William Hadfield was born on July 13, 1886 in Glossop, Derbyshire, England. He was the third child of eight children born to John and Mary Shaw Hadfield. The family home was on Harrup Street and was owned by Christopher Hadfield, Johns father. The home was lavishly decorated and very well kept. The family enjoyed good social standing and a happy life.
The children attended the Old Glossop Church Grammar School. Her majesty the Queen would send examiners to school periodically to inspect their work and study habits and were graded accordingly.
William never enjoyed school and only attended until ten years of age, then obtained work as a carter in a stone quarry. He did love horses and would do almost anything to be around them. At age thirteen he drove a four horse team at the stone quarry to haul slabs of marble to the factory. Later he offered his services free of charge at the stables of wealthy Englishmen for the chance to ride their beautiful well-bred horses.
William and Elizabeth Shaw, the grandparents, joined the LDS Church about 1882-83. Some of their children were baptized at that time, Williams’ mother, Mary, being one of them. They were living in a mining camp in Melior, Derbyshire, England. It was difficult to get to church headquarters, so they tried holding meetings in their home. They were sorely persecuted, scorned and ridiculed by the nonmembers who would dress up as the Prophet Joseph Smith and parade in front of their home making noises. They finally gave up and kept their identity secret until they had the opportunity to go to America and were re-baptized.
Mary’s husband was content and would not accept the gospel to join the Saints and Mary’s family in America, until one day there arose trouble in the mill and he was blamed for the uprising. He became so angry he made a snap decision and announced, “Well it’s the bloody sea for me.”
Marys’ prayer was answered and preparations were made to join their family in the “New World” (America). They left their beautiful home, lovely furniture and other priceless belongings and their beloved England on May 10, 1900.
Their reunion with loved ones was great. Words can never describe their feelings as they faced the barren, desolate country, but eventually joy and satisfaction came and they made the best of their situation and settled in a humble log home. William was fourteen years old when they set sail for America and on August 24, 1901 he was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. William lived with his aunt and uncle Dave and Maggie Douglas, working as an errand boy, also riding the range for livestock, enjoying the life of a cowboy. He also did road construction work.
Later in his life he and his brother, John, worked together with sheep and livestock and built a frame home for their parents. William was always a hard working, industrious man, but he did find time to enjoy the community entertainment, horse races, rodeos, etc.
During the year 1910, Isaac Jorgensen moved part of his family to Etna, Utah, a small community ten miles from Grouse Creek. Very soon after, William became acutely aware of an attractive, dark haired, blue-eyed newcomer, the daughter of Isaac and Rebecca Jorgensen, whose name was Grace.
William, himself being an eligible, clean cut, handsome bachelor was a fine match for this young (nineteen years old) maiden, so a courtship was in the making. William sported a classy black surrey with a fringe on top and a double team of high stepping well-curried horses. They spent many hours on the road between Etna and Grouse Creek. William was no Miles Standish when it came to wooing the lass he won. His proposal was unique, one day he said, “Grace, will you wear my ring if I buy one?” Grace got the message and wore his ring until her death on September 30, 1988.
They were married in the Logan Temple on October 18, 1911. Their life together was never an easy one but happy. They began in Logan, then Amalga, Utah, then soon after Gordon’s birthday settled in their little log cabin in Grouse Creek where other children were born. Later with the help of Graces’ father, they moved into a bigger and better frame home that he built for them. The remaining children were born in this home. They were the parents of ten children: Gordon, Myrl, Ronald, Elden, Norman, Vonda, Amy, Max, Nina, and Dean.
William loved his family. He was proud of his children. He worked long and hard, early and late, in rain, snow, and all kinds of weather. It was said of him that he did the work of three men. He was more than a father, farmer, and bread winner. You may say he wore several types of hats. To provide for his family and increasing demands to provide, he took on other jobs. He was a Deputy Sheriff, Cattle and Brand Inspector, Fish and Game Warden. He drove the school wagon (band wagon) along with his brother, John (took turns). He was best as father. As often as possible between crops, our dad, William, would take his family on picnics, outings, wild berry picking, and when possible, to Logan to visit the Jorgensen grandparents. later to visit a doctor in one of the cities, (Ogden or Logan) as his health at a young age began to fail him.
In January 1929 his beloved (to everyone) mother died of a respiratory illness; later revealed she had cancer of the larynx. Williams’ health became increasingly worse. He spent months in Ogden in the Dee Hospital with a disease called chronic nephritis. In the spring he was sent home to die. They had done all they could there. After several months of suffering and all the care that was available at the time, he fought for his life, he had so much to live for. One day he asked, “Grace, am I going to get better?” She couldn’t answer him.
He gave up that day. From an entry in Graces’ diary, she wrote, “July 11, 1929: This is the saddest day of my life. Will died at 8:00 p.m. We are left without a dad.” He is buried in the Grouse Creek Cemetery.