Friday, December 24, 2010

Shadrach Holdaway died 108 years ago today

Shadrack Holdaway was born October 15, 1822 in Rochester, Hawkins county, Tennessee. He was the son of Timothy Holdaway and Mary Elizabeth Trent. In 1883 he moved with his parents from Tennessee to Indiana, and it was there that he heard about the church.

Shadrack Holdaway was baptized by Jefferson Hunt on November 30th, 1843. He was the first member of his family to join the Church. He joined the saints in Nauvoo and was among the first groups that followed Brigham Young to Iowa in 1848. He was selected as one of the Mormon Battalion and placed in Company C where he served as Teamester for Company all the way to California. In California he was part of the group that discovered gold. He took the opportunity to prospect for gold and came away with $3,000 worth of gold dust. After rejoining the saints, he married Lucinda Haws and the two of them went back east with others to obtain wool carding equipment. He returned to Provo with the machinery and became very successful. His work kept him away from home a great deal building roads, canals and ditches, or up in the canyon working at the sawmill. His wife would complain about it from time to time.

It was in the fall of 1902 that Shadrack drove into the yard of the old home in Provo and announced he had come home to stay. He immediately began cutting down the big apple trees so that he could have room to build a shop. The last week of his life he cut down twelve of the big apple trees on his place, but he caught a cold which developed into pleura-pneumonia and in less than a week he passed away on December 24, 1902. The funeral was held Saturday, December 27, 1902 at 11:00 A.M. in the Provo Tabernacle and he was buried in the Provo City Cemetery.


Jon Holdaway said...

Shadrack was my great-great grandfather. His ne'er-do-well youngest son was Levi Stewart, an itinerant hair tonic salesman who rode a horse that had a mane which touched the ground (It was a removable mane which got him in big trouble during one sales pitch. The local yokels pulled off the mane, then literally drove Levi out of town on a rail!) His son--my grandfather--Charles Stewart Holdawa--was a not-so-good Mormon who traveled around the West playing poker for a living. My dad, Jerry Stewart, became a lawyer in Seattle. He, too, claimed to be Mormon but died alcoholic. I, Jon Stuart Holdaway, (I had Stuarts and Stewarts on both sides of my family) am a history teacher living in Spanaway, Washington. I'm no Saint, but I have deep respect for my Mormon ancestors, particularly Shadrack.

BruceCrow said...

Thanks for commenting and for the rundown on your family. It sounds like you have some great stories. I think it makes history more personal and less abstract.