Jacob Hatch 1783-1876 / Elizabeth Wild 1788-1847
Isaac Burres Hatch 1823-1853 / Mary Jane Garlick 1822-1900
John William Hatch 1850-1932 / Maria Matilda McClellan 1854-1940
Charles Jenner Hatch 1905-1966 / Irene Rogers
David Gaston Garlick 1780-1843 / Elizabeth Buck
Hugh McClellan 1773-1847 / Mary or Polly McCall 1776-1847
James McClellan 1804-1881 / Cynthia Stewart 1810-1862
William Carroll McClellan 1828-1916 / Almeda Day 1831-1933
Hugh Day 1809-1886 / Rhoda Ann Nichols 1813-1844
Sheldon Nichols 1788-1871 / Susannah Chipman 1792-1883
Jacob Hatch web page, 1786-1876, Massachusetts/Vermont to Salem, Utah. Link to Kaye Hooley's page, very thorough.
Elizabeth Buck 1795-1887 and Mary Jane Garlick 1822-1900
Hugh Day 1809-1886
James McClellan 1804-1881
William Carroll McClellan 1828-1916 and Almeda Day 1831-1933
John William Hatch 1850-1932 and Maria Matilda McClellan 1854-1940
John Alma Hatch 1876-1974
Charles Jenner Hatch 1905-1966
[from history of her daughter, Talitha Cumi Avery Cheney, Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol 15, pp 117-120.]
I, Talitha Cumi Garlick Avery Cheney, was born Sept. 22, 1824, in Providence, Bedford county, Penn., the daughter of David Garlick and Elizabeth Buck. Father and mother belonged to the Christian Church and were very religious and firm in their belief. The Christian Church believed in baptism by immersion, and that was all that was required, they thought. Then they belonged to the True Church of Christ. But in 1837 there were two Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (John Wakefield and William Baisley) came to our neighborhood and preached the true Gospel and mother and three of my sisters joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were baptized in October 1837. I was thirteen years old then. Previous to these Elders coming my mother dreamed she saw two strange Preachers and heard a voice say “These are the true messengers of God, hear and obey.” I heard my mother tell my father in the morning after she had dreamed this. The next week these two Mormon Elders came and as soon as Mother saw them she said they were the men she saw in her dream and she knew they had the true Gospel. In two weeks after hearing them preach there were twenty baptized in that place. Then the mob spirit arose and all was confusion. Our friends and relatives all turned against us.
We stayed there for two years after that. Mobs and persecution prevailed. Father said he was going to leave if he had to go without selling. No one would buy. He finally sold his large farm for five hundred dollars, and it was worth five thousand, he often said. He took the family and started for Missouri. This was October 1839. When we got to Illinois we heard the Saints were all driven out of Missouri, so we went to Commerce which was afterwards called Nauvoo. When we got there it was Nov. 30th, too late to build a home. There was none we could get. Every house was full. There was a blacksmith shop that two families had just moved out of, so father got that. It was the best he could do, but it had no floor, no door, and no chimney. Father made a sod chimney because there was no rock. He made a clapboard door, and we lived in that all winter. Father hauled house logs across the Mississippi on the ice, and built a house with two rooms with hewn logs, and moved in it in March.
I heard the Prophet Joseph Smith preach the last time he preached, just before he and his brother, Hyrum, went to Carthage. I saw them after they were killed and brought back to Nauvoo. It was the most sorrowful sight I have ever seen. To see two great and good men, one of them the greatest Prophet, or as great as ever lived on this earth, killed in cold blood by a mob. Those were times long to be remembered. In 1845, my mother and her family moved across the Mississippi River to Iowa. My father had died in 1843. An old friend of ours said we could better ourselves by moving across the Mississippi because my brother was old enough to farm.
On September 3rd, my husband took very sick. He had cholera. He died on the 13th of September, 1847 in Missouri, Atchison County, 12 miles south of Linden. My son, William, was then 18 months old. I was left among strangers, not one of my folks within 500 miles. My husband’s youngest brother was with us or I don’t know what I would have done. On the 15th of September my brother-in-law took me to Kanesville to Charles Avery, my husband’s oldest brother. On the 15th of October my mother and three of my sisters came and I stayed with my mother until she started for the valley in 1852. She was in the company of Capt. Allen Weeks. I stayed another year with my brother-in-law, John F. Wakefield, and my sister, Susan, for she felt so bad to have us all go and she had me stay. In 1853 I started to the Valley with Brother Jacob Bigler’s folks. We started the 10th of June, in Daniel Miller’s Company and got to Salt Lake Valley the 10th of September, 1853. When I got to the Valley, I went south as far as Springville; my mother, brother, and three sisters were there.
Additional notes from history by Wayne Cheney and Mary (King) Timothy, great-grandchildren.
She always attended her meetings. She was very active, industrious, and healthy. In her dress, she appeared exceptionally nice and neat. She was highly respected by all that knew her. She was small with grey hair. While in her eighties picked up pods of the locust tree, shelled out the small seeds, and sold a quart to the Bishop, who had asked for someone to volunteer to do the task, which was a tedious job. She lived 2nd South and 2nd West in Springville, Utah. Her first home was very small and made of logs.
She had a habit of tying her apron on backwards, and then slipping it around in proper place. She was quick spoken and very witty, she tried to weave when she was 90 years old, and spent her last few years with her daughters, she often said “work makes one happy.”
David Gaston Garlick and Elizabeth Buck
[Taken from history of their daughter, Talitha Cumi Garlick Avery Cheney, Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 15, p.117-120, and from history of daughter Mary Jane Garlick.]
David Garlick and Elizabeth Buck lived in Providence, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. They had seven children; Hannah, born June 1, 1818; Susannah born June 14, 1820; Mary Jane born August 12, 1822; Talitha Cumi born September 22, 1824; Joseph Gastin born May 2, 1828; Sarah Elizabeth born October 3, 1830; and Elizabeth born April 13, 1835. They belonged to the Christian Church and were very religious and firm in their belief. The Christian Church believed in baptism by immersion, and that was all that was required, they thought. Then they belonged to the True Church of Christ.
David was the owner of a saw mill and lumber farm. Along with the lumber harvest, he did a lot of trapping and hunting to keep his family supplied with the necessary things of life.
In 1837 there were two Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (John Wakefield and William Baisley) came to their neighborhood and preached the true Gospel and Elizabeth and three of her daughters joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were baptized in October 1837. Previous to these Elders coming Elizabeth dreamed she saw two strange Preachers and heard a voice say “These are the true messengers of God, hear and obey.” She told David the next morning after she had dreamed this. The next week these two Mormon Elders came and as soon as she saw them she said they were the men she saw in her dream and she knew they had the true Gospel. In two weeks after hearing them preach there were twenty baptized in that place. Then the mob spirit arose and all was confusion. Their friends and relatives all turned against them.
Although Mary Jane’s father David, had not yet accepted the Mormon faith, he could not
bear to see his family exiled and decided the best thing for them would be to move to where the “Saints” were located. For two years David tried to sell his property which consisted of a good farm, a large tract of timber land, raw mill, lumber yard, cattle and horses, with barns, sheds and a comfortable home. It was worth more than $15,000. David finally auctioned most of his holdings at a great sacrifice for only $500, leaving some property jointly owned with his two brothers, Jacob and Adam, in the hands of a nephew, Abraham Garlick.
As soon as it was learned that David was making preparations to move, a group of hostile anti-Mormons began making plans to mob the Garlicks and any other Mormons. It is not known what would have happened had not a friend on hearing the threats of the lynch mob came and notified David of the lawless plan. Provisions and most needed essentials were quickly loaded into two wagons drawn by two horse teams and they left their Pennsylvania home which they were to see burned to the ground while they were not yet far away.
After going some distance alone, the Garlick family joined another group of Mormon converts on their way to join the main body of the Saints. This was October 11, 1839 and except for short periods of stopovers, this trek lasted for a period of years.
Upon entering the state of Illinois, it was learned that the Mormons had been driven out of Missouri and were now gathered at Nauvoo, Illinois. This shortened their journey somewhat, When they got there it was Nov. 30th, too late to build a home. There was none they could get. Every house was full. There was a blacksmith shop that two families had just moved out of, so David took that. It was the best he could do, but it had no floor, no door, and no chimney. He made a sod chimney because there was no rock. He made a clapboard door, and we lived in that all winter. The winter of 1839-1840, was extremely cold. The Mississippi River froze over and David Garlick was able to haul logs from the Iowa side across the ice. By March 1840, David had a two room cabin ready for the family to move into.
Brother Joseph Smith, the Prophet, had gone to the City of Washington to lay the grievances of the Gospel before the President of the United States. The family did not see him or hear him preach until he got back.
David, who had owned a sawmill and a lumber yard in Providence, helped with building the Nauvoo temple. Many days he worked all day on the temple with only a breakfast of potatoes, and nothing else until the next day. He died November 4, 1843, leaving Elizabeth to care for her family alone. Hard work and worry had taken their toll, but he never lost faith in the Church.
In 1844 Elizabeth moved across the Mississippi River to Iowa. An old friend said she could better her family by moving across the Mississippi because her son, Joseph, was old enough to farm.
In 1846 the Saints had to leave Nauvoo and go west. On April 6th Elizabeth and the family started and caught up with the first company at Mr. Pisgah. They traveled with the first company to the Bluffs and camped on Mosquito Creek.
They then crossed the Missouri River and camped on the West side (Winter Quarters). As it was too late to go any farther, they made preparations to stay there all winter. In the spring of 1847, Brigham Young with a band of pioneers started west to find a home for the Latter-day Saints west of the Rocky Mountains. After President Young started, they crossed back to the east side of the Missouri River. She left for the valley in 1852 in the William Lang Company, departing the 10th of June and arriving in Salt Lake the 6th or 7th of September.
She moved to Springville with her son and three daughters.The people had moved into a fort. The Indians were troublesome.
Elizabeth Buck Garlick was endowed in the Endowment House on 31 October 1863. She was living by herself in the 1880 Census in Springville next to a couple of Bringhurst families. She died 5 August 1887 in Spanish Fork. Some records give her death incorrectly as 5 Sep. She is buried in the Springville City Cemetery, Blk. 35 Lot 1.
Mary Jane Garlick
Mary Jane was born 12 August 1822 at Providence, Bedford, Pennsylvania, daughter of David Garlick and Elizabeth Buck. This part of Pennsylvania, especially Providence, was full of tragic stories of scalpings, house burnings, and many other escapades. Because of this the Garlick familiar had stayed close together and Mary Jane grew up among her many relatives.
The family was Pennsylvania Dutch. Mary Jane was a beautiful girl with chestnut brown hair, dark brown eyes, and a lovely complexion. She was a strong healthy girl. The Garlick family, were a religious people, members of the Cambellite faith. They also believed in faith, repentance, and baptism by immersion.
Two Mormon missionaries, William Howard Bosley and John Fleming Wakefield, brought the Gospel to Mary Jane’s family. Mary Jane, along with her mother, and two older sisters were baptized October 5, 1837. When it became known the Garlick women had joined the “Mormon” Church, their persecution began. Soon members of the family became outcasts. No more did their close friends and relatives treat them with love and respect. The girls especially suffered deep grief because of their social standing in the little community.
Although Mary Jane’s father David, had not yet accepted the Mormon faith, he could not
bear to see his family exiled and decided the best thing for them would be to move to where the “Saints” were located. He finally sold his property. A group of hostile anti-Mormons began making plans to mob the Garlicks and any other Mormons. It is not known what would have happened had not a friend on hearing the threats of the lynch mob came and notified David of the lawless plan. Provisions and most needed essentials were quickly loaded into two wagons drawn by two horse teams and they left their Pennsylvania home which they were to see burned to the ground while they were not yet far away.
Mary Jane was seventeen years old when the family began their journey from Providence, Bedford, Pennsylvania, to join the Latter-day Saints at Independence, Jackson, Missouri.
They crossed the states of Ohio and Indiana. Upon entering the state of Illinois, it was learned that the Mormons had been driven out of Missouri and were now gathered at Nauvoo, Illinois. This shortened their journey somewhat, but even then it was November 30,1839, before the Garlick family arrived in Nauvoo.
The family arrived in Nauvoo in November 1839. Winter was coming on and every shelter available was filled to capacity. David Garlick and his family were most grateful to be permitted to move into a crudely built blacksmith shop, where two families had lived. This crude dwelling had no floor, door, nor a chimney. Since it was winter, there were no rocks available for a chimney, so David made one of sod and a door of clapboard.
The winter of 1839-1840, was extremely cold. The Mississippi River froze over and David Garlick was able to haul logs from the Iowa side across the ice. By March 1840, David had a two room cabin ready for the family to move into.
The year 1841 the Garlick family really rejoiced with the baptism of their father, David, into the Church. This same year, however, the family was greatly saddened by the loss of little Eliza Grace who died at the age of six.
At this time the first Relief Society was formed. Mary Jane, her mother, and sisters, joined and were active in that organization. Because Mary Jane had a clear sweet voice, she became a member of the Nauvoo Legion choir. Also at this time a disease with chills and fevers was raging among the saints, and the Hyrum Smith family was ill. Hyrum came to David’s home to see if he would let one of his girls go assist Sister Smith with her home duties. Mary Jane went and lived with the Smiths for eight months. Joseph F. Smith was then two-and-a-half years old. Here she came to know Joseph Smith the prophet. This would have been in 1841.
During the persecution of the prophet, Mary Jane worked for a family in Warsaw, just a few miles from Nauvoo. One Saturday afternoon Mary Jane had gone to the wood pile to get some chips to heat the iron so she could finish the ironing. On her way back from the wood pile she was shot at by some hidden person. The bullet cut off a curl above her ear. She was terribly frightened and ran to the house to tell the lady what had happened, but before Mary Jane had finished her work it began to rain so hard that the lady persuaded her to stay all night.
The next morning she arose very early and prepared breakfast. When the husband did not come in to breakfast, Mary Jane inquired where he was. His wife told her that he had gone to Nauvoo on business the night before and had not returned. A feeling of terror came over Mary Jane and caused her to hurry much faster. After receiving her pay she took her bundle of clothes on her arm, put on her bonnet and shawl, and began her journey homeward to Nauvoo in the mud. She walked as fast as she could because she thought things were not just right at home. On her way she was overtaken by a young man who ask her where she was going. She told him she was going to Nauvoo. He said he was going there too, and would like to accompany her if she would permit him to do so.
They walked along together. The roads were very muddy and the streams were rising rapidly. As they walked along they saw the mob tossing furniture out of the upstairs windows of different homes along the way. They did not slacken their steps but hurried until they came to the river bank. They found the bridge was gone and they had to wade across. The young man told Mary Jane to wait on the bank until he had waded the river to see how deep it was. Then he would come back for her, but Mary Jane did not wait. She was ready to step out on the opposite bank right beside him.
When they reached Nauvoo, everything was too quiet. Not a sound could be heard. She wondered if anyone had been killed by the mob. As they entered the center of town, they could hear the Prophet’s voice, and they hurried to hear what he was saying. This was the last speech he gave to the people before he was murdered by the mob.
Mary Jane was at the meeting when the mantle fell upon Brigham Young. She said it was Joseph’s voice she heard, and with the rest of the crowd, she arose to her feet to find it was Brigham Young speaking instead of Joseph Smith.
Mary Jane’s father died November 4, 1843 at the age of 63 and was buried in Nauvoo. Hard work and worry had taken it’s toll, but he never lost faith in the Church.
After the death of David Garlick, his son Joseph took over the responsibilities for caring for his widowed mother and family. In 1844 he moved the family across the Mississippi River to the Iowa side and rented a farm there. It was here that Mary Jane met a stalwart man of sandy complexion by the name of Isaac Burres Hatch. There were married in Lee County on September 19, 1845. He was married to her sister, Hannah in 1846.
Isaac’s first child was a son Hyrum, born March 6,1847, to Hannah at Charleston, Lee County, Iowa. Isaac next moved his family across the state of Iowa and settled at Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa. They built their first home here, a log cabin built in the creek beds of Little Keg Creek. It was here on December 15, 1848, that Mary Jane gave birth to a boy, George Andrew. This fine boy brought much joy to their home.
In 1849, Mary Jane, with her husband Isaac, and young son George Andrew, left Council Bluffs to continue westward in a wagon drawn by an ox team. Hannah stayed behind with her mother and gave birth to her second child, another boy, Thaddeus Theodore, January 1, 1850, at Council Bluffs, Iowa, coming to Utah in 1852.
The immigrant saints in 1849 came in five companies of about 500 wagons and 1400 people lead by Orson Spencer, Allen Taylor, Silas Richards, and Ezra T. Benson. Many others came in independent companies as well as some members of the Mormon Battalion. Isaac was not identified with any special leader, so he may have been in one of the independent groups. Mary Jane’s brother, Joseph, is also not identified with a particular pioneer group.
When Salt Lake City was first settled, City Creek ran down the east side of main street. Here, near the present City and County Building, they camped in their wagons until they could get their land and start building their homes. Isaac and Mary Jane’s first home was located close to City Creek, in the Eighteenth Ward. Here she cared for her little son alone because her husband had been called by Brigham Young to go to Iron County as a missionary with Parley P. Pratt to the Indians and to do some exploring in that neighborhood.
After Isaac returned they moved to Cottonwood where on April 3, 1850, another son was born to them. They named him John William. They cleared land and build a humble home. But again sorrow came into Mary Jane’s life. Isaac was shot by the William “Wild Bill” Hickman, and died on 25 March 1853. This was a hard blow to Mary Jane, especially since she was about five months pregnant.
Mary Jane moved with her boys to Springville in July of 1853. It was here just a few weeks later that Isaac Burres, Jr, the third child of Isaac Burres, Sr. and Mary Jane, was born on the August 3, 1853, just four months after the tragic death of his father.
It was at this time that Indian Chief Walker was threatening War. As a safety measure, a new fort was constructed. Don Carlos Johnson described the fort as consisting of four square blocks made up of block houses built at intervals and connected by a stockade ten feet high. The stockade logs were set three feet deep in the earth for support. All the residents living outside the stockade were called in, and a strong guard was posted every night for the months during which the hostilities lasted.
These were indeed dark and gloomy times, for the Indians were numerous, while the white population was still small and the men were few in number. The stock was taken outside the stockade each day, accompanied by a strong guard. They were corralled within the fort at night. A signal gun was to be fired from the lookout point on the house top if the Indians appeared. This was to warn the farmers and the herdsmen so that they could make the protection of the fort.
It was here that you would probably have seen Mary Jane lovingly looking after her young children. Most of the Indian threats were nothing more than rumor, but the same state of affairs continued through the autumn and winter of that year. In May of 1854 peace was made with Chief Walker.
In 1855, she married Francis Delbert Lawrence. He had two children by a former marriage. He was very good to Mary Jane and her boys and she loved his children very dearly. On February 22, 1856 a daughter was born to them, and they called her Mary Nancy. Their happiness was short lived. Shortly after the birth of their daughter, Frances hitched his oxen to go to the hills for a load of logs. Some Indians came after them waving a buffalo hide and frightened the oxen. As they ran away, Francis was thrown from the wagon and was run over by the wagon, killing him.
In the fall of 1855, the grasshoppers were so thick they destroyed most of the wheat crop, and that year many of the Saints did not have bread for months. Flour was scarce and the price rose to $24.00 per hundred pounds. The poor hungry Saints were forced to supplement their diets with weeds and roots that grew wild in the valley such as thistle roots, pig weed, red roots, dandelion greens and sego lily bulbs; instead of being distasteful, these foods were adopted by the Saints as a part of their regular diet long after the famine was over.
The summer of 1856, fine crops were raised and the whole town of Springville had a celebration, a sort of Thanksgiving Day, on the 24th of July. A bowery, made of tree limbs, was built on the Public Square and a program presented. At one o’clock the noon meal was served under the bowery. They had vegetables from their gardens, a barbecued Ox and roasted young porkers and fowl of every kind. The Indians joined in with the celebration and helped finish off the food.
By 1858, nearly every family in the area had accumulated sheep. The wool was sheared from the sheep every spring, it was scoured clean and carded into wool rolls by hand. At this point the town of Springville had begun to have the appearance of a permanent settlement. It was laid out in streets, with a main street where barefoot children would play.
In the spring of 1858, on the advice of Brigham Young, Mary Jane married Isaac’s younger brother, William Hatch. He was glad to be able to help care for his brother’s children. He had a blacksmith shop which provided work for himself. On December 26, 1859 another daughter was born to Mary Jane. They named her Susan Permelia. She was a beautiful blue-eyed girl, and she became a companion and loving sister to Nancy Jane. This companionship never wavered for they loved each other as long as they lived.
Many times Mary Jane went to the meadow to gather salaratus and she would take the whitest and use for soda, and the rest as lye to make soap. They called this soap soft soap, but it did do the family washing.
On July 22, 1862 another boy was born and they named him William Henry. Then in 1864 another daughter was born to them and they named her Louisa. She died of measles when she was twelve years old.
In 1865, William and Mary Jane moved to Moroni, in Sanpete County, where William helped to build the old Bastion and took his turn as guard. He also served as one of Brigham Young’s bodyguards. They spent their final years in Koosharem, Sevier County, Utah. Here they are both buried in Koosharem City Cemetery.
A little history given by Sophrona Helquist Nielson of Glenwood, Utah, the granddaughter of Mary Jane Garlick.
At the time of the Black Hawk War, the men who were fighting ran out of provisions so they sent a young man by the name of Joseph Jolley back to Payson for food. When he arrived at grandmother’s house, she did not have any bread as she had warm bread each meal. She asked how long he would be in town. He said about an hour. She told him to call again and she would have something ready. She immediately began to make crackers while her daughter Susan made the fire ready to bake them. While Grandmother mixed the dough Susan would roll it out and bake it. When Mr. Jolley returned, grandmother and Susan had a two bushel sacks of crackers ready for him to take back to the soldiers.
They also took part in fighting crickets. Imagine their feelings as they stood looking over their crops of waving grain, feeling assured of the food for the cold winter days, and how quickly the scene was changed when there was a large black mass of crickets lighting upon their grain fields. Along with many others, they offered their prayers to their Heavenly Father for his assistance.
They worked as well as prayed each taking a sack or a piece of clothing, beating and whipping the black insects that had come to destroy their crops. Grandfather helped dig deep trenches which they filled with straw and then tried to drive the crickets into them to be burned.
Grandfather (William) was also among those who were called to go from Payson to sign the Black Hawk Indian War treaty because he could talk and understand the Indian language. Poor Grandmother watched and waited anxiously at home fearing grandfather and the other brethren would never return, but things were made agreeable with the Indians and many hearts were made happy because of their fast return. In January 1875 grandfather and grandmother moved from Payson to Koosharem where they helped with pioneering that place. Here they built a shingle mill and made shingles for many a home which was a big help to that valley.
Grandfather kept a little store and grandmother went about caring for the sick and helping in every way she could. She also cared for the store. She was known to everyone as Aunt Mary. On July 8, 1900 Grandmother passed to the great beyond. She was a very worthy pioneer, a lovely mother, and a faithful Latter-day Saint. At the time of her death she was 78 years old.
ISAAC BURRES HATCH, Sr.
[Part of a history in progress by Kaye Hooley, Orem, Utah.]
Isaac Burres Hatch was born on Saint Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1823 in LeRay, Jefferson County, New York. It was probably a very cold and snowy day, with the creeks frozen over, icy roads and travel by horse drawn sleigh.
In parts of Isaac’s records it shows LeRoy and in other parts, LeRay. In New York State there is a LeRoy, Genesee County, as well as LeRay, Jefferson County. I have proven to my own satisfaction, through my own research, that the correct birthplace of Isaac Burres Hatch Sr. is LeRay, Jefferson County, New York.
Isaac Burres was the eighth child of eleven children born to Jacob and Elizabeth “Betsy” Wilde Hatch. He was described as having a fair completion, blue green eyes, and reddish brown hair.
It was a year-round job to raise and obtain food and supplies for large families such as the one Isaac was raised in and the large task became a family project.
According to Franklin B. Bough and John J. Kenny, LeRay, in 1823, was a village which had its first Post Office within that year. LeRay was made up of two Inns; three stores, two grocery and one hardware; three black-smith shops; one grist mill; one saw mill; the usual variety of mechanics; four physicians; about sixty dwellings; and from 300 to 400 people. At this time the town had three churches: Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist. The Catholic Church came a few years later.
The life of Isaac parallels the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The year Isaac was born was the year that the Angel Moroni made his first visit to Joseph Smith in the same state, not far from LeRay. When Isaac was four, Joseph obtained the Plates of the Book of Mormon. Isaac was six when the Priesthood was restored and seven when the Book of Mormon was published.
If we were living at that time, I wonder how this startling news would have reached us for the first time? Probably with many varied versions passed from one neighbor to the other.
It wasn’t long until they had the true story brought to them through the first missionary movement. The missionary activity for the L.D.S. Church, also known as “Mormons,” spread all throughout New York State from 1830 to 1834.
The Hatch family moved West to gather with the Saints and settled on the west side of the Mississippi River in Charleston, Lee County, Iowa. Here Isaac met Mary Jane Garlic, the daughter of David and Elizabeth Buck Garlick. Isaac and Mary Jane were married 10 September 1845. Isaac also married her sister Hannah, as a second wife one year later.
Isaac’s first child was a son Hyrum, born March 6,1847, to Hannah at Charleston, Lee County, Iowa. Isaac next moved his family across the state of Iowa and settled at Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa. They built their first home here, a log cabin built in the creek beds of Little Keg Creek. It was here on December 15, 1848, that Mary Jane gave birth to a boy, George Andrew.
In 1849, Isaac, with his wife Mary Jane and young son George Andrew, left Council Bluffs to continue westward in a wagon drawn by an ox team. Hannah stayed behind with her mother and gave birth to her second child, another boy, Thaddeus Theodore, January 1, 1850, at Council Bluffs, Iowa. She and her mother came westward two years later in Captain Allen Week’s Company with her mother Elizabeth driving the team. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1852, toil weary but happy travelers.
The immigrant saints in 1849 came in five companies of about 500 wagons and 1400 people lead by Orson Spencer, Allen Taylor, Silas Richards, and Ezra T. Benson. Many others came in independent companies as well as some members of the Mormon Battalion. Isaac was not identified with any special leader, which leads me to believe he may have been in one of the independent groups.
When Salt Lake City was first settled, City Creek ran down the east side of main street. Here, near the present City and County Building, they camped in their wagons until they could get their land and start building their homes. Isaac’s first home was located close to City Creek, now the 18th Ward area.
Soon after Isaac and his family arrived he was called along with 49 other men, under Parley P. Pratt to explore southern Utah. There were five groups of ten and Isaac was in group five. Capt. John Brown was voted in charge and they gathered together at his home November 23, 1849 in Cottonwood to make their plans to leave.
Parley P. Pratt’s diary states that during their exploring expedition they encountered severe weather, deep snow, and many hardships and toils incident to such undertakings. They explored the portions of the country south from Great Salt Lake to the mouth of Santa Clara, on the Rio Virgin, which is a branch of the Rio Colorado. They were instructed to document the best places for settling. Their distance going and returning was between seven and eight hundred miles as mapped out today. On most of the journey they made the first road as they went along. The parts which had been penetrated by wagon were so completely snowed under that they seldom found the trails.
The singers in the camp would sing around the camp fires to help pass the long winter evenings.
By January 1850, they were on their way home again. On January 21st many were sick and it was snowing severely. A council was held and it was found there was food to feed about half of the company until Spring. Traveling in a wagon was impossible. It was decided to leave half the company until spring to winter there with the cattle and wagons. The other half with some of the strongest mules and horses would attempt to reach Provo, the southern part of the frontier. The distance was about one hundred miles to the north from where they were.
On noon the next day January 23, 1850 Isaac left with Parley P. Pratt and a group of twenty men and animals. Brother Pratt states that he was very ill and they made about nine miles the first day. The snow was from one to four feet deep along the route. The men walked leading their horses and all followed in a single track. The first person breaking trail would soon tire out and then move to the rear and so on. The first night they camped in a cedar thicket, the second day they made nine or ten miles and camped in a mountain pass, thirteen miles south of the Sevier River. It would be night when they made camp after wallowing in snow sometimes waist deep. Shoveling away the snow, they would build campfires and spread out their blankets completely exhausted. The animals were tied to cedar trees or wallowing up the hill in search of bare spots of bunch grass.
Friday, January 25th, 1850 they were camped four miles south of Sevier county. It was still snowing and several of their animals had given out and had to be left behind. They called this resurrection camp because when they awoke the next morning they were completely covered with snow. When brother Pratt commanded them to arise, the graves of snow were opened and they all came forth. They forded the Sevier River and camped on the heights six or seven miles north that night. There was much less snow here.
On Sunday the 27th of January they still had some fifty miles to get to Provo and their supplies were very low. Brother Pratt and Chauncy West decided to take the strongest animals and push on, while the rest moved more slowly. They could send supplies back.
The group left behind pushed on very slowly and had reached the southern part of Utah County, about twenty miles south of Provo, when the relief company met them with fresh supplies. They were entirely out of food and very faint and weary. They reached home in Salt Lake City the first part of February, 1850.
In the spring of 1850, Isaac was called with a body of men to join a Provo militia at Battle Creek where the Utes were attacking the settlers. The battle was over two days later and they returned to their homes.
On April 3rd, 1850, Mary Jane gave birth to their second son, John William. About this same time, Isaac and Mary Jane cleared their land and built a humble home in Cottonwood.
In the LDS Church Encyclopedia it is stated that the first settler in Parleys Canyon was a Mr. Hatch, who located on Big Mountain Creek about two miles north of Harley’s Station. This very possibly was our Isaac Burres. There was another mountain creek known as Hatch Creek.
A tragic story has been related to me many times by various members of the Hatch family telling of the death of Isaac Burres Sr. One account is that on a spring day of 1853, Bill Hickman, who was considered a friend, arrived on horseback and invited Isaac to join him and ride into Salt Lake City. On-the way to Salt Lake a friend of Hickman’s joined them. When they came to the Cottonwood Canyon stream it was necessary to travel in single file along the trail to cross the stream. The friend Bill Wooley led out, Isaac and then Bill Hickman followed. Just as Isaac’s horse was coming out of the water, Bill Hickman shot him in the back. He was taken home, where he died three weeks later. Hickman reported that Isaac had been shot with a stray bullet, but before Isaac died he regained consciousness and reported Hickman had shot him. Bill Hickman was an enigma in early Utah history. He was known murder who was never brought to trial, a known friend of Brigham Young and other Church leaders, apparently at time when it suited him to be such. He had many wives, and one theory has been advanced that Bill Hickman was in love with Isaac’s wife Mary Jane, and wanted her for himself.
The only reliable contemporary account of the incident is from the Journal History which recorded: “ March 11, 1853: During the past night, the notorious Ike Hatch was shot through the bowels while riding in the Big Field, by William A. Hickman.” This indicates that they knew from the start who shot Isaac. He had reportedly been involved in some less than legal matters involving horse trading with Bill Hickman.
The truth of this matter is likely never to be known in this lifetime. Whether Isaac was having second doubts about his association with Bill Hickman, leading to his death; whether Bill Hickman did want him out of the way to take Mary Jane as a wife; and ignoring all the speculation regarding Bill Hickman himself, his life and illegal activities.
Isaac left two young widows, the sisters Mary Jane and Hannah, and four young sons; George Andrew, John William, Hyrum Isaac, and Thaddeus Theodore. His youngest son, Isaac Burres Hatch, Jr. was born the August after his death. The sisters were each married two times after Isaac’s death.
Jacob Hatch is the son of John Hatch and Elizabeth Walden. He is a descendant of Thomas Hatch of Scituate, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts whose line can be traced to John at Hecche born about 1393 in Kent County, England. John Hatch’s mother, Priscilla Sprague, is a descendant of Richard Warren of the Mayflower. Her ancestry has other prominent early New England immigrants.
Jacob’s father, John Hatch, served as a minuteman and marched on 19 April 1776 to Cambridge with 56 other men from Spencer under Captain Ebenezer Mason. He served at other times during the Revolutionary war but no pension application has been found for him. John Hatch and Elizabeth Walden were married 29 Jun 1776 in Berkley, Bristol, Massachusetts. The record states that John was of Spencer, Massachusetts and Elizabeth was of Berkley. There are no birth records for any Waldens in Berkley, ongoing research is being done to identify Elizabeth Walden. After having a couple of children in Spencer, John took his family and moved to eastern New York, moving next to Vermont, and then to Otsego County, New York. At some point, Elizabeth died and John married Annie Chalker.
There is no definitive record giving a birth date for Jacob. He himself gave his birthdate at various times during his life differently. Kaye Hooley’s research has led her to believe that the most likely date is 22 April 1786, in Spencer, Worcester, Massachusetts. By 1809 John Hatch and his family, including Jacob were living in Butternuts, Otsego County, New York. John was listed as one of the founders of the First Baptist Church in Butternuts. John, Jacob, and Jacob’s brother’s Sylvanus and William are listed in a general store account book in Butternuts from 1814 to 1820, the accounts having been brought forward from the 1813 book. The accounts were for basic purchases of whiplashes, ribbons, carding wool, salt, tobacco, whiskey, calico, and buttons, in return for which credit was obtained for providing butter, wheat, fish, flannel, tow cloth (a homespun linen), and either cash or note. The family would weave during the winter and sell their cloth as well as butter and other products from their farm. John, Jacob, and William settled their accounts in September and November 1817.
Jacob most likely met and married Elizabeth “Betsy” Wild in Butternuts on 18 Apr 1809. Betsy was born 1 Jan 1788 in Williamsburg, Hampshire, Massachusetts, daughter of Thomas Wild and Anna Williams. Her father, like her husband’s father, was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, serving in 1779 and 1780 and who did receive a pension.
After their marriage Jacob and Betsy had four daughters, Eliza born about 1810, Almira born about 1811, Annie, born about 1816, and Charlotte born 10 Oct 1817. On 23 Mar 1816 Betsy Hatch gave a recitation in church on her “hope in God,” most likely in connection with her being accepted into the church.
James LeRay de Chaumont, proprietor of LeRay, Jefferson County, invited men from the Butternuts area to move to Jefferson County. Many from Butternuts left in February 1817, traveling in the winter when the ground was frozen, to arrive in time to plant spring crops. John and Jacob apparently left the following winter as their accounts at the general store were settled in autumn 1817.
Jacob maintained that he fought in the War of 1812, at the battle of Little Sandy, signing an affidavit on 26 March 1856 that his commander was Capt. Sylvanus Barney. Jacob’s bounty land applications were denied because he was unable to produce three witnesses who were with him and he was not listed on the official militia rolls.
Jacob and Betsy lived in LeRay until after 1840. Six more children were born; Hosea, Polly 17 Aug 1821, Isaac 14 Feb 1823, Layton 3 May 1826, William 12 Nov 1828, and Lewis 5 Oct 1832. There are early family records indicating there were two children named Hosea, but it is likely there was only one, who died before they left LeRay, most likely soon after his birth.
Jacob is listed in the 1820, 1830, and 1840 censuses of LeRay, Jefferson County. However, no land records have been found for him. Land records exist for his brothers, but not for him.
Religious activity was strong in the part of the country in the 1830s. Not far from LeRay in 1830, young Joseph Smith had organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Payson Utah Ward records state that Jacob was baptized 23 Oct 1838 by Noah Dutcher. Jacob is still in LeRay as enumerated in the 1840 Census, but likely soon after that left New York for Illinois/Iowa to be near the body of the Saints. It appears likely that all of his sons and at least one daughter also joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His daughter, Charlotte, did proxy baptisms for her family in Nauvoo, and was endowed and sealed to her husband in the Nauvoo Temple. Even though there is no proof the other daughters were ever baptized, Almira and Eliza also moved West, settling in Iowa and Wisconsin. No further information has been found about daughter Annie who married James Vaughn.
In 1847 as the Saints vacated Nauvoo and moved further West, Jacob and his family crossed Iowa into Pottawattamie County. They settled at Little Keg or Little Pigeon Creek. There is no doubt that during this time Betsy was accidentally shot by her husband. The details of this, however, vary greatly in various traditional accounts of the event. It certainly took place in October 1847 in Pottawattamie County. Many accounts put the event in the backdrop of a mob attack, but were there were really mobbings in this area at that time? The fact of her death at the hands of her husband, of her son’s family living nearby, are consistent in all accounts. One can only imagine the grief in this family at that time.
Sometime in the next year or so, Jacob married Hannah Gailey Jones in Kanesville, Iowa. Her first husband was John Lewis Jones. It is unknown whether they were divorced or whether she was a widow. She was born 22 May 1808 in Much Cowarne, Hereford, England, the daughter of William Lewis Gailey and Elinor Harris. She had at least two sons, Henry and John, by Mr. Jones. Jacob and Hannah had one child, a daughter born 1 Feb 1853 in Salt Lake City, named Ellen Hannah.
The Journal History of the Church states Jacob Hatch entered the Salt Lake Valley on 25 Nov 1849. Jacob may also have gone back to Iowa the next year, coming back to Utah the same year also. He may have been helping or had possibly gone back to try persuade his daughters to come to Utah.
In May 1851 a notice in the “Deseret News” offered a reward for some lost or stolen livestock from the Welch Settlement (Taylorsville area); “a red cow, a little white on the rump, and the brush of the tail, small high horns, long neck, large long bag, a slit in one ear, had a strap and bell on”; a “three year old bull, dark red, a little white on the brush of the tail, which is turned a little to the left side”; and a “large red ox, white hind legs and brush of the tail, wide high horns.” The offer was made by Jacob Hatch of the 1st Ward.
On 14 August 1855, in Salt Lake City, Hannah filed a complaint against Jacob stating that he did “threaten to kill her. She says she has just cause to fear and does fear that the said Jacob Hatch will carry his treats into execution by killing her or doing her great bodily injury.”A warrant was issued for Jacob, and he had a wagon and 8 horses confiscated, but no further action was found in the court records. Although the complaint included a request for a divorce, no divorce decree was found either.
Again, the facts of this matter, as in Betsy’s death, cannot be known at this time. We do know from subsequent events, that Hannah had problems of her own, and this charge against Jacob may have been part of the difficulties in her own life.
Near 1858 Jacob and Hannah, perhaps separately, perhaps together, with her sons and their 5-year-old daughter moved to Payson. The following account of another critical event in the life of Jacob Hatch was found in 1860 history A Record of the Early Settlement of Payson City, Utah Territory, by Franklin W. Young, second bishop of Payson, and nephew of Brigham Young. This event happened prior to Bishop Young becoming bishop and is said to have been the account of Mrs. Glen Loveless.
1858 - many poor people moved to Payson by instruction from B[righam] Young.
Among those who came here at that time was a man by the name of Jacob Hatch. He had a wife whose name was Jones prior to his marrying her. She had two sons whose names were Henry and John Jones. The old man, his wife, and the two boys used to fight among themselves and make quite a disturbance in the neighborhood. Henry was a grown man, and it is said by good authority, that he used to cohabit with his mother and that he was caught in bed with another man’s wife in G.S.L. City and in consequence of these things some unknown persons took him out and castrated him. John was a boy about 16 years old. Sometime in May the old woman and her two boys laid a plot to steal some horses and run them off to the Soldier’s Camp; but before they had time to execute this nefarious plot, they were detected.
This circumstance so enraged some of the people that they determined to punish them in a very summary manner. They accordingly surrounded the house (or dugout) inhabited by this family and called on Henry to come out and deliver himself up. This he would not do and he kept close for sometime, but at length came out and began shooting in the direction from which the voice which had hailed him came, but it being in the night and extremely dark, none of his shots took effect. He then tried to make his escape by running but was overtaken at the corner of the Pondtown [Salem] field and killed. On returning to the town, the people shot the old woman and tore the “dugout” in which she lived down upon her and thus the scenes of her pollutions became her grave.
A few days after the younger son was missing and has not been seen or heard from since.
The ingratitude of this family in trying to rob, plunder, and betray their benefactors and friends is almost without a parallel, as is also their beastiality and licentiousness but notwithstanding all this we are of the opinion that it would have been better to have let them been dealt with according to law.
As Jacob continued to live in Payson with his daughter, it is likely that the animosity toward Hannah and her sons did not extend itself to “the old man” and his daughter. They are listed in the 1860 Census of Payson. A Journal History entry dated 18 May 1870 states:
Payson, Bro. Jacob Hatch an old resident of this place and a member of the Church for many years wishes me to inform you that he was 98 last month and that he has never yet seen a railroad, nor heard the snort of a steam horse. He is very active for a man of his age and talks of visiting your city before long, and taking a ride in the cars. If the Superintendent of the line will give the oldest man in the mountains a free ride to Omaha, he wants to go and see his friends and come home in the fall. If you can find anyone older than he is in these valleys who has not yet seen a locomotive Bro. Hatch would like to see his name in the papers.
Jacob obviously would have loved to go back to see some of his grandchildren living in Iowa, and possibly in other states as well. Family tradition in some branches of the family recounts his riding a bicycle from Payson to Salt Lake City at the age of 102. His age late in his life often was exaggerated, claiming to have been over 100 on several occasions, but he was not really that old.
In February 1875, Jacob made another application for pension benefits, listing Payson as his residence. He died the next year, 8 Jan 1876, in Salem at the home of his son, Lewis. He is buried in the Payson City Cemetery. A fire near the turn of the century destroyed many of the cemetery records, so the exact location of his grave is unknown. In May 1999 a new headstone for Jacob Hatch was erected through the donations of many of his descendants, through the coordinating efforts of Kaye Hooley, whose dedication to researching the life of Jacob, and the lives of his children, has been tireless, dedicated, and very thorough. A debt of gratitude is due her by all of Jacob’s descendants for her wonderful research.
A more complete history is being written by Kaye and will be available in the near future. Check her website.
JOHN WILLIAM HATCH
[As no history was found for John William Hatch, I have gleaned information about him from the family group sheets, as well as from the history of his son, John Alma Hatch, and his mother Mary Jane Garlick, with a couple of notes from Stalwarts South of the Border by Nelle Spilsbury Hatch. msb]
John William Hatch was born 3 April 1850, in the Cottonwood area of the Salt Lake Valley, son of Isaac Burres Hatch and Mary Jane Garlick. He had an older brother, George Andrew, who had been born at Pigeon Creek or Little Keg Creek, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. In 1853 another brother joined the family, Isaac Burres, Jr.
In March 1853 tragedy struck their family, as the father, Isaac Hatch, was shot by William Hickman and died some weeks later. His mother married Francis Delbert Lawrence, who was good to Mary Jane and her boys. A sister joined their family from this marriage, Nancy Jane, born in 1857. Shortly after her birth, Francis hitched his oxen to go to the hills for a load of logs. Some Indians came after them waving a buffalo hide and frightened the oxen. Francis was thrown from the wagon and run over, killing him.
In the spring of 1858, John’s mother, Mary, heeding counsel from Brigham Young, married his father’s younger brother, William Hatch, who was glad to care for his brother’s children. To this marriage three more children were born, Susan Permelia, William Henry, and Louisa, who died of measles when she was 12 years old.
In 1865 the family moved to Moroni, Sanpete County, then moved back to Payson. It was here that they witnessed and partook of the “Sugar Miracle” when during a severe sugar shortage a white substance appeared on the trees which they called “honey dew” or “sugar manna.” In 1872 the County Tax Lists showed William Hatch, John’s uncle/father’s, property valued at $175, with a note of “poor” written beside it. In 1876 William’s land was valued at $200 and his total property at $300. It was also in 1876 that John appears for the first and last time in the tax rolls, showing that his property was “sold.”
In 1875 they had moved to Koosharem where they helped pioneer that place. Here William built a shingle mill and made shingles for many of the homes.
While still in Payson, the family had close ties with the McClellan family. John and Maria [pronounced like the wind - Meriah] Matilda McClellan were married on 13 March 1873, and sealed in the Endowment House one month later on 14 April 1873.
Their first two children, Lillian Maria and Minnie Almeda were born in Payson. The family then moved to Grass Valley, the area where Koosharem is located. But when it was time for the next child’s birth, John and Maria traveled the more than 150 miles back to Payson so that she could have a midwife for the birth. This was their son, John Alma Hatch, born 27 Nov 1876, in Payson.
The family lived for six years in Greenwich, Piute County, near Koosharem, where the next three children, Ernest Isaac, Mary Agnes, and Rhoda Evelyn were born. The two little girls died young, Mary at only 9 days, and Rhoda who died 11 days short of her first birthday. John was a farmer and owned a ranch and put up hay.
Long winter nights were turned into a family factory when seated around the blazing fire they picked wool. Sewed carpet rags, pieced quilt block, carded wool, kit socks and stockings, as Maria read to them, propping open her book with the scissors, rocked the cradle, and knit. Each child would be occupied in tasks best suited to his age. Ernest served longest at the carpet rag sewing, saying in later years he could remember when he cut his first tooth but not when he learned to sew carpet rags. He also took his turn at the washboard and at scrubbing the pine board floor and chair seats. John and Maria were thrifty and frugal and drafted every child into an organization that “kept the best side out.” “We may live in poverty, but it will be slick poverty.” [Stalwarts p. 243]
Then before 1884 the family moved to Pleasanton, Socorro County, New Mexico, about 60 miles north of Silver City. They lived here for 3 years while John worked freighting to the silver mines about 12 miles from the town. Here two more girls were born, Myrtle and Pearl. Pearl lived only 5 days. The moved from the town u to the mines where John worked running the tailings from the quarts mill over a belt with water washing the tailings from the silver. The conditions in the valley were very poor and there was much malaria. The children, John and Minnie the worst, had the chills frequently. During this time John served in the bishopric. Also during this time, Geronimo and his Indian band were on the warpath in this area and the family had many scares of them coming with their raiding parties. The Apaches attacked a company of soldiers nearby, killing five of them, including a doctor. Jacob Hamblin, the noted pioneer and friend of the Indians, was one of their neighbors here and the Hatch and Hamblin children played together.
After October 1885 the family moved back to Grass Valley. Except that it was extremely cold, it was a very pleasant valley. It was named for the huge meadows that ran the whole length of the valley. A stream ran through the center of the valley, “pure, clear and cold.” They lived in a little white frame cottage with shrubbery and a new orchard growing around it. John farmed and they always had a few sheep and cows. Each spring John and his sons would drive the cows to a place in the mountains near Fish Lake, which they called Johnson Flat, a distance of about 18 miles. While there, Maria and other women of the extended family, would stay for the summer making cheese and butter. Many hours were spent fishing, hunting, boating, swimming, and enjoying the mountains, as well as working. In August and September they would cut and bind the wheat.
John worked hard to provide for his family, on the farm, and in the mines, never really attaining any sort of wealth. It was hard to make ends meet with 9 children to raise. Their son John Alma wrote of his mother, Maria:
Mother was a very resourceful person. In our poverty she spun, wove, and made all our clothing. In the long winter nights she would knit, and read aloud to the family while we would either pick wool or sew carpet rags. The faster she would read, the faster she would knit. She spun the cloth and made all of our clothing, knit all of our socks and stockings. She was a wonderful cook. I wish I had some of her salt-rising bread for supper tonight. She knew how to make and raise a garden. She may not have been as gentle and pleasant as some people I have known, but God bless her she had unpleasant things to endure. The matter of fourteen children, and abject poverty would try the patience of anyone and she had that strict stern McClellan blood in her veins. Mother was a very good housekeeper, and she had a place for everything and everything was kept in its place. She had a good memory and was fairly well versed in the Holy Bible.
In Greenwich, Koosharem, and Fish Lake, the last of their 14 children were born: Cynthia Irene in 1887, George Lynn in 1890, Frances Fern in 1892, Elmer Hugh in 1894, and twins Charles and Carroll in August 1896 at Fish Lake. Charles died the day of his birth and Carroll died when about 14 months old. Not many people now know what it is like to live in poverty and bear fourteen children. Probably more often than not it was a very frustrating and trying experience. We can indeed say that Maria Matilda McClellan Hatch was “resourceful” with all that she accomplished without the modern conveniences that we have today.
A year after Carroll’s death, once the fall harvest was in, the family left on 30 October 1898 and went to Mexico. The reasons for their move to Mexico are somewhat vague. They were not polygamists, but Maria seemed to feel unable to endure the long cold winters in Grass Valley any longer. They felt this move was imperative for her health. Maria’s parents had gone there some 12 years earlier, so they did have family there.
It took the family nine weeks to travel by wagon from Grass Valley to Colonia Juarez. They crossed the Colorado River at Lee’s Ferry, sometimes traveling two or three days without water except what they had in their barrels. They followed the trail through the Snowflake area, down toward Clifton through what is now Virden, New Mexico, and then from Lordsburg they followed the Southern Pacific Railroad into El Paso.
Long before they left Utah, they sent in their immigrant papers stating what they were bringing into the country and other data. When they arrived at the border there was some trouble getting across because their papers did not match what they had. Someone else who was traveling with them had traded some mares that he listed for some mules— so they had quite a time explaining why the mules were not mares. In El Paso, Maria’s father and brother had met them, helped sort out the paperwork, and then they enjoyed their first train ride on the newly completed Mexico Noroeste railroad with their wagons, teams, and other traveling gear being shipped with them.
Colonia Juarez is situated in the mouth of the canyon where the Verde River flows out of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Juarez is 3/4 mile wide and is built on both sides of the river.9 When they arrived it was dark and they were at the top of a hill looking down on Colonia Juarez. John Alma says this about his first view of Colonia Juarez, “It looked like we were looking right down in a hole to see the lights twinkling, and they weren’t electric lights either, they were just oil lamps.”
The day after they arrived was Christmas Day and everyone was celebrating in the streets. The Saints were really big on celebrations, feasts, and games.11 They were having sports in the street like foot races, horse races, and wrestling. They were accepted into the community at once and made quick acquaintances.
Though there were glowing reports of the colonies published in the “Deseret News,” there were many trials and problems in the colonies. There were contagious diseases; smallpox, scarlet fever and typhoid were common. The people were poor and often had to go hungry due to crop failures. In 1901 three of their children were married, and another in 1902. Their oldest daughter, Lillian, had married in 1893 in Koosharem, and had gone to Mexico with her three children and husband.
Then, of course, came the political trials. In 1912 the Mexican revolution really broke out. The women and children, and later the men were also forced to go to El Paso. They could take very little with them.
Shortly after this, John, who had stayed, was watching over the homes of some of the people who had not yet ventured back into the colonies. He heard something in one of the houses and went in to investigate. Coming down the stairs was a Mexican woman, the wife of Guadalupe Treviso, with her arms loaded with stolen goods. John Hatch yelled at her and she told him she was just gathering up things to watch over them for the colonists. John said he was surprised that the “thieving S.O.B.s” left anything there for her to “watch over.” She dropped all the things and ran out of the house and told her husband that “el viejo” (the old one) Hatch had called her a thieving S.O.B. Her husband came storming over across the street and demanded to know why “el viejo” Hatch had called his wife such a name. John Hatch said that he had called the thieves that name and not Treviso’s wife. Treviso ended up throwing a hammer at John Hatch. He ducked and threw a rock at Treviso. It hit him on the temple and he crumpled to the ground.
John immediately walked home, told his wife, Maria, that he had just killed a Mexican and told her to tell anyone who came that she didn’t know where he was, then he left. That really left Maria wondering. It was not long before there were Mexicans all around the house. They searched the house for “el viejo” Hatch but could find him nowhere. They went and got his sons, John Alma and Ernest, from the church to help them search. Of course, this was a total surprise to them, and they had no idea what had happened, and just why or if their father had really killed someone. Later, the boys found out he was hiding out in their next door neighbor’s attic, where he stayed for a couple of weeks. If he had come out, the Mexicans would have killed him immediately. Finally the boys made an agreement with the authorities and with the Treviso family that their father would turn himself in and stand trial if no one wold harm him when he came back into public. This was made as a written agreement and was signed by all the parties involved. He did stand trial and was released because it was in self defense. This was one of the more exciting times around the Hatch household. Until the trial, though, the family endured bullying from first one party then another until he was cleared in a court session.
While they were in Colonia Juarez, one of the activities they were involved in cheese making. A large vat was located at the home of John’s son, Ernest. The townspeople brought their milk, weighed it, and poured it into the vat. The entire operation was under the John’s direction. Daughter-in-law May [Cora May Merrell] helped make the molds for the cheese and put it in cheesecloth after it was cooked. When the process was completed, the community members were given their share of the cheese according to the amount of milk contributed.
The family stayed in Colonia Juarez until 1914 when they moved to Colonia Dublan. John died of a heart attack on 22 Jan 1932 and Maria died there 26 Jul 1940. They are buried next to each other.
CHARLES JENNER HATCH
By his mother, Cora May Merrell Hatch
Charles Jenner Hatch was born Nov. 29, 1905, El Paso Texas, blessed April 13, 1906 by William C. McClellan, El Paso, Texas. At the time of the baby’s birth the family of four was living in one room upstairs of a rooming house of a friend, but the baby was welcome. He weighed nine lbs., eyes blue, hair very light. Didn’t seem to thrive and cried much of the time but after he was older he was better and didn’t constitutional remedy so much and was such a lovable little fellow.
When about one and a half years old he and the older brother always wanted a doll to go to sleep with at night and not having one like the , sister, he was given a roll of something to resemble a doll and was satisfied to go to sleep with it. I soon bought him a doll which he named Alice and always played with it like a girl. When he was about two and a half years old he had a carbuncle on his neck and when I would ask him what mama could do for her boy he would say “Awy if me, mama, awy if me,” meaning to lay on the bed with him. The night before it was lanced he was in such agony he just tore his hair. After Sister Seville lanced it, it soon healed up.
He was very earnest and sincere and when about five years old one night when he was saying his prayer he asked the lord to bless the new baby brother that he might grow up so he could carry wood. He was so earnest about it I had to motion to the hired girl to not laugh. He was nearly eight years when he started to school on account of the exodus of the people in 1912 and not room for them in El Paso schools. Miss Cecil Skousen was his first teacher but was promoted to the second grade before end of 1st semester and Miss Grace Jarvis was his teacher. To begin the second semester we moved to Dublan and Miss Elnor Spicer taught his grade. He was the first one of our children to give trouble in school. He was so restless and did his school work so quickly that he had time to play and make trouble.
He was baptized on his eighth birthday by his father and confirmed Dec. 7, 1913 by J. W. Wilson. The next year Miss Florence Jackson taught the 3rd grade which he was in and had trouble with him ’til she studied out a way and found where she gave him extra work and kept him busy and had no trouble with him.
May 12, 1923 we went to a play “The Dust of the Earth” given at the Gilbert High School by the senior class, but they having only eight seniors, they asked others to help them with it. Jenner was a sophomore but they gave him a heavy part, that of an old man who had lost his memory, which was difficult, but he took it so well that he received compliments from everywhere on the splendid way he took his part.
Part of the following is a “transcription” Jenner’s wife Irene made from notes taken once when she and Jenner were going to Mesa to attend the Temple. She had wanted him to write his story. Part is taken from bits a pieces from other sources.
Dad (John Alma Hatch) had gone to El Paso to work (1904). Mother (Cora May Hatch) had gone there before I was born in 1905. (I understand they were driven out-perhaps some one else will know for sure.) We went back to Mexico-back to El Paso in 1910, Feb.(?). John was called to the California Mission. They left Mexico on a train as a group, left homes, just took clothes. John came to El Paso from Mission field.
Back to Mexico in the fall, in a wagon with a team. Back to El Paso in 1912 or 1913, back to Juarez in 1914. Started school when 9 in Nov. 1914. Skipped first grade, started 2nd, was promoted to 3rd in Juarez.
They moved to Dublan, lived there two years, 1915-1917. Started 4th grade, was promoted to the 5th. (Because he could read better than the teacher.) In 1917 Pancho Villa came through-left Dublan. Were in Juarez then left Mexico. They stayed in Deming, New Mexico a while. March 6, 1917 they stayed in Mesa a month or so while locating a home. In April they moved to Gilbert, Didn’t have anything when they left Mexico-does not know how they lived, their family was down through Mary.
In 1922-23 - went to school in Chandler. 1923-24 and 1924-25 at Juarez Stake Academy. In Juarez he stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Hatch. Went to Mexico City in February. Carl (Pratt) died in June of typhoid. Jenner had received the first scholarship to the College of Agriculture in Mexico City. (Jenner kept a diary during the time he was in Mexico City. He mentions getting his first weeks wages of one peso for going to school. Between going to school they did a lot of sight-seeing.
Joined the National Guard in 1923; 1923-24 in encampment in El Paso, in 1923 went to school from camp. 1924 went home and back (to school?) in car. Bro. George Millett (Prudence Millett’s father) took some down.
He worked on the cantaloupe shed, started in the summer of 1925, went to Colorado for the cantaloupe season. After coming home he worked on the railroad for Southern Pacific-Picacho, Coolidge and Randolph. In the fall of 1926 he started to school at Tempe Normal School (now Arizona State University) went one semester.
He was a Sunday School teacher of 12 year old boys in Chandler. (They wanted him to take the 12 year old girls and he quit.) He was Sunday School Superintendent in Chino, was released and put in as Elder’s Group leader. He was Chino Valley Branch President from Jan 9, 1944 to Jan. 21, 1951. His counselors were K. Theodore Bates and Keith L. Bunker. He replaced Jay S. Bunker. Upon his release K. Theodore Bates was sustained as Branch President with Keith Bunker and Charles McGee as counselors. Moved to Prescott in Dec. 1950. Was a Sunday School teacher of the Gospel Doctrine class, M.I.A. President. He served as a counselor to Glen Kleinman in the Bishopric of the Prescott Branch.
“Jenner served on the Chino Valley School Board for seven years. During this time Chino Valley needed a gymnasium and the trustees decided that the only way the district could afford one was to build it of used lumber. The airbase at Kingman was being disposed of and a hangar was purchased, dismantled and hauled to Chino Valley to be used for the new gymnasium. Those who helped with the dismantling job were Jenner Hatch, Lester Sanders, Everett Brisendine and Jack Boaz. They used Churchill’s truck as well as Brisendine’s and Hatch’s to transport the used lumber to Chino. A contracting company was contracted for the construction of the gym. They were working at the time the old school burned. It was necessary to hold classes in the gymnasium until other classrooms could be constructed following the fire.” (From “Cowchips and Calluses”, Ellen Ginn)
After moving to Prescott in 1951 he was elected president of the Miller Valley PTA. He had no idea what his responsibilities were, but he had good help. When his term was up, he asked for another chance to redeem himself. He did and was a very good PTA president.
John Alma Hatch: Full of Life
(I believe this history written by Panda Head Nixon. Footnotes missing from my copy.)
John Alma Hatch was full of life. We can all learn from the vitality and energy that he exemplified throughout his life. He never slowed down and never quit. He showed more energy at the age of ninety-eight than many people do at the age of twenty-eight.
John Alma Hatch was born in Payson, Utah, 27 November 1876, to John William Hatch and Maria Matilda McClellan. He was the third of fourteen children1. He lived for six years in Greenwich, Utah, which is located in Grass Valley. His family moved to Pleasanton, New Mexico and lived there for three years while his father worked in the silver mines. They then moved back to Utah2.
When he was twenty-three years old attending Juarez Stake Academy in Mexico, he wrote an English composition entitled "My Former Home," in which he talked about the time he lived in Grass Valley. He talked fondly of this place and said that if it were not for the cold climate, he would probably rather live there than any other place he had seen. Grass Valley was named for the huge meadows that ran the whole length of the valley. He described this stream as "pure, clear, and cold,"3 and the cold he ought to know about, because he was baptized in it in the morning of April 7, 1887, when he was ten and a half years old.4 He was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He lived a long life of activity and devotion to the Mormon Church.
The house they lived in was a little white frame cottage with shrubbery and a new orchard growing around it.5
His family was very poor and he learned early to work hard on the farm and at the silver mines. His father worked hard all of his life and never really attained any sort of wealth. His father farmed and it was hard to make ends meet with fourteen children.6 John Alma Hatch wrote this of his mother:
Mother was a very resourceful person. In our poverty she spun, wove, and made all our clothing. In the long winter nights she would knit, and read aloud to the family while we would either pick wool or sew carpet rags. The faster she would read, the faster she would knit. She spun the cloth and made all of our clothing, knit all of our socks and stockings. She was a wonderful cook. I wish I had some of her salt-rising bread for supper tonight. She knew how to make and raise a garden. She may not have been as gentle and pleasant as some people I have known, but God bless her she had unpleasant things to endure. The matter of fourteen children, and abject poverty would try the patience of anyone and she had that strict stern McClellan blood in her veins. Mother was a very good housekeeper, and she had a place for everything and everything was kept in its place. She had a good memory and was fairly well versed in the Holy Bible.7
Not many people now know what it is like to live in poverty and raise fourteen children. Probably more often than not it was a very frustrating and trying experience. We can indeed say that his mother, Maria Matilda McClellan Hatch, was "resourceful" with all that she accomplished without the modern conveniences that we have today.
On 30 October 1898, the Hatch family left Utah to move to the Mormon colonies in Mexico. The Mormon colonies were well established by this time, because the Saints had been there for thirteen years. Originally many of the Mormon people had moved to Mexico due to the 1887 Edmunds-Tucker law against polygamy. The polygamist families fled to where it would not be illegal for them to live as polygamists. The Hatch family, it should be noted, did not practice polygamy.
It took the Hatch family nine weeks to travel by wagon from Grass Valley to Ciudad Juarez. They arrived there on Christmas Eve in 1898. Long before they left Utah, they sent in their immigrant papers stating what they were bringing into the country and other data. When they arrived at the border there was some trouble getting across because their papers did not match what they had. Someone else who was traveling with them had traded some mares that he listed for some mules - so they had quite a time explaining why the mules were not mares. They finally got this straightened out and were able to cross the border into Mexico.8
Colonia Juarez is situated in the mouth of the canyon where the Verde River flows out of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Juarez is 3/4 mile wide and is built on both sides of the river.9 When they arrived it was dark and they were at the top of a hill looking down on Colonia Juarez. John Alma says this about his first view of Colonia Juarez, "It looked like we were looking right down in a hole to see the lights twinkling, and they weren't electric lights either, they were just oil lamps."10
The day after they arrived was Christmas Day and everyone was celebrating in the streets. The Saints were really big on celebrations, feasts, and games.11 They were having sports in the street like foot races, horse races, and wrestling. John Alma recalls a story about the foot races in the street that day:
There was a man there by the name of Willard Skousen who was a great sport, and I saw him talking to my uncle, George A. McClellan, and he asked him, "Doesn't that fellow run?" (referring to me) And George said, "I don't know, he just got here." And he ask him if he don't think he can beat Rube Farnsworth (who was outrunning all the other boys). Then he brought Willard over and introduced him to me and he said, "Did you ever run?" "Oh," I said, "I used to when I was back home." I said, "I'm in no condition to run now, I've been riding on the wagon for nine weeks." Well," he says, "I believe you can out-run Rube. If you'll run him I'll make a bet with his father and put up candy for the crowd." Just to see some sport. Well, he did. He matched the race, and I out-run Tube so bad, he stopped before he got through. ...Well, candy for the crowd!12
They were accepted into the community at once and the John Hatch family was admitted to membership in the branch of the Church there on 1 January 1899.13
The reasons they moved to Colonia Juarez are kind of vague. As mentioned before, they were not polygamists, so they did not go for that reason. They did have some relatives down there on the McClellan side (his mother's side). John Alma said that one of his uncles, who was married to his mother's sister, went down to Colonia Juarez and bought some property. He and his family only stayed there for a year and then decided to move back to Grass Valley, Utah. He traded his property in Mexico for John Hatch's property in Grass Valley.14 All that was required to move into the colonies was to get a recommend of good standing as a faithful Latter-day Saint from the bishop.15 There does not appear to be any specific reason for their going, at least none has ever been discovered. It may have been because of some of the good things they heard and read about the colonies. Many things were printed in the Deseret News. It was said that "There is splendid grazing for stock and grass is abundant, snow is rarely seen. There has been 2000 shade trees planted and 15,000 fruit trees, many vines and shrubs and flowers. The people are happy and content. There is a feeling of brotherhood among the people."16 This probably sounded really good to a large family who had really been struggling to make ends meet with their small farm in Utah.
Actually things were not a bed of roses for the colonists in Mexico. They had many trials and problems. There were many contagious diseases that went through the colonies. Smallpox, scarlet fever, and typhoid were common. The people were poor and often had to go hungry due to crop failures. The Saints did keep a good attitude through all these trials and some were even able to joke about their situations. There was a man by the name of Joe James who had four wives and many children. Someone asked him once how he managed to feed so many hungry mouths. james wittingly said that he "fed them all dry peaches for breakfast, gave them a drink of water for dinner, and let the peaches swell for supper."17 Everyone in the family had to work hard in their home and in their fields. Life was not easy for the Saints as they had to worry about the Indians and floods and crop failures.18
School and education were very important to the Saints in Colonia Juarez. Just a few days after the first Saints arrived in Juarez, Annie W. Romney was chosen to teach. She would teach a few hours a day in her dug-out, make-shift home. Fifty-four days later, they completed a meetinghouse that would be used for a school. They soon outgrew that and moved to an adobe building, and finally a two story cement addition was built. With the constant flow of new colonists, Juarez was soon made a stake. It was then decided that the education should be centralized in the stake, so the school became the Juarez Stake Academy and expanded coursework and added more departments until it included four years of accredited high school work. They soon found this new building too small and broke the ground for a new building in 1903. They had regular high school courses, commercial and agricultural courses, music, domestic science, domestic art, missionary training, carpentry courses and education courses.19 Often times the teachers would study in the U.S. for the summer and come back with fresh new ideas. At the Juarez Stake Academy young people were prepared to attend colleges in the United States.20 John Alma Hatch attended the Juarez Stake Academy. It is not known how long he attended, but he did take some classes.21
The first summer the Hatch family was in Colonia Juarez, John Alma met his wife-to-be, Cora May Merrell. He recalled their first meeting.
I was working for Myles P. Romney who was a carpenter and I was boarding with Helen Finnly, (who was the aunt of my wife, May). And while I was boarding there May came up from Diaz to visit her aunt, and of course I was boarding there and we met there, and that was it.22
After they had met, most of their courtship was through letters. She had been there for two weeks and then went to El Paso to work, so they wrote many letters. John Alma Hatch and Cora May Merrell were married 2 January 1901 by Anthony W. Ivins, who was the Juarez Stake President. President Ivins had the sealing power and so in his office sealed them for time and all eternity. Later, on 10 April 1912, they both received their endowments in the Salt Lake Temple and were sealed again by Joseph Fielding Smith, who was an apostle of the Church at that time.23 Three days after they were married, on January 5th, he left to go to Sonora to work. May joined him about six months later. John Alma did many different kinds of work during the next few years, including carpentry work, farming, raising fruit, and working on a ranch.24
The political unrest worsened a little at a time.
"First there was a restlessness among the natives which found vent in a sudden disrespect for law. This attitude was at first felt rather than seen. Submission to law enforcement became tinged with resentment against those who enforced it, a challenge of authority. This grew into overt acts of insolence, open derision, and finally into petty thievery. Bands of revolutionists coming into town to request help from businesses able to supply revolutionary needs increased this tendency to licensed robbery."25
John and May discovered that someone had been milking their cow for quite a while without permission. This left the family without milk. One night, John hid himself in the barn with a salt loaded pistol and waited for the milk thief to come. About four o'clock in the morning someone crept into the barn and went over to the cow. As the thief started milking, John shouted, "Stop!" The man immediately fled. John fired two shots of rock salt at his rear end. In the morning, John and his brother followed the tracks to the house of Torbio. They immediately went to the sheriff, who was gone. President Romney and Bishop Bently were also unavailable. They finally convinced a counselor to President Romney to serve the warrant, so they could arrest the guilty parties. They searched Torbio's house and found a room full of stolen things, and arrested four men who were at the house. They brought the men to trial and this was the beginning of many other problems with some of the rebellious Mexicans. There were several murders and many other problems because of it. This was the beginning of many revolutionary uprisings that were to follow.26
When John and May had five children, he was called on a mission for the Church to Southern California. In April of 1912, they went to Salt Lake City during the General Conference of the Church so John could be set apart for his mission. As mentioned earlier, while they were in Utah at this time they received their endowments and were resealed. John Alma was set apart for his mission by Heber J. Grant.27
He had been on his mission for about four months when the revolution in Mexico really broke out. The women and children were forced to flee to El Paso first, then later all the men were forced to leave also. Very little could be taken with them. They had to leave clothes, bedding, dishes, pictures, books and food. It was thought by many of the colonists that they would be able to return in a few days, and that everything would be alright in their homes. But that was not the way it turned out. As soon as the Saints left, many of the homes were looted and their possessions were stolen.28
John Hatch had been in the mission field only four months when he was released to go to his family, who had fled to El Paso. He was released so that he could take care of them. He finished his California mission 41 years later when he was a widower.29 He worked in El Paso and stayed with his family there for about two months. And then, he, with some others, left their families in El Paso and went into the colonies to check the conditions there. A little later, some of them went back into the colonies at this early date and John Hatch's family was one of them. The looters had been to the Hatch house, and John Hatch said, "The house wasn't damaged, but there was a lot of household goods that we couldn't take when we left - that was taken out. We lost lots of things that weren't valuable, but sentimental."30
Shortly after this, John Alma's father, John Hatch, was watching over the homes of some of the people who had not yet ventured back into the colonies. He heard something in one of the houses and went in to investigate. Coming down the stairs was a Mexican woman with her arms loaded with stolen goods. John Hatch yelled at her and she told him she was just gathering up things to watch over them for the colonists. John said he was surprised that the "thieving S.O.B.'s" left anything there for her to "watch over." She dropped all the things and ran out of the house and told her husband that "el viejo" (the old one) Hatch had called her a thieving S.O.B. Her husband came storming over across the street and demanded to know why "el viejo" Hatch had called his wife such a name. John Hatch said that he had called the thieves that name and not Treviso's wife. Treviso ended up throwing a hammer at John Hatch. He ducked and threw a rock at Treviso. It his him on the temple and he crumpled to the ground. John immediately walked home, told his wife, Maria, that he had just killed a Mexican and told her to tell anyone who came that she didn't know where he was, then he left. That really left Maria wondering. It was not long before there were Mexicans all around the house. They searched the house for "el viejo" Hatch but could find him nowhere. They went and got John Alma and Ernest from the church to help them search. Of course, this was a total surprise to them, and they had no idea what had happened, and just why or if their father had really killed someone. Later, the boys found out he was hiding out in their next door neighbor's attic, where he stayed for a couple of weeks. If he had come out, the Mexicans would have killed him immediately. Finally the boys made an agreement with the authorities and with the Treviso family that their father would turn himself in and stand trial if no one wold harm him when he came back into public. This was made as a written agreement and was signed by all the parties involved. He did stand trial and was released because it was in self defense. This was one of the more exciting times around the Hatch household.31
John A. Hatch's family stayed in Juarez until 1914 and then they moved to Colonia Dublan. They stayed there until 1917 and then came out of Mexico. They traveled for four weeks by wagon from Mexico to the Salt River Valley in Arizona. They had seven children by this time and they rode in one covered wagon for four weeks.32
They lived in Gilbert, and then Chandler. They raised cotton and had a dairy herd. During this time there was a great flu epidemic. The first time around, his family did not get it, but the second time around May and all nine children got it, and they were all living in two tents.33 John Alma comments about this.
One afternoon, while I was waiting on the family, I felt my temperature rising so I went into the kitchen and took my temperature. I had a temperature of 101 and I knew I couldn't go down with the flu, because there wouldn't be anyone to wait on the family. So I went out to the barn and knelt in prayer and told my Father in Heaven that I had to be spared, I had to take care of the family. While I was praying my fever broke and within an hour I was normal. It was nothing but a miracle that kept me from having the flu at that time.34
He was a spiritual man with much faith, as is exemplified in this story.
In 1928 they moved to Chino Valley, Arizona. They hauled all their farm equipment from Chandler to Chino Valley by horse and wagon. They bought a small place with a house on it and lived there until their family was all grown. During these years, things were very tough financially and for one year May had to go to New Mexico to work, so they could keep up the payments on their land and also keep their son, Ivan, on his mission in South America.35
John Alma was a procrastinator. If it were not for his wife, May, who was the willful one of the family, nothing would have ever been done. One example of this procrastination is that he never installed indoor plumbing in their Chino Valley home until after all the children were grown and gone. He thought about it many times, but put it off and put it off until about 1950 when his wife became seriously ill. Some of his children came to visit and talked him into installing an indoor bathroom for May, and then they helped him to build it. One of their grandchildren remembers going there as a child and having to heat water to bathe in a tub on Saturday night.36 He accomplished a lot in his life, even though he was a procrastinator.
On 1 June 1953 he left for his second mission. Actually, he finished the one he started in 1912. He was called for six months or longer. His wife, May, had passed away on 26 October 1951, just two years before. Always in his journal he remembered to mention May on her birthday and on their anniversary, and on the anniversary of her death. She seemed to be always in his thoughts. Consider this entry in his journal:
Just two years today since my dear wife, (the mother of our large family) passed away. They have been two lonely years. My health is excellent and I am enjoying my missionary labors.37
His mission was full of fun and excitement, and he kept those missionaries (who were years younger than himself) running. He was always full of energy. One day he and the missionaries played volleyball and mumbly peg, and then went to Knotts Berry Farm. He never slowed down for a minute.38 He was very much a family man, and this was made obvious by the many letters he wrote to his children and brothers and sisters while he was on his mission. He also loved hearing from members of the family. Every time he got a letter from a relative, he mentioned it in his journal and how excited he was to hear from them.39
He was released from his mission on 7 October 1954. The first thing he did when he got to Chino Valley was to take off his white shirt and tie and put on his "Kakies," then he headed out to the hay field to load some hay. This was pretty energetic for a man who was nearly 78 years old. Five days after he was home he hiked down into the Grand Canyon. He left at 5:30 a.m. and arrived back at the top at 8:00 p.m. People at the top were getting quite concerned about him and when he was about a mile from the top, they began turning spotlights on the trail and calling "Grandpa!" He called back and said all way okay and he would be there soon.40
He later lived and worked at the Grand Canyon for a year. He also worked in Pine, Arizona as the caretaker of a girl's summer camp. He then moved to Mesa and lived near the Mormon temple where he did lots of temple work. In just 22 days he did 40 endowments, and this does not count the other things he did during other sessions. He was a dedicated man when it came to doing work for the Church. During the fall of 1955 he met and courted Mabel Fletcher, and on 6 March 1956 he married her. He was 79 years old. Then he got a job working on a farm, irrigating and running the tractors, etc. His energy just did not quit. Even this late marriage was a long one. They were married for over 17 years when he died on 18 January 1974, at the age of 98.
He was a strong, healthy, man who never gave up. At the time of his death, he had 49 grandchildren, 104 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren.42 He was a gentle man who loved his family. He often spent all day playing with his grandchildren.43 There is much we can learn from his enthusiasm for life and I am proud to be a part of John Alma Hatch's posterity.
History by Irene Day Feulner, from DUP files
Hugh Day was born 31 July 1809 at Elizabethtown, Leeds, Ontario, Canada, to William Day and Elizabeth “Betsy” Johns. He died in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 19, 1886.
William Day was born in the United States and was killed in battle in the War of 1812.
Hugh Day was married to Rhoda Ann Nichols, December 13, 1830. She was born February 18, 1813. They had four children: Almeda (1831), Mariah (1833), William (1835), and John who died at birth. Almeda married William McClellan and lived to the age of nearly 102.
Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Day joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Canada. He was baptized December 30, 1836. About 1837, the family moved into New York. The British were drafting men into the service and he hurried across the border. They lived in different placed in New York for several years. Hugh Day was a mechanic.
Almeda told the following:
In 1843 when I was twelve years old, the family embarked at Sacket Harbor on Lake Ontario near Watertown, New York. We were going to Grandmother Nickols at Sun Prairie which is by way of the Great Lakes. On the Erie Canal there was a sort of house boat, house on a raft, which was towed up the canal by cattle.
Mother wouldn’t ride until we got to Buffalo, and father had to get a team and wagon and drive along the bank of the canal with her.
Father was a poor man and didn’t have enough money to be able to command the best boat in the workd, in fact, he got a poor one called the “Brig.” The devil was in the bottom of Lake Huron. There was a big storn threatened the lives of all of us. Mother was fearful and when we got down in the boat she began to cry. The tavern keeper, a Mr. Wheeler, said to father, “Take her off, go back to the tavern and I’ll find you a boat tomorrow.” He was very kind to us and we stayed there that night. He procured one for us the next day, the Cleveland, I believe it was called–a more seaworthy boat than the other. That day we saw boards and parts of the Brig floating about. It was torn to pieces in the storm which was so terrific that there were some pieces torn off the boat we were in.
Later on, in the course of the journey we missed seeing a light house and ran into a sand bar. The storm was still raging and the beam could not penetrate. Water poured into the holes. Carpenters hastily went to work. They set the pumps going and set the barrels rolling until the boat gradually worked out of the sane. The life boats were lowered and kept in readiness to take us to shore.
They arrived at Milwaukee at four o’clock in the morning. They went from there the ninety iles to Sun Prairie which was about ten tmiles from Madison, Wisconsin.
Hugh Day secured a small plot of ground and farmed and worked for others in the community and built a log house.
When the Prophet [Joseph Smith] was killed June 27, 1844, Hugh Day’s wife cried and cried and begged to go to Nauvoo. In the fall of the year they moved, part of the way by boat, and arrived at Nauvoo, October 8, 1844. By then the health of Rhoda Nichols Day was poor; her heart was weak but her faith was strong. She died November 9, 1844, 31 years old, and was one of the first to be buried in the graveyard at Nauvoo.
Heber C. Kimball told Hugh Day that he would live to do his temple work in the Valleys of the Mountains.
In March 1845, he movedhis family to live with the Steve Chipmans at Keokuk, Iowa, across the river from Nauvoo. He fixed watons in the summer months, but the family was poor. In September, the two families moved to Little Pigeon (east of Council Bluffs, Iowa), Pottawattamie County, Illinois. There he build a log house and made a garden the following spring, 1846.
At Florence, Nebraska, September 7, 1847, Hugh Day married Susannah Content Judd Boyce, a widow with two children, a son John and a daughter Susan. They lived at Florence that winter and went back to the farm in the spring.
Susannah Judd was born February 25, 1815 to Arza and Lois Knapp Judd in Leeds, Ontario, Canada.
Hugh Day was a cheel-wright and helped many people outfit themselves for coming west. He came to Utah in William Snow’s company arriving in October 1850. [Son Arza Boyce Day born in Salt Lake in April 1850, and Hugh Day is enumerated in 1850 Salt Lake City census enumerated in June 1850.]
He was among those sent to Echo Canyon at the time that Johnston’s army was sent to Utah. He remained in Salt Lake City while many moved south because of Johnston’s army. He had straw under his house ready to burn if there was trouble with the army, but they marched right by without incident.
During the last years of his life his youngest son, Laronzo, and his wife, Elizabeth, took care of him in his home on Fifth West and South Temple (16th Ward) until his death January 19, 1886.
The following children were born to Hugh Day and Susannah Content Judd Boyce Day:
Rhodazene “Rhoda Jane”, December 19, 1848 to October 17. 1850
Arza Boyce, April 14, 1850 to July 22, 1900
Rozana Content, January 21, 1852 to December 26, 1925
Florena, May 18, 1854 to August 20, 1854
Hugh, October 2, 1855 to October 14, 1855
Laronzo, January 21 1858 to February 17, 1944.
Susannah Content Judd was born to Arza and Lois Knapp Judd February 25, 1858 in Johnstown District, Leeds, Ontario, Canada.
She was married to Benjamen Boyce February 8, 1836. She lived for some time in Nauvoo and was a member of the Relief Society there. After her first husband died she married Hugh Day (a widower with three children: Almeda, Mariah, and William) September 7, 1847, at Florence, Nebraska.
They came to Salt Lake City with the William Snow company arriving in October 1850. She did much weaving of goods, carding and spinning as most pioneer women did. She also made candles and soap.
She lived in the home at Fifth West and South Temple in Salt Lake City until her death April 11, 1880.
Notes from DUP History submitted by Margene N. Stringham, 1987, of Millville, Utah.
In 1857 Hugh Day received an invitation from Brigham Young to attend a special celebration in Brighton on the 24th of July. The saints were celbrating the tenth anniversary of the arrival of the first poineers in the Salt Lake Valley. Many families, only those invited by Brigham Young, came from all around the valley. They came in their wagons and carriages as far as the mouth of the canyon on July 22, 1857. The next day they followed Brigham Young up the canyon to Brighton for the celebration on the 24th. It was while the saints were celebrating there that word was received that Johnsont’s Army was on its way to Utah. That evening the saints were told that they must leave early the next morning and return to their homes, to prepare for the arrival of the army.
My great grandfather, Hugh Day, and his family were among those invited guests of Brigham Young [copy of invitation included in history] who spent the day at Brighton and then learned of the coming of the army. Because this year, 1987, was 130 years since that celebration, our annual Laronzo Day famly reunion was held at the Brighton LDS chapel on the 25th of July, exactly 130 years to the day that Hugh Day and the others had to return to their homes. The invitations we received in 1987 were xeroxed copies of the original invitaiton Hugh Day had received from Brigham Young in 1857.
[Pic-Nic Party at the Head Waters of Big Cottonwood. Pres. Brigham Young respectfully invites Hugh Day and family to attend a Pic-Nic Party at the Lake in Big Cottonwood Kanyon on Friday, 24th of July.
You will be required to start so as to pass the first mill, about four miles up the Kanyon, before 12 o’clock, on Thursday, the 23rd, as no person will be allowed to pass that point after 2 o’clock, p.m. of that day.
All persons are forbidden to smoke cigars or pipes, or kindle fires, at any place in the Kanyon, except on the camp ground.
The Bishops are requested to accompany those invited from their respective Wards, and see that each person is well fitted for the trip, with good substantial steady teams, wagons, narness, hold-backs and locks, capable of completing the journey without repair, and a good driver, so as not to endanger the life of any individual.
Bishops will, before passing the first mill, furnish a full and complete list of all persons accopmanying them from their respective Wards, and hand the same to the Guard at the gate.
Great Salt Lake City, July 18, 1857.]
Notes on Benjamin Boyce, first husband of Susannah Content Judd. He moved his family from Canada to Missouri in 1838 then to Illinois where they lived on Madison Island. While there he worked on the Nauvoo Temple. In July 1840, Benjamin, with three others, was kidnapped by a mob and taken to Tulley, Lewis County, Missouri, where they were imprisoned and beaten severely. Benjamin never fully recovered his health. During the exodus from Nauvoo to Winter Quarters in 1846, he died.
ALMEDA DAY MCCLELLAN
Prepared by her granddaughter, Zitelle McClellan Snarr
I’m no artist; but I’m going to try to present a word picture of my little paternal Grandmother, Almeda Day McClellan, who lived to be nearly 102 years old.
Some of this information was obtained from actual contact with Grandmother. Other parts are from her children, my father, George A. McClellan, his youngest brother Professor Charles E. McClellan of Logan, Utah, and other uncles, aunts and cousins. After Grandfather McClellan died in 1916, Grandmother lived in our home at times and she used to dwell in the past a great deal in memory. I can picture her now, standing with her arms folded across her back, her shoulders held erect and with a slight rocking motion, she talked to me as I ironed. She spoke of things that were important to her in years gone by. I wish now that I had been more attentive then, and had been wise enough to question her along certain lines. I was a member of the Pioneer Stake Sunday School Board at the time and often was trying to think out a lesson I had to present. Sometimes I became a bit irked with her for interrupting my trend of thought, even though I did write down many of the things she told me during those years.
“If youth could know what age would crave, full many a penny youth would save” is an old adage and I would paraphrase it to read, “If youth the wisdom of age would crave, more patience with the aged, youth must have.”
After I was married in 1925, I became the Corresponding Secretary for the Salt Lake County Board of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers and began to realize the importance of recording more of the experiences in Grandmother’s life. If she ever saw me writing things down as she talked, she would stop immediately and move away saying, “What do you want to write it down for? I might be wrong.”
She was a tiny woman physically, but she never asked anyone else to lift the heavier end of the load. She passed through hardships of pioneer life, of relative poverty, nearly all of her days; but Guy C. Wilson said of her, at her passing, “I’m sure there never was a soul who could do that with more grace and courage than Almeda McClellan. She bore the burdens of life without complaint. She was a patient, God-fearing woman.”
Toward the end of her days, her youngest son Charles once asked her what was the greatest trial she had endured in the course of her long life. “Trials,” she mused, “Never had any.” Uncle Charles recalled some of her experiences: she was a frail, delicate baby, only weighed two-and-a-half pounds at birth; as a child she crossed the St. Lawrence River on the ice; lived with her in-laws for a while after her marriage to William C. McClellan who had just returned from the long trek with the Mormon Battalion; started across the Plains for the West by ox team with a five-week-old baby; spent about four years in the United Order up at the saw mill at Sunset, Arizona; pioneered Payson, Utah, Brigham City, Arizona and Colonia Juarez in Old Mexico; lived the principle of plural marriage; raised a family of twelve children, three of them which preceded her in death; and was driven out of her home in Old Mexico at the age of 81 years. “Wasn’t that hardship and trials?” he asked. “Humph!” she responded, “all in the day’s work!” and grandfather added, “what we did was just ordinary. Just what there was to do. You do what you have to do in this life, and that was all we did. We just happened to live in that time.”
Grandmother said that very few of her days or nights were marred by any kind of report of waywardness or willful wrongdoing of any of her children.” The McClellan family are not law breakers. They are not disturbers of the peace. They are good citizens, they take their place among the lifters of the world, always doing credit to the name they bear.” Such were her teachings, coupled with knowledge of the virtues and realities of immortality.
Once, when I was a small child, my mother and father both had typhoid fever. I was sent up to Juarez to stay with my grandparents. I was homesick, and I expect I was a bit of a crybaby. I saw a pretty red Ben Davis apple on one of the fruit trees. I asked for it and Grandfather told me it was not yet ripe enough to pick. Later that day when I was wiping the dishes, I broke the handle off a teacup and Grandfather scolded me for being careless. I went out behind the house and sat down beside a pile of lumber and had a good constitutional remedy. Of course, he would come along and catch me at it. In a few minutes he came by and dropped the pretty red apple in my lap; but the apple held no charm for me now. I felt that Grandfather was so stern, I really was a bit frightened of him, but felt that Grandmother was tenderer and that she had rather a keen sense of humor. That was my childhood judgement. However, I’ve been told that when it came to disciplining the children, Grandfather would talk and reason, maybe swish a little with a willow. His daughter Cynthia told him once that he could accomplish more if he would paddle more and not talk so much. “For a little woman, Grandmother could surely hit hard, across the place provided for paddling,” said Barbara Bailey Ludwig. “She would speak once, get the attention of the child, give him one look, then, if there was no action, she was apt to strike. She believed in strict discipline.”
Let’s begin at the beginning. Almeda Day McClellan was born November 28, 1831, just about a year and a half after the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to Rhoda Ann Nichols and Hugh Day in Leeds County, Canada, in a little township known then as Bastard, near what is now Brockville. Grandmother always resented our asking where she was born, because she didn’t like to mention the name of the place. I’ve been told that the people who lived in that little area were Loyalist sympathizers, hence the name.
Almeda’s grandfather, William Day, had been killed in battle during the War of 1812. Her father, Hugh Day, was only about three years old at the time, but his father’s death in war unquestionably had a profound effect upon his life. He wanted no part of war or army life. Almeda was born in 1831, a sister, Lydia Mariah, in 1833; a brother, William Sheldon in 1835. A little brother John was born, lived only about three hours and died in 1837 or 1838. Then there is a tradition in the family that a little baby girl was born to them about 1844, that she lived a very short time and was named Rhoda Ann Day and died. Those early records were not kept too perfectly.
Grandmother often spoke of a conference of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints being held in an unfinished barn there in Canada about 1835. My understanding is that Parley P. Pratt had been there previously to preach the Gospel to the people in that area and that late other missionaries of the church conducted a conference. Her father, Hugh Day, and in all probability her mother too, was baptized December 30, 1836. The only record available for years of any of the sacred ordinances relating to her was that of October 1838, a baptism was performed for her and the Endowment on October 26, 1938. Years later it was decided that she was baptized about November, 1844.
When Almeda was about six years old, the family moved from Canada into the United States, to LeRay, Jefferson County, New York. Grandmother told me that she thought one of the reasons for this move was that the British were drafting young men into the army. So, in February of 1837 they crossed over the St. Lawrence River on the ice in a wagon belonging to Jacob Hatch. They went directly to Almeda’s uncle, Alvin Nichols, who was living in a home belonging to this same Jacob Hatch. They lived there for about a year, during which time the little brother John was born and then died. Almeda’s mother never had good health afterward.
There were not enough Mormons in that vicinity to hold church, so Almeda used to go to the Methodist Sunday School and meeting. She remembered that her father was very strict in his religious behavior and requirements. Before conversion to the Latter-day Saint faith, her father had been a Baptist and her mother a Methodist.
During their five years in New York State, they lived in rented houses and in quite a large town. Part of the time they rented a little place like a doctor’s office or house. Her father did common labor most of the time. In fact, he did whatever he could find to do, though he worked as a wheelwright after they came to Salt Lake.
At an advanced age, Almeda remembered when she was a child she was as curious as the next young one. There was a millinery shop near their place in New York, Root, Hastings, and Marshall was the name of the concern. She used to go and stand looking on. Finally one day one of the women said to her, “Go tell your mother if she will let you come, you can work with me in the shop.” How thrilled she was, for she was sure she wanted to become a milliner, but later in life, she said she guessed the woman only told her that to get rid of her at the time. That experience made Grandmother remember that her father resembled, in appearance, her half-brother, Laron Day, or her half-sister, Rozane (Aunt Zane we called her). And her mother, Rhoda Ann Nichols Day, looked like her son William Day. This helps those of us who have seen these people, a little. Of course, we do have a picture of Hugh Day; but not one of Rhoda Ann Nichols.
Almeda remembered that an aunt once came over into the State of New York from Canada to see them. She told Almeda’s father that if he would come to Canada and pay them a visit she would give him the best cow in the corral. He went, got his cow and a sack of maple sugar that was formed in cones. He came home carrying the sugar on his back and driving the cow. Almeda climbed up on the pigpen to show the other children the new cow. A board broke, she fell into the pen and cut bad a gash in her head. The scar remained with her through life.
A Presbyterian minister came to their home two or three years after they joining the Mormon church and left a Bible for Almeda’s mother and a small New Testament for each of the children.
According to Uncle Charles McClellan “Almeda never went to school until she was seven years old and with the exception of about two weeks, had no schooling after she was twelve. She snatched what she could in those brief years, a few months at a time. They had Cob’s book “Children’s Guide,” probably as a reader. They always had a man teacher in the winter months; but a woman teacher in the summer. One young man teacher, she recalled, was a nice young man, tch! tch! and she was only about eleven or twelve years old. He taught them reading, writing, spelling, geography, arithmetic and they were just beginning composition when he quit. They used a Webster blue-backed spelling book, which Almeda kept for many years. Her youngest son, Charles, learned to spell from it, just as she had so many years before. They were both good spellers, too. Almeda could spell the school down; but her modesty forbade and she refused to spell “breeches.” We don’t know what the penalty for that was. Discipline in school in those days was very strict. She remembered seeing an unruly child stand on a hot stove until his feet were burned.
I have never seen anything that my Grandmother ever wrote. We have letters and cards that Grandfather wrote to us from Old Mexico, but never anything from her that I know of. She was a very good reader, though. After she came to live with us, when she was nearly 90 years old, I used to go to the Public Library regularly for her. I would bring two books, novels usually, in as good print as I could find and she would read them in the next two weeks. Sometimes even before the time had elapsed she would begin to wish I had time to go to the Library and get her another book to read.
I commented to my father one day that Grandmother had always seemed old to me. Father suggested that I figure out her age. I then realized that she was seventy when I was born. Don’t know that she ever went to a dentist, but she began to lose her teeth when she was around fifty and she never had any dentures made for her, got along for the next fifty-two years without them. A common sight, in my memory, was to see her scraping an apple with a spoon or a dull knife. She did enjoy eating most everything.
In 1843, when Almeda was about 12 years old, the family embarked at Sacket Harbor on Lake Ontario, near Watertown, New York and went on by way of the Great Lakes and the Erie Canal to Milwaukee. At Oswego they picked up a small company of soldiers and let them off at Rochester. On the Erie Canal they went by way of a houseboat, sorted of a house on a raft towed up the canal by means of a cable drawn by oxen on the shore from new Rochester to Buffalo. Almeda’s mother was very timid, especially afraid of water. It has been said that she refused to ride on the house boat, so her husband had to hire a team and wagon and drive along the banks of the canal until they reached Buffalo, following the house or tug boats which contained their belongings. Very little is known about their journey on lakes Ontario, Erie and Michigan, but Almeda’s mother said the Devil was in the bottom of Lake Huron and wanted to get them. Superstitions were plentiful in those days. There was a storm that threatened the lives of all of them. Almeda’s father was a poor man. He didn’t have sufficient money to command the best boat in the world, in fact, he got rather a poor one called the “Brig.” Almeda’s mother, still fearful of the water and the storm, when she got down into the boat began to constitutional remedy. A Mr. Wheeler, the tavern keeper, said to Almeda’s father, “Take her off, go back to the tavern and I’ll find you a boat tomorrow.” He was very kind to them and they stayed at the tavern that night. He procured a boat for them the next day, the “Cleveland,” it was called, at any rate a more seaworthy boat. The vessel Almeda’s mother did not want to go on foundered and never reached its port. Later they saw boards and parts of the “Brig” floating about in the water. The storm had not entirely subsided when they embarked the next day and some parts of their boat were torn off.
In the course of that journey, they missed seeing a lighthouse and ran onto a sandbar. Fog is often very heavy in this area. The storm was still raging. The beam from the lighthouse couldn’t penetrate the dark and the mists. Water poured into the holes. Carpenters hastily went to work. They set the pumps going and kept the sand barrels rolling until the boat gradually worked out of the sand. The lifeboats were lowered and kept in readiness to take all to shore if necessary.
They arrived in Milwaukee at four o’clock in the morning and went by wagon to Sun Prairie on Waterloo Creek, ninety miles from Milwaukee and about ten miles from Madison, the capital of Wisconsin. Almeda’s grandmother, Susanna Chipman Nichols, and Grandfather Sheldon Nichols lived at Sun Prairie. Her grandmother was a member of the Church, but her grandfather was a Mormon hater. The Grandmother was a weaver and she had what they called Grandmother’s Loom Shop.
At Sun Prairie, Almeda’s father secured a small plot of ground which he farmed. He built a little log house and worked for others in the community when he could. Part of the time Almeda worked for her mother’s oldest sister, Lydia Nichols Brazee. The Brazee and Adams families were living there at the time. There was a hard wood grove near the little log house and Almeda recalled that in that grove her Uncle Alvin Nichols killed two deer, which helped the family out with food. She also talked about the numerous rattlesnakes they had there–said they used to kill them and feed them to the hogs! ! Here they were living when the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred on June 27, 1844. Her mother took it very hard and cried a great deal. Her faith in Mormonism was very strong and she wanted so much to go to Nauvoo. In the fall Almeda’s father sold what he could, gave away the rest of their belongings and they moved, part of the way by boat on the Mississippi River, to Nauvoo. They arrived there October 8, 1844. Their mother’s health was now very poor. Almeda said her Mother was privileged to go to the Nauvoo Temple but once, whether that was just to see the building as it was progressing-to witness a baptismal service for the dead or to take part in it, we do not know. Baptisms for the dead were about the only ordinances then being carried on. The first meeting was held in October 1845. She died in childbirth on November 9, 1844 at the age of 31, and was one of the first to be buried in the new cemetery at Nauvoo. Her principal ailment had been a weak heart.
Before Almeda came to Nauvoo, she had not been to any Mormon meetings, although her parents belonged to the Church. The first meeting she attended was one staged by the children of the neighborhood and was rather strange play for her. One little girl stood up and pretended she was speaking in tongues. The parents overheard and so ended the first Mormon meeting for Almeda. Later, when she attended a Fast and Testimony meeting and some woman really did speak in tongues, Almeda was frightened until one of the brethren gave the interpretation.
The worshiping assemblies of the Saints in Nauvoo were usually held in a building provided for that purpose, but several times Almeda went to the Temple to attend meetings. She helped sew temple clothes, garments, etc. She sewed a beautifully fine seam by hand. She said that they were always careful not to let the younger children know anything about the temple clothing. She didn’t think she wanted to go to the temple to do work then. She didn’t understand it and at 14, according to the ruling today, she would hardly have been old enough to go through at that time. She said some young girls had “blabbed” to her about temple work and it had created a sort of prejudice in her mind. There was no mother to reassure her; but Brother Heber C. Kimball promised Almeda’s father that he would live to do temple work in the valleys of the mountains. Almeda did work for her mother and other members of the family in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1874. (There were proxy baptisms performed in the Endowment House, but no proxy endowments.) Almeda was baptized June 1847; endowed 8 March 1852; sealed to husband 8 March 1852; also 9 October 1871 in the Endowment House. Hugh Day died January 19, 1886, before the Salt Lake Temple was completed, but he was able to work in the Endowment House.
After their Mother’s death, the family moved out of Nauvoo and lived on a farm with her mother’s cousin, Chester Southwick.
In March of 1845 they went to live with Almeda’s mother’s uncle, Steve Chipman. He lived between five and ten miles from Montrose on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River. Almeda’s family was in poor circumstances financially. Her father did wagon repair work during the summer months and in September Uncle Steve Chipman’s family and Almeda’s family moved together to Little Pigeon Creek (now Crescent), Pottawattomie County, Iowa, about seven miles from Council Bluffs. (Little Pigeon Creek emptied into the Boyer River.) They built a little log house and planted a garden the following spring of 1846. The Chipmans came west before the McClellans and the Days did.
At Florence, Nebraska about September 7, 1847, Hugh Day married Susannah Judd Boyd, a widow with two children, a son John and a daughter Susan, and to them were born the following children: Rodazene, Arzo, Rosana Content, Florena, Hugh, and Laronzo. (Rodazene, Florena and Hugh all died in infancy.)
The Day family lived at Florence that winter and went back on the farm in the spring. Almeda’s Uncle Alvin Nichols had been almost like a mother to the children after their mother died, but he got married just before Hugh Day did. Said he couldn’t stand by and see any other woman come and take charge of things in place of his sister Rhoda Ann. “But,” said Almeda, “we children didn’t fly away from home because we had a stepmother. She was good to us. Uncle Alvin asked my brother William to come and live with him and father let him go; but my sister Maria and I stayed with the folks until we were married.”
During this time Almeda’s health was very poor. She suffered from what they called scurvy or sometimes blackleg. The flesh was swollen and the legs ached and burned. Some of those who were sorely afflicted with the disease had the flesh literally rot on the bones. There were many ill at that time and some deaths occurred, she remembered one by the name of Turley. After living on the farm for about two years, her health improved. She was probably better nourished. She said she used to walk half a mile to get to her meetings. Her sister Maria seemed to have fairly good health; but the brother William was more like Almeda.
About October of 1847, while they were living in Florence, Nebraska, William Carroll McClellan came home from the Mormon Battalion trek. Almeda didn’t remember of seeing him before he went away, but his mother had nursed her through a siege of scurvy, she called her Minta instead of Almeda. Someone has said that William had been sort of engaged to Lois Ann Stevens, who later married Guy C. Wilson’s father, but Almeda declared that she didn’t know that she was breaking up any engagement at the time. There was not much courtship between her and William, he had to be away working most of the time. She did know him for a couple of years before they were married July 19, 1849. William had turned twenty-one years old the May before and Almeda was seventeen years, seven months, and 21 days old.
When they were first married; they lived with William’s family. It was a large family and there were grown young people. There were just two log rooms for the family and the newlyweds, no door to divide the two rooms either, all open like one big room. What would you think if you were a new bride and had to sleep four couples in a room and on the floor at that? They lived together until William built a little log house up the creek from his father’s place for their temporary use. They moved into it in November.
Once while she was living with the McClellan family, William’s father came in with an article of wearing apparel that needed some repair work done, I don’t remember now whether it was a button or a string that was missing whether it was a tear that needed mending; but he was quite put out because it hadn’t been taken care of. William’s mother was so busy all the time and Almeda felt sorry for her. She spoke up and said “I can mend it for you.” She was startled when he turned on her and in rather a sharp tone replied, “Almeda, didn’t anyone ever tell you that ‘offered service’ stinks?” Grandmother talked on the moral for my special benefit. “Keep your eyes open, when you see an opportunity for service, give it.” Her eye would twinkle, as she added, “I never offered to do anything for him again.”
At this time there was great interest and activity in the plan of the Saints to come west. Nearly everyone was getting ready in some way to make that great trek. William’s father and Almeda’s father cooperated in building wagons, the former doing the woodwork, and the latter, the ironwork. They helped many of the Saints fit themselves out for the journey.
William and Almeda moved back down to the McClellan family home in April and the first child, Mary, was born May 11, 1850.
William’s father had intended to head west in the spring of 1848, leaving quite a farm fenced for his son to take advantage of. The California Gold Rush, changed a good many plans. William and his father were kept so busy helping them to get outfitted and it meant more income and the possibility that if they kept on the job a little longer, they could make the trek together. William sold their house and corral for a cow, a pig, and a coat. He had gotten hold of an old 3-1/4 wagon, which was not considered to be worth fixing up, and he went to work at it in odd moments. He fixed the wagon with every convenience that was available to anyone in his circumstances. He really had a fly outfit.
In 1924 Uncle Charles still had in his possession a table his father had made more than seventy-five years before from a hardwood board that was made to stick out from the back end of the wagon for Almeda to use as a bread board, wonder if it still exists? (1958)
Their comfortable covered wagon, with its special side door, which was to be Almeda’s home for a good many months was drawn by three yoke of oxen, or as William tells us in the record which he kept, “The wheelers were a pair of good strong oxen (two-year-old steers) in the middle was a yoke of cows, one of them giving milk, and the leaders where made up of a pair of young steers, hardly broke to work at all when they started, and they caused a lot of petty trouble for a time ‘till steady work quieted them down.” These he drove all the way to the Valley.
They left home the 12th or 13th of June 1850 and traveled in Joseph Young’s company of 100. William Snow was Captain of one 50 and James McClellan of the other 50, and Amos Stoddard Captain of their 10. The two companies of 50 kept close together. The Captains carefully supervised the travel and the outfits. They drove the sheep and cows just ahead of the Company, which helps us understand why they were so long on the way.
William, Almeda and baby Mary, and Almeda’s sister Marie rode in William’s wagon. In addition to their regular load, William had about 400 pounds of glass and nails as freight, which they took on at the ferry for A. 0. Smoot and J. L. Haywood, who were willing to pay $24.00 per hundred pounds. This enabled them to get clothing and other needed articles that it would not have been possible for them to get otherwise when they reached the end of their journey.
Almeda nursed not only her own five-week-old baby, but at times two others, as well! Aunt Lane, William’s baby sister who was born on the way, and Almeda’s stepbrother, Arza Day. Uncle Charles comment to this was, “Evidently I come of good milking stock.” Almeda said she drank lots of tea so she would have plenty of nurse. Baby Mary kept well on the trip and liked to travel. Sometimes she would constitutional remedy when they stopped. She wanted to keep going. She liked the white ox.
Almeda tried to walk some, but each time she got so far behind that William had to pull out and wait for her. She never was much of a walker. She did most of the cooking along with her other duties.
Between the Platte and the Missouri Rivers it was damp and their drinking water often was stagnant, and they couldn’t always boil it for protection, I’m sure. The Platte was bad, muddy water and there were literally millions of mosquitoes. Cholera broke out in their camp. William was stricken and had a siege of it. There were several deaths. William’s little brother Jimmie, 2 years old, was among them. He was buried there on the trail.
On the river LaBonte in the Black Hills, near what is now Casper, Natrona County, Wyoming, William’s mother gave birth to a baby girl, Cynthia Selena. It was she who Almeda nursed part of the time during their journey.
There were some deaths on the way due to lightning. Electric storms always bother the cattle. The men would have to hold their arms over some of them during a thunderstorm and gently rub their necks until the excitement subsided. They were always afraid of a stampede. Once the wolves attacked and seriously injured one of William’s cows. They brought her on to the Valley and sold her for beef. They received about $10.00 worth of straw for her. They didn’t see many Indians on the way, only a few Sioux who were very picturesque.
After nearly four months on the road, they reached Salt Lake about October Conference time. What faith! What courage! What an achievement!
They camped a few days on the lot where Barnett Rigby lived, near what is now Third South and Second West; but baby Mary and William’s little sister Selena had the whooping cough. Naturally they wouldn’t be very welcome any place where there were other small children, so they had to make a move. William borrowed a team from Barnett Rigby and hauled wood from North Canyon on shares for a few weeks, they went into Little Cottonwood Canyon with William McBride and James McClellan to burn and bury charcoal to be used later as fuel in their blacksmith shop. Almeda and little Mary went with them and lived in the wagon box until Christmas, when they returned to Salt Lake and rented a cabin, which was but a little better than the wagon box, but it did have a small stove in it and they were quite comfortable until March of 1851 when they moved to Payson. It took eight days of hard work to make that journey.
Almeda had five children before she ever owned a stove. How proud she was of that Charter Oak wood burning stove. My father says he learned his ABCs from printing on it and a wooden packing box, which stood to the side to hold the firewood. Prior to that time Almeda had cooked and baked over a campfire or in a cast iron bake or Dutch oven, over oak or hickory coals in the fireplace. If they didn’t have any baking powder, they used saleratus for soda or leavening in their quick breads. She made her own soap, cooking it in a big iron kettle out in the yard and making it fragrant with a little of the mint that grew by the ditch bank. She heated water for washing and boiling her clothes in that big iron kettle then rubbed the clothes clean on a scrubbing board, sometimes in a wooden tub.
Almeda received her Patriarchal Blessing from Isaac Morley in March of 1854.
From 1850 to 1875, Almeda gave birth to twelve children, seven boys and five girls:
Mary Almeda born 11 May 1850 Little Pigeon, Pottawattamie, Iowa; died 27 Oct 1889 William Hugh born 24 Mar 1852 Payson, Utah County, Utah; died 11 Apr 1901
Maria Matilda born 2 May 1854 Payson, Utah County, Utah; died 26 Jul 1940
Cynthia Lovesta born 2 May 1856 Payson, Utah County, Utah; died 30 Sep 1956
James Jasper born 28 Dec 1858 Payson, Utah County, Utah; died 17 Apr 1938,
Sarah Evaline born 10 Feb 1861 Payson, Utah County, Utah; died 18 Feb 1949
John Henry born 12 Apr 1863 Payson, Utah County, Utah; died 5 Jul 1872
David Alvin born 16 Jun 1865 Payson, Utah County, Utah; died 4 Jan 1953
Samuel Edwin born 23 Jul 1867 Payson, Utah County, Utah; died 27 Apr 1957
Rhoda Ann born 23 Jul 1867 Payson, Utah County, Utah
George Alma born 23 Jul 1867 Payson, Utah County, Utah; died 27 Dec 1963
Charles Eli born 23 Jul 1867 Payson, Utah County, Utah
Other mothers were losing their little ones with one disease or another while Almeda seemed to be very fortunate. She lost one little son, John Henry, at the age of nine and he had a bad heart from the beginning. Some of the neighbors wondered why it was and one woman came to Almeda and said, “What is the matter, you don’t lose any babies. Maybe it is the plain living.” “As much as to say we didn’t have enough to eat! I didn’t cram a child with cake and pie, but they had what they wanted to eat. Maybe it was plain food. I find no fault with the way I had to live. They seemed hard times, but we lived through it and did pretty well. Most of us lived alike in those days.
“I always kept my children’s feet and legs warm. Though we had a large family, William was a good provider, always had a good garden. When he could, he bought sugar by the sack and cloth by the bolt. We usually grew some sugar cane and made it into molasses. We knit every pair of stockings the twelve children wore. I never did much weaving, but I’ve done plenty of carding and spinning in my day. My girls learned to knit by the time they were eight years old and that relieved me considerably. If I had two dresses for any of my babies, I was doing well.”
Almeda never had a sewing machine until after her twelfth child was born, it was a Wheeler and Wilson and she never learned to use it. The girls did the sewing on the machine. Styles may come and styles may go, but the nightcap and shimmie would have gone on forever, as far as little Grandmother was concerned. She made the shimmie by the same pattern for 90 years and made them by hand until she was past eighty. (In my cedar chest I have the shimmie and nightcap she was wearing at the time of her death--she had not made them but they were the same pattern. I still have them in November 1964.)
I asked my father George A. McClellan, if he could remember what they used to have to eat when he was a child. (Grandmother said once the leanest days she remembered were those in the Order at Sunset, there they frequently had carrot soup, and darn thin at that.) Father said when his mother was cooking, they might have a little salt pork, hashed brown potatoes or an occasional egg for breakfast. The noon meal was their heartiest, dried corn or beans. Lots of squash, they even dried it for use in the winter. In the late fall they killed a pig or a beef. Chicken, wild turkey and antelope added to the variety of their meat. The vegetables were onions, carrots, and rutabagas. In Payson and again in Juarez, some fresh fruits in season or dried apples, peaches and apricots in the winter time. She made the best molasses cake and you could go to her place most any time and have a slice of it or ginger and molasses cookies. Quick breads, soda or baking powder biscuits, in those earlier days baked in the Dutch oven. Their supper was frequently lumpy dick, milk with a little flour stirred into it, and never mind the lumps, or corn meal mush and milk, sweetened with a little molasses. “Oh, of course, bread and milk, part cream, if I could sneak it off the pan without getting caught,” father said.
When Grandmother came to live with us after Grandfather died. She said she didn’t like Campbell’s soup because old man Campbell kicked their dog. It seems that when they first went down into Old Mexico, Father and his brother Ed had malaria. They took the boys up in the mountains to Cave Valley. There was a man named Campbell living in that vicinity. He came to call on them once while the boys were ill. The folks had a dog, old Zip. He was a pretty good watchdog, and when Mr. Campbell approached the house, the dog ran out at him and barked. He kicked the dog and Grandmother never liked him after that. In fact, many years later she didn’t even like “Campbell’s Soup”!
William married Elsie Jane Richardson in polygamy on April 14, 1873. Almeda went to the Endowment House with them and placed her hand on his. She said, “I never regretted the fact that they were married, and I told Elsie so.” Of that union there were eight children born:
Laura Catherine McClellan born 9 June 1874, Payson, Utah, Utah, died Dec. 12, 1895 Lorenzo Carroll McClellan born 17 Nov. 1876, Payson, Utah, Utah
Wilford McClellan born 7 Aug. 1879, Sunset, Arizona
Orson Wells McClellan born 17 Nov. 1881, Brigham City, Arizona
Earl Joseph McClellan born 28 Mar. 1884, Pleasanton, New Mexico
Minerva Jane McClellan born 1 Mar. 1887, Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
Lois Elizabeth McClellan born 23 Oct. 1889, Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico,
died Jan. 1, 1892
Alta Willmerth McClellan born Feb. 4, 1893, Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
Much of the responsibility of rearing her children fell upon Almeda’s shoulders. William was a hard-working man, always with chores to do. He was an Army man, stern, though kind, and as such, commanded the respect of his family. He marched with the Mormon Battalion when he was only 18 years old. He took an active part in the protection of life and property against Indians; was a member of the town council, Colonel of the First Regiment, Second Brigade of the Nauvoo Legion. In 1863 he left home to meet the incoming immigration of the Saints, and about seven months of the years 1866 and 1867 were spent looking to the safety of Payson, Goshen, Santaquin, Pondtown or Salem and Benjamin. (He received a small pension in later years for his part in the Indian War, after his death, Grandmother still received about $30 per month. Uncle Charles used to take care of the business end of it for her.) When William was free from guard duties, he worked at farming, carpenter and millwright work. He superintended the erection of a meetinghouse in Payson and the building of a canal out of the Spanish Fork River.
Father has told me that Grandfather’s shop, where he kept his tools, had to be just so. If there was anything left laying around and one of the boys were to walk over it, he would speak sharply. “It’s ten times easier to step over that thing than it is to pick it up.” If Almeda saw a task yet undone that William had told the children to do, she would say, “Your father told you to do it. You know what you will get when he comes!” Because their father was stern and they didn’t like to be spoken to sharply, they tried to do what they knew they should. My father has also said, “Mother never went out gadding around much.” Fast Meetings at one time were held on Thursday and she attended them and usually the Sacrament Meetings on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. While Sunday School was going on she might be seen taking a plate containing something good to eat to a sick neighbor. She usually attended Relief Society meetings and would come home with an apron full of carpet rags to sew. She said she always paid her dues and donations to the Relief Society whether she attended all their meetings or not. They had old time visiting days and quiltings, and she helped about with the sick. “When Charles and I were little, we had to go with her most of the time, if she went. We always hated the quiltings, like poison. We were in misery until she went home. I guess that was why she didn’t go as much while we were young,” said father.
In her modest, retiring way, she endeavored to hold her home together. She and William tried always to be fair with their children and never show any partiality. “No two children are alike,” said Almeda, “they are all different in disposition. No two of my twelve were alike. You have to treat them all differently.” To illustrate, “My Will and Jim were both sitting on the fence one afternoon. Three or four little fellows were playing in the street. A difference arose and they commenced to quarrel, you know children will spat. Jim urged them on. He wanted to see which could whip the other. Will sat and looked on for a while. He would grin occasionally, but he couldn’t stand to see them get serious and he stopped the scrap, and by talking to them in his way, he settled their dispute. I don’t know what he said, but it was the expression on his face, plus what he said that stopped the scrap. Jim wanted to see the fight. Their dispositions were different.”
During the April Conference in 1877 the family, together with a son-in-law, George W. Bailey, and others, was called by the General Authorities to go to Sunset, Arizona and join the United Order. Almeda still had seven of her children at home and it seems to me that this call would certainly be a trial to the mother of seven, to expect her to give up her home and her friends and take the family into an unsettled country, to pioneer all over again, to say nothing of the problems they faced by becoming members of the Order. But in all her life, when the word of the Lord came through His servants, Almeda never questioned the rightfulness of the thing; so she said, “Let’s go.” They began another trek toward the south. Almeda drove the light spring wagon part of the way.
On their way south they stopped at Grass Valley, Piute County, Utah for a few days where Almeda’s three eldest children, Mary, Will, and Maria, with their families were then living. She enjoyed that short visit with them before going on into the wilderness. They then proceeded to Sunset, Arizona. William, being a timber man, was assigned to the sawmill up in the mountains. The journey, which would now be a matter of a day by automobile, consumed eight weeks by ox team.
When they reached headquarters at Sunset, Arizona on the Little Colorado River, an appraisement was made of all their property by Captain Lot Smith and his committee in charge, and it was all turned into the organization. After a few days there adjusting matters, the family was sent on into the Mogollon Mountains where Warren Tenney and William took over the running of the sawmill for the United Order at Sunset. This was near what is now Winslow, Arizona.
The Order did not expand, dissension and discontent crept in. Although this was the order of the government under which Enoch of old and his people made such a phenomenal success in life, and maybe the one which God’s chosen people will have to adopt some day, the people in those days evidently were too human to live up to it. The Order ceased to exist, the mill was closed and Almeda’s family returned to the settlement for a short time. In the breaking up of the Order, William was one of the first to leave. They crossed the Little Colorado River, went west to Brigham City, Arizona and William worked for a short time for the railroad company at Winslow. Then they moved to the Apache Indian Reservation at Forest Dale where they engaged in farming, stock raising, and trading with the soldiers at the fort.
Grandmother told me of an interesting experience she had with the Indians from Fort Apache while living in Forest Dale. Once the Indians got some whiskey from the White Man at Sho-lo Ranch; there was a shooting scrape that really started a fracas. The Indian mothers were afraid their little ones would be killed and brought about seventeen of them and put them down in her cellar where they stayed until things quieted down.
There were five of Almeda’s children still at home then. The older boys were farming and freighting. It seemed Almeda was constantly fixing provisions for a freighting trip. She had plenty of work to do, yet found time to read to the two younger boys, my father and Charles, at night. She would sit in a rocking chair and by the light from the fireplace read “Red Robb, the Boy Road Agent,” “Rob Roy,” by Sir Walter Scott and other tales of interest to the boys. There was such a rough element in that part of the country, Almeda thought, and she read to keep the boys in at nights. Finally the Government required the white people to move off the Indian lands and William and Almeda went to Pleasanton, New Mexico where William was made the Bishop.
Then came the raids, the Edmunds Tucker Bill was passed in Congress. Officers were searching everywhere for men with families like William’s. About February 1885 he became alarmed and went over the border into Old Mexico. He was back and forth occasionally, but kept pretty well out of sight. Almeda’s boys assisted the two families to move over the border. They arrived in Colonia Juarez, Old Mexico in the spring of 1886. They were financial wrecks, but ready to start over again. Almeda lived in a one-room rock house and a tent. Dave made his mother a stove out of bricks in front of the house. William engineered and the boys built a little rock home for their mother down by the old mill site. At one time they went into Mary and Al Bagley’s little lumber house in the new town site. Uncle John Hatch later bought that house. William and Almeda bought up on the ditch bank next to Uncle Ed’s, here there were three rooms of lumber and a lean-to of logs. The boys kept urging their father to build himself and their mother a better home. Grandfather continually said, “I can’t afford to do it.”
One Thanksgiving Day, a committee of four of the boys called on their father and Ed acted as spokesman. He told his father what they had come for. There were some of the same excuses made, but Ed insisted that since several of the boys owed their father money and as they could do the work, they could afford it. So Grandfather surrendered. Dave hauled the rock and made the foundation, his son David hauled the brick and Ed went to work with the lumber. On Thanksgiving Day of 1908 members of the family gathered together in the partially finished home for the traditional dinner. Trestles were set with boards reaching across the rooms for tables. That was the best and most comfortable home Almeda ever had. There wasn’t any central heating, of course, in Old Mexico they didn’t have such cold winters. There was no indoor plumbing, not even any water piped into the house. No telephone or electricity, but it was still a comfortable home and when war broke out in 1912, Almeda and William hated to leave it.
When the trouble came, they were given about half an hour to pack one small trunk and get ready a small roll of bedding, which was all they were permitted to bring with them. The trouble was brewing in their immediate vicinity and the Authorities of the L.D.S. church and the officials of the United States government told the people if they remained in the colonies, they did so at their own risk. It was impossible to protect them down in that land. Past eighty years of age, Almeda and William left their property, the best home they ever owned. They went by team to Dublan where they took the train and came back to Payson, Utah where they spent the greater part of the next four years, always hoping that things would be settled and permit them to return to their home.
In 1916, they did return to Old Mexico. The day after they arrived, William slipped and fell while walking along the ditch bank. He was confined to his bed a short time until his death on April 28, 1916.
Almeda returned to Utah once more and stayed with her children, Cynthia Bailey and her daughter, Barbara Ludwig, in Salt Lake; Charles and Josie in Logan, and she spent some time with my father and mother in Salt Lake. In 1922 her daughter, Mrs. John Hatch, came and once more took her back to Mexico. There she resided until late September 1929, when at the age of 98 she made the trip back to Utah with Uncle Charles in an automobile. I was with Mother, having just come home from the hospital with our first child, Gerald, born October 4, 1929. She walked over to the bassinet and looked down at the little mite. He weighed 5 pounds 12 ounces at birth and had lost the 12 ounces, so he wasn’t very big. She shrugged her shoulders and asked if that was the best I could do. One of the other granddaughters had just given birth to an eleven-pound boy and she had seen the fat little butterball just before she came to Salt Lake City.
On July 19, 1931 the 82nd anniversary of her marriage, a celebration was held in Liberty Park in Salt Lake City where about two hundred of her descendants gathered to do honor to her. Her birthday coming in November, it was thought wise to hold the celebration in the summer time in order that more of her numerous posterity might be with her.
On November 29, 1931, the day following her one-hundredth birthday, a reception or open house was held at the home of a granddaughter, Vera (Mrs. Frank Q. Robinson), and about a hundred relatives and friends called to wish her well. At the time of her 100th birthday, a photographer from the newspaper came to take her picture. He questioned her saying, “To what do you attribute your long life? What did you do, and what did you eat?” She replied, “I took care of my work and tended to my own business, I ate anything I could get.”
In June of 1932, at a Convention of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs held in Seattle, Washington, she was honored as the oldest mother in Utah and was awarded a certificate, as was each oldest mother in the other 47 states. According to the report, she was the seventh oldest mother in the United States at that time and was said to have the greatest posterity of any of the mothers. She had nine living children, eleven of her twelve had lived to rear large families; a total of 435 descendants at that time. She had gone to live with Aunt Nellie McClellan that fall, 229 Hazel Street, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
On November 28, 1932, the one-hundred-first anniversary of her birth, she received the members of her family and friends who could call on her. In March of 1933 she was down for ten days or two weeks. She had a touch of bronchial pneumonia, but she was not ready to give up yet. Life was still dear to her. She said she wanted to get up just once more, and she wanted to see whom they would put in as Patriarch of the Church in April Conference. She recovered sufficiently to be up and about the house.
About the 1st of June her left leg commenced to swell. She sat about with that leg propped up on a pillow on another chair part of the time, yet continued to try to get about on it. Her daughters, Eve and Cynthia Bailey, came and stayed right there with her for a couple of weeks. On Wednesday, June 21, circulation in the right leg ceased. She went down about 8 a.m. and all that day she lay and cried with the pain. We finally got Doctor Ralph Cornwall toward afternoon and he gave her some morphine powder to quiet her nerves, but it didn’t take affect. She was so determined that she wasn’t going to take morphine. That was admitting weakness and she certainly didn’t want to become a dope addict. About 4 a.m. Thursday morning they called for the doctor again. She was suffering such intense pain. Every breath she drew was tortuous, agonizing pain. There was a thrombosis above the knee and if you have ever had a blood clot, you know what pain is. Dr. Ralph Cornwall said it was one of the most painful experiences one can have. With every pulsation of the heart it was trying to force circulation past the clot into her leg. They gave her a hypodermic which took effect about 6:30 a.m. She never rallied after that, just breathed away at 11:50 Thursday night, June 22, 1933. The body was viewed at the home of her granddaughter, Vera Robinson on Saturday. The funeral service was held on Saturday, June 24, 1933 in the Twelfth-Thirteenth Ward Chapel under the direction of Bishop Howard H. Hale. She was buried in the City Cemetery by the side of her father, Hugh Day, who had been dead for more than fifty years.
Surviving her at that time were 439 descendants: 5 sons, 4 daughters; 33 grandsons, 48 granddaughters; 138 great-grandsons; 136 great-granddaughters; 35 great-great-grandsons and 40 great-great-granddaughters.
Minor editing of spelling and grammar made to original manuscript by Celia Turley & Maria Bloomfield, June 1997.
SHELDON NICHOLS AND SUSANNAH CHIPMAN
Sheldon Nichols was born 14 Nov 1788 in Danby, Vermont, according to family records, but in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 Census records while living in Bristol, Wisconsin, he says he was born in Rhode Island. He was the son of David Nichols and Susannah (or Lydia) Sheldon. SusannaH Chipman was born 1 May 1792, also in Vermont. By 1811 they were living in Bastard, Leeds, Ontario, Canada where all but one of their 13 children were born. Their then 15-year-old son, Alvin, was baptized in October 1834 and Susannah in January 1836. It is possible others in the family were baptized during that same period. Their last child, Beulah Elizabeth Nichols, was born in Marshall, Dane, Wisconsin, in September 1836. Our ancestor, Rhoda Ann Nichols, was baptized in December 1836, age 23. She had been married to Hugh Day in 1830 at age 17.
From the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol 4 p. 430.
Alvin Nichols, Bishop of the Brigham City Ward, Box Elder Stake, Utah, from 1857 to 1876, was born 19 Aug 1819 in Upper Canada, the son of Sheldon Nichols and Susannah Chipman. He was baptized in Canada in October, 1834, by Lyman Stoddard, migrated to New York in 1837, and later to Missouri, where he passed through the persecutions of the Saints, moved to Nauvoo, Ill, 1842 after residing in Wisconsin, located in Pottawattamie County, Iowa in 1846, where he later presided over the Indian Creek Branch, arrived in G.S.L. Valley in 1852, and located in Brigham City in April 1855.
From Alvin’s biographical sketch, it can be reasonably presumed that his parents were with him during his early experiences, since he was still a relatively young man, and eventually, in their later years, followed him to Brigham City as both of them are buried there. However, even though Sheldon Nichols went with his wife to Utah, he apparently never joined the Church. He was baptized by proxy in the Endowment House 11 Apr 1872, less then 8 months after his death. Susannah was baptized in Canada and endowed in the Endowment House 10 Apr 1872, some 11 years before her death, and the day before her husband’s proxy baptism in the Endowment House. She was sealed to her husband the day of his baptism. However, there were no proxy endowments performed in the Endowment House and Sheldon Nichols’ endowment was not completed until 20 May 1920.
HISTORY OF THE McCLELLAN FAMILY - Ancestors of Hugh McClellan
The following compilation of family historical data and facts has been accumulated over a period of years by your historian and members of each branch of the family working cooperatively. The only way this history can be of any benefit to the members of the family is by placing it within their reach. Therefore, we are attempting to do just that by compiling and publishing it. Of necessity, only the first four generations, so far as we know them, can be considered in this brief treatise. The hope of the compilers is that some of the younger members of each branch will catch the spirit of this movement and carry on from where we leave off, and that the reading of these scattered rambling events may give them a true picture, background or foundation on which to build a family history. The surname McClellan is one of great antiquity, having been one of importance in the south of Scotland, where McClellan’s were sheriffs of Galloway and were leaders in their clan. The office of sheriff in ancient days carried with it more prestige and consequence than in more modern times, so it was a distinctive honor to hold this position. The ancestral seat of the family was Kirkcudbright, in a southwest county of Scotland. Sir Robert McClellan, son of Thomas of Bombie, was in the service of King James VI and continued in the reign of King Charles II who created him a peer by the title of Kirkcudbright. It was from the Irish offshoot of the parent stem, however, that the family in Virginia was founded.
William McClellan, born in 1748 in Ireland, emigrated to Virginia and settled in Loudaun County. In 1931, his descendants were living in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and many other states. According to Crawford, there were no fewer than 12 knights bearing the name of McClellan. It is thought that all the families in the United States bearing the names McClellan, McLellan, McClelland, and MacLellan are derived from one original stock having its home in the southwestern part of Scotland. About 1646 during the religious war, many families of the name removed from Scotland to Ireland. The migration being known in Ireland as the “Ulster Plantation, “ the settlements being made near Belfast and Dunganoon. About 1760 - 1770 numerous families both from Scotland and Ireland emigrated to America settling in Nova Scotia, New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and the Carolinas.
The earliest, authentic information we have concerning the branch of the family through which we came is found in the wills of Elizabeth Lusk, mother-in-law of Hugh McClellan and also that of her son-in-law, Hugh. WILL OF ELIZABETH LUSK ** STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA. In the name of God, Amen. The Seventh day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy. I, Elizabeth Lusk, of the county of Tryon, widow, being very sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given to God, Therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principly and first of all I give and recomend my soul into the hands of God that gave it and for my body I recomend it to the earth to be intered in a Christian like and decent manner at the descretion of my Executors and as touching such worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give and bequeath and dispose of the same in the following manner and form ... . Imprimis I give and bequeath to my beloved son Robert Lusk one young gray horse... Item I give and bequeath to my beloved son Samuel Lusk twenty bushels of corn now in the hand of Hugh McClellan. Item - I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Elizabeth McCleland a black gown and a mantle. Item - I give and bequeath to my son-in-law Hugh Whiteside a roan colt. Item - I give and bequeath unto my beloved son daughter Margret Whiteside one woman’s saddle. Item - I give and bequeath unto my beloved son James Lusk all and singular the remainder of my estate real and personal. My son Robert Lusk and son-in- law Hugh Whiteside before mentioned I consitute and appoint my Executors of this my last will and testament and do hereby utterly disalow, revoke, and disannul all and every other former testaments and wills and Executors by me in any wise before this named. Signed, sealed an delivered in presence of us -- Samuel Neely - Dorcas Wharey Marha Workman ---- (Elizabeth Lusk).
The articles bequeathed in this will would indicate that these people were farmers and ranchers -- pioneers.
In the name of God, Amen. -- I Hugh McCleland of the State of South Carolina and York County Taylor, Being in perfect health of body and of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given unto God; but calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say, principally and first of all I recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be interred in a decent and Christian manner at the discretion of my executors; Nothing doubting but at the general Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the Mighty power of God. And as touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life, I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form: First: I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth, my well beloved wife, the third part of my estate both real and personal; secondly, I give and bequeath unto my beloved son James McCleland, the one half of the plantation I now live on, including the improvements, this not to take place during his mother’s life time, but after her decease to be by him freely enjoyed for the term of the lease. 3rd, I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Robert McCleland the other half of the premises above mentioned and likewise after his mother’s decease. 4th, I give and bequeath unto each of my two beloved sons Hugh McCleland and William McCleland a horse creature and saddle to the value of seventeen pounds sterling and likewise each one a fourth part of my personal property of whatsoever kind after my beloved wife’s part is taken off. Lastly, I do hereby constitute ordain and appoint my friend Samuel Lusk senior and my son James McCleland sole executors of this my last will and testament -- And I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke and disannul all and every other former testaments, wills, legacies, bequests, and executors by me in anywise before named willed and bequeathed; Ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament --- In witness thereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this nineteenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety five. Signed, sealed, and published and declared by the said Hugh McCleland as his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names... Hugh Whiteside -- Abram Whiteside -- Samuel Whiteside-- (Hugh McCleland) ------- State of South Carolina, County of York - In the Probate Court: I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and exact copy of the last will and testament as now on file in this, the office of probate judge for York County, South Carolina. X (E. Getty Nunn). Be it known to all men by these presents that I Hugh McCleland of the state of South Carolina, York County Taylor having made and declared my last will and testament in writting bearing date the 19th day of August A. D. 1795 I the said Hugh McCleland by this present Codicil do ratify and confirm my said last will and testament so far as it is not contrary to this present Codicil, but as my well beloved wife is since deceased I do farther give and bequeath unto my three beloved daughters viz. Jane, Agness, and Elizabeth, to each one an eight part and I do hereby further impower authorize and appoint my two executors of my last will and testament to sign, seal, and deliver unto William Pots (Potts, P. J. ) of the state of North Carolina a good and sufficient title to three hundred and fifty acres of land which he bargained with me for, he complying with our agreement: And my will and meaning is that this Codicil be adjudged to be a part and parcel of my last will and testament and that all things there in mentioned and contained be faithfully and truly performed and as fully and as amply in every respect as if the same were so declared and set down in my last will and testament. Witness my hand this thirtieth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety- six, Signed in the presence of me (Hugh McCleland) Hugh Whiteside - Margret Neal. State of South Carolina, County of York, In the Probate Court - I do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and exact copy of the Codicil written on the back of the last will and testament of Hugh McCleland as now on file in this, the office of Probate Judge for York County, South Carolina signed E.Gettys Nunn. Judge of Probate for York County, S. C.
Now this son Hugh to whom the horse and saddle was bequeathed is the same one who became our heir, speaking in terms genealogical as pertains to the Kingdom of God, because he was the first male member of the family to receive baptism and the Holy Endowment in person in this dispensation. Hugh the 2nd was born in York district South Carolina, February 13, 1773, the sixth child in a family of seven. His wife, Mary (Polly) McCall was born at the same place December 20, 1776, daughter of Thomas McCall and Rebecca Kelly. Hugh and Polly were the parents of eight children - five sons and three daughters, the first two of whom were born in Camden, York County, South Carolina - the others in Bedford County, Tennessee. We have as yet found no account of this move from South Carolina to Tennessee. This is about all we have concerning the lives of Hugh and Mary (Polly) McClellan. We know they had been baptized into the LDS Church, as they received their endowments in the Nauvoo Temple. In William C. McClellan’s life sketch, he states, “I got home [to Council Bluffs] from the [Mormon] Battalion in the latter part of October  and found that both of my grandparents had died during my absence.”
The family of Hugh and Polly, as is the custom of most families, eventually scattered from Nauvoo to various parts. Some few years before James McClellan and his family left Nauvoo and came to Utah, his two brothers, Hugh the third child and Samuel Kelly the sixth, left Nauvoo and went into the Republic (now the state of Texas). In 1933, through the correspondence with the law firm of Oliver J. Todd in Beaumont, Texas, which was handling the estate of these two boys, we learned that they had become wealthy before Hugh died, leaving Samuel Kelly the sole heir to the property by a mutual verbal agreement. Hugh was married but had no children. According to Todd, Samuel Kelly, who has also passed away, left quite a posterity, the most of whom are in Texas and Louisiana. Further than this we have no record of the whereabouts of the members of this family except James the second child, whose life and labors as a pioneer we shall now follow.
http://www.angelfire.com/ut2/dlarsen/manwill/histories/mcclellan/james_mcclellan.html (Aug 2004).
James was born on August 8, 1804 in Camden, York District. South Carolina. We know little or nothing of his boyhood days, but on January 18,1826, at the age of 22, he married Cynthia the 16-year-old daughter of Samuel and Ann Wallace Stewart. She was born at Duck River, or Sumner County, Tennessee on April 28, 1810. In the Spring of 1833, he with his wife and three children, left Bedford County, Tennessee and moved to Shelby County, Illinois, where they squatted, on a quarter section (160 acres) of land, but made no effort to prove up on it. In 1834 or 1835 they bought out a man named Siler, who wanted to move on. -- Description of the land -- This tract of 600 acres of farm and timber land with 100 acres of it fences and part of it under cultivation lies in a bend of the Okaw or Kashkaskie River. Their nearest neighbor was 3/4 of a mile away. Next nearest was 2 1/2 miles. By industry and economy, James was rapidly surrounded with the comforts of life. Hogs and cattle did well on the range quite a large portion of the year. Chicago and St. Louis furnished a fairly good market for all surplus, including coonskins, dressed turkeys, venison, and hams. This was their condition when the elders of the L. D. S. Church came to their door. The parents embraced the Gospel and were baptized May 13, 1839.
James was so pleased with Joseph Smith, for whom he made a special visit to meet, that he purchased land bounded by James and Lumber Streets in 1840. He had his son, William, move to that property early in the spring of 1841 to care for it while James tried to sell his 600-acre farm in Shelby County, Illinois. It was one of the best in that area and James had become very prosperous because of his management and marketing skills. Selling the farm was not easy, but James finally sold it in the fall of 1841 for part cash and the rest in livestock.
The family, consisting of father, mother, and seven children moved into Nauvoo. Both James and his wife, Cynthia, became afflicted with rheumatism so badly that they were bedridden for 3 months. The large herd of livestock decided they wanted to return to Shelby in the dead of winter. William was doing his best to control the herd, but he was no match for them. Some people herded the stock and cared for them until spring, but charged James one-half the herd in payment for keeping them. With the loss of his stock, payment of tithing, buying shares in the Nauvoo house, continued illness, the finances were depleted. The slide from plenty to poverty seemed but a short step. In 1843 his father, Hugh, was living with him in Nauvoo.
In the summer of 1846, most of the saints had left Nauvoo and only a remnant remained, composed of the poor, sick and afflicted, who had been unable to get away. They were exerting all their energies to obtain means for that purpose. James had written some letters to [his son] William Carroll concerned as to why he hadn’t returned after being gone a month as he said he would. He was helping other saints move across Iowa. Brigham Young, after two months of William’s absence sent him back to Nauvoo to get his parents and grandfather, which he did along with other relatives. He arrived, gathered his group and ferried across the Mississippi at Nashville because they were able to get better teams. They made very good time and arrived at the camp on Mosquito Creek July 14th. William drove his grandfather’s wagon.
The parents had gone to the Nauvoo Temple and received their endowments January 7, 1846, in the Nauvoo Temple but they were not sealed until April 2, 1847 in Winter Quarters. The boys were away at work on brickyards, teaming, boating, rafting, etc. Returning home they found their parents busily preparing for the move west. They were soon prepared and on their way. Reaching the Mississippi River, they decided to cross at Nashville as they could get better terms on ferriage. They crossed the State of Iowa and arrived at Mosquito Creek (or Council Bluffs) July 14 or 15, 1846. When they reached the camp at Council Bluffs there was the recruiting officer there, getting men for service in the Mexican War.
James prepared to go with his two brothers-in-law and enlist, but if he did so the responsibility of four families would be shifted to the shoulders of his 18-year- old son William C. The boy protested. He said he would prefer to go with the Battalion. Having just passed his 18th birthday he was eligible so he enlisted, and James got the job of looking after the families. Let us now follow him through the pages of history just as we will find them recorded.
July 17, 1846, President Brigham Young went to meeting and proposed that brethren be selected to take care of the families of the Battalion men. Among the 88 men chosen to act as Bishops in this capacity, we recognize the following: James McClellan, Jonathan C. Wright, Edison Whipple, and Abraham Hoagland, who are all related to our family by marriage. No doubt there are others, if we but knew them.
(Journal History) October 6, 1849, General Conference of the church was held at Kanesville, Iowa, at which time Jonathan C. Wright was appointed as Marshal to maintain order on the conference grounds. James McClellan was sustained as a member of the high council.
They crossed the plains in the William Snow and Joseph Young Company in 1850. He served as a Captain of Ten, having 11 people in his own group. They left Kanesville (Council Bluffs) Iowa on 21 Jun 1850, and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley between the 1st and 4th of October. There were 42 wagons in this company.
June 15, 1850, An emigrating company of one hundred saints was organized on the Missouri River near Council Bluffs, Iowa. Joseph Young. was appointed President and Winslow Farr, counselor. William Snow was captain of the hundred, James McClellan captain of one fifty and Gardner Snow captain of the other fifty. (Journal History) In June they left their homes, crossed the Missouri River below the mouth of the Platte and traveled up the south side to Ash Hollow. From using the stagnant spring water, because of wet weather, between the Missouri and the Platte, the cholera broke out in their company. During the latter part of June or the first part of July there were several deaths, including James and Cynthia’s little son, James Travers (Jimmy), age two. William the eldest son had a severe attack but pulled through in fairly good shape. Louisa Ann, age nine, was so very ill that they sent word to the company ahead to dig two graves.
But our kind Heavenly Father saw fit to spare her life that she might reach maturity and with her husband (Eli Bell) rear a family in honor and integrity.
On August 22, 1850, in the Black Hills, near Fort Laramie, Wyoming, a little girl, the eleventh child, Cynthia Selena, was born to Cynthia and James. With the strain of that journey, sickness and death weighing so heavily upon her, small wonder that Cynthia could not nurse her babe. Almeda, their son’s wife, had a six weeks old babe when they commenced that journey and she drank lots of weak tea, walked part of the way, yet fed two babies at the breast. The company arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley early in October of 1850. December 19, 1850, in a letter to President Brigham Young, George A. Smith asked to have James McClellan sent to Peteetnet (or Payson) as a blacksmith for that locality. Joseph Young’s company, the sixth company of pioneers to reach the Salt Lake Valley, pulled in on October 1, 1850, after spending 107 days on the road from Council Bluffs. When they arrived in camp, the McClellan family went at once to Grandma Rigby’s, in or near what is now Pioneer Park, at 4th south and 2nd west. There they made their first camp, unloaded their wagons, removed the box from the running gears and set it on two pieces of log, so it would be off the ground.
The women folks then rearranged things in it for living quarters while the men took the running gears and went to the mountains for wood timber for building, fencing, burning charcoal, and etc. They did everything they could to prepare for winter. Thus they passed the first winter in Salt Lake City. James decided to go south in the spring, and was ready to go about the first of March 1851. It took them eight days hard work to reach Payson (now 1½ hours by car), where they decided to stop, but with some misgivings on the water question, as there were ten or eleven families ahead of them. He made a home down on what was known as the herd grounds, northwest of Payson proper now.
There for the next 13 years, until 1864, he was active in civic and church affairs. September 1, 1851. On this date an official report to headquarters of the church showed there were 116 baptized members in the Payson Branch. James Pace was president, with James McClellan and Elias Gardner as counselors. In the spring of 1852, President James Pace and James Elias Gardner his counselor were called on missions to Europe and James McClellan succeeded to the Presidency of the colony. (Journal History) - August 11, 1852, their 12th child, another daughter Arminta Zerada, was born. On March 6, 1854 the branch organization at Payson was discontinued and a ward organized with Charles B. Hancock as Bishop and James McClellan and K. Fairbanks as counselors.
October 13, 1854, George A. Smith, going to settlements in Southern Utah got fresh horses at Payson and James McClellan, Jos. Curtis, William Head, and Brother Colvin to go with them for protection from the Indians. December 31, 1854, Report to general authorities of the death of Bishop Cross of Payson, signed by James McClellan, President. In December 1855, Joseph G. Hovey visited Payson as a special missionary. He arrived December 9th and under his supervision the so-called Hovey Reformation took place, during which many of the people renewed their covenants by baptism, among them was the Bishop and his counselors. In 1865 his property there was valued at $200, not a lot even by pioneer standards.
During the meetings held at this time, James McClellan was dropped as a counselor from the Bishopric. January 3, 1858, James McClellan, one of a committee of 9 appointed to draft resolutions supporting President Brigham Young as Governor of Utah. May 25, 1858, at Provo, President Young requested Albert Carrington to write a letter to James McClellan in regard to herding horses. On the 29th of April 1862, a little less than 12 years after the family came into the Salt Lake Valley, Cynthia the wife of James McClellan, having born 12 children, 10 of whom lived to adulthood, was taken by death at the age of 52, leaving three unmarried children: Sarah Amanda, age 17; Cynthia Selena, age 12; and Arminta Zerada, age 9. With this setup they managed home affairs very well for the next two years, but in February 1863, Sarah, now being 19 years of age, married James Booker Manwill. This left her father, James, with the two girls. 12 and 14 years of age. Hardly old enough, James thought, to take the full responsibility of the home. So in the Spring of 1864 he married Lydia Knight the widow of Newel Knight who had died while they were crossing the plains. Her youngest child was about 17 years old. They are listed together in the 1880 Census in Payson. Lydia died in St. George, 3 April 1884.
September 26, 1862.
The molasses exhibited by Brother James McClellan was a very superior quality, resembled honey in color, mild and pleasant to taste. April 1863, left his home to meet the incoming emigration. Had a private team going for goods, driven by Jesse Knight [Lydia’s son]. They left Florence on the Missouri about the 4th of July on their return home, about one hundred wagons and three or four hundred emigrants. In 1864 he received and answered a call to settle on the Muddy, The results of that pioneering are known -- as fast as a dam was built in the river, the beavers would tear it out. They moved to Beaver Dam and then to Santa Clara.
October 27, 1871, He received a call from the First Presidency to fill a mission in the United States to preach the gospel, and administer in all the ordinances thereof pertaining to his office. April 5, 1872, Elder James McClellan of Santa Clara, Utah arrived in Salt Lake City on his return from a mission to the states. He traveled chiefly in Texas and was treated kindly by the people among whom he visited. The lower part of the St. George Temple was dedicated Monday, January 1, 1877 and the first ordinances performed in it Tuesday, January 9, 1877. James McClellan was baptized for the dead on March 13, 1877 and did endowment work on the 14th, just two months and four days after the work began. Between this date and April 22, 1880, when he did his last sealing for others, he was baptized for 83 people, endowed for 90, and sealed for 42 besides having seven women sealed to him.
On June 10, he stood proxy for the adoption of 8 of the McCall sons to their parents. 1874 -- on his 70th birthday, a celebration was held in Payson honoring him. Dinner in the orchard in the afternoon for the family. Dance at night in the ward. Payson, Utah August 10, 1874 Editor of The Deseret News On the 8th inst. I attended a family reunion at the residence of Wm. C. McClellan, in this place, which was to me one of the most pleasant occasions of my life. It was Father James McClellan’s 70th birthday and he had come from far off Santa Clara, away in Utah’s sunny Dixie to meet with his posterity from different parts of the territory to enjoy with them a happy reunion. A bounteous repast was spread at noon under an awning in the orchard and the aged veteran sat down to it with his four sons and six daughters with their numerous progeny, numbering in all 77 souls. There were also seated at the table, his wife, formerly Sister Newel Knight, and a number of her children and grandchildren. Also a few friends of the family who had been invited to participate in the festivities of the day.
After the dinner had been eaten and discussed and the tables cleared the assemblage was seated under the delightful shade of the canopy and waving trees, and were addressed by Elders J. B. Fairbanks, Bishop J.S. Tanner, Father McClellan, Brothers I. M. Coombs, John Loveless, Wm. C. McClellan, Samuel W. McClellan, James Loveless, Hugh J. McClellan, and J. Jasper McClellan.
Father McClellan emigrated to this territory in the year 1850 and settled in this town, where he lived an honored and respected citizen until the year 1864 when he was sent on a mission south to assist in building up that portion of the territory, He located himself at Beaver Dam, but that place being destroyed by, floods he removed to Santa Clara where he has resided and labored ever since. Himself and wife, in addition to other industries, have given considerable attention to silk (sericulture) at that place, and have met with encouraging success. I was pleased to notice on the shoulders of sister McClellan a most beautiful silk mantle, made of silk spun by worms which had been fed by her own hands. It is a garment that might grace a queen. Father McClellan and wife return to their home this week.
October 27, 1880, had six of his 12 children sealed to their parents. One of these however, Arminta Z. Bunker was born under the covenant and it should not have been necessary. So far as the record shows, this was the last temple work he did before he died. During that winter his health failed very rapidly. He felt the end was near and expressed a desire to return to Payson, asking someone to come and assist him home. James B. Manwill, a son-in-law and Jas. McClellan took a team and wagon and went to Santa Clara. Grandfather James had a light rig white top -- and Brother Manwill started out with him. Young Jas. came along slowly with the wagon and grandfather’s belongings. It seemed the nearer they got, the weaker grandfather got, until when they reached Milford, Brother Manwill put him on the train in care of the conductor and wired ahead to the folks at Payson to meet the train. The children had gone to Sunday School, when the train arrived. Grandfather was taken to the home of his son Sam and those of his children who lived in Payson gathered around him. A doctor was called in, but he stated that there was nothing he could do. James McClellan passed away Monday morning, February 10, 1881, and the journal entry in the Deseret News states that the cause of his death was pneumonia. Funeral services were held in the old 2nd Ward and he was buried by the side of his wife Cynthia in the Payson Cemetery.
Mainly from a history at http://www.angelfire.com/ut2/dlarsen/manwill/histories/mcclellan/james_mcclellan.html (Aug 2004).
Some information added as found in From Them to Us, Marsh and Nick Coleman, 1997, plus additions from family group sheets and Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel website: www.lds.org/churchhistory/library/pioneercompany.]
Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, p.1055.
Ordained high priest in Nauvoo, Ill. Moved to Payson 1851, where he resided for many years. Lumberman; gunsmith; blacksmith. [Pioneers and Prominent Men incorrectly has James’s second wife as Elsie Jane Richardson, his son William C.’s second wife.]
WILLIAM CARROLL McCLELLAN
William C. McClellan, son of James and Cynthia Stewart McClellan was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, May 12, 1828. He was the eldest of twelve children, six boys and six girls, all of whom grew to adulthood and married, raising families of their own. Some of them, including William, lived to a ripe old age.
William remembered little of the place of his birth as his parents moved to Shelby County, Illinois in the spring of 1833, when he was five years old. There they squatted on a quarter section of land but made no effort to improve it. In 1834, his father bought property from a man named Silver that was already improved with a cabin, smokehouse, and corn crib. This small claim lay in the bend of the Oker or Kaskaskia River, but it was fenced and the land was “broke.” The nearest neighbor was then three-fourths of a mile away, but the next nearest was two and one-half miles distant. Here he spent the following six or seven years of boyhood on the farm, growing corn in the summer, feeding hogs and cattle in the winter, with little chance for education except what his mother could impart of reading and spelling.
His father’s economy and industry soon surrounded the family with the comforts of life. Hogs and cattle sold well and fattened on the range for most of the year. Chicago and St. Louis furnished good markets for all he had to sell.
Under these prosperous conditions the early Mormon Elders found them and taught them the Restored Gospel. His parents were baptized in 1840. His father, anxious to meet the man through whom the Gospel had been restored, made a trip to Nauvoo, Illinois. He was so pleased with the Prophet Joseph and Nauvoo that he bought property in the fast growing city, and returned home determined to sell out and move to Nauvoo. This was not an easy thing to do. Their farm was one of the best and largest in the country, containing 600 acres of cultivated lands. He finally sold it for part cash and the rest stock.
He sent William to Nauvoo early in the spring of 1841 to look after the land he had bought. The party tried hard to reach Nauvoo in time for conference on April 6, but arrived the day after. William was baptized May 12, 1841, when he was thirteen years of age. All summer he chored around their Nauvoo property and returned in the fall to help his father move the family onto it.
Trouble then beset them. First to happen after arrival was rheumatism, afflicting both his father and mother so terribly that they were confined to their beds for three months. Responsibility for keeping work going both inside and out fell on William, barely fourteen years of age. The great herd of stock they had driven from Shelby needed the care of a man, and a strong one, certainly more than a mere lad was able to give. During one of the fierce storms that came with winter, the sixty-head herd struck out for their old home, but the river, full of ice, stopped them. They milled around near the banks until a party took charge and cared for them until spring. Expenses for keeping them cost his father half the herd. Fortunately, tithing on them had already been paid. Shares in the Nauvoo House had also been paid, but loss of his stock, with no way of caring for what he had, taxed his resources. With sickness in the family, bedrock was soon reached. The slide from plenty to poverty seemed but a short step. Making a bare living now rested entirely on William’s young shoulders.
All the winter he worked for wages. In fact, that was his lot for as long as they lived in Nauvoo. He worked in the brickyard, did team work, and did much boating and rafting. The last two years in Nauvoo were spent mostly on the river where, because he could do a man’s work on the water, he could command a man’s wages. As troubles in Nauvoo became worse, he was counted on during all hours of the day, and often did emergency work at night.
Near the last of February, 1846, he was asked by J. D. Hunter to meet him and others at night near the upper stone house. He, Hunter, Charles Hall, Allan Tally, and others with whom he was acquainted, went quietly to Shirt’s lime boat on the bank of the river. Aboard, they pushed into the stream and floated a mile down the river, pulled ashore and put a wagon and team on board. William was told to land at a light he could see on the Iowa side. This was done with few words spoken. Only two men aboard knew who was being ferried, Hunter and the stranger himself. William was curious but asked no questions. This was the beginning of the Exodus.
William stayed several days longer ferrying other parties across. Then he went home to help get his folks ready to leave with a company. First he took his father’s team and wagon, loaded with goods, intending to be gone a month. But instead of being sent back at the end of that time, according to contract, he was sent into Missouri to work for provisions for the camp and was there until May, almost two months. Letters came from his father concerning his lengthened stay but they were burned. Brigham Young, getting word of the inferred absence, wrote William personally, asking him to go to him at once at Garden Grove. He loaded his wagon with cornmeal and bacon, returned to camp and was soon on his way to Nauvoo, accompanied by three or four boys, who had no teams but wanted to return to their folks.
When he reached Nauvoo, he found his folks getting ready to move from the city. The hostile mobs were making life unendurable. His party was made up of his father, mother, and family, Aunt Matilda Parks, T. C. D. Howell, his grandfather Hugh McClellan, Grandmother Rigby, Gabbit and others. They crossed the river at Nashville, as there they gained better teams for ferriage. The weather was hot; they made good time and reached the camp on Mosquito Creek on July 14. William drove his grandfather’s team on the journey.
There was recruiting in the camp enlisting men for service in the Mexican War. William’s father gave him the alternative of enlisting and being part of the 500 Mormons they had asked for or taking care of the four families, as well as the families of his Uncle Howell. William A. Park and James R. Scott were enlisting so William decided to join. He marched off with the 5th Company to camp on Sarpee’s Point. He received his outfit and supplies at Leavenworth and marched to Santa Fe. From here a party of invalids and laundresses left the detachment and were sent to Pueblo, Colorado. Somewhere on the Rio Grande on November 10, another invalid detachment was sent back to Pueblo. William was sent with this party to care for the sick. It was a long hard trip. It was terribly cold and four men died; all of them suffered untold hardships, wallowing through the snow, half-clad and half-starved, reaching Pueblo late in December. Here he stayed until the end of May, faring well with supplies from Bent’s Fort, hunting and getting fresh meat every day. When he left, they traveled north, striking the old pioneer trail at Fort Laramie, going up the North Platte. They followed this trail to Salt Lake, arriving July 27, 1847, just three days after Brigham Young and his advance company. There William was mustered out of the army.
On August 29, William, in company with sixty men, thirty of them Battalion men, started east for the Missouri River. They had about six days’ rations per soldier to last them on a journey of 1,000 miles and mostly ox teams to haul them. The first 500 miles there was no game to be found to stretch out their scanty rations. The last half of the journey, buffalo furnished fresh meat for the famished men and even a straight meat diet was better than the starvation days, as they had plenty of salt. They reached camp where William’s parents were the latter part of October, having been absent fourteen months. Both his grandparents had died, but all others were well. For a year he worked single-handed, jobbing around Missouri.
On July 19, 1849, he married Almeda Day. She was his companion until death in 1916, and bore him twelve children in twenty-five years. She was a daughter of Hugh and Rhoda Ann Nichols Day and was born in Leeds, Upper Canada, November 28, 1831. When she was just a child of four, her parents crossed the St. Lawrence River on ice to New York state where the family probably joined the Church. They sailed by boat through the Great Lakes to Illinois. She buried her mother at Nauvoo. There she met William C. McClellan.
He built a little log cabin and gathered around him enough to make himself and his wife’s family comfortable for the winter. He intended to stay in Missouri to take over his father’s farm when he moved west in the spring, but the gold rush to California had begun and his father and father-in-law urged him to go. He had a baby coming, not much to move with, and was hard to convince; but he began making preparations anyway. He joined his father in putting up a shop for fitting out wagons and other repair work. But before they were ready to work, the gold hunters were on them, wanting supplies of food and shop work done. The next June, 1850, he loaded all he had into a wagon and started west with his father, father-in-law, a month-old baby, and reached Salt Lake early in October. They passed through a siege of cholera, which caused the death of his brother, and attacked him as well. He settled in Payson, Utah and lived there for seventeen years, going through the hazards of land shortage. His pioneering in Utah, the first of three such ventures in the United States, made his pioneering in Mexico an old story.
In April, 1857, he was ordained President of the 46th Quorum of Seventy. Then the Utah War came and volunteers were called to guard the pass in the mountains, to fortify and block canyon entrances to keep Johnston’s Army from entering and carrying out threats to exterminate a “seditious and disloyal people.” William volunteered and all through 1858 did duty in Echo Canyon. He was called to raise fifty men to help. Because part of the Payson men he needed were already out, he had to go to Spanish Fork for men to fill his company. Captain Kite and Major A. K. Thurber of Springville were part of the 500 men who did spectacular work in Echo Canyon under the direction of Lot Smith. They were instrumental in forcing General Sidney Johnston into winter quarters at Fort Bridger.
In 1863, William’s mother died on April 12, an extreme loss to her family and the community. She was but fifty-two years old, so her death was a shock. William was then called, in company with others, to meet and help incoming immigrants at Florence, Nebraska. John R. Murdock was captain of the company. His father, his brother Sam, and himself had a private team, probably owned by Jesse Knight, hauling goods for the company. They left Florence on the Missouri about the 4th of July on their return home. The company consisted of about a hundred wagons and four hundred immigrants.
William was set to caring for women and children who had to walk. His job was to keep them ahead of the wagons, instead of straggling behind. William was also camp physician, and kept his medical supplies in his coat pocket.
The Salem Dam near Payson had been washed out four times, taking valuable land with it. In the settlers’ discouragement they turned to him to replace the dam that meant life to their farms. The structure he put in the river is still there, having done service for nearly three-quarters of a century.
In the summer of 1865, Indian trouble began. At first they just acted ugly, but by 1866 they had become mean and hostile and it was necessary to organize for guard duty, keeping men and women in the fields night and day to prevent Indians from even getting near the settlement. Finally an organized army was necessary for the Walker War was in earnest and William, guarding the settlement, was elected on May 8, 1866, Colonel of the 1st Regiment, 2nd Brigade, of Goshen, Santaquin, Salem, and Benjamin.
This was full-time work for seven months for the years 1866 and 1867. There was a little breathing spell during the winter when the Indians could not cross the mountains for the snow. A treaty of peace was concluded in the fall of 1867 and he resumed his work in Payson where he was a member of the town council, serving several terms.
William was the prime instigator in extending the borders of Payson and building a canal from the Spanish Fork River. He kept the work moving, combatting the discouragement of those who felt it was too big an undertaking for such a small group of impoverished people. When the work was finally done, “I am prouder of it,” he said in his journal, “than of any job I was ever connected with.” He was also a prime mover in building the meetinghouse, creating the funds as they went along, and in the process a feeling of unity and brotherhood was made that had not existed before. He also built a Relief Society store.
William C. McClellan is listed on the Utah County Tax Rolls for Payson. In 1865 his land was valued at $600 and his total property valued at $1190. In 1866 it was $600 and $1035. In 1870 it was $550 and $938 and in 1872 was $550 and $845. The next year, 1872 it was $550 and $865, but by 1876 it was valued at $750 and $1075. [FHL Film #482,988.]
On May 14, 1873, William entered the practice of polygamy by marriage to Elsie Jane Richardson. The next year, 1874, he was induced to go in with a few others and made a dairy farm in Grass Valley, Utah County, Utah, a fertile but cold section of the country in the high valleys of the Wasatch Mountains. Together they farmed a quarter section of farmland and two or three quarters of meadow and pasture land with posts and pole fences. They built houses and outbuildings and put up quite a lot of hay and made excellent cheese. William brought in supplies for this mountain valley project.
Early in the spring of 1877, all Payson and Grass Valley plans were interrupted by a call to go with others to settle Sunset, Arizona, and help establish the United Order. The call could not have come when prospects for better living were brighter. He had grown children, some of whom were married, yet he began preparations to accept the call.
Fitting wagons to carry foodstuffs, seed and implements, and getting teams and livestock to take along was a matter of ease. But getting buyers for his property was not. Everyone wanted him to remain a part of Payson more than they wanted his property. But sales were finally completed satisfactorily, and he pulled out with four wagons, six teams of oxen, a span of horses, and a light wagon, all filled with flour, merchandise and household goods. A neighbor drove part of his outfit to help him to the first campsite. William left behind a forest of waving hands from neighbors, all of whom wished him good luck in his new venture.
Not far from Payson, he found his neighbor awaiting him with a broken axle. But before he had time to investigate, he heard other wagons following with the Payson band in the lead wagon, ready to burst into a lively tune. Then he knew what was the matter with the “broken axle.” He also knew, again, what warmth the love and respect of good neighbors can mean and what an uplift their interest in his welfare was.
The United Order was a utopian form of living, where there are no rich and no poor, where everyone shares alike. By living the Order, the Saints hoped to become like the people of the City of Enoch, so righteous that they “were taken up and were no more, for God had taken them.” (Moses, 7:69). Failing to reach that degree of perfection, they could emulate the Nephites and Lamanites who lived in peace for two hundred years after Christ visited this continent, all sharing in common.
Even though the Order, tried by Christ’s Apostles in Jerusalem after His ascension into Heaven, broke up because of weaknesses among its members, and the same failure had come to attempts to establish this Order in modern times, William retained his hopes that this time it would succeed. He put all his belongings into the Order when he arrived at Sunset, retaining for his family only what the Order stipulated. He hoped only for some of the exaltation that blessings from living the Order righteously could bring. But, after living it for three years and finding that finite men, including himself, were not yet sufficiently perfected, the Order could not be made a success. He left when the Order dissolved with little more than that which his family wore. Worse still he was a disillusioned, discouraged man. For a few years he lived first in one locality then another on the Arizona frontier with little hope of bettering his situation until he finally joined a group settling the little town of Pleasanton, New Mexico, a fertile valley near Silver City.
Here a successful and bright future seemed near. But, too soon, fear was added to the remembered disillusionment and discouragement. First, there was fear of Indians. Geronimo and his renegades were on the rampage operating in the area, making fortification necessary for the protection of lives. Second, there was fear of U.S. Marshals who were invading remote frontiers, bent on arresting every man having more than one wife.
Not relishing the idea of a jail sentence and fine, he acted promptly when, via the grapevine, he heard a “place” had been prepared in Mexico. He left at once. With his sixteen year old son, Edward, an interpreter and others also seeking the “place,” he left, taking a roundabout way in order to avoid possible encounters with Indians.
They reached La Ascension on February 22, 1885 and with Bate William, who could speak Spanish, they went through the ordeal of customs inspection, - a new and bewildering experience. But more bewildering was that no one was there to lead them to the “place,” or to tell them what to do in the meantime. They made camp on little Lake Federico where they shot ducks and fought mosquitoes for two weeks when Alexander F. Macdonald and his party, returning from a scouting trip through northern Chihuahua, finally arrived. He had nothing to tell but to wait until pending land purchases were completed.
William followed instructions, making a camp for himself and others who soon followed and tried to cure his impatience. He made one trip to Deming for supplies and looked the country over in search of farm land. Still restless, he finally hitched up his team and returned to Pleasanton, New Mexico, got the farm work going there and with some seed potatoes returned to his camp in Mexico. There he rented a piece of land from a Mexican and planted his potatoes, but, on account of the drought, not a one came up. He then made another trip to Pleasanton, but stayed only a few days, returning to Mexico about May 1. By this time he was disgusted, discouraged, and desperate enough to return to Pleasanton, get his family into Utah, face the music, or wait until the storm blew over. Maybe in the country where he had known the greatest peace and prosperity, some of those happy days would return. He left his grove camp below La Ascension May 19 with this intention but decided, sanely, to spend one more Sunday with the Saints in Camp Diaz. There, in the meeting, something happened that changed his whole outlook. A testimony came, a convincing feeling that his mission lay in the land of Mexico, that whatever hardships awaited them, he was part of a people of destiny, and that his place and part in it was to do his best toward fulfilling that mission.
He went to Pleasanton and moved a part of his family not to Utah, but to Mexico. He joined the people in Camp Turley near San Jose and was in camp when the letter was read from Church Authorities appointing George W. Sevey Presiding Elder. William raised his hand to sustain him and prepared to move with them to land purchased on the Piedras Verdes River. He was among the number that first settled in Old Town. By the spring of 1886, he had all his family together there. He was by now a financial wreck, his experience in Pleasanton having taken what was left after the United Order failure. But he and his boys dug in, and through sickness, poverty and other ills incident to settling in a foreign land, gradually raised themselves from scratch to a comfortable situation.
He identified himself with the people of Colonia Juarez, did his part toward making it a thriving settlement and set an example of frugality and thrift by getting respectable homes for both his families. He built the first rock house in Old Town, helped survey the East Canal, and made ditches to carry water from it to town lots. He worked for good roads and took part in all the labors and doings of the people.
The years of pioneering in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and finally Mexico, had taken their toll. As years piled up, his step slowed, his eyes grew dimmer. He then took time to write the story of his life for his posterity, the closing paragraph of which reads:
I will leave a large Posterity, and my wish is that none of them will ever do worse than I have done, but as much better as possible. It would be a great satisfaction if I could know they would all grow up to be honest, virtuous, upright, and useful members of Society, as these ideas have been my hobby through life. Possibly I rode them too hard, at times for my own good, but yet I think of the poet that said, “A wit’s a feather, a chief’s a rod, but an honest man is the work of God!”
William endured the privations of the Exodus and moved out of the country with other Church members, leaving two commodious and comfortable brick homes, orchards and town property. But William took it as he did other losses as “all in a day’s work.” He died April 29, 1916, in Colonia Juarez. Almeda and Elsie lived on in Utah for several years, both dying in the homes of their children.
[above history by Nelle Spilsbury Hatch]
Life Sketch of My Grandfather - written from memory by John Alma Hatch
WILLIAM C. MCCLELLAN
William C. McClellan was born in Bradford, Tennessee, on May 12, 1828. He was the son of James McClellan and Cynthia Stewart. His parents were early converts to the Church. He told me when he was a small boy that he used to play with the Prophet Joseph Smith’s son Joseph. He said he remembered of the brethren going to the Prophet’s home and sawing his woodpile up, and that he and other boys carried the wood into the woodshed.
He was with the Saints at the time of the exodus from Nauvoo. He was one of those who volunteered to join the Mormon Battalion. He was with the Battalion until they reached Rincon, or what is now Pueblo, Colorado. There was an epidemic of Mountain Fever, as it was called then, but is known now was Typhoid Fever. There were a number of the men left there with the sick list. He told me that the Doctor would not let them have much water to drink, but after the Company moved on, he said he crawled down to the river and drank all the water he wanted. He felt better and walked back to the tent. He said if he was going to die he wasn’t going to choke to death. He began carrying water to those who were not able to walk, and they all began to get better. Not one of them died. They wintered at Rincon.
Knowing that the Saints were going west, they started north in the spring of 1847 to intercept their trail, which they did and were just three days behind Brigham Young’s first company entering the Salt Lake Valley. He went back east with Brigham Young’s returning company.
He married Almeda Day, July 19, 1849. To them were born twelve children. Grandfather was an officer in the military organization in Utah. He took part in the Walker War. He was called with his family to help settle Arizona. They were in the United Order in Brigham City.
He ran the saw mill near Mormon Lake, south of Flagstaff. After the Order broke up he went to Pleasanton, Williams Valley, New Mexico, where he resided for a few years. He was Bishop there in Pleasanton. Set apart as a counselor was grandfather John Hatch.
About 1885 or 1886 he went into Old Mexico where he helped colonize that country. He was with the Saints when they were driven out in July of 1912. He later returned and passed away there April 28, 1916 at Colonia Juarez.
Written from memory by John Alma Hatch.