Jones, Annie (Williams) - Biography

Malad Valley Pioneers

Malad Valley Pioneers


(by Mrs. Norman Crowther)

Annie Williams Jones was born July 15, 1849 at Glamorganshire, South Wales.  She was the daughter of Thomas Williams and Annie Jones Willams.  Annie was the fifth child in a family of five.  They lived in Wales until she was 14 years old, having attended school there and also being a member of a choir that was considered one of the best in South Wales at that time.  The leader was known throughout the country for his outstanding ability as a musician.

Mother had a very beautiful soprano voice and always sang the songs she learned in Wales.  I can remember as a child listening to her singing those beautiful old Welsh ballads.

Her father and mother were converted to the Church and decided to come to America with a number of other pioneers.  They bade farewell to Wales and set sail for America May 1, 1864.  They were on the ocean for six weeks and then landed at New York.  Everything was very different from the home they had left but all were glad to be on land once more.  They left New York by train, traveling as far as Council Bluff which was as far as the railroad went at that time.  They crossed the Missouri River on a ferry boat where they met the W.S. Warren Company which was ready to emigrate “across the plains.”  This was a trip of 1,000 miles across the prairies and waste lands with ox teams and hand carts. 

No incident in human history has more of thrilling interest and impressiveness than the great journey of the Pioneers across the plains and through the mountains to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.  The story of their heroic journey has been told often, and in the hearts of their sons and daughters, as was true of the Pioneers themselves, it has been burned indelibly.

Across the almost trackless waste lands and into an unknown wilderness these heroic men, women and children made their way with ox team and hand carts.  My mother told me that she and another girl, Ruth Price, who later became Mr. Fred Thomas of Malad, walked most of the way and when the company would camp at night they, with the other children, would have to gather sagebrush and buffalo “chips” to cook their meals.

The Pioneers braved hardship, danger and death.  They crossed in the blistering heat of the summer sun but they pressed on, determined to reach their destination which was Utah.  They arrived in Salt Lake City Oct. 4, 1864 and their first winter was spent there.  In the spring they moved to Brigham where they spent the summer.  In the fall of 1865 the family moved to Malad to make their home.  All but the oldest daughter, who, with her husband, decided t go to Wyoming, mother’s oldest sister and her husband (Henry R. Evans) came to Malad.  Henry R. Evans became one of Malad Valley’s early school teachers.

On July 20, 1883 mother married James E. Jones who she met when they were crossing the plains.  He came across with the same company but when he and his boy friend arrived in Salt Lake they came directly to Malad so he had made his home here since October, 1864.  He worked for John W. Williams during the winter and also during 1865.  He also had taken up a farm and had built a log house on the corner of it.  That became their first home.  They had homemade table and chairs, a fireplace, a brass kettle, Dutch oven, a few dishes and a wooden bed all made by father and a few other men who had helped him.

They had hardships incident to pioneer life such as a shortage of food.  The grasshoppers came and destroyed their crops and they were left with very little grain so father would have to go and work elsewhere so he could get enough money to start a new crop in the spring.  At that time, outside of the acres he had cleared for farming, the sagebrush was higher than a man’s head.  Mother was greatly frightened many times by a great big Indian coming out suddenly from behind the tall sagebrush.  She would have to give them food so they would go away happy and on friendly terms.

One of the sad incidents in her life was the loss of a baby girl about 2 ½ years old in their home that burned.  That was something Mother never got over.  The cause of the fire was not determined.

Annie Williams Jones was the mother of 11 children, seven of whom grew to womanhood and manhood.  They were:  Annie Jones Evans, Elinore J. McAllister, Margaret Metcalf, James T. Jones, John W. Jones, Daisy J. Mandry and Gwenfred J. Crowther.

She was a kind and loving mother and did the best she could with what she had.  She always encouraged her children to take part and help in every way they could.  She also encouraged them to go to school.

Mother always tried to make home a pleasant place to be.  She always loved to have her children around her.  She had a wonderful memory and loved music and was always busy making the most of what she had.

In our home were the homemade carpet and rugs, and the quilts our mother made were of grateful warmth to the family on bleak winter nights.  All kinds of pieces of garments were pressed into use.  Mother’s motto was “Waste Not, Want Not,” so her life was spent doing her very best.  She also knitted stockings for the family for the cold winter days.

In 1879 they built a new home on their farm.  It was furnished with all new furnishings and they were very happy to have a nice new home for their family to grow up in.

In 1905 they sold the old farm to their sons.  Their grandson, Oren Jones, now owns the old home and lives there on part of the farm.

At the time they sold the farm they bought the J.N. Ireland farm joining the place on the north.  They made that their home until 1909 when they sold it with the exception of 3 ½ acres on the northeast corner.  A small home was erected on it and this was their home the rest of their lives.

After they retired from the farm it was decided they would like to spend some time traveling and see how the country had grown and prospered since those early days.  They visited different places of interest including Montana, Colorado, Washington and California.  They spent four winters in Los Angeles and Ocean Park.  They also visited the world’s fair at San Francisco, San Diego in 1915 and also Mexico.  They greatly enjoyed their trips.

But it seemed that fate played a sad part in their lives.  In the fall of 1916 they decided that they would stay home and spend Christmas with their family.  There were 50 of their descendants present at dinner that Christmas Day.

The trip they intended to take after Christmas was never taken as Mother suddenly passed away on December 31, 1916 at the age of 67 years.  The last chapter of her book of life was closed.  She was greatly missed by her family. 



Jones, James Evans

Williams, Annie

Williams, Thomas

Jones, Ann


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