IIWILLIAM JOHN SILVER 1832-1918
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Orson Pratt Brown's son Miles' Family
William John Silver
"In building up a commonwealth there are two distinctivley separate factors to be considered, each a complement of the other, and each in its way an important feature: The advance-guard or pioneers; brave men and women who willingly face every hardship, danger and disappointment in their work of opening up the paths of civilization; founding homes in an uninhabited country and paving the way for the indurstrial life that is to follow. Close upon the footsteps of these come the men who open up avenues of trade and extablish intercommunication with the outside world, promoting enterprises of various kinds and inviting investment of outside capital, until in the course of time the State takes its place in the life of the country as a commercial center. In this latter class is to be found the gentleman whose name appears at the head of ths article, who came to Utah in 1859 and later established what has since grown to be the leading iron works foundry in the State.
Mr. Silver is an Englishman by birth and was born on September 1, 1832, in the city of London. He is the only son of William Wright Silver and Miriam Heally Ives Silver, both natives of that country, the families on both sides having been England-born for generations past. Our subject attended the common and high schools of England, completing with a classic educaation in mechanical drawing and engineering, which profession he followed in his native country for some years before coming to the United States; being connected with the Great Western Railway and later with the Stothert and Pitt Iron Works at Bath, a noted watering resort in England. This establishment employed from two to three hundred men and was one of the largest in England at that time, Their specialties being steam engines; railroad supplies, turn-tables, bridges, etc.
Mr. Silver became a convert to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in England in 1851, at the time of the Great Exposition. He has been a faithful and consistent member of the church of his choice since the time he joined it, and is now  one of the Seventies.
In 1855 our subject resigned his position and crossed the ocean, landing in New york and remained in that city for four years, during which time he followed his profession as mechanical engineer. In 1859 he started for Utah, coing as far as Saint Joseph, Missouri, by rail, the company with whom he was traveling being the second to come to Saint Joseph in that manner. From Saint Joseph they went up the river to Florence, Nebraska, then the rendexvous for the Mormons; and from there started by ox teams for Utah, being eight weeks on the way, driving his own team most of the time.
Upon arriving in Salt Lake City he at once went to work in the Church shop in Sugar House Ward, where he remained for one year, at the end of which time he engaged in business for himself in the iron works line, and continued to increase the business from time to time until he finally sold it out to his sons in the late eighties. They have followed the policy adopted by the father and the plant is at this time the largest in the State of Utah, employing more than one hundred men. Sketches of these three sons and the scope of work they are engaged in will be found elsewhere in this work.
On November 20, 1868, Mr. Silver constructed the first steam engine ever built in the State. He also put the engines into the first steamboat that plied on the Great Salt Lake, the Kate Connor, named in honor of the daughter of General Conner, its principal owner. Besides these he has equipped many other plants in this and adjoining States with engines, etc.
Our subject has converted to the Mormon faith in 1851 while in England, and has passed through all the different offices from that of Elder to High Priest, always taking an active part in the affairs of the Church.
Mr. Silver has had six wives. The wife of his youth was Mary Askie, of Staffordshre, England. Her father, William John Askie, was also an iron manufacturer, as was his ancestors for some generations back. [Her mother is Rosanna Elizabeth Bagger or Badger or Bader of Old Swinford, Worchester, England.]
[William John Silver married Hannah W. Sims on August 2, 1862
Polly Pile Silver was a practicing homeopathic physician for forty-three years. Her success was phenomenal and her charities gave her the bearing of an angel of mercy among the poor. Polly was a good counselor to children and adults. She was chorister for the Salt Lake Stake Relief Society and a techer in the Nineteenth Ward SOciety for many years. She was a devoted and consistent churchmember and as a sincere proselyte was ever alert to defend its principles and advocate its diviintiy. She was kind, generous, and industrious.
Polly Pile Felt and William J. Silver had three Children born in Salt Lake City:
Our subject has been the father of twenty-one children, of whom ten are now  living. They are:
Of the four daughters now living,
In politics our subject is independent, never having tied to any of the dominant parties, and has never sought or held public office.
William J. Silver built the fence around Brigham Young's grave and the fence in front of the church property near Eagle Gate, which used to be the office of the Church President.
Mr. Silver, while he sold out his interest in the business to his three sons many years ago, has never wholly severed his connection with the concern, and is at this time mechanical engineer and an important factor in the work. The sons organized the Silver Brothers Iron Works Company which was located at 149 West North Temple. The Silver Brothers Iron Works also cast the oxen which support the baptismal font in the Salt Lake Temple.
William made the acquaintance of people from all parts of the West and enjoys a high standing in the business and social world.." (--Biographical Record of Salt Lake City and Vicinity, National Historical Record Co., Chicago, Illinois. 1902. Pages335-336; also Treasures of Pioneer History Vol. 2, DUP 1953, page 300.)
PAF - Archer files = Orson Pratt Brown + (1) Martha Diana Romney > Miles Romney Brown + Florence May Wilde > Barbara Brown + Edward Morley Silver < Moralee Watson Silver + Ruby Amy Griffin < Joseph Askie Silver + Mary Eleanor Watson < William J. Silver + Mary Askie.
Biographical Record of Salt Lake City and Vicinity:Containing Biographies of Well-Known Citizens of the Past and Present, National Historical Record Co., Chicago, Illinois. 1902. Pages 335-336
Utah, Salt Lake County, Silver Brothers' Iron Works Office and Warehouse, 550 W 700 S, Salt Lake City,Utah 84101-2227 ; 99000622, National Register of Historic Places, Listed 5/20/99 (Salt Lake City Business District MRA)
Additional information, bold, [bracketed] photos, etc. added by Lucy Brown Archer
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