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Bleak, Jane Thompson (Jane Percilla Thompson) Edit


Agent Type


  • 1845-1942 (Existence)

Name Forms

  • Bleak, Jane Thompson (Jane Percilla Thompson)

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  • Biographical Statement

    Jane Thompson was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, December 1, 1845, to Joseph Lewis Thompson and Penelope Thompson Thompson, the fifth in their family of twelve children, eight boys and four girls. When just a small child her (Jane's family moved from Birmingham to London, where her father, a silversmith and goldsmith, by trade, worked for Aines and Cater. His high efficiency resulted in his call to America, Providence, R. I., to take, instruct, and install machinery for Gorham and Sons, Company--Silversmiths, who wanted to have the same quality of work as that was done in England. Having already joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jane's father was happy to accept this assignment, as it would bring him nearer to the gathering place of the Saints. It was later decided that at least part of the family should join their father, so the oldest son, William Henry, the oldest daughter Susannah, Jane who was nine years old, and a younger sister Annie, seven years old, crossed the ocean on the ship "Robenia". The three girls escaped seasickness and enjoyed playing games and trailing with string bobbing bottles on the waves. They landed in New York 21 May 1855 (G. S. Film #23990 pt 159 New Passengers List No. 358 and 175 508) then traveled on to Providence, Rhode Island, where their father was working as a foreman for Gorham and Sons. While in Providence, Jane was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her brother William Henry, his wife and baby who were also members, planned to go to Utah and Jane's parents consented to let her go with them. This hard trek was with the Eldredge Company by ox team. The families of Joseph Lewis Thompson and James Godson Bleak were dear friends and neighbors in London, England, the two men being employed by the same company: Aines and Cater, silversmiths and goldsmiths, and both, with members of their families were baptized members of the LDS Church in 1851. Therefore, when Jane arrived in Salt Lake City, she stayed with the Bleaks until her family could come. Shortly after this the Bleaks (James G. and family) were called by the Church to help settle the Cotton Mission in Utah's Dixie. Pres. Brigham Young requested that James G. take another wife which he proposed to be Jane Thompson. Each of them reluctantly consented to follow his request, and they were married in the Endowment House October 26, 1861, by Pres. Daniel H. Wells, with President Young and Wilford Woodruff as witnesses. On November 1, 1861, they began their journey to St. George, and arrived on December 1st which was Jane's 16th birthday. There, at the present site of about 3rd West and Tabernacle Street, she helped fashion out a dugout where she made her first home. Life was not easy in St. George, but she and the other pioneer families enjoyed the amusements, socials and Church activities and assignments with devotion and loyalty to the cause for which they came. Jane, who was an especially good cook, as well as being efficient in many other talents, was always in demand. She was a very worthwhile and devoted member of the LDS Church's way of life in morals, obedience to authority, progressive in thought and action and cheerfulness. Her home life, with her husband James G. Bleak, exemplified the good of all other pioneer families in Dixie, especially during hte times between 1861 and during the construction of the Temple. So many of them were deeply involved in activities with their families, cooking and housing the Church authorities and construction workers. For over sixty years Jane, who rarely missed a day, was engaged in Temple work, while her devoted husband James G. Bleak was also serving as Recorder and Historian in the Cotton Mission and Temple, serving under Temple Presidents Wilford Woodruff, John D. T. McAllister, David H. Cannon, Thomas P. Cottam, Edward H. Snow and George F. Whitehead. In 1898 Jane became a counselor in the Stake Relief Society Presidency and spent a great deal of time traveling over the stake, then comprising southern Nevada and southern Utah. Jane enjoyed her work in the St. George Temple up to its closing in 1935 for the summer recess. A severe illness prevented further work which she reluctantly had to give way to. After a partial recovery and while attempting in her independent ways to help with the cares of the home, even though her eldest daughter, Rose, was performing all possible tasks in her lovely way, she accidentally fell, breaking her hip, with the resulting illness, from which she passed away in her 97th year, 24 years following her husband James G. Bleak who passed away 30 January 1918.