Edson Whipple, 1805

Edson Whipple photo

BIRTH: 5 February 1805, Dummerston, Windham, Vermont, United States
DEATH: 11 May 1894, Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico

Edson Whipple’s Autobiography:

Autobiography 1&2
-Edson Whipple – http://www.whipple.org/edson/index.htmlAutobiography 1&2
Autobiography of Edson Whipple, Part 1

(See Edson’s genealogy in the WhippleGenWeb.)

Edson Whipple was born February 5th, 1805, in the town of Dummerston, County of Windham, Vermont, where my father settled in the year of 1780 at the age of twenty-one years. Here he spent the remainder of his life and died in 1830.

I lived with my father until his death and in 1832 married a wife and in 1834 we moved to Boston, Massachusetts. In the summer of 1837 we moved to Philadelphia where we spent five years.

Here we became acquainted with the Church of Jesus Christ and on June 16th, 1840, I was received into it by baptism and the laying on of hands under the administration of Elder Benjamin Winchester.

On the 17th of October the same year at Conference held in Philadelphia, I was proposed and ordained to the office of a High Priest by Elders Hyde and Beame. And on the 6th of April I was chosen first counselor to Elder Winchester and ordained a High Priest by President Hyrum Smith. I officiated in that capacity until 1842.

The 27th of September I left in Company with some twelve or fifteen brethren for Nauvoo. We were detained the first Sabbath on the Allegheny Mountain and held two meetings, after which I baptized the Captain of the boat, Jacob Wetzler and two of his brothers, and three others.

We were, in consequence of a low stage of water in the Ohio River; thirty-two days from Philadelphia to Nauvoo.

I remained in Nauvoo until May, 1844. I built me a house in that time.

I left the first day of May for a mission to Pennsylvania in company with David Yearsley. We were appointed as Presidents of that State.

During the labors of that mission, I baptized Eli Whipple, my nephew, and his mother, Margery Willard Whipple, the wife of John Whipple, my eldest brother. Also William Davis, my brother-in-law the husband of Polly, my third sister. Also, I baptized his father.

Also I baptized Clarissa Whipple, the wife of my 3rd brother, Alfred Whipple.

During my stay in Chautauqua County, New York, where I went to visit my friends, I became acquainted with Joshaew Holmon in Jamestown; also his brother, Sanford and family who lived in that town.

I returned from my mission to Nauvoo on the seventh of November, 1844.

During this time, Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed in Carthage jail.

On my way home, while passing down the river, I became acquainted with a Mrs. Johnson and preached the Gospel to her. When we arrived at St. Louis, she went with me to a Brother Crock’s house and we in company with them went to water where I baptized and confirmed her.

She had come from Philadelphia in search of her husband. She found him, and he became very hostile toward the Mormons and said he would kill the man who baptized her. (I shall speak of this man hereafter.)

Brother George Chamberlain, a brother who was baptized in Philadelphia about the time I was, had immigrated to Nauvoo in the spring of 1843, stopped with me during the summer, and in the fall went to St. Louis where he remained until May, 1844. Then he went with me to fill a mission to Pennsylvania.

He labored with me until he got sick. I left him at my brother John’s in McKean County, Pennsylvania.

He returned to Philadelphia after he got well. There he remains to this day (1858) in a state of apostasy.

My wife, Lavinia Goss, that I married on February 6th, 1832, joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in April, 1840.

The next winter after we were married she delivered a stillborn child, a girl, supposed to be about six months developed. In the winter of 1845 she bore me a daughter that we called Maria Blanche.

During our sojourn in Nauvoo, she kept school. Her father died in 1836 in the city of Newfane, Windham County, Vermont, while we lived in Boston.

EdsonAfter we moved to Philadelphia, and had joined the Mormons, we visited our relatives in Vermont and her mother became a believer in the faith of the Mormons, and in the year of 1843 she had prepared and was calculating to start in about two weeks for Nauvoo, but died very suddenly. She was found dead in her bed in the morning.

While I was visiting there I baptized Clarissa, Lavinia’s older sister, and confirmed her and her husband, James Eastman who had been baptized in Boston some two weeks before. They soon after moved to Nauvoo. There he and myself joined lots and we built joining to each other.

A large two-story frame house in the Hatchkeys Purchase a little northeast of the Nauvoo brick yard.

Lavinia was the youngest of her father’s family.

After I returned from my mission in 1844, I assisted in defending Nauvoo against the mobs that threatened destruction to our city and Temple, and sought the life of our Apostles.

I was on guard some three or four miles down the river when General Harden with some thirty men on their way to Nauvoo to take Brigham Young the time they took William Millar, supposing it to be Brigham Young.

After they passed by, I started to give the alarm. I arrived at the Temple about three quarters of an hour before the posse.

Conference was then convened. I sent in for General Rich who made the arrangement for their reception.

While I lived in Nauvoo, Willard Whipple, my nephew made me a visit. He stopped some two or three weeks with me. After this he took his departure.

Alfred Aldritch, a nephew, also came to see me. He stopped a few days. They were the only relatives that came to Nauvoo to see me.

I belonged to what was called the Police under Capt. Jesse Hunt. At the time of the organization for building wagons, I was appointed Captain of one of the tens in General Rich’s Company.

When the burning began in the outer settlements, Hugh McKinsy, who lived about twenty miles on the LaDays? Road moved into the city into the lower part of the house that I then occupied. On the 15th of May, l846, McKinsy crossed the Mississippi on our way to Garden Grove.

We crossed the Desemy River at a place called Eddesville. We found slow traveling owing to the swampy places we had to pass through.

I stopped at Garden Grove about two weeks. Then I left for Council Bluffs where I arrived about the middle of July, 1846.

I traveled alone until after I passed Pisgah. After leaving Pisgah, the same day I joined Bishop Hale’s camp.

James Eastman and family were along with him. Sunday evening after joining him we camped a little from the road when word came to us that Brigham Young was on the road on his way from the Bluffs to Pisgah and wished to see some of us. Four or five of us went and had an interview with him. He told us that the government had made a demand on us for five hundred men to go to the Mexican War. We said to him “You are not going to let them go, are you?” Brother Young said, “Yes, (but with a flourish of his arm) we will make them play Yankee Doodle by and by.”

After arriving at the Bluffs we were counseled to fix for the winter. Myself and some twelve or fifteen families fixed ourselves on a small tributary that emptied into Cagg Creek, about twenty miles below Winter Quarters. Here we intended to spend the winter, but we found it to be a very sickly place.

Out of the families that stopped, there were buried fourteen persons. There I buried my entire family–my wife and child (a girl about 22 months old), and Mother, who was 76 years old. I was very sick at the time. I buried my wife and mother. My mother died September 9th; my wife September 13th, and my little girl December 8th (1846). My wife was 36 years old when she died. We found it was better for us to move to some other place. We moved a place on Cagg Creek near the Buelberry Settlement, as it was called.

My little girl died after we moved, but I sent her to be buried with her mother and grandmother. They now lay side-by-side on a ridge that runs up from the creek on the east side some sixty or seventy rods from the creek. The ridge lies between the turnbac? and the pruirence.

While I was living on the little creek, I had a dream and the interpretation in which I was made acquainted that my family was all to be taken from me. When my wife and mother were first taken sick a Sister Jacobs said, “I think they will recover.” I said, “They will all be taken from me.”

I was very sick at the time that my wife and mother died. At that time, there were only two well persons in the camp. All the rest were complaining.

At that time I had built me a small log house and had moved into it the day my mother was taken sick. After they were buried, I was left with my sick child, no one to take care of us. I was so weak that I could not walk alone without holding on to something. I lay one day and a night in this condition. No one came to my assistance. The second day Brother Franklin Stewart came and said it would not do for me to lie in that condition alone. He said he and his family were all unwell but he thought that they might assist us some if we were at his camp tent which was about a quarter mile from me. He proposed that I should be moved and sent John Miles, the only well man in our camp, to fetch my oxen and wagon and took me to his camp where I stayed about ten days.

When I returned to my house thinking I could take care of myself and child. But I was very weak, so much so that the next morning after, I went to the creek. This brought on a relapse and I was sicker than before.
Autobiography of Edson Whipple, Part 2

Notation at top of transcript: “From Aunt Walrade’s Diary (Edson’s that she had [excerpt])”

I was called at the April Conference in April, 1844 to go on a mission, with David Yeardsley to the State of Pennsylvania to canvass the state and present to the people Joseph Smith’s views on government and him for a candidate for the next President of the U.S.

I left Nauvoo on the 4th of May. The November following I returned. While I was away, the Prophet Joseph was murdered. At the first meeting after my return, I saw the mantle of Joseph Smith rest upon Brigham Young while he spoke to the people.

I assisted in building up the city and Temple and defending our homes. I was present at the laying of the capstone of the Temple and received my endowments in it when [it] was completed.

During the winter of 1845, I worked under Capt. Charles Rich at making wagons, being organized in his ten.

In the spring of 1846, May 15th, I crossed the Mississippi River on my way to the Rocky Mountains. (The Valley of the Great Salt Lake) With my family of four, myself, my wife, my mother and our one child. We stopped at Garden Grove two weeks and then rolled out for Council Bluffs. We overtook Bishop Hale’s company and traveled with them. We arrived at the Bluffs about the middle of July. While we were traveling we met Brigham Young returning from the Bluffs to Pisgah. He informed us that the Government had made a demand for five hundred men to enlist as volunteers to go to Mexico and said we would respond.

Myself and family together with several families looked out a place some 25 or 30 miles below the Bluffs, down the river on Pony Creek. We prepared for the winter, but we found after remaining there until the first of November, that it was so sickly that we had to move.

While we stopped there my family and myself were all sick. On the 9th of September, my mother died and three days later my wife died also. At the same time, my child and I were both sick. The whole camp (some fourteen families) with the exception of two persons, were all sick and dying off. While we were there we buried some whole families.

After our removal to another place some 4 miles, on the 8th of December, my little girl died. She was 22 months old. We took her to where her mother and grandmother were buried. And there they lie buried side-by-side in coffins made of split planks from the Basswood trees.

Being driven from our comfortable homes in Nauvoo and the comforts of life by a ruthless mob, they died Martyrs to the cause of Christ and in the resurrection will receive a Martyr’s reward.

In the spring of 1847, I was called in company with 142 more and organized as a pioneer company to lead the way into the wilderness.

I left Winter Quarters on the 9th day of April. I traveled in the first ten of the second division under Capt. Appleton Harmond. Pres. Heber C. Kimball traveled in the same company. I was one of the guards chosen to guard the camp, taking my turn every third night.

I left Winter Quarters on April 9th, and arrived in Salt Lake Valley, July 22, 1847. The company which numbered about 143 was divided when within about 60 miles of Salt Lake, was divided owing to sickness in camp. Willard Richards started with about 1/3 of the company, and the second day after G.A. Smith started with about one half of the company that had been left. I went with his company. We overtook the first company some seven miles before they reached the Salt Lake Valley. The next day we camped in the Valley, on what was called East Canyon Creek.

The next day we moved and camped on City Creek. The second day after that, Pres. Young arrived with the rest of the Company, it being July 24th, 1847.

We had with us ploughs and harrows and we soon commenced to use them. But we found that the land must be irrigated before we could plow. We appointed a man one of our number by the name of Wolsey to be our watermaster. We watered from fifty to seventy-five acres and planted a variety of seeds which came up and grew rapidly, but because it was so late in the season only a little bit matured.

In a few days after our arrival, a company of the Mormon Battalion that had wintered at Santa Fe, New Mexico, arrived also. The largest half of the pioneer company returned the same season to Winter Quarters where they had been before.

After arriving at Salt Lake, when the pioneers returned to Winter Quarters, I remained and took charge of the property left by the pioneers, and all of Brother Kimball’s family effects that came up in the company that followed the pioneers.

Having buried all my family on the plains, I farmed for him the first year. I raised some four hundred bushels of grain for him.

I was a member of the first High Council organized in Salt Lake.

The second year after the immigration arrived, on the 13th of October, I started in company with eleven more to go back to the states on business for myself and for the discharged soldiers.

While I was in the States, Elder Woodruff was sent back to the States with an epistle from the Twelve Apostles to gather out the Saints from the East.

I was called by a written epistle, from him to assist him in visiting the Saints and to help in gathering.

I had been laboring in Maryland and had baptized and organized a Branch of sixteen members. I visited Brother Woodruff in Boston. I was requested to cross the plains in the early part of June, 1850.

I met him at Bethlehem at the crossing of the Missouri River where his company was organized with captains of tens and fifties and hundreds. He appointed me Captain of Fifty. Each fifty traveled separate, but sometimes we camped together on Sunday.

Capt. Leonard Hardy had charge of the first fifty in which Brother Woodruff started. I had a blacksmith in my company, and when we arrived at Ash Hollow, he having ten wagons loaded with merchandise and machinery which required being repaired, he moved them and his family into my Fifty and traveled with me the rest of the way.

We arrived in Salt Lake City October 13th, 1850. I had been absent just two years.

Soon after I arrived I married. I had been single since I buried my wife in Pottawattamie in 1846.

I was then called with G.A. Smith to go settle Iron County.

I left S.L.C. on the 4th of December. There were 101 wagons in all; we arrived at the place where Parowan is now located on January 14th, 1851.

In organizing Iron County, G.A. Smith was appointed Judge of the County Court, and it required associates at that time to make a full bench. I was his first associate.

In our military organization I was elected Captain over the company called “the Home Guard.”

G.A. [Smith] requested that we submit plans for laying off our fort and the plan of locating our houses. Several of the company presented plans, and I presented my plan which was accepted and adopted, and Parowan was built according to it.

George Brimhall and myself built a thresher and water-power-getting grant from the city council to use water of the creek. We threshed the first crop raised.

I was a member of the city council.

In May, 1851, Pres. Young and company made us a visit and while there, Pres. Heber C. Kimball counseled me after the mission was established to return to Provo.

Life Story of Edson Whipple, by Florence Lunt Fair, February 1973

Prepared for the Edson Whipple Family Organization by L. Florence Lunt Fair, February 1973.

Edson Whipple was a descendant of John Whipple, who came from England in about 1632, settling first in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and moving later to Providence, Rhode Island.

Edson’s ancestor John is not to be confused with another John Whipple who migrated with his brother Matthew from Bocking, England in 1638 and settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Those two brothers were the sons of Matthew Whipple of Bocking, Essex County, England. The parents of Edson’s ancestor John have not yet been identified; no connection between Edson’s ancestor named John and the two brothers from Bocking, England has yet been established.

Edson was the son of John and Basmoth (Hutchins) Whipple, grandson of Timothy and great-grandson of Samuel. Samuel moved from Providence to Connecticut, where he died. John (Edson’s father) migrated from Connecticut and settled in Vermont in 1780. Edson was born 5 February 1805 in the town of Dummerston, Windham County, Vermont. He was the youngest son of a family of twelve children–five boys and seven girls.

Edson farmed with his family in Dummerston. After his father’s death in November 1830, he took charge of the farm and managed the affairs of family members still at home.

On February 6, 1832, he married Lavinia Goss.

In 1834 he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he ran a grocery store for a year or two. In the summer of 1837 he moved with his family to Philadelphia, where he lived for nine years.

It was while living in Philadelphia that he first heard the gospel as revealed to Joseph Smith. On 16 June 1840, he was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by Elder Benjamin Winchester. On 17 October 1840 he was ordained a priest by Elders Hyde and Bernes. He was ordained a High Priest 6 April by Pres. Hyrum Smith and was chosen to act as first counselor to Elder Benjamin Winchester to preside over the Philadelphia branch of the church.

On 22 September 1842 Edson and a company with twelve or fifteen others left Philadelphia for Nauvoo, Illinois. They began their journey by train, arriving at Columbia, Pennsylvania, about sunset. They took the old Pennsylvania Canal from Columbia to Pittsburgh. On the first Sabbath of the journey, they were detained because of low water. They held two meetings at a nearby schoolhouse, after which Edson baptized six persons, among them the captain of the boat, Jacob Wetzler, and two of his brothers.

The trip from Philadelphia to Nauvoo lasted 32 days by boat and rail and cost $12.25. In speaking of prices of provisions and other things in Nauvoo about 1842, Edson notes the following:
Commodity Price
lumber $10.00 per thousand
brick $4.85
wheat 30 cents a bushel
corn 12 1/2 cents
pork 1 1/2 cents
beef 2 cents a lb.
butter 8 cents
eggs 6 cents a dozen
sugar 1 dollar for 16 lbs
molasses 25 cents a gallon
He said these were the hardest times of his life as far as purchasing commodities, because no money in circulation. On one occasion his wife was sick and wanted some butter; he had no money to get it but started for the store after some, and in crossing the road, found a quarter.

In writing of the prophet Joseph Smith in a letter to a friend, he says:

“He is a man whose character stands unimpeached and is respected and considered a good citizen by all classes who have become acquainted with him. I know him to be kind-hearted and charitable, given to hospitality, and he would divide the last meal with the poor.

“Nauvoo, at this time, was a city of twelve or fifteen thousand inhabitants and a very peaceful city, not a grog shop in it.

On 1 May 1844 he, in company with David Yearsly, left Nauvoo for a mission to Pennsylvania, to canvas the state and to present to the people the prophet’s views on government. While on this trip the prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, the patriarch Hyrum Smith, were murdered. Returning home to Nauvoo, Edson was present at the meeting of the saints where they witnessed the mantle of Joseph rest on Brigham Young as he was preaching to the people.

He assisted in building the Nauvoo Temple and was present at the laying of the capstone, and when it was completed, he received his endowments there. He also helped to build the Nauvoo House during the months of August and September 1845. He assisted in defending the city of Nauvoo against the mob that threatened to destroy the city and the temple. He was on guard some three or four miles down the river from Nauvoo when General Harden and some thirty men passed him on their way to Nauvoo to take Brigham Young into custody. (That time they took William Miller instead, supposing him to be Brigham Young). After they had passed, Edson hurried to Nauvoo to give the alarm, going by way of Golden Point and around the Temple, arriving three-quarters of an hour before the General and his party. Conference was in session at the time, so he sent in for General Rich, who made the arrangements to receive General Harden. (At this time Edson belonged to the “new police” under Captain Jesse Hunt.)

When the saints were building wagons in preparation for leaving Nauvoo, Edson was appointed captain over ten in General Rich’s company. On 15 May 1846, in company with Hugh McKinley and their families and teams, Edson crossed the Mississippi River on their way to Garden Grove. Travel was slow because of the swampy ground.

After staying in Garden Grove for about two weeks, Edson left for Council Bluffs, arriving about mid-July 1846–at about the same time as the song, “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” was composed. While on this journey he met Brigham Young going from Council Bluffs to Phisgy[?]. Brigham told them that the government had requested 500 men to go to the Mexican War.

After arriving at the Bluffs they were counseled to prepare for winter. Edson and twelve or fifteen families located themselves at Pony Creek, about twelve miles from Winter Quarters. Pony Creek was an unhealthy place. Fourteen of the party died there, including Edson’s entire family–his mother, wife and child; he narrowly escaped death himself. Only two members of the camp were well at that time. After his family was buried, Edson lay helpless for a day and a night before someone came to him. Franklin Stewart told Edson his family was not well and invited him to their camp where he could be helped. John Miles moved Edson to the Stewarts’ camp, where he stayed until well.

Edson was in the first party of pioneers to travel from Winter Quarters to the Salt Lake Valley. In Edson’s own words:

In the spring of 1847 I was called in company with 142 others to form a company of pioneers to lead the way into the wilderness. I left Winter Quarters 9 April and traveled among the first ten of the second division under Capt. Harmon in the same company with Pres. Heber C. Kimball. I was one of the guards and stood duty half the night every third night. About half our company arrived in Salt Lake City 22 July 1847, followed by Brigham Young and the remainder of the company on July 24. I had remained to take charge of the property and Brother Kimball’s family and effects, having buried all my family on the road …

Edson farmed in Salt Lake City before returning eastward to help others travel west. Edson’s journal describes his activities 3 1/2 months after arriving in Salt Lake City:

8 December 1847: This day, after completing the sowing of wheat, all that I intend to sow until Elias Pierson returns from California, I have weighed all the bread-stuff we have on hand, which consists of 1078 lbs. of wheat, 150# of buckwheat, 360# of corn, 651# of beans, coffee for Ellen (Kimball’s wife) 7#; rice for Ellen 14 1/2#; sugar for Ellen 20#.

December 10, the family came together in Brother Smith’s house and I laid before them the quantity of provisions on hand and requested them to take into consideration what disposition we should make of it. It was agreed on by all that each should draw every week 3# wheat, 2 1/2# beans, 1# buckwheat, and 9 3/4# beef, and by so doing it would last until the 1st of July next.

He was a member of the first High Council in Salt Lake City, also the first watermaster. On the 13 October 1848 he started back to “the states” on business for himself and soldiers who had been discharged from the Mormon Battalion. On this trip he took with him a small vial of California gold dust–probably the first gold dust ever exhibited in the East; people came by the thousands to see it. While Edson was in the East, Wilford Woodruff was sent on a mission to the states with an epistle from the twelve apostles and Elder Whipple was called to assist him.

Note: When the pioneers first arrived in Salt Lake City in July 1847, that area was still considered a part of Mexico by many. The signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on 2 February 1848 resulted in Mexico’s ceding of present-day Utah, Nevada, California, and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming to the United States. After the end of the Mexican-American War, Edson continued to refer to the parts of the U.S. that had been granted statehood as “the states.”

After filling this mission, Edson returned to Salt Lake City. On 7 November 1850 he married the two sisters Mary Ann and Harriet Yeager. He had brought them across the plains with him from Philadelphia, where he had made their acquaintance.

Edson’s diary describes subsequent activities:

After returning to Utah in 1850 I was called to help settle Iron County. We left 4 December with 101 wagons in our company. C.A. Smith was appointed judge of the county court and I was his first associate. We submitted plans for towns and Parowan, Utah was built according to my plan. George Brimhall and myself built the first thresher and used water power from the creek to thrash the first crop of grain.

In May 1851, Pres. Brigham Young made a visit and he and Pres. Heber C. Kimball said, “The mission is established and you can return to Provo whenever you choose.”

Edson’s first wife (Lavinia Goss) had died before he came to Salt Lake City. He married four other wives and had families by all of them. He had a total of 33 children.

Note: The above statement ignores Lydia Flint, who appears in some records as a sixth wife of Edson, married 9 December 1851 in Salt Lake City.

The following is a tribute paid by Albert Jones, who lived in Provo at the time of Whipple’s residence there:

He was one of the pioneer lime burners of our country, opening a large kiln across the lake at Pelican Point, and the first to open up the commerce of Utah Lake by shipping his lime in a flat-bottomed sailboat.

The love and devotion of his large plural family in the early days is emphasized when one of his children contracted the dread disease, small-pox. A consultation was held between his first wife, Mary Ann, and Edson, in regard to the case. The child was not one of Mary Ann’s nor of her sisters, but a well-grown boy of his third wife, Amelia, named Heber. The discussion concluded with Mary Ann’s argument, as if in foreboding of her death, that if anything happened, she could be spared better than Edson; therefore she would go in and nurse the boy, and she did. The boy died and so did she. The case produced quite an excitement at the time. The street was fenced off by order of the City Council; fires were built near the premises, and the two victims of the dread disease were burned in the darkness of the night. The coffins were wrapped in cloths dipped in tar; no funeral service, no sympathetic accompaniment of friends, but the dead hour of the night, Edson consigned to the flames the remains of his loved ones.

In 1871 he was sent on a mission to the Eastern States.

When the laws of the land no longer permitted plural marriage, or the living together of plural families, Edson Whipple moved with two of his wives, Harriet and Amelia and their children, to Arizona. Stopping at Holbrook in early 1881, he worked on the A. & P. Railroad, now the Santa Fe. In May of the same year, they moved to Showlow, where they located and bought a couple of claims, one from William Wolf on the Showlow Creek, which had a small two-room house on it; and the other two miles west which had about 20 acres of cleared land and some crop planted on it. Here he built a pumping plant run by water power, and pumped the water 150 feet up the cliff for domestic purposes. At this place he built a block house 22 by 32 feet, with port holes in it for protection against the Apache Indians who were not friendly at that time. This building was also used for public meetings and dances, and it was known later as the Whipple Hall.

Edson Whipple photo 2He lived in Showlow until the fall of 1885, when he took his wife Amelia and the unmarried children and started for Old Mexico. They went only as far as the Gila Valley that year, stopping for the winter, then continuing in the spring finally reaching Colonia Juarez in Mexico. The next fall he returned for his other wife, Harriet, and her unmarried children. He also took his cattle on this trip.

He built two houses in Mexico,residing there until his death, on 11 May 1894. He was buried in Colonia Juarez.

The following is a poem honors Edson Whipple:

He was one of the brave men, the first who came
When greatness lies in deeds, and not in name,
Who paved the way to that which now appears,
That gladden all our hearts; A Brave Pioneer.

Our thanks receive, our gratitude you gain,
Our voices and our hearts ring out again.
All hail; All hail; Down to the latest years
All honor to thy deeds, O Brave Pioneer.

(Edited and corrected by Weldon Whipple, 23 Dec 2007.)

Edson Whipple in Our Pioneer Heritage:

George Patten’s Story:
“I was baptized about the 14th of June, 1843, by Elder Edson Whipple at the foot of Main Street, Nauvoo, in the Mississippi River, right by the side of the Nauvoo mansion site and within a block of the Prophet’s mansion…”

“In the fall of ’49 I went back to Saint Joe. My father was living near there trying to get an outfit to come to Utah, so I helped him. In the summer of 1850 we came to Utah in Wilford Woodruff’s 100 and Edson Whipple’s 50. My team consisted of a yoke of 3-year-old heifers. Father’s team was two yoke of cows, so we had plenty of milk. We left Florence, on the Missouri River, Jume 21st and arrived in Salt Lake City, October 3rd, just eight years to the day from the time we arrived at Nauvoo, and in the same man’s company, that of Edson Whipple.”

Our Pioneer Heritage, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, V. 2, Pg. 254-55

Diary of Edson Whipple

(Submitted to the Whipple Website by Alice (Manning) Whipple, fall 2003)

An introductory account of Edson’s life is followed by a day-by-day journal of Edson’s journey to help settle Iron County (present-day Parowan), Utah, 8 Dec 1850-17 Sep 1851.

Edson Whipple, son of John and Basmath Hutchens Whipple, grand son of Timothy and Elizabeth Safford Whipple, born in the town of Dunmerston, County of Wyndam, State of Vermont, Feb. 5th, 1805, baptized by Elder Benjamin Winchester in Philadelphia, June 15th, 1840, confirmed by Lorenzo Barnes, ordained a Presiding Priest by Pres. Orson Hyde Oct. 17th, 1840, ordained an High Priest and first counselor to Elder B. Winchester in Philadlephia by Pres. Hyrum Smith April 6th, 1841. Removed to Nauvoo Sept. 1842. I was called at the general conference in April, 1844, to go on a mission in company with David D. Yearsley to the State of Pennsylvania to canvass the State and present to the people Joseph Smith’s views on government and he for a candidate for the next President of the United States. Left Nauvoo the 4th of May, returned in November following. While away the Prophet Joseph was martyred. At the first meeting after my return I saw the mantle of Joseph Smith rest upon Brigham Young while he spoke to the people. I assisted in building up the City and Temple and defending our homes against the mob. Was present at the laying of the capstone of the Temple and received my endowments in it when finished. And during the winter of 1845 worked under Capt. Charles C. Rich at making wagons being organized in his ten. In the spring of 1846, May 15th crossed the Mississippi River on my way to the Rocky Mountains (This valley of the Great Salt Lake) with my family of four, myself, wife, Mother and one child. Stopped at Garden Grove two weeks, and then rolled out for Council Bluffs, overtook Bishop Hales Company and traveled with them; arrived at the Bluffs about the middle of July. While traveling we met Pres. Brigham Young returning from the Bluffs to Pisgah. He informed us that the government had made a demand upon the Latter-day Saints for five hundred men to enlist as volunteers to go to Mexico, and said we should respond.

After arriving at the Bluffs, as we were counseled, myself and family in company with several other families looked out for a place, some 25 or 30 mines below the Bluffs down the river where we thought of wintering on Pony Creek. We prepared for the winter but found after remaining there until the 1st of November, it was so sickly, had to move. While stopping there myself and family were all sick, and on the 9th of Sept. my Mother died, and three days after my wife died also, and at the same time myself and child were both very sick. The whole camp, some 14 families were all but two persons sick and dying off. While there we buried some whole families. After our removal to another place, some 4 miles (on the 8th of December) my little girl died (22 months old) and was taken to the place where her mother and grandmother were buried, and they lay buried side by side in coffins made of plank split off of the basswood tree. Being driven from our comfortable homes from Nauvoo exposed as we were to heat and storms and the comforts of life by a ruthless mob, they died martyrs to the cause of Christ and in the Resurrection will receive a martyrs reward.

In the spring of 1847 I was called in company with 142 more and organized as a Pioneer Company to lead the way into the wilderness. I left Winter Quarters on the 9th of April, traveled in the first ten of the second division under Capt. Appleton Harmon; in which Pres. Heber C. Kimball traveled. I was one of the guards selected to guard the camp taking my turn every third night, half of the night..

After arriving at Salt Lake when the Pioneers returned, I remained and took charge of the property left by the Pioneers, and all of Bro. Kimball’s family and effects that came up in the company that followed the Pioneers; having buried all my family on the road, I farmed for him the first year, raised some four hundred bushels of grain for him. I was a member of the First High Council organized in Salt Lake City. The second year after the emigration arrived on the 13th day of October, 1846 [1848?], I started in company with eleven more to go back to the States on business for myself and for the discharged soldiers. While I was in the States, Elder Woodruff was sent back to the States with an epistle on the Twelve to gather out the Saints from the East. I was called by a written epistle from him to assist him in visiting the Saints and to help in the gathering. I had been laboring in Maryland and had baptized and organized a Branch of sixteen members. I visited Brother Woodruff in Boston and was requested to cross the Plains in his company in the early part of June 1850. I met him at Bethlehem at the crossing of the Missouri River where his company was organized with captains of tens and fifties and of hundreds. He appointed me captain of fifty. Each fifty traveled separate, but sometimes we camped together on Sunday.

Capt. Leonard Hardy had charge of the first fifty in which Brother Woodruff started. I had a blacksmith in my company and when we arrived at Ash Hollow, he having ten wagons loaded with merchandise and machinery which required being repaired, he moved them and his family into my fifty and traveled with me the rest of the way. We arrived in Salt Lake the 13th of Oct. 1850. I had been absent just two years from the time I left. Soon after I arrived I married having been single from the time I buried my wife in Pottawattamie in 1847.

I was then called to go with G.A. Smith to settle Iron County. Left Salt Lake on the 9th of Dec. 101 wagons in all. We arrived at the place where Parowan is not located on the 14th of January. In organizing Iron County G.A. Smith was appointed Judge of the County Court and it required two associates at that time to make a full bench. I was his first associate in our military organization. I was elected captain over the company called the Home Guards. B.A. requested us to present plans for laying off our fort and for the plan of locating our houses. Several of the company presented and I presented my plan which was accepted and adopted, and Parowan was built up according to it.

George Brimhall and myself built a thrasher and a water power, getting a grant from the city council to use the water of the creek. We threshed the first crop raised. I was a member of the city council in May, 1851. President Young and company made us a visit and while there Pres. H.C. Kimball counseled me saying after the Mission was established to return to Provo.

John Whipple, Edson’s father died in West Dummerston, Windham, Co., Vermont and is buried in the graveyard nearby where he died. His gravestone is white marble with the following inscription on it: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. He has two daughters and one son buried on the north by his side, Betsey, Maria and Edson, his sister Zipporah and her husband; they lay buried in the same tier. He [John] has one daughter and her husband buried in Newfane, near Williamsville, Laura, her husbands name, Daniel Aldrich, who was the husband of Betsey, also these lived and died in Vermont. John, his oldest son died in McKein County (Bradford) Penn. John’s wife died in the same place. Simmis [i.e. Dimmis] and her husband died in Otsego County (Milford) N.Y. Alfred died in Chautauqua Co. (Climer) N.Y. Samuel died in Wisc. Emeline and her husband died in Boston, Mass., buried in Wakefield, Middlesex, Co.

Basmath Hutchens, the wife of John Whipple who was the mother of Edson, died in 1847, and is buried some twenty-five miles below Omaha, where Edson’s first wife Lavinnia Goss and her daughter are buried side by side. The mother died on the 9th of Sept., Lavinnia on the 13th and the little girl who was some twenty-two months old died on the 8th of Dec. the same year, the year we left Nauvoo on the way to the mountains. This item of history written by Edson that now lives Dec. 22, 1872.

After burying my mother, wife and child, the next spring I was called to go with the Pioneers to the mountains. I left Winter Quarters the 9th day of April, arrived in S.L. Valley July the 22nd. The company which numbered 143 when within about 60 miles of S.L. was divided owing to the sickness in camp and Willard Richards started with about one third of the company and the second day after G.A. Smith started with about one half of the company that had been left. I went with his company. We overtook the first company some seven miles before they reached Salt Lake Valley. And the next day about four or five o’clock we camped in the Valley on what is called East Canyon Creek. The next morning we move and camped on City Creek. And the second day after President Young arrived with the rest of the company it being July 24, 1847. We had with us ploughs and harrows and we soon commenced to use them but found that the land had got to be watered before we could plow. We appointed a man, one of our number by the name of Walsey to be our watermaster. We watered from fifty to seventy five acres and plowed it and planted a variety of seeds with came up and grew rapidly, but owing to the lateness of the season but little matured. In a few days after our arrival, a company of the Mormon Battalion arrived which had wintered at Santa Fe. The largest half of the Pioneer company returned the same season to Winter Quarters where we had left the April before.

Dec. 8th Sunday, 1850.
Wagon and team all ready for starting for Iron County. Rolled out in front of Sister Eastman’s house.
Monday, 9th.
Rolled out 9 miles to Brother McKineys.
Tuesday, 10th.
Overhauled my load and left some part of it with Br. McKiney.
Wednesday, 11th.
Went for my flour and seed wheat over to Br. Holladays.
Thursday, 12th.
Rolled out and fell in company with G.A. Smith. Camped near Willow Creek.
Friday, 13th.
Rolled on, crossed over the mountains to the Utah Valley in company with 9 wagons. Camped on Dry Creek where we overtook some six or eight more wagons, John D. Lee and others.
Saturday, 14th.
Rolled on, crossed the American Fork, took the left hand road, camped on a small creek by a small settlement where Louis Robinson kept his herd.
Sunday, 15th.
Crossed over to the right hand road and camped on the Provo in company with some 60 or more wagons. Called a meeting in the evening, organized our company in a traveling and military capacity. The names of the officers I shall give hereafter.
Monday, 16th.
This morning several of us went to Thomas Williams herd to buy oxen and cows. We get 13 head. I bought one pair of oxen for 85 dollars. We rolled on about 12 o’clock and passed the Utah Fort. I left one pair of my oxen that were too poor to go through with Eeller Williams to keep till I returned or sent for them. Camped on Hobble Creek
Tuesday, 17th.
This morning some of our cattle were missing, but we found them all but one cow of mine. I gave William Miller a description of her, requested him if he found her to send her to me the first chance. We started about 11. It soon commenced snowing and continued to do so until about 2 o’clock. We camped after crossing on the Spanish Fork, 60 miles from the G.S.L. City, hereafter camping. I counted 85 wagons and several more expected to join us tomorrow.
Wednesday, 18th.
This morning it continued snowing early; it broke away about 8. We rolled out but found bad roads, the snow melting made a plenty of mud. We passed through a low web bottom; many of the teams stalled; several had to double. We camped about 3 on the Peteetneet near the last settlement in the Utah Valley, and here we expect to stop for one day for the rest of the company to come up. Some have been detained on the account of storm, others have stopped back for fear they might have to lay in camp a day or two. The settlement on this creek only consists of some 4 or 5 families, Brother Pace Stewart and others. George A. together are busily engaged in making out the reports to send back to the First Presidency. We are preparing to organize 4 militarist companies, 2 to consist of 30 men each, one to be mounted men and the other to be foot company, to be as minute men, and two more, one to consist of twelve men to man a small piece of artillery, which we have along with us, the other to be a home protection to consist of old men and boys.
Thursday, 19th.
Pleasant this morning. We are laying by according to our expectation. Completed our organization. Three more wagons have arrived in camp. Several more are expected this evening. Today I called on Bro. James Lewis in behalf of Sister Holman for balance due her on the adobies contract. Brother G.A. Smith decided he should give her fifteen dollars and seventeen cents. Lewis got Brother Joseph Horne to buy a piece of land of him on the west side of the Jordan and Horne gave her his note for the amount. We drove up our cattle this morning and gathered them this evening. We called out our Battalion and inspected their arms and elected G.A. Smith Major. Received his thanks and blessings if the thing was commattable [sic] he would treat the company. He named the Battalion the Iron Battalion, and it was unanimously received by all. I wrote two letters, one to Sister Holman, one to Sister Eastman. My teams and effects consist of in all that I have with me, myself and family, Mary Ann and Harriet Whipple, and Benjamin Hultz with his wagon and one yoke of oxen fitted out by me with seed and provisions. I am to give him 15 dollars for the use of his oxen, he is to work for me one half of the time for his fitout. My provisions consist of 18.00 lbs of flour and 2.00 lbs Indian meal, one hundred lbs of meat, 7 1/2 bushels of seed wheat, 6 quarts of barley, 1/2 peck potatoes, 12 quarts of peas, a little seed corn, and a variety of garden seeds, one bushel of beets, one of onions, 25 lbs. rice, 20 lbs. sugar, 50 of coffee, 1 1/2 gls. molasses, 35 lbs. salt, 2 1/2 lbs. tea, 1 peck dried peaches, 1 wagon of my own, 1 of Br. Hultze’s, 6 oxen of my own, 2 of Hultze, 4 cows, 3 left behind, and one yoke of oxen left behind, 4 chidkens, 1 cook stove, 1 spade, 1 shovel, 1 scythe, 1 hoe, 2 aces, 3 augers, 1 set of bitts, 14 lites of glass, 8 lbs. nails, 25 lbs. soap, 1 side of upper, 1 of sole leather, 1 calf skin, 2 guns, 4 lbs. powder, 6 of lead, 5 of shot, 5 thousand of caps, 4 chains, 1 sickle.
Friday, 20th.
No more wagons arrived. It is rumored in camp that Frost, Harper, Hancock and other are staying back to keep clear from the organization, but as to this matter we do not know. We sent back a man to the Spanish Fork to see if they are there. The camp rolled out about 10, the ground being frozen makes good wheeling. We crossed one small creek and traveled about 6 miles and camped on Summit Creek, the snow being several inches deep, but about 1/2 mile down the creek not much snow, and feed good. G.A. Smith and J.D. Lee stopt back to find out the cause why the rest of the wagons did not come up and to complete the organization ready to return to headquarters. Bro. Elias Gardner started with us for the purpose of going through to the Sanpete Valley but for the want of teams he was obliged to stop at Fort Peteetneet.
Saturday, 21st.
This morning many of the camp were up before daylight preparing for an early start, and Capt. Call got through with his breakfast a little after sunrise and called for four men out of each ten to drive up the cattle and we were ready to roll out about 9. We found the snow increasing in depth until we got to the\e top of the divide ridge between the place of our starting and the creek we camped on, the roads good but slippery owing to the snow. We crossed one small creek, passed one large spring, traveled 12 miles and camped about half past three on Willow Creek, the snow about 4 or 5 inches deep. A small creek and a few willows here. We expect to stay until Monday. G.A. Smith, J.D. Lee and Br. Lunt came up with us just as we camped, reported 11 wagons behind, and that Br. Levi Hancock stopped back at Utah Fort for the want of more teams. G.A. brought news received by two and an Indian from Sanpete that the Indians had robbed and killed a company of gold diggers on the way to the mines just beyond the Little Salt Lake and also a company of Spaniards with some seven thousand sheep. This night we, for the first, placed out our guard, two at a time to be relieved every two hours. This morning just as the camp was starting, Br. Wm. Jones and Br. Hall turned their teams back, crossed the creek, but Jones concluded he would not go back and he turned the team back again, but Hall put for the city.
Sunday, 22nd.
This morning cold and cloudy. The thermometer stood at 17 and 12 at noon 24 and in the evening 18. We started about 9 owing to the scarcity of wood we thought best to travel, the roads good the country beautiful, the cedars covering the sides of the mountains, the tops covered with fir of pine. We traveled 11 miles and camped on Salt Creek about half past one; good feed, the snow about 3 inches deep. The camp was called together for meeting about 3 and our President made a few remarks suited to the condition and appointed James Lewis, clerk of the meetings. The President having received instructions from President Young to build a bridge across Salt Creek, appointed Tarlton Lewis and myself to select a place for it. We did so and in the evening the boys drawed three sleepers and placed them and the men with horse teams proposed to stop in the morning and cover it, and then roll on and overtake the company. Here we leave the road that goes to the Sanpete Valley. We are now one hundred miles on our way and forth miles from the Sanpete, the Sanpete road turns up the Salt Creek Canyon.
Monday, 23rd.
This morning, the thermometer stood 16 above zero; about noon the sun shone out and the mercury rose to 46. Our roads good all day; found little more snow some of the way, but where we camped at night not [illegible] of the road, no wood without going to the mountain. We are within a short distance of the mountain that separates us from the Sevier. We started about half past nine and camped about four. We corralled all the horses tonight and kept a guard with the cattle. We see not far off the smoke of the Indians’ camp. We expect to find some of our oxen pretty stiff in the morning, owing to it being so slippery our camp did not observe good order. The first ten in the first division traveled in rear of the first division; and the second division started last. But G.A. teams being hindered about 5 minutes, some of the second division drove past by striking out and the whole division followed with the exception of T> Lewis’ ten. Found no water in this drive.
Tuesday, 24th
This morning about half past five the horn sounded to wake up the camp. I arose soon and built a fire in the stove in my wagon which I had arranged for cooking before I left the city. After thawing out and putting on my boots I got out of my wagon and found during the night the snow had fell about 3 inches deep. It was a little cloudy and the thermometer stood at 10. After preparing wood and water I took my gun and traversed the sage brush in search of rabbits, but found none, but lost my pocket handkerchief, returned, got my breakfast, assisted in driving up the cattle and rolled out about 10. The second division went before, and our pilot instead of taking the old road that led along close to the right hand bluff, he took us still farther at the left with a circle round a big swamp and come to our old road in about 2 hours after traveling some 4 or 5 miles on the dividing ridge between the _____ Valley and the Sevier River after passing over the mountains we passed over a rolling valley found the road a little hilly. After traveling some twelve or fourteen miles we came to the Sevier River. We passed over the side of the mountain, the road very sideling and rough and a little steep. We camped on a small bottom about sundown after traveling some fifteen miles. One of my oxen gave out about 1 mile before camping. We are camped this evening in sight of the Indians fires. The wagons behind hove in sight while we were on top of the mountains. The mercury sank this morning to 6n above zero.
Wednesday, 25th
This morning the thermometer stood 12 degrees below zero. Our cattle were covered with a white frost and were not inclined to feed. We yoked up about 11, commenced crossing the river, some of the horse teams crossed first, and then the first division crossed over, and before all was over it was after sundown owing to it being bad getting out and the bad hill, it was short but steep and slippery. We camped on the opposite side; the 11 wagons behind came to the camping ground that we left. Our wood was mostly sage brush. On both sides we find it most impossible to get along, our cattle not being shod, it being slippery. I spent a portion of the day and evening in reading the secret debates and proceedings of the convention of 1776.
Thursday, 26th
This morning the thermometer stood 18 degrees below zero. Our cattle suffered much; we3 drove them up about ten calculating to roll on 5 or 6 miles, but one pair of G.A. Smith’s were missing. On searching we found their tracks breaking for the bluffs with two moccasin tracks, one each side. We soon dispatched Fullmer with some 25 men in pursuit of them. One man soon returned with word that they had found the oxen badly wounded with arrows, but the Indians escaped. The company were directed to follow them and Capt. Little with 17 of his company were ordered out. The horsemen soon found that the Indians had crossed the river; they pursued them for several miles and took two prisoners, brought them into camp and kept them till morning, and Brother Empey took the boy and let the old one go. The oxen were driven into camp and during the night the one died having five arrows pulled out of him and several more wounds; one still lives. Owing to the oxen being gone we turned out our teams, remained over night.
Friday, 27th
This morning the weather much warmer, thermometer stood at 6 below zero. We rolled out about 10, traveled some nine miles, rolled over a mountain and camped in a small valley, good feed and no water. We found the snow about 8 inches deep. The camp was called together in the evening and Pres. Smith gave some direction respecting guarding and traveling.
Saturday, 28th
This morning the thermometer stood 12 above zero, quite pleasant with the exception a little cloudy. We rolled out early in about three miles and came to a mountain, passed up a canyon, found the snow one foot deep, one bad hill it being very sidling. We found heave roads for three miles or more and then we came to the summit. We rolled down the mountain come two miles found the snow deep or deeper than on the other side. We found no water and the feed covered with snow, and a plenty of wood, the fires built, the kettle prepared and all hands melting snow for the cattle. The second fifty broke one wagon and stopped on the top of the ______________. Some of the horse teams went on to water and one ten of the ox teams, the women what few there were along were obliged to walk up the mountain, some with a child in their arms through the snow, some I saw with their husbands boots on. Several of our cattle gave out and we left some by the way and went for them after camping. I put the big boiler on the stove, kept the snow a melting for my cattle all day. The two Johnson boys cached at the foot of the mountain a part of their loads what iron they had.
Sunday, 29th.
Pleasant and some warmer. The call was made at 6 o’clock for the camp to arise, yoke up and roll out to water. We started about sunrise, drove some 7 miles to Cedar Springs and camped about 12 1/2 twelve; good water and wood and feed a plenty. Left on the way one ox died and worn down the hard work and it was all I could do to get one of my cows to the camp. After eating my dinner I went to Br. G.A. and got his journal for the purpose of drawing from it the same totals of the returns of this camp to Iron County which I entered in my journal, which is as follows:

pitt saws 3 plows 57
stoves 53 pats 2163
swords 9 corn 3486
ammunition 1001 lbs wheat 35370
saddles 44 groceries 1228
nails 190 lbs flour 56922
lights of glass 436 cannon 1
axes 137 pistols 52
mowing scythes 45 guns 129
cradle scythes 72 cats 18
sickles 45 dogs 14
hoes 98 chickens 121
spades & shovels 110 milch cows 146
mill irons 1 set beef cattle 20 3/4
carpenter tools 9 1/2 sets oxen 368
blacksmith 3 1/2 mules 12
seed potatoes 54 bushels horses 100
seed barley 1267 lbs children under 14 18
women over 14 30 waggons 101
men 14 & upwards 119 total number of persons
carriages 2 young and old 167
total number of sum total of all
horn cattle 534 the living 966

Capt. of Fifties

Anson Call & Simeon Baker

Capt. of the Military
Almon Fulmer of the Horse Co.
James Little, 1st infantry
Edson Whipple, 2nd infantry
Jacob Hofheins, of artillery

The above are the captains of the traveling camp and of the military of Iron County

We entered after rolling over the mountain that lay south of the Juab Valley on Saturday a valley called after a tribe of Indians Powvine Valley, and those springs come from the bluff of the east side of this valley is large and the Sevier River empties into it and forms a lake some twenty miles in length, but few streams come from the mountains. This evening the camp was called together and our President spoke and gave counsel respecting guarding and taking care of our cattle, and said he thought the camp got along well and manifested the best spirit of any camp he ever traveled in; told one or two anecdotes and dismissed by benediction. We saw the Indian camp fires in the distance westward. We kept a strong guard during the night.
Monday, 30th.
This morning the camp was called early as usual, got our breakfast, gathered cattle and moved on between nine and ten; crossed two creeks, one with steep banks, and Br. Love in getting through broke an axletree made of wrought iron. We traveled 9 miles and camped on Camp Creek at 3 1/2 o’clock. This creek derived its name by a camping on it 7 weeks being snowbound P.P. Pratts Capt. Fuller exploring company sent from Salt Lake last year. The snow here is about 3 inches deep, good feed, good water and wood. The thermometer rose this morning to 13 above zero. 18 men on guard detailed by Capt. Little and Lieutenant Sheets.
Tuesday, 31st.
This morning the mercury rose to 22 above zero, cloudy during the day so that it did not thaw much. We started at 9 1/2, the first division forward, Capt. Dame’s ten in front, the roads good. We made 10 miles and camped on a small creek, good feed, and a few willows; sage a plenty all day. Our cattle seemed to stand it well; the snow about 3 inches deep all day it falls to my lot in company with Lieutenant Elmore to detail the guard, 3 every two hours. Some of the brethren went this morning before starting about 2 or 3 miles down the creek to a chalk bed on both sides of the creek near some small cedars and returned with back loads. The horse teams stopped back this morning while the blacksmith mended Br. Love’s axletree and came up with us this evening.

January 1st, 1851

This morning at 12 o’clock, I having the detailing of the guard, I cried the hour and said with a loud voice, I am happy of the opportunity of saying to this camp, the new settlers of Iron County, I wish you a Happy New Year, hoping your labors the coming year may be crowned with a beautiful harvest with with peace and plenty and prosperity so that to your increase there shall be no end, even so, Amen. To this many of the camp shouted, Amen. I overheard one man say to his bed fellow that is a good toast if we only had a bottle of good brandy or ale to go with it and a little bread and cheese. And when I called the guard at ten o’clock their tower being two hours I cried the hour and said that I was authorized by our Mayor and all the Iron Battalion to call on B. Watts, J. Brinton, H. Lunt and place them on guard and keep them there till next year. Bro. Lunt came forward with his hands full of bread and said if he was going to stay till next year he was not going to starve. The camp was called together this morning to see if we should move on or lay by till tomorrow. It was moved and carried that we stopt till tomorrow. The day saw spent by hunting and exploring and shoeing oxen, and in the evening the camp was invited by Bishop Lewis to come together and to celebrate the New Year in a dance. One half or more repaired to fire that had been prepared for the occasion opposite of the second division, and listened to a short address and prayer from Bishop Lewis, and then both men and women joined in the dance. I repaired to my wagon to write in my journal the proceedings of the day and evening, and as I sat writing a top at the front end of my waggon and the curtain raised, and Bro. Horne with two more with him said they had been dispatched by Br. Lewis to request me and ladies to come over and join in the dance, but it being cold we declined going, but declared our intentions when we got to the end of our journey and a house built we then should be likely to indulge a little. We saw today the smoke of the Indians fire a little to the right of the twin mountains some fifteen miles west of our camp. Br. Shirts went east on to one of the mountains where he had a view of the valley and says the valley west extends further than he could see and that he discovered a lake of water which runs north and south which he thinks must be some sixty or seventy miles long. This valley is connected with the Great Desert.
Thursday, 2nd
This morning the thermometer stood 18 above zero; very cloudy and snowed a little. We moved on 5 miles, camped on the branch of one of the three creeks about 1 o’clock. Some went hunting, some went to explore the country. Among other discoveries we found off to the left of the camp towards the bluff an Indian field where they had raised corn, beans and wheat. Several wigwams, but they were all vacated. We suppose much of this valley might be farmed to a good advantage, and in all probability will be in a few years from this. It is now 7 o’clock in the evening and the horn is sounding that three of our brethren that are out may hear and by it find the way to the camp it being dark and cloudy. They went to the mountains to hunt. The boys are now going to build a big fire that they can see from a distance. The men returned safe fetching with them some specimens of rock and reported iron ore in the mountains south of where we camped.
Friday, 3rd.
This morning we started at 9 1/2 nine, cloudy, the mercury stood at 12 above. We traveled some three miles and come to the end of valley, rose a divide with a gradual rise about three miles further and the road good, only slippery, the snow being some 2 inches deep. We then descended some three miles and came to another mountain, traveled some two or three miles up and camped in the canyon about 2 miles from the summit. Wood a plenty for camping purposes; no water and not much grass. The horse teams and two tens of the ox teams by permit rolled ahead, (and we learn by a man that rode ahead with our pilot and returned since we camped) they are camped about 4 or 5 miles ahead. The last two miles we found heavy hills; some had to double teams. My team got very tired after camping. I walked some two miles ahead till I met the man returning. I started for the summit. The most of the stone where we passed today looks as if they had been melted and many of them are mixed with iron ore, and no doubt much ore could be found near this place. This part of the mountain seems to be destitute of timber as far as we know with the exception of cedar and that is to be seen on most of the mountains. The snow in this canyon is about 4 inches deep, and as I passed up I found it to increase in depth. It has been foggy all day and a white frost covers the grass so that our cattle will do very well without water. The Powvine Valley that we have just left today and those mountains seem to be destitute of game of any kind. We have not killed but little of any kind, some few ducks and a few rabbits. I have not seen neither a deer nor an antelope since I left Salt Lake City.
Saturday, 4th.
This morning Capt. Baker by request got onto his horse and turned a little to the right of the camp and found a place around the mountains a better place for the road than where those that were ahead went. If we had kept more to the right when we was back at the foot of the mountain and kept further up the valley we might have saved much hard drawing. After traveling this morning about 5 miles we crossed over a divide and rolled into a small bosom in the mountains some two miles in diameter surrounded by high mountains on all sides. After passing through this bosom we came to the mountain and found heavy hills for about 3 miles. We had to double our teams some part of the way but about half past four word came from our pilot that he had found water and feed 3 miles ahead. We were then near the summit of the mountain. We rolled into camp about dark, found a small stream coming from the mountain about half a mile from where we camped; drove our cattle to it and melted snow for cooking, which was about four inches deep. Sage brush for wood. Notice was given this evening for everybody to stay in camp tomorrow and be ready for meeting at 10 o’clock. We are camped in a small valley. We have travelled 24 miles in three days.
Sunday, 5th.
This morning the thermometer 26 above zero, cloudy. About 9 the call was made for all hands to gather the cattle and count heads, and see if they got water, the stream being small and froze over with a thick ice. After this was done, meeting was called together, Br. Wiley appointed to lead in singing. Our President gave us good advice respecting taking care of our stock, and spoke of the object of our mission. The guard were put on as usual and instructed to build fires that the natives might know we were on hand. I presented the President with a plan of a part to be considered by the company with others that had been drawn calculated for our convenience in Iron County. The girls made bread for Br. Cherry & Benson, some dog loaves.
Monday, 6th.
Warm and pleasant this morning. The cattle was called for about 8 1/2; they were in a scattered condition, and the most of the men went for them. the cedars being plenty and thick it required considerable time to gather them all, but one of my oxen were brought in and the most of the company started. Some of the horse teams stopped, and I got on to Br. Cherries horse and went in search but did not find him, but when I returned Br. Hultze and Johnson had found him and got yoked up and started. The ox was by himself and a big wolf stood by him. Capt. J. Hoffheins had one killed last night by the wolves. I soon overtook my teams and found one of my cows very lame. Her hind feet were wore so thin that it hurt her to step. Our road led to the south. We passed over a rolling piece of country, traveled 6 miles and camped by a small creek; cedars plenty and middling good feed. After camping I got some shoes off Br. Dalton and nails off Br. Howd and Br. Whitney put them on to my old cow. We are still in the same bosom that we camped in over Sunday. The creek we camped on Saturday we named Cove Creek. A part of the road today would be wet, in a wet time, it has thawed considerable today.
Tuesday, 7th.
It froze quite hard last night and snowed a little, but a fine morning. Cattle gathered and the last teams started about ten. We passed over a divide into the end of this bosom. This bosom is composed of three small ones there being a rolling piece of land between that divides them so that each one has its own sink, much water must make into each of them. The mountains are high around them. After traveling about 4 miles we came to the mountain which was steep. We had the most of us to double teams. We rolled over one mountain after another for about six miles and camped at the foot of a steep hill by a dry creek without water. We found from 8 to 10 inches of snow crossing the mountains, the last waggons rolled in a little before sunset. Our waggons got considerable scattered owing to out doubling teams up the mountain. This ravine that we camped on leads into Beaver Creek. This evening the horn sounded to call the camp together for meeting. The President presided and Br. Mitchell was called and requested to speak if he felt like it. He said he had a bad cold and was quite hoarse, but he accepted the invitation and gave us a lecture on the Word if Wisdom, after which our president arose and said he had listened with pleasure to the remarks made by Br. Mitchell and highly approved of a strict observance of the Word of Wisdom, but said it did not always follow that a man must totally abstain from tea and coffee, but that wisdom sometimes dictated to him the use of tea & coffee. While exploring these mountains his food sometimes had been so dry that he wanted something besides cold water to help it down and said he now was using a little tea and thought he should continue to do so until his old cow calved. And gave us an explanation of original sin and the unpardonable sin and tetotal [sic] depravity, etc. etc.
Wednesday, 8th.
This morning our wagons were covered with snow that fell during the night, and about 8 it commenced again to snow and continued to do so till about 10 1/2, when we were ready to roll out, but two, Br. Dame and one more had cattle missing, a cow and an ox, two tens stopped back while the rest rolled on until the cattle were found. Our road was good today for about ten miles a ravine to cross, the only bad place till we came to the place where we were calculating to camp, a small creek but owing to the thick ice we found it impossible to water our stock without much labor, so we moved on to a small creek in the valley of Beaver Creek, a fine place for camping which made 14 miles, and for the last three we found it hilly. This valley is surrounded by high and lofty mountains and to every appearance covered deep with snow. Not much in this valley and what little there is, the most of it fell last night. We saw three Indians this afternoon, and they tell us a heap of wigwams nearby. This valley, to all appearances will be good to cultivate and will, I think, soon be settled by the Mormons. We are about one mile from the Beaver Creek; much cedars on all the mountains and some in the valley.
Thursday, 9th.
This morning the thermometer stood 16 above zero. The night was cold. It fell to my lot the last part of the night to awaken the guard some time about 11, Br. Parks being on guard. Round the corrall Br. Cherries dog not being tied made out at him as he was passing the waggon. Parks thinking the dog intended to bite him cocked his gun and shot him in the shoulder. Br. Whitney put two shoes on one of my cows this morning, her feet being so badly worn that she was lame. The last of the camp rolled out about 11 1/2 eleven. We found steep banks in crossing the creek we camped on. We crossed one more small creek before we came to Beaver Creek. After crossing Beaver Creek we bore to the right so as to shun a wide slough. Soon after getting round this we began to rise the hill; it was a gradual rise not very steep all day. We camped in the mountain before we gained the summit. We traveled some eight or none miles, camped without water, plenty of wood and show, some 8 inches deep; feed good on the side of the mountain. The second fifth went ahead this morning and are camped ahead of us tonight. Our road today, some part of the way was among the cedars and it was with care and some difficulty that we could keep from tearing our wagon covers and stove pipes. We found some rocks in the road, some short and steep pitches to come down. Beaver Creek affords sufficient water for irrigating the valley, and for mill purposes. This evening at 6 the thermometer stood at 7 above.
Friday, 10th.
This morning the thermometer stood at 13 above zero. The most of the camp were ready early for driving up our stock and all hands were requested to assist in collecting them. We found they were scattered in every direction. About ten we were ready to roll. We had at the start a long steep sidling stoney hill to rise. We doubled teams and when we rose to the top another hove in sight, and for about a mile we found rising ground and when at the summit a plenty of siders and a steep mountain to descend. The second division, the evening before tore several of their wagon covers. We dispatched me to cut away so we went clear; but owing to our doubling teams at the start, the the camp became disorganized and scattered. After descending about half a mile we found a bosom in the mountains where the second division camped last night. Our ten got together in this bosom, all but Br. Benson; he went ahead not waiting for the rest to come up. After passing through the bosom we found in passing over the mountains into the Little Salt Lake Valley the worst road in all the route, a rough, rocky divide, heavy hills for our teams. When on top of the mountain one of my oxen laid down overcome with hard drawing. After traveling about one mile from this place at the foot of the mountain the feed being good and my cattle tired, I stopped unyoked my team and let them out for one and a half hours; got supper and then rolled on again, it being dark but a good moon. After going some two miles we met Br. Cherry our Capt. of ten and Br. Tarlton Lewis coming to see where we was. Our ten and some seven or eight waggons besides that had been left behind, owing to their teams being weak, from other tens had camped in the edge of the valley and Pres. Smith requested the two brethren to come back and see if I was coming up. I got in about seven o’clock. President Smith requested me to notify the military of our camp parade and make a show of arms, so if the Indians were about they might know that we were prepared for them. The guns having been loaded for some time it was recommended by our major to discharge them and re-load them so as to have them in good order in case the Indians should make an attack on us. After discharging the fire-arms, Bishop Lewis being one of the artillery company strongly requested the privilege of firing the cannon; it was granted by the Major, the discharging of the small arms and the preparing of the _______ seem to fill all the camp with a military feeling, and we requested Br. Lee to train us a little, and our Major gave us the privilege of firing our round of musketry by plattoons, or sections, there being twenty of us we were formed into five sections, 4 in each, and after the firing the cannon, we were marched up and fired by sections and breaking from the center opened from the right and left and forming in rear of the company, five plattoons in succession led on by the sound of the cannon made the valley ring and the mountains sounded with the echo, which roused the camp of some twenty waggons that had rolled on to the Buck Horn Spring about 5 miles ahead. They supposed we were attacked by the Indians; it roused all hands to arms, but for some cause but two men could be found that were willing to come to us, Br. Decker and Br. Lish and one man started for the second division to give the alarm war. They soon mounted fifteen men and started them to our relief, but the two that were started from the first camp came in time to return and met the fifteen mounted men some five miles on the way to battle field and sent them back telling them that it was only a signal of distress that the weak teams that they had left behind was in want of some cattle to help them through. And if them felt like it they could send back a few yoke. We considered this a pretty strong joke, one that they merited for leaving the weak teams behind, who, had it not been for Capt. Cherry’s ten, the one that our President traveled in stopping and camping for the express purpose, they would have been left entirely alone exposed to the mercy of the Indians. In this we affected two things, got our drooping spirits cheered up by laughing at the joke, and it served us as an express to have cattle sent back. We camped this evening without water and not much feed and sage for wood. My cow got left behind and I had to go back about a mile for her.
Saturday, 11th.
This morning the thermometer stood 25 above zero, a light shower of rain during the night; found our stock alright in the morning and gather them, hitched up and ready to roll 9 1/2 nine. Rolled on to the Buck Horn Springs. (This spring derived its name by our President G.A. finding a buck-horn in it.) And finding a plenty of water and our teams being without water for two days, and two nights and having hard drawing, we thought it best to lay by tomorrow. We camped about 12 o’clock and passed the balance of the day hunting rabbits and shoeing oxen. And about 7 o’clock in the evening Br. Walker and a young lad by th3e name of Hansell Call came from the other camp which was about 14 miles ahead with six yoke of oxen to help those that they had left behind. We were much pleased to see them; rejoiced much to think that our dispatch and signal of distress last night had its desired effect. Br. Lee gave the messengers their supper and furnished them with lodgings. We found a note left by some of the camp that stopped here last night stating that an Indian came into camp this morning. We camped about 40 rods west of the road.
Sunday, 12th.
This morning fine and pleasant. We were ready to roll 9 1/2. After traveling about 3 or 4 miles in looking back we saw waggons on the road as far as we could see. Getting our spy glass to bear we counted 7; who they are we do not know, but we think they must be our brethren that started after us. After traveling 10 miles we came to where the main camp was, the last of the teams got in 3 1/2. Campt four miles from the Liberty Pole on a creek of fine water, good size for farming purposes. Some part of the company had been here since Friday and I found on listening that a variety of opinions had been formed respecting the land and country. In the evening the captains were invited to come to our President’s waggon where he could converse with them. He reproved them some for leaving their teams behind and said the selfish principles he had seen in some who was not willing to help others when they had need on such a journey as this was not right and gave them to understand that he would have been better pleased if the company instead of rushing ahead and leaving a part behind had stopped and helped the weak teams over the mountains and all come on together it would please him better. But said on the whole he thought they had done well as there had been no cause for any bad feeling but all had done well, and yet there was room for improvement, but hoped that none of us would ever be called to take another journey like this in the winter again. We let the cattle run without guarding tonight. We keep a watch around the corral.
Monday, 13th.
This morning we gathered up our stock and moved on 4 miles to the next creek; formed our corral near the mountains at the mouth of the canyon; let our stock run at large; a fine stream of water and feed enough for present purposes and wood. Several of the horse teams remained back after the ox teams had left and three Indians came to them the fartherest came on a smart run hollering to the fullest extent of his voice, saying he was a friend, and seemed much terrified. He had heard our firing Friday evening and not knowing the cause of ti were frightened. Our interpreter was there and told him that we were their friend and should not hurt them if they did not meddle with our stock. He said they would not, and seemed much pleased that we were about settling in this valley. Two more came that were a little way off, the first was sent not knowing but what he would be killed. They said what made them so afraid the Spaniards came a few years ago all through this mountain and shot a great many of them, all that they could find, and they did not know but we were a going to do the same, but as one of the Braves he was sent to see. In the evening Br. Smith, our President called the camp together and gave some general instructions and said to Lieut. Smith (Capt. Fulmer being absent), he wanted him with some fifteen of his men to accompany him on the morrow for he wanted to explore in the region of Muddy Creek. He made some remarks respecting his opinion of this country here, thought the prospects in general was as good or better than he expected. Five men from my company guards the corral. Br. Sheets and myself in order to rouse the downcast feelings of some went from fire to fire during the evening to inquire into the temporal and spiritual welfare of the brethren. The most of them, however, seemed to enjoy themselves pretty well. There were some few that seemed rather dissatisfied with the country. C. Harper said he had no faith only that this land was poor. Burr Frost remarked to me during the day that any man that said he was pleased with this valley if he had common sense was a liar; for, said he, it is not fit for anybody to settle in, and for us to think of settling here, it was the height of folly, and he would venture to say that as to iron ore there was none there. These were his views and feelings, and to me he was a sorry looking fellow not having shaved himself since he left home; his beard was long and his face still longer. I saw the Pred [sic] this morning hacking some deer meat the Br. Shirts had on the mountains, and packed in some seven or eight miles, the only one killed in the camp.
Tuesday, 14th.
This morning the President and his escort were busily preparing for to go to Muddy. Br. Cherry and others to explore the canyon south of us. Br. Smith and company prepared themselves with 3 days provisions, Capt. Call and Capt. Baker going with him. He requested me to take the oversite of the camp and to select a place and build a bridge across the creek. I called on Br. Farr and Capt. Bringhurst to assist me in selecting a place. Br. Elmer and four others went to find and cut lumber for the string pieces for the bridge. The women in the camp were engaged in making a flag with stripes and stars to be erected as a national ensign. The waggons that were supposed to be seen on Sunday coming behind us have not been seen and those that thought they saw them most likely was mistaken. Several men that have explored the country returned. Bishop Lewis and some others reports a plenty of pine about 5 miles up one of the canyons and good pass for a ______. About 3 o’clock Capt. Little and myself called out our companies for drill.
Wednesday, 15th.
This morning after counseling with Capt. Cherry and Capt. Mitchell I called for the cattle to be drove up and after we had got them part of the way up Bishop Groves sent to have them remain out, not to be brought in. I immediately came and informed him that Pres. Smith had particularly requested me to build a bridge and to see the camp moved over the other side of the creek, and for that purpose we were gathering the cattle. But he insisted they should remain, and the camp not to be moved without first calling all together so as to see if they wished to move, and said it must not be done today, and the reason he gave was that the chickens were out, and some of the women wanted to wash and called the camp and notified them that the cattle nor camp must not be disturbed today, but said he had no objection to my building a bridge. I told the brethren why I had called for the cattle, it was to build teh bridge and then move the camp over, but said I if Bishop Groves wishes to counteract the President’s orders to me, I am willing, but told them plainly that his orders was that I should build the bridge and see the waggons removed over the other side of the creek. But the Bishop replied the chickens were out and the camp must not be moved today. One yoke of oxen from each ten was got, and the stringers hauled and the bridge built. Capt. Hunt with some seven or eight others from California met the President yesterday about six miles from this place and Capt. Hunt turned back with President to explore, the rest came in to camp where they will remain till Capt. Hunt and the party returns. They tell us that Bro. Isaac Brown being in a hurry and unwise started a short time before them for Deseret, but they found where his animals turned back, they expect the Indians killed him and took his horses. The wind came today strong from the west; it grew cold towards evening. I noticed some two or three young calves draw into camp this evening. One of Br. Jonsons oxen was found most dead.
Thursday, 16th.
Today the company that went south to Muddy to explore returned reported favorable as to iron, and the richness of the soil. But is was thought best to stop and commence our settlement here. The camp was called together and a report made, and said the President, I shall stop here and call on all that was willing to stop with him to make it manifest by the uplifted hand and by saying I. The vote was unanimous. The camp also met in convention to nominate County officers to be elected. The following names were nominated by the convention: four our Representative, Jefferson Hunt and for the ASsociate Justices, Edson Whipple, and Elisha H. Groves; for sheriff, James A. Little; for recorder, James Lewis; for Assessor and Collector, Joseph Horne; for Sealer of weights and measures, Philip B. Lewis; for Supervisor of roads, Almon L. Fullmer; for Magistrates, Anson Call, Tarlton Lewis, Aaron Farr, John D. Lee; for Constables, Zachariah Decker, Charles Hall, Samuel A. Woolley, Charles Dalton. After which notice was given to the captains to have a public dinner prepared on the morrow, and that Capt. Hunt and the seven men with him to be invited to partake with us, and the convention adjourned sine die. Br. Jonsons ox found dead.
Friday, 17th.
This morning the thermometer was at zero. Br. G.A. and Lee killed a beef ox, the most of it was lent to different individuals. I borrowed a shin that weighed 15 lbs. All hands seem to feel spirited to help and to furnish for the dinner and at ten we were called to vote for our County officers, and at about two the cannon was fired twice that the poles would soon be closed after which the cannon was fired three times for the tables to be spread, each ten spreading their tables of buffalo robes on the ground, on top of which the table cloths were spread and covered with the dishes used by the camp and with roast beef, roast pork, beans, beefsteak, pork steak, boiled beets and unions, pies and cakes, coffee and tea, puddings and pickles, a good variety and a plenty of such as was found in the camp. At the sound of the bugle all the camp, old and young came to the table, seated themselves on ox yokes which was suitable arranged for the convenience of all. After refreshing our bodies several toasts was heard the meeting dismissed by benediction. The tables was cleared, the camp retired to their waggons, the Capt. of tens called on their men to gather in the wood for evening and about dark the bugle sounding after building a big fire our two little fiddlers were comfortable seated, the company gathered. Our President and Capt. Hunt and his company took the first dance; after that myself and girls indulged till about 8 o’clock then we repaired to our waggons, took our coffee and retired for the night.
Saturday, 18th.
This morning the mail was made up for the City. Several petitions we got up and signed by many for the citizens, one for a national road from the Capital to Iron County, one for a railroad from the Capital. About 12 our cattle were called for. Capt. Hunt left soon after for the City, and as we were preparing to hitch on to our waggons some thirty or forty Indians came into camp, Peteetneet and his band. They had one of Miles Goodrich’s children that he had by a squaw his wife that belong to that band, Gooder being dead the child was left with Peteetneet. We moved our waggons across the creek near the Liberty pole. I unloaded one of my waggons and took of the bed placed on the ground. Br. Daton killed a cow this morning for Capt. Hunt’s company. I bought 124 lbs at 12 cents a pound. I sent three letters to the city, one to Capt. D.H. Wells giving him an order for two cows to be received in tithing.
Sunday, 19th.
Pleasant this morning and at 11 the camp was called together for meeting. Prayer by Br. Miller. Br. Call was called on to speak, after which the President spoke and gave notice for the camp to come together at two of the clock that something respecting our locating and building. At two the meeting met. A vote was called to see if the Brethren were willing to build their houses in a compact forming a Fort. Agreed to and then a vote was taken and carried to build a meeting house. Ways and means was agreed on. The President gave some counsel respecting and other matters. Bishop Groves was appointed by the meeting to trade with the Indians for all the company. Many of the Indians came in camp to trade. We told them it was Sunday, we could not. Peteetneet called his band together and told them this was a good day and they must not trade. Several stopped in our meeting. Peteetneet listened to what was said and each time when any one said amen, he said the same.
Monday, 20th.
This morning we held a court and bonds were given and several officer4s sworn in to office. After which we took up a collection of ammunition for the Indians, it being contrary to law to sell them any. We gave them some ten pounds and several boxes of caps, after which notice was given for all that wished to trade to bring forward their things and the Indians gathered around with their buck skins trading them for shirts, coats, pantaloons, etc. Bishop Lewis with eight men went to canyon to cut timber for the Meeting House. Bro. Hulse found this evening one of my cows with a young calf.
Tuesday, 21st.
This morning one man from each ten was detailed to guard the camp and to drive up the cattle at night. James Lewis officer of the day. Br. Dame the Surveyor and three others commenced laying out for the building a Fort, the rest of the men commenced building a road up and to the canyon. Some could get timber, I went with the rest. Br. Lee bought an Indian boy.
Wednesday, 22nd
This morning ten men were detailed to guard the camp, and ten to herd and drive up the. Br. Miller and myself were sent to explore and look for farming land. We went to the Lake on the right hand side of the creek, it being about 5 miles. We found the creek forked. We crossed over both forks, found a fine bottom of a thousand acres lying on each side of the creeks which was considered by us good for farming. We then crossed over one end of the Lake on the ice which was sufficient to bear our horses. [Illegible] that the Lake set back into a canyon [illegible] the mountain to view the grass which we found good, but did not find water. We then returned near to the creek and followed it to the camp; made our report to the President, left with him some specimens of rock, shrubbery, moss, salt plants etc. In the evening, the survey of the lots in the Fort being completed a call was made that wished a lot to come to the President’s waggons and select theirs. No. 14 on the east line was set to me.
Thursday, 23rd.
This morning all but the guard and some few others went to work on the road.
Friday, 24th.
Repaired to the canyon to work the road; finished up the middle fork and laid the stringers to cross the creek up the left hand canyon. The President came up to see the canyon and to look for a mill site. This evening a meeting was called and a committee of all went in to look for the best place for farming on the morrow, Br. Dame chairman.
Saturday, 25th.
Today at 11 the thermometer stood seventy two above zero, and at sundown 24. Today many went to view the land. Capt. Fullmer and myself and some others prepared a Liberty pole and about three the President and the most of the men about camp came to the spot and assisted in raising it, and our President dedicated it and the ground on which we had selected to build our Fort to the God of Liberty. After which I drove the stakes for the twelve corners of our Meeting House, the plan of which was as follows drawn by our President; the main body 48 by 22, with a recess on the two sides, 16 by 12. The plat for our Fort 56 rods square with ninety two lots on the outside, 2 rods in front and 4 deep with a public square of 10 acres in the center; our Liberty pole erected at the southeast corner of the square and the Meeting House to be built on the southeast corner of the Fort plat it being the highest corner and nearest the mountain.
Sunday, 26th.
Met at 11 for meeting. I was called on to open by prayer. Br. Groves address the meeting and was followed by Sithop Robinson. Dismissed and at one all called and it was taken into consideration our farming and also in the evening.
Monday, 27th.
The first fifty went to the canyon to haul logs for the Meeting House. 6 men from the mining country arrived in camp; reported that they had a battle with the Piutes on Big Muddy; no one killed; one shot through the had and wounded on the top of his head.
Tuesday, 28th.
The second fifth drew logs today. I doctored my sick cattle; wrote a letter to W.P. Stevenson. Indian in camp informed us that Walkers band was on Little Muddy, twenty miles off, and that 12 of his band had gone to California to steal horses off the Spaniards. We were invited to dance got up for the California boys but we die not attend. Br. Woolf mended my boots and Br. Hulse worked in his place on the meeting house. Paulway the Frenchman that lives with J.D. Lee got accidently run over with a waggon, but little hurt.
Wednesday, 29th.
Worked on the Meeting House. Wrote a letter to President Kimball. Cloudy in the afternoon.
Thursday, 30th.
Cloudy and warm. Worked on the Meeting House. Br. Hulse drawed two loads of wood. About three it commenced raining and continued during. Bro. Barnard killed a beef. I bought 22 lbs. at 12 1/2 cts. per pound. Two families of Indians pitched their lodges close by our camp yesterday. Ammon one of their Indians name a Brother of Walker the chief. He talks a little English. He says he is not an Indian, he is a Mormon. Br. Sabin and Doc Morse went to the canyons and reported that they had found more timber, pine, spruce, quaken-asp about 10 miles from camp.
Friday, 31st.
This morning every one went to work for himself. Br. Hulse went to the canyon to cut poles. I went to hunt the cattle, did not get them till afternoon; found my waggon broke took till night to get it mended. This evening the camp was called together and a committee of three appointed to see and report of the fencing of the bottom land. The Surveyor run out 25 five acre lots today, but it was ascertained that some 40 or fifty more surrounded those lots are next to the Fort down the creek. G.A. our President ploughed and sowed some 10 quarts of wheat. The thermometer 30 this evening.
Saturday, February 1st.
This morning cold, the thermometer stood at 24, and this evening at 30. I went with Br. Hulse to the canyon to cut house logs and poles. We cut one set of house logs and some fifty poles. We cut one large pine that made 3 14 foot logs and one house log. Brother Cartwright cut his foot bad, the toe next his big toe off. and the one next to it partly off. Many logs and poles were hauled today. Many stopped all night last night in the canyon. The girls commenced baking bread for Jonsons boys.
Sunday, 2nd.
Cold morning, thermometer stood 16. Meeting at 11, partook of the Sacrament. The President read from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon and addressed the congregation for about one hour, then gave way for others. In the afternoon all went in general council to deliberate on general movements, and next Saturday was set to move on to our lots in the Fort.
Monday, 3rd.
This morning the call was made at sunrise for all that wanted cattle to go and make a general drive. Br. Hulse went for mine and I went to the canyon. We drawed 7 logs and cut 2 loads more. In the evening the camp was called together to hear the report of the wire grass committee, and all was called on to give in the number of acres they wanted, wished to farm.
Tuesday, 4th.
This morning I went to the canyon, Br. Hulse went for the team. We hauled and piled logs and poles; hauled one load of house logs. Today I made a bargain with Hulse to give him twenty dollars a month from the time we left the Salt Lake City till he returns; one hundred dollars in cash, and the balance in goods and grain at market prices. He is to remain with me till after harvest if I want. This evening the camp were called together and drew for their ten acre lots on the upland. And the President requested all that could to move tomorrow across the creek on to their lots or to form their waggons into a square around the public square inside of the Fort. This square is forth square. The Bishops were instructed to see that each line was formed in order. Bishop Call on the south, Bishop Lewis on the west, Bishop Miller on the north, Bishop Robinson on the east. Weather fair and warm. Several were ploughing and some sowing.
Wednesday, 5th.
This morning most of the camp moved. Some remained on the ground. Br. Hulse and I got our waggons over, and he is hauled a load of stone for underpinning my house, and I arranged my waggons and put a tent in front of one. Warm and clear. Br. Benson spent the evening with us, and Br. S. Anson Call a little while. I called on the surveyor to see where my 9 acre lots came. He showed me them on the Platt No. 1 and 2 on the first block 4th range the northeast corner of the field of five acre lots.
Thursday, 6th.
Hulse and myself hauled timber from the canyon, the west line commenced building a dam across the creek to turn the water north of our Fort and field under the direction of Bishop Call. Nineteen years this day I was first married.
Friday, 7th.
Today I went with one yoke of oxen to the canyon. Hulse worked on the dam together with the citizens of the east line under the direction of Bishop Robinson. Commenced a bedstead in the evening. A little sprinkle of rain this morning about daybreak. It snowed a little during the day in the mountains.
Saturday, 8th.
Pleasant wind in the camp. Finished my bedstead, and in the afternoon hewed house logs. Brs. Brinton and Harper spent the evening in my tent. Some have plowed and sowed; others have been engaged in putting up log houses; others in getting logs and poles. This week has been warm every day, but it freezes nights. Our stock are scattered for several miles to the east and west. Many looked all day yesterday for their oxen and did not find them. Br. Benson has been running his pit saw a part of the week. Several Indians in camp today, Armmond and the families with him moved yesterday.
Sunday, 9th
Cloudy this morning, wind in the north. Br. Cherry called and spent an hour this morning with us. The horn blowed about 12 for meeting, the camp came together and organized into a Branch of the Church by the name of the Louisa Branch, G.A. Smith President. The President requested all the male members to be organized in one Quorum and to meet on Sundays and deliberate on any matters calculated to improve the minds. Elisha H. Groves was chosen president. J.D. Lee got his hand badly bit in parting his and Br. Horne’s dogs from fighting.
Monday, 10th.
This morning cold and snowy; the mountain squalls came from the north east. It continued cold all day, snowing by spells; in the evening came over clear. I hauled a load of logs. Hulse grubbed greasewood on my ten acre lot. Br. Newman called and spent the evening and engaged the girls to do his baking, mending and washing.
Tuesday, 11th.
Cold morning but clear. After the sun got up I hewed house logs and got out timber to stock one of Jonsons ploughs which I was to use for stocking. Hulse hauled a load of poles. Several men went to cut and haul timber for a sawmill for G.A. Smith.
Wednesday, 12th.
This morning pleasant and clear, but before night it became rough and windy and it clouded over and commenced snowing by spells during the afternoon and evening. Our tent became covered with snow and the stove being hot melted it, and it commenced running through and we let the fire go out and it soon froze and stopped leaking. We went to bed early to keep from being cold. I hewed logs for Frost in the forepart of the day, and hewed for myself in the latter part. Hulse hauled poles.
Thursday, 13th.
This morning the thermometer stood at 8 degrees above zero. It continued to snow by mountain squalls during the day. The snow got to be 5 or 6 inches deep; at night it became clear and cold; froze hard during the night. I commenced making a plow to drill with. Hulse hunted for the cow, did not find her till afternoon. He looked for her yesterday but did not find her. While looking he shot a large hard, which was served up by the girls in good style for supper which we all partook of heartily, four of us and had enough left for breakfast.
Friday, 14th.
This morning cold, thermometer stood at 3 below zero. Clear all day, fine overhead. I continued to work on my plough, Hulse with me.
Saturday, 15th.
The weather moderating a little, the mercury 8 above zero. Soon after breakfast Bishop Call called on all to turnout and make a general drive of our stock. At four o’clock our military were called out and drilled about one hour. Many were absent. We were notified to meet in parade again in two weeks and if any were absent a fine would be imposed to be applied on public works. Two Indians in camp. Br. Lee fed one to help him haul wood. Ammon left this morning to go where Walker is, the President called on me for a plug of tobacco to sent him a mark of friendship, for Ammon had told him that Walker thought we had cast him off.
Sunday, 16th.
Rather cold and on account of the snow no meeting today till evening when Bishop “Call and Capt. Fullmer just as I was going to bed gave a general invitation to all hands to meet at Br. Lee’s fire and be ready to help move a small building belonging to Sixtus Johnson, which he had placed on the opposite end of his lot from where we were forming our line of building. Bishop Call calculated to move the building unbeknown to Johnson, but a young man by the many of Joseph Millett running to Johnsons waggon and told him of the intention and volunteered to take his gun and threaten to shoot some of them. Bishop Call being informed that Johnson knew of the intention went to Johnson and invited him to help but Johnson and Millett threatened to shoot and Millett came out and Br. Benson took the gun from him. Millet became much excited and caused quite an uproar. The President G.A. till now knew nothing of it. He hearing the fuss came out and made the enquiry concerning the bustle. Bishop Call explained the meeting. The President being informed that young Millet had threatened to shoot some on of the company chastised him severely and bid him to go to his bed and never again threaten to shoot anyone in their camp. The meeting adjourned without moving the house. Br. Benson engaged [in] board with me for four dollars a week.
Monday, 17th.
The cattle were gathered this morning, and many went for timber in the canyon. Br. G.A. went with his horses and wagons and leaving them in the road partly loaded, Br. Bringhurst horses by come means took fright and running coming up behind G.A. horses started them; they cleared themselves from the waggons leaving it scattered by the way. Bun on to a big rock, throwed themselves hurting one considerable. In the evening a meeting was called to see about building a cattle corrall and we agreed to enclose with pickets twenty four rods square in the center of our Fort. G.A. then notified the meeting that he wanted all hands to come the next evening and move the house that they failed to do the other evening. Br. P. Lewis had bought the house of Johnson for ten dollars and G.A. had agreed to have it moved onto his lot.
Tuesday, 18th.
Today Hulse worked for G.A. on his sawmill framing. I hauled a load of timber a stable on the line of the cattle corrall. Br. Benson commenced boarding yesterday. He is to furnish provisions at the following prices: flour at 16 cts. per pound; beef at 12 cts. per pound; coffee at 62 cts. per pound. sugar at 62 cts per pound; salt, saleratus, dried fruit and tallow in proportion to the above.
Wednesday, 19th.
This morning while gathering the cattle, it commenced snowing about 11 it broke away. Hulse hauled a load of timber for the stable. I commenced laying it up. The snow fell about 2 inches. G.A. called in today and spoke of the propriety of petition the President for a military post to be established between this and Williams ranch on the stream called Ruddy to protect the emigrants from the hostilities of the Piute Indians, it being the only place between the Salt Lake Valley where there is to be any danger apprehended from the Indians..
Thursday, 20th.
Pleasant, but a cold morning, warm after the sun came up. I went with two yoke of oxen to the canyon; hauled logs to finish my stable. Hulse worked on the mill. Capt. Fullmer called a while this evening. I bought yesterday 46 pounds of beef at 10 cts. of Br. Bagger & Lainey.
Friday, 21st.
Cold in the morning, cloudy and a little squally in the mountains. I hauled pickets. Hulse worked on the mill. The men that wanted cattle were called together and in the center of the corrall and organized; sent in different directions; made a thorough drive.
Saturday, 22nd.
Snowing this morning till nine it gave way. Hulse and myself finished putting up the body of my stable, and completed my picketing around the corrall. Squally all day by spells; the snow fell about 3 inches, cold all day. Our grass lots we drawed for. (I drew No. 4 in Block 6 on Range 10.)
Sunday, 23rd.
Pleasant this morning but id did not thaw much. Meeting in G.A. camp at 11. G.A. read from the Book of Covenants and made some appropriate remarks but did not detain the people long, it being cold. In the afternoon the grammer class met at the same place under the direction of G.A. Smith. While there Br. Pugmire came in with what he said was gold taken from a rooster’s gizzard that had been killed and dressed. A little while before there were some six or seven pieces of it. It was not known where the gold came from; the pieces were small.
Monday, 24th.
Cold but pleasant; froze hard last night, warm after the sun came up. Hulse worked on the mill. I worked on my stable thinking to chink and cover it in to live in while building my house; the stable is 16 by 10. While working at chinking I cut my thumb bad, a flesh wound. This evening about sundown the wind commenced blowing from the southwest; it continued to increase till my tent became so wrecked that I was obliged to take my stove outside and let down the south end of my tent and to lay poles on it. The wind continued to blow hard by spells till after midnight. Br. Newman came in and wanted us to take his provisions and board him. I said no.
Tuesday, 25th.
This morning cloudy. I called Hulse to help me rig up my tent. After erecting it and proping it getting my stove hot, the girls up, Hulse and myself commenced at the stable, but about the same time it commenced snowing. We turned into the tent got our breakfast. Benson got his tinker tools and done what mending we had on hand. Hulse worked inside on the plow, calculated for drilling till after dinner, when it stopped snowing. We then worked on the stable. The snow fell about six inches deep. It turned off cold.
Wednesday, 26th.
The thermometer stood 4 above zero, clear and cold, but after about 9 it became warn till the sun got low. We worked on the stable. I worked about 2 hours on the water ditch. Many of the camp went to see their lots on the wire grass and cut a road to the bottom through the sage and greasewood. This morning Br. Sheets notified me that a liceum was to meet at Bishop Millers in the 3rd Ward and that I was chosen as one of the speakers on the question, Which have the greatest cause of complain against the Whites, the Negroes or the Indians. We met according to the arrangement and judges were chosen to decide according to the strongest argument. I spoke on the negative in behalf of the Indians. The judges decided in favor of the Indians, Bishop Miller President.
Thursday, 27th.
A cold morning. We worked on the stable, got the roof on, the most of it painted. Bishop Lewis spent a part of the evening with us. Br. Lee killed a beef. I got 14 1/2 lbs. I sold Br. Dame 4 lbs. coffee at 75 cts a pound.
Friday, 28th.
I finished my stable. Hulse worked on the mill. Bishop Call, Capt. Fullmer and Wheeler, the interpreter, were sent by the President with a letter to Walker, some 35 miles.
Saturday, March 1st
The weather a little more moderate. We moved into our log shanty. Hulse worked on the mill. In the evening attended the lyceum, set as one of the judges, the question, nature and art; decided in favor of art.
Sunday, 2nd.
Pleasant morning. About 9 o’clock Ammon with about 35 old any young squaws and Indians came in to our Fort to have a dance. Commenced at the President wagon and went all around to all dancing which he done as a token of friendship with the expectation of getting presents. They all were dressed in their best. A meeting of the camp was called at 11. The President spoke of the way he wanted us to use the Indians. In the afternoon the Quorum of Elders were called together.
Monday, 3rd.
Today Walker and his band of Indians came into our camp, riding round and singing, whooping and firing guns to show that they were friends. I hauled a load of logs from the canyon. Hulse worked on the mill. Br. Shurts started a cow herd. I put in one at 3 cts a day.
Tuesday, 4th.
I finished my plough for drilling and made a harrow. Hulse worked on the mill. Joseph Millett cut his foot, taking off a part of his great toe. I hauled two logs for the bastion to pay a tax on all the military men, built for a place to keep the cannon on the outside of the line on the northwest corner of the Fort to commence the north and west line of the Fort.
Wednesday, 5th.
This morning cold and cloudy. Snowing in the mountains, but about nine it cleared off warm so that many ploughed. I hued logs for my house. Hulse worked on the mill. Last evening our lyceum met and discussed the question, does man form his own corrector. I spoke on the negative. The judges decided in favor of the affirmative, not on the account of the arguments but on the merits of the question.
Thursday, 6th.
Today I commenced mhy ploughing considerable froze in the morning, but I ploughed one acre. This evening G.A. and Br. Lewis called on me and said they must have Hulse on the mill tomorrow. I agreed he should go. Last evening I was sent for to come to Br. Mitchells wagon to settle a difficulty between Mitchell and McGuffey, a difference arising on the account of a settlement of money matters between them. Br. J. Lewis and L. Baker set with me on the case. Our decision was that Mitchell should pay McGuffey $9 and 90 cts. after harvest.
Friday, 7th.
Today Hulse worked on the mill. I hued a few logs for my house.
Saturday, 8th.
Today the most of the camp were employed in raising a frame to the mill and put on a part of the logs for the [illegible] and building G.A. house. At 4 the military was called out. Walker, the Indian chief was present with his band. Ammon a relative of his paraded in Capt. Little’s company but the spirit of the military performing rested on him to that extent, he made a break from the ranks went and gathered some thirty of the Indians on horseback and came on parade with them; charged around for some time going through with their war manovers.
Sunday, 9th.
Meeting as usual in the morning and the Quorum met in the afternoon.
Monday, 10th.
This morning I renewed my ploughing and continued sowing by drilling; through the week, ploughed and sowed five acres. Sowed a few peas.
Sunday, 16th
Meeting this morning. Elder Howd was called on to preach by the President. Elder Howd had been engaged in card playing contrary to the feelings of the President and the President gave him card playing for his text. Elder Howd was followed by Bishop Robinson, Bishop Call and the President, who gave notice that on the next Sunday he would speak on card playing and dancing. Quorum met at 2 as usual. Myself, Brs. Dame and Lee were chosen as a fence committee. During this week I plowed in three and a half acres of wheat; ploughed my garden, planted peas, beets, onions, turnips, radishes, lettuce, mustard etc.
Sunday, 23rd.
Meeting this morning. Thr president gave us a rich discourse on card playing, dancing and kindred subjects.
[Tuesday, 25th]
On Tuesday the 25th, eight men Capt. Fulmer being their leader, started with the mail for the Great Salt Lake. I sent 3 letters, 2 to the States, one to John Long, one to Francis Atkinson and the Saints in general in that county, Cecil County, Md. The one to Salt Lake to Hugh McKinney. We had much wind and a little snow. This week I spent three days with Brs. Dame and Lee as a fence committee measuring th distance and locating the fence to the Lake. We had about 6 miles of fence to portion out according to the number of acres farmed which was sixteen hundred, it being one rod two feet and a half to the acre. Three Indians came in Friday evening with a letter from Sand Peet Valley from Father Morley bringing the news of Doc Vorm death, he being shot by Hamelton and Lemmon, the surveyor being dead, the Indians came through in three days. The letter stated that A. Lyman’s Company for Williams Ranch were about 10 days previous to the letters being wrote, organizing on Battle Creek in Utah, they will be soon here. Saturday I cut some hundred pieces of timber for post and poles.
Sunday, 30th.
Today the wind blowed from the south so strong it upset my waggon bed. No meeting on account of the wind blowing; at night it went down and it rained a little and then it set for snowing; it fell to the depth of 4 or five inches. I turned in a cow on Monday in the Peter Sheets herd. Benson quit board on Monday covering which makes six weeks and one day boarding. I commenced ploughing on Monday on the rabbit bush. During this week I got in 1 1/2 acres.
Sunday, 6th of April.
Meeting in G.A. house held a conference, a discourse from our President, gave a short account of the rise and progress of the Church.
[Monday, 7th]
On Monday morning Hulse gave me notice that he could not work for me any longer. He said his health would not admit of it, that he was not able to even drive oxen. I told him it would be a great disappointment for him to leave me, but I could not persuade him to stop. But I did not think it was owing to bad health, but he had got so much business of his own on hand. We left it to Esq. Farr to say how much I should give him for the time he had been with me. Farr divided fourteen dollars a month from the time he commenced, it being four mouths all to three days. I paid him off owing to leaving. I could yet plough any during this week. On Thursday I made a bargain for one month to commence on Monday following for twenty dollars per month.

Parley P. Pratt and C.C. Rich arrived on Thursday with their company on their way to California and to the islands. Some fifty waggons. I received a letter from Sister Holman.
Sunday, 13th of April.
Today the people met and listened to P.P. Pratt, C.C. Rich and G.A. Smith. George Young commenced working on Monday. On Friday Br. Amasa Lyman arrived with his company on their way to California; about one hundred waggons. During this week we had some rain which was much needed. I was quite unwell Thursday and Friday.
[Monday], 28th.
Corbet, Wind, Wolsey and Bateman left this morning contrary to counsel for the Great Salt Lake City. The President wished them to wait till our express got back but go them must. This week Br. Shirts and Chipman being some of our exploring company that went to explore some thirty miles south found in the canyon up Muddy which since we have named Coal Creek, several stratas of coal.
[Monday], May the 5th.
G.A. Smith, Esq. Farr and several others went to review the coal discovered, and also a little Salt Lake that Shirts found. They were gone three days; found coal in abundance and brought back from the Lake some three or four bushels of good salt.
Wednesday, 7th.
This mornign we discovered waggons on Read Creek. It proved to be Bishop Call and some 17 or 18 families sent from the S.L. City to the place. We learned from them that the President and some twenty others were with him on their way to explore south as far as the Colorado.
[Saturday], 10th.
The President and company lay last night on Read Creek. The horse company from this place were ordered out to escort them into our Fort. It commenced snowing some time in the night and continued to do so until 9 this morning. The President remained with us one week all seemed to the visit much. The wind blowed day and night all the time they were here. On Wednesday three waggons with the President Young, Kimball, Woodruff, Benson and some eight or ten more went to visit the ruins of an Indian or Spanish town on the north side of Read Creek. I went with my horses and carried a load.
Sept. 17th.
This season has been dry adn warm, the thermometer has stood some days as high as 119 above zero. On the Sevier last winter when we were camped it sunk to 16. A good share of wind. Not much thunder and lightning. The Indians have taken some 8 or 10 head of cattle from us and one horse. We were obliged to herd them days and yard them nights. There has been 13 births in this place and no deaths. One sister died out of Amasa Lyman’s Company about twenty miles south of this; they brought here her to bury. We have brought in this camp ten Indian children.

From the official History of the Church, volume 4:

“A Conference was held at Philadelphia; President Hyrum Smith presiding; many branches were represented and the branch at Philadelphia was organized by electing Benjamin Winchester, President, and Edson Whipple and William Wharnot, his Counselors. Jacob Syphret was elected Bishop, and Jesse Prince and James Nicholson his Counselors.”
-Smith, History of the Church

History of the Church, volume 6:

“We also publish the names of the Elders who are appointed to the several states, together with their appointments. Those who are numbered with the figures 1 and 2 will take the presidency of the several states to which they are appointed…

D. D. Yearsley, 1st, Wm. P. McIntyre, Edson Whipple, 2nd, Jacob Zundall, John Duncan, Orrin D. Farlin, Stephen Post, Henry Mouer, G. W. Crouse, G. Chamberlain, Jacob Shoemaker, Thomas Hess, Stephen Winchester, A. J. Glaefke, Hyrum Nyman, Henry Dean, J. M. Cole, James Downing, Charles Warner.”

-History of the Church, volume 6
History of the Church, volume 7:

“HIGH COUNCIL OF SALT LAKE STAKE Henry G. Sherwood, Levi Jackman, Daniel Spencer, Ira Eldredge, Shadrach Roundy, Willard Snow, John Murdock, Lewis Abbott, Edson Whipple, John Vance and Abraham O. Smoot, members of
the high council.

“SPECIAL MISSION APPOINTED TO THE HIGH PRIESTS President Brigham Young then appeared and proceeded to select men from the high priests’ quorum, to go abroad in all the congressional districts of the United States, to preside over the branches of the church, as follows:

“David Evans Joseph Holbrook A. O. Smoot John Lawson Edson Whipple, Abel Lamb Harvey Green J. H. Hale J. S. Fullmer G. D. Watt J. G. Divine J. W. Johnson J. H. Johnson L. T. Coons Lester Brooks J. L. Robinson J. B.
Noble Howard Coray Rufus Fisher M. Sirrine D. B. Huntington Pelatiah Brown…”

-Smith, History of the Church, volume 7
Sunday, August 22nd…
From the minutes of a special conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints, at 2 o’clock p. m. Held at the Bowery on the Temple block in the Great Salt Lake City. Present: President Young, H. C. Kimball, We. Woodruff, A. Lyman, W. Richards and O. Pratt, also Thomas Bullock and J. C. Little, clerks of the said conference.
President young said: “I move that Brother MacIntyre be clerk and keep an account of public labors.” Carried. “In regard to our starting – get ready as fast as possible, and on Tuesday night we will start out and see if we are ready to go. I more that we adjourn this converence to October 6, 1848, at 10 o’clock a. m. at this place.” Carried. “I also move that Edson Whipple attend to the distribution of water over the plowed land.” Seconded and carried. Elder O. Pratt dismissed the conference by benediction.
(Pioneering the West, 1846 to 1878: Major Howard Egan’s diary: also… by Howard Ransom Egan, William Monroe Egan, 1917)

From Pioneering the West:

From Major Howard Egan’s Journal:
Monday, September 6th. – It was a pleasant day and the brethren came together about 11 a. m. and were addressed by E. Snow and others, who gave instruction similar to what were given to the other companies. The Twelve and some others met in council this afternoon. I took a list of the provisions in Brother Kimball’s wagons, which amounted to 2519 lbs. of breadstuff, besides groceries. James Smithers has 1031 lbs. of breadstuff, besides groceries. Brother Kimball thought it best to send back Thurston Larsen, one of the soldiers, to help Brother Whipple. Carlos Murray was also sent back with F. Granger, who has the charge of Hiram Kimball’s teams.
Brother Whipple will have over 3000 lbs. of provisions for five persons – Hans C. Hanson, Peter Hanson, Thurston Larson, Mary Fosgrene and himself. Ellen Saunders and M. E. Harris have two barrels of flour, groceries, etc. They will not want much assistance from him. The evening was very cold. I wrote some in a letter for H. C. Kimball to send to Brother Whipple. A number of the brethren met their families and turned back.
(Pioneering the West, 1846 to 1878: Major Howard Egan’s diary: also… by Howard Ransom Egan, William Monroe Egan, 1917)
From Pioneering the West:
From Major Howard Egan’s Journal:
Thursday, July 29th. – The morning was warm with a strong wind blowing from the southeast. Last night C. Murray and myself slept in the tent, and the wind became so violent we were under the necessity of striking our tent (lowering it). This forenoon we moved our other three wagons up to where we are encamped. The Twelve and some others, rode out this morning to meet the detachment commanded by Captain Brown. Brothers Whipple, King and myself engaged in sowing seeds in a garden spot about three miles southeast of the camp. This afternoon we had a heavy shower, which wet the soil to the depth of about three inches. Soon after the shower was over Captain Brown’s company came in sight.
I understand that there is fourteen government wagons, and twenty wagons that belong to the Mississippi company, who wintered at Pueblo. Brother Kimball informed me that the slight rain we had raised the water in the canyon so hight that some of the wagons could not cross for some time. The Battalion detachment has encamped on the other side of the creek between the two camps. Brothers Cushing and Billings are engaged in plowing, Brother Philo Johnson is also engaged in farming. The other boys are engaged at their usual occupations. After supper Brother Kimball asked me to come into his wagon and read the minutes of last Sunday’s meeting, after which Brothers Kimball, Whipple and myself took a walk. We had a very pleasant evening’s conversation, then joined in prayer and returned to camp about 11 p. m. The evening was pleasant.

Friday, July 30th – The brethren were engaged as usual plowing and planting. Brothers Whipple, King, Redding and myself went up to the garden and sowed some more seeds. We have put in a few of almost all kinds of seeds.
(Pioneering the West, 1846 to 1878: Major Howard Egan’s diary: also… by Howard Ransom Egan, William Monroe Egan, 1917)

See Edson’s patriarchal blessing.

Biographical Encyclopedia, Edson Whipple:

Biographical Encyclopedia: Latter-Day Saint (chapter?), pg. 560-562


Edson Whipple:
One of the original Utah pioneers of 1847, was born Feb 5, 1895. In the town of Dummerston, Windham county, Vermont, the son of Timothy Whipple and Elizabeth Safford. He married Lavinie Goss feb. 16, 1832, and, becoming a convert to the restored gospel, he was baptized by Benjamin Winchester in Philadelphia, Pa., June 15, 1840, and confirmed by Lorenzo D. Barnes. he was ordained a priest by Orson Hyde, Oct 17. 1840; ordained a High Priest and set apart as first counselor to Benjamin Winchester in Philadelphia by Hyrum Smith, April 6, 1841, and removed to Nauvoo, Ill., in September, 1842. Brother Whipple writes: “I was called at the general conference held in Nauvoo in April, 1844, to go on a mission to Pennsylvania, in company with David Yearsley, to canvass that State and present to the people Joseph Smith’s views on government, and also to advocate his candidacy for the presidency of the United States. I left Nauvoo, May 4, 1844, and returned the following November. During my absence the Prophet had been murdered in Carthage. I assisted in building the city of Nauvoo and the Temple and was among the defenders of our homes against the mob. I was present at the laying of the capstone of the Temple and received my endowments in that sacred edifice. During the winter of 1845-1846 I worked under Captain Charles C. Rich, making wagons, and was organized for traveling in his ten. I crossed the Mississippi River May 15, 1846, on my way to the Rocky Mountains with a family of four, consisting of myself, wife and child and my mother. We stopped at Garden Grove, Iowa, two weeks and then continue the journey to Council Bluffs, overtaking Bishop Hales company on the way. We arrived at the Bluffs about the middle of July, but before arriving there we met Pres. Brigham young returning.from te Bluffs to raise volunteers for the Mormon Battalion. On our arrival on the Missouri river we were counseled to locate for the winter on Pony creek, down the river about 20 miles, but on our arrival there we found the place very unhealthy and thus unfit for habitation. My mother (Basmath Hutchins Whipple) died Sept. 9, 1846. She was born Sept. 7, 1769, in Massachusetts. A few days later (Sept. 13, 1846) my wife died. She was born July 7, 1811, in Dummerston, Vermont. Of the whole camp consisting of 14 families all but two persons were sick, and while there we buried some whole families. We finally moved to another place, about four miles distant. My little girl (Maria Blanch), when twenty-two months old, died at our new location, Dec. 8, 1846, and her remains were taken to the place where her mother was buried. She was born Feb. 15, 1845; her remains were placed in a coffin made of split plank (Bugswood tree.) Driven from our comfortable homes in Nauvoo to be exposed as we were to the heat and storms, and deprived of all comforts of life, was more than our people could endure. Thus my whole family died as martyrs for the cause of Christ. In spring of 1847 I was called, in the company of 142 others, to lead the way to the wilderness in search of a new home for the Sains. I left Winter Quarters April (, 1847, and traveled in the first ten of the second division under Captain Appleton M. Harmon, in which company Pres. Heber C. Kimball also traveled. I took my turn to guard the camp every third night, half the night. When the pioneers returned from their temporary stay in the Salt Lake Valley I was called to remain to take charge of the property left by the pioneers and also the family of Heber C. Kimball and other families which followed the pioneers. Having buried my whole family on the journey, I farmed for Heber C. Kimball the first season and raised some four hundred bushels of grain for him. I was a member of the first High Council organized in Salt Lake City. Oct. 13, 1848, I started, in company with eleven others, for the States on business for myself and the discharged members of the Mormon Battalion. While in the States Elder Wilford Woodruff was sent back east with an epistle of the Twelve containing instructions to gather out the saints from the East. I was called to assist him in visiting the saints and help gather them. I had been laboring in Maryland, where I baptized several and organized a branch of 16 members. Visiting Bro. Woodruff in Boston, I was requested to cross the plains in his company in the summer of 1850. I met him at Bethlehem, at the crossing of the Missouri River, where his company was organized with captains of tens, fifties and hundreds. I was appointed captain of fifty. Each fifty traveled separate, but sometimes we camped together on Sundays. Captain Leonard W. Hardy had charge of the first fifty in which Bro. Woodruff started. I had a blacksmith in my company, and when we arrived at Ash Hollow, he (having ten wagons loaded with merchandise and machinery which required repairing) moved them and his family wagons into my fifty and traveled with me the rest of the way. We arrived in Salt Lake City Oct. 13. 1850. I had then been absent from the Valley over two years. Soon after I arrived I married again, having remained single from the time I buried my companion in the Pottawattamie lands in 1846. I was now called to go with George A. Smith to settle Iron County. Consequently I left Salt Lake City Dec. 9, 1850, with about a hundred wagons and we all arrived at the place where Parowan now stands in January, 1851. When Iron County was organized Geo. A. Smith was appointed county judge and I was chosen as associate justice. In the military organizations I was chosen as captain of the company organized to do home guard duty. Geo. A. Smith requested the brethren to present plans for laying off a fort and for building our houses. I, among others, presented a plan, and mine was accepted and adopted, and Parowan was built up according to my plan. Bro. Brimhall and I built a thrasher and a water power, getting a grant from the Parowan City Council to use the water of the creek. We threshed the first crop raised in Parowan. I was elected a member of the Parowan city city council in May, 1851. When Pres. Young and company visited Parowan in 1851 Pres. Kimball advised me to move north, and consequently I settled in Provo.

Edson Whipple died May 11, 1894, at Colonia Juarez, Mexico.
Edson’s Immediate Family

(Notation on transcript: “This item of history was written by Edson Whipple while he was still living. Copied from the original copy by Alzada Whipple Stratton.”)

John Whipple, Edson’s father, died in West Dummerston, Windham County, Vermont, and is buried in the graveyard nearby, where he died. His gravestone is white marble with the following inscription “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord”

He has two daughters, Betsy and Maria; and one son, Edson, buried on the north by his side.

His sister, Zipporah, and her husband lie in the same tier.

He has one daughter, Laura, and her husband Daniel Aldrich (who is also the husband of Betsy) buried in Newfane, near Williamsville. These lived and died in Vermont.

John, his oldest son, died in McKean County, Bradford, Pennsylvania. John’s wife, Margery Willard, died in the same place.

Dimmis and her husband died in Oswego [i.e. Otsego] County, Milford, N.Y.

Alfred died in Chautauqua County, Climer, New York.

Samuel died in Wisconsin. Emaline and her husband died in Boston, Massachusetts. They are buried in Wakefield, Middlesex.

Edson Whipple

Edson Whipple

/\ BIRTH: 5 Feb 1805, Dummerston, Windham, Vermont
/\ DEATH: 11 May 1894, Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
/\ BURIAL: 12 May 1894, Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico

Father: John Whipple (10 Feb 1765 – 7 Nov 1830)
Mother: Basmoth Elnore Hutchins (7 Sep 1769 – 9 Sep 1846)

Family 1: Lavina Goss (7 Jun 1811 – 13 Sep 1846)

/\ MARRIAGE: 6 Feb 1832

1. Mariah Blanche Whipple (15 Feb 1845 – 8 Dec 1846)

Family 2: Mary Ann Yeager (1 Nov 1823 – 26 Mar 1877)

/\ MARRIAGE: 4 Nov 1850, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

1. +John Dagbert Whipple (27 Oct 1851 – 28 Mar 1898)
2. +William Mickle Whipple (12 Mar 1854 – 31 Aug 1918)
3. Joseph Whipple (8 Dec 1856 – 8 Dec 1856)
4. +Mary Ann Whipple (4 Mar 1859 – 23 May 1919)
5. +Laura Whipple (23 Sep 1861 – 17 Jul 1935)

Family 3: Harriet Yeager (15 Jul 1826 – 3 Jul 1901)

/\ MARRIAGE: 4 Nov 1850, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

1. +Ann Walrade Whipple (7 Jul 1851 – 9 Dec 1927)
2. Edson Kimball Whipple (10 Oct 1852 – 18 Feb 1855)
3. Lavinia Goss Whipple (26 Apr 1854 – 21 Feb 1855)
4. +Edson Whipple (18 Dec 1855 – 4 Apr 1933)
5. +Willard Whipple (16 Mar 1858 – 5 Apr 1941)
6. Harriet Julia Whipple (10 Mar 1860 – 6 Sep 1869)
7. +Brigham Young Whipple (27 Aug 1861 – 22 Feb 1950)
8. +Charles Whipple (9 Sep 1863 – 13 Apr 1919)
9. Lavinia Whipple (22 May 1865 – 28 Aug 1869)
10. Harry Whipple (1 Jun 1869 – 10 Jun 1896)

Family 4: Lydia Flint (23 Aug 1793 – 1855)

/\ MARRIAGE: 9 Dec 1851, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Family 5: Amelia Mariah Fellows (13 May 1838 – 4 Jul 1890)

/\ MARRIAGE: 6 Sep 1854, Provo, Utah, Utah

1. +Albert Fellows Whipple (10 Mar 1856 – 13 Jul 1907)
2. +Emeline Whipple (17 Mar 1858 – 10 Mar 1924)
3. Richard Whipple (11 Jun 1859 – 16 Sep 1876)
4. Heber Whipple (26 Mar 1862 – 19 Mar 1877)
5. Alice Whipple (23 Mar 1864 – 3 Feb 1880)
6. +Minerva Amelia Whipple (28 Jun 1866 – 27 Jan 1919)
7. +Vilate Whipple (8 Dec 1868 – 9 Jul 1897)
8. +Hyrum Hanford Whipple (20 Jan 1870 – 17 Jul 1949)
9. David E. Whipple (20 Jan 1873 – 1881)
10. +Ida Rosetta Whipple (29 Mar 1876 – 15 Jul 1943)
11. Alfred Safford Whipple (10 Jul 1879 – 3 Jul 1890)
12. Elizabeth Whipple (18 Jul 1883 – 3 Aug 1884)

Family 6: Mary Ann Quinney (8 May 1832 – 1 Dec 1910)

/\ MARRIAGE: 21 Apr 1857, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

1. +Mary Unita Whipple (26 Jan 1856 – 17 Feb 1920)
2. +Blanche Whipple (20 Feb 1861 – 13 Dec 1936)
3. +John Quinney Whipple (7 Jul 1862 – 22 Oct 1920)
4. +Matilda Whipple (20 Jun 1866 – 25 Mar 1947)
5. +George A. Whipple (19 Jun 1869 – 21 Feb 1940)

!SOURCE: Michel L. Call, “Royal Ancestors of Some L.D.S. Families” (Afton, Wyoming? 1972), p. 110.

!MARRIAGE: Variant marriage date to Lavinia Goss: 18 Mar 1832.

!MARRIAGE: Variant marriage date to Mary Ann Quinney: 26 Apr 1857.

!SOURCE: Records of the Edson Whipple Family Organization.

!SOURCE: Family group sheet of John Yeager (husband) and Ann Hyatt (wife) prepared by Lydia W. Hansen, Box 314, Lakeside, Arizona. Cites the following:

/\ Rec of Edson Whipple in poss of Charles Whipple, Show Low, Arizona.
/\ Patriarchal blessing of Mary Ann and Harriet Yeager.
/\ Temple rec

Gravestone of Edson Whipple
Colonia Juarez, Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico

In memory of
Edson Whipple
Feb. 5, 1805,
in Dummerston,
died May 11, 1894
Rest in Peace

(Submitted by Dona Jones Sundeen, 14 April 2005)

RIN 176. Quick link to this page: http://whipple.org/176
E-mail corrections and additions to webmaster@whipple.org
HTML created by GED2HTML v3.6-FreeBSD (Oct 16 2000) on Fri Aug 15 04:02:24 2008 GMT.

Deseret News, January 28, 1888:

From Old Mexico: Observations of a Traveler, etc.
. . .We stayed a week at the Mormon settlement, with several of our old friends, among them being Edson Whipple, who, although over 80 years old, worked two days here in laying adobies for the school house. The settlers are getting reasonably well fixed. . .
Deseret News, July 03, 1880
Pioneers: A Full List of the Companies Entering This Valley First
In view of the approaching celebration on the Twenty fourth, and the associations connected therewith, considerable inquiry has been made as to who constituted the first pioneers entering this valley. . .
. . .Ninth Ten
Heber C. Kimball, William A King. . . Edson Whipple, Carlos Murray. . .
The Mountaineer, September 01, 1860
Boy Killed While Stealing
At Provo City, on Monday, August 20th, acting coroner Edson Whipple held an inquest on the body of Levi S. York, aged 15 years, who was found dead in the garden of Mr. E. Watts. . .

Christmas in Colonia Juarez

By Marba C. Josephson

To no other people in the world could Christmas bring the peculiar, pulsating happiness that it brought to the children in the unique little town of Colonia Juarez, Mexico, in the early 1900’s. For those to whom Christmas means making a list and stepping into a store for riotous purchase, this story will seem meager. To those who were privileged to experience one, no “boughten” Christmas will ever equal it.

Juarez was an anomaly. Listed officially as a Mexican town, it led a hybrid life of its own, a rare combination of Mexican and American customs.

Named for a great Mexican hero, Benito Juarez, its existence was a queer shuttling between American tradition and Mexican living. The houses that rose on Mexican soil were faintly reminiscent of the New England home which had been transplanted, lookout roof, dormer window, and all, to the desert lands of Utah, and now sprang up, alien and aloof, in the rolling Mexican wastelands.

While nostalgia clung to the buildings, it gradually vanished from the minds of those who, acclimatized, began to relish the full flavor of mañana. They soon learned that full flavor cannot be extracted from life unless the bustle of industrialized activity is permitted to run down somewhat. Once accustomed to the even, easy temper of the warner climate, these Mormons accepted with gratitude the more even keel of their transplanted lives.

Probably in those days Christmas was simpler throughout the world. But it was true that simple activities brought intenser joys. For weeks before the awaited day, adults whispered in corners and behind closed doors, and spelled out long-sounding words, and winked knowingly when little packages were smuggled into the house to be taken into the master bedroom and carefully hidden.

During the months that immediately preceded Christmas, boxes and cans were solicitously gathered and treasured in the window box of this special bedroom. There they accumulated until a week or so before Christmas. Then behind a locked door–with the key in the lock to prevent peeping–the wives of the neighborhood would gather and set to work. Incidentally, that was the only time that a door was ever locked in Juarez.

To the children who clustered outside the door, heaven itself could not have presented more allure. There was a divine odor that no locked door could restrain, and tiny noses, sharp as any hounds’, sniffed in the aroma that meant more in youthful lives than nectar and ambrosia could have possibly meant to the ancient Greeks. Not even chemists with their knowledge could have explained satisfactorily to the intense children that the odor was merely a solvent for the gilt with which their sewing boxes were being decorated. Even today any of the children whose first memory of Christmas dates to the Mexican hegira cannot catch the fragrant odor of banana oil without suffering acute homesickness for those Mexican Christmases.

Preparation for this gala event was not limited to the mothers. Sister Lewis, whose beloved youngest daughter lived in Juarez, traveled the hazardous distance to learn at first hand how Kay was getting along.

Once in Mexico, Sister Lewis entered into the community life with zest. Even though many times a grandmother, one of her first actions was to enroll in the Juarez Academy so that she might learn how to speak Spanish. She also could instruct the youngsters in the intricate stitching of Christmas gifts far from inquisitive parental eyes.

Flour sacks were clandestinely whisked out of bureau drawers and taken to Sister Lewis, who knew exactly the right amount of lye to drop into the suds so that the printing would fade, leaving beautifully creamy cloth that with clever cutting and sewing could be transformed into undreamed-of beauty.

Many and varied were the uses to which the sacks were put. But first of all they must be ever so carefully measured and cut and hemmed. And no careless or lazy child could hope to escape Sister Lewis’ zealous eye. Making a neat hem was a veritable proof of being of superior blood. The fulfillment of the nursery rhyme “sew a fine seam” was an essential test of all who wished to remain in Sister Lewis’ sewing class.

If there was any aristocracy in democratic Juarez, it was the aristocracy formed by Sister Lewis when she admitted or rejected those who wished to join her sewing circle.

When the hemming was finished to the satisfaction of Sister Lewis’ kindly but critical eye, she brought out an array of transfer patterns and with a flatiron–always kept heating on the clumsy, wood-burning stove–she let the girls stamp their flowers and their butterflies in the corners or the center of their choice handwork. While the girls sewed and wrapped, Sister Lewis taught them Church songs, so that Christmas morning they would not only present the gifts, but in the evening they could also sing solos, duets, trios, in their shrilly melodious children’s voices.

There were other preparations that the children could make even better than adults. Mistletoe, a luxury in the States, was to be had for the picking in Juarez. Clinging to the tall cottonwood trees, it made inviting bait for the boys and girls who, barefooted, shinnied up the smooth trunks of the trees to where, high up, the parasite flourished. Having reached the topmost branches, the children would gather the leaf groups with their white crown of sticky berries. Hanging from lamps, it made an inviting decoration. Who in the States ever possessed enough money to spend it extravagantly on mistletoe with which to decorate the packages?

Even in Mexico Santa Claus came with his reindeer and sleigh bells. St. Nicholas, after all, is a matter of imagination, not of Fahrenheit. And Yankee-bred mothers could make the snow fly even in the dusty streets of Juarez. So vivid were the storytellers that children born and reared in Juarez knew the sting and exhilaration of the snow they had never seen, felt the pull of unused muscles as they listened to the tales of skating and sleigh-riding in Zion.

Always into the stockings went some of the goodies of the north, sent by longing grandparents or absent fathers in order that their loved ones might not be too completely weaned from older customs or forget in the more temperate region the land of their rightful inheritance. In this south land, there were rare tasties that even Yankee palates craved and were denied in the north.

On Christmas morning, with a shout, the children rushed to the “parlor” where everything had been carefully laid out the night before. The girls would receive their sewing boxes–mysteriously smelling of the redolent banana oil–complete with thimble, needles, thread, pins, and scraps for sewing, as well as the ebony needle sharpener, shaped like a strawberry. The older daughters might have scissors, but the younger ones were content with the promise that on good behavior they would be allowed to borrow them.

In the foot of the stocking was the treat of the day–a large orange. So scarce were oranges that the youngest ones were instructed how they should skin them, saving the yellow peel to cut out into fancy false teeth. Slipped into place, these orange teeth were sure to offer hours of grotesque amusement. While oranges grew lusciously, extravagantly, along the western coast of Sonora, the adjoining state, getting them into Chihuahua presented difficulty. Piled in sacks on patient burros, which then moved laboriously along the foothills, over the mountains, and down into the valleys, they at long last reached the Colonia Juarez children. It was small wonder then that great whoops of delight preceded the prying out of the golden globes from the stockings. With what joy they cradled them in their hands, hoarding them against their mounting appetites.

After the morning prayer of gratitude, the round of visiting began. At each home, the eating of some toothsome dainty was in order until at last even the bottomless stomach of childhood seemed to lose its elasticity, and the most delicate pastry or candy went begging.

Christmas evening was the climax of the day. A program was planned in which every member of the family took part, by song, story, recitation, or dramatization. Nowadays it seems strange, perhaps, that from this little community have come so many leaders of Church and educational activities. Those who lived there know why: they were trained in self-confidence by their experiences in home evening performances. Moreover, their love of literature was fanned to life beyond life by the stories that these mothers loved and told.

Uncle Remus, “The Prince and the Pauper,” Rhoecus and his bee–all gained new luster from the lips of these mothers. Strangely enough, many of these children did not realize that they were being trained so that never could they be tempted to read the salacious, the tawdry in books or magazines. Those mothers in an isolated community laid well the foundation of appreciation for the true and the great in literature.

Sometimes the whole community would gather on a Christmas evening for a real play presented in the Juarez Academy. The love of drama was not a century plant to the Mormons, flowering infrequently, but rather the very stuff of life, and wherever they went, little theaters blossomed.

Always the last thing in the evening, family prayers would be held, in gratitude and reverence.

Throughout the day, there was a unanimity of purpose that made the Christmas of Colonia Juarez unusual. Because of the oneness of ideals, the Christmas celebration was free from the brawling and carousing that characterized similar celebrations in many towns of like size. No saloons were to be found in Colonia Juarez. Only reputable buildings were erected: shoe shops, for the Mormons were thrifty; harness shops, for they needed equipment that their horses might plow the land; a cannery, for they must provide in a time of plenty against a time of need; a planing mill, for they must have some way of getting material for building homes; a gristmill, for wheat is essential for life; and a cheese factory. All these and more were erected by the industrious Saints. Peace and prosperity flowered in the wake of the Mormons, in Mexico as it had on the desert lands of the Great Basin.

All this peace and prosperity had its complete blossoming on Christmas day, a day of complete accord with the One for whom it had been named. Friendliness and good spirit, unselfishness and prayerfulness mingled to make it a day to be treasured against the time of another Christmas.

The Improvement Era, December 1948

The Miracle of the Piedras Verdes: The Story of the Founding of Colonia Juarez

By Leslie L. Sudweeks

Brigham Young had envisioned the establishing of Mormon settlements in Mexico as a logical extension of his colonization of the Great Basin and adjacent regions, but he did not live to see the fulfillment of his plans, although he did send missionary expeditions into Chihuahua and Sonora as well as Mexico City. Six years after the death of the great colonizer, when the Maricopa Stake was organized among the settlers along the Salt River in Arizona, President Alexander F. Macdonald was instructed to investigate the possibilities for settlement along the Mexican border. Some preliminary explorations had been conducted by Macdonald prior to this time, and in 1884 he acted as guide for elders Brigham Young, Jr., and Heber J. Grant, of the Council of the Twelve, on an exploring expedition into Sonora

A letter was dispatched from the First Presidency to President Christopher Layton of the St. Joseph Stake under date of December 16, 1884, advising the Arizona settlers to seek homes in Mexico. This letter was considered of sufficient importance that it was personally carried to Arizona by Elder Seymour B. Young. Before the end of the year several of the Arizona brethren, acting upon counsel, had crossed the border and obtained employment hauling salt to the Mexican Central Railroad at San Jose.(1)

During January 1885, Macdonald and Layton made a hasty trip to seek out suitable lands in northern Chihuahua and make arrangements to rent or buy.(2) On February 23, Elder Moses Thatcher of the Council of the Twelve and Alexander F. Macdonald set out from St. David, Arizona, with a company of emigrants. Reaching the Casas Grandes River near the Mexican town of Ascencion early in March, a temporary camp was established. A week later a second company arrived from Snowflake. Additional emigrants continued to arrive during the following weeks.

The influx of so large a group of foreigners aroused the suspicion and enmity of certain local Mexican officials which resulted in an order on April 9 from the acting governor of Chihuahua for the Mormons to leave that state within fifteen days. An appeal to the Chihuahua government proving futile, Elders Brigham Young, Jr., and Moses Thatcher of the Council of the Twelve were dispatched to Mexico City to bring the case before President Porfirio Diaz.

The Mormon emissaries were successful in having the expulsion order revoked and the Chihuahua governor deposed. President Diaz stated that he was anxious to have the Mormons come and help develop the country and that they were welcome to settle on lands of their own choosing in the states of Chihuahua, Sonora or anywhere else except in that narrow strip of land along the border known as the Zona Prohibida. (3)

Upon his return from Mexico City, Elder Thatcher advised the colonists to scatter out and rent lands from the Mexicans until such time as suitable tracts could be purchased. This scattering would also serve to allay any anxiety existing among the natives that they were being invaded, or that an armed conquest was in prospect.

When the original camp broke up in April, one party consisting of eleven families went up the Casas Grandes River, some sixty miles and located temporarily at the Tres Alamos, about five miles north of the Mexican town of Casas Grandes. There land was rented from the local Mexicans and crops planted. The place was called Turley’s Camp, after Isaac Turley, who had been appointed presiding elder. The little group was soon swelled by the arrival of a half-dozen other families. Because of the temporary nature of their residence and the press of work, the exiles lived in tents or wagons or constructed rude shelters known as boweries. Though strangers in a new land, religious duties were not neglected. Sunday schools and sacrament meetings were faithfully held under the shade of the trees or around the campfire under the stars.

As a result of the explorations of Francis M. Lyman, George Teasdale, and George C. Williams, during the summer of 1885, the little company at Turley’s Camp, which seems also to have been called San Jose, decided to locate in the beautiful valley of the Piedras Verdes River, where a considerable acreage of land was available for purchase.

At a special meeting held December 4, 1885, miles P. Romney read a letter from Elder George Teasdale, of the Council of the Twelve, appointing George W. Sevey as the presiding elder for the new venture. Three days later several families, including George W. Sevey, George C. Williams, Isaac Turley, Peter Nielsen, Ira B. Elmore, Joseph A. Moffett, William G. Romney, Hyrum Christian Nielson, Peter N. Skousen, Hyrum Jerome Judd, and Ernest L. Taylor left San Jose and drove some seventeen miles to the Piedras Verdes. They were followed within a few days by Miles P. Romney, Thomas Hawkins, John Bloomfield, Joseph Haycock, and Joseph C. Fish.

The site selected was a beautiful one, located on the southwest bank of the Piedras Verdes about opposite the mouth of the Tinaja Wash. The valley there was about two miles wide and the land was almost as level as a floor. To the west lay the grassy foothills of the might Sierra Madres, and to the east, another bulwark of low hills, separating the valley of the Piedras Verdes from that of the Casas Grandes.

Joseph C. Fish surveyed the town site before the close of the year, and town lots were allotted to the heads of families. The first residences consisted of dugouts and boweries constructed along the bank of the river.

Regular Sunday meetings were continued at the new location, and, to start the new year out right, a choir was organized on Sunday, January 3, 1886. The little colony took much pride in this choir, which furnished music for patriotic and social gatherings as well as religious ones.

On January 6, Senor Gomez del Campo met with the brethren regarding their negotiations for the purchase of lands on the Piedras Verdes, promising them as much as they wanted. Alexander F. Macdonald was selected by the Saints as their representative to accompany Senor del Campo to Mexico City and arrange the details of the purchase. Macdonald returned on March 6, reporting the acquisition of 20,000 hectares (about 49,000 acres) of land. The President of the Church had appropriated $12,000 toward this purchase.

At a meeting two weeks later, on March 19, it was decided that the settlers would form themselves into a company and hold the land in common, with no title passing to individuals. The assignments made to heads of families were to be held merely as stewardships. Irrigation ditches were dug, water being taken out of the Piedras Verdes about two miles above the campsite, and farming operations were commenced.

Meanwhile a meetinghouse, eighteen by twenty-eight feet, had been completed in January, the walls formed by logs set on end as close together as possible and the floor and roof of dirt. Elder George Teasdale preached the first sermon in the new building on January 30, and Elder Erastus Snow preached there on March 14.

A week later, Sunday, March 21, a celebration was held, the townsite being formally dedicated and named Colonia Juarez, after Benito Juarez, the Mexican national hero. Senor Don Urban Zubia, the Jefe Politico of Casas Grandes, and the Catholic padre were in attendance, and both delivered speeches of welcome to the Mormons. The ceremonies included a Mexican flag-raising. Speeches were also made by Senor Gomez del Campo, Erastus Snow, Miles P. Romney, and Alexander F. Macdonald. The choir rendered several musical selections, including “Oh Say, What Is Truth?” “Do What Is Right,” and “Beautiful River.” A banquet followed these impressive ceremonies.

In April, Annie M. Romney, wife of Miles P. Romney, was persuaded to become the first teacher of Colonia Juarez, holding school in the log meetinghouse.

The year 1886 held promise of success for the new colonists. An irrigation system had been completed. Their corn, vegetables, and sugar cane did well, and the wild grass on the hillsides provided ample forage for their cattle. A thriving store was operated by Ernest L. Taylor and George W. Sevey. The population of the colony numbered about thirty families.

Then came the stunning news that their town site was located two miles below the northern boundary of the San Diego Ranch and not on the lands which they had purchased. The legal owner stubbornly refused to sell or trade, although he was offered twice as much land in exchange. There was nothing left, therefore, but to pull up stakes, abandon their improvements, and move two miles north to the land to which they had title.

On November 3, Alexander F. Macdonald commenced to survey the new town site. George W. Sevey and Miles P. Romney located the line for a new canal on the northeast side of the river. This ditch was three miles long and was completed within a few months.

On New Year’s day, 1887, a party of settlers drove up in their wagons and carriages to dedicate the new town site. The sun shone brightly, and the day was sufficiently warm that an outdoor meeting was not unpleasant. Services commenced at 11:00 a.m., with Elder Erastus Show, of the Council of the Twelve, conducting. Elder Moses Thatcher offered the dedicatory prayer. He petitioned the Lord that every hard feeling might be banished from the minds of the Saints. In simple eloquence he continued:

We thank the Lord for liberty. We give this town the name of Juarez. May it be a place of liberty for the Saints. As the Nephites were destroyed for desecrating this land, may we, O Lord, be willing to obey thy laws. O Lord, bless the land, the water, the elements. May the gospel go forth from this place to the house of Israel. … We pledge ourselves to strive to do thy will ever more. Increase the water, we pray thee, and the principal street shall be known by the name of Anahuac.(4)

In the afternoon Elder Show preached. He drew a parallel between the move now forced upon the Saints to the betrayal and flight of Benito Juarez in the dark days of Napoleon’s intervention in Mexico. He stated that if in the wisdom of God, the Saints should eventually be permitted to repossess their lands as President Juarez was permitted to return to his capital, they should freely acknowledge the hand of God. Continuing:

I feel to bless the land and waters in the name of Jesus Christ; that the water may be pure and healthy, and the land yield in abundance. If any should come here who do not want to serve God, I hope they will not remain here long.(5)

In addition to Anahuac, the names of Toltec, Aztez, Diaz, and Mariscal were suggested and adopted for the principal streets bounding the public square and park.

Immediately after the dedication, Sextus Johnson moved his family and belongs to the new town site, followed shortly by the other settlers. Construction of a tithing office was begun, to be used for religious purposes, socials, and other gatherings. By May, the canal was sufficiently completed so that water could be brought to the new town site.

The same month, Erastus Snow and Helaman Pratt arrived from Mexico City with a company of native converts, who had been furnished free transportation by the Mexican government. Lands were assigned to these families, but most of them eventually became discouraged and returned to their former homes.

On June 5, 1887, the Juarez Ward was organized with George W. Sevey as bishop and Miles P. Romney and Ernest L. Taylor as counselors.

Construction of a road up San Diego Canyon to Corrales Basin was undertaken to open the timber resources of the Sierra Madres and supply their sawmill.(6)

Following up the Piedras Verdes from the old town site of Colonia Juarez to the new, the picturesque valley narrows from a width of two miles to approximately three fourths of a mile. Hills rise abruptly on each side to a height of two hundred feed above the floor of the valley. Through the center winds the channel of the Piedras Verdes, whose banks even in 1887 were lined with cottonwood trees together with a sprinkling of walnut, sycamore, black willow, and ash, forming one of the chief natural attractions of the valley.(7)

The soil, however, was coarse and gravelly and somewhat inferior for field crops to that lower down. Some two hundred fifty acres were placed under cultivation during the summer of 1887, while on the west side of the river an estimated five hundred acres of arable land awaited only the building of an additional canal.(8)

The summer heat and drought came early in northern Mexico, and June 1887 was no exception. With the rainy season at least a month away and the water rights of the San Diego ranch below to be respected, the receding Piedras Verdes was pitifully small. Then came the answer to the prayers of the faithful. Writing from Colonia Juarez under date of August 26, 1887, a correspondent who signed himself “Amram,” penned the following word picture:

All at once, about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the earth began to quake and tremble. Our old huts began to sway to and fro. Women and children ran out of them with blanched faces, many of them exclaiming: “It is an earthquake! It is an earthquake!” and immediately all eyes were turned toward the Sierra Madres, the entire length of which for thirty miles seemed to be swaying backwards and forwards, and from their precipices could be seen falling huge masses of rock, causing an immense dust to rise a mile high in the air.

This dust was immediately followed by smoke, and in a short time fires could be seen along the entire range in places as far as eye could penetrate. These fires we think were caused by the friction of the falling rocks, and at night they presented a truly grand sight, and some of them continued to burn for weeks.

Now, strange to say, the following day the water in the Piedras Verdes River, which was getting low, began to rise until it was increased one third in volume and has continued so ever since, and we all felt thankful for the shaking and are willing to stand another (even though it does produce a queer sensation) if its effects will prove as beneficial to us; for by that providential event we have had an abundance of water for our crops and the Mexican population below us feel that we will not be of any injury to them, as they also have plenty of water. … We give God the praise for the increase.(9)

Thus was the prayer of Elder Moses Thatcher at the dedication of the new Colonia Juarez, less than six months before, so dramatically answered.

–The Improvement Era, January 1946

1. Andrew Jenson, “Juarez Stake,” Ms., L.D.S. Church Historical Library.
2. Andrew Jenson, Church Chronology Salt Lake City, page 117.
3. Brigham Young, Jr., John W. Taylor, Helaman Pratt, letter to A.F. Macdonald, written from Mexico City under date of July 11, 1885, quoted in Andrew Jenson, “Juarez Stake,” Ms.
4. Andrew Jenson, “Wards of the Juarez Stake,” Ms., Salt Lake City.
5. Idem.
6. Idem.
7. The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, September 21, 1887, Vol. XXXVI, No. 36, p. 574.
8. Idem.

The correspondent does not give the exact date of the disturbance, merely remarking: “The earthquake that visited this country in June last was quite an event.”

Letters of Edson Whipple

Letter: Edson Whipple to Brother Armstrong
Early 1840’s

Brother Armstrong
I take the opportunity of thanking you and Sister Armstrong for your letter which I received the morning before I left Philadelphia.
We are all of us well, I mean all that came out with me – and I think well satisfied with this place although there are many inconveniences since to encounter. Yet, none the less it is God’s will that we should gather to here. I am sure of that. Therefore, we are willing to “Thy will be done.”
Our conference is over and to the satisfaction of all. I wish you were out here and all the rest in Philadelphia. If you were here and could establish in the grocery business I am sure you might do well. You must not think when you come here to find all perfect. If you do, you will be disappointed. But if you come to fulfil a commandment of God you will be satisfied.
I have myself been engaged the last part of the winter in getting timber for building for myself and others. So you see I am hoping to build up Zion.
I have bought two lots for four hundred dollars and there are on each a log house. I shall occupy one to live in and the other my wife intends for a school house.
I hope this will not find Beck? in Philadelphia. I’m hoping he has left for Zion. If so it is intended for any one or all who might be left behind. For what I say unto one, I say unto all. Come out here and help to build up Zion. I have written three letters to Philadelphia and have not received any.
The news that Elder Lorenzo Barnes died last December will be heavy news to you as to us. This indeed must be heavy news to all the Saints who knew him.
Our conference has appointed Elder Wharton to go to Williamton and Elder Hess to Lancaster County and Jedediah Grant to Philadelphia. Poor soul, I pity him and you all know why.
We have a variety of institutions in this – such as Military, Masons and Mormons, but no mobs. Tell the Philadelphians they need not be afraid to come the mobs shan’t harm them. There is a thousand other things I will tell you when you come out.
Letter: Edson Whipple to Philadelphia

December 17, 1842

Nauvoo Dec 17th 1842

Brethren and friends in Philadelphia

After an elapse of several weeks I resume my pen to redeem the promise I made you in Philadelphia, of writing after getting to this place, and giving you a narrative of our journey and the conditions and situation of Nauvoo and the people and what my feelings were when viewing the fulfilment of the predictions of the Prophets of old. This will I do with the greatest of pleasure. Although my knowledge of the place and people is not extensive but to the reverse, is quite contracted owing to the circumstances which God in His command has seen fit to place me under.

After a journey of thirty-two days, we found ourselves in a company with a party of forty or fifty others that we fell in with on the way, we landed on the banks of the Mississippi in the City of Nauvoo.

After leaving Philadelphia and parting with thirty or forty of our brethren who had come to the depot to take the parting hand we united our hearts and voices in singing “Yes My Native Land I Leave Thee,” which seemed to attract the attention of the Captain and crew.

About sunset we found ourselves at Columbia and there we shifted from the railroad to the canal and, us, our company composed the most of the passengers on board. We had the liberty from the Captain to arrange the cabin to our liking which we did. So that we were comfortably situated.

The weather being very pleasant so that we could be on deck most of the time where we could sing and make merry in the songs of Zion.

We had a Mr. Neal and family on hand with us. He seemed to be very anxious to know of our faith and doctrine which we laid before him in plainness. He was a Presbyterian and after a touch of the doctrine he soon offered his objections which soon led to a discussion on several points of our doctrine. After which we took the same ground that he had taken and offered our objections to his views, too, and contradicted them with the scriptures and showed to those that were on board the difference between the doctrine of the Bible and the doctrine of men which I have reason to believe resulted in much good. For as it happened in the providence of God on the Allegheny Mts. over Sunday and we succeeded in getting a school house which stood within a few rods of where we stopped. We held two meetings in it, which were attended by the Captain and hands together with the passengers and many of the citizens. On this occasion I endeavored to lay before them the first principles of the Gospel and the necessity of being obedient to the same in order to a joint heir with God and Jesus Christ.

After meeting, some came forward demanding baptism, at my hands and the administration of God, immersed the Captain and three of his hands and two passengers in waters of the Allegheny for the remission of sins. This caused our hearts to rejoice and give glory to God.

The names of the passengers baptized were a Andrew Grant and a Miss Atkerson who started in company with us from Philadelphia. The others Captain Jacob Utsler and two of his brothers and a young man by the name Windslow.

When we arrived in Pittsburgh I gave them an introduction to Elder Page. Miss Atkerson we left at Louisville, Ky. and Andrew Grant came on to Nauvoo.

We paid seven dollars each to Pittsburgh, then we engaged a passage to St. Louis for three dollars and fifty cents on board the steamboat Northbend, with Captain Galegar, we found all things as comfortable on board as could be expected and received the best of treatment from the captain and the crew and had many privileges on board granted above the rest of the passengers.

The steamboat began to think it something of an object to get our people as passengers

We were joined by a company of nine from Kirtland and when we got to St. Louis we joined a company of about thirty from Island, Vermont, and New York City. It cost us from St. Louis to Nauvoo $1.50 and 26¢ freight.

We were eight days from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and from Pittsburgh to St. Louis 21 days, and from St. Louis to Nauvoo 11 days.

The second week after we got here, I was taken sick and was confined to my house for two weeks. And after I had begun to recover, my wife was taken down with the fever. We used all the means in our power to break the fever, but could not. On the tenth day while the fever was raging Brother told us to take her to the river and baptize her for the healing power of her body and she would recover. We did so and from that time she began to recover. We put her in the two days following.

There have been hundreds baptized in the font and in the river for their health and in every case it has proved useful.

All that came out with us are well. Sr. Wilcox and family arrived and Brother Long and Jackson and Samuel Potter. As to the situation of the place it is as the Old Patriarch David described in the 48th Psalm. It is beautifully situated. It lies on the east side of. the Mississippi it extends about four miles along the river and about the same distance back.
Letter: Edson Whipple to Brother Hess

Brother Hess,

Sir, having learned from President Smith that the Church in Philadelphia is placed in your charge until the Elders can be sent from this place, I shall therefore, take the liberty of writing a few lines to you and the Church. By so doing, I shall redeem the promise made to you and the brethren.

You have taken, I understand, the new meeting house on Julian St., and I hope it will have its desired effect of union together, and peace and love be restored.

Elder Jedediah Grant is to come to Philadelphia in the spring to take charge of the Church. His brother is to go to Boston to preside there.

It is a general time of health in our city and the situation of the Church seems to be in a prosperous condition. The prospect is that the writ escheived by Gov. Carlin, against Joseph Smith will be dismissed by Field or the Legislature. A petition has been sent to them asking for it to be done and they have expressed their determination to do it.

You may expect a letter from Therom as soon as he returns from Springfield, giving the ~particulars.

We have had cold weather and several weeks of good sleighing. Business seems to be brisk in this place, the people generally speaking, are industrious and steady in their labor and in their habits–perhaps more so than in any other city in the Union. The taverns are not thronged with idlers, neither are the streets defiled with drunkards nor the silent hours of the night break forth with sounds of giddy babble of those returning home from where time, money and character has been wasted. There is not a place in all the city where liquor is sold for the accommodation of the tippler.

And this above might be counted a miracle city containing fifteen thousand people and not a grog shop to be found within its borders. The like perhaps is not known in the whole world. Surely this is a miracle and one performed by the Mormons. And had it been accomplished by any other society it would have been counted as one of the seven wonders of the world.

The city contains about four miles square and as the Patriarch David said, “Beautiful for Mount Zion.”

The inhabitants are scattered [throughout] almost every part of it. The houses are generally small although there are some large homes. It is not as many suppose, all Mormons. To the contrary, there are many who do not belong to the Church. Several stores are kept by Gentiles.

Our places for worship this winter are in different parts of the city in private houses.

We arrived here the 20th of October after a journey of thirty-two days. We were detained several days by the way, owing to low water. We had however a very good journey with the exception of the length of time. Sister Wilcox and Family, Brothers Long, Jackson and S. Potter have come since our arrival and we have heard that others have started from Philadelphia and froze up in the river, but as to the truth we do not know, but we are anxious to know. We shall expect many from Philadelphia in the spring. And now, to return you that have been members in the Church from the first, let me exhort you to leave Philadelphia and come to this place and help to build up Zion. In doing so you will do what is pleasing in the eyes of them who has commanded a house to be built in honor to the name that the Priesthood may be restored–that the Elders may receive their own endowments and go forth to compel the nations of the earth to come in, and not only the work of God will prosper to the satisfaction of many who are yet strangers to the Kingdom of God. And here you may and can assist in completion of the Temple which is now progressing as fast as could be expected considering the circumstances which is connected with it.

The stonework of the basement story is finished. The walls of the second story stand to quite a height. The first Sunday after we arrived a meeting was held in it for the first time. And when I knew the font which is placed upon twelve oxen nearly carved in large as life placed in the Temple and the whole superstructure was reared under the direction of inspiration, my mind was carried beyond this world to the time when we that prove faithful shall through the order that is now established in that house, become saviors of our friends and in the morning of the first resurrection come forth clothed with immortality and strike hands with those of our friends who have died without the privilege of embracing the Gospel in this world, but through the ordinance which is now practiced at the font in the Temple be Christ’s at His coming.

Those things, brethren, ought to create a spirit of gathering in everybody. Many are being baptized for their friends in the font and many have been healed through the same order.

We have just received news from Springfield stating that the petition sent in to the government has been acted upon and the old writ dismissed and Joseph exonerated from it and now is cleared from the blood hounds of Missouri.

And now I must bid you adieu for the present, exhorting you all to be faithful to your calling and gather home to Zion as fast as your circumstances admit.
Letter: Edson Whipple to Boston

(Elvira and Emeline are Edson’s sisters; James is Elvira’s husband)

Illinois, Hancock Co., City of Nauvoo

Brothers and sisters in Boston, James, Elvira and Emeline–

Being situated some two thousand miles from you, I feel it a duty to write you and let you know where we are.

I expect you know where we are. I expect you know that we left Philadelphia for this place. We got here the 29th of October after a journey of 32 days. We had some detention on the way on account of low water.

Soon after our arrival I was taken sick with a bilious complaint for a few days. Lavinia was taken down with a winter fever and was brought down very low. We had our doubts about her recovery. But she dreamed one night that she had been baptized for her health and was healed. And you know that the Mormons are believers in a God that is a revealer of secrets by dreams.

At this time she had lain twelve days with a burning fever and was so weak that she could not help herself. Rut we got a carriage; took her out of bed, put her in the wagon; took her to the river; cut a hold in the ice and baptized her. We repeated this for three days. The fever left her and from that time she became better.

Now we both, together with Mother, enjoy good health. I am heartier myself than I have been for ten years. Mother stood her journey out here very well. She is well contented.

The city contains about twelve or fifteen thousand inhabitants who have come from all parts of the United States and from Europe and from the islands of the sea.

It has only been a little better than three years since our people came to this place and for the time, I think it has a prospect of becoming a fine city, one that in a few years will be ranked among the finest. I have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Joseph Smith the man that much is said about. I find him to be a man of intelligence and I believe a man of integrity. I am certain he is belied by his enemies.

I have also had the satisfaction of viewing the Temple which is now under way. And I believe when it is finished we shall enjoy many privileges in it, that was enjoyed by the people of God in by-gone years

It is to be when finished, from the lower floor in the basement to the eaves about seventy feet, and from the eaves to the spire one hundred feet. It is 87 feet by 128 feet, on the ground there is to be an outer court one hundred feet.

In the basement there are twelve oxen carved, large as life, and on them the baptismal fountain. In it we are baptized for our friends that are dead (“And if the dead rise not at all, why then are ye baptized for the dead?”) The building is made of grey limestone, neatly hammered.

I have bought two lots (1 acre each) for 100 dollars each. A log house is on each. 1 shall move on one in about two weeks. I have been engaged for some time in getting timber from the islands for building. Provisions of all kinds are very cheap–pork $1.50 per hundred, corn 18¢, beef $2.00 per hundred, butter 10¢, eggs 6¢.

Letter: Edson Whipple to Mr. Miles

Mr. Miles – and brother in the gospel:

In compliance with your request and the promise I made you, I take this opportunity of writing you. Your kind letter by the hand of Bro. Hinders was received and read with pleasure and much satisfaction. Believe, brother, it reminded me of the promise made you, which to that time had been forgotten by me. Not that my affection was weaned from you for I assure you that I still retain the love toward you which first was kindled by the spirit of God poured out upon us.

Letter: Edson Whipple to Mr. Henny Mugger

Mr. Henny Mugger

Your letter to me through the politeness of Elder A. came this day to hand. And the intelligence that it brought concerning what had taken place between you and your Father will in my humble opinion in the end work for your good.

You wished to know what the prospects are in this place, for your business. When contrasted and weighed in a balance with the prospects in Philadelphia, I think they will not be found wanting. Although leather at this time is rather short. But we expect and know that your business together with all others will be on the decline and I can say to you and to your mother that all who come to this place if they are willing to put up with the inconveniences of a new place you shall be welcome to make my house a stopping place until you can find another.

Letter: Edson Whipple to Mr. Napoleon Thomas

Mr. Napoleon Thomas Sir:

Many days have passed away since we have had any intercourse together. Thinking perhaps a few lines from me at this time may be interesting to you, judging by my own feelings. For certainly a letter from you informing me of the condition of yourself and shop mates would be very gratifying, and I shall expect an answer to this letter from you giving full details of matters and things pertaining to yourself and all the shop.

As it is respecting myself and family, we are all here in Nauvoo and are well, and well contented.

Our city contains from fifteen to twenty thousand inhabitants very handsomely situated on the east side of the Mississippi in a large bend in the river. The distance from the river to the center of the city is about two miles and from the north to south about the same distance.

We are building a house for a place of worship near the center of the city. When finished, it will be the finest building, west of the Allegheny Mountains.

The inhabitants are not all Mormons. There are several merchants and several machinists that don’t belong to our church and they are well satisfied with the laws and regulations of our city. We have a steady set of inhabitants. Every thing seems to move on in order. There is not any grog shops in all the city where liquor is sold to the tippler. No, not one. Where can you find another city on the face of the earth that can tell the same story?

Now for the Prophet, what shall I say of Him? What kind of story would suit you best? Would one that would contradict itself suit you best or one that is so unreal or insincere that no sensible person can believe it. No, I think not. I think perhaps you would be better pleased with the truth.

He is a man whose character stands unimpeached and is respected and considered a good citizen by all who are not prejudiced and who have become acquainted with him.

I know him to be a kind-hearted man, given to hospitality and one would divide the last meal of victuals with the poor if necessary (not only kind and hospitable but possessing almost every other qualification of a Christian and perfectly original).

I have located myself near the middle of the city. I bought me a lot soon after I came in last fall. I gave three hundred dollars for it, one acre of land with a log house on it, but I am building a frame house and expect to have it finished before cold winter. I have got a cellar dug and stoned and the frame ready to go up. I have got most of the materials for finishing it. It is to be 24 feet in front and two stories high and 36 feet deep including a kitchen and a well room.

I have paid for my lot and I think if I am blessed with health I shall have my house finished and paid for by next spring.

Building material can be bought quite cheap, in lumber is $10 a thousand, brick is four and five dollars a thousand, and nails 7¢ a pound and glass and other in proportion.

Provisions are cheap – wheat 44¢, corn 20¢, pork and beef $2.00 per hundred.

Tinkering is a first rate business. We have only one in the place I wish you were here well fixed in business.

Give my respects to all that inquire after me and tell them I think Nauvoo is the best place in the world and all that do not believe it may come and see the people gathering from all quarters of the world to this place. Several thousand have come this season.

Well might the Prophet say when the scenes of the last days were shown him by vision, “Like doves to the windows in clouds see them come.”

Letter: Edson Whipple to Wm. R. Stevens

Wm. R. Stevens, Sir:

Owing to the short acquaintance formed with you on board the boat last October and knowing that you have held correspondence since that time until a few weeks past with us.

Miss Anne Gilpin who came out in company with my wife and myself from Philadelphia to this place and has made my house her home until the second day of last August when she left the city. We have not heard anything of her since. I think it is my privilege and your duty to inform me if you know anything about her. You will please have the goodness to answer my inquiry on the receipt of this short epistle..

This is from your friend,

E. Whipple

Letter: Edson Whipple to Boston

May 7 – l843 Nauvoo

Friends in Boston – Having a good opportunity of sending a letter to you by Elder Snow, I shall do it with pleasure. We have had a long cold winter and the spring is backward but we have lived through it and now enjoy good health, all of us. We got here in October.

I was sick a few days after we got here and so was Lavinia’s Mother. But her health has been good most of the time. She stood the journey first rate.

We are all well contented. This is a find country. Nauvoo for situation is beautiful. It lies on the east side of the Mississippi in a large bend in the river. It extends about four miles along the river and about the same distance back from the river. It contains twelve or 15 thousand inhabitants. The people are gathering from all parts of the states and from Europe and the islands of the sea. It bids fare to be a greater place and for all I know it may become the joy of the whole earth.

I bought me two lots in the city and have got them partly planted. The lots contain one acre each. There is a log house on each lot. We live in one and the other Lavinia keeps for a school house. She has got this spring a school of twenty-five scholars.

I have been getting out building timber the last part of the winter and spring, to sell. I think I shall build for myself in the fall. I expect James Eastman (his brother-in-law) out in September.

Lots are selling in the city from fifty to a thousand dollars a piece. I paid four hundred for my two. Land out of the city sells from $150 to two thousand dollars per acre.

Provisions are very cheap: wheat 31¢, corn 12 1/2¢ (per bushel), pork $1.50 per hundred, butter 8¢/lb., eggs 6¢/doz. Store goods have been high until this spring. Now goods can be bought at a fair rate – nails 7¢, glass lights (panes) 31¢, dried apples and peaches $1.00, sugar 16 lbs. for a dollar, molasses 25¢.

It is not here as many think, nobody but Mormons. There are many mechanics and merchants who do not belong to the Church. Our city is a very quiet one. They have steady habits, no swearing in the streets nor reeling to and fro of drunkards for there is no place in all the city where liquor is sold to the tippler nor to anyone except for medicine.

The people do not throng the taverns. They are seen sometimes playing ball or pitching quarters for amusement.

We are building a large house, a temple, a place for worship. It is about 80 feet by 180 feet, built of hewn stone. It is to be 150 feet from the ground to the top of the steeple. It has basement story of twelve x 15 feet where is to be the baptismal fount place on twelve oxen carved big as life. In it the sick are healed and in it we are baptized for friends that are dead, who never had the chance to be baptized for themselves. By that it gives them a chance to come forth in the first resurrection.

We have become acquainted with Mr. Joseph Smith and find him to be a moral and religious man. We know that the reports that are in circulation about him are false.

If Morse is in Boston, tell him that I want him to come out here and bring his family with him. Mr. Haley, his friend is here and doing well.

And to you, James, Elvira and Emmaline, we should be very happy to receive a visit from you.

Your mother says to tell Em, I haven’t been deceived as to Mormonism, but that you have been. Mother says the doctrines of the Bible are of more consequence to her than the doctrines of men.

Although, you Emmaline said in your letter your expectations in the eternal world was to shine forth like the stars in the firmament. Well, Sr. Em, the Apostle Paul tells us in the 15th Chapt. of Corinthians that there are three glories–one of the sun, another of the moon, and one of the stars. And if you are satisfied with the glory of the stars, so be it. But I hope that I prove faithful and keep the perfect law and I shall a fullness of glory like that of the sun. And I know that unless I commence with the first principles and so continue on that I shall come short of a part in the first resurrection and the reign with Christ. But that my body shall sleep in dust while my spirit is confined in prison until the last resurrection at the end of the thousand years and then when I come forth, receive nothing more than the glory of the stars.

Letter: Edson Whipple to Brother Lutz

Nauvoo – May, 1843

Brother Lutz, Dear Sir,

Yours of the inst came to hand on Tuesday last. I was glad to hear of the success you met with which you anticipate in sounding the trump in the last days. But if I were to say anything to you on the subject, I say try to situate yourself so as to not travel so much for the old saying is “A rolling stone gathers no moss!”

You requested me to make a statement as to what Mr. Baker said when we waited on him. He gave us to understand that he had not a copy of the letter, but regretted it very much. For he sure didn’t know what was in the letter for he had forgotten and said if he had the letter and if there was anything that needed a retraction he would make it but would not come before the Church. This is according to my best recollection and testimony on the subject.

Brother Lutz, I am of the same opinion concerning those correctors who opposed the order of the Church as I always have. I know them to be the offenders.

Pardon me, Brother Lutz, for the liberty I take in cautioning you together with all of my friends against becoming debtors. To the offenders be wise in all things, for the day is not far hence when all the difficulties that now exist in Philadelphia will be investigated in this place. And let every member who feels anxious that the truth shall prevail. Come hither Elder Adam has confessed to everything. His license is taken until he is baptized for the remission of sins and comes in anew. Then he will be ordained to the office of a priest.

Brother Chamberlain is here and is well contented. Myself and family are well. Tell B. Johnson to come out here.

Letter: Edson Whipple to Brother Chamberlain

Nauvoo, Feb., 1844

Bro. Chamberlain, Sir:

Having now for the first time since I received your letter, an opportunity of sending you a letter, I shall with pleasure do so.

Many a long night and day have passed away since you left and many things have occurred that I would like to tell you, and will when I see you.

You wrote you have good luck in getting in to business and I was glad to hear it. You wrote also that the lost was found. That, I was glad to hear, also. Rut you wrote that she had been turned upside down. No, I am wrong, hind side fore which I am sorry to hear, since you wrote that she and her husband have parted which places her in a very awkward position. I thought that she had known of the things that make peace. Our health together with our family are good and we got into our house the first day of December, although it is not yet finished.

Brother Parton and Jan Crouse were married some five weeks since. Hess Cugprett Green and Strupe came out last fall. We have had a very mild winter.

We hear from the Prophet now and then and Elijah has supposedly visited our city this winter. And for what? To set in order the hearts and families of every man, so when the temple is finished they may be prepared to receive the oath and seal of the covenant.

There has a great reaffirmation taken place.

Lumber by groves as fast as ever. I have cut between thirty and forty cords of wood on the island for Morrison this winter.

We expect you and Brother Crock and wife to gather Bro. Arisen up this spring. Brother Richards from Holly was out on a visit this winter and intends moving out in the spring and bring Neroton with him.

And as is but a little till conference I shall expect to see you face to face.

We all send our best wishes to you and Anna and to all our acquaintances Even so, Amen.

When I see your face again I will tell you many things which have not been expedient for me to write in this letter. Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss is the request of your Brother Edson.

Written at Nauvoo his first epistle to his brother, George and fellow laborer in the Lord. I add no more.
Letter: Edson Whipple to Brother of the Fraternity

Brother of the Fraternity

I wrote you a letter last week and sent it by Bro. Struper.

Having seen Brother Small, I have something more to write.

I intend going on a mission in the spring and would like to have you go along with me. I think I shall be ready to start the first of May, although I am somewhat in debt. I owe thirty-seven dollars to Bigler.

The man I bought of Brother Eastman became very much dissatisfied and said he thought I was trying to wrong him. I know not what reason he has to think so. Unless, after giving him half the crops and doing all the heavy work–such as digging and storing in the cellar. Also hewing and hauling timber and running errands day and night I would not let him have the land for nothing. But so it is. I say let it be God to judge between him and me.

Bro. Smith says he thinks you would like to go along with me. If so, I will call at St. Louis for you. I have in my mind to go into Susquehanna Co., Penn. or start for that place I want to stop in Delaware County, Ohio a little bit.

Bro. Chamberlain, can you lend me fifteen or twenty dollars? I shall have to pay for my land before I go. And unless you can spare me a little I know not how I shall raise it.

If you go with me, you need not take much money along. After we leave the water I will engage the _______.

We will preach our way. If we can’t pay our way by preaching, if you lend me the money, I will do the begging.

If you lend me the money and do not come to Nauvoo yourself, you will please send it by someone.

Please write and let me know if you will go with me, and if there is help for the widow’s son.

Yours in haste,


Letter: Edson Whipple to Brother Chamberlain

A few lines to Brother Chamberlain:

How is it with thee? Are you well, and doing well? After leaving you I went to my brother’s and stopped with him over Sunday. I left him and came to Jamestown. I stopped over Sunday and held two meetings in that place on Sunday. It rained and on Monday I started for home.

When I had gone about one mile two men who had been to hear me preach the day before called after me and said they wanted to be baptized. But the raft was ready to start, so I told them to call on Brother Cob.

I called at Pittsburgh. I heard Surrey? preach against the twelve and the church at Nauvoo. He is a Rigdonite. There are several that are Rigdonites in Pittsburgh and some few in Nauvoo.

Benjamin Winchester has gone with R. Newton and Whorton, but it will be with them as it has been with all the rest of those that have left the Church. They contend for the Book of Mormon and Covenants but say Smith and the twelve are false. But God knows better, and so do we.

I took the steamboat at Pittsburgh for St. Louis and as usual, had to contend constantly for the truth. I converted a Mrs. Johnson who was a Millerite from Philadelphia and baptized her after we got to St. Louis. Found most of the brethren in that place good. Brother Small, however, has gone over on the Rigdon side.

At the October Conference, the Seventy’s were fully organized which was to go to all the world the same as the twelve. While the twelve are to act as the First Presidency and soon this union will be laid off in to districts and ten of the Seventy with one high priest will be sent to each district. And each high priest will take his family and build a stake or city, but not until after the temple has been reared to quite a height.

The Temple has been reared to quite a height since we left. The walls with the capatabler makes a splendid appearance. The walls will soon be finished after this spring opens.

It is reported that Chauncy Higbee and one or two others were mortally wounded from the shots that Joseph made.

President Marks keeps the Mansion House, Robison the post office.

The Seventies have finished their house and it is to be dedicated Christmas. The Musical Fun Society have finished their house. Parley Pratt has gone to visit the Eastern Branches. Lamb and wife wintered in St. Louis. Sister Davis and daughter are still there.

Give my love to all my friends and acquaintances.

E. Whipple

Letter: Edson Whipple to Elder J.P. Newton

Nauvoo, August 5th, 1845

Elder J. P.. Newton, Sir:

Some fifteen months have rolled by into eternity never to be recalled since we shook the parting hand. Many things of importance to us individuals has transpired since that time and not to us alone by to all men and more especially this nation who in my humble opinion have done that which will bring swift destruction upon them as a nation. I mean by the rejecting and killing of the Prophets of the last days. They have killed the man, who if this nation had received his counsel would have saved them from the destruction that now awaits them.

They have killed the man that has laid a foundation that cannot be countermanded and broken up and given in to the hands of another. A kingdom that shall not be given to other men.

Elder Newton, how often have we conversed of the broad foundation he has laid for the restoration of all things and of the measures adopted by him?

The following is an account given by one of Edson Whipple’s descendents:

Where the Book Plaza Began…

Guest Editorial

By Col. Dale Whipple

BURLEY – Dale Whipple loves books. That love is in his genes, and it has resulted in a business that will celebrate its 100th birthday this year.

Yes, the original business that has now become the Book Plaza is 100 years old.

Whipple, who has hung on through all kinds of adversity, including repeated battles with cancer, has diversified the business that started as a book store a century ago, so now they sell a little bit of just about everything, plus they have a recording studio in their facility.

Below is a reminiscence of Whipple’s concerning his pioneer stock, printed with his permission:

“My Grandmother was a great lady. I knew her well from my first memories in the early 1930s, until she died and was buried in the Declo Cemetery by her second husband and her two Whipple sons and her son fawn Anderson and their wives.

“Grandmother Melissa was a true self-sufficient pioneer. She became a widow at a very early age. Her first husband, John Dagbert Whipple, died when my father Raymond Homer Whipple, was only nine years old and his younger brother, Vivian Earl Whipple, was seven.

“At the time of Grandfather JD Whipple’s death, they owned a small Pioneer General Store in Aurora, Utah. They also owned a 40-acre farm just outside of that town. The building where the store was located was also their home. There was a barn and other outbuildings on this property and a good cellar for storing food all year round. They also had pigpens, chicken coops and a milk cow shed in combination with a horse corral where they kept horses. They had one draft team and a saddle horse that was also used to pull the family buggy. When Grandmother traded for animals, she added them to the appropriate pen in her barnyard. Grandmother had her widowed mother living with them for a number of years.

“When I (Dale) was in my early 20s, I went with my wife, Marilyn, and my parents to Aurora to see where my father was born and to view the old pioneer family homestead, store and farm. Dad was born Aug. 31, 1889. Uncle V was born later. We found the home/store and farm property without a problem. We looked for Grandpa Whipple’s grave, but could not find it or any record of it in the town. This was so disappointing to me.

“I learned the retail store business from Grandmother Melissa. I started my retail business from my home in Declo in 1945, with the help of Grandmother. I had 15 stores, mostly in California and Utah, until I retired. I only kept the Book Plaza in Burley. My wife, Marilyn Jensen Whipple, and our children, did most of the work in these stores.

“Our Whipple stores have roots back to Edson Whipple and his stores, and to his parents and so on, clear back to Colonial America and before that back to Ipswic, England and then to France to the Battle of Agencourt. I have additional records about these older histories.

Edson Whipple married Mary Ann Yeager, who became the mother of my Grandpa John D. Whipple. My Great Grandmother’s parents also owned a pioneer General Store in Pennsylvania, I believe.

“Edson also married Mary Ann Yeager’s sister, Harriet Yeager. He married both of them on the same day, Nov. 4, 1850. He also married Amelia Mariah Fellows on Sept. 6, 1854 and Mary Ann Quinney on April l26, 1857…

“I baptized my father. Grandmother and Grandpa were members and they were married in the Temple, but Granmother turned against the church because of polygamy. Grandmother said there were too many hypocrites (somebody feigning high principles; somebody who pretends to have admirable principles, beliefs, or feelings, but behaves otherwise). Grandmother Melissa was very honest and had high principles but she could not tolerate men who were “street angels and home devils.” In Christianity and some other religions, the devil was the enemy of god. She knew men who ruled by Hell, and men who tempted people to sin. I mention this because she held very stong views.

“Grandmother, however, was a very Christian lady in all her actions. She had a very hard life and did not have room in her life for fools or hypocrites. I loved my Grandmother Melissa very much and she was always one of my very best heroes.

“Grandmother Melissa was a very good General Store Merchant. She had beehives and did a good business in honey, as did Uncle Vivian, when he started his own farm and honey business. Grandmother not only extracted honey for sale, she also made great candy. She had two stoves, one a coal stove for summer and the other a wood burning stove for winter. She made the best Honey Candy I ever tasted. She also taught her two sons to make great candy. She used honey in many ways in cooking as well as a sweetener at meals. I also learned that honey had its uses in her herbal doctoring. She knew a great deal about herbal medicine. She was well-taught by her mother.

“Grandmother put lots of food by for winter and for hard times. She knew how to dry food and preserve it and how to cure and smoke meat to last for months. She often helped the poor and destitute but she never asked for charity herself. As a matter of fact, she refused help from anyone except her own family. Her brother, Uncle Joe Adams, was a great help to this widow lady.

“Grandmother knew how to treat a bloated cow, a Sweeney horse, a sick child and adults. She helped the midwives and helped to pull teeth. She could set broken bones and get rid of warts. She put some kind of milkweed concoction on my fingers, and sure enough, the warts went away. She was very good at buying, selling and trading. She would get a good deal, or “no trade.”

“She was a great cook and the local farmers, cowboys and other came to Melissa’s Store for food, candy, tools, clothing, medicine and other supplies. She would take a cow in trade and have her older brother butcher it. She would already have most of the meat sold before it was ready. She would keep the hide. She knew how to butcher and how to tan hides, but she always had others do this for her. I don’t know if she considered herself a “Women’s Libber,” or not. She was sure independent and very talented. She could drive a team of horses or oxen. She worked in the fields when necessary. She made great fruit pies. She liked green tea.

“She was little, but mighty – and she was the root from which the Book Plaza took shape.

“My roots make me who I am.

“There is a family legend that talks about a second American Tea Party that was led by a Whipple…Also a Whipple signed the Declaration of Independence. Also look up the Whipple-designed American flag.

“Grandma Melissa suffered from constant pain from her arthritis. She had painful joints in her fingers. This was a medical condition that affected her other joints, causing her great pain, swelling and stiffness. She never complained, but I saw her suffering.

“Grandmother had some pretty deep beliefs about certain things:

“Use it up or wear it out; Keep things repaired and sharp; Surplus flowers – dry them and sell them for winter funerals; Roosevelt is not going to get my gold and silver; Mustard plasters will help you get well fast; Boys should go barefoot in summer and save shoe leather.”

Happy 100th Birthday Book Plaza

(Ed. Note: This is just a portion of an interesting and unique history Col. Dale Whipple shared with us recently about his grandmother, for our (and your) reading enjoyment.)



Here’s a chart showing the children of Edson through his wives.Edson Whipple Descendency



A book, written by Katherine Stradling Hendricks, can be found at http://edsonwhipplevalantpioneer.blogspot.com/ Including the sample pages that follow:

Edson Whipple Cover Page

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Back Cover

Enos Curtis and Ruth Franklin:

From family histories, notes and recollections, we find our ancestors an ambitious and faithful class of people, prominent in all walks of life.

SAMSUNG DIGIMAX D530Great Great Grandfather Enos Curtis had a patriarchal blessing, September 29, 1841, Nauvoo, Illinois, which gives us the names of his parents, Edmond Curtis and Polly Avery. Enos is known to be among the first six to preach the gospel to President Brigham Young. He was ordained a patriarch in 1851. He had a brother, Henry. We have very little of their history, but trust that through research we will find them and more about their lives.

Enos Curtis was born 9 October 1783, in Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York. He married Ruth Franklin and had a family of fourteen children, all born in Tiago County, Pennsylvania. They both did their own temple work in Nauvoo, in 1846. Little is known of great great Grandmother Ruth Franklin, but her children picture her as a staunch, lovable mother, who taught her children the bounties of life. She died about 1843, before the family came to Utah, most probably in Missouri.

The family came to Utah in 1850, giving up all their possessions and friends, because of the call of their religion. They endured the hardships of pioneer life, cold, hunger, disease, and famine, were often persecuted by fierce and war-like indians.

Enos married his second wife, Tamma Durfee Miner, in Salt Lake, 1850. Moroni Miner, a step-son of Enos Curtis, now 94 years old, speaks very highly of his step-father, telling of the great struggle to make a home, how congenial the two families were together, and how he seemed so much like his own father. He said Enos Curtis was an expert in chair-making, doing all the framework, while his step-sons, Mormon and Moroni, very efficiently made the chair bottoms of reed or leather. They moved to Springville in 1851.

(See, “A Memorial written by Tamma Miner, on March 13, 1881, in Springville, and filed away in the Jubilee Box.)

Historical Sketch of Edson Whipple

(Transcribed by Karen P. Mosley from photocopies of history with my father’s genealogy papers. Spelling and punctuation modernized.)

Edson Whipple, son of John Whipple and Basmoth Eleanor Hutchins and grandson of Timothy Whipple and Elizabeth Safford, was born in the town of Dummerston, Windham County, Vermont, the 5th of February, 1805.

“I was baptized by Elder Benjamin Winchester in Philadelphia, 15 June 1840; confirmed by Lorenzo Barnes; ordained a presiding Priest by President Orson Hyde, 17 Oct 1840; ordained a High Priest and First Counselor to Elder Benjamin Winchester in Philadelphia by President Hyrum Smith, 6 April 1842.

“I moved to Nauvoo, Sept. 1842. I was called at the General Conference, April, 1844, to go on a mission in company with David Yearsley to the state of Pennsylvania to canvass the state and present to the people Joseph Smith’s views on government and present him for a candidate for the next president of the United States. We left Nauvoo May 4th and returned the following November.

“While away, the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred. The first meeting after my return, I saw the Mantle of Joseph Smith rest upon Brigham Young while he spoke to the people.

“I assisted in building the city and Temple and defending our homes against the mob. I was present at the laying of the capstone of the Temple and received my Endowments in it when finished. During the winter of 1845, I worked under Capt. Charles Rich at making wagons, being organized in his company of ten. In the spring of 1846, May 15, we crossed the Mississippi River on our way to the Rocky Mountains and the valley of the Great Salt Lake; myself, my wife, my mother and my child.

“We stopped at Garden Grove two weeks and then rolled on for Council Bluffs. We overtook Bishop Hale’s company and travelled with them. While traveling, we met President Brigham Young returning from the Bluffs to Pisgah. He informed us that the government had made a demand on us, the Latter-day Saints, for 500 men to enlist as volunteers to go to Mexico, and said we should respond after arriving at the bluffs. As we were counseled, myself and family and several other families looked out for a place, some 25-30 miles below the Bluffs, down the river where we thought of wintering on Long Creek.

“We prepared for the winter but found after remaining there until Nov. 1st, it was such an unhealthy place, we had to move. While there, myself and family were all sick and on the 9th of September, 1846, my mother died, and on the 13th , my wife died at the same time myself and child were very sick. The whole camp of 14 families were all sick but two persons, and many died, some whole families. After our removal to another place, some four families, my little girl died on the 8th of December and was taken and buried by the side of her mother. She was 22 months old. They were buried in coffins made from planks split off from Bass Wood trees.

“Being driven from our comfortable homes in Nauvoo, being exposed as we were to heat and storm and camp life, and deprived of the comforts of life by a ruthless mob, they died martyrs to the cause of Christ, and in the resurrection will receive a martyr’s reward. Now in 1846, the same year we left Nauvoo, I buried my mother, Basmoth Eleanor Hutchins, my wife, Lavinia Goss, and my 22-month-old baby girl, Mariah Blanche, side by side about 25-30 miles below Omaha, Nebraska.

“In the spring of 1847, I was called with 142 others and organized as a pioneer company to lead the way through the wilderness to the mountains. I left Winter Quarters April 9, 1847, and arrived in Salt Lake Valley July 22, traveling in the first of the second division, under Captain Appleton Harmon. In the same company with Heber C. Kimball, I was one of the guards selected to guard the camp, and had to stand guard half of the night every third night.

“When the company was within about 60 miles of the Salt Lake Valley, it was divided owing to sickness in camp. Willard Richards started with about one-third of the company and two days later, George A. Smith started with about half of the company that had been left. I went with his company and we overtook the first company about 7 miles before they reached Salt Lake Valley, and the next day about 4-5 o’clock, we camped in the valley on what is called East Canyon Creek. The next morning, we moved and camped on City Creek, and the next day, President Brigham Young arrived with the rest of the company, it being July 24, 1847.

“We had with us plows and harrows and we soon began to use them, but found the ground had to be watered before we could plow. So we appointed a man, one of our number, by the name of Walsey, to be our water master. We watered from 50-75 acres and plowed and planted it. We put in a variety of seeds which came up and grew rapidly, but owing to the lateness of the season, few matured.

“In a few days after our arrival, the Mormon Battalion arrived. They had wintered in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After arriving in Salt Lake, about half of the pioneers returned. I remained to take charge of the property and of Brother Heber C. Kimball’s family and effects that came in the company that followed the pioneers. Having buried all of my family on the road, I farmed for him the first year and raised 400 bushels of grain.

“I was a member of the first High Council organized in Salt Lake City in the two years after the immigrants arrived. On the 13th of October, I started with a company of eleven others to go to the states on business for myself and the discharged soldiers. While I was in the states, Elder Woodruff was sent back to the states with an epistle from the twelve Apostles to gather out the Saints from the east. I was called by a written epistle to assist him in visiting the Saints and to help him in the gathering. I had been laboring in Maryland and had baptized 16 members and organized a branch of churches there.

“I visited Bro. Woodruff in Boston and was requested to cross the plains in his company in the early part of June, 1850. I met him at Bethlehem, at the crossing of the Missouri River, where his company was organized with captains of tens, of fifties, and of hundreds. He appointed me captain of fifty. Each 50 travelled separately, but sometimes we camped together on Sunday. Capt. Leonard Hardy had charge of the first fifty in which Bro. Woodruff started. I had a blacksmith in my company, and when he arrived at Ash Hollow, he having ten wagons loaded with merchandise and machinery, needing repairing, he moved them into my company with me.

“We arrived in Salt Lake City on the 13th of October, 1850. I had been absent two years. Soon after my return, I married, having been single since I buried my family at Pattawattan in 1846. I was then called to go with George A. Smith to settle Iron County. I left Salt Lake City on the 4th of December, 1850. There were 101 wagons in all. We arrived at the place where Parowan is now located on the 14th of January. In organizing Iron County, George A. Smith was appointed Judge of the County Court. It required two associates at the time to make a full bench, and I was his first associate.

“In our military organization, I was elected Captain over the company called the Home Guards. George A. Smith called on us to present plans for the laying out of our fort and for the plan for locating our houses. Several of the company presented plans and my plans were accepted; Parowan was built according to them. George Brimhall and myself built the first thrasher and water power, getting a grant from the City Council to use the water of the creek and we thrashed the first crop raised. I was a member of the City Council. In May, 1851, Pres. Brigham Young made us a visit and while there, Pres. Heber C. Kimball counseled me, saying when the mission was established to return to Provo.”

–From the Writings of Laura Whipple Holdaway Daughter of Edson Whipple

I feel duty-bound to give a few memories of the life of my father, Edson Whipple, as I remember him from my childhood up until his death. I don’t know how long he stayed in Parowan (about a year), but his first two children, Ann Walrade and Dagbert, were born there. Their mother’s names were Harriet and Mary Ann Yeager. After moving back to Provo, he held some responsible positions, some of them as follows: As long as I can remember, he was first counselor to Bishop Andrew H. Scott, holding this office for 20 or more years. He was also Justice of the Peace, then first counselor to Bishop James W. Loveless. He lived in the Second Ward and was City Councilor and Pond Keeper for the city of Provo. In October, 1880, he moved with his family to Arizona and was prosperous there, but when they began to put the Edmunds-Tucker Act into effect, he visited Provo and afterwards moved to Old Mexico. After burying his first wife and child on the plains, he in time took four other wives—Mary Ann and Harriet Yeager, 4 Nov 1850; Amelia Fellows, 6 Sep 1954; and Mary Quinney, 26 Apr 1857. He raised families by all four wives. The first two mentioned (sisters) always lived in the same house and for a good many years, three of them lived in the same house, all having their own apartments. We lived very happily. If there was ever any trouble of ill feelings of any kind toward each other, I never heard of it. My dear mother, Mary Ann, was a mother to the whole family. In any kind of sickness or trouble, she was always there to comfort and cheer. She was the first to die. I then lived with Aunt Harriet for several years and I can truly say she never gave me an unkind word or look but was indeed a mother to me. At the same time, she had a family of five boys to do for and we all went to school. My father was kind but firm, never went in debt, always helped the poor, often taking in a whole family until they could get located. He held weekly meetings where all the family were expected to take part. He was very jolly and a good entertainer. He taught us to be honest, upright and truthful by setting us the example. All my life I have thought if I could only be as good and useful as those dear ones, I would be satisfied. He died in the town of Colonia Juarez, Mexico, 11 May 1894, at the age of 89 years and 3 months. He was the father of 34 children and 85 grandchildren. He died as he had lived, in full faith of the gospel. John Whipple, Edson’s father, died in West Dummerston, Windham, Vermont. He is buried in the cemetery nearby where he died. His gravestone is white marble with the following inscription on it: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord”. He has two daughters and one son buried on the north by his side—Betsy, Mariah and Edson. John Whipple moved to Brattleboro when eight years old and at 19 took up 113 acres of land in Dummerston, Vermont. He lived on the same farm until his death at 66 years of age. Edson’s grandfather’s name was Timothy Whipple. He had but one brother, Samuel. He lived and died at Groton, Connecticut. The Name and Family of Whipple The name and family of Whipple is from the Anglo-Saxon. The meaning generally ascribed to the name is a whip-like bar. The name is sometimes found in the form of Whelple, Wippill and Whippull. There are records of the members of the family throughout the British Isles, most frequently in England. The records show that the Whipples are landowners, industrious tradesmen and respectable citizens. There is good reason to believe that the ancestors of the Vermont branch of the family originated with Henri De Whipple of Normandy. Groups of the family are to be found in almost every state in the union, a large section being found in New York. Most popular of the Christian names to be found in the family of the Whipples are Mathew, John, Benjamin, William, Sarah, Anna and Joseph. William Whipple of Maine (1730-1785) was the most famous of the family to serve in the War of the Revolution. In 1776, he was elected to the Continental Congress and he was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He served with exceptional bravery as Brigadier General in the Revolution. Later, he became Judge of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire. William Whipple was a descendant of Mathew Whipple of Ipswich through a long line of military men who were prominent in the service of the colonies. Whipples have distinguished themselves in the learned professions but they are perhaps more noted for their achievements as warriors on land and sea, both in the old world and in the new. Family historians consider the most outstanding general characteristics of the family to be determination and courage. Even in their pioneering, they were a noted family of people. John Whipple’s family was noted as pioneers of the West. He was the son of Timothy Whipple of Connecticut and Vermont. There are histories written of the descendants of these men who pioneered the country all the way to Mexico and endured many hardships. Edson Whipple, son of John Whipple who was born in Vermont in 1805-1894, spent his time on the frontier helping to settle and farm the country. He had four large families of children and they were men and women who were some of the sturdy pioneers of the west.

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