Albert and Charlotte Bacon

 

By Mirla Bacon Dunn in the History of Bear Lake Pioneers


Albert Bacon, the son of Francis Bacon and Elizabeth Simson, was born on the 18th day of July 1873 in a little town in Utah called Battle Creek, afterwards names Pleasant Grove.  He told his own story:

"Our family left there in the fall arriving in Georgetown sometime in the month of October 1875, where we have made our home ever since.  This was a newly settled country and there were a lot of things to be done. The pioneers were trying various ways of making a living.  The Bacon family was quite large consisting of three girls and seven boys, from the union of two marriages.  Although some passed away early in childhood, there was still a large family of us to be provided for, which kept us all busy doing our part to make a living.

Father owned a small band of sheep and as I grew older we boys used to take our dinner and the sheep and go out to the big ridge north of Georgetown and herd them during the day and bring them back at night.  We also helped with the chores such as milking the cows, feeding the pigs, getting the wood and helping take care of the oxen.  When I was a small boy, I was picking up kindling while my brother Lorenzo, was splitting them.  His ax glanced off the chopping block and cut my first finger off slick and clean.  As there was no doctor around, Father acted as surgeon.  The chewed up a piece of tobacco and put it on my finger.  This healed it but it was always a handicap to me.

As I grew older I was always a lover of outdoor sports.  I like to hunt chickens, ducks and other game.  The river and streams were well stocked with beautiful speckled trout and other kinds of fish.  This helped very much toward having meat on our table.  Deer were also plentiful and I often hunted them.  We had a good baseball team and went to other towns to play ball.  We also had a right up-to-date brass band.  I played a cornet in the band and we had many good time together. We had to make most of our own amusements in Georgetown.  I took part in many dramatic plays.  Because we were mostly Latter-day Saints and our interests were very much the same, we all attended church and Sunday School and tried to keep up the community spirit.

My school days were spent mostly in Georgetown in what is now known as the Relief Society House, situated in the western part of town.  I spent my summers working as a farm hand and a dairy worker for D W Hess and J A Hess, milking cows and doing farm work.  Ed Burgoyne of Montpelier took a contract to build the Ridenbaugh Canal just outside Boise.  D W Hess subcontracted a portion of that job and Father and Mother ran a cook outfit for the camp.  I went with them and worked as a teamster following a scraper about three months from February to May.

My father did quite a lot of contract work in those early days.  He did some for Hyrum Wooley, over on the Little Blackfoot River.  It was known as Wooley's Valley at that time.  I went with him and helped put up hay.  We also hauled saw logs and fence poles for the ranch.  I lived near the Old Oregon Trail and I saw much travel with herds of cattle; long trains of covered wagons, some drawn with oxen, some with mules and some with horses.  They plodded along the dusty rutty roads going over high divided and sidling places.  In some places the axles drug on the high center of the road.  I also saw many bands of Indians traveling through the valley, with ponies dragging their tent poles with one end tied to the sides of their horses.  On these conveyances many squaws and papooses rode and carried their camping outfits, when they were on their way to and from their hunting and fishing grounds.

In the year of 1897 I was called to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I was pretty well posted and had a fair understanding of the gospel and believed it was true as the Church accepted and taught it.  I was glad to honor the mission call and began making preparations. My field of labor was mostly in the state of Arkansas near Fort Smith and Van Buren and in the Boston Mountains.  As the girl of my choice, Charlotte Elnora Smit, called Lottie and I had been keeping company for some time, we decided to get married before I went on my mission.

When I returned home I went to work in Nounan Valley on what was called the Lewis and Gray Ranch for $25.00 a month. They furnished us a house to live in.  We bought some furniture and lived on what we made and even saved a little money.  For some time that summer I was bothered with chills and fever.  In the fall my neighbor Joseph Hebdon, and I bought a hay baler.  We baled hay for the many farmers around the country.  In the late fall we moved back to Georgetown and lived the the front room of my brother Lorenzo's home.  There our first child Ardath was born August 4, 1901.  Our children came along every odd year until we had seven in the family: Elva, Myron, Mirla, Elaine, Eldred and Conrad.

I served with Edwin Pinkey as counselor to Bishop M Bee for some time. When Bishop Bee became sick and passed away, we still carried on until the Ward was reorganized.  Later I was called to act as Bishop.  I was ordained Bishop of the Georgetown ward by Apostle David O McKay on the 21st of September 1930 at the Montpelier Stake house.  When our fiftieth wedding anniversary approached, our children made arrangements for a celebration. This we did in the same room where we held our wedding reception fifty years back.  We all had a wonderful time although I was not feeling well at the time."

Albert Bacon died April 18, 1950 and was laid to rest in the Georgetown Cemetery.
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Albert's wife Charlotte also told her story:

"In the year 1875 April 6, I was born in a small log cabin in the north part of Farmington Utah.  My parents were George Lowery Smit and Mary Jane Terman. They moved from Farmington when I was a baby.  That summer my father worked in what is called Hard Scrabble Canyon about Morgan Utah about 40 miles from Farmington.  When I was six years old in the fall of 1881, my parents loaded all their belongings into a large covered wagon and we left Farmington to go to Georgetown Idaho. My father had been fortunate in finding a bee tree.  He got more than five gallons from the tree and we brought it with us. My parents knew fruit of any kind would be hard to get so they brought seamless sacks of dried peaches and apples with them.

We lived the first three years in the main Georgetown Canyon and my father ran a sawmill. Some of the time he worked in the canyon and made lots of ties for the railroad which was put through the valley the second year we were there.  My mother and father used to sing to us lots of times in the evenings.  My sister Isabelle was eleven and I was nine when we started to attend school.  In those days schools were not free as they are now and there was no law compelling parents to send their children to school. Everyone had to pay tuition or so much a month for each pupil and they also had to buy all their books.  This made it especially hard from people with a large family and small income to send their children to school.

My sisters and I, as soon as we were old enough hired out to tend babies and help what we could with the housework in various homes.  When I was eleven, I stayed with Grandmother Bacon.  She was badly crippled with rheumatism. She was the mother of Mary Black, Hattie and Celestia Hoff.  I stayed with Grandmother Bacon for eight years.

I was married to Albert Bacon on October 28, 1897 in the Logan Temple.  Albert went on a mission on December 5, 1897 and returned March 22, 1900. My mother, Mary Jane Terman, daughter of William Terman and Elizabeth Null was born Sep 21, 1839 at Quincy Pennsylvania.  Her parents joined the LDS Church in 1842 and later moved to Nauvoo.  Her mother died when Mary Jane was a little past four years old.  Her brother, Greg and sister, Elizabeth died the same year.  She then lived with her father's mother.  She was the only child left in her family.  She wasn't raised in the Church but was later converted by Elders Karl G Maeser and Angus M Cannon.

In the year 1860 she was married and to that union one child, Ida May Smyth, was born Nov 15, 1861.  Mother then worked on a large farm to support herself and baby.  I don't know what became of her husband.  In Sep 1871 she came with her father and his family to Utah.  She was married to my father, George L Smit Nov 4, 1872 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City and to that union six children were born.  My sister Isabelle was married when she was just past 17 years old on Jan 1, 1901 to John L Barnes at Stanrod Idaho.  She came home the next fall and stayed until her baby girl, May Barnes was born the 7 of Feb 1892.  My sister died when her baby was 13 days old.  My mother kept Mary Barnes until she was eleven years old, then my mother died.  May lived with me and my sister Lizzie until May was 17 years old when she married Lyle Flatts.  They had five children.  May died when she was about 30 years old following a serious operation.

Our family came along every odd year from 1901 to 1913.  Bert helped to take care of the children, especially at night.  All the children except Ardath were born on our farm.  Our youngest boy Conrad died Oct 16, 1915.  The rest of our children grew up to be men and women and have families of their own.  Bert always red to me whenever he had the time especially when the children were small and I was sewing or mending.  He read many of the best church books.  Although we have been married so many years we get as much or more pleasure from each others company as we did when we were young."

Charlotte Elnora Smit Bacon died August 2, 1953.
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Children of Albert Bacon and Charlotte Smit

1. Ardath Bacon b-4 Aug 1901 in Georgetown; d-17 Jan 1979
2. Elva Bacon b-1903 in Georgetown
3. Myron Albert Bacon b-1 Jan 1905 in Georgetown; d-18 Aug 1971
4. Mirla Bacon b-30 Mar 1907 in Georgetown; d-5 Mar 2000 in Peoria Arizona; m-Lloyd Dunn
5. Elaine Bacon b-27 Nov 1909 in Georgetown; d-19 Oct 1981
6. Elrod Bacon b-1911 in Georgetown
7. Conrad Lowery Bacon b-21 Apr 1913 in Georgetown; d-16 Oct 1915

 

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