Robert Patefield Redford (1814 - 1865)

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Place of Burial: Wellsville, Cache, Utah, United States
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Pilkington, Lancashire, England
Death: Died in Wellsville, Cache, Utah, United States
Occupation: Weaver
Managed by: Ed Ekins
Last Updated:

About Robert Patefield Redford

Married in Call Ch. in Manchester -------------------- He married(1) Lettice Ekersall 2 Apr 1841 by Banns, in the Collegiate Church of Manchester, Lanes., Eng. He married(2) Patience Vay also as his plural wife.

Robert was a weaver by trade and in the 184l Census Schedule for Pilkington is listed as a Salt Dealer. He owned a green grocery. With a donkey and cart he went about the village, also to Manchester and vicinity, selling garden produce. He bought and sold needles, pins, small wares and white sand which were used on floors in public places and on stone flag floors. He made his own shoe blacking. For his pay he received pieces of glassware, bones and clean rags which were sold to paper printers.

Mormonism was unpopular in England at this time. Robert and his friends planned to break up a missionary meeting. Because of his bold and fearless courage, Robert was chosen as most qualified to rid the village of the hated and despised Mormons. On his way to the meeting Robert pondered in his mind how to carry out instructions of the troublemakers. He listened to the message being expounded by the missionaries and was very much impressed by the statement, "Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God". The longer he listened the more he felt within himself these men were telling the truth. When opportunity came he warned the missionaries that dissenters were going to break up the meeting. Robert took them to his home by a different route where he fed and protected them throughout that night and the following week. The dissenters waited impatiently for his return, knowing Robert could do a job well if anyone could. Sometime later they decided things as they had planned were not going so well, for Robert failed to return. They proceeded to the place where the meeting was scheduled to be held. No one was there, neither Robert nor the missionaries. They decided either they had been misinformed about the meeting or else the missionaries had failed to appear. What courage Robert must have possessed in the face of persecution when he was baptized a member of the L.D.S. Church and confirmed 10 Aug 1840 by Walker Johnson.

He had become interested in a "Mormon Girl". Lettice Eckersall was a young widow whom he met daily as she went to and from work. He wanted to be friendly with her but she gave him no encouragement. Her attitude toward him soon changed when she learned he had been converted and baptized. They were married 12 April 1841 in the Collegiate Church of Manchester. Thirty of their friends came that evening to help celebrate their marriage, bringing picnic and a few household gifts.

Robert, Lettice and their children as a family, lived the gospel intently together. They belonged to the Radcliffe Branch and had to walk three miles to attend their meetings. The older boys, Joseph Smith and John, ages eight and six, carried the missionary tracts and literature around the neighborhood then gathered them up the following week to distribute to other families, thus showing their devotion and love for the gospel also their eagerness to serve as they had been taught in their home. As the boys advanced in their teens they were called on to lead the singing in Church. They learned to love and sing the songs of Zion. Joining the church had made Robert very unpopular and their business had fallen off so much they had a difficult time making enough money for the bare necessities of life, especially with five children to feed and clothe. Elder David B. Dille advised Robert to go to America where there were more opportunities for work. This was the fulfillment of their uppermost desires since they had joined the Church.

Robert decided to emigrate and as soon as he had earned sufficient money would send for his family. With the happy thought that they would soon be able to join Robert in America, Lettice gave her consent for him to go. He left England and his little family, 27 Nov 1854, in company with W. H. Dille of Hyrum, Utah, sailing on the "Clara Wheeler". As they arrived in the Irish Channel they encountered a heavy gale which disabled the ship, making it necessary to go into Queenstown for repairs. As soon as these were made they shipped out to New Orleans. Robert and three other men: James Crossley, John bit and John Carlyle made their way as far as St. Joseph where they stayed the remainder of the winter of 1854, resuming their journey in the spring of 1855 to Salt Lake City.

Robert traveled across the plains in Captain John Hindley's Independent Company, driving a team of oxen for Thomas Williams, keeper of a large store in Salt Lake City, arriving at his destination 3 Sept 1855. Later on he went to Tooele, Grantsville, then to Ogden where he owned a City lot, then returned to Salt Lake City.

Because of the large number of women joining the church and coming to Utah with the Saints, men were encouraged to have more than one wife. Robert, believing in the Church's teaching of polygamy, met and married Patience Nay. She was a widow who had two yoke of oxen and a wagon which would help greatly in cultivating the new soil so crops could be raised and harvested. The money received would be used to send for his family.

The Echo Canyon War started and Robert was a volunteer when Johnston's Army invaded Utah (1857). He was one of ten men stationed among high rocks, by order of President Brigham Young, at the head of the canyon to retard the march of the Army until they received permission to enter the City. The men would take turns asking for tobacco to stall the Army. The other men would hurry behind rocks further down the road. The Army thinking there were many men among the rocks became frightened and left, saying, "Those rocks are full of Mormons".

Robert made his first trip to Cache Valley in 1858, making his home in Naughan's Fort until President Young asked Peter Maughan to evacuate the settlement in the Fort to a temporary settlement at Willard because of Indian hostilities. This they did, returning in April 1859. Robert returned with them under the leadership of Peter Maughan. He inquired of Bishop William H. Maughan about land, and when asked how much he wanted, Robert replied, "As much as he or thee want". He was given ten acres of farm land and ten acres of hay land.

Eventually the people moved from the Fort to city lots in Wellsville. The first home of Robert was located in the Southwest section of Wellsville. He built a log room with a braided willow door and a dirt roof. A white cloth was hung over the door to admit light and give some protection from the cold. He was living in this one room log house when his two older sons7 Joseph Smith and John, arrived from England.

Robert belonged to the thirty-sixth Quorum of Seventies. Their first meeting in Cache Valley was held at his home in Wellsville, located in the corner of town near Basin Hill.

As spring and summer came Robert took ill with dropsy and died at age fifty one. Until the day of his death he bore a testimony to the truthfulness of the gospel and the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was the only member of his family to join the church. His wife, Lettice, and the other three children arrived in Utah sometime after his death. They never saw him alive again after he left England.

Robert Redford and Lettice Eckersall had the following children:

1. Betty [Eckersall] Redford, 2. Joseph Redford 3. John [Eckersall] Redford, 4. Ann [Eckersall] Redford 5. Abraham [Eckersall] Redford, 6. Robert [Eckersall] Redford, 7. Ephraim Redford

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Robert Redford's Timeline

1814
January 20, 1814
Pilkington, Lancashire, England
April 10, 1814
Prestwich, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
1830
1830
Age 15
Wellsville, Cache, Utah, United States
1841
April 12, 1841
Age 27
Manchester, Lancashire, England
1842
February 21, 1842
Age 28
England
1844
March 16, 1844
Age 30
Pilkington, Lancashire, England
1846
May 27, 1846
Age 32
England
1849
September 1, 1849
Age 35
Pilkington, Lancashire, England
1852
August 18, 1852
Age 38
England
1855
July 6, 1855
Age 41
Halfacre, England