Sylvester Low jr. -- By Sylvester Low jr.
Colaborador: bghendricks Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
SYLVESTER LOW Jr.
December 22 , 1948
My 86 Birthday
NOW I’m standing on the far edge of life, and I’m just looking back to see what I’ve done with the years and the days that were mine, and all that has happened to me.
My 86th birthday, 31411 days, 753,864 hours as man counts time, spent on earth. 2914 days spent in missionary service to the church, deducing 16 years of my youth and approximating 1 hour per day, I have spent 1065 days in public service.
My life time covers more that half the countries history. The lifetime of a person who was 86 years old when I was born would extend back to 1775, before the Revolution and the Declaration of Independence.
I have lived through four wars, viz: Civil, Spanish American, World War 1, and World War 11.
When I was born, December 22nd, 1862, the Civil War was just getting under way, President Lincoln had been in the White House less than a year and a half.
The Emancipation Proclamation had not been issue. During my life, 22 Presidents have ruled this Nation; I have traveled in 25 States, and 2 foreign countries. Crossed the Continent twice from Ocean to Ocean, and twice from Canada to Mexico.
I have seen the evaluations of transportation from the Ox team to the speeding airplane, and rode on all except the motorcycle,(will try that if I get a chance.)
I was 60 years old when I first heard the radio. 70 years old before I rode in an airplane, 14 years old when the telephone was invented; all my children were born before I saw a motion picture.
There have been 8 Presidents of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints during my life, I have know them all except Joseph Smith, and have heard them bear testimony to their Devine calling.
I have seen and known Martin Harris, one of the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon, heard him bear testimony on two separate occasions, that an Angle of the Lord showed him the Golden Plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated, and that the voice of the Lord commanded that he should bear record of it.
Since the 1939 having been released from my church activities, I have devoted my time to visiting with my children, and friends, fishing in the season, caring for the garden, raising a few flowers and devoting some time to genealogical research and Temple work. I shall not attempt to record these event in the order they come.
One of the outstanding trips was a visit to the Salt Lake, St. George and Mesa Temples, being invited by June and Sylvia Jensen in Feb. 1947. We boarded the bus in Salt Lake City, after having spent 3 days in the Salt Lake Temple, accompanied by sister May and friend, sister Brown. We started South in high spirits to spend a few days at the St. George Temple. Everything went fine until we reached Beaver, from there the buss begin to give trouble, finally stopping, left us stranded. The driver hailed a passing auto and went into Parrogoonah to phone for help. It was a cold night, difficult to keep warm. A car loaded with 5 men stopped, offered to take anyone who would care to ride with them to Cedar City. They smelled to strong with Whiskey, no one cared to go. After waiting 2 hours a bus arrived and the passengers were transferred. We were driven to St. George where we had reservations in a new hotel. We spent the next 2 days in the Temple. Aside from the ordinance work, it was fascinating being the 1st Temple built in Utah and under pioneering conditions. We wanted to know more about the difficulties, trials and hardships the people had to endure. We obtained permission, after our days work was done, to visit every room in the building and hear the story of it’s construction. How it’s architectural design was given to Brigham Young by inspiration and transferred to paper by the architect. Where the rock was quarried, how roads were built to timber 70 miles away. Huge trees, 60 feet long, were used for beams. Steel was unknown in building construction. All transportation was by Ox and Mule teams. There was no water systems in that day, no steam heat, no electric light, no electric elevators, yet all these modern equipments were provided for installation when the time should come that they could be installed with a minimum preparation, it all was very interesting.
At 10:00PM we boarded the bus to go to Las Vegas, from there we hired a taxi to takes us to the Boulder Dam. By the way of Lake Mead, following along the North shore of this man made lake. We arrived at the Dam, a most magnificent site, we spent 6 hours viewing this gigantic project, then went into Boulder City and saw a movie picture of the actual construction, from the first scoop full of earth removed, to it’s final completion. Arriving back in Las Vegas, had supper, left Las Vegas at 10:00 PM for Mesa, Arizona, traveling all night. Reached Phoenix at 7:00AM. From there we took a local bus to Mesa, and proceeded to look for accommodations. Hotel’s were to “classy”, prices beyond our reach. We walked out toward the Temple district, making inquiries on the way without success. The women were getting tired by now, “June” saw a man coming down the street, she hurried on ahead to meet him saying “I think he can give us some information.” as they met, June told him she was here to go through the Temple for a few days, “could you tell me where I can get accommodations for that time.” the man replied, “yes sir, that is my business,” taking out of his pocket a memorandum book, “you can get accommodations for 4 just across the street from the Temple,” and I have several places where one can stay.” we were soon located and rested.
During the rest of the day, I went to the Temple for the night session, there I met two of my missionary companions of 50 years ago. Elder Wm. J. Burk an officiator in the Temple, also, Elder Joseph Hancock and his wife, and sister Hunicutt, the widow of another of my companions, Elder William Williams, an officiator who worked with me in the Logan Temple, now at the some work in the Mesa Temple, Jonathan Hale and wife , from Blackfoot, Idaho, Hyrum Ririe, of Lewiston, Narcella Collett, of Salt Lake City, and many other people from Utah who go down there to work in the winter.
We remained 3 days attending 6 sessions, when not in the Temple, Jonathan Hale took us in his car to see the Historic sites around the country, Indian Pueblo’s, ancient canals, museums, cities and farms. Phoenix is a beautiful city, population 175,000; Mesa about 25,000.
It was Saturday night when we left Mesa on our return home. We traveled to Flagstaff, arriving there 12:00 o’clock midnight, had to wait for bus connections until nine O”clock next morning. We got rooms at the hotel. Flagstaff is high up in the mountains, elevation about 7,000 feet, it was cold, we was glad to leave there. The ride down to the Colorado river was through the Navajo reservation, it was barren desert, following the same rout that early Mormon Pioneers traveled going into Arizona. A few hogan’s here and there was the only evidence of life to be seen. As we neared the approach to the river, there was more evidence, and occasionally a few Indians boarded the bus, with a sack of wool , or a blanket, going to the trading post located at the bridge. As we left the bridge, we began to climb up to the Kiabab Forest. The ride through which was interesting. The stately pines, the deer, the flowers, and the undergrowth and grass all enhanced the beauty of the scenery.
We arrived at Kanab about 2 PM, had dinner and was on our way to Richfield, Utah, where we were to make connections with a bus to go to the Manti Temple. We arrived at Richfield at 7 PM, and to our dismay, discovered that se could not make it to Manti and go through the Temple until Tuesday, and June and Sylvia was due in Burley Tuesday. So we had to continue on to Salt Lake City with our program unfinished. However, later in the year, I had the privilege of going to Manti Temple with Percy and Nellie Ogden of Richfield. It was a great pleasure. Aside from participating in the temple services, I met Pres. Lewis Anderson who served in Southern States Mission as councilor to the Pres. Ben E Rich, while I was in the mission in 1898 to 1900. I was very happy to renew acquaintance with this good man. He is a noted figure in the Church.
I have visited my brothers and sisters in Canada on three occasions. 1st in September 1919 going by train. Aunt “Maggie” and I picking up her daughter Nellie and companion sister Sorenson from Hyrum, Utah, at Great Falls, Montana, who were there laboring as missionaries. We spent a most delightful time with our relatives for 20 days visiting. Went through the Temple, drove up to Waterton Lakes, also around the country in general. Left Cardston for our return home October 8th , in a Canadian blizzard. Snowed about 6 inches.
My 2nd trip was by car with brother Os and his grandson Scott Gardner. We went via the Yellowstone Park, through Gardner, Livingston, Bozeman, Three Forks, Helena, Browning to Cardston. July 4, 1937, “Dominion Day”, was the big attraction, the entertainment was great. One of the best Rodeos I ever attended. Three days of it. Something doing every minute, a contest of calf roping and branding between two teams of 5 men each, was real exciting. Camp movers race, Indian team races, and various other contests put “spice” into the celebration. We noticed that the Low family were leaders in directing the business of the Rodeo.
A family gathering was held at Brig’s on Lee’s Creek, the old homestead of fathers, if my memory is correct. There were more than 60 people present, a number from Utah., among them was Aunt Nettie, Geo. Nelson and Veda and others.
My 3rd trip to Canada was by airplane in 1947. Brother Os and I, we went by bus to Pocatello and boarded the plane there. At that time there were no planes out of the Logan airport going to Lethbridge, which would be our landing field. To reach Cardston, we would go by bus from there. The trip by air was somewhat different from the previous ones, consuming only about 6 hours of actual traveling time, including the bus traveling. It was fun for Os and the other passengers at my expense. I was air sick before we reached Lethbridge, and had to have a little attention, but got over it without making to much of a scene. On our return trip, it was fine, and the ride was pleasant.
Our stay in Cardston was short this time, we had the usual good time. Our relatives devoted much time to us, and took us all over the country. On returning, Joe took us by the way of McCleod to Lethbridge. There I met an old missionary companion, David Elton, with whom I spent a happy hour. We boarded the plane at 4 PM, arrived at Pocatello at 9:30 PM and rode the bus from there to Smithfield, reaching home at 12 midnight.
Jan. 20th 1949 Inauguration Day “A great American tradition.” Thirty two man have been president of the United States. You can get an argument over the question whether Harry S. Truman, inaugurated today for a new term, is the 32nd president, or the 33rd president. It all depends whether you count Grover Cleveland one or twice.
The 20th of January has not always been inauguration day. The 1st inauguration of President George Washington, was on April 16th, 1789. Four years later, the day was set for the 4th of March 1793. The 4th of March became a fixed date as much as July 4th as independence day. Then by Constitutional Amendment, Inauguration day was switched to Jan 20th beginning in 1937. Since 1789 Presidential inauguration have been one of greatest public spectacles, in attendance by crowds, lavish expenditure and rollicking exhibition of hoodlamism, as in the case of the inauguration of Andrew Jackson in 1829, and William Henary Harriason in 1840, with its rowdy public reception allowed by its 3 glittering balls.
For six weeks prior to Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration, in 1861, there was a tense feeling in Washington. Threats of revolution, succession, and stories to attack and destroy Washington. Pres. Lincoln came quietly to the Capitol, he spoke to a restive nation these famous words; “we are not enemies but friends. We must not be enemies, though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.”
The four inaugurations of Franklin D. Roosevelt are remembered for the huge crowds. On March 4 1936, when America was on the verge of disaster, he said,”This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
Today in thousands of churches, Americans will pray for the man who will be inaugurated President of the United States, in 1949 he will need their prayers;.
31,411 days may look a long time when we are young, but remember that we have already used 365 days for every year we have lived. When we were 16, we had used 5,840 days, at 20 we had used 7,300 days, at 30 we have used 10,950 days at 40 we have used 14,600 days. What have we used them for? And here is an important question, what are we going to do with the rest of them? When we reduce life to this formula of figures, it shockingly serves notice on us that if we spend it for one thing; we can’t spend it for another.
Some people spend their time as recklessly as some people spend their money. A man might make more money, but let him try to make more time. So surly there should be some budgeting of time. We can’t keep it from moving at it’s own pace. The days move on no matter what we do with them, and doesn’t it suggest choosing with care the company we keep, and choosing with care every purpose in life.
It was Emerson who said; “All I have seen teaches me to trust the great creator for all I have not seen.” But here and now, within the limits of this life we knew about what men may expect, and we owe it to ourselves to fill it with the finest of things.
“I’ve lived with my friends, and I’ve shared in their joys, known sorrow with all of it’s tears. I have harvested much from my acres of life, though some say I’ve wasted my years. For much that was fine has been mine to enjoy, and I then I have lived to my best, and I have no regret, as I’m nearing the end, for the gold I might have possessed. 1952
Sylvester Low Biography
Colaborador: bghendricks Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Sylvester Low Jr
born..22 December 1862–died 23 May 1952
by Sylvester Low Jr.
Retyped and pictures added by Rodney C. Low, a great grandson
SYLVESTER LOW Jr.
written by Sylvester Low Jr.
That future generations may know something of my life, my associates, experiences in life’s labors, civic and religious. I set forth to assemble them together in this story of my life. They have been profitable to me, and I hope they my be of value to my posterity. My guides through life have been, 1st my mother, 2nd my wife Lilian to who I was sealed for time and eternity, the mother of my children, who was taken from me by death shortly after her mission as a mother in Israel was finished, 3rd to Margaret Griffiths, to whom I was married for time only, a companionship marriage that to both was congenial and happy.
I was born in Providence, Cache County, Utah, December 22, 1862, son of Sylvester and Ann Allen Paton Low, in a log house with a dirt roof and no floor, with a piece of sheeting for a window, and a fire place to heat and cook. My parents have told me it was a very sever winter, the snow very deep, and extremely cold.
In the fall of 1863 my parents, with others, were called to settle in Bear lake Valley. They moved to Ovid , 5 miles north of Paris, Idaho. Here they went through the hardships of pioneering a new home, remaining there until August, 1865. Feeling they could not face another winter in that dreary frost bitten valley, their grain being frozen for the 2nd year in succession, they loaded their few belongings into their wagon, and headed for there former home in Providence, Cache County, via Emigration Canyon and Mink Creek.
It was on this journey that an incident occurred which is the first that I can recall in my life. There is place in the Strawberry canyon that was difficult to pass, and a dugway was built called the “Danish Dugway”, steep to climb up and high on the mountain side. One of the oxen balked while going up, he lay down and refused to pull, it was a serious predicament, I remember how anxious Mother was, how serious Father looked as he endeavored to persuade the Ox to move, and yet feared that when he did move, it might be off the road and tip us down into the canyon. Some travelers come along and helped us up the hill. Years later, I described this situation to my parents, and they verified it. I was then but 2 years and 8 months old.
In passing through Smithfield, my father obtained employment in the Grist Mill as a Miller. He obtained a city lot and built a home, which became the permanent home of his first family. Here on this lot, my father built three houses. The first a 1 room log, the second a 1 room log with a lento, third, a 4 room frame house, lath and plaster inside, and out, each of them marked an epic in my life. In the first home I had my first pair of shoes “copper toed’ bought from the first store in Smithfield, owned by a Jew, afterward sold to Samuel Roskelley, and became the Coop Store.
It was the loss of these shoes that burned into my soul, more than the joy of having them, for they were “litterly burned.” It was a winter day and snowing, when I got them, and I must have waded in snow most of the day, for when I removed them from my feet , they were like a wet sponge. So I quietly slipped them into the oven to dry . Next morning Father, an early riser made the fire, and went to attend outside chores, and of course the shoes were baked to a frazzle when discovered. My parents were poor, and one pair of shoes was all they could afford for each, per year. This was also true of other pioneer families in the early days. I think I was man grown before I could afford a pair of Sunday shoes.
Our two roomed house was where most of my young childhood days was spent, and in which many of my sisters were born, also from its door I first trudged to school. My old teacher, Charles Wright, used to often tell that I came one morning, having fallowed my older brother James, carrying under my arm a copy of “the Scottish Chiefs.” He wiped my nose, sat me on a bench and permitted me to remain until recess, then sent me home to my Mother. I received a common school education, my teachers were. Charles Wright, William A. Noble Sr., And Ellen Langton. Leaving school at the age of 14, having mastered reading, writing, and arithmetic. Spelling was more of virtue than grammar, the study of which was just introduced into the grade school curriculum as I quit school.
Our 4 room house we occupied when the family had grown to young manhood and womanhood. The home from which we all, in the course of time, swarmed out of, to build “A Hive of our Own.” the impressions of home enlivenment, Parental discipline, Home teaching, Obedience to parents and honoring the Priesthood, enabled us to live in harmony and thus be a happy family, four brothers and six sisters.
Father being engaged first as a miller, then as clerk in the Coop Store, we boys were deprived of the privilege of his association in out door life, as we grew older he fitted us out with a pair of little mules, harness and wagon, to do odd jobs to help in the obtaining a livelihood for the family. I think maybe the venture was more of a Debt than a Credit. However he latter purchased of pair of Mares for us and this probably helped to determine our future. Brother Os and I, for he became a rancher and I a farmer. At the age of 16 I was employed with my father in the High Creek flour Mill, for a short time, then I was employed by J.W. Hendricks to work on his farm in Cove. In July of the same year I went to Montana railroading, employed by Ricks and Hendricks Construction Co. Engaged in laying track of the Utah Northern, now O. E. L. Railroad. Began work at Red Rock Montana, remained with the Co. For 2 summer, or until the line reached Silver Bow, which ended their contract. Then came home and engaged in farming again.
We had been successful in raising a few colts from the Mares father bought, so we now had some nice teams. Brother Os went railroading and I took care of the farm, the next two years, which had increased in size by the school section coming into use through lease, and father had 20 acres under lease, also we had acquired the dry farm south east of Smithfield, also helped to widen the Logan and Richmond Canal and acquired water stock, to furnish water for the School Section land.
During this period of my life, I formed associates that were very dear to me, and friendships that have lasted through life. I will name some: Heber Swaner; the Hillyard boys, Will, John, and Hyrum; the Barber boys, Walter and Bert; the Plowman boys, Lew, Chris and Jake; the Thomas boys, Joe and Dan; the Thornley boys, Rob, John, Willie, Seth and George; the Noble boys, Will, Ira and Harp; and scores of others.
I was married Oct. 8, 1882 to Lillian E.E. Jones, daughter of Charles and Mary A. Weeks Jones, in the Endowment House, Salt Lake City.
We lived with her father and mother the first winter, then my father had moved his family to Logan, we moved into their home and we proceeded to accumulate material to build a house on a City lot. We had secured near Emil Petersons. We had progressed so far as to have the foundation in and nearly all the material on the ground ready for erection. When through the death of Lillie’s mother, her father was left alone and he persuaded us to abandon building, and come and live with him, with a promise that his home should be ours at his death. We sold our lumber and other material and moved to the home of her father in 1885.
Previous to this, our 1st child was born, Aug. 22, 1884, a boy, still born , and for some time my wife’s life was despaired of, but thanks to the Lord she recovered. But her health was never so good again. Could she have had skilled surgical aid, which was not attainable at that time, the life of the child might have been saved, and her not injured, although she bore 10 children more, yet each was a great physical trial to her.
From the time I was 12 years of age, my life was interwoven with the religious, social and recreational affaires of Smithfield. Baptized Sept. 17 1871, Ordained a Deacon March 16, 1874, a Teacher 1876, an Elder Sept. 30, 1882. Was Secretary of the Deacon’s Quroum, President of the Teachers Quroum, 1st Counselor to David Weeks, President of the Elders Quroum. A member of the Dramatic Association, Called by Bishop George L. Farrell to aid William A Noble in directing this activity for a period of 10 years, was a member of the Dance Orchestra conducted by Thomas Albiston.
Was prompter when Cotillion, Reels, French Four, Minuets, Waltz Quadrilles were in vogue, and a prompter was as important as the 1st Violin. Was a member of the Smithfield Brass Band. A member of the Smithfield Tabernacle Choir from 1880 until the division of the Ward, a member of the 2nd ward choir, served as President for a number of years, an active member of the Y.M.M.I.A., serving as President for 12 years, was active in temporal affairs of the Church, building of the Tabernacle, conducting a Missionary farm, building canyon roads to obtain lumber for the tabernacle, putting up hay on the Church Farm, and many other duties in temporal affairs of the Church, under the call of Bishop.
I had followed farming since settling down in married life. We accumulated a little more land and our family was growing, having now four living, namely; Sylvester C., Leo O., Robert L., and Lillian. We were looking ahead for further opportunities to better our conditions so as to be able to educate and care for our growing family. Farming in those days, consisted in raising Wheat, Oats , Potatoes, and Hay, with a limited market. Prices very low, also the prices of cattle and Hogs. Horses was fair, production of eggs and butter because of prices was very discouraging, eggs 10 cents a dozen, Butter 10 cents a pound.
At this time there was an interest being aroused to build cheese factories in Cache Valley. There was one in Wellsville, one at Millville, and one at Richmond. Why not build one in Smithfield? A cooperative plant. Many meeting were held in the community, as usual, there was opposition and discouragement , finally it was abandoned. Bishop George L. Farrell, Abraham Smith, William A. Noble and myself decided to form a partnership and enter into the Dairy business, T’was a good venture. Better for the community than for the owners.
We commenced operation in 1892, having built a creamery where Butter and Cheese was manufactured. The site was on the County road west of Smithfield 1 ½ miles. Our first summer operation was very small, about 2 thousand pounds of milk daily. The business grew to 10,000 pounds daily in a few years. Markets were opened up in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Nevada, beside our home markets in Utah. Thus the Dairy industry grew in Cache Valley until now there are four large plants in operation besides much cream is shipped to central plants in Ogden, Salt Lake City and Pocatello.
When first the production began, there was no such a thing as a monthly pay roll for the farmers. We first began a monthly payment, then later a semi-monthly payment was made in cash, based on market price of finished product. The farmers of the valley date the beginning of prosperity with the establishing of the Dairy Industry. I labored as an employee of the Smithfield Dairy Co. From 1892 to Oct. 1898, when I received a call for a mission to the Southern States Mission.
We having had 3 more children born to us viz. Jane, who was still born, William Lorin and Mary Ann, there was now eight of us living. To leave the wife and six children, the oldest but 12 years seemed to me almost too much for her, she never complained, but said “go, we will get along all right,” We rented the farm except the pasture and cows, she and the boys cared for them and made their living, being blessed abundantly. Besides their living bought 12 acres of land in the School section, which came into market at that time. A great sorrow come into our home through the loss of one of our boys, Robert Leslie, who contracted Diphtheria and died the 20th of June 1900. This blow was to much for my wife, she wilted and weakened through grief, so much that neighbors feared that she would collapse. Bishop Newton Woodruff interceded with the president of the church for my release, which was granted and I returned Aug. 20, 1900.
“Time is a great Healer” as soon as I could arrange it , I took my wife and children on a trip to Star Valley to visit Brother Os and family, we went by team, it was a most enjoyable trip, and did much for the health of my wife. After our return I again entered in the employment of the Dairy Co. Remained in their employ until 1903.
Smithfield Dairy Co. Then united with the Faust Creamery and supply Co. Of Salt Lake City under the new management. I was employed and still continued work, until 1906, when the company failed. We went out of business losing all of our investment.
I again resumed farming, planted a 3 acre apple orchard south of town as a side line. Dairying being the chief product on the farm. Bred up a good herd of Holstein cows, which later I sold at a good price. They were shipped to Twin Falls, Idaho.
I now record a few of the many experiences gained as a Missionary traveling without “Purse or Script.” as was the custom in early history of the Church, and was still the practice in the Southern States Mission at that time.
I was ordained a Seventy and set apart by J. Golden Kimball, the 19th of Oct 1898. Our journey was by train from Salt Lake City to Chattanooga, Tennessee via Cheyenne, Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Evansville, and Louisville. A company of Elder, 14 in number from Utah, Arizona, and Idaho. We had a very pleasant journey, meeting Elders laboring in Denver and Kansas City. Among them Thomas E. Chambers and Jesse T. Moses. They were happy and contended, which encouraged us very much, for I believe we looked gloomy and forlorn, more like a funeral group.
Arriving at Chattanooga, Mission headquarters on 24th of Oct. 1898. Five of the group was assigned to the South Carolina Conference, I being among the number. Before leaving Chattanooga we visited Lookout Mountain, had our picture taken on Umbrella Rock. The Confederate Arm signal Station during the Civil War. I traveled with those assigned to South Carolina Conference, dropping them at different points as we proceeded through the State. I being alone on the last end of the journey. Meeting my companion, Elder E.J. Marsion of Syracuse, Utah, at Ridgeway, 25 miles north of Colombia S.C. We were sent to Barnwell County, south west of Columbia, distance of about 75 miles. This journey was my first experience traveling without purse or scrip. The Lord was with me, for we made friends all the way as we held meetings and distributed Tracts.
It was in Barnwell County I received my first Testimony that the Lord guards and preserves the lives of his Servant, for we, by listening to the prompting of the Spirit, escaped from the hands of a mob, and were protected by persons, though not friends, by the same Spirit working on them.
April 5th, 6th, 7th, 1899, all the Elders in the South Carolina Conference were called to Charlistion South Carolina. President Ben. E. Rich met with us and gave instructions in our work. We were given the privilege of visiting points of interest around this Old City. Fort Monttrie of Civil War interest, the battery where ships from all over the world anchor, the famous Oyster Shell Road, a beautiful drive, under old Oak trees hanging with moss, and old Colonial Plantations, and also my first view of the Ocean, and many other places of interest.
New assignments of companions and fields of labor were made, I and Elder E.J. Norton, of Safford, Arizona were sent to Columbus and Brunswick Counties, North Carolina near the City of Wilmington, North Carolina.
While laboring in these two counties, we made many friends and had some wonderful experiences . Among them one I recall. A Sister Kizzie Jenerett was very sick with stomach ailment, being unable to retain any thing, not even a spoon full of water. For three days her condition was serious, we Elders was called to administer to her. No sooner than our hands were removed from her head, she exclaimed, “I am healed,”and soon arose from her bed and took nourishment.
We Baptized eight people while laboring in Brunswick and Columbus Counties. During this time I has as a companion beside Elder Norton, Elder David Huges, of Samaria, Idaho. Was sent to Darlington County, South Carolina, July 25, 1898. October 8, at conference held at Hartsville, South Carolina, I was called to preside over the South Carolina Conference, among the Elders from Arizona was Elder W.A. Stewart, who wrote a poem that was dedicated to a Missionary’s wife and Family as it breathed a prayer of love, hope, and faith. I insert it here..
LOVED ONES AFAR
Written to his wife
How I wonder how you are,
Mother, Boys and Girls so dear.
In you humble home so far,
God pray banish every fear.
I left in sorrow, and in tears,
But not for Worldly goods or fame:
But to suffer scorn and jeers,
As one who bears the Saviours name.
Oh; thou the jewel of my heart,
A queen among the daughters fair!
God help thee, dear, to do thy part,
Until again we mingle there.
Left alone with children dear,
Thy sorrows but uplift thy soul,
God will take away thy fear,
And light thee on to Heavens goal.
Stay thy hopes beyond this life,
Where we will dwell through endless time.
Not a time of toil and strife,
But life eternal and sublime.
Stand firm as the mighty rock,
But holds in check the Ocean wave.
Hold the key that turns the lock,
To life beyond the dreaded grave.
As President of the Southern Carolina Conference, my duties changed from a traveling Elder, to the directing of the work of 40 Elders who were laboring at that time in the State of South Carolina. Also keeping Tithing records, advising and counseling with the Elders in group meeting, attending to all correspondence of the conference, making reports weekly to the Mission President. The first three months of my Presidency, there was many changes made due to releases, and new Elders coming in.
By the 1st of the year, 1900, everything going smoothly. A conference of all the Elders was called Feb. 3rd, at Columbia, South Carolina. 40 Elders were in attendance. Mission Councilor, Lewis R. Anderson was our visitor, in the absence of President Ben E. Rich. The Elders were sent to the Southern counties to labor for the balance of the Winter months. Feb. 18, 1900, I was called to Chattanooga Tennessee for a meeting of conference presidents of the Southern States Mission. Associating with a group of the finest men of the Mission. It was a wonderful meeting. An exchange of experiences and ideas that brought much unity and zeal to the work.
March 1st, 1900, I started out to visit each pair of Elders in their respective Counties. With me was Elder Willis Call. I exchanged companions with each pair I met, thus giving them a change and I would have a constant change, giving me a story of the work as I went along. This work was completed May 1, 1900. With instructions and assignment to Elders to move to southern counties by July 1, 1900.
I moved headquarters from Charleston to Bennetsville where I was established, with the intentions of again visiting them in there new fields, when through conditions at home, President Rich sent my release and a ticket to hurry home, arriving there August 20, 1900.
I quote from the “Paton family History.” ‘It is not healthful to look at ourselves, nor to consider the past, save for inspiration and encouragement for the future. For this purpose we will now give a look backward, and while doing so, we will keep in mind that it is what we do for men, and not what we get from them, that constitutes true success–true greatness.”
Shortly after returning from my Mission, I was set apart as one of the Presidents of the 17th Quroum of Seventy, continuing in this calling for 25 years. Serving as senior President for 12 years. Ordained an High Priest, Nov. 28, 1926, by Herman H. Danielson, he being ordained Sept. 14, 1905 by Alma Merrrill, he was ordained April 20, 1905 , by Abraham D. Woodruff, he Oct. 7, 1896, by Wilford Woodruff, he April 26, 1839 by Brigham Young, he Feb. 14 1835 by David Whitmer, he Oct 25, 1831 by Oliver Cowdery, he June 1829 by Peter, James and John.
Called to labor as 2nd assistant superintendent of Smithfield Ward Sunday School. When Benson Stake was organized, I was sustained 2nd ass’t to John M. Andersen, Superintendent of Sunday Schools of the Benson Stake. All my life I have been a member of the Sunday Schools, and since my Mission, an officer in various capacities, most of all I have enjoyed my work as a teacher.
Our family has increased to numbers, in all eleven children were born to us. Three died in infancy, and one of which I have mentioned while on my Mission. Robert, Leslie, and our eldest Sylvester Charles. Dec. 3, 1907, at the age of 21 , who died from Typhoid Fever. His passing in the vigor of life, and as he was also preparing for a Mission, was a very severe blow to us. We became reconciled in time, with the thought that there was work on the other side among the dead, as much Temple work had been accomplished for our kindred dead on both sides of our family during the past decade. That preaching in the Spirit world was a necessary part of the gospel. Of the six remaining children, they are all married and have families of there own. We have 16 grand children, and 5 great grand children living.
On the 17th of May 1917, the Lord, in his mercy, took my companion, the wife of my youth, from this life. For four years she was a sufferer from partial paralysis, gradually growing worse after the 2nd attack, needing constant care and attention. Patient in her affection, which she bore so nobly, waiting for the hour of her release, for which she was so fully prepared, having filled her Mission in this life with a faith that was everlasting, and a belief that she would receive a just reward.
“Between a career and the blessings of Motherhood,
she sensed the higher law and nothing loath.
Cast for the Motherhood, and in his mercy,
the Lord filled her measure and gave to her both.
She lived the Masters work with all her being,
naught but true faith could such pure love beget,
her’s was a wonderful Mother-heart these days
and it’s just as wonderful yet.”
In 1919, I was called to labor in the Logan Temple as an officiator, filling that calling for 8 years.
November 13, 1918, I married Margaret Smith Griffiths, my neighbor, a very happy and congenial union, which we enjoyed together for nearly 20 years. She was very devoted to me and gave me much support in all my callings and endeavors. Never in all that time did we have any misunderstandings that interfered with our pleasant relationship. A perfect arrangement of which we had mutually agreed upon before we were married, that we would hold sacred our covenants and obligations to our former companions, to whom we had been sealed for Time and Eternity, and that our union was only for time. We consented and agreed that we would have no claims on each others personal interests or possessions, either before or after death. I have seen the love and respect of her children for which I am thankful, and I feel that she passed to the great beyond knowing my children loved her and was grateful for her devotion to me. She died April 12, 1938.
I want to relate some incidents that has occurred in my life, that has given me a Testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel and the power of the Priesthood.
On one occasion when Lillian was about 8 or 9 years old, she had Pneumonia. We had been doctoring her as best we knew how. She was growing worse and was very serious. We sent for my brother James to come and administer to her. I anointed her, he sealed the anointing as we took our hands from her head, she apparently went into a coma. My brother said maybe you had better send for a Doctor. There was none nearer than Logan or Richmond. Dr. Adamson of Richmond was called, there being no telephones, it was necessary to send a messenger. Wm. Pilkington drove my horse and buggy to bring him. It was a very dark night, raining very hard, it took two hours to go and come. During that time she lay so quiet that we despaired her life. I met the Dr at the door of the room and informed him of the condition, he took one look and said,”For God sake let her sleep”. It then dawned on us that our prayers had been answered immediately. She slept for 12 hours, and when she awoke there was no fever or distress. And her recovery was rapid.
Our oldest son Charles, when a baby 2 years old, was very sick with brain fever. Sister Mary Ann Hillyard, a kindly and good women, who nursed and doctored sick children, called by the relief Society to minister to the sick, attended him. Under her care he grew worse. She labored night and day, doing all in her power, finally, she said we will have to have other help. Brother Daniel Collett, who had frequently been in our home, came and administered to the child, and then left. The wife and I was left alone, the babe on her lap, his eyes set, features drawn with the look of death upon his face. I was kneeling by her side. I knew we were both fearing each breath would be the last, and a prayer in our hearts for God to spare our child. When the door was suddenly opened and in come brother Collett exclaiming, “something told me to come back and give the baby another blessing” he laid his hands upon his head and rebuked the disease in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Priesthood pronounced the blessing of life, health and strength to fill its place. As he removed his hands, the baby looked up into his face and smiled, instantly healed. Brother Collett remarked,”there, everything will be alright, I can go home in peace.”
One of the public duties I have been called upon to perform was that of preparing the dead for burial. Appointed by the Bishop of the Ward until 1910, or there about, there were no professional undertakers. The preparation of the bodies of the dead, making of burial clothes, was the duty of the ones called to that work, all of which was gratis. A Relief Society Sister and a member of the Priesthood. I do not know how many of the dead I have served, but upward of 100, or more. Early in the history of our communities, it was costmary to volunteer to dig the graves gratis. I have assisted in digging scores of them.
I feel and know that my life has been preserved on several occasions. Once while working at the Smithfield dairy, coming home from work one evening riding in a wagon with Wm. A. Noble and Heber Smith. A hunter riding behind the wagon, carelessly discharged a 22 gage rifle, the bullet passed through the rim of my hat, as close to my head that a burning sensation over my ear caused a shiver to run through my body; until I removed my hat and seen a bullet hole, I thought I was hit. Another time I was attacked by a bull out in the pasture, bunted, mauled, and trampled, escaping with 2 ribs cracked and my clothing torn into shreds. Fortunately the ground was soft , the bull had no horns, and I had presence of mind each time he lunged at me, to roll over and thus he finally pushed my under the fence, by which time help arrived and he was driven away.
The year 1939 Social welfare work was organized by the church. I served as Ward Work director, putting over two Priesthood Projects. One by the High Priest Group. Built the steel wire fence at the soft ball park, netting $59.00 for the welfare program. The second project was a rehabilitation project by all the Priesthood of the Ward, involving a total expenditure of $600.00 labor and cash requiring 831 man hours of labor, $250.00 cash , accomplished in 22 working days.
In April 1928, I was called to the Bishopric of Smithfield 2nd Ward with Charles Hoage and George Hansen as my counselors and Merrill L Peterson Ward Clerk. Later Brother Hoage moved to Ogden and I chose George Mathers for a counselor. Owing to ill health, I was released in July 1934. Having had to go to the hospital for on operation for gland trouble.
In have never sought honor or position in Civic affaire, yet my life has been interwoven with the growth and development of my beloved home City Smithfield. In which I have spent all the days of my life. Having only been elected to office on 2 occasions, once as City councilman and once as a County School board member. Served as Councilman bur a few months, resigned to fill a Mission. As a school board member I served for 10 years during the stormy days of consolidation. Saw the change from one room schools to the centralization of grade Schools, and the inauguration of county High Schools.
Appointive positions have been few, chief of which was appointed a member of the board of the Smithfield Carnegie Library 1917. Served continuously since that date as Vice Pres. Appointed chairman of city beautification committee 1923 ( see clippings “a Morman whose canvas is the Map of Utah.”)
The development of the City Park, playground, campground, School grounds, tennis court, all around the Tabernacle was made while chairman of this committee. Also the Beautification of the Smithfield cemetery, the old plan was changed, all work was done by the cooperation of community labor.
I was the first to appeal to Mrs. James Mack and family in obtaining consent to present to Smithfield City the tract of ground know as the James Mack Memorial Park. I was Chairman of committee at its Presentation and Dedication exercises. Had charge of the work of improvement at the beginning.
While member of the 2nd Ward Choir, was appointed a member of a committee of 3 viz. W.H. Cantwell, Willis Smith and Myself, to purchase a Pipe Organ for the Tabernacle. At the cost of $4ooo.oo, one of the first installed in any Ward church outside the larger cities in Utah. The choir raising most of the money through a series of Operettas, conducted over a period of 2 or 3 years . In winter time under the direction of Miss Sara McCracken, their beloved and able conductor. I served as stage manager, Henry McCracken business manager. Professional services of W.O. Robinson was engaged for these productions.
I performed 12 Civil marriages on the following dates:
October 5, 1909 Homer LemmonsSmithfield
March 7, 1931 Parley P. BinghamSmithfield
this marriage had been previously consummated but no record.
March 16, 1931 William Herold Shy CheyenneWellsColorado
Alice Wanda MerrillSmithfield
April 1, 1932 Glenn Harvey TippettsPreston Idaho
April 10, 1933 Charles TolmanPocatello, Idaho
Harriet Minerva FellPocatello, Idaho
May 22, 1933 Harvey ColeTreasurton, Idaho
Jennie Viola GustavesonTreasurton, Idaho
October 11, 1933 Alvin Dawson AtkinsonTreasurton, Idaho
Doras SantTreasurton, Idaho
September 5, 1934 Lloyd Donald AllenHyrum
September 5, 1935 Archie J. ClaypoolSmithfield
October 2, 1935 Archie LowSmithfield
December 15, 1938 Willbur J. GreenSalt Lake City
Bertha AndersonCardston, Canada
June 16, 1928 Oral J. LowSalt Lake City
Marjorie BunnellSalt Lake City
October 19, 1931 Authur DoweMarierta, Pocatello
Mae PetersonMarierta, Pocatello
September 12, 1941 Kenneth R. SmithSalt Lake City
Evelyn SmithSalt Lake City
While serving as Bishop of Smithfield 2nd Ward, the period of depression engulfed the Country. We saw some drastic changes in the economic system affecting the Church as well as Government. Chief of which was employment, care of poor and needy, aged defendants and W.P.A. Social Welfare, Old age pensions, Workmans compensation, was the out growth to meet the new problem. Pictures of loads of wood at Tabernacle shows how we cut expense of Ward maintenance.
December 22, 1932, marked the 70th milestone of my life, an occasion I consider one of the happiest ones. Family and friend did honor to me that has spurred me on to better things. I append two tributes that I appreciate most dearly, Dr. G. L. Reese and Ed Tuttle.
Some folks are just people we meet on our way,
While other ride into our friendship to stay.
And whether we meet them this week or next year,
We find an expression of sunlight and cheer.
A smile on ones features with out a restraint,
Is like a house dressed with a new coat of paint.
And, too, a mans age is not governed by time,
For some who’ve reached sixty are still in their prime.
These characteristics that so please our sight,
Are brought by a guest whom we’er feting tonight.
And if you’ve not guessed it, we want you to know
that they are the traits of our friend, Bishop Low.
Life had not been all work and duty, but has been interspersed with many pleasures. Among then are trips made with friend, sightseeing, fishing, etc. outstanding are the summer outings with our dear friend A. J. Armasen and family commenced away back in the days when the team and “White Top wagon” was the mode of travel. Then by auto, first the “Ford” the “Chandler” and then the modern “streamlined car”. Each season we made trips to some distant
fishing stream high up in the canyons. Camping for a week, viz; Logan Canyon, Cub River, Bear Lake, Salt River, Greys River, Grand Canyon of the Snake River, Yellow Stone Park, and numerous side trips such as at Brother Os’s Crow Creek Ranch, Main Canyon at Smithfield. The climax to these tripe was the visit to the North West vis; Boise up North and South highway to Lewiston, Idaho, Spokane Washington, thence west through Washington State to Ellensburg, over the Snoqualmie Pass to Seattle, from there South to Tacoma, Olympia, Portland and Salem Oregon. Down the west coast of California, through the Redwood forest to San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Placerville, Lake Tahoe, Reno to Salt Lake City.
A few snap shots obtained visualize some of the high lights of these trips.
An Addendum made by
Rodney C. Low
30 July, 2007
Sylvester Low Jr died 23 May 1952, in his 90th year, and was buried in the Smithfield, City Cemetery that he helped to create. He was my Great Grandfather, my Father’s, Father’s, Father. I was 15 years old when he passed, and our family lived just across the street from him, so I knew him well. To me he was always a happy, congenial, dapper man, with, shall we say, a lot of class. He was very capable, and even in he later years, willing to help. I can remember him taking care of animals, he was very good with horses, and once I witnessed him castrate a calf using his teeth, I remember at the time thinking, he really know how to do these kind of things. He was as good with an Ax as any man I have ever seen, very accurate, very efficient. He loved to fish, going fishing with him was a real treat, it was just fun, he enjoyed the outing so much, and that made you enjoy it that much more.
When I say dapper, it was more the way he wore his clothes, than the clothes he wore. His hat always had just the right little cock to it, and he had a twinkle in his eye, and a smile on his face, that just made you notice how happy he seemed to be.
I think the last time I went with him, was to a baseball game down at the Smithfield baseball park. He drove his little Ford Model”A” coupe, with a rumble seat. It was painted the dark Ford green, that was one of the two Ford colors at the time, the other being black, and it had the temperature gage atop the radiator cap. He let me ride in the rumble seat on the way down to the park, great fun, and I rode with him in front on the way back. I must have had a very good time, as I still remember it vividly nearly 60 years later.
I think grandpa Ves. As we called him, enjoyed life, enjoyed serving, enjoyed work, enjoyed accomplishing things, building and getting things done. I know he enjoyed fishing.
I am glad I had the privilege of knowing and associating with him and look forward to seeing him again, I hope not in the too near future.