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Written by his Daughter Emma F. Davis 1937

  Amended 1992, Jeanne Davis Cutler


     Erastus Grenig Farmer, son of Edward John Farmer and Eliza­beth Eleanor (Ellen) Wright Farmer, was born 29 June 1861,at Florence, Douglas Co, Nebraska, or more proper, three days jour­ney by ox team, West of Florence, in a wagon, while his parents were emigrating to Utah. They started their journey in New York City. The family consisted of his Father and Mother, a half sister, Elizabeth Ann, and his grandparents, John Ward Wright and his wife, Elizabeth Bailey Wright. They arrived in Salt Lake City the 12th of September 1861, in the John R Murdock Co. and settled there.

      In 1862, his Father spent the summer in Bear Lake Valley, but was taken back to Salt Lake City in the fall, sick with what at the time was known as Mountain Fever. Later the family located at Fort Herriman, Salt Lake County, Utah, where the subject of this sketch grew to manhood, having assisted on the farm and in stock raising.

     In the fall of 1877, Erastus accompanied Samuel and William Bateman of West Jordan, and Ensign Stockings, and his brother John J. of Herriman, driving about three hundred head of cattle into Castle Valley via Lehi, American Fork, Pleasant Grove, Provo, Springville, Spanish Fork, Payson, Nephi, Levan, Gunnison and Salina, entering the south end of the valley near the old "Gilson Ranch". The following spring these parties moved their cattle to the north end of Castle Valley, where they remained until the fall of 1881.   Mr. John J. Stockings and Mr. Farmer sold their cattle interests to the Miller Brothers, and moved their horses from Castle and Pleasant Valleys, out to Raft River, Idaho.

     In April 1883, Erastus G. Farmer was called on a mission to the Southern States, and left Salt Lake City on the 15th of May, in company with a large number of Elders, some going to Europe and various parts of the United States. Arriving at Chattanooga Tennessee, he was assigned to labor in the North Carolina Confe­rence, where he labored until October 1885.  Elder Farmer trav­eled with seven different companions namely; Alexander Bills of South Jordan, Christian F. Christensen of Kanosh, James T. Thorn of Pleasant Grove, John E Rouech of Kaysville, William Gibbs of West Portage, Charles P. Ostler of Nephi, and Stephen L. Chipman of American Fork, all of Utah. Conference Presidents were Amos Cook of Bountiful, Charles Nokes of South Jordan, and John E. Rouech. Other Elders in that Conference were Joseph Belnap of Ogden, William Clayton of Kanab, James Jenkins of Nephi, William White of Cedar City, William Garner of North Ogden, and Burke Young. Mitchell and Wilkes Counties constituted the different fields of labor.


     Elder Farmer had the privilege of baptizing eight souls and witnessed many manifestations of the Blessings of the Lord, poured out upon those who had the courage to face the prejudices and persecutions of that day. On his return home he was selected as a home missionary in which capacity he labored until Oct 1885.

     On the 12th of January 1887, he married Mary Ellen Holt of South Jordan, in the Logan Temple. They lived in Utah until after their second child was born, then they went into Southern Idaho, and purchased some sheep, finally locating at Clifton, Idaho. The couple have been blessed with the following children. Nellie Mabel, Eva Grace. Erastus Leroy, Elsie May, Ivie Pearl, Golden H., Emma Ellen, Truman Edward, and Cora H.. Nellie Mabel having died 16 July 1889, at South Jordan. The other children are all living at this writing, and have all married in the House of the Lord. They have 39 grand children and two great grandchildren.

     Erastus Grenig Farmer was baptized 15 July 1869, by Bishop James Crane at Herriman. He was ordained a deacon and served in that capacity until he was ordained an Elder, under  the hands of Moses Thatcher and William M. Taylor on 9 April 1883. ( William W Taylor, was ordained a Seventy by Orson Pratt on 11 October 1875, who was ordained an Elder by the Prophet Joseph Smith, on 1 December 1830; who in connection with Oliver Cowdery was ordained by Peter, James, and John in July 1829.) Erastus was ordained a Seventy, 26 December 1886 by William H. Freeman of Herriman, Utah. Ordained a High Priest and set apart as second counselor to Bishop William F. Garner of Clifton Ward, Oneida Stake, 30 July 1893, by Mathias F. Cowley.  On January 12, 1896, he was sustained as Bishop of Clifton Ward, and ordained a Bishop, 26 January 1896 at Franklin Idaho, by Mariner W. Merrill. Adelbert Henderson, Samuel M. Lee, James W. Davis all served as counselors and Vernon G. Howell as Ward Clerk under him.  He was released 14 May 1911. In the fall of 1913 the family moved to Preston, Idaho so the children could attend the Oneida Stake Academy.

     He served as a representative of the Genealogical Society, Oneida Stake. He was sustained a member of the Stake High Council

on 6 June 1920, and served as a Stake Home  Missionary, visiting Mink Creek, Riverdale, Glencoe, and Glendale Wards, from 19 January 1925 to 28 February 1925. He was set apart for a six month mission to the Southern States, 25 November 1925. He left Salt Lake on that date and was assigned to labor in Columbus, Georgia, by President Charles A. Callis, where he spent the entire time. He was released and returned home to Preston Idaho, 24 May 1926. During his life time he had known all the Church Presidents except Joseph Smith and attended several Solemn Assemblies at the Salt Lake Temple.


     On January 12, 1937, Erastus G. and Mary Ellen (Nellie), Farmer celebrated the 50th anniversary of their wedding at the home of their daughter Emma F. Davis, in Boise, Idaho. Many friends and relatives came to visit. They received many presents and letters of congratulations from old associates, making their Golden Wedding Day one long to be remembered.  They have come down the stream of time together, sharing the joys of life and basking in the hope they may continue life's journey together and be a blessing to their posterity as long as life may last.              


     On 5 June 1937, family  friends and relatives had a reunion for them at South Jordan, Utah. This being the last large gather­ing he was privileged to attend for on 29 June 1937, which was his 76th birthday he was stricken bedfast, and passed away on 31 July 1937  of Cancer of the stomach, at the home of his daughter Grace Henderson,in Logan Utah.  He left his wife and eight children, thirty‑nine grand­children and three great grandchildren to bless and honor his name.

     All his life he cherished his membership in the Church and was happiest when he was teaching the Gospel. He was always willing to do what ever was asked of him, great or small.  He was very generous and kind, always  giving good advice and counsel. 




                       ERASTUS G. FARMER


Copied from PROGRESSIVE MEN OF SOUTHERN IDAHO  1904 page 506.


Although of English parentage, Erastus G. Farmer, of Clifton, Oneida County, this State, was born on American soil and is in all respects thoroughly American in feeling, aspirations, public spirit and devoted to every element of greatness for his country.  His life began on June 29, 1861 in Douglas Co. Nebraska, while his parents, Edward John and Elizabeth E. Wright Farmer, were on their way to Utah to join the great body of the Mormon Church of which they had become members before leaving England, the land of their nativity.

His father, Edward John Farmer, had come to the United States in 1856[1] and settled in New York City, where the father was employed in a factory until the spring of 1861.  They then started for Utah and on the way fell in with a company of emigrants who were also going there and had halted at Florence, Nebraska, near Omaha.  There occurred the birth of their son, Erastus. Soon after that event they resumed their journey and reached Salt Lake City on September 29th. They at once took up their residence at Fort Herriman, Salt Lake Co.. The next spring the father went with a company of settlers to Bear Lake County on the border of Idaho and Utah.  Owing to the state of his health at the end of the year, was obliged to return to his former home.  He there located at Salt Lake City and after remaining there two years and fully recovering his health again, settled his family at Fort Herriman and went to farming.  The mother, Elizabeth Ellen Wright Farmer, died in Herriman on 14 February 1889. In 1898 the father again moved to Salt Lake City, where he is still living.


Their son, Erastus was reared and educated at Herriman and worked with his father on the farm and attending the stock until the Spring of 1883. He was then called on a Mission to North Carolina, where he remained until Oct 1885. On his return he was employed in hauling ore from Bingham to Sandy for a year. Early in 1886 [2] he was married and then engaged in farming and raising sheep, in company with an uncle at Herriman, where he remained until the spring of 1890. At that time he disposed of his interests there and continued his residence at that place and worked for various stockman in the neighborhood for two years. In the Autumn of 1891 he leased a band of sheep and in the Spring of 1892 brought them to Idaho.  Here he bought a ranch, 2 miles north of Clifton, and moved his family there, making it his home and the base of his sheep and farming industries, until the early part of 1895, when he bought the ranch on which he now lives, two miles south of Clifton on which he has since resided, although still owning the other place.  He is one of the leaders in the sheep business in that section of the State and conducts his business with enterprise and commendable breadth of view.  To the church in which he was born and reared he has ever been devoted and serviceable. No interest in its keeping has appealed to him for aid without a prompt and generous response, and no duty it has laid upon him has ever been slighted or neglected.

In the fall of 1893 he was counselor to Bishop Garner of Clifton Ward and served him in that capacity until his retirement....Then on 26 January 1896 Mr. Farmer was himself ordained as the Bishop of the Ward and still holds this important position.

In politics he is an earnest Republican and has been continuously loyal and helpful to his party, attending it's conventions as a delegate and serving for a number of years as Justice of the Peace at it's best.  At present he is serving as chairman of the County Central Committee.

On January 12, 1887 at Logan, Utah, Mr. Farmer was married to Miss Mary E. Holt, who was born and reared in Utah.  Her parents were Edward D. and Emma Billings Holt, natives of England.  They became members of the Mormon community in that Country and in 1862 emigrated to America and located in Utah. They made their home in Salt Lake City for a number of years, then moved to South Jordan where they remained until 1898, when they returned to Salt Lake City. There the father died in Nov 1900 and the mother now makes her home at South Jordan.

The family of Mr. and Mrs Farmer comprised of seven living children, Eva Grace, Erastus Leroy, Elsie May, Ivy P., Golden H., Emma E., and Truman E.,..Their first child, Nellie M., died July 16th 1889 at the age of 15 months.


----------------------------------------------------------------Farmer, Erastus G., a home missionary in the Salt Lake Stake and an active Elder of Herriman Ward, Salt Lake Co., is a son of Edward John Farmer and Elizabeth E. Wright, and was born at Florence, Nebraska, 29 June 1861, his parents being on their journey to Utah. He was baptized in Herriman by Bishop James Crane when about nine years old, ordained to the various grades of the priesthood and called on a mission to the Southern States at the April Conference, 1883. He left home, May 15th of that year and was appointed to labor in North Carolina, where he baptized nine persons and also assisted in organizing a new branch of the Church in Mitchell County.  He was mobbed several times: returned home Oct 1885. Since November 1885, he has labored as a home missionary.


(Taken from Biographical Encyclopedia or condensed Biographical Sketches of Presiding Officers, Veterans, Missionaries and other Active Men and Women, in the Salt Lake Stake of Zion.  Andrew Jensen, Salt Lake City, 1888)

     [1]Edward John and family sailed on the "Thornton" 4 May 1856.

     [2]He was married 12 Jan 1887.

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