Silas Wright West
(1846-1918)


SILAS WRIGHT WEST was my great grandfather.

by Diane Hitchcock Owens

SILAS WRIGHT WEST (WILLIAM SHELTON, ISAAC, JAMES BENJAMIN, JONATHAN, ROBERT, JOHN, ROBERT, MATTHEW, THOMAS, RICHARD, THOMAS, THOMAS, CHARLES) was born on December 10, 1846 in Chariton County, Missouri. Silas left Missouri at the age of sixteen when he signed up as a "night herder" on a cattle drive to Montana. In Montana he worked as hoist engineer in a mine. He returned to his home in Missouri after the Civil War. Sy West's life was full business ventures that took him as far away as the Phillipine Islands and Mexico.

In eastern Nevada he met up with an elderly bachelor in Pioche, Nevada, by the name of Herbert Huston. Huston was ill with rheumatism, living alone in a cabin and dependent upon the kindness of others to bring him supplies and any help he might need. Silas must have been able to offer some medical assistance since his father was a doctor. His generosity was repaid by Huston going into partnership in the mining town of Silver Reef, Utah, where he supplied the capital while Sy West took the management of a livery stable, feed yard, and general store. The livery stable kept for sale or rent teams, wagons, buggies, harnesses, and saddles. The firm of Huston and West became well known throughout Utah and Nevada.

Sy West was also elected justice of the peace in Silver Reef. He later raised sheep in southern Utah.

It was during this period, 1876-1893, he met and married Marie Antoinette HAIGHT, daughter of ISAAC CHAUNCY and ELIZA ANN (PRICE) HAIGHT, on 17 August 1878 in St. George, Utah, after "courting" for a year.

Marie Antoinette was born in Toquerville, Utah, on 9 August 1861. She claimed that had she known of the age difference of almost fifteen years she would not have married Silas. She and Silas had ten children. According to her memoirs dictated to her daughter, her life was not boring. (see "MEMOIRS OF MARIE ANTOINETTE HAIGHT")

In 1893 Silas moved his family to Salt Lake City where he built a home at 112 No. State Street. He became interested in various mines. He went into partnership with C.W. Watson and opened the West Iron Mining Company near Palisades, Nevada.

On December 22, 1894 Silas sailed for the Phillipines and Hawaii with a young attorney by the name of Pearl O. Lyma. They invested in land for a wharf and sugar cane along with a lot for house near Hilo. When he returned to Salt Lake City Sy decided it was not a good venture and sold his share, taking a loss of $300.

After the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco Silas invested in a brick factory with the intent of helping to rebuild the city. The unions could produce and sell the bricks cheaper than Sy could make them. He sold his interests in the brick plant, taking a loss of $75,000_

Silas again embarked upon another venture in hopes of regaining his losses in San Francisco when he went to Mexico where he bought an interest in a mine and a rubber ranch at Tampico. He had his share signed under his partner's name who in turn sold the land for $25,000. Due to the rising revolution Sy was advised to leave Mexico immediately with the agreement he would be paid by Mr. Austin once they both arrived back in the United States. Mr. Austin never arrived. It is believed he was killed enroute on a train the Mexican rebels had captured. Sy hired two detectives to find Mr. Austin and his wife. Nothing has ever been found on him or his wife. Sy moved the family back their home in Salt Lake City in 1909.

It was on yet another "venture" that brought Sy to his death. In 1917 he took a long trip by automobile in southern Utah with a couple of other men, checking out another business venture. They became stranded on the desert at night. Sy remained in the car while the others went in search of help. The shock of cold and his age caused Sy to suffer "nervous prostration" which had him bedridden for eleven months before he eventually died on 30 September 1918 in Salt Lake City.

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Children of SILAS WEST and MARIE HAIGHT are:

i. LUCRETIA ANN15 WEST, b. April 04, 1881, Silver Reef,,UT; d. August 25, 1965, Los Angeles,,CA,USA.

ii. WILLIAM SHELTON WEST, b. January 28, 1883, Silver Reef,,UT; d. October 09, 1888, ,,UT.

iii. SILAS WEST, b. April 19, 1885, Silver Reef,,UT; d. 1960, Salt Lake City,,UT,USA.

iv. ARCHIBALD JAMES WEST, b. August 16, 1889, Silver Reef,,UT; d. August 21, 1966, Lafayette, CA.

v. CHARLES ANTHONY WEST, b. March 15, 1892, Silver Reef,,UT; d. February 15, 1967, Salt Lake City,,UT,USA.

vi. LEROY CHAUNCY WEST, b. September 07, 1894, Salt Lake City,,UT; d. January 24, 1897, Salt Lake City,,UT.

vii. WILLIS HOUSTON WEST, b. November 26, 1896, Salt Lake City,,UT; d. November 16, 1961, Burlingame,,CA.

viii. HORTENSE WEST, b. December 25, 1899, Salt Lake City,,UT; d. February 04, 1971, Hillsborough,,CA,USA.

ix. *MARIE ANTOINETTE WEST, b. September 23, 1887, St. George, UT; d. November 29, 1975, San Francisco, CA.

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This history is copyrighted and is offered for personal use and research only.
It is not to be reprinted or used for commercial purposes without written permission.

Copyright 1999 by Diane Hitchcock Owens


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