Henry Lafayette Carter, son of William Carter and Harriet Utley, was born 2 Sep 1861 in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1862, the Carter Family moved to St. George, having received a call from Brigham Young to assist in the colonization of Southern Utah. Here William farmed to provide for his three wives and 20 children. He bought a farm in the Washington fields and a small ranch on Pine Valley Mountain where, with the help of his sons, he farmed and raised cows and horses. In these surroundings Henry Lafayette or "Lafe", as he was known by all, grew to manhood. Instead of the classroom, hard work and experience prepared him for a life on the frontier.

On the same block in St. George where the Carter Family lived, Aaron and Selina Nelson raised their family. Their daughter, Alice Nelson, was born the 18 August 1868 at St. George and on the 23rd of May 1895 was married to Henry Lafayette Carter in the St. George Temple.

Lafe's and Alice's first child, Vera, was born in St. George 14 March 1896. When she was one year old, Lafe moved his family to Delamar, Nevada where Lafe worked for a few months in the mill of the "Widowmaker Mine". He, like many other men who worked there, developed silicosis of the lungs which claimed his life a few years later. (Seven of Lafe's brothers and brother-in-laws were all victims of the Delamar Dust.)

About this time the Mormon Church acquired some ranches in Eastern Nevada, and offered young families the opportunity to colonize them. Three of the Carter brothers left their families in St. George and came to this valley in the spring of 1898 to purchase farm land and home lots. Sam, an older brother, arrived here before his brothers, Lafe and Jim, but after one year he decided to return to St. George.

Lafe and his younger brother, Jim, built a tent of lumber and canvas where they lived that summer of 1898, then they returned to St. George for the winter. Early the next spring the two brothers returned to White River Valley, arriving at the Lund Spring March 9, 1899, the same day Lafe's and Alice's second child, Arthur, was born in St. George. Six weeks later Lafe returned to St. George to bring his family to their new home in Lund, Nevada. This move took 14 days by team and wagon. If only a photographer had been along to take a picture of this family of four, including a 6 week old baby, as they set out on their over 200 mile trek to their new home on Nevada's frontier. Today, 1979, eighty-one years later, Lafe's son, Lafayette, owns and operates the same farm land and Lafe's oldest son, Arthur, lives on the same home-site they acquired in 1898.

That summer of 1899 they lived in the tent Lafe and Jim had built the summer before, then that fall they hauled logs from the hills east of Lund and built a one room log cabin, 18ft. by 20ft. Their third child, Lafayette, was born in this cabin Oct. 23, 1902.

In 1903, Lafe built a 2 room adobe home a few feet southwest of the cabin. Selina (Lena), their fourth child, was born in the adobe home May 3, 1904 and the twins, Harriet and Helen, were born in the same house July 11, 1908.

From 1900 through 1910, Lafe was away from home much of the time freighting between Ely and the mining camps in Eastern Nevada. In 1904 and 1905, plans were underway to bring the railroad into Ely and until that was completed in 1906 Lafe worked with the survey crew, providing transportation for the surveyors and equipment, between Ely and Currie.

Lafe Carter contracted and built a dugway south of Murray Summit and in 1910 he ran for Road Supervisor but wasn't elected. Vera said that she and her friend, Marie Oxborrow, went to Ely with her father when he campaigned for that job.

 

Lafe Carter was truly a family man, so patient and kind with his wife and children. He enjoyed having his family with him. Vera and Arthur recall many hours working in the field beside their father and mother, also Arthur remembers traveling with his father when he freighted to Ely and Modena. Every fall the family made plans to attend the Fruit Festival in St. George. This was a happy occasion for all because there were many aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents to visit.

Henry Lafayette Carter died August 23, 1911 at Lund, Nevada. He was survived by his wife, Alice, and their 6 children.

Alice, a widow for 20 years, lived to see each of their children married and rooted in the same county she and her husband had pioneered 30 years before. Their four daughters married sons of Lund's original pioneers and their two sons married daughters of the same pioneer heritage. Alice died at Lund July 1, 1931.

As children of this noble pioneer couple, we like to feel that the greatest gift we have received from them is the love and unity we have as a family. Until the recent death of our dear sister, Vera, on Nov 27, 1978, we brothers and sisters, with our spouses, have celebrated many very special occasions together. Each year we hold our Family Reunions and at Christmas time we have our brother and sister Christmas party where we have dinner and exchange gifts. We also hold our Family Home Evenings together when we can plan without other demands on our time.

Vera married Gordon Reid June 10, 1929. They had 5 children: Richard, Max, Frank, Hazel and Robert. With the exception of Robert, who died at birth, the other children married and have families. Gordon died August 15, 1956 in Salt Lake City. Vera passed away last November at East Ely, Nevada. Richard passed away in November 1979 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Arthur married Winnie Frandsen 16 August 1922 in the Salt Lake Temple. They had one son, Philip. Winnie died in Ely 22 Dec 1933. Arthur married Dale Nelson in the Manti Temple 22 May 1935. To this union were born 3 children: Anita, Ilene and Nelson. All are married and have children.

Lafayette married LaRue Snow in St. George, Utah 28 Dec 1932. They adopted a daughter, Ann, who is married to Warren Hamilton and they have 3 children and are living in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Lena married Earl Oxborrow 29 May 1922. They were parents of 5 children: Phil Melvin, Lois, Alice, Erlene and Jeanette. Two of their children, Phil Melvin and Erlene, died in infancy and early childhood. Their daughters, Lois, Alice and Jeanette are married and have families. Lena married Leonard Christiansen 16 Sep 1964.

Harriet married Harold Ivins June 10, 1929. They had 7 children. All have grown to maturity except one daughter, Marilyn (who died as a child), Tony, Colleen, Ronald, Keith, Beverly and James and their wives and husbands have 32 children, 16 boys and 16 girls.

Helen married Wayne Gardner 10 Sep 1930 at McGill, Nevada. They had 5 children: Elbert, Vesta, Sherril, Robert and Mary Ann. They are all married and living in adjacent states, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and California.

At this time, March 1979, Henry Lafayette and Alice Carter have 159 direct descendants: 6 children, 27 grandchildren, 104 great grandchildren, 22 great great grandchildren.

Written and submitted by:
Helen Carter Gardner