Parry, Edward Lloyd - Biography

Biography of Edward Lloyd Parry

Biography of Edward Lloyd Parry

I was born August 25, 1818, at or near the village of St. George, Denbinghshire, North Wales. My parents names were Edward Parry and Mary Lloyd.

My early boyhood was passed in the village of St. George. My mother died when I was but four and a half years of age, leaving three children... two girls, Margaret and Mary, and myself. My sisters were taken care of by a nurse each, to whom my father paid three shillings per week each, while he and I went to live with his parents. My father was a well-to-do stone mason and brick-layer, as were also my grandfather and my great-grand father.

I attended school until I was twelve years of age, when I went to work along with my father at the mason trade. I received one term of school again at the age of fourteen; and also attended night school at the age of twenty-four and twenty-five.

I passed my early manhood in the village of St. George and the adjacent towns, working at my trade as a stone mason and brick-layer, which vocation I was naturally inclined to follow. I worked a great deal about the state of Lord Dinorbin. Also assisted in erecting a number of dwellings, vicherages, railroad bridges and churches.

I married Elizabeth Evans 16 August 1846.

Being naturally inclined to be religious, I frequently attended the Church of England and went to hear ministers of other denominations preach. But I could not be converted to join any of them; as their teachings did not appear to be consistent or in harmony with the Gospel as taught by the Savior and His apostles. On hearing an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints preach, I was converted to the truth, and wondered why I had not understood the Gospel in that light before.

I was baptized March 9, 1848, by Elder Abel Evans and confirmed at the riverside about 5 weeks later. I was ordained a Priest during the summer of 1848. My wife Elizabeth and my father and number of relatives joined the Church.

I was ordained an Elder January 21, 1849, and on January 9, 1850 I was called to preside over the Abergele Branch. On February 22, 1851, I was set apart as first counsellor to the President of the Denbighshire Conference. I labored and preached faithfully in that neighborhood until I emigrated to Utah in 1853.

I kept an open house for the Elders and Saints, providing them with food, shelter, clothing and money to pay their traveling expenses, etc. Being desirous of gathering with the body of the Church where I could be taught more fully the principles of the Gospel and receive a more fullness of the blessings and the benefits there to be derived.

On reading an article written by Brother Orson Pratt, then the President of the European Mission, councilling all that could do so to go to Utah. So in the year 1853 I concluded to take his council. But when the time came I did not have the means with which to pay emigration as I had used the obtained from my labor for the support of the traveling Elders and the mission. I therefore had to emigrate on the perpetual emigration fund. When ready to leave, my relatives and friends sent me enough money to pay my way to Liverpool, where again the Lord raised up friends to me. A lady friend there gave me money with which to buy beds and other necessary articles not provided by the ship’s accommodations.

I left Liverpool with my wife and eleven others from the same Branch, on February 5, 1853, on the sailing ship Jersey, commanded by Captain Day. Elder George Holliday being in charge of the Saints.

We were just six weeks to the day coming from Liverpool to New Orleans. We took a steamboat from New Orleans to Keokuk where we arrived April 1, 1853. We remained there eight weeks.

I obtained work across the river from Keokuk, going and coming across on a little steamer every day. I gave such satisfaction to the man I was working for (a Mr. Brown), that he begged me to stay, offering me a city lot and to build me a house and give my own time to pay for it. I thanked him for this offer and told him that I had made up my mind to go to Utah and to Utah I was going.

By this time we had procured the necessary ox-teams and wagons to commence our journey across the plains. Brother Joseph W. Young was our captain. I was put in Captain of the guard. I therefore had to go ahead to find the most suitable place to camp and to find a place to turn the cattle out to feed. I had also in most cases to go with the guard to show them where the feed was, and then go with the relieved guard again. I also dealt out the rations of flour once a week to the company.

We arrived in Salt Lake City October 10, 1853, and settled in the Sixteenth Ward. I moved into the Fifteenth Ward in 1854, and I paid my debt to the Perpetual Emigration Fund in less than one year after arriving in Utah.

I was ordained a Seventy in the Thirthy-Seventh Quorum of Seventies at the time of the organization of that Quorum on January 12, 1854. My wife and I received our endowments in the Endowment House by invitation of Brother Heber C. Kimball April 1, 1854. We moved to Ogden in the Fall of 1855 as it was said that times would be hard and I had an opportunity to do some labor there and obtain wheat and other things for pay, which I did and therefore we did not suffer as some did during the scarcity of food, and we were able to help many that were poor and suffering.

The 19th February 1857 I married Ann Parry (my cousin) who had come from Wales the 2nd of October 1856 with the Handcart Company. The same month I was called by Brother Heber C. Kimball to remove to Salt Lake City to work on the Temple. He placed his hand on my shoulder in his good old familiar way and said "Brother Edward, I want you to pull up your stakes and come to the city to live and go to work on the Temple. Will you do it?"
I said, "I will if you say so."
"Well," said he, "didn't I say so?"
In three weeks after I had moved down, I reported myself for work.

I went to work on the Temple next day and continued to work there and on the public works while in Salt Lake City. I was present when the treasure box was laid in the foundation of the Temple and spread the mortar for it.

November 10, 1857, I was called to go to Echo Canyon to prepare to meet Johnston's Army and was placed as captain of ten. I remained there three weeks working on the breast-works and wigwams. When I returned home [I remained] until the spring of 1858. Then I went out again for three or four weeks. Then we were counseled to move South, that the troops were coming in, and we got ready to burn our property if the word was given.


My family and I went as far as Springville in the beginning of May 1858. We lived in our wagon and a little willow shed by the side of my sister Mary and her husband Job Rowland. We went back home to Salt Lake City about the 4th of July 1858 when I returned again to work on the Public Works [and] worked there until April 1862 when I was called to go to St. George in Southern Utah to settle. I arrived there June 5th, 1862, with my wife Ann, [our] little son Edward Thomas and foster son George Brooks. (George Brooks came to us in October 1856. He was a splendid boy and we all loved him like one of our very own.) We left my wife Elizabeth and daughter Elizabeth Ann in Salt Lake City until August 1863 when I returned to Salt Lake City and moved the remainder of my family to St. George.

I had charge of the mason work on the St. George Hall, the Tabernacle, Bro. Erastus Snow’s Big House, the County Court House, raised the Washington Factory one story higher, built a great many residences for private parties, among them, one for Pres. Brigham Young, and was Master Mason of the St. George Temple, the four corners of which I layed without the usual ceremonies, the Authorities not being able to be there at the time and Pres. Young was very desirous of having the work hurried along. I also assisted President Young and others in setting the treasure box in the Temple walls of the St. George Temple.

While in St. George we lost two children; one died in February and one in March 1871. Artimisha, aged four years, and Minnie, aged two years.

In April 1877 I was called by President Young to go to Manti to take charge of the mason and stone work of the Manti Temple. I arrived there with a part of my family in company of President Young April 24, 1877. The rest of my family came to Manti in October of the same year.

We were about two years leveling the hill, building the Terrace Walls and getting ready to lay the corner stones of the Temple, which were laid April 14, 1879. The South East Corner Stone contained a Treasure Box that I assisted in setting in the Temple. That made three treasure boxes that I had assisted in setting in Temples.

My wife Elizabeth died August 11th, 1880, and my wife Ann died August 6th, 1886, leaving me with five young children, the two youngest aged five and three respectively. Three years after the death of their mother they died in November 1889 within two weeks of each other which was indeed a great trial to me. [His daughter Harriet tells me that he took his trouble losing those two very dear children very hard, but he tried to be patient and humble.]

In connection with my sons with whom I am at present (April 1895) in business in the stone mason and building business, I took up a stone quarry near Ephraim, known as the Sanpete White Oolite Company, from which the large stones in the corners of the Manti Temple Treasure Box were obtained... also the stone of which the Annex building of the Salt Lake Temple is built. These were furnished by contract.

[The following notes are presented by his daughters, Harriet and Emma Parry:]

The company in which he crossed the plains contained fifty-six wagons. The company consisted of different companies, namely: Independent Company, the Ten Pound Company, [and] the others the Perpetual Emigrating Company, the latter of which he was a member. He thinks he came very comfortably fixed.

In company of Daniel McArthur, David Bentley, David Cannon and others, he assisted in locating a fort South East of St. George and during the Indian troubles he stood guard many a night.

His first wife Elizabeth had no children, but the following ones were born to himself and his second wife, Ann Parry Parry:

Elizabeth Ann               born 4 March 1858, Salt Lake City, Utah. Died 8 February 1917. Married Warren S. Peacock, had 12 children, 25 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren, total 40.

Edward Thomas           born 19 October 1859, Salt Lake City, Utah. Married Charlotte Ann Edmunds, had 9 children, 32 grandchildren, total 41. Died 28 September 1938.

Mary Ellen                    born 18 June 1862, St. George, Utah. Married Sylvester H. Cox, had 8 children, 37 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, total 60. Died 25 December 1917.

John Lloyd                   born 6 October 1864, St. George, Utah. Married Sarah Isabell Peacock, had 8 children, 13 grandchildren, total 21. Died 9 June 1916.

Artimisha                      born 25 December 1866, St. George, Utah. Died 15 February 1871.

Minnie                          born 12 March 1869, St. George, Utah. Died 3 March 1871.

Harriet                          born 1 November 1870, St. George, Utah.

Bernard                        born 8 July 1873, St. George, Utah. Married Vilate Charity Harmon. They have 7 children and 8 grandchildren, total 15.

Emma                           born 7 February 1876, St. George, Utah.

Hugh Evans                  born 8 May 1881, Manti, Utah, died 19 November 1889.

George                         born 27 July 1883, Manti, Utah, died 13 November 1889.

                                    Total descendants of Edward L. Parry are 178.



Bro. Edward L. Parry had three sons grow to maturity and aall went on missions for the LDS Church. One daughter also went on a mission. Two sons-in-law. Two grandsons and one granddaughter. One great grandson and one great granddaughter. Total 11 in his family.


He taught his children the gospel, first by example and second by precept, told Bible stories and was diligent in teaching them.


We think he loved tobacco and tea about as well as any person we could think of and yet he quit both when he decided to live the gospel earnestly.


The children of Edward and Mary Lloyd Parry are as follows:

Edward Lloyd Parry, born 25 Aug 1818, St. George, North Wales, died 26 Aug 1906.

Margaret, born about 1820, St. George, North Wales.

Mary, born February 1823, St. George, North Wales.


Bro. Edward L. Parry lived to a good old age, being 88 years old. He had done much good in his day and was greatly blessed of the Lord. No serious accident occurred in the building of the St. George and Manti temples, bespeaking the care of the Lord in the erection of those buildings.


Elder John Henry Smith of the Council of the Twleve Apostles and Seymour B. Young of the First Council of Seventy attended his funeral at Manti on 28 August 1906, so we see in what high respect he was held with the Church Authorities. He was buried at Manti.


The temples at St. George and Manti stand as monuments of his skill as a master mason.


He was very neat in his dress, always wore white shirts, every day in the week, had them starched and ironed very beautifully. He never entered a house without cleaning his shoes thoroughly. If he could not get them cleaned good enough he took them off and went in his stocking feet. Then took other shoes and went out to finish cleaning those he had removed.


His wife always tied his tie as long as she lived and after she died it was the pleasant task of his daughter. But he must look just right always.


He always had a good garden, free from weeds and told his family that the way to keep a garden free from weeds was to pull every one as soon as noticed.


One of his sentiments: Act in the present, don’t keep alabasters of love and sympathy to break over coffins. Living is none too sweet at best, and flowers on the coffin casts no backward fragrance.


Another: What do the dead care for the tender tokens of love, the praise, the floral offering? But living, palpitating hearts are broken for the want of just these things.


When Hatty and Emma Parry visited the St. George Temple in Stpember 1911, Bro. Pickett, who was then the doorkeeper at the temple, showed them through the temple, taking them up to the roof, where he told them an incident connected with their father. One time when the temple was being built Bro. Parry had occasion to go up on the roof, and where the walls are built above the roof he saw a bad stone being placed in the wall. He said to the builder, “Take out that stone, my boy, and put in a good one.” The man said to ohim, “What will it matter, there will be no weight on it and it will be plastered over and no one will know it.” Whereupon, Bro. Parry said, “My boy, three persons will know it.” The man said, “What three?” Bro. Parry said, “You will know it. That is one. I will know it. That is two. And God will know it. That is three. My boy, take it out.” This shows how particular and conscientious he was to have the work done right.


We have said that the Lord blessed their efforts in building these two temples. Well, we will relate an incident where the Lord impressed Bro. Parry during the night that something was wrong at the temple and that he should get up early and see about it.


He called for Bro. Jarvis to go with him to the temple to see what was wrong. They found that one of the main ropes of the scaffold had been out almost through, being in a condition to snap as soon as pressure was placed on it. Bro. Jarvis repaired it and all was right again, but we can easily imagine how a bad accident could have happened if the Lord had not been guarding the building.

The Lord expects us to do all we can in such things. Bro. Parry would always examine the workings every morning before commencing another day’s work, so when he was doing his best the Lord would help him.


After the death of Bro. Parry’s wives he took the place of both father and mother to his motherless children. He was indeed a splendid father, kind, loving and sympathetic.


He was a good conversationalist, witty and quick to think. One incident comes to our minds: several brethren were at Kanute Peterson’s for dinner at conference time and were talking about the Scandinavians being fo the pure blook of Israel, saying they were from the remnants of the ten tribes as those tribes traveled to the North. Bro. Parry spoke up and said, “Why bless your soul. The Welsh are not descended from the lame, halt and blind fo the Ten Tribes but are descended from Gomer, the great grandson of Noah.” Then thinking he might have said too much, turned and asked one of the Authorities, “Did I say too much?” The one addressed said, “Why, no, that is just right.”


He was about 5 feet and 9 inches height when young. Heaviest weight about 180 pounds. Sparkling dark eyes and dark hair when young. Genial disposition, generous and very considerate of other people’s welfare, especially so of all the men with whom he worked. He always addressed the men as “My boys”.


One more item we want to mention here. Bro. Parry was very loyal to the authorities and even if they were faulty he would say, “Never mind, that is not our business. We must respect the authority they hold.


This sketch was typed by Alice K. Hatch, 30th November 1938. She is the Historian of DUP Manti Camp.,





Parry, Ann

Parry, Edward Lloyd


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