Sunday, October 17, 2010

James Houston, Sr. and Margaret Crawford 3G Grandparents

Information on my great, great, great grandfather...

James Houston Sr.

James Houston Sr. was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland on June 4, 1817 to John Houston and Mary Dempster. He was converted to Mormonism by Samuel Mulliner and went to America. Later he was called on a mission to his native Scotland, and there he converted Margaret Crawford. He later married Margaret on August 25, 1845 by Peter McCue, President of the Glascow Mission. James thanked his Heavenly Father for his great kindness in providing him with a partner, according to his promise. James said "I received her from the Lord and hold her at his disposal." On August 27, 1845, they went to Glasgow and stayed two days while James went on to an area conference for the Church. He was released from his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on August 31, 1845. Elder Houston took an affectionate farewell of the brethren and left them for Nauvoo. His expenses for the journey were paid by the branches in the Glasgow District. They arrived in Nauvoo, the latter part of November in 1845, amid the hustle and bustle of the Saints with the challenges of building up the Church community and completing the temple. James was able to work on the Nauvoo temple and on January 10, 1846, he and Margaret received their endowments and were sealed January 36, 1846.On January 24, 1846, James and Margaret were promised they would be numbered with the second LDS journey west, but it was filled. They could see they would have to push for themselves and planned to travel by way of St. Louis, where James could work in the mines. Margaret became very ill, so James waited. They were in Nauvoo on January 30, 1846 when the vane was placed on the Nauvoo Temple and on February 4, their hearts were very heavy as they saw their friends leave Nauvoo for the west.Countless trials and hardships faced the Saints that left Nauvoo in the first two companies. James and Margaret were blessed in that they did not face those same trials at the first, but rather took a different route through St. Louis. They were still in Nauvoo, however amid all the many troubles and persecutions. Their first child Elizabeth, was born on June 1, 1846. Since there were still bitter troubles in July, they left for St. Louis, where James found work in the mines. All this time, they still planned to join up with the second company enroute to Salt Lake during the spring of 1848. They left St. Louis on March 18, 1848 with a good supply of what they needed. This was their first experience "camping out" and they traveled with Margaret expecting a second child in a month. During their trip to Winter Quarters, Margaret had the baby by delivering in the wagon box. When the baby was 3 days old, James took ill with a fever leaving it up to Margaret to care for a new baby, small child and all their livestock. They arrived at Winter Quarters on the last week in April1848 and in June left with a company of saints from Great Britain to meet Heber C. Kimball who led the second company. During the last of May, Brigham Young, with a large company of wagons came to their encampment. As they were all leaving, a terrible thunderstorm accompanied by a hurricane passed over winter quarters which had a desolate aspect and tore wagon covers to shreds and whistled fearfull through the empty dwellings.A very detailed journal kept by Margaret and James speaks of the experiences they had on this trek. On Saturday, September 23, 1848, they came into the great Salt Lake Valley with the second company of Saints led by President Heber C. Kimball. They were among the "Big Company," the largest to leave Winter Quarters and arrive in the Salt Lake Valley in 1848. They were among 2000 Mormons and 4000 animals. Side by side these pioneers forged a religious empire, creating a theocracy, that met not only their spiritual, but also their temporal needs.They arrived with two small children, Elizabeth, age two and John aged 15 months. The missed the big sweep of crickets, fleas, wood lice and spiders that had hit in June and everyone there was in near starvation.James Jr., James and Margaret’s second son was born on Feb. 6, 1850.James and Margaret Houston were members of the First Ward of Salt Lake City located just north of the "Big Field," James was first counselor in the Bishopric from 1851 to 1856. At the time of his release, the bishop moved away and joined a form of the Presbyterian Church.James was at the ground-breaking of the Salt Lake Temple on February 14, 1853. Brother Heber C. Kimball dedicated the ground and Brigham Young gave appropriate remarks.

I found more information in a book called
Conquerors of the West: stalwart Mormon pioneers, Volume 4

the part available via Google Books states:
"James grew up learning to be a silk shawl weaver. In his journal, he said, "I was a lot of trouble in my youth and it caused me to reflect much, because of the things I saw and heard." He seemed to be of a religious nature and kept looking for answers to his questions. He was a praying young man. When he was about 14, his brother John died while they were both at the end of their time as apprentices. Later he said his brother appeared to him and they talked. Not too long after this, he met some members of the LDS Church and started to study. He was so influenced that he sailed for America in 1835 with a small group of saints. He felt he wasn't good enough to be baptized. He filled a mission in 1842-43.
In 1848 he and his wife started west. Their first son was born in April and they arrived in the Valley in September. He built a home and the following year raised a good crop. He and his family went south at the advice of President Young until the army issue was resolved.
James owned land where Liberty Park now is. Brigham..." (can't read the rest).

Excerpt from "Utah since Statehood, historical and biographical, Volume 5" by Noble Warrum

This is some information about James Houston (who was Thomas Houston's brother, so he is our great great uncle)
"James Houston, engaged in farming and stock raising at Panguitch, Garfield county, the development of his interests constituting an element in the business growth and progress of his section of the state, was born in Salt Lake City, February 6, 1850, his parents being James and Margaret Crawford Houston who were natives of Scotland. The father came to Utah in 1848 and resided in Salt Lake City until 1862, when he removed with his family to St. George. He died the following year, leaving the mother with eight children, to whom she gave the most devoted care and attention, keeping them together until they reached manhood and womanhood."
This James Houston is apparently my 3G grandfather's son...

Widtsoe (Garfield) is a ghost town at the junction of the East Fork of the Sevier River and Sweetwater Creek. In 1872 it was open range and James Houston, a Mormon stake president ofPanguitch, ran his cattle in this area. On April 15, 1902, the Adair family homesteaded the site and it became Adairville on ground donated by Julia Ann Adair. Then three families , including the Winder family, moved close by and in 1910 their settlement was named Winder. The postal service objected to Winder because there were already several Winders in Utah Territory, so after a short period of time, the name was followed by Houston for James Houston. In 1915 Adairville and Winder (Houston) joined and named their community Widtsoe in honor of John A. Widtsoe, a Mormon church official, president of the University of Utah, and a dry-farm expert. But this was an area too high and cold for good vegetable crops to grow. The soil was poor and unexpected floods and drought occurred, so by 1920 the settlers gave up and moved out. In 1936 the Federal Resettlement Administration stepped in and bought out the entire project and returned it to the public domain.
John W. Van Cott"

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Blogger Amber said...

isn't it so interesting to read these histories?!

10/18/2010 8:06 AM  
Blogger Dee Ice Hole said...

You hawve at least one blow on dates---there is no January 36----sooo

10/18/2010 4:11 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Thank you so much for posting this. He is also my 3rd great grandfather. I heard he caught the drapes in the Nauvoo temple on fire. Do you have that story?

5/26/2012 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some conflicting information in "Pioneer Pathways" (5:299) indicates that he came in the Heber C. Kimball company. In his autobiography he states "we left the Horn River on the first of June and landed in Great Salt Lake Valley on the 23rd of September, 1848."

7/19/2014 10:49 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

7/19/2014 11:22 PM  

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