Biography of Samuel Worthen

Written by Elizabeth Worthen Henderson of Panguitch, Utah

Samuel Worthen, the son of Richard Worten and Mary Cowap, was born December 21, 1825 at Northwich, Cheshire, England. When a boy about ten years of age, he went as an apprentice to learn the trade of a mason, and through his training he became a master mechanic of the trade. He, in connection with his Mother, brothers and sister, emigrated from England to the United States when he was a young man. They joined the church in England in 1840.

In the year of 1844, when eighteen years old, he married Sarah Hallam in the East, likely in Illinois, as their two first children were born at Nauvoo. A year before leaving the States, two of his brothers, Richard II and Joseph, were drowned in the Des Moines river in Iowa. His only sister died in New Orleans.

In the year of 1850, his family together with his Mother and brother John came to Utah and settled in Salt Lake City. On April 27, 1856, he married Maria Louisa Grow of that city. While residing there, he became a clerk in the store owned by Giblert and Barish. He was a member of the brass band and acted as a bugler during the Echo Canyon Campaign.

About 1862, he was called to help settle the Dixie Country, so he sold his farm at Centerville, that being where Aunt Maria was living, and settled on a ranch about half way between Harmony and Kanarra which was known as the “Worthen Springs”. He later took his first wife, Sarah to St. George where she made her home, leaving Maria at Harmony. The first Co-op store in St. George was held in the basement of what was known as the Bighouse and later the Dixie Hotel. Father was hired to clerk in this store. His daughter, Mrs. Eliza Judd, and her husband later owned the Hotel. The goods for this store were brought from California by team.

He went to Salt Lake City in the year 1864 and worked in the Godbe Store. While there he met and married his thrid wife, Jane Osborne. The were married in the Salt Lake City Endowment House on February 4, 1865. A year and a half after this, he brought her to Harmony to make her home.

In the year 1873, he left Harmony with his two families, with the intention of going to Long Valley, but upon arriving at Panguitch on the 9th of May of that year, he was persuaded by Uncle Jim Henrie and Bishop Sevy and others to remain here, so he moved into the old Fort. Later, building a house on the lots now owned by Brandon Shakespeare, and still later purchased the lot across the street west from the school house and built a two room log house, which was replaced by brick house later in 1883, and which is still standing an occupied by Joe Gale Houston and family. He built the meeting house in Panguitch, and also the Tabernacle, Relief Hall, the old Co-op store and all the brick houses in Panguitch, except Uncle John Imlay’s, until the year 1882, when Henry Excell came from England and assisted in the work. They are all monuments of his splendid skill and workmanship.

He worked on the Tabernacle at St. George in the year 1871, and on the Temple in 1875. He also worked on the Manti Temple in 188_. He also built houses in a number of cities between Salt Lake City and St. George, and in every settlement between Panguitch and St. George, also at Minersville and many other places.

He served six months in the State Penitentiary for having more than one wife. After being released from the Penitentiary, he worked three months in Salt Lake City in the Z.C.M.I. shoe store. On his way home, he came by Beaver and Minersville, and on this trip he contracted a severe cold. When he arrived at his home in Panguitch, Utah, he was seriously ill. He lived only two days after his arrival home.

He died at his house in Panguitch, Utah on February 2, 1888, of Black Quincy. He was buried in the city cemetery of Panguitch on February 4, 1888. No funeral was held for him as people were afraid he had some contagious disease, however funeral services were held for him the next day February 5.

He was the father of 28 children. He has 145 grandchildren and a large number of great grandchildren, and also great-great-grandchildren.

He was loved and respected by all who knew him because of his honesty and general disposition. He was very quick spoken and easily angered. He was an early riser, and what spare time he had he spent in cultivating flowers and vegetable gardens. He especially took delight in the flowers. He loved to dance and took delight in the amusement. Besides being a stone and brick mason, he worked at the shoemaker’s trade. It was said of him at his funeral services that he had many friends and few, if any, enemies.

He and Sara came over in the same ship and were acquainted in England. He was a seventy.

Richard Worten and Mary Cowap were among the first converts to join the Latter-Day Saints Church in England in 1840. When the missionaries were there preaching the Gospel, they were valiant, they heard the truth and were willing to come to Zion.

Richard Worthen was born September 12, 1793, in Northwich, Cheshire, England. He was the son of Richard Nicols and Martha Worthen. His wife Mary Cowap was born July 27, 1797, the same place. She was the daughter of William Cowap and Pheobe Burrows. They had eight children born to them. John, Jane, Richard, Samuel, James, Robert, Richard, and Joseph Worthen. All the children came to Nauvoo with their parents, and also John’s wife, Hannah Elam and their two children Henry and Ann came to Nauvoo in 1842.

They settled in Nauvoo and in 1845, Richard died.

There have been two more children to this family found by our researcher in England and the work has been done for them.

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