Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Price Williams Nelson Biography

(Source: http://www.angelfire.com/ne/hoopesgenealogy/pricewillimsnelson.htm

Price Williams Nelson (Verna Nelson's paternal grandfather, Jay Richardson's great-grandfather) was born on November 17, 1822 at Monroe County, Illinois or possibly across the river in the new settlement Keokuk, Iowa. His parents were Edmond Nelson and Jane Taylor and he was named after his father's Uncle Price Williams. Shortly after his birth, his parents moved to Jefferson County, Illinois, where they lived until he was about 14 years of age.

Price Williams was a hard working boy and he became a rather retiring, and very quiet young man, but always willing to lend a hand. He loved to swim and hunt and enjoyed helping his uncles with their ferryboats. In the spring of 1836 his father was baptized into the Mormon Church and then followed the Church movement to Missouri. Price was baptized in 1837, when he was 15 after spending the winter suffering from rheumatic fever.

The Nelsons continued to stay with the Saints and underwent the terrible persecutions inflicted upon them. When the rest of his family started west, Price and his brother, Hyrum, remained behind to work on the steamboat. About four years later he drove his Aunt Martha's team west and joined his father's family at Council Bluffs and crossed the plains with them.

Bishop James Lake was appointed captain of a company of fifty wagons, including Price's. Price's younger brother, Thomas, describing the journey, wrote "we all enjoyed the travel with the Saints across the plains. My brother Price Williams stood guard all the way across the plains. But we had plenty of good men and good women, and lots of young folks and plenty of good singers, plenty of music and lots of preaching, lots of good singing and praying. We entered Salt Lake a happy band of Saints."

Bishop Lake's daughter, Lydia Ann, told of the bravery of Price Williams on the trip: "The most vivid event of the journey occurred at Green River, Wyoming. In crossing the river a wagon box floated off and began drifting down stream. In the box were a young woman named Snider and a girl about nine years old. All was excitement for a few minutes. The only man of the company who dared to swim the stream and effect a rescue was Price Williams Nelson. Up to that time I had paid no particular attention to him. After this event we became better acquainted. We were married on the last day of the year of 1850 in the old Fort at Ogden. Of the many things said at that time, the prophetic utterance of my father proved the most true. He said, 'Price is a good man, but he will never be content anywhere.'"

The newlyweds moved to San Bernardino, California in June of 1852. They moved from there to Payson, Utah and then to Franklin, Idaho, then to Logan, Utah where Price ran a sawmill. Then Price was called on a mission to settle the Muddy Mission in Southern Nevada, but due to troubles with the Nevada government, they moved to Glendale, Utah. He was called to settle Arizona. Price worked at Lee's Ferry, then moved to Moencopi, where they were among the first settlers there. They moved to Pine Creek, near Payson, Arizona, where they went into ranching and had a good home. It was while they were living there that Price Williams and his family traveled to St. George to have his family sealed in the temple there. He was the father of thirteen children. Then they moved to Cave Valley in Mexico, where Price set up a grist mill. After a few years he moved to Oaxaca, Sonora, Mexico and made a home about five miles up the river from town.

In describing Price, a niece, Lora Nelson, said that Price Williams was never talkative. He loved pioneering and always lived on the frontier. He was always straight as an arrow. He wore his black hair quite long and cut straight across the back. He was extremely particular about his dress, especially his shirts. They had to be tucked just right in front. He also loved to give his grandchildren nicknames like Squint, Skunk, and Pocahontas, and he enjoyed entertaining the children as soon as they were old enough to follow him around.

He had good health and seldom complained of ailing until he got dropsy. In the fall of 1902 Price's heart began to fail and his legs were badly swollen, so his family was summoned. There was no doctor within one hundred fifty miles. After they thought he was dead and had left the room, they heard a noise. He had rallied and asked them to help him sit up. He then admonished them to do better, to live better lives, and to attend to their duties. He told them to love one another and always be kind to each other. After he had given his family this blessing, he relaxed and died. This was on October 27, 1902, during this 80th year.

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