James Poulton


James Poulton (1831 - 1918)

Oakley Poulton, of Leominster, Hereforedshire, England, married Ann Davis of the same place and reared a large family, among whom was James Poulton, born on October 13, 1831 at Leominster, Hereforedshire, England. He was the only member of his family, as far as we are able to learn and present, to accept the Gospel, for which he was promptly disowned and ejected from his home.

It was there he met and married Caroline Harris, born February 4, 1830, at Warwickshire, England. She was the daughter of Thomas Harris, born about 1795 at Stratford-on-Avon, England, and Ann Smith, born June 29, 1797 at the same place. Ann Smith was the daughter of Joseph Smith and Esther Parsons. James and Caroline Poulton were married at the St. Martin's Church by Minister Swan. Caroline had an unusually sweet soprano voice and kindly disposition. James was also a talented musician and their ability was liberally inherited by their large family.

Six children were born to them in England, as follows:
James Erastus, born July 29, 1853 and died the same year.
James Harris, born September 2, 1854.
James Carlos, born May 27, 1856.
Thomas Oakley, born February 24, 1858.
Isabella Ann, born February 19, 1860 and died in March 1861.
Walter Joseph, born December 26, 1861.

James Poulton served as a local missionary for two years before he migrated to Utah. Leaving London on June 4, 1862 on the sailing ship “Amazon” with 895 other emigrants under Capt. William Bramwell, landing in New York on July 18, 1862. They joined the Church Train (R.R. to Omaha, then wagon train to Salt Lake) under Capt. John Wooley and Thomas E. Ricks with 75 wagons, 3 yokes of oxen each. The wagons were first loaded with supplies and the company rode atop arriving in Salt Lake, late in the fall of 1862.
Their first home was a deserted log cabin on 10th Ward square with no roof or chimney. The cabin was onced used as a chicken coop.
Caroline Poulton, never very strong, and especially at this time, became ill and they feared for her life. The family was moved to a warmer home in a cellar or basement of a house in the 20th Ward. Her little daughter Caroline was born on January 6, 1864, and died the same day. James made a casket for the baby and carried it on his shoulder to the cemetery. Caroline's poor health did not improve for a long time.

She gave birth to five more children in Salt Lake City, as follows:
Albert Ezra, born January 26, 1865.
Melissa Ann, born December 31, 1867, and died on October 22, 1869.
Anna Louise, born August 22, 1869.
Ralph, born October 23, 1871.
Florence Minnie, born March 28, 1874.

James and Caroline were deeply affected by the death of their two baby girls. In fact, James announced when Annie Louisa was born, that he didn't want to become attatched to another baby and have it be taken away again. So the last three children, Lou, Ralph, and Florence received very little fatherly affection.

Finally James was employed in the ZCMI shoe factory, and secured a home on 4th South between 3rd and 4th West. The family home was a two story structure in front and one story when viewed from the rear. The home was divided to accomodate two families. James' family lived in one side and his son Oakley's family lived in the other. Each side had two bedrooms, a parlor, a dining room, a kitchen, and a pantry. There was a porch that extended the full widthe of the house in front and porches on either side of the house. How the girls hated to scrub those porches.

Here he later established a thriving grocery store which was operated by him and his sons for many years. There was a large room over the store where many family gatherings were held, and this helped to hold the numerous children and grandchildren in a close knit and friendly group.

From the 4th South home, only two of his sons, James Carlos and Walter, filled missions to preach to gospel. Carl went to England and Walter to the Southern states. But all of his children were active and valiant in the Church. Full tithe payers, liberal donators, and nearly all have gladly sent sons to the mission field.

James became the choir leader of the 6th Ward, which position he held 40 years, and he was credited with having one of the best choirs in the Church. The entire family have enjoyed outstanding musical talent, and James was never so happy as when directing a large chorus composed entirely of his sons, daughters, and grandchildren.

James Poulton spent much time in rehearsels for the choir. He learned the music by playing the parts on his flute until he had them memorized. His choir was a joy. Though he often grumbled at his singers, they were rewarded to see his face twitch with emotion if they sang particularly well. He often had a struggle to keep back the tears on these occasions. The Poulton musical activities had their roots at home. Each child had outstanding musical ability and was encouraged to develop his or her talent. James Carlos played the bass fiddle, Jim played the flute, Al the cornet and Annie Louise played the piano and organ. She gave lessons to many in the community. She was a soloist in the Tabernacle Choir. Flo played the piano and sang. Oakley was noted for his singing of comic songs. Several members of the family played in the 6th Ward band which James Poulton lead. They played for dances and at other entertainments.

About the year 1900 James visited his old home in England. His parents were dead, but he obtained valuable records of his progenitors. Characteristically, he did not announce his visit, but walked in to his sister Ann's place of business and ordered a large parcel of meat to be delivered to James Poulton of Salt Lake City, Utah, in the U.S.A. Until then she had not recognized him. He was kindly received, and hes visit opened their doors to his son James Carlos and several grandsons, but none of them accepted the Gospel.

Caroline was a kind mother, faithful wife, zealous Latter-Day Saint, comforting and nursing the sick, supplying the needs of the poor, and singing at the festive and mournful occasions of hundreds and loved by all who knew her. She left her large family to mourn her loss when she died on November 6, 1898.

Two years later, James married Mary Scott. He taught her the Gospel and thought he had converted her. After marrying her for time and eternity, he learned, to his sorrow, that she was still a Catholic at heart. She proved to be a very poor bargain for him, but a sharp business woman.

When he died, she had taken all of his property, and had destroyed the precious family records which he had assembled for years.

James Poulton and 8 of his 12 children in 1906.

BACK ROW L-R: Thomas Oakley Poulton, Albert Poulton, James Carlos Poulton, Walter Joseph Poulton, James Harris Poulton (1854-1936), Ralph Poulton.

FRONT ROW L-R: Annie Louise Poulton Gaugue, James Poulton (1831-1918), Florence Poulton Cowburn.