|History of Ephraim Wells
|Contributed By Brad Ogden. By Carma Chapman,
|Ephraim Wells was born 2 March 1865 in Driglington, Yorkshire, England. He was the son of Margaret Farrer and Joshua Wells. His
father was coalminer, and died in England when Ephraim was eight years of age. Ephraim was taken out of school at that time to
work in the coal mines. He was the only boy in a family of seven girls, and was needed to help support the family. Grandfather
often told of how hard the work was in the coal mines. Ephraim’s mother, Margaret Farrar, married a second time in Eng¬land to
Aaron Gledhill. He was about nine years younger than she. They had two children, Sarah and John Henry, who died as an infant at
sea when they were immigrating to America.
Grandfather joined the church in England along with his mother and most of his sisters. He was baptized on 12 February 1876 in
the Bradford, Yorkshire Branch, Leeds Conference District of the British Mission. He was eleven years of age at the time of his
baptism. I was unable to find anything further on his experiences in England, as he did not leave a journal and none of his children
had written a history on his life.
Ephraim came to America on the S.S. Nevada which sailed on 16 May 1883. He was eighteen years of age and his two sisters
Clara, sixteen, and Ellen, fourteen, came with him. He, along with the rest of his family, settled in the East part of Preston, Idaho
in the fifth ward, often known as the “2nd Hollow” East of Preston. They had a small acreage where they raised a nice garden and
some cows and chickens.
Cicely Kershaw, Ephraim’s wife was born 5 October 1865 in Clayton, Yorkshire, England. She came to America in the year 1877
with her parents, Alfred Kershaw and Martha Robertshaw. Cicely's parents and whole family were converts. Cicely worked in the
woolen mills in Bradford when she was very young and also had very little schooling. In 1880 her parents homesteaded a piece of
property only about two or three miles from Ephraim’s family. So fate put Cicely and Ephraim together and on the 30th of
September 1887 they were married in the Logan, Utah Temple.
Nine children were born to this couple, four boys, one dying in infancy, and five girls. All but the one boy lived to adulthood. At
the present time only two of Ephraim’s children are living, my mother, Mary Gamble and Harriet Mitchell.
Their first two boys were born in Preston and then Ephraim moved to Montana where he worked as a fireman on the railroad. The
railroad company wanted him to join a union, and he wouldn’t so he decided to return to Preston to be a farmer.
When they returned to Preston, Grandmother's father, Alfred Kershaw was very good to them. He loaned Ephraim the money to
build a four-room frame home on some of his property next to him. Here he lived and raised the rest of his family. The old home
stood until just a few years ago when it was torn down. The property given him by his father-in-law was only enough land for a
house, barn and garden, so if he was going to farm and support his family, he had to secure some more land. He homesteaded a
quarter section of land in Tremonton about ten to fifteen miles North of Preston. The land was a dry farm and he raised wheat,
barley and alfalfa. He had never been a farmer so he had to study to find out what crops to plant and how to care for them. He did
become a good farmer and later was able to purchase 80 more acres adjoining his first section of land. He built a four-room log
house on this farm, two rooms upstairs and two rooms downstairs, where the family could live while they farmed in the spring
and summer months. When all the family went to the farm, they had to pitch tents for all of them to sleep.
In later years just the older girls, mainly Margaret and my mother, spent the summer cooking for the boys and men on the farm.
Grandpa's two sons, Alfred and Robert, bought farms adjoining grandpas. His sons and grandsons helped grandpa farm. Grandpa
bought the first harvester sold in Preston. It took twelve horses to pull it. Later a tractor was purchased and the horses were
sold. A gas combine machine was purchased which cut and sacked the grain in the field. This machine did the work of several
Mother tells of the good times they had in the summer, even in this little isolated farming town. Other families lived there or came
to dry farms in the summer to work. Mother tells how she and her brother Robert used to ride a horse five miles to attend a
dance. They commuted by white top buggy to and from Treasureton in the summer months. Each weekend they returned to
Preston to buy food and supplies for the following week.
In 1925 Grandpa purchased a model T Ford which was after most of his family were grown and married. In the winter the family
moved back to their home In Preston where the children attended school. The children were taken out of school, usually before
school was out, in May and put back in school in the fall. Mother said she had to miss a lot of schooling both in the spring and fall
because she was needed on the farm.
Ephraim and Cicely went to church quite regularly. They did not hold positions in the church other than Relief Society teaching and
ward teaching. Neither was prominent in leadership positions. They could be classified as just common, honest, upright,
hardworking people. Grandpa was good to his family and so they were outstanding in the things that really count. He taught his
children to work.
On holidays and other special occasions the children had time for recreation, which included mainly movies and dancing.
Ephraim was good to his fellowmen and tried to do unto others as he would have others do unto him. Aaron Gledhill (Grandfather’
s stepfather) had a niece and husband in England who wanted to be sponsored so they could come to America. No one would do
this for them so Grandfather offered to do so. He met them at the train, and they stayed at the ranch home in Treasureton for two
years. Grandpa helped Mr. Bradbury find a job as section hand on the railroad in Preston. Later they moved to Salt Lake City. I
can remember the friendship which grandpa and grandma had with the Bradburys during their lifetime.
During the flu epidemic in 1918 grandma was very ill and so were her two children, Meda and Bill. Ephraim and Johnny Lloyd, his
son-in-law, took care of them. At this time his eldest son, Alfred, and family were sick with the flu and grandpa took care of them
also. His son Alfred and his son, Merlin, nearly died. Grandpa did not get the flu. Apparently grandfather was quite healthy during
his lifetime. I never remember his being ill. His wife had very poor health, being plagued most of her life with terrible eczema
sores on her face and arms. I am sure now something could have been done to give her more relief.
After their last child, Rhoda, was born, grandmother was unable to do her work to care for her family. She had migraine
headaches and weighed about 100 pounds. The older girls had to carry the responsibilities of home duties as well as the duties on
the farm in the summer almost entirely by themselves. Ephraim told his daughter, Meda, she was going to have a little sister when
Rhoda was born and said that they must pray so she and grandma would live.
I remember grandpa best after he retired or at least he was not farming in Treasureton any more. He had a large armchair In the
kitchen and every time I visited them, there was grandfather sitting in it. I don't remember him reading, just sitting. He had a
mustache and a heavy head of beautiful white hair. Grandpa liked my younger sister, Neva, to comb the dandruff from his hair. It
used to amuse me when the ends of his mustache got wet in his milk or Postum he was drinking. He would take a large red
handkerchief out of his pocket and carefully clean his mustache.
He walked to town almost every day and came home with a few groceries in a sack. He used to say, "Why worry about tomorrow
if we have enough food for today."
I was only five years younger than Rhoda so when I was in my teens I used to stay at grandpa’s and go to dances in Preston with
Rhoda. After the dance, I had to sleep in the back room on a couch not far from grandfather's bed. He snored so loudly that I lay
awake most of the night. He was good man, but the world’s worst snorer. Grandmother in later years could not sleep with him
because she was not well, and he snored so loudly and hard that he shook the bed.
Grandfather died rather suddenly of a heart attack at his daughter's home in Alhambra, California. He seemed to be very well up to
that time, but grandfather was always heavy which may have contributed to his problem. He died at the age of 72 so he did live a
long and useful life.