One of the first families to come to Preston was the Morley family which included George Franklin Morley Sr., his wife Sarah Ann Blackham, and most of their children. The children who came were George Franklin Jr., James Orlando, Isaac (Ike), Wilford, Ferry Stanley and Vera. The children were not married when they first came to Nevada.
Their oldest sister never did come to live in Nevada. Her name was Editha Ann. She married Arthur Coombs.
George Franklin Jr., born 17 February 1878, married Lula Pearl Whitlock. While living in Georgetown, their first child, Neva, was born 18 September 1902. Lura, born 21 October 1904, and Lloy, born 16 April 1907, were born in Freedom, Utah. Newell Andrew, born 2 October 1909, Wilma, born 18 August 1914, and Hilton, born 8 November 1916, were all born in Preston. The mother, Lula, died at an early age of heart trouble and is buried in Preston. GeorgeF. Jr. and children moved to Mt. Pleasant, Utah, 25 February 1919. He married again sometime later. Neva married Pharo Arnoldson so she stayed in Preston.
James Orlando married Eliza (Lizzie) Petersen and they had a family consisting of Orlando J., born 1 August 1900 in Georgetown; George Andrew, born 14 January 1902 in Georgetown; Ernest Floyd, born 25 September 1903 in Preston; Leota Eliza, born 28 September 1905 inPreston; Arthur Truman, born 14 November 1907; and Rodney, born 10 February 1911 inPreston. They lost a little girl (6 months old) while living in Preston. Another daughter, Vione,was born in 1914 after they left Preston. They also had three more boys: Sylvan, John andLaVon. They went to Moroni, Utah for awhile and then moved to McGill, Nevada where theirfamily grew up.
Isaac (Ike) Morley lived in Preston for many years. He did not marry for a long time afterwards. He married Isabel Heller and they had a daughter and a son. Ike was born 8 August1882 in Moroni, Utah.
Wilford was born in Moroni, Utah. He married Mary Christina (Mamie) Syme. While living in Preston they are remembered as having the following children: Illa, Robert, Alice and "Fishie".
Ferry Stanley Morley, born 16 October 1890 in Moroni, Utah, married Eva Draper. In later years they returned to Preston and farmed for Eva's uncle, Dan Nicholas. Their children were Max, Bessie, Bliss, then later Ferris.
Vera, born 9 November 1894 in Moroni, came to Preston with the family. She enjoyed the company of the young people. She married later in life and moved back to Utah. She had several children.
When George F. 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 went to Georgetown. Here they, along with other settlers, began to make improvements and build houses on the townsite.
As more settlers arrived in Georgetown, church meetings were conducted by George F. Morley, Sr. and 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.
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 Sorensen as counselors. This ward remained intact until the settlement was broken up in 1903. The water rights were sold so the families living there had to move. The Petersens and some of the Morleys went to Preston while George F. Morley, Sr. and some of his sons went to a small town, Freedom, Sanpete County, Utah, (Moroni Stake) where he was Bishop from 1904-1907.
In 1907 George Franklin, Sr. returned to Preston, this time to stay. His oldest son, George Franklin, Jr. and family, and the younger members of the family moved back to Nevada and to Preston where his family was very active in the Church and helped to build up the church and town. George F. Sr. was a carpenter 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 Franklin, Jr. and Lula, with their family, lived in the house on the next lot to the north. Orlando and Lizzie lived in the log house on the hill west of the Whitlock place. It was here that Ernest was born. Leota, Arthur, and Rodney were also born in Preston.
George F., Sr. was also a musician. He played the violin and taught many to play, including his son, Ferry. Violet Windous, under his direction, played the organ for Sunday School when she was eleven years old, which was in 1908 or 1909. 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 and Cynthia Abiah Bradley. (George F. Sr.'s grandfather was the Isaac Morley in the Doctrine and Covenants. His father was one of the men who settled Manti, Utah.) He died in Preston 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 George F. died where she passed away 20 December 1916.
All that remains of the Morley family in Preston are the memories, both sad and happy ones. Most of the houses they called their homes are gone. The families have all moved to other parts of the country and there is nothing but the few graves in the cemetery to tell that some Morleys once lived in Preston.
Written and submitted by:
Ernest Floyd Morley and Marion Arnoldson