Wednesday, February 2, 2011


                                                                       Life Sketch
                                                                     John Wrigley
                                              (Parenthesis added by Carolyn J. Christensen)

John Wrigley, oldest son of Thomas Wrigley and Grace Mary Wilkinson was born 9 January, 1836 at Doncaster, England. He left England with his mother (Grace Mary), Brother Joseph and Sister Mary on the 15 January 1844. They sailed in the bark Fanny, with Captain Peterson and Elder W.T. Layor Kay, President of the company of saints. After about six weeks good sailing, they arrived in New Orleans. They sailed up the Mississippi River on the Maid of Iowa and after about one month of toil and hardships on the river they arrived in St. Louis, Missouri on the 7 April 1844 to meet his (John’s) father (Thomas) who had come ahead of them to work for money to pay their way. His father, mother and family landed (arrived) in Salt Lake City, Utah the 21 September 1852 with one wagon and two yoke of oxen. Nine of the poor people traveled with them.

The wagon and two yoke of oxen were donated to the Perpetual Emigration Fund, by the St. Louis Branch to help carry provisions from Iowa to Salt Lake City for the Saints. Brigham Young called his (John’s) father, Thomas Wrigley to go to American Fork, Utah to establish a cooperative mercantile business. They arrived in American Fork 5 February 1864. John at this time was twenty six years old. His father went to work in the Coop Store. This left John and Alonzo, fourteen, to break up the ground, make ditches, and plant crops to make a new home. Alonzo passed away 15 April 1865 which left John alone to farm. With grief and lack of help it made hardship on the whole family.

On the 31 October 1870 John (age 34) married Catherine Cunningham, daughter of Robert Cunningham and Ann Wilson in the Salt Lake Endowment House. To them were born six children. John was a sickly man, and made his living from gardening, raising sugar cane (for) molasses, milked cows and raised chickens. He died of dropsy (an old term for the swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of excess water) on 24 December 1892 at the age of fifty-four years, five months and fifteen days. He was buried in American Fork, Utah.

Children of John Wrigley and Catherine Cunningham

Name                              Date of Birth               Date of Death
Ann Wrigley                   12 January 1872          15 June 1951

John Eland Wrigley        14 October 1873         20 September 1934

Alexander Wrigley         20 February 1876        12 December 1953

Grace Mary Wrigley      10 December 1878       10 May 1968

Robert Lacoran              10 November 1883       31 January 1964

Frank Desota Wrigley    10 December 1888        1 January 1938

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