THE HISTORY OF WILLIAM AND RUTH JAMES ROACH
William Roach and Ruth James Roach (1833 - 1893) (1835 - 1894) (brother of Elizabeth Roach Christmas) William Roach was born on September 22, 1833 in Forge, Llanelly, Carmarthen, Wales. He was the youngest of ten children. His mother died when he was six years old and his father cared for him until he reached manhood. His older brothers and sisters left to live with other people. William began to work in the coal mines. The Elders came to that city and he went to hear what they had to say and was so inspired with their teachings that he was baptized at the age of 19. After a year had passed, he became dissatisfied and wanted to go to Utah. He told his father about it. This grieved his father because William was all he had. William told his father he would go and prepare c place for him. One day, as he was packing his clothes, his father came and began to cry. William bade his goodbye, but his father could not bear the parting and so William said, "Come along with me and I will do all I can to help you. " So his father went with him on the ship and they continued on their journey together. William made himself useful in caring for the sick, building fires and many other things that they needed on their journey crossing the plains. Their food gave out, and also food for their cattle. The cattle got very poor and were not able to travel. If one would die, the camp would divide the oxen and cook it to keep from starving. They landed in Salt Lake City on September 5, 1852 with the Captain Howeles Company, When they arrived in Salt Lake his father's shoes gave out, so William gave him his and William went barefooted. There was no food to be had so William walked to Box Elder County barefooted and bought 10 pounds of flour for bread. The flour would not make bread so they made a thin gruel in order to make it last. This was all they had to keep from starving. William's father helped out by making dugouts for the immigrants as they came into the valley. William owned the land where the Denver and Rio Grande Depot now stands in Salt Lake City. He sold it for a shovel, baking skillet, and a bushel of wheat. As time went on, William wanted to move farther south. When he reached Lehi, a heavy snowstorm came. From then on he had difficulty in traveling. The old shoes he had were too large for him, and the snow, being so deep, he had to take his shoes off and carry them. Thus he came to Spanish Fork in his bare feet. Through the course of time, he met Ruth James who vas living with Lorin and Jane Roundy in Springville. She was born April 12, 1835 in Llangeler, Carmarthen, Wales to Evan James and Hannah Powell. When she was nine years of age, her mother died. Her father was a basket maker by trade and he was not able to make very much of a salary at that kind of work. So when she was old enough, she had to go out and work. Elias Morris and his wife, Margaret had her come and work for them. She was with them one year. They heard about the Gospel and started to Utah. She was 19 years old at the time and decided to go to Utah with them. She came with the Martin and Taylor Hand Cart Company in 1856. She pulled the hand cart all the way across the plains - food was scarce and she was only allowed a small slice of bread once a day. When they reached the valley, snow came upon them which made it very hard for the people. She went to the small community of Springville and lived with Lorin and Jane Roundy. They were married August 23, 1857 in Spanish Fork and sealed in the Endowment House on February 18, 1865 in Salt Lake City. Their first home was a dugout where their first son, William was born. Later they built a home on the James Swenson lot - about 2nd East and 4th North in Spanish Fork. Nine more children were born to them at this location. William Roach was endowed with the spirit, of healing and was called many times to administer to the sick in town. He died on June 9, 1893 in Spanish Fork and is buried in Spanish Fork. Ruth James Roach died September 21, 1894 in Spanish Fork and is buried in Spanish Fork. They were true pioneers - bearing many hardships and sacrifice and raised an honorable family. They worked hard, remained true to the Gospel and lived noble lives. God bless their memory!
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