John Hopwood Bleazard

John William (Will) and Louisa May Walker (Wease) Bleazard and their son,

Mark Walker Bleazard


Joan Bleazard Thomas



The childhood and teenage years of my father, Mark Walker Bleazard

(1909 to 1930) in Peoa, Utah and Mountain Home, Utah.

My father, Mark Walker Bleazard, lived his childhood and teenage years in Peoa and Mountain Home, Utah. Before beginning the memories of my father and his family, however, I want to provide you with information about Mark'’s ancestors so we, his descendants, will know where, when and how our ancestors first arrived in Utah.

(On the John Hopwood Bleazard website ( there are more stories and photos of our ancestors)

First I will tell you about Mark'’s paternal Great Grandfather, John Hopwood Bleazard. John was forty-two-years old and living in England when he was baptized and became a member of the Mormon Church. He came to American from Liverpool, England in October 1840 on the ship ‘North America’. He was a wheelwright and when he arrived at Winter Quarters in  Nebraska, he was asked to delay his journey to Utah and stay at Winter Quarters to repair wagons and make handcarts for the people who were making the trip to the Salt Lake Valley. He was also asked to spend time in Wyoming repairing and fixing wagons and carts. John entered the Salt Lake Valley a few years after Brigham Young'’s arrival in the Valley.

Mark’'s paternal Great Grandmother, Lydia Davis, was born in England in 1825. Lydia was baptized and became a Mormon in 1848. Lydia and her parents left England in March 1855 on the ship ‘Juventa’. The family arrived in Philadelphia in May 1855. From Philadelphia they went by train to Pittsburgh, down the Ohio River by steamboat to St. Louis, Missouri, and then up the Missouri River to Atchison, Kansas. At Atchison they joined a company of Mormons and the caravan of 337 wagons soon left for Salt Lake. Twelve miles out of Atchison and on August12, 1955, Lydia's father, William Davis, died and he was buried near the trail. Not long after her father'‘s death, her twenty-four year old sister, Elizabeth, died. The journey took about 5 1/2 months and they arrived in Salt Lake in October of 1855.

In Salt Lake, Lydia Davis met and married John Hopwood Bleazard and became his 7th wife. On taped recordings my father, Mark Walker Bleazard, said the following:

"“It has been said that John was hard to get along with but he must have had something because he was a polygamist and had nine or maybe ten wives. Some people have said that John arrived in Salt Lake with lots of money. John purchased several pieces of property and built homes in Salt Lake for his wives and families. One home was on 1st South and near Main Street. His ninth wife, Mary Ison Worthington, and her family lived there and that is where Great Gpa John was living in January 1871 when he died. Mary Ison Worthington was my Great Gma Rhoda Ison’'s sister.

“"Great Gma Lydia Davis and her children first lived at the 1st South home and Mark Hopwood Bleazard was born there.

"“Lydia’'s family later moved to a home on about 500 South on West Temple and this is where Gpa Mark Hopwood grew up, and it is also where my Dad (John William 'Will'”) and his sister, Lydia, were born. The place was a one or two-room shanty square built, and right on the northwest corner. Aunt Bird (Bertha Bleazard (Miles) has said the home was a four room adobe home as good as anyone had at that time. Later there was a little store or something there. Great Gma Lydia lived in this home until her death in 1878.”"

Bertha Bleazard Miles (Aunt Bird) wrote... "“I heard Pa (Mark Hopwood) talk to some men who knew his father, John Hopwood Bleazard, and the thing the men remembered was how they all liked his beer. He made the best beer in the territory and he knew all the swear words.  At Winter Quarters and in Salt Lake he took care of the horses, carriages and wagons and saw that all was ready so that the church leaders could go and do their duties.

“"As the kids in John'’s families grew up there was nothing much for them to do in Salt Lake so the Mormon Church split up the polygamist families. One family was sent to St. George, one to a little place where my Dad (Will) used to go in northern Utah, one to Kamas, and one to Roosevelt and maybe one to Tooele.”" 

Mark'’s paternal Great Grandmother, Rhoda Shaw Ison, and his Great Grandfather, William Danks, were married in England. They came to America with their four-year-old daughter, Annie Ison Danks. Some of Rhoda and William’'s children stayed in England. Rhoda had a sister named Mary Ison who married a man named Worthington in England. Mary Ison Worthington left her husband in England and brought their four children to Utah. She then became the 9th wife of John Hopwood Bleazard. Rhoda and little Annie lived in New Jersey for a long time and Annie went to school there. Eventually Annie and her mother arranged with a company of Mormons to come to Salt Lake. William Danks was not interested in the church or in coming to Utah and he tried to convince Rhoda to give up the idea and stay in New Jersey. As far as anyone knows, there were no goodbyes and when William came home from work one day, both Rhoda and Annie were gone.

After arriving in Utah, Rhoda and Annie first stayed with Rhoda’'s sister, Mary Ison (Worthington) Bleazard, in her home on lst South. They didn'’t stay at Mary'’s place very long but it was here that Annie likely met her future husband, Mark Hopwood Bleazard.

Mark’'s paternal Grandfather Mark Hopwood Bleazard and his Grandmother Annie Ison Danks were married on May 11, 1882 in the Old Endowment House in Salt Lake City. The couple first lived at a home on 3rd North, but soon moved to the Bleazard home at 5th South and West Temple. John William (Will) Bleazard, and Will’'s sister, Lydia, were born at the 500 South West Temple home. The property at 500 South West Temple later had eight homes built on it and the four children, including Mark Hopwood, each bought or inherited two of the homes.

In about 1885 Mark Hopwood Bleazard purchased a lot in Butlerville (Cottonwood). His daughter, Bertha (Bird) Bleazard Miles said, "“My Pa (Mark Hopwood) lived in Cottonwood when raids were being made on polygamist families and the men had to hide anywhere they could and very often one would hide at their place as they all knew Pa would protect them."

Mark and Annie and Annie'’s mother, Rhoda Shaw Ison Danks, lived in Butlerville (Cottonwood) until October 1899 when they and four little kids moved to Peoa.

When they moved to Peoa they had two teams of horses and a few cows. My father, Mark Walker Bleazard, remembered visiting and staying with his grandparents in Peoa. He remembered his Uncle Dale and Charles working on the farm but didn'’t remember seeing his Uncle Deb do much farming during those visits.

Mark Hopwood Bleazard held many positions in the Mormon Church including counselor to Peoa's 3rd Bishop Arthur Maxwell, who was Bishop from 1901-1916. He served as Counselor for many of those years. 

My father, Mark, said, "“In Peoa, Annie held positions in the church and she was called by the church leaders in about the year I was born (1909) to take nursing training in Salt Lake. Gpa Mark Hopwood and Gma Annie stayed in one of their Salt Lake homes while Annie took this training. It was about this time that Gpa Mark Hopwood traded his 500 South property for the home at 550 East 3300 South. This home was exactly where Granite High School was. After taking this training, Annie was always helping in homes where there was sickness and she was a Midwife. Annie loved to read and she read everything she could find.

“"At the home where Granite High School was built a little crick run down through there. Gpa and Gma had a few acres when they first settled it and probably forty acres more later on, but they just kept selling it off. At that time it was pasture country and all the land from 7th East across to State Street had cattails and wash and there were no buildings across there."

Bertha (Bird) Bleazard Miles said, "“Pa (Gpa Mark Hopwood) was a big man in his young manhood. He stood 5 ft 10 in and weighed near 200 pounds. He had black hair and gray eyes. He was reserved by nature and was never as free and out-going as Ma (Annie). He had a quick temper and it flared up quickly and died down just as fast. He was always ambitious and he was an honest man. Pa had asthma (catarrh) and he suffered a thousand deaths with it.”"

My father, Mark, said, “"Gma Annie was a red headed fiery little woman. She knew what she wanted. One time Jack and me came to Salt Lake and stayed with Gpa Mark Hopwood and Gma Annie for a week or two at the home by Granite High. Uncle Deb would want to go to town every day. He was a pool shark and he was pretty good at playing pool there on 2nd South. Second South didn'’t amount to anything at that time. Deb'’d take Jack and me uptown to show us around and we'’d sit there in that pool hall while Deb was making some money (laugh). Deb’'d play pool there and spend all of his money. I don'’t remember them drinking beer they just played pool, and that took money. My Gpa Mark Hopwood had asthma real bad and Deb just tantalized him pert near to death. Deb, who was maybe about sixteen, would come back every morning askin' Gpa for money to go play pool. Gpa would have threshed him if he could of caught him. Gpa’'d make a pass for him. Then Deb’'d go coax Gma and she’'d send him back to Gpa. Gma caused lots of the trouble. They would squabble all day long and Gpa would cough just steady. You never seen anyone suffer with asthma like Gpa did. I guess they didn'’t have treatment for asthma then.

“"In Peoa, when my Dad (Will) was about seventeen he'’d chase around. Dad'd go up to Star Valley and Malad and some of the other boys went to Star Valley. Dad would roam the country and when he’'d come back there was nothing good enough for Willie boy! Anything Will wanted Gma Annie thought he ought to have. Will would drink and do things like that and Gma Annie would put him through a window into the house when he would come back off a drinking time so Gpa Mark Hopwood wouldn'’t know ’cause he didn'’t like it." 

What follows is information about the ancestors of my father'’s mother, Louisa May (Wease) Walker.

Mark'’s maternal Great Grandfather, Abraham Marchant and his Great Grandmother, Lydia Lidiard Johnson, married while living in England. They both were converted to Mormonism in England. Abraham and Lydia were the parents of eleven children and one of their children was Lydia Elizabeth Marchant, Mark'’s grandmother. The Marchant family left Liverpool, England in February 1854 on the ship Windermere bound for New Orleans, and they arrived in Salt Lake in October 1854. They lived in South Cottonwood for a while and then moved to Peoa in 1860. Abraham was a farmer and a stock raiser and Lydia was a seamstress. Lydia was Peoa's 1st Primary President and 2nd Relief Society President. Abraham was the presiding elder over the Kamas District in 1861 and became Peoa Ward's 1st Bishop serving as such from 1877-1881. One of his counselors was his future son-in-law, Stephen Walker. Stephen was married to Abraham's daughter, Lydia Elizabeth Marchant.

Mark'’s maternal Great Grandparents, Edmund Walker and Maria Antoinette Swallow and their son, Stephen Walker, were all born in England and all died in Peoa, Utah. Edmund Walker became a member of the Mormon Church in 1840. The family came to America on the ship ‘George Bourne’ in the early 1850s. They settled at Council Bluffs, Iowa and later went to Cincinnati, Ohio where they lived until April 1859. They came across the plains in Captain Wright's company and arrived in Salt Lake in October of 1859. In the spring of 1862 they moved to Peoa, Utah.

Stephen Walker
b. 14 Oct 1842, d. 4 Feb 1922

My grandmother, Louise Walker Bleazard, gave the following two photos to me, and they were in bad condition.
I asked Inkley's on Highland Drive, SLC, to do photo restoration on the the photos in 2008 --at a cost of $100.  Joan Bleazard Thomas

This is the Peoa House owned by Stephen and Lydia Marchant Walker.  

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Stephen and Lydia Marchant Walker home (The Peoa House).
 Written on the back of the original photo are the words that are in quotes. 
"Grandpa Walker"  (Stephen Walker)
"Grandma Walker" --  (Lydia Marchant Walker)
"Louise Walker Bleazard"  -  (My grandmother. Daughter of Stephen & Lydia)
"Charles Walker" --  (son of Stephen & Lydia)
"Mr. Howarth"
"Aunt Said Walker and Baby, Ralph"
"Uncle Steve"
"Cousin Wallace"
"Thanksgiving Dinner about 50 years ago"
"About 1900" 

Charles Bath Walker 
b. 13 March 1882, d. 31 May 1900
son of Stephen and Lydia Marchant Walker 

Charles Bath Walker was born on 13 March, 1882, the ninth child of Stephen and Lydia Marchant Walker.  He attended school at Peoa and helped his father on the farm.  The following article describing his untimely death was published in the Deseret News;



COALVILLE, 31 MAY 1900 --News of a frightful and fateful accident between Peoa and Oakley reached here at noon today.  The victim is Charles Walker, the 17 year old son of Bishop Stephen Walker of Peoa.  The young man was going to Oakley to irrigate grain on his father's farm.  He drove a rather lively team and sat on the running gears, the reach of which gave him immediate support,

While going throught the canyon, he caught up with a young companion driving in the same direction.  The companion bantered young Walker for a race, and almost instantly their teams were speeding over the road at a terrific rate.  The reach across on which Walker sat snapped asunder and one of his legs shot into the wheel between the spokes in such manner as to cause his body to become firmly pinned to it.  Round and round it went until it was terribly mangled and life was extinct.  Finally the team stopped, the remains were picked up and a return home made.  The funeral will probably take place in Peoa tomorrow.

Abraham Walker
b. 29 Jan 1874, d. 28 Dec 1964
son of Stephen and Lydia Marchant Walker 

Mary Matilda Walker (Johnson)
b. 9 March 1872, d. 28 May 1953
daughter of Stephen and Lydia Marchant Walker 

Edmund Walker 
b. 10 Jan 1876, d. 24 Nov 1892

Mark'’s maternal Grandparents, Stephen Walker and Lydia Elizabeth Marchant married in Peoa in February 1866. They were the parents of eleven children and only four lived to be adults. The four who lived to be adults were Stephen Marchant Walker, Abraham Walker, Mary Walker Johnson and Mark'’s mother, Louisa May (Wease) Walker Bleazard. In Peoa, Stephen and Lydia owned the Peoa House’ that boarded teachers, fisherman and others. Stephen Walker was Peoa's 2nd Bishop and he served as Bishop from 1882-1901.

My father, Mark Walker Bleazard said, "My Gpa Walker was quite a small fellow, light colored beard and moustache. Both Gpa Stephen and Gma Lydia Marchant Walker were gentle people and wouldn'’t even kill a fly.”"

Alice Bleazard Oman, told this story, "'A snake came in their house one day and Gpa just took the broom and brushed that thing outside and sent it on its way. Gpa Walker was perfect to me and I used to be with him a lot. He had the post office and there was a little place where he had books and I would sit in there while he was taking care of the Post Office. I just can'’t hardly stand to think about Gpa Walker because it makes me feel so sad, he was so good to me, just like a parent. It was hard to leave him and come to Mountain Home.”" 

Alice Bleazard (Oman) and her grandfather, Stephen Walker 

Mark said, "“Gpa Walker was really a good man and he just thought the world of my Mother (Wease). About that other bunch, the Bleazards? They didn'’t think Mother was good enough for ‘Willie’ at all."

Stephen (Jack) Bleazard, remembered being told that Stephen Walker could sing and, "whenever there were parties he was asked to sing, which he did reluctantly.”"

Alice said, "They (the Bleazard’s) didn'’t like Mom very much and didn'’t want Dad to marry her. Other people didn't think that Dad was good enough for Mom."

Louisa May (Wease) Walker (Bleazard) 1899

John William (Will) Bleazard

 Joan says: "My grandfather, John William (Will) Bleazard, and my grandmother, Louisa May (Wease) Walker were married in Peoa, Utah on December 15, 1904. John (Will) and Louisa (Wease) lived in the Peoa and Park City area for about ten years. Vera Lavon Bleazard was born in Peoa in 1905 and Alice Bleazard was born in Park City in 1907. Mark Walker Bleazard was born in Peoa in 1909, Stephen Jack Bleazard was born in Peoa in 1910 and Charles (Chick) Bleazard was born in Peoa in 1913."

John William and Louisa Walker Bleazard's 1st child, Vera Lavon, and their 3rd child, Mark Walker

"Before my father, Mark, was born Wease wrote to Will. The letter was sent from Peoa, Utah and dated February 8, 1906. Wease wrote, "“Darling Husband. I just received your note and was glad to hear your ears were feeling better. Hope they continue to be so. Bird is about the same although she hasn'’t been up here since Monday. Our baby (Alice) is feeling better, her cold is better. Rob Maxwell'’s folks are quarantined for chicken pox.

"“Deary, don'’t go in the mine if you don'’t get work. I guess this is all for this time but I'’m hoping to hear or see you soon. With Love to our Papa, Wease." On February 15th Wease wrote: "“Dearest Will: What’'s the reason you don'’t write to me, don'’t you think I am worth wasting 2 cents on any more, or don'’t you like me? I have written two letters before this and I see that you have time to write to other people but guess that you consider I am not worthy of a letter. Let it be what it is. I will drop you a few lines to let you know your baby is pretty well, her cold is much better. I know you care for her. ‘How are you feeling? I see by the letter you wrote to your Mother (Annie) you wasn'’t feeling very well. Why don'’t you come home? Is it because you don'’t want to see me? Bird is better. If you have time I would like to hear from you. I would like you to come home! With Lots of Love I remain, Your Wife. xoxo from your Baby. Have you got work yet? I make it up through the mud every night to the Office, but all in vain. L.B."

My father, Mark Walker Bleazard, was born on January 9, 1909 and my mother, Evelyn Dorothy (Pete) Jenson was born that same year on April 10, 1909.

+++In 1909, the year Mark and Pete were born, the average family income in the United States was $594 per year, a loaf of bread cost 5 cents and postage stamps were 2 cents. A pound of sugar was 5 cents. The Dow Jones Average low was 79.91 and the high was 100.53. The first colored moving pictures were demonstrated in 1909, and the World Fair was held in Seattle. William H. Taft was President of the United States and the Vice President was James S. Sherman. Americans Robert Peary and Matthew Hensen reached the North Pole, and Orville Wright tested the first US army plane. The songs being sung were '“I Wonder Who’se Kissing Her Now', “'Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet', “'Casey Jones'” and “'By the Light of the Silvery Moon.' The first Lincoln Head Pennies were minted and the first regular radio broadcasts began in America. In 1909, Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Barry Goldwater, Benny Goodman, Al Capp, Ethel Merman and Carmen Miranda were born+++

The Uintah Basin was opened for homesteading in 1905. Will and Ted Miles (husband of Will'’s sister, Bertha Bleazard Miles) and maybe Mark Hopwood Bleazard had been to the Basin in 1912 and collected some logs for a cabin. My father, Mark, said, "“I think they brought the big cast iron stove out with them at that time. They put the cabin up to the square and cut a hole for the door and cut a window to the west, but didn't put the door or window in. The cabin was built in the fall and in the early spring May/June 1913, a team was hitched to our wagon and we loaded all our stuff and left Peoa headed for Mountain Home. At this time, Vera was 7 1/2 years old; Alice was 6; Mark was 4; Jack was 2 ½; and Chick was 3 months old. I remember it being so cold that it seemed like January weather to me. The Joe and Nancy Jenson family was making the trip with us, and I remember Cal Jenson was always holding his breath.”"

Jack and Viola remembered that the logs for the cabin came from a cabin that had been on the Heber Harward place. Alice said, "There were six chickens tied in a box on the back of the wagon and Dad had $7.50 in his pocket. It took eight days to make the trip over Farm Creek and Wolf Creek Pass. The only stock we had was the team of horses.”"

Albert Halen, Register signed a Notice For Publication in 1921 which read as follows: "Department of the Interior, U.S. Land Office at Vernal, Utah, June 10, 1921. Notice is hereby given that John W. Bleazard of Mountain Home, Utah who on August 3, 1912 made Homestead Application No 04292 for Uintah Indian Lands, 1/2NW1/4Nl/2SWl/4, Section 15, Township 1S, Range 5W, U.S. Meridian has filed notice of intention to make Five year Proof to establish claim on the land above described, before Rulen J. Larsen, Clerk of the District Court at Duchesne, Utah on the lst day of August 1921.

Claimant names as witnesses: Charles Bleazard of Mt. Home, Utah; Ernest J. Mitchell of Mt. Home, Utah; John E. Miles of Mt. Home, Utah; Warren P. Mecham, of Mt. Home, Utah.

The early homesteaders in the Uintah Basin would say, "The government bets the homesteader 160 acres of land at the price of $1.25 an acre, that he can'’t live on it for fourteen months without starving to death."

Notes from Joan

This is a story I had published December 2002 and it is about my father's, Mark Walker Bleazard, family and youth. I had a tape recorder when I talked with my father, Mark Walker Bleazard, and also when I talked with his siblings Jack Stephen Bleazard; Alice Bleazard Oman; William (Bill) Walker Bleazard; Anna Dee Bleazard (Rowley/Coupens). The letters and documents etc referred to are in my possession. This is the first part of the story. The next part will be about life in the Bleazard Cabin and in MOUNTAIN HOME, UTAH.  I hope you find the information about Utah, Church, Nation and World History of interest. jbt