Son and Brother

[p.12]Growing up a Dinwoodey and a Moyle was a challenge and a blessing to young Henry. On his mother’s side status and affluence were his birthright. From his father came a sense of the first-born son’s special responsibility to make something of his name and heritage, plus an example of how to do so. He never knew want, but he never lacked tasks. As the oldest of seven children, he accepted leadership assignments early. His parents educated and encouraged him to make the most of himself.

The interests in Henry Moyle’s life—mining, law, land, livestock, deal making, money making, politics, and church work—were the interests of his father. As his mother sustained her husband, so she supported her first child—cultivating his generous and affectionate impulses, comforting him when his father was severe, and spoiling him a little. From both James and Alice Moyle came Henry’s life-long devotion to the faith that brought their parents to the city where he was born.

Henry learned to walk, talk, and adjust to a baby brother while his family was living in Grandmother Sarah Dinwoodey’s big house.1 Henry and Sarah Dinwoodey developed a special affection for the namesake grandchild and the boy felt a closeness that endured. The extended family relationship continued when James and Alice moved in 1892 and Sarah became their neighbor in the new location.

[p.13]To obtain a home appropriate for the family and income he anticipated, thirty-three-year-old James H. Moyle needed help. Happily, at Sarah’s suggestion-there was no mother-in-law problem—Henry Dinwoodey was willing to assist. A lot with a two-story house and beautiful landscaping was found to be for sale at the corner of First South and Fourth East. The neighborhood was fashionable: the price was impressive. Grandfather Dinwoodey paid $15,000 for the eastern two-thirds of the land, and James paid $10,000 for the house, the remainder of the land, and the obligation to pay the sizable street and utility assessments that went with a corner lot. Henry Dinwoodey then built an elegant house for Sarah, and when death ended his obligation to divide time with his wife Ann, he lived there until his own death at eighty in 1905. When Sarah died two years later, Alice inherited the Dinwoodey place and the children did part of their growing up in that classy environment.

The glow of open fires lingered in the children’s memories of 405 East First South. James modernized the solid old home with running water and central heating but kept the fireplaces. Neither Henry nor the other children could ever build a fire to their father’s entire satisfaction, though they had many chances.2 It was a fine home for boys and girls—spacious, with large porches, high-ceilinged rooms, and an inside banister for sliding down. The fenced yard, with its half dozen varieties of trees, its grape arbor, and climbing roses, was fun for running and romantic for walking. Behind was the barn-scene of sweat and laughter. When the Dinwoodeys added a barn on their lot, there was more of both.

Alice Evelyn came to live here in 1893; she was already expected when little Hubert died. Like all of her brothers and sisters, she was born at home. Walter Gladstone, Gilbert Dinwoodey, and James Douglas followed. The last son, Richard Granville, was born in 1903. He died sixteen months later, just before Henry’s sixteenth birthday. Sarah Virginia (Sara) joined the family in 1906. She enjoys recalling that Henry took all the children to the Saltair resort on the day she was born, and that he had a special protective concern for her thereafter. Being not less than four years older than any of his brothers and sisters, Henry related to all of them as a big brother. On occasion this “first among equals” stance was [p.14]seen as domination by the younger Moyles, but in general the childhood years were recalled by all of them, including Henry, as affectionate and happy times.

The pattern of life in the family in which Henry Moyle grew up was conventional for upper-middle-class Latter-day Saints of the era between Utah’s entry into the Union as a state and the start of World War I. James H. Moyle was a patriarchal father in the traditional mold, setting strict standards for his children—especially his sons—and on occasion enforcing the standards with the strap. Tall, strong, with a full black beard and mustache, he could intimidate full-grown men, not to mention children. Henry saw this aspect more than the youngest children, according to their testimony. Perhaps he needed disciplining more, and perhaps his father concluded after a while that children were entitled to more leeway. In any case, Henry learned to mind. Once when he was at a party with a partner, the 10:00 homecoming hour arrived before the refreshments were served. Within a few minutes the telephone rang. It was James H. Moyle, wanting to know where his son was. Henry explained, “I’m just finishing the ice cream, and I’ve got to take my girl home, and then I’ll be home.” “You come home this minute,” was the reply. And he did. The bond of genuine affection that existed between father and son was sometimes tested in later years when differences of opinion between the two strong-willed men could not be resolved by invoking parental authority.

Alice Dinwoodey Moyle was more light-hearted and relaxed in her approach to life, and she was probably responsible for some of the mellowing that her husband showed as their family increased. She was a good but not meticulous housekeeper. James liked good food and she set a good table. The children learned to ask the blessing, Mormon style, and to clean their plates. Alice communicated her love of music and art to her children; Henry was prepared for German opera when he encountered it on his mission. She drank tea often and gave it to the children when they were sick; Henry came to be a conformer, but not a zealot, insofar as the Word of Wisdom3 was concerned. The concept of family home evening [p.15]had not yet been introduced into the Mormon culture, but Alice and James believed in doing things with their children. Family prayer was for special occasions—when babies were due, or children were sick, or someone was going away. That God lived and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was his special instrument was taken for granted in this family circle.

James H. Moyle believed that work had character-building, as well as economic, value. For the children the barn came to symbolize this article of their father’s faith. There were carriage horses to feed and curry, cows to feed and milk, chickens to feed and butcher, and eggs to gather.4 In his biography of the father, Gordon B. Hinckley described one of the unforgettable responsibilities of the sons:

Then there was the barn to clean. When the big manure box outside the stable window could hold no more, the boys were obliged to load the wagon and haul the refuse away. How they would tug and sweat digging out a winter’s accumulation, by then well-packed, steaming and heavy. But once the wagon was full, they climbed on, and gaily drove with their aromatic load right through the center of town, out Main Street to their Aunt Ida’s farm south and west of the city.5
If Henry received a special allotment of responsibilities because he was the oldest, he also received a special portion of attention from his grandparents. James Moyle died when Henry was a baby, but Elizabeth Moyle lived nearby in a modest house on Third Avenue. Christmas dinners were enjoyed there for many years. By the time Henry returned from his mission, he had picked up his father’s enthusiasm for gathering Moyle and Wood family genealogy. It was a task to which he was still giving time and money a half century later.

What James H. and Alice Moyle could later afford to do for their younger children, Henry and Sarah Dinwoodey did for their first grandchild. The kilt Henry is wearing in a picture taken when he was five years old is a reminder that his maternal grandfather was a generous [p.16]Scotsman. Given a bicycle at ten by the Dinwoodeys, Henry displayed some of his grandfather’s merchandising skill by trading it for a pony, with saddle, buckboard, and harness. These doting grandparents also introduced Henry to the world. The journals that he kept show that he was already a perceptive observer.

Just before his eleventh birthday, Henry Moyle went to Mexico with the Dinwoodeys. Only the long days in Pullman cars sometimes got tedious. Of Denver’s Brown Palace, where they overnighted, Henry wrote: “It was the first hotel I was ever in and it is a grand place.”6

Awareness of Mexican history and culture appears in his comments on Chihuahua, Guadalajara, Guanajuato, Tampico, and Mexico City. Wonderful surprises were everywhere. After swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, he wrote: “This is the first ocean I ever saw and my first steamship….” The visit to Chapultapec Castle, recorded in detail, was “one of the most pleasant trips I have had.” A touch of skepticism characterizes his remarks about the Cathedral of Guadelupe: “In this church is the picture of the virgin on the sheperds blanket it is beleaved she put it on her self and in another place in the same yard is the holy well the virgin made it is believed.” The beauty of many sights thrilled him, but there were disappointments. “We … went to see the floting gardens and dident see anything but drunkerds.” The bull fight in Mexico City was for this ten-year-old a fascinatingly distasteful experience:

March 4. We went to the bull fight and never want to go agian it was so cruel the bull came mad as it could be sharp horns he takes after the horses they are blind a cloth over there eyes and the bull roushes at him and killed him it was very cruel and the men are all dressed in beautiful clothes and they play with the bull with there cloth and the bull rushed at the cloth and other men stand and run agenst the bull and stick the banderilas in him and you think the bull is going to lift the man up in the air but he steps a side and the bull rushes forward then the biggest bull fighter comes with his sord and sticks it in him and steps aside and the bull rushes forward and drops dead and then a nother comes in and so and we saw 4 bulls killed and 5 bulls in the ring but one would not fight and there was another to come in and we saw 12 horses killed this is all of the bull fight.

[p.17]Grandpa Dinwoodey rook Henry with him again in 1902 when he and John H. Smith went to Minneapolis and St. Paul for a convention. A zoo, a lumber mill, the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, and the Mississippi River created vivid impressions, written in detail. The highlight of the three-week trip, however, was the visit to those historic sites in Illinois which, as a member of the LDS First Presidency, Henry D. Moyle would one day help to restore. The journal ends with these events:

Sept 4. We arrived in Carthage at 9 am and went to the gail where Joseph Smith was killed…. We saw the bullet hole in the door where the bullet passed through that killed Hyrum. … While in Carthage we shook hands with one of the guard placed to guard the prophet and other brethren in the jail and saw the prophet shot and fall out of the window…. We was taken to the office of Dt. Ferris of Carthage to see a masonic emblem a little larger than a silver dollar with a profile of Joseph Smith. …

We saw a part of the head of one of the oxen that had to hold up the baptismal fount. … We rook carriage and went over to Nauvoo going over we saw the mormons burial grounds and the prophets farm. … a man showed us a peice of metal found in the pocket of the prophet when killed It is about the size of a dollar. It had a latten phrase meaning O God make me all powerful and many. …

A trip to Alaska might have followed, but Henry’s father objected that too much schoolwork would be lost. Soon thereafter Henry Dinwoodey was gone. Through the years Henry Moyle repeatedly expressed his admiration for his grandfather as teacher and exemplar. He was remembered as a role model when Henry had grandchildren of his own.

There were, of course, adventures and enjoyments closer to home, such as getting acquainted with the new automobiles that became James H. Moyle’s hobbies. The first, in 1907, was a two-cylinder Silent Northern, with brass headlights and fittings that someone had to keep polished. An air-cooled Franklin and a two-cylinder Buick convertible were other family prizes. Henry learned to drive them all, to change and repair the tires, and to make the minor mechanical adjustments that were constantly required. Those were the days when the acquisition of “wheels” was not part of the rite of passage from boyhood to manhood, and it does not appear that he had a car of his own until after his marriage in 1919. His addiction thereafter was no less intense than his father’s, which may [p.18]have led both of them naturally into the oil business.

Trips to the Deseret Live Stock Company store in Woods Cross were fairly frequent, by carriage for many years and then by car. James H. Moyle was a director and major stockholder in the company, so household staples were available to him on credit at favorable prices. Henry’s younger brother James remembers that it was a great place to shop for things that appealed to young men-like “a good sheepman’s knife.” Sacks of flour and sugar crowded the passengers together on the return trips from Woods Cross.

Henry and his brothers also went with their father to see the sheep operations at the high pastures in Summit and Rich counties and the winter range in the western Utah desert. Henry tried his hand at shearing and branding and came to understand the language of the range. He also learned to handle a rod and a gun. Small gifts of stock from their father gave all of the children an interest in the Deseret Live Stock Company and they were encouraged to buy more as they were able. In time James H. Moyle and his family became the principal owners. The conviction that city life was too confining for a family led Henry Moyle’s father to acquire two additional properties of beauty and appreciating value. They were at Brighton, high up in Big Cottonwood Canyon, and on the bench land southeast of Salt Lake City where Big Cottonwood Creek flowed out of the mountains. To the young Moyles the trips to these locations represented more play than work. For Henry the places remained special always.

James H. Moyle and Alice Dinwoodey fell in love with Silver Lake while they were falling in love with each other there. Going back with the baby Henry was an all-day project in the early 1890s, but they made it to the small hotel run by the William S. Brighton family. As soon as he could, James bought an acre of land and built a cabin of finished lumber—the first in that mountain dell. When the Brightons came upon hard times, he purchased their property. So it was that the Moyle clan made the pilgrimage to Brighton every summer. They witnessed-indeed, felt every improvement in the logging road that in time became a thoroughfare. It tested the horses that drew the carriages and it certainly tested the horsepower and tires of the early automobiles. But it was worth it. Alice and the children usually stayed for a month or six weeks, while the lawyer father returned to the city from time to time for business and supplies.

[p.19]On these journeys he passed through the Cottonwood district and came to the conclusion that the suburban farm he had dreamed of should be built there. The land finally purchased was about ten miles from the home on First South. James had to sue Salt Lake City to recover the water rights that went with the property and then ditch and dike to create a lake and pastureland. A rustic home was added, a room at a time, and bridges, boats, a barn, and a name-”Lakewood.” Henry shared the toil and delight of developing this lovely area. As a young bachelor, he brought friends there to swim, picnic, and admire his father’s fine horses. As soon as he could afford it, Henry built a home for his own family at Lakewood.

Young Henry Moyle received his schooling in an educational system in transition from church to state control. He studied the three Rs in public school classes held in a building once occupied by the church congregation of which he was a member. He took his college prep courses at LDS University—a Mormon academy that would soon change its name to fit its high school curriculum and later become LDS Business College. His parents expected satisfactory academic performance; Henry measured up and once in a while surpassed that standard. The grades in English were not among his best, adequacy of communication rather than punctiliousness or aesthetics governing his use of language then and later. He set a more exacting standard for himself in the mastery of German than he ever did for his mother tongue.

From activities already described, Henry learned about agriculture, animals, and other subjects. He learned something of the printer’s trade by working for a time with his kinsman George W. Moyle. He also learned other lessons. He was shorter than some of his boyhood associates, and, as he later told his son Richard, they sometimes took advantage of that fact. Coming home one day battered and bruised, he told his father that someone had beat him up. James remembered the admonitions of his own father and told Henry that he must fight his own battles. Before long Henry came home jubilant. As far as one adversary was concerned, he had successfully applied the lesson. Later he gained enough stature to participate in high school and college football and to hold his own with his classmates—both male and female.

By the time he enrolled at the University of Utah in 1905, Henry Moyle had decided on a career in mining engineering. To what extent his father, a lawyer-politician-businessman, influenced his choice is not clear. [p.20]The greatest part of James H. Moyle’s modest fortune-like that of most wealthy Utahns at the turn of the century-had come from mining investments. Just a block away from Henry Dinwoodey’s fine home were the mansions on Brigham Street (East South Temple) that the “Silver Kings” were building. They could hardly have left ambitious young Salt Lakers unimpressed.

The University of Utah was a small and unpretentious institution when Henry enrolled as a freshman. Whether he walked the mile and a half from home or rode the streetcar on that first day is not recorded. The east bench campus was under construction, with only three or four buildings finished. The university had moved from downtown in 1900 and changed its name from University of Deseret two years later. Not until 1906 did the number of college students exceed the number in high school courses. Henry was one of 461 young men and women-mostly men-in the collegiate category; half of them were in his freshman class. Mining engineering was one of the very few professional specializations offered.

Henry was a rather typical collegian of his day. He participated in wrestling and football, being captain and fullback of the senior class team in 1908. He did not join a fraternity but became vice president of the Engineering Society. With access to a lovely home in town, an automobile, a country place, and a summer retreat in the mountains, Henry cut a figure in campus society. A young woman to whom he paid particular attention, Luella Waring, remembered Henry in her memoir. On a day when the engineering students were supposed to be constructing the block “u” on the hills north of the campus, he and two friends took Luella and two other coeds on a picnic. The men paid for their dereliction of duty by having their heads shaved. In the small student body this made them celebrities of a sort.7

The curriculum for mining engineers was narrowly vocational. Only a little history, English, and biology in the first two years leavened the sequences of math, physical sciences, and technology. Henry’s transcript suggests that he did not sacrifice other aspects of his university experience for the sake of grades. Only two 90s appear on the undergraduate record. A third was added in the summer of 1909, after he received his [p.21]Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering degree. It was in German, and the motivation was a mission call that he had already received. How early Henry first worked at summer jobs in the mines and smelters around Salt Lake Valley is not clear, but he had picked up the nickname “Mucker” before he left for Germany. He took with him the resolve to undertake further engineering studies in Europe, after he fulfilled his proselyting assignment.

No event of his childhood meant more to Henry Moyle than the patriarchal blessing that he received under the hands of his uncle Henry Moyle on 24 June 1901. He had been ordained to the Aaronic priesthood and set apart as a deacon in his church only a few weeks before. After the pattern of such blessings, young Henry was identified with the family of Abraham through the lineage of Ephraim. The promises then made to him, contingent upon “faithfulness through life,” were so motivating to him later that they warrant quoting at length:

I bless thee in the spirit that thou may become bright and powerful in the hands of the Lord for a great and mighty mission lies before thee. Thou shalt become powerful in the proclamation of the gospel, after becoming fully endowed in the house of the Lord and receiving the Holy Priesthood, which shall be placed upon thee.

Thou shalt testify before many people, before rulers and the heads of nations and great men of the earth of the restoration of the gospel.

Thou shalt be blessed with the gifts of the spirit; thou shalt lay hands on the sick and they shall recover; evil spirits shall depart at thy rebuke. The spirit of discernment shall be given unto thee whereby thou shalt read the secrets of men’s hearts, for their evil thoughts shall be laid open before thee as the pages of an open book.

The spirit of the Lord shall increase upon thee from this time forth and the Holy Ghost shall rest upon thee with great and mighty power.

Thou shalt become prominent in thy day among the councils of the Holy Priesthood as a leader in Israel. Thou shalt also become prominent as a law maker for thou shalt sit with that great council which shall convene in the Center Stake of Zion and assist in the framing of that great law which shall go forth from Zion, when the word of the Lord shall go forth from Jerusalem.

Thy name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Thou shalt be numbered with the fathers in Israel and to thy increase there shall be no end.

Thou shalt be blessed with wealth and the riches of the land. Thou [p.22]shalt perform a great labor in the Temple of the Lord and receive great manifestations through the power of the Lord and thou shalt receive information through the inspiration of the spirit of our departed ancestry and kindred. Thou shalt become a savior upon Mt. Zion and no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper. …

Thou shalt enter the marriage supper of the lamb. These blessings, with all blessings thy heart may desire in righteousness, I seal upon thee and I seal thee up unto eternal life to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection, a king and a priest unto the most high God to rule and reign in the house of God forever.

The further blessing that he received from the church patriarch, John Smith, on 9 July 1909 reaffirmed his possibilities and promised him safety and success on his mission. The venerable son of Hyrum Smith also promised: “Thy name shall be honorable in the land and with thy posterity shall be handed down from generation to generation.”

When Henry D. Moyle left Salt Lake City for Europe, he bore a sharpened sense of obligation and destiny. He was a teenager no longer.


1. James Hubert lived less than two years. When Henry and Alberta Moyle lost an infant son a generation later, Henry could finally appreciate what Hubert’s death meant to his parents.

2. In later years when the boys came to visit, it became a little ritual for one of them to start to lay a fire and then yield to their father’s insistence that he show them how to do it right.

3. The Word of Wisdom is the Mormon health code that discourages the use of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and “hot drinks” (which are generally understood to refer to tea and coffee). It was a revelation received by Joseph Smith in Kirtland, Ohio, on 27 February 1833.—Ed.

4. When the automobile replaced the carriage, it generated its own chores.

5. Hinckley, James Henry Moyle, 255-56.

6. Fine hostelries became one of his lifelong enthusiasms. Eventually a son-in-law introduced him to many of them and he even considered buying one.

7. Luella later married one of Henry’s missionary colleagues, and Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Q. Cannon and Mr. and Mrs. Henry D. Moyle were lifelong friends.