Benjamin W. Driggs Answers Last Call
Formerly of Pleasant Grove and For Many Years Representative of News—
Led Active Life.

Ogden, Oct. 1.—Benjamin W. Driggs, formerly of Pleasant Grove and for many years agent and correspondent of the Deseret News, died yesterday afternoon at 4 o’clock in the Dee hospital of a complication of kidney and bladder troubles. He had been ill about one month and was taken to the hospital about three days ago in the hopes that he might recover sufficiently to undergo an operation. His death was peaceful and quiet and members of the family were at his beside when the end came. Recently, Mr. Driggs had made his home in Ogden at 732 Twenty-fourth street.

Benjamin Woodbury Driggs was born in Licking county, Ohio, May 13, 1837. Two years after his parents moved to Illinois, where they joined the “Mormon” Church and lived in Nauvoo until the spring of 1846, when they with others were driven out of that city. The events of these times were impressed on the boy’s memory, and he recalled in vivid detail the _____ associated with the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, and other historic events connected with the early history of the Church. One memory he cherished was the sacrifice he made for the building of the Nauvoo temple. He gave a treasured little wagon his father had made for him, which was used by the workmen. As soon as the boy was old enough to work he assisted his father, S.F. Driggs, in his wagon shop, where many of the wagons were made which crossed the plains. For six years after the exodus from Nauvoo, the family lived in Iowa, on Little Pigeon creek. Here preparations were made to cross the plains and in 1852 the journey to the Rocky mountains was begun. Upon their arrival in Utah the family settled in Pleasant Grove. In 1855 B.W. Driggs went to California with his uncle, Sterling Driggs, one of the original pioneers. Here the young man worked among the “Mormon” colonies for two years and returned to Utah. In December 1856, he responded to a call made by Prest. Brigham Young for volunteers to help the belated, snowbound handcart and independent companies into the valley. In 1857 he married Olivia Pratt, eldest daughter of Parley P. Pratt. Shortly after his marriage he took part in the Johnston’s army episode, serving in the company of Capt. Willis as cavalryman during the fall and winter near Fort Bridger. On one occasion he acted as guide for Capt. Lot Smith on a foray down Green River. During the early sixties he engaged in blacksmithing and trading with the emigrants on Ham’s fork and South pass. When the Black Hawk war broke out B.W. Driggs was made major in the militia and sent with General Pace’s command into Sanpete county. He served in this position for two years. In 1867 he married Rosalia E. Cox of Manti. During 1869 he helped to build the Union Pacific railroad, having taken a grading contract to Echo canyon. In 1870 he left for a mission to England; while there he became president of the Birmingham conference. On his return from England he engaged in the mercantile business in West Jordan and later in Pleasant Grove. He was a merchant during the rest of his active life. Of Benjamin W. Driggs it may be said, his was a life of untiring activity. He worked incessantly until the time of his last illness, and he was known as a public spirited man. He responded to every call made upon him and was generous and kind to his family and friends. He was ever faithful to his religion and stanch in the gospel always; for love of it he sacrificed much and was ever ready to bear testimony of its truth. He was a true and devoted husband and father and never failed to perform any duty to his family. His wife Rosalia, and the following 14 children survive him; Benjamin W., Don C., Parley S., Frank M., Leland M., Howard R., William K., Burton W., Mrs. Luna Clark, Leonora, Mrs. J.Z. Brown, Mrs. Bernard Christensen, Mrs. Leo Heller, and Mrs. O.W. Halverson.

Funeral services will be held in Pleasant Grove Friday Oct. 4.

[Deseret News, Oct. 2, 1913]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Jan. 2006]


Funeral of B.W. Driggs
Impressive Service for Pioneer Held at Pleasant Grove.

Impressive funeral services for B.W. Driggs of Pleasant Grove, father of Prof. Howard R. Driggs at the University of Utah, were held at Pleasant Grove at 1 o’clock Friday afternoon. Numerous friends of the decedent from this city and other places attended the services, and beautiful floral tributes were presented. Several speakers, some of them from Salt Lake, all long-time friends of Mr. Driggs, bore testimony of his excellent life, and of the good he had done.

The Black Hawk war veterans, of which Mr. Driggs was a member, attended the services and sang two war-time songs under the direction of George Harrison of Springville. Other music was furnished by the Pleasant Grove high school students, and by Mrs. Edith Grant Young and Miss Eva Crawford of Salt Lake City. Miss Crawford gave two selections on the violin, “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” and “O, My Father.” Mrs. Young sang a solo.

The speakers were Elder Seymour B. Young of this city, a boyhood acquaintance and playmate of the decedent, and who was with him in several Indian expeditions; Andrew Jenson, Church historian, who had been associated with Mr. Driggs in Pleasant Grove; William L. Hayes of Pleasant Grove, Douglas M. Todd of Salt Lake City and James Clark of the Alpine stake presidency. All speakers testified to the worth and integrity of the decedent, and gave reminiscent incidents which reflected his character.

Burial was in the Pleasant Grove cemetery, where the grave was dedicated by Robert Thorne, a Black Hawk war veteran. It was 61 years and one day from the time Mr. Driggs arrived in Utah to the day of his funeral.

[Deseret News, Oct. 4, 1913]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Jan. 2006]


Return to histories of B.W. Driggs