William Greenwood was born March 4, 1819 in Heptonstall, Yorkshire, England, to William Greenwood I and Sarah Utley. The elder William was a blacksmith by trade, but at an early age he got a spark in one of his eyes. In trying to doctor it, he lost the sight of both eyes, so he never saw most of his thirteen children. He and his wife Sarah, all of his children, and some of his brothers and sisters, joined the LDS Church in England in 1840-41, and they emigrated to America. Although he was blind, he became quite handy at doing things with his hands such as making various articles of furniture, really specializing in good bedsteads. The family came across the ocean on the ship "Tyrene" which landed at New Orleans, with Joseph Fielding as captain. They settled first in Warsaw, Illinois. It had been a long and wearing trip of about eight weeks on the ocean. Before they could get adjusted to this new climate and conditions, they all came down with what was called "ague" with fever and chills. At times they were unable to help each other to get even so much as a drink of water. Seven of the Greenwood family members died of this malady within nine weeks, including William I and Sarah, his wife. They were all buried in or near Warsaw, Illinois. It was said of Sarah by her daughter-in-law Ann Hartley: "She was one of the best women that ever lived. She had a strong testimony of the gospel, to which she testified as she sat up in bed just before she died. She entreated her family to remain true to it. She talked in tongues."
William II (hereafter just referred to as William) must have grown up working in a clothing factory, as did so many of the children in that part of England, because as a young man he had become a steam loom overseer. He must have met his wife, Ann Hartley, in the factory, as she too was a worker at the looms. He was twenty years old and she was eighteen when they were married in 1839. Soon after their marriage, he followed his wife's lead in joining the LDS Church, and they came with William's parents to America. William had the ague along with the rest while they were at Warsaw, Illinois, and it left him so weak and debilitated that he couldn't work at all for a year and a half. Ann soon became so homesick that she thought she must return to England. William was not in favor of this, so he would not cooperate with her in any way in making the arrangements for the trip back. He did, however, return with her to England in 1843. They found work again at the factory, but he was never satisfied or happy. So, in 1846, he decided he would have to return to America to be with the LDS people, with or without his wife. That must have been a sorry parting, as she decided to stay in England. However, it didn't take Ann long to decide that her happiness lay with her husband, so she joined him again in about 1848. Upon his return to Warsaw, William had to accept work at fifty cents a day, as that was the going wage of the time.
William and Ann began making preparations to make the trek across the plains to join with the church members in Utah. In May of 1852, they were ready to start, arriving in Salt Lake in November of that year. They came with the Benjamin Gardner Company. Ann had born four children previous to this time, but two had died and been buried in England, so they had two living. Another son was born to them on the plains, and they named him William. This little family had only been in Salt Lake three weeks, barely enough time to get rested after such a strenuous trip, when they were called by Church authorities to go to Cedar City to settle. This meant another long hard trip into a very wild new region, and a great contrast to anything they could ever have imagined. After several years of trying to overcome the adverse conditions in Cedar City, most of the settlers became discouraged and disgruntled. They felt it was an impossible situation. Many planned to go to California, but the Greenwoods wanted to stay closer to the center of the Church. They had heard that there were good opportunities for homesteading in Millard County, so they took their ox teams and covered wagons and their children and set out in the winter month of February, 1856. When they got as far north as Beaver Valley, they camped on the bank of the Beaver river. They liked the area with its abundant supply of water, good supply of wood in the canyon, etc. They continued north until they got as far as Wild Cat Canyon, a narrow place which they found blocked with deep snow so that they couldn't get through. They turned back and decided to settle in Beaver Valley.
The wagon box was lifted off of the wheels and it became their first home in Beaver. They worked hard to plant grain, only to have it all spoiled by three weeks of rain after it had been cut. Their scant supply of provisions had become completely exhausted, and they had to live on the milk from one cow, along with wild berries, roots, and greens which they could find in the wild. William herded the town cows, barefoot all the year, wearing just buckskin pants which he had gotten from Indians. Gradually, through using every bit of ambition, good management or sheer ingenuity which they could muster, they accumulated a few animals and were able to eke out an existence until things got somewhat better for them. William built a log cabin and added on to it until there were three rooms. Soon the Indians became a real problem, and they decided to move closer to other settlers, several miles north of their first location. They first had a log house but later build a home of the native bluestone, and kept adding on until they had six rooms and an upstairs attic where their grandchildren would love to play in later years. The Indians were still a problem. One time, William was herding his sheep on the hills south of town when he was caught by a group of Indians. They threw him to the ground and drew a sharp knife across his throat in a menacing gesture several times. He didn't cry out or show the fear he felt, so they relented saying, "Heap brave man no squaw," and they spared his life. The Indians tried several times to steal a lovely little gray mare which the Greenwoods owned, and finally succeeded. After quite a bit of trouble, William got the mare back, after which the family decided to bring her into the kitchen at night for safe keeping.
Bluestone home still standing in Beaver at 190 South and 100 West. It is on the national registry of historical homes.
In 1869, the Church called on William for a wagon and team to go east across the plains for immigrants. It was decided that young Barney, the oldest son, should make the trip. He was only sixteen and small, but he was responsible for his age. It was a long and arduous journey of six months. The Greenwoods had no thought but to answer the call, so while Barney was away, his father did two men's work at home. The Greenwoods, along with other families in the area, soon began to transport the goods that they could raise, selling them in other areas. Later, the US soldiers took up residence at Fort Cameron, east of Beaver, and they purchased many things from the settlers such as eggs, milk, cream, straw, hay and grain. So the standard of living began to increase. Sometime during this period, William met an Englishman who had just come from the "old country." He had a red silk scarf which must have created a nostalgia in William's soul, as he wanted it so much that he traded a little pig worth four dollars for it. The scarf remained in the family as a cherished relic.
After the death of William's wife in 1897, he lived with his daughter Mary Ann for two years. He was so pleasant and kind to his grandchildren that they always remembered him fondly. As there was now train transportation to Milford, 30 miles west of Beaver, Mary Ann and her husband thought they would take a trip to Salt Lake in October of 1899. They took William along with them and enjoyed the trip very much. On the return trip, the train made a stop at Clearwater (or Clear Lake) in Millard County. William was in a different car than Mary Ann and her husband, and for some unknown reason, he decided to get off the train. It was dark and stormy and the wind blew his hat off his head. He tried to follow and recover it, and while so doing the train pulled away, leaving him. He started walking along the track until he met up with an employee of the railroad who quizzed him as to where he was going and found out that he was lost. He asked the way to Fillmore, and the man pointed along the tracks. Next morning, the employee heard the old man was missing. He went out to look for him in the vicinity of where he had encountered him. He picked up his tracks in the direction of the Sevier River, only to find that he had stepped into a low place along the bank, which had caused him to stumble and fall into about two feet of water. Apparently he had been unable to recover himself, and so there he lay, drowned. An inquest afterwards brought out this weird story. His daughter and her husband knew nothing of his doings until arriving in Milford next morning, whereupon they started the investigation as to his whereabouts. It was a tragic thing to have happen while he was still enjoying good health. William's granddaughter, Luela White Storrs, wrote of him: "Truly William Greenwood was a man of deep and sterling qualities, never complaining of his adversity, but going ahead steadily against the greatest of odds, true to his faith and family. No one could live more faithfully and nobly."
Typed by Edith Baker, Feb. 1990
Source: "Life Sketch of William Greenwood the Second" by his granddaughter, Luela White Storrs.
Ruth Ann Greenwood (Glen's great, great grandmother) with her parents, Ann Hartley and William Greenwood
Ann Hartley was born into the home of Bernard Hartley and Mary Beck, July 26, 1821 at Addingham, Yorkshire, England. She had two sisters, Margaret and Martha, and three brothers, Barnard who died young, Joseph, and another Barnard. Her father was a clothing manufacturer near Burnley. It was customary at that time for little children to be carried to work at looms in the factories at a very early age. Ann related that she was carried on her father's shoulders as soon as she was old enough to start work. A never-to-be forgotten memory for her were the moaning cries of these little children being thus carried to work in the early morning hours. Of her mother, Ann said, "She was a very good looking woman, having white pearly teeth and a rosy complexion. She was a very good manager with quite a business sense." She thought her mother had some Jewish blood in her. Ann grew up thus being kept busy with factory life until she became very adept at the looms, being able to handle three with the help of one little girl by the time that she was married.
Ann met William Greenwood who was a loom overseer. As they grew very fond of each other, they decided to get married, which they did when Ann was only eighteen years old. Since they both went on working, it seemed expedient that they should live in Ann's father's home, paying board. About this time, Ann heard the LDS missionaries preaching. She was very much interested in it, and began leaving her home, alone, to hear more of the gospel message. She was afraid to let her husband or family know what she was doing for fear they would not approve. As was to be expected, her husband became curious, so he decided to follow her one evening to see what was going on. He listened attentively to the message and became so interested that he began attending the meetings regularly with her. Ann's family hated to have Ann join, and she was the only one of the family ever to do so. She was baptized in September of 1840 and William followed in June of 1841.
William and Ann began making plans to go to America to be with the church members there. In 1841 they came to America, arriving November 24 at New Orleans. They settled in Warsaw, Illinois, but found it hard to adjust to the new life, as living conditions were very hard. Ann decided that it was just unbearable. Her family had told her that if she ever wanted to return to them to let them know and they would send her the money for the return voyage. She tried to talk William into writing to them to tell them of her desire to return. He wasn't in favor of the action, so wouldn't write the letter. She then went to another William Greenwood, a friend of theirs, and got him to write the letter for her. The money was immediately forthcoming. They returned to England in 1843, taking with them the little girl Martha who had been born in Warsaw. This child died and was buried in Burnley in 1844. Two other children were born to them here, Sarah and Foster. Foster also died and was buried in the same place as Martha.
William was very unhappy back in England, so he decided he would have to leave Ann there, as she still wanted to stay, and return to the new land alone, which he did in 1846 or 47. But Ann was not long in deciding that living with her husband was worth more than living in England without him. She went to work and earned enough money to bring herself to Warsaw in 1848. Their son Bernard was born in Warsaw in September of 1849. They began making preparations to cross the plains to Utah, and left in May of 1852. At one time, the animals became frightened and stampeded while Ann was driving. She had had a baby shortly before and was not yet strong enough to walk by the wagon. She hung onto the animals, talking gently to sooth them down, until they finally continued on without any harm being done. What a breathtaking experience for this factory maid from civilized England! When it had come time for baby William to be born, the family merely pulled off the road behind the wagon train and, with the help of some of the kind women, the baby came into the world. That baby lived to be one of the healthiest and long-lived of the family, so everything must have gone well.
They arrived in Utah in November and soon were called to help settle Cedar City. Their first year in Cedar City they lived in a sort of cave or dugout. After several discouraging years in Cedar City, the family relocated in Beaver. The first year in Beaver was very hard for them. The only shoes Ann had were moccasins purchased from the Indians. Her daughter Mary Ann wrote: "Having no dress to her back, she wore what was called a sack, along with a quilted petticoat which she secured by making a quilt for a neighbor. Ann went out doing washing or helping in any way when possible, but this was not often, as very few could afford such a luxury in that day." Ann had never had any experience in making clothing or doing housework before she was married, as she was practically raised at the loom in the factory. She became very adept at all kinds of such work connected with raising a large family. She was a very good cook and housekeeper, and she could make clothing in all its steps, starting from the sheep's back to the finished product. Mary Ann wrote: Clothing was extremely scarce. It was not an uncommon thing for my mother to bathe her children on Saturday night and put them to bed perfectly nude while she sat up and washed and dried their clothes by the fire so they could have clean things for Sunday." The boys also sometimes ran around the house in their shirt tails while their trousers were being mended. Even her husband had to go to bed when his trousers needed mending.
At this time, William and Ann had only one quilt for their bed. It had worn very thin in the middle. In desperation, they tore it in two so that they could each make better use of their piece, as they could tuck it in around their backs a little better. They kept wood fires burning day and night, as wood was quite accessible, and it did help in keeping the biting cold away.
An interesting incident of this first year was of Ann walking a mile or so to an old fort to milk a teacup of milk from a cow that was about to go dry. Her husband called her a fool for doing it. However, the cow didn't go dry; her milk came back, giving the family all the milk they needed and it became their chief food. Then her husband had to admit it hadn't been foolishness, but extreme foresight and wisdom. At one time, the family lived on potatoes and salt for three weeks. They had not had a taste of bread all that time. They went up to North Creek to gather bullberries at this time. When Ann got out of the wagon to help gather the berries, she was so weak and faint from hunger that it was impossible for her to help gather any berries. These bullberries were a great delicacy, heated up in their milk. Hunger was the sweetener for the dish. Bullberries were the only fruit they had for years. They made many uses of them, such as drying them for storage and use all through the year. In later days, they made dumplings of the berries with the other usual ingredients which gave a most delicious dessert. Although their economic situation gradually improved somewhat, as late as 1863 when Ann's baby Rachel was born, Ann could not provide a single piece of clothing for the baby to wear. It was only through help from kind neighbors that the child had any clothing at all. In 1861, when Titus had been born, Ann could only scare up two cotton diapers. Every family in Beaver secured a barrel of molasses from Utah's "Dixie" for the winter. Except for an occasional bit of brown sugar, this was their only sweet flavoring. Molasses candy combined with parched corn was their greatest delicacy. Ann would make molasses candy loaded with cayenne pepper whenever a cold appeared among the children.
Eight of Ann's children grew to maturity, and soon there were grandchildren. They were always welcome in Ann's home. Cookies and apples in season were always on hand. It was great sport to run and climb among the orchard trees and in the cattle corral and barn. Most of all they loved to play in "Grandma's Attic." They took picnics together and picked the yummy apples from the trees in the fall. Ann was a dearly beloved mother with a sweet disposition. She was a hard worker and a good example of the sturdy, long-suffering, patient pioneer woman of her day. She was crippled up for many of the later years of her life so that she had to use a cane to get about. She did much of her housework sitting and moving about on a chair. She passed away in her bluestone house in Beaver on July 18, 1897 at the age of 76.
Typed by Edith Baker, Feb. 1990 Source: "Life Sketch of Ann Hartley Greenwood" by her granddaughter, Luela White Storrs.