William Page

William Page Born: August 4, 1838, Duddeston/Neihells, Aston, Warwickshire, England

Father: James Page

Mother: Lousia Graves

Died: May 28, 1896, Bountiful, Davis Co, Utah

THE LIFE STORY OF WILLIAM PAGE AS REMEMBERED BY SON GEORGE A. PAGE

James and Louisa Glaves Page lived in Birmingham, England. They were the parents of fourteen children, ten of which they raised to maturity, eight boys and two girls. They heard the gospel and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints on June 6, 1848.

William Page was the eldest child. He was born August 4, 1838 and was baptized June 10, 1848 by Elder Henry Brown.

At the age of eighteen he left England for America. The Crimean War was being fought and this made his parents extra anxious for him to go to Zion. He left Liverpool March 22, 1856 on the ship named the "Enoch Train," a small sailing vessel. They had an uneventful voyage,landing in Boston May 1, 1856, six weeks later.

William immediately started west, arriving at Iowa City late in June. Here he and the group of immigrants had to delay their journey to Utah until they could get proper supplies and handcarts. The seasoned wood had been used before and the blacksmiths had to use green timber in making the handcarts. Three companies had left before and at this time there were two companies leaving about the same time. They were the fateful Willie and Martin Handcart Companies. The Willie Company left July 15, 1856 and the Martin Company approximately two weeks later on July 28, 1856. According to memories of the family it was always thought that William was with the Martin Company, but his name is listed in the Historian's office with that of the Willie Company. This discrepancy could have very easily happened with the turmoil and confusion of the day.

After this very costly delay, the companies started on their long trek to Utah. They travelled during August and the early fall in the hot sun. The green timber of which the wagons were made shrunk and they spent many weary hours repairing their carts.

As they reached the Platte River an early snow storm caught them. Approximately eighteen inches of snow fell. They had very little food and clothing as they had discarded all possible to make their loads lighter for travel. The Willie Company, which had left Iowa a few days ahead of the Martin Company, were caught between the Platte River and the Sweet Water. Many of the saints perished because there was no natural shelter and they had no protection from the storms. As the storms came, approximately the first of October, the Martin handcart company took shelter in a hollow which later became known as Martin's Hollow. Many of the older people, as well as children, died before they even reached the mountains.

When the Companies left Iowa they rationed their food supplies. Each person was allowed one pound of flour a day, but before long they received only one-fourth of a pound and the people were hungry as well as cold. William Page was so hungry that one night as he sat guarding the camp, he took a pair of buffalo moccasins he had made for a lady and soaked them to remove the hair then boiled them. He ate the broth he made. There was an elderly lady who shared the wagon with them. He gave her his flour and lived off the bark of the trees and roots he could dig. The people were dying so rapidly at this time that a community grave of circular shape was dug by William Page and three other men. This was a very slow tedious task as these men's bodies were so weakened by hunger and cold. Two of the diggers were buried in the grave which they had helped to dig.

Relief finally came to the starved and dying saints. Franklin D. Richards and his missionary company on their way to Salt Lake had passed the two companies and had promised to have President (Brigham) Young send relief wagons to meet them by the time they arrived at Fort Laramie. This they did and by the end of October approximately 250 wagons were on their way. The first wagons leaving Salt Lake were about October 8th and they met the Willie Company on October 20th. Other wagons pushed further on to take relief to the Martin Company. Over two hundred dead remained to mark the scenes of these two tragedies.

The Willie Company arrived in Salt Lake November 9, 1856 and the Martin Company entered Salt Lake valley on Thanksgiving Day which was November 30, 1856.

William Page stayed with Henry Lawrence until he had regained his strength. He obtained a job herding sheep out on the flats west of Salt Lake. In the spring he went to Bountiful to live with Bates Noble.

When Johnston's army was coming to Utah he was called by President Brigham Young to repair guns for the men who were trying to prevent the Army from entering the valley. This was October 3, 1857 and continued through the winter until June 26, 1858. During part of the winter he served with Daniel H. Wells in Echo canyon, returning to Bountiful when it was over.

When the Pony Express was organized William Page obtained a job riding east out of Salt Lake. There are two theories, one that he rode from Salt Lake to Fort Bridger, and the other from Fort Bridger to Fort Laramie over the Sweetwaters. The Pony Express hired over eighty of the keenest, bravest and dependable men of the west. One had to be more than a good horseman to ride; he could neither drink or smoke. Then daily distance per day was about 75 miles. Stations containing fresh horses and provisions were located every 15 to 25 miles. The service was started April 3, 1860. The first fun to reach Salt Lake from Sacramento was April 7th. The first from St. Joseph, Missouri was April 9th. The postal rate was $5.00 an ounce at first, later being reduced to $2.00 per half ounce. A distance of about 2,000 miles was ridden, averaging approximately 200 miles in 24 hours. The object of the Pony Express was to cut the time between St. Joseph, Missouri to California, and it was necessary that the mail go through regardless of weather or dangers.

The eighteen months while William was with the Pony Express he had many varied experiences. One time he was soaked by rain and sleet. He lost the trail for a time but recovered it and drove on to the station. The station keeper and rider had to cut his clothes from him; rubbing him with snow they took the frost from his body.

On one of his other trips he was followed by three Indians all the distance of his entire trip.

William Page rode on his division on the record trip that carried President Abraham Lincoln's inaugural speech to the west in 1861.

Never before has so much been expected and required of animals and men as was in bridging the 2,000 mile stretch from Missouri River to Sacramento, California. The route was one of dangerous mountains, barren deserts, and hostile Indians.

In the spring of 1861 he met his parents and returned to Utah with them. They settled in Bountiful and William went to work for William S. Muir, farming and thrashing. The thrashers would travel from Bountiful on north into what is known as Eden and Huntsville, Utah. They would start thrashing as soon as the wheat and grain ripened and continued until the snow fall.

In the fall he returned and met Mary Ann Clark, a convert who had come from Leamington, England, leaving all her family. They were married on March 24, 1863. Later that spring they moved to Three Miles, a settlement close to where Willard is located now. From here they returned, walking all the way.

When William Page was married, he could not read nor write, but his wife was well educated and she taught he to read and write by sage brush fire.

James Page bought an acre of land from John Wood and built a one room home on it. That winter William and his bride lived with his parents. On March 23, 1864 Louise Page was born, delighting her parents and grandparents alike. The same day the grandmother, Louisa (Glaves Page) died in the same room with the young mother and baby.

In 1871 William Page was called on a mission to join Captain Horten D. Haight's company to settle Arizona. The men went expecting their wives and children to follow later when shelter had been prepared for them. But the men returned nine months later reporting very scanty vegetation and almost barren soil.

William bought the old Page estate which was located on the John Wood corner (southwest corner of 5th South and 5th West in Bountiful). Here they built their home and raised a family of eleven children.

William Page was active in the community, both civil and religious. He was an ardent Democrat, serving as Justice of Peace for four terms. He was a school trustee for five terms and for many years he was water master. He was serving in this capacity and the time of his death May 28, 1893. He had a heart attack. For his church he served his Lord and people as Asst. Supt. of Sunday Schools from 1875 until 1892. He also worked as a Home Missionary and a local ward teacher. He was the first to start the old peoples' parties in South Bountiful and did all he could to make the aged enjoy themselves once a year.

At the time of William's death he left a widow and eleven children, eight daughters and three sons. (Louise C. Page, Caroline H. Page, Martha Jane Page, Avildia Lucinda Page [Odd], Rose Ellen Page, William J. Page, George A. Page, Mary Ann Page, Agnes Amelia Page, Mable Page, and John Henry Page.)

William Page was a man who loved people and had many friends. He was honest to such an extent that it was almost a fault.

William was called by Ed Jenny and Dyer to visit the men who were imprisoned because of plural marriages. He took many messages to these men and brought much comfort to both men and wives.

Compiled by Ireta A. Page from histories secured from Sarah P. Kissell. Provided by Sherry Ann Duty. William Page was her grandmother's grandfather.