Family in St. George

St. George is the biggest city in Southern Utah and it was the first to be pioneer in 1861. From our family, Charles Westover and families were there to begin with. Charles is the younger brother of Edwin Westover, and the 2nd son of Electa Westover.

Charles WestoverWe have been fortunate over the years to collect a lot of history about Charles and his families. He was just a teen when he crossed the plains in 1848 and he came in association with Erastus Snow, who hired him to manage his rig and help the Snow family come to Utah. (Erastus Snow, an apostle, was one very busy man and needed the help).

Charles and Erastus Snow would maintain a life long association (Erastus Snow baptized Charles Westover). After arriving in Salt Lake, Charles continued to work for the Snows until after he married Eliza Ann Haven, who he had met and fell in love with while on the trek west. Charles lived and worked with Edwin while both were in Big Cottonwood. He was called to the Cotton Mission in 1861 with hundreds of others. He appears on the original settler city map for St. George and did build a home that is now just blocks away from where he is now buried in the St. George City cemetery. Here is our video about Charles, his families, and St. George:

Charles was a farmer. He lived in St. George for several years before moving to Pinto. After about a decade he came back to St. George before settling in Washington City, which is a small city nearby. In his many years in Washington Charles remained very active in community affairs and served for a while as Bishop.

He also provided a home for his mother, Electa Westover, who established herself in the community and church. When the temple was built she would spend the remainder of her life living with Charles and his family and as a temple worker in St. George.

Charles and Eliza was the anchor of Westover family gatherings and activities in the St. George area. They held reunions, attended family temple events, weddings, baptisms and other significant occasions. When other Westovers – such as Edwin and families – traveled it was at the Charles Westover home they stayed.

It’s easy to say that Charles was “just a farmer”. His industry over many decades is well documented but so too is his service in church and community affairs. He fought in the Black Hawk War. He served many times moving goods from Southern Utah to Northern Utah. He went where he was asked, dug in roots, and became productive everywhere he served in Southern Utah.

Charles was a faithful foot soldier, little noted for big accomplishments. He gave up his life for the cause by being a steady steward. His family loved him and later generations have honored his goodness.

This picture of Charles and Eliza was widely published in newspapers in their last days, remember them for their pioneer contributions and longevity. At one time they were thought of as the “first married couple in Utah” (1849). They have not only their citizenship, work and service records out there but also their testimonies are written and their spiritual experiences are recorded.

Charles and Eliza

Their children went on to pioneering stories of their own, their grandchildren have preserved and added to their beautiful record.

Like others we have talked about on Damon’s Family History Adventure, Charles was connected and known. His work on the St. George temple is as significant as anyone’s and with the others of the Westover family he gathered with them when that temple was dedicated. There is no doubt that he too has years of temple working experience in St. George.

Jeff Westover
Jeff Westover

Husband, father, Latter-day Saint, 11th generation American, and web geek currently residing in Smithfield, Utah. Please visit my website at

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