Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wessman 6: Henry John Hayward

This history is from my files. No author is listed. I note a few errors, such as the mention of the Deal Branch in London. (Deal is far from London on the eastern coast of England.) But this is a fine way to start on the history of the Hayward family. Henry John Hayward is the father of Jean Hayward Wessman, the author of the many postcards which have been the topic of many recent posts here.


Henry John Hayward was the oldest son of Gammon and Sarah Ann Cripps Hayward and was born in London, England, on September 2, 1852. His parents were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his father being president of the Deal Branch of that church in London. When Harry was but six months of age, he started with his parents for Utah. They were five months completing the trip and arrived in the valley in September of 1853, making the journey across the plains by ox team. His early life was the usual life of a pioneer boy with very limited opportunity for education as the parents had to pay for their schooling, and with a large family (which increased to eleven in number) there were not means to go around. 

His father had been a ship builder in England so of course had to turn to other work which naturally enough was carpentering. His father built the first boat that ran successfully on Great Salt Lake and Harry worked with his father during its construction and afterwards he worked on the boat after it was put into operation. The boat was used to tow barges across the lake to carry ties from the west end of the lake to the Promontory for the Southern Pacific Railroad when it was built through to California in 1869. This boat was built for General Patrick O’Connor, the founder of Fort Douglas, and was named in honor of his daughter Kate O’Connor. At one time they were marooned on the lake for three days. They lost their barges in the storm and it was feared that they were all lost, but after the wind subsided they managed to get to shore by means of oars. He was at this time but fourteen years of age.

At fifteen he started to learn the carpentering trade and he worked with the largest contracting firm in Salt Lake at that time, known as Taylor, Romney, and Latimer, who had a mill and lumber yard. While working for this firm, he was an overseer on many of the largest buildings in Salt Lake. He continued to work for them until he started in business for himself which was in 1881. In partnership with Oliver Hodson, John Wadrup and Bert Wooley he opened a general contracting business, their business being just west of the present Orem Station on South Temple Street. They later moved to Second West between North and South Temple streets and organized the Salt Lake Building and Manufacturing Company which business was conducted in this location for 27 years. During this time Mr. Hayward served as President of the company. The company’s plant, which comprised a planing mill and lumber yard, was burned in 1919 with heavy loss. After this he engaged in independent contracting up to the time of his last illness. Many Salt Lake buildings erected by Mr. Hayward stand as monuments to his long life of active service. Among some of the better known are the Orpheum Building, the Kearns building and the Ezra Thompson building.

He was married to Elizabeth Ann Pugsley on December 23, 1875, and nine children were born of that union, only three of whom reached maturity, namely Hazel Jean Wessman, Elizabeth Cripps Edwards, and John Ewing Hayward. After the birth of his third child, he spent six months in San Francisco working in the day and going to school at night. He also studied engineering and architecture in night school when opportunity offered. He was a very clever mechanic and understood how to handle men and he supervised the erection of many of the fine homes of Salt Lake.

He was elected a member of the city council from the third precinct for one term being elected in 1895. It was the only public office he ever held. He was a member of the L.D.S. church, a member of the Rotary Club for many years, and also a member of the Elks and Commercial Clubs at one time. He spent three months traveling in Europe in 1908.

He was a quiet, unassuming man, devoted to his family, and his whole life was spent caring for them in an endeavor to make life easy for them. He had also acquired a large group of friends in his 45 years as a contractor. He died January 5, 1927, age 74 years, after a happy married life of fifty one years.

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