One of the pioneer families to come to Preston was the Morley family which included George Franklin Morley Sr., his wife Sarah Ann Balckham and most of their children. The children who came were George Franklin Jr., James Orlando, Isaac (Ike), Wilford, Ferry and Vera. The children were not married when they first came.
Editha Ann, the oldest living daughter did not come to Nevada. She had married Arthur F. Coombs, 17 November 1897, so did not come with the family.
George Franklin Jr., born 17 February 1878 in Moroni, Utah, later married Lula Pearl Whitlock. While living in Georgetown three children were born, two of them died. Neva, the third child was born 18 September 1902. Lura, born 21 October 1904, and Lloy Franklin, born 16 April 1907, were born in Freedom, Utah. Newell Andrew, born 2 October 1909; Wilma, born 18 August 1914; and Hilton Jay, born 8 November 1916 were all born in Preston. The mother died 24 December 1918 of heart trouble and is buried in Preston. George F. Jr. and children moved to Mt. Pleasant, Utah, 25 February 1919. He married Caroline M. Nielsen 14 October 1920. Neva married Pharo Arnoldson and Preston became her home for many years.
James Orlando, born 27 March 1880 in Orangeville, Utah, married Eliza (Lizzie) Petersen in Georgetown, Nevada. Their family consisted of Orlando Isaac, born 1 August 1900, and George Andrew, born 14 January 1902 in Georgetown; Leota Eliza, born 28 September 1905; Arthur Truman, born 14 November 1907; Lillis Dora, born 20 August 1909 (died 4 March 1910); and Rodney Martin, born 10 February 1911 in Preston. Lavon, Vione and John were born in McGill, Nevada. Sylvan was born in Moroni, Utah. The family moved to McGill, then to Moroni and then back to McGill where the children grew up and Orlando and Lizzie passed away.
Isaac (Ike) Morley, born 8 August 1882 in Moroni, Utah, lived in Preston for some time. He married Isabelle A. Heller, 11 May 1932, and they had two children: Carol Isabelle and Angelo Conrad.
Wilford was born in Moroni, Utah, 4 December 1884. He married Mary (Mamie) C. Syme. While living in Preston they are remembered as having five children: Illa and Robert, born in Moroni, Utah; Kenneth and Eleanor Vilate, born in Preston; and Alice, born in McGill. After moving from Preston they had six more children.
Ferry Stanley, born 16 October 1890 in Moroni, Utah, married Eva Irene Draper in Ely, Nevada, 16 November 1915. Their first child, Max George was born in Preston, Nevada, 30 October 1916. They moved to Utah where Bessie was born, 28 February 1920 in Moroni, and Bliss was born, 25 May 1922 in Fountain Green. A few years later they returned to Preston and farmed for Eva's uncle, Dan Nicholas. Their son Ferris "R" was born while here in Preston, 1 May 1927. Another son Burl was born, 9 May 1933, after they moved to Moroni, Utah. Ferry died near Baker, Nevada and is buried in Ely, Nevada. Eva is presently living with Burl in Garland, Utah.
Vera Grace, born 9 November 1894 in Moroni, Utah, came to Preston with the family. Sheen joyed the company of the young people while here. She moved from Preston and married Ivain Vesten Ipson. They lived in San Francisco where two children, Dorothy Mae and Barbara, were born. Later they lived in McGill where Mary Lou and George Vesten were born.
When George Franklin Morley Sr. first came with a group of men to Preston in 1898, he was chosen to take charge of the party while on the road as he was the oldest. After they arrived, he and his sons, James Orlando and Isaac, did not stay, but with Martin Petersen who was there, went to Georgetown where they pioneered the settlement. Here they, along with other settlers, began to make improvements and build houses on the townsite.
As more settlers arrived at Georgetown, church meetings were conducted by George F. Sr..He acted under the direction of the bishopric of the White Pine Ward which consisted of Georgetown, Preston and Lund. During this time, on 11 February 1900, George Franklin Morley Sr. and Andrew (Tyre) Petersen went to Preston to visit the Preston Branch as home missionaries. They were the first home missionaries to Preston. They visited again on 10 March 1901.
In 1901 the White Pine Ward was divided into three wards: Lund, Preston and Georgetown. George F. Morley Sr. was ordained bishop of the Georgetown Ward, with Andrew (Tyre)Petersen and Erastus Snow as counselors. This ward remained intact until the settlement was broken up in 1903. At that time the water rights were sold so the families living there had tomove. The Petersens and some of the Morleys went to Preston, while George F. Morley Sr. and some of his family went to a small town, Freedom, Sanpete County, Utah, (Moroni Stake) where he was bishop from 1904 to 1907.
During 1907 George Franklin Sr. returned to Preston, this time to stay. His oldest son, George Franklin Jr., and the younger members of his family came to Preston where the family was very active in the church and helped to build up the church and town.
George F. Sr. was large of stature, corpulent, weighing over two hundred pounds and medium complexion. He was a carpenter by trade and made some of the coffins in time of death. He is remembered, out in the street, with his sawhorses and a coffin placed across them, busily working away. He lived across the street, to the north of the old log schoolhouse. Later he lived in the house just north of the new cement schoolhouse. George F. Jr. and Lula, with their family, lived on the next lot to the north of them. Orlando and Lizzie lived in the log house on the hill west of the Whitlock home. It was here that Ernest was born. Leota, Arthur and Rodney were also born here. Another son of George F. Sr., Ferry and his wife Eva,also lived in this house a few years later as their son Max was also born in this house.
George F. Sr. always arose at dawn to read a passage of scripture or some interesting article to brighten his intellect and broaden his vocabulary. He had a great desire to gain knowledge, both spiritual and temporal. He was a successful musician. He played the violin and taught many to play including his son Ferry who in turn taught his son Max to play. Max still has his grandfather's violin. Violet Windous Petersen played the organ for Sunday School under his direction, when she was 11 years old. His music played an important part in the little town.
George Franklin Morley Sr. was born 30 September 1852 in Moroni, Sanpete County, Utah, the son of Isaac Morley Jr. and Cynthia Abiah
Bradley who emigrated to Utah from Missouri with the early saints and pioneers and were the first settlers in 1849 at Manti, Sanpete County, Utah. (George F. Sr.'s grandfather was the Isaac Morley in the Doctrine and Covenants.) George F. Sr. died in Preston of a heart ailment, 10 January 1915, and is buried in the Preston Cemetery. His grave is spoken of as "Grandpa Morley's". His wife Sarah Ann Blackham was born 23 September 1855 in Salt Lake City, the daughter of James Blackham and Harriet Tucker. She returned to Utah after her husband's death where she passed away 20 December 1916.
All that remains of the Morley family are the memories, both sad and happy ones. Most ofthe houses they called their homes are gone, the families have all moved to other parts of the country and there is nothing but a few graves in the cemetery to tell that some Morleys once lived in Preston.
Written and submitted by:
Ernest Floyd Morley (Grandson)
Marion Arnoldson (Great grandson)
Max George Morley (grandson of George Franklin Morley Sr.)