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History of Julia A. Hammer

This is a copy of a history in the possession of Robert Raymond received from hisGrandmother, Ireta Pitcher Raymond.

Click here to see another history of Julia which appears to have the same origin as this one, but is slightly different.


Julia Ann Hammer Smith was the last child of Nancy Elston and Austin Hammer. She was bornat Shole Creek Caldwell Co. Missouri, 9 Sept. 1836 on a farm 3 or 4 miles from Hauns Mill. Her childhood was spent amid the scenes & turmoil of the frontier life of the West. The reviling of themob, the burning of homes, the murder or flight of kindred or friends and some of the picturesthat recollections of her youth brings upon her.

Her father was one of. the number who was so cruelly murdered at Hauns Mill, and afterwards buried in Hauns Mill. His murder left his family in very helpless and unprotected condition. The men had to hide in brush or shocks of corn to keep from being shot at by the mob. The women would stealthy carry food and water to them. Three weeks after the massacre the Saints were ordered to leave the Country within 10 days. Sister Hammer with 6 children the youngest which was Julia, were forced to flee in the night.

They piled there few possions in an old wagon pulled by a blind horse. They had to leave 120 acres of fall wheat and hay to the mob. They walked most of the way, ate and sleep by the wav side, with scarsley any thing to protect them f rom the biting frost and snow. Some of them had to wrap their feet in cloth to try and protect them from the freezing. Many times the snow was colored with blood. Sister Hammer and Julia were the only ones that had shoes and the were soon wore out, befor the reached Illionois.

They were kindly given the use of a small house for the remainder of the winder, by a friend in Pike Co. The following Spring they went to Indiana where they lived with Julia's Grandfather John Hammer for about 3 years after which they moved to LaHarve not far from Nauvoo Ill. In 1846 they joined the Saints in the exodus to the West, across the great plains, halting for a season at Council Bluffs and Winter Quarters. After a weary march of three months they reached the Great Salt Lake in 1848, and took up their abode in Farmington, Davis Co. Utah. Julia worked out in Salt Lake for 2 years barley earning her board and clothes. Later she hired out in Farmington. At the age of 16 she married William James Smith, brother of Lot Smith who was a scout for Brigham Young.

In 1857 she and her husband were called to assist in the establishment of the Salmon River Mission in Idaho. There was 34 men and 15 women and children in the company. They reached Fort Lemhi on the Salmon River, a number of missionaries had established a fort there a number of years before. They found thereselves in the midst of several tribes of Indians, whose war like attitude towards each other made it difficult for the missionaries to know how to keep on friendly terms with them.

The Indians were very friendly at first, over one hundred were baptized, and a few of the missionaries married Indian women. [There is a page break here and the typewriter changes.]

In the later part of February a skirmish occurred between the Indians and some guards who were attempting to recover some stolen cattle resulting in the death of three of the brethren. A council was hastily called and it was decided to send messengers to President Young to apprise him of the situation. He at once decided to abandon the Mission and accordingly he sent one hundred fifty men with twenty wagons to help bring the missionaries back. On March 8, 1858 Fort Lemhi was formally abandoned. The deep snow made travel difficult and the men had to assist the cattle. The tramp through the hard crusted snow almost wore the hair off the animals legs. Upon their arrival in Utah they were surprised to find everything desolate. Along the way they found the homes empty. It was the move south to escape Johnsons Army. After a three days rest, most of the missionaries also moved south with the saints. Brother and Sister Smith returned to Farmington, Utah in the fall and after a years residence, moved to Cache Valley, where they helped to settle Smithfield, Utah. Here they also experienced trouble with the Indians. Sister Smith saw a man stagger across what is now the Public Square, after he had been shot by an Indian. A little later Ira Merrill was brought in dead.

They had not long resided in Smithfield when Bishop Roskelly called them to Bear Lake Valley to assist in colonizing that place. Many were the hardships they had to endure during the seven years residence in that place. For over a year they lived on boiled wheat and bran bread. Later a one horse mill was constructed so that the settlers could grind their wheat. The flour was separated from the bran by means of a band sieve. Marion Everton was the miller. They also had a crude way of making lumber. A pit was dug in the ground for one man to stand in while another stood upon a platform above the log to be sawed. Each man then manipulated his end of the cross cut saw as it tore its way through the tree which lay horizontally across the mouth of the pit.

One winter was particularly long and severe. Provisions were scarce and it was impossible to cross the mountains into Cache Valley except on snow shoes. Brother Smith risked such a trip over the mountains for what provisions he could carry on his person. He nearly perished in the attempt.

After their return to Smithfield they fared better, gradually lifting themselves into moderate circumstances. From then on they were permitted to enjoy a quiet peaceful life, the like of which they had never before experienced. They have reared a family of twelve children, nearly all of them residents of Smithfield.

Sister Smith, after the death of her husband, sought comfort as best she might in the society of her children and in the memory of a life devoted to the service of God. Her testimony of the Gospel never wavered. Her greatest desire was that her posterity may be true to the faith for which she has toiled and suffered so valiantly.

Copied from a newspapaer clipping

Encyclopedic Church History - By Andrew Jensen
(No. 363) Haun's Mill - cont'.

A Miss Rebecca Judd was an eye witness to this terrible butchery.

Austin Hammer was martally wounded, seven balls were shot into his body, breaking both his thigh bones. After the firing had ceased, he was found among the dead by the surviving and carried into the Haun's house, where he died about 12 o'clock the following night. Seventeen men and boys were killed and fifteen wounded.

[Parts of this paragraph are illegible.] Names of killed or mortally wounded, Thomas McBride, Levi ?. ?errick, Elias ?onner, Joseph Fuller, Benjamin Lewis, Alexander Cambell, Warren Smith, George S. Richards, William Napier, Austin Hammer, Simon Cox, Hyrum Abbott, John York, John Lee, Joyn Byers, Sardius Smith and Charles Merrick. Wounded who recovered- Issac Laney, Nathan K. Night, William Yokum, Jacob Myers, George Myers, Tarlton Lewis, Jacob Haun, (Owner of Huan Mill) Jacob Fouts, Jafoc Potts, Charles Jamison, John Walker, Alma L. Smith, Miss Mary Stedwall, and two Others. (Oct. 30, 18??)

Newspaper clipping of death

On Wednesday 14 January 1920, Julia A. Smith died of pneumonia following a long illness of 3 or 4 years sickness from old age and general break down in health. She was 85 years, four months and five days old, having lived a long and useful life. She was the mother of 12 children, eight of whom are living.

Born Died
Ju1ia Elnora 2 Nov. 1855
William Hyrum     1857 infant
George Riley 5 June 1859
John Lott 1860 "
James Austin 23 Sept: 1863     
Nancy Jane 3 Mar. 1865
Emily 5 :Aug. 1868 9 Jan 1897
Rhoda Ann 25 Oct. 1869
Clara E. 25 Nov. l872
Ida T. 1873 "
Annetta l3 Apr. 1877
Wells Alvln 15 Apr. 1880

She was the grandmother of 80 Grandchildren, great grandmother of 63 and great great grandmother of l. This is posterity ofwhich we may be proud, all respected in the community in which they reside.

FUNERAL SERVICES OF JULIA A. SMITH

Funeral services of the remains of Julia A. Smith were held in the Smithfield lst Ward Meetinghouse on Friday January 16, 1920, with Bishop C. J. Plowman officiating. Commenced by Choirsinging, "When First the Glorious Light of Truth". Invocation by Theodore GylIenskog. ChoirSang, "O My Father". First Speaker, Samuel Nelson, who gave a brief sketch of Sister Smith aswell as her husband who had died a number of years ago; they being early pioneers. The greatfaith and endurance of the departed sister was perhaps without an equal. A duet was sung byClara Sparks and Nathan Done, "I Heard the Voice of Jesus say". Bishop Counselor, GeorgeDone and Bishop Plowman spoke of the noble traites of character of Sister Smith and of the hopewe have of the glorious resurrection and the life beyond the grave. Mention was also made of themany manifestations of" love and care by the children for their mother in her long illness, it beingover a year she became entirely helpless. Closing Song, "Rest, Rest for the Weary Soul".Benediction - James Monson. Grandsons as pallbearers, granddaughters as flower bearers mainly.Many beautiful flowers as a token of love and respect. Monday, 27-Jan-2003 21:46:05 MST