William Wilshire Richardson
William Wilshire Richardson was born November 2, 1850 at Keg Creek, Iowa. He came to Utah with his father and mother, Shadrach and Lavina Richardson when only a child two years old. He did not remember his mother as she died shortly after they arrived in Payson, Utah, in 1852. His boyhood days were spent in Payson in about the normal way of most pioneer children. He attended school enough to learn to read and write. He never had a pair of shoes until he was twelve years old.
His father went to the canyon and cut a load of wood and hauled it to Provo where he traded it for one pair of shoes. That is how hard the times were. Father said many was the time he went sliding down hill barefooted in midwinter or at best with his feet wrapped in burlap or skins of animals.
While he was not old enough to take any active part in any of their Indian wars, he stood guard many a night with the boys and men.
He herded the settlers sheep and cattle down in what is known as the slough bottoms from the time he was nine years old until they moved to Benjamin. With his father he took an active part in the amusements of the little community.
William Wilshire wore a mustache and was quite proud of its size. One day while burning greasewood he burned his mustache off. There was a dance that night, but nothing daunted he made a mustache of black goats hair and went to the dance quite proud of himself. During the evening he had a great time trying to kiss the girls. One prime little miss by the name of Sarah Jane Hone, a newcomer in the community, wanted to know "who that big stiff was who thought himself so smart." They were introduced and he took her home and later married her.
In the year 1873 he was called to go to St. George, Utah, to work in the Temple. He courted his sweetheart by letter until he was released to come home. After he returned home he obtained a section of land in the south part of town and settled down to farming and started to build a home for the girl of his choice. On October 16, 1879, he was married to Sarah Jane Hone by The Reverend George W. Leonard at Springville, Utah. They drove back to her father's home where they enjoyed a family dinner.
Father and mother worked very hard to make a home. Father made most of the adobies and did all the carpenter work. He also made a rocking chair, two chests, a large flour box and a cupboard. They took an active part in the civic and religious life of the community. Father joined the Latter Day Saints church when eight years of age. Mother was baptized August 31, 1884. In March of 1885 they made the trip with an ox team to Logan to receive their endowments and blessings in the Temple of the Lord.
Father was in charge of the first Sunday school in Benjamin while it was a branch of Payson Ward. Mother was the second president of the Relief Society after the ward was organized. In the year 1892 they sold their home and farm and moved to Fort Bridger where father had taken up a homestead. But due to very severe sickness which broke his health for several years they lost their land and all their worldly goods.
They returned to Benjamin and rented a farm from Andrew Jackson Stewart. For many years father drove a wagon into southern Utah and up into Wyoming and Idaho, and peddled fish and honey, trading for any kind of merchandise his family could use. He freighted for David Hone & Son to the mines in Mercur and Tintic for ten years. He loved the great out of doors and camping out in the open and made friends of the wild animals.
In 1907 they purchased the old store building on Main street from David Hone and remodeled it for a dwelling place and here spent the remaining years of their lives.
They had a family of twelve children. Three died in infancy. They
lived to see the rest, four girls and five boys, all married and established in homes of their own.
Father and mother lived a happy and useful life in spite of the many hardships and reverses they had to endure. While they accumulated very little in worldly goods to leave their children they left them a heritage much greater, a desire for an honest, clean life and abiding faith in God and in the Church they loved.
Three of their children filled missions for their church. William W. went to the central states, Sarah E. to the northwestern states and Ezra to Australia.
Mother passed away April 10, 1928, and father June 4, 1929. They were both buried in the Benjamin cemetery.
The following children survived them: William W. Richardson and wife, Mary Dobson Richardson, 2398 Lake street, Salt Lake City; Sarah E. R. Burgin and husband Henry Burgin (d. Nov. 27, 1939), Benjamin, Utah; Rozma R. Huber, whose husband Ernest R. Huber died in August, 1937, address 522 North Sixth West, Salt Lake City; Lavina R. Hicks, husband Frank Hicks, address Midvale, Utah; Adah Richardson Wooton (died in February, 1938), husband William C. Wooton,, address, Sandy, Route 1, Utah; Albert Richardson, wife Dora Swensen, address 931 West Fourth North, Salt Lake City; Acel Richardson, wife Nora Player, address 8555 Drestel Road, Salt Lake City; Milo Richardson, wife Ida Smith, address 643 West Fourth North, Salt Lake City; Ezra D. Richardson (died July 4, 1936), wife Fern Carlson, address 1398 Blair Street, Salt Lake City. There are 44 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.
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