Orin N. Woodbury



(early resident of St. George, farmer, captain of the guard)


Orin Nelson Woodbury was born on August 10, 1828 at New Salem, Franklin County, Massachusetts.

The Woodbury family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1840. They soon sold their property in Massachusetts and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. They moved west with the other Mormons, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on September 26, 1847.

In 1851, Orin met Ann Cannon at a fast meeting in Salt Lake and they were immediately attracted to each other. They were married February 17, 1853 by Elder Parley P. Pratt in the home of Ann's brother-in-law, Charles Lambert. A year later they were sealed for time and eternity in the Salt Lake Endowment House.

Orin, along with his brother, Thomas, and their families, were among those called to the Cotton Mission in the late fall of 1861. Orin & Ann with their four children arrived in St. George valley December 3, 1861. They were given a town-site in St. George at 86 South 100 East, and a small farm on the Santa Clara Creek a short distance above its junction with the Virgin River. At the town-lot the Woodbury family established their first living quarters in a wagon box, a lumber shanty and a tent with a wooden floor. When they were at last ready to build a home, they made it of adobe, with a black volcanic rock foundation. Here their last six children were born.

On the farm lot Orin planted an orchard of over 100 trees, containing a variety of highest quality fruits, such as apricot, peach, apple, and pears. With his excellent care they developed rapidly and soon reached bearing age. Just as the trees had attained their full bearing stage a disastrous flood came down the Santa Clara and cut into the bank where the orchard stood. Some of the older children recall standing nearby and watching the bank cave in, carrying with it tree after tree, laden with luscious fruit. This continued until the entire orchard had been carried away. This serious loss robbed the family of much needed fresh fruit for summer and dried fruit for winter. Orin had planted cotton, corn, grapes, melons, and sorghum cane, as well as orchards. He also raised horses, sheep, and pigs. His wife Ann raised bees and silk worms.

Orin was an ardent horticulturist. His grandson, Angus, wrote "Juice was squeezed from sorghum cane and run into boilers to make molasses. After the cane juice was boiled into a syrupy molasses and put into the molasses barrel, Orin usually left a little in the bottom of the boiler that continued to cook until it made molasses candy. The children would get a wad of it, pull it by stretching until it was creamy white and almost stiff. When it cooled it could be broken in to pieces, for ease in eating. During the winter, a 'molasses candy pull' was a favorite form of entertainment."

When peaches were ripe Orin had the women and children peel and cut three or four bushels into sections. These cut up peaches were then put into a molasses boiler containing half-cooked juice from cane. He would cook the mixture into a delicious peach preserve to be stored in one of the molasses barrels for use during the winter.

There were many hardships during these pioneer years in St. George. Frequent floods washed out the dams and ditches and covered their growing crops with sand and mud. Indians made frequent raids into their territory and drove their cattle across the Colorado. Sometimes at night drums would call out the men to repel an Indian attack, and hearts of the children would almost stand still with fright. Rattlesnakes were another danger. Orin came across them often when clearing brush and plowing. After the crops were growing, the snakes came into the fields, adding to the problems of harvesting. Orin's dog was bitten by one of these unwelcome visitors.

Orin's chief community assignment was as captain of the guard. He trained his company and always kept it in top-notch condition for the protection of this frontier area. He also served the Church in many local positions.

On October 10, 1866, Orin married a plural wife, Frances Goddard. In the year 1878, Orin traded his farming land near St. George for a farm on the Santa Clara Creek, fifteen miles north-west of St. George and moved his plural wife there to make her home. In 1887, her father sold his home in Beaver and came to live with Frances.

Three years later, in the early summer of 1890, the father became ill and died at the farm within a few days. Orin was in St. George and there was delay in getting word to him to get the corpse to St. George. In helping to prepare the remains of his father-in-law Orin contracted a case of blood poisoning. Almost from the beginning of the attack, he suffered intensely. Nothing that the doctor or anyone else could do gave him any relief. Orin died on August 25, 1890 and was buried in Plot A_I_175_1 of the St. George City Cemetery.


Orin's Parents and Siblings:
    Jeremiah Woodbury
    Elizabeth Bartlett Woodbury
        William Hamilton Woodbury
        Joseph Jeremiah Woodbury
        Thomas Hobart Woodbury

        John Stillman Woodbury
        Orin Nelson Woodbury
        Susan Elizabeth Woodbury
        Hannah Maria Woodbury

(3/9/1791-10/8/1883)   (married 6/30/1813)
(8/28/1816-11/16/1907)   (married Xxxxxxx X. Xxxxxxxx)
(9/26/1819-4/21/1885)   (married Mary Ann Lindsey)
(7/4/1822-6/6/1899)   (married Harriet Miller
    and Catherine Rebecca Haskell)
(11/20/1825-12/21/1914)   (married Martha Alice Parker)
(8/10/1828-8/25/1890)   (married as shown below)
(1/14/1834-6/23/1857)   (married Thales Hasting Haskell)

Ann's Parents and Siblings:
    George Cannon (the Immigrant)  
    Ann Quayle Cannon
        George Quayle Cannon
        Mary Alice Cannon
        ??? (a son)
        Ann Cannon
        Angus Munn Cannon
        John Quayle Cannon
        David Henry Cannon
        Leonora Cannon

(xx/xx/xxxx-xx/xx/xxxx)   (married xx/xx/xxxx)
(1/11/1827-4/12/1901)   (married Xxxxxxx X. Xxxxxxxx)
(xx/xx/xxxx-xx/xx/xxxx)   (married Charles Lambert)
(1/28/1832-7/25/1921)   (married Orin Nelson Woodbury)
(5/17/1834-6/17/1915)   (married Xxxxxxx X. Xxxxxxxx)
(xx/xx/xxxx-xx/xx/xxxx)   (married Xxxxxxx X. Xxxxxxxx)
(4/23/1838-12/27/1924)   (married Xxxxxxx X. Xxxxxxxx)
(xx/xx/xxxx-xx/xx/xxxx)   (married Xxxxxxx X. Gardner)

Frances' Parents and Siblings:
    Robert Goddard
    Margaret Woolfenden Goddard
        Frances Goddard
        Tom Goddard
        Abram Goddard

(11/7/1822-7/14/1890)   (married xx/xx/1843)
(10/27/1844-11/20/1904)   (married Orin Nelson Woodbury)

First Wife and Children:
    Ann "Annie" Cannon Woodbury
        Eleanor Cannon Woodbury
        Orin Nelson Woodbury, Jr.
        Annie Maria Woodbury
        George Jeremiah Woodbury
        John Taylor Woodbury
        Leanora Cannon Woodbury
        Frank Bartlett Woodbury
        Alice Cannon Woodbury
        Angus Cannon Woodbury
        Clara Elizabeth Woodbury

(1/28/1832-7/25/1921)   (married 2/17/1853)
(3/9/1854-4/16/1934)   (married George Frederick Jarvis)
(7/14/1856-6/23/1899)   (married Mary Alice Clark)
(10/14/1858-1/14/1930)   (married Miles Park Romney)
(11/25/1860-9/12/1889)   (married Elizabeth Rowena Romney)
(1/30/1863-12/19/1936)   (married Mary Elizabeth Thompson)
(8/26/1865-11/11/1951)   (married George Washington Worthen)
(12/27/1867-12/21/1962)   (married Clara Horne Tingey)
(11/16/1870-5/10/1964)   (married Melvin Myron Harmon)
(5/20/1873-7/21/1966)   (married Diantha Rodgers)
(11/30/1875-9/7/1969)   (married Herbert Arthur Barlow,
    Joshua William Sylvester, and Morgan William Adams)

Second Wife and Children:
    Frances "Fannie" Goddard Woodbury  
        Thomas Goddard Woodbury
        William Henry Woodbury
        Abram Nelson Woodbury

        Mary Margaret Woodbury
        Florence Jane Woodbury
        Charles Robert Woodbury
        Elizabeth Goddard Woodbury
        Joseph Goddard Woodbury
        Rosena Frances Woodbury

(10/27/1844-11/20/1904)   (married 10/10/1863)
(8/28/1867-1/20/1949)   (married Maria Amelia Fuller
    and Clara Evaline Canfield)
(7/12/1870-6/28/1950)   (married Hyrum Leany)
(3/8/1873-8/3/1911)   (married William Thomas Hodges)
(1/31/1876-10/15/1963)   (married Agnes I. Bickley)
(11/5/1878-1/17/1954)   (married Stephen Hales Fotheringham)
(10/5/1881-4/16/1969)   (married Charlotte Marie Hall)
(9/8/1886-11/3/1966)   (married John David Bingham)


WCHS photos:
WCHS-02500     Photo of Ann Cannon Woodbury sitting on her front porch


Life Sketch of Orin Nelson Woodbury

A Sketch of the life of Orin Nelson Woodbury

Notes on Orin Nelson Woodbury
mostly from "An Enduring Legacy, Volume 2",   Daughters of Utah Pioneers

Life Sketch of Ann Cannon Woodbury

Life Sketch of Ann Cannon Woodbury

Find-A-Grave entry for Orin Nelson Woodbury

Find-A-Grave entry for Ann Cannon Woodbury

Find-A-Grave entry for Frances Goddard Woodbury