Note: Life & Career of John Foy Chidester JOHN FOY CHIDESTER was born at Spanish Fork, Utah Co., Utah 2 Feb 1853, but while yet very young the family moved to Washington Co., where he had experiences peculiar to the pioneer development of the state. He shared in the ahrdships and privations incident to the settlement of the frontier and attended the schools of the locality, but the school system had at that time been developed only to a limited degree. He used to walk to St. George and back everyday, getting there in time to make the fire as he was the janitor and kept the key to the school house. His father being a carpenter made his own violin but was very particular about letting anybody else handle it, in fact he told the children not to touch it but John being very anxious to play this instrument and having two very willing accomplices - his mother and more especially his aunt - (whenever his father would go away from home) would assist him in getting the violin to practice on. This went on for some time until John could play every tune that his father could play. His aunt rejoicing in this knowledge approached the father with the word that Johnny could play every tune that he himself knew. He could hardly believe this so the two made arrangements for him to pretend to go off while she would have John get the violin out and play - the father to come back and listen. At the conclusion of his playing and while he yet had the violin in his hands, the father appeared in the doorway. Of course the son was very much disturbed imagining all kinds of dire calamities to be heaped upon his head, but not so with the father for he was so surprised and even more pleased that he gave John the violin right there and then and gave him lessons on it. John having learned only by ear. He entered public life in Washington Co. as a constable and afterwards followed various avenues of endeavor until 1883, one of them being the leasing of a ranch in Nevada for about three years at the end of which he traded his crops for about fifty ponies taking them to Washington and trading them or selling them so that he was able to buy him a home. He then moved to Panguitch, Garfield, Utah and determined to make the practice of law his life work. He there pursued his reading of Kent, Blackstone and other commentaries and in 1885 was admitted practice before the Supreme bench of the state. He followed his profession for ten years prior to admission of the state into the Union and with the vital problems which came up for settlement concerning the transformation of Utah from a territory to a state he was closely, prominently and helpfully associated. He served as a member of the constitutional convention while a member of that body he made a determined fight for womans suffrage and other progressive measures. He was afterwards elected state senator from Garfield Co., to the first general assembly in 1896 and aided in the adjustment of public policy and interests of the new statehood. Before that, however, he was county clerk and recorder, also treasurer and city attorney two years when his term as senator had expired he was elected district attorney of the sixth judicial district which office he held for ten years. He was the first Republican chariman of Garfield Co., and also delivered the first Republican speech in the county after the division on national party lines. In 1902 he was appointed judge of the sixth judicial district to succeed W.M. McCarty who had been elected a member of the supreme court, and upon exiration of his appointive term he was elected and remained upon the bench for ten years. In 1911 he became the candidate of his party for member of congress but was defeated by a small vote. In 1912 he was appointed a member of the state land board and served until his death. Through out the entire period of his public service his course was marked by the most earnest devotion to duty - a devotion that manifested itself in close study of every vital situation or problem and unfaltering effort to bring about the best results for the commonwealth. In his church work, too, the same energy and capacity were displayed as in the other fields in which he labored. He served as a missionary to the Southern States for two years; also as a M.I.A. missionary to the Sanpete and Sevier Stakes for six months. He was superintendent of the Panguitch ward. Utah Since Statehood: Historical and Biographical By Noble Warrum HON. JOHN FOY CHlDESTER. The name of John Foy Chidester is indelibly inscribed upon the pages of Utah's history. As a distinguished lawyer, as a member of the state constitutional convention, as a legislator, judge and political leader he did much to shape the development and promote the progress of the commonwealth. As a youth he suffered the handicap of lack of educational advantages such as were common upon the frontier in a new country. Throughout his life, however, he eagerly availed himself of every opportunity for intellectual advancement and was ever a close student and deep thinker. His ideals of citizenship and of life in general were very high and he utilized every chance to raise himself to their level. Judge Chidester was born at Spanish Fork, in Utah county, in 1853, a son of John Peck and Susan (Foy) Chidester. The father, who was a native of the state of New York, followed the occupation of farming. He lived the life of a devout Christian and when his son, Judge Chidester, was very young, removed with his family to Washington county, Utah, where he had experiences peculiar to the pioneer development of the state. The future judge shared in the hardships and privations incident to the settlement of the frontier and attended the schools of the locality, but the school system had at that time been developed to only a limited degree. He entered public life in Washington county as a constable and afterward followed various avenues of endeavor until 1883, when he removed to Panguitch, Utah, and determined to make the practice of law his life work. He there pursued his reading of Kent, Blackstone and other commentaries and in 1885 was admitted to practice before the Utah bar at Beaver, being later admitted to practice before the Supreme bench of the state. He followed his profession for ten years prior to the admission of the state into the Union and with the vital problems which came up for settlement concerning the transformation of Utah from a territory to a state he was closely, prominently and helpfully associated. He served as a member of the constitutional convention and left the impress of his individuality and ability upon the organic law of the state. While a member of that body he made a determined fight for woman's suffrage and other progressive measures. He was afterward elected state senator from Garfield county to the first general assembly of Utah in 1896 and aided in the adjustment of public policy and interests to the new statehood. When his term as senator had expired he was elected district attorney of the sixth judicial district and occupied that office for a number of years. He became a recognized leader in republican circles and was the first republican chairman of Garfield county and also delivered the first republican speech in the county after the division on national party lines. In 1902 he was appointed judge of the sixth judicial district to succeed W. M. McCarty, who had been elected a member of the supreme court, and upon the expiration of his appointive term Judge Chidester was elected to the office and remained upon the bench for ten years. In 1911 he became the candidate of his party for member of congress but was defeated by a small vote. In 1912 he was appointed a member of the state land board and served until 1917. Throughout the entire period of his public service, his course was marked by the most earnest devotion to duty-a devotion that manifested itself in close study of every vital situation or problem and unfaltering effort to bring about the best results for the commonwealth. ln his church work, too, Judge Chidester displayed the same energy and capacity as in every other field in which he labored. He served on a mission to the southern states from 1889 until 1903. He was superintendent of Sunday schools and a high counselor in the Panguitch ward before removing to Richfield in 1906. Judge Chidester was twice married. His first wife was Miss Mary Nicoll, whom he wedded in 1874 and who passed away in 1883, leaving four children. In 1885 he married Miss Almina Worthen, a daughter of Samuel Worthen, of Panguitch, a contracting mason who stood high in civil and ecclesiastical circles. Mrs. Chidester survives her distinguished husband and by her marriage she became the mother of eleven children. The surviving sons and daughters of Judge Chidester are: Mrs. Stephen Yates, of Salt Lake; Theodore, a resident of Panguitch; Mrs. Elijah Baker, of Union; Mrs. Leonard Ogden, of Richfield; Samuel H., of Sigurd; Arnon; Fenton, who was a member of the Medical Corps of the Navy and was honorably discharged in September, 1919; and Louise, Vera, J. Denzel, Thais and Alton, all of whom reside in Richfield. Mrs. Chidester and her sons Arnon and Denzel own and conduct a farm of forty-three acres four miles north of the city of Richfield. The death of Judge Chidester occurred in R*ichfield, July 7, 1917, and was the occasion of the deepest regret, not only in his home city and in Sevier county but throughout the state. He was a man of jovial, kindly disposition, who easily made friends by reason of his sterling personal worth and always retained their warm friendship and regard. He was steadfast, honorable, kindly and helpful, and his enemies and political opponents never once, even in the heat of party politics, questioned his integrity. He was charitable to a degree but without ostentation, and so quietly were his good deeds performed that ofttimes none knew of them save himself and the recipients. He was every inch a man and one in whose death southern Utah lost a most valuable citizen, the bar an illustrious member and many poor families a generous friend. It has been said: "Not the good that comes to us, but the good that comes to the world through us is. the measure of our success," and judged by this standard John Foy Chidester was a most successful man. 1880-Census John F. CHIDESTER Self M Male W 26 UT Farmer MI PA Mary CHIDESTER Wife M Female W 24 UT Keep House CANADA CANADA Sabina CHIDESTER Dau S Female W 4 NV UT UT Theodore CHIDESTER Son S Male W 8 UT UT UT Source Information: Census Place Washington, Washington, Utah Family History Library Film 1255339 NA Film Number T9-1339 Page Number 370B ------------------------------------ HISTORICAL LISTING OF UTAH STATE LEGISLATORS Chidester, John F. Senator 10 1896 Previous Utah State Senators (District 10) John F. Chidester Democrat 1896 ------------------------ 1900-Census Chiderter, John F. Lived in: Panguitch Precinct, Garfield County, Utah Series: T623 Microfilm: 1683 Book: 1 Page: 211 Chiderter, John F. head Feb 1853 age 47 mar15yrs UT MI PA Dist prosecution Atty // Almina wife Oct 1864 age 35 mar15yrs children 7 liv 6 UT ENG PA // John son Oct 1880 age 19 S UT day laborer // Mary ? dau Jan 1883 age 17 S UT // Almina dau Jul 1887 age 12 UT // Samuel H son Oct 1889 age 10 UT chore boy // Amon A son Nov 1891 age 8 UT // Maria L dau Oct 1893 age 6 UT // Fenton R son Jul 1896 age 3 UT // Susan V dau Jun 1898 age 1 UT ------------------------------------------- 1910-Census Chidester, John F. Age: 57 Gender: M Race: W Birthplace: UT State: Utah County: SEVIER Locale: RICHFIELD Series: T624 Roll: 1608 Part: 2 Page: 70A Chidester, John F. head age 57 M2 mar25yrs UT US US Judge Dist // Almina wife age 45 M1 mar25yrs children 11 liv 9 UT ENG PA // Armon A son age 18 S UT // Maria dau age 16 UT // Fenton son age 13 UT // Susan V dau age 11 UT // John D son age 9 UT // Thais E dau age 7 UT // Alton P son age 5 UT // Samuel H son age 20 M1 mar1yr UT laborer odd jobs // May F d-inlaw age 19 M1 mar1yr children 1 liv 1 UT UT UT // Wanda F g-dau age 5/12 Death certificates (Series 81448) Entry 59087--CHIDESTER, JOHN FOY - 1917 ============== Utah Attorneys Listed in Graft's Legal Directory 1908 - 09 Panguitch* Garfield John F. Chidester 800 Post Office County Attorneys POP'N ============= Chidester, John Foy 2 Feb 1853 Our Own Sevier: A Comprehensive Centennial Volume, Sevier County, Utah, 1865-1965. Irvin L. and Lexia D. Warnock. Richfield, Utah: Sevier County Commissioners, . p.118 Photo p.118 F 832.56 .O87x 1965 also Americana F 832.56 .O87x 1965 ============ Chidester, John Foy 2 Feb 1853 - 7 Jul 1917 Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah. Frank Esshom. Salt Lake City: Western Epics, Inc., 1966. p.802 Photo p.246 Microform/Geneology Ref BX 8670 .Ex77 1966 also Hum. Ref BX 8670 .Ex77 1966 also Americana BX 8670 ================= Chidester, John Foy 2 Feb 1853 - 7 Jul 1917 Treasures of Pioneer History. Kate B. Carter. Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1952. v.4, p.291 F 826 .D373x also Americana F 826 .D373x ============ Chidester, John Foy 2 Feb 1853 - 7 Jul 1917 Utah Since Statehood: Historical and Biographical. Noble Warrum. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1919. v.4, p.640 Photo v.4, p.640 F 826 .W3 also Americana F 826 .W3 also Soc Sci/Edu Ref. F826 .W3 Name: John Foy Chidester Titles: Death date: 07 Jul 1917 Death place: Richfield, Sevier, Utah Birthdate: Estimated birth year: 1853 Birthplace: Age at death: 64 years 5 months 5 days Gender: Male Marital status: Race or color: Spouse's name: Father's name: John Peck Chidester Father's titles: Mother's name: Susan Foy Mother's titles: GSU film number: 2229749 Digital GS number: 4121273 Image number: 428 Reference number: 82 Collection: Utah Death Certificates 1904-1956 Has photo John Foy Chidester Birth: Feb. 2, 1853 Spanish Fork Utah County Utah, USA Death: Jul. 7, 1917 Richfield Sevier County Utah, USA Family links: Parents: John Peck Chidester (1831 - 1897) Susannah Foy Chidester (1831 - 1902) Spouses: Mary Nicoll Chidester (1856 - 1883)* Almina Worthen Chidester (1864 - 1940)* Children: Theodore Chidester (1877 - 1951)* John Nicoll Chidester (1880 - 1913)* Mary Ascenith Chidester Baker (1883 - 1974)* Almina Chidester Ogden (1887 - 1984)* Samuel Henry Chidester (1889 - 1968)* Arnon Aphaeus Chidester (1891 - 1977)* Louise M. Chidester Johnson (1893 - 1980)* Fenton Rollo Chidester (1896 - 1975)* John Denzel Chidester (1900 - 1998)* Thais Elizabeth Chidester Vreeland (1902 - 1999)* Alton Perk Chidester (1905 - 1968)* Mae Chidester (1908 - 1909)* Siblings: John Foy Chidester (1853 - 1917) Mary Catherine Chidester (1855 - 1857)* Susan Emma Chidester Dewey (1857 - 1938)* Lodema Elizabeth Chidester Ruby (1859 - 1933)* Myron Alphonzo Chidester (1862 - 1921)* Robert Edgar Chidester (1864 - 1865)* Emeline Chidester Sylvester (1868 - 1942)* Eveline Chidester Sproul (1868 - 1946)* Lucinda Jane Chidester Waters (1870 - 1947)* Burial: Richfield City Cemetery Richfield Sevier County Utah, USA Plot: A.17.14.08 Maintained by: Enid Jamison Originally Created by: Utah State Historical So... Record added: Feb 02, 2000 Find A Grave Memorial# 112485
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