Memoirs of William Decatur Kartchner
(Written in his own hand: John Kartchner)
About the year 1739, George, William and John Walton came to this country from England, arriving in Virginia in the early part of the year. Here they separated. George locating in Philadelphia, Penn. where he became a prominent lawyer and statesman. He was also a member of the First Continental Congress, which convened in Philadelphia, in the year 1774. William also located in Philadelphia and John, the youngest removed to Georgia where he had much to do with the political affairs of the state, being a member of the third Congress held in Philadelphia, Penn.
But little is recorded of the heroic deeds of the Walton's. During the struggles of the Americans with the Indians, in the Revolutionary war and contentions they lectured through the county in favor of Continental Rule. When that sacred document, the Declaration of Independence was written the Hon. George and William Walton were among the first who signed their names to it. They lectured in the neighboring towns encouraging the citizens to volunteer in the defense of constitutional rights and William Walton, M.D., did much valuable service for the county as physician and surgeon in comforting the sick and wounded of the American Army.
William Walton had an interesting family. He resided in Philadelphia where his property soon became very valuable, his daughter became acquainted with a young man by the name of Wilcox from England and soon became his happy bride. Mr. Wilcox was a paper maker by trade and soon became the owner of a paper mill some thirteen miles west from Philadelphia and carried on a lively business for what was called hand mill for as yet machine mills had not been invented. They hauled their paper to Philadelphia market and sold and bought rags, vitriol and other material as was needed for carrying on the paper making business.
About the year 1700, Mr. Kartchner, then a boy of ten summers, arrived in Philadelphia from Germany, grew to manhood and became acquainted with a lovely German girl and married. They would occasionally speak to each other in German, but used English language for common talk. But little was recorded of his deeds, he being a private citizen. They resided in Philadelphia in comfortable circumstances and their son, John Christopher was born 29 Aug. 1784.
John Christopher was very fond of sailing and loved to build little boats and let them drift in the Delaware. He became a very interesting boy for his dexterity and activity. He would go to the top of the hills where groves of hickory saplings lay beneath and climb one bending down the tops of the others, and changing trees, passing with such force as to carry him with great speed, which he called flying science. At that date, boxing schools were considered to be the foremost part of a young man's education and after receiving his lessons, would practice with his play fellows. He became second to none and soon became a dread to his enemies in consequence of his ability in fisticuffing. He was a boy of few words and never quarreled with his fellows, but took special pleasure in punishing offenders. The first appearance of his indignation was made known by a blow well aimed and could only have a comparison by the kick of a mule and followed up with such quick successive blows that a man was whipped before he could have time to recover himself.
He saw an inducement to join the paper making trade and went as apprentice to Mr. Wilcox and soon gained the admiration of his master by his promptness and firmness. Fear had no place within him. If a hard trip or dangerous exploit came up it was well known to all that John Christopher was able for it and on returning home would many times pick up black snakes and place in his bosom and let them make their appearance at their pleasure. He once caught one of these reptiles non-observed, going from the mill to the house to dinner. Then he placed it in his bosom it laid still in his warm bosom until they were all seated to the table eating dinner the serpent, smelling the victuals, was induced to stretch forth his head to the consternation of all the company. With one accord all jumped back, falling pell-mell to extricate themselves from the approaching danger and the whole scene was enjoyed by a quiet smile by John Christopher.
Mr. Wilcox had six children by Mrs. Wilcox: James, John, Prudence, Sarah and Ann. The three boys became famous for papermaking. John Christopher became much attached to Miss Prudence, who was born 6 December 1787, being raised together, almost, thus they became much attached to each other and were married about the year 1804 or 1805. Sarah Wilcox was married to Mr. Ellis, a blacksmith, of but little worth to his fellows excepting the good done hammering iron, because he occasionally disturbed the peace under the influence of whiskey.
Ann Wilcox was a virtuous old maid who was much skilled in embroidery. She lived and died at the house of her sister Prudence, age about forty,, at a place called Manayunk, six miles west of Philadelphia, She was buried in the old Baptist church yard of the Ridge Road, one mile north of residence. Sarah Ellis lived in Philadelphia until bout the year 1830. She took a fever and died. What became of Ellis is unknown.
Prudence Kartchner had seven children; Caroline, Peter Wolliver, Margaret, Mark, John Christopher, William and Sarah Ann. Caroline was born 11 October 1810. In 1812 the war broke out and Prudence's husband John Christopher volunteered and went on shipboard and landed at Mobile, from thence to New Oelean, immediately under General Jackson's command. During his absence Peter Wolliver was born, 29 August 1812. On John Christopher's arrival home he was greatly rejoiced over his warrior, as he called him.
In the Battle of New Orleans they were commanded to wait until they could see the whites of their English intruders eyes before they fired. After passing through these bloody scenes it seemed to beget within them a general hatred toward the Englishmen, and many were abused under the influence of this antipathy. Their children were tradition to hate the English and the children of the Orleans troops followed their example well. They would appoint times and places to meet the English boys for battle and often two to one. These battles would generally result in bloody faces on both sides, and the American boys thinking they had the best of it.
Margaret was born 9 July 1814. She married James Webb, a Yorkshireman and blacksmith, contrary to the wishes of her father's family.
John Christopher the father went to work at papermaking and soon became the proprietor of a mill. Business being brisk, he hired hands and took apprentices, finally taking a partner in the business by the name of William Wolliver, his wife's cousin, who kept a book and paper store in Philadelphia, who received the paper and sold and bought rags, vitriola and material for the mill. Thus it ran along for some years, apparently prospering, and at a time John Christopher sent by the regular teamster for money and goods to pay hands Mr. Wolliver pronounced the firm broke. Well known to John, to the contrary not withstanding, went immediately to Philadelphia to the store, but books and things were so arranged as to be impossible to save himself. He returned home, much down countenanced but resolved to go ahead, but the news was circulated soon that Kartchner / Williver and Co., were broke, and soon the mill was attached and sold for debts. This course of things so discouraged John Christopher that he took to drink to drown his troubles and would resent the least appearance of insult until it became common thing for him to fight for not only his own wrongs but would fight for his supposed friends.
Another son was born 13 November 1816, called after himself, John Christopher Jr. About this time he decided to emigrate to the west of Ohio but his wife, Prudence objected. He now worked journey-work from one mill to another and finally went to the Catskills Mts. and worked most of the part of one year, drinking hard and fighting often. It began to tell on him. He came home a sick man and was nursed up again and went to work nearer home. He thought of entering suit against Mr. Wilcox for his wife part of an estate in Philadelphia left to his children by Mr. Wilcox, but he was drinking too much to save up a beginning.
Another son was born, 4 May 1820 at Hartford town, Montgomery Co., Penn. He wanted to name the boy Decatur after Commodore Decatur. Prudence wished to call him William after her mother's father, William Walton, so they called the boy William Decatur. This boy became the writer of this history.
John Christopher became much careworn from the once happy business agent paper maker down to what they called journeyman worker. He was never know to quarrel with a man, Mr. Lavern told me, but would fight on the least intimation of insult. Time passed swiftly without much interest to him. a daughter was born 7 Sept. 1823.
John Christopher was a great Jackson man. I was with him at the polls of election when a man cried out "Hurrah for Clay". No sooner had he said this than John Christopher confronted him, squared and struck him to the ground. Another took it up and a second was felled to the ground and the third underwent the same punishment. The man held to him and a short encounter followed on the ground. I was following crying for my father, and by the time I could reach the spot all was over and Mr. Lavern said three men were whipped.
They called their daughter Sarah Ann after her two aunts. About this time John Christopher moved his family to Manayunk and shortly after John Wilcox, my mother's youngest brother, came from Bucks Co., Penn. to visit the family. He was a young man and a great musician. He had three instruments, violin, clarinet and a flute, which was very amusing to me, and I think brightened up the dull scenes of our home considerably.
My father worked in the Manayunk Mills and my uncle, also a paper maker, worked with him and lived with my father. It was common for men to work by piece and would generally complete their day's work by two or three o'clock and then amuse the family with sweet strains of music of evenings. My mother also worked in the paper mill in the room called the "soul" picking paper and had her baby under the bench and a touch with her foot would keep it quiet in a kind of box cradle.
In the winter of 1825 my father took sick by excessive drink and exposure. He had very bad rheumatic fever. All was done that could be thought of by the medical faculty without success. The old school doctor was then thought to be foremost in the healing arts. My father lingered, receiving no benefit from anything, until April 2, 1826. He died, leaving my mother with five children in poverty, to support. Our connections came from Philadelphia and Bucks Co., to the funeral, which was a large attendance of carriages. his remains were interred in the Dutch Churchyard seven miles southwest of Manayunk. I was sitting on my Uncle John's lap and put my head out the window of the carriage when a sudden jolt caused me to renew my sobs and tears.
I remained with my mother some one year and she moved eight miles southwest to Mill Creek to Telender Paper mills. Peter W. was an apprentice, My brother, John Christopher, worked in the mill for wages. My mother also picked paper at a low rate of pay. I was sent to school to a Mr. Hoffman, an Universalist. One evening while coming from school a young man was imposing upon me and plaguing me when I tried to get away from him by running. When all my efforts were in vain, at last my brother John Christopher saw the affair and called him to account for his conduct. They soon came together, after the young man answered him, saying he would punish him the same if he interfered. Without much talk, a severe encounter ensued in which both were punished. My brother knocked out of joints both thumbs before the mill hands came to them and parted them, and the young man was carried home and remained in bed some days, the fight had become so desperate.
In the spring my mother took me to Mr. McKnight's to be his cowboy. I remained during the summer. I thought the days a weeklong and cried to go home, but they were kind to me and gave me presents, but I suffered in mind very much. In the course of autumn, Mr. McKnight died of consumption and was buried in the same yard that my father's remains were buried in the years before. Soon after Mr. James McKnight came to administer the estate. He was very kind to me and petted me, which I had been used to at home, and would take me with him in the old rig to the tavern. He gave me money to pay the hostler and for the drinks. I felt quite to home again until the business was settled. He returned to his home in Bucks Co., and I returned to my mother. My parting with Mrs. Shoster, the lady who kept house for the consumptive old bachelor, was tender by this time.
My Uncle John came to visit my mother to Mill Creek and took me with him to stay one year as a lay boy as he had rented a paper mill seven miles northwest of Manayunk. My brother, Peter was about to be whipped by Garret Hender, his master. When he turned on him, tore a large leg from a spinning wheel and went for him. He was sued by his master for assault and battery, soon afterward ran away and went to the Far West and then south as far as New Orleans came back to Memphis, sick and had many warm friends.
Next spring, my Uncle John took me with the family visiting my mother. She moved to Manayunk. I stayed with her, and went to work in woolen mill, the next winter, at very low wages. Next spring she sent me to school to Mr. Murphy, but I hated the schoolroom, and learned nothing. I begged to go to the factory to work. At last she consented and I went to work in a cotton factory-piecing roll on a mule. I received two dollars per week and generally fifty cents for spending money, which I bought tobacco with. The residue I kept in a small stone jug. Commenced the use of tobacco before I was five years old. I worked in cotton factory until I was twelve years old when my little index finger of my right hand was caught in the cogwheel. I was laid up for six weeks with it. I refused to return to the factory. My mother said I mush either go to the factory to learn a trade, that she could not support me. She wanted me to learn the carpenter trade, but I chose the blacksmith trade and was bound by indenture to Benjamin Miles for seven years and six months with a consideration of receiving one-quarter day school and one quarter night school. The year before, my brother, John Christopher went apprentice to learn the coach smith business at ninety-six dollars per year and bed.
My mother joined the old Baptist church soon after my father's death. He was an infidel and would not allow his family to attend sectarian meetings. He and Mr. Lavern once arranged a hogshead for a Methodist minister to stand on to preach and so fixed the hoops that a hard stamp would knock the heads in. In the midst of his sermon he commenced stamping and at once dropped into the empty hogshead out of sight of his audience to the surprise of all but father and Mr. Lavern who were enjoying a hearty laugh at the expense of Acre Brown, the preacher.
In 1833, one night my mother happened to be up in the night and said the stars were falling from the heaven and she woke the older members of the family. She was not excited but many of the citizens were upon their knees praying and thought the world was at an end. About the year 1834 she married a Mr. Francis B. Collins, a nephew of Collins the noted ax maker at Harper's Ferry, Virginia. They moved to Kingsington, Philadelphia. During this time, I was working hard early and late, and did not have enough to eat. Our breakfast was half a mackerel for four large boys, apprentices, a small parcel of light bread and two cups of water stained a little with coffee. In the wintertime I called up at three in the morning to make fires, and then called the cook. Breakfast was eaten and was ready for work at daylight. We had dinner at twelve and supper at five p.m. and continued work until eight p.m. and the winter of 1835 we were allowed to knock off at seven p.m. and go to night school, hours from seven to ten p.m. five nights per week. The teacher remarked that he had not seen anybody learn faster than I could. I, at that time, had time allowed me to go to school. I could receive an education easier than any at other period of my life, but I was wanted in the shop and taken from school, and was worked very hard by day and occasionally all night, until the spring of 1836.
As natural for boys to want to play, I had no other time to play except after night and on one occasion I stayed until after nine o'clock. When I went to the house the door was locked and I went to the stable and took shelter in the haymow, the first time I had ever slept out of doors. I had comfortable quarters and in the morning I went to work as usual. In the shop as it was customary for the old boss to stay in the house until after breakfast and have family prayers, the other hands worked until eight o'clock, stopped for breakfast in the summer and the winter, breakfast before daylight. On the above named morning I went with the other hands to breakfast and to my surprise Mr. Miles had in preparation a large, tapering stick three feet long and one inch at the butt and tapering to the size of a rat tail which he used on my back. So unmerciful as to raise a solid scab half the length of my back. All the neighbors heard my cries. I could not eat, but was required to labor all the same. My friend Mr. Warewine advised me to sue Mr. Miles, which I did at noon, and went back to work as usual. Soon after Mr. Miles came to me, taking me by the hair pulled and slapped first one side to the other, punishing me severely. Again we were notified to attend trail, and my statement, with my back made bare to sight, was not heard or seen, and I was ordered back to work and "Be a good boy." The next morning I arose early and ran away to my mother in Philadelphia a distance of six miles. I stayed with her for two weeks when she required me to accompany her to Manayunk, when new trail commenced before Mr. Murphy as before. A kind mock trail went on and my mother, having no money to carry on the suit, was dismissed. I was told to go back like a good boy. I told the court I was a poor orphan without money and would have to submit, but was not satisfied. I went back but resolved in my own mind to never do good for that man again.
I had become very handy in the shop. I took every opportunity of making small irons for the neighbors. One of my friend, being a saddler, required a great many rings and hooks for which he paid me in money. This state of things went on some six weeks during which time my oldest brother came from western country. He told me, after hearing my grievance, he wanted me to go away with him, which suited my feelings. I had by this time a sum of five dollars. I told my brother the small amount of money saved up and asked him if that was enough to bear expenses. He said, yes, that I could go without a cent.
We set the time for two weeks to start on a Sunday morning, as I would have one day start should I be pursued. Meantime, I went to Philadelphia. On the next Sunday, to visit my little sister Sarah Ann, as my mother had moved to Harper's Ferry, Petersburg, Va., since her marriage, and left me with Mr. Miles and Sarah Ann with a cousin who was keeping a store in Philadelphia, by the name of Byrtle Shay.
When Sunday came again, I put on two shirts and two pairs of pants for a start for I had to go though the room folks were sitting in, and when I had traveled one and a half miles. I met my brother at the bridge where we had appointed to meet. We talked matters over and found that I had left some letters in my old hat box that would reveal my course of travel and he advised me to return and destroy them, and in doing so, I had to work one week more for my old boss. The next Sunday I started again with my clothed as before. As I arrived at the lock, one and a half miles above town, I found a union packer ready to start.
I made an engagement with the captain, a fine young man, to work my passage. He left me at the helm while he ran to the other end of the boat and found that I was able to steer the boat and after that, he took a passage on the stage by land, some twenty miles, and left me to run the boat.
He expressed himself well pleased with the hands and I continued as helmsman, crossed the Susquehanna and then went up the Union Canal. As I was running into the locks of Harrisburg I gave the horn a toot to warn the locksman, to open chambers. My brother Peter hollowed, "Is that you, boy?" The good captain took them aboard. We traveled with him to Blairsville, from there to Pittsburgh, 46 miles on foot. I was so tired the last five miles that I walked between my brothers, supported with locked arms. In the morning we bought a skiff and hoisted a blanket. At Wheeling we got aboard of a flat boat and helped run it. At Cincinnati brother John and myself found situations in a carriage shop. I received five dollars, my brother eight dollars per week. Brother Peter hired to go to New Orleans. We remained until fall when hearing nothing from Peter we closed business and took passage on steamboat William Penn to Cairo. Then got aboard the Mediator bound for New Orleans but we landed at Memphis, Tenn. Mr. Shaver of Lagrange was down to purchase Optic Springs for the firm of Col. Cress and Shaver carrying on a carriage shop at Lagrange. He had heard that there were two boys, spring makers, from Philadelphia. He soon made our acquaintance and hired us to go to Lagrange, fifty miles. He purchased spring steel instead of springs.
As soon as we arrived we commenced making springs. The shop was visited by many to see the Yankee boys make springs as they called us. We worked until the next June. A great many were sick with fever and we feared the fever and so settled up and went to Memphis, took steamboat United States for St. Louis, then took steamboat for the Illinois River, where we found James Webb, who married my oldest sister, carrying on a wagon shop. We hired. I took the fire at twelve dollars per month and John was helper at twenty dollars a month. I worked two months then demanded thirty dollars per month, which was agreed at once. My brother John fell out and quit and he went to chopping cordwood and made but little, while I became foreman of the shop. I got my own price per day. Finally my brother Peter came to see us and in a few weeks he and John went down the river, leaving me at Naples, Ill. the sickest place I have been since. I stayed until the fall of 1839.
Brother Peter wrote to me that he had entered land in Washington Co., Ill., and wanted me to come and bring a set of blacksmith tools. Accordingly I settled up, bought the tools and woodwork of a wagon, iron and steel. My brother-in-law fitted up a flat boat and put on six wagons, bound for Alton. I put my tools, wagon and things aboard and fastened my yawl and shoved off. He and I were captain, mate and crew. Arriving at Alton safely, he sold out and I put my things in my yawl and shoved off alone for Illinois town. On the passage I met a large steamboat whose waves came near sending my irons to the bottom. With hard wind and keeping to bow to wave I saved and landed safely. Putting my goods in a warehouse I then walked to my brother's. We hired a team and I went after my things.
I set up shop, John: trader, Peter: farmer, thus we went into partnership, but my older brothers could not agree so we held a council in which I was chosen chairman and was chosen chief adviser. After that we would council together but my word decided all cases. We prospered and gained in property very fast. It was my motto to keep the word of the firm good. We were able to borrow money or buy on credit and became well known in the country as a trading firm. People wishing to exchange animals or wagons must be accommodated. If we discommoded ourselves we brought a great many people to this place to trade and make business in the shop.
I was disgusted with keeping batch and went to board at Thomas Nelson's, 300 yards from our place. While there was very fond of reading and called for some history to read. Nelson handed me some Latter Day Saints works, Parley's "Voice of Warning", etc., I read with increasing interest. Toward the last of April, 1842, my brothers, Peter and John, came home from St. Louis county where they had been at work during the winter months and I was induced by them to go back into bachelor's quarters again. Peter was chief cook and we hastened to put in our spring crop.
During the summer Peter was courting a Miss Lucinda Herrin, and married in the fall. He brought her to bachelor's home and lived agreeable for some three months. By this time, Mrs. P. Kartchner showed decided preference, favoring myself to John, a disturbance was the consequence. My shirts were washed and ironed and put away carefully while brother John's were left in the dirt. I told her it would cause disturbance and that we would get our washing done elsewhere but she agreed to do our washing on my account.
In the summer of '42, Peter bought a place four miles west of the old place and finally moved to it. Early winter John and myself took our teams and went and helped improve, hauling timbers and nails. The spring of 1832, John and I put in our crops at our old place and seemed well until the 7th of May. Thomas Nelson told me there were two Mormon Elders at the free settlement, ten miles below. I saddled my horse and rode down, stayed over night and was baptized the 8th of May. My brother John heard of it before I returned home and met me at the gate and asked me if I had been baptized by them damn Mormons. I answered in the affirmative. He dammed the Mormons and me. I tried to pacify him, but to no purpose. This was the first disturbance between him and me, and that which was formerly my whole delight for my future home was now loathsome. I bore it for one month, during which time my whole faculties was exercised in prayer and study, which led me to flee to the church for peace and safety, which I did in June.
I went straight to the Prophet's house, and had an interview, which was very agreeable and consoling. I worked on the temple for some time, and was baptized in the river for my father and other dead relatives. Returned home late in the fall, stayed with John that season and sold out to him in November or December. I then took my blacksmith tools in a small wagon drawn by my favorite mule, located on Bear Creek, put up a hickory log shop and worked the winter twenty miles below Nauvoo.
During the winter I became acquainted with Brother Jacob I. Casteel's family, and became familiar with Margaret Jane and was married to her by Elder James B. Hamilton, on the 17th of March 1844. I moved my shop and lodgings to my father-in-law's. The mob was threatening the settlers, and I stood guard the greater part of the winter, and during a very wet spring my father-in-law was called on a mission in company with Alfred D. Young to go to Tennessee. About that time my brother John came to see me from Illinois and visited Nauvoo. I was taken with rheumatism, caused by exposure, standing guard at night with a continued rain for six weeks.
On one occasion we sent express to Nauvoo, on the day the mob was to meet to go to Carthage. Our company wished to raise a force to go guard the jail but did not meet with success. The leading Apostles were absent on missions and the Temple Committee was urged to raise the force but Reynolds Cahoon opposed the enterprise, saying that Joseph left word for them to stay at home. He advised them to do so, and the result was that two of the best men upon the earth were martyred. The mobbers numbered some over 150, and as soon as this horrid deed was perpetrated, the mobbers and citizens fled, leaving Carthage in a fright. About this time a wagon drove to Carthage from Nauvoo, and the bodies were put in and were placed in the hall of Joseph's mansion for two days for the afflicted Saints to gaze upon, passing in at one door and out the other.
At this time, I was helpless with rheumatism, and could not move hand or feet, until the first of July, I was then able to be out again.
The Nauvoo Temple was rapidly progressing to completion. The sisters were called upon to furnish the window glass. Margaret Jane, my wife, donated or gave an offering in money for that object. I was unable to work during that summer. An expedition was ordered by Joseph the Prophet, prior to his martyrdom for a few families to migrate to the Missouri river and put in crops preparatory to the church moving from Nauvoo westward under the charge of Brother James Emmett, and John L. Butler, his councilor. I was called upon to go, being just married, as they wanted young men mostly. I was instructed to keep it a secret as all would want to go if word went forth that we were going west. The instruction was given us by Zachariah D. Wilson, the presiding High Priest of Liberty Branch, situated on the head of Bear Creek, twenty miles below Nauvoo. We were told by Brother Wilson that he was in the highest court on the earth and were told of this council in Nauvoo to council the company not to ask council of Brigham Young as he would see faintheartedness and would, of course discourage those asking such advice.
Sometime in September I sent my blacksmith tools to Nauvoo to be put on a flatbed boat. Captain Emmett, his son Simpson, William, Gardner, Potter and their families manned it. It was towed by rope by men on shore until opposite the Iowa River. They crossed and went up the Iowa River to Iowa City, where they sold their boat, while those taking wagons and teams crossed at Nurlington. They made a rendezvous about ten miles above Iowa City and built small log cabins where they wintered during which time the men worked in the surrounding settlements for provisions. Capt. Emmett gathered from the Sisters at the camp their feather beds and jewelry and sent them below and sold them for grain and other supposed requisites.
Early in March 1845 we were ordered to yoke up and move up the river for the teams were mostly oxen. At this juncture our provisions were placed in provision wagons except two sacks of grain which were placed in my wagon and others he could trust. We began to draw rations as our wagons were loaded heavy on the start. My young wife and others able were compelled to walk many times in water shoe mouth deep for we had no road and many of us had our feet so swollen we could scarcely put on our shoes in the morning.
We traveled slowly up the river to recruit the stock. Our rations were reduced to one gill of corn to the person and at this time Bro. Hinman numbered the camp and found it to be 130 souls, out on reducing rations caused complaints and desertions. Capt. Emmett appropriated the property left to his own use, and discouraged others by starving them, designing to make himself the owner of the stock left.
By the middle of May we left Iowa River. Our course was across a large prairie toward the Sioux Indian country and many became dissatisfied, as we were traveling to the north of Council Bluff, our supposed destination. While on the Iowa River we found maple trees from which we made some sugar, which we used while crossing this large prairie. At Sioux River rations were stopped for three days. We dug Sioux roots and wild onions and a little maple sugar we had saved. We made a raft of dry cottonwood logs and by means of ropes crossed our wagons, twenty-two in number. Emmett would tantalize us, the camp, from time to time saying he had all he could eat and to spare, and I think it was true for I had supplied myself with good fat pork before starting and never saw any of it after putting our provisions into common stock. Emmett was seen cooking pork and beans many times while the general camp lived on a gill of corn per head a day and without salt.
While on the Iowa River, Azchriah Wilson, formerly President of Liberty Branch privately told that he had counseled to emigrate with this company. That Capt. Emmett was intended to go and lead the company north of the Council Bluff, the first intended destination of our journey and advised all that he had been the president, and to stop and return to Nauvoo. Capt. Emmett found out Wilson's advising part and thus called a general meeting of the company to investigate. His lifeguards were ordered to load their guns with powder and ball and to be ready at a minutes warning to form a line and be prompt to execute any order by the sergeant of the guard that would be giving the signal. We formed the line, I being one of the said guards. Capt. Emmett formed at the head of the company with sword and two pistols belted on him and rifle in hand. He said in an excited tone "We are called together to investigate this mutiny in camp." He told the consequence of division also his decision to put a stop to it by calling these lifeguards to execute the offender. He talked at length when about closing he named Zachariah D. Wilson a chief offender and thought of executing him at the root of the tree he was sitting on. Wilson sobbed out loud in bitterness of his soul, expecting every moment to receive his death ordered. When I advanced one step and said if Wilson was guilty of crime he could not be executed without a fair jury trail, which was every American citizen was entitled to, that I would see he had the rights. This caused quite and excitement in the meeting and it was soon dispensed, to their several wagons and tents. That night soon after dark, Simpson Emmett called me upon, the Captain's son, and three others, and disarmed of my weapons, except my brother's knife. I was told that I was no longer a lifeguard, and that my rations would be reduced, which was then only one gill of corn without salt.
Billy Edward came to me the next day and slapped me on the shoulder and said, "William, you are a true democrat and no coward." that he was going back and wished to have me go along. I told him no, and that I would go at the end of all this. Then the following went back down to Iowa River to Iowa City; Billy Edward, Mr. Russell, his wife and two boys, Thomas and Edward, Thomas Edward Jr., William Edwards, Chester Loveland and family, Page, Sister Hart, Jimmy Nelson, Rebecca, his wife, John Flower and family, Wiley Flower, [left his family], Samuel Coon and family, Eliosi St Marie and family, Stephen F. Casteel and his sister Ememine, formerly wife of John Savage, James Hickman and family and others with Zachariah Wilson and wife. John Flowers was so starved and reduced he couldn't walk, and undertook to go to a house when he arrived in settlements, for food. He walked part way, and then gave out and continued by walking on his hands and knees.
After this company had recruited two weeks, they returned with the sheriff for his property. They looked so fat I thought they must be bloated but they told me it was solid fat. Capt. Emmett fled in haste. The officer arrested John Butler, Lyman Hinman, William Potter, Gardner Potter, Armstead Moffitt. As Enock Burns passed my tent a man hollered, "There goes another damned rascals, catch him" and he was arrested, taken back to Iowa City and put in jail, and tried for being in with Emmett depriving the above named of their property. After investigation they were discharged and came back to camp.
We drove out on a very large prairie without road or trail and came to a small creek, I thought Skunk River. Traveled on some distance, and came to a swift river with steep banks, I thought the Desmoines, a rocky ford, traveled four days and came to a deep creek, no timbers, we placed two poles across and slid the wagons across on their axletrees. Traveled northwest several days on the prairie and came to the Sioux River. We made a cottonwood raft, was three days working hard, to cross. Our women hunted Sioux roots and wild onions to eat, as Emmett stopped our rations while we crossed the river. First days travel after crossing the river a party of men came to us, said they lived at Fort Vermillion a few miles due west and invited us to the fort. They gave us dried buffalo meat to eat. I thought it was the best thing I ever ate. It was very fat and our starved systems seemed to crave grease.
The next day we drove to the fort, camped a little above, and Emmett hunted up and down the river for a place to cross. Failing to find one, we moved down a little, below the fort and camped in a circle, as usual. Capt. Emmett rode his horse ahead and made the circle, turning the wagon tongues in so by placing the tongues on the hind wheel, made a corral. The French and Indians came into camp and accused us of being starved, which made Emmett mad. They pressed their hands on their cheeks and pointed to our cheeks. I told them I wanted some meat, they brought meat and roasting ears to my father-in-law and me, and those who acted mad like Emmett did without this luxury.
A few days passed in camp and Mr. Henrie, a half Frenchman, told me his wife, a Indian, was gone over to St. Paul, or Peter's Lane, three hundred miles, and if my wife would come over and cook for him, we could board with him. We gladly accepted his offer and took our bedding, leaving our things in camp. This caused Emmett to feel jealous, fearing we would relate his tyrannical rule over us, but we did not say a word further than that we were migrating to find a farming country, and had run short of provisions.
I was insulted many times by Emmett for leaving camp. After a continued abuse, Emmett wanted some Blacksmith work done, sent word for me to come back to camp and go to work, or he would bring me back by force. In a few days he and others went to St. Peter's and left word with Vice President John L. Butler to bring me back to camp. Butler came and talked to me to get me to come back to camp and work in the Blacksmith shop. I told him that Emmett's abuse must be made right first, and he let me alone. A few days after Emmett had gone, Butler came and asked me if I was going to camp. I told him I would consider it. He said he would give me until the next day at 2 o'clock p.m. and if I were not on the road or in camp by that time he would bring me by force. This raised my combative bump to resist it. I told my wife I expected to resist their forcing me back to camp, but said nothing to the Frenchman. At two o'clock the next day I was sitting in the Frenchman's door when I saw them coming for me. It was common for us to wear a belt and a knife, which was the only weapon I had to defend myself in the attack.
John L. Butler, Lyman Hinman and William Potter had now come to take me to camp. Brother Hinman was a friend to everybody, and talked kind to me. When on a sudden Butler asked me if I was ready to go to camp, I said I was not going. By this time I was on my feet in the yard ready for the attack. My wife said afterward, my face wore an expression of desperation, and they put their heads together and I expected them to spring upon me any minute, but to my surprise they left me silently.
A steamboat had gone up the Missouri River to trade for furs, and as this trip was made but once a year, I determined that if I could get passage on board I would. About the 16th of July, it came down and I went aboard and secured a passage to St. Louis, I told Mr. Henrie I was going, and the word got out, and Butler, Holt and Potter were watching my every move. Mr. Henrie and his Indians made up a large par fleche full of dried meat for us to take along.
My wife and I carried our chest to the boat landing. I went back two hundred yards for something when I saw Potter coming toward me with a desperate look. I hastened back to the boat and he ran after me. I believed with bad intent. I ran on the boat. Butler and Holt were searching my chest, and took all my valuables even my bullet moulds. I started to see what they were doing, when my wife said, "Stay on the boat." Butler accused me of stealing a pot. My wife said her mother had owned the pot ever since she could remember. We left everything, team, wagon, and tools, and sweet was the sacrifice compared with the starvation and oppressions and abuse we had endured for eight months past.
The boatman treated us very kindly. Captain Emmett took my wife's feather bed and wedding gifts and trinkets, so the last search by Brother Butler left us very destitute. No clothes except that which we had on. The boatman saw our destitute condition and gave us shirts, pants, coats, some calico, and sheeting. A rich French gentleman, traveling for his health, gave me two blankets and ten dollars in silver for which I thanked him and blessed him in the name of God of Jacob.
We were invited to eat in the cabin where every luxury was furnished and two weeks of July were thus passed away and we found ourselves in St. Louis.
I found my brother-in-law James Webb, and he took us to his hotel and gave us dinner, and gave us recommend to his place ninety miles down the river, Yankee Town.
We took steamboat passage down the river and after a nine-hour ride, landed, finding my oldest sister and her family all well, but very proud, we were beneath her notice.
In one week we were so common and unpretending, I rented a house of a gentleman by the name of Mr. Powell, a rich Southern Farmer. My young wife took sick with intermittent fever and was very low. My sister was alone, but seldom came to see her, but Mr. Powell often came and gave us medicine and administered to her wants. For the first time I laid my hands on my wife and prayed for her recovery, with all the faith I could muster, and the vomiting was stopped gradually. As soon as she was out of danger, I crossed the river, went on foot sixty miles east to see my brother John who lived in Washington County, Illinois.
He saddled two horses, and we started back to see his sister-in-law. He bought some necessaries and provisions and visited three days and went back after wagon and team. He was gone one week and came back to the opposite side of the river, and we ferried our things over in a skiff, it was now late August.
We lived with him comfortable and happy during the fall and winter. He gave me the farm we were living on and said that after we had lived on it for five years he would make us a deed for it
The spring of 1846 came and I learned that some Mormons were going West from the six mile prairie, and John Brown from the nine mile.
My brother had some bloodhounds and we did take real comfort in hunting the raccoon until this Company was making preparations to start to the Rocky Mountains, which exercised my mind greatly.
Finally, Brother Crow heard that I was used to camp life and came to see me. He offered me a wagon and half a team, and wished me to furnish the other half and haul 1,000 pounds for him, which caused my brother to tremble, fearing I was going to leave again.
I told him I would rather be a Mormon's dog than to stay in that county, when my people had been robbed, pillaged, murdered and now exterminating orders issued for them to leave the United States. and on the first day of March, 1846, we started in what was known as the Mississippi Company. Crossing at St. Louis and traveled up through Jackson County, Mo., to Independence, and soon after, organized our company with William Crosby, Captain.
About the middle of June, we arrived at Grand Island on the Platte River, where according to previous agreement had been made for Pres. Brigham Young and Pioneer camp to meet us. Not finding them after waiting one week we concluded to go south west between two and three hundred miles, and wait for we were at the end of our instructions.
When we arrived at the pueblo on Arkansas River, we found small farms of corn. They were cultivated by Indians mostly and traders, who had Indian squaws for wives, of whom we bought corn and prepared for winter quarters, building a row of log houses on the opposite bank of the river from Fort Pueblo.
We had about completed the houses, when a detachment of Mormon Battalion, composed of the sick and disabled came to our camp. They were under the command of Captain James Brown and Captain Nelson Higgins. Hearing of our camp on the Arkansas, they were sent by Col. Cook to our camp for a change of diet, as we traveling emigrants and would have cows and plenty of milk, which was advised by the army surgeon by whom we learned the cause of Pres. Young's delay.
He had borrowed teams and wagons when about to leave the Missouri River as pioneers to seek a home for the Saints, was called upon for them by the owners, was thus hindered until the spring of 1847, when the Load opened the way. Allow me to retract a little and go back to camp Pueblo, when it was determined to winter.
Brother Robert Crow, by council of his wife, broke his obligations to furnish my wife & I with provisions and turned us out of his wagon and with held provisions. I made a camp under a large cottonwood tree to the mercy of kind friends on an unsettled country. John Brown, a cousin of Sister Crow, gave us some flour and bacon and blessed us, and said we should have supplies in some way.
On the 17th of August 1846, our first little angel daughter was born, under that succor was to come from to make Brother Brown's promise fulfilled. When our babe was a week old, a messenger was sent from Bent's Fort, 80 miles below, for a blacksmith and the man brought a horse for me to ride. I recommended James Harmon as gunsmith, who accompanied us.
We started the next day, leaving my young wife and babe to the kindness of Cathrine Holladay, no relation of John Holliday Sen. two days of hard ride to the fort.
Our first day out we encountered a large Grizzly bear and after a shot apiece from J. Harmon and myself, we broke him down in the back. He ran toward us, dragging his hind parts, when Harmon drew his pistol and finished him. By this time, Mr. Longlads miles had taken him three hundred yards from the fun.
Our arrival at Bent's Fort was welcome by Mr. Holt, the bushway of the fort, or boss. I went to work and made what is known in shops by the name Stag Horn in lieu of an anvil on which Mr. Harmon welded the hub bands and other small work, while I welded the tires and set them, and did other heavy work. The work was mostly for the U.S. Army, under command of Gen. Carney, then under way for the scene of action, the Mexican war.
We worked until late in the fall, most of the time at two dollars each day. We lay hard and slept cold, so that I had another attack of rheumatism and returned to Pueblo, sick. With my money I was enabled to buy corn and an old wagon.
During my absence the part of the Mormon Battalion who was sick, under command of Capt. Brown and Higgins, had come to our camp and built a row of cabins opposite our row of log cabins for winter quarters and placed over the doors signs for sport. Over Brother Durfee's Mess door was a picture of an auger with the words, "Fool Killer Office." On inquiry found Taylor and others used the above instrument for boring for simple barber poles. I found them witty and talented. The soldiers annoyed Captain Brown by writing and dropping near his quarter's poetry calling him, the Old Linn Mall.
One night an alarm was given that five hundred Spaniards were close by marching into camp. Tap of drums was heard from Jim Stuart's drum calling soldiers into line. The command was given to fall into line by Captain Higgins, whose voice trembled. This was noticed by all so that it furnished fun for the days to come. The company of Spaniards proved to be a band of elks.
The sick soon began to mend from their Blackleg disease, after eating milk and mush for a while, for which they exchanged their pickled pork and other rations which was a blessing to us.
It was at this place that Corporal Stephens fell from his animal and died in one week after, we buried him in a cottonwood bark coffin, in the honors of war. It was here that William Castro deserted. Captain Brown was intending to go himself in pursuit, but was advised to desist. Ebenezer Hanks and John Steele was sent and found him some forty miles away. After some persuasion he returned with them. He was court marshaled and sentenced to haul wood for camp.
During the winter my wife went in snow deep many times to the grove one hundred yards away and carried a limb from the cottonwood for fuel during my confinement with rheumatism
During this time we received word that President Young and the Pioneers would start from Missouri River early in the spring and that we were to intercept their company at the fort, and preparations for the journey made business for all.
I repaired my wagon, sitting on the bed before I could stand on my feet. My wife carried the parts of the wagon to me needing repair, although kind friends helped us get ready.
Sometime in April we were ready to start and Brother Sebert Wheaton furnished a second yoke of oxen for me. I was unable to walk, and Jackson Mayfield and his brother John, and Lysander Woodert or Woodworth hunted my team and yoked them day after day. In a few days I could get out of my wagon tongue, I, by use of files did many jobs of blacksmithing for the brethren. Also fit up one pair of spurs I had forged at Bents Fort. Arrived at the Chahely Poo River, a tributary of the Platte River.
Amasa M. Lyman, one of the Twelve, and Thomas Woolsey was sent from Pioneer camp with a message from President Young, met us on the above river. On meeting them Brother John Hess ran embraced, and kissed Amasa for joy. When our camp arrived at Laramie, the main road, we were three days behind the Pioneer Camp and traveled about that distance from the main camp until we entered the Salt Lake Valley. Except President Young's health was poor. He, his wife, and three or four men lingered on the road that we caught up within a few miles of his camp.
Thomas S. Williams, the soldier of our camp, for we were all one camp, had appropriated one of Tim Gildle's horses and made a present to Pres. Young's carriage. Tim being present told Mr. Young: "You must secure that horse or he will go to my band."
"Is he yours?"
"Yes sir," was the reply.
Mr. Young loosed the horse saying "That is where I want him to go."
We traveled a day or two behind the Pioneer Camp and arrived in Salt Lake City the 27th or 28th of July 1847. Pres. Brigham Young and H. C. Kimball and other men of notoriety were our escorts, and bid us welcome. We moved into Pioneer Camp on the Temple block and soon confirmed to the general rule of being baptized for remission of sins.
My wife Margaret Jane, was sick with the mountain fever, when we went to City Creek and was baptized by H.C. Kimball and was confirmed with all our former ordinations and blessings pronounced upon us.
We were directed to build a fort surrounding ten acres of land. We ploughed a narrow strip out of the side of the line designed for the wall and turned on the water and tramped it with the oxen and made adobes and built the outside wall very thick with occasional portholes. We drew our lots or space inside to build our houses. My house was the third house north of the west gate of Old Fort. A liberty pole was erected in on the East Side of the middle of the fort. A short time after completion, one of the Mormon Battalion boys by the name, Dan Brown had his hands tied high to the pole and shirt off had several stripes administered on his bare back for stealing a lariat.
Burr Frost was the first blacksmith who put up shop and worked.
My shop was the second in the valley which was on the west side of the fort and tools furnished by Thomas S. Williams who never paid me a cent for my winter's work in that shop.
Spring arrived, we were to farm as we had traveled, by tens, fifties and hundreds.
The land our ten drew was on a high bench six miles southwest of the city and our Captain John Holladay, Sen. He asked permission from his captain for us to locate three miles farther south at the large spring. It was granted, and soon we moved out there, built a row of small houses and fenced a field.
My rheumatism had now settled in my ankles and feet and I stood on my knees to do the ditching, my portion of the fence.
During this time, our breadstuff gave out. We had our last ox killed, an old favorite of mine. I could not kill it myself, it would be like killing one of the family. so my neighbor, John Sparks saw my predicament and went and killed him, saying to me "You had better skin that ox, for he is dead." It was very poor beef, but was very good boiled with thistle roots, which I gathered daily. Our last bread was of a bushel of wheat I bought from our beloved Brother Parley P. Pratt, Sen. who had refused a ten dollar gold piece, and took one ton of hay from me for it. We could obtain no more for love or money.
I went to town and bought four pounds of flour at 50 cents per pound for our little girl, our only child.
One lovely morning, later part of June 1848, our Captain, Brother Holladay, came to me holding a quarter of a skillet loaf of bread on his hands, eating at the same time of it, and said, "Brother William what under heaven are we to do for bread?"
I told him to cheer up, and pointing to a green piece of wheat, saying "There is bread." and at that time I had not tasted bread or any substance of grain for nearly two months, and he engaged me to cut it. I often visited the patch of wheat, and as soon as it would rub out, I had the greatest feast I ever had on any occasion, the appetite was so sharpen for grain, or bread.
In March was a very pleasant spell of winter. On the tenth William Matthews planted his corn, urged me to plant my morsel of seed, but as our next year's bread depended upon the good use made of the few kernels of corn, I waited. A cold spell of weather set in April, and Mr. Matthews seed corn rotted in the ground but he had other seed corn to supply, and planted a second time, and a third time replanted the same patch. He was outwitted with my slow action.
My corn ground was ploughed ready waiting one month, and on the 10th day of May, I planted the long saved seed. It soon sprouted, and came up to a hill. It grew and to my surprise began to shoot near the ground as I never saw Spanish corn grow before, and has from six to eight ears to the hill and we had sufficient for bread for three families.
On October 1848, I went back on Emigration Canyon to meet father-in-law and family. I met them on the big mountain.
Soon after their arrival we all moved to Amasa's Survey. Built a two-story log house with two apartments for the families.
We hauled my abundant corn crop and shared equal and had some to share with others. Next season we made a light crop of wheat and some corn.
The winter of 1849 the settling of San Pete Valley was agitated and father-in-law wished to go on account of good range for his cattle. Early spring, after a hard winter and a deep snow in San Pete he came to visit us during his stay one of his oxen was driven to Salt Lake City by some general drive being made. Gone one week, and he was found in Pres. Young's possession, when called for, he, Pres. Young, said "What if my workmen will swear that ox has been here all winter and ate his head off?" It so confused father-in-law that he went away and never got his ox. I urged him to commence in a Bishop's court, but he feared to offend Pres. Young, and it remains unsettled. Father-in-law went back to San Pete afterwards called Manti Company by the former name, county San Pete.
By the winter of 1850, a project was set on foot by some of the church authorities to plant a colony in Southern California and some families were chosen by Amasa Lyman and others by Charles C. Rich family and myself were chosen by the former. I declined going. When Amasa heard it, he said that if I refused to go, he would cause me to have a worse mission, which scared me, as I had not received endowment. I thought I would be excused on that ground, but on Feb. 8th, I was notified to be at the endowment house for that purpose.
On arriving was ordained into the Quorum of Seventies by J. M. Grant. Afterward placed in the nineteenth Quorum, and received endowments preparatory for the mission south. Met other families of the mission in the endowment house. The winter was spent in preparing to start on the 13th of March 1851, started and when arriving at Peteneet, afterward called Payson.
We had organized into two companies, know as Parley's Company and Lyman and Rich Company. It was seemed a great more than were called was moving with us, and Pres. B. Young and H. Kimball called a meeting at this place and Heber preached and discouraged many from going.
The teams of our company were mostly oxen unshod and became footsore when on the desert, and many were left behind sore footed and want of water. Brother Parley's company had mostly horses and mules and gained a month on us in traveling to California.
In order to raise some money, two wagons of Parley's company were sent back with light loads of groceries to Mohave to meet us, which worked well.
They raised considerable money to pay their passage to Valpariso, South America.
On the first of July we camped in Cahoon Pass and was counseled to remain there until a place could be purchased. Some few disobeyed and went to the settlements. We remained in camp until Sept. 1, instead, during which time I worked at blacksmithing under a sycamore tree, setting wagon tires and as no one was making anything the brethren burned coal for this work and were charged twelve and one half cents per tire.
During this time Brothers Lyman and Rich bought a ranch known as San Bernardino, and gave notes for the sum of $77,500.00 with fifty heads of cattle included. We moved to the ranch Sept. 1st..
During our stay in camp, a stake was organized, with David Seeley as President and Samuel Rolfe and Simion Andrew, councilors. Bishop William Crosby with A. W. Collins and William Matthews, were chosen as his councilors. When we moved to the ranch we were fully organized. The Sycamore tree after known as conference tree while it lived. The writer passed there in March of 1861 on a business trip returning to Beaver, Utah, and saw the tree was dead, being burned at the roots.
Brother Parley and company returned from South America the winter or fall of 1852.
In October we held the harvest feast in the meeting shed called Tabernacle, where the different kinds of products were exhibited. Corn stalks sixteen feet long, melons, 38 lbs. and the mammoth pumpkins. a public dinner and dance and general good times were had.
As for the history of paying for San Bernardino, please allow me to omit, as reflections would be unprofitable.
During our seven years stay many pilgrims came from Australia, mostly on their way to Salt Lake, Utah. (The gathering place of the Saints.) Also a mammoth organ came from Australia, a donation to the Saints of Salt Lake City. I gave five dollars for freighting it. It was in the care of Brother Ridges, freighted by Sidney Tanner.
In 1855, the crops of San Bernardino were a failure, and Brother Lyman and Rich, two of the Apostles held a two day meeting and concluded to send missionaries to all the counties and principal cities of California. 84 Elders were called to go. I was called to go, in company with John D. Holladay, to Santa Barbara on the Pacific Coast.
We journeyed with many other Elders in route for our fields of labor holding meeting in camp every pleasant evening enjoying much of the Holy Spirit.
Fellow laborers and myself were left in the city of Santa Barbara, our field of labor. We posted notices after obtaining the use of the courthouse for next Sunday. As our meeting in the courthouse was put off for Sunday, I proposed to Brother Holladay that we spend the five days in the upper coast of the country. Brother Holladay declined going, but blessed me in going.
I took a young man with me by the name of John Matthew, next day in the town of Carpentarah, I found a few Spanish settlers, but I could not speak the Spanish language sufficiently at that time to preach to them.
A few miles farther, I found a man from New York State, a farmer who was having his small grain threshed with a large threshing machine, and about fifteen men were at work. Soon they stopped for dinner, and while resting I presented them with the church works to read. I waited and assisted Mr. Balandingham to unharness, when he asked if I was an Elder of the Mormons. I told him I was. He said when he was a boy he lived at the hill where Joseph Smith found the gold plates, and wanted to know if the Mormons increased in numbers or otherwise. And when I told him that the people had grown from a town to a Territory of 240 cities and towns and extent of 500 miles of county, he cursed the Mormons for increasing. He asked me if Brigham Young prophesied, as did Joseph Smith. I answered "Yes, and 15,000 Elders also prophesied that if this generation did not give heed to the warning voice of the Elders of the Church, the Load would come out of his hiding place and vex the nations.
At this moment we loosed the neck yoke and he drew it over my head and said he would kill a damn Mormon any time. I remarked, looking him in the eye, "You would not hurt me." "No," said he, "I believe you are an honest man, but damagingly duped by others." He said to wait until the second table and he took me in and gave me a good dinner with restrictions not to speak to his woman on no occasion, with drawn fist toward me, which I was careful to obey.
We traveled a few miles south and found a friendly feeling toward us, preached and left a favorable impression toward the people we represented. Traveled toward Santa Barbara, arrived there Saturday evening, found Brother Holladay downhearted and lonesome.
We met affectionately, Next day, Sunday, we preached in the Court House to a large congregation, a very hot day in August, and we became very thirsty, and seeing one of my upper coast converts in the congregation was favored by him with a pitcher of water and a glass. We had a great flow of the Spirit and services continued for two hours. Bore a faithful testimony and warned them of judgment to come. Returned home in Sept. 1856, raised a fine crop, paid all of our surplus property to Lyman and C.C. Rich and Ebenezer Hanks to pay for the ranch.
Then summer of 1857 President W. J. Cox received a letter from President Brigham Young for all Saints to come home to Utah and a general rush to sell out. We received little or nothing for our places, and many could not endure the sacrifices of property and remained there and died there, and all that stayed became cool in the gospel.
Family and myself arrived in Beaver Utah, March 1, 1858. I drew land in the new field and busied myself making a new farm. M. L. Shepherd refused my wife three yards of domestic.
First year sent my team to move the poor from Salt Lake City, as Johnson's Army was at Ham's Fork threatening destruction to the Mormons. Pres. Young sent the public shop to Parowan. The frost killed my wheat three years. I went to the public shop to work to earn bread for my family.
Lived in Beaver until 1860, heard that my father in law at San Bernardino was dead. Visited that place in December to settle up the estate. We returned in March 1861 in company with George Wood, James Whitaker, Silas Harris, and Ezra Strong, Sen gave us trouble. He would get lost from the wagons.
He was opposed to Brigham Young as President of the Church and generally directed his talk to me as I had one argument with him at San Bernardino, soon after my arrival there. I found him at Sister Casteel's my wife's mother's preaching loudly Josephite Doctrine. A few questions quieted him. On one occasion while crossing the desert and cooking, he and Silas Harris were cooking bacon and pancakes. When Brother Harris turned their meat on their pile of pancakes, and, then placed a pancake over it. Which Mr. Strong did not see, he became excited about the meat and pan he had set off the fire, and claimed my pan, and meat which I gave up, and received much abuse from the old man. After the joke was matured, I asked if my name was not on the panhandle. Brother Harris said it was there plain to be seen. He then uncovered the meat and said, "Mr. Strong, here's our meat. Now, after you have accused Brother Kartchner so wrongfully you had better get down and ask his pardon. He was about to get down, when I forbade him, and after the boys had recovered from laughing I cautioned the old man to always be sure he was right before he accused the Mormons of things they were not guilty of.
I returned home to Beaver, and found all well. On the 5th. Day of December 1862, I married Elizabeth Gale as my second wife. She was born Jan. 20th, 1845 in Australia, the daughter of Henry and Sarah Gale.
The First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles to strengthen the Southern settlement called my family and myself on The 8th of October in 1865. I filled the mission and was released, and called north in 1871 and settled in Panguitch, Utah. In spring conference in 1877, was called to go to Arizona. On the 23rd of March 1877, John D. Lee was executed, being shot at Mountain Meadows, Utah.
We remained in Beaver until 1875 when Pres. George A. Smith called upon me to go to the Muddy. I was on the road in two weeks, leaving the farm unsold, leaving Sister Kartchner and children, taking Lizzie with me. Arrived in November, put in fall wheat and in May 1877 wife and children arrived, and about every six months moved to a new town site until the winter of 1879 when we moved to Overton. Crossed the creek and took out the water to supply the town. Set out vineyards. In the winter of 1869 wife and children visited San Bernardino to see relatives, returning in March 1870. Brought vine cuttings and trees. It now began to look like home.
About 1870 Joseph W. Young brought a letter from President Young instructing us to take a vote of the people whether we would break up the Muddy settlement. The vote carried to break up and we left Feb. 18th. We drove through our wheat field, beautiful and green, went via St. George and Long Valley, arriving at Panguitch March 20th. 1871, where I met George W. Sevy in the old fort and was invited to stop and settle. Our last cow died on arriving. Put in a crop of wheat but the frost killed it, on the first day of August.
I was called upon to organize a Sunday school, which I did and soon had upward of one hundred scholars and was greatly blessed in my labors. I was counseled to petition for a mail route connecting Marysvale and Kanab, which I did and petitioned for a post office at Panguitch. I was appointed Postmaster and Panguitch was the head of two routes weekly services and we received our mail matter regularly three years when semi weekly service was put out. The first day a new route became a law established from Panguitch and Paragoonah with weekly service and was advantage for business, both south and west. Contractor's name was James W. Parker, carrier's name A. Lameraux.
In December 1873, Joseph A. Young organized the United Order. Bishop George W. Sevy, was called to be President. Brother J.H. Imaly and John Norton, to serve as Vice Presidents. W. D. Kartchner was called to be Secretary. The board was the following name brethren:
George W. Sevy W. D. Kartchner Jesse W. Crosby
James H. Imaly Joseph Knight Ira B. Elmer
John W. Norton Edward Bunker Jr. Alma Barney
David Shakespear Sr. John Reynolds
I met in Parowan in December to file our bonds and take oath of office. It being the county seat, and paid Jesse N. Smith eighteen dollars for two hours of service, returned home next day, appointed board meetings once a week, and met sometime oftener to adopt rules and arrange business.
At first it was agreeable and a good sprite prevailed, but soon contentions arose. George W. Sevy manifested a bad spirit, and ordered Joseph Knight to sit down and hush, and ordered Allen Miller out of the house. He accused Joseph Knight of being lazy to work, and wanted to buy a cellar of James Henrie on credit for which he was to pay seven hundred and fifty dollars. The entire board voted against it. Then Sevy became almost mad and declared he would buy it in spite if all the board's opposition, said he had enough property in the Order to support him and his families without his laboring in the Order and he presided over the Order until the 1st. of March, 1875, without doing a day's labor. Many contentions arose between Ira B. Elmer and Jesse W. Crosby, and they abused each other and almost came to blows many times. At one meeting Sevy admitted M. M. Steel, a non-member to address the board and read letters from President Brigham Young to Red Creek Order and to give his construction upon it. At the same time M. M. Steel's assistance adopted measures contrary to the resolutions of the board and in the next two days thirty members of the thirty-nine withdrew. Kartchner, Knight and Hunter resigned their offices and also withdrew from the Order this 1st day of March. When Sevy began to work with the remainder hypocritically telling his special friend, Proctor, if he had not been Bishop he would never have joined the Order but remained out of it he had.
In a general conference at St. George in 1877, W. D. Kartchner and sons and sons in law were called on a mission to Arizona Territory to start in the fall. In making arrangements to go it was thought best to do work for our dead friends in the temple. Accordingly the latter part of May we started for the St. George Temple W. D. Kartchner and wife Margaret, Phebe, Mark's wife, Sarah Emma and her husband N. Miller, and Don C. Clayton and his wife Mary Marinda, arriving in St. George the 20th, day of May, 1877.
We were called to the Arizona Mission by Daniel H. Wells at the Spring Conference and started on the 15th of November 1877, arriving at sunset on the 22nd of Jan. 1878. Sister Kartchner was sick the entire route. John and Alma hunted and found a place afterward called Taylor.
On the 24th the company organized with John Kartchner, Pres. W. J. Flake and Albert Winerally, counselors, and began cutting timber for a United Order House, kitchen and corral.
A conference was held at Sunset on the 3rd of February, with John W. Young presiding and on the 3rd. a Stake of Zion was organized, when our place was called Taylor and John Kartchner was appointed Bishop. He retained his counselors.
On February 15th, Lot Smith and George Lake, also Brother Wilchin Visited Taylor and held meetings attended with some encouragement.
On the 16th., Joseph Knight Jr. fell from the water wagon and tore loose three inches of scalp above the right ear.
On the 17th, home missionaries, Dobbin Porter and Fields gave us some encouragement.
On February 21st we dedicated the dinning room and kitchen and had the first dance.
On the 22nd., Brother West and children arrived and wished to join the order.
On the 26th W. D. Kartchner bought of Brother Sushman 2 pigs for $12.00. Also sent for the Desert News.
On March 1st Brothers Brady and Chalk with families arrived and wish to join.
On March 2nd., first child born to Sarah E. Miller.
On March 3rd and 13th., cash called for our seed grain of M. Kartchner and Palmer for $45.00. W. D. Kartchner $10.00, N. Miller $5.00.
On the 6th., W. J.. Flake and James stated for grain.
On the 14th., Prudence Miller was blessed, also Brothers Copeline, Holt and Farnsworth arrived.
March 18th, Flake arrived from St. John with 7,000 lbs. of wheat.
April 8th, A. Stewart and family of ten arrived.
May 5th, Brother Burnham Hunt his wife and two daughters' Visited Taylor.
May 13th sowed the first wheat.
May 17th, W. J. Flake expressed himself dissatisfied with the Order.
May 23rd., Mush ice in a pan, Conference at Sunset.
24th, Three wagons stated to conference.
25th at noon the flood washed around the dam.
28th, Bishop brought Major Ladd to level another ditch four feet below the first one.
31st, commenced work on our ditch, St. Joseph sent four men to work.
June 8th, W. J. Flake withdrew from the Order, Sunset sent two men.
June 13th, W. D.. Kartchner drove to Brigham City for a nurse for Sister Bates, Brother Joseph Knight stayed two days.
15th rain came up the river and washed out the dam the second time.
17th the men became dissatisfied and discouraged at Taylor.
23rd Bishop started to Sunset with Brother Joseph Knight and family.
27th Joseph Knight died.
28th several of us went to the funeral at Sunset.
July 13th Brother Hamblin and Harris arrived from the Zunis.
14th, Sunday, stopped with us to meeting, gave an account of laying on of hands on 406 Zunis in one day for smallpox, with miraculous results.
15th, Lucy Flake took her things outdoor and out of the Order.
16th, Charles Hall and Woodruff Freeman stayed at Brother Flake's camp, W. D. Kartchner arrived at 8 p.m. with 3200 lbs. of salt, W. J. Flake and family moved from Taylor July 18th.
On the 6th of August, we moved from Taylor, arrived at Stinson's and on the 9th., met Mr. Clark. He found us moving and asked us five dollars more than he did in July.
August 11th, we bargained with W. J. Flake for one-fourth part of the Stinson place and to be the upper part. The next day we moved to the upper part East Side of the creek.
On the 12th., it commenced raining and rained nearly four weeks. When it cleared up, myself, John, Orin, Mark and Palmer went to the timber for logs. Nowlin was taken sick with chills. We made one trip for logs and 1300 clapboards, sent two teams for the remainder.
On the 17th of Sept., W. J. Flake and family started to Beaver, Utah.
On the 23rd of Sept., Myself, Orin Aaron went to make adobes.
We received a letter from Pres. Lot Smith notifying us that Apostle E. Snow and Elder Nuttall, Jesse N. Smith, Ira Hinkley, Ed Nobel and Allaphant would preach at Sunset Sept. 21st. My son John and wife went to meet them and return with them.
On the 6th at 5 O'clock, P. M. Elder Snow and Company held meeting at our camp.
Apostle Snow gave liberty to all who wished to withdraw from the Order, and after supper he sat up with us at the campfire till after midnight. Said this way of running the Order was not right, for the stock was the common stock of the devil. Said the Lord cared no more about the way we ate our food than he did how the squirrels ate their acorns. He answered questions freely.
On the 27th we stayed counseling until noon and took note of those present for John Hunt to preside as Bishop at Stinson Valley. We sent the baggage wagons up the creek when he rode over to Stinson's in company with us and selected a town site at Stinson's then had us adieu on the new town site. The second day after he sent back name for the town site, Snowflake, and the town and farm plot, and to sent for Brother Deen and Cordon, as home missionaries, came to our camp and went over to Snowflake to preach.
On the 22nd., W. D. Kartchner went over to work on the house. Returned to camp on the 28th and moved Sister Kartchner over to Snowflake.
Nov 3rd moved into the house.
Nov. 4th, Bishop Hunt Visited Snowflake and picked his lot and contracted with N. Miller to build him a log house.
Nov 5th. the territorial elections judges of the polls, James Stinson, Brother Bagley and Wansley, 13 votes were poled at Snowflake.
6th. Minerley and wife, and Ina Hunt started for Utah.
17th. Lizzie moved into her house.
22nd, Wm. McGary and half brother took dinner with me.
23rd A Company of Negro soldiers camped here with a white Captain for officer, traded 100 lbs. Of bacon for beef to Mr. Stinson, after supper a few Negroes gathered at the U.S. Station tent and gave a volunteer Negro concert.
December 20th stated to Sunset Mill for flour and get corn ground.
21st met Brother Flake opposite Taylor town and offered him a twenty dollar gold piece for canceling my post office debt at Panguitch, Utah, of nineteen dollars and five cents. Arrived at the mill at night.
22nd Sunday got my grinding and bought flour, four hundred pounds, of Lot Smith.
24th. Arrived home, also Brother Flake arrived, finding all well.
25th took dinner with daughter, Prudence J. Flake.
On January 17th., 1879, President Jesse M. Smith and company arrived and held first meeting.
19th and 20th started to St. John to buy a place for his company.
24th returned, could not buy and did not like St. John Valley.
25th bought land of Wm. J. Flake and took up city lots.
26th. Bishop Hunt stated to Savoy for flour. Pres. Jesse N. Smith held meeting at Walker's town, three miles above.
27th very high winds, W. J. Flake started to sunset for his sheep.
After some six weeks rumors were going though rounds that Pres. Jesse N. Smith had the right to call for and move the Church Steam Sawmill to the most central place for the convenience of all the settlers. When Pres. Lot Smith proposed to furnish the people of Snowflake Stake through President Jesse N. Smith's over 150,000 feet of lumber free if the mill would be allowed to remain as before. I was going to the Brigham City Grist Mill to receive (?) lbs. of flour I had bought of Mr. Milligan, through Brother W. J. Flake, at $6.XX per cwt. At the same time Bishop George Lake asked $7.00 per cwt., for the same flour, and being within forty miles to the saw mill. I and son Orin, went to the saw mill and obtained 080 ft. and came via the flour mill and put on 600 lbs. of flour, also Sister Knight and two little ones wished a passage with us to Snowflake. We arrived home the 8th. of March. Brother Lot Smith loaned to Snowflake conference 180 bushels of wheat for seed, also some molasses.
April 7th. a Monday was the worst wind storm, no one could plough or sow. All outdoor work ceased the entire day on account of wind and dust. The wind blew from the southwest.
The tenth of April a company convention at Snowflake, the County seat.
On the 6th of June, I took sick with a pain in the bowels and Dropsy developed.
On June 28th., I attended Conference and got worse, kept to my bed from for some time.
Sept. 4th, I was able to sit up a little. My neighbors and acquaintances proposed several remedies and every one applied seemed to help me. Among which was the bitter aloes in whiskey for purgative and the wild milk weed root in whiskey, a large table spoon every six hours for a few days then every morning until after I was well, also grapevine bark ashes, a teaspoonful in a little wine every morning. In five days seven gallons of water ran from me through the natural channel. Up to Jan. 1880, I continued taking the milkweed root, which is the best of all other remedies.
December 14th., 1879, W. J. Flake arrived from Utah ahead of the train.
Jan. 27th snowed all day and all night. The snow was 11 inches deep on the level and then turned cold. The thermometer stood at 20 degrees below zero and for three weeks snow remained, good sleighing.
Feb. 16th., a south wind blew, the next day it continued and the moderated.
March 1st., commenced making a ditch on the east side of the creek continued through April until the 12th., a terrible wind storm stopped work at noon in consequence. Wind continued bad until five hands worked on the 14th and on the 15th Aaron only worked and became discouraged. The wind commenced on the 12th and blew very hard a whole week. Tuesday was terrible, no work could be done in or out of doors and clouds of dust were driven past the rate of twenty miles per hour.
March 16th sowed ten acres of wheat.
On April 23rd., W. D. Kartchner started to the mill at Sunset with 29 bu. and 20lbs and several small grists for neighbors, paid Lot Smith $52.50 tithing money and $30.00 for Bishop Hunt for flour, Lot Smith refused to donate graham for the poor of Snowflake.
Returned home on the evening of the 29th met with John W. Young at Woodruff and we met with the Ward for prayer when John W. Young gave a statement of his trip to Albuquerque to purchase goods and his return he brought Thompson's Point, to put up his goods.
On the 30th., John W. Young went to the crossing of Showlow for Brother James Wood for his clerk.
Young returned on the 20th., and went to Woodruff with Heber Perkins for Clerk.
Nephi and Allen Smithson passed on route for the Gila River on the 8th of May.
May 19th high winds moderated.
June wind continued 9th very high wind.
June 26th and 27th conference John W. Young represented railroad business.
July 5th Orin and Aaron started to the railroad to work for J. W. Young and Jesse N. Smith.
July 7th a very good rain.
July 16th started in company with Nowlin to steam mill in Tom's Forest with the span of horses, one a wild colt. When we were opposite the steam mill, he scared and ran away into a tree top and I fell under the front wheel, Nowlin stopped them suddenly as the front wheel reached my left arm, which saved me.
July 6th., Aaron and Orin, in company with Pres. Jesse N. Smith, to beyond Fort Wingate to work on John W. Young's contract on the railroad of five miles grading, and waited three weeks for the tools and provisions, at their own expense. Orin thought best to come home and help harvest and arrived August 3rd without clearing expenses. He cut our wheat on the 6th and the 7th.
August 7th., Bishop Hunt caused the trustees to start two schools with his two daughters as teachers, at Snowflake. One was paid thirty dollars per month, and one at Walker with twenty five dollars per month. Thus depriving the boys on the railroad and also the boys on the farm from sharing the benefits of school money, appropriated on our school district quota for 1880 by commencing before fall or winter, as the funds are exhausted in September.
The flies are uncommonly numerous and very annoying in the forest fields.
Sept. 18th., Nowlin started to Globe City, Arizona, driving stock at $2.50 per day in company with Mark.
Sept 25th and 26th the Southeastern Stake of Zion held at Snowflake. Present of the Twelve Apostles, Erastus Snow and Brigham Young. President Jesse N. Smith presented a complete organization of Stake officers, which was effected by calling and setting a part a High Council at the time. I was a Seventy, belonging to the 19th Quorum when I was ordained a High Priest under the hands of Brother Snow and Brigham Young. The latter being the mouth, and set apart a High Counselor. W. D. Kartchner drawing odd number 9, in connection with Jesse M. Perkins, Samuel Rogers, E. W. East, Joseph Fish, Noah Brimhall, Bateman Willhelm, Thomas Greer, Charles Shumway, Woodruff Freeman, John A. West, and Mons Larson. It was ascertained at this Conference that the Eastern Arizona Stake numbered officers and members 1234.
Nov. 27th., met with High Priest Quorum. Had been very sick with dropsy.
December 5th., 1880 a petition for a Post Office route arrived from Sunset asking the Post Office Department for a route and service from Holbrook via Woodruff. Snowflake, Taylor and Showlow to Fort Apache Camp.
Postmasters recommended, for Holbrook via Woodruff, Heber C. Perkins, for Snowflake, W. D. Kartchner for Taylor, Jesse N. Perkins. W. D. Kartchner and signers solicited read the above petition in Sunday at the meeting.
December 24th., at 3 o'clock A. M. I was in bed not breathing. Don Clayton and family were visiting with us and stayed all night. Sister Kartchner raised an alarm, and Brother Clayton raised me up and blew in my mouth, and administered by laying on of hands at which time I came to again at six o'clock. I was found to not be breathing and was minutes again without breath when they sent for John, my oldest son. They again administered and thus I was redeemed from the fit.
December 25th our Snowflake Conference convened and continued on the 26th., many good instructions were said to be given, but I was not able to attend the meeting.
Feb. 30th., Brother E. Snow, of the Apostles, met with us at Snowflake. Meeting commenced at 2 o'clock p.m.. Hymn on page 147, prayer by Brother Steadiferd, Hymn on page 155, Sacrament administered by Brother Gale and Mineral. Brother Snow said "May the blessings of a kind providence and of our heavenly father, I am permitted to meet with your, brethren and sisters of Snowflake, after parting with you last fall. I made my report to the presiding Pres. at Salt Lake City when I received a new appointment to repair again soon to the territories of Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona and I have been to Manassa, which is in Utah. I see a great many in that region of country moving who have come without being called and who are in a suffering condition. I advised them to go down the Rio Grande out of the snow and work on the railroad. They are mixed up with rather rough associates. These railroads are no doubt for the more speedy gathering of the Saints but our interest is not in building railroads, but in raising grain and children to eat it. The Rio Grande Valley is large and water is plenty. It is some fifty miles wide and 150 miles long. He counseled us to study the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life and they testify of me, but you have the more sure word of prophecy until the day star arise in your hearts." " We keep warning men of the near approach of the Son of Man". He said "Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Sidney Rigdon saw the angel, beside a cloud of witnesses by the Holy Ghost testify of the same". He counseled us to stay to our farms, raise grain. The railroad is bringing in a rough class and your boys will be better at home. You have been defrauded in election matters. Your duty is to forestall these wicked men and contend for your rights. It is necessary for you to keep the Gueld. John Allen said "I live in Colorado Territory it is cold there, the altitude is 7,500. In traveling I find pleasant weather here and the most desirable spot I have seen. The railroad is no doubts for a good purpose but we better stay to our farms for with it came the gruffest kind of men. We are filling up the waste places with our brethren and children." Brother Snow arose again and said he was glad to meet the brethren of Taylor but could not speak to them.
Feb. 26th., met with the High Priests. The brethren spoke on the indications of the near approach of the Son of Man and of the need of our being united.
Feb. 27th., Received a letter from my brother in Iowa who thought of coming to visit us in Snowflake as soon as the cars ran to Holbrook. I preached to the people of Snowflake on the necessity of oneness and kindness to each other in order to merit the Spirit of the load.
March 6th., I addressed the Snowflake Sunday school on the subject of the Promise Land and the reference in the Book of Mormon of the man who discovered America.
March 20th., 1881 the High Council of Eastern Arizona Stake of Zion met at Jos. Fish house in Snowflake with Jesse N. Smith, L. H. Hatch and Oscar Mann, his counselors, presiding. Each member of the Council present expressed themselves willing to act, four being absent, when a united expression to sustain Pres. Smith in counseling Bishop Christofferson of Round Valley to not give recommends to one Jos. Theyne for going to the law outside of the church with Brother Perkins, also Moses Cluff on fraud in selling and moving to Gila.
May 28th., met with the High Priest's Quorum.
April 21st., Homesteaded on section 24 of the township 13 Gila and Salt Rio Range 21 east County of Apache.
In April 1881 Bishop John Hunt came to my house and informed me that I was the choice of he and the people to be the postmaster at Snowflake and I drew up the petition for a post office with the name of W. D. Kartchner for postmaster. Our petition was granted and I received my appointment June 17th., 1881, and on August 15th., I filed my bond with Bishop John Hunt, and A. J. Stratton as bondsmen under $1,000.00. As no service was ordered the people of Snowflake carried it one week and Taylor people the next week. Alternately volunteer service was commenced Sept. 5, 1882 by W. W. Wall with two trips per week from St. Joseph via Snowflake, Taylor, Showlow to Fort Apache and back, with side mail to Springerville via Er?stus and St. John. In June 1893, by W. J. Flake's counsel I resigned the office of postmaster in favor of J. R. Hulett.
In August I was taken sick and unconscious one night and day, and my children were called in supposing me to be dying, but the laying on of hands restored me to consciousness. I gained slowly.
Conference convened at Taylor Sept. 28th., continued until 29th and 30th. A good spirit was enjoyed by all present. I attended on Sunday and also High Council at 5 o'clock p.m.
The Snowflake mail was the third route I petitioned. The first was on the Muddy, from Calls Landing to St. Thomas via St. Joseph to Paranigat. The second mail route was on the Sevier River from Gunnison via Monroe via Panguitch to Kanab. In the Snowflake office I furnished corn and meals to the amount of $105.00. I also went security for $100.00 and he ran away between two suns leaving me to bear the lost but Brother Ellsworth was too much a man to push me for the debt. Brother Stratton him on his hundred dollars $50.00 in oats. Having had several epileptic fits, I resigned the office of postmaster July 1, 1883 in favor of J. R. Hulett, who soon after received my mail and kept one suit of clothes addressed to the postmaster. He acted as though he had been the only postmaster in Snowflake. How soon he forgot the man who promoted him.
On August 5, 1881, at 8 o'clock A.M., Sister Margaret Jane Kartchner took sick with a pain in her head, also a bad cough. She continued to get worse day after day. All was done that could be by medical aid at hand, and gradually decline until the 11th. at 11 o'clock she died without a struggle, with a pleasant smile on her countenance. Her neck was blue with the effect of mortification before death and the coffin was closed at 11 o'clock of the 12th. The funeral services were held at Snowflake meeting house at 12 noon and Bishop Hunt asked the people to excuse them for not opening the coffin, as it was not wisdom to do so. The cortege started from the meeting house at 1 p.m. for the cemetery, with a large attendance of carriages and wagons filled with people to follow the respected dead to its last resting place. There were a great number on foot following and while on the move near Brother Fish's residence a hard shower of rain commenced and Brother Hunt called a halt and advised that the coffin be covered with blankets and that the people go to their houses. When the rain had partly subsided the men only, finished the ceremonies in a hard shower of rain. The speakers at the meeting house were Brother Samuel Rogers, Jesse N. Perkins, Sen. and Bishop John Hunt gave her life history. From his early boyhood he knew her to be a true Latter Day Saint and to possess all the qualities required of a mother, wife and sister. He had traveled in company with her and her husband from Pueblo, Colorado to Salt Lake Valley in the spring of 1847. She was the third daughter of Jocob Israel Casteel.
Sept. 12, 1881, Don C. Clayton and Mary Merinda, his wife, Clarence and Vinal arrived from Salt Lake City.
March 15th. 1882, Bishop Hunt sent John Oakley to me for tithing wheat. I weighed out 8 bushel of wheat tithing for 1881, delivered to him. Paid Bishop Hunt at Snowflake. Wheat 384lbs: $15.30
Squash & Turnips: $ 1.00
Sept. 21st., paid W. W. Willis 3 gals. Molasses: $4.50
Sept. 20th., Orin hauled tithing from Phoenix Mill $18.30
Oct. paid squash to Father Peace 100lbs. $2.00
Wheat to Oakley 429 lbs. $12.60
May 13, 1882, I examined the tithing book and no credit.
6 Bu. and 24 lbs. Wheat, 1 gal. Molasses, vegetables or eggs: $3.00
Sept. 20, 1883 paid 2 gal. Molasses tithing to Bishop Hunt.
Oct. 15, 1883, paid wheat, 3 bu. $6.00
I had been suffering with the dropsy for two years unable to stoop down or walk except occasionally. I would get better and be able to go to meeting. In the month of March, 1882, my son John brought some whiskey from St. Johns. Then into which I steeped the wandering milk root. I took it six times per day until it acted as an emetic and the swelling went down out of my stomach and bowels into my legs and finally, in a short time to four weeks, left me entirely, a very poor object. I had been reduced from 173 pounds, my standing weight to 145 pounds in two weeks. I took sick with a strange disease known as the pink eye and became unconscious with severe pain in my head, and a fever. Suffered much and for two weeks. The last of April, I began to walk around again.
On the first day of May, I was called upon to unite in matrimony David V. A. Talley and Sarah Haseltine West. I did so, having authority as Justice of the Peace for Snowflake Precinct, Apache County, Ariz. About this time what was known as Edmonds Bill became a law in the U. S. whereas all polygamists were considered criminals and subject to both fine and imprisonment on conviction and George Q. Cannon was denied his seat in Congress as Delegate for Utah Territory.
In 1882 my team could not be found till very late in the spring, and John proposed to Nowlin and Orin to take his team, Alma Palmer and Miller, and help Aaron put in some wheat for me, the result was I had three acres of wheat in.
Dec. 7, 1882, I was taken sick with biliousness and sinking spells and was unconscious. I had prayed to know if my labors had been accepted and was immediately made whole. Such joy I never had experienced before and on the night of March 19th., 1883, I feared to die with great fear and I saw in the vision the great Tower of Babel. It's center and foundation were solid with brick and lime, with winding stairways. I saw the brother of Jared and company travel marks to the seaside and the beautiful mount of white or transparent rock that the brother of Jared asked the Load to touch that they might shine forth in the barges while crossing the sea. I saw the place of landing. It resembled the valley I had seen in a former vision. the gold they found for making the plates of which the Book of Mormon was made. I met persons and pleasant weather but I passed through a troop of demons who held be bound first but passed on to where I was filled with joy and came back filled with joy. I was well and had so good time I would like to go any time. My work was done. I saw many of the more intellectual and honorable who were much favored.
May 22, 1883, on this day at 5 p.m. our house and kitchen furniture were burned with all our provision, stove, one bed and bedding, all our clothing and provisions. Donations was followed:
Mrs. W. W. Wall, flour .85, bacon .67, sugar .97 coffee .25, $2.74
Prudence: 3 pans biscuit, 1 bed tick, $1.20
Mark: 1 brass kettle $1.50
James Flake: in store $1.50
Sarah Miller: pan .40, flour, bowls, spoons, .60 corn .50, $1.50
Mrs. M. Stratton: 1 quilt, $1.00
Samuel S. Rogers: wheat, 100 lbs., $3.25
Mrs. Atchison: bacon 1 dollar, dishes .50: $1.50
Mrs. Clara Turley: 2 milk pans, $1.50
Mrs. Roseilfa Gardner: 5 yards of factory, $1.50
Pres. Jesse N. Smith: in cash, .70
John R. Hulett: in store pay, $3.00
Joseph W. Smith: in cash, $2.00
Prudence J. Flake: 1 sieve $1.00
Nella Smith: 1 quilt, .50
Relief society: 2 plates, .20, 1 quilt, $5.20
Addie Fish: 1 2nd hand quilt: $2.00
Sister Copeland: 1 2nd hand coverlet, $2.50
Jesse N. Smith: paid at Woodruff store on stove, $5.00
Brother John Smith: sent greenbacks, $5.00
Brother John Kartchner: sent $5.00
July 8th., I took sick and became unconscious one day and night.
On Dec. 5th also became unconscious and was sick two days.
Dec. 18th had a fit and was filled with the horrors of the damned.
Wed. all night did not sleep.
Thursday night had the good spirit and slept soundly and good.
Friday visited Bishop Hunt as Orin and Annie arrived on the 20th.
I embraced Bishop and kissed him and blessed his family and himself as one of the noblest sons of men that now stand on earth. Brother Hunt put on his hat and handed my hat to me and stood at the door as waiting for me as I blessed Sister Lewis and she blessed me in turn.
Jan. 26th, High Priest Quorum met at Taylor. I was permitted to speak and spoke at length. The spirit gave me utterance. I blessed the brethren and encouraged those in-charge to urge the people in their several wards to prey mightily to the Lord and He would protect us from our enemies. Pres. Paul Smith was understood to say he wanted the Taylor brethren to make the long ditch for he had lived on a dry lot since he lived here. Brother Flake called him to explain it and he explained, said he meant the brethren at Snowflake in the same as at Taylor as he considered us one in this work as being under one head.
Feb. 2nd I started to Woodruff for goods for our co-op store. It rained at night. Sunday morning I met with the Saints. At 2 p.m., Pres. Hatch gave account of his mission to Silver City in company with Pres. Jesse N. Smith and then called on me to talk. The good spirit was enjoyed by all present and a good meeting was the result.
I started home with wife and two children on Monday and found the creek had raised to near the level with its banks. We drove on up to Taylor, stayed with Bishop Standiferd, who treated us very kindly and helped me cross next day very carefully. Arrived home on the 5th . . . . . . . . . . ... W. D. Kartchner May 14, 1892.
Some Interesting stories I've heard during my lifetime:
While at Winter Quarters, on the 17th of Feb., Pres. Young had a very interesting dream, which he related to the brethren. He dreamed he went to see Joseph the Prophet and when he met him he looked perfectly natural. He appeared to sitting in a chair at the time. Pres. Young took hold of his right hand and kissed him many times and said to him, "Why is it we cannot be together as we used to be?" "You have been from us a long time. We want your society and do not like to be separated from you." Joseph rose from his chair and looked at him with his usual warmest expression and pleasing countenance and said, "It is all right." Pres. Young repeated that he did not like to be away from him. Joseph said, "It is all right. We cannot be together yet. We shall be, bye and bye, but you will have to be without me for awhile then we shall be together again."
Pres. Young said "The brethren you know well, better than I do, you raised them up and brought the Priesthood to us. They have a great anxiety to understand the law of adoption or the sealing principles and if you have a word of council for me I shall be glad to receive it."
Joseph stepped toward him, looked very earnestly, yet pleasantly said, "Tell the brethren to be humble and faithful and be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and it will lead them aright. Be careful and not turn away the Still Small Voice, it will teach them what to do and where to go. It will yield the fruits or the Kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the spirit of the Lord from other spirits. It will whisper peace and joy to their souls, it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts and from their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the Kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will find themselves just as our Father organized them in Heaven before they came into the world. Our Father in Heaven organized the human family but they are all disorganized and in great confusion."
Joseph then showed Pres. Young the pattern how the human family was in the beginning. He saw where the Priesthood had taken from the earth and how it had to be joined together so that there would be a perfect chain from Father Adam to his latest posterity.
Joseph again said to him "Tell the people to be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and follow it and it will lead them just right."
Such a dream was very consoling to President Young and instructive to the people. From it we can learn how important it is to keep the Spirit of the Lord. No man or people can prosper who do not have it as the guide.
The news reached Winter Quarters about this time of the hanging by the mob, near Farmington, Iowa, of Brother William R. Folsom. They did not kill him outright but his friends had much difficulty in restoring him to life. They also hung Brother Rodney Swazey by the heels for about five minutes. Six other brethren were hung by them, and in this manner the Saints were treated by mobocrats in that vicinity after they were expelled from their homes and robbed by nearly all they possessed by the mob at Nauvoo.
Pres. Young while at Winter Quarters, obtained a copy of a revelation supposing to have been received by James J. Strang, a man who claimed to be the Pres. of the church after the Prophet's death and who was the means of leading away a number of people. This revelation was not really written by Strang but was forged by a man named Charles Wesley Wandell, for the purpose of entrapping those who believed in Strang's doctrine. At Nauvoo they fell into the trap which was prepared for them. John E. Page, on of the Twelve Apostles who had apostatized just before the church left Nauvoo, believed it to be the revelation and bore public testimony to it bring from the Almighty. The success of this trick afforded much merriment to Wandell and his friends and they thought it a most excellent joke. But in thus assuming to write a revelation in the name of the Lord he did not perceive that he placed himself in the power of Satan. He probably thought that his intent was good in thus trying to expose wickedness, but it is a serious thing for a man to trifle with sacred subjects and use the name of the Lord falsely and for the purpose of deception. Wandell's course since that time should be a warning to others to avoid doing evil that good, or supposed good, might come.
In preparing to go with the Pioneer company from Winter Quarters to the Great Basin, Pres. Young with his brethren took the necessary precaution to ensure the safety and good government of those who remained behind while they should make the trip. Ample counsel was given to this and kindred subject and measures were taken to build a stockade around the Winter Quarters and to have the people live together united. Houses that were outside of the established line for the stockades were moved inside and everything was done that could be, to secure the people from Indian attacks. Those who were living in dugouts, as the houses were called which were dug in the side of the hill, were counseled to build houses on the top of the ground to live in during the summer so that sickness might be avoided. Other counsel was given in relation to their building, which would increase the healthfulness of the residents.
Pres. Young gave excellent counsel to the authorities and the people respecting their dealing with the Indians. He condemned the practice of shooting Indians so common among other communities settled in Indians country, for any and every offence that they might commit and advised the brethren to avoid enraging them or giving place to feelings of hostility and bloodshed.
Arrangements were also made to take care of the poor and the families of the brethren who had gone in the Battalion. The brethren were already to move at Winter Quarters as quick as possible and to put in a spring crop. Bishop Miller, who had been the leader of the company to Punco, was already at Winter Quarters. He had indulged in the spirit that was not of God for some time and his mind was clouded with darkness. While preparation were being made for the pioneers to go west, at the meeting of the Twelve Apostles and other Elders he gave his view relatives to the church removing to Texas to the country lying between the Neuses and the Rio Grande River. That was the best country he thought for the church to emigrate to. Lyman Wight was already in Texas where he had gone from Nauvoo. He took with him such as would follow. Miller's instruction was in the same direction. Pres. Young informed Miller that his view were wild and visionary, that when the Saints moved from that point they would go to the Great Basin where they would from a nucleus of strength and power sufficient to cope with the mobs, but this had little effect on Miller. He soon after left Winter Quarters with his family and a few others over whom he had influence and went to Texas where Lyman Wight quarreled when he moved North again, and join Strang and died an apostate from the church.
On the 15th of April, Heber C. Kimball moved out from Winter Quarters about six miles with six of his which he had prepared to form part of the Pioneer equipment to go to a place in the far west where the Saints would dwell in peace and security. General Conference was held the next day at Winter Quarters and on the 7th., Pres. Young started and joined the camp which was then located about ten miles west of Winter Quarters. The Pioneer Camp, when formed, numbered 143 men and 73 wagons, Sister Young, wife of Pres. Young, and Sister Ellen S. Kimball, wife of Pres. H., their husbands and were the only sisters in camp.
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