As I mentioned earlier, I have the history written by Carvel Jonas on our Jonas Family History. Here is another chapter from his book.
I need to give some background before I post this journal. The past few weeks I have posted some stories of Theodor & Christiana Andra. As the stories relate, Theodor died in 1902 due to a quarry accident. Christiana and the children converted to Mormonism and the family moved to Utah. After being in Utah for a few years, she met and married a widower, John Wendel on 22 May 1914 in the Salt Lake City Temple.
John became a father to her children who were teenagers. William Fredrick Andra, the middle born knew him toward the end of his teenage years in this home.
Johann Wendel was born 27 September 1856 in Wasserberndorf, Mittlefranken, Bavaria and died 20 January 1930 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He married Elisabeth Streckfuss 19 October 1880 in Wasserberndorf. Elisabeth was born 21 February 1850 in Buchheim, Mittlefranken, Bavaria and died 31 August 1913 in Farmers Ward, Salt Lake, Utah. Christiana Wilhelmina (going by Mina in Utah) was born 24 October 1869 in Radebuel, Dresden, Saxony and died 25 December 1957 in Salt Lake City.
Missionary Journal of Johann Wendel ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE GERMAN MISSIONARY JOURNAL OF JOHANN (JOHN) WENDEL. HUSBAND OF ELIZABETH STRECKFUSS WENDEL (and 2nd wife: Christiana Wilhelmina Knauke) ALSO FATHER OF ANNA BARBARA W. MAUERMANN, LEONARD MICHAEL WENDEL, JOHN WENDEL, GEORG FRIEDRICH WENDEL. MISSION TO GERMANY FROM JANUARY 25, 1922 TO OCTOBER 31, 1923
PREFACE This Grandpa Wendel is a Grandpa to all his living descendants in the year 1978. The younger descendants may have to put 2 or 3 “greats” before the “Grandpa”, but he is indeed a Grandpa to all of us. Grandpa John Wendel was born September 27, 1856. He married Elizabeth Streckfuss on September 17, 1880, lacking ten days of being age 24. He joined the Church in the Nuremberg Branch on October 4, 1902, just past his 46th birthday. He emigrated with his wife to Salt Lake City, arriving here in August 1905 — not quite 49 years old. His dear wife was killed by a car in Aug. 1913. when he was almost 57 years old. He was in the Church a few months over 19 years when he was called on a Mission to his Native Land of Germany — a few months past the age of 65. He had re-married to Wilhelmina Christiana Knauke on the 22 May 1914 at the age of 57. He died in January 1930, a few months past the age of 73.
This Missionary Journal is written in the Gothic German handwriting and in the German Language. The average American missionary who has served a mission to Germany has not learned to read this Gothic German handwriting. Ursula Hilbert Wendel, an emigrant from Germany, the wife of John A. Wendel, a grandson to Grandpa Wendel, was able to read this journal. Uncle Leonard Michael Wendel brought this journal to Ursula about 1966 or 1967. Ursula’s children were quite small at the time and she had the constant care of her father and part of the time her father-in law. Consequently she was unable to translate the journal as rapidly as Uncle Leonard had hoped, because Uncle Leonard had desired that his oldest grandson should be given the journal, he requested his grandson, John Richard Wendel go to Ursula’s home and get the journal. At the Grave side of Leonard Fredrick Wendel in early June 1977 Pearl Wendel, a sister-in-law to Ursula approached John Richard Wendel and asked him to please bring the journal to the Wendel Family Reunion in July 1977, so that Ursula may finish the translation of it. This he did. God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform! At this time Ursula’s oldest son Ronald was on a Mission. So, to help out financially, Ursula obtained a job with one of the schools in Bountiful to help with the hot lunch program. In January and February 1978, Ursula was forced to quit her job and spend much time in bed because of trouble with her legs. During this time she was able to complete the translation of Grandpa’s Missionary Journal.
She then gave the completed work to Pearl Wendel, who had volunteered to type it and have copies made for as many of the descendants of Grandpa Wendel who desired them. This Journal should be of particular interest to the families in the Leonard Michael Wendel Line, because one of the first people whom Grandpa called on was the father of Frieda Johanna Neuner (Uncle Leonard’s wife). He also mentions finding Fredrick Kohles completely blind. I tried to find how he fit into the Kohles line, but from the Genealogy sheets which I have I was unable to fit him in. He may have been a cousin of Grandpa’s. I, as typist, have tried to put the translation into the American way of saying things without destroying the real meaning Grandpa meant to say. I have worked very closely with Ursula on this so that the translated Journal will tell the story Grandpa wrote.
The reader of this Journal should keep a few thoughts in mind to get the true understanding of Grandpa’s Mission. Apparently In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the field of converts in Germany was ready to harvest. Many converts came into the Church and many emigrated to Utah to help build up the Kingdom here and enjoy the full blessings of the Gospel including Temple Work. World War I came along from 1914 to 1918. Germany and France were both hit hard by this war. To try to pick up the pieces and carry on as Nations was a great task. In 1922 and 1923 Inflation hit Germany so hard that it took bushel baskets of money to buy very little. The Spirit of Conversions seemed to have left this fruitful field. By the time Grandpa returned in 1922, it was an achievement and a fullness of joy just to have a long Gospel Conversation, let alone a Conversion. The Church also had grown fairly strong in Western U.S.A., so they were trying to encourage the members who were left and those newly converted to remain in the foreign countries and try to build up the Kingdom there. Elders often worked alone, and the discouraging moments often far exceeded the encouraging ones. The Great Grandsons and Great Grand-daughters of John Wendel, who have had the privilege of filling missions in the 1960’s and 1970’s when once again the Spirit of Conversion reigns upon the earth, will find that their mission journals and experiences were almost opposite to Grandpa Wendel’s. The number of Mission Fields have doubled many times since the early 1920’s. The Missionary Force is probably 10 or 20 times what it was then. Foreign Stakes are being created as rapidly as leadership will allow. Temples are being built in many Foreign Lands as rapidly as they can be built. The Modern Prophet’s Counsel “to widen our strides and hasten our pace” is being accomplished by the 1978 Missionaries. We hope the time spent in translating, typing, correcting and copying this journal will prove to be time well spent, by all those who will find true enjoyment in reading it, owning a copy, and having their testimonies strengthened by the testimony and experiences of Grandpa John Wendel. Sincerely, Pearl Wendel, 175 East 2nd South, Bountiful, Utah 84010
THE GOLDEN RULE DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WANT THEM TO DO UNTO YOU.
DIARY Missionary Journal of Johann Wendel MISSION TO GERMANY FROM JANUARY 25, 1922 TO OCTOBER 31, 1923
On January 25. 1922. 5:OO P.M. I left Salt Lake City, through Wyoming, Nebraska, Illinois, arrived in Chicago, January 27, 7:OO P.M. sight seeing on the 28th, like Museum, Post Office, Michigan Lake, climbed the highest building and in the evening at 7:OO P.M. on the 28th, leaving for Buffalo. We arrived here on the 29 of Jan. at 4:00 P.M. One hour delay and then on to Montreal, where we arrived Jan. 30 at 8:00 A.M. From Vermillion till Buffalo, we traveled on the big river to Niagara Falls. In Erie we saw a lot of cultivation of grapes. After our passport was inspected by the German Consulate in Montreal and $10.00 paid for, we left on the 30 of Jan. at 12:OO o’clock noon for St. John. We arrived there on the 31st of Jan. at 7:30 A.M.
On February 1st at 11:00 A.M. we got on the ship “Montcalm”. In the afternoon 3:30 P.M. the ship left the Harbor. On Feb. 2nd. 9:OO A.M. we arrived in Halifax, where the boat laid all day and night till 2:OO A.M. and loaded 16,000 barrels of apples, a lot of sugar and cheese. I could hardly believe what such a ship could carry. The boat is 560 feet long and keeps going by oil. The City of Halifax is very mountainous and was covered by snow.
On the 3rd of Feb. 1922 at 5:00 A. M. the ship left. Everything is very noble and modern and we are 212 man. in First Class.
On Sunday. February 9, 1922. we held Church Service from the Church of England in the Dinning Room.
On Feb. 9th, we passed the Coast of Ireland, where the water looks light green compared to the Atlantic Ocean’s dark blue or even black.
On Feb. 10th at 3:00 A.M. we arrived in Liverpool. We the German Brothers Pitsch, Pohlmann and I, together with 3 others had to stay here one day, because our Passports haven’t been inspected, by the English Consul.
On Feb. 11 at noon, we left the boat, took care of our luggage and at 2:00 P.M. left Liverpool for Grimby Dock, where we arrived at 6:20 P.M. At once we went to the boat for Hamburg, Germany. In the Evening at 7:30 P.M. the ship left and we arrive in Hamburg, Feb, 13th at 8:00 A.M. We stayed in Hotel Stein. The Voyage till Hamburg, Germany, with Passport difficulties, food and tips cost $274.00. In Liverpool, we stayed half an hour in the passenger train, where Apostle Whitney and two other Elders visited us.
On Feb. 15th. I saw the Exotic Garden, but because of snow, I didn’t see very much. Then I visited the Volksmuseum (People’s Museum) and there was a lot to see. With a guide, it cost me 6 Marks and 50 Pfennige (cents). In the evening I went to the Bible hour and I liked it very much.
Feb. 16th Today I shall study.
Feb. 17th At 12:30 P.M. I left Hamburg for Berlin and arrived here at 8:30 P.M. A few good women I met on the train, looked after me. They showed me the way to a lodging and carried my luggage. I met here Brother Stoddard, he is the Conference President.
On the 18th of Feb. he sent me to a family, where only the woman is a member of the Church. The first night, I slept in Brother Stoddard’s Lodge Samariter Str. 38.
On Sunday the 19th. I visited Sunday School and got invited for Dinner with another Elder. I had a good time. In the Evening, we went to the meeting, where I had to speak for the first time. Afterwards we blessed oil and a sick person. The members were all very good to me.
On Feb. 20th It is very cold in the lodge.
On Feb. 21st I received word from Swiss that I was transferred to Nuremberg. Tomorrow I shall leave. The name of the sister where I’ll stay is Anders, Guntenerstreet 24.
On Feb.22nd at lO:OO A.M., I left for Nuremberg by D Zug (fast Train) thru Wittenberg, Halle, Jena Saaletal (River Saale Valley) up to Lichtenfels, Bramberg and arrived in Nuremberg 8:30 P.M., where Brother Strebel picked me up from the station. He took me right from there to a farewell for Sister Keil and Brother Ludwig. On Feb. 23rd. I visited Brother and Sister Adelemann and a family Harold, where I found Friedrich Kohles completely blind. A sad fate.
On the 24th. I visited Carl Neuner in Failhof in the poor Hospital. He is very weak, but was very glad when I introduced myself as Father-in-law to his daughter and gave him $10.00 from his Son-in-law. I spoke a long time with him about the Gospel.
On the 25th. I visited the Eckardt Hamer family. He recognized me at once, but not his wife. I had a very warm welcome here. Afterwards I made a visit in Birkenwald, where I was strongly welcomed and fed well by the Hartmann family.
On the 26th. I went to Sunday School in Nuremberg, Bucherstrasse 90 and noon meeting. They welcomed me good and I had to speak.
On the 27th, I went tracting, but had no success.
On the 28th of Feb., we have been by Brother and Sister Schneider’s place.
On March 1st, I have been in Birkenwald, where I explained the Gospel to Hartmann.
On March 2nd, we have been in Fuerth by Brother and Sister Habermann, and in Feucht with the Dannenfelzer family. On the 1st Brother Strebel and I were in Ziegelstein too, a colonie 2 by Brother Mueller, who was ill.
On the 3rd of March, I have been to Mrs. Hartmann in Birkenwald and Janitor Schwarm and Hass, where I was welcomed friendly.
On the 4th, I stayed in bed, and on the 5th, we had Ward Conference. Brother Stoof (Stover) Conference President, from Stuttgart was present and we had four meetings.
On March 6th, I visited Mr. Baurner and L. Gruensteidel. I was welcomed good.
On the 7th to the 11th, I visited some friends and had opportunity to preach the Gospel and did tracting.
On the 12th of March. Sunday School and after that meeting, I went with Sister Saum and wrote some addresses down. I visited then ‘Gg.’ and Kath. Schmidthammer, where I stayed over night.
On March 13th, I visited Conrad Hassler, Geutherstr. 1. Here I was welcomed good also.
On March 14, 15, and 16th. I was ill and stayed in bed. In the evening on the 16th, I got up from bed and visited Anna Schmied. She is married to a man named Lechner. I didn’t recognize her anymore, with her 35 years she is an old woman.
Today March 17th. I received my eviction. Such a dangerous Individual has no right to be in the civilized City of Nuremberg.
On the 18th and 19th, I was in bed again.
On the 21st, I got up and received another eviction. I visited Walz and Ditsch. Ditsch wanted to convert me.
On March, 20th….thru the 23rd, I was in bed.
On the 23rd, much snow and wind.
Until April 1st, I visited several inactive members.
April 2nd, I have been to the meeting and Sister Huber was sustained as a Sunday School Teacher.
Yesterday, April 6th, I attended a meeting in the Hercules Veledroon, a very good one, arranged by the inter-National Jehovah Witnesses. The Lesson was: “Can men talk with the dead?” They pointed out, that the dead ones with whom the Spiritualists communicate, are not our dead persons, but the spirits who were cast out of Heaven. “Rev. John 12:4,9” They want to show off and tempt mankind.
April 11. I was busy a half a day in the city hall because of my eviction. I made a petition.
On April 18. 19t and 20th, I was ill at Brother and Sister Schneider’s.
On the 22nd, I went to Frankfurt for Conference. I feel better. I arrived in Frankfurt at 5:00 P.M. I stayed with Brother and Sister Anton Huck, Schillstreet 5, 2nd story. A place where I was welcomed good.
Sunday morning — Sunday School and 3:00 P.M. Meeting.
Monday from lO:OO A.M. till 3:00 P.M. Missionary meeting. Present were President Balif and President Stoof. Twenty-one men received good instructions how to tract. In the evening at 7:30 P.M. Priesthood Meeting until 10:00 P.M.
On Sunday I had to speak briefly and I mentioned by the way, that I would like to see from our big branches here a compliance for our German Wards in Zion, so that they may receive the blessings of Temple Work with us, and so on. After the meeting President Balif said to me, if I speak again about emigration, I would be released from my mission at once. Now I don’t understand how to reconcile this with my opinion, but I’ll try as much as possible to obey.
On Tuesday, we went home, 6:00 P.M. in Munich, in Wuerzburg some hours delay and so we could go and see the city. Twelve of us were from Nuremberg. Brother Strebel, myself and two Sisters Strecker drove home together, but first I came alone. The trip to Frankfurt and back cost 200 Marks. Frankfurt is a beautiful city and I liked it very much.
Today, Rain April 28th. I walked all day and visited four friends and explained the Gospel to them. Afterwards I visited 5 astray members, who didn’t want to know anything anymore, because they know already enough. The whole day I didn’t eat anything. So, late in the evening, I visited The Schmidthammer’s, they were just thru eating. They did not invite me, Well, the Gospel creates not all the time friends. On the way back home I wanted to buy something to eat, but all the stores were closed. When I reached home, my landlord, Brother and Sister Strebel had gone to bed already, I went to bed, the first time hungry and I felt very weak, and wished I were home and my mission complete.
On the 29th, I bought with Sister Ceder’s help a Fur for my Mina (2nd wife, Wilhelmina Christiana Knauke). Sister Strebel will send it to her. The price is 2600 Marks. Today I received my sanction for my stay until July 15th, and payed 442 Marks for it. Sometimes I feel very sad because people have so very little interest for the Gospel. We have rain again.
The weather suits my mood I am in today, May 1st.
May 6th. I visited several lukewarm members, and invited them to a special meeting, where they will have to declare if they are for or against the Church, concerning excommunication.
May 7th The divorced Mrs. Wieleitner got excommunicated from the Church today because of adultery. President Stoof was here today and we had all day long meetings, where I had to speak too. I administered to Sister Ceder also today because of her headache and blessed a child of Brother and Sister Wieleitner, which received the name of Bruno Wieleitner. The weather is beautiful today and it seems as Spring is coming.
May 8. Today Sister Stern’s son Bruno got buried at the Johannis Kirchhof Cemetary. He was a member, fallen away from the Church. The Sermon was given by a Priest. He was 20 years old. (Translator’s note* I guess the son was 20 years old, it is not quite clear, who; Priest or son.) Afterwards I visited some members and friends and talked with a Catholic nurse in the Hospital, about the Gospel but without success.
May 9. I visited Mrs. Hartmann’s family Reichel in Birkenwald and bore my Testimony; also to Hempfling and Hefner, where the women were very attentive.
May 13th. Today I went to the Cemetery (Sudfriedhof) where a former Co-worker, Work Master Schlegel from Birkenwald is buried. I visited him several times before his death. He associated with the International Bible Investigators and was buried from them also.
May 14th. Today was Mothers’ Day. It was appropriately celebrated and. the Mothers received flowers from six girls dressed in white. Brother Dinse remembered the Mission Mothers especially. It was a splendid Sabbath and we had a beautiful time.
May 25. In the morning 4:45 A.M. I drove to Steppach (I assume by train the only transportation possible) passed Strullendorf. Till here the fare was 18 Marks, and till Steppach 6 Marks. At noon I visited Gg (Georg) Holler in Pommersfelden the Castle. There was much to see, like wonderful paintings and a Hall that was completely adorned with sea shells, a herd of Deer with antlers, (Steinbocke) and so on.
May 24th I moved out from Mullner Street 23, Brother and Sister Strebel and moved in with Fritz Hefner, Peter Henlein Street 25 third floor.
May 25 to 26. I stayed over night in Steppach with Lisie Grau. I visited then Mrs. Vogel at the Hutzolmill, then preached the Gospel to the Holler Family afterwards traveled by train to Simmersdorf, paid 2 Marks for the ticket. Then I traveled to Horbach and to Weingartsgreuth, where I went to the Parson’s (Minister’s) Office, and received Genealogy from the Wendel families and paid 20 Marks for it. Then I went back to Weingartsgreuth and preached the Gospel to a family by the name of Kronester and tracted in this town. In Horbach I stayed over night with Blacksmith Master, Matthaeus Rost and preached the Gospel and gave him tracts also.
On the 27th. I went on to Wagenroth, where I looked up the minister for Genealogy and received some. Then I asked the Minister “What do you think about the Mormons?” He answered, “Well, you teach the Bible also, but the Bible contains many unclear passages, where one without a leader cannot understand what is said and therefore every Sect interprets it differently.” I wanted to give him tracts, but he refused to take them. Then I rode to Schluesselfeld, paid 3 Marks for the Ticket, from here I went to Ashbach and Wasserberndorf, visited on my way Blacksmith Matthaeus Hassler in Heucholheim; then Vogelsfrieden in Aschbach. In Wasserberndorf I lodged with my godmother.
May 28. I went to Wasserberndorf, my birthplace, and I found many changes there, my people and the town itself. Most of the old people are dead and the young ones grew up.
May 29. I visited F. Wendel in the Hutzol mill and the old Ritzau and many other acquaintances.
On the 30th, I went to Langenberg and Abtswind, where I stayed over night by F. Herrmann, visited the Wendel families in Langenberg and was here well received.
On the 31 st of May. I returned and had a long conversation with J. Uhl and also with Mrs. Doctor in Geiselwind.
On June 1st, I went to Fuettersee Kleinbirkach and Grossbirkach, Gg.(Georg) Kleinlein accompanied me. We had great joy as well as all others I met. With Mr. Teacher in Grossbirkach, we stayed a longer time and talked about the Gospel.
On the 2nd and 3rd, I made several visits in Wasserberndorf and preached the Gospel, but had not much success. I gave the teacher of Wasserberndorf tracts and explained the Gospel to him.
On June 5. I was in Church in Fuettersee. At noon Gg. Kleinlein visited me and we talked half the day about the Gospel. What kept him interested, June 6, I was in Burghasslach with H. Dekon for Genealogy and visited F. Paul and conversed with him for a long time about the Gospel.
On June 8. I went (by train) with Fritz to Ziegenbach and visited Gg. (Georg) Wendel and there I tried to explain the Gospel.
June 9 and 10. I stayed in Breitbach with Martin Kohles. There I met a man from Altenschoenbach and we talked for a long time about the Gospel. His name is K. Lamprecht and he is a Blacksmith.
On June 14. I went to Kirchrimbach and Taschendorf to get Family Records and in Taschendorf I had a conversation about the Gospel with the Minister for one hour. He don’t believe in a pre-existance. Furthermore, he could not understand how blessings can result in having a big family (many children).
June 17. I went back to Nuremberg.
June 18. We had a nice meeting, Brother Stoof gave a good speech. The branch was re-organized because the Branch President, Brother Strebel is emigrating to America (United States). Two Brethren were ordained in the Aaronic Priesthood. I ordained one of them, Brother Schneider, as a Teacher.
June 25, Today we had a beautiful meeting in the Forest and Sunday School in Erbanstegen. The Branch from Fuerth was present also.
July 6, We had a great Conference July 2nd in Stuttgart, where all the Missionaries from Holland, Swiss, Austria and all Germany were present. We received good instructions and it would be desirable if all the instructions could be followed. About 112 American Missionaries went to Oberammergau (The town for the Famous Passion Play in Germany). Most of the German Missionaries stayed in Stuttgart, probably because of lack of money. I went with Sister Zeter sight-seeing in Stuttgart and I liked it very much. I stayed three days in a Hotel, but it was too expensive; I paid 102 Marks the night. The last two nights I moved to Sister Zeter’s Landlord, which let me stay without any pay. They were real nice people, their name is R. Hald and they live in Strohbergstrasse 36, three stories high in Stuttgart.
July 5. We returned to Nuremberg and had there photographic pictures made.
July 9. Today the Branch Moegeldorf-Hammer was organized and the first meeting was held 3:00 P.M. In Nuremberg at Sunday School the following brethren from Salt Lake City were present: Brothers H. Rueckert, L. Schobert, Gasser and Little. In the evening we had a beautiful meeting in Nuremberg, and I blessed a child of Sister Buchholzer and gave her the name Bertha Edeltrude Buchholzer. In Stuttgart, I met many friends (acquaintances) from Salt Lake City. The first one I met was the son of Brother Curtis. I stayed there in one room with Brother Glissmeyer (Glissmaier) and saw Brother Pitsch and Brother Pohlmann, The first time again, since we departed from each other in Hamburg.
July 13. Today I was at a Catholic funeral. The wife of Mr. H. Popp, a past job-colleague, was buried at the South Cemetary. She was 39 years old.
On July l6th, We had some well attended meetings. . In the after noon at 3:00 P.M. I went from here to Moegeldorf with Mr. Hiltmann and his wife to her sister and brother-in-law whose last name was Fink. While there, we had a long conversation about the Gospel. We had a beautiful time. In the morning I visited M. Huegelschaefer and was invited for Dinner, and had opportunity too to explain the Gospel.
July 27. This morning I went with the Brethren Dinsi, Schmidt, Karl Weiss to Brother Binder to bless him. He has to go to the “Martha Haus” (Hospital) for a nose operation, because of probable cancer.
July 29. Today I went to Fuerth and visited Maria Klein of Holzberndorf. She lives with her daughters, one of them is married and lives in Marien Street 5. She is divorced, but her husband is married again.
July 30. I was laying in bed at night and had a toothache and was thinking about something, when suddenly someone called out loud “Hauner” Mr. Wendel. At once I recognized the voice of Woodworker Uhl from the Hutzelmuehle. I thought at once, why is he coming here. He probably came by train and has no night lodge (a place to stay for the night). At once, I jumped out of bed in my room, went to the window where I called out: “What is the matter?” I got no answer. I leaned out of the window and saw nobody. After a few minutes there came a few pedestrians. I turned on the light and it was 10 minutes before one o’clock in the morning. I layed down again. Now, I can understand when people have so many visions.
August 6. We had Fastmeeting. We had six meetings on Sunday. One before Sunday School, Brother meeting, Priesthood meeting, Fast meeting, and afterwards a short meeting, where a brother by the name of Foerster got excommunicated, who was against the Church and probably asked for his excommunication. Afterwards we visited Sister Ancon who is ill.
August 12. We drove to Munich for a Sunday School Conference and we arrived there at noon. In the evening we had Priesthood Meeting with President Stoof conducting. There was a Brother by the name of Spengler ordered to come, who was accused of adultery and therefore was to be excommunicated. But because he showed remorse and promised to improve and seriously repent, they forgave him.
Sunday, August 13, The Elders fasted for him. We had that Sunday three meetings and returned home in the evening at 9:00 P.M.
August 14th. We visited the Industrial Exhibition and the “Bavaria”.
On the 15th, We viewed Starnberg and Schlossberg. It was really nice there. But when we enjoyed the Observatory the most, did we get surprised by a rainstorm and got quite wet. Afterwards in the evening we returned to Munich. It was very cold on the ship and we did freeze very much.
On the 16th we drove back to Nuremberg and in the evening we had a meeting too. My hostess (or housewife for renting a room) baked a big Goloph (I guess a cake) for our return, that we enjoyed. Besides, there was a letter waiting for me from my Mina with five dollars in it.
On August 19. I went to Reusch to visit my friends there. I had opportunity, a Mrs. Rike Hahn, Stusdamm(?) was in the train who visited her Sister in Reusch. I saw my relatives again after a long time. My brother-in-law Gunder (?’) looks proportional good with his 82 years. With a daughter of my sister-in-law Geissendorfer, who is married to a man named Schumann in Reusch, I stayed over night. From Reusch I went to Ippesheim, where I stayed with M. Herrmann. I visited my old friends and afterwards I went to Gallhofen and Rakenlohr and visited all acquaintances and preached the Gospel to them as good as I could. I didn’t think that there are so many people who had never heard about Mormonism. M. Herrmannn, Gg. Serbi and two girls from my brother-in-law were interested about the Gospel.
On August 25th I went back to Nuremberg. In Ippesheim I registered for my stay.
On August 30th. I was in Fuerth with Brother Habermann where I was invited for dinner. In the evening we had a Bible hour (meeting) here in Nuremberg and from here we went to Sister Baer, who doesn’t feel good, and administered to her. She has a baby. Today, September 1. Gg. Friedrich Kohles was buried. He died August 30.
September 3rd We had 5 meetings. The evening meeting was well attended by friends. In the fast meeting Brother Piclo and myself blessed the child of Sister Baer and it received the name Dorothea Baer. We had a very good time there.
September 12th. Today I have to report a great joy. I received from my good wife a package. In it was: 6 cans of milk, sugar, one box crackers, candy, one dollar and 50 cents, a beautiful shirt, and a tie, I was very happy about it and also happy, Sister Fetzer let me know, she will send a full basket of clothing for our children at Christmas celebration, God helps all the time again.
Today the 23rd of September, we buried in Fuerth, Brother Ernsberger’s sister, Mrs. Beck. She wanted to be baptized, but got ill and died without being baptized. Brother Hans Schmidt and Brother Hofmann were the speakers at the grave and I dedicated the grave. The choir sang two songs.
September 25th. We rode to Frankfurt, where a Missionary Meeting was held, President Balif and President Stoof and all the Missionaries of Frankfurt were present.
On September 26. We had a meeting from 2:00 P.M. until 6:l5 P.M. and received good instructions and admonitions from the Presidents. In the evening 7:30 was a big meeting for members and friends which was very well attended.
On September 27. I stayed with Brother and Sister Gg. Schloer, Franken Allee 59. Here they Congratulated me on my Birthday. I received delicious pastry and Dinner.
On the 25th, I stayed over night with the family Wolfermann, Spahr Street 33- Besides I visited Elise Walz, who is married to a certain Mr. Wuenschbach, a Jew, and lives in Finkenhof Street 28. We had good weather and a pleasant time.
On the 28th. In the evening we rode back to Nuremberg again. By Gemuenden happened a big Train Accident and we saw many smashed train wagon (cars) and freight railroad wagon and had a delay of some hours till the rail road was cleared and we could pass. President Stoof rode with us to Nuremberg.
On September 29th. I visited together with Brother Stoof, some of my investigator families, which will get baptized in the near future.
On September 30. We had early in the morning 8:30 A.M. a small Missionary meeting with Brother and Sister Hofmann, KoernerStreet, where I was asked to ordain Brother E. Otto Holstein an Elder.
October 1. Was Fast meeting. We had five meetings. Brother Stoof was in Fuerth in the morning, and in the afternoon in Nuremberg, where he was present in the Priesthood meeting and Sacrament meeting. After the meeting, two brothers got ordained. Brother F. Georg Leupold became a Priest and Brother Bayerlein a Teacher. I ordained Brother Leupold and Brother Bayerlein was ordained by Brother Holstein.
On September 30th, we celebrated my Birthday with my landlord Hefner. They had baked and cooked a lot of food. Brother Stoof, myself, and my landlord’s family had a good time.
On October 3rd We had here in Nuremberg 18 Baptisms. They were performed in “Wild-Swimming pool”. Ten friends from Fuerth which were baptized by Brother Otterson and eight friends were from Nuremberg: Marie Walter Regina Schneider Babetta Walter Grethe Walter Elise Walter Elise Anna Walter Babatta Maria Zader Anna Katharina Eysser which I baptized I confirmed Marie Walter and Elise Anna Walter. We had a very good blessed time and many friends and members were present. And I am very grateful to my Heavenly Father for the great mercy I received that I may work in His Gospel.
October 4th was my 20th anniversary of my baptism and I was in Fuerth where I was baptized 20 years ago. Brother Habermann invited me and we had a good time together. In the Evening I went to the Bible Hour in Fuerth and I liked it very much.
October 5 I received a big package from my Anna which gave me great joy. Everything are Blessings of the Lord.
October 16. We had Relief Society, Two sisters were urged to come, Sister Amon and Sister Seykauf. Sister Amon claimed that Sister Seykauf did steal about 600 Mark from her. She surprised her when Sister Seykauf was busy with her purse. But Sister Seykauf denied it and threatened to leave the Church. Her excommunication was granted.
November 1. President Stoof was the Brethren and afterwards 7:15 a main meeting (like Sacrament Meeting). There were three branches, Nuremberg, West-Moegeldorf and Fuerth were present. Prosident Stoof gave us once more some good instructions and mentioned afterwards that this is his last meeting as Presiding Conference President because he will soon be released. Afterwards all the missionaries gave a speech, Brother Gardner spoke as successor of Brother Stoof, then Wendel, Brother Otteson, Brother Bigolow, then the three Branch Presidents, Holstein, Hofmann, and Weiss. After the meeting four Brethren from the Moegeldorfer Branch were ordained as Deacons. Brother Kuefner, Weiss, Loscher and Strecker. Brother Schwemmer from Nueremberg was ordained also. The Hefner family were present too, as friends.
November 4. Missionary meeting at Brother and Sister Hofmann.
November 6. Missionary meeting with Brother Hofmann
8, 11, and 15.
November 20 and 21. In Munich my Passport was extended.
On December 23. my Mina and Otto arrived here in Nuremberg.
Sunday the 24th, we had a Christmas celebration for the children in the Buchenstrasse 90. On the 25th, we went to Dinner at Brother Habermann in Fuerth,
On the 26th, we went to the Christmas celebration in the Tulnau Hall. It was everywhere real nice.
On December 27th, we both went to Stuttgart where a Missionary Conference was held. We stayed with Brother Mueller over night and also with the Hald family, who are good people.
On December 30th in the evening my Mina went by train to Meissen.
JANUARY 1923 On the 13th, 14th, and 15th. Conference in Frankfurt. Saturday Priesthood meeting from 7:00 until 9:30 (probably evening). Sunday, Sunday School from l0:00 until 12:00. Afternoon from 2:00 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. Meeting. Evening from 8:00 P.M. until l0:00 P.M. Meeting on Monday from 9:00 A.M. until 11:30 A.M. Missionary Meeting, then from 2:30 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. another Missionary Meeting.
On the l6th. at noon we went back home by train.
On the 23rd, Bible Hour in Hammer with Brother Schobert, with Heinrich Weis we ate and had Bible hour.
On January 28, I went to Meissen. My Mina was a little ill with influenza but she recovered again. In Meissen we were invited on the 29th by several friends; Zinka, Backer, Koehler.
On January 30, we went by train to Freiberg, passing through Dresden, and visited Hugo Mauermann’s relatives. We found there much poverty.
On the 31st, we went to Chemnitz and visited there the relatives. In the evening we attended Bible Hour, which was well attended and we liked it very much.
On February 1, I went back to Nuremberg and by train I passed through Hof and Bayreuth and arrived in Nuremberg at night 1:00 A.M. Mina went back to Meissen. I had some difficulties with my train ride. The Conductor said to me I should transfer in Hof, but I went naturally in good moods till Pirk. There a Conductor said to me, I should have transferred in Plauen. Then I rode two Stations back to Plauen and had to pay fair once more. From Plauen I went to Hof where I transferred again, came through Bayreuth to Nuremberg. The Railroad Company had several Trains restricted and also the Express train, because of occupation of the Ruhr Area by France, the coal is quite limited.
On February 6, I went to Ippesheim where I was expected by my relatives and was well received. I stayed over night with Karl Almoslechner, and the second night with his sister Wiesen. The Mayor by name of Doeller went with me to the City Hall in Uffenheim, where the District Official read to me, that a new law is effective since January 11, 1923. All Foreigners in the City or County have to be treated equal and a three week’s stay permit will be 35,000 Mark, more than three weeks till two months will cost 70,000 Mark. I induced my leave.
On the 12th of February, I received a letter from Anna, she informed me about a prescription for Gallstones.
On the I5th of February. I went early in the morning to Wuerzburg and from Sanitaetsrat Dr. Sprins, I received the prescription. I sent it to the drug store (Schwanenapotheke) to Steinbuehl with a letter and was able to receive the medicine. The medicine expenses were 750 Mark, the Doctor expenses were 3,000 Mark and the train expense was 1,680 Mark.
On February 16, we went to Berlin by train. There was a great conference. Apostle (David 0.) McKay was present. From the German Mission there were 207 Elders present.
We had on February 17th a Missionary Meeting from 9:00 o’clock A.M. until 5:00 o’clock P.M., Everyone was called on to speak.
On Sunday, February 18, we had meetings, Sunday School at 10:00 A.M. and so on! Saturday we had another evening meeting from 7:30 until 9:30 P.M. Sunday afternoon there was a general meeting from 2:30 until 6:00 and in the evening from 7:00 until 9:00 P.M. another meeting was held.
(NOTE: At the time of the typing of the mission diary of Johann (John) Wendel by Pearl Wendel in July 1978, it was revealed that Otto had been living in Preston, Idaho at the time Grandpa, John Wendel, received a Mission Call while living in Sugar House with Elder LeGrande Richards as his Bishop. Otto moved down to stay with Mina (Grandpa’s Second wife and Otto’s mother). In November 1922, Bishop LeGrande Richards then had a call for Otto to go to Germany on a Mission. Otto informed him that he had come to take care of his mother while her husband filled a mission. Bishop Richards just suggested that he take Mina with him. Even though it did take them a little longer to get ready, Otto did accept his mission call and his mother went with him. Part of her time was then spent with Grandpa in visiting various places, relatives and conferences. The remainder of her time was spent in Meissen visiting her sister and other relatives.)
MISSION JOURNAL CONTINUED: My wife was present, she came alone from Meissen, also our son Otto was here, he works in Stettin. We had dinner in a restaurant Sunday together with Brother Kraemer, Brother Hirschmann from Wien and Brother Mauermann. In the evening I lodged in a Hotel with my wife and several Brothers. Most of the brethren lodged in the hotel.
On Monday, my wife and I went to Lauchhammer where we stayed over night with brother-in-law Kamprathen, and were welcomed very friendly there. I saw here big manufacturers and a Priket (brown coal) factory. The brown coal is laying openly and maybe only 3 feet deep is cleared and then the coal is ready for processing; it gets ground up and then is pressed into the form of a Priket (which is about 12 inches long, 4 inches wide and about 6 inches high).
On February 20th, we went by train to Meissen, where my wife stayed with her sister.
February 22, I went by train back to Nuremberg again and arrived here safely in the morning at 9:00 o’clock. All expenses must have been about 70,000 Mark, February 24. I registered my stay in Nuremberg for three months and had to pay a fee of 210,100 Mark. They told me that I couldn’t do any more Mission Work. Today.
March 8th, the 3 month old daughter of the Kail family, living in Zirkelschmiedsgasse was buried. The father of the child is a member of the church, but the baby was not blessed by our Church. Our choir sang 2 songs, Brother Waldhaus gave a speech and I dedicated the grave.
Friday, March 9. Brother Schoberth, Brother Waldhaus and myself were invited to a wedding by Brother and Sister Hofmann. The son, Hans Hofmann married Sister Olga Kail, There were about 30 persons present, good dinner, music and dance and we had a good time.
March 13 Brother Schobert is ill. I conducted the Bible Hour in the home of Brother and Sister Adelmann.
On March 17 we had a celebration and Bazaar in Relief Society (I guess a Birthday Party of the Relief Society organized in 1842). It was held in the Bucherstrasse. There were several members from Fuerth and many friends present. It was pretty well attended. We had a good time. Many handmade items were displayed which the Relief Society had made and were selling. The proceeds were more than 97,000 Mark. Besides a good program was also presented.
On March 19. we had missionary conference in Stuttgart. Brothers Schobert, Waldhaus, Otterson and Brother Barri from Fuerth and myself went by train 8:30 from here and arrived in Stuttgart 1:00 P.M. We went right away to the meeting house. There we got a meal, afterwards was meeting held until 6:00 P.M. Then we went back to the Railroad Station, but we were too late. I went back to the meeting house and the Brethren Hamon and Braun went with me to Sister Christina Scholl, Schloss Strasse 57 first floor. I was welcomed here and stayed over night. In the morning at 6:30 we went by train.
On March 26, Brother Schoberth, Brother Otterson and myself administered to a friend by the name of Wilhelmine Carl, rossweidenmuehl No.31 Room 19, who has been ill for ten years already and cannot do anything and presumably was possessed by spirits.
On March 27. my Mina arrived from Meissen and March 28. we went by train to Wasserberndorf. We stayed here until the 2nd of April and then returned to Nuremberg. We received one round loaf of bread from G. Senft and sausage and eggs, which we shared with Hefners. April 7. I didn’t sleep very good last night, woke up at 2:00 o’clock in the morning. I ate in the evening one bowl of soup and two soft boiled eggs.
On April 14. I moved from my lodging people Hefner, Peter Henleiri Strasse 25 to Brother and Sister Hofmann, Koernerstrasse 58, third floor, I hope I can stay here until I go back. (To Utah.)
On April .15. We had a beautiful meeting in “Goldenen Schwan” ( a room in a Restaurant). The Sunday School got re-organized. Brother Huinrich Weiss as Superintendent was set apart by Brother Schobert. Brother Johann Leipold as first counselor was set apart by me, and Brother Willeithner as second counselor was set apart by Carl Weiss.
April 24. One day missionary meeting in Stuttgart.
May 10th. Mother and I went to Eichstaedt to visit Mrs. Fetzer, Friedhofstrasse 54. We were welcomed very well. Eichstaedt is a city with 3,000 Population, the majority is Catholic, and is surrounded by mountains. We visited several churches to look at, and in the Walburga, Church there is an Alter, the bones of the corpse of the holy Walburga rested in a tomb like place covered with stone plates. I was told, nobody could enter the tomblike place. The stone plates develop a moisture (caused from heat in the tomb) which they catch in containers and is used as holy Walburga oil. It is said the oil has a great healing power. There are many pictures which indicate the great healing power in miracles.
Today, May 12, Mother went to Kaubenheim.
May 19. We both went by train to Windsheim. In Neustadt, we had five hours delay, and we reached Windsheim at 10:00 o’clock. We stayed in Windsheim over night and had a good lodging for 2,800 Mark.
Penecost Sunday, we went to Buchhoim, Monday to Rudolshofen, where we were welcomed.
Tuesday we left by train from Ermetzhofen where Georg Streckfuss accompanied us to Hernbergtheim, from there we went to Ippesheim and we were made welcome by Wiessner, Herrmann and Almoslechner.
On May 23 we went back again to Nuremberg.
On May 24 in the evening 8:OO o’clock, we had baptisms in Wildbad. The following people were baptized: Georg Walther, Simon Genthner, Miss Seiferth, Luise Seiferth, Miss Haeberlein, Mrs. Genthner and Mrs. Grauf. Brother Schoborth executed the baptisms and I blessed the baptismal water. I confirmed Brother Genther and Sister Luise Seiferth, Brother Schoberth confirmed Brother Walther and Sister Haeberlcin, Brother Sinsul confirmed Sister_____________ Brother Kufner confirmed Sister______________ May 28. I went to Wasserberndorf and registered there, made several visits in town and attended a war monument dedication in the Churchyard of Hohn in Berg for the dead soldiers from 1914 until 1918.
June 3. We had Fast meeting, from 8:30 in the morning until 4:00 P.M. we had meetings. Brother Binder got ordained a Priest by J.W. Me.
On June 4. I went to Munich and had my Passport extended for six months. I had no good time there, it rained all the time. I visited the Hofkirche (famous Church in Munich), the Hofbrauhaus, the Art Museum and several other places.
June 9 until June 12. Conference in Stuttgart. I stayed with a Hald family, StrohbergStrasse 36, third floor, where I was made very welcome. I had a good bed and very good meals. Sunday morning I went on a walk with Mr. Hald. Tuesday, he accompanied me to the railroad station. Sunday, we had Sunday School, Priesthood meeting and in the evening Sacrament Meeting. Monday, we had from 9:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. and from 3:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. Missionary meetings.
Tuesday at noon, I arrived again in Nuremberg. With Brother Schoberth, I made some visits and in the evening we went to Hammer, where we had a small cottage meeting with the Weiss Family. Wednesday and Thursday, I didn’t feel very good and stayed in bed.
Friday, the 15th of June, I got up again and made several visits with Mina. The weather is always very cold and rainy.
June 21. I am ill and Minna is sick too, she has a rash on her face for eight days already, July 1st.
Fast meeting, Sunday School in the forest near Klettschen Fabrik. Brother Otto Baer was ordained a Deacon by me in the Bucherstrasse, July 1, 1923.
On July 9. Sister Haeberlein was set apart a teacher in the children’s class by me in the “Goldenen Schwan” (Resturant).
On July 25. Mina and I visited Brother Habermann in Fuerth. Afterwards, we went to the Klein family, where we had a good time. In the evening, we visited Brother and Sister Schneider and then we went to the Bible Hour where I received my release from Brother Erdil.
On the 27th. I visited with my Minna and several friends in Johan’s ——-. In the evening 5:00 o’clock, we went by train to Roethenbach, where we had a Bible hour (cottage meeting) with the Hahn Family. Brother Schugk gave the lesson. It was the third time I was in Roethenbach for the Bible hour. When we returned home at 9:00 o’clock in the evening, Brother Hofmann and myself went to Fuerth where we administered to Brother and Sister Plesol’s two children age one and one-fourth, and three years old. They were very ill. One o’clock in the morning we returned back home.
On July 31, We had 16 baptisms in the “Wildbad”. I baptized seven persons and Brother Schoberth baptized nine persons: M. Wilhelm Baer from Roethenbach Babetha Geist From Roethenbach Konrad Geist from Roethenbach Hahn from Roethenbach Frieda Naehr from Nuremberg Michael Oberseider from Nuremberg Margaretha Weis from Nuremberg Those are the persons I baptized. Anna Geist from Roethenbach Kunigunda Geist from Roethenbach Walburga Hahn from Roethenbach M. Margaretha Hofmann from Nuremberg Johanna Gak from Nuremberg Cristonsia Gak from Nuremberg V. Franz Stiller from Nuremberg Helena A. Stiller from Nuremberg Those are the persons Brother Schoberth baptized. *Angela Stiller from Nuremberg Page 46 was left blank.
On August 1, Our Otto came to visit us from Landsborg and we went to Fuerth to Brother Habermann’s home and had dinner at noon.
August 2. We visited the Naehr family, afterwards we visited Otto. Brothers Schoberth, Kanfild and myself then viewed the Klettsche Fabric (Plant).
August 3. We, Minna, Otto and I went to Streitberg and Muggendorf, where in Streitberg, we visited the Bing-Cave. The cave is 396 meters long and 70 meters under ground level and very interesting, because of its drop formations.
On August 12, We had a meeting in Erlenstegen in the forest and there we took a branch photograph.
Last Friday, we had a Farewell meeting for me and for Brother Schoberth, who went then to Breslau as Conference-President. August 19. I received word from Leonard, he paid for the (Schips ticket) Ship’s ticket, American Line, for Mother and F. Naehr.
(NOTE by Pearl Wendel: The Frieda Naehr who came home with Grandpa and Grandma Wendel was a niece to Frieda Johanna Neuner, who was the wife of Leonhardt (Leonard) Michael Wendel, the oldest son of Grandpa John Wendel.)
August 24. was farewell for Brother Dotzler, who received a Mission Call. August 28. We had in Nuremberg, a wonderful conference. The mission President, Brother Tadge was here and Brother Hueckert, from Fuerth, who is now released, was the first speaker, followed by Brother Erdli, Conference-President, and Brother Tadge was the last speaker. Brother Mueller conducted the meeting. There were more than 300 persons present. A great part of the attendance were investigators (friends). On August 27. Conference was in Fuerth. There were 400 persons present.
On August 29 We went with Frieda Naehr to Munich, American Embassy (Consulate) to obtain a Visa for Frieda. We have no idea yet, when we can leave here.
Today, September 1, I received a letter from Brother Schoberth from Breslau. September 1, 1923. There were seven Baptisms in Fuerth, but I could not attend,
On September 2, I was with my Mina in Fuerth, attending Fast meeting and afterwards visited Sister Igelhaud and the families of Klein and Goissler.
On September 14. Brother Canfild, Brother Cunningham and myself administered to Sister Leupold. She has (Ischias) like Arthritis, and is in great pain.
On September 15. We arrived by the Hefners and had a good dinner and supper.
On September 16, I blessed the oil in Sunday School (consecrated the oil). After Sacrament Meeting, Brother Canfild, Brother Sus, Brother Mueller and myself blessed the child of Brother and Sister Baer, which was born August 30, 1923, and gave it the name of Otto. I administered the blessing.
On September 17 at 9:00 o’clock in the morning, my Minna went by train to Meissen to say “Good bye” to her relatives.
On September 18. I went by train to Neustadt and visited there an old friend by the name of Vogel (Liessweth) (I guess Liessbeth), whom I hadn’t seen for about 33 years. Then I went by train to Windsheim and then to Buchheim, where I stayed for three days by Georg Streckfuss. They gave me a warm welcome. From here, I went by train, with Johan to Ermetzhofen and visited Mrs.______ Donner, who told me all about her suffering, but she was happy to see me. She went with me to Rudolshofen, where we visited my Brother-in-law Streckfuss. But I was not welcome here. The old ones and the young ones had a quarrel and Brother-in-law H. Georg said it would be the best for us to leave at once, because he cannot accommodate me, and the young ones would look upon me like a pig in a Jew court yard. It was raining real hard at this time, and so I stayed until the rain got less; and then I left without shaking the hands of the young ones. In the night I reached Uffenheim and went to the Busch family. His wife is a twin sister to Reuscher Gundel. They gave me a warm welcome and they were happy I visited them. Here I stayed overnight and in the morning I went to Gallhofen and I visited first the Serbin family. They were just butchering a pig. I didn’t go in the house, said “Good bye”, and went to the Herbst Family, who married the youngest daughter of Gundel. But they had not much time for me. Then I went away and walked in the Street. It was raining a lot and I opened up my umbrella and walked without turning around. It was one and one-half hours until I reached Oberruekelsheim. I had to turn around and walk half way back. After half an hour’s walk on a very dirty road I reached Herrnbergtheim and then to Ippesheim, where in the evening I reached cousin Wiessnar, very tired and stayed overnight. They gave me a very warm welcome. I stayed here until September 25th. There was an American visiting with his wife, who came from Wienna (Vienna). They visited his parents. We had a good conversation together.
On Sunday, he traveled back home to New York. Sunday I attended a funeral and Tuesday I went to Reusch and visited Brother-in-law Gundel. Here I met a son of the Busch Family, who is enrolled in the Technical College in Nuremberg. Then I went to W. Geissendorfer and her daughter, who is married to a certain________________ in Reusch. Then I went back to Ippesheim and from there bo Herrnbergtheim. From here I went back home by train to Nuremberg, and arrived in the evening at 8:00 o’clock.
On September 27, My Birthday, I was invited at noon by the Hefners and in the evening for Dinner by Brother and Sister Schneider. Later on at 9:00 o’clock in the evening came all the choir members and youth and gave a serenade of three songs “Befehl Du Deine Wege” – “Trust Your Ways In The Lord” “Du Was Ist Recht” – “Do What Is Right” and “Nocheinmal Will Ich Singen” – “Once More I Will Sing”. It made me very happy.
October 4, 1923. My Minna came back from Meissen.
On Friday, we went by train to Helmmitzheim and from there to Ziegenbach to Georg Wendel. They gave us a warm welcome and we stayed over night. The other day, Saturday, we went to Wasserberndorf. We arrived there in the evening. I gave notice of my leaving at the Registrar, and we visited several friends and stayed over night with the Rodammer’s. Next day at noon we went back to Nuremberg again by train.
On October 9, We left Nuremberg by train at 2:30 P.M. Anna Herold helped us carrying our small luggage to the Railroad Station. The Elders and several members and Sister Naehr accompanied us to the platform. There they wanted to give me a helping hand, but I refused. We rode then all night thru and arrived in Hamburg in the morning. There we came to the emigration building and stayed in one room with other people like a herd of sheep. One after another got called out and the emigration papers brought in order. Our turn was finally at 4:00 P. M. The other day we got vaccinated and that lasted almost all the day long because all the passengers for three ships were all together.
On the 12 of October, we all had a physical examination by an American Doctor. It lasted until noon. In the afternoon, we went into town for a little while. There are three mealtimes: at 8:00 A.M., 12:00 Noon, and 5:00 P.M. The food is good and enough of it. But the quarters I cannot praise. In our hall are forty-eight beds. The beds are very hard and cold. Men and women are separated and also the different races. With me, there are only Germans. There are four halls in those quarters. The Poles and the Jews are by themselves.
October 13. We all had to gather and then we received our Passports. Afterwards several formalities were settled and 12:00 o’clock, after we received a good bread and a piece of sausage from the barracks, we entered the ship. The bigger luggage was transported, the small ones we had to carry. From this ship, we all were transported to a Hall, where again, we got treated like a herd of sheep. Here again, several formalities were settled. Then, we were transferred again to another ship, which took us, after showing our papers, to the huge ship “Bayern”, which was pretty far away in the ocean. Here one had to show the passport to a German Officer, who put a seal on, and then one was allowed to enter the ship. We had difficulties. When our turn came, the officer put our Passports aside and said, we have to wait, probably to wait for the next ship, because we have not paid the consumption tax. Mina got real mad and scolded the Officer. The Officer said cold-hearted, “What will you do when I don’t let you go? It is the Americans fault that we have a bad life.” She gave him a Dollar and after the Captain from the ship came, we paid the consumption tax 240,000,000 Million Mark, he let us go. When we were on the Ship and got our cabin, the dining room, served coffey and cake. I have cabin No. 100 and Mina and Frieda have No. 58. In my cabin, there are 14 beds, and in Minna’s are 4 beds. In the evening was served goulash, potatoes, Tea, bread and butter. After the meal we had a concert. The mealtimes are arranged in three, one after another following divisions. We three are in the first division, at table No. 1 in front at the first chair.
October 14. Morning. Today is Sunday. The morning is quite calm, some fine rain, but the sun is always shining again. It is a little windy. In the morning was served fried eggs, bread, butter, coffee and rolls. Many people are sea sick and have to feed the fish. Some had to get up during the night to go on Deck, even one man from my cabin, who is from Nuremberg ______________________(probably space for his name). We feel so far, pretty good. Only I think a lot back on Nuremberg. At 10:00 o’clock I went to bed, as I was tired. At Noon we had noodles, red cabbage, Roast with sauce and coffee. In the afternoon it was raining quite a bit. We were mostly alone in the room. We were together with a man from Saxony, Leipzig, by the name of _________________________he is 56 years old. In the evening they served Potato salad, sausage, and meat balls, Tea and butter and bread.
October 15 Today, I slept very well, got up in the morning at 6:45 A.M. It is a beautiful morning. We went at once to the Deck. It is a little windy, but otherwise nice. The sun was a little hidden in the clouds when he came up, but then at once, it was a clear morning. Just now, we passed England and could see very close the English white coastline, like white rock. With the telescope, we could see English Towns and many fishing boats. For breakfast we had Coffee, Rolls, Hash (like fried cornbeef) delicate pickels and bread. It is a beautiful day today. The ocean seems so calm and the sun is shining so warm. Everybody Is on deck today. At noon we had pea soup, potatoes, lamb roast, sauce, green beans mixed with white beans, coffee and cake, bread and butter. After the meal, we saw at the English Coast seven English battleships maneuvering. Oh it is beautiful. Now I think of all those beloved ones we left behind in Germany, could they not be with us now? But it had to be farewell. At Noon, I had a conversation with a man from my cabin. He is from Berlin. He don’t think much about Religion, but was quite interested in the Gospel and wants to hear more about it.
October 16. Today I saw a Sunset. It was a bright sky and splendid to see how the sun disappeared in the water (Ocean). He went down European time 6:20 until 6:25 P.M. Our supper was fried or baked fish, potato salad, Sausage, bread, butter and Tea. In the evening, 9:00 P.M. I went to bed.
October l6.(?) The morning is beautiful. The Ocean is smooth like a mirror. I feel good, Breakfast Coffee, Rolls, Meatballs, butter and bread, Potatoes, and Schelle?
(NOTE by typist Pearl Wendel: page 25 under the date of October 16th where he is giving the breakfast menu, we now think the last food mentioned was “jelly”. However, if that is what he meant he misspelled it.)
Noon meal at l:00 P.M. Hamburg, Germany time: Potatoes boiled, beefbreast with Kohlrabi (German vegetable) cut in little squares, soup and coffee. The afternoon is a little windy. Now we are a short distance out of the Channel (between England and France). The time difference is one hour and 10 minutes. Evening meal: Potatoes, white cabbage, beef meat, bread, butter, cheese and tea. The Ocean is a little restless. The sunset was very beautiful from 7:50 until 7:55 P.M. Hamburg time.
October 17. This morning is very gloomy weather. The Ocean is still pretty calm. Breakfast: Rice, Macaroni with meat, coffee, bread with butter, I feel quite good. At noon: bread, peas, mash with meat, coffee, rolls, butter, meatsauce, potatoes, and pudding. Evening: Potatoes with beefbreast, sauce, coffee, bread, butter and pudding.
October 18. In the morning, I slept well, feel good, the weather is a little stormy and some rain. Breakfast: eggs fried with potatoes, coffee, bread, butter, and wek? The weather is very windy. The water splashed to the Deck. Noon Meal: Soup, potatoes, white cabbage, beefmeat, sauce, butter, bread, coffee, and cake. Afternoon sleep. The wind is pretty strong and the water always uplashes over the rail. Evening Meal: Ricemash with meat, frank furter Liverwurst, bread, butter, tea. I have not a good appetite.
October 19, slept good. The weather is gloomy and unfriendly. Breakfast: fried meat, potatoes, rolls, butter, I didn’t eat much. Noon Meal: Vegetable soup with sausage, potatoes, fish marinated with sauce, coffee and pudding. The weather is windy.
October 20. The weather is windy and gloomy. I layed down all day long. I have a temperature from my vaccination, evening meal: I ate herring (fish) and potatoes and went right after in bed again. Pain at the bladder.
October 21. In the morning the weather was rainy, later on it cleared up. Breakfast: fried eggs, coffee. Noon Meal: noodles with chicken soup, boiled chicken with sauce, rice, sweet rolls and coffee. At Evening Meal: Potatoes with sauce, Livercheese sausage, butter, coffee and bread. Afterwards there was a program in the Dining Hall, it was decorated. Several plays and productions were presented. I went to the Doctor, too. He bandaged my arm which is inflamed. I have pain.
October 22. I got up early and feel a little better. The weather is rainy and gloomy. In the night the Foghorn made noise every few minutes. Breakfast: mashed potatoes with cornbeef, pickles, coffee, rolls, butter, and one apple. Mina is not feeling well. Noon Meal: Potatoes, beef stew-roast, beets, sauce, noodles with vanilla and Coffee. The Ocean is wonderfully calm, but the fog is all around us. The foghorns shake the air uninterrupted. Mina is not feeling well. Evening mealt Rice, sauce, canned meat, tea, bread, and butter.
October 23. In the morning rainy. The Ocean is calm, the fog is decreasing. Mina is still sick . The Doctor gave her some medicine. My appetite is not big, but I feel good. Breakfast: Meatballs with sauce, coffee, bread, butter and raisins, Noon Meal: red cabbage with porkmeat, potatoes, sauce, and Coffee. Today I took up a collection for the Steward, but didn’t got very much, Mina is up again.
October 24. It is Mina’s Birthday, She feels a little bettor. Breakfast: Porkchops, one Apple, Coffee, rolls, butter, and jelly. After the meal we were all counted. Then we went on Deck, It is beautiful weather. The sun is shining warm and the Ocean is beautiful, beautiful mirrored in the sunlight. We stayed mostly on Deck. Supper: Soup with Livermeatballs, Sausage, Rolls, butter, and pudding with vanilla. Afterwards, we went once more on Deck. It was a beautiful warm and bright night.
October 25. In the morning 6:00 o’clock a tidal wave. One big wave came through our open port hole and flooded our cabin completely. It is raining and we have fog. Breakfast: coffee, two eggs, one apple, rolls, and butter. I have no appetite. Mina did not come for breakfast, she is in bed, I dreamed today about last Dec. 29 and 30th and about 2 Saturday and Sunday of February.
(It is a little confusing as to whether he meant two Saturdays and Sundays in February, or whether he meant the 2nd Saturday and Sunday of February. At the time of typing this I do not have that part of the diary here to look up and see if some outstanding things happened then.)
October 26, I got up this morning at 5:00 o’clock. At 5:30 Coffee, and then I went to the Deck. When the sun came up, we could already see land. It is a glorious morning. The sun came out of the Ocean in blue-red color. After awhile, we could see many ships. About 7:00 o’clock the Pilot ship picked us up and the German flag was taken down. The American flag and the Mail Flag were put up. Afterwards, another boat came and picked up the mail, and the mail flag was taken down again. Then another little boat came with the Doctor on it. Now, once more, there was a physical examination. Men and women had to disrobe separately and walk in front of the Doctor. When I noticed that this procedure was not done thoroughly, I didn’t follow it. There is a lot to see all around us. The ship is standing still at this time. It is 9:00 o’clock in the morning, American time and 3:00 o’clock P.M. Nuremberg time. At noon, we had once more a meal on the ship, then the amusement started. First, the people from second class could leave the ship, after them all American citizens. We had to go to the Custom hall and go through all the struggle, because Frieda was with us. We were once more counted and had to go from one room to the other again, then back to the ship where all the luggage was and then we went to the Island. Here, we came to a big building where we had to run up and down stairways. Each time we were sent from one place to another. All the time, there were three or four men, who looked at us and searched through our belongings, and with everyone we had to show different papers (like ship release papers, emigration papers). One had to follow the correct procedures. But we could not leave before we got another certificate, because we had no ticket for further traveling. We had to go back to New York, to the American Express Company and get our money. And so, we were sent from one place to the other, until we had permission to travel to New York. We went with several “suffernden” companions back, and there we ended up in a big hall. Afterward, we went with three other people to a Hotel, where a bellhop showed us the way. We had to climb stairs again to the elevated railway. Soon we could not drag our luggage anymore. After we rode a distance, we had to travel by foot again to the hotel, “The New Hotel Keller” 385 West Street, New York City. We had a pretty good place with a comfortable bed, which was pleasant after all those exhaustions. We paid five Dollars for three persons without meals.
On October 27. In the morning, I called President Roberts and Brother Ina was at the telephone. They sent a Missionary by the name of Carl B. Wever, 2825 Lincoln Ave., Ogden, who brought my ticket and our money, 200 Dollars, which was paid by the American Express Company. He helped us to get the two tickets for Mina, and Frieda. It cost $171.54 from New York City to Salt Lake City. We then went back once more to look after our basket luggage to get them to the railroad. Afterwards, we went again to the hotel and paid our bill and to eat something. Then we crossed the Street and entered a ship and went directly to the railroad Station. We did not have much time and left by train at 2:30 P.M. We had beautiful weather.
October 28. Sunday, we arrived in Chicago at 6:00 o’clock P.M. and held a delay until midnight 12:00 o’clock. In a Restaurant, we strengthened us a little, and the rest of the time we stayed in the Railroad Station. It is the most beautiful Railroad Station, I have ever seen.
October 29. Early in the morning (just past midnight) at 12:15 A, M. we left Chicago and arrived in Omaha (Nebraska) in the evening at 4:30 P.M. We had here a delay of 45 minutes. We had beautiful weather until we reached Council Bluff, then it started to snow violently. Now the train wagon (cars) starts to be shaky, so much so, that I can not write anymore, besides the ink is all gone, too.
October 30. The sun got up really beautiful and bright and it is a sunny day. We came to Juliusburg. There is a little snow cover and it is very cold. Even though the sun is shining so warmly, icicles and snow are hanging on the train wagon. By 11:00 o’clock A.M. we reached Cheyenne, (Wyoming). Here, we had a delay until 2:25 P.M. We went sight-seeing at the Capitol and the Museum. We saw here much Indian-war-equipment and works. Also several German war-equipment from 1870 and from World War I from 1914 until 1918. Afterwards, we got some food.
October 31 We arrived in Salt Lake City at 8:00 o’clock in the morning. Anna came with Loni to the Railroad Station and picked us up with the car. We went first to Fetters, where Leonard took Frieda home by car. Afterwards Loni drove us and Anna to her place, where we had a good meal. After that we went to Frieda, (probably Frieda Greaves— Mina’s daughter) then to Klara, then home to our paradise.
END OF MISSION FINAL NOTE by typist Pearl Wendel: A call made to Otto Andra — At the time of the typing of this diary by Pearl Wendel in July 1978, it was revealed that Otto had been living in Preston, Idaho at the time Grandpa, John Wendel, received a Mission Call while living in Sugar House with Elder LeGrande Richards as his Bishop. Otto moved down to stay with Mina (Grandpa’s Second wife and Otto’s mother). In November 1922, Bishop LeGrande Richards then had a call for Otto to go to Germany on a Mission. Otto informed him and he had come to take care of his mother while her husband filled a mission. Bishop Richards just suggested that he take Mina with him. Even though it did take them a little longer to get ready, Otto did accept his mission call and his mother went with him. Part of her time was then spent with Grandpa in visiting various places, relatives and conferences. The remainder of her time was spent in Meissen visiting her sister and other relatives. The Frieda Naehr who came home with Grandpa and Grandma Wendel was a niece to Frieda Johanna Neuner, who was the wife of Leonhardt (Leonard) Michael Wendel, the oldest son of Grandpa John Wendel.
This is the autobiography of Nels August Nelson. He completed this autobiography in about 1930. For the most part, it is as it was typed. I corrected some obvious errors. I hope you enjoy because this took me over 4 months to get completely typed. It is 57 pages long and I would usually type a page or two at a time. Nels is the brother to my Annetta Josephine Nelson (Annie) who married Joseph Jonas.
Nels August Nelson, third child of John and Agnetta Benson Nelson, was born in Oringe, Hallands, Sweden, on May 18, 1857. My memory of the beautiful country around our home is still vivid even though I was not quite seven when we left. In 1861 we moved to Tulap, near Marebeck, a Swedish mile from Halmstadt. We had two wagons loaded with household goods. Mother and the four children were on the second wagon which father drove. I can still see the hayrack. It had four poles, two in the standard of the wagon, with holes bored and sticks driven in them to keep them apart the width of the wagon. Then there were holes in each pole on the upper side slanting outward so as to extend over the wheels gradually to about four or five feet high. Finally, a pole crossed the top of both sides and ends to keep it from spreading. This is the picture of it as I remember the morning we moved.
Our new home consisted of two long buildings, I should judge considerably neglected because father was continually repairing them between the hours on the farm. There was a peat bed some distance to the south of the house, a steep slope to the west, a small stream to the east, and cultivated land on the other side. Father planted trees from the northeast corner of the dwelling due East some distance, thence north and West to the northwest corner of the barn, forming a beautiful square. My recollection is that the trees were birch.
A road ran due east to the nearest neighbors. On the west a path ran to Marebeck. A public highway went through our place and led to Halmstadt. The village nearby had beautiful homes and churches. A large bell rang out at twelve and six, possibly other times. It seemed to say, “Vin Vellin, sure sell, some balhung, slink in” translated, “Water gruel, sour fish, come gulpdog, tumble in.”
At the north end of the farm the stream turned east where the bridge was. Just south of the bridge the slope was steep and below on the river bottom was pure meadow land. Along this river we children herded the cattle and sheep. In the three years we lived there father broke up all the land except the meadow. This was all done by man power. A man would have a “shere chick” which he pushed with his body. It cut a sod about two inches thick and eight or ten inches wide. When the sods dried they were piled up and burned. The woman did most of the piling and burning. We had such a heavy crop of potatoes on this new land that the land burst open along the rows and the potatoes could be seen on top of the ground from the road.
Now a few incidents of child life in Sweden. The school teacher boarded round at the different homes of the pupils. I marvel now at the progress they made. My sister, only ten, knew most of the New Testament, and my brother attended only one winger when he learned to read and write.
One of our cows swam the river while we were herding one spring. When we drove her back she missed the ford and got her horns caught in the roots of the trees and drowned.
Baking day was a big affair because mother baked enough bread to last a month. It seemed to improve with age. It took a lot of wood to heat the oven. On these days sister and brother had to tend baby and I had to herd the cows alone. One day I rebelled but it did no good. I was about five years old. James helped to drive the cows down to the pasture and about all I had to do was to watch the path to prevent their return. I had not been there long when I conceived the idea of driving one of the cows across to river to see her swim. I chased a black one till about noon before I succeeded in getting her across. Then I went home and told mother that I couldn’t herd the cows.
They questioned me but I made good my story and Matilda and James went around by the bridge and brought the cow home that way. After that they herded the cows and I tended the baby. Now that I think of it, this was a stupendous evil conception for a little apparently innocent child. After I got to Utah I had a similar experience. One fall, a fox bit one of the lambs. Father must have seen him catch it because he picked it up and brought it home before it died. Oh, how bad we felt! All the animals on the farm were pets.
One winter there was no snow on the ground but there was ice on the river. Three of us went down to slide on the ice. We were forbidden to slide with our shoes on because it wore them out. At first we slid with our stockings on, then we took them off and slid barefoot. The ice was so clear and smooth that we had a good time. Then Uncle Lars Benson came and helped us put on our shoes and stockings. I was the smallest so he carried me all the way home.
In the spring of 1862 mother went to the old home to bid her mother, Johanna Bengtsson, her sister Ingar, and brother Nels and John, good-bye before they started to America and Utah to live with the Mormons. She brought us all of Uncle John’s toys. One I remember especially, was a little cuckoo.
It must not have been long after when the first Mormon Elders came to see us. Andrew Peterson of Lehi was one. Later Uncle Lars came and visited us. It is beyond human pen or tongue to describe the feeling of love and peace that entered our home. We children would run up the road to look for the Elders. I was five years old, (if mother got baptized the same winter that we left in the spring, then I was six). When the Elders instructed father to get his father around the table and have family prayers, I got up from that prayer with the light of the Gospel in my soul. Everything had changed! A new light and a new hope had entered my being. Everything seemed joyous and more beautiful and even the birds sang sweeter.
After we joined the Church there were numbers of people, young and old, who came to visit us. I remember Andrew Peterson and the mother of the Lindquists who were undertakers in Ogden and Logan. When we were getting ready to come to America the sisters would come to help mother sew and get ready. The songs of Zion that they sang will ring in my ears and soul to the last moments of my life if I continue faithful to the end. “Heavenly Canaan, Oh Wondrous Canaan, Our Canaan that is Joseph’s Land. Come go with us to Canaan.” are some of the words one of the sisters sang. “Ye Elders of Israel,” and “Oh Ye Mountains High,” were some of my favorites. The Swedish language seems to give these songs more feeling than the English. I had a bird’s eye view of Zion and longed to go there.
I well remember the morning mother had promised to go to Halmstadt to be baptized. We all arose early and mother was undecided until father told her to go. In the evening as father was walking back and forth carrying the baby, he stopped and said, “Now mother is being baptized.” We looked at the clock and when mother returned she said father was right. The baptisms had to be done at night and a hole cut in the ice but mother felt no ill effects of the cold.
We had a public auction and sold everything in the line of furniture and clothing that we could not take with us. I remember two large oak chests and a couple of broadcloth suits and over coats. One they brought with them and it made over for me.
Father was a steady and prosperous young man, he worked seven years in a distillery and seven as a miller. We had a small keg of whiskey every Christmas and the children could have what they wanted of it. We often sopped our bread in it as a substitute for milk. I never saw father drunk.
Now came the time to sell the home and farm. The ground was all in crops and a rain made everything look good. Father said it was God who made it look so prosperous and we got a good price for it.
James, Matilda, and I with a big part of the baggage were left with friends in Halmstadt while father went back for mother and the younger children. The morning we were to sail was a busy one. We all did what we seldom did before, we messed the bed. Mother said, “The Devil cannot stop us,” and we were on deck in time.
It was a beautiful Friday morning, 10 April 1864, when the Johannes Nelson family hustled along the rock-paved streets of Halmstadt to the docks. The noise of the horses feet and the rumble of the vehicles drowned all the voices of the little ones who complained of the unceremonious departure. Then all were safely on board, the gang planks drawn, and before we knew it we were out at sea and the men on the shore became mere specks. (Sailed 10 April 1864 at 5:00 PM on L. J. Bager to Copenhagen. Then the Nelson’s traveled by ship directly to Liverpool (some of the others traveled by rail and steamer through Germany and England.)
Later, we were all startled by the sound of a shot ringing out and we were ordered below deck. When we could return to the deck we were told that a pirate crew had shot a hole in our ship just above the water line. In return, our ship shot off their main mast.
As we neared Denmark, we saw all the ships in the harbour and could hear cannonading as Denmark and Germany were at war. We walked around in Copenhagen and saw the fine homes, lawns, and statues, in the beautiful city. This was the first time I had heard the Danish language. We stopped at so many places that I cannot remember all of them. Cattle and sheep were loaded on at one place. We were seasick too, with so many people crowded together.
Before we left Liverpool we enjoyed watching the ships being loaded, fishing snacks came in and unloaded their cargo, and big English shire horses acted as switch engines. There was a large ship about finished in the dry dock. It must be stupendous job to build a huge ship. There seemed to be some leak at the gates because we saw a man with a diving outfit on go down and men were pumping air to him. He was down for some time. The beautiful green foliage and sward through England has always remained with me. It passes into the sublime of my soul.
The ship which we boarded to come to America was a huge one. Before it was loaded it stood so high above the water, and we had to wait some time while the sailors loaded heavy freight into the hold. (The family rode on the Monarch of the Seas. The ship departed from Liverpool, England on 28 April 1864 and arrived in New York City on 3 June 1864.)
I have always tried to forget the journey across the Atlantic. Our rations were raw beef, large hard soda biscuits, water, mustard, and salt. Sometimes we would have to wait most of the day for our turn to cook our meat. Brother James knew no sickness on the whole journey, and was a favorite with the sailors. On one occasion he was riding the loose timbers that slid back and forth with the motion of the ship. At another time he went so dangerously near the railing that they sent him below. The winds and waves were so high sometimes that the flat on the main mast touched the waves as it rolled. Trunks and boxes had to be tied down. The vessel had three decks and there were bunks all around on the two lower decks. I had seen several bodies go down the gangway into the deep.
Then came the day that baby Amanda’s little body with a rock tied to her feet was lowered into the water. A little later it seemed as if it were my turn, I could not eat crackers. Mother tried everything, but I got worse. Then she fed me the raw beef and I began to improve.
Many sailors say there is no such thing as mermaids. I distinctly remember father pointing one out to me. We did see many varieties of fish. Sometimes the passengers, men and women, helped bail out water when it seemed the ship might sink.
Finally we reached New York, and the main body of the saints took a steamer for Albany, New York. We crossed New Jersey by train to the Delaware River. We had to wait a number of hours for the ferry, and when we got aboard it was so suffocating that sister Matilda (Bothilda formally) succumbed. Mother laid her out under some tree on a beautiful lawn. The setting sun, and approaching dusk cast a hallowed gloom over the scene. We sat silently watching by the side of mother, while father was off looking for a place to bury her. It was a beautiful, and sad sight to see father and another man carrying Matilda’s body away from her loved ones to be laid in an unknown grave. The setting of the clear blue sky, and the twinkling of the stars overhead, shining down through the trees made a variegated carpet where we sat. It would be impossible to describe mother’s feelings as her oldest was laid among strangers in a strange land. But she was the guiding star of the family, and she knew we would meet Matilda again beyond the grave.
We went by train from here, and the first incident of note was the crossing of a very high, and long bridge, large vessels with high masts could pass under it. The train stopped on the bridge while another train passed us. A few days later we were informed that the bridge had collapsed. We saw much of the country that had been desolated by the Civil War. Then we were joined by the group that went by way of Albany. They were riding on boards in cattle cars.
The car we rode in had no cushions on the seats. Sister Josephine’s cheek began swelling, we thought from the jolting of the car. Some people recommended a certain poultice which ate the flesh off her cheek.
Next we went aboard a steamer on a river. It was restful for a few days. All of us made our beds on the floor, starting in the center by the main mast or flag pole. Then another circle started at the feet of the first. Brother James and I slept on a board which formed a shelf on the side of the shelf. The space between each shelf was large enough for a full grown colored gentlemen so there was plenty of room for us boys who were small for our ages. There seemed to be two streams in the river, one quite clear, the other very muddy. By this time we were getting tired with never any rest or change and the vermin were getting unbearable.
Josephine steadily got worse and mother realized that it was only a matter of time until she would go to join her sisters. When we reached Omaha Josephine was a corpse. With the dead child and the luggage to carry, father and mother could not help me. I remember that I crawled and walked alternately with my parents waiting and encouraging me. We finally got to the top of a hill where mother laid me on the grass among some shrubs while she and father went for more luggage. When I became able to walk I went down by the river and watched the people do their washing, and trying to get rid of the cooties before we started the trip over the plains. Several graves were dug in this place.
In due time boys and wagons from Utah arrived and everything was loaded for the trip. There was a stove and tent in each wagon. Then the luggage and two families were piled in and we were off for Zion.
At first there was an abundance of grass. I liked to watch the donkeys in the train. Day after day we traveled and the only living thing of any size was an occasional stage coach and the stations built along the way. One day I got out of the wagon and ran ahead until noon. After that I had to walk most of the way. One day two young women sat down to rest. All at once they screamed and jumped up. Then a man killed a large rattler where they had been. I have seen families take a corpse out of a wagon, dig a shallow grave and then hurriedly catch up to the train which did not stop. Then we got a glimpse of the mountains in the distance. We also saw large herds of buffalo. While camping one noon a herd was coming directly towards us. Some men rode out and turned them. To avoid a stampede of our oxen, we started out and the teamsters were able to keep them under control.
The first Indians I saw was at the stage station. There must have been several hundred of them and we could see their wigwams in the distance. We were now getting into great sagebrush flats and everybody was warned against starting fires. One day at noon we yoked up in a hurry because someone had let their fire get the best of them.
Now we began to meet companies of soldiers. They generally led horses with empty saddles. Next we saw where a fire had burned some wagons in the company which grandmother crossed in 1862. The whole country round was black and the grass had not started. When we crossed rivers, if they were not too deep, the men and women waded. Two government wagons were caught in the quick sand near where we forded. As we got into the hills there was a lot of elk, deer, and antelopes. One man on a gray horse did the hunting for the group.
Several times the oxen tried to stampede. On parts of the trail men had to hold the wagons up to keep them from tipping over. The most interesting of all to me was at Echo Canyon where we were told how the Mormon scouts had marched round the cliff and made Johnston’s army believe there were a whole lot of them when in fact there were very few. We found choke cherries along the road but they were too green. The last hill seemed the longest and steepest and we did not reach the top until late in the evening. The next morning everyone was happy. Cherries were riper and so good to eat they failed to choke. Happy beyond express, we hastened to get a view of Canaan and Joseph’s land, where the Elders of Israel reside, and Prophets and Apostles to guide the Latter-day Saints.
Having seen some of the big cities of the world you may imagine our disappointment when we looked down from Emigration Canyon upon Salt Lake City by the Great Salt Lake. We saw Fort Douglas where some of the soldiers were stationed. One aged man exclaimed, “Why the children cry here as they did at home!”
We entered the dear old tithing square and rested for noon. Now it was for us to decide where we wanted to settle. We decided to go to Logan and it happened that John, our teamster was going there too. While in the yard Sister Lindquist who had visited us in Sweden brought us a large watermelon the first I had seen in my life. She was a beautiful young woman and I thought was very nice.
We soon headed north with John driving the wagon and mother, father, James, and I walking behind the wagon. As we were nearing the outskirts of the city a good lady sent a little girl out to us with two delicious applies. How good people were to us! It would certainly be a pleasure to know these fine people. It was about sundown when we passed the Hot Springs and we kept going until quite late. When we got to the canyon above Brigham City we over took a number of wagons of Scandinavian saints.
When we reached what was called Little Denmark, now Mantua, we were feted by these good saints, and given a new send-off. It seemed such a long trip through the canyons, but interesting as the teamsters had a number of bear stories to tell. Later we learned that some people had been attacked by a bear at this place. We camped just below Wellsville near the bridge above Cub creek. The people here gave us some potatoes. They were boiled and their jackets all cracked open. This was a treat I shall never forget.
We arrived at the Logan public square about noon. There was a liberty pole in the center. On one corner was a lumber shack where all our worldly goods were put and the teams drove away. Father located a short, robust Swede who hauled our wealth into his cow yard and we made ourselves comfortable. We cooked over the fireplace in the log cabin. For a few days father did not have work so all four of us went out gleaning wheat. When threshing began with the flail, father was in his glory and never lacked a job.
The most important thing ahead was to prepare a shelter for the winter which was fast approaching. Logan was planning to take care of the emigrants and her future by digging a canal north along the East Bench. All newcomers were given a city lot to be paid for by work on this canal. At the same time the number of acres of farm land was apportioned with the number of cubic yards of dirt to be removed to pay for the land.
The first homes were mostly dugouts in the side of the hill. That first winter, father carried willows from the Logan River bottom which was our fuel. He cut some small green sticks short and buried a few of these in the ashes each night to start the fire in the morning.
We were just moved into our home when Annetta Josephine was born on 18 November 1864. She was the first child born in Logan Fifth Ward. (The boundaries of the Logan Fifth Ward were Boulevard on the South, 300 East on the West, to the mountains, north to Hyde Park.) Mother was alone except for James and me. James was sent to fetch father who was threshing wheat for John Anderson. When he arrived with a sister, mother had already taken care of herself and the baby.
All went well until January when it began to thaw. Soon our dugout was filling with water. It was knee-deep when father made a path so we could get over to the neighbor’s cabin. We carried water out all day, and the rest of the water soon soaked up so that by laying a few boards on the floor we were able to go back in the evening.
It was a most severe winter. The snow was deep and it drifted so high that only the tops of houses could be seen. Thatcher’s mill, the only one in town, was frozen up, and we had to get along on bran bread. Father moved the cow to the side of the house that afforded the most protection from the wind.
As soon as spring started, all hands set to work on the canal. The men and boys had to pass our place on the way to work. The boys seemed to delight in calling us “Danish men”. James and I carried the water from the old Fourth Ward canal down on the river bottom. We always took a slide down the hill. This was all right as long as the snow was on the ground, but as soon as it began to thaw, we got soaking wet, and we usually ended up sick with bad colds. Poor mother had no time to be sick.
The first Sunday School we attended was in the cabin of John Archibald. Soon there were so many that we could not all get in. The Superintendent was Sandy Isaac, a find young man.
The summer was a happy one. Father bought two ewes, and they each had a lamb. This, with the cow, made a herd for me to care for. Most of the town drove their sheep past our place upon the college hill to feed. While we herded we also picked service berries. The boys showed us where the best berries were over on Providence flat. One day mother and two other women went with us. We crossed the river on the flume at the head of the canyon. Down among the bushes we sighted a beautiful black and white striped cat. With glee we pounded on him and threw him into the apron of one of the women. She yelled, “A skunk! Throw it away”. None of the boys got tainted, but the woman was in a bad plight.
This fall we were much better prepared for winter than we were a year ago. We had two cows, four sheep, and a yoke of steers. There was a barn for the animals, and we had a log house. We raised 120 bushels of wheat on the six acres, and mother had done considerable gleaning.
When mother went gleaning, I had to stay with the baby. One day I left her on the bed while I went out to play. She rolled off the bed and got a big lump on her head. She was still crying when mother came home. Some days she took both of us with her. When baby slept then I could help glean. Mother would carry a two-bushel sack, full of heads, on her shoulder and set the baby on top. It surely looked like a load to carry. James was with father. He would rake the hay while father cut it with the scythe and snare. Father did not like to have to go gleaning, but the money she got from the wheat was her own, and she liked good clothes and to be dressed well.
In the fall the ward was organized with a Swede and ex-solider as bishop. His name was Woolvensteen (Bengt P. Woolfenstein). The log meeting house had a fire place in the east end, and the door in the west. We held school in the same building. The teacher was a Scotchman named McGill (Adam McGill). He played the violin for the dances, and could keep on playing when he was apparently asleep. The dances generally kept up until morning. They are never-to-be-forgotten events in my life. They began around seven o’clock in the evening. About nine there would be some singing.
These songs filled my soul to over flowing, and I memorized them. Even now, there is an echo of them in my soul after fifty-nine years. The Crookston boys, and the Isaacs were such fine singers. After singing, we had games of strength, wrestling, and boxing. In the wee small hours we were ready to go home. These dances were opened and closed with prayer. We were a little rude, but the love and equality of spirit made up a real pioneer life.
December, January, and February were months I attended school. My first three months in 1865-1866 left me able to read in the second reading, which had the words grasshopper and perpendicular in it. I could also write a little.
I almost forgot one incident that happened in 1866. Father turned his steers on the range in the spring. One of these was to be given to the Indians to keep them friendly. The other one, Bill, could not be found. Father located the first one in the Indian’s herd. We went down and told them that this steer was his. “How can you prove it is your steer?” Father went up to him, took hold of his horn and led him to the Indians. They laughed and told him to take it. He led the steer home, a mile away, by holding to the horn. James hunted every where for Bill. He searched in almost every herd in the valley. In the anguish of his soul he knelt down and prayed. As he arose a feeling of satisfaction entered his bosom. He was soon rewarded by fining the long-lost steer. He succeeded in driving him home, and all were joyful and recognized the hand of Providence in answering James’ prayer.
More and more people moved into the ward. A great many of them were Scotch. There was a sixteen year old girl who used to visit with mother. One day she told mother she thought Mr. Nelson was a lovable man, and that she would like to be his second wife. Mother was delighted and did everything to get father to accept her, but in vain. From this time father’s carelessness became more evident. The girl married a non-Mormon and was lost to the Church. We all felt bad, and I suppose that had father expressed himself, there was a feeling of regret in his heart.
The year 1866-1867 surpassed the other because I found so many friends. There were the three, adorable Henderson girls, the Adams boys, Milley Mitchell, Bob Roberts, John and James Burt, and George and Bill Hibbert and his sisters and the Clarkston sisters. There were three families of McCullough’s, Archie McNeal. Of these I loved George Hibbert beyond tongue to express. One day the boys took me and laid me across a bench. I cried some and was discredited as a poor sport. That evening I still suffered, and did not sleep all night. A swelling developed just opposite my heart, and I did not go to school any more that winter.
Father made a fish trap out of willows like the one mother’s family had in Sweden. We had fish all of the time.
Every other week we herded cattle down in the fork of the Logan and Bear Rivers. It was seven miles from Logan. The banks of the river were covered with willows, where lived bears, wolves, snakes, skunks, and other pests. James herded alone most of the time. The Indians called him a hero. I stayed with him one week. The dog went home and I was ready to leave. The wolves looked defiantly at us and at night the snakes crawled over our faces. I was glad to stay home and herd the small herd near home. I had my prayers answered in finding the sheep when they were lost. I have never forgotten this incident which has pointed the way in my life.
The boys at school were telling us how we could see our future sweetheart. We all tried it with no results. One evening after supper, I tried it again. I walked backward out of the room, then backward into my bedroom at the back of the house. The room had no windows, so it was totally dark. I repeated the magic words, “Tonight, tonight is Friday night, and here I lie in all a fright, and my desire is to see , who my true love is to be, as she appears every day. To my amazement, the room lit up as light as day, and there on the board at the foot of my bed, sat a little girl. She was neat and clean, sweet as an angel. She remained there until I got a little fearful and I was left in darkness, the whole thing was the result of my unfailing faith. Later, I tried to pick her out among the Logan girls, but none answered the description.
After the sheep were gone, besides hoeing in the lot, I watched the fish trap. My broken rib right over my heart had become a running sore, and the rough times we boys had would not let it heal. A friend of mine and I got to fighting down by the fish trip. He was larger than I, but I got him down. I told him I would have to quit because of my rib. When we looked at it the hole went through in to my breast. Mother doctored it to the best of her knowledge and what the neighbors told her. It started to heal from this time and by fall was healed over. Today there is a large scar where this sore was.
One day while I was whittling away time at Thatcher’s mill, I noticed that a man had gone off and forgotten his pocket knife. It was a beautiful knife such as I had always dreamed of owning. When the miller went into another room, I took it and ran as if running for my life. By the time I got home I did not want it, so I gave it to mother. I told her I had found it on the Public Square. She seemed to doubt my word and questioned me severely. She put it up on the window sill and one day an Indian or someone else took it. Mother remarked, “Easy got, easy gone. Thank God for it”. Quite a rebuke for a guilty soul.
Another instance which mars my conscience happened as I drove the cows past a widow’s home. She had two sweet little girls just about my size. They called out to me to say “Good morning,” to them. I made a flippant retort which was unbecoming any respectful person. I told mother about it when I got home and she made me feel I had done wrong. I made a vow early in life that I would treat all women with respect, and never quarrel with any. I have lived with several including my mother-in-law and two step-mothers, and have kept the faith except with my wife. I could have done better with her.
I am grateful to the Sunday School Superintendent, his brother and sisters for creating in me a taste for reading. They had books of adventure which they loaned to me and were so kind and thoughtful. The Crookston boy’s signing has always echoed in my soul. The celebrations on the 4th and 24th of July were always gala occasions. The brass and marching bands were especially thrilling to me. To watch them drill, charge, advance, and retreat, and fight sham battles, was as good as a circus. On these occasions all five wards in Logan turned out in mass. The athletic events were highlights in my young life, especially when brother James was chosen Valley Champion of his age group.
On June 14, 1867, mother had a baby boy whom she named Joseph Hyrum. That fall we moved into the Fourth Ward. I soon learned to love the Bishop, Thomas X Smith. The people seemed to be a little more sober, and during the nine years I lived there, I do not remember a report of a sex crime being committed. There were Swiss, Hollanders, Germans, Yankees, and Scandinavians living in the ward. Daniel Johnson, a mason, was our neighbor. He had four sons, Joseph, Jacob, Daniel, and Erastus. He had a farm, herds of cattle, and an orchard which produced some of the best fruit I have ever tasted. He surely enjoyed sports and athletics. His home and yard was the gathering place for all the young people and he would sit and watch us play. He said he had never had a more enjoyable time than when chasing Uncle Sam’s soldiers in 1858. He had a small, snappy Danish wife.
On Christmas and New Year’s even, we stayed up on Temple Hill all night so we would be ready to serenade early in the morning.
I was in school in the winter of 1867-1868., with William Reak, the teacher. At noon we had to drive the cattle five blocks to water. The school was five blocks from home so we really had to hustle if we at any dinner. I think father was working at Echo Canyon. Our grain was completely taken by grasshoppers in 1867. The sun was darkened by them they were so thick. We had to sell our oxen, but we got $175 for them when the usual price was only $125. We had bought them four years before, and father always kept them butter fat. We bought a pair of two-year old steers for seventy five dollars, and grain with the other seventy five. Then father worked on the railroad, and James and I gleaned corn. James traded a good pocket knife for corn. Again we traded corn for shoes. There wasn’t money enough for us to go to school that year, but father bought a large Bible, and the two of us read through to Chronicles the second time. Here I gained the fundamental principles of the gospel which helped me throughout my life, and I always knew where to go for information, God and the Bible.
Before I left Sweden I began to have night dreams of visions, because they came to me before I went to sleep, just as soon as I closed my eyes. To illustrate: An aunt (by the way the only one of grandmother’s family that did not join the Church) made a very harsh remark to my oldest sister, Matilda. The spirit and vision informed me that she cut Matilda into firewood. I saw the wood and knew it was Matilda. When I was suffering with the broken rib and hole in my side, I saw so many things of this nature. I saw the devil in the form of a large dog, mouth open and came lolling out, ready to grab me, so much of the time I did not sleep until exhausted. From about age eight until I was almost twelve years old I did not thrive physically. Then these night visions stopped and I was able to sleep peacefully.
I loved animals and especially sheep. The stories of the Bible shepherds, David and his flute were dear to me. While herding, I would divide my dinner with the lambs. They became quite attached to me, and would come running when I opened my dinner pail, then I would lie down and they would run and jump over me. I managed to get them running in a circle, up my feet, and jump over my head, which I raised as high as I could.
Father traded his oxen for a team of young mules, very poor, but gentle. The first time we tried to drive them was to a funeral. On the way home a dog rushed out at us and the mules were off. They ran hope and stopped at the corral. We learned they had run away they first time they had been driven. As long as we owned them we were in danger of our lives because they could not be handled. Mother did a better job than any of us in driving them.
The year that grasshoppers took our grain I furnished fish which I caught in the Logan River. There some chubs and some trout. The time when the hoppers were so thick I will never forget. I was fishing down in the river and an electric storm was over near Clarkston. There seemed to be an air current because the hoppers all rose from the ground and left in that direction and in a little while I could scarcely find any bait.
I think it was in 1869 that we had a glorious 4th of July celebration. A whole band of boys dressed as Indians and tried to pick a fight. Some of us really thought they were Indians. Then we saw President Brigham Young with mounted men riding alongside his carriage. Quickly we all formed in line along the main street and as he came along he would bow to us barefoot children. We really loved these men and rarely missed a chance to go to the Tabernacle to hear them talk. One time he asked the grown-ups to leave while the boys and girls gathered around the stand to hear Martin Harris bear his testimony about seeing the plates from which the Book of Mormon was taken. We were told never to forget these things and to always tell the boys and girls during our lives this story. I have sometimes forgotten to do this. Martin Harris was a school teacher when a young man, and came to the assistance of the Prophet by giving the money necessary to get the Book of Mormon printed. A short time before he died in Clarkston, he related the whole story of the part he played in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. This incident belongs to 1868.
This year we planted two acres of sugar cane on some new land up by college hill. We hoed and petted that cane until it surpassed anything around. We barely took time out to each our lunch. Men working near said we were foolish to spend so much time on it. James was a very good working and a good leader for me. In the fall he worked at the molasses mill downtown receiving a half gallon of molasses for twelve hours work. Father hired a boy to help me hoe the cane at the same price. He never came to work on time so I sent him home and did the work myself. From one acre we got 175 gallons, and the other 225 gallons, a small fortune.
The last spring that I herded, father had about 75 sheep and 50 cows. There was no snow late int he fall and water was scarce. When I started home at night the cows would almost run to get to Springs where Greenville now is. Then before I could get to them they were in somebody’s field. I usually had a lamb or two to carry and had to run till I was exhausted. At last a small Swiss boy with only one cow to herd helped me out. He soon got tired of mixing with me but I did not let him quit. I have herded in the spring when it snowed so hard I could hardly see the animals. All others had gone home, but I had to stay because we did not have feed at home. My clothes would be soaking wet, and when a sharp wind blow, I got mighty cold. One time one of the ewes got lost. They had been shorn late so could not stand the cold and I found their carcasses later.
Mother sheared the sheep, washed, carded, spun, and wove the cloth to make our clothes. It was about 1870 when mother had the twins, Jacob and Jacobina. They were very tiny and lived only four hours.
Father was a hard worker. He cut hay with a scythe and snaith. One time a neighbor was vexed because his five acres had not been cut. Father when down on Sunday and did not come home until he had cut all of it on Monday. The man could hardly believe that it could be done.
About the time I got hold of a couple of song boos there were over a hundred songs in each book, mostly songs about the Civil War. I memorized all in one book and part of the other, put tunes to them and sung as I herded. It made me a very ardent American, and of course all loyal Americans were Republicans. My soul always craved new information.
Mother led the social set in this part of the ward. I would listen intently as she related different incidents that were told to her at these parties. One pertained to our friend, Daniel Johnson. He had married a young woman after his first wife had no children. But after consenting to the new wife, she gave birth to a son and then very soon after two sweet girls. Almost the same thing happened to a fine young Danishman who moved into the community. He wore a stove pipe hat and was nicknamed Stovepipe. I cannot recall his real name. His wife’s name was Karen. When she consented to give him a second wife she had a son herself.
In the fall of 1871 father bought ten acres of land planted to hay and right along side the other five. I was sent out to drive a team making the road bed for the Utah Northern Railroad. I was fourteen, weighed 75 pounds, and had never driven horses. I was given a broken handled chain scraper and a balky team. With these handicaps, and jeers from some of the men it was a hard month or two for me. We had good food, so I gained in weight, strength, and experience. With the money earned father was able to bind the bargain on the land, though the fellow was sorry he had agreed to sell.
About this time we had a new baby sister come to our home. She was named Charlotte Abigail. I thought it should have been Abigail Charlotte, because Abigail was the name of the woman King David took while fleeing from King Saul. To my mind the baby was a jewel.
I gave the money I earned herding cows to mother who bought all of her clothing and always had a dollar or two on hand when it was needed most. She always looked nice in her clothes, being very tall and slender, with beautiful golden hair. At one time she weighed only 90 pounds. She loved her children dearly, but required obedience, that we be neat and clean, and attend our church duties. One morning before Sunday School she asked me to do some chore before I left. I said “No,” though I really wanted to do it. Mother grabbed a strap lying on the floor and hit me with a smart rap across the shoulders. A buckle on the strap cut my back and I yelled with pain and so did mother. She washed my back quickly and put a plaster on it so it would not be seen through the thin shirt., which was all I had on my back. Many times later in my life I have thanked God for that blow. It was just what I needed to get over being coaxed to do anything. I also learned to love mother more if that were possible.
Mother furnished the house and bought father his tobacco with the butter and egg money. Father was surely miserable at the end of the week when his weekly supply was gone. When I was allowed to go to the store to buy tobacco, I would put it in my hands and hold it over my nose so I could get a good smell of it. Father had quit the habit on the way to Utah, but some foolish men persuaded him to take a bite and he never could quit again. He tried one time and was so sick he had to go to bed and get a doctor to bleed him.
Brother James was quick to learn and was especially good at entertaining on the stage. A Mr. Crowther from the Salt Lake Theater gave him a part of a colored boy, and with only two rehearsals and no book., he made good and people were wondering who the darky was. Mother was proud of her boy. It was a lesson to me that there was room at the top for the seeming incompetent, who never had a chance, better saw who never knw what they could do.
All the boys in town received military training down on the Tabernacle square. L. R. Martineau always seemed to do things just right and I tried to do it the same and just as fast and good, which made it all fun.
About this time we had our last episode with the mules. They tried to run from the state. WE boys got out of the wagon to fix the chin strap on one of them. They leaped in the air and as they came down they broke a line and away they ran. One by one parts of the wagon were left behind. Father was thrown out with the bed. When we finally caught up with them, the tongue, one wheel, and a hub of the front axle was all there was attached to them. We were grateful that no one was hurt. We traded them off for a team of horses. The man who bought them drove along the railroad through sloughs and no roads and beat the train.
Mother made dances for us boys and served refreshments to all who were present. We had attended to terms at a dancing school the year we had so much molasses, and mother went with us the one term. This made us the best dancers in Logan. I had my first girl at this time. I had to leave town for a while so as we were playing in the street after dark I told her she had to kiss me goodbye. Girls usually say, “Don’t quit” and I kept trying until I got my kiss. When I returned she was my girl.
On my sixteenth birthday I weighed 105 pounds. That summer I left for Uncle Nels Jorgenson’s. He lived south of Hampton’s bridge, later named Collinston. We attended a dance in Deweyville and then went to work on a canal west of Bear River City which was being taken out of the Malad River. I enjoyed this job, was quite competent and efficient in whatever they set me to do. I could scrape and handle a yoke of cattle all alone, which others of the camp did not attempt. I also drove a team of young horses which grew steady under my care, but fractious when others drove them.
There seemed to be a thousand head of wild Texas cattle on the range. Most of the people along the canal did not dare to go among them on foot and were fearful even on horseback. They would stare and run around you in a circle. One day I was surrounded by a herd and it was with difficulty that I got back to camp. Uncle Nels would not let me go out on foot after that.
A number of people were very kind to me. Among them was Peter Rasmussen and the Mortenson family. Sister Mortenson was the essence of Danish kindness. She made the fires and did the cooking. Her daughter waited on us warming our hands and shoes before we went out to feed the oxen.
I crossed the ferry at Bear River City one beautiful morning bound for home when I arrived before sundown. I visited with Aunt Christine who used to care for us in Sweden.
I found James working on a gravel train and began working with him. Two would load a car, each one his half. George Watson, the boss, told me I could not shovel the gravel fast enough. I told him I could do anything my brother did. I almost failed the first few days. We would load as fast as we could, then jump on the car and ride to Mendon, unload and back again. When the job was completed James got work on the section at Hampton, and father and I on a railroad spur between Dry Lake, near Brigham City to Corinne. When we reached Corinne we were treated to all the beer we wanted. On the way back to Brigham City, the crew and the workers were feeling the effects of the beer. Father said, “You act as though you were drunk.” I retorted, “I have never been drunk in my life.” A man thirty five years old said, “That isn’t saying much for a boy. If you can say that as a man of thirty five you will be saying something.” Right then I made a resolution that I never would get drunk. Now at sixty nine I can say that I have kept this resolution.
This was a very prosperous year for our family. We bought a fine team of horses to do our farm work and we had work in the railroad. In October, mother gave birth to a little boy, Moses Nelson. She was very sick and we had a nurse to care for her. I always felt inferior to James, but one day mother called me to her and said, “August, if I die I want you to care for the children.” That had always been my job around the house. Later one evening, mother kissed me and said, “You have been a good boy, God bless you.” With a smile she turned her head and breathed her last. God along knows what little children lose when mother is gone. While sick I had heard her say, “I do not want to leave my little children.” Little did I know or realize what home would be without her. She was more than ordinarily ardent and spiritually minded, with high ideals, had a comprehensive knowledge of the gospel.
After mother was laid away, I was sent up to Richmond to work on the railroad. The weeks passed in a whirl. Soon baby Moses died, and father came up to work with me. James was with the children and took care of things at home. We soon returned and James started to school. I did all the house work except the starching and ironing. I was 16, Annette 9, Joseph 5, and Charlotte 2. The washing was a stupendous job. The water was hard. I tried putting the clothes in a sack when I boiled them to keep the hard water from forming on them. If only some friend had called and told me how to break the water and to put a little soda in the bread when it soured, it would have been a God send. It would have meant better bread and cleaner clothes for the next three years. I also had to shear the sheep. This had been mother’s job. I managed four the first day, and in time finished in some fashion.
I studied the old third part arithmetic that winter, also read the many striking lessons in the Natural Fourth Reader. Sometime in January Uncles Lars and Nels Bengston came and took James with them to Spring City in Sanpete County. I always loved that brother, the only one left who had come with me from Sweden. We sometimes quarreled but we were always together. Now we had no word from him for over a year.
I attended Sunday School regularly, and taught a class at age fourteen. I also liked to go to Sacrament meetings and Priesthood classes. I had been a deacon and was now advanced to a teacher.
This winter I attended school in the fourth ward. Orson Smith was the teacher and there were 120 children of all grades in the room. Daniel Johnson Jr was in the class ahead of me and I in a class by myself. We helped the teacher teach the younger children. In three months I passed through the third part arithmetic and to page 100 in the analytical grammar. The review was at the back of the book. I could ask most of the questions and tell the answers without looking in the book. English was a sealed science until it came to me as a vision. I had a problem on the velocity of sound. I worked on it from early afternoon until midnight, got up at 4 AM and worked till 10 AM and got it. After that I had confidence that I could solve any of them.
The baby, little Abigail, generally asked for milk during the night, but she would not accept it from me. One night I told father to lie still and I would give it to her. She refused to take it from me. I went outside and cut a switch from a current bush. When she called for milk again I held it out to her. She refused. I said to father, “Cover up,” and I struck the covers over him with considerable force. I sat down and began reading. Pretty soon she called for milk. I said, “Here it is Lottie.” She drank it and never said “No” to me again in my life. She grew to be tall and slender, had light golden hair, and had a sensitive disposition with high ideals. I have seen her sing on our gate most of a Sunday all alone because she felt her clothes were not good enough to mingle with other children. Before I left home in 1876, I could pick her up from the floor and dance with her. She had perfect rhythm and enjoyed going to the dances to watch. And oh how her little soul leaped with joy when she could get on the floor and dance.
My soul cried out for a mother’s love and care. I am very fearful that when mother sees me, she will say, “You have done tolerably well, but you failed to care for the children.” In my weak way I am still trying to care for children, everybody’s children, God’s children.
I remember when father married again. The woman had several children of her own. It was a sad day for mother’s three little ones when step-mother and her children moved into our home.
I cannot describe the feelings of regret I had when I left school that spring as I had to go to work in March. Seemed that most thought of school only to learn how to read and write. I always enjoyed Sunday School and coined the remark, “That if there was nothing more to learn or see than the pretty girls, it was worth while for me because their association threw a ray of sunshine along my paths the whole week long.”
I was in that age when young people were looking for something to do out of the ordinary. Most of the boys did a lot of mischief, but Daniel Johnson and I did not care to do that. At a bazaar we did buy some books such as Robber Tales of England, Dick Turpin, Cap Hanks, Duval, and a half dozen others. Also, the newest sensation which told about Coney Island and the New York Masquerades and Night Clubs. There were a few places other boys did not dare to go. My reading prepared me for greater ventures, or more correctly, more strategic assault. We made a few successful campaigns. Father saw us eating things he took for granted we had not come by honesty. He said, “Boys you cannot afford to do those things, you had better stop now.”
On the first of December, 1875, I started to attend school at the B.Y.C. (Brigham Young College) held in Lindquist Hall at the corner of 2nd North and 1st East. Miss Ida Cook assisted by another young lady were the teachers. Over a hundred young people were attending. I took some of the second grade class, that is, next to the highest. I soon discovered I could do the work in the highest in most everything. I had a method of explaining mathematical problems that seemed more comprehensive than the teacher which was a source of trouble to her, as it seemed on many occasions that my answers must be wrong, but I always demonstrated them to be right. On examination days she did not pay attention to a book being on my table as she knew I would not use it to copy the answers.
The Church was building a woolen factory south of the A.C. (Agricultural College, now Utah State University). I took Commercial Law and told father that some day I would be secretary of the institution. The building was never finished but I have always been glad I took the course. Miss Cook gave us a course in manners. We were taught to raise our hats to Apostles, Bishops, and officers of the various organizations and always to women. Those who adopted her instructions are among the leaders in the communities where they reside. As a rule I did we all the BY and was able to live nearer my ideal. I recognized my aged countrymen, both sexes, and could converse with them in their own tongue. On the whole, I was well thought of by all.
Just at the close of school I receive my first letter from James. I read it with pleasure, so much so that I did not notice the signature. My friend, Joseph Johnson, read it and then pointed to the signature. It was signed, James Benson. My feelings were indescribable. The brother I so adored had sent this insult. The reading I had done in the National Reader gave me good language to express myself and the letter I wrote must have made him feel ashamed. The influence of my novel reading was shown in the close of my letter. I told him as he had disgraced and disowned his brothers and sisters I would meet him half way and there fight it out and demonstrate who was superior. Had we met we would have done as did a year later, embrace each other. The incident really made me sick. I was in bed for three days and missed my examination.
I well remember Hans Munk who came across the plains in the same company we did. At that time he had one wife and was engaged to a young woman. As a lad of seven I would walk beside his wagon because of the sweet influence there. My soul was lighter in his company than any where else. Now he just lived a block from us in a big adobe house. His first wife had died, but he had two others, and the marshals were after him. He left home for a year, and when he returned his faith had cooled off and he did things unbecoming a good man. I felt sorry for him because I really loved him. He was part owner in a threshing machine. One day he slipped into the feeding part and one leg was chewed off up to his body. The first fast meeting he attended after he was unable to get around, he recognized God’s hand to save him from Hell. The Lord prospered him financially so he was able to raise three fine families and lived to be over eighty years old.
One time a group of young people went on a trip up Logan canyon. We had a bottle of homemade wine with us. I learned the danger of such rides, but was glad that the patters sent by Joseph and David were deep in my soul.
I had always been timid in water until Daniel Johnson came to the deep spring on our place and taught me to swim across it, around it, and how to float and rest. To this day swimming is a pleasure to me. I had just finished cutting 2 1/2 acres of wheat when brother Eliason, our nearest neighbor asked that we tie it. It was done in record time and went 20 bushel to the acre. Another time we started late in the day and cut, bound, and shocked five acres. I have chased a machine with five and six men all day to do as much. I built one of the largest and most artistic wheat stacks I have ever seen. Hyrum Bunce had just bought a new thresher and said it took a very strong person to feed it. I laughed at him and said that I would feed it or pitch with any man in town. I was 19 and weighed 140 pounds. The first demonstration came with two loads and a small stack. The crew did not have to stop for me.
I could not see in mind’s eye how any person could throw me down and keep me there. That represents my spirit and it was my gospel spirit too. When we played at school none could catch me. They formed a line by holding hands. I must not break the line so I ran up the side of the wall and over their heads. Such was my will power and spirit.
I believe it was the summer of 1876 that I made a large swing. Some of the Scotch boys were rather rough. They tried to take the swing away from me. Try as they would they could not loosen my grip on the rope. Later I was passing through the west end of the Fourth Ward where it was the custom to ding-bump any visitor. One grabbed my arms and two more my legs and one got on my stomach, but they did not succeed. One spring I had rheumatism in one of my legs and could scarcely get around. I had been helping father on his land three miles north of Logan. I limped most of the day but when some of the boys started to play ball, I defied the pain and really played ball. In a few days the rheumatism had left.
I worked for Brother Nathaniel Haws up in Logan Canyon, hauling lime rock to the kiln. The first week I could not lift some of the rock to begin with but by the end of the week it was easy.
I had my first Quinsy this summer due to wading in the mountain water while irrigating. My mouth closed so tightly I could scarcely get a table knife between my teeth and I was weak, but kept up with my work. At last I went to Dr. Ormsby who lanced it. While hauling the lime rock I got poison ivy all over my body. Daniel Johnson’s mother told me to make a strong solution of blue vitriol and put it on the sores. First I rubbed off all the scabs then quickly doused myself in the liquid. I never wanted to suffer again as I did then. The sores gradually went away, but I have poison in my blood to this day.
I had my try at tobacco too. An ex-bartender from Salt Lake City was smoking a pipe and I asked him to let me try it and I began puffing away. Father called me to one side and said in an undertone with so much soul that it penetrated my very being, “Don’t be a slave, be a free man. You have seen me try to quit the habit, even suffer because I couldn’t.” His advice, I felt, was too good to discard and I never took up the habit.
The 4th of July, 1876, was a big celebration, when all five wards combined and held it in Bishop Preston’s pasture. I was a member of the Central Committee. A bowery was built which had a stage and the decorations added to the festive occasion. A large swing was put up and I was given the job of swinging the girls in the afternoon. This was just to my liking, but by evening I had lost some of my enthusiasm. By doing this I became acquainted with most of the girls in all five wards of Logan, some of them the sweetest flowers that bloomed. A home cannot be made without one, a nation is not a home without them in it. A yearning lingers in one’s soul for a loving welcome and a tender touch of the hand whose heart beats all for you. The eye that beams on you alone, whose heart throbs strike true for you in every beat whether husband or son, I would not exchange it for all the world. They who prove true to God are most likely to make a go of their marriage.
It was 16 Oct 1876 when I and three other fellows started for the smelters in Sandy. The next morning the ground was covered with snow. We slept that night in a barn owned by a brother-in-law of two of the Johanson boys who were in our company. We were treated with plenty of beer. When we arrived in Sandy, we found the Flagstaff Smelter running a little, and the Mingo cold. The West Jordan was on strike. As we passed the Cooper Hotel, a mob ran out and told us what they would do if we tried to go to work. We slept on the floor in a back room of a place owned by Poulson.
One evening a number of women came and started to sing. Mrs. Rosengreen was one of them. When they finished singing, I started to clap. The women started screeching as one of them had been attacked by a man a short time before. We got out of there in a hurry.
I discovered that I longed to try some of the tricks of Charley Duval and other masked men of the time. I believed I could do them so easy and get away with it. I took a glass of beer twice a day with the others.
We decided to try to get work out at Vernon where I had two aunts and James was there too. It was about 75 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. I had no coat, only a dollar cash, and 19 dollars of Utah Northern mileage tickets, and a few buns, when I set out. I crossed the Jordan river and headed for the point near Black Rock. A boy picked me up and took me as far as Erda, where a family made me welcome to stay for the night. They gave me supper, and I spent the evening joking and whiling away time with a couple of young ladies in the home.
I left early next morning and soon came to Tooele. I had eaten the buns, and was pretty tired and weak when the stage came along. I asked for a ride but it kept going. The water along the way was so poor, nothing like the good Logan water. Feeling this way, I was in the mood to use a gun on the stage if I had had one. I drank water from the first rut I came to. This cooled me off a bit. I had been carrying my overalls in my arms but now put them on and walked with some comfort and determination. I decided that it is not the miles that we travel, but the pace we go, that kills.
I ate supper at Ajacks that night and slept with father Bennion. He took me on to Vernon and let me off at Aunt Ingra’s. I introduced myself to my aunt and began to make acquaintances with five little cousins. Auntie said that the baby, Etta, would not go to strangers, and sometimes not even to her father. I determined I would get her to come to me before evening. It was only a short time before she was sitting on my lap. I missed my own little sister and this was a near substitute.
I did not find James as he and John Benson were out near Point Lookout, about 20 miles away. When I got there James did not know me. We had not seen each other for three years. Aunt Christine told me how James had mourned for me and told of the happy times we had together. It was a dear reunion but the Benson folly was in him. Although tired from my trip, I had to demonstrate my physical strength which surpassed both of them, though they were twenty one and I but nineteen.
They took me in as a partner with them and I began cutting pinion pine trees. James had cut his foot so used crutches. He gave me a thick, heavy axe, too heavy for that work. I had never fallen trees so I did not know such axes were the kind they used. James came over to show me how. He had a new axe. He cut on one side of the tree and I on the other. I felt his spirit at once. I threw that thick, heavy axe into the heart of the tree and it fell without my breathing heavy. We cut trees until about the first of December. Charley Dahl hauled us in to Sandy where we bought new suits, hats, and boots. We looked quite genteel. Folks seemed to think I had an air of city life and dear brother James was proud of his brother.
John Benson took his team and wagon and took James and me to Sanpete County. We went to Ephraim to see Grandma Johanson who left Sweden several years before we did. She was delighted with her grandsons. She had told her neighbors what nice people were hers in Sweden. Of course they thought she was boasting but now they could see that it was the truth. How nice it would be if we always lived to be a credit to our ancestors.
One evening the boys took me down to a place where they often told fortunes. They started to tell me something but I resented it so we began playing cards. An older man suggested a new game. I said it would be OK if everyone was fair. After the cards were dealt, I noticed that the cards had been stuffed. I got up hastily and said “Anyone who could not play an honest game of cards would steal black sheep and damn him, I could lick him!” I got my hat and went home to grandmothers.
Sunday evening on the way to church some boys threw snowballs at me. I walked back and told them I was a stranger in town and would not stand for it. Some of my sternness came from trying to be a gentleman and possibly influenced some highwaymen stories. I aimed to give due respect and expected the same in return.
Uncle Nels had two little girls, one could not walk as a result of the fever. I began to take part in the talk and general pleasure and stood well with all. Uncle Nels lectured evening evening on doctrinal subjects. John and James would go to bed but I remained up to listen. I really learned very much. We went to dances and James and I were more than ordinary dancers. I also sang songs and had a good time generally.
A Patriarch came to the home and everyone had a blessing. Uncle Nels, his wife Philinda, and her sister Fidelia, had their blessings. I listened to Fidelia’s blessing through the key hole when she was told she would have a good, kind husband and a family. John was promised a family, James a stupendous power over the elements, but no family. That was his downfall as he loved children but never married. My blessing has come true as far as I have lived for it. The Patriarch asked James and John if they held the Priesthood, but did not ask me if I had been trying to do my duty, he knew without asking.
Miss Fidelia was surprised that we did not mind if she listened to our blessings and somehow it seemed that hers and mine were somewhat similar. She had said that August don’t talk much, but when he does, it counts. What I had read in stories on the subject, I was now putting into practice. I also remembered some of the Bible sayings, A wise head keepeth a still tongue.” I took Miss Fidelia to several dances that winter.
While at Uncle Nel’s place I had a severe attack of the quinsy. I tried many things and the men of the house tried lancing it, but nothing seemed to do any good. Miss Fidelia told me that he mother had said< If August were my son, I would soon cure him.” I answered, Tell your mother I will be her son (I answered under my breath, in-law).”
Sister Fannie Kofford came up that evening and really fixed me up. After the herbs were steeped, the rocks hot, and plenty of hot water was ready, I was asked to undress my feet. I put them in a tub of very warm water, put a basin of hot water in my lap with herbs in it, and was covered over from head to floor with a quilt. The temperature of the water was kept constant by putting more hot stones in it. This continued until my whole body was wet with perspiration. A large, hot, linseed poultice was put on my neck and I was rolled into a warm bed and forbidden to move.
That sweet mother’s efforts and care would forbid anyone, with a spark of gratitude to a daughter of God, which I had, from disregarding her instructions. It was difficult to lie so still and continue sweating, but I did and by morning the swelling had all shriveled up. And I kept my word too, I became her son. In all our associations we never had a jarring word.
In Feb 1877, we started for Sandy, loaded with grain. Sanpete had no snow all winter but when we got to Utah County the snow was hub deep. Salt Lake Valley had none but was foggy and muddy. We camped in the foothills west of Lehi where the ground was frozen at night and pretty choppy and rough. We had hired an Indian, David Monson, to help us, so there were four of us. The wagon bed being too narrow, we made our bed under the wagon. That night will long be remembered as we had a difficult time keeping warm. Our shoes were frozen stiff and it was hard to get them on in the morning. We were at Camp Floyd that night and back in Vernon the following day.
James had an outlaw mare on the range whose mother even the Indians could not break her mother, and this colt seemed to be like her. We hitched her up with Dagon, a small brown horse, and drove up Vernon Creek where we made camp. I drove back to Vernon alone a few days later and made it safely. I never had a bit of trouble with her after that. I took a large load of coal to Stockton with a yoke of oxen. To save money I bought hay at Ajack’s and drove out on the prairie to camp. This was sometime in March. A thin blanket and quilted bedspread was all the bedding I had and a cold wind blew all night. I rolled up in the quilts and lay behind the ox yoke and waited for morning which seemed eternities away.
I hauled coal with my wild mare and she never gave me a moment’s trouble. Some thought I used some unknown art with her. Possibly it was because I whistled or hummed a tune when she seemed nervous. One load I got out in halves and the wagon would mire to hubs. I was always fearful the horses would not be able to pull out. I shouted for joy whenever I got out of a bad place. While I neglected praying as a rule, I thanked God for all my successes and recognized his hand in all things.
That year I had dug and hauled hundreds of cords of coal from the hills with the help of Dagon and the little mare. I turned her loose to graze and could catch her anywhere. She liked my petting and had never received a cross word or look from me nor a single lash of the whip. We both loved with seeming human reciprocity. My life had been made a success by her loyalty to me. One day James told me to make her stand still while I curried her. The hair was thin and her flesh tender so the comb hurt if I was not careful. He took the comb and went after her. At the first stroke she knocked him down with her body and the next time she jerked up the bush to which she was tied and ran down the canyon jumping and kicking at the brush between her legs. James jumped on Dagon and started after her. She must have ten miles before he caught her. When he got back both horses did not look like my two pets. They were so scratched and footsore.
David Munson, the Indian, and I were chopping trees. He was a good worker and I suggested that both of us chop on the same tree at the same time. We started on one about two feet thick and when it fell my side was past the heart. There was a faith in myself that approached my faith in the restored gospel. I for it, and it for me.
On the evening of May 17, it snowed and blew so cold that James and I could scarcely unharness the horses. When we awoke there was a foot of snow on the ground. The thousands of lambs on the hills were bleating for their mothers but few of them perished. As house room was scarce I took my bath in the creek, snow or no snow, and never felt any bad effects.
While we were visited at Uncle Jorgensen’s, Uncle Nels Benson came with a load of flour and suggested that we take it down to Milford and Frisco as the price would be high down there. I thought it was a stupendous waste of labor and loss of several hundred cords of wood I could get while away. Of course I was only twenty and new in the business world. I had given Braughton & Co my word of honor to pay for everything they had let me have on the time payment. This consisted of a new harness, chains, a good tent, provisions, and grain for the horses. I had paid some of the bill but still owed most of it. Like the prodigal son I left a good thing to find a better. We followed Nels Benson to Spring City. He had been very kind to us during the winter and helped us now.
I loved my team and the new harness, I never laid it down, or hung it on the brake, but what I covered it with a blanket. I cared for my horses first, last, and all the time. Folks were surprised at the way I took care of my things. When we got to the Sevier bridge near Gunnison, James traded me a five-year-old bay, nice to look at, for faithful Dagon. This horse seemed to to have spirit, but it turned out to be a nervousness which ended up with balkiness.
Next morning all the horses were gone. I struck out for Fillmore, ten miles away, then over the hills and back to Fillmore. I saw the other boys but they had not found the horses. I went north ten miles to Holden. The men here were rounding up all stray animals not on the range. Mine were not among them. I headed east through the cedars and then south back to Fillmore where I arrived at sundown.
I had been going all day without food and was determined to have food if I had to take it. The lady at the first door refused but the second was very kind. After eating I lay down in a lot and napped for a while, and then dog-trotted back to camp. I had traveled over sixty miles that day. The boys had tracked the horses and found them. The next day we reached Milford and Uncle Nels sold out and started back home. We went on to Frisco, or tried to. Many times I wished we were back at Vernon Creek. The bay would not pull, neither would the mule, and a large yellow horses was so lame she could not travel. How I wished I had my faithful Dagon! On top of this Uncle John lost his horses. Later in the summer I found them and I took them back to Spring City with me.
While working in the Frisco hills that summer, James told me that an infidel could beat any Christian in a debate. With all the earnestness and defiance in my soul I said, “He can’t beat me!” I immediately left him and went out to the cedars where I pulled off my hat and asked the Lord to help in my efforts. I told Him I would dedicate my life to the defense of Christianity and Mormonism in particular. My whole soul went out in the declaration. From that time on I began to lead out.
One day James took the name of the Lord in vain when speaking to me and I replied in the same language for the first time in my life. I left and went off among the cedars and wept. I now began to show my individuality. We agreed to a rule that he who profaned should apologize to the other. Also a system of economy was set up which prohibited cards, checkers, and other games that led to idleness and disputes.
One day James said, “August, can you lift that front wheel?” There was a large load of coal on it and the wagon was lower than the others. I tried and failed. He remarked, “I did.” The remark hit me like a dagger. Of course I could lift it! I had John get up on the tongue while he lifted. He failed. Then I told him to stand on the corner overhead and I lifted the wagon. Then he told me to stand on the tongue and I lifted it. He remarked, “If you can, I can,” and he scarcely did it. Then I said, “That was an insult, now you two apologize,” which eh did. Our backs were raw from lifting.
When I got back to Spring City, Miss Fidelia asked me to go to a Relief Society Conference with her. I heard two sisters speak in tongues and another sister interpreted. My spirit seemed to follow every sentence and when the interpreter spoke, I recognized the thought as those of the speakers. Uncle Nels always explained the gospel to us in the evenings and also while we were journeying along.
We got out and chopped cord wood for over a month and Uncle Nels hauled it and made quite a financial trip, even if we did all get “crummy” and after cleaning up we began for a heavy drive the next summer.
We had $500 which James took back with him to Vernon, where we went to make the men pay for our wood, which they had stolen. He was to be back at a certain time and I was set to set the pits afire so as to have them ready when he came back. I started the fires and discovered the two horses had gone back home. I could not follow them on account of the coal pits. When James and John returned they had a team of wild mares. The pits were very much destroyed as I was new at the job and the team was young.
We started gain to recuperate and get ready to go home for conference. I drove to Spring City to get a load of grain and to bring back one of the horses we had found on the river. On my returned I stopped below Salina and took a bath in the river.The wind was blowing and the clouds covered the sun. That night I was very sick. My throat was swollen and I could scarcely eat anything. The road up through the canyon was all up hill. I fed the mares nine quarts of oats at noon and then went on. After going some distance the horses began trembling in their shoulders so I fed the same amount of oats again and made the summit with ease.
In the afternoon I passed Cove Fort. It is a rock wall about sixteen feet high built for protection from the Indians. The wall made one wall for each house built around the square. Antelope Springs was the next place and every one got a supply of fresh water here. I reached Beaver River bottoms by night. I could scarcely make myself understood as my throat was so swollen and I was so weak. There was still fifteen miles to camp all up hill and the last five miles was sandy road. Just as I reached the sand I met Axel Toolgreen who told me to take a dose of Humbug oil. We found enough muddy water to make up a dose. I began the last lap to camp and had to rest the team every little while. I had not gone far when the quinsy broke and all of the stinking corruption and poison came pouring out. I had no water to rinse my throat until I reached camp. John and James did not recognize me I was so pale and wan.
That summer we bought French calf skin boots with high heels and our names sewed on the tops. They cost us a hundred and twenty dollars. We paid for them with cedar posts. I got father a pair of sixes though he usually wore nines, but they fit him. In September we left camp in time to go by way of Spring City and visit with Uncle Nels who went with us to Salt Lake City. Here we bought suits, overcoats, trunks, and had our pictures taken in groups and singly.
I attended a Scandinavian meeting held in the Council House where the Deseret News building now is. Here I met a young man from Logan. A girl was tickling his knees. He said he had a date with three girls at nine o’clock that night and asked me to joint them. I told them I would be there. When I got away from them, the question was up to me. “Shall I follow them down the road of sin or break my word?” I concluded the latter and have made good the rest of my life.
On the sixteenth of October, just two years to the day when I left home I was back again. James and I aimed to be gentlemen. We had the best and most up-to-date clothes and attracted attention at the dances. I enjoyed the reels in particular. We also sent to school at the BYC (Brigham Young College). I felt the effects of two years of rude life keenly and was very timid. In course of time I got so I dared express my objections to questions wherein I differed. I found I differed most in the demonstration of mathematics. One examination asked us to name four leading vegetables. I said potatoes, beets, carrots, and parsnips. The others gave hay and lumber as two of them. They tried to show me that trees were vegetation, also hay, I knew that I was right and would not yield even though they thought I was foolish. I have lived to show my friends that I was right.
At one time Daniel Johnson and I were standing on a cordner near the big Co-op and I made the remark that I could tell a bad woman as fas as I could see her walk. “You can’t,” he countered. “What about that woman crossing the street a block north? She’s as doubtful Hell.” We waited until he recognized her and she said, “She is the most doubtful woman in Logan.” Then he wanted to know how I knew. “There is a loose hip swing of the legs in their walk. Of course all walks are modified by the dress.”
One night at a party at the BYC someone asserted that a certain lady was the most beautiful one there and asked my opinion. I thought she was if the beauty were measured by the amount of paint she had one. We all had our favorites among the fair sex. Mine was Emma Smith, though I did not like her seeming weakness and instability.
I formed a partnership with Jacob Johnson and three others and took a contract to work on the Idaho Utah Northern Railroad. I had a good big team, a new harness, and wagon. I helped father get in his crops before I left. James chose to go south with Uncles John and Nels and landed in Bristol, Nevada.
I suggested that our camp be called Johnson Camp, as I was opposed to being connected with a company. I soon found myself being manager, or foreman, as Johnson was away most of the time. On the way out the others all failed in cook,ing, so I took over that job. The first job consisted of filling a ravine with rock. Johnson went back to Logan and hired two miners, William Mitchell, and David Nelson. Mitchell was just married and brought his bride and her girl friend to do the cooking. There were fifteen teams and as many men in the camp. The road bed had to be made through lava beds which was hard to handle.
I returned to Eagle Rock (which is now Idaho Falls) and saw the men put in the steel bridge alongside the toll bridge. I had to go there to get a loan of grain for the teams. I usually spent my evenings at the dance hall. Here for the first time I saw a group of girls managed by a man termed a herder, they being under contract fr a period of time. Some of the girls asked me to dance or take a drink with them. I refused. Finally a young girl reputed to be of good character insisted that I dance with her. I told her I did not dance with her kind. A young man whom I knew from Logan and who had always been a careless fellow danced with her. He did not return to camp for about a week and when he did he came on foot and weeping because he had lost his whole outfit.
Early training and realization of the effects of sin upon our whole future here and through all the eternities gave one the strength to say “No.” I can still hear Frank Crookston sing, “Have strength to say “No.” Reading the life of Joseph was sold into Egypt and of the sweet flutist who gave King Saul peace of mind so he could sleep, also of King David, who later fell and pleaded with the Lord not to leave his soul in hell. Oh, how these pictures of the mind give strength of character which social customs and civil law fail to do in standing for the right, even to the giving of your life for the fight.
I discovered that unless we increased our pace the track layers would catch up with us and that would cost us $500.00 per day for failing to complete our work on time. I did my best to rush the men and teams but was failing. The men were rebellious and especially so when I announced we would work a Sunday shift. Saturday, at noon, feeling my incompetence, I walked out beyond a hill and in the sage brush knelt and prayed to the Father for help. I said, “Father, I cannot control these men unless you come to my assistance.” I do not remember the closing words, perhaps there were non, but I went back to camp a changed man.
That evening the men brought a trick to camp. A man would lie down, have his legs tied together with a space for a man to lock his lands and then try to pull the other into the fire. I asked Charles Larson, my step-mother’s son, if it was possible to do. He said he thought I could do it. I had been kind to him by reading stories to him. I did not realize then that he was jealous because his wife thought so much of me. I had taken her out and as was the rule I had always kissed her at the gate. The trick did not work for me. Instead of head first into the earth, which is the general rule, I kept my feet, and twisted around with the rolling man and received no great harm, only strained arms.
Sunday morning I stood up on the wagon tongue and said, “If Johnson has any friends in camp, we expect to see them out on the grade today.” I spoke in an earnest undertone. They call came out except Larson and Taylor, a prize fighter. An noon Larson picked a small man to show me that he could do what I had failed to do. He broke his collar bone and we sent him home with the women cooks. Taylor was now the cook. I never again felt unequal to my responsibility as a leader of men. By the close of the season I was recognized as the most successful or competent man on the road, both in handling men and making grade. I could leave the men all day and they would do even better in my absence. The track layers came just as we were through.
I thank God for the change of voice and the personality I possessed for his care over me in winning the trick and the rebuke that came to Larson. I have learned whom to ask for help. Two older men wanted me to stay and go in with them. I was twenty-two years old. The following was just one event that happened. Two of the men were rolling rock into the grade. One large rock was in the way and they were rolling theirs around it or lifting them over. I asked them why they did not roll the big one out of the way. They said it was too big to roll. I told them to try it again. When I returned a short time later it was still in the ground. They said they could not roll it. “All right.” I said very kindly, “if you can’t I can.” I gave such a stupendous heave, I almost broke my arm, but got it out of the way as the rock rolled. A foreman will not have to do that the second time.
I surprised all the men one day when I sparred with two men at the same time as they tried to get me down. One was my size and the other was a little smaller. The larger one stood behind me and grabbed me around the waist. As I was to all appearances going to the ground the other man came in to help. I pushed the first man to the ground with my right arm and grabbed the other with my left hand, jerked him on top of the first man and swatted his bottom as I jumped clear of both. Many incidents of interest occur in camp life. William Mitchell was an able minder, also fair in handling men. I was loading holes for blasting and he gave me the philosophy of it, and much good council generally. David Nelson never ceased to love that youngster of a boss.
One day I carried a fifteen-foot steel bar weighing 75 lbs up a mountain path that was lined with trees and also very steep. When I got to the top I was not breathing much harder than the men who followed with nothing to carry.
It seems that I should have remained in the north but some influence directed me south. All four teams came to Logan via Fort Hall, Soda Springs, and Bear Lake Valley. This was beautiful grazing country but too cold to raise grain. The Bear Lake was a heavenly blue and calm as a morn in June. This was in September and there was frost every night. There were only eight nights in August that there was not frost in Beaver Canyon near the Montana line. We came down Logan Canyon past the Temple saw mill. The scenery was beautiful with groves of pine and autumn colored Aspens and the luxuriant grass plants between. From the summit we could see for about twenty miles north and south. Some forest fires were burning. It seemed good to see again the place where I had bathed and fished. The water was never very warm.
Just after arriving home as I was going down town I met my favorite girl. She had her fortune told, and it said that a man in the north would fight for her when he returned. That was, of course, myself. As we passed (no street light) we recognized each other. By the time I got to the corner she had overtaken me and I stopped and chatted, nonsense I suppose. Others gathered and I remarked, “Well Miss Emma, as we are going in different directions, I bid you good evening.” I bowed and left.
I brought a large load of logs home with me and before going in to supper, I put my shoulder under the wheel and lifted the wagon tire off the ground. While I ate my supper two young fellows tried at the same time to lift and failed.
I had three hundred dollars which I gave to father to pay on his land. I was really to blame for not having the land deeded to James and me. Instead, I sold or gave him one of my horses to refund his share. He also gave father a new harness. When Johnson and Co settled up, he paid me $20.00. However the Company owed me $400.00 more but they had nothing to pay with. I was offered a job at clerking at $40.00 per month but refused to work for wages.
I decided to go out to Bristol and burn charcoal. Emil Drysdale, one of the partners was going with me, and James went as far as Spring City. I tool the $20.00 and stopped in Salt Lake City to get my citizenship papers. Of all things I was an American and a Mormon. I happened to find two Logan boys who acted as witnesses.
We started, practically without money, to travel four hundred miles, on the 5th of November, 1879, and it was snowing when we left. It is just possible that I shirked my duty and promise to mother to care for the children. Father offered me my lot, some of the land, and would help build a house if I would take the children. But I wanted to go and make money. When I think of mother’s charge to me, and the sad life of the children, my whole soul weeps over my dereliction, but fate drew me south. We went through snow, slush, and frost on the way to Sanpete. Uncle Nels and Aunt Philinda went with us far as St. George where they worked in the temple. We hauled grain which we sold in Bristol, except enough for our horses. Before starting I had traded my old horse for a young one. On the road to Ephraim the young horse caved in although he was guaranteed. I buckled on my pistol and rode to Mt. Pleasant, a distance of about 17 miles. When I arrived and told what the horse had done and that I could not start across the desert with such a horse, they agreed to give my old horse.
Uncle Nels, perfect in all things, did the cooking, but he failed with his yeast powder bread. I told him that no one could make good yeast powder bread by getting into it with their feet, or even using their rough hands. I baked the bread, stirred it with a knife, soft and spongy, and had good bread all the time. I did not even scorch it, although the wind blew many times. The first time I tried to make bread for my prospective paretns-in-law, I burned it back. It demonstrates care and effort.
The hardest part of this trip was over fifty miles of desert in deep snow. The remarkable thing about the journey was that the old pioneers of 1853 never had a word of complaint for the whole distance.
While we were unloading in Bristol, a business man stepped up to me and said, “You from Utah?” “Yes sir.” “Mormon?” “Yes sir.” “Are you going to stay here?” “Yes sir.” “What can you do?” “I don’t know. I have done about everything but herd hogs, but I believe I can do that too.” “You will do, you will do.” I was nicknamed the “Honest Mormon”.
Our camp was about 25 miles from Bristol. When I drove in for supplies I passed the evening in a saloon, as was the rule. One night many seemed to gather and I learned they were to serenade Nick Davis, one of the leading citizens. They were all signing and dancing jigs. I volunteered a job. Then they wanted me to drink, but I informed them I did not drink. I did sing a song. An Irishman, well raised, approached me thus: “I had just a good mother as you. She used to sing to me and I learned to pray at her knees. I am no ruffian. I want you to drink with me.” I took just a little sip, but had to keep sipping till after twelve. I could never go back to that saloon to while away the evenings when in town.
I slept in the wagon box that winter of 1880, which was so very cold. Thousands of animals died that winter. A man said, as he passed by one morning as I was getting up, “G– my boy, you have had a cold berth.” It was many degrees below zero.
I regret to relate it, but it is true. A neighboring camp in Frisco had two dishonest boys, one much older than we. They killed a cutter cow on the range and told us to come and get a quarter. There were six or eight of us and I thought it would be a good thing. While in the Bristol hills I saw a poor cow with a small calf. I reasoned that if we took the calf I would save the cow from death. That might be true but how frightened I was. I never received any satisfaction from the two acts.
I burned charcoal that winter and slept in a little hole with my feet right out in the weather. I had to get up many times each night to chop wood and put boughs over the top to keep the pits burning. Early in the spring Emil Drysdale began driving the team but he soon got the team too poor, so I took over again. This was hauling ore. It took a day to drive to the mine and a day back. The team was so weak that I got stuck many times. I would walk to lighten the load. One day I reached for the brake and fell into the rut of the wagon. The first wheel ran over my arm just below the elbow, the second struck my right knee. I straightened out in time so the second wagon grazed my head and body. I just cried for mother a little and drove down to the smelter and the foreman sneered at me and my seeming incompetence.
In time I went back to camp and the horses were in much better condition. We had coal of our own. Emil hauled and I chopped. I was able to stand on my feet until noon, then I knelt and chopped, and made a record cordage each day. We began to forge ahead, hired men, and were doing a good business. I hired a large, athletic fell, who bragged of his will power. He claimed that he could stop a stage and make all the people get off with his will power. He did have hypnotic influence with men but could not do anything with me. He acknowledged that I had some superior power. I knew it was the Priesthood. In speaking of President Young, he would say Brigham Young and then apologize, and said President Young.
After Emil had been hauling coal for some time, I went to buy a four horse outfit. There was a new road part of the way, full of rocks. I walked behind the wagons and picked up and threw out all of the rocks for ten miles. Emil admitted that it eliminated half of the seeming distance and more than half of the wear and tear on the team and wagons. I collected six hundred dollars the company owed James and my Uncles and also bought a double team and wagon with the amount they owed me. We used Drysdale’s team to drag in the wood and three span on two wagons hauling coal. We had ten men in camp where I did the cooking. The company sent out whiskey and two men to electioneer and prepare for the coming election. The superintendent, Howe, was running for the legislature on the Republican ticket. I had become a Democrat by studying the policies of both parties.
I was preparing to close down the camp so the men could go and vote the Democratic ticket. I had them all coming my way. My teamster, Joseph, was a fine, large German and had brought Democratic literature to camp. A friend of mind who had been working for me a long time was working with a rebel, Willie Peace, whom I had known in Frisco. Peace made a statement which I branded as a lie. I also used other strong words.
A few mornings after that while I was gathering the dishes he started talking as I approached him in my duties. I said, “That’s right, Willie. Stick up for yourself.” With that he struck me. My hands struck the bench and then I fell on him. His cousin pulled my head into Willie’s lap and held me there while Willie hammered my head with a rock. My teamster came in and threw the cousin off and we both stepped out reeling from the hammering with the rock. My head and face were all bloody. His lips and both eyes were swollen. Joseph said, “Come out here in the clear and finish.” I went and said, “Come, Willie, and I will give you what you want.” At that he threw the rock which struck me on the cheek, cutting a big gash. I picked up the rock and showed it to the men. I made and lunge at him and he cried out that he was through and I let him off. You will perceive that I struck only with my hands and that he gave no chance to defend myself. This was my only fight as I always tried to avoid such stuff.
I worked night and day. All the boys helped me to load every other night. After supper all hands helped to fill the sacks, sew them, and load them in the wagons.
Howe lost the election. Everything seemed to go wrong. On election day, Howe told me that if my men would vote for him he would win. I told him I understood that he had said that he could buy the Mormon vote for $3.00. I want you to know that you can’t buy my vote for the $2,000.00 which he owed me, nor for $3 million dollars, the price of Bristol. At that moment I put the price on my vote and character which has been a strength through my whole life. I could have traded my credit for a ranch with a large barn, sheep corral, the wall was eight feet high and cost over $800.00. There was a good two-story dwelling, hotbeds, and a stream of water with sole rights. My inexperience could see me living there by myself and losing my faith and I would not lose that for the world. I could have rented it. I was also offered cattle to stock it on time. A fine village could have been built there. Now it seems child foolishness to reject such an offer.
I moved to Bullionville and Panaca, a Mormon village. We reached Pioche by noon through snow over one foot deep. It took about two hours to dig through the drifts in one place. The Godby Hampton Co was doing business at Bullion. I had delivered coal to them at Frisco. We made our camp about fifteen miles south of town in the timber. It was done so quickly they named me, Nelson the Rustler.
I brought most of my men with me from Bristol. James joined us with an extra team. We had paid $50.00 per ton for hay and $70.00 for grain in Bristol, we now paid $30.00 for hay and $50.00 for grain. Even so, five teams and a large number of men ran up the store bill. The teams were idle as the smelter was not ready to receive coal. For a week I could not sleep because of the responsibility. The store began to try limiting my credit. I went down myself and talked to George T Odell, one of the clerks. I informed him that we would not stand by any trimming of our orders. I paid in stock in our Company $1,000.00 for an interest in the Benson mine, of which James was the boss, so he became an equal partner with me. Emil Drysdale became a hired hand when we left Bristol. When we began hauling in the Spring we were $2,200.00 in debt. I was only 23 and that amount seemed enormous.
Th first load we pulled out from under the trees had four span of horses and all the men came out to see us get started. My left leader, a faithful animal, looked back at his old mate on the right wheel and gave him some of his talk and the wheel horse answered by his action. We had unmatched them. I asked the boss to put Sailor with Billie on lead. When he was being led up Billie kept talking and rubbed his nose on his old mate. When I straightened up the lines, I gave them a little swing pull and the leaders stayed in their collars. The others felt the wagon move and away they went. I dared not stop for fear of miring until we got out on the road. The boys were surprised at the way I dodged the trees with the four span and heavy wagon. I always drove when the driver said it could not be done.
We moved to the East hills and in June all debts had been paid. I attempted to show how much wood I could chop and put in the pit in one day. James and I were doing the night shift. There was only enough timber here for a small pit. I did not take time to eat dinner but ran in and swallowed a few cold potatoes. I finished the pit but the potatoes went through without digesting and my stomach was never the same again.
I drove one team to Bristol to put through what I left in November. I hired a Catholic sailor, well read, to haul for me. I put up a 1,000 bushel pit in two days. The record by the Italians was three days. This pit held thirty cords of wood dug in with the limbs on, but chopped to fit smoothly in the pit and lapped with short pieces no longer than stove wood all over the outside. This Catholic sailor, aged 70, told me how mean and low Mormons were. He lived in Utah before I did. When he returned for another load I admitted what had said about them, but I told him they were as good as other people today. He agreed. If they were below and now are equal, what has made them advance faster than the rest of the world. I claimed it was the superior principles they had and lived by. He learned to love me and when we parted he said, “You are an influential young man, when you go back home start a library, and put in it these books,” and he named a number among which was Ancient Roman history.
The German hotel keeper at Bristol agreed to take the Company when I ran the bill with him. I left a Mr. Scot to send me the money for the coal to Bullion, after paying the orders which I had issued. I asked his opinion of our difference. He answered, “You are both good men. I cannot say that there is a difference.” When pay day came, I put Scot’s letter in the German’s envelope, and he took his pay.
When I left Bristol we concluded it would take a certain number of teams and men to keep the hauling up. James was left in charge. When I returned I could see by the work done and hear by the talk that there were three groups each endeavoring to run the camp. By noon I had cleared up considerable. After dinner a man about 35, who had come to the camp a wounded man made some remark about the Mormons and the whole camp roared. I sat to the right of him and retorted in no mistaken tone, “Any man who tells that to be true is a G– D—– liar.” You could have heard a pin drop and he apologized to me. He did not want to hurt my feelings. Another example was necessary.
It was understood that all were to help load the coal that evening. James had promised them melons. A six footer from Mt Pleasant stood up laughing and said, “Yes, we will go, yes we will go, and so will Mormonism.” At the proper time I caught him by the shoulder, looked him in the face and said, “Charles, business is business and must be tended to. We pay for what we want done. If you are going to do it, do so; if not, sit down.” They all went to work and when the teams came back the melons were there.
Again we aimed to be at Conference so quit early in September. The Company gave us extra for our coal. James and I were both expert at burning. We left with $1,500.00 cash and three teams. We put $1,100.00 in the Fourth Ward Store in Logan and kept $400 for expenses. We left our teams and wagons at Milford and took the train to Logan. We had decided to build a store east of Hans Munk’s during the coming winter.
We went back on the train to get our teams. James drove his and I had two Drydales. The first day at noon I fed all the horses without unhitching them. I took the bridles out of their mouths and left them hanging on their ears. Three of the horses were run-aways and one a colt. As I put the bridle on the gentlest, he snorted a little and I held my breath until I got the bridles on the leaders, then the colt. After that I began to breathe more freely. It haunted me all afternoon and I never did it again. By the time I got to Sandy the snow was almost knee deep. At Ogden it was slushy, but when I entered Cache Valley the ground was dry but rain was falling.
I put up at Daniel Johnson’s. His son was to run the store. I bought a lot on which to build, got in my winter’s hay from the Church Farm, and started to school at the B.Y.C. Miss Ida Cook was still there with J. Z. Stewart helping. Daniel Johnson Jr had been and still was a student. He had Darwin, Tom Paine, and Ingersoll among his books. He could outwit anyone in town for or against Mormonism. He ridiculed me for my positive stand. I read his books and listened to his philosophy which were generally illustrations. In school I picked up facts on theology to defend myself. By this time the Lord had given me an almost perfect comprehension of English. My faith had increased and when Sister Johnson was upset when the Edmund Tucker law was passed, she exclaimed almost weeping, “Polygamy never was true or the Lord would never have let them pass that law.” I knew [polygamy] was true. She had testified and I knew that what she had said was true, that after she had ceased to be as women are, she gave her husband a second wife, and the Lord blessed her with a son and two daughters. Another neighbor whose wife never had children, when she consented to her husband taking another wife, gave birth to a son.
I held my Doctrine and Covenants in both hands as if to open it and breathed a prayer, “Father, is there nothing in this book to ocnvince this good woman of the truth of this principle?” I opened the book and read to her, “When the Government passes any law which prohibits my people from living up to all the principles of the Gospel, then the sin rest on the Government, and we are not judged.” She was convinced. I knew from that time that the principle would be prohibited and told the people so.
God had prepared me to talk to Daniel Jr. One evening I cornered him so badly that his mother wept and his father was angry with him. I gave him the choice between infidelity and Mormonism. There was no room for him to evade the question. From that time on I felt confident that I could defend Mormonism. In his discussions he used such ideas as a man could not work with the same interest in a company as for himself. He was also accustomed to cheat in card games so I decided not to build the store. This brilliant man committed suicide a few months later.
When I first started to school I was so sensitive to criticism that I would turn black in the face and almost choke. One day Miss Cook stood by me and said kindly, “Now, Mr. Nelson, you can do better than that, try again.” In a few days I was all right. I did remarkably well that winter and was at the head of the class. I asked many questions that others failed to observe. Miss Cook had made my time longer than I had paid for and asked me to remain. I suppose if I had done so I would have had a call to Sweden on a mission. That has been my impression. I did not realize the privilege then. Some in the class had been there continually since 1876.
Some of the young men had broken the rules of the school. J. Z. Stewart spoke to them about it. The kind manner and the impression he made carried to the close of school and with me to the close of life. Miss Cook, Professor Stewart, and Orson Smith, as my teachers will never be forgotten.
When I left Johnson’s, the mother and three children hated to see me go. I had been the most cheerful and kind associate they had ever had. They asked me to forgive them for any thoughtless words or acts. Logan had been a dear home to me and little did I realize then that leaving it as a home forever. I long to go up there and stay for a month or so and visit with all my old friends. I am sure I left not a single enemy and I am sure the same is true of Crescent.
It was the first of March when I left Logan. I took Joseph Hyrum, then 14, with me. We had a difficult time through the canyon and the drifts. At Sandy we always stopped to rest up at Uncle Lars Benson’s. I attended a dance at Sharp’s, west of the State Road. A very smart young lady asked me, “What do you think when you think of nothing?” I replied, “I suppose I think of girls.” I had a real good time. I attended a M.I.A. in Sandy. Brother Lewis was President. He sang “Thou Wilt Come No More, Gentle Annie”. Brother Hewlett, an aged shoemaker, and some elder Doctor gave some intelligent and comprehensive talks on the ancient prophets with respect to the present day. We also called on Uncle Nels in Spring City and listened to a very good talk by a school teacher from Mt. Pleasant.
James came from Bullion and informed us we could have the tailing contract hauling. James handed over $700 in cash to Bynum Lane for a mine. He knew as soon as it was done that he had given his hard earnings for a hole in the ground which he never even went to see.
The morning we were to leave Milford our horses were lost. We had sent to Logan for $400 and bought two new wagons from B. F. Grant. Then we traded one of the wagons for a horse which proved to be not worth his feed. Arriving at Bullion I took a little outlaw horse I brought from Milford and with worthless Sam drove to Bristol where I traded Sam for another outlaw horse and $20 to boot. It was dangerous to hitch the two outlaw horses together.
I scrapped with them and soon had them gentle. I traded them for a team of mares, both died within a year. We sent for the last $700 and bought a scrap outfit, double team wagons. We traded my two outlaws, the best team on the job, and gave $100 to boot, and the new team was balky. James and my teams averaged $8.50 per day, and the other teams made some gain. When we quit that fall we had poorer teams and only $400 and yet we started out with $1,100. Once I worked for 36 hours without stopping. We were under contract to keep the smelter going. Then I got leaded so we decided to quit. It was then that I located Dry Creek in the fall of 1882.
On the way home through Spring City I proposed to Fidelia Ellen Kofford and was accepted. I was now aiming for a home. Uncle Lars had advised me to file on some land in Sandy in 1876. I told him I would not have the whole country as a gift. Six years later I was pleased to buy seven acres from William G Taylor, nephew of President Taylor. In closing the deal he treated us in Samuel Kemp’s saloon. We made another deal and he invited me in again. I told him I did not drink and that I had taken the first with him because I did not intend to be rude. He responded saying, “A young man just home from camp life and don’t drink!” and looked at me with astonishment.
We lived in a little house above the canal belonging to Fred Olsen. We associated much and confided in each other and I told him what an unworthy father and husband drink made of him.
I studied Gospel principles putting down the quotations; read about George Q Cannon in Congress, read Judge Black and Ingersoll’s arguments, and a book, “Elocution, Expression, English, and Manners.” I also studied the dictionary so I understood words, their derivatives, roots, and synonyms. I could bow myself out of a home with all the grace of a Frenchman. I am not saying anything about my love affair. We kept most of our love letters and they can speak for themselves.
I scrubbed my coat collar and put it on wet, then drove to Sandy and I came down with the quinzy which lasted a long time. I thought my palate would strange me at times. The anxious letters from my sweetheart were an inspiration to try and live for her sake. She sent me a Christmas present and a very nice letter.
Amelia Rollins, a young cousin, was our cook. James and Joseph were off to Sandy or elsewhere most of the time and she went with them some of the time.
Spring came and we worked on the railroad west of Ogden. I made it a point not to take part in all the light talk. One called out, “You don’t talk. What are you thinking about?” I answered, “I am thinking that if a tax were levied on all common sense, you fellows would be tax free.” An able intellectual fellow asked me why I did not talk. “I have but limited common sense and I do not wish to waste it on nonsense,” I replied. This blue-eyed six foot, 200 pound, English Mormon, left the Church as I knew he would. Just before he died, he call in Bishop Bills of South Jordan and plead with him to do what he could for him. He knew the Gospel was true and that he had strayed until he was practically lost. He passed away with regrets and a penitent soul.
I usually walked several miles to Ogden after supper for my mail. One dark night I met several girls merrily chatting as they tapped along the road. I always like to hear that kind because I knew they had good character.
My team needed rest so I worked single handed for a time. I first leveled the grade and then I filled scrapers to complete a sixteen foot high station as a guide to the rest. Some teams would go with a jerk, others slow, but I never stuck a team all day. I could take a tongue scraper with one hand and sling up one the side of the bank in filling. The other fellows stopped the team, used both hands, and a teamster one hand. All the bosses were fearful to attempt a complete station so they asked me to do it. I completed it and they marveled at the correctness of it.
When I returned to Dry Creek, Brother Taylor came to me saying, “I am a free man, I am a free man, I haven’t drunk for two months.” I was hauling mining timber for Bishop Holman. As we drove through Sandy, James Kemp came to his wagon and asked Billie to have a drink. “No sir, I have quit,” said Billie. “I wish I could say that,” James replied.
We took a contract to haul bridge material for the East Jordan canal. We went up Bell Canyon on a road that had been abandoned for years and seemed impassable. I drove from the white house on the hill; left the cart at the mouth of the canyon; took the front cart close to the roll-off; took horses and chains up to where James had cut and gathered them and snaked them down to the front cart, drug them down to the hind cart, loaded them up and hauled them to Draper past Henry Pearson’s. He was kind, gave me apples and cider, and chatted as an old friend. Sometimes I would go to Sandy and back for supplies. James decided my job was too difficult and he would cut and snake to the roll-off. While I had breakdowns and accidents we never failed to get a load a day, Sundays included, for over six weeks. We earned fifty two shares of water stock in the East Jordan Canal Co. We had bought almost forty acres of land.
I concluded to ride down to see the sweetheart up on the Sanpete where evergreens and pine grew on the level. I spent several days there. We had a love trysting place where I could stake my horse in the tall grass and Fidelia’s pet fawn would gambol at our feet. She would sit on my knee and read interesting stories to me. It was a most attractive scene, the horse in the open glen, the fawn, beautiful birds flitting from bush to bramble, and mourning doves echoing in their plaintive call.
All in all it called forth the sweetest and sublimest ecstasies of two souls whose hearts beat for each other. Blissful thoughts of the past are one’s life, what the ever returning spring time with its balmy air, fragrant flowers, variegated colors, undulating movements, as though beckoning one to come and enjoy, as they are to this beautiful earth of ours. When we have passed to the realms above, may the sweet memories of this scene, hallowed and sanctified by our pure love and devotion for each other and for God, linger in the hearts of our posterity as the most worthy heritage bequeathed to them. With all the ardor of my soul for God and His prophets, has been the yearning of my heart for righteous living. Yet the worst wretch who goes shivering by has my pity and regret. Condemnations belong to all merciful Father.
As I started home, leading my faithful horse with my left hand and my future companion for life and all eternity in my right arm, we walked slowly and talked of the future when there would be no parting. Suddenly we stopped, an ardent kiss and caress, and I was off, leaving her to meander back alone.
James and I took a contract to haul cordwood to the Eclipse Mind in the tops of the Big Cottonwood Mountains. We were to get $2.00 per cord but only one $1.00 per cord if it was not up in time. There were about five hundred cords. We started to haul but discovered that we needed help someone to haul hay and grain. I prayed the Father to send us help every morning as I got the horses, and promised Him of all we had made I would give one tenth to Him. He, God, sent a large company from Provo but Brother James objected. I knew that we were left now. The snow fell from every cloud that passed. James was down looking for teams, hay, and grain. I read Pinkerton detective stories, and boxed with a bag of salt to rest from reading. I disliked leaving our contract unfinished but that is what we did. We hauled poles to Timothy Marriot for hay, corn, and potatoes. We had a hog and feed for him and felt prepared for winter.
The reading I had done gave me the first view of the weakness of American Education. Isaac M Stewart Jr was a geologist and an educated man but did not agree with Mormonism on all points. At first we were chums. The Superintendence of the Sunday School in Draper was opposed to getting into hot water in the discussions. I remarked, “I never found water too deep to swim in, and errors, like straws, float on the surface, but he who would seek for pearls must dive beneath the surface.” We continued the discussions for about two months when the class all saw and agreed with my views. D. O. Rideout said he had learned more in six weeks than in the previous six years. In the summer Stewart debated with Supt Peter Garff on the subject, “Who is Most Loyal?” The subject was brought about through the celebrating of the 4th and 24th of July. I rose to my feet and was recognized by the chair. I said, “Every naturalized citizen must be as loyal as a natural born citizen, or indeed be a hypocrite.”
Later there was a school meeting held with William M Stewart as chairman. Dr Park was also there. He taught in Draper schools. Thy boasted of their education, I objected to their position, and held that their very fields showed the lack of education. Dr Stewart, later of the University of Utah, was so impressed by my remarks that he took the question to the Utah Educational Association and in the third year it was adopted as school policy. Forty years after that time, Thomas Spencer told me I was given the credit.
We had agreed to get married this winter and I would not be put off. With what I had and credit at Holman’s store I determined to start. I bought Fidelia a very nice coat, at least she looked well in it. When I got to Spring City I found she was in debt and a payment was expected. Charley Kofford, bless him, let me have the money. I was wearing James’ overcoat as someone took mine just before I left. I stood up in Priesthood meeting and raise my right hand and covenanted that I would attend my quorum meetings, keep the Word of Wisdom, and do my duty generally, and I meant it. I was ordained an Elder in the home of Pres James Jensen, with Nephi Hayward as mouth.
While in Spring City I felt very much humiliated because of the lack of money. A farewell party was held at the Kofford home, all of the speakers praised her, but scarce had a hope that I was OK. Father Kofford was asked to speak. He said in part, “I believe Fidelia got the man she loves, I know she did. I know she will be taken care of.” He then gave me some complimentary remarks.
We left alone in a wagon and were over two days on the road. On the 24th of January 1884 we were married in the Endowment House by Daniel H Wells. Uncle Lars Benson asked us to sup with them after which we drove to our home. Fidelia made pictures and ornaments and we were quite comfortable.
I went up South Dry Creek Canyon for timber to take out. There was a snow slide in the creek bed. I climbed so high up yet could not get over the ridge. I feared to go back. With caution I regained my footing and began the upward climb. All footholds had to be made with the axe and I knew that one slip and all would be over for me. I finally made it home before dark. The occasion gave us both quite a fright.
In the spring James and I were plowing for people in Sandy. A friction seemed to arise and Fidelia did not want to live there any longer so we moved to Draper. I had two lots and fixed up the house and we had a fair garden.
I took the contract getting out logs for James Jansen and Joseph Smith for $9.00 per 1,000 feet. I should have had at least $16.00 per 1,000 feet. I was new at saw timber. Miller Andrus worked with me a while, chopping and we slept at the mill. I told him we were not making a dollar a day. He left to cut his hay and I was alone. Brother Smith was working on a road below me and called to see if I was all right before he left. He had been gone only a short time when the handspike, which I was using to roll a large log, broke. I was thrown over the log on my back. The next thing I realized I was standing behind a tree as the log rolled by me. I was quivering like a leaf. The top of one of my boots was torn off. How I got out from under that log I shall never know. It did not roll me at all. Had it done so I would have been crushed to death. Providence has been very kind to me many times. The horses and myself were in constant danger most of the time I was getting out 50,000 feet of lumber from that canyon. No one before or since has worked there.
Fidelia and I attended Sunday School where she became a teacher of the young ladies department. We took part in all organizations for advancement. One such was a literary class under Prof William Stewart.
Mary Neff, daughter of Benjamin Neff, was living with us and attending school. I had promised to keep the Word of Wisdom, but in visiting the different homes, I was offered tea and coffee. When I refused they assumed I thought myself better than they. In a discussion with my wife and Miss Neff, they rather got the better of me. Smiling I walked to the door while they were firing at me and I said, “I will take the question to the Elder’s quorum meeting.” As I closed the door, I heard a voice in my mind ask and answer these questions, “Did you ever drink tea or coffee?” “Only sometimes.” “Did you ever commit adultery?” “Only sometimes.” The influence of the spirit, its penetration and joy is indescribable, though the words are simply indeed. Yet the illustration is unmistakably clear, I returned to the woman at once, and raising my hand toward heaven, I declared I had drunk my last cup of tea of coffee.
About this time I also discovered that at some future day we were to become parents. The two revelations made life quite happy, notwithstanding the task we both had. While she, Fidelia, was in constant fear as to my safety, she gathered fruit and prepared it for winter. From the time of the first berries at the foothills till the last thimble berries up among the pines, she was there to pick and put them up. Fidelia would take me up to the mill with a team. I would take the horse Johnny to carry my luggage to the camp, then turn him lose expecting that he would go back to her. I was amazed to see him coming to eat breakfast with me the next morning. I hurried home to see how Fidelia had reached home. At dusk she had started home with Jim’s horse and was all right. She took me back to the mill and I started up the mountain while she turned around and drove home. One night my camp fire did not appear until nearly 10 PM and Fidelia was running to get someone to look for me. At last the beacon light appeared indicating I was still alive though I might be injured.
We at length decided to move back to Dry Creek. Father Ennis gave me four early New York potatoes, so I now had a half bushel for seed. I had all of my logs turned over the roll-off and could work at them any spare time I had. It was father to go but we were more favorably located. My first load of lumber I took in for tithing. I walked the team the whole distance though the near horse, Johnny, jogged a bit. I made the trip in two and a half hours. People stared at the team and the load of 1,000 feet of green lumber. I worked at the logs all winter and a few days of the spring.
Brother Taylor and I attended our quorum meetings in Draper, also ward teacher’s meetings, though it was a very cold winter, and the roads were often unbroken. I planted about thirty acres of grain and plowed that much sage brush land. No one knew when I started in the morning for I was out pulling and piling sage brush and the fires were burning when the rest went to bed.
My mother-in-law, Fannie Kofford, came from Spring City, Sanpete County, to help us with our prospective new baby. She had not seen the city since 1853-54, so I borrowed my brother’s cart and took her through the City and up to Camp Douglas. We had a grand outing.
On April 27th, 1885, A L or August Levi came to our home after many hours of severe pain. Brother W G Taylor and I administered to her and Sister Harrison, the mid-wife from Sandy, was full of faith. When the baby cried out tears of joy rolled down my cheeks. I had always looked forward to the time when I would be a papa, as one of the happy events of my life, for it would be the beginning of a home of my own. A dwelling without children is not a home. Mother and child did well and Grandma went home. We had him blessed June 4th by Absolom Smith.
I began working at the head of the canal in 1884 and there met William Fairborne of Dry Creek. WE cooked, ate, prayed, and slept together and built a life-long friendship without a jar. I attended a stock holder’s meeting at South Cottonwood. It appears that I had views of my own and made some remarks. The company lost $50,000 by the drop at Union, which, at least a few years back, the City had carried on in the natural grade. While the water was short or scarce, we were blessed with a good crop. I felt that a permanent home had been started.
I applied to Bishop Isaac M Stewart for a Sunday School and he was pleased to make a date with us. We met in John N Eddins new brick house and the people turned out en mass. Brother William H Smith acted as janitor. There were the Eddins, Smiths, Fairbornes, Taylors, Bullocks, Cunliffes, Morrisons, and Browns. I was made Superintendent with W G Taylor as my first assistant and Hanna M Fairborne as my second assistant. Morris directed the music. I was always on time. Many times I stood in the doorway and offered up a silent prayer that the people would come out so we could accomplish the good we desired. If Morris and his sons, Arthur and William, did not come we could always depend on Vina Taylor, or Ada Cunliffe, girls not yet in their teens.
How I learned the love the members! Brother Taylor was often away and Sister Fairborne was not strong and had to walk two miles. It was a struggle but God blessed me with will power and Fidelia instructed me at home how to conduct the school. She was one of the first secretaries. Rosa Lunen, a good sister about twenty years of age was present at the organization. In 1886 we took the school out under Eddin’s Trees and sometimes in his kitchen. Brother Burgon and his children came regularly.
With Brother Burgon’s help we had a great 4th and 24th of July celebrations. He taught me the bass to the song, “Listen to the mournful wailing, as it floats through yonder cottage door, Oh! Give me back my happy childhood, take me to my home once more.”
In the winter of 1884-85, Fidelia taught the first school in Dry Creek. Bro George Burgon, a life-long teacher, expressed great satisfaction over her success with his children. We also had many parties for the children. It was an enjoyable time, especially the Christmas dance. There was candy and prizes for the best school attendance. The first dance was held in Sister Eddin’s kitchen. I led the boys across the floor and showed them how to bow and properly ask the girls for a dance, but soon discovered they were not ready for the ceremony. The dance for 1886-87 was held in James P Nelson’s house where the school was being held, now the home of O E Vombaur.
As ward teachers we were all instructed to report any activities of the US Marshall in our vicinity. I lived near the State Road and could hear them pass from our bedroom window. I rushed over to Draper a number of times on horseback and reported fast driving on the road. One night my wife called, “August, August, a buggy just went by at a tremendous pace.” I rode over nd called Bishop Stewart, then went to Bro Stewart’s home and waited for the buggy to arrive. We were surprised that it was Nancy Day and her sweetheart Bro Ballard. I felt a little sold but Bishop Stewart said it was better to make a mistake that way than to slip up the other way.
Once when a number of non-Mormons were talking with my brother, James, a load of Marshalls passed swiftly past us. I asked James to let me take his cart and a trotting stallion and away I went after them. I did not overtake them and lost the sound of their outfit. I drove to Draper and back and learned that they had gone to Riverton where they found a number of brethren who had not been warned.
We were planning on a building that would do for both school and church. We needed a place for the choir to hold practice. The site for it was the big question. Some wanted it on the south end near Joseph Bullock’s place. I insisted we must build it on the State Road. Feeling that my proposition would lose unless I made a further move, I suggested we go one block further south, next to Atwoods. This was almost on the south limit. The north end wanted it where the school house now is but failed to come out and vote. I told them if they had the courage to vote for this corner I would help them build it and we would have one in the north end in time. The building was to be 26 X 30 feet with a half-pitch roof and to be built by contract, the contractor to use our labor and material. Brother Erickson from Sandy got the contract and the building was ready to move into before winter. I was a member of the building committee. We canvassed Draper for some of the money. It cost $1,200 and when it was finished there was a balance due of $400.
Roswell Kofford, Fidelia’s youngest brother, worked for me this summer. He was eleven, a cripple, but a stupendous good worker. We had light snow so I was able to plow from the 8th of February on without a stop. That little boy would pull sage all day alone. I had just bought the Forshay land and we broke 15 acres of it besides plowing all the rest. He was sent up to me to train. I would reason with him all day when we worked together and neither of us tired. He came to me with a little rebel and went home a good Christian. I enjoyed that boy’s company. He took a personal interest in my welfare and his courage was superb.
Water was very scarce that summer and many helped themselves. I had a weir to myself and should have had the same amount of water as the Eddin’s weir. My weir was high and when the water lowed it had to be widened. Bishop Rawlins told me to take what belonged to me. Most of my corn, cane, and potatoes failed but the rest I kept alive by constant cultivation. Then the Company issued a black list and my name was on it. I demanded a trial or that the accusers rescind their statement. I was given a trial but they would not accept the result of their own figures. The Bishopric of Draper were aged men and did not comprehend the figures.
My friends wept with me when I was disfellowshipped. They asked me to yield, but I could not dishonor the family name, my wife and children who would have to meet the stigma through their lives. A second trial went the same way.
At home I slept by myself and my wife said I looked like a ghost. I did not sleep. The adversary showed me all the wonderful homes and fields and argued with me to come with him and be free. All of the arguments of Ingersol, Paine, and others that I had read and reasoned with went through my mind and I saw the supposed beauties of hell, if I would leave the protection of the Gospel plan. This continued until morning when I seemed to be raised up and then fell about a foot to the bed. I fell asleep and upon awaking I was as calm and determined to stay with the Gospel the only source of true liberty.
In a month I came before the High Council in Salt Lake City with President Angus M Cannon, Joseph E Taylor, and Charles W Penrose presiding. My wife and Charles Hanson went with me. That day the Lord took all my planning and reasoning away from me and I was left helpless to defend myself, but meek and humble as a little child. The clerk read the minutes of the last trial. I told them if those minutes stood they could pass judgment without further hearing. I also said that all of Lovendahl’s testimony should be stricken.
President thought that I should have a rehearing. I told him that I was tired of it all. I was no better than — Smith. My wife whispered, “George E Smith.” I passed a slip of paper to my side of the Council signed by Albert G Brown showing how the measurements were made by his Company. When the Eddin’s weir was 2 5/8 open, the Nelson weir was less than eight inches. The Eddins had been set at four inches all summer which made the Nelson weir less than 12 inches and impossible for me to get my share of water. I told them I had not had enough. My wife said, “Due amount.” Supt. J S Rawlins said that I had forced the trial. I also told them that until my name was cleared I have to resign all of my Church duties.
The brethren for the defense seemed to shun me while the opposition showed interest. It seemed to go against me when Joseph E Taylor remarked, “I don’t like the principle of making a man an example for the others.” President Cannon said, “You can’t make an example of this man. It is not possible you are mistaken and that you did give this man authority to measure the Nelson weir?” Bishop Rawlins answered, “Yes.” Then it was moved and carried unanimously that the decision of Bishop Stewart be reversed and I was a free man.
I shook hands with all who had testified against me as ardently as the rest and tears were rolling down my cheeks. I will not attempt to describe my gratitude to Father in Heaven. He took away all my brilliancy and showed the superiority of humility before his servants.
Home friends were overjoyed while that good aged Bishop Stewart felt a little humiliated for not stating the question fairly. I was satisfied although L H Smith, first president of the Seventies, said I was not given justice and promised he would see that I did get justice. I told him that I was satisfied. D O Rideout told me the same. I felt as though I had grown in experience and judgment and many years more tolerant.
We had our new meeting house which also served as the school house. We were to have one trustee on the night I was elected unanimously. William Fairborne, James Jensen, and Samuel Stewart objected and said the motion was illegal as there was two in one, hence null and void. One the next vote I refused to vote or work for my self. Brother Fairborne won by one vote. John Fitzgerald said to me, “I do not think much of a man who will not vote for himself and friends.” He was more than an ordinary man and has always felt that I wronged him very much. Had I voted for myself I would have been one majority, Brother Fitzgerald’s candidate would have won.
Brown, Fairborne, and myself were a committee of three for renting the house for dances and managing the dances. As I was the Sunday School Superintendent, I held the balance of power. Many thought me too strict on manners and general behavior. I held strictly to two or three rounds dances for the evening. A meeting in the community was held. I invited Bishop Stewart and Supt. Peter Garff to be present. Bro Morris moved that Bro Fairborne be made assistant Supt. That was all right with me but when Fairborne asked me to be his first assistant I objected on the ground that as I was the older and the greater talker, I would be likely to lead him astray. Supt Garff said it was up to us brethren to work together.
When I was about seventeen or eighteen most of the church membership was being rebaptized but I refused to do so. I heard a number of Apostles preach that those who were not rebaptized would drink damnation to our souls when we partook of the sacrament. I did not believe this as I felt as strong as ever. But in 1883 I wanted to get married and married right and wanted nothing to be between me and my Father in Heaven. Supt Peter Garff said I didn’t need it. I told him I wanted it so he baptized me in Joseph M Smith’s pond. I felt that I was no better than the rest of the members of the church and did not ask for any special privileges.
Considerable dissatisfaction was felt as to our treatment in the school district so at the next election Dry Creek demanded by election. As soon as I was in I saw to it that we got two outhouses. The old one had a bad record and more than fifty boys and girls had to use the same one. We also started a school in John Neff’s house.
I must go back and relate some of my financial affairs. I bought my brother James out. There was two houses and over twenty acres of land for $2,000. I already owed $300 for which I gave a team. I borrowed the $2,000 from Zion’s Savings Bank with 10% interest. I had paid 18% on the $300. In the spring of 1889 I had to do something to get money for interest. I had 4 1/2 acres of alfalfa of my own planting. That year I got 19 tons off the first crop, 17 off the second, and 13 off the third crop, a total of 49 tons. I hauled one load to town and was disgusted with the method of selling. It meant that I would be on the road every day. I asked the Lord to help me find a better way.
I had my brother, Joseph Hyrum, and Frank Thomas do most of my farming. A L did the riding and tramping from four years and up. L E pulled slack all summer before he was three. Paul insisted on helping to pick tails at two years of age and a fork was provided. The boys never retired from their jobs. It was optional at first and they never complained. I have had much help and joy with my boys in their youth. They were no care, only a joy. I took them with me to Sunday school from ages 1 1/2 and up. A L and L E took care of themselves.
I had a thorough system in my work. I got a number of customers for my hay, some of it on time payments, usually at $5 or $6 per ton. Although I hauled hay for several years I was never away over night. I did most of my irrigating at night. The men would turn it during the day. One day as I was loading a high load, I had a young Danishman helping. He was a hustler and a joy to work with. I was taking hold of a thin pinion pole as Chris began binding on the load. I cautioned him to go easy and just then the pole snapped and I landed on my shoulders on the ground. L E was on the load and he prayed for me and I was able to get up on the load. My wife plead with me not to go today. I told her to pray for me becaus I was going if I died on the way. When I got as far as Murray I was a well man. I had fallen before this and had a tender spot on my breast, now all was gone and I have never felt any ill effects from these two falls.
Another time I was loading hay from a seventy ton stack when I was stricken with the lagrippe. I asked Fidelia what she could do for me. She said I would have to go to bed. I could not do that until the hay was delivered. On the way home I drove through rain and wind. I asked mother to take the team and I went in and lay down near the stove. Mamma came and covered me and made me comfortable. In the morning I was well.
Another time I was taking a load to a dairy near the Jordan in North Salt Lake. I missed the road and got into a slough. I had to pitch the load off, get the wagon loose, and load up again. Even then I was home by noon. I aimed to haul six loads a week. That year I grew about 400 tons.
A L was soon able to haul for me. When he was nine he took a load to B Street and 4th Ave. I was behind him as far as 4th east and 8th south, when I went with a man to try to locate some lost cattle. When I got to A L he was crying as the tire had come off the wagon. The man that I had helped was a blacksmith so he soon fixed the wagon and we were soon unloaded. How dear that dependable boy seemed to me and father to him as we rode home together! That boy did all of the hay cutting on the farm after he was seven.
The boys did all the stacking of grain after age seven and one year my wife pitched on to the stack. I remember a number of teams were hauling for John Neff and my two baby boys kept two pitchers busy. The two eldest were ordained deacons when they were eight and were active in priesthood work from then on. When the two eldest were eight and tend, Paul six, Virgil three, we ran two teams hauling. I pitched on and loaded, Paul tromped, Virgil rode the horse, Lawrence handled the fork and August stacked. Some of the present-age intellectuals would cry out cruelty to children but none have had happier children they were on the whole, nor more efficient in school or church.
So far this is all from memory. I did keep a diary for a time but many of my books have been lost in moving. I studied and did some systematic thinking. This was mostly from 9 PM to 12 PM. I never allowed my late hours to interfere with my rule of etting up at six in the winter and five in the summer. Of course, many nights were occupied with irrigating.
The first question for me to solve was regarding my future inheritance. I heard preached varied thoughts but they did not give logical connection. My wife and I had read the scriptures together but still I was not satisfied. One morning about three or four, a vision of the pre-existance and the future was shown to me.
It was all so clear. My parents were my brother and sister. They were simply a medium in helping God (which is Adam) in bringing his children from the spirit to the mortal stage. This necessary that we might have the opportunity of being celestial beings like the Father. If I could so conduct myself in this stage of action to be worthy of the celestial kingdom and eternal increase, then and only then, would I gain an inheritance of my own to be as Father Adam, and my wife, a mother Eve. Failing this, I would forever inherit in connection with others of my brethren and sisters, one of the three glories eternally without increase, hence no need of an individual of an individual inheritance.
Perfection and Celestial Glory of God are definite terms, the end of all human attainment. While we become fathers and grandparents a hundred times in this world, the highest possible attainment is celestial glory with eternal increase. I know the Redeemer to be in the senior of Adam, where or from whence the Prototype provides Redeemers for each planet, is not material to us in this sphere of action. All intelligence comes from the Prototype. There is no intelligence where or beyond the first (first is inconceivable) intelligence. God is not eternally progressing in the sense that we understand it. He is the same today and forever, unchangeable. He is forever increasing in heirs and worlds numerically, but one eternal circle intelligently. With this information I asked the Lord to send my way all the experiences necessary for me to attain an individual inheritance, which in itself, includes eternal increase and Godhood.
On Christmas eve of 1890 we were invited to Sister Eddins and while there baby James was playing ont he floor with a lapdog, which had a cold. The gave one cough. My wife was alarmed and picked him up until we returned home. She did everything she thought would help and seemed to be better until New Years Eve when he took worse. He passed away about 2 PM 1 Jan 1891. I seemed to be dead in my administrations to him. I have always felt that it took his passing to touch and refine my soul.
Sister Thurza Hanson called me a few months before to administer to her child which seemed to be dying. I told the mother the child would not die. As I took it in my arms I walked and prayed and when I gave the child back to the mother it was breathing normally. She is still alive.
The people were so kind and sympathetic at James’ funeral. It seemed to prepare me for future usefulness in time of sorrow.
When the Crescent Ward was organized, I was sitting in the choir. As each name was presented I felt it was the right man. James Jensen, Bishop; William Fairborne, first counselor; and Albert G Brown second counselor. From my youth I had aimed at some time in my life to be Bishop. Now I said, “Nelson, you have overdone yourself.” I heard the divine voice say, “Nelson, is there nothing left for you to do?” Oh, the sweet comforting assurance that my labors had been accepted and that there was other work for me to do. I was made Ward clerk. My first statistical report was credited with being the first correct one sent in by a new ward. Later I held the offices of Sunday School Supt and MIA President. Then I was appointed to start building the LDS U. I contributed $5 myself and collected $20.
Draper assisted us in building our first church and they held the deed. Draper demanded of us a definite amount for their church or they threatened to sell ours. I told them they could not sell it but we could. We had a heated discussion and it I was told to sit down by Heber A Smith, which I did not do. They then threatened to throw me out so I sat down. When I got outside I told the men that God would surely humiliate them some day. Later they were all asked to resign by the community. President Angus M Cannon told Soren Jensen, our presiding Elder, to call a meeting to determine how much we would contribute to the Draper building fund. I moved that we assist Draper according to the honest conviction of our conscience. It was seconded by James B Cunliffe and carried unanimously. When the report was read in Draper, Smith remarked, “Just like that damn Nelson!”
While attending conference I was very sick. It was typhoid fever. Brother Joseph had just had it. I sent for the Elders and Soren Jensen, James B Cunliffe, and George Lunnen came. I told them it would be just as they said and I was well in the morning. However, I had no desire for food. I hunted up a sow that had farrowed and walked around most of the day and it appeared that all the sickness had left me. In the evening Frank Thomas came in with the last load of hay so I went out to help him unload. It was snowing and blowing and Fidelia begged me not to go. When I came in I said, “I have it now. No need to send for the Elders again because the Father would not hear.” Fidelia cared for me alone. Dr Robertson did all he could for me but I got worse and worse.
It happened that Brother Patterson stopped at Bishop Jensen’s place on night. When asked what his business was he said, “Healing the sick.” Sister Jensen remarked that there was a mighty sick man up the road. They came up in the morning and administered to me, also gave a blessing to Virgil who was ailing and did not walk. He soon began walking. When the Dr came that morning he was surprised that I had no fever. He advised that no one talk to me as it was a relapse and would soon die. I continued to improve from then on and was around in six weeks. The truth was that the blessing of Brother Patterson did the trick.
As soon as I was able to get around a little, I drop to Draper to find Willard Ennis and Joseph M Smith, the other trustees. I found both and arranged for a meeting in the new school house. At the meeting Draper insisted on improving their three schools and I was equally insistent the next tax levy should go to Dry Creek. I threatened to petition for a separate district. The next morning I had Frank Thomas out with the petition and every one in Crescent signed. As soon as the petition was in the hands of the County Commissioners, Draper was informed, the Board acted in our favor, and asked me to name three Board members.
I named Hyrum Lancaster, James B Cunliffe, and James Mickleson. They insisted that I must be a member so I replaced Hyrum Lancaster. When the next meeting was held at Draper the whole town was out with only Mickleson from Dry Creek and myself for the opposition. They had lawyers and all their old experienced men and I was called many names except a gentleman. I was told after that I had answered all the arguments. One person was heard to remark, “I wonder what Nelson will ask for next?”
They soon found out because we demanded our share of the school property. Willard Ennis was appointed from Draper to work with meon the County tax lists from the time taxes were first levied for schools until the present time. We found we had $1,350 due us. In six months we had a building on the flat and a big one in north Crescent on the state road for which I gave the land. The Superintendent bucked us quite a bit but we won out all the way. As a result we built up a prosperous and fairly intellectual community.
In politics I was an ardent Democrat. At my first election I was a real novice. James Mickleson was road supervisor and had most of the people in his book because he could give them a job as they needed it. I talked the different offices up in Sunday School and meetings showing the people how important it was to have good men in office. I was up for Justice of the Peace. I nominated James Kemp for constable. He was so pleased with my description of his qualifications that he then and there decided to stop drinking. He made the best Constable we ever had and in time quit using tea and coffee.
Just before the election I hitched two span of horses to a wagon, drove to the north end of the district, unfurled my flag, and hurrahed for a Democratic rally to be held in the East school house. I drove faster and made a big noise with plenty of hurrahs. I went to Draper and got a band and drove around the flat. That evening I acted as Chairman of the rally. At one time we were three to one Democratic in Dry Creek. I also helped about a dozen people to get their citizenship papers. They were to vote for us the first year but did not always do it. I learned to be patient under all circumstances however aggravating. I used it in my religious work after that. At the election we ran one vote behind the Republicans.
I forgot to relate an incident of healing that happened several years ago. I was called to administer to John Eddins, age six, who the Dr had little hopes John could get well. All of the family was there. I asked them to send for George Lunnen to assist me. While they were gone the boy died. The mother was weeping and all gathered around. I asked for the oil and was ready to administer to him when the grandfather said, “August, he is dead, you damn fool can’t you see he is dead?” As I anointed him in the name of the Lord and by the authority and power of the Priesthood which I held, he came to life again. I was surprised to hear the same grandfather say, “Just the way that medicine works, though I have never seen it work that way before, and I did not expect it to work that way. Also, if the Dr had given us any hope we would not have sent for Bro Nelson.”
I know the Lord raised that boy! The whole houseful knew that he had died and only the Lord through his agents could bring him back. When I last heard from him he was doing well out in Uinta and had a large family.
James Kemp has a boy, Freddie, who the parents call my boy. He was very sick and even Dr Robertson (no second-rate Dr) gave him up. The parents thought they would try Brother Nelson, it costs nothing and can do no harm. Freddie revived from the time I administered to him and still lives.
Brother Joseph Booth had a boy with boll poison in his foot and he was in a serious condition. After his father and I administered to him the obnoxious poultice fell off and a clean white skin covered the whole sore and his son was soon was about again.
I am happy that our home was the stopping place for many people as they journeyed to and from Salt Lake. Our evenings were full of interesting stories as they told of their experiences in accepting the Gospel. Thomas Allred related that as a young man he was called to go back to Omaha to assist the emigrants to Utah. As he left, his aged Grandmother blessed him and promised that he would safely return. On the return trip they lost their animals. He and two others overtook ten Indians and a white man driving their animals off. He told the thieves he wanted the cattle and was asked how he intended to get them.
While Allred faced the eleven men, his two companions went around and drove the cattle toward their camp. The Indians roared and waved their arms but he, like a statute, dared them with his attitude to make a false move. Allred had no fear until he turned to overtake his companions. Then he realized his extreme danger. There can be no question but that Providence was with them. The psychology of the case was the directing of his companions without answering the outlaws.
I would not be fair to my lads whom I loved and had their future outlined to not relate some of their accomplishments as babes. August rode the horse all summer on the derrick and Lawrence pulled the sack. The rope was too heavy for him. One day a number of children were there playing as we unloaded. Then Lawrence cried out and I found him with the rope around his leg which was very badly broken. Dr. Robertson set it and his mother was devoted nurse and mother to him. The two boys would start off to Sunday School ahead of me. Then I would come along with Paul in my arms, pick up Lawrence, and walk the rest of the way. I never regretted any effort in this direction.
Another time we were going in the wagon and Mama was along with a new baby. Lawrence was bothered with his water and as he began wetting his pants he started jumping up and down int he wagon and fell off into the brake. As I picked him up I could see his bare skull for quite a distance. Dr Robertson sewed it up and it healed rapidly.
I remember in the summer of 1892, myself and two husky young men were bunching hay which was very heavy and on new land. Paul was four and the others five and seven. We men turned one swath on top of the other and the lads had to clean up as we went. I started off at a good pace making it as easy for the lads as possible. It soon became a race and we did not stop until the whole six-to-seven acres was piled. It had taken us a little over an hour and I know that some grown men would not have done what the boys did and it was fun.
At one time the Republicans were having a big rally in the meeting house which was filled. I was late so I took a seat in the rear. A big Scandinavian from Sanpete was relating the fun he had with Democrats in his county. When he sat down I arose and challenged the gentleman to a public debate on human liberty and the silver question. He hesitated and then said he was not a debated nor was he prepared. I returned that I was only a clodhopper but would talk extemporaneously. I then made the same challenge to any member of his party but no one saw fit to accept. I made a rule to study all the Republicans’ issues and was well informed on the tariff question. The party never succeeded very well in Dry Creek.
I tried to be diplomatic when A G Brown was running for road supervisor. I would not run against him but suggested David Lunnen and did my best to have accepted. Still I got the credit of saying one word for him and two for myself. I was elected.
I used all poll tax money to open up new roads, four west of State Street to the river, also the road south of Kings east to the foot of the mountain. When I proposed to bridge the East Jordan Canal, the Commission asked me to wait, and they said they would tell me what to do. I waited longer than they asked and then having no go ahead from them, I went ahead and built it. When I put in the bill, the board member said I should pay for it myself. I replied that if they couldn’t I could.
Under Joseph S Rawlins I did all heavy jobs by contract. I graveled the Hyde road for 35 cents per load and allowed the teams 30 cents. I received $15.50 per day myself unloading one end of the plant on each wagon besides doing all leveling. The job was completed in 1 1/2 days. I felt quite overdone in my muscles. Another day I hauled the planks up to Ed Atwood’s, dug out the hard road the two lengths of boxing, sawed and nailed together the new boxing, put in place, and covered in one day. A long day for which I received $3.00. At the present time $25 would not get it done. It is worthwhile to know that you can trust yourself. No one ever dared to offer me a price for my honesty.
I was again stricken with typhoid fever. Dr Robertson ordered me to bed. I had an appointment to see Willard Ennis, J W W Fitzgerald, and J R Allen to arbitrate damages done to my ranch by cutting the quaking asps and other trees. They finally awarded me $30 in damages. I told the doctor I would only take a short rest this time. I had a light run of fever for three weeks and I was around again. I noticed it left my memory poor. Seemed I could not carry a thought.
Now I began to acquire property. I bought 20 acres from my brother Joseph by refunding what he had paid and taking over. Another 20 acres I got by paying a Brother Noice $100 for his $300 equity and a balance of $400. Next I got 40 acres from Legrade Young. I bought 160 acres east of Bombaur place for $900. Then came 280 acres more. Some I traded for land up on the flat where I bought several pieces along with ten shares of Bell Canyon water. It is evident that I was kept busy paying for interest and principle.
It is difficult to note details by memory, but I have this to record for 1893. My sister Charlotte Abigail lived with us that summer. When she went to Logan that fall she had the fever. Later she went to Washington to visit with our sister Annie, wife of Joseph Jonas. Annie had been sick for a long time, but none of us knew the nature of her illness until Charlotte brought the whole family to Utah with her. It turned out to be mental illness. She kept running away so we finally had to put her in the institution in Provo where she died a short time after.
I owe it to the lads to mention some of the experiences they had while herding cattle on the flat. August was talking to J H Smith one evening when they heard an unearthly howl by some wild animal. Smith hustled for home leaving the boy to go to his camp in an old house having no windows and in the direction from which the howl had come.
Another time Lawrence was herding the cows when one of them was trying to have a calf. She was far from water and could not get up. In the morning he went to see how she was. She mooed so pitifully to him that he decided on a drastic action. He literally tore the calf to pieces until it was all removed, then carried water to the cow in his hat and pulled grass and leaves for her. When she was able to get up she followed him as though he were her calf.
The milking was done on the flat. One of the younger boys would haul it down and I sold it to a man, Scott for 6 cents per gallon. Several cattle were killed by wild animals. I am just touching only the high spots of a very few of the boys’ experiences.
In 1900 the Jordan Stake was organized and I became an alternate member of the high council. The Presidency consisted of Bishop Orin P Miller, B P Hyrum Goff, and Bishop James Jensen.
We had our house improved and added to so we were very comfortable. This was the time when Charlotte brought the Jonas family to us. There were five children. It was sad to see sister in her condition. I had not seen her since 1878. The last letter I had written her was from Bristol, Nev. I suggested to her that she should marry a Mormon boy. Her reply was that Mormon boys were not as genteel as Gentile boys. Her daughter told me that before she lost her mind she would hold her head in her hands and moan, “Will not my father or brother come and get me?” The Jonas family were German Catholics and worked in the field like men. Annie had never done hard work and had the five children in so short a time that her health broke and she was also forced to become a Catholic. Her husband destroyed her letters to us so we never knew what she was going through.
We had by this time increased our cattle to over a hundred head. We bought from thirty to fifty head of calves in a year and sold all steers and unlikely heifers for beef. This is how I got the money to buy all the land and at the same time to keep the boys on missions and at the L D S U in Salt Lake.
I have forgotten the year but one year I or we hunted for a dozen beefs that were lost for about a month and they turned up with the other cattle. I usually tried to have my beef ready for market early so I always got the highest market price.
Usually the youngest boy did the herding. This time it was Moses. We had a wagon to sleep in. We gave him a dog to help. One day as he was sitting by the creek the dog began to make a fuss and looked frightened so they both got up in the wagon. Then they saw an animal which must have been a mountain lion. Their mother had taught them if they said their prayers God would take care of them and He did.
Once, while Moses was herding a black cow had a calf. He reported it as a black bull calf with white face and legs. We went up and got the cow and the black heifer calf. I almost got vexed when he kept insisting that the calf was a bull. In a few days he ran onto the bull calf which was almost starved to death. The cow had given birth to twins and both had survived.
Later Virgil was turning the cattle in from the north just below Flatiron when a mountain lion trotted past him and through the herd of cattle. Still, all the boys from the oldest to the youngest loved to roam the hills among the cattle. They learned to pray and meant it for they needed His care. Adolph Mickelson relates that one time he was rushing to catch Virgil for letting the cattle come down Beck’s place. When he got close to him Virgil was almost black in the face and almost out of breath trying to head them back. Mickelson turned in and helped the boy who was doing his best. With all the storms and difficult tasks that the boys had endured on that ranch, it pains me now that it is sold. They all so dearly loved it.
While Lawrence was attending school in Salt Lake he got a job on a sightseeing bus. He very eloquently described scenes of interest and on the way to Camp Douglas he pointed out Mount Majestic. He would say to the tour group, “At the base of that mountain my father owns 1,000 acres on which roam hundreds of heads of cattle.” The joy and pride of this ranch made the young man’s eyes glow with intelligence.
I mentioned earlier that sister Annie and her family came to live with us. I had never met her husband but soon found him to be a beer-bloated man, a rude Catholic who had compelled his whole family to be Catholic. Also sister Lottie was a physical wreck at this time. It weighed heavily on me to think that my mother had put these sweet girls under my care and I had not been faithful to the trust. Before we finally got rid of Jonas he had tried to poison a man in Sandy by the name of Larsen. He ran off to Washington to keep away from the law.
I was on the committee of three with Henry Becksted and Thomas Page to file on surplus water of the Weber River so it could be turned across the Kamas flats and drop into the Provo River and eventually into Utah Lake. We camped at the mouth of the Weber, viewed the situation, and located the original stakes, and estimated approximately where the mouth of the canal would be. While Brother Becksted drove to Coalville and recorded his filings for 500-600 second-feet, we drove home down the Provo River.
We reported at a mass meeting in West Jordan, Angus M Cannon acting as chairman. The question arose, Who are we representing, the Canal Companies, or the people? I voted with the companies and found that only one man, James Hibberd, had been with me. It was understood that each Canal Company should contribute $200 for our expenses. We returned using my teams as before. We took along Engineer George Hardy, also a boy, Gwyn Page. We camped at Beck’s hotel. Gwyn and I slept in the wagon while the others slept in the hotel.
We ran two lines, one above and one below Kamas. One was too high and the other too low for our use. Being only a junior member of the group, I knew that if I found a better line it would take a lot of convincing. Every evening I asked Father in Heaven to show me the best line with evidence that it was best. Early one morning I walked to the side hill northeast of town and set a line through the center of town without a building to obstruct. After breakfast we all went and looked the new line and all were convinced it was the best line.
We drove up to the head of the Provo River, climbed upon the summit of Weber, Provo, and Duchesne. I made an estimate of a one hundred thousand dollar tunnel which would bring the headwaters of the river into the Provo into the Provo. We could see the Bear River heading north from where we were, as where we stood we were at an elevation of 14,000 feet. There were some beautiful lakes in this section fed by rivulets from all directions. I took the Committee as far as Heber where they boarded a train.
Because I had spoken in many wards and gained the good will of the people, the Company asked me to get all of the particulars of each owner of water in the Kamas stream, which I very much disliked. Had it come to court much of the information would have had the appearance of confidential facts and had I not been considered an honest man, I might have failed. I was at last called home to find that very little or would be done because the meeting had no authority. I received 80 cents a day for myself and team during the three months I spent on the project.
While I was gone, August, age 15, had taken charge and he and the other boys had hauled and stacked 800 bushels of wheat, fattened a large bunch of hogs, killed as many as sixteen in a half day, and looked after the cattle on the ranch and the cows at home. I was real proud of them. I had a very happy meeting with the children. My only daughter, not quite three, whom I generally called my little angel was a treat to meet again after about three months absence.
That year our crops were unusually small because of a shortage of water. I borrowed $100 from Zion’s Savings Bank and paid my tithing. I felt better over that than any tithing I ever paid. My tithing increased from then on.
Before leaving Kamas, I wrote to the Deseret News stating the possibilities of increasing the water I described a canal from the Provo River to Salt Lake City and another one on the west side into Tooele County. I saw in my mind’s eye a little of what President Brigham Young saw in the early days.
I had worked for many year to get the office of the East Jordan Canal Co moved to Sandy and to have W D Kuhre secretary as Henry W Brown was so far away from the water users. He also rented all stock at a minimum price and rerented it at a maximum. After a long battle we won. The officers were J W W Fitzgerald, President N A Nelson, Vice President and Superintendent. It proved to be a very difficult job with so little water in the canal. Joseph S Mousley assisted me. We got along very well as we were both good at figures.
We had a positive system of measuring the weirs after the water was in the laterals. The mouths of all the weirs had been raised the year before under President James Jensen by making the first level six inches above grade and lowering each succeeding weir in proportion to the total of 8,000 shares. (8,000 shares equals 6 inches, or 5/15 above the bottom of the canal). This system continued until J R Allen got a Board that did not comprehend large schemes and the Superintendent was given to Draper when it should be located near the north end. He also put out James Rawlins who dared to oppose him. The Company expended over $2,000 to deepen the canal. They got as far as Atwood’s and stopped for lack of time. J R Allen said he would make the canal at the original level if it took half of his life and he succeeded by building cement checks in four different places. It is only reasonable to believe that if those checks had not been there that the canal would not have broken out as it did in 1923.
I had recommended that work on the canal be done before the irrigating season begins. Nothing was done until the water was turned in and then I was asked to keep ahead of it. I asked to measure the weirs but no move was made. I took Fred Olsen and we went over it hurriedly. When we got next to President Fitzgerald’s place he came along and ordered us to stop, but we kept right on. We found his weir had seven second feet instead of the 2 plus he should have had. As we advanced north we found that this made a big difference in the stream. Joseph S Mousley was ordered to help me divide them accurately. We discovered when we got to Sandy that we had not allowed enough water for seepage or Mousley had misinformed me. At the Board meeting which followed, I was ordered to the head of the canal to cut the railroad fence and it was inferred that I had not divided the water correctly.
The day before the meeting, I had turned or closed all the upper weirs proportionately to make up for any previous deficiency. The wind also blew from the south increasing the flow from the Jordan River. It was decided at the meeting to have Ennis go with me and start measuring from the north end of the canal. Mousley could not be with us as his child had swallowed a staple. When we got to the south end of the canal near Draper they decided that everything was OK and stopped further measuring. I fixed things up the best I could and tendered my resignation. Then Ennis and Fitzgerald got to quarreling and at the next election J R Allen became President.
An interesting historical fact that occurred in the winter of 1902-1903. The Government proposed to make Utah Lake the first big project and to expend $2,000,000 in dredging the lake and the Jordan River to the Narrows where the pumps would be installed. Lawyers F S Richards and Colonel Holmes who had been meeting for months, had written a constitution to govern all the companies. We met with our board to consider the constitution and to make amendments. I suggested four amendments to our board and Joseph Mousley was appointed to make the motions. I put over three of my own motions before all five companies. We met in M and M Store in Draper.
I was planned to let the other companies kill the whole proposition and if they did not, we would. I gave notice that I was not with them. We met in Salt Lake shortly after that and the other companies voted against and our company followed. I rose to my feet and stated that I had always been in favor of Government assistance in the conversation of water of the Utah Lake and I was going to vote in favor of the Government furnishing $2,000,000 for the project. Time is truth’s greatest friend.
It is only what I remember that I am able to write. The Jonas children became ours. My sister Lottie worked in Logan until she became so sick and weak she came to our home where she died 23 Nov 1902. Father died 26 Nov 1902 and Annie was sent home (died) from Provo a few years later. From father’s estate I received about $700 and the same amount as guardian of my sister’s children. My mother’s last instructions keep running through my mind. “August, you have been a good boy, God bless you.” Oh Father in Heaven have I at least, with all my weaknesses, striven with a desire to do my duty to them and to my father?
As Sunday School Superintendent I was told by Prof Jensen of the General Board that I had the best all around Sunday School in the Church. The Elders Quorum in the Jordan Stake needed improvement in their Quorum capacity. I and Solomon E Smith were chosen to help them. I chose W R Wellington as Secretary. There was soon a visible improvement in the whole set up.
I bought half interest in the Victor Hegsted reservoir and land project in the Teton Basin. He failed to completed his deal with the Government so the $2,500 I had paid down was lost. At this time three of the boys were attending the LDSY and August received his call for a mission to the Central Stakes. The professors had so spoiled Lawrence Egbert. He was very bright. To illustrate: One evening we were having a meeting at our house and I was talking to Bishop Jensen. Lawrence stepped up and remarked, “I know as much as you two.” I asked, “How is that?” He replied, “I know what I have learned in school and you have told me all you know.” I sometimes objected to some of the teacher’s theology. They told the boys, “Never mind your parents, they are all old fogies.” With tears in my eyes I asked the Bishop to send Lawrence on a mission.
When Paul graduated from the district school he was a chump of a fellow. He had made up his mind not to go to school any more. He was driving a team for me scraping at the smelter. Elisha Brown went to my wife and told her that Paul could graduate if he would take the examination. I was going to send one of the smaller boys for him but Delia said, “He will not come unless you go.” Mother said, “You want a bicycle and I want you to graduate. Now we will both do our best and ask God to help. I will see that you get what you want and you see that I get what I want.” He did not have an easy time because his own chum said he knew one from Crescent that would fail.
I came home at noon and told mother that we must pray more and harder for the boy. Our big boy was about the only one from Crescent that succeeded in the examination. It is beyond my limited power to describe the change in the 15 year, 160 pound. He was a forward looking man forever after. When August had been out one year and L E about six months, Paul yearned to go on a mission and I told the Bishop to call him. He went to Mississippi first. L E was in Florida and A L in Texas. A L came home with the body of an Elder who died in the field but had been out for two years. L E traveled from Key West to Georgia and talked often in Jacksonville, Florida and was out some thirty months.
Paul became President of the Atlanta Conference and then of the Ohio Conference. He visited the Sacred Grove and the HIll Cumorah and Niagara Falls. He was out almost three years. While they were gone I had three of my sister’s boys and two of my own to help. We put up as high as 400 tons of hay and had at the ranch nearly two hundred head of cattle, and often over 200 head of hogs, besides the milk cows. We had 160 acres on the State Road and rented 80 acres from Men Hill for many years. There were two homes on the farm and at the time two on the ranch. Forty acres on the ranch were cultivated and irrigated and 2,000 acres were divided into different sized pastures open at the top.
The work my lads did seemed to be beyond their power. I had some hired help most of the time. The boys were generally out of school two months of the school year, but never lost a grade. Virgil started to school late in the year and parents of Crescent objected, said he was not qualified. Heber Smith suggested that he take an examination. I objected to that and said if he failed in the spring, then their cause was just, if not I am right. Of course he did not fail, even in our baseball games we did not fail. The professors say there is a psychology in life that put things over, coupled with jobs or work. There is a spirit in man the Spirit of God giveth it understanding. That positiveness of my soul of the truth of Mormonism which I received at my father’s first prayer when I was five years of age has been verified all along life’s journey. I have never regretted my step.
About 1915 I was attending Stake Conference at the Jordan High School. When I got out I was informed that I was wanted in Court to show why I should not be tried for mental instability. I had now warning of it. If your imagination can approach in part my feelings, you will need a lively one. My son Lawrence informed the time I was to be at the Court. I took the first car in and started up town to seek an attorney. I met a lawyer, Brown, and as we walked we talked.
When I entered Judge Louis Brown’s Court, my wife and son Lawrence were there with an attorney and mental experts present. I answered all questions so coolly, I learned it was one sign of my weakness. I asked my wife, “Is it not true that while you have sometimes been aggressive to me that I have not even raised my hands in self-defense?” She answered in the affirmative and added that I had always been a kind husband to her. That was the first and only time I was called in. Zion’s Savings Bnk offered to loan me the money to defend myself, but it was not necessary. I took over all the business again and my friends had no fear of me.
I had been paying large hospital and school bills in Logan so Paul and Moses contracted to buy the farm. This was when I was sick. They could not work in harmony. Paul suggested to sell the flat and divide the $18,000 evenly between A L, L E, and Fidelia, and I was to have a $6,000 home in Sandy and $12,000 in cash. Paul would get to good farms besides but both had big mortgages on them. Carlquist, real estate man would handle both OK.
This deal ended up with L E taking the Murray farm for the mortgage and what Ella had loaned Paul on it. Paul borrowed Delia’s six thousand to try to keep the Perry Place, but he lost that too. In lieu of the money she let Paul have I have promised this home to Delia when I die. We gave Virgil the sixty acres and two houses on the flat have a mortgage of $1,800. He ran that up to $3,300 which I paid off. Paul was indebted for the Warren place for $5,500 which I paid off.
Paul suggested that Delia go on a mission. We talked to Bishop A M Nelson who called her. She went to the Eastern States. We had spent several hundred dollars to repair the house and furniture. Her mission cost two hundred dollars which took all the money I had. I am thankful she went on a mission. Besides the experiences she had she also got a good worthy husband.
Now the interest we get from Paul is all our income. The $1,800 at the Sandy Bank that was Virgil’s property was drawn at different times when the family needed. The last $200 was used when Lawrence came home from the war. He returned to Chicago and needed the cash. I asked Gardner to throw me $200 which he did and added it to the previous amount. That bank has treated me as a gentleman. In short, this was true of all the banks that I have ever dealt with.
This about ends Grandpa’s life history. What he did after 1930 pertained mostly to doctrines of the church. He did a lot of reading and studying and wrote his thoughts on certain principles to various persons in the Stake and Church. He was very much opposed to the doctrine of eternal progression and was always trying to find of ways to disprove it. In 1933-34 he had an operation which removed his penis because it was infected with cancer. This made it impossible for him to control the passing of urine. He was dropsical and had to sit up the remaining months of his life. However, he passed away without a struggle on September 7, 1935. He would have been 79 years old the following May 18. Those 79 years were full of struggle, unbounded energy, and courage to stand along when he knew he was right.
Buxton has said, “The longer I live, the more deeply I am convinced that that which makes the only difference between one man and other – between the weak and the powerful, the great and the insignificant – is energy; invincible determination; a purpose once formed and then death or victory.”
“To be healthy and sane and well and happy, you must do real work with your hands as well s your head.” Elbert Hubbard.
These quotations are apropos of the life of Nels A Nelson. He was a man of action and when convinced of the rightness of a thing was as unshakable as the granite mountain peaks overlooking the valleys of his western homeland. His boundless energy was expressed through the use of his hands as well as with his head. To him all things were honorable if they tended toward the building up of the Kingdom of God. He was always upheld in this work by his loyal and devoted wife, Fidelia. Their descendants are blessed to bear their name and will do well to emulate the example they set.
Comments by Milton Grant Nelson, grandson of Nels.
I copied this history from my Aunt Eunice Ensign Nelson’s typewritten version whom, I presume, copied it from Grandpa’s original written history. I am not certain if Grandpa wrote the original in his own handwriting or if he dictated his history to someone acting as scribe. The type of expressions and grammar used suggest to me that he may have written a good portion of it himself.
The interesting thing to me is Grandpa Nelson’s detailed recall of people’s names and places as well as events that occurred during his life. This is remarkable because he indicates that he began writing his history 59 years after leaving the land of his birth, Sweden, without the benefit of any previously written journals. Since he was seven years old when he left with father’s family, that means Grandpa was in his 66th year. I don’t know many people 20 years younger that could remember anywhere near as well.
Most important to me is Grandpa’s strong testimony of the Gospel and successful effort to keep and strengthen that testimony. By typing this history I have partaken of his spirit and have felt his presence near me as I did this task. I wanted to make certain that his story would be available to his posterity so that they too could enjoy the story of his adventurous life.
This is the life history of Charles August Nuffer. He wrote this autobiography on 28 January 1949. I have maintained the language and spellings of the original document. I also wrote a quick overview of his life previously.
This is a brief history of the life of Charles August Nuffer, son of Johann Christopher Nuffer and Eva Katherina Greiner Nuffer. I was born June 18th 1871 in Neuffen, Wurtemberg, Germany. When about eight years old I remember going with my father and mother to a neighbor’s home where the Mormon Elders were holding a meeting, one was Elder John Theurer of Providence, Utah. Some week later, one morning on getting up the floor was all wet, I asked my mother why, all that she said was that they were baptized members of the Mormon Church last night in the Mill Race back of our house.
It was not long after when they began to make arrangements to emigrate to America. After they had sold their home and land to get money for the voyage except what they could take with them, and that was not very much, they still had to borrow a few hundred dollars before they could go. They borrowed this money from the Schweitzer family that had also joined the Church, and came on the same ship with us, also the Lalatin family that had become members of the Church. So in the month of May 1880 they all bid farewell to friends and the land of their birth for the Gospel’s sake, and set sail on the steamer Wisconsin, for New York, U. S. A. (Early in the morning before daylight we left home in a covered wagon for the City of Stuttgart. I was carried in some bedding as I was sick with the measles and was not well enough to walk. From Stuttgart we went to Manheim and from there by boat on the Rhine to Holland and over the North Sea to London, where everybody was sick the next morning but myself, I think I was just getting over the measles.)
The first place we came to was called Castle Garden where all our belongings were examined. They also gave all the emigrants a little book, the New Testament to take along free. In those days most of the streets of New York were paved with cobble rock. After a few days rest we went by train to Collinston. Arriving in Logan we were taken by a family of Saints that gave us food and lodging for about three weeks by the name of Shaggo in North Logan. After three weeks we found a little old log house with one room and a dirt roof and plenty of bed bugs to keep us company. It was on a vacant lot on the street going to the College just east of the canal. We lived there about a month, as father bought a house and lot of Jacob Engle, full of cobble rock where we intended to make a living but we found it hard going. The house was built of small cobble stone and in the winter at night the walls would get all white with frost. Father would go out where ever he could get some work, he worked on the threshing machines and I went with him to help and he got a bushel of wheat a day. Grandma Spring, Regine and I went out in the north field to glean wheat, we would cut the heads off and put them in a sack. Father threshed them out with the flail and it made about sixteen bushels, so about all father could do is to earn for us so that we could have something to eat while John and Fred were earning money to pay for the place.
Fred went to Idaho working on the Railroad and John worked for Mr. Summers a contractor who later recommended to the Stake Presidency to take charge of building the Stake Academy after we had moved to Idaho. It seems to me the Lord had already begun to open up the way for our life’s mission in this part of the land.
When we arrived in Providence the potatoes were in full bloom on the lot which looked good, at least we would have potatoes to eat. We had to get the wood from the hills near by. They had bought a team and an old wagon so we went to get some wood. Father told me to drive, as I drove out the gate and over a little ditch the tongue dropped down and the reach came up and the team ran away and I fell under the horses feet. I received a broken shoulder and the horses ran around the block and back in the gate, my first time driving a team, at ten years old.
While living in Providence I went to school a few months during the winters of 1881 and 1882 and learned to speak English. My teacher was Mrs. Mary Neaf Maughn, the mother of Mrs. A. E. Hull and Maughn the brush man, and Peter Maughn was the other teacher.
I was baptized when I was 9 years old by Mr. Campbell the grandfather of Mrs. C. M Crabtree of this ward. My sister Mary was born here October 11, 1881. She died in Mapleton, Idaho, October 5, 1900. I look back to my young days while living in Providence, and I still have many friends there, but my parents had to look forward to some other place for our future and to find the place for our life’s mission. It seems the Lord prepared the way. One of our neighbors, a German family had a daughter married to John Miles who was living at Wormcreek and she wanted him to move to Providence where her mother lived so we traded places. We lived in Providence from June 1880 until October 1883. So from here we go to Idaho the place the Lord had chosen for us to build our future home.
We loaded what we could on our wagon and Mr. Miles the rest on his as he helped us move and all together it was not very much, but it was all the poor teams could pull over the kind of roads there were at that time. On arriving at Wormcreek we found a place with a house on it, a log house about 14 by 16 feet, all one room, with dirt floor, no fence around it and no plowed land, and when it rained the mud would run down the walls and we had to set pans on the bed to catch the rain. Father, Mother, Regine, Adolph, Mary and I lived there then. Fred was out in Oregon but he came later that fall with two big horses and John was working in Logan, I think with Mr. Summers. During the winter John rode the biggest horse to Providence as he was going with Louise Zollinger whom he later married. The horse got warmed up too much and got a sore leg and they finally had to shoot him. John and Fred were in Providence most of that winter as their grandmother lived there and Fred was going with Anna Rinderknecht.
As we did not have much hay we bought two stacks of straw from Jap Hoarn and Tom Miles, the first lived in Richmond and the other in Smithfield as they were only on their farms in the summer. The snow as so deep Regine and I filled some big sacks we had brought from the Old Country with straw and tied on the hand sled and pulled it over the rested snow for home. The Miles were the only family that were living on the Creek besides us on what is now known as the Webster Ranch, and we lived on what is now known as the Fred Wanner Place. The Miles Family ran out of feed for their cattle so in March they shoveled a path over to the south side of the hills where the wind and sun had taken the snow off the grass and it had started to grow. When they drove the cattle through the path you could not see them because the snow was so deep. So with the help of the Lord we pulled through the Winter of 1884. In the Spring John and Fred came back and began to fence and plow the land and plant crops. Later John went over to Oxford to the Land Office to file on the land for himself as he had helped most to pay for the home in Providence. As father wanted a homestead of his own, one Spring day it was on the first of May he sent over the divide between Worm creek and Cub River to find a place where he could make a home for the rest of the family. When he returned he said that no one had gone over there before him that spring, as the snow had not melted yet. That was in the spring of 1885, so during that summer John and Fred were raising the crops and helped father build a log house and we put in some crops so we have something to eat for the winter. As we did not have much of a team they had Joe Nilsen come up from Preston to plow some along the Creek, he had a big team and a sulky plow. But that was not all, we had to fight squirrels and grasshoppers. What we raised that summer had to see us through the Winter, and it was not any too much.
Fred went up Wormcreek and got some logs and had them sawed at the Moorhead and Thomas Sawmill on the Cub River. But we found that there was only enough for the roof and none for the floor and ceiling. They had lumber at the sawmill but they would sell us any for wheat and the store in Franklin did not pay cash for it. Father had already laid some logs down to put the floor on so we just had to step over them all winter but maybe it was a good thing as we got the warmth from the earth as we only had a lumber roof over us 14 feet to the top and just a four hole cook stove to warm the house and wood to burn, and it was not all dry. Still we were happy and thanked the Lord for what we had. Mother would read a chapter from the Bible, we would have prayer and we would go to bed early. (Clayborn Moorhead told me some years later that Joseph Thomas intended to take up my Father’s Homestead but he was not old enough then so my father was first. He said those Germans can’t make a living there, they will starve to death and I will get the land anyway. But, I think he did not know as much as he thought, he didn’t know we had put our trust in God.)
On Christmas Day 1884 Father sent me over to John’s (Grandma Spring was keeping house for him that winter), after twenty-five pounds of flour. The snow as up to my knees. After that flour was gone we had to grind the wheat in the coffee mill as no one went to the store anymore that winter until Father and I each carried a basket of eggs to the store in Franklin on the 2nd of March, over two feet of :frozen snow to buy some groceries. We could not busy much as we had no money. Mother raised some sugar beets in the garden, as we had no sugar she but some beets in the oven and baked them and put them in a cloth to get some syrup to make her yeast. She cut some up in little squares and browned them in the oven and ground them up to make coffee. Mother would also put the wheat in the oven to dry and brown it just a little so it would grind better and we used it for bread and mush. Finally the cow went dry so we had no milk for some time and no sugar, but we got through the winter without any sickness. We thanked our Heavenly Father for what we had and lived by faith in our Heavenly Father as we had no Church organization of any kind at that time there.
It seems the Lord wanted a tried people to build the Valleys of the Mountains for when we began to raise crops that we might have food for the next winter, we had to fight the squirrels and the grasshoppers. We worked with faith that did not falter and as I remember we never got discouraged for we felt the Lord was on our side.
When I was going on 21 years of age I was looking for a homestead to file on. East of my father’s place, about 40 rods from our house in a hollow there was a nice little spring by a service berry bush coming out of a sandstone formation, where I decided to make my home. Not being of age to take up land, I moved a little log building with a dirt roof on it, that my father had used for a granary, onto the land. I had a bed in it and would sleep there some nights. I prayed to the Lord that he would protect it for me, that no one would file on it as I was not yet twenty-one, and not old enough to take up land. There was a man by the name of George Kent, down on the river. His wife told me there was a relative of theirs in Lewiston, Clyde Kent, who was going to jump that land, as they called it those days. I told them that I did not believe he would be that mean. I wanted to start life for myself as soon as I was 21. So on June 17, 1893, I was on my way to Blackfoot, Idaho by train in company of John McDonald, whose fare I paid to Blackfoot, and return as a witness for me as to my age. There was no bridge across Bear River to Dayton at that time. We stopped at Pocatello over night; it was not much of a town at that time, mostly railroad shops and saloons. We arrived at Blackfoot on June 18th, on my 21st birthday to file on that homestead. When I told them at the land office of the land I wanted to take up, they told me there was a man there some months before, the man I spoke of. Not giving up hope altogether we looked over the plat, and I found there was 40 acres all to itself, not filed on. After looking things over for awhile I said to Mr. McDonald that is the land my cabin and the spring of water is on; so I filed on it and returned home. Arriving on Sunday afternoon my mother said there was a man and his wife looking at your place, as they thought that I had lost out. My family with me felt to thank the Lord that I had a place to build my home on.
As Fred and I started to quarry sandstone on my father’s place that fall, I hauled some sandstone in the Spring to build me a house, but during that winter 1893, my mother came down with pneumonia and died within a week on the 26th of February 1893. She was buried in the Preston Cemetery. She was about the 2nd or 3rd person buried there, as the new cemetery had been started that year.
The following Spring the Wanner family came to Mapleton, from Germany, on my birthday June 18th, which was a Sunday. This was the first time that I had seen my life’s companion, as they came to my brother Fred’s place, where they lived until they found a home to live in. Christine was their oldest daughter and I fell in love with her at first sight. My sister Regine was home again from Montana, her husband had left her, she had a little girl Katy. Christine stayed with her until she went to Millville to work for the Pittgins family for about three months for seventy-five cents a week and her board and some old clothes. When she left they gave her $6.00 and she gave it to her father as he told her she had to earn some money yet before she got married.
That fall as I started to haul stone to build a house, besides taking care of my father’s farm—Adolph helping me, as my father was away most of that summer to Bear Lake and other places, because he didn’t feel like staying home after Mother died. When he came back he brought with him Sister Weirman, and married her in the Logan Temple. Well, during this time I had started to build my house. We dug a hole in the ground and poured water in and mixed it. That was what we used to lay up the walls, and the house is still standing. By New Years the house was finished and cleaned, but we had no furniture or anything else to put in it, but still we made our arrangements to get married. We were baptized by Heber Taylor on 26 June 1894 in Cub River and confirmed by Edward Perkins at Mapleton on the 27 Jun 1894. We were married 1st February 1894 in the Logan Temple by Marriner W. Merrill, president of the temple. (Read Christina’s biography here.) We made the trip by team and wagon, as there was no snow on the ground in the valley. We put our team in the Tithing Barn, as the Lalladine family were the caretakers. After returning from the temple, for supper we were invited by Charles O. Card at their home on depot street, as Mary Wagstaff’s mother’s sister was working at their home, and we spent our first night with them. He is the Card after which the city of Cardston, in Canada was named, as he later moved to Canada.
As I have said before, after we got the house finished we had nothing to put in it and had no money to get married with, so I asked Grandpa Wanner if he would loan me $10.00 and I would pay him back when I raised a crop. He let me have the money with which we bought our marriage license, and a few dishes for the house. We borrowed a table and an old set of knives and forks from my sister Regina, as she did not need them at that time. We returned them again when she got married to George Wanner a year or so later. We paid Grandpa in seed grain the next fall with many thanks to him for his kindness. For our wedding present Grandpa and Grandma gave us a bedstead to sleep on, as we had no furniture. I nailed some boards together for a cupboard for dishes. Stepmother Weirman Nuffer made some of our temple clothes and the garments were made out of factory. She was helpful to us in many ways, so that was the beginning of our family life in a humble way and we were happy together.
As Adolph was still at home, he and I ran my father’s farm, and I fenced my 40 acres, and started to plant some of it as fast as I could break it up. I helped Fred in the sandstone quarry to get a little money to buy a few things till we raised a crop. The Wanner family bought John’s place on Worm Creek for $2000 and became very successful farmers.
Will pass over a year or so till the first child Clara was born 10 August 1895, Louise 19 Nov 1896, Anna the 8 January 1899, Bertha 9 Jun ‘900, Fred 21 October 1901, Joseph 18 May 1904, Ida 15 Jun 1906. These children were all born in Mapleton.
From here on my main occupation was farming and quarrying sandstone. I cut grain with a binder for people in Mapleton at one dollar an acre. In the winter I worked with Fred on the Mink Creek Canal, blasting the rock with black and giant powder, making the canal from seven to ten feet wide. I worked out four hundred dollars in ditch stock and finally sold it for forty cents on the dollar. I received $1.50 a day in cash so that is all I got for my work, and we had to sleep in a tent in the wintertime and cook our meals but it build the canals so the people would get water for their land and could raise crops.
When Fred moved to Preston I took over the stone quarry. I was also ditch rider for the Preston Cub River Canal for a number of years, making a trip a day while the canal was full, at a dollar a trip. While runnig the quarry I delivered stone for some of the Preston business buildings and for the Lewiston Meetinghouse. During this time we were also taking care of John and Fred’s grandmother for a number of years. As the family was getting larger I built another room on the house as mother was busy taking care of Grandma Spring, and John was going on a mission to Germany. They decided to send Grandma Spring to Blackfoot where she died a year of so later. I think it was in the year of 1897, when Mother and I drove to Blackfoot with the team and buggy to take the rest of our homestead, that we had lost by that Mr. Kent beating me to it before I was of age. While at Blackfoot we called at the hospital to see Grandma Spring. They told us she had died before Christmas the year previous, and they had sent no word of her death to anyone. A few words more while at the land office it seems the Lord had always prepared the way for us. As we entered the land office the first person we met was President George Parkinson, who knew us well. Without his help our trip might have been in vain, as it was difficult to take up land when another party had filed on it. At the time we made this journey this was the frontier of the west. Where Downey is now there was not one hours and from Pocatello to Blackfoot was all desert, not a house, only the Indian Reservation. I carried my shotgun with us for safety. We could say much more, but it would take too long to tell it.
From here on it made a lot of work; to fence the land and break it up and get it ready to farm and to make a living for the family. From here on I will begin tow rite of some of my work in the Church for which we have left our native land. On April the 19th, 1896 the Stake Presidency, George Parkinson, Brother Cowley, Solomon Hale came to Glendale to form a German Organization, so we could hold meeting every two weeks, as there were many families Swiss and German that could not speak English. Addison Wagstaff was Ward Clerk and took the minutes. Brother Jacob I. Naef was chosen as President. It was not until 5 Jul 1896 that his counselors were chosen, Brother Jacob Schneider, first, Charles A. Nuffer second counselor. We held our meetings in the homes of the people on their farms and wherever they lived. They traveled with farm wagons a distance of20 miles one way to Mink Creek, Weston, Riverdale, Whitney, Treasureton, Mapleton, Preston and Glendale, there places were we held meetings. Some years later when Joseph Moser became President, I became one of his counselors, also brother Kern. After some years John asked to be released and I became President ofthe Branch on the 21st of March 1915, with Brother Kern and Alma Moser as my counselors. During this time we held the meeting in the old tithing office, later in the new one at Preston, until the 13th of August 1916, we held our last meeting. During the later part of the war some of the people of Preston made it very hot for the German speaking people yet most of them were Swiss, but that did not make any difference. So President Geddes came to me and asked me not to hold anymore meetings. After the war many of the German people had moved away so we never started to hold the meetings anymore, and I never was released to this day. That closes up this chapter of the German Saints of this part here, so I will go on to some of my other duties in the Church. Making in all twenty years that we held German Meetings with the people of Franklin Stake.
Now going back to the year 1899, when I ws called as second counselor to Bishop Edward Perkins in the Mapleton Ward. When Orron J. Merrill moved to Preston I took his place and his son Preston my place in the Bishopric. I was chairman of the School Board for six years, and Brother Merrill was the Clerk, and when he moved away his son was appointed in his place. While on the school board I had a schoolhouse built in the upper end of the District, with Harrison R. Merrill as the first teacher. That way the children of the upper end would not have to go so far to school. The children in the lower part of the Ward met in the old meeting house. While I was in the Bishopric Brother 0. J. Merrill was the Ward Clerk and clerk of the school board. After his father moved to Preston, 0. P. Merrill, his son, was the Ward Clerk and clerk of the School Board. Speaking of schools the first school that was held in Mapleton was in the winter of 1886, when Bishop Perkins went to Lewiston to school. He let the people of the Ward have a school room so they all got together and employed Hirum Johnson as their teacher. All children from seven years up to thirty, married men and young ladies went to school there all in one room. Some came from Franklin and Nashsville. I was feeding cattle for Harrison Thomas that winter and lived with Olive Sweet, she had to board me as she was living in their house, and they paid $150 for my schooling and $.45 for a book. I had to chop all the wood for the family. I was fifteen years old. This school house which was built by the efforts of the people of the upper part of the District, was the first schoolhouse built in Mapleton Ward with H. R. Merrill as its first teacher.
In 1899 in June I was ordained a High Priest by George Parkinson, President of the Oneida Stake, and we labored unitedly together in the Ward. Bishop Perkins was very kind to prepare me for this work, and in his home he read the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants to me. So, that I may more fully understand the Gospel, and that I might be an example to the people of the Ward, and he taught me the Law of Tithing, and that we may be worthy to receive all the blessings that the Gospel had in store for His faithful children. So on the 21st of February 1900, we were recommended to the Logan temple to receive our second washing and anointing by President Morgan, a blessing that not so many have received, which is the greatest blessing anyone can receive in the House of the Lord, for which I have tried to be thankful all the days of my life.
In the Spring of the same year, as there was a severe drought in Southern Utah, President Lorenzo Snow went to St. George, and met with the people there and told them if they would pay an honest tithing the Lord would bless them and send rain to save their crops. As the church was in a very bad financial condition at that time. So on returning to Salt Lake City President Snow called a special meeting of all the General Authorities of the Church to meet in the temple on the Law of Tithing, on June the 2nd at 9:00 A. M. And as Bishop Perkins had taken so much interest in me he asked me to go with him, only the Bishops were called. All the General Authorities spoke in the Meeting, after which they all shouted “Hosanna to the Lord”. We were in the Temple from 9:00 A.M. until5:00 P.M. The meeting was in the room known as the Celestial Room. At the close of the meeting President Snow said, “If you will go home and pay an honest tithing, the Church will be freed from debt, and the Lord will forgive you of your past neglect, and I promise you your homes will never burn.” From that time forth I always paid a full tithing as long as I lived on this earth. This blessed land of America, which God has blessed above all other lands. So these are some of the blessings that your mother and I received through Bishop Perkins being so kind to me. In appreciation for the blessing the Lord has given us, I desired to do my full duty in my calling with the people of this ward, and we had many opportunities to be called out day and night in time of sickness and death, among the people. We labored together eight years and had much joy in our labors.
I have given you some of the ways I made a living for the family. To make a living during this time and to care for the family, I farmed, raised hogs and horses, milked cows, separating the milk and selling the cream, and making butter getting $.10 a pound at the store. The most I received while selling cream from six to seven cows was $35 a month. I also sold cream separators to the people of Franklin and Preston to make a little extra money. I cut grain with the binder for the people in Mapleton. I quarried stand stone for the Lewiston Meetinghouse, and some buildings in Preston. The Riter Brothers Drug Store and other buildings. For the hogs we received $4.00 per hundred.
I had now lived on Worm Creek, Mapleton twenty-four years and I have related only some parts of my life. During this time in my life it was necessary for us to look toward the future, and seven children had been born to us in our first home. As the family got larger I built room onto the house. During this time my sister Mary was working for a family in Logan and as she was not feeling so well she came home and we needed someone to help mother as Bertha was a baby at that time. But in September Mary came down with pneumonia and died the 5th October 1900. She had been born in Providence, Utah the 11th of October 1881. At that time most of our children were sick with scarlet fever, but they got well with our care and the help of the Lord as it was hard to get a doctor.
Before leaving Mapleton, speaking of building I feel to give some information pertaining to my father after his third wife died, Mrs. Weirman. He married Mrs. Shaub of Logan and bought the house of her son Gene. He lived in Logan a few years but he wanted to come back to Mapleton again and wanted me to build him a house in my orchard. I bought some sawed square log from Kall Wheeler, and build him the house. He paid for the materials and I did the work free, and I moved them up from wagon by team, but it was only a few years until he wanted to move again. He had already lived in Preston twice before. The first time where Ernest Porter lived, and before that out where Jim Smart’s place is. I then began to haul tone to Preston and John laid up the walls in 1907. In all the houses he lived in were one in Providence, two in Logan, one in Worm Creek, three in Mapleton and three in Preston and he died the 121h Aprill908. When I started to build my home after his death I moved his wife back to Logan with team and wagon.
I will pass over some years as things went on as usual. We began to look to the schooling of the children, as there was not much opportunity in Mapleton. I bought five acres of land in Preston and during the winter of 1905 and 1906, I began to haul sandstone from the quarry for the building of our home. I also planted trees in the spring of 1906, as there was nothing on the land whatever, only a fence around it. So this was the plan for us to move to Preston, not to improve ourselves better financially, but to make it better for Mother and all of us.
The Bishop was called to go on a mission, and I was in line for Bishop as things looked at that time. Mother was already alone so much with the family and I had so many meetings to go to at night. I was still in the German Organization, and I was so far away. I had from two and a half to three miles to ride on horseback to meeting to the home of Brother Merrill or the Bishop. In all the eight years I labored in the ward only one ward was held in our home. I leave the rest for you to answer whey we made this move which needed much consideration and prayer, and the guiding care of our Heavenly Father in making this move.
So in the Spring of 1907, after renting the farm to Hart Wheeler of Mapleton, I built a frame house sixteen feet by twenty feet to have a place to live in. Also, we had a tent for some of the children to sleep in, so I would have the family with me while I was there building our home. I built the barn a place for the cows and chickens. I hauled logs for the bam and most of the lumber for the house from the sawmill on Cub River during the summer. In October of 1907, when the frame house and the bam were built we all moved to Preston. We were all glad especially the children, when they could see the train and hear it when it came to turn on the Y. So this was a great change for all. This was the first time I lived in town, since we left Providence. So in the Spring of 1908, as soon as the snow was gone I began to dig the foundation for the house and laying up the walls; doing the work myself. Our second home in which all the children were brought to men and womanhood. This was the most happy period of our life. In order to get the large stones on the wall we had to roll them up some logs, as they were too heavy to lift. I hired Adolph to help with the work for a while, but before I got the walls finished I took down with Typhoid Fever. Adolph and Mr. Peterson finished the walls. This was in the latter part of September, and I did not know any more of the building of the house till it was finished so the family could move in. Preston was a baby then and I remember that he cried so much it must have been hard for Mother. I can’t give much detail concerning my sickness, only that Mr. States was my doctor and a lady Mary Bodily was my nurse. Brother Arnold Shuldhess, the editor of the German paper “Beobachter”, was up from Salt Lake City and came and administered to me when I first took sick. When Miss Bodily had to go some other place they got Maude Stocks for my nurse. They gave me very little food; mostly brandy and whiskey, as food is most dangerous in Typhoid, at least that was the way they used to do for Typhoid Fever at that time. I never used liquor at other times in my life.
Before I forget, my sister Regina, about the year 1886 also came home from Logan where she had been working and came down with Typhoid and there were no doctors here as there was no town of Preston here then. If there had been we would not have had any money to pay them; so her mother treated her the best she knew with tea from different herbs. Our prayers and faith were in God and she lived and got well, so we did the best we could under different ways and conditions. I will again go on with my own case. The latter part of October as I remember, I began to improve in health and they began to give me some food, as I was getting very hungry and I thought I would not get enough to eat anymore. Mother was very much afraid she might give me too much to eat, as that is the most dangerous time of the disease. The first time I went out doors again was the beginning of November. The trees were all yellow and I went up town to vote on November 6th 1908. I am sorry to say that this was not the end of our grief and sickness, so we had to start all over again and as I write these few lines it fills my eyes with tears when I think of that dear Mother that never gave up, that watched over you all night and day with faith in God for a better day. The Lord heard our prayers and she had the privilege to bring you up to manhood and womanhood, but that was not the end of our trials as stated before.
When Clara and Anna came down with the fever we had to get Doctor Emery, as Doctor States lived in Franklin. As they had to come most every day and we had a nurse that did not belong to the Church. She stayed at Preston Rooming house and we had trouble with her as I will tell you later when I get to that. By this time we were living in the new house. I think it was sometime in December. But, under the care of the new doctor and the new nurse the girls did not show any improvement. It was not long till they came down with pneumonia and week after week they did not get any etter. The nurse had a lady friend that visited some time in the evening. One day I found some empty whiskey bottles in a pile of stone that was beside the house. I at once told the Doctor we did not want his nurse any longer. He said he had a Nuffer barn place in Weston for her. He said that we would be responsible if something went wrong with the girls. I told him I was willing to take the responsibility. The nurse left and shortly she came down with the fever at the rooming house. It was only a week or ten days till the girls were up on their feet again. It was now the latter part of February and what a relief it was especially for that dear Mother, when all could rest again.
Now during my sickness some of the people of Mapleton had been told by Doctor States that there was not much hope for me to get over my sickness and mother heard of it. She prayed to the Lord saying that if he would spare my life she promised Him she would let me go on a mission, under almost any conditions whenever called. So during the summer of 1909, I worked at whatever I could find to earn something to take care of the family, and to keep out of debt, and fmd planted what we could on the lot for the next winter. Sometime if February of 1910, I received a letter from Box B, as it was called in those days, when anyone was called on a mission. I did not know anything as to a call for a mission when I received the letter stating if I could accept this call, if I could be in Salt Lake City on April the 18th. I do not know if Bishop H. Geddes had told the authorities of the Church anything of my financial condition or not, as I remember he did not to me; which was very limited at this time nor did he tell me anything about being called on a mission. We did not hesitate for a moment, but told them that I would be there at the above date. As we had no porch on the south side of the house I went to work on it before leaving. I also built a shed for the white top buggy so it would be under shelter while I was away. On the 15th ofFeb 1910, Laura was born at home with Mrs. Nancy Beckstead in attendance, which made it still harder for me to leave you all alone. I also planted some garden before leaving. So in the morning of April the 18th, I was on my way, Clara going with me to Salt Lake as mother did not want me to leave alone. That way she could hear from me just a little longer, Clara was then nearing 15 years of age and Laura was going on two months.
As I remember I was set apart for my mission by Jonathan C. Campbell to the Eastern States Mission to labor under Ben E. Rich. After a few days in Salt Lake I left with other Elders for New York City, stopping at Des Moines, Omaha, Chicago, Buffalo and on to New York. After a few days there I was appointed by Ben E. Rich to labor in West Pennsylvania, with Elder Hyrum Nelson from Cleveland, Idaho. I was then sent by way of Philadelphia to Pittsburgh with Heber D. Clark as our president. We were then sent out in the country two hundred miles tracting on the way, where there was a Branch of the Church in Buck Valley. It would be too much to give my missionary account, it is written in my missionary journals, those red books in this home. As we met in Conference in Pittsburgh, with Ben E. Rich and all the Elders in February of 1912 I was released to return home. It was most difficult for mother to carry on any longer with the large family as she had to borrow most of the money while I was away, as it was a dry season, and Mr. Wheeler, the one that bought the farm did not make any payments and the Bank charged 12% interest.
When I arrived home Laura, it was on her birthday, was two years old. One great blessing while on this mission was that I did not have one day of sickness and Mother and the children all had good health, for which we thanked the Lord with all our hearts. It was February the 15th 1912 when I arrived at home in time to make arrangements for a new life in caring for the family again, and to pay off the money we had borrowed. But, before I could do that I had to borrow some more to buy a team with which to go to work. I borrowed $700 off of Grandpa Wanner; the team cost $300. On the 15th July 1912, I purchases thirty two acres from Mr. Charles Nelson west of town on time payment, at one hundred dollars per acre. I then planted it in hay and grain, and the same year a hail storm came and destroyed the crop of wheat. I then went hauling sand and gravel for a living, and helped Uncle John with the haying.
On returning home I was asked by President Joseph Geddes to visit the wards of the Stake with the High Council for two years. It was before the Stake was divided. I also was asked to take my place again in the German Organization Meetings, one or two times a month. During this time I was serving as a Ward Teacher, a Sunday School Teacher, and quite a number of years as the class leader of the High Priests group in the ward, at Priesthood meeting, so I had plenty to keep me busy. I was also the ward Chairman ofthe Anti-Tobacco and Liquor campaign. During the First World War, I was called as a Counselor to Peter Hanson, who was Stake Superintendent of the Religion Class until the Stake was divided. In all six years, once or twice a month on Sunday or week days we would go out in the Ward to find someone to teach Religion Class in the schools, or to visit the schools that had teachers as we found it necessary. I was called as Chairman of the Genealogical Organization of the Ward. When the Ward was divided, and your mother and I worked in the Genealogical Organization. We were released when Orion Jensen was Bishop. During the years of 1923,24,25, and 26, I was called to baptize the children of the Franklin Stake. Charles F. Hawkes had done that work before. Also, at times I was called on to baptize children of the 2nd Ward at the Stake House. While in the old Church House I was a teacher in the Sunday School in the different departments at different times.
On October 30, 1916 I bought the farm in Dayton of June Jensen, Sam Morgan and H. A. Peterson of Logan, at the price of $5,500 so we would have work for the boys, so they would not have to go away from home to find work. For a number of years we had to dry farm, before we could get water. We finally got thirty shares at $130 an acres. As the land was all under bond it cost me $800 to buy the rest of the land out and we had to pay $7 per acres to get a ditch thru the Eccles Farm. I traded the land in Preston to Sam Morgon at $125 an acre that helped some. I had to clear off some thirty-five acres of sage with axes all by hand. That was all we had to do that kind of work for number of years. I had the cabin on the west hill of Peterson’s and had to carry the water from a spring below the hill in Petersons’ for cooking and vitrolling the wheat. I had to get a right-of-way from Brother McCarry at a spring to water the horses. We also had a stable on the hill for the horses. Usually we would fill our grub box on Monday morning and stay till Saturday and Mother and the girls would take care of things at home during the week. When we got water on the farm we moved up on the flat to the west of the farm. We went down the creek for water to use. We then built another room and Fred moved over with his family for the summer to help with the work as we rented the Miles farm and a year or so later Miles bought a house that we moved on his farm, for Fred and his family to live in. Later on we built another room onto it.
Preston helped us with the work after school closed and Joseph moved in up stairs when he got married, working with Roy at the car bam at the U. I. C. Railroad. In 1929 we built a house on the farm for Joseph to move in, as we had more work all the time. The cost of the house was $1250. Then came the crash of 1929, when wheat dropped to 30 cents a bushel and hogs to $4 per hundred and beets $4 a ton. To pay our debts and pay for the house all of us got together with a lot of hard work and the help of the Lord we pulled through. We also sold some hay for $5 per ton. In the Spring while the boys were thinning the beets, I was doing the summer fallowing, with the gang plow, with six horses; for a number of years. We started out with only three horses on the farm for a number of years. We could not raise hay without water. We had to haul the hay for the horses from town. Also, for the headers Mother would come over and cook for them. At the first harvest we did not have very much, and I was away trying to earn some money to pay for the heading. Louise and Preston drove over and brought them their dinner. I also went up to Glendale one summer and helped Fred Wanner and Hyrum Jensen get up their hay. They gave me a ton of hay for three days work with wagon and team and I would haul it over to the farm. That was during the early part of our farming that I am writing on this page some of our hardships.
In order to make some money to pay for the farm and to live, as we only raised grain, as we had no water on the farm, I would work on the header and do stacking. Also, I would go out with Fred Nuffer and Fred Steuri doing cement work for school houses, and other buildings. I worked for Joseph Moser as a carpenter on the Gymnasium, also did cement work, while Fred was hauling gravel. I hauled the first load of gravel for that building, also hauled gravel for the Jefferson School Building. I worked for Struve on the 4’h Ward Meeting house doing cement work on many houses in town. I had my team hauling gravel when they built the first sidewalks in Preston, until they were finished, then to the City Water Reservoir. When the Utah-Idaho Central Railroad was built I worked on the cut south of town ten hours a day for $2. Again I helped Joseph Moser when he built the beet dump, the high line by Tom Clayton’s place. I then got a job on the dump with the Sugar Co., loading beets on the cars. The next two years I was tare man for the company, and got lots of scoldings from the farmers, but the company treated me well. They used to pile any beets on the ground in large piles in different places, and haul them on the cars later. So, the boys Fred, Joseph and I would haul beets the rest of the fall. We would leave right after daylight and work until dark, so when Sunday came we were glad to get a short rest and go to Church, or I would be called to visit some Ward in the Stake in the interest of religion class to get in into the school, and on Monday back to work.
Going back to the farm work, in the fall of 1931 and 1932 I bought a herd of sheep to fatten, then took them to Denver to market to help get out of debt. While Fred was living on the Miles place and Joseph on the farm there was some difficulty, I do not know what it was, and Joseph moved back to town. Fred moved into the house on the farm and young Fred Wanner moved in where Fred had lived, as he had him working for him in 1936. I bought a tractor to do the farming, and did the summer fallowing with it that Spring. As Charles Nelson was janitor of the Ward House he asked me if l did not want to take the janitor job. So I had another job, which the girls helped me with at $11 a month, but it all helped. That was during the First World War.
Thinking it was time to retire from farming at the age of sixty-six I sold the farm in 193 7 to my son Fred. In Jun 1937 I bought the Dodge car and the Gamble home. The next year the McCarry farm. The summer of 1937 we went on a trip, Mother and I, Louise, the twins, and Joe and Gretta to Los Angeles, visiting Jim Cummings and Fred Nuffer. From there to San Francisco, then on Highway 1001 , the Redwood Road to Portland, Oregon up the Columbia River to Boise, Idaho and back. I had to come home after over two weeks absence. Mother and I had been to Los Angeles by train to visit Jim and Anna, when they lived at Beverly Glen, and again when she died the 25 January 1928. As given before the third time to California and again to San Francisco to the fair. Mother and I, Louise, Joe and Gretta, when Gretta took sick. After Mothers death, myself and Louise, Ida and Gilbert, went to Los Angeles the fourth time. Later when Jimmy Cummings was married I went on the bus to his wedding. Some years after Mother’s death, I and Louise and the twins went on a trip by car to Zions National Park, Cedar Breaks, and Bryce’s Canyon and to Yellowstone. The first time we went to Yellowstone National Park with Mother, Louise, Roy and Clara. The last time we went Louise, the twins, Donald and Joe and Getta and I went. We also went a few time to Nephi to the Roundup.
These years while Ward Chairman of the Genealogical Committee, we assisted the Stake in getting up large excursions to the temple on the U. I. C. Railroad, every month. All during our married life we would go to the temple every years as often as we were able to go. We carried on research work through the Genealogical Office in Salt Lake City, and we received sheets of names on the Nuffer and Wanner line, and my mothers Griener line, all at our own expense. I have the sheets in my trunk with the work all completed as you will find them there.
For twenty years after buying the Chevrolet car and the Dodge, we went to the Temple, whenever we could once or twice a month with a full car of people from the 2nd and 1st ward, until I took sick in December 1948. Since then I have been to the Temple three times. I am writing this May 11, 1950.While going to the Temple one February morning early it was snowing and the road was slick. I had with me in the car Mother, Louise, Brother and Sister Rindlisbacher and Mrs. Clarence Corbridge. As I was getting near the Utah line I felt there was trouble ahead. I was going about twenty-five miles an house, when George Wanner passed me. When half a mile over the Utah line the car struck a bump in the road and turned over in the barrow pit then over on its side. At that time a car came and took all but Mother and I and Louise to the Temple. Then came Orion Jensen and took Mother and Louise to the Preston Clinic to be examined by the doctor. I stayed with the car until Petterborg came. The damage on the car was over a hundred dollars.
Some months later Mother began to have pains in her back and kept getting worse as time went on. During July she got so bad I took her to the Preston Hospital for an xray. She was there for a week, and Doctor Cutler said we had better take her to the L. D. S. Hospital in Salt Lake as they could not do anymore for her there. We went to Salt Lake July 24th we were told that she had tumor of the spine. She was there for a week, when we were told that they could not do more for her so we bought her home. She died the 10th August 1940.
1 February 1949
Dear Children of Mine,
If your Mother was alive as I am writing, we would be celebrating our 55th Wedding Anniversary, but as it has fallen my lot I’m all alone in this home where you all have been brought up under her loving influence and with my deepest love for you all. I shall ever thank God, my Heavenly Father for the gospel and its blessings.
I just came upon this letter written by David D Williams to his sisters in Wales. In it he describes his trip to Utah from Wales. The letter was originally written in Welsh. I have written of David and his immigration in his biography. As mentioned in the history, David is the son of Frances Henneys and John Williams born in Wales in 1832. He immigrated to Utah in 1864. I am including a picture of some rolling hills in Southern Wales that I took with some friends in 2003. Funny how he thinks how beautiful Utah was (then), and yet we feel the same about his Wales!
October 13, 1864
My dear sisters,
I have reached the end of my journey in the valley of Great Salt Lake well and happy, and I hope that you are the same. I shall now give you some of the history of my trip from the Old Country. This little letter is not large enough to describe all I saw, but I shall do my best to describe the outstanding features as briefly and inclusively as possible. We started from Aberdare on May 17th for Merthyr, where we stayed overnight. Next morning, the 18th, we started for Liverpool. After leaving the old rugged, craggy mountains of Wales behind us, we came to the flat plains of England and there saw the most desirable land such as we had never seen in all our lives. It was full of apple trees, plums, pears, and all kinds of other fruit, nature was a feast of beauty, all kinds of beautiful buildings of red brick. By evening we reached Liverpool. (One-half dozen words obliterated by creased paper) the streets were all paved. There is no time now to give details about this place. Next day we went down to the docks, and there we saw the General McClellan. This immense vessel laid about 70 yards long carrying 2000 tons. After getting everything in order, the steamboat pulled us on to the river, where we saw the great eastern, the world’s chief wonder. May 21st, we set sail for New York across the Atlantic Ocean. We saw many large fish. About the banks of Newfoundland we saw many large icebergs, some of them 200 feet high, and the portion above the surface of the water was but a third of the whole, so this enormous block would stand 600 feet high if it were all visible. We had a successful journey. We got one bad storm for about 24 hours. We were on the ocean for a month and 3 days. After reaching New York, we were taken to customs offices where all immigrants have to pass. After getting all in order there, we started out by steamboat on the river Genessee for about 160 miles to Albany. Here we took the train, and away we went for hundreds of miles along the borders of Canada. Then we crossed the river to St. Clair and through a part of Canada, then recrossed the same river to the United States and on to Buffalo. Here laid a large lake called Buffalo Lake. I don’t know its size but it was scores of miles long. After changing trains, we went on to Quincy. This lies on the bank of the Mississippi River. We crossed this river to the State of Missouri. Here is the most delightful land we ever saw, vast plains for hundreds of miles. I did not see a single mountain during my journey from New York to Wyoming (in Nebraska). We went along the banks of Mississippi for about 900 miles to St. Joseph. This was as far as we went by train. We were on the train for 11 days and nights, and were very tired for want of a place to sleep, having traveled 2000 miles.
From here we went by steamboat on the Missouri River for 200 miles to Wyoming, and here we came to the plains. We stayed in Wyoming for 3 weeks. July 21st we started over the plains, a company of 500 to 600 people, men, women and children, and about 80 wagons. After traveling on the plains for about 11 weeks, we reached the City of Great Salt Lake on Oct. 4th. This is the most beautiful city I ever saw in my life. It is full of apple trees, plums, pears, peaches, damsons, grapes, melons and all kinds of other fruit. The buildings are large and beautiful, and you seldom see a double house, but each house separate with a garden adjoining. The streets are all straight for miles, not a crooked street in the city. I stood by Brigham Young’s house facing the south, and I could see 20 to 30 miles of perfectly straight road. We can see for 80 miles here better than you can see for 20 there. After being here several days, I learned that father and my brothers were in Ogden City, 40 miles away, and that Richard is coming down to the festival (conference). This gave me no small amount of joy, for this was the first news I had of my father that he was alive. I saw Richard in the city, and when the festival was over, we started for Ogden City. John has moved out 200 miles from here, and he and his family were well when last heard from. Father is well and contented and he was as glad to see me here as I was to see him, and to hear that you are all well there. They want you to come next time and would love very much to see you. This is three times as good a country to live in if you care to work. I know that Sally is unable to come without help, but if Mary is able to come if nothing untoward has happened, and I would advise you, Mary, to come out next time, so we can later help Sally and her family. I would like to know whether or not you intend coming next time so I can give you a few instructions. It is a great country if one is wise to take advantage of the elements, and to do everything for one’s self, for which I can greatly commend these people, more so than the people of the old country. The women make all their own clothes – weave, roll, and everything; it’s a poor place for a tailor to live on his trade. They also make soap, candles, vinegar, yeast and everything for their own use. These people raise the material for sugar, and make molasses like the tressels you have, except that it is much better. The sugar is all in this molasses, and the refuse that comes from this is what you have for treacle. There is nothing else in particular that I can add at present. Father sincerely sends his regards to you, to his old neighbours, and to all the Saints, and hopes to see some of their names in the paper as immigrants the next time. Richard sends his regards to you and to all the saints and his acquaintances. Give me an answer as soon as you can, so I can have sufficient time to write back if you should come out next time. If you want to know anything, ask in your letter and I shall answer it with pleasure.
This briefly from your dear father and your brothers, John, David and Richard Williams.
Please give this letter (accompanying this one ) to William Rees.
A few words to William Rees, my brother in the gospel. I have taken my pen in hand to send you a few lines, hoping you are well and happy, and enjoying the comforts of the gospel, as I do myself at present; and I thank God for that. I intended to give you a little news of the plains and its creatures. But from what we hear, it is not likely there will be an immigration over the plains for some time, because the Indians are rather cruel and are at war with the United States. We were on the plains for 11 weeks because of difficulties. We joined another train (wagon train) and in all we had 150 wagons with about 1200 people; our train was about 4 miles long. The last train of saints came to Salt Lake City on Oct. 20th. Trains of gentiles had joined them along the line, and I heard people saying that they stretched over 10 miles while traveling. Eighty of the rich people of Salt Lake City were called, last festival (conference) to go south 600 miles and raise cotton, and the rich everywhere are being called on to help; and there is also a widespread call for people to go there to settle. They are going to build ships on the Colorado River, for that is the way the next immigrants will come, around the Cape Horn. I have to finish at present for want of space on this paper, with fond regards to you, to Thomas Griffiths and his family, to Mary Hoskins and her family, and to all the saints alike.
This briefly from your old brother in the Gospel, David Williams.
D.R. Mr. David Williams, Ogden City,
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. Read about them here.
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.