by Lawrence J. Dean

Because of the many inquiries and questions arising among the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Joseph Dean, I, Lawrence J. Dean, his grandson, have attempted to gather all the information and facts I can find from father's journals, newspaper clippings, marriage records; also, comments from some who knew him, and put them together in history form for the benefit of his progenitors.

Joseph Dean was born the third of August 1831 in Hazelbury, Somerset, England, a son of Barnard Dean and Joanna Elliot. He was the fourth son in a family of seven boys, and a twin brother to Benjamin Dean. Hazelbury, meaning "All Saints" was a small Parish in the Northern Division of the County of Wiltshire.

On May 21, 1855, he was married to Cathrine Knott in the parish of Taunton St. Mary Magdeline by Henry Parr, Vicar. Witnesses were Elizabeth Knott Howe and her husband, Henry Howe. Joseph Henry Dean says he was named for this Henry Howe.

Cathrine Knott was born May 16, 1824, in Crowcombe, Sommerset, England. Crowcombe, meaning "Holy Trinity," was in the Western Division of Somerset, 10 miles N.W. by N. from Taunton. On their marriage license, her father, William Knott, was listed as a bootmaker. Myrtle Dean says all the Knotts she found in census in Crowcombe were master shoemakers and hired men to help them.

Little is known of their childhood and courtship, but they must have both moved to Taunton as that is where they were married and where their first two children were born: father, Joseph H. Dean, and his next brother, Robert Francis, who was born 16 September 1857 and who died November 13, 1858, in Taunton.

Taunton was a borough or market place of great antiquity 144 miles southwest of London. Urns were found there containing Roman coins and some think it existed during the Roman Empire, but the earliest authentic account refers to the period of the Heptarchy when a castle was built for royal residence by Ina, King of West Saxons, about 700 A.D. The town was built in the central part of the beautiful Vale of Taunton. The streets, which are spacious and well paved, were lighted by gas. Houses, mostly built of brick, were commodious and handsome. It was well supplied with water. The River Tone flowed through the town and a beautiful stone bridge with two arches connected the town to village Nurton. The Taunton and Somerset Institute was established in 1823. It had a small but valuable library and museum. Taunton was formerly noted for its woolen manufacture, being one of the first places into which that branch of trade was introduced, but later gave way to silk trade, which began in 1778. Nearly every cottage had a silk loom which gave employment to many women. Later lace manufactories were established.

Joseph Dean was listed on his marriage certificate as a carpenter. Father [Joseph Henry Dean] says in his journal that it was customary in the old countries to serve seven years apprenticeship in a trade, which made it a snap for his boss, as for three years he was a mere roustabout with little pay. Joseph was a rough-and-ready uneducated man, known for his honesty, but had no use for the churches of the day, so it was always a conundrum how he came to marry Cathrine, a refined, pious woman, raised in a religious family, her father being a clerk in their church. They had prayers and always attended church. Cathrine read the scriptures; always thought she wanted a husband as religious as she was. After their marriage at bedtime she would ask that they have prayer. He would reply, "You do the praying, and I'll say the Amens." So it was strange that he was the first to hear and become interested in a new religion being introduced in their town. One night he heard some men preaching a new religion on the street corner. The more he listened, the more he liked it. He went home and told his wife he had heard a new religion that sounded good to him, and persuaded her to go with him the next night to listen. They became converted and were baptized November 20, 1856, by Charles Barrell; confirmed November 24, 1856 by W. Lucas.

Like most Saints who received the Gospel in a foreign land, they had a desire to gather to Zion. So, on March 30, 1860, they left their native land and took steerage passage on the Ship Underwriter, a sailing vessel which took six weeks to cross the Atlantic. Having little of this world's goods, they went through the trying experience of taking steerage passage. In stormy weather when the water dashed over the ship, all doors and hatchways were closed to keep out the water, and the air became very foul. Father, being about five years old, remembers little of the trip, but said he did remember a burial at sea: when the body was placed upon a plank and when the funeral was concluded it was tipped into the sea.

The outfitting place for crossing the Plains was Florence, Nebraska, on the Missouri River where the city of Omaha is now located. Joseph paid a man named Russell $60.00 in gold to take his little family to Salt Lake. They were alloted half of the wagon box. Father, only 5 years old, says his head touched one side of the wagon, his feet the other. His mother slept curled up beside him; his father outside on the ground. There were six yoke of oxen to the wagon, with about fifty wagons to the company. They needed sufficient men to protect them from the Indians. So there would not be too many animals for the feed along the route, they spaced the companies far enough apart to allow the grass to grow for the next company's animals.

Shortly before reaching the valley in Green River, Wyoming, July 28, 1860, a baby girl was born. She was blessed by G. Thomas and given the name of Catherine Deseret. But the rigors of the trip were too much for the tiny babe. In spite of tender care (Myrtle Dean tells of how she was told by father that the mother made a cradle by tying a blanket to the bows of the wagon so she could swing as they travelled and not feel the jolt of the wagon over the rocky roads so much) the babe died August 8th at Parley's Park. They brought the babe into Salt Lake and buried her in City Cemetery.

Soon after arriving in Salt Lake, after all the hardships of the trip, they were asked by Brigham Young to settle in Morgan, Utah, situated in Weber Canyon. They just lived in a dugout in the side of the hill, and suffered many privations until a house could be built. They lived on bread and sorgum molasses and gathered service berries, wild currants and gooseberries on the banks of the streams. Sugar had to be hauled by ox team from the Missouri River and was 25 cents per pound, which was more than they could afford. Every family had a garden, a few chickens, and a pig or two. They would dry squash and other vegetables by cutting it in strips and hanging it in the sun, but were always hungry for fresh fruits . They raised sheep, carded wool, spun the yarn, and wove their own cloth for clothing. Work shirts were of heavy cloth called hickory, Sunday shirts of polka dot calico. They first had paper collars, then celluloid. They made their own hats of straw.

Joseph was elected Constable of Morgan. He was given a large Remington Pistol, the first self-action pistol he had ever seen, the old style being fired by pulling up the hammer and then pulling the trigger. He kept it hanging on a peg on the wall of the cabin.

Joseph volunteered to take his ox team to the Missouri to bring converts who were emigrating from foreign lands just as he had done. They were also to bearing parts for the tabernacle organ which was under construction, but for some reason, the shipment was delayed. Joseph and three other men waited for ten days but they didn't come, and be had to return without them. On the return trip they encountered Indians who began climbing into their wagons. Joseph grabbed one of them, shook him, showed his badge and pistol and the Indians left. They weren't bothered any more.

While living in Morgan, two more children were born to Cathrine and Joseph: William John, October 7, 1864, and Mary Elizabeth, October 15, 1866. She later became one of the noted singers of Utah. On January 5, 1867, Joseph took a plural wife, Amelia Slade; born Amelia Lacey, October 5, 1827. She too came from Crowcombe, England. Her husband came to Philadelphia and obtained work so he could send for his family. He died there, leaving her with five children and one born after he died. After greatest of hardships, she reached Utah, losing two of the children on the way. She had four at the time she married Joseph. The principle of plural marriage was strongly advocated at this time. Cathrine believed this principle with all her heart. She went to Widow Slade thinking Joseph was too slow, and asked her if she would marry Joseph if he asked her. She said "yes." Cathrine told Joseph what she had done, and the marriage soon followed, though it was for time only. Two daughters were born to this union: Emily Kate, 26 September 1867, and Catherine, 19 December 1868, in Morgan, Utah.

Joseph Dean was offered work on the Salt Lake Temple, so in 1872 he had all his family move to Salt Lake, 60 miles by ox team. His oxen, Buck and Bright, pulled the belongings in two days. He rented a house and lot at the corner of 4th North and 2nd West in the 19th Ward from Edward Hunter. The lot contained an apple orchard. A. H. Raleigh, was Bishop. He soon bought a lot at 77 Peach Street and began building a two room frame house. Father, Joseph H. Dean, in his journal, tells how he helped his father at various jobs while he was waiting to obtain work and be self-supporting, building fence for Brother Barrell, some writing for Brother Grow, getting breakfast when mother was ill, hoeing weeds, etc., until he became disheartened thinking he would never get work. He said his father acted strange, very quiet, and he felt beholden to him until June 7, 1876, when he got a job. He exclaimed, "At last I have work. "

Joseph Dean married another plural wife, Minnie Frost, who was born January 16, 1866, in Leek, Staffordshire, England. To this union was born Jacob LeRoy Dean, 12 July 1885, at Ogden, Utah

About 1885 they moved to Manassa, Colorado, to escape persecutions on account of polygamy. There he did carpenter work for the farmers and started a new house for his wife and baby, but it was slow in being finished. The floor boards were not yet nailed down. Minnie, who was expecting another baby, was hurrying preparing supper one evening, stepped on a loose board and fell partly through it causing hemorrhage and death, the closest doctor being 12 miles away. Joseph never ceased grieving about her sudden death, and always warned his children to keep close to medical help during pregnancy. Soon after this, he went to England on a two year mission. When he returned, he gave himself up and served six months in State Prison for plural marriage. Upon his release he did carpenter work and was the Bishop's representative to distribute food, money, and coal to the needy.

Jacob LeRoy says he remembers his father as a man of great faith. He tells of an incident of a Mr. Shepherd, who was a confidential messenger for the American Express Company. He carried large sums of money for the American Express Company. LeRoy, who was a policeman at the time, was appointed to leave his beat at South Temple and accompany Mr. Shepherd home safely. On one of these trips he said to LeRoy, "I want to tell you about your father in regard to administering to the sick. I have called him in a number of times and you could feel his influence as soon as he entered the door." LeRoy tells how Katie was once sick unto dying. They sent for her father who was working on the temple block. A crowd had gathered. She was presumed to be dead. He asked all to leave. All left but Amelia. He administered to Katie and she revived instantly.

Jacob LeRoy says his father was a man of great principle. He often told them to be honest; to depend on the Lord in time of sickness, and they would be healed by faith. He told LeRoy to always mind his own business.

LeRoy used to carry his father's lunch, while it was still warm, in napkin tied by four corners up to capital grounds where his father was working on an iron fence. He said his father used to bring home a quart of grain alcohol each weekend and would mix it with water and divide it with each member of the family.

Joseph helped build a scaffold in a sandy lot by Garfield where they executed the criminals. Porter Rockwell would come in just after daylight with human blood on his boots, and Joseph couldn't eat his breakfast because of the sight and smell.

Joseph was alarmed when a machine was brought in to make the tongue-and-groove flooring. He said, "We will have to go jump in the lake because of less work." While Lawrence J. Dean, a grandson, and his wife were laboring in Marquette, Michigan as missionaries, a friend gave them a newspaper clipping which told of a Charles Meyer who originated the idea of producing factory-made sashes and doors. He also invented and built the complicated machinery to manufacture tongue and groove maple hardwood flooring and established a factory in 1889. One of his first big orders was to supply the flooring for the famed Mormon Temple at Salt Lake City. His factory was in Hermansville, Michigan, in the upper Peninsula.

Jacob LeRoy tells of his father taking him up on the high scaffold of the Temple so he could put his feet on the capstone where the Angel Moroni was to stand. The great height made him sick.

Lily Dean Halls, his granddaughter who was 12 years old at the time of his death, remembers going to their home up on the hill from them and eating in the big dining room. One Christmas Eve when her father was away, Grandpa Dean came with presents and goodies. When he saw they had no Christmas tree, he left and soon came back with a beautiful tree.

Dr. W. R. Calderwood, who was a son-in-law of Joseph through marriage to his daughter, Emily, who he met when she was about 19 or 20 at Old University of Utah which was then on the corner of 2nd West and 3rd North, said he remembered Joseph as a man of average height and weight with chin whiskers. He had a kindly disposition, always kind and considerate.

Vernon Dean said, "As a child I remember Grandfather Joseph Dean coming out to 1007 Garfield Avenue to visit and, as he hurried west to take the street car at 9th East, he fell over and a crowd of ladies gathered around him. Someone brought out a strong blanket on which they placed him and four ladies on each side and two at the ends carried him back to Uncle William John Dean's home.

The latter part of Joseph Dean's life he was troubled with a heart condition which he was aware would be the cause of his death. Following are accounts pertaining to his death:

From the Deseret News, July 1, 1895:

Joseph Dean Dies Suddenly

Death came very suddenly to Joseph Dean of 19th Ward yesterday (Sunday) afternoon. He had been in attendance at the Tabernacle services and was on his way home when without any previous warning he was stricken down at the gates on the north side of the Temple block. At the first approach of dissolution he staggered towards the wall and was prevented from falling and perhaps from injury by Andrew T. Benzon with whom he was walking at the time. Death was due to a heart disease from which the deceased had been suffering for a considerable time and it was an affliction which he fully expected would sometime cause his death. A crowd quickly gathered around him and he was placed in a carriage and driven to his home on Peach Street where his family was overwhelmed at the sad tidings of his death. The deceased was in the 64th year of his age and leaves a sorrowing family to mourn his demise. Brother Dean was for many years employed on the Temple block and had many friends in this city of which he was an old and respected resident. He was the father of Joseph Dean and Bessie Dean Allison, one of Utah's Sweet singers. The funeral will occur from the 19th Ward meeting house tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon beginning at 4 o'clock.

Jasper Dean, who was at the time only about 7 years of age, tells of seeing his grandfather, Joseph Dean, being brought in by carriage and put in Florence Dean's side because of plenty of room and to save his widow, Cathrine, the shock of first seeing him. Jasper said, "He looks the same as usual." He called "Grandpa" twice, receiving no answer, so he ventured to raise up his eyelid, and he was frightened beyond expression, and convinced he was in some way different.

And from the 23rd journal of Joseph H. Dean, written Sunday, June 30, 1895:

Death has again entered our family circle. This time it has taken away our father. We have been expecting it, however, for several months, but it came as a great shock nevertheless. He had gone to the Tabernacle meeting as usual, having no unusual symptoms. After services were over he came out the North gate of Temple block. He was standing there to get his breath as he usually had to every half block or so when Brother Andrew Benzon, a neighbor with whom Father had spent a good deal of his time since he had been disabled from work, overtook him, and said 'Are you waiting for me old man?' Father said 'Yes'. Brother Benzon noticing that he looked sicker than usual said, 'You are not feeling very well are you?' Father said 'No.' Benzon said 'Take my arm and I'll put you on the street car.' Then a few steps cast of the North entrance Father said quietly; 'Oh, I can't stand.' and dropped dead in his tracks. I had gone out the west gate and home with Florence along West Temple. just as we turned up here (to Father's) from Center St. we noticed a crowd of people coming down Center Street and as we neared our gate, I saw Brother Franes standing there looking as if something had happened. I asked him what had happened and he pointed to the crowd coming with a light wagon and said they were bringing Father home. I soon saw he was dead. We brought him in and laid him on Florence's lounge. Amelia and Emily were out to Eliza's, Kate to Payson, Bessie at Ogden, and William at Sugarhouse. I sent our Roy off for William and Amelia and Emily, and telegraphed to Kate and Bessie. Also sent word to Joseph F. Taylor, sexton, and he sent a man down to lay him out. As no one was in Amelia's part of the house we laid him out there. I went down to Marrgetts and got 50 lbs. of ice. And Brother Benzon helped fix it. They put fruit jars full of ice around him and pans on his stomach. William got here at 6:30 and Amelia and Emily about 9. Christensen and Kate at 12. Bro. Benzon and Brother Morris Young are going to sit up with the body. Father would have been 64 on next August 3rd. Mother's been up all night, and we were all prepared for it. It is much better for Father for he could take no pleasure in life the way he was. Bessie came from Ogden 7:15 train. Joseph E. Taylor called in the evening, and we have arranged to go up in the morning at 8:30 and choose a casket. I wanted to bury Father in his bleached temple suit. Not only to save expense but because he had done his Temple work in and had his 2nd anointing in it. But Emily and Katie wanted a new linen suit, and so we got that, the linen costing $8.25. Sally, Sister Fawlins and Mother have made it. Mr. Calderwood and George W. Willis are going to sit up tonight."

Tuesday, July 2nd:

David Christensen and I went to undertaker Taylor's this morning and chose a casket, we took the cheapest $50.00 one, could have gotten a coffin for $35.00. Also ordered 6 hacks. At 2 p.m. Taylor came with casket and he, Brother Benzon and I dressed him. He had kept nicely and looked like he was in a peaceful sleep. At 3:50 we started for the meeting house. Six of the teachers who had labored under Father were pall-bearers. They were Brothers Benzon, Seal, Slight, Gray, Talkelson and Swenson. The family followed in the following order. Mother and me, William and Amelia, Bessie and Allison, Emily and Calderwood, Kate Christensen, Sally and her children, Florence and her children, Emma and her children, Eliza and Alf, Will Slade and wife. The meeting house was tastefully decorated, and was crowded with our friends. Bishop Barton presided. The ward choir sang, 'Now He's Gone We'll Not Call Him From Paradise of Bliss' page 169. Prayer by Alexander Edwards. 'Hark! From Afar, A Funeral Knell, etc.' page 193 was then sung. Speakers were John Alford, N. V. Jones, William Asper, John N. Pike, Isaac Barton, Joseph E. Taylor, Seymor B. Young, and Angus M. Cannon. The choir sang on page 406 'Rest for the Weary Soul' and the Benediction was pronounced by J. Derbidge. The remarks were consoling and complimentary and yet not over drawn. All remarked on the calm, peaceful spirit present, and upon the absence of any spirit of death or mourning. We had 7 hacks in all and there were some 20 vehicles in line all together. Joseph M. Watson dedicated the grave and all we will ever see of Father was laid away. We all returned here to mother's and had supper, and as we were all together I read father's will. The following represents the funeral expenses:

Linen for suit $ 8.25

Shirt 1.00

Socks .25

Ribbon .45

Ice and Casket 50.50

Six hacks @ $2.50 15.00

Grave and hearse 10.00

Drivers and gloves 3.00

Total $88.45

Joseph Dean graveI went down to the bank to see if I could get the $25.00 Father had on deposit. They said I would have to get letters of testamentary from Probate Court first. I went to court to file the Will for probate and was dazed to find a deposit of $20.00 would have to be paid over before anything could be done. The funeral expenses divided between the five of us makes $17.69 each.


Joseph Dean now has a numerous posterity, most of whom are true to the faith he espoused in England just twenty-six years after its restoration through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I'm sure if he could speak to us now his message would be even as it was in life to depend on the Lord, remain true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Other sources of information indicate that the events of this paragraph (Page 3) were in reverse order. Joseph Dean left for a mission to England in April of 1885. It was apparently after his return from England, probably in 1887, that he went to Manassa, Colorado, with his wife Minnie and their son Jacob LeRoy.