George Frederick Lewis
Born: July 9, 1856
Died: February 9, 1909
Parents: James Lewis and Emily Jennison Holman
Married: Mary Adalaide Huff, December 9, 1890
George Fredrick was born in 1856 in Parowan, Iron County, Utah to James Lewis and Emily Jennison Holman, the sixth of fourteen children. His father was called by Brigham Young to help build the cotton mission in 1865, thus they moved to Harrisburg, Washington, Utah when George was eight years old.
In 1871 the family moved to Kanab, Kane, Utah where George became interested in the occupation of blacksmith, which was a good trade at that time.
George was the blacksmith for The Hole in the Rock Company hired to build a road through Potato Valley (by way of Escalante). The Hole in the Rock was a jump off of 40 feet down through the pass. The walls of the Hole were more than a hundred feet high on each side above the roadway - one mile from the top of the hill to the Colorado River; all stone rock.
They crossed on the ferry boat, provided for that purpose, above the mouth of the San Juan River. The road had been made by the company with great labor and toil for months and was the most rugged ever tackled or traveled. Water was only found in the holes of the rocks, deposited in the rainy season and the melting of snow in the Spring. The company followed the San Juan River to Bluff City where they stopped for the season.
His uncle, Philip B. Lewis, gave George a patriarchal blessing when he was age 19. One promise of note follows, “Thy body shall not be weary, but thou shall leap like a halk (hawk) upon the mountains. Thou shall be preserved from the [hands] of thy [enemies] and every weapon formed against thee shall fall harmless at thy feet . . .”
On to Arizona
The family moved to Arizona in 1882 where George eventually met his bride to be, Mary Adalaide Huff. They were married in the St. George, Utah Temple in 9 Dec 1890. They lived in Taylor, Arizona where their two oldest children were born – George William and Adolphia James. Of this marriage eventually came seven children; two born in Arizona, the other five while living in Colonial Guarcia, Mexico, including Zilpha, our line.
While living in Arizona, George and others established and purchased the first sawmill built in the vicinity. blacksmithing, building and farming were the sources of income during his lifetime. He also taught his children these trades and taught them “not to be idle”.
George moved his family over 500 miles to Old Mexico about 1896 after a call to “go to Mexico and take up land from the Mexican government.” Mary’s mother and father (James Henry and Sophia Huff) and their family also moved to Mexico. Father Huff died in 1903, and Mary’s mother returned to the States. George’s father, James Lewis, died in 1898 in Kanab, Utah – George may not have seen him after moving to Mexico in 1897. George’s mother, Emily, out-lived George (her son) by two years – Emily later dying in Kanab, Utah in 1911.
George worked hard all his life. As his boys were able, they helped him. He died of a heart attack in 1909 at the age of 52, leaving his wife, Mary, and children - Zilpha, our line, was only eight years old. The oldest boy, George William, was sixteen and the youngest child, Emily, was only seven months old. George Fredrick Lewis was buried in Colonial Guarcia, Mexico. His grave has not been located in the present “colonies”. His wife and children were driven out of Mexico in 1912, three years after George died.
Biographical Sketch provided by descendant Shauna Hart.
Sources used for this history: “Lewis History”, by Lloyd M. Dalton, “James Lewis and Emily Jennison Holman History” (www.decallthomas.com), 1870 Census Harrisburg, Utah, “James Lewis File” Nauvoo, Illinois records, Autobiography of James Lewis