Sunday, September 26, 2010

William Benona and Margaret Hope Williams Graham

William was born 24 Mar 1852, son of James and Hannah Tucker Reed Graham, in Riverdale, Weber, UT. He was baptized 7 May 1861, at the age of 9. He was endowed 8 Feb 1869, at the age of 16, in the Endowment House.
Margaret was born 13 Sep 1855 in Cedar City, Iron County, UT, daughter of William Williams, Jr. and Margaret Pettigreen Hope.
She was baptized
They were married 18 Jan 1874 in Salt Lake City, when he was 21 and she was 18.
He died 18 Mar 1926, in Byron, Big Horn County, WY, at the age of 73, almost 74. She died 20 Jan 1926, in Byron, just two months before him, at the age of 70.


I, Margaret Hope Williams, was born September 13, 1855 in Cedar City, Iron Co., Utah. My father's names was William Williams and he was born December 7, 1826 in Cardiff, South Wales. He died August 22, 1902 at Hyrum, Cache, Utah. My mother was Margaret Pettigreen Hope. She was born January 19, 1833 in Bristol, England. She was the only one of her family who joined the church. She died February 17, 1897 at Hyrum, Utah. My parents were married in England on February 7, 1852 and two weeks later started for America. They were eight weeks on the sea crossing in a sailing vessel. They crossed the plains in the Shirtliff company. While crossing the plains the Indians wanted to buy mother. They drove 23 head of horses in and wanted to trade for her. She had to hide in the wagon for days. Father gave them flour and other things and sent them away and told them not to come again. They went to Cedar City and lived in Goshen, Iron County for awhile. When the honey dew would fall on the trees the people would take pans and buckets and wash the leaves and boil it down, working all day for a pint of sweetening.

My father and Uncle Tom froze their feet crossing the mountains while moving to Hyrum. Father moved to Cache Valley in April 1860. In August Mother became the mother of the first child born at Hyrum, Utah. That was my sister, Nettie. Mother had nine children born to her, three boys and six girls. Father worked hard in iron works a good many years. He drove draft horses on a farm until he got married. He loved to plow a straight furrow and make a nice hay and wheat stack.

Father was choir leader for a good many years. The choir used to go to other towns and serenade, and those who had small children would bring them for me to take care of. Sometimes it would be morning when they got home, and I would sit up and wait for them. They had a good time.

Father had to carry a gun when he went to the fields to plow, as did the other men, because of the fear of Indians. The Indians would come dressed up and painted, two or three hundred of them, and dance in people's door yards and would go from one house to another until the people would give them a beef, flour, or potatoes.

When the crickets came Father would plow a ditch and we would set fire to it and burn them. The grasshoppers would come so thick they would darken the sun, strip all vegetation from every leaf and eat the bark on young trees.

Uncle Tom, Father's younger brother, came to America and they always stayed and worked together. Father would run the cradle and Uncle Tom would do the binding. I would have to go and pack an armful of grass for them to bind the bundles. We did not have shoes, so Mother would sew rags on my feet. But the rags would wear out and there were times that I left blood on the stubble from my feet.

I planted the corn and potatoes, and when we raised sugar cane for molasses, I would help strip the leaves from the stalks. Oh, how I did hate that! When it was our turn we would have to carry the cane to the mill and haul the squeezings away. When it came our turn to have our molasses made we would get some skimmings and have a candy pull and have lots of fun.

The people of Hyrum built a fort. There were two old men who were left to guard the women and children while the men made canals.

Old Chief Washaki was a good friend of my father. The Indians gathered a lot of seeds in the summer and Father gave him one end of his grainery to put them in. He had three wives. He would bring us berries and sego which we loved. He would come in winter and get what they needed at different times.

Father had a flock of sheep and as I was the oldest of the family I had to help feed them and tend them and tend them. When it was time to shear, a woman did the shearing. I had to catch them and help hold them while it was done. I would wash the wool and we would pick it and send it to the carding mill and get rolls made. I did all the spinning for blankets, undershirts and dresses for the family. Father's suit of clothes and one dress for each of us had to last until the next year. I would stand and spin day in and day out and would go up on the bench to gather flowers to color the yarn differently. Peach leaves made green and Ghamer Lye made blue. We would wring it out every morning until it was the right shade. Then I would go and tend baby and do some pooling to get the weaving done. Then we had a home made dress for another year. We had to be very careful with them. We had to double and twist the yarn to make our stockings. We had to knit our own and the help for the family.

I was married to William Benona Graham on January 18, 1874 at Millville, Utah. The next October 23, 1874 we went to the Endowment House in Salt Lake City and were sealed. We went to Bennington, Bear Lake that summer. I took charge of the singing for quite a few years. The Relief Society has a large picture with
all the names of the women holding offices. I was listed as the Chorister for the Society of the Bennington ward for a number of years.

In 1900 in April we started for the Big Horn. I was very poorly. Apostle Owen Woodruff was like one of our boys. He lived with us at Hams Fork. When we were crossing Green River, Charl, our nine year old boy, near ly was drowned. He and the horse he was riding went down stream but he got out and that summer he carried the mail 12 miles there and 12 miles back from Lovell to the camp on horseback. When the Cowley Ward was organized they put me in as President of the Relief Society. I have been a teacher in the different wards I have lived in. I had a good accordian and we would go to private homes and play for dances. We would take turns playing. We sure had good times.

I was the mother of ten children, six boys and four girls.

WILLIAM WILLIAMS FAMILY, HYRUM, UTAH Front Row: Margaret Hope, Williams Williams , Margaret Pettigreen Hope Second Row: Nettie, William Jr., Jane, Tom, Lottie

Margaret Hope Williams Graham in front of home in LaGrande, Oregon, 1908 with son Fay and two granddaughters.


  1. Looking for better quality photos to replace the poor quality not currently shown.

  2. Hey Scott...I recently came across an autobiography that William Benona Graham wrote about himself and at the end of it there are a couple decent quality photographs you might enjoy if you don't have them. Send me an e-mail at and I will be more than happy to forward them your way.

    Best regards,