Calvin and Fanny Phibbs

Calvin and Fanny Phibbs with (l-r) Evelyn, Florence, and Catherine in Idaho in 1912.

I had heard a rumor a couple of years ago that Calvin Phibbs had committed suicide but could not confirm the story.  Now that I am back in Idaho, I stopped by the Rupert Library to see if they had some old newspapers.  Sure enough, I found the following obituary which reads more like the local gossip column.  I will include some of the family history after the obituary.

“Judge Phibbs Ends Life; Ill Health Cause
“Well Known Rupert Attorney Meets Instant Death By Own Hand at Home Thursday.
“Four months of sleeplessness, a body racked with pain and mind grown despondent through belief of the utter hopelessness of physical recovery, led to the tragic, but carefully planned suicide of Judge C. D. Phibbs, well known Rupert attorney who ended his life at his home Thursday.
Seated before a mirror in his bedroom at three o’clock in the afternoon, when no one was in the house but his wife and himself, the distraught man placed the muzzle of a 22-caliber hammerless revolver to his right temple, and with a firm unswerving hand sent a bullet through his brain, death being instantaneous.  The leaden missile passed through the head and lodged in the wall, near the ceiling.
“Startled by the sharp explosion of the gun, Mrs. Phibbs rushed in from an adjoining room to find her husband’s body crumpled on the floor with his life extinct.
“That the rash act was premeditated and carried out as planned is shown by excerpts from a letter written the previous Saturday, addressed to his wife and left where she could not fail to find it.
“I do not feel that I can get well.  I have suffered for four months.  So much that I cannot endure it.  If anything happens to me, know that I love you and have never loved anyone but you.  Tell the children to be good children, as it is best for them.  It is the only way to be happy.  I have failed to do as much for them as I wanted to but have not been able.”
“Following the introductory explanation foreshadowing the tragedy that was to take place, the letter continued with detailed instructions of what to do in regard to business that would arise, told where his life insurance policies were, how to plan the funeral, left words of encouragement to the children to continue their education and even advised about planting a garden.
“After a farewell sent the children and the brief words of assurance for their future, the final paragraph concludes: “God bless you all till we meet again.  I do not believe God will blame me for what I am doing for there is no other way.”
“The letter was found by Mrs. Phibbs soon after the tragic shooting occurred.  It was dated March 20.  Although she knew he suffered much from stomach trouble for many weeks and was discouraged over his health, no hint of self-destruction was ever suggested by her husband, she said, and in the past week it seemed to be somewhat improved, and had been to his office only a few days before the appalling act.  He had suffered intensely from stomach trouble and it is thought he believed himself a victim of cancer.
“When a youth of 13 years, while in the mountains of Virginia, at Fancy Gap, Carroll county where he was reared, in 1899 Calvin D. Phibbs, whose father worked in the mines there, hopped on a coal car and received injury to his left leg that later caused infection, making amputation necessary and left him crippled for life.
“In 1906 when twenty years of age he married Fanny Elizabeth Ross in Welch, West Virginia, and on March 21, 1913, they came to Idaho and to Rupert, making there (sic) home here since then.
“Although he had little opportunity for attending school, he received his education by private study.  Securing books and texts of the International Correspondence school he studied law and was admitted to the Idaho state bar in 1919.
“For ten years he held the position of probate judge of Minidoka county, being elected on the Republican ticket and served in that capacity until four years ago.  He served also as justice of the peace for two years and in 1918 was city clerk of Rupert.
“His friends and business associates, of whom he had many, were shocked and grieved at his tragic act.  He had a kindly disposition and a cheerfulness of manner that in no way can be reconciled with his fatal deed.  At the time of his death he was engaged in the practice of law but since last November had been unable to be in his office much of the time.
“Besides his grief-stricken wife he is survived by eleven children, five boys and six girls, their father being the first of the family to pass away.  The children in order of their ages are Mrs. Florence Biles, 23, of Gridley, California; Mrs. Evelyn Collier, Rupert; Mrs. Catherine Beachel, of Filer, Idaho; Virginia, James, Viola, William, Orville, Arthur, Albert and Phyllis, the youngest, age three, all of whom live at home.
Three brothers, Frank Phibbs of Twin Falls, Robert of Oakland, California, and John of Salt Lake City, and twin sisters, Mrs. Ardena Christensen, San Francisco and Mrs. Mary Hiatt of Paul, also survive.
“Largely attended funeral service were conducted Monday at one o’clock in the Second ward L.D.S. church with Albert Harrison, first counselor to Bishop O. J. Bateman in charge.
“Speakers included David J Borup, former bishop of the Second ward, who came from Boise where he now resides to be present at the funeral.  Judge Hugh A. Baker, an attorney friend, and David Hyde and A. H. Jensen, churchmen and friends of the deceased.
“Music was rendered by a chorus of nine voices under direction of Arthur Humphries, singing three selections “I Need Thee Every Hour,” “Sometime We’ll Understand” and “Oh, My Father.”
“Prayers were offered by L.D. Hyde and R.C. May.  Interment was in Rupert cemetery with Goodman Mortuary in charge.

Here is a biography of Judge Phibbs from an old Idaho directory of prominent people.

“Judge Calvin Dickerson Phibbs. since 1912 a resident of Rupert, where in 1918 he was elected judge of the probate court of Minidoka county, was born at Hillsville, Virginia, June 12, 1886, a son of James and Elizabeth (Bolt) Phibbs. The parents are also natives of the Old Dominion, where they were reared and educated. Subsequent to his marriage the father there followed farming and stock raising and during his early life also engaged in the profession of teaching. In 1910 he removed westward to Rupert, Idaho, and purchased a farm northeast of the town, becoming owner of eighty acres. At times he has owned various farms, but his holdings at the present time embrace just eighty acres. He and his wife have become members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in his political views Mr. Phibbs is a republican.

“Calvin D. Phibbs spent his boyhood in his native state and pursued his education in Fairview Academy. He was reared to the occupation of farming, early becoming familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. Later he took up electrical engineering and worked along that line until he came to Rupert, Idaho, in 1912. Here he entered the real estate field and after a time he was called upon for public service, being made city clerk of Rupert, which position he filled for a brief period. In 1918 he was elected to the office of probate judge of Minidoka county, which position he is now acceptably filling, being most careful, prompt, systematic and accurate in the discharge of his official duties. On the 15th of December, 1919, he was admitted as an attorney at law in the supreme court of the state of Idaho.

“In 1907 Judge Phibbs was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Ross, a native of Pulaski, Virginia, and a daughter of J. T. and Catherine (Graham) Ross, the former a farmer and stockman. Judge and Mrs. Phibbs have become parents of six children: Florence, Evelyn, Catherine, Virginia, James and Viola. The religious belief of the family is that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in politics Judge Phibbs is a stalwart republican, giving unfaltering allegiance to the party and its principles. He stands for advancement and improvement in all things that have to do with citizenship and is among that class who are putting forth every effort to spread the principles of true democracy and make one hundred per cent Americanism the rule of this land.

I do not usually place that much quoted material in my histories, but there is so much extra information I probably would not otherwise include, I thought I better just leave them how they were printed.

Calvin Dickerson Phibbs was born 12 June 1886 in Hillsville, Carroll, Virginia.  He died 30 March 1933 in Rupert, Minidoka, Idaho.  He was buried 4 days later on 3 April 1933 in the Rupert Cemetery.

Now that I have given so much on Calvin, I probably should fill out the life of Fanny a little more, my Great Great Aunt.

Fanny Elizabeth Ross was born 18 November 1893 in Reed Island, Pulaski, Virginia to James Thomas and Damey Catherine Graham Ross.  Read more about here parents and family here.  She married Calvin Phibbs 22 December 1906 in Welch, McDowell, West Virginia.  As mentioned 11 children were born to the marriage.  I believe she moved fairly quickly to California after Calvin’s death.  While in Rupert, the Phibbs family lived at 96 B Street (unless the streets have been renumbered, this home does not exist any more.  Grandpa, Milo Ross, visited her in Salt Lake City before World War II.  I do not know if she was living there or just visiting, he does not remember either.  She died 23 January 1943 in Daly City, San Francisco, California.  She is buried at Cypress Law in Colma, San Francisco, California in an unmarked grave.

Calvin and Fanny’s children are as follows, without spouses.

Florence Geneva Phibbs born 21 June 1907 in Gary, McDowell, West Virginia and died 9 February 1987 in Gridley, Butte, California.

Evelyn Adaway Phibbs born 8 October 1909 in Eckman, McDowell, West Virginia and died 7 January 1961 in San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Catherine Elizabeth Phibbs born 1 January 1912 in Thorpe, McDowell, West Virginia and died 7 September 1989 in Fall River Mills, Shasta, California.

Virginia Ardena Phibbs born 3 March 1914 in Rupert and died 25 September 1969 in San Francisco County, California.

James Calvin Phibbs born 22 April 1916 in Rupert and died 10 July 1977 in San Francisco.

Viola Belle Phibbs born 21 July 1918 in Rupert and died 11 June 2008.

William Robert Phibbs born 3 October 1920 in Rupert and died 16 September 2010 in Redding, Shasta, California.

Orville Leonard Phibbs born 20 October 1922 in Rupert and died 25 December 1985 in Santa Rosa, Sonoma, California.

Arthur Lee Phibbs born 15 October 1925 in Rupert and died 22 June 1983 in San Francisco.

Richard Albert Phibbs born 25 December 1927 in Rupert and died 27 January 1983 in Clearlake, Lake, California.

Phyllis Elaine Phibbs born 24 February 1930 in Rupert and died 6 July 1972 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.

Of course I am always looking for more information on the family since we do not have contact with any of the descendants.

James Sharp

Here is a photograph of James Sharp.  This is another of the photographs I have that I wish to make available to others.

James Sharp was born 7 January 1840 in Misson, Nottinghamshire, England to Thomas Sharp and Elizabeth Cartwright.  I wrote about his parents, the family’s conversion to the LDS faith, and the trip to America in his brother’s short biography, Sharp-Bailey Wedding.

Siblings William and Isabella continued west with a LDS wagon train and James stayed behind with his sister Elizabeth in St Louis.  (Read more about Elizabeth here.)  James and Elizabeth did not join the LDS faith with their mother (Elizabeth), William, and Isabella.

James married Eudora Elvira Mann 3 March 1863 in Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee.  Eudora “Dora” was born 1 May 1845 in Nashville.  We do not know much of the life story, so how he met Dora and married her in Nashville we may never know.  The two made their home in St. Louis though.  James worked as a pork packer and initially started out in business with Patrick Muldoon around 1870.  Here is the run down of the St. Louis directories.

1869 [FHL #980635] James Sharp with Muldoon and Sharp at 1612 Biddle.
1870 [Gould's p. 797] shows the same.
1871 [Gould's p. 601] the same, but also lists Sharp, James pork packer r[esident?] at 1119 N 17th. {FHL #980,636]
1872 shows Muldoon and Sharp at 1015 N 17th [N 17th goes from 1701 Market North to Angelica.]
1875 [p. 1171] Muldoon and Sharp, Pork Packers and Provision Dealers, 904 B’way.
1885 Sharp, James, Muldoon and Sharp 904 to 912 S 2d, r 2715 Mills. [There are now 7 pork packers listed, only 1 in 1875.]
1887, James C. Sharp is listed as a clerk at Muldoon and Sharp.
1888 is Sharp, James and Co., same address, te no. 2208.
1890 James Sharp and Co. now includes Sharp, James C. as cashier and Sharp,George as Clerk. All 3 at 3641 Finney Ave.
1895 Shows both James Sharp and James C. Sharp as packers, George W. Sharp as Manager and William M. Sharp as Clerk at James Sharp and Co., 904 S 2d. James C. now resides at 4354 Morgan, the other 3 still at 3641 Finney.
1896 and 1897 now show William M. as manager and George W. as supt.; James and James C. simply identifed as with Co.1898 directory is missing.
1899 Company not listed. James C. (same address) is broker; George W. is just listed, at 1811 Laflin; William M. and James are just listed, still living at 3641 Finney.
1900 James C. at Sharp and Westcott; George W., clerk at Manewal Lange Bakery, 3204 Morgan; William M. litho.,at home.
1901 James Sharp now resident at 4573 Page boul; James C. com. mer. 736 Bayard av; George W. still clerk at Manewal- Lange Bakery, resident at 3009 Easton. [William M. not listed]
1902 James C. mngr. Sharp Mnfg Co., 411 Fullerton bldg., r. 736 Bayard av;.George W. and William M. are both clerks, rresiding at 3156 Easton av.
1903 James still at 4573 Page boulevard; James C., ins., 721 Olive, r. 3732 Washington boul.

As you can probably tell from the information above, James put his children to work and included them in the business. James retired at 55 and turned the business over to his boys.  By 1898 they had run the business in the ground, supposedly because of their like for being horsey (horse-racing).

James and Dora had 5 children.

Eudora Mann Sharp born 13 January 1864 and died 11 January 1938, both in St. Louis.  She married Alexander A Bryden, who worked in the coal business.

Ida Lee Sharp born 8 October 1866 and died 23 December 1946, both in St. Louis.  She was unmarried.  She worked as a school teacher.

James Carlisle Sharp born 26 December 1868 in St. Louis and died 4 November 1952 in Valley Park, St. Louis, Missouri.  He married Emma Manewal (and divorced) and Madeline C Grimm. He had a department store.  Emma was the daughter of August Manewal, one of the confederation of bakers who formed the National Biscuit Company (NABISCO).

George W Sharp born 10 March 1871 in St. Louis and died in 1964 in Sand Springs, Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Apparently he married a lady named Effie Olive, but we know nothing more about his life or her.  He was badly disfigured after being kicked in the head by a horse at 3 years old.

William Muldoon Sharp born 4 October 1874 and died 24 March 1915, both in St. Louis.  He also remained unmarried.

Eudora died 3 March 1894 of cerebral meningitis.  She was listed as living at 3641 Finney Avenue.  She was buried in the Bellefontaine Cemetery 5 March 1894.

James died at 68 years old on 24 February 1908 at the Bryden residence at 4573 Page Boulevard.  He fell from a Page Avenue car (assuming trolley car) according to his obituary.  He was on his way home from a lodge meeting when he stepped from a car in motion.  He was injured in the fall on the 22nd, not clear how, and died on the 24th.  He was a founder of St. George’s society and served as a treasurer for several year.  He was also a member of the Merchants’ Exchange and a veteran member of the St. Louis Lodge No. 5, I.O.O.F.  He was buried on the 24th, also at Bellefontaine Cemetery.

John and Elizabeth Quayle

Here is a photograph of John Quayle and Elizabeth Sharp and presumably one of their children.  Since I have the photograph, I thought I better make it available.

Elizabeth Sharp was born on Christmas Day in 1834 in Misson, Nottinghamshire, England to Thomas Sharp and Elizabeth Cartwright.  If you are interested, I have written about her parents, the family’s conversion to the LDS faith, and the family’s trip to America in her brother’s short biography, Sharp-Bailey Wedding.

Siblings William and Isabella continued west with a LDS wagon train and Elizabeth stayed behind with her brother James in St Louis.  Elizabeth’s mother died in St. Louis shortly after arriving.  Elizabeth and James did not join the LDS faith with their mother (Elizabeth), William, and Isabella.

Elizabeth married John Quayle who was a shoemaker and born 14 March 1833 in Kirkham, Isle of Man.  I have not been able to find this town, so either it is a mistake or misspelling.  The 1860 Census has the family living in Meramec, St Louis, Missouri.  1870 places them in Central, St Louis, Missouri.  1880 finally places the family back in St Louis, Missouri, where both of them died.  By the 1880 Census, John had become a foreman in a pork house, probably the pork house of his brother-in-law James.  I have a photo of James and his short biography will be available soon.  The family seemed to have some difficulty informing the census takers because their ages jump pretty wildly from the right year to up to nine years in difference.  Further, John Quayle is listed as Isle of Man in one, Wales in another, and even Missouri in another.  We are pretty confident in the date given above, but it is not perfectly sure.

John and Elizabeth have seven children that we are aware of, some believe there is another named Thomas but we cannot link him with any clear documentation.

John Quayle (Jr) was born 5 November 1855 in Illinois and died 13 May 1910 in St. Louis.  He was buried on the 15th in the New St. Marcus Cemetery in St. Louis.  He married Laura Breitenstein 19 June 1833 in St. Louis.

James H Quayle was born 15 February 1858 in St. Louis and 6 September 1864 in St. Louis.  He is buried in the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.

Isabella Quayle was born October 1861 in St. Louis and died 12 September 1864 in St. Louis.  She is also buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Margaret Quayle was born July 1864 in St. Louis and died 25 April 1866 in St. Louis.  She is also buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Ida Quayle was born in 1867 and died 13 November 1888.    We do not know much more.

Emily Quayle, also apparently called Emma on some records, was born 29 January 1868 in St. Louis and died 1 February 1928 in St. Louis.  She was buried on the 3rd in St. Marcus Cemetery.  She married Gustavus Crause.

Elizabeth Quayle was born December 1870.  She married William Duggan.  We do not know much else about this family besides this little bit shared with family near the early 1900’s.  She died 25 June 1903 in St. Louis.

In 1878 the family lived at 1286 S 8th St in St Louis.  In 1880 they were living at 1727 Decatur in St. Louis.

John died in 1894 after falling off a load of hay.  We do not know much more than this and it does not appear he is buried with the rest of the family in Bellefontaine Cemetery, if so, it is misspelled or under another name.

Elizabeth lived with her daughter Elizabeth, known as Lizzie to differentiate, until her passing.  Elizabeth died of typhoid fever 6 November 1902 in St. Louis.  She was buried the next day in Bellefontaine.

The Last Wagon

"To Them of the Last Wagon" by Lynn Fausett

In honor of Pioneer Day, here is a talk given in 1947 by J. Reuben Clark that has always touched me.  I think of it fairly regularly, especially when I find myself in a position of following others whose opinions or ideas just do not seem to make much sense to me.  I am reminded of my duty not to murmur and to do what I can and have the faith that the rest will just work out.  I just need to do the very best I can in the realm I life.  The caravan/wagon train moves on.

“At the near close of this one hundredth year of the entering into these valleys of your fathers and your mothers, some of yours and mine, I wish to speak a few further words of humble tribute and thanksgiving to them, and especially to the meekest and lowliest of them, those great souls, majestic in the simplicity of their faith and in their living testimony of the truth of the restored gospel, to those souls in name unknown, unremembered, unhonored in the pages of history, but lovingly revered round the hearthstones of their children and their children’s children who pass down from generation to generation the story of their faith and their mighty works, and the righteousness of their lives and living, those souls who worked and worked, and prayed and followed, and wrought so gloriously.

“I would not take away one word of praise or gratitude, honor or reverence from the great men who led these humble ones of ours. They were mighty men in brain and brawn, in courage and valor, in honesty and in love of truth, living near the Lord—Brothers Brigham and Heber and Wilford and Willard and Charles, the two Orsons and Parley, and John and George and Erastus and Lorenzo and Daniel and Joseph and Jedediah, and a host of other giants, each and all richly blessed with the Lord’s divine love and with that gift of the Holy Ghost that made them leaders truly like unto Moses of old. I yield, we yield, to no one in our gratitude for them and for their work of directing the conquest of the wilderness and of saving men’s souls. Their names shine lustrously on those pages of history which record only the doings of the makers of epochs—those choice spirits, chosen before the foundation of the world, to be the leaders and builders of dispensations of God’s dealings with men; and these leaders of ours to be the builders of that dispensation which of old was named the Dispensation of the Fulness of Time. Unnumbered eternities will remember and honor them.

“But I should like now and here to say a few words about those who trod after where those giants led, some in the same companies that the Brethren piloted, some in later companies following that year and the years after, some in the fateful handcarts with their unexcelled devotion, heroism, and faith, all trickling forward in a never-failing, tiny stream, till they filled the valley they entered and then flowed out at the sides and ends, peopling this whole wilderness-waste which they fructified, making it to fulfil the ancient prophecy that the desert should blossom as the rose.

I would like to say something about the last wagon in each of the long wagon trains that toiled slowly over the plains, up mountain defiles, down steep, narrow canyons, and out into the valley floor that was to be home—this last wagon: last, because the ox team that pulled it was the smallest and leanest and weakest, and had the tenderest feet of any in the train; it was slow starting, and slow moving; last, because worn and creaking, it took more time to fix and to grease, for young Jimmy generally had trouble in getting the wagon jack under the “ex”; last, because its wind-rent cover was old and patched and took hours to mend and tie up to keep out the storm; last, because the wife, heavy with child, must rest till the very moment of starting; last, because sickly little Bill, the last born, poorly nourished, must be washed and coaxed to eat the rough food, all they had; last, because with all his tasks—helping little Bill, cooking and cleaning up the breaksfast,—Mother was not able to help much—Father took a little longer to yoke his cattle and to gird himself for the day’s labor; last, because his morning prayers took a few more minutes than the others spent—he had so many blessings to thank the Lord for and some special blessings to ask the Lord to grant, blessings of health and strength, especially for his wife, and for little Bill, and for the rest, and then the blessings for himself that his own courage would not fail, but most of all for the blessing of faith, faith in God and in the Brethren who sometimes seemed so far away. For they were out in front where the air was clear and clean and where they had unbroken vision of the blue vault of heaven. The Brethren had really visioned the glory of the Lord, who walked near them, put his thoughts into their minds; his spirit guided and directed them, petitioned thereto by the thousands of Saints who were back in Winter Quarters, back in Iowa, back in the States, and beyond, even across the waters, for the faithful poured out their souls in fervent prayer to Almighty God that the Brethren should be inspired. The Saints buoyed up the Brethren out in front with encouragement, with praise, and sometimes even with adulation. Knowing the Brethren were prophets of God, the Saints gave them full confidence, daily, almost hourly, expressed. The Brethren lived in a world of commendation from friends and the tried and true Saints. Rarely was their word or their act questioned by the faithful Saints. This was as it should be and had to be to carry out the Lord’s purposes.

“But back in the last wagon, not always could they see the Brethren way out in front, and the blue heaven was often shut out from their sight by heavy, dense clouds of the dust of the earth. Yet day after day, they of the last wagon pressed forward, worn and tired, footsore, sometimes almost disheartened, borne up by their faith that God loved them, that the restored gospel was true, and that the Lord led and directed the Brethren out in front. Sometimes, they in the last wagon glimpsed, for an instant, when faith surged strongest, the glories of a celestial world, but it seemed so far away, and the vision so quickly vanished, because want and weariness and heartache and sometimes discouragement were always pressing so near. When the vision faded, their hearts sank. But they prayed again and pushed on, with little praise, with not too much encouragement, and never with adulation. For there was nearly always something wrong with the last wagon or with its team—the off ox was a little lame in the right front shoulder; the hub of the left front wheel was often hot; the tire of the hind wheel on the same side was loose. So corrective counsel, sometimes strong reproof, was the rule, because the wagon must not delay the whole train.

“But yet in the last wagon there was devotion and loyalty and integrity, and above and beyond everything else, faith in the Brethren and in God’s power and goodness. For had not the Lord said that “not even a sparrow falleth unnoticed by the Father, and were they not of more value than sparrows?” And then they had their testimony burning always like an eternal fire on a holy altar, that the restored gospel was true, and that Joseph was a prophet of God, and that Brigham was Joseph’s chosen successor.

“When the train moved forward in the early morning sun and the oxen with a swinging pull that almost broke the tongue got that last wagon on the move, the dust in the still morning air hung heavy over the road. Each wagon from the first stirred up its own cloud, till when the last wagon swung into line, that dust was dense and suffocating. It covered the last wagon and all that was in it; it clung to clothes; it blackened faces; it filled eyes already sore, and ears. The wife, soon to be a mother, could hardly catch her breath in the heavy, choking dust, for even in the pure air she breathed hard from her burden. Each jolt of the wagon, for those ahead had made wagon ruts almost “ex” deep, wrung from her clenched lips a half-groan she did her best to keep from the ears of the anxious, solicitous husband plodding slowly along, guiding and goading the poor dumb cattle, themselves weary from the long trek. So through the long day of jolting and discomfort and sometimes pain, sometimes panting for breath, the mother, anxious only that the unborn babe should not be injured, rode, for she could not walk; and the children walked, for the load was too heavy and big for them to ride; and the father walked sturdily alongside and prayed.

“When in the evening the last wagon creaked slowly into its place in the circle corral, and the Brethren came to inquire how the day had gone with the mother, then joy leaped in their hearts, for had not the Brethren remembered them? New hope was born, weariness fled, fresh will to do was enkindled; gratitude to God was poured out for their knowledge of the truth, for their testimony that God lived, that Jesus was the Christ, that Joseph was a prophet, that Brigham was his ordained successor, and that for the righteous a crown of glory awaited that should be theirs during the eternities of the life to come. Then they would join in the songs and dancing in the camp, making the camp’s gaiety their own, as much as Mother’s condition would permit.

“Then the morning came when from out that last wagon floated the la-la of the newborn babe, and mother love made a shrine, and Father bowed in reverence before it. But the train must move on. So out into the dust and dirt the last wagon moved again, swaying and jolting, while Mother eased as best she could each pain-giving jolt so no harm might be done her, that she might be strong to feed the little one, bone of her bone, flesh of her flesh. Who will dare to say that angels did not cluster round and guard her and ease her rude bed, for she had given another choice spirit its mortal body that it might work out its God-given destiny?

“My mother was one of those babes so born in 1848, ninety-nine years ago.

Another morning came, when courageous little Bill, who, with a hero’s heart, had trudged through long days of hot sun and through miles of soggy mud in the rain, his little body drenched, little Bill, weak and wan, must be crowded in to ride with Mother, for he was sick from a heavy cold. Months before, on that cold winter’s night when they had fled Nauvoo for their lives to escape the fiendish wrath of a wild mob, Bill became dangerously ill with pneumonia, which left him with weak lungs. This old illness now returned. He grew worse and worse. The elders came and prayed he might get well. But the Lord wanted little Bill with him. So a few mornings later a weeping mother and a grief-stricken father and that last wagon swung into place in the line, leaving beside the road, under some scrub brush a little mound, unmarked save for heaped-up rocks to keep out the wolves, a mound that covered another martyr to the cause of truth.

“So through dust and dirt, dirt and dust, during the long hours, the longer days—that grew into weeks and then into months, they crept along till, passing down through its portals, the valley welcomed them to rest and home. The cattle dropped to their sides, wearied almost to death; nor moved they without goading, for they too sensed they had come to the journey’s end.

“That evening was the last of the great trek, the mightiest trek that history records since Israel’s flight from Egypt, and as the sun sank below the mountain peaks of the west and the eastern crags were bathed in an amethyst glow that was a living light, while the western mountainsides were clothed in shadows of the rich blue of the deep sea, they of the last wagon, and of the wagon before them, and of the one before that, and so to the very front wagon of the train, these all sank to their knees in the joy of their souls, thanking God that at last they were in Zion. “Zion, Zion, lovely Zion, beautiful Zion, Zion, City of our God.” They knew there was a God, for only he could have brought them triumphant, militant, through all the scorn, the ridicule, the slander, the tarrings and featherings, the whippings, the burnings, the plunderings, the murderings, the ravishings of wives and daughters, that had been their lot, the lot of their people since Joseph visioned the Father and the Son.

“But hundreds of these stalwart souls of undoubting faith and great prowess, were not yet at their journey’s end.

“Brother Brigham again called them to the colors of the kingdom of God, and sent them to settle the valleys, near and remote, in these vast mountains of refuge. So again they yoked their oxen and hitched up their teams, and putting their all in the covered wagon, this time willingly, unwhipped by the threat of mob cruelty and outrage, they wended their slow way to new valleys, again trusting with implicit faith in the wisdom and divine guidance of their Moses. The very elements obeyed their faith, faith close kin to that which made the world.

“These tens of thousands who so moved and so built were the warp and the woof of Brother Brigham’s great commonwealth. Without them Brother Brigham had failed his mission. These were the instruments—the shovelers, the plowers, and sowers and reapers, the machinists, the architects, the masons, the wood-workers, the organ builders, the artisans, the mathematicians, the men of letters, all gathered from the four corners of the earth, furnished by the Lord to Brother Brigham and the prophet leaders who came after, that he and they might direct the working out of His purposes. These wrought as God inspired Brother Brigham and the other prophets to plan, all to the glory of God and the upbuilding of his kingdom.

“Upright men they were, and fearless, unmindful of what men thought or said of them, if they were in their line of duty. Calumny, slander, derision, scorn left them unmoved, if they were treading the straight and narrow way. Uncaring they were of men’s blame and censure, if the Lord approved them. Unswayed they were by the praise of men, to wander from the path of truth. Endowed by the spirit of discernment, they knew when kind words were mere courtesy, and when they betokened honest interest. They moved neither to the right nor to the left from the path of truth to court the good favor of men.

“So for a full hundred years, urged by the spirit of gathering and led by a burning testimony of the truth of the restored gospel, thousands upon tens of thousands of these humble souls, one from a city, two from a family, have bidden farewell to friends and homes and loved ones, and with sundered heartstrings, companioned with privation and with sacrifice even to life itself, these multitudes have made their way to Zion, to join those who were privileged to come earlier, that all might build up the kingdom of God on earth—all welded together by common hardship and suffering, neverending work and deep privation, tragic woes and heart-eating griefs, abiding faith and exalting joy, firm testimony and living spiritual knowledge—a mighty people, missioned with the salvation, not only of the living, but of the dead also, saviors not worshipers of their ancestors, their hearts aglow with the divine fire of the spirit of Elijah, who turns the hearts of the fathers to the children and of the children to the fathers.

“And thousands upon thousands of these tens of thousands, from the first till now, all the elect of God, measured to their humble calling and to their destiny as fully as Brother Brigham and the others measured to theirs, and God will so reward them. They were pioneers in word and thought and act and faith, even as were they of more exalted station. The building of this intermountain empire was not done in a corner by a select few but by this vast multitude flowing in from many nations, who came and labored and wrought, faithfully following their divinely called leaders.

“In living our lives let us never forget that the deeds of our fathers and mothers are theirs, not ours; that their works cannot be counted to our glory; that we can claim no excellence and no place, because of what they did, that we must rise by our own labor, and that labor failing we shall fail. We may claim no honor, no reward, no respect, nor special position or recognition, no credit because of what our fathers were or what they wrought. We stand upon our own feet in our own shoes. There is no aristocracy of birth in this Church; it belongs equally to the highest and the lowliest; for as Peter said to Cornelius, the Roman centurion, seeking him:

“… Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

“So to these humble but great souls, our fathers and mothers, the tools of the Lord, who have, for this great people, hewed the stones and laid the foundations of God’s kingdom, solid as the granite mountains from which they carved the rocks for their temple, to these humble souls, great in faith, great in work, great in righteous living, great in fashioning our priceless heritage, I humbly render my love, my respect, my reverent homage. God keep their memories ever fresh among us, their children, to help us meet our duties even as they met theirs, that God’s work may grow and prosper till the restored gospel of Jesus Christ rules all nations and all peoples, till peace, Christ’s peace, shall fill the whole earth, till “righteousness shall cover the earth even as the waters cover the mighty deep.” Let us here and now dedicate all that we have and all that we are to this divine work.

Sharp – Bailey Wedding

James and the late Sarah Goodlad Bailey are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Mary Ann Bailey to William Sharp, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Cartwright Sharp.  William and Mary Ann were married at Loup Fork, Howard, Nebraska on 10 July 1853.

William is a farmer and mason and they will make their home wherever they are called to settle once they arrive in the Utah Territory.

Due to the circumstances of this family, it is pretty unlikely an announcement would have been written.  Everything about these families was in motion.  Family members on both sides were strewn all over the world and their lives were still recovering from a number of personal blows.  While this was probably a high point, they knew there was a long road still ahead of them.

William was born the third of eight children born to Thomas and Elizabeth Cartwright Sharp 10 December 1825 in Misson, Nottinghamshire, England.  He spent his life as a mason.  We do not know where or how he learned it.  His father, Thomas, is listed as an “Ag Lab”, which is probably an agricultural laborer on the 1841 English Census (he died that same year).

In 1848, the LDS missionaries came to visit in Misson.  William was the first of his family that we know who joined the church on 20 June 1848.  His mother followed 11 August 1849 and his sister Isabella 16 September 1849. The story tells the family was friendly and open towards the missionaries.  One of the missionaries was supposedly George R Emery (?-?).

Elizabeth Sharp was determined to emigrate with her family to Utah.  Her family attempted to discourage her by warning her about the dangers of the American Indians.  Nevertheless, she departed with William, Isabella, Elizabeth, and James.  The other four children had died as infants.  The family purchased tickets at 25 pounds sterling in Liverpool.  The family set sail on the “James Pennell” on 2 October 1850 commanded by Captain James Fullerton.  The LDS leaders on board were Christopher Layton (1821-1898) and William Lathrop Cutler (1821-1851) leading the company all the way to Zion.  Right before hitting the waters of the Mississippi the ship encountered a storm where the masts were broken and the ship drifted for a couple of days.  Luckily, a pilot boat found them and another ship (that left two weeks later from Liverpool) and tugged them to New Orleans, Louisiana.  The ship arrived at dock on the 22 November 1850 in New Orleans.  From there the entire group boarded the “Pontiac” and continued to St. Louis, Missouri where they found work and spent the winter.  The family struggled with sea sickness and chills and fevers that beset them in New Orleans and St. Louis.  Despite having crossed the Atlantic, Elizabeth, the mother of the family died 17 February 1851 in St. Louis (and buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery).

This left the four siblings to fend for themselves.  William and Isabella both still desired to move on with the Saints to Utah.  William became fast friends with Mary Ann Bailey Padley, a widow who had lost her husband before leaving England.  They were such good friends that Anne Elizabeth Padley (she went by Sharp her whole life though) was born 31 October 1852.  Isabella married Joseph Carlisle, who had arrived two years earlier, on 18 May 1853 in St. Louis.  That same day the Moses Clawson Company, “St. Louis Company,” departed from St. Louis.  Joseph and Isabella Carlisle, along with William Sharp and Mary Padley (with her son Lorenzo Padley and new infant Anne), left with the company.  Joseph and William were well respected because they apparently were very good athletes and challenged anyone to a wrestling match.

The Sharps and Carlisles drove a wagon for William Jennings, a Salt Lake City merchant and freighter.  The outfitting was done in Keokuk, Iowa.  The company for traveling over the plains was formally organized in Kanesville, Iowa.  On the trail, William and Mary Ann Padley were married 10 July 1853 in Loup Fork, Nebraska.  The company arrived in Salt Lake City between the 15th and 20th of September the same year.

Mary Ann was born the first of seven children born to James and Sarah Goodlad Bailey 28 November 1828 in Mattersey, Nottinghamshire, England.  James was a blacksmith and died somewhere in the 1860’s.  The Bailey family were practicing members of the Church of England.  Mary Ann attended school and obtained training in millinery and sewing.  Sarah died in 1843 and James remarried to a lady named Harriet.  Mary Ann met missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and converted.  She was baptized 20 October 1846.  Her parents dismissed her from the home for becoming a Mormon.

Shortly after, she met William Padley, another LDS member and a tailor, and married him 4 February 1847 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.  They had a boy born to them in 1847 or 1848 named Lorenzo Joseph Padley.  William was ill when Lorenzo was born and died 22 February 1850.  Alone with a new son, she went back to her parents who would not have anything to do with her unless she gave up her religion.  With that, she determined she would move to Zion.  She sailed from Liverpool on 8 January 1851 on the “Ellen” with James Willard Cummings (1819-1883) as the leader of the company.  The ship did have a pretty bad episode with measles and what others thought was whooping cough.  She arrived in New Orleans 14 March 1851.    On the 19th they left for St. Louis on the “Alleck Scott” and arrived on the 26th.  Mary Ann and Lorenzo stayed in St. Louis while the company moved on.  As mentioned above, she met William Sharp and his family while living in St. Louis.

They settled in Lehi, Utah, Utah for a couple of years but had a number of issues with range for the cattle and some other minor squabbles.  Water was also not found to be very dependable in the Lehi area. During this time, William and Mary Ann gave birth to two children, William and Isabella in 1854 and 1856, but both died as infants.  Milo Riley was born 23 July 1857.  I have written of Milo and his family previously at this link: Sharp-Stoker Wedding.

William learned of land north near Ogden, Weber, Utah that was going to be opened up from some of the Saints passing through Lehi (abandoning Salt Lake City before the arrival of Johnson’s Army).  These Lehi Saints were told of ample land and good water that was available west of Ogden.  A scouting expedition went to search out the area in the fall of 1858 and visited with Lorin Farr (1820-1909) who told them of the available plain to the west.

The Sharp family left with other Lehi Saints on 10 March 1859 to travel to this new area.  The group of about 100 arrived 17 March 1859 at what is present day Plain City, Weber, Utah.  The company arrived at about 5 PM during the middle of a snowstorm.  The company lined up the wagons to protect them from the wind and dug a hole in the ground for the campfire.  Reports indicate that snow was pretty deep and conditions pretty uncomfortable.  Plain City apparently lived up to its name with some sagebrush that rose over 4 feet tall from the high water table beneath the soil.

William Sharp put his carpentry and masonry skills to work making adobe brick and helping build the first homes in Plain City.  William and Mary Ann lived in one of these homes.  William served in the Plain City band, the Plain City Z.C.M.I. board, a builder, and a city leader.  William and Mary Ann’s daughter, Evelyn, was the first girl born in Plain City in October 1859.  Victorine Mary was born 8 April 1862 and ended the children William and Mary Ann would have.  Mary Ann kept busy sewing and making suits, coats, and other required jobs.  Each of her daughters learned to become dressmakers.

Lorenzo Padley died 24 July 1866 in Plain City.  The photo we have of him is pretty scratched, but here is a cleaned up photo, but it is not perfect.  It is hard to tell what is his nose and what was deformities in the photo.

Anne Elizabeth married Daniel Clayborne Thomas 29 January 1872 in Salt Lake City at the Endowment House.  After six children she died in 1891 in Plain City.

Mary Ann moved out on Christmas Eve 1875 and refused to come back to William.  William sued for divorce and Franklin Dewey Richards (1821-1899) granted the divorce (in probate court!) on 19 May 1876.

All was not well in Zion during these years in Plain City.  Family lore has it that when a Bishop (Lewis Warren Shurtleff (1835-1922), branch president 1870-1877, bishop 1877-1883) extended himself beyond what the members felt was right, these families made sure it was known.  The final straw came when Bishop Shurleff started telling the members what they would give as tithing.  These were not just on the fringe members, but good standing members of the church in the area.  William Sharp began construction on St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in 1877 for many of these disaffected members (Still standing today and owned by the Lions in Plain City).  For whatever reason a significant group of members were excommunicated between 1877 and 1882.  Many of Plain City’s leading members were excommunicated.  Excommunicated 31 January 1879 were William Sharp (the same who built the new church), Mary Ann Sharp (listed separately because of the divorce), William Skeen, Edwin Dix, George Musgrave (father of their future daughter-in-law), Thomas Musgrave, Thomas Singleton, Thomas Davis, George W Harris, Jonathan Moyes, John Moyes, Winfield Spiers, James Wadman, Robert Davis, John Davis, and Thomas Robson.  These lists also have “and wife” as well as “and family” which seems to indicate that this list may have included spouses and families.  Many of these families returned to the church after time away, some individuals never did.

Milo Riley married Mary Ann Stoker (aka Lillian or Lilly Musgrave) 11 May 1879 in Plain City in the little church William built.  He died in 1916 in Plain City.

This same year, William remarried to the widow of Charles McGary, Charlotte Elizabeth Earl, in 1879.  We do not know exactly when or where.

Evelyn Carlisle married James Henry Taylor 16 January 1880 in Plain City.  She died in 1941 in Oregon.

Victorine Mary married Robert Edward Maw 8 April 1883 in Plain City.  She died in 1945 in Ogden.

Mary Ann continued to work as a dressmaker until she could not do so any more due to age.  She lived with her Granddaughter Elizabeth Taylor from before 1900 and even moved with her to Baker City, Baker, Oregon.  Mary Ann moved back to Plain City not long after Beth married.

William died at 950 Washington Ave in Ogden on 22 December 1900 at 75 years and was buried two days later in the Ogden cemetery.  Mary Ann died 30 October 1913 in Plain City at 85 years and was buried there three days later.

Benson Stake Recognition

Back (l-r): Lydia Leavitt, Estella Blair, Sarah Preece, Susanna Allen, Livinia Wilcox, Clara Wheeler. Front: Lavina Poulsen, Christensia Hansen, Martha Coley, Martha Lewis, Sarah Snelgrove.

Here is a photograph I thought I would share.  It tells its own story.  This photo was taken on 25 April 1948 in the Benson Stake Tabernacle.  The photo is honoring those Visiting Teachers who have been faithful in going out for 40+ years in the Benson Stake.  The Benson Stake was headquartered in Richmond, Cache, Utah (later renamed to Richmond Stake), not Benson.

Mind you, at that time, this was not just an organization you automatically became a member of when you joined the church.  This was a separate membership with dues requirements for the organization.  You even received a membership card.  Not only are these women faithful in Visiting Teaching for 40 years, but they had volunteered to be a member of the Relief Society for that many years and actively participated.  Martha Coley in the front middle is my Great, Great Grandmother.  How many Visiting Teachers today qualify for faithful Visiting Teaching for 40 years?

Here is Martha Christiansen Coley’s daughter’s Relief Society membership card.  Lillian Coley married Joseph Nelson Jonas and after his death remarried to Lorenzo (Ren) Bowcutt.

Here is some more information I could find on the individuals in the photo.

Lydia Elnora Karren (1879-1959) married Edward Leavitt (1876-1957).  They probably lived in Lewiston, Cache, Utah.

Estella Nora Glover (1883-1952) married Ephraim Isaac Blair (1882-1943).  They probably lived in Lewiston.

Sarah () married Preece ().  Cannot find records, either have the name wrong or she moved from Cache Valley.

Susanna “Susie” Elizabeth Preece (1863-1953) married Andrew Bickmore Allen (1859-1941).  They probably lived in Cove, Cache, Utah.

Livinia Merriam Henson (1871-1950) married James Franklin Wilcox (1869-1951), previously married to an Levi Knapp Allen (1842-1928).  They probably lived in Cove.

Clara Deseret Stephenson (1880-1951) married Joseph Henry Wheeler (1882-1963).  They probably lived in Lewiston or Trenton, Cache, Utah.

Lavina Ellen Hawkeswood (1877-1954) married John James Poulsen (1871-1948).  They lived in Lewiston.  Interesting note, Martha Christiansen Coley’s husband, Herbert Coley, and Lavina are 1st cousins once removed!  Do you think these two ladies sitting on the front row knew of that relationship?

Christensia () married Hansen ().  Cannot find records, either have the name wrong or she moved from Cache Valley.

Martha Christiansen (1879-1961) married Herbert Coley (1864-1942).  They lived in Richmond.

Martha Ann Kingsbury (1850-1950) married William Crawford Lewis (1830-1908).  She was 98 years old in this picture!  They probably lived in Richmond.

Sarah Ann Gaunt (1878-1963) married Owen Elmo Snelgrove (1880-1973).  They probably lived in Richmond.

A dog named Navel

Today I thought I would share a humorous story about the late-night escapades of a car loaded with Utah State University students venturing down to see the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti, Sanpete, Utah.  Brad Hales, Mark Morris, Emily Sarà, Seth Warburton, and I made the trip in my 1998 Toyota Camry in what I believe was the spring of 2004.

The story starts with the rather unexciting drive from Logan, Utah to Manti.  We took the normal route off I-15 at Nephi to drive to Manti.  We conveniently located a parking spot only blocks away because we were plenty early.  We met our friends who drove down separately and staked out our territory with quilts on the grassy green expanse you can see in the photo above.  It is on that very same hill that the Mormon Miracle Pageant takes place.  Here is a nice photo I stole from the Deseret News to give some idea of the stage and what is going on.

The pageant ended and the four of us found our way to my little Camry to head out.  We were told by myriad friends that if we truly wanted to get back to I-15 from Manti in a speedy fashion that we should take the old highway out of Manti to the south via Gunnison and Levan.  We started to wend our way through the darkness.

We had a great, great time leaving Manti.  I do not mean to knock the pageant in any way, but we were certainly making light of it.  We hold no ill feelings towards the doctrines or ideas presented, but maybe it was just that year, but the whole thing came off as pretty hokey.  We decided only the local drill team was allowed to be the angels on the hill with their coordinated flag signals that only someone trained in shipping would have understood.  We drove the darkness really making fun and laughing ourselves silly about how poorly some parts of the pageant were done.

The conversation turned as we continued through the dark roads.  We sang along with a song and the conversation turned to Levan, Juab, Utah.  I do not know how true this is, but lore goes that Levan was named Levan because that is “navel” in reverse.  The area was named Levan because it is the very center of the state, about where a navel would be.  I do not think this is really true since I am sure the town was founded before the final boundaries of Utah were defined, but it sure made great fodder for laughing and conversation that night.  (Apparently there is a Levan, Illinois too)

Well, we made our final approach into Levan with the lights of the municipality drawing closer and closer.  Some of the members of the car were preparing the cameras so we could make a very quick stop and everyone could disembark for a photo with the Levan city sign.  We were laughing about getting a picture with Utah’s navel and then it happened.

Do you know that feeling when you see something and suddenly you do not know quite what to do because it is coming upon you so quickly?  As I drove 70 miles an hour down this road and with the blinding of the lights just as you emerge.  I suddenly had a car behind me with his lights on and that was also partly blinding me.  I made out the faint outline of something laying in the middle of my lane.  Just as I could see that, I had a car also coming my direction so I knew I could not really just dodge whatever it was in my lane so I prepared to straddle it.  I could not slam on my breaks because of the car so close behind me, the shoulder on the right, and the car approaching on the left.  I could see it was too big to straddle just as I was too close and too fast to stop.  I clenched my teeth, gripped hard on the steering wheel, and yelled over the conversation for everyone to hold on.

That is when we heard it.  This massive animal went under the car and we heard and felt him rolling under the car and at one point a serious thump right under the feet of the people in the back seat.  The sickening smell of scalded hair filled the car.  Cries rang out, “What was that?”  I watched for the car behind to dodge whatever it was I hit but he didn’t even flinch.  The individuals in the back of my car were trying to see if they could tell what we hit.  I could see no sign of the roadkill in any of my mirrors (beyond the headlight glare from the car behind).  I continued to let the car coast and finally started to breath realizing that massive thing went under the car and did not appear to do any damage at all.  I continued to coast down the now four lane highway until I hit city limits cruising speed.  I think I should point out at this point that this creature was already laying in my lane.  Although because it was so large and lumped, I assume it was a fresh hit and I was just fortunate enough to be the next person to hit it.

Nobody seemed quite as chipper anymore.  Nobody wanted to stop at the Levan city sign.  It was just silence as we drove through town.  As we left town somebody asked if it was a body we hit.  I told them I did not know what we hit but that it looked like a really big dog.  I thought he was a fresh kill and fortunately he rolled right under the car without relatively little incident.  The way he was clumped up in the road though, I was sure the car would jump or he would be lodged there.  The rolling of the thing under the car was clear so no need to get out and take a look underneath.  The others in the car were sure that I killed the dog.  Then more silence; dead silence.

After another 10 or 15 minutes or so with just the faint strains of the radio in the background, conversation started to pick up again.  We named the poor beast “Navel” after Levan.  I did not know what he was, but we were laughing again and having fun conversation again.

We climbed on I-15 and started heading north at full freeway speeds.  I seem to remember that Seth was sitting behind me and he commented on the fact that cars driving by us were looking at us.  Sure enough, we could not figure out why in the world everybody was looking at us.  It surely could not be some coordinated effort to stare us down.  It became a game of sorts to make faces back at the people as they drove by.  This elicited some hilarious expressions back at us.  One lady looked at us in complete and total disgust.  I was the one driving and could see expressions of the individuals.

Finally after probably 20 minutes of this, a car pulled beside us on the freeway and rolled down his window and motioned for me to do the same.  He then yelled, “Hey, you’re dragging a coyote!”  In that split second to conjure and give a response, I yelled back, “It’s okay, we picked him up in Levan!”  The total disgust in his face was quickly manifest and they sped off.  All the occupants of my car erupted into laughter at my complete nonsense reply.  Even now I realize how disconnected it must have sounded motoring down the freeway at 80 miles per hour.  It took me a minute or two to realize what I just said and even I was laughing so hard I was in tears.

Then the thought came, “Now what?”  I am not going to just pull to the side of the freeway in the middle of the dark.  We all decided we would get off at the next exit and see what damage was done.  We had just passed the Nephi exit, so we had at least another 10-20 miles to go before the next exit.  In that meantime driving down the freeway, let me assure you we thoroughly enjoyed those who passed us by.  I deliberately slowed down a little bit to maybe not cause as much damage to Navel.

Here is the question; how do you via some form of charades inform those in other cars that you know you have a coyote dragging behind you?  A thumb up and a big smile just never gets the impression across the 3-4 feet to the passenger in the other vehicle.  They would insist on pointing to the rear portion of the car.  We just smiled bigger and give them two thumbs up.  Of course, we were laughing so hard I don’t know how we stayed on the road.  Every person trying to convey the message must have thought we were a group of sick, psycho individuals who could only laugh.  They must have assumed we did not know, which means they tried all the harder.  As we attempted to confirm we knew, we would all break down in heavier laughter.  I cannot tell you how hilarious this was!

The Santaquin exit fortunately arrived and we left the interstate.  Navel was probably pretty excited about the ending of his trip.  We pulled to the end of the off-ramp and into the gravel of the road.  We all piled out to see our first view of Navel.  This is what we saw!

I know this will be a bit gruesome for some of the viewers out there.  I need to describe this a bit more to you though.  This dog is half worn away by this point!  I think you can tell that half of his head is also ground away.  If you click on the picture and get closer, you can see tiny chunks of hamburger all over the back of my car (Which we did not discover until the next morning because it was so dark.  The picture is only lit from the camera flash).  I cannot tell you the smell that was present, but my expression and covering my nose should give you some hint.  It was flat-out disgusting.  Also, I point out to you that Navel’s leg was jammed between the body of the car and part of my undercarriage right in the middle of the car near the axle.  That means Navel is at this point stretched out probably 5 feet in length from the axle to the end of his leg you can see in the picture.  He was mangled, stretched, and partly disintegrated.

Now the issue became, how to get him out from under the car?  We tried backing up hoping he would become unattached.  We tried poking at him with a tire iron.  Brad even had the idea to stand on him when I drove off, but we then became afraid of Navel coming apart.  You know how you should avoid injured dogs?  None of us really wanted to lay down next this stinky dog, slide under the car in the dark, and try to get him unattached.  What options are left?  We decided to drive to a gas station for assistance.

We hopped back on I-15 and began another episode of being stared down by every car passing us.  It was not quite as funny anymore.  Levity did finally arrive as we would deliberately not look at the cars trying to get our attention and then we would break down laughing to the horror of those trying to inform of us our dire situation.  The 10 miles or so to the next exit with a gas station went exceedingly slow.

Now we were parked on the sanitary and clean concrete of the Payson Maverik.  We all stood around the car again trying to figure out what we were going to do.  At least now we had sufficient lighting to really tell what was going on.  We stood around talking and figuring a plan of attack.  Emily and Seth figured out they would not have to do the dirty deed so they went in the store and returned passing out donuts!  Emily remembers that I made some comment like, “What do you think this is, some sort of Relief Society meeting?”  The comments from individuals as they came up to our circle and realized what we were all standing around looking at, WHILE eating donuts.  I remember one lady was very disgusted.

I tried climbing under the car but it was so low to the ground that I could not reach the spot where Navel had his leg lodged.  Nobody wanted to have to get out a jack so we could climb under the car.  I walked into the Maverik and asked for ideas or thoughts.  The attendant suggested I go grab a rod for turning valves down in the ground (about 3 feet long with a “T” at the top) and try using it to get him dislodged.  We poked and prodded at him for a while.  The broken leg and all the tissue just wasn’t helping me pull out his leg.  I cannot emphasize how terribly disgusting of a sight that Navel was.  This is roadkill that we had to deal with in an intimate fashion.

Finally our hero arrived with a couple of rednecks in a red Dodge minivan.  The dad walked up and asked us what the problem was.  Upon seeing Navel and then looking at my Missouri license plate he asked, “You from Mississippi?”  I responded, “No, Missouri” and he walked back to his minivan and his son quickly appeared with a plastic bag in his hand.  That little 7 or 8 year old climbed under my car without any fear and with his plastic covered hand pulled Navel’s limb out of its wedged location.  (I warned him of the hot exhaust which he still hit with his little arm!)  The kid then and went and hopped back in the little van (and did not go inside to wash!).

I walked in and told the attendant I wanted to buy that red minivan’s fuel.  He let me do it.  The man was appreciative, and so was I!

Now, what to do with the remains of Navel?  The Maverik attendant suggested we just throw him in the dumpster at the side of the building.  No small task for a bag of bones that must have still weighed 50 pounds.  Nobody wanted to touch him so we used the valve rod to pick him up and walked him to the dumpster.  We could not get the rod up over the top of that dumpster without Navel sliding down the rod.  It clearly was not working.  I finally had to reach out and touch Navel to hold him in place and keep him from sliding down the rod while Seth and I put him in the dumpster.

We returned the bloody rod to its location and later, unfortunate user.  We both washed our hands multiple times in the bathroom before heading to the attendant to let him know we were leaving.  He gave us both a Mt. Dew for the road!  We thanked him and headed on our way.  We arrived in Logan, Utah about 1:00 or so in the morning and all collapsed into our beds.  But whenever I hear of Manti, Levan, or the Mormon Miracle Pageant; I now think of Navel the dog from Levan.  May he forgive me for dragging him over 40 miles!  May he forgive us for the endless laughs that night and many since then at his expense.  I feel bad about his owners who wondered where their dog ran off to, I guess at least they did not see his terrible state.