Thursday, January 27, 2011


Submitted by CJ Christensen.  Pictures from Barnby Don appear elsewhere on this site.  See the index.

by himself

Submitted to DUP as a pioneer history

[All material added in square parenthesis was added by C.J. Christensen]
{Carolyn Christensen>Doris Kirkham Johnson>Sarah Wrigley Kirkham>Edward Charles Wrigley>Joseph Wrigley md. to Adah Lucy Steel>Thomas Wrigley}

I was born in a small village, Barnaby upon Dun, five miles from Doncaster, in the county of York, England. (Born 22 February 1816. Died 3 July 1873). My father’s name was John Wrigley. I think he was born near Dewsbury in Yorkshire, England (Born 7 September 1774. Died 1 May 1853). My mother’s maiden name was Hannah Morgan (Born abt 1781. Died 27 Feb 1816). She was born in the north of Ireland in the county Down. She was brought up in the Protestant faith. She was married to my father in Ireland while he was serving as a soldier in the British Militia. My father worked at shoe-making for a living. He joined the Wesleyan Methodist Connection when a young man and continued a member of that body for about fifty years. I was the eight child of my father’s family. My mother died when I was five days old, on the 27th of February, 1816.

The death of my mother left my father (age 42) with a large family of small children (8) which caused him to put me out to nurse in a family by the name of John Wright in the same village. [ John Wrigley was left with 7 children 12 years old and under, along with a new baby.] He (John Wright) was a tailor by trade. His wife’s maiden name was Mary Launsers. They were a good father and mother to me and ever watched me for my good and impressed on my mind in childhood the necessity of living and fearing God so far as they had light. They were members of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection and died in the faith before the Gospel ever was preached to them in the flesh. I remained with them and worked at the business till I was near eighteen years old. Then, by their advice, I moved to Doncaster and engaged for two years for improvement to a man by the name of Thomas Waisnige, a tailor and a Methodist preacher. In the year 1836, I (age 20) moved to Sheffield and worked till November and then we had a strike for higher wages and in January, 1837, I (age 21) left Sheffield and traveled through many of the principal cities in England and in the month of May, returned to Sheffield again, stopped a few weeks and then went to Doncaster and worked. On the 26th of September 1837 I was married to Grace Wilkinson (age 19), of the city of Lincoln.

[She was the oldest of four girls and one boy born to Anthony Wilkinson and Elizabeth Jubb. She was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England (as were her brother and sisters) on 24 Sep 1819. About five years after their marriage, Thomas joined the L.D.S. church on 21 March 1842. Six months later, his wife, Grace Mary was baptized on 8 Sept 1842. At that time, two boys and a girl had blessed their home. None of Thomas's brothers and sisters joined the church, but a brother, William Wrigley, immigrated to America, and eventually established the Wrigley Gum enterprise.]

Notwithstanding my religious instruction in youth, I thought but little of all I had heard for a time but was led by the spirit and fashion of the world till I had been married about one year. I attended some temperance meetings and in October 1838, I became a total abstainer from fermented liquor and from that time I (age 22) commenced again to attend some Christian church. About this time a man by the name of Robert Akins was causing a great excitement through the country by his powerful oratory and preaching. He was zealous to do the work of the Lord and was the means of many thousands turning to serve God according to the best light they then had. I was one of that number, but as soon as the servants of God came with the Priesthood, his power became weakness. He rejected the Gospel and fought against it and withered and died as to the things of God and he had to fall back upon the Church of England from whence he came for a small living. All of his apparent zeal died away when he found that he was not one of the Lord’s anointed but was called upon to go into the waters of baptism and wash away his sins.

I was a member and class-leader in his (Robert Akins) church for some time until in the winter of 1840 (age 24) an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to Doncaster and preached the Gospel. His name was Stephen Nixon. Some were convinced of the truth and many began to study the Scriptures and some time after, another Elder of the Church came - Alfred Cordon and preached and baptized a number and organized a branch of the Church of Jesus Christ. I still kept back, not being prepared to receive the doctrine of these men. I was honest and wished to be right. I began to search the Scriptures and as soon as I was convinced of the truth, I went forth and was baptized a member of the Church and Kingdom of God under the hands of Edwin Senior, Elder, in the Month of January 1842 (age 26). Some three of four weeks afterwards I was ordained a Priest by Elder A. Cordon, then traveling Elder in that region of country.

On the seventh day of October, 1842, I left my wife and family, two sons and one daughter, [John (age 4), Joseph (age 2), and Mary (newborn)] in Doncaster and went to Liverpool for about two weeks and on the twentieth day of October, I went on board the ship Emerald. Captain Leighton was master of the ship and Brother Parley P. Pratt was president of the company of Saints. His family was along with him. He was returning from his first mission to that land to the bosom of the Church at Nauvoo. We moved out of dock that day and lay in the river four or five days and then set sail with a head wind but towards evening the Captain had to hoist a signal for a pilot boat and we returned and lay at anchor four days and then put to sea again with a head wind. We had bad weather for some two weeks and many were sick. After this, had a chance of pleasant weather all the way except one night in the Gulf of Mexico, but no accident of importance. I believe we had four deaths and two births. Our company numbered about 250 souls. After a long and tedious journey, we arrived in New Orleans on the 26th day of December, 1942.

We stopped in New Orleans about five days and on the first day of January, 1843 we left port on the steamboat for Saint Louis and arrived there on the morning of the 8th. I found my sister’s (Hannah) house about 8 o’clock in the morning and was received kindly by her and her husband. His name was John M. Parker. They were members of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection. When they found I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they tried their best by every means to persuade me to give up my faith in the doctrine and join some of the popular sects of the day. In turn, I preached the Gospel to them and bore a faithful testimony of the truth of Joseph Smith being a Prophet of the Lord, but they could not believe. On the first day of April following, I left St. Louis on board the steamboat Maid of Iowa for Nauvoo. Owing to a great flow of ice down the river, we were detained but arrived all safe at Nauvoo on the 12th day of April.

I was a stranger in the city and without means but I was kindly received by Elder Stephen Nixon into his house and boarded with them for some months. In July following, I moved from there to a Brother Walter Clark’s house and worked with him at brick-making. He had married a Sister Johnson whose husband had died in Nauvoo soon after they arrived there from England. In the meantime, I had wrote to my wife several times and was very anxious to have them with me. I received several letters from her stating they were well in health but enduring many hardships. I received a letter in November that my wife and family would leave England in the month of October in a ship called the Champion and she requested me to meet them at New Orleans, as they would be entirely out of means to come any further without my assistance.

This was the cause of my leaving Nauvoo. About the first of December I went down to St. Louis and the day after I got some employment and concluded to go no further at present. I soon received another letter from my wife stating that she would not be able to come before January. She accordingly left Liverpool about the 15th day of January, 1844 (Thomas age 28)in the bark, Fanny, Captain Patterson master, and Elder W. T. Kay, President of the company of the Saints. After about six weeks good sailing, she arrived in New Orleans. I had made provision with a Mr. Fisher, store-keeper in New Orleans, to forward my family to St. Louis. They went on board the Maid of Iowa and started for Saint Louis and after about one month of toil and hardship on the river, they arrived in Saint Louis on the 7th day of April, 1844. In coming up the river, the steamboat had several accidents by breaking her shaft, but all arrived safe.

I was compelled to remain in Saint Louis for the time being but I felt away from home and from the society of the Saints and from the hearing of the voice of the Prophets of the Lord. We for some time felt afraid of the exterminating orders of Governor Boggs, which were still in force, but our numbers began to increase in that city and we took courage and a few met in ta private house and organized a branch of the Church and the Lord blest the faithful but it was sometimes hard work having to contend with the prejudice of the people of the world and every apostate that left Nauvoo came there and did their best to bring persecution on us. [In St. Louis, Grace Mary gave birth to a daughter, Priscilla, who died when she was 1 ½ years old. Other children born in St. Louis were Thomas Bingham, who died 11 years later in American Fork, Utah, Eliza Hannah who died at the age of 2, just 2 weeks before Alonzo Lina was born. Alonzo died at the age of 14, after his family had moved to Utah.]

A man by the name of Small was appointed to preside over the branch and he turned out to be very small for he soon backed out and left he Church and went after Sydney Rigdon. The next man appointed to preside was a Richard Riley. He, after a while, left the city and went to Nauvoo but soon returned, a bitter enemy to the church, and then was a man by the name of Aker. He did not stay long but got weak in the faith. Then came Brother Joseph Stratton to preside. He made some improvement on our organization under his presidency but still was far behind our privileges. In the year 1847, Brother Stratton left and gathered with the Church, having the good will and confidence of the brethren. He left behind Brother H. H. Felt (who) was the president appointed to succeed Brother Stratton.

Under the Presidency of Brother Felt the Branch seemed to take a new start and by the Spirit of the Lord he showed forth great wisdom in organizing a Council of Twelve or fifteen members for the benefit of the Branch. The City was laid off into six wards. Two Bishops or Presiding Officers were appointed in each ward to meet in council with the President and his two Councilors. I was appointed a member of that Council and in connection with Brother Thomas Forester to preside over the Second Ward. I filled that office faithfully to the best of my ability. On the 9th day of April, 1848, I was ordained an Elder under the hands of Ezra T. Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder N. H. Felt. [Thomas Brigham was born to Thomas and Grace Mary Wrigley in St. Louis. ]

In the year 1850 (age 34) Brother Felt moved with his family to the valley. Brother Alexander Robbins was appointed to succeed him in the Presidency of the St. Louis Branch. I was called to act as first Councilor to Brother Robbins and Brother John Galigher was Second Councilor. In the year 1849 the 27th day of February, I was ordained an Apostle and Seventy under the hands of Presidents. A. P Rockwood, Augustus Farnham, Loren Babitt, P. Henery and N. H. Felt. Brother Robbins presided one year and in 1851 moved to Great Salt Lake City with his family and effects. Brother Orson Hyde appointed me as Robbins successor to preside over the Saint Louis Conference which numbers about three thousand souls; men, women and children. I filled that office one year. About the tenth of April 1852, I was taken sick with inflamatory rheumatism but on the twelfth of May (I was) so sick that I had to be carried out of my room to a carriage. I left St. Louis on the steamboat Robert Campbell for Kanesville (later Council Bluffs) and landed on the twenty-send of May.

[ Thomas (36) and Grace Mary Wrigley(33) traveled with their family (of John (16),

Joseph (12), Mary (10) , Thomas (54) Alonzo (1)) and 9 others using a wagon and 2 yoke of oxen donated by PEF (Perpetual Emigration Fund).

This family, Thomas and Grace Mary were endowed and sealed to each other in the Endowment House in March of 1856

Thomas Wrigley died on 3 July 1878 at the age of 62 in American Fork, Utah. His wife lived 28 more years and died at the age of 87 in American Fork.]

Pioneer of 1852
Written by himself

(This material collected from Karleen Smith Stoker seems to be an addition to what Thomas wrote above.)

On my way to the Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, my health improved a little, but still not able to get about. We crossed the Missouri River on the twenty third day of June. Elder James McGraw was appointed Captain of our company of about fifty wagons. We traveled on our tedious journey, and arrived in Salt Lake City safely on the twenty first day of September 1852. I had in my charge one wagon and two yoke of cattle, laden with nine of the poor people of the Branch who were sent by donation from the Saints of St. Louis Branch. On arrival, according to instructions, I delivered the wagon and two yoke of cattle into the hands of Bishop E. Hunter, as a donation from the saints in St. Louis Branch to the Perpetual Immigration Fund. I bought a house and lot off a Brother Laytham in the Fifteenth Ward, Great Salt Lake City.

I worked most of the first winter in the tithing office at my business, and in the spring I followed anything I could get to do. On the fifteenth day of November 1853, I left the city to go on a mission to Fort Supply(the fort built by the Mormons near Fort Bridger when they were unable to purchase Fort Bridger). Brother Johns Nebuker was Captain of the Company numbering about ninety men. Elder Orson Hyde was President of the mission. We put up a log fort, built a number of houses, and fenced a farm in, broke up land and put seed in on the seventeenth day of July 1854. By counsel I left Fort to visit my family in Salt Lake City and arrived on the twenty third 1854. Brother Hyde told me not to return to the Fort without further orders. Most of the company was sent for home, and but five or six remained there to winter.

I sold my house and lot in the Fifteenth Ward to Elder Orson Hyde, and on the fourth day of October 1854 I left Salt Lake City for American Fork City. I arrived on the fifth, bought a house and lot off John Wood with twenty five acres of land. Not having a team to break my own land, I worked land on shares in 1855 and raised thirty five bushels of wheat.

Following are interesting little entries that Thomas Morgan Wrigley entered into his journal

that might be important one day to someone or for something:

* I was once in St. Louis. A store burnt down, and many people were burnt up in the flames.

* Sue went away in the year 1875, on the 15 March.

* May 20, 1868, I received a letter from my brother George Wrigley and the following is his address: #2 Mitton St., Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

* The address of Mr. George Fish (Eliza’s husband): #24 Millner Yard, French Gate, Doncaster, Yorkshire, England.

* John Wrigley, Sr., died May 1, 1853 at the age of 79 at Barmby Dunn, Yorkshire, England.

* Sarah, 2nd wife of John Wrigley, died September 29, 1860 age 74 at Barmby Dunn, Yorkshire, England.

* Mary, daughter of John and Hannah Wrigley, died December 16, 1862 age 59 at Wakefield, Yorkshire, England.

* James Wrigley, son of John and Sarah Wrigley, died in 1865 age 39 at Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.

* The wife of George Wrigley died August 6, 1865 age 40 at Sheffield, England.

* The address of my sister Harriet, Thomas and Harriet Hartley, Barmby Dunn, Yorkshire, England.

* The names and age of my brother, George Wrigley’s children taken May 21, 1868: Eliza 23 years; Sarah 18 years; Fanny 13 years; Clara 9 years; and Henery 4 years.

* July 3, 1868 received a letter and Doncaster Gazette from my niece Ann Hurst. Her address: William Hurst, N 37 St. James Terris, Doncaster, Yorkshire, England.

* August 10, 1863 received a letter from Brother George Wrigley.

* August 12, 1863 received a letter from Mother Wilkinson.

* Address of John Wright: #16, Castle Green, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.

* Brother William Wrigley’s daughters address: Mr. John Townend, Land Surveyer, Steel Bank, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.

* Sister Elizabeth and her husband address: Charles Bellamy, Alpha Place, Near Rotherhan, Yorkshire, England.

* Thomas and Eliza Cuthbert address: Mefsers (?) Habershan & Co., Steel Rolling Mills, Holms, Masbro, Yorkshire, England.

* Sister Emma Wilkinson husband address: James Lees, Hoch, Near Hoden(?) England.

* May 23, 1868 mailed letter to Brother George Wrigley, Sheffield

* July 4, 1868 mailed two letters to Elizabeth Wilkinson and Ann Finkinson, mother and sister, Doncaster. August 10, 1868 received a letter from George Wrigley. August 12, 1868 received a letter from Mother Wilkinson. September 12, 1868 mailed letter to John Wright.

“The End”

Thomas Wrigley

These are facts added to Thomas Wrigley’s life that he supposed were not important enough to remember:

It is not known by whom.

From the Deseret News December 1, 1853:

Group met at Stake House November 16, 1853 to organize an expedition under Orson Hyde to go to Fort Supply, 132 miles south of Fort Bridger on a mission to prepare the Indians to receive the gospel. Thomas Wrigley was in Issaac Bullocks division.

From the Deseret News May 9, 1855:

Thomas Wrigley belonged to the 36th Quorum of Seventies. Asked to meet every Sunday evening at home of Thomas Nixon after meeting at Tabernacle.

From the Deseret News July 24, 1856:

At the 24th July celebration SLC, Thomas Wrigley was Orator of the day. Addressed the people on the rise of the Kingdom of God and showed how soon it will fill the whole earth.

Deseret News July 8, 1873.

Obituary of Thomas Wrigley

Mr. John Peters writes from American Fork July 3, as follows:

This morning we are called upon to mourn the loss of one of our respected citizens, Elder Thomas Wrigley. Brother Wrigley was born on the 23 February 1816 in Barnby, near Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in January 1842. On October 7, of the same year he left his family in England and started for America. He arrived in Nauvoo on the 12th of April 1843. In April 1844 his family came to him in St. Louis, where for some time he presided over the saints previous to coming to Utah, where he arrived with his family in September 1852. He was ordained and appointed president of the 36th Quorum of Seventy April 7, 1853. In November of the same year he was called as a missionary to assist in building Fort Supply. Moved to American Fork October 5, 1854 where he has since resided. He was the first clerk in the Cooperative Store of this place, which position he faithfully held for a number of years until he was compelled to retire on account of ill health. He died as he had lived in full fellowship and in the hope of a glorious resurrection. He was beloved by all who knew him.

Thomas Wrigley and Grace Mary Wilkinson had nine children as follows:

John July 9, 1838 Catherine Cunningham

Joseph February 24, 1840 Ada L. Steel; Ann Singleton;

Dinah Stoddart Crookston

Mary April 7, 1842 George Cunningham

Prisilla January 29, 1845 Died in St. Louis

Thomas Brigham July 7, 1847 Died in Salt Lake

Eliza Hannah October 6, 1849 Died in St. Louis

Alonza Lina November 23, 1851 Died in American Fork

Lurin Lacorin July 10, 1854 Died in Dillon, Montana

Clara Ann October 24, 1856 Moroni Paxman

Elder Thomas Wrigley wrote the following to the editor of the Frontier Guardsman, St. Louis on July 31, 1851:

Dear Editor:

Thinking that it might be interesting to your readers to hear from their friends in St. Louis, I write this communication for publication in your paper. There is a large and respectable congregation in this city who attend public worship every Sunday in the Concert Hall, Market Street. This large room is generally crowded with Saints from every nation. The feeling is good and the Saints greatly rejoice at being liberated from bondage. Cholera caused death to a large number of poor families on hand. To be able to relieve the destitute, I called the Saints to fast and pray Sunday June 21, to call upon God unitedly to stop the ravages of this disease in the midst of this people. Also, to contribute of their substance to feed the poor. One hundred sixteen dollars were collected and distributed to the worthy poor.

Published in the Frontier Guardsman August 22, 1851 page #1.

1 comment:

  1. Hello. Thank you for publishing Thomas Wrigley's memories. It seems like St Louis was a great time of satisfaction for him and he gave me a lot of insight about my ancestor Nathaniel H. Felt. Thanks again.


Please comment or add information to be published on this site.