Davidson and Farrier Family Histories

This is a site for us to upload family histories and pictures of our Davidson and Farrier family ancestors. I have not written most of the histories, although I have put together the timelines. The histories have been gathered from various sources, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of their information.

If you recognize any of these people and have information to add or correct, please post a comment, including your email address if you wish, so we can be in touch. I would love to connect with other descendants of these family members.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Joseph George Crapo, 1806-1886

  • Born 7 Nov 1806 New Bedford, Bristol, Massachusetts
  • Died 20 Sep 1886 Paradise, Cache, Utah
  • Parents: Charles Crapo and Sarah (Sally) Lucas
  • Spouse: Mary Hicks Collins (md. 12 Jun 1826 Fall River, Bristol, Massachusetts)
  • Children: Clarissa Danforth Crapo, Jonathan Collins Crapo, George Crapo, Eliza Crapo, Harriet West Crapo, Leonidus Leonard, Crapo, Prince Albert Crapo, Marcus Morton Crapo, Joseph S. Crapo, Ezra Crapo, Lorenzo Snow Crapo
Joseph George Crapo and Mary Hicks Collins

!Initial source: A family group sheet compiled by Mrs. Dorothy D. Hall (now deceased). This gives the birth which is found in town records of Freetown, Mass (FHL 904380) (lists the Charles Crapo family with birthdates of each) and in "Vital Records of Dartmouth, Mass" (FHL 974.485/D1 V2n); marriage from LDS Temple Records and Ward record of Draper, Utah (FHL 6262). Index to records of Fall River (FHL 573257) shows record of intention of marriage of Joseph Crapo and Mary H. Collins was made 5 June 1826 in vol. 2 pg 103. I know of no record of marriage being found in Massachusetts civil records. It has the death from an obituary in Deseret News 12 Sep 1888 (FHL 26603)

No record has been found of his original baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but records of Draper, Utah, LDS Ward show he was rebaptized along with many other members 29 Mar 1857. His endowment record looks like the baptism date is 14 Dec 1841 but it could be 1847. LDS temple ordinances are in the 1997 IGI from temple records. Manti temple records show 11 children of Joseph G. & Mary H. Crapo sealed to them 4 May 1938. The 1850 census of Bristol Co., Mass (FHL 14703), dated 16 Aug, says Ezra B. was 1/12 yrs old. Other family information from "Davenports in America" by D. D. Hall, "Crapo Genealogy" by G. L. Randall, (copies of these two also found in the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah), and various biographies written by descendants, all in possession of Marva D. Rydalch, 3567 E. Jill St., Idaho Falls, ID 83401.

Joseph George Crapo was the only one of his father's family who joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and went west to Utah. In none of the records of Massachusetts does the second name "George" appear. The record of his birth in the Freetown records gives only the name Joseph. He had a half uncle Joseph, about seven years older, so he may have assumed the name to distinguish between the two. In a biography of his daughter, Clarissa, written by her daughter, Eudora, found in "Davenports in America", it says he grew up on his father's farm in New Bedford, met a pretty little Irish girl, Mary Hicks Collins, and fell in love with her. But his father was opposed to the marriage. The biography also said he did not like farming and wanted to acquire a fishing boat and follow that trade, and that his father agreed to the marriage if he would stay on the farm until his younger brother was old enough to take over.

There is an entry in the court records of Bristol Co. showing a Joseph Crapo of Troy (later called Fall River) entering suit in March of 1830 against a Charles Crapo for collection of debt. It was continued until 1834 when it was dismissed because the plaintiff didn't appear. There is nothing in the court records to indicate whether this was his father or his brother.

There is no record in Massachusetts nor Maine 1830 census of a Joseph Crapo. All censuses before 1850 name only the head of the household and give the number of persons in the house by sex and age group. In the 1830 census it looks as though none except the unmarried children are with his parents, Charles and Sarah, but there are extra people of the right ages in the census record of Silas Collins of Troy (Fall River) to indicate that Mary and their two children could have been with them. However, the usual practice in these cases was to give the name of the persons if the surname were different, and there is no other surname given besides Collins. It is possible that, since Mary was his daughter, they would not have followed that rule.

Clarissa's biography says that Joseph and Mary went to Maine about 1830 to earn money for a fishing boat, leaving Clarissa with her grandparents, Charles and Sarah Crapo. Temple records in Utah show twins born in 1833 to Joseph and Mary and that they died in infancy, no birthplace given. These records show that the fifth child, Harriet W., was born 1835 in Shirley, Maine.

A biography of Joseph's son, Jonathan, written by his son Charles, says that Joseph was working as a longshoreman in Boston harbor when he (Jonathan) was born (Feb 1830), that he followed this work until his family numbered four or five children and he decided to get on a farm so went to try his luck in Maine, leaving Jonathan with his grandparents. (Note that this is different in some details from the biography of Clarissa.) The Maine land records (see below) show that he held property in Maine in April 1830. Also, it would not be reasonable that he went to Maine in order to get on a farm because his father's will shows he had extensive farm land. The version in Clarissa's story seems more believable.

This same biography says Jonathan was 8 years old when his parents went to Maine. It is more likely that they left Jonathan with his grandparents after they returned from Maine, when they went to ply the fishing trade. According to Clarissa's biography, that was about 1840, when Jonathan would be 10 years old. Also, the 1840 census shows a boy aged between 10 and 15 in the household of Charles and Sarah Crapo. As their youngest son was then 27, this is probably Jonathan, who was then 10 years old. The 1850 census, which was the first to give names of all in the household, names Jonathan, still with them. The biography of Jonathan says he was apprenticed to his grandfather.

Land records of Somerset Co., Maine, show Joseph Crapo, of Solon, mortgaging 80 acres of land in Solon 16 Apr 1830 to James Jones. It states "together with Mary my wife...have hereunto set our hands and seals ..." but her name doesn't appear with his in the signature although there are two "seals" shown. Perhaps the seal is in lieu of her signature. No previous deed is there to show how they acquired the land. Joseph's grand-uncle Joshua had land in New Portland, 10 miles southwest of Solon and died there May 1834. This may be a clue as to how he acquired it. However no records have been found yet in further evidence. There is also no further record to show them selling this land so perhaps they let it go for the mortgage because, on 5 Jan 1836 Joseph Crapo of Shirley purchased from James Arnold, for $300, 100 acres in Shirley, which is about 30 miles north of Solon on the Piscataquis River, and is now in Piscataquis Co. They mortgaged this land the same day to the seller for part of the cost - $125.50, but here again Mary is named in the document and two seals are shown but her signature does not appear. Then on 20 Feb 1836 he mortgaged it to Isaac Phillips for $80 and sold it 18 Apr to Horace Flanders for $350. The next year, 4 Oct 1837, this man sold the land back to Joseph for $400 who then, on the same day, mortgaged it to his brother, Charles W. Crapo, for $800 and again to Mr. Flanders for $480. Although both were dated the same day the mortgage to Charles was recorded 5 Oct 1837 and the one to Mr. Flanders, 25 Oct 1837. This was the last record shown in Maine so perhaps they relinquished the farm to Charles W. or Mr. Flanders and returned to Fall River as Leonidas Leonard, according to family and temple records, was born there in 1838. However, since Mary's name did not appear in any except the first two deeds, it could be that she returned to Fall River before he did.

A history of Piscataquis County, by Rev. Amasa Loring, 1880, says the first enterprise in Shirley was a sawmill, the town then called "True's Mills". Early maps show the town name as "Shirley Mills". Lumber mills were the main businesses for many years. So it is likely that was the work Joseph did to earn money for his fishing boat.

There is an interesting fact to be noted in the research of the family of Joseph's maternal grandparents, Elijah Lucas and Sarah Shaw. A quit claim deed of 22 May 1835, found in records at Taunton, shows that Jacob Lucas, brother of Joseph's mother, was then living in Shirley, Somerset, Maine, and her sister Azuba and her husband, Winslow Birden, living in Willington, Somerset, Maine.

The 1840 census shows a Joseph Crapo back in Fall River with two males under 5, one age 10 to 15, three age 20 to 30 and one age 30 to 40, two females under 5, one age 10-15 and one age 20 to 30. The one male 30 to 40 could be Joseph and the female 20 to 30, Mary, but according to the makeup of their family as shown by family records and the 1850 census, they would have had only one boy under 5 (Leonidas) and one 10 to 15, (Jonathan), only one girl under five (Harriet) and one 10 to 15 (Clarissa). The three males age 20 to 30 and the extra boy and girl under 5 remain a mystery. Perhaps the twins were still alive at this time, however, if they were born in 1833 they would have been over 5 in 1840. Could it be that they were born after Harriet instead of before? The 1850 census shows the family in New Bedford (pg 56) with all their surviving children except Jonathan, (who is listed with his grandparents), and with Clarissa, her husband and their son. Ages were Joseph, 42, laborer, Mary, 40, Harriet W., 14, Leonidas L., 12, Prince A, 9, Marcus M, 6, Ezra B, 1/12, Davenport, Edward, 28, dealer in shoes, Clarissa, 22, Joseph C, 10/12, all born Massachusetts except Harriet born Maine. The baby Joseph C. was on page 53 but it looks like the pages were mis-numbered as household number is the same as for Joseph Crapo on page 56.

Clarissa's biography says that the family returned from Maine when she was 12 (1840) and bought a fishing boat. It tells some of her memories of the fishing activity (see her biography) and says that, when she was 19 (1847) the boat was lost in a storm at sea and Joseph was picked up by an outgoing vessel and taken to France. It says he was there over a year before he could earn enough money for passage back home, during which time he was mourned as dead. This is not mentioned in Jonathan's biography, which seems strange. But, since he was with his grandparents until after he was 20 years of age, (1850) perhaps it didn't impress on his mind enough for him to relate it to his son, Charles, who wrote the biography from memory of things told him by his father. Clarissa's biography says the family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1845. Her endowment record says she was baptized 9 Apr 1845 but Joseph's says he was baptized 14 Dec 1841. (This could possibly be 1847 as the writing is not very clear) Mary's says Sep 1854 for her. No other records have been found of their original baptisms but they were rebaptized along with many other members in Draper, Utah, in 1857.

As Jonathan's biography states, they sold their property and left to gather with the Church, sailing down the coast to the Gulf of Mexico and up the Mississippi to St. Louis, then went to Kanesville, (now Council Bluffs) Iowa, winter quarters for the migrating church. There they rented a farm and awaited events as the Church was migrating to the Rocky Mountains. Lorenzo S. was born there 29 Nov 1852. In 1853 they went with the Miller and Cooley Co. to Salt Lake Valley. According to records of that company there were eight people in their family and they had four wagons, three horses and eighteen cattle. Harriet is listed separately with her husband, Alvin M. Montierth. Clarissa and her husband and baby had traveled to Salt Lake earlier from Massachusetts.

The Crapo family settled first in Draper. Draper Ward records, pg 2, show that he, his wife and three sons, Albert, Leonard and Jonathan, were rebaptized during the "Reformation" 29 Mar 1857. (Paradise Ward Records, pg 36, show he was again rebaptized 1 Nov 1886 by John Welch, Jr., confirmed 7 Nov 1886 by J. S. Price.) The biography of Jonathan says no land was available in Draper so they went up into the foothills and located on a small spring about a mile south of what is now Granite, which they called "Crapo Springs". There were a few acres of ground tillable but not water enough to provide for the family and the cattle they had accumulated so, after a few years they, with other families, looked for a better place to settle.

Clarissa's biography says that in 1860 Joseph, with three companions, his son-in-law, Alvin M. S. Montierth, and William Smith and Barnard White, went to Cache Valley and found a desirable place. It was a little cove where Avon is now located, at the forks of East Creek and Little Bear River with plenty of water available. It was very beautiful with its green meadows and hills and profusion of spring flowers. They speedily built a log cabin and returned to Draper for their families. They said the valley was like Paradise and when the first families arrived there on the 18th of July 1860, they gave it that name. Eight log cabins were built that summer in a fort formation and the men, working together, raised a good crop.

But they soon found it was not all that desirable. In choosing their town site, they had unwittingly chosen a junction of Indian trails. Those through East Canyon led to Wyoming, others led north to Idaho and south to Ogden and other southern Utah points. Many tribes used these trails and Chief Washakie became a well known figure to the settlers as he and his tribe traveled back and forth through the valley.

It was ideally located for Indian camps and the settlers found it necessary to guard their cattle closely. A large public corral was built for the stock, with a high, strong pole fence and guards were stationed here and outside the fort day and night. The men went in armed groups to the fields to work and to the canyons for logs. As they were far from other settlements, the utmost vigilance was necessary at all times to protect themselves and their property from the Indians. Church meetings were held in the homes that first year, with the oldest elder present, usually Joseph George Crapo, presiding. In February, 1861, Apostle Ezra T. Benson and Peter Maughn organized the church in the settlement and David James, who had moved to Paradise from Salt Lake City, was ordained the first bishop.

Clarissa's biography goes on to say that the summer of 1861, Joseph Crapo and H. C. Jackson built a small sawmill on East Creek near the fort and the first timber was sawed. This small mill was the beginning of a fruitful business in the valley in later years.

Bishop James was very tactful and careful in his dealings with the Indians and strictly heeded the advice of President Young, "to feed, not fight them." The people were very generous in supplying the needed provisions. Chief Washakie came on several occasions and asked for supplies, offering as pay in exchange, all the land east of Paradise. When Bishop James would remonstrate, saying he had received that land as pay the time before, Chief Washakie would smilingly offer to sell it again. The Crapos bought an Indian girl about this time. They gave a yearling heifer for her. They gave her the name of Naomi and she lived with them for many years until her death which was brought on by a fall. She was an excellent housekeeper and seemed very contented and happy with her foster family.

In 1867 and 1868 the Black Hawk Indians in southern Utah were causing the people much trouble and anxiety. As the Indians in northern Utah and Idaho were becoming restless and more hostile, the settlers all moved back into the fort, but more protection was needed. Apostle Benson advised the people in Paradise to move their settlement about three miles north, closer to Hyrum and other settlements and in more open country. This they did in the spring of 1868.

It was a considerable sacrifice to these early pioneers to commence a new settlement again so soon. Homes were moved where possible or new ones built, and equipment and stock moved to the new town site. The canal from East Creek was extended and finished in time to irrigate the new fields. This was a huge undertaking when it is remembered that except for the preliminary plowing, the canal was built by hand. In a history written by Edla Brower Tuttle, a gr-grand-daughter, she said Joseph and Mary sold the Paradise home to their son and moved to Five Points, Ogden, where he built a fine brick house on S Street, which at the time of her writing was still standing and in good condition. They sold it and moved back to Paradise in 1883.

Joseph and Mary lived in Paradise the rest of their lives, dying just three months apart in 1888. They lost five children in infancy and childhood, and raised six who married and had large families. Their posterity must now number in the thousands.


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“Joseph George Crapo was born 7 November 1806 in the fishing town of New Bedford, Bristol, Massachusetts. Joseph was lost at sea when his boat capsized while he was working his oyster beds. He was picked up by a passing ship, bound for France, but his family believed him to have drowned. It took him over a year to earn his passage back to the United States, where he was reunited with his family. Converts to the Mormon faith in Massachusetts, Joseph George Crapo and his wife, Mary Hicks Collins Crapo, of Fall River, Bristol, Massachusetts, immigrated to Utah in 1853 with the Miller and Cooley Company. He and Mary were in the first group of settlers at Avon, Utah in 1860. Joseph George died just two months shy of 82 in Paradise, Cache, Utah.”


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