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Holladay Journal

Salty, resilient and a wanderer, Emmanuel Wayman established roots in Holladay

Mar 10, 2021 11:42AM ● By Sona Schmidt Harris

Emmanuel Wayman and Margaret Johnston married on April 10, 1856. (Photo courtesy of Karma Wayman)

By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]

Early Holladay settler Emmanuel Wayman had a home on the north side of Casto Lane and was known for being quite the character. Here is part of his story:

Born on March 31, 1829 and christened at Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England, Wayman made his circuitous way to Holladay, Utah.

As a young man, Wayman did not take to farming and the land as his father had done and instead pursued adventures as a sailor. His children and grandchildren remembered his round, open earrings, which he still sported in Holladay and were said to be a trademark of those who sailed “the China Seas.” Wayman continued sailing until he was 24 years old when he returned to his home in Fenstanton.  

Following his return, the Wayman family, with the exception of one of Emmanuel’s brothers, converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints religion, and Emmanuel Wayman immigrated to Utah previous to his parents. Records indicate that he sailed on the Windermere at age 24 for the United States on Feb. 22, 1854 from Liverpool, England.

The journey was not an easy one. The Windermere was blown off course by strong gales, and an old man died the first night and had to be buried at sea. Additionally, the next day, the Windermere sailed by the remains of a wrecked vessel “while the wind howled its requiem for the dead” (from “Emmanuel Wayman and Margaret Johnston”).  

Then, on March 12, another storm arose. The captain of the ship reportedly said to Daniel Garn, a leader of the LDS converts, “I am afraid the ship cannot stand the storm, Mr. Garn; if there be a God, as you people say there is, you had better talk with Him, if He will hear you. I have done all I can for the ship, and I am afraid with all that can be done she will go down.”

The storm continued for about 10 days. During the storm, on March 14, there was an epidemic of smallpox. Forty people became infected. Later, the cooking galley caught on fire.  Several people died of smallpox on the journey and had to be buried at sea.

On April 20, the Windermere reached the mouth of the Mississippi River. When the immigrants arrived in New Orleans, Wayman was one of six people selected to remain and tend to those with smallpox.

After the recovery of the smallpox patients, Wayman traveled to Kansas City then began his westward trek toward Utah. He was with the William A. Empey Company which had 43 teams of ox carts and wagons. Since he was single, he was able to assist others make the journey.  “Church Chronology” by Andrew Jensen (page 52) indicates that the William A. Empey Company arrived in Salt Lake City Oct. 24, 1854.

After Wayman’s arrival, he began work as a logger in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Through a coworker, he met his future wife, Margaret Johnston who was born on the Isle of Graemsay, Scotland. Margaret was the sister of Wayman’s coworker. It turned out that Johnston had been in the William Empey Company that emigrated to Utah as well, and on April 10, 1856, the two were married.

The couple first lived at the home of Margaret’s mother, and then later they moved to Salt Lake City where Wayman was a logger in City Creek Canyon reportedly for the sawmill of Brigham Young.

The following incident was relayed by family members: “Emmanuel Wayman was chopping a tree when President Brigham Young came along and said to him, ‘That tree will fall right over here,’ indicating a certain spot, but Emmanuel Wayman said, ‘I think it will fall right across the old stump.’ The tree finally was felled, and it lay right across the old stump. The president remarked, ‘You are a better woodsman than I am.’”

A true wanderer, Wayman worked for a short time in Provo then moved back to Salt Lake City. This somehow then led the Waymans to Little Cottonwood Canyon where he worked again as a logger. Their next move was to Cedar Fort where unfortunately the family dealt with bed bugs sending some of them to sleep in the granary.

The Waymans were again on the move and lived in North Weber for two years, and then moved to Huntsville. While there, Wayman’s team was stolen, and another horse and his barn were destroyed by fire.

Changing direction once again, Wayman moved his family to what was then called “Big Cottonwood” (now Holladay). He purchased an adobe home on the north side of Casto Lane and later built additional rooms onto the house.

Wayman was noted for being a tidy man, keeping himself and his belongings in excellent condition. His harness was decorated with ornaments, and he had a surrey. Additionally, he built a two-seater sleigh and put sleigh bells on his horses.

His grandchildren picked gooseberries and red and black currants on his property. There was also a cider press used for the apples.

There was a canal near Casto Lane where Wayman got his water. Along the canal, spearmint and tall Pottawatomie plum trees grew. He was known to be an excellent cutter of grain with a cradle.

It is reported that “he had forceps and pulled aching teeth,” and sometimes the grandchildren had “a lot of love and respect for him mingled with trepidation.”

Wayman was a big man with brown eyes with a reportedly kindly twinkle in them. He had brown hair, which he wore quite long. He made sure that his earrings were showing.  Immaculate and fastidious in appearance, he would not even go to the store unless his shoes were shiny black and even wore his necktie around his home and farm.

Apparently, the good folks of Holladay (Big Cottonwood) knew how to party and would dance to fiddlers to the early morning hours. Wayman was one who loved to dance at these gatherings.

Horseshoes and baseball were among his favorite games. Wayman had a good singing voice and was pleased to sing “Guy Faulks” and “Lady I Have Come a Courting.”

Ever persistent and tough, Wayman lived to 79 years old. His marriage to Margaret Johnston Wayman lasted for 51 years. The couple raised eight children.

He is laid to rest in the Holladay Cemetery. Descendants of Emmanuel Wayman remain in Holladay to this day.

The bulk of this article was taken from “Emmanuel Wayman and Margaret Johnston” by Margaret Ann Newman Wells, granddaughter, and Rae Wright Moss, great granddaughter, of Emmanuel Wayman and Margaret Johnston Wayman. It was published on June 1, 1966.  Sue Anne Thompson and Karma Wayman also contributed to this article.