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.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ann Welch

  • Name: Ann Welch Crookston
  • Born: December 18, 1826 Walton Parrish, Derbyshire, England
  • Died: February 3, 1904 Logan, Utah 
  • Related though: Dan’s grandfather Lynn Crookston

Ann Welch Crookston was born in Walton Parish, Derbyshire, England on December 18,1826. She was the daughter of Nicholas Welch and Elizabeth Briggs. Her grandfather’s name was also Nicholas Welch. The first Nicholas Welch, a native of Ireland, was a bachelor when he immigrated to England in company with two nieces in 1790. He purchased property on Beaver Street, so called on account of a factory that made beaver hats. He established an inn called the Hat and Feathers. At the age of sixty he married Mary Preston. They had three children, William, Margaret and Nicholas, my father. Nicholas was about three years old when his mother died. She had one sister, Sarah Preston Booker, and one brother, Benjamin Preston on Lincolnshire, England. When I was about fifteen years old, Aunt Sarah Booker still lived at Sheffield with her only daughter.

My mother’s father’s name was John Briggs, son of John Briggs of Stone Edge near Mat Lock. Her mother’s name was Ann Bower of the same place, daughter of Nathanial Bower. My father was a devout Methodist, a local preacher and Sunday School teacher. I was the only living daughter and my father seemed very fond of me. Very often he would take me on long walks to visit the sick and poor. My father and Uncle William were brown ware potters by trade. Welches’ pottery was situated on Brampton Moor near Chesterfield.

My mother was a lace worker before her marriage to father, after which she became an agent for a Mr. Fisher in Nottingham. The lace was embroidered on fine bob net in pieces of about thirty yards in length and ¾ of a yard wide for ladies dresses. She used to go to Chesterfield and get materials and patrons. She would then let it out to ladies and girls in our neighborhood and superintend the work. When it was done she delivered it at Chesterfield and paid off the hands. She sometimes made beautiful, fine black lace veils. She continued to be an agent until 1842.

Our home was situated in Beaver Street. This property was bequeathed to my father Nicholas Welch by his father Nicholas Welch. It was a four-room cottage which fronted to the east. Directly opposite was a vacant lot, also the property of my father upon which he subsequently built a more modern house just prior to my birth in 1826 where we remained until my fourteenth year.

I remember we had some beautiful pieces of mahogany furniture which my mother used to keep polished with beeswax and turpentine. I also remember above the settee or lounge in the living room hung a large, beautiful picture of Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village.” We also had a number of brass candlesticks and irons and other things.

We had a dear, young aunt, my mother’s sister, who lived with us after her parents died. Her name was Kissiah Briggs. She was very delicate and was an invalid for quite a long time. At last she became bedridden and stayed in a sunny cheerful upstairs room. I can’t say how long, but I spent a good deal of time with her. She would read to me and sometimes when she was feeling a little better she would sing. I think her lungs were affected. She was keeping company with a young man when she became ill. He was faithful in his attentions to her until her death. He used to bring her little gifts and read to her. His name was William Randall. He was always a good friend of ours.

One evening in the fall of 1841 as mother was returning home after having delivered some of her lace at Chesterfield she noticed a crowd of people on a street corner. Being curious she drew nearer. She saw a young man preaching. Mother was not religiously inclined even though my father was a preacher. She never gave serious thought to his work. On this occasion she was curious and interested and stopped to listen. The things she heard impressed her deeply and talked to him after and told her where she lived and invited him to meet her husband and family. This Elder Carson did come and teach my family and we were baptized soon after.

In the spring of 1842 our little family left our comfortable home, with the exception of my brother john who still had time in an apprenticeship. We sailed from Liverpool in the ship Hope of Barraw Dock. We were eight weeks on board and came by way of New Orleans. We arrived at Nauvoo in the summer of 1842 and located with the Saints. The house my father was able to get for us was a very poor one. It was very hard to accustom ourselves to conditions after having been used to a comfortable home in England.

Father could only get work in an adobe yard. The work was too hard for him and his feet were swelled all day. He took a severe cold and the swampy location and everything seemed to be conspired against him. It was a sad experience for us all. The house leaked and then my little brothers took sick. They all three were down at once. It was November, the latter part, in the year 1842, when my dear father and little brothers died. Inside of two weeks they were all gone and mother and I were left alone in that hovel on the Mississippi shore. Our neighbors did all they could to help us, but so many of them also were in trouble with sickness, poverty and death that it was and has always been to me a dreadful thing to remember.

Brother Hyrum Smith heard about us and to save our lives he sent his team and some help and they moved us to a little house on his own farm on the upland where we were more comfortable. We were all alone and our neighbors were quite a distance away. It was about a mile to the business part of town. I could get nothing worthwhile to do at that time – I was only about fifteen – and to get things we needed mother would send me to town with something of our belongings to sell or trade for a few provisions. One day while on my way to sell our silver teaspoons I met a gentleman. I think he must have known who I was. He stopped and asked me how I was and how was mother. I told him, and then asked him if he would not like to buy the spoons. He took a dollar from his pocket and pressed it into my hand, and patting me on the shoulder said, “You go and get something with that, my girl, and take the spoons home to your mother.” I found out later that it had been Joseph Young, brother of Brigham Young.

We were very lonely and I missed my brothers and father very much. My father was always loving and kind. Brother Will was such a dear, good boy, and so was our baby brother George. I felt the world was a dreary place for me.

Mother and I had a hard time getting along. A good friend of ours, Brother George Grant, told us he had some friends in Chicago who wanted a girl to help with the housework. So mother consented to let me go with him to a Mr. Hogan’s family. Brother Grant too me with him a buggy and drove to Chicago. The Hogan’s were very nice people and treated me like almost one of their own. I lived with them for quite awhile, a year or more. Mrs. Hogan was a delicate woman and appreciated the help.
I went to go see my mother after I had been away several months and found to my sorrow that mother had remarried. His name was Robert Madison. He had been a bachelor and was comparatively comfortable and could take care of mother. Mother said that he was good to her and tried to make me feel at home but I could not bear to have anyone take my father’s place and wanted to go back to Chicago. The Hogan’s had moved away but I was well acquainted with other people so I went back a got a place with a family by the name of Clayburn. They had a large place not far from Lake Michigan in the suburbs. He was in the meat market business and had seven meat markets in Chicago. They were very good to me although there was a lot of work. Mrs. Clayburn had a sister living with them who did a lot to help. They had three young daughters and two sons. They had a private school in the house with a teacher who lived with them, also a governess. They had singing classes often at night and read standard novels. They always came and called to come and join them, and if I was busy they would come and help me so I could have time. In that way I had an opportunity to learn quite a good deal. I had free access to all their books. I learned a great many of their good, old songs. They knew that I was a Mormon but it made no difference to them. Those girls seemed as happy as larks and never left home without some of the grownups as escorts. I stayed with them until my brother John had emigrated and came to Nauvoo.

In the meantime my mother became a widow again. Mr. Madison had taken a fever that was so prevalent there and died. He was a very good man and very good to mother. My brother John Welch came in a buggy to Chicago to take me back to Nauvoo. Mother was very glad to have me with her. The people were brokenhearted about the cruel murder of their prophet and patriarch and were looking toward the Rocky Mountains where they could be in peace and safety. The martyrdom took place while I was in Chicago working.

We attended a meeting in the Nauvoo Temple. I had not been able to attend many meetings for a year or so and enjoyed the privilege very much. President Brigham Young and his associates had already left to find the promised Zion in the West. I noticed especially some of the sweet-faced young women who were sitting in the choir seats. One in particular was Lucy, a wife of the prophet, who later was known as Lucy Walker Kimball. At this meeting my testimony was increased and I wished to cast my lot with the people of God and continue in the work.

My mother and I got some work. She was good at very fine hand sewing and I was able to get a little house work, but there was no choice in the matter and we were glad to get anything we could to help make an outfit for the journey which we expected to make.

Ann’s brother John had married Eliza Billington and they all lived together, all working hard to prepare for crossing the plains. They started in the spring of 1846. When they came to the Missouri River they had to wait for a ferry boat to take them across. It was there at Cutter Park that she met Robert Crookston, whom she married a year later, and his family. They all lived in Winter Quarters, Nebraska and Savannah, Jackson Point and Glenwood, Missouri until they crossed the plains in 1853. After arriving in Salt Lake City they moved around a lot first to Payson then Moroni. In 1864 they were persuaded to move to Cache Valley. She was sick and tired of moving and told her husband she would never move again. They lived in Logan the rest of her life.

All her life she worked in the church singing in the choir. She was president of the Fourth Ward Relief Society for 17 years. She was a very hard worker, a good nurse and mid-wife. From necessity she helped bring a great many babies into the world with success. She understood herbs and all the pioneer remedies.

She was tall, about five feet eight and straight with blue eyes. She was very economical and thought it a sin to waste anything, even time. She was well read and a real student always studying something. I can see her now, reading with her book on the corner of the table while she churned the butter or knitted stockings. Her mending basket was kept handy where she could pick up work when she had visitors and she had lots of friends that would come to talk over things and tell her their troubles.

She was a hard worker. She not only raised her own large family and four grandchildren but she adopted another little girl whose parents died in Winter Quarters. This little girl, Caroline Holland, became a plural wife of John Lyon the LDS poet who wrote some of our LDS hymns. Ann never had a sewing machine. They also never had electricity, city water or coal until after she died. Only oil lamps, well water and wood for fuel. All the washing was done on a wash board.
She died February 3, 1904 and is buried in the Logan Cemetery. 

This history was dictated to Mary Crookston Farmer by her mother Ann W. Crookston. The end of the history was written by granddaughter Emma Dun. It can be found in the Utah State University Special Collections.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bertha Isch

  • Name: Bertha Isch
  • Born: March 23, 1870 Woodford County, Illinois
  • Died: December 24, 1945 Tremonton, Utah
  • Related through: Dan's grandmother Melva Castleton

Bertha Isch was born March 23, 1870 into the home of Nicholas and Mary Sommer Isch, in Woodford County, Illinois.There were eight daughters and three sons, Anna, Dena, Emma, Bertha, Leah, Joe, Samuel, Mary, Ida, John and Anna. The first daughter, Anna died a month before her youngest sister was born so the new baby was named Anna after her sister.

Her mother, Mary Sommer was born May 18, 1839 to Michael Sommer and Anna Erb in Heiligenstein, Germany (Alsace Lorraine area in France.) They were affiliated with the Anabaptists. After her mother, two brothers and a sister died of cholera, Mary and her father came to America in 1857 to live with a brother.

Her father, Nicholas Isch was born July 7, 1836 to Johann David Isch and Maria Haeuselmann in Oberwill, Bern, Switzerland.

Grandma was raised in a good Christian home. They were devout members of the Apostolic Christian Church and spoke German. They dressed very plainly and were strict living sober people, who tried to live the teachings of the New Testament as nearly as possible. Grandma often talked of her conversion to live her life for Jesus.

They lived on a farm in Woodford County until she was nine years old when they moved to a farm in Gridley, Kansas. Bertha was a good student; however she only went to the 4th grade in school.

She went to work in the home of Henry Getz, where she met Philip whom she later married. She was married at the age of 23, on January 1, 1893 in the Apostolic Christian Church in Tremont, Illinois.

Their first home was on a farm in Tremont, Illinois. Here Bertha gave birth to three sons, Samuel Gottlieb, Fredrick William and Elmer Nicholas (Ike.)

In 1901, with a few families from their church they sold their farm and moved out west to Utah. They traveled by railroad to Deweyville in a boxcar. It was cold and raining, mud came to the hubs of the wagon that came to pick them up at the train. They stayed in the home of Gene and Ida Brenkman until their home was built.

In this home, four miles west and one mile south of where Tremonton exists, Ruth, Henry, Mary and Ervin were born. The soil was poor in the area so they moved to another farm where they had two more little boys who both died. This was very hard on Grandma, she talked of them often. They were buried in Salt Creek Cemetery which still exists and is known as the little old German Cemetery. The land for the cemetery was donated by Grandpa John Sommer and is owned by the Apostolic Christian Church.

In 1920 they built a nice brick home in town and Grandpa had chickens, pigs to butcher and a cow, Grandpa ran a business as a drayer. They had a beautiful big garden; they grew wonderful vegetables and gorgeous flowers. We loved to help them plant it every spring.

The great depression hit hard but the family stuck together and they were able to pay off their home. Grandma cooked for men working out on farms and construction and took in boarder and roomers.

Grandma was a large, hardworking Swiss-German lady, she loved us a lot.She could do anything from making the beautiful fine lace to work in the garden and care for the farm animals. She gardened, cooked, canned, sewed, quilted, did her own wall papering, helped butcher their meat, and did about anything that needed to be done.

She was an excellent homemaker and cook; she made her own cottage cheese, bread, pies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, delicious ice cream and lots of fried chicken. We had our own cow and she cooked a lot with cream and real butter.For supper we usually had meat, fried potatoes, cottage cheese, homemade bread, jam, canned fruit, and always peppermint tea. She had a lot of boarders and construction workers for dinner at noon and she always baked pies for them. The train ran close to their property and even the beggars knew where they could get a good meal.

We always lived close, and in their home almost every day. We were always her helpers. We scrubbed her floors, cleaned the bathrooms, did the vacuuming and dusting and loved baking days. My favorite was rhom kuchen (Cream cake).

In 1943 we moved across the street from them. Mother always looked after Grandma and Grandpa. I was at their home nearly every day even if just see how they were. In high school Maxine and I scuffed the floors every week and did Saturdays cleaning. We were never paid, it was our job and we just did it.

Grandma had a fun happy disposition. She worked hard and fast and would often scold in German when we needed it. She was a member of the Apostolic Christian Church. They dressed very conservative and plain; many people thought we were Amish. She often told me of her family and childhood, and of her conversion to take Jesus into her life.

We always had a lot of company from back east. Relatives and ministers would come and we had church in the living room after most of our people went back east. The minister, Henry moved back to Peoria and they sold their church which was west of town across the canal and railroad tracks.

Grandma died on Christmas Eve in 1945. This was one of my first experiences with death and I missed her so much.

This article was written by grandaughter Melva Castleton. Thanks Grandma Melva for sharing it with us.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ann Amelia Clark

  • Name: Ann Amelia Clark
  • Born: September 18, 1883 Malad, Idaho
  • Died: July 1, 1958 Provo, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandfather James Madson
Ann Amelia Clark Madson was born in Malad, Idaho, September 18, 1883, to William Hyrum and Harriet Matilda Williams Clark. Her father died when she was about seven years old. She had some memories of him and spoke of him almost reverently, always calling him "Dad", while her stepfather was always "Pa". Her father was away from home a great deal as his work required. I'm not sure what work he did, but he did leave a little money to the family when he died and my mother was quite bitter about the fact that her mother gave the money to her next husband to invest in sheep. He never did seem to be successful either with sheep or farming so they were always very poor. Mother thought the money should have been saved for the children when they grew up.
Mother was the oldest of three children. The others were Mabel Venetta, born October 13, 1886, and William Hyrum, born November 1, 1889. After her husband's death Grandma cooked for men and thus met Oliver Cowdrey Bake whom she married. They moved to a small farm at Elkhorn where Mother grew up. Children born to this marriage were Elizabeth Sarah, Oliver Leslie (lived only a few years), Earl (died at birth) and Everett Lester.
Mother talked very little about her childhood, but she and her sister, Mabel, seemed to be very close and did everything together. She spoke with pleasure of the time they spent with Grandpa Bakes' father who lived near them. He told them stories of life in England before the family migrated to America.
Mother spoke often of the one room school at Elkhorn which she disliked and never seemed to be able to get through the eighth grade there. She loved to tell of the year she went to Malad to school. She stayed with her Aunt May Bush and family (her mother's sister). She enjoyed the literary society at school and never tired of telling of her thrill at being asked to be in the school play. She was often called upon to give readings at social gatherings long after she was married and had a family.
She enjoyed this and liked to read whenever she could find any reading material. It was scarce and there were no libraries near. Our parents always ordered a few books at Christmas time from Sears or Montgomery Wards --- often popular novels like English Orphans by Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth. We read them over and over again. My older brother was an avid reader, but really had to wait until he was in high school and used the Public Library in Malad. They were not very well supplied, but he selected the well worn books which meant they were popular at least. He read anything from Shakespeare to Stanley's travels in Africa to Zane Gray to the Bible and enjoyed every minute of it.
After marrying Mads Jonathan Madson they first lived in a two room log building with a so-called shanty or lean-to on the north. We also had a cellar to keep canned fruit, store potatoes and carrots etc., for winter, keep milk cool and as a general storage area. Later an extra storage space was built over the cellar entrance. This helped, but sleeping space was especially scarce since the new brick house with five bedrooms and a full basement didn't exist until after the sixth child was born. Rex was the first to be born in the new house. All eleven children were born at home.
John and Amelia Madson family
 The new house was finished in the fall of 1919 and after being so crowded seemed like the lap of luxury to us. There were a large living room, dining room, kitchen and two bedrooms on the main floor, three bedrooms upstairs and a full basement with no rooms finished there. There was a room meant for a bathroom on the main floor; plumbing was roughed in and thus it remained until James and Idonna moved in after Mother and the three youngest children came to Provo to live in 1941. Thus all of our time on the farm meant using outside toilet facilities and bathing on Saturday night in the kitchen using the round wash tub. The washbasin remained until 1941 also. The water from the sink was cold only and the sewer system consisted of a drain from the sink to the front yard near a large tree. Hot water had to come from the teakettle or the reservoir on the kitchen stove.

There was no lawn, but we did have five large silver maple leafed trees in the front yard. There was a swing attached to a limb on one of the trees which gave us all a good deal of pleasure. It was a good place to swing or read and relax or just enjoy the clean fresh air and meditate. The yard was fenced (partly painted picket) and thus kept our animals like cows, horses and sheep out. The chickens roamed at will.
Coal oil lamps furnished the lighting in the old house, but shortly after moving into the new house we had the luxury of an acetylene gas system which furnished a much better light. It was set up in the cellar and had to be serviced with carbide at intervals. As this was consumed the calcium carbide had to be drained and carried out of the cellar by bucketfuls. It was used to whitewash the chicken coop, or paint the fence or just discarded.
We also had a new record player or phonograph in a nice cabinet with room to store many records. This was a hand windup machine (rewinding necessary about every other record). This was considered a luxury, but it gave all of us considerable pleasure.
My mother and I did quite a bit of sewing. I never did have a ready made dress until I was teaching and earning my own money. Mother taught me to sew when I was about twelve and after that it was my job to make dresses, aprons and rompers regularly.
Most of our food was produced right on the farm including meat (pork, beef, chickens, mutton), vegetables (lettuce, radishes, peas, beans, onions, carrots, potatoes, turnips, parsnips and squash), dairy products (milk, butter, cream, cottage cheese, and of course eggs). The cream was sold in town or used to make butter for our own table and some to trade along with any extra eggs we had at the grocery store. Mother was always very proud of her butter mold and the paddle which she used to shape the butter. Her step-father had carved the paddle out of lovely mahogany wood. The finished product looked very much like the solid pounds of butter we buy at the grocery store now. The grocer weighed each pound carefully to test for full weight. Mother's was usually a little over which was a source of pride and satisfaction to her.
Mother made good bread (not as good as Grandma's) and baking was done every other day. Our big family made it disappear fast. It was mixed at night and made into loaves in the morning. Then it had to rise and be baked by noon. Special treats came when some of the dough was made into hot biscuits, fry cakes or scones, doughnuts or cinnamon buns.
We had oranges once a year, in our Christmas stockings and bananas were almost as rare. Holiday treats included plum pudding made with suet and raisins in a cake like batter and boiled n a bag made from a clean flour sack which had been opened to form a square. This was served hot with a dip made with sugar, water, cornstarch, vanilla or rum flavor (rum was seldom available). Fruit cake was another special Christmas treat.
We never did go hungry, but we were limited by the seasons and lack of refrigeration. There was no such thing as salad dressings or relishes from the store. We mostly went without, but sometimes we made our own. All our food had to be prepared from scratch. It was time consuming and lacked glamour, but it was wholesome and never went to waste.
It wasn't quite all work and no play, but it did seem like it, especially in the summer when the farm work was heaviest. There were no near neighbors and few children our ages even then. We were four to eight miles from church and never did go until the branch Sunday School came to Elkhorn when I was in the late teens.
In summer our Sundays were pretty well taken up in visiting relatives or neighbors. No warning was ever given; we just started early in the white top and later in the old Studebaker and drove to the desired spot. We would go to Uncle Will's, Mother's brother, who lived on a ranch at Devil's Creek north of Malad. We also visited her two sisters, Aunt Mabel lived just north of Malad until she moved to town in the early 1920's and Aunt Lizzie who lived north and west of us about eight to ten miles in a place called Daniels. My Father's brother, Uncle Frank, lived near Cherry Creek south and west of Malad. Then there were the neighbors who lived only a few miles away. One of these was David Williams, Mother's uncle, and Dave Edwards who lived near him. All of these families would return the visits and everyone seemed to come up with a good Sunday dinner, often prepared from scratch after we arrived. The visits were very satisfying and gave us an opportunity to get acquainted with uncles, aunts, cousins and neighbors.
Her oldest son, Earl, was killed in a well pulling accident on May 28, 1928. This was the first death in our family and it was very hard on all of us. I guess Mother mourned most of all. She used to sing as she did her housework, but I never heard her sing again and she didn't like to listen to music after that. Another son Orlin died after he was hit by a car in Provo in 1948.
Her husband, John, died suddenly from a heart attack at home on July 18, 1930. He had been suffering from chest pains for some time and over-exerted himself putting out a small fire in the motor of the combine-harvester he was running the day before his death.
In 1941 Amelia and the three youngest children moved to Provo to live with daughter Hattie. (who wrote this article) She passed away on July 1, 1958 in a Provo rest home where she had been for about two years. She suffered from Parkinson's disease and senility and could not be left alone. We kept her at home as long as possible, but I had to work and the rest home gave her better care than we could have in any way provided at home.
This history was written and compiled by daughter, Hattie Madson Knight, 1976.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

William Cornwell Patten

  • Name: William Cornwell Patten
  • Born: March 24, 1799 West Pikeland, Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Died: March 9, 1883 Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho
  • Related through: Dan's granmother Elvira Wilde Langford

William Cornwell Patten was born March 24, 1799 in West Pikeland, Chester, Pennsylvania, to John Patten and Ann Cornwell.

On December 21, 1821 he married Elizabeth Harriet Cooper in Philadelphia. One daughter was born to this union, Mary Ann Patten. William and Elizabeth were only married for a short time before she passed away. On December 28, 1826, William married Julianna Bench. Three children were born to William and Juliana: George, Ann and Julia.

William was a plasterer and weaver which didn’t always make a very profitable living for the family. They were very poor and the older children received little education.

His wife Julianna passed away on January 1, 1835, when her oldest son was six. William moved his motherless children from Chester County, Pennsylvania to his mother’s home in Philadelphia where she took charge of the family.

William joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1841 and in the fall of 1842 he moved his family to Nauvoo. The older children attended school there that winter.

On January 18, 1844 William married Mary Jane Crouse. They became the parents of five children: Thomas, Joseph, Hannah Jane (our ancestor), Matilda and William. Thomas and Joseph were not on the wagon train roster when they came to Utah so they must have died before then.

William and his oldest son George helped build the Nauvoo Temple. The family was well acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and they often heard him preach. They suffered the persecutions of the mobs and experienced many trials and tribulations along with the other Saints. They were devastated at the news that Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, had been martyred. It was a sad time for the Saints and there was a gloom over the whole city of Nauvoo.

William’s oldest daughter, Mary Ann, married Charles Shreeve Peterson on March 22, 1845 in Nauvoo. On January 21, 1849, William’s other daughter, Ann, also married Charles as a second wife.

In 1846, William received his temple endowments and was sealed to his wife Mary Jane. He had his first two wives sealed to him on the same day.

George Patten left in February of 1846 to help some of the Saints cross the Mississippi River and into Sugar Creek, Iowa. He returned to Nauvoo two times and stayed the last time to remain with his family. They stayed in Nauvoo until the last of the Saints were driven out.

George Patten gives the following account of his family’s exodus from Nauvoo. “We disposed of our house and lot in Nauvoo, worth about $500, for a cow valued at $15. Remaining in Iowa during the winter of 1847 and 1848, we hurried on to Winter Quarters early in the spring of 1848 and put in a crop. Being ordered to vacate Winter Quarters as the land on which it stood belonged to the Indians, my father moved his family over the river and made a temporary home on the Big Pigeon, nine miles north of Kanesville, Iowa. In the fall of 1849 I went back to St. Joseph. My father was living near there trying to get an outfit to go to Utah, so I helped him. We struggled hard to get an outfit with which to cross the plains and the mountains to the Great Salt Lake Valley. We started for the valley in the spring of 1850 with two old wagons, three yoke of cows, one yoke of three-year-old steers, one yoke of three-year-old heifers, and a yoke of two-year-old heifers. So we had plenty of milk. We left Florence [on the Missouri River] June 21, 1850 in Wilford Woodruff’s hundred and Edson Whipple’s fifty, arriving in Salt Lake City, October 3, in the fall of that same year (1850). It was eight years to the day from the time we arrived in Nauvoo, and in the same man’s company, that of Edson Whipple.”

One day as the company was traveling they were surrounded by about 500 Indians, all mounted and armed. It was a scary situation for the company until they saw the Piute Chief reach out to shake hands.

The company endured “cholera, stampedes, thunder and lightning storms, rain and tempests of winds and false brethren.” While entering Utah the company had to travel through a snow storm and had no food when they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.

William moved his family and young daughters to Payson, Utah in the fall of 1850, where they were some of the first settlers. His oldest daughters, Mary Ann and Ann were living in Alpine, Utah with their husband and when George married in 1851 he also lived in Alpine before making his home near his father in Payson.

One account says that William and Mary Jane welcomed a son to their family on June 8, 1851, named William Patten. He was born in Payson, Utah. He must have not lived long as he is not listed with his family in the 1860 census. Also in June of 1851 his wife, Mary Jane, passed away.

Some family histories tell of a marriage between William and Elizabeth Anderson, from Sweden, on September 7, 1851. In February of 1857, William married Wealthy Eddy. They had a daughter named Sarah.

William, Wealthy, Hannah, Matilda, and Sarah are all listed as living in Cache County, Utah in the 1860 Utah Census, where William was a farmer. They moved to Cache Valley after Brigham Young called William to help settle the area. They were advised to settle “on the muddy,” now known as the Cub River. They later moved to Franklin, Idaho where they camped in the fort for protection from Indians.

In 1864 William moved to Bloomington, Bear Lake, Idaho which at that time was thought to be in Cache County, Utah. William and Wealthy separated about this time.

William is listed on the 1870 Bloomington, Rich County, Utah census as living alone. At the age of 81 he is also listed on the 1880 Bloomington, Bear Lake County, Idaho Census as living alone and divorced.

From the time William moved to Bloomington he bought a small farm where he lived. He also continued to weave and helped plaster and build many of the buildings in that area. One such building was the Tabernacle at nearby Paris, Idaho. He lived his last years quietly, but he was strong in his testimony right to the end of his life.

He passed away on March 9, 1883 and is buried in the Bloomington, Idaho Cemetery.

This article was written by Anjanette Lofgren for the daughters of the Utah Pioneers in 2007. Her information came from published sources and another biography by Mary Crook Bursik, 1984.