CHARLES B. WIGHTMAN
DORA MAY WIGHTMAN
JOSEPH WIGHTMAN was born December 17, 1848 at
Kirtland, Lake Co., Ohio. He was the fourth of ten children, and the oldest son
of Charles Billings Wightman (b. 1815 in New York, d. 1895 in Payson, Utah)
and Mary Ann Dixon (b. 1823 in Canada, d. 1903 in Payson, Utah).
He was named for his grandfather, who died in Kirtland five years before
Joseph was born.
Joseph's best boyhood friend was named Wayland Rodgers, and Joseph
named one of his sons after him. After Joseph left Kirtland with his
parents at age 13, on their move to Utah, he didn't see his friend again
until they were both in their 80's. At that time, in the late 1920's,
Joseph's son Philo Wightman took his father on a trip back to Ohio.
By then, the city of Cleveland had grown around the little village of
Kirtland, and the area wasn't anything like it had been in the days when
the Wightmans had lived there. But they found Wayland Rodgers in Cleveland,
and the two old friends had a happy reunion reminiscing together.
Joseph Wightman married Emily Johnson on 25 July 1869, in Salt Lake
City, when he was 20 and she was almost 16. Emily (b. 1853 in Salt Lake
City, d. 1926 in Payson) was the daughter of pioneers Philo Johnson
(1814-1896) and Experience Almeda ("Speedy") Brown Ellsworth Johnson
(1820-1896). Her father was one of the original 143 pioneers who came
with Brigham Young in 1847. Joseph and Emily received their endowments
and were sealed for time and eternity in the Endowment House in Salt
Lake on October 21, 1872.
In the 1870 census of Payson, Joseph "WHITEMAN", 22, was listed as
a farmer. Real property was listed valued at $300 and personal property,
$150. His wife Emily was 17. His older sister Mary E. Daley, her husband
Matthew, and their two children were listed just before Joseph and Emily.
The WM. C. "WHITEMAN" family were listed two families after, followed by
his Uncle Christopher Dixon's family (indicating that they were all
William Charles Wightman and his wife Lucretia Jane Pepper built
The WIGHTMAN HOTEL in Payson in 1886, and ran it for a number of years,
and it was said to be the largest and finest hotel in the territory
south of Salt Lake City. It was located at the southwest corner of
First East and First North streets in Payson. The hotel was an
impressive 3-story building of red brick. Hacks met passenger trains at
both depots in town and brought them to the Wightman Hotel. Negro
waiters and porters were a mark of the elegance of the place ...
Mrs. Wightman was a talented actress and community leader. In 1892
she was elected president of the Woman's Suffrage Association of Payson.
She also went into raising silkworms for the production of silk, as did
many of the women of the territory. Mulberry trees were planted for
shade, and the leaves were fed to the worms. "She had silkworms eating
mulberry leaves all over the place. You could hear the crunch of
leaves as they fed," recalled her granddaughter Dolly Wightman Nelson,
in 1972. She also said that her grandparents kept a gila monster (a
poisonous lizard) in a cage. Then, too, they had a monkey that was
prone to run away. Often it got into the home of Bishop John Huish,
who lived nearby. His children would hide from the monkey until Mrs.
Huish sent one of her brood to ask the owners to "Come and get that
darned monkey again!"
In the census of 1880, Joseph and Emily "WHITEMAN" and four children
(Joseph A., Evaline, Charles, and William) are listed in Thistle Valley,
Utah County. Joseph, 31, is listed as a farmer. They moved back to
Payson within a year.
Joseph and Emily had ten children:
JOSEPH ALTON (1871-1926)
married Mary Loas GREEN
EVALINE LADELL (1874-1901)
married William Tell HARPER
EMILY MINNETT ("Minnie") (1875-1878)
CHARLES PHILO (known as PHILO C.) (1877-1947)
married Rosa Tobitha WRIGHT
(he was a mayor of Payson during the Depression years)
WILLIAM DAVID ("Will") (1879-1944)
married Sarah Florence WRIGHT
LILLIAN ALICE (1881-1882)
WAYLAND RODGER (1884-1955)
married Abbie WOOD
and Laura Adell CALLISTER
ORIN LYNN (1888-1891)
DORA MAY (1890-1918)
married DAVID SHULER
JOSEPH AND EMILY WIGHTMAN FAMILY -- ABOUT 1910
BACK: THE FOUR SONS (WILLIAM, JOSEPH ALTON, PHILO, WAYLAND)
WITH THEIR WIVES NEAR THEM
CENTER: FATHER AND MOTHER: JOSEPH AND EMILY WIGHTMAN
FRONT: DAUGHTER DORA MAY, GRANDDAUGHTER (DAUGHTER OF EVALINE), SON-IN-LAW DAVE SHULER
All were born in Payson except Will, who was born in Thistle.
Four died as infants or young children. Both surviving daughters died
as young mothers, years before their mother did in 1926.
Joseph and Emily also raised a grandson, William Oran "Skeet" Harper
(1901-1966), whose mother Eveline died when Skeet was born.
Joseph's father Charles Billings Wightman
died 31 Mar 1895 in Payson at age 79, and his mother Mary Ann Dixon
died 10 Nov 1903 in Payson at age 80.
In 1898 Joseph Wightman constructed a two-story building at 80
South Main Street in Payson, attached to a building built in 1891 by
his relative, Orrawell Simons. The Wightman building was first occupied
by Joseph Wightman's meat and grocery store. He had built it on
the site of a small meat market he had previously owned. In 1902 he
leased the business to Charles C.F. Dixon, and in 1905 sold out to his
son Philo Wightman. Philo and his young family lived in the upper
rooms while their home was under construction.
Joseph was active in civic affairs. He was Payson city marshall in
the 1887-88 term replacing Henry Fairbanks who resigned. He was also
on the city council in the 1900-01 term.
Joseph and Emily were active in the Church. Emily, and all except
one of her surviving brothers and sisters, were sealed along with the
deceased ones to her mother Speedy Brown Ellsworth Johnson, and Speedy's
first husband German Ellsworth in 1888 in the Manti Temple. Emily was
also proxy for her grandmother Johnson (Sally Abigail Griffin Johnson)
on that trip. Joseph and Emily sent their son Wayland on a mission
from 1906 to 1908. Joseph's parents Charles Billings Wightman and Mary
Ann Dixon had been sealed to each other in 1865 in the Salt Lake Endowment
House soon after coming to Utah, but except for one son, none of the
children had been born in the covenant. So Joseph was sealed to his
parents in 1925 in the Salt Lake Temple. Four of his sisters also were
sealed to their parents in the 1920's, and before Joseph's death they saw
to it that their three deceased brothers and a deceased sister were also
Emily Johnson Wightman died 18 June 1926, at age 72. Following Emily's
death, Joseph remarried on September 20, 1927 in the Salt Lake Temple,
sealed for time only, to a childless Santaquin widow, Mary Ann Simpson
Stickney Boyle (1849-1934). He was 78 and she was 77. She was born in
Malmo, Sweden as Maria Anna Simonsson, later anglicized.
Joseph died July 22, 1930, and was buried in Payson Cemetery, next to
Emily, and close to his and Emily's parents and near many of
their brothers and sisters.
His obituary follows:
OX-TEAM PIONEER DIES AT PAYSON
Payson, Utah, July 23.
"Joseph Wightman, a former merchant of Payson,
died at the family residence (Santaquin), Tuesday (July 22, 1930)
from infirmities incident to old age (he was 81). He was born
Dec. 17, 1848 at Kirtland Ohio, the son of Charles B. and Mary Dixon
Wightman. He crossed the plains by ox team in 1862, locating in
Payson. He served in the Black Hawk Indian war. He was in the
Mercantile business for 20 years, retiring from business in 1910.
He was active in civic affairs and served as city councilman and
marshal. He married Miss Emily Johnson, who preceded him in death
four years ago. He has lived in Santaquin since his marriage three
years ago to Mrs. Mary Simmonson Wightman, who survives. Three of
his ten children survive: Philo C. and Wayland Wightman, Payson,
and William D. Wightman, Salt Lake; also 37 grandchildren, 30 great
grandchildren and three sisters: Mrs. May Wellman, Salt Lake; Mrs.
M.J. Morrell, Montana, and Mrs. Mary Daley, Payson. The body may
be viewed Thursday at the Deseret Mortuary and Friday at the home
of Wayland Wightman, previous to the funeral services, which will
be held at 2 p.m. in the Second ward chapel. Bishop John F. Olson
will conduct the funeral. Burial will be in Payson City Cemetery."
by Karen Bray Keeley
by Sandra Shuler Bray