sept. 1899.

 

            He was a good father, and was loved and respected by his friends and neighbors. He was a man of unusual faith and vision. He always taught his family that living the gospel and obeying the principals it would bring them the greatest joy in life.

 

            At the time of his death; he was a High Priest, and was one of the original prayer circle that was organized in the Provo Second Ward, in 1890.  

Immigrants:

Thatcher, George

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