James Quayle


See Introduction for some general background


James Quayle was born in Kirk German, Isle of Man, near Peel, on July 16, 1831 . My father Robert Quayle of Kirk Michael and my mother Cathrine Shimmin Quayle of Kirk German. I am the fourth son.

My Father’s surname and his progenitors has been Quayle as far as I can trace. My Grandmother’s maiden name was Wattleworth. My Grandfather or mother’s father’s name was Charles Shimmin. My mother’s maiden name was Cathrine Shimmin before she was married to my father Robert Quayle. There was born of this marriage eight children which I will now name: William Quayle, born 11 Jan 1824; John Quayle, born 14 Jan 1827; Robert Quayle, born 7 Oct 1829; James Quayle, born 16 Jul 1831 ; Ann Quayle, christened 24 Sep 1834; Philip Quayle, christened 19 Mar 1837, but who died about 10 months old; Christian Quayle, born 25 Dec 1838; and Thomas Quayle, christened 22 Apr 1842.

My father was a blacksmith by trade and worked at his trade till I was eleven years of age. He rented some farming land and I worked on the land all I could and went to school in the winter. My father bought a small farm called the Ballahara, on the Peel and Douglas road, two miles from Peel.

I worked at home until I was over seventeen years old, then I went to learn the joiners trade in Peel. My master’s name was John Qualtraugh. I was bound by indenture to serve four years. I did not get any wages for the first two years. The last two years I was paid two shillings a week. That is equal to 40 cents in American money. My father supplied me with food and clothing and tools all the time. I went home two miles every night and returned in the morning to be in the shop by seven o’clock. I’d go to work and worked till seven o’clock in the evening

I had to feed ten head of cows in the morning and clean out the stable before I went to work, and do the same at night after I came home two miles. This began in the month of November 1847 at which time I was troubled more or less about religion. After contrasting the doctrine that the Latter-Day Saints believed in and the doctrine I previously believed in, to my judgment I found the Latter-Day Saints correct and so I became a member of the church of Jesus Church of Latter-Day Saints to which I now belong. I was baptized in the ocean in Peel in November, 1849 by William G. Mills.

Before I served three years of my apprenticeship my master failed in business and I left. With the permission of my parents I went to sea in March 1851, in a small vessel named the George of Peel. Captain’s name was Thomas Quayle. John Samuel Quayle with writer only four men went to the Island of Stoenaway in the Northwest of Scotland in company of another vessel of about the same size and twelve herring fishing boats. We stayed at the Island Stoenaway till we got a cargo of herring barrels cured and then took passage for Stettin in Prussia. We sold the cargo of herring barrels in Stettin and took a cargo of wheat about seventy five ton to Leigh in Scotland. When we unloaded the wheat we took a cargo of coal to Wick in Scotland, unloaded the coal and took a cargo of herring barrels for Bristol, England.

We called at Peel on the way to Bristol and I left her, little better off than when I went away. This was in the first part of September 1851 . I stopped with my father for two weeks and helped them in the harvest. I then went to Liverpool to see if I could get work as a joiner, and as I was not an experienced workman - only worked at my trade a little over two years - it was difficult to get work. However, I succeeded. I got work in Birkinhead in a shop then owned by one Powis. There were about twenty joiners and carpenters. I got twelve shillings a week wage and I boarded in lower Tranmer about two miles from my work. I stayed there until April 1852. I then went to Ashton-Under-Lyne and got work at Mason’s Cotton Mill, Paul Kneale being foreman, a Manxman, and received wages of 22 shillings per week. I stopped in Ashton till the last of January 1853, when I returned home to see my parents. I stopped some ten or twelve days during which time I got ready to embark for America.

I sailed from Liverpool on Feb. 15th 1853 for Salt Lake City with the Mormons on the ship Elvira Owen, with Joseph W. Young as president of the company. I was one of two cooks, John Taylor from Ashton-Under-Lyne as the other, for 350 passengers. The small pox broke out on board the ship and two were buried at sea. Brother John R. Winder was the one who suffered most from the dread disease, but recovered. I used to make gruel for him night and day.

Got to bar of the Mississippi river 24th day of March, pulled over bar by steam boats Conqueror and Mary Kingslands after a passage of 37 days. Left Wed. March 30th, arrived at New Orleans on Thursday March 3 1 . On April 1st we sailed for St. Louis, took the river steamer James Robb and arrived there on April 9th. Left St Louis April 11th. Left goods by John Boyd’s wife. The same day she told me John Boyd died on March 11th. The steamboat Deavernon took us up the river to Keokuk, where we were to stay for seven weeks until June st, waiting for cattle & wagons to cross the plains.

We got there Tue 12th. Stopped in warehouse that night. 13th Wednesday camped the night for first time, 14th gypsying. Sunday 17th went to meeting at half past 10 o’clock prayer by Elder James Whitworth addressed by Elder Rostchin followed by Jonathan Midgley followed by Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock. Meeting dismissed by E. Spackman. Camped the week following. Sunday April 25th went to meeting. Monday 26th washing day. Tue 27th went to Nauvoo with James Whitworth, John Sheppley, and Charles Kemp. We crossed the Mississippi river in a scow from Iowa’s side to Nauvoo, and visited Joseph Smith’s store, after which I and James Whitworth went to Nauvoo Mansion to dinner, then occupied by Bidamon, the second husband of Emma Smith, Joseph Smith the prophet’s wife. After noon of same day we visited the temple, then in ruins, and places of interest in the city and surrounding country. That night to supper at Nauvoo Mansion and lodged there that night. Wednesday 28th left Nauvoo at 8 A.M. traveled to Carthage and visited the jail where Joseph and Hyrum were murdered. On the way we spoke to Joseph Smith Jun and his brother Alexander three miles from Nauvoo. They were tramping out oats with horses on the barn floor. We arrived at Carthage P.M. 18 miles from Nauvoo. Took supper at the Carthage hotel kept by Mr. C. S. Hamilton, where the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum lay the night after the murder, lodged there night of April 29th. The next morning after breakfast, took stage for the Mississippi, crossed the river and got to camp that night at Keokuk.

Left Keokuk June 1st 1853 with two yoke of oxen and a yoke of cows, with tents and wagons, Cyrus H. Wheelock being our captain. Traveled that day opposite Nauvoo, left there June 8th got to sugar creek the 9th, left there that day got within 3 miles of Farmington 10th crossed the wooden bridge over the Desmoine came 4 miles past Farmington. Got to Council Bluffs July 2nd left the Bluffs July 9th 1/2 past 2 P.M. Got over the Missouri River July 14th camped that night, left the Missouri Thursday 15th crossed the Elkhorn Saturday 16th. Crossed the Platte river Thursday 21st Crossed Prairie creek and unloaded the wagons to get over and sunk some empty in creek for a bridge. July 26th on to river, met 29 elders going on a mission to England. July 28th crossed the river 29th began to move at 1/2 past 10 AM. We kept traveling on the north side of the Platte river till Aug 11th.

Captain C. H. Wheelock called a meeting. Captain Wheelock moved that we divide the company into two parts, that Elder George Lendal be appointed to be Captain over 24 wagons and Captain Wheelock Captain over 30 wagons. Left the same at 1/2 10 A.M. got to Fort Laramie on Aug 24th, crossed the river 25th. On the 26th Bro. John Heap died, buried same day 3 miles west from Laramie on middle road south side of Platte river. John Taylor got drowned in river Platte by trying to swim to get the oxen back that had already crossed, he took the cramps and sunk. His body was not found. He was 29 years of age, left a wife, father and mother, and a brother and sister. He came from Ashton-Under-Lyne and was a cook on board ship with the writer.

We got to Independence Rock Sep 7th. Got in to Salt Lake City Oct 6th 1853 . I lived in the Eleventh ward of Salt Lake City in the same house that Cyrus H. Wheelock lived in for a few weeks, as I did not know anybody in Salt Lake City and all I had was my clothes and a few carpenter tools in a box, and one English halfpenny. I hauled wood from Red Butte Canyon and North Mill Creek with Bro Cyrus H. Wheelock’s oxen and worked at anything I could get to do until March 1854. I dug potatoes on shares. I was getting every 8th bu. for digging and picking & pitting. I moved to Grantsville in Toole to try farming with 2 yoke of Wheelock cattle but that cattle was taken back after about two months as Wheelock was called to take a mission to England. While in Grantsville I worked grubbing sage brush for 2 bu. of potatoes a day with snow on the ground 6 inches deep. I worked there until spring following. I then moved back in April 1854 to Salt Lake City and boarded with Joseph Cain, and worked at carpenter work for him and some others till Jan 1855 when I went to work at North Cottonwood - afterward called Farmington - to build a saw mill for Dr. Willard Richards’ family, Joseph Cain being administrator for the Estate. During this time I came acquainted with Elizabeth Gillions that had just come from Bedfordshire Upper Calderoot England and on the eighth of April following we were married by President Brigham Young in his office at Salt Lake City.

We lived in Farmington and worked at the saw mill in Farmington Canyon in the summer of 1855. While working on David Hogg’s house on Feb. 22nd 1856 the house took fire and burned mostly my carpenters tools. I worked in Farmington canyon at the saw mill two summers and at carpenter work the rest of the time.

I went to the Echo Canyon war in Oct. 1857 and stopped there till 500 of us troops, under Colonel Chancey West, were sent on foot to intercept any of the army that might come in by way of Soda Springs and Cache Valley. The second night after starting we camped in Cache Valley, where Logan now stands. I stood guard that night. Next day we traveled north to Marsh Valley, and burnt all the dry grass that fire could burn. We did this as a matter of safety, that if any of the army teams came that way they would be at our disposal. After camping in Marsh Valley three days we crossed the mountains to Malad Valley. We returned to Ogden in November and were all dismissed. I got home to Farmington with the rest of my companions in the middle of the night. Walked 24 miles from Ogden.

I moved south to Clover Creek in Juab County with some of my neighbors in April 1858 with a load of wheat and Flour then returned for my family to Farmington We left Farmington June 5th. James W. Quayle was two years old this day and John Quayle nearly five months old. We moved to Provo bottom with many more and camped there until July when we returned to our home in Farmington in Davis County, where I worked at carpenter work or anything else I could get to do. In June, 1 859 I went to Cache Valley to look for a place to make a home. It suited me.


I was among some of the first to settle in Logan. I took up some land, put in a little crop, built a log house, did some fencing and went to Farmington and moved my family to Logan with an ox team in April 1 860. Logan has been my home ever since. I raised a small crop that year. Worked on Benson and Thatcher saw mill in the fall and in the winter made window sashes, coffins, washboards and ox yokes and all such like for a living. I tried farming again as there was not much to do at my trade until the fall and winter when I would be busy working at my trade.

Nothing occurred in particular except guarding Indians till September, 1863 when my wife Elizabeth died 24th September leaving me with five children, a baby thirteen days old which died on 27 Sep 1863.

It was hard to get someone to come and help me out. And I had first one and then another housekeeper until I was really upset. One night I was lying in bed after putting the children into their beds in the loft, or upstairs of our log house. My wife came to me and stood by my bed and spoke to me about the children. She told me to get someone to come and help me raise them. She then said, "I’m going up and see them."

Just outside the door was the partition posts for our rooms, and on this post, cleats were nailed by which we climbed up through a hole cut in the upstairs floor into the loft, where beds were made for the children. She climbed up these cleats and went over to the ....

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