This page is a work in progress. If you have any information about the early settlers of Wellington please make a donation of histories, photographs and information that can be added to this page. Please e-mail this information to Kathy Hamaker at Thank you in advance for any additions you can make.

First Settlers of
Wellington, Carbon County, Utah

The following information was taken from the book "Centennial Echos from Carbon County" pages 156 - 168.

1877 - Jefferson Tidwell of Sanpete County was sent by Brigham Young to look over this country.

Autumn of 1879 - Jefferson Tidwell and his son, William Tidwell, William Averett, and thirteen others, crossed the mountains from Sanpete County. These men returned home after January 1, 1880.

Spring 1880 - Jefferson Tidwell returnes with a dozen other men including Sidney Allred, George Blair, Thomas Blair, and William Averett. Some of these settlers returned to Sanpete Valley for supplies during the fall of 1880, while others remained on their land, spending the winter there. The next spring, however, all the settlers vacated the lands and the settlement was abandoned for a year.

Spring of 1882 - Thomas Zundle, Robert A. Snyder, William J. Hill, and others came with their families. The Snyder and Zundle families arrived May 6, 1882. That fall Zundle built the first log cabin and Robert Snyder built the second cabin. The original settler, Jefferson Tidwell rejoined the colonists in August of 1882.

Early Settlers of Wellington

Front row: Mr. and Mrs. Grundvig, Tom and Josaphine Zundel, Henrietta Hill, Jane Branch, Lydia Avery 2nd row: Polly Tidwell, ___Smith, Mary Romjue, Emma Pierce, ____, John Vance 3rd row: Fred Hanson, Walter Draper, Mary Hanson, Edgar Thayn, W. J. Hill, Bernice Hanson, Catherine Sullivan, Elsie Sweet Marshall, Sarah Thayne, Grace Ellis, Martha Thayn.
Photo courtesy of Jamie Powell

This was the first church building in Wellington. The morning the roof was finished on this building June 7, 1891, William Jefferson Tidwell stood on the roof and shouted that he had a son born that morning. This son was named William Leroy Tidwell. In the photograph Jefferson Tidwell and Sarah Seely Tidwell are seated in the wagon. Photo courtesy of Jamie Powell
In this log cabin 1884, public school was held, with William Tidwell as teacher, and seventeen students. Rough benches were seats and they wrote on slates. The students are: George Eldrige, Alvin Thayn, Eugene Branch, Sr., (Ebbie) Thayn, Mary Mcmullen, George Hill, George A. Willson, _____ Tidwell, Lomar Roberts, Will Snyder, Gilbert Reed, Bettie Hill, _____ Vance, William Jessen, Raymond Ellis, Lottie Snyder, Henry Jessen, ____ McMullen, Irvin Branch, Johnie Jones, John Vance, Ernest Branch, ____ McMullen, Bertha Ellis, Hannah Tidwell, Mat Simmons, Menervia Ellis, ____ Hill, Rosilla Branch, Belenda Hill, Orson Dimick, Ira Dimick.
Photo courtesy of Jamie Powell

Jefferson Tidwell

Carbon county Newspaper - 27 Nov 1913
Pioneer Citizen Called by Death

On Friday, Nov. 21st, Jefferson Tidwell, one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of Wellington, passed to his reward, extreme age being the principal cause of death.

The funeral was held from the Wellington ward meeting house Monday, Nov. 24, Bishop E.E. Branch presiding. The house was filled to overflowing by the relatives and friends of the deceased. The ward choir rendered some beautiful singing, prayer was pronounced by Elder Oliver T. Harmon, and the speakers were E.S. Horsley, President A. W. Horsley, Henry G. Mathis and John Potter of Price and Orange Seeley of Castledale. A large cortege followed the remains to the cemetery, where the grave was dedicated by Elder Edgar Thayn.

Jefferson Tidwell, fourth in a family of seven, was born Oct. 7, 1836, in Charleston, Clark county, Indiana. At an early age his parents moved to Nauvoo, Ill. he was there when Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martred, in 1844.

June 5th, 1852, he left for Utah, in his father's company of Saints, who arrived in Pleasant Grove, Utah, in September of the same year. Here he spent his boyhood until the winter of 1857-8, which he spent in Lot Smith's company in Echo Canyon. He fought in the Blackhawk and Walker wars, and in June, 1859, when President Smith called on some Saints to settle in Sanpete county, Jefferson, with his father, moved to Mt. Pleasant. Here, on Dec. 16, 1860, he was married to Sarah Seeley. To this union 11 children were born, two of whom died in infancy. The remaining nine, three girls and six boys, survive him, namely, W. J., John F., Hyrum, J. R., Orange and David A Tidwell, and Sarah S. Thayn, Mary M. Strong and Hannah Barnes.

He was the first bishop of Indianola, where numerous Indian families joined the church.

In 1877 President Young called on him to explore what is now Carbon, Emery and Wayne counties, with a view of settlement. When he delivered his message to President Young, the latter told him that if he would settle on White river (now Price river), he would soon be on one of the great thoroughfares of the nation. (A prediction later verified by the construction of the Rio Grande.) In response to this, Bishop Tidwell settled on Wellington townsite in October, 1879.

Bishop Tidwell has always been a faithful worker, both in church and in the building up of the country; He was a loving husband, a kind father, and a friend to all who knew him.

In attendance at the funeral, from a distance, were the following relatives: Orange and Wellington Seeley of Castledale, Hyrum Seeley of Indianola, John H., Wm. H. and Joseph Seeley, and John Tidwell and Emeline Smith of Mt. Pleasant.

Sarah Seeley Tidwell

Eastern Utah Advocate Newspaper - 10 Dec 1915
Passing of Mrs. Tidwell Takes Another Pioneer

Sarah Jane Seely Tidwell

Mrs. Sarah Seeley Tidwell, wife of the late Jefferson Tidwell, passed away at her home in Wellington at 6 o'clock last Friday evening. Death was due to the infirmities of old age. Deceased was born on the 10th of April, 1841 in Lee county, Ia, and was the daughter of Justice Wellington Seeley and Clarissa Jane Seeley Wilcox of Toronto, Can. she emigrated to Utah with her parents in 1847 crossing the plains in John Lowry's company. Six sons and three daughters, thirty-three grandchildren and three great grandchildren survive her. The sons are William J., John F., Hiram Joseph R. and D. A. Tidwell, and the daughters, Mrs. Sarah S. Thayn and Mrs. Hannah Barnes all of Wellington and Mrs. Miranda Strong of Twin Falls, Idaho.

Deceased had a varied and interesting experience, being one of the first children to be baptized in Salt Lake City. Some time afterward she was among the party that accompanied President Amasa Lyman to San Bernardino California, and in 1858 was called back with the Saints when Johnson's army was pressing on towards Utah. About that time deceased moved to Mt. Pleasant in Sanpete county, where she was married to Jefferson Tidwell. In 1877 President Brigham Young called her husband Jefferson Tidwell to Wellington and in 1881 she followed him there where she resided until death summoned her last Friday evening.

While the family lived at Sunnyside for a short period, deceased was the first president and the organizer of the relief society there. During her long life Mrs. Tidwell was an ardent worker in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Funeral services were held from the meeting house at Wellington last Sunday afternoon which were very largely attended showing the high esteem in which Mrs. Tidwell was held by those closest to her.

The speakers were A.W. Horsley, president of Carbon stake of Zion. Elder John Potter of Price and former bishop of Sunnyside, and Bishop Eugene E. Branch of Wellington. Prayer was offered by Elder Walter N. Draper of Wellington. Elder John H. Pace gave the benediction. Eler B. M. V. Goold dedicated the grave. The remains now rest in Wellington cemetery. Numerous friends from Emery and Sanpete counties were present for the funeral as well as the neighbors and close friends of the deceased as above referred to.

Wellington ward choir sang during the funeral services "There Is Sweet Rest in Heaven." "Oh, My Father", "Oh Grave, Where is Thy Victory." and other numbers.

William James Hill

Eastern Utah Advocate - 29 Dec 1910 pg 5

William J. Hill, an old and respected citizen of Wellington and aged 76 years, passed away at his home last Monday. He leaves a wife, Mrs. Henrietta Hill, and a family of sixteen living children. The funeral occurs today from the family home, internment being in the Wellington cemetery. Deceased had been a resident of his home community for twenty-eight years, locating in Castle Valley from his former home at Ogden. He was a native of York State and with other pioneers of Utah did his full share towards the settlement and upbuilding of this state.

Carbon County News
30 Dec 1910

W. J. Hill, one of the oldest residents in Price River Valley, died here very suddenly at 4 o'clock p.m., Monday evening. He was buried here Thursday. Mr. Hill was 82 years of age and had been in apparently good health and had been around all day. He came into the house complaining of a pain in his shoulder and laid down and only lived a few minutes.

Emma Hart Pierce

News Advocate - 26 January 1922

Emma Pierce was born at Kirtland, Ohio, March 14, 1835, died at Wellington, Utah, January 17, 1922, aged 86 years, 10 months, 3 days. she suffered a paralytic stroke on October 24, 1906, but after about two months, recovered the use of her limbs so that she enjoyed good health the remainder of her life and especially the last three years, during which time she never suffered with an ache or a pain of any kind, always having a good appetite and able to sleep soundly, her greatest trouble being that she lost her hearing but was able to read ordinary print to the very last day of her life without the aid of glasses.

Her last illness was of very short duration, having taken sick at 4 a.m. January 17, 1922, and passing away at 2:30 p.m. the same day, during which time she got up and dressed herself but her patriarchal blessing was literally fulfilled in which she was promised that "she should live as long as life was desirable and when death came it should be like falling asleep," as she did not make a single death struggle.

Emma Pierce, whose maiden name was Hart, was born at Kirtland, Ohio, and blessed by the Prophet Joseph Smith and given the name of Emma for the prophet's wife. She lived in Nauvoo at the time of the expulsion. She crossed the plains when she was 14 years of age with an ox team consisting of two oxen and two cows, milking the cows daily for part of their subsistence. When part way across the plains, they buried her sister and two days after her mother also was buried on the plains, dying with cholera.

After arriving in Utah she lived in Salt Lake county until the date of her marriage to Nathan Pierce in the endowment house in Salt Lake City on April 4, 1857, after which they moved south, living at different places, first at Fillmore, Deseret, Levan, Harmony, Glenwood, Loa and Huntington, their time being spent almost entirely blazing the way in frontier settlements, continually struggling with the Indians and the hardships incidental to frontier life, her husband being one of the minute men during the Indian troubles and a veteran of the Black Hawk war. Emma Pierce was the mother of ten children and had fifty grandchildren and forty eight great grandchildren.

Five children survive her, a pair of twin girls and twin boys, and her oldest living daughter all but one of the children living at or near Wellington, Utah, except one of the twin girls, who lives at Laven, Arizona.

Catherine Alfina Palmer Grundvig

Salt Lake Telegram - 1951-04-27

Catherine Alfina Palmer

Wellington, Carbon county - Catherine Alfina Palmer Grundvig, 87, early Castle Valley pioneer, died at the home of her son, Leonard Grundvig, of causes attributed to age here Thursday.

She was born Sept. 8, 1863, at Ogden, daughter of Abram and Catherine Hill Palmer.

Mrs. Grundvig was among the first pioneers called to settle Castle Valley by the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints. She came to Wellington, then called "Dead Horse Creek" when it took six days' journey by covered wagon to get here from Colton.

The route in those days went through Soldier Canyon, and at one place in the journey, the wagons had to be taken apart and lowered over a cliff and reassembled in the bottom of the canyon before progress could be resumed.

She was married to Severine H. Grundvig in the Salt Lake LDS temple in June of 1883, after the couple had traveled from Sanpete county by ox team. They raised a family of 13 sons and daughters.

Mrs. Grundvig was an active member in the church she helped to found in the wilderness. By orders of the church leaders she left a home in one of Utah's most lush valleys to come into the desert and colonize for the church.

Survivors include five sons and four daughters: S. F. Grundvig, Seattle, Wash.: W. E. Grundvig, Provo, D. C. Grundvig, Loveland, Colo.: L. A. Grundvig, Wellington, and Lester O. Grundvig of Sacramento, , Cal.: Mrs. J. W. (Charlotte) Pilling, Price, Mrs. Bernie (Inez) Christiansen, Price, Mrs. Laura Pilling, Provo, and Mrs. Russel (Ruby) Pierce, Vallejo, Cal., and 56 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be conducted Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Wellington Second ward L.D.S. chapel under the direction of Bishop Lorenzo Peterson. Burial will be in the Wellington city cemetery by the Mitchell Funeral home of Price.

Severin Holgar Grundvig

Salt Lake Telegram - 1943-02-22

Catherine Alfina, Severine & Lester Grundvig
Catherine Alfina, Severin
& Lester Grundvig

Wellington, Carbon County - Severin Holgar Grundvig, 84, died in a Price hostpial Saturday at 6 a.m. of causes incident to age.

He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, March 27, 1858. The family came to Utah when he was a child. While crossing the plains to Utah, his mother was seized by Indians and was never heard of again, his father was hit by seven Indian arrows, the head of one being imbedded in his thigh for several weeks. He and his father reached the Salt Lake Valley in 1865, after they had lived in various parts of Utah.

In 1883 he married Catherine Alfina Palmer at Fayette, Sanpete county and five years later they moved to Carbon county. As a young man he worked on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. In Sanpete county and in Wellington he served two terms as constable.

He served several years as a school trustee in Wellington before schools were consolidated. He started the Dead Man coal mine northeast of Price, one of the first mines to be opened in this area.

Besides his widow, nine sons and daughters survive: S. F. Grundvig of Seattle, Wash.; Don C. Grundvig of Huntington, Mrs. Laura Pilling and Leonard A. Grundvig, Wellington; Lester O. Grundvig of Sacramento, Cal.; William E. Grundvig and Mrs. Charlotte Pilling, Price; Mrs. Inez Christiansen and Mrs. Ruby Pierce, both of Vallejo, Cal.; a half brother, Dan Grundvig of Salt Lake City; three half sisters, Mrs. Eliza Thiede, Mrs. Pearl Draper and Mrs. Florence Kjelstrom of Salt Lake City: 51 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be conducted in the Wellington LDS ward chapel Thursday at 2 p.m. with Asa Draper, bishop, officiating. Burial will be in the Wellington cemetery.

History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Wellington

Wellington First and Second Wards
Carbon Stake
Sunday, January 11, 1959

In 1884 Jefferson Tidwell was sustained as the first Presiding Elder over the Wellington Branch of the Price Ward. He served until 1890 when the ward was organized with Albert E. McMullin as the first Bishop. His Counselors were George Eldridge, Robert Snyder, and Ike Roberts. During this time the first Chapel was constructed.

In 1901 Eugene E. Branch Sr. was sustained as Bishop, with Edgar Thayn and C.P. Olson as Counselors.

In 1906 Edgar Thayn was sustained as Bishop, with William Jones and D.A. Tidwell as Counselors.

In 1910 John W. Hill was sustained as Bishop, with Seamon Golding and Eugene E. Branch Jr. as Counselors.

In 1913 Eugene E. Branch Jr. was sustained as Bishop, with Walter N. Draper and Oliver T. Harman, Samuel T. Ostler, Lorin Golding, William S. Hill, and Ben Jorgensen as Counselors.

In 1924 the Addition was built on the Chapel and dedicated by Aspostle Melvin J. Ballard.

In 1932 Asa L. Draper was sustained as Bishop with Homer Thayn and Oren Snow as Counselors.

In 1943 Grant M. Gerber was sustained as Bishop with Deile Baldwin and Joseph V. Bunderson, Melvin Young, Lorenzo E. Petersen, Cloye J. Peterson as Counselors. During this time the Building program for the new Chapel was started.

The Ward was divided in 1951 with Cloye J. Petersen as Bishop of the First Ward. His Counselors were Clemont A. Atwood and John J. thayn. Lorenzo E. Peterson was sustained as Bishop of the Wellington Second ward, with G. Lee Hanson, Ben Coomer, and Hollis Branch as Counselors. During this time the consturction of the new building was started.

In 1955 Clemont A. Atwood was sustained as Bishop of the First Ward, with Charles V. Bradshaw and Dal P. Wells as Counselors.

In 1958 Robert C. Van Wagoner was sustained as Bishop of the Wellington Second Ward, with Charles Wayne Sprague and Nathan S. Noyes as Counselors.

On January 11, 1959 The building stands ready for Dedication unto the Lord by Apostle Hugh B. Brown.

If you have any other information, photos or obituaries about the original settlers of Wellington please e-mail the information to Kathy Hamaker. Thank you.

[ Front page ] [ Towns ] [ Points of Interest ] [ Databases ] [ Research records ] [ Histories ] [Maps ]
[ Photographs ] [ Surname Page ] [ Query page ] [ Links ] [ E-mail ]