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Stephens, David Rhys - Biographical Sketch

*****Source: Beleived to be written by the wife of David Rhys Stephens, Mary Leonora Nix.  (Francis Kim Stepehns, grandson of David and Mary, beleives the handwritting is that of his grandmother.)


*****When Written: Unknown--but clearly much later than the heading date of Aug 28, 1870.  Likely written sometime after 1923 given final paragraph and the dates of death of their children.



History of David Rhys Stephens


Aug 28-1870


David Rhys Stephens was born at Carmarthenshire South Wales in the Parish of Llanddarog.  He attended the Llanddarog National School.  His teacher David Gabe taught him for 8 years.  School began at 9:40 A.M. with 2 hour lunch period.  School was held 11 months of each year with 3 teachers.  He started at the age of 5 yrs.


After he finished School he worked on his Fathers farm. Attended various Churches and listened to different Ministers.  He had heard a great deal about the Mormons from the two Mormon Missionaries Abil John Evans (Welsh) of Lehi Utah and Richard Morse of Malad Idaho.  His parents had been baptized and were members of the Church.  They had no church building and held private meetings.  But the home was always open to the Missionaries and many of them stayed there when in that vicinity.


His Father died when he (David) was 25 years old or in 1895.  His mother died in 1899.  He left Wales for America on April 4 sailing from Liverpool England.  Before sailing he was examined for disease and if you had been vaccinated.  He had been since he was 7 years old at intervals.  When he landed at Elis Island they were again submitted to a physical checkup.  Health 100% good there too the luggage received a most thorough inspection.  Here also you had to show your money.  He had $250.00.  His clothes were those of an English Gentleman.  He wore (?)his suit was a single breasted, navy blue one; high top shoes, a black derby hat, brown kid gloves, and carried a brown cherry walking stick.  He wore a full trimmed beard.  His hair and beard were black.


After landing in New York he registered ant the Elias Hones Hotel and stayed for 3 days seeing New York.  He visited Niagara Falls, Canada Ontario, then Windsor.  He crossed the river on ferry boat from Windsor to Detroit.  There he took the train to St. Luis Mo. And then on to Salt Lake City.  He remained there a day and then went out to Mercur.  His brother John and family were living in Mercur and he made his home with them.  He now had his first experience in working for a boss as he started to work at Mercur Gold Mines under Dick Heyland.  He was a wonderful singer and became a member of the Mercur choir under the leadership of Bro. Wm Robinson.  In 1900 he was baptized by Bishop Jos. Lee (the first one to be baptized in the faunt in Mercur Church).


He became a staunch and very dependable church worker and in Jan 1904 he married Mary Nix in the Salt Lake Temple.


Stephens, David Rhys


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