Thomas PARRY

Born 16 Sep 1845, Twyn yr Odyn, Glamorgan, Wales
17 Nov 1933, Malad City, Oneida, Idaho, USA

Father of William LEWIS PARRY (born out of wedlock)1

Husband of Sarah Hannah COLTON

Sheriff Thomas Parry

Thomas Parry, Malad Constable

Prologue by LaDore Ward Goodsell

(Bracketed words and footnotes added by Venita Parry Roylance August 2011)

St. Marys, WenvoeIn far off Wenvoe, Wales, Thomas Parry was born to William Parry and Mary Ann Thomas Parry on September 5, 1845.2 For all of Grandpa's life, we celebrated his birthday on September 16, and for all those years we thought he was born in Ely, Wales. His great-granddaughter, Marjorie Ward Nielson, did some research and corrected these mistakes.

About Grandpa's early life, I don't know very much. Some things I do know. On a Thursday, May 16, 1861, when he was 15, he sailed for America on the ship, Monarch of the Sea. On that ship were 955 people under the direction of Jobez Woodward and O. H. Hansen. I'd like to think that May day was warm and beautiful and that Grandpa was excited and happy. It would be interesting to know how he got to Liverpool, England, to begin the journey. After 34 days at sea, the ship arrived in New York on Wednesday, June 19, 1861.

Monarch of the SeaGrandpa's father died in Wales in 1854 at age 43 when Grandpa was just a little boy. Great-Grandmother Parry had her last baby a month after Great-Grandfather died.3 In fact, if records are correct, Grandpa was just nine years old. Grandpa's mother and other members of the family sailed for America earlier leaving Grandpa alone in Wales.4 He must have been a strong, dependable, courageous young teenager. Again I have to wonder how he managed. Did someone take him in? Did anyone care at all about him? Where did he live? Did he work to earn his fare to America?

Many emigrants from Wales went to Pennsylvania, near Scranton, to work in the coal mines. He went there also. From this place he journeyed on in the Joseph Horn and the Homer Duncan Company5 arriving in Salt Lake City September 13, 1861 [his sixteenth birthday]. I wonder how he celebrated his birthday. Did he have a party, a cake, or did any one sing "Happy Birthday" to him or did he even think about his birthday? The records say he walked most of the distance [from Nebraska] to Utah.

1860 TrainJust about six years earlier than the time Grandpa set sail for America from Liverpool, another family left Liverpool. Joseph and Ellen H. Colton [of Derbyshire, England] and a daughter, Ann Elizabeth, sailed on a Thursday, April 26, 1855, on the ship William Stetsen. [They lived in Scranton, Pennsylvania for the next six years.] They left Scranton in the early spring of 1861. Grandma, Sarah Hannah [their second daughter], was about a year old. This was the beginning of the Civil War. The little family traveled by train to a place [Florence, Nebraska] where emigrant trains were made up. Because of the rumblings of a civil war, these were perilous times. Often the men were searched, the southern soldiers would shoot at the trains when they stopped. When the Coltons arrived at the appointed place, they joined the Joseph Horn and Homer Duncan Company, and with this company they crossed the hot dusty plains to Utah. With the help of a young man, Great Grandma Colton carried her baby almost the entire distance across the plains.

Now let me remind you that a young man who came from Wales alone joined this same company and made that long, dusty trek to Utah. Yes, Thomas Parry and Sarah Hannah Colton [Thomas' future wife] crossed the plains to Utah in the same company. The difference, he was fifteen years old and she was less than a year old. From here you may read with interest about what takes place because these two people are the reason we are here.

Wagon TrainRemember Thomas Parry came from Wales alone because his mother and brothers and sisters had left earlier and were waiting for him in Florence, Nebraska. I have no record, but apparently as the company went through Nebraska, Mary Ann Thomas Parry and children joined her son, Thomas, and came on to Utah.

Maybe you will want to sprinkle a grain of salt on these next few paragraphs because I am going to inject a little of my imagination along with something I remember hearing as I was growing up. I called Aunt Mary and asked her a few questions, and together we agreed it would be just fine if I added this touch of color. The great plains and the trip across them were dull enough. Why not look for a brighter side.

As I remember hearing about Grandpa's life from him or Grandma or Mother [Ellen Parry Goodsell] and recently from Aunt Mary [Mary Ann Parry Ipsen], brace yourselves. I think this next little episode is romantic and exciting. I remember a story about how Grandpa carried Grandma across the plains!

Grandpa was fifteen, had been on his own for awhile, was large for his age, and I dare say, was ambitious. At fifteen a boy tires of chasing lizards, or playing pranks on younger children, or gathering buffalo chips or looking for Indians. I imagine our Grandpa wanted to be useful. As he walked those dusty miles, he noticed a slightly-built pioneer woman trudging behind a slow-moving wagon, carrying a baby, keeping an eye on a two year old, and looking weary. I imagine her face was tanned and leathery from the hot sun. Her skirt and shoes were dusty and her hair was bobbed and pulled back from her face. Histories do tell us that Great-Grandma Colton did walk a great many miles during this trek. I believe this fifteen year old Thomas Parry felt compassion for this very courageous lady and offered to carry that baby girl named Sarah Hannah. He became enchanted with her. She probably laughed a lot and snuggled in his arms and maybe even planted kisses on his dirt-stained leathery cheeks. For some time each day he relieved this tired lady so her arms and back could rest. As I remember this story, he learned to love this baby. On September 13, 1861, after five or six months on the trail, this company of stalwarts arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. This is the time for a parting of the ways. Were there goodbyes, or did the company just break up, or did they say, "I'll see you later." Well, whatever, the story does not end here. Information was obtained from histories compiled by my mother.

Since I started with Thomas Parry, I will follow his life first. In a very broad sense, it is honest to say that he endured many hardships peculiar to pioneer life even during his early life. He "took up" a farm, I assume this means homesteading. He cleared sagebrush. He fought grasshoppers and crickets both of which were plentiful in this arid valley. At one time, and I am sure this was embarrassing, he wore a shirt made from a flour sack with the words "Salt Lake Tithing" printed boldly across the back. He had some buckskin trousers. Somehow he got them wet, and they shrunk almost to his knees. He had to wear them because he had nothing else

Freight WagonAfter arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, this little family joined the grandparents, William Thomas, in Brigham City. Since Grandpa was the oldest boy in his family, he felt responsible for earning a living for his mother and family. He ran a freight wagon from Corrine, Utah, to Butte, Montana. He passed through Malad on his trips. There was a "way station" in Malad where the freighters always stopped. He sort of liked this little settlement, so in the fall of 1865, just about four years after arriving in the valley, he decided to settle in Malad. That fall he spent time in Malad getting out logs to build a cabin. He hauled these logs from a canyon in the hills northwest of Malad, a canyon that bears his name, the "Tom Parry Canyon."

Early the next spring his mother and brothers and sisters moved to Malad and into the cabin Grandpa had built with logs hewn with his own hand and hauled with his team. The cabin was located by Spring Creek. Four or five families were now settled in the valley. To earn a living, Grandpa continued freighting for 15 years. On one of his freighting trips, he met some men running a band of horses north from Mexican territory. He needed a saddle so he bartered with them and received the saddle he wanted.

Grandpa was one of Oneida County's early lawmen. His uncle, Fred Thomas, was the sheriff. The saddle had a lot of use during his years as a lawman in the sheriff's posses. Freight and stage coach lines went through Malad and a lot of supplies, even gold, were shipped. This attracted robbers and gunmen.

In 1868, about two years after moving to Malad, his brother, William Parry, was shot dead while attending a dance in an old log building located near where the Malad City Hall now stands. This may not pinpoint the location to some of us. William was about 19 years old. The incident is typical of the Old West and may interest some of us.

A man named Benson from Cache Valley had, no doubt, put too many under the belt and engaged in an argument with a man named Thorpe. The manager of the dance hall, Fred Thomas, asked Bennett to leave, he did so, but as he left, he turned just outside the door and fired a shot meant for the manager who was also the sheriff. The bullet hit William Parry instead, and he died a few hours later after having been carried home. Since William was not married he was carried home to Great Grandmother Parry's home. Now this is a real Old West. Some of the boys, including the Peck boys, went in pursuit of the fleeing man. The fugitive had put his horse in a building on South Main. He ran there. It just so happened that Dr. Morgan lived on South Main. As Grandfather ran for the doctor past the building where Benson's horse was, Benson fired a shot and almost hit Grandpa. Benson escaped, but some years later, after killing another man, he was captured, and he paid for his crimes with his life. He was the "Black Sheep" of a well-respected family in Logan. When William was taken home, he was laid on the floor in front of the fireplace. The blood stains on that stone could never be removed. The stone was turned over and left there, a constant reminder of that tragic night.

Thomas ParryFor 15 years of his life, Grandpa freighted from Corrine, Utah, to Montana. If he began this freighting career when he arrived in Utah, he would have been about 31 at the end of that part of his life. Again, the freighting years may have been spread out over several years. This is not clear in the history that I have. In this brief history that I read, some highlights that I will mention now interested me. These events may not be a chronological order. I just mention them as incidents in our grandfather's life.

In 1864 an Indian named Pocatello was with Grandfather and some other men who were hauling grain for Ben Holiday. Mr. Holiday also had a contract to haul mail. Pocatello was sent with the men in case any trouble arose with the Indians. He was a good friend of the white people and intervened when a great deal of trouble was imminent. Indians were notorious for stealing cattle from white men. These freighters went as far as City Rocks, and they filled all the stations with grain.

Later Grandfather was herding sheep with his step-father, Mr. [William] Hobbs, somewhere along Bear River. Five young Indians came into their camp, and one of them was using Grandpa's comb. They were ordered to leave, but stubborn as Indians were then, they refused. Grandpa got his gun out, and they fled.

Just a little more about the saddle Grandpa acquired. Grandpa rode and used this saddle until he was well into his eighties. He rode nearly every day in connection with his farm work since he raised horses and cattle. That saddle saw many a "round up" during branding time. He gave the saddle to Uncle George Parry who lived next door. Grandpa died when he was 88 years old. Uncle George used the saddle for some more years. Grandpa's grandson and namesake, Tom Parry, who was George's son, learned to ride in this same saddle. Later the saddle was given to Uncle George's oldest grandson, Mike Moss. Mike would be Grandpa's great-grandson. Mike has kept it as a keepsake treasure, having had it restored to its original beauty by two men in Tremonton, Utah, who stated it was the oldest saddle they had seen. They guessed it was over 140 years old at that time. They assumed it to be a Spanish or Mexican type saddle. (This interesting note was taken from an article written by Vadis Gilgen, Grandpa's granddaughter, and a daughter of George Parry.)

[Thomas Parry and Sarah Hannah Colton were married on 25 January 1882 in Malad City, Idaho Territory. They had nine children.]

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

by Edith Jones Ward

My best memories of Grandpa Parry were from the few short years between 1930 and the time of his death in 1933.

In 1930 I started first grade. I went only part of a day. Grandpa and Grandma lived just across the street from the school so I would go over there and visit with them until time for the bus. After a little while I would go there to eat my sack lunch. Jack Parry, a cousin, was there a lot of the time. We were about the same age. My brother Ralph also recalls going there to eat his lunch. In those days sacks were scarce so our lunches were wrapped in newspaper. Sometimes the jelly from the sandwiches would leak through, and the lunch looked messy.

Whenever we would go there, we would be greeted by Grandpa. He usually sat outside the house on a chair. There was also an old tree stump and a well to draw water from. I remember these things vividly. Grandpa spent many hours out there making ropes out of twine. Walt was one of his tools for making the rope. Walt also remembers how Grandpa would smoke a pipe using Prince Albert tobacco. Grandpa bought his tobacco in a fair sized can. Whenever the tobacco was used, Walt somehow ended up with the can. Both Walt and Ralph have memories of Grandpa riding his horse down to his ranch. Uncle Paul and Aunt Millie lived on the ranch, and Grandpa would go there to see how things were going.

Grandpa was the town constable for many years. On election night my folks would usually go to Grandpa and Grandma's home to await the election returns. On those nights I loved to crawl on his lap for a little while and feel his long gray beard. He always had a story to tell. Sometimes he would reminisce about his freighting days.

When all the families gathered at Grandma and Grandpa's home, the kids all seemed to end up down in the corral to play. The barnyard was located south of the house. I don't remember the bad things we did, but sometimes Grandpa would scold us. He didn't scold us for nothing. He wasn't that kind of a man.

After Grandpa died, I remember several times going to Pocatello to visit Ada, and we would go visit Grandpa's half-brother, Ned Phillips. He was a lot like Grandpa in many ways.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Thomas Parry, colorful character of Malad Valley, died Friday

Impressive funeral services were held at the First Ward Chapel on Monday afternoon for Thomas Parry, who died at his home Friday morning, after an illness of one week.

Bishop J. H. Dredge presided at the services. The invocation was offered by William H. Richards Sr., speakers were President Thomas W. Richards, H.I. Mills, and J.M. Issacson. Musical numbers were vocal solos by Thomas J. Jones, Margaret B. Jones and Stillman Harris, a Lamanite trio conducted by Mrs. Joseph Parry, and a violin solo by Mrs. Owen Howard. E.N. Crowther offered the benediction.

Interment was in the St. John cemetery where D.M. Daniels dedicated the grave.

Mr. Parry, one of Malad Valleys earliest settlers, was born in Ely [Wenvoe], Glamorganshire, Wales, on September 16 [5], 1845. In the year 1861 he came to America, crossed the plains and settled at Brigham.

In 1865 he came to Malad and got out logs to build a house and returned to Brigham to spend the winter. In 1866 he came again to Malad, where he made his home.

On January 25, 1882, he was married to Sarah H. Colton. He is the father of nine children.

For over twenty years Mr. Parry has been constable of Malad City.

He is survived by his widow; seven children, Mrs. Geo. W. Jones, William Parry, Joseph Parry, Mrs. Owen Ward, Paul Parry, George Parry and Mrs. Lyman Ipsen; two half brothers, Ed and Dave Phillips, and one sister, Mrs. Eliza Vreeland, of Leadore, Idaho.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Footnotes added by Venita:

1 See William LEWIS PARRY'S history.

2 From the Wenvoe Parish Records: “Bap 1845 Oct 5th, Thomas, son of William & Mary Ann Parry, Twyn yr Odyn, Laborer.”

3 Thomas' father, William Parry, died 2 Nov 1854, and his youngest sister, Charlotte, was born 21 Dec 1854. Thomas' mother, Mary Ann Thomas Parry, then married William Phillips and had two more children by him - Edward and David Thomas. Mr. Phillips died in January 1859, and his younger son, David (Thomas' half-brother), was born in May 1859.

4 Family lore indicates that Thomas visited William's mother, Gwenllian Lewis, in Cefn Coed y Cymer, Glamorgan, before he sailed for America, hoping take her and the child with him. Her parents refused to let Gwen go with him. This would explain Thomas' absence from the family, and his sailing on a later voyage than they.

5 Neither the Colton Family nor the Parry/Phillips family currently appears in the list of members of any pioneer company of 1861. They appear in the list of individuals in Unidentified Companies of 1861.

+ * + * + * + * + * + * + * +

More about Thomas PARRY:

Sarah Hannah COLTON, wife

Immigration to Utah

Back to Histories Index

| Home | Family | Ancestry | Histories | Old Photos | Headstones | Utah Pioneers | Views of Utah | Views of Wales | Welsh Photo Links | Danish Photo Links |