WALTER WILLIAM ACKROYD
Walter William was born in Yorkshire, England in 1846. His family came from England to Hennepin, Illinois in the early 1850’s when Walter was a child. In 1854 Walters father died and two days after his father’s death his mother passed. The three children were given to different families in the town. Walter went to the Shepherd family who had a farm just two miles east of Hennepin. Walter stayed with that family for four years and then moved to another family the Powers that owned the neighboring farm. In 1861 Walter made a deal with the son of Mr. Powers to go with him to Missouri to improve some land that he had purchased. On November 1st, 1862, Walter enlisted into the United States military and was a soldier for the Union. His regiment served in multiple battles in 1864 when Walter was 18. In 1865 Walter was discharged and went back to Missouri. In 1868 Walter married Lucinda Cooley, the couple moved quite a lot during their marriage but in 1881 Lucinda left him taking their children with her. They divorced in 1883 and during this time Walter settled in Paris Idaho and joined the Mormon church. In 1885 Walter married Isabella Jane Walker born 1846 in Bloomington, Idaho. The couple purchased a homestead in Bear Lake County and Walter struggled to find work. By 1899 the homestead was proving fruitful and in June the family was called by their church to come to Magrath to help build the irrigation canal. They arrived in September of 1899 and started another homestead.
Walter had ten children between his two marriages. Lucinda’s children were Nellie Demeris (passed at 2), Grant (passed at 8), Robert Lincoln, Rosa Martin (Edwards). Isabella’s children were James Walter (passed at 48), Smith, Susan Isabell (Searle), Rachel (Forsyth), Charles Marion, Nora (Nielsen).
OCCUPATION AND SKILLS
Walter worked on the irrigation canals and was an excellent farmer and a good horticulturist. He planted an orchard of fruit trees, though many had not yet been proven for hardiness in the area. Isabella worked on their homestead in both Bear Lake and Magrath often doing all the chores when Walter was away finding work.
Walter is said to have had the largest library in town, and at times it is claimed that he may have devoted more attention to his library than to his farming operations. He was an early exhibitor and winner in grain trophy competitions.