Edmund Hepworth was born at New Lane, Drighlington, Yorkshire, England on March 7, 1841, his parents being Joseph Hepworth and Mary Hirst. His father made his living by working in the coal mines. Edmund was the third child from a family of thirteen.
At the age of seven years, Edmund joined his father and brothers and went to work in the mines. Mining was a very dangerous and strenuous occupation. All family members had to contribute to the well being of the family. Food was not plentiful to them. Very seldom did they have meat, and cheese was a luxury. Edmund spent 15 years working in the mines.
The Hepworth family joined the LDS Church in 1847. Joseph was baptized on December 19, 1847, and Mary was baptized August 11, 1847. Edmund was baptized in 1850.
Edmund married Hannah Schofield Cowling on September 17, 1862. She was seven years his senior. In the spring of 1863, they immigrated to America. They sailed out of Liverpool on the sailing ship "Cynosure" on May 30, 1863, and was seven weeks at sea arriving in New York City, July 10, 1863. They traveled from New York to Florence, Nebraska by train. It took about 12 days to make this trip. For about 6 years, Florence was the outfitting terminus for the westward trek.
Edmund and Hannah stayed in Florence for about one month and then left for Utah with the Samuel D. White Company on August 15, 1863 arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on October 15, 1963. Soon after their arrival, Edmund, Hannah and Sarah Catherine were invited to move in with a Brother Homer, an Englishman.
In the spring of 1864, the Hepworth's moved to Smithfield in the Cache Valley. Edmund worked on a farm with Edmund Homer. In August, Sarah Catherine died. She was buried in Smithfield. On June 16, 1865, Joseph Edmund was born. This same summer, they moved to Oxford, Idaho. Oxford is 18 miles northwest of Preston. A number of settlers had located at the present site of Oxford in 1865. Brigham Young advised the early settlers to build in fort lines as a means of protection against the Indians. "If you do not build in fort lines, the Indians will make you," he said. In the fall of that year, the residents of Oxford, Clifton, and Stockton were advised to move together at Oxford and build a fort of logs. There they spent the winter of 1865.
Edmund was selected as a "Minuteman." This group was organized for the purpose of protecting themselves and their families against the attacks of Indians. Whenever danger threatened a settlement, word would be sent to nearby towns, and the minutemen would ride to assist them.
|Edmund and Hannah Hepworth Family
Back Row: William Henry, Lauretta, George William,
Hannah Eliza, John Edmund
Front Row: David Edgar, Edmund,
Hannah Schofield Cowling, Joseph Edmund
Hannah and Edmund were blessed with four more children while living in Oxford. Edmund entered into polygamy in 1869. He married fourteen year old Eliza Sant of Smithfield. She came from England with her parents in 1861. Eliza and Edmund had two children. Eliza died in January of 1873 just two days short of her eighteenth birthday. Hannah took the two little boys and raised them as her own.
The Hepworth's lived in Oxford for twelve years. The town became a mix of Gentiles and Mormons. The US Survey of 1872 showed that Oxford was to be part of Idaho instead of Cache County in Utah; thus, it rapidly assumed a semi-anti-Mormon character. Relatives in Springdale near St. George encouraged the Hepworth's to move to Utah's "Dixie". On May 5, 1877, the two Hepworth brothers, Edmund and Squire, loaded their wagons and started for "Dixie".
Edmund left his father, Joseph and his stepmother Ann in Oxford. Joseph died one year later, April 18, 1878 and was buried in Oxford.
Edmunds parents, Joseph and Mary had their differences. Mary immigrated to Utah before the rest of the family and settled in Salt Lake City. Joseph immigrated to America on September 7, 1870 and made his home in Oxford, Idaho. On the October 27, 1873, Joseph received his endowment and was sealed to Ann Lambert, a widow. Mary died September 21, 1903 and was buried in Salt Lake City.
Edmund and his family arrived in Springdale on June 14, 1877. It took them 40 days to cross the State of Utah. Springdale sits in a narrow valley whose floor slopes gradually from the mountains to the river bottoms. The area was very damp and mosquitoes were abundant. This made it a very unhealthy place to live, and it caused the family to become ill with chills and fever. They moved to higher ground and which proved to be a healthier climate. The climate was extremely hot, and infested with lizards, tarantulas, scorpions, and rattlesnakes.
However, after the entire family once again became very ill with chills and fever, the Hepworth's decided to leave Southern Utah. They didn't know where to go. They left Springdale in April of 1880. They stopped off in American Fork and Edmund worked a sixty acre ranch for Hannah's Uncle Pete Cowling. While living in American Fork, Edmund found that Lydia Wells was living in Salt Lake City. Lydia was the daughter of Joshua Wells whom Edmund had known in England. She had emigrated in the spring of 1880. Edmund married Lydia on February 9, 1882, but by this time, the anti-polygamy act had been passed in Senate. Edmund moved his family from American Fork to Bountiful to escape persecution, but things were no different there. The U.S. Marshals raided villages and homes, insulted families and invaded their privacy.
In 1886, Edmund accompanied his brother-in-law, George Sant to Star Valley, Wyoming to look it over for possible settlement. George and his family had moved there in the summer of 1885. The late spring of 1887, Edmund, Lydia and their family moved from Bountiful to Star Valley. The way was difficult, there were no graded roads, dug ways, but they would come to trails and streams occasionally. Hannah and her family arrived in the fall of 1888.
They settled in Grover. They lived in dugouts and log cabins. They had to clear land, dig ditches and canals, and make dams. Edmund would improve his land, sell it and then buy more land and improve on that property. He owned five different homes in the twenty eight years he lived in Grover.
He passed away on October 27, 1915 and was buried in the Grover Cemetery on October 29, 1915. Edmund was respected by his family and friends. He was honest in all of his dealings, a hard worker and very industrious. He was a humble man and honored his priesthood and religion.
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