HISTORY OF HENRY HOLYOAK
Henry Holyoak was born March 5, 1839
in Yardly, Worstershire, England, the seventh child of
George and Sarah Green Holyoak.
The Holyoak family joined the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints June 24 1841 and sailed to
America in February 1854. The trek across the plains was
hard and also saddened by the loss of his mother, Sarah, and
sisters, Mary and Anne. Henry settled in Parowan, Utah,
with his father and sisters. In 1863 and later he made
three trips back East with an ox team for freight and
In 1865 he married Sarah Ann Robinson
daughter of English immigrants. She was born in Nauvoo,
Illinois December 22, 1842, and came to Utah with her
parents, settling in Paragonah, Utah.
They later went to the temple when it
was ready for sealings and had their work done. It is
interesting to note that all the children have been married
in the temple, also a large majority of their
Children of this union are: Sarah Ann
(the oldest died at 13 years of age) Alice Jane (Thomson),
Henry John, Mary Luella (Young), Eliza Ellen (McMonkie),
Albert Daniel, and Richard James, (who died at 8 years of
When the church called colonizers for
the San Juan area, the Henry Holyoak family were among those
who were called from Parowan, in the fall of 1879. In
January, 1880 they were with the company that went through
"Hole in the Rock", actually a slot in the wall of the
canyon, which was widened so wagons could be driven down to
the Colorado River. The route was selected as a shortcut.
Starting at Escalante, Utah it required about six months
for the expedition because they were constructing the road
as they went. Holyoak's wide wagon marks are still on the
walls of the ravine where the stone had to be chiseled away
to permit it to go down through. There is still evidence
where stakes were driven into the rock to hold brush and
rock and dirt which formed the wagon trail with one set of
wheels running on this built up material and the other set
running in a groove chisled in the sand stone slope. This
wagon trail is known as "Hole in the Rock". An extremly
steep road in the slot of the canyon.
Sarah Ann drove her own wagon most of
the way. She had a bed in it as well as a stove to keep her
young children comfortable, the baby being very young.
The four years on the San Juan were
wasted so far as crops were concerned because the rising
river ruined the farming land, also took out the water wheel
and washed it to the other side of the river. This left
them no way to get water onto crops not washed away.
The people were at last released from
their mission and the Holyoaks moved to Moab in 1884. They
ran out of provisions on the way, while camped at Kane
Springs waiting for a wagon wheel to repair the wagon which
was broken down. Henry left his family to live on a bit of
flour and hunt rabbits for meat, while he came into Moab to
get a wagon, also flour. No flour could be purchased.
There was no wheat either, except a sack which some man had
saved for seed. Henry took this to his family. They washed
it and ground it on an old coffee mill. It made course
whole wheat meal, but they were glad to get it, along with
some corn meal ground between rocks. Later when the Grand
River (now the Colorado River) was low so it could be
forded, freighters went to Castle Dale for flour and other
At the time they moved to Moab, Henry
John and Alice Jane drove the livestock, (which consisted of
about 100 head of cattle, a yoke of oxen and some horses).
The calves were tied up at night, and in the morning the
dairy cows were milked. The milk put in the barrel churn on
the back of the wagon would, by night, supply the family
with fresh butter as well as milk. Many others shared in
these dairy products.
The Holyoaks were always friendly with
the Indians and they gave Henry the name of Pooats and Henry
John was "Pooats Papoose".
Henry Holyoak was a counselor to Bishop
Stewart, first Bishop of Moab Ward. Sarah Ann was counselor
in the Relief Society and later became President.
They took an active part in building up
the community, schools and church. They were considerate of
others and shared their food, but stood for their own
rights. Squatters's built a shack over night on part of
their land in Moab while Henry took a trip by team and buggy
to Salt Lake City to get title to the land. Sarah Anne held
the squatters off with an old gun, not loaded. Years later
Mr. Loveridge said, "We moved when she said to get off
because we knew she meant what she said".
The blessings given Henry and Sarah
Anne the same day in 1875 must have been an inspiration to
them and they lived for them and fulfilled them, and surely
will be inspiring to all who read them, so are being added
to this history. All who knew them well will tell you they
were good, respected citizens, well loved by all. They fed
the hungry and had plenty to set before their friends. They
were friendly with the Indians and were able to feed them by
the dozens when they passed through Moab.
In his declining and lonely years after
the passing of his good wife, Henry was very desirous that
some one carry on the genealogy work he had pursued. He was
a life member to the Genealogical Society of Utah and sent
money repeatedly for research work. When on a mission to
England in 1893, he searched for genealogy and he also
secured the Holyoak Family Coat of Arms and placed it in the
Society. He always went to church and bore his testimony on
fast day. Said he, "Even though I cannot hear, my presency
will be there".
A blessing given by Levi W, Hancock, July 2,
1875, upon the head of Henry Holyoak, the son of George and
Sarah Holyoak. Born March 5, 1839, at Worcestershire, England.
Brother Henry, I place my hands upon thy
head and give thee a patriarchal blessing, which is a fatherly
blessing confirmed upon the heads of the sons of men, who belong
to the house of God. That they may look upon the same and claim
the blessings that are recorded. That they may be handed down
from generation to generation for the benefit of the whole
family branch, that shall spring from them through all their
Thou art the sons of those that were
counted wise in the councils that are among the Gods, Thou hast
come in the time appointed to be one with thy brethren in this
age of the world to help them promote the cause of truth, peace,
and prosperity among the offspring of Adam, the father of us
all. To be counted with Him in the ties of friendship and love
to bind the hearts of the children to the fathers and the
fathers to the children; that virtue and truth may prevail.
Thou art the pure blood of Ephraim and much of thy time should
be spent in pursuit of Manassa by encouraging the young men and
the middle age and also of thy own posterity to deal kindly and
truly with the Lamanites. That they may be brought to knowledge
of Christ, their Redeemer and learn to be one with Him. That
His spirit may rest upon them and commence binding their
affections to each other, and cease hankering for blood.
Thou art capable of doing a great work for
the benefit of the House of Israel, not so much because of a
great flow of word, but because of the uprightness of thy walk
and proceedings. From this time give thy mind to study and
wisdom shall be given from on High.
And when thou hath been sufficiently tried
as Abraham was, thou shall have intelligence concerning the
second comforter which thou have not as yet comprehended but in
part. When He comes thou will know it. It will be a sudden
impression upon thee and it will continue to instruct thy mind
from hence forward. Let thy heart be joyful. Let the
revibrating strokes of the sudden emotions of thy heart
stimulate thee to work in the service of thy God. And as far
the riches of this world, thou shall be in possession of enough
to make thee comfortable all thy days. And thine offspring,
with a numerous host of others of the different branches of the
family of man, will give thee honor. Mind not what opposers may
say. Keep a straight onward course. Do good for evil and have
right to the tree of life in the Paradise of God.
These are the blessings that I seal upon
thy head, with the blessings of the Eternal life, even so, Amen.