Sarah Crosby Hill
Colaborador: GeneArchivist Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
By Bonnie Madge Shipley Anderson - Sarah's Great Granddaughter
*Italics are my notes to myself.
Sarah Crosby was born the 25th day of August in 1837 or 1834, in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, on the seashore of the North Sea. She was the daughter of William Crosby and Marie Rassmussen or Frances Ransom. I believe it is Frances Ransom.
On the 16th day of November 1856, at the age of 20, Sarah was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Leeds, Yorkshire, England by Issac Fox. Issac Fox was called to preside over the Leeds branch 15th day of May 1853 and the Bradford Conference in December, 1856 and the Glasgow conference in January, 1857. She was rebaptized the 20th day of March 1857, in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. There was a Sarah Crosby baptized 2 Jul 1844, attending the Manchester, England Conference and a Ellen Crosby, Thomas Crosby, Hannah Crossley, and William Crossley.
Sarah's ship was the William Tapscott. It left Liverpool, England 11 May 1860 and arrived in New York 16 Jun 1860. Her name was entered as Sarah Crasby by mistake and so it was hard finding her.
About the 22nd of June 1862, Sarah is living in Brooklyn, New York with her new husband Joseph Hill, and two of his friends Richard and Richard’s sister Hester Jessop. They were married the 24th day of May in the year 1862, in New York City. I would guess Brooklyn.
Sarah, Joseph, and Joseph’s younger brother William left New York the 18 June 1862.They traveled at first by train and little of importance occurred until they were traveling through the state of Illinois. There one of the cars that was loaded with the Saints’ baggage took fire and, instead of them uncoupling the car from the rest and pulling it a short distance away, and letting the people save what they could from the fire, they took the car six miles away to the next station. When the engineer returned back to the train, he swore that he would drive all the damned Mormons to hell. Putting on all the steam, he jumped from his engine and let her come full force into the car. Upon arriving to the place where they had taken the burning car, there was nothing left of it. There were hundreds of people around there, who no doubt had saved lots of the things that were in the car and carried them off. Sarah wasn’t to find out if her luggage was gone until she took passage on the steamboat and arrived at Florence, or Winter Quarters on the opposite side of the Old Missouri River from Council Bluffs. Much to her delight all of her luggage, Joseph’s and William’s was safe. Richard and Hester Jessop had lost all of their things.
While waiting for the horse teams that would take them to the Great Salt Lake Valley, Sarah lived in a tent with her husband and eight other people . These tents were placed from sixteen to twenty feet apart, each way. There were nearly three thousand saints all there at this time. Each tent had a head person who was to look after the interests and comforts of those who were placed under their charge. They held regular meetings, and all met together for prayers, night and morning. Food was handed out each morning from the commissary to the head of each family for the day.
The teams began to come in at short intervals, and one train left under the direction of Captain Kimball, the second under Captain Murdock, and a third under the direction of Captain Waite. The fourth under the direction of Captain Henry Miller’s was the one for Sarah and Joseph and the Jessups to travel with. Each company had fifty wagons with ten persons to each wagon and tent, besides the teamsters. William came with a different group later. Joseph had agreed to pay William’s way to Winters Quarters and William was to work the rest of the way.
It was a long and tiresome trip. Most of the company suffered with mountain fever. Joseph also came down with it. Every day they stopped to bury the dead. They reached Coalville, Utah on the 17 day of October 1862.
The newlyweds stayed here and in Hoptesville until the first day of March 1863. Sarah was pregnant with her first child at this time and they lived the winter in a dugout that Joseph and William built. Their diet was beans with no meat, except when they could kill a jack rabbit once in a while. They had little bread, but as William reported in his diary they got a long very well.
5 March 1863, Joseph started working at the Temple block and after April Conference they moved to Cache Valley and settled in Nillville. This wasn’t for long because May 15, the couple moved to Smithfield.
August 19, 1863, Sarah and Joseph became parents of James Hill, who was born in Smithfield. The family grew as a daughter, Frances, joined them on January 15, 1865, and a son, Joseph Crosby Hill, on October 16, 1866.
Sarah and Joseph were sealed for time and all eternity in the Endowment House, November 28, 1866, when their youngest was about six weeks old. I haven’t found any record that any of the children were sealed at this time. Sarah became the number one wife on December 7, 1868, when Joseph married Betsy Ann Harper. They were sealed 6 Dec 1871, in the Endowment House. Sarah might have been of good disposition and faithful to have accepted this and given her permission. Alice says Betsy and Joseph separated until 6 Dec 1871. I haven’t confirmed this information. Her Mother-in-law knew them personally and says it is so. The Harper/Hill family leaves out the early marriage on purpose or why I don’t know.
Sarah gave birth to her fourth child, a daughter, Mary Maria on April 15, 1868, in Brigham City. Two more daughters joined the family. Sarah Jane, July 20, 1869, born in Millville and Rosetta, (or Rosette), born May 21, 1871, in Smithfield.
I am not sure where Joseph was when Sarah Jane was born. He had taken a contract with the Union Pacific Railroad Company and was at the Promontory when the silver spike was driven joining the railroads. He didn’t return to Smithfield until Fall.
I met a man in Smithfield in 1979 that was a nephew of Joseph and Betsy Ann’s. He was over 100 years old and his name was Hillyard. He was still living across the street from Joseph’s home. He said Sarah and Betsy Ann lived in the same house and were very devoted to each other. That Betsy Ann took care of Sarah before she died and that Betsy treated all the children as her own. After figuring out the dates, I realized he couldn’t have been alive when Sarah was alive so must have been telling what he had heard and what he saw when Betsy was the only mother..
Sarah was only 37 years old when she died in Brigham City, Utah on 28 September 1871 She was buried in the Smithfield Cemetery where Joseph was buried next to her years later. Her oldest child was 8 years old. Rosette, the youngest, was 4 months old. Betsy Ann didn’t have any children of her own at this time. She had her first child eleven months later.
1. Who was in Brigham City? Joseph’s parents didn’t come to America until May 1870 they lived Brigham City with Louisa Clow Joseph’s sister. They moved to Salt Lake City in the Spring of 1871, and in August of 1871 they returned to England. Returning to Utah in 8 years and lived in Smithfield. Joseph’s mother got sick while visiting one of her daughters in American Fork and died and was buried in the American Fork Cemetery 28 June 1887.
2. Joseph and Sarah did live in Brigham City in October 1868, when his two sisters and youngest brother came from England.
1. Also listed as Marie Rassmussen. Listed as Fanny Crosby on Smithfield, Utah, ward records.
2. LDS Vital Records Library 1996 Infobases, Inc.
3. LDS Vital Records Library 1996 Infobases, Inc.
4. William Henry Hill’s autobiography, page 17.
5. From information given me by Alice H. Dunn.
The rest of the information was obtained from family records.
Colaborador: GeneArchivist Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
By Bonnie Madge Shipley Anderson
Started 1979 Finished 1985 - 1999
It was a beautiful and warm day in the summer of 1979. The drive to Smithfield in Cache Valley Utah had been peaceful to the ears and gorgeous to the eyes. I felt excited as we turned in the direction of the Smithfield Cemetery. Very soon I would be looking at my Great Grandmother's grave and hopefully find answers to questions I had in my heart and mind. Why I thought I would find my answers in a cemetery; I do not know. All of a sudden we were headed out of town. I was surprised but it didn't bother me. Weren't most cemeteries on the outskirts of a town? Soon I saw signs announcing a different community coming up and advertisements to see the home of Martin Harris, (one of the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon), but no signs for or of a cemetery. I decided I would stop at the next home and ask directions. That home had cars in front, but, no one answered my knock or ringing of the doorbell. So we drove on until I saw a house with several cars outside, the front door open, and I could hear music coming from inside the house. I rang the doorbell sure that someone would respond. No one did. So I knocked louder this time. Again, no response. Next I opened the screen door and I pounded with my fists several times on the open door. No answer. I called into the home asking if anyone was home. Again no answer. By this time I was ready to listen to the feeling I had in the pit of my stomach. It was hard to tell if it was the jitters from being in the car all day with three rowdy little boys or from the smell of wet clothing. Which came from sleeping in the rain the night before? Or could it be the Holy Ghost telling me to get away from this house. I didn't know what excitement or what caused it; but I was ready to leave. Andy, my husband, wanted to go back to town but I wanted to keep going the way we were and seek directions one more time.
We had to go quite a distance before I wanted to try another house. The house I picked was off the road and there was no sign of anyone being home. As we pulled into the yard; I jumped out of the van, but before I could even get to the gate a woman came out and ran down the sidewalk asking what I wanted. I felt a bit uncomfortable and quickly tried to assure her I only wanted to know where the Smithfield Cemetery was. She suspiciously asked me why I wanted to know and informed me that I was miles out of the way and in the wrong direction. I felt somewhat on the defensive and wanted to tell her I felt she had bad manners. Instead, I took a deep breath and explained that my paternal grandmother was from Smithfield and her parents and several other relatives were buried there. I didn't go into the details that I wanted to know who they were, and what they were like. Did they love each other, and were they happy? She suggested I just go back to town and follow the direction signs and started back into her house. I got back into the van and Andy was turning the van around when she shouted for us to stop. She wanted to know if we were doing genealogy work and were we members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I got out of the van and answered, "Yes.", to both of her questions. From the distrustful woman she first appeared to be she smiled then asked me to come into her home for a moment. By the time I got to her door she was on the telephone and beckoning for me to come inside. She motioned for me to sit down and continued to talk on the phone. Soon she asked me if I had some time to spend in Smithfield. I said I did and she continued to talk on the telephone. After she hung up the telephone she informed me that her husband's secretary, Theoda Downs, was the Historian for Smithfield and was at home on medical leave from her job in the school district. She had called her husband and gotten the woman's home number and called her. If we would go to the court-house she would meet us there and take us to the cemetery. I thanked her very much and we went back to Smithfield. I didn't realize at the time just how much I had to thank her for.
When we met up with Theoda Downs, Historian, she had a few questions regarding my relationship to Joseph and Sarah Hill. She then took me into the town council room and showed me a portrait of my great grandfather, Joseph Hill, who had been mayor of Smithfield for two terms. Next she took us to the cemetery and directly to the Hill's graves. It was like she went there every day. I was very surprised to discover how big the cemetery was and knew instantly we wouldn't have found their graves on our own. She proceeded to tell us stories of each of them and Great Grandfather Hill's other wife Betsy Ann. She identified the graves of the children buried next to them and other graves around them. One was Joseph and Sarah Crosby Hill's youngest child, Rosetta Hill, the others were infants and young children of Joseph's number two wife, Betsy Ann Harper. By the time Great Grandfather died he had seventeen children and six of them had preceded him in death.
What a delight it was as she took us through town showing us buildings and homes still in use that my great grandfather had built. He built the Rock Tithing Cellar and Grainery, Rock House where UIC /depot stands now and Union Mercantile Store, the Abe Smith Store, Miles Store, the Commercial National Bank, Smithfield's City Hall, and other stores and temples in Smithfield, Logan, and other areas. All I had known for sure was he was a brick mason and had built several buildings and helped on a few temples. I was thrilled to hear so much about him and Betsy Ann. My heart still cried out, "What about Sarah?” She took us to the family home. Which was still in very good condition? It surprised me that it was a frame house and not stone or brick. She pointed out the tree in front that Great Grandfather had planted. It was a huge tree and looked very healthy. I couldn't identify the type except to say, "Yes indeed it is a tree".
Across the street we talked to a 100 + year old man who had known my great grandfather and was a distant relative on Betsy Ann's side of the family. I believe he was a nephew. Mr. Hillyard's mind was very clear and alert. He had a real twinkle in his eyes. The first thing he told me was that my great grandfather had a great sense of humor. My great grandfather always referred to him as the little boy with the big name. After all the boy's name was a yard longer than his. Mr. Hillyard told me how devoted and caring he had been to his plural wives and all their children. They shared the same home with their husband and Sarah's children. Not out of necessity but because of love. The wives were very devoted to each other and Betsy Ann took care of Sarah before she died. At that time Betsy Ann became the mother of 6 children the youngest being 3 months old. It was said that she treated all the children as her own.
Many an evening would find Joseph playing not only with his own children but with several neighborhood children in the front yard also. This reminded me a lot of my brother Jack and how he is so good to play with his children. He also told me about when the tree was planted. Because I have waited so long to write this experience down; I don't remember any particular thing about the planting. Maybe it was significant because it was still alive and doing well.
So why did the Lord direct me to that particular home in the country? My great grandparents work was already done. Or so I thought. All their children's work was done. Or so I thought. I believe the Lord answers heart questions too. I had felt troubled for years about this family. Wondered why so much had been written about my Great Grandfather and his second plural wife Betsy Ann and so little was known of my great grandmother Sarah. I had worked myself up over it. I kept going over the records and praying wondering what could be wrong. I felt jealous of Betsy Ann and defensive for my great grandmother.
My great grandmother never kept a journal and so I don’t t know how she felt. Through the spirit, Mr. Hillyard, and Miss Downs, and a letter I received from a niece of Betsy Ann's; I discovered the answer to all my questions asked and only thought of in my heart. There was no reason for my jealous and defensive feelings. They were mine alone. There was only love and devotion in life, in death, and even now I believe they are all three together working and waiting for their progenitors to come to them.
William Henry Hill Part 1
Colaborador: GeneArchivist Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
THE BIOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM H. HILL
I have found some errors but they aren't major and I've left them in - so far. Cactusgem
Written by his own hand started on this the 26th day of December 1910.
My father’s name was James Hill who was the son of Joseph and Susannah Camplain Hill. My father married Charlotte Timms, and their family consisted of six children, namely:
Joseph Hill, born June 11, 1840 (Our Line)
Myself, William Henry Hill, born April 25, 1842
Jane Ann Hill, born June 21, 1844
Louisa Hill, born October 16, 1847
Charlotte Hill, born April 6, 1850
John James Hill, born August
My father was a mason by trade and in the early years of my life times were very hard in England and my father was under the necessity of traveling around the country a great deal in order to obtain sufficient labor to secure means of sustaining his family with the necessaries of life and was therefore unable to give his children the advantages of an education.
My parents were very much of a religious turn of mind and tried to live an honest upright life, but could not bring themselves to accept of any particular faith or belief, but leaned to the Methodist than any other, and would see to it that his children strictly attended their Sunday School and was very particular to see that his children never desecrated the Sabbath day, and after supper on Sunday evening he would have his children sit around the table and he would read to us from the New Testament about the Lord Jesus and his teachings, till we almost learned it off by heart, for he would read and then explain it so that we could understand it in a measure, so much so that I have never forgotten it, for it was the cause of my thinking a great deal upon the condition of the people of the world for with all the meetings I attended I had never heard any of the ministers preach the Doctrines that I understood the Savior of the world taught in His day, and when I was ten years of age I was able to read the Scriptures for myself and I used to think what a difference there was in the teachings of those I went to listen to, and the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
And just at this time came a change in my life, for it was then I had to start to labor to contribute my mite to the sustenance of the family by my daily labor. I started to work with my father to carry bricks and mortar to the masons at the large sum of 25 cents per day and I labored four years in that capacity. In the meantime I was studying the teachings of our Lord and master and the more I read the more I was convinced in my own mind that there was something wrong with the teachings of the religious sects of the day, and try as I would to be one with any of them I would find something to deter me from doing so, for I had been taught by my parents to always revere and reverence the name of God and His son Jesus Christ, and everything Godly. And this influence has followed me through my life thus far.
As I said, I labored with my father four years then at that time being 14 years of age, another change came in my life. My father desired that I should go to learn the carpentry business so I was put out as an apprentice to learn that trade with Mr. Richard Dunamore about two miles from where my parents then lived and the indentures were made up and sworn to before the Chief Justice that I should remain with him until I was 21 years of age, but I demurred very much at this.
As I had heard so much about America and its advantages for working men I had a great desire to come to that country when I should become a man, but had not mentioned it even to my parents until this time. Then I told them that the course they were taking would of no use, as I should be in America before I was 21 years of age, but not knowing at this time what would be the cause of my being willing to leave my native land and my parents, brothers and sisters and all that was near and dear unto me, to come to that land that I had heard so much about, but not withstanding, my thoughts in that direction, I started in my labors in the new business I was to learn, and they were onerous, as my principle labors consisted in doing chores, such as milking and taking care of two cows and one horse and what spare time I had I was expected to spend in the workshop learning to handle the various tools which I will say I took great pleasure in doing.
And thus two years passed by, and I had kept up my studying the teachings of our Savior in my spare moments, and with the small amount I had learned of the business I began to think that it would take me a long time before I would be able to earn by living at the business I had come there to learn, for my boss had become very much addicted to drink and was beginning to lose his customers and it seemed as though he would not be able to get any work either for himself or for me for long.
And just at this time another great change in my life occurred. My father called on me and told me that some Mormon Elders were going to preach in the village about four miles away from where I lived and that he was going to the meeting and asked me if I would like to go, this was the first time I had ever heard of Mormons, so more through the spirit of curiosity, I told my father that I would very much like to go and listen to what they had to say, so he went and asked my boss to let me off to go with him, so we went together and arrived there all in good time for the opening of the meeting so we took our seats, and in a few minutes two gentlemen came in and took seats on a temporary stand, and they soon opened the meeting by singing the hymn, “The Morning Breaks, The Shadows Flee”, Lo Zion’s Standard Unfurled”. And while this hymn was being sung, a feeling came over me such as I had never experienced in my life before. It was a spirit of peace and satisfaction, it penetrated my whole being, and after the singing was over, prayer was offered by one of the men and with such power though in simple language, that it seemed to me he felt fully assured that his petition would be heard and answered by the God whom he worshipped upon the heads of those present.
They sang another hymn, and then one of them arose, he touched on the principles of faith, repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and he spoke so plain and in such simple language that I thought of the words of the Savior when he said, “A wayfaring man, though a fool, could but understand it.” For I though a young boy felt the truth of his simple language that I had already learned from the scriptures. And when he sat down, the other one arose and spoke upon the apostasy from the Primitive Church, and also the restoration of the Gospel to the earth again in our day, with the same blessings and gifts to follow the believer as they did in the days of Christ.
I was filled with joy in my very soul, because they spoke with such convincing power and with authority, that I was truly converted to the truth of every word, which they spoke and felt in my heart that I would be willing to cast my lot with them notwithstanding the finger of scorn that might be pointed at me for so doing.
The meeting closed and my father and myself with my older brother started on our way home, and as we walked along we began talking about what had been said at the meeting, me wondering what effect it had had upon them and to my great joy and satisfaction, I soon found that they too had concluded to cast their lot with that faith so with this determination in our hearts, we became anxious to be baptized into the Mormon Church as it was called, so the following week we went to them and applied for baptism, and our requests were granted and in the evening of the 14th day of June 1856, we were baptized in the river Witham at Colstorworth, Loncolnshire, England.
And thus became members in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and although 50 years and over have passed away since that time, I here want to bear my testimony that I have never had a doubt cross my mind with regard to the truth of the principles of the gospel I then espoused for I know that they are calculated through the law of obedience to bring about the eternal salvation of mankind.
n the meantime, I was still staying with Mr. Dunamore, striving to do my duty in performing the labors devolving upon me to the best of my ability and attending strictly to my prayers. But still things were going from bad to worse, and it was not long before he had no work in the carpentering line either for himself or me. I became very much dissatisfied for by this time I was most anxious to learn the business but now he had no work at all in that line, so one day I asked him to set me at liberty and let me go home, or turn me over to someone else who would teach me the business, but he replied, “I will do nothing of the kind. You will have to stay with me until you are 21.” “Well then,” I said, “I must go home this morning and consult my father about it.”
I went home and stayed there two days, and then started to work with my older brother at the mason work, at a farmstead away from any village in quite an out of the way place, so thinking my boss would not be able to find out where I was, we started there on a Thursday morning and early Friday morning just after we had started to work for the day, my brother discovered a policeman coming toward us. He tried to persuade me to run away before he got there, but I said, “No, I won’t do that. I have done nothing I am ashamed of.”
In a few minutes the policeman came up to us and told me I would have to go to court with him, I said, “All right, Sir,” and I accompanied him a distance of six miles to go to where court was then in session. We arrived in due time and my trial soon came on and the justice asked me why I ran away. I told him the true state of affairs as they existed. But there was no one there to vouch for the truth of my statement, and as the boss had stated to the contrary, the case was settled in his favor that I was to go back and remain there until I was 21 years of age.
I went back, but still I was dissatisfied more than ever for since I had joined the church the Spirit of gathering of Zion had taken possession of me, and I felt more determined than ever that by the help of my Heavenly Father I would still be in America before I was 21. I prayed to God in the sincerity of my soul to overrule things for my benefit in that direction. So I stayed about three months performing the labors required of me trying all the day long to give the best of satisfaction to those for whom I labored. Not forgetting my prayers each night and morning and many times during the day.
After I had been there three months, it really seemed as though I couldn’t stay any longer, for the boss was drunk the greater part of his time, so that it was impossible for him to teach me the business. I asked for the privilege of going home to see my parents who had moved to another town ten miles away, a town called Grantham where there was a branch of the Church and where they could have the privilege of attending meetings. But he would not grant my request, so I simply told him I should go anyway, and so at 4:00 the next morning I arose very quietly and got all ready to start with the door open. I went to the foot of the stairs and called “Master, I’m going,” and he said “no you ain’t.” jumping out of bed at the same time, but I called “good-by” and before he could get dressed and get downstairs I presume I was a half a mile away.
When I arrived home I held a consultation with my father and he decided to take me to a lawyer, so we went and the lawyer questioned me and I stated the facts of the case as they existed and the lawyer decided to summons the boss before the court, and said he believed he could get me my freedom, but he said I had better go back that night as though nothing had happened and he would attend to the whole business. But I was to call upon the Chief Justice who lived in the same village as my boss, so I returned that night and the folks would not speak to me only the Mrs. said, “Oh, you have come back, have you?”
The next morning I went to the Justice and delivered my message to him from the lawyer which was that when he sent down to court on the following Thursday, he was to take with him my Indentures, the papers binding me to remain with Mr. Dunamore until I was 21 years of age, and while I was with him he told me that my master had been up to see him telling him that I had run away again, and wanted him to make out a summons against me but he had persuaded him to wait a few days, promising him that he would in the meantime see my father and see what could be done in the matter, and asking me if I had come back to my place, I told him I had, and he told me I had done quite right in so doing.
I returned to my place and attended to my duties, and on the following Wednesday, the justice came to the house as we were sitting at the dinner table and he said, “Mr. Dunamore, I suppose you understand that you will have to attend court on Friday,” and he said, “No sir, I have not heard a word about it,” for the police had not as yet served the summons on him. “Well, said the justice “such is the case, so there will be no need of my seeing this young man’s father about the matter” and he left and as soon as he was out of sight they drove me out of the house and would not give me anymore to eat, so I got a meal or two with my neighbors until Friday morning when I started to court with some people in the village who were going to the town and arrived there all safe.
I went to my parents and found them all well and father waiting for me to go to the courtroom so we went together and were on time and my case was second on the docket and they were in the midst of the first case when we arrived. We did not have to wait long before the first case was settled. They then called my name and I went up to the front and the magistrate asked me to state my complaint which I did, and they asked me if I had my witness and I said I did, not only my father who could witness that I had made complaints to him quite often. They then called up Mr. Dunamore and he swore that he always had plenty of work, but I was too lazy to do it, and there they rested the case and the justice consulted together for a minute of two, and then one of them got up and calling to me said “Young man, your Indentures are canceled, You are free.” I thanked them very kindly and went out free to go where I pleased.
I was now 18 years of age, and I still had a desire to finish learning the carpentering, so my father search all around to find a place where I could go to, but his searching was in vain. So I started to work with my father to finish my education in the mason trade. I worked with him several months at low wages before I could command a man’s wage. And, oh, how proud I was when I could draw five shillings per day, for that was the highest wage then paid to any man in that line of business. I worked along until the spring of 1861 and attended my meetings and endeavored to perform my duties to the best of my abilities and about this time I was ordained to the office of a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood and acted in the capacity of a teacher in the Grantham Branch.
William Henry Hill Part 2
Colaborador: GeneArchivist Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
My elder brother was making preparations to leave home to go to America and he finally set sail on the 13th of May 1861, but before leaving he made me promise that I would labor with the rest of the family to bring them into the Church and follow him the following year. For I am sorry to say that my father had been cut off from the Church unjustly for not paying his tithing every week as was ordered by the President of the Mission. My father was a contractor at this time and didn’t draw his pay weekly, but whenever he drew any money he would first pay his tithing out of it, in full up to date, then it would probably be a month before he would draw any more, but this didn’t suit President Babbit so he had him cut off from the Church and my father didn’t like it and said if that was the rule of the Church he wanted no more to do with it, and seemed to lose all interest in it.
But I labored constantly with him, and called upon the Lord to assist me in my labors in that direction, and every time I went to a meeting I would invite him to go with me, but I could not get him to go, and it went along in this way until nine months out of the 12 had passed away.
But I never lost faith in the power of the Lord to open his eyes to his condition and I prayed earnestly to the Lord for His Holy Spirit to guide and direct my conversations with my father that I might be enabled to say something that would touch his heart so that his eyes might be opened to understand more clearly the principle of tithing as that seemed to be his greatest trouble, and in about a month from that time there was to be a conference to be held at Nottingham, 24 miles from where we were, and I began pleading with my father to attend that conference with me, feeling in my very soul that if I could accomplish this, his eyes would be opened to his condition, and the nearer the conference drew, the more I called upon the Lord in his behalf, until I gained his promise to go with me.
When the day arrived and I arose in the morning I still pleaded with the Lord that my father might not change his mind about going with me, and while we were eating breakfast I asked him if he would be ready as I wanted to be there for the opening session. He told me he didn’t care about going, and I felt very much grieved that I arose from the table and went to my bedroom, shut the door and there I supplicated the Lord again to cause that he might go to that conference with me. When the day had come, my father had backed down. I then went down and asked and pleaded with him to go with me. My mother also pleaded with him to that end, but he still said “No” he didn’t want to go. I went to my room again and for the third time I knelt down and prayed earnestly to the Lord from my very soul, and the Spirit of peace came upon me and something seemed to say to me, “He will go.”
I got myself ready and went down stairs and as quick as I opened the door, my father jumped up out of his chair and said “Well, my boy I think I’ll go with you.” Oh the joy and comfort those few words brought to my soul, I cannot express.
He was soon ready and we started for the station arriving there, we found quite a number of the saints there to accompany us. Soon the train came along the track and we all jumped aboard and soon arrived at our destination, and found ourselves in time for the morning meeting and there we found the Presidency of the European Mission, George A. Cannon, Charles C. Rich and Amasa M. Lyman and the hall was filled to its fullest capacity.
President Cannon being the first speaker and his subject was tithing, and he explained to the people in all of its various forms with such power and simplicity, and with authority, he spoke for one hour upon that one principle alone. He seemed to be impressed with a desire that every person in the hall should clearly understand it.
After the close of the meeting, my father said to me, “Well, boy, it is all right, I am ready to be baptized,” and I could not keep the tears of joy from flowing down my cheeks, and oh how I felt to thank God for answering my prayers in my father’s behalf, and during that memorable conference the spirit of God was poured out upon the people in a great measure and all felt amply repaid for their trouble in attending.
We returned home in great joy for the good things we had heard. And on the next night my father was baptized, and before I left in the following spring, my father was ordained to the office of an Elder and was appointed to act as the President of the Grantham Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Through my efforts I had the pleasure of seeing my 3 sisters come into the fold of Christ and being baptized as members in the Church, and my heart was full to overflowing for the great goodness of God toward me in my labors in my father’s family.
Then my next efforts were in gathering together sufficient means to pay my fare to New York where my brother had been staying until I should arrive there so that we could go to Salt Lake City together as I had promised him when he left home the year before, and he had wrote me that if I could obtain means to take me to New York he would pay my way through the country to Winter Quarters and from there I could work my way through to Salt Lake City. But it seemed as though the evil one was hedging up my way for some time, but I called upon the Lord to aid me in my efforts and he did so that I was enabled to leave my home and the land of my birth with all that was near and dear unto me, and set forth on my journey across the deep waters on the good ship Manchester on the 6th day of May 1862, just 12 days after my 20th birthday, thus fulfilling my prediction that I should be in America before I was 21 years of age, as I said when I was 14 years old.
We left Liverpool about half past five in the evening, and we made fair headway for a few days, and then it became quite tempestuous, and the winds carried us with it where ever it listed, and we began to encounter mountains of waves, and the winds increased and drove us first one way and then another, and it appeared as though the poor sailors were working both night and day, taking about, trying to gain a little headway and in the meantime the most of the passengers discovered that they owed Jonah a bill, and he was demanding payment forthwith, and as the Saints claimed to be honest, they were paying him with double interest. But notwithstanding they were relieving the vessel of a considerable amount of ballast. She did not increase her speed, but kept veering towards the north as though she thought we wanted to go to the Arctic regions, for she drifted so far to the north that we encountered mountains of ice and for days were in great danger of coming in contact with them, or with other vessels that might be in the same conditions as ourselves, for the fog was so dense we could see but a very short distance away from our ship, so the fog horns were blowing and the bells were ringing day and night, but we finally got clear of the icebergs and the fog lifted and the winds abated some so that the sailors could handle the ship better so that they soon got her nearer the line of travel but not for long, for shortly another storm came on worse than the first and the waves washed over the deck of the ship so much that the Captain ordered the people all below, and the hatches all to be fastened down.
There we were for the space of 40 hours, and it really seemed at times as though the ship would go down. I was going to say under, but she did that quite often during those two days, for the waves would cover the deck completely but the ship would straighten herself and the water would run off the deck, but notwithstanding the danger we were in, we continued our daily meetings and our prayer meetings and sang the songs of Zion, just as though the sea was calm and the sun was shining for we had faith in the God of Heaven and knew we were there by his command and knew that He was able to deliver us from all harm and danger so we rejoiced together in the knowledge we had received of the power of God and the truth of the principles of the Gospel we had espoused, and after the 40 hours of darkness, for we were not permitted to have light, the storm spent itself out and we had fair sailing and made good headway and at the close of six weeks and five days on the waters with very little sickness aside from sea sickness and two births and one wedding, we were permitted to once more set our feet on land and that the land of Zion.
So feeling in our hearts truly thankful to our Heavenly Father for his preserving care that had been over us we gathered up our belongings and went on shore to Castle Gardens, and there we had to wait sometime for arrangements to be made for our transportations so I began looking around expecting my brother to be there to meet me, but all that day I looked for him, but he never came, and I did not know his address, but I thought surely he will be here early in the morning, but morning came but no brother and the afternoon came and still he did not come, and I began to feel quite anxious, and watching the gateway the main entrance, from the city about 5:00 in the evening I spied him coming toward the gate. I ran to meet him and we were soon embracing each other, and the joy we felt in the meeting is indescribable and he soon told me that he did not hear of the arrival of the vessel until 2 hours before as he lived in Brooklyn and had made all haste to come to me then.
Indeed I thought my trouble was over, he also informed me that he had taken to himself a wife and that they and two friends that I knew was staying with him and that they were all ready to go along with our company as soon as they were ready to start, the name of these two friends were Richard and Hester Jessop, that belonged to our conference. The brother came out with my brother and the sister came out just before me and we had a fine time together going around seeing the sights of both Brooklyn and also New York, until the proper arrangements were made for us to start on our journey.
Then we all got aboard the train with all the Saints that crossed with me and quite a number from New York, but nothing of importance occurred on the way until we were traveling through the state of Illinois, there one of the cars that was loaded with the Saints baggage took fire and instead of them uncoupling the car from the rest and pulling it a short distance away and letting the people save what they could from the fire, they took the car six miles away to the next station and when the engineer returned back to the train, he swore that he would drive all the damned Mormons to Hell so putting on all steam, he jumped from his engine and let her come full force into the train, but thank God there was not one that was hurt, but 2 cars were smashed into splinters and it took some time to clear away the wreckage so that when we arrived at the place where they had taken the burning car, there was nothing left of it, but there were hundreds of people around there who no doubt had saved lots of the things that were in the car and carried them off.
But the people that had suffered the loss and that in many instances was all they had in the world but what they stood upright in, and not one of them got any redress from the railroad Co. And so the Saints had to bear the burden themselves, we were soon on our way again, but with sorrowful hearts for no one in the company could tell at that time whether their luggage was in that car or not, nor did we find out until we left the cars and took passage on the steam boat and arrived at Florence or Winter Quarters on the opposite side of the Old Missouri River from Council Bluffs, so when all the luggage was carried ashore, then it was soon discovered who had been the losers for their trunks could not be found, but myself and brother found all that belonged to us, while the brother and sister Jessop that were traveling with us lost their all, as not even one parcel belonging to them could be found anywhere, but nevertheless, we were truly thankful, that things were as well with us as they were, in that our lives had been preserved, and that the Lord had permitted us to reach this far on our journey, and thinking at the time that we would only have to stay there a day or two, before we would again resume our journey across the plains, but we soon found out that the teams that were expected to take us to the valley of the Great Salt Lake had not yet arrived from there and as there was no means of them communicating with us, nor us with them, we could not tell when they would arrive, so we all had to make the best of the circumstances with which we were surrounded.
Even if they came in the course of a few days, they would have to lay over for some time before they could make the return trip as their cattle would have to rest for some time to recuperate and gain strength sufficient for their homeward journey.
We were all camped in tents, ten persons to each tent and these tents were placed from 16 feet to 20 feet apart each way, and there was near three thousands of Saints all there at this time, so that when we were all housed in our canvas tents, we formed quite a large city, but we soon were all organized with a head over each ten or tent, whose duty it was to look after the interests and comfort of those who were placed under their charge. And we held our regular meetings and all met together for prayers night and morning that is the occupants of each tent and on Sundays we held our general meetings where all assembled together, and food was handed out each morning from the commissary to the head of each family for the day, and thus we lived for some time before the teams began to arrive, but there was plenty of good feed around us, as far as the eye could see, and the cattle soon became in good condition for traveling so the first train was loaded and everything put in order for starting and the teamster rounded up their cattle and the next morning they started on their long journey to the valley with 50 wagons and 10 persons to each wagon and tent, besides the teamster, but it was not long before another train was made up and loaded for a start after the one that had gone.
William Henry Hill Part 3
Colaborador: GeneArchivist Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
In the meantime we spent our time in any way we choose, and one day me and my brother and another young man went down to the banks of the old Missouri River to bathe, and we selected a place that had backed in from the main stream that we thought would not be too deep as neither of us knew how to swim, at least we each thought so, so we all walked into the water and I a little in advance of the others, and I was going along all at once I stepped into a hole, and down I went, and though I never lost the presence of mind, it seemed to me hours before I started upwards and then I had not reached the surface again I started to swim across the hole, but away from the boys and after getting my feet on the ground, I rested a minute or two. I then turned and swam to where the boys were standing and this was the first time I had ever tried to swim and it was also the last even up to me, then I had just passed my 20th birthday, and I am now nearing my 68th birthday and as soon as I reached the boys we all concluded we had had quite enough for that day, and so put on our clothes and went to camp, feeling fully satisfied that the preserving hand of God my Eternal Father had saved my life from drowning and I felt in my innermost soul to acknowledge his hand in my narrow escape from death.
As the teams had kept coming in at short intervals and as one train had started out with a Mr. Kinbel (or Kinbee) as the Captain and the second also under Captain Murdock and a third was ready to start under the direction of Captain Waite, now as soon as another could be loaded it was to start out under the direction of Captain Miller and in this train my brother and his wife and my friends the Jessops were to travel.
As I said in the beginning, my brother was only to pay my way to this point, Winter Quarters, so I began to look about me for a chance to work my way to the Valley, and so I went to see a Mr. Blackburn the one who had charge of the emigration for that year 1862. I found him in his tent where he transacted his business and I said to him, “If you please Sir, would there be any chance for me to pay my way by driving a team to the valley?” He turned on his stool, and faced me and sized me up from top to toe, and said nothing for a minute or two and then he said, “Young man, did you ever drive a team?” and I said, “No sir, that was not in my line of business.” “Well,” he said, “If your team should happen to get stuck in a mud hole, do you think you could put your shoulder to the wheel and happen to lift it out?” Looking straight at him I said, “Well Sir, if you have done it I think I can.” “Oh,” he said, “I thought you looked more like a counter jumper than a bull driver.” He smiled again, and in a minute or two he said, “Well, young man what is your name?” and I said, “William H. Hill.” and he said, “Where did you come from and what was your business?” I told him I came from England, and my business was bricklaying. “Well, young man, I guess you’ll do, yes you can get a team to drive to pay your way as you go, but you will have to wait until all the emigrants have left, and you can drive a team in the last train that will cross the plains this season.” I thanked him and left.
It was not but a day or so, when the train in which my brother and friends were going to travel in, started out, leaving me all alone as far as friends, relatives or acquaintances were concerned. The Captain of the train in which my brother traveled was named Miller. Now when they had started there were but few remaining and they all were to go in the train in which I was to go in, and we had to wait near three weeks before we could begin to prepare to load up as neither wagons, cattle nor freight were there and everything had to be bought and gathered together. We were to load up with church freight and our train was called the Church Train, the wagons thirty in number were all new and the cattle were all three and four year olds, all wild as they were driven off the range they had never been handled, and the way we had to do to catch them was to corral them then lasso them with a long rope and then get up to them and put the yoke over their necks, and slip the bow up under their neck, and put the ends of the bow through the yoke and key it so that it would not slip back, and then we would catch the one that was to work with him and get him up to the one we already had the yoke on and put the other end of the yoke over his neck and the bow under his neck coming up on either side and through the yoke and fasten it the same as the other then take off the ropes and let them go to get acquainted with the yoke and with each other, and we were to have 7 yoke of cattle to the wagon and thirty wagons in all, so we had quite a time to get them all yoked to the wagon and we turned them out to eat on the range.
Now 12 weeks have passed away since I first arrived in the camp, and I began to feel anxious to be on the move, and was pleased to see the wagons and freight arriving, as we now had the cattle, I began to think we would soon be able to start on our way, neither was I much disappointed for we went right to work loading up the wagons, and in five days we were ready to start, so our Captain said we would start the next day.
We started to hitch up the next morning, and when I got my seven yoke hitched to the wagon they ran away and the night herder started after them on horseback, and they ran five miles before he could get them under control, so as to bring them back. I had on 30,000 weight of freight, but it was in the shape of sheet iron, just the size of the inside of the wagon box and they lay so solid so that no matter how much the wagon might jolt, they could not upset or injure it in the least. And when they returned, I thought it was the best thing that could have happened to them, for really they were more than half broke, so that I didn’t havebut little labor to make them quite tractable, for as quick as they got back Captain William H. Dame gave orders to start.
So the train started out, and we traveled eight miles on our way and then camped for the night, while all the rest of the teams had their yokes on, I took their yokes off for the night, and some of the boys said that I never would be able to catch them in the morning, but when morning came, I had my cattle all caught, yoked up and hitched onto the wagon before or about as soon as any of them, and was already to start with the rest without much trouble and that day we made 20 miles, besides the Church freight I had in my wagon, I also had five passengers with their luggage, they were Swedish people.
After stopping for the night, I again unyoked my cattle and turned them out, and all the others followed my example this time, as to let their cattle eat and rest better than they could with their yokes on, but next morning I had caught mine and got hitched up over an hour before some of the boys had caught theirs, for they had to lasso them as they could not get anywhere near them, for all the time they were on the travel, the day before they were whipping and slashing at them with their whips, that their cattle were afraid of them, while I would pet and fondle mine, so that it was not long before I could do anything with them, and before we had been on the road two weeks, I could go into the corral and call them by name and they would come to me, and I would put the yoke on, and then go and call others and so on until I got them all yoked up in their places. While most of the boys would have to lasso their cattle every time they wanted to yoke them up. Some of them had to do that all the way to Salt Lake City, and when we had been two weeks on our journey most of the boys went to Captain Dame and asked him to let them have another whip each as they had worn out the first one he gave them before they started, on the poor cattle.
Yet mine was as good as the first ones given to the others, and I had the most tractable team in the whole train, so much so that the Captain came to me and wanted to know if I wouldn’t let one of the boys have one yoke of mine, and me take a yoke of his, as he couldn’t get along, his cattle were so wild. I told him yes he could and me take a yoke of his, as he couldn’t get along with his cattle. I then told him he could have them, but if he wanted any more after I had had the trouble to make them tractable he could take them all, for the other boys had the same chance to break their cattle that I had had, so after that exchange, I was not bothered anymore.
Thus we went on our journey, day by day, we were up in the morning by five o’clock and cooked our breakfast of what we called slap jacks and sow belly with the buttons on, and coffee and this was our diet, day by day only when we got a chance to kill a buffalo then we would feast on fresh meat for a few meals.
When we had been traveling 12 days, the brethren we left behind when we started out, caught up with us as they traveled much quicker than we did, for they had horse teams with light wagons. They arrived in camp after we had stopped for the night, and next morning Brother Blackburn, the person in charge of hiring men to drive the teams, came and stood by my wagon as he had been making inquiries from the Captain what kind of a driver I was, and the Captain told him to come and see what kind I was by seeing how I handled my cattle, so he came and stood by my wagon as he had been making inquiries, until I had finished yoking up and had got them all hitched to the wagon to take care of cattle, then he said, “Well, Bro. Hill, I see you understand how to take care of cattle, and handle them too.” “I must admit that I have never seen a lot of wild cattle become so tractable in so short of time, and I can but wonder how you have accomplished it.”
I smiled at him and said, “Well, Bro. Blackburn, I found out that the same spirit which the driver possessed would be transmitted to the cattle, and so by using the spirit of kindness, I have been enabled to bring them into the condition you see them in this morning, and I showed him my whip and then told him to examine the other boys whips and then he would be able to see just as much difference in them as there was in the tractableness of the cattle.
“Well,” he said, “I shall always remember the lesson you have given me this morning,” and he shook hands with me bidding me good-byes and shortly the teams being all hitched up, they started on the journey, and during the forenoon the horse teams passed us and they were soon out of sight and that was the last we saw of them as they traveled much faster than we did with our cattle, for we only aimed to travel fifteen miles on an average per day, but some days we would make more and some days less, owing to where we could get water and feed for our cattle.
As for wood for cooking, many times we camped where there was none, then we would gather dry buffalo chips or dried cattle dung to cook with and thus we kept on our journey for the valley.
Each day we would pass one or more pieces of boards pointing us to where there was some poor soul laid away by the roadside tired and worn out by the hardships they had endured on their journey. I heard that my brother had been taken quite sick with what they termed mountain fever, which caused my mind to be much troubled and fearful lest he should die on the way, and I should discover where they had laid him by the roadside, as I was unable to hear any further from him or about him.
But I prayed earnestly to my Heavenly Father for his preserving care to be over him day by day, and he recovered and got through alright. After being on the travel for the space of twelve weeks we finally got to the mouth of what they call Emigration Canyon, where we could see Salt Lake City, and we all thought it was the most pleasant sight that our eyes had ever beheld, and then it was different to what it is now for we stood in such a place that you could have counted every house there was in the city at that time and that was on the 29th of October 1862 making it 6 months and 26 days from the time I left Liverpool, England.
The Captain took the lead down from the mouth of the Canyon and we followed him and he took us into President Young’s yard, and there we all unhitched our teams and all the passengers with the Captain and all that had any place to go to left, but me and eight others that had no relations or friends to go to stayed by the wagons, built our campfire, cooked and ate our supper and were sitting around the fire when a gentleman came up to us, and shaking hands with all of us asked if we had any relatives in the country, and how we had faired while crossing the plains, and where we came from. We answered these questions.
Then he asked us if we had anything to eat, and we told him yes, “Well,” he said, “I want you boys to stay right here and make yourselves as comfortable as you possibly can until you each get a place to go to.” We thanked him very kindly and promised to do as he requested and then he told us who he was, and that his name was Brigham Young. And we continued sitting around our campfire, talking about our good fortune in having the privilege of meeting with the President of the Church, and how kind he had been to us and so on, until it became bedtime, when we all knelt down and had prayers, and then when we had finished, we retired for the night, and all slept soundly during the night until six o’clock.
When someone in the crowd awoke and awoke all the rest so we all got up and cooked our bread for breakfast, and after we had all eaten we cleared our traps away and started out to see what Salt Lake City looked like, each promising again that we would be back for dinner, which we were, and in the afternoon we all went out again agreeing to be back to the wagons by six o’clock or before, so we strolled about seeing what there was to see around the city, until we got tired, and then wandered our way back to camp and started to cook our supper early, as we were expecting that perhaps somebody might be there in the evening to hire some of us to work for them, and we were not disappointed, for we had no sooner eaten our supper, and had got located around our campfire, than there were five or six gentlemen came and entered into conversation with us.
Shortly one of them selected me out from the rest and asked me if I wanted to hire out, I said, “Yes, Sir.” He then asked me what my business was, I told him that I was a bricklayer by trade, and he said “Oh I am a bricklayer too, but I don’t want to hire a bricklayer, I want someone that can take care of a team.” He asked me if I had ever done that, and I told him I had not but I could soon learn, I thought. “All right,” he said, “I will give you the chance, and if you will come with me I will give you $25.00 per month from now until spring.” I said, “All right, Sir, I’ll come and try it with you.” So he said that I could come in the morning, instructing me what direction to take to find his home, telling me that he was Bishop of the 19th ward and he said that his name was Raleight. I said, “All right Sir, I’ll be there sometime in the morning all being well.”
He directed me to go six blocks west and so many blocks north, and that he lived on the southeast corner of the 19th ward, there was also five others of the boys which had places to go to, making six with myself leaving two that yet needed places, and the next morning other men came and the remaining two secured places to go to, so after breakfast, we all gathered up our belongings and bidding each other goodbye, we all shook hands, and wishing each other success for the future, we separated, each going in a different direction. I have never had the pleasure of meeting with any of them again to my knowledge from that day to the present.
I wandered my way the best I could toward the southeast corner of the 19th ward, but not knowing my points of the compass, I could not tell which was the north or which was the south at that time, but I kept walking first one way and then another and at last I inquired of a man I met in the street and from his direction I soon pulled up at the southeast corner of the 19th ward and when I finally arrived there I discovered it was dinner time, and the folks had begun to think that I had changed my mind and was not going as I had agreed to, and as dinner was just ready, the first thing I did was to eat dinner, and when the family all got around the table, I discovered that the Bishop had six wives all living in the same house and each wife had two or more children, and all at one table, it was something I had not seen the like of in my life before. It seemed to me as though they were having a party, and me being somewhat bashful I didn’t have much to say.
William Henry Hill Part 4
Colaborador: GeneArchivist Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
After we were through eating the Bishop went out with me to the stable and showed me what I would have to do, so I entered upon my labors on the first day of November 1862 and when night came they made me a bed in a wagon box under a shed and for the first few days, I tended to the team, cut wood, and did other chores that was to be done around the place. As it was a nice open fall, and no snow as yet, we had not started to get up his vegetables, this was now Saturday and the next day being Sunday, I attended meeting in the Old Tabernacle which stood on the ground where the Assembly Hall now stands, and for the first time, I there saw the President with his counselors, and most of the 12 apostles, and oh, how my heart burned within me, to listen to those that spoke, this was on Sunday afternoon, and in the evening I attended meeting in the 19th ward meeting hall.
The next morning we started to dig and haul beets, and were at it for more than a week, and after completing the beets and getting them all home, we gathered in all other vegetables had, and secured them for winter use. Then we started to make molasses by grinding up the beets we had gathered and then pressing out the juice and then boiling the liquor down into molasses, this kind of process took us about four weeks.
Then I was hauling manure, and doing other labor to prepare for the approaching winter, until two days before Christmas, when during the during the following night, there fell all of two feet of snow, which closed up all outdoor labor, then as I was in the stable, feeding the horses, next morning, my boss came to me and he said, “Well, Bro. Hill, winter has come at last,” and “Indeed,” and then he said, “Well, Bro. Hill, how do you like the place?” I told him I liked it very well, and asked him how he liked the way I had done his work, and he replied, “I have been very much pleased with it.” He then asked me if I calculated to stay with him during the winter, and I said, “Certainly, wasn’t that the understanding when you hired me and agreed to give me $25.00 per month until spring?” “Well,” he said, “Winter is here now, and as there will not be anything to do but the chores, I don’t think I will be able to pay you anything as we reckon an emigrant does well, if he can get his board for doing the chores during the winter. I said, “What do you expect me to do all the chores during the winter for just what I can eat?” He said, “Yes,” and I asked him if he was willing to pay me at the rate of $25.00 per month for the time I had been there, and he said yes, so I told him to please let me have it for I never had worked simply for my board alone, and I never would even if I had to go up in the mountains and starve to death, so he paid me what was coming to me, and I left him.
I left for Coalville or Hoitsville nearby, and me and my brother made a dugout and lived in it all winter, and our principle diet was beans with no meat only as we could kill a jackrabbit once in a while we could get, but very little bread to go with them, but we got along very well and early in the month of April 1863, I went back again to the city and when I arrived there, the first thing I did was to go to the temple block, and there I secured work cutting granite for the temple at three dollars and fifty cents per day.
Next I went and secured a place to board with a Sister Smith the widow of Don Carlos Smith, the brother to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and with her I had a very comfortable home for four dollars per week, and then as I had the remainder of the day to myself, I thought I would visit the family of my old boss, as they had all been very kind to me while I stayed with them, as any of them were always willing to do anything for me to make me comfortable and I would wait upon them all I could.
So I once more wended my way down to the southeast corner of the 19th ward and as it happened I arrived there just as they were sitting down to dinner, and I found that the Bishop was there and when I went in, he came up to me and shook hands and invited me to have dinner with them, so I ate with them and after dinner, the Bishop said, “Well, Bro. Hill, you were the very young man that I wanted to see.” I said, “Oh, indeed,” and he said, “Yes, I want you to come and work for me. I will give you fifty dollars a month.” I said, “Bishop, you haven’t means enough to induce me, a man that would take the advantage that you did of me last fall just as quick as the first snow fell. If you was the only man there was in the country, I would pick up my traps and leave before I would work for you again.” I left him, but many times I met him in the streets of Salt Lake City after that, but he would never speak to me, but that didn’t hurt my feelings in the least.
The next morning, being the 25th day of the month of April, 1863, and my 21st birthday as well, I started to work on the Temple block cutting stone for the Temple, the boss lending me a kit of stone cutting tools, until such time as I could get some made. There were ten stone cutters there at work, and most of them were men that crossed the plains the year before as I had done, and all of us worked together under a long shed, so as to shield us from the burning rays of the sun, and we soon got acquainted with each other, and got along fine together.
We were all depending upon the tithing office for our pay, as it was brought in by the people especially those in the country, we had first to get an order on the tithing office from the President’s office and then when there was anything in the tithing office, such as butter, eggs, meat, potatoes, cabbage, squash, carrots, molasses, flour or anything that was brought in as tithing, we then had to get an order and present it to the Clerk and take what he had a mind to let us have. We could sometimes get a little and sometimes we could not, and it was hard to get enough each week, to pay my board bill for the first few weeks, but after we got more acquainted we were able to do better.
I continued to work there for about five months, and had not been able to get anything in the shape of clothing or anything that would purchase any and about that time the clothing I brought with me were badly worn and needed renewing, so I was thinking of leaving the job and going somewhere to get a little money to fit myself out with what clothing I needed when one day Bro. Daniel H. Wells came on the block, and came and entered into conversation with me and asked me where I had learned the stone cutting. I told him with my father in England. He wanted to know when I came from England, and how I liked this country, and whether my father was here and so on, and then he said, “Bro. Hill, I want you to stay right here until this Temple is completed.” So then I told him my condition, and that I had been thinking of leaving so that could get some clothing that I very much needed, and he asked me what I most stood in need of at that time, and I told him I needed some shirts the most, so he said, “You come over to my house this evening and I will see what I can do.”
We said goodbye and when evening came I went to his house and he had got me nine yards of check shirting, enough to make me two shirts and told me where I could go and get them made and he told me to keep at my work, and that when I needed anything else, to let him know and he would do his best to get them for me. I thanked him, and took the shirting to the place where he told me, and the Sister soon had one of them made so that I could wear it and promised that she would let me have the other by the time I would want to change, which she did.
Then I worked along until the 14th day of October when I went to him again to try and get a pair of shoes, as my old ones gave out on me. But he could not get them for me and as there was a train of thirty wagons about to start out for Austin, Nevada, 480 miles from Salt Lake City, freighted with vegetables and they were offering $50.00 per month for teamsters, I concluded that I would try and get a chance to drive a team. I went and saw the captain of the train and he hired me, so I left the Temple block and went out with the train driving seven yoke of cattle, but owing to the fact that they had all crossed the plains that season, they were all poor and almost worked out when we started and as we traveled along, they began to give out, and when the night herders would bring them into camp in the morning they would bring in the report that quite a number of them had died during the night, so notwithstanding we had seven yoke to each wagon when we started, and as we traveled along, they began to give out, and later we did not average two yoke each wagon when we arrived at our destination, and when we were all unloaded, the boss told us that as there was not enough cattle to take the wagons back to Salt Lake City, he would give each of us $50.00 apiece, and we could either stay there or go back to Salt Lake City, just as we chose.
The most of the teamsters said they would stay there for the winter, but there were nine who wanted to get back to Utah and I was one of that number, so the boss said he would furnish a team and light wagon, to haul our food and bedding, but none were to ride unless it was really necessary, so we got everything ready and the next morning we bid goodbye to all those that had concluded to stay, and started out on our 480 mile trip to Salt Lake City.
The weather was fine to start with, but of course, we could not tell what kind of weather we might encounter as we went along. We traveled 25 miles the first day, and then camped for the night and the boys thought they had done well. The next day we got over the distance of 60 miles and I was not as tired as I was the first night. The teamster said that he would bet me five dollars that the next day he could drive the team further than I could walk, and I bet him that he couldn’t do it, so next morning we started out early, the roads were good, and the weather was fine and all the forenoon he kept ahead of me, and at noon we made a stop for dinner and I was but a short distance behind. We prepared and ate our dinner and at 1:00 I caught up with them and some of the boys being about worn out their feet being in such a condition that the blood came out of their shoes most of them got on the wagon to ride, for our team was composed of two span of the fattest and prettiest mules I ever saw, and we did not think that it would hurt them for the boys to ride once in a while.
As we traveled along, they kept changing four of them would ride a spell, then they would walk and the other four would ride for a short time, and when 4:00 came, I was taking the lead, and from then on they all commenced to use their whip to urge them along, but with all their efforts he could not catch up with me, and thus we traveled along, me gaining on him and putting a greater distance between us hour by hour until night came, and he could not get his team any further than they all at once called after me to come back to where they had camped, but it was sometime before I could hear them as I was about half a mile ahead of them. I finally did hear them and walked back to them.
When I got there the driver said, “Well, Hill, you certainly have beat me, so here is your $5.00. I will never again say anything about a team going further in a day than a man, especially such a devil to walk as you are.” When we had ate our supper, we found out that we had traveled 80 miles making a little more than 7 miles each hour for the 11 hours we had been on the road, and after that I scored a little more than 80 miles a day, until I arrived in Salt Lake City, covering the 480 miles in six days, and arrived in Salt Lake City two days before Christmas day, and that without encountering any storms, and the best of it was I had money enough to pay my board bill for the winter months, as well as supplying myself with all the clothing I needed, but I must here say that I was the only one in the company but what had to ride on the wagon, and most every day I would have as many as three and sometimes four of the boys that I would help along, one would take hold of one arm and one hold the other, and two hold on my coat behind, and I would have to pull them along, toward the end of each day, while the other four would be riding on the wagon, and they would change about, so we were all very thankful to get back to Utah and spend the winter in Salt Lake City, where we could have the privilege of attending to our meetings and keeping in touch with the Saints.
When spring came, I got a citation with General O’Conner, who was then at Fort Douglas and a Mr. Carlton who was Superintendent of the Western Union Telegraph Co. who then lived in Salt Lake City, they had been out to Coalville and located a coal mine, and they hired me to superintend the development of the mine at $90.00 per month and board so on the 9th day of April 1864, I started out for the place, and in the course of 2 months, we had drifted a tunnel into the mountain something over 400 ft. and found a good body of good coal and we began bringing it out to the surface.
Then I went into Salt Lake City with a sample of the coal for the inspection of my bosses and they both highly elated at their success, so they purchased 12 wagons with 2 yoke of cattle to the wagon and sent them out to me with orders to haul the coal into Camp Douglas, so I hired teamsters and started hauling and during the season delivered 15,000 tons of coal at that place, making 2 trips a week and from 36 to 40 tons at a trip.
I must here say that during the time I lived in Salt Lake City I became acquainted with a young lady that had crossed the plains the same year I did but I had not known her until 1863. Her name was Isabella B. Wells and when I became acquainted with her, she was living in the 9th ward with the family of Ira Hinkley. He had two families in the same house, but he also owned a ranch in or near Coalville and early in the spring of 1864 he moved one of his families out on his ranch, and Miss Wells went with them, and I being out there all summer too, we naturally renewed our acquaintance, and we were quite often together during the summer, and when fall came, I quit the coal mine and was staying with an old acquaintance, one whom I had traveled from England with, and as he wanted me to stay with him for the winter.
I finally persuaded Miss Wells to agree to stay with me and change her name from Wells to Hill, and as she was expecting her mother to arrive from England in a short time, for she was then on the plains and in a few days the train in which she was traveling arrived at Coalville, and the daughter went to meet it and found the mother very sick indeed, so when the train got to the place where the daughter was living, she had her mother carried into the house, so that she could nurse and take care of her, but in a short time the people with whom she was living began to complain that the girl spent too much time with her mother, so I hurried and put up a log room, and she and her mother moved into it, and in a short time me and the daughter concluded to be married right away, so that I would have the right to look after them.
So I went to the Bishop and talked the matter over with him and he agreed to come and marry us on the following Sunday. He came up and married us, it being the 31st day of October 1864. But with all our care and attention we could see no improvement, for she seemed to get worse all the time, and on the 15th day of December she died, and we buried her in the Coalville Cemetery.
William Henry Hill Part 5
Colaborador: GeneArchivist Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
There was a family by the name of Dickinson that had arrived that fall from England. There were the father and mother and eight small children, and they stayed with us in another log room that we had built and me and him and my old acquaintance went up into the mountains and located a place where we could get some good logs that would do to saw into lumber and we found just the point of interest where we could build our homes.
We then went to work and dug a large pit 7 feet wide and 16 feet long and 6 feet deep and cut some small logs and framed them around the top of the pit to roll our saw upon so that we could work a 7 foot saw, one man standing on top of the log and one man standing down in the pit, one to pull down and the other to pull up, and when this was accomplished we went to work and dug a dugout to live and sleep in so that we could be comfortable. Then we went to work and cut some logs and rolled one onto the framework of the pit and started operations and in this way from the 1st of November to the 1st of April we cut 35,000 feet of lumber, but the saw would be running from daylight until dark as there was 3 of us, and as quick as we got up 2 of us would go out and start the saw, while the other would cook and eat his breakfast and then he would go out and relieve one of them at the saw and so on, the same at dinner, and between times the spare man would prepare the logs and get them ready for the pit.
We would leave home on Monday morning and return on Saturday afternoon and when Christmas came, we each talked about giving our wives a Christmas gift, and as we had sold quite a bit of lumber to a man that had been back to the old country to receive a fortune that had been left him, and had just returned and had brought back with him a load of groceries, we decided to try and persuade him to let us have a quarter of a pound of tea, and a pound of sugar, so we went to see him and finally he agree to let us have it and only charged us $4.00 for the quarter of a pound of tea and one dollar for the one pound of sugar and this amount was to be divided between the three women kind, and when the time came for equally dividing it, they took a teaspoon and when they could not use the teaspoon anymore, they counted the grains of tea, and they thought it was the best Christmas gift we could have given them.
When the holidays were over, as we were all living principally on boiled wheat, and as we had about seven bushels of it left, and we also had a one hundred dollar bill, I made up my mind that I would take the seven bushels of wheat and the money and go to Salt Lake City, 40 miles away and get the wheat ground, more specifically for the benefit of the children and buy flour with the money, so I took one yoke of cattle and a bob sleigh, and started out, this was in the beginning of January 1865, and as there was a great deal of traffic between Coalville and Salt Lake City, all through the winter hauling coal, I found the roads in good condition and I arrived at the mill all right, and soon got my small grist ground, getting forty pounds of flour and ten pounds of bran to the bushel of wheat then I went and spent my hundred dollars in flour and I just got three sacks of flour, as it was $33.33 a sack, and I got all loaded up and started for home.
I got through Parleys Canyon and over the divide all right, and as night was approaching, I went about 2 miles further, and then I stopped for the night at a wayside house, where travelers would stay overnight free of charge, with a good fire kept in a large log room for their comfort
I arose early in the morning and started on my way thinking I could travel 3 miles and then stop at the next house by the wayside and eat my breakfast. It was bitter cold for when I arrived there I found that it was 38 degrees below zero, and just as soon as I got to the fire I discovered that my feet were frozen. Notwithstanding, I had walked all the way, and they began to pain me very much, so I ate my breakfast as quickly as possible, and started out for home as I wanted to reach there that day, but oh the pain I was in all the way, I walked for a few minutes then I would ride a few minutes and the further I went, the worse I got.
I finally reached home about 4:00 in the afternoon, when one of the brethren took care of the team, and I went into the house, and the wife took off my shoes, and when she pulled off my socks, the skin and some of the flesh came off with them and the pain was almost unbearable, for a day or two, and then they began to heal up and in a short time I was all right, but from that day to this it has been a difficult matter to keep my feet warm in cold winter weather, but all of them especially the children, appreciated the flour I had been enabled to bring home for them.
As quick as my feet got so I could get around, I started to worked with the brethren, and continued until the 1st day of April, and then I received a letter from my brother who had moved up to Smithfield, Cache Valley, and he wanted to have me move up there, so that we could work together at the mason trade, and as I didn’t much like where I was I concluded to move, so I settled up all my business and early in the morning of the 10th day of April 1865, me and the wife started out on our 40 mile walk to Salt Lake City, leaving all of our things at one of our neighbors, as he promised to haul them into the city in a few days for us and the 1st day me and my wife traveled about 30 miles and then we stopped for the night, and next day we arrived by the city early in the afternoon with my eyes very much affected by the rays of the sun upon the snow, we went and stayed with some friends of my wife’s, and next morning I could not see at all, and for two days my wife had to lead me about.
I soon recovered and on the morning of the 15th of April 1865 I started out to walk to Cache Valley, and as I was going to the street, a soldier from Camp Douglas stopped me and asked if I had heard the news, and I asked what news, and he said, “Why, Pres. Lincoln was shot and killed in a theatre last night.” I told him, “No, I had not heard of it.” He said, “Well it was so.” I went on and traveled all day, and I reached Ogden and there I stayed for the night and next day I traveled to Brigham City and stayed there overnight and the next night I traveled to Smithfield.
I had left my wife with her friends, and she was to come up to me in June with President Young and company, which she did, and when she arrived we lived in a dugout on my brother’s lot, until I was able to secure a lot which I was soon enabled to do for the people were moving out of the fort and locating on city lots when I arrived, so I went to see the Bishop and secured two city lots and commenced gathering together building material to build a small adobe house on my own lots.
Me and my brother worked together for that season, and on the 4th of September our first child, a son, was born, and the next morning there was 18 inches of snow on the ground, but in a day or so it was all gone, and we had a nice open fall and we were enabled to accomplish a great deal of labor before winter set in, but was unable to collect our pay and in consequence we suffered somewhat for the necessaries of life during the winter months, as we did not get bread enough to eat, living principally on potatoes and salt.
In the spring of 1866 I started contracting work for myself and got all the work I could do, and did considerably better than I had done before. But as the people, as a general thing, were very short of means, they usually did their own building, as they would go to the canyon and cut and haul their own logs and put up their homes. Of course there was but little for a mason to do, and consequently, I would have to leave home in the spring, and walk down to Ogden or Salt Lake City to get work for the summer months so as to sustain my family, so that by getting a good fence around them and getting them broke up, I was enabled to have a good garden and raise all the vegetables we needed for our own use and some to spare. We also got a nice lot of fruit trees planted out and they grew fine and I always prided myself in having the best garden in town. We also kept a cow to furnish us with what butter and milk we needed for our own use.
After a few years I also owned a team and I used to do my own team work, such as getting out my own wood to burn, and whenever I was at home, I could always find something to do around the place, and in the fall of 1866, the younger people got together and formed themselves into a dramatic association, so as to give entertainments for the amusement of the people, so that during the long winter months, our time might be spent in that direction. Many a pleasant night did we spend in our labors and studies in that capacity for quite a number of years.
In the spring of 1867 in the month of April, somewhere near the middle of the month I was ordained an elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood by Samuel Roskelley of Smithfield, and he was ordained an elder in this priesthood by Brigham Young and he was ordained under the hands of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Shortly after this I began planting my garden and I filled my two lots with different kinds of seeds, and then I went off to work for a couple of months. Then I returned home to weed and fix up my garden, and when the 24th of July came, everything in the garden looked fine, and I felt quite proud of it. As the wife had washed the day before and her clothes were out on the line, and as we always used to celebrate the day, we thought we would go to meeting in the morning, so we went and we had a fine meeting under the bowery, which had been constructed for that purpose, and about 11:00 the air resounded with such a peculiar noise, and we all went from under the bowery and then we all beheld such a sight we had never seen before, for the sky was obscured with hosts of grasshoppers, so much so that we could stand and look at the sun near the zenith, as well as we could look at the moon at night when it was at its fullest.
We returned back and finished our meeting and then went home to dinner and behold, when we got there, our garden had been cleared of everything that was green and it looked as though it had just been fresh plowed, and the clothes on the line were perforated like a sieve and the air was darkened with flying grasshoppers and for the next three years there was scarcely anything raised at all, and for the next four years we were troubled with them more or less, so that the whole people united together and fought them and by so doing they were enabled to save enough grain to bread the people, but those that didn’t raise any wheat had to pay five dollars a bushel to get it.
About this time, that is on the 11th of November 1867, we had another child born to us and this time it was a daughter and we named her Charlotte Ann and then we could say that we had as many kinds as anybody else.
We got along all right until the spring of 1868, when there was quite a commotion among the people, for the news had reached us that the railroad was coming, and that President Young had taken a large contract to help build the road, and every available man was eager to secure employment on the railroad, and so companies were formed to go and take contracts for small jobs, and I went with three others and fitted ourselves out and started for Ogden Canyon near Morgan City, and we arrived there all right, but as there was some little delay in obtaining the work, and as I didn’t much care about working there, as I had learned that a man that I was acquainted with at Hoytsville was building himself a fine residence, I had worked for him before, so next morning I left the boys I had expected to go in with on the contract we were expecting to get on the road, and so I got something to eat, and then I started out and in an hour I reached Coalville, and passing through I went on to Hoytsville, two miles south of Coalville, and there I stopped at the place where I was married, to see my old friends.
Just as I got there, my friend drove up in a wagon, and after we had exchanged greetings he told me that he had just returned from Salt Lake City where he had been to take unto himself another wife, and he introduced her to me, and when I looked at her, I didn’t feel to envy him of his wife, for all of one side of her face had been eaten away by a cancer and it was all I could do to look at her.
I stayed and talked with him for about an hour, and then I passed on to Mr. Hoite, and the first thing he said while shaking hands with me was, “Why, Brother Hill, You are the very man I was wishing to see.” He led me into his house, and he there told me that he had had men working all winter preparing stone for his new house, and he wanted me to take hold and superintend the putting up of the building and he would pay me $5.00 per day and my board, so I thanked him kindly and told him I would do as he requested.
He told me that there was a young man there from Salt Lake City who had been bossing the job, but he didn’t like him, but he could stay and cut stone or he could leave, just as he pleased. I told him he better go and tell the young man himself of the change he was making, so he went out and told him that I was to take charge of the work, and that he could work under me or leave, just as he liked, so he concluded to stay for a while anyway, so the next morning I started in and for a few days we got along all right, and then the young man, blaming me for the loss of his position, began carrying tales to the boss about the way I was doing with the men and the building, insinuating that I was not doing the work as it should be done and trying to get me out of the position I held, but the boss soon got tired of his ways and told him that he knew I was capable of doing good work, and that as far as I had gone he was well satisfied, and that he better gather up his tools and go back to Salt Lake City which he had to do and the rest of the men stayed, and got along all right and satisfied with all I had done for them.
William Henry Hill Part 6
Colaborador: GeneArchivist Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
But in the middle of July, knowing my family would need some means to live upon, I drew $50.00 and as I could not get a letter registered without going ten miles, I finally concluded to send the $50.00 in a common letter, as my letters had all reached home all right as yet, so I put it in a letter, and I put the letter in the Coalville post office myself, but when I arrived home, I found that my wife had never received it and I wrote to the Coalville postmaster and accused him of purloining the money and he wrote me a very threatening letter saying what he would do if I persisted in saying that he had taken it, then I tried to get the post officials to take the matter up, and they promised me that they would, but I never got any tidings of it from that day to the present, but I have always thought that it never left the Coalville post office.
When I got home I found some work to do in the town the rest of the fall, and in the latter part of October 1868 I had two sisters and my youngest brother come from England with whom I was very pleased to have the privilege of meeting once more, and we met together quite often, although they stayed at my oldest brother’s who was then living in Brigham City.
I remained at home during the early part of the winter until February 1869. I again left home to go and work on the railroad out on the Promontory Point 50 miles west of Cache Valley on the contract of Benson Farr & West, but when I got there I engaged to work for Sillvanus Collett, and I stayed with him until the 24th of April 1869 when I left for home, as I had promised to build two houses, two story high of adobes in Smithfield.
I arrived home all right that night and the next day, the 25th being my birthday, I stayed at home to fix things up a little and the next morning I started to put in the foundation for one of the houses mentioned, and then I kept at work from then until winter came. Then I laid over until Spring, when me and my brother took a contract to build two rock houses in Franklin, one for Bishop Hatch and one for Bro. Charles Fox, and we started on the Hatch building sometime in May, 1870, and was working there when my parents came in from England.
They arrived in the latter part of July and after resting a few days, my father wanted to start work, so we took him up to Franklin with us and he worked a day or two with us on the Hatch building and then we started him on the Fox building, where he worked the remainder of the fall, and then he went to Brigham City where my mother was staying with my sister Mrs. Louisa Clow, and they stayed with her all winter.
In the spring of 1871, they moved to Salt Lake City and stayed there until sometime in August when my mother took a notion that she wanted to go back to England, as she had left her oldest daughter there, so Father consented to take her back and it really seemed that the hand of the Lord was in it, for after they had been there for a few months, my sister was taken sick and she was taken home to her mother and she had the satisfaction of nursing and tending to her until she died. When that transpired and she was laid away, it was not long before my mother wanted to come back to her children here in Utah, and my father bought himself a city lot and built himself a comfortable home, and a short time before it was ready to move into, mother went down to American Fork to visit one of her daughters who was living there, and while there she was taken sick, and after a few days sickness she died, and was buried in American Fork cemetery on June 28, 1887, aged 70 years, just at the time when my father had completed her new home, the first one they had ever owned.
Now I must mention my own family. I have stated that our first child, a boy, was born in Smithfield, whom we named William Henry on the 4th of September 1865. The next was a girl born in Smithfield on November 11, 1867, and we named her Charlotte Ann, and the next was a girl born in Smithfield on November 18, 1869, and we named her Louisa Clow, and we next had a son born in Smithfield on the 9th of July 1872, and we named him Walter John, and we next had a daughter born in Smithfield on August 29, 1875, and we named her Flora Bell Ida, and we next had a son born in Smithfield on March 29, 1878, and we named him Claud Albert.
During the following year the railroad ran as far north as Blackfoot, Idaho and the following spring of 1879 in the beginning of February, I was hired to go up to Eagle Rock, as it was then called, but is now Idaho Falls, to cut stone for the abutments of the railroad bridge to cross the Snake River at that point, and when I arrived there I cut stone for 3 days, and they then started to lay them using a derrick for the purpose of handling the stone and the first stone they laid didn’t suit the boss or superintendent, and he had it raised up again so as to re-bed it, and when they were about to lower it again, it dropped from the derrick and fell on the foot of the boss and cut off three of his toes, his big toe and the next two. They raised the stone up and drew out his foot, and carried him to his hotel and got a doctor who dressed his foot, but he was confined to his room, so at night he sent for me, and asked me if I would take hold and superintend the building of the abutments for the bridge in his place. I told him I would do so, so I went and told the men what he wanted me to do, and they were all pleased at the change and I got along all right with them and had no trouble with any of them and we worked along until we completed the job and then the boss was yet unable to leave his room.
The superintendent of the road came and examined the work and was greatly pleased with it and wanted me to stay on the road and do all the mason work that would be needed, this was on the 24th of April 1879, I told him that I could not stay as I had contracted to do some work at home that spring, and he said, “I will give you a pass and you can go and stay a couple of weeks and then come back,” but I told him I could not do that as the contract I had taken would take me more than two months, so I drew my pay and went home next day, telling him I would send him a good mason and as I was going home I saw Bro. James Chadwick who lived in Franklin and got him to go up in my place and he told me afterwards that during that summer he cleared over $3000.
I arrived home all right and found all well, and the next day being my birthday once more, my brother and family came to see me and while there he told me that he had recently taken up a quarter section of land and wanted to know if I didn’t want to do the same. I thought the matter over and came to the conclusion that as my boys were growing up and me having to leave home to get work to sustain them, while they were running around the street with nothing to do, that it would be a good plan to get some land so that they could assist me in my efforts for their good.
So I told my brother that if he would go with me so that I could see the land, probably I might take it. So the next day, we went out to look at the land, as he had a knowledge of where the corners were, and when we got there I found that he had taken one eighty across running east and west and a 40 acres running south from his west corner and then the other 40 running west of that. Why he had done that I could not see because there was a better 40 acres running west that he might have taken.
So we returned home and the next day we went down to Logan to the land office and we found that there was no one that had a claim upon the south 40 acres and as they were willing to make the change, he did so, and I homesteaded the square quarter, on the west of his, and in the fall of that year I took down a big load of lumber and lay it down without killing, I might say, hundreds of thousands of grasshoppers.
After I had laid the last load down in five minutes the whole pile was covered with two inches of grasshoppers, and I looked around me and thought, “Well, if this ain’t a fine prospect for farming,” but nevertheless I hired three teams to break up ten acres of the land that fall, and during the winter I hired a man to go with me to dig a well so as to have water there, when we should need it in the spring, and we went down 35 feet and yet no sign of water and then the weather got so bad we had to quit work and before we could get at it again it commenced to thaw and cave in all round that we could do nothing with it.
When spring came I found that it was not where I needed it as it would be too far from where I decided to build our house, so I went to town and got a forked peach limb and took it down there, to see if it would tell me where I could get water, and the only place it would work with me was about 15 feet from where I wanted to build our house and that suited me all right, so I went into Richmond and there I hired two men to go down and dig until they got a good stream of water, and they agreed to do it for $30.00 I told them all right to go ahead and get it done as quickly as possible. The next morning they came down and one of them started to make the lumber curb in 9 feet lengths and the other man started to dig the well and when night came the man had a length of curb ready and the other man had got the water at nine feet with a good stream of water, and next morning they tried to bail out the water so as to sink it little lower, but it ran in faster than they could bale it out, so they put in the curb and went home, I having paid them their $30.00 as agreed upon, with the understanding that if the water failed they should come and sink down until we got a permanent stream, but it never failed and I understand it is just as good now as it ever was.
In the meantime, me and the boys were working on the house and we finished it so as to move into it in the beginning of May 1880 and when we got all moved, we then had the land with but very little else, so I sold our lots and home in Smithfield and bought a few of the things we needed worst, which was a new harness and wagon plow and harrow and some other things we needed to work with notwithstanding the circumstances with which we were surrounded with, the grasshoppers hatching out all around us, we had put in a crop on the ten acres we had plowed in the fall before, and also we had plowed up about two and one half acres in which we had sowed down with lucerne seed, so as to furnish us with hay for the stock we had so that in the fall we were enabled to cut one small crop of lucerne, also quite a little wild hay, sufficient for our purpose and we also was able to get a crop of wheat, and the straw from what came in quite handy and the reason we were able to do this was because the grasshoppers grew up and flew away quite early in the season.
The next thing of importance was that on the 11th of November of this year, 1880, we had another daughter born to us, and we named her Maud Thersa, the first one to be born on the ranch outside of Smithfield, for our land was just over the precinct line.
In fact, the south side of our land formed the precinct line of Richmond so, of course, when we moved there, we became members of the Richmond Ward, after living in Smithfield a little over 18 years. And after we had gathered our crops I left our boys to do the plowing and went off to work at my trade for the rest of the fall, and I usually got what work I could do in and around Richmond, as at that time there was considerable freighting to be done, as well as railroad work, so that lots of money was brought into Richmond from that source and has been for several years, passed, until the railroad reached up into Montana, and the people of Richmond were in better circumstances financially and was therefore better able to make improvements than they were in other parts of the country.
But while living on our ranch, there was of course, many advantages, and also there was some disadvantages and the one we felt most was the great distance we were living from town as we were four miles from either Richmond or Smithfield, which we found was too far for small children to go to school, or for us to attend our meetings, as we would like to have done, and this we felt to be a great drawback to us, but in the winter time we would have the children study the same lessons that the children were taking in the schools, and by this means they were enabled to keep up with those that had the privilege of regularly attending the schools, so much so that when we were in a position, so that we could move up into town for the winter months, the teachers inquired of them what school they had attended and when they told them that they had not been to any school, the teachers were greatly surprised as they were farther advanced than those of their age, that had been regular attendants at school from their school age.
Well, let us now return to the ranch, during that fall I was enabled to earn a little means so that when winter set in upon us, what with the little means I had earned and the little crop we had raised in the shape of wheat, hay, garden stuff and the straw, we were enabled to get through the winter without having to suffer much for the necessities of life, and during the winter me and the boys put up some sheds and stabling for the comfort of our team, stock, chickens and pigs, and when the spring of 1881 arrived, we got a little more land plowed and got it all put in, and added a little more lucerne seed to that we already had in, but during the summer, we found out that we could not stock, and unless we could get our land fenced to ourselves, we would have to suffer the loss of our seed and labor for.
When we went to one of our neighbors and asked him kindly to keep his stock away, he simply replied, “You must fence your land.” He was asked why didn’t he fence his, he said because he didn’t have the means to do it, and he was told that we were in the same condition, but nevertheless, he persisted in driving his stock down that way every morning during the summer season, and our children had to stand guard over our crop every day to keep the stock from eating everything up, and I was away from home, trying to earn means to get the material to fence our land into ourselves.
Thus we were troubled for the first three years we lived on the ranch, and I finally got the posts and wire, and we got a fence on three sides of our land and the Richmond people fenced the north side, as they wanted the land on the north of ours for a pasture for their cows, and after that we had no trouble with outside stock, and I was enabled to go off and work to get means to make other improvements that we stood in need of, and by so doing we were enabled to do better, as the boys would run the farm while I would go off and earn enough to pay taxes and clothes for the family and defray other expenses.
On January 17, 1883 we had another daughter born to us, which we named Jane Ann, making our family number eight children, five girls and three boys, and about this time as the land west of us was university land, which had not come into market, I took up a quarter section or over as pasture for our stock and we took quite a number of cows on shares and this furnished work for the girls as well as the boys, and we got all the milk and half the butter, and we used the milk to feed hogs, and the butter we sold, which brought us in all the groceries we needed and part of our clothing, which was a great help to us and also about this time I proved up on our land and shortly after I received the patent from the government, and then we felt that we could do as we liked with it.
About this time I had an experience I shall never forget if I live to be a hundred years old, for it was a testimony to me that the God above does both hear and answer prayer, this was in the fall of the year, we had cut our wild hay and there was considerable of what we called foxtail or barley grass amongst it, and I had instructed our boys to fork it together in piles and I would burn it when I got time, so they left it in bundles scattered over the land, and we had 15 acres of wheat on the north side of the hay land with a slough running between it and the hay land, and we had got the wheat out and in the shock with the grass in the slough only about a foot wide, with the grass on both sides quite tall and heavy and the stubble of the wheat running close to the grass, I give this explanation so that it may be better understood what was at stake as on that crop of wheat we were depending for our year’s bread.
William Henry Hill Part 7
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Well one day it being very warm and pleasant with not a breath of air in circulation and just after dinner, I said to the Mother, “I think this is the time to go and burn that foxtail,” so I got some matches and a garden rake and went up to where the grass bunches were and when I got there it was as calm as it possibly could be, so I struck a match and started one of the piles to burn. I had no sooner done so than there was a wind started up, and notwithstanding we had cut the grass close to the ground with the machine as we possibly could, the flames caught the stubble and ran due north toward our wheat crop and I tried with all the strength and activity that I was in possession of to check its onward progress, but without avail, for it kept on toward the north and as fast as I would put it out in one place, it would get ahead of me in another, and I worked and worked, but still it kept creeping nearer the slough and still I fought it until I fell to the ground overcome with the efforts I had made, and here is the sequel. I there prayed to my Heavenly Father in the sincerity of my soul and asked him to allow the fire to go to the ditch in the center of the slough and no farther and soon the fire reached the ditch, but never touched a spear of grass on the north side of the ditch but turned east and cleaned the half of the slough and ditch for a distance of ten rods or until it had passed east of the wheat and then died out of its own accord.
My grain was saved and oh, how thankful I felt and I could not but acknowledge that the Lord had heard my prayer and answered it immediately in my behalf and when I saw that the fire was out, I walked down to the house and had to go to bed for the rest of the day, as I was entirely worn out, leaving the rest of the foxtail until I had got the grain secure in the stack, and here I want to say that for four years, that line that was drawn by the fire was observable and quite a number came down there to see it as an evidence of the fact as I had stated it to them.
The following spring, I took a contract to build a house with cut stone up in Preston, Idaho for Brother Cowley, who afterwards became one of the twelve apostles. I hired some men and we went up there and started on the building and pushed it along as fast as possible, but owning to there being so many changes made from the plans I received, which caused a great deal of extra labor to be performed, I ran behind to the amount of something over $200.00 besides my summer’s labor and board, therefore I was under the necessity of borrowing $400.00 and giving a mortgage on 80 acres of my farm for the purpose of paying the men I had working for me on the building, as I knew that they all needed their pay, and I had a long talk with Bro. Cowley and he promised me he would see that I was not a loser for the extra labor I had performed on the house, but as yet I have never received a nickel from him, but I did once hear him say here in Richmond in a meeting he attended that the house Brother Hill built him was the best house he had ever lived in, but that didn’t pay me for the labor of building it and when the mortgage came due I was unable to meet it, for it was all I could do to pay the interest on it without reducing the principle any, and so I concluded to see out the ranch altogether and move into town if I could get somebody to buy it, as I was getting into such a condition that I couldn’t sleep nights for worrying about being in debt. So finally the Merrill Brothers spoke to me about it and I offered the whole thing to them for $18,000 and they take the mortgage off my hands, and they met together and talked it over and finally came to the conclusion to take it, so I sold it to them and moved into town and rented a house and lot for a year.
During that time I bought the place we now live in and we moved into it in October 1895 and also on April the 18th of this year I was ordained to the office of an High Priest, by M. W. Merrill Jr. in Richmond, Utah and on November the 7th 1896 I was called and set apart as home missionary for the winter months to visit at the homes of the Saints in the Cache Stake with 12 others, we were to travel two and two with the odd number a President over the rest and I had Brother Samuel Wiser from Lewiston as my partner and we enjoyed our labors among the people very much.
Then in the beginning of the year 1899, I received a letter from Box B. Salt Lake City, calling me to fill a mission in Great Britain, and was told to be ready to leave Salt Lake City on the 6th of May, so I made preparations to be on hand at that date, and I left home on the 28th of April and went down to Salt Lake City, the wife accompanying me that far to spend a short time with our daughter Lottie, who was then living there and after our arrival there the next day I went down to Provo and Pleasant Grove and American Fork to visit the folks down that way and to bid them good-bye and after spending a day or two with them I returned to Salt Lake City and spent the remainder of the time there until I left, and on the 5th of May I went to the President’s office and secured my passage and my mission by Anton H. Lund and then went back to Lottie’s and stayed overnight.
Next morning at 7:00 me and seven other brethren started on the same train, this being the sixth day of May, making it just 37 years since I left Liverpool to come to Salt Lake City, as I left there on the 6th day of May 1862. Well, when we started we had three days to get to Philadelphia in, and as the trip would take us two days, we concluded to pass our spare time in the capitol at Washington, where we had the privilege of going through the capitol building, as well as many other noted buildings. We went into the great senate chamber as also the house of representatives, and the national library and also we viewed the great White House, the home of the presidents of the United States.
Next morning we left Washington and started out for Philadelphia, arriving there about 3:00 in the afternoon, after which it took us until 5:00 in the evening to get our baggage down to the dock where the good ship Belgenland lay at anchor, and when we arrived there, we went on board to have a good look at the vessel that was to carry us across the great Atlantic Ocean, and then we all had prayers and retired.
Next morning we were up early and got breakfast and then we went to a store to get something to prevent sea sickness, and I bought a dozen lemons, as they were very good they said for that, but I found out to the contrary. We then returned and gathered up our traps and wandered our way to the ship, and went on board to our several berths, and got located in the quarters we were to occupy during the journey. At noon the vessel began to move out of the dock and glide along down the Delaware River and all the afternoon and evening we were very much attracted by the beautiful sights we beheld as were gliding along down the river, and when the night came we were still on the river, but next morning when we got up and went on deck, presto, what a change, we were out of sight of land and on the ocean with nothing to see but the great expanse of water all around us.
I arose early to see the sunrise and when the sun came up, it seemed as though we were going as straight as a line for it, and this was the case every morning while we were on board. Now as I said, I started from Salt Lake City on the 6th of May, and it seemed to me that the number six had a charm for me, for when I arrived in Washington and went to a Hotel, the room I occupied was number six, and when I got on board the ship and secured my berth I found that it was number six, and when I went to the table I also discovered that my seat was number six.
In the morning I got up early and went on deck, and I had not been there but a few minutes when I began to feel sick at the stomach and I thought I was going to be seasick, so I thought that if the lemons were good for that I would try one, so I went to my room and got one and I took the juice of it and oh, my how sick it made me feel, till I put my finger down my throat and brought it back again, and after that I felt much better, but I was unable to partake of any breakfast, but I never lost a meal after that, while quite a number of the boys were very seasick for several days before they could go to the table to eat anything.
We had pretty fair weather considering we were on the ocean, for the water was fairly calm most of the time, but notwithstanding, it was the month of May and we had to wear our overcoats all the time, as it was so cold and thus the days passed one after another until 12 days had gone by when lo, we once came in sight of land, and in a few hours, we were opposite Queen’s town in the Irish Coast, and a tug boat came out to meet us, to receive the Irish mail, and then we passed on toward Liverpool, where we arrived about 3:00 in the morning, when everybody on the ship was aroused from their slumbers and called to get up and have breakfast so as to be ready to land on the shore of Old England, and there was not one that needed a second call.
So after we had eaten breakfast, we all started to gather our traps together, so as to be ready but there was so much red tape business to go through with the custom house officers, but there was quite a number of the brethren from the Liverpool Office there to meet us, and gave us the assistance we needed, and escorted us to the Liverpool Office and saw to getting our luggage hauled to the office, and when we arrived there, we met the Presidency of the Mission, and in the morning they held a meeting and gave us our appointments where we were to labor.
I receiving the appointment to labor in Nottingham Conference, as I had requested, so that I might labor in that part of the country where I was born, so that I might go over the stamping ground of my youth and have the privilege of meeting with my relations both on my father and mother’s side.
As soon as our business was completed we all began to start out to our fields of labor bidding each other good-bye and wended our way to the different railway stations and took trains to our various destinations. I arrived in Nottingham about 4:00 in the afternoon. Then I secured a cab to take me to the conference house and having reached there I was welcomed there by the brethren located there, and the next day being Sunday to the saints in England for the first time in 37 years, and we had the privilege of speaking to the saints in England and we had a fine meeting and a good spirit prevailed, and on the following evening, I was out with three other brethren to a village about four miles out of town, to hold a street meeting.
We arrived there, and backed up against a lamp post, and commenced singing a hymn and by the time we were through we had a goodly number of people around us and we had prayer and then we sang another hymn at the close of which one of the brethren stepped out and addressed the people on the first principles of the gospel, for about half an hour, when he closed and called upon me to talk a few minutes and in every word that was uttered, and appeared to be pleased that we had come in their midst and that they were thankful for it so we wended our way back to Nottingham arriving there we were ready to retire and we did so.
Next morning the President assigned me to go and labor in the Eastwood branch of the Nottingham conference, and that afternoon I left for my field of labor, I arrived all safe and was met by a Brother Samuel Hadley who was then presiding over quite a large number of saints in the branch, but some we were unable to meet with, until the following Sunday at meeting, where I was introduced to the rest of the members of the branch, me and Bro. Hadley labored together for about two months, when he was called to labor in another district, and I was appointed to preside over the Eastwood District, and a new arrival was went to assist me in my labors and I remained there eleven months, and the Lord prospered me in my labors among the people there, and I really felt sorry to leave them, but duty called me into another field, as I was appointed to go and labor in Grantham Lincolnshire, another place where I left my parents when I first went to Utah in 1862. So on April 30, 1900, we took our leave of the Saints at Eastwood, leaving the most of them in tears at our parting, and wended our way to Grantham, the old stomping ground of my youth.
We arrived there all safe at 12:00 noon and went directly to the lodgings that I had secured the week before, and found that the lady had made things quite comfortable for us, so we had dinner and then spent the remainder of the day in catching up with our correspondence and the next day, May 1, 1900, we started out to look over the town, and I found it very little changed during to lapse of 37 years. Everything looked natural to me as far as the town went, but I began to scan the features of the people to see if I could find any person that I knew in my youth, not one did I know, nor any that knew me. I was a stranger in a strange land. The place seemed to be inhabited by another people altogether.
Next day we went in another direction outside of town to view a building which my father had built after he returned there from Utah in 1871 and while there I entered into conversation with a man that was there and I discovered that he was a man that helped my father to put up the building, and when I told him I was a son of the man that did the mason work on the building, he was very much pleased to meet me and invited me to visit him at his home, so that he could talk with me about the many good times which he and my father had had together, which I did.
Next day we began distributing tracts to the people at their homes, and had conversations with the people whenever we could get the chance of so doing, But many times they would not take the time to listen to what we had to say and in our visits among the people we came in contact with seven persons who had once belonged to our Church many years ago, but through having no Elders laboring amongst them it appeared that they had almost died a spiritual death, for they were alone and widely separated from each other. One old lady telling me that I was the first Mormon Elder she had seen in 42 years and others that had not had an Elder visit them for over 25 years, we held meetings with them and revived them up in the Gospel, and when the time came for us to leave they were very much grieved at parting with us.
We labored in that locality for six months, but could not make much progress in the way of converting the people although there were many that would converse with us upon the principles of the Gospel. They seemed to have no desire to accept of the same, and all we could do was to bear our testimony to them and leave it with them. They would tell us that they knew that their parents were good people and that they believed those of them that had died and gone to heaven, so the religion of their parents were good enough for them.
So on October 13, 1900, I received word from the President that we were to leave Grantham and go to the city of Leicester, so we cleared up our business in Grantham and on the morning of the 18th we bid farewell to the people and started out for Leicester, arriving there early in the afternoon, we found two of the brethren at the station to meet us. We were pleased to meet them and after a pleasant greeting they escorted us to their lodgings and we had something to eat with them, but as the people where they were staying they could not accommodate us also, we started out to hunt up a place for ourselves. We were pleased to find one that suited us, and a very comfortable place we found it to be.
The two brethren that had met us at the station had been located in Leicester but a short time, and had not been enabled to accomplish much, they had done a little tracting and that was about all, so as soon as I arrived there, I acquainted the President of the fact and in a day or two I received word from him that he had appointed me to preside over the Leicester District.
I went to work and secured a map of the city, which was quite large, the population of the city proper being marked at 175,000. I took the map and divided off the city, into sections, giving to the two elders that had been there for a short time one of the sections to labor in until every house had been tracted. While I and the Brother who labored with me took the section of the city adjoining the one the other boys were laboring in and we spent the most of each weekday in visiting from house to house and leaving with them a gospel tract, inviting them kindly to read it carefully and telling them that in a few days we would visit them again, when we would let them have another tract and hoped that they would become interested in them.
Then I went and rented a small hall, to hold meetings in and I got a stamp and put on each tract, the name and number of the hall, and the street in which it was located and also the time at which we would open our meetings, and by the end of the week, we had left tracts at hundreds of houses, the four of us, so on the following Sunday evening, we went to the hall to see what success we would have in getting a congregation to preach to. We were greatly surprised to behold the hall filled to its capacity, and the prayers of our hearts went up to our Heavenly Father, for His great goodness toward us, in touching the hearts of those people assembled with a desire to come and listen to what we had to tell them. Also to pour out His holy and divine spirit upon us, His servants that we might be enabled to feed them with the bread of life, and we each was filled with the spirit of our calling and according to the rapt attention that was manifested surely every person present upon that occasion went away fully satisfied, that what they had heard was the truth which comes from God.
William Henry Hill Part 8
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We as His servants felt very much encouraged for the blessings we had received from our Heavenly Father, for the efforts we had put forth. It was a testimony to us that God accepted of our labors thus far, and encouraged us to renew our efforts in that direction. We continued day by day to visit from door to door, and it was but a short time before I had to look out for a larger hall, as the one we had would not convene those that desired to listen to what we had to say.
Some had already made application for the Church by baptism, and in a short time we had 13 added to the fold of Christ. We organized a Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Leicester District, and in the meantime I had discovered two families of my relatives on my father’s side that were living in Leicester, that I had not seen or heard from for 42 years. They were two brothers, but one had died after I arrived in England, but before I discovered where they were.
After I had been in Leicester some weeks I was walking down one of the streets and all at once I noticed a sign over a door, Daniel Hill, and I remembered that was the name of one of my cousins, so I went in and made inquiries and found two of the daughters that were running a store. I entered into conversation with them and questioned them about where their father came from or where he was born and soon found out that he was related to me and they told me he was dead. I made inquiries about their mother and they said they did not live in the building, but that their home was some distance from the store, but told me their mother would be there at the store on the Friday of that week. So I promised them that I could call again at the store on the Friday of that week, which I did and found her there.
I had a long conversation with her about her family and her husband and made inquiries of her about her husband’s brothers and asked if she knew where they lived. She told me that her husband’s oldest brother had died a few weeks before her husband did and his wife too, and she said she didn’t know where the other brother lived. She told me where he used to live years before. She invited me to visit her at her home and have tea with her and I promised to do so, which I did a few days later. Then I expounded the principles of the gospel to her, but she did not take kindly to them, but nevertheless she invited me to call again which I did some weeks after and as I was walking up the path toward the house, I saw her through the window, but when I got up to the door and knocked, no one answered for some time and finally a man came to the door and I asked him if Mrs. Hill was in, and he said she was gone out, so I left and never visited her again.
But I went in the locality where she told me the other brother used to live and by making many inquiries I finally located him and his family. When I visited them they were all very pleased to meet me and as soon as I disclosed to them my mission and had conversed with them upon the principles of the gospel, they at once opened their doors to me and also the other Elders that were laboring with me in the city. They were not satisfied unless one or the other or all of us together visited them every day, and if perchance our duties prevented either us from our calling upon them they would call us at our lodgings in the evening, after they thought our day’s duties were over, I must say that the Lord was preparing them for their reception of the gospel and this went along until the Elder that was laboring with me was taken down with the smallpox, then the wife of my cousin was at our lodgings every day to see how he was getting along.
I nursed him through his sickness until he recovered and that without the aid of a doctor and he had just put on his overcoat and was at the door to go and visit some relatives when the sanitary inspector opened the door having found it out that he had the smallpox. Oh, he was mad and wanted to know where we had been and what places we had been to and who we had conversed with, so as to put everybody under quarantine. I told him to not be anyways alarmed for I didn’t think that there would be any spread of the disease outside of our own boys. “Why,” he said, “The last time we had the smallpox here we had 500 cases all spring from one man that came in here on the train and went directly to the hotel and was put under quarantine immediately. Why you boys have been all over the city and we may expect 5,000 cases this time.”
The city officials made preparations for that many cases. I told him I didn’t think so nor he needn’t be alarmed about it, but he stopped my partner from going visiting and walked him off to the hospital and kept him there a month after he had recovered and placed me and the folks we were boarding with all under quarantine for 7 weeks which was a great drawback to us in our labor. The inspector would send a deputy every morning to see if there were any new cases in our neighborhood and thus it went on for two weeks and then the man living next door to us was taken sick and they toted him off to the hospital and kept him there two days and then sent him home and the very next day the lady on the other side of us was taken sick and they took her away and kept her three days and told her to go home.
As I had told him there was not another outside of our boys, so finally the Inspector came himself to see me and he said, “Mr. Hill, I have come this morning to ask you a question,” I said, “Alright Sir, I will answer it if it is in my power.” He said, “I would like to know what authority you made the assertion you did the first time I came here.” So I said, “Well, Sir, I can tell you. We claim to be the servants of the living God, and we are here by His divine authority and have been sent here to bless and comfort the people of this land and not to bring trouble among the people here to bring distress upon them. I felt that our God would not permit that the smallpox should spread among the people here to bring disgrace upon us as his servants. You are answered.” “Well, well,” he said, “I never heard of such a thing, it is wonderful, but it is true for not another case has developed as you predicted,” he said. Then I began explaining to him the principles of the gospel and he became quite interested and after two hours talk with him, I let him have some tracts and he said he would surely read them.
I desire to state that my prediction was not only fulfilled in Leicester, but all other places wherever the Elders of the Nottingham Conference were located, but there were six of the Elders that had the smallpox at that time, but not one case outside of our own body. We were all glad to be released from quarantine, and once more be enabled to resume our labors among the people and have the privilege of holding our meetings as before.
The Lord blessed us in our labors in that direction, and the holding our meetings as before. The Lord blessed us in our labors in the saints were prompt in the payment of their tithes, which enabled us to pay our Hall rent when due and the remainder I would send to the President of the Conference and quite frequently we would add to our number by baptism new members into the Church.
My cousin and his wife continued their investigation of the Gospel until finally the wife admitted that she believed it was of God, but her husband had not reached that conclusion, until his wife was taken sick, when she sent for me to administer to her, I went and found her in great pain, and he was there with her, but when she requested him to send for me, saying she believed that if I would administer to her she would be healed he had scoffed at the idea, saying he thought it would do no good, as that power was not granted to man in this day as in the day of the Apostles of old. But nevertheless, he sent for me to satisfy her, so I anointed her with oil, then I sealed the anointing and as quick as I raised my hands from her head, she arose to a sitting posture in bed and exclaimed, “Thank God, the pain has left me.”
She left her bed and dressed herself and was able to go about her housework and that was the last straw which broke the camel’s back, or in other words, my cousin said he was satisfied that the gospel was true and that the gifts and blessings of the same follow to those that believe in this our day, as well as in days of old after witnessing the power of God made manifest through the administration in behalf of his wife and that he was ready to accept baptism at any time.
About this time, May 24, 1901, I was to be in Liverpool on or before June 5th, as the vessel would start on the 6th. So I was kept quite busy as I wanted to visit my relations for the last time, so I closed my missionary affairs. I started out and bid farewell to all my kinfolk and on the 3rd of June, I returned to Leicester, and on the evening of the 4th, I baptized my cousin and his wife and confirmed them members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I stayed with them that night and early next morning I bid farewell and left for Liverpool, arriving there about noon, and found all the brethren all feeling fine and quite busy preparing for their journey home.
As the Presidency were all to return on the same vessel with me, as well as quite a number of Elders that had also got their release for the same purpose. So in the afternoon I went out to visit some relatives of my Brother’s wife and found them alright and the afternoon very pleasantly with them. Then I returned to headquarters and spent the night. Next morning all were busy getting their luggage to the vessel. At 4:00 in the afternoon, we all went on aboard the Noble New England Steamer, which was to carry us to the shores of America, the land of the free, which she did bravely in six days, landing us in the docks at Boston in safety.
From there we made the trip to Salt Lake City in five days, making it just eleven days traveling from Liverpool to Salt Lake City, arriving there a few minutes after nine in the morning of the 18th of June 1901, previous to leaving the vessel, I wrote a card to Lottie my daughter in Salt Lake City, telling her when to expect me, and posted it as soon as I landed. When we got off the train at Salt Lake City, I looked about expecting she would be there to meet me, but no she was not there, so I went on my way to the place where she lived and when I got there it was a great surprise for her to see me, as she had not yet received the card. When I had been there about two hours, the postman delivered the card to her, so it must have come in the same train as I did.
I stayed with her that night, and next morning I went south to visit my father and other relatives who lived in American Fork, Pleasant Grove and Provo and spent a couple of days with them, and then returned to Salt Lake City and visited with the folks there before leaving for home as I did not want to have to return again for that purpose. I remained in Salt Lake City the rest of the week and on Monday morning I left for home and arrived all safe and found the most of my family at the depot to meet me, and I found them all in the enjoyment of good health and very pleased to see me home once more.
For the first four months after getting home I was quite unable to do much of anything in the shape of work, as I was unable to bear the heat of the sun and even up to this time I cannot stand the heat in the country as I could before I went away, so I got along the best I could.
In the spring of 1902 I was appointed Marshal for Richmond City serving one term for two years and then I was elected Justice of the Peace for the city of Richmond serving two terms of two years each, after which I was elected Justice of the Peace for Richmond Precinct, which was county office. In this I served two terms of two years each, and in December 1909 I was appointed to the office of class leader in the Richmond class of the High Priests Quorum of the Benson Stake, and was released from that office on August 27, 1911 and appointed to preside over the class of High Priests of the Richmond Ward of the Benson Stake of Zion. I have also acted as a ward teacher ever since my return from my mission in June 1901. We hold our general quorum meetings every Monday evening through the winter months but owing to the press of business in the summer months, we are compelled to take a vacation as the attendance gradually decreases until there is only one or two that attends.
I have also labored in the Sunday School for the past three years and six months. I have the credit for not missing but four Sundays during that time and that was through sickness and death in my family, and for years passed I have not done much mason work such as brick and rock work as I could not stand the heat of the summer time to work outdoors. But I have done considerable plastering because I could then be inside out of the sunshine. I have been in that condition ever since I returned from my mission to England, and now on the second of January of this year, 1912, I was appointed by the new city council to take charge of the city cemetery as Sexton for the city.