Wednesday, April 9, 2008


William Joseph Despain
Born 9 April 1843 in Illinois

From his daughter Louretta Maynes (1956)
The first I remember very clearly of my father was when I was very small. I had measles and Father took care of me, so the other children wouldn't get them. We were sleeping by the front window and I kept asking him questions. He answered them until he was worn out. Then, impatiently, but kindly he said, "Oh, Louretta can't you go to sleep I am tired." It seemed that whenever I was sick Father was the one who took care of me at night. He was a good nurse and always patient and gentle....He held the Priesthood and was always called on to minister to the sick both night and day.

From his son Alvin (1957)
William Joseph Despain, son of Solomon Joseph Despain and Ruth Amelia Newell was born 9 April 1843 in Calhoon County, Illinois, being the oldest child in the family of eleven children (He had a twin brother, Solomon, who was born first but he died on the same day of his birth).

When Joseph was 8 years old, in 1851, he moved with his parents to Memphis, Tennessee and Marion, Arkansas, where they remained until 1861, at which time they emigrated to Utah, crossing the plains by ox train in the David H. Cannon company.

While in the South young Joseph was busy helping his father. He has told stories to his children of his exploits up and down the Mississippi River and of his plaYing and working in the timber.

My comments. Calhoun County is about 120 miles south of Nauvoo, perhaps 40 miles north of St, Louis, along the Mississippi river. They were not Mormon while the Church was in Nauvoo. The family joined the Church in 1851. William Joseph was baptised in 1853 after they moved to Tennessee. I think I've seen a picture of him, but I'm still looking for a copy.


Lloyd said...

Its great that you are remembering to put these anecdotes in about your ancestors. There seems to be a discrepancy as to his birthyear. You said 1842 but the headstone said 1843 and Alvin said it was 1843. I think it is 1843
Anyway, keep up the good work

Larry said...

Thanks Dad. I fixed it. If I didn't make these mistakes, I wouldn't know if anyone was reading these things. On Michele's family blog there are 5 to 8 comments on every post. But here people don't seem to comment much. Its good to know someone is reading it.

Love Larry