John Hopwood Bleazard

CALEB DAVIS BLEAZARD

son of Lydia Davis & John Hopwood Bleazard


History of Caleb Davis Bleazard
March 1, 1865 – December 15, 1940
Written by Cynthia Simmons Andrews



Caleb and Diana Merritt Bleazard


Caleb Davis Bleazard, was born on March 1, 1865 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He died in Afton, Lincoln, Wyoming on December 15, 1940. His parents were John Hopwood and Lydia Davis Bleazard who both immigrated from England and were Utah pioneers. He was raised in a family of four children and a polygamist family of numerous brothers and sisters.




Caleb Bleazard

Caleb’s ancestors continue back for more than 10 generations in England. They were from Lancashire which is a county in northwest England. The Bleazard, Davis, Hopwood, Parsons, Smith, Brennand, Dodshon, Webber, Fowler, Seal, and others lived in England. It is interesting that Isabelle Jane Corbridge’s ancestors were also from Lancashire, England. The two non-related families lived within miles of each other. Caleb’s ancestors were very much English.


IMMIGRATION


Caleb’s father, John Hopwood Bleazard, was an early convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized in 1836 in England. The Missionary Elders were preaching in Lancashire, England and converted many members. John Hopwood Bleazard immigrated to America on October 12, 1840. He sailed from Liverpool, England and went to Nauvoo, Illinois. He received a Patriarchal Blessing on September 8, 1841 by Hyrum Smith at Nauvoo, Illinois. The Bleazard family were in Winter Quarters on September 20, 1850 and finally reached Utah Valley and settled in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Caleb’s mother, Lydia Davis Bleazard, was born 23 June 1825 at Bowood, Netherbury, Dorsetshire, England. Her parent's, William and Lucy Davis, and ten of their children were early converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were baptized in 1847 in England. Their son, George Davis, immigrated to America and crossed the plains in 1853. He arrived in Bountiful, Utah in 1853 where he purchased land and built a home.

William and Lucy Davis and nine of their fourteen children left Liverpool, England on 31 March 1855. Four of William and Lucy's children had died in England. The youngest child, Billy, was six years old at this time. William Davis (the father), and one married daughter, Elizabeth, died while crossing the plains. Lucy Davis (the Widow) and the eight children arrived in Utah on the 24 October 1855, and the family moved to her son's (George Davis) home in Bountiful, Utah.

LIFE IN SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

John Hopwood Bleazard was a polygamist and had nine wives. Caleb’s mother, Lydia Davis Bleazard, was the 7th wife of John Bleazard. They were married February 7, 1859 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah. John Bleazard was 56 years old and Lydia Davis was 34 years old. Lydia Davis Bleazard lived with her husband in the 14th Ward in downtown Salt Lake for some time. She moved to the 7th Ward property on West Temple and 5th South when John married his 9th wife, Mary Ison Worthington. Lydia lived in this house in the 7th Ward until her death.


John Hopwood and Lydia Davis Bleazard had the following five children:


Mary Ann Bleazard – born March 30, 1857 in Salt Lake City, Utah – died January 27, 1858

Joseph Davis Bleazard – born April 17, 1860 in Salt Lake City, Utah – died August 28, 1865

Mark Hopwood Bleazard – born March 21, 1861 in Salt Lake City, Utah

Lucy Davis Bleazard – born March 30, 1863 in Salt Lake City, Utah

Caleb Davis Bleazard – born March 1, 1865 in Salt Lake City, Utah

Orson Davis Bleazard – born January 1, 1867 in Salt Lake City, Utah


Boyhood years


Caleb Bleazard was born 1 March 1865 in his mother’s home on 5th South West Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. The home was an adobe house consisting of about four rooms.


Caleb’s life was centered around the Church and school, and he knew all of the people in the area very well. They were some of his "nearest and dearest" friends forever. 


Caleb was 5 years old when his father, John Hopwood Bleazard, died on January 12, 1871 at the age of 67. He was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Utah. Caleb’s older brother, Joseph Davis Bleazard died 6 months after Caleb was born at the age of 5. So Caleb did not know his brother.

Lucy Davis Bleazard and Caleb Bleazard (brother and sister) Caleb Bleazard


In John Hopwood Bleazard's Last Will and Testament dated 24 January 1871, he named his 9th wife, Mary Ison Worthington Bleazard, as Executrix. No reference is made to wives other than Lydia Davis and her children, and Mary Ison Worthington Bleazard. Mary deeded the 7th Ward property on 5th South and West Temple to Lydia Davis and John's four children - Mark Hopwood, Caleb Davis, Lucy Davis, and Orson Davis Bleazard.  The property was divided into eight lots and each child got two lots. Mark Hopwood got the two lots to the East. Lucy got the two lots to the West. Orson got the two lots on the corner of 5th South and West Temple. Caleb got two lots to the South.

This ground was leased to a builder who built eight 5-room frame homes on it. This was a very nice row of homes as Bertha remembered them. They were painted white with green trim and green shutters and with picket fences all around each lot. The paths were boards from the front gate to the coal and wood sheds in the back. There was still an open lot back of the coal houses and east of the old house where Mark Hopwood would keep horses when he came to town.

1872 – Caleb and his brother Mark are known to have attended a school operated by William Harrison Homer in 1872.


1873 – Caleb was baptized on May 1, 1873 and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of 8 years old.


1877 - Caleb’s niece, Bertha, remembers hearing that the three boys Mark, Caleb and Orson were trying to find work when they were 16, 12 and 10 but could not often find work and could not make much money. His older brother, Mark, began doing construction work and became skilled at building and repairing things but he was young and never got much money for his work. He would either take pay for his work or he would often exchange his work for items his family needed. Mark was doing carpenter work for $1.00 a day.


1878 – Caleb was 13 years old when his mother, Lydia Davis Bleazard, died on November 3, 1878 at the age of 53. She was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Utah.


Caleb’s older brother, Mark Hopwood Bleazard, was 17 years old and assumed the role of taking care of his siblings. His older sister, Lucy Davis Bleazard, was 15 years old and his younger brother, Orson Bleazard was 11 years old.


Since John Hopwood had many wives he was not around as much as most fathers, and his son, Mark Hopwood, tried to be head of the family. They had a hard time as all the children were young and the boys were head strong and wanted to do as they pleased.  The boys, Mark Hopwood, Caleb Davis and Orson Davis worked whenever they could get work. Caleb said, “That he and Mark had lots of trouble finding work but that Orson could get a job anytime.” They worked around town when they could find work, and Mark Hopwood went to work in Colorado one summer. Another summer he found work logging in Weber Canyon where they floated logs down the river to Wanship. Caleb would sometimes visit at his Uncle George Davis and Uncle Bill Davis’ homes in Hooper, Utah.


The homes on West Temple and 5th South (the 7th Ward property) was home for all of the children. They probably lived alone together in this home from November 1878 until May 1881 when Caleb’s sister, Lucy, married Alford Watts and moved away from home. Then in May 1882, Mark married Annie Ison Danks. Mark and Annie’s first child, John William Bleazard, was born on March 3, 1883 at the West Temple and 5th South home. Caleb and Orson came and went as they pleased.


Caleb learned self-reliance and to be prudent and economical. He had a valiant spirit and noble character. He pursued and conquered, reaching maturity with honor, having kept himself clean in body and mind and being prepared financially to support a wife and family.

Caleb’s grandmother, Lucy Davis, was the mother of Lydia Davis, and at that time lived with her youngest son, Billy, in Wilford, Fremont, Idaho. They were all rural farm people and were free and easy and a big hearted lot and they did everything to help the family have a good time when they visited. Every time the families would visit they would bring lots of pies, bread, roasts etc.

Caleb possessed a great love for the artistic side of life. Classical music and good dramatic productions were his favorite entertainment. He would work all week for twenty-five cents, spending it on Saturday night for a seat in the old Salt Lake Theatre, to see a fine drama presented by Salt Lake's best talent.


1886 – Caleb’s brother, Mark Hopwood Bleazard, got work building a home for the Fowlks who lived in Butlerville/Cottonwood. Mark purchased a house and a ten-acre piece of ground that was north of Butlerville Hill and East of the highway that belonged to Fred Fowlks. It was also near the Church. The family moved to this location in 1886.


Mark hired men to work on the farm and paid $10 a month. His brothers, Caleb and Orson, would often come to help with work on the farm.

Caleb liked good clothes and when he bought clothes he bought the best possible. There never were very many good clothes but they were always clean and warm. Caleb always insisted that shoes were cleaned and best clothes readied on Saturday so he would be ready for Sunday School. Caleb always went to Church. He was very musically talented and had an excellent voice and sang in several choirs. He was also a member of the Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City.

It was while Mark Hopwood and Annie were living in Cottonwood that raids occurred and Mormon men with more than one wife were caught and put in jail. The men had to hide anywhere they could to keep from being put in jail. Annie said that they very often had one or more of these men staying at their place because they all knew that Mark Hopwood would protect them.

There was an awful drought in 1888 and 1889 and everything burned up, there was no work and times were very difficult.

 THE MOVE TO PEOA, UTAH 1889

Caleb had gone to Peoa, Utah and he and Herbert Best were attempting to buy a place. Herbert Best quickly wanted to get out of the deal and Caleb couldn't handle it by himself so he persuaded Mark Hopwood to come out and look it over, with the idea of going in with him. Mark and Caleb went out in the early summer of 1889 when everything was at its best in Peoa. There were so many springs and streams of running water everywhere. It was such a contrast to the drought in Butlerville/Cottonwood. Mark and Caleb were favorably impressed and decided to each take a half interest and move to Peoa.

1889 - Mark Hopwood and Annie put all of their possessions in a wagon and they and Annie's mother, Rhoda, and four little children moved to Peoa on 19 October 1889. They had some cattle. Caleb and Orson helped them with the move to Peoa.

It began to rain before they got to Peoa and Annie always said, "It never stopped raining for six weeks!"  There was only the old house and it was a big one-room log cabin. This one room cabin and two low log stables were on the property. All the stables at that time had straw stacked on the top for a roof and they often leaked. Annie always said the one room house was the only place that did not leak! Everything possible was stuffed in the room including furniture, food, clothes, seed grain, dishes ..., and four adults (Mark, Annie, Rhoda and Caleb) and four kids! Anything that was put in the stables got wet and dirty. It was a terrible time for them and before spring Annie and Rhoda were sorry that they had ever seen Peoa.

1890 - It was a very hard winter for them and Annie was pregnant and she was sick all the time.

By late winter Annie had gotten so bad that Bishop Stephen Walker came and he got after Caleb and made him move his bed out into the shed and he made him also take the grain out of the house. This gave a little more room and took some of the smell out of the room so life was a little better for Annie and the children. Annie was always grateful to Bishop Walker for that. Caleb wouldn't move out when Mark had asked him to. That and other things didn't make for good feelings between Mark and Caleb and they began to see that the place wasn't big enough for him and Mark’s family.

That spring of 1890 was also very difficult. Mark was working hard to improve the farm and to get crops planted and to build onto the house.

Caleb’s brother, Mark, developed asthma early in his life. They didn’t know what it was and they called it catarrh. Everyone remembers how much he suffered and how hard he struggled to breathe. He often had such terrible headaches and difficulty breathing. Annie used to tell how bad he would be when they lived in Cottonwood. Mark took his hay and other things he had to sell to Salt Lake City and it was a big day to take a load and get back home. Annie's mother, Rhoda, lived with them a lot of the time and Rhoda would have Annie feed the horses and do all the chores she could and she would say, "You know how that poor lad will be."

Mark Hopwood had such terrible spells and he could get no help. Everyone would suggest something that might help and he was so desperate that he would try most anything.

Often it would only be a day after such a spell that Mark Hopwood would be working as usual. The longer the spell had lasted the longer it took him to get over it. When he got so he couldn't go back to work then he was depressed and bad off. Annie would get out and work on the place and Mark would just sit and cry watching her do the things he thought he should be doing.

There were no fences that would keep his cattle in and other people's cattle out of his crops. There was no money to buy fencing and he was always trying to fix old fences. The place had been open for years and the town people had used it for a calf pasture and some of them didn't take it very kindly or well when he fenced them out.

Caleb and Orson, Mark and his son's, spent days trying to fix fences.

Then there was work in the Rock Quarry. There was no cement in those days so every spare hour Mark could find he would work in the rocks, and it was all hand labor. Mark could sell all the rocks he could get to Salt Lake City for sidewalks. It was long hard work to get the rocks out with a chisel and hammer. When Mark found he could sell it he got a crew of men and they worked the hill all one summer. There were some men who had been miners in Park City and they put in dynamite and blasted out a lot of rock. At one time a big rock landed right on the Bleazard house.

Mark had very little farm machinery just old wagons, a sleigh and everything they had was second hand. Mark wrote in his diary that Caleb bought a sleigh that had the tongue broken out for $1.50 from someone in Peoa, so he took the horse, Old Dick, and tied the sleigh to the horn of the saddle and took it home and fixed it up. He was always fixing machinery, harnesses and everything.

The cemetery was just south of the quarry hill and straight across the road from the Bleazard home and the cattle fought, tramped and bedded over the graves as there were no fences. Mark started to work on the town people to get a fence around the graveyard. He recorded in his journal that he and Bishop Stephen Walker and Oscar Wilkins canvassed the town for money for fencing the Peoa Cemetery on 24 March 1890. After some time they got a good picket fence around it. From that time and for as long as they lived in Peoa it was Mark or his son's job to keep the cemetery and its fence in repair. They were always nailing on a picket to keep the calves and sheep out. Mark Hopwood donated the ground for the Peoa Cemetery.

Mark Hopwood and his brother, Caleb Davis, both had interest in the property, but they didn't work together in peace. Caleb, who did not have a family didn't feel that he should work as hard as Mark, and he wouldn't help with the building of the new house. Annie used to say that he would sit in the sun and watch Mark lift the heavy logs. Annie always remembered the long log that went above the door and windows, the full length of the South side of the house. Mark got the walls up, the roof on and they moved in. Charley Wright came to plaster after they were living in the house.

1892 - Caleb was getting ready to get married so after the new house was built, the Old House was moved to the north end of the field and set back from the Gates.

Caleb married Elizabeth Diana Merritt on March 20, 1892 by Bishop Walker in Peoa, Utah. Caleb was age 26 years old and Diana was 23 years old.


1893 – Caleb and Diana Bleazard received their endowments on August 9, 1893 in the newly dedicated Salt Lake Temple. They were sealed on August 9, 1893 in the Salt Lake Temple.

1895 – Caleb’s early married life was spent in Peoa, Utah, where he owned a small farm. Caleb and his wife, Diana Elizabeth Merritt, lived in the Old House until about 1895 and Caleb then sold his interest in the place and moved to Star Valley, Wyoming.

THE MOVE TO STAR VALLEY, WYOMING June 1896

Having heard about the undeveloped opportunities in the great open spaces of Star Valley, he came with his wife and baby daughter to Thayne, Wyoming, taking up a homestead there for a number of years. He specialized in cattle raising and farming on a large scale. His farm in Thayne was one of the best managed and scientifically worked places in Star Valley.


Caleb and Diana Bleazard had the following five children:


Daughter Bleazard – born and died 7 December 1893 in Peoa, Summit, Utah

Daughter Bleazard – born 5 December 1894 in Peoa, Summit, Utah – died 1894 in Peoa, Summit, Utah

Lucy Diana Bleazard – born 18 Sept 1895 in Peoa, Summit, UT – died 11 Jan 1966 in Salt Lake City, Utah

Emma Bleazard – born 16 July 1897 in Thayne, Lincoln, WY – died 25 January 1896 in Brigham City, Utah

John Bleazard – born 19 December 1898 in Thayne, Lincoln, WY – died 12 Jan 1930 in Afton, Lincoln, WY

Lydia Bleazard – born 9 Jan 1904 in Thayne, Lincoln, WY – died 7 December 1972 in Salt Lake City, UT


1902 – Caleb and Diana Bleazard had three children at this time; Lucy, Emma and John.



Lucy, John and Emma Bleazard


1904 – Their last child Lydia was born in 1904. It is interesting to note that Lucy was named after Caleb’s sister and given the middle name of her mother. John was named after Caleb’s father. Lydia was named after Caleb’s mother and Emma was named after Diana’s mother.


THE MOVE TO BEDFORD, WYOMING


In 1908, Caleb and the family moved to Bedford, Wyoming and Caleb purchased the store. He called it the “Bedford Mercantile”. It was adjacent to their house. He also received the appointment of postmaster and served in that capacity for twenty years.




– Caleb was an early riser and in his good days he was always up early. He would make the fire so the home would be warm when the family got up. He would put the tea kettle on so the water would be hot for the Mush (which the family always ate). Then he would go out and feed the horses and cows or go to the fields to fix a fence, irrigate, and pull a few weeds etc for an hour or two until breakfast time.

He was clean. Clean in thought, work and deed. He never told or listened to smutty stories and wouldn't allow any of it in his home. Caleb was an honest man. He never made a dishonest dollar.  He never wanted a penny that was not rightfully his. Caleb was just as honest in things he said as in money matters. If he ever said anything you could depend on it. It was the truth as he understood it. If he promised to do anything, it would be done. “A man's word should be as good as his bond.”

On September 19, 1912, Caleb and Diana Bleazard’s daughter, Lucy, got married to Russ Sessions.


On June 30, 1913, Caleb and Diana Bleazard became grandparents when Russ and Lucy Sessions had their first baby – Hazel June Sessions born in Bedford, Wyoming.


On May 24, 1915, Russ and Lucy Sessions had their second baby – Dorothy Irene Sessions born in Bedford, WY.


On May 20, 1917, Russ and Lucy Sessions had their third baby – Belle Sessions born in Bedford, WY.


1917 – Caleb purchased the family their first automobile which was a 1917 Ford Model T Touring Car.



Caleb Bleazard is sitting in the 2nd car and Diana Bleazard is sitting in the back seat with Russ Sessions.

Caleb and Diana Bleazard - First two people on left side with white shirts. Russ Sessions wearing

Cap is behind Diana Bleazard. This picture was taken the same day as the picture with the four cars.

Picnic with Bleazards, Sessions, C. G. Heiner, Charles Heiner, Studmeuller, Mallor and Wilkes Families.


Caleb Bleazard, Dorothy Sessions, June Sessions and Lucy Bleazard Sessions (pregnant)


Left to right: Caleb Bleazard and John Bleazard (white shirts)


Left to right: Caleb Bleazard and John Bleazard


1918 – In February, 1918, Caleb and Diana Bleazard and the family were very excited to hear that John Bleazard had received and accepted a mission call from President Joseph F. Smith to serve a two year mission in West Texas for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. John Bleazard received his Endowment on May 7, 1918 and departed on his mission shortly thereafter. 1918-1920


John Bleazard





Left to right: Lucy Sessions holding baby Belle Sessions (cutoff), Russ Sessions, Caleb Bleazard,

Diana Bleazard, Theron Merritt, Ace Merritt, George Merritt, Martha Merritt.

Back row: Lydia Bleazard, Emma Bleazard

Front row children: Dorothy Sessions, June Sessions and Nora Merritt

NOTE: George Merritt is Diana Bleazard’s brother. Theron, Ace & Nora are George & Martha Merritt's kids


1919 – On May 29, 1919, Caleb and Diana Bleazard’s daughter, Emma, got married to Russel Tittensor.


Left to right: Little girls, Belle Sessions, June Sessions and Dorothy Sessions

Left to right: Lucy Bleazard Sessions, Russ Sessions, Diana Bleazard, Caleb Bleazard and Russel Tittensor

Back row: Lydia Bleazard and Emma Bleazard Tittensor. (John Bleazard serving a mission)




Ted Skinner, ?, Joe Skinner, ?, Buck Skinner, Caleb Bleazard, ?


Caleb Bleazard and the Skinners were close friends, but they were not related. Caleb Bleazard went Elk Hunting with Joseph Alma Skinner, Sr. (born 1869) and his sons; George Skinner (born 1891), Edward (Ted) Skinner (born 1894) and Oswald (Buck) Harold Skinner (born 1900).


In 1920, Caleb and Diana Bleazard’s son, John, returned from his two year mission in West Texas.


1920 – Caleb and Diana Bleazard’s son, John Bleazard got married to Lorna Louise Call.


There were several family deaths in a short amount of time:


On February 21, 1918, Samuel Swift Merritt died and was buried in Bedford Cemetery, Bedford, Wyoming. He was Diana Bleazard’s Father.


In 1920, Martha Nora Merritt died and was buried in Bedford Cemetery, Bedford, Wyoming. Martha was the wife of George Merritt who was Diana Bleazard’s brother.


On August 15, 1921, Mark Hopwood Bleazard died and was buried in Peoa Cemetery, Peoa, Utah. He was Caleb’s brother.


Caleb’s brother, Mark Hopwood Bleazard, suffered from Asthma for 20 years of his life. He sold his home in Peoa, UT and his two lots on West Temple and 500 South. His family thought he would die from choking, but he died from a heart attack at his home on 33rd South 550 East, Salt Lake City, Utah. When Caleb heard of his brother’s death, he and Diana immediately drove to Salt Lake City. Mark Hopwood Bleazard was 60 years old and was buried in the Peoa Cemetery on the same day.


On January 4, 1922, Samuel Alonzo Merritt died and was buried in Bedford Cemetery, Bedford, Wyoming. He was Diana Bleazard’s brother.


On July 30, 1922, Emma Naylor Merritt died and was buried in Bedford Cemetery, Bedford, Wyoming. She was Diana Bleazard’s Mother.



Caleb Bleazard

Diana and Caleb Bleazard


THE MOVE TO AFTON, WYOMING


In 1922 – Caleb’s health was failing and like his brother, Mark, he suffered from Asthma. He sold his home and turned the Bedford Mercantile business over to his son, John Bleazard and his wife Lorna. He retired from active life at the age of 57. He purchased a home in Afton, Wyoming and "carried on" as long as his infirm body would permit.


1924 – His friend, Chester Sessions, died on September 14, 1924 in Montpelier, Bear Lake, Idaho and was buried in the Bountiful Memorial Park Cemetery, Bountiful, Utah.


1926 – Caleb’s health grew steadily worse and they were forced to go to Mesa, Arizona for the winters.


THEIR ONLY SON, JOHN BLEAZARD, DIED


1930 – While in Mesa, his beloved son, John Bleazard, died suddenly on January 12, 1930 in Afton, Lincoln, Wyoming. He was buried in the Afton Cemetery, Afton, Wyoming. This was a shock and grief from which Caleb never fully recovered from. Caleb was ill and they could not attend the funeral or see him laid away. John, their only son, was their main-stay in life. He was Diana’s best loved child.


John Bleazard left behind his wife, Lorna Call Bleazard, and his two young children; Glen Call Bleazard age 8 and Lorna Marie Bleazard age 3.

John Bleazard

   

Left to right: Boy, girl, Russel Tittensor, Emma Tittensor, Diana Bleazard.

Back row: Belle Sessions, June Sessions, Lucy Sessions, Lydia Bleazard and Caleb Bleazard


Left to right: Boy, girl, Russ Sessions, Emma Tittensor, Diana Bleazard.

Back row: Belle Sessions, June Sessions, Lucy Sessions, Lydia Bleazard and Caleb Bleazard, boy and boy


1936 – Caleb was bedfast the last four years of his life. Diana nursed him. She never left his side day or night. She knelt by his bed and fed him, comforted him and sympathized with him.


GRANDPAP


Caleb was known as “Grandpap” to his grandchildren. Caleb was not a public man, to many he was thought to be gruff and to have possessed no religion, but no father was ever dearer and kinder to his children. His mind was a storehouse of wisdom. He was a liberal donator, an honest tithe-payer and throughout the long years of affliction and suffering he maintained faith, was steadfast and firm in his testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Passing through the trying ordeal of an incurable disease, he remained patient and was sympathetic and sorrowful when others were in trouble.


A dominate characteristic, worthy of mention, was his civic pride and interest in public welfare. To every community enterprise he was liberal with financial aid and willing to perform his share of manual labor. It was his privilege to contribute money for the building of the Salt Lake Temple, the Logan Temple, the St. George Temple, the Canadian Temple, the Hawaiian Temple and the Mesa Temple, and it was one of his last wishes that a check be sent to the Idaho Falls Temple fund. Tears of joy would fill his eyes at the mention of missionaries and nothing gave him more pleasure than to contribute to this cause. His only son filled a mission, his two grandsons filled a mission and he had the desire that his remaining grandson go as soon as his age permitted.


Caleb Bleazard was an honest, stalwart pioneer who loved truth and right and lived up to these principles in his everyday affairs of life. Caleb loved his wife, Diana, his daughters, Lucy, Emma and Lydia and son-in-laws, Russ Sessions and Russel Tittensor. His daughter Lydia never married. He had one daughter in law: Lorna Call Bleazard.


Caleb Bleazard died Sunday, December 15, 1940 in Afton, Wyoming. He was buried December 17, 1940 in Afton Cemetery, Afton, Wyoming. He was 75 years old.


Obituary

On December 17, 1940, in the Afton North Ward church house, funeral services were held for Caleb D. Bleazard, who passed away at his home in Afton Sunday morning, after a prolonged illness, extending over a period of twenty years, of which the last five were spent in intense suffering and misery. The last five years of his life were spent sitting in his chair, his mind still keen and active and his spirit longing to do something more to make his home and surroundings attractive and beautiful.


He was laid to rest beside his son, John Bleazard, in the Afton Cemetery. The dedicatory prayer was offered by Ed Wilkes of Afton. Pall bearers were Russ Sessions, Russel Tittensor, Glen Bleazard, Heber Merritt, Joseph Merritt and Theron Merritt.


The survivors are: Mrs. C. D. Bleazard, three daughters, Lucy Sessions, Emma Tittensor and Lydia Bleazard, seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren. His only son, John, preceded him in death eleven years ago.


Caleb’s rocking chair






History of Elizabeth Diana Merritt Bleazard
December 27, 1869 – July 11, 1968
Written by Cynthia Simmons Andrews






Elizabeth Diana Bleazard was half English because her Mother was born in England. She was known as “Gammie” to her grandchildren, but to others she went by the name of “Diana”.


Elizabeth Diana Bleazard, was born on December 27, 1869 in West Jordan, Utah. Her parents were Samuel Swift and Emma Naylor Merritt. Diana was raised in a family of 13 children of which she was the oldest daughter. She had six brothers and six sisters, but two brothers died as infants.


IMMIGRATION


Diana’s mother, Emma Naylor Merritt, was born December 18, 1846 in Bedford, Nottinghamshire, England. She was an early convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized on January 7, 1855 in England. Emma’s father, William Naylor was baptized March 26, 1849 and her mother, Diana Ireland Naylor was baptized February 18, 1850 in England. All of their family were converts and emigrated from England and came to Utah in 1863 with the Rosel Hyde Company.


Diana’s father, Samuel Swift Merritt, was born November 18, 1838 in Monroe, Hendricks, Indiana.

He was an early convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized February 25, 1864. Samuel was raised in a family of ten children, but he was the only convert. This family had traveled from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia to Indiana to Missouri to Iowa. His ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The government gave them free land in Iowa for their service. The Rouse line came from John Rausch who was born in 1697 in Baumholder, Saarbrucken, Germany and immigrated to Virginia. His sons also fought in the Revolutionary War. Most of the other family lines are in America in the early 1600’s and emigrated from England.


Diana Merritt Bleazard’s grandparents were George and Elizabeth Merritt.




George Merritt born 1811 in Kentucky and Elizabeth Scott born 1815 in Tennessee-buried in Iowa

Samuel Swift Merritt was disowned by his family for joining the Church and for his own safety he had to sneak back into the house to get some of his belongings and hide. Some of his family may have sympathized with the mobs in Missouri. He traveled with the Saints in 1864 to Utah and met and married Emma Naylor in Little Cottonwood Canyon. He was 26 years old.




Emma Naylor Merritt and Samuel Swift Merritt

Samuel and Emma Merritt had the following 13 children:

Samuel Alonzo Merritt

George William Merritt

Elizabeth Diana Merritt

Levi Edward Merritt

Perry Merritt

Emma Jane Merritt

James Archibald Merritt

Sara Ellen Merritt

Charles Augustus Merritt

Delila May Merritt

Gertrude Alice Merritt

Edna Eveline Merritt

Martha Vinnie Merritt


L-R front row: Gertie, Eva and Vinnie Merritt (standing)


LIFE IN WEST JORDAN, UTAH


Diana grew up in the early days in the Territory of Utah. She grew up in a large family and being the oldest girl, she had much responsibility in helping her Mother with the babies and the younger children.


1878 – Elizabeth Diana Merritt was baptized April 4, 1878 by James Glover and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 4, 1878 by Archibald Gardner.


Her schooling was limited and the family could not afford to send more than two children at a time. They had to pay for the books and pay for the teacher.


1886 – At the age of 17, she worked several years in a yarn factory some ten miles from where they lived. They were living in West Jordan, Utah.


THE MOVE TO PEOA, UTAH


1891 – The Merritt family moved to Peoa, Utah. Diana found a new job working for an elderly Swedish couple named Mr. & Mrs. Matson. She milked the cows, fed the pigs and chickens, and weeding the gardens. She did the cooking, cleaning, beer making and waited on the old folks. While she was working here, she met Caleb Bleazard.


Diana was a pretty petite young woman. She was 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighed 115 lbs. She had long black hair, blue eyes, small even teeth and an oval face.


She had a friendly disposition and loved fluent conversation. She had friends wherever she went. She was witty and always enjoyed a joke and can see the funny side of things and laughs heartily. Her mind was alert and keen and she remembered everything.


1892 – Caleb Bleazard and Diana Merritt got married in Peoa, Utah. She got pregnant right away and had a baby girl on December 7, 1893. Diana had a difficult labor, her body was small and it was a hard delivery which resulted in the loss of the baby. It was stillborn. She had another baby daughter born on December 5, 1894 in Peoa and died December 5, 1894. It was also stillborn.


1895 – Lucy Diana Bleazard was born on September 18, 1895 in Peoa, Utah. She was healthy and pretty. She was named “Lucy” after Caleb’s only sister. She brought much joy to them.


THE MOVE TO STAR VALLEY, WYOMING


The next spring the “Star Valley” excitement hit Peoa. News of the abundant free land in wild Wyoming spread. The Merritt family decided to move to Star Valley and settled in Bedford, Wyoming which included; her parents, Samuel and Emma Merritt, and her brothers; Samuel Alonzo, George, Levi, James, and her sisters; Sara Ellen, Delila May, Vinnie and Gertrude.


Caleb wanted to move, but Diana was a little apprehensive and afraid of the long journey and life in the primitive. She obeyed her husband, as she always did, and her happy, peaceful life changed again.


1896 – Caleb and Diana Bleazard and their baby Lucy moved all of their belongings to Star Valley, Wyoming. They found a one-room log cabin which was miles away from neighbors, a store, a post office, a meeting house, a church and a school. The Indians came by often and begged and demanded for food. She was afraid of the Indians and gave them too much sugar and bread because she was afraid not to comply with their demands.


1897 – Emma Bleazard was born on July 16, 1897 in Thayne, Lincoln, Wyoming.


1898 – John Bleazard was born on December 19, 1898 in Thayne, Lincoln, Wyoming.


1901 – Caleb worked long and hard. Plans were started for a new house. The foundation was laid, and lumber piled, ready to begin the building. In the spring of 1901, a chance came to trade the prairie land on a big ranch in Thayne. The place in Thayne had a big lumber house. There was a store and a post office, a church house where school was taught, also. Diana was over joyed. Lucy was now old enough to start school.


Diana had to help milk the big herd of cows. There was milk to separate and much butter to churn. Butter was traded for groceries at the store. She also had to cook for the hired hands.


1904 – The last child, Lydia, was born in 1904. Diana had another “bad time”. She was bedfast for nine months and her life was often despaired of.


THE MOVE TO BEDFORD, WYOMING


1907 – Caleb and Diana traded the big ranch for a general store in Bedford. Life changed again for Diana. She helped in the store and was an assistant postmaster to her husband. She cooked for sheepmen who came in droves in the summer and she worked in church organizations.


1912 – Lucy and Russ Sessions were married

1918 – John Bleazard was called to go on a mission to West Texas.

1919 – Emma and Russel Tittensor were married

1920 – John Bleazard and Lorna Call were married



Caleb and Diana Bleazard had the following grandchildren:


Russ and Lucy Bleazard Sessions –

  • Hazel June Sessions born June 30, 1913 in Bedford, WY

  • Dorothy Irene Sessions born May 24, 1915 in Bedford, WY

  • Diana Belle Sessions born May 20, 1917 in Bedford, WY

  • John Dale Sessions born October 11, 1934 in Afton, WY


Russel and Emma Bleazard Tittensor –

  • Jack Russell Tittensor born April 13, 1920 in Bedford, WY

  • Thomas Caleb Tittensor born April 21, 1922 in Bedford, WY

  • Anagene Tittensor born October 6, 1924 in Logan, UT


John and Lorna Bleazard –

  • Glen Call Bleazard born July 10, 1921 in Bedford, WY

  • Lorna Marie Bleazard born October 3, 1926 in Ogden, UT


Lydia Bleazard never married –

  • No children



1922 – Caleb Bleazard decided to retire and turned the business over to his son, John Bleazard.


1930 – Caleb and Diana Bleazard’s son, John Bleazard, died on January 12, 1930.


 

Vinnie Kirbridge and Diana Bleazard


Russ Sessions, June Sessions, Belle Sessions, Lucy Sessions, Diana Bleazard, Lydia Bleazard. This was taken in front of Gammie’s house in Afton, WY.


1935 – Diana M. Bleazard had a picture taken with her living brothers and sisters in August, 1935.





Lucy Sessions, Lyd Bleazard, Emma Tittensor, Diana Bleazard


1940 – Caleb Bleazard died December 15, 1940


Diana’s married life is included in the History of Caleb Bleazard.


After Caleb’s death in 1940, Diana and her daughter, Lydia, lived alone in Afton, WY. Lydia had never married because she wanted to take care of her loving parents. She was a pretty woman when she was young and had every opportunity to get married. Lydia’s health, however, was not good. Diana found it necessary to leave their home in Afton, Wyoming and go to Salt Lake City for the winters.

 
Lydia Bleazard and Diana Bleazard. Downtown Salt Lake City


THE MOVE TO SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH


They returned for summers until September 1957 when Diana was 87 years old. Diana fell off the couch and broke her hip. She was sent to the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City and was never able to return to Star Valley any more. She underwent a long operation and her broken bone was pinned. She recovered soon and was walking as spry as ever in a short while.


1963 – Diana and Lydia lived in the Sherrill Hotel-Apartments which was located on the westside of State Street between North and South Temple. The Sherrill Apartments were torn down by the LDS Church in 1963 to make room for the Church Office Buildings. Gammie was age 93 and Lyd was age 59 at the time. They moved to an apartment on South Temple between State Street and 2nd East.


Belle Sessions Simmons, took her daughters, Cindy and Sheree, often to visit Gammie and Lyd in the Sherrill Hotel-Apartments in downtown Salt Lake. Cindy was 9 years old and Sheree was 12 years old before the Sherrill Hotel was torn down. The hotel had a gated elevator that had a gate on the inside that you closed when you rode it up or down and then you opened the inside gate and opened the outside gate to walk onto your floor. Sometimes the elevator didn’t stop on exactly your floor so you had to watch your step. I found the closest picture of it as I could.




Sherrill Hotel-Apartments – Salt Lake City, Utah.                                            Gated elevator in Sherrill Hotel


I love this picture of Gammie because that is how I remembered her.


Gammie was so sweet and loving. She gave you soft kisses and patted your hands. She had long gray hair that reached her waist. I don’t think she ever cut it. She always wore her hair back.


1965 – Finally, Diana became very ill, Lydia was also sick with Parkinson’s disease and it became necessary to take Diana to the Steven’s Rest Home in Salt Lake City. During this time, her daughter, Lucy Sessions, passed away in 1966 at the age of 70. Emma Tittensor’s health failed and Lydia had to be taken to a Rest Home too. They were not happy there. Diana had been ready to go to her rest for several years. She said she was the “last leaf on the tree”. Only Emma Tittensor and Lydia Bleazard were surviving at the time in her family. All of her twelve sisters and brothers had passed on except Gertie Kirkbride.


After a month’s illness, death came at 10 o’clock a.m. on July 11, 1968. She was 98 years old. She was buried beside her husband, Caleb Bleazard, and their son, John Bleazard, in the Afton Cemetery, Afton, Wyoming. At her death, she had 9 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.







Photo of Caleb and a woman who may be his mother, Lydia Davis Bleazard 


CALEB DAVIS BLEAZARD, 
son of John Hopwood and Lydia Davis Bleazard

Caleb Davis Bleazard was born 1 March 1865 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He died in Afton, Lincoln, Wyoming on 15 December 1940.

Caleb married Elizabeth Diana Merritt on 20 March 1892 in Peoa, Summit Co., Utah. She was born 27 December 1869 in West Jordan, Utah, and she died on July 11, 1968 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Children born to Elizabeth Diana Merritt and Caleb Davis Bleazard are:

1. Dau Bleazard b. 7 Dec 1893 in Peoa, Summit Co., UT; d. on 7 Dec 1893
2. Dau Bleazard b. 5 Dec 1894, Peoa, Summit Co., Ut; d. 1894
3. Lucy Diana Bleazard b. 18 Sept 1895 in Peoa, Summit Co., UT; d. 11 Jan 1966 in Salt Lake City, UT
4. Emma Bleazard b. 16 July 1897, Thayne, LIncoln, WY; d. 25 Jan 1986 in Brigham City, UT
5. John Bleazard b. 19 Dec 1898, Thayne, Lincoln, WY; d. 12 Jan 1930 in Afton, Lincoln, WY
6. Lydia Bleazard b. 9 January 1904, Thayne, Lincoln, WY; d. 8 Dec 1972

This site/blog has stories and pictures about Caleb Davis Bleazard and his descendants:

http://foreveryours-mudderbear.blogspot.com/2008/08/grandpaps-store-in-bedford.html

http://mudderbear.blogspot.com/ 




CALEB & DIANA BLEAZARD FAMILY


Married Elizabeth Diana Merritt, 20 Mar 1892, Peoa, Summit, Utah

Obituary: Final tribute To Caleb D. Bleazard On December 17 at one o'clock, in the Afton North Ward church house, funeral services were held for Caleb D. Bleazard, who passed away at his home in Afton Sunday morning, after a prolonged illness, extending over a period of twenty years, of which the last five were spent in intense suffering and misery.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Bishop Gardner, assisted by his counselors, Harvey Allred and Evan Call. Prayers were offered by Anson V. Call and Carl Cook. The following musical numbers beautifully rendered and were special favorites of the deceased.

Trumpet Solo: "The Holey City" by Elden Torvensen. Male Quartet: "O My Father" Harvey Allred, Elden Allred, Ronald Allred and Francis Winters, accompanied by Mrs. Francis Winters. Vocal Solo: "Star of the East" by Phyllis Hepworth. Violin Duet: "I Have Read of a Beautiful City", Oral and Ewrin Merritt. Male Quartet: "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere" Harvey, Ronald and Elden Allred and E Francis Winters. Vocal Duet: "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go" Mrs Leola Allred and Ronald Allred.

The speakers were Lee Preston of Bedford, Ben Nield of Afton, L. I. Jenkins of Freedom, Bishop L. W. Fluckiger of Etna and President A. F. Burton of Afton. 

Each sermon was short, words were well chosen and volumes were spoken in the brief tributes paid to an honest, stalwart pioneer who loved truth and right, and lived up to these principles in his everyday affairs of life. He was laid to rest beside his son in the Afton cemetery. The dedicatory prayer was offered by Ed Wilkes of Afton.

Pall bearers were Russ Sessions, Russel Titensor, Glen Bleazard, Heber Merritt, Joseph Merritt and Theron Merritt.

The survivors are: Mrs C. D. Bleazard, three daughters, Lucy Sessions, Emma Titensor and Lydia Bleazard, seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren. His only son, John, preceded him in death eleven years ago.

Caleb Davis Bleazard was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 1, 1865, son of John and Lydia Davis Bleazard, who were 1847 Utah pioneers. He was married in the Salt Lake Temple to Diana Merritt on March 20, 1892. To this union were born five children.

At the early age of twelve, Caleb was left on orphan, being forced to make his own way in the world. He learned self reliance and to be prudent and economical. Picking up odd jobs, sleeping on the streets at night, receiving unkind treatment from disinterested relatives and going hungry when there was no work to be found, were all unpleasant experiences that might have turned the heart of a young boy to bitterness, and beckoned him on toward the path of crime and sin, but because of his valiant spirit and noble character he pursued and conquered reaching maturity with honor, having kept himself clean in body and mind and being prepared financially to support a wife and family.

His early married life was spent in Peoa, Utah, where he owned a small farm. About 44 years ago, having heard about the undeveloped opportunities in the great open spaces of Star Valley, he came with his wife and baby daughter to Thayne, taking up a homestead there for a number of years. He specialized in cattle raising and farming on a large scale. His farm in Thayne was one of the best managed and scientifically worked places in Star Valley.

In 1908 he purchased the store at Bedford and received the appointment of postmaster, serving in that capacity for a period of twenty years.

In 1922, because of failing health, he retired from active life, purchased a home in Afton and "carried on" as long as his infirm body would permit. The last five years of his life were spent sitting in his chair, his mind still keen and active, and his spirit longing to do something more to make his home and surroundings attractive and beautiful.

Caleb was not a public man, to many he was thought to be gruff and to have possessed no religion, but no father was ever dearer and kinder to his children. His mind was a storehouse of wisdom. He was a liberal donor, an honest tithe payer and throughout the long years of affliction and suffering he maintained faith, was steadfast and firm
in his testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Passing through the trying ordeal of an incurable disease, he remained patient and was sympathetic and sorrowful when others were in trouble. A dominate characteristic worth of mention, was his civic pride and interest in public welfare. To every community enterprise he was liberal with financial aid and willing to perform his share of manual labor. It was his privilege to contribute money for the building of the Salt Lake Temple, the Canadian Temple, the Hawaiian Temple and the Mesa Temple, and it was on of his last wishes that a check be sent to the Idaho Falls Temple fund.

Tears of joy would fill his eyes at the mention of "missionaries" and nothing gave him more pleasure than to contribute to this cause. His only son filled a mission, one of his two grandsons is now in the field and he had the desire that his remaining grandson go as soon as his age permitted.

Mr. Bleazard possessed a great love for the artistic side of life. Classical music and good dramatic productions were his favorite entertainment. He was a member of the Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake city during his boyhood years, and would work all week for twenty-five cents, spending it on Saturday night for a seat in "nigger Heaven" in the old Salt Lake Theater, to see a fine drama presented by Salt Lake's best talent.

The children and posterity of this exemplary man desire to follow in the pathway he has made, for this path is straight and true and will lead to eternal salvation also honest independent life in mortal probation.

Bleazard, Caleb D (2) (26 Dec 1940) Star Valley Independent




Notes from Joan

Rosalie Kelsey is a descendant of Caleb Davis Bleazard, and she will be a collaborator on this site and will be adding information and working on this page.

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