Frederick Kingston’s Parents
Frederick Kingston’s mother Ann Speechley Kingston was married to Thomas Kingston on January 14th, 1817. The two had children together. They lived in the poor market town of Peterborough, Northamptonshire, England. Life in those times was quite difficult and most families had to work hard just to survive. Their first child, a girl named Elizabeth, died when she was only 2 ½ years old and Ann was 7 months along with her second child. When her second baby was born 2 months later, she named her Elizabeth Ann after her little girl who had just passed away. She had two more girls, Mary in the summer of 1821 and Catherine in the summer of 1823. The following year in 1824, her youngest daughter Catherine passed away.
Ann had 2 more children, sons John and William born in 1825 and 1827 before tragedy struck again. In March of 1828, her husband Thomas passed away suddenly at the age of 29 leaving her in a dire situation with 4 living children, the youngest being an infant and the oldest being 8 year old Elizabeth Ann.
After Thomas’ death, Ann met a man from Peterborough named John Bull who she began a relationship with. The following year she gave birth to twin boys, Frederick and Charles in 1829. As sometimes happens, the relationship between John and Ann did not work out and the two went their separate ways. John went on to marry another woman in 1831 and Ann never remarried. When it came time to christen her twin boys, Ann chose to name them Charles and Frederick Kingston after her late husband Thomas.
Young life of Frederick
For most of this time, the family was quite poor. When Frederick and Charles were young boys, they worked as stable boys for a local man. They took care of the horses, fed them, cleaned the barns, and did all the jobs you do with horses. The man they worked for was their master and was a very strict mean man. One day, Frederick’s brother Charles did something that made their boss very angry. The man whipped and beat Charles so badly that he later died from his injuries at the age of 12.
Regardless, Frederick continued to work their a little longer because it was very hard to get work and a lot of people were unemployed. Also, there was no public assistance at the time, only limited rations that local church parishes would give to widows and orphans.
When Frederick was a young man in England, Parley P. Pratt was on mission for the LDS church in his area. Frederick heard some men talking about going to tar and feather Parley Pratt. Frederick overheard one of them say, “When I rise up in meeting, that will be the signal.” So, Frederick went to the meeting and waited until the man stood up. When he did, Frederick jumped up too and knocked him down. Then he fought off two or three others while Parley escaped out of a window.
It’s likely that if Frederick hadn’t stopped those men from tarring and feathering Parley P. Pratt, they may have killed him.
While Frederick was still a young man, he joined the British Army. He fought in the Crimean War which lasted from October 1853, to February 1856. The Crimean War was fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance between the British Empire, French Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining Ottoman Empire. Most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula, but there were smaller campaigns in Western Turkey, the Baltic Sea, the Pacific Ocean, and the White Sea.
Frederick was wounded in the foot and returned home before the war was over. When he returned to England, he married Mary Ann Hunter on December 23rd, 1855. The two had a son on November 9th, 1856. They named him Charles after Frederick's twin brother who had died when they were young.
Frederick goes into the Wholesale Fish Business – Story told by Ortell Kingston
“When Frederick came back from the Army, he came back to where he lived. He started a wholesale fish business. He would buy the fish from the fisherman when they would come into dock with their fishing boats. ….. then he would sell them to the grocery stores and to the different retailers in the town where they lived. He had quite a business going there, but like often happens in the business, the people he was selling to, would sometimes have a hard time trying to pay for the fish he was selling to them. So, they would tell him they would pay for those fish tomorrow, so he started going on selling to them on credit.
When he couldn’t collect on the fish he was selling, he couldn’t pay the fisherman for the fish he had bought from them until he collected from the grocers and different individuals. It didn’t take long before the grocers had built up quite a debt with him. And he had in turn built up quite a debt with the fisherman. It soon got to the point where they started to demand their pay.
In England at that time, they had a law that anybody that didn’t pay their debts could be tried and thrown in debtor’s prison, and they would stay there until they paid the debt. [Frederick] didn’t press charges against the retailers that owed him money, but the fisherman pressed charges against him. He knew that there was no way that he could pay the debt if he was in jail. At that time, he was married, and he had one child, (a little boy). That little boy was Grandpa Kingston [Charles Kingston Sr].”
Frederick Emigrates to America
After the fishermen pressed charges against Frederick, a friend of his told him that he had a warrant out for his arrest, and he was going to be thrown into debtor’s prison. Frederick knew he had to act fast.
He quickly got his affairs in order before going down to the docks by the seashore and got onto a ship that was headed for the United States. Frederick had been converted to Mormonism shortly before this time and when he got to the United States, he made the trek west and settled in Morgan, Utah to be with the Mormons.
Frederick’s wife Mary Ann and their son Charles stayed in England and Frederick would send money back to Mary Ann to pay on the debt until it was paid.
After Frederick had been in Morgan, Utah for a few years, he met a woman named Emma Morris who was also from Northamptonshire, England. Frederick had learned about plural marriage in the LDS church and after some time it was proposed that he marry Emma as a plural wife. The only way to communicate with his wife Mary Ann back in England was by letter and he thought there was no way he could teach his wife about plural marriage in a letter. He feared that if he told her he was marrying a plural wife, she would think he was divorcing her and would probably never come to the United States. If he traveled back to England in person, he would be subject to debtor’s prison. He decided to wait and teach Mary Ann about Mormonism when she arrived.
He married Emma Morris around the year 1861 and they started a family. He continued to send money back to his first wife Mary Ann and tried many times to talk her into coming to the United States and to bring their son Charles. She instead would use all the money to pay on their debt. She wrote back to him and said that she was going to stay there in England until the debt was completely paid off. Mary Ann was working and putting everything she could save toward the debt also.
In 1868 and 1869, Brigham Young encouraged LDS members throughout Utah to band together to support member owned business and create Cooperatives throughout the state. They established Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution or Z.C.M.I. during this time period. Local merchants in Morgan banded together and created ZCMI in Morgan. Frederick worked as a manager and salesman at ZCMI. He was also employed as a shoemaker and cobbler at Cooperative Tanning and Manufacturing Company, a local shoe shop and tannery.
Around the year of 1877, almost 20 years after Frederick had first left England, Mary Ann made arrangements to come to the United States with her son Charles. When she arrived in Morgan, Utah, she discovered Frederick was well established in the town. He had a prominent position on the City Council but he also had a family and 6 children with his second wife Emma. It was a shock to Mary Ann since she had never even considered plural marriage before. She didn’t stay long and returned to England heartbroken with her son Charles.
When they got home, Charles felt that they didn’t give his father a fair chance to explain his side of the story. Charles had studied the Bible all his years growing up and was sure he could convince his father the error of his ways, and to come back to England. In time, Charles made his way back to the United States and arrived in Morgan, Utah by train on September 23, 1879. Over the next year, Charles had many discussions of scripture with his father and attended meetings at the LDS Church. Rather than convince his father of his errors, Charles was also converted to the LDS church and was baptized November 9th, 1880.
From 1877 to 1881, Frederick was elected and served as the Morgan County Assessor. While serving in this office, there was a man that wanted to take money from the county by fraud. This man was considered an upstanding citizen by most people and even had three wives. He tried to get Frederick to assist him with the fraud, but instead Frederick exposed him.
Frederick also served as the Morgan County Attorney from 1885 to 1890. Many of his children served in prominent positions in the community over the years. He and Emma had a total of 7 children.
In 1887, his son Charles had traveled back to England on a mission for the LDS church. Charles had hoped to meet and talk with his mother who he had not seen since his trip to the United States. Unfortunately, before he could make his way to her, she had passed away in May of that year only a short time before Charles arrived. People who knew her told Charles she had died of a broken heart.
On September 8th, 1893, Frederick married 51 year old, Elizabeth Thurgood who had also emigrated from England to the United States to join the LDS church and who had 5 children from a previous marriage.
On January 8th, 1894, Frederick’s wife Emma passed away in Morgan, Utah.
Frederick Kingston died on February 24th, 1896.
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