John A. Lewis, b. 1814, Peach Grower

Lewis, John A. b. 1814      Peach bushels
While we’re on the topic of peaches, let me tell you a story about John’s Great Great Grandpa, John A. Lewis.  He was a stone mason, born in 1814 in Llandaff, Wales.  In 1834 he married his 16-year-old sweetheart, Ann John.  She was born in Cardiff in 1818.  She and John had 7 children while they lived in Cardiff.  Four of them survived childhood.  In 1850, at the young age of 32, Ann died and was buried at Saint John’s Parish in Cardiff.  John married again and had 2 more children.

While in Cardiff, John A. Lewis was a wealthy man.  After studying and being converted to the LDS faith, he left his homeland and paid passage for many families to come to America.  In 1854 he and his children crossed the plains, arriving in the Great Salt Lake Valley September 30.

Upon his arrival, he began working on the foundation of the Salt Lake Temple.  Then President Brigham Young sent John A. and his family north, to the Brigham City area, where they needed a good stone mason.  He and his son, Frederick built several stone houses there.

John planted a peach orchard with the peach stones given him by Brigham Young.  He prepared the ground, dedicated it for planting, and asked God to bless his efforts.  His fruit orchard was the first to bear fruit in the area.

John  never again enjoyed the ease of the life he had in Wales, but he left a legacy of generosity and music and service.  And peaches!

Here are the children of John A. Lewis:  Frederick, Ann, Mary Ann and William:Lewis, John A. children

Below is a photo of the original headstone of John A. Lewis.  It is in our back yard.  When the stone broke, the family replaced it with a new one.  It seemed right that another John Lewis who married another Ann should be memorialized here, in our yard.  Parts of the old stone of his second wife, Priscilla, are just below his.

Lewis, John A. Headstone

Lewis, Ann John Headstone (3) Lewis, Ann John Headstone (1)

About annlaemmlenlewis

I am member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I am currently serving as a Missionary in the Washington Yakima Mission. Welcome to my personal blog, Ann's Words, and my Mission blog, Our Yakima Mission. If you are interested in family history stories and histories, you can find those posted in Ann's Stories. Thanks for looking in!
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3 Responses to John A. Lewis, b. 1814, Peach Grower

  1. Alan C. Miner says:

    I was so pleased to find your story about John A. Lewis and Ann John. I am one of their descendants. Inasmuch as I have set a goal to accumulate and write the histories of all my pioneer ancestors, and to make sure that each has a memorial stone, I was intrigued by your pictures of their old headstones. Could you get in touch with me and let me know the story of the old headstones and what they have written on them? My name is Alan Miner and I live in Springville,Utah.

    • Hi Alan
      I live in Orem, not far from you. When the old stones broke and fell, the cemetery told us they would need to be replaced. I was thrilled to bring the old stones home to our yard, particularly because John A. Lewis and Ann John are my husband’s 3rd great grandparents and we share their names, John & Ann Lewis. The inscription on John A. Lewis’s stone is: In Memory of John A. Lewis Born Dec 11 _ 1814 in Llandaff Glamorganshire South Wales. Died May 4 _ 1887 at Spanish Fork Here lies our Father/A noble sire./A man of God,/A freind [sic] to the poor.
      Ann Johns died in Cardiff. I’ve visited St. John’s Cardiff Cathedral. Here are the notes from the church there: 298-535 – Frederick, son of John and Ann LEWIS; died 1838, aged 1 year. Also Amelia, infant daughter. Also the said Ann LEWIS. There is presently a sidewalk layed over her grave, behind St. John’s.
      The other headstone memorial from the Spanish Fork Cemetery was in bad shape. It was the stone for his 2nd wife, Priscilla Merriman b. 1811 in Wales, d. 28 June 1887 in Spanish Fork. We brought home 2 worn and broken pieces of it. The words on the other stone are no longer legible. They said something like: She left her home and freinds (also spelled wrong) and crossed the deep, and now at last has gone to sleep.
      You are welcome to drop by to see them anytime.
      My husband John’s sister, Barbara Camp in Alpine is our Lewis Family Historian. You can contact her here: Barbara and Lowell Camp (lbbmcamp@yahoo.com) She has done a good deal of research on this family. I let her know you might contact her and she is excited to hear from you.

      Thanks for your note.
      Ann

      • Alan Miner says:

        Dear Ann, Thank you so very much for taking the time to respond. I have just read what you have written. Thank you again for preserving the headstones, for taking a nice photograph of them, and posting it. This is the same pattern that we have chosen to use in our family for our “keepsake” items that have been passed down to us. Whoever has them has been asked to write a small history of the keepsake item, include a nice “high resolution” photo, and send the article by e-mail to all the other cousins. In that way we all have something special for “show & tell” without the responsibility of caring for the keepsake. The keepsake becomes part of everyone’s heritage even though only one person can have it. I will keep in touch. Have a nice day, Alan

        Date: Fri, 16 May 2014 02:30:46 +0000 To: alan.c.miner@hotmail.com

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