Monday, July 25, 2011

Marie Sommer

  • Name: Marie Sommer
  • Born: March 18, 1839 Heiligenstein, Germany
  • Died: June 25, 1918 Gridley, Kansas
  • Related through: Dan's grandmother Melva Castleton
 This article was written by Dan's grandmother Melva Castleton. Thanks Melva.

It was recorded in the old family German Bible that Marie Sommer Isch, known as Mary in America, was born March 18, 1839, in Heiligenstein, Germany. This Bible belonged to Mary Isch Shaffer, a granddaughter who lived in Gridley, Kansas. Later her birth record was found in Barr, Bas Rhine, France.

I corresponded with a genealogist, Madame Perez, She wrote the following." Her birth record reads as follows, birth record of Barr Civil state archive: 1839 the 18th of March was born Marie Sommer daughter of Michel Sommer, 36 years old, wine-grower in Barr and of Anna Erb aged 35 years, without profession. Witnesses: Jacques Gerber, 22 years old, shoemaker, Frederic Jost, 23 years old, weaver in Barr."

However, this doesn't mean they lived there. They were Anabaptists, a religious group thought to be radical and not tolerated by some. They may have found a tolerant vicar who would register their records in his parish.

The village of Heiligenstein is in Alsace close by the small city of Barr, 30 km (20 miles) southwest of Strassburg (today called Strasbourg), which is in France.

Her father was Michel Sommer, a farmer of Anabaptist faith, born Feb 3, 1803 in Mussig, Bas Rhine, France. Her mother was Anna Erb born in Lorquin, Meurth, France. She was the 6th of 7 children we have been able to find in that family."

As a child she probably played in the beautiful rolling hills of Heiligenstein with her brothers and sisters. Franz Rink, editor of a genealogical column in Strasbourg, wrote to me "The area from which your ancestors came is one the loveliest in Alsace, lying at the foot of the "Holy Hill" of the Odilienberg."

This little area in Alsace had long been a prize in wars between Germany and France. In the A.D. 300's and 400's Teutonic bands drove out the Celtic tribes then living in the region. Alsace-Lorraine became part of Charlemagne's empire in the late 700's but it fell to Germany when his grandsons divided his empire.

Alsace and Lorraine (Historic Provinces) remained under German rule until the 1500's, when France gained control of them in slow stages. The people fought all efforts to turn them into Frenchmen. But the French Revolution of 1789 brought a change of heart. The Alsatians became so French in spirit that more than 50,000 of them moved to France when Germany got the territory in 1871.

The Germans resented the loss of Alsace-Lorraine after World War I. They regained control of the area in World War II. The Germans moved thousands of the people out of the region, and replaced them with Germans, Poles, and Russians. The Allies drove the Germans out of Alsace-Lorraine in 1944-1945, and France again took control of the entire region.

When Mary was 14, a terrible epidemic of cholera came to their land. On October 1, 1854, her 21 year old brother, Jean passed away. Then Mary's mother became ill, not a soul would come to help her because it was such a dreaded disease. Whole families were dying. Five days later, October 6, 1854 her mother died also. She wept and kissed her dead mother, hoping she would contract the disease and be able to go with her. As she was dressing her dead mother she looked up, there was a lady standing in the doorway who kindly asked if her mother had gone too. Mary always remembered this kind stranger and told how she came in and helped her finish dressing her mother. A few weeks later on the same day, October 31, 1854 her 19 year old brother, Jacque and 10 year old little sister, Madeleine both died.

Mary was very lonely and went to live with her married sister in Frankfort, France (Not sure) who had a large family (12 children?) She was happy there and felt a part of the family, when her father came and said they were going to America. She didn't want to go, but her father being headstrong and authoritative insisted on her coming. At the age of 15, in 1857, she and her father immigrated to America." (Grandma told Melva much of this, dates came from research of Madam Perez.)

I was told by Grandma, Bertha Isch Getz that her father's brother in America had sent them the money, that his name was Jacob and they lived in Peoria, Illinois. (I have not been able to find them in cesus records.) Her father, Michel remarried, but again according to my Grandma, Bertha Isch Getz, knew nothing of his second wife or Mary's half brothers or sisters. Mary later heard that her father fell off a wagon and broke his neck but she was unable to attend his funeral in 1868, in East Peoria.

Mary met and married Nicholas Isch on January 18, 1862 in Metamora, Woodford, Illinois. They were members of the Apostolic Christian Church, and made their home on a farm in Metamora. Nicholas was a hard working farmer, he had very strict principles, they spoke German in their home.

Mary was very busy keeping a nice home, and raising a large family. She was a good cook, made a lot of cheese and butter, and made beautiful quilts. While in Metamora, she gave birth to Anna, Dena, Emma, Bertha, Leah, Joe, Samuel and Mary (twins) and Ida. In 1879, they moved to another farm in Gridley, Coffey County, Kansas. Here John and Ann were born. Their first girl Anna died in 1881 at the age of 18, just a month before the last little girl was born so they named her Anna also. In later years Mary suffered terribly with arthritis and became very crippled, but kept busy with hand work and quilting. She was in a wheelchair.

Mary was remembered as a kind woman who loved the Lord and served others. On a visit to Utah as they passed a buggy with some Japanese people in it she exclaimed, "Eh Bertha, I tell you the Mormons do look different."

Nicholas passed away at the age of 72 on May 6, 1915. On June 25, 1918 at the age of 79, Mary joined him in death. Their graves are in the Apostolic Christian cemetery in Gridley, Kansas.

Much of the above information was told to me (Melva Castleton Crookston), as we lived with Grandpa and Grandma, Philip and Bertha Isch Getz, in Tremonton, Utah. Some of the history and information was from the World Book Encyclopedia, published by Field Enterprises, 1963, and correspondence with several genealogists in France who did some of the research.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mary Melissa Griffeth

  • Name: Mary Melissa Griffeth
  • Born: July 17, 1862 Hyde Park, Cache, Utah
  • Died: November 28, 1944 Rupert, Idaho
  • Related through: Dan's grandmother Elivra Wilde

Mary Melissa Griffeth was born July 17, 1862 in Hyde Park, Cache County, Utah to Patison Delos Griffeth and Elizabeth Carson. She was born a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She was baptized June 11, 1871. She received a meager pioneer education and spent her girlhood days in Hyde Park. She met Austin Cowles Hyde and was married at the age of eighteen on February 12, 1880 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Shortly after their marriage they established their home in Fairview, Idaho. She lived there until 1890, then moved to Grover, Wyoming. Two years later they moved to Auburn, Wyoming on a ranch her husband had purchased from Mary Melissa’s father.

Mary and Austin
While there, she endured the hardships of the pioneer wives and mothers. They lived in a one-room log house with a dirt roof. The family soon outgrew the one room house and another room was added on. Their united effort soon brought results. They moved from the dirt roof house into a new commodious frame home.

While in Auburn, Mother was very active in the Church organizations. She was Primary President, and served as Relief Society President for a number of years.

In 1919 they decided to move to southern Idaho, thinking it would be a warmer climate and would be more desirable for their remaining years. They bought a farm near Rupert, Idaho which proved to be a little more than they could take care of in their advanced years. In 1921 they bought a home and moved into the town of Rupert, where Mother resided until her death November 28, 1944.

She was the mother of eleven children, eight of whom survived her. She lived a useful life and was a very good mother. Her husband Austin Cowles Hyde died March 18, 1941 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

This sketch was written by her son Rosel.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Philip Getz

  • Name: Philip Getz
  • Born: May 19, 1868 Tremont, Illinois
  • Died: February 23, 1950 Tremonton, Utah
  • Related through: Dan's grandmother Melva Castleton

Philip Getz was born May 19, 1868 to Henry and Hannah Wenger Getz, in Tremont, Illinois. There were four daughters and seven sons, Louis, Peter, Sophie, George, Philip, Henry, Elizabeth, Daniel, Katherine, William and Emma.

His father, Henry Getz was born to Georg Peter Getz and Eva Katharina Kress in Bonfeld, Necker, Wurtemburg, Germany where his occupation was dying materials. Many problems arose with the government as their family tried to pull away from the state church and follow a religious group known as the "Baptizing Congregation," later known as the Apostolic Christian Church. He came to America at age 19 in 1894 with the George Wenger family.

His mother, Hannah Wenger was born September 21, 1840 in Helmhoff, Hesson, Germany to George Wenger and Eva Katherine Hagner. She also came to America with her family in 1854. They married in 1858.

Philip was reared and schooled in Tremont, Illinois until he was nine years old when the family moved to Greenwood County, Kansas, where they lived for five years. They returned to Tremont and lived on the farm later owned by J. C. Schweigert.

As a boy, Philip worked hard on his father's farm. Each Sunday they traveled by horse and buggy to the little wood frame Apostolic Christian church house. In this church he was baptized by immersion and truly dedicated his life to Christ.

A young girl, Bertha Isch came to work in the Getz home. She was a good hard worker, had a happy disposition and loved the Lord. They became acquainted and as was their custom Philip talked to his minister who spoke with Bertha and her parents. Arrangements were made and they were married January 1, 1893 in Tremont, Illinois, in the Apostolic Church.

They made their first home on a farm in Tremont, Illinois, where three sons were born, Samuel Gottlieb, Fredrick William and Elmer Nicholas (Ike). In 1901 they bought land in Utah. With a few families from their church they ventured west. They arrived in Deweyville in a boxcar. It was cold and raining, mud came to the hobs of the wagon that came to pick them up at the train. They had many hard times ahead, but were welcomed in the Gene Brenkman home until they had their own home built.

They built their home in Utah on 40 acres four miles west and one mile south of what is now Tremonton, on what is now called Rocket Road. They built a nice two story, six-room frame house. In 1902 soon after they moved into this home Ruth was born. Henry, Mary and Ervin were also born here.

The land where Tremonton now exists was covered with sagebrush and called Sagebrush Flats. About 100 German families came from Tremont, Illinois and wanted it named for their home, our family included. In 1803, Jacob Hoerr (Hare) met with the settlers and our town was named Tremont after Tremont, Illinois. For four years there was confusion with the mail being sent to Fremont in Wayne County Utah, so the name was changed to Tremonton.

Until that time their mailing address was Point Lookout. The post office was located two miles north of their home where Bothwell is now. After 1903, their mail was delivered on rural route out of Tremonton by a cart and team of horses.

The land they lived on was alkali and very poor for farming. This same land is very good farm land now that they have modern equipment and have drained it. In 1910 they moved to the Matthew Baer Place which they rented for 10 years. It was two miles west of Tremonton and was called Sommer Sommer Place, because it had been built by Grandpa Sommer and Uncle P. J. Sommer.

Here they went through the hardship of having two baby boys that died: Rueben and a stillborn boy who wasn't named. Grandma always remembered those little babies and talked of them often. They were buried at Salt Creek Cemetery just east of their first home. The land for this cemetery was donated by Grandpa Sommer, it's known as the German Cemetery and is still owned by the Apostolic Christian Church. In later years it wasn't well cared for so each spring we would weed and clean off their graves for Decoration Day. There is now a sign naming it the Apostolic Christian Cemetery.

In 1919 Phlip moved his family to a farm called the Reese Place in Elwood. They lived there one year. When I (Melva) was growing up the McMurdy family lived there.

In 1920 they moved into town. They lived in a little house in the back of the lot while their home was being built on the south-east corner on 4th north Tremont St. They had four lots so they had a barn and corral, chicken coops, pig pen and a big garden.

Grandpa was very proud of his fine team and wagon. He built up a good business as a drayer. Soon he was outdated by a younger man with a truck. They had a couple of cows to milk, pigs to butcher, and a lot of chickens which provided eggs to the poultry plant and lots of fried chicken and chicken noodle soup.

The great depression hit hard but they stuck together as a family and were able to make house payments and pay their bills. Grandma cooked for men working out on farms and construction and took in boarders and roomers. Many lost their homes at this time.

Grandpa was a soft spoken, kind, white-haired old gentleman. My sister and I followed him around, watching him feed the animals, work in his yard and garden and he let us help him gather and clean eggs. We played in the wheat bin, on the hay rack, in the barn, climbed trees and each spring we helped plant their huge garden from which many flowers and vegetables were shared with friends and neighbors.

Each spring I remember looking forward to Uncle Ike getting baby chicks. We would go to the train station and pick them up in cardboard boxes, I believe like a 1,000 or more. The fluffy little things made such a racket with their tiny little "peeps." We were so excited standing next to the wall in the chicken coop so we wouldn't step on one, watching Grandpa and Uncle Ike unpacking them. They put them in incubator trays warmed with light bulbs and water to drink.

Grandpa never said much, at mealtime we would bow our heads in silent prayer. I never ever heard him offer a prayer aloud, I had wondered if it was hard for him to pray in English.

I remember when we had a church just west of town across the canal. It was a white frame building. The sermons were always preached in German. The meetings seemed so long, probably because we couldn't understand. I'll always remember church in Grandma's living room when ministers came to Utah, after the church was gone. Maxine and I often hid as we were always asked to sing our German song, "Esgipt ein wunders shane as landt."

Grandpa always read the scriptures, I often think of him when I read in St. John. I believe it may have been his favorite as I remember him reading it a lot. I believe it is my favorite, probably because of this.

On Christmas Eve in 1945 Grandma passed away in her bedroom at their home. Grandpa seemed so quiet and lonesome after that. Aunt Mary came home from Peoria to live with Grandpa and Uncle Ike. On February 23, 1950, five years later Grandpa joined Grandma in death.

One of my greatest blessings has been the privilege of knowing each of my Grandparents very well. I remember the long quiet evenings in their home. Grandma would be sewing or doing some kind of handwork. Grandpa would read and take out his watch and look at it often. We just always felt loved and cared for.

Thanks to Grandma Melva for writing this history and sharing it with us.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Robert Crookston Sr.

  • Name: Robert Crookston Sr.
  • Born: September 21, 1821 Anstruther Fife Shire, Scotland
  • Died: September 21, 1816 Logan, Utah
  • Related through: Dan's grandfather Lynn Crookston

I, Robert Crookston, was the son of James Crookston and Mary Young Crookston. I was born September 2l, l82l in the town of Anstruther Fife Shire, Scotland. My father James Crookston was born in Terent, East Lothian, Scotland about the year l785. My mother was James Crookston's second wife. His first wife was Janet Lock.

My father had moved from Terent to Fife Shire to work at his trade of making wrought iron nails. Anstruther was a fishing village, consequently a great many fishing boats were built there and he did very well until some merchants got busy and undersold him and in consequence he became discouraged and moved toward the west about 30 miles and got work at the coal mines. My father was sober, saving and industrious. He was always good natured, could play the violin. In fact he made several, one of which he brought to America with him. The nearest town was two miles from where we lived. We used to do our trading there and it was called East Weemy. As there was no school near, I was sent to Anstruther to my Grandparent's to attend school. My mother would come to see me as often as she could by stage coach. My Grandparents were very religious; they attended the Lutheran Church and had family worship daily. Grandfather used to pray, read a chapter from the old family Bible and sing a few verses of the Psalms of David. They also taught me to pray.

My Grandfather had a nice garden near his house and several nice apple trees and gooseberry bushes. Sometimes I found it rather lonely for a boy. I lived there about three years when Grandfather died. He had four sons and two daughters: John, a shoemaker on Williams Street, Edinbourough; William, a wine merchant on High Street; David in Anstruther had several sons; George in Strickness was a farmer, also had a family (I was not very well acquainted with any of them); Sophia Robinson and my mother, Mary Young Crookston. Grandfather was about 70 years of age when he died. At the funeral it was decided that my mother take Grandmother home with her which she did and made her comfortable the remainder of her days which were about three years. Her dying wish was that she he buried by Grandfather in Hilrinnce Church Yard. She was buried there where many of our ancestors were also laid.

In Weemy's Parish our home was near a wood. There were many hares and rabbits, wild birds’ nests, heather and whin bushes. It was a beautiful place in summer, commanding a fine view of the south bank of the Firth, or Forth, where could be seen all manner of fishing boats and crafts by the hundreds with May Island between Cyrat and Leith. We could also see East Lothia, south of the Firth. To the northwest there stood the lofty Ben Lomond, spoken of in Burns' Poems, then low hills extending east to Large Law which is quite a large hill. All the slopes of these low hills were covered with farms and fields well cultivated and fenced with hawthorn hedges. It was such a beautiful picture, about harvest time when the green and yellow fields lay side by side. We had a lovely vegetable garden and as mother was a flower lover, we had many beautiful flowers. It was a pleasant happy home and the house rent and coal were free.

I attended school at Weemers. On my way I carried father's breakfast to the top of the coal shaft, it was let down to the miners at nine o'clock each morning. I used to play with four or five other boys along the road which was an old railroad, along the grade liquorice root grew plentifully and we dug it up and chewed on our way to school.

Our school master was Walter Burt. These schools were graded as they are now. The text books consisted of the Bible and spelling book. Writing and arithmetic were also taught. I attended that school until I was about fourteen years of age when Father had me go down in the mine to work with him. I received one fourth of a miner’s wage. When Father had an easy place to work he would do my share and his own and send me out to play awhile. Father was always good to me and sang as merrily as a lark at his work.

We used to go down on summer mornings, the birds would be singing so sweetly, the hares hopping in the furrows among the green wheat fields, the hawthorn hedges white with blossoms. The perfume was so pleasant that it took a stout heart to light a stinking lamp and go down into the bowels of the earth for eight or ten hours. We could take a day’s rest once a week, then we would work in our vegetable garden.

Mother had lots of flowers, many roses and honeysuckles. There were several girls working in the coal pits along with their fathers and brothers. They pushed small cars on the track, containing about 600 pounds each. They were good girls and seemed to be treated with respect. After working hours they always dressed up like ladies. I am glad to say there are now no women allowed to work in coal pits.

When I reached my seventeenth year I went to church with Father and Mother to Burkhaven about three miles distant, lying close to the seashore and inhabited by fishermen. At the close of the morning service, I would take a walk on the seashore and sometimes gather pretty shells. We sometimes went to a public house where we would get some bread and cheese and a bottle of Port, then back to meeting in the afternoon. We thought our preacher was the best in the country because he could deliver his sermon extemporaneously and most ministers read their sermons. Like all the rest he preached faith in the Lord Jesus as being all that was necessary to be saved. A saving faith was all required. Never could understand what he meant by a saving faith although he had been preaching to us for years. At last he said that we had to know that our sins were forgiven before we could be in a saved condition. I began to think he could not tell us how to be saved. I went to hear others to see if they could, but they were all alike, preaching for hire. I began to be uneasy concerning the matter and had no idea but that some of them could be right. My Aunt Sophia and Cousin Margaret Robinson wrote me from Edinburgh that they had joined the Church of Jesus Christ and invited me to come and hear their minister.

Accordingly I went and for the first heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believed every word of it. Elder George D. Watt preached the sermon in Whitefield Chapel, Ediburgh. Orson Pratt organized the branch there and sent Brother Watt to preside. He preached faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance from our sins, baptism by immersion for the remission of our sins, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. He showed that a man must be called of God as was Aaron. I was converted on the spot and was baptized that very evening in Duddenston Lock or Lake. I received a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel and many other things were made known to me concerning the coming forth of the work by the ministering of angels which I thought was just what was needed in the present state of priestcraft. A flood of light burst upon my mind that I had never before experienced. I felt a love for all mankind and I thought that I would only need to tell me people and friends about the true Gospel and I would be able to convert them all, but I soon found this to be impossible.

After my baptism, I bought most of the then published works of the Church. Among them was "The Voice of Warning" by Parley P. Pratt, "Letters" and others so I was pretty well armed. My father, mother and half sister Janet were all soon converted. Some of my friends and neighbors were favorably impressed at first but later they turned their backs upon us and became our most bitter enemies.

Our Minister had no doubt heard something about my trip to Edinburgh, so he came to our house one evening although he had not visited us for some two years. We were regular attendants at his church and he thought I should be there. I told him I had been to Edinburgh and heard the Gospel from men called of God as was Aaron. They preached the same Gospel that Peter did on the day of Pentecost when the multitude were convinced that their sins pricked in their hearts and cried out, "What shall we do to be saved" and Peter answered them, "Repent every one of you and be baptized and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

I told the Minister I had been baptized. He said, "Had you not already been baptized?" I said that I had been sprinkled when an infant but that was a man made device and that infants were innocent and were not subjects for baptism, as Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."

I cannot go any further into this discussion. Several neighbors had slipped in when they saw the preacher come; thinking perhaps that it would be some entertainment for them. I kept cool and collected and was able to show from the scriptures that what I advanced was the truth which made the Reverend Pollock so angry that he frothed at the mouth and predicted all manner of evil for us, showing to all present, especially my own people, that he had a bad spirit.

Soon after that I sent for Brother Watt to come over and try and raise up a branch. He came and I went to meet him at Dysart where the steamer landed.

When he took my hand I felt that he was the only man that held the Priesthood on the north side of the Firth. It was a beautiful day in the spring of l840. As we walked along all was quiet except for the whistling of the birds. Brother Watt said, "Robert, the Savior said He came not to bring peace to the earth but the sword. There will be more turning over of the leaves of dusty Bibles in the next three months than has been in the past 20 years." And it was so. I rented a large hall for him to preach in and at first the people flocked to hear about the Gospel and nearly twenty were baptized then. When this brother had to leave, he made his home with us while there. When he went home he sent two other Elders who also stayed with us. Their names were William McCann and Robert Menzies. They also preached in the hall I had rented but the people were losing their interest except the few who were really converted.

I was full of enthusiasm and did all I could to further the work. I had some amusing incidents. For instance, I approached an old man, a friend of our family. He listened awhile then laying his hand on my shoulder he chuckled and said, "Ah Crookie, let the Minister do the preaching, he's paid for it."

My father had saved quite a sum of money for his old age and I also had quite a little so we decided to emigrate to America where we could be with the body of the Church. My Aunt Sophia, or Suffie we called her, and Cousin Maggie were anxious to go with us so we told them we would pay their passage. Uncle William Robinson had not joined the Church. He drank a good deal and he and Aunt Suffie were not living together. He felt very bad and wanted to go with us but had no money. He was a good natured, kind man but father and mother did not like him. His daughter loved him and I felt sorry for him and finally the folks consented and we brought him along. We could not afford to pay his passage so we pulled the feather beds to the front of a bunk and hid the old man under the quilts while the inspector went through. All of us would smuggle food down to him and take him up on deck at night for some fresh air. After he had been in Nauvoo awhile he joined the Church but was not robust and died at that place. The folks had to bury him.

Our Scots neighbors thought we were crazy, and as they knew that we could not take much of our possessions with us we had to sell everything at a great sacrifice. But we wanted to come to Zion and be taught by the Prophet of God. We had the spirit of gathering so strongly that Babylon had no claim on us, so on the 7th day of September l84l we sailed from Liverpool on the Ship Sydney.

Captain Cowan, Leiv Richards, President with l80 passengers. Among the number were George Q. Cannon, Angus Cannon and their mother, George D. Watt and family. We had a voyage of eight weeks. It was not a bad trip and we would have enjoyed a lot of it had not mother been ill a lot of the time and a very sad thing happened. The mother of the Cannons died on the ship when in sight of the West India Islands. They were not permitted to land with a body on board so she was consigned to a watery grave. It was a very solemn occasion. At last we were towed up the river to New Orleans and so had a chance to set our feet on terra firma. Our President charted a large steamer which took us up the river l200 miles to St Louis. We rented a house for a month as the river up to Nauvoo was frozen over. When our month was up we took a steamer to Alton, twenty-five miles up the river and got employment in a packing house there. They killed 38,000 hogs during the winter. The people there were very friendly and treated us fine. The wages were low but everything was cheap. Flour was $3.00 per barrel, sugar l8 lbs. per $l.00, and everything else in proportion. When the river opened up we started for Nauvoo, a distance of 300 miles. As we approached the landing place to our great joy we saw the Prophet Joseph Smith there to welcome his people who had come so far. We were all so glad to see him and set our feet upon the Promised Land so to speak. It was the most thrilling experience of my life for I know that he was a Prophet of the Lord.

The only house we could get was a shell of a place made of rails set in the ground and covered with boards 4 feet long, split out of logs. It, of course, was very cold and when it snowed it covered the floor and beds. We were not there long when an old acquaintance of father's from Leith, Scotland, James Fife, who had emigrated a year before us came to see us from Macedonia. He advised us to go there as he thought we could do better. There was a small branch there. Macedonia was a small town of about 80 families, about 25 miles east of Nauvoo and 8 miles from Carthage. We could find no house to rent, so Fifes took us into their home. Father made a bargain with a man for lumber and to hurry the deal up, paid for it. Before we could saw it the stream that ran the mill went dry and we got no lumber for several months.

While there, my brother James and I were called out to attend military drill at Nauvoo. The Prophet Joseph Smith was the general and paraded the Legion. Jimmie was never robust like me. When it came on one of those heavy rains common to that part of the country and we were drenched to the skin he took a severe cold and when we got home he was taken very sick and what is now called pneumonia soon carried him off. In a small chamber off the main room of Brother Fife's house, Mother and Sister Fife did all they could for him with what they had to do with, but he, like many others, died of privation.

Soon after this we were fortunate enough to rent a house from Brother Perkins. We took in a man who was a weaver who had his family still in the old country. He agreed to keep us in firewood id we would let him work in our house and Mother to do his cooking. So they agreed. I thought at least that Father and Mother would be kept warm and as I needed to be earning I went to Alton. I only earned enough to barely subsist on. I caught a severe cold going down the river and was not well for some time. The most I was able to save was two barrels of pottery ware, which I took home with me and sold very readily. We went up the river to Nauvoo on a small steamer called the Maid of Iowa belonging to the Church. It had come from New Orleans and brought a cargo of Saints, a number of whom came from the Isle of Man. Among them was William Waterson, his father and mother, Brother Tarbet, Brother Cowley and family, Brother Crook and family who, after coming to Utah, settled in American Fork. This steamer was much longer on the trip than we expected as the engines were too small to stem the heavy current of the lower Mississippi.

The Prophet and many others were there on the wharf looking for her and waiting to welcome the Saints. The Captain and myself were the only ones on board who had ever seen the Prophet and they were all anxious to have us point him out. I remember Old Crook when he got hold of his hand, said, "I've come a long way to see the Prophet." "Yes," said Brother Joseph, "You have, but you will never regret it." And he never did. He was a faithful Saint and lived to a good old age.

The journey in those days took men and women of faith. It was so long and tiresome. A good many of the people settled in Macedonia. I got a city lot and commenced to build. Brother Fife did the framing. I found a coal mine while looking for rock l2 miles east of Macedonia and on some land called patent land that nobody had claimed. It was the only coal that had been found in that section of the country. I camped there and blacksmiths from Nauvoo and other places sent for coal. The teams came in the evening and the drivers sometimes stayed all night. I often had to work all night to get the loads ready for morning. I did my own cooking which usually consisted of a slice of bacon, and then some of the fat kneaded into some flour with which I baked scones. I went home every Saturday, Father and Mother were always glad to have me come. They were living in our own little home with a prospect of being somewhat comfortable yet. They missed James greatly. Father fenced a piece of land close to town and raised corn, potatoes, and other garden stuff. We also had a good cow on our city lot.

Uncle John Smith, who was President of the Branch and was also a Patriarch, came to our house and always gave us blessings. He also sealed my Father's two wives to him for time and eternity. Brother Joseph had authorized him to seal the old people that might not live to see a temple constructed. We were happy about this, and as the old gentleman was not so very well fixed for clothing, having been driven so much and as we had brought quite a lot of shirting cloth from Scotland, we were able to supply his wants in that respect. The Saints were all willing to divide their substance with each other as long as they had anything to spare.

Joseph and some of the twelve came to Macedonia to preach to us. There was a large gathering of people, members and others. He took his text from the first chapter of the Second Epistle of Peter. There was a portion of which was reported and it appeared in the new edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. The place where he preached these sermons was first called Ramas and later Macedonia. He said it was a man’s privilege to have revelations for himself that his name was written in the Lamb's book of life. He preached in a grove that surrounded the house where we lived and in selecting the best place to face the congregation moved his chair nearer the house. The brethren who were with him moved theirs also except Bishop Miller. Joseph said," Brother Miller, are you going to forsake me?" To which he replied, "Oh no, Brother Joseph." But later I met that same man turning his back upon the Church when we were at Winter Quarters. It reminded me of what Jesus said to one of his Disciples. "Will you also turn away?" He said in his remarks that there were three degrees of glory in the Celestial Kingdom, and to attain to the highest a man must abide the law of that Kingdom.

The Prophet Joseph was Mayor of Nauvoo City. Some apostates published a paper with so many malicious lies about our people that the City Council proclaimed it a nuisance. They then raised the hue and cry of rebellion of our people against the government and collected a mob so as to get Joseph in their power.

I was called with a number of the brethren to protect the city. I was just recovering from a spell of fever and ague. My legs were so swollen I could hardly walk the length of a block far less travel twenty miles across a prairie half a leg deep in water about half the distance on account of heavy rains. The fever sores on my legs forbade me getting wet under any ordinary condition, but I had faith in God and the blessing of our grand old Patriarch who promised that I should take no harm and would return in safety to my parents. We started in the evening and reached the city in the morning. We were quartered in a large brick house yet unfinished, belonging to a man by the name of Foster. Joseph reviewed the Legion that day on the flat and spoke encouragingly to them. Drawing his sword he said that if there was a drop of blood spilt it should never again be sheathed until this nation is drenched in blood.

The last time I saw him in life he and his brother Hyrum, Brothers Taylor and Richards were on their way to Nauvoo on horseback. Joseph's horse was a pacer and the other three were trotters. He rode his horse in a kingly manner. I was standing in the doorway of Brother Frocham’s house when they passed. Frocham and his wife and others were there. Brother Frocham's wife, with a look of fear on her pale face, said, "Poor Joseph. We will never see him again," and rushed into the house and threw herself on the bed and wept aloud.  Her impression was right. He and his brother were martyred the next day. Our company had been dismissed. Brother Fife and I started for home alone, but we mistook the Carthage road for the Macedonia road and walked into Carthage where we were arrested and placed in Carthage Jail under guard until morning. We were then escorted to the Court House where the Judge merely asked us what we wanted there. Brother Fife had a happy thought and spoke up, saying "We want a pass to Macedonia." The Judge, turning to the clerk said, "Write these gentlemen out a pass to Macedonia."

They had gotten what they wanted. Joseph and Hyrum were in jail and they did not want any more Mormons around so we went home, the distance being about eight miles. We were not molested but we overheard threats as to what would happen to the Smiths, so we went to our Captain and entreated him to call out our brethren and go within a half mile of Carthage to strip off timber and lay in ambush. But he refused saying that the Governor had put the county under martial law and anyone bearing arms under his command would be liable to arrest. We told him we were willing to risk that but he was firm in his purpose. In the afternoon the troops from Macedonia who were friendly to the Mormon prisoners were sent home. They said they would not give a button for the lives of the Smiths, but if that damned old Governor had allowed them to remain they would have seen to it that the prisoners would have had a fair trial. The Governor had left them to the mercy of a mob, while they, themselves, went up to Nauvoo to argue the people about being law abiding citizen, knowing full well that the mob at Carthage were doing their bloody work.

Brother Babbet, lawyer, came home soon after on horseback stating that the mob had given him but five minutes to leave or they would kill him, and he fully expected that our Prophet would be killed.

When the awful tidings reached us the people wept aloud. One could hear the sobs and crying from every quarter. They felt as though the hosts of Hell were let loose to do their murderous work of extermination if possible. The Gentiles approved of the ghastly deed and predicted that it would be the end of Mormonism. I will never forget the heartache and desolate feeling I had when I looked upon the face of our martyred Prophet and Patriarch.

At a conference in October l844 I was ordained a member of the 2lst Quorum of Seventies by President Joseph Young. When the Nauvoo Temple was completed I received my endowment. Soon after which we began to prepare for the migration to the west. Brother Fife started with many others to make the woodwork of our wagons. He made mine and a blacksmith for whom I had furnished coal made the iron. Having a chance to sell my lot I managed to get a yoke of eight year old steers for the house and lot. This was all the team I had. There was a Brother Don Nance by name who had a herd of cattle and horses who kindly lent me a yoke of cattle well broken. He had eight wagons. I helped him to harness his teams and Father rode on horseback and helped to drive the sheep. He had two daughters who drove mule teams. Brother Nance was a good, kind man and all his family were good to us. We traveled over country which was mostly uninhabited. Hardly any roads, and in many places we had to stop and cut bulrushes to put in the swampy holes so that our wagons could pass over. Yet there were no murmurings in the company although we had nothing except what we had in our wagons and knew not where our next stopping place would be or what it would be like. We were cheerful and hopeful for we knew that we were led by men inspired of God. There were several camps made on the way that the people might stop and recruit. Luckily, or unluckily, for me I was not in time to join the Mormon Battalion or I would in all probability have answered the call. There were very few who felt inclined to leave their loved ones and cross a desert to fight the battles of a country which had made outcasts of them, but everyone, loyal to the Priesthood, marched away and God was with them and this fact constitutes one of the best arguments that we can produce to prove our loyalty to the Government.

When we arrived at the Missouri River we drove the cattle in and they swam across, some of the outfits landing a mile below on the other side. There was a ferry boat to take our wagons across at a place called Cutlers Park, where there were several hundred wagons waiting to cross on it. It so happened that my wagon was next to a young man's outfit by the name of John Welch. He was an Englishman who had a young, good looking wife whom he called Eliza, his mother and Sister Ann. Ann was, to my notion, a very attractive young lady, cheerful, refined in manner, a good companionable person with a sweet voice. Many a night she cheered the company with her singing of old songs, many of which were Scottish. In fact, I concluded that there were no songs then written with which she was unfamiliar. They were very fine neighbors, and soon we felt as if we had always known them. My father and mother soon grew very fond of Ann, to say nothing of myself, and I determined to win her if I could. She seemed to have a natural gift for cheering and caring for the sick, and was always on hand to do so without money or price.

About this time, we organized into a company to cut and haul hay. Brother Vance was our captain. Some were to cut, some to rake and some to haul, of which John Welch and I did a lot. Others did the stacking. By that time we had organized our camp on a piece of land near the river, which was called Winter Quarters. Brother Welch and I built our cabins near each other, covered them with cottonwood bark which made a good thatch. We then cut large trees, notched the bark in feet lengths, peeled it off in large flakes, and placed them on the roof. We then weighted them down with other logs to keep them from warping in the sun. While we were building our house we camped out. Father and Mother had their bed in a good sheltered place in a covered wagon box. I am thankful that I did everything I knew how to make them as comfortable as possible. We used to sit around a camp fire of evenings. Father would play his violin and we sang hymns and songs. Father, I thought, was a good singer and Ann would often be with us singing also. In fact the Welch family and ours were quite neighborly. After the house was finished, the winter wood hauled and all, a man came up from Platt County, Missouri, wanting a company of men, all kinds of builders, to go with him to build a mill. He got about twenty men, so on the 20th of November l846 I left Father and Mother and went with them to work in Missouri all winter.

Near Christmastime, about a month after I left, Father died very suddenly. He had apparently been as well as usual, until one day he said to Mother, "Mary, I would like some clean underwear." She got it for him and prepared a bath. He shaved, and while doing so said to her, "Mary, I think I am going to die today. I see a look of death on my face." She was horrified, and said, "James, you must not say such a thing. Jimmie is dead and Rob is away and you can't leave me here alone." He did not argue with her but took his bath, seemed cheerful, and talked a good deal about the old Scotch home and his son George who had not yet emigrated. After awhile he went and opened an old chest, looked over some letters, and then took out a little wooden box made in the shape of a large, red apple cut in half in which were some little trinkets, among which was a lock of golden hair of his first wife. He said, "Mary, ye mon give these things to Georgie when he comes." Mother felt very badly and chided him for giving way to such feelings so he got up and said, "Well, I think I'll just cut out a place in the door and put in a wee bit of glass. It will make the room more light and cheerful." He did so making a nice, neat job of it. He seemed tired out and exhausted when it was finished so as he went toward the bed he said, "Weel, I think I'll just lay me doon and dee." Mother helped to make him comfortable, and being alarmed by that time went to call someone. Some of the neighbors came in and he talked to them, but seemed to be growing weaker, and toward evening quietly passed away.

Mother, naturally, was quite heartbroken and alone in the world. The Welch's of course, came in to try and comfort her and she persuaded Ann to stay with her which she did a great deal of the time. There were many deaths in Winter Quarters that winter. All the lumber used had to be sawed with a whip saw, and some of the people who died were buried without coffins. Mother was afraid that Father would be, but thanks to Father Lot, who used to live on Joseph Smith's and was a good friend of ours, ordered a coffin and said I would pay for it and if not he, himself, would. So Father got a comparatively decent burial and I paid the bill.

Brother Welch was down in Missouri at the time of Father's death. Ann was a great comfort to my Mother. he also helped to nurse some of the sick of which there were a good many. My Mother was among the number. I had my cattle and wagon with me. They had been well wintered and were in good trim when I came home in early spring. I brought a load of provisions and pork up, broke up a lot of land and planted a good garden. The brethren broke up about l500 acres of prairie land and planted corn.

In June, on the 20th day, l847, Ann Welch and I were united in marriage. The ceremony was performed by Elder Joseph Fielding, in our neat, new little cabin. A king in his palace was no happier than I was. I was sure I had the smartest girl in the camp of Israel. Her words were like proverbs; she was well read and had a wonderful memory. She had one of the sweetest voices I had ever heard and often entertained us with reciting the poems of Robert Burns and many others. She was a splendid housekeeper, always keeping within our means and had quite a good understanding of the use of herbs which came in handy very often.

About two months after our marriage I left my wife and Mother. My brother-in-law, John and I went to Savanna, Andrew County, Missouri, to work. It was about l40 miles and we got work at digging a well. We struck water at 40 feet and the people were delighted. We got a good number of wells to dig for them and they were always ready to pay us when the work was done. Although it was the state that had driven the people out, yet it was far north of the county where they had lived and died and there seemed to be no mob spirit there.

It had been predicted by the leaders that those who needed an outfit to go on to the valleys of the mountains and went down to Missouri to make one would find employment and be blessed. If they stayed after they had sufficient means to come on, the Lord would cease to bless them and they would grow poor, lose the good spirit and be unable to follow the Church. This I have seen bitterly fulfilled. There were brethren there who were much better off than we. They thought they would just stay one year more. The last I heard of them they had not emigrated. The counsel we had received was for us not to come on without eighteen month's provisions so that a good sized family had to have two wagons, so we had to stay until the crops were harvested. We stayed in Savannah until late in the fall then went home.

While we were away, Ann, my wife, had been taking care of Mother who was getting old but who was pretty well. She also had been helping care for any sick in the camp. One of these whom she had visited frequently was a lady, Mrs. Holland by name, who had lost her husband. She had two or three sons, boys rather, and a little girl, Carolyn by name. It seemed that this Mrs. Holland had been influenced to remarry with the promise of getting herself and children taken to the valleys of the mountains. She had not been as comfortable in this marriage as she had expected in more ways than one. She was very sick and very unhappy in the thought that perhaps she was not going to get well, and did not like the prospect of leaving Carrie in the family into which she had married. She therefore asked Ann one day if she would take Carrie in case she died. Ann did not know what to say to this. She told her she would be willing but that her husband was away and she could not do so without first consulting him. As it happened, I came home about that time We decided to take the little girl home with us in case her mother did not recover. The poor little soul passed away in a few days and after the funeral which we both attended we took Carrie by the hand home with us and she seemed glad to go. Carrie was a good little girl and we tried to do the best we could for her. We were all fond of her, Mother took her in her bed and was kind to her.

Soon after this we moved to Savannah. John and I had engaged a house of William Manning two miles east of Savannah. There we two families lived in this house. We dug a well there on the place. The owners were so pleased that they would do anything they could for us. We fixed up the place better than it ever had been. We lived well for those times and our cattle were well wintered. We considered our cattle and wagon our temporal salvation. There were no Vain or Schullter Wagons in those days. They were all homemade and the timber was not very well seasoned. We moved from there the next spring to another place, rented a farm and a house for each family from a man by the name of Rhodes. They were good neighbors and seemed to like us. It was what would be called a backwoods, but it was a pretty place; there were large quantities of wild fruit, crab apples, blackberries, and hazel nuts.

There on July 27 l848 our first son was born. That day my wife said was the happiest day of her life and I certainly was a proud and happy father. He was a fine baby, grew fast and was unusually bright. We called him George after her little brother who had died in Nauvoo.

We stayed there two years and got plenty of work and gathered around us the things which we needed, we also were treated well. We moved from there into the town of Savannah where the most of our work was. I rented a house at the edge of the town where there was a large pasture where we could keep the cattle. We also dug a well for the owner, Monroe by name. This paid for our house rent. While there a great excitement arose over the gold mine in California and Brother Welch, being a cutter, started to make Bowie knives to sell to the emigrants who all wanted a knife with a guard on the handle and a scabbard to hang on their belts, also a pair of goggles before they could cross the plains. Our women folks were able to make the goggles. Mother and Ann made them at 25 cents a pair. They sold $l8.00 worth. Many a man left there expecting to make his everlasting fortune, but goodness only knows how many found their dreams realized. When they got to Great Salt Lake City they were so excited by seeing a few small sacks of gold dust they exchanged their whole outfit of three or four yoke of cattle, wagons loaded with provisions for a couple of plug ponies to pack what they could and rush on the rest of the way. These things were just what the people of Salt Lake needed and what Heber C. Kimball predicted.

When the people were getting badly off for clothing and other necessities and could not see their way clear to obtain any more, this servant of the Lord stood up and told them that they need not be discouraged for there would be goods brought there and sold cheaper than could be bought in St. Louis. He almost doubted it himself, after he had said it, but it came nevertheless according to his predictions.

Before leaving the Rhodes place another son was born to us on the l8th of October, l849, at Savannah, Andrew County, Missouri, and named William after Ann's other brother who died in Nauvoo. He was a fine boy like the first.

While we lived in Savannah I dug a well a piece for most of the businessmen and got good pay so that when we left there in l85l I had two yoke of oxen, two yoke of cows and a good outfit of clothing and provisions for the family. We started in company with Brothers Welch, Gray and Lever. The season was so rainy that the roads were very bad to travel. The streams were running over their banks and covering the bottom land on both sides half a mile wide. There were the Noday, the two Turocs and the Nabhonabatona, four large streams which we had to cross in ferry boats between Savannah and Kanesville.

At Jackson Point, Holt County, Missouri, another son was born to us on the lst day of June l85l, a week after we started on our journey. We named him John.

We arrived at Keg Creek where there was a branch of the Church presided over by Lilis T. Coons at a place called Glenwood. Here we were counseled to remain until spring as it was too late in the season to cross the plains. Here I built a good log cabin and corral, thinking that I would be able to sell it for what it cost me as the place was expected to become the county seat. I was disappointed and only got twenty dollars for the house, lot and corral. Brother John Welch and I rented a piece of land to raise corn to feed our cattle that we might have them in good order for the spring.

Here my mother was very ill and died. Before dying she said one day that she felt like she did not care to go on, that she had rather not go any farther away from where Father was laid. So I had buried them all now in the course of our travels, my brother James, Father and Mother. We missed our dear Mother, she and Ann were good companions. She used to help nurse the children of whom she was very fond. She would sing all manner of old Scotch ditties to them. George would climb on her knee and say,"Sing, Granny, telling her what song. She would say, "Oh, you Bairne, ye make you auld Granny daft."

I took a team and went back to Missouri to make another outfit and was glad that we had little Carrie to be some company to Ann and the children. There was a young man, James Curry, a blacksmith, with whose family I had been acquainted from my earliest recollection. I was the means of bringing the Curry family into the Church. They came from Estrette in Fife Shire, Scotland. They were at this time in Coonsville. James and John Welch worked together. He stayed at Welch's and Ann cooked his meals. He proved a very good friend to us, was kind to the wife at doing chores and cutting firewood. I got work again and came back with a good lot of supplies.

We started once more to try and reach the Valley, as we called it, early in the season or as early as possible. There were ten wagons. Captain Betz, a blacksmith, John Welch, Mr. Workman, Serogy and myself. The Indians were bad at times on the plains so it was advised that the people travel in large companies. We traveled between large companies, sometimes being one day apart from them. In Indian country we traveled with other small companies when there were signs of danger.

We saw a great many Indians near the Black Hills, but had no trouble. We always had a night guard to watch the cattle. We traded flour to the Indians for buckskin and buffalo robes. We killed a large buffalo and divided the meat, each getting a washtub full. We jerked the meat by hanging it in the smoke of the campfire at night to dry it and prevent it from spoiling. We saw Indians every few days but had no trouble with them. We had our wagon box made with projection boards so our beds could be made up at night with our provision boxes underneath. We had a door in the side of the wagon box and Mother Ann could step out when the wagon was moving. We had a large yoke of red oxen on the tongue, one yoke of cows, and a yoke of four year old steers on the load. The buffalo we killed was at the North Platte, the meat was very good.

We had no trouble on the plains with Indians, were comparatively well, and were very anxious to see the Valley. We knew that we would be very glad to settle down after our weary march. We arrived in Salt Lake City, September l852.

I bought a choice adobe house in the first ward and lived there two years. We had a good garden of different kinds of vegetables.

Our baby boy James was born in Salt Lake City, April 27, l853. He seemed delicate and died in his second year, September l8, l854.

I worked in Red Butte Canyon quarry under Bishop John Sharp. I also worked in the limestone quarry with Adam Hunt and Andrew Burt. He was the father of Captain Andrew Burt of the police in Salt Lake City, who was killed by a Negro, while on duty in l883. I helped load the cornerstones of the Salt Lake Temple and was present when the stones were laid.

We moved again in l856 to the 20th Ward. That year my half brother George came from Scotland and he and two of his sons worked in the temple quarries. I continued to work there until l857. When Johnston's Army came in I was in John Sharp's Company in Echo Canyon the winter of l857. We built tents of poles covered with grass and cedar bark, big enough for ten men to sleep in and do their cooking. We stayed there all winter.

In the spring I took my family south to Payson, Utah County, while the army marched through Camp Floyd. I built a house in Payson. My nearest neighbors were Hezekiah Thatcher and William Booker Preston, later Bishop Preston. When Johnston's Army was stationed at Camp Floyd, I in company with Mr. Bellingston went out there and made dobies for barracks for the Army. We also hauled cedar for firewood and sold it to the Quartermaster. We would camp in the cedars and make a load each day. In l859, I moved to Moroni, Sanpete County. We lived there until l854, but I am ahead of my story.

While in Salt Lake City our son Robert was born on March 6, l855. He was our fifth son. We used to say Robert was our first son born in the covenant as not long before he was born we were privileged to go to the Endowment House and receive our blessings and sealing. On October 22, l857, our sixth son Nicholas Welch Crookston was born in Salt Lake City.

While in Sanpete County, our eldest son George died on March 6, l862. This was our greatest sorrow. Ann never seemed hardly reconciled to losing her bonny, blue eyed boy and as for myself it was a real bereavement.

While at that little settlement we made some very close friends who were our neighbors. One family in particular was the family of N. L. Christensen. They were more like relatives than just friends. Also the Coveys and Lutzes and others. Ann was a member of the choir.

Benjamin Franklin Crookston was born October 22, l860 at Moroni, Sanpete County. David Crookston was born also at Moroni, Sanpete County, October 24, l862.

While living at Moroni, I was persuaded to go north to Cache Valley by Hezekiah Thatcher and his sons. They had visited the valley and said it was a fine valley with a beautiful townsite, the coming city of Logan, through which flowed the Logan River. The people were digging canals and they wanted to build a flour mill and wanted me to go with them to do quarry and mason work. I came to Cache Valley and liked the looks of it fine. I also was very glad to meet some of my old friends and fellow travelers. I went back to Moroni and told my wife about the place. She did not seem to be very enthused about leaving Moroni. Of course, it was hard to be moving around about every three or four years. I could see that she was getting tired of it, but I thought we would be better fixed after awhile, and I liked the prospect fine, so we got ready to travel. We were very sorry to leave our good neighbors and also the grave of our boy. We paid a visit to my brother George who was then living at American Fork, also my sister Janet Hutchison.

(This is as far as Robert Crookston got with his history. The following is written by Mary Crookston Farmer, his only daughter.)

Father bought a city lot ten by eighteen rods with a small house of logs upon it. It stood on the ground where the Pala D'Or dance hall now stands. (Later Sears) He bought it from Nathanial Haws. It was in the middle of the block between 2nd and 3rd North, on the west side of Main Street. They had a well.

Soon after my folks settled there father helped to build the old Thatcher flour mill and other buildings. Mother said that when they drove into Logan up Main street going north they were about in front of where the Tabernacle now stands, she said to Father, "Now Rob, where from here are you taking me?" He pointed north about two blocks and said, "You see those big cottonwood trees up there? Well, that's the place." She said, "Well, I hope I'll never move again while I live. I'm tired of it." And she never did.

On October l6, l864 Daniel was born, the ninth son. In l870 on the 7th of April, I, Mary Ann Crookston, was born, making the tenth child. Mother said to me one day, "You ought to be a very nice, good girl, Mary, you know you are the tenth. That should be the tithing." I guess I was quite a little girl, and I thought, "Wouldn't it be awful if they had to pay me in for tithing?" Then the thought came, "Well I won't go. She can just pay one of the boys, she has ten boys now." I guess they did not want to get rid of me as Mother said they were all delighted to have a sister. On the l8th of May l873, Ezra was born, the tenth boy and the eleventh child.

Ezra and I were born in our new house. It was finished in l870. I remember it quite distinctly It was a long house, two rooms in front, a living room at the south and a bedroom on the north, we had a large fireplace, a large kitchen at the back and west and two bedrooms upstairs. Under the stairs was a closet opening from the living room. I remember that there was a wooden keg in the closet with peaches preserved with the stones in, done in molasses, also crabapples in a big earthen crock. They were very handy, too, with the stems on. Then Mother had watermelon preserves and potawatomy plums. Mother also had lots of dried apples, plums, sweet corn, and beans. I neglected to mention that we had lots of native currants, black and yellow.

They used to clean them, then scald them a little to set the juice, then spread them out to dry. We used to parch corn on the kitchen stove in a frying pan. If we could get any sweet corn we thought we had a treat. Nothing went to waste in those days. When there would be a squash cut up to cook for pie or baking we would get the seeds, and dry them to eat by the fireside.

I remember while we lived in that house Rob brought home a small harp, or lyre. It hung on a nail on the wall above an old lounge which could be drawn out large enough for a double bed. At night we had gray linsey sheets for winter which Mother had spun the yarn for. I remember her walking back and forth pulling the wool out. I used to wonder how she got it so fine without it breaking, which it did sometimes. She would pause and take up the ends and splice it, then go on with her singing to the hum of the gib wheel. Maybe the song would be, "I'll hang my harp on a willow tree" or "Gentle Annie" or "Love Not " or "The Mistletoe Bough" or perhaps a hymn. She seemed to have an unlimited supply. It seemed to me that my Mother was just a little smarter than any of the women whom I knew. She used to have a lot of herbs hanging in bunches to dry; dandelion hops, sage, plantain, burdock, catnip, mullen, peppermint, spearmint, elder, oldman, parsley, yarrow, tansy, and a lot more. If anyone came to her complaining of an ailment she would fix up something or tell them how to prepare it for themselves.

I remember high piles of logs at the back of the house, and the boys would saw a great block off and split it for the stove or fireplace. They used to bring in a large piece they called the back log and put it at the back, then build a fire in front of it. The log would burn all night and sometimes longer. Mother had candles on the mantle place, and lots of times we did not need them, the fire was so bright. I've seen Mother making those candles many times. I've also seen her make a light for the boys to take upstairs with just a little tallow on a saucer with a little bit of white rag in for a wick.

She used to try to have new stockings for us for Christmas. I remember mine had striped legs of gray and red or black and red. She could read and knit at the same time, and she did read a great deal. It was worthwhile reading, consisting or history, standard novels such as Scott's Waverly novels, Dickens, and anything worthy of reading. She took some of the first church publications: Juvenile, Woman's Exponent, and Deseret News.

Robert Crookston house
Whenever she was able we had a good garden. Father was a careful gardener and had one of the best in the neighborhood. He could always thin out a nice bunch of green onions and carrots for soup for anyone who needed them and never took pay for them.

About the new house, Mother loved the log house and thought it good enough. She said she did not want it pulled down, but my older brothers wanted a frame one and were willing to go to the canyon and get out the timber. Brother Nick had been working with a Mr. Gen Clough, a builder, for quite awhile and had gotten experience as a carpenter, so they built the new house and I thought it was a wonder. It had a large front sitting room, a bedroom, clothes closet in front, a large kitchen with a porch on the south, a pantry and another small room on the north. The kitchen was very convenient, in fact, we almost lived in it. It had two windows on the west, one on the south, built in bookshelves on the south, a sink and kitchen table by the pantry on the northwest, a little built in nook over the sink for spices and other little things, a large cupboard for the china and other tall things, a nice corner to sit with a big rocker and a lounge, a dining table in the center, and a wainscoting about three feet high all around the room. The big kitchen stove stood on the west side between the two windows. All the housework was done on the side with the sink. Mother planned the room, she wanted to be able to get a meal without going in front of anyone when they were sitting down if they were all at home. I can see her in my memory going to and from the stove to the pantry or cupboard preparing supper. She would start up a hymn or a song in her sweet soprano, we would all join her, and there were enough of us to make a chorus. When I think of it now it seems like a little bit of heaven. We had two bedrooms upstairs and a wide landing large enough for a bed and a clothes closet. The house was trimmed with a lot of scroll work and painted tan and white. I thought we had the prettiest house in town. We had some beautiful box elder trees on the lawn and always there was a good swing beneath a large tree. South of the house was a well from a spring which was always cold and clear and plentiful all the year round. On the front was a portico over which grew a Virginia creeper. There were lots of hollyhocks, purple lilacs and other shrubs.

We had another well for the cattle and horses at the back under another tree near the barn. We had a shed in the garden with several hives of bees and nearly always we had plenty of honey.

Father raised sugar cane and we could make molasses candy all winter and pop corn. The south porch was a nice place to sit of a summer evening. Another big tree hung over it. There was a large barn at the back of the lot and quite often the boys made their beds up on the loft on the hay. It usually had plenty of hay for comfort. We always had chickens to furnish our eggs and a couple of pigs to kill in winter and also a cow and horses.

In l880 he contracted to do the rock work on the upper canal along the face of the mountain, using his sons to help. This was a two year job. In l882 he established a rock quarry in Logan Canyon, on the north side east of the powerhouse spillway. He helped construct the Logan Temple. He walked to work, back and forth from his home on North Main Street in Logan to the quarry until he was 80 years old. About that time, l900, other building material became available, thus lessening the demand for rock.

He worked as a stone mason on the Tabernacle, Temple, 4th Ward and Mendon church buildings a great deal, donating his work. He built rock homes, some of them still stand in Logan, Mendon and Wellsville. The Thatcher Mill, Relic Hall and three rock houses on second and third west, which I know of, are still intact.

Robert Crookston at 90
He homesteaded a rock quarry by the side of the mountain where the Utah Power and Light Plant is now. He built a small shack there. He worked in the rock quarry until he was over 80 years of age and most of the time he walked up there and back every day. He sold the site to the Hercules Power Co. to build an electric power plant about l897 but kept the right to quarry rock. He only got $200.00 for the site. About l905 cement was shipped in and used and they stopped quarrying rock.

Ann died in 1904. From the age of 80 until he was 90, Robert was at his home, rather retired, tending his garden and church. His health was generally good, he never had to have a doctor. As years passed on, his hearing and sight grew impaired. His daughter Mary and her husband Pleasant Farmer lived with him and took care of his needs until they moved to Bancroft, Idaho. Then he moved in with his son Nicholas.

He passed away on September 2l, l9l6, on his 95th birthday, at his son’s home in North Logan. He is buried in the Logan Cemetary.

This history can be found in the Utah State University Special Collection. Thanks to Grandma Melva for sharing it with us. If you are interested in reading it in it entirety or to see the scanned handwritten copy please email jay.shelley at gmail dot com.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mary Ann Cowles

  • Name: Mary Ann Cowles
  • Born: December 31, 1820 Bolivar, Allegheny, New York
  • Died: December 1, 1901 Kaysville, Davis, Utah
  • Related through: Dan’s grandmother Elvira Wilde

Mary Ann was the fifth of eight children born to Austin and Phoebe Wilbur Cowles. Her birth was on the December 31, 1820 in Bolivar, Allegheny, New York. The eighth child was born in 1825, and her mother Phoebe died the following year. In October 1927, Austin married Irena H. Elliott, and they became the parents of six children. Thus, Mary Ann was part of a very large family.

The missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited the home of Austin and Irena about 1834. All of the family joined the Church at this time. They remained in New York for about two years, and then gathered with the Saints in Kirtland, Ohio, followed by the move to Illinois. These moves coincided with the moves of the Hyde family, therefore leading us to believe that Rosel and Mary Ann had a time of courtship before their marriage. She married Rosel Hyde on December 12, 1839. This marriage was in a settlement called Payson. Rosel had established a farm there, and this is where they began their life together. In the three and one-half years they lived in Payson, their first two daughters were born, Martha Ann in 1841 and Sarah Maria in 1843.

Shortly after the birth of Sarah, the family relocated to Bear Creek, Hancock, Illinois. This settlement was located about sixteen miles from Nauvoo and seven miles from Carthage. Living here enabled them to help with building the temple and to participate in more church activities. Here, their land joined some of the Prophet Joseph’s land, and they became more closely acquainted with Joseph. Mary Ann had lived and worked in the Smith home at one time. The children of Rosel and Mary Ann were also acquainted with the Prophet and sat on his lap many times. Because of this relationship with Joseph and Emma, Rosel and Mary Ann were deeply sorrowed when news of the death of Joseph and Hyrum reached them. They were later given a picture of the prophet by the Smith family, and this hung in their home for many years.

During this period, Mary Ann’s father became disenchanted with membership in the church, over the issue of polygamy. He apostatized and moved his family to Hampton, Rock Island, Illinois where his last child was born. Mary Ann never faltered in her testimony and remained faithful to the Church.

Mary Ann and Rosel were in attendance at the special conference held August 8, 1844 in the great grove at Nauvoo. Mary Ann testified to her children often that Brigham Young looked exactly like the Prophet Joseph Smith and also sounded as though he had Joseph’s voice.

Their third child, Rosel James, was born in 1845 while they lived at Bear Creek. Rosel and Mary Ann were able to receive their endowment in the Nauvoo Temple on 7January 7, 1846. Because of the many persecutions, the temple was closed before they were able to be sealed to each other.

In May 1846, their little family joined others in abandoning their beloved city of Nauvoo. Traveling with Rosel’s parents, his brother William and their families, Rosel and Mary Ann arrived at Council Bluffs in July and lived in their wagons. Four days after arriving, William was mustered into the Mormon Battalion. The remaining family members built small, two room log cabins in Council Point, a few miles south of Council Bluffs.

The families rejoiced when in December 1847, William returned. He and Rosel worked to help their parents and other family members to leave for the valley in 1848. By the spring of 1849 the families of William and Rosel were prepared for their journey. They left with the Capt. Gulley Company, and arrived in the Valley on September 22, 1849. What great joy was felt as they were reunited with family and friends at the end of their arduous journey.

The family settled in Salt Lake where Rosel built a home for his family. Two more daughters were born here before the family moved to Kays Ward (Kaysville) in 1853. Here Mary Ann had a three-room log house with a dirt roof - which leaked in wet weather. There was a patio between two of the rooms which had a trap door that led to a dirt cellar. Each spring, the cellar usually filled with several inches of water. There was no lawn, but the packed down dirt in front of the house was swept clean regularly.

Their second son, Heman, was born at this home in 1855, and sometime in the next two years Mary Ann was sealed to Rosel Hyde. According to family records, this sealing was performed by Wilford Woodruff.

In 1858 the family was asked to vacate their property and move south, pending the arrival of Johnston’s Army. Mary Ann apparently was expecting her seventh child at this time, because their son Austin was born in Salt Lake City at the beginning of this exodus. Since the family left not knowing what, if any, of their homes and belongings would still be awaiting them, we again see their faith in the Prophet as they obeyed his council to leave. We also can imagine their great joy to return and find that nothing had been disturbed, and all was as it had been left.

In late 1859 Rosel was sent on a mission to New York State. He arrived home about the time their son Charles Corydon was born, May 1860. Rosel built a good two-story home of rock and adobe in Kaysville to accommodate his growing family as well as the Church authorities that visited the area. Mary Ann entertained many authorities during this time. A new arrival to the Valley, Hannah Maria Simmons, helped Mary Ann with the work in the home. The family grew to love this lovely young lady from England. When Rosel was asked to enter plural marriage, Hannah was their choice for a second wife. Hannah and Rosel were sealed in February 1862; just two months after Mary Ann had given birth to twin boys, David and Wesley. Unfortunately, the boys died the same day they were born.

Mary Ann remained in the rock home in town, and Hannah set up housekeeping in the log home on the farm. Hannah prepared the meals for the farm hands, including Mary Ann’s boys who lived in town and worked on the farm. Eventually Rosel built an adobe house on the farm for Hannah. When her children were old enough to come to school in town, Mary Ann prepared their lunch meals for them.

Mary Ann and Hannah were both with child when Rosel left for two months to bring back a company of Saints from Council Bluffs. Mary Ann gave birth to William in June 1863 and Hannah’s son Samuel was born in August 1863. The two women were a great comfort to each other as well as a help. Everyone was saddened when Hannah’s son died two months later.

On May 14, 1868, the Relief Society was organized in Kaysville and Mary Ann Hyde was called as one of the counselors.

In the early 1880’s, Rosel sold the house in town and enlarged the farm house. Mary Ann’s children were grown so she joined the family at the farm, having her own apartment upstairs. That winter, Mary Ann made the trip to Logan with Rosel and the family to have their first six children sealed to them.

Persecutions for polygamy worsened after that. The young men in the community guarded the roads in and out of Kaysville against attack. (They didn’t know until after his death on July 25, 1887 that they had been guarding President John Taylor in exile.)

All the children loved both Mary Ann and Hannah. Hannah was only 49 years old when she died March 19, 1892. Before she died, Hannah told her children to include Mary Ann at the table and to treat her well. Hannah’s mother came to live with the family, and she would sit with Rosel and Mary Ann in their later years, cared for tenderly by Hannah’s daughter Mary Ann.

On December 12, 1899 Rosel and Mary Ann celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Mary Ann died December 1, 1901, less than two years before her husband died. They are buried in Kaysville, Utah.

This article was compiled by Barbara Winward Seager, July 1997. Thanks to Joni and Julia for placing it on their Web site.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Burton Pett

  • Name: Burton Pett
  • Born: January 27, 1870 Brigham City, Utah
  • Died: February 9, 1943 Brigham City, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Margaret Udy

Burton Pett was the son of James Pett and Elizabeth Jane Brandon. He spent his early years in Brigham City and then went to Park City, at the time a thriving mining town, and worked for several years. Later he moved to Ophir, Tooele Couty and was employed by a mining company. He delivered the pay roll for quite some time by horseback from Mercur to Ophir with no loss of money nor any police escort. After his mining work he helped George Edwards with his Mercantile Store. A few years later he returned to Brigham City where he owned and operated a very successful meat and grocery business. His honesty and cheerfulness were a great asset. No on could cure meat or make sausage that tasted as good. He was also musical and played several stringed instruments.

His first wife was named Sarah Ellen Micksell who died in childbirth. The child Lillian Pett was raised by Eva Pett Streng, Burton's sister. He later married our grandmother Rachel Burton Pidcock. They always maintained a hospitable home and everyone enjoyed their visit there. They reared two sons and three daughters — Leonard, Mabel, Lucile, Geneva and Burton.

Thanks to Grandma Margaret for sharing this little bit of history with us. 
Top: Burton Pett, Imer Pett, Frank Pett
Bottom: Lorenzo Pett, James Pett (father) and Henry H. Pett

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Johanna (Hanna) Wenger

  • Name: Johanna (Hanna) Wenger
  • Born: September 21, 1840 Helmhoff, Germany
  • Died: September 6, 1910 Monte Vista, Colorado
  • Related through: Dan's grandmother Melva Castleton

Hanna was the third child born to Johann George and Eva Katherina Hagner Wenger, September 21, 1840 in Helmhoff, Heppenheim Starkenburg, Hessen Germany.

She came to America in 1854 with her family, and settled in Illinois, probably around Peoria. They were of the Apostolic Christian faith.

She married Henry Getz February 9, 1858, he had traveled to America with their family. She was mother to 11 children. They raised their large family in beautiful Illinois and Kansas. She was remembered as a hard working, happy lady.

Through the years they visited in Utah a few times. Mother remembers her as very cheerful and kind. We have a cute picture of her smiling with a sunbonnet on, shaking a cup telling someone not to take her picture.

She died September 6, 1910 at age 70 on a train coming to visit her family in Utah. She was buried in the Old German Cemetery at Salt Creek near Tremonton, Utah. She was later moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery in Tremont, Illinois next to her husband, Henry. He died in 1914. There is still a big block of cement where her grave was at the Salt Creek Cemetery, just north of Grandma's babies, Rueben and baby Getz.

Thanks to Grandma Melva for writing this history and sharing it with us.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gottfried Hanni

  • Name: Gottfried Hanni
  • Born: November 14, 1862
    Bern, Switzerland
  • Died: November 22, 1916
    Biel, Bern, Switzerland
  • Related through: Erin's grandfather
    Kenneth Hanni


Police Watchmaster Gottfried Hanni

One Wednesday last week City Police Watchmaster Hanni passed away at the age of 54 after a long life. In the year 1887 he began his service of the State Police Corps. After three years of boarder watch service in Bern Jural area he was elected by the city council in January 1890 to replace Fritz Ruch as second deputy policeman of the Biel City Police.

On the 31st of January 1908 he was named Watchmaster of the Police Corps. With his death, the city lost an employee who was dedicated, his colleagues lost a true, upstanding comrade and his family lost a caring family father. Honor his memory.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Austin Cowles

  • Name: Austin Cowles
  • Born: May 3, 1792, Brookfield, Orange, Vermont
  • Died: December 15, 1872 Decatur County, Iowa
  • Related through: Dan’s grandmother Elvira Wilde Langford

Timothy Cowles (pronounced “Coals”) and Abigail Woodworth were the parents of Austin Cowles, born May 3, 1792 in Brookfield, Orange, Vermont.

“At an early age he had the misfortune to lose one of his eyes, accidentally put out by an arrow shot by one of his brothers. Born at an age when free schools were almost or quite unknown where his parents resided, and at a time and place where a livelihood was hard to get, and being one of a large family, it took a determined spirit to surmount the difficulties before him but he proved equal to the task. At an early age he became a teacher, began preaching at the age of 21, and was a regularly ordained minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1819, he removed from Unadilla, Otsego, New York, to Friendship, New York, and thence to Bolivar, New York in February 1820, where he and his brother Asa built and occupied a house together until 1821. He was part owner of a saw mill built there. The first religious services in the town were held by him in 1820, a barn being used for lack of a church. The first school house was built in 1820, and he taught the winter term of 1820-21. In 1825, he was Inspector of Common Schools and a Town Clerk.

He was a wheelwright and small farmer and part of the time was engaged as a circuit preacher. About 1828, he became afflicted with a disease affecting the bones of his feet, caused as he thought, by wearing tight shoes, from which he suffered the remainder of his life. Soon after the advent of the Mormon Church he became a fervent believer in the Mormon doctrine and was ordained a minister [Elder] of the Mormon Church in New York State; removed about 1837 to Kirtland, Ohio, the seat of the Mormon Church, and then in 1838 to Nauvoo, Illinois.”

Phoebe Wilbur, daughter of Thomas and Anna Wood Wilbur, married Austin on January 14, 1813 in Unadilla, Otsego, New York. Phoebe was born October 6, 1785 in Otsego County, New York. They became the parents of eight children, all born in New York., The last child was born in November 1825, and Phoebe, died on May 11, 1826. She had been preceded in death by three of their children, Sophia, Alonzo, and Leonard. The fifth child, Mary Ann (our direct ancestor) married Rosel Hyde in 1839 in Payson, Adams, Illinois.

On October 21, 1827, Austin married Irena H. Elliott and they became the parents of six children. Austin was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1832. As was the custom in the early days of the Church, the members desired to unite with the main body of the Church, which at this time was in Kirtland, Ohio. Austin and his family moved there about 1837, then on to Nauvoo, Illinois in 1838 where they were members of the Nauvoo 4th Ward.

On February 6, 1841 Austin was called to serve on the High Council. The following month he became a Counselor to William Marks in the Stake Presidency. He served a mission in 1841 to Massachusetts and New Hampshire. At Gilsum, New Hampshire, Austin and his companion organized the Gilsum Branch of the Church. With his Church service, Austin was at the time close to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Once when Joseph was talking about revelations he had received which he dared not reveal, “even to Father Cowles.” Joseph was referring to the faithfulness of Austin.

A block map of Nauvoo in 1842 shows that Austin was a merchant, and owned a store on Main Street, near Kimball Street. He also was the Supervisor of Streets.

When the Doctrine of Plural Marriage was revealed, Austin was strongly opposed and sided with William Law and other dissenters against Joseph Smith. He wrote an affidavit against plural marriage that appeared in the first, and only, edition of The Nauvoo Expositor on June 7, 1844. This article enraged many of the citizens who then destroyed the press. Many feel that this was the turning point that led to the murder of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. The public opposition to the revealed doctrine of the Prophet led to the excommunication of Austin, along with others. He withdrew from his office and went with his family to Burlington, Iowa, then later to Hampton Illinois where he wrote the following letter to Heman Hyde, friend, and father-in-law of Austin’s daughter Mary Ann:

“August 16, 1844
Respected Brother:

Having an opportunity to write. . . I gladly improve it, to let you know that our lives and health through the divine care of our [H]eavenly Father is yet continued unto us, and I hope you and all our relatives and friends in your country enjoy the like blessing. We first landed at Burlington, (Iowa) where we staid one month to look out a location that would please us and our friends that would think it good to live with us and selected the place where we now dwell which with the surrounding country for 20 miles is thought by those that follow the river to be the best region of country between New Orleans and St. Peters, (Minnesota), and is undoubtedly so, all advantages considered, the water power and health of the climate. We are told that there has been but four deaths in six years in this town. For ourselves, we are well satisfied. So much for our temporal things. We have all purchased lands to our liking and we rejoice exceedingly that (though at much sacrifice) we have escaped from a city where abomination reigns and its votaries are hastening to destruction. Notwithstanding we are accused as the murderers of the Prophet and Patriarch, we know that we are as innocent as were the prophets of old that stood up to tell the rulers of their wickedness and call on them to repent and return to the law that they might live. The manner of deaths of the Prophet and Patriarch was as horrible to us as to any other ones. I had fear that the abuse many received from their tongues would cause their death by the hands of some dark midnight assassin. But I had not thought that an organized mob would in violation of all law, have taken their lives, when prisoners to the administration of law; but the event I leave in the hands of God who suffered it thus to be. I was well aware that that people were destined to feel the rod, but little did I think it would be in that manner.

But what is the issue? I am told that the Twelve take the government of the Church and have decreed to carry out the course as commenced by Joseph in his doctrines and measured as he left them. I have written my views to Elder (William) Marks on that matter, and I now say to you that if the history of Jackson County, Kirtland, Clay, Caldwell has not taught the virtuous wisdom, than follow still a government whose head, Brigham Young, has in a public speech in Nauvoo commended the man as having done a noble deed in his attempt to assassinate ex Governor Boggs, follow in this course of thing and in two years no Mormon lives in Nauvoo. The [B]ook of Mormon says that those who keep the commandments of God shall prosper in this the land of Joseph, and I defy any men to make it appear by any revelation that has been given to us that we should ever have been driven from any land, had we kept his law, and my counsel to all my children and friends is to dispose of their effects and leave Nauvoo, for I say unto you that though you were as righteous as Noah, Daniel or Job you cannot save that people from the necessity of leaving Nauvoo or going where Joseph and Hyrum are [have] gone. My pecuniary affairs in that region I wish you could see to my lots in Nauvoo if you can get offers for them at thirty-five dollars, twenty in cash and fifteen in good property each, take it. Tell Bro. Bailey near where I lived, to sell my lands in Iowa, if he can get three-fourths what they cost me. Give my love to all enquiring friends; tell all my children the voice of an affectionate father is to leave that sickly country and locate where you will be truly pleased.

Remember your father has never guessed wrong as yet concerning the Church. I wish, Bro. Hyde, that you would see Elder Marks and both come up and see the country, stay a week and you will make it your homes. I am told that Bro. Marks has resigned his office; this is wisdom.

Give my love to him and his family, especially. Yours, affectionately,

Austin Cowles”

He later moved back to Kirtland. In 1850 he moved to Sycamore, Illinois where he remained a few months and then moved to Fulton City, Illinois where he kept a grocery store for some years. At some point, he was affiliated with The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In 1854 he moved to Decatur County, Iowa. “The journey occupied some weeks as he used two yoke of oxen for a team and drove several young cattle. He was accompanied by his wife and three youngest children and a neighbor by the name of Booth, and his family. They landed near Pleasanton, Decatur, Iowa, in May or June, 1854. The country was new and lumber hard to get, so he with the help of his eldest son, then with him, erected a log house that was their home for many years. He farmed and operated a grist and sawmill. He preempted government land at $1.25 per acre, and though neighbors were scarce for years, and the family had to endure many hardships, they felt secure in their home. He held to the first principles of the Mormon religion and taught them in the pulpit, and in the last years of his life investigated [S]piritualism and believed in it. After a long life spent in making the world better, an example to all who knew him, and with charity for all and malice towards none, his tall form was laid at rest on the old homestead, with his wife, Irena by his side. Two simple marble slabs mark their resting places. These verses are cut in the marble: ‘He chose virtue as his sweetest guide, Lived as a Christian, as a Christian died.’” He died December 15, 1872, at the age of 80.

This article was written and compiled by Barbara Winward Seager, July 2001. Thanks to Joni and Julia for placing it on their Web site.