David White Rogers 1787-1881 / Martha Collins 1793-1881
Henry Clay Rogers 1833-1902 / Emma Higbee 1836-1925
Isaac Higbee 1761-1839 / Sophia Somers 1766-1842
Isaac Higbee 1797-1784 / Keziah String 1802-1841
David White Rogers and Martha Collins
Henry Clay Rogers 1833-1902 and Emma Higbee 1836-1925
Isaac Higbee Rogers 1875-1959
Isaac Higbee 1797
Copied from Isaac Higbee & Sophia Somers Family Organization publication 1955-1956---Page 32-43.
Isaac Higbee II was the second son of Isaac Higbee I and Sophia Somers, and was born on December 23,1797, Galloway, Gloucester Co., New Jersey.
When Isaac II was give or take six years old he moved with his parents New Jersey to Clermont Co., Ohio, where the family lived for many years. It was here he met and fell in love with Keziah String, whom he married February 11, 1819. He was twenty-one and she was sixteen years of age. Keziah was born December 25, 1802 in Galloway, Gloucester Co., New Jersey.
Isaac and Keziah had been married thirteen years when Isaac’s parents accepted the Gospel. This was in May, 1832, in Fulton, Hamilton County, near Cincinnati. Shortly after, Isaac, John and Elias and their wives were all baptized into the church.
The following year the family, including parents, sons and wives moved to Jackson County, Missouri, arriving in Zion in the spring of 1833. They were not permitted to remain here long as they were soon driven from their homes by the mob and forced to flee to Clay County.
From Andrew Jensen’s Biographical Encyclopedia and Isaac’s Journal we are told: “In the flight to Clay County we crossed the Missouri River. There had been heavy rains and floods the night before and all day, and it was this night my son, Alma, was born. He died in Clay County two and a half years later.” Isaac’s daughter, Amanda Higbee McEwan, gives the following account of the flight and birth: “The first sorrow I ever felt was the night after we were driven out of Jackson County. We camped at the foot of a high bluff and in the night a terrible storm arose, the rain came down in torrents and we had to climb the bluff to keep from being swept away by the swelling flood. We took shelter in a cave after driving out the wild hogs. My dear mother had to be carried up, being too ill to help herself and not being able to lie down she sat in her chair through the long night. Morning came at last as it always does, and with the light (though it was still raining) we resumed our journey. This day we crossed the Missouri River and immediately pitched our tent when a few moments after my mother gave birth to a son. And it was that night the stars fell from the heaven and our enemies thought the day of judgement had come.”
Quoting again from Isaac’s journal we read, “After we were driven out of Jackson County, Joseph Smith the Prophet, was in need of money to pay his lawyer’s fees. I gave the Bishop leave to sell my land, thirty acres, recently filed on, to help Joseph settle his debts.”
“I was ordained an Elder June 23, 1832 by Lyman Wight and Calvin Wilson. Elias and I were ordained High Priests in Clay County by Amasa M. Lyman by order of the High Council September 26, 1833.”
“I was called on a mission to preach the Gospel March 26, 1835, and assisted in building a branch of the Church in Illinois of forty-five members. Then before returning home worked two months on the Kirtland Temple and arrived home October 24, 1838.” Isaac served on this mission three years and seven months.
“Took part in Crooked River Battle, October 25, 1838. In February, 1839 my family came to Quincy being driven out of Missouri by the mob.” “February 19, 1840, I was ordained a Bishop under the hands of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and appointed to take charge of the Second Ward in the City of Nauvoo.”
(Isaac’s devoted wife, Keziah String Higbee, died November 3, 1841 in Nauvoo at the age of thirty-eight, three days after the birth of her tenth child. The following year Isaac married Charlotte Woods Carter.)
“December 15, 1845, I received an endowment in the House of the Lord in Nauvoo; September 17,1846, I was expelled from Nauvoo by our enemies.”
“In 1847 I was appointed to take charge of the ferry across the Missouri River at Winter Quarters. I arrived in Great Salt Lake Valley September 24, 1848, in the Heber C. Kimball Company, Second Division.”
As we note Isaac Higbee reported having taken part in the Crooked River Battle October 25, 1838, of which a brief account will here be given. Word reached Far West that the mob had taken three prisoners whose lives were in danger. On hearing the report Judge Elias Higbee (older brother of Isaac) who was first judge of the county ordered Lieutenant Colonel Hinkle, the highest officer in command in Far West to send out a company to disperse the mob and retake their prisoners. The trumpet sounded and the brethren assembled in the public square about midnight. About seventy-five volunteered to obey the Judge Higbee’s order under command of Captain David W. Patten. The Captain hoped, without loss of blood, to retake the prisoners and prevent the attack threatening Far West. Through this encounter, however, three lives were lost, and several were wounded. Captain Patten who was also one of the Twelve Apostles was one of the three who was killed. The prisoners were released and returned with the brethren to Far West.
In “Prominent Pioneers, of Utah, Church Chronology”, page 1514, we read: “February, Wednesday 14th, 1849, Great Salt Lake City was divided into nineteen ecclesiastical wards of nine blocks each. February, Thursday 22, 1849: At a council meeting held in great Salt Lake City, Isaac Higbee was ordained and set apart to preside over the sixteenth Ward.”
Isaac Higbee served as Bishop of the Sixteenth Ward in Salt Lake but a short time as he, too, was called by Brigham Young to assist in the founding of Provo. Some thirty families were called in making the first settlement in Utah Valley. (Note: Information on file in L.D.S. Church Historian’s Office states: “Isaac Higbee ordained Bishop of the Sixteenth Ward, 22 February, 1849; succeeded by Shadrach Roundy who was ordained 14 April, 1849.)
On January 31, 1850, Isaac Higbee sent a report to Brigham Young that the Indians in Utah Valley, “had killed and stolen between 50 and 60 head of cattle and horses, that they were saucy and threatened to kill more cattle and get other Indians to join them in killing the settlers in Utah Valley. Higbee further reported that the brethren in Utah Fort were agreed in asking the privilege of defending themselves against the Indians.” The request for help was granted and Governor Young dispatched a hundred men to strengthen and protect the settlers.
The Indians were under command of Big Elk, a brave resourceful leader. They had fortified themselves in a bend of the Provo River occupying a log cabin abandoned by a pioneer who had sought the shelter of the Fort. (He had been advised not to build apart in the first place.)
An attempt was made to negotiate peace, but while the parley was in progress Big Elk opened fire. The pioneers fired back. At the close of the first day the Indians still held their position. On the following day by a determined attack possession of the cabin was gained, and a final retreat was brought about by the construction of a V-shaped barricade of planks which was covered with brush, while the inside was hung with buffalo robes and blankets to stop the force of the bullets should they penetrate the timbers. This strange object was pushed toward the Indians, who took alarm and retreated.
“Investigation the following day revealed two or three Indian warriors either dead or dying and one squaw dead. Big Elk who had sworn never to live in peace with the white man, died on the way to Rock Canyon, to which part of his force had fled. Big Elk’s widow, a fine-appearing, intelligent young squaw, in attempting to climb a precipice, fell and was killed. From this incident, it is said, Squaw Peak, near the mouth of Rock Canyon, received its name.”
Joseph, son of President Isaac Higbee and a lad of nineteen, was one numbered among the men who took part in this conflict. While the fighting was in progress Joseph and a comrade were concealed behind a log. His companion saw that an Indian had discovered them, and had a gun pointed in their direction. The young man warned Higbee of the danger, and told him not to raise his head. Both lay behind the log for sometime. At last becoming very weary in the uncomfort-able position and suffering from the intense cold, Joseph asked his companion if he thought it would be safe to take a look over the log. His friend urged him not to do so, but Joseph finally made the venture. The moment his head appeared above the log a shot was fired, the bullet striking and breaking his neck.
Joseph had a premonition before the battle that he would not survive the conflict and he told his older sister, Amanda, of his forebodings. She urged him not to go out to fight, but he answered that he could not be a coward, and would go even if he knew he should be killed.
It was the first death among the settlers in the first Indian War in Utah and it cast a gloom over the little community. The blow was especially severe to President Higbee as this was his only living son, and not for some time was he able to reconcile himself to the loss.
Eight years before Isaac’s eldest son, Josiah, died in Nauvoo at the age of twenty-one. It was a great blow to lose these two sons in the prime of their young manhood.
In this first Indian War the pioneers suffered the loss of Joseph being killed and eight others were wounded. One of the log cabins in the fort was used as a hospital.
Chief Walker, a great fighter, made a marauding expedition to California returning with a thousand head of horses as his booty. Flushed with success, he was planning to go fight the Snakes and desired some of the young men of Provo to join the expedition. He appealed to Governor Young for his support in the venture, and being turned down he returned to Provo in a rage. The lives of George W. Bean and President Isaac Higbee were threatened. The Indians felt ugly over the killing of Big Elk and all together welcomed an opportunity for revenge.
President Higbee was awakened in the middle of the night by Chief Sowiette, who came to warn him of Walker’s intention to massacre every one in the Fort, and he, Sowiette, wished to proffer his aid in helping the settlers to defend themselves.
President Higbee gratefully accepted Sowiette’s offer and preparations for defense were made. The time of the expected raid was a very frightening experience, as the Indians were heard all through the night shooting and howling around the fort. The men stood inside with their guns in hand momentarily expecting to have to use them. Chief Walker did not make the attack, however, as he had been warned that Sowiette stood ready to aid the settlers if he did.
Provo’s pioneers were ever grateful to this good chief for coming to their rescue. We see how fitting it was to have named the park at the corner of Fifth West and Fifth North (site of the second Fort Utah) after Indian Chief Sowiette who had so courageously befriended Provo’s first settlers.
This was the second time Sowiette had befriended the pioneers. The first time was on the entrance of the pioneers into Salt Lake Valley in 1847. At a large gathering of the Ute Indians, Walker urged his braves to go to Salt Lake and destroy the intruders, but Sowiette finally convinced Walker to change his mind.
Two years after the founding of Provo we read: “On February, Wednesday 19th, 1851, a Stake of Zion was organized by President Brigham Young at Provo, Utah County, Utah, with Isaac Higbee as President and John Blackburn and Thomas Willis as counselors.”
In response to a call from Brigham Young a year later Apostle George A. Smith, who had general supervision of the southern settlements of the Territory, came to Provo to live in 1852, and on August 22nd of that year was appointed to preside over the Saints in Utah County. Elder Smith appointed Dominicus Carter and Isaac Higbee as his counselors.
Isaac Higbee was called upon in the conference held in Great Salt Lake City, 6th April, 1856, to take a mission to Great Britain. (In the early days this would be the first notice given the individual that he was called on a mission.)
Quoting again from Isaac, we read: “My journey was commenced April 19th, 1856, from Provo City, in company with William Pace and William Miller. Brother Pace and I furnished a wagon and two horses, and Brother Miller furnished two mules. In Salt Lake we received blessings from Apostles George A. Smith, Ezra T. Benson, and Erastus Snow. It took us over two months traveling over slow roads to cover the 2,937 miles between Salt lake and New York. It was three months before we reached Europe.”
“December 10, 1856, received a letter from my son-in-law that my flour mill had been destroyed by fire. On August 10, 1856, I was made President of the Derbyshire Conference, England, in place of Jesse Griffin. 7 February, 1857, preached my farewell sermon at Derby, England and was released to come home.
“I received word before I arrived at home that my wife Elizabeth (McClellan or Nelson?) had died. I arrived at home from my mission 23 June 1858, found my family well. I have been gone two years, two months and two days.”
Thirteen years later, November 19, 1871, when Isaac Higbee was seventy-four years old he was again called in conference in Great Salt Lake City to take a short mission to the States to preach the Gospel to his relatives. This was his third mission and this time he traveled comfortably by train.
In summing up, here are some of Isaac Higbee’s appointments to notable positions:
He was bishop of Nauvoo’s Second Ward, ordained by the Prophet Joseph Smith;
He was first bishop of Salt Lake’s 16th Ward;
He was the first president of the Utah (County) Stake;
He was first judge of Probate, being appointed by the state legislature; (it was he who performed the first marriage ceremony in Provo, uniting in wedlock Joseph Clark and Sarah Toppin [Topham]. Mr. Toppin [Sarah’s father?] was a member of the Mormon Battalion which had just returned from San Diego);
He and Smith built the first grist mill in Provo and had it ready for grinding the first grain in the fall of 1850;
The first grave made in Provo was on Temple Hill and was that of his only living son, Joseph, who was killed in Utah’s first Indian War;
He was Provo’s first Postmaster;
He was the first Chief Justice of Utah County;
He had the first butcher shop, located in what was known as Higbee Row, center of block 83, Fifth West and Center Street;
He served on three missions;
He also served as County Clerk and Recorder, and at one time was circulation manager of the Deseret News.
Isaac Higbee died at his home in the Third Ward at Provo, February 16, 1874, after a long and eventful life. At his passing he had reached the age of 76 years 1 month and 23 days.
References: History of Provo-J. Marinus Jensen; History of the Church, Period 1, Vols. I, II, III, IV, V; Life of Joseph Smith--Geo. Q. Cannon; Church Chronology and L.D.S. Biographical Encyclopedia; Utah Pioneers Biographies; Brigham Young the Colonizer--Milton R. Hunter.
The following was copied from the PROVO DAILY TIMES Tuesday, February 17,1874:
Higbee--In this city, Monday evening,
February 16, 1874, of inflammation of the bladder, Isaac Higbee, aged 76 years, one month and 24 days.
At the age of six years his parents removed to Clermont County, Ohio, where he remained until after he was married. He then removed to Fulton, Hamilton County near Cincinnati, where he heard the Gospel as preached by the Latter-day Saints and was baptized by Elder Lyman Wight in the month of April, 1832. He was with the Saints in all their persecutions, drivings, and mobbings in Missouri, and with them was expelled from that state in 1838. He then located in Quincy, Illinois, and was one of the early settlers of Nauvoo, where he remained until the Saints were driven from that place in 1846. He was with the Saints in Winter Quarters in 1846 and 1847 and came to these valleys in 1848. He has filled many positions of public trust in the communities in which he resided with honor to himself and to the satisfaction of all. He was a man of great integrity, beloved and respected by all, and died as he lived in the full faith of the Gospel.
TRIBUTE TO THE DEAD
The funeral of the late Isaac Higbee, an account of whose death appeared in yesterday’s Times, took place at the Meeting House today, at 10:30 O’clock, being largely attended by the relatives and sympathizing friends of the deceased. Several speakers addressed the congregation touching upon the life and virtues of him whose remains lay in solemn rest before them. Dr. David John was the first speaker. He stated that he had been familiar with the deceased thirteen years and he could say here in the presence of the dead and the living that he never knew a more genial, warmhearted companion, a more zealous Christian or more respected citizen than him whom they had assembled to honor by paying the last tribute of respect. He gave the history of the deceased which was very interesting, showing his devotion, under all trying circumstances, to the cause of Christ in this dispensation. The speaker was very affected the half-stifled sobs in all parts of the house evidenced the feeling of profound sympathy that was aroused.
Bishop Tanner followed in a few brief, touching remarks eulogistic of the deceased. He pointed to the life of the dead as a proper example to be emulated, not only by his relatives, but by all who had been fortunate enough to observe it in its purity, simplicity and uprightness. He did not deem it an occasion for grief, when a soul so full of righteousness is ushered into the presence of God, its maker. The Bishop said he felt as though he had lost a friend and a counselor in the death of this brother, but what is our loss is his gain. “Truly”, said the speaker, “He has lived and died a Saint full of hope and a glorious resurrection awaits him. May we take pattern by his example that our end may be like him.” Mr. J.B. Milner also made remarks touching and full of tenderness.
The remains were followed to the grave in the Provo Cemetery by a vast cortege of mourning friends. Brother Higbee is gone but the example he has left us as a heritage belongs to humanity and will live and exert a beneficent influence far into the years to come.
Toward the close of his life he said to Mr. David John: “I wish to die in peace and in fellowship with all humanity.” He could see the mystic shore across the river of time and the great white Throne of the Lamb. There is great solemnity in death but where one dies in Christ there is hope.
(Grateful acknowledgement is made to Mrs. Jennie K. Mangum for the above copy; also to Jennie and Bessie R. Rogers for much of the history of the Higbee family.)
ISAAC HIGBEE’S HISTORY
FROM DAUGHTERS OF UTAH PIONEER’S BOOK
By Grace Rogers Nielson granddaughter
Isaac Higbee was born December 23, 1794, in Galloway, Gloucester Co., New Jersey, the son of Isaac Higbee and Sophia Somers Higbee. This short life sketch was written by himself.
When between five and six years old I removed with my parents to Clermont Co. Ohio. I married Keziah String February 11, 1819. Soon after I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. About the first of May 1832, my father Isaac Higbee and my mother sophia Somers Higbee, John Higbee and his wife, John T. Carr and his wife Margaret and myself and wife Keziah String and a few few months later Elias Higbee and his wife were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was ordained an Elder June 23 1832 by Lyman Wight and Calvin Wilson.
About April first we all emigrated to Jackson Co. Missouri. When I arrived there I sent Elias Higbee to the land office to enter a claim for eighty acres of land on the Big Blue in what was Lyman Wight’s settlement. The Bishop divided the land twenty acres to my father, thirty acres to Elias Higbee, and thirty acres to me.
After we were driven out of Jackson Co. Missouri, Joseph Smith the Prophet was in need of money to pay the lawyers fees, etc. I gave the Bishop leave to sell my land to help Joseph settle his debts, which I presume he did. I was driven from my home and crossed the Missouri River into Clay Co. November 9, 1833, the day being very rainy. That night my son, Alma was born. He died in Clay Co. Missouri when two and one half years old.
I was ordained to the High Priesthood in clay Co. by the High Council of Zion March 22, 1835. I started on a mission to preach the Gospel in the States in 1835 and assisted in building a Branch of the Church in Illinois, of forty five members. I went to Kirtland, Ohio and worked two months on the Temple and returned home October 1838.
February 19, 1841, I was ordained a Bishop under the hands of the Prophet Joseph Smith and appointed to take charge of the Second Ward in the City of Nauvoo. On November 3, 1841, my wife Keziah died.. On September 17, 1846, I was expelled from Nauvoo by the enemy. I was appointed to take charge of the Ferry across the Missouri River at Winter Quarters.
Isaac Higbee came to the Salt Lake Valley arriving September 24, 1848. He help many positions in the Church and ably filled many civic responsibilities. In 1856 he was called to fill a mission in Europe and in 1871 filled a second mission in the States.
He died at his home in Provo, Utah February 16, 1874. He was also a staunch and faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for which he had borne many heart aches and much adversity.
Emma Higbee Rogers, wife of Henry Clay Rogers, was a daughter of Isaac Higbee and Keziah String Higbee. Her parents had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and left their home in Ohio to make a new home among the Saints. They had suffered very much from the mobs because of their faith in the Gospel, and it was during the time of severe hardship and persecution of the Saints the Emma was born, 2 November 1836, on the banks of the Missouri River in Caldwell County Missouri. She was the eighth child in a family of ten. Her two younger sisters died in infancy, leaving Emma the youngest living child. Her parents were driven from their homes many times by their enemies.
Two years later they were again driven from their homes and in 1841 her mother gave birth to another child, but both mother and child died. Her oldest sister, Amanda, cared for the family. Two years later her father married again, this time to a widow, Charlotte Woods Carter, with one son named John Carter. They became pals and remained so all their lives. On her eighth birthday they broke ice on the Mississippi River and her father baptized her. They came to Utah in 1838, her father Isaac Higbee was a captain of fifty in their company.
There were few children in their company. The oxen were slow and Emma usually walked ahead of the teams, she was never afraid and was never molested. One time she walked too far and had to go back. She came to a fork in the road but could not remember which one to take, finally she took one and came upon their oxen feeding. She decided to sit down on a rock and wait for the cow to go back for her calf so she could follow it, but soon after her father appeared hunting for her.
One night they camped without water, she thought she would surely choke to death. She thought she could see a lake of water and begged her sister to go with her to get some but she was afraid. It proved to be a mirage. She slept very little that night and in the morning the men found water.
Her father was the first bishop of the 16th Ward in Salt Lake City. In 1849 they moved to Provo. He presided there for some time. In 1850 her oldest brother, Joseph Higbee, was killed by the Indians at the age of 18 years. His was the first grave in Provo.
At one time in Provo, they were with nothing to eat but suckers (fish) and mustard greens for three months. They had but one bran biscuit a day. Emma thought that one bran biscuit looked so small for such a big man as her father so she pretended not to like the crust of hers and got him to eat it.
Emma grew up in Provo and at twenty years of age married Henry Clay Rogers. When she was forty years of age the family was called to settle Arizona, arriving there March 6, 1877. She had eleven children.
After her husband’s death she made a trip to visit her children in Blanding, Utah. She went from there on to Provo and Salt Lake City and visited relatives. She also made a trip to San Diego, California to visit her daughter, Martha. She also made another trip to visit her at Imperial, California.
While in Blanding she had her first patriarchal blessing by Wayne H. Redd. He told her she should live as long as she desired life and pass away as in a sleep. She received her second eyesight. She loved to read and read most anything interesting and entertaining on week days, but on Sunday she never read anything of a light nature.
Emma was very faithful to the Church, working in the Relief Society and backing her husband in all his work. She was a widow for twenty-three years when she had a stroke, fell, and broke her hip. She lived about three weeks and passed away the 23d of July, 1925. She was nearly 89 years of age. She was buried beside her husband.
Eleven children were born to Henry Clay Rogers and Emma Higbee:
Henry Collins, born 16 August 1857, at Provo, Utah; died 12 July 1897 at the age of 40 years.
Anna Keziah, born 19 March 1862, Provo, Utah; married James Arrowsmith; died in May, 1944, Mesa, Arizona.
Charles Ross, born 8 September 1859, at Provo, Utah; married Mary Elizabeth Robson; died 28 November 1922, Mesa, Arizona. j
Joseph Higbee, born 20 April 1864, Provo, Utah; married Louise Bee Harper; died 17 October 1945, Mesa, Arizona.
David John, born 9 October 1866, Provo, Utah; married Elizabeth May Stevens; died 4 September 1957, in Blanding, Utah.
George Samuel, born 12 February 1869, Provo, Utah; married Avis Laverne Leavitt; died 4 March 1954, Mesa, Arizona
Martha Amelia, born 4 May 1871, Provo, Utah; married (1) Robert Carter; (2) Daniel William Burton; (3) Sanford Theodore Casteel; died 30 November 1947, in Fresno, California.
Willis, born 17 August 1873, Provo, Utah; married Elizabeth (Bessie) Ritchie; died 30 May 1928, Blanding, Utah.
Isaac Higbee, born 27 November 1875, Provo, Utah; married Myra Sanders; died 29 March, 1959, Mesa, Arizona.
Emma Amanda, died at six months of age.
Hester Caroline, born 30 January 1882, Arizona; married Henry C. Watkins; died 7 February 1955, buried Mesa, Arizona
REMEMBRANCES OF MY MOTHER [EMMA HIGBEE]
AND THINGS THAT I HAVE HEARD ABOUT HER
ISAAC HIGBEE ROGERS
This is a sketch of Grandma Emma Rogers that was written by her son Isaac. This is the last writing that he did before his stroke. He started on it and worked on it. He finally asked his wife Myra to do the writing as he told her what to write. This was written in March of 1959. Isaac passed away March 29, 1959.
Mother was born November 2, 1836. Her parents were Isaac Higbee and Keziah String. She was born during the mobbings and the hardships of the early days of the Church. Her mother died of exposure and cold. Two other girls were born after Emma, one of them died when about four years old. The other died when her mother died.
Emma was the eighth child in a family of ten. She remembered when her folks were driven from place to place without much rest. During this time the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed. She remembered seeing them laid out and ready for burial, the great mourning and sorrow of the Saints as they walked by the bodies of their beloved Prophet and his brother. It took hours of time for all to see them. She was very frightened when she saw how the Saints felt, she wondered if the mob would kill them all.
She told me about when Sidney Rigdon came and tried to deceive the Saints. She heard him when he spoke and made such a failure when he tried to convince the people that he was the one who was to be the guardian to take the place of the Prophet.
Brigham Young announced that there would be another meeting. Emma and her father attended this meeting and saw how Brigham Young was transfigured and looked and talked like the prophet. She heard the voices of the people who saw it and heard them say, "The prophet is back." It was so plain that most of the people were convinced that Brigham Young was to lead the Church for the Lord.
I have heard her tell of the terrible persecution. How they were driven from their beautiful city, Nauvoo. Some were forced to go in small boats without much preparation. She told of the night that it turned so cold that the Mississippi River froze over and the people crossed over on the ice.
Several babies were born that night and it was hard to keep the babies and their mothers warm. There was much suffering from the intense cold, from sickness, and the lack of food. Quail came into the camp and were caught and killed for food. The people knew that the quail had been sent there by the Heavenly Father.
After much hardship the company reached the Missouri River. Grandfather was asked to take care of the ferry. A camp was established and called Winter Quarters. It was a place where the horses could rest, wagons could be repaired and cattle and horses shod. There were plenty of fish in the river. Grandfather would set his fish lines at night in the river. The next morning he would go to the river and he would pull a large channel catfish out of the river. Some of them were so large that when they were thrown over his shoulder the tail of the fish would touch the ground.
Mother and her half brother had good times on the river. They would get into a row boat then get behind a large boat going up the river. The draw of the large boat would pull them upriver. Then they would row away from the large boat and then float back down to their home.
Grandfather was at the river tending the ferry for about a year. They then had their wagon and horses and started for the Salt Lake Valley. Mother walked, with other children, all of the way from Winter Quarters to Zion, except for the river crossings that were too deep, then she would ride in the wagon. They made the trip with the Heber C. Kimball company.
They arrived in Salt Lake City September 24, 1848. Grandfather was made Bishop of the 16th Ward. He served one year and was then called to Provo to assist in the founding of that place.
Again they were to pioneer and start new homes. After they reached Provo there was trouble with the Indians who threatened to destroy them and that they would get help from other Indian tribes and then go to Salt Lake for the same purpose. Grandfather Higbee notified President Brigham Young of the situation. Brigham Young sent his consent for the people to defend themselves. He also sent about a hundred men to help them.
The Indians had already stolen about 50 head of cattle and were threatening to steal more and to kill the people. While the people were trying to make peace with the Indians the chief opened fire on them, and the saints returned the firing.
In that skirmish Grandfather’s only son was killed. He was Joseph Higbee who was about twenty one years old. Grandfather was deeply hurt by this tragedy and it was very hard for him to be reconciled to this great loss.
Soon after this Apostle George A. Smith, who lived in Provo, was called to preside over the Church in that district and Grandfather Higbee was chosen as his first counselor. Mother grew up under these conditions. She was acquainted with and helped entertain the leaders of the Church.
One of Apostle Smith’s sons was John Henry, he was near Mothers age and was her first boyfriend. At a Sunday evening meeting Apostle Smith called several young boys to the stand to speak. John Henry was one of them. When he got up to the stand he was frightened and embarrassed. As he started to talk he took the cloth off the stand and wrapped it around his waist. The people commenced to laugh. He took the cloth off and went outside. Mother would tell this story and laugh about it. Later this bashful boy became a good speaker and was an apostle. He often came to Mesa and made his stopping place the Henry C. Rogers home.
These times were hard for everyone. They gathered roots and weeds for part of their food. Fish were plentiful. One night when Grandfather was irrigating, the water quit running. He went up the ditch thinking that some of the neighbors had taken it. He found that his headgate was full of fish blocking the water so that it was running on someone else’s land.
They put their crops in and Grandfather had put in five acres of wheat. Others had that amount or more. It looked like they would have a good crop of wheat that would give them their flour. It turned cold and many of the fields were damaged. Grandfather had just irrigated his field and it was not frosted. He had a good crop and when it was harvested he shared it with the unfortunate ones.
Mother was married to Henry Clay Rogers on October 22, 1855. They prospered and had a good home started. Father held responsible position and was on the police force. Father’s family were also among the pioneers of Provo and were among the leaders in the Church and state. They had their garden and a nice orchard. Their home was on what they called the Provo Bench. When their family had grown to nine children, in 1876, they received a call to go to Arizona to be missionaries among the Lamanites. Father labored among them for twenty five years and was released by his death in 1902.
They left their home in Provo and spent some time in St. George and had some ordinances done in the temple there. They reached "the place" Lehi, Arizona, March 6, 1877.
Again they were pioneering. Land had to be cleared, dams built, ditches made and homes built. After they got the water they commenced planting gardens and orchards.
Food was scarce, but the way was opened up for them through the help of Mr. Charles Hayden, who had a flour mill and a store in Tempe. Father, who was a blacksmith and wagon maker, got work at Mr. Hayden’s place. The Hayden family and the Rogers family became close friends. The children, of both families, called the fathers and the mothers, aunt and uncle.
At this time there were a lot of salmon in the Salt River and for several years later. The boys would catch them and bring them home for the rest of us. The fish even came down the irrigation ditches and were easily caught by hand. We all ate the salmon except Mother. She would cook them for the rest of us. It really helped our food supply. When I noticed that Mother did not eat them I asked why. She said, "I just can not eat them. When we lived in Provo we had fish and greens for breakfast, we then changed to greens and fish for dinner, then fish and greens for supper. I got so sick of greens and fish that I just cannot eat them now." Still she would stand over the hot wood stove and cook them for the rest of us.
Mother was a good cook and so were my two older sisters. My sister Millie could make such good honey cake. We had lots of visitors, authorities who came from Salt Lake and the ward and stake officers came very often. With what little we had Mother could fix a good meal.
President Robson always said that he could not eat honey or anything that had honey in it. But, after eating Millie’s honey cake once, he would always ask for her to make a honey cake. We had a few stands of bees that gave us honey for our sweets. We used it to make preserves from our fruit.
Two little girls were born in Arizona to my parents. One, Emma, died as a baby, the other, Caroline lived to raise a large family.
Mother often went with Father on his stake assignments and to his missionary work among the Indians. She was also an officer in the Relief Society and active in the work among the needy.
On one of the visits of the authorities, from Salt Lake City, to the stake they really stressed keeping the word of wisdom. Father and Mother drank tea. Mother heard some of the women saying that Sister Rogers will never quit her tea. The next morning she made the tea and poured a cup for herself and Father. After two or three days Father noticed that Mother was not drinking her tea. He asked why and she said, "I have quit", Father then said, "So have I", and pushed his cup away. So Mother made no more tea.
For amusement the older people went with the younger ones to the dances at the school house. They would dance until midnight then they would come to our house, which was close to the school, for a midnight supper. Then they would go back and dance some more.
May day was a picnic time on the desert, where many wild flowers were blooming, especially the beautiful yellow Palo Verde flowers on the Palo Verde trees.
Christmas, New Years day, Fourth of July, and the twenty fourth of July were also celebrated. Mesa people would come to Lehi to celebrate these days.
In 1891 there was a flood that sent the Indians out of their homes near the Salt River. Many of them camped in our yard. Mother helped them all that she could. She never complained of this or other extra things that made more work for her. Often some of the Indians would come and ask for something to eat. She never turned them away.
Old Sandy was one of the Indians that came often. The other Indians did not like him too well. He would say to Mother, "will you give me something to eat? Indians going to kill me, maybe tonight or tomorrow". He always got something to eat.
After Father’s death and Mother had moved to Mesa close to my brother Joe, she had not seen Sandy for a long time. He used to buy melons and vegetables in Lehi and take them to Mesa to sell. One day he knocked at Mother’s door, she came to the door. He was really surprised and he said, "Sister Rogers, aren’t you dead?" He repeated it several times. He hadn’t seen her for some time and he had thought, or heard, that she was dead. He just couldn’t believe it was her looking at him. Mother would tell this and laugh until the tears rolled down her cheeks. She could not get over seeing how surprised Sandy was when she opened the door.
I helped build the house that she lived in by Brother Jones. She was real comfortable and loved her little home. Here her children and her grandchildren could come and see her. She did her own house work. We had moved away but we went to see her when we could.
The last time that I came, she was sitting by the window reading the bible. She had her second eye sight and was reading without glasses. She was nearly eighty nine years old at that time. I was alone at that time, so she fixed me a cot to sleep on. She always called me Ikey. After I went to bed she came in and said Ikey, are you comfortable and tucked me in so that I would sleep warm.
This was in the spring and in July, while I was working in the timber in Walker, near Prescott, we received the word of her having fallen and broken her hip. She died July 23, 1925. Her last days were harder but not for long as she lived only about two weeks after breaking her hip. My sister Annie was visiting with her when she fell and she stayed with her until the last. We got the word of her death and I came to Mesa to her funeral.
She was a wonderful mother and could see all of the good in everyone. She had no time for fault finding or gossip. I remember the wonderful prayers she would give when Father was away. Family prayers were always given by Father, if he was home, and by Mother when he was away. In those days children were to be seen and not heard. In my own family we have always taken turns with our children in saying the family prayers.
There were eleven of us children. Henry, Charles, Annie, Joe, John, George, Millie, Willis, Isaac, Emma, and Caroline. At this time March 14, 1959 I am the only one living. I will be eighty four November 27, 1959. I am quite well and I enjoy going to the temple for ordinance work and doing all of the yard work at our home.
HENRY CLAY ROGERS
Henry Clay Rogers, son of David White and Martha Collins Rogers, was born in New York City, Oct. 19th 1833, he moved west with his parents coming to Utah in l852. He married Emma Higbee, daughter of Isaac and Keziah String Higbee, Oct. 19, 1855 in Provo, then in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.
He followed his father’s trade as a wheelwright and cabinet maker afterwards as blacksmith. He was captain of the police force in Provo for eight years. He cared for the prisoners and his wife fed them, he was also deputy sheriff for some time and sheriff one term.
He was a prominent man in the City, he was acquainted with everyone and everyone liked him. He was counselor to the Bishop in the 4th Ward for years. In 1876 when Pres. Young was preparing to send an expedition to settle the southern country, he went to Provo, he then sent for Henry C. Rogers and talked to him for some time, he had a good home and farm and was doing well with his business. He loved Provo and the people but, he told Pres. Young that he would go to this southern country if he wanted him to. Pres. Young told him that he wanted him to take his family and go as an Indian missionary. He asked where he was to go and Pres. Young told him to Arizona and added, “You will know the place when you see it.” Then a vision passed
before the eyes of Henry C. Rogers, he seemed to be traveling up a river. On the opposite side he saw cottonwood trees and a small adobe house, a man rode up to the house on a white horse, got off, and in a few minutes he mounted the horse again and rode away.
This happened later on the Salt River in Arizona, just as he saw it and he said as Brigham Young said; “This is the place.”
D. John Rogers, one of the children, then about ten years of age remembers seeing these things on the river bank.
When Henry C. Rogers left Provo his family consisted of the following;
Henry C. Rogers, father
Emma Higbee, mother
Henry Collins age 18
Charles Ross age 16
Anna Keziah age 14
Joseph Higbee age 12
David John age 10
George Samuel age 8
Martha Amelia age 6
Willis age 3
Isaac Higbee age 1
The family left Provo early in the fall to get over the mountains before the snow fell. They arrived in St. George early in November spent Thanksgiving there and waited for the rest of the company, while there, part of the temple was finished and dedicated so this company could go through. In January 1877 they left for Arizona, arriving there on the 6th day of March. They named their settlement, Lehi, the stake Maricopa. Two more children were born in Lehi, Emma Amanda, who died at six months and Hester Caroline.
The first thing they did was to survey and build their canals, they put a dam in the river and filed on 160 acres of land and built a fort. At this time the Apache Indians of northern Arizona would go on the warpath at times. The Pima Indians were a peaceful, progressive tribe. Shortly after arriving an agreement was made with the Pima from San Tan on the Gila River. They came and settled north of Lehi up and down the river. The agreement was that they were to have part of the water for irrigation. They soon built a thriving ward known as the Papago Ward and are now doing lots of temple work.
Henry C. Rogers not only labored as an Indian missionary but was a counselor to every stake president of the Maricopa Stake up until his death. The first president, A. F. McDonald, the second Charles I. Robson, the third Collins R. Hakes.
About three times a year he took his team and a wagon which was fitted up with a camp outfit and made trips south of the Gila River among the Papago Indians. He was gone several weeks at a time, he always took an Indian interpreter with him, whose name was Valenzuela. They became staunch friends. Valenzuela understood the English language but would never talk it. H. C. Rogers never learned the Indian language but they both learned Spanish, so one talked English and the other Spanish.
At one time they came to an Indian village, they were without water and were making preparations to leave, they talked to some of the Indians and promised them if they would stay and hear them talk the next day their reservoir would be filled and they would have plenty of water for themselves and their stock. They stayed and H. C. Rogers said he saw a small cloud come over their village and it rained until their reservoirs were filled.
This experience was repeated at other villages. The Indians were ready for the Gospel and were anxious to learn and often whole villages were baptized. At one time when their water was low Bro. Rogers asked them why they did not dig a well. They asked where, he picked up a rock and gave it a toss and said, “Right over there,” They drove down a stake and when he came back that way they had the well about 50 feet deep. He wondered for a moment if he had been inspired. In that country they had a few wells and water was found at a depth of from 500 to 600 feet deep. They asked how much farther they would have to go. He said “See that bush, when you get that much farther you will find water.” They took a lasso rope, measured the distance and tied a know in it and when they got that much farther they turned up a rock and found the water. This was afterwards known as “Rogers’ well.”
One trip he was impressed to go home, when he came to the Gila River it was so high that no one could cross it, but when he got to the water’s edge the water fell and they crossed and the water came up behind them. When he reached home he found his daughter Martha (Millie) very ill. It seemed she could not live, she asked him to administer to her and she was healed.
When at home he and Brother C. H. Allen usually visited the Indians of the Papago Ward in their homes and held meetings similar to ward teaching. On one of these visits they were told that a baby had died and they were making preparations to bury it. They went to the home and the mother said, “Why did you not come sooner, the child would have lived if you had administered to it.” They felt impressed to administer to it, they promised it life and that it should work in the temple for the dead. It was raised from the dead, he is now in charge of the Indian work in the Arizona Temple, his name is John Baptisto.
Eight years after going to Arizona, Henry C. Rogers took a company of converted Indians to the St. George Temple to get their endowments. While they were preparing to go the Salt River was high and he said, “It is our business to get ready and the Lord will see that we get there.” The boys went to the old Mesa heading and got a flat boat, brought it down the river to the old McDowell ford, the waves were rolling high but they were ferried across. They made the trip successful, before returning they went on to Salt Lake City to see Pres. Young. [Brigham Young died in 1877, so this cannot be right, probably Brigham Young Jr. msb]
On their return trip from St. George, the Santa Clara River was high, the mail carrier had not been able to cross it for several days. He told them they could not get across. They drove down to the river anyway. When they reached the water it was going down. In a few minutes it was low enough for them to cross, as soon as they were over the water rose again. The mail carrier dared not cross it. At Bunkerville on the Rio Virgin the river was high, a man who was waiting there with a load of grain dared not cross but the water went down and they drove across, this man followed. When he reached the opposite bank he turned his horses partway around and began throwing the sacks of grain on the bank just as fast as he could. Father said he seemed to be inspired to hurry, he was soon on his way back. The water rising all the time, he reached the opposite bank in safety.
At the Colorado River they had a similar experience. Those were great testimonies to all the company. The Indians loved to speak of them afterwards.
When at home a good portion of his time was spent in the blacksmith shop and his health began to fail but he never neglected his Church duties. On returning home from his last trip among the Indians, Apostle Brigham and his wife Abbie had come to Salt River Valley for her health.
The stake presidency had planned to go camping on the Verde River for a few days, quite a number of men and women went off Monday and came home on Thursday. Father took sick on Friday night and died Saturday, March 6, 1902. He was buried on Sunday, just twenty-five years to the day since he landed in Lehi.
Apostle Brigham Young Jr., was one of the speakers at the funeral. An educated Indian girl, Catherine Valenzuela sang “Nearer My God to Thee.” She was a daughter of his former missionary companion.
A few days after his death, Valenzuela and Bishop Tiffany of the Papago Ward came to see the folks. Valenzuela said that while on his last missionary trip Henry C. Rogers took sick and died, he felt that he could not bring him home to his folks dead and he prayed with all the power he had for the Lord to give him life to return home. After about one and a half hours life came back to him, and they came on home. He was surprised that he did not go sooner.
In 1893 Henry C. Rogers was a member of the 17th Legislature of the Territory of Arizona. He made many friends among the outside people that lasted long after his death.
MORE INFORMATION ON KEZIAH STRING HIGBEE
Written by her daughter Amanda M. Higbee McEwan - this copied from Isaac Higbee and Sophia Somers Family organization 1955-1956 - pages 46 to 49.
COPY OF LETTER WRITTEN AND PLACED IN THE FOURTH WARD RELIEF SOCIETY JUBILEE BOX -- PROVO, UTAH
Provo, Utah March 25, 1881
To my dear children and my grandchildren who may be living when the box which contains this letter shall be opened and the fingers that penned these lines gone back to mother earth.
I conjure you, my dear children, to be faithful in all your covenants that you make in the Church. Pay all your tithes and offerings with an eye single to the glory of God and be faithful to the end of your days. It is the great love I bear you that causes me to pen you these few lines, the last you will have from me on this earth. It is the voice of your mother and grandmother speaking to you from the grave, calling upon you to live near your God and do all that you can that is left undone for our dead.
My father, Isaac Higbee, and my mother, whose maiden name was Keziah String, and my grandfather, Isaac Higbee, and my grandmother, Sophia Summers Higbee, and two uncles, Elias and John S. Higbee, with their families joined the Church in the early days and went up to Jackson County, Missouri, from where they were driven by our enemies from that County to Clay County, in the same state. There my father left his family and went to Kirtland, Ohio, to work on the Temple. When he returned we moved to Caldwell County, Missouri, where we remained two years and were again driven away by enemies out of the state altogether. This time we went to Illinois where we remained some years and in this state the Prophets were killed. Here we built a Temple. We built ourselves up in many things. Many had good houses and farms and built a city and gave it the name of Nauvoo. But again our enemies were upon us. We were driven out again and found a home in these valleys of the Mountains. How long we will be permitted to stop here unmolested is for the future to decide. If we do not live our religion God will scourge us until we do.
I was born in the state of Ohio, Clermont County, Palestine, in the year 1826, May 20th, and was married to your father and grandfather, in the year 1845, December 23rd, and who departed this life in the year 1878, he being one of the First Presidents of Seventies, and in the full faith of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I could mention many things if I thought it necessary in regard to our persecutions and suffering. The first night’s sorrow I ever felt was the first night after we were driven out of Jackson County. We camped at the foot of a high bluff and in the night a terrible storm arose and rain came down in torrents and in the dead of night we had t o climb the bluff to keep from being swept away by the swelling flood. We took shelter in a cave formed by projecting rocks after driving the wild hogs out. My dear mother had to be carried up being too ill to help herself and there sat in her chair, not being able to lie down. Morning came at last as it always does and with the light we resumed our journey, and this day crossed the Missouri River and immediately pitched our tent when in a few moments after my mother gave birth to a son and that night the stars fell from heaven and our enemies thought the day of judgment had come.
My father was ordained to the Bishopric under the hands of the Prophet Joseph in Nauvoo. My present home is in Provo City Fourth Ward. J. E. Booth is our Bishop, of the Ward; Abraham Smoot, President of the Stake.
More information on Keziah String Higbee written by her daughter - Page 2
When we came to these valleys with ox teams thirty three years ago we crossed over one thousand miles of uninhabited wilderness, save by savages and wild beasts of the desert, but when we came in sight of the beautiful valley of Salt Lade, I wept like a child, and what for—for very joy. It seemed so heavenly and beautiful to me; it seemed as though I stood on holy ground. I was filled with joy unspeakable and full of reverence to my Creator for giving me such a beautiful home.
My father was made President of Utah County Stake of Zion in 1849 and in the fall of 1850 his only living son, my brother Joseph, was killed by the Indians, who made war with our people and were afterwards whipped and driven into the mountains. (His was the first grave
in Provo City.)
My mother’s parents, Thomas and Hannah String (Albison being her maiden name) was not in the Church nor any of their children except my mother and her sister Margaret. The names of their other children were Ann Conover, her husband’s name was Robert Conover, and Hannah James, the wife of George James, and Rebecca, the wife of Ephraim James, also Sarah String, Martha String and James String.
My father and husband each left a journal and small genealogy, which I hope will be taken care of and which is now in the desk of my late husband where I hope it may be found at any future time it may be needed. I also have some of my father’s journals which may be interesting and also my husband’s, John McEwan, all of which I hope will be taken care of.
And new, my beloved children and children’s children, down to the latest generation: Be true to yourself and to your religion and to your God for there is no exaltation outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I might write much mere but we are told to be as brief as possible that there may be room in the box for all. If any of my dear children are living when this come to hand, I hope they will think much of what I have written, for it is with pure motive. Now de all you can for yourselves, my darlings, and: for the building up of the Kingdom of God en the earth, and may God bless you all, is the prayer of your loving Mother and Grandmother.
AMANDA M. McEWAN
To her loving children and grandchildren to the latest generation.
The names of my great grandparents on my mother’s side are Josiah Albison and Hannah, his wife. Father’s I do not know.
JUBILEE BOX: Opened in 1931, after fifty years.
Margaret T. Smoot
Stake Relief Society President Provo, Utah.
Sit with me by the homeland hearth,
And stretch the hands of memory forth
To warm them at the wood-fire’s blaze;
And thanks untraced to the lips unknown
Shall greet me like the odors blown
From unseen meadows newly mown,
Or lilacs floating in some pond,
Wood-fringed, the wayside gaze beyond;
The traveler owns the grateful sense
Of sweetness near, he knows not whence,
And, pausing, takes with forehead bare,
The benediction of the air.
John Greenleaf Whittier
HISTORY OF KEZIAH STRING - WIFE OF ISAAC HIGBEE II
Copied from “Isaac Higbee and Sophia Somers Family Organization 1955-1956"
Keziah String Higbee was born 25 December, 1802, in Galloway, Gloucester County, New Jersey. She was a daughter of Thomas and Hannah Albison (or Alberson) String. She married Isaac Higbee II on the 11th of February 1819, at the age of sixteen years.
Thirteen years later, she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized in May 1832. With her family she endured the persecutions and migrations of the Saints in the early days of the Church. She moved to Jackson County Missouri where the family remained until they were driven to Clay County, Missouri by the mobs and then went to Far West, Missouri. After being driven from the State of Missouri altogether, they made their home in Nauvoo, Illinois.
Many were the times they had to camp on the river banks in the coldest weather, with little food, because they were driven from their homes and their possessions taken from them. She was ill much of the time and her sufferings were intense.
The following children were born to Isaac & Keziah:
Josiah, born January 10, 1820, Clermont Co., Ohio; died March 27, 1841.
Mary, born September 5, 1821, Clermont Co., Ohio; married Louis Zabriskie; died near Florence, Nebraska.
Sophia Somers, born August 10, 1823, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Amanda Melvina, born May 20, 1826, Clermont Co., Ohio; married John McEwan, Dec. 23, 1845; died May 24, 1882, Provo, Utah.
Hannah, born July 23, 1828, Clermont Co., Ohio; married Warner Johnson.
Joseph, born December 15, 1830, Hamilton Co., Ohio; died February 9, 1850, Provo, Utah. (He was killed by the Indians.)
Alma, born Nov. 9, 1833, Clay Co., Missouri, died 1835, Clay County, Missouri.
Emma, born Nov. 2, 1836, Caldwell Co., Missouri; died July 23 1925, Mesa, Arizona; married Henry Clay Rogers.
Margaret, born March 31, 1839, Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois; died August 25, 1845, Nauvoo, Ill.
Lucy Ann, born October 31, 1841, Nauvoo, Ill, died same day. Lucy Ann was the tenth child.
Isaac Higbee’s devoted wife, Keziah String died Nov. 3, 1841, three days after the birth of their tenth child. She was truly a martyr to the cause of truth, like so many of the Saints, being driven from place to place and suffering all the persecutions, mobbings, and indignities of their enemies.
Copied from Page 44 & 45 of the above reunion book.