LeRoy Payne Holt b. 27 March 1838, d. 10 Nov 1910

Leroy Holt was the son of James and Mary Pain Holt. He was born 27 March 1838 in Johnston County, Illinois. He moved with his parents and family to Nauvoo, Illinois in the fall of 1841 and remained there during the excitement caused by the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.

Soon after the death of the Prophet, the family left Nauvoo with James Emmett and others for the Rocky Mountains. They camped on the Iowa River, about five miles above Kitchens Settlement, the highest point on the river. Three of his family died there, his mother Mary Pain Holt in October 1844, and his brother Leander the same year and an infant, John James on February 19, 1845.

The James Emmett Company, of which James Holt was a part, had many trying experiences during the more than two years they lived in North Iowa Country. The whole company suffered from hunger and fear of Indians. It was while they were there that James married Parthenia Overton on February 11, 1845. She had helped care for many who were sick. She had tried to save James’ baby but was unable to. When the camp was called back to the body of the Church in Council Bluffs they were present at the meeting when Brigham Young was sustained as President of the Church

Parthenia and James had three children born while they were living in the Council Bluffs area. Her first son, Dandridge Holt died in Iowa while he was very young. Two other children were born there; Joseph Overton Holt and Nancy Catherine Holt. Joseph Overton died in Ogden, Utah after the family made the trek west. Franklin Overton was born after the family started moving to the Rocky Mountains. The family took three months to cross the plains, arriving in Ogden, Weber County 27 October, 1852. The next spring after arriving at Ogden, James bought a farm in North Ogden for $350.00. The summer of 1855 was severe due to crickets and grasshoppers and that winter was known as the “Hard Winter” with many cattle dying. In the fall of 1857, LeRoy and his brother William helped in the action against Johnston’s Army. LeRoy was age 19 and William Alma was age 15 so he was unable to be very involved in the action.

From William Alma’s personal history we can read the following: “I will give here a short account of the few campaigns I was in. On the 30th of September we had orders to march to Ogden City. We got there by dark and camped in the street, but before I go any further I will state that my brother had gone with a few others as spies to watch the enemys moves and while they were doing that they cut off the army from their luggage wagons, ran off their teamsters and set the wagons on fire. They also took quite a number of mules. They were fired upon but they did not return the shot nor even get hurt. Upon the next day which was October the first about two thirds were chosen. I was considered most too young being only fifteen years old.”

In January, 1858 LeRoy married Ellen Lowe, daughter of John Lowe and Ann Perrett. Their home in North Ogden was a one room log cabin with a wheat bin at one end. Three children were born to them while they lived in North Ogden. Mary Ellen was born 22 October.1858, LeRoy John was born 13 May 1861 and later another brother who died at birth.

When Mary Ellen was eight years old they moved to Hoytsville in Summit County into a small log house on the farm owned by John Lowe, father of Ellen Lowe. The farm was located west of the Weber River between Wanship and Hoytsville. Due to Indian troubles a fort was built at Hoytsville, two miles from the farm they lived on. On 27 January 1865 another daughter, Isabelle was born to LeRoy and Ellen. Isabelle married James Mills Jr., son of James Mills and Sarah Richardson. They were the parents of six children. Isabelle died 19 Sept, 1894.

In June 1866, signal fires were seen as an Indian warning and all hurriedly traveled the two miles to safety. Here a son Alma was born to LeRoy and Ellen on 26 June 1866, making 5 children in all. Alma’s mother Ellen Lowe Holt died less than three weeks later at the Indian Fort in Hoytsville on July 15, 1866 and was buried in Coalsville, Summit County, Utah. After the Indian threat was over the family sadly moved back to their little home where they lived five more years.

On July 29, 1868, LeRoy married Ellen’s sister, Parthenia Ann Lowe who was born July 13, 1851 at Council Bluffs, Iowa. She died at Coalville, Utah on October 10, 1926. She did not have any children but was a loving mother to LeRoy’s four living children as she was promised in her Patriarchal blessing. Three years after his remarriage, LeRoy built a nice frame home near the cabin. School was at Hoytsville and the children walked each way.

When Mary Ellen was 10 and LeRoy John was 7, while playing at school a 17 year old boy told them to quit and as they continued he hit LeRoy John a hard blow in the back, knocking him against a bench. Before school was out he became very sick. They hurried home, Mary Ellen carrying him part of the way. He lived only a few days. Alma, the younger brother took whooping cough about this time and died two weeks after LeRoy John.

When Thomas Alston, emigrant pioneer of 1865 and cousin of Elizabeth Reddon of Hoytsville came from Salt Lake City to teach school for the 1875-76 school year, Mary Ellen recognized him from a dream. She was told that she would marry her dream man. This happened December 26, 1878 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, where they first lived. Then in Hoytsville, Thomas taught school again and in Coalville where he was elected County and Probate Clerk and served from 1883 to 1888. He became Assistant Salt Lake County Recorder to George M. Cannon, then left on April 10, 1889 for a mission to England, leaving Mary Ellen with three young children and $125.00 per year to live on.

As previously mentioned, LeRoy served in the Echo Campaign. He also served in the Black Hawk Indian trouble. He was one of the young men who were left to set fire to the homes in Salt Lake City if Johnson’s Army should come to take the city, but they did not have to do this. His granddaughter remembered that when she was a little girl he used to hold her on his knee and sing a song composed of twelve verses about Johnson’s Army. This is what she remembered about the song. “When Uncle Sam did first send out his army to destroy us, say’s he, ‘these Mormons we will rout. They will no longer annoy us'”


LeRoy was active in the Church and fulfilled a Southern States Mission from 1888 to 1890. He was also active in civil matters, serving many years as Justice of the Peace of the Hoytsville Precinct.

The family had been Quakers before joining the Church and because of this LeRoy had some peculiar traits. He would never ask for anything at the table. One time he picked up an empty bread plate and bit a piece out of it. His teeth were so hard, it was no effort at all to crack walnuts with his teeth and he only had one decayed tooth during his life and he had it pulled.

Every Sunday LeRoy and Parthenia Ann would take the horse and buggy and go two and a half miles to church, but she would come home very provoked with him. She would want to stay and shake hands and visit a little with the people after church, but he would rush out as fast as he could and go home to take care of his cows and horses. Another thing that would provoke her was when they always had lots of company in the summer time, she would have the table loaded down with food and LeRoy would say, “Parthenia, aren’t you going to give these folks anything to eat.”

He was always on time everywhere he went. He said if he was going to be hanged he would be on time. Often, to be on time, even if a meal were just partly finished and company was there, he’d say, “time to go”, and everyone would take off.

He loved his cows and horses. He had two horses too old to work or eat very good, but he treated them like babies. He used to go to Coalville, over six miles to the mines for coal. He would go early in the morning and sometimes it would be dark before he arrived home because there would be so many other teams there for coal. Parthenia Ann would have a hot supper all ready and waiting for him but he would never eat before he had milked the cows and fed the horses no matter how cold and hungry he was. One black cow he had would always make him milk her first or she would come and push him off the milk stool.

He was a good farmer and loved to experiment on raising fruit trees and honey bees. He was a good vegetable gardener. Parthenia Ann used to sell vegetables to the market in Coalville. She also sold butter at fifteen cents a pound and eggs at ten or fifteen cents a dozen. LeRoy used to cut hay with a hand scythe or cradle and thresh grain with sticks on a canvas. Later he used more modern equipment but he always used a walking plow instead of riding like most of the farmers did, although he had a plow he could ride. As LeRoy was cutting his grain one fall he noticed a big black bear approaching from the river. He just kept on working and was relieved when the bear ambled past him and continued on his way to the hills to the west.

About 1908 or 1909 LeRoy was stricken with a stroke and his nephew, LeRoy Alston, and to take over the farm. He recovered somewhat but the doctor told him he was not to do any work or get excited over anything, even if the house burned down. One nice day he went out to the corral where his nephew was working. He thought he would just take the hand rake and help a little by raking around the posts, but he suffered another stroke, which was fatal. He fell into his nephews’ arms and he only lived a few hours. He died November 10, 1910 and was buried in Hoytsville, Summit County, Utah.

LeRoy’s children were:

Mary Ellen Holt Born 22 Oct. 1858 in North Ogden, Weber, Utah
She married Thomas Alston, by whom she bore 13 children, 4 of whom died in childhood.
Mary Ellen died, 21 August 1954

LeRoy John Holt Born 13 May 1861 in North Ogden, Weber, Utah
He died in 1868 at age 7.

Infant Child Died at Birth in North Ogden, Weber, Utah

Isabelle Holt Born 27 January 1865 at Hoytsville, Summit County, Utah
She married James Mills Jr., son of James Mills and Sarah
They were the parents of six children
She died September 19, 1894

Alma Holt Born 26 June 1866 at Hoytsville, Summit County, Utah
He died at Hoytsville, Summit County, Utah
There is a death certificate for Parthena Lowe Holt, wife of LeRoy Holt in the Utah State Archives.
She was born 13 July 1851, died at age 75:2:27 on 10 Oct 1926 in Coalville, Summit, UT.
Her parents were Daniel Lowe of Bath, England and Ann Parrott of England. She was buried in Hoytsville on 13 Oct 1926.

Birth: Mar. 27, 1838 Johnson County Illinois, USA
Death: Nov. 10, 1910 Hoytsville Summit County Utah, USA
The Coalville Times Nov 18, 1910 Hoytsville, Nov 16 –
Funeral services for the remains of LeRoy Holt were held last Sunday afternoon. The speakers were ex-bishop Sargent E. H. Rhead of Coalville. A solo was rendered by James Astin, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” All spoke in highest terms of the deceased. Those who came from distance to attend the Funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Alston of Salt Lake and Mr. and Mrs. James Mills and son of Almy, Mr.. and Mrs. Frazier of Evanston and Mrs. and Mrs. Frank Vernon of Rockport.

Family links: Parents: James Holt (1804 – 1894) Mary Payne Holt (1814 – 1844)
Spouses: Parthenia Ann Lowe Holt (1851 – 1926) Ellen Lowe Holt (1840 – 1866) *
Children: Mary Ellen Holt Alston (1858 – 1954) * Isabelle Holt Mills (1865 – 1894) *

Burial: Hoytsville Cemetery Hoytsville Summit County Utah, USA

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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