William Luther Croff wore many hats through out his life. Born on March 25 of 1840 in Northfield, Summit County, Ohio the oldest child of William Cowee and Julia Ann Bougey Croff. His father trained him as a blacksmith, which skills he used throughout his life, but mining became his primary profession. He was said to have known much about mines and mining in the central and southern parts of Utah, his “opinions on the topic held considerable weight”.
During his twenty’s his life read like an adventure movie with drama in every corner, but things settled down when he married Harriett Mariah Higley at age 30. He later went on to become the father of eleven children! John Arthur Croff was the son we decended from. William served in the political arena as a City Councilman in Eureka and a Justice of the Peace in Minersville for 22 years. Church service was a large part of William’s life. He assisted in building the St. George Temple, working there for two years, the Manti Temple, Salt Lake and Logan Temples and five meetinghouses and two tabernacles. In addition to building, he served in his local ward area doing such things as a “home teacher” and president of the YMMIA a number of times and counselor for a Bishop. A highlight was serving a mission to England from 1907 to 1909 keeping a daily journal while there. A quote from his mission journal tells much about this multisided man.
November 26, 1907, “This morning I called my family together before parting from my good home and we all bowed ourselves before God and I dedicated all that is most near and dear to me into His kind care and protection, and took the train for Salt Lake City.”
William often put on the hat of writer and historian. In an old large envelope that has been passed down from one generation to another are sheets of paper that William had copied a number of his family’s patriarchal blessings as well as a timeline of family events and his own biography. Note his beautiful hand. The pages below are pieces from his wife, Harriet's patriarchal blessing. The originals are in Colleen Sperry Smith's possession, a great granddaughter.
Picture: William Croff and Sons
Joel Daniel (UL), William Ellis (UC), John Arthur (UR), Ira Mark (LR), William Luther (LC), and James Adelbert (LL)