Biography of Edward Burgoyne

Edward Burgoyne is one of the leading business men and the leading merchant of Montpelier, Idaho, and was one of the fifteen heads of families who came to the spot in the spring of 1864, volunteers in response to the call of the authorities of their church, to settle Bear Lake valley and spread the peculiar doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was born in South Wales, February 22, 1835, a son of Thomas and Sarah (Strong) Burgoyne, who were natives of Wales and lifelong Episcopalians. Thomas Burgoyne was a prosperous blacksmith. He died in 1845, his wife two years earlier, and Edward Burgoyne was doubly orphaned at the tender age of ten years. He was educated in Wales and there learned and worked at the trade of a weaver of cloth until 1861, when with his wife, who was Miss Mary Eeynon, he came to the United States. The young couple were converts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and their destination was Utah. They landed at New York, after a rough voyage of twenty-seven days on board a sailing vessel, and came west to Omaha, Nebraska, and thence to Cache valley, where Mr. Burgoyne began weaving cloth. He set up and operated the first carding machine and loom in that part of the country, and devoted himself to wool-carding in the summer and to the manufacture of cloth in the winter, making kersey for men’s wear and linsey for women’s wear. He was thus employed until he came with the colony of fifteen and their families to Bear Lake valley. They arrived in 1864, and Mr. Burgoyne built a willow shanty, and with his family occupied it until fall, when he erected as good a log house as he could. This he improved from time to time and lived in it until 1881. He suffered the privations and dangers which made the early life of that little colony in that new, cold, pest-infested and Indian-menaced land almost tragic, endured everything resignedly, and worked untiringly, and at length reaped the reward of well doing. He acquired much real property, including farmlands and an interest in the town site of Montpelier, where he has been concerned in the erection of many houses and the sale of many lots, and is one of the most extensive owners of town property. He began merchandising in 1880, and in 1881 built his present residence, which is one of the largest and most comfortable in Montpelier. His first store was a little room, sixteen by sixteen feet, and he bought his first stock of goods in Salt Lake City. By close attention to business, and by honesty and liberality toward all, he has built up an extensive trade, which is now both wholesale and retail, his rapidly growing business requiring a large two-story building which he has erected expressly for its accommodation.

Mr. Burgoyne is a useful and influential citizen whose public spirit has never been found wanting. There has been no worthy public interest to which he has not lent his aid, both moral and financial. He has been especially efficient in building up the interests at Montpelier of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In Wales, before he came to America, he did much effective missionary work, in season and out of season, for the extension of the Mormon faith. Mr. and Mrs. Burgoyne have had six children. Of these three are living and are all residents of Montpelier, Edward Lorenzo, Sarah Jane (Mrs. Milford Williams), and Martha Ellen (Mrs. Fred. Cruickshank).



Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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