Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29, 2012 Bishop Taylor's letter

October 29, 2012 Bishop Taylor's letter:
This week's installment

Brian L Taylor <>Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 8:41 PM
To: Wilford Scott <>

Dear Elder Willie and Sister Judy,
            Just six months ago I shared with our missionaries the exciting experience I had when contractor Randy Chambers came to my door seeking information about the log cabin enclosed in one of the buildings he had purchased to remodel into office space.  Consulting my 1980 History of Farr West, I was able to trace back ownership through about four owners until I learned that Leonidas A Pritchett had obtained a patent from the U. S. Government on that land in 1876.  Randy and his brother recalled that their 2nd great-grandfather had the name Leonidas.  Estimating dates, I got on the Church's New Family Search and learned that Leonidas Pritchett's eldest daughter Catherine had married a Chambers--the very one that Randy claimed for an ancestor.
            I was disappointed that the county recorder's office did not have earlier records, because I knew my great-grandfather had been the first settler in Farr West in 1858.  Since that left an 18-year gap, I realized that the Pritchett property may have been owned by someone previously who could have built the cabin.
            Well, this past week I recalled that two other families in Farr West had Pritchetts in their ancestry.  I took a chance and called Lurlene Westergard, knowing she is interested in family history.  She promised to search through her records and see if she could find anything to help me.  Next day she phoned me to let me know that her deceased brother Len had found some earlier records.  While living in Virginia (before he joined the Church), Leonidas had applied for a land grant from the government.  After he moved to Utah, the requested land patent was given to him in Farr West in 1875.  I'll check with the land records office tomorrow, but it is reasonable to me that a "patent" would only be issued to the original occupant on the land.  If this information checks out, we can be  even more sure that Leonidas was the original occupant of the land.  Somewhere I heard that the receiver of a patent had to build on his land within a certain period of time.   
            Randy Chambers is so excited over the information we have uncovered.  And I have to admit that this is the most interesting project I have encountered for a long time.
            I may have mentioned to you some time ago that I am in the process of re-writing my 1980 history of Farr West.  The story of the log cabin is my introduction to the project.
            In your missionary work I'm sure you will be encouraging new converts to prepare records of their ancestors so temple work can be finished.  Life stories will be equally important--especially for posterity.  I trust that my story today will help you motivate someone along the line to put this on their To Do List.  The experience is so interesting and rewarding!
            Have a great week!  You're in my prayers.  Love, Brian

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