History of Harriet Wright and Henry Folland

Alice Webley Folland Swensen

Typed for this website by Shirley Swensen Turley


My great grandfather, Henry Folland was born April 22, 1824 in Kingcott, Devonshire, England, son of Robert Folland and Mary Hogg.

My great grandmother, Harriet Wright Folland was born April 23, 1827 in Upottery, Devonshire, England, daughter of William Wright and Mary Loosemore.

Henry and Harriet met in Exeter, Devonshire, England, sometime before their marriage on the 5th of May 1849. They were married in Upton Pyne, a little village close to Exeter.

Henry and Harriet had been married five years when missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints went to their door and began teaching them the Gospel. They were converted and were baptized on February 27, 1854.

A year after their marriage, their first child Ellen was born in Brampford Speke, a small village outside of Exeter; Abel, their second child was born in Exeter and he died as an infant; Eli, their third child, my grandfather, was born in Exeter as was their fourth child Nephi Aaron. Their remaining four children were born after their emigration to America.

Henry was apparently already established in the business of his family trade, having exhibited much talent as a machinest and furniture builder and cabinet maker in Exeter, where the family lived as members of the Church for 10 years prior to coming to America in 1864.

They sailed across the ocean on the ship Hudson, leaving Liverpool on June 3, 1864. It took them 46 days to make the crossing. Many became ill and some died and were buried at sea. Henry and Harriet and their little family made the journey without problems, and landed in New York City on July 19, 1864.

Their group took the train as far as they could and then Henry and Harriet bought a two wheeled oxcart and an ox. They said the ox was a ‘mangie beast, stubborn and slow, but persistent.”

The group, led by George Halliday, were 100 miles from Wyoming Territory, America when on August 25, 1864, Henry and Harriet’s baby, little Nephi Aaron, who was three and a half at the time, took ill and died. A small grave was dug in the parched earth, the body was wrapped in what protective garments as were available and he was buried at the west side of Beaver Creek. They had concern about beasts or Indians finding the grave and desecrating it, so they built a fire on top of the grave and when it died down, they ran the oxcart over the ground many times so it would not be apparent there was a grave there.

This death and burial left its impact upon the entire family for years to come, as this story was told to family members for many years and was a reflection of the pain and sorrow felt by the family and showed the impact of this great tragedy upon their anticipated joy of approaching Zion. It was very difficult for them to leave their little one, but their hearts were somewhat lifted as they thought of finally getting to the Salt Lake Valley. They arrived in the valley on November 4, 1864. Tow years later on June 9, 1866 they were endowed and sealed together as a family for eternity in the Edowment House as there was no temple at that time. The building of the Salt Lake Temple had only just begun. The rest of their children were then born under the Covenant and they are sealed together now as an eternal family.

The family settled in the 13th Ward area on a farm plot on the south side of the street between 2nd and 3rd East Streets on South Temple. It was at the South Temple residence, an adobe structure, that a fourth son and fifth child was born a year later.

The following year, the family moved to their new residence which was a home built by Henry Sr. And the boys at 742 West on South Temple, and remained there the remainder of their lives. When Henry Sr. Died, the property was divided between Eli and Henry Jr. And remained in their hands until Henry’s death in 1948. After Martha’s (Henry jr.’s wife) death a few year later, the property was sold.

Harriet died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. W. H. Breeze (Eliza Mary Folland) in Taylorsville, Utah at 78 years of age on August 20, 1905.

Henery and Harriet are buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery at NE 1/4 Lot 3, Block 11, Plat C. Their stones are about 14 inches square older stones in white. The graves are about 4 graves north of 280 North or Seventh Avenue. There is a telephone type pole on the south side of Seventh and their graves are west of where the pole is but north of the road.