Charles William Grames History
Colaborador: AnitaMooney Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
HISTORY OF CHARLES WILLIAM GRAMES
(as told to Albert Grames--Charles Wm. Grames'
youngest son, by his mother--Maria Lilywhite)
Charles William Grames was born 18 February 1812 at Findon, Sussex, England to Richard and Mary Ade Grames. He learned the trades of watchmaker, tailor, and tinker. When he was almost twenty-three years old, he married his sweetheart, Emma Tate, on 27 January 1835 in Findon, Sussex, England. She was the daughter of Samuel and Martha Chart Tate. They had three children: Henry, Walter Tate, and Ellen. Henry died as a young child, then Emma died on 30 November 1841, at the age of twenty-five, when her youngest child was only nineteen months old. She died and is buried in Findon.
Charles William Grames raised Walter Tate and Ellen alone for just two years, then he
married Maria Lillywhite on 4 December 1843 in Broadwater, Sussex, England. Maria was born on 14 May 1822 in Durrington, Sussex, England to Joseph and Maria Stafford Lilywhite. Charles brought her to live in Findon, and between 1844 and 1857, they became parents to six more children: Alfred, Emily, Esther, Frederick Emper, Charles, and Mary Jane. Esther died when she was still quite young.
Charles William Grames, and some of his family, were baptized members of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on 10 June 1853 at Worthing, England by Elder Henry Mitchell. He was confirmed by Elder W. Wallace, and ordained to the Priesthood by Elder John Lewis on 4 August 1853.
Charles left his family in England, and came to the United State in the spring of 1856, hoping to have his family with him soon. He settled in New Town, on Long Island in New York state, and established a tailor shop to earn enough money for their passage to America. He sent for his family a year later. There was much rejoicing when the money arrived for Maria and the seven children (Ellen, Alfred, Emily Frederick Emper, Charles, and Mary Jane) to immigrate to America. There was only one thing to mar the happiness they all felt, and that was they had been warned--since Mary Jane was such a frail little child, she would never withstand the long, hard ocean voyage. Nothing much could be taken with them, and their small beautiful cottage, with its pretty flowers, had to be disposed of. They bid their many friends, neighbors, and relatives "goodbye." They knew they would probably never see them again. They became passengers on the ship "Little Mayflower" with glad hearts, knowing they would soon be reunited with Charles; their husband and father. They knew they would make many new friends among the Church members in the wonderful land of America.
The ship rolled and tossed up and down across the waves for eight long weary weeks. It
seemed as if the giant waves would swallow the small ship at times. Some of the passengers died at sea, and others felt like they were going to die. The predictions about little Mary Jane proved very wrong, because she seemed to be the only one who really enjoyed the trip, and she got better and better each day. At last, someone looked, the shoreline was sighted, and a cry of happiness arose from the weary travelers. They were nearly there! Charles met his family, after they passed through the Immigration Office. There was much rejoicing, with high hopes of a wonderful new life in America.
Many obstacles still lay between them and the "promised land", but they had made it this far, and they were willing to continue the struggle.
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It was bitter cold when they arrived in the spring of 1858, and they were not accustomed to
the cold. They stayed in New Town, on Long Island, New York for two years. Then Charles moved his family to Florence, Iowa (now known as Council Bluffs, Iowa). They were in hopes of crossing the plains to Utah with the rest of the Saints as soon as possible. Charles' daughter, Ellen, by his first marriage, had met a young man, and they had fallen in love. They were married in Florence in 1861, so she did not cross the plains with her father, but with her husband instead, in the Milo Andrus Company.
Charles had to return to New York, but he left his family in Florence, awaiting his return.
He was re-baptized on 30 June 1860 by Elder Fecher. Charles made arrangements with the officials of the Church for transportation money to cross the plains. He returned to his family, and they started to make the necessary preparations. They started across the plains on 1 July 1861, with the Joseph Home Handcart Company. A man name Mr. Cannon was the Captain of the Company. There were five hundred English and Welsh men, women, and children in the Company. The handcarts were made of simple construction, and of wood. The boxes were hickory or oak, with shafts made of the same material. The axles were uniformly made of hickory. In length, they were about six or seven feet long, with three or four binding crossbars from the back part of the cart. There was a two or three foot space across the front bar for a man, woman, or child to pull on.
Across the bars of the bed of the cart was usually a piece of ticking or counterpane sewn onto the wooden cart. They were allowed seventeen pounds of belongings per person. Only the sick, and small children were allowed to ride in the handcarts. The people tugged and pushed the handcarts across the plains with one thought uppermost in their minds--to get to Zion, where they could worship God as they saw fit. It was found they made better time than the ox teams. They walked mile after mile, day after day, during the hottest months of the year. Sometimes nothing could be seen for miles, except sage brush and ant hills covered with colorful "Indian Beads." The Indians attacked the Company, driving off the cattle, and taking one young girl with them. She was never heard of again.
They finally arrived in the Salt Lake valley on 20 September 1861. It had taken them two
months and twenty days to come across the plains. Every pioneer was very tired, but extremely elated to finally be there. They were met at the mouth of Emigration Canyon by President Brigham Young, and many people from Salt Lake City came out to welcome them.
Charles William Grames worked very hard bringing the large granite stones out of the
canyon to help build the Salt Lake Temple. This was Charles' way to pay back the Church Perpetual Immigration Fund for the money he borrowed to get his family to Utah.
He was a tinsmith, a watch repairman, and also a tailor. He made clothes for many of the
people, and he also made clothes to bury the dead in. Charles also made coffins. He never took any pay from any of his customers who were poor, because he remembered what it was like to have hardships in his own life.
From the eastern part of the United States, came word of the outbreak of the Civil War; the war between the Northern and Southern states over the issue of slavery. It was at this time Brigham Young chose a group of people to move to Ft. Ephraim, Utah to help settle that area, and build a new community. When the people arrived there, they found themselves in the midst of the "Black Hawk Indian War." The people were forced to live inside of the fort for protection. The homes inside of the fort were often just one room for the entire family. The men, and some of the older male youth, went from the fort to fight the Indians, while the women and children remained inside. Charles and Maria became parents to their last child, Albert James, at Ft. Ephraim during this time. They had been in Zion exactly one year.
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President Brigham Young sent a group of people to Richfield, Utah, including Charles and
Maria, but they weren't there long, as the Indians in the area were very fierce. They had to move again in a hurry, so nearly everything was left behind, except what could be loaded into their wagon quickly. It was April, the snow had melted and the rivers were running very high. The family hadsome small pigs, which were put in the wagon, and they would stand on their hind legs, with their front feet up on the end gates of the wagon to keep their heads above the water. Albert and Mary Jane sat on a board, and put their feet on the pigs to keep their feet dry when they crossed the rivers. The rest of the time they walked, and let the pigs have the wagon. When the family reached the Sevier River, the pigs were taken out of the wagon and driven across. Many of them drowned. Some of the wagons tipped over and spilled everything into the water.
The family settled in Spring City, living in dugouts built in a creek bed. It was rather cold
and dark there, as they could neither build a fire or light a lamp after dark. The dugouts were nearly level with the ground, and could not easily be detected. Many of the people went to the meetinghouse to stay.
Charles and his older sons (who weren't really very old) helped fight the Indians. The
Indians were very cruel to the people, and showed no mercy or sympathy. There were killings and scalping of the people all around the family everyday. The worst thing any of the children ever saw was during the war, two men were killed with arrows, and the Indians scalped them before they died. The Indians were as bad about setting fire to the houses in the area where Charles and Maria lived, as they were in some of the other settlements. The Indians would never attack or fight after dark, so the people always breathed a hugh sigh of relief when night finally came. They could feel secure until the first light of the next morning. Then if the Indians were planning to come, they usually would come very early to drive the cattle and horses away. If they happened to be hobbled, and could not be driven away, the Indians would quickly slaughter them. Charles drove his cattle into a big corral at night, and set guards around them. Many times, the guards would be killed also.
Charles and his family saw Black Hawk many times. He was trim-built, and wore a head
dress of fancy feathers, that were naturally colored, and would drop down his back. These feathers were from the Red-Tailed Hawk and the Eagle. He wore blankets of many designs and colors, as blankets were worn most of the time by the Indians. However, at times, they would trade some of them to the white people for other articles of clothing. They wore moccasins made of buckskin with rawhide soles, trimmed with colorful beadworks. Their hair was raven black, and very course, and braided into two braids. Their tepees were made of buckskins. They would take several skins, sew them together, and stretch them around eight or ten small poles, leaving a hole in the top center for
the smoke to escape. When they got ready to move, they would gather the poles, and tie them on each side of the horse, leaving one end to drag on the ground. Whenever the Grames family saw Indians coming, they could always tell how they felt toward them. They would paint their faces; and if the paint was red, and in round spots--they were friendly. If their faces were black and had stripes- -that meant war, and it was time to be prepared. Their paint was dug by squaws during times of peace, from the minerals and rocks which they got in the hills. The squaws were never seen during the battles and skirmishes.
When the people in and around the settlements heard the drums beating in the distance, they would gather all of their children together, and would run for the fort. They feared they would be attacked before they could reach it.
The Indian arrows were poisoned by taking the liver from animals. Next, they would find
a rattlesnake, and tease it until it would bite the liver many times. The liver would then be put into some of their pottery,and kept until it was well-rotted. The Indians would cut one of the squaw's arms, and let the blood drip onto the liver mixture. If it curdled--it was good poison. Two sets of
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arrows were kept by the Indians. One set was to kill animals for food, and the other was used to fight their enemies. The arrow was much more poisonous than the snake, as only a slight wound was needed to kill a person. Next, the family lived in Santaquin, Utah. They lived in a dugout in the bank of a dry wash. Charles William and the older boys were away fighting the Indians at the time of this incident: That particular winter was bitterly cold. The ice and snow melted during the day, and the dugout filled with water. Maria and the children tried to stop the water from coming in with every means they could think of, but the dugout filled up anyway, and the family knew they had to leave. There was water on the top of the ice, and the children were barefooted. Albert and Mary Jane cried because
they were so cold as they ran along the ice in their bare feet. Charley, about thirteen years old, packed the bedding as fast as he could--which was about all they saved. Some kind people took Maria and the other children into their home for awhile. Then, the family moved into the meetinghouse. Maria would wake her children up quite early every Sunday morning, and together they would move their things outside while Church was being held.
In 1865, the Indians killed several families who were returning home from Manti after
working at the flour mills. The sacks of flour were cut open, and poured over the dead bodies. The Indians fixed the flour sacks so they could be worn as clothing. Many of the sacks were covered with blood from the massacre.
Black Hawk finally died in 1868, while he was near Santaquin, Utah. Many stories have
been told about his death. He was not very old--as Indians usually live to a great old age. He was only about sixty years old. After his death, the Indians were not nearly so vicious.
In 1869, Charles and Maria moved to Salem, Utah. In Joe's Valley, the Indians were not so friendly, but more civilized than the Black Hawk Indians. There were only about one hundred people in Salem at this time. They still had to meet in the meetinghouse for protection. On day, late in the afternoon, the sound of drums could be heard, warning of an imminent attack. Charles decided to move his family for the night. After dark, he hitched up the horses to the wagon, and took their bedding. They camped out that night in the bush. Alfred, Charles' older son, had decided to stay home. About daylight, the next morning, the family was aroused out of a sound, but not too comfortable sleep, to find they had camped on the main street of Payson, Utah! The horses were hitched up again, and the family started for home. After they were on the road awhile, they came to an Indian camp--they had passed through it the night before, though they never knew it, because
it was pitch black.
The children were beginning to grow up, find, marry their sweethearts, and begin families
of their own. Soon, Charles built a willow house. Poles were set in the ground, and willows were woven around these, with cane pumey put on the roof to keep the rain out. These were as good or better than shingles. The house was very airy when the cold wind blew the next winter though. The cane pumey they used to put on the roof was the stalk after the cane had been ground to extract the juice for molasses. The stalk first were through three big steel rollers where the juice was crushed out. The juice ran into a trough, and then into the boilers. These boilers were made in sections. The juice went into one end of the boiler, and when it started to cook, it would run into the different sections. It would run out, after it was done, into barrels. Molasses was about the only sweetening agent the
people had. It was made by water power--a big thirty foot water wheel was used. Each family would put in enough sugar cane to make all of the molasses they needed for the winter. Each family furnished their own wood to keep the fires going under the boilers. The man who made the molasses charged one-third of it for making it. It took ten hours to run a batch through. It sold for seventy-five cents a gallon.
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Every Saturday the big molasses boilers were cleaned. The children could be seen happily trooping through the town to get a tasty treat. It was all the candy or sweets some of the children ever had. They would get cane stalks, and run them around in the bottom of the boilers. This would gather a big ball of cooking juice on the end of the stalk. The children would hold them up in the air to cool, then they could be eaten. Often they would be covered from head to toe with drippings of molasses candy, if the older children felt playful, and would wind it around the younger children's necks.
Charles and Maria had some of their boys herd their cows all day. The cows were taken out early every morning, and brought back home late that night. No matter how cold it was the children never had a pair of shoes. They took a small container of molasses for their lunch. One time, Alfred was herding cows in the winter, when a fog came in, and he couldn't see where he was going. He got close to the swamps at Pond's Town, and fell in. After awhile he got out, and started to run home, barefooted. His clothes froze solid on him in just a little while. His pants broke where his knee bent. He felt he was not going to be able to run all the way home, so he stopped at a farmhouse and got help.
The Indians were still very hostile to the new settlers, and this made life very difficult. Many
of the people moved away to Castle Valley in 1880, including Charles and Maria. The Indians did not like this valley at all. They thought their horses would die there because there was nothing but desert and sagebrush. The Indians thought the land wasn't worth fighting over, so the people were mostly left alone.
Frederick Emporer was the second of Charles and Maria's children to die. He died in 1899, then Charles William Grames died in Price, Utah, of old age, 16 March 1901, being eighty-nine years, and 26 days old. He is buried in the Price City Cemetery in Price, Carbon, Utah. Maria Lillywhite Grames did not live very long after Charles died. She died 30 July 1902, in Price; just one year, four months, and fourteen days after Charles; she being just eighty years, two and a half months old. She is also buried in Price.
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