Today begins the first leg of our journey. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” and all that. We will be driving to our home in southern Utah where we will spend the first night before proceeding to Denver, Colorado, on Friday. As we pass through St. George today, we will be reminded, as we always are, of our ancestors who helped settle and build the area. So we would like to take this opportunity to proudly share our family history of southern Utah.
Our dad was born in St. George, and his dad was born and buried in St. George. Our great grandfather Whitehead and great great grandfather Whitehead are also buried in the St. George cemetery. Adolphus Rennie Whitehead, our great great grandfather who was sent by Brigham Young to help settle southern Utah, owned the first mercantile in St. George. His son, George Frank Whitehead, our great grandfather, built a home in St. George in 1883 which is now part of the Seven Wives Inn in the St. George Historical District. The Seven Wives Inn website can be accessed by using this link http://www.sevenwivesinn.com/history.html.
Our maternal grandparents, Paul and Edith Seegmiller, were born in southern Utah and married in the St. George LDS temple in 1923. They lived most of their married life in St. George while raising their nine children. Grandpa Seegmiller worked as the marshal in St. George for a while and once, before our parents met each other, had to arrest our Grandpa Whitehead. Probably not something that Grandpa Whitehead’s parents were proud of, but does provide interesting tales for the posterity. Grandma and Grandpa Seegmiller are now buried in the Washington, Utah, cemetery.
There are other ancestors from the St. George area and southern Utah, i.e., Morris, Adair, Chidester, Sproul, Grant, and Carroll, that we will just mention so that we don’t bore our readers. Suffice it to say that we have fond memories of growing up around family, having family reunions, and even going to the orthodontist in St. George (well, can’t really say those orthodontist memories are “fond” – they’re just memories).
So, as we take this trip back east, we will cover some of the land that several ancestors covered on their pioneer journey to the west. We often comment on our trips between southern Utah and Las Vegas at the ease of our travel today compared to the back breaking, slow journey of the pioneers. We wonder if those great trail blazers on the other side of the veil watch us today and think how much easier it would have been to pack their belongings in a SUV and a U-Haul instead of covered wagons and ox-toting carts. We’re just grateful that we have the opportunity to see the USA in a Hyundai.