HISTORY OF ALFRED SUMMERILL 1847-1911
AND ELIZABETH LEAR 1845-1922
Compiled by Beth J. Baugh
Alfred Summerill was born April 3, 1847, in Mangotsfield Parrish at Soundwell (near Kingswood), or Cheltenham, Glouchestershire, England. He was the son of Aaron Summerill and Charlotte Bateman, she being a very fine tailoress. He had three sisters and two brothers, Sarah Jane, George, Elizabeth, Joseph, and Emily.
He attended school until he was nine years old and then went to work in the coal mines where he worked until he left England. While at work a large piece of coal fell on his foot cutting off the front part and leaving only the heel. The rest of his life he wore a groomed leather boot which had to be made special for him.
Elizabeth Lear was born June 20, 1845 in Kingswood, Gloucestershire, England. She was the daughter of James Lear and Ann Howard. She had one infant sister who died before she could be christened and one brother, George, who died when a child. When James, her father died, her mother, Ann, married a widower, Thomas Bailey, who had eight children. Together Ann and Thomas had two more boys and two girls.
Alfred married Elizabeth Lear, December 23, 1866, in Kingswood, Glouchestershire, England. They were later sealed in the Endowment House, Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 10, 1879. They were blessed with twelve children, seven daughters and five sons.
Alfred was raised a Primitive Methodist and was a devout member of that organization until he heard the Gospel. Elizabeth was a “Wesleyan Methodist”.
One day a Mormon Missionary, Elder Joseph Stokes from Willard, Utah, called at their home leaving with them the book “The Voice of the Warning.” Through reading this book Alfred began attending their meetings and became interested in the Gospel. Elizabeth was very much opposed; she wanted him to stay away from “those Mormons.” At one time she got out of her sick bed and hid his coat in the coal bin so he couldn’t go to church. He told her he would go without his coat. She being a very proud woman, not wanting to see him go without his coat, gave it to him.
All the miners were against him going to the Mormon Church so they laid in wait for him each night to stop him, but even though he had to walk on a cobblestone road with his noisy crutches, they did not even see or hear him and he safely went to Church. He was convinced of the truthfulness of Mormonism and was converted and baptized into the Latter-day Saint Church, Aug 11, 1877, when he was thirty years old. When he was coming home from his baptismal all of his family were looking through the window to see if he had changed. Ten months later Elizabeth embraced the gospel and was baptized June 9, 1878 and a more devout Latter-day Saint never lived. The young Elders would stay at their home. When they went to bed they were instructed to put their shoes outside the bedroom door and Elizabeth would gather them up, give them a good shine, and then put them back. The elders always had clean shoes because of her. Alfred was ordained an Elder in the Church at Wakefield, England, July 7, 1878. They were the only ones in their families, except a half-uncle of Alfred’s, who ever joined the Church.
Just before leaving England, a neighbor lady insisted on giving Elizabeth a five-dollar gold piece saying, “It will come in handy when you get to Utah.” They immigrated to Utah in September, 1878, with a family of five children, leaving two (Dennis, a twin, and Charlotte Ann) buried in England. The trip was a pleasant one lasting only three weeks. They lived in Salt Lake City for two weeks with a Mr. Howard, then hearing a Mr. Dalton needed help on this farm in Willard, Utah, Alfred and his family moved to Willard where they lived for two years. The home
in Willard was one block north, from the Pioneer monument on the northeast corner of the town square, then across Highway 91 to the southwest corner of the block. They used boxes for chairs and a trunk Alfred had made for a table. Money was very scarce and Elizabeth, being very independent and fearing she would never get an extra five dollars, sent the same five-dollar gold piece back to the neighbor in England.
In 1880 they moved to Logan, as he was called to dress rock for the building of the Logan Temple. He also obtained work on the Oregon Railroad. Each day he would walk down to the railroad in the morning and back after work, nineteen blocks each way. Later they lived on Third East between Fourth and Fifth North.
Elizabeth came to Logan by train. Alice and the other children came by sleigh over what is the Valley View Highway and it was a cold ride. The log cabin was just south of the 10th-19 Ward. The ground was frozen and the wind blew through the logs. They dug dirt from inside the house to make a thick mud with which to chink the logs. They were disappointed with their new home and hurried to fix it up as best they could.
They lived in Logan for seven years. Then Alfred was made foreman of the railroad section, being sent to Honeyville, Utah, where he lived for fifteen years (until 1902). Their home was one block north of the railroad station between the road and the tracks. It was a large brown two story home facing south with a room on the north used as a kitchen. They did not have rugs but the board floor was spotless. They raised a large garden and a big patch of hay. The shed was used for the cow and the horse. They named the horse Old Billie, he was buckskin. The children would ride him around the yard. If you fell off he would just stand still. They later bought another horse they named “Black Beauty”.
The married children would come from Logan to see their parents by the train that came through the canyon, through the tunnel and over the high trestle; it was a thrill of a life time.
They had family prayer night and morning, and it was always a long prayer. On every line Alfred’s head would fall slowly forward. As the end of his sentence came, his head would fall abruptly then he would lift it back up again to start the new sentence. The children thought this to be very entertaining.
While living in Honeyville, Alfred was a Ward teacher and served in the Bishopric as 2nd Counselor to Bishop Thomas Wheatly. He was ordained a High Priest, Nov 16, 1895, in Apostle Lorenzo Snow’s home in Brigham City, Utah.
Elizabeth was very active and faithful to the Church for which she had left her home, relatives and friends in England. She was President of the Relief Society in Logan. In Honeyville she was a Sunday school teacher and an aid in Primary and religion class. After they moved to Ogden she became a member of the 4th Ward Relief Society and was called to be a teacher, then a Counselor to Sister Emma Ray McKay. After the Stake was divided in 1908 she served on the Board of the Ogden Stake Relief Society, being released December, 1914 to do work in the Logan Temple.
When Alfred became too old for railroad work, the family along with old Bess, the horse, moved to Ogden where he went into the stove foundry business with his eldest son, Fred. They made and repaired the cast-iron stoves that were used back then Alfred could fix anything. When they could not get a casting for the back of the fire box, he would get clay and make a mold for one by hand. Today, the water meter covers in the newer parts of Brigham City, Utah, have the logo, “Summerill Foundry, Ogden, Utah,” on them.
Alfred and Elizabeth were very much interested in doing the Temple work for their ancestors. They had the records searched in England for several years by a man doing that work, until he said he couldn’t find any more names. The names were taken for the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. This made it possible to do the work for 800 names on Alfred’s side and 900 names on Elizabeth’s side.
As a staunch Latter-day Saint, Alfred always took an active part in church activities. Never once did he hear from his family who remained in England.
Elizabeth was a kind, honest and good women. She was always were she was needed and thought of everyone else before herself. For years she was one of the first to be called in sickness and death and took the lead in preparing, for burial, the bodies of those ladies and children who had passed away.
Quoting Elizabeth, “I have received many grand testimonies and manifestations of God’s power thought faith and prayer. On one occasion a miracle was performed in my family through my son-in-law, Andrew May. He had an accident while loading hay with a derrick fork which struck his right shoulder and pierced through his lung, striking his ribs and breaking one. Through faith and prayer he was healed immediately and exclaimed, ‘I am healed for my rib has reunited together.’”
Elizabeth said, “I have rejoiced in the work I have been engaged in, received many blessings from the Lord and my faith in the Gospel has increased. My testimony has become stronger as time goes on, and my greatest desire at the present time is to do all I can for the salvation of the dead while I have health and strength to do it with the help of God and His Holy Spirit to assist me.”
Alfred died February 5, 1911, in Ogden, Weber, Utah, and was buried in Honeyville, Box
Elder, Utah. He was buried without any stockings, so Elizabeth told her children that when she died they were to put a pair of white stockings in her casket for Alfred to wear in the resurrection.
Elizabeth lived in Ogden until her death on March 7, 1922. At the time of her death she had 56 grandchildren, 81 great grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren. She is buried in Honeyville, Box Elder, Utah.
Children of Alfred and Elizabeth Lear Summerill
Alice Summerill born July 16, 1867, in Potterswood, Gloucestershire, England
Married Francis Heber Baugh, February 27, 1889, in Logan, Cache, Utah
Died December 12, 1937, in Logan, Cache, Utah
Fredrick Summerill born February 1, 1869, in Bristol, Mangotsfield, England
Married Elizabeth Vilate Boothe, June 29, 1891, in Brigham City, Box Elder, Utah
Died August 12, 1835, in Ogden, Utah
Laura Summerill (twin) born March 3, 1871, in Charleston, Yorkshire, England
Married Andrew May, November 11, 1891, in Logan, Utah
Died June 4, 1949 in American Falls, Idaho. Buried in Rockland, Idaho
Dennis Summerill (twin) born March 3, 1871, in Charleston, Yorkshire, England
Died July 1872 in Charleston, Yorkshire, England. Buried in England
Charlotte Ann Summerill Born May 4, 1873, in Castleford, Yorkshire, England
Died October 1874, in Castleford, Yorkshire, England. Buried in England
Emily Summerill Born September 8, 1874, in Castleford, Yorkshire, England
Married Benham Hunsaker, March 8, 1893, in Logan, Utah
Died November 17, 1943 in Ogden, Utah. Buried in Honeyville, Utah
Samuel Summerill born July 11, 1877, in St Johns, Normanton, Yorkshire, England
Died July 22, 1886, in Logan, Utah. Buried in Logan (in Joe & Ardella’s family plot)
Mary Annie Summerill born May 27, 1879
Died June 16, 1880, age 1 year, in Willard, Box Elder, Utah
Joseph Summerill born January 30, 1882, in Logan, Utah
Married Sophronia Camilla Hansen, February 5, 1902
Died August 17, 1961
Alfred Heber Summerill born March 2, 1884, in Logan, Utah
Married Chloe Belle Farr, October 25, 1905
Died January 17, 1955. Buried in Ogden, Utah
Nettie Elizabeth Summerill born January 8, 1886, in Logan, Utah
Died October19, 1887, in Logan, Utah. Buried in Logan (in Joe & Ardella’s family plot)
Mary Summerill born April 26, 1892, in Honeyville, Utah
Married James Thomas White, April 9, 1912, in Ogden, Utah
Died February 17, 1965 in Ogden, Utah. Buried in Ogden City cemetery
A Tribute to Grandma Summerill
The Spirit of Grandma Summerill has departed; She died in the hope of bright glory
To climes more brilliant and fair, Believing in Christ crucified,
To mingle with all the pure hearted Proclaiming the wondrous story
Free from all sorrow and care, Of Heaven just over the tide.
Her mission in life is now ended She will soon be among the angels
Her struggles and trials are o’er, Free from all sorrow and pain,
In triumph her soul has ascended To see the redeemed of all ages
To dwell with her Lord evermore, With Jesus forever to reign.
The Lord was her shepherd, he thought it was best We bid thee adieu dearest Grandma,
To gather one more to his fold, We would not recall thee again
To live in green pastures of heavenly rest Back to this world to suffer
And to dwell in a mansion of gold: The sorrows, temptations, and pain,
In this heavenly mansion so fair But thy memory will live with us ever
Prepared by her dear loving Lord; As one who was good and true
In patience she waited, and longed to be there And as a sister, friend, or neighbor
Inspired by the hope of His word. We will always think kindly of you.
By Sadic Sanudors Stitjor, March 8, 1922
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