James Udy was born August 16, 1820 at Tervilmick in the Parrish of Landlivery Cornwall England, a son of Hart and Ann Brokenshire Udy .
Little is known of his early life in England, however, before leaving England he learned the blacksmith trade working as an apprentice for seven years for which he received only his board and clothing. Later he married Mary Ann Trengrove . To them were born three sons.
Hearing the Gospel and being converted they joined the church in England and emigrated to America, landing in New Orleans. The voyage on the slow crowded ship was hard on him, but more so on his English wife. Mary Ann was small woman and very frail. Upon arriving the New Orleans the both felt they had fulfilled a lifetime dream. They settled down in New Orleans with their sons. But the long voyage and the life in the new country was too much for his frail wife, and she died. All he could remember of her was a fleeting shadow that had been with him for an instant, and then was snatched away. One son died soon after his mother, leaving William and the other one the only tangible thing that James had from his family and life in that protected have in England, and a marriage to an English girl. Ahead of him was a rough road but James had come this far and he would not turn back now.
NOTE: The only remembrance that William Henry Udy , James' oldest son, had of his mother, Mary Ann Trengrove , ws that when she was buried in New Orleans, Louisiana, the water table ws so high that a Negro stood on her casket to hold it down so that they could put dirt on it. What a sad memory for a small boy. He remembered their voyage on the boat and his father meeting Isabelle, and her taking care of them. Isabelle raised this boy as her own. Only William Henry lived. The other two boys died in England, at Woolwich Kent, before they left for America, as infants.
New Orleans held no future for James and at length he and his sons took a boat up the Mississippi. Often he had thought of joining the Saints for the journey to the new Valley, Deseret, but always it was the thoughts of his sickly wife that held him back, but now there was no one he had to cling to but his sons as he was completely alone in this country. It was there on the boat chugging slowly up the river that he met Isabelle Ann Cowley , she coming from the Isle of Man. Isabella had taken the shy William and his brother to her heart and James found in her an answer to his dreams. Someone to be a mother to his son and to be a wife to him. A few months later they were married and on their way to Zion with a company of fellow converts.
It was a hard journey, that trek across the plains in 1852. There was so much sickness, deaths and massacre. Isabella was pregnant and she suffered with the heat and the terror of the Indians. A week before they reached Zion it seemed she could not go on. She begged James to go without her, but he doggedly plodded on, working night and day to make things easier for her. The last miles were torture for Isabella, every bounce of the wagon an intense thrust of pain. To this day, Indians, friendly or not, caused goose pimples to stand out on her flesh, and her hands grew clammy with sweat.
It took strong men and women to make such a trip, but these pioneers were a hearty stock. When they arrived in the valley, the first settlers who had come in 1847-48 had built homes and planted crops. Salt Lake City was the beginning of a well planned dream city. The streets had been surveyed and lots laid out in perfect squares. Here and there were sturdy little cabins and in the very center of the new born city ws a plot set aside for the goal and dream of the pioneers and sought, their Temple in the wilderness, The House of the Lord.
In a short time Isabella and James were settled in a tiny cabin of their own and James had set up a blacksmith shop. There was need for a good blacksmith and James Udy ws mot efficient in his trade in fact there was no one in Utah during his life time that could surpass him in welding or any kind of blacksmithing. Even the old master himself had admitted that he had a magic touch with an anvil. In coming across the plain many of the wagons had been destroyed by Indians, broken or lost in fording the rivers and there was need for more wagons. It was said of James Udy that he never passed up a scrape of iron no matter how small or what it was off from. He felt a great need for salvaging anything as did all the pioneers.
One night there was a knock at the door and James opened it to greet two neighbors and Naylor brothers. For a while they talked of crops and weather conditions and then the older brother shifting uncomfortably remarked, "Bro Udy, my brother and I are going to build some wagons, we need your help. I am a woodworker I can make the bed and frame and my brother can help with the blacksmith work, but we need a good blacksmith to supervise and do most of the iron work. So it was that James Udy and the Naylor brothers made some of the first wagons in the new valley. Money ws scarce in Zion and all work was taken out in trade. Land was free to be taken up, wheat and other food stuffs raised by the settlers were traded for labor of all kinds. In this manner James acquired fourteen lots of land in Salt Lake City their first child was born November 4, 1852 and she ws named Elizabeth Ann .
They lived in Salt Lake City two years then James decided to set up a shop in the new settlement north of Salt Lake called Bountiful. A new settler, Perrigreen Sessions and friends had settled there in 1847. It had developed into a thriving community, and James anxious to find new trade made plans to move Isabella and his family there. Before leaving he traded his 14 lots of land for a yoke of oxen. A number of those lots on main street would have brought him a small fortune a few years later.
It was here in Bountiful that their second child was born on July 9, 1854. He was named Mathias Cowley . Isabella thought how much easier this time was than two years ago in November of 1852 when Elizabeth was born, she had suffered terribly. They had just arrived in the valley and she was so tired that it seemed almost too much when the baby came. The long journey had been a nightmare. The very thought of Indians gave her cold chills and a few skirmishes they had experienced had meant sleepless nights for her, long after everyone had forgotten them. Many new wagons had passed through Bountiful on their way north some of them had stopped and taken up land in Bountiful. Everywhere small groups of Mormons were laying the foundations for new cities. Even now provisions were being made to build a courthouse in Farmington another community north of Bountiful. Besides Bountiful and Farmington a few other small settlements had been consolidated into a county in 1852, this being named Davis County.
While in Bountiful James ironed off threshing machines, made plows, harrows, and all kinds of farm machinery. He would save all sorts of scrap iron to make horse shoes, mules and oxen and he also made the nails for the shoes. Whenever he saw anything that could be used he would make some small tool or shovel or nails that could be used. The settlers always knew he would have their needs. News spread that there ws plenty good land and water in Farmington and James had been thinking of moving there. Things were not so good in Bountiful as another blacksmith shop had gone up and so he felt the need for a move. A Mr. Rampton had set up a shop in Bountiful and James felt there was not enough work for both of them, so he felt this was his chance to move on, as he did want to acquire more land. So it was in 1856 that the family moved to Farmington. Seated on the wagon front of the pile of household articles, Isabella and James surveyed the wide valley. The towering mountains were so near that one could reach out his hand and almost expect to touch them. The lake at a point directly below Farmington came in close to the mountain, like a long arm reaching for the massive ramparts.
Most of the cabins had been built along the creeks but some stood out in the intense sun like staunch little soldiers. Around the City proper was a mud wall stretched like a protecting hand. Many days of hard labor had gone into this wall with earthen sides, but it served as a protecting force from the Indians. There were no trees to speak of only the willows along the creeks. At their feet was a Big Creek but it did not prove to be very big. Starring at it for a moment James was silent for he was disappointed, but Isabella hiding her own disappointment, patted his brown hand that lay in his lap, and the wagon moved on. For over four years James and Isbella made themselves a part of the community of Farmington and in those four years two more sons were born to them. Hart was born August 27, 1856 and three years later Joseph was born July 4, 1859. They then moved again, a few miles to a good firm adobe and log house and settled for several years to come. Soon after they settled, James started to develop some good land, then the news spread that Cache Valley had been settled. Pictures of the new land north came into James' mind. Seeing an opportunity to take up some more of this land, James sold his home to Charles Bourne and told Isabella they were going to move to Cache Valley. For the first time and the only time in their marriage, Isabella openly defied James. She refused to go, he tried to make her see that a good living would be made, but Isabella stood pat and shook her head and flatly refused to move. She remembered the Indians and she shuddered. The terror of the trip across the plains was so instilled in her mind that it could not be easily erased.
Every spring the Indian tribes would wend their way slowly northward for the summer. They were a curious procession, horses loaded down with dirty ragged quilts and skin robes, the tents with their odd burdens dragging in the dust – half naked children running about, the hoarse laughter of drunken squaws. The tent poles held all of their worldly possessions. One pole was fastened on each side of the horse and between the two poles was stretched a piece of skin and then the queer looking assortment of junk they carried was piled on this skin. The other ends of the poles were dragged on the ground after the horse keeping a constant cloud of dust at their feet. The Indians spent the summer near the Snake River hunting elk, deer and drying the meat for their winter use, but as soon as the leaves began to fall they headed slowly back to the southern part of the country.
As they came through each settlement the band of dirty gagged Indians would stop at each house and beg for food. Brigham Young had urged the settlers to give them something to eat if they possibly could, even a tablespoon of sugar or a little flour. As often as many as 50 Indians would stop at one house at the same time, so even a prosperous settler could not afford to give more than a little amount to each one. They had never caused any trouble when refused a little amount to each one. They had never caused any trouble when refused food and were generally friendly. They understood a little English and the settlers who had just given sugar to a tribe earlier in the week could tell the Indians that he had no more by spreading his palms open in front of him saying, "other injun get'm all." They understood and went away peacefully.
Once a noisy tribe had stopped in front of the Udy home. Isabella peering out of he window could see most of the young bucks and the old men were drunk. Quietly she slipped to the back door and called James and Mr. Stewart a neighbor who were shoeing a horse in the shop back of the house. When they saw the drunken crowd they left their work and called two men from the nearby field. Isabella was told to take the children to Mr. Stewarts home across the road and a little north of their home. Terrified Isabella gathered her new baby in her arms with Mathias hanging on to her skirt and Elizabeth hanging on to her whimpering she slipped out the back. Down through the fields and willows they made their way until they came opposite Stewarts. Gathering her last ounce of courage, Isabella dashed across the road in full view of the milling tribe, with a sobbing Elizabeth and Mathias at her heels. But no one had seen her an she reached the safety of the house. Mrs. Stewart and Isabella watched the loud brawling mod of Indians anxiously for what seemed hours. Above the dark heads of the Indians they could see James and Mr. Stewart gesturing and talking. In a few moments the tribe again began to stir and soon after they sent slowly down the road. That was the only time they were a nuisance, but the horror of their dark faces stayed with Isabella the remainder of her life.
They did not move to Cache Valley. But with their home sold James and Isabella took up 30 acres of land just over and below the hill from the Stewarts. Here James set up a rock shop and built a new home for his family. Up until a short time ago part of the rock shop stood on the hill and if only those rocks could talk many a unwritten story they could tell.
Now that the wanderlust in him was gone, James was content to farm his acres and work in his shop. He had been doing some work and the people trusted his judgment. Lately he had been making iron parts for threshing machines. There were only a few of the more intricate castings that they had to send east for. Most of them he could iron out on his anvil with little difficulty. Many of the settlers could not understand how it was possible for a small town blacksmith to make such difficult pieces of iron work as those for the threshing machine. But James Udy had been a good apprentice in England and he was a good master of the trade in America.
With a broading of the valley some broading of James and Isabella's family. William now a young man was talking of going to homestead in the unsettled northwest. Mathias was going to school, Hart was just old enough to drive a team and lend a hand in the shop. Joseph was still a small boy. The morning was brisk and snappy as James rode over to the Stewarts. He had come to ask Mrs. Stewart if she could help when Isabella gave birth to her child. Isabella was frail and the children were a great care. But Mrs. Stewart shook her head saying that she had too many children of her own to are for, and that she could not leave all the work to her husband. But Mrs. Stewart decided she could spare Mary a girl who lived with them. Mrs. Stewart called the girl in and a moment she appeared in the doorway. She was a big husky girl with eyes of sparkling blue. She was only nineteen and there was a vital freshness about her. Mary Sophia Hansen had been born in Falster Denmark, February 11, 1842 of Danish parents. She had worked for the Stewarts for quite some time. And so Mary came to care for Isabella and it was Mary who laid the new son in James' arms. Thomas James Udy was born October 13, 1861. Almost two years later on March 21, 1863 James Udy and Mary Sophia Hansen were married, after the custom of that time. For a long time after his 2nd marriage James and his two wives lived together and it wasn't until 1865 that James built Mary a cabin up on the brow of the hill on Compton Bench.
That fall on November 14, 1863 a tiny son was born to James and Isabella. He was named Nephi Royal but was puny and sickly and in March of the following year, James and Isabella buried their new son. It was a great shock to Isabella who had never had death strike so close to her before, but Elizabeth and her brothers soon filled the gap in their mother's heart left by Nephi Royal's death. Two years later on April 28, 1865, a daughter was born to them she being named Ester Isabella but died in her infancy, which was another shock to the family. But God was good to them for a year and a few months later another daughter was born on October 8, 1866. She was named Mary Alice . And they were blessed with another daughter and a son. The daughter born October 18, 1870 and given the name Eleanor The son was born September 28, 1874 and was given the name George Q . Isabella Ann Cowley died very suddenly while preparing for a trip to Salt Lake City. She died on December 4, 1893 at the age of 61. Born in 1832.
Always strong and healthy James Udy lived to be nearly 85. He died June 19, 1905. He was born August 16, 1820. Both James and Isabella Ann (Cowley) Udy are buried in the Farmington City Cemetery, as are his wife Mary Sophia and three babies.
Children born to James & Mary Sophia (Hansen ) Udy are:
Mary Elizabeth , born August 13, 1864
Charles Albert , born April 29, 1866
Annie , born February 4, 1868
Annis Lorenzo , born January 16, 1870
Nancy M ., born October 19, 1872
James Henry, born November 6, 1874
Hyrum, born November 26, 1878
Gertrude, born July 21, 1881
This history was compiled by Marva Udy Earl (grand-daughter) for the Daughter's of the Pioneers Histories. Copied and printed for the reunion by Zelda E. Tidwll (great-grand daughter). 1968. Noted: I have added somewhat to the original history, as I have been able to gather more information. James Udy was an armor in the British Royal Navy. This was the same as a machinist, from this came his trade of a blacksmith. Cornwall was originally West Wales, and there was a Navy Yard there in Woolwich. a Navy Yard there in Woolwich.