Friday, July 23, 2010

Neil Gardner: Obituary

The following obituary was published in the Deseret News, 4 Aug 1906, p. 5:


With the passing of Neil Gardner, who died at his home at Spanish Fork, July 6, is marked the death of another noble pioneer.

Neil Gardner was born in Brook Township, Kent county, Canada West, June 24, 1841. He was the oldest son of the late Bishop Archibald Gardner, the great pioneer mill builder, and Margaret Livingston Gardner. When he was five years old his father and family left Canada for Utah, having joined the Latter-day Saints. They left Winter Quarters in June 1847, and arrived in Salt Lake City, Oct. 1 of that year, traveling in Bishop Hunter's company.

The earlier years of Mr. Gardner's life were spent at Mill Creek hauling lumber from the canyon and working in his father's mill. In the year 1858, at the time of the general move of the Saints during the Johnston's army troubles, Neil Gardner came to Spanish Fork, and has resided here ever since. On Jan. 10, 1863, he married married Regina Evanson to whom he proved a true and worthy husband. He was left a widower 18 years ago.

Mr. Gardner has been an important factor in the subduing and developing of the land in and around Spanish Fork. He was an untiring worker in bringing streams from the mountain fastnesses and turning them upon the thirsty soil. Much of the surveying for that work was done by him, and through his good judgment and farsitedness the people saw fit to make him a director of a good many canal companies. At the time of his death he was one of the five directors of the Spanish Fork Co-op.

Our subject was also greatly interested in the lumber and flour mill business, inheriting the love for such, perhaps, from his father. He has held many trustworthy positions and was true to the end to the religion of his youth.

In 1876 he was sent on a mission to Canada remaining there until June of the following year. He was again called on a mission in 1885, this time to the Southern States, laboring in Georgia for 22 months.

During the time he has lived in Spanish Fork, Mr. Gardner has been one of its most active, progressive citizens. His good judgment and wise counsel, his untiring efforts to promote the welfare of his fellow man have gained for him the love and respect of the whole community.

He was 63 years of age at the time of his demise, his death being caused from stomach troubles. He leaves eight children and 14 grandchildren to mourn his loss.

He has led a most honorable and exemplary life, and has met with a fair measure of success in a financial way. It is safe to say no man is more highly respected throughout the country than Neil Gardner.

Utah can justly be proud of her many noble pioneer sons and daughters, some still living, others who have passed away. With the history of our fair state are connected many brave, sturdy, god-fearing men, who spent their lives in the building of this haven of rest in the rockies. Men who braved the desert wild and pioneered the way for this great western civilization.

The memory of the pioneers will always be held sacred by the people of the state, and as one by one we lay them away in the silent tomb, our hearts go out to our Maker, that He will reward them for the work they did while here.

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