BIOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM
his daughter Gwendolyn
William Harman was born 22 November 1820 in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. He
worked in the coal mines, beginning as a very young boy and continuing until he
reached the age of manhood. He was privileged to hear the everlasting gospel
preached by two young Utah
elders on the streets of his native city. He immediately sensed the truth of
the words spoken and in due time was baptized (1847)  a member of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a very enthusiastic member and was
very anxious to impart the wonderful truth to others. Because of his faith and
earnestness he was given the privilege of preaching the gospel at the meetings
of the Saints and on the streets of Wales.
My aunt  said she used to marvel at the man spending all
the week days way down in the dark coal mines and then
spending all day Sunday in the service of the Lord. But he loved it; it was
life to him at its best. He had the gift of healing to a very marked extent and
all his life he used this gift for the benefit of his fellowmen with humble
thankfulness to his Heavenly Father for the gift.
A man was brought to the top after an accident, completely
crushed, bones mostly broken, and life apparently gone. Elders of the Lord administered
to the man. William Harman saw the administration and testified with two others
that he distinctly heard the bones crackle as they took their place in the
man’s frame. This is recorded in the life of one of our early Church leaders
with the name of William Harman and two others as witnesses.
William Harman’s life was filled with many faith promoting
events, and he always fervently bore testimony to the truth of them. They
filled his life with joy and thankfulness. Notwithstanding these wonderful
experiences in his life and his sincere attempts to convert his wife and
family, which was a large one, not one member of his family, or his wife, could
see the truth.  This was enough to dampen anyone’s spirit, but not his. Not
only this trial, but many others did he have.
One of his uncles, an extremely wealthy man, was childless.
He was getting old and needed someone to take his place and help him. He called
his nephew William to his home and said, “William, I have looked over all my
relatives and I have chosen you to be my sole heir. You must begin now to take
over my responsibilities, but there is one condition. You must promise that you
will renounce this Mormonism and never go to Utah.” William Harman without hesitation
said, “If I must renounce my faith and promise never to go to Zion,
then you may keep your wealth for I choose my religion and Utah.” 
From the time he joined the church he had a great desire to
go to Utah,
but he kept thinking, “I must have my wife and family to go with me.” Time
passed and he wasn’t a young man any more. His wife and family had no intention
of joining the Church or leaving Wales. All his children were grown.
 What should he do? He had done everything he could to get them to see the
light, but to no avail. Finally he told them that unless they showed some
intention of listening he would surely go to Zion alone. Even this did not stir them, and
so he left for the Zion
he longed to see. No sooner did he arrive than he received word of the death of
his wife, although she was in good health when he left.  This affected him
terribly. He sought the Lord in his grief and asked the Lord to tell him
whether he had done right in leaving his wife. He received a wonderful answer
to his prayer. He saw the spirit world. He saw his wife and a friend sitting
sewing. They were conversing while sewing, and his wife said, “Yes, I made a
great mistake. I know the Lord is displeased with me; my husband was right; now
I know the gospel is true, and I am full of sorrow for the part I played in
opposing the Church. I was in the wrong.” This answer to his prayer was a great
consolation to him, and he thanked the Lord for it. He had his wife sealed to
him in the temple.
After a few more years he married Martha Jane Thomas, a
widow. He raised another family of children. One of these children, a son,
Richard A. Harman, when he was about 15 years old received a terrible injury to
his right hand; broken glass nearly severed his hand between the palm and the
wrist. After months of intense suffering with infection, the whole arm swollen
to twice its size and covered with the marks of many lancings,
the doctor decided it had to be amputated. Accordingly, without getting consent
from Richard’s father, four doctors arrived. With them was Dr. Benedict, the
eminent surgeon. They commenced to prepare the room for the operation when my
father said, “Doctor, you won’t need to prepare, for this operation will not
take place.” The four doctors became very nervous and finally angry and told
the family that the boy would surely die if the arm did not come off
immediately. But the father was firm, telling them to leave the house in no
uncertain terms. They went out angrily predicting the boy’s death. After quiet
was restored, a neighbor was called in; consecrated oil was brought into the
room, and a ministration took place. From that moment the arm began to heal; in
a remarkably short time he was able to use his arm, and it became so strong as a right arm could be. Many times William Harman
bore testimony to this remarkable healing and thanked the Lord for the great
He worked on the Temple
Block, first in the
construction and later, after the completion of the temple, in the care of the
grounds. He lived to the ripe age of 80 years, full of faith to the last,
hardly every missing a day’s work and working at his last job until ten days
before his death which occurred 31 December 1900 in his home in Salt Lake City.
Notes and commentary by Eira
Smith, a descendant of William Harman’s brother Lewis:
 William was baptized in 1846.
 This was Annie Poole Gardner,
the second wife’s sister.
 At least four of William’s sons joined the Church. Hiram
(b. 1848) converted but remained in Wales. Joseph (b. 1853), James (b.
1855), and William (b. 1857) all converted and emigrated. See Treorchy branch records. Others who were at one time
members of the LDS church were William’s first wife Ann Jones Harman, his
mother Gwenllian Harman, and his brothers Lewis,
Edmund, and Richard.
 The wealth was left to those bearing the name Edmund
Harman and the females.
 His youngest child, Evan, was just six years old when
William emigrated in 1871.
 William’s first wife, Ann Jones, died in 1878. This was
seven years after William emigrated and two years after he married Jane Davies.