Julia E. Ferrin, Florette McGuire, Annie McGuire McDowell, Lorna Cummins, Roberta Flake Clayton, Anna Thompson, Emma Orrilla Perry Merrill, Mary Helen Packer Bryce Merrill, Henrietta Pearce Hall Steers Minnerly, and Sophia Isadora Morris Pomeroy, "M," in Pioneer Women of Arizona, ed. Roberta Flake Clayton, Catherine H. Ellis, and David F. Boone (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2017), 417-478.

Clara Amelia Wall Matthews

Author Unknown

Maiden Name: Clara Amelia Wall

Birth: February 15, 1858; Springville, Utah Co., Utah

Parents: Frederick John Wall and Elizabeth Robinson

Marriage: David Henry Matthews;[1] May 5, 1874

Children: David Joseph (1875), George Augustus (1877), Polly Elizabeth (1878), Daniel Alonzo (1887)

Death: November 3, 1939; Pima, Graham Co., Arizona

Burial: Glenbar, Graham Co., Arizona

Clara Amelia Wall was born in Springville, Utah, February 15, 1858. As a child she moved with her parents to Santaquin, Utah, where she met and married David Henry Matthews. They were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah May 5, 1874, by Daniel H. Wells.[2]

She spent her early married life in Santaquin, where her first three children were born: David Joseph, March 19, 1875; George Augustus, January 31, 1877; Polly Elizabeth, October 11, 1878.

She and her husband and children moved to Arizona with her husband’s father, Joseph Lazarus Matthews, and his family. Little Polly celebrated her second birthday on the journey. They spent their first year in Pima, which was then called Smithville. Clara’s husband, his father, and three brothers, Frank, Daniel, and Charley, bought a ranch located about four miles west of Pima on the Gila River. Their home was a stockade house made from logs cut from the cottonwood trees that grew along the river. These logs were about ten feet long and were twelve to eighteen inches in diameter; a trench about twelve inches deep was dug, and the logs were stood on end and made to fit as closely as possible. Any cracks between the logs were chinked up with mud mixed with straw. The roof was made by first laying logs across from wall to wall. Smaller logs were then laid crosswise, then willows or cattails, and finally a layer of dirt. When it rained, it was a problem to keep the roof from leaking, but in the spring the roof was beautiful with weeds and wild flowers.

A ward was organized called the Matthews Ward. David Henry served as bishop, and Clara was Relief Society president.[3] When the family first moved to the ranch, Geronimo, the Apache chief, was on the warpath. In 1887, he was captured by the government and shipped to Florida.

Clara’s third son, Daniel Alonzo, was born in Matthews July 18, 1887. Prior to that time, her husband built her a new home of hand-planed cottonwood logs with a shingle roof and a board floor. When Lon was seven years old, the family moved into a two-story adobe house.

Clara lived on the ranch and raised her family, going through all the excitement and hardships of any early pioneer mother. She was an excellent cook and nearly always had a houseful of company. She was a great comfort and help in times of sickness and childbirth. Women in confinement sent for Clara before they called the doctor. On one occasion when the birth was difficult, the doctor laid the baby aside as stillborn. Clara carried the baby into the kitchen, dipped its body first into warm then cold water, massaged it limbs, and breathed her breath into its mouth. The doctor was amazed when the baby cried, and asked Clara to bring it into the room because hearing it cry and knowing that it was alive would give the mother the will to live.[4]

Two of Clara’s sons filled missions for the Church. George was called to the southern states after he was married and the father of two children. A third child was born while he was gone. His wife and children lived with Clara and her husband during the two years George served as a missionary. Lon filled a thirty-month mission in Germany. When he returned, Clara met him in Salt Lake. At this time she saw her brothers and sisters and other members of her family for the first time since coming to Arizona.

Clara’s husband passed away in Matthews, December 22, 1919. After his death, Clara continued to live in her home with her son Lon and his family.

In January 1923 she moved to Phoenix with them. At one time she rented a room in Mesa near the temple where she worked for a short time. She had a small house built in Pima near the home of her granddaughter Debra Dean and her husband Clifford. While living in Pima, Clara fell [on October 16, 1939] and broke her hip. She never survived the shock and died November 4, 1939.[5] She was nearly eighty-two years old.

Ellis and Boone:

When the earliest settlers came into the Gila Valley, all supplies had to come by freight wagons from Tucson or Silver City, New Mexico. The Southern Pacific Railway arrived at Willcox in 1880, making it possible for merchants to ship their wares by rail to Willcox, but freight wagons were still required to get the items to Thatcher and Safford.[6] In Arizona, many Mormon men used their horses, mules, or oxen to haul freight from railheads to isolated settlements—from Holbrook to Fort Apache, from Benson to Tombstone and/or Bisbee, from Maricopa to Tempe, and from Willcox to Globe.

In the Gila Valley, these big freight wagons also carried supplies, particularly coke for the smelters, from Willcox or Bowie to the mining town of Globe. On the return trip, the wagons hauled copper ingots to the railhead. One of these freighters, Peter Howard McBride, was also a poet who would sing a “tongue-in-cheek” song called “Freighting from Willcox to Globe.” Two stanzas illustrate this trip; some of the language and activities in other stanzas is slightly out of harmony with Latter-day Saint teachings.

Come all you jolly freighters

That has freighted on the road,

That has hauled a load of freight

From Willcox to Globe;

We freighted on this road

For sixteen years or more

A-hauling freight for Livermore,—

No wonder that I’m poor.

Now I have freighted in the sand,

I have freighted in the rain,

I have bogged my wagons down

And dug them out again;

I have worked both late and early

Till I was almost dead,

And I have spent some night sleeping

In an Arizona bed.[7]

When the Matthews family moved into the adobe ranch house (after 1894), their home was located on this freight route. They had “a good well and windmill. The Matthews home was a regular stop for water, meals and a change of horses for the stage coach on the route between Globe and Bowie. Freighters also stopped for water and meals.”[8] Clara provided many of the meals for these freighters.

Freighting, and the income it provided for Mormon men, lasted longer in the Gila Valley than in other areas of Arizona. As railroad historian David Myrick wrote, “A quarter of a century elapsed between the time the first silver claims were located and the time the first train arrived in Globe.”[9] Although a rail route had been discussed earlier, the Gila Valley, Globe, and Northern Railway (GVG&N Railway) did not begin constructing track from Bowie to Globe until 1893. The railroad reached Solomonville in early August 1894 and Pima in October; trains immediately began bringing merchandise to the valley and made travel for the pioneers much easier. GVG&N track laying continued on toward Globe, reaching Fort Thomas in February 1895, and then construction was at an impasse. Five miles further east was the border of the San Carlos Apache Reservation, and an agreement with the Apaches seemed unattainable. Around Christmas of 1895, the railroad constructed five more miles of track, and the town of Geronimo sprang up on the border of the reservation, complete with stock yards facilitating the shipment of cattle. For two years, freighters plied their trade transporting goods from Geronimo to Globe. Finally, an agreement was reached with the Apaches in February 1898, and construction of track resumed. The first regular passenger train arrived at Globe on December 1, 1898, thus ending freighting in the Gila Valley.[10]

Elizabeth Clark McBride

Julia E. Ferrin[11]

Maiden Name: Elizabeth Clark

Birth: October 1, 1846; Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England

Parents: Edward Watkins Clark and Lucy Ashby

Marriage: James Andrew McBride; February 18, 1866

Children: James Andrew (1866),[12] William Edward (1868), Don Carlos (1871), Frank Ashby (1873), Sarah Elizabeth (1875), Jesse Burt (1878), Lucy Agnes (1880), John Henry (1883), Phoebe Leila (1886), Rollo (1888), Susan Nellie (1890), Julia Ellise (1893)

Death: September 25, 1935;[13] Pima, Graham Co., Arizona

Burial: Pima, Graham Co., Arizona

My mother, Elizabeth Clark McBride, was born on October 1, 1846, in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England. She was a tiny little girl with blue eyes and brown hair—and a sunny disposition. Her father, Edward Watkin Clark, and mother, Lucy Ashby Clark, became dissatisfied with conditions in England and decided to go to Australia. So they took their small family and went to London. As I remember my grandfather, he was a little, white-haired merry Englishman whom we all loved. Grandmother was very proud and dignified.

After arriving in London, they went to live with a Brother and Sister Taylor, who taught them the gospel. They were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on November 23, 1847. They were then called to be missionaries and go back to their home in Wolverhampton. There they preached the gospel and helped raise up a large branch, but there was much opposition. James Bell was president of the branch. They were very successful in their endeavors, and in December 1850, they set sail for America with a group of 400 Saints. On January 8, 1851, a great storm overtook them, making a great deal of them ill, and then an ocean liner rammed their ship. This accident broke their ship’s bow, split main yard and fore yard, and several minor things. This was very serious, but fortunately they were able to make it into a harbor called Cardigan Bay in Wales.

Grandfather was a joiner, or carpenter, and helped in repairing the ship. They were able to resume their journey in three weeks’ time.

There were many amusing things that happened on shipboard, and I remember my mother telling how she wandered into the supply room and pulled the bung out of a barrel of molasses. This, of course, was not too serious, but was rather amusing. After eighteen weeks of sailing from Liverpool, they arrived in New Orleans on March 14, 1851.[14]

In New Orleans, they embarked on a steamboat up the Missouri River and arrived in Council Bluffs. There they had to arrange for travel and so fixed up an outfit and started for the mountains in 1852. This outfit consisted of my grandfather, grandmother, and their four children, one yoke of oxen, and one cow. There were twenty companies of Saints, and Grandfather was in the first ten, with Henry Miller as captain over a company of fifty wagons.[15]

During the trip, Mother’s oldest sister was run over by a wagon and died the next day.[16] She was buried on the plains. This was a great trial to all of the family but did not deter them from going on, and they arrived in Salt Lake in September 1852. They stopped in Salt Lake to attend conference on October 10. This was very wonderful and inspirational to them. Then they moved on to Provo, Utah.

Here the Indians were very hostile and killed one man in Payson. Grandfather belonged to the militia and of course went out to Payson to help quell the uprising. It was several weeks before peace was restored.

Elizabeth Clark McBride with her daughters.Elizabeth Clark McBride with her daughters, from left: Ellsie McBride Ferrin, Lucy McBride Taylor, and Lizzie McBride Cluff. Photo courtesy of Barbara Cornia.

My grandmother was a very brave woman to rear her children under such circumstances, as they had many visits from the Indians who were hungry. Grandfather was away a great deal of the time, and she was pretty nervous at hearing strange noises. Grandmother would investigate noises even in the night, thinking it was better to know what was going on than to be wondering. During the time my mother was growing up, they had the grasshopper war in 1855, then the famine of 1856 when they lived on fish and roots. It was then Mother found a large fish caught in shallow water and dragged it home over her shoulder. The fish was as long as she was tall.

It was also in this time that the Lord provided sugar in the form of a white sticky substance that came overnight on all of the shrubs and bushes around. The people broke off the bushes or limbs and dipped them in water.[17] Then they made a sweet syrup by boiling it down. They used this in place of sugar. My mother learned to depend on the Lord in her early girlhood, and she never let her faith die; even in her old age she relied upon the Lord and asked special blessings, never doubting that she would receive them.

During her girlhood, the great Reformation took place, and all of the Saints vowed to live their religion.[18]

In 1848 James Andrew McBride came to Salt Lake with his family from Ohio and, when he grew to manhood, met my mother. They were married on February 18, 1866. From this union there were born twelve children, sometimes under the worst pioneer conditions, for they left Provo in 1880 for St. Johns, Arizona. Later on they moved to Smithville or Pima, Arizona, on the Gila River.

On their trip to Arizona, they had the usual trouble with the Indians that most pioneers had. At one time the Indians visited them on the road and discovered Mother’s little girl, Lucy, had red hair. Like most red-haired babies, she was a very pretty child, and the red hair seemed to captivate the Indians, for they wanted to trade horses for the baby. That, of course, was out of the question, but they hung around the wagon for several days making life very miserable for Mother. She was afraid that they would steal the baby; however, no harm came to them.

At one time they were camped on the Blue River while Father worked there in the lumber trade, and they lived in the wagon box with a cover over it. Mother missed one of the little boys. She finally found him sitting on the ground a short distance from the wagon—completely surrounded by small blue snakes. He was very quiet and seemed to be partially hypnotized. She was very frightened and did not know whether they were poisonous. She was afraid to startle him or the snakes for fear they would strike at him. So she spoke very softly to him again and again until she got his attention, then reached over and took his hand, pulled him slowly to his feet, and lifted him clear of the snakes. This shows you how very brave and resourceful my mother was.

After moving to Pima, Arizona, in 1881, Father built the first house with doors, windows, and a wooden floor in that town. Father was a counselor to Bishop John Taylor for fifteen years, then was a high councilman under Andrew Kimball for ten years.

Mother entertained many of the visiting brethren from Salt Lake in her home. She was a staunch Latter-day Saint and acted as a Primary and religion class leader and visiting teacher. She was able to do this while caring for her twelve children and Father’s brother and his three sons. It was a hard life, and Mother was frail, but she was able to get along. She did the best that she knew how and was always an inspiration to her boys and girls who needed her help and advice. Our home was a very happy one, with rag carpets on the floor and lovely knitted pillow cases. Also there were lace doilies on the chairs and tables—all of which Mother had made herself. Mother seemed to have had plenty of time to visit with her friends, and she gave big dinners for Father and his friends, as he loved to entertain.

Father freighted goods from Bowie, Arizona, to Globe, Arizona, and during this time the Apaches were not too friendly. They caused lots of trouble, killing and scaring people whom they met. At one time word came to Mother that Father and her brother William Clark had been killed while passing through the reservation on one of their freighting trips.

Mother had a sixth sense, or so she called it, that was a gift of knowing or seeing into the future. Consequently, while the others were grieving about the tragedy, she went about her work, telling them that all would be well and that Father had not been killed. Father soon came home. The Indians had run off their horses and threatened them, but nothing more serious had happened. Father was called out to fight Indians many times, and Mother had several frightening experiences before the Indians were subdued.

Father and Mother lived together for fifty-six years, then Father died on December 22, 1922. Her brother, Jed Clark,[19] then came to live with Mother, and about that time Mother had a special blessing given to her by Patriarch Nicholsen.[20] She was very much worried concerning her health and feared she would be ill a long time or have to suffer a long time. He gave her a blessing and a promise that she would never be dependent on anyone and that she would not suffer any ill health. This blessing really came to pass. She lived for that blessing and received it—for she was able to walk to town and back (about four blocks) the day that she died. Still doing her own housekeeping for two, still as cheerful as always, and only realizing a small distress in her stomach, she quietly passed away on September 25, 1935.

Ellis and Boone:

The description of crossing the Atlantic Ocean is an excellent example of a secondhand account. There are errors with the dates and spellings, but the story has enough details that it is possible to almost certainly identify the vessel without seeing the manifest. The British ship Ellen boarded a company of 466 Latter-day Saints on January 6, 1851, and left Liverpool two days later. After only twelve hours at sea, the ship collided with a schooner but was able to reach Cardigan Bay, North Wales, where repairs were made over a three-week period. The Ellen reached New Orleans on March 14. The Saints on the ship were divided into twelve wards, and it may be that James Bell was president of the Clarks’ ward.[21]

Because the women in this volume represent every area of Mormon settlement in Arizona, and therefore their lives touch nearly every important aspect of Mormon history, one more addition should probably be made to this sketch—the part Elizabeth played in the Wham robbery trial. When personal histories were being assembled for the Pima centennial book, Pioneer Town, Elizabeth’s granddaughter Elsie McBride Cluff wrote the following:

Memories of my Grandmother McBride are very fond. She was a very small petite lady with white hair. I, as a young girl, seemed to tower above her. She was always wanting to give me good gifts or a piece of pie or cake she had baked, and I loved to listen to stories she and Uncle Jed told as I sat with them in the long summer evenings on their front porch. Uncle Jed was Grandma’s younger brother and I thought it was a good joke when he would call her his little sister and tell us how he had to take care of her.

Grandma gave birth to twelve children, three of those babies died in infancy or in early childhood. When they came to Pima in December of 1881 they had a family of six children. One child had died previously. Their first home was a tent, then a one room adobe house was put up. This, according to information received, was one of the first houses in Pima to have a board floor, shingle roof, and a glass window. The walls were plastered clay and in one side was a large fireplace. A room made from lumber was added later. Sometime in the 80’s a robbery occurred and Grandma was thought to have known who the robbers were. (Perhaps this was the Wham robbers.) She was taken to Tucson as a witness against the robbers. She was kept there for several weeks and when paid off she brought home a table, chairs and other things that she had bought with the money.

The Wham Paymaster Robbery near Pima occurred on May 11, 1889, as the army payroll was being carried between Fort Grant and Fort Thomas. It was almost certainly carried out by men of the Gila Valley, but everyone was acquitted at the trial in Tucson, and no one in Graham County was willing to talk about who was involved in the robbery.[22]

Eliza McBride Cluff concluded describing her grandmother: “Grandmother entertained many of the visiting brethren from Salt Lake City in her home. She was a staunch Latter-day Saint and served as a Primary and Religion Class leader and a Relief Society visiting teacher. She loved to visit the sick and was always found at the bedside of a child or grandchild who was ill. In the early days when Pima had the largest meeting place in the Stake, Conference was held here. People came in horse drawn buggies and in wagons. Grandma took them in at noon and fed many of them.”[23]

Mary Jane McRae McGuire

Florette McGuire and Annie McGuire McDowell[24]

Maiden Name: Mary Jane “Mamie” McRae

Birth: May 23, 1876; Charleston, Wasatch Co., Utah

Parents: Joseph McRae and Maria Taylor[25]

Marriage: John Sidney McGuire; November 28, 1900

Children: Clare (1902), Sidney Kilby (1903), Florence (1905), Louis Taylor (1906), Ellen (1909), Annie (1912), Florette (1914), David McRae (1916), Mary (1916)[26]

Death: January 17, 1954; Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona

Burial: Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona

Mary Jane “Mamie” McRae was born May 23, 1876, in Charleston, Wasatch County, Utah. She was the second daughter and sixth child of Joseph and Maria Taylor McRae, and granddaughter of Alexander McRae, who was with the Prophet Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail. Her father was brought to Liberty Jail to be blessed by the Prophet, and he gave him his name.

Her grandmother, Eunice Fitzgerald McRae, made many a trip to the jail to carry messages and notes of importance, hidden or sewed in her clothes, which the Church authorities had given her to carry to the Prophet, who was in chains. Many a time notes were also carried in the baby’s clothing and also food was sent to them in this manner. The testimony that her grandfather received from the close association with the Prophet, and his spiritual power and influence, was always a guide in his life.

Mamie’s father attended a conference in Salt Lake City, planning to buy lumber and return with it to complete their home, but he instead returned with a “call” from President Brigham Young to a thirteen-year mission to pioneer Arizona. Her mother’s dream of living in Utah, the land of Zion, was crushed when her father returned home with this “call.” She could envision a land only of desert and rattlesnakes, desolate and lonely.

Through their faithful willingness to answer the “call,” they secured heavy serviceable wagons and made preparations for the journey southward. The company left Utah January 17, 1877, under the leadership of Daniel W. Jones as presiding officer. Mary Jane was eight months old.

On March 6, 1877, they arrived at the Fort McDowell crossing on the Salt River, and crossed the river where the Lehi Ward now stands. It was here that Mary Jane took her first steps. Here they met many Indians who soon became too friendly. They always wanted to pick Mary Jane up. This worried her mother as she was afraid they might steal her. One day, as an Indian woman visited their camp, she gave the baby a little basket she had woven. This is still in the family’s possession.

They lived in tents with brush tops, drinking water from the river until a well could be dug. They took out a canal and raised crops of corn, sugar cane, and garden vegetables in abundance. They remained here for nearly six months.

President Young wrote that he would like at least a part of the company to go farther south and settle on the San Pedro River so that others would follow and in time establish colonies in Mexico. Seven families left Lehi the last of August, traveling at night on account of the intense heat and feeling less danger from the Indians. They arrived November 29, 1877, and established a settlement near what is now called St. David.[27] They camped in tents on the west side of the river close to where the Apache Power Plant now stands. They planted gardens and got water from the springs nearby. When Mary Jane was old enough to be weaned, all the milk they gave her was goats’ milk, which she did not relish. A man living near, who had lots of goats, gave them goat meat to eat, but he was thought to be very cruel as he would throw the goats from one pen to another.

Mary Jane McRae.Mary Jane McRae, soon to be McGuire, c. 1980. Photo courtesy of Joyce Goodman McRae.

A rock fort was built where they lived for protection against the Apache Indians. Later her father built a two-room adobe house, where they homesteaded for a number of years.

At the age of three, Mary Jane made her first public appearance and was a great lover of poetry all her life. She was called to recite for all social gatherings and could give appropriate readings for any occasion. It should be remembered that at this time there were no pianos, no radios or television, and the only means of entertainment was to use their own talents. As she and her sister Annie were the only girls in the family, they had to spend nearly all their time helping their mother with the household duties, so consequently had to commit their poetry to memory while performing these duties.

One day, while all of the older members of the family were attending a meeting at the fort, her mother sent Mary Jane for her father as she was about to give birth to a child. It seemed a long half-mile to a child of less then six years of age, who had to go through a field of sagebrush and mesquite, never knowing at what moment an Indian might attack her. This baby was named Parley Taylor, “Parley” after Parley P. Pratt and “Taylor” for his mother’s maiden name.

On May 3, 1887, at the age of eleven and while she was at school, there was an earthquake. It was at recess time, and most of the children were playing on the east side of the building. The whole front of the building fell, and many cracks were made all the way through, so it was unsafe for school to be held.[28] No one was injured, but all of them certainly had a terrible fright. Mary Jane remembered this incident all her life.

In November of 1888, when she was twelve years of age, the mother took her as baby tender on a trip to her old home in Utah to visit relatives she had not seen for twelve years. Milton was the baby, and her brother Charles was not very well. This was really a thrill, as it was her first train ride. They had to take a feather bed and bedding, and also a basket of food to last for the four-day journey. They visited there until the last of March. One of her fond memories of this visit was the apple cider and cheese which they had at the home of her grandmother. One day her brother Charles, when addressing her, called her “Mamie,” which was her nickname. Her grandmother scolded her saying, “Don’t you let them call you ‘Mamie,’ it’s a mean, nasty, ugly name.” Regardless of this experience, she was known by this name all her life.

When a young girl, she loved to dance, and their home was the center of all entertainment as it was the largest in the valley. She often told of rolling up the handmade carpet and sweeping out the straw that was used for padding. Young and old alike would promenade and square dance to the music of the fiddle of Jim Christensen. After the dances were over, fresh straw had to be put down on the floor and the carpet tacked back in place again. When she was seventeen, her father decided to move to the Gila Valley in order to give his children better advantages in school. They arrived in Safford on July 20, 1893, and stayed there until December, then moved farther down the river to the town of Thatcher. A home was built, and the children started to school. Mary Jane attended the Gila Academy in Thatcher, where she took a teaching course and also taught classes. She was respected and honored by her students and adopted a love for her teachers, [Emil] Maeser and John F. Nash.[29] At this time her mother became very ill as she had been in poor health for a long time, so Mary Jane had a great responsibility with teaching and assuming all the household duties.

She was a faithful Church worker and was well loved as a YLMIA president. It was while directing a play for the Mutual that she met her husband to be, John Sidney McGuire. After a short courtship, he left for the southern states on a mission. They corresponded during this time, and after his return they were married, November 28, 1900. They made their wedding cake together, she adding the ingredients and he doing the stirring, which took two days to prepare and bake. After the ceremony, she discarded her wedding dress for a house dress and apron, as she still had the responsibility of her mother’s care, which she assumed until her mother’s death April 19, 1901. They continued living in her father’s house until January of 1902, having the care of her father and younger brothers.

After their first child, Clare, was born, January 26, they moved to Bisbee, where he was employed in the mines. While living there, they saw the need of an organization of the Church, so Sunday School was held in their home.

Four more children were born to them: Sidney Kilby, Florence, Louis Taylor, and Ellen. Not only did she have the responsibility of her five children but also [the children] of her brothers who came to seek employment in the mines. They lived in Bisbee and South Bisbee for ten years, then moved to Pomerene, Cochise County, Arizona, where 160 acres of land was homesteaded. Here four more children were born: Annie, Florette, David, and Mary, the latter two dying in infancy.

Few women accomplished more work both inside and out than Mary Jane. Cooking had to be done on a wood stove; washings were scrubbed on a board (using her own homemade soap) as there was no electricity in the valley at this time. Water was hauled in barrels for eight years from the neighbors a mile away, until her husband dug an artesian well. Even then the water had to be carried from the well for all household purposes. The days were never too long for her to work for the family.

Although being burdened down with the cares and duties of motherhood, she always found time to serve in her church, teaching in the various organizations and acting as counselor and president of the Relief Society for many years. In all these duties, she was always dependable and faithful in her work.

She was set apart to work among the sick, make burial clothes, and lay out the dead. Her husband, who was counselor to Bishop Robert L. McCall, had the responsibility of making the coffins as there were no mortuaries in the valley at this time.[30] She would always assist him, lining the coffins and making clothing, sitting up all night with the sick, and even at the services would be called on to speak. The small community learned to love and depend on her for her faithfulness and untiring efforts.

She underwent many of the hardships of the early pioneers, being thrifty and economizing in every way she could in feeding and clothing her family. Although her home was teeming with children of her own, she never made any other child seem unwanted. She even cared for her brother’s children after his wife passed away.[31] It was a joy for neighbor children and nieces and nephews to go to their home. Her kindness always made them feel welcome to help themselves.

Although many hardships were endured, she always managed to make the best of them, always having a cheerful outlook on life. She had many experiences to prove this. They had to go to the nearby town of Benson, three miles away, by horse and buggy to do their shopping. Just before entering the town, they had to cross the railroad tracks. One day, as she and her daughter Florence drove into town, the horses had just stepped over the tracks when the tongue dropped down, leaving the buggy stalled. A passenger train was fast approaching so she screamed for help and some men nearby, seeing their plight, grabbed the tongue of the buggy, pulling her to safety—just as the train sped by. When she returned, she laughed at this experience.

Another time, she had a money order which had to be sent off that day, so she walked the three miles to Benson hurriedly, as the post office closed at 5 p.m. She arrived at the office exhausted just as the window was closed in her face. Having known the post master for many years, she tried to appeal to him, but all in vain as he refused to send off her order. Her life was filled with similar experiences.

On June 3, 1929, the family sold their home to Walter Fenn of Pomerene and moved to Mesa, Arizona, where the children could have better advantages, and they all could work in the temple, which had recently been completed and dedicated. Mary Jane devoted the rest of her life to doing genealogical work; her interests were not only in her family but in that of her husband’s as well. Through her efforts, a great research work was done and thousands of names were cleared for temple work. She also assisted in these ordinances.

After a full life of service to her family, the Church, and her associates, she passed away January 17, 1954, in Mesa, Arizona, and was buried there. January 17 was the date that one of her great missions in life began, when they left the Great Salt Lake Valley to answer Brigham Young’s “call” to settle Arizona. Also, when her call came to leave this earth it was on her mother’s 109th birthday anniversary. Her passing was mourned by all who knew and loved her, but her life will ever remain a sweet memory and benediction.

Ellis and Boone:

When Florette McGuire and Annie McGuire McDowell wrote this sketch for their mother, they were completing work that Mamie McGuire had started. They wrote, “For many years our Mother, . . . assisted by our sister Florence McGuire Naegle, gathered genealogical data concerning the McRae family and ancestry to use this information as a basis for a family book and preserve these records for future generations. However, before the book could be completed, Mother was called on to a greater Mission. In compliance with her request, we have finally completed her ‘project.’” The subtitle of their book was “A Genealogical and Temple Record of the Ancestry and Descendants of Joseph McRae and Maria Taylor and Augusta Matilda Erickson.”[32]

McGuire and McDowell mentioned that their mother memorized poetry while completing housework as a child and said she “was a great lover of poetry all her life.” They included a poem recited by their mother at age three and another recited at age five. Poetry was also interspersed throughout the book; some poems were written by family members, other poems were favorites, and others were poems that McGuire and McDowell thought described the family members.

Finally, a story about baby Mamie and the family dog was told in the sketch for Joseph McRae as follows: “Our family owned a wonderful dog. He constituted himself guardian of our baby sister, ‘Mamie’ Mary Jane. He watched her with all the solicitude of a Mother and if she strayed away he was her constant companion. Anyone could take the baby in their arms, but if she cried, his growl warned them to put the child down, and they did it quickly.”[33]

Sophia DeLaMare McLaws

Lorna Cummins[34]

Maiden Name: Sophia DeLaMare

Birth: August 10, 1857; Tooele, Tooele Co., Utah

Parents: Philip DeLaMare and Mary Chevalier

Marriage: John McLaws Jr.; December 27, 1875

Children: John William (1876), Joanna (1877), Francis “Frank” (1880), Mary Alice (1882), Walter (1883), Agnes Estella (1885), Robert (1887), Philip Delmar (1889), Jennie (1891), Ruby Elizabeth (1894), Millie May (1895), Daniel Ross (1897), Archie Leo (1899)

Death: November 28, 1948;[35] Joseph City, Navajo Co., Arizona

Burial: Joseph City, Navajo Co., Arizona

To the people of Joseph City, the history of their town had become a romantic tradition, handed down for three generations. Children listen with wide-eyed interest as their elders recite the story of the covered wagon journey and the cottonwood log stockade.

But to Mrs. Sophia McLaws, the story had a far deeper meaning. For Grandma McLaws, as the old lady is affectionately known to the townspeople, was among the pioneers whose rugged determination wrested a living from the desert and laid the foundation for the thriving village.

Sophia DeLaMare McLaws.Sophia DeLaMare McLaws. Photo courtesy of DUP album, Snowflake-Taylor Family History Center.

She remembers well the nine-week journey across the mountains and desert; and she recalls vividly the days and weeks and months of hardships when food was almost unobtainable. For sixty-six of her eighty-four years, she has lived in the town she helped to build, having watched her friends, one by one, quietly depart, until today she is the only living member of the little pioneer band. Those sixty-six years have been filled with service and labor for her family and her friends.

Sophia McLaws was born August 10, 1857, in Tooele, Utah, the daughter of French converts to the LDS Church. Her father was Philip DeLaMare, her mother Mary Chevalier, both from the Isle of Jersey, Channel Islands, off the French coast.

Philip DeLaMare, a man of considerable skill in marine construction work, learned of the Mormon Church through Apostle John Taylor and left his home for America, bringing with him the machinery and equipment for the first sugar factory established in Utah.[36] He established a home in Tooele City for his family, where he opened a blacksmith shop, employing his knowledge of metals and construction, and became an expert toolmaker.

At the time that Sophia was born, there was a great deal of unrest in Utah. A company of United States cavalry under the command of General Sidney Johnston was sent by President Buchanan to put down a reported Mormon uprising against the government. Having had experience with soldiers before, President Brigham Young instructed his people to evacuate their homes in the region of Salt Lake City and move to the southern part of the state. It was during their trouble and turmoil that Sophia was born. The little city of Tooele was almost completely deserted—the only women in the entire town being Mary Chevalier DeLaMare and her tiny daughter and a kindly neighbor woman who braved the danger in order to help.

Sophia was one of a large family of children, and she started early to help out with the family expenses, beginning at the age of seven to tend babies during the summer. She completed her formal schooling when she was fourteen, paying the expenses of the last two years herself by working after hours at a hotel.

In 1868, a young carpenter by the name of John McLaws of Salt Lake City came to Tooele, and was employed by Philip DeLaMare at a sawmill in Tooele, Canyon. The son of Scotch converts to the Mormon religion, John had learned his trade from his father, who helped to build the Salt Lake Temple. John himself put in many days’ work on the St. George Temple. In Tooele, he built a nice little home for Sophia DeLaMare, and they were married on December 27, 1875. They never lived in the little house though, moving at first into the sawmill where he worked. And in less than a month after they were married, they received a notice from their bishop that they were among the missionaries chosen to go to Arizona and establish a colony.

On January 23, 1876, Brigham Young called all the Arizona missionaries together at a meeting in Salt Lake City for final instructions. He told them to dispose of all their belongings—leave nothing behind which might tie them to their homes. The little house in Tooele was traded for horses and equipment to make the journey.

Pioneers of Joseph City.On March 23, 1938 (Founder's Day), Sophia McLaws was one of four remaining pioneers of Joseph City. From left: Mary Willie Richards (579), Emma Swenson Hansen (245), Sophia McLaws, and James E. Shelley (husband of Margaret Hunter Shelley, 632); Max R. Hunt, photographer. Photo courtesy of Ellis Collection.

John was twenty-three, Sophia eighteen, when they began the long trip. They left Tooele February 8, 1876, joining the main company at Nephi. The company was made up of twelve wagons, drawn by horses, mules, and some oxen. There were few families, the group being mostly young men without wives. The few families had very small children.

The journey was long and hard. At the Panguitch Divide, they encountered snowdrifts six feet deep, and the men had to shovel a road for the wagons all the way across the divide. In the Buckskin Mountains the snow had changed to mud. For miles Sophia drove the team while her husband shoveled mud from the wheels of the wagon. The little party spent five days traveling the distance of fifteen miles between Kanab and House Rock Spring.[37] At Lee’s Ferry they crossed the Colorado, swimming the stock while the wagons crossed on the boat.

After a few more weeks of difficult travel of sandy stretches of desert and a few perilous days of mountains and cliffs, the party reached the Little Colorado. They traveled up the river for days, arriving at Sunset, the present site of Winslow. They had to build boats to ferry the wagons across the muddy water, and they spent three days in getting all the wagons across.

It was on April 13, 1876, after nine weeks of travel, that the little band reached their destination. The camp at Allen was already established, the first settlers having arrived on March 24, and it was just sundown when the wagons pulled in. The company was gathered around the community table, just beginning the evening meal, and the new comers were greeted with a lusty shout: “Come and get it folks. There’s beans in this soup, but you’ll have to pull off your shirts and dive for ’em.” The rest of the story is history—all the hardy young pioneers labored and suffered to build up a home in the desert. There were years of hardships—of near starvation; the Mormons stood many times on the banks of the treacherous river and watched the floods sweep away the products of months of labor. They watched some of their neighbors pack their scanty belongings and turn back toward Utah because the wind and the sand and the starvation were too much for them.

Grandma McLaws was there throughout the years of growth and development. She was among the women who stood in the icy river and washed wool to be carded and spun into clothing for their families. She was among the women who made the long trip to the dairy at Mormon Lake and made butter and cheese to feed the growing children at home. Hers was the first baby born in the new settlement; and hers were the tender hands that helped many a young mother through the pain and terror of childbirth. She stood firmly beside her husband through the years, helping him in his various duties as postmaster, school teacher, Sunday School superintendent, and carpenter. She danced many a night on the dirt floor of the fort and the rough board floor of the school house. And during all the years of hardship and struggle, pain, and happiness, she raised her own family, seven boys and six girls.

As the years went by, John and Sophia McLaws watched their old friends and neighbors pass on, one by one, a man’s wife or a woman’s husband, until they were the only couple left. Then in 1935, John was called, and Sophia was left alone. Now [1941] at eighty-four, she is the only living member of the original pioneer band who came from Utah sixty-six years ago to establish a colony. She lives still in the home her husband built for her, still active and industrious. And the days of long ago are still vivid in her memory, as she tells the stories of the pioneer days to her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.

She lived until 1948, dying November 28, 1948, at the age of ninety-one years, three months, and eighteen days. After Daddy died March 7, 1935, Mother lived very quietly in the home he built for her in 1883. She suffered a lot with arthritis in her hands and arms. She took care of the traveling public for forty-five years, and wherever there was sickness and death, she was called. Daddy made all the caskets for sixty years, and when he died, his son and son-in-law made the casket for him. She had 387 descendants at the time of her death.

Ellis and Boone:

Sophia McLaws was an important part of early Joseph City. Alice Smith Hansen wrote, “Mrs. John McLaws (Sophia) had a natural gift for nursing and a ‘know how’ of what to do when accidents occurred. She assisted at the bedside of the sick and helped in the care of new born infants. She had a special skill of knowing how to handle patients with ease and the distressed felt comfort and strength from her soothing hands. Her original and home-concocted remedies became famous, for everyone felt that ‘Sister McLaw’s’ [sic] salve or pills would surely bring the desired results.”[38]

This story from granddaughter Mary Pickett also helps understand the early settlement of Joseph City. She wrote:

Scarcity of food was every present in the first years and at one time wheat was the only thing available. Sophia McLaws worked in a hotel as a girl and was well trained in serving the public. From the very first her home was frequented by many travelers. Many of the Church Authorities who visited the Colonies in the early years were served in the McLaws home. At one time two of the Church Officials came to their home for something to eat and a bed for the night. Sophia always liked to serve well and she went out to the wood-pile for kindling to build a fire. When out of sight of the home she sat on some wood and cried bitter tears because she had nothing but wheat to give them. The crying over, she gathered her kindling wood, went in, built the fire, ground the wheat on a small hand mill, made cereal of it and placed it before her guests who were grateful for what was the best she had to give.[39]

But Alice Hansen also told a more lighthearted story from Sophie McLaws. When the first colonists came to the Little Colorado River, there were a few unmarried men with them. Hansen wrote, “With the united effort of every man, the first season’s crops had been gathered. It was then considered an opportune time for some of the leaders to go back to Utah and in the following spring to return with their families who had not yet come to Arizona. Joseph McMurrin was homesick, but because he had no wife or family in the homeland, he was left to endure the winter in the lonely environs of a beginning settlement.[40] He made many mournful remarks about his unfortunate state because he was a bachelor without a wife.”[41]

Sophie McLaws decided to cure McMurrin of complaining. She enlisted the other young ladies of the fort and made McMurrin a helpmeet.

Evening came and the ladies could hardly wait for Joe to announce he was tired and would be going to bed. Everyone was unexplainably quiet when the sound of a great crash coming from McMurrin’s room indicated that his bed had fallen. Rushing in with no shoes on and hair disheveled, Joe McMurrin was hugging his dummy wife. “Why don’t you make me a gal with more warmth,” he complained to Sophia whom he knew had given great support to the project of proving him with a needed wife. [Sophia replied,] “You wouldn’t want us to use your rib would you Joe? That would take us too long.”

“Here!” yelled Joe as he proceeded to take his manufactured help-mate to pieces, “Take your old dress Polly Whipple. You need it worse than I,” and holding up a petticoat . . . announced that he could not designate the owner of this.

“It’s Sophy’s,” piped up Joe McLaws.

“And these sheets are so white, I know they haven’t been washed in river water.”

“Nope,” confessed Maggie Shelly. “I’ve been keeping them nice for this occasion.”

“And these,” called out Joe holding up suggestive white squares, “must belong”—there was a pause, and the diapers were merrily flung at Joe Morris, another bachelor in the fort.

When Joseph McMurrin became one of the Seven Presidents of Seventy, he frequently represented the General Authorities in visits to Snowflake Stake. Needless to say, these occasions provided a time of happy reunion and merry reminiscing with his early and loyal friends in St. Joseph.[42]

Mary Ann Smith McNeil

Roberta Flake Clayton, FWP Interview, and Anna Thompson[43]

Maiden Name: Mary Ann Smith

Birth: July 2, 1853; Manchester, England

Parents: William Smith and Mary Hibbert

Marriage: John Corlett McNeil; September 12, 1868

Children: Sarah Alice (1870), Daniel (1873), Ephraim S. (1874), Lillis (1876), Hannah S. (1878), Angus Smith (1879), Benjamin S. (1880), Althera (1883), James Hibbert (1885), Jesse Smith (1887), Annie Frances (1890), Willie Smith (1892), Frederick Smith (1893), Don Carlos (1896)

Death: May 30, 1944; Show Low, Navajo Co., Arizona

Burial: Show Low, Navajo Co., Arizona

From a comfortable home in Manchester, England, to a dugout in Utah is quite a contrast, yet it was experienced by Mary Ann Smith, the subject of this sketch.

Born July 2, 1853, the daughter of William and Mary Hibbert Smith immigrated to America in 1856 on the ship Wellfleet.[44] The family made its way to Missouri, where they remained for a while, outfitting for the west. They obtained a team of oxen and a wagon and made their way to Salt Lake City, Utah, with a group of other pioneers led by Ansil P. Harmon, landing there when Mary Ann was ten years old.[45] Because they had only one wagon and it contained all the family possessions, Mary Ann had to walk most of the way. When she was very tired, she would ride on the long reach pole that stuck out behind the wagon. This was far from comfortable and not very safe.

When they settled down it was in Bountiful, Davis County, Utah, where at the age of fifteen Mary Ann was married to John McNeil in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.[46] Their first home was a one-room dugout, and here was born their first child, Sarah Alice. They continued to live in Bountiful until November 18, 1878, when they started for Arizona to make a new home. Of the trek down Mary Ann says:

It was a long hard journey. I was sick most of the time because of the cold weather. I was very sad because I had to leave my beloved parents and relatives to come to a country that was unsettled, without a home or friends and where the [Native Americans] roamed at will.

By this time I had five children to care for. My baby was only nine months old and was sick most of the time. She couldn’t stand the jolting of the wagon, so the children and I took turns walking and carrying her in our arms most of the way. Our outfit consisted of a wagon and a span of horses in the lead, then a yoke of milk cows, and the wheelers were a span of mules.[47] We put the milk cows in the team as we had no one to drive them.

Traveling by team was slow and we hadn’t gone far when it began to snow. When we got to the canyon eighteen miles from Kanab, Utah, my husband had to leave us and go on to that town for help, as our poor team was given out and we could go no farther. There was eighteen inches of snow on the ground and bitter cold. I am sure we would have all frozen to death before he got back had not two men happened along traveling our way. At first I was afraid of them as they asked us a lot of questions, but when they learned of our plight, they brought wood to make a campfire and camped close to our wagon that night. They went on next morning and wanted to take the children and me with them to Kanab, but all we had was in that wagon and I did not want to leave it. My husband had left me there and there I would remain until he came for me, which he did that night, bringing with him Joseph Noble and a team belonging to John H. Standifird. On Christmas day we reached Kanab, glad to be alive. We lived that winter in Mr. Standifird’s cellar, and next spring rented a house of Jacob Hamblin who was leaving for Arizona. We stayed here until fall raising a good garden and lots of apples. When the crop was gathered we started again for Arizona. People told us that apples would bring a good price so we left our cook stove and many other things there that we might load our wagon with apples, but long before we reached our destination they were all frozen and we got nothing for them. We had to cook over a campfire for a year before John went back to Kanab and got our stove.

Sometime in December we arrived at what they called Walker, now Taylor, three miles above Snowflake. We stayed a week with James Pearce, then went to a place on Silver Creek known as Solomon’s Ranch. Here Mr. McNeil built a fireplace and chimney of rock near the side of a hill and then stretched a tent over it and there we lived until March of the next year. Mr. Standifird had previously moved to Arizona and lived about a quarter of a mile south of us. We had to go to his place to grind corn on his coffee mill for bread as we had none of our own. My husband was a shoemaker and would take his tools and go to Snowflake and Taylor and repair shoes, taking anything he could use in exchange but the people there were little better off than ourselves. One night we had only enough food in the house for one meal, so I coaxed the children to leave it for breakfast. That night we went to bed without supper but in the night John came home with a little corn that he had traded dried apples for. We were entirely without soap at one time and no grease to make any. We didn’t know what to do but a fat coyote had been pestering around so John set a trap for it. With the grease I got out of the coyote and lye made of corn cobs or wood ashes I made some soap. It did not harden like soap made from beef tallow but it was better than none.

One of Mrs. McNeil’s neighbors tells how neatly she always dressed her children. The little girls’ dresses always had to be laundered just so and though “boughten starch” was out of the question and the McNeils didn’t have flour for bread, Mrs. McNeil would take a bowl of cornmeal to a neighbor and trade it for flour to make starch with which to starch their dresses and aprons.

Mary Ann Smith McNeil.Mary Ann Smith McNeil. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Nikolaus Collection, Show Low Historical Society Museum.

Continuing with Mrs. McNeil’s own story:

That winter we lost our best horse. He starved to death. There was no feed on the range and we had no money to buy feed. Then in the spring we moved over to a place called Forest Dale on the Indian Reservation. We lived with the Indians all summer. We bought some corn at 5¢ a pound. We had to shuck, shell, and grind it on a hand mill. We thought that was an awful high price for musty, mildewed corn. The smell of it made me so sick while it was baking, sometimes I wondered how I lived through the summer. All we had to eat was that musty corn bread and molasses with a little milk. All the clothes my boys had to wear was just a shirt, no pants, and the girls a little slip.

After the musty corn was gone, all we had to eat was what we had raised in the garden and that was mostly green corn. Yes! It was green corn for breakfast, corn for dinner, and corn for supper with a little dutch cheese (or cottage cheese) for a change. When the corn got hard enough to grate, John made me a grater out of an old tin pan by driving nails from the inside out of the bottom of the pan. So we all had a grating good time to keep ourselves in bread and mush.

The Indian Chief, Petone, became angry at the Thanes and some of the other families. He said, “They lie, no good.” He told John that he was going to scare them out by telling them that Geronimo was coming to fight. But he told John to sit down—“He no lie, he a good man, sit down, Indian no hurt.” So he stayed. Everyone else left. I wanted to go but John wasn’t afraid of the Indians, so he stayed and took care of his crop, also the crops of the other people, then in the fall the men came back to gather theirs.

The winter of 1880 we moved from Forest Dale to Show Low. There another baby was born to me. It took John nearly all winter to move his corn out of Forest Dale, but that was what we depended on for bread, so we had to have it hauled out. Many times I got so hungry for flour bread that I felt like I would give all I owned for a cup of tea and a piece of flour bread.

One day my son Dan and I hitched up our team and drove out to Robert Scott’s sheep camp to get some supplies from a little supply store that he kept for his sheep men. Mr. Scott fixed us some dinner consisting of hot biscuits, fried mutton, and tea. Just what I had been longing for and was a feast I never will forget.

I did lots of sewing for the [Indian women]. Their skirts had ten widths of material in each one, besides trimming by the yards. I had to use my own thread. I used up two boxes that I had brought from Utah. When it was all gone I could not sew anymore and I was glad of it for they pestered me continually to sew for them. One day an Indian man came and asked me to make him a shirt. I told him I was sick and couldn’t. He kept coaxing me so I told him I had no thread. He got awful angry and called me names he had learned from the soldiers at Fort Apache, so John told me I had better make him a shirt. The summer of 1880 the Indians gave us a war scare. It was about the middle of August.

Mr. McNeil and the Indians were great friends. He was never afraid of them but the children and I were. He and Moses Cluff helped the Forest Dale Indians build a fort. It was a hollow place made in the top of a hill. They lowered barrels down into the fort, where they were hiding their food, [women,] and papooses.

The San Carlos Indians came up to fight the Apaches. There was three or four hundred of them, and they were painted and wearing skeins of red yarn around their heads. They turned their horses loose in our corn field. John left us and the children while he went to take care of the corn and fix up the fences. We were nearly scared to death. The Indians came up to the house. We had a watermelon patch in front of the house. They came and asked me for some. I traded a melon for three skeins of yarn. They soon stopped wanting to trade and took to helping themselves not only to the melons but to the things I had in the house. They took my butcher knife, cups and all my soap and everything else they saw that they wanted. The children clung to my skirt and we were all trembling with fear. Oh, how I prayed for the Lord to spare our lives. Soon they began to leave. John came back and said there had been a dispatch sent by Corydon Cooley to Fort Apache for help and the officers and soldiers came and settled the trouble.[48] The San Carlos Indians went back. They had no fight but it was an awful scare we got.

After we moved to Show Low, Geronimo and his followers gave the people another scare. The people got together in a fort so they could fight if they had to. John wasn’t afraid so wouldn’t go into the fort. So we moved down to the Lone Pine Crossing. Old Father Reidhead and two or three more families lived there. We stayed there all winter. We were hungry most of the time as food was scarce. One day John caught a beaver in the creek and we ate that and enjoyed it.

In the spring of 1881 we moved to a place three miles farther south of Lone Pine. John built a log house and we lived there until 1899. The ruins of the old house are still to be seen from the new state highway 60. While there, five more children were born to me making me the mother of fourteen children.

In the year 1900, we moved to Old Mexico. We stayed there for five years.[49] My husband died there in 1909. I came back to Arizona and homesteaded a nice piece of land one and a half miles from Show Low and built a quite comfortable home on it. I had to walk all the way whenever I wanted to come to town. Now I was lonely, unhappy, and not strong enough to walk to town any longer. My son Eph bought a lot in Show Low on which was a log cabin so I would be near enough to walk to the post office, visit with neighbors, and attend church services and recreational programs. We lived in the cabin for a number of years, raised fine gardens, and sold vegetables and strawberries. Beautiful flowers adorned the yard.

Thus ends the story as told by Mary Ann McNeil. The following part is written by her daughter Anna Thompson:

Ephraim built a new and larger house among the flowers and trees near the cabin where she spent the last years of her life. She said, “This is the best home I have ever had.”

A party held the day she was eighty-three years old brought 73 of her 178 descendants together. In the group were nine sons and daughters who met for the first time in twenty years. At another party held on her ninetieth birthday, she and two sons step danced.[50] In the spring of 1937, she became seriously ill with pneumonia. Her three daughters, Lillias, Hannah, and Annie, came to her home and nursed her back to health. Mrs. McNeil had little school training. However, she had a fine mind and sought learning through extensive reading, observation of nature, and the people whom she met. Therefore, she became a fairly well educated woman and informative conversationalist. “Grandma” McNeil, as she was known in her later years to many relatives and friends, was a lover of beauty. From her flower garden, she adorned the church pulpit each Sunday, and she cheered the sick, aged, and homebound with beautiful yards of crochet, knit, hairpin, and tatted lace. Her home displayed doilies, cushions, pillows, rugs, spreads, and quilts made by her hands, for they were never idle. She gave and sold many handmade articles to friends and neighbors. During her life, she devoted much time to church work. She was president of the Relief Society for years, and when the people lived on ranches, she traveled miles on horseback to attend meetings and aid the poor and distressed. She was secretary of the first Society in this area, 1883. She was secretary of the YLMIA in 1887. In 1893, the General Board of Education of the Church issued to Mary Ann McNeil a license as Instructor of Religion Class in the Show Low Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This license was signed by Pres. Wilford Woodruff and Dr. Karl G. Maeser. This was a distinct honor which came to her because of her knowledge of the gospel, her loyalty to its teachings, and her selfless service to her fellowmen.

During the time she lived in the log cabin, she was again chosen as theology class leader, also a faithful visiting teacher. Interested in genealogy, she spent considerable means for research; she spent two winters in the Mesa Temple doing vicarious work for her kindred dead.

During World War II, magazines and newspapers carried articles stating that the large number of descendants of Mary Ann McNeil in the armed services was some kind of a record. In uniform were seven grandsons, eighteen great-grandsons, and one great-grandson-in-law. Three great-grandsons and the husband of a great-granddaughter gave their lives in defense of their country.

When her long, active life came to an end, sadness spread over the countryside. She passed away May 30, 1944, in the beautiful home her son Ephraim built for her.

Ellis and Boone:

The following note has been posted on ancestry.com: “Mary Ann Smith (McNeil), Daughter of William Smith and Mary (Hibbert) Smith and third wife of John Corlett McNeil, kept extensive diaries. These have been gathered together, with comments in italics, by her grandson Peter McDonald. . . . This account begins with the diary and writings of Mary Ann Smith as she and John McNeil leave Utah for a mission in Arizona. It then continues when she returns from Arizona to Salt Lake City for a visit (in 1898), and then continues with her life in Arizona and then moving to Mexico in 1899. The diaries end in Mexico in late 1901.”[51] It may be that some of these diaries helped Mary Ann McNeil remember events as she talked with RFC for the FWP interview.

When Roberta Flake Clayton submitted the FWP sketch for Mary Ann Smith McNeil in the 1930s, the sketch ended with the following description of Mary Ann Smith McNeil:

“Mrs. McNeil is a remarkable woman, always pleasant and good-natured and has never lost her love for fun. She still retains her bright sparkling brown eyes, her good looks and her grace. At the annual Old Folks Reunion [in Phoenix, sometimes called the Heard Reunion] she always delights the audience with her step-dancing and the occasion would not be complete without her gracious presence.”[52]

Maria Taylor McRae

Florette McGuire and Annie McGuire McDowell[53]

Maiden Name: Maria Taylor[54]

Birth: January 17, 1845; Spilsby, Lincolnshire, England

Parents: George Edward Grove Taylor and Ann Wicks

Marriage: Joseph McRae; March 3, 1862[55]

Children: Eunice Ann (1863), Joseph Alexander (1865), John Kenneth (1867), George Edwin (1870), Annie Maria (1873), Mary Jane (1876), Nymphus Charles (1879), Parley Taylor (1882), Orson Pratt (1884), Milton (1888)

Death: April 19, 1901; Thatcher, Graham Co., Arizona

Burial: Thatcher, Graham Co., Arizona

Maria Taylor was born in Spillsby, Lincolnshire, England, on January 17, 1845. She was the daughter of George Edward Grove Taylor and Ann Wicks. She had one older brother, Joseph Edward, and two older sisters, Margaret Ann and Martha.

When Maria was seven years of age, some elders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were sent from America to preach the gospel to the people of England. The family gladly accepted their message, and Maria could hardly wait for her eighth birthday so she could be baptized. Her father and brother were appointed as local missionaries and made [brought] many converts into the Church.

Maria only went to school a few weeks in England, where about all they taught was sewing, having to count the threads of the cloth between each stitch.[56] She was well rewarded for her patience, as later she became a good seamstress. She was the mother of seven children before she had a sewing machine.

The family wished to go to America, but as they did not have the money for all to go, they thought it best to send their son, Joseph. He arrived in Salt Lake City in 1852, obtained employment at different jobs.[57] Later he became one of the pioneer undertakers and built the first coffin factory west of the Mississippi river.

As soon as he could save enough money, it was sent to his mother so that she and his two younger sisters, Martha and Maria, could pay for their voyage to the United States.[58]

They were ten weeks and three days crossing the ocean. They arrived at St. Louis and remained there a year. Each went to different homes to work. The mother did nursing, and the girls took care of children and washed dishes to pay for their board and room. Maria was small for her age and had to stand on a box to wash the dishes and mix bread.

Maria Taylor McRae.Maria Taylor McRae. Photo courtesy of Joyce Goodman McRae.

With the help of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund, they started for Salt Lake City, a thousand miles away.[59] They shared a wagon with another family, and as her mother was sick most of the time and her sister not very strong, Maria had to walk most of the way.[60]

As she trudged along over the rough country day after day, Maria became very discouraged. One day she went and sat down under a tree and let the wagons go on by. Soon she heard a noise and, looking up, saw a large Indian standing nearby. She arose and ran as fast as she could, the Indian following her, but he didn’t try to harm her. When they were near the wagons, he disappeared into the bushes. This taught her a lesson, and after that she stayed near the others.

After suffering many hardships, they arrived in Utah and stayed at the home of her brother, Joseph, a while. Then again, they each went to different homes to work. Maria was fortunate, living in the homes of cultured people, [like] the Whitneys, where she helped to care for Orson F. Whitney as a baby.[61] She would take him for walks up City Creek Canyon. He has said his first recollection was the wild roses that grew there. She later lived in the home of Emmeline B. Wells, editor of the Woman’s Exponent, later called the Relief Society Magazine.[62] Sister Wells was very kind to her, encouraging her to read, and related many wonderful experiences in her life and of the Church. Maria became so attached to the daughter, Annie, that she later named her own daughter after her.

As the girls grew older, they earned fifty cents a week and paid for their clothing. They had three dresses a year, two made of unbleached muslin, which they dyed with the bark of trees or plants, and one wool dress made in the fall, for church and social occasions.

Maria was about four feet, five inches tall, had grey eyes and dark auburn hair, with a permanent wave that could never be combed out, and always kept a clear English complexion which never freckled in spite of dust and heat of traveling.

On March, 3, 1862, she married Joseph McRae, son of Alexander McRae, who was in Liberty Jail with the Prophet. Their lives were mostly spent in pioneering, living the first years of their married life in Salt Lake, where four children were born: Eunice Ann, dying in infancy, Joseph Alexander, John Kenneth, and George Edwin. As Maria’s brother, Joseph, had some farming land in Wasatch County, he offered the land to Joseph and Maria to run on shares, so the family moved to the town of Charleston, where two daughters, Annie Maria and Mary Jane, were born. It was here they built their first home.

As their home was about completed, Joseph had gone into Salt Lake to conference to buy more lumber, but returned with a “call” from President Brigham Young to go to Arizona to help settle some of the wastelands there.

It can well be imagined the feeling of the family, especially Maria, when the father arrived home and told of the new plans. New adventure was exciting for boys, who no doubt were dreaming of fighting the Indians, but for Maria, always pioneering, always wanting a home where some of the comforts of life could be had for her growing family, this must have come as quite a blow. A home had been so near before her husband left, and now at his return the plans had been changed so completely. However, never doubting the divinity of the call, never shirking her duty, she went quietly about getting their possessions ready for the long trip into the “land of privation and hardships.”

Taking their lives in their hands, but with great faith in their leaders, they sold their home and left Charleston with their five children. Joseph and the boys started in November with the teams, and Maria and the girls went by train to Minersville, Utah, to the home of her sister, Margaret Goodman. Her husband and boys met them, and they spent Christmas together. They went on to St. George and were there for the dedication of the temple in January.[63]

They formed a company here at St. George under the leadership of Daniel W. Jones, and with two teams and wagons, loaded with what food and essentials they might need in an unknown country, they set out.[64] Arizona at that time seemed to be mostly inhabited by Indians who were committing many depredations.

When they reached the Colorado River, Joseph had to sell a wagon, and Maria gave up her valuable flat irons and other useful articles to pay the ferry man for helping the company cross the river. They now had to crowd in one wagon till they reached the Salt River and camped where Lehi now is. They went to work and took out a canal, planted gardens, and lived in tents.

As they had received a letter from President Young asking that at least a part of the company go farther south and settle on the San Pedro, they with six other families left Lehi the last of August. The privations and hardships of this journey are explained in the history of her husband.

On arriving at the San Pedro River near what is now called St. David, they again camped in tents. For these refined and delicate mothers, sick and sad, deprived of the comforts of home, cooking over fires in the open when the wind filled their eyes with fire and dust, going to bed and getting up unkempt and unwashed, their children deprived of the little niceties of civilization made them very discouraged and disheartened.

In a letter from Maria to her mother, here is just a little of the heartache:

San Pedro River, Arizona

2 February 1879

My dear mother:

This is Sunday afternoon and we have no meeting so I thought I could not occupy my time better than to answer your very welcome letter. We were very glad to hear from you and that you were all well, as it found all of us pretty well. The children have the chills sometimes. I have not had but one hard chill since we have been here. We do not know what we are going to do yet about where we shall live. President Taylor writes he should not like to have the settlement broken up on the San Pedro River. He thinks it will be more healthy farther back from the river, but it will be very expensive to take the water out. The most of the company feels like trying it another year. It is nearly time we were settled down somewhere. When I read about what the sisters are doing in Utah, I feel as though we were not doing much good, but I suppose it is all necessary for the forwarding of the work.

Dear Mother, I can realize how you loved the Society of Saints, for I long for the time to come when there will be some good Latter-day Saints come here to live. Do not think there is none here, but when you mingle with people every day, you begin to know one another so well that there is nothing new; but when you are deprived of a blessing, you know how to appreciate them when you get a change, mother.

You wanted me to write a long letter, but we have nothing particular to write about. I have plenty of hard work as usual. We have two boarders, besides our own family, and living in a tent is not as convenient as a house, but I want to try and get a few things that we need. We are surrounded by gentiles and they are a rough set. They have nearly all been to Utah and have drifted down here.

Tomorrow is Annie’s birthday. She is very large for her age. It does not look like it did in Charleston six years ago. The ground is dry and dusty, and very warm in the middle of the day but very cold at night. This is a good climate if it was only healthy.

Joseph and the children send their love to you. I must stop and get supper. Give my love to all.

From your loving daughter,

(signed) Maria McRae

P.S. We live 38 miles from the post office, so I do not know when I shall get a chance to send this.

After living here for sometime, they managed to build a fort to protect them from the Apache Indians. They were never molested, as Joseph said, “We were not called down here to be killed by Indians,” but they had many scares. After they were settled in the fort, everyone became ill with chills and fever except Joseph. Maria had a settled fever all summer, which they called “malaria.” At times the sick had to wait on the sick. In October, while all were sick with these chills, Apostle Erastus Snow and others made them a visit from Salt Lake City. He administered to the sick and promised them that this river would yet be settled with Saints. Maria believed this promise and hoped to live to see it fulfilled. As nearly all were sick in bed, she must have had great faith.

It was truly a blessing to the new settlers when the Lord guided Bro. John W. Campbell to join with the Saints on the San Pedro. Great was the relief and many of the problems solved when he gave the Saints work on his sawmill and food from his store.

Joseph and Maria took their family and moved to the mountains to work. He was happy to get the money that they sorely needed at this time and was in hopes that a change of climate might improve her health, getting away from the intense heat and the diseased water, as at that time it was not really known what was causing the “malaria.”

In Miller Canyon, Joseph built a large one-room house out of new lumber, thinking to have a nice comfortable room when the baby was born. Shakes were put on the roof instead of shingles. As the lumber had not been seasoned, the boards shrank. So, on September 20 as the rain poured down outside, their son Charles was born, being the first white child born in Cochise County. Pans and buckets were placed over the bed to keep Maria dry.

Sometime later they came back to the fort and helped settle the valley, taking out a canal, freighting to Tombstone (which was discovered in 1878), and also to Bisbee later. Here a home was built, and three more sons were born: Parley Taylor, Orson Pratt, and Milton.

Maria taught the first school here in St. David. This was in 1878 and 1879. She would call in the neighbors’ children and teach them along with her own. She didn’t want her children to grow up in ignorance. It is said that she was the first teacher in Cochise County. She, with Susan Curtis, established a school in her home.

The McRae home was the largest in the community. They held lots of entertainment there and always had a group in their home.

One night Maria had a dream in which she saw canals along the foothills above the town, and everything was green and pretty. Maybe, if Charleston Dam is ever completed, this may come true. She loved St. David very dearly and even after moving to the Gila Valley, she wanted to return here.

Maria had a tremendous adjustment to make when Joseph returned from Salt Lake City in April 1888 with the news he had entered into plural marriage with Augusta Erickson.[65] The taking of another wife by Joseph, while the righteousness of the act was never questioned by Maria, was a great trial to her.

Joseph’s release from the “call” to assist in colonizing Arizona came in the fall of 1890. Being discouraged about crop failures and things in general, the family decided to return to Utah to live. Joseph and Maria left the children on the old homestead in 1893 while they went on ahead to their intended home in Utah but returned at word of Charles’s serious illness with typhoid fever; Parley and Milton also had the fever.

After the children recovered, the family decided to move to the Gila Valley; this was July 20, 1893. When they first entered the valley, they stayed in Safford a few months then bought a home in Thatcher, where the children attended school.

Maria’s health began to fail, and it became the duty of her daughter Mary Jane “Mamie” to care for her as Joseph was away a good deal of the time.[66] His inability to succeed in matters temporal, although he was a good man, a true father, and a faithful Latter-day Saint, caused her to fall into a sort of melancholy which unquestionably hastened her death. It seemed impossible for her to rise above and conquer her feelings.

She passed away in the old home in Thatcher, April 19, 1901, with Mamie, Charles, and Milton with her. Her husband and daughter Annie were living in St. David and were unable to attend her funeral due to storms which had washed away the railroad tracks between St. David and Thatcher.[67] She was buried in Thatcher.

She was loved and mourned by many, being regarded as a faithful wife and true and loving mother. So goodness, honor, and purity adorn the parents, of whom the family should be justly proud.

Ellis and Boone:

McGuire and McDowell also wrote a biographical sketch for Joseph McRae. One of the stories they told seems appropriate to include, although it is more about the community of St. David than about Maria McRae. “A savior to the pioneers in the San Pedro Valley was Brother John W. Campbell who had joined the Church in Texas, where he had a store. He loaded his store goods and large family in freight wagons, pulled by strings of mules or horses, and came to the San Pedro. In the bottom of his wagon he had his gold stored. He passed through the Indian territory without any mishaps. With this money he invested in a saw mill in the Huachuca Mountains, and gave them food from his store. Father and Mother McRae, with most of the other settlers, moved to the mountains, partly for the healthful climate and partly for the need of employment. Here in the mountains [Maria’s son] Nymphus Charles was born 20 Sept. 1879.”[68]

Mentioned in this sketch, but only briefly, was polygamy. This may have been the hardest trial for Maria and was exacerbated by two circumstances. First, Joseph apparently did not tell his first family that he planned to marry again when he went to Salt Lake City during the winter of 1888. It is interesting to contemplate whether he even told Augusta Erickson that his first family did not know.[69] Second, although the McRae family may not have been any poorer than other Latter-day Saints of the area, Maria and her family did not see Joseph as a successful provider; Augusta also had to provide for most of her own support and, in fact, took her two sons with her to live in Salt Lake City from 1892 to 1895.[70] Family members have chosen to remain somewhat neutral about polygamy, but many tensions can be read between the lines of the published family sketches.

Cyrena Dustin Merrill


Maiden Name: Cyrena Dustin

Birth: January 6, 1817; Le Roy, Genesee Co., New York

Parents: Seth Dustin and Elizabeth Redfield

Marriage: Philemon Christopher Merrill;[72] September 20, 1840

Children: Sabrina Lodena (1841), Philemon Alisandra (1843), Lucy Cyrena (1846), Melissa Jane (1848), Morgan Henry (1850), Albina Altamira (1851), Thomas Stephen (1853), Seth Adelbert (1859)

Death: February 3, 1907; Layton, Graham Co., Arizona

Burial: Layton, Graham Co. Arizona

I, Cyrena, the daughter of Seth Dustin and Elizabeth or Betsey Redfield, was born January 6, 1817, in Le Roy, Genesee County, New York. My father, with his family, moved into Ohio, Portage County, when I was about a year old, where he lived until after I left home. I never had good health and was never expected to do anything around the house but all the family waited on me. I first heard the gospel when about nineteen years old and believed and embraced it later, going into the waters of baptism in March 1837, Elder James Emmet officiating.

I am the only one of my father’s family that ever embraced the gospel; yet I know that my father believed, and had it not been for some unwise conduct in one of the elders whom my father had befriended and assisted, he probably would have been baptized at the time I was. My brothers and sisters were greatly mortified at my joining the Church, and as long as I lived at home I had to endure their persecutions.

Sometime during the summer of 1837, I visited Kirtland and viewed the temple, the first reared by command and under the direction of the living God in this generation. It would be difficult to describe my feelings while going through that edifice, where the Savior and holy angels had appeared to the servants of God. Truly I felt like thanking God that my mind had been enlightened and that I had been permitted to embrace the gospel and partake of its blessings.

I remained at home during the coming winter, but the spirit of gathering seemed to come upon the Saints about that time, and I felt that I could not be left behind, and so determined to go with them to Missouri.

This was a severe blow to my father, who had sympathized with me from the beginning and when he found that I was determined to go, he requested me to leave home immediately, that he might become reconciled to the separation before I left entirely; his real motive was a hope that I might become so homesick that I would give up the idea of going with the Saints and return home again to stay.

Accordingly, I left home and went to reside in the family of Elder Alexander Standley, who was an old acquaintance and neighbor.[73] He was like a father to me, and there I lived until I gathered with the Saints in Missouri.

A few nights before we started for Missouri, I went to my father’s house, and I talked with all of them. My father and mother cried and begged me not to go, even until late into the night; when they found pleading was of no avail, they tried hiring me to stay, and when that also failed, Father said he would follow me and have me arrested and brought back by a process of law. We all then retired, and in the morning early Father went away for he could not say “good-bye.”

As I was leaving the house, I turned back at the door and bore a faithful testimony to the truth of the gospel; and that was the last time I ever saw any of my father’s family, except Sylvanus, who passed through Utah on his way to Montana in 18__ [sic].[74]

I was strongly impressed that my going was not only for my own salvation, but for that of the family also; yet at the time I little realized in just what manner this might occur, and in fact never did thoroughly understand, until the work for the dead was revealed. It was a source of great satisfaction to me to know that I stood in a position to do a work for them which would give them the privilege of accepting in the spirit world, the gospel, which was neglected in this life. In April 1838, before starting to Zion, I, with Bro. Standley’s family, went to a blessing meeting held at the house of Bro. Sears’s in Randolph, Ohio, a few miles from where we then lived, and received a patriarchal blessing under the hands of Brother Joseph Smith, Sr. (the first one who held the office of Priesthood and Patriarch in this dispensation).[75]

My blessing has been a great comfort to me in the trials which I have had to pass through and it also assisted to give me the necessary faith, courage, and fortitude to make the sacrifice of leaving home and friends and to start out alone in the world to fight the battle of life among strangers. I went forth trusting in the Lord, in full faith that he would give me grace sufficient to overcome all obstacles and difficulties which might be thrown in my way, and that I might endure to the end.

Philemon and Cyrena Dustin Merrill.Philemon and Cyrena Dustin Merrill. Photo courtesy of Church History Library.

In September 1838, following, we left our homes and commenced our wearisome journey—with Alexander Standley as leader. His family, his father and family, three of his brother-in-laws—Sam Kent, Bro. Sears and Bro. Ellsworth—and their families and myself, all in one wagon.[76]

We started early in the morning and were fearful that Father would stop us for we had to pass his house, but as we neared home we saw the hand of the Lord in causing a dense fog to envelope the house until after we had passed; we could not see even the signboard at the street door.

We traveled on unmolested until noon when they stopped to rest the horses. I, being fearful of Father’s overtaking us, walked on with Sr. Kent, but in our haste and anxiety we got on the wrong road. After walking some distance, we inquired and found the right one, but our minds were more anxious than ever, being afraid we would miss our friends altogether as from fresh tracks in the road we knew they were ahead of us. We walked as fast as we could, but my strength was failing, and finally the worry and exertion proved too much for me, and I lay down by the roadside completely exhausted and frightened lest Father would still overtake us. Sister Kent sat by me, encouraging me and comforting me, and together we prayed that someone might return for us, for we dreaded passing the night by ourselves.

While we were resting, the company had gone on to New Portage and unloaded goods to go by water; then not finding us there, they brought back the wagon to meet us. With renewed faith because our prayers were answered, we got into the wagon and went on to New Portage, where we made our camp, and I slept out of doors for the first time in my life. It rained a little during the night, and our bedding was soaked through, and not being used to exposure of any kind, of course I took a severe cold, which with the long walk and the worry of leaving home under such trying circumstances brought on a fever and nervous prostration. I shall ever remember how kind and good the sisters and brethren were to me during that long ride from New Portage, Ohio, to the Missouri River. They gave me every attention that could be given under the circumstances, many times sacrificing their own comfort for mine.

As day by day went by and I still remained so very low, all but Bro. Standley sadly concluded that I could not recover, and several times I was taken from the wagon and laid down by the roadside while they all gathered around expecting me to breathe my last, but I had great faith, for my blessing said I should go to Zion, and I clung to that (and so did Bro. Standley), and I felt as if that must be true. Sometimes as we were traveling along, people would come to our camp and talk to us and they would say, “Why do you drag that sick girl with you? Can’t you stop long enough to let her die in peace? It looks inhuman to take her over these rough roads.” And when told it was prophesied that she should go to Zion, they would shake their heads and say, “She’ll never live to get there anyway.” We were stopped several times by mobs who were determined we should not go on, but we were strong in faith and continually prayed to the Lord to deliver us from these people, and so we finally overcame all difficulties and arrived at Far West, Missouri. I had been getting some better before the end of our journey, and oh, how we rejoiced that our long, tiresome traveling was ended and we could meet and have sweet concourse with the Saints.

But our rest and comfort was soon broken, for in a few days Far West was surrendered to our enemies, and I saw Joseph’s aged father and mother weeping over their son as he was taken away, a prisoner. During the winter, our faith was tried to the utmost—in a strange country, our beloved leader torn away from us and our food and clothing very scarce, and at times we had nothing to eat but parched corn with a little squash.

My health continued to improve daily and Father Smith obtained a place for me to work at Little Platte (about twenty miles from Far West) with an aged couple, who treated me like a daughter but thought I ought to return to my parents. They begged me to go to my mother, who must be so lonely without me, even offering to pay my fare back to Ohio and send their son with me for company, but my faith in the gospel was strong and I never had any desire to give up our religion or leave the Saints.

To my great joy I found (while living there) Bro. and Sr. Horn living near, although I had had no idea that there was a Latter-day Saint within miles of me. Thus has the Lord cheered my heart at all times when I most needed consolation. These new friends told me that the Saints were moving to Quincy, Illinois. After staying with these good folks two months I went with Bro. and Sr. Horn to Far West, to again cast in my lot with the Saints, although the lady where I had been working wept over me and wished me to stay with her or return home to my parents, but I now felt that the Saints’ home was mine.

Again joining Bro. Standley’s company in the spring of 1839, I traveled to Quincy, Illinois. My health was very good, and I walked every step of the way, sometimes with my skirts wet to my knees, and at night we slept with only the canopy of the heavens for a roof, and it rained every night, thus soaking our bedding through before morning. We often cheered ourselves on our march by singing the songs of Zion, and we kept our health.

Bro. Standley had managed to procure some flour before leaving Far West, and we had plenty of squash pies, not made with eggs, sugar, and milk as it is generally made, but just squash boiled and put in between two crusts, and Oh! how good it tasted. Anything eaten with God’s blessing on it and with thankful hearts is sweet and good.

At Quincy was residing Bechias Dustin, a brother of my father’s, who had joined the Church, and there I lived for a few weeks, but his wife persecuted him and made it so unpleasant for me that I could not stand it, so went out to work.[77] While here our goods and clothing came which we had sent by water from New Portage coming back from St. Louis where they had been stopped—nothing traveled fast in those days.

I now wrote to the home folks, and they were glad to hear from me, particularly about my good health, but they wanted me to come home and not have to endure anymore of such privations; they would send me the money, and if I did not want to return alone, one of my brothers would gladly come for me—but I answered, “I would die with the Latter-day Saints.” I worked out all summer for $2.00 a week and was always treated well, and my health was good.

In December or late in the fall of this year, 1839, I went to Nauvoo with Bro. Tarletan Lewis and family; they were such good people and so very kind to me.[78] At Nauvoo we found nearly everyone sick with chills and fever, so I went to nursing sick folks. I went to nurse at Stephen Markham’s, for they were all down sick and while there their daughter, a lovely girl about my age, died, and her parents would not hear of me leaving them, so I made my home with them for a time.[79]

Sometime in February 1840, Philemon C. Merrill was passing through Nauvoo from Fort Madison to Carthage and had stopped to see his friend Bro. Markham, who brought him home to dinner, and I waited on the table. After dinner he asked Bro. Markham who that ‘young lady’ was and when told, he remarked, “I’ll be back here some day, for she will be my wife.” Bro. Markham laughed at him, and also some at me, but so it proved, for on September 20, 1840, we were married and went to housekeeping in Nauvoo.

On August 21, 1841, a daughter, Sabrina Lodena, came to gladden our home. While my husband worked on the temple, which the Saints had begun to build in our beautiful city on the Mississippi River, a son, Philemon Alisandra, was born to us to cheer us and bind our hearts together. His birthday was November 18, 1843, and Oh! how happy and contented I was with my loving husband and little daughter and son.

But clouds were gathering around our beloved Prophet, and everyone knows of the terrible times of the next year—the assassination of Joseph and Hyrum, and how we obeyed the voice of the Twelve when they told us to be peaceable, quiet citizens and blessed would be those who held out faithful to the end.

During 1845, although we were preparing to leave Nauvoo for the Rocky Mountains, they were pushing the work on the temple, and on May 24 the walls were finished and the Apostles administered to hundreds of the people, the services often continuing all day and night. We received our endowments in the last of December 1845, going through the temple at night.

Now as the mob had said, “We will drive all the Mormons into Nauvoo and all Nauvoo into the Mississippi,” preparation was made for immediate evacuating of the city, and on February 6, 1846, my husband left with the first guards to guard the records across the river and went on to Garden Grove, leaving me with my little ones in Nauvoo.

When he came back near the last of April with a team, our second daughter, Lucy Cyrena, was three weeks old, she having been born April 7, 1846, and taking only our bedding and clothing, leaving everything else in the house, we went by wagon to Mount Pisgah. Authorities held counsel and concluded to move on, after putting up some huts which could be used by those coming later.

When within a few miles of Council Bluffs, Iowa, we were met by a United States officer to enlist men for the Mexican War. Coming to a halt, Bro. Brigham called for 500 volunteers. On July 16, the troops were mustered, my husband being among the numbers, thus we were left without our natural protectors and as this took our stoutest and best away, much hard work was thrown on the women and the aged. I had only one week’s provisions on hand, but our faith was strong, and Bro. Brigham would lead us on.

After they had been gone three days, some men returned from the Battalion and stated to the camps that Capt. Allen had sent them to gather up fifty families of the Battalion Boys, and they could travel with their husbands to California as the government would pay all the expenses.

At first I did not wish to go, but being over-persuaded, I joined the company to follow my husband. My driver was Monroe Frick, a boy of fourteen who was such a good, kind boy. I arrived at Fort Leavenworth about August 1, 1846.

The joy of once more meeting my husband was of short duration, for he could not consent to my traveling with them with the little children and young babe; so after fitting up a wagon with eighteen month’s provisions and two yoke of oxen, Monroe and I started back over that lonely road of 200 miles to the camp of Israel. This was done by the advice and counsel of Bro. P. P. Pratt.[80]

Philemon went a day’s journey with us, and when he left us in the morning was the hardest of all my trials. We had to travel through Missouri, whose swamps were full of malaria, and several times we came to places where the rain had washed out the road, and we had to unload our flour and provisions, get the wagon across, then carry the things over and reload; it seems a miracle that we ever succeeded in reaching Winter Quarters, but in God was my trust, and He protected us and cared for us.

Philemon’s mother, hearing that we were coming, started out to meet us but got on the wrong road, missed us and had to walk back a long distance. We were about two weeks making the trip and the worry of it all must have told on me, for when my sister-in-law first met me she said, “Is this you, Cyrena, or your ghost?”[81]

About a week after I got back, my two children were taken sick with chills, then I was sick, then baby took croup and only lived about twelve hours, dying on September 6, 1846.

I let Father and Mother Merrill take my outfit of wagon, oxen, etc., and they went on with the first company that went to Salt Lake in 1847, but I stayed here at Kanesville until my husband’s return on December 11, 1847, from the Battalion.[82]

He spent his time in getting land warrants for the Battalion Boys and assisting Bro. Young to get emigrants across the plains. Here on September 10, 1848, our third daughter, Melissa Jane, was born.

In the spring of 1849, Bro. Young having sent our teams back from Salt Lake, we fitted up and crossed the plains. Now we were really going to Zion, and as our hearts were filled with gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His love and protecting care, we were enabled to endure all our trials with cheerful fortitude. Our faith was strong; we loved each other and lived in unity, and we were blessed abundantly, and our songs often rang out over the prairies.

While passing through the Rockies, we encountered severe snowstorms, and many of our cattle perished. But again the Lord helped us, for Father Merrill sent a team with a nephew to assist us into the city of Salt Lake.

Our first stopping place was in Salt Lake City, where we built a log cabin in the southwest, or 19th Ward, and stayed here until 1857.

On the Big Cottonwood, seven miles from Salt Lake City, our first Utah baby, our second boy, Morgan Henry, was born, February 17, 1850. And when he was three weeks we moved into the 19th Ward of the city, and my husband again left me alone with my little ones; houses then were scattered, and the measles broke out among the Indians, and they would rush past our cabin howling and screaming—run and jump into the warm springs and then take cold and die—then others would bewail and screech, and at all times of day and night their howls or mournings rent the air, and my hair would stand on end from fright; the only times I ever slept at night was when one of my brothers-in-law would come up from Cottonwood to stay a while. Philemon had gone back to the Platte River to keep the ferry boat.

On April 6, 1851, we were sealed for time and eternity, at which time I gave him a girl, Mary Jane Smith, to be his second wife, and he started to the States next day to bring out an ox-train of goods, so I was alone again.

In the fall, he returned with merchandise for T. S. Williams, who built the first store, he (Philemon) having escaped the cholera, which was bad on the plains. On October 31, 1851, our fourth daughter, Albina Altamira, was born to us.

In 1852 he took charge of Bro. Williams’s store. Our third son, Thomas Stephen, came to us on January 3, 1853, and in June the same year I was again left with the children, this time my husband being called on a mission to England.

We had bought a farm on Big Cottonwood which we were renting out, and as I could not attend to it, he wrote to me to sell it. I traded it for stock, which I put out to range, and it being the years of the famine 1854–55, they all died. Being now deprived of any means to support, I took in washing to provide for my children.

During this time of trial, I found many kind friends who helped me all they could, among whom was Bro. Williams. But when my husband returned September 15, 1856, he found my health entirely broken down; the work, worry, and care had been more than my constitution could stand, and the next spring we moved to Farmington, Utah.

We started with the exodus for the south in 1857, and I, being sick, was carried on a bed in a wagon. As we were passing over a narrow dugway on the mountainside, there came up a strong wind, which we were fearful would blow us off the road, and it was a hundred or more feet to the bottom, so we took the cover off our wagon; soon it rained for some time, and we rode in it unprotected until we reached Lehi. That night, the little ones being restless, my oldest daughter, Sabrina, was obliged to be up with them, and she took a severe cold from which she never recovered.

We went on as far as Provo, but after the Treaty we returned to Farmington, where on September 29, 1858, Sabrina died from consumption, being only seventeen years old. Here at Farmington on August 10, 1859, our fourth son, Seth Adelbert, was born, and our youngest daughter, Albina, although but nine years of age, died in Salt Lake City, on March 25, 1860.

Our next move was to Weber (now called Morgan City), my husband having taken contract from Brigham Young to grade for the Union Pacific road, and I did the cooking for fourteen men. We had good times and times of rejoicing as well as plenty of hard work and trouble, for while living at Morgan City, our son Philemon brought home a bride, Lucinda Potter Brown, early in 1868, and in a year and a half, October 1869, Henry brought us another daughter, Emma Orilla Perry.[83] While living here our hearts were made glad and happy by the advent of the little ones added to our family, for Mary Jane was blessed with five children: Cyrena Imogen (who only stayed with us four short years), David Elmore, Joseph Lot, H. Morgan, and Peter Hubert.[84] When baby Hubert was about six weeks old, we moved to Liberty, Bear Lake County, Idaho. This was a hard trip for us all, though it was only a hundred miles. Mary Jane was not strong, and I took little Lot in my wagon. He was just recovering from typhoid fever and was peevish and fretful (he was only four years old), and I could do more with him than any one else; we felt worn out when we finally reached our destination.

We had lived here only two years when on June 2, 1871, Mary Jane died, leaving seven children who now looked to me for a mother’s care, and I prayerfully undertook this charge, the oldest being eighteen and the youngest only two years old.[85] My husband was called to organize a branch of the Church at Soda Springs, Idaho, and we going with him, lived there until 1876.

Our son Thomas Stephen was married January 14, 1874, to Esther Ann Collett. Here, October 28, 1876, we had a double wedding—our son Delbert marrying Lucy Ann Merrill and Hannah Ann marrying Charles C. Collett.

We arrived in St. George ten days after the first completed temple in Utah had been dedicated and by directions of president Young; we were the first ones to receive administrations in this Temple—this was our second washings and anointings, and here Del and his wife were sealed, also Thomas and his wife on January 11, 1877.[86]

We left St. George January 17, 1877, with a company organized in the United Order, with Daniel W. Jones as President and my husband as counselor, and arrived on the Salt River (near Tempe) March 7, 1877.[87]

We lived in tents and made boweries; there were no trees, and the summer was the hottest I ever experienced. We were obliged to pour water on the tents all day in order to keep our heads cool, and we had terrible sand storms; we were afraid then to stay in the tents or sheds while the wind blew so hard, and I have seen mothers wrap blankets around themselves and children and lie down on the ground till the storm was past.

In the fall, my husband was called to take what portion of the company would accompany him and go to the San Pedro River.[88]

On our way to our new home, the sad news reached us (while at Tucson) of the death of our President and leader, Brigham Young, which was a hard blow for us.[89]

Our little colony, consisting of six families and two single men, built a fort of six rooms of rock, had no windows or doors except canvas. It was perilous times with Apaches all around us—the Indians often came to our fort but always seemed to be friendly. At first the country was very dry and barren, not having had much rain for years, and we had a great deal of sickness. At one time the whole camp was sick, but the Authorities remembered us and sent Apostle Snow to us, who dedicated and blessed the country, after which we had more rain and less sickness. Here our last daughter, Melissa Jane, died, November 14, 1880, having been sickly for twenty years.

We kept our Church organizations, I serving as president of the Relief Society for six years. Our son Henry was serving as bishop in St. David when St. Joseph Stake was organized in 1886−87, and being appointed as second counselor to President Christopher Layton, he moved to Graham County.[90] I was appointed first counselor to Sister Wilmirth East as stake officers in the Relief Society, which [position] I held for many years.[91]

During the raid against the Mormons, my husband went into Mexico for two months then returned to Utah.

On May 3, 1887, we had an earthquake, which threw down some buildings, among them the schoolhouse, but none were injured. The water in our well made a great noise, bubbling up like boiling water.

In April 1893, we both went to the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple.

On my eightieth birthday, January 6, 1897, my children, grandchildren, and ladies of the Relief Society gave me a pleasant surprise—it was an occasion showing the love they all cherished for me and one long to be remembered.

Now having lived to reach my eighty-first birthday, I feel to bear my testimony, perhaps my last, to the truth of this work in which the Latter-day Saints are engaged. I have lived to see my patriarchal blessing fulfilled; my life has been spared many times; I have been raised up as from the dead; I have had my prayers answered; my posterity is numerous, and they rise up and call me blessed; my faith has been and still is strong. I have lived in perfect harmony with my husband for fifty-seven years. These are some of the things which were mentioned in my blessing.

Now all my children but two have gone to the spirit world; I am waiting for the call which shall bid me join them, and I hope and pray that all my posterity will be faithful and endure to the end, and may some of them carry on the work for the dead of my father’s house, which I have commenced but have not been permitted to finish.

Later she added:

On September 25, 1901, my son Delbert’s spirit passed beyond the veil of mortality, after about a year of suffering, leaving a widow and eight children to mourn his earthly loss. This has been a severe blow to us, but I feel reconciled to God’s will and know that when He sees fit to call us home, my children will be there to welcome us.

On September 16, 1904, my husband, Philemon C. Merrill, died at his home in San Jose, Arizona and was buried in Layton.[92]

[Added by unknown person, unknown time] Cyrena Dustin Merrill died February 3, 1907, at Layton, Graham, Arizona and was buried at the same place. She outlived all her children except one son. She was ninety years old, January 6, 1907.

Ellis and Boone:

When Cyrena Dustin joined the Saints in Missouri in 1838, she embarked on a journey that lasted a lifetime and included residences in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Utah, Idaho, and Arizona. She began life as a sickly child, but she became a mother of eight and also helped raise the seven children of Philemon’s second wife. She lived to be ninety years old and was an important Relief Society worker at St. David and in the Gila Valley. Cyrena finished the main portion of this autobiography on January 14, 1898, while living in Layton.[93]

Effie Isabelle Kimball Merrill

Unknown Author, FWP

Maiden Name: Effie Isabelle Kimball

Birth: May 4, 1869; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., Utah

Parents: David Patten Kimball[94] and Caroline Marion Williams[95]

Marriage: Orren Dudley Merrill;[96] December 25, 1883

Children: Caroline (1884), Orren Dudley (1886), David Justin (1888), LeRoy (1889), Rialdo (1891), Kimball (1893), Almira Faye (1895), Loran (1897), Clarence (1899), Edwin Chase (1902), Mary (c. 1904),[97] Effie Isabell (1908), Edna Vilate (1910)

Death: April 16, 1945; Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona

Burial: Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona

A daughter of a pioneer family, Mrs. Orren Merrill remembers many of the hardships of early life in Utah, Idaho, and Arizona.

She is Effie Isabelle Kimball Merrill, daughter of David P. and Caroline Williams Kimball, born in Salt Lake City, Utah, May 4, 1869. Until she was four years of age, the Kimballs lived there. The first move was to Bear Lake, Idaho, where they remained three years, moving back to Salt Lake City. They built themselves a good home and were very happy when her father was selected by Brigham Young to help colonize Arizona. Consequently, in 1877 they began this journey.

Effie Isabelle Kimball and her husband, Orren Dudley Merrill.Effie Isabelle Kimball and husband, Orren Dudley Merrill. Photo courtesy of International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers.

Effie remembers best the terrible roads. Her mother drove a span of horses and a white-topped carriage in which she and the younger children rode. Effie says oftentimes it seemed the carriage would tip over—then the children would scream and clamber up to the high side to try to keep it from going over. Because he had heard that cattle were bringing a good price in Arizona, her father brought all ox teams but the one driven by her mother. That accounts for the long, tedious journey.

Finally, the travelers reached Hackberry. There they remained until he traded his oxen for horses, then they made pretty good time.

When they reached Hayden’s Mill at what is now Tempe, he directed them to a place they named Lehi. Here they began building homes and getting out water for irrigation, and here began Effie’s first real schooling, though her mother had begun teaching her children their letters and multiplication table and other rudiments of education. Pioneer mothers found this a very effective means of preventing quarreling that might result from too much being thrown together as were the children on these long journeys.

The first school was taught by Zula Pomeroy, whom Effie learned to love sincerely.

After about three years at Lehi, her father again moved, this time to Cochise County to a little settlement called St. David in his honor.[98] Soon about sixty families settled there, and a pretty little town was the result. First a large fort was built of white stone. Here the newcomers lived until they had homes of their own to move into.

The Merrill family was among the first white people to settle here, and it was here Effie met a dashing young man whom everyone liked, who was destined to become her future husband. It did not take them long to decide they were meant for each other, for at fourteen years of age she became the bride of Orren Merrill.

Her life was not as carefree as that of some young wives, because her husband knew no fear and often went into dangers that kept her worried, such as the time when he and a Negro who was working with him followed the outlaws who had stolen his horses into Mexico and claimed the horses and brought them home.[99] He was always doing something hazardous, and she was ever uneasy about him when he was away.

Their homes were variously in St. David, Old Mexico, and Bisbee, where he worked in the mines, then back to Lehi, California, and finally Phoenix.

Effie is the mother of thirteen children, five girls and eight boys. She has lost two grown sons, two grown daughters, and one babe. The others have all married and have families of their own, and Mr. and Mrs. Merrill are enjoying the sunset of life in a cozy little home of their own near the capitol building.

Of a retiring nature, Mrs. Merrill has never taken a very active part in society, but she has been a faithful member of her church, a loving wife and mother, and a true friend. All who know her respect her.

She is still very much in love with her husband, who says with spirit and a justifiable pride that though they had a large family, none of them ever went hungry or ragged, an example of industry, thrift, and good management that might well be emulated by young people of today.

Ellis and Boone:

This sketch was submitted to the FWP in the late 1930s, but it is not certain that it came from RFC. Although several other writers submitted sketches for Mormon men, Clayton was the most prolific writer of sketches for Mormon women.[100] RFC included it in PWA, and she also wrote a sketch for Orren Merrill, which was included in PMA.

When the interviewer of Effie Merrill wrote that “her husband knew no fear and often went into dangers that kept her worried,” this may have been an understatement. RFC in writing about Orren Merrill said, “The stories that Mr. Merrill told me seemed to typify the events and the spirit of early Arizona History. I have heard it said by those who knew him, that if anything was going on that was exciting or dangerous, you could always look for Oren Merrill right in the middle of it.”[101] Consequently, Effie Merrill’s retiring nature became a perfect complement to her husband.

Emma Orrilla Perry Merrill


Maiden Name: Emma Orrilla Perry

Birth: February 27, 1854; Provo, Utah Co., Utah

Parents: John Marcellus Perry and Carolina Mariah Hubbard

Marriage: Morgan Henry Merrill;[102] October 5, 1869

Children: Caroline Melissa (1871), Morgan Henry (1873), Seth Dustin (1875), Perry Marcellus (1877), William Oliver (1879), Clorissa Cyrena (1882), Fletcher (1885), Christopher Philemon (1888), Jedediah Grant (1890), Carl Geoffrey (1893), Herbert Denzel (1896)

Death: January 11, 1946; Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona

Burial: Thatcher, Graham Co., Arizona

I was born on February 27, 1854, at Provo, Utah. My parents were John Marcellus Perry and Carolina Mariah Hubbard.[103] I was educated in the public schools of Provo, Utah. At that time we had only three months of school each year, as the older children worked to help parents build homes and make a living the rest of the year.

When I was a child of about seven years, I went to live with my grandmother, Caroline Eliza Hubbard, who was a real pioneer, having lived in Nauvoo, joining the Latter-day Saints Church in the early days of its organization. When I went to live with her, she was living on a lot which had been allotted to her in the beginning of the settlement of Provo.

Emma Orrilla Perry Merrill with her sisters.Emma Orrilla Perry Merrill (center) with sisters Eliza Clarissa Perry Fletcher (left) and Clara Melissa Carter Bate. Photo courtesy of Deborah Sue Merrill Allen.

The early settlers had to live on the resources of the country, raising their food and materials for their clothing, shoes, hats, and in fact everything which they had. Outside of what they were able to raise or make for themselves, their supplies had to be freighted by ox teams from the Missouri River.

The girls made their own clothing—spinning, weaving, and sewing by hand. They knit their own stockings as well as the boys’ and mens’ socks. They had to dye the yarn for them and also the material from which their clothing was woven. I learned to knit stockings when I was eight years of age and soon helped to knit for the younger members of the family. I lived with my grandmother Hubbard until I was thirteen years old. Then I moved with my parents to Grantsville, Tooele County, Utah.[104]

Two years later, at the age of fifteen, I went to Morgan City, Utah, to teach summer school. The school began the first of May and ended the last of September. I taught from the Primary grades to the Fifth Reader.

While there I met Morgan Henry Merrill, and we were married on October 5, 1869, in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah. Brother Joseph F. Smith performed the ceremony. I was fifteen years of age and my husband nineteen.

After we were married, we went to Bear Lake County, Idaho, settling in the small town of Liberty, where I taught school for nearly two years. My husband cut logs and built us a nice little home. I did cooking over a fireplace the first year, and my household cooking outfit consisted of a bake oven and a few dishes.

Our first child, a girl, was born at my parents’ home in Grantsville, Utah, where we spent the winter of 1870−71. Our baby, Caroline Melissa, was born February 26, 1871, which made our happiness complete. However, she was not to stay with us long as she contracted diphtheria and died December 12, 1873.

Later, Henry secured a contract to build fences in Bingham Canyon, Nounan Valley, Idaho.[105] Here our first son was born March 29, 1873. We named him Morgan Henry Jr., but he was better known as Hal. We remained in Nounan Valley only one winter; as it was so very cold, we moved back to Utah.

In the year 1875, my husband obtained a position as ranch foreman for the Hooper-Nolton Cattle Co., in Skull Valley, Tooele County, Utah, so we moved there. His wages were paid in cattle—a cow and calf per month plus $25 in cash. It was on this ranch that our third child and second son, Seth Dustin, who was named in honor of his great-grandfather Seth Dustin, was born on August 15, 1875.[106]

On January 2 of the following year, Henry drove a herd of cattle to Grouse Creek, Utah, and took up a cattle ranch, building us another home. Grouse Creek is in the northwestern part of Utah in Box Elder County. On our journey to our new home we were snowed in near the Great Salt Lake, and because of this delay we did not arrive at our destination until the afternoon of March 21, 1876.

Taking off the wagon box from the wagon, we put a canvas over it so as to form a tent, then put up the stove so we could cook our meals. After that, my husband had to go to the roundup down in the desert, leaving me with an Indian boy who had been raised among white people. During the afternoon, a terrible snow-storm came. The wind blew the canvas off the wagon box, leaving me and the two babies—one who was two years old and the other seven months old—exposed to the storm. We had to lie there all night and the next day, as we could not build fire for everything was covered with snow; as a result we had nothing to eat.

My uncle, Elijah Hubbard, and family had come in with us, but he had taken up a ranch about half a mile from our place, and this place had a dugout on it. I told the Indian boy that I was going to the dugout. Wrapping the children as best I could in quilts, I took the baby, and the boy took the older child. I tried to follow where the Indian boy led, but could not see him on account of the snowstorm, and so lost my way. I walked until I was exhausted and could go no farther. I sank down in the snow, holding my baby close to me.

When the Indian boy reached the dugout safely, my uncle immediately set out to find me, sending all the men to do so too. They found me just before night. They took the baby and then brought a chair for me. Placing me in the chair, they carried me to the dugout. When we arrived, my aunt made us some broth. Because of the large fire built to warm the dugout, the flames set the roof on fire, adding to the excitement. However, this was finally put out. That night we made a bed of the wagon cover with my aunt and her two children sleeping at one end and my two children sleeping at the other with me.

We lived on this ranch for a period of seven years, during which time two of our children were born. Our third son, Perry Marcellus, was born on December 13, 1877, and William Oliver, the fourth son, was born November 25, 1879.

My [older] sister [Eliza Clarissa Perry Fletcher] also lived in this valley, and we were very happy. However, my husband’s father, Philemon C. Merrill, his wife Cyrena Dustin, and their family had gone to Arizona some two or three years before, and telling us of the wonders of the country, we decided to join them. So in 1880, we traded our ranch for eighty-three head of horses. In the fall we started with our little family, household goods, and horses for Arizona. We traveled with two wagons, each drawn by four horses. We lived in one wagon, and the other was filled with food and supplies.

We journeyed as far as Springville, Utah, where we stayed until March 1881 and where we left our horses. When we again continued our journey, three other families went with us. We had to travel by night as the Indians were so bad, and get what sleep we could by day. We went by way of Lee’s Ferry on the Colorado, and finally arrived at St. David June 17, 1881.

After arriving in St. David and securing a place to stay, Henry returned for the horses. He made a safe journey to southern Utah, secured the horses, and started on the return trip. On reaching Snowflake, Arizona, his path was blocked by Indians who were on the warpath. I was frantic with worry because I had had no word from Henry for six weeks. I tried to wire him, but the mail did not go through because of the Indian uprising. Henry finally made a long detour by way of Camp Verde and arrived safely with the horses after a trip of over four months.

Because of fear of the Indians, the settlers at St. David had built a fort of rocks. It was made in a square with one side open so they could drive wagons in and out. They had to have a guard every night, and in addition, guards were stationed on the surrounding hills. We lived in the fort for more than a year, then we bought a home two or three blocks from the fort, but continued to sleep in the fort for about two years. At different periods, the Indians caused trouble, and at one time Geronimo attacked not far from St. David.

We remained at St. David, Arizona, seven years and experienced many happy days along with the sorrows and trials. We suffered from chills and fever, which was very bad at times there. On October 17, 1882, our second little girl, Chlorissa Cyrena, was born. Her father, being down with the fever, knew nothing of the arrival of his daughter until the next day. Then crawling on his hands and knees, he came to see her.

In 1882, Henry was chosen bishop of the newly organized St. David Ward, which position he held until the year 1888. On September 22, 1885, Fletcher, a boy, came to bless our home—this time almost costing my life.

While in St. David, I was chosen as first counselor to Sarah D. Curtis, president of the YLMIA.[107] Later, I was first counselor to Mariah McRae, president of the Relief Society; and still later, I was chosen president of the Primary Association, which office I held until we moved to Safford, January 2, 1888.[108]

We moved to Safford because Henry had been chosen second counselor to President Christopher Layton of the St. Joseph Stake.[109] We first lived in two rooms in a fort in Safford near the old grist mill, which was located on what is now First Avenue. We lived in Safford only long enough to build a new home in Thatcher. While still in Safford, another son, Christopher P., was born April 8, 1888. When Chris was just six weeks old, we moved into our new home in Thatcher, although it was not finished. The house still lacked a roof and did not have doors or windows. There was a well on the place, but the water was not good, therefore we had to use ditch water, which was not much better.

Our new home was on Church Street, just across the street from where the Killian place is. The house is still standing (December 1945). When we first moved into the Gila Valley, there were not more than a dozen scattered houses in Safford. These were made of adobe. The land was covered with mesquites, and between Safford and Thatcher there were nothing but mesquites.

September 27, 1890, our seventh boy, Jedediah Grant, came, a lovely blue-eyed boy. Three years later our eighth son, Carl Geoffrey, was born on January 29, 1893.

We sold our first home in Thatcher and built a home located on Church Street, across from the Thatcher Church on the west corner. Here Herbert Denzel, our ninth son, was born on April 5, 1896. This was our eleventh and last child.

Herbert was only seven weeks old when my husband, Morgan Henry, took typhoid fever. He was bedfast for five weeks. I had every doctor in the county, but they couldn’t do anything for him. His father asked him if he was afraid to die, but he said he wasn’t afraid of death. He passed away July 26, 1896, at the age of forty-six years, leaving me with ten children. Six were under thirteen years of age. Herbert, the youngest, was only three months old. I was a young woman of forty-two years.

It was said of him at his funeral services, “If ever a man lived whose exemplary and unselfish life had prepared him to meet his God it was Morgan Henry Merrill.” Everyone loved him. He was a man of great faith and had the gift of healing. He often went to administer to the sick. On one occasion he went across the Gila River to visit Diane Allen, who was very sick. He administered to her and then returned home. Later the news reached him that she had died. Henry said, “I can’t understand it. I have never had a stronger testimony that anyone would live than I had when I administered to that girl.” The news that had reached Henry proved to be false, however, as the girl recovered and lived several more years. His faith was so strong that he could usually tell whether the persons he administered to would live or die.

Henry was buried in Thatcher, Arizona. The days following his death were the darkest of my life, and from then on until the children were older, my life was filled with teaching school, doing sewing, millinery, and most anything I could get to do to raise my children to be strong, healthy, honest, and honorable. Sometimes the load seemed to be more than I could stand. One day after I had taught school all day, I came home and made two or three dresses. I was so tired that I had to lay down and rest before I could go to bed. I fell asleep and dreamed I was at the foot of a mountain, leaning against an old tree. I could see a road up the mountain, and I thought I would never be able to climb that mountain. Henry came up behind me and said, “Emmy, why are you sitting here?” I said, “I am so tired and I have got to climb that hill, but I am not going to try.” He said, “Of course you can. I will help you.” So we climbed to a flat place, then stopped to rest. Then we continued climbing one small hill at a time until we reached the top of the mountain.

When I awoke, I recalled Henry having told me before his death that he would be with me every possible moment that he was permitted to do so. Always after that when the going got to be especially hard, I felt that Henry was by my side helping me up the hill.

After my husband’s death, I taught school for four years in Thatcher in the old school opposite the Thatcher Stake House. I received $45 per month for teaching. I taught the first grade the first year, and the next three years taught the second and third grades. The principal of the school told me that I was a natural-born teacher.

Measles came in the winter of 1898, bringing death again to my home. Jedediah Grant died, leaving all the other children very sick. These were indeed dark days. Not long after this, during a school recess, Chris was playing with the other school children in the newly dug basement of the Thatcher Church. They had dug back into the bank and were playing there, when one of the children led a donkey over the top of the bank, causing it to cave in. Chris was buried under the avalanche. Some of the children ran immediately to tell me. I came out of the school building on a run, screaming, and praying for Henry to help me. When I reached the cave-in I started digging frantically with my bare hands. I dug my fingers into the quick but kept digging. Finally I found one of his hands and followed it to his head. I uncovered his head just in time, for when I got him out he was black and blue with suffocation.

When I stopped teaching school, I started making dresses for a living. I made shirts for all my boys and many other people; besides all the other sewing, I made many wedding dresses. I sometimes worked until the early hours of the morning, sewing by coal oil lights. I received from $2 to $2.50 for a dress. One night, I worked all night making a wedding dress and received an extra dollar for my night’s work. I owned a first model of the Howe sewing machine.

At the time of Henry’s death, we had just traded our lovely little home for one less cozy but with more land. Not all of the stumps had been dug out, and it seemed to be just a sand hill, which later we made into a very comfortable home. In the year 1911, I sold this home and, with my two younger sons remaining at home, bought a place across the river at Bryce, where we milked cows and farmed. Later I sold my farm to Seth and bought a small home in Thatcher, where I lived until 1930, when I sold my home to spend most of my time in the Arizona Temple.

My church duties while in Thatcher consisted of being chosen counselor to Sister Zundell, president of the Relief Society; later counselor to Sarah B. Moody, president of the YLMIA; then as treasurer of the Stake Relief Society, with Elizabeth Layton as president.[110] Afterward, I was chosen as a member of the stake relief board, which position I held for many years.

I have lost two sons, Morgan Henry Jr., who passed away on July 11, 1939; and William Oliver, who passed away on February 1, 1942. I was able to pay my own way and didn’t have to depend on anyone else for a living. I have always had good health, and at the age of ninety-two, I do my own dishes and make my own bed and do it very well. I was married for twenty-six years and have been a widow for forty-nine years.

Addition by RFC: She passed away January 11, 1946, at the home of her daughter Chloe Phelps in Mesa, Arizona. At her request, she was taken to Thatcher, Arizona, for funeral services and burial beside her husband.

Ellis and Boone:

This sketch for Emma Orrilla Perry Merrill is an excellent example of a young widow with children to support. Merrill wrote her autobiography (this PWA account) in about 1946. Clayton submitted a different sketch (written in third person) to the FWP on May 21, 1938. Much of the information is the same, but two paragraphs from the FWP sketch seem appropriate to include here.

After her husband’s death, Emma had the responsibility of raising the children by herself, and she provided for the family by teaching school. RFC wrote, “As soon as her own children were old enough, she gave them little duties to perform and they worked together so that their mother and the ones who were old enough could be at school on time. Her daughter stayed at home to take care of the smaller children. She carried the baby to his mother at recesses to get his dinner, and then he would have to be satisfied until she returned at night and noon. The daughter’s education was not neglected. She was given her assignments and at night when the babies were all tucked in, mother and daughter would go over the lessons together before they planned the next day’s duties.”[111]

Then Clayton included the following paragraph describing feelings at the home front during World War I: “When the United States entered the World War, her baby boy enlisted in the first contingent of the American Expeditionary Forces. Another one soon enlisted. One crossed the Pacific and the other the Atlantic Ocean. One was a noncommissioned gas officer and the other went to Manila as Captain on a gun crew. The youngest was fifty-five days at the front. Both returned but have never been the same. The memory of those terrible days is ever before them.”[112]

Mary Helen Packer Bryce Merrill


Maiden Name: Mary Helen Packer Bryce

Birth: January 11, 1881; Bryce Canyon, Garfield Co., Utah

Parents: Ebenezer Park Bryce and Helen Diana Packer

Marriage: Perry Marcellus Merrill;[113] December 28, 1898

Children: Idella (1899), Helen Orrilla (1905), Marcellus Ebenezer (1909), Orlando (c. 1915),[114] Seth Perry (1924)

Death: June 13, 1977; Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona

Burial: Thatcher, Graham Co., Arizona

I was born on January 11, 1881, at Bryce Canyon, Utah, and blessed on February 27, 1881, by Wm. J. Henderson in the ward at Garfield, Utah, a little town close to Bryce Canyon. My parents were Ebenezer Park Bryce and Helen Diana Packer; I am the granddaughter of Nephi Ewell Packer and Helen Rachel Howland. My father was born on February 15, 1855, at Tooele, Tooele County, Utah. My mother was born on March 28, 1861, at Brigham City, Box Elder County, Utah. Also I am the granddaughter of Ebenezer Bryce and Mary Ann Park.[115] My grandfather Bryce and my father found Bryce Canyon, and this is where it got its name.

My father and mother were married December 26, 1877, in the St. George Temple. Their first home was on a ranch about fifteen miles from the east main rim of Bryce Canyon. It was two rooms made of logs built by my father with the help of his father. It was in this house that my brother Ebbie and myself were born. Father and Grandfather had herds of sheep and some cattle.

Daughters of Ebenezer and Diana Parker Bryce.Daughters of Ebenezer and Diana Packer Bryce, left to right: Mary Helen "Mamie" Merrill, Emma Belle Sanders, Sarah "Sadie" Nuttall, and Nellie Matthews. Photo courtesy of Karen Kempton Mattice Griffin, Eastern Arizona Museum and Historical Society, Pima.

In 1880 Father’s brothers Al and Bill went to Arizona to scout the country. Both returned with a favorable report of Arizona. The Bryce family wanted to make a move to a warmer climate as Grandmother Bryce’s health was poor. The Bryce family always clung together: where one family moved, they all moved to the same place.

After living in several places in Arizona, the family finally moved to Pima, Arizona. I was just two years old when my folks landed in Pima. Our first home was in two tents near the Pima depot.[116] These tents were boarded part way up. We lived here two years. My sister Sarah Jenette was born while we lived in these tents, on October 2, 1883.

My father and grandfather took up land across the river north of Pima. This land was nothing but a mesquite thicket, but they knew the land when cleared and farmed would yield good crops. They cleared the land, built the ditches, and set out crops. In 1884, after the canals were completed and most of the land cleared, my father built a frame house on a piece of this land and moved his family over from Pima. My grandfather Bryce with his eleven children also built a house and moved here. We were the first settlers in this little place, so they gave it the name of Bryce, Arizona, named after our family. The town is still called Bryce, and a few of our family still live there.

My schooling began in Pima. After we moved to Bryce, they held school in my grandfather Packer’s home until a schoolhouse was built. John Felshaw was the teacher. There were twelve pupils to start with. I graduated here in Bryce. In those days, the sixth grade was about as high as they went.

Our entertainment in those days consisted of picnics, dances, and parties. My parents’ home was always open to the young folks. We were always having parties at our home. At these parties we would play games or have a program, such as telling stories, singing, telling jokes, etc. A crowd of us young people would get together in a wagon and go to the dances in different towns: Thatcher, Pima, Eden, and others. We always had good times. In my opinion, we had just as good a time as the boys and girls have in their cars today—not as fast, but I don’t believe there was so many killed either. We also did lots of horseback riding in groups.

My parents had eleven children, and I, being the oldest child, or the oldest girl, had to help Mother raise her family. I am grateful to my mother and father for all they taught me.

At a dance one evening, I met Perry Marcellus Merrill, from Thatcher. He asked me to go home with him; I accepted. He courted me for five years. His first means of transportation from Thatcher was a horse and saddle. It was a long ride, and in the winter time he would get so cold going home that sometimes he would get off from the horse and run alongside of him to get warm. After a few years of courtship like this, he secured a two-wheel cart, and then, just before we were married, he and some of his brothers bought a buggy, which he was permitted to use part of the time.

One time the Gila River came up so high while he was in Bryce to see me that he had to stay several days. When he finally crossed the river, he had to swim his horse.

Four generations.Four generations: child, Helen Orrilla Merrill; standing, left to right: Helen Rachel Howland Packer, Mary Helen Bryce Merrill, helen Diana Packer Bryce. Photo courtesy of Eastern Arizona Museum and Historical Society, Pima.

One night we got mad at each other and decided to split up. The next night Perry came back to see me, and we patched things up and the next night he asked me to marry him. Of course I accepted. We were very young, and my folks said we were too young to get married, and said we would have to wait a few years longer, so we did.

We were married December 28, 1898, in Bryce, Arizona, at my parents’ home. William Packer performed the ceremony, after which we had a turkey dinner. There were about 200 guests. After dinner, a big free dance was given. We all had a lovely time, one that will always be remembered.

We were blessed with five children, two girls and three boys. We raised four of them; one, Seth Perry, died at birth.

We moved down to Mesa, Arizona, after our children were married, and in May 1928, my husband and myself were sealed in the Mesa Temple. My husband became very sick, and on March 19, 1954, he passed away.

Ellis and Boone:

Mary Merrill was still alive when PWA was compiled. She passed away on June 13, 1977, age ninety-six.

The Mesa Arizona Temple was dedicated in October 1927 over a four-day period, with three dedicatory sessions on each of the first three days. This was a significant event for the Salt River Valley and for state of Arizona, with extensive newspaper and radio coverage both before and during the dedication. It is estimated that 200,000 people had previously toured the construction site and the completed temple.[117] People came to the dedication from California and Utah by train and from every corner of Arizona by wagon and car. Thurber Payne wrote, “Many of the available houses were filled with wall-to-wall people. Often three families, or more, would use the same house for sleeping and bathroom purposes. The floors in most of the rooms in the houses were used as places to sleep. People were seen sleeping on lawns and porches and in automobiles, parked as closely as they could be to the central place of excitement.”[118]

While it is not known that Perry and Mary Merrill were part of these services, they were nevertheless part of the great outpouring of temple work that first season. The Arizona Republican described the four-day dedication ceremonies and then stated, “Not all of those who came to the dedication, however, will leave immediately. Several have announced their intention to remain several weeks to do sacred work within the Temple.”[119] The last dedicatory session was Wednesday morning, and 375 baptisms for the dead were performed Wednesday afternoon.[120]

Frank T. Pomeroy summed up this first season of temple work, writing,

The Arizona Temple was built to accommodate companies of eighty.

The first four months the average session was 116, while the last four months the attendance increased, raising the average for the entire eight months to 120 per session, and the last month they not only doubled the monthly sessions held but increased the average to an attendance of 125 per session.

During the month of May there were 32 sessions held, the last week, three and four companies per day. The last week the sealing ordinances of husbands and wives and children to parents, both living and dead, were continued almost throughout the entire day.[121]

An explanation for this first season of temple work was given by Evan Tye Peterson. He wrote, “The first season of temple work in the Mesa Arizona Temple was from 27 October 1927 to 2 June 1928. (During the early years, the temple always closed for the summer.) It opened again on 8 September 1928.”[122] Mary Helen Packer Bryce Merrill was sealed to her husband before the temple closed for the summer in 1928.

Sarah Emma Kartchner Twitchell Miller

Roberta Flake Clayton, FWP

Maiden Name: Sarah Emma Kartchner

Birth: August 17, 1846; Pueblo, Pueblo Co., Colorado

Parents: William Decatur Kartchner[123] and Margaret Jane Casteel[124]

Marriage 1: Orrin Twitchell; June 11, 1864 (div)

Children: Emma Jane (1864), William Delany (1866)

Marriage 2: Ninian Miller; June 1, 1877

Children: Prudence (1878), Margaret (1879), Marion Francetta (1882), Allen Kartchner (1885), John Henry (1887), Phoebe May (1889)

Death: December 5, 1934; Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona

Burial: Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona

Being the first white child of American parentage born in the state of Colorado; accompanying her parents, who reached Salt Lake Valley, July 29, 1847; then to California, July 1, 1851, and to Beaver City, Utah in 1857; in May 1866 they moved to the “Muddy,” which is now Overton, Nevada, and back to [Panguitch,] Utah, in 1871; living first at a camp on the Little Colorado River known as Taylor and then to Snowflake in August 1878, are some of the qualifications that gave Sarah Emma Kartchner Miller the reputation of being a pioneer.

Sarah Emma Kartchner Twitchell Miller.Sarah Emma Kartchner Twitchell Miller. Photo courtesy of DUP album, Snowflake-Taylor Family History Center.

She was born in Pueblo, Colorado, August 17, 1846, where her parents, William Decatur and Margaret Jane Casteel Kartchner, with a group of other emigrants from Mississippi, were awaiting the arrival of the Mormon pioneers who were preparing to leave Illinois for the Great Salt Lake Valley.

Because of sickness of her mother and the care of a large family, Sarah was early pressed into service. At the age of seven, she learned to cook, preparing the meals for the others. It was later said of her that she had more care of the children than did her mother.

In spite of her household tasks, Sarah learned to spin and weave, taking the raw wool, carding and spinning it into yarn, then weaving it into cloth and making suits, dresses, and all kinds of clothing, thus literally taking the wool as it came from the sheep and making it ready for the backs of the family.

On June 1, 1877, Sarah became the wife of Ninian Miller, and their delayed honeymoon trip began in November of that year when they started with their father’s family and other families for the Indian-infested land of Arizona.[125] This trip lasted almost three months, but the honeymoon continued until the death of her husband, December 14, 1912.

Mr. Miller was born in Beith, Scotland, August 12, 1849, and inherited from his thrifty ancestors many sterling qualities, among them, honesty, dependability, and punctuality. To illustrate the latter virtue, a story is handed down to present generations of an incident that occurred in the early 1880s. Because of the qualifications listed above, Ninian Miller was selected by John Hunt, bishop of Snowflake, who was himself the soul of punctuality, to be the official bell ringer for all church and social gatherings. So accurate was the bell, a beautiful clear-toned one that could be heard two miles away, that all the people of the little village set their clocks by it. At one time, the occasion being the visit of the presiding bishop and some of the other church dignitaries of the LDS Church, Bishop Preston turning to Bishop Hunt said, “How about it Bishop, are you pretty punctual here?”[126] After consulting his watch, Bishop Hunt answered, “The bell will ring in just two minutes.” No “it should;” no “maybe so.” Every man took out his watch and stood waiting. In exactly two minutes, the bell in the white church spire sent out its sweet-toned invitation to the devout worshipers that in fifteen minutes the service would begin.

Sarah must have found it very trying at times to have everything in the home move as clockwork, but one recompense was that she knew her husband would be to his meals on time, and that is a big item in any wife’s life. These habits were early inculcated into the children of the family and are very gratifying.

Sarah agreed with “Poor Richard” that “honesty is the best policy,” and her two sons held positions of trust, and her daughters taught the principles of their parents to their own children.[127]

Mrs. Miller was of a retiring nature, willing and ready to serve, but wanting no praise or publicity, always hospitable and gracious to guests and kind and loving to her husband and children, who always knew where to find her. She made many beautiful quilts, wove rugs and carpets, and did all her family sewing. As a homemaker she was adept. Mr. and Mrs. Miller were the parents of six children, two boys and four girls. Her two eldest daughters died in early womanhood, each leaving a grieving husband and small children. This was a great sorrow to Mrs. Miller, but instead of uselessly mourning, she set about in her characteristic way to care for those who were bereft.

To her children, she gave every advantage that the town afforded. Like the Good Book says, “They shall rise up and call her blessed.”[128]

On December 5, 1934, Sarah Emma Kartchner Miller passed peacefully away in Snowflake, Arizona, and is buried beside her husband. She was a charter member of the Southern Colorado Pioneer Association, and each year received an invitation to their celebration. She was also a member of the Utah Pioneer Organization and was eligible for the California, Nevada, and Arizona Associations of First Pioneers.

Ellis and Boone:

In this sketch, Clayton simply did not mention the years between Sarah’s childhood and marriage to Ninian Miller.[129] Information about these missing years comes from Karen Henrie Miller: “Upon returning to Utah [from San Bernardino] they [the Kartchner family] settled at Beaver Utah. . . . In 1863 Sarah was seventeen years of age and met a young man by the name of Orrin Twitchell. They were married January 1, 1864. Orrin, Sarah and her family moved south to colonize the Big Muddy River. That colony did not turn out. Sarah was not happy with her marriage. Her husband was not a kind man. Sarah had a daughter, Emma Jane, born Oct 25, 1864 in Parowan, Iron, Utah, who died on June 21, 1865. The following year, she had a son, William Delany Twitchell, born May 30, 1866 and who died in August 1866.” Karen Miller also wrote, “Sarah left her husband soon after the baby was born and moved home with her parents. [She] was divorced in August of 1866. She took back her maiden name.”[130]

In 1871, Ninian Miller began keeping a journal. First he summarized his life up to that time, and then began intermittent entries, including his move back to Utah from the Muddy. The journal tells about many of the girls he dated, although in January 1874, he wrote, “Another year has gone. Have not thought it worth while to say anything about it.” On January 1, 1877, he summarized the previous year writing: “During this year I worked on the Temple in Saint George and donated $88 and had a good time with the girls in St. George and in December I became engaged to Miss Sarah Kartchner, a lady that I have been acquainted with for 17 years.” Sarah, however, was hesitant to remarry, probably remembering her first bad experience. On March 11, 1877, Ninian wrote, “Eugene Wyman performed at the school last night. He is a slight of hand performer. I took Sarah and after it was out, she told me that she had her doubts, but I guess it will come out all right. It is a still stream that has no ripples.” Many of the journal entries for that spring are similar. Ninian was finally able to calm Sarah’s fears, and they were married on June 1, 1877, in the St. George Temple.[131]

After Ninian Miller’s death, Sarah’s first two children were sealed to her and Ninian on October 4, 1916, in the St. George Temple.[132] The book The Kartchner Family lists a second marriage for Ninian Miller, but it also states that Sarah was a widow the last twenty-two years of her life.[133] As an explanation, Ninian once wrote, “Josephine Amelia Silver, born January 4, 1835. Died Jan. 13, 1898 in Snowflake, Arizona. . . . She was sealed to me Ninian Miller as a second wife. We were never married in this life. But Sarah and I took care of her until she died. She had severe arthritis and could hardly get around or take care of herself.” This sealing took place on October 5, 1905.

Margaret Lovina Brundage Millett

Roberta Flake Clayton, FWP Interview

Maiden Name: Margaret Lovina Brundage

Birth: January 12, 1865; Rockville, Washington Co., Utah

Parents: William Lane Brundage and Margaret Barbara Lang

Marriage: Artemus Millett; January 14, 1887

Children: Artemus Brundage (1887), Archie Lane (1889), Alma Wesley (1891), William Howard (1893), Nora (1898), Nathan Leonard (1900), Velva (1902), twins Earl Brundage and Pearl (1905)

Death: July 7, 1956; Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona

Burial: Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona

To dream of your future mate and to recognize her when you meet her was the romantic experience of William Lane Brundage. One of the tragedies of life would have been to have found her too late, but Margaret Lang must have dreamed also, for she waited thirty-five years for her lover to come, and all her life felt repaid for it because William was a loving husband, a patient father, and a good provider.

Margaret Lang’s mother [Margaret Lovina’s grandmother] was a seamstress, doing fancy sewing, buttonholes, and eyelets in shoes. They lived in Pennsylvania, and the daughter [Margaret Lang] remained with her mother and took care of her until she passed away. Then in 1860, Margaret [Lang] came west, and shortly after met and married William Lane Brundage.[134]

Margaret Lovina Brundage Millett.Margaret Lovina Brundage Millett, January 1940, age seventy-five. Photo courtesy of Don Millett.

They made their home in Southern Utah, a portion of the state that was called “Dixie,” partly because of its mild climate and partly because it was settled principally by Southerners who had joined the Mormons and migrated west.

On January 12, 1865, Margaret Lovina was born in Rockville, Washington County, Utah. There was plenty of hard work, as there always is in pioneering, and each member of the family had to assist as soon as old enough by doing little, easy tasks.

Margaret Lovina willingly assumed responsibility and did her part well. She was given what advantages for schooling the little town afforded; she looked forward for Friday afternoon when they had spelling bees, as she was sure to be one of the ones who stood up longest. Arithmetic was an easy study for her; she could usually solve problems “in her head” that the others would have to take their slates and pencils to work on.

One of Margaret Lovina’s theories was that if you enjoy to the fullest your youth, you will then be content to settle down after marriage and “not be chasing around,” so she stayed single until she had had her fling. Artemus Millett was the man who finally won this sensible girl.

Dancing was about the only form of amusement in those early days, and when they danced, they danced. None of these modern affairs that begin at 10 o’clock and last until about midnight. Their dances began at 7:00 p.m. and lasted till two in the morning, or until all were danced out, sometimes till broad daylight. She says many a time she has danced until her feet were so tired she had to take off her shoes and go home in her bare feet. This served to save her shoes, which was another item to be considered. She would never miss a set all evening. Among the great treats enjoyed in those days were “oyster suppers,” and what a treat they were. The boys would “chip in” and buy the canned oysters and soda crackers, and the girls would make the soup and furnish the milk and butter to go in it. Nothing else was needed to make the repast complete.

Millett family.Artemus and Margaret Millett family; front row: Artemus and Margaret; second row, left to right: Velva, Earl, Leonard, Nora, Pearl, and Howard; back row: Archie, Artemus, Wesley, c. 1910. Photo courtesy of Don Millett.

When Margaret Lovina was eighteen years old, her parents moved to Arizona, settling at Lehi, Arizona, on the Salt River, and arriving March 3, 1883. They traveled the southern [or western] route, crossing the Colorado River at Scanlon Ferry. Her father started out with a large herd of cattle and horses, but the feed and water was so scarce that the animals got so poor, the trails were so rough, and the cattle so footsore that he sold all of them but one milk cow. They milked her night and morning and drank the milk. The night’s milk was used the next morning for breakfast and the morning’s milk strained into a crock, and kept for evening. There was always a pat of butter in it that would be churned during the day by the jolting of the wagon. This cow proved to be very valuable to the family, as all of her calves were heifers. These Margaret Lovina’s father gave to his children, beginning with the eldest first, and from these calves each got a start in the cattle business.

The next year after the Brundages arrived in Arizona, Aaron MacDonald, who was driving mail, contracted smallpox, and the families were all exposed before anyone knew what it was; one of his brothers died of it. Margaret Lovina put her head through the window and talked to him, but none of them ever “took” either, so she thinks she must have been born immune to that terrible, dreaded disease, which formerly was nearly always fatal.[135]

When the first settlers came to the Salt River Valley, they could go out anywhere and load their wagons in half an hour with mesquite wood, it was so plentiful. Mrs. Millett remembers when they had to burn their old alfalfa to get it off their lands so they could raise another crop, due to the fact that there was no market for hay. To clear the land of brush, they made drags of heavy timber and hitched a team of horses at each end and dragged and leveled the land in this way. Mr. Millett was often employed to do this work. No wages were paid until the ground was sufficiently level and the water could be put on it.

There was freighting from Maricopa Station, the nearest railroad station, to Phoenix, which gave employment to the men with teams.[136] When asked for one of the amusing incidents of her early life, Mrs. Millett told the following story:

There was a girl here whose only ambition seemed to be to outdress the rest of us. Her home was built of grass, mud and chapparel [sic], but to see her decked out in her white swiss dress and white shoes and stockings you would think she just stepped out of a bandbox. One night after a dance, a bunch of the boys told her they were going out past her father’s farm and would take her home. She gladly got in the wagon with them, and when they got her out about half a mile they made her get out in a mud puddle and walk the rest of the way home. Well, that made us girls mad. We didn’t approve of the way she put all her father could earn on her back but they had no right to treat her that way, so the next Monday night when the same boys came to Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Meeting, we girls slipped down to the church, and out to the hitching post where their horses were tied, took off the saddles and bridles, and turned the horses loose. It took them three days to find them.

Another incident that she can laugh at now, but was anything but funny at the time, was one day when she was coming from town, where she had been to market her butter and get some things. She was alone in her one-seated buggy, with her umbrella and the lines in one hand and a setting of thoroughbred brown leghorn eggs in her lap and a roll of chicken wire under her other arm, when suddenly a squeaky wagon passed her, frightened her horse, and it ran away. There wasn’t a thing she had that she could let go of, so she just had to sit close and ride, until the fractious horse got ready to quiet down.

She made butter, even in July when ice was unknown in Salt River Valley. She would put her cream in a stone crock or gallon can and keep wet gunny sacks around it, and on churning mornings would get up extra early, when it was the coolest part of the twenty-four hours.[137]

Mrs. Millett says she never bought an egg, a fryer, a pound of butter, or a quart of milk in her life. Her husband was a good provider. He used to be away from home at work-making canals or leveling land. She would drive out twice a week to take food for him and the other workmen.

He was away at one time for three months and left her to care for a 40-acre farm during harvest. She showed her financial ability by selling enough milk, eggs, butter, and chickens to buy herself a cupboard and washer. Then she showed this same ability by taking care of her four children and the farm and financing her husband during a twenty-seven-month mission he performed for his church in Alabama.

Margaret Lovina Brundage Millett is the mother of nine children; she raised all to maturity. Her oldest son died after he was grown. The others are all alive, and the youngest, her twins, are past thirty-three years old now. She also has forty living grandchildren.

Mrs. Millett has been a widow for twenty-three years. Her husband was a sufferer from leakage of the heart for a long time prior to his death.[138] When he died in 1915, there was a thousand dollar mortgage on their eighty-acre farm and another thousand for doctor bills. These she paid and continued to carry on by taking washing or doing anything honorable she could find to do.

One thing that made it easier for her was a certain happy faculty she had of not wanting what she could not afford. She says wanting what you cannot have brings discontent.

When the children were small, the six boys only had one shirt and a pair of overalls each and the girls one dress, but these could be washed out after they went to bed at night and ironed in time for them to dress in the morning. With all her family, there was only one broken arm, and the children were never sick. She stayed at home and took care of them.

Now they would gladly take care of their beloved mother, but she is still very independent and takes care of herself.

“Why tell all of your troubles?” she asks. “Every one has enough of his own.”

She has hosts of friends who enjoy her wholesome cheerfulness and wish her many years of usefulness.

Ellis and Boone:

This sketch was originally submitted to the FWP on April 23, 1938, and was transferred to PWA without change, meaning all years are calculated from 1938. Two paragraphs, which were omitted for PWA, have been reinserted. The Millett sketch is an excellent example of Clayton conducting an interview versus collecting a sketch already written.

Juanita Brooks described these interviews in Utah. She said that women “were sent out to take interviews with the older people of the areas. They were instructed to get the important dates of birth, travels, marriage, positions held, and so on and to fill in with details of home management on the frontier, social activities, important events. They were to encourage reminiscences, impressions of visiting church leaders, of local leaders, of the polygamy raids, of anything in which the informant was interested. They would take notes, write them up as best they could, return to visit the person and read what they had written, supplement or change the story as needed, and finally bring it to us to be typed in a preliminary form before we made the final copy with carbons.”[139] With this sketch, and using this description, it is easy to envision Clayton visiting Margaret Millett, asking the questions and taking notes, then typing the sketch, and returning to get approval.[140]

Margaret Millett died in Mesa, on July 7, 1956, age ninety-one.

Sarah Alice McNeil Mills

Roberta Flake Clayton, FWP Interview[141]

Maiden Name: Sarah Alice McNeil

Birth: May 7, 1870; Bountiful, Davis Co., Utah

Parents: John Corlett McNeil and Mary Ann Smith[142]

Marriage: Daniel Mills; July 23, 1888

Children: Sarah (1889), Ray (1892), Maggie (1894), Nellie (1896), Ben M. (1899), Henry (1900), Ephraim M. (1902), Stella (1905), John (1909), Gilbur (1913)

Death: July 30, 1958; Show Low, Navajo Co., Arizona

Burial: Show Low, Navajo Co., Arizona

When a child, Sarah McNeil lived with her parents at Forest Dale, Arizona, on the Apache Indian Reservation, and most of her life has been spent near there.[143] She is intensely interested in the Indians, their customs and lives, and some of the older ones who knew her in her childhood frequently visited her at her home. While they liked to beg, they also liked to give and often brought her walnuts and pine nuts which they had gathered. To many of the Indians, Sarah was “Sekissen,” which means sister.

Sarah was born May 7, 1870, in Bountiful, Davis County, Utah, and came to Arizona in 1879 with her parents, John and Mary Ann Smith McNeil. They settled on a ranch near Shumway, where they spent the winter.

In the spring of 1880, Mr. McNeil moved his family to the Indian Reservation, settling at a small place called Forest Dale, where there were perhaps half a dozen other families engaged in farming. Of those early days Sarah says: “My brothers, sisters, and myself have played with the Indian children, worked with them and eaten with them. We have eaten everything they did except rats; we drew the line there.”[144] In the fall, when the piñon nuts were ripe and the rats had them stored away in their big community “nutteries” for the winter, the Indians would rob the nests and then out of the kindness of their hearts, I suppose, so that the rats wouldn’t starve during the cold winter, they would eat the rats too. But no rats for the little McNeils [children], although many times they knew the pangs of hunger in those pioneer days. They lived on moldy cornmeal bread and greens gathered from the hillside until they could raise a crop, and a little milk Sarah obtained by helping a neighbor milk his cow.

Sarah continues, “Before the railroad brought supplies into the country we had nothing better to eat than the Indians had.” And then after a moment’s pause she said, “In fact, we don’t now, since Uncle Sam looks after them, but I think that both white and red men are more often sick from what they eat than from what they can’t get to eat.”

During the summers spent at Forest Dale, the Indians camped near and made themselves at home at the home of the McNeils. Even Petone, the chief of that particular tribe, was a frequent visitor. One day Mr. McNeil jokingly told the chief that he could have Sarah for his wife. None of the family thought of it again until one day, when Sarah was alone in the house, Petone came and, taking her in his arms, said she was to be his [wife] and when she was a little older he was going to take her. “Me takey you to be my little hosay.” Sarah lived in constant fear that someday he might make his threat good, so it is no wonder that she was very much relieved and happy when a year or two after this he was killed in a “tulipi” brawl with two other Indians. When the shooting died down, a runner came with the news of the killing and to get help for the three who were wounded. Sarah, to satisfy herself, went to the bloody scene with her father and others, and sure enough there was Petone, lying dead with three bullet holes through him, with one of his [wives] sitting at his head and another at his feet, moaning and crying as only an Indian can. Alchesay, lying in a pool of blood, recovered and later became chief of the tribe.[145]

Sarah recalls the battle in which Petone was killed. The Indians were very fond of a drink they made called “tulipi.” Corn was mashed and covered with water, then left to ferment, and when it had “plenty kick” they would drink it with the effect that while it lasted, they owned the world. On this particular occasion [an Indian woman] had been at the home of the McNeils’s and left her baby strapped to its carrier. Mrs. McNeil was at a neighbor’s house when the shooting began and Sarah, fearing some of the Indians might see the baby and think they had stolen it, and also being alarmed for their safety because the bullets were flying around, sent her brother Eph for her mother. He had only gone a short distance from the door when a loud shot was heard, and he ran back into the house with his hands on his head, yelling at the top of his voice, “I’m shot in the head.” Sarah was frightened then in earnest, but upon examination, found it a false alarm. As Sarah was telling this story, she laughed at the memory of the Indian who came to give the alarm of the battle and to get help. How he ran so fast that his “gee string” stood out straight in the back.

Sarah McNeil Mills being honored on Mother's Day.Sarah McNeil Mills was honored on Mother's Day 1958 for civic activities, storytelling, and personal kindness. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Nikolaus Collection, Show Low Historical Society Museum.

Petone was not Sarah’s only Indian suitor, however. Later a young brave, known to all as Mike, who lived near them and worked for a neighbor, began casting “sheep’s eyes” at Sarah. When the work of the day was over and the children of the village would gather to play games such as “hide and go seek,” which Mike called “tugagole,” he would take delight in finding Sarah’s hiding place, but if he was hiding, he would always let Sarah “in free.” Sarah says of him, “He was a jolly lad with never an unclean thought, so we were always glad to have him join in our games.” One day he asked my mother how many horses she would take for me. Knowing he had only two horses and not dreaming he was in earnest, she laughingly told him “three.” What a surprise a few days later to see Mike come riding one horse and leading two others. The new one, a black mare, he had appropriated from a white man, Dave Savage. Although thwarted, Mike was undaunted and soon learned that wives were sometimes won without the aid of horses, so he began in this manner. “Sairih, me no likie Injun gel, me likie white gel. Injun gel too muchie stink.” Then he proceeded to press his suit. Sarah told him she could not marry him because Indians were mean to their [wives]. She had seen a few Indian women with their noses cut off as far as the bone, and others with slashes across their forearm. Mike told her he would not cut off her nose because she would not be untrue to him, and that only those that talked back to their husbands got their arms cut. Because he had stolen the third horse, he was sent back to the reservation.

After Sarah became the wife of Mr. Dan Mills, Mike came back and asked Mrs. McNeil where Sarah was. She told him and he said, “Sairih marry Dom. Et makie me cry. Maybe me kill Dom.” Not more than a year later he met Mr. Mills and said, “I gata marry, gata leetle boy, too. Maybe you like gib him sack of flour and pirty red hankerchier to tie round his head.” Dan had forgiven his rival and was glad to give the new born chieftain a sack of flour and a red handkerchief.

There were very few schools in those little settlements in those days. Sarah’s first teacher was a blind woman called Aunt Abbie Thayne.[146] It is said that her sense of hearing was so keen that she could distinguish the slightest sound, and a touch so delicate that she pieced a quilt of small calico pieces, and in the whole quilt there was only one piece that was wrong side out, and she said she knew when she made the mistake but was too tired to rectify it. With a teacher of such keen sensibilities, it is no wonder her pupils learned rapidly. The few weeks Sarah went to this school completed her scholastic training, but no one would know it from her ability to read and write, for like many another pioneer, she improved every opportunity that came her way and learned as she helped her children with their lessons.

Daniel Mills and Sarah were married July 23, 1888, in a civil ceremony by Colonel Corydon Cooley and later made the long journey to Manti Temple to be married in religious rites. They were the parents of ten children, six boys and four girls.

In 1890, the family moved to Sonora, Mexico, where Henry, the sixth child, was born. They stayed there two years and returned to Show Low. Then in 1905, they bought a plot of ground and with the help of a brother, Ephraim, built the home where Sarah lived the rest of her life.

Sarah Mills rejoiced in her posterity, and a rich one it is. During World War II, she had twelve grandsons, one son, and one grandson-in-law engaged in military service. Two grandsons lost their lives—Ray Mills, lost in a submarine, and Waldo Willis, killed when his ship struck a mine in the English Channel, and Marion West, a grandson-in-law, was killed in France.

Her home has always been open to her many friends and to anyone, red man or white, who needs help. She and her husband have resided in Show Low all of their married lives, and so she is an authority on Indians. Speaking of the clothes they used to wear, Mrs. Mills says she has done much sewing for them. The [Apache] women wear a sort of “full blouse” that comes down about three inches below the waist and a long full skirt.[147] It takes ten widths of print for the skirt, or eight widths of LL sheeting, besides the trimming, which sometimes consists of several ruffles as full as can be gathered.[148] The older women usually have their dresses [made] of the white [sheeting]. One time Mrs. Mills made a dress for a widow and thought to brighten it up a bit with trimming of red, but her efforts were unappreciated for the . . . [woman] cut off all the trimming with a butcher knife.

She has done sewing for many people. When they were sick, she nursed them back to health. Though not claiming to be a midwife, she has helped to deliver babies in emergencies.

No piece of cloth was ever wasted in the Millses’ home. She would take all the rags and dye them, then make them into rag rugs. Her children and grandchildren still look for the cookie jar, because no one can make cookies quite like she can. She knits her own stockings, an art she learned while she stayed in bed at age fourteen, nursing a broken leg. Says Mrs. Mills, “These things you buy don’t last long enough.”

March 13, 1937, her husband Daniel Mills died suddenly of pneumonia at Park-Navajo Hospital in Holbrook.[149] He was a quiet but a kind and considerate man, enjoying the confidence and good will of his friends and neighbors.

Sarah was a widow for twenty-one years. She was in poor health the greater part of her life; a fall from a horse injured her back, from which she never fully recovered and which caused her much suffering throughout the years.

Shortly before her death she was featured in the local newspaper as the “Personality of the Week.” The following is taken from that article by H. A. Hendrickson, principal of Snowflake Union High School:

Our personality of the week came to Show Low just two years after this famous card game was played, and the most frequent question they now ask her is, ‘Were you there when Cooley and Clark named the town by the turn of a card?’[150]

It isn’t often so much history can be tied in with one town and one person. Sarah M. Mills, 87-year-old resident of Show Low, is a walking encyclopedia of Show Low and surrounding areas. The history she has stored away in her mind, together with that which she has recorded herself, becomes all the more remarkable when you realize she attended school for only about three weeks in her lifetime.

She is the oldest person in Show Low in terms of residence. When you ask her any question about the past she either gives you a quick, direct answer, or goes to one of many references she has tucked away and lets you read the answer. Her scrapbook has pictures from her early childhood to the present.

As I walked up to Mrs. Mills’ door the other evening, the porch light was on. A little card was on the door. It said, ‘I’ll be back in a few minutes, please sit down and rest.’ And that is the way she receives everyone. No one is a stranger. She has appeared on television, talked with the great and humble, is a library of information, and a very remarkable woman. She enjoys company and will give you a keen appreciation of our great pioneer heritage.”

Sarah Alice McNeil Mills, eighty-eight, passed away at her home in Show Low July 30, 1958, after a lingering illness. She lies beside her husband in the Show Low cemetery.

Ellis and Boone:

Much of the Mormon narrative about Forestdale is based on late-in-life reminiscences. Andrea L. Smith found that people living in Show Low or other Navajo county communities had more varied stories and “a keener sense of Forest Dale as an actual geographical location” than people living in the Gila Valley, who physically were more distant (e.g., the stories told by eighty-five-year-old David Adams of Safford who had spent much of his life in Graham County).[151] Smith summarized the normal Mormon narrative: “after a brief stay, usually a year or less, they were forced off by ‘scoundrels’ who convinced the government to change the reservation boundaries.”[152] As an anthropologist and sociologist, she explored pioneer memories and their principal themes, which were often different from the history found in archival sources.

One of the important players in shaping the Forestdale narrative was Senator Henry Ashurst. In the 1910s, he encouraged Mormons who had lived at Forestdale to submit claims to the federal government. Similar claims had been paid to setters at Moenkopi/Tuba City. There were major differences, however, between the two sets of claims. First, the Mormons had lived at Moenkopi for twenty-five years, versus one to three years at Forestdale. Second, compensation was awarded only a few years after the Mormons left Moenkopi in 1900, versus thirty years later for Forestdale. Third, the total amount of compensation Ashurst was asking for those who lived at Forestdale was far greater than the amount given the Moenkopi settlers. Part of this problem comes from the amount of acreage claimed to have been settled or farmed. Most of the settlers reported claims for 160 acres, of which from 15 to 80 acres were reported farmed. This amounts to 2690 acres settled and 920–945 farmed, both completely unrealistically large figures.[153]

Ashurst also argued that the northern boundary of the Apache Reservation had changed. Some of the maps from that period are indeed inaccurate, but Franklin Lane, Secretary of the Interior, found that the boundary had never changed. He said, “I find, therefore, that the lands in question were unsurveyed Indian reservation lands at the time settlement was made thereon and can see no basis for any substantial claim on the part of the settlers, who entered thereupon at their own risk.”[154] A final argument made by some of the claimants and Ashurst was that at least one previous Indian agent, meaning Henry L. Hart, had encouraged the Mormons to settle in this area. Smith, however, found this to be completely out of character with Hart, and wrote, “The statements attributed to Hart in Frisby’s affidavit and subsequent sources resemble positions of an idealized Indian agent from the settler perspective.”[155]

Smith’s article about Mormons at Forestdale provides important historical background for the short stay of Mormons in the area. This sketch for Sarah Alice McNeil Mills fits into Smith’s findings that residents who stayed close to Forestdale had a broader understanding of its history and a greater appreciation for Apache neighbors.

Henrietta Pearce Hall Steers Minnerly


Maiden Name: Henrietta Pearce

Birth: June 15, 1852; Kanesville, Pottawattamie Co., Iowa

Parents: Harrison Pearce and Henrietta Cromeans

Marriage 1: Thomas John Hall; February 26, 1871

Children: Hannah Mary (1871), Thomas John Jr. (1873)

Marriage 2: Elijah Minerly Steers; January 11, 1877 (div?)

Children: Edna Maud (1877), twins William Howell and Harrison Pearce (1879), Parley Pratt (1881), James Lafayette (1884), Henrietta Amelia (1887)

Marriage 3: Albert Minnerly; May 1898

Death: October 21, 1941; Winslow, Navajo Co., Arizona

Burial: Taylor, Navajo Co., Arizona

I, Henrietta Pearce, daughter of Harrison and Henrietta Cromeans Pearce, was born in Kanesville, Iowa, June 15, 1852, as my parents were journeying to a place of safety in the Rocky Mountains, after passing through untold suffering incident to those times of trial.

Two babies were born after my parents left Nauvoo, while they were wandering homeless from place to place to try to find peace. One of my sisters, Nancy, aged twelve years, died of cholera on the Platte River and was buried by the side of the road.

The journey began in March 1846 and ended for a short time in Salt Lake City in September 1852,[157] but such men as Harrison Pearce were needed in so many places in a new country that in 1856 my father was called by President Brigham Young to go to Southern Utah to what is called “Dixie” to raise cotton, indigo, and madder for the manufacture and dyeing of clothing.[158] He was appointed as captain of the company who were called to go there. This was the first group to travel from “Old Harmony” over “Peter’s Leap,” where the wagons had to be let down by chains, not a vestige of road, only as the men went on ahead and cut brush, moved rocks, and made it possible for the teams to follow. It took two weeks to travel sixty miles. They located in a valley and named that new home Washington.[159]

Albert and Henrietta Pearce Hall Steers Minnerly.Albert and Henrietta Pearce Hall Steers Minnerly. Photo courtesy of Ida Webb Collection, Taylor Museum.

In 1860, our family moved five miles to what is now St. George. We were among the first to settle there.

Our family then consisted of three brothers and myself. Mother died in St. George, April 17, 1864, when I was twelve years of age. The next year, my father was called to go to Beaver Dams, Arizona, to locate and make it possible for others to come later. Here they were to raise cotton and grapes. They were soon followed by eight other families, but as it was impossible to make dams that would control the water, so the settlement like the one on the Muddy was abandoned, and we returned to St. George.

In 1877, when the colonists were being called to Arizona, it was necessary to ferry across the dreaded Colorado River. My father was a mechanic by trade and had helped on the temple and tabernacle in St. George, had been leader of the choir, and played in the band, was always willing to do whatever he was asked, so he was selected by Pres. Young to run the ferry, which bears his name to this day.[160] He remained there many years then returned to St. George, where he died May 28, 1899, with a dying blessing for all and enmity toward none.

My girlhood days bring pleasant memories as well as some sad ones. I was naturally of a cheerful disposition, and if there was a funny side to a situation, I always managed to find it.

I didn’t have much chance at schooling, but I was blessed with a remarkable memory and used to learn long poems, both dramatic and comic, to recite at the social gatherings that were our cultural amusements. I can still remember dozens of them.

On February 26, 1871, I was married to Thomas John Hall, son of Thomas and Ann Hughes Hall, in St. George, Utah. On December 16, 1871, our baby girl Annie [Hannah Mary] was born; on New Year’s morning 1872, I awoke to find my precious baby dead in my arms.

My husband was taken seriously ill in October 1873, and on the 10th of that month he died. Then I passed through the Garden of Gethsemane. Seeing his terrible suffering, I could say in all humility “Father, Thy will be done.” Our baby Johnnie was born October 11, while they were holding his father’s funeral.

In March 1874, I went with my brother Thomas and his family to Mount Trumbull, where they were getting out lumber for the St. George Temple. Only the small mill was there the first year, or until winter, when the large mill was installed. My sister-in-law was cooking for the workmen when my brother decided to take his family to St. George. I remained in charge of the boarding house, saving my money and building me a little home in St. George.

In 1877, I married Elijah Minerly Steers and had six children by him, the eldest a daughter, then a pair of twin boys, then two more boys, and the baby, a girl. One of the twins, my third boy, and my eldest daughter died when small. Thomas Johnnie, my eldest son, was thrown from a horse and brought home dead to me.[161] I had lost five of my children, my husband, and my father, and it seemed I could endure no more. I wanted to get away from it all, so I wrote to my brother James, who was living in Taylor, Arizona, and he came just as fast as he could and brought us to his home, myself and my three remaining children. This was in 1890.

I was considered a good cook, so I took that method of providing for myself and family. I moved to Snowflake, as the opportunities were better there. The most tragic occurrence that ever happened in that little town was enacted in the front yard of my boarding house, when James and Charles Flake came to arrest a desperado that had been there a couple of days. He was a desperate character, and killed Charles and wounded James before he was killed.[162]

The Navajo Indians used to come to the little farming towns every fall, on the pretense of gleaning the grain, but really to beg, or some of them to trade blankets for food. They would roam around town, making their calls at the homes just at meal time, and were usually fed. They soon found that I served meals at all hours, so that I was very annoyed with them. One day I tried a ruse that worked and has given many a good laugh to my friends. I looked out the window and saw about a dozen headed for my house, so I got behind the door, and when the first one stepped up I jumped out, ran my fingers through my short hair, stuck my tongue under my false teeth and pushed them out at him and shouted “Boo.” Well. he did not stop for gate; he turned and ran for dear life, knocking down half a dozen Indians who were in his way, leaped over the fence running down the street yelling “Loco” (crazy) as loud as he could, followed by the others as soon as they could get up, and I wasn’t bothered with any more Indians that year.

When Mary Jane Minnerly, the wife of the proprietor of the Snowflake Hotel, was stricken with a paralytic stroke, I went to their home and took care of her and the traveling public as well. She was a sufferer for many years, and I gave her the care that a mother would. Her husband took her to Mexico, and I accompanied them in 1898.[163] There we stayed until we were driven out by the Revolutionists, when we returned to Arizona, and Mr. Minnerly took up a homestead. He proved up on it shortly before he died, leaving his invalid wife solely in my care, and I cheerfully waited upon her until she died [in 1928].

Henrietta Hall (Minnerly).Henrietta Hall (Minnerly), as part of the Snowflake Relief Society, c. 1895. Photo courtesy of Sinson Museum, Snowflake.

Now I spend my time visiting among my children and grandchildren, with whom I am always welcome. I love to read and spend much time doing this, and then for pastime I knit lace, tidies, and sweaters.[164] My eyesight is good, my hearing keen, and I enjoy visiting with my many friends.

Most of the deaths in my family have been sudden ones, and I have borne much, but it seems that the death of my son William, from an infection, was among the most severe of my trials as he left a wife and twelve children, but they are bravely carrying on, so life is dear to us after all.[165] When the last call comes for me, I shall go with a smile on my lips to meet my loved ones “over there.”

The life of this wonderful woman came to an end October 21, 1941, and she went with a smile on her lips, as she said she would.

Ellis and Boone:

When Henrietta remarried in 1877, she became the third wife of Elijah M. Steers, and he married one more woman a year later. Elijah Steers and his wives illustrate the highly fluid nature of some polygamous marriages.[166] Elijah had children by all four women. By 1880, Elijah’s second wife had left him and married someone else; by 1886, his first wife had left him and remarried. Whether Henrietta ever got a divorce is unknown, but by 1890, Henrietta left for Arizona, and Elijah moved with his fourth wife to Idaho. Although Henrietta’s statement about “loosing her husband” before the move to Arizona could refer to the death of Thomas John Hall, it more likely refers to the end of Henrietta’s marriage to Elijah Steers.

In Arizona, Henrietta had three Steers children who grew to adulthood, and all three used the Hall surname. Although this could have been a form of modern levirate marriage, it seems more likely a reaction to the breakup of her marriage to Steers. Interestingly, the death certificate of James Lafayette Hall lists his father as Thomas John Hall, while the death certificate of William Howell Hall lists his father as Elija[h] M. Steers.

On a more positive note, while caring for Mary Jane Minnerly, Henrietta married Albert Minnerly as a plural wife.[167] When Albert died on October 4, 1917, at Taylor, Arizona, Henrietta was informant for the death certificate and signed her name as Henrietta Minnerly. When Mary Jane Minnerly died on January 9, 1928, in Snowflake, Henrietta Minnerly was again the informant. Because Albert and Mary Jane Minnerly had no children, Henrietta’s care of both for so many years was a particularly noteworthy act of charity. In 1968, Henrietta’s granddaughter wrote, “She took the very best care of ‘Aunt Jane,’ as we called her. Even now, I can see her carrying a basin of steaming water to the big bay window that faced the Snowflake High School campus. Aunt Jane sat looking out this window day after day. Henrietta would wash Aunt Jane’s face and hands, brush her white hair and feed her. Then she would put a white, clean apron on her so that she would always look fresh and neat.”[168]

When Henrietta herself died in 1941 at the home of her daughter Millie Winn, she was listed as Henrietta Hall.

Eleanor Crawford Roberts Morris

Sophia Isadora Morris Pomeroy, FWP[169]

Maiden Name: Eleanor Crawford Roberts

Birth: November 9, 1830; Morgan Co., Illinois

Parents: Adonijah Roberts and Elizabeth Crawford

Marriage: Hyrum Bowles Morris;[170] August 8, 1852

Children: Laura Elizabeth (1854), William Edwin (1857), Hyrum Bowles (1863), Eleanor Rebecca “Nell” (1866), Eliza Roberts (1870), Sophia Isadora “Dora” (1873)

Death: August 2, 1909; Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona

Burial: Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona

A group of young men had just returned from the gold fields of California, and the city of Quincy, Illinois, was all agog over the interesting tales and hair-raising experiences told by them. Among them was one who seemed to stand out as a leader; a fine stalwart upstanding young fellow, bronzed from his two years and more of roughing it and living in the open, he was keenly alert because of the intense training and knowledge acquired by having passed through the experience.

Young Hyrum Bowles Morris was the lion of the hour and a real catch, for he had brought home with him some $3000 in gold dust, sewed in small canvas bags, and carried in an old fashioned carpet bag.

Naturally all the girls vied with each other for a smile or a word from young Morris, but there seemed to be only one that took his fancy. She was a former school friend, a shy retiring girl with large blue eyes and dark hair, named Eleanor Crawford Roberts, who lived with her brother, John, in Quincy, Illinois. It was in the fall of 1851 when the 49ers came home, and young Hyrum lost no time in trying to win the fair Eleanor’s hand.

There was not the variety of entertainment in those days as there is now, and if a young swain escorted his lady love anywhere, they had either to walk, ride horseback, or drive the farm wagon. Young folks got quite a thrill out of attending the camp meetings held at various places in the woods, and could often be seen carrying their best shoes till almost to the gathering place, where they would sit down on a log and put them on, for shoes were a valuable possession in those days.

One evening, Hyrum and Eleanor were very much interested in watching one lady at a revival making preparations for real shouting. She took out her combs and handed them, together with her amber beads, rings, and earrings, to a friend to hold for the time being. As the shouting progressed, this lady worked herself into a perfect frenzy and at last fell in a sort of a faint on the ground.[171]

Hyrum bought a farm eight miles from Quincy and began clearing it for occupancy and prepared to build a three-roomed log house. When the house was built, he lost no time in getting the girl, and on August 8, 1852, he married Eleanor C. Roberts, the daughter of Adonijah Roberts and Elizabeth Crawford.

In those days, it was the custom for the young man to give a dinner one or two days before their wedding, called the “Infare” dinner, and on this day he gave Eleanor a beautiful paisley shawl, paid for with gold dust. After the wedding, their household and kitchen furnishings and supplies for beginning house keeping, and home making, were bought and paid for with gold weighed out in dust. Here they lived happily, and on April 20, 1854, their first child, Laura Elizabeth, was born.

Hyrum had a widowed sister, and Eleanor had to assume the care of one of her children for a number of years. Hyrum’s older brother and two sisters had been converted to the Mormon faith, and in 1859 his wife, Eleanor, was baptized.

In the spring of 1860, they started west in Captain Walling’s company, presumably for California, but his wife’s continual prayer was that they would go no further than Utah. Just after beginning the journey, his sister Nancy’s children had measles, and the children were all exposed and took the disease and were very sick.[172] Eleanor’s little boy Edwin, known as “Little Dock,” contracted pneumonia and died May 29, 1860.[173]

There was no help to be had, except in the traveling company. They were far from any towns, but one man who had been over the route before knew where there was a graveyard of five graves, so after Hyrum had made a little casket out of a tabletop, they loaded the things into the other wagon and, taking the spring wagon with the little casket, Hyrum, Eleanor, their little girl, and a man named Kenner, drove till late at night to reach this spot.[174]

Picture, if you will, the sadness of this scene that night: Digging a little grave in a strange land, so dark, so alone, with danger from Indians, wolves howling not far away, the little casket lowered and all heaping rocks on top to keep out marauding wolves. No songs, no sermon, just a short simple prayer, leaving their beloved baby in God’s keeping—then the long drive ahead to catch the company, and not knowing if they ever would reach the company or not. He was buried on the banks of the Platte River near what is now Columbus or Genoa in Nebraska with just five other graves for company.

A few days after this, there was a terrible stampede of buffalos, which came very near rushing all of them over the bluff above the Platte River, but by firing a gun at the leader of the herd, they succeeded in turning them the other way and the company was saved.

Arriving in Salt Lake City in August 1860, they had to wait over, as they were out of supplies, and Hyrum went to work at once for Bishop Archibald Gardner. Eleanor begged Bishop Gardner to persuade her husband not to go on, which he did to such good purpose, that in October 1861 he [Hyrum] was baptized into the Mormon Church and did not care to go on.

In March 1862, as the southern Utah section was needing pioneers, the old spirit of pushing into new lands became uppermost, and he with his little family journeyed south and after some time located in Springdale, a small town on the Virgin River. It was here on February 14, 1863, that their son Hyrum B. Jr. was born.

The family soon moved a few miles farther down the river to a better location at Rockville and bought a home and planted out a large fruit orchard. They also owned a tract of land up the river, in Zion’s Canyon, where the Lodge now stands in Zion’s National Park. He used to go up to this place to get the material for making barrel staves. He also worked at his cooper’s trade here, which was a great help to all in this section.

For twelve years he served as head scout in the Indian trouble, which repeatedly broke out. He had many thrilling experiences and narrow escapes. At one time he left home and dear ones, expecting to be back within twenty-four hours, but his party of perhaps a dozen men were cunningly lured on and craftily led into a box canyon, where they were kept bottled up for eighteen days but were finally rescued in an almost starving condition by U.S. soldiers.

Years afterwards, when peace had been restored, a former Navajo leader said he crept so near their camp that he recognized Hyrum, who had one time come to the Indian village and, with Eleanor’s help, had cared for his sick Indian baby, saving its life, so this Indian had slipped away and carried word to the soldiers.

May 14, 1866, a baby daughter, Eleanor R., was born, and when ten days old, the settlers all were ordered to move at once to Grafton for protection. The husband being away after renegade Indians, Eleanor hired a man to move her few things and she and her three little ones to this place. He came with just the running gears of the wagon, on which he placed three boards, and she had to sit on this and hold the little ones on while they made the trip in one of those red dust or sand storms so common there.

They moved into a three-roomed house with three other families, and, having to live on dirt floors, both she and the baby contracted colds that came near being the death for both. Aunt Annie Millet, a very eccentric old lady, lived in one of the rooms, and little Hyrum had watched her dyeing yarn. So one day, when her back was turned, he put her two white kittens in the dye pot, and when she lifted them out, they were a beautiful blue.

Morris family.Eleanor Roberts Morris family; front row, left to right: Laura Elizabeth, Hyrum Bowles (father), Eleanor (mother); standing: Eliza, Hyrum Bowles Jr., Eleanor "Nell," Sophia Isadora "Dora;" c. 1890. Photo courtesy of Wayne and Phyllis Johnson.

Once, during these perilous times, when Eleanor and her little ones, with her sister-in-law and her little children, were living together as Hyrum was away, their flour got so low that they thought every meal would be the last. They prayed for the Lord to keep them through till their men folks came home, and for ten days that flour never lessened, but the very day the men came, the flour gave out. They had to live on cane seed bread for two weeks until flour could be brought from Beaver.

Some time later, peace being restored, everyone moved home again, and in April 10, 1870, Eliza R. was born. Exactly three years later, at the same time of day, the last baby, Sophia Isadora, was born.

Their daughter Laura was married December 30, 1876, to Frank Rappleye, and they went up near Richfield to live. Fruit drying and hauling it north was the main source of revenue.

Now that all was peace and quiet, Hyrum longed for more new country to conquer, so in company with George Staples and Frank Rappleye, they made a trip to Mesa, Arizona, in the spring of 1882 and liked the country so well that they each purchased a 40-acre farm. Returning to Utah as soon as possible, Hyrum sold his lands and all properties. January 27, 1883, he started with his family to return to Arizona.

He had an outfit of five wagons, six teams, twenty-five head of loose horses, and fifty head of cattle. He was accompanied by William Brundage and family, William Lang and family, Paul Huber and family, Charles Slaughter and son Frank, Hyrum Smith, Joseph Hirshey, and James Wilkins. At St. George, the company was organized by Erastus Snow, with Morris as captain, Brundage as chaplain. President Snow promised the company if they would sing a hymn and have a prayer every day, they would have no serious trouble, but would reach their destination in safety, which was fulfilled.

The company came by Pearce’s Ferry, where near tragedy was narrowly averted.[175] The ferry had been sold by Mr. Pearce to a man who had little experience with the ferry, which was a flat boat driven by oars. After being loaded, the boat was hauled some distance up stream and then allowed to follow the current down to the landing on the other side.

After taking three wagons across and ready to start with the fourth—which, by the way, was the one in which were Mrs. Morris and the girls—they saw a man coming down the hill toward the ferry, very fast and waving his white shirt, and shouting for them to wait his arrival, as though greatly excited. It was Mr. Pearce riding a horse, bareback, and on arriving he ordered places on the floor of the boat to be uncovered. It was found to be full of water, which he had baled out at once, declaring that the boat would have sunk in midstream.

On the Hualapai Desert, while traveling along, the children had been allowed to walk beside the wagons for a change, when all at once from over near the foot hills a band of Indians were seen riding swiftly toward the company. Hyrum was riding a horse that day, and all children were quickly piled into wagons. The train was closed up nearer, and every man was told to have his gun ready if needed, but not too plainly in evidence.

His early day training stood him in good need now, and as the Indians approached, he rode out to meet them waving a white kerchief as a signal of peace. To the great joy of all, it was found to be a friendly band of Hualapai’s selling pine nuts, and you can believe they soon disposed of all they had, trading them for flour and other things.

At Hackberry, many of the horses and cows had become tender footed and had to be sold, but the rest were brought on through.[176]

On reaching Phoenix, it was found to be a very lively place, but with a great many saloons and feed stables. Here the teams of freighters stood, some with thirty-two horses drawing the wagons, and all driven by one “jerk line.”[177] Also the burro pack trains were much in evidence. When Salt River was reached, there was quite a raise in the river, but after a little quicksand was encountered, all crossed over in safety.

They arrived in Mesa, March 3, 1883, and put up tents for a few days until they could look around. The second day, one of those “sea breezes or zephyrs” came up and lowered every tent in camp. Quite an introduction to the place.

Hyrum bought a lot with a one-room adobe house on it, in the west part of town, where they lived and worked on the farm. He also hauled produce to the mining camps. This first summer was truly a nightmare, as one of the young men who came with them took sick and, in spite of all that could be done, soon died.[178]

Then came the smallpox siege, which was so terrible, taking half of many a family. The town was quarantined in, and it was pretty hard living, but Hyrum stayed at the ranch and raised the crop and ran a molasses mill. Eleanor cared for the home and the family. None of their family was stricken.[179]

The land was unusually fertile, and many of the melons raised this year weighed fifty pounds each. Hyrum was a great one for an orchard and soon had a fine one growing. Being a Kentuckian, he always had a number of fine-breed horses on the place and made pets of all of them.

In 1883, the Apache Indians went on the war path and threatened to wipe out Mesa and Jonesville (now Lehi), but the Pima and Maricopa Indians said the white men had been their friends, and they now would help them. They formed a line of defense out east on the desert, which they maintained for days, but the Apaches never made the attack. At this time, the Indian men wore nothing but a breech clout or “gee-string” and had much paint on their bodies, and the women wore a wrap-around made of about 1½ yards of calico wrapped closely under the arms.[180]

Times were very hard, and there being only two girls left in the family, they had to help their father on the farm and became adept in all kinds of work. Dora, especially, who was very hardy, went to the field with her father, pitching hay, handling the team, milking cows, or chopping wood, as the need was.

In 1886, while returning from Pinal mines, his wagon caught on fire from a match thrown by a transient to whom he was giving a ride. He tried to drive to water to save the outfit, but he drove over five miles and then the flames were beyond control. He got the team loose and then realized he was on fire himself.

He saved his money, but he was terribly burned from his shoulders to his hips on his back. His hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, and ears were terribly burned, as were his hands and face. This happened in May, and he did not recover until late October.

Through all the trials of early settling, they both remained true to the faith and were devout workers. Eleanor held responsible Relief Society offices.

In October 1907, Hyrum contracted gangrene poison in his left leg, and to save his life, it was decided to amputate the limb at the knee. Although he was eighty-six years old, it was thought that, owing to the clean life he had lived, he could stand the ordeal. The operation was successful, and the wound healed nicely, but the shock to his nerves was too much, and after much suffering, this grand old man passed away, January 21, 1908, age eighty-six years and twenty-nine days. He held the love and respect of all who knew him.

A short time later, August 2, 1909, Eleanor died. They are both laid to rest in the Mesa cemetery and have left behind them a numerous line of posterity, who love and honor their name and memory.

Ellis and Boone:

Eleanor Morris, with her husband and children, substantially contributed to the establishment of Mesa, Arizona. As Ethel Stewart Russell of the DUP Maricopa County Camp once noted, “Nearly all of these families who came to [Mesa,] Arizona in these early groups were fairly well to do, considering in a frontier way, and were people of education.”[181] This would include the Morris family, who left Utah with five wagons, twenty-five horses, and fifty head of cattle. Also significant to the history of Mesa was daughter Dora, who married Frank T. Pomeroy. He began publishing the Genealogical and Historical Magazine of the Arizona Temple District in 1924 and often included articles about early Mesa pioneers.[182]

May Day celebration.Pioneer Celebrations: May Day. One pioneer tradition which has fallen into disuse is May day and the braiding of a maypole. These Mesa girls, photographed on May 1, 1891, include many of the early Mormon pioneer families. Later in Mesa, the tradition was celebrated as a community affair or sometimes at DUP meetings. In 1878 when the Bagley family was coming to Arizona, daughter Cedenia (809) remembered, "The first day of May, we nooned on the desert among beautiful wild flowers. My sister, Melissa with her three children, had separated from her husband and was with us. To cheer her up and also to observe an old custom, she was crowned the queen of the May." In 1922, the Relief Society Magazine reported that in Mesa, "during the noon recess [of a stake Relief Society conference,] a May festival was held and Mrs. [Mary] Clark was crowned Queen of May," honoring her as stake Relief Society president. Photo courtesy of Lucille Brewer Kempton.


[1] Cora B. Merrill and Loraine Simmons, “David Henry Matthews,” in Burgess, Mt. Graham Profiles, 1:240; “David Henry Matthews,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:601.

[2] Daniel H. Wells (1814–1891) was made second counselor to Brigham Young in 1857 and served until 1877, but he was never an Apostle. Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1649.

[3] David Henry Matthews served as Presiding Elder from 1885 to 1888 and as bishop of the Matthews Ward from 1888 to 1896; he also served as Graham County supervisor from 1897 to 1901 and on the school board for district 15 from 1907 to 1908. Cora B. Merrill and Loraine Simmons, “David Henry Matthews,” in Burgess, Mt. Graham Profiles, 1:240.

[4] Although most women managed with just a midwife, each of the elements in this story was typical for a difficult birth. Of a birth in Cache Valley, Utah, Sheri L. Dew wrote, “On August 4, 1899, as Sarah’s labor began, George [Benson] administered to her. Dr. Allan Cutler attended her in the bedroom of their farm home, with both grandmothers, Louisa Benson and Margaret Dunkley, there. The delivery was protracted. As the baby, a large boy, was delivered, the doctor couldn’t get him to breathe and quick laid him on the bed and pronounced, ‘There’s no hope for the child, but I believe we can save the mother.’ While Dr. Cutler feverishly attended to Sarah, the grandmothers rushed to the kitchen, praying silently as they worked, and returned shortly with two pans of water—one cold, the other warm. Alternately, they dipped the baby first in cold and then in warm water, until finally they heard a cry. The 11¾ pound boy was alive! Later both grandmothers bore testimony that the Lord had spared the child. George and Sarah named him Ezra Taft Benson.” Dew, Ezra Taft Benson: A Biography, 13–14.

[5] There is a discrepancy in the death date. Ancestral File and cemetery records list it as November 4, 1939; the AzDC lists it as November 3. Glenbar Cemetery records are available at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~grahamcem/glenbar.html.

[6] Myrick, Railroads in Arizona, 1:57–61.

[7] Burgess, Mt. Graham Profiles, 2:64.

[8] Ibid., 1:240.

[9] Myrick, Railroads of Arizona, 2:829.

[10] Ibid., 2:829–58.

[11] In an Ancestral File attachment, this sketch is attributed to Julia E. Ferrin (who died December 23, 1966, and not in 1915 as is reported in some of the entries at Ancestral File).

[12] “James Andrew McBride Jr.,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:602.

[13] AzDC is listed under Elizabeth Clark McBride.

[14] See comments from Ellis and Boone. The Ellen made repairs at Cardigan Bay, not Cordern Bay, and arrived at New Orleans on March 14, and not April 13, both as originally reported in PWA.

[15] The Clark family (with father listed as Edward) traveled to Utah with the Henry W. Miller company of 1852. The family consisted of Edwin (age 32), Lucy (age 33), Sarah (age 6), Elizabeth (age 5), Annie (age 3), and Edwin (or Edward) (age 1). They left Kanesville, Iowa, on July 8 and arrived in Utah on September 10. There were 229 people and 63 wagons. MPOT.

[16] Sarah Clark was born in 1844 and died September 7, 1852.

[17] Sometimes called honeydew, this is a sugar-rich excretion from aphids. For another report of pioneers using this for food, see Louesa Park Harper, 260. Pioneers learned to rely on faith and received quail, honeydew, a never-empty flour bin, and green manna (a fast-growing plant in the Manti area). “Green Manna,” Saga of the Sanpitch, vol. 9 (1977): 27; http://sanpete.com/downloads/saga/Saga_of_the_Sanpitch_9.pdf.

[18] After the Saints were settled in Utah, a movement to rekindle faith and observance was initiated by Church leaders, which often included rebaptism. The movement was short-lived (1856–57), in part because of the approach of Johnston’s Army. Paul H. Peterson, “Reformation (LDS) of 1856–1857,” Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:1197–98.

[19] Henry Jedediah Clark (1857−1938). PWA originally had “My brother,” but Jed Clark was not a brother of the writer; he was instead a younger brother of Elizabeth McBride, thus an uncle of the writer. He died February 18, 1938. AzDC, Henry J. Clark.

[20] Patriarch Nicholsen is unidentified at this time; he does not seem to have been part of the St. Joseph Stake. Two patriarchs served the stake during this period, John Bilby and Hyrum Weech, both ordained on February 8, 1920. More than one patriarch may be required to meet needs of a stake, including a large number of members or special geographical or bilingual requirements. Taylor, 25th Stake of Zion, 377–78.

[21] Sonne, Saints on the Seas, 150; Sonne, Ships, Saints, and Mariners, 65.

[22] See Upton and Ball, “Who Robbed Major Wham? Facts and Folklore behind Arizona’s Great Paymaster Robbery,” 99−134; Upton, “Robbing the U. S. Army: Facts and Folklore Behind the Wham Paymaster Robbery,” http://wham.org/UptonRob.htm; Ann Horton Matthews Holladay, 277.

[23] Pioneer Town: Pima Centennial History, 112−13. Paragraphs combined.

[24] “Mary Jane ‘Mamie’ McRae,” in McGuire and McDowell, McRae Clan, 44–47.

[25] See Maria Taylor McRae, 436.

[26] The last two children were premature births and were not twins; David M. McGuire was born February 27, 1916, and died March 10, 1916; Mary McGuire was born October 25, 1916, and died the same day.

[27] During the three months between leaving Lehi and arriving at the San Pedro River, men from the company worked at a sawmill owned by Thomas Gardner in the Santa Rita Mountains.

[28] Generally, this earthquake is held responsible for the advent of artesian water and also for swamps drying up, providing relief from malaria. Early settlers along the San Pedro often had a “sugar bowl” full of quinine on the table. Mary Reynolds, “1887 Quake Taught Hydrologic Lessons,” Arizona Daily Star, May 4, 2015.

[29] About the Thatcher Academy, Ryder Ridgway wrote, “With a new faculty and a new Principal, son of Dr. Karl G. Maeser, first president of the noted Brigham Young Academy at Provo, the St. Joseph Stake Academy opened its doors to students on December 19, 1898. The young and able Maeser was assisted in his duties by John F. Nash, Mrs. Lillian Maeser, Mary McRay [sic], Li[ll]ie Curtis and W. Moore Claydon.” One might assume that the Mary McRay mentioned by Ridgway is Mary Jane McRae, but the dates seem wrong. In addition, PWA originally called this man Karl G. Maeser Jr., but no such person existed. It was Emil Maeser who served as principal until he accepted a position at the University of Utah in 1903. John F. Nash then became principal of the Gila Academy until he was called on a mission to Australia in 1906. Burgess, Mt. Graham Profiles, 2:378–79; Taylor, 25th Stake of Zion, 57; Butterworth, 1,000 Views of 100 Years, 26.

[30] Robert Lindsey McCall (1870–1952) was born in Australia; he and his first wife joined the Church and immigrated to Utah. He married again in 1890, and the family moved to Mexico. McCall, his two wives, and son came out of Mexico in 1912 and settled at Miramonte. When this settlement was dissolved, he moved to Pomerene, where he was made bishop in 1921. Roe, “On the Bench”, 345–54.

[31] These are children of Milton and Hattie Williams McRae; she died June 4, 1924, after giving birth to a son on May 31. In 1930, daughter Melba (age 7) was living with Mary Jane McRae McGuire in Mesa and daughter Dorothy (age 10) was living with her grandmother, Hattie Williams, in Thatcher. 1930 census, Hattie Williams, Thatcher, Graham Co., Arizona; John S. McGuire, Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona.

[32] McGuire and McDowell, McRae Clan, prefatory pages.

[33] “Joseph McRae,” in McGuire and McDowell, McRae Clan, 9–14.

[34] On July 25, 1933, Rae Rose Kirkham interviewed Sophia McLaws, and later that interview was submitted to the FWP, probably by Kirkham or Clayton (“Mrs. John McLaws (Sophia De La Mare McLaws),” FWP, ASLAPR). Kirkham gave most of the story in Sophia’s own words. There was a detailed description of the 1876 trip from Tooele, Utah, to Allen’s Camp (later called Joseph City) and early life there. This sketch, however, is a completely different account. Although PWA lists this sketch as from Lorna Cummins, the use of “Daddy” and “Mother” at the end would lead to the conclusion that at least part was written by Agnes Estelle McLaws Cummins and then given to RFC by Estelle’s granddaughter Lorna Cummins.

[35] AzDC was not located for Sophia McLaws.

[36] MPOT lists Phillip De La Mare crossing the plains in 1852 with two different companies—his own company and the Harmon Cutler company. Mention of the sugar manufacturing equipment is mostly found under the Phillip De La Mare company. Also see Hartshorn, “Philip De La Mare, Industrialist for the Saints.”

[37] Perhaps this should read “fifty trail-miles between Kanab and House Rock Spring.” The geodesic (“as the crow flies”) distance between Kanab and House Rock Spring is thirty-one miles.

[38] Westover and Richards, Unflinching Courage, 29−30. Paragraphs combined.

[39] Mary Pickett in Tenney and Ellsworth, Diamond Jubilee Gems, 47.

[40] Joseph W. McMurrin (1858–1932) was born in Tooele, Utah, and died in Los Angeles, California. Later as president of the California Mission, of which Tucson and St. David were a part, he often traveled to visit the Saints in southern Arizona. Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1642; Ellis, Latter-day Saints in Tucson, 53; “Joseph William McMurrin,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Bibliographic Encyclopedia, 1:216–18.

[41]“[Story from Joseph City] As told to Alice S. Hansen by Sophia McLaws,” in Tenney and Ellsworth, Diamond Jubilee Gems, 48.

[42] Ibid., 48–49.

[43] This sketch is the combination of a FWP interview by RFC and additional notes by McNeil’s daughter. The first part of this sketch has been reformatted as found in the FWP sketch, and the items left out of PWA have been reinserted.

[44] This ship was listed as “Speedwell” in the FWP sketch but was corrected to “Well Fleet” in PWA. The ship Wellfleet, with 146 Saints, sailed from Liverpool on May 31, 1856, and arrived at Boston on July 13. Sonne, Ships, Saints, and Mariners, 196.

[45] Although PWA called this man “Hansel Harmon,” MPOT lists Mary Ann Smith as being part of the Ansil P. Harmon company that came to Utah in 1862.

[46] With this marriage, Mary Ann Smith entered polygamy, becoming the third wife of John McNeil; she was fifteen and McNeil was forty-five.

[47] With this combination of animals to pull their wagon, it is interesting to contemplate whether the cows were yoked or harnessed.

[48] PWA originally had Charlie Cooley here, but surely she meant Corydon Cooley; Charles P. Cooley was a son of Corydon Cooley and was not born until 1882. Charles Paul Cooley, AzDC; 1930 census, Charles P. Cooley, Holbrook, Navajo Co., Arizona.

[49] PWA indicates they stayed in Mexico five years, and the FWP sketch has twelve years. Both are possible if various family members returned to Arizona separately.

[50] For a description of step dancing, see n. 2 in Medora White Call, 97.

[51] See Hancock, Legacy of Faith: the Life History of Mary Ann Smith McNeil; “Mary Ann Smith McNeil (1853−1944): Polygamist Wife’s Diary from Utah to Arizona and Mexico,” http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/18133031/person/708306568/story/0937fedf-ad1c-460e-9aab-bd0c5aff9649?src =search.

[52] RFC, “Mary Ann Smith McNeil,” FWP, ASLAPR, 8.


[53] McGuire and McDowell, McRae Clan, 18–20; “Maria Taylor McRae,” in Enduring Legacy, 11:284–289.

[54] The family pronounced her name with three syllables, the accent on a long “i” (like Mariah, as was written in the Emma Merrill sketch, 450).

[55] This date is also listed as March 4 or 5, see McGuire and McDowell, McRae Clan.

[56] Although later sewing references are to construction of clothing, this is apparently a reference to embroidery. Today, counting threads generally refers to needlepoint or cross-stich (including black work and white work) on linen or wool. For a history of embroidery and modern applications, see Wilson, Embroidery Book.

[57] Joseph Edward Taylor sailed on the ship Ellen in 1851 and came to Utah with the Joseph Outhouse company of 1852. MPOT; Sonne, Ships, Saints, and Mariners, 65; findagrave #18639449.

[58] Maria’s parents separated or divorced about 1850. Her father, George Edward Grove Taylor, apparently did not come to Utah until 1866 when he sailed on the American Congress with his wife Jane Baxter and their four children. They were part of the John D. Holladay company of 1866, arriving in Utah on September 25. Sonne, Ships, Saints, and Mariners, 12–13; MPOT.

[59] Because many early converts were poor, Church funds and private donations were used to pay their way to Utah. This program was called the Perpetual Emigrating Fund (PEF) because recipients were expected to repay their loan in cash, commodities, or labor. In 1880, President John Taylor used the tradition of a jubilee year to forgive half of the outstanding debts, and in 1887 the Edmunds-Tucker Act dissolved all corporate entities of the Church including the PEF. David F. Boone, “Perpetual Emigrating Fund (PEF),” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:1075–76.

[60] Ann Taylor and her daughters, Martha (age 11) and Maria (age 10), sailed on the ship Germanicus and were part of the Charles A. Harper company of 1855. The company included 305 individuals and 39 wagons, some were independent and others depended upon the PEF. The pioneers left Mormon Grove, Kansas (near Atchison), July 25−31 and arrived in Salt Lake City October 28−31. For additional accounts of the trek, see http://history.lds.org/overlandtravels/companyDetail?companyId=143. It is unclear when her daughter, Margaret, came to the United States; she lived with her father and his second family for some years in England. MPOT; Sonne, Ships, Saints, and Mariners, 87; findagrave.com #18639449.

[61] Orson Ferguson Whitney (1855–1931) was the son of Horace K. and Helen Mar Kimball Whitney; he was ordained an Apostle in 1906. Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1650; “Orson Ferguson Whitney,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:658 (index) or 1:674–81 (actual).

[62] Emmeline B. Wells married (1) James Harvey Harris, (2) Newell K. Whitney, and (3) Daniel H. Wells and was general president of the Relief Society from 1910–21. The Woman’s Exponent began publication in 1872 and ended in 1914. As Shirley Thomas recently wrote, “Woman’s Exponent was not a single-cause paper, unless that cause might have been women and their families.” The magazine published poems, short stories, and essays with topics such as woman’s suffrage, defense of polygamy, and Mormon history as it related to women. “Emmeline Blanche Woodward Wells,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 2:731–34; Shirley W. Thomas, “Woman’s Exponent,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1571–72; also 4:1159–60. For information on Emmeline B. Wells’s conversion to the Church and travel to Utah, see sketch for her sister, Ellen Celeste Woodward Fuller, 199.

[63] The Saints were so anxious for temple ordinances that as soon as part of the St. George Temple was complete, it was dedicated on January 1, 1877. The official dedication was on April 6, 1877. DeMille, St. George Temple, 51 and 61.

[64] The Jones Company came to Arizona via Stone’s Ferry and Hackberry. Jones, 40 Years Among the Indians, 240–42; Ellis, “‘Arizona Has Been Good to Me,’” 11.

[65] Three children were born to Joseph and Augusta: Joseph Hyrum (1890), William August (1891), and Daniel Clarence (1898).

[66] See Mary Jane McRae McGuire, 423.

[67] See Annie Maria McRae Goodman, 215.

[68] McGuire and McDowell, McRae Clan, 12–13.

[69] Ibid., 13.

[70] Ibid., 72.

[71] It should be noted that this autobiography is from PWA and not from the holograph: Cyrena Dustin Merrill, Autobiography, holograph, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. For a short, edited version of the holograph, see Joann Follett Mortensen, “‘My Faith in the Gospel Was Strong,’ Cyrena Dustin Merrill, 1817–1907,” in Turley and Chapman, Women of Faith in the Latter Days, 2:180–92.

[72] “Philemon Christopher Merrill,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:602, 753–54.

[73] Although PWA has this as Alexander Stanley, it probably should be Alexander Schoby Standley (1800–54) and his wife Philinda Upson (1814–92). The close ties mentioned here are seen with a Standley daughter born in 1840 being named Cyrene. This couple, with nine children, came to Utah with the Thomas C. D. Howell company of 1852. MPOT.

[74] There is no record of Sylvanus Dustin being in Montana. It may be that he went to Montana after his first wife, Lydia, died and before he married Julia A. Payton on December 13, 1868. Most of his adult life was spent in Iowa and Missouri. 1850 census, S. Dustin, Bonaparte, Van Buren Co., Iowa; 1860 census, Sylvaneus Dustin, Hamburg, Freemont Co., Iowa; 1870 census, Sylvanus Dustin, Seneca, Newton Co., Missouri; 1880 census, Sylvester Dustan, Marshfield, Webster Co., Missouri; Sylvanas Dustin, “Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805–2005,” ancestry.com.

[75] Joseph Smith Sr. (1771–1840) was the father of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was ordained a patriarch for the Church in 1834 and gave partriarchal blessings as Cyrena noted. Often these were given in a group setting, and then each recipient gave Smith a small sum. Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, 1:440.

[76] Some of these relatives include William and Margaret Standley Sears (who traveled to Utah with the Daniel Spencer/Peregrine Sessions Company of 1847), Samuel and Sarah Jane Standley Kent, and Lothrop and Ann Meriah Standley Ellsworth. MPOT and FamilySearch.org.

[77] Bechias Dustin (1793–1874) married (1) Aseneth Hurlbut about 1816 and (2) Emily Phelps Merrill (sister of Philemon Christopher Merrill) about 1850. Aseneth and some of her children moved to San Bernardino and other places in California. Bechias Dustin lived with Emily until his death. 1850 census, Bacchius Dustin, Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake Co., Utah; 1860 census, Bechias Dustin, Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake Co., Utah; findagrave.com #40362526, 40374787.

[78] Apparently this is Tarlton Lewis (1805–90) and his wife Melinda Gimblin (1811–94). “Tarlton Lewis,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Bibliographical Encyclopedia, 3:673, 4:611, 711.

[79] Possibly this is Stephen Markham (1800–78), who joined the Mormons in 1837. He led a group of Saints from Ohio to Missouri in 1838 and took the family of Joseph Smith to Illinois in 1839. He was a captain in the Brigham Young pioneer company of 1847 and died in Spanish Fork, Utah. Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, vol. 1, 421; “Stephen Markham,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 3:676–77, 4:712–13.

[80] Parley Parker Pratt (1807–57) was baptized into the LDS Church in 1830. He became an important missionary, Apostle, and editor. Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, 1:432; Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt.

[81] Philemon’s parents were Samuel Merrill (1780–1878) and Phoebe Odell (1788–1862); both died in Salt Lake City.

[82] Samuel and Phoebe Merrill traveled to Utah with the Edward Hunter–Jacob Foutz company, arriving on October 1, 1847; Cyrena Merrill went to Utah in 1849 with the Silas Richards Company (both MPOT). Philemon C. Merrill was a member of Company B and, on November 1, 1846, was appointed adjutant replacing George Dykes. After discharge in California, he traveled with Jefferson Hunt and reached the Salt Lake Valley on October 11, 1847. He found some of his family there, but his wife was still at Winter Quarters, so he and about thirty other men continued east. After a cold journey with limited provisions, they were reunited with their families in early December. Merrill found that his baby daughter had died during his absence. Tyler, Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 320−25; Bigler and Bagley, Army of Israel, 150, 379.

[83] Emma Orrilla Perry Merrill, 450.

[84] Besides the five children listed in this sketch, Mary Jane had previously given birth to three other children: John Smith (born 1853), Jedediah Grant (born 1857), and Hannah Ann (born 1860). “Hubert” is often spelled “Herbert.”

[85] On October 9, 1873, Philemon C. Merrill also married Rhoda Sylvia Collett, who had four children from a previous marriage; Philemon and Rhoda Merrill had one child, Adrian (1876). Rhoda died November 28, 1927, at St. David.

[86] The St. George Temple was dedicated on January 1, 1877, when partially finished and ordinances began; a second dedication was held April 6, 1877, when it was completed. DeMille, St. George Temple, 51–68.

[87] Daniel W. Jones (1830–1915), born in Missouri, was orphaned by age twelve. He enlisted in the Mexican War, learned Spanish, and came to Utah as a sheepherder. He was baptized in 1851 and spent the rest of his life among the Mormons. The Daniel W. Jones company traveled by way of Stone’s Ferry and Hackberry. Ellis, “‘Arizona Has Been Good to Me,’” 11; “Daniel W. Jones,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:347; Turner, “Forgotten City of the Saints,” 57–82.

[88] Turner, “Forgotten City of the Saints,” 72−73.

[89] Brigham Young died August 29, 1877.

[90] When Christopher Layton was called to be the first president of the St. Joseph Stake in 1883, he came to St. David, thinking it would be the headquarters of the stake. Layton, however, built homes in both St. David and the Gila Valley. The first quarterly stake conferences were held alternately in St. David and Thatcher. After two years, the majority of the people were in the Gila Valley, so headquarters were moved to the Thatcher. In 1887, there were 1647 people living in the stake and only 259 were at St. David. Taylor, 25th Stake of Zion, 20–28; McIntyre and Barton, Christopher Layton, 145–48; Elizabeth Hannah Williams Layton, 402.

[91] Wilmirth Margaret Greer (1824−1902) and her husband Edward W. East first lived at Allen’s Camp and Reidhead, but they soon moved to the Gila Valley. She was president of the St. Joseph Stake Relief Society from June 1883 until January 1898. Edward East died in 1884 at Pima. Wilmirth also served on the Pima school board in 1884. Krenkel, Life and Times of Joseph Fish, 208, 219; 1880 census, Edward W. East, Walker, Apache Co., Burgess, Mt. Graham Profiles, 2:73; Arizona; Taylor, 25th Stake of Zion, 395.

[92] San Jose is in Graham County and was where Mexicans first settled in 1873. It was later called Munsonville after William Munson who sold his store to I. E. Solomon in 1874. This is where Latter-day Saints enlarged prehistoric canals (which became the Montezuma Canal) to water their crops about ten miles away. Granger, Arizona Place Names, 130–31.

[93] “Sketch of the Life of Cyrena Dustin Merrill as given by herself,” in Clayton, Pioneer Women of Navajo County (manuscript portions of PWA, Mesa FHL), 2:130−38. Some single-sentence paragraphs have been combined; punctuation and dates have been standardized.

[94] W. Earl Merrill, “David Patten Kimball,” in Clayton, PMA, 265–67; “David Patten Kimball,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:601.

[95] Caroline Marion Williams Kimball, 362.

[96] “Reminiscences of Oren Merrill,” in Clayton, PMA, 325–29.

[97] 1910 census, Orrin D. Merrill, Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona.

[98] St. David was actually named after David W. Patten, an Apostle who died at the Battle of Crooked River in Missouri, October 25, 1838. However, since David Kimball was named after David Patten, this statement is somewhat true.

[99] “Reminiscences of Oren Merrill,” in Clayton, PMA, 326.

[100] Although the FWP sketch for Sophia DeLaMare McLaws, which written by Rae Rose Kirkham, may have been submitted by RFC, sketches for Adelinah Quinn Taylor, Olive Jewell, and Sarah A. Packer Higgins were submitted by Helen M. Smith. Smith, however, submitted sketches from Cochise County, whereas this author was obviously living in Maricopa County, as was RFC.

[101] “Reminiscences of Oren Merrill,” in Clayton, PMA, 329.

[102] Morgan Henry Merrill was the son of Philemon and Cyrena Dustin Merrill, 441. “Morgan Henry Merrill,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:602.

[103] Whether Emma ever lived in San Bernardino, California, is not known, but her father, John Marcellus Perry, died there in 1854. Her mother then married (2) Dominicus Carter (1855), (3) William Beattie (1858), and (4) Amos Fenstermaker (1866). Findagrave.com #35113558.

[104] In the 1860 census, Emma Orrilla Perry is listed twice; she is once shown with her mother married to William Batie (and all four children using the Batie surname), living in Provo, and once shown with her mother having resumed her maiden name (and all four children using the Hubbard surname), living with her grandmother in Grantsville. 1860 census, Caroline M. Batie, Provo, Utah Co., Utah; 1860 census, Caroline Hubbard, Grantsville, Tooele Co., Utah.

[105] PWA listed this as Nowen, but it should probably be Nounan, Bear Lake Co., Idaho.

[106] Seth Dustin (1791–1846) was the father of Cyrena Dustin Merrill, 441.

[107] See Sarah Diantha Gardner Curtis, 117.

[108] See Maria Taylor McRae, 436.

[109] When Christopher Layton was called to be president of the St. Joseph Stake, he first came to St. David. However, he built homes in both St. David and the Gila Valley. The first quarterly stake conferences were alternately held in St. David and Thatcher. After two years, the majority of the people were in the Gila Valley, so headquarters were moved to the Thatcher. In 1887, there were 1647 people living in the stake and only 259 were at St. David. Taylor, 25th Stake of Zion, 20–28; Elizabeth Hannah Williams Layton, 402.

[110] Identifications include: Sister Zundell unknown at this writing; Sarah Ella Bingham Moody (1878–1966), tentative identification; and Elizabeth Williams Layton, 402.

[111] “Mrs. Emma Perry Merrill,” FWP, ASLAPR, 3.

[112] Ibid., 4.

[113] Perry Marcelus Merrill was the son of Emma Orrilla Perry Merrill, 450.

[114] 1920 census, Perry Merrill, Klondyke, Graham Co., Arizona; 1930 census, Mary H. Merrill, Thatcher, Graham Co., Arizona

[115] See Mary Ann Park Bryce, 77.

[116] This would mean where the Pima depot was at the time she was writing; the railroad did not reach Pima until 1894. Myrick, Railroads of Arizona, 2:841. The description of tents boarded part way up was typical in southern Arizona; these tent houses often had wooden floors and a stove. They were used for tuberculosis patients, for temporary housing during construction (e.g., while building Roosevelt Dam), and for visitors who wanted to experience the outdoors.

[117] Peterson, Ninth Temple, 152–57; Turner and Ellis, Latter-day Saints in Mesa, 107–15.

[118] Peterson, Ninth Temple, 157–58.

[119] Ibid., 185.

[120] Ibid., 206.

[121] Ibid., 207–208.

[122] Ibid., 207.

[123] Thalia Kartchner Butler, “The William Decatur Kartchner Family,” in Clayton, PMA, 254−60.

[124] Margaret Jane Casteel Kartchner, 345. For information on Sarah’s sisters, see Alzada Sophia Kartchner Palmer, 515, and Prudence Kartchner Flake, 194.

[125] John H. Miller, “Ninian Miller Story,” in Clayton, PMA, 340−41. See “Snowflake Pioneers in 1908” (708) for a photograph of Sarah and Ninian Miller. Also see 459 for a visit to Joseph City.

[126] The Presiding Bishop, along with two counselors, is part of the Council on the Disposition of Tithes (D&C 120). In the past, these men have also had varying responsibilities with the Aaronic Priesthood and youth of the Church and have provided supervision and training of ward bishops. William B. Preston (1830–1908) was Presiding Bishop of the Church from 1884 to 1907. H. David Burton and Wm. Gibb Dyer Jr., “Presiding Bishopric,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:1128–30 and 4:1644.

[127] Poor Richard’s Almanack was written by Richard Saunders (a.k.a. Benjamin Franklin) and first published in 1733. Almanacs were the precursors of modern magazines and included much incidental information besides calendars with weather prognostications.

[128] Loosely quoted from Proverbs 31:28.

[129] See Collinwood, Kartchner Family, 46−48.

[130] Miller, Family History of John Henry Miller, 225.

[131] Location of original journal unknown; transcribed by John H. Miller, typewritten copy in possession of Ellis.

[132] Miller, Family History of John Henry Miller, 225.

[133] Collingwood, Kartchner Family.

[134] To cross the plains, Margaret Lang traveled with the Jesse Murphy Company in 1860. MPOT.

[135] For a discussion of the smallpox epidemic in Mesa, see comments by Ellis and Boone in the sketch for Julia Christina Hobson Stewart, 699.

[136] Maricopa Station (25) is in Pinal County and should not be confused with present-day Maricopa or Maricopa Wells. Southern Pacific passengers disembarked at Maricopa Station and took the stage to Phoenix. Freight was also unloaded at Maricopa Station, and many Mormon men worked as freighters to the Salt River Valley. Granger, Arizona Place Names, 299.

[137] This paragraph and the preceding one were inserted from the FWP sketch.

[138] Artemus Millett died November 14, 1915, at Mesa. AzDC.

[139] Brooks, “‘Jest a Copyin’ – Word f’r Word,’” 381–82. Brooks also wrote, “Not all of these were literary masterpieces, but collectively they did form a good base of local history, and the wages—$30.00 a month to begin with, later raised to $32.00, and then to $36.00—were a literal godsend.” The money from the FWP sketches was indeed a godsend to Clayton.

[140] RFC did her own typing and may have returned only when the subject was close at hand.

[141] The FWP sketch for Sarah McNeil Mills was apparently used as the basis for this entry in PWA, but RFC rearranged topics and added information.

[142] Mary Ann Smith McNeil, 431.

[143] Smith, “Mormon Forestdale,” 165−208.

[144] Meaning native woodrats (Neotoma sp.), commonly known as packrats, and not Norway rats (Rattus sp.).

[145] Although tulapai (alcohol) may indeed have been involved, this shooting was actually a much more significant event. Petone was the son of Pedro, chief of the Cibique Apaches, and although his father was still alive, succeeded his father as chief in about 1873. The Cibique and Carrizo bands were warring with each other, and on August 30, 1880, Petone was involved in the death of Diablo, chief of the Carrizo band. Some accounts list this as murder; others cite self defense. Either way, in February 1881, the Carrizo band came to avenge Diablo’s death. Pedro was shot in both knees and Alchesay was shot in the chest, but both men survived. Petone, however, was mortally wounded. As Sarah noted, Alchesay became chief of the Cibique Apaches, later part of the White Mountain band. Alchesay (William Alchesay, 1853−1928) became an important cattleman and always had friendly relations with the Mormons. For a concise account of Apache history around Forestdale and details of this incident in particular, see Collins, Apache Nightmare, 1−13; Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography, 3:1128–29; Huso and Ellis, Show Low, 13.

[146] Abigail Farrington (later Thayne) was traveling to Arizona at the same time as William J. Flake and his family. Thayne, although blind, diagnosed their sickness after Kanab as diphtheria—by the smell. See Lucy Jane Flake Wood, 189.

[147] The FWP sketch called this top a camisa (or camise), which is a loose-fitting shirt, smock, or gown.

[148] In the mid-nineteenth century, cotton manufacturers began a system of letters to indicate the grade of material by weight—from first class (2.85 yards per pound) to fourth class (5 yards per pound). LL sheeting was a third class, 4 yards per pound, unbleached, 36-inch-wide cotton material. It was a cheap, all-purpose textile, which was sometimes advertised as brown (but probably tan). An 1887 court case established LL as merely a label and not a trademark. Boyle, Federal Reporter, 31:776–90.

[149] J. Minor Park, born in New York about 1891, was an M.D. in Holbrook. operating a small, private hospital in 1937; he signed Daniel Mills’s AzDC. As mayor of Holbrook from 1939–44, he encouraged the training of air-cadets at Holbrook during World War II and the airfield was then named after him. Wayte, “A History of Holbrook,” 316–17; Ellis, Holbrook and the Petrified Forest, 105; Johnston, Centennial Memories, Holbrook, Arizona, 68; “Hospital Is Being Moved,” Holbrook Tribune-News, June 19, 1936; “New Addition Makes Room for 20 Patients,” Holbrook Tribune-News, March 7, 1941; “Funeral Rites for Dr. J. Minor Park in Phoenix Friday,” Holbrook Tribune-News, July 25, 1947.

[150] Huso and Ellis, Show Low, 11.

[151] Smith, “Mormon Forestdale,” 172.

[152] Ibid., 173.

[153] Tables 1 and 2, Ibid., 177–78.

[154] Ibid., 179.

[155] Ibid., 191. Smith’s article includes additional interesting anthropological and sociological ideas.

[156] “As dictated,” probably to RFC; Clayton added the last paragraph for PWA. Pioneer Women of Navajo County (partial manuscript PWA: Mesa FHL).

[157] The Harrison Pearce family left Council Bluffs with the James C. Snow company of 1852, which consisted of about 250 individuals and 55 wagons. The family included Harrison (age 34), wife Henrietta Cromeans (age 37), John David Lafayette (age 15), James (age 13), Amelia (age 11), Nancy Clark (age 9, who died en route), Thomas Jefferson (age 7), Harrison Jr. (age 3), and Henrietta (infant). MPOT.

[158] Madder, like indigo, was used as a dye for the cotton. The Eurasian species, Rubia tinctoria, which had small yellow flowers and a red, fleshy root, was cultivated in the United States and was once an important source of red dye. For more about how the pioneers used madder for dye, see Lucretia Proctor Robison Owens, 512.

[159] Washington was settled in 1857, several years before St. George, by people coming south from New Harmony. The first settlement at Harmony was washed out when the creek overflowed, so the pioneers moved several miles upstream and named this location New Harmony. John Van Cott wrote, “Peter Shirts (Shurtz) was paid three hundred dollars to build a road into Utah’s Dixie over the formidable Black Ridge. At one point they had to dismantle their wagons to get them over the ridge. That was Peter’s Leap.” Peters Leap was five miles southwest of New Harmony on Leap Creek. Van Cott, Utah Place Names, 273, 292, 391.

[160] Pearce’s, or usually misspelled Pierce’s, Ferry is located below the Grand Canyon where the Grand Wash meets the Colorado River. See McClintock, Mormon Settlement in Arizona, 96 and 132a.

[161] The four children who died after she married Elijah Steers were Harrison Pearce Steers (twin) on September 16, 1879; Parley Pratt Steers on August 20, 1882; Thomas John Hall Jr. on October 24, 1884; and Edna Maud Steers on August 13, 1888.

[162] Charles Love Flake died December 8, 1892. “Charles Love Flake,” in Clayton, PMA, 146–49; “Death of Charles Flake,” Deseret Weekly, December 24, 1892, 8; “The Snowflake Tragedy,” Deseret Weekly, December 24, 1892, 16.

[163] Before leaving for Mexico, Henrietta Hall was made president of the Woman Suffrage organization for Taylor/Snowflake; see Mary Jane Robinson West, 775.

[164] Tidies, also known as antimacassars, covered the arms, back, or headrest of a chair or sofa, protecting these areas from wear and soil.

[165] William Howell Hall died August 12, 1926, at Clay Springs of septicemia from an infected tooth. AzDC. They also had three children who predeceased William.

[166] Campbell and Campbell, “Divorce among Mormon Polygamists,” 181−200.

[167] For a photograph of Mary Jane Minnerly, see Lucy Hannah White Flake (193).

[168] Montez Hall Burke (with Millie Hall Winn), “Henrietta Pearce Hall Minnerly,” DUP sketch submitted March 5, 1969. This source has much more information about Henrietta Minnerly, particularly the time spent in Mexico and after returning to Arizona.

[169] This sketch was originally titled, “Hyrum Bowles Morris and Eleanor C. Roberts Morris written by their daughter, Dora Morris Pomeroy.” Formatting of this sketch was changed more than most. Many one-sentence paragraphs were combined, but sentence order was never changed. Some extremely long run-on sentences were broken into two sentences. Other changes are noted in footnotes. See also Pioneer Women of Navajo County (partial manuscript PWA: Mesa FHL).

[170] “Hiram Bowles Morris,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 3:462–64.

[171] The FWP sketch is for both Hyrum and Eleanor Morris, and a four-page portion about Hyrum’s parentage, early childhood, and experiences in the California gold fields was not included in PWA.

[172] Nancy Beaufort Morris Marvin, her husband Edward W. Marvin, and four children were also part of the Warren Walling company. MPOT.

[173] This death date was reported as June 2, 1860, in the Thomas Sleight diary: https:history.lds.org/overlandtravels/trailexcerptMulti?lang=eng&pioneered=24112&sourceid=15543.

[174] The family of Robert Harrison Kenner (with two adult sons) was traveling with the Walling company and apparently one of these three men helped with the burial. MPOT.

[175] Although founded by Harrison Pearce, this is usually written as Pierce’s Ferry.

[176] The preceding four paragraphs have been reordered to reflect their route from St. George to Phoenix and the order in which the incidents occurred.

[177] This may mean thirty-two mules rather than horses, often pulling two or three tandem wagons. These wagons did not have a seat for the driver, who instead rode the nigh wheeler (left side nearest to the wagon) and operated the jerk line (a single rein which passed through rings to the lead mule). One steady pull told the mule to turn right, and short jerks meant he was to turn left. Mules could travel about two miles per hour. Some freighters used horses for the wheelers and mules for the rest of the team. Mules had the advantage over horses of being more sure footed and better foragers. Disadvantages were that Indians tended to steal mules (but not oxen), grain had to be hauled to feed the mules, and mule meat reportedly tasted terrible. RFC once stated that a wagon company, which usually had some heavily loaded freight wagons in addition to lighter, personal wagons, could travel about twenty miles per day. Snowflake’s wide streets were designed so freight wagons could turn around. James Jennings illustrated freighting in northern Arizona with three photos of brothers John Addison and Lewis Hunt showing six-horse teams, a jerk line, and two tandem wagons. Roberta Flake Clayton Papers, MS CM MSS 28, folder 20, Luhrs Special Collections, Arizona State University; Gardner, “Wagons on the Santa Fe Trail,” 41–49; Jennings, Freight Rolled, photos, n.p.

[178] Hiram Smith (age 20) died July 9, 1883, and is buried in Mesa.

[179] This illustrates the quarantining of an entire town (instead of the quarantining of those sick) as mentioned in the discussion for Julia Christinna Hobson Stewart, 699.

[180] Today, breech clout would be written as “breech cloth;” the archaic word “clout” means a piece of cloth or rag.

[181] Russell, Founding of Mesa, 30.

[182] Turner and Ellis, Latter-day Saints in Mesa, 76.