My name is Mary Ann Whitehead Overson and this blog is dedicated to all the amazing men and women who came before me: my ancestors. I also want to acknowledge my father, Armand Toyn Whitehead, who is the person responsible for a lot of the content in this blog; my dad has spent countless hours collecting and preserving photos and histories, and preserving them on the computer so that they can be handed down for generations. Thank you, Dad!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

James William Nixon, I

James William Nixon, I, circa 1880

of James William Nixon Sr. 1836-1882

            I was born on the 17th of January 1836, in Liverpool, England. My parents, William Abraham Nixon and Bridget Degnan were born in Ireland. Father in Dublin in 1816, and mother in Langford in 18[04]. When I was two years old my parents moved to Bangor in Wales, where we lived until 1850, when we moved to America, first to New York State, and then to Ohio, then to Minnesota. I have one brother and three sisters, namely: William Nixon, Catherine Stuart, Matilda Gregory, and Jennie Maria. My parents afterwards separated, then my father married Mary Elizabeth Perine, by whom he had six children, Mary Elizabeth, Agnes Nixon Rathbun, Clarence, Frederic, and Harry.
I was in business in St. Paul, Minn. from 1853 to 1856 when our establishment took fire and burned up. In May 1859, I started across the plains with a Mormon ox train, arrived in Utah on the 2nd of Sept. On the 26th of Nov.
I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of L. D. S. in the rear of Pres. Brigham Young's residence in City Creek, by Elder Robert Martin, and confirmed by Dunbar X Allen, 20th ward. In Dec. I received my first endowments and was enrolled in Brigham Young Jr. regiment of cavalry called the Standing Army.  Served 2 months in Echo Canyon, then was disbanded and organized into John Sharp regiment of infantry and again sent out to Echo Canyon, serving until May 1858, when Gen. Johnston's army was moving into Salt Lake, we moved in ahead of them, remained in company with John Wheeler, about Provo.  In employ of Levi Stewart, herding sheep and cattle.  Moved back to Salt Lake, when by counsel of Bishop John Sharp, who fitted me out.  
I started to camp Floyd working at chopping wood, driving team, and during the winter of 58-59 I done some trading, cleared about $1500., bout two span of mules, a wagon and three cows.
On Oct. 26th 1859 I married Johanna Marie Schultz, and worked during the winter of 59 and 60 for Dustin Amy at tin smithing. In the spring we moved to East Weber opened up a farm and made considerable improvements. In 1864 I rented my farm and moved to Salt Lake City and bought a house and lot in the 9th ward and worked at my trade part of 64 and 65 for Alfred Bean.
In Oct. 1865 I was called to St. Geo. on a mission. I sold my farm, house and lot and other property. I started on the 14th of Jan. 1866  for Dixie with two wagons and two span of mules. We had at this time three children. We arrived in St. George on the 14th of Feb. I bought a lot pitched my tent and started next day for Los Angeles to buy a set of tinners tools, machine and material to start a business with in St. Geo. I returned on the 14th of May, 1866, had a good trip. During the summer of 1866 I built a house and worked in the basement at my trade during 67-68. In 69-70-71, I was teaming principally.
In the fall of 71 I bought a place in Pioche [Nevada] to do business and continued until March 15th, 1873, when having sold out, I returned to St. George, where I had a store built, and commenced the tin smithing and hardware business; continued until the 16th of May, 1874 when I turned in myself and property into the United Order. I was first appointed 2nd Vice Pres., then Treasurer, then President and Treasurer in the fall of 1875 and still acted as such during 75, 76.
Feb. 21st 1876 I married Hannah I. Fawcett, Jan. 1st 1877, the St. George Temple was dedicated. I was called to labor there giving endowments to the living and for the dead. In Feb. and March I had been acting for some of my wife Johanna's folks. On Mar. 27 I, Johanna M. and Hannah F. received our second anointings under the hands of Wilford Woodruff in the temple. On Sept. 2 we fitted up _____ rooms for the Seventies. April 6-7-8 conference was held in the temple, all the Twelve except _. Carrington were present. All spoke freely in favor of the United Order. They adjourned to meet in the new Tabernacle on the 6th of Oct. next in S. L. C. A violent dust storm occurred at the close of Conference. Apr. 16th, Pres. Young and others bid us good-bye and started north. Oct. 17, I was ordained Bishop of the 3rd Ward, St. Geo. with C. A. Terry and A. P. Winsor councellors in the Temple under the hands of Wilford Woodruff and John D. T. McAllister. May 11th, I started in company with J. G. Bleak and Sister Nixon and Emma to Mt. Trumbull to organize the company there as a United working Co. in Lumbering, farming and manufacturing of lumber, organized them as a branch of the Church with Eli Whipple as Presiding Elder. June 26th sending teams with supplies to Trumbull. 27th still laboring in the Temple. Aug. 22nd had Mary Anne, Emma Amelia, and Hannah M, our children, who were born out of the covenant sealed to us. On Aug. 28-29, we held Prayer circles meeting in behalf of Pres. Young who was very sick, at 4 P. M. he died on the 29th,. Sept. 2nd funeral was held. We had a large attendance from the other settlements. The Tabernacle was draped in mourning. He left the Church fully organized. Sept 25th, we started to Trumbull with A. Nelson to look for water. Arrived on the 26th found all well, explored for water and was satisfied we could get more water by digging. Sept. 30th, attended meeting in Trumbull Big House. Oct. 5th started home with Hannah F., Bro. Nelson and my son James W. Arrived 7 P. M on the 6th. On 22nd started in company with T. J. Jones to Sebits Mt. sheep herd, with load of salt, arrived home on the 29th.
Nov. 28th, I married Zephyr Kelsey. Jan 10th, 1878, I was baptized for 5 g. fathers and uncles. 22nd I was baptized for 9 more relatives and friends. On 23-24-25 endowed for 3 more. I have continued to labor in the Temple as a missionary from the time of its opening until the present time. May 7th, 1878, I have moved my family out to Trumbull, I having with others bought the Trumbull property, including live stock. Arrived on the 9th, planting corn and potatoes and taking care of stock. Mill running, sawed about 200 feet per day, planted corn, peas and rutabagos. June 1st started to St. Geo. with Sister Nixon. On the 7th [started back to Trumbull arrived on 8th at 7 P. M. Oct. 7,] met with board of United Order at St. Geo. 12th started with Zephyr to Trumbull arrived 13th, digging potatoes and moving mill timbers, hauling ash poles, working at the barn, hauling planer and other mill property down to the houses. 28th fitting up wagon for Dan Sill to go to Panguitch. 31st Dan and Walter started. Nov. 2nd I started for St. George with Hannah F. and Geo. A. Nixon attending to business in St. Geo. My father who arrived on the 8th, going out to Trumbull with me and Hannah F. and J. F. Deluche. We arrived on the 15th at 9 P. M. and found all well. On the 19th McArthur and Orson Foster arrived at Trumbull with their mill. I assisted Deluche to fit up a logging truck to haul logs. Nov. 20 I went up to the mill and measured out lumber. On 22nd took down smoke stack and timbers from mill, had a talk with Perkins and Blake and Co. I made a proposition to them to let them half of all the timbers on the mts for $1000, or all of it for $2000. Canaan or Winsor which they refused to accept. On 23rd worked on tank. 27th worked on spring. T. Hancock came out, we worked at mill laying sleepers until 20th of Dec. then started to St. Geo. Attended to business until Dec. 28.
Started back to Trumbull Jan. 7, 1879. Arrived 9th. 10 inches of snow had falled up to this date. Jan. 21st started to hunt for Dan Sill. In Panguitch we found he gone to Sanpete. I followed him there Feb 1st and after talking to Dan, I decided to sell the oxen he had for wheat. I stored it at the mill until Spring. I returned home, St. Geo. Feb. 16th to attend to business until 27th. Arrived at Trumbull March 1st with Chidester, Boggs, and Harmon and Howard Deluche working at the mill fitting it up. On 16th started to St. Geo. with father, Boggs, and Chidester. On 24th took father to Washington to go to York with T. J. Jones on his way to St. Cloud Minnesota. I remained in St. Geo. until 27th. I arrived on 31st in Trumbull with my son J. W. Jr., worked about the mill and farm 14-15 April making smoke stack for mill.

(This is the last father wrote—Mother finished it as follows):
During the summer they finished the mill and began to saw lumber. Boggs, the engineer got angry and left so Bro J. W. Nixon tended to the engine himself. His health had been poor for some time but still he labored whenever he was able until winter when owing to illness in his family they had to come to St. Geo and left him out to Trumbull with his son G. A. Nixon. He was taken very sick and thought he would die. He gave his little boy instructions what to do. He said that if he should die, to drag him out and bury him in the snow. As soon as the weather cleared up so that his son J. W. could travel he went out to relieve his father and let him come in to be doctored. He remained in St. Geo until Spring then he took part of his family and went out and commenced to run the mill, working as engineer himself. His health was very poor, but he was anxious to saw out the bill of temple lumber before he quit, but they had to haul water to finish it. He kept up till they sawed out the bill, then he had to give up. It was the last work he did. He suffered a great deal of pain in his shoulders and sides. He had a large tumor growing under his right arm and some small ones on his left ribs. He stayed out to Trumbull until Oct, then through the persuasion of his family he came to St. Geo to get medical assistance, but found he would have to go to S. L. C. for an operation to cut out the tumors. He started Dec. 7th, 1881. After he arrived in S. L. C. the Doctors advised him to wait awhile until he was rested before undergoing the operation. He waited until Jan, 17th. One tumor weighed a pound, the others were smaller. He seemed to get considerable better for awhile and came home, but his blood had become so poisoned with the tumors that they started to grow again. He suffered very much. Warm weather came and he decided to go out to Trumbull again. He was quite poorly for a while. When Sister Nixon learned of it, she came out to him. He was advised to use some powders which seemed to help him and he felt a good deal better. Then he began to be restless and wanted to go to Panguitch for a few weeks, so on the 8th of July he and his daughter Hannah started. They were gone about two months. He got very much worse while he was gone, but his son J. W. Nixon had gone to S. L. C. with a load of wool so he had to wait until he returned before he could start for home. When he did start he was so feeble that he had little hopes of getting home alive, but when he arrived at Kanab Bro McAllister and Bleak were there and took him in their carriage and brought him home as he was too weak to travel in his wagon to Trumbull. Sister Nixon had gone to St. Geo so she was there to receive and care for him. They got Dr. Higgins to care for him. He rallied a little but soon his leg began to turn black in spots and he suffered a thousand deaths. His family worked faithfully with him, bathing his leg with herbs until it was better, then a hard cough set in; He coughed with every breath, then dropsy commenced to set in. The Doctor worked faithfully but finally gave up and he died a few weeks after, Feb. 19, 1882 at his home in St. Geo and was buried on the 20th. Funeral services held at 12 noon in the Tabernacle, a very large crowd in attendance.

Submitted by Elizabeth Jane Nixon Foster, Nov. 20, 1935

James William Nixon I headstone, St. George City Cemetery, Utah

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