James Whitmore Preston
SPOUSE: EMELINE HOUSTON
Grove, Pottowattamie, Iowa
7 October 1822
Birth Place: Salem,
Burial: American Fork,
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
CHARLES HENRY PRESTON 1873
Harriet Averell Preston 1878
OCCUPATION(S): Lumberman, Farmer, Sheepman
Father: RICHARD PRESTON
WIFE (2) ISABELLA
WIFE (3) SARAH E.
Richard Diamond Preston
Mary Ann Preston
Sarah Hindley 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)
| BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION:
Biography of James Whitmore Preston
by his granddaughter, Merma Lyle
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
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; 1880-18821. 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 Temple15 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
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.
W. Preston - d. Mindwell Preston Nash - gd. Merma Lyle Nash Grant
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
W. Preston is not mentioned in his father's will.
W. Preston and Emeline Houston were married in Bullocks Grove,
Iowa. See The Frontier Guardian, 7 Mar 1851 (in documents).
name Bates comes from an uncle of James W. Preston. William Bates
was married to his father's half-sister, Sarah Forbes.
name Mary Ann comes from the sister of James W. Preston.
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.
sister was named Mindwell.
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.
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
W. Preston - schools
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
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.
was given to each of his children many years before his death,
as each of them married and had families. See map of Preston