Richard Carlisle was born in the town of Riseholm, Lincolnshire, England, April 16, 1798, of goodly parents. He was the son of Thomas Jr. and Elizabeth Taylor Carlisle. Thomas Jr. was born in Millingham, Lincolnshire, England, November 19, 1754, and Elizabeth Taylor at Messingham, Lincolnshire, England on November 10, 1759. His paternal grandparents were Thomas Sr. and Mary Hollingworth Carlisle.
Riseholm, a St. Mary’s Parish, in the wapentake of Lawress, parts of Lindsey Union, and County of Lincolnshire. It is two and one half miles north by east from Lincoln; containing the extra-parochial district of Grainge de Ligne, sixty-two inhabitants.
How he spent his early life is not known, nor do we know how he and Jane Fields chanced to meet. But we do know that it was love at first sight with them both. Jane being a few years his senior, made it rather difficult for them to marry just at the time of his proposal, so he asked her if she would wait five years for him. She said, “Why certainly I will wait, and not only five but ten years, Richard, if you wish it.”
They were married June 27, 1822, at Willingham when he was twenty-four years old and she was twenty-seven. Jane was the daughter of Matthew Fields and Dinah Fish and was born at Millingham, Lincolnshire, England.
To them were born eleven children, seven boys and four girls, among them a set of triplets. Triplets being somewhat unusual, they received many beautiful presents. The Queen of England sent them quite an amount of money. The children’s names in order of birth Thomas Fields, born April 10, 1823; Mary, September 10, 1824; Joseph, July 21, 1826; Benjamin, May 10, 1828; Matthew, Richard and Jane (Triplets) born June 3, 1829; Martha, March 6, 1831; John, February 9, 1833; Alice, October 9, 1835; and Richard Matthew, June 21, 1840. This was a large family to support and care for, but five of them were called back as infants or young children. Benjamin was only a few months old when he died. Two of the triplets, Matthew and Jane, died at four months old, and Richard died at five years old. Martha was also five years old when she died. This was indeed a great sorrow to them, but they were certainly grateful for the six left in their care.
Richard worked in the Lace Mills of Nottingham for a few years, but as his boys grew older, he could see that this was not place for them. Returning to Lincolnshire, he was employed as a farmer and gamekeeper for a very wealthy English Lord, a brother to Sir Robert Peal of the English Parliament. This gave him a much better chance to give the children a little schooling, which was very hard to obtain at that time.
Richard and Jane were very refined and noble characters, so when in 1849, they heard the Gospel preached by Joseph Edward Taylor, they found a plan of life, which they had been looking for. They readily accepted the truth and were baptized, Richard on July 30, and she on August 11, 1849. Their son Thomas was baptized on July 30, 1849, with his father. Joseph, September 16, 1849; John November 5,1849; Alice November 16, 1849, and Mary, was baptized 26 Apr 1850. Richard Matthew was baptized in the Church, but no date was given.
A branch of the Church was organized and he was appointed presiding Elder. He kept an open house for the Elders who came that way.
Since joining the Church, they had a great desire to emigrate to Zion in America, and started to save for that purpose. This opportunity came much sooner then they had ever hoped for. With the help of two years wages donated by their eldest daughter, Mary, they were soon to start. Mary had been working as a cook for a lady not of their faith, but a very fine woman, who thought a great deal of Mary. Not long after Mary had joined the Church, this lady died and in her will she left Mary a year’s wages in advance. Then Mary, who had planning to get married, had saved a year’s wages, but when she joined the Church, the man she was to marry deserted her. She now felt that this was the most important step to take, to help her parents get the family to America.
They came across the ocean on the good ship “Ellen”, which sailed from Liverpool Monday, January 6, 1851, with J. W. Cummings as leader, and with 466 souls aboard. All the children came but Thomas Fields, the oldest son, who must have come later. This trip was a long and eventful one. The ship remained anchored for two days in the river opposite Liverpool awaiting favorable winds. Then on Wednesday it sailed for about twelve hours at a rate of seven miles an hour and at 11:00 p.m. struck a schooner during a fog. It was compelled to stop for repairs at Cardigan Bay, Wales. In few days the ship was ready to sail, but the very three weeks because unfavorable winds. Even though this seemed long, they were very grateful they were not out at sea and shipwrecked as so many were, losing their lives.
The captain became very impatient and finally started out again on January 23, 1851, but the winds were blowing the wrong direction, so the progress was very slow.
On February 1, the winds changed and they enjoyed pleasant weather and fair winds the rest of the journey. They anchored in the Mississippi River off New Orleans, making the voyage from Cardigan Bay, which is a twelve-hour sail from Liverpool, in about eight weeks, (fifty seven days).
The measles broke out among the emigrants the day they left the docks and nearly every child on board had them as well as some of the adults. Measles, at best, at home with our modern conveniences, are bad, and so it must have been terrible out on that sailing vessel that depended on favorable winds to reach their destination, and also while fighting sea sickness.
When they left the port, the presidency, James W. Cummings, Crandall Dunard, and William Mose, divided the company into twelve divisions or wards, allotting twelve births to each division and appointed a president over each. Then those twelve divisions were divided in two and a president appointed in the steerage with a president over the whole steerage.
The second-class cabin was organized like manner. The Priesthood was also organized. A president was appointed over them to see that they attended their duties. This was a great help in preserving peace and good will, and help and comfort to the saints. During the voyage, six marriages were solemnized and one birth took place.
They rode the steamer, “Alexander Scott”, to St. Louis, paying $2.50 a piece for adults and half fare for children with all luggage included. They left New Orleans on the morning of the March 19, 1851 and landed in St. Louis March 26, after a good trip.
While in St. Louis, his wife Jane died. She did a washing for a friend who had cholera and came home that night, took sick, and died, leaving the family without a mother. This was a great sorrow to the family and such a shock to Richard who loved her so dearly. They had made such plans together, when they should reach Utah with the rest of the saints. Now he must face the journey without her to help with the rest of the family.
They stayed in St. Louis a year and worked. Then leaving Mary, who had married in St. Louis, they came to Salt Lake with the Henry Bryant and Manning Jolley, Seventh Company. Arriving in Salt Lake City, Utah, September 15, 1852. Richard was then fifty-three years old, Joseph twenty-five, John eighteen, Alice fifteen, and Richard Jr. eleven. Mary, age twenty-seven, came on to Utah soon after.
Richard first settled in Mill Creek or Cotton Wood, as it was then called. A short time after, his son Richard Jr., in visiting in the ward, met Mrs. Marie Crook Dunsdon, widow of Thomas Dunsdon, who had also died of cholera at Council Bluffs while immigrating to Zion. On returning home Richard Jr. told his father he believed she would make a good wife. Richard immediately went to see her. They talked things over and he proposed to her. She wished a little time, saying she would go up to Salt Lake and get the advice of Brigham Young. Later Maria Dunsdon consented to be his wife, but told him she wanted to be sealed to her husband, Thomas Dunsdon. Richard said he admired her much more for being loyal to her dead husband.
In 1869, they went through the Endowment House and had their endowments and the sealing done for their dead companions. They continued to do temple work for their kindred dead. Maria proved to be a very loyal, true wife to him, and the children loved her dearly. She was a very good mid wife and spent many hours caring for the sick.
A few years later they moved to Alpine, where they lived the remainder of their lives. This was a small community surrounded by high mountains on the north and east and low foothills on the west. This town was knows as Mountainville when it was first settled in 1850, and was six miles north of American Fork, in Utah County. It was a beautiful place and on a clear day one could see the beautiful Utah Lake eight miles to the south of them.
Richard opened the first store in Alpine. He had been working on the construction of the railroad and saved money, realizing the advantages of a store, as Alpine was six miles north of the railroad, and everything had to be transported here. He took the front room of the June home and used that for his store. It was located where the church park is today, on the south end on the roadway, the house or store facing south.
Richard was stricken with rheumatism and Bright’s disease, causing him to be a great sufferer for many years. Before being crippled so badly, he took great comfort in gardening. He would make leather pads for his knees and go on his knees to free his garden of weeds, but finally had to give up work entirely.
He held many important positions in the Church. He was a great Bible reader, not being able to work. He was always pleasant and happy and passed many pleasant hours in conversing with his friends who were so very kind and thoughtful of him, calling on him at his home.
Richard Carlisle was a wonderful man and loved by all who knew him. He told his granddaughter, Martha, who lived with him for some time taking care of him while his wife Maria went out nursing, that he did not want any costly monument, a good honest life was what he wanted to be remembered by. He died April 10, 1879, in Alpine, at the age of eighty-one. He had gone to join his Jane once again. May his beautiful life be a beacon of light for all of his children. He was survived by widow, Maria, and the following children: Thomas Fields, Mary Carlisle (Healey), Joseph, John, and Richard Matthew. His daughter Alice Wilkin Freestone preceded him in death in 1868. Thomas Fields married Fanny Hocquard; Mary married John James and later James Healey; Joseph married Isabella Sharp and Sarah Ann Lord; John married Elizabeth Hocquard: Alice married David Wilkin and George Freestone; Richard Matthew married Mary Hannah Wright.
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