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John Brook Hirst

John Brook Hirst

Male 1855 - 1923  (68 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document    Has 17 ancestors and 8 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name John Brook Hirst 
    Birth 12 Jan 1855  Slaithwaite, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Initiatory (LDS) 24 Oct 1876  EHOUS Find all individuals with events at this location 
    FamilySearch ID KWN2-W7W 
    Death 7 Dec 1923  Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Burial 9 Dec 1923  Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Person ID I126  mytree
    Last Modified 25 Feb 2024 

    Father John Hirst,   b. 7 Jan 1816, Slaithwaite, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 7 Sep 1878, Brighton, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 62 years) 
    Mother Charlotte Brook,   b. 20 Feb 1819, Salendine Nook, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 20 Jun 1880, Brighton, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 61 years) 
    Marriage 5 Nov 1837  Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F102  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Alvira Spencer,   b. 6 Oct 1858, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 30 Dec 1931, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 73 years) 
    Marriage 24 Oct 1876  Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. Vira Hirst,   b. 28 Feb 1889, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 4 Nov 1969, Bellflower, Los Angeles, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 80 years)
    Family ID F127  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 20 May 2024 

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 12 Jan 1855 - Slaithwaite, Yorkshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsInitiatory (LDS) - 24 Oct 1876 - EHOUS Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - 24 Oct 1876 - Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 7 Dec 1923 - Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBurial - 9 Dec 1923 - Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Pioneer
      John G. Holman Company (1868)
      Age at departure: 13
      About 650 individuals and 62 wagons were in the company when it beg a n i t s journey from the outfitting post at Benton, Wyoming.


      As a missionary to England, he converted his sister, Harriet.


      History of
      John Brook Hirst
      1855-1923

      Compiled by Victoria W. Chambers, 2014
      Resources:
      History of Charlotte Hirst Coon by Bertha Coon Chambers
      Obituary: Salt Lake Telegram, December 8, 1923
      Family Search / Family Tree
      Pioneer Overland Travel records and Mormon Migration records
      Utah Pioneer Biographies
      History of Pioneer Stake / Family Search
      US Passport Application
      Naturalized Citizen Record
      Wikipedia

      John Brook Hirst, born January 12, 1855 in Rushworth, Yorkshire, Englan d , was the tenth of thirteen children born to John and Charlotte Brook H ir st. Of the ten daughters and three sons, two sons died in infancy an d on e daughter as a teenager. John was the only surviving son.

      From the History of Charlotte Hirst Coon, John’s younger sister, by Bert h a Coon Chambers, we read something of the family’s background and exper ie nces:


      “Their father was a farmer in that little English village [Todmoredon, L a ncashire, England] and also a weaver of fine cloth. Both parents, Joh n , Sr. and Charlotte, were staunch Latter-day Saints, having joined th e Ch urch [in 1852/1853] and for sixteen years John, Sr. labored as a hom e mis sionary and traveling Elder throughout England. During this time h is hom e was always open to missionaries; among them were Charles W. Penr ose an d many other prominent men of the Church. For years all in the fa mily wh o were able to do so worked and saved their hard-earned money tha t they m ight go to Utah; and by the year 1868 they were ready to depar t from th e land of their birth.

      “This they did with mingled feelings of joy and sorrow – joy at the pros p ect of journeying to a new land, and sorrow because three of their daug ht ers who were married remained behind. Later, two of these daughters m ove d to Utah, the other one never saw her family again, with the excepti on o f her brother, John, Jr., who went to England on a mission years lat er . [This daughter remained faithful and raised her family in the Churc h.]

      “The family [traveled 53 miles from Todmorden, to Liverpool and from the r e] embarked on June 20, 1868 on the little packet ship, Emerald Isle , a n old fashioned sailing vessel, with a company of 876 saints under th e le adership of Hans Jensen Hals. Incidentally this was the last grou p of sa ints to cross the ocean in a sailing vessel and also the last [su ccessful ] trip for the ship. On the return voyage east it sank with cre w and car go.

      [The ship’s manifest record shows John as a 13-year-old passenger travel i ng with his six sisters and parents from Leeds, England. The family de cl ared £40 cash, £39-4s sea fare, and 16s returned.]

      “The long and tedious eight-week journey was marked by many sad incident s . Terrific storms were encountered all the way. The apparatus used f o r filtering the drinking water became unserviceable, so they all had t o d rink water from huge storage tanks in an unfiltered condition. Man y beca me very ill. Thirty-seven adults and children died; [the family ] had a v ivid recollection of seeing the bodies being lowered into the o cean. [Ch arlotte, in an effort to protect her family] boiled chamomil e flowers i n their water to purify it.

      “On July 10, 1868, Nancy Hirst Dearden [one of the older daughters] ga v e birth to a baby girl who was named Emerald, at the request of the cap ta in. After arriving in New York August 11th, they left by rail for Ft . Be nton, Wyoming and arrived there August 25th. On September 1, 1868 , wit h John G. Holman at the head of the company of sixty-tw o

      wagons drawn by ox-teams, they started on their journey. This was the l a st company to travel by ox-team.

      [“…this company traveled in a northwesterly direction from Benton throu g h Whiskey Gap and northward from there until they reached the Sweetwat e r River and the old emigrant road on September 8th. As did many othe r co mpanies in the 1860’s, after coming through Echo Canyon, they travel ed t o Silver Creek and then down Parley's Canyon into the Salt Lake Vall ey. T hey arrived in Salt Lake on September 25th. Twenty-two people die d betwee n Benton and Salt Lake. Utah Pioneer Biographies, 44 vol. 28:108 ,111,113 , Trail Excerpt]

      “[The] family settled in a little log house west of the Jordan River. J o hn, Sr., and his son-in-law worked on the railroad under construction t hr ough Echo Canyon during the 1868-69 winter and spring. That same spri n g of 1869 he took Dr. Anderson’s cattle on shares which he continued f o r three years. In 1872 the family moved to Pleasant Green [Magna] ne a r the west mountains where they homesteaded and raised cattle. [John , Sr .,] was presiding elder of that place until his death and [Charlotte ] wa s president of the first Relief Society, organized in 1879 which pos itio n she held until her death [June 28, 1880].”

      John fell in love with Alvira Spencer and they became engaged. Family S e arch records indicate that Alvira traveled from Pleasant Green [Magna ] t o Salt Lake City and received her endowments at the Endowment House o n Oc tober 13, 1876. Her obituary indicated that Alvira, age 20, marrie d Joh n Brook Hirst, age 23, two years later on November 19, 1878 at Plea sant G reen, Salt Lake, Utah. Family Search records also indicate that t his cou ple was married November 19, 1878 at the Endowment House in Sal t Lake Cit y. A discrepancy exists; perhaps the marriage took place in S alt Lake Ci ty with a reception following that same evening in Pleasant G reen. Som e records indicate the marriage was October 24, 1876 with thei r sealing t wo years later, November 19, 1878 .

      Alvira and John became the parents of one child, a daughter, Vira, bor n F ebruary 28, 1889 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Vira married James W. Fitc he s on February 10, 1913 and together they had four children: Noona, Del win , Marlin and Elaine.

      John became a Naturalized Citizen on November 4, 1876 in the 3rd Judici a l District Court.

      Family histories indicate that John returned to England, serving a missi o n for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was able to v is it his close family who had been left years earlier. His mission pre par ations began with his U.S. Passport Application #15885 which is date d Nov ember 5, 1909, listing him as 54 a year-old-farmer, 5 feet 8½ inche s tall , grey eyes, and dark hair turning grey. He states that his desti natio n address is: Charles W. Penrose, 295 Edge Lane, Durham House, Liv erpool , England. We assume John left Salt Lake City in November or Dece mber 19 09, traveled east by rail, then crossed the Atlantic to Liverpool .

      At age 56 we find record of his return trip from England leaving Liverpo o l on December 8, 1911 on the ship SS Hesperion. He arrived in Halifax , No va Scotia, Canada on December 16, 1911. Then within a few days tim e he w ould be back in Salt Lake City via rail.

      A tiny notation in the Society section of the Salt Lake Telegram on Febr u ary 8, 1915: “Mr. and Mrs. John Hirst expect to leave tomorrow for Sa n F rancisco and Los Angeles.”

      As a married couple, John and Alvira were part of the Brighton Ward, Sa l t Lake Stake, for a short time then the Pleasant Green Branch was organ iz ed. Some historical details below:
      •A meeting was held February 24, 1867, in the home of William Camp, atte n ded by Apostle George A. Smith and other brethren, when a ward named Br ig hton was organized. It embraced all the country in Salt Lake County l yin g west of the Jordan River north of North Jordan.
      •1877 the Pleasant Green Branch organization was effected.
      •October 1, 1882, Pleasant Green Branch was organized as a regular bisho p ’s ward.
      •Pleasant Green Ward belonged to Salt Lake Stake until 1904, when it bec a me a part of the Pioneer Stake.
      •In 1923, when the Oquirrh Stake was organized, the Pleasant Green War d w as transferred to the Oquirrh Stake.

      John worked many years for the Oregon Short Line Railroad :
      “The Oregon Short Line Railroad was a railroad in the U.S. states of Wyo m ing, Idaho, Utah, Montana and Oregon. The line was organized as the Ore go n Short Line Railway in 1881 as a subsidiary of Union Pacific Railway . Un ion Pacific intended the line to be the shortest route ("the short l ine" ) from Wyoming to Oregon. In 1889 the line merged with the Utah & No rther n Railway and a handful of smaller railroads to become the Oregon S hort L ine and Utah Northern Railway. Following the bankruptcy of Union P acific , the line was taken into receivership and reorganized as the Oreg on Shor t Line Railroad. The line started from the Union Pacific main li ne in Gr anger, Wyoming, and reached Montpelier, Idaho, on August 5, 188 2 and the n to McCammon, Idaho, in the Fall of 1882.” (Wikipedia)

      After many years living in Pleasant Green [Magna], John and Alvira mov e d to 878 West First South, in Salt Lake City. That was the home wher e Jo hn died, at age 68, on December 7, 1923 following an eleven-month li ngeri ng illness brought on by a stroke earlier that year .

      Obituary in the Salt Lake Telegram, December 8, 1923: Hirst – John B r ook, for many years an employee of the Oregon Short Line railroad, die d y esterday [December 7, 1923] at the family home, 878 West First Sout h Stre et, after an illness of eleven months. He was born January 12, 18 55, a t Rushworth, England, and was a son of John and Charlotte Brook Hir st, bo th of whom joined the LDS Church in April 1852. When 13 Mr. Hirs t came , with his parents to Utah. Besides his widow, Alvira Spencer Hir st, h e is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Vira Hirst Fitches; two grandchil dren ; three sisters, Mrs. Fanny Jenkins, Mrs. Charlotte Coon and Mrs. El len W hipple, all of Salt Lake. Funeral services will be held at 2 o’clo ck Sun day [December 9, 1923] afternoon at the Fifteenth ward chapel, und er dire ction of the Larkin Undertaking Company. The body may be viewe d at the h ome from 10 o’clock Sunday morning until 1 o’clock Sunday afte rnoon .