Uintah County, Utah Pioneers

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM HIGHLAND GAGON Jr.

On January 28, 1887, in Vernal, Utah, I was born to William H. Gagon, Sr. and Lydia Ann Taylor. Mother died when I was sixteen months old. I was then taken to Ogden, Utah, for Grandfather and Grandmother Taylor to rear. I lived with Grandmother until nine years of age and with Grandfather until after age twelve. I moved to Eureka to live with my own father and stepmother for 3 1/2 years. My next home was in Boise, Idaho, where I resided for two years. Then I moved back to Eureka and on to Vernal.

I attended the L.D.S. Church Academy, where I met and courted Miss Albie Elenora Glenn. Our friendship grew until we married on May 21, 1907. Our first home was an Indian farm near Ft. Duchesne, Utah. We soon acquired our own homestead near Myton, which we traded for a home in Vernal. Then we sold it and moved to a White River ranch to live among the Indians for six years. We had no white neighbors within ten miles.
Soon afterwards, we sold the interest in our ranch and moved to Hartford. I was ordained an Elder and took my wife and family (Venice, Elva, Orlan, Daniel, and Herald) to the Salt Lake Temple. I was ordained a High Priest and set apart as counselor to Bishop Fredrick S. Musser of Myton Ward by Apostle George Albert Smith, who later became President of the Church. I was also set apart as President of the Hartford Branch and held both offices about five years.
When we moved to Roosevelt, Utah, I became first counselor to Bishop Ray E. Dillman of Roosevelt Ward, which position I held for five years. Then I served as stake home missionary and on the Mutual Stake Board. I was Justice of the Peace for six years. Other positions I held include Deputy County Assessor, State Automobile Title Inspector, and Notary Public.

On December 12, 1936 we moved to Mojave, California. I was chosen as first counselor to President Shelton R. Harper of the Lancaster Branch, with a Sunday School at Mojave. I engaged in gold mining in the Mojave area. When the Mojave Branch was organized, I was chosen president and with very little help, built the chapel. I served as war engineer for the Marine Corps Air Base at Mojave during World War II.

As we moved to Lancaster, I was sustained as first counselor in the presidency of the Mojave Desert District of the California mission. I was employed by the California Department of Corrections as a correctional officer at the Boys' Prison in April, 1948. The prison was moved to a new institution near Tracy, so we moved to nearby Manteca in Northern Central Valley in September of 1953. I retired at the age of seventy.

Now residing in Manteca, I am teacher for the higher Priesthood, secretary of the High Priests, and ward teaching supervisor as of this, my birthday, January 28, 1959.
...William H. Gagon

He also wrote: "From a letter written to my granddaughter Anita Louise Livingston for her birthday January 28, 1959. Her birthday being the same day of the month as mine. She made this copy."
Wm. H. Gagon
--This was written in his own handwriting and the envelope was mailed from Wm. H. Gagon, 423 N. Maple Ave., Manteca, California; and was postmarked from Manteca, Calif. on Aug 12, 5 pm, 1960.

Submitted by Joy Dennis


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