Emery Co. UTGenWeb Site



William Burgess Jr.


William Burgess, Jr.

     William Burgess Jr., like his father was a Utah pioneer of 1848 in the Brigham Young Company, under the direction of that intrepid leader whom he made his second trip to the valleys of the mountains.

      He was born 1 March 1822 in Putnam, Washington, New York.  He gave throughout his life the best he had in the service of his fellowmen and his people.

      Before coming to Utah, he was active in the cause he had espoused.  He worked on the Nauvoo Temple and was intimately acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Church leaders.

      He went on a mission among the Indians of Salmon River, Idaho.  He was a peace maker and friend of the red man.

      When it became necessary to defend the lives and property of his own people, he did not flinch.  He was an Indian War Veteran and took part in the Echo Canyon incident at the approach of Johnston's army.  He was a colonel in the Second Regiment of the Territorial Militia., 1854, and captain of the Third Company, fifth Regiment of the Nauvoo Legion.

      He took an active part in Church work.  He was a High Priest and a Counselor to President Thomas S. Smith, and was President of the Seventies Quorum at Huntington.  He and his family, his father and family, and a few others were called to go down to Southern Utah and settle the Dixie Country.  They went to a beautiful little valley, called Pine Valley.  Here he set up and operated a saw mill.

      President Brigham Young rode on horseback to Pine Valley where he picked out a large straight tree to make the Tabernacle Organ out of.  William and his father and brothers cut down the tree and sawed it in their sawmill.  The it was hauled by ox team to Salt Lake City.  It took six weeks to make the trip.

      He and his family moved to Huntington, Emery Co. where he owned and operated a grist mill.  He was general manager and owned an interest in the Co-Op store.  He was successful agriculturist, a large land owner, a very good carpenter and mechanic.  In fact, he could work at most any trade.  He also kept bees.

      He was a leader, a wise safe counselor, and was a fiend to many.

      William Burgess Jr. died at his daughters, Annetta Robbins, home in Huntington, 14 March 1904.  He is buried beside his first wife, Mariah Pulsipher in the Huntington City Cemetery.

      (This record was taken from the book, "Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah" by Eashomi, and from an account told to me (Sarah Burgess Krivanec, granddaughter of William Burgess, Jr.) by Reuben Gardner, a Pioneer with the Burgess Family in Pine Valley.

**    July 18, 1921, in the evening around a campfire just back of the Old relief Society House in Pine Valley, a group of men and Scouts from Moapa Nevada Stake (about 60 in number) were assembled.

      During the evening the question was asked:  Was the timber used to make the pipes for the Salt Lake Organ got here in Pine Valley?  John Thomas and Joseph I. Earl, who lived in Pine Valley at the time, said that they definitely and positively knew that William Burgess, Jr. his father and brothers did cut the tree and sawed it with their sawmill, and it was shipped to Salt Lake City by ox teams on wagons under the supervision of A.L. Kelley and Walter W. Hughes.

**    August 11, 1937 at a Hughes and Burgess re-union held at Pine Valley, James C. Burgess, son of William Burgess, Jr., who left Pine Valley in May 1881, ( a period of 56 years), and James C. Burgess took Reuben Gardner and the group of people just as straight to the sump where the tree was cut to make the pipes of the Salt Lake City Organ, as though he had been there yesterday.  Reuben Gardner said that he remembered, just as well as if it were a year ago, that the Burgess boys cut the tree and sawed it into timbers, and it was sent (the timbers) to Salt Lake City with Oxen.  He said he was just a big boy at the time.


A short sketch of the life of William Burgess Jr.,
the son of William Burgess and Vilate Stockwell.

      I was born 1 March 1822 in the township of Putnam, County of Washington, State of New York.  When I was ten years old my father and most of his family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--2 December 1832.  The next August we started to move to Jackson County, Missouri.

      We arrived in Kirtland, Ohio, the fore part of September.  The Prophet Joseph Smith advised us to stop at Kirtland and help build the Temple.  The walls of which were about four feet above the ground.  That fall, 1833, the Church was driven out of Jackson County by the mob.  In Feb. 1835, I was baptized by brother Harrison Burgess and confirmed by the Prophet Joseph Smith under the following singular circumstances:

      There had been about thirty baptized during the week, and all went to meeting Sunday to be confirmed.  We sat on three seats or benches.  I sat on the third one.  Jared Carter and Elder Cahoon were doing the confirming.  As they finished all on the first bench, the Prophet Joseph held up his hand for them to stop.  He then came directly to me, laid his hands upon my head and confirmed me.  Then told the brethren to continue, and he went back to the stand.  I lived in the Smith home two years and learned much by hearing the Prophet talk.

      I helped to build the Kirtland Temple, was at the dedication, and passed through the persecutions with the saints.  We moved to Caldwell County, Missouri in 1838.  We found the mob spirit raging, and all the old settlers with the exception of two moved away in order to have their families safe while they were fighting us.  For about three months, I did not undress only to shift may clothes.  No one except those that passed through it could know the tribulations and privations that we had to endure.  But it was for the Gospel's sake and we endured cheerfully.  I was taken prisoner by the mob and abused while in their custody.  We depended upon the Lord and He delivered us from them.

      We were compelled to leave Davis County and go to Caldwell County in December.  In the spring of 1839, we were compelled to leave the state.

      The Prophet and many others were put in prison, and the Church was driven from the state.  I arrived in Adams County, Illinois the last of March 1839.  We were compelled to leave our goods and were thankful that our lives were spared.

      On 17 Sept. 1840, I married Mariah Pulsipher, daughter of Zerah Pulsipher and Mary Brown, near Lima, Adams County, Ill.  In the spring of 1841, I moved to Nauvoo.  I was elected Captain of the Third Company, Fifth Regiment of the Nauvoo Legion.  I passed through the trials and privations with the saints of Nauvoo.  I associated in the building of the Temple.  On the 7th of January 1846, we received our endowments in the House of the Lord.  I left Nauvoo 19 Feb. 1846 with the pioneers.  I returned the last of March, fixed up as well as I could and started on 21 May for Council Bluffs, stopped in Iowa to work, and arrived at Winter Quarters on May 1848.

      After four months toil, we arrived in Salt Lake Valley 22 Sept. 1848.  We wintered in what was called the old Fort, in the Sixth Ward, Salt Lake City.  The county was new, not a house on a city lot, except the Fort.

      It commenced to snow on the 5th of December.  We had a long hard winter.  The ground was covered with snow until April.  In the spring of 1849, the Militia was organized.  I was elected Captain of the Fifth Company, First Regiment of Infantry.  In 1853, I was elected Colonel of the Second Regiment of Infantry.

      In 1854, I was ordained a President in the Ninth Quorum of Seventies.  In May 1855, I was called to go on a mission to the Salmon River.  On June 20th I started for the Salmon River.  We arrived about the 1st of July.  I was Counselor to President Thomas S. Smith.  we had a rough, hard time so far from civilization.  My nephew, Baldy Watts and J. Caress were with me.  We were there more than a year.  After returning home, we built a sawmill in Parley's Canyon.  we made lumber and shingles.  We helped saw the lumber for the Old Fort.  We made lumber and shingles for some of the first houses in Salt Lake.  My father William Burgess, Sr. and my two brothers Harrison and Malanction I worked the sawmill for three years.

      Then we were called to help build up the Dixie of Southern Utah.  In the fall of 1862, we helped build up Southern Utah, then moved to Pine Valley and started the first sawmill in that part of the country.  The timber in this part of Utah was very good, so we made lumber to help build the Salt Lake Tabernacle and the great Organ.  We were called to this part of Utah by Pres. Brigham Young.  We lived there nearly twenty years.  We also ran the first grist mill in that part of the country.

      The we moved to Thurber, Wayne County, Utah about 1880.  We farmed raised cattle for a livelihood.  About 1885, we moved to Huntington, Emery County.  At this place, I went in the bee business; and later, into the Co-Op Mercantile Inst.  Here I spent the rest of my days.

      We had nine children, five girls and four boys.  My wife passed away 26 Dec. 1892.  She was seventy years, six months and nine days old.

If you have information about this family, contact Clark Eugene Cox.


Last updated 06.02.2015