History of Daniel William Walters

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Daniel W. Walters

Descending from ancient and honorable families of the rugged, but independent and picturesque country of Wales, where the various branches of his kin had been established for generations without number. Daniel W. Walters was himself born in South Wales on May 28, 1858, as a son of William and Margaret (Williams) Walters. Becoming adherents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the religious convictions of the parents were so pronounced as to cause their emigration from Wales in 1869, that in the promised land of Utah, where their religious belief had taken permanent root, they might find a congenial home and an unalloyed enjoyment of their faith. Locating in the Cache Valley, the life of the family in the West passed pleasantly until the death of the mother, now many years ago.

The father, an industrious member of the community, followed the active life of a carpenter in the labors connected with that craft, continuing to be thus engaged until advancing age caused his retirement, his death coming peacefully to him on January 13, 1901. Their son, Daniel W. Walters, was one of ten children, four boys and six girls, born to the parents, and his school education in English was wholly embraced in six months' attendance at the Wellsville public schools, but, although greatly handicapped by this deprivation, his energy and perseverance have found means to compensate him in a large measure for the lack of early educational opportunities. From early childhood Mr. Walters has been a farmer, in the realm of agriculture acquiring knowledge and practice of the conditions and labors necessary to success, and in this chosen field of his he has attained a high rank and a permanent reputation.

The marked advantages of the Upper Snake River Valley of Idaho was early presented to his notice, and, imbued with the true spirit of a pioneer, feeling that he was competent to develop a magnificent estate from the virgin soil of this then almost untouched country, he came to Idaho, arriving at his destination on February 19, 1883, first locating at Lyman, but soon thereafter making his home at Rexburg, and, after successfully conducting agricultural operations there until 1902, he purchased one of the finest places along the South Fork of the Snake River, it consisting of 160 acres of land, eligibly and handsomely located one mile east of La Belle post office, where he is in possession of an estate, both productive and enjoyable, amply sufficient to maintain its owner in ease and comfort. he is, however, not disposed to live in idleness, and, since 1900 he has been largely engaged in the buying and selling of hides, his operations in this line of business covering the entire state and a portion of Wyoming.

The nuptial ceremonies whereby Miss Ann Gunnell, a daughter of Francis and Polly Ann (Edwards) Gunnell, was united in marriage with Mr. Walters, were celebrated on December 11, 1876, at Wellsville, Utah. Her father was born in England while her mother was a native of Wales and dying when Mrs. Walters was but five years of age. She was born at Wellsville, Utah, where her father long maintained his home, dying, however, at Rexburg, Idaho, not many years ago. Both families have been loyal members of the Mormon church, valued and useful in its various circles of activity, Mrs. Walters performing a highly acceptable service as a teacher in the Relief Society, while in the local and public fields of activity Mr. Walters has ever manifested himself as a conscientious, useful and law-abiding citizen, allied with the Republican party in political affairs. The children that have come to cheer and brighten the home of this worthy couple are nine in number, named and born as follows: Walter G., on October 19, 1877; Francis G., June 19, 1880; Daniel G., August 31, 1882; Sarah Ann, October 22, 1884; Margaret, January 4, 1886; Polly A., April 26, 1889; William G., May 27, 1891; Edward G., November 1, 1893; Zilpha, born on October 24, 1896, died on January 14, 1897.

An incident that will serve to illustrate the trying experiences inseparable connected with the formative period of civilization occurred during Mr. Walters' early residence in Fremont county. A party of five persons started to return to Cache Valley and attempted to for the Snake river two miles below the site of the present bridge. The ice had gorged and raised the river, making the water so deep that they barely escaped with their lives, their team being drowned and their wagon, a new one, being torn and splintered to pieces by the rapid stream. The unlucky men were rescued by A. A. Anderson, who brought them to safety in a boat.

Progressive men of Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Fremont and Oneida counties, Idaho. Chicago : A. W. Bowen, 1904, pp. 450-451.

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