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John Biggs (1831-1924)

Submitted by Geneve Comish Nelson (granddaughter)

John Biggs, son of Joseph Biggs and Mary Sherwood was born June 7, 1831 at Kimpton, Hertford, England. His brothers and sisters were: Ann born 2, 1895; Jane born November 27, 1814, died May 14, 1815; Mary born June 1816, married Edmund Hawkes, died October 29, 1893; Sarah born September 3, 1820, married Charles Gregory, died October 18, 1833; Joseph born November 8, 1823, married Mary Ann Gitten January 1, 1848, died May 4, 1892; Elia born January 21, 1827, married William Hill April 18, 1846. One child was born in 1830, died January 15, 1830. The net child was also named John, born June 7, 1831. It is he that this history is about. 

John Biggs was the only one in his family that joined the church. When he was eighteen years of age, he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at New Millend, England in 1849. He married while still in England but could not convert his wife to the gospel. He left her and came to Zion hoping she would accept the Gospel when he had a home for her in America. She would not join the Church or leave England so they were finally divorced. John received his endowments March 14, 1865.

It was April 1861 when John Biggs came to America on the ship "Manchester" with Captain Trask. He landed in New York May 16, 1861. He came to Hannibal, Missouri in a cattle car, then took a boat to St. Joseph, Missouri. From there he went to Nauvoo where he joined the A.R. Wright Company which left Nauvoo August 1861. He worked as a teamster arriving in Salt Lake Valley October 25, 1861.

In 1862 he went to Franklin, Idaho to live. Here he met Martha Robinson and married her. They had no children but adopted a boy. This marriage did not work out so they were divorced, however John supported the boy until he was grown.

While in Franklin he met Jane Theodora Wright, a convert, who had just come with her mother, brothers and sisters from Busby, Scotland. They were married January 14, 1869. To this union were born twelve children. John Wright born January 26, 1872, married Buelah Braley; Lorenzo Wright born February 26, 1874, married Ella Peck; Joseph Smith born November 18, 1876, married Minerva Olive Allen; Rebecca Wright born November 5, 1877,married John Oliverson; Margaret Wright born February 10, 1880, married George Francis Comish; Della Wright born April 29, 1881, died in a fire accident July 13, 1901; Eva Wright born October 26, 1882, married William Oliverson; Ruby Pearl Wright born September 3, 1884, married John Hampton; Alma Wright born October 20, 1886, married Stella Williams; Sophia Wright born May 16, 1889, married Albert Day; Phoebe Wright born December 8, 1890, married Marion Aller; Lucy Wright born April 15, 1892, married Mose D. Waterson.

John had another wife. On November 21, 1870, he married Jane Ramsbottom. To this union were born seven children. Henry born June 3, 1885, married Minnie Oldham; Jane Theodora born December 24, 1876, married George Jolley; Elizabeth born December 24, 1871, married William Durant; Alice born June 10, 1881, married Albert Funk; Maude born May 5, 1884, married John Adamson; Mary May born January 3, 1890, married Elmer Handy; William born June 5, 1894, married Tressa Whitehead.

The children of both families lived to raise the educate fine families.

In 1871 Brigham Young had shipped from the east, some machinery for a steam saw mill. It had to be shipped up the Missouri River to Montana then brought to Franklin, Idaho by ox team. It was set up in Maple Creek Canyon (close to Franklin); John ran the saw mill for many years. The mill sawed 300,000 feet of lumber for the ZCMI Store in Salt lake City. Lumber was also supplied to the Union Pacific Railroad for railroad ties.

John and his sons operated a large farm about two miles from Franklin, here he raised many cattle, milk cows, horses, sheep, turkeys, and chickens. He grew sugar cane, wheat, hay and had a large fruit orchard. He also did truck gardening supplying many people with vegetables, and fruits of all varieties. People came for miles around to share the beauty of his farm and to get starts of plants and seeds which he was proud to share.

John Biggs went on a mission to England 1886 to 1888. 

As John and his wives grew older he built homes in Franklin for both of his wives. He spent most of the late years of his life with Jane Theodora Wright. The farm was turned over to his sons. John was always a busy man until he was ninety-two years of agree. He had a small vegetable garden and a beautiful flower garden. he was a very religious man and shared his testimony in many ways, especially in his fine congregation prayers, until the time of his death. 

John prided himself on strict work of "the Word of Wisdom" even refusing the help of aspirin in his final illness. He died in Franklin, Idaho February 16, 1924 and was buried in the Franklin cemetery. 

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