William, Sarah Talbot and Delilah McFerson Bodily


William was born May 14, 1842 in Northamptonshire, England, the son of Robert and Jane Pittam Bodily.His eight siblings are Robert born March 9, 1844, James born May 6, 1847, Mary Ann born June 19, 1848, Edwin born December 12, 1851, Joseph born December 21, 1853, Jane Elizabeth born September 19, 1855, Emma Sarah born February 23, 1858, and Lucy Matilda born April 12, 1860.

 

When he was three years old the parents moved with their family to Cape Town in South Africa.The father was a stonemason and his first work in his new home was to assist in completing the fortifications at the Cape of Good Hope, which occupied him two years.

 

From there the family moved to Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, the section having been originally a grant of three hundred acres by the government for a place of entertainment called an Inn.Robert, Williamís father, purchased the grounds and buildings from their former owner and conducted the Inn successfully for a number of years, carrying on at the same time a flourishing business as a wheelwright and blacksmith.

 

Soon after their settlement of this place the parents were converted to Mormonism, and in 1860 they came to America, landing in Boston in the spring of the year, and at once made their way over the plains to Utah.The oxen team train, which they were attached to being commanded by Captain William Budge, later an esteemed resident of Paris, Idaho.

 

In the spring of 1861 the family settled at Kaysville, Utah where they secured land and engaged in farming, the father working at his trade also.Their son William was educated in Cape Colony and was eighteen years old when the family came to the United States.Here he assisted his father on the farm until 1862, when he was sent to Omaha by the Church to conduct a party of emigrants to Utah.

 

On his return he remained at home for a few months and in October 1864 was married to Sarah Talbot and moved to Eden, Utah in the Ogden Valley where he bought a farm and tilled it until 1867.The next three years were passed at Kaysville and in 1871 he moved to Hyde Park in the Cache Valley remaining there until 1872 when he came to live in the upper part of the valley.He located on the ranch in Fairview precinct, eight miles south of Preston, Idaho and which remained his home until the time of his passing on May 31, 1927.

 

There was but one other settler in this region at the time of his coming and, although others soon followed, the trials and privations of the early years were extreme and almost insurmountable.In time, however, by unity and persistence of effort the small band of hardy pioneers made an impression on the wild waste and it began to return with interest whatever they committed to its care.They were indefatigable in constructing roads, bridges and irrigating canals and doing all that was possible to push the development of the country, even though their implements of labor were crude and insufficient and the conveniences of life were, for the most part, unattainable.

 

William had learned the trade of carpentry and during the early years of his residence in this neighborhood he found an urgent and continued demand for his mechanical accomplishments in building dwellings and other structures for the use of the people.Of later years he devoted his time and energies almost wholly to his farm and his dairy business.From 1877 to 1883 he was employed in the construction of the temple at Logan.

 

This work, although not so far from his home, necessarily interfered to a considerable degree with the development and improvement of the latter.Still, he prosecuted this as vigorously as the circumstances would allow, and eventually had one of the most advanced and highly cultivated places in the valley.

 

His devotion to the church was always ardent and paramount.He had been clerk of the ward and superintendent of the Sunday School for a number of years.In politics, he was firmly attached to the Republican Party.

 

On October 29, 1864 at Salt Lake City William married Sarah Talbot, a South African by nativity, daughter of Henry and Ruth Sweetnam Talbot, natives of England but for a number of yearís residents of Cape Colony, emigrating from that country to Utah in 1861.Six children blessed this union, William Edward, Jane Eliza (Doxey), Ruth Elizabeth (Layton), Robert Henry, James Richard, and Sarah Lovinia who lived only three months.

 

Sarah was born October 3, 1845 at Calle Hook, Winterbury, South Africa.Her fifteen siblings are Henry James born February 17, 1834, John Josiah born August 23, 1835, Thomas Benjamin born March 25, 1838, Charles Stewart born August 5, 1840, Priscilla Jane born April 22, 1842, Hannah born October 20, 1843, Albert Joseph born October 14, 1847, Richard Alfred born April 22, 1849, Edward William born January 12, 1851, Walter George born October 16, 1852, Susanna born March 12, 1854, Stephen Barton born November 15, 1855, Eliza born August 17, 1857, Hyrum Purcell born May 5, 1859, and Ruth Sweetnam born February 17, 1862.

 

Her grandparents were part of Englandís colonizing effort of 1820 and her parents, following their marriage in 1833, resided in several South African towns including Grahamstown and Calle Hook where she was born.While residing on the Thorn River in Queenstown District, the Henry Talbot family converted to Mormonism being baptized into the Church in 1858.In late 1859 or early 1860, the family moved to Port Elizabeth and on February 28, 1861 they set sail for America on the ship called Race Horse.

 

The voyage lasted about six weeks and they encountered several storms one of which was particularly terrifying and dangerous.The ship rolled and tossed so badly that the furniture was being dashed from side to side in the cabins.The passengers were locked in their cabins to drown, so they thought, as the ship was lying on its side.However, it righted itself and came through safely.The captain could not understand how the ship was saved unless it was because of the Mormons on board.

 

They landed in Boston on April 15, 1861 where they stayed for about three weeks waiting for more emigrants to come so as to make up a company.They then traveled from Boston to New Jersey where they remained for another three weeks before departing for the west in cattle cars on a train.They left the train and went by boat up the Missouri River to Winters Quarters where they acquired their outfit for crossing the plains.They crossed the plains in the company over which Homer Duncan was Captain arriving in Salt Lake City on September 28, 1861.They remained in Salt Lake City until the spring of 1862 when they moved to Layton, which became the Henry and Ruth Talbot permanent home.

 

As a young lady of seventeen, Sarah was dark complexioned, tall and slender with a very good disposition never complaining no matter what the condition.She and her father were beautiful singers and often called upon to sing in programs and entertainments.

 

Following marriage in October of 1864, she and husband William resided in Kaysville, Eden, Hyde Park and finally the new settlement called Fairview just over the Utah border in Idaho.The now family of seven lived in a one-room log cabin where Sarah was kept busy caring for her family, sewing, spinning, cooking and helping her pioneer husband in every way possible.On September 23, 1873 she gave birth to their sixth child, Sarah Lovinia, and on October 8, 1873, Sarah died of milk fever.

 

William, on January 4, 1875 at Salt Lake City, married his second wife, Delilah McFerson, a native of Utah, daughter of Dimon Runnels and Mary Ann Neas McFerson, the father a native of New Hampshire and the mother of Pennsylvania.They came to Utah in 1851 and settled in Kaysville.This marriage resulted in eight children, seven of whom were reared to maturity, Mary Matilda (Stewart), Frank Edwin, Charles David, Lydia Emma (Lake), Leah Bathsheba (Rawlings), Daniel Dimon, and Herbert Neas.Another daughter Miriam died on February 28, 1880 at the age of ten months.

 

Delilah was born January 5, 1852 in Kaysville, Utah.Her eleven siblings are Sarah Ellen born October 20, 1846, William born May 10, 1848, Abner born September 14, 1849, Lydia born August 26, 1853, Israel born September 14, 1855, Jedediah born December 7, 1856, Mirian born October 12, 1858, Mary Anne born November 4, 1860, Rhoda Matilda born May 6, 1863, Dolly born March 7, 1865, and David born March 31, 1867.

 

All of her early childhood was spent in Kaysville where she attended the schools in that community.She was always a cheerful willing girl and helped with the household tasks that were common to all pioneer homes.

Delilah and William stayed in Kaysville for a short time after their marriage and then they went to live in Fairview, Idaho taking three of Williamís children to live with them; Jane, age nine; Robert, age five; and James, age three.In her capable and kind way she became a real mother to these children and willingly did the work of the pioneering and caring for them.

 

Two years after her marriage, William was called to work on the Logan Temple.He donated half of his time and received part produce for the other half of his pay so Delilah had but little to do with.She and the little boys took care of most of the farming as William was away most of the time for seven years at this work.She was the one who held the plow for most of the plowing until the boys grew old enough to do it.Her house was always kept clean and orderly even if she did have to work out of doors.

 

Delilah spent most of her time with her family.She was never one to participate in public or social life although her home was always open to company.She was a good Latter Day Saint but never held many offices.She was too retiring to hold offices yet she served for years as a Relief Society Teacher and was very faithful in her calling.She assisted in sending five of the boys and one son-in-law on missions for the church.

 

Her husband died on May 31, 1927 leaving her and the two youngest boys.They remained in the home and farmed the land.At the marriage of the youngest boy he brought his wife to live with them.He and his family stayed with her until her death on May 28, 1933.This daughter-in-law who had lived with her said the following:

 

ďI donít know much about her history, but I can tell you she was one of the kindest and best persons I ever knew.In all the nine years that I lived with her I never saw her lose her temper or raise her voice nor say a bad word about anyone.Ē†† In her funeral one of her stepsons said, ďI donít know much about a real mother as mine died before I knew her very much but it would be impossible, I think, for the Lord to make a better mother than this woman has been to me.Ē

 

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William Bodily Descendants


SOURCE:History of Fairview by the members of the Sara Mar Camp of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.