Friday, March 19, 2010

Rhoda Hulet 1795 - 1837

Rhoda Hulet

contributed by Sterling B. Day - November, 2001
Lineage: (with birth dates of direct line person)
Orville Cox Day b. 1 Jun 1885
Eli Day - Elvira Euphrasia Cox b. 19 May 1864
Orville S. Cox - Elvira Pamela Mills b. 2 Mar 1820
Robert Mills - Rhoda Hulet b. 8 Nov 1795 d. 1 Aug 1837
[ see also, Pioneer Stories ]

Rhoda was born November 8, 1795; the Thanksgiving month, in Lee, Massachusetts. She was the 4th of nine children: four sisters and four brothers. During the 18th & 19th centuries (1700-1800's), Americans normally had very large families (anywhere from seven to 17 children). The reasons for this were two-fold: 1) There were virtually no contraceptives or birth control. 2) The early Americans were mostly an agrarian society. Farm work was back breaking manual labor. They usually had to clear the land of trees, which consisted of chopping them down, and uprooting the stumps, then they had to cultivate, sow, weed, and harvest. The more sons you had, the better off you were.

The women and daughters were put to work doing laundry, which was an all day affair, cooking from scratch (most of their food came from the farm), sewing (the women usually made their own clothes), and other sundry household duties. Everyone was kept busy, and the idler was not welcome in this setting. In other words, children were considered an asset, rather than a liability.

Another problem the early settlers faced was lack of proper medical care. Children mortality rates were high, due to such diseases as typhoid, cholera, smallpox, malaria, and a myriad other problems. It was not uncommon for a large family to have several of their children die before they reached the age of 12. And many of the families lost their mother during childbirth. It almost became rare for a mother to outlive the husband. When you're having large families, at least one of the pregnancies ended up in complications. It was difficult to survive such circumstances.

But Rhoda held her own. She had to as she was competing with eight other siblings for attention. Nevertheless, she was described as a frail child, and this carried over into adulthood as well.
The history of Rhoda is sparse, and we don't know much about her childhood in Massachusetts, or how she came to meet Robert in Ohio, the first child of Delaun and Sophia Mills. But suffice it to say that they did so. They tied the knot in 1819: she was 23, he 27. A late start for those times, but they made a go at it.

Living in primitive conditions in Ohio was hard, and her husband, Robert died a couple of years after their second child was born. The records don't show how he died, but one can confidently assume it was from some disease, or possibly an Indian attack. Regardless, 34 is a young age, even back then. This left Rhoda a widow with two children to support. Remember, there was no life insurance, social security, or pensions. With her frail health, she was in no way prepared to run the farm properly. Her two children (Elvira was 7 years old at the time of her father's death, and Robert Frederick, who went by "Freddy", was only two), were not old enough to help much.

Thank goodness she had a younger brother, Sylvester, who took pity on her and invited her young family to move in with him. He also had a farm in Portage County, and his small cabin was already home to not only his young family, but to Rhoda's older sister, Charlotte and her daughter, as she also had become a widow because of her husband's premature death. The home was crowded with the three families living together, but they somehow managed to make things work. They might not have had all the trappings of a civilized world, but they were blessed in the knowledge that they had a warm & secure home, one in which love pervaded.

Elvira, Rhoda's firstborn, described a happy childhood where laughter and play made up a large part of her early years. It was fun to help gather in the buckets of maple syrup from the many maple trees surrounding the farm, and to smell the aroma as they boiled the mixture in a large tub outside the cabin. She commented that she believed the ancient Book of Mormon people had planted these trees, as they were found in square 5 or 10 acre sequences throughout the land, with meadows in-between.
Most of all, seven year-old Elvira was in charge of baby-sitting her two year-old brother. She enjoyed it most of the time, but he did provide some frustrating moments, like when he insisted on trying to climb into the pig pen every chance he got. The little piglets were too big of a temptation for the little guy, and it was all Elvira could do to keep him out of mischief. The pigs provided smoked ham during the long winter months, and their cow, Bessie, provided them with milk, butter, and for a real treat, cottage cheese. Uncle "Vester" (a shortened name for Sylvester) had a few chickens which provided their eggs, and with a large vegetable garden in the back yard, they were able to pretty much take care of themselves.

A trip into town every so often kept them in stock with such items as sugar, coffee, beans, salt, and other needed products. All of their furniture was handmade, so the only things they needed from the store were items they couldn't make for themselves; e.g. plows, pots & pans, needles, and other assorted items.

Not only was Sylvester Hulet a good man for taking in two widowed families, but his wife must have been a saint. After all, how many women would put up with two other families living in their small homes?

In January, 1830; three months before the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, Sylvester heard rumors about a young man who claimed to have seen the Father, and His beloved son, Jesus, in a vision, as well as translating some ancient writings written on gold plates. His curiosity piqued, 29 year old Sylvester Hulet walked 175 miles to New York to meet Joseph Smith personally, and find out if this story was believable. Upon shaking Joseph's hand, he recorded that a strange but satisfying feeling pulsed through his being. He knew immediately that something special belonged to this man. After conversing with the young prophet and reading one of the first editions of the Book of Mormon, which he purchased, Sylvester requested and received baptism.
Sylvester was then able to convince Oliver Cowdery, Ziba Peterson, and Parley P. Pratt to accompany him back to Ohio, so that his family and friends could hear the good news. Elvira later recorded that "Oliver Cowdery gave the greatest sermons that she had ever heard in her entire life."
Just about everyone in the Hulet family accepted the divine message, including Rhoda, and were baptized into the Church in October, 1830. At the time, Elvira was ten years old, and although she believed the word, Oliver Cowdery thought the children should wait until they become adults to join, when they could make a more mature decision. But in February, 1831, just four months later, permission was given by Joseph Smith to baptize children as early as 8 years old, as this became the age of accountability.

Things like this were not unusual in the early Church. The Lord gave Joseph line upon line, precept upon precept, until the fullness was obtained. The fledgling church was too young to endure everything at once. This probably explains why the Church was called "The Church of Christ" until April 26, 1838, a full 8 years after the Church was organized, to give it its official name: "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

And why the early saints were sometimes found baptizing for the dead in the Mississippi River the wrong way. Men were being baptized for deceased women, and vice versa. Wilford Woodruff had the Saints redo it the proper way when the Saints reached Salt Lake. There were a lot of new things the early Saints had to get used to, and some of them were not easy.

Pioneer Stories
Compiled by
Stella Ada Day Norman
Christmas 1997

During this sesquiecentennial year we have been reminded many times of the sacrifices that the Mormon Pioneers made for the sake of the Gospel.
Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone said, " The glory of God is portrayed in the lives of the Later-day Saint pioneer men, women and children who placed all they had on the alter. They were prepared to give everything, including their lives. This was a magnificent generation of common ordinary souls who were brought together through their faith in God and who moved forward to meet danger and trials. They were given a monumental work to do and they did it. I hope we will strive to pass on this marvelous heritage to our posterity." (Ensign, July, 1997)
As I read the inspiring stories of the pioneers, a desire grew in me to do something to honor our own pioneer ancestors. As I have written their stories I have felt their spirit. I believe they are pleased with my feeble efforts.
This project has not been accomplished by my efforts alone. Many thanks to Andrea, who has been my mentor and my editor, and helped me every step of the way. Thanks, also , to Devin and Anita for the art work and to Becky for her computer expertise.
I hope that you may also feel the pioneer spirit of our ancestors as you read about them and have a desire to honor their memories by following their example, striving to walk with faith in every footstep.
With much love,

1 Orville and Elvira - A Pioneer Love Story
1.1 Elvira's Parents
1.2 Conversion and Persecution
1.3 Early Church Leaders
1.4 Miraculous Healing
1.5 Orville's Parents
1.6 Orville Meets Elvira
1.7 Malaria Fever
1.8 Trouble in Nauvoo
1.9 Leaving Nauvoo
1.10 Close Call
1.11 Journey West
1.12 Settling in Bountiful
1.13 Colonizing Sanpete
1.14 Elvira the Nurse
1.15 Orville the Engineer
1.16 On to Nevada
1.17 Next Stop, Orderville
1.18 A Model of Service and Industry
1.19 The Legacy of Orville and Elvira
1.20 Children of Orville Sutherland Cox
1.20.1 Elvira Pamela Mills
1.20.2 Mary Elizabeth Allen
1.20.3 Eliza Jane Losee

2 The Armstrongs - English Pioneers
2.1 William Armstrong
2.2 Catherine Craddock
2.3 Conversion and Move to Scotland
2.4 Emigration to America
2.5 Arrival in Salt Lake
2.6 Settling in Utah County
2.7 Return Visit to Scotland
2.8 Children of William and Catherine Craddock Armstrong

3 Louis and Mary Strasburg - The Soldier and the Mormon
3.1 The Early Years of Ludvig
3.2 Johnson's Army Sent to Utah
3.3 Mary Meets Ludvig
3.4 Their Marriage
3.5 Life at Faust Creek
3.6 Active in Community Affairs
3.7 Retirement in Tooele
3.8 Children of Mary Armstrong and Louis Strasburg

4. Julia - Woman of Faith and Courage
4.1 Danish Heritage
4.2 Julia's Conversion
4.3 Journey to Zion
4.4 Life in Utah and Marriage to Carl Honeck
4.5 Move to Kamas
4.6 More Hardships
4.7 Children of Juliane Nielsine Hansen Honeck
4.7.1 Niels Christian
4.7.2 Karl Fredrick Honeck

5 Charlotte and Abraham -Those Were the "Days"
5.1 Abraham Day
5.2 Abraham Meets Elmira Buckley
5.3 Mormon Battalion
5.4 Reunited at Winter Quarters
5.5 Charlotte Katherine Broomhead
5.6 Trip to Zion
5.7 Plural Marriage
5.8 Colonizing Springville
5.9 On to Sanpete County
5.10 Abraham the Inventor
5.11 Farmer, Lawyer and Surveyor
5.12 Tribute to Charlotte
5.13 Tribute to Abraham
5.14 Abraham was the father of 26 children.
5.14.1 Elmira
5.14.2 Charlotte

6 Photo Gallery of the Day's (not included in this web site - see Stella's original manuscript)

1 Orville and Elvira - A Pioneer Love Story

Elvira Pamela Mills was born in Ohio in 1820 where her ancestors had been among the very first settlers over forty years earlier. At the age of 18, her grandfather, Thomas Delaun Mills, had gone to the "Connecticut Reserve" in Northern Ohio to survey farms for Revolutionary soldiers. After the summer's work as an axeman, he decided he would like to make his home there. For his pay he chose 160 acres on which they had built a cabin in Portage County. He returned East, married Sophia Lattimer, and convinced her to go with him to Ohio. By the time they left they had a baby son, Robert (Elvira's father). Sophia and the baby rode a horse and Delaun walked the entire distance. There were no roads, so the young couple had to blaze a trail through the dense woods as they traveled.
In a printed history of the area, Delaun was called "the Daniel Boone of Portage County, Ohio". The history then adds, "In spite of all the stories they tell about him, we do not believe he killed seven Indians every morning before breakfast, piled them on his woodpile, and set it on fire so the other Indians would not find their bodies and take revenge."
Perhaps the story stemmed from an experience Delaun's widowed sister had with the Indians. Climena Mills Wilcox, with her son-in-law, her daughter and their baby had moved west near Delaun and Sophie. One winter morning at daybreak they saw their neighbors' homes burning and the Indians killing the terrified settlers as they ran outside. Breakfast was on the table and Aunt Climena quickly put strychnine in the cider. Then they all crawled into the potato cellar underneath the floor. The hungry Indians soon sneaked into the house. Not finding anyone at home, they ate the food and drank the cider. It was not long until the family heard kicking and thrashing around on the floor above----then all grew quiet. They loaded the seven dead Indians onto the ox sled, hauled them to the river, chopped a hole in the ice, and patiently pushed them in. Aunt Climena dragged the last Indian over by his long hair and said as she pushed him in, "In you go, you old devil!"
Elvira's father, Robert Mills, grew up on the farm and married Rhoda Hulet. Elvira was their first child and she was born March 2, 1820 in Nelson, Portage County, Ohio, in a log house with woods all around. She often talked about the joy of growing up in the woods, especially describing the days of maple sugar boiling. She said the maple trees grew in patches of 5 or 10 acres, with one patch in about every ½ square mile. She thought this was evidence that the trees were set out by human hands, perhaps the Book of Mormon people.
Elvira's mother had rather poor health, and Elvira's father died when she was only seven years old, leaving her frail mother to care for Elvira and little one-year-old Fredrick. They would have been in desperate circumstances, but Rhoda's brother Sylvester, took them under his wing and became like a father to the two children. Incidentally, he also cared for another widowed sister, Charlotte, and her daughter, as well as his youngest brother's son. The children always spoke of him affectionately as "Uncle Vester".

1.2 Conversion and Persecution
About the time of Elvira's father's death, rumors of revelations and visions were abroad in the land, and Sylvester became very curious. In January of 1830 he traveled 175 miles to New York to find Joseph Smith and learn what kind of a man he was. He listened with faith to the accounts of heavenly visitations and wholeheartedly accepted Joseph as a prophet of God. He purchased one of the first editions of the Book of Mormon and was baptized.
In the meantime, Oliver Cowdrey, Ziba Peterson, and Parley P. Pratt went to Ohio as missionaries. Sylvester's family, the Hulets, were among the first to be baptized in October of 1830.
Elvira said Oliver Cowdrey was the best preacher she had ever heard in her life, but she was not baptized until February 1831 at age 11 after they heard Joseph Smith teach that children should be baptized at age eight.
When Jackson County, Missouri, was proclaimed the center stake of Zion, Elvira's mother sold her home and farm and migrated to Missouri, accompanied by Aunt Charlotte and her small son. Sylvester and others of the Hulet family settled near them. It was called the Hulet settlement and Church History tells that the gift of tongues was wonderfully manifest there. But one week, two women who had the gift quarreled. By Sunday they had not forgiven each other and they quarreled in tongues. Elvira said it was the most horrible, evil feeling she had ever felt in her life. Elvira and Sylvester both had the gift of tongues, but after that they seldom used it. Later, the Prophet Joseph Smith visited the Hulet settlement and warned them to be very careful of the gift of tongues, for Satan could use it as well as the Lord.
In 1833 when Elvira was 13 years old, some mobbers had obtained a keg of whiskey. When they had consumed enough to build up their courage, they filled their pockets with rocks. With blazing guns in hand, they rode a mile west into the Hulet settlement. The frightened women ran for their lives through the cornfields into the woods. Charlotte, who was carrying her little sleeping daughter, fell behind the others. Fearing the mob would catch her, she opened a shock of corn, said a silent prayer, laid her baby on the ground, closed the opening, and ran on. Two hours later when things were quiet again, she found the child still asleep and unharmed.
The next day Elvira curled the baby's pretty hair, put on her nice apron, and set her on the gatepost as the leader of the mob came riding down the road on his big stallion. He had sobered up by then and stopped to pass the time of day with Elvira, remarking how pretty the child was. She told him what a harrowing time the baby had endured the night before, and was gratified to see him wipe a tear from his eye.
The Saints were driven from Jackson County October 31, 1833. Sylvester took his family and a few others into a boat and ferried them across the river. When they reached the landing on the Clay County side, a number of mobbers had gathered there and would not let them land. Charlotte, nervous and frightened, wrung her hands and cried, "Oh where shall we go?" A big Missourian with powder blackened face, barked back at her, "Go to Hell!"
Sylvester backed the boat out into the river and floated down stream. He found a place to land where the timber came to the waters edge and they all climbed safely to shore. They were partly hidden under the trees, which also provided some protection from the cold rain, but they did not dare make a fire. Scantily dressed, they huddled together, having only one quilt and a few wraps. They spent a miserable night as the rain turned to sleet and then to snow.
When morning finally came they were hungry as well as cold, and decided to separate among the settlers and seek employment and shelter. Rhoda Hulet Mills had a good Massachusetts education, and decided to teach a "Dame's School".
She and Elvira and Fredrick walked until they found an old abandoned house where a family lived in a new house nearby. Rhoda knocked on the door and asked the lady if she could teach school in the old house for the winter. The lady, a Mrs. Griggs, said she would have to ask her husband when he returned home. Then she invited them in and made them welcome as was customary with pioneer people when strangers came to their door. She fed them a generous breakfast of corn dodgers and bacon. Imagine how good those corn cakes and greasy meat must have tasted to the poor chilled family who had been out in the rain and cold, terror-stricken all the night long. It probably didn't even bother them that Mrs. Griggs spat tobacco juice over the skillet or knocked away the dogs that kept sticking their noses into the meat.
Seven-year-old Fred quickly made friends with the Griggs' son, who was about the same age. They chopped wood together and in a few hours became good playmates. In the afternoon when Mr. Griggs came home, his young son ran to him asking, "Daddy, can this little Mormon boy come and live with us?"
Mr. Griggs answered rather gruffly, "I dunno, we'll see." As he turned toward them, Rhoda and her children were startled to recognize the same man, who the night before had said, "Go to Hell!"
Grandma Rhoda must have breathed a sigh of relief when he grudgingly agreed to let them live in the old house for the winter. His heart evidently softened considerably, for he dragged and chopped wood for them and sent 4 or 5 children to Rhoda for schooling. He paid her generously, mostly in beans, corn meal, and bacon, and recommended her as a fine schoolmarm. Eventually, he secured a number of other pupils for her from among his friends.
The Griggs had five girls and two of the little ones became great favorites of Elvira. She washed their heads regularly, thereby getting out the lice, kept their wavy locks in ringlets, fixed over their dresses, keeping them neat and pretty, and fussed over them as only a baby-loving girl of 13 can. Elvira never forgot one day when she had the three-year-old looking especially pretty. Mrs. Griggs said, "You'uns can have that young-un fur yours if yous' wants her." Some gift! As long as they stayed at the Griggs place Elvira claimed the little girl for her very own both night and day.
As always, the time came when the Mormons were told to move on and it was a wrench for Elvira to part with her little proteges. Twice afterwards she was given a similar "gift" and each time she had to leave behind a child she had come to love dearly.
Their next home was in Far West, and it was there Rhoda's frail body gave out. She was laid to rest somewhere between Clay County and Lima, Illinois. Elvira was 17 years old when she became an orphan and once more lived with Uncle Vester. Soon after this, Christian Whitmer died and Sylvester married his widow.

1.3 Early Church Leaders
Elvira told the following story about Sylvester's mother-in-law, "Mother Whitmer": David Whitmer invited Joseph and Oliver to live in his parent's home while translating the Book of Mormon. When Oliver's hand and Joseph's eyes grew tired they went to the woods for a rest. While there they often skated rocks on a pond. Mother Whitmer, with five grown sons, a husband and many visitors to care for, often grew very weary. She felt a bit resentful when she saw Joseph and Oliver skating rocks on the pond, thinking they might just as well have been carrying her a bucket of water or chopping some wood. She was about to order them out of her house, when, one morning just at daybreak, she had a remarkable experience. As she came out of the stable with two full buckets of milk, a short, heavy-set, gray-haired man met her and said, "My name is Moroni. You have become pretty tired with all the extra work you have to do. The Lord has given me permission to show you this record", and he turned the leaves of the golden plates one by one.
Many people would look at Grandma Elvira rather skeptically when she told this story, and she knew they did not believe her. She decided not to tell it anymore, but in 1900 B. H. Roberts printed it in his "New Witness for God." She was so happy to have the story verified that she gladly told it over and over after that.
Elvira was also well acquainted with the Martin Harris family. The Angel Moroni had warned Joseph Smith that if the plates were lost through any carelessness of his he would be cut off. However, if he did his best they would be protected. He hid them in various places, for a time under the hearthstone, and then in a hollow tree. Mrs. Harris lived three miles away and had a great curiosity to see the plates, and she began searching in every hollow tree she could find. One day Moroni met her and warned her to go back or something bad would happen. She refused to turn back and Moroni disappeared. Soon the biggest, blackest snake she had ever seen came after her and she ran, abandoning her search.

1.4 Miraculous Healing
Elvira, along with the other women of the Hulet household, heard the shooting at the battle of Crooked River when Philo Dibble was shot. He passed their house and staggered on. Elvira and a few other women followed him home to offer their assistance. She was present at the administration to Brother Dibble when he was miraculously healed. She said it was her first opportunity to witness the ordinance of administration and also the first healing in this dispensation.
Elvira was among the Saints at Far West when Colonel Hinkle promised they would be safe from the Missourians if they would deliver up their arms and ammunition rather than try to defend themselves. She often told how cold that late October day was. She remembered wondering why Hinkle carried his coat on his arm all day instead of wearing it. Later she learned it was a sign to the mob not to shoot him. She heard his speech to the mob and the Missouri Militia when he betrayed the brethren. She heard him say, "Gentlemen, here are the men I agreed to deliver to you." When she heard the exuberant shout of the Missourians her heart was heavy with unspeakable apprehension. It was a bitter pill for the Saints to swallow to realize that Hinkle was a Judas who had betrayed their trust. About 80 of the leading brethren were taken into custody. A deep depression settled over all of the Saints.
In the midst of the gloom and darkness, a ray of gladness came into Elvira's life. A few days after the betrayal, Uncle Sylvester was at work near Far West when a stranger fell in with him and began talking about all of the excitement in Missouri.

1.5 Orville's Parents
This stranger was Orville Sutherland Cox, the fifth of twelve children, born November 25, 1814 in Plymouth, New York. We know little about his early childhood, but his father died when he was 15 years old and he was "bound out" or apprenticed to learn the trade of blacksmith under a Deacon Jones, who was considered an excellent man and a pillar of the church. The agreement was that Orville was to work obediently until he was 21 in exchange for room and board, clothes and three months of school each winter. In addition, Orville would be taught the trade of Blacksmithing. The pious deacon did not keep his part of the bargain. Orville got no schooling at all and one pair of pants was all the clothing he received during the first three years of his apprenticeship. Food was limited, too. The women folk ran a dairy, but he was never allowed a drink of milk, which he loved, because the Mrs. said it made too big a hole in the cheese.
He did get plenty of abusive treatment, though. As for learning the trade, he was only allowed to do the hardest and most menial tasks. He was taught to blow the bellows, using the heavy tongs and sledge; that was all his master would allow him to do. Deacon Jones sometimes went to distant places and Orville secretly used the other tools of the trade and practiced the things his keen eyes had watched the deacon do. He even made himself a pair of skates from pieces of broken nails he had carefully gathered and saved.
Once in awhile he got a chance to show off his skill and it was a welcome relief from the monotony of the bellows. One day oxen were brought to the shop to be shod that had extremely hard hooves, called "glassy hooves". Whenever the deacon tried to drive a nail in, it bent. Orville straightened out the nails over and over, as they were precious articles in those days and must not be discarded merely because they were bent. Finally young Orville begged, "Let me try." He shod the oxen without bending a single nail; thereafter it was his job to shoe all of the oxen that came into the shop, whether they had glassy hooves or not.
After working for Jones a little over three years, Orville came to the conclusion that about all he would ever get from him was more harsh treatment. During one of the Deacon's visits to a distant parish, Orville gathered together his few belongings, a lunch, a homemade gun he had fashioned from discarded parts, and "hit the trail for the tall timber", thinking that would be the least likely place that he would be discovered. Making his way toward the Susquehannah River, he came to the Tioga, a branch of the Susquehannah. As he looked for a way to cross or float down the river, he discovered a log canoe, "sug out" as it was called, frozen in the mud. He decided to confiscate it as a "contraband of war" and pried it up. He was soon floating and paddling down toward the junction of the Tioga and Susquehannah. There he boarded a boat--a stern-wheel packet and saw an orange for the first time in his life among the cargo.
A free man! He felt sure his pursuers would not overtake him now. Food was no problem for him since he was a good shot and game was plentiful. What adventures he had the next few years we can only imagine! As he neared his 24th birthday, Orville was a thorough frontiersman, a lumberman, a splendid blacksmith, a natural born engineer and an all around good fellow. He was a self-taught man and some considered him a genius. He was six feet tall and solidly built.

1.6 Orville Meets Elvira
Orville's travels eventually took him to Far West where he happened upon Sylvester Hulet who was at work near the town. Orville began talking about all of the excitement in Missouri. He said he had been in these parts only a few days but had heard about the awful Mormons. He rejoiced that the leaders of this gang of outlaws, thieves, robbers, murderers and traitors who were in rebellion against the government of the United States and whose president had defied the Missouri State Militia, had finally been arrested.
Uncle Sylvester, being a quiet man, let the stranger talk on and on, elaborating about all he had heard of the terrible Mormons. Finally he asked Sylvester if he knew anything about these strange people. "Yes, I know something about them," he answered. "Would you like to go to their city and see it?" Assuring him there would be no danger since the Mormons had been disarmed, Orville eagerly followed Sylvester.
As the two men came in sight of Far West, Sylvester pointed and said, "There it is, the Mormon city." "Where are the fortifications?" asked Orville.
Sylvester again pointed, "Those three wagons loaded with lumber and that pile of logs."
Orville threw back his head and laughed, a genuine hearty Cox laugh. "If what I've heard of fortifications can come from stuff like that, I wonder if the Mormon crimes have been equally enlarged."
"Very likely," came the terse reply.
"I'd like to get acquainted with the Mormons."
Then Sylvester admitted that he himself was a Mormon and added that he would be glad to have him as a guest in his home for as long as he liked.
(Orville was a thorough frontiersman. He was six feet tall and solidly built.) When the good-looking young man entered the house of the Hulets--the home of widows and orphans--he was immediately attracted to the fair Elvira. She quickly decided he was the best looking man she had ever seen. And who could resist him? He was not only tall and handsome, but he was so cheerful, his laugh came so easily, his wit flowed so readily. He had a natural perceptiveness and soon realized the truth of the whole situation of the Mormons and the Missourians. He was appreciative of the hospitality of the Hulets and made friends with the neighbors, freely lending a helping hand wherever needed. He soon won the hearts of the people in the community. He felt a strong liking for these outcasts and recognized their desire to be true Christians. He came to the conclusion that the real foundation of the hatred of the people of Missouri toward the Mormons was the issue of slavery. Since he agreed that the United States was no place for slavery, he felt the Mormons were kindred spirits of his and he stayed on.
It didn't take long for Orville and Elvira to fall in love, but when he asked her to marry him she refused because he was not a Mormon. She assured him she would gladly become his wife if he would get baptized into the true faith. What the young Elvira didn't know was that Orville had a strong streak of the Cox stubbornness in his makeup and he coldly replied, "I wouldn't think of trying to buy a woman's love or get her for a wife by joining her church."
Elvira's heart sank at his rebuff, but he remained his laughing, teasing, good-natured self. The pall of sadness his flat refusal to become a Mormon had caused soon dissipated and life seemed rosy to Elvira again. He was Uncle Vester's genial friend and he mingled freely with the Latter-day Saints in meetings, dances and other gatherings.
When the Mormons were driven from Far West in the winter of 1838-39, Orville helped the Hulets, who traveled east 200 miles through the cold and mud. He was always singing and laughing and was a joy to have among them. They made their home in the Morley settlement 30 miles south of Nauvoo. In the meantime, Orville's mother, as well as several of his brothers and sisters had heard the restored gospel, were baptized and settled nearby in Lima. Still Orville would not agree to be baptized.
Nearly a year had passed when he again asked Elvira to become his wife. She decided that Mormon or gentile, he was the only man for her and she accepted his proposal. They were married October 3, 1839 by Elder Lyman Wight in Elisha Whiting's home.
Three days later the newlyweds drove 20 miles to the city of Nauvoo and called upon the Prophet, Joseph Smith. Orville asked to be baptized into the church. His request was granted and the Prophet himself led him into the waters of baptism. Elvira was overjoyed to realize he had been converted long before, but didn't want the reputation of joining the Church just to get a wife. It is a good thing Elvira was not as stubborn as Orville or the course of history might have been changed for all of us, their descendants!

1.7 Malaria Fever
Orville proved to be a faithful Saint, full of love and zeal. He was everything Elvira had hoped for in a husband. She soon became pregnant, but the spring of 1840 brought serious problems for the happy couple. Elvira was stricken with the dreaded lowland disease, malaria fever. With many of her friends and relatives she alternately froze and shivered with exhausting chills, then burned with intense fever. She suffered several months and when her little son was born he only lived a few hours. Elvira was too near death herself to express any sorrow, and seemed not to care if she lived or died. Orville was in much the same condition, having contracted the fever himself.
This was the time of the remarkable healings in Nauvoo and Montrose. While we do not know for sure, it is probable this healing power extended through all the Mormon settlements. The young couple could well have been among the members that were so miraculously healed. We do know they were always full of faith in the power of the Lord through the Priesthood. Elvira expressed the belief many times that her baby could have lived had he been taken care of; but there was no one well enough to care for the sick.
After the plague of fever abated, the Mormons enjoyed a few years of peace and Orville and Elvira relished these years of wedded bliss. They were both industrious, delighted in building a modest home and loved each other dearly, as well as the two children that came to bless their home. Adelia was born the first of December 1841, and Almer, the first of April 1844. Elvira enjoyed staying home with her little ones, but her husband was a public figure. He often went to Nauvoo for Priesthood meetings, practiced with the famous brass band of the Nauvoo Legion, and visited with the Prophet Joseph, whom he came to love and admire deeply.

1.8 Trouble in Nauvoo
The presidential election of 1843 was a time of bitterness in the country. Fear of the abolition party fired the jealousy of the slave owners and the Southern sympathizers. Murmurings against the Mormons began again. The bitterness reached a climax in June of 1844 when Joseph and Hyrum Smith were murdered at Carthage. Elvira and Orville shared in the sorrow when they learned of that outrage. Doubt and gloom settled over the group of 20,000 Mormons, but gradually hope and faith grew and the strong belief that God was over all carried them through their distress. It was a time of terrible suffering and anguish for all who had come to love and depend on their young prophet.
The mobbers continued their harassment of the Saints. They burned Orville's grain at the Morley settlement and he and his little family fled to Nauvoo. In August of 1844 the leadership of the Church was uppermost in the minds of the members. Orville attended the meeting that Sidney Rigdon called and listened to his arguments that he was Joseph's successor. When Sidney finished and Brigham Young arose and began speaking, Orville suddenly turned and looked around, for he thought he heard the slain Prophet's voice. As he turned, Brigham looked so much like Joseph, that for a moment he thought the Prophet had returned. His features and form, as well as voice, were just like Joseph's. Orville was mystified. Gradually the similarity in voice, face, and height, disappeared. His mind comprehended the miracle and he knew that he had witnessed a manifestation of the power of God to show the people that Brigham Young was the chosen one to lead the Saints.
Uplifted in spirit, he returned to his family and related the experience. Elvira readily accepted his testimony that the Quorum of the Twelve, with Brigham as their leader, was the head of the Church. This assurance removed much of the gloom and the burden of sorrow for the lost Prophet. They knew that the Lord still cared about His people, and that whatever happened in the future, He would protect and guide them and provide a leader.

1.9 Leaving Nauvoo
For several years the leading men of the Church had talked of the valleys of the Rocky Mountains as a future home. In the School of the Prophets articles were read regarding the great Western Country that a few hardy travelers and trappers had partly explored.
The spirit of adventure was strong in Orville and the blood of hardy pioneers coursed through the veins of his dauntless wife. They subscribed to a magazine that thoroughly explored the subject of migration to the west, the dangers of the plains, rivers, animals, Indians, and how best to overcome these dangers. It discussed how to organize companies, how to select camping places, how to night-herd cattle and almost every aspect of migration.
The young couple found these magazines very valuable and kept them for future reference throughout all of their moves. They were probably as well prepared as anyone in 1845, both mentally and physically, to undertake the hazardous journey to the great unknown West. They were anxious to find a place of freedom to worship in safety from mobbers and unfriendly neighbors.
While they were in Nauvoo, Orville and Elvira received their endowments in the temple, which uplifted their spirits and gave them much comfort during the trials and hardships ahead.
In February of 1846 Brigham Young started west, and others who were prepared began leaving at that time. After a few days the river froze over, making crossing somewhat easier. Mobs were harassing and pillaging all of the Mormons who, from poverty or sickness, were slow in leaving Nauvoo. Orville was appointed as one of the rear guards of the city and helped throw up a breastwork for protection. It was at this time Orville and Mr. Browning (father of the great gun manufacturer of Ogden) got an old discarded steamboat shaft in a deserted blacksmith shop and manufactured two cannons that were so effectively used by Daniel H. Wells at the battle of Nauvoo (Sept. 12, 1846). They loaded them with scrap iron and fired at the ranks of mobbers and held them in check until the last of the departing Saints crossed the Mississippi River and landed on the Iowa side. Most of the saints had gone by then, and it was the old, sick and poor who were mostly left. It was this group, while they were across the river from Nauvoo in desperate straits, that had the quails come to feed them. On October 9, 1846, they were camped along the river bottoms near Montrose, Iowa, in a pitiful state with little shelter or food. To their amazement, a flock of quail landed in their camp. Tired from flight, the quail were easily captured, then cooked, providing much needed nourishment for some 600 destitute people. Brigham Young, upon learning of their desperate situation, sent supplies and men to help them continue on to Winter Quarters.
Orville and Elvira and their family were part of this group, one of the last families to depart. It isn't known just when Elvira and the children crossed the river, but it was probably with relatives and friends while Orville remained behind to help guard the city. They crossed most of Iowa and settled at Mt. Pisgah, where Orville served as a counselor to Lorenzo Snow, the president there. He was an enthusiastic devotee of President Snow, as well as Father Morley, and often said he would follow their leadership anywhere. (Mount Pisgah was a semi-permanent settlement or way station from 1846 to 1852 along the Mormon Trail between Nauvoo and Council Bluffs, 153 miles west of Nauvoo, about two-thirds of the way to Council Bluffs.)

1.10 Close Call
In the winter of 1846-47 an incident happened which almost cost Orville his life, although it was typical of pioneer times. They were in Mt Pisgah, Iowa. Two of Elvira's Whiting cousins had a shop in which they manufactured chairs. Orville and the Whiting brothers went down into Missouri with ox teams and wagons loaded with chairs to sell. They started home with loads of bacon and corn and other foodstuffs badly needed by the suffering Saints. They were almost home when a terrible storm struck. They weren't sure if it was a blizzard or a hurricane or a cyclone or all three in one. Thick clouds of darkness suddenly descended on them. There were no tornado cellars or any kind of shelter nearby. The cold was intense and the wind seemed to come from every direction.
They were all skilled backwoodsmen and while they knew they were very close to home, they also realized they were hopelessly lost in the swirling wind and clouds of snow. They and their oxen were freezing and their only hope was in making a fire and camping on the spot. Everything was wet under the snow and the violent wind seemed to grow fiercer by the minute. They unyoked the oxen, thinking they might be better off on their own, and then began searching for some dry fuel in the darkness with frost-bitten fingers. The best they found was damp and poor enough, but they were desperate. They had only three matches between them and those matches would be considered very primitive by our standards.
Inside a large wooden bucket they carefully laid their kindling. Turning another bucket over it to keep the wind out, they huddled around, lifted the top bucket a little and one of the Whiting boys struck a precious match. It flickered, flared a moment against the kindling and was blown out by a draft of wind. Another match was lit, but it died out almost before it even sparked. Only one match remained to save the three men from certain death. Their fingers were so numb they could hardly hold anything and every minute increased the numbness. "Let Orville try", one of the brothers said. "He is steadier than we are." So Orville, keenly sensing his responsibility and with a prayer in his heart, took the tiny splinter of wood, struck the match and held his breath. It caught! It blazed! The fire lived and grew! The oxen came near to warm themselves. (Their noses and feet were frozen, but in time they grew new hooves and their noses healed up.) When the storm abated the men found they were only a few rods from their home fences. Their families rejoiced greatly to welcome them home as they had feared the worst.

1.11 Journey West
The Saints expected to make the great journey to the West in 1846, but sending 500 volunteers to the war with Mexico depleted the number of able-bodied men and they were delayed for a year. The Whitimg boys, as well as Sylvester Hulet and Amos Cox, Orville's brother, were drafted into the Mormon Battalion. Orville remained behind because he was busy making wagons for the trek west. It was told of him that one day he found a linch pin and said, "I will just make a wagon to fit this pin," and he did. He prepared very good and serviceable outfits as far as his limited means would allow.
By early summer of 1847, he had two home-made wagons without brakes (which were not needed on the eastern end of the journey). He also had two yoke of oxen, three yoke of cows, a box of chickens and bedding and food to get his family across the plains. During the year they spent in Iowa waiting to start the long journey, Orville was busy making wagons (mostly wheels) and raising grain in the summer. Elvira kept busy sewing, growing a garden and caring for her children as they camped in a wagon or a tent. They must have felt to rejoice when the word finally came that they could at last begin the journey west in June of that same year.
They traveled in the Charles C. Rich company of 100 wagons and Orville was appointed captain of one of the tens. Elvira was pregnant with their fourth child, but drove one of the teams across the plains. It's amazing that she didn't lose the baby during that bone-jarring ride!
The sameness of day after day on the seemingly endless prairie became very monotonous and terribly wearing. One day the monotony was broken when Orville was on a buffalo hunt and the cattle stampeded. The incident made for some excitement, as fear gripped the company. Fortunately, no one was hurt and they were able to round up all of the cattle after a few hours.
After leaving the Platte River, while traveling along the Sweetwater, the company met General Kearney and his company of Battalion scouts with their illustrious prisoner, the great path-finder, John C. Fremont. He, with his little band of men, had helped free California from Mexican rule. In the rejoicing that followed the Californians enthusiastically proclaimed Fremont governor. When General Kearney arrived, he expected to be governor by right of his generalship. He was very angry and had Fremont arrested and sent to Washington. Among Fremont's guards were Sylvester Hulet and Amos Cox. They had traveled many weary months in unknown, lonely country. The Rich company was also travel weary. To meet relatives and friends so unexpectedly was an unspeakable joy to both parties.
The men in the Battalion hadn't had word of their families for more than a year. Tears of joy and sorrow were freely mingled. Amos learned that his little daughter had died. Sylvester's wife had gone to New York to join her family and the Whitmers, so Sylvester decided to join the Saints going west, and obtained his discharge from General Kearney. Amos continued east to join his waiting family in Ohio
The prairie was so level that it was a great relief when they sighted Independence Rock and then Chimney Rock. They were both considered great landmarks and lifted the spirits of the weary Saints. They were sure they were nearing the Rocky Mountains and the children were especially excited at the thought. However, when they found themselves surrounded by mountains they almost wished again for the level plains of which they had grown so weary. The steep cliffs were treacherous and seemed ready to fall and crush the footsore travelers. Such sights were soon very daunting to people who had been raised on the plains.
In October 1847, after four months on the trail, Apostle Rich and his company rolled into the valley of the Great Salt Lake just a few days behind Jedediah M. Grant's company of 100 wagons. Salt Lake was quite a thriving city by that time, and it grew considerably during October and November as other companies of pioneers arrived.

1.12 Settling in Bountiful
Houses were needed for the growing population, and since Orville was expert in handling lumber he was immediately sent into the canyon for logs. Among other timbers, he brought down a magnificent specimen of a pine for a "Liberty Pole" which was raised on Pioneer Square. It was the first pole to carry the stars and stripes in the city, although one had been raised earlier on Ensign Peak.
Orville quickly built a log house for his family. He built it well and had it ready for a son to be born to them on November 29th. The baby, Orville Mills Cox, was the second white boy born in Utah.
They moved to a farm north of Salt Lake City early in the spring of 1848 to a settlement called Sessionsville (present day Bountiful). Orville was the first Bishop of the ward there, dug the first well and began his first irrigation ditch. Ditch making became his hobby and he was wonderfully gifted with the ability of laying out the route for ditches and canals without the use of instruments of any kind. He gauged the level of the land with his naked eye and was more successful making ditches that carried the water with an even fall than many surveyors. Elvira was proud of his abilities and often bragged about his expertise in ditch-making and also his talent of handling logs and using lumber that others discarded. She bragged, "Orville can go into the timber after it's been picked over by others and get out a better set of house logs than any other man who has had their first choice." While they were in Bountiful crickets ate much of their crops. Along with the other settlers they battled them in every way they could devise. Finally the gulls came.

1.13 Colonizing Sanpete
In the fall of 1849 they were called to go with Father Morley's company to colonize the valley of Sanpitch [Sanpitch was the original name of the valley, named after Chief Sanpeetch. Click here to see a a short history of Manti and Sanpitch. -- Paul R. Day]. They arrived at the future site of Manti on November 19th of that year and spent a very hard winter. The journey from Salt Lake took a month. They had to break new roads, build bridges, and then make dugouts for their families until they could build more substantial homes. It began to snow before they arrived at their destination and it snowed heavily all winter. It was May before the snow was gone and they could begin to plow and plant. They had to ration their food supply and lived on about one fifth as much as one would ordinarily eat. However, they counted their blessings as they did have some food, shelter, friends among the Indians, each other's love, three little ones and good health. Above all else they were away from mob violence.
Elvira said the first ten years they were in Utah they were always hungry and always on rations. It was not that they did not raise enough grain, vegetables and meat; it was because they divided it with neighbors who had less. Each year hundreds of Saints crossed the plains and had to be fed. Usually Orville divided his crops in half. He gave one half for tithing and split the other half in half again for the ward poor. There were always needy ones to be helped and always they must give to the Indians.
Another son came to bless their home in Manti, March 24, 1850. On May 15th of that same year, they found an eight-foot rattle snake coiled inside the cabin above the door and window. They managed to kill it, but about the same time other snakes were found in the cabins, tents, cupboards, and even in the beds. A battle began with these dangerous reptiles that lasted all night long. It was estimated 1500 snakes were killed that night, but no one counted. They built bonfires and burned them as they were killed. Mercifully, no one was bitten and the next day it was learned that the rocks and ledges on Temple Hill were the home of the rattlers and many more snakes were killed. Long after the temple was finished, an occasional snake was found and killed.
Orville built a rock house with a basement in Manti that was still standing nearly a hundred years later in good condition. They had five more children in Manti, but were grief stricken when little Sylvanus only lived one month. Elvira and Orville had implicit faith in the principles taught by the Prophet, Joseph Smith, as well as Brigham Young. By mutual consent they entered into polygamy and Orville took two more wives, Mary Allen, who was the granddaughter of Isaac Morley, and Eliza Losee. In the early 1860's they moved to Fairview, about 30 miles south of Manti. Orville built each of his wives a house. While there Elvira had her last child, Elvira Euphrasia, my grandmother.

1.14 Elvira the Nurse
Elvira was a natural nurse, and was called in on all kinds of sickness. She seemed able to instinctively diagnose a disease and apply a remedy. Often she relied on inspiration to aid her in caring for the sick. In Manti the Bishop set her apart as a midwife, promising great blessings in regard to the work. She clung to those promises from the Priesthood, striving always to live righteously and do her part toward their fulfillment, which were verified in many instances. She knew the value of herbs, probably handed down to her from her ancestors. Her keen mind was open to new information and she remembered and used the new remedies. She went among the sick with little or no compensation and was never known to refuse a call, even to suffering Indians. Usually she worked eighteen hours a day and if she was up all night, she worked the next day just the same.
It was the Indian custom to kill the old useless grandmothers. Chief Walker decided his mother had lived long enough and started on her with his butcher knife. She was the mother of seven Indian Chiefs and was not as feeble as Walker had supposed. She managed to get away and hid in the cattails by Sanpitch Creek for a week. She went to Elvira for help, who washed the seven big infected cuts on her arms and breasts with warm water and plastered them with home-made salve of equal parts of mutton tallow, beeswax, and soft pine gum. The poor old lady healed, but thought it was terrible that her son considered her no longer useful.
Elvira claimed that since the pioneers had so little sugar to eat, wounds would not heal or knit. She carried two pounds of sugar across the plains and made it last for two years, using it for medicinal purposes only. She put pounded sugar and rosin in a wound to help it heal. She had some three-sided surgical needles and white silk thread which proved very useful for sewing up wounds. She used peach leaves and bark from young peach shoots to make a tea for sore throats. She kept dried bundles of herbs hanging in the attic for winter use: yarrow for headache, horehound for colds, catnip and peppermint for stomach ache, rhubarb roots for constipation, burdock roots for boils, etc. Do we have any better remedies today?

1.15 Orville the Engineer
Orville was very resourceful and ingenious when it came to solving problems that the colonizers seemed to encounter at every turn. The following story is told of him: When "City Ditch" needed to be built all the men and boys in town were called to help work on it every day until it could carry water. It was springtime and the ditch had to be finished before the fields could be plowed and planted. The men turned out with picks, plows, crowbars and shovels. There was a rocky point at the head or beginning of the ditch that had to be cut through which was "hard pan," about like cement. They soon realized a plow couldn't touch it, so they began prying the gravel loose with picks and crowbars. At that rate it would take six weeks to do six rods, and the ditch would never be ready in time. To the consternation of the others, Orville just watched them toiling and sweating and never offered to lift a finger to help. Without saying a word he turned and walked off, leaving those hardworking men angry and astonished. His going seemed to discourage and dishearten them for the task. They kept plugging away, though, loath to admit defeat.
Early the next morning Orville showed up at the ditch site with a long string of oxen hitched to a plow, but it was a different kind of a plow. He had found an 18-foot pitch pine log, bored holes through it and put stout oak sticks in for spikes. He had eight men grab hold of those spikes (like they were the plow handles) to hold the plow level, loaded more men on the log for weight, then he spoke to the oxen. The gravel started to fly and he plowed up and down the ditch line four or five times. It seemed the ditch was made in no time. The men said Orville accomplished more in half a day than all the rest of them could have done in six weeks.
When asked why he hadn't told them of his plans in the first place, so they wouldn't have been so discouraged, Orville said he knew it wouldn't have done a bit of good. He wasn't the Bishop, and even if he had been, the men would have just hooted at plans like that. That was the way of Orville Sutherland Cox. He did not believe in wasting precious time talking and arguing about a matter. His way was to go to work and do something about it.

1.16 On to Nevada
In 1865 Orville was advised by Lorenzo Snow to move to the Muddy, a branch of the Virgin River running through Moapa Valley. Elder Snow asked him to assist in surveying and making irrigation ditches there. The soil was rich, but quicksand made it very difficult to build a dam that would hold, or to irrigate without washing away the soil. He went southwest some distance, and eventually moved his family there. For over six years he labored, engineering a number of dams that would hold against the floods and treachery of quicksand. He had only crude home-made plows and a few other tools to work with and no cement or modern building materials. He also built comfortable cabins, cleared the land, planted crops and helped build three towns.
Three of Orville's children died during that six-year period and Elvira's health broke down. She was not well when they moved to the Muddy, and the intense heat along with the alkaline water, was more than she could tolerate. She returned to Fairview with her younger children after a couple of years.
Financially, the growing Cox family's prospects were more promising than ever before. The large orchard and a vineyard they had planted were just starting to bear. Then a new boundary line was run between Utah and Nevada, which gave that section to Nevada. Nevada demanded back taxes, which amounted to more than their houses and farms were worth. All the settlers were in the same predicament, so Brigham young said, "Come home to Utah."
The family did not hesitate to obey the counsel of their beloved leader, and packed up what they could carry with them to return to their old home in Fairview. They left their comfortable living quarters, beautiful peach orchards, fields of cotton, cane and wheat in "the most fertile of lands." For almost seven long years they had toiled and sacrificed to make it "blossom as the rose". They left it all to Nevada to pay the back taxes the state demanded.
On the way back to Fairview Orville's group came across one company who had learned how to build dams in the quicksand of the desert. They persuaded Orville and some of his sons to join them there in an abandoned settlement in Kane County. There they began the engineering of irrigation canals and dams, cleaned and repaired the deserted cabins and made the place habitable. They named it Mt. Carmel. When the former settlers heard they had built dams that would stand, they returned and demanded, "Get out, this belongs to us!" The weary pioneers picked up and moved again, leaving others to enjoy the fruits of their hard labor.
They stopped a few miles farther up the valley in a pleasant narrow cove and went to work to build more dams, more ditches and more cabins. In one place the water had to be carried across a gully, and it gave them more trouble than all the rest of the canal. After awhile, Orville, without a word or a consultation with anyone, went into the timber and found a very large log, felled it and hollowed it out into a huge trough. He placed it across the gully and it reached far enough to secure a solid bed above the quicksand. Over thirty years later this "Cox Trough" was still a successful flume.

1.17 Next Stop, Orderville
In 1875, under the urging of Brigham Young, Orville took some of his family and helped organize the town of Orderville, where they attempted to live the United Order of Enoch, but Elvira stayed in Fairview. For twelve years he labored joyfully and unselfishly in the "Order", and the town grew and thrived. When dis-satisfaction and dis-union broke the Order up, the property was supposed to be divided among the settlers, but Orville came out with very little. So many had gone into it with little or nothing, and those who had put in the most seemed to come out with the least. Orville was well along in years by this time and was not able to start over again to support his large family. His health was broken and he could do little more than advise his sons. His second wife, Mary, and her family located in Huntington, Emery County. Eliza, his third wife, moved to Tropic, Garfield County, where she died of cancer. In 1887 Orville returned to Fairview, where Elvira lived among her children. He was an invalid for a year, and on July 4, 1888 he laid his exhausted body down to rest. His passing was peaceful and quiet. Elvira and Mary were with him at the last as well as many of his descendants.
What a legacy of faith, courage and devotion he left for us, his posterity. The following are some of the towns and cities he assisted in founding: Lima, Illinois; Pisgah, Iowa; Salt Lake City, Bountiful, Manti, Gunnison, Fairview, Glenwood, Mt. Carmel, Orderville, and Tropic of Utah; and St. Thomas, St. Joseph, and Overton of Nevada. He always seemed to be in the forefront when there was hard work to be done. If he could advance the cause by one iota, no matter what the cost or loss to himself, he considered he had been eminently successful. Never was there a murmur from him.

1.18 A Model of Service and Industry
Elvira was not one whit behind Orville in industry and service to others. She was a comfort and strength to the sick and down-hearted. Courage, cheerfulness, and helpfulness were some of the strong characteristics that made her a source of inspiration to everyone. She was very outspoken, never hesitating to give a word of rebuke or of praise. She was eager to learn and willingly taught others. She often quoted, "The idler shall not eat the bread of the laborer", and "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." In her opinion hard work covered a multitude of sins. If she heard someone being criticized for a fault, she would speak up with, "Well, at least they know how and are willing to work," or some similar remark.
She was always willing to help others who had a need, but did not neglect her own family. she taught them to work and get joy out of it. She loved to read and felt a responsibility to teach others since there was a scarcity of schools. During the winter evenings each child in the family had an allotted duty carding wool, spinning yarn, knitting socks, etc. While they worked Elvira or one of the older children gave out words to spell and sums to add, subtract, multiply, or divide. Their pen was a charred stick or coal and their blackboard was the broad hearthstone by the fire. When spelling and arithmetic were over, they read histories, Shakespeare's plays, Scott's poems, or the Book of Mormon. In later years when schools were more available, they still read together in the evenings.
Elvira was very hard-working as well as thrifty. She saved every scrap of bread, toasting it in the oven and hanging it in sacks in the attic, for fear of famine. She saved every bit of thread even if it was only a foot or two long. Her grandchildren remembered threading needles for her when they visited, as her eyes grew dim. She was a loving and generous grandmother, and taught the children to be industrious. Grandson, Orville Cox Day, said the following about her:
"We grandchildren visited her by the dozens. First she gave us a piece of squash pie or a cookie and then she gave us work. At age four we helped make tallow candles, brought in wood to boil soap, wound yarn into balls, stamped on wool to clean it in a home-made tub with home-made soap and afterward picked the dry chunks of wool to pieces. At age seven we could card it into batts for quilts; at ten we carded the batts into rolls for spinning; at eleven we knit socks; at twelve we spun; and at thirteen we could weave. We always knew grandmother loved us and we loved her."
We do not know why Elvira never joined Orville in the Orderville years, but we do know she remained a faithful and loyal wife. She stayed in the Fairview home and with the help of her children supported the family, mainly by farming the land. In 1878 her youngest son, Amasa, who was seventeen, took over the farming and his mother's life was made easier. When Orville returned to Fairview in 1887 Elvira cared for him until he died the following year. Amasa then convinced his mother to take a much needed rest and she traveled back East to her childhood home in Nelson, Portage County, Ohio. She greatly enjoyed visiting relatives and friends. A Mills reunion was held while she was there at which her cousin, Homer Mills, read a history of the family he had compiled. He had also gathered several hundred names of his ancestry.
"Homer, what did you gather all those names for?" asked Elvira.
"Oh, I don't know," was his answer, "I guess I gathered them for you. Here, take them." She did so most gladly, and returned home filled with a desire to do temple work and her interest never lagged.
In 1895 she got pneumonia and for three months was very near death. She recovered enough to be up and about but never regained her strength. It was a great trial to her that her hands, which had labored so faithfully in the service of others for so many long years, must now be idle while other hands must care for her needs. She often pleaded with the Lord to take her home, but prayed more earnestly that she might retain her mental facilities. The last plea was granted. In the early morning of February 3, 1903 she asked to be turned over, and then drifted peacefully back to sleep. While the family was eating breakfast she slipped quietly to her reward.

1.19 The Legacy of Orville and Elvira
The legacy Elvira Pamela Mills and Orville Sutherland Cox left to us is of infinitely more value than any amount of riches they might have amassed, had that been their goal. Once they accepted the restored gospel they abided by its precepts with total devotion and commitment. Their faith was tried and tested time and time again, but they never faltered. Driven from their homes in Missouri and Illinois, they un-complainingly followed their leaders to the West. Although they found a refuge from the mob violence, their lot was not to settle down to a life of ease and prosperity. Time after time, just as it seemed they "had it made", they must pull up stakes again, leave their earthly possessions behind and build anew. This they did willingly for they had an abiding testimony that they were in the service of the Lord. They did not murmur nor grudgingly obey, but pressed forward cheerfully and valiantly to work and serve wherever and whenever they were called. Truly, they were great and stalwart pioneers, as they set an un-equaled example of showing faith in every footstep!

1.20 Children of Orville Sutherland Cox
1.20.1 Elvira Pamela Mills
Robert Fredrick 28 Jul 1840
Adelia Belinda 1 Dec 1841
Almer Bingley 2 Apr 1844
Orville M. 29 Nov 1847
Delaun Mills 24 Mar 1850
Fredrick Walter 4 Sep 1852
Philena 21 Jan 1855
Sylvester Hulet 12 Sep 1857
Tryphena Maria 26 Jan 1859
Amasa Bernard 25 Mar 1861
*Elvira Euphrasia 19 May 1864
1.20.2 Mary Elizabeth Allen
Philena 30 Dec 1854
Amos 8 Oct 1856
Allen 15 Jun 1858
Theressa Lenora 25 Dec 1863
Theodore 20 Dec 1866
Lucy Elizabeth 29 Jan 1866
Viola 2 Nov 1868
Elenor 25 Jun 1873
Arthur 4 Oct 1875
1.20.3 Eliza Jane Losee
Lucinda Adelina 12 May 1863
Sarah Jane 5 May 1866
Lucinda Adelia 12 May 1863
Sarah Jane 5 Nov 1866
Almira Miranda 20 Oct 1867
Phebe Ann 30 Sep 1870
Orlan L. 2 Jan 1875
Lovisa 10 Dec 1877

Written by Stella Day Norman, a great-granddaughter

2 The Armstrongs - English Pioneers
2.1 William Armstrong
William Armstrong was born January 6, 1805, in Glasgow, Scotland, the oldest son of John Armstrong and Mary Nichols. William's grandfather, John (Hohn) Armstrong Sr. was a swordsman in the Queen of Scotland's Guards. We know little about his early life, but we do know he started work quite young as a glass blower. Later he learned to be a chemical manufacturer, timber worker and soap maker. He courted and married a beautiful young lady, Nancy Wishart, but we have no information about her. The young couple were excited when they learned they were to become parents. We can only imagine the anguish William felt when both his baby daughter and his wife died in childbirth.
William lived a lonely life for a number of years, drifting from job to job, eventually moving to England where he obtained work as a glass blower. There he met two women who were spinners in a glass factory, Catherine Craddock and her sister. He and Catherine were attracted to each other and William began to court her. They fell in love and were married October 22,1838.

2.2 Catherine Craddock
Catherine Craddock was born November 22, 1818 at Old Berry, England, the daughter of Henry and Mary Craddock. In her youth she worked for some people who lived near the border of England and Scotland. While there, she met Mormon missionaries and was converted to the restored gospel. She was seventeen years old when she and two of her sisters were baptized. (One record says she was not baptized until after her marriage.) Her parents objected strenuously to the Church and Catherine and her sisters were forced to leave home. They went to Sponlane, West Bromwich, England, and obtained work in the glass factory.

2.3 Conversion and Move to Scotland
William investigated the Church, became converted and was baptized in 1843 or 44. While living in Sponlane, three daughters were born to the Armstrongs. They welcomed the little girls, but William longed for a son. One of his friends told him that he would never have a boy until he moved back to his native Scotland. He was very superstitious, as were most of the people in his day, and he began to think he belonged in Scotland. After his baptism, his customers would no longer patronize him and his business went bankrupt. Finally the family decided to move to Scotland, hoping the people would be less prejudiced there, as well as bring a baby boy to join their family. They settled in Glasgow near William's family and he obtained a good job in the chemical business.
To their joy two little boys were born to them, but still Catherine was not happy in Scotland. She did not feel at home there and William's family was unhappy that he had joined the infamous Mormons for which they blamed Catherine.

2.4 Emigration to America
The missionaries encouraged them to emigrate to America. They returned to England and began to make preparations to go to Zion. They had a hard time finding the money to make the journey and in January 1853, another son was born to them. Soon they left for Liverpool and in the spring of 1853 set sail on the "Windmere", an old sailing vessel, for the new world. They had a very rough voyage and were on the ocean for nine long weeks. Their little baby became very ill on the journey and they feared for his life. Several of the passengers died of the smallpox and had to be buried at sea. Catherine thought her heart would break if they were forced to leave their beloved son in the cold Atlantic ocean. Fortunately the baby survived and they arrived in New Orleans April 23, 1853.
On the return trip to England the "Windmere," carrying a load of salt, sunk. William and Catherine felt very blessed that their lives had been spared. They remained in New Orleans for a few weeks until the baby regained his health and then journeyed up the Mississippi on a river boat through St. Louis and on to Omaha, Nebraska. Here they outfitted themselves for the trip West. William bought five head of oxen and one old milk cow which made three yoke of oxen, a necessity for the journey. There were fifty wagons making the journey with the Armstrongs. Near the Platte River part of the wagons were destroyed by a stampeding herd of buffalo. They regretted the loss of their goods, but realized they were very fortunate that no one was killed or even injured. They salvaged all they could and continued on their way rejoicing.

2.5 Arrival in Salt Lake
The company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on Sunday, October 1, 1853, and they were directed to a point west of the city. It was very cold living in a covered wagon and William and Catherine had lost most of their belongings. They were very thankful when some kind members took the small children to their home and cared for them until the family found a place to stay.
The Armstrongs were in rather destitute circumstances since they had used all their means to get to Zion. They borrowed $500 from the Perpetual Emigrating Fund, money set aside by the Church to help the poor get started. William was given employment by a Dr. Richards stripping bark off red pine trees in Little Cottonwood Canyon. He and his sons also gleaned potatoes and grain in the fields after the harvest to help them get through the winter. They were living in Union Fort near present day Midvale. Sadly, the baby, little Henry William, sickened and died in 1954. The parents were grief stricken, but it didn't seem as sad as it would have been had they lost him at sea. William made the little casket and Catherine, who was an excellent seamstress, made the burial clothes.
1854 was a hard year for the family in more ways than one. While getting logs out of Cottonwood Canyon one of the logs fell on William, breaking his hip. Dr. Richards tried his best, but was not able to properly set the broken bone. William suffered for the rest of his life from the injury, with one leg shorter than the other and he had to use a cane to get around.

2.6 Settling in Utah County
In 1857 they were advised to move to Cedar Valley (Fairfield) where William and his sons could provide services for Johnston's army. Catherine and her daughters did washing, sewing, baking and ironing for the soldiers. Through their industry they quickly accumulated enough money to pay back the Emigrating fund. William personally delivered the money to President Young in twenty dollar gold pieces. To show her appreciation for the help they had received, Catherine made Brigham Young a buckskin coat. He thanked her and told her it was the finest workmanship he had ever seen.
The Armstrongs were hard-working and thrifty. They not only paid the Church back but were also able to buy fifty acres of ground below American Fork and two full blocks in the city. They moved to their new property in 1861. Two more sons were born to the family, making a total of nine children. William also bought some ground on Highland and was, at one time, a large land owner and a wealthy farmer.
One of William's life ambitions was to buy Catherine a sewing machine. He was finally able to do just that but it cost him a span of mules which was worth three hundred dollars at that time!

2.7 Return Visit to Scotland
When William was eighty-one years old his yearning to see his native Scotland was too much for him and he went back to visit with his sisters and brothers who did not accept the gospel. He brought a lot of genealogy back with him. On the return trip the sea was rough and William fell and broke three ribs. Later, he and one of his daughters went to the Logan Temple and did much of the work for the names he brought from Scotland. On April 14, 1895 William Armstrong died at the age of ninety-two. He left his wife (He had only one--he never accepted the idea of polygamy) and a numerous posterity.
After William died, Catherine lived in her home with her son, Joseph. One night she went outside to use the outhouse and fell in a deep hole on the way. She never got over the fall and died at the age of 85 on March 8, 1903. Catherine was small in stature but was extremely ambitious and had many good character traits.
William and Catherine accepted the Gospel under adverse conditions and suffered the persecutions of the early saints. Their families, friends and business associates shunned them. They gave up everything they had to be a part of the Church in Utah. They were ambitious, frugal and honest. We, their descendants would do well to follow their example and walk in their faithful footsteps.
Written by Stella Day Norman, a great-great-granddaughter

2.8 Children of William and Catherine Craddock Armstrong
*Mary 6 Nov 1840
Margaret 1842
Jane 18 Jan 1846
John 1848
Joseph 27 Oct 1850
William Henry 1 Jan 1853
Catherine Matilda 22 Dec 1855
William 1857
James Henry 27 Jan 1861

3 Louis and Mary Strasburg - The Soldier and the Mormon
3.1 The Early Years of Ludvig
Ludvig (or Louis) Stursburg was born August 19, 1835, at Lennep, Rhineland, Prussia (Germany), the son of Johannes Anton Stursburg and Lisette Ehlichs. Johannes first wife, Katherine Werners had died in 1829 after having had four children. Johannes soon married Lisette, but tragedy struck again and she died when Ludvig was about two years old. Johannes married a third wife and she raised the little boy, Ludvig.
Ludvig had a good education for that day, attending school in Lennep from 1845 to 1852. He then spent a year as an apprentice merchant. His father, Johannes, had also been well educated and was a successful businessman, and he wanted his sons to join him. He owned a restaurant and was an excellent baker. Ludvig emigrated to America and lived in New York with his half-brother while he finished his apprenticeship with a branch of the company he had worked for in Germany, Then he decided he was not interested in being a businessman, and did not want to work with his father. He chose to join the army instead.
He enlisted May 1, 1855 and was assigned to the Tenth Infantry and sent to Pennsylvania. Later he was stationed at Fort Prairie, Wisconsin, where he saw action against the Indians. He was advanced to a bugler which was an important part of army life. (My brother, Wayne, says he was not a bugler, but a beater, whose job it was to beat the soldiers who broke army rules. Some records say he was both a bugler and a beater.) He was a strict disciplinarian, being well acquainted with military life, as his father had served in Germany where service was compulsory.
Ludvig was a fancy dresser, immaculate in every detail from his carefully trimmed mustache and sideburns to his shiny black shoes. He was outgoing, jovial, made friends easily, and was a dominant character in any group.

3.2 Johnson's Army Sent to Utah
A certain federal judge of the Utah Territory had been unsuccessful in his office and was jealous of the loyalty and admiration the people showed to Brigham Young. In his letter of resignation he accused the Mormons and their leader of serious crimes, claiming they were plotting to overthrow the U.S. Government. These accusations were later proven false, but at the time they influenced President James Buchanan to order troops into the territory to destroy the Mormons and arrest their leaders.
Among other military units, the Tenth Division was sent to Utah. Because it was under the command of Colonel Albert Johnston, it was known as "Johnston's Army" or the "Utah Expedition."
The army left Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, July 18, 1856, marching westward. To many soldiers this assignment was merely routine and in the line of duty. But to others it presented an opportunity to finally destroy the hated Mormons.
When Church leaders heard that the United States was sending an army against them, they determined that this time they would not allow wicked men to drive them from their homes. They built fortifications along the canyons through which the soldiers would have to march to reach Salt Lake City. President Young sent a few stalwart men to destroy the loaded army supply wagons, although he instructed them not to kill or hurt any of the soldiers. The men found the army in Wyoming and ran off their horses, destroyed supplies, tore out bridges, and so harassed them that their invasion of Utah was delayed considerably. Bad weather caught the army miles short of their destination and they were forced to camp at Fort Bridger, Wyoming, for the winter.
The weather was extremely cold and rations were short. Each man was limited to seven ounces of flour per day with no salt for seasoning. The army lost five hundred animals from starvation and cold, and the soldiers suffered severely.
When Brother Brigham heard of the army's plight in Wyoming, he sent a whole load of salt as a gift, but it was refused by the irate Johnston. He feared the Mormons were trying to poison them. The men from Salt Lake sold the salt to traders for $2.50 a pound and returned home in high spirits.
In the meantime, President Young had sent representatives to petition Congress to recall the army. A peaceful agreement was subsequently reached whereby the army could pass through Slat Lake City providing it never stopped until it reached a remote spot. The army did march peacefully through the city, but the city was deserted. The people had been instructed to leave their homes, taking with them what they could and head south. Hay and straw were scattered everywhere and the men left behind were ready to burn down the city rather than again allow someone else to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Johnston's army established Camp Floyd at Fairfield about 30 miles to the south, near Lehi.
The Church leaders issued orders that the Mormons should have nothing to do with the soldiers unless it was absolutely necessary. But many members were practically destitute, and the lure of cash (which the soldiers seemed to have plenty of) proved too enticing to resist. Many saints visited Camp Floyd regularly and sold supplies and produce. The army payroll brought large amounts of gold, silver and paper money into the territory and the soldiers were free spenders. Ludvig Stursburg was one of the soldiers stationed at Camp Floyd.
[ See also July 14, 2007 Church News article about The Utah War.]

3.3 Mary Meets Ludvig
The Armstrong family had emigrated to America in 1853, after William Armstrong lost his business because of prejudice against the Mormons. They had spent all of the money they had to get to Zion and still had to borrow $500 from the Perpetual Emigrating Fund. The family lived in Fairfield but had a farm in American Fork, about 20 miles east of the Camp Floyd. They cut their hay with a hand scythe and hauled it the long distance (20 miles was a long way to go in those days!) to the camp where the army bought it. Catherine Armstrong, along with her three daughters, remained at the home in Fairfield, tended a few cows and sold milk and butter to the soldiers. They also washed clothes and ironed them to earn a little extra money.
Although there was much animosity between the Saints and the soldiers, some lasting friendships developed. It was natural for the lonely soldiers to become friendly with the Armstrong girls. We don't know just how or when Ludvig Stursburg met the beautiful young Mary Armstrong, but it didn't take long until they became friends. He was probably drawn to her not only because she was attractive, but also because she was expert at ironing clothes. Since he was famous for his immaculate appearance, he, no doubt, admired her talent. For her part, she was flattered by the attentions of the handsome young soldier.

3.4 Their Marriage
Ludwig and Mary soon fell in love and were married February 14, 1859. Later, Mary's two sisters also married soldiers. Some records state the entire family was excommunicated because they had disobeyed the counsel of the Church leaders. Others say that only the girls who married out of the Church were cut off. In any case, they were soon re-baptized and enjoyed full fellowship. Ludvig liked to joke, "I came to Utah to destroy the Mormons and ended up marrying one."
Ludvig never joined the Church, but did not forbid his wife to attend whenever she desired and she had most of the children baptized. Since Ludvig was still in the army when the young couple were married, they lived at the fort in Fairfield where their first child, my grandfather, Louis Henry Strasburg, was born. We do not know why he was never baptized as a child, but he did become a member later in life.
The army post in Utah was abandoned in 1860, and Ludvig was honorably discharged along with many others. Some considered the army a curse, but in many ways it proved to be a blessing in disguise. Not only did it boost the economy in the area, but many fine young men were converted to the gospel and became a strength to the Church.
Ludvig seemed to have a bit of the wanderlust in his nature, for the little family moved several times in the next few years. They lived in Weber County, Summit County, Big Cottonwood in Salt Lake County, then back to Kamas, Summit County. Finally about 1869, they moved to Vernon, Rush Valley (near Tooele), where they homesteaded 150 acres of land which included a stream of water called Faust Creek and good meadow land. They stayed in that area for the rest of their lives.

3.5 Life at Faust Creek
The Pony Express had started in 1860 and ran from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California. A fast run could be made in ten days. One of the stations was located on Faust Creek, and it was here that Ludvig built their first home.
Marauding Indians and renegade white men robbed and killed unwary travelers along this route, and sometimes attacked relay stations. Ludvig felt that he could help protect the station and they could help protect his family. He was a courageous and determined man, and the Indians were afraid of him. At one time he told some Indians in the area that if they came near Mary, she would kill them. He said that his squaw was mean and they stayed clear of her.
There was an Indian camp about two miles from the Stursburg home and sometimes it was rather frightening for the children. It was the custom of the Indians, when a brave died, to bury all of his possessions, (including his squaw) with him so he could have them in the Happy Hunting Ground. The screams of the terrified squaw could easily be heard two miles away as she was burned at the stake when her husband died.
There was much hardship and heartache in those early pioneer days, and Ludvig and Mary had their share. They had eight children while living in the home on Faust Creek. They were broken- hearted when two of their small children died in the same week with diphtheria, one of them just an infant. Mary, weakened from caring for the little ones night and day, contacted the dread disease herself. For a time they were afraid she would die, also, but were very thankful when she finally recovered.
In 1874, with his father-in-law as a witness, Ludvig became a citizen of the United States. It is believed that at this time he changed his name from Ludvig Stursburg to Louis Strasburg. People often misspelled his name which irritated him no end. For some reason he had been nicknamed "Dutch Louie" and that was also an annoyance to him. Probably that was one reason why he changed and Americanized his name.
Louis decided they had outgrown the house on the creek and built another house about one mile north of the original one. It was built of rustic lumber and lined with adobe. he extended his holdings to 500 acres and became a successful rancher, raising sheep and cattle. They had the biggest barn in the valley at one time and raised potatoes and grain in addition to the stock. However, Louis never liked farming. His interest was in sheep and cattle. While he and the boys herded sheep in the hills, Mary and the girls took care of the ranch. The children remembered going with their father to haul the wool, after shearing time, to Salt Lake City. It took a week to take the trip by wagon team, and they had fond memories of those trips with their father.

3.6 Active in Community Affairs
Mary and Louis were both friendly and sociable and they enjoyed entertaining. They lived on the main highway and their home became a stopping place for many weary travelers. They were most hospitable and it was not uncommon for Mary to serve meals to twenty people at one time. Louis made friends easily and welcomed acquaintances and strangers alike into their home. He was well respected in the community and was known for his fair dealings and honesty. Although he never became a member of the Church he believed in and practiced the Golden Rule.
Louis was active in community affairs. he taught a small school near their home for a number of years. He was better educated than most, and taught his own children as well as some of the neighbors in their early years in Rush Valley. He was rather strict and demanded obedience, because of his German upbringing, but he was not harsh or unkind. While in Vernon he served as chairman of the School Board of Trustees, Justice of the Peace, County Commissioner, and in many other positions in the community. He loved to read, study and sing. His specialty was two comic songs and people never tired of hearing them. In moments of stress, rather than swear and curse, he would sing "Old Dog Tray". His children and grandchildren remembered it well.
Although Mary willingly entertained people in her home, she did not enjoy being in the public eye, preferring to spend her time with the children. She kept her home clean and attractive and was famous for her beautiful flower garden. She was kind and generous and when asked for a donation, would give more than her share. In the summer she dried fruit, but gave most of it away. She was also famous for her good cookies and shared them with all who came to visit. When the Relief Society had a social she was always there with a basket of cookies.
There were no movie houses, no arcade games, no TV, or even radios. For entertainment neighbors gathered at one of their homes, played games, and danced to the tune of the violin or accordion. Each family brought food to be shared and enjoyed by all.

3.7 Retirement in Tooele
After his family reached maturity, Louis sold the ranch to his son, David, and moved to Tooele. There he bought a home with a large lot and lived with Mary and two of their daughters. They raised grape vines along with many beautiful flowers. Once again, he became a leader in the community and was asked to run for mayor of the city in 1902. Although he had said he was finished with public service, he accepted the invitation and was elected to that office November 4, 1902, and served one term.
Louis and Mary had fourteen children, but several of them died young. Only eight of the fourteen lived past the age of twenty four.
Late in life Louis went to Salt Lake City to visit his daughter, Nellie, who was very ill. While crossing the street he was run over by a street car. His right leg was severed above the knee, as well as two toes from his left foot. He suffered for several years, never really recovering from the injury, and died December 6, 1909. Mary died April 13, 1912 a few months before her 72nd birthday. Both Mary and Louis are buried in the Tooele City Cemetery.
Although they did not leave a legacy of faith in every footstep as far as the restored Church is concerned, we can be proud of the heritage they did leave. Louis and Mary helped pioneer and settle the West. They brought with them much of the richness of the old world, melding it into the New World. They remained devoted to each other and to their children. They were pillars of the community and willingly served in many capacities. Hopefully, Louis has been taught the gospel in its fullness in the spirit world and has realized the truthfulness and beauty of it. May we live our lives in such a way that he and Mary can be proud of us.
Written by Stella Day Norman, a great-granddaughter

3.8 Children of Mary Armstrong and Louis Strasburg
*Louis Henry 23 Jan 1860
Robert Nov 1861
Mary Jane 6 May 1865
Elizabeth 1 Apr 1866
George 24 Jan 1868
Katherine 18 Jan 1870
Leonard 8 Nov 1871
David Cook 14 Jul 1873
John Adam 5 May 1875
William A. P. 22 Jun 1876 or 77
Joseph 13 Sep 1879
Jane Margaret 7 Aug 1881
Ellen S. 15 Aug 1884
Alice Louise 16 May 1886

4. Julia - Woman of Faith and Courage
4.1 Danish Heritage
Since Danish surnames used to change from generation to generation, it is very difficult to keep track of a family before the mid 1800's. In 1837 a law was passed that each family must choose a surname and keep it, but most were slow to comply. My great, great grandfather's name was Hans Larsen, and his daughter, born 27 December 1835, was christened Juliane Nielsine Hansen, and was called Julia Hansen during her girlhood days. Hans was a "smith" or blacksmith, so Julia's name appears in the Danish archives as Juliane Nielsine Schmidt. One of Julia's brothers went by the surname Schmidt and another by the surname Hansen. It is all quite confusing and has been difficult to piece together a history of that family.

4.2 Julia's Conversion
We do know that Julia was born in the small village of Veelinge about eleven miles from Odense, Denmark, where it appears the family had lived for generations. Little is known about her life as a girl, but when she was 21 years old she married Christian Mathisen. They had three children when she heard about the Mormon elders and the new religion they were teaching. She was interested in the doctrine and began going to their meetings. She became converted to the truthfulness of the restored gospel and soon applied for baptism. When her parents and other relatives heard about her desire to be baptized and join the "terrible Mormons", they were aghast. In fact, her father said he would see her dead before he would allow her to join up with the Mormons. He had his gun ready and was determined to kill her rather than let her ruin her life and bring disgrace on the family.
However, Julia had a burning testimony of the gospel and was baptized one dark, moonless midnight. Some of the family protected her when her father learned that she had indeed become a Mormon, but later they all disowned her and never spoke to her again. Their feelings were so bitter when she announced she was going to Zion, that they wouldn't even go down to the docks to bid their daughter, Julia, and their grandchildren good-bye. It almost broke Julia's heart. Her husband did not join the church, that we know of, but he did not try to stop Julia from following her heart and he agreed to emigrate to America with her and the children.

4.3 Journey to Zion
We do not have a record of their ocean voyage, but we do know that little Anders, not yet two years old, died on the way and was buried at sea. Their feelings were surely similar to others who lost a child at sea. "They traveled 3,000 miles across the waters, eight long, weary weeks on a treacherous sea--eight weeks of watching and waiting, with poor food, poor water, and no help beyond the length and breadth of that small sailing vessel.
In the midst of this soul-trying situation, their son sickened and died. My great-grandparents loved that son just as much as your parents love you, and just as much as you love your children; and when his eyes were closed in death, their hearts were torn asunder. To add to their grief, the law of the sea must be obeyed. Wrapped in a canvas weighed down with iron, his body was consigned to a watery grave. As they sailed away, only those parents knew the crushing blow dealt to wounded hearts." (Ensign, May 1997. p. 33. Thomas S. Monsen)
Once they got to America, Christian must have had a change of heart. Fredricka, Julia's daughter, (my grandmother) said the devil must have got the best of him, because he refused to travel to Utah with Julia, and deserted the family when she was adamant about crossing the plains with the rest of the Latter-day Saints. Julia was not well, being seven months pregnant, and was forced to assume the entire care of her other two small children. Her faith was too great to allow her to renounce her testimony, and she forged ahead despite the difficulties she encountered.
She was the only one of her family to ever join the church. She left her parents, her brothers, and finally her husband for the sake of the gospel. She wrote letters to her family in Denmark, hoping they would soften in their attitude toward her, but they never did, and it was a great sadness to her. Once she set her hand to the plow, she never looked back.
Fredricka said her mother had worked in a store before her marriage and was known for being strictly honest. She was always a hard worker and remained a faithful Latter-day Saint all of her life. The Danish people love their coffee and the pot was never cold in Julia's home. About 1883 she heard someone preach against coffee, and she never drank it again. She was a strong, resolute woman.

4.4 Life in Utah and Marriage to Carl Honeck
We can only imagine the hardships and trials she suffered while crossing the plains, but the family finally arrived in Salt Lake City in 1860 where her 4th child, Andrew, was born. She married Carl Fredrick Honeck (pronounced Hone-ick) about 1868, but it was not a happy marriage. Carl, who was born in Austria, was twenty years older than Julia, and had a harsh, domineering personality. Fredricka said her father was so cruel to his stepsons that the two older boys ran away from home at ages 11 and 13.
There were three children born to this union, Fredricka, Charlie and Alma. The family lived in Salt Lake City for several years, struggling to make a living and to survive the prevailing sicknesses of the day. They contracted diphtheria and scarlet fever and the baby, Alma, who was just 2 years old, died. Death and sorrow were familiar companions of the early pioneers.

4.5 Move to Kamas
In 1875 Carl decided to go to Kamas, a settlement about 50 miles east of Salt Lake City, and homestead some land. Later he sent word for Julia to join him there. Once again she set out on a journey on her own with three young children to travel to a new home. Andrew, who was 8 years old, led the cow; Fredricka, 6, carried the milk pail, while 3-year-old Charlie rode on the cow most of the way. Fredricka said she got so tired of walking all day! They had little food to sustain them and it seemed like they would all die for sure before they ever reached their destination. The cow soon dried up and Fredricka remembered begging milk from settlers along the way. Sometimes there was a nice piece of butter at the bottom of the milk pail, and nothing ever tasted so good.
When they finally arrived in Kamas the neighbors were very good to them. Fredricka was utterly exhausted and later said, "I fell into a lady's arms; she laid me on a bed and I slept for hours."
They planted about thirty of their eighty acres into grain and Fredricka and her mother helped cut it with a scythe and bind and thresh it by hand. When he was only nine years old, Andrew was put out to work for a farmer, who demanded that he labor long hours and did not feed him very well. He ran away to Salt Lake City and Julia did not see nor hear from him for many years. Another great sadness in her life.

4.6 More Hardships
After a few years in Kamas, Carl and Julia separated. He went back to Salt Lake City, and she stayed in Kamas on the farm, claiming half of the property. She had to go to the law to actually keep her share, and it was very unusual for a woman to be awarded any property at all! An older son then returned home to support and care for his mother. Julia died at the age of 63 in Kamas, Utah.
My great grandmother did not have an easy life. She suffered much for the sake of the gospel. She was willing to give her all to follow the promptings of the Spirit of the Lord. She turned her back on her family and friends in Denmark, never to see nor hear from them again. She lost two children in infancy, endured two unhappy marriages, suffered privations, poverty, and untold sorrows that we can only imagine. It must have broken her heart when her three sons left home to fend for themselves because their stepfather was so cruel and harsh with them. Through it all she remained faithful, cheerful, and resolute in her determination to serve the Lord. She is a great example of one who truly showed faith in every footstep.
Written by Stella Norman, a great-granddaughter

4.7 Children of Juliane Nielsine Hansen Honeck
Juliane Nielsine Hansen Mathisen Honeck had seven children.
4.7.1 Niels Christian
Hans Christian 11 Feb 1858
Christian Nielsen 19 Nov 1860
Anders Nielsen 9 Jan 1864
Andrew Nielsen 4 Feb 1867
4.7.2 Karl Fredrick Honeck
*Fredricka 26 Aug 1869
Carl Fredrick 30 Nov 1872
Alma 13 Oct 1874

5 Charlotte and Abraham -Those Were the "Days"
5.1 Abraham Day
"Men have won fame, fortune, honor and great power in the affairs of mankind. Great statesmen, generals, pioneers and others have risen to renown, but the great majority of our heroes that have made history, remain in obscurity, not for want of advertising by way of historians and biographers, but mainly for their desire to remain in the background. Such a man was Abraham Day, pioneer, colonizer and father." (Deseret News June 16, 1934)
The family name of Day is derived from the river Dee in Wales. Somewhere along the banks of this river there lived a family who acquired the name of Dee in honor of this stream and their associations with it. The custom of taking a surname from a body of water, an island, a beach, or a river was not unusual in the old countries. The Dee family later migrated to England and in course of time the name was changed to Day.
In 1634 Robert Day, Abraham's 4th great grandfather, came to the New World and settled at Hartford, Connecticut. He was one of our country's founding fathers, a strong and courageous pioneer.
Abraham was born 24 September 1817 in Winhall, Windham County, Vermont, the youngest of six children of Abraham Sr. and Hannah Sawyer. His father died when he was not yet two years old. Hannah soon remarried and Abraham's step-father apprenticed him to a blacksmith when he was about fourteen years of age. The blacksmith agreed to give him so much schooling and clothing and food each year for seven years. Papers of apprenticeship at that time were legal documents, but most of the masters used the whip frequently and treated the apprentice like a slave. Abraham's master was no different than most, perhaps even worse. Abraham said he was very cruel, refusing to let him attend school regularly, took no interest in teaching him the trade and furnished clothing of the poorest quality. When he was sixteen he ran away and from then on made his own way in the world.
He traveled to western New York and the next record we have of him is in 1838 when he was twenty-one. He had grown to be six feet tall, with a robust complexion, gray eyes and a beard. He had a strong character and great self-control.
When but a young man he developed a headache which grew steadily worse. He was fond of tea and the lady of the house told him his headache would be cured if he would stop drinking tea. He
quit at once and his headache gradually improved as the effects of the tea wore off. Another time he was partying and drinking with some friends when he became involved in a brawl. One fellow was quite seriously injured and Abraham decided liquor was not for him. He never took a drink after that.
He worked a great deal in the timber and became an expert axman. In later years he told his family he had never been bested in a contest at chopping. It was the custom in the vicinity where he worked to hold "chopping bees" and all the young men around took part. He could beat them all by using the best ax available and keeping it razor sharp. He could chop a large log in two faster than anyone else and soon became the man to beat. But no one ever succeeded.

5.2 Abraham Meets Elmira Buckley
He met a beautiful young lady, Elmira Buckley, in New York, courted and married her in June of 1838. Her parents, Noah and Ann Buckley, were Mormons. We do not have the details of Abraham's conversion, but one record says he was baptized in September 1838. Eighteen-year-old Elmira was born in Rutland Village, Catherine Township, New York. Rutland was near Harmony where Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon.
Abraham and Elmira soon moved to Berry, Pike County, Illinois, where their first child was born. He was blessed and named Joseph Smith Day by Hyrum Smith. The young couple, no doubt, enjoyed some years of great contentment and happiness, but that didn't last long.
Their next three children, all girls, died in infancy. We can only imagine the grief and sorrow they suffered as one after another of their darlings sickened and died. They moved to Montrose, Iowa, on the Mississippi, where their fifth child, a little girl, was born in April of 1846. While living in Montrose, Abraham became very ill with chills and fever and lay for three days in a coma and many gave him up for dead. But he recovered, being one of those who was healed on that blessed Sunday when the Prophet Joseph arose from a sick bed and went up and down the Mississippi.
Abraham and Elmira knew from personal experience the power of the priesthood and had an abiding testimony that Joseph Smith was indeed a mighty prophet of God. In fact Abraham was closely associated with the prophet and was a member of the Nauvoo Legion Band. On one occasion he was in a group who accompanied the prophet to visit some Indians who had heard of Joseph and the Book of Mormon and had traveled a long distance to see the book. He heard Joseph preach to them in their own language. One old man, Chief Wolf, said that his grandfather had promised him that he would live to see a book that told of his forefathers. He testified that he knew the Book of Mormon was the promised book and now he was ready to die.
The Days grieved along with the rest of the Saints when Joseph and Hyrum were so brutally murdered, but their faith never faltered. They readily accepted Brigham and the Twelve as the leaders of the church. Abraham received his endowments in the Nauvoo Temple and was ordained to the Quorum of the Seventies.

5.3 Mormon Battalion
When the Saints were driven from Nauvoo and began their westward trek in 1846, Abraham and family joined them and Abraham was made a captain over one division. They were on the plains of Iowa when the United States government issued the call for a battalion of men to fight Mexico. Abraham had suffered the terrible persecutions and shameful injustices heaped on the Mormons and like the rest of the members, was quite bitter about the way they had been treated. The United States had allowed them to be robbed of their homes, beaten, scourged, hunted, betrayed; and their beloved leaders murdered with the sanction of its officers. The United States had turned a deaf ear to their pleadings for protection as American citizens, had allowed them to suffer untold hardships and driven to the plains of Iowa in the bitter cold of winter with very little food and clothing. The refugees huddled beneath the weather-beaten wagon covers like sheep in a blizzard, to meet the miracles of birth and the anguish of death as best they could. No one cared to hear their cries of distress. No one came to rescue them. Yet when America was at war, President Polk did not hesitate to demand the help of the outcasts.
As Peter of old, Abraham had a rather impulsive nature, and when he heard the call, he exclaimed, "Here is one man who will not go, damn 'em. I would see James K. Polk popping thunder in Hell for two cents a clap before I would join any of his battles or help in any way at all."
However, the next day after Brigham Young talked to the brethren, he was among the first to volunteer along with his wife's brother, Newman Buckley. The Battalion was mustered into service on July 16, 1846, and shortly Abraham had to leave his family to serve his country. It was not an easy thing to do. The family's home was a covered wagon with few provisions. Besides Elmira, there was eight-year-old Joseph, Jannette (a mere babe about a year old) and Elmira's elderly parents. Her father was handicapped by the loss of most of his right arm. But their faith sustained them as Brigham Young promised they would be cared for, so Abraham marched off leaving them in the hands of the Lord.
When so many of the young, strong men left the Saints, it greatly weakened the company, leaving the burdens of the perilous journey to those least able to bear them. Thus, Brigham wisely decided to postpone the trip until the following spring, settling at the spot they called Winter Quarters, where they might rest and gather strength for the strenuous days ahead. Abraham's family remained with the camp and shared the hardships of that memorable winter in the spirit of gratitude for their blessings.
There was poverty, sickness, births and deaths, but they gave thanks for the peace and security that had been denied them for so many years. It was a desolate spot and the Lord continued to chasten and test them against the day of further tribulation as they prepared for the exodus to the promised land.
The men in the Battalion endured their share of suffering and privation, also. they were ill-prepared to undertake the fearful task of literally carving their way across a continent. They had been on the battle line of self-defense for years, often with little food, and were further weakened by cold and anxiety. Hence, their vitality was at a low ebb. However, there was little complaining among them as they knew they were obeying the call of their prophet. Most of the men, including Abraham, showed remarkable mettle and courage under the most desperate circumstances.
Early in their march they ran out of flour and got none for two days. A Missourian then brought in a supply, but refused to deliver it to the quartermaster because he was a Mormon. He vowed he would deliver it to none but Colonel Cook, himself, who was the commanding officer. When the Colonel heard of it he ordered the man to deliver it to the quartermaster upon pain of being put under guard.
They passed many Missouri mobbers who said they were sorry that they had driven their Mormon neighbors out and wished they had them back. They had supposed the Mormons would refuse to enlist and were surprised to see them marching through Missouri in good order.
When the members of the Battalion drew their pay, most of it was sent back to help support their families. The paymaster expressed astonishment that all of the Mormon enlistee's could sign their names. Only one third of the men in the Missouri companies had been able to sign their own names.
President Young had promised them that if they obeyed orders and kept the commandments of God, none of them would be killed in battle. In fact he promised them they would never have to fight a battle with other men, only with beasts.
Abraham was appointed to be one of the scouts and it was his duty to select the trail for his comrades to follow, finding the best camping spots for feed and water. Their course led them out into the broad prairies which were swarming with wild cattle. At one point they did indeed have to fight beasts, which became known as the Battle of the Bulls. The ferocious animals attacked the approaching column of marchers, upsetting some wagons in their mad fury against the invaders. These animals were hard to kill which made them extra dangerous. At times even after a ball had pierced the beast's heart it would rise up and rush forward as though in defiance of death itself.
One animal rushed for a soldier standing near Colonel Cook and he fired three shots into its brain before it fell at his feet. Another bull was shot six times through various parts of its body before the last bullet pierced its brain and brought it down.
Abraham and Newman were in the path of the wild flight of the bulls and were fortunate to find a deep wash in which they took refuge. As the enraged animals leaped over them they both fired with telling accuracy and into the pit rolled a choice fat beef. This and other daring feats provided the camp with badly needed meat, which they dried for future use after eating their fill.
As they advanced, the wild game they depended on for food became so scarce they were forced to kill and eat one of their mules. Later on they ate an old black crow and even a savory skunk. At last they cut strips of rawhide from their saddles and boiled them for soup with a little party-decayed corn they found in a deserted Indian village.
They marched 25 miles from the Arkansas river to santa Fe across a desert and suffered much for water. Finally they came to a pond filled with wrigglers and insects, but were so thirsty they drank it with relish. At Santa Fe and other small Mexican villages, Colonel Cook and his officers did everything they could to get supplies and equipment for the journey, but got little more than half of what they needed. Many times they had to dig in the sand for water, but it was of a poor quality and caused distress for both men and beasts. One night they marched until 9 PM because they found no feed for their animals and were on the march again at 4 AM.
Once Abraham located a small pool of water and the poor mules rushed pell mell to its banks for they, too, were dying of thirst. The supply was limited and if the animals were allowed to drink, the men must surely perish. What to do? Abraham quickly decided, and bayoneted those poor dumb beasts of burden in order to save his comrades.
The water was muddied from their hooves, but it soon renewed and saved the lives of the soldiers. Abraham was immediately arrested by his superior officer for this "act of cruelty and destruction of United States Army property," and ordered to report to Colonel Cook. Fortunately, this good leader recognized the motive and necessity for his action. He not only acquitted Abraham, but praised his good judgement and prompt action.
Abraham possessed a vigorous constitution and a firm will which aided him in times of distress and carried him through to safety. His ability to endure the torture of thirst longer than any other man in the detachment and his power to withstand fatigue won for him the name of "Abraham the Strong."
Sometimes their route wound through deep, burning sands. The weak, half-starved animals could not pull the heavily loaded wagons through and the men were obliged to assist them. Pushing, pulling, digging, and lifting for days at a time would have been a terrible ordeal for robust, well-fed teams and fresh young troupes, but it is nothing short of a miracle that these tired, hungry men and beasts could hold out against such heavy odds.
Dr. Sanderson, the company doctor, was not well accepted by the men. His cure-all was calomel and arsenic, which he gave in very large doses. Many men felt that they were made worse by taking it and some even died. Abraham's teeth came loose and several dropped out in later years. He was sure the calomel was responsible. The men would often march when they should have been in sick bay, but would go to great lengths to avoid Dr. Sanderson. They used herbs and Priesthood blessings to treat their illnesses. However, the doctor became aware that the men were throwing away his powders, and threatened with an oath to slit the throat of any man who refused to follow his orders or tried to treat another with anything other than the "cure" he proscribed.
Through lack of provisions, lack of water, hard travel, bad medicine and not enough to eat, they had a sorry and sickly time of it. Abraham tells of one day when they marched for hours without water, and the guide reported no water until about noon the next day, so they continued to travel all night. Abraham said, "About 10 AM I heard someone shout, `Heave on her,' and I heard a mule splashing in the mud. I rushed up with my canteen to see if I could get water. When I arrived the mule was out, and after waiting a short time, I pressed my canteen down into the mud then put it to my mouth, but there was no water in it. I waited a short time and pressed the canteen again into the mud, when I heard the water gurgling in. I put it to my lips and tried to suck the water through my teeth, but it was too thick, so I opened my mouth and gulped it down, mud and all. I then waited, filled my canteen with water, drew my flour ration for the next day and mixed and baked my bread. When daylight came I saw my bread was more like adobe than bread." Some of the weaker men did not get in until the next morning and the Battalion had been without water for about 48 hours.
Abraham endured those terrible trials with little sickness. His comrades reported he was always optimistic and cheerful and could infuse his dejected comrades with new heart when they were on the verge of collapse and despair. Many times after a long hard march with little or no water, Abraham was one of the first to reach the next water. After quenching his own thirst, he and a few others would load canteens of water on their mules and ride back to help the others in, many of whom would never have made it to camp without the help.
At Santa Fe Abraham bought a small pack mule as did his traveling companion, Newman Buckley. They became very attached to those mules which they led all the way to California and most of the way back.
On one occasion when they were camped at the Gila river, about 2000 Pima Indians came to visit them. The sight of so many Indians was enough to strike fear into the hearts of the soldiers, but they turned out to be friendly as well as honest. The hungry soldiers bought some food from them, paying with small trinkets, worn clothing and buttons. To these men, traveling on less than half rations, it was a great boon. Abraham said they were hungry enough to eat all of a worn out mule but its bray!
One day Abraham received as his share of a slaughtered animal a piece of its entrails. He carefully cleaned it and was holding it up to see if he had missed anything, when a hungry comrade passing by, took hold of the lower end and hacked it off close to Abraham's hand. Another soldier nearby commented, "That's pretty tough."
Abraham shrugged, "Oh well, maybe he needs it worse than I do."
One morning Abraham was sent ahead with a detail to dig wells for the coming command.
They had learned to use willow baskets in the well to keep the sand from running in and filling it up faster than they could dig. About noon Abraham was down in the well dipping up water, which was hoisted with ropes and poured into vessels for the coming men and animals. Suddenly he heard a commotion and asked what was the matter.
"Some of the officers have arrived and are letting their mules drink."
Abraham did not hesitate, being ever fearless in defending the right. "Draw me up out of here," he demanded. They did and he entered into a sharp argument, insisting the mules not be allowed to drink before the men. The officers were threatening him with court marshall when Colonel Cook arrived, and asked what the problem was. Abraham saluted and answered, "These men are letting their animals drink, and I think the men should be served first."
"Present bayonets and keep the animals back," was all the Colonel said, and his command was quickly and roughly obeyed.

Across the sandy deserts the nights were cold and the days warm, so they experienced winter and summer almost every 24 hours. Some nights, Abraham said, the wind blew nearly a hurricane, and wolves could be heard howling around for miles. Some got close enough that the guards could
see them open their mouths and howl, but the wind was so strong it carried the sound away.
On January 18, 1847, the men were eating their last four ounces of flour. Their sugar and coffee was long since gone. That evening the men staggered into camp on the verge of exhaustion, starvation and thirst. The next morning messengers arrived bringing most joyous news. The scouts sent ahead had reached San Diego and the governor was sending supplies and preparing to welcome them.
On January 21 they saw their first house in California, and they bought two fat beefs from Mr. Warner, the owner. Do you suppose any meat ever tasted better to anyone anywhere? On January 27 they got their first sight of the mighty Pacific Ocean. It filled their pioneer souls with joy for that was the ending place of their hazardous journey.

"Where are my loved ones?" was the question in Abraham's heart. The answer came, "They are in the tender care of our loving Father in Heaven," and he went on his way rejoicing.
Colonel Cook had high praise for the men of the Battalion, and congratulated them warmly. "History may be searched in vain for an equal march of infantry. Marching half naked and half fed, we have discovered and made a road of great value to our country. And this you have done willingly and with little complaints." After a few months in California, the Battalion petitioned Colonel Cook and General Kearney, the commanding officer there, to disband them and let them return to their families, on the grounds that the war in California was over. For some reason the under officers never presented the petition to Cook and Kearney.

The Battalion protected the ranchers and other Californians from the Indians. Colonel Mason of Kearney's 1st dragoon said the Battalion was the best in the manual of arms of any volunteers he had ever seen.

Finally on May 4th, 1847, Colonel Cook said he would disband the Battalion if they would agree to re-enlist for five years as U.S. Dragoons. Few of them were willing to do that. They were given permission to take jobs that would not interfere with their duties as soldiers and Abraham availed himself of that opportunity, earning a little money. They celebrated July 4th and General Kearney praised them as patriotic and obedient soldiers, promising to speak well of them to the President and Congress. A strong effort was made to get the men to re-enlist for another year. Even the citizens begged them to remain, because they were of so much use in building up the country.

Most of the people living in the vicinity where the Battalion labored were evil and corrupt, along with the U.S. soldiers. Many were infected with venereal disease, yet, of over seventy soldiers who were treated by the hospital surgeon for that malady, only one was a Mormon. He had become infected while drunk. The surgeon said that the Mormon Battalion, for virtue, was without parallel among soldiers.
They were finally discharged July 16, and enough men re-enlisted to make up one company. Neither Abraham Day nor Newman Buckley were among them. They were anxious to rejoin their families and the other Saints and quickly started their journey north. They reached Sutter's Fort August 26, where they remained to work for a few days, then pressed on eastward. They met Sam Brannan returning from the Slat Lake Valley and learned that a group of Saints had reached the valley and were settling in. He tried to persuade them to return to California because he was sure that Brigham Young was wrong in trying to locate in Utah and would soon decide to move on to California. His arguments fell on deaf ears for the most part. They completed the journey to Salt lake City without too much difficulty and arrived there October 16, 1847.

They rested for a few days and then set out on the perilous trip to Winter Quarters where their loved ones were anxiously awaiting them. Many considered them foolhardy indeed to risk traveling so far in the face of approaching winter. However, they refused to wait for several more months to see their loved ones and set out with high hopes and a prayer in their hearts. They did encounter many life-threatening situations on the journey. The wild game on which they depended for food became very scarce as they advanced. They were forced to kill and eat one of their mules to stave off starvation. They also suffered much from the cold.

When they were a little way out from Salt Lake City, one of the men proposed that all the flour be equally divided among them. This was done and not long after, the same man, who had eaten all of his portion, proposed another equal division. The men were upset, but could not let a comrade starve to death, so again divided up what flour they had. Soon afterward he made the same proposal and for the third time those good men shared their flour. Abraham was always astounded at how selfish and greedy some can be whenever he recounted this story. He was saddened when he lost his little mule on the trip and supposed it had been killed for food. He mourned its loss as it was more like a trusted friend than a dumb animal.

It is not clear just when they reached Winter Quarters. One account gives it as December of 1847, while another says it was the following February. We can be sure there was great rejoicing when the weary travelers returned to their families at long last.

Abraham found his family had fared quite well in his absence. They were living in a covered wagon when he had left with the Battalion. That and a yoke of oxen were their only possessions. A kind-hearted man offered them the use of his cabin for the winter, which Elmira gladly accepted, although it was a rude dwelling with no floor in it. She then invited her sister-in-law, (Newman's wife), to share it with her.

Those two courageous women soon secured enough rough lumber for a floor and installed it themselves. They made the rustic shelter into a home, where they kept the fires of devotion burning, doing their best to face their trying circumstances with patience and hope for better days to come.
Elmira was a trained nurse and her services among the sick were eagerly sought. She cheerfully ministered to their needs with love and sympathy. No one had money or an abundance of goods, but they repaid Elmira for her great service in any way they could. One man was especially grateful to her. She had nursed his sick son through a long illness and brought him back to health and strength. The grateful father often brought her a choice fat rabbit or some flour or dry kindling, as well as many other things that added to her comfort.

When Abraham and Newman arrived they found a fine, fresh pork hanging on the corner of their cabin, no doubt a gift from the same man. What a thrill it must have brought to those travel-worn, starving wanderers as they dismounted, to behold such an object of plenty. To see again the semblance of a home and find their dear ones safe and well and realize they could find rest and comfort was an overwhelming joy.

Abraham found there were several additions to his family. Little Ezra Jonas, who was born 11 February 1846 on the Iowa Plains, Abraham's brother, Eli, who had joined them in his absence, and a young girl who had joined the church in England at age 14 and emigrated to America with a small company of Saints. She needed a home and Elmira took her in and treated her as one of the family. Her name was Charlotte Katherine Broomhead (Melland).

Charlotte was born December 25, 1833 in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, England. Her mother, Ann Broomhead, was born in Wingerwirth, Derbyshire, England, October 10, 1815. Ann was engaged to Squire Stephen Melland who seduced her. Shortly before Charlotte was born he was suddenly called away to his father's deathbed and did not get back before the child was born so, naturally, Ann refused to marry him.
The baby was christened Charlotte Katherine Broomhead. She lived for five years with her mother, who had married Robert Spooner. She then lived for three years with her father, Squire Melland, where she had a special nurse and many luxuries, as the Squire was quite wealthy. She fondly remembered drinking goat's milk and riding in a beautiful carriage. Melland wanted to keep and raise her as his child but Spooner made Ann take her away from him.
Charlotte then lived three years again with her mother and her step-father. Spooner was very harsh with her until Melland swore he would shoot him if he ever whipped her again. He wrote Spooner to that effect.
Then Charlotte lived for two years with her uncle William Broomhead. During that time her uncle's family heard the gospel preached by Cyrus H. Wheelock and all embraced the gospel. When she was 13 years old, Charlotte visited her mother to bid her goodbye and then returned to her uncle's family. She embarked with them in the Wheelock company for Utah. They were nine weeks on the ocean, during which time they were blown back twice. they landed in New Orleans and took the steamer to St. Louis from there.
In 1847 Charlotte went west to where the Saints were located who had been driven out of Nauvoo and Illinois. Here she met and worked with Elmira Day whose husband was away in the Mormon Battalion.

Abraham must have been surprised to find Charlotte in his household, but he was happy to share the meager comforts and protection of his own family. Those were days of sore distress and poverty. In order to survive they all helped each other and shared whatever they had, whether it be food, shelter, or love and concern.
The family remained in Winter Quarters for about three years, preparing for the long delayed trip to Zion. Abraham and his brother, Eli, toiled constantly building wagons, earning wherewithal to buy cows and other numerous necessities needed for the long and tedious pioneer trek. Eli and Abraham had three wagons between them, a yoke of oxen and two yoke of cows. The cows provided milk, as well as helped pull the wagons. The women and children slept in the wagons and the men slept on the ground as they traveled.

The company was an independent company, meaning they migrated without church aid. Abraham was appointed a captain of fifty and since he was a great walker, he often scouted ahead of the company on foot searching for water and desirable camping spots with feed for their cattle.
They had many adventures along the trail, some of them life-threatening. One day on a scouting trip Abraham was about five miles from the wagon train, when he suddenly discovered he was surrounded by a pack of wolves. He knew if they attacked him, he wouldn't have a chance. The situation was desperate. He rushed toward the pack in the direction of the wagon train, swinging his hat and shouting to the top of his lungs. Fortunately, the wolves became confused and frightened, allowing him to pass between them and return safely to camp.

Another time he was on a hunt killing buffalo and other game to provide meat for the
company. Suddenly he and his companion, a Mr. Hunt, came upon a huge grizzly bear. Mr. Hunt was eager to kill the monster, but it ran into a clump of willows. He wanted to go in after it, but
Abraham was not in favor of that. He knew how dangerous an enraged grizzly could be and just
wanted to get out of there, not taking any chances. Mr. Hunt insisted on going into the willows and told Abraham to wait while he went in and chased the bear out. Abraham finally agreed to that, so Hunt went in. He soon ran out with the angry beast charging after him.
Abraham raised his gun, knowing he had better kill the animal with the first shot or he would be a dead man. The grizzly raised up on its hind legs with its huge claws extended and its slavering mouth open and growling for the kill. Evidently the steady pose of the unflinching man was too much for the bear because it suddenly dropped on all fours and lumbered off and disappeared. Hunt was upset that he didn't "get his bear," but Abraham was glad to be rid of the ferocious animal and thankful to be alive and in one piece.

They were not bothered by Indians but had some trouble with large herds of buffalo. Some of these immense herds numbered in the thousands. If the pioneers saw them coming soon enough, the train would form a circle with the wagon tongues inside, thus making a very strong corral, almost a fortress. The yoked cattle were chained to the wagons to keep them from stampeding. However, at times the buffalo seemed to appear out of nowhere and the frightened people would stand almost helpless in the path of the stampeding horde.
It was the supreme test of a man's courage to attempt to turn that avalanche of destruction from its course, but it must be done if the company were to escape complete annihilation. Abraham had passed through that harrowing experience before and knew how to use his musket to best advantage. He was the first to send bullets into the shaggy beasts to turn them in the opposite direction. One day for six long hours the beasts raced past the terror-stricken camp, making it impossible for them to proceed on their way until the horde vanished.
Abraham had hired an Irishman to drive one of the wagons, but had to discharge him on South Fork because of whiskey drinking and un-gentlemanly conduct, especially toward Charlotte. She complained to Abraham, offering to drive the team herself if the Irishman was dismissed. From then on she drove the wagon most of the time.
One day Charlotte wandered ahead of the train picking flowers along the side of the road. She had picked all she wanted and sat down on a rock to arrange them. Suddenly a large fine looking Indian rode up on a horse and said, "How, how."
"How," she answered.
"Are you lost?" he asked in broken English.
"Are you heap scared?"
"No," she answered, although she could hardly keep from fainting with fright.
He evidently saw her fright and laughed. "Where wagons?" he asked.
"Just a little way back."
To Charlotte's great relief, he again laughed and rode away with a single head feather dancing in the breeze.

The milk from the cows was used by the family and shared with others who had none. What was left was put into a large cedar churn and tied to the side of the wagon in the mornings. By noon they had butter to eat!

Although the journey was long and arduous, it was much easier than when the first pioneers passed that way four years earlier. The road had been much improved, bridges and ferries built and rocks and other obstacles cleared away. When the weary travelers finally neared the end of their journey they paused to admire the gorgeous fall foliage of Echo Canyon. They thanked God that they had arrived safely and they proceeded into the basin of the Great Salt Lake. To Abraham it was a familiar sight, but his family gazed in awe at the vast wilderness surrounded by towering mountain peaks guarding the lovely valleys. They had suffered much in the past without murmuring, but now felt they had reached a place of refuge at last, and their hearts swelled with joy.
Much had been accomplished in the Salt Lake Valley since Abraham had passed through three years earlier. From a dry forbidding desert it had been transformed into the beginnings of a mighty empire. Crystal streams ran through ditches and canals carrying life-giving water to the gardens and fields. Beautiful homes, trees and orchards were proof that the wilderness was indeed beginning to blossom as the rose.

Abraham and Elmira believed all of the principles of the restored gospel as taught by their leaders and with Elmira's consent, he took Charlotte Katherine Broomhead (Melland) as his 2nd wife, November 20, 1851. They were married in Brigham's office. We can only guess how the romance developed. We do know that Charlotte was an attractive young woman and very grateful to the family for taking her in when she needed a home. She was helpful and cheerful and Elmira as well as Abraham, learned to love her as their own. It is not surprising that the desire grew to make her a permanent part of the family. Surely Charlotte reciprocated that love in full measure. (The following was written by my dad, Charlotte's grandson: When Charlotte was almost 19 years old, Elmira said to her, "I want you to marry Abraham as his second wife. Charlotte was shocked. "Why, I've thought of him more as a father than a husband." But Elmira persisted, "We've cared for you all these years, and if you won't marry him, I think you had better find another place to stay.")
Abraham provided a home for his families and began work at odd jobs, which were plentiful in the expanding city. Houses, stores, barns and all kinds of buildings were needed. Abraham had only attended school for a few months, but he was practical and creative and developed skills which proved to be very useful.

In the spring of 1852, Brigham Young, the great colonizer, sent several families about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City to settle what we know as Springville, and Abraham was among those called. The family willingly pulled up stakes and began anew to build homes and forge out a living in new country. Abraham found a fertile field to use his considerable abilities to make a living for his families and to help the other settlers. During the nine years they lived in Springville, he became almost indispensable to the people, for his mechanical skills were sorely needed.
When the city incorporated, he was chosen as the first mayor and served in that capacity until 1860. He built the first gristmill, the first three threshing machines, a saw mill and a molasses mill in that part of the country. His courage was legendary, whether dealing with a drunken man threatening violence or working in the timber in Hobble Creek Canyon.

One of his timber ventures was to get logs from the top of a very steep mountain and then slide them down the side of the mountain. At the end of the day he would cut a bushy limb from a tree, get on it and slide down the mountain himself, going at a speed that put terror into the hearts of less venturesome men. He left his impression on Hobble Creek for one of its branches is named "Day's Canyon."
On one occasion a drunken man was terrorizing the town, threatening to shoot any who tried to oppose him. Finally the mayor was sent for and, when he walked into the crowd, he stepped up to the trouble-maker and said, "Here, come with me." The man submitted without any resistance, even though Abraham had no gun or weapon of any kind.

Eleven children were born in Springville, five to Elmira and six to Charlotte. Although the family prospered in Springville, Abraham was infused with the pioneer spirit and perhaps a little wanderlust. Late in 1859 he took a trip to Sanpete County with one of his sons and decided to move to Mt. Pleasant. He bought an adobe house from Nathan Staker, which had two rooms, a rough board floor and a dirt roof. It was located on the bank of a stream called Pleasant Creek. His son, Eli, my grandfather, said it was a magnificent place for catching fish, the best trout stream he ever saw. It was also lined with trees and wild berry bushes. Early in 1860 Abraham moved Charlotte and her children, plus his oldest son, Joseph, to Mt. Pleasant. But Nathan Staker was not yet ready to move into the new house he was building for his family, so both families (of 15 or 16 people) lived in two small rooms until Nathan finished his new log house. Later in the year Abraham moved Elmira and her children into an adobe house a few blocks away.

Abraham then began engaging himself much as he had in Springville. He built the first threshing machine in Mt. Pleasant. It was a unique creation called a "Chaffpiler." It separated the wheat and chaff in one pile from the straw. Then he contrived a rig to separate the grain from the chaff. Prior to that the grain had been threshed by hand-flail, or tramped out by horse or oxen. The farmers hauled away the straw they desired to use, but large stacks were left on the ground stretching up and down the bank of the creek.
This first threshing machine was stationary, being powered by the water in the creek, via a large water wheel, so the farmers had to bring the grain to the "Chaffpiler" to be threshed. Eli told how the boys in the town loved to frolic in the stacks of straw: "Say, we boys of the town had glorious times playing in and around those stacks, digging deep holes in them and tunneling into and through them. Talk about fun! It was glorious sport! Then we would get into the big water wheel after the threshing was done and the water turned off. Some of us would climb up the side, inside the wheel and set it to revolving. Others clung to the big center log and the buckets on the circle of the wheel. Thus we were carried up, over and down again. Our bodies were first perpendicular, then horizontal. Our heads were down as we were carried over the top and down again! Fun! Oh boy! Fun! Fun!"

Later, Abraham made it so that the machine could be run by horse power and it could be moved to the farmer's grain stacks. Still later, he built a "fanning mill" inside the thresher so that the grain and chaff went through it and were separated by the same power that did the threshing. He built one of the first flour mills in Mt. Pleasant. For all of these projects he had no plans drawn out for him, no detailed instructions , no help from an outside source, nor any modern tools. He used just his own common sense and ingenuity to guide him as he figured out what was needed and then went to work and built it.

During these years he farmed a five-acre piece of land one block west of Elmira's home. It was rich bottom land and after he cleared it, he was able to raise very good crops. In the winter he worked much in the canyons, for the town was expanding and lumber was needed to build houses. One winter he was camped alone for part of the time in a cabin near a sawmill. After a trip home he returned to the cabin to find a wolverine had come down the chimney and did some damage to the equipment left there. He fashioned a large trap, set it in the fireplace and caught Mr. Wolverine. He gave the hide to Charlotte for a mat for her babes to sit on and it served the purpose very well for a number of years. Eli testified that it was a very splendid and beautiful mat.

Abraham served as mayor of Mt. Pleasant for several years, as well as prosecuting attorney, although he had made no special study of law. A man by the name of Jesse Jenson was accused of attacking another man with a pitchfork. When he was arrested he went to Abraham and asked him to defend him, as there were no professional lawyers in town. Abraham took the case with the promise that Jenson would tell the truth in court (very unprofessional) and Abraham would try to get him a light sentence. And that is what happened.

Abraham had some rather primitive tools with which he did considerable surveying. When the county was being surveyed by the government, a Mr. Ferron hired Abraham to assist him. The job paid good cash money and Abraham was a hard worker and learned quickly. He once surveyed a canal that went over a small ridge. Mormons had the reputation of being able to make water run uphill, but this time they refused to build the canal because they declared water would not and could not run uphill. Abraham told them if the ditch did not carry the water he would survey it over and build them a new one himself. With this promise they completed it, and to their surprise, the water followed the canal over the ridge. (It really did look as though it were running uphill).

The 1860's were hard years for the Day family as well as for most of the other settlers in the area. They started with so little, lost crops to grasshoppers and lost cattle to Indians. They spent so much time fighting the "Black Hawk Indian War" that it was very hard for men with large families to make a decent living. In fact, just keeping food on the table was often a problem. In 1870 things brightened up. The railroad had come to Utah and that improved job opportunities considerably. At age 53 Abraham took up a homestead between Moroni and Sanpitch. He had six sons ranging in age from 13 to 20 and they all pitched in clearing, plowing and fencing the land. They raised some good crops. Though Abraham was not old, the hardships of the Mormon Battalion and the pioneering days had taken a heavy toll on his health and stamina. He was a good overseer, though, and the boys did the heaviest of the work. He believed in keeping regular hours and they never worked on the Sabbath.

In 1872 he moved Charlotte to the farm but her health was fragile. Her son, Eli, wrote this about his mother: " For years Charlotte suffered from terrible spells of cramp colic, or inflammation of the bowels, probably appendicitis. About the 20th of September one of these spells came upon her. It didn't seem to be any more severe than the others, but it lasted longer. She died September 26, 1872. not quite 40 years old." She left eight dependant children, the youngest only nine months old. Elmira took them in and mothered them as her own. These two pioneer women, Elmira and Charlotte, seemed to have had the ability to share their husband without the jealousy or problems that plagued so many of the polygamous families.

Eli further wrote: "Charlotte worked very hard all of her life, cooking, carding and spinning. In the spring of 1872 she moved into a house where she had a stove to do the cooking on for the first time, having cooked over a fire in a fireplace until then. She was pure and good, chaste and virtuous, honest and truthful, a noble woman who loved God and her fellow men. Charlotte was a beautiful woman, short and heavy set without being fat. She was very strong or she could never have done the heavy labor of those pioneer days. One summer she and her oldest girl, Dora, washed 300 pounds of wool and took it to Manti and had it carded into rolls. (An amazing feat!) Bringing a child into the world a little short of every two years and caring for her flock as well as others was a monumental task. She was interested in schooling and books for her family. I remember she bought us a "Child's History of the U.S." by William Zabriskie, also a history of Joseph Smith, written by his mother. She also taught me long recitations which I gave at school programs."

In her short lifetime Charlotte built a monument of devotion and sacrifice, willingly accepting the joys and sorrows that came with each day. We revere her memory as our grandmother, but owe a great debt of gratitude to her sister wife, Elmira, who so unselfishly loved and cared for Charlotte's children.

The farm Abraham and his sons homesteaded yielded good crops and the family prospered. They lived on the farm in the summer and moved to the house in town during the winter.
Abraham and Elmira continued to operate the farm until 1884, when they sold it and bought a home with a few acres of land in Lawrence, Emery County. Every so often a change of scenery and location seemed to be necessary for Abraham's adventuresome pioneer spirit. Toward the close of his life he and Elmira spent two years working in the Manti Temple, which seemed to bring much joy and contentment to them. He died April 30, 1900 at the age of 83.
Abraham Day was rather slender, with a fair complexion and sandy hair. His blue-gray eyes were penetrating and reflected a resolute spirit, but could be melted to tears when his heart was touched. He had a keen and active mind. He was a loving and devoted husband and father and a tireless worker. He did not care to accumulate money or prosper for the love of possessions or power, but enjoyed the process of stretching his creative capabilities and helping others. His knowledge did not come from books, but from his own efforts and ingenuity. He became one of the most learned men of his day in his field of endeavor and a great benefactor of his fellow human beings in that unique period of Western history. His record as a pioneer, a trail blazer, an explorer and a traveler, crossing the greater part of the United States three times in the space of five years, is a distinction claimed by few other men.
He was blessed with two faithful wives, who were not one whit behind him in devotion, sacrifice, hard work and endurance. Truly these indomitable pioneers set an unexcelled example of showing faith in every footstep.
Written by Stella Day Norman, a great-granddaughter

5.14 Abraham was the father of 26 children.
5.14.1 Elmira
Joseph Smith 7 Sep 1839
Melinda Anna 27 Oct 1840
Harriet Jane 17 Feb 1842
Amelia 4 Aug 1844
Elmira Jennette 7 Apr 1846
Ezra Jonas 11 Feb 1847
Juliette 18 Oct 1848
Alice 22 Feb 1850
Abraham Nelson 14 Feb 1852
Laura Anna 6 Jun 1853
Ira Alfred 14 Feb 1855
Edwin Summers 25 Jan 1857
Ella Geneva 22 Nov 1869
Albert Arlington 27 Aug 1861
5.14.2 Charlotte
Dora Elmira 21 Aug 1852
Albert Damaskus 12 Dec 1853
Herbert Steven 11 May 1855
*Eli Azariah 23 Sep 1856
Benjamin Franklin 10 Dec 1857
Hannah Flavilla 5 Dec 1859
Ephraim Arthur 21 Jan 1862
Harriett Ann 27 Dec 1863
George William 7 Sep 1865
Harry Hazelton Mar 1867
Mary Ellen 10 Aug 1869
Joseph Abraham Oct 1871

6 Photo Gallery of the Day's (not included here)