John Royal Young(1872-1959)
This text below was taken from a typed copy of thirty one pages. It is unclear when it was typed, or by whom. It is obvious in the reading that entries were made over a period years so there must be a hand-written manuscript somewhere. I have tried to keep the original spelling and punctuation intact, unless they obscure the meaning. Roy Young is our great grandfather. He includes some very interesting information about Orderville, and pioneer life in general.
This text was entered into the computer in May of 2002 by Russell McMullin
MY MOTHER AND ME ------- by Roy Young
At our old home at Shelly, Idaho, in the year 1942 I decided to write a few of the things that I can remember of my dear old Pioneer mother, and also some of the outstanding events of my own experience. The following is what I wrote at that time.
It was in the year 1872 in a little down in Long Valley, Glendale, in Kane County, Utah, that was newly laid out, that a father was making hurried preparations for the new member of the family that was expected. The rough logs were laid up in a square, and the roof only partly on when the mother had to be put to bed. Two upright posts were nailed to the two ends of a rough plank, forming the headpiece of a bedstead. A footpiece was formed in like manner, and the two rough planks were then nailed on for side pieces. Holes were drilled into the into the top side of the side pieces and hard wood pegs with knobs on the ends were driven into the holes leaving the knobs sticking up far enough to hold a rope or rawhide thongs. Long strips of rawhide were woven crosswise back and forth fastening to the pegs. In this manner a bed of rawhide was made similar to our woven wire mattresses. When the husks were selected with care they made a comfortable bed.
Upon a bed of this kind this mother was placed. A large Navajo blanket was tied up to the ridge poles above the bed by the corners to catch the rain that came through the roof. It had rained unceasingly for several days, and the streets had become so miry that a yoke of oxen could scarcely pull an empty wagon across town. The Navajo Indians were very proficient at making large blankets of pure wool that were waterproof. The blanket soon sagged with the weight of the water and my rubbing it with the fingers for a moment, a stream of water came trickling through and was caught in a pan placed on the mother's bed. Under conditions of this kind, with the help of one of the "Mothers of Israel", a little boy came into the world one the 27th of February in the year 1872, and they named him John Royal Young.
By nature my mother was kind, generous, charitable, humble, prayerful, sympathetic, honest, trustworthy and honorable in her dealings with God and all mankind. She was full of faith and had the gift of discernment. Loyalty seemed to be the cornerstone of her useful life. Her trust in God was the sustaining power that bore her up in all the trials and hardships that she went through. he would say, "God knows best and if we can be true and faithful to the end, all will be well".
When I was a boy in my 'teens, Mother used to tell me about her people. At that time she was corresponding with an aunt who lived in Providence, Rhode Island, who was gathering genealogy of her people from old records and sending it to my mother. My grandmother's family name was Philips and we learned that they came from England with the Pilgrims, who were driven out of that country on account of their religion, in the year 1618, going to Holland. In the year 1620 they sailed for America and landed at Plymouth Rock on the 21st of December. My grandfather's name was William Reynolds Terry and his forebearer came from London, England in the year 1635.
Roger Williams was driven out of Salem, New England on account of his "liberal" views of religion in the year 1636. Organizing a company they went to Rhode Island in the year 1636 to settle the new country. It seems that the Terry and Phillips families were with this company and became permanent settlers there. My grandfather William Reynolds Terry was born June 2, 1812, at Exeter, Washington County, Rhode Island, U.S.A. and died May 31, 1868 at St. George, Utah. My grandmother Mary Ann Phillips was born March 1, 1815, at Wakefield, Washington County, R.I. She died October 9, 1889 at Draper, Utah. My mother Albina Terry was born October 5, 1836 at South Kingston, R.I. and died January 8, 1913 at Blanding, San Juan County, Utah, and is buried there.
According to mother's account of her parents they were both left orphans when children and became factory workers in the cotton and woolen mills of the country. There they were drawn together by bonds of sympathy. As they grew older they become lovers, which resulted in marriage. Albina and one or two other children were born to them in their home in Rhode Island. My grandfather it seems learned several trades while developing and growing into mature manhood. He also became a musician and was a member of a brass band, playing the flute.
One day two Mormon elders cam to their town and they became interested in the new movement and joined the church. The spirit of gathering came upon them as it did upon all converts in the early days of the church, and they answered the call. It was no small thing for them to break up their home in the city, and their work in the factories where they had been trained as skilled workers in producing cloth, clothing, shoes, in fact all kinds of things that went to make up the comforts of life, and move out onto the unsettled wide open prairies of an unsettled country. They were so satisfied with Mormonism, as the new religious faith was called, that they were willing to put everything that they possessed into it.
My mother was around eight years old when the family packed up and said goodbye to all their kindred ties and all that was dear to them and commenced a journey that would take them a third of the way across the wide expanses of the United States, to the state of Illinois. They leased unbroken land that was located six miles out from the town of Carthage, the place where the Prophet Joseph Smith gave his life rather than deny the great gospel truths that the Lord had revealed unto him. The Prophet was born in the town of Sharon, in the state of Vermont in the year 1805. He was between fourteen and fifteen years of age when our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared unto him in answer to his humble prayer.
When he was between seventeen and eighteen years of age the Angel Moroni appeared unto him in answer to another prayer and told him that the Lord was again going to establish His church upon the earth and that if he was faithful and would follow the instruction that he had and would receive from the Heavens, he would be given the great privilege of bringing forth the Great Latter Day Gospel, and establish God's Church in the earth. The Angel also told him about a record written upon gold plates that were hidden up in the hill Cumorah, which was not far from where he lived.
He was given instructions by the Angel where to go to find the plates, and was shown in vision the spot where they were buried in the ground, so that when he went the following day he recognized the place. The Angel met him there and he saw the plates of gold but was not permitted to take them at that time. Joseph was instructed to go to the place one year from that time, and that the same person would meet him there and give him further instruction. This he did for four succeeding years. At the end of four years he had received sufficient instruction and had gained a knowledge and understanding of the great work that lay ahead of him, so that the plates were given to him by the Angel and amidst great persecutions and many difficulties he (Joseph Smith) published the Book of Mormon and established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints to the world. It was his faithfulness and his unswerving testimony of the truthfulness of the great things that God had given unto him that his life was taken by wicked men in Carthage Jail June 27, 1844.
It was on the above date that my grandfather was working in h is field when he heard shooting in the direction of Carthage where the prophet was held in Jail by his enemies and he feared that the prophet was being murdered. Going to the house he said, "I am afraid they have killed the prophet". My mother said that he was as white as death, and looked as if the greatest thing that could happen had happened.
A mob with their faces painted black has rushed the jail and with yells like wild Indians, their guns blazing, never ceased firing until Hyrum, Joseph's faithful brother, and the prophet were killed. Elder John Taylor was shot four times but he did not die. Doctor Willard Richards was in the jail with his brethern but he was not hit. The prophet, thinking to save he brethren went to the window and jumped out. A bullet struck him and he fell to the ground a dead man. A large ruffian with his sleeves rolled to elbows dragged the slain man to a well with the intent to throw him into the well. Taking Joseph by the hair of the head the man raised a large knife to cut off his head but the Lord would not permit his annointed Prophets body to be mutilated. A shaft of light came from heaven and the brute fell to the ground dead.
The prophet was a Mason; when he joined the Masons he thought that it might save his life in times of stress. As he reached the window when he went to jump out he gave the "distress signal" but it did no good. When the wicked enemies of the church succeeded in killing the Prophet and Patriarch of the church they thought that the movement of Mormonism would die but the Lord had willed otherwise. In the revelations that were given to his prophet and were recorded and published in a book of Covenants and Revelations, such a perfect organization of the Priesthood into quorums with one quorum succeeding another was formed so that an emergency such as the church now faced was provided for.
When the quorum of the presidency becomes disorganized, the leadership of the church falls upon the next quorum which si the twelve apostles. The succession of the Melchezidec Priesthood is in the the following order---the Presidency, being three High Priests, the Twelve Apostles, also High Priests, the Seventies and Elders, the Bishop, also a High Priest presides over the Aaronic or lesser Priesthood.
At this period in the history of the church it was fourteen years since the church was organized. Many were the sufferings and sorrows of the members. From the first day after the fourteen year old boy received the visitation of the Heavenly messengers, persecution was heaped upon him, and as he grew and received more light, it seems like the powers of evil were arrayed against him and were determined to thwart the plans of the Almighty in establishing His work on the earth.
When the church was organized in the State of New York with six members and the membership began to grow, persecution became so bitter that the new members and the leaders decided that it would be better to go to a new place where they could build their homes and live in peace. Their aim was to build and establish a community with lovely substantial homes, schools, churches, and temples to their God, where a righteous people could live in peace and worship according to their desires.
In December, 1830 missionaries were sent out to find a place where the Saints could gather. They were instructed to go west to the state of Missouri, beyond any towns or settlements. On their way they traveled across the state of Ohio. At Kirtland, Ohio they found friendly people and converted some of them to Mormonism. After a short stay at Kirtland the elders traveled on westward until they arrived at Jackson County in the west central part of the state. There they found a very fine country with a few scattered settlers living there. They decided that it was just what they were looking for. When the Elders returned to Fayett, New York and gave their report to the leaders of the church they soon determined that the church headquarters would be removed to Kirtland. In 1831 we find headquarters established there but many of the membership pushed on to Jackson County, Missouri. Instead of finding peace and happiness in this garden spot of the west, they met stiff opposition from the old case-hardened homesteaders of the county, which grew into persecution and mobbing. This grew in intenseness until three years later the saints were driven from Jackson County to Clay County, Missouri. Their stay in Clay County was short-lived for in January, 1839, we find them in Far West where they had settled on new land that was open public domain. They had built homes and a city where they hoped to remain. Here they added a new county to the state, but it was all of no avail, for wherever they settled the persecution followed them. The mob had now been organized into a military body and had been enlarged by the state military organization headed by the governor and his staff of officers.
The new city was named Far West, the county Caldwell. It was located in the northern part of the state, and it was here that the church went through the most cruel, heart-rending scenes that any civilized people have ever passed through since the days of the martyrs of the Saints in the time of Christ after his Crucifiction at Jerusalem. The Governor had issued an order to the Mob-army for them to drive the Mormons from the state or to exterminate them. Accordingly the Prophet and the leading brethren were cast into prison. All guns and arms were taken from the people, their homes were ransacked and burned, their cattle were shot down and left to rot in the fields, the men were whipped and some of them shot down like their cattle were, many of their women suffered a worse fate, and they were scattered like sheep without a shepherd.
After months of suffering they were gathered into the state of Illinois where they made a new start at Nauvoo, on the east bank of the Mississippi River. And why did the Lord suffer his people to suffer in such a manner? The answer is disobedience. Strife, jealousy, vanity, dishonesty, adultery, cheating, lying and dishonorable conduct were among some of the causes why the people had to go through the fire of persecution. Paul said "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2nd Timothy, 3rd chapt, 12th verse)
In the year 1841 we see the saints in their new location. They had been driven out of the state of Missouri into the state of Illinois. They had purchased land, laid out a city and had commenced building another temple. Their first temple was barely completed when the saints were driven from that place. The Saviour visited Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry, as did others of the Apostles and Prophets of the old times in this temple and delivered unto them the Keys of the Priesthood which they held in Olden Times, thus linking their dispensation to the dispensation of the "fullness of times" which is the one in which we now live.
By the time of the murder of the Prophet in the year 1844 there were twenty thousand people Nauvoo. All were Mormons except a few appostates, upon whose heads rests the responsibility for the terrible crime that was committed on that June day of 1844.
By the lateness of the time in which my mother's family gathered to the church they were spared the terrible suffering which the saints were subjected to in the fourteen years of their driving up to this time. The fears of my grandfather were well-founded when he told his family of his hearing shooting in the direction of Carthage for the stains of the Prophet's blood that was shed that June morning is still plainly seen on the floor of the jail in which he was slain.
Scarcely two years had passed until the persecution become so terrible that the church was compelled to leave their beautiful city and seek a new home somewhere in the west. On August 6, 1842 at Montrose, Iowa, the Prophet Joseph Smith said, "I prophecy that the Saints will suffer much affliction and will be driven to the Rocky Mountains; many would apostatize, others would be put to death by our persecutors or lose their lives in consequence of exposure or disease, and some of you will live to go and assist in making settlements and building cities and see the Saints become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains." (History of the Church, volume 5, page 85) This prophecy which has been so literally fulfilled brings also the fulfillment of another prophecy which was made some three thousand, six hundred years ago by the prophet Isaiah, chapt 2 verse 2 in the Bible, which is as follows: "It shall come to pass in the last days, that the Mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the tops of the mountains; and shall be established above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people will go and say, Come ye, and let us to up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he shall teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
I would like to call attention here to one more prophecy that was made about twenty six hundred years ago by the Prophet Daniel. It is found in the book of Daniel chapter 2, verse 44. It refers to the last kings that should reign in the "last days" before Christ's second coming. It reads: "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces all other kingdoms and it shall stand forever." There are many more direct prophecies along the same line as the ones quoted here. So when God and Jesus cam to the boy Joseph in May, 1820 and told him that He was gong to establish His kingdom on the earth for the last time, He was just fulfilling the prophecies that were made by His Prophets in olden times. No wonder His prophet and His people would give up their homes., their property, and if need be their lives, rather than deny the truth, that god had given to them.
In February of the year 1846 the first families of the Saints crossed the Mississippi river over onto the Iowa sod, onto Indian country and commenced their trek westward. Other companies followed as fast as they could be organized until by the end of the year, all who had had faith enough to go with the church had gone, leaving a ghost city behind them.
It was in the month of March, the year 1847 that Brigham Young with a company of 147 men, including two women, and two small boys, commenced the advance movement westward to find a new place where the Saints could gather from Winter-quarters, Nebraska on the west side of the Missouri River, and build their new homes. That advance company led by President Brigham Young traveled westward a thousand miles until they arrived in Salt Lake Valley on the 24th of July, 1847. There were a few people who were too poor to move west with the main body of the church, and they remained in Illinois, until they could get teams and wagons to move on with and follow the saints.
Among those who remained was the Terry family. They were living near Carthage where the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum were killed. For six years they remained on the land that they had rented near Carthage. In the summertime they would clear land and raise corn and other crops to subsist upon, and in the winter Grandfather Terry would fashion the hardwood, which had been stored in the loft of an old granary for seasoning, into parts for wagons. My mother was the oldest of the Terry family and she worked in the fields with her father while her mother and the smaller children took care of the housework.
From the groves of timber that grew near their farm they obtained wood to keep warm and do their cooking. Also, there grew in these groves plenty of fine hardwood timber from which Grandfather made selection of good material from which he built two wagons in which they would travel over the long road across the plains. Mother told me that the last crop of corn that they raised at this place was hauled down the river to St. Louis and sold for money with which he bought iron to be used in ironing off the wagons. This work he did himself, and so we see he was blacksmith as well as hewer of wood. In his labors in the factories in his home town in Rhode Island he had learned the shoemaker trade also, and it stood him in good hand for out on the frontier shoes were expensive and hard to get. In those days nearly all of the men wore boots with high tops. This was a necessity for the high tops of the boots gave protection from snakes that crawled silently among the grass, weeds and bushes, and some kinds of snakes were very poisonous. Leather was an article that was scarce so the Terrys were always on the lookout for old castoff boots, for a pair of boot tops would afford enough leather to make a pair of shoes.
Mother has told me how her father would labor during the daylight hours in the shop or in the fields, and then very often he would work by the light of a fire or a tallow candle until midnight making or mending shoes. Meanwhile Grandmother was not idle, for sitting nearby she would be carding wool into rolls, to be spun into yarn on the old spinning wheel that stood against the wall nearby. Then she would knit or weave the yarn into cloth. So you see they toiled on side by side to supply an endless need for shoes and clothing. Thus as they worked , it was to accomplish a purpose, for there was ever a dream of a home far away in the mountains, where their Prophet had told them that they would be driven to, and that there they would build towns and villages and become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains. Toil did not claim all of their time, for Father Terry had other attainments. He was a musician and often the family would spend an evening around the fire with music and singing. My! how my mother did love that old flute and with tears in her eyes she would tell of those days and how dearly she loved the player of that old flute.
April 1st, 1951. It is more than a month since I have written any. During that time my wife and your mother has been taken away from us by death and we have laid her to rest near her father and mother, and her two brothers Chris and Will, in the Hillcrest Cemetery at Shelley, Idaho.
April 28. Perhaps now that I am settled I can go on writing my story. Since writing the above note we have sold our home and left our good neighbors on Ninth Street. The sale was made on April 17, and the boys moved me to my present home in Clarence and Maude's apartment house at 12th Street and South Boulevard in Idaho Falls.
In the spring of 1853 my grandfather William Reynolds Terry and family were ready to start on the fourteen hundred mile journey to the Rocky Mountains away out west where the main body of the church had gone six years before. During the six years stay on the farm near Carthage, Grandfather had built two wagons and procured three yoke of oxen and provisions for the journey.
Crossing the Mississippi river they traveled across the state of Iowa to Winter Quarters, Nebraska where they joined up with a company of Latter Day Saints people who were ready to make the journey of one thousand miles across the plains and mountains to Salt Lake Valley. I have no information about this journey except what my mother told me more than sixty years ago. She was the oldest child of the Terry family and it fell on her to be the teamster of one of their wagons which was drawn by a yoke of oxen. Her father drove two yoke of oxen that pulled the other wagon. Their road led westward across the state of Nebraska and Wyoming to the northeast corner of Utah, then over the big mountains, and down through the canyons into Salt Lake Valley.
Look up the location of the starting place of the Terrys on a United States map; trace them westward across eight states or more than three fourths of the way from the shores of the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific, and the greater part of this vast stretch of country was unsettled Indian country. Great herds of buffalo roamed across the wide stretches of prairie lands and they were considered by the indians to belong to them--their cattle, their meat. The Indians were not happy about the encroachment of the white men, and they were a constant menace to the emigrant caravans that were constantly pushing their frontiers westward. So you see it was necessary for the emigrants of be ever watchful and ready to defend their cattle and keep them from being run off. Whenever camps were made and the oxen were turned loose to graze, herders went with them as guards. All of the teamsters had to take their turns at standing guard. This placed a young girl in a precarious position, that is it would have done had it not been for the chivalry of the young men teamsters. The boys would banter one another about who would have "Bine" (Albina) to stand guard with, but when it came her turn then they would vie with each other to see who would have the priviledge of doing her guard duty for her.
In the journey of nearly 300 miles westward across the state of Iowa to Winterquarter, which is located on the Nebraska side of the Missouri river, and about six miles upstream from the city of Omaha, the Terry company had become accustomed to camp life and had been hardened in, so to say, and fitted for the big push across the plains and mountains to their future home-to-be at the foot of the great Wasatch Mountains. The tedium of the trip was sometimes broken by a wild chase of the herds of buffalo in efforts by their hunters to procure meat for the emigrants.
All that could walk had to do so, as the wagons were loaded heavily and only the sick and old and small children could be hauled in the wagons. So day after day "Bine" walked beside her faithful team, urging them onward by guiding them with the ever-present whip such as all teamsters carried. "Whoa" was the command to stop; "Haw" was the order to turn to the left, and "Gee" meant to turn to the right. Very often these commands had to be enforced with the whip.
Occasionally when a good smooth camp ground was found, where grass and water were plentiful, the word would be passed along that there would be a dance tonight. My! how the spirits of the young folks would pick up. Day after day of trodding along beside weary oxen in the heat and dust would get the spirits of the travel-tired people down to a low ebb but at the sound of that magic word, a dance, new life would surge along the line and the troubles of the day would be forgotten. Soon the wagons would be formed into a circle, oxen unyoked and turned out to feed and drink and refresh themselves, camps would be prepared for the night, fires would soon begin to crackle and sparkle, and the evening meal would be prepared and enjoyed after a prayer of thanks to God was offered up b one of the bearded brethren. then after things were cleared away, all would assemble at a chosen spot where the ground had been smoothed off and made ready for the dance. Old Ben would bring out his fiddle and begin to twist it's ears, making it screech and squeal until it was in perfect harmony with Will R.'s old black flute.
"Choose your pardners for a quadrille, two more couples wanted. All set!" When that old fiddle and flute would open up on "Turkey in the Straw", or the "Arkansas Traveler", and the prompter called out: "Balance all, swing your pardner, alemande left, all promenade!", all of the grief of heat, dust, tired feet, and all the miseries and hardship would be forgotten. No wonder Brigham Young, their revered President, encouraged dances, singing, speechmaking, wrestling, foot racing, in fact all kinds of clean sports and entertainments to break the tedium of the long journeys across the plains.
As they neared the mountains it was noticed that the air was clearer and one could see objects longer distances away. Mother illustrated the fact by telling a story of how a group of young folks decided to go ahead to the Chimney Rock, which they had come in plain view of, and thought it appeared just a short distance ahead. After walking an hour or more, the rock seemed as far away as when they started out, so they turned back. The company traveled all the next day before they reached the rock. The difference in the atmospheric conditions was not evident to me until I went back to Omaha with a shipment of sheep in the year 1909. It was in August and the weather was clear and fresh. I crossed the river and climbed the Council Bluff, a hill that rises abruptly above the valley level. I anticipated that from the top I could get a fine view of the surrounding country. I was very much disappointed for I could not see farther than about three miles in any direction on account of the haze that was in the air. It was then that the meaning of one of our old favorite hymns came upon me and I realized what it meant when we open up and sing, "O ye mountains high, where the clear blue sky arches over the vales of the free. Where the cool breezes blow, and the clear streamlets flow, how I long to thy bosom to flee," etc. And when I looked at the little streams of water that were dirty and full of wigglers and pollywogs I longed to lay down on my belly and drink my fill of the clear cool water that flows down the side of our Grand Old Mountains. It was then that I thanked God that our people were driven out of that country and compelled to build our homes in the "valleys of the mountains".
Now back to the Mormon emigrant train that has just reached Chimney Rock; they will now be gradually leaving the vast flat plains country. Back in the level countries that stretch to the east, in fact all the way to New York, the wagons were made without brakes, but now that they are entering the hilly country they will have a problem of helping the steady old oxen down the hills without a smashup. The genius of the Pioneers overcame this difficulty. Later, when wagons were made for the mountain states they were all equipped with good brakes.
The emigrants pushed on westward, up long draws and over ridges, into a fine country, where the city of Cheyenne is located. After leaving Cheyenne they soon began climbing the slope of the Continental Divide which separates the waters of the Missouri from the Green River waterways. This divide is between Cheyenne and Larimie, Wyoming. Pushing westward through the broken country of Wyoming, after many days of toil, they arrived at Green River crossing. The road leads on to the west over another Continental divide and then down, through the canyons of the grandest mountain country of the west.
Imagine the looks of bewilderment and disappointment of this tired travel-worn company of saints, when they pulled out into full view of Salt Lake Valley, past the place where Brigham Young said, "This is the place--Drive on". As far as the eye could see the west was a great desert waste, covered with sage brush and greasewood. Little mountains rose above the desert floor and a large body of salt water shimmered in the sunshine. A few scraggly cottonwood trees and willows grew along the little streams. In wonder they asked "Is this the paradise that has been prepared to receive those who heard and answered the call of the Lord when he said, "Send forth the elders of My church unto the nations that are far off; unto the islands of the sea; unto foreign lands; call upon all nations and behold, and lo, this shall be their cry and the voice of the Lord unto all people: go forth unto the land of Zion that ye may strengthen her stakes and enlarge her borders. (Doc. & Cov., Sec. 133-8) And this promise is given unto them that hear and obey the words of the Elders who are sent unto them. And in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land, and the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence". (Sec. 133, 29-30-31)
Although thousands of the Saints had gathered at Salt Lake City in the six years that had past since the Pioneers had arrived, and some crops had been raised, it was a problem to feed and clothe the emigrants who came and brought so little. The tribe of Ephraim was on the march, for the Lord had been heard when He spoke by the voice of one of His servants the Prophets, and said when speaking of the wickedness of the people of the world: "Come out of her, Oh my people", (Rev. 18-4) More than a hundred years have passed since the first company of the Pioneers cam around the Point of the Mountain and took their first look at the desert waste that stretched out to the west. Many thousand more were on the trail that reached twenty-three hundred miles back to where the movement began. They had answered the call and were on the their way, and the trail led to about the most desolate looking country in the realm of the "Land of Promise". When the end of the trail was reached no wonder there were misgivings and doubts in the minds of some, and the question was, "Can the Lord, yes even the Lord, bring a fulfillment of the words of His Prophets?" Look around you and you will see that we are living right in the midst of the great fulfillment. Great cities and towns have been built at the very foot of those great mountain peaks, "and the Latterday Saints have become a great people in the valleys of the mountains". See how great reservoirs have been built, and there has been pools of living waters spring up in many places in this dry desolate country, and the water has been turned out over the dry parched ground and it is no longer a parched, thirst land; and the end is not yet, for great drilling outfits are boring into the earth and bringing streams of living water out onto the waste places of this once barren desert land.
So you see that the predictions of the Prophets have been fulfilled under the observation of the sons and daughters of the Pioneers to whom the predictions have been made. We have lived to see another great prediction fulfilled in the great unfolding and advancement in every field of Man's endeavors. The crude ways and means that the pioneers were compelled to use in opening up and commencing to build this great Empire in the mountains and valleys of the west have been replaced by the greatest marvels of science and industry that has ever existed upon this earth, and now follows the prophecy. It was given by the Prophet Joseph Smith at Liberty, Missouri, March 20, 1839. Doctrine and Covenants, Section 121, verse 26 says, "God shall give unto you knowledge by His Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now." Verse 33: "How long can rolling waters remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens?" As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri River in its decreed course, or to turn it upstream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints". (D.&C. Sec 121: verse 26)
When our company of emigrants moved on down the slope of the mountains into Salt Lake Valley they found a city of some proportions had been built with some comfortable homes. The Terrys were directed to go south to Willow Creek to help build up a section that is now Draper, Utah which was twenty miles south of Salt Lake City. The land which they homesteaded was covered with sage and greasewood brush and ditches had to be dug to bring water out onto the land before it would grow crops.
The first job at hand was to build some kind of house to shelter them from the cold western winter that would soon be coming in. Here again the genius of father Terry was brought into play, for he fashioned some adobe molds out of pieces of wood. With these wet clay was fashioned into green adobies that were placed out on level ground to dry. In course of time when te adobies were cured and dried, they were built into four walls, which were covered over with poles and willows and earth that formed the roof.
That first winter was a tough one for the Terrys. Flour was scarce and high priced, and to people who had very little money it was a luxury that they could not afford, so the Terrys, like many others, lived on bran bread with very little else with it. When spring came and the plants and weeds began to grow they would gather pigweeds and other greens as well as segos, to help out the bill of fare and give variety. When their crops began to grow, the boys would take their cows and horses out on the hills to graze and gather their food from the native grasses. I heard one old Pioneer tell how he would take a little mild in a pail for his lunch, and would be expected to bring the pail home at night full of segoes to help out the supper for the family. One day he stubbed his toe and fell, spilling his milk. It gathered in a cow track and he lay down on his stomach and saved what he could of it. Mother told me how occasionally she would get work in the homes of families who had been in the valley long enough to raise crops and store away grain and vegetables to last them through the winter. In some of these homes the people would be a little bit wasteful and would pu scraps of bread in their garbage, which they saved in barrels for the pig feed. Mother would carefully pick out these scraps of food and take them home to her hungry brothers and sisters. She became so imbued with this principle of saving that it hurt her to see a kernel of grain of any kind wasted.
As soon as crops were produced so that the terrys had food, another house was planned and the old adobe moulds were put to work again moulding adobies for a new home. This time it was a two story building they made with two large rooms below and two above. It was a larger order for a man and a family of children to undertake but the barefooted boys and girls could tromp the water and clay into the right kind of mud that it took to make or rather mould into adobies. It took thousands of them to build a house the size of the one they built. The job was well done for when I was there and visited the place in 1951 nearly a hundred years later, the old house was not only standing but people were living it it. Although it had been remodeled and was nearly covered up, it was still there.
It seemed to be when I was a small boy that mother's most prized possessions was an old black trunk. It had been with her for many years. In it were all kinds of little things that were dear to her heart: little scraps of cloth from little boy's baby dresses, a baby's shoe with a hole in the toe, locks of baby's ringlets, a little cap that her first little boy wore- he died with the croup. One day she was tenderly going through the old box, and she was crying a little over the little keepsakes when her fingers caught up a little piece of a fine gold chain. Then she told me of a Sweetheart that she had loved and lost. He had picked up the little piece of gold chain one day when he was walking along by the oxen as they steadily pulled their heavy wagons westward toward the Place. He gave the little piece of chain to my mother and how she did treasure it. For a long time my mother grieved over the loss of her sweetheart and wondered if she would ever have another to take his place.
Her mother sympathized with her and advised her to go to her Father in Heaven and tell him her troubles, so she decided to do so. So one night when she went to rest she knelt down by her bed and told Him all about it. During the night she dreamed that she saw a curly-headed boy pass along the road and went past their home, and a voice said to her that the boy was her husband. She told her dream to her mother and she advised her daughter to be patient and all would be well.
About a year later in the summer of 1858, John R. Young was on his way home from a mission in the Sandwich Islands, and as he passed the Terry home in Draper he turned and looked toward the house. Mother was sweeping the doorstep and when she saw him she went into the house and told her mother that they boy in the buggy that just passed was her husband that she had seen in the dream. The two young men in the buggy traveled on north into Salt Lake City where they lived. John R. was the son of Lorenzo Dow Young, and his companion was a son of President Brigham Young.
After the young missionary had been home a short time, he was sent to Draper to attend a young folks meeting and take part as the speaker of the evening. Albina Terry, learning that the curly headed boy would speak at the meeting, went early to the church and got a seat directly in front of the speaker's stand. When the missionary arose to speak he looked down over the audience and his eyes met the eyes of the anxious young woman. As their eyes met a voice said to him, "Behold, your wife". And thus my father and mother's courtship began, which resulted in marriage a few weeks later on the first day of January, 1859.
In November of the same year the newleyweds moved to Payson after receiving a call from President Young to go there and help settle up the country in that part of the state. This call from the authorities of the church was the beginning of many years of pioneerings, and the wives of the pioneers had many privations, toil and hardships to endure.
In the year 1861 my father married a second wife. He had been taught the principle of plural marriage by President Brigham Young and he believed that he would receive a great blessing if by entering into that covenant of marriage and married Lidia Knight, a daughter of Newel Knight, who was one of the firm friends and supporters of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
It was while Mother lived at Payson, Utah, that her first child was born. They named him John T. Young. It was in the year 1861 after father's second marriage that he received a call to go to Dixie which he accepted and moved to Santa Clara, a small stream that heads in the Pine Valley mountains some distance west of St. George, and flows eastward joining the Virgin River at St. George. A few families who had been called to settle the Santa Clara located about fifteen miles up the creek, and went to work building a stockade and some shelters to live in. They then bent their backs to the task of grubbing the large sage and squaw bush off the rich land that lay along the creek.
One never to be forgotten day there came a flood down the creek and it swept away their stockade, shelters, and supplies, as well as washing away the land that had been cleared for spring planting, thus leaving them destitute to make another start. Little John T. died with the croup a few days later as a result of exposure in the terrible night of the flood.
In the spring of 1862 father was called to go to Omaha, Nebraska to bring convert emigrants to the valley of the great Salt Lake, where the main body of the church were gathering. It was a great distance of about 1300 miles from St. George to Omaha and would take six months to make the trip with ox teams. There were two wives, and they were left in a tent, almost destitute to scratch for themselves. Before father returned in the fall another baby was born and mother had to make clothes of a bed sheet to clothe the little fellow.
In the year 1863 another call came to these two noble wives to rustle for themselves while their husband went to Omaha for another group of immigrants. This time he brought a company of Danish saints across the plains to Salt Lake.
The next year 1864 a call cam from the Presidency of the Church to go on a mission to the Hawaiian Islands. He had filled on mission to the Islands when he was a boy. Father was working on the roof of a cabin when a letter from box [?] B arrived. He read it and said, " A call for another mission, but damned if I will go." My mother, whose faith was unshakable, said, "Father, are you going to disgrace us?"
The call was to go now. The house was not finished, the oxen and all available property was sold to raise money to make a five thousand mile journey to the assigned field of labor. He went in March 1864 and on account of the destitute condition of his families he was released to come home in November of the same year. But having to work his way across the desert from San Francisco after arriving there on board a sailing vessel, it was in the spring of 1865 that he arrived home, finding his two families destitute, carrying their firewood from the hills.
Little relief cam to the struggling families when the breadwinner came home, for the Black Hawk war was on and all able-bodied men had to be organized for guard duty to protect their homes and their horses and cattle from the depredations of the Indians. This work took the men from their homes most of the summer of that year.
The summer of 1865 found mother and Aunt Lydia alone while their husband was filling a mission among the Indians in Southern Utah and Arizona. The family had been moved into St. George where they had the shelter of a house to live in. The labor among the Indians took father across the Colorado river into Arizona where he spent the winter with them.
In the spring of 1866 he was released to come home. While crossing the river on a raft the men were drenched to the skin in the cold water. Father caught cold which settled in his intestines, and after suffering a week without relief he was given up to die. The bishop called in the evening and dedicated him up to God. He then asked if he should stay with mother through the night. She told him "No", and said that she would be all right. Calling in her ward teacher, Brother Tyler, they knelt down by the bedside and prayed that his life would be spared. In a short time the fever broke and father sat up and asked for food. The next morning he went into St. George to Conference.
The family had got settled in a home, in a house,; it wasn't much of a house, but wherever my mother settled it was always a Home. Then another call came. This time it was to a saw fill in Pine Valley Mountain, to help in getting lumber and timber to be used in the building of the St. George Temple. This was in the year 1867. President Young was a staunch advocate of home industry, and many industries were started by the church authorities. Among tem was a cotton factory at Washington, a few miles north of St. George.
Again this wife of a pioneer and missionary was called to "Break camp" and move to Washington where father was made the foreman of the working men on the factory. My grandfather William R. Terry had been called from his home in Draper previous to this time an was the Master Mechanic who installed the machinery in the factory. In May, 1868 a sad thing happened in the life of my dear mother. One of the most loved persons in all the world died and was buried in St. George. It was her father, William Reynolds Terry. When he was called to go to Washington he did not break up his home at Draper but left his family there, going along to Dixie. He never returned. Mother always said that her father died of a broken heart. Another martyr who died doing his duty.
Grandfather was a man of character and independence, as is indicated by a story I once heard of him. When President Young learned of the qualities and genius of him, he sent for grandfather to come to his office in Salt Lake City. Accordingly he hitched his horses onto a wagon and drove the twenty miles ot the city. After arriving, he reported at the President's office. The President was very busy, so after waiting for some time he walked out, hitched up his team, and went back home. The next day a message reached him instructing him to come again to the city. Grandfather wrote on the back of the message these words, "President Young, it is as far to Salt Lake City from Draper, as it is from Salt Lake City to Draper". The President interviewed him in his own home.
During this same year another sore trial came to mother and aunt Lydia, for John R. Young took to his bosom another wife, a young girl by the name of Tamer Black. During the next six years the journal does no show dates, but the following moves were made. The next move was from St. George, or from Washington, where it seems that the family had resided about four or five years, to Pipe Spring. In 1871 the record shows that mother and Aunt Tamer had been moved there for father was in charge of the work when the church built Fort Windsor at Pipe Spring in that year (1871)
From there they moved to Kanab; from there to Long Valley. At Glendale in Long Valley they stopped long enough to get a log cabin not quite roofed in when a new member of the family arrived during a rainstorm, in February, 1872, as mentioned at the beginning of this epistle. From Glendale we moved about four miles up the creek and took up a ranch where the women stood guard while the men made a shelter and planted some corn and beans against the demands of hunger during the next winter.
During the next four years, the mothers and the children had to be the breadwinners or starve, as my father was away most of the time on church business. The year 1874 he was called to organize the southern settlements into working organizations, or, in other words, into United Orders. (I have in my possession the call for him to do that organizing in writing signed by President Brigham Young and George A. Smith) He was away much of the time preaching to the Indians. The charitable acts of my mother among the sick and hungry Indians that came to her door made a shield around her and her family that protected them from the depredations of marauding Indians.
In the year 1876 we pulled stakes and moved camp again. This time we moved into the Order. The towns of Glendale and Mt. Carmel were located down the valley from our ranch and were about 7 miles apart. Neither of the two settlements would be organized into an Order, so the Order-minded people that were in the two settlements built a town midway between the two and called it Orderville.
My first recollection as a child reaches back to the ranch that we moved away from, and well do I remember riding on top of a load of household goods, for I was scared stiff every time the wagon went into a chuck hole or hit rocks that would make the load pitch and sway so that I would have to hang on like grim death to keep from being thrown off as we moved to our new home. This move was a new experience for mother, for a two roomed house that was made of rough lumber was prepared in advance to receive her and her brood of six boys. She never did have a daughter.
The aim of the order from the very beginning was to become self-supporting and they soon became, cooperatively, a very busy, industrious people. The first thing set into operation was a sawmill where they produced lumber and all kinds of building materials for building houses etc. The town was laid out in a square, and the houses were built in long rows that were partitioned off to fit the need of the different families; usually two rooms were assigned to a family.
My father's families were given six rooms, all joining. My mother's two rooms were the two center rooms which placed her in position to be what she always was, the peace-maker of the family. For the first time our families were all together and under a roof.
The next year 1877, the families of John R. were left alone as their husband was called to go to England to fill another mission. But they were not alone, and would not be neglected, because they were in the Order, where all shared alike whether they were old, sick, or blind, they all had food, wood, and shelter. There were gardeners, farmers, shoemakers, tanners, carpenters, blacksmiths and makers of cloth for clothing. There was a tannery where the hides of the animals that were slaughtered for food was made into leather; a shoe shop were the leather was made into shoes for all of the people who lived in the town. In the south end of town a sizable building was erected which they called the blacksmith shop. It was really a machine shop where they made horse shoes, nails, bolts, ox yokes, chains, wagons, and all kinds of tools for men and boys to work with. There was a place where women gathered and carded, spun and wove wool into cloth to be used to clothe the people. My mother was in charge of the cloth-making department. From the fumes of the dyes that were used for coloring purposes she lost the sight of one of her eyes.
In the south part of town was built "The big house", which housed the president of the Order and his two wives, and the Bishop of the Orderville ward and his four wives. The center of the town was like a big public square, and a large community building was built in the center of the square. This building housed a bakery, a kitchen and a large hall where the whole town were fed. It took two tables to serve them all, one for the grown folks and one for the children. Auntie Harmon with her helpers taught the kids good manners and kept order. At a given time each morning and each evening at the sound of Brother Thomas Robertson's bugle, all of the people would gather for prayers. This hall was used for many purposes: dances, home talent plays, stake conferences, and at first it was the school house. It was there that I learned by ABC's, also, and under the guidance of "Billy" Butler I learned to sing do, ra, me, fa, so, la, te, do. It was also there that I learned to repeat the ten Commandments in my Sunday School Class before I was ten years old. I wonder if I can say them now? If any of you desire to learn them, they are found in the 20th chapter of Exodus in the Bible, and were spoken to the children of Israel by the Lord Himself at Mt. Sinai.
It was in the year 1877 that President Brigham Young died August 29, and the L. D. S. Church went into mourning over the departure of this great man. Well do I remember going for the mail at the time and the borders of the Deseret News were all black. Mother said when she saw the paper that President Young was dead.
The Prophet Joseph Smith was the revealer of the Gospel plan, and the organizer of the church. President Young, who stood at the head of the Twelve Apostles, took over the leadership of the church after the prophet was murdered by wicked men. He gathered the bewildered members together and under very trying conditions removed them out of the land of civilization into a land of mountains and deserts that was inhabited by bands of savages. The Indians proved to be better neighbors than the civilized whites.
My father was in England filling a mission when the President was called to the "Great Beyond". Ever since his boyhood days he had been close to Brigham, and was given many positions of responsibility by him. Returning home in the year 1878 John R. was put in charge of the Orderville Sheep industry. They had leased a lot of sheep from the Cedar City coop and, with what the Order owned, it made quite a lot of sheep to look after. There were no more trips across the plains for immigrants, nor was there any more foreign missions for dad, but some home missions of a few days at a time, and lots of pioneering was given him to do.
In the year 1883, on the 25th day of February, with two of his three families, a move away from the Order was commenced. Aunt Lydia refused to leave the Order at that time, but some years later joined him and went to Mexico, where she died some years later. I do not have the date of her death. So with mother and Aunt Tamer we moved across the mountains to Rabbit Valley where a new country was being settled. Again, my dear old mother was preparing food around a campfire for her family. We were about two weeks making the trip and landed in Rabbit Valley in a rain storm.
On of father's brothers lived in the Valley and we received shelter in his homes, for he had two families, until a piece of land was purchased which had a two roomed log house on it. My older brothers immediately took steps to change the crowded condition under which they had to live, with two families in one log house. They rigged up and went to the canyon and got out logs to build another house, and it wasn't long until mother moved into her new log house with it's dirt roof. The dirt-covered roof had two good features; they were warm in winter and cool in summer, but when it rained it wasn't so nice, for little streams of water would leak through and trickle down across mother's whitewashed walls, but she would say, "Never mind, we can whitewash it again". When the mild cow died she would say, "The Lord will provide". Thus was the works and faith of mother.
Rabbit Valley was a cold frosty country and it was struggle there to get the necessities of life. In the Dixie country where we moved from, the climate was mild and everything that was planted would grow and produce food; corn, beans, squash, in fact all kinds of fruits and vegetables grew and matured quickly in the warm Dixie sun. In our new home it was different. Wheat seldom matured sufficiently to make good bread. The bread would be dark and soggy and the flour would be dark and sticky. Only the hardiest kinds of vegetables would survive the late frosts; corn, beans, tomatoes, and such thing would seldom survive. So these resourceful mothers were put to their wits end to supply food for their growing families. You ask where was the bread-winner of these God-fearing mothers? Well, I will tell you. Soon after we arrived in Rabbit Valley there was a national campaign started by the United States Government to put down polygamy that was practiced by the Mormons. The Congress passed a law making it a crime for any man to have more than one wife, and the punishment for this offense was six months in prison and $300 fine.
Gentile judges were placed on the bench in all of our courts, and non-Mormons who lived among our people were sworn in as Deputy United State Marshals and were given warrants for the arrest of all the men in the Church who had more than one wife. The price of $75 a head for all polygamists that were brought into court was paid by the courts to the marshalls. This movement struck at the very moral fibre of the church, and sent hundreds of our best citizens either into court or into exile. John R. chose the latter and went into exile. We too Aunt Tamer and family and went into the mountains and canyons of eastern Utah. I think that without exception it was the most broken, roughest country in the whole Western States. They eluded the marshalls for four or five years, but finally pulled out and went to Old Mexico to be clear away from their persecutors.
One by one mother's boys, as they grew up nearly to be men, left the "forlorn hope" and went to make their way in the world. In time all had gone except Frank, her oldest son. He stayed and they were quite happy for several years until when he was 32 years old he found a young lady whom he married, and they went to keeping by themselves and mother was left alone. Although Frank moved into a home with his young bride, he never neglected his mother but always saw to it that she had wood to keep her warm, and he always divided whatever he had with his dear old mother.
The next following years were really the most trying of her life. Old age was upon her, the sacrifices and the hardships that she had endured for years at last had broken her health, and it was pitiful to see her struggling against the loneliness. I do no know what would have become of her if it had not been for some of our neighbors girls who loved and pitied her. They would go and help her, and very often one or another of them would stay all night with her. May our Father in Heaven reward them and give them peace in their old age.
About the year 1895 Frank and mother sold their homes in Rabbit Valley and moved to Huntington, Emery Co., Utah. Huntington is about one hundred miles across the mountains from Rabbit Valley. There conditions were more favorable for mother. Two of her sons already resided there. We will leave her there for awhile while I go back and follow my trail for a while.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
To begin with let me try to tell you about the some of the ambitions that I have had all through the years. When I was a small boy I had an earnest desire to be a "Man". So strong did this ambition grow upon me that it became almost a fear--a fear that I might die before I got to be a man. When I saw strong young men performing feats of strength, wrestling, running, jumping, roping, riding bucking horses and such things, a fear would creep upon me for the time for me to be a man seemed faraway. For seventy five years I have had that desire. I am eighty years old come next February, and I am still wondering. Will I love long enough to have my dream come true?
One of my early ambitions ran in another line. When I was a small boy I had a desire to read the Bible. One morning I went into the family group out by the fireplace, and one of my older brothers laughed and said, "Roy, what are you going to do with that Bible?" I said, "I am going to read it," then they all laughed. I have not given up. I am still trying to read it. One of the first words that I found in the "Book" that I could spell and pronounce was God. My mother taught me to pray to "Our Father in Heaven", and she said He was God. My great problem was to get a picture in my mind of what kind of a being He was. It could not enter into my limited scope of thinking that a man could hear all of the prayers of all the people in the world unless He was as big as the world Himself, and I thought that was an impossibility. So all those years I have been trying to find the full answer. Maybe this quotation from the scriptures will help us to find the answer in part, anyway. Jesus said, "This is life eternal to know thee, the only, and true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent". "Jesus is the Son of God, and is just like his Father". So if you want to know God, then read all about Him in the New Testament. Her is something else that Jesus said: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength". We cannot love anything or anyone until we know them.
One other ambition I had when I was a boy was to grow up and have a home of my own and marry a lovely girl and have a family of fine boys and girls. My mother never did have a girl and it was a source of sorrow to her. So I wanted boys and girls. After I got the house, the girl, and two or three children, then I realised that I needed something else, and that was to know something to teach them, and be able to give them the right answers to their questions. It seems to me this was the most important of my desires, and so I have done the best that I could to realize that ambition.
As a child I had an admiration for my father, and I loved him with all of the love that I had in my heart, until one day he whipped me for not coming when he called; he did not give me a chance to explain that I did not hear him, so doubts arose in my mind. When I was sixteen years old, just such a situation arose and I decided to leave home and did so.
Seven years of my childhood was spent in Orderville, from the age of four to eleven. We left there the day before my eleventh birthday. The social and moral conditions in Orderville were the best that I have ever lived in. There was no tobacco, no coffee, no liquor of any kind. I never saw a man smoke in Orderville, nor did I ever see a man intoxicated until after we left there.
After President Young died the Order did not receive the support and encouragement from the head authorities of the church as was given by the First Presidency during his administration. As time passed and the Order was becoming wealthy through the cooperation effort that prevailed, it was apparent that disunion and dissatisfaction were creeping in among the people, and finally disagreements arose that they could not settle among themselves, so they sent John R. Young to Salt Lake City to lay the matter before the Church Authorities. John Taylor was President at the time. Father stated his case to the Council, and the President listened attentively, until he was through. The President then arose and said, "Brethern, I must tell you a little story. A few years ago, Horace S. Eldrige, while acting as our emigration agent, was down in Missouri buying cattle for our emigrants. Happening toward the close of the day to be in a part of the country that was once owned by the Saints--and from which they were driven by mobs--he was curious to know if any of our people were living there. Seeing a young man chopping wood, he asked if there were any Mormons living in the neighborhood. The boy replied, "Well, dad used to be of those kind of fellows, but he ain't doin' much at it now days." Father says, "I returned to Orderville and withdrew from the association, giving as my reason: If the President of the church does not approve of our labors, I am not willing to continue the experiment."
So we moved away as I have before stated. The first day, the 26th day of February, we moved north up the valley and camped at a ranch where we obtained food for our teems and cattle. We had about thirty head of loose cattle, and it was my job to drive the herd. I rode a yellow mare that had a thick hide and a short memory, so really kept warm keeping her moving. The second day we crossed over the divide at the upper end of Long Valley which was covered from one to four feet of snow. When the old pony would get off the road she would sink in the snow up to her belly and it would take a lot of persuasion to get her to paddle out. My big brothers had a lot of fun with the "kid" and old Poddy. Not long ago I visited my brother Ferra and during my visit he razzed me about "Old Poddy".
That night we camped out under the stars. From a rancher we obtained hay to feed the stock. The next morning father went out among the cattle to scatter hay for them and a young bull attacked him and almost killed him. When we moved on we left the bull on the campground to rustle for himself.
It was a new experience fro me and quite a thrill to ride a horse and drive the cattle along with our company on the move, and I thought I was quite a cowboy. We were at the second night's camp on the South Fork of the Sevier river. We followed the steam to and through Circle Valley to where the East fork and the South fork join, there we turned east and went up stream to where the Grass Valley creek joins the East fork, there turned north and followed that stream to Qusheram. There we laid over one day at the home of Bishop Joseph Wright, who ws an old friend of father's, they having crossed the plains together some years earlier. From Qusheram we traveled eastward and crossed the Fish Lake mountain into Rabbit Valley.
On the east slope of the mountain we unyoked the oxen and turned them loose with the cattle to rustle their living off the range. In Rabbit Valley we found some find people who, like our family, were of the Mormon Pioneers, and it made up in a way for the many find people we had left in Orderville, although schools and social activities were lacking. One of our neighbors, Elijah Maxfield was his name, was the best jig dance that I have ever seen. He taught me a few of his steps and I got to be, I thought, quite a step dancer.
Among the boys that I got acquainted with was one boy who had acquired some very bad habits, and it was only through the discernment and wisdom of my dear old mother that I was kept from being led into evils that are very detrimental to one's future development and progress in life. As the time passed and father went into exile he took me with him and Aunt Tamer's family as she had no boys that were big enough to be of much help to him. So I was away in the canyons and mountains when I should have been in school.
When I was sixteen years old we went out to Nephi, a town about a hundred miles away. There we got a load of merchandise for one of the stores in our valley, and we leased a bunch of thirty cows from one of Aunt Tamer's uncles who lived at Nephi. While trailing these cattle home an incident arose between father and myself which resulted in my leaving home the next year, I think in May. One morning about sunrise I led my pony up to the house; it was saddled and all ready to go. Mother stood on the doorstep with a few cookies in a little sack. She handed them to me. She said, that they were all she had to give me. She said, "My boy, you are leaving me and your home. Wherever you go, never do anything that you would be ashamed to have your mother know about, and God will bless you and you will be all right. Remember your mother will always be praying for you."
I know that she did always pray for me, and that the realization of the fact that she was, kept me from yielding to temptations many times. I got on the pony and rode away. She did not cry, nor did she ask me not to go. She just stood there and accepted the inevitable. She understood. May God bless her forever.
When noon came I was over the mountain on my way back to Nephi. I stopped by a stream of water and unsaddled my pony. There was grass and water for it. So I sat down on the bank of the stream and ate my cookies. At night after traveling all day I stopped at an isolated farm house. A woman came out and I asked her if I could stake my pony on the ditch bank, and got permission. She asked me if I had anything to eat. I said no, so she went into the house and go me some bread and milk. She said it was all she had. I slept on the ground, my saddle for a pillow. The next morning at dawn I rode away. For two days I made my way with little to eat. The fourth day from home I arrived at Nephi and was made welcome by Uncle Tome Bowles. There I rested one day before starting on a forty mile trip across the desert to where two of my brothers were living on a ranch.
At this time my home is in an apartment which is owned by my daughter Maude and Clarence. Last evening Will Stolworthy called to see me. We have been friends since our childhood days. He stayed for an hour and we had a happy time together. During the night my dear life companion was here; I could feel her presence in the room and my loneliness left me. I am very happy this morning. With a song in my heart and a prayer of thanksgiving to the Giver of all good things I take up the story where I left off last night.
Early in the morning, after receiving instructions, a lunch, and a canteen of water from Uncle Tom, I rode away into the hills west of Nephi. It was afternoon when we reached the open desert country. The day was hot and my water was used up. The pony showed weariness. Ahead of me stretched a wide expanse of desert country. As I looked over the country around me I saw out to the south of me a lake of clear water and a large white horse strolled slowly down to the lake and drank. I was about to leave the road and go to the lake for my pony needed water. As I looked, the lake horse and all rose gently into the air and floated away. My first mirage.
As the day slipped by the dim road led me farther and farther into the desert. Finally I decided to turn back but decided to ride to the top of the rise of ground ahead before I did so. Reaching the top, the pony stopped her ears went forward and listening I heard the croak of a frog. Where there's a frog there's water. We drank our fill, then taking courage I looked for the road leading west but could not find one. It was getting dark so we turned and went back a mile or two to where there was grass for the pony. Unsaddling, I hobbled the horse and turned her loose. Lying down on friendly mother earth with my head upon my saddle, the coyotes sang me to sleep.
As the sun pushed the rays of light up over the mountains away to the east and it kissed my cheeks, I awoke and realized that another day was being born, but where was I? I noticed several miles away to the north a large smoke stack reaching up into the sky, and smoke was coming out of it. Where there is smoke there usually is someone who makes the smoke, so I saddled up and rode away in that direction. Before reaching the Smelter at Tintic I came to a large cattle ranch. The foreman was a big good-natured Irishman, Bill Smith. He soon understood my situation. My horse was given water and hay, and I was told to rest awhile until the Chinaman go dinner ready. My! but that beef steak and fried onions did make a new man of me.
After dinner Bill showed me the way to go and that evening I arrived at the ranch of my brothers, Silas and Ferra. They both had very fine young wives who have proved to be among the finest friends that I have ever known. I will tell of an incident that happened a few days after I arrived at their ranch which proved to be a blessing to me all my life. There was another ranch two miles up the creek and some people lived there. The two outfits took plenty of picnic and beer on the Fourth of July morning and we all went to the head of the creek to a big spring among the pines.
On the way they started opening bottles of beer and passing it around. I drank with the rest of them. I had never tasted beer or any kind of liquor before and did not know what it would do to me. As I tapped the bottles when they were passed to me, my wise older brothers would exchange knowing looks at each other and grin. When we camped under a big pine tree they sent Port, another boy, and myself down a hill to a spring for water. I kind of half rolled down the hill but couldn't climb back up. I don't remember how I did get back. What I do remember was that I did not get any of the fried chicken or anything else down all the rest of that day. That was my first drunk, and the last one.
A few days later I was put atop a black mule and sent back over the trail to Nephi. My! but it seemed to me that that mule was the finest riding animals I had ever ridden. With her I made the trip easily in a day. The next morning I took over the heard of sheep, and from then on was a sheep herder until the first of December, at $30.00 a month.
In a few days I was back in Rabbit Valley. My job had brought me enough money to buy a suit of clothes, my first, and a saddle horse. My desire was to go to school and the town of Loa was three miles way from our home where mother lived. So I found a place where I could live in town from Monday to Friday included and go to school. It took most all of my money to pay for my keep; so I paid in advance for my place to live, so that I would be sure of getting the winter's schooling. Friday after school I would go home and be with mother until Sunday evening and back to town I would go.
Things went smoothly and I enjoyed myself until in March when one of those things happened that happens to most all boys as they near manhood. There comes a times when they have to face the deciding fight of their life. Either they must meet the challenge and be a man, or back down and be like a whipped dog the rest of their life. There was a hoodlum in town, a fellow about five years older than myself, and he got to picking on me and making fun of me. One night in a dance he strutted his stuff and I called him outside and we fought it out, and the kid whipped him. To me it was a real battle and I took a lot of punishment, but I stayed until he quit. It gave me my rating for life.
About the middle of March my money was all gone so I decided to go north again to my brother's where a job awaited me. Once more I saddled my horse, and after my dear old mother had again given me her blessing I rode away. For three years following, my lot was cast with men of the range. Some of them were rough and uncouth men, others were fine men of courage and good character. So I had the evil and the good before me so that I could choose. Good men always appealed to me, although I was not much of a man myself. I still have hopes, and am still striving. I remember something that I read in the Bible that I had many years ago. It is the words of John, one of the Saviour's apostles. It is found in the Book of Revelations, the last book in the Bible. He wrote: "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out t his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." Rev. 3:5 This passage of scripture has given me courage and hope many times when I have slipped and made mistakes.
The humorist, John Billings, once said: "Do not judge a man by his family that he came from, he can't help that. They were forced upon him. But judge him by the company he keeps; they are his own choosing".
Enough of this for now, so lets get back to our story. It was a little more than three years after I went back that I drifted back home, and to my surprise it was my big brother Frank's wedding day, and I was just in time to sit down to his wedding dinner. I was too late to witness the ceremony for that was over, and big brother was really married to a very fine young lady.
I would like to write a chapter here about my big brother Frank and his wonderful wife Mathea, and their achievements, but I hesitate, because I realize that their accomplishments in their life's work would tower so much above that which my humble efforts have accomplished that the readers of my humble story would lose interest. So on with my story.
Before going home as mentioned already, I had tired of sheep camp life, and had gone into a timber camp where we were getting out timber for the railroad. This work did not last long, so a man came along who was tuning organs and pianos. He made me what appeared to be a good proposition, and a big change of environment, so I went along with him. I soon quit that job. Next I tried writing fire insurance but I soon discovered that I was not fitted for that kind of work and quit. It was at this time while I was without employment that I made a visit home as before mentioned. While I am back-tracking I will tell you about my first love affair which happened when I was sixteen and just before I left home the first time.
While I was away with father in the mountains and deserts dodging deputy marshalls, there was a reform in our dancing taking place. We learned square dancing from the time we were children, but round dancing was not allowed in our dances, but like all worldly things they finally came creeping and I was away from home and did not have a chance to learn the steps.
Mother and I went up to Fremont to a celebration when I was home for a visit and woe and behold! I discovered that there were some pretty girls in the world, and I sure fell for one of them. A small, dark-eyed girl about my own age, and she seemed to fall too, for when I met her a few days later she went for a ride with me. Our buggy was a three inch wagon we had good spring seats, and with my cousin and another girl, we had a delicious ride. While we were out riding, I made a date with her to go to a dance a few days later. She was a swell dancer and could waltz and schottische with the best of them. I avoided the round dances, but could hoe it down in a quadrille. Everything went pretty good until I took her on for a square dance, and they turned it into a waltz-quadrille. The Alamande left, all waltz, and then the world came to an end for me. I don't know how I got through that dance or how she got home. My dream of love was over, or was it? When I got out on the hills it soon became a habit of mine to waltz on every piece of level ground that I could find. So, after being away three years, when I returned home again it was no trouble for me to go along with the young folks in the dances. Again I met my black-eyed girl and had some very nice times with her, but she had been let down by my stupidity once and would not trust me again. "So goes the world".
During this same period of time I had met another very find girl who was a clerk in a store where we used to buy our supplies for the camp. I had been advanced a foreman and camp mover, so I went to town for supplies about every ten days. We had a chance to meet often during the summer. When my visit at home was over and I went back north again, it was my good fortune to get a job from my girl's brother who was a sheep owner, and when I got a day or two in town I had a good home as well as a fine girl. For a year and a half I followed her brother's flock but had not developed into anything more than just a good "sheep herder", so my lovely girl wrote me off as a poor risk and married a school teacher.
About this time my brother Silas who lived over the mountain to the east about fifty miles came along and invited me to go home with him. We arrived at his home in Huntington in July, 1893. Leaving my job and my girl across the mountains was a bitter pill to swallow. I had worked and saved my money and twice had invested my savings in projects that did not pan out, and both times lost what was invested. For three years my girl had been true and loyal to me and had waited for me to measure up to her ideal for a husband, but alas, our castles all fall around our feet, because it just wasn't in me to make the grade.
At Huntington my brother Silas and his lovely wife Mamie told about their Seminary which was a branch of the Brigham Young Academy and urged me to live with them and go to school. The notion struck me that it would be a good way to make another start, so accordingly I paid them in advance for my board for the full school term which was, I think, seven months. I then went into the mountains and found a job at $25.00 a month, which I held until school started in October.
In the school I studied hard and advanced fast, having the first real living in seven years time. During the winter I met another black eyed girl and we became friends. In the latter part of the winter we went out together some and seemed to hit it off quite well. But when school was out, she soon cooled off after I went back to the sheep camp for I was just a sheepherder.
I herded sheep that summer until fall and then leased a herd of sheep. It was a long chance that I took, for the Grover Cleveland depression was on, and the sheep business was not making expenses,. But I was desperate, and took the chance. For two years we applied ourselves as as though we were tied to the woolies, and I came out without so much as a $6.00 pony and $500.00 in debt. It was while I was in this deplorable condition that I met and married the most wonderful girl in all the world. She did not demand a nice home before we took the step that united us for better or worse. How we ever lived that first year with jobs almost non-existent, and wages twenty-five dollars a month. We didn't live, we just existed, and wouldn't have done that if our folks had not helped us.
In September, 1897, a year after we were married I obtained a job from my brother Will to go onto the west desert with his sheep for the winter at $30.00 a month. On the 9th of January our first child was born and her Daddy was two hundred miles away from home. It was in April when I returned and found my wife and baby being taken care of in her father's home. My! what a happy homecoming it was. A beautiful baby girl had come to our home and we named Guila; she and her mother were well. A few days were spent at home, and then the trip back across the mountain was undertaken, back to my job.
The summer of '98 we worked at a saw mill in the mountains and were together all summer. The winter I spent on the East desert down by the Colorado River, and so life went on and the struggle continued for seven years from the time we were married. In March, 1904 was born. I had been away on the freight road all winter. We meanwhile had paid our debts and had purchased a piece of land with a log house and other improvements on it, so we though that dad could commence to live at home. The farm was two miles out of town, so one morning we hitched up the team and drove out ot see if the land was ready to work. To my surprise I found that the best part of the land had gone swampy and was ruined.
During the winter on the freight road there was a man who had been in Idaho. We traveled together at times, and at night he would tell what a wonderful country it was as we sat around the campfire. I kind of had the Idaho fever anyway and when I saw what had happened to our farm my mind was soon made up. At home we talked it over and decided to move. Our baby was only two weeks old and mother was not strong, but she never hesitated nor complained but with her characteristic courage she started packing. Her parents and their three children came along with us, so we had quite a little company. Two young men, Frank Guyman and Bert McKee wanted to go to Idaho to find a job so they made the trip with us.
It was with regrets that I left my dear old pioneer mother to move out of the country and seek for a more favored land to live in. She was in a home and three of my brothers lived nearby so that it was a certainty that she would be cared for. We will let her story end here, for the last chapter is too painful to relate. She died at Blanding, Utah, the 9th of January, 1913. May we, her descendants, ever cherish her memory for she was and is one of God's chosen children. So let us all live so we can be with her "Over There". The time is not long, the place is not far; and soon we'll be with her, over there.
We rigged up a covered wagon with a spring mattress in the rear of the wagon crosswise. On it we made a comfortable bed for mother and baby Dee, where they could be comfortable day and night and be kept warm. We were four days making the trip across the mountains to Provo. There we chartered an emigrant train car and loaded our wagons and horses, also a cow. The two young men and myself went with the outfit by freight and the families followed us two days later on a passenger train. We all arrived at St. Anthony the same evening in a rain storm. We set up a big tent with a stove in it and weathered out a storm of rain and snow that lasted three days. We put our horses in a livery stable where they were comfortable until the weather man decided to give us a break.
Before the storm was over we procured a job plowing one hundred and sixty acres of sage brush land. When the storm settled we moved out on to the Egin Bench and went to work. We were on that job about a month. We moved from Egin Bench out east of St. Anthony where we got a job plowing forty acres of buffalo sod for a dry farmer. We were on that job on the fourth of July, 1904. The night before the fourth it snowed about four inches of snow, so we had a white fourth. The money that we earned plowing made a nice bank account for us so we began to feel like we might get along in Idaho.
About this time Brother Wilcock and myself looked over the open lands that lay unclaimed out to the east of Ashton, and we selected and filed our claim on a section of land that lay in what is now the best dry farm land in the Ashton country. In the first part of September there cam a freeze that killed all the wheat above St. Anthony so we decided that we didn't want to live in that section. After plowing we found a job hauling lumber from Island Part to St. Anthony, at which we were employed until the harvest of beets at Sugar City began about the first of October. At Sugar City we got work plowing for the Sugar Factory and stayed there all through October.
We started down the valley on the first of November. As we came to Rexburg the school children were skating on the ponds of water that were frozen over. Arriving at Shelley two days later, there was no ice on the streams and it was much warmer. We had been down the country during the fall and found a place at Tilden that we liked and made a bargain for it, so we moved on down to Tilden. Meanwhile Brother Wilcock had gone back to Huntington with his family, and Chris and his wife came from Utah to be with my wife and our family; so with them we made camp and began preparations for the winter.
We were arranging to build a small house to winter in, before the cold weather came on. About a week after we made camp Ida, Chris's wife took sick and died suddenly with uremic poisoning. So our plans all had to be changed. We took Ida to Blackfoot to an undertaker, where she was prepared for shipment back to Huntingon, where she was laid away. Chris and my family went on the same train and I remained to spend the winter alone. Will and Joe, two of my brothers, had bought a ranch at Wolverine, about twenty miles east of Blackfoot; hearing that I was along, Joe came down after me and so I went to Wolverine and worked for them all winter feeding sheep.
While my family were in Huntington at her parent's home, one of our children, Dee, came down with pneumonia, and only by the administration of the elders was he restored to health. In April I went back to Huntington and disposed of our home and stuff that we could not bring along and loaded what we wanted to bring with us into a box car and moved to Idaho for keeps. We lived at Wolverine for a year and a half and worked for my brother and then we moved to Goshen.
I thought it's now or never, so I started for myself. At Goshen we rented a house and moved into it. Hiring Will Stolworthy to go with me we took our saddle horses and a pack horse, set out on the range among the sheepmen to gather a herd of bucks to herd during the summer. Our luck wasn't very good, and we didn't get enough rams to pay, but we had started out and had to go through. It took just about all that we made to pay Will for his work.
I was struck by lightening on the 5th of July, 1905, and nearly lost my life, but the helper that we had learned to rely on those days, never failed us and we pulled through. A sheep herder from another camp was with me in my camp when the lightening struck my camp and he was killed instantly. I have always felt that a kind Providence was watching over me and my life was spared, for which I have always been thankful.
It seems that we were in the right place at the right time, for the farmers around Goshen had a lot of surplus pasture and no market for their hay. They seemed to be willing to sell it for promise, and that was all we had to buy with, so Will and I decided we would raise some money and go out on the Blackfoot river and buy some sheep to feed. A new bank was just opening up for business in Shelly and wanted customers. I think I signed our first note for a sum of two thousand dollars. Will Stolworthy had raised what he wanted. So we wet out to buy us some sheep to bring in to eat the feed that we could buy on time. We were successful in getting what sheep we wanted and by the 15th of November were all set to go.
The following year was one of belt tightening, and wearing our old clothes, for we had no income of any kind until we sold our wool the following July. The way we arranged it, Will Stolworthy boarded with my family at twenty dollars a month, and I ran into debt at the store in Shelly for supplies to feed all of us.
When the Bishop and his counselors were ready for the Mutual Improvement Ass'n. to begin their winter's work, they came for me to be Senior Teacher. I accepted the call and it afforded me the opportunity to advance in studying and learning the principles of the gospel that I had long for, for a long time. I studied hard all winter preparing lessons for our classwork, and made a success of the work. It was a glorious time for me to be at home during the winter with my dear wife and our children. We had a little baby that had arrived at our home in June of the summer of this same year. So it was a joy to me to be situated so that I could help care for him for he was a weakly little fellow and his chances were not very good.
Winter cam on and all went well with us and our sheep business until the grass began to grow in the spring and then our troubles began. The old ewes would sniff the air and bleat, and eat very little hay. Soon they quit eating hay entirely. We turned them out, and moved our camp out on the range, hoping that the weather would warm up enough to keep the green feed growing. Instead it turned cold and soon the sheep were without feed. We hauled hay out to them, but they would not touch it. The ewes that were soon to be mothers grew weaker and weaker until the green feed started to grow when the weather turned warm. As soon as the feed was up enough so the sheep could get filled up, and would lay down, they were too weak to get up again, so our work was doubled up. We would lift them up in the morning so they could go out to feed. Then in the evening we would help them up so they could be brought back to camp, where we could protect them from the hungry coyotes. Next the lambing commenced and they could not be bunched at night, so we had to night-herd to keep the coyotes from killing the lambs. We got along fairly well for a few days and then the weather turned cold, and one of Idaho's spring snowstorms set in. One night when this storm was on, I walked a circle around the flock and saw the little lambs perish in the snow storm soon after they were born until my courage was about gone. The stormed cleared just before dawn, but when I went out on a ridge to go to camp and get my breakfast, I looked across the valley and saw another storm coming across and my heart sank within me, for if the lambs were frozen to death as they came into the world for another twenty four hours, our chances of repaying the debts that we had contracted were gone.
I remembered that in a Patriarchal blessing that I received from Patriarch Darwin Chase before coming to Idaho, that I should be given faith to control the elements. So I returned to the flock, and kneeling down in the snow, I told my Father in Heaven that I had done everything in my power to care for and protect those sheep, and then I asked Him to turn the storm away and save the little lambs. I arose and walked out onto the ridge again to watch the oncoming storm. In a little while I saw the storm divide, and part of it passed by to the south of the sheep and part of it passed to the north of them, and as I watched and marveled at what I saw, the sun came up over the hill to the east of us and it shone down into the little valley where the sheep were. Although the storm continued through the day, it did not storm on our flock any more, nor did we lose any more lambs.
During this time of strenuous work with the flock, one day my wife sent my oldest son Clifton out to us with word that our little baby boy was real sick and she wanted me to come home. I mounted the pony and went. The little fellow I found when arriving home was very sick. We sent for my brother William R. who lived nearby and he came over and we administered to the little fellow. Brother Will prayed earnestly to the Lord that the baby's life might be spared until the sheep were through lambing. After the administration the little fellow rallied, and I went back to my work.
About ten days later we decided that we might drift the herd up to camp and bed tem around the wagon so we would not need to night-herd any more. So I stayed out all night, before we would move to camp the next day. When I left them in the morning to go to camp to get my breakfast, a strong impulse came over me to go home. When I arrived home and went into my house my wife placed the babe in my arms and in a few minutes he was dead. Surely our Kind Father did hear and answer our prayers again. We were too poor to have a doctor those days, and just depended on the mercies of the greatest of all Physicians. Our little Wilford was born the 13th of June, 1906 at Goshen, Idaho, and it was the 5th of May, 1907 that he died.
We moved from Wolverine to Goshen in the spring of 1906 [1908?] and joined the Goshen ward the 4th of March of that year. It was this same year that conditions began to be better for us as a family. No more did I work for someone else but have found employment of my own to keep me busy. About the first of June we sheared our sheep and sold our wool. The money we received for the clip enabled me to pay for our hay and pasture, also our store bill. The feed on the range was very good all summer and sheep thrived and the lambs were large and in good condition. Along in September a buyer came along looking for sheep to buy to put into the fields to fatten on beet tops and clean up the fields generally. We made a deal and I sold him the ewes and lambs for three dollars and fifty cents a head.
The money that this sale brought me enabled me to pay off the bank and all of my debts and left me eleven hundred dollars in the clear. This accomplishment that had taken two years of hard knocks and close application to work was a boon to us, for it established for us a good rating and a good credit which I have carefully maintained through the years, and it has been an unestimated benefit to us. I was not very successful as a sheepman but it was a business. During the depression years we managed to live; during the good years we gained some.
The years were passing and our family was growing up and we needed better school facilities than we had in Goshen, so in 1912 we sold out our sheep business, and decided to move to Shelley. They had just completed a high school there, so we bought a piece of land of eighty acres and went to work to build us a home. We moved to Basalt the spring of 1913 and stayed there until March, 1914. We planted and raised a crop, and in the fall we built our first real home on our land one mile north of Shelley.
I have briefly followed our financial development up to the time we moved to Shelley. And now I will write about our social and religious activities during this time. It was abut the first of November, 1906 that I accepted a call by the bishop at Goshen to act as Senior class teacher in the Mutual Improvement Association. That really was the beginning of my education. I studied hard and gave to the work the very best that was in me. This I had to do as I was not qualified to fill a position of that kind. I adopted a plan of giving one hour each morning to the work. I would arise early in the morning before anyone else was up and study and prepare my lessons, thus the best hour of the day each morning was given to preparing for Mutual.
Before the winter was through, I was given the work of teaching the Priesthood class; thus I had two lessons each week to prepare. This work was carried through the first year successfully. The 5th of May, 1906, I was ordained an Elder when I was 34 years old, receiving the Melchezidic Priesthood at that time. One year later on the 14th of July, 1907, I was ordained a Seventy in the 106th Quorum. Soon after that appointment I was made a class teacher in the Seventy's class, which met once a week.
About that time the church was preparing the Seventies throughout the church to take the responsibility of doing the missionary work both at home and to the world, so they were required to meet once a month in a group for classwork. I was appointed the class leader of that group. So the ward classwork and the Stake class work was done by your humble shepherd until November 17, 1912, when I was ordained a High Priest by President James Duckworth and set apart as a High Councilman in the Blackfoot Stake. In the fall of 1907, after working as class leader at Goshen for a year, I was put in President of the ward Mutual. That appointment released me from being class teacher, but it did not lessen my studies for from the time of my appointment as president I prepared the lessons for the two departments, so if there was an absent class teacher at any time, the class had a teacher who was prepared to give the lesson. This work I carried on until we moved away from Goshen in the year 1913.
The call into the High Council put me into a new field of public service, as the council meets once a month with the Stake Presidency to help shape or direct the policies of the Stake work. I necessarily had to prepare myself to be a public speaker, something that I had never done. Once each month the members of the Council visit the wards of the stake as representatives of the Stake Presidency, acting as stake missionaries.
I had just got settled down to this work when, on August 16, 1914, the Blackfoot Stake was divided, and the north end of the old stake was made into the Shelley Stake, with Joseph H. Dye as President. It fell to my lot to be set apart as a member of the High Council in the new stake. December 27th of this same year, 1914, a call cam to me to labor in the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association as Stake President. Mind you, this was in horse and buggy days and it took a lot of time driving to the different wards to fill our assignments.
I enjoyed very much the work in the High Council. In the beginning my sermons were very short, but they were not very good. I remember going to Shelley with a man who had filled a mission out in the world. On the way I remarked that it wouldn't take me long to say my little piece. He said, "Don't worry, Brother Young, for I can handle the situation." When the Bishop turned the time over to us, I arose and made a good start but only lasted ten minutes then sat down. The other brother arose and floundered around about five minutes and sat down, leaving the bishop about forty minutes to do the best he could with. It was a short meeting. We both learned from that experience not to boast about our ability as preachers.
The Stake Presidency of the M.I.A. was a fine field to develop in for it gave me a chance to gain experience and develop in the church work. When I was chosen for the work, it occurred to me that if I could get two good experienced men to be my counselors, everything would be alright. In that I was mistaken, for he men whom I chose held more offices than they could take care of, so that they gave most of their time to the offices they held before they were called into the M.I.A. work. That made it hard to me as I was uneducated and lacked experience. But I had put my hand to the plow and there was no turning back.
I went to the Stake Presidency and asked for the privilege of going out among the men of the stake and finding men who were not working in the church. They readily gave their consent, and I was not long in getting a group of helpers who held no other offices. The plan worked very well.
For the next eight years, my family cooperated with me and we all worked hard improving and leveling the gravelly rough land that we had purchased. Our children were growing up and they were a splendid help to their mother and dad in carrying on the work that we had in hand and without them we never could have made it. This much I can say for our farm, that we made a good farm of it, and it made good farmers out of us. The boys learned how to work and do things and the girls under the guiding hand of a wonderful mother learned to be good homemakers. And one thing that makes us very happy is that they all have good homes of their own and are prospering and are good citizens.
February 19, 1922 I was set apart to preside over the Missionary work among the non-Mormons of our stake. This work as far as I was concerned was not a success. The Seventies Quorum had been given this missionary work to do and they had not done much about it. So when a High Priest was called in to preside over the work they resented it, and it did not prosper. I had been released from the M.I.A. work just before the above appointment. For the next two years my church activities began to slacken as my health was failing.
On January 2, 1924 I went to the L.D.S. Hospital for surgery, and on May 11 the same year, returned to the hospital for more surgical work, but the operation was unsuccessful, so I have drug through the years in poor health, doing very little church work except ward teaching and class teaching in the Sunday School. [What was the surgery for? What kind of poor health?]
On January 22, 1945 I wrote the following in our family record book [who has this record?], page 30: I am now near my 73rd birthday. We have lived in our new home in Shelley since March, 1914. Our family are all married and i n homes of their own. In all these years we have been a prosperous farm family. Death has not entered our home in all these years. Now we feel it necessary to move away from the farm and let one of our sons carry on in the farm work. So on the above date we moved into a home on East Fourteenth Street in Idaho Falls. On July 26, 1945, we sold our home on 14th street and on the 30th of the same month we bought a home at 319 Ninth Street. August 26th we moved into this home.
While living at 14th street I received a call to labor as a missionary in the Idaho Falls Stake. October 11th after moving to Ninth Street I received my appointment, and was given a district to labor in. My health was so poorly that my work as a missionary was a failure. Except for some ward teaching that is the last church work that I have been called to do.
July 1st, 1946. Since I have written that which precedes this, I have been unwell most of the time and have done very little work as a field missionary, but have availed myself of every opportunity to encourage and help people who have been careless in church duties, and those who have drifted away from the true way of life; and I feel that I have done some good in this field of labor. We have a great responsibility resting upon us in regards to working for the dead; we also have a responsibility to carry in regard to the living; so there is very much to be done, but the first thing is to prepare ourselves so that we can do intelligent, constructive work.
During this year of 1946 I have been under the care of Dr. P. Blair Ellsworth, a young local doctor who returned home from serving in the Army during World War II. and he has given to both "Mother" and myself some very fine service since that time. He took me to Dr. W. R. Abbot, who looked me over. June 12, 1946 Dr. Abbot performed an operation on me and got to the bottom of the old trouble [which was...?] that has afflicted me so many years, and every since that work has been done, and by the fine care that Dr. Ellsworth has given me, I have slowly recovered.
February 14, 1947 was a happy day for me, as I went through the Temple at Idaho Falls and did the endowment work for Gene Bennett, my grandson who was killed in the Pacific Isles in April in World War II. He is the son of Grover Bennett and our oldest daughter Guila. Christmas Eve our family all came to our home on Ninth Street and we had a very enjoyable time. As usual Mother and I received many nice Christmas gifts which we appreciate very much.
The year of 1947 closed with Mother and myself not very well and Mother under the doctor's care. However, we are able to care for ourselves and with the help our family gives us, we get along real well. February 27, my 76th birthday anniversary, the family gathered at the home of Guila and Grover and gave me a very find party, with many lovely presents and tokens of esteem. On the 7th of March, 1948 is a day to be remembered by me as I had the privilege of blessing and naming a great granddaughter. Her parents are Darwin and Pearl Young, Clifton's oldest son. The name was Vivian Lee Young. This year Mother's condition has not improved and so we have not had any holiday parties.
February 27, 1949. The years have been rolling along and another anniversary has caught up with me, and with it came another get-together of our family. They came and we had a good time together. Their gifts and expressions of love, and their kind consideration of their mother and dad makes life not only bearable but desirable. June 1st. During the last two years and a half Mother's health has been so poorly that I have been under the necessity of keeping up all the house work and caring for her the best that I could. Our children have all cooperated in this work and have been very mindful of us. We appreciate and thank God for our fine family of five sons and three daughters and their families. May our Heavenly Father bless them always.
May 23, 1949 Mother suffered a complete breakdown. We nursed her carefully at home until the 27th when our doctor, P. Blair Ellsworth ordered her taken to the hospital. June 1st we will bring her home but she is not well be any means, although we have done all that we could for her. During the remainder of the year 1949 we went through some very unpleasant experiences which had a damaging effect upon our conditions in our home, under these conditions mother's physical and mental condition kept failing. Back in November 1947 Mother was stricken with Neuritic Rheumatism, with which she suffered in connection with asthma during the winter. The Neuritis settled in her left hand and she has had very little use of it since. For three and a half years she has been unable to knit, sew, or do any housework, and as she has been very active all her life, this condition has made her life dreary a good deal of the of the time. Her children have all been very good to her, and I have done the best that I could for her, yet she had gradually failed until the 3rd of March, 1951 at 4 o'clock in the morning she passed peacefully away with a heart attack.
Wednesday March 7th, we held a grand funeral service in the Second Ward Church in Idaho Falls for her. The house was filled with sympathizing friends and relatives. Many and profuse were the floral offerings. The outstanding thing of this heart-warming occasion was that her eight children were there and her five sons and three sons-in-law bore her away. She was beautiful in her lovely temple robes amidst the beautiful flowers that surrounded her where she reposed, at rest, in her lovely casket. Her casket rests in a lovely white cement vault.
After the funeral was over and the family was settled down to their home life activities, the home on ninth street seemed big and empty. Although I had been attached to the place and to our splendid neighbors there. I wanted to get away so we sold the home and I moved into one of Maude and Clarence's apartments which had been prepared very nicely for me. Here I have every comfort that anyone could wish for. They are very good to me and Maude spares no effort to make me happy.
August 1. Since selling the home I have done some visiting around with our family. I have had one good trip to Salt lake City with Maude and Clarence. While there I visited with my brother Samuel C. at the temple. I also visited with my cousin Alma Terry and wife, also had a nice visit with Lee Young who works for the state. All in all I enjoyed the trip very much. Later I went to Lava Hot Springs with Echo and Ferra and had a nice outing.
The following Sunday Clarence, Maude, Ferra, Echo Linda and myself went to the Twin Falls country where Keith and his wife live on a homestead that he drew from the Government. He is making a splendid farm and home there. August 1, 1951 I commenced working in the temple doing endowment work for the dead. It is a very wonderful work and if my health will continue to improve I think it will enable me to whip the loneliness of living alone.
I have had some very happy experiences since commencing the work in the temple. I will relate one of them. On the 14th of August after I was all ready in the morning I went into my bedroom where I have a picture of Mother on the wall, and talked to her before leaving. While there a desire came over me to have her come to me in the temple; so, I pleaded with her to come if she could, and then I asked Heavenly Father to let her come. I sat down on the end of a row of seats in the assembly room where they have wonderful meetings every morning. It was almost time for the meeting to commence, when, all at once it seemed like something came against me, and my heart began to swell and my nerves to tingle; Mother was there! I could feel her presence as plainly as I could feel it when she was here with me. Tears came to my eyes and I wept for joy until the meeting was over. The was Tuesday morning about 9:30. The next morning I sat in the same place and she came again. Also the next morning. Three times she came, but she has not come since. My request and my prayer was granted. And O, how grateful I am for the goodness of a kind Heavenly Father to me. I continued doing temple work until the 31st of August, when the temple closed for the annual cleaning.
The 15th of September was our 55th Wedding anniversary. I spent a part of the day at the cemetery at Shelley and decorated Mother's grave with lovely flowers.
For many years I have wanted to visit my mother's grave where she is at rest at Blanding, Utah. I am nearing my eightieth birthday and it seemed to me if I ever did so I had better be at it. So I purchased a new Dodge car and on the 10th of September with my son Wendell, we undertook the trip. We left Shelley at six A.M. to make the 650 mile trip. We drove to Price the first day and spent the night with my brother Silas and his wife Mamie. She is eighty three years old and Silas is eighty eight. They are bearing their years very well and entertained us very well. The next morning we drove to Blanding, arriving there at eleven in the morning, a distance of 200 miles. We found Mother's and Father's graves marked with good granite headstones and well cared for; that was a joy to me. We placed a tribute of flowers on their graves. The flowers were furnished by Silas's son Dow who has a wonderful flower garden surrounding his home at Price. We enjoyed a good beef-steak dinner and then drove back to Price arriving there at five in the evening.
The next day, the 12th, we went to Huntington and visited one of Mother's girl chums, Minerva Guyman Anderson for half an hour and then hunted up May Klucker, my brother Ferra's daughter and she gave us breakfast, after which we traveled south through Emery county and across the mountains to Load in Wayne County. Loa was the place where we moved when we left Orderville the year 1882, just 70 years ago. There we lived on a homestead across the valley eastward from Loa until I was seventeen years old. One fine morning in the latter part of March I said goodbye to my dear old mother and rode away out in the big world to find my own way. At Loa we got track of Ethel Maxfield Chappel, a neighbor's daughter who lived at Lyman. We found her and visited with her a short time and then continued on our way going eastward down into the wonder-land of Wayne county. It is 22 miles to Fruta from Loa, and it is located in the midst of the many colored cliffs and canyons of eastern Utah. There we stayed about four hours viewing the huge many-hued ledges and canyons or rather gorges that are out right through the solid rock mountain that is know as the Capital Wash Breaks, or Reef. Many days did I spend when I was a boy twelve to fifteen years of age in this country, so it seemed like getting back home again, only different.
About three in the afternoon we turned the forward wheels of our fleet little Wayfarer car toward home that seemed so far away. At Loa we re-gassed and watered our "power horse" and headed across the Fish Lake Mountains. As we literally flew over the find smooth hard-surfaced roads of the eastern Utah wasteland, it seemed like a miracle had been wrought. Where once it was difficult to penetrate into and across that broken wasteland on horseback with pack animals to carry a few necessities such as flour and bacon with plenty of coffee to turn the brackish water into a more palatable article to drink, now there are ribbons of concrete and gravel running over the hills and through the gorges and canyons, on which the sightseers travel with ease. After we reached the divide of the Fish Lake Mountains we passed down the west slope over a downhill grade that reached out into the Seveir River Valley. As we navigated this long downhill grade the temptation was too much to be resisted by Wendell who was at the wheel. Sixty--seventy--eighty--then ninety miles per hour the speedometer registered. We were soon at Gunnison where we put up a good cabin camp with bath and all the trimmings. Three hours from the "wilds" into this civilization. The next day we drove back to our home in Idaho ending a never-to-forgotten trip of fourteen hundred miles in four days.
October 9, 1951 I resumed work and did temple work for three days, then my head was so bad with sinus that I thought it better to quit. January 18th, 1952.
Since making my last entry the winter has come on. The snow came the week before Thanksgiving day, which was on the 22nd day of November this year, and has laid on ever since. I spent the day with Lloyd and Verna and their family. With a twenty pound turkey they sure put on a fine feast and we all enjoyed it.
Christmas came with all the feasting and rejoicing that comes with it, of which I received my share. Clifton and Grace put on a splendid Christmas dinner and I was the invited guest with Darwin and his family including two great grandchildren. New Year's day was a nice day so I visited with Veola and Delore in their comfortable new home and enjoyed the bounty of their well-spread table. With music and singing we spent a very pleasant afternoon. In the evening I returned home with my heart full of thanksgiving for the many blessing that are mine to enjoy.
In the evening of Christmas day, a part of my family visited me and delivered to me a surprise gift from Santa Claus, including the Christmas cards mentioned. I only asked Santa for a woolen shirt and he brought me an electric blanket with a lovely woolen shirt wrapped in it. No more shivers for me. Thank you all.
January 9th was another good day spent at Guila's on her birthday where I enjoyed a good dinner and saw how happy she was with all the fine friends that called.
January 22nd. Today is a sunny day after a stormy day of blizzard-like weather leaving many of the highways blocked with snowdrifts. Yesterday, (Sunday) with Maude and Clarence I went to Shelley and visited with Cliff and Grace in their home. Their daughter Marlene was laid up after an operation on her feet. She was getting along nicely.
The winter is a hard one, but the Old Man Time is chipping off the days one by one, and spring is slowly coming this way.
February 27th my birthday is a fair sunny day after a week of cold weather and considerable snow falling and the wind blowing, blocking the roads and making travel difficult. Some of the family called in, and I received some very good cards. Feb. 24 of this month Ferra and Echo gave a fine birthday party for Lloyd and Elaine, and I was included. It was a very fine party with a real feast at two in the afternoon. A lovely birthday cake decorated very beautifully and 80 candles on top, making it the center of attraction. All of our family gathered there except Clifton and Grace who were in California on a visit. I was not well and so weary that some of the young folks brought me home where I slumbered while the family enjoyed the party in the evening. Thanks and regrets.
March 9th. Today I visited Mother's grave and it lies under a foot of solid snow. It was so stormy and the road was blocked with snow that I did not try to go there on the 7th which was one year from the day we laid her away. She was taken in death on the 3rd of March on year ago. May God bless her.
March 12, 1952. Here are a few lines that I wrote in November, which I shall put into my manuscript.
When I turn the pages of memory back
And gaze through the mists of the years
And see the dark pages as dark days and dark nights
It brings to my eyes bitter tears.
Long years have passed since first I met
that fair sweetheart of mine
Her eyes were brown, her face was fair.
Her soul was like pure gold.
And the story that she told to me
the sweetest that was every told.
When I look upon her pictures of the past
And the expressions on her face that will always last-
The first one of a face so fair and fine
I could hardly believe that she was mine.
The next one of a woman tried and true
After many trials she'd passed through;
And when I gaze on the beautiful eyes full of pain
It makes me sad and my tears run like rain.
Our poverty in those days was real
And the clothes that she wore that day could not conceal
The pride and longing in her soul.
More than twenty years have passed and gone
And eight fine children adorn our home
One sweet baby we laid in his tomb
And his soul is with the Angels.
The picture that now we see
Was taken in Portland near the sea.
And O, how happy she was that day
As I gaze on her face her smile I see.
Each day; each year;
And I see her face as it used to be, It dries my tears.
One more picture I see now,
Fifty three years have passed since we made our vow,
Happiness, troubles, sorrow, they're gone now,
But they've left their furrows upon our brow.
She has stood by my side in sorrow or pain,
And she has never faltered in sunshine or rain.
Now she's gone to her great reward
And she stood the test before her Lord.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;
And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying,
Neither shall there be any more pain." Rev. chap. 21, 4th verse.