Monday, January 4, 2010

Wessman 2: Henry Richard Emanuel Wessman

b 7 February 1885 Göteborg, Sweden
m 25 November 1908 Salt Lake City, Utah

d 15 March 1932 Ogden, Utah
Parents: John Bengtsson Wessman; Amanda Matilda Hall
Wife: Hazel Jean Hayward

 In Göteborg, Sweden, on February 7, 1885 was born a son to John and Amanda Hall Wessman. At this time there were two older sisters and a brother, two infant children having passed away. He was christened Henry Richard Emanuel Wessman, the latter name [Emanuel] being given as a baptismal name in the Lutheran Church. His father was named John Bengtson but had been legally been given the name of Wessman as there were so many of the name Bengtson on the ship where he worked as a sailor. His mother Amanda Hall had become a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so other members of the family were also baptized into that church. The two older sisters Fanny and Bertha came to the United States when they were about 15 years of age with other members of the church as converts and went to work as maids in homes of church members when they reached Salt Lake City. When Henry was eight years of age he and his brother, Herbert, came to Utah with other converts to the church. His sisters took care of him and Herbert until the mother arrived later.

As they were all anxious about the husband and father who was in Sweden it was necessary for them to work to earn money to help him earn passage money. Life was hard for them as their younger brother Joseph was only five years of age when he came with his mother. Later the father came over but lived only six months after his arrival, dying in Kamas, Utah where the daughter Bertha and her husband were homesteading. This necessitated Mrs. Wessman’s working in a tailor shop to support her three small sons. The boys knew poverty and were not able to stay in school until they graduated, except Joseph who was the youngest and whose brothers helped by working to keep him in school. Henry clerked in a man’s clothing store, worked in a printing shop and there became apprenticed in a linotype shop where he learned machine work and type-setting. He became an expert in his line of work and worked hard at his trade.

He was married to Jean Hayward on November 25, 1908 and went to Ogden for a short time, later coming to work at the Salt Lake Tribune. As 14 children were born to this marriage he worked at various printing plants in Provo, Salt Lake and Ogden and bought a linotype machine on which he taught the boys, his two oldest sons, the trade.

He passed away on March 15, 1932 when his baby was two years of age making it necessary for the older children to work to help support the family. After his death we sold the typesetting machine and moved from Ogden to Salt Lake City where we have since resided.

Wessman, Hazel Jean Hayward. “Henry Richard Emanuel Wessman.”

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