With the #52Ancestors prompt “Going to the Chapel” I immediately thought about looking at the first chapel built in Hyde Park, Utah, because I already knew that my Great Great Grandfather Thomas Wright Kirby had been involved in it’s construction. Then I read over this paragraph from the history of Hyde Park, Utah from the city website:
A building committee consisting of Bishop William Hyde and his counselors, S. M. Molen and John A. Woolf, Robert Daines and Henry Ashcroft was appointed to build a meeting house to meet the needs of the increased population of the town. At the end of the year 1866, a structure 30 by 50 feet was erected and completed. The rock was taken from [a quarry up Main Canyon east of Hyde Park], and was laid by Thomas Reese and Thomas Kirby. The rough sawn lumber used came from Brigham City. The carpentry work was done by James Hancey, Sr., William Gibson and John Turner and supervised by James Hancey. The door and window sash were made
by Mr. Hancey. The building was later added to, used as a school and finally sold to the UIC. Railroad to be used for many years as a station for the company. When the railroad was taken out of town, Vernal Seamons bought the building. It was known as the “Old Rock Meeting House” and stood as a monument to the early pioneers. In 1962, this building was torn down to make a place for a new post office for the town of Hyde Park.
Parenthetically, the “new post office” mentioned in this article no longer exists. It was on the NE corner of the intersection of Center Street and 300 N. There is a home there now.
The paragraph above mentions another Great Great Grandfather of mine, Robert Daines, as being on the building committee. I have written in earlier posts about his first wife, Mary Ann, his second wife, Jemima and her daughter Lydia.
The early history of Hyde Park is the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the town. The Bishop was both the religious and civil leader and all town gatherings and buildings were also church gatherings and buildings. There really was no way to separate the two. Bishops served in that capacity for the remainder of their lives. This is no longer the case. The above mentioned Bishop William Hyde passed away. On March 27, 1874 Robert Daines was called and set apart as Bishop of Hyde Park Ward. He served as Bishop until his death on November 16, 1892. That makes 18 years, 7 months, and 21 days as Bishop. These days Bishops generally serve around 6 years, give or take.
One can safely say that as a Bishop he spent a LOT of time “going to the chapel.” However, not all of those 18 plus years as Bishop were spent in Hyde Park, so he didn’t spend as much time at the old rock meeting house as you would think. Robert Daines had was a polygamist with 3 living wives. Below is a paragraph summarizing the last 24 years of his life, including the time he was serving as a Bishop. It is from a biography contributed to FamilySearch:
Dec. 28, 1868, he married Mary [Glover] Ashcroft, [who was a widow], by whom he had four children. After the death of Bishop William Hyde in 1874, Robert was chosen and ordained Bishop of Hyde Park by Apostle Charles C. Rich, which position he held until his death. April 5, 1875, he married Sarah [Hymas] Bates, [also a widow], by whom he had two children. In 1885, at the time of the crusade against those who had obeyed the principle of plural marriage, Bishop Daines went to his native land, England. In this he attained a three-fold purpose: he filled a mission, obtained a good genealogy, and escaped prosecution. He was assigned to labor in the Norwich conference. After his return home, he accompanied Charles O. Card, John Woolf and others to Alberta, Canada, to find a suitable location for exiled Saints. One of his families followed him in the following spring. In his traveling and exposure Robert’s constitution and health were severely undermined, and he never fully recovered from those effects. He returned to his Ward, gave himself up to the officers, underwent a hearing for polygamy, paid a fine, and went back to his duties in the Bishopric. Robert’s death occurred at his home in Hyde Park, Nov. 16, 1892. He passed away surrounded by his family and friends.
Despite prolonged absences, many things were accomplished in Hyde Park under the direction of Bishop Daines.
- The Relief Society sisters had the responsibility of saving grain. In 1879 a granary was built east of the old rock meeting house to store the 250 bushels of grain that had been donated by the church members over the past 5 years.
- The ward choir needed to increase their music collection. In 1876 the chior performed two concerts and Bishop Daines called for a free will contribution to the chior. The proceeds from the first concert paid for the needed new music. After the second concert a new chapel organ was purchased for $215.
- In 1887 it was decided that a new and larger church building needed to be built that could serve as both a church and amusement hall. It was not until January 1892 that a building committee was appointed. The frame building was not completed until 1895, three years after Robert Daines had died.
In addition to these larger projects, as Bishop Robert Daines had charge over the spiritual and temporal well being of the people of Hyde Park. He spent much time praying and laboring over this responsibility. So, although “going to the chapel” was an aspect of his duties as Bishop, he was most certainly a Bishop no matter where he went.