Friday, May 25, 2012

Tooele County: McIntosh Land

My cousin Kathleen Henderson Wheeler is a lot of fun to be around -- always in a great mood, quick with a smile and someone who really loves her family. She sent me an email a couple of weeks ago letting me know she would soon be in Utah. On her to-do list while in the Beehive State to visit her father, Mark Henderson (my mother's older brother), was to take him out to St. John -- 40 or so miles west of Salt Lake City -- to visit cemeteries and to see where his mother, Mary Anne McIntosh Henderson, was born. In the email, she wrote that she'd love to have me and my parents came along on the excursion, but that even if we didn't she'd be going anyway -- not being blunt about it, just that she was determined.

As it turns out, that was just the kick-start I required. You see, I've been promising to do this for years -- the going-to-St.-John trip, that is. Just never done it. I've talked to my cousin Neil Lamont about it, to another distant cousin Rob McIntosh about it, even to Rob's uncle Howard McIntosh about doing it.

But this time we pulled it off. On Monday, eight of us piled into Howard McIntosh's (Howard is my mother's first cousin; his father was Ira McIntosh) 12-passenger van and spent the morning driving through Rush Valley -- the "new" town that was formed out of combining St. John and Clover a few decades ago.
Here we are, absent Jean McIntosh, Howard's wife, who's taking the photo. L-R: Mark Henderson, Helen McIntosh Henderson Porter, Don Porter (Sr.), Don Porter (Jr.), Howard McIntosh, Linda Henderson Pullan, Kathleen Henderson Wheeler.
As the day approached, I thought it might be nice to have a better grasp on specific locations in St. John -- if possible, to verify what I'd learned from the Caldwell-McIntosh information that I have -- by visiting the Tooele County Recorder's office and checking the land records from the mid-1850s to 1900. I spent almost three hours there, and the employees couldn't have been more helpful. Given my limited time (I'll spend more there later this summer), I was able to verify the location of the building lots Caroline Elizabeth Caldwell McIntosh owned between 1868 and her death in 1891, and found record of a piece of ground purchased by William Abram McIntosh (her son, my great-grandfather) in the years after his marriage to Nancy Lena Guhl but preceding his move to Burlington, Wyo.

Here's a photo of the old, abandoned home still sitting on the block where Caroline owned two lots. If this is the right lot, it must be where she lived for many years.
Someone's living in a mobile home on the lot -- you can see a bit of it to the left, obscured by the pine tree -- but we didn't see anyone around when we were there. I'll post a scan of the original plot map (from 1890!) on the website sometime soon.

We drove to the site of the land purchased by W.A. McIntosh after his marriage to Nancy Lena, but there's a park and a couple of city buildings on the ground now.

We had better luck at the St. John and Clover cemeteries, though. There we found various McIntosh and Caldwell markers, including this one designating the graves of my Great-Great-Grandfather John McIntosh, my Great-Great Grandmother Caroline and my Great-Great-Great-Grandmother Mary Ann Vaughn Caldwell (Caroline's mother).
Now, I don't think we discovered anything new. This information, or most of it anyway, is contained in a wealth of information I received from the Caldwell-McIntosh organization. But I'll have to review that collection to see if it includes the land records. (If someone knows, please tell me where to look.)

It was a great day, full of stories and laughter and, not least, a great opportunity for my mom and Uncle Mark to catch up.

1 comment:

Angie W said...

I wish I could say I have caught up with all these posts, but I do want to read so much more. I probably would have realized this a long time ago if I had read more or remembered details better, but I guess, by reading this post, that my grandpa, David Ira Henderson, was named after his mother's first cousin Ira, huh? Didn't realize that before. Love family names :)