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William Neves April 28, 2009

William Neves is the father of Richard Carl Neves who is the father of Lucy Neves.

History of William Neves

Taken from History of Burlingtonby John McIntosh (Lilias Neves’ husband.  She is the daughter of William Neves)

William Neves was born in Cross Rand, Brighton, England, on September 10, 1847. His mother, Dinah Ahdown, was a widow with two children, a boy Amos and a girl, Ruth, when she fell in love with an Earl whose name was Neves.  His folks were very much opposed to their son marrying a commoner, so they sent him to Australia as manager of their holdings there.  He intended to come back and get Dinah. She had to work very hard to feed her children. When a son was born, she named him William. It was thought that the marriage was annulled by the parents. She was never very well after the birth of her son. She was later married to a Mr. Frost. She died in childbirth in 1850. When the Earl returned, he couldn’t find her.

Frost put the children in an orphan’s home, left, and was never heard from again. The children weren’t in the Home very long. William’s mother’s brother found them and took them to live with his large family. The man’s name was Richard Ashdown.

All the Ashdown family heard the missionaries and all joined the church. They would get up early on Sunday and walk seven miles to church. Finally they saved enough money to come to America. It took the six weeks to cross the ocean. Sometimes a wind would blow them back in a few hours what had taken them days to travel.

William crossed the plains in the last handcart company. It was a long tiresome trip and many people died. It was his task to gather firewood for the fire. One evening they were late making camp. He spread his blanket by a sagebrush and went to sleep. Next morning he got up and there under the edge of his blanket was a large rattlesnake.

When coming to Utah he learned the carpenter’s trade, and worked on the Salt Lake Temple. Then the family moved to Millville and he worked on the Logan Temple until it was completed.

When he was twenty-one, he fell in love with and married Abigail Shaffer, in 1870. They lived in Salt Lake about a year then moved to Millville, where four children were born: Nancy Ann, Dinah Alice, Abbie Eve and Rosabel, twins who died at birth.

He married a second wife. Olive Ann Hovey. He built a small house on the othr side of the fifteen acre lot the family lived on. Olive had four children, Joseph, Ernest, Emaline, and Mary. Mary died at one year of age. His first wife at this time had three more children, John Isaac, Hyrum Layfayette, and Richard Carl.

While yet in Millville four other children were born to Abigail, Louis Henry, Wilford Train, Lilias Eliabeth and Chester Earl. In 1893 they made preparations to move to the Big Horn Basin. They sold their house in Milville for one team, one wagon, a harness and 1000 pounds of flour. He left all the money he could to Olive and their children and the home and lot.

On the 18 of July in 1894 they started to the Big Horn Basin with their ten living children. Their oldest daughter Nancy Ann had married Lars Nelson. HTey had one wagon and four horses. The day they left, their youngest, Lilias, took sick with typhoid fever, so they put her to bed and went on.

They went through Bear Lake Valley up Twin Creek Canyon to Ham’s Fork where they hit the old immigrant trail. Thy came to Green River and ferried across. They had some difficulty in getting the wagons up the steep bank. At the Sandy River they crossed the historic “Big Sandy Stage Station”. SouthPass was almost deserted and from there on to Lander. At Lander Abigail had a tooth pulled. They went on through the Indian Reservation and on to the Wind River Canyon where they had to ford the river. The horses had to swim and the water came up into the wagons. The cows were washed way down the river and it looked like they would be drowned but they finally got to shore.

When they got to Grass Creek a tire came off the hind wheel and broke the wheel and there was no way to repair it so they fixed a pole on that side of the wagon to hold up that side and went on. It was thirty miles to Meeteetse.

August 18 when they got there. The wheel cost $18.00 and they had $18.00 left. It was almost winter and they had thirteen people to feed and no place to live. Next day they came down the Grebull River to Jim and Eliza Shelmerdine’s place about 20 miles from Meeteetse and 8 miles west of Burlington, about at the headgate of the Burlington Canal. Eliza was Eve’s cousin. They turned their tired horses into the pasture and Will, John, and Hyrum helped Jim stack his grain and hay. They stayed there two weeks and then moved down the Greybull to Otto on Monroe Johnson’s place. They lived there a year.

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