John A. Lewis was a stone mason, born in 1814 in Llandaff, Wales. In 1834 he married his 16-year-old sweetheart, Ann John. She was born in Cardiff in 1818. She and John had 7 children while they lived in Cardiff. Four of them survived childhood. In 1850, at the young age of 32, Ann died and was buried at Saint John’s Parish in Cardiff. John married again and had 2 more children.
While in Cardiff, John A. Lewis was a wealthy man. After studying and being converted to the LDS faith, he left his homeland and paid passage for many families to come to America. In 1854 he and his children crossed the plains, arriving in the Great Salt Lake Valley September 30.
Upon his arrival, he began working on the foundation of the Salt Lake Temple. Then President Brigham Young sent John A. and his family north, to the Brigham City area, where they needed a good stone mason. He and his son, Frederick built several stone houses there.
John planted a peach orchard with the peach stones given him by Brigham Young. He prepared the ground, dedicated it for planting, and asked God to bless his efforts. His fruit orchard was the first to bear fruit in the area.
John never again enjoyed the ease of the life he had in Wales, but he left a legacy of generosity and music and service. And peaches!
Below is a photo of the original headstone of John A. Lewis. It is in our back yard. When the stone broke, the family replaced it with a new one. It seemed right that another John Lewis who married another Ann should be memorialized here, in our yard. Parts of the old stone of his 3rd wife, Gwen Morgan Lewis are just below his.