Levi was born in 1865 in Taylorsville, Utah. He married Martha Burns, who was born in 1863 in Derbyshire, England, and she came to the States as a four-year-old. Martha and Levi met while she was working for Levi's sister in Salt Lake. Levi once said that the moment he saw Martha he knew he was going to marry her and in November of 1884 he did. In 1886 they purchased a farm in Taylorsville, it had a brick house and the lived there until 1892. In 1892, Levi's brother who had moved to Alberta three years prior returned to Utah. He described the wonderful opportunities in Canada and Levi and Martha soon moved. This move involved leaving a comfortable home, family and friends and it took 6 weeks by team and wagon. In 1899, he was called by the church to move to and help settle Magrath. He became the first mayor of Magrath in 1906, and was the first bishop of the Magrath Mormon church, which position he held for 32 years. He was often referred to as the “Father of Magrath,” because of the many civic and church involvements. Martha passed away in Magrath in 1937, just two years before Levi. Many of their descendants still live in this community.
Levi and Marsha’s family included Mabel, Levi Linnus, Joseph Charles, Earl, James B., Orin B., Golden B., Rulon B., Nephi, Burns.
OCCUPATION AND SKILLS
Levi bought prairie land, broke and improved it. He also raised cattle and sheep. He also was one of the organizers of the first store in Magrath. He was instrumental in helping to get the irrigation canal system and railroad coming through Magrath. He was reported to be well-tempered, wise and a just man. He was a good boxer and wrestler and a crack shot with a rifle. Marsha was known for her spotless house, her tremendous cooking and good-natured personality.
LEVI'S VISION OF MAGRATH
While living in Cardston, Levi was riding his horse about 10 miles south of where Magrath now lies. There were no road or fences only some trails across the prairies. “As I rode on this vantage slope of the Milk River Ridge, which became McIntyre Ranch property, I suddenly felt impelled to stop my horse and look north when a vision spread in his view. At that time Magrath was unknown. He saw the country crisscrossed with fences divided into fields, prosperous farms and well-traveled roads running between section lines. He also saw a canal which wound its way along the slope of the Milk River ridge and fields of golden grain were everywhere. It was intervened with green fields of sugar beets or hay. Prosperous farmsteads dotted the fields. On the north bank of the Pothole Creek saw a prosperous town with beautiful trees and comfortable homes. looked in wonder, as saw beneath the soil rich reserves of gas and oil - potential wealth of the future. A voice seemed to say, “You will see all this come to pass and more.”
Detailed history of the Harker family is found in "Harker Heritage" book.