3 Oct 1825 - 12 Aug 1920
Thomas Sirls Terry was born in Bristol Township, Buicks County, Pennsylvania, on 3 Oct 1825 to Thomas Sirls and Mary Ann Murkins Terry. Thomas went to work at the age of 7 in a local cotton mill. At 17 he was apprenticed to learn the trade of printing calico cloth.
Thomas first heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints (Mormons) in November of 1841. He was taught and baptized by Joseph Newton on 12 Mar 1952. Thomas was always true to his new faith. On 19 Jun 1947 he began the 1,030-mile journey west, as a teamster, to be with other members of the church, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on 25 Sept 1847.
In 1849 Thomas became acquainted with Mary Ann Pulsipher, the daughter of a prominent pioneer family; they married on Christmas day of that year. On 5 May 1855 he took a second wife, Eliza Jane Pulsipher, the youngest sister of Mary Ann.
In October of 1856 Thomas was called to leave his families and farm and go on a mission. He labored in Philadelphia and New Jersey. He was released from his mission by Parley P. Pratt and was assigned, as captain, a company of the Saints going west.
In the fall of 1862 Thomas was called to the Dixie Cotton Mission in southwestern Utah. After spending the winter in St. George, he moved his families to Shoal Creek (Hebron), Washington County, Utah. Later he built a ranch and stage station at Moroni Springs west of Hebron.
In 1867 Thomas was ordained a high priest and called as bishop of the Hebron Ward. He served as bishop for 27 years. In 1878 he married his third wife, Hannah Louisa Leavitt. Because of the Edmunds Tucker act, in 1885 Thomas moved Hannah's family to the Beaver Dam Wash in Washington County.
Hebron was abandoned. Thomas and his family moved to Enterprise where he was called as a patriarch of the area.
Perhaps the greatest written statement of Thomas Sirls Terry are his won words of encouragement to his 30 children: "When famine and starvation stared me in the face, and hunger had so weakened my moral frame, that when at my door I would have to sit down to rest in order to gain strength? still I hung on to my faith and integrity in the Lord? And when a mist of darkness had darkened the horizon of truth and when the prophets of God, who were slain for the testimony which they bore, by the wicked fiends of Hell, and when destruction seemed to the total overthrow of the whole Church, my faith was still in the Lord, and would serve the God of Israel and would never let anything shake me from my firm position in the commandments of Christ. Therefore, my dear children, let nothing of an evil nature persuade you from a righteous course through life, and always carry out your righteous decrees and be firm in your determinations."
Thomas Sirls Terry died 12 Aug 1920 at the age 95 and was buried in Enterprise, Utah.
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