Nancy Emmaline Young King (1854 – 1938)

Nancy Emaline Young King was born 7 September 1854 to Enoch Marvin and Mary Bigg Ware King. She was born in Salt Lake City. When Nancy was one month old her parents moved to Layton, Davis, Utah, which at the time was part of Kaysville. Davis, Utah. For a while they lived in a covered wagon and a tent. They built a log room close to the creek; this was about one mile north of Layton They lived there until Nancy was four years old.That was the year of the move when Brigham Young received word that Johnson’s Army was on its way to take possession of Salt Lake City, so they moved south to Manti for safety. They stayed there for about a year then moved back to Layton. My mother Mary Bigg Ware King was the first school teacher in Kaysville. Nancy was one of twelve children seven boys and five girls. Nancy was the oldest daughter. Enoch Marvin, one of the boys died while on the plains. Five of the boys and three of the girls lived long lives and raised large families. When my mother, Nancy, was sixteen she went to Salt Lake City to work in the home of President¬† Brigham Young. Her parents were good friends of the Young family. She also worked for one of the son’s wife and for one of his daughters, Emma McIntosh. She lived in the Young family home for more than a year. She said her testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was greatly strengthened by living in these homes, and she bore testimony of the goodness and fine qualities of President Brigham Young. When the opportunity came for her to attend school she came home. There were not many schools at that time. She spun yarn and wove cloth for her own clothes and also for other members of the family. She was married to Henry Newsham Thornley on 29 December 1873 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Utah. They began their life together on a homestead Henry had settled, 2 1/2 miles north of Layton. He had built one room and lived in that until he planned to marry and then he went to the canyon with other men to cut and haul logs to add another large room to the one he had. The house was upon the hill at first; that is where the older children were born.and it was still part of Kaysville. They were under great difficulties as they were annoyed a lot by the Indians. Many times she was alone with her little children while Henry was away at work or up the canyon getting timber. The Indians would come and ride round and round the house. They would help themselves to their corn and anything else they would like and frighten her and the children. The leader of the tribe that would come was named Indian Joe. They had very few neighbors at that time, the nearest being Grandpa John Thornley’s two miles away. Several times she slipped out of the house in the night she would be so frightened while they were busy helping themselves, and carried two small children through the field to Grandpa Thornley’s. Many times before they were able to fence their property, she would have to get up at night and take the dog and drive cattle out of the crops, leaving her little ones asleep in the house alone. There were many other trials and hardships she went through while they were building their home. She worked side by side with her husband, always ready and willing to help in any way she could. They struggled through sickness without the aid of doctors and nurses as we have today. One time when one of her children, Mary Ellen (Nellie as she was called), had Spinal Meningitis, she never had her clothes off only long enough to take a bath and change clothes for nine weeks. She was the mother of eleven children, six boys and and five girls, raising all of them to adulthood but one. The youngest son Harry, died at the age of eight. The rest all lived long lives and raised large families. She was an active worker in the church. She taught Relief Society for several years.She was never to busy or to tired to help others, never thinking of herself. Henry was called by the First Presidency to serve a twenty week mission in Provo for the Sunday School leaving her at home to care for her large family. Later he was called to serve a mission to his native land England, there again she was ready to do her part by taking care of the home and family. There were five children at home at that time. While on his mission he became very ill with a heart condition. He was honorably released and sent home where he never did fully recover from the illness. He passed away 6 August 1916 in his home in Layton, Davis, Utah, where he spent his entire married life and raised their family, ten of them still living at the time of his death. In 1932 her son Lawrence died in California and just six months later her daughter, Martha died here in Utah. No matter how great her trials it never weakened her faith. At the time of Martha’s death a neighbor came in to see her and she said, “I can’t see why Martha would be taken and leave her little daughter without either parent,” for Martha’s husband Dr. Walter Whitlock, had died three years before. Nancy answered her by saying, “I never question the will of the Lord.” She lived to see and assist in the erection of three chapels in Layton and it was her earnest desire to live until the completion and dedication of the new First Ward (or White Chapel) here in Layton, and this she did. Her funeral was the first funeral held in it after it was dedicated. She passed away at the age of 84 years 10 months (23 July 1938). As long as she was able to travel she would go to visit her family in Idaho and California. She loved her children and grandchildren and loved to have them come and visit her. She liked to keep busy. During the First World War she knit sweaters and socks for the Red Cross. She liked to knit for her family and do mending. As she got older it was hard for her to get around because of a bad back, but she was always bright and cheerful, she was always clean and neat in her appearance. After she could no longer go to church she would, she kept up and in close touch by reading the Church News and the Relief Society Journal. She had a strong Testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and she never missed an opportunity to share it with others. She was a kind and devoted wife and mother. She was a fine housekeeper and a very good cook and taught all her children to be the same. She worked in the temple both before Henry died and after his death as long as she could. She spent about 21 years in the home of her youngest daughter Laverna and her family. Much of this history was given to Laverna by Nancy Thornley about a year before her death. Written in 1978 by Laverna Nancy Thornley Smedley, Nancy’s youngest daughter.

Submitted by Linda Thornley Sparrow a Great-Grand Daughter

Source:  Family Search Memories

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