Thomas Harold Saxton  Rebecca Slater Saxton


Written by Kay Ann Jensen Saxton
16 November 1978.

Birth: Aug. 21, 1821
Nottinghamshire, England
Death: Apr. 23, 1896
Garden City
Rich County
Utah, USA


Spouse:
Rebecca Slater Saxton (1827 - 1905)*

Children:
Sarah Ann Saxton (1844 - 1844)*
Eli Saxton (1846 - 1900)*
Thomas Saxton (1848 - 1848)*
William Saxton (1849 - 1849)*
Brigham Saxton (1850 - 1869)*
Anna Saxton (1853 - 1859)*
Catherine Saxton (1855 - 1860)*
Hannah Saxton (1858 - 1940)*
Emma Saxton Hansen (1858 - 1927)*
Martha Saxton Cross (1860 - 1956)*
Solomon Saxton (1862 - 1863)*
Hannah Saxton Farner (1864 - 1940)*

Very early incidents in Thomas and Rebecca's lives are not available. The earliest begins with the story of their courtship.

The Slater family were quite well-to-do and had picked a minister for their daughter, Rebecca, to marry, however, she couldn't stand him. Rebecca was
going with Thomas at this time and her parents did not approve of the young miner. Another obstacle was dancing. Rebecca loved to dance and her
parents did not allow it. She was beaten for going to the dances. When she told Thomas this, he made her a garment of some type for her to wear under
her clothes so the beatings would not hurt so much. He would also see that she got safely through fields where cattle were to get home after their dates --
evidently she was seeing him without her parents knowledge. When Thomas and Rebecca finally decided to get married, the coal mines where Thomas
worked went out on strike and he had to tell Rebecca that they would not be able to marry at that time. Rebecca then began asking her parents if she could
learn to make lace, as her sister operated a lace curtain factory. This request, her parents finally agreed to, and she worked very hard to learn the
profession. The lace was exported to the United States and because of the quality of the work, the lace sold for $75 to $100 a pair. In this way, she finally
saved up enough money to get married. Thomas and Rebecca's marriage took place on 20 July 1844 and they moved to Clay Cross, Derbyshire, England
so Thomas could work in the mines there.

Rebecca's parents were angry with her for marrying and moving away, but were tolerant to a degree, until Thomas and Rebecca joined the Mormon church
on 23 March 1850. Rebecca was a wonderful singer so she went out on the streets with the missionaries to help with their street services. On the day they
were baptized, Thomas and Rebecca were chased by an angry mob. A friend of Thomas' directed the mob to the wrong place to help Thomas and Rebecca
complete their baptisim, and for this service, their friend was nearly killed by the mob.
Thomas' parents also disowned him when he joined the Mormon church, but Thomas and Rebecca remained firm to the faith and even came to Utah for its
sake. Uncle Tom Saxton said that "Grandpa said he would rather have his head cut off than be cut off from the church."

Thomas and Rebecca had 11 children. Only 5 grew to maturity and only 4 married and had children.

Thomas, Rebecca and their three little girls immigrated to the United States in 1869 arriving in Honeyville, Utah, Box Elder County, 11 August 1869.

Their son Brigham had been killed in a mine accident in January of 1869 when he was 19 and just before he died, Brigham had planned to be married; their
son, Eli, had come to the United States with missionaries in 1865.

After a short stay in Honeyville, the family moved to Coalville, Utah, where they lived for 11 years. Some say Eli had sent money for his parents when he first
arrived in Utah, while others say that Elis didn't even know his family was in America as they had all lost contact over the years.

Eli heard there was a Thomas and Rebecca Saxton living in Coalville. At that time, Eli was working on a ranch near Grantsville. Eli went to Coalville and
found the couple to be his parents, however, they reunion was very strained. Eli's mother would not believe he was her son as he had changed so much
from the young man who had left England. Finally, Eli showed his mother a scar on his back that he had received as a boy working in the mines in England.
Once Rebecca saw the scar, she knew Eli was her son. (Uncle Tom thought it was a birthmark that his father, Eli had, rather than a scar from an accident).
Thomas and Rebecca's home in Coalville was a dugout. Thomas worked in the mine near Coalville.

In 1881, Thomas and Rebecca were called by Brigham Young to help colonize Bear Lake. They moved to Garden City, Utah on 10 May 1881. Their home
was on Main Street and their youngest daughter, Hannah, and her husband, John Charles Farner, lived next to them. The house was described as a two
room house, but it actually was a one room house with a layback.

Thomas' granddaughter, Annie Carroll, remembers Thomas was very fond of his English pudding. "Grandma would take a bit of suet, some flour and baking
powder and make a dough then boit it in a rag."

Thomas Saxton was very proud of a team of horses he called Pet and Lottie. One day, his 3 daughters borrowed the team and took their children to
Laketown. On the way back, they were attacked by Indians. Five Indians were riding along the side of the hill trying to get in front of the wagon, which was
quite big and without a top, and only one spring seat up front. The children were riding in the back of the wagon next to a barrel of groceries. The Aunt who
was driving the team stood up and made the horses run. Since the ground was so uneven, and full of rocks, the children were tossed all over the back of
the wagon. They finally made it to the home of Aunt Emma Hansen before the Indians caught them. However, the Indians opened the gate and followed
them right into the Aunt Emma's house. The children ran into the house and hid under the bed and were so scared that they didn't make a sound. The
Indians demanded something to eat and they stood around and waited while Aunt Emma made them some corn meal "Johnny Cakes." When they were
finally able to return to the team to their father, Thomas saw that they the horses had been driven hard and yelled out, "They've killed my team!"

Thomas and Rebecca did the temple work for his parents, William and Catherine Hemingway Saxton on 16 October 1889. I think this was in the Logan
Temple and they probably did other work while there as well.

In physical appearance, Rebecca became quite heavy in the latter years of her life. As she grew older, she turned her mirrors to the wall and when asked
why, she said it was because she was so foul looking. Her singing voice, which had been so good when younger, also cracked and wasn't true to key. She
remained, however, a faithful member of the ward choir. The officers of the choir tried to reorganize and leave her out, but she remained loyal and was in
her seat in the choir every Sunday.

Fast meetings were held once a month at 10:10 a.m. on Thursdays. These were very humble, spiritual gatherings. Thomas Saxton was given the gift to
speak in tongues and Brother Hyrum McCann gave the interpretation.

Thomas Saxton was described as 5' 1" tall, gray with a very long beard. Annie Carroll said one thing she remembered most about her grandfather was the
shirts he wore -- one was white with little pink flowers; one was white with red stripes; and one was white with little blue stripes. Although she was only 7 when
he died, she rememberd the shirts quite well.

One evening, the Farners were going to have dinner with Thomas and Rebecca. As Annie and her mother started through the field to Thomas and
Rebecca's home, they met Rebecca in the field. Rebecca had her apron pulled up to her face and was crying. She told them that she was afraid her
husband was dying. They all went in the house and Thomas was lying in bed fully clothed. He had always said he wanted to die with his boots on, and Annie
remembers her Grandmother asking her to pull her Grandfather's boots off. The last she remembers of him was when her mother fell over him crying. He
died 23 April 1896 at Garden City, Rich County, Utah and is buried there.
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