Richard Golightly (1807-1872)

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Richard Golightly
Richard Golightly.jpg
Born: 15 Jun 1807 New Castle on Tyne, Northumberland, England
Died: 11 Feb 1872 Salt Lake City, Utah
Father: John Golightly
Mother: Jane Marr
Spouse: (1) Isabella Richardson
Married: 15 Apr 1827
Children: Baby Boy Golightly
Baby Girl Golightly
Baby Boy Golightly
Baby Girl Golightly
Baby Girl Golightly
William Golightly
Isabella Golightly
Jane Golightly
Elizabeth Golightly
Richard Golightly
Thomas Golightly
John Golightly
Spouse: (2) Elizabeth Sophia Jessop
Married: 20 Jan 1855 Salt Lake City, Utah
Children: Joseph Jessop Golightly
Frances Lucy Golightly
Esther Lucy Golightly
Mark Jessop Golightly
Spouse: (3) Jane Clinnell
Married: 20 Jan 1855 Salt Lake City, Utah

Richard, a son of John Golightly and Jane Marr, was born 15 June 1807 at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England.

As a young man, Richard served an apprenticeship for five years, upon completion he was well qualified to become a baker.

He married in the year of 1827, Isabella Richardson, a daughter of William Richardson and Mary Henderson. Unfortunately, they lost their first five children by death at a very young age, three girls and two boys.

Richard and Isabella establish a profitable bakery

The Golightly's moved to Gateshead, Durham, England. The 1841 British Census (HO107/296/16 folio 21) shows Richard, age 33, a baker, living in the Gateshead Township, on Ellison Street with wife Isabella (age 30), and three children who were born in Gateshead, Isabella (age 4), Jane (age 2), and Elizabeth (age 5 months). (A second 1841 census record has the identical information but shows Richard's age at 35 and the address at Jackson Street (HO107/296/16 folio 15).)

Richard established a profitable bakery combined with a grocery store. Jane later described their home as "a large three-story brick house, with the bakery and the grocery store on the first floor."

The bakery business did so well that Richard was compelled to hire three men to help him. Richard and these three men cared for the bakery, while Isabella was employed to care for the groceries, wait on customers, keep the books and do the ordering of the daily supplies.

A reputation for the wonderful bread, crackers, soft breakfast biscuits and other bakery goods brought Richard a well established business that was known for miles around. Some wealthy people as far away as London (100 miles) ordered from his bakery. It is said that Queen Victoria purchased bakery goods from the Golightly bakery.

At Gateshead seven more children were born to the Richard and Isabella. The sixth child William died as an infant. The seventh, eighth, and ninth children lived to maturity; they were Isabella, Jane, and Elizabeth. The tenth child, Richard, died as an infant. The eleventh and twelfth children, Thomas and John, also lived to maturity. A girl was employed by the Golightly family to care for their home and children, leaving Richard and Isabella free to care for their business.

The bread was made from either white or rye flour and caraway seed, and baked in huge ovens. Work to get ready for the day’s business was begun at 2 or 3 a.m. Every morning a wagon was sent out to deliver bread and bakery goods to surrounding villages.

Richard hears the gospel

In the year of 1850 Richard heard the gospel of Jesus Christ preached by Elder Bainbridge, a local missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [1] Richard was convinced of the truthfulness of the gospel and was determined to leave his native land and join the Saints in the Valleys of the Rocky Mountains where he could see for himself whether or not the Elders had spoken the truth. Isabella was a Methodist, and said that her religion was good enough for her and refused to attend meetings held by the Elders.

At that time prejudice against the Mormon Elders and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was so strong, that all friends, neighbors and relatives united in an effort to keep Richard from carrying out his plan of leaving his homeland and emigrating to America. Isabella pleaded with Richard and told him that she could not bear to see him go and she refused to go with him. He was one never to make hasty decisions, so he decided not to be baptized until he became thoroughly convinced that it was the only true gospel of Christ upon the earth.

So, determined to go to America, unknown to his family, he tied his clothes in one of his wife’s best sheets and left home one day at 2 or 3 a.m. When he didn’t come upstairs for his breakfast that morning, his wife, not finding him in the bakery, appealed to the detective agency for help. Every boat that set sail from England for America was watched for a week.

Not yet sailing for America, Richard stayed for a week with friends at the Thomas Watson home, wondering whether or not to return to his family or go to America. His friend kept his confidence and kept his secret. Every night until he left for America, he disguised himself and passed his bakery to get one more glance at his wife and family, whom he shrank at leaving.

While Richard was still in the Watson home, his wife came and told the friend of her and the family's sorrow. Weeping bitterly, she said, “If I could only reach him before he sails, I’d go with him.” Richard was in an adjoining room and heard his wife. He had his hand on the doorknob ready to open it and say “here I am,” but some power stayed his hand and said, “not yet.” He felt that he must satisfy himself first.

Richard's journey to Salt Lake City

On Thursday February 2, 1851 Richard along with 377 other LDS passengers under the leadership of Elder George D. Watt (who would later marry Richard's daughter Elizabeth) embarked at Liverpool on board the ship “Ellen Maria.” Among the passengers on board were Apostle Orson Pratt and his family, who had been the president of the mission in England and adjacent countries since 1848. Because of strong winds the ship anchored in the river Mersey until Saturday morning, when she put to sea before a fair breeze and in delightful weather.

Elder Watt, in a letter dated 1 July 1851, reported the following summary of the company's voyage:

"[The Ellen Maria] experienced a strong gale of wind on the fifth of February, but it abated on the sixth, and in a few days afterwards the Saints had become accustomed to sea life, and were free from sickness. On the 11th she cleared the Irish Sea, where it is not uncommon for vessels to be detained twenty or thirty days. The remainder of the voyage was pleasant as sea voyages generally."
"Meetings were held every Sabbath, and also during the week; at which Elder Pratt addressed the Saints and others present, on the glories of our holy religion, "treating of the dealings of God with mankind in former times, and upon what he will do in the latter times, quoting from the prophets in the written word, and opening the future to view, until the Saints felt like leaping for joy, and shouting aloud, because of their privilege to live in these days, when the power and majesty of God are, and shall be, displayed in so many marvelous ways."

Three marriages, four births and five deaths occurred on board.

Passengers on the Ellen Maria were processed at the Port of New Orleans on 7 Apr 1851. On 9 Apr, most of the company left New Orleans for St. Louis, onboard the "Alex. Scott," one of the largest boats on the Mississippi river, and arrived there on the 16th. Richard traveled with Elder Joseph Bainbridge and his family. (A total of 7 persons with the last name Bainbridge are included in the passenger list.), Upon arriving at St. Louis, Richard parted with the Bainbridges and started a bakery. He stayed there one year, earning enough money to fund the rest of his journey west to Salt Lake City.

Richard is recorded as part of the John Tidwell Company, which consisted of about 340 individuals and about 54 wagons, departed from the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa (present day Council Bluffs) between 4-9 June 1852 and arrived in Salt Lake Valley between 10-23 September 1852.

He was baptized 12 October 1852 in Salt Lake City.

As soon as he was able, in 1852, he started a bakery, known as the City Bakery. It was located on Main Street between First and Second South.

Reunited with his family

As often as possible he sent letters to his family, but this was a very difficult thing to do as mail did not travel as it does today.

A little over two years after Richard left for America, his wife sold the bakery and made preparations to emigrate with her children. Richard sent a letter of introduction with Elder Appleton Harmon to his wife. Elders Harmon, Higbee, and John McAllister were released to return to America from three-year missions and traveled in the same company as the Golightly family. Elder Harmon was very kind to them and assisted them in every way he could. They left England on January 21, 1853, on the sailing vessel "Golconda."

When Richard heard that his family was nearing Salt Lake Valley, he left Salt Lake City with a good supply of food and went to meet them in Echo Canyon. It had been three years since Richard had seen his wife and children. While being overjoyed at the sight of him, their meeting was filled with shock and sadness in some respects.

The children had never seen their father in a colored shirt while he was in England. So when he met them wearing a hickory shirt, red-topped leather boots and course trousers, they were shocked at his appearance. And he was shocked at theirs. Isabella had been the picture of health and now she was thin and worn with severe trials and exposure of the journey. Her robust health was gone; she was almost an invalid.

Richard had brought, among other things, a pound cake that delighted the children.

The reunited family hurried on ahead of the company in the wagon their father had brought from Salt Lake. Isabella was heartbroken because she had heard that he had married another wife. She asked him if it were true, and he said it was, that President Young had counseled him to take another wife. He broke down and cried like a child and his family wept with him. Isabella requested that she not have to be with the other wife and vowed that in the spring she would return to England.

The family arrived in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 16, 1853. Their journey had covered a distance of 7000 miles and had taken nine months.

The Globe Bakery

Richard did well in his business, selling all kinds of bakery products in addition to two kinds of yeast. One was known as “on-set yeast” and the other was “potato yeast.” [2] He rarely received money for his goods; instead he traded for other products, such as molasses, flour, potatoes, butter, etc.

Richard Golightly ad Deseret News 7 Dec 1854.JPG

One day in the year 1855, President Brigham Young came to the bakery and said, “Brother Golightly, I have a mission for you to perform.” In reply Richard said he was willing to do all he could, but he felt he was not qualified to preach the gospel, as he was not a public speaker. President Young said, “Your mission is not to preach the gospel, but I want you to turn your bakery over to the Church.” Richard agreed. Instead of working for himself, Richard turned over all the proceeds from the bakery to the Church. The bakery was moved to a location between South Temple and First South on Main Street and its name was changed to the “Globe Bakery.

At the end of two years, President Young again approached Richard and said, “Brother Golightly, I had been told that you were a good man and I wanted to test you to see if your religion meant as much to you as you profess. I have found you to be all you made out to be and more. You are a very good man, servant, trustworthy, honest and fearful. Now Brother Golightly, what do I owe you for wages for the last two years?” He was then paid a well-deserved wage. At the same time, Brigham Young sold the Globe Bakery back to Richard Golightly. He then ran the bakery as his own until his death on 11 Feb 1872. [John Couley managed the business for the Golightly estate until 1876, when it was purchased by Henry Arnold, Sr. Mr. Arnold operated the bakery until his death in 1888.]

Globe Bakery Merry Christmas ad.JPG

During the time he baked for President Young, Richard also furnished bread for President Heber C. Kimball and others of the Church authorities. The daughters of these men used to come to The Globe every night and carry home big baskets of bread.

At the request of President Young, Brother Golightly arranged to have President Young's wife, Lucy B. Young, and her daughter Susan spend a week at his bakery in 1870, that they might study his methods of mixing and baking breads, cakes and candy, before Sister Young moved to St. George, in December, 1870. This was an informal domestic science class.

To Richard the service of his daughters in the bakery was worth more than any man he could hire. For three and a half years they assisted their father with the baking and waiting on customers.

Globe Bakery 1868.jpg

The Globe Bakery was located at 24 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, just across Main Street from the home where Heber J. Grant lived the first 7 years of his life. It was the first bakery in Salt Lake City. The original building stood back in the lot twenty feet from the Main Street sidewalk, but in 1877 Mr. Arnold extended the front of the store out to the sidewalk. President Grant reminisced in the April 1898 Improvement Era: "As I looked across the street at the Constitution Building, I remembered the time when the old Constitution Building stood there, and as I gazed at the Home Fire Building, I remembered the old Globe Bakery and barber shop adjoining, which occupied the site when I was but five or six years old." [There is a picture of the Globe Bakery in the November 1937 edition of the Improvement Era.] The Globe Bakery was among the buildings reported destroyed by a fire that started just after midnight on June 21, 1883. The fire broke out on the premises of H. B. Clawson's Wagon Depot in the block immediately south of Temple Square. It quickly spread through the interior of the block, fed by a number of small wooden structures.

Elizabeth Golightly Watt

Elizabeth Golightly worked in the bakery for three years, until she married George D. Watt. Elder Watt worked in President Young's office for 20 years. It is claimed that he was the first man baptized into the LDS Church in Great Britain. and that his mother was the first woman baptized by Mormon elders in England. George and Elizabeth Watt first lived in what is now Rowland Hall, the original structure of which it is said George built. They later moved to Daysville and still later owned a large home on the hillside near Layton.

Plural wives

Isabella died on 12 May 1854, only two months after Mr. Carvalho's interview with her. Richard then was married to Jane Clennel, Elizabeth Jessop, and Mary Bonsey. He married Elizabeth Jessop and Jane Clennel on the same day, 20 Jan 1855. Jane Clennel was a passenger with Richard on the Ellen Maria. He married Jane Thorn on 27 Sep 1860, and Mary Bonsey on 2 Jul 1863.

Played the kent bugle in Captain Bellow's band

Richard Golightly joined Captain Bellow's band in 1853[3][4][5].

Richard Golightly in brass band uniform.jpg

1871 letter

Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star (London, 1872) pp. 45-45:

Salt Lake City, Dec. 15, 1871.

Elder George Reynolds[6],

Dear Brother--The recent small-pox epidemic in London, Sheffield, South Shields, &c.,[7] proves to my mind that, notwithstanding the introduction of vaccination,[8] we have not yet done with that disease; indeed, how could such a thing be reasonably expected without we remove its causes.

After upwards of half a century of experience, vaccination alone appears to be as fallacious as the idea of Roman Catholics presuming that they can buy absolution, whilst continuing in sin.

To prevent small-pox, it is necessary that our dwelling-houses should be built and situated according to sanitary principles; every house should have at least an acre of land around it for a garden, so that the vegetation may purify the atmosphere; each house should be built detached, with large windows on all sides, light and health being kindred principles. Building garrets or attics should be abolished, for if each room is to contain enough air so that every inspiration may be pure, it should be at least 18 feet in length and width, and 12 feet in height. The dry earth system should be adopted in closets, as thereby the excrement is deodorized, and a powerful cause of foul air removed.

Indeed it appears to me more unreasonable every day for people to expect to be free from disease whilst violating the laws of health, the laws of nature, and the laws of God almost momentarily. I dare also assert that, if men would obey the Levitical law, regulating the intercourse of the sexes, there would be no small-pox, and very little similarly names loathsome diseases in existence. How ridiculous ! nay criminal ! to smother up such a sublime and important truth with an empirical practice like vaccination, which neither belongs to science nor the Gospel.

Let us, then, who are blessed with a knowledge of these exalted principles of the Gospel, send them forth to the world, so that we may hasten the rise of the sun of righteousness with healing in his wings and aid to dispel the pitchy darkness of the apostate night with all its schemes like vaccination, which in the millennium will be driven into deserved obscurity.

Yours in the Gospel of life,

Richard Golightly

Death Notice and Obituary

From the Deseret News:

In this city, February 14, 10:50 p.m., of dropsy, Richard Golightly, born June 15, 1807, at Newcastle-on-Tyne, Northumberland, England.

Deceased emigrated to this country in the fall of 1852, and was baptized in October of the same year.

Soon afterwards he was ordained to the office of a Priest, and a short time subsequently to that of an Elder, and afterwards became a member of the Sixth Quorum of Seventies, from which position he was promoted [in Februrary 1861] to that of one of the Presidents of the Sixty-second Quorum [of Seventy]. He also acted as a teacher in the Eighth Ward for many years to the satisfaction of the authorities thereof.

He was well known for his sterling worth and integrity and was much respected by his brethren for his energy and faithfulness in officiating in every position he was called to fill. He was kind and obliging to all and upright in his business dealings. He was the principal baker and confectioner in this city for many years previous to his death. He leaves a large family to mourn his loss. Some of his children are grown to manhood and womanhood and married.

RESOLUTIONS OF RESPECT for and sympathy with the family of the late Richard Golightly by the members of Capt. M. Croxall's band, of which he was a member.

Whereas, It having pleased Providence to call from us our friend and fellow bandsman, Richard Golightly; from respect to his memory and the warm friendship we entertain for him and for his many excellent qualities of hand and heart, be it

Resolved, That we hereby express our sincere sorrow at being called upon to part with a good man, endeared to us by long years of close association; while sensible that he has passed to a better and brighter sphere.

Resolved, That we extend our most heartfelt sympathies to his family in this their great bereavement.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the Deseret News and Salt Lake Herald for publication.

(Signed) M. Croxall, On behalf of the band.


  1. Elder Joseph Bainbridge was responsible for the Newcastle branch of the Carlisle Conference. On 10 Jan 1847, a meeting of the Carlisle Conference was held in the lecture room of the Tyne Polytechnic Society, No. 11, Nuns-street, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Minutes of the meeting in the Millenial Star reported that there were 36 members of the Newcastle branch, including 2 elders, 4 priests, 1 teacher, and 1 deacon.
  2. Potato yeast was prepared by boiling hops and potatoes together, pouring the water over flour, and then adding sugar and salt to the mixture. This liquid potato yeast "starter" was a popular form of yeast, but was tricky, and when it soured, a new batch had to be made.
  3. Carvalho's account says he played the kent bugle
  4. He was a member of John Croxall's brass band, which played the "Dead March in Saul," in the funeral procession for Heber C. Kimball's funeral in June 1868 (Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, p. 68) and at the laying of the last rail at Promontory Summit, May 10, 1869)
  5. "How it must have gladdened the hearts of those waiting for news from friends in the East to hear the music of Mr. Golightly's bugle ring out from the mouth of Emigration canyon across the valley on the still frosty air!" from "In the Fifties and the Sixties," Utah Daily Chronicle 6 Feb 1893
  6. George Reynolds (1842-1909) was a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a longtime secretary to the First Presidency of that church, and a party to the 1878 United States Supreme Court case, Reynolds v. United States. In May 1871, Brigham Young asked Reynolds to return to his native England to assist Apostle Albert Carrington in the publication of the Millennial Star, a church magazine for British Latter-day Saints. Reynolds did so, and in September of that year Carrington was required to return to the United States, leaving Reynolds as the de facto mission president of the church's European Mission. Reynolds himself contracted a severe case of smallpox, and when Carrington returned in May 1872, Reynolds returned to Salt Lake City to recover
  7. From 1870 to 1873 there were widespread outbreaks of smallpox in the U.K. About 44,000 people in England, 10,000 of them in London, died from the disease.
  8. Vaccination was first made compulsory in the U.K. in 1853; and these laws were made successively more stringent in 1867, 1871, and 1874.