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Israel Hoyt Esplin


Israel Hoyt Esplin was born 15 April 1883 in Orderville, Utah. His parents were John James Esplin (1857-1936) and Emily Alvira Hoyt (1858-1930).

He was a resident of Orderville, Utah all of his life. He was a man of medium build, reddish brown hair which was curly. He was a good looking man who always dressed neatly and was dignified in appearance, speech and bearing.

He attended school in Orderville. He was an excellent student and attended the Branch Agricultural College for one year. He loved to read and was well informed about the happenings in the world and was familiar with many of the literary masterpieces.

He was a popular young man and was active in dramatics and other activities of the community. He was always active in the church and helped with many community projects. During the summers he assisted his father on the farm and with the sheep on the range.

Israel Hoyt Esplin and Chastie Vilate Stolworthy were married in the St. George Temple 8 December 1903. They traveled by wagon, a journey of several days, in company with another couple, to be married in the temple. They traveled over a route that in recent years has been called the “Honeymoon Trail.”

Israel was called to serve a mission to the Southern States in 1907. He left for his mission October 3, 1907, leaving a wife and a young son, Roland, to live with his parents. Their second child, Lenna was born March 5, 1908, about five months after leaving for the mission field.

He served faithfully as a missionary and held leadership positions in the mission. His mission president was Charles A. Callis. He returned home with an honorable release as a missionary November 13, 1909. During his mission he served as Presiding Elder over the Ohio Conference and was called to preside over the Tennessee Conference as well.

Upon returning home he worked as manager of the Orderville Co- op Store for a short period of time. He decided this was not the kind of work he wanted to do so he worked with his father on the farm and with sheep. He and his brother, James, had acquired a small herd of sheep. James cared for the sheep while Israel served a mission then Israel cared for the sheep with James served a mission and later attended Utah Station Agricultural College in Logan.

Father and Mother were the parents of ten children - seven boys and three girls. Father used to say that all his children were girls except seven. Palona, the first child born, died that same day. The other children - Roland, Lenna, Emily, Willard, Lavoy, James, Vance, Ross and Don grew to maturity and had families of their own.

Father was a good provider, a loving, concerned father of his wife and family. We had a happy, secure family life and received proper instruction in the right way to live. Our parents did not send us to church; they took us with them to church.

Father served in many positions of responsibility during his life time. He was a member of the Kane County Board of Education for many years. He served as President of the Board and was one of the prime movers in the establishment of the Valley High School in Orderville. He served two terms in the Utah State Legislature. At one time he served as Deputy Sheriff in Kane County. He was the Sheep Inspector for the county. he was a wise man and many came to him for advice and counsel on many matters.

He was very active as a church member. He served as a Bishop’s Counselor for many years and was a member at one time of the Kanab Stake High Council. He served a short time as Bishop of the Orderville Ward, but after a few months was released because of ill health.

His health continued to worsen over the next four years and he died in the McGregor Hospital, at St. George, March 28, 1937. he was buried in the Orderville Cemetery, March 31, 1937.

Father acquired Considerable property consisting of a ranch of about 3,000 acres in Rube’s Canyon, the Muddy and the Orderville Gulch. He had grazing permits for sheep on the Dixie National Forest and the Arizona Strip. He had a nice home and 2 irrigated field in the Orderville area. He was considered well to do until his health failed him and the financial problems of the Great Depression of the 1930‘s. He had a herd of 2500 head of sheep.

We had a wonderful Mother - an excellent housekeeper and homemaker. Together our parents provided a secure, happy home life for their children. They were good examples for others to follow. They taught by precept and example - taking us to church and not just sending us.

Thomas Lavoy Esplin
May 20, 1992