EDWARD WATKINS CLARK
born 6th June 1820, Pattingham, Satffordshire, England
died 16th October 1902, Provo, Utah, USA
Version 1 of his autobiography
After we were married I rented a house in Springfield, Wolverhampton. In March 1844, my Father died at the age of 68 In Pattingham and was buried beside my Mother.
In 1846 I was a teacher in Sunday School at St. Mary's Church in Wolverhampton. The Minister's name was Rev. Frazier. I had asked many questions on religion, but I was not satisfied with the answers. I wanted to leave England and my wife and I sold our household things and started to London with the intention of going to Australia.
On the 15 of June, 1847, I got work at the North Western Railway Station, Camdentown. We had a room on Grove Street. In another room a man and his wife by the name of Taylor lived. They were L.D.S. and invited us to go hear the Elders preach.
My wife had a good talk with Mrs. Taylor and we decided to go. It was Elder John Banks and a very good orator, but some evil spirits darkened my mind and I thought these people were deluded and ignorant people. I told Mr. Taylor I was sorry for him as he was led astray. He told me to set him straight if he were wrong and I told him I would so he gave me a book on the Gospel and told me to mark it where it did not agree with the scriptures, but I found it was according to the scriptures.
Then I went to hear them preach again and everything I then received in a different light. In two weeks, on the 23rd of November, 1847 we were baptized by Elder Wm. Boothe and confirmed by Elder John Banks and Savage on December 2, 1847.
March 1, 1848 I was ordained a Priest by Wm. Boothe. I left London May 7, 1848 and went to Wolverhampton and preached to my friends and relatives and raised a large branch of Saints. I was ordained an Elder on April 4, 1849 by Elder Clinton. In September I started in the furniture business and prospered very much. I prayed to the Lord and told him that when we got enough money we wanted to go to Zion. In December we had a sale and got our money and started to Liverpool on January 1, 1851, we went aboard the ship "Ellen" landing at New Orleans on March 13, 1851. My wife and three children and myself with 400 saints started out to sea. At 5 o'clock there came an awful storm. At 10 o'clock we came in with another ship and there was an awful crash which broke our ship up pretty bad and we had to anchor at Cavdjun Bay and repair for three weeks. Then we started but again had a rough voyage, landing at New Orleans. Going up the Mississippi River on the "Elick Scott" and worked at carpenter work at different points for three weeks. Then started on the Missouri River on the "Sacrament Steam Boat." Arrived at Council Bluffs May 3rd. Then went to Kanesville. We stayed there one year and worked.
June 14, my first son Edward was born in a log cabin. At the time great storms came soaring through the roof. We had to hold an umbrella over the bed where the mother and baby were, but the Lord was with us and we all did well. At this time a great many immigrants were coming in going to California after gold. Cholera broke out and a great many died. I made a lot of coffins. This helped me to get my outfit to cross the plains. I was organized in a company of 20 under R. Chaffin with Henry W. Miller Captain over the whole company. Besides myself and wife there were four children on a wagon, four cattle and no horses. Orson Hyde was Captain over a company of 100. Started July 3, 1852. I drove my team of oxen up and down through mud and streams and on the 6th of September my oldest daughter, Sarah, was run over while getting out of the wagon and died the next day on Sweetwater at 6 years of age.
Arrived in Salt Lake City on Sept 23. We stayed in Salt Lake until October 10 and went to Provo with one yoke of oxen, one of the cows having died and I sold for $25.00. Paid $2.25 for tithing to Bishop Bird of the Second Ward in Provo. Built a small adobe house 12 X 14 one adobe thick. We lived in it until the Indians became hostile and killed one of our brethren. The militia was called to guard Payson and get people to safety. I was out with the militia for two weeks.
On December 1, 1853 I was sealed to my wife, Lucy, and ordained to the office of Seventy by Brother Roger I. Rockwood in Salt Lake Council House. May 27, my wife took up our endowment and was sealed by Brigham Young.
This year I built a house 30 X 24 feet, two adobe thick. About this time came swarms of grasshoppers eating up all our crops. In 1856 great distress. We had to live on fish and roots. This time I was called to be block teacher and there came two companies of saints who crossed the plains in handcarts suffering from cold and hunger. Only 2/3 came in. They had frozen hands and feet and they were distributed among the wards to be cared for until they could help themselves.
Feb. 3, 1857 I took Louisa Meller for my wife and was sealed by Brigham Young. She had come in with her parents by hand cart.
I was ordained to be High Priest by John Young the same day I was called as 2nd counselor to Will Bale, Bishop of the Third Ward. Oct. 30, 1859 I was called to be Bishop of the Third Ward and was set apart by Orson Hyde. Joseph Clark and John S. Carter were my councilors. Nov. 26, I was elected City Councilman. I became a citizen of the United States of America on March 28, 1861. I asked to be released from Bishop and after some consideration George A. Smith released me. I then sold my house and moved to Springlake Village. I put up a water wheel and went to growing sugar cane and made molasses of sugar cane. Made 200 gallons off one acre of cane. At this time the Indians became hostile again and the President told us to move into town for safety. I moved my family to Santaquin in 1886. I built a log house. I was called to be a High Councilman of the Stake. Silas Smith was President. I was elected Justice of the Peace in 1864 at Santaquin. I held this office for 8 years being re-elected for a second term.
In 1874 I received a land grant from Apostle George A. Smith to pay my debts and get my land title clear and prepare to go on a mission to England. On May 18, 1875 sailed on the ship "Wisconsin" with T. C. Mantoil as President and myself as First Counselor and Madson Christenson as Second Counselor. Started home on Sept. 13, 1876 and arrived home Oct. 3, 1876. After arriving in Liverpool when I went on my mission, I received my appointments on May 31, by Apostle Carrington and Joseph F. Smith. I was appointed to labor in the Leeds conference under President John Woodhouse, preaching the gospel in the house and on street corners. I labored faithfully until Aug 31, 18767 when I was released to return home. We sailed on the ship "Wyoming" having done a faithful work and baptized 41 souls.
Jan. 6, 1877 I was called to be second counselor of Bishop George Halliday in Santaquin Ward. Mar 1879 was elected director of the cooperative store. In 1880 I was elected President of the Irrigation Co. of Santaquin. In 1885 was called to be one of the directors of the electrical Organization in Santaquin.
On Oct. 16, 1903 I and Lucy and Louise received our second anointing. Also I was sealed to my parents, James and Phoebe Ransford Clark. My wife, Lucy, was sealed to her parents, William and Elizabeth (Grimsdale) Ashby on the same day. Edward Watkins Clark was sealed by proxy to Elizabeth Queensides Snow on Oct. 16, 1903. He died at the age of 89. Had 127 grandchildren, 14 living and 5 dead children and 29 great grandchildren.