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Life Story of William McGhie Boam
Parts written by himself
On the second month and the ninth day of the year 1854 a large number of saints left Liverpool, England bound for America, and among their number was Thomas Boam and a sweet lovely girl Elizabeth McGhie. They were on the ocean 60 days and finally made their entrance to America through the Gulf of Mexico and then on up the Mississippi to St. Louis. By this time Thomas and Elizabeth decided they loved each other and would make the rest of the journey as husband and wife. They asked Orson Pratt to marry them May 5th, 1854.
The party of Saints then traveled up the Missouri River to Florence and waited there some time before the ox train was ready to start for Salt Lake City. They arrived in Zion on October the 3rd, 1854 after a long and tiresome journey. They settled on a farm in Holliday Ward. There were two children born here, Thomas and Elizabeth, and then a third child on the 19th of April 1859 whom they named William McGhie. He was born in an old adobe house with a dirt roof. There were many hardships and privations endured by the family the first few years and other children were added to the fold. When William was eight years old he was baptized in Cottonwood Creek and the following account of his life is in his own words.
"There were three events inmy early boyhood that still seem very real tome. The first is the trip my brother Thomas and I took to Salt LakeCity to see the coming of the Union Pacific railroad. We left very early in themorning and walked part way to Salt Lake and were given a ride the rest of the way. I saw Brigham Young roll up his sleeves and drive the last spike on the spot where the Union Pacific Station now stands. That was a great day for me. I stood and admired that large engine forhours it seemed to me.
"Not long after this the railroad had an excursion to Ogden. It was two dollars and fifty cents for one seat in the train. So my brother Thomas, my sister Lizzie and myself went and all sat in one seat. I remember very distinctly that it was raining when we arrived in Ogden but oh! That was a grand ride.
"Another time when I was in my early teens, my father gave a man in Provo a cow for some farm implements he had made. The cow wouldn’t walk behind his wagon, so he got my parents’ consent to have me walk behind and switch her legs so that she would follow behind the wagon. We went as far as Lehi the first day and camped beside a small stream that night, and continued ourjourney into Provo the next day with me still walking and switching the old cow to keep her moving. I stayed in Provo two days and then bought a ticket on the train for $2.50 to Salt Lake City. I believe that was the very best train ride I ever had.
"I never had any serious sickness in my life until I was a young man. I had been working very hard on the farm when I was taken very seriously ill with inflamatory rheumatism. After several weeks of severe suffering, through the kindess of the Lord I fully recovered.
"On December 29th, 1881, I married Annie Matilda Sanders. Our first children were twin girls but they both died soon after they were born. Our next child was a boy born on Feb. 1st a year later at which time my wife died and our son also. Life was very sad for me, having lost my young wife and three children in so short a space of time. But my Heavenly Father was good to me and I was made to realize that he knew best.
"I continued my work on the farm and in the year 1885 I met and married Mary Lovenia Moss. We were married in the Logan Temple on March 25th. She gave birth to nine children, five girls and four boys, one boy and four girls of whom survive at this time. During my early married life I had another serious attack of rheumatism and Mary was the only person that could find a way to care for me. After a long illness, I fully recovered and have never had any serious illness during the remainder ofmy life up to the present time.
"I was made president of the Elders Quorum prior to 1910 for five or six years. I was road master for 4 years. I was ordained a High Priest June 19th, 1910. In 1918 I was chosen on the Millcreek Cemetery board and I am still actively engaged on the board. It is now called the Elysian Burial Gardens.
"In 1917 I sold my farm on East 48th So. Near Highland Drive, and in November moved to a fine new home at 1473 Wasatch Ave. in Murray. My wife Mary was in failing health at this time, but we enjoyed our new home together until March 7, 1922 when she passed away, pneumonia being the immediate cause of her death.
"On June 20th, 1923, I married Sarah Graham in the Salt Lake Temple, and in November that year we moved from Murray to the house we nov live in at 22 "M" Street.
"My chief occupation during my life was dairying and farming. I retired from hard labor on the farm when I was 50 years old. I have had a few very interesting trips during my later years. One to Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the year of the San Francisco Quake. I have been to Kansas City, Missouri, and at one time went from Portland, Oregon down the west coast to Mexico. I have also enjoyed a trip to Mesa, Arizona and worked a little in the temple there. I have been as far north as Butte Montana and Yellowstone National Park.
"I am now eighty years old. I have five living children and fourteen grandchildren. I am eighty years one month and one day older than my youngest grandchild, a girl which was born to Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Sorensen May 20th, 1939, whom they named Bonnie Rae Sorensen."
10 Feb 1940 | Salt Lake City, Utah
From the Salt Lake Tribune
Funeral services for William McGhie Boam, 80, of 22 M Street, who died Wednesday in Los Angeles, will be conducted Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Twenty-seventh L.D.S. ward chapel, Fourth avenue and P Street, with George Christensen, bishop, officiating. Burial will be in the Elysian burial gardens, 4675 Thirtheenth East street.
Mr. Boam was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, April 19, 1859, and had engaged in farming until his retirement 30 years ago. He had been an active worker in the L.D.S. temple for the past 17 years.
Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Sarah Graham Boam; a son, William Boam, and four daughters, Mrs. S. H. Brinton of Idaho Falls, and Mrs. Lynn R. Fairbanks, Mrs. U. A. Sorensen and Mrs. Arthur H. Sorensen, all of Salt Lake City.
Friends may call at 36 East Seventh South street Saturday evening and at the residence Sunday prior to services.