John A Lewis
BIOGRAPHY OF JOHN A. LEWIS AND ANN JOHN (Original Pioneers, 1854)
Written by Agnes Lewis Durrant (granddaughter) Daughters of Utah Pioneers of Camp 4-6: Utah County, Provo, Utah
John A. Lewis was the eldest son of Edmund Lewis and Amelia Preece. He was born December 11, 1814, at Llandaff, South Wales. (Edmund Lewis was born in 1771 and Amelia Preece in1780). John A. Lewis was a rock mason by trade and a master builder. He with his brother built the Cardiff docks. He was educated as a Weselyn minister.
He did not hear of Mormonism until after his second marriage in Wales to Mrs. Priscilla Merriman Phillips in 1851. Mrs. Merrimen was the daughter of Joseph and Mary Merrimen and was born February 22, 1811. She had a little daughter Louise (Pace) and her dead sister’s daughter, Caroline Matthews (Aunt Caroline Pace) when she married John A. Lewis. He welcomed them all into his home. He studied the gospel carefully for two years and then embraced it. He left Cardiff by train for Liverpool, England, January 22, 1854. Here he secured first class passage for his entire family on the ship, “Golconda” and set sail for the United States January 25, 1854.
They arrived at New Orleans March 16th, being seven weeks on the water. It was a sailing vessel and some days the high winds would drive them back farther than they had progressed the previous day. After a short stay in New Orleans John A. Lewis secured first class passage on the boat “john Simmons”, and sailed up the Mississippi River to St. Louis.
They were delayed for awhile for the boat was stranded on a sand bar. Upon arriving they were taken from the boat in vehicles to McFees Camp Ground on the outskirts of St. Louis where the saints were camped preparing to go to Utah. After about three months of preparation and delay they departed from St. Louis and started on their journey across the plains in the Darwin Richardson Company.
They arrived in Salt Lake City September 30, 1854. They first settled in Brigham City until Johnston’s Army came and then they moved to Spanish Fork. Two children were born to John A. Lewis by his second wife. Amelia who married Moses Gay was born in Cardiff, South Wales.
John Samuel was born on the plains somewhere in Nebraska. He married Mary Jane Warner. Before leaving Cardiff, John A. Lewis was desirous of buying a home in the west for his family so they would have a place to go to when they arrived. Elder Dan Jones recommended a nice farm and home that he owned. Thinking he could trust him John A. Lewis paid $500 for it but when he reached the valley and located it he found the land covered with sage brush and no home at all. He told Brigham Young how he had been deceived and when Brigham held council he had Elder Jones up before it and Jones promised to pay the money back but he never did. He did, however, give John a pair of mules and a buggy.
John A. brought and financed the passage for twenty-five families to America, but received very little in return payments. He lost a fortune but never lost faith in the gospel. A number of years later when Dan Jones was on his death bed, he sent for John and begged forgiveness which was granted and he seemingly died in peace.
Gwyn Morgan, an elderly lady, was sealed to John A. Lewis. We used to call her Grandma Morgan. John A. Lewis’ second wife, Priscilla Phillips Merriman, had Louise (Pace) and her dead sister’s little daughter, Caroline Matthews (Pace) when she married John A. Lewis. John A. Lewis died November 4, 1887.
DAUGHTERS OF UTAH PIONEERS
Lewis, John A. (Son of Edmund Lewis, born 1771, and Amelia Preece, from 1780, of Cardiff, South Wales, who were married in 1800).
He was born December 11, 1814, at Llandaff, South Wales. Came to Utah September 30, 1854, Darwin Richardson company. Married Ann John (daughter of John and Elizabeth John, who were married about 1808). She was born May 3, 1818. Their children: Ann born June 25, 1836, married Henry Clegg 1855; Mary born November 22, 1839, married Joshua Hawks December 21, 1859; Fredrick born May 29, 1844, married Agnes Ferguson January 28, 1865; William born January 6, 1847, married Sarah Ann Malcom April 3, 1875,
Family resided Salt Lake City, Brigham City and Spanish Fork, Utah.
Married Priscilla Merrimen in 1851 (daughter of Joseph and Mary Merrimen), who was born February 22, 1811, at Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Their children: Amelia Priscilla born June 3, 1854, married Moses B. Gay February 22, 1874; John Samuel born July 13, 1854 married Mary Jane Warner December 28, 1874. Missionary to Wales 1872-74.
Planted first orchard at Brigham City in 1856. Assisted in bringing immigrants to Utah in 1854. Contractor and builder. ***refer to the life history of Ann Lewis Clegg (oldest child of first wife) for more information Orem City Library and Spanish Fork City Library From the Book: Spanish Fork: City on the Rio De Aguas Calientes Compiled and written by: LaNora P. Allred Published by: JMart Publishing Co., Spanish Fork, Utah Copywright 1981 page 24: (1862)
Spanish Fork was growing, and as a consequence more schools were needed. The city was divided into two school districts with the division line being Fourth North. This necessitated the building of a school on the north side. The new school was built on the corner of the Bowen Block on Fourth North between First and Second East. It was called the White Schoolhouse because it was whitewashed on the outside, and it was the first schoolhouse in Spanish Fork to be built with a shingle roof. Trustees of the first district were Cyrus Snell, Levan Simmons, and Thomas C. Martell; of the second district they were John A. Lewis, Adolphus Babcock, and Thomas Gay. page 39: (1877)
The first public building to be built of brick was the City Hall, which was officially opened on January 12. The cost of the hall was $3,123.71. John A. Lewis laid the rocks for the foundation in 1874, and the building was constructed of light-colored brick. Charles C. Hales was the contractor for the brick laying, and John Murray was appointed as superintendent of construction. Wages were $3 per day. Lumber for the hall was bought from the Spanish Fork Lumber & Wagon Road Company. The lower floor was to be divided into offices, courtroom etc., and it was decided to rent the lower room for dancing at $12 per night including lights, fire, and the services of one policeman.
John Samuel Lewis bought a ranch known as Old Dairy in Spanish Fork Canyon. Lewis raised cattle, and Mrs. Lewis made cheese and butter.
Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude DUP F to L age 1784 Priscilla Merriman Phillips Lewis John A Lewis was a missionary to Wales 1872 -1874