Tuesday, June 23, 2009

William Henry Harding

Excerpts from William's history were taken from a history originally written by his grandson Vermont C. Harward.

William Henry Harding

Sarah Jenette Harding Harward's father is William Henry Harding. He was born in Provo, Utah on 20 February 1857 to Samuel and Mary Jenette Stowe Harding. His parents were English converts who met and married in England and left there as a young couple to join the saints in Utah. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean and the great plains, the Hardings settled in Provo, Utah. William Henry was their fifth child of fourteen.

William attended school in Provo and worked with his father and brothers in
the family fruit orchard. He once told his children that as a youth he had helped plant every fruit tree on the west side of Provo.

Family members claimed that William was handy and creative--learning severa
l trades which were useful to him as a farmer and rancher. He learned the trade of meat cutter by working with his father and also became a good carpenter.

William married on 22 February 1876 Sarah Drucilla Robbins, a girl whom he had known since his childhood. He and his brother Samuel wanted to own a ranch. They homesteaded a tract of land near Spanish Fork, Utah, but it was unproductive because of a high water table. After several bad seasons, they abandoned the farm and moved to Sevier county, Utah near Aurora and homesteaded land along the Sevier River. They built their homes and reared their families there.

William and Sarah lived in this area the rest of their lives rearing fourteen children in a three-room log house. Besides farming, William took other jobs to make extra money. He worked on the UB Dam or what is now named Yuba State Park. It got its name from the individuals who built the dam. Local farmers and ranchers had to build the dam themselves or risk losing their water rights. The men working on the structure called it the U.B. Dam. As they worked they sang a song that stated they were damned if they worked and damned if they didn't. The phonetic sound of the reservoirs name was eventually spelled Yuba.

Yuba Reservoir

During several winters William also used his team and scraper to excavate basements in the Provo area. While in Provo during the winters, he herded sheep with his family.

Traveling from Provo to Aurora took at least three days by team and wagon. He usually stopped on the Levan Ridge to build a fire and set up camp for the night.

William's family remember that he was kind, friendly and free-hearted. When Sarah passed in 1923 he was very lonely. Three years after her death, he married her sister, Hannah Libby Robbins Gatherum. He passed away in 1933 in the home of his son Edward at the age of 76 and is buried in Aurora, Utah.

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