1822 - 1898                          INDEX      PEDIGREE


James Whitmore Preston
CA 1870


Marriage: 2 March 1851
Place: Bullock's Grove, Pottowattamie, Iowa

Birth Date: 7 October 1822
Birth Place: Salem, Essex, Massachusetts
Death Date: 3 April 1898
Burial: American Fork, Utah, Utah

Theodocia Preston               1852
James Whitmore Preston Jr.      1854
Richard Bates Preston           1856
Emeline Preston                 1858
Mary Ann Preston                1860
Isaac Houston Preston           1863
Washburn Chipman Preston        1865
William Augustus Preston        1868
Mindwell Preston                1870
Harriet Averell Preston         1878

OCCUPATION(S): Lumberman, Farmer, Sheepman

Mother: (1)MARY NANCE

Richard Diamond Preston
Mary Ann Preston
Sarah Hindley Preston
James Whitmore Preston
Ebenezer Preston
William Preston
Harriet M.C. Preston (w-2)
William B. Preston (w-2)
Samuel B. Preston (w-2)
John Forbes Preston (w-2)
Peter P. Preston(w-2)
Nathaniel P. Preston (w-2)
Charles H. Preston(w-2)
Zachary T. Preston(w-2)




Biography of James Whitmore Preston
by his granddaughter, Merma Lyle Grant1
      James Whitmore Preston was born & October 1822 at Salem, Essex, Massachusetts. He was one of the youngest of two daughters and three sons born to Richard Preston and Mary Rand
2. He was a convert to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upon joining the church, 7 April 1844 3, his father disowned him and things were still the same between them when his father died, 12 July 1866.4
     He married Emeline Houston in 1851 at Nauvoo, Illinois.
5 She was the fourth child of four daughters and three sons born to Isaac Houston and Theodocia E. Keyes, Vermont pioneers. To this union were born eleven children: Theodocia, James Whitmore,Jr., Richard Bates 6, Emeline, Mary Ann 7, Isaac Houston, Washburn Chipman 8, William Augustus, Mindwell9, Charles Henry 10, and Harriet Averell 11.
      He came to Utah in 1851, apparently shortly after his marriage. With his father-in-law, Isaac Houston, he built a saw mill in American Fork Canyon
12 and cut quite a lot of lumber for buildings. Many homes in American Fork were built from the lumber they cut. He, also, helped build all the canals around American Fork, Provo, and Alpine.
      James W. Preston served as one of the first trustees
13 of the free school in American Fork along with George Cunningham and William Barrett. He did what was called secreterial work. It was one of his duties to go into Salt Lake and purchase what supplies were needed. He, also, was responsible for Brother Forbes' wages, which were paid in pig meat, potatoes, beef, and flour.
     As a member of the 67th quorum of seventies, he served a mission to Boston, Mass; 1880-1882
1. Great Grandmother Preston enjoyed these years as well as he did. It is said that he daughter would come with their horses and buggies and take her to visit all her friends and relatives. In fact Great Grandmother said she had "the time of her life", because she was able to visit so much and Great Grandfather always expected her to be home when he was there.
      James W. Preston was known as a kind, lovable gentleman. He was good to his neighbors and friends. He was always concerned with their welfare. He was known as the first doctor in American Fork, not because of any training but because of his skill in healing the afflicted. He was always prayerful and asked the help of Heavenly Father before he ever attempted to set a broken limb. At one time Ira Chipman came to him with a broken arm. Brother Preston knelt in prayer and as he rose from his knees he asked his wife for the sheet that was on top of her fresh linen. She asked him to use one of her older ones since this particular one was just new. He said he must have that one because it would be stronger and would hold the broken limb more securely. It is obvious that nothing was too good for those in need. It is said that he always had shingles adn sizable pieces of lumber reserved for this purpose. One can readily aclaim the power of God and the humbleness of Brother Preston when we reallize that he never left a cripple and he set bones by the score. His prayers were also answered in his own behalf. At one time, his youngest daughter, Hattie, lay in great pain with the tooth and ear ache. Her pain was so great that she was screaming. He took the holy oil and administered to her. It was no time at all that the small child was quiet and enjoying normal sleep.
     Great Grandfather was a good provider and always brought an abundance of food into the house. Emeline, his wife, was so generous that it was said, "he brought it in the front door, and she took it out the back." Pounds of butter and other good things were generously distributed to the neighbors. She was so free hearted that Great Grandfather had to curb her a bit.
     Great Grandfather Preston and his wife were to know the sorrows of death. Emeline, their daughter, died as a child and was the first to be buried in what was known as "the new cemetery" in American Fork
14 The child had taken lunch to her father , who was working in the bottoms. On the way home, she was chased by a colt. So great was her fright that she developed a heart ailment, from which she finally died.
     Great Grandfather Preston enjoyed doing temple work. In 1887, he and his wife, Emeline, made a special trip to the Manti Temple
15 to do work for the Houston and Preston families.
      After talking with church authorities, James W. Preston decided to embrace the law of polygamy. He took for his second wife, Mrs. Katherine Kemp Nash
16. As was the custom he asked the consent of his first wife. She not only gave her consent but, also, bought a wedding present and walked to Alpine, a distance of four miles, or more, to give it to them. It wasn't long until he was back to his hojme in American Fork. He said he wasn't going back. He believed in polygamy, however, and wanted his daughters to marry into polygamy. Of course it was thought that a man who had been married and had some economic security would provide and take care of these young girls. The daughters, however, showed they had minds of their own in the matter and not one married into polygamy.
     In his later years Great Grandfather Preston developed what was then known as dispepsia, or some kind of stomach ailment. He seemed to be rather sullen and morbid but it was likely that his health had a lot to do with his change of disposition.
      His first wife, Emeline Houston, died 11 November 1886. After preparing a lovely meal for her family who were visiting, Great Grandmother Preston sat at the table with her daughter, Mindwell, chatting casually. She suddenly said, "Mina, bring me the camphor bottle, I feel faint".  Before Mina could return with the camphor she was unconscious and before help could be summoned she was dead. Great Grandfather Preston missed her, but it seemed his health improved somewhat. Friends and relatives attributed his improvement to the fact that Great Grandmother babied him so, and probably lay too much improtance to his ill health.
      The remaining years were spet at home with Hattie, his youngest daughter, caring for him. He died 3 April 1898 at his home, 76 years of age. True to his reputation for honesty and fair dealings, he saw to it that all his properties were divided equally between his children.
17 The grandchildren, whose parents portion.
     James W. Preston was a farmer, sheepman and stockman. He reared his family under the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We honor his name among the first settlers in Utah. He was noble pioneer.

1 James W. Preston - d. Mindwell Preston Nash - gd. Merma Lyle Nash Grant
2 See footnote 1 in biography of Mary Nance
3 In the May of 1844 shortly after James (age 21) was baptized in Salem, Brigham Young was visiting with his daughter, Vilate Young who was living at the home of the Salem Branch President, Nathaniel W. Felt. Young had sent his daughter to live with the Felts to get an education and study music. It was while Brigham Young was staying with the Felts that he received word of the death of Joseph Smith. Upon his departure, Young urged the Felts to stay in Salem, but the following year in 1845, the Felts left Salem and joined the saints in Nauvoo. Mrs. Felt was Eliza Ann Preston, the daughter of Joseph Preston, and granddaughter of Andrew Preston.
4 James W. Preston is not mentioned in his father's will.
5 James W. Preston and Emeline Houston were married in Bullocks Grove, Iowa. See The Frontier Guardian, 7 Mar 1851 (in documents).
6 The name Bates comes from an uncle of James W. Preston. William Bates was married to his father's half-sister, Sarah Forbes.
7 The name Mary Ann comes from the sister of James W. Preston.
8 The name Washburn Chipman comes from the man married to Emeline's sister, Mindwell. The Chipman property was across the street to the north of the Preston property in American Fork.
9 Emeline's sister was named Mindwell.
10 Although James W. Preston had a younger half-brother named Charles Henry Preston, this brother was born after James left Salem for Nauvoo. It is more likely that the name Charles Henry came from Emeline's brother-in-law, Charles Henry Collins who was married to her sister, Jane Mariah Houston. Charles Henry Collins died 26 Nov 1847 at Winter Quarters, Nebraska. He was from Addison County in Vermont, as were the Houstons. James W. Preston sealed his sister, Sarah Hindley Preston to Charles Henry Collins in the Logan Temple in 1887.
11 The half-sister of James W. Preston, Harriet M.C.Preston married Edward A. Averill in 1855. When James W. Preston went on his mission to the Northeastern States in 1877, Harriet Averill was still living in Salem. It is quite possible that he became re-aquainted with her as he named his youngest daughter, born the year after he returned from his mission, after his sister Harriet Averill.
12  James W. Preston - lumber
13 James W. Preston - schools
14 James W. Preston-cemetery
15 Logan Temple Records: Baptisms 31 May 1887 (22 Preston Family, 26 Houston Family). Endowments 1, 2, 3 June 1887(8 Preston, 3 Houston) . Sealings 3 June 1887
16 James W. Preston was married to Catherine Nash in the Endowment House the same day he was sealed to Emeline Houston, 18 Dec 1857. At the time they still lived in the fort at Alpine. Mrs. Nash and her three sons lived on the west side of the fort, while the Houstons and Prestons lived in the northeast corner. As near as I can tell, Mrs. Nash was never married, but had three sons out of wedlock. After joining the church, she emigrated to Utah alone with her three sons. Mrs. Nash was 9 years older than James W. Preston, and her sons were 22, 19, and 13 in 1857. James and Emeline had 3 children at the time, ages 5, 3, and 1. Although they did not stay together, her marriage to James W. Preston, allowed Catherine Nash to be sealed to her sons. Her grandson, Ephraim Jefferson Nash (son of Ephraim Nash) married James W. Preston's daughter, Mindwell in 1889.
17 Land was given to each of his children many years before his death, as each of them married and had families. See map of Preston land.