Morgan Wilford Lewis was born 1st of March 1826, christened February 6th 1827 at Cayo, Carmarthenshire, South Wales, the son of Joseph and Mary Morgan Lewis. His father was a laborer and farmer, and slate maker, the slate was used as roofing for houses. His parents were industrious people, his mother worked in the fields to earn extra money at harvest time, and when her babies were little they were tied on her back with a shawl when restless, and while they were good they were placed on the shawl on the grass to play.
When Morgan was six years old he was apprenticed out to a farmer where he received his board and his parents paid for his clothing. He worked for this farmer getting promotions as he grew older until he became foreman of the farm. When he was about twenty-two years old he left the farm and worked at a foundry, later going to the iron mines to work.
At the age of twenty-five he married Mary Bowen, daughter of Henry and Jane Harris Bowen.
After their marriage, Morgan worked in the coal mines. He became an expert miner and blaster, each day he went into the mines to test for gas, before the miners entered to work. During these years the cholera broke out and many men who went into the mine in the morning would die before evening, or would be brought out sick and dying.
Morgan Lewis, fortunately, never contracted the disease. Mormon missionaries came to this locality and he and his wife were converted and joined the Church. They came to America for their religion in winter of 1856, spending six weeks on the ocean in a sailing vessel. Mary Lewis was sick all the way and was very thin and worn out when they finally reached land. They had one child, Joseph at the time, their first child David having died in infancy. They sailed on the Ship “Caravan” from Liverpool. Morgan and his wife Mary were each listed as being 29 years of age, and their little son Joseph was 2 years old at the time they left Liverpool in the 18th of February 1856. The family settled in Serawton (Scranton?), Pennsylvania where Morgan gained employment in the mines. He could not speak the English Language but his wife Mary could, so she went with him to secure work.
A blast explosion at the mouth of the mine had set the place on fire, a worker working on the floor above fell into the fire, the boss called for some one to go with him to help remove the unfortunate man from the flames. Morgan Lewis volunteered, The first trip into the mine they grabbed his hands but the skin gave way and slipped from his arms, The second trip in they took him by the shoulders and moved him from the fire, the victim died soon after, but Morgan was always able to get work after that experience.
When he had saved enough money he moved his family to Illinois where their two daughters, Mary Jane and Sarah were born. They worked in Illinois until they had saved enough money to outfit them for the trip to Utah.
They spent three months crossing the plains using a covered wagon and yoke of oxen for their trip. They brought a cow with them, putting her milk in a churn and the swaying of the wagon churned the milk so they had fresh butter and buttermilk every day. On the latter part of the trip one ox became so lame the cow was used in his place. They arrived at Hoytsville, Utah the latter part of November 1862. Morgan asked for work of Samuel P. Hoyt who said, “I have no work now, but I will give you food for your family and stock until you do get work.” Later, however, Brother Hoyt did give Grandfather Morgan work building a sawmill. On the 17th of April 1863 at Hoytsville a son was born to Morgan and Mary Bowen Lewis, they named him Daniel Bowen Lewis.
Their next move was to Oakley, Utah, They located in the Southeast corner of the place now owned by Elif Franson, it was at this place that their son Henry was born in the winter of 1866 on the 3rd day of January.
Later they moved to Kamas, Utah, where they lived in the Old Fort, Morgan’s home being on the north side of the east gate. Morgan Lewis, their youngest child, was born in this old fort on the 25th of May 1869. They moved the group of settlers to Peoa for a short time but soon returned to Kamas, this move was made because of an Indian scare. When they left the fort they built their home at the present site of the home of his son Morgan Lewis at Kamas, Utah.
Morgan Lewis Sr. was a school trustee at Kamas for a number of years, and during this time a new school house was built. He was 5 foot 5 inches tall, very quick and nervous in his movements. His hair was dark brown and his eyes were black. His posture was very erect. He was afraid of no one irregardless of their size. His wife Mary was of a mild and agreeable disposition, she had blue eyes and brown hair. She gave freely to those in need of either food or of her time. In case of sickness the neighbors would send for Sister Mary Lewis, who was known among the settlers for her willingness and ability as a practical nurse, even though she was weary she would always assist others in times of need. Morgan was a farmer and stockman during his later lifetime.
His wife died on 29 May 1886 at the age of 59 years. He died at the age of 80 years and two months on the 6th of April 1907. He was lonely the last 21 years of his life without his beloved wife, Mary. After his children were married he used to visit for a few days now and then with them.
I (Doris Lewis Hair) can still remember his amused look and the twinkle in his black eyes as he held me on his knee, when I was a young child, and taught me to count in the Welsh Language. The last few years of his life his oldest grand daughter, (Arinda Park) kept house for him and after her marriage he lived at her home until his death which occurred on the 6th of April 1907 at Kamas, Utah. Grandfather Morgan Lewis with his brother Daniel did genealogical work for their kindred dead and then went to the Temple in Salt Lake City and did the Temple work for them.
Reproduced from History of Morgan Lewis and his Family