A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LIVES OF GEORGE ALBERT IRVING BRADSHAW AND ELIZABETH MOFFAT
Written by grandson Jasper B. Smith
George Albert Irving Bradshaw was born on his mother's birthday, November 22, 1861 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England. He was the second child of Richard Bradshaw and Ellen Holroyd. The oldest child, James Henry, died at age 6 months.
When he was two years old, in 1864, he came to the United States with his parents. George's parents both belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before they were married, and in 1864 they decided to emigrate to Utah with the Saints. They sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on the ship "General McClellan", which sailed from Liverpool, England May 21, 1864. Also on the ship was George's grandmother, Mary Holroyd Dade and his Aunt Hannah Dade who was then age 13. After arriving in New York, they traveled by railroad train to the end of the line in Wyoming and then proceeded to Utah with a company of the Utah pioneers. This pioneer company was called the "Captain Rollins Company" and they left the terminal in Wyoming July 15, 1864 and arrived in Salt Lake City, September 20, 1864. For more detail of the journey to Utah, see the biography of George' s parents as taken from the Church historical records.
The Bradshaws and Holroyds did not stay in Salt Lake but continued south to Beaver, Utah where George's Aunt Tabitha Holroyd Smith lived. Aunt Tabitha had emigrated some years before and had married Richard Smith and lived in Beaver, Utah. George Woodhouse, who lived in Beaver, Utah was in the Captain Rollins Company as he had been back to the Railroad to pick up supplies for his store in Beaver. The Bradshaws and Holroyds were glad to get the late news about Tabitha and they no doubt traveled on to Beaver with George Woodhouse. Perhaps the reason these people went to Beaver was because there was a woolen mill in Beaver, and the Holroyds had learned the weaving trade in England.
Little is known of the boyhood and youth of George Albert Bradshaw. His parents owned and lived on two city lots (One half a city block) in a log and frame house. George's parents had four more children born to them in Beaver, but two died in infancy, so the family consisted of the parents and a brother and sister. As far as is known they lived on what they raised on the city lots and odd jobs of various kinds of manual labor, so it was necessary for the children to learn to work and look after themselves at an early age. Work was scarce in this rural community. Actually there was plenty of work but little opportunity for work for wages. At an early age George got a job herding sheep for various men in Beaver and thus his formal schooling was limited.
The records indicate that, perhaps, the Bradshaw family was not very active in the church, because the church records show that George and his brother, Jorlason, were not baptized until April 13, 1878 when George was 16 years old. It could have been that the boys were usually away from home during the summer times when the baptism were performed in the streams or river. It was in Decemmber of 1978 that the Bradshaw family went to the temple in St. George to do their family temple work. On December 4, 1878 George was ordained an Elder in the Church and received his temple endowments and assisted with other temple work.
George married Elizabeth Moffat August 6, 1882, in Beaver, Utah. Elizabeth was the daughter of Samuel Moffat and Mary Roy Patterson and was born in Logan, Utah, September 11, 1863. At the time of their marriage, George was almost 21 years old and Elizabeth was almost 19 years old. George and Elizabeth went to the St. George Temple November 22, 1882 and had their marriage sealed. November 22 was George's birthday and also the birthday of his mother, so this date should have been very important to him. Nothing has been written about the marriage and the trip to St. Goerge, but we have to remember that this was in the horse and buggy days, and it is about 100 miles from Beaver to St. George, and you can imagine that it was a wonderful honeymoon.
In the years that followed, George and Elizabeth proved that they could be good pioneers but it is not known just where and how they lived. George conntinued to herd sheep but not always for others, for he acquired a herd of his own. It is possible that Elizabeth continued to live at home for a while after they married or they might have lived with George's folks because they only had two children home but the Moffats had about 5 or 6 children at home.
The following records of land purchased or homesteaded gives us about the only clues as to where and how the Bradshaws lived.
They obtained Lot 4 of Block 11 in Beaver 8 November 1887 from Robert Stoney. This block is on the west side of 5th West and on the South side of 4th North. This is the lot where the brick home known as the Patterson home was built and it is believed the Bradshaws built it about 1893 or 1894.
November 26, 1888 they obtained 4 1/2 acres of land in Section 16 off main street north of Beaver from Francis L. Jones. They also obtained 4.1 acres of land in Section 16 North of Beaver from James Atkin.
Elizabeth obtained Lot 1 of Block 11 from her father on 14 June 1893. Now it seems that they decided to build on Lot 4 of Block l1 on the west side of town which would be near George's folks, because they sold the 4 1/2 acres obtained from Francis L. Jones and on July 22, 1893 they obtained mortgages on the 4 plus acres obtained from James Atkin and on the two lots of Block 11 which could have been for the construction of the home. This is only speculation, because it could have been that they built the brick home on Lot 4 Block 11 soon after they acquired it 8 November 1887 and that the mortgages were for other purposes such as for more sheep.
A cousin once asked the writer if he knew that his grandfather Bradshaw built the Patterson home and that he lost it because he had to make good a note which he signed for someone. It could be that July 1893 was about the date they lost the home rather than the time they built it.
In 1899 and 1900 George and Elizabeth and George's mother got patent rights to Section 23 in Pine Creek about 20 miles north of Beaver under the Homestead Act. As it took about 3 or 4 years to prove up on a homestead, it means that they were spending a good deal of time in Pine Creek in 1896-1900. George's brother Joram had also married and he also homesteaded a half section in Pine Creek and built a home there. George's father died 18 August 1893, so it seems that the whole family, George's mother and brother were working together to support themselves.
George and Elizabeth had thirteen (13) children, 5 girls and 8 boys, between 1883 and 1909. Nine of the children grew up, married and had large families of their own, but 4 of the boys died in infancy. It would be very interesting to have a history or biography of each of the children because we would then know where the children were born, where and how the family lived; but like most pioneer families, these biographies were not written and it is now too late to get the data.
The family did not all move to Pine Creek during the time they were homesteading or after because there was no school there, and it was too far to commute to Beaver for school. At least during the school period, part of the family stayed in Beaver, either with Grandma Bradshaw or with an older sister who had married. They later had a log and frame house just north of Beaver on main street where part of the family lived most of the time and others lived at Pine Creek. It is understandable that this is a hard way to raise a family, and it can be understood that George spent much time alone with the sheep and farming activities and it was difficult for the children and Elizabeth. Often George's only companion was the Bible, Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, parts of which he read and re-read until he could quote many favorite passages.
Nine of the children grew up, married and had large families, but as with most pioneer families, the children did not stay close to the parents but moved out on their own. Some of the older boys had land at Pine Creek, but it was too far for them and their families and so they sold out or traded for land at Manderfield or in Beaver.
Some time after the youngest boy, Richard, left to go work on the Railroad with his brother, Ambrose, about 1925, George and Elizabeth sold out at Pine Creek and bought a home from Wesley Farrar in Beaver, Utah. This was a frame house, and it had electricity and running water but no bathroom. Along with this they got some acreage, about 16 acres, across main street, and George farmed this as long as he could with the help of his daughter, Isabell's family.
George and Elizabeth enjoyed their home in Beaver and the other advantages they had by living in town near their church and other people. Elizabeth died 5 April 1940 and George lived mostly alone until his death 20 September 1947. They were good honest trustworthy pioneers. They had 96 grandchildren, and it is not known how many other descendants.