Pioneer Women of Arizona,
Aretha Morilla Bates Wakefield
Rhoda Perkins Wakefield
Maiden Name: Aretha Morilla Bates
Birth: February 6, 1855; Batesville, Tooele Co., Utah
Parents: Ormus Ephraim Bates and Morilla Spink
Marriage: Joseph Buck Wakefield; October 3, 1870
Children: Alpheretta (1872), Joseph Thomas (1873), Lillian Marinda (1876), Lansing Ira (1878), Erastus Snow (1881), Elizabeth Elliott (1884), Myrtle (1887), Julia (1891), Herma (1895), Celia (1897)
Death: November 25, 1928; Taylor, Navajo Co., Arizona
Burial: Taylor, Navajo Co., Arizona
Born February 6, 1855, in a little town called Batesville, Tooele County, Utah, the daughter of Ormus E. and Morilla Spink Bates. Her father was a man of considerable means, owning mines and other property, but the children were taught to work and be industrious. Aretha learned to card the wool, spin and weave it into cloth, and make her own dresses, as well as knit stockings, shawls, and other articles of clothing.
She was married at age fifteen to Joseph B. Wakefield in the Endowment House, and she became the mother of ten children, seven of them growing to maturity. Her brother Orville had married her husband’s sister, Sarah Ellen Wakefield, and they were very closely associated ever after as their children also have been close, almost like brothers and sisters.
In 1876, both families were called to leave northern Utah and colonize Arizona and work as missionaries among the Indians. The Wakefield and Bates families, who had been sent by Lot Smith to take charge of the milking and caring for one hundred forty-two cows, and the making of butter and cheese for the camp, settled at what was known as Mormon Dairy. Jesse O. Ballenger was in charge [of the closest settlement on the Little Colorado River] and it was called Ballenger’s Camp. Later it was named Brigham City in honor of President Brigham Young.
In September 1878, Erastus Snow found this community in a flourishing condition. There was a fort 200 feet square, with rock walls seven feet high. Inside were thirty-six dwelling houses each 15 by 13 feet; on the north side was the dining hall, eighty by twenty feet; adjoining was a kitchen 25 by 20 feet with an annexed bake house. Twelve other dwelling places were mentioned as well as a cellar and storehouse. Water was secured within the enclosure from two good wells. South of the fort were corrals and stock yards. Milk, butter, and cheese were supplied abundantly during summertime. But discouragement became general in 1881 and all were released from the mission.
The summer of 1878, spent in the new settlement, had been a hard one for Aretha Wakefield, who was expecting her fourth child. She said she slept in a wagon bed with her clothes on until her husband managed to get a small house ready for her to get into, just before the arrival on November 8, 1878, of a big fine boy. It has been told in the family that he was called the “Graham Baby,” because of the healthy appearance which supposedly came from the diet of the community health-giving graham flour and bread.
He was given the name of Lansing Ira. Lansing was the name of Aretha’s brother; Ira was for Ira Hatch, Indian missionary and companion and friend of his father. Later Ira had a younger sister, Julie, who married into the Hatch family.
When Joseph Wakefield and family left Brigham City, they moved to “The Meadows,” some nine or ten miles north of St. Johns, Arizona. In 1873, Sol Barth had laid claim to 1200 acres of land. As a squatter, he had come in with a group of Mexican laborers and the town subsequently was named the Mexican name San Juan or later St. Johns, after the Mexican patron Saint. It was in celebration of this same saint on that June 1, 1882, that a commotion arose which was quite upsetting even in those days. There had been trouble over the theft of a colt belonging to the Greer family. Some of the Greer boys entered the town and some shots were fired, wounding a Greer boy and a Mexican. In a short lull between fighting, an old Mormon pioneer, Nathan Tenney, tried to take the part of peacemaker, walking to the house to induce the Greers to surrender to the sheriff, and was shot. The bullet, intended possibly for a Greer, struck the old man in the head and neck, killing him instantly. The sheriff had been in the act of arresting some of the men, but little punishment came out of it all for the offending parties.
Joseph Buck and Aretha Morilla Bates Wakefield. Photo courtesy of JoAnn Hatch, Taylor Museum.
The Wakefield family moved to Navajo Springs [about 1893], where Joseph and sons found employment of a different type on the Santa Fe Railroad, first loading box cars with coal or [doing] some other odd job with which they could earn a livelihood. Two more babies were born there, but both died soon after birth. The family enjoyed their life and association while living at Navajo. The boys went into the cattle business and became quite prosperous in that business.
In 1906, they bought a home in Taylor, Arizona. Most of the family married and raised their families there.
It was in 1906 that I [Rhoda Perkins Wakefield] became a member of the Wakefield family when I was married to their son, Lansing Ira. It was then [that] I became intimately acquainted with this fine woman, of whom I became very fond. She talked to me for hours on early day history of the Mormon pioneer. She was quite well versed in Church doctrine and loved to converse on its principles.
She was chosen as president of the Taylor Ward Relief Society and was very faithful in the performance of the same. One of her outstanding qualities was being on time. To be late to any appointment was almost a sin in her eyes. Mother Wakefield was a nurse and did much good among the sick.
In 1920, she went to California with her husband, where they lived for two or three years with some of their children. At a conference held in San Bernardino, President Joseph Robinson surprised her very much by calling her name from the audience to come to the stand and told her he had chosen her to be Relief Society President of the San Bernardino Ward, which position she held until she returned home to Arizona.
She passed away November 26, 1928, at her home in Taylor, where she is buried beside her husband, who had preceded her four months earlier, and for whom she never ceased to mourn, calling his name to the last.
Ellis and Boone:
As historian Dale F. Beecher recently wrote, “Mormons typically did not make their homes on farms or ranches away from town” when they began to colonize a new area. Beecher used this 1882 Church directive to leaders in Logan, Utah, to support his statement:
In all cases in making new settlements the Saints should be advised to gather together in villages, as has been our custom from the time of our earliest settlement in these mountain valleys. . . . By this means the people can retain their ecclesiastical organizations, have regular meetings of the quorums of the Priesthood and establish and maintain day and Sunday schools, Improvement Associations and Relief Societies; they can also co-operate for the good of all in financial and secular matters, in making ditches, fencing fields, building bridges and other necessary improvements. Further than this they are a mutual protection and source of strength against horse and cattle thieves, land jumpers, etc., and against hostile Indians, should there be any, while their compact organizations give them many advantages of a social and civil character. . . .
Some have used this or similar statements to argue that the Church discouraged ranching, but there were Latter-day Saint ranchers even in Utah, as evidenced by information about Prime T. Coleman, William Bailey Maxwell, the Sanders brothers, and Moses Simpson Emmett in this volume. Beecher said that “pioneers located a good townsite, nearly always where a large stream issued from the mountains” and as the village grew, “satellite hamlets sprang up nearby.” For settlements along the Little Colorado River and its tributaries in northeastern Arizona, however, there was never a large enough stream to allow for the town to grow substantially, and men had to look elsewhere for work, as did Joseph Wakefield about 1893.
The Wakefield family, after living at Brigham City, Mormon Dairy, The Meadows, and St. Johns, moved to Navajo Springs, about six miles east of Adamana on the Rio Puerco where they developed a ranch. Morilla’s husband and two of her sons, Tom and Erastus, worked for the Santa Fe Railroad. Her son Ira worked with some of the Hashknife cowboys, including “Frank Wallace, John Paulsell, George Hennesy, and Dick and Jones Grigsby, who became his life-long friends. They said of Ira that he was a good cowboy, dependable, level-headed, and slow to anger.” Morilla’s daughters, especially Myrtle and Julia, became expert horsewomen.
When the family moved to Taylor in 1906, they bought land about ten miles northeast of town on Black Mesa, and during the ensuing years, they owned several ranches in this area. Joseph Wakefield worked for some years at a Pinedale sawmill with Joseph and Calvin Stratton. He also was the town constable and postmaster, and played the harmonica and called for square dances. The Wakefield family married into and became part of the Taylor community.
Although much of the Wakefield family’s time was devoted to ranching, Joseph and Aretha were known as good Mormons. An unidentified grandchild wrote: “Though Joseph and Aretha never gained great fame nor prominence, they were great souls. . . . At the party honoring the couple on their 60th wedding anniversary Joseph’s sister, Ellen, had said: ‘Aretha was a very attractive young girl’. Grandpa jumped up, went over and put his arms around Grandma, and said: ‘I thought so too.’ Their granddaughters Grace and Irma sang, for the occasion, a song which was very appropriate:
If the Master knew
How I’d miss you
I wonder if He’d call me too?
’twould break my heart
If we should part,
For I’ve grown so fond of you.”
Aretha Wakefield died only four months after her husband.
Charlotte Martha Maxwell Webb
Maiden Name: Charlotte Martha Maxwell
Birth: February 15, 1862; Santaquin, Utah Co., Utah
Parents: William Bailey Maxwell and Lucretia Charlotte Bracken
Marriage: Edward Milo Webb Jr.; September 13, 1878
Children: Lucretia Annetta (1880), William Marcellus (1882), James Levi “Lee” (1884), Ruth Estelle (1889), Julia Isabelle (1891)
Death: May 5, 1943; Tohatchi, McKinley Co., New Mexico
Burial: Pinedale, Navajo Co., Arizona
On February 15, 1862, Charlotte Maxwell was born at Santaquin, Utah, the fourth child of Lucretia Bracken and William Bailey Maxwell. Her brothers, Lee and Jim, were twenty and eighteen years old. Her sister Ruth had died sixteen years before, at birth.
The Maxwells had adopted an Indian baby, Jeannie, about a year before Charlotte’s birth, who died when about seven years of age from whooping cough. William Maxwell, a wealthy cattleman for those days, also had two other families from his wives Jane Mathis and Maryetta Hamblin. Charlotte loved her half-brothers and sisters, especially her brother Will, [who was] about a year younger than herself.
The family moved to Spring Valley, Nevada, while Charlotte was still very young. The life there was ideal and lasted until she was fifteen. Since “Crishy” and Julia, her Aunt Jane’s daughters, were older than Charlotte, Mr. Maxwell decided to move to a Mormon community before they became of marriageable age. The maternal grandmother, Elisabeth Bracken, had died and her loved brother Jim had been killed by a cattle rustler before this, making the move away from Spring Valley more acceptable, since the place now held sad as well as happy memories.
The Maxwells moved first to Panguitch, Utah, and later, in October 1877, to Orderville, Utah.
Charlotte went at once into school as assistant teacher to Willard Carroll; another young teacher was Milly Mulliner. First counselor to Bishop Thomas Chamberlain was Edward Milo Webb, a scholarly young man of thirty, black-haired, blue-eyed, and handsome. He was one of the few college men in the community, sensitive, beauty-loving, music-loving, and with a quiet humor to match Charlotte’s scintillating wit.
He had two wives, Ellen and Sarah, and his oldest child, Abbie, was only ten years younger than Charlotte. This was the man Charlotte married on September 13, 1878, in the St. George Temple, and loved devotedly all her life.
Charlotte lived with her mother the first year of her marriage. By the spring she was eighteen, and her father had become restless and moved to Arizona. Lucretia and Charlotte parted tearfully, as Charlotte was expecting a baby.
Lucretia Annette, named for Charlotte’s mother and her dearest friend, Annette Coleman, was born April 18, 1880. When Charlotte was twenty, her second child, William Marcellus, was born and died at the age of three weeks. She was still teaching up to a few weeks before James Lee’s birth on September 11, 1884.
Charlotte Maxwell Webb and her children, left to right: Lee, Estelle, and Louie, 1891. Photo courtesy of Thomas, Uncertain Sanctuary, 54.
The summer before Lee was a year old, Charlotte and her two children, her sister Julia and two children, and two young nephews, Bailey and Jim Maxwell, went to visit Charlotte’s parents at Bush Valley, New Mexico. This entailed a long and dangerous journey by wagon over the Mogollon Mountains, at that time infested by Indians, outlaws, and wild animals. Lee was very sick most of the way.
When Lee was two, Charlotte accepted the position of teacher in the Bush Valley School. She and her two children “boarded ’round” a week with each family in the district. In this way, people paid their school assessment. That fall, her mother came from Oaxaca, Mexico, where the Maxwells were now pioneering in a Mormon colony, and spent the winter with her.
The next summer, the Webbs moved to Arizona. E. M. had been offered the career of starting the Church school system in the colonies there [Mexico], and at the time they thought their stay in Arizona would be only a brief stopover. His brother Adelbert and family went with them. The women of the party each drove her own team and wagon and the men the freight wagons. Charlotte drove a team of white mares.
They settled in Woodruff and, as always, their time was full to overflowing with Church and temporal work. E. M. was made bishop, and Charlotte, or “Lottie” as she was now called, worked in all the auxiliary organizations, taught school in the winters, and worked in the Woodruff branch of the ACMI store summers while E. M. managed the Holbrook branch of this store. They were also active in civic and political affairs, and in the next few years, two more children were born to Lottie: Ruth Estelle and Julia Isabelle. The latter was born three years later at Snowflake where they lived.
E. M. Webb had been called on a mission to start a Church academy at Snowflake and urged as a personal favor to do so by Dr. Karl G. Maeser, who had befriended and sponsored him at the Utah University. He taught without salary, and Charlotte [taught] for a nominal sum, and her two youngest children were brought up in the Academy building.
One activity at this time was a dramatic club of which E. M. was manager and Lottie was usually leading lady. Other close friends and actors were Osmer and Roberta Flake, Nettie and Loie Hunt, and Samuel F. Smith. Among Church positions held there and later in the mountain settlements and Mexico by Lottie were Relief Society president, president of the YWMIA, Primary, and various Church teaching positions as well as always teaching school.
In August of 1898, the Webbs realized their old dream of going to Mexico. Lottie went immediately into the schoolroom, but by this time, E. M. was suffering from a heart ailment and must be outdoors, and could do little more teaching. The family, as usual, was soon involved in church and community affairs. Lottie was made a stake aide to President Dora Pratt and filled numerous other positions.
The family lived at first at Colonia Dublán, Chihuahua, and then at Colonia Garcia in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Later they moved to Colonia Morelos, Sonora, just twenty miles from Colonia Oaxaca, which Lottie’s parents had helped to found.
After a few years in Morelos, Lottie became desperately ill. She underwent a serious operation at El Paso, Texas, for a uterine tumor which weighed three pounds. The day before her operation, the Mexican colonies en masse fasted and prayed for her recovery and Apostle Woodruff, who came to see her at the [Arwell] Pierce home where she was staying with her husband, gave her a blessing, promising that her life span would be doubled and she would become a ministering angel to her people. She was forty years and six months old at the time. She recovered and lived to be eighty-one. All the later years of her life were devoted to nursing, and she never refused a call, feeling she owed it to this promise to arise from a sick bed often to assist someone in need.
Fifty years after her operation at Hotel Dieu, El Paso, the daughter of her grandson, Edward M. Thomas, was born at this same hospital and named Linda.
After years of teaching in Mexico, Lottie had taken up nursing and was on a case at Douglas, Arizona, when the colonists were forced to flee from their Mexico homes to the United States by the Revolution. The Sonora colonists came out in 1912, and her two daughters joined her in Douglas. Louie had married and remained in Arizona and now Lee [Levi] was married to a Utah girl, Lillie Alispah.
After a few months in Douglas, Lottie and the girls joined the rest of the family at Tucson. From this time on, Lottie [made] her career as nurse full time. Later, the family moved back to northern Arizona, and she saw the dire need of a good county nurse, since many isolated ranch homes were fifty miles or more from the nearest doctor, and the only means of transportation was a wagon and team of horses.
For years she worked with Dr. Neal Heywood and became known to all in Navajo County and indeed, most of Arizona, as “Aunt Lottie.” Her little house between Pinedale and Clay Springs was truly a “house by the side of the road” and she was a friend to man, woman, and child.
She had lost her husband [in 1918], and her son Lee had been killed in an accident, leaving a wife and six young children. Estelle and Belle were married also. When she was seventy-six, she went with Estelle and her husband, Jim Thomas, to Shiprock, New Mexico. She had been engaged in genealogical and temple work for years in wintertime and continued until her health broke. Even when she was too frail for the annual pilgrimage to the Arizona Temple, she became an ordained [set apart] missionary and with her daughter, worked among the Navajo Indians. She taught the women to knit and held weekly Relief Society meetings with them; the only one she missed was the day before she died.
On her eighty-first birthday, her Relief Society Indians surprised her with a party and gave her tribal souvenirs and wrote in her memory book. She died from a coronary thrombosis on the birthday of her youngest grandson, Donovan W. Brewer, May 5, 1943. She died at Tohatchi, New Mexico, at the home of her daughter, Estelle Thomas. Interment was in the cemetery at Pinedale, Arizona.
Charlotte Maxwell Webb. Photo courtesy of Jan Shumway Farr.
After she went to New Mexico, her home and everything in it was burned by juvenile delinquents. But now, on its site there stands a monument, erected by her grandsons, on which is a bronze plaque inscribed:
The flame of life burned brightly in her veins,
She loved the world, its creatures great and small;
And loving, shared their burdens and their pain
And in their service gladly gave her all.
Her radiant spirit warmed this lonely spot,
And maybe even heaven is more complete
For knowing those she loved have not forgot,
But keep her memory ever green and sweet.
Ellis and Boone:
A longer sketch for Charlotte was written as part of a book about Edward Milo Webb Jr., Charlotte Martha Maxwell, and their descendants. But this story has been told in several places:
When the flu epidemic of 1918 struck the country, the little village of Pinedale was hard hit. Always more or less isolated in the winters, from bad roads and poor transportation, this year it was completely cut off from its neighbors for with the dreadful new disease there descended one of the worst snowstorms in years. The mailman, floundering through drifts on horseback, got through perhaps once a week or less often. Telephone lines were down and the scanty supplies of medicine were soon exhausted.
At the height of the epidemic, there were three able bodied persons in the town—E. M. Webb, seventy and with a bad heart; his wife, “Aunt Lottie,” 55; and his daughter May. Aunt Lottie . . . went from house to house, caring for the sick; many [were] very ill, and most of the family all down at once. May went with her, milking cows, helping with the wash . . . and feeding animals. E. M. Webb shoveled snow and made a network of paths all over town from one house to another. He chopped wood and carried it in, endlessly, when he should have been sleeping, walked to the outlying ranches of his children to see that all was still well with them.
Gradually, the disease subsided and people began to recover. . . . When at long last, the telephone lines were mended, and communication again established between towns, Dr. Sampson, of Holbrook, called Aunt Lottie up.
“I am almost afraid to call you,” he apologized, “I thought of you often, but couldn’t get in touch. How many did you lose?”
“One,” said Aunt Lottie. “Mrs. Anderson, and she was already ill.”
“One? I lost dozens! What did you use? I tried everything!”
“We used what we had—faith and cup grease,” she answered, laughing.
“Faith and—what’s cup grease?” demanded the doctor.
“Eddie got it out of the cars and we made chest plasters of it,” said Aunt Lottie.
“Faith and cup grease!” said Dr. Sampson wonderingly. “The only two things I didn’t think of.”
Finally, this letter from Charlotte Webb illustrates two other important parts of her later life—her emphasis on temple work and her concern with Native Americans.
254 E. 2nd St., Mesa, Ariz. Feb. 5th, 1929
President Anthony W. Ivins,
Dear Brother, I am advised by Pres’t Udall to write you concerning the adoption to my Father and Mother of two Indian children [sealing of these two children to Charlotte’s parents].
A [woman] of the Paron tribe died leaving a delicate girl baby of about three months old. Father and Mother took her and took care of her as if she were their own. She was blessed and given the name of Imogene Maxwell. The camp was moving as is normal after a death and the infant was to be abandoned. She died of whopping cough in her 7th year in Eagle Valley, Nevada. Father gave the Indians a horse in exchange for the child.
About two years after the death of the little girl, the same Indians of the Shoshone tribe came for a hunt and celebration to the part of Nevada where we lived. During the carousel of drinking, gambling, etc. a woman and two children changed ownership. The eldest child, a boy of about eight years, resented the change and refused to accompany the new father back to their home. The mother besought my father to take the little fellow and he gave her a horse, flour, and beef in exchange.
He lived with my mother until her death and then lived with other members of the family until his death in 1897. He was baptized and given the name of John Maxwell. He was always treated as one of the family. Mother loved him and he was devoted to her. If it will be right to all parties I should like to have these two children adopted to my parents.
I am working in the Temple this winter and can attend to it if I am allowed the privilege of having it done.
Yours very respectfully,
Charlotte Maxwell Webb
His reply was penned on the bottom of the letter: “I see no reason why these children may not be sealed to your parents. A. W. Ivins Febry 8th 1929.”
Sarah Elizabeth Carling Webb
Maiden Name: Sarah Elizabeth Carling
Birth: February 25, 1856; Ogden, Weber Co., Utah
Parents: Isaac Van Wagner Carling and Aseneth Elizabeth Browning
Marriage: Edward Milo Webb Jr.; April 10, 1873
Children: Rachel Asenath (1875), Ether B. (1877), Owen Adelbert (1878), Catherine Alvira (1879), Isaac Clark (1881), Abraham Dewitt (1884), Jonathan Henry (1886), Thomas Howard (1888), Edson Burr (1889), Laura Martha (1891), Eliza May (1893), Sydney Jesse (1895)
Death: July 16, 1949; Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Burial: Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
In Ogden, Utah, on February 25, 1856, a daughter, their first child, was born to Isaac Van Wagner Carling and Aseneth Elizabeth Browning. They named her Sarah Elizabeth.
Isaac Van Wagner Carling was born in Klinesopur, Esopus, Ulster County, New York. His family heard the teachings of the LDS missionaries and believed. They joined the Church and moved to Ogden, Utah.
Aseneth Elizabeth Browning was the daughter of another God-fearing man who joined the new faith. She was born at Adams County, Illinois. Her family moved to the west with the Saints and made their home in Ogden. Here the young couple met and were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.
When Sarah was two years old, they moved from Ogden to Fillmore. Here in the little pioneer school, she learned what she could during the short school season, which began after the crops were harvested in the fall and closed early in the spring so the children could help with the farm work.
Most of her education was in the practical arts learned from her beloved parents. Being the oldest child, it was necessary that she help her father with the work in the garden. She loved the out-of-doors and the smell of the loamy soil. Her teacher was a master gardener and he took pride in Sarah’s successes. She used the knowledge gained from him throughout her life, raising a garden wherever she went.
She learned to wash and card wool, spinning it into yarn from which she wove cloth. She took pride in fashioning clothes for herself and her sisters, and in knitting stockings.
Sarah grew up to be a quiet, reserved young lady with smiling brown eyes and soft curling hair. She was quick to see the funny side of little provoking happenings. Instead of becoming irritated at her mistakes, she usually could see a comical side of the situation, and her soft merry laugh would dispel the tenseness.
She was called to be a counselor in the first organization of the Young Women’s Retrenchment Society of the Fillmore Ward. There came into her life a school teacher, Edward Milo Webb. He was a brilliant and devoted young man who wanted very much to live the gospel to the letter. Sarah loved and married him, entering into the order of plural marriage as a second wife in 1873. She was willing to accept the responsibilities and sacrifice necessary to this calling.
There were two children born to them while Eddie was teaching school in Fillmore. Then they moved to Orderville, where her father also moved his family. Shortly after this move, Eddie took to himself a third wife, Charlotte Maxwell, in 1878. They lived a busy, happy life in the community-order in which all property was pooled and each family received supplies as they needed. And each was assigned work according to his qualifications.
Eddie was given the job of clerk and bookkeeper. And Sarah spent most of her time as weaver. After ten years, the United Order was dissolved, and the Webbs moved to Arizona, where many Saints were gathering to help colonize that new country [about 1885].
Shortly after settling in Woodruff, Arizona, E. M. Webb was called to be the bishop of that new ward. His faithful wives each shouldered her share of the responsibility of the work of caring for and training the children, supplying food, and making clothing.
Eddie was managing the co-op store, and while Aunt Lottie helped in this project, Sarah raised a wonderful garden with the help of the little boys. She also directed the care and tending of the family [cow], and some neighbors’ cows, which supplied the family with milk, butter, and cheese. She used her talent at the loom in weaving carpets for the family and many of her neighbors’ homes.
Having also learned from her resourceful father to mend shoes, she taught her eldest son, Owen, to repair the many pairs of Webb shoes.
Sarah was a very good cook. She was especially noted for her delicious salt-rising bread. She taught her neighbors and her daughters-in-law to make it and shared her rising [starter yeast] with them often.
She was quiet and unassuming, but graciously and efficiently filled whatever position in the organizations she was called to. She was counselor to three presidents of Relief Society in the Pinedale Ward in her later years. She loved the Lord and was always in attendance at her meetings. She suffered through her sorrows silently, losing four small children and her son, Burr, as a promising, talented young college student.
Faith in the power of prayer was cultivated in the heart of the members of this unusual triple family. One never-to-be-forgotten experience brought them all closer to the knowledge that a kind Heavenly Father is very near us and is willing to bless and help, in time of trouble and need, when called upon.
Sarah Elizabeth Carling Webb with her children, left to right: Clark, Henry, Burr, Owen, and Catherine, 1891; A. Miller, photographer. Photo courtesy of Flora Clark.
Here is the story as related by a son of E. M. Webb to the writer. “Pa’s leg had an infection in it, and it seemed that any treatment, which had been applied, was not effective. After a few days of suffering and worry, he saw that the limb had begun to turn black, and the pain was almost unbearable. He called for every member of his large family to come to his bedside. He explained to his children that he was very sick and that he might not get well. He asked them to sing his favorite hymn. Then he asked them to kneel around his bed and each took a turn offering a prayer in his behalf. Their prayers were heard and that night Pa rested, the pain eased, and the infection begun to clear up. The leg was well in a short time.”
Many happy years later, Sarah was living in Pinedale. Eddie was in Murray, Utah, with his daughters Cordelia, Hattie, and Irene, suffering from cancer of the stomach. He was proud to hear of the birth of his one hundredth grandchild. Shortly after he received this news, he passed away [on September 11, 1921].
Although Sarah was almost seventy, she decided to homestead a beautiful little valley out north and west of Pinedale. In 1922, she and Sydney and May moved out on the homestead. Here Sarah enjoyed pioneering again. There was no running water or electricity, and again she planted her seed in virgin soil. They never missed their church meetings, even though it may be storming or cold, and they had to go by team and wagon for three miles.
Her daughter, Martha, and husband O. C. Williams lived in Holbrook at this time. On one of their visits to the homestead, Orlando was inspired to write this poem, in honor of her birthday.
Dear Little Old Lady
I found a little old lady sitting alone in the twilight glow,
Serene in her little homestead, wrapped in thought of long ago.
As I gazed through the open window upon the form so slender and bent,
I mused on the long life of service this dear kind soul had spent.
And I wished that I could fathom the depths of so great a soul,
And paint a life so charming to the world, on a mighty scroll,
Or write on the pages of history the deeds of kindness and love,
The trials hardships and sorrows endured through grace from above.
I marvel that though her fair form is bent and her steps grown slow,
Her smile has grown more sweet—her eyes with pure rapture glow;
And I wonder which of life’s changes of all her years of eighty plus four
Bring her now the sweetest memories as she dreams them o’er and o’er.
I wonder if the pain and sorrows are outweighed by gladsome joys,
Or if thought of kindly service to others, her pensive mood employs.
Methinks that the gentle spirit of this devoted soul
The path of all true greatness has pursued to its final goal.
Standing on the brink of tomorrow she can view with calm repose
The trials and sorrows of yesterday as her gaze eternal riches disclose.
And I know that her reward is sure as she nears that heavenly shore
To mingle again with loved ones in God’s presence forever more.
—O. C. Williams
Her uncomplaining goodness, her fairness and understanding in the difficult position of plural wife, combined with her energy and industry, have been a shining example to all who knew her. Sarah was always known for her patience, but even the best of us get annoyed at times, as this little anecdote will illustrate.
One morning, while Sarah was leading in family prayer, her two-year-old son began crying for his mother’s attention and would not be appeased by big sister or quieted [convinced] to close his mouth, but when he demanded her attention all the louder, she stopped praying, spanked him soundly enough to let him know that he was to obey, then proceeded with the prayer as if nothing had happened.
Sarah appreciated the gospel’s great divinely laid plan by which she could teach her children. She was humble and prayerful and taught her children to pray and have faith in our Heavenly Father’s kind and loving care. Their stories of guidance to find lost cows and many other more important and serious occasions of divine help in solving problems showed her that her children were following her teachings.
She was proud of each new grandchild and lived to welcome great-grandchildren. One by one her children moved their families to Mesa where they could give their children advantages of schools, etc. She passed away July 16, 1949, at her home in Mesa.
Ellis and Boone:
Not mentioned above is the family’s time in Mexico. Information from a history of Woodruff better describes their sojourns in northeastern Arizona, Mexico, and back to Arizona:
In 1876 Eddie [Webb] moved his family to Orderville, where, as secretary of the Order, his talents were used in making it a success. Records show that when the Order was discontinued [about 1885] the people were financially independent. So Edward and his brother, Francis Adelbert, were considered well-to-do. Outfitted with twelve good teams, wagons, breeding animals, and provisions to last their families for two years, they started for Mexico, where the church was beginning to colonize.
As they paused in Woodruff to take a three month rest before going on to the colonies, they received word through George Teasdale, an apostle, that an epidemic of smallpox was raging in the colonies. Thus it happened that Edward Milo Webb had a change of heart and settled in Woodruff. Disposing of some of his cattle, he began to build for the future, not only of Woodruff, but of all of Northern Arizona. The first brick made in that part of the country was made under his supervision. He did bookkeeping for the A.C.M.I. in Holbrook and managed their store in Woodruff. His time and talents were given freely to the Church. While he was superintendent of the Sunday School a call came from Church authorities for him to establish an academy at Snowflake, less than thirty miles south of Woodruff.
The Snowflake Stake Academy was started on January 21, 1889, with Edward Milo Webb as its principal and teacher, and with a total student body of forty-four. High school subjects were taught, and this new school soon justified its existence.
When the academy had been going for a year, Eddie was called back to Woodruff, this time to become bishop of Woodruff Ward, replacing James C. Owens. He was ordained as Woodruff’s second bishop on February 8, 1890.
After [nearly] two years as bishop, Edward’s services were again required as principal of the academy at Snowflake, where he stayed until the school had to close down for lack of funds. Then he took the trip which he had planned long ago, to the Mexican Colonies [about 1897]. Here he lived until the Mexican Revolution in 1912, when the saints were driven back into the United States. Eight years later he died in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Julia Ellsworth West
Roberta Flake Clayton, FWP Interview
Maiden Name: Julia Ellsworth
Birth: December 15, 1869; West Weber, Weber Co., Utah
Parents: Edmund Lovell Ellsworth and Mary Ann Bates
Marriage: Samuel Ezra West; April 21, 1886
Children: Emma (1887), Ezra Joseph (1889), Karl Bates (1891), Ida (1893), Sedenia (1896), Lavern (1898), Earl (1901), Mary Robinson (1904), Julia Gwendolyn (1907)
Death: August 10, 1958; Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Burial: Lakeside, Navajo Co., Arizona
Julia Ellsworth West was the daughter of Edmund and Mary Ann Bates Ellsworth. She was born at West Weber, Weber County, Utah, on December 15, 1869. Being of a family of thirteen children, Julia early learned to be unselfish, a trait that characterized her life. From her English mother, who walked all the way from the Missouri River to Salt Lake City, she inherited a steadfastness of purpose that also remained with her.
Julia Ellsworth West. Photo courtesy of Marion Hansen Collection.
The Ellsworth family moved to Arizona in the fall of 1880, and settled at what is now known as the Ellsworth Ranch, near Show Low. This was purchased from Moses Cluff, and has been owned by some member of the Ellsworth family ever since. Here the family was raised, and happy recollections cling to the spot. Coming as did this family shortly before the coming of the railroad, when work was plentiful and the necessities of life a little easier to get, they were spared some of the hardships endured by the earlier pioneers. “As children we always had plenty to eat and wear. At Christmastime our stockings were always full and we enjoyed ourselves to the fullest.” Julia described these days thus and then went on, “My girlhood was spent on this ranch. The country was new and we had many thrilling experiences. The Apaches had a drunken fight on the hill right close to our house. They killed three Indian men, one a Chieftain, and wounded another Chief. Father took this wounded Indian to our home and cared for him until he was well. Father was a great friend to the Indians; he would feed them and give them wagon loads of squash. He tried to teach them that all men were brothers. One day he called Natzen a rascal. This sly old fellow patted father on the back and said, ‘You my brother.’”
Julia recalled the only death of the Mormon pioneers in this part of the country was caused by Indians when they murdered Nathan Robinson, the uncle of the man she afterward married. He rode up to where they had killed a stolen beef, and they shot him and threw his body in Show Low Creek, covering all but one leg with stones. This foot stuck out of the water, and thus his body was discovered.
The children of the family were given all the advantages of an education the country at that time afforded and, best of all, an unsatisfied thirst for knowledge, which urged them on to acquire more.
Frequently the young people of the surrounding towns attended conference at Snowflake, and many a friendship thus began ended in matrimony. This is Julia’s account of one:
We used to go to Snowflake to conference. These lasted three days, and were held every three months. The good people of Snowflake would always make us welcome, although we always tried to take our welcome with us. One time we took a large turkey and some butter. It was at one of these conferences I met my future husband. I was just sixteen, but we seemed to think we were in love, almost at first acquaintance, and it proved we were for we were married April 21, 1886 in the St. George Temple, Utah. We traveled the distance from Show Low, Arizona to St. George, in a light wagon traveling most of the way alone. We had a small but very good team. At the Colorado River, we had to take our wagon apart to cross on the small boat. We had a very narrow escape of being drowned, and the ferrymen worked frantically to keep from going into a whirlpool where years later he was drowned. Part of the way we had company. One time when we were alone, Ezra had to go quite a way to find the horses. He left his six-shooter in the seat for my protection. Not long after he was out of sight, a band of Indians on horseback surrounded the wagon, and poor little trembling sixteen-year-old Julia had to face all that war paint alone. They asked for something to eat, and I showed them the almost empty lunch box, and after a while they decided to leave, much to my relief, but being used to Indians, I was not frightened as I might otherwise have been.
We brought back small trees and other plants in the back of our wagon. We were fifteen days going and sixteen coming back. Ezra shot an antelope and some rabbits on the trip. I tried to make biscuits in the bake oven; the first time they did not raise a bit and I was just sick about it, for fear he would think he had a poor cook for a wife, but the next time they were better. We cached part of our grain on the way going so we would not have to haul it so far, and found it all safe when we came back. We had not intended getting married so young, but my folks were getting ready to move to Mesa, Arizona, and that was so far away in those days. Mother objected to our marriage because of our youth. Not only that but she did not have money to get me clothes, but after we pleaded our cause, she told him that if he wanted me just as I was, he could have me. She made me a white dress; the basque [bodice] was tight-fitting, and the skirt had three ruffles on it; this and one cheap cotton dress were my trousseau, no coat or hat. I wore a sunbonnet all the way there [i.e., to St. George] and back, and while I was there. Ezra bought me a coat on the way [back], when we got to Holbrook.
We returned to Snowflake, first, my husband’s home, where such a welcome awaited us. Mother West loved me as she did her own and was always as sweet and tender to me as a mother could be. Father and Mother West gave us a lot just opposite their home to build on. We built one room of logs, and after a while we moved two small rooms of their old house as they had built them a fine two-story one. Mother West made me fifty yards of carpet from rags I had sewed. We had a lovely fireplace, and I used to whitewash the hearth, and the room looked like a little palace. I hooked rugs, and made crocheted tidies for the center table and chest my father had made for me. I made cushions for my homemade chairs, and Mother West would bring friends over to look at our house. She would give me cloth for a dress if I would make one for her, and when my girls came she would do the same for them if I would make dresses for her girls.
Julia Ellsworth West in 1938 with her children; front row, left to right: Earl R., Julia Gendolyn W. Johnson, Julia, Samuel Ezra (husband, insert), Emma W. Sponseller, Ezra Joseph; back: Lavern (insert), Sedenia "Dena" W. Sheehan, J. Alma (son of Ezra Joseph and Elma Stratton West), Mary W. Johnson, Karl Bates, and Ida W. Hansen. Photo courtesy of Marion Hansen Collection.
In this little home, five of Ezra’s and Julia’s children were born. The family moved to Woodland and was then away from both of their mothers. Frequently they came to Snowflake, but the two hundred miles of terrible road to Mesa prevented them making that trip often. Her mother came and visited her several times, and they would be very happy.
In Woodland (Lakeside) the family bought a good ranch and then some lots in town where they built themselves a spacious two-story house, with a bath on each floor. This home is almost elegantly furnished, with every comfort and convenience. It has served as a hotel since the West children have homes of their own. Ezra has been a successful businessman, having sheep, and with some of his sons engaged in the mercantile business. They had cabins for rent as well as the fine hotel rooms. Julia was an excellent cook, and guests who had been at their place once were always glad to go back again.
Nine children have blessed this union and are married and have homes and families of their own. They have had their share of sickness in rearing their children but have been unusually successful, as the sons are successful businessmen, and the daughters have all married well.
Julia was in a very serious accident many years ago and had one leg broken near the ankle joint. There was no doctor to be had, so they got a doctor’s son, who had assisted his father. He was very unsuccessful in this instance, however, and Julia suffered untold misery for a long while, unable to put any weight on that limb. The doctor said she might as well resign herself to a wheelchair, that she would not walk again. Her son Karl was in the mission field at the time of the accident. He wrote home that he was impressed that if she was taken to Salt Lake to a certain physician that she would be walking when he came home. She did go and was able to walk by the time he came home.
Besides raising her own family, she took a tiny babe and one of the other children of her son’s wife when she died, and in spite of every handicap, she raised him to manhood and was very happy with him. When her son married again, he took the little girl but let the boy remain with his grandparents, as they felt they could not give him up.
All of the children and grandchildren of this family are unusually talented, showing musical and elocutionary ability almost as soon as they can talk.
Julia was one of the sweet, gentle souls who radiated love and kindness and was beloved by her numerous family and wide circle of friends. She and her husband enjoyed the fruits of their labors and received some of the adoration to which they were entitled while they could still enjoy it. Her husband passed away August 15, 1938, at Lakeside. Julia was a widow for twenty years. She passed away in Phoenix on August 10, 1958. Her body was taken to Lakeside and placed by the side of her husband.
Ellis and Boone:
Information about two of Julia’s children should be included with this sketch. First, her son Lavern was known as a cowboy who lived in three centuries, born in 1898 and dying in 2000. He married, as his second wife, a White Mountain Apache woman named Clara. This meant that he could run his cattle on the reservation at Forestdale.
As noted in this sketch, on November 24, 1918, Joseph’s wife, Elma Stratton West, died, leaving four children ranging in age from one-and-a-half to six years. Ezra and Julia moved to Mesa and lived next door to Joseph so they could help with the children. According to this sketch, when Ezra and Julia moved back to Show Low, they took the two youngest children with them. By 1930, Joseph had remarried, and the children (except for Alma) were living with their father in Laveen. Alma simply became part of Julia’s family, and when a photograph of Julia and her children was taken shortly before her death, Alma was included.
Mary Jane Robinson West
Roberta Flake Clayton
Maiden Name: Mary Jane Robinson
Birth: October 24, 1848; Little North Canyon, Davis Co., Utah
Parents: Joseph Lee Robinson and Susan McCord
Marriage: John Anderson West; May 27, 1865
Children: Samuel Ezra (1866), Joseph Anderson (1867), William Heber (1869), Moroni Edward (1871), Amulec Isaac (1876), James Alma (1877), Oliver Robinson (1880), Mary (1883), Robert McCord (1885), Susan (1887), Wilford Cooper (1890)
Death: August 15, 1914; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., Utah
Burial: City Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., Utah
Mary Jane was born just two weeks after her parents landed in Salt Lake Valley. ’Twas a cold blustering night. Snow was falling in Little North Canyon, October 24, 1848, just the eve of winter. Her bed? The wagon box which had brought them all the weary miles. They left Winter Quarters mid-June. Four months of travel, and now in all that cold was to be born a baby. The covered wagon bed was warmed only from the hot rocks carried from the campfire.
When the Robinsons reached Mt. Pisgah and later Winter Quarters, they were very comfortable; their trip had been pleasant. However, during this time they had lost horses, oxen, and several cows, but their faith saw them through.
The year 1849 found [them in Utah with] their grain and meal greatly depleted. Men, women and children had to go on rations. They worked hard, clearing land and making ditches, and when spring came they had their hope renewed when their grain began to grow. The struggle with the crickets and the blessing of the seagulls came to them as it did to others. For two years they worked and were blessed with cattle and crops.
All too soon, word came from President Young that families were needed to leave their homes again and go to southern Utah. This time it was to Parowan, called Little Salt Lake, three hundred miles from where they were. Mary Jane’s mother had two sons from a former marriage, also colored John, who was part of Susan’s wedding dowry. Her father, James McCord, had asked at the time that she never part with colored John and had John make the same promise that he would never leave his “Missa Susan.”
It was late fall before they started south. Land would have to be prepared for crops, and it would be a repetition of what they had just finished. Susan often wondered what her parents would have thought could they have seen her in all this poverty. She contrasted this to the night they heard the gospel in her father’s beautiful home. How servants had prepared the delicious meal. No wonder her father had had such strong premonitions [reservations] regarding her future.
Mary Jane’s childhood was made happy by sitting at her mother’s feet and hearing stories of the beautiful home she had had when she was a little girl. There had been servants to carry out her every wish, horses to ride, books to read. The culture and refinement of her mother’s life was made a part of her own. She grew to love books and was a natural-born actress and speaker. She took parts in many plays and became a favorite performer. She also studied dancing from a very interesting dance instructor, John A. West. Soon a romance blossomed, and Mary Jane and John West were married when she was not quite seventeen. John left soon thereafter to complete a mission in Hawaii, and Mary, much to her delight, was left comfortably fixed and enrolled in a school of her choice. When John returned from Hawaii, he sweetly insisted that she continue her schooling. This year school was out early in the spring, and not too soon for Mary Jane, because she gave birth to her first-born son, Samuel Ezra on May 25, 1866.
The very next year, October 5, their second son, Joseph, was born. He was named for his grandfather, Joseph Robinson and the Anderson for the great-grandmother West—Joseph Anderson West. On August 10, 1869, she presented John with his third son, William Heber. Another studious son, Edward Moroni, was born July 28, 1871. At this time the grandmothers stepped in and said they would take care of the children while Mary Jane took the baby and went up north to visit her relatives and enjoy a vacation. While she was there, she really enjoyed going to all the stores and buying lots of things that were unavailable in a small town. She was so elated when she arrived home after a long trip that she vowed she would never spend so much time away from her young family.
Mary Jane Robinson. Photo courtesy of FamilySearch.
Since John’s mission to Hawaii had been cut short, he was now asked if he could return and finish his mission. At first they thought it impossible, but Mary Jane considered it very seriously and finally came up with the solution. She could teach school to support the family while he was gone. Preparations were made and John left for Salt Lake. While there he purchased an organ to send back to his little family. Mary Jane thought sure it was a mistake when she opened the large crate and saw the beautiful organ. A letter from John said he had arranged with Professor Durham to give the instructions she might need. This was a blessing indeed to their home, and Mary Jane taught her boys to sing and be glad. They had music in their home and joy and peace in their hearts.
Mary Jane’s mother took care of the children while she taught school. The little pay that was given her spelled independence.
A very sad experience occurred to the West family when word came that William, John’s brother, was dead. It was difficult to send word to John. And while the tears were still wet upon their cheeks, word came that Father West was very ill. A great love had always existed between this trio, Father and his two sons, but now with William dead and Father West dead, only John remained, and he in far-away Hawaii. But time is a healer. John was now spending his third year in the mission field, and soon he would be coming home.
John could hardly believe he was looking at his little boys. They had grown so much while he was gone. It took a while to renew family life with his sons, who had become young men instead of children. Three years makes such a difference in the young. John showed his appreciation to his mother and Mary Jane’s mother by taking them on a trip to St. George to see the temple while it was being built.
Susan McCord Robinson was failing in health and seemed to know that her days were numbered. She was happy. Mary Jane had freshly painted her house and put up new curtains. On September 19, 1876, Susan passed peacefully away. To Mary Jane, this seemed the hardest trial; her mother had been her sole confidant, no secret ever between them. How could she walk alone—without her mother’s out-stretched arms? She was happy, however, that her mother had known five of her children. Her last baby had been born February 17, 1876, Amulec Isaac.
On April 6, 1877, the St. George Temple was to be dedicated. John planned to take his family there for the wonderful occasion [including] his mother, Mary Jane’s brother, Solomon, and his wife and children. While there, they had the sealings done for James and Elizabeth McCord, Robert Barnett with Hannah Herron, and others, which was a great comfort to Mary Jane. It was a wonderful trip.
In November of 1877, their sixth son, James Alma, was born. Two years later, scarlet fever swooped down upon the town. Grandmother West came quickly, but despite all they could do, John and Mary Jane were called upon to part with two of their sons, one four years old and the other almost two. Both were taken the same day, March 26, 1879, almost the same hour.
Soon after this they received a call to go to Arizona. Mary Jane welcomed the call this time as it would take her away from the empty beds and the house where such great tragedy had come.
Quite a colony was named for this mission. Jesse N. Smith was asked to go and act as a stake president. He would take his wife, Emma, and two of her sisters were called, Lydia with her husband, C. E. Freeman and family, and Nancy and John Henry Rollins and family. Also the Decker family, the Hulet family, and the Rogers family. Most of them left early in the season. Grandmother West left with the first company because there were several women in that company who expected babies, and she was their doctor.
It was November when, with their worldly possessions packed in wagons, they left to wend their way to Arizona. Hardships came when cattle died; snow was encountered when they thought they would find sunshine in Arizona. Mary Jane became sick, and only a kind Providence brought her back to health.
When they reached Snowflake, they pitched their tent, and as soon as a fire was built, Mary Jane had the boys lay strips of carpet and set the organ down on it, and they all sang, “Home, Home, Sweet, Sweet home.”
Snowflake became a joyous place to live. Mary Jane was asked by Bishop Hunt to be Relief Society president, and her work of service began.
On June 19, 1882, death came again and this time took John’s mother, Margaret Cooper West, who had lived so well and so abundantly.
John was a good and kind husband, always looking after the welfare of his family. He built a log room before summer set in, and before winter came, he had built another log room with a good fireplace.
Joseph, the second son, attended BYU, starting with the fall term of 1883. Ezra, the oldest son, married Julia Ellsworth April 21, 1886. He did not have the opportunity of attending college. His father depended upon him so much to help with the family problems, and that, coupled with his humble willingness to be of service whenever and wherever he could, kept him at home. He loved to sing; in fact, all the family enjoyed music. Willie seemed a natural musician. Ezra and Julia lived very close to John and Mary Jane, and often Julia helped sew for the family.
On July 12, 1880, Mary Jane R. West was sustained as Relief Society president with Sister Lucy H. Flake as her first counselor. The second counselor changed many times, but Sister Flake remained with Mary Jane to the completion of her tenure of office. A great love seemed to come to these women from the start. They seemed to feel a kinship which even they could not quite understand.
Their days ahead in Relief Society were busy and rewarding. The summer did not pass before they were planning a new building to house the organization. With the help of their husbands and all the sisters, this building became a reality. It was much larger and nicer than they had dared imagine.
On November 2, 1880, little Oliver Robinson was born. This was one of the saddest things any of the family had known. The child was helpless from birth but lived to be five years old. The older children helped a great deal with this dear, patient child, especially Edward. Mary Jane said that he would receive a wonderful reward for his loving care of this little helpless one. Mary Jane had other children, two babies, younger than he, and she said she could not have survived without Eddie’s help.
In 1883, much to the surprise of all the town of Snowflake, Mary Jane gave birth to a little girl. She was all that they had dreamed of and hoped for, from her curls to her tiny pink toes. After seven boys, you can imagine how happy they were. This was Mary, who later married Don F. Riggs. Later years brought more children into this home: Robert McCord, on October 8, 1885, another beautiful daughter, Susan, on August 16, 1887, and Wilford, February 26, 1890.
Life here had its worries and perilous times. The Indians were hostile much of the time, and one midnight word came that Nathan Robinson, Mary Jane’s brother, had been killed by Indians.
In 1892 many wonderful things happened. Dr. Karl G. Maeser, an eminent educator from Germany, who was now the well-known President of Brigham Young University, was sent to Arizona on educational matters. He came to start a Church academy in Snowflake. Mary Jane and her band of Relief Society sisters played a very important part in helping this movement. The sisters agreed to save every egg that was laid on Sunday for contribution to the buildings that would be needed. The Relief Society donated their building to the school so it could be opened in September. John A. took the Sunday eggs to Fort Apache and sold them, and it wasn’t long until they were building them a new building. In fact, it was a larger building; it had two rooms this time and built of bricks instead of logs.
About this time, a distinguished lady from the East visited Snowflake. She was Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt of Woman’s Suffrage fame. Women of this day who treat the privilege of voting very lightly, passing it up unnoticed at times, can little realize how hard so many people worked that women might be allowed to be heard in public or to cast their vote. Mrs. Catt visited a few women and then very bluntly asked if she [Mary Jane Robinson West] would accept the county chairmanship of the Woman’s Suffrage Movement. Mary Jane considered it carefully, and after getting the consent of her husband and the stake president, she was appointed.
Each month Mary Jane wrote an article for a little paper, The Pearl, and in her choice papers are many of her contributions. One was entitled, “Making the Mind Beautiful,” another, “The Greatest Teacher, Except One,” another “Marriage, What it Means.”
Mary Jane was a wonderful mother and managed her home with kindness and love. For eight and one half years, her home was made beautiful and happy by the presence of her beloved brother, Solomon, and his motherless children. His Teena had died in 1890, and the family came to Arizona in 1891. Lots of changes had taken place since we told you of first the tent, then the dirt room, and next the large log room with the fireplace; then came the Big House, as it was called. Five bedrooms upstairs, two large living rooms, kitchen, pantry and basement. So when these children came, it looked like they had been expected.
In 1899 John and Mary left for an extended visit in Salt Lake. She missed her work with the dear Relief Society sisters, especially her life-long friend, Lucy Flake, who passed to the great beyond while Mary Jane was in Utah. The Wests returned home in 1902. In 1905 she was sustained as the Snowflake Stake Relief Society president. She had spent fourteen years as president of the ward Relief Society, ten years as counselor, and seven as stake president before they made a final move back to Utah. All their children except Ezra and his wife, Julia, and family would be close to them in Utah. Mary Jane loved Arizona, with its wind and its storms and its beautiful, peaceful summers.
Her twilight years were spent in Salt Lake, where often on a warm evening she and John A. would sit on their long porch overlooking Salt Lake Valley, watching the twinkling lights as they came from Fort Douglas down into the city, and she often wondered if Heaven could be more delightful.
Ellis and Boone:
RFC submitted a sketch for Mary Jane Robinson West (written by daughter, Mary West Riggs) to the FWP in the 1930s. The sketches for the FWP and PWA are entirely different, although much of the information is the same. It seems appropriate to include several paragraphs from the FWP sketch that describe Relief Society activities in Snowflake:
Mary Jane Robinson West with baby Mary, c. 1883. Photo courtesy of Smith Memorial Home, Snowflake.
There was a dear old blind man who used to enjoy going to her home, because she was never too busy to sit and read to him or converse with him, on the things that were nearest their hearts. One day he said to her, “Dear friend, you are so good to all of us. I can feel the heavy load you are carrying, but I say to you the day will soon come when you will have more help than you need.” This prophecy was fulfilled as her daughters and nieces grew older. . . .
A beautiful custom prevailed in the town at that time. If there were any sick or homebound, the ladies took turns sending the afflicted one a good hot dinner each day. This was under the direction of the President of the Relief Society and her councilors. If there were a fire, or any other calamity, they were the first to aid, as many of the people not only in Snow Flake, but Holbrook and other surrounding towns can testify.
Her home and church duties were not the only responsibilities Mary Jane carried.
When the women were working so hard for suffrage and the ballot, she entertained many of the visiting ladies, and was made County President of the Suffrage Clubs. She was also a member of the Board of Education. All of these positions necessitated her visiting all of the towns in the County, at frequent intervals. There were no automobiles in those days, so they purchased a “White tot” carriage and borrowed trusty teams and started out. It took two days travel to reach some of the outlying places, but they were always welcome wherever they went, she and her councilors, and the work was so dear to their hearts that they never considered the performance of a duty a hardship.
The first flag that ever floated over the town was made by the sisters of the Relief Society, and was sixteen feet in length. From a tall Liberty pole in the Public Square, it proudly waved on all festive occasions such as the Fourth and Twenty-fourth of July.
May Hunt Larson does not record a visit of Carrie Chapman Catt, but she does mention a visit by Laura Johns in 1896. Two entries from Larson’s journal describe this visit. April 18: “A noted lady lecturer on Woman’s Suffrage, Mrs. Laura M. Johns of Kansas visited us. Father [Bishop John Hunt] met her at Holbrook and brought her up.” April 20: “Monday Mrs. Johns held both another afternoon meeting and evening meeting and organized an association. Making Henrietta Hall, president; Mary J. West, vice president; Nettie Hunt, correspondence secretary; Bashie Smith, records secretary; James M. Flake, treasurer; and May Larson, auditor. The meetings [are] to be held semi-monthly. The lady seemed to be pleased with our town and people, and we were pleased with her and her interest in us.” May Larson also wrote about attending “the Taylor Woman Suffrage Association meeting with Sisters Hall, West and Driggs” on July 29, 1896.
Before coming to Snowflake, Laura Johns had visited the Gila Valley. Joseph Fish wrote, “On March 10th  Mrs. Johns who was from Kansas gave a lecture in Layton on the subject of Women’s Rights. She did very well, but appeared to have but one speech which had been carefully prepared. After the close of the meeting a club was formed for the promotion of Women’s Rights. I with several others joined this organization as I always had been in favor of the women having the right to vote.” Fish then mentioned that when he was in the Arizona Legislature, he had supported the right of women to vote. On February 12, 1895, the House passed a suffrage bill by a vote of 16 to 7, but the bill was later killed in the Territorial Council.
In 1899, the Phoenix newspaper mentioned Mrs. Catt attending a state convention on November 21 and 22, but there is no documentation of her coming to northern Arizona. During this period, woman’s suffrage moved forward state by state, with western states leading the way. Sometimes women gained the right to vote in municipal elections before state elections. In Arizona, the territorial legislature regularly debated a woman’s right to vote, but it was not until November 1912, the first election after becoming a state, that Arizona men voted for woman’s suffrage. Even so, this was eight years before passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.
Annie Woods Williams Westover
Maiden Name: Annie Woods
Birth: March 23, 1868; Porterville, Morgan Co., Utah
Parents: James Tickner Woods and Annie Chandler
Marriage 1: Pleasant Samuel Williams; May 19, 1887 (div)
Marriage 2: Arthur Leo Westover; May 30, 1938
Death: January 11, 1966; probably Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Burial: Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
I first opened my eyes to the light of day in the little town of Porterville, Morgan County, Utah, March 23, 1868.
I came welcomed into life by both fond parents to a home where abject poverty reigned. They were emigrants recently from England to this dreary, forbidding little spot, such as all Utah was at that early day, arriving travel-worn and destitute of the comforts of life.
My mother, having come from an old English mansion, with its retinue of servants and all the luxuries that went with an Old Country Seat, was about as frail as a lily grown in a hot house, and as helpless as a birdling dropped out of its nest before having grown its feathers. She had also been recently bereft of both parents, so that her orphanage, coupled with poor health, did not contribute anything towards the normal body which I should inherit, but did not.
Annie Woods Williams Westover. Photo courtesy of Anonymous.
I did not thrive but had to make a hard fight for life; grew up under malnutrition and so fell an easy prey to all diseases common to infants and small children, until I believe I ran the gamut—mumps, measles, chicken pox, scarletina, and the rest.
When I was seven years old, my father, James T. Woods, was called to Arizona to help establish the United Order on the Little Colorado River. We bade goodbye to home and friends and sallied forth in the midst of a heavy snowstorm February 7, 1876.
The journey of three months and ten days was fraught with perils and hardships similar to those who made the trip across the plains to Utah. When we crossed over the Buckskin Mountains, the road had to be worked with picks and shovels through nine feet of snow in places. Many of our party suffered from frost-bitten hands, feet, and ears. After sitting in a cramped position all day, we had to line up for the night in a sitting posture crosswise of the wagon box like sardines in a can, too cold to remove wraps or shoes, our breath forming into frost around our faces. One wagon had to accommodate one family together with all its worldly belongings, such as food supplies, farming implements, and seeds.
As canned milk, vegetables, and all canned goods were then unknown, our bill-of-fare consisted of dry beans, bacon, flour, rice, and dried fruit; campfire bread was baked over any kind of fire we could get; the bread burned if the wind was heavy, and doughy if the wood supply was scarce.
Water supply: any kind we could find, muddy, brackish, or even stagnant. After we struck the Little Colorado River, our only supply was in holes along the river bottom, and in places so stagnant that the fish were dead and floating in the green slime. But it was water and had to be used by man as well as beast. This was boiled over a sagebrush fire to sterilize it, then strained into barrels, and used very sparingly.
Before we reached our destination, while we plodded our weary way across those wastes of glistening sand (on foot, to lighten the load of our jaded teams), the mercury registered 114 degrees and our tongues were swollen from thirst. Oh, for a drink of pure, cold water from our wells in Utah. We arrived at our destination the fore-part of May, making the journey in about three months and ten days.
The first job after establishing camp was to begin clearing land and prepare for planting so the food-stuffs could be growing. So we lived in wagon boxes and tents that season.
In the fall, an adobe fort was built, and each family was assigned one room in which to live. All ate at one big table, so [everyone] had a chance to sample a variety of cooking, as each group of women took their turn in the kitchen.
As every ounce of foodstuff (as well as other supplies) had to be hauled from Utah by ox teams across the Arizona desert, nothing could be wasted when once it arrived, even though a can of coal oil happened to spring a leak on the road and come in contact with a sack of sugar or flour or dried fruit. Every morsel had to be eaten.
The first Christmas, I remember my stocking was not empty in the morning, for it had in it a raw carrot and a small piece of molasses candy, and I was quite content and happy.
My schooling began here, my mother being the teacher. My brother, Andrew Woods, received the first diploma and drew the first salary from the county treasury for school teaching. He taught in the territory and state for many years.
Annie Woods with husband Pleasant Williams. Photo courtesy of Anonymous.
Soon after our arrival, whooping cough came along and found all the children in camp waiting for it. Their poor little, skinny bodies were so emaciated that they had very little resistance and so fell an easy prey to this dread disease, which took a heavy toll, my baby sister being among the victims. I coughed for two years, during which time I did not grow at all; if possible, I became thinner and weaker. After a time, Apostle Erastus Snow came down from headquarters and paid the camps a visit, investigating conditions. Finding them unsatisfactory, he released from the Order all who desired to leave. My father had taken a good outfit with him and put in it all his worldly possessions, which were now all gone, and had nothing with which to move away, so had to stay in the country.
About this time, some settlers were taking up land at and around Show Low. Father went there and planted a crop, but before harvest the Indians caused us trouble, and the authorities advised all ranchers to move to larger settlements for safety. We went from there to Taylor, Arizona, and built a little home, fenced a small piece of ground, and again planted. We remained in Taylor for a couple of years, when a better opening seemed to present itself in Woodruff and we moved again.
The Woodruff Dam washing out for seven successive times is a matter of common history and needs no further comment. Here again Father made another attempt to build us a home; [he] had the framework up and a couple of rooms under roof when he was called to Great Britain on a mission (1885−87).
During his absence, Mother and I were thrown entirely on our own responsibility, as well as furnishing money for Father during his absence. Mother kept the little country post office and I was her assistant. During my father’s absence, my only living sister (foster child) came and visited us. Soon after her arrival, she fell ill with typhoid fever, and later my mother became infected and was also very ill.
There was not a doctor in our part of the country, not even a drug store. I was young and inexperienced but did my best (which was poor indeed) and watched them fade and die just eight days apart, leaving me thus alone in the empty, unfinished house to carry on, as I was assistant p[ost] m[istress] and must look after my official duties until another could be appointed from Washington D.C. to take my place. In these days, Washington was a long way off, and weeks of time was needed to make the change.
As mail arrived in the night, every night I had to be there to attend to it. I slept upstairs alone in the bed which my mother so recently died, came down stairs by the light of a coal oil lamp, and into the empty post office. Telephones were not yet in use, and no neighbor living within call. Everybody seemed so far away and everything so silent.
When Father returned, he found Mother and my sister gone and me wasted almost to a skeleton. The following spring, I married and moved out of the state and came back years later and built a home in Mesa, Arizona. I have taught school for five years, was a member of the Home Dramatic club for years, and have always taken part in all of the activities, religious and social, in every community in which I have resided.
Ellis and Boone:
This sketch is exactly as Clayton submitted it for the FWP on September 17, 1938; it was not updated for PWA. Annie Westover simply did not include any information about her first marriage, which was not a happy one. Annie Woods first married Pleasant Williams, the son of George Calvin “Parson” Williams, who joined the Church in Luna, New Mexico. Annie wrote that the Williams family was “from the South. My people came from England and [they] were as far apart as the North Pole from the South Pole in every particular.” Annie and Pleasant traveled to St. George to be married and then moved to Mexico, where they were called as missionaries to Mexico City. She wrote, “When only 19 years of age I was called in connection with my husband to the City of Mexico (one of the first lady missionaries that the church sent out—1887). I found it difficult to overcome my prejudice and my childish fear; but after reaching my field of labor, and eating and sleeping with them and praying with and for them, and getting the missionary spirit, this was overcome and I learned to love them. Elder Henry Eyring was then mission president and we were called to keep the mission house.” Annie and Pleasant were only in Mexico City a short time. As President Henry Eyring wrote, “They were called through some misunderstanding, and as we had insufficient means to keep them and the openings were few indeed, I released them from their labors and they returned home, after a few months stay.”
The extended Williams family began ranching about eight miles north of Colonia Pacheco in an area known as Cave Valley. Pleasant Williams sold potatoes, beans, butter, and cheese to the Dos Cabezas Mine. Also, it seems apparent that Pleasant Williams was thinking about a plural wife from 1892 to 1893; Caroline Romney wrote that “Pleas Williams was the most persistent” of her suitors and “he would not give up,” even when she told him that she liked Ed Eyring better.
Annie wrote, “In 1897 we returned to the City of Mexico as the mission was opened up there again. This time, we remained one and a half years. While there I under went an operation in the St. John’s hospital as my health remained bad. In April [I] returned to Utah. Was washed and anointed for my health in the Manti Temple and devoted about two years to temple work.” By 1900, they were living in Colonia Juárez. Annie said her piano “was the second piano to be shipped to the colonies, Gladys Bentley’s being the first. I gave music lessons and had many students. I had been ward organist and also stake organist in Arizona up to the time of my marriage and removal from there. My mother who was highly educated had been my instructor and as I was naturally musical, I became proficient at an early age.” She noted that Joseph C. Davis took products to sell at the mines, and “I made up bolts and bolts of blue jeans or denim into overalls for him. I always had to support myself more so than if I had been a widow. As I could not spend my money after I earned it. The 15 years that I was his wife, he never bought me a dress nor a pair of shoes.”
Finally, Annie wrote the following about her divorce:
A shadow had been gathering in my domestic sky for some time and became so ominous that I went to my Stake President for counsel. He informed me that if I wanted a divorce he would see to it that I obtained one. I did, of course, as there was no alternative.
As we had become naturalized citizens of Mexico and the law in that country did not grant divorces, only “separate maintenance,” I had to go to the United States and live for one year and acquire a domicile in order to have the right of the U.S. courts. I sold the piece of property that had been assigned to me in the division of the property, received a small down payment and the remainder on time. Those notes that I received were never fully redeemed.
When I left Mexico for the U.S. in 1902, I determined to leave Mexico behind with all the tragedy and heartache I had know there and forget as much as I could as fast as I could. My 14 years spent there was a prolonged Gethsemane to me.
Sick in body and mind, I took my life and future in my own keeping and left for the United States (Salt Lake City). I had but little money so I had to take in dress making and teach music for my support. Finally I put my case in the courts and received my civil divorce. I then had to apply for a Temple divorce as we had been sealed in the Temple. At the end of another year, one day President [Anthony W.] Ivins handed me the desired document which bestowed to me my maiden name.
In 1919, Annie Woods was living in Salt Lake City, and because she could speak Spanish, she was called as the Assistant Genealogical Secretary for “the Lamanite Work,” which at that time meant ordinances for native Mexicans. Six months before the Arizona Temple was dedicated, she was called to move to Mesa and supervise Spanish ordinances, often helping the temple patrons with clothing. She wrote, “In looking back over my life it seems to me that all the most important events thereof have been in line with this program—my missionary call when I was young, acquiring the Spanish language, later taking a course in typing and genealogy work and qualifying to keep records, and later the Patriarchs placing their hands upon me and telling me that I was sent to do this work—the Authorities knowing nothing of that blessing—all of these things indicate that our lives have a definite purpose from the beginning.”
Annie was living alone in Mesa in 1930, but in 1938, she married Arthur Westover. After four happy years of marriage, he died February 21, 1942. Annie Westover lived twenty more years and died January 11, 1966, also at Mesa.
Joanna Matilda Erickson Westover
Unidentified Son or Daughter, FWP
Maiden Name: Joanna Matilda Erickson
Birth: June 4, 1854; Göteborg, Sweden
Parents: Sven Eriksson and Maria Kristina Bengtson
Marriage 1: Edwin Lycurgus Westover; April 24, 1874
Children: Laura Matilda (1875), Edwin Swen (1877)
Marriage 2: Henry Waters Despain; May 27, 1879
Children (all used the Westover name): John Lycurgus (1880), Mary Sophia (1882), Amelia Christina (1885), Electa Drucilla (1887), Emma Octava (1889), Albert Oscar (1893), Franz Henry (1896)
Death: January 23, 1929; Gallup, McKinley Co., New Mexico
Burial: Joseph City, Navajo Co., Arizona
It was June 4, 1854, on a beautiful summer day that my mother Joanna Erickson first saw the light of day. She was born in the country of Sweden, on a small farm near the city of Göteborg. Sweden is a beautiful country. No dirt, dust, or wind to mar the beautiful surroundings. In the summer, green grass and beautiful flowers grow everywhere. The winters are very cold. Deep snow covers the country. The days are very short. The sun rises at 9 a.m. and sets at 3 p.m.
It was the custom in Sweden for the women to milk the cows. Grandfather Erickson would dig a path through the snow to the cow shed. The snow would be so deep that they could hardly see Grandmother’s head as she walked along the path.
Grandfather Erickson was a carpenter by trade; he made beautiful chests of drawers, bureaus, tables, etc. At night, Mother would hold torches so her father could see to work.
Her mother would bake twice a year and would hang the large round loaves of bread in the attic. She washed only a few times a year. In the summer, she would take the wash down to a clear stream and pound the clothes clean on white rocks.
Mother was never sent to school in Sweden. Her mother taught her how to read. If she would learn to read real well, the old red hen would lay a penny.
One winter day, a little brother came to brighten their home. On the eighth day, Grandfather wrapped the baby in blankets and carried him on a sleigh to the old priest to be baptized by sprinkling. That night he died of pneumonia. Grandfather could not understand why a tiny babe should have to be baptized. So when two Mormon missionaries came to their home in the year 1862 and explained their simple, but wonderful truths, Grandfather and Grandmother were converted and were baptized.
It was now their great desire to join the Saints in Zion, so they saved enough money to send Grandmother and their three children to Utah. Grandfather would have to wait until he sold their place. While waiting for the ship to sail, a man came up and offered to buy his home. Grandfather hurried back and got his belongings and arrived just in time. How happy they were to have him go with them. They were six weeks crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
They came to Utah in the year 1864. Mother was ten years old. She walked every step of the way across the plains. Her mother would have to be carried in most every night, as she was a cripple. When they arrived in Salt Lake City, they were sent to Grantsville to live.
Mother’s next ten years were quite uneventful. She and her sister Annie would take turns in going to school as they only had one pair of shoes for both. Being very poor, and Mother being the eldest child, she had to help sustain the family, doing housework, spinning, weaving, and knitting for which she would receive 50¢ per week.
When she was nineteen years old, romance came into her life. A tall, handsome man from St. George, Utah, came to work in their town. The Sunday School was giving a Christmas program, and Mother sang a solo, “Only a Little Flower.” She was dressed in white and wore a flower in her dark hair. The young man, Lycurgus Westover, asked who the young lady was, and they told him she was Joanna Erickson. He remarked: “She is my future wife.” Within a year they were married. A year later a baby girl was born to them.
And then came a call from Brigham Young to help settle Arizona, and they came here April 16, 1876. In the autumn, they returned to St. George, and in January 1877, a baby boy was born. They returned to Arizona when the baby was six weeks old, in company with the Tanners, Bushmans, and Hunts.
While they were crossing Pearce’s Ferry, Brother Westover was driving the animals across the big Colorado, when his horse went under. Mother screamed, “Save my husband!” They rescued him before he drowned.
He died November 6, 1877, of dropsy and heart failure. By the request of her husband to raise a family for him, she married Henry W. Despain on May 27, 1879. Seven children blessed this union: John Lycurgus, Mary Sophia, Amelia Christine, Electa Drucilla, Emma Octavia, Albert Oscar, and Franz Henry.
She encountered many hardships during the first twenty-five years of her life in Arizona, but in her later years, she had all she desired. She made frequent trips back to Utah, where three of her children lived, and also trips to California to visit a daughter living in San Diego.
Two of her sons and one grandson were drafted in the World War of 1918. Three of her sons, thirteen grandsons, and four granddaughters have fulfilled honorable missions for the LDS Church. Eight served in World War II.
Her retiring disposition made it very difficult for her to work in the public, but she served as Relief Society teacher for over thirty years. She was Relief Society chorister and second counselor in the Primary Association. She helped as an assistant to the midwife of the community.
She had the privilege of having her nine children married and sealed in the Temple. She had 62 grandchildren, 57 still living, and 132 great-grandchildren, 129 still living. Her patriarchal blessing said her posterity would be as the sands of the seashore.
The occupations of her descendants range from plain clodhoppers [farmers?] to editor of papers, educators, telephone business, bus drivers, politicians, salesmen, cooks, seamstress, bookkeepers, and heartbreakers [horsebreakers?], as well as poultrymen and dairymen.
To know her was to love her. Wherever she was known, it was a passport for any and all her children.
She passed away January 23, 1929, with cancer of the stomach, being sick only ten days.
Ellis and Boone:
This sketch was originally written for the FWP and then was extensively reworked for PWA. Specifically, the FWP sketch did not make any mention of her second marriage (which was a polygamous marriage for Henry Despain). The entry about Edwin Westover for a history of Joseph City states: “Before his death knowing he did not have long to live, he requested his friend Henry Waters Despain to take his wife and to raise a family to the Westover name. This was done. Johanna Matilda and Henry W. Despain were married in Salt Lake City on May 27, 1879. Seven children were born to them, three sons and four daughters. She retained the name of her first husband and the children took the Westover name.”
Another history of this area states: “Despain was never a man of means, and his first wife and their large family taxed his finances to the limit, therefore Joanna was left largely on her own to look after her family of nine. She was a small, frail-looking woman, but her inward strength and pride carried her through a rigorous pioneering life which would have dismayed many a huskier woman. Though her hardships were great, she preserved in raising a fine group of children. One of her sons, John Lycurgus, was bishop of the [Joseph City] ward twenty-three years, and a grandson, Earl B. Westover, bishop for twelve.”
Joanna Matilda Erickson Westover. Photo courtesy of DUP album, Snowflake-Taylor Family History Center.
Finally, a slightly different version of the Eriksson family coming to America, and the father accompanying them, is found in Unflinching Courage:
When Johanna with her mother and brother John and sister Anna were going to take [the] ship from Gotenborg, Sweden, to come to America in 1864, a friend said to the father, “Surely you are not going to let your crippled wife make that trip to Utah alone.”
He replied that he did not have enough money for his ticket and would have to stay and sell his place.
The friend, a Mr. Ellison, said, “I’ll give you the money for your ticket and will sell the place for you.” Her father rushed back home across the lakes on skates to get some clothes and rushing back, arrived just as they were going to raise the ship’s plank.
Annie Catherine Hansen Whipple
Roberta Flake Clayton, FWP Interview
Maiden Name: Annie Catherine Hansen
Birth: September 5, 1871; Washington, Washington Co., Utah
Marriage: Charles Whipple; October 11, 1886
Children: Jennie May (1890), Pearl Walrade (1893), Charles Hansen (1895), Edson L. (1898), Clea (1900), Clyde Anthony (1903), Augustus L. (c. 1906), Marva (c. 1909), Annie Catherine (1911)
Death: October 25, 1962; Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Burial: Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
From faraway Denmark came the parents of the subject of this sketch, and though they did not know each other in the homeland, there was that similarity of language and customs that drew them together in the land of their adoption. Her father, Hans Hansen, was born at Karlebo, Fredriksberg, Denmark, April 4, 1837, and came to America at the age of eighteen. Her mother, Mary Adsersen, was born September 28, 1848, at Tange, Jylland, Denmark, coming to this country when she was fifteen years old. They, with their parents, were converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Her father was a mason by trade and was a hard-working, conscientious man, very dependable, and his work was of the highest order. This, combined with a jovial disposition and a gift of making friends, gave him steady employment and enabled him to provide well for his family.
Catherine’s first recollections of a home were of the gray adobe story-and-a-half building surrounded by orchard and grape vineyard. This was in Washington, Utah, where on September 5, 1871, she was born.
The fruit was dried for winter use, and the surplus grapes made into wine. This was stored in the cellar. She never saw her father or mother take a drink of it, nor were the children allowed to. It was made “for sale,” but she remembers when she and her brother used to go out and get long hollow reeds and sip the wine from the barrels. She adds that it must have been the sweet juice as it never affected them.
At the age of seven, her schooling began with Johnnie Pace as her teacher. This only lasted one season, as her father was called to help settle the new country of Arizona. After some delay, they made the journey, settling first at Show Low. Their first home in this land was a one-room log house, with no window, and a blanket for a door. The wagon boxes were removed from the running gears and put on logs and served as bedrooms for the children.
Her father obtained employment at Fort Apache, and what provisions were attainable he got for his family, but it was many miles to the nearest store, and so the family had to depend largely on what they could raise or produce themselves. As their farm was dependent on the rains for moisture, the crops were very uncertain. The bread was mostly made of cornmeal and much of the time unleavened.
There were a few families living around in the woods on their farms who gathered together each Sunday for Sunday School and church. Catherine used to look forward to those times when she could wear her calico dress and bonnet to Sunday School. She says:
My bonnet was made of light, figured calico that Mother had brought from Utah; it was starched with flour starch so stiff it would not bend, and when I was not wearing it, it was hung on a certain peg on the wall. On Saturdays, all the brass kettles, tin pans, and tin cups had to be scoured and shined and the knives and forks also. That was one of my chores. That done, then came the weekly bathing. I would get the old copper boiler and fill it with water on the stove to heat and bring in the wooden tub. Sometimes it would leak and we would pour a tea kettle full of water in it to soak it up so we could use it to bathe in. I usually started in with the baby and put about three through the bath before I changed the water. We had a large piece of homemade soap to scrub them with. It was a luxury if we had a bar of white laundry soap from the store. My father did all the shoe mending, and sometimes Mother took the tops of her shoes and cut them down and sewed them on the machine and made shoes for the children.
My father made his own shoe lasts of wood, and made wooden pegs to tack on the soles with, and cut shoe laces from tanned sheep skin.
In the summer time, Father and the boys wore for socks a square piece of cloth torn from some old, worn out garment. They would set their foot on the rag, cornerwise pulling the front corner over their toes, and crossing the sides over the top of the foot and slip their feet into their shoes. We could not buy socks. Mother tried to have a pair of home knit ones for each one for Sunday, but yarn was hard to get, and what she had, she had spun from wool. Sometimes we would gather the green hulls from walnuts to color the yarn.
Three incidents in the childhood of Catherine stand out in her memory very vividly: when they were coming from Utah, she burned her arm very severely. The only thing that brought relief was to hold it in cold water; this she did leaving it there while she slept and had a serious time with her arm for some time. Another was the time her little brother ran away when she was supposed to be taking care of him at Show Low. The Apaches were on the warpath, and all of the families had moved to a fort built at the Cooley Ranch. Great excitement prevailed until the little fellow was found. He had decided to go back to their home. The last of the three brought her the most sorrow because it was unjust.
Charles and Annie Catherine Whipple (seated) with her siblings, Mary Jane and Niels Samuel Hansen, c. 1885. Photo courtesy of Marion Hansen.
Mother had gone to the nearest store; it took her three days to make the trip. She left me to care for the family and told me to have the house all cleaned when she came back. She had one treasure, a rocking chair, the only one in the country round, and she never left the house without warning us to be careful of it. The third day came and I scrubbed and scoured everything, blacked the stove until you could see your face in it. Fixed what we had in the house for supper—she would bring a fresh supply—and waited for her to come. When bedtime came I went to bed, tired out but happy because everything looked so nice and Mother would be pleased. I had only retired when here came my brother from choir practice, and with him all the young people of the neighborhood. They made some molasses candy, played “snatch grab” with it, wrapped it around the girls’ necks, and tangled it in each other’s hair. It had boiled over and burned on my polished stove, and soon it was all over everything in the house, but the worst was yet to come—they broke the prized rocking chair. At last they were gone, but I was too tired to get up and clean the house again. I might as well have done as I could not sleep for thinking of the chair. As soon as morning came I was up and at it again but Mother came in about fifteen minutes. She would not let me explain, so I had to bear the blame.
Candy pulls, choir practice, and dances were the only forms of social amusement, and there were so few people that all had to participate, young and old alike, and girls of fourteen were grown young ladies. Catherine had just turned fifteen when she was married. The wedding took place in Snowflake, on October 11, 1886, and the next day she and the happy young bridegroom, Charles Whipple, started on their honeymoon, by team, to their old home in Utah. There were two other families along.
When they got to Provo, Utah, where her husband was raised, they decided to remain for the winter as it was too cold to attempt the return trip. Here they decided Catherine should go to school while her husband worked. This was a new experience for her, but she made the most of her time. When school was over, she went out where Charley was cutting trees and lived in a tent. Her chairs and furniture were dry goods boxes, but she made a home of it. At the end of a year, they decided he should remain and work, as he had a good job, and Catherine should return home on the train. This was in the fall of 1887. She came back on the train, her first experience in that mode of travel. It was a year before her husband joined her, she living with her parents in the meantime. Charley had built a little home before they were married. When he came back, they moved to it and began making a home of their own. “My father had given me a cow and we bought two more. Mother gave me half a dozen hens, so that summer I made butter and raised chickens, supplied the house and our clothes with the money from these.”
One of the unusual experiences they had was one night while camped near Fort Apache; they, in company with Charley’s brother Edson and his wife, attended an Indian dance. They had not been there long when an old [woman], with a papoose tied to her back, came and tapped Charley, as an indication that she wanted to dance with him, but he would not go. Soon another came, with the same result. Then the Whipple boys decided to dance with their wives. This greatly amused the Indians, and the old musician nearly beat the head out of his tom-tom keeping time for them. After they had finished, the chief came to them and told how honored the Indians felt that the pale face would dance with them.
Charley’s father had moved to Mexico, and was now very feeble, so persuaded his son to go down there and look after his cattle and ranch. So they disposed of their belongings and went. Again there was pioneering to be done and hardships to be met that tried the bravest hearts. At one time the Apache Indians went on a raid, stole a horse from a neighbor, and were in the act of taking one of the Whipple horses when Charley saw him and at the point of a gun took it away from him. The Indians left the ranch but that night killed a neighbor woman and one son; they shot another and thought he was dead, but he was afterward taken to the hospital in El Paso and recovered.
After waiting four years, Catherine became the proud mother of a family, and the possessor of a comfortable home.
Catherine inherited from her father a happy disposition, and her home was a gathering place for high and low, rich and poor. She was an excellent cook, and when there was anything to be had, their table was well provided for. During the summer months, they milked a large herd of cows and made cheese and butter. Her butter was in great demand in Mexico City in the homes of Americans there.
They had a fine orchard, and there was ready sale for their fruit, her husband hauling it to El Paso and nearby mines and towns. Finally, he became the shipping agent for all of the colonists that had fruit and was shipping in car-load lots to different parts of Mexico. Often he would go himself and bring back goods in return. They had a good business and were making lots of money when the Mexican Revolution started. All the time there were hopes that the Americans would be protected as they had taken no sides in the quarrel, but finally word came that they should leave. This came late at night and the exodus began early the next morning.
Charles and Annie Catherine Whipple with their children; front row, left to right: Charles, Charles H., Pearl; top row: Catherine, Jennie, c. 1896. Photo courtesy of Marie Noble.
Poor Catherine had worked so hard to take care of their fruit and look after several of her children that had typhoid fever that at last she was seriously stricken with the same dread disease and had to be taken to and from the train in an improvised stretcher.
The experiences of that trip and the month that followed were a nightmare that Catherine wished to forget. When the colonists were assembled at the train, ready to leave for the good old USA and protection, it was decided that some of the men should remain and look after the property of the others, and her husband was one of those selected. She was laid on a bench in one of the cars and made as comfortable as was possible, and after a long day of uncertainty as to the condition of the track and the safety of the train, they finally reached El Paso on July 28, 1912. The next day a doctor was sent to her, and she was taken to the hospital. There she spent three weeks. For the first week, she was too ill to know what was happening, but as she began to recover, there were the awful pangs of loneliness—her children were all kept away from her, the loss she had sustained in Mexico, and the anxiety for her husband. She knew from scraps of conversation she overheard that all the train bridges between the border and the colonies were burned, and then there were the constant rumors that all the Americans down there had been killed. She could not get word from her husband, and it was a month before he finally came. Her progress toward health had been very slow. As soon as she was able to be moved from the hospital, she and Charley decided it would be best for her and the family to accept the offer of the government to furnish transportation for those who wished to go to other places and return to her former home in Arizona. This Catherine and eight of her children did, the eldest boy remaining with his father to try to obtain employment.
Here among her people, Catherine slowly regained her health and set about in her usual energetic manner to do her share in providing for her family. Her husband was not very successful in getting work and after a while joined his wife.
A new beginning had to be made, and with a large family, it was not an easy matter. Some of the older ones were large enough to help and each did what work was obtainable. The eldest daughter, Jennie, had obtained a certificate and taught school. One of the smaller boys did janitor work at the school and got ten dollars a month; the two older ones had gone to California to obtain work, the father took over a hotel, first at Show Low then at Snowflake, and Catherine and the younger girls kept the rooms and did the cooking.
Meanwhile, World War I was on and Charles Jr. enlisted and was sent overseas. Thru the death of the mother, seven more children, the youngest of which was six months old, were added to Catherine’s family of eight. Bravely she accepted this added responsibility. Her husband did what he could to help provide. He hauled wood from the hills south of Snowflake to Holbrook and brought back freight for the stores. One day he was making his usual trip, and just after he reached Holbrook, something happened and he was thrown off or fell from his load, his head striking the pavement. He was unconscious for sixteen hours. Catherine had three doctors, but nothing could be done for him, and he died April 13, 1919.
After the death of her husband, the longing to return to her home in Mexico was too strong to resist. The older children had married, and their interests were elsewhere, but the younger ones were glad to go. When they got there, they found the beautiful new home that they had left was almost a wreck. She went to work and made it livable, had the orchard pruned, planted the garden, and managed to make a living there for six years. There were times when the fruit crop was a failure and other years when there was very little sale for it. Many discouraging things happened, but the worst blow was the loss of her health. Her children were very kind to her, and the sons-in-law did all they could for her welfare. She was taken to doctors in Salt Lake City, in Los Angeles, and in Phoenix. Each diagnosed her case different, but all agreed that nothing could be done for her, that is after each had treated her for some time and got a good fee. She continued to get worse. She had lost faith in doctors and decided if she was to live it was “up to her.” She had her daughter make poultices and apply them to where the pain was most severe, and after persistence they were effective. She was in such a condition that everyone gave her up and her children were sent for. She felt she was better, though so weak that for days she took no nourishment except one or two spoonfuls of liquid a day. Finally, she asked for buttermilk; that tasted so good that she called for more, and that was her only diet for a long time. It seemed to be just what her system required, for she began to gain strength until she was well, and for the past four years [previous to 1937] has enjoyed better health than she has for years.
She has taken up the work of gathering genealogy and finds great joy in that. She visits among her children, where she finds a hearty welcome in every home. She has passed thru enough hardships, and sickness of her children as well as herself, and other trials to fill a large volume. But her indomitable courage could not be killed, and she has come through it all sweet, hopeful, and an inspiration to all who know her. (She passed away October 25, 1962.)
Ellis and Boone:
Roberta Flake Clayton submitted this sketch to the FWP on August 7, 1937, so the present tense in the last paragraph is Clayton’s description of Annie Whipple in 1937. Also, because this was originally a FWP sketch, the subject of polygamy is not mentioned. While in Mexico, Charles married a second wife on February 22, 1898—Mary Louise Walser, daughter of John Jacob Walser. Charles and Mary had at least eight children. When the two Whipple families left Mexico in 1912, Mary stayed in El Paso until after her daughter Eva was born in 1913. In 1915, her son Waldo was born in Shumway, Navajo County, Arizona, and in 1917, her last child, Alma Virgil, was born in Colonia Juárez. She passed away in 1919 at Colonia Juárez. It appears from this sketch that Annie Catherine took care of some of Mary’s children for a short time. Eventually, some of both families stayed in the U.S. and some returned to Mexico.
Rowena Celestia McFate Whipple
Roberta Flake Clayton, FWP Interview
Maiden Name: Rowena Celestia McFate
Birth: November 14, 1867; Toquerville, Washington Co., Utah
Parents: Joseph Smith McFate and Olive Eliza Tenney
Marriage: Edson Whipple; January 1, 1884
Children: Lucy Olive (1885), Lavinia Goss (1886), Joseph Edson (1888), William Mickle (1890), Levi Lisk (1892), John Lowell (1894), Columbus (1896), Ammon Mishic (1897), Rowena (1899), Reed Yeager (1901), Forest Floyd (1903), Hugh (1905), Wallrade (1907), Ecco (1909), twins Lester (Tyler) and Lyle Tristin (1911)
Death: July 8, 1942; Snow Low, Navajo Co., Arizona
Burial: Show Low, Navajo Co., Arizona
One of the most remarkable of Arizona’s Pioneer Women is “Aunt Rene” as she is known to hundreds of admiring friends. Some of the things that entitle her to renown is the fact that, though a cripple ever since she was three years old, she is the mother of sixteen children, four of whom went to the World War, and that she is alive today to tell her own story.
Rowena Celesta is the daughter of Joseph S. and Olive Eliza Tenney McFate. She was born in Toquerville, Utah on November 14, 1867.
When three years of age, she was afflicted with rheumatism, from which she suffered intensely, and it left her with her limbs drawn up. She was placed in an iron cast and kept there for almost a year. By the end of that time, her legs were sufficiently straight that she could go on crutches, and when she was eight, she could get around without them. However, she was very stiff in her knees and hips, and one leg remained shorter than the other; another result of the rheumatism was the loss of sight of one of her eyes.
Mr. McFate was a carpenter and moved his family around to wherever he had employment, coming to St. Johns, Arizona, December 23, 1880. They were three months on the road. Her father had two wagons, one drawn by oxen and the other a horse team.
After living in St. Johns about two and a half years, Mr. McFate got a logging contract at Flagstaff and took his family along. There they lived in a tent and a wagon box.
While the family lived in St. Johns, “Aunt Rene” went to school two terms. The first [one with] Edmund Richardson in a small abode room, used also for a church, and the other in a one-room log school house [with] Mrs. Annie Romney. There were perhaps a hundred pupils at this school and about half of them were Mexicans. The benches were made of logs split in two and with legs made of short poles. No nails were needed for those benches. There were few books to be had and chances for an education were poor; only reading, writing, history, and geography were attempted. In those days, parents had to buy books and pay tuition. This was a hardship when the family consisted of thirteen children as did the McFate family. Besides their own children, there was Emily Jane Hopkins, whose father had given her to the McFates when her mother died and left her a tiny baby. Mrs. McFate’s own firstborn died about the same time, and in as far as was possible, little Emily Jane took the place of it, and Mrs. McFate was a true mother to the little girl. The first real sorrow that Rowena ever had was when on their way to Arizona. Mr. Hopkins sent for his child and told the parties to bring her back even if they had to steal her. He was finally persuaded that the McFates could do better by his child than he could and permitted her to stay with them, and she and Rowena were always the best of pals.
The first wedding “Aunt Rene” remembers was in St. Johns. It was that of Joseph Patterson and Emma Richey. It was a grand affair with “pass-around” and all. The ballroom had only a hard dirt floor, but what mattered as long as the hearts were light, and they could dance by Joe McFate’s fiddlin’.
Tragedy played its part in these early memories, and the night her grandfather Tenney was shot while trying to bring about peace between the Greer boys and some Mexicans will ever remain in her memory.
From Flagstaff the family moved to Forest Dale, went thru the Indian trouble there, and were compelled to abandon their home and crops because they were said to be on the Indian Reservation. They went to St. Johns again and then moved to Alpine, a small settlement about seventy-five miles south of St. Johns and within five miles of the New Mexico line.
Romance began when Rowena was only thirteen years old. She was on her way to Flagstaff, when at Winslow her Uncle Ammon Tenney joined her party. With him was Edson Whipple, a dashing young man of twenty-four. Rowena’s sister’s beau was along, so that left Rowena alone, but not for long. She was too attractive for that, with her dancing brown eyes and her long braids of auburn hair that looked like spun copper in the sunlight.
The four young people went for a ride in a wagon with boards put across for seats. Sister’s beau drove part way and then it was Ned’s turn. He drove so fast that the boards slid off the side of the wagon box, and he gave them many a fall and thrill accompanied by squeals from the girls. This friendship ripened into love and on January 1, 1884, “just to begin the year right,” they were married.
The wedding dress was made by her mother. It was of gray wool material and contained fourteen yards. It was trimmed with blue satin and was made in the latest fashion, with basque, pleated skirt, overskirt, and “puckers.” All of the people for miles around were invited and came. A supper and dance followed. They made thirty gallons of beer for the occasion. “A person could have drunk the whole thirty gallons and not got drunk,” quickly added the bride of over fifty-three years ago, fearing one might get the wrong impression.
After the wedding, Ned took his bride to Show Low to present her to his family, and there they remained a month, returning to Alpine, where they built a one-room house of quaking aspen logs. In this humble little home, her first child, a baby girl, was born.
They lived here about a year and a half, then they moved to what was known as Adair. Here they homesteaded. Her husband built a fort for their protection if attacked by Indians. This was used as a dance hall in those early days, and people would come from all over the country in their wagons, or on horseback, and stay a day or a week at a time.
“I never kept a hotel,” says Aunt Rene, “but many a night we had beds spread all over the floor. I never charged but for one meal in my life, and I’ve always been ashamed of that. It was after one of these big celebrations we had so often, and everything in the house was eaten. A Mexican came and wanted something to eat, and I took his fifty cents and sent it to the store to get something to feed him.”
Molasses was substituted for sugar and corn for flour. When foodstuffs were scarce, they did without or made something to eat out of what they had. That was the test of a good cook, and she was that. She was also a seamstress and for many years made all the clothes for her family, besides that she knit all of their socks and stockings.
Although their home was on the homestead for nineteen years, Rowena often went with her husband when he had work away, cooking for any men who might be working near.
Edson and Rowena Whipple ("Uncle Ned and Aunt Rene") with son Joseph (left) and daughter Lucy, c. 1889. Photo courtesy of Show Low Historical Society Museum.
In 1903, the family moved to Show Low and finally built a good home there. In their excavating, they found they were on a large Indian ruin. From this they got many valuable relics, such as stone tablets, bone needles, stone hammers, bracelets, rings, ear rings, beads, turquoise, and many beautiful ollas. This collection they later sold for $1500 and, with the money obtained therefrom, bought themselves a car, and, with their son Joe for a driver, took a trip to Florida through the South and then home by way of Washington, DC—a fitting recompense for a life of service to others.
In 1918, when the USA entered World War I, she sent four sons—John, a Marine; Joseph, in the artillery; Columbus, in the infantry; and Will, a sailor; and the fifth son signed up, ready to go. She is especially proud of the record made by her boys. Columbus was in the front lines eighty-seven days. He swam a river with his clothes and cartridges on and rescued a drowning comrade. For his bravery, he was given the Croix de Guerre. Once in the wire entanglements, he lost his gun, but soon found another that the owner would never need again. He crossed a valley thirteen times in one day under fire. One of his companions was killed by his side when they had taken refuge in a shell hole. He was wounded in the foot but never reported it. He was in the service two years to the day.
Joe was in the Army of occupation in Germany. He was at the front fifty-four days. The brothers only met once, and then for only about five minutes.
Will was operated on in San Francisco for appendicitis. A letter came from him stating he was not well and was trying to get a leave to come home for a few days before going overseas. A short time later, a telegram came saying he was seriously sick, and twenty minutes later another came saying he was dead.
John got a ten-day furlough and brought his brother’s flag-draped body home to the grief-stricken mother, also a cigar box filled with nickels and pennies his “buddies” had contributed as a love token. Will had been in the service four months. His body was brought home on his 28th birthday, July 20, 1918. John had been out seven months; he returned and served until the end of the war.
One of Joe’s most thrilling experiences was when, as a corporal, he was detailed to move a large supply of ammunition. With airplanes circling around overhead, dropping bombs every occasionally, it was no wonder some of the men became panicky. He promised them that if they would obey orders, they would be spared, and they were.
In 1920, a cataract formed over her remaining eye, and from May 1921 to October 1922, she was totally blind. She was not idle one moment; she always waited upon herself, washed dishes, made beds, and did numerous household tasks, made twenty-three rugs, crocheted hundreds of yards of lace, some out of very fine thread and very complicated design. She also pieced four quilts, one each for her unmarried sons. She went to Salt Lake City to have her eye attended to; she was in the hospital for ten days, but it was a month before she was permitted to see.
For years she went without the aid of crutches, but on one of the visits of her father, he, seeing how hard it was for her to get around, made her a pair of crutches. Possibly because of her affliction, but probably out of love for her, her children have always been very kind and considerate to their mother. The eleven boys could help around the house as well as could their sisters.
Her son Ammon seems to have inherited from his carpenter grandfather some of his ability in the handling of woods. Among his mother’s prized possessions are two dressers, a book shelf, and a dining room table, all made of seasoned red cedar. The table is very unique; the top is formed of seventy-five pieces artistically arranged. It has eleven sides, one for each member of the family at the time it was made. This precious boy was killed while helping install some machinery near Mesa. He was trying to place [replace?] a heavy belt with a hammer handle when it was wrenched from his hand and forced thru his throat. He lived for nineteen hours thereafter. He left a wife and two children.
Two years and ten days after John brought the body of his brother Will home, his body too was brought home for burial; he died of heat prostration in Phoenix.
For seven years before her husband passed away, he did very little except polish stones for rings, etc. These he gave away as presents. She has buried her husband and eight of her sixteen children, yet she never complains, is always cheerful and happy, and says, “Part of the time we only had bread and gravy, sometimes gravy without the bread, but gravy still tastes good to me and we never had hard times. Never bought a ready made article for myself nor any of my family until after my tenth baby was born, except hats and shoes, and often made them. I learned to card wool, spin yarn, and make stockings before I was sixteen. We used to go graping. There were lots of wild grapes which made excellent jelly, and also in the fall we would gather walnuts and pine nuts to enjoy around the fire on long, snowy winter evenings. Then of course, there was always parched corn and sometimes molasses candy.”
There were only eleven boys to patch overalls for, and she had done so many she used to laughingly say she believed she could patch overalls if she were blind, never thinking she would have a chance to prove it, but she did and had no cause to be ashamed of the work.
One thrilling experience was in 1913 when she went to Thatcher, Arizona, to attend her father and mother’s golden wedding jubilee. She was riding in a white-topped buggy when they came to a siding place in the road and the buggy tipped over; she never even broke an egg.
She has ridden behind oxen, mules, and horses, in trains, autos, a boat, and an airplane. In fact, she has traveled quite a bit these last few years. She has a car of her own, and always a son handy to drive it. She spent three months in Los Angeles visiting a sister and two months in Ogden, Utah, with her son, Columbus.
She kept house for her family until the last one was married, then she sold the old home, giving each of the children $100, and now she makes her home with a daughter, though, she visits around among her children and grandchildren, at whose home she always comes as a ray of sunshine.
She never had a washing machine, nor water and electricity in her home, yet never complained at the hardness of her lot nor at fate for her handicaps. She always admired the beautiful and wondered at seventy years of age if she were too old to paint, as she always had a desire to.
Few people have ever seen her tears, but her beautiful smile and kindly word for old and young will always be a sacred memory to all who knew her. Blessed is the heritage of those she has borne.
One of two photographs from the Whipple excavation which appeared in the December 1929 National Geographic Magazine. This man is probably Rowena's son, Reed. Archaeologist Emil Haury wrote that on June 22 "reed Whipple . . . exposed a good-sized timber near the surface." twine was wrapped around the charred log so it could be removed intact, and this became HH-39 - the missing link for the tree ring timeline in Arizona. Photo courtesy of Ellis Collection.
Joseph McFate, father of Rowena, was a maker of violins and string instruments. From this grandfather, they, her sons, learned or inherited their ability to use carpentering and cabinet making as their professions.
This story is written as told to the author by Mrs. Whipple herself. She passed away August 8, 1942.
Ellis and Boone:
North American archaeologists at the turn of the twentieth century had no way to date the extensive ruins of the Southwest. In the Old World, archaeologists had historic records which could help establish calendar dates, but New World researchers could only place their discoveries in relative sequence. As Stephen E. Nash at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago wrote, “On June 22, 1929, this situation changed forever as archaeologists working for astronomer Andrew Ellicott Douglass of the University of Arizona discovered tree-ring specimen HH-39 at Whipple Ruin in Show Low, Arizona. HH-39 ‘bridged the gap’ between the dated, modern portion and the undated, archaeological portion of Douglass’ tree-ring chronology, thereby allowing him to accurately and precisely date for the first time some forty prehistoric sites across the American Southwest.”
Andrew Ellicott Douglass came to Arizona in 1894, working for Percival Lowell to locate and build a new observatory; then Douglass became the first resident astronomer at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. Bryant Bannister of the University of Arizona remembered that “Douglass was always trying to understand how climate acted upon the earth.” In the early 1900s, Douglass became interested in tree-rings because he was looking for “a natural, terrestrial, long-term record of sun spot activities.” However, it was not until 1911 that he noticed the same ring sequences in Flagstaff and Prescott specimens and began to understand that wide and narrow bands in Arizona pine trees corresponded with rainfall. Working at first under the auspices of the American Museum of Natural History and later the National Geographic Society, Douglass developed the basic principles of dendrochronology as he tried to help assign dates to excavations at Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.
Archaeologists have long marveled that it was an astronomer who made such an important contribution to archaeology, but as Nash wrote, this was a “complex, comprehensive, multi-institutional, interdisciplinary, and ultimately successful fifteen-year-long effort.” There were three formal “Beam Expeditions” in the Southwest and at least four informal expeditions, including to California’s giant sequoias. It involved men such as Neil M. Judd, Emil W. Haury, and Lyndon Lane Hargrave who were or who became noted archaeologists. They made visits to Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, Kiet Siel, Betatakin, private homes on the Hopi mesas, and less well-known ruins such as Chevelon, Four-Mile, and Chaves Pass. Douglass and Earl Halstead Morris of the American Museum of Natural History invented a tubular borer in 1919 which eliminated cutting cross-sections or V-shaped wedges from beams in ruins or homes. Extensive laboratory work was required, particularly between 1914 and 1929, as Douglass and his colleagues were considering the theoretical issues. Even well-known archaeologists had only considered beams as part of a structure, and some had even used them for firewood or reconstruction.
When Edson and Rowena Whipple decided to sell their ceramic archaeology vessel collection, probably in early 1929, the newly created Gila Pueblo Archaeological Foundation in Globe purchased much of it and as a result acquired some tree-ring specimens. Douglass wrote in May, “I have been over the Showlow ring sequence as found in its complete form last Sunday and have been unable to locate it either in historic or prehistoric chronology. That looks very much as if it were in the gap. I shall not feel sure until I find other trees giving the same record.” Consequently, the Third Beam Expedition, sponsored by the National Geographic Society, began at the Whipple ruin on June 11, 1929. In addition to archaeologists, local residents participated in the dig, including Rowena’s son Reed. Eleven days later, a beam was pulled out of the ruin and labeled HH-39, which made history. Douglass called this the “Rosetta Stone” of American archaeology and published his findings in National Geographic Magazine.
Artemesia Stratton Willis
Autobiography, as told to Roberta Flake Clayton, FWP
Maiden Name: Artemesia Stratton
Birth: November 11, 1866; Virgin, Washington Co., Utah
Marriage: Lemuel Josiah Willis; October 24, 1883
Children: Lorum Angus (1884), Ellis Marion (1886), Wallace Anthony (1889), Lemuel Rue (1891), Irene (1892), Darwin J. (1894), Rulon (1897), Franklin Josiah (1900), Heber Ivon (1901), Calvin Stratton (1904), Seldon Stratton (1906)
Death: August 6, 1939; Cowley, Big Horn Co., Wyoming
Burial: Cowley, Big Horn Co., Wyoming
I was born in Virgin City, Utah, November 11, 1866. My parents were pioneer people. My father was Anthony Johnson Stratton, who was born in Tennessee in 1824 and was the son of Calvin Stratton and Gabrilla Johnson. My mother was Martha Jane Layne, who was born in Kentucky in 1827 and was the daughter of David Layne and Lucinda Bybee. All the days of their lives they were on the frontier, working unceasingly for the up-building of the country and making it safe for people to live. I was the eleventh and last child of the family.
In 1878, obedient to the call from Brigham Young, President of the Church, my father moved his family to Snowflake, Arizona, and in this place I spent my younger days. My parents gave me all the advantages of schooling that they could. The schools were very poor in those days, and I never went to school longer than three months of the year. I was taught to be honest, truthful, true to God, true to my parents, to myself and others, never doubting the principles of the church we belonged to, and always remembering to pray and ask the Lord to help me to always do right.
Lemuel and Artemesia Stratton Willis with their family; front center: Franklin J.; first row, left to right: Heber I., Lemuel, Irene, Artemesia, Seldon S.; back row: Ellis M., Darwin J., and Lorum A. Willis. Photo courtesy of Roma Lee Hiatt.
The people had to work together to protect themselves from the Indians and lawless men and danger that existed. Often the cry would go out that Indians were on the warpath, and our fathers, brothers, and sweethearts would have to leave whatever they were doing, take their firearms, and stand guard. Often the Indians would steal cattle, horses, and whatever else they could.
During the sacrifices, trials, and hardships, we had our pleasures and enjoyments. We tried to get as much out of life as we could. One of our chief amusements was to get a team of horses and hitch it to a hay rack and get as many of the young people as we could on the rack and go for a ride. Our picnic lunches would consist of popcorn, molasses candy, and molasses cake.
Our clothing was mostly handmade. When we could get enough calico for a dress, we were very proud. We always kept it for our best dress. I never had a hat—only when I gathered wheat straw and my mother braided the straw and made the hat. If I were lucky enough to get a ribbon to put around it, I felt that I was dressed up.
Most of the people lived in one-room houses made of logs, usually with dirt floors. When anyone got the lumber and put down a floor we had a dance. Our music consisted of one violinist or “fiddler” and a guitar player. We enjoyed ourselves very much. A man by the name of Don Clayton and his wife were among the fortunate ones to have a lumber floor.  They would let us have a dance, and after the dance was out, we would put everything back where it was and go home rejoicing at what a wonderful time we had.
Well, as all love stories go, one of the boys who came to these dances, one by the name of Lemuel Josiah Willis, was the outstanding one for me. He was my ideal, in fact, a Romeo. We were married October 24, 1883, in the St. George Temple. We lived in Snowflake until our fifth child, Irene, was born, our only girl. When she was three weeks and three days old, we moved to Cannonville, Utah, where we lived seven years. Then we moved to Big Horn County, Wyoming. It was pioneering again.
We settled on the Shoshone River. There were a number of log houses started, but no one was living in them. We were the first ones to move in. We have lived here for thirty-six years. My husband, L. J., as he was called, died in 1930. This has made my life very lonely, for we had lived together forty-seven years, and he never gave me a cross word. He was always a kind and loving husband. We had eleven children bless our home; four are with their father; the rest are living close around me. Our daughter, Irene, has never married. She lives with me.
When my husband’s health began to fail, we thought perhaps it would help him if we took him to a warmer climate, so we took him to Mesa, Arizona, but it did no good, and he died May 5, 1930, and was laid to rest in the Snowflake Cemetery by the side of two of his boys. This is 1936 and I am seventy years old. There will not be many years now until I will join them across the river from where no one ever returns.
This story was told to the author in 1937. The date of her death is not known.
Ellis and Boone:
Before Lemuel and Artemesia Willis left Snowflake for Utah and then Wyoming, two of their five children died and were buried in the Snowflake Cemetery. Wallace Anthony Willis was born February 4, 1889, and died on June 23, 1890, and then Lemuel Rue was born on April 1, 1891, and died November 21, 1891. While in Utah, they had a son, Rulon, who was born and died in 1897, and in Wyoming, a fourth son, Calvin, died as an infant in 1904. Thus, of their eleven children, only seven lived to maturity.
D. W. Meinig, at the end of his paper on Mormon migration patterns in the west, described a twentieth century Church settlement in Wyoming. He wrote, “In 1893, about fifty families of Mormons settled in various localities of the Greybull area of the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming. It was not a Church-directed movement, there was no designated leader, and there was little advance arrangement for land and water rights. However, this informal infiltration was sufficiently successful that when the Church leaders learned in 1899 of an opportunity to obtain the concession of an abortive irrigation scheme nearby along the Shoshone, they negotiated directly with the Wyoming government and sponsored a colonization company. In this manner a typical Mormon nucleus, an organized group colonization centered upon nucleated farm villages, was established in this outlying district.” Byron, Cowley, and Lovell were the three original settlements, but Burlington and Emblem also were predominantly Mormon.
Artemesia Willis and her family became some of Cowley’s permanent settlers, although they obviously kept some ties to Arizona. As noted here, in 1930, when Lemuel was sick, he and Artemesia traveled to Mesa. Artemesia also would have been in Mesa in 1937 when Clayton did this interview and received the sketch that Artemesia wrote for her mother, Martha Lynne Stratton. One son, Darwin, died in Phoenix in 1986, but Artemesia and five of her children are buried in Cowley, which is the reason that RFC did not know a death date. Artemesia Willis passed away on August 6, 1939 at Cowley, Big Horn Co., Wyoming.
Ellen Kalantha Oakley Willis
Roberta Flake Clayton, FWP
Maiden Name: Ellen Kalantha Oakley
Birth: August 23, 1873; Kanab, Kane Co., Utah
Parents: John DeGroot Oakley and Louisa Jones
Marriage: Ira Reeves Willis; October 9, 1890
Children: Pauline (1891), John Reeves (1893), Vernal Lamar (1896), Parley Clarence (1902), Grover Frederick (1904), Margaret (c. 1908)
Death: November 23, 1935; Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona
Burial: Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona
Pioneering at best is no easy task, but when the husband and father are totally blind, it is a hardship. Such was the case with John Oakley, who, with his wife Louisa, five little daughters, one grown and married daughter with her husband, and an afflicted brother-in-law, came to Arizona in 1880 to make a new home. They had two yoke of oxen, one span of mules, one of mares, and a few head of loose cattle. Settling first at Woodruff, where they remained only a short time, they then came on to Snowflake and lived for a while in one of the adobe stables belonging to the ranch. It had been fitted up for a residence, as had several of the others, one even serving as the first school house.
Ellen was used to privations, as her birthplace was a wagon box in the small town of Kanab, Utah. But as she chose the summertime, August 23, 1873, it was not as bad as had the snow been flying.
Her parents disposed of some of their cattle after arriving at Snowflake and soon bought a plot of ground and built a two-room log house, and in this they lived for many years. Her father was a successful nurseryman, and that was one occupation he could pursue, even in his blindness. He would send to Illinois, get root grafts twelve inches long, keep them until they were three years old, and then supply the local people. Many of the roots were only seedlings, and they would have to be grafted on.
Ellen had a great love for her father and was his helper in his business and soon learned all there was to know about trees, shrubs, and flowers. All her life she was surrounded by choice plants; in the summers, her flowers were the envy of her neighbors, and then when frost came, her windows were full of bright cheery blossoms.
Mr. Oakley was a man of education and intelligence, and selected people of culture as his associates, and Ellen might be seen leading him by the hand, going to homes where he was always a welcome visitor, and the hostess would never be too busy to listen to his store of wisdom, or read to him from choice selections, or the meager news that came at rare intervals. In this way Ellen became a well-informed child. When, however, the subject became too deep for her, or there were children in the family to play with, that would be her diversion, but always within sound of his voice.
Her father and her mother, Louisa Jones Oakley, were both born in England. Mrs. Oakley was an invalid for many years, and early in life Ellen learned to take her place with her sisters in the household tasks when not employed with her father. The excellent gardens they always raised and the vegetables pitted for winter use not only supplied the Oakley family but was an added inducement to the children of the town who knew they would have all the carrots they could eat when they went to play. In those early days, when fruit was out of the question, carrots tasted mighty good.
Ellen Oakley Willis with children, Reeves (left) and Pauline, c. 1893. Photo courtesy of Roma Lee Hiatt.
One of Ellen’s remembrances of the trip to Arizona was when they were crossing the Colorado River. Two Indians dared each other to swim across its treacherous, swollen waters, and good swimmers though they were, both drowned, and all during her childhood she fancied she could hear the cries of their poor wives as they appealed to the ferryman to save them. He was powerless to assist them as they had been taken by the muddy waters down into the rapids.
Ellen’s education was such as was to be obtained in the little town of Snowflake, which prided itself on its good schools even in the early days of its settlement.
The family was very devout Christians. On Saturday, everything was made ready for the Sabbath, when no cooking was done, not even dishes washed, so Sunday was not such a bad day after all.
Ellen grew into attractive womanhood and at the age of seventeen took on the duties of wifehood, marrying October 9, 1890, Ira Reeves Willis, who had been her sweetheart since her first day at school. They were the parents of six children, two girls and four boys.
Her husband was a sufferer for many years with inflammatory rheumatism and leakage of the heart, and at the age of forty years she was left a widow, and with very poor health herself. In spite of all this, she built a cozy little home and raised and educated her children. Her eldest son, Reeves, went to the World War and came back a shell-shocked semi-invalid, which was a source of great sorrow to his mother.
Always cheerful, in spite of intensive suffering during the latter years of her life, she had many warm friends, who admired her also for her sterling qualities. An excellent cook, housekeeper, and homemaker, always surrounded by beautiful flowers, and in the summertime with the garden of choice fruits and vegetables are some of the memories of her children, to whom she also bequeathed this love of the beautiful.
On November 23, 1934, Ellen Oakley Willis departed this life and was laid away to a richly deserved rest beside her husband in the cemetery of the little town of Snowflake that she had done so much to help beautify.
Ellis and Boone:
Pioneer widows lived in every town. For Snowflake’s centennial celebration, Ruthie W. Wasson wrote the following about her grandmother:
Ellen was left a widow at an early age with six children to raise. Times were hard but she was a worker and a good manager. [She was] one of the best cooks in town.
Every effort must be made to raise a good wheat crop for so much depended upon the grain. Everyone helped in keeping the weeds pulled and the crop watered. After the grain was harvested came the big day going to the grist mill in Shumway. The wheat was loaded into the wagon and the team hitched up. The wheat was ground into flour for the coming winter. The shorts and hulls were kept to feed the pigs and chickens. The miller kept a share of the wheat for doing the grinding. The Denhams and Shumways had fruit trees and wonderful gardens. Ellen would take some of her surplus plums or corn and trade it with them for fruit and especially tomatoes. . . . This annual trip meant they would have bread for the coming winter.
Fannie Jane Roundy Willis
Roberta Flake Clayton, FWP
Maiden Name: Fannie Jane Roundy
Birth: December 21, 1858; Centerville, Davis Co., Utah
Parents: Lorenzo Wesley Roundy and Priscilla Parrish
Marriage: John Henry Willis Jr.; November 29, 1878
Children: Bertha Jane (1880), John Lorenzo (1882), Walter Marion (1884), Hugh (1886), Belva (1888), Frances (1891), Priscilla (1893), Merrill Roundy (1896), Cleon Ewart (1898), Verlie (1900), Myron Shadrack (1905)
Death: March 6, 1946; Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona
Burial: Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona
This short sketch is of the life of one of Arizona’s pioneer women whose father “made the supreme sacrifice” in exploring this land, when in the winter of 1873, he, with thirteen other men, was called by Brigham Young to hunt out a route into Arizona and report on the possibility of establishing homes there; he lost his life in the swollen waters of the treacherous Colorado River.
Fannie Jane was the eldest daughter of Lorenzo Wesley Roundy and his wife Priscilla Parrish. Fannie was born in Centerville, Davis County, Utah, on December 21, 1858. Here the family lived until she was nine years old.
Her father’s land bordered the Great Salt Lake, and she had fun swimming and wading in its briny waters. There were many wild geese and ducks on the lake, so they had plenty of meat. Fannie Jane’s task was to pluck these birds and save the down for feather beds and pillows.
Like Ruth of old, she and her sisters gleaned the wheat that was missed by the “cradlers,” and with a portion of their gleanings, each bought herself a new red calico dress with white dots in them, and no coronation gown was ever so prized.
Her first schooling began while the family was yet living at Centerville; about all she remembers of this school was that she had to carry her lunch.
In the year 1867, her father was sent to the southern part of the territory of Utah to settle Kanarra. His was the first house built there.
Her first recollection of the place was when they camped at the meadows and it was covered with beautiful wire grass dotted with what they called “horse” flowers. Again she had the pleasure of going swimming. As soon as there were enough children, a school was started and a few of the common branches of education taught. She remembers distinctly that grammar was not one of them.
Fannie Jane at an early age learned to spin and weave, and assisted her mother in making jeans, linseys, and coverlets. As all the food was cooked over the fireplace, and what they had was that raised at much cost of labor or gathered from the hills, delicacies in the family diet were rare. On special occasions, pie or cake was baked in the bake skillet.
One of the first things all Mormon pioneers did in Utah and Arizona was to build a meeting house, a sort of community center where church, school, theatres, and dances could be held. The one in Kanarra was of rock, and the celebration they had when it was completed and when they had their first dance always remained a bright spot in the memory of Fannie Jane. Quadrilles and reels were the dances most indulged in. Waltzes and “round dances” were frowned upon by the Church leaders. She was very fond of dancing, especially the “upper reel,” and was considered a very fine partner.
Fannie Roundy Willis in the 1940s. Photo courtesy of Bert Willis.
In this little town of Kanarra, lived also the Willis family. The eldest son, John Henry, was attracted by the quiet modesty of his little schoolmate Fannie Jane and love came with the years. When they were old enough, on November 27, 1878, they were married in the St. George Temple. They lived in Kanarra the first year of their married life, then came to Arizona with her husband’s father and other members of the family. The father had previously moved to Arizona and had a ranch on Silver Creek. They were weeks on the road as they brought a big herd of cattle with them.
Fannie Jane recalled with pleasure their first night in Snowflake. They were welcomed by a former neighbor, Anthony Stratton, at the Red Bridge across Silver Creek, about a mile from town, and taken to his place, where they camped out in the street. Shortly after they had pitched camp, John and Mark Kartchner brought their fiddles and serenaded the newcomers. How good that sounded after being away from civilization so long. Later in the evening, some of the younger members of the Willis family went into the house and made molasses candy, played games, and had a good time.
The next day at noon, they went on a few miles to the Willis Ranch east of Snowflake. This was in December, and the next April 17, her first child, Bertha, was born, the first white child born at this place [meaning the Willis Ranch]. Their home was like most of the other pioneers had, a long one with a dirt floor, or a tent. The Willis’ had both.
When the baby was only a month old, they had their first Indian scare, leaving at once for Snowflake, thinking no doubt that in numbers there is strength. Mr. C. E. Cooley, an old timer in this country, sent them word that they were safe on their ranch as the Indians would not molest them there, because one of the Apache graveyards was on that creek. But the family took no chances [apparently moved into Snowflake?].
Before long, John Henry and his wife moved to Snowflake, where he held positions of trust in the town, county, and state. Serving as a member of the bishopric for his church and as supervisor and legislator for the state, he was one of the first supervisors in Navajo County when it was created, and was in the legislature when stricken with the malady from which he died.
At one time he was contractor for the mail carried from Holbrook to Ft. Apache, and his wife cooked for the buckboard drivers, as they were called.
Fannie Jane was the mother of eleven children, six boys and five girls, losing one child at seven years and two more died after they were grown. She was a widow for twenty-four years.
Her husband and two sons filled honorable missions for their church, one in Australia. One son served in World War I, going to Siberia.
She held many positions in the Church auxiliaries, always willing to do whatever was expected of her. Of a retiring nature, she never put herself forward. A natural homemaker, very fond of crocheting and making beautiful quilts and rugs, she was never idle.
For the last few years she was a partial cripple but went around with a cane. She had a wonderful philosophy of life that admitted of no complaining; she was always a welcome guest at any home and especially at quiltings, as she was an exceptional quilter.
She passed away March 6, 1946, and was buried beside her husband. She was greatly missed by her many friends and loved ones.
Ellis and Boone:
The activities of pioneer women often went unrecorded even when their husbands were mentioned. For example, Joseph Fish wrote that on June 1, 1886, “John H. Willis, Jr. came down [to Holbrook]. He had taken a subcontract from David K. Udall to carry the mail from Holbrook to Fort Apache. He made some arrangements with the [ACMI] store to care for his animals at this place.” It is only in this sketch that Fannie’s contributions (cooking for the buckboard drivers) are mentioned.
In a similar vein, John Taylor, president of the Snowflake Stake, once wrote a tribute to “The Unknown Pioneer.” He said, “We know who led the companies into our valleys. We know who were the Stake Presidents, the Bishops, the High Councilors. We know who were our civic and government leaders, who it was that led in the struggle to establish our communities and to create a peaceful and prosperous land.” But he thought it fitting to also recognize those who “held no significant position in church or government” because “without him the leaders could not have led.”
Taylor also offered a tribute to the pioneer woman, saying, “The unknown pioneer man was matched in spirit by the unknown pioneer woman. Together they were committed to hard work and independence. Home was where they could find good land, up a draw, out on a ridge, or a dry land farm on a wind swept flat. Quietly they lived and quietly they died, working their land and raising their family.” Then Taylor ended his tribute with this bit of verse:
Here stands the monument
Of an American Pioneer Family
Known only to God and to posterity.
This spot of nature
Has been consecrated by his labor
And sanctified by her tears.
Frances Reeves Willis
Maiden Name: Frances Reeves
Birth: June 14, 1840; Whitechurch, Shropshire, England
Parents: William Reeves and Frances Long
Marriage: John Henry Willis Sr.; March 3, 1857
Children: John Henry Jr. (1858), William Wesley (1859), Amasa Marion (1861), Lemuel Josiah (1863), George Merrill (1866), Lewis Albert (1867), Della Ann (1869), Ira Reeves (1871), Heber Tillman (1874), Rhodom Able (1876), Angus Long (1879), Parley Pratt (1886)
Death: August 30, 1924; Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona
Burial: Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona
When Frances was raising her family, they were pioneering or on the frontier most of the time. The first two children were born in Iron County, Utah in 1858 and 1859, ten months apart. She spun and wove most of the material in their clothes, like men’s shirts and aprons and yarn to knit with, woolen socks and stockings. And I heard her say she only had ten little square diapers for her first baby, made double and quilted from the men’s shirt tails. These were washed out every time they were taken off the baby so she always had plenty clean diapers on hand. She told me how they always had plenty of milk and butter, no sale for either one, only to help a neighbor or exchange for something else. Then often the neighbor women would take their brooms and pans and walk to the edge of town, and sweep a clean place on the ground and gather a pile of green wood and burn it down to ashes, then gather them up to take home in their pans and dissolve in a barrel of water to soften it and cleanse it to do the washing next day. If out of soap, they would make some ashes strong enough for lye to make soap with grease. They often took a big chunk of butter and some of this strong, ash-cleansed water and boiled them up together and made enough soap for a wash or two. And she used to tell us how her husband, John Henry Willis Sr., would bring a seamless sack of saleratus from the nearby foot hills. They would dissolve it in clean water and let set till it was clear, then put in bottles and use for soda to make bread with their buttermilk. She used to always do her washing on a washboard and wooden tub, pulling the water from a well by a rope and wooden buckets over a pulley wheel. This is also the way they watered the cows and horses.
Frances Reeves Willis. Photo courtesy of DUP album, Snowflake-Taylor Family History Center.
After the two oldest boys were born, they [Frances and John Henry] were called to help settle Kanarra, where the rest of their family was born, all except their baby boy born in Snowflake, Arizona. They were blessed with eleven boys and one girl. The seventh one was a girl, so they always called her a doctor, and she surely was a good nurse. She always seemed to know just what to do to relieve a sick patient. They named her Della Ann.
Mother always had plenty of good plain food and knew just how to cook it good. I’ve never seen her burn bread or any food she was preparing, as she watched it so close. When the boys were pretty well all grown up, Mother used to take us up on the Kanarra Mountain in summer and gather up some of the cows Father had on range there and milk them and make cheese and butter for the winter. I don’t know how much we sold. Some of the boys were married then and would come up and help, and we shared alike. In 1878 and 1879, Father moved his cattle to Arizona. We wintered at Tonto one year, then went across to Snowflake and bought a ranch on shallow creek, still known as the old Willis ranch. He moved Mother and Aunt Lizzie here in 1880 and built the log houses and barn, shoe shop, and shingle mill, and here some of his boys grew up working on the farm and with cattle and horses, and mother and Aunt Lizzie made butter and cheese.
The Apache Indians would get on the war path quite often, so he homesteaded forty acres of land at Snowflake near the southeastern part of town. Mother would take the school children to town in the winter and send them to school, and sometimes all would have to leave.
In 1888, my father moved his cattle back to Cannonville, Garfield County, Utah, on account of drought and desperados. He got Aunt Lizzie and family located in Cannonville and then came back for Mother. They got to Tuba City, where they spent the winter. A growth appeared on Father’s nose which didn’t heal, so Father and Mother and the smaller children went on to Cannonville. From there they hurried to Beaver, where there was a good doctor, but it was too late, as it proved to be malignant cancer. Father died in January 1888, leaving Mother without a home and the cattle scattered. The married boys got all they could together and did the best they could. Mother was sick, and the doctor helped her, and when she was able, we came back to Snowflake to live. John Henry Jr., the oldest boy, bought her a home. There were seven of us left now. Merrill, the oldest one at home, took pneumonia that summer and died, and the baby boy, Parley, about seven, took St. Vitus’s dance, so Mother had her hands full.
Frances Reeves Willis with her sons and son-in-law; front, left to right: Parley, Frances, Amasa, and Heber; back: Lewis Hunt, Lemuel, Rhodom, and Wesley. Photo courtesy of Roma Lee Hiatt.
Mother was a good tithe payer and tried to set us boys a good example. She was always helping her daughters-in-law when the grandbabies came along. She was always on hand to help clean their home and go stay and take care of them after. Also she was always there in any kind of sickness, day or night. She worked as a counselor in the Relief Society and as a visiting teacher. She served as counselor in the stake Primary when they used to travel over the stake in horse-and-buggy days. She died August 30, 1924.
Ellis and Boone:
It is interesting to note that this short sketch begins in 1858, and it is with some reluctance that we add this note. Nevertheless, we believe that recent chroniclers are correct in their assessment of the history of the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre. In describing the reasons for writing another book about the subject, the authors told about descendants of both the emigrants and the perpetrators working together to erect a memorial in 1990. Then the authors wrote:
One participant in this ceremony, Judge Roger V. Logan Jr. of Harrison, Arkansas—who could count some twenty victims and five survivors among his relatives—later reminded the public that there had to be some important looking back. “While great strides have been made in recent years,” Logan said, “until the church shows more candor about what its historians actually know about the event, true reconciliation will be elusive.” That much seems sure: Only complete and honest evaluation of the tragedy can bring the trust necessary for lasting good will. Only then can there be catharsis.
A few of the Latter-day Saint men who made Arizona their new home had either participated in or been peripherally associated with the Mountain Meadows Massacre, including John Henry Willis. It is a matter of conjecture how much LDS women knew beyond being asked to take care of the seventeen children who were spared. John Henry and Frances Willis, who did not yet have children, took in four-year-old Nancy Saphrona Huff.  The children remained with Mormon families in Utah for about two years and then were returned to family members in Arkansas.
When the memorial for the Mountain Meadows Massacre was visited about 2010, there was a quiet, solemn, and reverent attitude from the four or five families present. It is with this same spirit that this note is added in hopes that acknowledgment will indeed be a catharsis.
Gabrilla Stratton Willis
Unidentified Son or Daughter/
Maiden Name: Gabrilla Stratton
Birth: October 6, 1850; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., Utah
Marriage: William Wesley Willis Jr.; March 22, 1870
Children: Delilah Jane (1871), Frances Ann (1872), William Wesley (1873), Anthony Lorum (1874), George Raymond (1875), Sextus Ellis (1877), Mary Josephine (1879), Martha Augusta (1881), Ida (1883), Joseph Stratton (1885), Altha Gabrilla (1887), John Irvin (1889), Lucretia (1891), Leo Addison (1894)
Death: February 2, 1934; Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona
Burial: Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona
Gabrilla Stratton was the daughter of Anthony J. Stratton and Martha Jane Layne Stratton. She was the third child in a family of eleven, born October 6, 1850, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As a child she lived in Salt Lake City, Cedar City, and Virgin City, Utah. Her schooling was very limited, the school term lasting only a few months each year. They never had paper for school purposes and were fortunate if they owned a slate. They used a soft rock for a pencil—it was hard enough to get paper to write a letter on.
Gabrilla Stratton Willis with her siblings, left to right: Calvin Stratton, Artemesia Stratton Willis (793), Gabrilla, Rozilpha Stratton Gardner (203), and Ellis Stratton. Photo courtesy of Marion Hansen Collection.
The older children in the family were girls, so Mother had to work in the field as well as in the house. She helped with the raising of cotton, also carding, spinning, and weaving of cloth. They would make great fires of cottonwood and use the ashes to make lye. (This lye would be used to make their soap and to clean with.) She helped to knit stockings for the family and made hats from wheat straw. They raised gourds and used them for kitchen utensils. They did their cooking and preserving with molasses. The first sugar in the house was a sack of brown sugar gotten from some relatives of her mother who were returning from California. Mother was then about ten years old.
The thrashing of grain was done by horses tramping the grain out of the straw. When the fruit was ripe, they would have fruit “cutting bees.” All the neighbors would meet at one of the homes and cut fruit to dry. Next day they would go to another home until each home had had a fruit “cutting bee.”
When about ten years old, she, with her sisters and some other girls, was gathering some flowers on a hill near Cedar City. An older sister saw a black stump and said, “Look at that bear!” and the girls all ran. Mother and a younger sister were so frightened, they took the wrong road and had gone about ten miles when some travelers came along and took them home, arriving about ten o’clock at night.
She married William Wesley Willis on March 22, 1870. When her first baby was about six months old, she went from Kanarra to Toquerville with the mail carrier, and next morning she carried her baby and walked to Virgin City, a distance of eight miles, to be present at the wedding of her sister, Rozilpha.
On their way from Utah to Snowflake, Father and Mother stopped to talk to Brother William J. Flake and two of Mother’s brothers, whom they had overtaken at the Colorado River. The ox teams were allowed to go on. The oxen left the road and had gone only a short distance when the wheels on one side of the wagon went into a ditch and the wagon turned bottom-side up. The oxen stopped, and a large chest that was in the wagon kept the weight of the wagon off the little girl who had been left in the wagon.
Mother was a Relief Society teacher for many years and was always active and diligent in the performance of her duties.
Father and Mother never lived in a rented house. They always owned their home. She was the mother of fourteen children, four of whom are still living. She also raised a grandson from the time he was two years old. Thirty-eight grandchildren and fifty-five great-grandchildren are living. Her only son who lived to be grown filled a mission in the Southern States. One great-grandson also went on a mission. She reared a large family, feeling always that her first duty was to her family and that the grandest and noblest aim in life was to raise her children in the faith of the gospel.
She died February 2, 1934, at Snowflake, Arizona. Father died March 19, 1917, at Snowflake, Arizona.
The following addition is by Rhoda Turley Brinkerhoff, a granddaughter (July 5, 1965):
Grandmother Willis (Gabrilla Stratton Willis) was a wonderful woman. She was so kind. I never remember of her speaking an unkind word to me. I did love to go from Woodruff to Snowflake every summer and spend two or three weeks at her home. When I was small she would take hold of my hands and let me climb up her legs to her shoulders. She always enjoyed having me comb her hair. She didn’t have much hair but enjoyed having it combed.
She could make the best salt pickles. She would put the fresh cucumbers in a fifty-gallon barrel in the late summer and fall and salt them in strong salt water to sour them. Then in the spring she would get a few at a time out and soak the salt out and fix a vinegar solution and pour over the pickles. She always had a two-quart bottle of them spiced [sliced?] up in her kitchen window. I can just see them now. How good they looked.
She was a hard working woman and a faithful wife and mother and a very sweet grandmother.
Grandmother was a great step-dancer. She always wore long skirts and she would hold them up a little and then really step it off.
When she and Grandfather would come down from Snowflake to Woodruff to visit our family, we would go to a dance and Grandfather was a very good caller for a quadrille or a square dance and Grandmother would step dance.
I never remember my grandmother speaking loud or harsh to me or anyone.
Grandpa and Grandma Willis had fourteen children. Five died, one after the other, between 1872 and 1877. One died in 1890 and one in 1894. Seven girls and seven boys and they raised half of them.
She was just a lovely grandmother.
Ellis and Boone:
For Snowflake’s centennial celebration in 1978, Betty Carragher told about the contributions William Wesley Willis made to the town. She wrote that he “was skilled in many trades,” including shoe repairs, brick making, and gardening. Although her description is of Gabrilla’s husband, it helps give the feel of the Willis home in Snowflake. “He raised cane and made molasses for his family and others who raised cane,” she wrote. “They used to preserve peaches and cantaloupe with what molasses was left in the vat. While the molasses was cooking[,] it had to be skimmed. The young people of the town used to gather and make molasses candy with the skimmings. Uncle Billy told them they were welcome as long as they cleaned up and left the vat clean.”
There is probably not a better tribute to a woman than that given by Gabrilla’s granddaughter Rhoda Turley Brinkerhoff: “She was just a lovely grandmother.” However, May Hunt Larson’s journal entry for February 2, 1934, could likewise be considered a compliment. She wrote, “Aunt Gabrilla Willis died. Belle [Hunt Flake] and I walked down [to her home] – such a peaceful death – with nothing to mourn over.” Two days later, Larson added, “Aunt Gabrilla Willis’ funeral was after Church. Evan [Larson] spoke so well [of her] as did the others too.”
Nancy Cedenia Bagley Willis
Maiden Name: Nancy Cedenia Bagley
Birth: November 22, 1854; Grantsville, Tooele Co., Utah
Parents: Daniel Bagley and Mary Wood
Marriage: Merrill Willis; May 11, 1870
Children: Merrill Erastus (1871), Thomas Henry (1873), Samuel Bagley (1876), Mary (1880), Lilly (1881), Cedenia (1885), Daniel Bagley (1889), Joseph Eli (1893)
Death: March 18, 1945; Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Burial: Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Nancy Cedenia Bagley was born November 22, 1854, at Grantsville, Tooele County, Utah. She was proud of her great-great-grandfather Eli Bagley who came to America about 1744 from Ireland, and of her great-grandfather Eli Bagley, who was an army surgeon during the Revolutionary War and followed it to its close. Her maternal great-grandfather, John Belt, was a teamster in the same war. Her great-grandfather, Allen Wood, was also a Revolutionary soldier.
Her parents came west in 1853. Among her early memories, Cedenia writes in her journal:
I remember living in the big mud fort built by the first settlers in Grantsville, [Utah,] as a protection against the Indians.
I went with my father to the fields to kill crickets that were destroying our grain.
I have followed my mother to the willow patch where she burned the willows for ashes to make our soap. When I was older, I went out on the hillsides and dug the roots of oose or amole, as the Mexicans call it—which were excellent to use in place of soap.
I have been lulled to sleep many a night by the busy hum of the spinning wheel as I sat in the corner of the old fireplace watching the sparks fly upward while mother spun and reeled the yarn to be woven into cloth for our clothes.
Our shoes were made by the one shoemaker in the town. Ugh! I fancy I can still smell the horrid old vats where the leather was tanned.
Then there was the schoolhouse [with] the slab benches without any backs.
We had one little first reader for the whole class. It, too, was backless. Our slates were shaped from the slate rock that was found nearby. There was the sly glances, the smiles cast upon the little boy who was fortunate enough to have some kind of a knife to sharpen pieces of the slate stone for us to use as pencils.
Little Cedenia was naturally a sensitive and timid little child, and all her life remembered with a feeling of resentment things that crushed her spirit, and with horror some of the tragic scenes of her childhood. The schoolhouse door had bullet holes shot through it by Indians who were chained in there once and got the pistol from the young man who was guarding them. Even in the night she would wake up shuddering and crying from fear of Indians. One of the most terrible sights she saw in her childhood was given in her own words:
It was ever the Indians, ever on guard, ever a revolver with a belt of cartridges worn by the men. I witnessed a sad scene which can never be erased from my memory. A wagon being driven slowly to the schoolhouse, the bottom partly burned away. When they reached the building, two noble looking men were tenderly carried by friends and laid on those crude benches to have the arrows pulled from their breasts. My father was assisting but it was too much for him and he was carried fainting from the room. Such a sickening scene. A beautiful woman was taken from the partly burned wagon. She had been a victim of the dreadful massacre by the blood thirsty Indians. The next day the funerals were held. The husband and wife were laid in one grave. The brother by their side. As the sweet strains of the violin and bass viol were wafted on the breeze their bodies were consigned. These were members of the Berry Family.
Going back to early childhood:
My father and mother were very exacting with my sister and me. We were the only children, and Metissi was the elder. There were no gatherings for the children like Sunday School. We always had to accompany our parents to church which was held on Sunday afternoon. Once a little friend came and sat by me. We began to whisper. My father, seeing us, got up from his seat, solemnly marched over and sat down beside me. He never had to repeat it.
A few years after that, my father went to Salt Lake City. When he returned, he brought Sister and me each a copy book. How proud we were! We started out with straight lines, the teacher setting us so many lines each day. My effort was miserable.
One morning, Sister went to my father and showed him her writing. He praised it very highly. Then I timidly ventured to show him what I had done. Father laughed at it and said that it looked like the old hen’s chickens had jumped out of the ink bottle on to my paper. No one who hasn’t received such a rebuff can imagine how I felt. I have never forgotten those words throughout my life. It was a lasting lesson to me never to discourage my children.
When I was four years of age, my father was called with others to help keep Johnston’s Army back when they were going to exterminate the Mormons. That left my mother, with the aid of a small neighbor boy, to drive our one yoke of oxen. Mother put our few belongings into the wagon. She permitted me to take my little kitten along. That was a great comfort to me.
When the people left their homes, they thought never to see them again, as they were to be set on fire as a last resort to keep the enemy from occupying them. That did not become necessary, and after a short time the owners returned. Of this event, Cedenia said, “When we returned and saw our little white-washed adobe home, my childish joy knew no bounds. I gave vent to my feelings in a shout of joy which was echoed through the room. But I had heard so many stories of soldiers, mobs, and Indians that I was always afraid, and the sound of my voice in the empty room startled me so that I ran to my mother screaming.”
It was ever a fear. Again the school house with its bullet holes through the door. Again a scene of confusion and fear as a regiment of soldiers was seen to form in line on the public square in front of the school room. The teacher lost all control of the children, who crept under the benches as we saw the soldiers with their guns and sabers glistening in the noonday sun.
Cedenia and her sister went with the other children to the fields to glean the wheat left by the cradlers. Their father generously gave them $10 for the bushel they gleaned. [Cedenia continued:]
Then mother went to Salt Lake City and got some pink wool delaine and made us each a pretty flowing sack; they were beautiful.
I was not strong when a child and was very unlucky. One day my mother said I would marry a drunkard when I grew up, so I did not want to grow up.
I had a spell of sickness when I was about eight years old. For fifteen weeks I never walked. I remember going back to school when I was a little stronger, to watch the children at play. My sister was so glad to see me there that she grabbed me and waltzed me around. I was so weak that I fell and hurt my arm. Some said it was out of place, some that it was broken. Nothing was ever done about it and I suffered greatly from it.
Another accident happened when I went with my sister and some other little girls to see a mother dog and her babies. I was skipping along behind when the dog bit me on the leg. I didn’t want to be scolded so I slipped home, got in bed and covered up. My mother never knew until my sister returned.
When I was ten years of age, my father was called by Brigham Young to Southern Utah to a place we called Dixie. All the pleasant scenes of my childhood came to me to make it harder to leave. We had large strawberry beds, an apple orchard, grape-vines, and a good home. I saw the wagons loaded with our belongings. The empty rooms. Then the farewell dance in one room for our schoolmates. The parting with our dear companions. Goodbye to the boys who made our pencils. No more apples [to] slip through the picket fence to our little boy sweethearts.
I never forgot the journey of over 300 miles with only one other family and our hired man. Black Hawk was on the war path. Father was ever on the watch with his revolver handy, ready for use at any time. One day at noon the little company was stirred by the blood curdling yells and war whoops of a dozen Indians as they dashed down the hill into our camp. Father picked up his revolver from the wagon tongue where he had laid it to make a fire. Mother got in the wagon holding the gun cartridges while Sister and I got behind Mother where Sister picked at a diseased fingernail until her dress was stained with blood. An overwhelming joy filled our hearts as the Indians, after a counsel among themselves, rode away.
Poor Mother was very ill and she pined for her home as she gazed on the forbidding country with its sand hills, its little stretches of land with mountains of black red rocks. Father had to assist her up the dugways along the road.
Again we had to fix a place to call home. This one was of scraggy logs. Here my sister and I picked our first cotton. I shall never forget how homesick I was and how my mind would go back to my childhood home and dear schoolmates as I sat under the big cottonwood trees to rest and the crows would startle me with their calls.
My father was offered a cow for the largest bale of cotton. Mother instead, sold it to buy us some nice dresses. We were quite the envy of the little girls who were dressed in homespun while we had pretty clothes brought from Salt Lake.
My father bought a steel roller molasses mill. It was a great help to the people in that part of the country where cane was one of the principle products. Molasses and cotton were then hauled to Salt Lake City and exchanged for flour.
All of her admirers were not left behind, for soon there were other sweethearts. Years after, when she returned from her honeymoon, she found a letter awaiting her from one of them, asking her to go with him to visit his father in California. “I destroyed that letter,” she says, “but I have often wondered about Charley, how life has served him; what kind of man he made of himself. He had black eyes and hair and was a handsome boy.”
One time when the Indians were so bad, all the people living in outlying places in the Dixie Country were called into the town of Rockville. It was summer time, and some of the people made homes of willows, but my father bought a home and prepared to remain there. Cedenia’s mother desired her girls to have beautiful things and to learn to make them themselves, so she got some white bleached muslin while in Salt Lake and had [it] stamped for embroidery for skirts for herself and each of her daughters. Cedenia says she used to enjoy sitting out under the trees with her little work box beside her, embroidering her skirts.
The people were very poor. Flour was hard to get. The men would take their barrels of molasses north to exchange for flour and other commodities. Cedenia learned to card cotton into rolls for spinning.
In her early teens, the family moved again, this time to Toquerville, where she met the man who was to become her husband. From her diary:
Nancy Cedenia Bagley Willis. Photo courtesy of Huntington Bagley Collection, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University.
My first sweetheart was at a dance given in his honor by the young men of the town, on his return from an Indian expedition he had been on. I spent my most happy days here. There was a fine class of young people, and the fun we had at choir practice, theater rehearsals, dances, candy pullings, horseback and wagon rides, I’ll never forget.
We had a good home with fig trees, grape vines, bees humming around the door. My father brought me a Mason-Hamlin organ from Salt Lake which was the first one in Toquerville.
My sister had already married and now I received the attention my father had always given her.
In the beautiful month of May 1870, with his parents and other relatives, we started for Salt Lake City and on May 31, I became the bride of Merrill Willis. We visited with friends and relatives and upon returning to Toquerville, Merrill built us a comfortable home. Three sons were born to us there.
In 1877 a call came to my father to go to Arizona to help build that new country. I pleaded with my husband to go that I might be with my mother. What loving daughter does not know my feelings? Merrill sold our home and farm. With two new wagons, a white topped carriage, fine teams, one year’s provisions, ten cows and calves, we started on this journey on April 12, 1878.
The trees were in full bloom, and the perfume was wafted in the air. It was with sad hearts that we bade goodbye to our first home. I drove a team all the way over some of the most terrible roads that a wagon could be taken over. We would travel sometimes all day and night to get water, then make another forced drive. We drank from bitter, brackish pools of water as there was nothing better.
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.
When we reached the Colorado River which we had been dreading ever since we started, the water was so high, the ferry men hesitated in crossing us over. After we were safely across, we rested for some days. We pitched our tents and unfurled the American flag that Merrill and I had made before leaving home. Took the organ and violin from the wagon and as our pioneer mothers and fathers had done before, we danced on the big flat rocks. My father and mother were again living over their pioneer experiences. There was already a settlement at Brigham City on the Little Colorado River and when we reached there, our men folks went on an exploration expedition into northern Arizona.
We spent our first winter in Arizona in our wagon boxes. A ridge pole along the center and the wagon covers stretched tightly kept out most of the moisture. I was sorry that I had had to cut up our brown ducking tents to make the little boys suits, but they had to be clothed and there was nothing else. Then there was the little log house, with “factory” cloth for windows and its shake roof and floors!
There wasn’t much time to devote to house building. Water and tillable land do not always lie adjacent. The hundred acres Merrill Willis had taken up were three miles from Show Low Creek. Ditches had to be dug from it to the land. Fences had to be built and the land cleared. It took fourteen years of hard toil for him and his three little boys to get everything as they wanted with alfalfa, pasture, orchard, and garden plot. In the meantime, a larger, more pretentious frame house had been built. This had porches on it. The family now was very comfortable.
Here the family was very happy. Each boy had his own calves and colts. Cedenia had her flowers and always her beehives. To her they were the emblem of industry, and in the many homes she had, she always had her bees. She loved their drowsy hum among her flowers, and [honey was used] then when sugar was so scarce, and candy, except the homemade kind of molasses, was unknown, except maybe at Christmas time.
The Willis family shared with their neighbors the barley bread. Flour was prohibitive at twenty dollars a sack. [Cedenia wrote:]
On the twenty-fifth day of June 1880 a beautiful baby girl came to our home. We named her Mary for my mother. How we loved her. My three little boys had whooping-cough at the time and our precious baby contracted it. Two months later on August 25, 1880, as the sun was sinking in the Western horizon our little family knelt around a freshly made grave where we had lain our treasure. This was our first parting by death and her little grave was the first one in the town of Taylor, Arizona.
About this time my father decided to move to Salt River Valley. But the fact that Merrill bought my father’s home could not repay me for my sorrow at parting with my mother. I had given up a beautiful home in Utah to be near her and now that they were leaving, it seemed too cruel. I went out in the waving corn-field and kneeling down on the ground, I cried myself sick as I prayed that I might have strength to endure the loss of my baby and my parents. We visited them several times at their home near Mesa and they often spent their summers with us.
During one of our visits Merrill decided he wanted to stay down there. Again we had no home but were living in a tent. The heat overcame me and we started back to our little home near the Show Low [Creek, meaning Taylor]. Geronimo was still on the warpath and we realized the danger that we were in but I felt recompensed when I reached my little home.
The next winter Merrill again made up his mind to move to the Southern part of the State. In vain my sons and myself tried to dissuade him. My son, Tom, had almost frozen on his way up from Mesa to help us back with our things. My baby was eight months old and was very sick. I had been sick for a week with the “gripe” as had also another son of ours but we started on February 28, 1894. Merrill had fixed up one wagon with a projecting box which contained a stove and bedsprings across the wagon which made it very comfortable.
The boys wanted to take their calves and colts, and Samuel was to drive them. In all the trips that I have ever taken, I look back upon that one as the most terrible. After a few days, fierce storms broke over us. Samuel contracted rheumatism, and the stock had to be left behind. He became so ill that I had to feed him what little nourishment he took. Through exposure and cold, every member of the family took sick.
After we started Merrill changed his mind and decided to go to the Espanola Valley on the Rio Grande River. We reached there in a blinding snowstorm. The country did not appeal to me with its Mexicans, Indians, burros, goats and dogs, and the little adobe houses. What a heart-sick bunch we were, but there was nothing for us to do but make the best of it. We traded our extra teams for land, built us an adobe house, planted out ten acres in orchard. Soon the little town was laid out with streets, sidewalks, and shade-trees. Our second son was sent back after the cattle we had left at Show Low. What a time he had with that herd of cattle. He lost thirty head in one day. What few remained, my husband traded for land.
Not long after our arrival, we all took down with chills and fever. We could see no future here for our family so we sacrificed our home and property getting nothing for them. Completely broke, we started for Utah in the month of October 1897. How glad we were to think we were going to civilization. I felt that I would be willing to live on bread and water to get away from the Mexicans and their customs: their ancient looking houses. As I gazed upon their villages with their goats and burros wandering around the streets, I wondered if I were dreaming. Could I be living in Jerusalem?
One of the experiences we had in this little New Mexico town makes me smile as I look back upon it. Merrill always honored the national holidays. The 4th of July drawing near, he brought a fine liberty pole from the mountains. The day before the 4th, there were no men to help them raise the cherished flagpole, so he called the women to his aid. After many fruitless attempts, the pole was raised. Little Daniel got out his drum and as the Stars and Stripes floated out over the breeze, probably for the first time in the Espanola Valley, he played the most appropriate tune he knew: “We are Marching Down to Old Quebec.” When the Mexicans saw the flag they removed their hats as a mark of respect. The second 4th of July in the Valley was quite an affair. The men constructed a large bowery with a splendid floor for dancing. There were about thirty young people in that vicinity and young and old mingled together in a dance that night. The music was furnished by a Mexican orchestra and the bowery was lighted by gay Japanese lanterns.
When we reached our new destination in Weber County, Utah, fifteen miles from Ogden, Merrill borrowed $150 to make our first payment on a hundred acre tract of land. Here again we had to go through the experiences of clearing, scraping and leveling the land, building ditches, and again our home was a tent. We had so much malaria in our systems that we were sick a great deal of the time. Again I decided what could not be cured, must be endured, so I worked as I never had before to help in the erection of a small home and the planting of trees and flowers. My beautiful flowers soon became the envy of our neighbors.
Oh the struggles and privations of making that home I can never describe. Merrill and the boys were working so hard that I would go out with a rope and gather up the brush they grubbed and carried it to our shanty on my back where I used it for firewood to do my cooking, washing, and ironing by. We had all fully made up our minds to get back what we had lost in a financial way. Everyone of the family worked to the limit of their strength. An apple orchard was planted, also large fields of grain and beets. My particular work was raising chickens, ducks, and turkeys.
Here death came to us again. Dear willing Tom had worked so hard that his vitality was practically diminished so after suffering for some weeks with typhoid fever, he passed away [August 2, 1900].
Samuel had married and though never strong, his death was accidental, having been thrown from a horse and killed [September 22, 1905].
The years of struggle passed and it seemed at last we were to reach the reward of our labors. Our apple trees were loaded to the fullest capacity. Some of the branches were bent to the ground with their load of precious fruit. Now we could pay our debts and get something to fix up our home but the sky was darkened. A hailstorm came and pelted the ripening fruit into a pulp. Disappointment and despair filled our hearts. Neither of us were well.
Merrill’s health became so bad that he had to go to Idaho where it was thought he would improve. Three of the boys were home with their mother and did what they could to make her lot bearable. Her son, Daniel, who had played the drums at the raising of the flag in Mexico, had now acquired a violin and a clarinet, and as he put his whole soul in his music, his mother often thought she had never heard anything so heavenly. In the spring, her husband returned improved in health. During this time her mother was very ill, and though she lived a great distance away [at Springville, Utah], much of Cedenia’s time was spent with her. With her passing [in 1906,] it seemed Cedenia could endure no more. Then came the terrible knowledge to her that she herself was afflicted with cancer.
She had an aunt living in Springville where she [stayed and] went back and forth each day to Provo taking treatments, and in three weeks she was pronounced cured. One of the most terrible trials that came to her was when her daughter died of cancer, leaving three little girls.
Again we quote from Cedenia’s journal of an incident that occurred three or four years after the destruction of their first apple crop:
We struggled on. Merrill sick with asthma, my daughter’s three little girls with me and having to care for them. The apple trees were again bending with their five thousand bushels of apples, red as the blush of a rose. The boxes were being made to ship them in. Ladders and picking sacks were ready. In a few days the pickers would be at work and the packers busy garnering the rich fruit of so many years toil.
One day a black cloud was seen, followed by others. The thunder rolled [in,] the sky became blackened. Another hail storm burst forth in all its fury. After twenty-five minutes, our crop was ruined, our cherished hopes lay mocking at our feet. What had we done to deserve such treatment? Were we forsaken? We had received beautiful diplomas from the state fair in Salt Lake as first prize for our apples. This seemed too much for us to endure and we felt like folding our tired hands and giving up.
After this catastrophe we received a letter from our son Daniel who was living in Salt Lake, advising us to sell out and come to Salt Lake. Then came the old, old story. A real-estate man came. He could pay us no money but would trade us four beautiful homes in Salt Lake for the farm allowing us $1200. We must look at the homes. These homes were all rented and though they were mortgaged, there would be no trouble in paying them off or if necessary, we might sell one to pay off the others. At last it seemed that fortune smiled upon us and I was going into a home which I had not struggled to build. It was a mansion of a place and it seemed that life would be one grand adventure from now on. But our happiness was not to last. The panic came and we lost everything again. We bid good-by and wandered forth homeless in our declining years out into the wild of Nevada. Merrill was 62 and I was 58. With my arms filled with roses and buds as a last token of home, we started by train for Metropolis, Nevada. Here we were among strangers again and again; we had to cut down the sage brush to pitch our tent. Merrill traded around for a one-room lumber house to put by our tent.
Here the Willises lived until spring when they grubbed and burned the brush on the forty acre tract and for seven years, struggled with frost, drought, squirrels, and rabbits. The thermometer ranged around thirty degrees below zero.
Undaunted by their years and disappointments, this brave couple began again. Cedenia’s beautiful flowers attracted people from far and near. Merrill homesteaded 160 acres of land on which he put fifty-thousand of nursery stock of fruit and shade trees, and she [Cedenia] had been spending all of her spare time in taking care of her large flock of turkeys. As there were no nurseries near, Merrill felt he could make a stake by supplying the people with trees, but every tree was winter-killed except a few box elders. Coyotes made away with her turkeys and the prices fell until they realized very little profit from them. There was no use staying here any longer, so their next move was to Burley, Idaho. The most severe trial of all to Cedenia was to see her beloved companion struggling for breath as his terrible attacks of asthma would come on. He would have to be propped up in bed, and on nights when the thermometer would go down thirty or forty degrees below zero, she would have to get up many times to warm the air so he could breathe at all.
Cedenia Bagley Willis (right) with niece, Rachel Flannigan Lamb. Rachel Lamb was the sister of Springville, Utah, photographer Joseph Bagley. Photo courtesy of Huntington Bagley Collection, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University.
Finding it was impossible for him to spend another winter in that climate, they thought it best for Merrill to come to Mesa, Arizona, and stay with a sister of his. In vain he tried to persuade her to go with him. They had lost too much. She must stay and take care of what they had left. Her only unmarried son she had sent to Salt Lake City to a business college.
That winter was one of the coldest ever known even in those parts. Snow drifted to the height of five feet. She had three cows and her chickens to care for. A neighbor boy assisted her getting her wood and doing the chores when the snow was not too deep for him to get there. One of her sons lived about three miles away, and one married in Salt Lake. Finally, they bundled her up and sent her to the latter. When she got there, she soon found as many a poor little mother has, that there is no joy for her in the home of a daughter-in-law. She soon tired of the studied politeness and had sense enough to know that she was disrupting the household, so without bidding any one good-by she started back to her little home in the north.
She found her home full of snow as the blizzards had blown the doors open, and the snow had covered everything. She shook it off her bed and crawled in where the moaning of the wind lulled her off to sleep.
The world’s war was in progress, and the winter was made more desolate for this devoted mother by letters from two sons who had enlisted. Her time was spent between her chores and the knitting of warm things for the soldier boys. Both of hers came back safely. Shortly after, the last, the baby boy, married, and now she and Merrill were alone as they had begun.
During the summers, she and Merrill worked the twenty-acre alfalfa field themselves. She did all she could to lighten his burden. His health became so bad that they knew he could not remain there any longer, so they let their youngest son have the farm. She says, “My flowers were a riot of color. My backyard the same. The back porch covered, the hop vines in bloom. The currant bushes were bending with ripe currants, the raspberries hanging red from the vines, and my garden of cabbage, carrots, corn, cucumbers, every vegetable that could be raised in that climate. The bees and humming birds were flitting among my flowers as we bade goodby to our last home. We will never have another.”
They reached Mesa on a sultry September day, and then came the struggle to endure the heat. They rented a small two-room house. They were not lined [?] and had no windows [panes?]. Cedenia picked cotton to buy a few pieces of second-hand furniture. Merrill was able to do very little. He had failed so in health that he was a mere skeleton. His ambition never left him, and as long as he was able to get around at all, he was setting out grape vines, planting trees, and “making two blades of grass grow where one had grown before.”
Even in his suffering, his every thought was of the dear companion who had truly been a help meet during their entire married life. He knew he must leave her, but she must have a home, so with the small amount of money sent them by their children, he bought a lot, walked a mile, cut three or four thousand grape cuttings where, bent over and fighting always for breath, he set them out, and they grew and flourished. Determined to work and win as had so often done before, his last words were “I have done my best. I am thru,” as he finally gave up the struggle on October 7, 1922.
The remainder of her precious little journal is filled with heartache, loneliness, bravery, courage, self-denial. She still resides in the little home where her husband left her. Sometimes she goes to visit her children, but her independent spirit prevents her from being “a bother” to anyone.
She has many friends who are always welcome at her home. One would never guess that her whole life had been one of pioneering, the kind that has made homes for others with less vision and industry.
Patient little mother and friend, truly “she hath done what she could” and there must be rest and a beautiful home awaiting her “over there” where there are no sage brush to remove or ditches to dig. She had nine children, lost one girl in infancy. She died March 18, 1945.
Ellis and Boone:
RFC added the last two sentences in this sketch when updating it for PWA. But the FWP portion of this sketch for Cedenia Willis, detailing their moves from Taylor to New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and finally Mesa, illustrates the difficulties that some early pioneers had adjusting to a modern world.
Sarah Ann Potter Winsor
Maiden Name: Sarah Ann Potter
Birth: August 2, 1849; Bountiful, Davis Co., Utah
Parents: William Washington Potter and Sarah Ann Whitney
Marriage: Walter John Winsor; June 28, 1866
Children: Walter John (1867), William Anson (1870), Elijah Perry (1872), George Alonzo (1874), Joseph Gardner (1877), Charles Edward (1879), Sarah Emmeline (1882), Weltha Delight (1884), Lucy Janet (1887), Benjamin Franklin (1890)
Death: April 26, 1918; Thatcher, Graham Co., Arizona
Burial: Thatcher, Graham Co., Arizona
Sarah Ann Potter was born August 2, 1849, at Sessions (Bountiful), Salt Lake County, Utah. She was the fourth child of William Washington Potter and Sarah Ann Whitney. Her father was killed by the Indians in the Gunnison Massacre. Her mother was left with five children, three boys and two girls. It took the united effort of all of them to keep the home fires burning. With good management and a prayerful heart, they came through in fine shape.
Early in 1866, Sarah met Walter John Winsor and June 28, 1866, they were married in Richfield, Utah. They set up housekeeping in a covered wagon. Shortly after their marriage, Walter was sent on an expedition under Capt. James Andrus to locate Black Hawk, chief of the Ute Tribe. Many a prayerful day and wakeful night Sarah spent while Walter was away. Her prayers were answered and Walter returned.
Sarah Ann Potter Winsor (seated) with husband Walter John Winsor and daughter Lucy Janet. Photo courtesy of FamilySearch.
Hard times still kept knocking at their door. They moved to Rockville, where they took up farming. Walter was still a minuteman in the state militia. Two sons were born in Rockville, Walter Jr. on December 19, 1867, and William Anson on February 5, 1870. They then moved to Pipe Springs, Arizona, where Walter John helped his father, Anson Perry Winsor, build the Winsor Castle, which still stands. While there she helped Grandma Winsor make butter and cheese to send to the workers who were constructing the St. George Temple. Bishop Anson Perry Winsor was called to take charge of the tithing cattle. He built the Winsor Castle on the order of a fort, even housing in the spring. This was a protection against the Indians. Early in 1872, they returned to Rockville, Utah, where Elijah Perry was born April 26, 1872, and George Alonzo was born November 4, 1874. They sold their possessions and moved to Kanab, Utah, where one more son blessed their home. Joseph Gardner was born March 1, 1877, then a call came from Brigham Young for Walter John Sr. and his wife Sarah to go to Arizona to help settle that territory and to help build up the Church there. They loaded up their few belongings in a wagon, with the old familiar brass kettle and nose bags hanging on the reach at the end of the wagon and a 50-gallon barrel of water securely fastened on the side of the wagon.
In company with his brother, Lon, and his brother-in-law, Joseph Scott, they started for Arizona in November via Lee’s Ferry. When they arrived there, the Colorado River was frozen over. They drove their wagons and cattle across the river on the ice. They had to carry sand and gravel in their hats to spread on the ice to get the cattle started. One cow ran down stream, broke through the ice, and was drowned. The road from the river went out over Lee’s Backbone, a steep and perilous ridge. Sarah walked over it because she was too frightened to ride. It took a lot of courage in those days to travel over a country that was infested with rustlers and hostile Indians, but the Lord was with Sarah and her husband. They arrived in Taylor without incident.
Her sixth boy was born in Taylor, November 9, 1879, Charles Edward. From Taylor they moved to Concho in 1880, where Walter bought land from the Wilhelm brothers for $800. Lon and Joe Scott were hauling for Blanchard, the merchant at Horseshoe Crossing near where Holbrook now stands. They were hauling from Ontario [Socorro?], New Mexico, a two months trip. During the time they were gone, flour got so scarce that they would trade a cow for a sack of it. At this time, Walter traded a horse to Julius Becker for barley and had it milled at a Mexican mill in St. Johns. The flour was dark and sticky and of little value for food. Sarah had a little flour in her bin; a good neighbor came over to borrow enough for biscuits. Sarah loaned it to her, knowing full well that she would never return it. She prayed to the Lord that she might still have flour in the bin, and her prayers were answered. Her flour never ran out. Walter and Sarah farmed in Concho for two years. During this time their first daughter, Sarah Emmeline, was born May 24, 1882.
During his stay in Concho, Walter homesteaded land in Bush Valley (now Alpine), where they moved in 1883. He farmed there, also took the contract to carry the U.S. mail to Alma, New Mexico, from Springerville, Arizona, a distance of 200 miles. This mail was carried on horseback. He carried the mail for a period of seven years. One night, he came upon a band of renegade Indians camped by a creek. Geronimo was in the bunch. Walter eased by their camp by placing his mule’s feet so they would make no noise. After a couple of hours, he was at a safe distance so he mounted and rode away.
While they lived in Alpine, two more daughters were born: Weltha Delight on September 21, 1884, and Lucy Janet on December 4, 1887. Then they moved to Springerville in 1888, where they had bought a farm. There the last child, Benjamin Franklin, was born on May 30, 1890. He passed away June 5, 1895.
They bought a loom and wove carpet, raised chickens, sold eggs, milked cows, made butter and cheese, and kept the wolf from the door until the farm could pay expenses. They did this so they could be together more. During the time they were moving here and there, they relied on the Lord and always attended church. Sarah drove her one-horse buggy to Eagar. There was no ward in Springerville. She served in the Primary presidency and in the Sunday School.
Ellis and Boone:
It is not clear why this sketch ends about 1900. By 1910, Walter and Sarah Winsor were living at Thatcher, where Sarah Ann Winsor died on April 26, 1918. Walter J. Winsor lived until December 25, 1936, when he died at Tempe; he was buried in Thatcher beside his wife.
Prominent events in the settlement of Utah significantly influenced the life of Sarah Ann Potter Winsor, particularly the Gunnison Massacre. In 1853, a surveyor and engineer, John Williams Gunnison, captain in the Corps of Topographical Engineers, led an expedition assigned to locate a possible route for the railroad between the 38th and 39th parallels. To assist, he hired Gardiner Godfrey Potter, known as George or Duff, and his younger brother William, Sarah Ann’s father. In central Utah, Gunnison was warned that he might be in danger from local Pahvants, but north of Fillmore, he split his party into two groups, one traveling east and the other west along the Sevier River. The weather was turning cold, and he wanted to speed up the mapping. Gunnison and William Potter were in the group that traveled west; Lieut. Edward G. Beckwith and George Potter were with the group traveling east. The next day, on October 26, 1853, Gunnison’s detachment was attacked, and eight men were killed, including Gunnison and Potter. A few men escaped and rushed east to alert the second group, which immediately backtracked to see if they could locate survivors. The next day, they came upon the massacre site, made more horrific by the mutilation of the bodies by Indians and wolves. Lacking tools for burial and with the conditions of the bodies not conducive to being brought out, the Beckwith party left the bodies at the massacre site and hurried back to Fillmore with the news. This incident not only left Sarah Ann Potter to grow up without a father but it was also the beginning of events which concluded with the arrival of Col. Albert Sidney Johnston and his army in 1858. As Robert Kent Fielding wrote, “The Gunnison Massacre proved to be a turning point in Mormon relations with the rest of the nation.”
Lucy Jane Flake Wood
Roberta Flake Clayton, FWP
Maiden Name: Lucy Jane Flake
Birth: March 13, 1870; Beaver, Beaver Co., Utah
Marriage: Peter Cotton Wood; November 17, 1887
Children: Enos (1889), Lucy (1890), William Flake (1893), Lehi Flake (1895), John Flake (1897), Roberta (1901), Rosalie (1905), Clarence Flake (1907), James Flake (1909), Mary (1911), Josephine (1914)
Death: January 26, 1952; Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Burial: Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Everyone has the same number of ancestors, but not everyone knows who as many of them were as did Jane Wood. Jane had a right to be proud of her heritage, as nine of her direct ancestors crossed the plains by 1850. The tenth, Grandma Burton, passed away on the journey and was buried by the wayside.
It was her grandfather James M. Flake, who sent his negro, Green Flake, with his white-topped carriage and white mules to carry Brigham Young on his first visit to the valley of the Great Salt Lake. Arriving there on July 24, 1847, Green began to build a home for the family and sent the team and carriage back to the Flakes.
Jane’s mother and father walked the entire distance to Salt Lake. The Flakes arrived in 1848 and the Whites in 1850.
Jane was the daughter of William J. and Lucy Hannah White Flake. She was born March 13, 1870, in Beaver, Utah. She was the seventh in a family of thirteen, eight of whom grew to maturity and had families of their own.
She had an adventurous life. At the age of two, she went out where her grandmother had just raked the coals from under a kettle of boiling soap. She, wanting to be helpful, tried to stir the soap. In doing so, she fell into the kettle. As she fell, it tipped over, and a little sunbonnet she wore pushed down over her eyes and part of her face, thus partly protecting them. But the lower part of her face and upper part of her body was burned severely. The scars stayed with her all of her life. Only miraculously was her life saved, as she also swallowed some of the strong lye. It was more than six weeks before clothes could be put on her.
Schooling began early for Jane because she had an aunt who lived in her home and taught the children of the family. Only when Jane could be induced to be still was she allowed to remain in the room. She had a remarkable memory, which pleased her relatives and friends, but there were times that her memory was not appreciated, as she would learn the lessons that the others were supposed to give, and she would say them before the others had a chance. She had a strong voice, but not a singing one, so her entertaining was done in elocution and dramatics.
Jane was always afraid of the Indians, as were most of the children in those early days, for they were taught that the Indians would steal and carry them away, as they sometimes did. One day, while she was very small, some Indians came to the house. She was alone in the yard except for the dog, but her screaming and dog barking brought her father from the house and the Indians fled.
When Jane was seven, her father was called to assist in the settling of Arizona. In the fall of the year 1877, the family, with all their household belongings, provisions, and cattle and horses, started on the long, perilous journey into the Indian-infested desert. They left behind hosts of friends, relatives, and three little graves. The youngest member of the family was only two months old, but another joined them at Grand Falls on the Little Colorado; this fine baby boy was born to Jane’s eldest brother and his wife.
Several men had been hired to help with driving the cattle. The winter was very severe, and some days only a few miles could be made. One day, they went only a mile and a half as the snow and sleet were so strong that the animals refused to face it. Jane’s father had fixed the covered wagons as comfortable as possible, each one having a stove in it. Wood was so scarce that they picked up all that they could along the way, as there might not be any where they were forced to camp. That trip lasted three months, and the memory of it was a nightmare to all of the family who were old enough to share its hardships.
After a couple of weeks, the Flake train overtook that of Isaac Turley. One of the Turley children was very sick, and at the top of Buckskin Mountain it passed away. One of the men knew where there was a grave at the foot of the mountain, so they took the body and buried it there by that of May Whiting, and the grief stricken mother drove her team on. This incident cast a gloom over the entire company and especially over Jane, as she was very young and impressionable.
Lucy Jane Flake Wood with family; back row, left to right: Lee, Roberta, Lucy, John, Bill; seated: Enos, Peter (father), Clarence, Lucy (mother); floor: Rose. Photo courtesy of Isaac Carling Spencer Family.
Soon after leaving Kanab, Utah, the oldest daughter of the Flake family, Mary, took sick with a very sore throat. Several days later, they overtook another wagon train. With it was “Aunt Abbie Thayne,” a nurse whose equal had never been found. Father Flake told Abbie of Mary’s illness and asked her if she could help. Although Abbie was blind, she knew immediately what was the matter. She said, “It is diphtheria, I can tell by the smell.” One of the other children in another company died, but Jane was so ill that she didn’t realize it.
In January the family reached a settlement on the Little Colorado, where they stayed for seven months. Then Jane’s father bought the Stinson Ranch on Silver Creek. All the children who were old enough ran down the bank and bathed their faces and quenched their thirst in the crystal water of “Rio de la Plata,” as the Mexicans on the ranch called it.
It was necessary for her father to return to their Beaver home several years in succession for cattle and sheep. His wife and younger children usually went with him. One trip they left Jane to stay with her grandmother until the next year. This was a very profitable year for Jane as she learned to knit her own stockings and crochet. Although only eight, she could even crochet enough lace for pillows and her own underthings. The art of crocheting remained with her and has gladdened the hearts of many of her relatives and friends. Also by her own handiwork, her babies were beautifully dressed.
After the year spent in her old home in Beaver, she was glad to get back to her new home in Snowflake, where all were like one big family. As she grew to womanhood, she was a great favorite of young and old alike. She went to dances, parties, and school, and she participated in all church activities. She attended school in the winter and applied herself to the three R’s, which constituted her main studies in those days. No better teacher could be found in preparation for the life she chose than her mother, Lucy Flake. With a girl as popular as Jane, it was surprising when she accepted the attentions of a man eighteen years older than she and already having a wife. It must be remembered that in those days, God had given the plan of plural marriage. Her mother was brought up in that order and had also been willing to enter into it. Jane, thus reared in a polygamous family, believed with all her heart that it was commanded of God. It was made known to her that Peter Cotton Wood and his charming and gentle Launa had chosen her to share their lives. Peter and Launa had buried their six children. Four had died with diphtheria within two weeks’ time, leaving them with no family. They were more than happy when Jane gave her consent to add a new family to their home.
In the fall of 1887, Jane accompanied her mother and brother James and the three youngest members of the family to Beaver, Utah. When they reached St. George on their return trip, they remained two nights and a day for Jane to get married.
It took two weeks for Peter to make the trip, the ground and saddle blanket being his bed, the saddle his pillow. The blanket he carried behind his saddle and the blue sky above were his covers, but he always felt that the prize he gained made his efforts worthwhile.
Due to the persecutions, they were not allowed to go to and from the temple together. On November 17, 1887, in the stillness of the night, they were made man and wife for time and eternity. This man [the officiator] they knew to be a man of God, although they were not allowed to see his face. Jane told her husband goodbye at the temple gate, and he returned the same way he had come. Jane returned with her family. Who can say how long and tedious the days were to Jane until she was again in the arms of her lover. To this union was born eleven children, eight living to maturity.
Many of the leaders of the church were sent to prison or exiled for this same principle. Jane’s own father spent six months in the Arizona Prison in Yuma and had to pay a $500 fine because he would not desert his family.
When Jane had been married only a year, Peter and his wives left their homes and friends and moved to Mexico. They were among the first settlers of Colonia Juárez. Thus Jane had another experience in pioneering. This time it was much worse as now she had to help share the responsibility and hardship, and the handicap of learning the customs of the people. The language she never learned as she could always find an interpreter when necessary.
Jane was an excellent cook and her husband a good provider, and both were very fond of company. Her husband was a very fine musician, and their home was a gathering place for their friends. It was a humble abode, the house built entirely by her husband and the interior being the work of her hands. How homelike it was, snow white curtains, homemade lace-trimmed pillow cases, crocheted tidies of the most intricate design.
Strangers could not tell which wife was the mother of the children, and Launa was like a mother to Jane. They never had a cross word. Launa passed away after Jane’s fifth child was born, and Jane in her sorrow turned to her dear friend Jane Johnson, who had much in common with her. Their families had been good friends for many years. Their names were both Jane, they had both married in polygamy and married men much older than themselves. Both had left their friends and homes to go to a foreign land that they might live their religion. They had spent many happy hours together, and their paths crossed many times as the years passed by.
Jane made occasional trips home to show her admiring family her latest offspring or to show how brilliant the older ones were. Her homecomings were hailed with delight because she had always been such a favorite in the town where she was raised.
Then came the Revolution. As far as the Wood family was concerned, there was no immediate danger, as “Pedro Lana” as her husband was known, was known, loved, and respected by everyone. Jane entertained the Governor of Chihuahua in her home as well as the officers and enlisted men of both the American and Mexican armies. Many of the U.S. soldiers called her “mother,” and for years she received letters of appreciation from some of them.
But the family came out of Mexico with the others in 1912, and after a visit home, decided to settle in the little town of Duncan to be ready to return to their possessions in Mexico, which they did at the first possible moment it was safe. They had just been there a few days when a battle was fought just out of the town, but no foreigners were killed. For a year and a half, they lived in comparative peace, then an erroneous telegram ordered them out again. This time they went to Utah, and for the first time she met some of Peter’s people. In July they went back to their home, and the following March, the American soldiers were ordered to Casas Grandes county, and as long as they were there, the Americans were safe.
During the terrible days of the Revolution, Jane passed through some very dangerous and trying experiences that she didn’t like to recall. At one time, her eldest son was captured by Mexican soldiers and beaten with a sword. There were many other horrible things she witnessed or heard of.
Her husband passed away peacefully November 9, 1929, and was buried in Colonia Juárez, Mexico. He had been an excellent gardener and nurseryman, supplying many of the colonists with their fruit and ornamental trees and shrubs. His ranchito was the showplace of that part of the country, and his flowers noted in all the colonies.
Jane was a natural nurse—no one had an affliction that she hadn’t a remedy for. She could go into a sick room and her very presence and the touch of her hand brought comfort and relief. In the house of mourning, her services were in great demand, and whenever there was sickness, both the Americans and Mexicans would call for her.
After Peter’s death, she made her home with her youngest [surviving] daughter, Rose Johnson in Tempe, Arizona. After her friend Jane Johnson’s husband died, the two Janes bought a little home in Mesa near the temple, where much of their time was spent doing temple work for their ancestors. Jane was Relief Society visiting teacher for more than fifty years and performed all other duties that she was called to do with faithfulness and diligence.
Lucy Jane Flake Wood. Photo courtesy of Isaac Carling Spencer Family.
After a short illness, she passed away January 26, 1952, in Mesa, Arizona. She was eighty-two years of age. Surviving her were six children, thirty grandchildren, and fifty-one great-grandchildren. Also her “dear old partner,” as she called her friend Jane Johnson.
Ellis and Boone:
Roberta Flake Clayton wrote this sketch for her sister and submitted it to the FWP in the late 1930s. It was extensively rewritten for PWA, with details both added and deleted. In particular, the last two paragraphs and the information about plural marriage were added.
This sketch does not give many details about the time that Jane Flake Wood spent in Mexico, from 1885 to the 1930s. Peter Wood is listed as a lime maker and gardener living in Colonia Juárez in 1891, but he also acted as the colony dentist. Nelle Spilsbury Hatch wrote,
For toothache, Peter C. Wood was the remedy. He was not a dentist, but an ulcerated root often made his forceps seem the lesser of two evils. Knowing that only pain and desperation had nerved the sufferer to brave his torture he met them with tactics all his own. Jollying them, telling distracting stories until his forceps were clamped on the tooth, he then held the patient in place with the weight of his knees on floundering legs. The tooth extracted he held it up for loving inspection with “Best cure in the world for toothache is to carry a root in your pocket—the root of the tooth.”
With children his technique was a sympathetic approach. Always he agreed with them that toothache was the worst pain in the world. Then he would talk of something else, clowning, pulling faces, anything for a laugh until he was ready for the yank. “There, honey,” holding the forceps with the tooth in one hand, while he wiped tears and blood away with the other, “there’s the old fellow that kept you awake last night. Uncle Pete will bury it so no dog or hen will eat it. Because if they do you would have a hen’s tooth or a dog’s tooth come in its place.” Young and old he sent home smiling, chuckling, or laughing outright. What pain is so hard to endure or so soon forgotten as toothache!
In 1912, Mormons fled the revolutionary unrest which engulfed Chihuahua. When the women and children were boarding the train fleeing to El Paso, Jane’s oldest son, Enos Wood, helped his wife, mother, and sister at the depot. There, two Mexicans “poked a high powered Mauser rifle into [his] stomach.” Speaking Spanish, he was able to make friends with them and defuse the situation, but other refugees were not so lucky.
Karl Young also told a story of Enos Wood providing shelter for General José Inés Salazar, who was responsible for the exodus in 1912 and in February 1917 again threatened the colonists. Lester Farnsworth stumbled upon a tent in Wood’s orchard, where he found Salazar sleeping. Farnsworth said that he “felt a little glow of appreciation for the human warmth that had made Enos Wood go to the trouble of setting up this tent and providing refuge for a man in need, even a former enemy.” Salazar was killed on August 9, 1917, near Nogales Hacienda, Chihuahua.
Although Jane Wood chose to spend the last years of her life in Mesa, Arizona, the years in Mexico were an important part of her life, particularly because her family members were some of the Latter-day Saints who chose to return to the colonies rather than relocate in the U.S.
Annie Chandler Woods
Annie Woods Westover
Maiden Name: Annie Chandler
Birth: July 10, 1837; Whitley, Surrey, England
Parents: George Chandler and Ann Andrews
Marriage: John Tickner Woods; July 5, 1854
Children: James Andrew (1859), Ellen/
Death: August 13, 1886; Woodruff, Navajo Co., Arizona
Burial: Woodruff, Navajo Co., Arizona
Annie Chandler Woods, wife of James Tickner Woods, was born in Lancashire, England, July 10, 1837. She was the daughter of George Chandler and Ann Andrews and had two brothers, George and Andrew, and a sister Ellen. She emigrated in 1854, sailing on the old sailing vessel Windermere in Edmund Ellsworth’s company, with her mother, brothers, and sister.
Her father was a wealthy English nobleman, who did not accept the Gospel but intended to follow them to Utah for the sake of being with the family as soon as he could put his extensive financial interests in shape. Her mother accepted the message of truth wholeheartedly as soon as she heard it and knew no rest until she started for “Zion” with her children.
They were on the ocean nine weeks, had rough seas, and during the voyage, smallpox broke out on board the vessel, her sister being one of the victims, but recovered.
Her mother and youngest brother Andrew died at New Orleans of cholera, leaving the three orphan children to come on to the valley alone. They had been born and reared in the lap of luxury. Their being left orphans and in poverty and homeless in a new country, such as Utah was at that early day, meant sufferings and hardships such as mortal tongue cannot describe.
After the mother’s death, they soon lost track of the father. He never came to Utah, nor did the children ever receive one dollar of their vast wealth.
Annie (my mother) married James Tickner Woods in 1854. In 1859, their first and only son was born at Parowan, Utah, filling their hearts with joy and thanksgiving, for they had prayed and longed for children. Subsequently, six daughters blessed their union, Ellen, Annie (myself), Elizabeth, Amy, Grace, and Bessie. The last named was born in Arizona, and due to hardship and privation in the pioneer life in that sagebrush desert (1876), her [the mother, Annie’s] strength proved inadequate to the ordeal and nearly cost Annie her life. She lived nine years longer but was an invalid and a physical wreck up to the time of her death.
She was a very beautiful, tall and graceful, with a queenly bearing. [She] had an abundance of black, wavy hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. Being highly cultured, and having had every opportunity during childhood and girlhood, full of sharp, ready wit, and a good conversationalist, she was a general favorite. She was one of the star vocalists in early days, and her sweet, clear, warbling voice charmed her hearers wherever she went. As I have gone through life, all who knew her have told me of her wonderful voice and charming personality.
Annie Chandler Woods. Photo courtesy of Darrel LeSueur.
She was secretary of the Retrenchment Society in early days under Eliza R. Snow, which office she held until just prior to being called to Arizona by President Brigham Young to help settle that country and establish the “United Order” on the Little Colorado River.
Owing to her delicate constitution—her fine, sensitive nature, continual pioneering with exposure and hardship—her sufferings were intense. During her nine years in Arizona, she continued to render service in a church and social capacity as far as her impaired health would permit. She and my brother, Andrew, were two of the first school teachers in Yavapai County. (He being the first to pass an examination and draw a salary from the county.)
She died of typhoid fever on August 13, 1886, at the little town of Woodruff, Arizona, and was laid to rest on the sage brush hillside, with only a rude wooden slab to mark the spot. At the time, my father was in Great Britain on a mission. He had been gone his allotted time and was expected home soon, but she was not permitted to live to welcome him on his return.
Ellis and Boone:
Besides the seven children born to them, James and Annie Woods raised a foster daughter, Cornelia Van Dam, born to Jan Cornelis and Maarigje Van Dam. The Van Dam family came to Utah from the Netherlands in 1864 (company unknown) with their four children, and Maarigje was pregnant. Jan died on August 16 en route to Utah. The baby, Cornelia, named after her father and her mother’s father, was born on September 5, and her mother, Maarigje, died on September 25. James and Annie Chandler Woods were living in Salt Lake City. They had been married ten years and had just one child, James Andrew Woods, age five. Annie had just given birth to a baby (Nellie Moriah) who had died. So, James and Annie Woods were given the baby, Cornelia Van Dam, to raise.
After coming to Arizona, Cornelia married Joseph Samuel Cardon (a son of Susette Stale Cardon, 99) as a polygamous wife and then moved to Mexico with him. She had one child, which died young in Mexico (shortly before October 31, 1885). In 1886, Cornelia returned to Woodruff to visit her mother and sister and died there. Annie Woods and Cornelia were only four years apart in age, and they considered themselves sisters. This closeness is also apparent when, after Cornelia’s death, James Andrew Woods named one of his daughters “Cornelia.”
Joseph Fish notes the death of Annie Chandler Woods in his journal: “On August 13th  Sister Woods died. She was the wife of James T. Woods. They were neighbors of mine in Parowan. She was an excellent singer and was respected wherever she lived being a most valuable member in a community, in teaching music and various other ways.”
Theresa Hope Goodman Wright
Maiden Name: Theresa Hope Goodman
Birth: January 23, 1885; St. David, Cochise Co., Arizona
Parents: William Nicholas Goodman and Margaret Ann Taylor
Marriage: Lorenzo Wright; July 14, 1904
Children: Beatrice Sonora (1906), Lorenzo Harold (1907), Margaret Theresa (1909), Bassett T. (1912), William Goodman (1915), Thomas Edward (c. 1920), John W. (1923), LaVon [LaVaughn] A. (1926)
Death: January 27, 1955; Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Burial: Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Theresa Hope Goodman Wright was the youngest of eleven children. She was born January 23, 1885 in St. David, Cochise County, Arizona. Her father was William Nicholas Goodman, who came from Bristol, Gloucester, England. Her mother, Margaret Ann Taylor, came from Spilsbury, Lincolnshire, England. Her parents were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of ten and eight years, respectively, in England. They were married in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 27, 1864. Their first home was in Salt Lake City, then Logan, Smithfield, and Minersville, Utah.
William’s health was very poor. He suffered with bronchial asthma. Later, he was called to work on the St. George Temple. In April 1879, he was called to a mission in Great Britain. The climate there was too damp, so he was released and returned home.
Theresa Hope Goodman Wright as a young girl. Photo courtesy of FamilySearch.
After three years, Theresa’s family moved to Arizona. She and her sister Elizabeth were not born yet. They finally settled in St. David, Arizona. Her father suffered a stroke and died when Theresa was about six weeks old. Her mother was left with nine living children. Before her father died, he could not speak, but wrote he wanted her named “Theresa Hope.” Her brothers and sisters were in order from the eldest: Margaret Marie (died in infancy), William George, Joseph Thomas, George Edward, Francis Nathaniel, Lily Mary (died in infancy), Clara Grove (Busby), Ann Gertrude (Reed), Herbert Arthur, Elizabeth Taylor (Merrill), and last, Theresa Hope Goodman Wright.
Her mother was left to make the living for the growing family. She had five dollars left from the funeral expenses and invested it wisely to start a country store, which she had, and also the Post Office in St. David for years. Theresa was taught thrift and independence, and faith with a strong religious background. Her spiritual strength and belief in prayer never faltered.
Theresa’s school days were spent in St. David in an old lumber schoolhouse. Her first teacher was John Hoopes, for whom she held great esteem. When she was eight or nine years old, she was stricken with measles and was very ill. She was left with very large sores on her head and very bad eyes. But due to the faith she had, the administrations by the elders, she was almost instantly healed.
When but a child, she went with her mother to Salt Lake City, Utah, on the train to attend the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. While the great choir was singing “Hosannah,” Theresa saw the most beautiful lights flash, brighter than noonday sun; no one else around seemed to see them. This was always a testimony to her of the holiness and sacredness of these structures.
Another great testimony to Theresa was the divine inspiration given the patriarchs who gave her blessings. One told her she would escape all accidents to which she would be exposed in the shape of fire and many other things. One blessing regarding fire was when Theresa was washing clothes and standing near the boiler over the fire, which was out of doors, her rubber apron caught in flame. It was impossible to get it untied and off without burning her severely. Her youngest daughter, Margaret, came to her rescue and threw a rug over her and put out the fire. Her clothes were all burned off down to her undergarment, which served as a protection to her body.
Another time, Theresa and her immediate family were in a car wreck. Her head was scalped and she was badly cut and bruised. While in the doctor’s office in Phoenix, Arizona, she prayed constantly her life would be spared and she would be able to withstand the pain. She was permitted to live longer on this earth and was able to endure the pain.
Lorenzo and Theresa Wright with their children, left to right, Margaret, Bassett, LaVon, Tom, Jack, and Bill; c. 1929 while living in Florence when Wright was superintendent of the prison. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Wright.
During her younger years, she held many responsible positions in the Church. She was baptized May 3, 1894. Some of Theresa’s church duties were: assistant organist, assistant choir leader, secretary to the choir, teacher in Religion class and later Sunday School secretary, and Relief Society visiting teacher. She organized and taught the first kindergarten class in St. David Sunday School. At sixteen years of age, she attended the Gila Academy at Thatcher, Arizona, to pursue studies in kindergarten teaching. Financial difficulties made it impossible for her to attend more than one year. After returning to St. David, Arizona, Theresa started the first kindergarten there. She had fifteen pupils. A charge of twenty-five cents a week per child was made to defray expenses.
Theresa’s marriage to Lorenzo Wright was July 14, 1904, at St. David, Arizona. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple June 7, 1907. The family moved to Bisbee, Arizona, and in December 1907, she was sustained as president of the Primary there. In 1909, her position was that of Sunday School teacher.
When the family moved to Mesa, Arizona in 1931, she worked faithfully in the Relief Society until her health failed in November 1931.
Theresa had many trials of ill health and major surgeries, but her continued patience, kindness, and faith will always be a source of inspiration to her family and all who knew her. It was her privilege to have a large family of two girls and six boys. Her work of a devoted wife and mother was truly an example all of her children and others might be proud to follow. All of her children are active church members and all were married in the temple.
She died January 27, 1955, in Mesa, Arizona, after being an invalid for the last four years of her life. She was true to her faith all her days and had elders come to her many times to bless her. There was never a woman who possessed any more love for her family, her church, and all it stands for than Theresa.
Ellis and Boone:
Lorenzo Wright was born in Utah and came to Arizona at three months of age. The family originally lived in Apache County but in September 1885 relocated to the Gila Valley. Only three months later, on December 1, 1885, his father and uncle were killed by Apaches. The deaths were reported by newspapers all across the nation. Sonora Wright was left with three children and a baby born two weeks later. Lorenzo Wright was a self-made man, serving in law enforcement, business, and church callings all his life.
After Theresa married Lo Wright, they lived in Bisbee, Douglas, St. David, Florence, and Mesa. She not only followed Lo when he changed jobs, but she also actively participated in his employment ventures. The move to St. David in 1920 was to assist Theresa’s mother, Margaret Goodman, with her general store, which Lo Wright bought in 1922 for $10. They moved to Florence on January 1, 1929, when Lo was appointed warden of the penitentiary. Theresa taught the prisoners to make homemade butter, and the children entertained the inmates at Christmas time. The position of prison warden was a political appointment, so when the governorship changed from Republican to Democrat in two years, the Wrights had a decision to make. It was Theresa who suggested that the family not return to St. David but instead move to Mesa. With money she had saved from raising chickens plus some from an insurance policy, Lo Wright opened his first grocery store in Mesa in 1931. Eventually, the business became known as Lo Wright and Sons and expanded to sixteen stores stretching from Queen Creek to Phoenix.
 Lettie P. Bates, “History of Orville Ephraim Bates,” in Clayton, PMA, 37−38.
 McClintock, Mormon Settlement in Arizona, 145−46; Tanner and Richards, Colonization on the Little Colorado, 139–42, 158–59.
 “Lansing Ira Wakefield,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:621; Ira G. Wakefield, “History of Lansing Ira Wakefield,” in Clayton, PMA, 498−500.
 Ira S. Hatch (1835–1909) was an early missionary to the Paiutes, Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, and Havasupai, often with Jacob Hamblin. He was called to be on the first high council of the Little Colorado River Stake and died at Fruitland, San Juan Co., New Mexico. Tanner and Richards, Colonization on the Little Colorado, 13–14, 30, 100; Corbett, Jacob Hamblin, see index.
 Nathan Cram Tenney (1817–82). Miller, “St. Johns’s Saints: Interethnic Conflict in Northeastern Arizona,” 80.
 Navajo Springs (shown on modern maps as Navajo) is on the Rio Puerco between Chambers and Pinto in Apache County. Ira G. Wakefield called this “Arizona’s first Territorial Capital,” because this was the location where, on December 29, 1863, Richard C. McCormick administered the oath of office to Governor John N. Goodwin and other newly appointed officials. Ira G. Wakefield, “History of Lansing Ira Wakefield,” in Clayton, PMA, 498; Granger, Arizona Place Names, 17.
 Dale F. Beecher, “Colonizer of the West,” in Black and Porter, Lion of the Lord, 177.
 Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, 2:350–51.
 See Sarah Francelle Coleman Heywood, 269; Charlotte Maxwell Webb, 758; Hannah Allred Sanders, 623; and Catherine Dorcas Overton Emmett, 165. William J. Flake and many others brought large herds of cattle into Arizona from Utah.
 Dale F. Beecher, “Colonizer of the West,” in Black and Porter, Lion of the Lord, 177. The towns along Silver Creek fit Beecher’s model: Snowflake or Taylor could be considered the larger village, with Linden, Wilford, Zeniff, Adair, etc. as satellite settlements.
 Ira G. Wakefield, “History of Lansing Ira Wakefield,” in Clayton, PMA, 499. For information about some these cowboys, see Hatch, We All Want to be Cowboys, 14, 21–29, 57.
 Palmer, History of Taylor and Shumway, 121–22.
 “Joseph Buck Wakefield Family,” in Wakefield, John Fleming Wakefield, 209–10; paragraphs combined.
 “William Ba[i]ley Maxwell,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:753.
 Merrell, Edward Milo Webb.
 Elizabeth Ann Clark Bracken was born in 1790 and died June 14, 1876, at Spring Valley, Lincoln Co., Nevada. James Bailey Maxwell was born in 1843 and died on July 16, 1876, but at Panguitch, Garfield Co., Utah.
 Edward Milo Webb Jr. was married to (1) Ellen Ashman (1854–1928) and (2) Sarah Elizabeth Carling Webb, 763.
 Mary Annetta Coleman (1862–1946) married Elijah Pomeroy. The Colemans lived in Nevada near the Maxwells and later the Pomeroys lived in Mesa. Mary Annetta Coleman Pomeroy was a sister to Sarah Francelle Coleman Heywood, 269.
 Julia Maxwell (1860–1915) was the daughter of William B. Maxwell and Martha Jane Mathis. Julia was married to Jedediah Houston Adair. William Bailey Maxwell (1868–1950) and James Bailey Maxwell Jr. (1870–1942) were the sons of Charlotte’s brother James Bailey Maxwell who died in 1876. None of these families settled permanently in Arizona. Generally Bush Valley is listed as being in Arizona (see Alpine), but it is on the border with New Mexico.
 The original plan was for Webb to open an academy in Colonia Juárez, Mexico.
 Flake, Academy in the Wilderness, 29−32, 39−40.
 For the story of the Webb family in Mexico, see Thomas, Uncertain Sanctuary, a book written by Charlotte’s daughter Estelle.
 The ordeal of getting to El Paso for this operation and the miracle of a good doctor to perform it was much more complex than mentioned here. See Thomas, Uncertain Sanctuary, 73–76.
 Although Joseph Neal Heywood Jr. was born in 1877 at Spring Valley, Nevada, his family settled in Alpine, Apache Co., Arizona. After completing schooling at Brigham Young University, he was a teacher and principal at Thatcher and Fort Grant. While living in Thatcher, his wife, Alvenia Savage, passed away in 1915, leaving him to raise four children alone. Her death became the impetus for his study of medicine at the University of Missouri, College of Osteopathy. In 1923, he moved to Snowflake to become a teacher and principal at the Snowflake Elementary School. As a medical doctor, he spent countless hours traveling to remote communities to take care of his patients. He helped start the Snowflake Maternity Hospital, was Navajo County’s Health Officer for twenty-five years, and served on the State Welfare Board for thirteen years. He passed away in Mesa in 1968 at the age of ninety-one. Erickson, Story of Faith, 64; Derr, Cannon, and Beecher, Women of Covenant, 266–68. For his mother, see Sarah Francelle Coleman Heywood, 269.
 Foss’s poem was beloved by many during in this era. It begins: “There are hermit souls that live withdrawn / In the place of their self-content.” Each stanza describes a person who lives for themselves versus one who lives for others. The last stanza says:
Let me live in my house by the side of the road—
It’s here the race of men go by.
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish—so am I;
Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
Sam Walter Foss, “The House by the Side of the Road,” in Cook, One Hundred and One Famous Poems, 9.
 James Levi Webb died October 29, 1926, at Mesa from injuries suffered in a dynamite explosion. AzDC.
 Hulse and Hulse, Edward Milo Webb, Jr. and his Wife Charlotte Martha Maxwell, 66−79.
 George P. Sampson (1854–1928) graduated from Miami Medical College and was a physician to the Navajos from 1880 to 1888. He was in Winslow as early as 1889. Quebbeman, Medicine in Territorial Arizona, 368.
 Tenney and Ellsworth, Diamond Jubilee Gems, 65–66, punctuation added; this story may originally have been from a sketch of Edward Milo Webb by Irene Webb Merrell. Also told in “Ward Relief Society Presidents,” in Erickson, Story of Faith, 62.
 MS 13877, CHL.
 In different documents, the first given name appears as: Asenith, Asenath, Asceneth, Aseneth.
 Both Isaac Van Wagner Carling and Asenath Browning were part of the Henry W. Miller Company crossing the plains in 1852. MPOT.
 Aseneth was the daughter of Jonathan Browning, famed gunsmith, inventor of the sliding block repeating rifle, and father of the great firearms inventor, John Moses Browning. Jonathan was born in Tennessee but moved his family and business to Quincy, Illinois, in 1834. In 1840, a Mormon came into Jonathan’s shop and left some tracts and a copy of the Book of Mormon; Browning was converted and moved his family to Nauvoo in 1842. He crossed Iowa with the Saints in 1846 and settled eight miles south of Council Bluffs on Mosquito Creek. Here he made guns and other implements for the Saints until he finally left for Utah in 1852, locating permanently in Ogden. Browning and Gentry, John M. Browning, 1−22.
 Charlotte Martha Maxwell Webb, 758.
 Edward Milo Webb Jr. was bishop of the Woodruff Ward from 1890 to 1891.
 Orlando C. Williams lived in Mexico, but came to the U.S. in 1912 during the Mexican Revolution. He was undersheriff for Navajo County in 1928, county assessor from 1931−32, and sheriff from 1933−36. He was the son of Frederick C. Williams II. Wayte, “A History of Holbrook and the Little Colorado Country,” 320; Ellis, Holbrook and the Petrified Forest, 57, 60; Rogers, “From Colonia Dublán to Binghampton,” 19−46; “Orlando Clements Williams,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:621.
 George Teasdale (1831–1907) was an Apostle from 1882 to 1907. Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1648.
 See Flake, Academy in the Wilderness, 29−32, 39−40.
 Brinkerhoff and Brewer, Our Town and People, 18. Apparently, Brinkerhoff and Brewer used Irene Adell Webb Merrell’s book as a source: Merrell, Edward Milo Webb, 4.
 This sketch was originally submitted to the FWP on September 4, 1937. The last four sentences were added for PWA.
 “Edmund Ellsworth,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:700–701.
 Mary Ann Bates was part of the Edmund Ellsworth handcart company of 1856. As the first handcart company, there are numerous accounts documenting this crossing of the plains. MPOT.
 For more information about the historical significance of this incident, see n. 145 for Sarah Alice McNeil Mills, 465.
 See “Nathan Robinson,” in Clayton, PMA, 403−5.
 Often a chaperone accompanied a couple traveling to St. George or the couple first married in Arizona. By 1886, the road was well defined and Navajos had ceased to be a threat; this was twenty years after the Navajos had returned from the forced march to Bosque Redondo in New Mexico. Charles Peterson wrote, “In 1870 the Navajos, who had carried on intermittent raids along Utah’s southern frontier since 1865, were pacified, permitting the resumption of a southward movement that had long been an important element of Mormon colonization.” Peterson, Take Up Your Mission, 4.
 This is likely a reference to Warren M. Johnson, who served as ferryman from 1875 to 1879 and proprietor from 1879 to 1896. However, it was his grandson, Adolpha Johnson, who was ferryman when he drowned June 7, 1928, along with Royce Elliott Deans and Lewis Nez Tsinnie. Reilly, Lee’s Ferry, 326−29, 517−19.
 See Mary Jane Robinson West, 771.
 Huso and Ellis, Show Low, 125.
 1920 census, S. E. West and Joseph West, Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona; 1930 census, S. Ezra West, Show Low, Navajo Co. and Ezra J. West, Laveen, Maricopa Co., Arizona. For an additional photo of Mary Jane Robinson West, see Lucy Hannah White Flake, 193.
 “Joseph Lee Robinson,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 3:220.
 “John Anderson West,” in ibid., 3:279–80.
 Joseph Lee Robinson, his three wives, and children traveled west with the Amasa Lyman section of the Willard Richards Company of 1848. His third wife had a baby as they traveled, and Mary Jane was born after reaching Utah. He wrote in his journal, “Susan my second wife was delived of her second Daughter, a promising child. we hailed the Same with jot [joy,] very glad we had found a resting place. the mother and child doing well. in this month we got out timber and built one house. we enterd into it with some satisfaction.” Quote from MPOT, Joseph Lee Robinson, Autobiography and journals, 1883–92, CHL; periods added.
 James McCord died in 1839 in Missouri. He can be located in the 1820 census (Russellville, Logan Co., Kentucky) and 1830 census (Pike Co., Missouri), but neither census record lists any slaves. By 1850, his daughter Susan McCord Burton Robinson is living in Iron Co., Utah with her two older sons, William Parley and Sidney Rigdon Burton, and two-year-old Mary Jane (all are listed with the Robinson surname). Listed with this family is John Robinson (colored), age 53, born in Virginia (1850 census, Joseph S. Robinson, Iron Co., Utah). Susan was not located in the 1860 census, but her son, Sidney Burton, is living in Parowan and with him is John Burton, age 64, born in Virginia (no race listed; 1860 census, Sidney Burton, Parowan, Iron Co., Utah). It is believed that this is the man listed as “Faithful John Burton, b. 1797, d. 1865” in the Parowan City Cemetery; his marker also has the words “greater love hath no man.” Findagrave.com #14007664.
 This is probably Thomas Durham (1828–1909), who came from England via handcart in 1856 and lived in Parowan. His son, George Henry Durham, studied music at the New England Conservatory of Music, and grandson, G. Homer Durham, was president of Arizona State University from 1960–69. All three generations were excellent musicians. Sabine, G. Homer, 3; “George Henry Durham,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:212; 1870 census, Thomas Durham, Parowan, Iron Co., Utah.
 Amulec Isaac West was born February 17, 1876, and James Alma West was born November 9, 1877.
 “Home Sweet Home,” is no longer in the LDS hymnal; see John Howard Payne, “’
Mid Pleasures and Palaces,” Hymns (1948), no. 185.
 Julia Ellsworth West, 767.
 See Annise Adelia Bybee Robinson Skousen, 653.
 See Julia Johnson Smith Ballard for another Sunday egg story, 53.
 For more information about woman’s suffrage, see comments by Ellis and Boone.
 For a photograph of this house, see Rebecca Jane Durfee Houghton, 280.
 Mary West Riggs also wrote a biography of her mother; see Riggs and West, Our Heritage as It Glows from the West.
 This was likely John Oakley, whose daughter Vilate led her blind father on the trip to Arizona. See Louisa Jones Oakley, 499.
 “Mary Jane Robinson West,” FWP sketch, ASLAPR, punctuation standardized.
 Laura Mitchell Johns (1849–?) lived in Salina, Kansas, and was active in the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association before she began touring. It might therefore be assumed that these suffrage clubs were part of the Arizona Women’s Equal Rights Association, which was initially organized in Phoenix in 1887. De Haan, “Arizona Women Argue for the Vote,” 378.
 Journal of May Hunt Larson, 39, 41.
 Krenkel, Life and Times of Joseph F. Fish, 420.
 Ibid., 404.
 “Woman’s Suffrage Convention,” Arizona Republican, November 17, 1899, 5; “Two Well Known Woman’s Suffragists in the City,” Arizona Republican, November 21, 1899, 4.
 De Haan, “Arizona Women Argue for the Vote,” 375–78.
 See Annie Chandler Woods, 821.
 Although James Woods was in Parowan, Iron Co., by 1858, he was involved in a baking/
 Annie Chandler and James Tickner Woods both came to Utah in 1854 and were married while on the trail.
 Although Annie Chandler may have been frail, she apparently did not grow up in luxury; her father, George Chandler, was a butcher by trade. 1851 census, Hambledon, Whitley, Surrey, England, 16–17.
 As mentioned in the sketch for Annie Chandler Woods, 821, George Chandler did not immigrate to the United States with the other family members, so technically Annie Chandler was not an orphan. George Chandler was still living in England and working as a butcher in 1861. 1861 census, Hambledon, Whitley, Surrey, England, folio 48, 3.
 She does not state which settlement was their first home, but other records show they were at Sunset. Porter, “Little Colorado River Settlements: Brigham City, Joseph City, Obed, and Sunset,” 16. Jesse N. Smith reported that he “Called on James T. Woods and wife, formerly of Parowan,” on September 20, 1876. Journal of Jesse Nathaniel Smith, 223.
 Westover wrote about a later Christmas, titling her poem, “Christmas (During the War).” She makes “a mental list of my friends” to show “deep affection” by “little gifts and tokens within my heart.” Then she goes shopping “with purse so thin and flat” and writes, “I count my pennies o’er / And I sense the inconvenience and sting of being poor.” However, she concludes with this couplet:
But, when again I scan my list of friends, (the list is long)
There springs within my heart of hearts a happy little song.
For, well I know that I AM RICH. My wealth is genuine;
I could not buy, for any price, these dear, true friends of mine.
Annie Woods, “Christmas (During the War),” in Boyer, Arizona in Literature, 361–62.
 A marker has been placed for this baby in the Woodruff Cemetery near other family members. It reads “Woods, Bessie 1878–1878.”
 The Woods family believes that it was their son, Andrew, who actually removed his mother and sisters from the United Order. The problems many experienced trying to live the United Order are well known. By 1878, George Lake (at Brigham City) and Lot Smith (at Sunset) were known for their abrasive and dictatorial ways, particularly regarding eating communally, and settlers were beginning to leave. No one was satisfied with the property they received upon withdrawing. Settlement at the dissolution of Sunset was particularly contentious and, according to John Bushman, required “two years of disagreeable work” by a committee appointed to arbitrate; the committee concluded their work in September 1887. Tanner and Richards, Colonization on the Little Colorado, 135, 141–42, 146–49.
 The family is living at Show Low Creek (Adair) for the 1880 census. Standifird records visiting the Woods family three times the end of 1880. Life and Journals of John Henry Standifird, 143–44, 148.
 John Henry Standifird and others traveled to Cooley’s ranch to bring women and children to Taylor on September 3, 1881, during an Indian scare; Annie, her mother, and her sister were part of this group. In 1882, Standifird mentions “Jas. T. Wood, wife, two daughters & son” coming for a birthday celebration on June 21; eating melons from J. T. Woods in August; the marriage of Andrew Woods to Lovina Brimhall on October 3; and Christmas dinner with the Woods. Ibid., 165, 165[b], 182, 187 189, 195.
 A final entry by Standifird may provide a clue to a date for the move to Woodruff: October 19, 1884, “Brother J. A. Wood [sic] having some feelings against me, he came with some of the brethren and we made things right.” Generally, Standifird refers to J. T. or Jas. T. as the father and Andrew as the son (and J. A. may be a transcription error), so it is unclear if this reference is to James Tickner or James Andrew. Standifird fled to Utah in December 1884 (and stayed three years) to avoid prosecution for polygamy. Ibid., 241.
 The foster sister was Cornelia Van Dam Cardon; see Annie Chandler Woods, 823.
 Annie Woods Williams Westover to Vilo W. Pratt, August 1, 1957. Letter in possession of Marcella Martineau Roe.
 All quotes in this section, except where otherwise attributed, are from “A Short History of the Life of Annie Woods – A True Pioneer,” written by Annie Woods Williams Westover and compiled by Cornelia LeSueur, copy in possession of Marcella Martineau Roe. For a reference to this mission, see also Hansen, Letters of Catharine Cottam Romney, 141.
 Journal of Henry Eyring, 66.
 Eyring, Mormon Scientist, 98.
 Information from Cornelia “Nena” LeSueur, granddaughter of Annie’s brother, James Andrew Woods; http://
 Joanna’s son, John L. Westover, served as bishop of the Joseph City Ward from 1916 to 1939. “John Lycurgus Westover,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:621; Westover and Richards, Unflinching Courage, 642–44.
 This city was spelled Gutenberg in the FWP sketch and Gretenburg in PWA.
 It is difficult to reconcile this story with records at FamilySearch. Two babies are listed there, but neither died at eight days old: Emma Eriksson was born October 11, 1862, and died December 23, 1862; Erik Eriksson was born October 14, 1863, and died December 15, 1863.
 S. Eriksson, wife, and three children crossed the ocean on the Monarch of the Sea, leaving Liverpool on April 28 and arriving at New York on June 3, 1864, a thirty-six day voyage. “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820–1957,” ancestry.com; Sonne, Ships, Saints, and Mariners, 146−47.
 Sven Erickson, his wife Maria, and their three children were part of the Isaac A. Canfield Company of 1864. Two more children were born in Utah: Emma Maria (1865–1955) and Albert Swen (1869–1959). 1870 census, Albert Swen Ericson, Grantsville, Tooele Co., Utah; MPOT.
 Joanna’s father, Swen Erickson, drove one wagon for them on this trip and then returned to Utah. See Mary Ann Petersen Bushman, 92; Christabell Hunt Flake, 187; Annella Hunt Kartchner, 339; May Louise Hunt Larson, 394; and Elliza Ellen Parkinson Tanner, 709.
 Westover and Richards, Unflinching Courage, 637; see also 170−71, 636−38.
 Tanner and Richards, Colonization on the Little Colorado, 165.
 Westover and Richards, Unflinching Courage, 638.
 “Hans Nielsen Hansen, Sr.,” in Clayton, PMA, 219−20.
 See Mary Adsersen Hansen, 256.
 Children and birthdates are from a combination of information at Ancestral File and the 1920 census. 1920 census, Annie C. Whipple, Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona.
 For information about the wine industry in southern Utah, see Lancaster, “Dixie Wine.”
 These foot wraps, often called by their Russian name, portyanki, were commonly used in Eastern Europe. Often they were considered superior to stockings, because the portyanki would fall down around the ankle, better insulating the foot in a boot that did not fit snugly. The military in Russia were still using them into the twenty-first century. One might initially assume that the use of this footwear meant they were poor, but it may also have simply been the traditional footwear from northern Europe.
 The last two sentences of this quote come from the FWP sketch; PWA says “(rest of page was typed over twice, so was illegible.).”
 See Woods, Finding Refuge in El Paso, 28−29.
 In 1920, Jennie and Clea were living in Flagstaff. 1920 census, Jennie Whipple, Flagstaff, Coconino Co., Arizona.
 This may have been Charles’s second wife, Mary, who died in 1918. If so, Annie Catherine did not take care of the children long. By 1920, with the death of her husband, she had none of Mary’s children living with her. Mary’s youngest son, Alva V. Whipple, was living with Edwin and Christine Solomon in Shumway. 1920 census, Annie C. Whipple, Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona; 1920 census, Edwin J. Solomon, Shumway, Navajo Co., Arizona.
 After the accident, Charles Whipple was brought to Snowflake, where he died and was buried. AzDC.
 In 1930, Annie was living with her two youngest children in Thatcher and working as a cook in a boarding house. By 1935, she was living in Mesa. 1930 census, Annie C. Whipple, Thatcher, Graham Co., Arizona; 1940 census, Annie C. Whipple, Mesa, Maricopa Co., Arizona.
 Some mention of the extended Whipple family, and more information about the Walser family is found in Woods, Finding Refuge in El Paso.
 Charles Edmund Richardson (1858–1925). On May 31, 1885, when Mormons were attempting to establish colonies in Mexico, Joseph Fish wrote, “Brother Sulley C. Richardson came in from Deming [New Mexico] bringing his brother Edmund, who had come out at the request of Apostle [George] Teasdale to act as interpreter as he understood the Spanish language very well.” Edmund Richardson died in Thatcher, Arizona, but is better known for his time at Colonia Díaz. Krenkel, Life and Times of Joseph Fish, 284; see Johnson, Heartbeats of Colonia Diaz.
 Annie Maria Woodbury (1858–1930) married Miles P. Romney in 1877 as his fourth wife. Jennifer Moulton Hansen wrote that Annie was “destined to become one of the great teachers of the Mormon frontier.” Romney taught in Utah, Arizona, and Mexico. In 1882, with thirty to forty children in attendance, Annie’s school at St. Johns nearly burned down. Fortunately, none of the children were injured. Hansen, Letters of Catharine Cottam Romney, 16, 45.
 Emily Jane Hopkins (1865–1918), daughter of Leprelet Joseph Hopkins and Ruth Jane Beebe; Emily died in Lyman, Uinta Co., Wyoming.
 Joseph B. Patterson and Margaret E. Richey were married January 1, 1881, at St. Johns. St. Johns became their permanent home. “Arizona Marriage Collection, 1864–1982,” ancestry.com.
 On June 24, 1882, Nathan C. Tenney was shot and killed in St. Johns while trying to act as a peacemaker in a quarrel that the Greer brothers and some Texas cowboys had with local Hispanics. See McClintock, Mormon Settlement in Arizona, 180−81; Wilhelm and Wilhelm, History of the St. Johns Arizona Stake, 45–46.
 Smith, “Mormon Forestdale,” 165−208.
 Shumway, Alpine, Arizona.
 Basque is a tight fitting bodice that extended over the hips.
 For additional information about the Whipple family, see Huso and Ellis, Show Low, 20−21, 46, and 94.
 At least part of this sale, which was not illegal at the time, took place in early 1929; see comments from Ellis and Boone for the importance of this site.
 The Croix de Guerre, or Cross of War, was a French medal first used during World War I to honor outstanding service of French and allied soldiers. It was given to individuals or to units.
 William Whipple died on July 20, 1918.
 Ammon Whipple died May 28, 1926.
 John Whipple died August 2, 1920. AzDC. Ancestral File lists this date as August 1. For a photograph of John and William Whipple, see Huso and Ellis, Show Low, 20.
 Edson Whipple died April 4, 1933.
 Nash, “Time for Collaboration,” 261.
 Bannister, “Remembering A. E. Douglass,” 311.
 Nash, “Time for Collaboration,” 262.
 Ibid., 291.
 Douglass, “The Secret of the Southwest Solved by Talkative Tree Rings,” 736−70.
 This sketch was originally submitted to the FWP on January 29, 1937; Clayton simply added the last two sentences for PWA.
 Irene Stratton Flake, “Anthony Johnson Stratton,” in Clayton, PMA, 484.
 Martha Jane Layne Stratton, 705. Artemesia Willis wrote the sketch for her mother that RFC included in PWA.
 “Lemuel Josiah Willis,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 2:46.
 1900 census, Lemuel J. Willis, Cannonville, Garfield Co., Utah; 1910 census, Lemuel J. Willis, Cowley, Big Horn Co., Wyoming.
 Don Carlos Clayton (1857–1940) was married to Mary Marinda Kartchner (1860–1919), daughter of William Decatur Kartchner and Margaret Jane Casteel, 345. They came to Snowflake with her parents, but returned to Kanab in 1887, moved to Salt Lake City by 1889, and settled at Provo by 1896.
 In Greek mythology, the River Styx was the boundary between Earth and the Underworld or Hades; it was also the boundary between the living and the dead.
 Snowflake Cemetery records.
 Meinig, “Mormon Culture Region,” 208. Another group of Latter-day Saints (including the John Ronald Lowe family) left the Delta/
 Although Lemuel Willis is buried in Snowflake, his brother William Wesley Willis died in Wyoming in 1926 and was buried in Cowley.
 See Louisa Jones Oakley, 499.
 The entire family is in the 1910 census, Ira R. Willis, Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona.
 The grown daughter was Mary Ann Oakley (1860−1932), married to John Lowell Tenney (1856−1936); they eventually settled in Fruitland, San Juan Co., New Mexico. The brother-in-law was Robert Jones, who died November 17, 1913, in Snowflake, age 79 (Snowflake Cemetery Record; AzDC). The PWA account for Louisa Jones Oakley (500) describes her brother as having a “childish mind.” Catharine Cottam Romney wrote to her parents in 1884, “Rob. Jones looks very much the same as he did when he used to turn the big wheel [woodworking lathe] for you, and carry a rose in his button hole, or an apple in his pocket for the girls.” Hansen, Letters of Catharine Cottam Romney, 92.
 See comments from Ellis and Boone for Mary Jane Robinson West, 775.
 Reilly lists this as 1880 or 1881. Reilly, Lee’s Ferry, 517.
 Ira Reaves Willis died July 5, 1913, age 41, and was buried at Snowflake. AzDC.
 John Reeves Willis outlived his mother, dying April 19, 1950, age 56, at the Winslow General Hospital. AzDC.
 Ruthie W. Wasson, “Ellen Oakley Willis,” in Levine, Life and Times of Snowflake, 71.
 A few words and one line of text that had been left out were restored from the FWP account.
 John L. Willis, “John Henry Willis,” in Clayton, PMA, 504−6; “John Henry Willis,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 2:219–20.
 Lorenzo Roundy came into Arizona on an exploratory trip during 1873. However, it was during a May 28, 1876, crossing at Lee’s Ferry that the ferryboat was swamped and Lorenzo Roundy drowned; his body was never recovered. McClintock, Mormon Settlement in Arizona, 86−87.
 Priscilla Parish was Lorenzo Roundy’s third wife. He first married Adeline Whiting in 1843 (who died two years later in childbirth) and then Susannah Wallace in 1847 (by whom he had a large family). For the sketch of another daughter of Lorenzo and Priscilla, see Sarah Roundy Berry, 53.
 It is not certain what is meant by “upper reel,” although this probably means quadrille or possibly Virginia reel. The quadrille was danced with four couples facing each other and used a caller to guide the dancers through their steps, but the dancers used a “graceful running step” rather than a clogging step as seen in square dances today. Kartchner, Frontier Fiddler, 262.
 The FWP sketch says it took them “seven days” to come to Arizona, which is incorrect. For PWA, Clayton left out “seven” and changed “days” to “weeks.” It seems likely that, with trailing a large herd of cattle, it took the Willis family seven weeks to arrive at the Little Colorado River settlements.
 John Henry Willis Jr. died March 29, 1915, at Snowflake. For a list of the public offices he held, see “John Henry Willis,” in Clayton, PMA, 507.
 Roundy Willis was at Vladivostok, Russia, as Charles Flake mentioned in a letter to his wife, Ruth, in early December 1918. Walker, Long Way From Arizona, 81.
 Krenkel, Life and Times of Joseph Fish, 308. For a description of the Willis brothers’ freighting activities, see Jennings, Freight Rolled, 7–9.
 John F. Taylor, “The Unknown Pioneer,” in Levine, Life and Times of Snowflake, 111.
 Ibid., 112.
 See Belva W. Ballard, “John Henry Willis, Sr.,” in Clayton, PMA, 503.
 This sentence originally read, “The first two were born in Iron County, Utah in 1818 [sic], 15 months apart.” Obviously, two children born fifteen months apart cannot be born in the same year, and the Ancestral File birthdates for the two boys are May 15, 1858 and March 21, 1859.
 John Henry Willis married Margaret Elizabeth Willis as his second wife on January 6, 1866. As hinted at here, she remained in Utah after he died, and Frances returned to Arizona.
 George Merrill Willis died August 21, 1889. Saint Vitus’s dance is a form of cholera usually occurring in children; St. Vitus was the third-century patron saint of persons having cholera. Parley Willis, however, recovered and died on February 10, 1945, at Globe, Arizona. AzDC.
 Walker, Turley, and Leonard, Massacre at Mountain Meadows, x.
 The subject of Mountain Meadows was sometimes discussed in northern Arizona and western New Mexico. In January 1884, Jesse N. Smith and others traveled to Silver City, New Mexico, to preach at the request of Joseph LaFerre. Those in attendance wanted to know about the massacre. Jacob Hamblin spoke first, saying that Church leaders had no connection. Then, reported Smith, George Calvin Williams from Pleasanton spoke, saying that “he had formerly been as greatly prejudiced against the Mormons about that matter as anyone could be, as thirteen of his blood relations perished in that massacre, but after a full and careful examination of all the facts connected with it he was satisfied that the Mormons as a people had no hand in it.” The relationship of Williams to those who died at Mountain Meadows is unclear. Journal of Jesse Nathaniel Smith, 284; Walker, Turley and Leonard, Massacre at Mountain Meadows, 244–49.
 Nancy Saphronia Huff published a statement in 1875 about the massacre. Walker, Turley, and Leonard, Massacre at Mountain Meadows, 218, 272 (listed under “Cates”). For an additional photo of Francis Reeves Willis, see Lucy Hannah White Flake, 193.
 Irene Stratton Flake, “Anthony Johnson Stratton,” in Clayton, PMA, 484.
 Martha Jane Layne Stratton, 705.
 “William Wesley Willis,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 2:218–19.
 Rozilpha Stratton married George Abel Gardner on July 24, 1872. See Rozilpha Stratton Gardner, 203.
 AzDC filed under Gobrilla Stratton Willis.
 For a description of step dancing, see n. 2 in Medora White Call, 97.
 Betty Carragher, “Uncle Billy Willis,” in Levine, Life and Times of Snowflake, 110.
 Journal of May Louise Hunt Larson, 471.
 This sketch is a combination of the FWP and PWA sketches. However, both accounts have some missing quotation marks which were supplied by context.
 Army medicine during the Revolutionary War is discussed by Reiss, including smallpox, syphilis, dysentery, typhus, scabies, and malaria; he does not mention Eli Bagley and generally does not mention doctors by name. Reiss, Medicine and the American Revolution.
 Daniel and Mary Wood Bagley, with their one-year-old daughter, Margaret Melissa, traveled west with the Daniel A. Miller/
 Generally, oose or amole refers to various species of yucca or Spanish dagger. Roots or stems were macerated and used as a substitute for soap. Epple, Plants of Arizona, 27–31.
 It is unclear from either the FWP or PWA sketch if this sentence is part of the journal.
 This event occurred later, while they were living in southern Utah. Joseph and Robert Berry and Robert’s wife, Isabella, were killed about twelve miles west of Pipe Springs on April 2, 1866, by a band of about thirty Navajos, Utes, and Paiutes. Peterson, Utah’s Black Hawk War, 235.
 Melissa Bagley married Thomas Flannigan in 1868; two years later, he brought home a second wife. Melissa left her husband in 1876 and came to Arizona with her parents and sister. She then married James Stinson, who sold his ranch to William J. Flake for the town of Snowflake. Two of Melissa’s children by Flannigan lived mostly with their grandparents. Her daughter Rachel married Victor Emmanuel Lamb and lived in Mesa; her son Daniel, using his grandfather’s surname of Bagley, became a photographer in Springville, Utah.
 The PWA and FWP sketches are the same to this point; then RFC condensed the FWP sketch so much, leaving out most dates, that misconceptions and errors are abundant. The last sentence of this paragraph is only in PWA, but the remainder of the sketch is from the FWP account.
 Also during this period, Merrill Willis was made bishop of the Taylor Ward. Although Andrew Jenson lists his service from 1885 to 1894, Arvin Palmer lists Willis as serving from 1887 to 1895. Palmer notes discrepancies with the beginning date, commenting, “It should be noted in passing that this belated reorganization date [Bishop Standifird left in 1885] was symptomatic of the problems during the period.” If the PWA/
 This reference to worry about Geronimo as they traveled from Mesa to Taylor is obviously one of the earlier trips to Mesa, not the winter previous to their move in 1894. Geronimo was sent to Florida (and later transferred to Oklahoma) in 1886. Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography, 2:547–49.
 “We Are Marching Down to Old Quebec” refers to the 1775–76 siege of Quebec. Both the British and Americans sang this song; British words are in brackets. This ditty became a common marching song (or movement game) on playgrounds, and when it was sung in the U.S., “Old Quebec” sometimes referred to New Orleans. It was sung to the tune, “The Girl I Left Behind Me,” and is found in many folklore collections from the early twentieth century. Hamilton, “The Play-Party in Northeast Missouri,” 293.
We are marching down to old Quebec,
Where the drums are loudly beating; [And the fifes and drums are beating]
The American troops have gained the day, [For the British boys have gained the day]
And the British are returning. [And the Yankees are retreating.]
The War’s all over, and we’ll turn back
To the place where we first started.
We’ll open up a ring and choose a couple in,
To heal the broken-hearted.
 The Willis family lived in Utah until after 1910. 1900 and 1910 censuses, Merrill E. Willis, Warren, Weber Co., Utah.
 Cedenia Willis Wayment died February 14, 1911, in Weber Co., Utah.
 Therefore, approximately 1913. 1920 census, Merrill E. Willis, Sr., Metropolis, Elko Co., Nevada.
 Both FWP and PWA list this as October 9, but the death certificate lists October 7. AzDC.
 See comments by Ellis and Boone for additional information about the Gunnison Massacre.
 “Winsor Castle” is made up of two rock buildings with a courtyard. Ferris wrote, “A continuous flow of water was insured, for one of the buildings stood directly over a spring.” Today this area is protected by the National Park Service as Pipe Springs National Monument. Peterson wrote that Winsor Castle, and the few other forts which survive today in Utah, do so “primarily because they were not close enough to settlements to be plundered for building materials after they were no longer needed for defensive purposes.” Ferris, Soldier and Brave, 78–79; Jack Goodman, “Arizona Monument Recalls Pioneer Days,” New York Times, January 8, 1967; Peterson, Utah’s Black Hawk War, 299; see photo, 169.
 The reach is a pole joining the rear axle to the forward portion of the wagon.
 This is likely referring to B. H. Wilhelm and his oldest son, Haight; for information about the Wilhelm family, see n. 16 for Metta Sophia Hansen Johnson, 317.
 This sentence is unclear. William Blanchard operated a store at Sunset Crossing, twenty miles southwest of Winslow. If the location of Horsehead Crossing (now Holbrook) is correct, the merchant was probably Berardo Frayre or possibly Santiago Baca. Granger, Arizona Place Names, 241; Wayte, “A History of Holbrook and the Little Colorado River Country,” 81−105.
 It seems difficult to know if Geronimo was part of this group or if the Apaches were “renegades,” except that they were probably off the reservation. Occasionally, pioneers or Native Americans would put cloth over the feet of horses or mules to muffle the sound of hooves, but the length of time before Winsor felt safe may simply mean that he dismounted and carefully led his mule around the Apache encampment.
 Surname listed as Windsor. AzDC.
 Fielding, Unsolicited Chronicler, 136−60; quote iv.
 Roberta Flake Clayton, “William Jordan Flake,” in Clayton, PMA, 161−66; Chad J. Flake, “William J. Flake—Biographical Sketch,” in ibid., 167−73; “Incidents in the Life of William Jordan Flake,” in ibid., 174−83; Flake, William J. Flake.
 Lucy Hannah White Flake, 189.
 Hannah Shipley Burton died July 26, 1847, at Lynn, Atchison Co., Missouri.
 The Flake family arrived with the Willard Richards company of 1848, and the White family arrived with the Aaron Johnson company of 1850. MPOT.
 The youngest family member only two months old was RFC herself. William Jordan Flake II, son of James Madison and Nancy Hall Flake, was the child born at Great Falls on January 11, 1878.
 Ida May Turley, daughter of Isaac and Clara Ann Tolton Turley, died December 9, 1877.
 Presumably Abigail Farrington, born April 18, 1824, in Irasburg, Orleans Co., Vermont; she came to Arizona unmarried but then married widower Ebenezer Thayne Jr. on January 18, 1880, at St. George. In 1880, they were living at Show Low Creek with several of Ebenezer’s children, including daughter Martha Jane, married to Oscar Mann. Abigail is listed in the census as blind and unable to read or write. Ebenezer died December 20, 1880, and is buried in Snowflake. The Mann and Thayne families eventually returned to Utah; it is not known where Abigail died. 1880 census, Ebenezer Thayne, Show Low Creek, Navajo Co., Arizona; for another reference to Abbie Thayne, see Sarah Alice McNeil Mills, n. 146, 467.
 Seven months is the time between reaching the Little Colorado River settlements and moving to Snowflake. David Boone wrote, “After an extremely difficult trip and much suffering due to the intense cold, the Flakes arrived in the Little Colorado River region of northern Arizona on January 15, 1878. They stopped temporarily with unidentified friends in Ballenger’s Camp (now Winslow, Arizona), then at Sunset, which no longer exists, and third at ‘Old Taylor’ (so-called now to differentiate it from the current Taylor).” Boone, “‘As Bad as I Hated to Come,’” 70.
 These four children are buried in the Adair Cemetery: Chloe, Mahala, Malinda, and Peter Nathanial Wood. They died July 1886.
 PWA states twelve children, but all other records only list eleven. Flake and Flake, Descendants of William Jordan Flake, 2,117–18.
 See Boone and Flake, “The Prison Diary of William Jordan Flake,” 145−70.
 Launa Pace Wood died May 18, 1901, age 55, at Colonia Juárez, Mexico. Harriet Jane Hakes (1869−1953) married Benjamin Julius Johnson as his second wife on October 22, 1889. Eventually, Jane Wood’s daughter Rosalie married Jane Johnson’s son, Julius Russell Johnson. “Benjamin Julius Johnson,” in Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 2:120–22.
 In 1940, the two Janes were living together in Mesa.
 Hatch, Colonia Juarez, 37–38; 272.
 Woods, Finding Refuge in El Paso, 25.
 Young, Ordeal in Mexico, 234.
 Although PWA lists an 1852 immigration date, Ann Chandler, age 46, and children George, 18; Ann, 16; Ellen, 14; and Andrew, 13, came on the Windermere in 1854. They sailed from Liverpool on February 22, encountered adverse winds and heavy gales, and arrived in New Orleans on April 24. Smallpox broke out among the passengers and crew, but “the malady was suddenly checked in answer to prayer.” MPOT lists siblings, George and Ellen, as possibly coming to Utah in 1854, but the pioneer company is unknown; the family believes they traveled with the Daniel Garn Company that year. Amn [sic] Chandler, “New Orleans, Passenger Lists, 1813–1963,” ancestry.com; Sonne, Ships, Saints, and Mariners, 199−200.
 Although the family may have been “comfortable,” descendants today question both the nobility and wealth mentioned here. Her father was in a butcher by trade. 1851 census, Hambledon, Whitley, Surrey, England, 16–17.
 Because George Chandler did not emigrate to the United States with the other family members, technically Annie Chandler was not an orphan when her mother died. George Chandler was still living in England and working as a butcher in 1861. 1861 census, Hambledon, Whitley, Surrey, England, folio 48, p. 3.
 For a discussion about her foster daughter, Cornelia Van Dam, see comments from Ellis and Boone. Only James and Annie lived to adulthood; Cornelia died August 7, 1886, and the other daughters died as infants or young children.
 The family lived at Sunset. Porter, “Little Colorado River Settlements: Brigham City, Joseph City, Obed, and Sunset,” 16. Jesse N. Smith reports that he “Called on James T. Woods and wife, formerly of Parowan,” on September 20, 1876. Journal of Jesse Nathaniel Smith, 223.
 Yavapai County was one of the four original counties created by the first Arizona Territorial Legislature on November 8, 1864. All of northeastern Arizona was part of Yavapai County when Mormon settlers first came to Arizona. Apache County (including present day Navajo County) was created on February 24, 1879; Navajo County (which includes Woodruff) was created March 21, 1895. James Andrew Woods died December 20, 1934, at Thatcher, Graham Co., Arizona. AzDC.
 Life and Journals of John Henry Standifird, 251, 271, 286.
 Krenkel, Life and Times of Joseph Fish, 309.
 Laverna Alice Wright Duke, “Lorenzo Wright,” in Clayton, PMA, 515−19.
 Information is from Ancestral File, Arizona birth certificates, and 1930 census, Lorenzo Wright, Florence, Pinal Co., Arizona.
 The Salt Lake Temple was dedicated April 6, 1893, forty years after construction started. Many people reported spiritual experiences as did Theresa Goodman Wright. Marion D. Hanks, “Salt Lake Temple,” Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:1252–54.
 “Killed by the Indians,” Wichita Daily Eagle, December 3, 1885, National Republican, December 3, 1885, and McCook Tribune, December 10, 1885; “Killing of the Wright Brothers,” The Daily Enquirer, February 5, 1886. RFC also told about the deaths in PMA: Jonathan Calkins Wright [Spencer W. Kimball], “Wright Brothers Killed by the Indians,” in Clayton, PMA, 511−13.
 Turner and Smith, “‘I Never Met a Man I Couldn’t Take,’” 339−68.