Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ebenezer Beesley

I'm learning about my great, great, great grandpa Ebenezer Beesley.  What a wonderful experience to learn about one my my ancestors who has shaped a large part of my life's circumstances today.  Also, it is neat to think about how his blood flows through my veins. Here is a basic overview of his life from Wikipedia.

I also listened to this 30 minute audio clip about his life and some of the music he has produced.

This information I obtained from Find A Grave

Ebenezer Beesley
Birth: Dec. 14, 1840, England
Death: Mar. 21, 1906
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA

Heart Throbs of the West, Kate B. Carter, Vol. 2, p. 152

Succeeding Professor Careless as leader of the choir came Ebenezer Beesley. In addition to leading the choir for nine years, he compiled and published many of the early pioneer songs. Among those published were compositions by Eliza R. Snow, Tullidge, W. W. Phelps, William Clayton, Charles W. Penrose and others. Thus, another famous pioneer musician made a valuable contribution to the arts of Utah.

Ebenezer Beesley Space does not permit naming of the hundreds of beautiful singers who were trained under the leadership of these men, but they gave freely of their talents, singing songs of praise and joy, as well as leading in the social functions of the day.

It was a custom in those early days for the musicians, bands and singers to serenade leaders and friends on special occasions—Christmas, New Years, on birthdays. Many are the stories told of the joy and gladness brought to the different homes as the singers came to the doors or windows and lifted their voices in congratulations to their friends.

Conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir 1880-1889. He married Sarah Hancock in 1859 in England and later Anne Frewik April 19, 1869 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Ebenezer Beesley    Ebenezer Beesley
Additional information sent May 1012: Ebenezer's first wife had 10 children: Ebenezer Jr., William Henry, Frederick, Adelbert,
Ella, Lorenzo, Alvin Augustus, Franklin, Amy Susannah,Sarah "Sadie" Emily. The
2nd wife's name is Annie Frewin Buckeridge had 6 children: Truman John, Willard George,
Frances Caroline, Clarissa Alice, Alma Frewin, Wilford Angus. Thank you I am a 2nd great
grand daughter. Nina Nicol Groth

Family links:
Alvin Augustus Beesley (1873 - 1940)

Sarah Hancock Beesley (1840 - 1921)
Anna Frewin Buckeridge Beesley (1845 - 1907)

Frederick Beesley (1864 - 1940)*
Ella Beesley Ridges (1868 - 1935)*
Truman John Beesley (1871 - 1871)*
Willard George Beesley (1873 - 1880)*
Frances Caroline Beesley (1875 - 1880)*
Amy Susannah Beesley Lee (1878 - 1959)*
Alma Frewin Beesley (1880 - 1882)*
Sarah Emily Beesley Everett (1881 - 1936)*
Wilford Angus Beesley (1883 - 1945)*

*Calculated relationship

Salt Lake City Cemetery
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA
Plot: J 18 10 E52

Created by: Dale E. Caplin
Record added: May 30, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27200438

I was able to find some cool information on he and his wife Sarah check it out.  

Eighth Company (1859)
EBENEZER BEESLEY (1841 - 25 Mar 1906), J-18-10-1-ES2
He was born December 14, 1840, at Bicester, Oxfordshire, England. As a very small child he exhibited unusual musical talent and often joined his parents in singing with the Wesleyan Methodist Choir when it practiced at his parents' home.
The Beesleys joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in England, where Ebenezer was baptized September 22, 1849, by Elder Thomas Tanner. The family emigrated to the Salt Lake Valley in 1859 in the George Rowley handcart company. Ebenezer had married Sarah Hancock in 1859 before leaving England.
                                 Original Mormon Handcart used in 1866 at Mormon Museum. Salt Lake City, UT.                            
What a honeymoon! Ebenezer Beesley, trudging behind the crossbar of the clumsy handcart, pushed away at the front of the vehicle while his lovely bride, still wearing her wedding dress, helped by pushing at the rear of the cart. In the cart were piled all of their earthly possessions plus an elderly lady who was unable to walk the long distance across the plains and mountains. The Beesley couple were young, healthy and had no children so they were best able to take the invalid sister in their cart, reasoned the organizers of the pioneer handcart company. Sometimes when the pulling was easy and he had breath for it, Ebenezer would break into song in his rich bass voice. He loved to sing. In camp at night, he would entertain the company with his flute. He couldn't play his violin for them, someone had stepped on it aboard ship.
They spent the first eighteen months after their arrival in Tooele, where he conducted the ward choir. Moving to Salt Lake City, they settled in the Nineteenth Ward, where he led the choir and conducted the singing for Sunday School. As was the custom, the choir leader made copies of the music until the Church authorities "called" the Juvenile Instructor to print the music for choir conductors. Beesley organized and prepared the music for the printer.
This young musician extended his talents by studying the violin under Professor Charles J. Thomas. He later devoted his efforts to learning harmony and taking advanced violin training under Professor George Careless. He joined the Salt Lake Theater orchestra where he performed for many years. Mr. Beesley was instrumental in compiling his own hymns and anthems as well as those of contemporary composers. He supervised the compiling and publishing of the Deseret Sunday School Songbook and the Latter-day Saint Psalmody, aided by Professors George Careless, Joseph J. Daynes, Evan Stephens and Thomas C. Griggs.
Beesley became the Tabernacle Choir's 7th conductor in 1880, and held that position for 9 years.
After retiring from the Tabernacle choir, Brother Beesley, by invitation of Bishop Thomas Atkins, of Tooele city, moved again to that quiet little town for the purpose of training the choir and teaching music. He remained there four and a half years, then removed to Lehi, Utah county, where he followed the same line of work for two years. Both the Lehi and Tooele choirs performed in the Tabernacle in 1898 where they received first (Tooele) and second prizes at the Eisteddfod competition. He was presented with a gold medal on that occasion.
Beesley established the Beesley Music Company and was captain of the martial band of the second regiment of the Nauvoo Legion.
Ebenezer played the violin, viola, cello, and fife. Music written by Professor Beesley and published in the LDS hymnbooks includes "High on the Mountain Top," words by Joel H. Johnson; "School Thy Feelings, O My Brother," words by Charles W. Penrose; "Kind Words Are Sweet Tones of the Heart," and "Reverently and Meekly Now," words by James L. Townsend; "Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words to Each Other," "Welcome, Welcome, Sabbath Morning," "Sing We Now at Parting," "Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love," "God of Our Fathers, We Come Unto Thee," and "Lord, We Ask Thee Ere We Part." Authors included Eliza R. Snow, Tullidge, W. W. Phelps, William Clayton, Charles W. Penrose and others At least one hundred songs were written to the beautiful music composed by this fine musician.
Professor Ebenezer Beesley died in Salt Lake City March 21, 1906. Many of his descendants have also become noted musicians.

SARA BEESLEY (1840 - 29 May 1921), J-18-10-3-ES2
Four persons were assigned to each handcart carrying 200 pounds of flour. Mr. Beesley carried his violin and the Saints gathered at night around the fire to sing and listen. Finally, they got so hungry there were no more good times].
They tried sleeping in the tents, but everyone was in each other's way. Instead, they slept on the ground within the encircling handcarts with someone guarding the night. It if rained, they slept under the handcarts. It was never cold enough to be a problem, but the summer was hot and they suffered from heat, wind and dust.
The handcarts were made with handle bars, front and back, and high wheels. The wheels were to be used later in the valley for wagons. Sand was often to the hubs, and in water, the carts often washed down-stream.
In order to cross the Platte the first time, ten or twelve locked arms and waded in formation like a cordon across the current. The flour was carried by the men on their shoulders. Along the way when an ox was worn out and killed, the people would sit up all night watching for a piece of meat they could have.
Sarah picked as many wild rose berries (shaped like a pear only smaller) as she could and ate them. They were soft and fluffy inside and had a sour taste, but they could be chewed for a long time.
They said that every man ate a peck of dirt before he died and she felt she ate hers all behind the handcarts. They were literally on the point of starvation before they reached Green River. At Green River they met some rough mountaineers who took pity on them and invited them to breakfast which all attended who could. The squaws cooked the breakfast and fed them whiskey and milk in gourds and bread or cake cooked in kettles over a fire. One Scots girl stayed with them because a mountaineer offered her a home; her legs were in such condition she could not travel. There was no real trouble with Indians and the Indians saved their lives with food at various times.
A company from Salt Lake met them at the Green River which saved their lives. When they reached Emigration Canyon, they were met by the band and escorted into the city. After entering the city, they went down to the High School Square where they dropped their luggage and the handcarts were wheeled away.

1 comment:

  1. Hello. I'm doing research on Mormon music, and I came across a song, "Learning Is Our Noble Aim" published in The Juvenile Instructor, 1885, by Fred. Beesley. I'm wondering if Ebenezer's son might also have been a composer, and if so, I am curious to know if you're aware of any of his music. Any help, much appreciated. Glen Nelson