John Fitzgerald

(Drove an ox team at age 7 across the plains, guarded Saints from Johnston’s army, Justice of the Peace)
John Fitzgerald, the oldest son of Perry Fitzgerald one of the original Utah pioneers who entered the valley in July 1847, was born
in Dansville, Vermillion County, Illinois, March 25, 1840. His father left him and his mother in Winter Quarters when he started west.
When John was a lad of seven years, he and his mother drove an ox team across the plains and arrived in Salt Lake Valley October
1, 1847. They resided in the fort at Salt Lake until 1848 then moved to Millcreek and later to Draper. During his stay at Millcreek he
was found a good friend his age, Robert Sweeten and they played around the Fort and mill site, where a monument has now been
erected to the memory of the Gardner’s, December 7, 1935.
After moving to Draper his mother died in 1851, leaving his two younger brothers, to look be looked after and cared for. John herded
cows on the surrounding country digging sego bulbs for subsistence. His father married Ann Wilson, a well educated woman from England, who started the first
Sunday School in Draper. John idolized this woman, for she came to the family in their hour of need and filled a mother’s place in his heart. John grew up doing what
was necessary and helping to rear his brothers until the age of 18 when he met Sarah Ann Williams. At the time of the invasion of Johnston’s Army, President Young
advised all young men and women who were of marriageable age to get married. He and Sarah Williams were married by Daniel Wells, February 18, 1858. He was
called to meet the army in Echo Canyon and retard their movement in the valley while his new wife and his father’s family moved south to safety.
He was called to serve a mission back to Illinois in 1876. He held many callings in the church, including Superintendent of Sunday School, and Ward Clerk to Bishop
Isaac Stewart and Bishop William C. Allen. In 1884, he was elected Justice of the Peace. He filled his religious and civic positions with devotion and accuracy. He was
loved by old and young alike. He was very charitable and kind to the poor and those in stressed circumstances. He reared a family of nine girls and two sons, and
provided for them with a fathers concern. He was a successful farmer and sheep man. He died February 18, 1892 at Draper, Utah.

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