James Walter Eardley was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 1st, 1854 to James Eardley and Zurviah G. Fuller. On October 30th, 1878, he married Catherine Adella Woolley. Catherine was born in Salt lake City on July 31st 1857 to Samuel A Woolley and Catherine E. Mehring. They had a son, Roscoe W. Eardley, before James was called to serve a mission to the Southern States.
James Eardley officially began his mission on October 11th, 1880, but didn’t leave Utah until after November 23, 1880. His wife would give birth to their second son Walter H. Eardley on August 6th, 1881 while James was on his mission.
James spent much of his early mission west of Nashville, working in and around Henry County, Tennessee. His first companion was Richard C. Camp. He also worked with Daniel R. Bateman, Hyrum Belnap, Thomas Merrill, William O. Beesley, and B. H. Roberts. In the later part of his mission he worked south of Nashville including in Cane Creek and Shady Grove.
On July 22nd, or perhaps the 29th, in 1882, James baptized a 14 year old girl named Mary Belle Bryant. Mary was born on August 29, 1868, Williamsport, Tennessee to William D. Bryant and Sallie E. W. Church. William had been a member of the Church since 1875. And although I can’t find a baptismal date for Sallie, her father had been a member since 1871 and her mother since 1879.
He later encouraged her to come to Utah. She worked for the family and became a second wife in [February 20th] 1888, two years before the Manifesto [in 1890]. (Jessee)
James and Catherine had four more children. Villette F. Eardley (1883), Mehring V. Eardley (1886), Catherine A. (1889), and Carol A. Eardley (1895) all born in Salt Lake City.
James was well respected by Mary Belle’s family. In 1898, her brother, Robert Emmons Bryant, named his first child, a girl, Eardley Belle Bryant after James Walter and Mary Belle Eardley.
James eventually moved to Oregon with his second wife. Catherine Adella and her children stayed in Salt Lake City. ... The reasons for the change have not been passed along but there has always been a family tradition that the plural marriage was a trial for Catherine Adella. (Jessee)
James and Mary had three children.
-Myron Whitney Eardley (1894) Whitney, Idaho
-Walter Bryant Eardley (1895) Whitney, Idaho
-David William Eardley (1904) Baker, Oregon
In Baker Oregon, James went into the lumber business.
[He] was ordained a High Priest Sept. 29, 1912, by Franklin S. Bramwell, and ordained [the] Bishop [of the Baker Ward, Union Stake, Oregon] April 3, 1921, by Rudger Clawson (LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, vol. 4, p. 654), a position he held at least until 1930 when his biography was published.
On his 83rd birthday, December 1st, 1937 James W. Eardley passed away in Baker, Oregon.
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