John Peckett Horsley was born in West, Norfolk County, England, February 15, 1844. He drove an ox team across the plains in 1863, when he met the woman who became his wife, Francis Jane Mills. She was born July 1, 1845 in Bogner, Sussex County, England.
Grandpa and Grandma Horsley were pioneers coming to this valley in 1898 from Ferron, Utah. Here he farmed and freighted to Ely and to Modena, Utah. He played an important part in the building of homes in both Lund and Preston. He was a mason and built rock and adobe houses, making his own adobes out of straw and mud. He baked them in his own kiln, in his field that is now owned by Robert Gardner. Aunt Maggie Hendrix told me he worked on the Manti Temple.
Grandpa first lived in Lund and later moved to Preston where he built his rock home. Andy Petersen of Preston tells me that he remembers well when he built that home. He said he often watched him hewing the rock and said how very particular he was. Grandpa would tell Andy where the rock he was hewing would be placed. He had Z.D. Bradley getting the rock out for him at the Indian Springs rock quarry at White River. When the loads of rock got to his place he would separate all the rock into piles according to size. His home was recently owned by Doug and Bonnie Peacock but is now owned by Robert Trombley and his wife who have completely remodeled it. They are new-comers to the valley. Grandpa built a small house just west of his home for his daughter Jemimah and her husband Dave Harris, which is still standing. His daughter Agnes and son-in-law James Bernsen were living in a cellar south of the present Bernsen home, and they got flooded out. Grandpa hauled a couple loads of poles and made them a small log house which they lived in until he built them the home that is there at the present time. Some of the homes he built are still lived in, others have been torn down.
Aunt Maggie Hendrix told me she remembers when he was building their home, she said he was always singing while he worked. She remembers him singing, "The Bear Went Over the Mountain," to her little brother Hugh. Andy Petersen also remarked on his singing. He said heal ways had a good horse which he always took care of. Andy remembers him going by their place on his horse every morning just as it was coming daylight, on his way to his fields singing. He never returned until after dark, he was still singing.
Grandpa and Grandma Horsley were the first couple in Preston to celebrate their Golden Wedding. This took place in the Relief Society Hall, March 3, 1914.
I really don't know very much about Grandma. Her granddaughter, Kate Horsley Wooten, told me she was deaf and it was real hard to talk to her. She was also a good mid-wife and delivered a number of babies. Andy remembers when she delivered his sister Eva.
Grandpa and Grandma were the parents of 11 children. They only raised seven. They were: Eliza, Mary, Rozetta, Agnes, Francis, John and Jemimah. They lost two boys and two girls. When they left Preston, they moved back to Ferron, Utah where Grandpa passed away on June 6, 1918 and Grandma passed away on October 20, 1926.
Written and submitted by:
Lois Hendrix Horsley