The Death of Charles Woodhouse

Charles Woodhouse's ViolinCharles Woodhouse, my third great grandfather was a tailor living in Adwick Le Street, Yorkshire, England. His son, John Woodhouse, who is my second great grandfather, was converted to the LDS (or Mormon) church when he was nineteen. His entire family joined, and they would eventually travel from Liverpool to New Orleans on the emigrant ship Ellen, followed by  seven day journey by riverboat to St. Louis, Missouri. John Woodhouse and most of the family would travel by covered wagon (in the Jepson Company) to Salt Lake City. But Charles died in a drowning accident, recorded, almost in passing, by John Woodhouse in his pioneer journal (on p. 20):
During our stay in St. Louis my brother Charles had a severe sickness his living through it was a marvel. We lost our youngest brother Norman, and my father was accidentally drowned over in Illinois where he was at work.
Unfortunately, John Woodhouse’s Pioneer Journal is not a contemporary account, but a series of recollections written down quite a bit later, in Utah. He did keep a journal, but the it was lost, presumably during the journey. It seems that he did not want to dwell on the details of his father’s death.

There is a family tradition that he was actually in Illinois where he was performing with a group of musicians where he became drunk, fell into the river, and drowned. There are actually several versions of the story, and it has described as a “hole”, a flooded basement, and even a barrel! One version of the story can be found at (memorial #40176198):

Charles Woodhouse died in St. Louis, Missouri. He was coming home from performing on his violin with a musical group to earn money to travel on to Utah. He had too much to drink and fell in a open hole filled with water. He was found floating with his violin floating next to him.

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Obituary for Emma Smith Thomas Woodhouse

Resident of Nauvoo And Utah a Pioneer of 1849 Dies at Lehi

(Special to The News)

Emma Woodhouse ObituaryLEHI, June 4. — Mrs. Emma Thomas Woodhouse, 86, died this morning at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Rachel Anderson from ailments incident to old age.

Mrs. Woodhouse, daughter of Daniel S. and Martha Jones Thomas, was born in Kentucky, Oct. 21, 1836. Her parents had joined the Church the year previous being converted by Wilford Woodruff, later president. In 1837, that family moved to Farr West, Mo., and thence to Nauvoo, Ill., in 1840, remaining until the exodus in 1846.

They crossed the plains in 1849 and May 18, at Beaver she married John Woodhouse. They moved to Lehi a few years later where she has since resided. She is survived by the following children: John D. and Harden Woodhouse, Mrs. Rachel Anderson and Mrs. Charles Ohrau. Lehi: Wilford Woodhouse, Idaho Falls: Charles Woodhouse, Preston, Idaho; Arza Woodhouse, Los Angeles, Calif.; Mrs. James M. Kirkham, Salt Lake: also 86 grandchildren, 73 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. Ten grandchildren served in the world war.

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John Woodhouse Obituary

John Woodhouse

[Special to the Herald-Republican]
Lehi , Sept. 10 – This afternoon at 1 40 o’clock , while walking on Denver & Rio Grande railroad track, John Woodhouse, a pioneer of Lehi, was instantly killed when train No. 5 struck him. Mr. Woodhouse attended priesthood meeting this morning, after which he dined with all of his family that reside in Lehi, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Rachel Anderson.

After dinner, Mr. Woodhouse, as was his custom, went for a short walk and since he was only one block from the Denver & Rio Grande depot, he took part of his walk along the railroad track.

He had gone as far as the cattle guards when, apparently, he heard the train and turned around, but became confused and was struck by the engine and hurled a distance of fifty-four feet, alighting on his head and receiving a bad fracture of the skull immediately over his left eye. His chest was badly crushed, his arm and shoulder broken and his neck broken.

The train was stopped within 300 yards of the accident and the crew picked him up and brought him to the depot where he was identified by Joseph Goates and sent to Leo Goates’ undertaking parlors.

Mr. Woodhouse was 86 years old and is survived by a widow and ten children. He was the son of Charles and Anne Long Woodhouse and he was born July 21, 1830 at Wickle street, Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. He was a tailor by trade, his father and grandfather having been the same before him.

At the age of 18 he joined the Mormon church and January 6, 1847 left Liverpool for the United States, arriving in Salt Lake City, Utah September 10, 1852. From Salt Lake, he moved to Provo, thence to Nephi, Spanish Fork, and finally to Beaver, where he remained for some time.

In March 1864, Mr. Woodhouse came from Beaver to Lehi, in company with Daniel Thomas, whose daughter Emma he had married. He has resided in Lehi ever since. He has been a well-known and influential citizen and has acted as city assessor, county assessor and justice of the peace, beside acting on countless other offices, both in church and state. His children are William Woodhouse and Morgan Woodhouse of Idaho Falls, John Woodhouse of Lehi, Charles Woodhouse of Lewiston, Utah, Mrs. Rachel Anderson of Lehi, Isaac Woodhouse of Arthur, Nev., Dorr Woodhouse of Los Angeles, Cal., Mrs. Kate Kirkham of Lehi, Harden Woodhouse of Idaho Falls, and Bertha Ohren of Lehi. He has sixty-two grandchildren and forty-five great-grandchildren.

[Salt Lake Herald 1916-09-11,
transcribed Nov. 27, 2014 (Thanksgiving Day) by Greg Woodhouse.]