Targett, William John (1878-1947)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILLIAM JOHN TARGETT: born at Wigan in 1878. After training at Hartley College, he entered the Primitive Methodist Ministry in 1907. He served the Church he greatly loved with real acceptance and utter devotion. He had rich gifts of mind and heart which were dedicated to the service of his Lord. In the circuits in which he travelled he is still remembered as a prophetic preacher and a diligent and faithful pastor. He possessed in an unusual degree the gift of winning the confidence of young people, and the influence he had upon them and the place they gave him in their affection were at once a testimony to the quality of his mind and a tribute to the charm of his personality. 

The closing years of his life were shadowed by ill-health, which necessitated an earlier retirement than he would have desired. For three years he was a helpless invalid, but he endured his affliction with indomitable heroism. There were times when he could not speak, but he could always smile, and to the end he revealed the courage, gaiety of spirit, and tranquillity of mind for which another great Sufferer prayed. He was released from his affliction on 23rd August 1947, in the sixty-ninth year of his age and the fortieth of his ministry.


William was born on 24 September 1878 at Wigan, Lancashire, to parents James Targett, a colliery checkweighman (1891) and Mary Highton.

Before entering the ministry William worked as a coal mine labourer (1891) and storekeeper (1901).

He married Jane Heyworth (1882-1956) in the summer of 1911 at Bacup, Lancashire. Birth Records identify one child.

  • John Leslie (1912-1995)

William died on 23 August 1947 at Blackpool, Lancashire.


  • Hartley
  • 1907 Falmouth
  • 1909 Harrow
  • 1911 Bottesford
  • 1914 Ebbw Vale
  • 1918 Chaplain H.M. Forces
  • 1919 Cley Cross
  • 1924 Sheffield IV
  • 1929 Sheffield Intake
  • 1933 Sheffield Lang
  • 1935 Helmshore
  • 1940 Lowton
  • 1944 Bury &c (S)


Methodist Minutes 1948/122

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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