WILLIAM HURD 1856-1938

 

Most of the information came from accounts by Ruth Hurd Baird and Wilford Hurd (William’s daughter and son) and other sources as mentioned

            William was the 2nd child and firstborn son of Martha and John Hurd.  He was born in Middleton, Yorkshire, England on 7 Jan 1856.  He came to Utah in 1874, two years before the rest of his family.  When he was about 10 he heard the missionaries singing "Oh My Father" on the corner. In his own words he wrote, "I heard a little of a strange religion and some new preacher that had come to town. As I walked down a street, I being one that always had an ear for music, hurried to where they were. As I listened to their message I knew in my heart that I had found the truth. After hearing their message I hurried home and told my mother what I'd seen and heard. I encouraged her to go with me. We went to a few meetings and knew they had the truth. I was baptized the 5th of September 1870 by Elder James Cracroft at Hull, England, and confirmed by the same and from then on did my best to learn all I could about the restored gospel. I soon had a longing to leave England and go to the land of Zion. I got passage on a boat and came to Utah, USA. I was then in my late teens or early manhood, a stranger in a strange land and yet I never got homesick. September 7th 1873 Milton H. Hardy ordained me a priest. I knew that I should help all I could now I was being blest with authority from God."

William married Mary Elizabeth, the eldest child of his employer, George B. Reeder, on 9 May 1878 in the Endowment House.  (I am wondering if they were married civilly first.)  Mary Elizabeth’s mother, Mary Ann, had died on 16 Feb of that same year so she and William continued to live with the Reeders and helped keep house for her younger siblings and father for a time.  Caroline Madsen Reeder, plural wife of George, resided there with her children too.

            Before continuing the story I want to tell you a little about George B. Reeder.  He was one of the early settlers of Brigham City.  His family listened to the missionaries in England and joined the church in 1851.  The ocean voyage was a test of faith.  A terrible storm broke the masts but the sailors were able to make sufficient repairs to get them by.  They were 9 weeks on the ocean but gratefully arrived in New Orleans.  George had agreed to work for Elder Spencer for a year to pay back the money he loaned him.  He entered Salt Lake City on 19 Sep 1853.  His sister, Mary, had caught up with him in Iowa so they traveled to the valley together.  George decided to follow his sister and her husband to Box Elder Fort in Sep 1855.  They built an adobe home.  George met Mary Ann Craghead while on assignment as a ward teacher to the family.  It wasn’t long before they were married.  It also wasn’t long before George was called on a military assignment.  Word came that Johnston’s Army was marching to Utah.  This is how their first little daughter, Mary Elizabeth, came to be born in Rush Valley, Tooele, Utah.  They returned to Brigham City and made it their home.

            William and Elizabeth’s first two children were born in Brigham City.  The first little son died the day he was born.  In the book, “Directory to Commemorate the Settling of Brigham City” by V. Fife and C. Peterson on page 70, it lists William Hurd Sr. and wife Mary Elizabeth Reeder as having a deed to PB B38 lot 5.  I also found this reference in a film of Probate Court Deeds, which gave a date of 2 Feb 1880 that William purchased the one-acre lot described above from Moroni M. Faulkner for $240.00.

            From Wilford’s account, I quote the following, “In 1880 or 81, William took his family to Snowville, Box Elder, Utah.  They were some of the first settlers to that community.  They lived in a dugout until a log house could be built, which had a dirt roof.  This three room house served as home for many years.”  Real pioneer life began upon arriving in Snowville.  Ruth said that her father worked for the B. M. Cattle Co. building water troughs in North Canyon, Idaho. The earliest settlers came into the area about 1871 and the town site of Snowville was laid out on 14 Aug 1876.

            Taken from “A History of Box Elder County” by Frederick M. Huchel I include the following description of Snowville.  “Snowville is located in the Curlew Valley in far northern Box Elder County, only 3 miles from the Idaho border, where Highway 30 splits off from I-15.  Before I-15, Highway 30 was the main route to Boise and went through downtown Snowville.  From a 1937 History of Box Elder County, it states that Deep Creek ran through almost the center of the valley.    President  Lorenzo Snow  predicted  that  this stream was one of the everlasting streams whose waters should never diminish, and one from which many should come to drink.  Esther Arbon Goodliffe, an old time resident of Snowville, informs us that this prediction has been literally fulfilled, that in very dry seasons its water never decreases.”

            Taken from the “Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” compiled by Andrew Jenson, Assistant Church historian, 1941 I glean the following about the church in Snowville.  “Curlew Valley was for many years a favorite range for stockmen who herded cattle, horses, and sheep in the valley. As these stockmen rather objected to any attempt being made to locate settlements in the valley, it was not until 1870 that the first settlers (some of the brethren from Malad Valley), ventured to look at the country with a view to settling.  The founding of the settlement took place in 1871, and as the settlers increased in numbers the saints there were organized into a branch of the Church by Apostle Lorenzo Snow Aug. 13, 1876, with Arnold Goodliffe as presiding elder.  A meeting house was built in the new settlement in 1877 and the branch was organized as a regular bishop’s ward [Aug] 19, 1877, with Arnold Goodliffe as Bishop.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ronda Simmons shared this interesting letter found in an 1878 Deseret Newspaper

"Editors Deseret News:

   Snowville is growing.  We have the county surveyor busily engaged, and today we completed a survey of a ditch, which will bring the waters of Deep Creek out on several thousand acres of splendid and as yet unclaimed lands.  What we want is 50 more families to take this good land and help us to convert it into a grain field.  Our town will be laid [out] into lots.  A good well of water was dug on my lot, and at the depth of 88 feet spendid water was found, but the curious thing about it was that the bone of a buffalo horn was found at the above depth in a state of good preservation.  We also found, in a well dug last winter, about one mile from the above well, the rib of an animal, supposed to be a buffalo, at the depth of 25 feet, in a good state.

   Our crops have been good, from 40 to 60 bushels of wheat and barley to the acre.

   The health of the settlement is good, and general peace prevails. Your brother in the gospel,  Arnold Goodliffe"

William married Mary Elizabeth Webb in the Endowment House.  She was the daughter of Edmund and Sarah Mathews Webb. From a history about the Reeder family it states that the two Mary Elizabeth’s were friends in their youth.  In the Reeder history it distinguishes the two by calling one Elizabeth (Reeder) and the other Mary (Webb) Hurd.  Ruth had this to add.  “In the summer of 1882 William went to Brigham City. There was the family of Ed Webb there that was friends of the Reeders. In that day all that were worthy were commanded to enter into the Higher Order of Marriage. William met Mary Elizabeth Webb. Before a member of the Priesthood could enter in plural marriage, one must get the consent of the first wife. William came home and started to tell Elizabeth about the meeting of Mary. Elizabeth said, "It is all clear to me, I have seen it all in a dream, you have my consent." Jos F. Smith. married them November 16, 1882.”

“Father acquired 80 acres of land in Stone, Idaho and homesteaded 160 acres. He built a two room house on the property, Mary [Webb] lived there until polygamy was abolished then the first wife or legal wife had to move to the homestead. When the Federal Government disapproved of Plural Marriage rule of the church the federal deputies were trying to jail every man who had entered into that Order. William was never jailed but he was forced to stay out in the night in the wet and chill[y] weather that brought on a bronchial cough that remained with him all his life.”

Ruth wrote about her mother, gathering straw to split and braid hats for her father and also gathering wool from fences so it could be spun and made into suits for him.  She refers to the property in Stone as “the ranch”.  They lived at the ranch in the summer but would move back to Snowville during the winter for school.  “Wilford remembers going to school at Stone, Idaho for a short time. [But after the death of my mother] we moved to Snowville and went to school there.  Horton and Wilford slept in the granary, which had a heating stove in it to keep warm.  Lorenzo stayed at the ranch to feed the stock.   He and Willie Arbon used to skate to Snowville to school then back at night.”

Mary Elizabeth Reeder Hurd died 23 Nov 1898 after the birth of her child William Jr.  With this sad turn of events both families lived together and Mary Elizabeth Webb Hurd made a home for both families.

Ruth called William’s second wife, “Aunt Mary”.  She said the children slept 3 to a bed on straw ticks and some slept on the floor.  As they grew older the boys slept in the granary.  Also in the granary was the carpet loom that her mother had used.  Eugenie learned to use it and started making carpets for the family and she also sold carpets to others to earn money.

“We had a big swing that gave the children lots of fun. Father and Lorenzo, being apt at building, built us a five room house, which was commodious and much to the family gratitude.”  Wilford credited John Hurd, William’s brother, and the boys from both families for the large two-story frame house in Snowville.   

Rudger Clawson ordained William a High Priest on 17 Jun 1889.  I quote from the Wilford account; “William spent his life in the service of the LDS Church.  He was counselor to Bishop Arnold Goodliffe for thirty-five years.  During this time he also did the Ward Clerk work.  He also did the Ward Clerk’s work for one or two years while Jonathan C. Cutler was the bishop.” 

Being musical, he was always directing choirs.   William could strike his tuning fork for the pitch and make good music. William taught his daughter, Eugenie the notes and she became a good organist and played for the ward. William's favorite song was "I Know That My Heavenly Father Knows".  When the Box Elder Stake officials made visits to the Snowville Ward, they always stayed at the William Hurd home.  Eugenie would play the organ and William and his family would gather around and sing for them.  Some of them used to say that Brother Hurd had a choir of his own.”  From Ruth’s account we learn that the organ was acquired from the Eliason Family.  Lorenzo worked for Eliasons to pay for the organ. The family spent many evenings singing together.

“Though William's education was limited, he read much and learned much. He was a self made man. Hay in Curlew Valley was sold by measurement and every one who sold hay would come and get William to measure it and figure the haystack. John S. Bingham, our schoolteacher, said many times William Hurd spoke with less grammatical errors of any speaker he had listened to. Colen Sweeten, one of the presidents of the stake in looking at the minutes of church records, said that William's records were more complete and meaningful than many he had read and were easy to audit.”

“William was secretary for the Curlew Irrigation Co. for years. At one time the Curlew Irrigation Co. had a lawsuit with Pratt Irrigation Co. William being the secretary was the company's top witness, the Curlew Irrigation won. After the trial was over the judge said, "if the attorney asked something that was none of their business he just sits and whistles."

“One time William was giving advice on the use of liquor and Tobacco, he stated there was no use for any of his sons or family to use them, as he had never tasted the stuff. Martha Hurd, his mother (my grandmother) with a smile on her face said "Hold on William, you were mighty good but I must tell this on you. When you were two or three when I ran the store in England you became very quiet and I found you under the counter pale as a ghost." In those days the only tobacco she sold was the dry leaf form and William had reached into the crock and did more than taste it.”

            “William was very strict with his children and taught they should let other people's things alone. One Sunday afternoon his young sons Edmund and William Jr and a few other boys got into Jos Robbins gooseberries and William found out about it. Monday morning while getting ready to go to the hayfield something was said about having everything ready to go. Wm Jr said, "I know something you haven't got, that's a trip rope". William had his chance to set Wm. Jr and Edmund straight, saying "Well I know something I have got, two thieves stealing gooseberries from an old helpless man. Now you've got to go down to Brother Robbins and ask forgiveness and pay for those berries before we go to the field this morning." So down the boys go and ask forgiveness and pay for them. He gave them a talk on honesty and told them next time to come in the front gate and ask and not sneak in the back.”

            “William had a little wit. His mother, Martha, used to come for meals [and one time she] said, "I wonder where Brother Larkins was going today, I saw him standing in the street all dressed."  William said, "You wouldn't want to see him in the street undressed." Martha said "Now you rascal."

            “Everyone had chores to do.  To get fruit they would go by wagon to Brigham City.  This was a 2-day trip that required an overnight stay at Blue Creek or Harris Ranch. It was an annual trip to go for fruit. It tasted extra good in those days. We went home loaded with peaches, tomatoes, grapes, plums and cucumbers.  At Brigham City there were relatives to visit with and enjoy.  When Ruth was 12, she and Eugenie went to stay with Reeder relatives in Brigham City.  They continued their education, including high school. In 1919 William got a Model T Ford.  Fruit peddlers came around and it was a little easier to get fruit.”

            Wilford writes about the medical challenges as follows, “In those days while rearing a family, there was no doctor available and for the normal aches and pains, people used such herbs and laxatives as were to be had.  In serious illness, they relied upon faith and the administration of the Elders.  William suffered from neuralgia quite often.  One time he was found rolling on the floor in pain.  It was a Sunday afternoon.  Someone went for Bishop Goodliffe and Joe Robbins who was his counselor. They came and anointed him with oil and blessed him.  He received almost instant relief, and as far as can be remembered, he was never afflicted with that trouble again.”  Ruth wrote the next two accounts on the subject."

“About 1910 William had a lump come on his thigh which caused him terrible pain. That was the year there was so much typhoid in the valley. William finally decided to make the trip to the doctors, after several days of severe pain without sleep at night. At that time money was hard to come by. William got the whole family to kneel around the table and each took their turn in praying for his welfare. Next day came and still the team was all he had to go with‑also a straw bed in the wagon box. Just as they were ready to pull out of the yard Uncle Fred Hurd came in the yard. He asked if he had enough money for the night's lodging and pulled a five dollar gold piece out of his pocket and gave it to William. How grateful he was. The wagon left the yard and started for Tremonton and for Brigham to a doctor. They hadn't gone a mile when the bumpy road and pain broke the lump and the matter [pus] ran out. Fred Hurd who had volunteered to go with them laughed about it many times how William had called out "Broke, Broke!" William always said it was in answer to prayer. “

“William had faith in the blessing of the sick. The fall of 1914 another typhoid epidemic broke out. Wm. Jr was one of the first in the valley. Wm Jr made a trip to the ranch and returning the next night got caught in a terrible rainstorm or a cloudburst. The horse would not face the storm. Only the lightning showed him the way to go. He arrived home about 9:30 PM. Father William was at the gate with it open. The fever came on and Wm Jr was ill a long time. Uncle Fred Hurd went to Brigham City to bring Dr. Pearse. William Hurd and A. Levi Peterson, who were blessed with the gift of healing, went from home to home to bless the people in the epidemic that had broken out. Eugenie, my sister, came home to help care for Wm. Jr. The bishopric and William would bless Wm Jr. Father had great faith. Wm Jr tells this story "I had been trembling with a high fever all night and early in the morning, I seemed to get normal and when I opened my eyes there was my Father on his knees at my bedside pleading with the Lord for my recovery. I have thought many times since that I got better from that time on."

“The Curlew Stake was organized 15 May 1917 with Snowville as headquarters. William was called as a member of the High Council. He and H. B. Robbins were traveling south from Juniper Ward on Sunday after speaking at the afternoon meeting. As one drives south out of Cedar you can look for miles. At that time all one could see was sagebrush, the only ranch between Black Pine and Snowville was the Sinks ranch owned by George Showell and Abe Rose. William had the Model T ford‑‑William stopped the car and as if a vision unfolded to him he said the time would come when the land before them would be cultivated and much of it would be irrigated and homes would be dotted on the desert. It has literally come true!”

“William always paid cash for what he bought. He took advantage of the sale items he needed in the Goodliffe and Granehel store.  He bought a pair of shoes that were too large but he wore them to church and everywhere he went the shoes squealed and everyone said Brother Hurd hadn't paid cash for once.  William was a good cobbler. He kept his family shoes in repairs and did the neighbor shoes and made a little money with his fine work.”

“William always had family prayers. If a stranger were in the home he always ask them to kneel in prayer. Once he had a hobo sleep in the barn. When breakfast was ready he invited him to kneel in prayer but the hobo set with his feet in the oven talking to himself out loud.”

“William was justice of the peace for many years. A. L. Peterson, constable, brought two men in court. He fined them $4.00 for fighting, one of them paid his fine and said "William you have always been a just man but this day you have made a big hole in Tillie's eggs and butter." Tillie was his wife who sold eggs and butter, a thing that many did in that day.”

William’s wife, Mary Webb Hurd, died 6 Jan 1921 at the age of sixty.  The cause of death was carcinoma of the liver.  She must have had problems for many years leading up to her death.  On the death certificate it said 13 years and that she had had surgery in 1913.   This must have been a great sorrow, having been married for 38 years, but at the same time it may have been seen as a blessing for Mary to be released from the pain she had been suffering for so long.  Just the year before this, their daughter, Sarah Robbins, contracted a bad case of the flu and died after giving birth to her 9th child. The family pulled together to help.  Her sister, Elizabeth Larkin, took in the new baby, little Sarah, and her sister, Anne Hurd cared for Lola, who was only 15 months old.  Keep in mind that Anne and William were helping Mary too but Lola quickly became a part of the family and probably added a ray of sunshine to the Hurd home.

Through these challenges William continued on. “Besides being a busy farmer, William was also the postmaster at Snowville for many years. William was a good hand with chickens. He and Annie sold eggs and with the Post Office, Annie's washing for the Nelson family, and hotel, and William's Notary Public, they got along very nicely. Life was easier. William turned the hand-cranked washer.                       

William and Annie got lots of little chickens in the spring and had them ready for the fall market. One time they went to Tremonton and got 500 chickens. It got dark before they got home. The road over the Rattle Snake Pass in those days was very crooked, the Ford got out of control and tipped over, the chickens scattered everywhere. William had a few cuts and bruises. Annie a black eye but they were not seriously hurt. The boys and Uncle Fred gathered up the chickens in the morning.                                    

William was blessed with good eyes and he read long winter evenings. He did have trouble with his hearing.

A few years after William's wife died, about 1927, he got a growth on his body under his arm. He worried about it as it would heal and slough off and be sore again. He showed it to Dr. Wardleigh and he just looked at him. William said, "That's a cancer isn't it." Doctor just said "Don't worry you're good for ten years." William had great faith in the healing power of the Priesthood. He testified that one night after all had gone to bed he was sitting before the fire and a voice spoke to him in a whisper "Lay thy hand upon that cancer and command it to wither." The sore healed.

William was never one to take much medicine. In late years he had some gland trouble. In 1934 in the fall he had trouble with hardening of arteries. Not long after that Annie took over the responsibility of the Post Office.

September 3, 1938 William's son, Arnold, was killed when a grain bin gave way and spilled the grain, covering and smothering him, breaking his leg and hand, and [making] a hole in his head. The death of Arnold upset William, [and] affected his mind.”  The tragic accident came as a shock to all who knew him.

 William died 23 Oct 1938, at the age of 82 years, 9 months and 16 days. His cause of death was given as endocarditis mitral, 1-year duration and arteriosclerosis, 3 years.  The day before his death as told by Ruth, “William went to the residence of William Jr (Billy) about a block away, and inquired for Billy.  Iris, William Jr's wife, told him he was up to the farm. He told her he had something to tell him, to come up and see him. He asked the time, he tried to fix his watch. There was a little lever Iris didn't understand. William said, "Well let it go I won't need it much any more”.  The house was dark when William Jr. came home and he didn't go over. About 5:30 AM Annie came and said William had gone to bed early and passed away without a move; a desire he had wanted. So ended a good life, January 7, 1856 to October 23, 1938.  Patriarch Jos. Larkin stood by the casket and said, "Brother Hurd was a great and good man".  William Jr. replied, "Yes there is a man that had an understanding of God's plan more so than most men".  Brother Larkin said, "Brother Hurd, I am sure you are right.”  

“It should be noted here that both of William’s wives were named Mary Elizabeth.  Each was the mother of 12 children.  William put down his roots in the Snowville area.  He and his wives are buried in the Snowville Cemetery, as are some of his children.  There are many of his descendents living in northern Utah and surrounding states.

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 “MORMON TRAIL BLAZERS”

Written and compiled by graduates of Franklin County Seminary, Preston, Idaho, 1930

Copied by the Brigham Young University Library, 1943

                                 LIFE OF WILLIAM HURD p. 110

                                                                   Written by Leah and Laura Robbins

          William Hurd was born January 7, 1856, at Middleton near Pickering, Yorkshire, England, The same year the great handcart companies came across the plains.

           His parents, John Hurd and Martha Stockel Hurd, were the parents of seven [9] children. His father was only a farm laborer getting about seven or eight shillings a week. [A shilling is equal to about 25 cents in American Money. (Year 1930)]

           In his childhood William attended the Sunday School of the Primitive Methodist Church as well as the Church of England. But their teaching seemed to have no effect on him.  He stated, "my mind was imbued very early in life with the doctrines taught by the Latter‑day Saints' Elders and their tracts". His mother was a firm believer in those doctrines and he believed everything she taught him. But they were not members of the church at that time, and it was not until he was fourteen years of age that he had an opportunity to be baptized and join the church. The same age that Joseph Smith was when he received his first vision. Though William firmly believed through all the years previous to being baptized.

           We may think he wouldn't learn much during the years of his childhood, but he learned early in life to read.  He remembers reading in the “Hull and North Lincolnshire," [a newspaper] of the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 when he was but five years old. He said, "Oh how I longed for the northern army to win.  The reason he wanted the northern army to win was because his father was a common laborer and the common laborers of England did not like slave labor.

William first went to the National School at Pickering when he was 6 years of age. He attended that school for about two years, afterward went to School at Middleton for about two years, or until he was ten and a half years old. At this age he had advanced so far in his studies that has parents would have to pay one sixpence per week. [This was equal to about 12 cents.] This they could not afford, for they had a family of six children to provide for.  So this ended his schooling.                              

Two stanzas of a poem he remembers to this day having learned in those Schools of England are as follows:

You are old father William, the young man cried,

                   The few locks that are left you are grey.

                   You are hale, father William, a hearty old man,

                   Now tell me the reason I pray.

                  In the days of my youth, father William replied

                  I remembered that youth would not last,                                                                                  

                  I thought of the future whatever I did,

                  That I never might grieve for the past,

You are old father William, the young man cried,

                  And life must be hastening away,

                  You are cheerful, and love to converse upon death.

                  Now tell me the reason I pray.

                   I am cheerful young man, father William replied,

                   Let the cause thy attention engage.

                   In the days of my youth I remembered my God, 

                   And He hath not forgotten my age

          About this time his father took up the business of making besoms, brooms as we call them. They were made of ling or wild heather that grew wild upon the moors of northern Yorkshire. William and his father would spend part of the summer gathering heather, which they cut with sickles and made it up into brooms. Then they would sell them the rest of the year.

           He [William] made brooms until he was fifteen and a half years old. Then the family moved into Lancashire where the girls of the family got work in the cotton factories. William got work at a Picker shop. (Pickers are articles that are used on looms of all kinds. They are arranged so that they send the shuttle backward and forward across the looms.)  He worked here three years, and saved enough money to come to Zion, for this was his chief object.

          So on the second of September 1874, he took passage with a company of Saints on the steamship "Wyoming," from Liverpool, England bound for Near York. The rest of his folks remained in England until a year and a half after he came to Utah. The voyage was made in twelve days. He was seasick two or three days while coming across the ocean. On the sixteenth of September he took a train from New York and arrived in Ogden, Utah at 7:30 a.m. September the twenty‑third, exactly three weeks from the time he left Liverpool.   

            He had a letter of introduction from the President of the Branch of church in England to Brother Henry Crawshaw in Ogden. Ogden and Salt Lake were villages at that time compared with what they are now. He stayed in Ogden six weeks, a lone boy of eighteen years. Then Brother James Bywater, who was president of the conference in England, came home because of ill health. His home was in Brigham City, the city named after President Brigham Young. He invited and advised William to leave Ogden and come to Brigham City.  He thought William would get work there with the co‑operative Mercantile Institution.  The Co‑operative Mercantile Institution was first organized in 1869. It was so arranged that all the people might have an interest in a store and receive their merchandise based on a small margin of profit. It was proposed in self­ protection for the people so they could trade with each other rather than with their enemies, and as early as 1864 a co‑operative movement was inaugurated in Brigham City by Elder Lorenzo Snow.  (“Essentials in Church History” by Joseph Fielding Smith p. 543-544)

           William went to Brigham City and got work immediately. He stayed there six years, working most of the time on the co‑operative Institution under Brother George B. Reeder as Superintendent

          While he was at Brigham City, he joined the Sunday School and on May the ninth 1878 he married Miss Mary Elizabeth Reeder, at the Endowment House. The Endowment House was a comparatively small house, erected in the northwest corner of the temple block at Salt Lake to serve temporarily as a House of the Lord. It was torn down in 1889 by the order of President Wilford Woodruff.  (Essentials in Church History p. 581)

            The following year after he was married, 1879, the co‑operative Institution at Brigham City failed and President Lorenzo Snow, president of the stake in which he lived, advised some of the young men to go to Curlew Valley and help Brother Goodliffe, the Bishop there. William was one who went, arriving at Snowville in Curlew Valley November 1880, with his wife and one child.

            He took up a homestead of eighty acres first and planted trees but he couldn't get enough water for the trees and they failed to grow. He then planted grain, vegetables and other things, which he needed. He and his family lived in a log cabin with a dirt roof over it.

            About 1883 he married his second wife.  The United States' officers tried to arrest and imprison all the men who had more than one wife and he bad to be on his guard for some time.                            

            After his first wife died he left his farm and moved into town.

            They had a school teacher in Snowville that winter who decided to give lessons in book keeping at night for those wanting to take it. He succeeded in getting a class of about six students, William being one of them. The teacher only gave a few lessons and then quit.  William did not quit studying, and now (1930) at the age of seventy-four he is the post master of Snowville and has been for the last fifteen or sixteen years.

            He learned to read music in much the same way. A schoolteacher taught him because he said he could see the time when William would be the choir leader in the Snowville Ward and he should know how to read music.

            William had about eighteen children, a large number of grandchildren, and a number of great grandchildren. His wives are both dead now.

            After moving to Snowville he was ordained Seventy and High Priest, labored as a ward teacher, superintendent of Sunday School, in the presidency of the Y M M I A, for six years as a bishops counselor, twenty-five years as ward clerk, sixteen years as ward chorister and for six years a member of the High Council of Curlew  Stake.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 _____________________________________________________________________________

Information found in this biography was taken from a letter written by William Hurd, “Essentials in Church History” by Joseph Fielding Smith and a personal interview of Mr. Hurd’s son in-law.

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Note:  I think the son-in-law interviewed was Cyrus Robbins. (Father of Leah and Laura Robbins)  He lived in Dayton, Idaho.  His wife, Sarah Ellen, (William’s daughter) had died in 1920.  One copy of the book, Mormon Trail Blazers is found in the special collections area of the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU in Provo, Utah.  They sent me a j.peg copy of the report.  I was certainly surprised and delighted to find this source and chose to include it separately with only minor adjustments to spelling, punctuation, placement of footnotes and explanations so that you can enjoy it as his granddaughters presented it in 1930!  The photo of William was not part of the original report but probably how he was remembered by his grandchildren.

 

William and Elizabeth’s family:

                                        1.   George William                23 Jun 1878  - 23 Jun 1878

                                        2.   Lorenzo Mahonri 18 Jul 1879   - 28 Feb 1960   (blacksmith)

                                        3.   James Frederick              27 Aug 1881 - 29 Aug 1881

                                        4.   Martha Ann                      25 May 1883 - 25 Aug 1884

                                         5.   Mary Eugenie                  11 Feb 1885   - 9 Jan 1926

                                         6.   Eliza                                  25 Sep 1886   - 15 Feb 1977

7.   Rachel                              28 Nov 1888   - 9 Jan 1891

                                        8.   Wilford                              29 May 1890  - 29 Jun 1976   (railroad)

                                         9.   Emma                                9 May 1892  -  9 Aug 1892

                                        10.  Louie Naphena                26 Mar 1894  - 3 Mar 1895

                                        11.  Ruth                                 14 Jan 1896  -  19 May 1986

                                        12. William Jr.                        21 Nov 1898  - 23 Apr 1985   (farmer)

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                               

 

William and Mary Webb's family:

                                                                1.   Sarah Ellen                      5 Oct 1884   -  26 Feb 1920  

                                                                2.   Elizabeth                           1 Aug 1885  -  8 May 1960

                                                                3.   Nephi                                14 Jan 1887  -  14 Jan 1887

                                                                4.   Harriet                              23 Mar 1888 -  18 May 1899

                                                                5.   Horton                              7 Mar 1890   - 16 Jan 1960  (rancher)  

                                                                6.   Franklin                            18 Nov 1891 -  18 Nov 1891

                                                                7.   Lydia                                 14 Jun 1894  -  14 Jun 1894  

                                                                8.   Anne                                 7 Sep 1895    - 23 Jul 1949   (postmaster)

                                                                9.   Edmund                           26 Jan 1898   -  23 Jan 1980   (rancher)

                                                                10.  Zina                                 17 Mar 1901  -  9 Apr 1981                         

                                                                11. Archie                               15 Nov 1904   -  9 May 1967

                                                                12. Arnold Goodliffe              3 Nov 1907  -  3 Sep 1938