James Hennefer Jr. is the son of James Hennefer Sr. (1791-1862) of Worcestershire, England, and son of Charlote Hicken Hennefer (1793-1832) of Walsal, Stafford, England.
On August 30, 1846, James married Sarah Ann Hulks (1823-1880). The couple had twelve children, including a set of twins and a set of triplets (the triplets died as infants). James and Sarah died and are buried in Heneferville (now Henefer), Summit County, Utah.
James Hennefer Jr. and wife, Sarah Ann Hulks Hennefer 1823-1880
In the year 1853 two brothers, William Hennefer and James Hennefer, received a call from Brigham Young asking them to take their families to start a settlement along the Weber River in the valley, which was then known as Indian hunting ground. Upon the advice of Brigham Young, they gathered their meager belongings together, placed them in two covered wagons and made the hard journey over the mountains into the little valley now known as Henefer. They took up forty acres of land on the sage-covered flats and lived in their wagons and fortified themselves against the Indians while they cut and prepared logs to build their cabins. Each night one of the men would keep the fires burning to frighten away wild animals or unfriendly Indians. The first cabin finished, which consisted of one large room and a lean-to, was occupied by both families until a second one could be built.
They brought with them two cows, two pair of oxen and different kinds of seeds. At this time the valley was covered with sagebrush and a great deal of hard work was required to prepare the soil for planting. The Hennefer families endured many dangers, sacrifices and hardships. Often they would find a brown bear in the lean-to of the house calmly licking the cream from the milk or eating wild honey, which the men had gathered.
During the next few years, two more children were born to William and his wife Rebecca, and three weeks after the birth of Edward, the second child, his wife passed away from complications of childbirth.
On January 13, 1854, when Summit County was organized, William Hennefer was appointed a Selectman of the county.
After the death of his wife, William Henry Hennefer returned to Salt Lake City where he was employed on the City Police force. It was at the time that Johnston’s Army was quartered at Camp Floyd and it was a difficult job to keep the peace in Great Salt Lake.
On one occasion the soldiers made a great disturbance and some shots were fired at the policemen during the fracas. Assistant Surgeon Edward N. Covey, who was in the group, was injured. The men who were arrested swore vengeance on William Hennefer.
In 1861, William Hennefer returned to Henefer and was chosen by Brigham Young as Presiding Elder of the Henefer Branch, with James Hennefer and Abraham Hays as counselors.
On one occasion William Hennefer, accompanied by his brother James, made a trip by oxen and wagon to Evanston, Wyoming on business. Two days were required to make the trip, so they camped about a mile east of Castle Rock in Echo Canyon.
Johnston’s Army was in the process of evacuation at this time and by an act of fate the same Dr. Covey and his party of soldiers was camped near by. Some of the soldiers recognized William, the ex-policeman, and under the command of Dr. Covey they tied him to a wheel of his wagon and flogged him with a bullwhip until he was very near death. Large bits of clothing were flogged into his flesh. Stripped and bleeding, he was then driven from camp to die. James, although innocent, except for being a brother of William, was beaten, kicked into a stream of water and nearly drowned, but he escaped. He walked a distance of several miles to a mail station at the entrance of Echo Canyon to get aid for his brother. William was near death when they reached him. The clothing was soaked out of his wounds with sagebrush tea and whiskey. He was very ill for a long time. Their wagon and oxen were recovered by a friendly soldier who had been treated kindly by the Hennefers earlier in his travels.
 Source: Moorman, Donald R. and Gene Sessions, Camp Floyd and the Mormons, The Utah War, University of Utah Press, 1992.
In another account, Ena Hennefer Mitchel wrote:
I feel I should tell you a little about my grandparents who were adventurous and courageous individuals, each taking their place in helping to develop our great country in its early years, going through danger and many hardships, as other great Americans in our country did. My grandfather, James Hennefer, was born in 1821 in England and was baptized into the church when he was 23 years old. He married Sarah Hulks who was born in London, England in 1823. To this union 12 children were born, including one set of triplets and one set of twins. They endured many hardships crossing the great Atlantic Ocean and coming to Zion to make their home in Utah.
My grandfather, James Hennefer, and his brother, William Hennefer, were called by President Brigham Young to take their families and start a settlement along the Weber River in the Valley that was then known as an Indian hunting ground. Upon the advice of President Young, they gathered their meager belongings together, placed them in two covered wagons and made the hard journey over the mountains into the little valley now known as Henefer. They took up 40 acres of land on the sage-covered flat and proceeded to organize a make-shift home. It was necessary for them to live in their wagons to fortify themselves against the Indians while they cut and prepared logs to build their cabins. Each night one of the men would keep the fires burning to frighten away wild animals or unfriendly Indians. The first cabin finished, which consisted of one large room and a lean-to, was occupied by both families until a second could be built.
They brought with them two milk cows, two pair of oxen and different kinds of seeds. At this time the valley was covered with sagebrush. The Hennefers endured many dangerous sacrifices and hardships. Often they would find a brown bear in the lean-to of the house, calmly licking the cream from the milk or eating wild honey they had gathered. In 1861 my grandfather’s brother, William Hennefer, was chosen by Brigham Young as Presiding Elder of the Hennefer Branch, with James Hennefer and Abraham Hays as counselors.
The Hennefer brothers planted and thrashed the first grain in the Valley. They used oxen and the grain was cut with a sickle and they thrashed it out with sticks on a large canvas.
Sarah Hulks Hennefer, my grandmother and the wife of James Hennefer, was a schoolteacher, seamstress and glove-maker. She made the first American flag by hand that was raised in Henefer. Mrs. Jessie Foster helped her put the stars in the field of blue. My grandmother made gloves for the officers in the Army and for the Indians. The Indians paid her for making the gloves by trading her buckskin and beads. She made beautiful beaded designs on the gauntlet of the gloves. (I saw these patterns for her gloves still in the Hennefer Family Bible in 1941 when I took my mother Rachel and sister Mae to Henefer.)
Grandfather Hennefer gave the land for the Church house to be built. This land still belongs to the Church and they are using it. Grandfather Hennefer was a blacksmith by trade and always had a shop he worked in.
Children of James Hennefer Jr. and Sarah Hulks
Born: 5 July 1847
Married: Margaret Bond 1868; (2) Mary Ann Randall 1881
Died: 30 Jan 1914 at Hennefer, Summit, Utah
Born: 4 Sep 1849 near Kanesville, Iowa
Died: c. 1849, near Kanesville, Pottawattamie, Iowa
Born: 17 Apr 1852 at Kanesville, Pottawattamie, Iowa
Married: William Ovard on 3 Jan 1870 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Died: 6 Feb 1889 at Hennefer, Summit, Utah
Sarah Jane Hennefer
Born: 30 Oct 1855 at Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Utah
Married: William Pope Paskett on 24 Jun 1876
Died: 5 Dec 1889 at Grouse Creek, Box Elder, Utah
James Edward Hennefer - twin
Born: Mountainville, Sanpete, Utah
Married: Sarah Elizabeth Mitchell on 4 July 1885
Died: 7 February 1890 at Blackfoot, Bingham, Idaho
William Thomas Hennefer -twin
Born: 9 June 1858 at Forest Green, Sanpete, Utah
Married: Caroline "Carrie" Fife on 28 Mar 1900
Died: 4 July 1936 at Hennefer, Summit, Utah
Mary Hennefer - triplet
Born: 3 Sep 1860 Henneferville, Summit, Utah
Died: 3 September 1860 Henneferville, Summit, Utah
Jane Hennefer - triplet
Born: 3 September 1860 at Henneferville, Summit, Utah
Died: 1860 at Henneferville, Summit, Utah
Elizabeth Hennefer - triplet
Born: 3 September 1860 at Henneferville, Summit, Utah
Died: 1860 at Henneferville, Summit, Utah
Born: October 30, 1861 at Henneferville, Summit, Utah
Married: Orson Oriel Richins on May 25, 1881
Died: April 10, 1946 at Lordsburg, Hidalgo, New Mexico
Rebecca Ann Hennefer
Born: 25 August 1864 at Hennefer, Summit, Utah
Married: Heber Charles Randall on 1 Jan 1882
Died: 25 Jan 1950 at Eden, Jerome, Idaho
Edward Richard Hennefer
Born: 14 June 1866 at Henneferville, Summit, Utah
Died: 1868 at Henneferville, Summit, Utah
Sarah Ann Hulks Hennefer
Sarah Ann Hulks was born in London, England, in 1823 and received formal schooling as a child, and as she grew, the training to be a seamstress. She married James Hennefer when she was twenty-three, in Longson but Burmingham, England, was where their first child, Lehi Hennefer, was born on July 5, 1847.
Sarah and James joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latt-day Saints and yearned for the opportunity to come to America and join the Saints in Utah. For several years they scrimped and saved then one day James came home with depressing news, his brother William was going to America, now, without them.
Sarah volunteered to pawn a precious wedding present, her silver spoons. James gratefully accepted the gesture and received enough money to help pay for their six week journey on a wind vessel to America. James sent from America, the money to retrieve the spoons and they became a talisman of security to the couple, being pawned and retrieved several times during their marriage. The spoons were an inheritance divided among their children.
Somewhere between St. Louis, Missouri, and Kanesville, Iowa, Sarah gae birth to a daughter, Charlotte Hennefer, who died shortly afterward and was left in a grave beside the trail. James and Sara lived in Kanesville for two years working to continue their journey.
In 1853, they completed their sojourn and arrived in Utah with the Hodgett Wagon Train. They lived in Salt Lake for a while, and then with James' brother, William and his family, moved to a beautiful valley on the banks of the Weber River in what is now Summit County, Utah. Summers were spent in their mountan ranch and winters in Salt Lake City.
They took up 100 acres of land right on the Mormon Trail and there they built a sturdy log house. The windows were barred shutters, the door4s made of heavy planks, and the floors firmly packed clay blocks laid as close ogether as possible, a heavy dried mud roof completed the house.
They settled permanently in Henefer, one of the two first families. Sarah was an expert glove maker and seamstress. She taught school and she and another woman made the first American flag to fly over Henefer.
Sarah died in her own home on August 19, 1880, and is buried beside her husband in Henefer.
Phoebe Hennefer and William Ovard and their family.
PAF - Archer files = Orson Pratt Brown + (3) Elizabeth Graham Macdonald ; adopted Marguerite Webb Brown + Otto Stronach Shill < Charles Golding Shill + Harriet Stronach Paynter < Robert Chapple Shill + Prudence Goulding > Louisa Shill + Charles Wager Richins > Orson Oriel Richins + Rachel Hennefer < James Hennefer Jr. + Sarah Hulks.
Also a connection through Caroline "Carrie" Fife who married William Thomas Hennefer son of James Hennefer Jr. and Sarah Ann Hulks. William Hennefer 1823-1898 is the son of James Hennefer Sr. and Charlotte Hicken.; and the brother of James Hennefer Jr. 1820-1897.
http://www.familyheritageseries.org/histories/richins/rhennefer.php Rachel Hennefer Richins biography by her daughter Rebecca Hennefer Richins Sanders. Compiled and edited by Ty Richins, February 2000. The selections were originally written by Rebecca R. Sanders, Mae R. Bowers, and Ena R. Mitchell, as noted in the text.
Henefer, Our Valley Home, compiled by Fannie J. Richins & Maxene R. Wright.
Camp Floyd and the Mormons, The Utah War, by Donald R. Moorman and Gene Sessions, University of Utah Press, 1992.
See: Joan Hennefer Clark.
Photos of some of James Hennefer's children are courtesy of Gina Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Additions, photos, bold, [bracketed information], etc. added by Lucy Brown Archer.
Copyright 2001 www.OrsonPrattBrown.org