Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Robert Edwards Jr. 1827-1893

(History and information from:
Father of Moses Edwards
 Life History of Robert Edwards Jr.
Born: 3rd November 1827
Died: 1 November 1893
Came to Utah in the John Parry Company in 1863
Submitted by Emma Jane Edwards Huddleston, Granddaughter
Daughter of the Utah Pioneers of Belvedere Camp
(Transcription by Floyd Edwards)
Robert Edwards Jr. 6th child of thirteen children, nine girls,
and four boys, was born to Mary Ann Russell and Robert Edwards
Sr., 3rd day of November 1827, in Bloxom, Oxfordshire, England.
Little is known of Robert’s early childhood. At the age of 18,
he first heard of the Mormons and their religion. HE was told of
the Missionaries who were holding meetings on the street
corners. He attended many of these meetings, and was soon
converted, and joined the church. At age of 20 he worked in a
steel mill at Winfield, and at 22 met and married Sarah Jubb.
In 1849 in Chapeltown, Yorkshire, England, two children were
born to Robert and Sarah. A boy Hyrum, on June 2nd 1850, was
born to them. After the birth of this child, Sarah health was
very poor. Two years later in December 1852 the second child,
another boy, Heber, was born. Both she and the baby died, and
were buried together. Previous to this time, Robert and Ezra T.
Benson had been called as missionaries, and in the evening of
this day were to have a street meeting in the small called
Chapeltown. Robert was unable to go.
One person among the people, who had been attending these
meetings, was a young girl Elizabeth Huntington, who especially
wanted to be to this meeting, because the subject was to be, the
first principle of the Gospel. She was very disappointed in not
seeing Elder Edwards there. The Elder taking charge excused
Robert on account of sickness in the family. After this very
interesting meeting, the Elders were called to go to Robert’s
home. Two of the ladies went also offering their help.
Elizabeth soon took over the care of little Hyrum, who was
crying for his mother. She fed and rocked him to sleep. She said
he was the most beautiful baby she had ever seen.
Elizabeth mother and father had passed away only a short time
before. Leaving her and three brothers. She wanted work, and
Robert needed someone to care for his child. So she worked for
Robert went back to the steel mill and also stayed with his
Missionary work. He soon converted Elizabeth to the church, the
ice had to be broken for her to be baptized, but she was so
happy she didn’t mind or noticed the cold. Two years after the
death of Sarah, Robert took Elizabeth for his second wife; they
were married August 19th 1855 in the parish of Grease Borough
County of York, England. She was truly a good mother to his
He then moved his new young bride to Winfield, to be near his
work. Six Children were born to them while living there. Their
first, a girl Sarah, born May 26, 1856(named after his first
wife). Next cam Joseph, April 7, 1858, Moses May 26, 1860, Jane
May 23, 1862 (died the same day), Aaron Robert May 13, 1863,
Mary Elizabeth, April 1, 1865(who died 14 months later).
While living in Winfield, Robert and Elizabeth had a very
remarkable experience. Their son Moses, while still in arms, was
never a strong baby, when about 3 or 4 days old he became
suddenly ill. Elizabeth called a nurse in. The nurse told her
the child was dead. They washed him, tied a small cloth under
his chin to keep his mouth closed and covered him with a white
sheet. The same day a wheel broke, in the machinery this day at
work, and Robert and the men were sent home. Upon arriving home
he found the people all around were downhearted and his wife
crying. The nurse told him he should go down on his knee4 and
thank the Lord that the baby was out of his misery.
Robert ordered every one to leave the room. He took the cloth
off the baby’s mouth, patted him three times on the back,
moistened his lips, administered to him, and gave the name of
Moses, an said to him you are like Moses of old, your life is
spare for a good cause, He then handed the baby to his wife and
told her to dress and feed him.
Moses lived to be 69 years old. He held many positions in the
church, and filled a two year mission to England, worked two
years in the St. George Temple. While there he performed 2955
baptisms for the dead, besides many other people in England of
his ward, and later was ordained a patriarch by Elder James E.
Tallmadge of the council of the Twelve.
After living in Winfield 12 years, Robert moved his family to
Birmingham, where he lived on High Gate Street. At this place
their son David was born on March 8, 1867. The family wasn’t
happy here, because they liked be around Mormon people, and
there were none here.
In June of 1868, Robert being in very poor health with asthma
was advised by his Doctors to take an Ocean Voyage. They had
often talked of going to America and then to Utah. So they
decided this was their chance. Robert would go now, and the
family would come later, On June 30 1868 he left Liverpool on
the ship Minnesota with the John Perry Company. He came by
handcart across the plains to Ogden, Utah.
Robert’s health improved so much from his Ocean Voyage, and his
walk across the plains to Utah. He was ready and willing to
start working for the Union Pacific Railroad, which was already
in progress.
In sixteen months he had saved enough money to send to the
immigration fund at Liverpool (head quarters of the English
L.D.S. Mission) for his wife and five children to join him. They
were notified that their fare was paid to Utah, and that their
sailing date was September 23, 1869, which left his wife only 2
days and 2 nights to get ready.
Their eight child Jesses who was born February 19, 1869 at
Sparkley England, a town where the family had moved after Robert
sailed for America, had been ill but seemed much better by the
time they left.

They  traveled with the Joseph Lawson Company on the Ship Manhattan

They were the first of the company at the station. After many
good byes and God bless you by many of their friends and
relatives they leaving behind. They set sail that evening on the
steam ship Manhattan. After a pleasant voyage of 7 days, Jesse,
the baby, again became very sick. On the morning of the 30th of
September 1869, he died. Funeral Services were held for him by
the Saints who were on board. The baby, wrapped in a white
sheet, was tossed over the side of the ship and was buried at
Robert met his family, who were among the first Immigrants who
came across the plains in box cars by train. They were eleven
days coming from New York. Robert had a big smile on his face
when he first saw his family, but tears soon filled his eyes
when Elizabeth told him his son, he had never seen, died and was
buried at sea. Elizabeth said if father could have only seen his
son it would have been much easier to bear.
They lived, for a while, in a place called Lost Creek, in a log
cabin, with a dirt roof and dirt floors. They also used grease
wood for fire wood.
This place was called Devil Creek, which was near Robert’s work
on the railroad. Three of his sons 18, 10 and 8 years of age
helped cut and trim ties for the Union Pacific Railroad. They
all worked until the tracks were laid to Weber County. Then
Brigham Young sent the family to Greenville, Utah to help
colonize this small town. A wagon with a bed, mattress, bedding
and other things. They were soon on their way. The smaller
children rode in the wagon and the older ones walked in their
bare feet. They arrived in Greenville November 5 1869, after
forty-six days from Liverpool England.
Robert worked for a lot on a large cabin. He also worked for
butter and meat. People in those days thought they were very
lucky to get 25 cents a day in cash. Elizabeth knitted stockings
and sold to help feed their family. She had to work all day just
for a lard bucket. Robert was really a brick mason by trade, but
he helped build cabins, broke the ground for plowing, aided in
making roads, making ditches in every possible way, and helped
in civic improvements.
While living in Greenville, two more children, and two sons were
born to them. They were Nephi July 26, 1870 and George Henry,
May 8, 1872, who only lived a short time after birth.
Robert decided to sell his home and farm in Greenville and move
to Beaver, Beaver County, Utah, where he took up farming and his
mason work again. It was here their eleventh and last baby was
born, a girl, Annie May 16, 1876. The 18th of August 1890 their
oldest child, Joseph, passed away leaving a widow and four
Robert was a hard working man, a good provider, a good husband
and father. He was a staunch Latter Day Saint; He was a sincere,
well informed in the gospel, and a powerful preacher. He truly
lived his Religion and always in good standing in the church.
In Elizabeth and Robert’s 38 years of married life together,
five of their eleven children passed away. The remaining six(two
girls, 4 boys) all were true Latter Day Saints. Two of his sons,
Moses and Nephi filled two year missions in England. The rest of
his children held many offices in their wards or branches.
Elizabeth was a good, kind, honest and loving wife to him, and
always was at his side when needed. Robert passed way November
1, 1893 at Beaver, Utah. He was buried the 5th of November in
the Mountain View Cemetery, Beaver, and Beaver County, Utah.
(MIGRATION: Searched for any 'Edwards' or 'Edward' in the Mormon Overland Travel Index, but nothing was found that matched. History indicates Robert became ill in England and had been recommended by his doctor to 'take an ocean voyage.' He left his family for Utah where he would raise money and send for them. They followed him in 1869.

PHOTO & MORE: There is an original photo of Robert & Elizabeth Edwards hanging in the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum in Beaver. Floyd Edwards believes a copy can be ordered through DUP. Floyd also believes Robert & Elizabeth's original patriarchal blessings may be in the possession of Howard & Lavern Bradshaw.

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