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Richard Stephen Horne -- Biographical Sketch

(Posted by Janine Simons Creager -- jscreager@msn.com) BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF RICHARD STEPHEN HORNE Compiled by Elizabeth Horne Durrant (Daughter of Richard S. and Elizabeth Price Horne) Richard Stephen Horne was born in Nauvoo, Illinois, July 9, 1844, the year the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred. Richard was the son of Joseph Horne and Mary Isabella Hales. He crossed the plains with his parents when he was but three years old. This was less than three months after Brigham Young and his company of pioneers arrived. When Richard was sixteen years of age, he accompanied his father on one of his trips back to the Missouri River for the purpose of bringing back some more of the Saints. Richard drove one of the ox teams all the way. When they arrived at the bank of one of the rivers they had to ford, they found it to be a raging torrent. The oxen refused to go into the roaring stream. Finally, when it seemed hopeless, Richard, being young and fearless, with a prayer in his heart, grabbed a young steer by the tail and twisted it. Immediately, the frightened animal jumped into the stream, followed by the rest of the oxen. Richard, still holding to the tail, was carried into the stream with them. The other members of the company feared he would be killed by the pawing hoofs of the plunging oxen. They united in prayer for his safety. The Lord was with him. He and the oxen reached the opposite shore in safety. Great was the rejoicing and thanksgiving in the hearts of all. The next season, Richard accompanied his father on another trip. Richard received his education in the public schools and under private teachers, such as Bartlett Tripp and Orson Pratt, Sr., mathematics, and John Morgan, bookkeeping. In the fall of 1863, Richard and his brother, Joseph, commenced to teach school in the 14th Ward, by request of Brigham Young, and the following year in the 15th Ward, where he continued to teach until 1866. One of his students was Elizabeth Price, the daughter of George W. Price and Elizabeth Fergusen. George W. Price was a school trustee whose duty it was to give the teachers their pay. One Saturday, when Richard called at the Price home to obtain his month's salary, he overheard Elizabeth telling her mother how much she admired her school teacher, Richard Horne. While singing his praises, she was suddenly embarrassed by seeing him standing by the door. This was the beginning of a romance which culminated in marriage September 20, 1868. She was a beautiful girl, just fifteen years of age to his twenty-three. In 1866, President Young called Richard to go to Fillmore and study telegraphy. He was next called on a mission to the Muddy to act as clerk in a cotton factory. While there, Richard taught a night school for adults, and also spent part of the day in teaching factory hands. At this time, the schools were in a primitive state, without a system of grading. Richard, having a native genius for method and order, without aid of State or County institutions, traveled around the State and introduced a regular course of study, with daily class work, where formerly there had been limited instruction, irregularly given. He organized groups of dramatic art and introduced athletic sports as an education for moral uplift, believing the business of a teacher is not alone to train the intellect but to build the character as well. Mingling in all the activities of the boys and girls, his strong spiritual personality shaped the lives of many boys who later became eminent in the history of our State [Utah). Among them was Apostle Anthony W. Ivins. Richard served as Assistant Superintendent of Sunday Schools, and established the Sunday School Union. He taught school from the time he was twenty-two years old until after he was sixty. At that time, he was called to act as a worker in the Salt Lake Temple. He continued in this position until shortly before he passed away. Richard's wife, Elizabeth, bore him nine children, five boys and four girls, as follows: Richard Stephen Horne, Jr., Mary Elizabeth, Isabel, George Walter, John Taylor, Joseph Arthur, Wilford Price, Clara and Evelyn. She died at the age of 43. In 1878, he married Mary Ann Gillies in the St. George Temple. She bore him four daughters, as follows: Ida, Theresa, Julia, and Edith. She passed away in 1918. Richard's children are active workers in the Church, happy to follow the example of their beloved parents. They have fond recollections of the many times they gathered around their beloved father, while he entertained them with songs and stories. They knew he loved the Lord with all his heart and that he lived as he taught others to do. Joseph F. Merrill said of him, in a letter to his grand- daughter, "Richard Horne and I worked together very closely in the Sunday School work. He was one of the most conscientious Latter-day Saints I ever knew. His loyalty and devotion to duty was a genuine inspiration to all who knew him." President George Albert Smith writes of him, "To Richard S. Horne, the Church owes a debt of gratitude for his faithful labors. Besides his many other accomplishments, it was he was instituted the grading of the Sunday Schools which is now followed throughout the Church today. That action has contributed effectively to the success of our Sunday Schools. To crown his life's work, he had the glorious privilege of serving for twenty years as a worker in the Salt Lake Temple. Richard was Patriarch of Granite Stake for seven years. The room of his home in which he gave his blessings was dedicated to the Lord. He did some composing of music and short plays, most of which he used in his school work. Richard Stephen Horne passed away August 17, 1925 at the home of his daughter, Elizabeth Horne Durrant. Funeral services were held in the 18th Ward Chapel. Music was furnished by the Temple quartet. Paying high tribute to the aims and principles of the deceased, President Heber J, Grant impressed upon those surviving to think of the reward to which Patriarch Horne had passed. President Anthony W. Ivans praised Patriarch Horne's work as a pioneer of education, both secular and religious, crediting him with being the guiding influence in the lives of his pupils. Other speakers were George M. Cannon and Apostle George F. Richards. All praised the faith and works of Patriarch Horne as educator and Temple worker.

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