Friday, November 18, 2011

In Their Own Words: Edwin Eyre

Not an autobiography, but an account of Edwin Eyre, and his family, written soon after his death. This account was published in The History of Minersville.

Edwin Eyre, the son of James and Ann Naylor Eyre was born 16 April, 1845 at Dowsby, Lincolnshire, England. He was one of a family of thirteen children. He worked on the farm with his father in his early teens and became an efficient farmer.

He and his wife were faithful workers in the service of Jesus Christ. He was privileged to attend the School of the Prophets. He was a very able public speaker and missionary.

In April 1865, he sailed from England on the ship Bellwood with his parents and brother Benjamin for Zion. His Mother died while crossing and was buried in the ocean. They landed in New York June 1,1865. From there they journeyed to Missouri, and then to Wyoming, where the ox freight teams were used for the journey to Zion. He and his brother drove the ox team, and their father came with them. Edwin was given the job of night herding the cattle, but he got lost one night and slept in a hollow tree.

In the midst of Indian attacks, sore legs, and empty stomachs, the boys would sing. They loved to do it. Their Father, James Eyre took sick at a place called Butter Creek and died a few days later. He died happy in the knowledge that he was a Mormon. They buried him by the roadside, not far from Fort Bridger. They arrived in Salt Lake City, 1 2 October 1865, after traveling four months, a very happy group enduring many hardships.

John, his older brother who had come to America earlier came to meet them in Salt Lake, in hopes of seeing his parents once again, he was very saddened to learn of the death of his parents. A short time was spent in Salt Lake &then they moved to Parowan. There he met a sister, Ellen Eyre Banks, who had left England before he was born. At Minersville he met another sister, Charlotte Eyre Banks; a brother, George and a sister, Sarah Myers was at Beaver.

Edwin Eyre lived in Greenville and Beaver one year, and St. George two years. The rest of his life as spent in Minersville. He was an active community man. He aided in fencing fields, making canals and ditches, building reservoirs, fencing the church house, making a cemetery, constructing roads and building bridges. He molded the brick for the Minersville Chapel, and also helped make and burn the brick for the school house. He hauled material to Dixie and guarded the town on many occasions from the Indians. He held the positions of Town Marshall, County Commissioner, water master, and school trustee for many years. He was very active in religious affairs as well as civic.

He was ordained a High Priest by Apostle F. M. Lyman. He was superintendent of the Sunday School for 12 years, a member of the ward choir, president of the religion class, and the parent class, counselor to Bishop Baker. He worked on two temples, and was a home missionary for many years.

In 1881, he was set apart for a mission to Great Britain, and his wife was left to care for the family. He baptized 26 members during this mission. He labored one year as a Sunday School missionary in St. George and Kanab Stakes. He also served a two-year mission working on the St. George Temple, He was a faithful member.

The crowning point in his life was when he met - and married Melinva Myers in the year of 1 866, in Beaver. They were married 3 December 1866, by Bishop James H. Rollins. Ten children were born to them: Edwin Jr., Martha Ann, Melinva Elsie, James William, Joseph Hyrum, Sarah Ellen, Paulina, Janme, George Alma, and Jediah.

He is well remembered for his love of music and his voice. His pride and joy was the singing of the LDS hymns. In later years he suffered from an ailment caused by asthma, but he had always been a very hard worker. He died 27 April 1929, and was buried in the Minersville Cemetery.

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