6 HENRY CHRISTIAN OVERSON
b. 9 July 1868 Ephraim, Sanpete, Utah
m. 8 October 1896 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
d. 8 March 1947 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
b. 9 March 1947 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
Wife: Margaret Godfrey Jarvis
Father: Ove Christian Oveson
Mother: Mary Kjerstine Christensen
Henry Christian Overson, first child of Ove Christian and Mary K. Christensen Overson, was born July 9th, 1868, in Ephraim, Sanpete County, Utah. The family was called by President Brigham Young to Arizona, to assist in making settlements on the Little Colorado River.
They went first to Brigham City, now Winslow, then on to St. Johns, where Henry helped put shingles on the first house shingled in St. Johns. Ploughing, planting, irrigating, freighting, riding the range and building, all had to be done, and Henry was ever ready to help at anything necessary.
He took up a farm, and planted alfalfa, and did well financially, by having a feed stable for travelers, so that from 1903 to 1905 he was able to go on to a Mission to England, and pay his own expenses. This was the period of his whole life that gave him the most joy and satisfaction, and he never tired of telling his children incidents of that happy time. He later sent three of his sons on Missions and was happy to do so, and gladly paid their expenses, that they might have a similar blessed experience.
During his married life he was a steady and hard worker, preferring to stay where he could be with his family at night, but doing anything he could get to do for a livelihood, or help his neighbors. He was alternately President, Secretary, Water Overseer, and Member of the Board of Directors of the St. Johns Irrigation Company, for more than thirty years, and it was largely due to his foresight and careful planning that all of the permanent improvements in the Company’s system were installed. These included cement dams in the river, blasting in rock to make part of ditches to avoid washing out in flood times, using culvert pipes with built up piers for the old wooden flumes, changing the location of ditches to avoid the run-off of summer rains, installing steel headgates for all main ditches, etc. All this was a blessing to the residents, who most all depended for much of their living on the products of farm, garden and orchard.
Another important thing was piping the water of the McIntosh spring into town, and distributing it to individual homes. Henry Overson had entire charge of installing the pipes from the spring to town, and to each home, and also the upkeep and extension work for several years. W.W. Berry did a great part of the teamwork, digging and covering of trenches, etc.
Henry was a good carpenter and builder, and was overseer of many of the substantial homes, public buildings, business houses, and the Church, Academy Building, etc. all of which were noted for solid construction. He served as secretary of the 104th Quorum of Seventy for many years, and was Counselor in the Bishopric of the Ward for about seven years. He was a kind and indulgent father, a good neighbor and friend, and a loving husband.
Overson, Margaret Jarvis. George Jarvis and Joseph George DeFriez Genealogy. Mesa, Arizona: 1957, ii:107–08. The pictures of Henry are from his wife's book. The other pictures are the Overson house in St. Johns in 1994. I just love his woodwork and I would love to have a front door like that! Henry's father was a Danish woodworker and also did beautiful work. Wallace Tanner was born upstairs in the Overson house.