BRIEF SKETCH IF THE LIFE OF GEORGE THATCHER
To Ambrose Thatcher and Dinah Brown
on the 6th of Nov. 1824, in the town of Wottundredge, County of
Gloucester, England, was born a son, George Thatcher. Born into poor but very
His father was a laborer and wages
were small. Due to such poor circumstances George started to work when a young
boy in in [sic] factory with his father. He served his apprenticeship as a
At the age of seventeed [sic] George
left the factory, hoping to better conditions. He went to Wales; where he
worked under ground in the Iron mines. The only schooling was what he learned
himself and at church.
While working in the iron mines he
labored with a very low class of people. Quoting from his journal he states. “I
associated with the most proferm swearers and drunkards; so that my mind became
contaminated in sin to the degree that I began to think that my curse was
unpardonable. Some time I had to think to reform my course, and be better and
become a member of some society or other as I thought that they were all right.
The thought not once entered my mind
that there was but only one true church on the earth until I heard the
Latter-Day Saints, which was in the year 1849. For my own part I was not
prejudiced. Any religion at all.
Although I had heard much said
against the Latter-Day Saints, that they were a bad people, and they did not
believe in the Bible, and they say that all will go to Hell if they do not join
them. So more out of curiosity than anything else I went to hear them as they
were preaching out of doors in the neighborhood where I live. I saw some nine
or ten persons standing together and a great many standing a distance off.
There was a Welchman preaching, but I did not know much he was saying. Next an
Englishman stood up by the name of Jonas Paray, and his text was the 16th
Chapter of Acts Verse 31. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be
saved.” Which made an impression on my mind for some time after. I resolved to
go and hear more the next opportunity. I went to their meeting place several
times. They taught me that if I could be baptized into their church, and make
up my mind to serve the Lord I should have a testimony that the thing was true.
So I thought that if anyone needed any thing I did.
So with three more I went and was
baptized on the 13 of Aug 1849 by Thomas Paray and was confirmed the 15th
of the same month under the hands of Thomas Giles and Thomas Paray in the Blina
Branch of the Monmouthshire Conference.”
…hopes of converting all his
friends; however much to his disappointment as meets all converts, his friends
didn’t see the truth of the gospel. This didn’t lesson George’s testimony for
he held fast to the truth.
He was ordained to the office of a
teacher in the year 1950 by Thomas Giles and Thomas Paray. Shortly after
joining the church, George returned home. His father had died while he was
away. His brothers and sisters felt that he had disgraced them by joining the
church, and would have nothing more to do with him; however his mother stood
true to her boy. She often invited his friends to her home, but she never
joined the church.
On the 6th of Oct 1850
George was ordained to the office of Elder in the Melchizideck Priesthood. This
was at Kingswood and under the hands of Joseph Stay and James Stephens and
On the 14th of Aug. 1854
George was appointed to act as preciding [sic] Elder over two branches of the
church. He spent a great deal of his time visiting among the saints, preaching
the gospel and holding meetings. He enjoyed his work, and sitnessed [sic] the
power of the Lord manifest on many occasions. Many were baptized into the
church through his influence and teaching of the Lord’s work.
On the 9th of Nov 1854 a
certificate was received from Brother France saying that George could go to
America. So several days were spent visiting saints and bidding them farewell.
On Sunday 19th of Nov. He bid
his mother good-bye. She begged him not to go but his desires were too strong.
He left his mother in a flast of tears.
By train, he went to Liverpool, and
applied for a berth, but received no answer. On 21st he spent
getting his things on board ship. On Nov. 22nd he received a ticket
entitling his to a berth on board the “Clara Wheeler.”
On 23rd the ship was
towed out of the harbor. George was to preside over a district. The saints were
divided into districts. Due to great winds and the heaving of the sea, the boat
was towed back up the channel. Many became ill due to the roughness of the
Therefore on Dec 7th
1854, after a day of fasting and prayer, the winds calmed and the “Clara
Wheeler” was again towed out of the channel. Many ...[may be missing text]…Many
died on the trip across the ocean and were buried in the sea.
The 11th of Jan 1855 the
boat first docked at New Orleans. Some got off and got provisions. They arrived
in St. Louis, Missouri on 22nd od [sic] Jan. Took eleven days to go
up the Mississippi River.
George secured work in St. Louis for
supplies and money to move on. After a few days he moved to different places
and securing work each time moving farther west.
The journey across the plains was
begun n 5th of June 1855. George was a driver of an ox team. He
arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah on the 15th of August.
He went to the Salt Lake Tabernacle
and saw Brigham Young for the first time on 19th of August. After
arriving in the Salt Lake valley, George settled in Farmington, Utah. On the 13th
of Dec. 1857 George married Emma Bond, who was a neighbor and a friend in
England. They were married by John H. Hess of Farmington.
A son was born to this union on 17th
of Sept 1858. They named him George Bond. When he was about 10 days old, the
father George, was called with others to go out and meet Johnson’s Army. He had
not gone far when a boy was sent after him with a message that his wife was
very ill, and for him to come back. Emma died 10th of Oct. 1858.
Soon after her death he took his
young son and moved to Provo, Utah. Here he engaged in freighting to the
settlements south of Provo. It was in Provo where he purchased a home which
still stands at 111 South 7th West.
His wife’s relatives and his friends
helped to care for little George. When he was five years old his father married
Hannah Bond, on the 25 of Jun 1863. They were married by Andrew Scott, Provo.
Hannah was Emma’s Sister.
Their married life was all too short
as Hannah died on the 20th of March 1864 in child birth.
On the 9th of Nov 1864
George married Mary Rees. They, too, were married by Andrew H. Scott, Provo. To
this Union was born Mary Emma, Thomas, Harriet, Sarah Ellen, Elizabeth Ann,
Hagar Jane, Dinah, Ambrose, James Albert, Joseph, John Alma, Eunice Pearl, and
George was as active in his religion
in Utah as he had been in England. At different times he was called to act as
body-guard to Brigham Young. He also served in the Black-Hawk War, in Captain
Cluff’s Company, where they were called to help settle Indian uprisings.
When the Woolen Mills were opened
George was called by Brigham Young to take charge of the finishing department. Here
he worked until his health failed him in 1894. He was stricken with Palsy which
left him a semi-invalid.
A Horse and buggy was given to
George, by a friend and everyday during the latter years of his life he could
be found taking an afternoon drive.
His mortal life ceased 19th
He was a good father, and was loved
and respected by his friends and neighbors. He was a man of unusual faith and
vision. He always taught his family that living the gospel and obeying the
principals it would bring them the greatest joy in life.
At the time of his death; he was a
High Priest, and was one of the original prayer circle that was organized in
the Provo Second Ward, in 1890.