George William Larkin was born in Chesterton, Cambridgeshire, England, April 1, 1847. He received his early training and education under the influence of those masters of learning at the great college city of Cambridge, and this seemed always to give him an impetus to acquire knowledge and achieve success in his life’s efforts.
At fourteen years of age, Mr. Larkin saved two young boys by the name of Toppin from drowning in the Cam River, England; and the next month saved the life of a clergyman, the Rev. C.C. Clark, from a similar fate. For these acts, Queen Victoria of England, awarded him the Royal Humane Society bronze medal on May 31, 1861. Thanks services were held for him for three successive Sundays in Trinity Cathedral, Cambridge. When visiting England in 1908 the British Government offered him a gold medal provided he would return the bronze medal that it might be place in the National Museum, Mr. Larkin declined the offer. From the Clergyman whose life he saved a Bible was received which remains a valued possession by his family.
June 2, 1863, Mr. Larkin came to the United States traveling to Salt Lake City, Utah, and crossed the plains in Capt McCarthy’s pioneer company. George married Barbara Anne McKensie. He divorced her after she ran away with a soldier while George was doing church business. He then married Ann Lane. He had three sons, and five daughters:
George William Jr., Emily Ann, Elijah Allen, Sarah Jane, Alma James, Zina Ruth, Ellen Elizabeth, Josephine Pearl. He lived during one of the marvelous periods of this nation. He saw the growth of Utah from a primitive condition up to one of widespread beauty. He saw the desert developed to “blossom like the rose.”
His own home on 27th street which the family occupied for over half a century was surrounded by a beautiful flower garden and shrubs calling forth admiration. In the year 1885 George founded The Larkin and Sons Mortuary, in Ogden Utah. It later spread to Salt Lake, Brigham City, and Los Angeles. The business was eventually managed by Elijah A. Larkin of Ogden, Alma J. Lakin of Salt Lake City and Lyles W. Larkin of Los Angeles. The whole effort of George W. Larkin was to create an atmosphere of cheer, fellowship and assistance among all those with whom he came in contact.
He was a definite, dynamic character and shed a wonderful influence where he went. The outstanding characteristics of his life were his love for God, his fellowmen, and his country, which came to him through his natural instincts, his extensive study of the Holy Scriptures, and his wide variety of life experiences. Because of him the personnel of The Larkin and Sons Mortuary truly believe that there is beauty in real sympathy; but there is even more, there is action. The noble and most powerful form of sympathy is not merely the responsive tear, the echoed sigh, the answering look; it is the embodiment of the sentiment in actual, helpful service. At the time of his demise, in Salt Lake City on June 13, 1927 he was survived by three daughters and two sons, seventeen grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He was buried in Odgen City, Weber County, Utah.
2014 George Larkin saves 2 men from Kent on Vimeo.
George William Larkin