Friday, June 26, 2020
Jane Ann Sheffield was born in Bethany, New York on February 16, 1834. Her parents were Anson Sheffield and Maria Mott. Jane Ann was the eighth of nine children. Her parents became acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and were baptized into the church at an early date by Robert Samuelson in Kirtland, Ohio. The Mississippi and Ohio Rivers were the frontier in those days.
When the saints were coming west in 1850, Jane Ann was sent ahead to travel with the Ferimorz Little family and help take care of their children. She milked cows and hung the pail under the back of the wagon, so it would be churned into butter for supper. Jane Ann walked most of the way to the Salt Lake Valley, as there was no room for her to sleep in the wagon. She enjoyed the evenings of singing and dancing while on the trail. After the company arrived in Salt Lake, Jane stayed with the Little family until her parents arrived in the valley in 1852. After their arrival they travel onto Payson with their family.
The Sheffield family then moved to Payson to settle down. It was here in the early fall of 1852 that Jane first met her future husband, Thomas English Daniels. Jane would go to the fort every day to milk the family cow and Thomas was there for the same purpose. Thomas was flirting, and went to her at once and offered to milk her cow. Jane explained to him that her cow was not used to strangers, but Thomas insisted. He sat down on the stool and proceeded to nearly fill the pail with milk, when the cow suddenly turned her head and got a good look at who was doing the milking. The cow lifted her foot and with a kick, sent Thomas and the milk sprawling on the ground. This introduction soon made Jane and Thomas the best of friends.
That friendship developed into love and they were married on November 25, 1855, in Payson, Utah. Thomas described the couple’s first few months like this, “Our bridal chamber was in a one room log house that my mother and brother occupied; mother on her high post bed in one corner, Joseph on the floor in another corner, and my bride and I made our bed on the floor next to the fireplace.” Thomas soon built Jane a two-story adobe home where they raised thier ten children.
Jane Ann made some of the best pastry and bread, cured all the meats, and carded, spun and wove on the loom all the clothing for the family. Thomas and Jane were the parents of ten children. Jane also taught Sunday School and filled other service positions for the church. Jane’s eldest daughter, Louisa Jane, died at the age of twenty-two, leaving her mother and father a newborn baby to raise along with their large family.
Thomas and Jane celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary on November 25, 1905 surrounded with family and friends, in the same adobe house that Thomas built them when married. A year later, Jane caught pneumonia and passed away suddenly on October 18, 1906. Thomas followed her quickly to the other side, passing away on November 6, 1906. The Daniels couple are buried in the family plot in the Payson Cemetery.
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Mathew Henry Daley, son of William and Mary Ann Graham Daley, was born July 1, 1844 in Nauvoo, Illinois, three days after his parent's beloved prophet had been martyred.
William and Mary Ann Daley had emigrated from Scotland after joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1841. They traveled to Kirkland, Ohio to be near the prophet Joseph Smith. Then the Saints were driven from Ohio and settled a swampy land near the Mississippi River, called Nauvoo. Here Mathew Henry Daley was born. He was the fifth of nine children, however, Mathew was the oldest living child.
Mathew's father, William Daley, was an active member of the L. D. S. Church in Nauvoo. He was a member of the local military group called the Nauvoo Legion and also donated his time to build the temple. But even before the temple was completed, the Saints were pushed from their comfortable homes in Nauvoo. One of the last things William and Mary Ann did before they left for the wild country, was to go the Nauvoo Temple for their endowments on 31 January 1846.
Two-year-old Mathew and his parents took what little belongings fit into a small wagon, across the Iowa mud and stopped in Mosquito Creek, near Council Bluffs. Mathew's father left his small family with the Saints in Iowa and went down river to work as a tailor in St. Louis, Missouri.
The William Daley family stayed in Iowa for five and a half years. Matthew's two brothers were born here, John Moffatt and David James. In 1852, the Saints still in Iowa were advised by Brigham Young to proceed to Utah.
In July of 1852, Mathew's family packed two wagons and headed west, to Utah. Eight-year-old Matthew drove the cattle behind the wagons. In one instance, on the wide flat prairie, a large herd of buffalo veered toward the wagons near the river. The cattle were hurriedly moved away from the wagons, away from the buffalo herd. Several of the large creatures were shot just short of the wagons. There was enough meat for several weeks. The company arrived in Salt Lake Valley in September 1852.
The William Daley family was directed south, to Provo. Here, Mathew's father homesteaded near Rock Canyon and the foothills northeast of Provo. They built an adobe house in the center of Provo. Here Matthew spent his boyhood.
As a young man, Mathew worked for Orrawell Simons on a thrashing machine. One day Matthew got his foot caught in the machine. It tore off his boot, but his foot was saved. In 1862, Orrawell Simons, mayor of Payson, sent Mathew to meet the wagons of the Wightman and Dixon families who were coming from Kirtland, Ohio.
Orrawell, a relative of the wagon train members, told Mathew that he could have his pick of the fine daughters on the wagon train. Mathew met them at the Point of the Mountain, between Salt Lake City and Provo. On that wagon was a refined young woman named Mary Elizabeth Wightman.
Mary was the daughter of Charles Billings Wightman and Mary Ann Dixon Wightman. She was born the August 22, 1846 in Kirtland, Ohio. Her family stayed in Kirtland after most of the Saints had left.
Mary told her children about living near the Kirtland temple. Mary also met and heard Martin Harris tell about seeing the angel and the gold plates of the Book of Mormon.
Mary's family emigrated to Utah in 1862. Mary, age 16, told her children of the Indians they met along the wagon road. The Indians spread their blankets near the camped wagons. Mary gave them crackers that had been packed for that purpose.
Mary's father, Charles Wightman, was a blacksmith by trade. His forge was often called on during the journey to fix wagon wheels or ox and horse shoes. Mary said her father drove the entire distance to Utah “without wearing the popper off the whip” used to drive the oxen. Once her baby brother crawled into the campfire, burning his hand, leaving it crippled for life. The Wightman family made the trip with Mary's uncle and family, Christopher D. Dixon. It was an adventure she shared with her cousins. They arrived in Salt Lake Valley on September 16.
Mary remembered that a young man named Mathew Daley met her wagon train at the Point of the Mountain, south of Salt Lake Valley. Matthew stopped, and put his leg over the saddle horn and rolled a cigarette. This was the first cigarette Mary had ever seen.
Mary became Mathew's girl of choice. The two were married less than a year later on March 1, 1863 in Payson. It was a snowy March day and they rode in a sleigh. There was a large crowd of relatives at the wedding. After their marriage, Matthew worked in the blacksmith shop of Mary's father, Charles Wightman.
In 1864, Mathew drove his two four-horse teams and wagons to Missouri to help bring Saints who had no means to emigrate to Utah. He left his bride and six-month-old child, William Charles, to go serve others. Mary had her family to help her, but it was a hard summer. In September of 1864, their first born son died. This probably happened before Matthew returned from Missouri.
A year after the death of their son, Mathew and Mary were sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City on September 2, 1865. Mathew and Mary had a total of 12 children, three of whom died as children.
In 1866, Indians in Sanpete County had killed some settlers and taken several hundred cattle. The U.S. Military would not send troops, so Brigham Young called for volunteers. Mathew and several other men from around Payson, joined the Utah Militia Volunteers under Captain Abram Conover to fight in the Black Hawk Indian War. He left Payson with John Tanner, Enoch Monk, John Staheli, Hyrum Elmer, Race Calkins, Bill Loveless, Al Bagley, John Moore, Elijah Hancock and others.
The Militia camped on San Pitch, east of Gunnison where they had a battle with the Indians at Gravely Ford. It was a dangerous fight. Matthew “nearly had his head popped off by one of the Indians.” Eventually Black Hawk was wounded. Race Calkins said Matthew did it, but Matthew said Race did it. Neither one would accept credit.
Captain Conover's cavalry followed the Indians east and south through Grass Valley, over the mountains to Fish Lake. They waded along the lake where the grass was so high they could not see a deer run through it. They camped on the Fremont River where the explorer John C. Fremont had camped. They crossed Rabbit Valley where you could see a rabbit run from one side of the valley to the other. Then south to the canyons and gullies of Wayne's Wonderland. In September 1866, the Captain Conover division was sent home.
Mary, Mathew’s wife, spent the summer of 1866 living with her sister, Jane Wightman. She told her children about a big calf that stole the milk from her and Jane.
In 1871, Mathew built a house north of Payson. Then they moved to a little white house behind Heber Curtis's home in Payson on today’s 400 North. Their family soon numbered four children, Amy Adella, Matthew Henry Jr. (nicknamed Judge), May Isabell, and Lillie Florence.
In 1875, Mathew decided to homestead a tract of land northwest of the Union Pacific Depot in Payson. Here two sons were born, David James and Joseph Arthur. David, however died as an infant. Matthew built a nice adobe house and set out 1,000 fruit trees. The rabbits and pets invaded the orchard, causing havoc for Matthew. Then, as the trees began to bear fruit, Matthew lost his irrigation water to farms up stream. The trees withered and died. He finally sold the land to Jesse Knight for 80 cows.
Mathew, Mary and their growing brood of five children then lived in a log home Matthew built in Thistle Valley. When their cows were stolen, Matthew moved his family and the log house to Provo. In Provo, another son was born, Graham Little.
In 1879, the Mathew Daley family, with others, took their cattle and loaded wagons toward Arizona. During the trek, one of the other family's wagon tipped over and Mr. Colvin was killed. Then Indian troubles caused them to abandon the trek to Arizona and to settle in Grass Valley in Sevier County, Utah. This was the beautiful valley that Matthew had seen while following Indians during the Black Hawk War.
They arrived in Grass Valley in November 1879. Mathew sold a few cattle and bought some land from the Hancock, Brown and Hatch families. That following winter was known as the hard winter. Snow piled high, and many cattle died. But spring did come, and with it the hard work of clearing the land of sage brush.
Mathew built a two room log house in Koosharem. Here, two more children were born, Caroline Elizabeth (nicknamed Dolly) and Wilford Franklin.
The Daley family drove their wagon up to Fish Lake where a local L. D. S, Conference was held. In 1880 President Wilford Woodruff visited and spoke on Bowery Creek. Matthew had a strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and often read the Book of Mormon aloud to his family.
Then they moved to Burrville and bought the George Rust home, with his cattle and sheep. The sheep herders had trouble with bears, so a wagon box was hung in a tree so the sheepherder would have a safe place to sleep at night. They built a big church and rock school house in Burrville. It, however, soon collapsed.
After about two years, they moved back to Payson. Here a baby son named Hyrum was born and died. Mathew sold this house for 200 French merino sheep. He instructed his son, Arthur, and Philo Wightman to herd the sheep on the foothills of Payson. But in 1886, having too many sheep to feed, Matthew drove the sheep down to Grass Valley.
Mathew had part interest in a dairy on the Hancock ranch. For two years, he used his cows to make cheese. One summer he left his older children at the dairy while he and Mary went back to Provo to haul water-soaked ties out of the Provo River.
In July of 1888 their last child, Effie Jane was born in Provo. When the baby was three months old, Mathew and Mary started back to Grass Valley to be with their other children.
Mary's health began to decline. She was very ill for a long time. She often spoke of a blessing that Eliza R. Snow gave her.
In 1890, Mathew bought another ranch known as the Frying Pan at Fish Lake. Here he built a large one-room house and ran a dairy. He also traded his large herd of sheep for 120 acres below the Koosharem Reservoir. He used that land for pasture.
Mathew also drove freight. His cheese sold for 12 to 15 cents a pound. He gathered deer hair from where the Indians tanned their deer hides. This was sold in Salt Lake City to a harness shop to make collars for horses. His turnips were also sent to the Salt Lake market.
In 1892 he drove his cows from Grass Valley up to Payson, rented the Dixon ranch east of Payson and made cheese to sell. Matthew built another home on the south end of Main Street in Payson. The brick for this home was made in Payson, but the lumber was from Grass Valley. This home had a blacksmith shop in the rear and dewberries and fruit trees all over the lot. His son Arthur Daley bought and lived in this home most of his life. It was later purchased by his son Donald Daley who remodeled and updated it for his family. It was later sold and the home was demolished and replaced by Red Rock Orthodontics.
During the summer of 1893 Mathew drove a mule team to Grant County, Oregon and worked on the mining claims. On the road he met Coxey's Army (protesting unemployed men) on their way to Washington, D.C. He thought the “army” would take all his food, but he made it to Oregon unscathed. After working in the mines all summer, Matthew arrived home on Thanksgiving Day.
Mathew tried to live in Payson and let his sons live on the ranch in Grass Valley. But, he put in most of his time on the road traveling back and forth. In 1897, Mathew moved to Eureka and Knightville to work for Jesse Knight as a guard. He kept the claim lines from being moved forward or backward. He was also a blacksmith for the smelter in Homersville Canyon.
In 1906 Mathew bought 40 acres of land from Jesse Knight, west of Payson. But he only raised 15 to 20 bushels per acre. About 50 years after the Black Hawk Indian Wars, the government gave the volunteers back pension money for their service. Matthew used this extra money to purchase a home on South Main Street. He fixed it up and landscaped it nicely. His granddaughter, Blanche Whitelock later bought it and lived there with her family for many years.
Mathew Henry Daley always did his part in civic affairs. He opened his home to all people, especially the poor. He endured many hardships of pioneer life. But most of all, his testimony of Jesus Christ was strong. He passed away on June 30, 1921 in Payson, Utah. Mathew and his wife are buried in the Payson City Cemetery.
MARY ELIZABETH WIGHTMAN DALEYMary E. Wightman Daley was born the second child of Charles Billings Wightman and Mary Ann Dixon Wightman on August 22, 1846 near Kirtland, Ohio, on the banks of the Erie where the Latter-day Saints had made camp for the summer.
Her father was a maker of buggies and wagons and made a good living for his family. The family home was a gracious old stone house on a beautiful piece of property in Kirtland, Ohio. Charles Wightman, a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was a very spiritually minded man although not at all demonstrative about his religion. He helped build the Kirtland Temple and was commanded by Joseph Smith to stay in Kirtland, Ohio to help the saints repair their wagons in preparation to leave Kirtland for the West.
In the summer of 1862, the Wightman family, consisting of two parents and eight children set out on the first lap of their journey westward. They went by train from Kirtland to Cleveland, Ohio, then they boarded the river boat for their trip to St. Joseph, Missouri. From St. Joseph, they went to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and then on to Winter Quarters in the Territory of Nebraska.
For the second lap of their journey westward the family traveled with the Isaac Canfield Wagon Train, The Wightmans bought two wagons and two teams of oxen and set out for Salt Lake City in a forty-wagon train. In a wagon train of that size, as many as two hundred people traveled together. Charles Wightman was the blacksmith and wagon smith for the train, shoeing horses, setting the wagon wheels, and making repairs. He was also the dentist on the journey. His practice mostly consisted of pulling teeth. Everyone in the wagon-train loved him and called him "Uncle Charlie.
On the westward trip, the wagon train stopped about every two-weeks declaring it "family wash day." The children's job on these wash days was to gather buffalo chips to make a fire for heating the water. On one of those wash days, Arthur, who was just leaning to walk, put his hand into the hot ashes and burned it so badly it was crippled for the rest of his life.
Often when they stopped, Indians came around the wagon train and begged for food. The leaders taught people to be fair in their dealings with the Indians. Because of this policy, there was no major trouble with the Indians en route to Salt Lake City. In her later years, Mary Wightman told stories of the trek. She said she remembered spreading out their blankets and giving crackers to the Indians. She remembered that her father’s team led the wagon train, and she told of driving the entire distance to Utah without using the whip. She also told how the oxen would kick, so they had to get out of the back of the wagon instead of the front.
One of the thrills of the journey came when the wagon train was nearing the end of its long trek. Mary’s mother's brother, Christopher Dixon, came out from Salt Lake to meet the wagon train. He brought a team of horses and a light wagon. He took the Wightman children back to Salt Lake City with him. One night they were camping in a cave with a bear. They also spent one night in EchoCanyon. They reached Salt Lake City a week ahead of the wagon train.
When the wagon train arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1862, Brigham Young sent them to Payson, Utah to make their home. Mary often told how her uncle, Orrawell Simons, had sent her future husband, Mathew Henry Daley, to the Point of the Mountain to meet the wagon train and escort them to Payson. Mary said Mr. Simons had told Mathew to take the "pick of the girls,” and how he'd looked when they met him.
Mary often told of her wedding day, March 1, I863. There was a large crowd of relatives at the wedding. During the next two or three years, Mathew spent much of his time rescuing saints whose wagons broke clown or who were stranded on the prairie. He had a four-horse team and a large wagon which he used in these operations. During this time Mary lived with her aunt and uncle, William and Jane Wightman. They raised calves and made and sold butter and cheese. Also, during this period, William and Amy were born. William did not live very long.
Between trips, Mathew worked for his father-in-law, Charles B. Wightman, in the blacksmith shop at 814 South Main Street in Payson. Sometime in 1866, he began to work in the blacksmith shop on a regular basis. He built a little house on Cow Lane known as the Gary Stevens House. Here Mary, Lille, and David were born.
Soon after Arthur was born, Mathew sold their house to Uncle Jesse Knight and the family moved to Thistle Valley where they built a log house, The Indians stole all of their cattle, so they moved to Grass Valley and built a two-room log house. Here Carolyn (Dollie) and Wilford Frank were born. Then they went back to Payson living in the Wightman house at 814 South Main where Hyrum and David were born.
It was hard to move from place to place with such a large family. Mary had many hardships making a home for her family in various places and circumstances. Nevertheless, she loved the Lord and was always willing to help the poor and those in need.
She had a vivid recollection of Kirtland, Ohio and told of things that occurred in the Kirtland Temple after most of the saints had left. She told entertaining Martin Harris at her parent's home and of his testimony of having seen the Angel Moroni and the Gold Plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated.
In 1892, Mathew drove his cows from Grass Valley, Koosharem and rented the Dixon Ranch east of Payson. They made cheese during that summer. He built the Daley home located back of the high school on Canyon Road. He hired Chet Brimhall to lay the rock and brick. The brick was made west of Payson, the lime was hauled from Provo, and the lumber came from Grass Valley near Koosharem. Matthew paid the men with fresh beef he had raised. This home was one of the finest homes in Payson at the time, with a blacksmith shop in the rear and fifteen acres planted into orchard, berries and garden. They sold produce to the miners going to work in Eureka. Mary and Matthew lived here until they bought the Roy Porter home on South Main Street, Payson.
Mathew Daley passed away on June 30, 1920. It was a lonely time for Mary, but she continued to care for her home and yard, and her family. She loved to tell the stories of her life, and often told of the message Eliza R. Snow had given her, that she would be like "Sarah” of old with children in her old age." She knew the gospel of Jesus Christ was true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and she often bore her testimony to her children.
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
LYDIA CATHERINE HAWS HASKELL
Lydia Catherine Haws was born in Morgan County Illinois 23 February 1835 a daughter of Elijah Haws and Catherine Floyd Pease.
As a young girl, Catherine and her sister's were orphaned. Her father, Captain Asa Pease had been killed in the War of 1812 at Black Rock in Erie, Pennsylvania leaving her mother, Eunice Brown Pease, to support the family of five daughters. Eunice also died a few short years later. The oldest daughter, Lois, married Andrew Patten at a reasonably young age and took care of the other four sisters.
The western movement was taking place country wide and Elijah and family were part of the movement to Illinois, where about this time, they arrived in Morgan County Illinois and settled down here for a number of years, with Lydia Catherine Haws being born 23 February 1835.
They were once again moving, this time southward to Jackson County Illinois. They returned to Cass County, just to the north of Morgan County, about 1840 to 1842. While there, they were approached by missionaries of the new "Latter-day Saints Church" and joined the new organization.
Shortly thereafter, they were again going Westward through Quincy, Illinois and across the state of Missouri and Iowa to Wroughten, Pottowattomie County Iowa.
The Spirit of God, gathering his righteous God-fearing people to Nauvoo, came upon them also, and they once again moved to Hancock County Illinois with the people of the new church. Elijah and family moved to a farm, three miles East of Nauvoo. There was so much strife and contention with the old settler's of the area, disrespect of property, and the L. D. S. people themselves, that Fall, they moved into the city of Nauvoo. But they soon found, that in the city, there was internal strife and too much intimidation going on.
That spring, they moved to Keosauqua, Iowa and farmed there. They lived there two years. It was here in Van Buren County that they met a friend they had not seen for many years. He had grown into a man, had several farms in the area too. His name was Andrew Jackson Stewart. He had formerly worked for Elijah Haws. While there, he had saved Eunice from drowning in the family well as a young girl. The grateful mother had told him that he could marry her when they were older. The romance came about, and Andrew and Eunice were married 1 January 1844. The couple later went to Nauvoo and were married by a man with the authority of God in the Nauvoo Temple for "Time and Eternity", 12 January 1846.
Elijah went westward again to Pottowattomie County Iowa and took up a farm across from where the Platte River enters the Missouri River. The family remained here to the spring of 1852. Many of the Saints stopped here with them, on their way across the plains and mountains to Utah.
Andrew Jackson Stewart and Eunice were coming to Utah with a wagon company in 1850. While stopping and living with Elijah and family for a time, it was decided that Nathaniel P Haws would come with them to Utah. He was to help find a likely farm for them and to help Andrew build a cabin and also prepare one for the family that they would be able to take shelter in for the winter, next year.
Unknown to them was a devastating fire that occurred and delayed the family from coming till 1852. Elijah, with his entire family which included his son, Jason, and his family arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in the Fall of 1852. They stayed a short time with relatives of Catherine at Cottonwood Creek. They then proceeded to Payson, Utah where Nathaniel and Eunice was anxious to see them. It was readily seen that another room was needed on the cabin to accommodate them this winter and the men set to work and added the necessary space. Nathaniel P Haws had also married in the interim, to Lucinda Colehill Crockett. She was a daughter of Payson's David Crockett. David Crockett was later Payson's first Mayor.
During the winter 1852/53, Lydia Catherine Haws consented to be married to Chester Kise Haskell on 12 March 1853. They moved to Provo, Utah. 1853 had not been kind to them in crops and they tried again the next year. The grain came up and looked very good, but the grasshoppers and crickets stripped the vegetation bare. They plowed and planted again only to have the second growth again stripped.
The decision was made for the entire family of George Niles Haskell and Chester to go to California. It included George and wife Sally Runnells(Sarah Elizabeth Reynolds} Haskell, Joseph Meacham & wife, Malinda Haskell, and family, Ellis Eames and first wife, Olive Gibbs and second wife Sarah Haskell and families, Chester Kise Haskell and wife Lydia Catherine Haws with toddler Henry Chester Haskell. They joined a wagon train assembled at Payson to leave for California.
They had asked President Brigham Young to give them a blessing before embarking on the trek to California. He had came to Payson to give them a blessing. Upon his arrival and finding out the size of the wagon train with the number of people leaving for California, he was so disappointed in his people, that he refused to give them the blessing that his people desired. Pres. Young had told them many times they would prosper here and to not go to California.
The Haskell's settled near San Bernardino, California. It had not been an easy trek of near 900 miles through the desert and over the mountains. California was also having it's share of troubles as it had been a drought year and their crops were short with an ever increasing populace.
The land grant the Mormons had obtained from the Mexican's was not as large as first thought either. They had to borrow money or goods at inflated rates of interest, but were finally able to pay it back. Word reached them in California in the Fall of 1857, that Brigham Young wanted all of the saints to return to Zion and gave them the particulars of Johnston's Army being sent to Utah to put the Mormon People under subjection.
Brigham Young, years before had made the statement if they would leave us alone for ten years, they couldn't remove us. It was, "ten years" and he asked the people "to come to the defence of Zion", We're going to fight! He also asked them to bring all the caps, lead, and powder they could.
It was at this time many people came back to Utah from Carson City, Oregon, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Idaho & etc. The family of George Niles Haskell was one of the many who returned in preparation for the fight, never flinching; back over the mountains and deserts, 900 miles to Utah. The families had increased, yet Ellis Eames and his first wife and their children refused to return. The second wife, Sarah Haskell and her four children left him behind and returned with the rest of the family. Her youngest daughter was just three days old when they left California and three months old when they arrive in Payson. She later would marry Shadrach Richardson of Benjamin around 1860. He was a brother-in-law of Benjamin F. Stewart.
The wagons were crowded, not only with goods they had not sold, but also with the added children. Ellis' not returning cut down on the number of wagons returning also. The two boys, two and three years old, were loaded on a team horse in a bed tick, much like a pack saddle, Henry on one side and James on the other and they also walked. Lydia and the young daughter would walk once or twice a day also.
George Niles Haskell and his wife Sally settled in Payson at about 25 South 100 West in today’s address system. He later sold the property in 1880 to Joseph Bills. There were many that had been in the Mormon Battalion that were living in Payson. Chester Kise and his wife Lydia Catherine and three children settled in Pondtown(Salem) about three miles to the East of Payson. Joseph Meacham, his wife Malinda and his children settled in Spanish Fork, about seven miles northeast of Payson, in the Spring of 1858.
Many people came to Payson from the Salt Lake area and other points in Utah County in the "big move". The homes and businesses were vacated and filled with straw in preparation of burning everything if the soldiers showed an inclination of fighting or looting of the area.
Colonel Thomas L Caine/Kane helped to avert this ready disaster by his coming from Washington DC and negotiated having the soldiers not leave rank and to march through the city to an out-lying area agreed upon. The Mormon People were so serious as to this outcome that even the temple foundation was filled up and the block looked like a plowed field ready to plant. By Fall, many had again moved back to the Salt Lake area and the promised skirmish was averted. The governorship was changed peacefully with Governor Cummings replacing President Brigham Young.
Chief Wakara created much strife and uneasiness for the Mormon People and the period of time became known as the Walker Indian War. He became ill and died and was buried in the range of mountains near Scipio and Holden. There is a Walker flat near Holden that he and his band camped at often, also another up Payson Canyon that they camped on, and traveled on over the canyon many times en route to the San Pitch Valley. At the beginning of this war, the Indians burned several saw-mills in the canyon at the outset of the Walker Indian War of the mid 1850's, one being Elijah Haws', a part owner in one.
Lydia Catherine and Chester Kise Haskell had a daughter, Isodora in 1857. They had three more girls to increase the size of their family in Pondtown (Salem). The first, named Lydia Catherine, not only looked like her mother but was named for her too. The next girl was very dark of hair and complexion and was named Arvilla Rosetta, and next was a curley-haired red-head and named Sariah Lavina.
The Indians once again were becoming very troublesome and not to be trusted, when Henry and James were set upon by a group of Indians while herding cows. One very respected Indian rode up to them where the Indians had taken James and Henry from the cows and he in turn took the boys home to Chester and told him, that because of him, the boys weren't scalped, but not to let them out alone again. It was but a short time after this incident that the family moved to the Payson Fort. This was during the Blackhawk Indian War in 1864. The War. Chief Blackhawk signed a peace agreement and came to Spring Lake, became ill and died. He was buried up one of the gulches to the East of Spring Lake.
Lydia and Chester had a baby girl in 1866 at the fort and they named her Lois Ann., but she died one year, 2 months and 3 days later. She is buried in the Payson City Cemetery beside her father.
Chester, Lydia, and family moved West of Payson to Spring Creek to a farm there. During the time they were at this farm, four more girls were born to them; Matilda Alvira, an auburn haired brown-eyed baby; next came a petite blond named Mary Elizabeth; followed by another with striking blond(had a gold cast) and sort of brown eyes with gold flecks in them named Mable Maria; and the last was also of dark hair but a lighter complexion than Arvilla, which was named Fidelia. The Haskell’s had a total of eleven children. Only one of the children died as an infant. The other ten reached maturity, married and had families of their own.
The family now moved to Benjamin on a farm. While here Chester had a habit that Lydia much anxiety and complaint, finally ending in divorce. Chester moved around quite a bit and got a ulcer or cancer in his stomach which caused him a great deal of pain, especially when he ate something. He spent his last few years with his son, Henry Chester Haskell in Haskellville on the farm he had there. He died October 19, 1899.
Their son, James, was married in June of 1877 to the daughter of Benjamin Franklin Stewart and Elizabeth Jane Davis Stewart of Benjamin, "Rachel Madia", and they moved to Payson. Rachel had three boys; James Edward in 1879 and Henry C. in 1880, also William Stewart Haskell in 1882. This was a bad flu year for mothers and children and the mother died in December of 1882. The young baby had progressed nearly 5 months before he also died. He was under the care of his Grandmother Lydia Catherine Haws Haskell. James no longer had a job on the railroad and left the young boys in the care of his mother and left, searching for work.
Lydia Catherine Haws Haskell was living in Benjamin with the her youngest girls. James had gone to Idaho to work in the timber and then to Newton where Uncle Hyrum Curtis lived. James bought a small piece of property in Newton and built his home. Hyrum Curtis' wife was a sister to Lydia Catherine, named Mary Eliza. She had died in 1875 and was buried in the Newton Cemetery.
James was coming to Payson to visit his young boys, his mother and other family members. He invited Uncle Hyrum to come with him. Hyrum had family in Payson too. There was his father, Nahum Curtis and brothers and their families. Hyrum came and visited and talked Lydia Catherine Haskell into marrying him.
Lydia went to Newton with her young girls that had not married yet and visited several relatives that were there and married Hyrum. Hyrum had several and young boys. Lydia and her girls and James two young boys, it was a houseful of people and many mouths to feed.
James married Uncle Hyrum’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth Rosabell Curtis and moved to his place with his two young boys from his previous marriage, which removed three mouths from under Hyrum's roof. There was still bickering and finally Lydia moved from Hyrum's place and left him, returning to a little brick home that was the former home of her daughter, Lydia Catherine
The two youngest girls, Mary Elizabeth and Fidelia, married two boys from Newton. They were John Franklin Jenkins and Amos Edward Clarke, respectively. Mary Elizabeth married John Franklin Jenkins in the spring of 1890. They lived in Newton for several years and had two children, but the first child died and is buried in Newton Cemetery. About 1895 they moved to Freedom, Wyoming and John became a rancher. Later he was the President of the Cattlemans Assoc. there. Mary Elizabeth and John had three more children here. Mary was having trouble with Sugar Diabetes. She and the baby girl died in October of 1907 of child birth. Mary was thirty nine years old and left three children; Leslie, Claudia, and Denzil. John remarried to Annis Jessop in 1911. They had nine more children and raised their families together as one.
Fidelia married Amos Edward Clarke at sixteen years of age and also lived at Newton. Amos Clarke's father was also named Amos Clarke. They had nine children, one dying as an infant. Amos died at the young age of forty two. Fidelia moved to Salt Lake City to work and make her living. When she died in 1910. She was buried in Newton.
Lydia Catherine Haskell lived in Benjamin at the little brick home the rest of her life. She enjoyed the grand children, telling them many stories, giving them goodies, even protecting them in the discipline that was administered. She died suddenly in her rocking chair 3 February 1912 and was buried in the Payson City Cemetery in her son's plot, Henry Chester Haskell, beside the little boy Arthur that was killed by a train car.
A grand-daughter, Elizabeth "Lizzy" Haskell Petersen was having a recurring dream of her grandmother and grandfather. The grandfather Chester Rise Haskell had been separated from the grandmother in the forepart of the 1880's and he died in 1899, 67 years old. The grandmother, Lydia Catherine Haws had re-married to Hyrum Curtis about the time of the dedication and opening of the Logan Temple. She had not been married for "Time and all Eternity" and desired to be. Hyrum took her to the Temple and Lydia was the Proxy for her sister, Mary Eliza, and then she too was married to Hyrum Curtis.
The dream was of Chester on one side of a great river in a black suit and a downcast look and trying to get across the great river. She asked her genealogy instructor for a meaning. She then her bishop, who referred her to the Stake Presidency. Lizzy wrote her Aunt May Haskell Elmer and told her about it.
Lizzy's father, James E. Haskell was very upset with the situation, but Lizzy wrote the General Authorities of the church. Yes, Lydia had loved Chester, leaving Hyrum after several short years of marriage because there was peace in her former home and not in the Curtis home. All of her children were Chester's. The General Authorities wrote a return letter of what they must do to have her grand mother married to Chester in the Temple.
James was really upset now, for you don't trifle with Godly things, but Lizzy wrote her Aunt May again and arrangements were made and they met in Salt Lake City in 1922 and the marriage in the Logan Temple to Hyrum Curtis was revoked by President Heber J. Grant. Then her Grandmother and Grandfather were married in the Salt Lake Temple, with the family members acting as proxies thus completing these arrangements.
Lizzy had another dream after this. It only occurred one time and follows: The scene of the river was duplicated, but with some deviation. Chester now was there in a white suit. Hyrum escorted Lydia, also dressed in white to Chester and put her hand in Chester's and presently Chester and Lydia left together and Hyrum returned to the group he had come from, also in white.
RESEARCH & INFORMATION COMPILED BY IVAN Y HASKELL, a descendant of Chester Kise and Lydia Catherine Haws Haskell.
Friday, June 5, 2020
Land distribution in Salt Lake City in 1847 and 1848 was by apportioning, by lottery, city lots to applicants with permission for building. A city lot could be bought for $1.50, with $1.00 of that going to the surveyor and the remaining 50 cents to the clerk for recording. Each allocation and subsequent deeds and transfers were written by hand on pieces of paper, two by three inches.
An exhaustive search of the Salt Lake County land records finally disclosed a reference to a document having been filed in the office of the Salt lake County Recorder showing William Douglass to be the “original occupant” of all of Lot 5, Block 13, Plat “B”, Salt Lake City Survey.
Agnes relates, “On the 6th of October there was a conference held in the camp where council was given that the brethren should organize into companies for the purpose of cutting hay, making adobies (sic), timber, etc. which was gathered together and was divided so that all had hay for their animals and shelter for themselves for the winter.” William went with the haying party.
Agnes continues, “In 1849, my husband mixed the mortar and layed (sic) the adobies (sic) to build our first house in the valley. I, waiting on him, carrying the adobies (sic) and mortar.”
Throughout the years, Agnes and William related to their offspring how in 1849, William mixed the mortar and laid the adobes with the mortar to build them a good, albeit humble home. Agnes assisted by mixing mud with her feet and carried the mortar and bricks. Their home still stands.
“That same year when our crops were coming up green, the crickets were so numerous that to all appearances, the crops would be destroyed by them when suddenly there came such numerous floods of seagulls and covered the lots like a heavy fall of snow and devoured the crickets, eating and vomiting until they had the crickets all destroyed and saved our crops.”
“In 1855 there was what is known as the grasshopper war when many suffered for want of food, but through the blessing of God myself and family were provided for and never suffered through want. During the scarcity of food there was a honey dew (sic) accumulated on the trees, which lasted for a number of weeks. The people gathered and made it into cakes like maple sugar and payed (sic) a tithing of it the same as any other product.”
“We lived in Salt Lake City in peace, with the exception of the Indians who were troublesome at times, until 1858 when James Buchanan, being then President of the United States, sent an army, the flower of the government, out to thwart the purposes and work of the Almighty God. We then vacated our homes and were ready to put the torch to them if necessary, but what was meant for our destruction by the government, God turned for the good of His people. The inhabitants of the Salt Lake City and northward moved south and the Army marched through the city and to the southwest where they settled a fort known as Camp Floyd, which gave employment to many of our brethren.”
“In 1858 and 1859 we raised good crops and supplied the army with grains, vegetables, etc. and thereby procured everything that the people needed to make them comfortable.”
“The army remained at camp Floyd until the Civil War between the north and south in 1862 (sic) when it was called back, leaving the Saints in comfortable circumstances through the blessing of God.”
During the ten years that William and Agnes lived in the First Ward of The Great Salt Lake City, as it was then called, five more children were born, namely Samuel, Matilda, Eliza R., Joseph Smith and Mary Elizabeth. All five were born in that first humble adobe.
It is noted that the sixth child born to Agnes, named Eliza R. Douglass, was born and died there on 23 July 1853. Margaret Sarah Douglass, firstborn of William and Agnes, died in Salt Lake City on 22 July 1854. While there are extant records of the cemeteries in Salt Lake City for that time, no record was made of their burials. Perhaps they were buried on family property instead of a cemetery, or records simply were not generated for all burials at that time. A search of the computerized burial records of extant records for the entire state, available online from the Utah State Historical Society, also failed reference them.
Salt Lake First Ward, originally called First Camp, was organized on 22 February 1849, with David Fairbanks as Bishop. It comprised the territory south of Sixth South to Thirteenth South and from Sixth East to the mouth of Emigration Canyon. The land east of Ninth East was open country with gullies, ravines, small streams and the habitat of plentiful wildlife.
Our Douglass’ had built an adobe home on southeast corner of Seventh South and Eighth East, directly across from the site of the original First Ward building still at that location. The address of the original adobe, still standing, was 729 South Eighth East. The Presiding Bishop, who controlled all property at that time, assigned that particular parcel of land to William for a home site.
William and Agnes Douglass were active participants in the settlement and development of the First Ward and Salt Lake City. They also mingled with the early Church leaders and the pioneer Saints.
Orson F. Whitney reports, “He (William Douglass) assisted in making canals, irrigating ditches and other public improvements, and aided with his means during the early troubles with the Indians”
They saw many of the early improvements in the Great Salt Lake Valley including a gristmill and a sawmill built during 1848 and 1849. Brigham Young supervised the construction of an apartment building at the corner of Sixth East and Sixth South. It was built to accommodate the workers of the mills. Alexander Brim built a tannery, on Seventh South between Eighth and Ninth East. A brother Moon built a multi-story apartment building for his wives on Seventh South and Eighth East. On the opposite corner he built a blacksmith shop. William Henry Warburton established his blacksmith shop on Seventh East between Sixth and Seventh South. Because a grocery store was needed nearer than the ones downtown on Main Street, Joseph Warburton built a small frame building on the corner of Seventh East and Seventh South and began a grocery that served the locals for many years before it was replaced by a brick store.
Other early improvements include the first drug store on the corner of Seventh South and Seventh East that was built and operated by Doctor John Milleron. Carpenters were in great demand because houses and buildings were needed for the many new residents and their animals. Brother Wardle, a contractor and builder, established a carpenter shop on Eighth East between Sixth and Seventh South.
The first school in the Ward was held in the home of Sarah J. Bement at 629 East Eighth South. The house was a story and a half structure with meager furnishings and was not equipped with blackboards, comfortable desks or efficient lighting. Textbooks were limited and conditions were generally primitive.
It was while living in the First Ward that Agnes joined the Relief Society. In her words, “I commenced my labors in the Relief Society while I lived in Salt Lake City and have been associated with it since 1854 an have taken an active part in doing good to my fellow beings and organizing societies of improvement.”
During the “Great Move of 1858”, William was asked by Brigham Young to take his family and colonize in Payson, Utah. Obediently, William and Agnes relinquished their property and the home they had built when they entered the Great Salt Lake Valley back to the Presiding Bishop and it was exchanged for property in Payson that subsequently became the site of Douglass home and businesses.
|FIRST DOUGLASS STORE WAS IN PART OF THEIR HOME|
The Douglass’ built a substantial home in Payson on the southwest corner of today’s 100 North and Main Street. Their long adobe home had a gabled room on the east and it became the first Douglass store. It stocked everything from oats to ladies bonnets that were millinered by Agnes. Agnes operated the first millinery in Payson. Originally she used one room in her home.
According to Orson F. Whitney, “During the Blackhawk War William Douglass acted as commissary for the militia and aided materially the companies sent from Payson to protect the inhabitants of the Indian-raided districts.”
According to Orson F. Whitney, “During the Blackhawk War William Douglass acted as commissary for the militia and aided materially the companies sent from Payson to protect the inhabitants of the Indian-raided districts.”
William’s expertise as a tailor, small business owner in Scotland and St. Louis, coupled with his faithful service and obedience in Salt Lake City likely contributed to his call to serve as superintendent. This mercantile was an extremely successful venture under his leadership, to the benefit of the stockholders and himself. William always kept the financial books for his businesses and the cooperative.
One account is given of William’s merchant trips to Salt Lake City for stock. “Each trip involved a certain amount of risk as he usually carried several months worth of cash on his person. The country was sparsely settled and the trail by buckboard or ox-team was a long lonesome one, taking usually two to four days. On these occasions William carried a bamboo cane. Its handle was attached to a stiletto that was cleverly concealed inside the hollow stick. He was never called upon to use it, but there is little doubt that he could have ably defended himself.”
Marie Douglass Stevenson Stewart, great-granddaughter of William and Agnes Douglass and longtime resident of payson, further describes security at the Douglass Mercantile, “The accumulation of cash that piled up between journeys was another problem. Then as now, there were those who watched and waited for the opportune time to rob a store. A great deal of ingenuity was demanded of the merchant to protect himself. The day’s receipts were hidden in the bottom of a bean barrel, the toe of a boot, or any other place the storekeeper felt a thief would not be likely to look. Though William went to great lengths, even to putting bars on the windows, his store was broken into several times. To prevent robbers from damaging his new safe, where he kept only important papers, he hung a sign on the door: ‘This safe is unlocked’. One time he was awakened by noises and caught two thieves in the middle of ransacking his store. He thought he had taken them by surprise, but instead they surprised him by making their getaway through a large hole in the wall that must have taken many nights to chisel out. The snow that had counted on to cover their footprints had stopped falling and they were easily tracked to a straw stack where the loot was recovered.”
William built a fine commodious store across the street north from his original store, which was then one of the best in Utah County. The new store building was of frame construction with a high front. Above the main outside entrance was the inscription, “IN HOLINESS TO THE LORD” arched above the All-seeing Eye of Jehovah. The same symbol was above the entrance of each of the stores he had operated. Brigham Young had directed that these signs should be erected for the purpose of indicating to members of the church that in patronizing the store that displayed the sign, they were patronizing member of their own faith, a significant factor for church unity. President Young believed that the cooperative movement would it make possible to bring goods to Utah and sell them at low enough prices so all could afford to buy. The profits would go to the Mormon themselves.
In 1880 or 1881, William retired from the cooperative and established a general mercantile business, named Douglass And Sons, with his oldest son William John Douglass. Other sons joined them in the venture for a while before venturing out in other independent businesses.
William gave Agnes use of the original home store where she sold bonnets, many of her own making. She was the first milliner in Payson. A few years after William built his new mercantile store, he had built two more two-story buildings, namely the Douglass Hardware Building across the street east and adjacent to the Huish Furniture Building. He later helped Samuel Douglass build a new building on the northwest corner of today’s Main Street and Utah Avenue.,,This building one block south and located on the site of the William Douglass barn and stable..
William John remained in business with his father until William’s death in 1892. Afterwards William John Douglass operated the store independently until his own death in Payson on November 25, 1905. William was very cautious and prudent and manifested remarkable enterprise in his own business methods. He also taught his sons and daughters well and they too succeeded in business. The Douglass and Sons store thrived until the 1940’s.
Effie Townsend gives great detail about the Douglass and Sons Mercantile, other business matters involving William Douglass and the Douglass family home:
“Grandfather William Douglass became, from the small beginnings of a single large wooded dry-goods-box from St. Louis containing clothing and piece goods, one of Payson’s leading merchants. He had a keen sense of values, instinctively knew how to buy, how to gain the people’s confidence in selling and was a natural leader both in his family and with the public. Also, he kept his own books and always knew his own financial condition. All these qualities, coupled with the helpful frugality of his wife, made for success. His business was styled William Douglass and Sons. Naturally the whole family worked in the store, taking care of the stock and ‘clerking’ as they called it in those days. The final large two story building that William erected for his retail business, was on the corner, N.W. opposite the old home on Payson Main Street. A number of smaller frame buildings were attached on the west side of the brick building and still farther back was a large shed covering all kinds of farm implements. About one fourth of the city block was thus occupied. North of the building and between it and the old Fairbanks residence was a large adobe “Hall”. This hall, William Douglass rented for storage of grain. The merchandise in the largest building consisted of dry goods, groceries, dishes, cooking utensils, clothing. The men’s and women’s clothing were kept upstairs. The clothing was neatly folded on long tables and covered with large white covers, while not being shown to customers.
I must describe the stairway. It ran up in the back from the center of the store in a short mezzanine landing and then from both sides were shorter stairways leading to the second floor. To me as a child, this stairway was an ornate thing of beauty, constructed as it was of fine mahogany, the supporting spindles being beautifully carved, and the steps carpeted. It seemed like the vista leading to a grand hotel ballroom. This showed Grandfather’s excellent taste for fine things.
At the rear of the store was a small office with a desk. Here Grandfather kept his ledgers and worked part of the day “keeping books” A small window or opening near his desk gave merchant Douglass a good view of what was going on in the store. I almost forgot to tell about the wonderfully privileged large gray cat that sat on the desk or in the window. He was one of our Grandfather’s pets. The other was a canary which sang its head off almost, when Grandfather used a little wooden gadget which he kept in his pocket. When this was turned the right way between thumb and forefinger, it made a few notes like a canary singing.
No effort was ever made to make window displays. Outside the two front windows of the main store, such implements as ****, shovels, rakes, etc. were on display, and also (what an item for collectors) were all sizes of heavy brass kettles, gleaming in the sunlight or catching the rain. Above the shelving about the middle of the west wall of the main storeroom, hung a very beautifully embossed framed motto which declared William Douglass’ characteristic attitude in his dealings with his fellow townsmen and showed his real moral fiber. It read, “Do Right and Fear Not”. The frame was oval and black, ornamented with a carved design. The lettering stood out boldly in beautiful old English. The “Do Right” was a vivid blue, and the “Fear Not” was a rich dark red, all lettering being accented with gold trading. This really fascinated me and were I now its possessor I would feel I had a real heirloom.”
The home of William and Agnes Douglass was on the lot which later came into possession of Mary Elizabeth Douglas Lemmon, daughter of William Douglass, who married Hyrum Lemmon. The Lemmons built a nice brick house on the lot and this it was in 1961, the home of Elizabeth Dixon McClellan, Granddaughter of William and Agnes.
The old home, as we always thought of it, and later acquired, occupied the east half on one whole block, bordered on the East by Main St., on the North by First North, South by what was styled Depot St. The main adobe building of this home was once the store building and stood square with the N. E. corner of the city lot. The real home with its long front porch facing North and sloping roof to the South was added to the old store building, and was quite pretentious for those times. In the front part of the house, and next to the store building, was the master bedroom. Next to this going westward was a small family sitting room and library. In one corner of this was a boxed-in stair leading to three bedrooms above. Next to the sitting room West was the beautifully furnished old parlor only used (as was customary) for real state occasions. This I must describe to you more fully. Jane Elizabeth Dixon, who with her mother, Aunt Matilda, lived at the home and I had many a surreptitious peeps into this parlor. This room was beautiful and ornately furnished. To me as a child it could have been the abode of a real fairy princess. The walls of the parlor were white, the floor was carpeted with a rich (probably axminister) soft textured all over seamed floor rug in large flowered design, mostly in shades of rose. At the far west end of the room was a fireplace with black marble mantle above which was an exquisitely carved gold-framed mirror reaching from ceiling to floor, slightly tilted forward. This also was framed in carved gold. The beautiful white lace curtains at the windows were draped to either side of same, resting on ornate carved arms, terminating and exposed to the front with a single large gold leaf. A large square grand piano, ebony, with plush covered round adjustable stool was part the furnishing in this room, an elaborately carved, walnut table took one wall space, on which was placed the usual glass globe of wax flowers. The chairs were also of dark wood, with carved Queen Ann legs, round seats and oval backs and were upholstered in beautiful blended flower design. The parlor was not on the same level as the sitting room, one had to step up one or two steps, have forgotten how many. Near this door in a little niche was a Cucoo Clock which was a never ending wonder to all the Grandchildren.
Grandmother Agnes seemed to be always sitting in a rocker near the front window of the sitting room reading or doing some kind of hand sewing. She wore gold-rimmed glasses. When one entered the room and was in her presence she seemed to be looking through one as it were. I always seemed to have a guilt complex in her presence, not that she was not tolerant and forgiving but she expected every member of the family to live strictly all the laws of the gospel. Aunt Matilda’s domain seemed the low long kitchen, and the pantry on the south of the sitting room under the sloping roof. She was a wonderful person and took very good care of Grandmother. She was an excellent cook. The kitchen floor was covered with a rag carpet, a huge and old fashioned wood and coal stove (huge) with a high warming oven and water reservoir at one end which needed filling each day to insure plenty of hot water. When a meal was served in summer time (using the East end of the kitchen), on a large drop leaf table, a large rotating fan, with two large black wings looking like a bird of prey, was placed in center of the table wound with a huge key and then it began to rotate. This was not for cooling the atmosphere but to keep the flies away from the food. They also had wire covers for most platters, a modernized version which can be had to this day.
My memory of the large pantry with its huge wooden door cupboard seems to be centered on two things, first the strings of spiked and threaded hunks of bread hanging in festoons at all angles from convenient anchorage and secondly of the large table covered with hundreds of creamy fat silk worms feeding on mulberry leaves. One might have called these unusual projects “Grandmother’s Hobbies”. Nothing was ever wasted in this house. The bread was dried and saved in case of famine. Later a separate adobe one room building was erected south of the kitchen and a meeting place for the Grandchildren when our mothers visited in the regular family quarters.
On a trip to Salt Lake City, Grandfather purchased one of those German music boxes with pin studded brass rollers over which perforated rolls of paper could be wound by inserting the groove and turning a handle. We had only three or four rolls which were played over and over again. Old Grimes as one and Auld Lang Syne was another. I can just see cousin Charlie Dixon now, grinding out these wonderful old tunes. He considered this his prerogative to put on the show and would not let any one of the cousins do the turning.
The little half-block of the old Douglass home, the barn, the orchard, the vegetable garden, and lastly the flower garden, seemed like a large country estate. Thus the things of our childhood memories assume such magnified proportions. In season we all ate our share of red June apples and the big sweets. We played croquette under their shade and did a little of magical childhood courting when we were privileged to bring home some of our friends. My husband, all through the years talked nostalgically about the red June apples and the vegetable garden. In a little corner West of the parlor had a row of sage, also some wormwood which I was forced to sample a lot. Next to the picket fence on the Main Street side were planted old fashioned pinks, peonies, pansies, and bleeding hearts. Children could stop and look through the white pickets and sometimes tried to reach a coveted flower. Grandmother’s favorite was the bleeding heart, because of its significance on the Douglass Coat of Arms.“
William was known as charitable, benevolent, straightforward and honorable in his dealings and “Do right and fear not” was his personal motto. He was of a jovial disposition and always enjoyed good clean wit.
While William operated the mercantiles and other business ventures, Agnes chose to devote countless hours researching and documenting both the Douglass and Cross genealogies. Agnes took the opportunity to return to the land of her birth in 1873 when she went to Great Britain, laboring for some time doing genealogical research. She also accompanied her son, Samuel, to the homes of their families still in Ireland and Scotland, and then home from his mission to Great Britain. They sailed home on the ship, the Nevada, with other Mormon travelers in July 1873. The Mormon Immigration Index – Personal Accounts, includes the following account:
“Departure of the Third Company. On Thursday morning last, at 10 o’clock, the fine steamship, Nevada, Captain Forsyth, left Liverpool, for New York, with 283 souls of the Saints on board. Of this number there were 150 from the Swiss and German Mission. With only a few exceptions all the Saints in this company are booked through to Utah. Elder Elijah A. Box is placed in charge of the company and is assisted by Elders George Crisman, D. Cazier and N. H. Clayton, all of whom are returning missionaries. Elder Henry J. Smith, who speaks German, will assist Elder Box, as far as Omaha, with the Swiss and German Saints. Elder Erastus Snow who has traveled during the last three months, through the Scandinavian Mission, instructing and comforting the Saints, also embarked on the Nevada n his return home. Sister Douglas (sic) and her son, Brother Samuel Douglas (sic), junior (sic), after spending several weeks among their relatives in Great Britain, also return home with this company. Our prayer is that these returning elders and Saints may be carried safely over the ocean and on the railroads, and that when they reach the land of Zion they may rejoice in the society of relations, friends and acquaintances.” .
In 1891, Agnes again accompanied a son on a mission to Great Britain. She and her youngest son, Joseph Smith Douglass, went to Ireland and Scotland where she again collected a large number of Douglass and Cross related names and data for temple work. Joseph was married and the father of four and one on the way when he was called on this mission.
Agnes engaged many of her immediate family in performing the sacred temple ordinances for these ancestors over the years. With great personal sacrifice she traveled to the Logan Temple to do this vicarious work. Her ‘Temple Record Book’ lists the names and dates in her own hand.
Marie Stewart also provides great insight to life in the William Douglass home. She declares, “The following years brought many luxuries. William was indeed Payson’s Magnificent Amberson. He and his wife were the natural host and hostess for the town’s visiting dignitaries. Their home, with its lush Georgian furniture, provided the proper setting for fine entertaining. Brigham Young, a close personal friend, was an overnight guest on many occasions.”
“William’s youngest daughter, Mary Elizabeth, was a bright eyed beauty, and had a wit with an edge on it like her father’s. She was the apple of his eye and very close to him, refusing to leave his store even after she married. Finally, her husband, Hyrum Lemmon, built a store of their own.
His other daughter, Mrs. Charles Dixon, and her three children made their home with her parents. She was widowed shortly before her little girl, Jane Elizabeth, was born. These little grandchildren added much life to the household, and made more mischief than William ever knew. He was in the habit of having a hard-boiled egg for breakfast. His little granddaughter Jane took a great interest in this egg for occasionally he didn’t eat it. Before the hired girl could clear the table, Jane would slip it into her pocket, and later in the day exchange it for candy at her grandfather’s store. Its sale never failed to bring back an enraged customer. No double William spent many hours pondering over who the culprit was who was selling him hard-boiled eggs.
Before the railroad came to Payson, William had a fine buggy sent out from St. Louis. He had to travel by horse to American Fork to get it. It was drawn by two fine Hamiltonians, the first of that breed in Payson. They were grained and groomed until their coats glistened in the sun. William and his wife indeed made a fine pair as they drove up in their new buggy each Sunday for church. So fine that a sermon was preached cautioning the congregation to refrain from trying to out-do their neighbor in their attire. William knew they were speaking directly to him. The next Sunday instead of dressing in his usual silk top hat and frock coat, he appeared in the old clothes that he wore to do his chores. His wife wept when she saw him and he reconsidered.
Young Bill Calkins did the driving and was a boy of fifteen when he went to work for the proud and peppery Scotchman. He was hired for fifty cents a day and on one occasion to pull the nails out of packing boxes and stack the boards neatly by the house. He finished the job in good time and was told to report for work the next morning. The next day his task was to move the boards back under the shed where the boxes had been originally. On the third day to his astonishment, he was told to bring them over by the house again. So this went on day after day, moving the boards back and forth from one place to the other. Finally, at the end of the week he was paid with a five dollar gold piece. “ I have no change sir,” stammered the youngster. “That’s your pay son,” William replied. Somewhat bewildered, Bill asked hesitantly, “What are the extra two dollars for?” “For doing your work and keeping your mouth shut,’ was the answer. Bill never forgot this incident and retold it many times.
William, no doubt believed that when a man earns what he has, he appreciates the value of a dollar. Once his son Samuel, after washing his hands at his father’s store, went to throw the water out the back door and accidently (sic) threw the china bowl with it. He knew his father well and hurriedly put the broken pieces in with the trash and replaced it with a new one exactly like it. But, William discovered the broken basin and bringing the pieces into the store where his sons were busily working said, “I don’t suppose anyone here knows anything about this?” There was no answer. As William returned the broken bowl to the trash, he said to his little grandson Samuel Jr., “A fool and his money are soon parted.”
A glimpse into William’s tender side comes from her story about his cat. William kept a cat in his store, across the street from his home, and every morning carried a saucer of milk across the dirt road to his dear pet.
We are extremely grateful to Marie for her generosity and sharing her memories and research with us since 1986. Her devotion to all generations of our Douglass family throughout time can never be repaid.
Diaries and journals of Payson residents provide us with little vignettes of life in the little town of Payson during the 1880’s. Despite all the early hardships of establishing homes and businesses, the Douglass’ and their neighbors enjoyed many celebrations and holidays. It is noted that the Douglass home was often used during such festivities.
“Tuesday May 5, 1883, the Sunday School held a grand festival in Dixon’s Grove to day (sic) and had a very orderly time under the comeets (sic-committees ?) there was swinging and running, and walking and wheel barrow running and quailing and picking up balls and cquoting (sic-croquet ?) and plenty of music from three bands and the select band took the best by all odds, then dancing in the Hancock Hall and on Douglass’ Cellar floor for the small children till six p.m. when the City Hall and the Hancock Halls were opened to the more stronger dancers and was kept up with great spirit and vigor till morning.”
“Wednesday July 4, 1883, grand celebration firing of cannon, flags flying, meeting house full and good time in general. Matinee in the Opera House for the children at 2 p.m. and at night a good play and a good house dance in the Huish Hall, rain in the afternoon, high wind and dust, the day past of well and no one hurt, plenty of ice cream to be had for the cash.”
“Tuesday July 24, 1883. Pioneers (sic) Day guns firing at day light, music by the bands, then more musket firing, the people all alive, the bell is now ringing for the gathering of the people 9 o’clock a.m. the grand procession marched though the principle streets of the city then to the meeting house when everything was represented that could be then dancing in the afternoon for little children and for the larger children in the evening, a grand performance in the evening.”
“May Day, 4 July and 24 July were all commenced by firing of guns and serenading by the bands, going to the home of prominent people and playing a tune, then a parade down Main Street. On May Day there was always a May Queen with her maids, the queen was crowned after the program then the maids danced around the May Pole.”
“The program sometimes was given in the Tabernacle and sometimes in Dixon’s Grove. The Declaration of Independence was always read by someone, songs were sung and a stump speech given. In the afternoon there were many kinds of races for children and a dance, in the evening there were dramas presented and a dance. Lemonade, candy and ice cream were sold. The ice cream was made in a large bucket, the bucket was placed in a tub of ice, some of the strong boys would turn the bucket back and forth by the handle, the lid was taken off now and then so the cream could be thoroughly stirred, then turned in the ice again until the cream was frozen. Those helping to freeze the cream was (sic) given a free dish of ice cream. A great day could be enjoyed for twenty-five cents.”
Agnes, who had joined the Relief Society organization in Salt Lake City, continued her service in the Relief Society in Payson and remained active as a leader until her death. The Relief Society was organized in Payson on May 7, 1868, and its members were given the task of helping the poor and aiding the distressed. Agnes was called as First Counselor of the Payson Ward Relief Society to President Betsy Jane Simons. She served in this capacity for twenty-four years. The Relief Society had been organized in Payson twelve years earlier, but when the president, Rachel Drollinger, left for the Muddy Mission the unit became inactive. Agnes took lifelong pride in the service she rendered the Relief Society and her community.
Agnes obviously was an important woman’s leader in the state of Utah. She was one of the thousands of female church members who battled for rights. On 6 March 1886, a mass of representative Mormon women from various parts of Utah convened at the old Salt Lake Theater to protest against their impending disfranchisement through the Edmunds Bill and against what they believed to be mistreatment by federal officers and courts. Their vitalized speeches led to the framing of a memorial by a committee of twelve chosen from their number. Agnes Douglass of Payson was honored to be chosen one of the twelve, and her name is penned on the original document delivered to Washington D.C. While their efforts did not change the law, they powerfully registered their resistance to the persecution of polygamists, the loss of the right to vote by any “suspected” as being a polygamist, and the general loss of civil rights to a large number of Utah residents.
There were many newspaper reports of these twelve women, and those they represented, and their valiant endeavors during that time. Later, in a historical report of representative women of Utah, the picture of Agnes and two of the other women who signed the petition appeared with an lengthy article on page 6 in the Daily Herald on Monday, July 15, 1963.
He died in Payson, Utah on August 19, 1892. His death was a result of compassionate service rendered when he and his sons labored throughout the night attempting to put out a fire at a neighboring business. That property was a total loss and William’s lungs were damaged. He never totally regained his health. William was buried in the Payson City Cemetery two days later, the funeral having been conducted from his home, which was the custom of the day.
We find it interesting that William Douglass did not bequeath anything specifically to his wife by will or deed. He undoubtedly trusted implacably in his sons to share with their mother from all the substantial assets they inherited at his death. His faith in his sons was well placed. For fourteen years Agnes wanted for nothing. She “shopped” at the Douglass and Sons Mercantile, then managed by William John Douglass, taking anything she needed without paying. She likewise did the same at her other son’s and son-in-law’s place of business. Surviving her husband by fourteen years, Agnes Cross Douglass died in Payson on September 5, 1906. Her death was caused by bronchitis, which she had battled for eleven days. She was eighty-eight (actually ninety) years, 4 months and twenty-nine days old at her death. Agnes was also buried in the Payson City Cemetery on September 7, 1906.
WILLIAM DOUGLASS & AGNES CROSS DOUGLASS
Effie Douglass Townsend, who was born in 1876, was a grandchild of William and Agnes, the daughter of Joseph Smith Douglass. She was sixteen when William died and thirty when Agnes died. She well knew her grandparents and has often described them. She recounts that she had a vivid memory of both their appearances and personalities. Effie describes William as a real aristocrat and Agnes much like Queen Victoria:
“He appeared to be proud, yet underneath was sweet and humble. He did not waiver one instant in any decision for what he thought was right or righteous. Of medium height, possibly about 5 feet 6 inches, and inclined to be portly in his later years, he walked with head up and shoulders erect, carrying a beautiful gold beaded cane. This cane he did not need for any support, but was a customary part, like the heavy gold chain which he wore across his vest with the large gold watch carried in the left-hand pocket of his attire as a dignified gentleman.
Perhaps because of the fact that he had learned the tailoring trade in his early days, he had an innate taste for fine materials in his suits. Always he looked immaculate, so much so, that often he was held up for ridicule by the more careless pioneer types of the community. For the winter season he wore black velvet vests and in summer, white linen vests. I remember hearing this story about Grandfather’s white linen vests—it seems he wore a fresh vest every day and if he accidently got a little spot on the one he was wearing, he changed for a fresh one. Grandmother decided it was foolish of Grandfather to have a fresh vest every day when perhaps the used one looked perfectly clean so they folded the fresher looking ones, given them a quick run over with the flat iron and placed them back in the bureau drawer used for that purpose. The next day they found all the used, reconditioned vests crumpled on the floor. They could not fool Grandfather.”
William Douglass descended from a long line of fiercely independent and religious ancestors who fled Scotland during the persecution of the Covenanters in the early 1600’s and settled in the Six-Mile Water Valley of County Antrim, Ireland in what is known as the Irish plantation period.
William was born 2 February 1819 in Ballybentra Townland in the civil parish of Donegore, County Antrim, Ireland. The Douglass estate home and farm, called Summerdale, where William was born is still in use and in remarkable condition. He was the only known child of his parents, Samuel and Agnes Gamble Douglass. Agnes died before 20 November 1824 when Samuel married Mary Farrell. Samuel and Mary had one daughter and then three sons.
Samuel Douglass was a wealthy farmer who held a lease to one of the six farms in the Townland of Ballybentra, which is about twelve miles northwest of Belfast. The Ballybentra portion of the Douglass farm consisted of 83 acres and an additional 24 contiguous acres in the Townland of Ballysavage. Ballybentra abuts Ballysavage on its northern border. This brought the Douglass holdings to 107 acres, a very impressive property for that day. The Douglass farm was located adjacent to Castle Upton in the Village of Templepatrick.
Samuel, a staunch Presbyterian, gave his children every educational advantage. William attended school continuously from childhood until sixteen years of age. He was then given his choice of careers. Family legend indicates William followed his interests and chose tailoring.
This displeased his father who thought tailoring beneath the dignity of a member of the Douglass family. It is believed that their disagreement may have caused William to leave home. It can be assumed at that time William apprenticed to learn the art of tailoring, either in Ireland or Scotland, because in about 1841, at the age of twenty-two, he established himself as a tailor in the town of Campsie, Stirlingshire, Scotland. He soon built a prosperous business there.
There are different family legends that exist in relation to why William Douglass left his home and went to Scotland. As already reported, William’s father remarried soon after the death of his first wife, Agnes Gamble Douglass. As was then custom, when a man died his oldest son inherited the family property. While William was Samuel’s oldest son by his first wife, Mary also had an “oldest son” by Samuel. It has been passed down through the generations that Mary pushed to have her firstborn son inherit Ballybentra instead of William. Both, or either legend may be true. To date, there is no proof supporting either scenario.
He established a successful tailoring business of Campsey and it was here that he first heard the Gospel. He was baptized on 27 March, 1842, by Elder David Wilkie of Salt Lake City. Another early convert in Scotland was Agnes Cross who was also baptized by Elder Wilkie three days before William. William and Agnes courted and were married the next fall on 14 October 1842, at Belfast, Antrim Co., Ireland. This was the county of their birth and also the area where their first child, Margaret Sarah was born.
On 10 September 1844, they left Liverpool England, on the Ship "Norwalk,” to join the Saints in America. This was two months after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith on June 27, 1844, at Carthage Jail. They reached St. Louis on November 23, 1844 and stayed there over the winter. In the spring of 1845, they traveled up the Mississippi River and joined the Saints in Nauvoo. The question of succession had been settled and the Church was expanding under the leadership of the Twelve, This was a time of growth and development in Nauvoo and the Douglass' purchased a lot and built a home. William was ordained a Seventy in the Nauvoo Temple on 27 October, 1845, This was just after the October Conference in which President Brigham Young expanded the Seventies Quorums and announced plans for the orderly evacuation and journey west. The conference was held in the partially completed Nauvoo Temple and Brigham Young dedicated it as far as it was completed. The first ordinance work began in the temple on 10 December, 1845. This was a time of increasing alarm and persecution by the enemies of the Church.
The Douglass' second daughter Agnes, was born on 28 December, 1845, at Nauvoo. They had put all their resources in building their home in Nauvoo which they soon would be forced to abandon. The first emigrant companies crossed the Mississippi River in February 1846. Most of the Church Leadership left with them. Orson Hyde stayed in Nauvoo to supervise the completion and dedication of the Temple. He advised William and Agnes to go to St. Louis and earn the means to emigrate to the west. The Douglass' followed this council and left for St. Lewis on April 6, 1846. The Nauvoo Temple was completed and dedicated 30 April, 1846. About 1500 impoverished saints were left in Nauvoo and during the following summer were persecuted and driven across the Mississippi to the Iowa shore.
Both William and Agnes heard the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaimed by the missionary David Wilkie in the early spring of 1842. We learn from the diary of Andrew Sprowl that David Wilken preached in Charleston, Paisley Branch, February 17, and on February 28, 1842 he preached at Portland Street, Glasgow. The diary states Elder Wilkie again preached at Charleston on Thursday, May 28, 1842. In the summer of 1842, not long after Agnes and William’s baptisms, Elder Wilkie was sent to labor in Ireland very near the area that William and Agnes had been born and raised. William and Agnes were the only members of their immediate families to join the church. They too were among the early Mormon converts in Scotland.
On 14 October 1842, William Douglass and Agnes Cross were married in Belfast, County Antrim, Ireland. Their first child, Margaret Sarah Douglass who was named after Agnes’ deceased mother, was born on 4 August 1843 at her father’s birthplace in Ballybentra. We know from Agnes’ own hand that her firstborn, Margaret Sarah, was born in the Civil Parish of Templepatick (Ballybentra).
It is less than twenty miles across the channel from Stranraer, Scotland to Larne, County Antrim, Ireland, and throughout time it was common for people to cross back and forth for marriages, christenings, and the like. Stranraer was the closest Scottish port to Ireland. However, the Douglass’ ventured back and forth from Ireland to Scotland traveling by ship from Larne, Ireland to Campsie, Scotland, across the sea and on the Firth of the Clyde Waterway, a distance of approximately a hundred and sixty miles. While Stranraer was closer, the cloth industry center was in and near Paisley and Glasgow.
We are unable to say for a certainty whether they were still residing in Scotland after their conversion and traveling back and forth to Ireland to share their marriage ceremony and the birth of their first child with family still in Ireland, to be with or near Elder Wilkie and the members there, or whether they had returned to Ireland to live. However, the fact that they sailed from Scotland to Liverpool strongly suggests that they had maintained their residence in Campsie.
Five shiploads of Mormon emigrants sailed from Scotland to Liverpool, England in the year 1844. William, Agnes and baby Margaret sailed from Scotland to Liverpool on 10 September 1844. On Thursday the 19th they boarded the ship the “Norfolk” along with 140 other Mormon converts and at 3:15 p.m. sailed from Liverpool for New Orleans, Louisiana, landing on 11 November 1844. The “Norfolk” held the twenty-eighth company of Saints to sail for Zion in America, and was the first shipload of converts to sail after the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred. They arrived in St. Louis, upriver, on 23 November 1844. Several printed family histories state the Douglass’ wintered in St. Louis until the spring of 1845 then resumed their travels to Nauvoo, Illinois. However, in her autobiography Agnes states, “…. in September 1844 and went to Nauvoo, Illinois, where we purchased land and built a brick house, which we were obliged to leave in the spring of 1846 on account of the great mobbings and persecutions from the ungodly.”
William was ordained a Seventy by Jedediah M. Grant in the Nauvoo Temple, 27 October 1845. He was a member of the 31st Quorum of the Seventies in the “City of Joseph”. There were a total of 33 Seventies Quorums in Nauvoo. The Seventies’ Hall was so busy that each Quorum could schedule a meeting only once every three weeks. On 17 January 1846 William Douglass’ name appeared on a list of the sixty-five members paying sixteen cents each for the purchase of consecrated oil for the Endowment and other purposes, and also for the assistance of Joseph Young, Senior President of the Seventies Quorums and the brother of Brigham Young.
William and Agnes’ second child, a daughter that they named Agnes, was born at Nauvoo on 28 December 1845, during the height of the persecutions.
Agnes continued her story with, “At that time the mob burned the property of the Saints and mobbed and murdered those who were unable to leave Nauvoo. We left Nauvoo on the sixth day of April 1846, my second child being then three months old.” This of course, was Agnes’ thirtieth birthday.
We feel great appreciation and affection for William and Agnes and their young family when we read her firsthand account of the persecutions and exodus of the Saints. “ We went down the Mississippi River as far as Keokuk on a flatboat and were one day and night out in a very severe rain storm without any shelter. At Keokuk we got on board a steamer and went on down to St. Louis, Missouri. We remained there until the spring of 1848. During that time my husband and I worked hard almost night and day, and accumulated a fitout (sic) of provisions, clothing, etc. for to last us 18 months and a team and wagon.”
It seems surprising that in Agnes’ autobiography she did not mention the fact that their baby daughter and her namesake, Agnes, died while they were in St. Louis earning the necessary funds to finance their trek westward. Agnes, born 28 December 1845 at Nauvoo, died fourteen months later on 24 February 1847. She is buried in the Old Methodist Burying Ground in St. Louis.
We gain insight to William’s character and personality from Orson F. Whitney. He reports, “In April, 1846, the exodus to the West having begun, he (William Douglass) left Nauvoo and went to St. Louis, where he worked at his trade for a time, and then engaged in the mercantile business. He would take goods into the country, sell them and solicit orders for more. He prospered in this line of work. He had a genial, lively nature, and was popular both with the people and with the merchants, who when he made known his intention of moving West, expressed much regret, and desired that he should take a stock of goods and continue business with them after he had reached his journey’s end. Having settled his affairs, and provided himself with a good supply of clothing, farm implements and provisions, he and his family set out for the Rocky Mountains.”
Agnes stated, “We left St. Louis on the 10th day of March with an ox team and arrived at Winter Quarters about the middle of April. We left Winter Quarters on the 17th day of May and on the 18th my oldest son, William John, was born in Potawatomy (sic) County.”
Additional details of their travels and the following account in Agnes’ autobiography are found in History of Utah. “They left St. Louis on the 10th of March 1848, traveling by team to Winter Quarters, where they arrived in time to join the first companies that emigrated to Salt lake Valley that season. They were comfortably outfitted with a new wagon, two yoke of oxen and two cows, and were organized in President Brigham Young’s company, first division, Erastus (sic) Snow, captain. They left Winter Quarters for the Elkhorn, where the companies were organized, on the 17th of May, and the next day, while still en route, Mrs. Douglass gave birth to a child, her eldest son, who was named William John. On May 21st they resumed their journey to the Elkhorn, and on the 2nd of June a general start was made for the mountains. The Douglass family arrived in Salt Lake Valley on the 23rd of September.”
Agnes provides us with personal details of that time with these words, “On the 19th my husband had to return to Winter Quarters to procure some articles that we were in need of and during the time he was gone a very severe storm came on and the sisters who were in attendance being weary had retired, leaving some of my clothing out on the line to dry and not wanting them to get wet I stepped out of our wagon in the strength of Israel’s God and gathered my clothes piece by piece until I had them all tucked in the front of our wagon and I was not one whit the worse for God had given me strength sufficient to my day.”
“On the 20th we resumed our journey, and crossed the Horn River (also called the Elkhorn) on the 22nd, on a raft of our <Latter-day Saint’s> construction, where we remained until the 22nd (sic) when we were organized into companies of one hundred teams each, and started on our way to the Rocky Mountains.”
“We were in the first company, Brother Lorenzo Snow, the Apostle our captain. We traveled over trackless prairies, made bridges and made our wagon roads, except some few times when we could find and follow the pioneer’s track, who had traveled the same road in 1847.”
“We arrived in Salt Lake Valley on the 23rd of September 1848, having stopped two days at Green River so that President Brigham Young and company might get in head of us. At the time when we arrived, there was not a street, house nor a fence where Salt Lake City now stands. All there was barren waste.”
William, Agnes, Margaret Sarah and William John Douglass were just four of the 4,000 Mormon pioneers who crossed the plains and arrived in Great Salt Lake City during the year 1848. Although they celebrated their safe arrival, they never forgot baby Agnes, born during the height of the persecutions in Nauvoo, who at the age of fourteen months they had buried in St. Louis.
We learn additional specific details pertaining to our pioneer’s trek across the plains from The Church Emigration Book, Volume 1, 1830-1848. The following chronological items give additional insight to the contributions they made and the challenges the Douglass’ and their fellow travelers faced:
1 May 1848 Brigham Young held a 10:30 a.m. meeting at the store in Winter Quarters. He said that those going west to meet at the Elkhorn. William’s company built a bridge over the Papillion River, as it shortened the trek over three miles
2 Jun 1848 (Friday) Lorenzo Snow’s Hundred started yesterday (Thursday, June 1st)
12 Jun 1848 Lorenzo Snow’s Company crossed the loup Fork on the banks of the Platte River
5 Jun 1848 They were on the banks of the Platte River and had traveled 21 days averaging 14 2/3 miles per day and they laid by for nine days (rested)
9 Jul 1848 W. W. Phelps composed the hymn, “The Saints Upon the Prairie” while with the first company, including the Douglass’, who were all in Ash Hollow area (The Second Division, under the command of Heber C. Kimball, was seventeen miles behind them)
12 Jul 1848 First Company in sight of Chimney Rock, Wyoming
13 Jul 1848 Camped at ancient bluff ruins, 419 miles from Winter Quarters, eighteen broken down wagons and six without cover who came from Salt Lake; on traveling days started about 7:30 a.m. and stopped for each day and unloosed the cattle at about 3:30 p.m.
19 Jul 1848 Laramie Peak in sight
20 Jul 1848 Porter Rockwell arrived in their camp and brought mail from Salt Lake City; stopped at Green River for two days
11 Aug 1848 Wolves mauled our stock in great number; passed under Independence Rock
16 Aug 1848 More cattle died; “bad water”
20 Aug 1848 Last crossing of the Sweetwater; Lorenzo Snow’s Company started across first
24 Aug 1848 frost in buckets, ¾“ of ice
30 Aug 1848 Wednesday On the Sweetwater, 764 ½ miles from Winter Quarters
16 Sep 1848 Ice freezes in buckets; frosty mornings
23 Sep 1848 Saturday First Company arrived at Great Salt lake City