Friday, October 22, 2010

Henry Gardner: Obituary

The following was published in the Deseret News, 22 September 1936, p. 9. The original was published in one long column.

Last Rites Set For State, Church Leader

Father of Strawberry Project Passes at Spanish Fork

SPANISH FORK, Sept. 22 - Hon. Henry Gardner, 78, who was often referred to as the father of the Strawberry Reclamation Project died at 11 a.m. Monday after a long illness.

For the last several years Mr. Gardner was confined to his home, living with his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Gull, he had been confined to his bed a little more than a month.

He was a life-long resident of this city, he was born here May 15, 1858, the son of Archibald and Serena Garson Gardner, pioneers. He attended the early schools receiving as good an education as was possible in the early days. He married Elizabeth Martell of another pioneer family, March 22, 1882 in the St. George Temple. She died March 27, 1915.

During Mr. Gardner's early manhood he worked with his father who operated mills in Cottonwood Canyon and other parts of Utah. After his marriage he settled at Spanish Fork and this had always been his home. He took an active part in the development of the young settlement and was connected with practically every important enterprise.

Well-Known Banker
He was well-known as a banker, being a stockholder and director of the Commercial Bank of this city. He was engaged in the lumber business and for many years directed the Chisholm and Gardner Lumber Co. He operated other mills at different times and locations. He sawed a good portion of the timber in the Strawberry Tunnel. Mr. Gardner had a keen mind and foresight and he conceived the idea of making a tunnel and bringing the Strawberry River down to the farms in the vicinity of Spanish Fork. With prominent citizens of Payson and Spanish fork he made many trips to the Strawberry Basin and many trips to Washington, D. C., to interest the U. S. government in the idea. He worked until this great project was finally accomplished.

Church Worker
In Church affairs he was a devout member of the Church. He filled a mission to the Southern States in 1888 to 1890. Dec. 1891, the Spanish Fork Ward was divided into four wards, Mr. Gardner was ordained bishop of the First Ward and held that position for ten years. He was the last of the four original bishops of the four wards, all the others had preceded him in death, several years ago. In 1901 he was called to act as counselor to President Page of the Nebo Stake and served in that capacity for many years.

In politics he was a Republican and had held many positions of trust and honor. He served his city as councilman, as marshal and as mayor at different times. He served 14 years in the Utah Legislature--House and Senate. He presided as president of the Senate several times and was respected by Republicans and Democrats alike for his fair dealing.

Like his father, he was a lover of the out-of-doors. He loved both fishing and hunting and engaged in many of the pastimes dear to the lover of nature. He belonged to one of the oldest and best-known families of Utah.

Built Mills
His father, Archibald Gardner, built 42 mills, 36 of them are in this state, among them being flour, lumber and shingle mills. Archibald and his brothers sawed the first commercial lumber in Utah and a monument was recently erected at Mill Creek in their honor.

Mr. Gardner is survived by eight of his nine sons and daughters, one child Lucy, died in infancy. The sons are Pres. Henry A. Gardner, Palmyra Stake; Eugene Gardner, marshal of Spanish Fork City; Reuben DeLos Gardner, Mrs. Lenora Gull, Spanish Fork; Mrs. Jasper Bird, Provo; Mrs. Hettie G. Talmadge, Springville; Mrs. Dena Johnson, Paul, Idaho; Mrs. Bessie G. Hales, Washington, D.C.

Surviving also are 33 grandchildren, one great-grandchild; one brother, Serenus Gardner, Orange, Calif.; two sisters, Mrs. Serena Andrus and Mrs. Annie Francis, Spanish Fork, and the following half sisters and brothers: Delilah, Ellen and Rebecca Gardner and Mrs. Rachel Gardner Irving, all of West Jordan; Clarence, Bruce and Franklin Gardner, Afton, Wyo.; Mrs. Lillie Gardner Widason, Hooper; Edward Gardner, Greensborough, N.C.; Delbert Gardner, California; Robert and Wilford Gardner, Salt Lake City; James Gardner, Lehi; Mrs. Annie G. Egbert, Logan, and several others in different parts of Utah and Wyoming.

The body is at the Claudin Funeral Home. Friends may call prior to the services at the family home of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Gull, 584 East First South.

Services will be conducted at 3 p.m. Thursday, the place to be designated later. Interment will be in the family burial plot in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery.


  1. I came across this looking for pictures of my grandpa and now realize Henry Gardner is my great, great grandpa. My grandpa shares the same name with him except with the last name Hales. Son of Bessie Hales. Good stuff.

  2. Thanks! I'm glad it was helpful.