SAMUEL KENDALL GIFFORD
Commencing 3 September 1864
Containing a short genealogy of his forefathers for three generations back
A SHORT HISTORY OF HIS FATHER
And an abridgement of a Journal as taken from old books
My great grandfather, Peleg Gifford was born in the township and county of Barnstable, Mass. His wife's name was Abigail Tabor. The names of their sons were Abraham, Daniel, Noah, Peleg, Levi and Christopher. The names of their daughters were Abagail, Maria and Mary.
My grandfather Noah, the third son of Peleg, was born at the birthplace of his father in the year 1757. His wife Mary was the daughter of Judah and Mary Bowerman. She was born in Falmouth, Barnstable County, Mass. The following are the names of their sons and daughters: Judah born 178_, Maribah born 1787, Levi born August 15, 1789, Tamar born 1791, Alpheus born August 28, 1793, Ichabod Bowerman, born 1796, Armella born 1798.
My father, the 4th son of Noah, (although he had no learning save just enough to read the Bible which he did not neglect), became convinced that there was a God in Heaven. At the age of eighteen he commenced preaching what he supposed to be the Gospel of Salvation, not for the money but for the salvation of souls. He continued to preach in the Reform Methodist Church.
April 27, 1817 he married Anna, daughter of Azar and Lucy Nash. She was born in the township of Butternuts, Otsego County, New York February 17, 1800. My father spent most of his days in preaching until the spring of 1830 when he heard of a set of people called Mormons who were everywhere being spoken evil against, and he, being a believer of the scriptures, and also being convinced by the power of God that there was something worth looking after, went and hunted them up and found them to be the people of God organized under the name of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was baptized, ordained a Priest and returned home with five Books of Mormon, which he distributed amongst his friends. He was then living in Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Soon after that he went to Kirtland, Ohio where the Saints had planted a Stake of Zion. His brother Levi accompanied him and also Elial Strong, Eleazer Miller and Abraham Brown who were all baptized there. He was then ordained an Elder. They returned home rejoicing in the Gospel. He then commenced preaching for the salvation of souls believing the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be the truth. He baptized many in Tioga and Bradford Counties and in the regions round about. The gifts of the Gospel were made manifest amongst the Saints in that place and signs followed those that believed. The sick were healed, devils were cast out, some prophesied, some spoke with new tongues and some interpreted (which was the first of the two later gifts made manifest in the Church). In fact, the gifts were enjoyed to a great extent. Father baptized Heber Chase Kimball who is now Councilor to President Brigham Young.
My father started for Jackson County, Missouri sometime in June, 1831. Mother had the promise of seeing her children all safe in Zion, the names of which were as follows: Mary Elizabeth, born April 23, 1818 in the township of Butternuts, Otsego County, New York; Ichabod Bowerman, born September 14, 1819 in the township of Covington, Tioga County, Pennsylvania; Samuel Kendall, born November 11, 1821 in the township of Milo, Yates County, New York; William Pitts, born August 14, 1823 in the township of Sullivan, Tioga County, Pennsylvania; Henry Dill, born April 28, 1825 in the township of Reading, Wayne County, New York; Rhoda, born April 28, 1827 in the township of Hector, Schuyler County, New York. Her birth was previous to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Father said he would call her Rachel, for before she could say Father and Mother there was going to be a great work take place. Which prophesy was fulfilled in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. She could not say Father and Mother plain till after we were in Jackson County, Missouri.
We traveled one hundred miles by land, stopped at Olean Point, where a boat was built in which my father, his brother Judah, Isaac Flumapel and Abraham Brown with their families floated down the Alagana River (Allegheny River). At many places we pried our boat over gravel and sandbars till we got to Old Franklin where we stayed about two weeks. Father made baskets all the way down the river to procure something to eat and wear. Here his brother Judah stopped, apostatized and joined the Methodists. The river raised till it was very high so we lashed our boat to a larger raft by which means we went to Pittsburgh where we stayed about two weeks. There we found William Harris and wife and her mother, wife of Peter Dustin, who was then presiding over the Branch at the Batson Settlement in Jackson County, Missouri. I will here mention that just before we started on our journey I had the mumps, and while at Warren we all took the measles, and before we got to Pittsburgh, we all got the whooping cough which made our journey quite unpleasant. Abraham Brown's child died of the whooping cough at Brother Harris's.
We continued our journey to Maryette, Ohio where we stayed some time. Father made baskets, and my oldest brother and I picked up gravel for the cider makers. We went from there to Guyandot where A. Brown stopped. We continued down the Ohio River till we came to Cincinnati where we met Elija Newman, who had been informed by brother Lyman Leonard that an Elder by the name of Alpheus Gifford would come on such a boat. Brother Newman followed the boat five miles down the river till we landed. Brother Leonard had passed us while we were at Old Franklin. Brother Leonard left five dollars at Cincinnati for Father. May the Lord bless him for so doing and reward him a hundred fold. There was a large branch of the Church in Cincinnati. Our boat was towed back up the river to Brother Newman's place five miles up the river. The place (town) was called Columbia. We stayed with Brother Newman through the winter, and were assisted by Brothers Elias and John Higbee with whom we journeyed to Independence, Mo., where we landed in the spring of 1833. We soon moved a short distance and stopped on the banks of a small stream called Round Grove, which emptied into the Big Blue. The Big Blue emptied into the Missouri Rover. While there my brothers Icabod Bowerman, William Pitts, Henry Dill, my sister Rhoda and myself were baptized by Solomon Hancock. I think it was in April. Mary, my oldest sister was baptized while we were in Cincinnati, Ohio. We had now seen the fulfillment of the promise made to mother that she would see her children all safe in Zion. Here my brother Moses was born on the banks of the Round Grove on May 16, 1833 in a small one-sided cabin built by the side of a large oak log that formed the back of the cabin.
The spirit of persecution soon became the order of the times amongst those who were not of us, for they that were not for us, were against us. About mid-summer Father moved to the Batson Settlement where Peter Dustin presided. The spirit of persecution continued to prevail until sometime in November, when they determined to drive the Saints out or put them to death. Some of the Saints were shot down, some were beaten with clubs, guns, etc., and some were tarred and feathered. In fact we must leave or die. A mob gathered around the printing office in Independence, Mo. and I was told that one man got up on the top of the house and prayed that if he was not right his hand might wither. But the Lord did not see fit to hear the prayers of the wicked. They tore down the building and then destruction by fire spread throughout the land until many of the Saints had to leave on foot. Only think, children barefooted, crossing the burnt prairies with bleeding feet in the cold month of November.
The Saints were driven enmass across the Missouri River into Clay County. We camped on the banks of the Missouri River on the night of the 13th of November, 1833. There I beheld a strange and beautiful scene. To all appearance, brilliant stars or balls of fire falling like rain upon the earth and upon the water.
On the 19th we crossed the river into Clay County where we had a short rest from persecution, but not long for these Demons in human form led by Gillis, Owens and others were not content with what they had done but soon made their way into Clay County. They canvassed the country to see how much of the spirit of persecution they could arouse amongst the old settlers. Their whole aim was to destroy the Saints. They went to Liberty, the chief town of the county, to make arrangements to carry out their plans. On their return they passed a cow-yard just as it was getting dark where myself and a lot of others, boys and girls were unseen by them. They were telling what they were going to do to the Mormons. I made a rather curious expression for a boy that had been raised to believe as I did. To wish harm to anyone and especially that the cruel hand of death should be laid upon them was unthinkable. But never-the-less, I said, "I hope they will get drowned before they get across the river." The first news we heard in the morning was that the ferry boat, while in the middle of the river, sprung a leak and some of them were drowned. The notorious Owens, one of their main leaders, stripped himself of his boots and clothes and landed safe on the Jackson side of the river some miles below the landing. He, however, was naked and far from home and had to pass through a large bottom of nettles that were densely thick. Imagine a naked man in a thick patch of nettles! Very good pay for his mobbing expedition. While a big bellied young man by the name of Campbell was not so lucky (or rather was more lucky than Owens). He took hold of a horses tail and hung on till very near the shore. When fearing the horses heels, he let go all holds thinking he could safely make the shore, but the treacherous current beat him back into the middle of the stream and the next day he was found some eight miles below, lodged in a mess of floodwater with his eyes picked out by the ravens. And thus ended his mobocratic career. While Owens was humiliated to hide himself behind a log and when the belle of the country passed by, he received her petticoat to hide his nakedness till he could get to some house where he could get something more to put on. So we can see that a portion of my strange wish was fulfilled. A woman was also drowned with her little son. Those that remained alive did not feel much like mobbing for some time, so we had a little time to labor unmolested.
In the spring of 1835 I was taken sick very suddenly with a burning fever and I got so low that mother came to my bed one day and asked me if I thought I was going to die. I said, "No, I am not." There was a great deal said in those days about returning to Jackson County. Some thought it would take place in a few days or at least a few months. And some thought it could not be over three or five years at the longest. And, of course, although I was young, I was quite anxious to return where I supposed was my home. So one day, in the midst of my sickness at about mid-day I saw that muddy stream (Missouri) nearly emptied of its water, with a small stream running over a gravely bottom and the Saints were on the move for Jackson County. Some had crossed and some were in the stream. I stood at the edge of the stream ready to cross and the thought came to me that we had forgotten the little wheel. The wheel appeared to be the kind that the eastern women spin flax on. I said with a loud firm voice, "We have forgotten the little wheel and must go back after it." Mother came to my bed and asked me what I meant of what I had seen. I told her what I had seen. I did not understand the meaning of what I had seen, nor for what purpose I had had the vision. But it came to me sometime after, that little wheel of the Gospel would have to roll for sometime until the Saints were prepared to return. And then the Saints would go and take the wheel with them to Jackson County, Missouri.
Sometime in the year 1835 a large body of Missourians got together and formed three
resolutions as follows:
1. The Mormons must leave the County forthwith.
2. The Mormons must scatter like other people and say nothing about their religion.
3. That if they didn't comply with either of the above resolutions the cold hand of
death would be laid upon all without any reserve.
The Saints, of course, were not long making up their minds which course to pursue. The most of them settled near a small stream called Log Creek in Caldwell County six miles east of Farwest, the County Seat. Here my brother Enos Curtis was born February 4, 1837 and died when he was about eight months old. I joined a military company, had a pistol about one foot long and a spear in the end of a long pole with which I trained, stood guard, etc. I was ready to fight in defense of Zion, although I was young and small for my age.
Just previous to the marching of the great army against the Saints (that is the Mobilitia), Father and the most of the Saints had moved into Farwest to be more secure from the mob. The day that the army came, my Uncle Levi Gifford and his sons Ichabod and Daniel and myself went down to Log Creek to get a load of corn for bread. Col. Hinkle also led a great portion of the small band of brethren of Farwest out to meet the mob. He led them in sight and quite close to the great army (who were well armed) and pulled off his coat in a cold day and would have marched the small handful of almost unarmed men right into their midst had it not been for our Captain Whiteman who took the command instantly from him and said, "Brethren, follow me." And he led them out of danger and landed them safe in Farwest. We got our lead of corn and were about one mile on our way to Farwest. We were going on a middle road that led through a large co-op field. Turning our eyes to the right we saw a company of horsemen just emerging from the wood. We supposed at first it was Col. Hinkle and his company but soon discovered that there were too many. For there were only about 150 of Hinkle's Company and we saw more than 1,000 come out into the Prairie with a large number of baggage wagons. They marched around and through the big field. Then we were surrounded by our enemies so we stopped in the midst of a field of corn, hitched our horses to the wagon, and went to a house that stood near the east edge of the field. We found Sister Brunel and three small girls in the house alone. Sister Brunel's husband and only son, who was about ten years of age were in Farwest preparing a place for the family.
Uncle Levi came across Old Father Tanner and they were walking together when a company of the mob espied them and rushed to where they were. Uncle Levi ran and hid under the bank of the creek so they did not get him at that time. But Father Tanner was more unfortunate and received a heavy blow from the breech of a gun that broke his skull. Uncle Levi was afterwards taken prisoner while feeding the horses in the field. The first day that we were surrounded by the army a lane that led to Sister Brunel's house was filled three different times by horsemen that behaved themselves quite unbecomingly. We received frequent visits from the mob until the third day when Sister Brunel's boy returned home from Farwest. He brought us word that they had got Brother Joseph and others and that they had let quite a lot of prisoners go free. Also that Uncle Levi had been taken prisoner by them and marched into Farwest and set at liberty. That was the first time we had heard from any of our people only that the mob told us when they would try to flatter us to go with them and leave the Mormons. Anyone can imagine our feelings while in this situation. Uncle Levi was gone, we knew not where; there was no one to be seen but the mob, excepting us boys and Sister Brunel and her little girls. And the hideous yells that were uttered by the mob had been almost enough to raise the hair on one's head. The cattle of the Saints that were running in the wood and upon the prairie were shot down like wild beasts upon the plains, the sound of musketry adding horror to the scene. But when we learned that a boy had passed the camps of our enemies unmolested we felt encouraged. So early the next morning my cousins and myself accompanied the little boy back to Farwest. Whoever reads this can easily imagine our feelings of joy when we found ourselves in the midst of our friends once more, although the Saints were but a small company in the midst of a large army of demons who were threatening us with speedy destruction under the exterminating orders of Governor L. W. Boggs. Finally the Saints were told that if they would leave the state, forthwith, that their lives should be spared but we need never think of seeing our leaders again. Said General Lucas, "Their doom is fixed, their die is cast. You have seen them for the last time."
Thus the Saints were again driven from their comfortable homes in the cold of winter. A great portion of them had to travel without tent or wagon cover and wade through mud and snow with no one to take them in till we reached the State of Illinois. When we came to the Mississippi River, Father and some others cut down two large cottonwood trees and dug them out in the shape of canoes and lashed them together a sufficient distance apart to admit the wheels of the wagons in which many of the Saints crossed the river. They steered their craft between the large cakes of ice that were then floating in the river. While the smaller cakes would pass between the two canoes. We landed in Quincy, Illinois where we were received with kindness by the citizens of that place. Some of the merchants were leading men of Quincy and donated quite freely to help the most destitute of the Saints. Such will be remembered when it is said, "Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these, my servants, you have done it unto me."
We stayed a short time in Quincy and then Father moved about 22 miles up the river, about two miles above Seyma and fourteen miles below Warsaw in Hancock County. A committee was appointed by the Saints to find a location for the Saints' headquarters. They found a place above Warsaw about eight miles that was called Commerce. It consisted of three stations or dwellings. This was a very sickly place and none but Saints could live there and many of them died before they could subdue the destructive elements that filled the air in consequence of the low marshy land that lay right in the midst of the town. But through the perseverance of the Saints coupled with the blessings of God, the swamps were drained and the land and elements were dedicated, and sickness and death became less frequent. Comfortable dwellings, fruitful fields, orchards, gardens, mills and other improvements and comforts sprung into existence to the astonishment of all around. Father lived in the Morley settlement, two miles above Limy about one year and then moved to Nauvoo (Commerce). I will here mention that my brother Heber Chase Kimball was born in the Morley Settlement July 16, 1839. I stayed in the Morley Branch to learn the chair trade and labored at chairs the most of the time the Saints remained in Illinois.
In 1841 Father moved five miles above Nauvoo, where he died of quick consumption on December 25, 1841. Father spent the most of his time in preaching the Gospel.
Sometime in the year 1844 I was ordained a teacher and acted as such to the best of my ability until March 18, 1845 when I was ordained a Seventy in the 20th Quorum by Joseph Young, First President of the Seventies.
My brother William Pitts died July 9, 1843 at a place called Coal Beds or Coalbanks, way down the Mississippi River in Illinois.
Mother moved back to her place in Nauvoo after Father died. My brother Heber Chase Kimball died in Nauvoo August 31, 1845.
The Missourians were not content with driving the Saints from the State, but followed them into Illinois and tried at different times to capture and drag Brother Joseph back to Missouri and stirred up the spirit of persecution among the citizens of Illinois. And finally the spirit of persecution raged throughout Adams and Hancock Counties until the Prophet and Patriarch were murdered in cold blood. And houses and grain stacks were burned to the ground. Other property by thousands that belonged to the Saints was destroyed and the Saints had to flee for their lives.
About the tenth of February I crossed the Mississippi River and camped with the first company of Saints that started for the Rocky Mountains. We were then in Iowa Territory near Montrose, quite a large town that was mostly inhabited by Latter-day Saints. The 14th, inst., word came to me that my sister Rachel was dead. Deaths seemed to be quite frequent in Nauvoo at that time and they wished their friends to return. But President Young said, "Let the dead bury the dead," that our course was onward. In a few days the camp moved to Sugar Creek, a few miles distant, and waited for others to come up and to better fix for the journey. The camp stayed at Sugar Creek about three weeks again. They built a barn, husked large fields of corn for which they got corn and bacon. Camp moved about three days journey and crossed the Shariton River and camped about three weeks again.
I was in the company that was known as the guard and stood guard by turn with others until we left the Shariton. My brother Henry Dill Gifford was with me. I was not well any of the time. I often stood guard, walking my beat through deep mud and snow when I ought to have been in bed. But, I must do my duty. Here the main guard was broken up and I went into George Miller's Company. They were camped at Shoal Creek. The next day we traveled nearly all day and only got about six miles for it rained nearly all day and the wagons cut through the prairie sod till many of them sank to the hubs and some had to be got out the next morning. We camped by a little grove and made large fires, spread our umbrellas over our heads while we dried our clothes. The storm held up for some time. We went to bed in our wagons and tents and some of us awoke in the morning and found ourselves so thoroughly soaked that there was not a dry thread about us. Two of Brother Bostick's children died on this prairie, died with the measles and were buried in a locust grove. We continued on till we came to a place we called Garden Grove, a nice grove of timber. Here we found plenty of wild onions and leeks. I will here mention that previous to this we had cut down grasswood trees for browse to keep the cattle from starving. But here there was plenty of grass, and rattlesnakes and copperheads - almost as plenty as the grass. Scarcely a day passed without some cattle being snake bit. Horses that were bit generally died, but the cattle were mostly cured by a weed called Rattlesnake Master boiled in milk. The juice was given internally and the weed bound on the wound. Here the Saints, a portion of them, stopped to recruit. And some followed President Young to Mt. Pisgah on the west fork of Grand River where they made another settlement for a resting place for the Saints and to recruit up for the journey to the mountains. Here, as in Garden Grove, they fenced in large farms and raised all kinds of grain and vegetables and built mills for grinding their grain. They used wild grass for hay. They manufactured wagons, chairs and other articles, which they took off and sold in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois. They made out to get a living and a scanty outfit to cross the plains.
I will here mention what President Brigham Young said while the camp was at Sugar Creek. After stating a prophecy that Joseph Smith put forth in the Zion's Camp previous to the Cholera's raging in the camp, Joseph said if the brethren did not do as they were told with regard to shooting squirrels, sickness and death would visit the camp and the guilty ones would not suffer alone but it would take some of our best men. That prophecy was fulfilled by that awful disease, the Cholera. "And," said Brigham Young, "that will be the fate of this camp if they do not listen to my council and wait till they are sent to hunt game." Many thought they knew better than President Young did and went their own way. Let the graves of Mt. Pisgah speak for themselves.
A portion of the Saints, with President Young at their head, traveled on and halted on the west banks of the Missouri River for Winter Quarters where they built log and sod cabins to shelter them from the storms of the approaching winter. They also built a mill and prepared to cultivate the soil. And they built a Council House for public meetings and for the Priesthood.
Here also death made a terrible havoc through a disease called scurvy or blackleg. Hundreds were laid under the sod. Here President Young received the revelation, which is in the new addition of the Doctrine and Covenants, on the duties of the Saints and the organizing of the companies to cross the plains. Wagons, chairs, baskets, etc., were manufactured and sent down in Missouri to get bread stuffs.
In the spring of 1847 President Young started with a company of Pioneers for the Rocky Mountains. They landed in Salt Lake Valley on that memorable day, the 24th of July, 1847.
I will now go back to my own journey. After helping to herd cows and fence a field of about 600 acres, I returned to Nauvoo and stayed a day or so and then went to Farmington, Iowa, a town about 20 miles on the road to the mountains. After being there a little over a week,
I was taken down with the mumps and was bedfast for some time. I boarded with Nathan West and made chairs, settees, etc. I could hear all the cannons fired in the Nauvoo Battle.
In the fall (1846) I learned that a man by the name of John Neff, near Stringtown at the Fox River, wanted a teamster to drive through to Mt. Pisgah. I found a chance to get there by getting in with some team that was passing that way. So I drove team for Brother Neff. And when we got to Pisgah, he wished me to continue with him to the Winter Quarters of the Saints on the west bank of the Missouri River, now Florence, Nebraska. Brother Neff gave me five dollars in gold when we got to Winter Quarters. This I used mostly for mother to get bread and such things as she needed, while she did my washing, mending, etc. I lived with Father Morley and made chairs through the winter, the proceeds of which the Father Morley family had with the exception of a couple of shirts and garments. In the spring I went to St. Joseph, Mo., and worked in a wagon shop one month for a man by the name of Wiatt. In July I took a trip on a steamboat to St. Louis and back, nearly burnt myself to death firing at the boilers and was very sick for some time. When I got back to St. Joseph I stayed with Brother Simons Philander Curtis until I got well. Then John Thomas took a job of cutting hemp for a rich Missourian and Ezra Wood Curtis and myself went to help him. He found it was too hard a job and by some stratagem he got released. So we returned to Winter Quarters. I then returned to Mt. Pisgah to make a fitout for the Mountains. This was the winter of 1847-8. I again went into the chair shop with the Whitings, with whom I had labored in Illinois. After I had been here some time, Old Mother Head, who was then the wife of Father Elisha Whiting, took sick and died in one week from the time she took sick.
A short time after Father Whiting died also with one weeks sickness. The old gentleman was fixing to go to Quincy, Ill., where we had a regular market for our chairs, hoping to sooner get a fitout for the mountains. But death deprived him from going any farther with the Saints in their western journey.
I stayed in Mt. Pisgah and worked in the chair shop until the fall of 1848 when I married Lora Ann, daughter of Freeborn and Ann (Anna) Knight DeMill. Anna was the daughter of Joseph and Polly Knight. We were married by President Edwin Whiting on Sunday the 1st day of October, 1848.
In November, Silvanus Cyrus Hulet and myself started for Quincy, Ill. (250 miles) with ox teams. We took each a load of two hundred and forty large (table and sewing) and some small chairs. We passed through Melrose, where we had once lived and from whence we had been driven when our property burned and otherwise destroyed. We were followed by a Justice of the Peace by the name of Wade and another man by the name of John Gooden. The latter was one of the murderers of Joseph and Hyrum. They followed us to Quincy, over twenty miles. After promising the merchants where we were stopping that they would not bother us, they stopped, to my surprise, on the sidewalk and served a writ on me for stealing a horse which they said had been stolen. The horse, it seems, had been taken from a stable that was on my own property that had been stolen from me at the time of the burning at Green Plains and the surrounding country. I was furnished with a bed in a tavern that night. Next morning we had a ride of twenty miles with that "Notorious Shedder of Innocent Blood", John Goodin. Brother Hulet was not a prisoner but he barely escaped being one. He went to accompany me. We were kept from the time that we left Quincy till we were discharged just 24 hours and they gave us one meal of victuals. This was in the town of Lima, Adams County, Illinois. I was assured that I would go to jail, for said they, "No one that is taken prisoner ever escapes the jail." But at 11:00 the next day I was set at liberty to travel twenty miles to where our teams were after not having had anything to eat since the night before. We found our team in a livery stable. They had been put there by Mr. Dimmock, the merchant where we were trading and they paid the bill. Mr. Dimmick and Mr. Hillburn had hired a team and carriage from the livery stable and started for Lima to see that I had fair play, knowing what hands I was in. They got twelve miles, had a runaway, broke the carriage, which cost them $25.00 to get mended. When they found that they were foiled in their calculations, they went back home and made arrangements to take me out with a Writ of Habeascorpus (Habeas Corpus), if they got me in jail. (These were true friends, and learning that they were dead, I have been baptized for them in the St. George Temple.)
After we got our affairs settled at the store, we crossed the Mississippi River into _______, Missouri and traveled up on the Missouri side into Iowa. When we got up near Fox River, there was the heaviest sleet I have ever witnessed. It rained and froze as it fell for three days and nights. It loaded the trees with ice to their utmost capacity, so that their limbs came down like an avalanche, killing cattle, etc. The fourth morning was clear so we started on our journey for home. We traveled about a quarter of a mile and stopped by the side of some small business, being unable travel, for it was a complete sea of ice. The next morning we found snow on top of the ice six or eight inches deep. This was Sunday but we were still about 150 miles from home in the month of December, so we started again. I was very cold. We stopped once at a house on the Prairie and warmed. We then traveled till nearly night. We stopped by the side of a little grove where the snow had drifted in some five or six feet deep. Here, before we could get a fire started my feet were pretty badly frosted. The wood was all under the snow, enveloped in thick ice, and no dry timber to be found. We burned up a good many matches before we got a fire started. But we continued our journey through deep snow, soon getting beyond the sleet, until we arrived in Mt. Pisgah. We arrived there just in time to escape another three day storm for it commenced the night after we got home. Some who were one days journey behind us had to put up for Winter Quarters until spring. They stayed at a place called the "Lost Camp". By being taken prisoner I came very near being winter bound. I had a hard time as it was and made a narrow escape, for if we had been taken we would have been caught out all winter without food. It was the coldest winter I ever knew in Iowa (winter of 1848-9). We were like prisoners and could hear from no other settlement until late spring brought a thaw.
In the spring of 1849 our President, Brother Edwin Whiting, started for the Valley of the Mountains. I said to him, "Edwin, (I had been used to calling him by his name) I am making four hundred chairs this year and go to the Valley next year." His answer was, "You can't do it." I said, "I will do it." The emigration for the California gold mines was passing through pretty briskly. Hay had raised from $2.00 to $20.00 per ton and corn from ten cents to $3.00 per bushel. Mechanics like myself had to buy both hay and corn to feed. President Whiting, just before starting on his journey, advised the Saints to not sell for high prices to their brethren who were obliged to buy corn, hay, etc. There were two men that listened to his council. If it had not been for those two men of whom I bought my corn, I could not have come to the Valley the next year as I had declared I would. The names of those men were Freeborn DeMill and Josiah Perry. God bless them.
I cut my timber, seasoned it, and made my four hundred chairs and did turning enough for Brother S. C. Hulet to pay for making a wagon - the wood work. I did some of the work and also had the chills three months. But in order to accomplish what I had said I would, I got up before day and sat up till late in the night, until I was nearly worn out. I sold my chairs for 52 ½ cents a piece. And as the saying goes, "By the skin of my teeth" I accomplished what I said I would.
My first son, Alpheus was born July 28, 1849. So I started for the Rocky Mountains in the spring of 1850. I went to Council Bluffs and found my mother in Plumb Hollow on the east side of the Missouri River. She packed up and I took her with me. We then went to Council Point where I found Uncle Levi Gifford and family who were getting ready for the journey. We stayed a few days for them to get ready. Then we drove down to the lower ferry, below the mouth of the Platte River. Here we found a great many had gathered to be organized for the journey. We were organized into Brother Hawkin's hundred, and Thomas Johnson's fifty. My team consisted of one yoke of oxen, one yoke of three old steers, and one yoke of cows. We crossed the river in a flat boat and camped at the mouth of Salt Creek on the Platte Bottom. Here I consider a miracle was wrought for the benefit of the companies that were about to cross the plains. The Pawnee Indians made their appearance by hundreds, and I believe by thousands, for they could be seen standing on the Bluffs like a thousand stumps. Quite a lot of them came into camp and commenced begging and stealing and stole more than they begged. One finally stole a sack of crackers, got caught at it and was brought back. The old Chief, quite an old Indian, gave him a number of heavy licks with his riding whip over his head and gave him a terrible talking to. I suppose it was for getting caught and not for stealing. About this time it was discovered that a Gentile who had come up on a steamboat and got into our company to cross the plains, was nearly dead with the Small Pox. This word was soon conveyed to the redmen who disappeared like dew before the searching rays of the sun. The Cholera also commenced its work in camp, and soon we buried a Gentile that died of the Cholera and also Peter Shirt's wife died. Then Captain Thomas Johnson called the camp together and said, "If you will do as I tell you with regard to the water that you use for drinking, I will promise you that there shall not more than five die in this camp with Cholera." All believed what he said and did accordingly and the strange promise was literally fulfilled. Just five and no more died, while the gold seekers ahead of us and the Saints behind us were dying at a fearful rate. I will now tell about the water. Because the Platte water was muddy there had been wells dug all along the Platte Bottom to get clear water. The wells were about six feet deep and steps dug to get the water. The council was this: "To not go near those wells for water, but get the water out of the river and drink none without boiling, and fill their churns, tea kettles, and everything that they had that would hold water, with boiled water to use while traveling. There was in the camp a kind of a fearful looking for the Small Pox, as quite a number had been exposed, but no one had it. The Lord had respects to the words of His servant and preserved the camp from further sickness and death.
Brother Lorenzo Snow overtook our camp with a large herd of sheep, one day's drive below the south crossing of the Platte. When we came to the crossing. we unloaded some of our wagons and took the sheep over in wagons. We had to raise our wagon boxes to cross the river to keep our things dry. After crossing, Uncle Levi Gifford, Abraham and Jabez Durfee and myself started to accompany Lorenzo Young (Snow) to help guard his sheep through. We had but traveled one day until word came to us that Aunt Deborah Gifford could not be spared from Johnson's camp. So Uncle Levi and myself stopped and waited for the company. I will state here that while I was at Council Point I took a severe diarrhea and it continued to weaken me down until I was quite weak. We made camp one afternoon on the bank of the river where there was no wood to be had without crossing onto an island. It was perhaps from fifteen to twenty rods across to the island and a portion of it was quite deep. We took ropes over with us and lashed a lot of wood together leaving rope enough so that we could swim ahead of the wood and pull it after us. When I was within a rod of the shore I commenced sinking. It was discovered by a lot of men on the shore. They told me to let the rope go and make for shore. I did so, and when Uncle Levi stepped down to the bank and took my hand, my head was just barely out of the water. I had on heavy boots and was very weak and did not realize it till I got in deep water. About the same time a boy a little below was sinking for the third time when some man caught him and brought him to shore.
The horror that reigned in camps ahead of us cannot be described. Some places for miles could be seen feather beds, blankets, quilts, and clothing of every kind strewed over the plains and also wagon tires and irons of every description, gun barrels, stoves, etc. The bottom of the Sweetwater was also lined with wagon tires, chains and other irons. And fresh graves could be seen in every direction. We also met some missionaries going east who said they met companies of the gold emigration that were driving twelve abreast, hurrying to get away from the Cholera. Missouri and Illinois were well represented among the dead. These were the two states that had driven the Saints enmass and some of them now have their bones bleaching on the plains.
We continued our journey slowly till at length we camped fifteen miles below Laramie, a small fort where a few of Uncle Sam's soldiers were stationed. Here we found a camp of Indians of the Sioux Nation. These were the first red men we had seen since the great Small Pox scare on Salt Creek. One of my steers became so lame that I had to leave him on the prairie. I took a widow woman into my wagon and hitched up or yoked up a cow belonging to her and thus we continued our journey. An old man by the name of Richards, who had a cancer on his lip, a captain of ten in our company, got mad because Captain Johnson asked him to help some of the poor by letting them use some of his loose cattle, of which he had a great plenty, to help them on their journey. He took his ten and went ahead of the main company and drove to the Bitter Cottonwoods in the Black Hills where there was good water, wood, and feed. And when Captain Johnson came up a little later with the balance of the company, the main company, Richards behaved like a mad man. He started out very early next morning and we saw him no more till we got to Deer Creek. Here Johnson took the four tens off the main road and followed up the creek twelve miles and made a halt by the edge of a nice grove of Box Elders. Here we made a coal pit and burned coal. We stayed twelve days fixing wagons, setting tires and shoeing oxen, etc. I had not got my tire set. I was told that I could wedge them on. The idea was something new to me but I went to work and wedged them till I thought all was safe but I had not gone a half a mile till I had to stop and wedge up again. But I soon learned how to wedge a wagon. I will here mention that I had not been well since I took the diarrhea so bad at Council Point.
While stopping at the Box Elder Grove on Deer Creek, we were surrounded with wild
currants of every kind, size and color, with wild cherries in abundance. I ate them both
cooked and raw. One day Peter Shurtz and a man by the name of Barns, who has since been
Bishop of Gunnison, went up into the Black Hills some ten or twelve miles and killed
buffalo and some antelope. And some others took two wheels off a wagon and made a cart of
it and went after the meat. While coming down a steep mountain, pulling the cart with an
ox team, the cart run onto the oxen and broke the tongue of the cart. The men went to camp
without the meat. They said the cart was about five miles from camp and that we could go
and get it after dark. It was about the middle of the afternoon. So there was five
horsemen and five footmen started out without any lunch, thinking that we could be back to
camp for supper. I was among the footmen. We traveled till we had gone at least ten miles.
It was getting dark. We went onto a knoll in the middle of a large valley. At a great
distance across the valley we discovered something white on the side of the mountain.
Knowing that the cart had a cover on, we concluded it must be the object of our search.
But it looked more like a big rock. So we took the course and kept it as best we could in
the dark, and when we got there we found we were not mistaken. We found the cart full of
meat, some fresh and good and some spoiled. We found ourselves in a nice grove of pine,
fir, poplar, quaking asp, etc. Here we were without bread and the weather seemed very cold
up so high in the mountains. So we built a large fire and broiled meat and rested
ourselves as best we could on the ground before a large fire. When daylight came I
discovered that we were surrounded with service berries, the first I had ever
(Note: Two pages of the journal are missing. See Supplement.)
.... with the frosts, and was very dry and tough. I stacked my hay, made a yard for my
oxon (one yoke) which I put up nights and fed them with this dry grass. My last cow I had
to sell for ten bushel of smutty wheat to keep my family from starving. I was the only
violin player in the valley and of course went at every call, pay or no pay. So one day
Alfred Billings and Deborah Patten were joined in wedlock, and their wedding dance must
commence precisely at sunset. So a little before sundown I went as usual to shut up and
feed my oxen. I waited till after sunset and all but one ox came so of course I would wait
no longer. So I went and played for the wedding dance till late, or rather an early hour
and yet my ox had not come, so I went to bed. I got up early in the morning and looked for
my ox and to my surprise found him dead near a shed belonging to President Isaac Morley.
Someone had left a long lasso tied to the fence with a slipping noose at the farther end
in which the ox had stepped. It had drawn up tight around his leg just above the hoof. He
had got to the full length of the rope and was hooked to death by Father Morley's oxen.
That left me with but one ox and no cow.
I had worked in the shop all my life (since I was in my 13th year) and the thoughts of the poor scrubby timber that I would have to use to make chairs was almost heart sickening. But I set in with a will. The next thing was to have another ox but how was I to get it? That was the query. However, Brother Dimmock Huntington offered to sell me an odd ox that he had, and take it in chairs. But oh, it was hard to meet my engagement. Yet I must keep my name good, which I did in this case. I soon found that I could not set so exact in this hard country as I could in a country where timber was good and plentiful. I now had a team but no cow. I could not buy any butter for there was but one family that had any that they could spare. And the man would not let me have any for anything but money. His children were going to a dancing school that I was teaching for which he was master. But when be became more acquainted with me, I did not have to ask him for anything that he thought I needed, and my work was as good as the money.
My brother-in-law, Oliver DeMill, and myself went in partnership together, he as a farmer and I as a chairmaker, to assist each other when occasion required. This, I believe, was in the spring of 1852. We worked together a little over one year, raised over six hundred bushels of wheat and some oats, and made a number hundred chairs. We hauled some of our timber about seventy miles. I think it was in the summer of 1853, we took about 150 chairs to Salt Lake City and sold some of them for the money. Then I bought a dry cow from an emigrant that was passing through to California, for which I paid seventeen dollars and fifty cents. This was the first cow that I had been able to get since I sold mine for 10 bushels of smutty wheat in the fall of 1850.
The Indian troubles, known as the Walker War, then commenced. A strong guard had to be placed around our town. I was then Orderly Seargent of Captain Edwin Whiting's Company, the first military company that was organized in Sanpete. Nelson Higgins was our first Major. I had the placing of the Picket Guard to attend to a good portion of the time, which deprived me of my night's rest till sometimes I was on guard myself, under the strictest orders not to move from my position. I was so overcome with hard labor through the day, standing guard and placing guards at night, that I was obliged to walk instead of keeping my place. And then I would sleep while walking. We built a stone fort ten rods square, the walls twelve or fourteen feet high with a Bastion in the northwest corner and another in the southwest corner. This fort had been built by the council of President Brigham Young in time of peace. It now became necessary to fort up for safety. We moved log houses from our lots and joined them surrounding a block north of the little stone fort and moved into them. There had been a settlement formed on Canal Creek known by the name of Springtown, Reuben Allred presiding. Brother Allred went and met a company of brethern that had crossed the Plains with ox teams and led them down to Springtown which swelled their numbers to fifty families. They had built houses, fenced farms and raised considerable grain and other stuff and the prospects seemed fair and bright for the future. But lo and behold, the inhabitants of the town awoke one morning to find but one cow, if I recollect right, of all the stock belonging to the whole town, which had stayed at home. That cow was shut up in a dugout cellar. Mr. Redskin had come down in the night and stripped the stables and yards of all livestock.
On hearing the above news, Major Higgins soon raised, in Manti, fifty teamsters and teams, giving me charge of the company. I took my own team and proceeded to Springtown and the next day we had them all, the people of Spingtown, in Manti. Then it became necessary to have more houses built, as every house was crowded to its utmost capacity. So they built rooms all around the inside of the Stone Fort, and also built a lot of houses inside of the log fort.
Then it became necessary for the better protection of ourselves and our stock to build
a larger fort. For our stables and yards, and grain, etc. were all outside of our forts.
The military, whose right it was to take charge of building forts, proposed to make a good
stone wall all around nine blocks, taking in the outside streets. The City Council thought
they ought to have the say where and how the fort should be constructed. Then comes the
Church Authorities who said the Priesthood must rule. And soon the debate became quite
warm. But as none wished to go against the Priesthood, Father Morley succeeded in getting
a row of houses built on the east side of nine blocks leaving the street outside, the
doors opening to the west. But this didn't afford any protection for our stock, or grain
We had built two or three guard houses and kept a strong guard at nights. "Soots" well prepared with port-holes above and below. And yet, when it snowed a little at night "cousin Lemuel" would sally forth from the mountains and strip the cow yards of all inside, leaving their mark in front of dwellings without a few rods of the guard houses and no one any the wiser for it till the next morning.
The people in general became very much dissatisfied with our Fort arrangements. Finally Apostle Erastus Snow paid us a visit. And when he learned the situation of the place, while speaking to the people he said, motioning with his hands, "Here are three different departments, one pulling this way, another that way, and the third in another direction. Now," said he, "You will accomplish nothing by pulling apart. And, if those in the different departments do not hold the Priesthood, I would advise you to give them the Priesthood if they are worthy of it and if not, put men in those positions that hold the Priesthood. And then all will be done under the direction of the Priesthood. And stop this crying Priesthood."
Father Morley was finally called away to Salt Lake City, and for a number of months Manti had no president. Finally the High Council called the people together and Welcome Chapman was nominated and sustained as President of Sanpete Stake. Afterwards, he was ordained by President Young, who said that Welcome Chapman should have wisdom to lead the people.
The following are sketches from an old book that was written while I lived in Sanpete.
June 26, 1855, I signed over all the property I had, Seven hundred and sixty (760) dollars, according to the Law of Consecration, to the Trustee-in-Trust of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In July of the same year, the potato bugs came by the millions and entirely stripped my potato tops. I worked many days destroying them and saved some small potatoes which seemed to increase in my cellar. The grasshoppers, the year previous, had come and caused a bread famine.
On the 3rd or 4th of August, 1855, there was a Quarterly Conference of the Sanpete Stake of Zion held in Manti. Sunday and Monday the 6th and 7th of August 1856, Apostle Erastus Snow and Brother Wallace preached in Manti. July 13, 1856 Elder L. V. Vernon and others from Salt Lake City preached in Manti.
August 10, 1856 at a meeting of the Seventies held in Manti in the evening, there being
but twelve present when there had ought to have been fifty or sixty, Father Gad Yalo,
President of the Seventies of Sanpete said, "I feel that all those that have met here
tonight will be saved in the Celestial Kingdom and I would not be afraid to prophesy to
September 7, 1856 I wrote a letter to President Brigham Young for my sister Rhoda by request of Albert Smith. Sept. 16, 1856 Albert Smith's wife died. Sept. 19, 1856 I helped to bury Rhoda's little boy. Oct. 5, 1856 I instructed the Seventies in Sanpete to prepare themselves for whatever they might be called upon to do. Oct. 23, 1856 Bishop Warren S. Snow said, "There is some of the basest of scoundrels in the Quorum of Seventies."
In April 1856, I helped to make a Drilling Machine to drill wheat. Wheat was so scarce that we were obliged to sow only one peck to the acre, and by drilling it one peck often produced forty to fifty bushels.
June 15, 1856, I read in the Deseret News of the death of Enos Curtis. He died in Springville, Utah County, Utah of the Dropsy of the Heart. He was 73 years old lacking 3 months, 21 days when he died. He was baptized in 1830 in the State of New York. He lived and died a true Saint.
June 21, 1856 Edwin Whiting was elected Major of Sanpete Militia in place of Nelson Higgins who was called on a mission to Carson Valley. Brother Whiting is on a mission to Ohio but is expected home soon. Elijah Averett was elected Second Lieutenant of Company B the 24th of August 1856. Major Edwin Whiting got home from his mission to Ohio. Sunday, Brother Whiting preached a noble Gospel discourse.
At 2 o'clock p.m. of Aug. 1, 1856 Brother A. E. Dodge came in to see me about a Court Martial. We had a good visit, talked upon our past experience in the work of God, and its future prospects.
August 30, 1856 I attended Court Martial. Sunday 31st, Inst. Brother Elisha Edwards got home from his mission to Ohio. Preached in the forenoon and Father Morley and Edwin Whiting preached in the afternoon. Their instructions were excellent. Thursday, Sept. 4, 1856 I attended Fast Meeting.
Sunday, Sept. 7th I wrote a letter in the forenoon and went to meeting in the afternoon. Sunday, 14th, I read in the forenoon. Sunday, 21st, I attended meetings as usual. Monday 22nd, set on a Grand Jury in the afternoon and until eleven o'clock at night. Wed. 24th, bottomed eleven chairs with rushes. Sunday 28th, stayed home in the forenoon and read the News on account of my wife being sick with the sore eyes. Monday 29th, attended Muster and Inspection of Arms. Tuesday 30th, threshed some wheat. My eyes are sore. Wednesday 1st of October my eyes are still sore. I bathed them with salt and water about ten minutes and asked God to bless it that it might have its desired effect. I then laid down about ten minutes. My eyes were so much better that I got up and went in to my garden and did a pretty good days work in the garden and in the shop. My wife's eyes are better. Thursday 2nd, I attended Fast Meeting. Did but little work on account of my eyes. Sunday 5th, I attended meetings in the fore and afternoon and Seventy's meeting in the evening, when I, in connection with others, called upon the Seventies to hold themselves in readiness for any call that might be made upon them, for they are minutemen. Friday, 10th, my eyes are getting better.
Sunday Oct. 12, 1856, I attended meetings and heard some good instruction from President Chapman, Bishop and others who had just returned from Conference. President Chapman said, "It is our duty to cut off the dead branches before we partake of the sacrament. John Lowry, John Beal and L. C. Bunce were cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I met with the Seventies in the evening and after many good remarks by the Servants of God who were filled with the Spirit of the Gospel, I arose and spoke to the Seventies something as follows: "Brethren, I feel the importance of what Brother Richey hath said concerning the Presidency of this Quorum. That there is a duty resting upon us to instruct the Seventies in this place, and to preach into them the thunder and lightening of Mormonism. This is nothing new to me, yet I feel that his remarks came good, and gave me a starting point. This is the third meeting we have had this fall and yet there is but very few of the Seventies of this place here tonight for which I feel sorry. Yet there are enough to receive the blessing. For God hath said that, where two or three are met in His name He will be in their midst, and that to bless. I feel that I am one of those the Bishop spoke of today, who had been in the Church for twenty years or over and had made but little or no progress. But I feel to awake to a sense of my duty and do all that my God and my brethren require of me. For I have no right, lawfully, to enjoy any of the privileges, recreations, and blessings that are for the Saints to enjoy until I have done all that God and my brethren require me to do.
"I would like to see the Seventies attend to their Quorum meetings, and hear them speak, that I may know whether they intend to be Saints of God or take the downward road and go to hell. I feel as though the few who are willing to attend their meetings and do their duties will be blessed. Notice, when you will, that those that will not go to meetings and those who cannot content themselves to stay in meetings while there is good instructions being given by the Servants of God, they are the very ones who if there is a public invitation to a dance are always ready to go. The hour is never too late to dismiss even if they stay all night."
"I believe I will give a key word by which all who receive it, and practice upon it, will have a desire to attend their meetings. And that is, attend to your family and secret prayers, pay your tithing, do unto others as you would like for them to do unto you under like circumstances. Deal honestly before God and man. Then you will love to attend meetings. May God bless us and help us to do our duties is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
Oct.15, 1856 Mary Jane Pectol was sealed to Daniel Buckley Funk by Father Morley. Brother Pectol gave a good supper.
Sunday 17th, attended Prayer Meeting in the evening. Worked all week till Saturday at chairs. Saturday, 25th, made a pair of shoes.
Sunday 26th, I attended meetings. And heard the brethren preach upon the Reformation, which had a good effect. In the evening the above text was renewed in the Seventy's Meeting.
Nov. 2nd, Sunday, attended meetings through the day and evening. Thursday 6th, attended Fast Meeting and Prayer Meeting in the evening. Sunday 9th of Nov.,1856, I attended meeting and administered to the Sacrament with Brother Elisha Edwards. I spoke upon the Reformation and Tithing. Attended Seventy's Meeting in the evening. Sunday,23rd, attended meetings. Seventy's Meeting in the evening. Sunday 16th, attended meetings as usual and Seventy's Meeting in the evening. Sunday 30th, attended meetings as usual. This evening the authorities, Bishop and Council, met with the Seventies and re-organized the Seventy's' Presidency. Gad Yale was counciled to and did resign and William Bench was appointed to preside in his place, with Daniel Henrie, John Crawford, Samuel K. Gifford, Asriah Tuttle, John Eagar and Joseph Millet as his Councilors.
Sunday Dec. 7th, 1856, I have worked in the shop every day through the week and attended meetings every evening. And I can truly say that a Reformation has truly commenced in Manti.
Sunday 14th, spent the week as before. Faith and good works still on the increase. At the Seventy's Meeting in the evening there was a donation called for for President Joseph Young. Between eighty and ninety bushels of wheat and a note of fourteen dollars and fifty cents was donated.
Sunday 21st, attended meetings through the day and Seventy's Meeting in the evening. Meeting kept up till half past ten. Had a good time.
Thursday 25th, my work has continued every day in the shop and meetings every night. Today the missionaries commenced a Conference in Manti.
Sunday 28th, the Conference closed about half past nine o'clock p.m. The work is still rolling and truth will prevail.
Wednesday the 31st, 1856. I went with President A. E. Dodge, President of the Elders of Sanpete, his councilors also went, to Fort Ephraim to hold a meeting with the Elders of that place. We had a good time. There was twenty-one Elders ordained. The Seventies and Elders of Ft. Ephraim donated to President Joseph Young sixty bushels of wheat and other donations were taken up by the Elders.
Thursday 1st, Jan 1857. I attended Fast Meeting and Prayer Meeting in the evening.
Saturday 3rd, I went to Ft. Ephraim to Conference which commenced Thursday, the 1st. Stayed till Sunday evening when I returned to Manti and attended evening meeting. The Spirit of God is working in Sanpete and Satan is raging.
Monday 5th, worked in my shop and attended Seventy's meeting in the afternoon. Made Arapene, the Utah Chief, a present of six chairs and one bed quilt. Tuesday 6th, went to the Indian farm with some of the Presidents of Seventies and others. Took Arapene's chairs to him. We held a meeting at his, Arapene's house, in the evening. Arapene preached a noble discourse to his brethren. He said he heard Brigham Young's words and did not throw them away and he wanted the Utes to hear him as he did to Brigham. He told them he wanted them to wash up and be clean and taught them many good principles. Elders Bench, Tuttle, Hatch, Snow, myself and others preached to them as well as we could to their understanding. We told them that they must listen to Arapene for he was a good man and would do them good. They must gather around him, wash up and learn to work, etc. They felt well and said they would do as we had told them. We gave them some presents and returned home to Manti in the forenoon of the 7th, inst. Took dinner and went to Fort Ephraim. Held meeting and organized the Seventies of that place. With John Edinston President, Peter Oldroyd and Eleazer King, his councilors. We had a good meeting and enjoyed the Spirit of the Gospel.
Thursday 8th, returned home in the forenoon. Worked in the shop in the afternoon and went to Prayer Meeting in the evening. There is truly a Reformation. Friday 9th, worked in the shop, attended meeting in the evening. Saturday 10th, worked in the shop. Council Meeting in the evening. Sunday 11th, attended meeting as usual, worked every day through the week and attended meetings every night. Sunday 18th, attended meetings. Arapene delivered a good discourse to the Sanpitch Indians. I worked all of the week in the shop and attended meetings every night but one, that being Saturday 24th, 1857 of Jan. This is the first evening I have missed meeting since Nov. 23rd, 1856.
Sunday 25th, 1857. I attended meetings. Bishop W. S. Snow and Councilor George Peacock who had just returned from Salt Lake City, gave us some good instructions. Monday 26th, I settled up my tithing with the Bishop. Wednesday 28th, attended Council Meeting in the evening. Sunday Feb. 1, 1857, attended meetings as usual and was rebaptized with the rest of the Council of Seventies and others. Monday 2nd, I started in company with Bishop W. S. Snow and a company of about 43 wagons with tithing to take to Salt Lake City. Drove to Ft. Ephraim and Bishop Kafod joined us the next morning with about 30 wagons with tithing for the city. Tuesday 3rd, bad crossing of Sanpitch on account of broken ice but got across without any damage. Drove to the Duck Springs and camped for the night. Wednesday 4th, started early in the morning and drove to the Uinta Springs and stopped to water our teams, after which thirty-three men were selected to drive on and break the road across the divide. Bishop Snow took the lead, I was one of the number. The remainder stopped for the night. We drove about two miles when the snow began to crust over so we were obliged to stop. It was then sundown. We fed our cattle. Some of us went about a half mile for wood. The snow was about two feet deep and we broke through about half of the time. After returning to our wagons and warming ourselves a little, for it was very cold, Bishop Snow, Father Israel Shoemaker, William Whiting, D. D. Washburn and myself started afoot to break the road. We all took hold of hands, forming a line across the road and jumping upon the crust so that the wagons were able to follow up with some four to seven yoke of oxen to the wagon. When we were about half way across the divide we met Elder Hyde going to Sanpete. His carriage was so light the crust bore it up. Neither did the horses break through so we went over safe. We were joined by the others who assisted us in breaking the crust by jumping upon as before until we got over the divide, some five or six miles. President Chapman and Bishop Snow returned to Sanpete with Elder Hyde to hold Conference. A few wagons were now across the Divide. It was about 4 o'clock at night (morning), myself and two or three others returned to camp. About 11 a.m. the teams that had taken the lead returned and met the balance of the teams that were behind and helped them across the divide. About this time Brother James Wareham's wagon's tung broke off next to the braces. Wm. T. Carrol and myself stopped to help him. We chained a gong to the wagon and rolled on. It soon commenced snowing. We were very cold and discouraged. We got to Nephi about dark. We were nearly four days going forty miles.
Friday, February 6, 1857, Brother James Wareham, Councilor to our President called the brethren together in the schoolhouse at Nephi and organized as follows: Brother James Richey to take charge of the horse teams and take the lead, and be a commissary to provide food for the teams, etc.; John Crawford, Captain of the ox team; F. W. Cox, Rasmus Larson, Thomas Thorp, Tory Thurston and Newman Brown, Captains of ten. We held a meeting. Brothers Wareham, Hatch, Averett and others gave some good instructions upon the principles of the Gospel.
Saturday, 7th, started very early in the morning, drove to the Pangan Springs, watered our teams and fed a little and drove on to Summit Creek where we arrived about sundown. Here we stopped for the night. Sunday, 8th, had no feed for our teams and drove to Spanish Fork City and stopped for the night. We found the Saints in this place enjoying a good spirit. The weather had turned favorable for the journey, although a portion of the time it had been very cold.
Monday 9th, drove to Provo City. We had a good meeting. I spoke a little upon the union of the Saints. 10th, drove to Little Cottonwood. Thursday 12th, drove to Salt Lake City, got there about 11:00 o'clock and unloaded our grain. Friday 13th, the most of the ox teams started for home for the want of feed for their teams. Myself, and a few others, stayed until the next day. The horse teams stayed a few days for some to get their endowments. Brother William Bench was ordained a President of the 12th Quorum of Seventy's and set apart to preside over the Seventies of Sanpete Valley. Saturday 14, I started for home. I drove to the hot springs about two hours before sundown, let my cattle rest till about dark when myself and two or three others drove ahead to overtake the ox teams in order to get food for our cattle. We overtook them about 3:00 at night (morning) at Pleasant Grove City. We fed our teams and rested till daylight. This was about forty miles from Salt Lake City. Then we drove to Provo City. Here I stopped and took in some things for William Stringham who joined us and moved to Manti. Drove to Springville and stopped for the night. It rained very hard in the night and turned to snow. I slept on top of an open wagon and when morning came, I found myself under a bank of snow and pretty well soaked. Took breakfast with Brother Stephen C. Perry and drove to Payson. Fed our cattle that night and in the morning on Tithing hay.
Tuesday 17th, drove to the Pangan Springs and camped for the night. Turned our cattle loose. Feed pretty good, not much snow. Wednesday 18th, drove to within a mile of Nephi. Turned loose for the night. Cattle did well. Thursday 19th, drove to Duck Springs in Sanpete Valley. Turned our cattle out to feed upon Greasewood. Friday 20th, fed our teams a little hay that we had hauled from Payson. I left my team in care of Elias DeMill and went home on foot some 21 miles through sloppy snow. Got home about 2:00 p.m. Found my family all well.
Saturday 21st, I stayed at home to rest a little. Sunday, 22nd, attended meetings in the forenoon and Seventy's Council Meeting in the afternoon; Public Meeting in the evening.
Tuesday 24th, bought a saw-shingle machine of Bishop Snow in connection with Oliver DeMille who was my partner in the water power.
Sunday March 1, 1857, I attended meeting. I worked in the shop days and went to meetings every night till last Wednesday evening, the 25th of Feb. I commenced going to a phonography school, F. C. Robinson, teacher.
Sunday 8th, went to meeting. Bishop W. S. Snow baptized 42 in the Reformation. They were confirmed in the evening.
Monday 9th, worked in the shop through the day and attended Council Meeting in the evening at the home of William Bench.
Tuesday 10th, I worked in the shop as usual and attended Seventy's Meeting
in the evening. After meeting was opened by singing and prayer President Jeremiah Hatch
gave some good instructions to the Seventies. Then President John Crawford arose and said
he felt to be on hand to do whatsoever was required of him. He did not want to go to sleep
again. Brother Crawford made many good and appropriate remarks. I then bore testimony to
the truth of what had been said by the brethren and spoke of the responsibility that we
were under to our God and each other. We must not go to sleep again and practice our
former sins. I pray the Lord to help us to sin no more. Amen. President Bench and others
made some good remarks. Bishop Snow gave some good instructions on the principles of the
Kingdom of God and the Priesthood. Adjourned till Sunday to meet at 4 o'clock p.m.
Sunday the 29th of March, 1857. Having been busy for two or three weeks past I have not kept an account of my time, but I have spent most of the days in the shop and attended meetings or phonography schools in the evenings. I feel to still progress in the truth.
April 1, 1857. I attended Council meeting on the 30th of March; Tuesday evening 31st, attended Seventy's Meeting; Wednesday evening, 1st, phonography school; Thursday 2nd, attended Fast Meeting. There were 38 baptized in the Reformation this afternoon.
Friday the 3rd of April, 1857. Bottomed some chairs and went to the mill and worked some in the garden. Saturday 4th, laying stone in the shop building until about 4 p.m. when I attended the last (12) lesson, phonography school. About half past 11 at night my wife gave birth to a son. We called his name Samuel Kendall after myself.
Sunday April 5th, 1857. I attended meeting in the forenoon. Monday the 6th of April, 1857 I was re-elected one of the City Council of Manti City. Tuesday 7th, attended Seventy's Meeting. Meeting adjourned until next Sunday.
Sunday the 12th of April, 1857. I went to meeting, stayed at home in the evening, my wife being sick. Saturday, 18thApril, attended City Council Meeting. Sunday 19th attended meeting as usual.
Friday April 24th, 1857. I attended City Council Meeting at 4 p.m. Adjourned till Saturday for want of Clerk. Saturday May 2nd, attended meeting of City Council. Sunday May 3, 1857. The sacrament was administered in the afternoon; Seventy's Meeting at 5 p.m
Friday, the 8th of May, 1857. Snow fell two or three times during the day so as to whiten the ground. Saturday, the morning of the 9th, the ground was froze about 2 inches deep. Sunday 10th, Public Meeting at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Seventy's Meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday 12th, snow fell so as to cover the mountains and some in the Valley. Thursday 14th, finished a clock-reel that I commenced the day before. Friday 15th, I worked in the shop till about 4 p.m. when I attended meeting, appointed by President Joseph Young and others who had just come from Salt Lake City, to organize the Seventies in Sanpete, and preach to the people. Meeting opened by singing and prayer by Gilbert Clements, when President Jacob Gates and others spoke with much interest upon the principles of the Kingdom of God. President Joseph Young and others ordained Daniel Henrie, Augustus E. Dodge, and John Buchanan Presidents of the Forty-eighth Quorum of Seventies, just being organized. Meeting adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. President Joseph Young called a Meeting of the Presidents of all the Quorums at half past nine, previous to the meeting on the morrow.
Saturday 16th May, 1857, met according to appointment, when myself and John
Crawford were ordained by Presidents Young and Gates and set apart as Presidents in the
Forty-eighth Quorum of Seventies. At 10 o'clock the house was filled with the good people
of Manti to hear the words of Eternal Life, which after singing by the choir, and prayer
by President A. P. Rockwood, was meted out through the abundance of the Spirit of God and
the Revelations of the Holy Ghost. Brother G. Clements read some of the sayings of Paul
concerning the Baptism of the Dead, the resurrection, etc. After which he said, "I am
happy to have the privilege of standing before the Saints in Manti. And if we would leave
all earthly things out of our minds while we were met together to worship, we should be
blessed." He said we were sent here for a wise purpose as intelligent beings; said
there was no knowledge so great to attain as the knowledge of one's self and the great
victory to achieve is to govern ourselves. Spoke of our origin. We are Princes and
Princesses in the Kingdom of God. Said the Devils got into the swine and the swine ran
into the water and were drowned but he did not think it drowned the devils. Said there is
not a man or woman in the Church but should feel that they are co-workers in the Kingdom
of God. Spoke of our descending below all things. Spoke of the flood, the Tower of Bable
(Babel), the worshipping of the calf, etc. Our spirits were pure before we came here.
Spoke of the transgression of the Atonement, blessings of this dispensation, the coming of
the Son of Man, etc. Said he believed that the pangs of death among the Saints were not so
hard as many thought they were. Referred to the persecutions and drivings of the Saints.
Spoke of the redemption of Zion. Said every man and woman will be judged according to
merit. Many are apt to be "street Saints and House Devils". Made many good
remarks. The brethren sang, "Oh, Ye Mountains High".
President Albert P. Rockwood said that every Saint had a right to Revelation in his own sphere, but nowhere else. We should do to all, both old and young, as we would be done by. Spoke of our past follies, of the Reformation, our covenants. Said those that would tabernacle among the Saints hereafter will be powerful. Said we should not take away the agencies of the female in marriage. They have but one choice to make and that is for time and all Eternity. They should have their choice in marriage or they can never be happy. Many will go to the altar and answer yes when it is not their choice. But they have been persuaded by promising them this, that and the other to make them happy if they would accept, and if not that could not be saved. Cautioned the Saints to be careful about making covenants, etc. Said we are still in line of progression. Spoke on the Family Order. Parents should be loving, kind and affectionate towards their children and should take a straight-forward course with them. Gave instructions to those whom they had ordained to the Presidency of the 48th Quorum of Seventies. Said every President is independent in his Sphere. Said the Bishop nor no other local officer of the Church has any right to interfere with these Quorums or dictate who shall be placed in this or that Quorum. Exerted to charity and love and closed by asking God to bless the Saints. President Joseph Young said, "We will meet again at 2 o'clock." Meeting closed by singing. Prayer by Elder William Casper.
2 p.m. meeting opened by singing and prayer. President Joseph Young said he did not think he should speak long. He read a little in the Bible then said, "It is not so much in saying as in doing." We should instruct each other. If peace is not in our family circles and in all our doings, if our light should shine at all among our brethren, it would be very dim. We should cultivate the spirit of Christ and our children will enjoy the same spirit. That spirit would teach us the same as if the Father was here to teach us Himself, or tell us what to do. The Kingdom of God does not comprehend one law only, but there's a Statute that is binding upon us, as also by-laws. A man possessing the spirit of love, first to his God and second to his family, is bound to prevail and subdue all the powers of Earth and Hell. Everyone should try to do the most good. He would like to see every officer in the Territory be a judge in Israel and be impartial, for the Savior is such a being. He would to God that every Saint was like a little child. He told a dream. He dreamed he saw Brigham sweeping a very small place. He asked what he was sweeping that for. Brigham answered, "I am sweeping a place for the Millennium." He, Joseph Young, said the spirit of peace and of blessing each other is the Millennium.
We should enlarge and increase in our wives, houses and in every good thing but do it upon righteous principles, for if we get them upon any other principles they will surely leave us, for that which is not gained in righteousness cannot dwell in the Celestial Kingdom, neither gold, nor silver, nor the precious things of the earth. None of us need to ever die if we will take the right course. Exerted us to cultivate domestic happiness. The troubles of this world will pass away as a night vision. If all the officers in this Kingdom would understand their bounds, there would be no clashing in the organization of the Kingdom. Said some would be mad and curse their brethren and then go and lay hands on the sick. Said the angels administer life and health to the sick. Made many good remarks upon the principles of the Kingdom of God.
President Jacob Gates said, "There has been enough said to perfect the Saints if they would live by what they have heard." He felt like he would go home and never sin again. We are continually learning and progressing. The reason for our being driven from Jackson County was because our minds were not large enough to receive the Principles of the Kingdom. Spoke of the persecutions and driving of the Saints, and said, "Have we learned anything by those experiences?" He looked forward to the pleasure to the day when the victory should be won over all the powers of earth and hell. But, although this Kingdom is to stand forever, we need not think that we are safe unless we prove faithful.
A man trying to govern his family when he has not learned to govern himself is like the sounding of brass or the tinkling of a cymbal. Though he may have fifty wives, it will be as though he had none. Spoke of the gayety of men and women when they wish to get married and then after the marriage they would act like a hyena, thus acting a hypocrite. Said the Angels are watching us and taking cognizance of all our acts. We should never whip a child for that which we are guilty of ourselves; but first consider, have we set them the example. If they quarrel, consider have we not set them the pattern? We should not have a spirit to curse but to bless. President Gates closed by asking the Lord to bless the Saints.
Elder William Casper said he had been blessed since he left home. Spoke of the covenants we made when we were baptized, and also when we receive our endowments, etc. and after many good remarks he closed by blessing the Saints.
Elder Israel Hoyt made some good remarks. Said he had been through scenes with some of his brethren that were before him that were calculated to bind them more closely together than the ties of nature.
President Welcome Chapman said what we have had is choice fruit, made some good remarks upon the Millennium.
Sunday May 17, 1857. I met with the Seventies early in the morning. I was called by President Joseph Young to lay hands with him and assist in ordaining Seventies. I was mouth in ordaining Mas Olesen and Hance Larsen. At half past nine the Saints were gathered for meeting. President Rockwood made a few remarks on the order of the Priesthood, etc.
Meeting was opened in the usual way of singing and prayer after which President A. P. Rockwood arose and made some very appropriate remarks upon the Covenants entered into by the Latter-day Saints. Said it was not in the decree of the Almighty that we should be forced to Heaven.
Everything that we do should be done for the building up of the Kingdom of God. Let us be steadfast and immovable in the purposes of God. Spoke of the building of the Temple and also of the Express and Carrying Company. Said there is more connected with the Express and Carrying Company than many have a knowledge of. Said that when it is in successful operation, the Emigration can come with but little expenses. There will perhaps be some of the young men of this place called to assist in that great work. Spoke of the disadvantages of bringing goods across the plains. At present, we cannot furnish food for the loafers. The plan of salvation is laid before us and it is for us to receive or reject. We have no right to dictate the female who they shall marry. Spoke with great interest upon the rights of the female. They have but one choice to make and that should be held sacred. Gave much good advice to parents and rulers and made many good remarks.
President Joseph Young read in the Third Chapter of St. John's Gospel, 17th Verse. Spoke on the Godhead, etc. We cannot bear to behold the face of the Father, nor even His associates. Many of the Saints would actually be strangled at their presence. Said, "There is no doubt in my mind but the Father is the most beautiful creature that ever graced the Celestial Worlds and that Brigham Young is the only man now living that is in possession of Eternal Life, for he is the only one that does actually know God, the Father and Jesus Christ who He hath sent."
Spoke of the difference in our looks and actions. We neither look nor act alike and yet our faith is the same. He said he knew that God was a pure being. The human family is very corrupt. Little children are pure and yet they have to suffer. Gave instructions to the parents concerning their children. Spoke on the principles of charity and the attributes of the Deity. Brigham is the only man that holds the "Keys of Celestial Marriage". Lust and anger do frequently overcome the people. Spoke of the rights of the Priesthood. All should be respected in their proper place and calling. The feet are just as honorable as the head in their proper place. Brother Young cautioned the Saints to reprove each other only by the spirit of Christ. Said that Bishops, nor any other officer, have any right to interfere with the Seventies Meetings. Many Elders do like to hew with Brigham Young's broad axe. He exhorted the Saints to try to know the Lord and be guided by His Spirit. Some Elders will talk about being Gods and will curse and swear and then will go and lay hands upon the sick, which is very wrong. Said he did not know as we should ever meet again this side of the Veil. If we keep the commandments of God, we shall never be driven again. The dead are looking to us for Salvation.
Elder Clements said, "Without the Spirit of God, I cannot edify." Brother Clements made many good remarks upon the principles of the Gospel.
Sunday, May 24, 1857. I attended meetings as usual.
The following are the minutes of the first meeting of the 48th Quorum of Seventies kept by F. C. Robinson:
May 24, 1857. Meeting opened by singing, prayer by Elder A. E. Dodge; singing. Elder A. E. Dodge made some remarks. Said he desired to speak righteously and then he would not be hurt. That though President Henrie was absent, he felt like going ahead. Said the Lord desired to make every man in the Kingdom a vessel of honor, providing he does his duty. May the Lord bless us, Amen.
S. K. Gifford said that there was business to attend to such as clerk appointing. Spoke on the good teachings of the Missionaries lately visiting us, spoke on the blessings and powers of the Priesthood. We ought to seek to understand our relationship to each other, etc. The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the Kingdom. Did the brethren realize this? We should seek for the upholding of the Kingdom of God. He felt his weakness as a man and could do nothing without the Spirit of God. Spoke on the depravity of man. We should be prepared for the coming events. We are all on a mission in this life. May God preserve us and help us to gain Eternal Life, Amen.
Elder William Bench spoke on the necessity of having the Spirit of God to help us in every station we may occupy. Said that President Daniel Henris required the Brethren's faith and prayers for he felt his weakness and incapability. Yet the weak things of the world are to confound the wisdom of the wise. He leaned on his brethren for support. We should be on hand to answer every call of the servants of God, etc.
S. K. Gifford spoke on taking flour to Brother Levi Hancock.
President Chapman said, "Men are apt to be discouraged but it depends a great deal on what a man thinks of his ability, etc." (I will there state that the speaker was speaking in reference to Daniel Henrie, whom the powers of darkness had led away into the mountains instead of letting him come and preside over the meeting as he ought to have done.) "We have seen men who are so smart as to do what no others could do, Yet we should be particular and do things right. We should live for the Spirit of the Priesthood and then we shall have it. A mis-spoken word will not condemn a man. Pray for your Presidents that they may bless you."
He then spoke on the Order of the Presidency, that he as President of a Stake had no right to interfere with a Quorum unless he saw something wrong. We must take a straight forward course and do right. And we have come to the Valleys to do this. If we try to do right, good men will help us. May God bless you and help you, Amen.
Councilor James Wareham said he felt well. The interest of the Kingdom is at his heart, yet he felt his weakness, and when a person is weak, the Devil will try to overcome him. Said he was a Seventy with the Brethren. The Priesthood is something that is to be handled with care. Spoke on helping Brother Henris. We should honor the Priesthood, etc.
President R. G. Clark said he intended to do all he could in his calling, etc.
S. K. Gifford added some remarks approving of Daniel Henrie as President of the Quorum. He believed that he was in his place.
A. E. Dodge testified to the good teachings of the night. He said we should pray for all brethren in authority, for when a man leads a flock he is responsible, and the Devil will take every advantage of him that is in his power. The Devil has been a liar from the beginning.
President Chapman testified to the goodness of Daniel Henrie. He required a start like a colt.
S. K. Gifford made some further remarks on being united in Quorums, etc. Brother Bench followed in the same strain. Two songs by F. C. Robinson.
Adjourned for two weeks.
OF BIRTHS, BAPTISMS FOR THE LIVING AND DEAD, AND ENDOWMENTS
Alpheus Gifford was born August 28, 1793 in Barnstable, Massachusetts. He was baptized in 1830. He was first ordained a Priest, then an Elder, and afterwards a High Priest. He died December 25, 1841 five miles above Nauvoo. Samuel Kendall Gifford and Anna, his mother, were sealed for his father, Alpheus, in Salt Lake City in 1861 by President Brigham Young. S. K. Gifford received his Endowments for his father, Alpehus, in the Saint George Temple January 2, 1878 and second anointing at the same place on July 31, 1878.
Anna Nash, wife of Alpheus, was born February 17, 1800 in the Township of Butternets, Otsego, New York. She was baptized in 1830 or 1831 in Tioga County, Pennsylvania by Alpehus Gifford. She was anointed in the St. George Temple on July 31, 1878.
Samuel K. Gifford was born November 11, 1821 in the Township of Milow, Yates County, New York. He was baptized in Jackson County, Missouri in the spring of 1833 by Solomon Hancock. He was ordained a teacher in 1844 by Isaac Morley and Garner Snow in Hancock County, Illinois. He was ordained into the 20th Quorum of Seventies at the same place in 1845 by President Joseph Young. He was ordained a President of the 48th Quorum of Seventies by President Joseph Young on May 16, 1857 in Manti City, Sanpete County, Utah Territory. He received his first anointing in Nauvoo near the breaking up in 1846. He had Lora Ann DeMille, his wife, sealed to him in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, by President Brigham Young on September 22, 1855. He had Ursula Curtis sealed to him in the Endowment House, Salt Lake City, by Joseph F. Smith on January 2, 1871. He also had Orpha DeMille, who was dead, sealed. (Orpha DeMille and also Elizabeth Knight Johnson were sealed by proxy the same date, January 2, 1871.)
July 30, 1878. Samuel K. Gifford's wives received their second anointing in the St. George Temple January 3, 1879. Ursula C. Gifford received endowments for Mahala Ruth Durfee January 2, 1878, and for Olive Hoten January 3, 1878, and for Orpha DeMille Gifford January 2, 1879.
Alpheus Gifford, son of Samuel Kendall Gifford, was born July 26, 1849 in Mt. Pisagah, Iowa Territory. He was baptized July 26, 1857 in Manti, Sanpete County, Utah by S. K. Gifford. He received his endowments in the Endowment house in Salt Lake City. He was ordained by Fulsemer in 1868. He and his wife Sarah Hanson were sealed in the St. George Temple by Wilford Woodruff March 15, 1877. His wife received her endowment the same day.
Corneal Gifford was born May 3, 1851 in Manti City, Sanpete County, Utah Territory and was baptized at the same place. She received her endowments and was sealed to William H. Crawford in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.
Cyrus Gifford was born March 18, 1853 in Manti City, Sanpete County, Utah Territory. He was baptized in Manti, Sanpete County, Utah Territory in 1861. He was ordained by J. J. Allred. He died July 31, 1865 in Shonesburg, Kane County, Utah Territory.
Oliver Demill Gifford was born December 10, 1854 in Manti City, Sanpete County, Utah Territory. He was baptized May 15, 1864 in Shonesburg, Kane County, Utah Territory. He was ordained an Elder when thought to be dying by S. K. Gifford and Walter Stringham on August 8, 1868 in Shonesburg. He and his wife Alice Virginia Allred received their endowments and were sealed in the St. George Temple by Erastus Snow on February 1, 1877.
Samual Kendall Gifford, Jr. was born April 4, 1857 in Manti City, Sanpete County, Utah Territory. He was baptized April 23, 1865 in Shonesburg by S. K. Gifford and confirmed by the same. He was ordained an Elder and died October 22, 1867 in Shonesburg.
Freeborn Demill Gifford was born January 4, 1860. He was baptized January 4, 1868 by S. K. Gifford and confirmed by John J. Allred in Rockville, Kane County, Utah Territory. He was ordained a Deacon March 28, 1875 in Springsdale and was ordained an Elder January 25, 1870. He received his endowments in the St. George Temple May 16, 1878.
Lora Ann Gifford was born March 27, 1862 in Manti, Sanpete County, Utah. She was baptized May 29, 1870 by John C. Hall and confirmed by S. K. Gifford in Rockville. She received her endowments and was sealed to Christian Larson in the St. George Temple on May 16, 1877.
Adelia Mariah Gifford was born July 17, 1867 in Rockville, Kane County, Utah and was baptized July 1, 1875 by E. F. Greene and confirmed in Springdale, Utah.
Moses Elias Gifford was born on June 18, 1869 in Shonesburg, Kane County, Utah. He was baptized July 15, 1877 by Oliver DeMille and confirmed by S. K. Gifford in Shonesburg.
Lora Ann Demill Gifford was born June 2, 1828 in the Township of Colesville, Broom
County, New York. She died April 6, 1870 in Shonesburg, Kane County, Utah.
Gifford research and compiling by: LaReah H. Toronto
(From Box Elder Grove on Deer Creek, Wyoming to Manti, Sanpete, Utah - to cover the two missing pages of Samuel Kendall Gifford's Journal.)
The hills surrounding Deer Creek (100 miles west of Ft. Laramie, Wyoming) were covered with wild berries and small fruits. Wild meat was available in every direction. The pioneers who had passed this way had harvested the crops of others and planted new crops for those to come, leaving a few families to guard their treasurers.
Deer Creek was on Indian Territory set aside by the U. S. Government, and the Sioux Indians were being taught to plant corn. Because of the bounteous supplies of the hills, the Mormons began taking "root" in this land of plenty - a new experience for them after passing over such a barren country for so many weeks. The first Mormon Pioneers had passed that place nearly three years previous and who is to say the number of weary travelers who stopped at Deer Creek to enjoy the blessings that awaited them.
The Sioux Indians were not happy to have their pale face intruders settling on their ground. They had the protection of the U. S. Government and the antagonistic attitude of the white people placed in charge of Indian Affairs made the most of the situation.
Although many of the people traveling in the same company as Samuel Kendall Gifford were content to remain at Deer Creek to better supply themselves with earthly goods, Samuel Kendall and his party were anxious to move on to Zion and be numbered among the body of the Saints. As soon as their wagons were in repair, and with a good supply of the natural food that surrounded them, they once again took on the laborious task of trudging along the "Mormon Trail" to Zion. The Mormon Trail by that time was well defined, although there were many obstacles to overcome and the way was slow. They had traveled to the Deer Creek area on the north bank of the North Platte River, but because of difficulty in making a new trail, they crossed to the south bank of the river and followed the Oregon Trail. The wagon wheel ruts were deep and dry, and many times the center of the trail caused the wagons to "scrape bottom". The loads was made lighter by the women and children walking and taking with them the things they could carry, while the men pushed the wagons over the rough spots. When the trail permitted, the small babes and older women were once more allowed to "climb aboard" and ride on until they hit another rough spot. These "ruts" bear silent evidence of the movement of many people over the Oregon and Mormon Trails.
Three miles due west of where Casper, Wyoming now stands was the site where the Mormons had built a ferry known as "Mormon Ferry". It derived its name from the ferrying activities begun by the advance pioneer company in 1847 and continued for many years thereafter. Through the use of a boat made of buffalo skins, loaned to them by James H. Grieve, and the "revenue cutter", a leather boat carried by them, the Mormons ferried some of the early Oregon emigrants as well as their own people over the Platte River. From the Oregon Emigrants the Mormons received flour, meal, beans, soap, honey and two cows. It proved to be a great asset in replenishing the food supply as the various companies of Saints continued their journey to Great Salt Lake. Wilford Woodruff wrote of the occasion, "It looked as much of a miracle to me to see our flour and meal bags replenished in the midst of the Black Hills as it did to have the children of Israel fed on manna in the wilderness."
A company of ten men had been left to ferry over other Oregon emigrants and to be of assistance to the large company of Saints, which were to follow later that year and arrangements were made for those to come in the following years.
Along the Mormon Trail is the famous Independence Rock, about 50 miles southwest of Casper, Wyoming. It can be seen for many miles and is situated near the Sweetwater River. It is called the "Register of the Desert" because of the many names and dates inscribed into its smooth granite sides. It was a main campsite for the weary Mormon traveler.
The company trudged along until they came to the large V shape gorge cut through the mountain by the Sweetwater River called Devil's Gate. It is only a few miles to the southwest of Independence Rock. The water was a refreshing sight, giving the weary travelers a chance to stop and wash their clothes, bathe, and the children enjoyed a brisk dunking in the cool clear water of the desert. Their water barrels were refilled before leaving and the pioneers' feet were refreshed and ready for what was to come along the way.
South Pass, the place that marked the crossing of the Continental Divide, was found by the Mormon Pioneers to be much different from what they had expected. This was where the pioneers left the Oregon Trail and headed southwest toward Ft. Bridger. Orson Pratt wrote, "It was with great difficulty that we could determine the dividing point of land which separates the waters of the Atlantic from those of the Pacific. This country, called the South Pass, for some fifteen or twenty miles in length and breadth is a gently undulating plain and prairie, thickly covered with wild sage from one to two feet high."
Although many companies had passed over this trail in the three years previous to Samuel Kendall Gifford and his family, the traveling was none the less troublesome. His wife and young child were weary and spent and his mother had done her best to carry her load along the way. She acted as midwife at the birth of a child, attended the sick and comforted the discouraged. She was gentle in nature and firm in the belief of a Father in Heaven. Although the death of her beloved husband and companion had taken its toll in her strength, her faith never wavered and her courage was a great inspiration to those to whom she attended. Anna Nash Gifford, mother of Samuel K. looked forward to entering Salt Lake Valley and once again see her youngest son Moses who had come into the valley in 1847 with Joseph Noble and family.
The company looked with anticipation to a much needed rest at Ft. Bridger. They had long since learned of Ft. Bridger and knew many of their friends were living in the vicinity. They wondered what familiar face would "come out of the desert" to greet them. Brigham Young had detailed a company to build a Fort near Ft. Bridger for the protection and comfort of the companies en route to Salt Lake City. The Church later purchased Ft. Bridger for $8,000.00, but when the United States Government sent troops to Utah, it was again a Military Fort of the Government.
As the company came down through Emigration Canyon and got their first glimpse of the vast Salt Lake Valley, how they rejoiced. They made their entrance into Salt Lake September 11, 1850. As other companies had done, they were directed to Independence Square (now Pioneer Park) and here they set up housekeeping in their wagons. They immediately set about trying to find out where their loved ones and friends had located. Moses and his mother were reunited and what a glorious day for both. He was a lad of 14 when he left for the Great Salt Lake Valley and three long years had passed. He had lived with the Noble family since his father's death in 1841.
As soon as possible, Brigham Young made arrangements for the new arrivals to be sent into areas to be colonized. Their occupations were carefully checked and the information checked against the records of communities needing their services. Groups were called and when a need for someone to go to Manti came up, Samuel Kendall Gifford quickly stepped forward. His good friend, Isaac Morley, was Presiding Elder in Manti and when Samuel K. received the call to go to Manti, he immediately made plans, replenished his supplies, made arrangements for his mother to remain in Salt Lake City with her son Moses, and bid his friends and loved ones goodbye. His mother was a good midwife and served the leaders of the Church in this capacity as well as others in need of her care. Ichabod Gifford and Samuel K.'s Uncle Levi Gifford and family chose to remain in Salt Lake County for a short period and Samuel K. wished them well. Then following the instructions of his beloved leader, Brigham Young, he set out for Manti, knowing little or nothing about the country he was yet to travel.
Sanpete Valley occupies a central portion of the group of natural divisions comprising the State of Utah. The valley was rich in resources, waiting for the hand of man to bring forth its hidden fruits. Numerous streams lay waiting to be used to irrigate the vast valley.
The previous year (1849) Chief Walker appeared in Salt Lake City and requested colonists to be sent to Sanpete Valley to teach the natives to build homes and till the soil. Isaac Morley, with fifty families, were called to Sanpete County only to find that Chief Walker's main reason for colonists to be sent there was to have more victims to prey upon. The worst winter in the history of Sanpete County was spent in 1849-50. The colonists had settled in what is now Manti at the south side of "Temple Hill", making "dug-outs" and setting up homes in their wagon boxes. The company had cleared roads and crossed through Salt Creek Canyon without any great hardships.
Brigham Young visited Manti in August 1850 and christened the town Manti in honor of one of the notable cities mentioned in the Book of Mormon and the county called Sanpete (formerly Sanpitch Valley) after the Indian Tribe inhabiting the Valley, the Chief being Sanpitch.
The small group of Saints who were called to Sanpete Valley with Samuel Kendall Gifford were well armed and arrived in Manti in November 1850 with very little trouble, although there were scattered Indians watching behind the rocks and cedar trees as the small company wended their way south.
There was much rejoicing as Samuel K. met his good friend and "second father" Isaac Morley. Father Morley was a good organizer and soon he had the families assigned to their various locations. The men were already bringing logs from the mountains nearby and small homes were being built in and around the Fort. Small farms were assigned the colonists and the men joined their brothers in hauling logs and building homes for their families.
The hills were covered with wild hay and grasses and Samuel K. along with others set about cutting and hauling it into the central storehouse for the winter's use. They also stacked the hay on their small farms for their own use. They had learned to use the natural resources to good advantage and worked steadily and hard in order to prepare for the winter months, the colonists having suffered the most severe winter was the worst ever recorded before or since in Sanpete Valley.
Typical of Mormon colonies, the education of the young was not to be neglected. The
first school classes were held in the cabins of the Saints, but soon a small log
schoolhouse was erected and Jesse W. Fox was installed as the Pioneer teacher. He was soon
followed by Mrs. Mary Whiting. Samuel Kendall Gifford was a learned man for his day and
read extremely well. He became a teacher on an elementary level soon after his arrival in
Manti. He taught the Gospel whenever possible and was a teacher in the first Sunday School
organized in Manti.
Sources of Information Church History
Jensen's Ecclesiastical Encyclopedia of the Church
Records at the Historian's Office
Manti Church and Civil Records
Journals of those traveling with Samuel Kendall Gifford
History of the State of Utah
"From Nauvoo to Utah"