Red Rock Pass

Aliza and Hiram Ross on the rock at Red Rock Pass in Bannock County, Idaho.

On a trip to Preston, Idaho, I stopped with Aliza and Hiram (the only two with me) at Red Rock Pass.  Stopping at Red Rock Pass was a stop that was regular when I was a child.  I dare say every time we drove past Red Rock Pass, no matter who was driving, we stopped.  I remember the long walk up those stairs, I remember trying not to take the stairs.  If Grandma was with me, we would always walk around to the little cemetery around the back.

Hiram and Aliza Ross climbing Red Rock Pass.

I remember Grandma telling me that when they would drive to Downata or up to Lava Hot Springs as a kid, they would also stop at Red Rock Pass.  At least a third generation now does the same.  Every time I drive past, even if alone, I like to stop.  I hike to the top and look around.  Even when I had difficult times at Utah State University and needed a drive, sometimes in the night, I would drive to Red Rock Pass and gaze at the valley around me.  It connected me to the past, nature, and perspective of the world I live.

Grandma taught me early on Red Rock Pass was the leak, the drain, the overflow spot of massive Lake Bonneville.  It was here that erosion eventually drained the lake and completely changed landscape of the Snake River Plain.  It was here that northern Utah completely altered as well.  This one place changed the face of the earth.  Even in geography I learned that Lake Bonneville was so large that it actually indented the face of the planet and the release of this lake also changed the mountains and valleys as the load of the water displaced to elsewhere on the planet.  Part of the basin and range moved not just by plate tectonics, but also by redistribution of weight.  There I would sit imagining the Bonneville Flood.

It is at the cemetery behind this large rock left in the middle of the valley that Jefferson Hunt and many of his family are buried.  An early pioneer of the church he was at Far West, Missouri.  He lived in Nauvoo, Illinois, and served in the Mormon Battalion.  He helped found many communities (San Bernardino, California; Huntsville, Utah).  He lived in Oxford, Idaho, just to the south at the time of his passing.

It was later in life that I learned I had a missionary companion who descended from Jefferson Hunt (he was adopted).  As if that wasn’t enough of a direct influence on my life, Garrett Smith also affected me in his death.

Red Rock Pass is a place of reverence for my history, the history of the world, and the ongoing effect we have on each other’s life in the future.  It would help me overcome vain imaginations and the self-doubt that come to us all.  I plan to continue stopping at this little reminder of our little place in this very big and ancient world and the long-lasting influence we can leave upon it.

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Spring City, Utah

Manti Temple, Paul & Amanda Ross

Last weekend was Amanda’s sister’s wedding in Manti, Sanpete, Utah.  We went down to attend the wedding for Zachary & Alyssa Smart.  It was a wonderful trip, time to get away, celebrate the wedding and reception, and enjoy ourselves.

Paul, Amanda, Aliza, Hiram, Lillian, and James Ross at Manti Temple

I have done enough family history that I knew my 4th Great Grandmother is buried in Spring City.  Like other locations, if I am in Sanpete County, I make an effort to stop and visit her grave.  I think the last time I was able to stop was about 2003, so it had been about 15 years.

Paul, Aliza, Hiram, and Lillian Ross at the grave of Johanna Johannsson Benson (Bengtsson)

Here is how we are related.

My mother’s name is Sandra Jonas.

Her father was Wilburn Norwood Jonas (1924 – 1975).

His father was Joseph Nelson Jonas (1893 – 1932).

His mother was Annetta Josephine Nelson (she went by Annie) (1864 – 1907).

Her mother was Agnetta Benson (she went by Annie) (anglicized from Bengtsson) (1832 – 1873).

Her mother was Johanna Johansdotter (which shows up on the tombstone as Johansson) (1813 – 1897), who was married to Nils Benson (anglicized from Bengtsson).

I really don’t know tons about Johanna.  Nels August Nelson makes only passing reference to his grandmother.  I have been unable to find when she immigrated to the United States.

Hiram and Aliza Ross waiting for a hummingbird to land on them

Johanna Johansdotter was born 15 February 1813 in Öringe, Veinge, Halland, Sweden.  She met and married Nils Bengtsson on 4 July 1830 in Veinge, Halland, Sweden.  Nils was born 1 August 1802 in Brunskog, Tönnersjö, Halland, Sweden.  Together they had 8 children together.

Agnetta Nilsdotter born 9 Dec 1832.

Lars Nilsson born 11 May 1835.

Ingjard Nilsdotter born 17 February 1839.

Christina Nilsdotter born 21 June 1841.

Bengta Nilsdotter born 19 March 1843.

Nils (Nels) Nilsson born 23 August 1846.

Borta Nilsdotter born 6 April 1849.

Johan Petter Nilsson born 31 August 1855.

Nils passed away 12 March 1859.

Johanna was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 11 May 1861.  Agnetta was baptized 10 November 1863, Lars 5 May 1860, Ingjard 5 May 1861, Christina 4 February 1866, and Nils Jr 5 May 1860.  Johann joined 7 September 1893 after immigration to Utah.  The other two were after their deaths.  Bengta and Borta did not join or immigrate to Utah.

Johanna’s daughter Agnetta (Annie) traveled with her husband Johan Nilsson from Halmstadt, Sweden through Liverpool, England docking in New York City, New York on 3 June 1864.  I cannot tell that Johanna traveled with Johan and Agnetta.

Most of the children upon traveling to the United States were given the last name of Benson instead of Nilsson.

The children spread.  Agnetta went with her husband to Logan, Utah.  Lars went with his family to what is now Sandy, Utah.  Ingjard to what is now Sandy.  Christina to Vernon, Utah.  Nils to Spring City, Utah.  John also to Sandy.  For whatever reason Johanna went with Nils to Spring City and remained there the rest of her days.  She passed away May 1897, we do not have an exact date.  Nils served a mission from 1892 to 1894 back to the Scandinavia mission.

Manti Temple 2018

An interesting tidbit about our trip to Manti.  We stayed in a restored home of James Marks Works.  He was the brother-in-law to Brigham Young.  It was an early home with various additions, modifications, and ultimate restoration.  James Marks Works and Phebe Jones had a daughter named Mary Ann Angel Works.  Mary Ann is the second wife to Nils Benson and they had 9 children together.  The home in Manti we stayed may very well have been visited by my 3rd Great Grand Uncle and his 9 children, all of which were grandchildren of James Marks Works.  James Marks Works died in 1889 and the first of the 9 children were born in 1892, but James’ son James Marks Works (Jr) kept the home and continued working the sawmill behind the home.

Here is a picture of the Manti Temple from James Marks Works’ home.

Manti Temple from James Marks Works’ home

Another interesting side note that I remembered from the last time I walked around the Spring City Cemetery.  Orson Hyde is also buried there.  I walked the kids over to Elder Hyde’s grave and we snapped a picture there as well.  I explained his role as an Apostle, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Dedication of Palestine for the return of the Jews, clerk to Joseph Smith, lawyer, Justice on Utah Supreme Court.  The kids didn’t seem to care much…

Hiram, Lillian, and Aliza Ross at the grave of Orson Hyde

Here is Orson’s short biography from the Joseph Smith papers.

8 Jan. 1805 – 28 Nov. 1878.  Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge.  Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut.  Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe.  Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812.  Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1819.  Joined Methodist church, ca. 1827.  Later affiliated with reformed Baptists (later Disciples of Christ or Campbellites).  Baptized into LDS church by Sidney Rigdon and ordained an elder by JS and Sidney Rigdon, Oct. 1831, at Kirtland.  Ordained a high priest by Oliver Cowdery, 26 Oct. 1831.  Appointed to serve mission to Ohio, Nov. 1831, in Orange, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio.  Baptized many during proselytizing mission with Samuel H. Smith to eastern U.S., 1832.  Attended organizational meeting of School of the Prophets, 22–23 Jan. 1833, in Kirtland.  Appointed clerk to church presidency, 1833.  Appointed to serve mission to Jackson Co., Missouri, summer 1833.  Served mission to Pennsylvania and New York, winter and spring 1834.  Member of Kirtland high council, 1834.  Participated in Camp of Israel expedition to Missouri, 1834.  Married to Marinda Nancy Johnson by Sidney Rigdon, 4 Sept. 1834, at Kirtland.  Ordained member of Quorum of the Twelve by Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, 15 Feb. 1835, in Kirtland.  Served mission to western New York and Upper Canada, 1836.  Served mission to England with Heber C. Kimball, 1837–1838.  Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri, summer 1838.  Sided with dissenters against JS, 1838.  Lived in Missouri, winter 1838–1839.  Removed from Quorum of the Twelve, 4 May 1839.  Restored to Quorum of the Twelve, 27 June 1839, at Commerce (later Nauvoo), Hancock Co., Illinois.  Served mission to Palestine to dedicate land for gathering of the Jews, 1840–1842.  Member of Nauvoo Masonic Lodge, 1842.  Member of Nauvoo City Council, 1843–1845.  Admitted to Council of Fifty, 13 Mar. 1844.  Presented petition from JS to U.S. Congress, 1844.  Participated in plural marriage during JS’s lifetime.  Departed Nauvoo during exodus to the West, mid-May 1846.  Served mission to Great Britain, 1846–1847.  Presided over Latter-day Saints in Iowa before migrating to Utah Territory.  Appointed president of Quorum of the Twelve, 1847.  Published Frontier Guardian at Kanesville (later Council Bluffs), Pottawattamie Co., Iowa, 1849–1852.  Appointed to preside over church east of Rocky Mountains, 20 Apr. 1851, at Kanesville.  Migrated to Utah Territory, 1852.  Appointed associate judge of U.S. Supreme Court for Utah Territory, 1852.  Elected to Utah territorial legislature, 27 Nov. 1852, 1858.  Presided over church in Carson Co., Utah Territory (later the Nevada Territory), 1855–1856.  Served colonizing mission to Sanpete Co., Utah Territory, by 1860; presided as ecclesiastical authority there, beginning 1860.  Died at Spring City, Sanpete Co.

 

Cackalackie

It is time I gave an update in relation to the past weekend.  It was a nice little three day weekend where we could enjoy ourselves.  But more interestingly, we made a trip to North Carolina.
We planned the trip late last year in an effort to go and visit my cousin, Terry Jonas.  We ended up bailing for some reason that escapes me.  I think I was in the middle of a job transition and did not want to worry about the costs of the trip at that very moment.  Perhaps it was just that money was a little tight.
At any rate, we made the trip this weekend.  I left work a little early on Friday, we went home and packed, and we drove south to the Tar Heel State.  It wasn’t much of an exciting drive as most of it was in the dark.  We searched in vain for a good music station so most of the trip was to General Conference.  (I know, it should be first…)  The trip was marked with the peculiarity that we were driving in the middle of January and had on the air conditioning most of the time.
Terry Jonas is the son of Spencer Jonas.  Spencer is the brother to my Grandfather, Norwood Jonas.  That makes Terry my first cousin, once removed.
We arrived and had the introductions.  While he remembers me when I was a kid, I have no memory of Terry Jonas anywhere in my memory.  I also have no memory of his father.  I have vague memories of his mother at the reunions.  I do remember my mother going to Spencer’s funeral in 1988.  Terry and Marylynne’s daughter, Brook was there along with her husband, Scott Plummer, and their daughter Bryleigh.  We sat around and chatted for the rest of the evening.
He provided some interesting insights into the personality of my Grandfather.  He told me about going hunting, fishing, and hiking with Grandpa.  He commented that once snowshoeing, Grandpa slipped down through some snow and hit his knee pretty hard.  Grandpa made the joke later, if Terry hadn’t been there, he would have cried.
Spencer thought so highly of Grandpa that he went and did Grandpa’s endowment right at the year mark.  He was so on the ball that Uncle Joseph was irritated that he did not get to do it.  Terry said Joe did not wait around when it came time to do Earl’s endowment.
He said Grandpa was very soft spoken.  He was always well thought out in everything he did.  He made the comment that Uncle Norwood was his favorite of the family.
Terry is writing a history of his own family.  He said he is mostly done with it.  He wants to start writing on the extended Jonas family, of which I look forward to receiving some.  He did show me some of the family history he has on the Cole family, which is his mother’s family name.  It was interesting to see their history extending back through Nauvoo.  I don’t have one ancestor who crossed the plains or is associated with early church history so it is interesting to read and see of others who do.
The next morning we went out to a hole in the wall named Mickey’s in Walkerville, NC.  It was a busy little place and the food was good.  Interesting crowd.  We drove back to Kernersville, watched Ensign to the Nations, and then headed out for the Raleigh Temple.  Terry and Marylynne were driving to Raleigh, so they led the trail for us.  We arrived at the temple and participated in an endowment session.  It was Spanish Speaking and my little receiver quit working halfway through, so I got a refresher course in Spanish.
The drive home turned out to be a bit crazy.  Their signs in North Carolina are not very helpful.  They have no long distance signs to let one know of junctions with other freeways or anything of that sort.  We made our way back up to I-40 only to be lost in the change between I-40 and I-440.  What a joke.  We wound our way around until we found I-40 again, and then we thought we would drive east until we hit I-85 or I-95.  Well, if it doesn’t fit the norm, we headed east on I-40 and found ourselves going south.  Finally we had to call Amanda’s parents to look things up on a computer to find out where in the world we were headed.  We had wound our way south and were headed towards South Carolina.  We made course corrections and finally found our way to I-95.  From there we found our way home.
It was a great weekend to get away.  We enjoyed it and I really have no desire to visit North Carolina again.  I would not mind heading to the South Carolina Temple sometime, but it is a bit of a ways away.  Who knows.
Yesterday was dedicated mostly to helping an older gentleman in our ward do family history.  He is as blind as a bat and trying to teach a blind man how to use a mouse and enter information is just useless.  After an hour with him I volunteered to put all the information in the computer for him and to take care of temple ready and printing of files.  I enjoyed the research but found myself researching in North Carolina!
Well, things are well.  Church is great.  Really enjoyed the President Kimball lesson on Sunday.  The teacher skipped some of the best paragraphs in the lesson, but oh well.