History: Charles Benjamin Harper


Charles Benjamin Harper, the son of Elizabeth Phipps Brand and Benjamin Harper, was born November 21, 1848, at Saville St., Hackney, London, N. E. The family moved several times during his early years. Including these places in order: Bath Grove; an unknown location; Garden Place; Walworth Road, on the south side of the Thames, where Alfred was born. Next they moved to Leather Lane, Holborn, London, E. G. Here Charles was baptized at the age of eight. The next move was to Southampton St., Camberwell, which was also on the south side of the river. They moved to Saint Leonard’s Street, Bromley By Bow. This was their last move before coming to America.

His first school experience was at a Dame School which he attended at the age of six or seven. Their cost three pence (four to six cents) per week. Following this he attended a larger public school which he had no clear remembrance. At Leather Lane he attended “Baldwin’ Garden National School” for boys only. However, a girl’s school was also maintained and once a week the girls joined the boys for singing practice. The name of this school was decidedly a misfit because there was no garden nor even a playground. When they moved to Southampton Street he worked in his father’s store. While they lived in Bromley he attended the “Priory Street National School” for three months where he was head boy. He was now at the end of his formal schooling for at the age of fourteen he left school to work in his father’s oil shop. However, he did attend the “Saint Michael Night School” for a short period of time.

For his work in the store he received six shillings, (about $1.50) per week and paid three shillings to his mother for board.

He worked for his father until he was about seventeen years of age. At this time his mother desired to immigrate to Utah but his father was not very favorable to the idea. So she decided to send her eldest son, Charles, to America, in the hope that she could use this as an inducement for her husband to emigrate also. The father made no objection, so on May 5, 1866 Charles left England on the sailing vessel “Caroline”. His parents accompanied him to the London docks. His passage was paid to the frontier and he had eight or ten $2.50 gold pieced with which to face the new life.

During the six weeks of ocean voyage many amusing and some near tragic things occurred. The ship was heated by upright stoves. One day a pig which was being carried as part of the food supply got loose. It took refuge under the stove. In trying to get the pig out the stove was very nearly upset. Should this have happened very serious consequences from fire might have follow.

On June 11, 1866 the ship arrived in New York but the passengers were not allowed to leave the company. They went up the Hudson River by steamboat and over to New Haven, Connecticut. There they took the train to Montreal, thence to Toronto, and on to Sarnia. From there they crossed to Detroit and went on to Saint Joseph, Missouri. Here they boarded a steamboat and proceeded up the Missouri River for two hundred miles to a landing called Wyoming, Nebraska. At this place the eighteen year old Charles joined Chipman’s Wagon train and the long wearisome trek began.

The train left Wyoming on July 13 and reached Salt Lake City on September 15, 1866. Each day was full of hardships. Charles walked every step of the way, tired and often hungry. For the food allowance was not too plentiful. Each person was allowed 1 ½ pounds of flour a day. 1 pound of bacon a week, a little molasses and dried fruit given every two of three days, and a little saleratus to raise their bread. No sugar, tea, nor coffee was given to boys. This food was little enough for an active, growing boy and he and his partner, Joe Ellsmore, often picked up the up the burned crusts which the independent teamsters had discarded. At the Sweetwater Joe Ellsworth sold his shirt for some dried currants, rive and jerked, dried beef which he shared with Charles. At Coalville, Utah they went into the fields and raked barley for which Charles received about a half bushel of potatoes. A woman of the company traded some baby clothes for some beef and some of this she exchanged for some of Charles’ potatoes.

The train arrived in Salt Lake City soon after breakfast on Saturday, September 15. That same night Charles, in company with Fred Fowlkes, a teamster, left Salt Lake City for Pleasant Grove where Fowlkes resided. They spent the night camped along the Cottonwood just north of the present location of the Murray smelter.

After his arrival in Pleasant Grove he went to live with John Baker on what is now the Annie Holman property. As a climax to his first meal in this city he had his first real taste of native black currant pie. In return for his work he received his board, clothes and lodging. During his first Christmas season in Utah he went to Fountain Green for a load of coal. His breakfast on Christmas morning consisted mainly of frozen bread. He returned to Nephi in time for dinner which he ate at the home of Pete Sutton. The main course of this well-remembered meal consisted of pork sausage.

He remained with John Baker until March 1, 1867 when he went to work for Thomas Wooley for $150.00 a year plus his board and lodging. Out of this first year’s salary he paid his tithing, his temple donation, and his debt to the emigration fund. On March 1, 1868 he rehired to Wooley for $25.00 a month plus board and lodging.

His parents left England on Tuesday, June 30, 1868, arrived in New York on July 12 and in Pleasant Grove on August 20, 1868. They went to Lindon and made their home there. Charles went to live with them, boarding himself. During the summer of 1869 he farmed on share for Mr. Wooley. That fall in October he went to Eagle Valley, Nevada to help run a shingle mill. At that time Eagle Valley was supposed to be within the boundaries of Utah. He returned in February 1870 and in the same month shortly after his return he became engaged to Harriet Gibbons.

That same month he met with an accident from which he never fully recovered. In company with Joseph Olpin he went to Grove Creek to chop Balsam logs. There he caught in a snow slide which pinned his against a tree. The tree probably saved his life but his knee was twisted and as a result he walked the rest of his life with a decided limp which grew worse as he grew older.

On December 11, 1871 he and Harried Gibbons were married in the Endowment House by Joseph Fielding Smith who later became the President of the Church. They were accompanied by their mothers and the entire trip was made by horse and wagon.

They settled in a small rock house on property which he had bought on Locust Avenue. In this house were born six of their nine children. In 1885 he built a large home just south of his first home on the same property. Here he lived until his death.

On May 10, 1895 he left on a mission to his native country where he served until 1898. All this time his wife supported the family and kept him on his mission through hard work.

His life in the church and community was most active. He served for many years as secretary of the Sunday School before the ward was divided. At various times he served as City Councilman, Justice of the Peace, member of the school board which was instrumental in securing a high school building for Pleasant Grove, and as president of the Pleasant Grove Canning Company. At the time of his death he was a High Priest.

His wife died on October 30, 1922 after a lingering illness. During the later years of his life he devoted himself to the care of his nursery and to the enjoyment of his hobbies; chief of which ware his flowers, a notable library, and a fine shall collection.

He died very suddenly at his home of a heart attack on Sunday morning, October 29, 1933, less than one month before his eighty-fifth birthday.


History: Lillian Alcorn

Well, along in March, Mr. Eppler sent us a statement that we were $2.50 overdrawn and he wanted Dave to come in and pay it up. However, according to the account Dave kept, he still owed us over $18.00. So Dave jumped on a saddle horse and went in to see him. Dave took the receipts and they figured out the same as ours. Dave told him so and he said that we had made a mistake or didn’t have all the tickets and that he wanted us to pay the $2.50. Dave told him that he still owed us some $18.00 and Mr. Eppler got pretty mean about it, so Dave threatened to take it down to the courthouse and let the court figure it. Mr. Eppler pretty quickly changed his tone and offered to do anything, but he didn’t want the matter brought before the court and made public.

Well after losing all we had in the Lee Morgan episode we moved back to the farm with Dave’s folks on the old Jake Everett place. Francis and my brother Leonard rented the Thomas Everett place below Harlem.

In the spring of 1933, on 14 April, we had another arrival. A little red-headed boy we named Ralph Alcorn Rowley. He was very cute, but he cried quite a bit. He found out early in life that he could get much of what he wanted by crying for it and it became a habit that later was hard to break. He always seemed to like to lead and had a great determination to do what he thought was right. Ralph was born in a little house on Dad Rowley’s place and Dr. Hoone was our Doctor again. He came out to the house and took care of us. A little to the east of the house and across the fence was the Branch Chapel. While back from the road a ways was Dad Rowley’s house, buildings and yards.

On the west ran the sleepy Milk River. Sleepy, that is except when the ice broke up in the spring and we had many ice jams and much high water from heavy rains and melting snow in the spring. It was during one of these high waters and floods that all of the music I had collected over the years was destroyed, which upset me very much because some of it could not be replaced.

The soil here was very sandy and wonderful garden soil and again we raised a wonderful garden. It seemed so hard to get back on our feet again financially that it was really discouraging at times. I was very blue part of the time, but I had only to look at my growing children to spark a smile. Douglas and Ralph were fast becoming bosom pals and David was the “big brother” and was a big help in keeping them happy and content. The children certainly help to brighten my outlook many times.

Dave trapped in the winters and took care of stock and continued farming in the summer. Then in the spring of 1934 Dave started to work for A.L. Johnson on his farm. Mr. Johnson was working for the government on the Indian Reservation and Dave and the Johnson boys took care of the farm. They irrigated, put in crops, harvested and took care of a herd of sheep, a herd of cattle and other stock.

On 6 October 1934 another blessed event took place. A little red-headed boy was born. He was named and blessed Clayton Alcorn Rowley. He wasn’t as healthy and robust as the others had been and for a long while we thought we were going to lose him. Once while Dave was in town, Clayton became quite ill. I had no way to contact Dave to have him bring something home from town for the baby and I was nearly frantic with worry. When Dave arrived home he had some milk of magnesia with him. He had felt that something was wrong at home and felt impressed to get some milk of Magnesia so he did. We gave some to Clayton and it was just what he needed. It settled his stomach and he quieted down and slept. Another time he became quite ill and we sent for the Doctor, but Dave and Brother Elmer Hulse administered to him and when the doctor came he said there was nothing wrong with him and he was well from that day on. But before the blessing we thought that almost every breath would be his last. It was through the wonderful power of the Priesthood that this precious little red-head was spared. He was our fifth child, all of which we are very grateful for.

That winter was a very hard winter and Dave rode horse back to and from work all winter long. Of course, I stayed home and took care of our four boys and one girl. In the early spring of 1935, Mr. Johnson fixed us up a small house there on the place and we moved over there. We were handy to the work and were better able to help with the chores. We worked for the Johnson’s for two years and our only trouble was with Bruce who was nothing but a small kid, but he thought he should run the whole deal. He was also full of mischief.

While on the Johnson place, David and Clair, one of the Johnson boys, were playing in back of the house. There was a lovely wooded area back there ideal for boyhood play. I looked out the window one day and the woods were on fire. David and Clair had set fire to the woods. We were fortunate to put it out and no one was hurt. It had certainly given me a scare though.

The winter we were there was one of the coldest winters we ever saw. The temperature would go down to about 56˚ below zero at night and then back up to 40˚ below zero during the day. The frost gathered on the walls in our bedroom, mostly behind the bed, until it was about half an inch thick. We had only one stove in the house and that was in the kitchen. It was a large Majestic range and then we only had one other room which was the small bedroom.

Dave made a figure four trap and during the worst part of the winter he trapped Chinese pheasants which we ate and canned. They surely tasted good. The snow was deep and they would come up to feed off the feeds lots when Dave would leave after putting the grain out for the sheep and cattle.

There were none of the children going to school the first year at the Johnson’s and I had to keep them in the house through those real cold spells. The telephone and electric wires would get so thick and heavy with frost that they looked like they were several inches thick and our windows had ice frozen clear to the top of them. There was sort of a swale behind the house in which grew some brush and small trees. They would get very heavy-laden with frost and it was one of the most beautiful sights one could imagine. Such beauty as you sometimes see in the early stages of cold weather on the window panes only it had a much deeper background.

We weren’t bothered too much with the cold unless the wind blew. When the wind would blow the cold was much more penetrating, but then we had both coal and wood to burn and a good stove to keep us warm. Most every morning during the really cold spells, Dave had to go out and cut the sheep loose from the ground. There would always be some of them frozen down. That is or their wool would freeze to the ground and they couldn’t get up off the ground until they were cut loose.

To be continued…

Aleene Sumsion – Daughter-in-Law: Son Ralph’s (34) wife
Archie Harold Alcorn 97) – Brother
Bert Lund Murphy – Brother-in-Law: Sister-in-Law Verda’s (88) husband
Cheryl Jeanette Smith (12) – Granddaughter: Daughter Grace’s (10) daughter
Clark Alcorn (91) – Father
Clayton Alcorn Rowley (35) – Son
Coral Lorraine Bolton (28) – Son-in-Law’s Mother: Donald’s (9) mother
David Alcorn Rowley (32) – Son
David Lenn Judkins – Grandson: Daughter Marjorie’s (36) son
David William Rowley (30) – Husband
Deon Eugene Judkins – Grandson: Daughter Marjorie’s (36) son
Dollie Cook – Wife of Maternal Uncle: James Jr’s (228) wife
Donald Eugene Smith (9) – Son-in-Law: Daughter Grace’s (10) husband
Donald Eugene Smith Jr (11) – Grandson: Daughter Grace’s (10) son
Donna Diane Smith (13) – Granddaughter: Daughter Grace’s (10) daughter
Douglas Alcorn Rowley (33) – Son
Dwain Eugene Judkins –  Son-in-Law: Daughter Marjorie’s (36) husband
Dwana Kay Judkins – Granddaughter: Daughter Marjorie’s (36) daughter
Emerson Adis Rowley (89) – Brother-in-Law: Husband David’s (30) brother
Erma Thornton – Sister-in-Law: Brother-in-Law Emerson’s (89) wife
Fannie Marie Weaver (Aunt Fannie) (229) – Maternal Aunt: Mother Harriet’s (92) sister
Grace Davis (86) – Mother-in-Law
Grace Harriet Rowley (10) – Daughter
Grant Alcorn Rowley (39) – Son
Hannah Davis (210) – Husband’s Maternal Aunt: Mother-in-Law Grace’s (86) sister
Harriet Ann Weaver (92) – Mother
Hugh Alcorn Rowley (37) – Son
Hugh Francis Rowley (87) – Brother-in-Law: Husband David’s (30) brother
Hugh Thompson Rowley (85) – Father-in-Law
James Albert Weaver Jr (228) – Maternal Uncle: Mother Harriet’s (92) brother
James Sheldon Nelson Sr – Wife of Maternal Aunt: Fannie’s (229) husband
Jesse Verl Alcorn (99) – Brother
Joe Ben Smith (27) – Son-in-Law’s: Donald’s (9) father
John Joseph Everhard – Son-in-Law’s: Donald’s (9) stepfather
Joseph Lorenzo Alcorn (96) – Brother
Karen Andrea Goe – Niece: Maternal Aunt Melva’s (98) daughter
Kurtis Wayne Rowley – Grandson: Son Ralph’s (34) son
Leonard Clark Alcorn (93) – Brother
Lillian Alcorn (31) – Self
Lillian Lorraine Smith (3) – Granddaughter: Daughter Grace’s (10) daughter
Margaret Jeanette Alcorn (224) – Paternal Aunt: Father Clark ‘s (91) sister
Marjorie Ann Rowley (36) – Daughter
Marjorie Elizabeth Snyder – Son-in-Law’s Stepmother: Donald’s (9) stepmother
Marvin Ballard Alcorn (95) – Brother
Mary Catherine Hammons (218) – Paternal Grandmother: Father Clark’s (91) mother
Mary Francis Alcorn – Cousin: Brother Archie’s (97) daughter
Mary Gregory Askins – Sister-in-Law: Brother Archie’s (97) wife
Melva Alcorn (98) – Sister
Myron Nelson – Cousin: Maternal Aunt Fannie’s (229) son
Pamela Rowley – Granddaughter: Son Douglas’ (33) daughter
Ralph Alcorn Rowley (34) – Son
Robert L. Goe – Brother-in-Law: Sister Melva’s (98) 1st husband
Ronald Steven Smith (14) – Grandson: Daughter Grace’s (10) son
Rosina Weaver (Aunt Rose) (469) – Mother Harriet’s (92) maternal aunt
Royal James Rowley (205) – Husband’s Paternal Uncle: Father-in-Law Hugh’s (85) brother
Scott Calvin Rowley – Grandson: Son Douglas’ (33) son
Sharon Lee Rowley (38) – Daughter
Verda May Rowley (88) – Sister-in-Law: Husband David’s (30) sister
Vonna Ensign – Daughter-in-Law: Son Douglas’ (33) wife
Walter Illith Rowley (90) – Brother-in-Law: Husband David’s (30) brother
William Douglas Rowley – Grandson: Son Douglas’ (33) son
William Vernon Alcorn (94) – Brother
William Weaver (457) – Maternal Great-Grandfather: Mother Harriet’s (92) father

This Day In Our Family History


Nils Olsson was born


Lawrence Clinton completed his endowments for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


Mayard C. Wankier completed his initiatory and endowment ordinance for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in The Church’s Manti Utah Temple, which is located at 200 East 510 North in Manti, Sanpete, Utah, United States


James Ralph Matthews was baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


Morgan William Lunt and Zella Evans Cornaby were married in Benjamin, Utah, Utah, United States


Connie Myrtle Lunt completed her initiatory and endowment ordinance for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in The Church’s Salt Lake Utah Temple, which is located at 50 North West Temple in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States

This Day In Our Family History


Richard Sperry Jr and Martha Mansfield were married


Josiah H. Miller was born in Bolton, Chittenden, Vermont, United States to Robert Miller and Ame Sarah Barnett


Elizabeth Lunt was born in Willenhall, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom to Edward Lunt and Harriet Wood


Rhoda Ann Webb completed his endowments for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


Charles Gilbert Lunt, age 26, and Agnes Golightly were married in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States


Lydia and Ann Clinton were baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


Ray Merrill Grace was born in Nephi, Juab, Utah, United States to Hosmer Lyle Grace and Salome Downs


Jorgen John Christensen was born to Wes Christensen and Rebeckah Birk, age 35. He is the 3rd of 3 children, and 2nd of 2 sons, born to the couple

This Day In Our Family History


Richard Harding was buried in Cambridge, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom


Elioner Lunt died


Ruth Bishop died


Aaron George Sperry died


Harrison Sperry Sr and Ellener Mary Butterworth were married


Porty Louis Gabbitas and Della Lunt, age 25, were married and sealed for time and eternity in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ Salt Lake Utah Temple, which is located at 50 North West Temple in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States. Their son, Willie Gabbitas Jr, was sealed to them at the same time.


James Sperry completed his endowments for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

This Day In Our Family History


Alfred Lunt, age 20, and Priscilla Pitt, age 19, completed their initiatory and endowment ordinances and then were married and sealed for time and eternity in The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter Day Saints’ Endowment House, which is located at 50 North West Temple in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States

Edward Lunt and Harriet Wood completed their endowed ordinances and then were sealed for time and eternity in The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter Day Saints’ Endowment House, which is located at 50 North West Temple in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States

Amelia Emily Webb completed her endowment ordinance and then was married and sealed for time and eternity to Enoch Bowles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ Endowment House, which is located at 50 North West Temple in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States


Ann Cole died in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States


Theodore Crawforth Carter was sealed for time and eternity to his parents, Thomas Goble Carter and Martha Moore Crawforth, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ Manti Utah Temple, which is located at 200 East 510 North in Manti, Sanpete, Utah, United States


Walter Illith Rowley was born in Idaho Falls, Bonneville, Idaho, United States to Hugh Thompson Rowley and Grace Davis


Son, Amelia Emily, Mary Ann, Anna Amanda Esther and Edmund Webb were sealed for time and eternity to their parents, David Webb and Esther Olpin, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ Salt Lake Utah Temple, which is located at 50 North West Temple in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States


Thomas Emanual Bellston died


Bessie B. Archambeau was sealed for time and eternity to her parents, Elmer David Archambeau and Mabel Esther Neubauer, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint’s Vernal Utah Temple, which is located at 170 South 400 West in Vernal, Uintah, Utah, United States


Ralph Alcorn Rowley died at the age of 82 in Provo, Utah, Utah, United States

This Day In Our Family History


John Lunt and Ms. Millington were married in Wellington, Shropshire, England, United Kingdom


Edna Viola Nelson was born in Pleasant Grove, Utah, Utah, United States to Nels Rosenquist Nelson, age 26, and Grace Viola Harper, age 25. She was an only child


Lola Barnes was born in Levan, Juab, Utah, United States to Joseph Ralph Barnes and Della Grace


Clark Alcorn and Elinor Jarvis were divorced


Minnie Althera Weaver died


Pamela Rowley was born to Douglas Alcorn Rowley and Vonna Ensign