John Bryson 1779-aft 1825/ Margaret Cowan 1788 abt 1864
Samuel Bryson 1816-1908 / Sarah Ann Conray 1819-1871
Samuel Bryson 1816-1908
James Bryson 1858-1950
Thaddeus Sedgwick Bryson 1898-1981
Gerald "R" Bryson 1926-2002
Written by Ada Bryson Jardine
More information added in 1977/9 by her daughter Janet J. Williams.
Samuel Bryson, son of John and Margaret Cowan Bryson, was born August 15, 1815, in Banbridge, County Down, Ireland, in Seapatrick's Parish. His father and grandfather had both fought in wars between the French and British. The story was told that his father was killed in the Battle of Waterloo, Belgium, June 18, 1815, two months before Samuel was born. John's army record proved this false; but we are at a loss to know the entire story.
As a large percentage of the early settlers in Northern Ireland were Scottish, and Samuel's parents were Methodist, they probably were originally from Scotland. He told that the Catholic boys threw rocks at the Protestants and the Protestants threw rocks at the Catholics, the same as they are doing 150 years later.
Samuel's mother was among the first people in Ireland to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had a dream about the new religion; and when the elders came she recognized them as the ones she had seen in her dream. John Hamilton and the other elder who converted her paid her passage to Nauvoo. She left Liverpool, England, January 16, 1843, on the ship Swanton with 212 Saints. The passengers on the Swanton were evidently a group of Mormon emigrants headed by Lorenzo Snow. They arrived in New Orleans March 16, 1843; and then took the steamer Amaranth from new Orleans to Nauvoo, arriving April 12, 1843. She went to stay and work in the household of Hyrum Smith to repay her passage. After he was martyred, she still lived with his widow, and drove a team of oxen for her as far as Winter Quarters.
When Samuel was 18 years old he joined the Sixth Regiment of Scotch Grenadiers and fought in seven major engagements in the Peninsular Wars in Spain, [most likely the Carlist War] but was never wounded. He saw considerable country while in the service; but the most wonderful sight to him was his visit to the Rock of Gibraltar. Its tropical beauties thrilled his soul. He was nearly 21 when he returned home to Ireland.
He married Sarah Ann Conray (Conrey, Connery) in 1839, in Banbridge. She was born in Blairs Parish, Down, Ireland on October 6, 1819. Soon after their marriage they were visited by Appleton Harmon, a missionary; and Samuel was baptized on March 31, 1841 by David Wilkie at Hillsborough. Sarah Ann was baptized April 21, 1841 by David Wilkie, who also confirmed them both.
Three children were born to them in Ireland, but two died at birth. Thomas Henry was born at Banbridge September 16, 1841 and died the same day. Also Margaret, who was born August 25, 1843, died that day; and she was born in Banbridge also. Having lost their first two children, they moved to Belfast, where Samuel was born April 11, 1845, six years after their marriage.
Samuel was a weaver by trade in his native land. He wove beautiful muslin and fine linen, for which Northern Ireland was famous. The linen industry was centered in Belfast; and perhaps that is why Samuel moved there from Banbridge.
Severe persecution followed their conversion, so they moved to Scotland. When they left Ireland no one would buy any of their possessions because they were Mormons, and they could take nothing except their clothing with them on the sailing vessel. Their fine china was left on racks on the walls. Samuel presided over the Glasgow Branch of the church and held this position for a number of years.
Quoting from a history of his son, Samuel: "While in his youth, his father, who was a convert to the L.D.S. Church in Ireland, was called to preside over the branch of the Church at Glasgow, Scotland; and the family moved there to live.
"Samuel grew up on the banks of the River Clyde. His father was a weaver by trade, making fine linen cloth and paisley shawls; and it became the work of young Samuel to deliver these articles to the customers. He came to know the city well. years later he could accurately describe many streets and buildings he had known and loved. He received impressions, too, of the other side and life of the city, especially the sad side and conditions caused by drink. These remembrances helped him to shun many evils met up with in later life."
Four more children were born to Samuel and Sarah Ann in Glasgow, Scotland: Jane, born January 1, 1848, and died November 30, 1854; Sarah Ann, born May 21, 1850; Hyrum Smith born February 20, 1852; and Eliza Snow, born June 13, 1854. Jane, who was almost seven years old, died just five months after Eliza was born. When Sarah Ann was about three years old, she fell out of the second story window in the apartment house where they were living in the story below. Her mother was outside and saw her fall and caught her.
On September 3, 1851, Samuel baptized Isabella Nixon Boag, a girl of 13, in Glasgow; and she became his wife in later years.
Twelve years after his mother left the British Isles, Samuel and his family sailed for America on the ship Samuel Curling which left from Liverpool, England, Sunday, April 22, 1855. There were 581 Saints aboard under the direction of Israel Barlow. The ship landed in New York May 27, 2855. They continued by rail to Pittsburgh, thence to steamboats on the rivers by way of St. Louis, Missouri to Atchison, Kansas. They outfitted at Mormon Grove, Kansas to cross the plains with the Milo Andrus Third Perpetual Emigration Company of 452 souls in 48 wagons. They set out for their land of dreams, Zion, on August 5, 1855, and arrived in Great Salt Lake Valley Wednesday, October 24, 2855.
Samuel was the only man in the company who shot a buffalo during the whole trip. The captain took it and divided it among the company; and father received only a very small cut, and that was the neck. When the company was near Laramie, Wyoming, they pitched camp and father went out hunting. He returned to camp just in time to see a big Indian carrying away his little girl, Eliza. He raised his rifle and the Indian dropped her and galloped away.
It was nearly eight months from the time they left Glasgow until they reached the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. They rejoiced to join the Saints here, and were assigned to go north to the Sessions Settlement (later named Bountiful). There they were warmly and happily greeted by Samuel's mother, Margaret Cowan Bryson, who had arrived in the Valley in 1847. She had an adobe house built and ready for her beloved son, Samuel, and his family. She had left Liverpool in 1840, so she had never seen any of her grandchildren until now, 1855. How thrilled they must have all been.
Margaret Cowan Bryson had acquired approximately 30 acres of land in Bountiful before Samuel and his family came from Scotland. She owned a corner of land on the west side of First South and Main Street in Salt Lake City before it was cleared of sagebrush; and she traded it to a man for a pair of rubber boots so that Samuel could have protection. She worked hard to accumulate land for Samuel to give him a start in this new country.
Preparations for the oncoming winter were begun in earnest; however, not much could be done because of their late arrival. The following spring Samuel and Sarah Ann began building their own home, molding the adobe themselves. A family friend from Ireland, John Telford, befriended the family, and did as much for their welfare as a friend could do. Samuel wove a carpet and traded it to Brother Telford for the property between 4th and 5th South on the east side of Main Street in Bountiful, Utah.
Samuel's trade as a weaver was useful to him in those early pioneer days in Utah, when it was necessary to depend on home weaving for the material for clothing. The people here would bring their cotton and wool warp which they had spun, and he would weave it into flannel and lincey. He taught the people to weave rag carpets.
His military service came in handy in the new country also. He would train the men who gathered near the Jordan River when Johnston's Army threatened. In 1858 when this army came to Utah, he was captain over 50 under Lot Smith. His family moved south to Utah County at that time. They scattered straw through their homes before leaving them, "ready to be burned by us rather than occupied and confiscated by the army. They did not molest them, however, and after a short time we returned to our homes and resumed life in the regular manner. Because of the persecutions and afflictions, we were alert to protect ourselves and our homes from our enemies." Samuel was called to go to Echo Canyon. In 1864 he was First Lieutenant in what was known as the Morrisite War.
In the forepart of 1856 there was great scarcity of provisions in Utah, as stated in the Church Chronology by Andrew Jenson. Many domestic animals died from starvation. A general reformation took place throughout the Church, most of the Saints renewing their covenants by baptism. This reformation extended to the several missionary fields in different parts of the world. The winter of 1856-57 was excessively severe, snow falling to a depth of eight feet in various places in the valleys of Utah. Samuel Jr. told of many trials which he experienced with those early pioneers, a part of which was an almost starvation period. He dug so many roots and ate so many greens that "greens" were a horror to him ever after.
After their arrival in Bountiful, four more children were born to Samuel and Sarah Ann: David Cowan, October 21, 1856; James, December 18, 1858; John Dunlap, January 18, 1861; and Alice Bradshaw, December 4, 1862.
As stated earlier, Samuel had baptized Isabella Nixon Boag in Glasgow in 1851. Some years passed, and Isabella married Robert Gorman in Glasgow. He had been born in County Down, Ireland, in 1834. When the "great black plague" swept Europe in 1867, Robert and three of their children died. Using insurance money left by her husband, Isabella bought passage on the ship Constitution and departed from Liverpool, England, June 4, 1868, with her two remaining children. She also paid the passage for Katie McGregor and her two children.
Isabella's little daughter died in Michigan; and Robert, her last child, died in Bountiful from the rigors of the journey the same week that she arrived. Isabella was just 30 years old, had buried her husband and five children, left her family and home, and had come to a strange land, all for the LDS religion.
When Bishop Stoker read the Emigrant Lists and saw the name of Isabella Nixon Boag Gorman and the record of her baptism by Samuel Bryson, he told Samuel to meet the wagon train and subsequently marry Isabella, with the consent of Sarah Ann. When Isabella was asked by Samuel, she replied, "Yes, if the Bishop says so." Such was her faith! When Margaret Cowan Bryson met Isabella she exclaimed, "You are the woman I saw in my dream of 20 butterflies flying out from my bosom." Before the birth of her son, Margaret dreamed that from the front of her open dress flew a butterfly and from the one, twenty more arose; then from the twenty arose such a large number that the whole room was filled with them.
Samuel married Isabella N.B. Gorman in the Endowment House on October 14, 1868. He was 53 years old and she was 30, quite a difference! Samuel's eldest daughter, Sarah Ann, married Perrigrine Sessions, founder of Bountiful, two years before this, and Samuel Jr. had married Tryphena Fairchild in 1867.
Samuel and Isabella's first child, Helen Mar, was born September 23, 1869; Aaron was born April 21, 1871. Just one month before Aaron was born, Samuel's first wife, Sarah Ann, died from pneumonia, on March 21, 1871, in Bountiful, leaving five unmarried children needing a mother badly. Alice was just eight, John ten, Jim thirteen, David fourteen, and Hyrum nineteen. Isabella became that mother to those five children. She loved them and they learned to love her as their second mother, calling her "Aunt Bella." She also had nine of her own children in 13 years.
Their third child, Isabella (Belle) was born on August 25, 1872, and the very next day their first son, Aaron, passed away, August 16, 1872. Catherine (Kate) arrived December 27, 1873; and November 20, 1874 Samuel's son David Cowan died. He was 18 years old and unmarried. Tryphene, who was born June 12, 1875 was not quite eight years old when she passed away April 30, 1883. That must have been very sad.
Mary Mackintosh (Molly) was born October 14, 1876, then Perrigrine on April 14, 1878. Uncle Perr or Perry was the only son of Isabella's who lived past infancy. Samuel was 63 years old when Perr was born. Many stories were told how he "spoiled" this handsome mischievous boy, and as far as he was concerned, Perr could do no wrong. Hyrum Smith Bryson married in 1877.
Ada Frances was next in birth, on Monday, September 22, 1879. The railroad had come to Utah ten years before, Brigham Young died just two years before her birth; and John Taylor became President of the Church the year after she was born. The April before she was born, Samuel's son James (Jim) was married, and ten days after her birth, his daughter Alice married Harvey Sessions.
Samuel and Isabella's last child, Janet (Net or Nettie) was born August 22, 1881. All of their children were born in Bountiful with a midwife in attendance. After the birth of one of the children, the midwife, Sister Simon raised her price from $5 to $7; and Samuel complained, "That isn't fair, Sister Simon. I've been a good customer."
The following is taken from Andrew Jenson's Church Chronology, dated Saturday, July 1, 1865: "The 70th Quorum of Seventy was organized in Davis Co., Utah, with Wm. H. Lee, L.S. Burnham, Samuel Bryson, sen., Andrew Dalrymple, A.D. Boynton, Henry Tingey and Israel Barlow, jun., as presidents. Nearly all the brethren who became members of the quorum resided in Bountiful and Centerville."
Samuel's eldest daughter, Sarah Ann, said, "In my childhood the gospel of Jesus Christ was foremost in our home. It was our very life. We were taught its principles, to honor the Priesthood, and to love God and His son, Jesus Christ. We were taught to be humble before the Lord in constant prayer. This has been a source of strength and joy... My father taught me to weave jeans' cloth from which mens' pants were made." She learned to spin flax into linen and yarn, and also to weave carpets, a source of income throughout her life. She learned to gather bark from trees and shrubs to made color dyes.
It was said that Samuel Bryson, Sr. was small in stature. Yet his son, Samuel Jr., grew up "tall, dark and straight, a sturdy built type with small but sharp brown eyes and a mop of jet black hair." His son, James, was a large man whose sons were all tall. Aunt Sarah Ann and Aunt Alice were large women, too. The only son by his second wife was Uncle Perr; and he was a tall, dark, handsome man. But although he was small, Samuel had a lot of energy. It was said that none of his children had the pep that he had in his old age. He won a foot race at Lagoon when he was 90 years old at an old folks party and turned a handspring at the end, didn't need glasses to read, and rode a bicycle at that age. He had small blue eyes and always wore a chin beard cut goatee fashion.
He was the father of eleven children by Sarah Ann Conray, two dying at birth, one at age six, David Cowan at eighteen, and Hyrum Smith, married, 53 years old. Of nine children by Isabella, two preceded him in death: Aaron, 17 months old and Tryphene almost eight years. Ada Bryson Jardine always spoke lovingly and respectfully of her father, quoting many of his sayings. One of his that was heard many times was "Dress a man up in a white shirt and a dark suit; and if he will keep his mouth closed, he will pass for a gentleman anywhere."
Samuel's mother, Margaret Cowan Bryson, married John (or Joseph) Dunlap on October 9, 1860 in the President's Office. Samuel and Sarah Ann named their son born in 1861, John Dunlap Bryson. Samuel was sealed to Margaret C.B. Dunlap and John (or Joseph) Dunlap on April 19, 1895 in the Salt Lake Temple. John Dunlap died April 17, 1866 and is buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. He was born April 15, 1799 in Cortard, Monaghan, Ireland, the next county south of Down. He arrived in Salt Lake Valley the same day as Margaret Cowan Bryson, coming in the Fourth Hundred, First Fifty, Second Ten. Margaret was with the Third Ten, both under Captain Abraham O. Smoot. The date of her death is unknown but President Joseph F. Smith is said to have been one of the speakers at her funeral.
Besides weaving, Samuel devoted some time to agriculture. Tony Williams, a grandson, told us that he watched him shear sheep one day; and even at an advanced age he could work faster than any of the younger men. He had a keen sense of humor and was a most jovial entertainer. He had a wonderful memory, and kept well posted on public affairs. The men used to congregate at Stoker Mercantile and "talk politics," and Samuel kept up with the news of Scotland and Ireland.
He had a natural curiosity about everything, and was always poking, tapping or tasting. Aunt Kate had given a lovely doll to Ada, and she had wrapped it in a flour sack for protection. Samuel tapped it with his cane for curiosity, instead of unwrapping it, and broke the doll, for which he was terribly sorry. He had a quick temper, but got over it quickly. Isabella was extremely calm, with a most peaceable nature. Ada loved to ride with Samuel to Salt Lake City in his wagon, one of the joys of her childhood. He called his daughter, Mary, "my adorable Irish Molly-O."
Samuel was never too busy to attend to duties in the Church. He was a teacher in the Bountiful First Ward for over 45 years, and was always active in his Priesthood duties. He was a man of great faith, and spent a great deal of his time among the sick. He was generous and hospitable. He died in Bountiful, Utah, September 18, 1908, at the age of ninety-three.
SARAH ANN CONREY
Sarah Ann Conrey Bryson was the daughter of Samuel and Alice Conrey and was born at Blair's Parish, in the County of Down, Ireland on 5 October 1819. At the early age of eight, Sarah Ann was left an orphan. In 1839 at the age of twenty, she married Samuel Bryson, son of John and Margaret Cowan Bryson. Soon after that they were baptized into the LDS Church. Sarah was baptized 29 April 1841 by David Wilkie.
She and Samuel came to Utah in 1855. The way across the United States was long and tiresome. Sarah Ann was ill most of the way, but in spite of this, she walked most of the way. They arrived in Salt Lake 24 October 1855, and moved immediately to Bountiful. Sarah Ann helped her husband mold adobe bricks for a home of their own.
At one time Martin Harris passed through Bountiful and camped under some locust trees in front of Samuel and Sarah Ann's home. He came in and visited with them. After that the locust trees stood for something sacred to them and they allowed no person to mar or cut them.
Sarah Ann helped her husband who was a weaver by trade. Many people brought their wool and thread to be made into cloth. Sarah Ann was constantly by his side at the loom, tying the threads with her needle, fashioning clothes for her family. She walked many times to Salt Lake with her basket of eggs and butter to get groceries that she could not raise.
She was a staunch Latter-day Saint and gave freely of herself to the Church. She died 21 March 1871 and was laid to rest in the Bountiful Cemetery.
More history of her life and family with Samuel Bryson can be found in his history.
MARGARET COWAN BRYSON
Margaret Cowan Bryson Dunlap, daughter of Samuel and Margaret Lockhart Cowan, was born August 24, 1797, at Banbridge, County Down, Ireland. Banbridge is on the River Bann, 24½ miles southwest of Belfast, in Northern Ireland.
In the 1600s large numbers of Irish people were driven out of their homes and into southern Ireland. English and Scottish settlers were then brought into the country. About one third of the people in Northern Ireland are Irish Catholics. The Scots and English are Protestants, and this religious division has been the source of much trouble in the country. Margaret and her family experienced much of the unrest. In fact there was a major rebellion in 1798-1799, when Margaret was a baby.
She was married to John Bryson, of Dromore parish near the town of Lisburn, which is not too distant from Banbridge. He was a soldier in the British Army; but was a weaver by trade before his enlistment in 1804. For a whie it was thought that John Bryson and Margaret Cowen were married on 24 July 1809 at St. Mary's, Carlisle, Cumberland, England, but this is a different couple with the same name. John arrived in Belgium in April 1815 to join the Duke of Wellington's allied army. He fought in the Battle of Waterloo, June 18, 1815, in which Napoleon Bonaparte met his final defeat. He returned to England in December 1815, landing on 1 Jan 1816 and marching to Canterbury.
Margaret must have gone to England to see John as Samuel, their son, was born in Banbridge, Ireland, October 16, 1815. (Other dates have been given in various records and histories, but this seems to be the most accurate in relation to other known facts.) The story was told that John was killed in the Battle of Waterloo. This was proved false by copies of his army records; and we are at a loss to know the entire story.
Before the birth of her son, Margaret had a dream that has been handed down to us. She dreamed that from the front of her open dress flew a butterfly; and from the one, twenty more arose. Then from the twenty arose such a large number that the entire room was filled with butterflies. She did not live to see the fulfillment of her dream; but her son, Samuel, married two wives and had twenty children and it would be difficult to count the posterity of these twenty children. For many years every new baby in the family was counted as one of "Aunt Margaret's butterflies."
Elder John Taylor, who later became a president of the Church, introduced the Gospel into Ireland the last part of July 1840. Margaret belonged to the Methodist Church, and was quite religious. She dreamed one night that two men came to her door and offered her a new book and religion. Shortly after she heard that two Mormon missionaries were holding a meeting hear her home, so she decided to attend. When she saw the missionaries she recognized them as the ones whom she had seen in her dream. She readily accepted their message and was one of the first to be baptized in Ireland, March 31, 1842. Owing to the persecution by the Catholics there, she could not live in Ireland. John Hamilton and the other elder who converted her paid her passage to Nauvoo.
Elder John Hamilton was evidently a convert in Ireland rather than a missionary sent there from elsewhere. Various entries sin the Journal History of the Church indicate that he was one of the early converts, joining in 1840. He left Ireland December 31, 1842, and arrived in Nauvoo the following April.
Margaret Bryson was listed as one of the passengers on board the "Swanton" which sailed from Liverpool, England, on Monday, January 16, 1843, with 212 Saints. The passengers on the
Swanton were evidently a group of Mormon emigrants, headed by Lorenzo Snow, who was later to become a president of the Church. Also listed among the passengers was John Hamilton, age 38. They arrived in New Orleans March 16, 1843.
Quoting from History of the Church by Joseph Smith, "A letter appears in the Millennial Star, giving particulars of the passage of the ship Swanton, from Liverpool, and arrival at New Orleans, loaded with Saints, in which the power of the Holy Priesthood was manifested in the healing of the sick:
(Excerpt of letter from Millennial Star) "The steward of this vessel was so injured by a blow from one of the crew, that his life was despaired of; and I stood over him for some time, and thought that life was gone. The captain had administered to him all that he could think of in the way of medicine, but to no effect; and after they gave up all hopes of his recovery, at twelve o'clock at night, he sent for Elder Lorenzo Snow, and by anointing him with oil, and the laying on of hands, in the name of the Lord, he was there and then raised up and perfectly healed. For this token of the divine favor we will praise the God of Israel!"
Also in Volume V, History of the Church; "Wednesday, April 12, 1843... Before the elders' conference closed, the steamer Amaranth appeared in sight of the Temple, coming up the river, and about noon landed her passengers at the wharf opposite the old post office building, consisting of about two hundred and forty Saints from England, under the charge of Elder Lorenzo Snow, who left Liverpool last January, after a mission of nearly three years. With a large company of the brethren and sisters I was present to greet the arrival of our friends, and gave notice to the newcomers to meet at the Temple tomorrow morning at ten o'clock to her instructions.
"After unloading the Saints, the Amaranth proceeded up the river, being the first boat up this season.
"About five p.m. the steamer Maid of Iowa hauled up at the Nauvoo House landing, and disembarked about two hundred Saints, in charge of Elders Parley P. Pratt and Levi Richards. ...
"So many of my friends and acquaintances arriving in one day kept me very busy receiving their congratulations and answering their questions. I was rejoiced to meet them in such good health and fine spirits; for they were equal to any that had ever come to Nauvoo."
As Margaret Bryson sailed on the "Swanton" with Lorenzo Snow, it is assumed that she also was with the same group who took the steamer Amaranth from New Orleans to Nauvoo, arriving April 12, 1843. The two elders who converted her and paid her passage to America had made arrangements for her to go to the home of Hyrum Smith, where she worked to pay for her passage.
No doubt Margaret was thrilled to be in the "land of the free;" but she was also to know great sorrow during the next year. The Prophet was persecuted, arrested, and taunted. From Church Chronology, Friday, June 30, 1843; "Joseph Smith and company arrived at Nauvoo, nearly the whole city turning out to meet him. In the afternoon he addressed the people, giving the history of his arrest." Again from Church Chronology, Saturday, February 17, 1844; "The anti-Mormons held a convention at Carthage, Ill., the object being to devise ways and means for expelling the Saints from the State."
She must have grieved at the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum. According to the historical record, "At the house of Hyrum Smith, his wife had gathered her family of four children into the sitting room; and the youngest, about four years old, sat on her lap. The poor and disabled that fed at the table of her husband, had come in a formed a group of about twenty around the room. They were all sobbing and weeping, each expressing his grief in his own peculiar way. Mrs. Smith seemed stupefied with the horror at the death."
Quoting from History of the Church, October 10, 1845, "There seems to be no disposition abroad but to massacre the whole body of this people, and nothing but the power of God can save us from the cruel ravages of the bloodthirsty mob. We concluded to plead with our Heavenly Father to preserve his people, and the lives of his servants that the Saints may finish the Temple and receive their endowments." Margaret was endowed in the Nauvoo Temple 8 January 1846.
Early in the year of 1846 the Saints commenced to leave Nauvoo, fleeing from the mob, which later drove the remnants out and took forcible possession of the city. Mary Fielding Smith did not leave Nauvoo with the earliest of the pioneer companies. She steadfastly refused to let others make her preparations for her, and thus it took a little longer. Her brother, Joseph Fielding, helped her sell some real estate she owned in exchange for some wagons, oxen, some horses, cows, etc. She was thus enabled to cross as far as Winter Quarters that first year. Margaret Bryson helped drive one of the wagons with Mary Fielding Smith and her family to Winter Quarters.
A comforting blessing was given to Margaret by John Smith, Patriarch, at Winter Quarters on March 23, 1847.
Mary Fielding Smith and her children stayed at Winter Quarters until 1848; but Margaret Bryson came to Utah with the second company, departing June 17, 1847, and arriving in the Salt Lake Valley September 25, 1847. Abraham O. Smoot was captain of the Fourth Hundred, and Joseph Mount, captain of the Third Ten, in which Margaret was listed. Mercy Thompson, a sister of Mary Fielding Smith, was in that Ten, and also James Lawson, who later married Mercy Thompson. No doubt Margaret suffered many hardships on this trek as well as at Winter Quarters.
According to the daily journal kept of the historic trek; "It was moved by Parley P. Pratt and seconded by John Smith that Daniel Spencer's Hundred be called the First Hundred, John Taylor's (Edward Hunter) the Second Hundred, Jedediah M. Grant's the Third Hundred, and Abraham O. Smoot's the Fourth Hundred. It was moved by Parley P. Pratt and seconded by John Taylor that a contribution be made for Martin to pay him for his strict attention as captain of the raft, also for purchasing a map of the route between here and the mountain, giving a correct account of all the camping placed." This was written on the southwest bank of the Elkhorn River, Camp of Israel, June 17, 1847. From there they moved to the banks of the Platte River.
Although this Mormon crossing of the United States was one of courage, hardships and faith, its success was based upon obedience and discipline.
Margaret had great faith. Nothing was too big for her because she knew that her faith would carry her through. One day one of the oxen became sick and lay down as if to die. There were just women and children in her wagon; and they all cried, thinking they couldn't finish the trip with the Saints. Margaret climbed down from the wagon and prayed to the Lord, and the oxen stood right up. They finished the journey with no further trouble.
Samuel, her son, and his family did not join the Church until a year after Margaret was baptized; and then he and his family had to go to Scotland because of persecution. Margaret was a very hard worker, thrifty, and independent. She had acquired approximately thirty acres of land in Bountiful before her son came from Scotland. She had an adobe house built and ready for her beloved Samuel and his family. She had never seen his children, her only grandchildren. Margaret had left England in January of 1843, after her first grandchild was born and died the same day. The second grandchild, named after her, died the day of its birth, a few months after Margaret reached Nauvoo. Then another, Jane, died in Glasgow. But now at last Samuel and Sarah Ann with Samuel Jr., Sarah Ann, Hyrum, and tiny Eliza were united with Margaret in "Zion." How thrilled they must have all been to be together after all the trials and tribulations. Margaret owned a corner of land on Main Street in Salt Lake City before it was cleared of sagebrush; and she traded it to a man for a pair of rubber boots for her son, so that he could keep his feet dry while irrigating his land.
The year after Samuel and his family arrived in Utah, they began building their own home; and Margaret lived alone on land near the present Slim Olson service station. She married John Dunlap October 9, 1860 in the President's Office. She was heard to say, "Now I have a man with the 'Meldickson Priesthood'", just one of her many mixes of Irish and English, of which she had many. She was the subject of many jokes and funny sayings.
Margaret was now Margaret Cowan Bryson Dunlap and lived in Salt Lake City. John or Joseph Dunlap was born April 15, 1799 in Cortard, Monaghan, Ireland. He died April 17, 1866, just six and one half years after their marriage. At that time he was listed as a member of the "2nd Ward, Salt Lake City." His other wives are listed as Jane Sweeten, Sarah Harris and Ann Christensen.
Margaret must have been a remarkably courageous woman to leave all relatives and come alone to a strange country across the sea while 45 years of age. Then after arriving in beautiful Nauvoo, she was among the persecuted Saints. What sad scenes she must have witnessed. She was 50 years old when she crossed the plains without one family member to help, protect, comfort, or encourage her. She dearly loved her son, to work so hard to accumulate land for him as a start in this desert country. No doubt the Saints helped one another.
At present we have been unable to ascertain the date of her death or the place of burial. [See below.]
Her blessing by John Smith, uncle of the Prophet, stated,"... be patient, sister. Suffer not your faith to fail in times of trial. ...and thou shalt be lifted up at the last day with thy Father's house. Amen."
DUP They Came in '47 compiled by Kate Carter, Sep 1947
Army Records of John Bryson
GS Film #026,553, Book A, pg 2666, death of John Dunlap
Patriarchal Blessing, Mar 23, 1847
Passenger list of the Swanton
Church Chronology by Andrew Jenson
Church History, Vol 5, pp. 252,309,353-4.
Millennial Star, March 20, 1843
Joseph Smith the Prophet, by Andrew Jenson, p 574
In May 2013, a distant cousin, Hannah Quintana, provided a copy of Margaret's obituary from the Deseret News dated 27 December 1871.
"DIED. In this city, December 18th, MARGARET DUNLAP, wife of the late Joseph Dunlap, of 2nd Ward. Born at Banbridge, County Down, Ireland August, 1790. Baptized in the Hillsborough Branch in 1842. Emigrated to Nauvoo in the Spring of 1844, was a member of the Patriatch Hyrum Smith's family for five years. Emigrated to Salt Lake Valley with the 2nd company. She died in full faith of the gospel. Elder Joseph F. Smith officiated at the funeral services."
Even with this information, we have been unable to find a burial place for her, but it is good to have an exact death date to add to our records.
James Bryson, son of Samuel and Sarah Ann Conrey Bryson, was born December 18, 1858, in Bountiful, Utah.
He spent his early years helping on his father’s farm. He with several other boys herded teh cattle for the community on the foothills east of Bountiful. It was while herding that eh learned to play baseball, his favorite sport. His team often went to Salt Lake City to play opposing teams, but the team he liked most to beat was one captained by Heber J. Grant, former President of the LDS Church.
He attended school one winter in South Bountiful. Later he attended school located on the southeast corner of what is now First East and Center Streets in Bountiful.
He spent two winters in Woodruff, Utah, from the time he was fourteen until he was sixteen years old. When he was about seventeen he hauled freight to Southern Utah. One of his most precious cargoes was the heaters for teh St. George Temple. A passenger on one of his trips was Susan Y. Gates, noted singer. He hauled logs from nearby canyons, some of which he used as payment to dances and entertainment in the community.
April 17, 1897, at the age of twenty he married Mary Emma Oliver, in the Old Endowment House in Salt Lake City. He took his bride to live in a house on what is now Third South and First West in Bountiful, on the Southwest corner. Later he bought land and built the first two rooms of the James Bryson home, and as more rooms were needed and finances permitted, rooms were added. James and Mary Emma Oliver Bryson were the parents of seven children: James William, Susan Mae, Clarence Edward, Samuel Oliver, Walter Each, Leonard, and Mary Emma. His wife died June 9, 1896, leaving the month-old baby Mary, who was taken and reared by Eliza Snow Bryson Nelson, a sister to James.
February 16, 1989, he married Rosie May Sedgwick in the Salt Lake Temple. They were the parents of six children: Thaddeus Sedgwick, David Richard, Zina Alice, Auldon Hyrum, Daniel Ward, and Ivan Miles. Rosie May died November 17, 1923 in Salt Lake City. March 24, 1927 he married Rose Ellen Page in the Salt Lake Temple. She died December 26, 1948 in Woods Cross.
James Bryson spent his life farming. He was a lover of good horses and raised some of the best. He loved to see his thirteen children grow to manhood and womanhood and marry and have children and grandchildren. However, two sons, Clarence Edward and Leonard preceded him in death.
May 15, 1950, after a short illness, he passed away at the age of 91, leaving a great posterity to carry his name. He was survived by eight sons, three daughters, 46 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren. He was laid to rest in Bountiful City Cemetery May 19, 1950 beside the three wives who preceded him in death.
Above history written by daughter-in-law, Lorene E. Bryson, 1951.
NEWSPAPER CLIPPING, ?19 Dec 1947.
89th Birthday Observed by James Bryson
James Bryson, Woods Cross, celebrated his 89th birthday quietly at his home Thursday.
A lifelong resident of Bountiful and Woods Cross, he was born in Bountiful, Dec. 18, 1858, a son of Samuel and Sarah Ann Conrey Bryson, pioneers of 1854. He married Mary Emma Oliver in the old Endowment house April 17, 1879 and she died in 1896. On Feb. 16, 1898, he married Rosie May Sedgwick, who died in 1923, and then married Rose Page four years later.
Mr. Bryson is still an LDS member. In his younger days he was an active baseball player. He has been a farmer all of his life and still enjoys raising horses.
A father of twelve children, they are: Walter V., Thadeus S., Mrs. May Arnold, and Mrs. Alice Thompson of Salt Lake City; Ivan Mils, D. Ward, and Mrs. Mary Holbrook of Woods Cross; Jim W. Of Vista, Calif.; Aldon [sic] H., Bakersfield, Calif.; David R., Bountiful; Leonard and S. Oliver Bryson. There are 44 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild.
OBITUARY; 16 May 1950
Woods Cross (Special)
James Bryson, 91, life-long resident of Woods Cross and Bountiful, died at his residence here Monday at 3:10 p.m. of causes indicant to age.
He was born in Bountiful Dec. 18, 1858, a son of Samuel and Sarah Conrey Bryson. He had been a farmer by occupation and was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a high priest in Bountiful Fourth ward.
On April 17, 1879, he married Mary Oliver in the Salt Lake LDS endowment house. She died June 9, 1896. In the Salt Lake LDS temple on Feb 16, 1898 he married Rosie May Sedgewick, who died Nov 17, 1923. He married Rose Ellen Page in the Salt Lake temple March 24, 1927. She died Dec. 26, 1948.
Surviving are eight sons: James W. Bryson, Vista, Cal.; Samuel Oliver Bryson, Baltimore, Md.; Walter W. and Thaddeus F. Bryson, Salt Lake City; David R. Bryson, Bountiful; Audlon [sic] H. Bryson, Bakersfield, Cal.; D. Ward and Ivan Miles Bryson, Woods Cross; three daughters: Mrs. Alice Thompson, Salt Lake City; Mrs. Mary Holbrok [sic] Bountiful, and Mrs. May Arnold, Midvale; 46 grandchildren; 56 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren, and a sister, Mrs. Ada Jardine, Bountiful.
OBITUARY; 17 May 1950
Woods Cross – Funeral services for James Bryson, 91, who died Monday, will be conducted Friday at 2 p.m. in Bountiful Second ward Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by R. V. Ord, bishop of the Fourth ward.
Mr. Bryson was born at Bountiful and had spent his entire life as a resident of Bountiful and Woods Cross. He was a retired farmer. He was a high priest in the Fourth ward.
Among his survivors are eight sons, three daughters, 46 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
Burial will be in Bountiful city cemetery.
Friends may call at Union mortuary, Bountiful, Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Friday prior to services.
LIFE OF THADDEUS SEDGWICK BRYSON
I was born in Bountiful, Utah, in the East Bountiful Ward at the home of James and Rose May (Sedgwick) Bryson on Dec 29, 1898. My father was James Bryson. He had three wives. He first married Mary Emma Oliver. She had seven children. They were James W., Clarence, May, Oliver, Walter, Leonard, and Mary Bryson. She died.
Two years later he married Rosie May Sedgwick. This union had six children, Thaddeus S., David A., Alice Zina, Auldon H, D. Ward, and I. Miles. Mother died at 53 years old.
Two years later he married Rose Ellen Page. They had no children.
I was blessed by my grandpa, Samuel Bryson, 5 Feb 1899, East Bountiful Ward, Davis, Utah. I was baptized by Joseph Naylor on June 7, 1907, confirmed the same day by Thomas Howard. I was ordained a deacon when I was 12 years old by Hyrum Wisman in spring of 1911. I was made a teacher by Emel Feller, January 1913. I was made a priest on Feb 21, 1915 by James E. Burns. I was made an elder March 1920 by Henry Stahle. My authority comes from these men, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Francis Lyman, Anthem C. Lyman, B. H. Roberts, Henry Stahle, Thaddeus Bryson. I was never a Seventy. I was taken out of the Elders and ordained a High Priest on April 28, 1940 by Bishop Walter Moss according to record. (I remember Walter Barlow asked to let them ordain me. Walter Barlow was president of the High Priests, South Davis Stake.) All this above was while I was a member of the Bountiful 2nd Ward, except High Priest, it was in South Bountiful Ward. My patriarchal blessing was given by Joseph Bennett on 22 Feb 1922.
I was 6 years of age, Sept 1905. I started school in South Bountiful School. There was one 2-room school, 4 grades in a room. We only had 2 teachers. There were about 40 students in the school. My first teacher was Miss Johnson. I never knew her first name. I went a grade every year in school. 1st grade teacher was Miss Johnson, she got married in Dec and became Mrs. McFarland; 2nd grade, Miss Cuddy: 3rd grade, Miss Brown; 4th grade, Zenos Hatch. 5th Mr. Pack put me back to the fourth grade without giving me a chance to do 5th grade work. He didn't like my brother so he took it out on me. He only stayed one month when Mr. Jones took over the school. One morning he said, "The 4th grade is easy for you." I told him what happened, he put me back in the 5th grade. He taught me in the 6th and 7th grade. Then in the 8th grade Thomas Wingar. I came out of elementary school in 1913.
I started school at South Davis High School, now Bountiful Junior High. In Sep 1914 I went to school at the Davis High School. I played football for the first team Davis Co. had. I played guard 2 years, tackle. I only completed three years of high school.
The Primary was held in the school. They held a fair. I took some vegetables and cantaloupes and watermelon. My brother, David, helped me and we got first prize. We turned all money back to the Primary. They sold most of it.
I remember opening the Primary Conference, 10 years of age, and one time Jessie Clevery James and Harold Howard and I sang a song, "I am a Mormon Boy."
When I was 13 years old the Y.M.I.A. told how we could go for $200.00 to Echo Canyon and come back over the Pioneer Trail. We would walk back. We had wagons to carry our bedding and food. Because I was large for my age I was told I could go.
It was Sunday morning we met and went to Woods Cross and took train to Echo Canyon. We went over to Echo Ward and had dinner. Then we walked to Hennifer Ward, went to meeting there. Then they fed us and we marched up the main canyon for 10 miles. The second night at Clayton Ranch. The next day at Mountain Dells. The next morning we went over the mountain to Emigration Canyon, took street cars down to 9th South and 7th East. It was the 24th of July 1912. Heber J. Grant and some other Church men were with us. We got back in time to be in the parade on the 24th of July. We caught the Bamberger Railroad to Bountiful.
I was standing on the lower step and some drunk shoved me headfirst off the train before it stopped. I was pretty well shook up. Uncle John picked up John Fisher and I and took us to the meeting house where my folks found me. I stayed that night at Aunt Ada's home, walking home the next morning.
About 2 years later I joined the Boy Scouts of America. Seven years later I lived in South Bountiful. I was committee man for the scouts. Took them over when the scoutmaster could not be with them.
I lived on a farm south of Bountiful, 2 miles. We did truck gardening. We had to work very hard to make it pay. We raised onions, carrots, table beets, radishes, turnips, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, 3 kinds of squash, cantaloupes, watermelons, peas, beans, cucumbers, peppers, hay and grain. My father had 30 acres and often rented the neighbor's ground, this would vary. The produce we raised was taken to market and sold.
When I was 18, I worked one winter at Inter Ocean Elevator, left to go on the farm. When I was 22 years old I met a young lady who I asked to marry me. She said yes then she was called on a mission. She asked me to wait for her. I said yes and I did. When she came home she met a missionary, she wanted him.
I went to Idaho, Uncle Walt had a farm and needed help, so stayed there, got there in April, came back on July 23rd. Two weeks later I went to work at Cudahy Packing Co., shaking hides. Quit there after 3 weeks and went back to Bancroft for Earl Sessions, stayed there till Nov 1st, came back home. My mother was sick so Earl Sessions brought me home. I went to work for the American Express Co., this lasted 3 weeks. My mother died 21 Nov 1923, L.D.S. Hospital, Salt Lake City. I stayed home the rest of the winter. In the spring my father offered a share of the crop if I would stay with him, so I did. We did not do very good, prices poor. I went to work at Cudahy Packing Co., on the killing floor for 13-1/2 years.
I got married on June 25, 1924 to Mary Rose, had the following children: Thaddeus R. Bryson, Gerald R. Bryson, Ceceila May Bryson, Arlene Bryson, Irene Bryson, Lawrence L. Bryson.
For 3 years after I was married I worked Pa's place on shares, I would stay during the summer. In the winter I worked at the Pacific Seed House. We had a room in my father's house. Then I moved. I lived in Aunt Sharon Ann. Here Thaddeus R. Bryson was born, Oct 23, 1925. We stayed here 1 year. This was in Bountiful, Utah.
We then moved to a house owned by John Rampton. While here Gerald R. Bryson was born Dec 6, 1926 in Bountiful. We then moved into the Bybee Apt. at Bountiful, lived here about 1-1/2 years. We moved to Woods Cross, South Bountiful, Utah. Here our first girl was born, 2 Oct, 1929, Cecilia May Bryson. May died 25 Nov 1934.
The twins were born here, Arlene and Irene, March 30, 1932. Irene was a blue baby, died Apr 19, 1932. We lived here 9 years. We moved into a house owned by David Holbrook, my brother-in-law. Here Lawrence LeRoy Bryson was born, Oct 10, 1935.
I left Cudahy Packing Co., and went to work for the U.S. Army at Ogden Arsenal. Spent 13 years right to the day I was transferred to Hill Air Force Base for 7 years. I worked for the U.S. Government 20 years, 3 months. I had ulcer of the stomach. One night coming home they acted up and the driver said "Why don't you quit." I said I'd talk it over with my wife. The next morning I told my foreman I would leave if they would give me my sick leave pay, about 40 days. I had to go to the doctor at Hill Air Force Base. After talking with them they agreed to my terms. The next day I went over to the head office, turned in my badge and was all through. We were living again in Bountiful. Arlene our only daughter was badly hurt in an auto accident, but came out better then we expected. We bought a house and lot in Salt Lake City. After 1-1/2 years moving around I went to the Butcher Shop at the LDS Church Welfare, when I was able. I had 5 operations in 14 months. May my life be enjoyed as it has in the past.
Jobs in the Church -I was president of the M-Men class 1 year. I taught the Junior Class 1 year. I was secretary of Young Mutual for 3 years. I taught the Deacon's one year. I taught Sunday School 2 years. After I moved to Salt Lake City, I was on the Adult Aaronic Priesthood Committee in the 6th-7th Ward. After that I was 2nd Counselor of the High Priest's 3 years and was also a ward teacher.
When I moved to the North 17th Ward, I was made ward teacher after only 5 days in the ward. I was 2nd Counselor to the genealogy class. After one year the president quit, I was made 1st counselor then the other brother moved out of the ward. I became president and no counselor, I was alone. The Bishop said they would find someone to help me, but they could not find an elder to help so I finally told the Bishop to get 3 men instead of 2. I told him we needed some new ideas, some one to run it up. He finally found 3 men but he said "You string along with them." The new president picked me to go with him to go through the ward to teach genealogy to anyone who needed help. We went to their place until they could handle it themselves. Then I moved to Wells Ward, here I am a home teacher.
[Thaddeus S. Bryson lived in several other homes before being taken to the convalescent center at 404 East 56th South in Murray, Utah. He passed away there on 21 Oct 1981 of pneumonia.]
Gerald R Bryson
My name is Gerald R Bryson. I am 61 years, 3 months, 15 days, 12 hours, and 15 minutes of age. Certainly it is time I begin writing my history.
I began life on this earth at a very early age born—6 Dec 1926 at Bountiful, Davis County, Utah in a house built of native stone—rock—known as “The Rampton Place” located on the west side of 2nd West at 3rd North in Bountiful as of this date it still stands.
My father—Thaddeus Sedgwick Bryson and my mother—Mary Evelette Rose Bryson had six children; Thaddeus R (Junior), Gerald R (Jerry), Cecilia May, Arlene and Irene (twins), Lawrence Leroy (Larry). When I was about two years of age my family moved from the “Rampton Place” to a house and property some two miles south of Bountiful. It was known as the “Rieckert Home.”
My parents rented the house from a family named Rieckert who lived in Salt Lake City. It was a two-story, four-room, white adobe brick house. It sat on about one acre of ground. It had a “root cellar” for keeping vegetables and bottled fruit in storage. There was an old log shed and outhouse (outdoor toilet) and several fruit trees. One large apricot tree stood on the north side of the walk going west to the road (Highway 89-91). An irrigation ditch ran beside the road in the back of the house. A wooden plank bridge afforded crossage of the ditch. The log shed used as an equipment shed and the bridge were two important factors in my childhood. Back to them later.
Several large yellow pungent rose bushes were on the bank of the irrigation ditch just north of the bridge. Also on the property was a well used for culinary water. The house had a large kitchen/dining room downstairs, north side, a large bedroom south side. The back door was on the east side and near the stairway at the south end of the dining room. The kitchen was at the north end with a large wood/coal-burning range at the center of the north wall. A window in the west wall afforded me a look at Junior when he would come up the walk as he came home from school.
The school, South Bountiful Elementary, was approximately ½ mile west and a little bit south of our home. I attended six years of elementary schooling there. Junior and I had to walk to school. We would leave the house, go down two steps (front door porch) walk down the long gravel front walkway to the road (U.S. Highway 89-91) cross the highway, pass through a large field (probably alfalfa), cross the Bamberger railroad tracks, go through another field (alfalfa) cross a canal (on a flume) then cover about 300 feet of school property and enter through the back door. More about the school and life at school later.
A wire fence separated our property from the Andy Horning property next door (north). Andy Horning was a small German fellow. His family consisted of himself, wife Frances, and two daughters, Frances and Lucille. Andy owned all of the property between the “Rieckert’s” and the crossroads. As I mentioned earlier, in the back of our place was a road. Today it is known as 5th West Street. In those days it was just a dirt road that went south to Val Verde and Odell’s orchard (North Salt Lake). And north I don’t know how far. This road (5th West) crossed U.S. Highway 89 in front of Grandfather Bryson’s house. Later it, the road, at this part became Highway 89. With the fence on the south side of Andy’s property and the two roads, U.S. Highway 89 and 5th West creating a triangle. Andy had a unique place for a roadside café and gas station. As I remember, a path led from “our house” to a gate in the fence. Beyond the fence on Andy’s property to the right was two restrooms, one for men and one for women. The area was grass covered. Andy had a large spot between the restrooms where he “grew” earthworms. He was an avid fisherman. To the right and perhaps one foot [?] up the highway from the fence he had a gas station, gasoline for autos.
Just north of the station was his café. It was attached to and part of his home. The kitchen of the home was also the kitchen of the café. Everything about Andy’s property, the grounds, the gasoline station, the café, and the home, were always very clean and neat.
Two bad things I remember about Andy Horning. First, he would get drunk and abusive. Second, he had a German shepherd dog. The dog would wander off and be gone for two or three days, but he would always come back. When he would come back home, Andy would shoot the dog in the leg. He told us it was to keep the dog home.
One time Andy got drunk. I believe it was 1932. He was staggering around in the kitchen of his café/home. As he stumbled and bounced around the place, an earthquake hit the area. It was one of the strongest ever recorded in Utah. I remember it quite well. I was in the back yard looking toward Horning’s. I can still see the fence “roll” and “dip” as the quake shook the ground. I do not know what Andy saw, but his daughters told us later their father was flung to the floor. When he went down he was drunk. When he rose he was sober wondering what had happened. Andy was rough and outspoken. His wife and two girls were quiet and reserved. I did not mind being in the company of the women, although I was around Andy frequently, I was uncomfortable. I was not scared or frightened and he treated me and my brother kindly, always ready to teach us something or to show us something, but I had a cautious respect for him. I always wished he never had to shoot his dog in the leg. The dog never learned to stay home when he felt the need to roam he was gone. And the dog lived to be a fairly old age. We moved from the “Rieckert home” when I was 8 years old. I never saw the Horning family or the dog again until many years later.
I met my future wife and was preparing myself in the priesthood, advancing through the Aaronic Priesthood to become an elder so I could marry in the temple. As a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood, I was called to participate in the baptismal services on the baptismal day in 1946. I regret I cannot remember the day. However, I baptized a girl who lived in the ward. The candidate for the baptism following the one I had just performed was the youngest daughter of Andy Horning and Frances Horning, Lucille. I was surprised but very happy to see her become a member of the Church.
Back to the happenings at the “Rieckert’s.” While living at the “Rieckert’s” a daughter was born to Mom and Dad. They named her Cecilia May Bryson. I remember her as a cheerful, active little girl. She had brown eyes. That is all I can recall about her features. I liked to pull her around in our wagon, a red metal wagon with wheels that had rubber tires. Because of a heart condition, she was limited in the amount of childhood activities she could do. One day while pulling May, we called my little sister May, Junior would jump onto the back of the wagon. He was in the back pushing and I suppose the idea of riding was more fun that to be pushing. So every once in a while he would “hop aboard.” The sudden added weight did me no good.
A few days later while I was bathing in the big round washtub my mother noticed a swelling in my groin. She sent Junior to bring Aunt Rose, my grandfather’s wife. She was his third. She came over, being a nurse, and told us I had a rupture (hernia). Now ruptures can be very serious. With pulling heavy weights, on doing heavy lifting, the intestines inside the human body can push through the wall, rupture and cause strangulation of the bowels causing death. This fact never sank into my brain nor did my parents vigorously caution me about taking care of how I lifted or what I lifted. They bought me a truss, an apparatus that fit around the waist with a pad that pressed on the damaged area of my groin. Its function was to depress the swelling by pushing the extended bowel back into its proper place in the body cavity.
Does this all sound medically important? No ! ? Well, it is only what I remembered being told and instructed as to what a truss is and what it is for. Anyway! I carried the hernia (rupture) for 19 years. I had it “operated on” repaired in 1951. In 1979 I had it “redone” “operated on” again, along with a small hernia on the other side of my groin, right side. Enough of this talk about my operations, at least for now.
However, I suppose now would be an appropriate time to talk about my eye operation. As earlier mentioned there was a wonderful shed on the property at Rieckert’s. It stood away from the house in the southeast corner. It was a large shed open on the west and my sister May and I went out to the shed one day. I was five years old. May was three. My mother had us go outside because she was mopping the floors in the house. When May and I arrived at the shed we went in and on the floor (dirt) was a large coffee pot, one that had a wire handle that allowed the pot to be suspended over a fire. I spotted a large nail driven into the wood above the window (no pane) on the north end of the shed. I guess I was an imaginative young fellow. Anyway, I took off my belt and fashioned a hook around the coffee pot handle with the strap end of the belt. I hooked the belt buckle over the large nail above the window. Then I hung the coffee pot out of the window and let it hang free. I felt I had done a good job. The pot was hanging OK, no problem there. I looked up to make sure the belt buckle was OK. It wasn’t. My timing was perfect! Or imperfect depending on how you wish to look at it. As I looked up I was struck in my left eye with the tongue of the belt buckle. The buckle had slipped from the nail and everything was timed just right for me to look up to check the buckle on the nail and for the buckle to strike me at the same instant. I ran to the house. My mother was mopping the floor in the large south room of the home. I laid on the floor writhing in pain and crying.
I know my mother could not have done anything that would have changed my predicament. She went on mopping until she finished the area she was working on while I was crying and squirming on the floor.
The doctor who attended me with my damaged eye, Dr. Nephi J. Rees, worked many weeks to save my eye. He told my parents the tongue of the belt buckle had penetrated the cornea and had gone into the pupil, a bulls-eye! He told my folks he could probably have saved the eye except my brother Junior and I were always fighting and he would punch me in the face hitting my eye a lot of the time. So as weeks went by, the eye would alternate between healing and being ruptured again. It came to the point where the eye would not heal at all and so an operation to remove the eye was necessary.
I remember going to Dr. Rees’s office for the operation. I remember my fighting against the ether he gave me to put me out. I remember wearing a bandage and a patch on my eye. Then it was decided that I should have an artificial eye (glass). I suppose it could have been a simple thing to insert the glass eye. However, my imagination made a simple thing difficult. I set up such a fuss the doctor would be patient for a while then he would just lie me on the table, give me ether which I hated and fought against, and I would pass out. When I came to, everything that could have been so easy to accomplish but which I made difficult was taken care of. The glass eye was in place and I looked and felt better.
But every time I went in to have my eye changed as youngsters changing the eye was necessary because of the growing process of the young child, as the eye socket grew and needed a larger glass eye. I guess I was a very big trial for my folks and the doctor.
Dr. John Stocks removed Junior’s and my tonsils. Junior had his removed first in Dr. Stocks’s office. When they brought Junior out of the operating room his mouth was wide open and bloody. I nearly froze. I do not remember, but I guess I fought a lot going in. I do remember I cried a lot coming out. As a youngster I suppose I feared operations a great deal.
I lived through my eye operation and the changing of the eye which was more traumatic than the operation itself. I lived through my tonsil operation to say nothing of Junior’s! I survived a lot of childhood mishaps and happenings and bless my parents and siblings, they survived me!
My grandfather—James Bryson had a 33-acre farm that crossed the dirt road from our place (Rieckert’s). See diagram. Grandpa was a big man, 6 feet tall, weighing 215 pounds. He had a large rugged face with a “salt and pepper” moustache. To me it was a huge one. His voice was heavy and rough. He was hard of hearing and so he spoke loudly when he talked. I remember he had a temper but as big as robust as he was he was a kind, gentle man to those who treated him with respect and kindness. I started working on his farm at the age of 5. At that age I helped “weed” the carrots, onions, beets, etc.
One incident I need to tell about concerns me at age 5 and my brother Junior and my two uncles, Ward and Miles. The four of us were hauling hay (alfalfa). Uncle Ward was on the ground pitching the hay up to Uncle Miles who would place it on the high load where it was needed in order to keep the load level and secure. It was an art to do a first-rate job of loading hay. A hayrack is a strong flat-bed wagon something like 12 feet long and 8 feet wide open on the sides with a high back and front. It had four large wheels and was pulled by two horses.
Hauling was done by pitching the small piles of dried hay (cured) lying on the ground onto the hayrack. The small piles were usually one or two pitchfork full in size. That is a man would pick up a complete pile with just one or two turns of the pitchfork, a turn being a “serving.” That is the best way I can describe it.
The small piles of cured hay were laid in straight rows. The hayrack would pass along between two rows of hay. As I wrote earlier, a man or two would walk along with the hayrack and pitch the piles of hay onto the hayrack. Now Uncle Ward was the pitcher and Uncle Miles was the loader.
In the story the load of hay was quite high nearly ready to be taken to the hay barn. Uncle Miles and Junior, who was a “loader’s helper” one who tramps the hay so more hay can be hauled on a trip from the field to the barn, were working as the loaders. I was allowed to handle the reins, only 5 years old. But the horses were good horses and all that was needed for them to know what had to be done by them was for someone to say “Get up” to start them pulling the hayrack and “Whoa” to have them stop the hayrack. The two horses were smart enough to stay inside the two rows of small hay piles. But it was a good thing if someone had a hold on the reins. This helped the horses to know they were under control.
So here is the picture. Uncle Ward is on the ground pitching the hay up to Uncle Miles. Junior is busy tramping the hay and staying out of Uncle Miles’s way. I have a hold of the reins at the front of the hayrack. It is my job to let the horses know someone has a hold on the reins and to keep the reins free from being covered with hay on the load. Everything is going fine. Loading of the hay was progressing very well. Uncle Ward would pitch up 4 to 6 to 8 of the hay piles and he would give the command “Get up.” The horses would strain in the tugs and pull the wagon forward. At the appropriate spot, Uncle Ward would say “Whoa” and the horses would stop the wagon. Well, in this instant, the one this story is based [on] I having the reins in my hands gave those reins a “flick.” Uncle Ward is on the ground. Uncle Miles is in the middle of the high load, and Junior is standing at the rear of the load near the edge!
I know not why I flicked the reins. Perhaps there was a horsefly on one of the horses and I wanted to slap it. Anyway—with the flick the horses jumped. In jumping they jerked the hayrack forward. It was all a progressive action. I flicked the reins, the horses jumped, the hayrack jerked, those on the high load staggered. Uncle Miles, caught by surprise was thrown off balance. His pitchfork was tossed into the air. Junior, age 6, was thrown over the edge at the rear of the hayrack. He landed on the ground with a heavy thud, followed immediately by Uncle Miles’s pitchfork which stabbed into the ground with its tines and stood “twanging” just a few feet from Junior.
When the horses jumped, Uncle Ward hollered “Whoa.” They settled down, no problem there. After the hayrack settled down, no problem there. Uncle Miles on top of the load did not settle down. No indeed! He grabbed me and hustled me to the side of the load and dropped me to the ground. He was rough and angry with me but he was not mean or cruel.
I hit the ground and Uncle Ward bawled me out and scooted me home which was just across the dirt road. I went home crying because my feelings had been hurt and I was scared. Especially when I found out Junior had fallen from the high load.
Another scary incident in my life, this had to do with harvesting hay also. I was 6 or 7 or 8 years of age, probably 7. After the hayrack was loaded in the field, it was pulled to the hay barn. Grandpa’s hay barn was very large. It had 5 huge sections for hay storage plus an area over his truck garage which was adjacent to the hay barn. I will see if I can make a drawing. (See drawing.) Not too good. Sections were of equal size but perhaps you get the idea.
To store the hay in the barn, took a load of hay, a derrick fork, a horse and rider, a long heavy rope, a system of pulleys, and at least two men to handle the hay. The load of hay was pulled into an empty section of the hay barn. One man would move to where they hay was to be stored. One man would stay on the load of hay.
A horse would be taken into the truck garage and hitched to the “pull” rope. This rope ran from the hitch to the horse, back through a pulley, fastened to a support pull where the workshop and hayloft/truck garage joined. The rope then ran up to the roof of this building to another pulley at the end of the tall hay loft of the hay barn. It then followed under the ridge of the hay barn to where it hitched to the derrick fork. The derrick fork was a large wood and metal contraption that consisted of 5 large tines and a wooden triangular clamping device to hold the hay. It traveled along a track that was fastened to the roof of the hay barn under its ridge.
The rider on the horse would back the horse into the pole allowing the rope to go slack in the pulley. The man on the load of hay would pull the derrick fork to a point over the load of hay using a length of small rope. When the derrick fork arrived at the correct spot, it would strike a device that would cause it to lower to the load of hay. Here the man on the load would jam the tines of the derrick fork into the hay. When he had the tines “set” he would pull down on and set the triangular clamping device. He would then take the small rope in his hand and step back away from the derrick fork.
When everything was ready and safe he would holler “OK!” The rider on the derrick horse upon hearing—OK would start the horse forward. This would pull the heavy rope through the pulley system, lifting the derrick fork with its large load of hay.
A rider keeping the horse at a steady pull on the rope would guide the horse out into the barn yard. The derrick fork would raise to the track where it would engage a “dog,” a contraption that would carry the derrick fork along the track to the point where the man on the ground, or as the hay stack grew higher, would be standing. At this point, the man on the load of hay would holler “Whoa!”
The rider on the horse would stop the horse. The man with the small rope on the load of hay would give the rope a swift jerk. This tripped the clamping device on the derrick fork releasing its burden of hay. The hay would fall into a pile and the man in the section would spread it around evenly. After the derrick fork was emptied, the man on the hayrack would holler “Alright.”
The rider would back the horse to the pulley and pull once more. The man on the hayrack would pull his small rope and the derrick fork would return to him again and the process would be repeated over and over until the hayrack was completely unloaded.
The day of the incident, Junior was riding the horse. Uncle Ward and Uncle Miles were handling the hay and the huge derrick fork. I was standing near the pulley pole in the workshop/truck garage area. The “OK” was given. Junior started the horse forward. I had been fascinated by the heavy rope as it passed down from the roof through the pulley and on out to the horse.
To me it was all so neat. The taut rope running through the pulley and going through the hitch at the rear of the horse and the wheel of the pulley as it turned in the pulley. Watching this neat action I decided I would grab the rope above the pulley and stop it from entering the same. I didn’t even slow it down. All I did was get a severe rope burn on my hand and forefinger. As quickly as I could I released the rope, extracted my badly bleeding hand from the pulley, and ran home, about 500 feet away. At home I told my mother the first lie I can remember telling her. I told her I cut my hand on some glass. I do not remember anything else about the incident. I have a scar at the base of my forefinger and a scar that runs the length of my thumb, inside left hand to remind me of the incident and the first lie I ever told. Neither of which is to my credit, but both are testaments to my stupidity.
Remembering what I have said about “barning the hay” one man on the load of hay, one man on the haystack in the barn, and a horse and rider, I recall the following. Uncle Miles was on the haystack. Uncle Ward was on the load of hay. I was the rider on the horse.
Uncle Ward would call “OK—Whoa—Alright.” I got to daydreaming. I thought I heard Uncle Ward say OK. I started the horse. Of course then the horse went forward the derrick fork went upward. Uncle Ward hadn’t said OK. He was not ready nor was he prepared. All he did was go up with the derrick fork. There was such a clamor. I realized I had made a mistake. A few moments later Uncle Miles came out. We backed the horse and the derrick fork to their proper spots. A few moments later Uncle Ward appeared. I do not recall ever riding the horse again. I do recall a smacking and a bawling out.
Another incident that brought about a bawling out. I was 12 or 13 years old? This too concerned a hayrack. Uncle Ward had hitched the team to the hayrack. We, he and I, were standing by the horses. Uncle Ward told me to get out of the hayrack and drive the horses to the watering trough. He walked to Grandpa’s house. The watering trough was a short distance from the house. I, somewhat anxious, climbed into the hayrack and told the horses to “Get up.” They obediently pulled the rack to the watering trough as I directed. They were a good team of horses.
We, the horses, the rack, and I, arrived at the trough in good order. Our arrival at the trough ended the “good order” and started the “halleluhah time.” Something spooked the horses! They reared back in their traces. This action threw the hayrack into reverse. The rack was empty. I was standing at the front with the reins up and over the wooden framework of the front of the hayrack.
Now picture this—I am, and have been, standing at the front of the hayrack with the reins in my hands, and guiding the horses with those same long reins up and over the front of the hayrack. These reins are so long they can reach from the neck of the horses, pass through a “keeper” on the collar of their harness, and go up and over the rack, and come down to my hands where I hold on to them very tightly.
Going to the watering trough was no problem. The horses knew where they were going. But when they were spooked they and no one else knew where they were going to go and I could not control them because the reins had too much distance and restrictions, the high front of the rack, for me to properly control the horses, using the long reins.
Well, here is what happened. The horses reared back. I was thrown backwards clinging tightly onto the reins. Being spooked, I do not remember what caused the spooking, I believe it was a cat. But anyway, being spooked was bad enough for the horses. Being spooked caused the horses to rear. My being thrown off balance caused me to pull backward on the reins. This caused the horses to back the rack. When I regained my balance, the reins went slack. The horses being in an agitated state took the slackened reins to mean they could go forward. They did! Horses are not dumb!
This team was no exception, at least at first. They whipped the rack past the watering trough and headed toward the house. Seeing they had the large house as an obstacle in front of them, they veered hard right. This took us, the horses, the rack, and me, between the two very large locust trees and the cistern in Grandpa’s back yard.
Now the fun begins. We are headed north. We pass the locust trees and the cistern, bounce across a small irrigation ditch, enter a small orchard. I said the horses were not dumb. That is true. But they are terrified, so is their passenger. But more than terrified I am desperate. I am trying to get the horses under control and save my hide, spare the horses, and the hayrack. I have hardly any control with the reins. It seems I am steadily pulling to the right.
Upon entering the orchard of small trees the horses turn right again. We tear to the east until we come to a lane that enters the orchard from the south. Here the horses turn right again. We enter the large barnyard of Grandpa’s farm. This is a large open space. However, we only use a small portion of it for as we enter the yard the horses again turn right. This heads us towards the house a second time and a second time we turn and pass between the locust trees and the cistern.
Again we bounce over the small ditch. I have and am continuing to be bounced from side to side on the rack and if it hadn’t been for angle braces to the front of the rack, I would have been thrown off and severely hurt. Again we enter the orchard of small trees. This time, however, the horses continue in a straight line.
We are headed north-northeast, passing through the small orchard about 60 feet wide. We rip past the farmhand’s outhouse, and enter the “two-row” orchard of Grandpa’s very large and old apple trees. This “orchard” is perhaps 20 feet wide.
Leaving the apple “two-row” orchard we enter a new peach orchard. This orchard is all of 200 feet across. Luckily there is no fence separating Grandpa’s farm from the farm next door. Without any slack in speed, the horses dragging the heavy rack tear across this open piece of territory. This piece of uncultivated land must be 200 to 300 feet wide.
Luckily, again, there is no fence on the border of this property and the property we are approaching. Let me interject here—on our first pass by Grandpa’s house it was just me, the horses, and the rack. When we made our second pass Uncle Ward appeared. There was nothing he could do except just what he did, fall in behind and chase the “wild bunch” on foot.
Uncle Ward is hollering! I am hollering and the horses are paying no heed whatsoever and none at all. Now the property we are approaching as we gallop across this wide uncultivated piece of ground has a house which we are not concerned with. The horses avoid large house structures. However, a garage sets back and to the right of the house.
It is a nice garage! But it sets directly in our path. Heading on a diagonal as we are, the front right corner as you face it of the garage intersects our line of travel. Can you guess what happens? Will you believe it when I tell you? The horses in their agitated state have managed to miss while pulling a large heavy hayrack a watering trough, a house, a cistern, two very large locust trees twice, several small fruit trees, an outhouse, some very large old apple trees, and many, many peach trees.
Now they are headed toward a neighbor’s garage. Next thing to happen is the breach of the hayrack because of the terrific banging and abuse it has taken, pulls out and the rack drops front first to the ground. This leaves the horses pulling and carrying the tongue, doubletrees (hitches), and the front wheels of the rack (breach) along with a very long (nearly useless) reins towards the garage. Where the unbelievable happens.
The horses, after missing all the aforementioned, did not miss the garage. They head directly toward the right front corner of the garage. One horse goes to the side of the garage (right) the other horse goes to the front (left). This action stops the team in its tracks! Uncle Ward breathlessly asks if I am alright. I tell him yes. He looks astonished and takes care of the horses.
Except for a wildly fluttering heart, a scratch or two, and a bruise or three, I am OK! The horses are OK also. Uncle Ward gave me a mild bawling out. So did Grandpa. But after everything was repaired and time to think had passed, they both told me it was not my fault. But they both suggested it was because the reins were up and over the framework of the hayrack that I was taken for such a wild ride. I agreed and the incident has passed as a happy, though unbelievably wild incident in my life. I think ofttimes of what could have happened and I thank the Lord it did not happen.
When I was 13 or 14, I had another “wild” ride, this time in Grandpa’s truck and Uncle Ward was with me. Uncle Ward married a lady named Lorene East. Aunt Lorene had inherited a nice piece of farm and orchard property when her parents were killed (murdered) by a man named “Mad Dog.”
Mr. and Mrs. East were shot down by a man with a shotgun as they were working on the piece of property mentioned above and marked in the diagram. I do not remember why we were going out to Aunt Lorene’s place, (her inherited farm). But Uncle Ward allowed me to do the driving. I did fine until we came to the driveway into, and up along the north side of the property. I slowed down to make the turn from the road (5th West) into the driveway but I didn’t slow down enough, nor, did I turn the wheel sharp enough to make the turn. However, in retrospect, if I had turned the wheel sharp enough to make the turn, the truck would in all probability, have overturned. I would have been smashed against the fence post. Anyway, what happened was, I, we, the truck ran into the fence post. No damage was sustained by the truck nor Uncle Ward and myself. The post was knocked out of alignment, that was all. But, I caught a very good scolding from Uncle Ward.
Also, at the age of 14 and 15, I had the responsibility of irrigating—we called it “watering,” the produce section of Aunt Lorene’s place. This part of the farm was west of the canal. To do this, I had to get up at 4 a.m. every Friday from our home in South Bountiful, it was a large house, Dad and Mom rented the three large rooms and a hall—plus a root cellar, on the south side of the house—from Uncle Dave Holbrook. Dave Holbrook married my Father’s sister (half sister) Mary. We lived in this home for about 8 years. I liked it here.
So, as I was writing. I got up early on Friday mornings, in the summer, and got dressed, walked up to Grandpa’s place, took a “round nose” shovel from his tool storage and went on my merry way to fulfill my duty. But, for me to go from Grandpa’s place to Aunt Lorene’s place I had to walk through the Bountiful City cemetery. Being dark and being a cemetery, it was a spooky place to be walking alone. However to my relief, I never had any spooky or scary experiences outside of having to walk through that cemetery.
I apologize, because the events of writing this history may not be in chronological order. The following is a “for instance.”
Back when I was about age 6 or 7 a bunch of us children were playing on a solid wooden bridge that crossed the irrigation ditch which ran beside the dirt road back of the Rieckert home. (See map 1). The ditch was narrow and deep and carried a fair amount of water, however it was a pretty safe place to have a good time getting wet and to splash around in the water. I say, pretty safe, as far as the water was concerned! The solid wooden bridge was another matter. If I remember correctly it was made of railroad ties. Heavy wooden timbers, 8 feet long, 6 inches by 6 inches square. Six or eight of these square logs were fastened together and laid across the ditch for a footbridge.
We children, Junior, Lucille and Frances Horning, myself, and some others I do not recall just who they were, would stand on the bridge and take turns jumping into the water flowing in the ditch. The water was flowing from south to north so, we were jumping off the bridge from the north side so as not to be caught by the current and banged up against the bridge. We had to take turns because the ditch was only wide enough to accommodate one person at a time, side by side, in it. [sic] So, it was necessary for one person to wait for another to clear out of the way before he could take his turn at jumping in.
Well! On one of my turns, I waited a split second too long and one of the girls in the group waiting with me on the bridge gave me a push. The person before me in the water had not cleared out of the way. I did not want to land on top of him-her—so I tried my best to stay on the bridge. I lost my balance, from the unexpected push, and in attempting to remain on the bridge I lost my footing. I slipped off the side of the bridge and fell downward next to it. I did not fall very far in an upright position, because a large nail was protruding from the edge of the bridge and my ankle caught onto it. The nail dug into my flesh and struck the bone. It held fast and I flipped upside down, my head under the water. I was a tall lad and though the bridge was well above the water, I still was under the water, upside-down, to my shoulders. As I remember, Junior being a good-sized lad himself, kept my head above the water and we worked my leg free of the nail. It was a frightening experience. I bled a good deal. I still have the scar.
Another incident that took place and was frightening, although in an entirely different realm. When I was about 6 they built the highway (U.S. 91) in front of Grandpa’s place northward. Originally it was a continuation of the dirt road that ran in back of the Rieckert home. I can just barely visualize it, in my mind, as it ran northward as far as eye could see. In building the highway, it was necessary to construct an overpass for the Bamberger electric railroad, which ran from Salt Lake City to Ogden, and from Ogden to Brigham City. I am not sure if the electric railroad from Ogden to Brigham City was the Bamberger, but, there was one and I do know the old Bamberger operated between Salt Lake and Ogden.
Anyway, the overpass had to be constructed and it was necessary for the road bed of the highway, to be excavated below the rail bed of the railroad. So large power shovels, what they called draglines were used. Let me explain, as best I can, the difference between a power shovel, per se, and a “dragline.”
As the word implies; a power shovel, they were called “steam shovels” before the gasoline and diesel fuels and engines came along as a large mechanical shovel. It is attached to a crane-like boom operated by a person who sits in a cab of a self-propelled tractor. To scoop up the dirt, or whatever material, the operator brings the scoop, the shovel, back near the front of the cab/tractor and pushes the scoop away from the cab/tractor. Scooping up the material then lifting it and turning the machine to the point where he deposits the scooped material.
In the dragline operation, the scoop shovel is what was known as “flung-out” from the cab/tractor. An operator had to be very experienced in this operation. It involved the use of several cables more than the powershovel type of machine. “Flinging out”the scoop was a science. Several cables, woven strands of heavy gauge wire, ran from the cab and up a boom then to the scoop. In the operation of the dragline, the operator lowered teh boom and then raised it quickly, thus bringing the shove, scoop, up fast, Using the cables to the shovel scoop, like a whip, he could with expertise, fling the scoop out a good distance, then as the word, “dragline” implies, “drag” the dirt, or whatever material, towards the cab/tractor. When the scoop shovel was filled he would lift it up, hold it and turn the machine to the point where he wanted the material deposited. In the operation of both of these great machines, a cable was used by the operator to open the scoop and release the confined, gathered material.
It was a neat operation to watch and with the work going on just about a block from my house , the Rieckert place, I took every opportunity to walk down and watch. I was probably the world’s youngest, most involved, most “under foot” “sidewalk superintendent.” I surely liked to watch those draglines work.
So, one day, I walked down to the construction site. It was the noon hour. To my sadness the machines, I believe there were two, were quiet. Teh operators were eating their lunches. I approached the nearest machine. The operator, relaxing and enjoying his noontime meal, asked me, “What’s your name son?”
I told him; “My name’s not ‘son’ it’s Jerry!”
“No! I’m only kidding!” I told him very confidently: “My name is Jerry!”
He looked pleased but very seriously he told me, “Your name can’t be Jerry. That’s my name!” Then, and this is the scary part, he added: “You’ve stolen my name. I should have you arrested!”
I couldn’t think of anything to say, I did not know what to say. I didn’t say anything. I just turned and walked away. I wanted to get home. As I walked back home I kept thinking—the man is going to have me arrested. He is going to send the sheriff after me. Nothing ever happened. And, of all that took place at that construction site, that is my only memory of it.
At this point in my writing, I will write of things I remember which took place in my childhood not necessarily in the order of their taking place. Nor, in the order of my age.
I remember the cistern, well, we used at the Rieckert home. It was deep and had a pump. The pump had to be operated by hand. It was where we got our drinking water and all the water we used in household usage. I remember one time Dad and someone else, I don’t remember who, opened the top of the cistern and went down into the well on a ladder. It was deep, and it was dark. I remember looking in to the well and Dad telling me to get back and be careful.
I remember my Uncles doing the same thing with Grandpa’s cistern. I recall it was what they called “cleaning the cistern.” It involved allowing the water to drop to a level as low as possible. Someone going down into the well with a bucket tied to a rope. He would fill the bucket with muck and silt and someone up at the top would pull up the bucket, empty it, and let it back down into the well, when the process was repeated until the well, cistern, was cleared of the accumulated muck and mire. It was a slow, laborious job. But, it had to be done because the mud accumulating in the well would plug the pump.
I remember a family reunion, the James Bryson Family Reunion, was held every four years. That was due to the fact Uncle Alden and his family would come from California, Bakersfield, to be with his family every four years. The reunion I remember, though I do not remember which year it occurred, it was either 1832 or 1936. I think it was 1936, because in 1932 I would have been only 5 years old.
Uncle Alden, Aunt Sylvia, Joe, Randy, and Stanley came from Bakersfield and the Brysons got together for their reunion. Uncle Ward, Uncle Miles, Junior, and myself were out in the fields irrigating. Everyone was ready, ready to go up Mueller’s Park for a picnic except we four. We came down to see them off. When we arrived, Uncle Jim asked if the boys, Junior and me, were going on the picnic with the rest of the family.
Grandpa said, “No, they have to stay and help Ward and Miles with the watering!” Uncle Jim said, “If the boys don’t go on the picnic, I don’t go!”
He, and I remember it so vividly, said it so emphatically and sincerely, everyone agreed Junior and I would go on the picnic. We climbed into the back of I believe it was Uncle Him’s pickup truck and rode to Mueller’s Park perched on the top of soda water bottles stacked in wooden cases.
Here I will list things I remember and my age at the time.
Irrigating at night with Uncle Ward. We would set the water in a set of rows. Then we would wait for a while. Giving the water time to reach the lower end of the field. As we sat on the bank of the head ditch, Uncle Ward would point out the constellations in the night sky. I really enjoyed the clear, summer nights. Especially when there was a full moon. We would sit and talk and wait. Crickets would be chirping. Sometimes a frog or toad would jump into the water. Sometimes other critters. Never knew what they were, probably just as well.
We had a flashlight and a two-mantle Coleman lantern. The lantern always fascinated me. Uncle Ward would fill it with fuel, pump air into the chamber with the fuel and light the mantles. They were made of fine mesh-cotton and hung from the top of the lantern in a glass enclosure or lens. It gave off a very bright light. And attracted moths and other nighttime insects. When Uncle Ward thought the water had had time enough to reach the lower end of the field he would take the lantern and go down to check. If he found a row was lagging behind or a row of water was flowing too full, he would signal me with the lantern. If he waved the light across the row, I should say furrow, it meant I was to decrease the amount of water flowing into the furrow. If he waved the lantern up and down, that is—towards me and then back, it meant I was to increase the amount of water in the furrow.
To irrigate properly we had to let the water run until it soaked the soil from furrow to furrow. Sometimes a furrow would flood and water would run together. If several rows did this the field was a mess. And we would have to work like crazy to refurrow the water. This was always a muddy job. (I did irrigating from age 6 to 14.)
When irrigating it was not uncommon to have gopher holes in the field and in the water furrows. This caused some problems. It creased much flooding and loss of water. The water would run into the gopher hole and disappear and the row of vegetables would not receive the water it needed. Of course, we would search until we found the gopher hole. Then we would do what we had to do to get the water running through the furrow. Sometimes we had to cut a by-pass above the gopher hold and another by-pass below the hole in order to water properly.
One time I was irrigating Aunt Lorene’s place. Some potatoes. Gophers are fond of potatoes. I could see, from the head ditch, the water in a furrow was going down a gopher hole. I walked to the spot and just as I got there this near-drowned gopher popped out of his hole. With my shovel I put an end to his struggles. (Age—13) [My age! I don’t know how old the gopher was.]
In the fall of one year, Grandpa had a good sized watermelon patch. The melons were round as a ball and striped. A hailstorm came up and every melon in the lot was punctured with many holes. They were almost ripe enough to harvest. Not one melon was saved. Grandpa loss a good deal of money from the damage of that hailstorm. I felt very bad for him and the destroyed melons. (Age—11).
I remember Grandpa’s pet. A beautiful black and white dog named “Bing.” I remember Uncle Ward and Aunt Lorene before they were married and the teasing they took from Uncle Miles and friends. (Age–9)
I remember the teasing Uncle Miles took along with his intended, Aunt Violet, from Uncle Ward and friends. I thought this teasing of young folks in love was kinda special. (Age–9 to 11) I think?
Grandpa had a grindstone. He would be the one to sit on the seat, work the treadle, which turned the large round stone and he would sharpen the tools of the farm. (5-14)
I remember Grandpa’s model T Ford automobile and the truck he bought for the farm. The same truck I “learned” to drive. It was a Ford also. I think ! ? (5-?)
Hummingbirds were a special sight to behold at the “Rieckert place.” (3-8)
One Christmas Junior received a pair of “high top” boots. Something that was always wanted by any “real” boy. There was a good amount of snow on the ground. He put on the boots with help from Dad and Mom, laced them up and tied them tightly, then, without putting on a coat or jacket, he ran outdoors and tromped around in the snow. Dad and Mom were more than a little upset. They were afraid he had ruined his new boots. I don’t remember if he did or not. (6 or 7?)
One of the men who worked on the construction of the highway and the overpass was a man named Golden Bennett. He and his wife, May, became good friends of Dad and Mom. (6-on up)
My friends and I used to chase lizards in the Cemetery. We were told if you pull the lizards’ tail off, it will grow another one. Never knew if that was true or false. (6-14)
JOHN BRYSON MILITARY RECORD, 6TH INNISKILLING DRAGOONS
This record was compiled 20 Feb 1967 by Lt. Col M. E. S. Laws from British War Office (WO) records. In official documents the spelling of the name varies from Brison, Breison, and Bryson. The last named is shown in his Discharge Papers.
[MSB Note: There is no actual PROOF that this John Bryson is the father of our family’s Samuel Bryson. There has been no record found of the marriage between John Bryson and Margaret Cowan. (A marriage in St. Mary’s, Carlisle, Cumberland, England, in July 1909, is judged by me NOT to be our John and Margaret.) Family tradition, place of birth of this John, and other circumstantial evidence points to this being our ancestor, but again, there is no proof.]
WO97/24 - In 1779 John Bryson was born in the “Parish of Dromore, near the town of Lisburn, Co. Down.” [Dromore is on the River Lagan 17½ miles S.W. of Belfast; Banbridge is on the River Barm 24½ miles S.W. of Belfast.] He was a weaver by trade before enlistment.
WO12/712 - On 18 July 1804 when aged 25 years he enlisted in the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons at Lisburn, Co. Down, for unlimited service (i.e. for life.) He received a bounty of £10-19 shillings-6 pence, and his initial pay was 1 shilling 3 pence a day. He joined the Regiment at Brighton Barracks, Sussex, on 25 Sep 1804 and was posted to Capt. J. N. Stackpoole’s Troop. On 25 Mar 1805 he was transferred to Capt. F. Miller’s Troop.
WO12/713 - On 17 Oct 1805 the Regiment moved to Lewes, Sussex, 7 miles (headquarters and 7 Troops). Bryson was at Lewes. On 2 Dec 1805 Trooper Bryson was ordered to Ireland on recruiting duty, but rejoined the Regt at Ipswich on 12 May 1806 via Liverpool. While he had been in Ireland the 6th Dragoons had marched from Lewes to Shoreham on 7 Mar 1806 and arrived at Ipswich (H.Q. & 7 Troops) in Colchester, Essex (3 Troops). On 24 Mar 1806 Capt. Miller’s Troop was stationed at Ipswich. On 30 June 1806, Bryson marched with his Troop from Ipswich and arrived at Bury St. Edmonds on 4 July 1806.
WO12/714 - On the 16th of July 1806, Bryson was ordered once again to Ireland with a recruiting party, marching to Liverpool where the party arrived on 6 Aug 1806, and crossing to Newry next day. He remained in the Belfast District until the end of April 1807 and was then in the Enniskillen District until he rejoined the Regt on 3 May 1808. During his absence, Capt. Miller had been replaced in command of the Troop by Capt. Dawson, and as Troops were numbered, Dawson’s Troop became No. 9. (The regt then had 10 Troops.)
WO12/715 - In May 1808 the Regiment was at Haddington (H.Q. and 6 Troops) and Dunbar (4 Troops), having marched from Ipswich via York. By Oct 1808 the Regt was concentrated at Piers Hill Barracks, Edinburg, Bryson having marched with his Troops from Dunbar. It should be understood that at that time in Great Britain and Ireland there were few barracks capable of accommodating a whole Regiment, and it was therefore necessary usually to scatter troops in adjoining villages where more troops were billeted on public houses. Bryson was at Hamilton from Jan to Mar 1809 with his troop.
WO12/716 - On 24 May 1809, the 6th Dragoons marched from Piers Hill Barracks, Edinburgh, and arrived at Port Patrick on 3 Jun 1809, crossed the Irish Sea to Donaghdee, and on 6 Jun 1809 marched thence to Dundalk, arriving on 10 Jun 1809. [This puts John Bryson in Ireland in July 1809, not England.] At the end of June 1810, the Regiment moved from Dundalk to Dublin where it remained until Nov 1811. The Regt marched from Dublin to Ballinasloe in Dec 1811 with some Troops detached to other places. Bryson was at Ballinasloe until 14 Sep 1812 when he marched with No 9 Troop to Gort, arriving on 16 Aug 1812. He marched from Gort with his troop on 16 Mar 1813 to Enniskillin, arriving there on 21 Mar 1813.
WO12/716 - Meanwhile, Regimental H.Q.s had moved in Mar 1813 from Ballinasloe to Tullamore with Troops detached to __, Londonderry, Ballinrobe, Enniskillin, Longford, Loughrea, Roscommon, Phillipstown, etc.
On 2 Mar 1814 Bryson marched with his Troop from Enniskillen and arrived at Dublin on 8 Mar 1814. Here the Reg. Concentrated before embarking in two wings. The first wing embarked at Dublin on board the ships Loftus, Isabelle, Edward, Salton, John, Henry, Jamaica Packet, and Atlas on 26 Apr 1814, and landed at Liverpool on 27 Apr 1814; the second wing (in which was Bryson) embarked at Dublin on 17 May 1814 on board the ships Loftus, Andromeda, Henry, Argus, Watson, James, Jearow, Eliza, Argo, and Ceres, and landed on 18 May 1814 at Liverpool. The Regiment, having again concentrated at Liverpool, marched thence on 25 May 1814 and reached Nottingham on 1 Jun 1814. There the Regt remained until the news of the Emperor Napoleon’s escape from Elba and his return to France once more brought a re-organization for war. Bryson was transferred from No 9 Troop to No 2. The 10 Troops had already been reduced when peace had been proclaimed in mid 1814.
On 6 Apr 1815 Bryson marched with No 2 Troop from Nottingham via Melton Mowbrey, Northampton, Hatfield, and Upminster to Gravesend, arriving on 18 Apr 1815. There he embarked with the Regiment on 19 Apr 1815 and landed at Ostend on 24 Apr 1815 to join the Duke of Wellington’s Allied army. The Regt had 6 Troops, having left 3 troops at Ipswich as a Regimental Depot. The 6th Dragoons were brigaded with the 1st (Royal) Dragoons and the 2nd (Scots Greys) Dragoons in Major Gen. Sir W. Ponsonby’s 2nd Cavalry Brigade, known at the Bde Service. Its 3 regiments were respectively English, Scottish, and Irish.
During the Battle of Waterloo on 18 Jun 1815, the Union Brigade made a celebrated charge - with the Inniskillings the centre regiment, which had a decisive effect on the battle and which resulted in the capture of two French “Eagles,” those of the 45 and 105 French infantry regiments. After the battle, the 6th Dragoons moved to the vicinity of Paris, but in Dec 1815 the Regt returned to England. Bryson landed on 1 Jan 1816 and marched to Canterbury where the Regt collected.
WO12/716 - The Regiment then marched via Maidstone and Salisbury, arriving at Exeter on 20 Feb 1816 where it remained in garrison.
WO12/717 - On 25 Dec 1816 Bryson marched with the Troop to Taunton, 32 miles, arriving on 27 Dec 1816. On 29 Apr 1817 he returned with the Troop to Exeter and on 31 May 1817 set off on the 85-mile march to Truro, arriving on 3 Jun 1817. In Oct 1817 the Regt moved to Birmingham with H.Q. and 2 Troops, the other Troops being detached. Bryson with No 2 Troop marched from Truro on 30 Oct 1817 and covered the 266 miles to Wolverhampton by 18 Nov 1817 and there remained in garrison. On 11 Jun 1818 Bryson marched with his Troop from Wolverhampton to Birmingham (14 miles) but returned to Wolverhampton on 14 Jun 1818. On 19 Jun 1818 he set out with his Troop from Wolverhampton and arrived at Warrington on 24 Jun 1818 after a 71-mile march. Next day, the march continued via Bolton, Burton, and Carlisle to Piers Hill Barracks, Edinburg, arriving on 31 July 1818 Regt and H.Q. and the other Troops reached Edinburg about the same time. (Wolverhampton to Edinburg 306 miles.) The Regt remained in garrison at Edinburg.
On 17 Feb 1819 Bryson marched with his Troop from Piers Hill Barracks to Perth (40 miles) arriving on 21 Feb 1819. On 12 Apr 1819 he marched from Perth with his Troop for 31 miles and arrived at Forfar on 15 Apr 1819, but returned from Forfar on 1 Jun 1819, and arrived back to Perth on 4 Jun 1819. On 10 Jun 1819 Bryson set out with his Troop from Perth and reached Port Patrick (162 miles) on 24 June 1819; crossed the Irish Sea to Donaghdee, and moved with the Regt to Gort. On 1 May 1819 he received an extra 1 pence a day pay on completing 17 years service (15 years actual service and 2 years credits to all men who had fought at Waterloo). He had previously had an additional 1 pence a day on completing 10 years service, so his total pay was then 1 shilling 5 pence per day.
WO12/717 - On 31 July 1819, Bryson marched with his Troop from Gort to Lunerick arriving on 2 Aug 1819 and later moved to Dunmore. On 12 and 14 Aug 1820 he moved with his Troop to Clare Morris and on 24 Aug 1820 to Longford and there remained in garrison with the Regt H.Q.s. On 19 July 1821 he marched with his Troop from Longford to New Bridge, arriving on 21 Jul 1821. The Regt H.Q.s also moved there. On 23 Jul 1821 he marched with his Troop from Newbridge to Dublin and returned to Newbridge on 30 Jul 1821.
WO12/718 - On 3 and 4 Sep 1821 he marched with his Troop from Newbridge to Tullamore and soon after he was transferred from No 2 Troop to No 3 Troop. Later he moved with his Troop to join Regimental H.Q.s at Cahir and then to Fermoy. On 29 and 30 Jan 1822 he marched from Fermoy to Mallow and on 23 Jun 1822 from Mallow to Newbridge, arriving on 27 Jun 1822. From Newbridge he marched to Dublin to Ashbourne, returning to Dublin on 17 Jan 1823. On 29 May 1823 he set out with his Troop from Dublin and arrived at Belfast (80 miles) on 4 Jun 1823. Next day he marched with the Regt from Belfast to Donaghdee (16 miles) and crossed the Irish Sea to Port Patrick. From this latter port, the Regiment marched in their divisions on 7, 9, and 11 Jun 1823, arriving at Glasgow on 13 Jun, 14 June, and 17 Jun 1823 respectively. Bryson was in the 2nd Division 9-14 Jun 1823.
On 15 July 1824 Bryson left Glasgow with the Regt for the 114-mile march to Carlisle, arriving there on 22 Jul 1824. The next day the march continued and the 120 miles to York was covered by 31 July 1824. The Regiment remained in garrison at York until 13 July 1825 when it marched for Manchester (72 miles) and there arrived on 16 Jul 1825.
WO12/719 - On 2 Aug 1825 John Bryson appeared before a Regimental Board of Officers at Manchester who recommended his discharge from the Army on account of “chronic rheumatism with considerable varices of the left testicle and chord and being undersize. He contracted the first complaint originally in the winter of 1811 while aiding the Civil Power in Co. Galway and the last on duty in France in 1815.” His conduct had been “irregular.” On 8 Sep 1825 he was sent to the Invalid Depot at Chatham, Kent Co.
WO120/20 & 381 - At Chatham he was again medically examined and his discharge from the Army was confirmed on the grounds of “chronic rheumatism with considerable varices of the left testicle and chord, the latter disability from a fall off a horse in the Riding School and the former while serving in France.”
WO116/35 - On 12 Oct 1825 he was admitted as an Out Pensioner of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, with a pension of 1 shilling a day. He is shown to have served as a Private, 6th Dragoons, for 21 years, 3 months, and with an additional 2 years service for Waterloo, had 23 years 3 months to count for pension. He is again shows as having been born at “Dromore, Lisburn, Antrim” and on discharge was 46 years of age, 5 feet 7½ inches tall, with brown hair, “black” eyes, and a dark complexion.
Note: Rheumatism was an almost universal cause of discharge for old soldiers at this period, presumably because the men had no great coats or change of clothes and were consequently living in sodden clothing for long periods. It may be noted that John Bryson was never punished and never in hospital - a remarkable record.
WO100/14 He received his Waterloo medal.
The WO references are to files in the Public Record Office, London.
WO 12 Regimental Muster Rolls, 6th Dragoons.
WO 97 Discharge Papers
WO 116 Chelsea Admissions Register
WO 120 Regimental Chelsea Register
WO 100 Medal Rolls