Joseph Nephi McCann by Wilhelmina McCann Pond (daughter)
Colaborador: djasay Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Joseph Nephi McCann
By Wilhelmina McCann (Pond)
Joseph Nephi McCann a son of Thomas Ravenhill and Sarah Johnston McCann, born 1 April 1844 at Des Moines, Iowa, fourth in a family of ten children. When four years of age the family moved to Council Bluffs then to Winter Quarters and in June 1850 left for Salt Lake City arriving 1 October 1850 with the Steven Markham Co. Later the family settled in Ogden, then in 1860 his father was called to go to Franklin, Idaho. Here Joseph’s activities were similar to young men of his time; working on the farm getting wood and timber from the canyons nearby, and standing guard during the Indian uprising at Battle Creek, where his father fought with the other men of the community. Later he came to Smithfield where he met and married his devoted wife, Ellen Cantwell, 15 Oct. 1865. On 9 Dec. 1865 they journeyed to Salt Lake City by ox-team, and received their endowments in the Endowment House. Their first home was a one room log house on what is North Main in Smithfield on the presently owned Everett Smith lots. Now, in 1957, some of the foundation stone are still to be seen. He farmed, did canyon work - their only fuel supply - and at times worked at the canyon saw mill up Franklin Canyon (Daymill). Life in those days was very rugged and they truly “Made their living by the sweat of their brow.” My memory is of a home on 2nd South and 2nd West where we twelve children and our parents lived a very happy life in three rooms with a back porch where we could cook in summer. An honest hard working deeply religious man he shied from any public participations, but generous and free with all he owned. Even an Indian was never turned away. I well remember seeing a male and female indian with a child sitting around our kitchen stove one stormy morning enjoying a breakfast mother had prepared for them. And I remember father driving away one evening and returning about midnight bringing a mother and baby. Several nights later there was another mysterious night trip. We children never learned her name. He was kind and gentle with his family and had a keen sense of humor. I remember when as a small child I was playing “hide & go seek” with a group of cousins visiting us and I was too young to find a place to hide, so ran to him. He put me on my little wood chair and hung me on a peg high on the log wall. Then the time Albert hurt his finger and sought refuge in his arms. He wrapped his vest around Albert’s small hand and sent him into mother to complete first aid. I can just see mother laughing. Theirs was a happy busy life. Father’s eyes were hazel and his hair rather short and combed straight back. One of his friends once told me he was the kindest man she ever knew. He was killed by a falling tree while getting out logs to be sawed for lumber, in Logan Canyon, 21 Aug. 1889. He had hoped to get us in a new and larger home, as twelve of us and they two were about to crowd the walls out. He was anxious we all had opportunities as they became available. We were among the first families to own an organ, for which he traded a cow to Joseph Newbold who was moving away. I remember riding behind him on a work horse across town to school on cold winter mornings. Also the day in cold November when he called at school for me to go up the creek where some baptisms were being performed. I can still feel that icy water and my cloths frozen stiff by the time he got me back home. I regret I was only 10 when he passed on, because I feel I was cheated out of many lovely memories. I still cherish the memory of the Sunday afternoon, after church when he and mother and we smaller children would “pile” in the wagon box, he and mother and baby on the spring seat, we children on the hay padded box and go down to show mother how the crops looked. I’m sure they were happy when they viewed their fields, and we children gathered our arms full of sweet smelling pink hay flowers. Then when the hay was being hauled and the beautiful loads came into the yard, mother would send we children out with cups and a pitcher of delicious cool buttermilk for he and the older boys. Father had bought adjoining city lots from Martin Harris Jr. so we always had a large garden with a good variety of vegetables and an orchard with a goodly variety of fruits, much of which mother dried for winter eating. Father always cured plenty of meats for winter, so with our pitted potatoes, our dried and thrashed beans, our jars of homemade pickles and preserves; our crocks of lard for cooking, plenty of milk and cream and fresh churned butter and fresh eggs, and a beautiful supply of winter apples and parching corn, we were all healthy and happy. Pop corn was not introduced until later. Jim had been working on railroad projects in Montana during the winter of 1888 and spring and early summer of 1889, then in Aug. he came home and he and father decided to go to Logan Canyon and cut logs and have lumber made for the erection of a new home and it was while cutting this lumber father was struck on the head by a falling tree and killed 21 Aug. 1889. The tree had been partially burned through by a fire that had swept the area and the one he was falling bumped the burned one and it came his way unseen by him. A year or two later the boys built us a brick home. Jim couldn’t go back into the canyon. Jim tried to fill the place of father as we all found him a wise counselor. He did not marry until Earl, the 6 month old baby at father’s death was 21. God bless our father’s memory. God bless Jim’s memory.
Typed story from tribute in document section on this site
Colaborador: djasay Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Tribute to Joseph Nephi & Ellen Cantwell McCann Family (author’s written name is illegible)
Joseph Nephi McCnn and his son Thomas James, who was 23 years of age, were cutting trees in Logan Canyon when the accidental death of Brother McCann occurred. He was struck by a falling tree. The death, so sudden and untimely left Sister Ellen Cantwell McCann with a family of twelve children, ranging in ages from five months to twenty-three years, to care for. With little means at her disposal, it is surprising how magnificently and heroically she strove and how she achieved in giving to Smithfield a very superior family. This family of boys and girls who grew to manhood and womanhood reflected honor, respect, and dignity to a deceased father and a most lovable, faithful mother.
This family has given to their communities a most efficient and honorable service in cultural art-music, drama, education, teachers, administration in the church, school, civic, and political life. Through sacrifice, frugality, hard labor, vision, they have met their personal financial needs and contributed to the needs and wants of others. They have been missionaries, church teachers, and superior entertainers.
Besides caring for the financial needs of the large family, sister McCann kept such a cheerful, happy home that she kept her twelve children a happy amalgamation of souls united as by bonds of sacred union and personal fidelity. Her personality always attracted, never repelled. How well marked are her children with that trait! That is art in abundance, and culture in the superlative degree. Her power to please was a personal asset and is so characteristic of her families.
Mrs. McCann owed much of the grandeur of her life other tremendous difficulties as did her tender loving, poetic father, James Sherlock Cantwell. Kites like great personalities rise against the wind, not with the wind. Adversity in the lives of sister McCann and her father seemed the prosperity of their superior souls. They became artists of high merit. They left that artistic beauty as a heritage to children, relatives, friends, and communities.
Shakespeare says, “He is not worthy the honeycomb that shuns the hive because the bees have stings.” How heroically these two faced the “hive”, and left the honey for their prosperity!
Joseph Nephi McCann had the privilege of his family’s association for a period of only 24 years. This was so unfortunate because he was a kind, gentle, and loving husband and father. A sterling character who worked hard in an attempt to bring home to his little flock that he loved so much the “needs” of physical material things. He was a wholesome, sweet tempered gentleman; endowed with a cleverness and congeniality that assured friendships with friends and associates.
Mr McCann lived for life, love and liberty. When i remember him I think of a few lines:
I follow a famous father
and him i must keep in mind;
Though his form is gone i must carry on
the name that he left behind.
It was mine on the day he gave it
it shown as a monarch’s crown,
and as fair to see as it came to me
It must be when I pass it down.