Click on this image to order the book

Click on this image to order the book
The book version of James Gammell's life story is now available. Click on this image.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Even decades after great, great grandfather James Gammell's death, he is not forgotten.  His descendants continue to find ways to honor his memory.

June 11, 1975 – James Gammell was reinstated as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in response to a request by his great grandson Raymond W. Gammell.

In October 1973, my father, Ray Gammell, my mother, Eve, and Gerald M. Haslam, a professional genealogical researcher, visited the office of Henry E. Christiansen at what was then known as the Church Genealogical Society.  They spoke with Brother Christiansen about James Gammell, who had been excommunicated on November 14, 1858.  My father requested that his great grandfather be reinstated as a member of the Church.  Henry Christiansen agreed to submit the request to the Temple Department.  He said he could think of no reason why it would be denied.

Dad received a letter, dated August 25, informing him that James was reinstated by proxy baptism on June 11, 1975, in the Salt Lake Temple.  With that baptism and confirmation, all of the temple blessings which James had received in life, including the sealing to his wives and children, were restored.  On February 28, 1977, James was sealed to his parents, an ordinance that had not been completed while James was living.

1981 – James was buried in the Sheridan Cemetery, on Saturday, April 9. 1881.  The present-day stone marker was erected one hundred years after his death by his great grandson Blake Hansen Gammell.

Blake obtained a large granite stone at the same quarry from which the stones for the Salt Lake Temple were cut.  Original drill markings from the 1800’s are still visible on the stone.  The granite, weighing several tons, was transported by truck to Sheridan.  Then Blake had to dig a hole, fill it with sand and gravel, and lift the granite piece with its bronze plaque into place with the aid of a truck and a crane.  According to Blake, he “had a hell of time doing it all!”  Since the grave was unmarked, it took him several days and a lot of research to locate the exact burial spot before setting the stone.
  1. Personal copy of the official letter of reinstatement.
  2. Short history of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Walton Criss ( including information on the Francelia Gammell family), Church History Library, MS 147774.

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