Joseph Moulton was born on August 22, 1845 in Irchester, England, to Thomas Moulton (born 1810, died 1892) and Sarah Denton (born 1818, died 1888).

            He was baptized on April 28, 1855, by his father in a meadow creek and was confirmed at the water’s edge by his father.

            On May 03, 1856, he emigrated to America with his father, mother and seven brothers and sisters.

            They crossed the plains in the James G. Willie handcart company.  As he was 11 years old, he had to help care for the younger children and made many trips back and forth through icy streams to carry smaller children across to safety.

            They arrived in Salt Lake on November 09, 1856, where they made their home on the northeast corner of the intersection at Second North and Second West.

            During the Black Hawk War he acted as a scout for weeks at a time and also as a guard at home.

            In 1866, Joseph Moulton, George M. Giles, Frank Fraughton, Martin Oaks and Orson Hicken journeyed to the Missouri River to meet immigrants.  The family Joseph brought back was named Draper, and they became the founders of the area bearing that name.

            In December, 1868, Joseph married Elizabeth Giles in the Endowment House.  Their first home was a log cabin on the south east corner of the intersection at Second East and Center Street. He built the cabin and made all the furniture himself.

            To them were born nine children.

            On February 26, 1876, Joseph married two Danish immigrant sisters, Annie Katrina and Jensine Marie Jensen.  Their first home was the granary of their husband.  Later he built the home owned by Afton Barnes Lee, which burned down a few years ago.  Annie had six children and Jensine (Aunt Mary) had eight.

            In 1885, Joseph was called on a mission to West Virginia.  After serving a year President Hatch sent for him to come home, feeling that his family needed him.

            There was a great deal of agitation against polygamy from its first public announcement.  Because of opposition to plural marriage the Edmund Tucker Bill was passed in 1887, which made it illegal for a man to live with more than one wife.  This law was often enforced by fines and imprisonment.  In order to prevent further persecution and indignities against the polygamists and their families, President Wilford Woodruff issued the Manifesto in 1890.  Compliance with this law brought an end to polygamy by the Mormons.

            Hoping to be able to live with his three families, Joseph moved to Old Mexico in 1891.  That year there was a severe drought around Dublan, Old Mexico, and there was little feed for the stock.  The water holes dried up and the bleaching bones of cattle could be seen almost everywhere.  Without water it was impossible to raise crops and there was no work for the older boys, so Aunt Lizzie returned to Utah with her family, after spending six weeks there.  The rest of the family was there nearly a year.

            Joseph had no formal education, but had an insatiable desire for knowledge.  He was well versed in scripture and very well informed on many subjects.

            He was on the committee which planned the building of the Wasatch Canal and acted as foreman on construction.

            He filled two missions, was a first counselor to Bishop Thomas Hicken, and was a member of the High Council.  He held many more Church and civic positions and was a devout Latter-day Saint.

            He died March 06, 1935 at the age of 89.


(Text taken from “How Beautiful Upon the Mountains” written and compiled by Wasatch County Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, pp. 460-461).