Sunday, March 6, 2011

12-William and 13-Mary Elizabeth Brough Rex. Part 1.

William Rex
b. 22 Nov 1844, Sherborne, Dorset, England
p. William Rex, Mary Mead
m. Mary Elizabeth Brough, 6 Oct 1874, Salt lake City, Utah
d. 6 Apr 1927, Randolph, Utah

Mary Elizabeth Brough
20 Dec 1858, Longton, Straffordshire, England
p. Samuel Brough, Elizabeth Bott
d. 30 May 1939, Randolph, Utah

William immigrated from England with his family on the James Pennell in 1850, and Mary immigrated from England with her family on the Cynosure in 1863. Both of their families joined the earliest settlers in Randolph, Utah.

The history of William Rex and Mary Brough’s youth is included in earlier posts.
Mary Brough; part 1, part 2.
William Rex; part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6.
In about 1870 when the Broughs walked over the hills from Morgan, to Randolph, Utah, it took them a week. Mary was twelve years old, and it was her job to place a large rock behind the back wheel of the wagon when they’d stop on an incline. Near the same time, William Rex and his brother, Alfred, were clearing a lot and building a cabin in Randolph, Utah for their mother, Mary Mead Rex Clucas.
On October 6, 1874 William and Mary were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah. Their trip to Salt Lake City was made in a covered wagon and took them a week. Mary’s “trousseau” was folded in an old pillow slip, she was fifteen years old and William was thirty years old.

The first winter, they made their home with William’s mother, Mary Mead Rex, in the cabin William and his brother built for her. William had two cows and a team, and took care of the U. S. mail driver’s horses. He saved enough money to buy the lot on the corner of Field Street and Third East in the spring. It was north and adjoined his mother’s lot. There was a one-room house with a cellar on it.

William and Mary sang in Randolph’s first ward choir and Mary remained a member for fifty-five years. They often sang a favorite song together, “Kitty from Cork and Dandy Pat.”

William was the second missionary called from the Randolph Ward to serve a mission. In his diary he wrote : “Called on a mission Oct 6th 1884 by Pres. John Taylor at the General Conference held in Salt Lake City. Received the news on Saturday evening the 13th. On the following Sunday morning I went to the Post Office and got the Deseret News and there sure enough was my name, booked for a Mission to England, the home of my childhood and the land of my ancestors.”

“On Sunday Oct 26th gave my ‘farewell’ sermon to a large congregation of the Saints. It was very short as I could not control my feelings sufficiently to say a great deal. “

Monday October 27th 1884. I arose shortly after three o’clock and began to get ready for my journey, a cold clear morning, quite frosty. My brother-in-law, Thomas Longhurst, went with me to drive and bring the team back. Bade my wife and children [William Thomas-9, Alfred George-6, Samuel-1, Arthur Henry-2 weeks] a loving good bye at 5 a.m. and committed them to the care of our Heavenly Father.”
Mary sold a big roan cow for $13.00 and bought food for that winter. She would sell a cow once in a while and send William the money. While William was in England, Mary’s father helped the family, and her mother gave them ¼ pound of freshly churned butter once a week.

William returned home two years later and struggled to get established again. Ultimately William became a progressive farmer and homesteaded some of the best land in the valley. He taught school during some winters. They took in boarders and were able to secure a comfortable living and obtain more land. William also served as Rich County Clerk.

Their children:William Thomas Rex (1875-1962)
Charles Rex (1877-1882)
Alfred George Rex (1878-1956)
Mary Elizabeth Rex (1880-1880)
Olive Celeste Rex (1881-1882)
Samuel Rex (1883-1967)
Arthur H. Rex (1884-1952)
John Osland Rex (1887-1967)
Percy Harold Rex (1889-1977)
Ada Estella Rex Jackson (1892-1974)
Myrtle Rex (1894-1894)
Alfreda Rex (1895-1901)
Hyrum Mack Rex (1901-1902)

“William and Mary passed through many hardships during the early years of their marriage. They buried two children in one grave and another shortly before.”

(To be continued.)

Percy Harold Rex and one of his brothers visiting (in 1960's)
the home their father, William Rex, built for his mother in 1870-71.
Pictures from Helen Rex Frazier collection. History, Descendants, and Ancestry of William Rex & Mary Elizabeth Brough of Randolph, Utah, compiled and edited by Ronald Dee Rex, 1999. pgs 95-119. Randolph--A Look Back, written and compiled by S. Thomson, M. J. S. Tomson, J. D. Digerness, 1981, pgs. 423-424.

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