BiographyBenjamin Frederick Blake, Sr was born 12 March 1815 in Blandford St Mary, Blandford Forum, Dorsetshire, England, United Kingdom to Isaac Blake (1786-1865) and Sophia Wood (1790-1865) and died 9 March 1884 in St. George, Washington County, Utah, United States of unspecified causes. He married Harriet Hollis (1820-1908) 31 May 1841 in St Michael Church, Southampton, Hampshire, England.
Benjamin Frederick was always a good-natured young man. After his school days, he was apprenticed to the upholstering, carpentry, and paper-handing trade. He later learned to make mattresses, which became his means of livelihood. In England he owned a large furniture store that did well. He and Harriet lived in England for 12 years before moving to the Valley. In 1851 they first heard the missionaries and accepted the gospel. In 1853 they gave up home, business, loved ones and friends, and immigrated to America . They lived in the 12th Ward for the next seven years except for the period when they went south because of Johnston 's Army. They were called to go to the St. George (Dixie Mission) area to help settle and build up the area. They lived in dugouts until he was able to complete two homes, one of which was for his son Frederick . He also built three carpenter shops. He made most of the beautiful early-day furniture and became known as chairmaker Blake . He made spindles for the rare unbrased spiral staircases in the tabernacle. He was in charge of the upholstering in the St. George Temple. His two sons, Frederick and Benjamin , owned two sawmills that provided lumber for his shops, the Temple, Tabernacle, tithing house and homes. Benjamin was a kind, loving father and husband. He was a faithful member of the church. Their home was always filled with laughter and good times. Benjamin played the violin for dancing, and his wife was a clever story teller. They held spelling matches, played games and even staged dramatics. He was a good and successful businessman and extremely capable in the making of fine furniture.
Jacob Gates Wagon Company
Came overland with family by wagon in the Jacob Gates Company. The company consisted of 262 individuals and 33 wagons when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Keokuk, Iowa. The first members of the company arrived in Salt Lake by September 26, but others came in as late as September 30th.
This person is listed on the Encampment Mall Memorial - a list of over 300 LDS Pioneer Families that helped to settle St. George, Utah in 1861. They were part of the "Dixie Cotton Mission" called by President Brigham Young to raise cotton and other southern crops in the warmer climate of Washington County, Utah.