John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger


Father, Ralph Nephi, joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was set apart to go to Glasgow, Scotland. There he obtained a job in a pottery. After work he would preach on the streets with the other Elders. It was while engaged in this preaching, after his regular working hours that he met my mother and her parents. Later my Grandmother Thompson died. Grandfather Thompson came to Utah sometime after this; he died at Meadow in 1865 at the age of 85 years. He was buried in the cemetery at Fillmore, Utah.

Father Ralph was a builder with stone and brick. Being a builder of more than average ability, he built many houses in Millard County.

Brother, John Thompson Rowley and father Ralph Nephi Rowley constructed fifteen charcoal kilns north of Frisco, which is in Beaver County. The Horn Silver Mining and Smelting Company of Frisco bought the charcoal for many years, from father and my brother John.

An incident occurred while crossing the plains which I will relate here. A Mrs. Brock was lost and never found – she may have perished or the Indians may have captured her. Her fate was never learned. 

My Grandmother Thompson’s maiden name was Mary Ann O’Brian. She was born at Glasgow, Scotland. She married Alexander Dunbar. They had a son whom they named Alexander Dunbar, Jr. He was called to war, her husband, and had to leave his wife and child. Dunbar was killed in a Naval engagement which went into English history as the battle of Trafalgar in the war with France. Mrs. Dunbar became a widow and thereby received a pension.

I will here relate the story of the day Grandfather and Grandmother were married. Her pension was due and she received it but was notified by the government to return the pension money which she did.

I have heard the story told by my mother. Hugh Thompson met Mrs. Mary Ann O’Brian Dunbar as a widow and married her, taking Alexander, her son, as a stepson.

Alexander, Jr. was of course my mother’s half-brother. He grew into manhood and at about twenty years of age he died of a severe fever.

Grandfather and Grandmother Thompson had two daughters, the oldest named Elizabeth died and the youngest was named Mary Ann Thompson, my mother.

Elizabeth, my mother’s sister, died sometime after Alexander Dunbar, Jr. Her death happened about the year 1841 or 1842.

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