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Mormon Apostles Tour Piute

(Territorial Enquirer, 21 June 1882) 

Trip Through Sevier and Piute Counties.

Editor Enquirer:

During the two weeks which have just past, our county has been especially favored by the visit of Apostles Lyman and Smith. These brethren, in connection with the local authorities here, have made a complete circuit of the Stake, holding meetings in the various wards; and wherever necessity or expediency demanded, organizing new ones.

Our quarterly conference, which was held May 26th and 27th, was very well attended, and the people showed by their prompt attendance and marked attention that they not only appreciated the visit of Apostle Smith, who was with us, but that they were taking a lively interest in their own welfare as Latter-day Saints. Immediately after the adjournment of Conference, Apostle Smith, accompanied by Presidents Spencer and Thurber, visited and held meetings at each of the wards lying south of Richfield, namely, Joseph City, Monroe and Elsinore. Returning to Richfield Wednesday evening, they were joined by Apostle Lyman, (he having returned from Millard Co.,) and on the Thursday following the two Apostles with the Stake authorities effected an organization of the Central ward, installing Barney Greenwood as Bishop and W.N. Spafford and Jens L. Jensen as counselors.

Previous to visiting any part of our county, it had been the purpose of brothers Lyman and Smith to visit the remotest parts of the Stake and especially that part of the Territory lying southeast of here -- namely Grass Valley, Fish Lake and Rabbit or Fremont Valley. Agreeable to arrangements the following party left Richfield en route for Grass Valley: Apostles Lyman and Smith, President Spencer, Counselors Thurber and Seegmiller, Judge Bean and the undersigned. Arriving at Glenwood at 2 p.m., the appointment for meeting was filled, and after a night's sojourn in this once appropriately named "Glencoe," we resumed our journey over the mountains towards Grass Valley, and after a jaunt of about 25 miles, arrived at Burrville, the most northwestern town in Grass Valley. The people of this little place were very hospitable and we were made very comfortable during our stay. Next day -- Sunday 4th inst., meetings were held at the "Cedar Grove" a point intermediate between Burrville and Koosharem, the two principal towns in the valley. Not only did the Saints evince great interest in the meetings which were held here but the Indians of Grass Valley and vicinity were present, and they too seemed anxious to be taught the principles of Truth. Their chief -- "Joe" -- is taking quite a lively interest in endeavoring to have his fellow Indians take hold of civilization and thus become self-supporting. Their grain is looking quite well at present, and it is to be hoped that they will continue to progress in the good work they have commenced.

In consideration of the scattered condition of the people of Koosharem ward, it was deemed wise that a ward organization be given to Burrville. Accordingly the following corps of officers were elected, Wm. H. Cloward, Bishop, and Orson E. Star and M. Leonard Burr, counselors. After the Bishop and his counsel had been formally elected, Apostle Lyman gave some very practical and opportune instructions respecting the duties of officers and members of newly organized wards. His remarks were listened to with great interest and evidently caused a spirit of harmony to pervade the hearts of all.

At the close of the meeting our party repaired to the town of Koosharem and on the following morning we resumed our journey in the direction of the somewhat celebrated Fish Lake. We were not disappointed with the appearance of this beautiful sheet of pure water, situated as it is in the very tops of the mountains, for here are found its attitude, its area, its surroundings and its excellent fish just as they had been spoken of by our predecessors. Time will not permit a detailed description of this beautiful lake, but suffice to say, at no distant day Fish Lake will be known to thousands, whereas it is now comparatively obscure.

Our thanks are due to Bros. Jorgensen and Nisonger for the very hospitable manner in which we were treated during our stay at the Lake.

Tuesday morning found us wending our way in a south easterly direction towards Rabbit or Fremont valley, and at 2 p.m. we arrived at Loa, where we had given out an appointment for meeting. Wednesday morning we continued our journey still further to the south east, until we reached Thurber, at which place two meetings were held and the Thurber ward permanently organized. Agreeable to the will of the majority of the people Geo. Brinkerhoof was installed as Bishop and Wm. Meeks and Jas. W. Hunt as counselors. The instructions given here were similar to those given at Burrville, and were well calculated to encourage those who have taken up the arduous labor of reclaiming the desert from its barrenness and establishing homes upon the frontier.

Having finished our labors in the Fremont country, we at once started on our homeward trip. Arriving at Koosharem, Apostles Lyman and Smith left us for the South, when they purpose holding several meetings, after which they will return home via Beaver.

Never before has our Stake been so thoroughly visited as it has been during the past two weeks, and it is truly gratifying to know that the instructions given have been such as were well adopted to the present wants of the people, such as were having a practical bearing upon the daily affairs of life and, at the same time, teaching the principles of true religion and morality. As a general rule we found the people of Grass and Rabbit, or Fremont, valleys feeling very well and quite encouraged. Despite the fact that their valleys have a mean attitude of about 7,000 ft., they are taking hold of farming to quite an extent; especially is this the case in Rabbit or Fremont valley. This valley possesses many natural advantages, among which is its great supply of water, wood and saw timber. As an evidence of the growth of this and adjacent valleys, we learned the people were continually settling in from various parts of the Territory. If the people in these valleys continue to exercise faith in their labors and abide the admonitions which they continually receive from the servants of God, there is no question but what their homes and villages will be happy ones, and the elements will become propitious unto them, and thus they will become valuable members in the Kingdom of God, a well as loyal citizens of our Republican Government, exercising every inherent right that is vouchsafed by the Constitution; and by doing this maintain and support every just and equitable law.

D. [initial only]

Richfield, Sevier Co., June 10, 1882.

Copyright 2006 by Ardis E. Parshall

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