Samuel Deer Davis

Another family history story.  This one is interesting in that his Idaho case went before the United States Supreme Court in Davis v. Beason.  This is the biography of Samuel Deer Davis (1859-1923) written by Dean G Grow, his great-grandson.  Samuel Deer Davis married Mary Jane Williams, daughter of Sarah Jane Davis and John Haines Williams.  Mary is the sister to David Davis Williams who I also previously shared his biography.

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“This is the history of my great-grandfather, who was instrumental in the legal attempts that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints undertook to counter the continuing political and legal assault against the Church due to the practice of polygamy in the late 1880′s not only in Utah but in Idaho where he lived.

“Samuel D. Davis was born in Salt Lake City on 22 July 1859 to David Woodwell Davies and Mary Deer.  Samuel’s father had been a missionary in his native Wales for seven years before coming to America.  Aboard ship, David met his bride-to-be, Mary Deer, also a native of Wales.  When they arrived in Kansas City, Missouri, it was too late in the year, creating a delay in getting to the Salt Lake Valley.  So they decided to marry.  This occurred on 25 November 1852, in Kansas City.  They most likely traveled across the plains with a group of Welsh immigrants in the summer of 1853.

Samuel Deer Davis

Samuel Deer Davis

“After arriving in Salt Lake Valley, David being a painter and a glazier, set up his home and they began their life there.  David and Mary’s first son, David Thomas was born on 4 March 1854 in Salt Lake City.  Their second son, Woodwell was born in 1856 in Salt Lake City.  David was sealed to Mary on 2 March 1856 in the Presidents office in Salt Lake City.  At the same time and place, he was sealed to Elizabeth Berry, thus becoming a polygamist.  Elizabeth being a native of Bath, Summerset, England.  Their third son, Samuel Deer as indicated earlier was born in 1859.  They were all shown on the 1860 U. S. Census, living in the 8th Ward in Salt Lake City.  It was soon after that, Woodwell died, date unknown.  Their fourth and fifth sons, twins, Hyrum Eynon and Joseph were born on 15 August 1862.  Joseph died as an infant, but Hyrum lived to adulthood.  Their last son, Septimus was born and died soon after in 1864, probably about the time that his father David Woodwell, died of consumption (Tuberculosis) on 20 March 1864.  Thus Mary was left with three boys ages 10, 5, and 2.  I was unable to determine what happened to Elizabeth Berry.

“In November of 1864, Mary married a man named George R. McLaughlin of whom we can find no record of birth, death or census information.  They had a son George R. Jr. who was born 27 August 1865.  Their second child, Mary Ellen was born about 1866 and died soon after.   Mary’s second husband, George treated her harshly and abandoned her many times.  One time for almost a year.  The last time, she heard he was living in Cheyenne, Wyoming and had no plans to return.  She divorced him on the 20th of January 1868.  Thus Mary was continuously left with four boys to feed and care for.  It was soon after this that she became seriously ill and the doctor told her she would soon die.  Her last son, George was a toddler at the time.  A neighbor, Charles and Jemima Walker offered to adopt George and Mary regretfully consented as she didn’t want to leave such a young child.  Not long after, Mary recovered and went back to the Walkers pleading with them to return her son, but they refused.  They were still neighbors in the 1870 Census with the Walkers showing George as their son at age 5.  George died 29 January 1889 at the age of 24 in a train accident returning to Sugar House, Utah from an outing with friends to Red Bluff Quarry.

“Toward the end of the year, Mary met John Evan Price, another Welshman and became a polygamous wife of his on 26 December 1870.  Mary was 39 years of age and 14 years his junior.  He was in good financial circumstances at this time according to their granddaughter.  He had settled in Samaria, Oneida, Idaho on April 16, 1868 with one other family, being one of the first.  He is also credited with giving Samaria it’s name.  Several others settled there the next month.  A branch of the Church was organized there in November of 1868.  Elder Lorenzo Snow, then of the Twelve Apostles, visited in July of 1869 and approved of the city plot, encouraging the settlers to continue to build and plant there.

“John brought Mary and her children to Samaria after their marriage.  Two additional children were born to this union, Margaret Ann Price on 10 January 1872 and Elizabeth Jane Price on 17 March 1875, both in Samaria.  Unfortunately, John died within a few years on 22 June 1878 in Samaria leaving Mary a widow again.  But this time she was left in good circumstances where she was able to sell off property to new immigrants to Samaria.  She reverted back to her Davis name after 1880.  Her sons were now getting older.  Her oldest, David Thomas was married in Samaria to Amy Ann Sawyer on 7 January 1879 just 6 months after John Evan Price died.  Mary was the postmistress of Samaria for many years and the Relief Society President for 17 years in Samaria.  Eliza R. Snow stayed in her home during a conference in Samaria.

“Her second son, the subject of this manuscript, Samuel D., had no formal education but only that which was from his mother, Mary.  He married Mary Jane Williams on 11 Oct 1882 in the Endowment House in Salt lake City.  Their first child, Sarah Jane, was born in August of 1883 and died the same month.  Their second child, Woodwell Williams was born 17 November 1884.  It was during this time that his wife encouraged him to get some formal education.  He started by attending the district school in Samaria.  Afterward he attended the James Chandler school in Washakie, Utah.  It was a great sacrifice and struggle as he continued to farm and support his family during that time.  He had so much success as a scholar in Washakie, that in 1886 he attended the Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah.  He also studied law during his evenings.  His third child, Edgar Williams was born on 1 March 1887.  He soon became a partner in a law firm in Malad, Idaho of Evans, Gibbs and Davis.

Mary Jane Williams Davis

Mary Jane Williams Davis

“At this time there was much pressure on the local LDS communities by the Idaho politicians who were strongly anti-Mormon, about the Church practice of polygamy.  75% of the population lived in the eastern half of the state and about 20% of those were L. D. S. which meant that they represented a large voting block.

“These following steps were in relation to the 1884-1885 law, not the 1889 one which was taken to the Supreme Court.

“From E. Leo Lyman’s “Political Background of the Woodruff Manifesto”:  “William Budge, the leading spokesman for the Church in Idaho, tried to bring as much pressure as he could on the outcome of the case.  Budge used Utah Congressional delegate John T. Caine to generate pressures on the Judge Berry through political friends back home.  He also traveled to the Blackfoot judicial headquarters to confer with Berry before he rendered his decision.  The judge, who recorded the conversation as accurately as he could recall, claimed the Church leader first quoted U.S. Solicitor General Jenks as saying that if the test oath law was taken before the United States Supreme Court, “it would not stand for a moment.” Budge also stressed the crucial nature of the pending decision on the continued allegiance of the Idaho Mormons to the Democratic party (Berry 1888).

“Berry’s reply demonstrated considerable admiration for Mormon industry and economic accomplishments but firmly stated his intent to “administer the laws as they were.” He made it clear he could not allow political considerations to affect his decision and expressed regret that the Mormons could not bring their marriage relations into “regulation step” with the rest of American society (Berry 1888). The published decision {Idaho Daily Statesman, 17, 20 Oct. 1888; Wood River Times, 16, 17, 24 Oct. 1888) not only upheld the test oath but ruled the Mormon arguments that they no longer taught or practiced plural marriage were merely a temporary posture of no importance so long as the general Church had made no changes on the question. The kind of concession necessary to relieve the disfranchisement onslaught, Judge Berry stressed, was a formal renunciation of the doctrine at a Church general conference, not unlike what actually occurred several years later.”

“From the Encyclopedia Britannica: “They enacted a law in 1884-1885 that all county and precinct officers were required to take a test oath abjuring bigamy, polygamy, or celestial marriage; and under this law in 1888 three members of the territorial legislature were deprived of their seats as ineligible.  An act of 1889, forbade in the case of any who had since the 1st of January 1888 practiced, taught, aided or encouraged polygamy or bigamy, their registration or voting until two years after they had taken a test oath renouncing such practices, and until they had satisfied the District Court that in the two years after they had been guilty of no such practices.

“The earlier law had been tested by the Church in the territorial federal courts, but was unsuccessful.  This 1889 law, regarding voting, was commonly called “The Idaho Test Oath” which meant essentially that if you were a member of the Church, whether practicing polygamy or not, you could not vote and was retroactive to January 1 the year before.  It appears that the Church decided to test this law all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

“In Samaria on Oct 27, 1888, 26 men including Samuel D. Davis asked to have their names removed from the records of the Church with apparent approval of the Church leaders so that they could vote in the November 1888 election but primarily to provide a test case.  There were about 30 in Malad City who did the same thing.  The new law having been enacted after the men had voted, they were indicted almost a year later for conspiracy to break a law that wasn’t created until the following year.  The case became known as “Davis vs. Beason” and can still be found today by searching the internet.

“From the Deseret News on September 21, 1889:  “The perjury case against Mr. Evans of Malad having been disposed of in the District Court of that place, the next matters of importance tackled were the conspiracy cases. Indeed there was practically but one case, fifty six persons having been included in one indictment.

“The matter came up for trial before Judge Berry on Tuesday, Sept. 10th [1889]. There was much disappointment among the virulent anti-”Mormon” element over the result of the case of perjury against Mr. Evans and the officers said that in the conspiracy matter they would get a jury together that would convict this time.  For this purpose they scoured the country and imagined they had got what they wanted when the panel was completed.

“The charge preferred in the indictment against the fifty-six defendants was substantially that they had conspired together to break the laws of Idaho Territory, notably the Idaho test oath law, by agreeing to vote at an election when they knew that they had no right to do so.

“The case was tried and at 6 p.m. on Wednesday was given to the jury.  On Thursday the 12th at 2 p.m. the jury came into the court with a verdict, in which they found fifty-five of the defendants not guilty and one guilty.  The latter was Samuel D. Davis of Samaria.

“A new trial was asked for Mr. Davis by counsel for the defense and denied, and the  court sentenced him to pay a fine of $500.  The fine was not paid and Mr. Davis placed in jail for a maximum of 250 days [$2 a day].  Judge Berry was applied to for a writ of habeas corpus which was also denied, and an appeal from his action was taken to the Supreme Court of the United States.

“The matter is in the best possible shape it could possibly assume for final adjudication. None of the acquitted fifty-five defendants can be again placed in jeopardy on the same subject, either under the title of conspiracy or any other.  The appeal to the Supreme Court involves the validity of the infamous test oath law, which will therefore be decided one way or the other.

“The defense was conducted with marked ability, the attorneys being Mr. J. S. Rawlins of Salt Lake, and Mr. J. N. Kimball of Ogden.   Mr. Standrod and “Kentucky Smith” appeared on the part of the prosecution.”

“From the above article it is clear that it was “arranged” in advance that one person would be the focal point for the test case.  That person, having probably volunteered due to his legal schooling, was none other than Samuel D. Davis.  He obviously knew that he would spend some time behind bars, but was willing to do that for the Church.

“To give a better idea of the named individuals in this case, they are as follows:  Charles H. Berry, a former attorney general of Minnesota, later on, an associate justice of the Idaho Supreme Court who would have jurisdiction as the Judge in this case in Malad City.  Joseph S. Rawlins was a city attorney in Salt Lake City and worked with Brigham Young and following Church leaders on matters of law.  He later served in the Congress of the U. S. and assisted in gaining statehood for Utah.  He was also known as the “Red-headed Reactor of the Rockies” because he made such a fight about the confiscation of the Church property.  It was through his efforts that the property was eventually restored.  J. N. Kimball also served as a defense attorney for the Church in Ogden.  Drew W. Standrod came to Malad City, Idaho from Kentucky with his parents and took up the practice of law there.  He was elected as the prosecuting attorney there twice and later became a judge moving to Pocatello.  “Kentucky” Smith is actually H. W. Smith who was an anti-Mormon lawyer of prominence in Ogden, Utah and the author of the “Idaho Test Oath” law.  He also later became a judge in Idaho.  Sheriff Harvey G. Beason was an appointed sheriff who was just 29 years old at this time.  His was the other name in the test case.  He soon after moved to Montana and then to Gillette, Wyoming where he lived until his death in 1939.

“From another article in the Deseret News written in Samaria on September 30, 1889.

“”A very strange scene was witnessed here on the 25th inst. (Sept 1889)  It will be remembered that Mr. Samuel D. Davis of this place was found guilty not long since at the District Court held at Malad City, of voting at the election held here last fall contrary to the provision of the anti-Mormon Test Oath law, and that he was sentenced to pay a fine of $500 and costs, pending payment of which he was sent to the county jail.  He applied for a writ of habeas corpus which was denied by Judge Berry.  Application was then made direct to  Washington for a similar writ.  Here it was thought the matter would rest for the present. But not so; on Sept. 13, Sheriff Beason came to Samaria and levied an attachment on Mr. Davis’ property having an order from the court to sell at public auction enough to cover fine and costs.  On the  25th inst. said order was carried into effect.  Sheriff Beason, Attorney Standrod, Treasurer D. Tovey,  Commissioner P. Fredrickson and a few others came over.  The sale began at 2 o’clock.  Mr. Davis’ only horse was sold to Meyer Kohn of Malad, for $21.00. (Mr. Kohn has since offered to return the animal for the same price), which was about one-fifth his real value.  Mr. Davis interest in the firm of Evans, Gibbs, & Davis was knocked off to Standrod for $190.00.

“It was the Intention to sell the little home where Mrs. Davis and her two little children reside, but the title being defective it was abandoned. This was all that could be found to sell and the sale came to a close.

“The sheriff seemed very dry after his labors for he and his companions indulged quite freely.  They had apparently come over well prepared.”

“This article indicates that Samuel’s family also suffered because of the case.  The article was incorrect in that there were “two little children” in the home.  My grandfather, John Vincent “Vin” Davis was born on 6 July 1889 and was just a few months old when this took place, which means that there were two little children and one infant.  It also indicates that his fine was reduced almost 40% by the $211.00 amount recovered in the sale.  Therefore his sentence would be reduced by about 100 days, leaving 150 days remaining to be served.  From the Deseret News on 11 January 1890, it indicates that the hearing was held in the U. S. Supreme Court, probably a day or two earlier.  The hearing is several pages of arguments both for and against which I will not be discussing here.  It can also be found on the internet by searching “Davis vs. Beason”.  The ruling was handed down on 2 February 1890, upholding the Idaho law.  At this time Samuel had been in jail for 113 days.  I was unable to determine whether he remained the last 30 some days in jail or whether the Church paid the balance of the fine to release him or whether he was reimbursed for his personal losses.  During this era many members sacrificed much for their belief.

“President Wilford Woodruff issued the “Manifesto” a few months later on 24 September 1890, ending plural marriage in the Church.  The Idaho law was changed in 1893, the disqualification was made no longer retroactive, the two-year clause was omitted, and the test oath covered only present renunciation of polygamy, thus allowing members to vote once again.  It took until the 1980′s to get similar wording in the Idaho State Constitution removed.

“Samuel D. Davis continued in his practice of law and in 1899 he was appointed Probate Judge of Oneida County, Idaho.  He was twice elected to this office.  In 1901, after the formation of the Idaho State Bar, he took the examination for the bar and was admitted to practice in all the courts of the state.

“His wife of 21 years, Mary Jane Williams Davis died on 19 March 1903 in Samaria.  Later that year he moved his family of boys to Malad City to continue his practice and opened a new law office there.  His brother-in-law,  Isaac B. Evans, who had been on a mission in the south, introduced him to a woman in Salt lake City, whom he had known while on his mission.  She was Alice Godwin, daughter of Handy Haywood Godwin and Elizabeth Ann Naylor Godwin.  They were natives of Clinton, Sampson, North Carolina.  She was a true daughter of the old south.  Samuel was very interested and she was interested also, but I’m sure was concerned by the thought of finishing the raising of 7 boys.  But apparently she was up to the task as they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on 13 November 1905.  She bore him 3 more children.  First, Mary Naylor Davis, 13 September 1906, second, Alice Deer Davis, 18 January 1908 and Samuel Godwin Davis on 6 March 1911, all in Malad City, Idaho.

“He continued in Malad City until moving to Salt Lake City about 1918.  He was there in the January 1920 U. S. Census.  He probably moved to Twin Falls, Idaho in the summer of 1920 to accept employment as the City Attorney.  Two of his boys followed him there.  One, Eugene, who was still living with him and the other, John Vincent and his family, who was still living in Samaria.  In June of 1923, he was made the Twin Falls Police magistrate, but unfortunately, he died within 6 months on 13 December 1923.  After the funeral, his body was shipped back to Samaria to be buried.  His second wife, Alice moved to Salt Lake City, where she died 13 January 1945.  Her body was also returned to Samaria to be buried.

“From the Twin Falls Times News:  “Judge Davis was early admitted to the bar in Idaho, and served as county attorney and probate judge in Oneida county.  He attracted wide attention in the early days by his success as an irrigation and criminal lawyer.  It was his boast that some of Idaho’s best known attorneys had begun their legal training in his office.  He was an active and prominent member of the L. D. S. Church serving as member of the High Council in Malad and Twin Falls.”

“Thus ended a long legal career in the State of Idaho and the life of a man who was willing to stand for  his principles, even risking all his possessions at one time.  He died at the age of 64, which would be considered still young by today’s standards.  His part in the legal battle was apparently unknown to his children, grandchildren and their descendants.  My mother did mention many years ago that she had heard about the voting issue.  Those of his children as indicated earlier were very young and would not have known about the landmark legal case, unless he had related it to them.  He was a good man and his story needed to be told, so that all would be aware of his sacrifice during another time of great difficulty in the history of the Church.

Sharp-Stoker Wedding

Milo Sharp, Archie Richardson, Mary Ann and Ethel Sharp, Roy Richardson

William Stoker and the late Emma Eames Stoker are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Mary Ann to Milo Riley Sharp, son of William Sharp and Mary Ann Sharp.  They were married in at the Episcopal Church in Plain City, Weber, Utah on 11 May 1879.

Milo is currently a farmer in Plain City.

The couple will make their home in Plain City.

Just trying to write these first three paragraphs was not easy with this family.  So many twists and turns with each individual name makes it difficult to find the proper wording and fashion to form the sentences.

I struggled on whether to call Mary Ann by her other known name, Lillian Musgrave.  After marriage, she was known as Lilly M Sharp.  Mary Ann was born 24 February 1861 at in Reading, Berkshire, England.  The family was likely living at 18 Albert Street within St. Mary’s Parish.  She was the fifth and last child (some show her as the 6th of 7 children though) of William Stoker, a journeyman saddler working in Reading, and Emma Eames.  Emma contracted tuberculosis (listed as phthisis on the death certificate) and passed away 28 April 1863 at the same address after a year struggle with the disease.  Mary Ann never knew her mother.  Her father and older sister (Alice) joined the LDS church 27 May 1863.  Her older brother, William Thomas, eleven years her senior, had joined 5 December 1860.

The family wasted no time in gathering to Zion.  The Stoker family departed from London on a ship called “Amazon” 4 June 1863.  George Q Cannon dedicated the ship which was entirely of Saints (880+) headed for Zion.  It was this same ship that Charles Dickens wrote that the Mormons were not taking misfits and scoundrels, but the “pick and flower” of England.  Even George Sutherland, future U.S. Supreme Court Justice was on this ship.  Here is a link to the story by Charles Dickens: The Uncommercial Traveller.  The LDS church also tells of the story that day at this link: Amazon Departure.  The ship sailed to Liverpool before finally heading out for America.  Elijah Larkin, who would help found Larkin Mortuary, noted that on the 16th and 20th of June, Thomas Stoker was administered to due to a sickness since leaving Liverpool.

The “Amazon” landed at Castle Gardens, New York, New York on 18 July 1863.  The Saints took rail to Albany, Albany, New York and then to Florence, Douglas, Nebraska through Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  From there they hoofed it on to Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah Territory arriving 3 and 4 October 1863 (depending on which of the two companies), just in time for General Conference.  Several of the company wrote of Brigham Young coming out to greet them and giving them advice.

William moved almost immediately to Ogden, Weber, Utah and set up shop working with leather.  William wasted no time in remarrying to Eliza Sinfield in Ogden 18 May 1864.  While Mary Ann is listed as a child for William and Eliza on the 1870 Census, she was actually living with George Augustus and Victorine Jane Dix Musgrave.  She is listed with their family on the 1870 Census as well.  Additionally, the other children from this first marriage were also being raised by other families.  Family lore indicates that William and Eliza could not afford to raise these older children and farmed them out to families that could afford to take care of them.  Other evidence points that they were not all that poor, but it is not likely we will ever really know.  Here are three of the sisters later in life.

l-r: Mary Ann Stoker Sharp, Jeanette Stoker Rogers, Henrietta Stoker Weston

Mary Ann was raised by George and Victorine Musgrave.  She knew who her real father was, but had no real childhood memories of him.  George Musgrave was a school teacher and musician in Plain City.  George and Victorine were unable to have children and Mary Ann was probably a welcome addition in their home.  Victorine had also been adopted.  Although not formally adopted, George and Victorine called her Lillian Musgrave, but she grew nicknamed Lilly.  The rest of her life she went by Lilly and took the Musgrave as her middle name after she married with the obvious middle initial “M”.  Here is a picture of Victorine Jane Dix Musgrave.  Her son, Austin, even lists his mother’s name as Lillee Musgrave.

George and Victorine knew music and taught school.  Naturally, Lilly was taught the same.  She ended up participating in the second dramatic association in Plain City.  Some of their shows put on were, “Mistletoe Bough,” “Mickle Earl,” “Maniac Lover,” “Fruits of the Wind Cup,” “Streets of New York,” “The Two Galley Slaves,” “The Rough Diamond,” “Earnest Mall Travers,” and “Ten Knights in a Bar Room.”

All was not well in Zion during these years in Plain City.  Family lore has it that when a Bishop (Lewis Shurtleff, 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 (Lilly’s future father-in-law) 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 (William’s ex-wife, divorced in 1876, Lilly’s future mother-in-law), William Skeen, Edwin Dix, George Musgrave (Lilly’s adopted father), 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.  Mary Ann Sharp (Lilly’s future mother-in-law) is the only woman, but perhaps because the rest were representing their families, where with the recent divorce she was not represented by William.  Many of these families returned to the church after time away, some individuals never did.

While Lilly’s name is not on the list, she was probably classified with the Musgrave family.  We do not have any record of her baptism, but she was with the Musgrave family attending the newly established St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.  Although it seems Victorine Musgrave was excommunicated, she continued active with LDS Relief Society (or she was not excommunicated).  It was during this time, Lilly also come to fall in love with Milo Riley Sharp.  William Sharp, with the assistance of Milo, had also helped build the Musgrave’s new home.  In St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, J. S. Gellogly married Milo and Lilly on 11 May 1879.

 

Milo Riley Sharp

 

Milo Riley Sharp was born 23 Jul 1857 in Lehi, Utah, Utah.  He was the fourth of six children born to William and Mary Ann Bailey Sharp.  Mary Ann did have a child, Lorenzo Padley, from a previous marriage in which she was widowed.  William and Mary Ann Sharp immigrated to Utah in 1853 after joining the LDS church in 1848 and 1846 respectively.  At first they were sent to Lehi 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.  William learned of land north near Ogden 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 who told them of the available plain to the west.  You can read more of his parents at: Sharp-Bailey Wedding.

The Sharp family left with other Lehi Saints on 10 March 1859 to travel to this new area.  The group arrived 17 March 1859 at what is present day Plain City.  William Sharp put his carpentry and masonry skills to work making adobe brick and helping build the first homes in Plain City.  In one of these first adobe brick homes is where Milo Riley grew up.  William served in the Plain City band, the Plain City Z.C.M.I. board, a builder, and a city leader.  Milo’s little sister, Evelyn, was the first girl born in Plain City in October 1859.

Milo’s mother, Mary Ann Bailey Sharp, moved out on Christmas Eve 1875 and refused to come back to William.  William sued for divorce and Franklin D. Richards granted the divorce (in probate court) on 19 May 1876.

Milo Riley Sharp as a young man

As mentioned earlier, the Sharp’s also had a falling out with the LDS church and were excommunicated the same day as the Musgrave family.  Since there were not loads of people in Plain City, Lilly and Milo knew each other.  The conditions in the community, their respective families excommunication, probably help to forge the commonalities they had and lead to their marriage.

Milo kept busy working with his father building homes and other masonry and carpentry work.  He also had time to play first base at baseball and played on Plain City’s first baseball team.  The team could beat all the other northern Utah teams except Salt Lake.

The marriage of Milo and Lilly eventually produced a quiver of 12 children.  Milo Ray on 29 February 1880.  George was born 2 August 1881 and passed the same day.  Effie was born 6 June 1882 and died 6 September 1883.  Delwin arrived 30 June 1884.  Ernest and Austin came 7 Jan 1886.  Edward William appeared 25 October 1887.  Victorine showed 23 November 1889 and later married Fredrick Lawrence Hunt.  Mary Irene materialized 26 June 1892 and married Oscar “Os” Child Richardson.  Edith dawned 4 February 1895 and married Clements Richard Martin.  Ethel was born 9 April 1898 and I have written of her at this link: Ross-Sharp Wedding.  Emily appeared 5 April 1900 and quickly extinguished 31 July 1900.  Nine of the children lived to adulthood and 8 of those married and had children.

Mary, Lillie (Mary Ann), Ethel (baby), Victorine, Edith (in front) Sharp

Milo built a new home for the family early on so the family had room to grow.  He added to it as more room was needed as you can see in this photo.  We do not know the year it was originally built, but we know the children after 1888 were born in this home.  The home’s address is 2897 N. 4200 W. in Plain City.

Milo successfully farmed all of these years.  He kept busy with civic affairs.  He was elected constable of Plain City on the Republican ticket in 1891.  In 1893, he sat on a committee to investigate the incorporating of Plain City, although it was not incorporated until 1944 with grandson William Albert Sharp serving on the town board.  Milo and Lilly were singers and continued to play in the Plain City bands.  Lilly was also well-known for her poetry.  In 1911, Milo finished building a new home, pictured below (address is 2771 N. 4200 W. in Plain City).  Milo farmed hard until he caught influenza and eventually pneumonia passing away at the early age of 59 at 9:30 a.m. 24 June 1916 at his sister’s home, Victoria Maw, who lived at 5 Warren Court (which I believe may now be Warren Row or Lane in Ogden).  His funeral was held in the little church he helped his father build, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on 27 June 1916.

Lilly lived in this home until she passed away in 1935.  Her son, Ernest Sharp, never married and helped take care of her and then lived the rest of his life in the home.

Lilly kept a clean home.  The grandsons were taught to stop by every time they passed, especially to and from school.  This permitted dishes to be washed, wood to be hauled, and wood to be split.  Lilly had a strict regimen for cleaning pots, dishes, and pans (especially bedpans).  This included the outdoor pump station, even with lye to remove odors.  The boys knew to take special care not to make a mess when carrying fire wood or in any other way on entering the home.  The gate was always to be closed, whether coming or going.  While this might seem stern, she always opened the door for those coming and going and gave them a warm smile.

Mary Ann Stoker Sharp

Mary Ann Stoker Sharp

Lilly often made bread, keeping her own live yeast, often from warm potato water.  She had her own milk separator and used it.  The boys helped make butter and she treated the boys to buttermilk and warm bread.  She would also warm apples in the oven to share or dried fruit.  She kept a full root cellar with homemade cured meats, dried fruits, and bottled vegetables.  The Sharp family had onions that could be used to flavor soups and other needs.  Many of the family still grow these onions even until today.  Many mushrooms and water crest were gathered too.

Lilly often had kind words and a warm, gracious smile.  She kept a small table in the pantry where she brushed her teeth with salt, baking soda, and a bar of soap.  The bucket was always there with a drinking cup and a ladle to draw water.  She was thin and tall.  She wore long dresses from her neck to her feet with shoes that went up about six inches.  She kept her hair rolled in the back of her head held with a comb with long teeth.  If she was not thin enough, she wore a corset to make her look even smaller.  She was very neat and proud in her appearance.

She kept a spinning wheel in the home for the times when she would spin wool into thread.  She also had the grandsons help turn her mattress from time to time.  She did not leave the house much in her later years unless she had a ride, but even then did not stay long before going home.  It was clear she enjoyed watching her grandchildren.  The last decade or so of her life, she had to use a hearing tube to hear.  Some of her grandchildren joked that it was like using the telephone, just you could see who was on the other end.

Lilly passed at 10:55 p.m. at her daughter’s home, Victorine Hunt, 6 May 1935 of hypertension with chronic major carditis and pneumonia.  She had remained faithfully active in the Episcopal Church until she could not get around very much.  Later in life she needed assistance as she could not walk very far.  Her funeral was held in the Plain City LDS chapel with Rev. John W. Hyslop officiating on 9 May 1935.  She was buried with Milo in the Plain City Cemetery.

Raymond Draper, Caroline Ross Gallegos, Milo Ross

ANWR, Secret Prisons, and a Judge

Things seem to be a continuous cycle of interesting things.  The blessings and opportunities of rubbing shoulders with the powerful men of the world is instructive.  The office has provided a great opportunity for these things.  I am shocked though how it appears that I am always in the right place at the right time.  There are those in the office who seek out to put themselves in positions so they will have the opportunity of meeting those who they know will come through the office.  There are those who always seek the spotlight and will do about anything for it.  I don’t mean to sound diminutive, we all have our quirks.  This one just seems to annoy me at times though.  Since I have this impatience, I find myself laughing when I end up in the right places by coincidence and they do not.  I know, this is a form of pride, puffing myself up.  Something I must work at deconstructing.  I do not say anything of it though, so in a sense I keep it locked away and find that very pleasing as well.  Unlike the person of whom I speak, I don’t have to broadcast my thoughts and meetings to the world.  Saying this, aren’t we all full of irony?  Commenting about how I don’t have to share with the world, and then I place it in my blog.  I hope that I can keep the pride in check and not sound off in a way that is condescending.  Hopefully I can share the truth of my privileges without saying I am better.  There is always such a fine line in all things, what is right and wrong.  Silence benefits nobody, yet preaching seems to turn away as well.  The middle, temperance is always to be sought, but I struggle on knowing where that territory is placed, and if I am staying in it.
Jarrett had to make a run to the Capitol and I was asked to take the phones in his place.  While I was there answering phones, I was made aware of the fact that the Supreme Court Nominee, Samuel Alito would be paying a visit to Senator Smith that afternoon.  I thought it was interesting and found myself excited as the press began to accumulate outside our door.  Surely, I was on watch when he came into the office.  Genny greeted him, we shook his hand, and I invited him to have a seat as Genny went to get the Senator.  I commented in the blog about how I felt distinctly impressed I felt with Judge Roberts at his hearing and after I met him briefly in the Senator’s office.  After he sat down I went back to typing my e-mail on my computer.  I did not wish to be another soul who just looked.  Former Senator Dan Coates began speaking with him and he laughed.  I looked up to see him laugh and watched for a moment the expression of his face.  His humility and quiet way struck me as good.  With all the press and stories of Judge Alito in the press, one never knows how one should think, but I was impressed with this man.  It was an honour to have met him.
The next day I was asked to give a tour for a group of students from the Portland area.  Their tour guide was from Charlottesville and I got her information.  She agreed to give me a tour of Charlottesville the next time I visit.  Their teacher, and her mother, were both wonderful individuals.  I came to find out they were LDS and the teacher had met her husband in Logan at Utah State.  Small world isn’t it?  As we were giving our tour, I was explaining the Senate Rotunda when a group of individuals were sneaking behind my group.  I recognized Judge Alito in the group and watched him slide pass unnoticed.  It was after he was down the hallway approaching the Senate Chamber that I pointed out to my group who he was.  Again, that impressed me with his willingness to sneak quietly past.
It was a great contrast when we were waiting from the tram back to Russell that my group was waiting at the dock.  The students had come alive and finally responded to the tour.  They were excited.  After all, they had seen the Senate vote and remain waiting for another vote.  The Senate proved to busily engaged for them and they felt some of what was happening before them.  Still talking about it, Senator John Kerry came down the escalator.  I knew Senators had priority and attempted to move my group so he could get by.  However, moving 15 high school students is not an easy thing.  Very abruptly Senator Kerry just pushed right on through the group.  I was not impressed by this at all.  Despite that, I found it very amusing to see the faces and expressions of the students as they realized who was pushing them around.  One boy’s mouth literally fell open.  While some did not know what his name was, they recognized him and were giddy about that.
As a little extra note, we arrived at the elevators in the basement of Russell and waited.  As we rounded the corner I saw Senator Jeffords coming, so I hit the button for the Senator’s Only and the elevator opened.  I suppose to save face, he invited some of the students to ride up the otherwise elevator.  Arriving at the top, they were excited to have shaken hands and rode an elevator with another Senator.  It was a good day.
Later on that day, I had to run something to the floor for Senator Smith.  It was a late night.  The man at the reception desk in the Senate Reception Room was not there.  So I waited.  This man walked up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder asking if I was waiting for him.  I turned around and informed Senator Sessions I was not there for him.  He chit chatted with me for a minuted and then somebody pulled him aside.  I watched for a moment thinking what an opportunity this was to be in this room when somebody started talking to me from my right.  I had to let Senator Snowe that what I had was not for her.  For some reason, she is smaller than I thought she was.  She excused herself and finally the reception man came back and took my notes and parcel to Senator Smith.  I then walked back to the basement for the tram back to Russell.  I sat in the tram and this little disheveled lady sat beside me to ride back.  Senator Mikulski instructed me that I was not to ride with her.  I apologized and removed myself from the tram.  After the two good experiences, then to have that one.  Funny how different people are, even in the United States Senate.
Well, that is my brush with those of name.  They are all so different from each other.  Senator Smith is nice one on one, otherwise very silent normally.  The interns all had ourselves shot with him on Thursday.  I don’t really care about the photos, I knew it is something I should have for later in life.  I won’t care any more, but I know Amanda would shoot me (not with a camera) if I could have but did not.
The rest of the week has been very occupied.  I had several projects dumped on me.  I continue to do research on a variety of subjects.  However, they were all trumped by the Washington Post story about the CIA having secret prisons.  This kept us busy in doing some research into congressional records and statements by various people.  It also dealt with some very interesting phone calls.  It is odd sometimes what the response is for some people when you comment you are from a United States Senator’s office.  Some instantly shut down, others open up and always tell far too much.  Fascinating.
This week has been quite the struggle over ANWR.  Last week, the Senate voted to keep it in the Budget Resolution.  This week the House removed it from the bill and removed the whole bill in frustration.  However, it looks lik ANWR might have been protected at least for another little while.  Whos knows what next week could bring.  It is always this constant struggle.
Anyhow, this week has proved very instructive to me in goverment as a whole.  Everything always has another side to it, whether it is right or wrong is not the question, but can we see the other side.  Only when we can understand the other side can we make any determination whether what is right and wrong.  This seems very applicable to all aspects of life.  Always learn the opposing view, and from that perspective work back to your own.  You will always be much for effective in understanding and in your reasoning that way.  Well, until next time…

The usual

A short entry in update of the events of the days.  I continue to be fortunate to see and run into the most fascinating people.  I visited with a lady today whose husband is a 3 star general.  She invited me to dinner and said she would like her husband to give me a tour of the Pentagon (I gave her a tour of the Capitol).  That will be something I look forward to cashing in as a great learning experience.
Judge John Roberts paid a visit to the office today.  I had run some things to the Senator’s car for him and was returning his keys to him.  As I was walking from his office, Judge Roberts was ushered in.  He shook my hand, I stood aside, and he went into the offices.  I did not even know he was coming, but nevertheless, I was more than happy to shake his hand.  I felt fortunate to shake the hand of the future Supreme Court Chief Justice.  What an honor.  I feel his power, I can sense a certain awe at the intellect and goodness of this man.  I do not sense this with most others I meet, they just don’t radiate power.  I sense the power of their office, but as individuals I don’t sense it.  This man though, I feel the power of his person.  I can only imagine what he could do for the highest court of the land.  I am completely comfortable with him and his person.  After some of my experiences lately, he gives me strength that some things are working for the benefit of our government.
Walking through the tunnels to get to Capital South Metro stop, I was walking through the basement of Cannon with Gavin, my fellow intern.  We were walking behind a man who seemed familiar.  I then said in a distinct voice, Mr Bishop.  He turned around and it was indeed Mr. Representative Rob Bishop from northern Utah.  I was pleased to walk and visit with him for a few hundred feet.  Nothing really interesting.  He seemed tired or down.  I hope he is well.  It was good to visit and meet him and shake his hand.  What I would not give to sit down with one of these individuals and pick their brain for a while.  I sensed a good man, but downtrodden.  I wish him all well, especially in the House of Representatives, one can get lost in there.  Such confusion!
I love the opportunities to meet and visit with these people.  I am impressed with the amount of power these people hold.  I am impressed with the strength and ability of Washington.  I only wish and pray I felt more individuals who held this power within.  Bishop seemed like one who could, but was tired or down.  Roberts is a moving individual.  Well, I close another entry.  The little run ins are great, but I wish I could learn more!