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(1830 – 1904)


William Morse was born June 6, 1830 at Llanelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales. His grandfather, Jonathan Morse, who was born in Pembrey, died less than three months earlier on February 3, 1823. His grandmother, Mary Roberts, who was also born in Pembrey, died less than three months earlier on February 3, 1823. His father, William Morse, who was christened in Pembrey, April 17, 1785, died December 31, 1844, when his son, William, was fourteen years old. His mother, Mary Thomas, was born in 1788 in Llanelly, which is nearby.

His parents had the following children: Mary (died in infancy), Mary, Ann, John, Jane, Margaret (died in infancy), William, Margaret, and Richard.

Even before William Morse was old enough to work, his father used to carry him into the coal mines in order to get an extra tram so that he could make a few more shillings. When in his teens, William Morse moved to Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire to work in the coal mines. While there he received the Gospel. Because of his conversion, he was hissed and shunned by his companions. Regardless of many trying circumstances, he held steadfast to his beliefs.

At the age of 29, on October 8, 1859, he married Margaret Evans, daughter of Ebenezer Evans and Amy Williams, and granddaughter of David and Esther Evans. They moved from Merthyr Tydfil to Mountain Ash. Their first daughter was born in Merthyr Tydfil. William continued to work there in the coal mines. In 1862, Ann, their second child, was born.

[Photo of William Morse and Margaret Evans]

In the spring of 1863 they planned to leave for Zion by way of Liverpool, but those plans were changed. The trip began by train to London. Then they left port June 4, 1863 on the ship “Amazon”, made famous by the visit of Charles Dickens, the famous English author. The voyage across the Atlantic in this sailing vessel took seven weeks and three days to reach New York. From there they left by train for the West.

They left Florence, Nebraska on 10 August 1863 in the company of Captain Thomas E. Ricks, and reached Salt Lake City on October 4, 1863. It was only a few months past William’s thirty-third birthday. They spent their first winter at Logan, Utah in the home of William Davis, a relative. In the spring, William Morse made arrangements for a lot on which to build a dugout, his first home in Zion. In order to support his family, he worked wherever he could get a day’s wage, and at night often shouldered a gun and stood guard against the Indians.

[Photo of Margaret Evans]

Their first daughter, Emma, was born in 1865. The next year the family, now five, moved into a log cabin that he built. Although this cabin had a dirt roof and dirt floor, it boasted factory windows. While living there, their only son, William Evans Morse, was born.

In 1867 and 1868 he was successful in freighting to Montana, and in the sprig of 1869 he went to Samaria, Idaho without his family. Before he could send for them it was necessary that he again construct a dwelling place. He built another log cabin, again with dirt roof and floor, but this time was unable to provide windows. By fall, the cabin was completed, and he moved his family from Logan to Samaria. At that time there were only six or seven families living there.

Four more daughters were born in this village, making eight children in all. A complete list of the family includes: Mary Jane, Ann, Emma, William E., Maggie, Rachel, Sarah and Sophia.

Although William Morse was trained only for work in the coal mines, and was further handicapped by having no farming tools, he became a successful farmer.

He was a faithful and an active worker in the community. He was one of the directors of the Samaria Water and Irrigation Company for a number of years, and held the position of watermaster.

He was also consistently faithful to the Church, which had been his reason for coming to this new land. He was a member of the choir, Ward Teacher, one of the members of the High Priests Quorum Presidency over the Malad Stake, and belonged to the School of the Prophets. He was active in temple work.

With a life so full of pioneering and constant labor, he was not privileged to attend school. However, in Sunday School in Wales, he learned to read the Welsh language, and also learned to read and write in English. He was the best-informed man in Samaria in matters pertaining to the Gospel.

William Morse lived almost three-fourths of a century. He died April 15, 1904, leaving a fine posterity interested in civic and religious activities. God raised such men to pioneer.

[Family Portrait]

             Children of William Morse and Margaret Evans
Back row: Rachel Morse Williams, Emma Morse Price, Sarah Morse Williams,
          Sophia Morse Hawkins, Margaret (Maggie) Morse Jones
Front row: Ann Morse Camp, William Evans Morse, Mary Jane Morse Jones

William Morse
  Born: 6 June 1830
  Married: Margaret Evans, 8 Oct 1859
    She was born 10 Oct 1836

  Their third child was Emma Morse Price
  Born: 17 June 1865
  Married: John Evan Price, 15 Mar 1886
    He was born 18 Jan 1855.

  Their second child was John Morse Price
  Born: 1 Nov 1886
  Married: Ruth Williams, 9 Feb 1907
    He was born 27 Mar 1889