WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
THOMAS JEFFERSON THURSTON
(farmer, rancher, church leader)
BIOGRAPHYThomas Jefferson Thurston was born on February 12, 1805 in Fletcher, Franklin County, Vermont,
Thomas married Rozetta Bull on March 28, 1826 in Granville, Loching County, Ohio.
The Thurstons came to Salt Lake Valley in 1847, having crossed the plains in Jedediah M. Grant's company. Thomas acted as a counselor to Bishop Wm. H. Hickenlooper of the Sixth Ward, Salt Lake City, for a number of years, and afterwards officiated as acting Bishop of Morgan County. Subsequently he served as a member of the High Council of the Morgan Stake. He was sent by Pres. Brigham Young on the first exploring expedition to Cache valley in 1848, and later settled at Centerrifle, Davis county, Utah, where he took up 80 acres of land and engaged in farming. Together with Chas. S. Peterson and their sons e helped to build the first road through Weber valley. With William W. Potter and others he built the first boat and made the first known trip on the Great Salt Lake, exploring all the islands. The boat was named "Mud Hen," and while navigating the lake the party were overtaken by a storm in which the members of the expedition came near loosing their lives. Bro. Thurston also established the first ferry on Bear river.
Thomas married Elizabeth Smith on November 18, 1855 in Salt Lake City. She was born February 26, 1835 in Newton, Burtonwood, Lancashire, England.
Thomas married Helen Maria Davis on May 3, 1862.
Thomas moved to St. George around 1884 with his second wife, Elizabeth Smith Thurston. They brought along the Brown Thurston Genealogy book with 10,000 names for the newly built temple to use. He spent the last little bit of his life working in the St. George Temple.
Thomas died in St. George on May 3, 1885. He is buried in Plot A_C_57_6 of the St. George City Cemetery.
[Note: There are some date discrepancies between the FamilyCentral and Find-A-Grave websites.]
REFERENCESA Sketch of the Life of Thomas Jefferson Thurston
by Huldah Cordelia Thurston Smith, July 1921
researched by Jerry Laden, 1990; edited by Steve Laden.
Thomas Jefferson Thurston (1805-1885)
Thomas Jefferson Thurston: General Notes
Thomas Jefferson Thurston and Rosetta Bull
A blog entry for Thomas Jefferson Thurston, June 23,2011
FamilyCentral entry for Thomas Jefferson & Rozetta Bull Thurston
FamilyCentral entry for Thomas Jefferson & Elizabeth Smith Thurston
Find-A-Grave entry for Thomas Jefferson Thurston
BillionGraves entry for Thomas Jefferson Thurston