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History of William Dorris Hendricks


WILLIAM DORRIS HENDRICKS, son of James and Drusilla (Dorris) Hendricks, born 6 Nov. 1829 near Franklin, Ky. He married 1st MARY JANE ANDRUS 12 Mar. 1851. The ceremony was performed by Pres. Brigham Young at the Warm Springs bath house, north of Salt Lake City. She was born 15 Nov. 1833 at Florence, Huron County, Ohio, daughter of Milo and Abigail Jane (Daley) Andrus. There were the parents of eleven children. She died 15 Nov. 1914, Richmond, Ut.

William Dorris Hendricks married 2nd ALVIRA LAVONA SMITH. She was born in Kirtland, Ohio, 16 Dec. 1831, daughter of Warren and Amanda (Barnes) Smith. She died 25 Aug. 1921 at Logan, Ut. and was buried in Richmond, Ut. She was the mother of ten children.

The 3rd wife of William Dorris Hendricks was ALMIRA DAVENPORT, born 11 Mar. 1847 at Winter Quarters, Iowa. She was the last survivor of the Hauns Mill Massacre. Her parents were James and Almira (Phelps) Davenport. Fourteen children were born to this marriage. She died 16 Jan. 1928 at Richmond, Ut. where she was buried.

CHRISTINE OLSEN was the 4th wife chosen by William Dorris Hendricks. She was born 29 July 1862 in Sodermanlan, Sweden, daughter of Ole P. Olsen and Christina L. Olsen. She died 18 Oct. 1923; and was the mother of six children.

William Dorris Hendricks married 5th ELEANOR ANNA MAYBIN. Her first husband was Francis Greenwell, by whom she had one daughter. This 5th marriage took place in Juarez, Mexico 3 Dec. 1897. They had one child. Eleanor later married Francello Durfey. Eleanor was born 17 Feb. 1871 at Dunnamoy, Ireland, daughter of Patrick and Martha (Crawford) Maybin. She died in Salt Lake City, Ut., 22 Jan. 1958 and was buried at Kaysville, Ut.

William Dorris Hendricks died 6 May 1909 at Lewiston, Ut. and was buried at Richmond, Ut.

The events in the early life of William Dorris Hendricks are narrated by his mother in her autobiography. When his father was injured in the battle of Crooked River by the mob on 25 Oct. 1839, he became an invalid for the rest of his life and William, at nine years of age, assumed the responsibility of caring for the family. Like other pioneers they had a difficult time and suffered the added hardships of mob violence.

On 17 March 1839 they left Missouri for Nauvoo, Ill. Here William hauled rock and worked on the Temple; became a member of the Nauvoo Legion and played the fife in the band. The memorable meeting, after the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith, when the mantle of Joseph fell upon Brigham Young, was attended by William.

The Hendricks family left Illinois after a stay of seven years and started on their way to the Rocky Mountains. As was related by his mother, he joined the Mormon Battalion, being one of its youngest members, and left for Mexico on June 16, 1846. This episode is well documented in "The March of the Mormon Battalion". He was a private in Company D. Nelson Higgins was his captain. They walked from Fort Leavenworth to San Diego, Calif. After enduring every known privation and sacrifice incident to pioneer trail blazers, they reached California and became an integral part of the American Forces in wresting the west coast from Mexico. He was discharged from the Army on 17 June 1847 at Temple Hill in Los Angeles. His army equipment and a mule were given him and with these he journeyed to Utah and joined his family in the Salt Lake Valley on 14 Oct., ten days after they arrived. (Family traditions differ as to the Battalion activities of William; some stories state he wintered in Pueblo, Colo. rather than in California.)

William built a house in the Fort wall for the family. It was 4 Aug. 1851 that he married Alvira Lavona Smith in plural marriage in accordance with the teachings of his church of that period.

William Dorris Hendricks built the first bridge over City Creek in Salt Lake City and served under Col. W. H. Kimball in the Walker Indian War of 1853. He built the first bath house at the Warm Springs and lived there with his wives Mary Jane and Alvira. At this time many of Brigham Young's socials were held there.

In the year 1860 he moved with his wives, children and parents to Cache Valley and assisted in the settlement of Richmond where he became its first Mayor in 1864 and served two terms. Stock raising, farming, milling, banking and contracting were engaged in. In cooperation with Ira Hogan, a grist mill was built in High Creek Canyon; also a carding machine mill was built which later burned down. In cooperation with Thomas Ricks and William Hyde the Deseret and Central Flour Mills were built in Logan. He was a partner with David Eccles in these enterprises and later bought him out. When the railroad was extended from Franklin, Ida. to Butte, Mont., he took the contract for laying the rails. Construction contracts were also held with the Central Pacific and Northern Pacific Roads. With Thomas Ricks they furnished the ties for the railroad from Cache Valley to Garrison, Mont. In 1877 the Lewiston, Ut. Ward was organized with William Hendricks Lewis as Bishop and William Dorris Hendricks a counselor. When called to Lewiston he took up some land and Alvira, his second wife lived on one section and Almira the third wife lived on another.

In 1884 a call came to him to be President of the Oneida Stake in Southern Idaho. He moved his second wife, Alvira, to Oxford, Ida. for one year. Because of the crusade against the Mormons due to polygamy he was obliged to move Alvira back to Richmond and Mary Jane to Oxford. Much was accomplished in helping to build up this community.

In 1886 he visited his family home in Kentucky and April 25, 1887 found him leaving Utah by team for Mexico. At this time the marriage to Christine Olsen was consumated and she went to Mexico with him. Later his wife Alvira and her family were sent for and they arrived in Mexico on June 23, 1889. Stock raising and mining engaged his attention while there, which resulted in large financial losses. Machinery was sent down from Logan to establish the first flour mill in Mexico.

Several trips to Utah were made during his exile in Mexico. On one trip in May 1890 he purchased a large stock ranch in Gentile Valley, Ida. After the Church issued the Manifesto his families moved back to Richmond from Mexico in April 1892. In 1889 he was released from the Presidency of the Oneida Stake and Mary Jane returned to her Richmond home. William was then sustained as Patriarch of the Benson Stake.

The remaining years of his life were spent in Richmond and Lewiston, Ut. W. D. as he was called, loved a good time, and he was a very kind, but stern man. He frequently played his violin for socials and dances. Thirty two of his forty two children survived him and all who grew to maturity were offered an education. Seven of his sons filled L.D.S, missions. As one of the great empire builders of the West, his church, state, family and friends all have reason to honor and respect him.

(Marguerite H. Allen, Henry Hendricks Genealogy, 1963, pp. 45-47.)

Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah

Photograph caption: William Dorris Hendricks. Son of James Hendricks and Drusilla Dorris. Born Nov. 6, 1829, Franklin, Ky. Came to Utah 1847, Mormon Battalion. Pres. Oneida Stake. (Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, Frank Esshom, 1913, p. 99)

HENDRICKS, WILLIAM DORRIS (son of James Hendricks and Drusilla Dorris). Born Nov. 6, 1829, Franklin, Ky. Came to Utah 1847, Mormon battalion.

Married Mary Jane Andrus March 12, 1851, at Salt Lake City, Brigham Young officiating (daughter of Milo Andrus and Abigail Jane Daley of New York, pioneers 1848, Heber C. Kimball company). She was born Nov. 15, 1833. Their children: Mary Jane, m. A. B. Harrison; Drusilla, m. I. K. Hillman; Brigham Andrus, m. Mary R. Stoddard; William Henry, m. Emma Traveler; Charlotte, m. William Underwood; Milo Andrus, m. Adeline Harris; Elizabeth, m. N. R. Lewis; Hildah Hannah, m. Andrew Morrison; Chloe, m. C. E. Merrill; George Gideon, m. Susa Eldridge. Family home Richmond, Utah.

President Oneida stake; bishop of Richmond ward; patriarch in Benson stake. Mayor of Richmond. Farmer; railroad contractor; banker. Died May 6, 1909, Lewiston, Utah. (Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, Frank Esshom, 1913, p. 929.) Sunday, 08-Aug-2004 19:32:46 MDT