Isaac Dies in Gandy

Isaac’s Grave in Garrison Cemetery

    Isaac’s Grave                                                                                                                                                                      Photo Vickie Nielsen


Deceased Was Well Known in White Pine County

Isaac Gandy when old
                    Old Isaac Gandy






Burbank Aug 28 1904

DIED – In Smithville Aug 22 1904 Mr Isaac Gandy aged 69 years, 3 months, 28 days.

A gloom was cast over our whole community when the sad news came last Monday August 22nd of the sad death of an old and greatly esteemed resident of our valley – Isaac Gandy – who died very suddenly at his home in Smithville. For a few days previously he had been quite unwell but nothing serious was apprehended, and the evening before he seemed quite his usual self, so when the summons came and took him away so suddenly it was a great shock to his near ones and dear ones.

Isaac Gandy was born in Lancastershire, England May 29 1835 and came to the United States when a small boy of 8 years. In ’49 he followed the band of gold seekers to California and was soon engaged in mining and later in stock raising. Later he went to Carson Valley, where on August 2 1859 he married Miss Hattie Parsons. There he farmed and raised fine stock. From there, in 1870, he moved with his family to Salt Lake City, where he had a fine livery stable and ran a stage line between that city and Bingham when that camp was new. Later he moved to Millard County where he and his family have lived for 25 years. He loved to beautify his home, and more than one place in this valley testifies to the work of his hands.

He leaves a sorrowing wife and three daughters, Mrs. Mollie Heckethorn, Mrs. Emma Robison and Mrs. Stella Lake, to mourn their irreparable loss, besides 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, who all loved him. Mr. and Mrs. Gandy lost a beautiful daughter of 11 years – Maude – in Fillmore in 1884.

He was always jovial, kind-hearted and pleasant, ever-ready by word and deed to help a friend or neighbour. Long will he be missed by his many friends.

The funeral services were held in the school house, and were conducted ably and impressively by Geo. T. Smith, who paid a high tribute to the memory of his friend. Several hymns were sung. The procession was formed under the guidance of E. W. Clay, and proceeded to the little cemetery at Garrison, where after brief exercises he was laid to rest. May he rest in peace.

White Pine News, White Pine County, Nevada, Thursday September 1, 1904

Isaac’s Burial

Burials were unceremonious affairs in the West in the early 20th century. This is how Elias McClellan Smith (the local undertaker) describes the preparations for Isaac’s funeral in his diary:

22nd August 1904

Built coffin for Isaac Gandy

23rd August 1904

Attended Funeral & Slept

Read more from Elias McClellan Smith’s diary here: Life and Death in Snake Valley

Isaac’s Gravestone

According to family heresay, the marble headstone was sent by one of his sisters in  England. Isaac had five older sisters: Mary, Ellen, Martha, Ann and Elizabeth. I have also read that the ship carrying the gravestone sank but the gravestone was later recovered and sent on to Garrison.

IG gravestone
Inscription on Gravestone                       Photo Tony Cowley

Gone Before But Not Forgotten

In Loving Memory of

Isaac Gandy

Born at Penketh, England

May 31st 1835

Died August 22nd 1904

Harriet P.

1844 – 1938

“A few more struggles here

A few more partings dear

A few more toils, a few more tears

And we shall weep no more.”

Harriet Died in 1938

Wife Harriet was also buried here when she passed away 94 years old in 1938. Harriet outlived Isaac by over 30 years. Read more about her life after Isaac here.

The gravestone and graves were cared for by Isaac’s and Harriet’s great granddaughter Iola Robison and her husband Rulon O’Donnell and then her son Jerry O’Donnell, who still lives in Ely Nevada. Jerry told me that Isaac and Harriet’s headstone had several years back weathered to a point where parts of it could not be read. One day when Jerry was out there with his parents, he did some touch up with paint to make it readable. That is why the black shows up so well. Without the touch-up it would have been impossible to read.

Others who have also spent much time and effort caring for the graves in Garrison Cemetery are Bill and Edith Dearden and the late Gen Richardson. Edith Dearden runs the Garrison Cemetery Fund.

Many other descendants of Isaac and Harriet are buried in the Garrison cemetery near the Church of Latter-Day Saints. They include Jerry´s parents Iola Robison and Rulon O`Donnell and also Isaac and Louisa Robison.

Garrison Cemetery                                            Photo Vickie Nielsen

There is no death certificate for Isaac, as certificates were not introduced in Utah until 1910. Therefore we have no definite cause of death.