LeFevre 1749-1925

By Thelma LeFevre Adams, Marion LeFevre, LeNora Hall LeFevre


William LeFevre

      William LeFevre was born September 4, 1749 in France. He married Amy Taylor and they were both French. Some time during the French Revolution the LeFevres left France. They crossed the English channel in a boat with other passengers. They made their home in England where there was a great demand for factory workers. Their son John LeFevre was born March 12, 1793 at Crowland, England. He married Ann Dalton on June 22, 1812. The child bride of eight, as was customary, lived with her parents Luke and Elizabeth King Dalton until grown. Her father, Luke was born in 1772 and died August 24, 1845. Ann was John's second wife. They lived in a small thatched house, a part of which was used as a grocery and notion store. They were the parents of seven children all of whom died in childhood except Sarah and William. This family was converted to the gospel on December 22, 1848 and became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Soon after this they began to make preparations to join the saints in America. As soon as their property was sold they left Crowland, Lincolnshire, England. At Liverpool the ship was detained a few days on account of Strong winds. The father, John LeFevre became very ill and died. He was buried in St. Martin's Church and the day he died was January 26, 1859. Ann Dalton LeFevre with the three teenagers, Sarah, William, and Thomas, boarded the ship Jetland and sailed to America. They landed in New Orleans on April 1, 1849. From there they went by steamboat to St. Louis, Missouri where Sarah died of cholera before they came west. They settled in Parowan, Utah. Ann died August 30, 1864 and was buried there.

      William, son of John and Ann LeFevre was born August 31, 1833 at Crowland, Lincolnshire, England. He died March 3, 1920 at Panguitch, Utah. William LeFevre and Hannah Holyoak were married December 25, 1855. Hannah was born March 25, 1841 at Worcestershire, England, to George and Sarah Green Holyoak. Hannah's grandparents were Issac and Ann Holyoak. Her mother's father was Daniel Green. Hannah died August 2, 1920 and was buried in Panguitch, Utah. William and Hannah LeFevre lived in Parowan until March 1871 and was buried in Panguitch. William and Hannah LeFevre lived in Parowan until March 1871 when they settled in Panguitch. They are the parents of eleven children: William Dame, Sarah Ann, John Henry, Hannah Eliza, Daniel James, Amy Elizabeth, Martha Jane, Jessie, May Ellen, Clara Pothenis and Ester Alice. While they lived in Parowan the children attended school and they were devout Latter-day Saints. Hannah told her children that their Grandmother, Sarah Green was born July 2, 1793 and died in July of 1854 somewhere on the plains of Nebraska, enroute to the Salt Lake Valley. There is no record when her father George Eli Holyoak was born or died.

      From the Golden Nuggets by Ida Chidester and Eleanor Bruhn it is recorded that Brigham Young called George W. Sevy of Harmony to gather a company and re-settle the Panguitch Valley. William LeFevre and son William Dame, a lad of fourteen were with this company. The small group crossed the mountain and came through Bear Valley to arrive in Panguitch on March 10, 1871.

      Upon their arrival they found no snow at all but only dry and dusty ground. They found the crop still standing. The dwellings and clearings were just as the former settlers had left them. The indians did not bother anything. The settlers of 1864 had abandoned Panguitch because of hostile Indians who were reluctant to give up their fishing and hunting ground. The company under the direction of George W. Sevy decided that those who left in 1866 should have a chance to sell their property but for the present time the settlers used the cleared land. The crops that fall were small and in order to make the wheat last and every one get their share, George W. Sevy's wife, Phoebe each day boiled the wheat and the settlers came for their share.

      From the LeFevre record we find that William LeFevre purchased the property of Abraham Smith. As I understand it this property was from their rock house in town on northeast, which included the Fairgrounds and a field. I also understood William LeFevre gave the Fairgrounds to the town of Panguitch but the Golden Nuggets said Thomas Sevy donated it. William moved his family from Parowan in a covered wagon and they arrived in Panguitch on May 2, 1871. Many times the settlers could see clouds of dust on the East Bench near Panguitch where the Indians on ponies were in a battle with another tribe. William was appointed Indian Interpreter and was a friend to the Indians throughout his life. LeFevre Ridge on the northwest side of the Kaibab Mountain was named after him. He wintered sheep there for many years.

William Dame LeFevre

      William Dame LeFevre was born at Parowan, Utah on September 10, 1857. He was baptized by William McGregor in July of 1866 and confirmed that same day by Abraham Smith. William and Rachael Cornelia Robinson were married on March 27, 1881 by David Cameron at Panguitch. He was 24 and she was 16. They are the parents of thirteen children: William Robinson, Jessie Alfred, Arthur, Ernest Timothy, Thomas, Oscar, Rachael, Adelia, Eli, Leslie, Lorin, Marion, and Thelma.

      William was ordained an Elder by James B. Haywood on March 15, 1902 and a High Priest by M. H. Steel, Sr. in 1906. They were endowed at the St. George Temple on March 27, 1902. He received his Patriarchal blessing September 1, 1912 by Hyrum G. Smith. In February of 1924 he filled a two week Stake mission in Panguitch. There was a school at Spry. James Veater, Sr. and William LeFevre were trustees.

      The LeFevre ranch in the Panguitch Valley was at Spry. As long as there was a school at Spry the LeFevre family lived there the year around. The house had four fire places and William and sons hauled and chopped wood for those fireplaces to heat the house. Later they moved to Panguitch each winter so the children could attend school. The old rock house is on main street and still standing. It was a good warm house and heated with a fireplace. In the winter they hauled hay from the ranch to Panguitch to feed the milk cow and teams of horses. They went in bobsleds and sometimes the boys would skate from Spry to Panguitch over the snow-packed road. The young men of Panguitch raced with fast teams of horses on bobsleds through the streets of Panguitch and the straight road on the north of town whooping and hollering, the young folks riding bobsleds sped by. William R. known as "Black Bill" was one of the wildest teamsters. After the LeFevres moved to Tropic, the young folks there had bobsled races. The winner was awarded the sleigh bells. Oscar kept them for three winters with his fast black team.

      William Dame was a good provider. They butchered beef, venison, and pork which they cured. William and sons went in bobsleds each winter to the Panguitch Lake. They camped for over 2 weeks in the cabin and fished through holes in the frozen lake. When they returned home they would have barrels of salted fish. One time they were at the cabin to chop posts. The Lake was frozen over and they would skate across the ice to where the timber was thick. William decided to take a short cut when there was a loud crack and the ice broke. He almost drowned. By the time he got out of the lake and on shore he was exhausted. His clothes were frozen stiff in seconds as he gathered strength enough to remove his skates. He expected to freeze to death before he reached the cabin.

      William and his sons were stockmen and ran their cattle on the East Fork range in the summer. They drove them to the Upper Wahweap where they ranged from there to the Colorado River on Last Chance and the Smokey. There were the big round-ups on the East Fork where 700 to 900 cattle summered. In the spring the men would spend a month or more rounding up the cattle on the lower range and drive them back to the meadows upon the East Fork.

      LeFevres sold their property in Panguitch and moved to Tropic on May 1, 1913. Here they would be closer to the winter range. They purchased two lots in town and the farm southeast of Tropic. Their home in Tropic burned to the ground on April 13, 1915. There was the old store building on the other lot so they were able to live there until the new house was built. The store had one large room and two rooms on the south side of the building.

      William freighted with his roan team thought to be Clydesdale horses. He was exceptionally good at handling both saddle and work horses. At Marysvale, while waiting for the train to bring supplies, the men would have pulling matches. They would cross-lock the wagon with a chain from front wheel to back wheel. The team would pull the wagon loaded with freight or with men. Of course the team that was able to pull the loaded wagon won. William's horses often were the winners. Some of his horses were named Prince, Flax, Madge, Socks, and Bess. His horses could walk five miles in an hour, and pull a wagon load. There were nine big herds of sheep which ranged in the country south of Tropic. Each spring the wool was freighted to Marysvale in wagons with six bags of wool to each of the twelve wagons. When the freighters came to the dump it would take two teams to pull one loaded wagon up the steep grade. The trip to Marysvale took a week. On his return home William loaded his wagon with flour and sugar, always bringing extra for the company he and Cornelia enjoyed so much. He brought treats of bananas, oranges, coconut, brown sugar and candy. On one of his freight trips he shaved off his mustache and when Lorin, Marion, and Thelma saw the big team coming they went out the lane to meet him. They did not recognize him and would not ride in the wagon. Of course Cornelia got a big bang out of this. For a period of time William hauled cream to Marysvale and the time Leslie went with him there was a little colt following its mother. The little fellow's feet became so sore they hauled him home in the wagon but had quite a struggle loading him.

      John Coble took up a homestead near Adairville. They were Germans. He left his wife and four children there alone with no food except what milk the thin cow gave and they were eating alfalfa greens. Bill and Marion LeFevre had been riding for cattle in the lower country that spring. When they rode by the homestead and saw how hungry the family was, they gave them what was left in the saddle bags. When they came home they promoted the idea of moving the family to Tropic. Ben Baugh gave $20.00 and others donated enough money to hire Lorin Twitchell to take his truck by way of Kanab and from there over the faint road to Adairville. When they came to Tropic the family moved into the store building that belonged to William LeFevre. Until they left the LeFevre family supported them. The little German lady talked of joining the church but was afraid of her husband. Finally she returned to Germany with her children.

      The LeFevre family believed in the gospel and believed in living it. William helped everyone and trusted all. He was a well-liked and respected man in the community. In their home they had family prayer and taught their children to be good, honest and upright. By example they were taught to help those in need. William believed in the gift of the Holy Ghost and in revelation. While they were living in Panguitch, their two children, Adelia and Thomas died of membranous croup. William was sitting up with his brother Dan's children one night as two of them were choking to death when it came to him like a bolt of lightening to steep tobacco and make a syrup. This they did and gave it to the children which made them vomit. They said what they vomited up was real hard and soon they could breathe and went to sleep. They recovered and from that time on, many called William the doctor.

      Thelma remembered her father and his dentures. He had them in his shirt pocket more than in his mouth so he often lost them. He would go up in the orchard to pick apples off the ground for the pigs. When he stooped over they would fall out of his pocket. The whole family were always trying to find them for him. He had two different sets but the last time he lost the last set he said, after they had looked for days and could not find them. I guess they got in the bucket of apples and the pigs ate them so I don't want any more teeth.

      In Tropic the people in town had large orchards and each Fall the trees were just loaded with fruit. They raised good gardens. William was a good framer and raised crops of alfalfa, corn and grain.

      LeFevres had an ice house. They made a pond and when it froze over the men would cut the ice in big blocks. They loaded them in the wagon and hauled them to the cabin where they buried the ice in sawdust. It would keep most of the summer. Cornelia always had ice to make ice cream. Thelma and Mac LeFevre her grandson used to help her. She sold ice cream on the fourth of July and other celebrations. Even on Sunday afternoon she had ice cream for sale. It was Thelma's job to dig the ice out of the sawdust to sell. They charged 10 a block to neighbors who hauled it away in little wagons.

      William owned a French pattern Flintlock rifle. After his death the family agreed to let the Park Service at Bryce Canyon take it with the understanding that when they wanted it back it would be returned. It was never returned and no doubt never will be. He cherished this old gun that had been his fathers and was a crack shot with it.

      Thelma remembered the game of Fox and Geese her father invented. It was a square board with holes in it with pegs that would move across the board with fourteen geese and two foxes. William enjoyed this game and would play by the hour with anyone who chanced by. He was very good at this game. After he became so ill he could not work, many friends dropped by just to play this game with him.

      Their son Bill LeFevre owned a ranch on the East Fork. Marion said that often his Dad, mother, himself and Thelma would spend days at the ranch. Cornelia made cheese to sell which William would take to Beaver to sell. Marion fished all the time, with Mac out catching grasshoppers for bait. Marion decided to dam up the stream with a horse and scraper. The horse got down and his dad went right in the water and held the horse's head up so he did not drown and they were able to save the horse.

      Leland Haywood stopped by quite often and once Marion had shot some ducks out of season. When ranger Haywood rode up Marion threw the ducks behind the door and covered them with sacks, a little blood seeped from under the door but no one seemed to notice but Mac and he just stared.

      William Dame LeFevre was five feet 10 inches tall, weighed about 190 lbs. until he became ill. Chest size 44. He was dark complexion with brown eyes. One evening Marion said he had planned to go to a party when his dad began to talk and told them many events that had happened during his life. About 9:00 p.m. he went to bed then got up and said he felt smothered, and that he was going outside. A little while later Cornelia found him lying in the snow where he had fallen off the back porch into the snow. She brought his body into the kitchen. The date was January 22, 1925. He was said to have died of Bright's disease.

      He was buried in Tropic.