m. 13 Apr 1850
m. 19 Feb 1865
Facts and Events
Henry Walters was born August 2, 1827 in London, England. He was the oldest son of Ann Booth and Rees Walters. His early life was spent in London with his parents, a sister Ann and brother Ephraim.
His mother died when he was about eight years of age, and this came as a great blow to the children as their father and mother had been separated for some months. The father was in Wales at the time of the mother's death. She died at the home of her parents. She had a stepmother whom she loved very dearly, and who was a dear good mother to her, and it was this sweet woman who raised Henry Walters along with his sister and brother. This good woman had been a governess for years, and it was through her efforts and hard work that Henry was able to go to college.
After the mother's death, Henry's father went to Ireland, and married an Irish woman. To this union a large family was born. They lived in. Ireland for a while, and then came to England where they lived for some time, and then moved to Wales. At the age of fifteen Henry visited his father for the first time after his own mother's death. The father and his new family were living in Preston, England. It was there he became acquainted with his other brother and sisters. Although I never heard him speak of any sister except Ann, he spoke of George and Alfred very often, and seemed to think a great deal of them. He later heard that George went to Canada, but never knew for sure. Henry and Alfred kept in touch through correspondence.
While visiting his father in Preston, Henry learned he was a skilled shoemaker, and that he made shoes for Queen Victoria and others of Royalty. His father was anxious for him to stay and learn the shoemaking trade, but his grandmother had worked so hard for he and his sister and brother for she was anxious for them to receive a good education, that he went back to London to his grandmother and to school. He did make short visits to Preston to visit his father. While school was out he went and learned the shoemaking trade, but it was hard for him to content himself, as he was not received very well by his stepmother. He wasn't allowed to eat his meals with the family, but his father and brothers were very kind to him, and they wanted him to stay with them. However, he knew it would make trouble, and he had a good home with his grandmother and in as much as his younger brother Ephraim was in poor health, he decided to return to his grandmother. It was during his visit to his father's home that he learned his father drank. He would sometimes go months and sometimes a year and not touch it, and then he would drink for a month or two at a time. He found this was the reason for his mother and father separating, because when his father drank he had a bad temper, and would go through all of the money he had earned and more before he settled down and went back to work. That was also the reason the stepmother didn't want Henry there. She felt there were too many to keep.
Henry could remember his mother's suffering through his father's drinking. Sometimes his mother would give him a penny to go without his supper. She had little to get by on, but when his father was working they had plenty.
While in Preston, Henry met the Elders, and was baptized into the Latter Day Saint Church about August 1844. He was 17 years old. It was in Preston, England where he met Sarah Smalley, and on April 13, 1850 he was married to her. Seven children were born to this union, one dying in England. Henry Walters labored as a local missionary for many years before emigrating to America, In 1863 he had saved enough money for the family to emigrate to America and he reserved passage on the sailing vessel “Antarctic" for him and his family. A short time before he was to leave he was called on a two year mission with the promise that his wife and family would be cared for in his absence. So he remained in England to fill that mission not knowing the sorrow, and trouble that was to come to him in that period. George Q. Cannon was President of the mission at that time, and was a very dear friend of Henry's.
Henry's wife, four sons, Henry Heber, Robert Samuel, Lorenzo and Ephraim Walters and daughter Ellen Louise Walters together with his wife's sister Jane Smalley, set sail on the “Antarctic". His wife gave birth to a baby girl in mid-ocean and died, and was buried at sea. The baby, Sarah Jane Antarctic, lived only eleven days, and she was also buried at sea. When they reached the American shore, Jane Smalley, his wife's sister, wrote Henry the sad news. She told him there was s good doctor on the boat, and that everything possible was done for the mother and new baby, but to no avail. She told him his wife had asked her to care for the remaining children until he arrived. Unfortunately, while crossing the plains, Jane Smalley died and was buried at Hams Fork in a pioneer grave along the trail leaving the children of Henry Walters and his deceased wife without any relatives to care for them. The children were cared for by Erastus Snow until they reached Salt Lake, and were taken by friends and cared for until the arrival of their father in November 1865. A short time after they arrived in Utah, the youngest boy Ephraim died, and was buried in what is now called Midvale, Utah.
When Henry learned of all this sadness he decided to take the next vessel from England to be with the remainder of his family if President Cannon thought it best. The night before he met with President Cannon he was staying with some Saints in the Isle of Man. They were very kind to him and did everything possible to comfort him in his sorrow. While Henry was sleeping in an upper room, he said he saw his wife and babies, and she told him to complete his mission and told him the last one of the family had died for some time to come. I might add there were no deaths in that family until October 2, 1902 when Samuel Lorenzo passed away. The next morning he met President Cannon and told him he had decided to complete his mission, which he did.
While still in England, Henry Walters met and married Caroline Francis on February 19, 1865 in Granthum, Lincolnshire, England in the Granthum Church. To this union twelve children were born, five sons and seven daughters, John Thomas, Charles Albert, Caroline, Eliza Amanda, Sarah, Francis Erneat, Olive Harriet, Adah Eveline, Joseph, Willard Booth, Margaret Ann and Zella Jane. All of these children except John Thomas, the eldest, were born in Salt Lake. He was born on the plains. After finishing his mission Henry and his wife, Caroline set sail on the "Belle Wood" sailing vessel in April 1865. The vessel leaked and they had to bail water out most of the way. They landed in Castle Gardens in New York, June 1, 1865, President Brigham Young's birthday. For many years after their arrival in Utah, they celebrated Brigham Young's birthday. They crossed the plains in Captain Willis Company just at the close of the Civil War. Henry drove an ox team across the plains. This was something new for him, for he had never been used to cattle and most of the oxen were young. The company was heavily loaded as Thomas Taylor was bringing in freight to open a store. They had a stampede one morning just as they were ready to start on their way. Every wagon was broken and they were delayed two weeks repairing wagons. By this time his shoes were worn out, and he made himself a pair out of an old piece of canvas from a sailing vessel and he wore them all of the way across the plains.
They were snowed in at Laramie, Wyoming with 50 pounds of flour in the camp, and would have perished if President Young had not sent a rescue party with mule teams and provisions to meet them. It had been storming and the weary party of pioneers had cleared away the snow as best they could, and made a campfire. They sang “Come, Come Ye Saints" then had prayer and retired for the night a very tired and weary group. During the night they were awakened by, the clatter of the mules feet and whooping and yelling of men. They thought surely they were being attacked by Indians. They were very thankful to awaken and find it was a rescue party. They killed the fattest ox and cooked and baked in preparation of the balance of their journey and in order to make good time as it was getting along into the month of November. All of the children and women and men who wanted to, continued on their journey, but Henry Walters .stayed back to assist in bringing in the luggage and freight for Thomas Taylor. Captain Taylor was appointed in charge of those who remained behind.
Henry Walters finally arrived in Salt Lake on. November 29, 1865 where he found his wife had arrived safely with an 18 day old son, their firstborn of that union. The baby had been born at Green River, Wyoming. He was very happy also to be reunited with his first family whose mother had been buried at sea. The Walters family settled where the O.S.L. Depot now stands. They had one room with a mud roof. They later moved to the 15th Ward and then to the 16th Ward where they built a home on 1st North between 8th and 9th West. He bought two lots on Brigham Street, now East South Temple. He paid 335.00 for them, but traded them for 4 cords of wood because it was too far to carry water. He was supposed to teach school in West Jordan, but the pioneer company was so late arriving in Salt Lake that someone else had taken his place. He went to work for a man by the name of Jennings making boots and shoes. Later he opened a shop of his own across from the Salt Lake Theatre. Later he moved to the Cooper Building where he made boots and shoes. Then he moved to 6th West and North Temple and then to 7th west on 1st North. On 7th West and 1st North he had a grocery store and shop in connection with the home. This old home was one of the first on the West Side of Salt Lake. They made the adobe to build it. Arohibald Frame and Squire Wells were the men who arranged for the building and helped with it.
The old Walters home holds many pleasant memories, for most of the children were born and raised there. The family lived there until 1908 when they moved back to the 15th Ward where they lived on 8th West between 2nd and 3rd South.
Henry Walters was an active member of the Church, and also active in Civic affairs. He had filled two missions in England, and was secretary and treasurer of the Second Quorum of Seventies for 22 years. He was in the artillery of the Salt Lake Militia, and a member of the Nauvoo Legion. For years he helped fire off the “Old Sow" on the 24th of July. He and George Tall were the last ones to fire off the “Old Sow". It is now to be seen in the Deseret Museum.
He was acquainted with all of the early Church leaders except the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was a kind and devoted husband and father, and loved by all who knew him. His home was always open to those who needed a home or help. The indians came there and slept, and would go to Sunday School. Indians from Skull Valley came to visit him shortly before his death. They never bothered him but once. That was when a crowd of Indians came about 2 A.M. and wanted him to get up and open the store. He tried to make them think he would get a gun after them if they didn't go. They had been drinking whiskey, and he had a hard time to get rid of them. They came the next day and laughed and said, “We know you no shooty Indians." They would leave their saddles and other things at the home all winter, and get them in the spring.
Henry Walters was a deep thinker, and many of his speeches are in the old Millennial Star. He was also a great reader and loved good books. He said good books were as necessary as good food. He was a small man with a big heart. One of the neighbors who used to come to see him said: “Your father is a wonderful man and knows the-gospel from A to Z. Always do as he says and you will be happy”.
His later life was spent doing temple work. He had many trials and passed through many sorrows in his lifetime, but he was always able to look on the bright side and say, “The Lord doeth all things well." He always enjoyed good health, and never had a doctor until his last illness. He was cared for by Dr. William T. Cannon son of George Q. Cannon, and Doctor Thomas Howell son of Thomas Howell, his very dear friends. He died February 23, 1913 in Salt Lake at the age of 85 years, 6 months and 21 days. He was buried in the family plot in Salt Lake City, Cemetery.