The Origins and Birth of J. Leslie Broadbent
In the autumn of 1859, two tired English immigrants arrived at the Deseret Territory byhandcart. Joseph and Sarah Dixon Broadbent settled in a small town known as Lehi. For the next twenty-three years Joseph worked as a farmer and earned money repairingclocks. Sarah, who was an excellent seamstress, started up a small home business thatturned bolts of blue denim into overalls and jumpers. Her husband added the finishingtouch of copper rivets, a symbol of well made clothing of the day.
On November 3, 1863, Joseph and Sarah were blessed with a son, whom theychristened Joseph Samuel Broadbent. He would grow to be a great strength to his family.In 1882, Sarah Broadbent suggested that the family open a small mercantile.Joseph Samuel, who was then nineteen, set to work helping his father to build a fifteen bythirty foot wooden room on the north end of their adobe home (the northeast corner of First North and First East). As well as watch repair and jewelry work, Broadbent & Soncarried a small line of merchandise, furniture, and Sarah Broadbent's homemade work clothing. Sadly, however, Sarah passed away only six years after its founding. She diedon September 13, 1888.
On January 16, 1889, Joseph Samuel, or "Young Joseph" as he was sometimescalled, married Amanda Hermandine Tweede, the daughter of two immigrants fromDenmark, Christian Frederick Nielsen Tweede and Christiana Petersen. Amanda was born March 10, 1863 making her almost eight months older than her husband.
The family store continued to thrive all through the end of the nineteenth century.Joseph Sr. essentially attended to the clock repair and jewelry business while dependingon his son Joseph Samuel to handle all other aspects of the firm. The store expanded toinclude a photography studio after the building itself was upgraded with a second storyand brick walls.
Not only was the family prospering financially through Broadbent & Son butJoseph Samuel’s family was expanding as well. Amanda gave birth to their first child onDecember 26, 1889. They named their little girl Sarah Geneva Broadbent but she would be known as Sadie. A year and a half later on the 3rd of June 1891 they had their firstson. He was christened Joseph Leslie Broadbent.
Amanda went on to have another boy, Sylvester Daniel, on June 7, 1893 andanother girl, Mary Alice, on September 22, 1895. In 1896 Joseph Samuel was called on amission to Great Britain leaving his sister Geneva to look after the store.
Four months after he left, Joseph Samuel’s wife, Amanda, took her four youngchildren and moved into the old family house to take care of Joseph Sr. who had takenill. Good business for the store was not a permanent situation though. Amanda’schildren fell ill with diphtheria. The store was connected to the north part of the home so people became afraid to shop there. Geneva recorded, “Business fell off, bills werecoming in and no money to pay for them”. She too contracted the disease, causing the
1Lehi, Portraits Of A Utah Town by Richard S. VanWagoner, pg 129. Lehi City Corporation, 19902Ibid.3LDS Church Ancestral File. Note: Although some sources have reported that Amanda was born inDenmark it would appear that she was actually born in Salt Lake City. However her parents wereimmigrants from Denmark.4Lehi: Portraits Of A Utah Town by Richard S. Van Wagoner page 129. Lehi City Corporation, 19905LDS Church Ancestral File. Broadbent, Joseph Leslie et al.6Lehi: Portraits... page 130.