by a great-grandson, Gary
Roy, Utah 1998
John Wesley (Dick) Young was born 26 Nov 1860 in the pioneer settlement of Toquerville Utah, the son of Willis Smith Young and Ann Cherry Willis (Widtsoe Ward Record, 1914-1923, FHL film 0002046). As the year of 1860 dawned, the people of Utah looked forward to a time of peace and prosperity. During this year a new method of transporting Mormon converts across the plains to Utah was inaugurated, when Brigham Young’s son Joseph W. Young, representing a freighting company left Salt Lake City in the early spring for the states, and returned the same year as captain of an immigrant company. This feat brought to a close the handcart period in Utah's history. Nearly 2100 immigrants, mostly from the Scandinavian countries and the British Isles made their way to ‘Zion’. In 1860 most of the troops at Camp Floyd were removed to Mexico and Arizona, and about a year later, war between the north and south being then almost a certainty, the remainder of the army was ordered to the eastern states. The number of deaths recorded in the census report for the year ending June, 1860, was little more than nine per thousand, though this is doubtless a mistake, the actual death rate being probably at least twelve per thousand. Of the mortality, about twenty-six percent occurred among infants, the most prominent diseases among adults being consumption and enteritis. It is worthy of note that up to this date there occurred in the territory but one case of suicide among the Mormons. There was little pauperism in their midst, and there was little crime, or such crime as was punished by imprisonment.
The prices of most necessaries of life were moderate throughout the territory, but on account of high freights averaging from the eastern states about $28 and from the Pacific seaboard $500 to $600 per ton imported commodities were inordinately dear. The cost of luxuries mattered but little, however, to a community that subsisted mainly on the fruits and vegetables of their own gardens, and the bread, milk, and butter produced on their own farms. But the history of southern Utah tells us that the early pioneers did not have an easy time of it. They suffered from drought and flash flooding which continually destroyed their irrigation systems. In addition, the swampy areas near the town had Anopheles mosquitoes that transmitted malaria to the settlers. The problem was eventually eliminated by the expansion of farmland. Many suffered and died in those early days.
When Dick Young was born in 1860, his grandparents William and Leah Young were living in the pioneer town of Washington City. The Utah Census, Washington Co, lists them as follows (Salt lake Family History Library Microfilm #805314, Page 146 -- film pages are not consecutive):
WILLIAM YOUNG, age 54, farmer, real estate $275, personal property $750, birth place Tennessee
LEAH YOUNG, age 50, birth place Tennessee
RACHAL YOUNG, age 22, birth place Tennessee
ALMA YOUNG, age 11, birth place Utah Territory
LEAH A. YOUNG, age 5, birth place Utah Territory
William and Leah Smith Young had several grandchildren by the time Dick was born, and they had three children of their own still living at home. Though she was grown, Racheal was handicapped with epilepsy and would never marry. Eleven-year old Alma was born while they were crossing the plains to Utah. The youngest child Leah Ann was only five. An older daughter Harriet, born 1843 in Nauvoo Ill, had since married Enoch Ephraim Dodge. However, Harriet later divorced Enoch Dodge in September of 1864 as indicated by the following probate record: FHL film 0484838, Washington County Probate Court Records 1856-1880, Title of Suit; "Dodge versus Dodge" (unfortunately, the first names were not written); "Trial Date 12 Sep 1864; Process, summons; Return, served by reading Sept 9th 1864 by Deputy Sheriff Perkins; Decision of Court, petition for divorce granted." It is believed that Harriet a polygamous wife of William Lewis Penrod, husband of her step-sister, Polly Ann Reynolds. Polly Ann had been adopted by William Young who had married her mother in Winter Quarters and then later divorced.
William and Leah Young's oldest daughter Malinda married her first cousin, John William Young, and their family were also listed in the 1860 Utah Census of Washington County (Pages 151-152 -- film pages are not consecutive):
JN W YOUNG, age 36, carpenter, real estate $100, personal property $250, birth place Illinois
MALINDA M YOUNG, age 26, birth place Tennessee
MALINDA J YOUNG, age 6, birth place Utah Territory
JN D YOUNG, age 4, birth place Utah Territory
LEAH AM YOUNG, age 2, birth place Utah Territory
Also in the 1860 Utah Census, Washington County, we find William Young's cousins Lovina and Mary Vance Young Lee who were polygamous wives of John D. Lee (Page 149 -- film pages are not consecutive):
LUVINA LEE, age 30, wash woman, real estate $0, personal property $250, birth place Tennessee
MARY LEE, age 27, wash woman, real estate $0, personal property $175, birth place Tennessee
JOHN D LEE, age 9, born Utah Territory
ELLEN LEE, age 7, born Utah Territory
MAL V LEE, age 4, born Utah Territory
JA Y LEE, age 7, born Utah Territory
JN D LEE, age 1, born Utah Territory
Lovina and Mary Vance (also known as Polly) Lee were the daughters of David Young who was an uncle to William Young. They married John D. Lee in Nauvoo Illinois and remained faithful to him throughout their lives. John D. Lee built a fine rock house for them and their children in Washington Utah where they were living when the 1860 census was taken. They took in travelers to make a living. Their occupation refers to their washing the clothes and bed linens of their tenants. Lavina's third child Sabina born 18 Jun 1855 in Cedar City is listed as Mal V. (Malinda Vance) in the census.
Washington City was located north and just above the area called the Washington Fields. William Young and the others that settled there knew that if they could construct a dam to control the Virgin River at that point, water could flow onto the most valuable agricultural land in the county. The desert heat assured that nothing could grow to a harvestable stage without water being brought to the plants regularly. But the system of diverting water from streambeds into canals that worked so well in Salt Lake and Provo proved undependable in the southern land. The desert rain storms turned into quick floods that washed out even the most inventive earthen dams. Sparse undergrowth in the red hills could not hold the moisture back to run more evenly. Following major rainstorms, water poured out of the canyons as floods that swept away everything in their path.
The first three dams constructed were washed out within two years. At flood tide, the Virgin River near Washington City became a torrent. Materials for dams began to get scarce; more importantly, discouragement set in. During the period from 1857 to 1865, town after town in Washington County experienced tragic failures. But the residents somehow rallied to rebuild and rebuild again. They were credited on their church tithing with two dollars a day for their labor, three if they were working in the water. Using such payment rates, the people of Washington City spent approximately $80,000 building dams in eight years. It was a rare year that a dam was not washed out. The story continued with similar results for the next twenty years.
Besides cotton farming, making molasses from sorghum canes also proved to be a reliable industry for the Washington settlers. Grape cuttings brought from the Spanish monasteries in California, fruit stones, and sweet potatoes were also planted. The grapes did well, and soon many vines were bearing in abundance. The tiny fruit trees grew quickly and dried fruit supplemented the staple articles of diet, and provided an additional source of income. The pioneers produced a surplus of dried fruit, molasses and wine, and this they freighted to Salt lake and other points north, to exchange for goods as yet unobtainable in the new settlement. However, the wine industry disappeared. One reason for its abandonment was its negative moral effects, especially upon the young people. But probably the chief reason lay in the fact that other crops were more remunerative than grapes.
Wood for heating the homes and for cooking was obtained from several sources. The pinion and juniper of the lower slopes of the Pine Valley Mountain furnished wood until all that was accessible was used. Many people planted cottonwood trees which were 'topped' every few years for the fuel and poles used in building corrals. Another source of fuel was the driftwood which came down the Virgin River with every flood. About a mile directly south of town the river had gradually widened its channel until it was several hundred yards wide. When the roaring flood struck this wide space, the waters spread out over the sand and dropped its cargo of driftwood. Just as soon as the waters had receded, all the inhabitants of the town hurried to the river with their horse-pulled wagons to get the best of the wood. Many a family got its winter's fuel from one big flood. Much of this wood--juniper, pine, birch, and cottonwood--was of excellent quality after it had dried out. Many cords of wood were thus deposited on the bottoms south and southwest of town and as far up the river a Berry Spring. One particularly favorite spot for getting wood was just above the Washington Field Dam at the Cotton Farm. The people made a big pile of wood near the farm, and then during the winter or whenever they needed wood, they would go up to the Cotton Farm and bring down a load.
William Young had a much larger family than the 1860 census indicates. He had a second wife named Drusilla Boren Keller, who he had married after her husband Nathan Keller died in Winter Quarters and left her destitute with several children. Drusilla was a cousin of William and he agreed to support her large family and help them come to Utah. William and Drusilla had one child together named Mary Malinda Adeline Young, who was 7 years old in 1860.
William Young’s oldest son Willis had settled on Ash Creek, in a snug little valley called Toquer instead of going to settle Washington City with his father in 1857. Toquer was a Piute Indian chief who asked the Mormons to settle near his tribe and teach them how to farm so they would have more food to eat (Letter written by John D. Lee and published in the Deseret News on 7 Aug 1852: "A few days ago we had a visit from the Toquer Indian Captain with about 30 of his warriors, who wished to hold a counsel with us upon the subject of forming a settlement in their country. I was absent from Parowan at the time which was a disappointment but I fell in with them on their return. They met us with the warmest of Indian friendship, they recognized me on sight and said I had been in their country and promised to settle there. They wished to know if I still intended to comply with my promise and how soon. I replied, wherever the Big Chief told me to go, perhaps it would be four moons. They expressed great anxiety to have us settle among them, so that they could manika [work] for the Mormons.)"
But it wasn’t until 1857, that several men descended into Toquer from the rim of the Great Basin, where they found a semi-tropical climate with the plant growth advanced. Among these scouts was Isaac C. Haight. They returned and gave a favorable report of this country. In the following spring of 1858, Brother Haight called Josua T. Willis, who at that time lived in Harmony, to come to Cedar City to meet with the High Council. During this trip to Cedar, Brother Willis was told he had been chosen to colonize this part of the country, to which he replied, "Brother Haight, I am grateful for the trust and confidence you have in me and with God's help I will do my best." He was informed that Wesley Willis, Josiah Reeves and others including Willis Smith Young and his wife Ann Cherry Willis, would accompany him.
In the spring of 1858, Brother Willis with his party journeyed down the old Black Ridge following the stream later called Ash Creek, to the base of a large black volcanic peak called Toquer mountain. In the Piute language, the word Toquer meant 'black.' Appropriately enough, the pioneers named their settlement Toquerville. Lower down on the creek was a small piece of ground being cultivated by the Toquite tribe of the Piute Indians. Chief Toquer lived in a tent of leaves from the cane and willows and was an enlightened Indian, neat and friendly. They had been there only a few days When Charles Stapley and family arrived from San Bernardino, California. Willis Young’s brother-in-law Joshua T. Willis, was appointed Presiding Elder of this branch of the Harmony Ward. The first homes were made of logs filled in with mud. Roads were built, ditches dug, and water conveyed to the parched land where they planted grapes, figs, squash, melons and other crops. Ash Creek was then a ditch one could jump across, but the flash-floods and erosion have caused it to become a deep canyon as it is now. Charles Stapley furnished the first alfalfa seed and the first sweet potatoes were raised by Bishop Willis and John Nebeker. Brother Willis was set apart as the first Bishop of the newley formed Toquerville Ward, by George A. Smith and Amasa Lyman in 1861.
In the spring of 1859, a mail route was extended from Cedar City to Toquerville with John McFarland as the first postmaster. Toquerville was then a part of Washington County which was created by an act of congress on 3 Feb 1852. Therefore, Dick Young was actually born in Toquerville, Washington Co, Utah Territory. On the 1860 census, Toquerville is located in Washington County, before it became a part of Iron County. Even though counties were allowed, Congress would not recognize Utah as a state until 1896 when polygamy was banned in the Church. Kane County was not established until 1864, when Toquerville was given the status of county seat. It is understandable why some records would show Dick Young's birth place as being in Toquerville, Iron County. The town later became a part of Washington County once more, as it is today. Federal Census, Tokerville, Washington County, 25 Jul 1860, FHL film 805314:
W S YOUNG, age 29, farmer, real estate $150, personal property $350, birth place Tennessee
ANN C YOUNG, age 25, birth place Illinois
MARGARET YOUNG, age 8, born Utah Territory
WM W YOUNG, age 7, born Utah Territory
MARY F YOUNG, age 4, born Utah Territory
LEAH J YOUNG, age 1, born Utah Territory
The two older children of Willis and Ann Young were born in Provo before coming to Southern Utah. The oldest was a daughter named Margaret Ann, and the other a boy they named William Willis. They had four more children while living in Harmony, but three died in infancy. They named the surviving child Mary Frances. They had two additional children in Toquerville -- Leah Jane, born 17 Apr 1859 and John Wesley, born 28 Nov 1860, after the census was taken. A third baby, also born in Toquerville, died in infancy. By 1862, their family had grown to five children.
Even before his birth in Toquerville, Dick Young’s father was contemplating another move (Journal of John D. Lee. Harmony, Saturday 23 Jun 1860. "Today several of the brethren were up from Toker and Grafton to select a site for their new contemplated settlement on Kanarah Creek. Pollock, Willis, Riggs, and Willis Young came and lodged with me. It is nothing strange to have from 1 to 30 persons and perhaps as many animals to put up at my house, and seldom a day without more or less. Sunday 24 Jun 1860. The brethren from the south above referred to selected the site for a settlement and etc. Tuesday 26 Jun 1860. I was repairing wagons and etc., also farming. This evening E. Pollock, Young, Riggs, Willis, Don C. Shirts and family at my mansion. This evening I bought a house and lot and farm of Willis Young at Toker. Paid him about $500. Tuesday 15 Aug 1860. Set tire on my wagon and shod my horses then started to Fort Clara to get some blasting cans. Took of my family Rachel, Mary Leah and Lovina. Put up with Friend Dodge. Tuesday 11 Dec 1860. Today I in company with E.H. Groves, John R. Davies, John Willis, Samuel Pollock, Willis Young and Wm Riggs measured and set off the picket fence that I had sold them."
In very dry years, the waters of Ash Creek would evaporate or sink into the sands before reaching the town of Harmony, so in 1861 most of the families decided to move nearer the head of Ash Creek. This led to the founding of New Harmony. A group consisting of Elisha H. Groves, William, James, and John Davies and several others moved about a mile farther up to a location they named Kanarra. Like Toquerville, the town was named after a local Indian Chief, and was later called Kanaraville. It was located almost exactly on the rim of the Great Basin, after passing Cedar City at the 5800 ft elevation, and decending 2920 ft to the warmer clime below at Washington City. Kanarra Creek, a tributary of Ash Creek emerged from the mountains at this location, and there were numerous springs and meadows of lush grass. It has been said that of all the Mormon settlements in Southern Utah, Kanarra had the easiest time controlling the irrigation water But like elsewhere, there was never enough precipitation. As for land, there was an abundant supply of the best quality.
In the spring of 1863, a number of the settlers at Toquerville moved to Kanarra, among them Josiah Reeves, Samuel Pollock, Willis Young, John H. Willis (brother to Ann Willis Young), and their families. Willis and Ann Young's son John Wesley (Dick) was not quite three years old at the time. The new community produced an excellent harvest that fall. Willis had gone to Salt Lake during the summer and was sealed to a second wife, Mary Adelaide Marvin in the Endowment House. Willis and Ann Young had three more children while living in Kanarra -- Ellen Matilda, Lemuel Marion, and their last child Dicy Elnora. The 1870 census shows that Willis Young had one child in 1969 with Mary Adelaide, named Edmund: Kanarah, Kane Co Utah, enumerated 18 Jul 1870:
WILLIS YOUNG, age 41, farmer, real estate $700, personal property $600, birth place Tennessee
ANN W YOUNG, age 36, housekeeper, birth place Illinois
MARGRETT YOUNG, age 18, birth place Utah Territory
WILLIAM YOUNG, age 17, birth place Utah Territory
MARY F YOUNG, age 14, at school, birth place Utah Territory
LEA J YOUNG, age 10, at home, birth place Utah Territory
JOHN W YOUNG, age 7, at home, birth place Utah Territory
ELLEN W YOUNG, age 6, at home, birth place Utah Territory
LEMUEL YOUNG, age 3, birth place Utah Territory
MARY A YOUNG, age 23, housekeeper, birth place Illinois
EDMUND YOUNG, age 1, birth place Utah Territory
Elisha H. Groves presided at the Kanarra Branch until the fall of 1866. It was at that time that the Indians became troublesome, and Lorenzo W. Roundy, who in that year took charge of the community, decided to move the town to its present location where the inhabitants built their houses inside a stockade. By 1867, they had 500 acres under fence and most of it planted to wheat, corn, and potatoes. Dam and canal expenses were extremely low when compared with the costs of irrigation in other settlements. The community, however, suffered great losses from the raids of the Navahos, who drove away the horses and cattle. In November 1869 such losses amounted to nearly $5000. Willis and Ann Young's oldest child, Margaret Ann, born 8 Sep 1851 Provo, Utah, married Lorenzo Roundy's son Wallace Wesley Roundy on 24 Oct 1870 in Kanarraville. Margaret and Wallace then went on their honeymoon to Salt Lake, where they were endowed and sealed in the Endowment House on 14 Nov 1870. Wallace and his brother Napoleon B. Roundy, were later called to settle Snowflake Arizona, and help establish friendly relations with the Indians.
Thus, Dick Young grew up in the pioneer settlement of Kanarraville, where he was part of a large family of 9 children. He played with his brothers, and worked to help his father carve a farm out of the wilderness until he was a teenager. Dick and his brothers had to help their father more than most boys because Willis had lost one of his legs in a wagon accident when he was a young man.
Dick’s grandfather William Young died in Washington City in 1875 and was buried there. After her husband’s death, Dick’s grandmother Leah remained a widow in Washington City for a few years and then moved with her handicapped daughter Rachel to her brother Thomas W. Smith’s farm in Pahreah, Kane County Utah (Autobiography of Alfred Douglas Young: "My brother William raised a large family and died in the town of Washington in Southern Utah. His wife’s maiden name was Leah Smith who is now 1887 living at Pahorah, Kane County Utah)." William Young’s other wife Drusilla moved with her remaining children to San Bernardino California to be near her brother A. D. Boren who was a judge in that city. On 2 Dec 1875, she married an excommunicated church member named Benjamin Van Leuven.
Willis and Ann Young's second son, William Willis, born 11 Dec 1852 Provo, Utah, married Harriet Martha Ann Pearce 16 Oct 1876 in Kanarraville. They traveled to the new Temple in St. George, where they were endowed and sealed 21 Oct 1887 St. George Temple. The information concerning the early history of Kanarra is limited. A step-daughter of the ward clerk destroyed the ward records and private papers recording the incidents relative to colonization up to 1867. But it is believed that the Youngs remained in Kanarra for 13 years, until 1876, when they were called by the Church to settle in Escalante. Family tradition says that they weren't too happy about going, but were obediant to the call.
Thus it was that Dick Young was 16 when his family went with the pioneers to settle ‘Potato Valley’ where the town of Escalante was built. Both of his older brothers were married. He was a strong young man and his father relied heavily upon him to help build a new house and help with the farm (The Escalante Story, FHL 979.252/E1/H2w, page 50: "The Willis Young family came to Escalante in 1876. It included Willis' wife, Nancy, and son, William, and his wife, Mertha and sons, J. Wesley and Lemuel, and daughters, Ellen, Nora, and Anna. Another daughter, Frances had been the wife of John C. Roe. She had died and her husband had brought their little daughter, Dora, to live with her grandparents, the Youngs. John Roe stayed and later married Eliza Hall. The Escalante Story, page 71-72: Willis Young's daughter, Anne, was the wife of Wallace Roundy, then living at Snowflake, Arizona, where Wallace and his brother, Napoleon B. Roundy, had been called to settle and help establish friendly relations with the Indians. Through the Youngs, Wallace heard of Escalante, and its possibilities as a livestock country. He moved to the new settlement in 1885 with his wife Margaret Ann, a daughter Malinda, who later married Jode Barney, and sons, Lorenzo and Joseph, and other girls, Susannah [Sude], Olive, Isabel, Almeda, and a litte girl, Frances, that was drowned by falling in the family well. Two other children, Wallace and Nancy were born in Escalante. He also brought his second wife, Ester Ford, and her children, John and Edwin. Rebecca would be born in Escalante that year)."
There were others in Escalante besides Willis Young with more than one wife. Many polygamous men came to Escalante because it was an isolated country, and they hoped that federal officers would not harrass them too often. Some plural wives of men who lived elsewhere were here 'on the underground.' Caroline Lee, fourth wife of John D. Lee, was here along with W.O. Lee and Mary Elizabeth Lee. John D. Lee who was being held in prison in Salt Lake City for his role in the Mountain Meadow massacre wrote in his journal that there were three young men, ‘boys’ he called them, brought in from Provo during the winter of 1875. They were Levi Vawn (Vaughn), Joe Smith (a cousin of Lot Smith of Paria), and W. W. Phelps, none of whom could read or write. They were charged with horse stealing. William Washington Phelps was the husband of Ethalinda Jane Young -- daughter of John William and Ethalinda Margaret Young. During the first week of December young Phelps asked Lee to teach him to write and to read, to which Lee answered that he would be glad to help him or any of the others who might like to try to improve their minds. This quickly grew into a regular school, with classes held every day, including Sunday.
The following spring, on 14 Mar 1876 at about three o'clock in the afternoon Lee was aroused from a nap by screams and yells and a commotion below his prison room. Hurrying to the window, he looked out to see a man lying on his face in a welter of blood, while downstairs a woman shrieked in terror. The sound of running feet, crashing furniture and curses and grunts told of men in mortal struggle. It was Phelps and other prisoners fighting a prison guard to gain access to guns and the key to the gate. Each had armed himself with as large a stone as he could force into the toe of a heavy sock, and swinging this full force had attacked Burgher, the warden, striking him nine times over the head and on the bridge of his nose and knocking him down unconscious. Seven men escaped. It soon became clear that Warden Burgher was mortally wounded. He died at three a.m., just twelve hours after the attack.
The following day on 15 Mar 1876, William Washington Phelps was shot through the body by police officer Holliday, and in the long hours of his dying had remained conscious, saying over and over that he did not resist the officer, that he was unarmed, that he had done nothing except to try to escape the Prison in Salt Lake where he was being held for unknown charges. He was buried in the old Sugar House Prison Yard 18 Mar 1876. He left his wife and three-year old daughter Leah Malinda (named after her grandmother Leah Smith Young and her mother who was known as Malinda). After her husband's tragic death, Jane Young Phelps married George Drury Morrill on 5 Dec 1877 and eventually had six more children. Her oldest daughter Leah Malinda Phelps Morrill married John D. and Caroline Lee's son Walter Brigham Lee 6 Aug 1890. They had 11 children -- descendants of William Young and of John Doyle Lee.
In April 1876, the Escalante settlers decided to make a permanent townsite on the south side of the creek where the ground was higher, and leave the lower lands for farms. A townsite was soon laid out, according to church records, "the brethren being guided by the North Star." Eighteen five-acre blocks were plotted, each to be divided into quarters of one and one-fourth acres for each owner. Work on the town canal was also begun. When the crops were harvested, they began the job of getting logs to build cabins. Roads had to be built into the canyons to bring out the timber. The Escalante settlement was designed after the pattern of the Mormon farm village, a pattern that is very old in civilized history. Widely used in Europe and in the New England State, it had been largely abandoned in favor of scattered homesteads, until the Mormons settled Utah. Brigham Young recognized the wisdom where water is limited and the desire for community life is strong. Escalante was set in a central position, with farm lands lying adjacent on the north and south, and ranch lands in nearby canyons and the 'Upper Potato Valley.'
Willis must have decided to work at the Iron factory near Cedar City for a time, because the 1880 Federal Census lists him with his family in ‘Iron City,’ Iron Co Utah Territory. Their married son William was living with them, along with his wife Harriet Ann and two small children:
WILLIS YOUNG, age 52, farmer, cannot read or write, born in Tennessee, father born in Tennessee, mother born in Illinois (this is incorrect)
ANNIE C YOUNG, age 46, keeping house, born in Illinois, father born in South Carolina, mother born in South Carolina (William Wesley & Margaret Jane Willis were actually born in Illinois)
MARGRET ANN YOUNG, age 28, keeping house, born in Utah Territory, father born in Tennessee, mother born in South Carolina
JOHN WESLEY YOUNG, age 19, farm laborer, going to school, born in Utah Territory, father born in Tennessee, mother born in South Carolina
ELLEN MALINDA YOUNG, age 16, at home, going to school, born in Utah Territory, father born in Tennessee, mother born in South Carolina
SAMUEL M YOUNG, age 13, farm laborer, going to school, born in Utah Territory, father born in Tennessee, mother born in South Carolina
DICEY ELNORA YOUNG, age 5, born in Utah Territory, father born in Tennessee, mother born in South Carolina
WM WILLIS ROBERT YOUNG, age 27, born in Utah Territory, father born in Tennessee, mother born in South Carolina
HARRIET ANN YOUNG, age 21, keeping house, born in Utah Territory, father born in Missouri
ARTHUR R YOUNG, age 3, born in Utah Territory
FRANCES ANN YOUNG, age 2, born in Utah Territory
Dick Young’s grandmother Leah Smith Young was a widow in the 1880 Federal Census, her husband having died and buried in 1875. She was still living in the town of Washington Utah and had two daughters plus a four-year old grandson living with her. Washington City, Washington County, Utah Territory, page 53, beginning line 10:
LEAH YOUNG, age 69, keeping house, born in Tennessee, father’s birth place blank, mother born in North Carolina
RACHEL YOUNG, age 43, insane, has fits, cannot read or write, born in Tennessee, father born in Tennessee, mother born in Tennessee
LEAH A GARORA, age 25, at home, born in Utah Territory, father born in Tennessee, father born in Tennessee
WM GARORA, age 4, born in Utah Territory, father born in Kansas, mother born in Tennessee
Here it is that we discover why Rachel has never married. From the discription given in the census, we can assume that she is mentally and possibly physically handicapped. Perhaps she was epileptic. The youngest daughter Leah Ann Guererro is 'at home,' with her four-year-old son William Seymore. The census taker incorrectly listed his last name as 'Garora.' His father was James Seymore, not Austin Guererro who Leah Ann had since married. It has not been confirmed if James Seymore was from Kansas; he was more likely born in Tennessee. William Seymore’s wife and decendants remained in Arizona.
In 1885, according to the ‘Escalante Story,’ two bachelors, John Holtby and Antone Woerner arrived in the Escalante settlement with Osteen (phonetic spelling of the Latin, Austine) Guerero and his wife, Ann Young, and children, Ann, Willis, Osteen (Austin), and James. This was Leah Ann Young Seymore Guererro, the youngest daughter of William and Leah Smith Young, and sister to Willis Smith Young. The Guererro family is not listed in the Escalante ward record, FHL film 0025924. Seymore family tradition says that Leah Ann Young, daughter of William Young and Leah Smith, first met and married James Seymore when the family went on a trip back East. James Seymore was a doctor and he stayed to arrange his affairs before coming to Utah. But Leah Ann's parents did not approve of the union and when Dr. Seymore arrived in Utah, he was told that Leah Ann and the baby were killed by Indians, so he returned to the East, never to be heard of again. Leah Ann later married Austin Guererro, whom it is believed was of Spanish-American ancestry.
James Seymore remains an unknown, but William Alma Seymore who married May Belle Stock had a son named Harl Earl Seymore who married Glennie Merrell and died in Show Low, Navajo County Arizona. Harl Earl and Glennie Merrell Seymore's son, Leo Dean Seymore, married Loretta Idella Penrod. Loretta Idella Penrod's great grandmother was Polly Ann Reynolds Penrod, the adopted daughter of William Young!
Dick Young continued to help his father herd cattle on the desert in winter, and in summer with the primitive dairying practice of those early days. At the heads of canyons and in open spaces up in the mountains were natural pastures which furnished ample feed for cows during June, July, and August. In these places were cool, clear springs of water, ideal for the processes of cheese and butter making. The entire family would travel up into these areas each summer. To the younger children it was a real adventure, camping out in the mountains all summer long, exploring and hunting with flippers and homemade bows and arrows. The older children and adults enjoyed the cool beautiful mountains also, but they had to work hard milking and herding the cows, and churning the butter. The work was all done by hand. Though the same families went back to the same places year after year, they sometimes moved from one place to another. There was seldom any attempt to secure ownership of these summer 'camps.' Each camp was given the name of the family that stayed there. Willis Young's camp was located in North Creek Canyon.
The cows were of mixed breeds, with Durhams predominating. Josiah Baker Sr. is credited with having brought in the first herd of good Durham cattle, which were higher milk producers. But most were range cows which were bred primarily for beef. An agreement had to be made with one of the cattleman that kept his stock in the area for summer grazing. Then the farm family would select the cows that were producing milk for their young calves. The calves were kept in pens made of logs and branches. Each morning and evening, the cows were roped by their horns and tied to a tree. Their feet were then tied together so they could not kick, and the calf was turned out of its pen. It immediately hunted up its mother of course, and commenced sucking. The person milking let the calf suck for awhile and then sat down by the cow on a stool, and with a 'calf stick' in one hand, the milk bucket in the other, he was ready to milk. First he would hit the calf on the shins so that it would back away, then with the bucket between his legs, and warding the calf off, he would strip the cow of most of her milk before untying her legs, turning her loose, and letting the calf finish the job before it was put back in its pen. They sometimes gave as much as two quarts each to the milking. The milk was poured through a strainer into a ten gallon can. The cows would graze on the pasture during the day and at night. They would not go far from their calves. The cattleman was paid with butter and cheese and had the added benefit of having his stock guarded from mountain lions, accidents, and other dangers. The farm families went back down to the valley in the fall to harvest their fields and gardens, planted in the spring. The butter and cheese was packed in salt and taken into the larger towns and cities to sell or trade for goods. The children went to school in winter and the dairy cows owned by the family were fed hay and grain until spring. The next summer, the farmer increased his own dairy herd again by renting cows from cattlemen who used nearby ranges, so that the average family milked from twenty to forty cows.
Dick Young married Marcia Ann (Marcy) Shirts in 1886, when he was 25 years old and she was 17. Marcy’s father Don Carlos (Carl) Shirts had brought his large family to Escalante at about the same time as the Youngs. Willis Young and Carl Shirts had known each other from the time they were young men in Council Bluffs Iowa. Dick and Marcy Young went into the sheep business to support their family for the first eight years of their marriage, and lived in a home in Escalante near their parents. The sheep were herded on the range in and around Potato Valley. But in the mid-1890's the price of farm products including sheep wool plunged to an all time low and they went broke. They then decided to homestead a farm in a mountain valley above Escalante called at that time ‘Emery Valley.’ The name was later changed to John's Valley. The family first remained in their home in Escalante during the winters and went up to the homestead in the summers, continuing with the dairy practice that Dick had been involved in with his father.
The Homestead Act allowed them to obtain title to the land if they lived on it five months out of the year and could show improvements for five years. This they were able to do by the time of the 1900 Federal Census. By then, they were making a good living by gardening, growing grain crops, and dairying. Dick's two brothers, William and Lemuel both brought their families up and began homesteading nearby. The nearest town at the time was called Coyote (present-day Antimony Utah). The LDS church in Coyote was called the Marion Ward. But since the Youngs lived 20 miles away from town, they organized their own branch of the Marion Ward, first called the John's Valley Branch and later named the Henderson Branch. They were a part of the Panquitch Stake. Two towns were built in John's Valley, called Henderson and Widtsoe. Dick Young was heavily involved with the establishment of both towns, which no longer exist.
As early as 1873 the meadowlands of Clover Flat or Grass Valley as it was first called, were sought out and used by cattlemen. The meadows were centered where Otter Creek reservoir is presently located. They were used by the Kanarra and Beaver Cooperative cattlemen for summer grazing in 1877 when Culbert, Edwin, John and Volney King brought herds of cattle and horses into the valley from Beaver in Millard County Utah. The town’s name of Coyote is said to have come from a group of surveyors who in early days camped there. One evening while sitting around their campfire they heard a noise in the tall grass nearby and one man threw his lasso rope and snagged a coyote. The Coyote townsite was one of the largest in Utah because the entire arable strip between Black Canyon north of where the Youngs lived and Kingston Canyon was treated as one unit.
Some Indian troubles were caused in the early settlement by a man named Bill McCarty. A bunch of young Navajos, who were traveling to North to trade with the Utes, ran into a severe snow storm and took refuge in one of the cabins belonging to McCarty. Being hungry, they killed and ate one of his calves for food. McCarty gathered a few settlers and without giving the Indians time to explain, he killed three and wounded another who was taken back to his tribe in a pitiful condition. This aroused the Indians, and Jacob Hamblin, the president of the Indian mission in southern Utah was called in to settle the dispute. It took some time before a settlement was reached. Finally the Indians said they would take 100 head of cattle for each man killed and 50 for the wounded. Hamblin refused the deal, saying that it was just one man that caused the trouble and that the other settlers in Grass Valley were the friends of the Indians. The Chief finally sent a party of warriors to Grass Valley and when they were satisfied that Jacob Hamblin was telling the truth, it ended the trouble.
The Marion Branch of the Church was founded in Grass Valley in 1877 with 33 families. It became a Ward on 23 Sep 1883, with Culbert King bishop, Isaac Riddle and Ephraim Peterson counselors. It later became known as the Antimony Ward. For many years, it was a part of the Panguitch Stake. Religious services were held in the schoolhouse for years, which was crude but served the purpose. In April 1944, a new church was completed. It took a long time and a great deal of sacrifice from the people as well as the Bishopric of the Antimony ward.
In 1879, the first schoolhouse was built. It was one log room cabin in the north end of Grass Valley, just over the present Piute County line. The first teacher was Carrie Henry and the first trustee was A.M. Hunter, who was not a Mormon but well-liked by them all. He imported purebred trotting and race horses into the valley from Scotland. He had a large ranch and later shipped some of his horses back to Scotland and England where they were considered the best at the time. The schools in these early days were maintained by subscription and donations and only run about five months each year. In 1882, school was held the George Black home, and then in 1887 another log school was completed with two rooms, each room had two windows but the light was poor. The rooms were poorly heated and sometimes in winter the wind blew so hard it seemed like the building could no hold together. In 1916, another large section was added and the large room was used for dances, parties, and church meetings. In 1928, a school bus service between Circleville and Antimony was begun to take students to the high school there.
James Huff built the first sawmill in Antimony Canyon. Albert Clayton operated the first store out of his home. The merchandise consisted mainly of overalls and jumpers brought in by trappers and traded to Mr Clayton for animal hides. Later, he built a hotel. John King planted and raised the first grain in the valley and brought in the first threshing machine. The first Post Office was at Clover Flat, five miles north of Coyote and the postmaster was Gideon Geroux. Later the office was moved into town. Mail was brought from Junction in a buggy by Hyrum Morrell. Peter Brunson owned and operated the first combination barbershop, ice cream shop and soda fountain. The water in the creeks and ditches was used for many years for drinking. Early each morning one could see men, women and children, carrying cans and buckets home for the day. Later in the day, the livestock would drink out of the same waterways. Electric lights were not installed in Antimony until 1946 by the Garkane Power Company and R.E.A. Before that gas and coal oil lamps were used.
Several bad accidents occurred during early days among these fearless pioneers. Nora Huntley was the first death, she fell from a cliff while picking wild berries. A young man George Jones, was killed when his favorite horse stumbled over a calf during the roundup and fell on him. He never regained consciousness. The next night on the continuing roundup, this same horse began to stagger as he was being ridden into camp. The rider jumped off and the horse fell dead at the exact time his master died. Another time, two 14-year-old girls were drowned while swimming in the river and their bodies recovered the next day. The Relief Society women served as midwives delivering babies, and went from house to house taking care of the sick. The same women laid out the dead, preparing them for burial. No night was too dark or stormy for these good sisters, who would go anywhere to help in time of trouble.
In the spring of 1880 a mining boom hit Grass Valley. The mineral was antimony (stibnite). It was discovered by the Navajo Indians and was used for making bullets and arrowheads. The mine was owned and operated by Ben Hampton and a Mr. Goodby. After four hard years they were forced to close it. Years later it was leased to other parties and was successfully run for a number of years. In 1916-17 more than 200 people were employed at the mines and smelter. A boomtown flourished for a time with well-kept hotels, gambling houses and other places of 'amusement.' In 1920, the town of Coyote was renamed Antimony. It comprised an area of 15 miles long and between 5 and 7 miles wide, with about 2,000 acres of irrigated land. Among the names on the WWI honor roll from Antimony are Warren Wilden and Carling Young (no relation).
Dick Young’s homestead in John’s Valley was located between Coyote and Escalante. The family had to travel 21 miles west, up over a grueling 9,200 foot mountain pass, to their homestead in the summer and back down to Escalante in the winter. Escalante's elevation is about 5000 feet and John's Valley is about 7000 feet above sea level. The trip took several days. When had to make a ‘quick’ trip into town, they traveled north 20 miles to Coyote in Grass Valley. But even this took a full two days --one down and one back. Dick Young's oldest son Wesley always made reference to Coyote as the hometown he grew up in, even though it was 20 miles from where he lived! These were indeed mountain people. Dick Young's ranch was at the junction of Ranch Creek and Birch Creek, tributaries to the East Fork of the Sevier River. It was an isolated spot with the Isaac Riddle family as their only neighbors.
Riddle had begun traveling to John’s Valley in May 1875, stationing some men to live there and take care of his livestock. This is said to have been the first permanent settlement of white men in the area, although the people from Escalante had been traveling through for years on their way to Salt Lake and to practice dairying. The valley is round and completely surrounded by beautifully tinted mountains with heavy timber. There were ancient Indian trails leading out to Grass Valley on the north, Bryce Canyon on the south, and Potato Valley on the east. The soil is thirty feet deep, with hardly a rock from Adam's Head Mountain on the north, to Black Canyon on the south. Wild range grass grew over a foot tall between the clumps of sagebrush and rabbitbrush indicating a plentiful amount of precipitation. Sagebrush growing to ten feet in height was an indication of superior soil, and the early stockmen shook their heads seeing it, realizing that there weren't many places in Utah like that. Riddle located first at the mouth of Sweetwater Canyon where they built a cabin and corrals. Later he moved about five miles down the valley onto a small stream called Ranch Creek. Here he built more cabins and corrals, bunkhouses for the hired men, and a dairy through which they ran a stream of cold water from a spring nearby. The following year, they brought about three thousand head of cattle and two hundred fifty head of horses from Beaver. These were co-op herds which remained after disbanding the 'United Order’ and were entrusted to Isaac Riddle who was superintendent for two years, and had charge for ten years.
From the autobiography of John H. Davies, ‘Among my Memories,’ page 13: "During the summer a man named Riddle who was head of a cattle co-op in beaver came to see Mr Berry. We camped on a flat called Flake Bottoms at the time. They were both rather large men and I remember very distinctly seeing and hearing them confer with one another. The purpose of Mr Riddle's visit was to divide up the country between the two cattle companies. They came to a gentleman's agreement that the Beaver Co-op was to have all of the range to the north and east of Flake Bottom down the Sevier River, and that Kanarra Co-op was to have the range south and west of Flake Bottoms, including the headwaters of the Sevier River. In coming to this agreement there was no quarreling or hurling of threats. Each man took the splendid attitude that he should live and let live. This agreement was faithfully kept for many years without any serious trouble arising between the two companies. Each man simply gave his word that he would keep his livestock within certain bounds and that was all that was necessary." Shortly after this, John Davies became superintendent of the Kanarra Cattle Co-op.
Dick and Marcy Young also had a summer camp located east above Antimony on the headwaters of Antimony Creek. Parts of the cabins were still present in the year 2000. They eventually had nine children as follows:
MARCIA ANN YOUNG, daugher of John Wesley (Dick) & Marcy Young, born 13 Mar 1887 Escalante, Garfield, Utah, married Joseph Aaron Prows 6 Jun 1907, family moved to California, died 11 Aug 1964 in Fresno California.
JOHN WESLEY (WES) YOUNG, born 30 May 1888 Escalante, Garfield Co Utah, son of John Wesley (Dick) & Marcy Young, married Minnie Irene Willden 13 Dec 1911, discovered a Spanish gold mine while herding sheep in the Uintah Mountains above Kamas Utah in the 1940’s but never profited from it, died 8 Jun 1981 Gunnison, Sanpete Co Utah.
WILLIAM RILEY YOUNG, born 30 Oct 1889 Escalante, son of John Wesley (Dick) & Marcy Young, married Clara Belle Savage 14 Mar 1912, developed a new popular variety of potatoes on his farm in Antimony Utah, became one of the first real estate agents in Richfield Utah, died 13 Mar 1986 in Richfield, Sevier Co Utah.
GLADYS YOUNG, born 25 Oct 1891, daugher of John Wesley (Dick) & Marcy Young, married George Daniel Goulding 26 Oct 1911, pioneered the town of Boulder Utah with her family and then moved to Murray, died 17 Jun 1981 in Murray, Salt Lake Co Utah
LEONARD M YOUNG, born 17 Jan 1894 Escalante, Garfield Co Utah, son of John Wesley (Dick) & Marcy Young, served in the US Army in World War I, married Eunice Bullock, went with his family to California to work in motion pictures, died 23 Feb 1966 in North Hollywood, Los Angeles Co California.
GERTRUDE YOUNG, born 17 Aug 1896 Escalante, daugher of John Wesley (Dick) & Marcy Young, married Joseph Bullock 5 Jul 1914, died in Salt Lake City during the influenza epidemic on 12 Oct 1918, newborn baby died at the same time and was buried in the same casket at the Widtsoe cemetery in John’s Valley.
SIMON (TED) YOUNG, born 17 Mar 1900 Escalante, son of John Wesley (Dick) & Marcy Young, joined the Army while under-age in World War I and paradoxically sent home to his death while stopping over at his sister Gertrude’s home in Salt Lake where he contracted influenza and died 8 Oct 1918, buried at Widtsoe Utah cemetery.
ELIZABETH (BETH) YOUNG, born 16 Jan 1902 Escalante, daugher of John Wesley (Dick) & Marcy Young, married Vernal Randolph Frandsen, pioneered the town of Duchesne Utah, died Apr 1984 in Duchesne, Uintah Co Utah.
MAUDE ROSELT (ROSE) YOUNG, born 6 Nov 1904 Escalante, daugher of John Wesley (Dick) & Marcy Young, married Vernal Frandsen's brother C. Harold Frandsen, pioneered the town of Duchesne Utah, died in Uintah Co.
The U.S. Census taken on 21 Jun 1900, Garfield Co., Utah (FHL film #1241683), shows the three Young brothers, sons of Willis and Ann Cherry Young living on adjacent farms in the Coyote Precinct. It indicates that all three brothers had proven ownership of their homesteads by that time:
WILLIAM W YOUNG, age 47, able to read and write, owns farm mortgage free
HARIET P YOUNG, age 40, able to read and write, mother of 11 children, 9 living
MABEL J YOUNG, age 16
WESLEY YOUNG, age 14
MARION W YOUNG, age 11
OSCAR O YOUNG, age 6
ROLAND YOUNG, age 4
LEONE YOUNG, age 1
JOHN W YOUNG, age 39, able to read and write, owns farm mortgage free
MARCIA A YOUNG, age 31, able to read and write, mother of 7 children, 7 living
MARCY A YOUNG, age 13
JOHN W YOUNG, age 12
WILLIAM R YOUNG, age 10
GLADYS YOUNG, age 8
LEONARD YOUNG, age 6
GERTRUDE YOUNG, age 3
SIMON YOUNG, age 4 months
LEMUEL M YOUNG, age 33, able to read and write, owns farm mortgage free
JANE C YOUNG, age 29, able to read and write, mother of 7 children, 5 living
SARAH J YOUNG, age 11
LEMUEL M YOUNG, age 10
ANGUS YOUNG, age 7
JOSEPH YOUNG, age 3, twin
HYRUM YOUNG, age 3, twin
The Young brothers' parents were still living in Escalante on 14 Jun 1900 when the census was taken (FHL film #1241683). All of their children had left home by this time:
WILLIS S YOUNG, age 71, able to read and write, owns house mortgage free
ANNIE C YOUNG, age 64, able to read and write, mother of 11 children, 6 living
MABEL J YOUNG, age 16
Willis and Annie Young actually had 12 children. They had 4 little babies that died in infancy. They also had two daughters that died at an early age shortly after marriage:
JAMES ALFRED YOUNG, son of Willis & Ann Young, born and died in Cedar City, Iron Co Utah in 1854.
MELINDA YOUNG, twin daughter of Willis & Ann Young, born and died in Cedar City in 1857. JOSEPHINE YOUNG, twin daughter of Willis & Ann Young, born and died in Cedar City in 1857.
RHODA, daughter of Willis & Ann Young, born and died in Toquerville, Kane Co Utah, in 1862.
MARY FRANCIS YOUNG, born 14 May 1856 in Cedar City, daughter of Willis & Ann Young, married John Charles Roe 24 Nov 1873 in Salt Lake City, Utah, died 25 Mar 1883, age 26.
LEAH JANE YOUNG, born 17 Apr 1859 in Toquerville, daughter of Willis & Ann Young, married Erastus Beck in 1878, died before Oct 1890, about age 30.
The Young brothers took homesteads, built cabins and corrals, dug canals and made good farms in John’s Valley. It was a long and tedious job because the work was done with raw physical labor and & horse teams. Men relied on physical strength in those days--and on their horses. Sometimes all their hard work seemed to be in vain. One settler's daughter wrote that one summer when she grew old enough to notice people and their expressions, "I saw lines of worry beneath the dust on father's face.... I heard him say to mother, "It's burning up. The crops can't hold out many more days." I remember how he clenched his hands into a fist and brought them down on the table and bowed his head over them as if her were in terrible pain. I can never forget mother's face, as standing by his chair, she placed a hand on his shoulder but said nothing. Father reached up to her hand, putting one of his over it. That night before I fell asleep, I saw father sitting near the lamp with his Bible open."
Gladys Young Goulding wrote that despite the hardships, "The Youngs were a jolly family, always telling jokes -- sometimes on each other or anyone else they knew. And there were times when they made jokes out of the more serious happenings, like the time Leonard caught an Escalante man shooting sage hens out of season. Leonard made the man believe he was a deputy game warden. He got five dollars out of the man, but father made him give it back! One experience wasn't a joke. It was in the spring of 1900. The family had spent the winter in Escalante. It must have been in April when they started for the ranch, together with Dick's brother William and family. While they were crossing over the Escalante Moutain, a terrible blizzard hit them. By the time they reached the mouth of Sweetwater Canyon and started north to their ranch, about five miles away, the snow was nearly three feet deep. As night came on, the blizzard continued. It seemed the horses traveled in circles, wandering around most of the night not knowing where they were. Finally, one wagon became stuck in a wash. They put four horses on one wagon, then men, women and children crowded into the one covered wagon. They had one extra horse. One of the men rode that horse and let him go the way he wanted. The wagon followed, and he led them to the ranch! By that time it was coming daylight. That wasn't the end of their trouble! When they climbed out of the wagon and went into the house, they discovered that Simon, the baby was almost smothered. It was because of the crowded condition and mother's attempt to keep him warm that he hadn't gotten enough air. Well, it took them hours to get him back to normal. The Youngs had many experiences, and hard times, in getting that ranch to producing a good living. But they were hardy pioneers and through perserverance, they made a good ranch out of it."
The women had no easy task rearing children on the homesteads. Many loved nature as much as the men. Accustomed to difficulties, they were devoted to their families and church. There was no doctor, no church, and no post office. They were forced to rely upon home remedies for illness such as sticky-gum salve, made by melting pine gum and mutton tallow and mixing them together. It was especially good for drawing infection from sores. They also turned to God for help in time of need. They never expected bounty from a homestead without labor. Most devoted themselves to the task, and never complained about the mountain of work they faced each day. They tried not to think of it as a mountain, but rather in terms of one-job-at-a-time. When breakfast was finished, they considered the next job, and so on. Full of hope they gave themselves to their daily tasks. These were constant hard physical tasks. Women lost their youth washing on washboards, standing over hot stoves, cooking three meals a day, working in the fields, and many other chores that went with farm labor. In the winter, in order to wash clothes, tubs and wash boilers of snow had to be melted. The frozen underwear hung stiff on the line in the cold wind.
The summers were no exception. Myrtle Fautin Marquardson wrote about arriving in John's Valley, in a summer of the early 1900's: "A lonely cedar was the only tree we could see in the valley as we drew near my father's farm. Father and my brothers had previously built a large basement (or dugout), and it was finished when we arrived. 'Glad' is no word to express our feelings to be in the cool, shady, earth-smelling new home. It was not long after our arrival that two log rooms were added. A large pond had been made to store water for horses and livestock. Sometimes we had to settle the water for washing. The water was brought by canal from Flake Bottoms. Father had acquired a water right from Dick Young, an old settler, and all the ranchers on the ditch used it and stored water in ponds."
Unlike today’s world in many cases, women treasured the association with neighbors, because there were so few. Many tried to soften hardship with humor. Such was "the case of the Hermansen pig." This pig meant a great deal because it had been fattened and was ready to be butchered. But it became sick and staggered into the pond and was drowning. Fern Hermansen saw it, took off her shoes and stockings and went in after it, calling for help. The neighbor lady helped her pull it out of the water, and Fern stomped on the pig, trying to get the water out of its lungs. When it didn't rally, Fern was very despondent. The neighbor said "Why did you have to stomp the pig to death when you could have just drowned it?" They had a good laugh together, and then set about cutting it up to make soap out of the fat. They didn't dare eat the meat after it had been sick.
Dick Young’s father, Willis Smith Young died at age 81 on 16 May 1910 and his mother Ann Cherry Willis died at age 74 on 19 November in the same year. They were buried in the Escalante cemetery. Unfortunately, the graves of these two hardy pioneers remain unmarked. Their oldest child, Margaret Ann, born 8 Sep 1851 in Provo, Utah Co Utah, married Wallace Wesley Roundy 24 Oct 1870 in Kanarra, Iron Co Utah, died at age 81 on 13 Dec 1932 in Benson, Cache Co Utah. Another daughter, Ellen Matilda, born 28 Feb 1864, married George Boyd Wilson 29 Oct 1882, moved to Cowley Wyoming about 1900, died when nearly 90 years of age on 24 Feb 1954. Their youngest daughter, Dicy Elnora, born 5 Jan 1875 in Kanarrahville, married James Brigham Woolsey Jr. 29 Apr 1895 in Escalante, lived her entire life in Escalante and died at age 58 on 29 Nov 1933.
The following records were transcribed from the Panguitch Stake Record of Members, book 2, FHL #0025795: WILLIS S YOUNG of the Escalante Ward, Seventy, died 16 May 1910, old age.
ANN CHERRY YOUNG of the Escalante Ward, died 19 Nov 1910, paralisis
JOHN W YOUNG JR of the Marion Ward, father John Wesley Young, mother Marcy Ann Shirts, born 13 May 1888 Escalante Garfield Co Utah, baptized & confirmed 12 Nov 1911 by Adelbert Twitchell ordination to priesthood 1911
WALLACE R ROUNDY of the Escalante Ward, ordained an elder 24 Sep 1911
THOMAS WASHINGTON SMITH of the Henrieville Ward, departure 6 Jan 1911 to the Central States Mission
JOHN WESLEY YOUNG Sr of the Marion Ward, ordained an Elder 26 Mar 1911 by President James Houston
JOHN WESLEY YOUNG Jr of the Marion Ward, ordained an Elder 2 Dec 1911 by President James Houston
GEORGE DANIEL GOULDING of the Marion Ward, married GLADYS YOUNG of the Marion Ward, 31 Oct 1911, temple marriage
JOHN WESLEY YOUNG Jr of the Marion Ward, married IRENE WILDEN of the Tropic Ward, 1 Dec 1911, temple marriage
WILLIAM RILEY YOUNG of the Marion Ward, married CLARABELLE SAVAGE of the Marion Ward, 14 Mar 1912, temple marriage
MYRON SHURTZ of the Escalante Ward, Elder, age 26, died 9 May 1912, struck with lightning
SHIRLEY BELLE YOUNG, father Riley W. Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, Marion Ward, born 31 Dec 1913 Coyote, Garfield Co Utah, blessed 3 May 1914
PERRY MARTIN SHIRTS of the Marion Ward, Elder, departure 29 Mar 1913, Central States Mission
SARAH E SMILTH TWITCHELL of the Cannonville Ward, age 64, born (Council) Bluffs, (Potawattamie Co), Iowa, died 15 Feb 1913, parlysis or paralytic stroke
ELMA GOULDING, father George Daniel Goulding, mother Gladys Young, born 8 Oct 1914, Henderson, Garfield Co Utah, blessed 6 Dec 1914
LYMAN YOUNG of the Marion Ward, ordained a Deacon 24 May 1914, by Adelbert Twtchell
JOSEPH BULLOCK, Teacher married GERTRUDE YOUNG of the Marion Ward, 5 Jul 1914, civil marriage
JOSEPH BULLOCK of the Marion Ward, ordained an Elder 18 Jan 1915 by J.A. King
MARGUERITE YOUNG of the Marion Ward, father Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born 1 Nov 1915, blessed 29 Mar 1916 by George Black
PHYLLIS YOUNG of the Marion Ward, father Wm Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born 9 Jan 1916, Coyote, Garfield Co Utah, blessed 10 Dec 1917 by Marion King
KORANN YOUNG, father Wm Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born 18 May 1921 Coyote, Garfield Co Utah
BERNADINE YOUNG, father Wm Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born Aug 1921 Antimony, Garfield Co Utah, blessed 6 Oct 1921
RUTH YOUNG, father William Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born 13 Nov 1912 Coyote, Garfield Co Utah, baptized 13 Aug 1921 by William Riley Young, confirmed 6 Oct 1921
SHIRLEY BELLE YOUNG, father Wm Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born 31 Dec 1913 Coyote, Garfield Co Utah, baptized 1 Jul 1923
MARGUERITE YOUNG, father William Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born 17 Nov 1915 Coyote, Garfield Co Utah, baptized 19 Aug 1924 by William Riley Young
RUTH YOUNG, father William Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, age 12 yrs 5 months, born 15 Nov 1912 Coyote, Garfield Co Utah, died 5 Apr 1924, pneumonia
PHYLLIS YOUNG, father Wm Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born 29 Jan 1917 Coyote, Garfield Co Utah, baptized 14 Aug 1927
BURNADENE YOUNG, father Wm Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born 18 May 1921 Antimony, Garfield Co Utah, baptized 7 Jul 1929
CHARMAYN YOUNG, father Wm Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born 10 Aug 1930 Antimony, Garfield Co Utah, blessed 3 Nov 1930 by Charles E. Rowan Jr.
SHIRLEY BELLE YOUNG of the Antimony Ward, age 20, married ORAL HOLLIDAY 25 Jan 1933, temple marriage
MARGUERITE YOUNG of the Antimony Ward, age 17, married MERRIL LEON KING, age 23, Priest, civil marriage 8 May 1933
PHYLLIS YOUNG of the Antimony Ward, age 18, married MAVIN CAMPBELL 21 Nov 1934, temple marriage
MAVIN LACAL CAMPBELL of the Antimony Ward, father Mavin J. Campbell, mother Phyllis Young, born 26 May 1936 Richfield, Sevier Co Utah, blessed 3 Sep 1936 by Clyde H. Woodard
COLLEEN KING of the Antimony Ward, father Merrill Leon King, mother Marguerite Young, born 20 Oct 1936 Richfield, Sevier Co Utah, blessed 30 Jan 1937 by Merrill Leon King
CHARMAYN YOUNG of the Antimony Ward, father Wm Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born 10 Aug 1930 Antimony, Garfield Co Utah, baptized 29 Jul 1939
PHYLLIS YOUNG of the Antimony Ward, age 24 married ARDEN NAY 1940
SHIRLEY NAY of the Antimony Ward, father Arden Nay, mother Phyllis Young, born 15 Jan 1942 Richfield, Sevier Co Utah, blessed 1 Mar 1943 by Ward F. Savage
WILLIAM RILEY YOUNG, Sunday School Second Assistant, 1943
MAVIN LACALL CAMPBELL of the Antimony Ward, father Mavin Campbell, mother Phyllis Young, born 26 May 1936 Richfield, Sevier Co Utah, Baptized 20 Jul 1944 by Ward F. Savage
RICHARD PHIL NAY of the Antimony Ward, father Arden Nay, mother Phyllis Young, born 10 Nov 1944 Richfield, Sevier Co Utah, blessed 25 Jan 1945 by Var A. Wiley
WARREN LOUIS WILDEN, Deacon, age 22, married NINA DUTTON 8 Sep 1948, civil marriage
MAVIN LACAL CAMPBELL NAY, ordained a Deacon 6 Jun 1948 by Chester Allen
The first government survey by Bailey and Burrill in 1876 shows land held in Sweetwater by "Mrs John D. Lee" and the Isaac Riddle Ranch. On 17 Oct 1890, Ranch Creek property was sold to Isaac Riddle by John R. Jolley. In 1893-94, Robert S. Mangum worked for a cattleman in the north end of the valley named John Williams who later moved to Loa. At the same time, mention is made of land on Thumb Creek being farmed by John Hunt. John Hammeker is said to have lived on Sweetwater Creek in one account and on South Creek in another. John H. Davies was foreman from about 1874 to 1900 for the Kanarra Cattle Co-op which summered their stock on the range south of Flake bottom. John Steele helped him. Two of the earliest homesteaders in the north end of the valley in about 1894 were John Campbell and John Wesley 'Dick' Young. It is no wonder that the name of Emery Valley evolved to John's Valley!
In 1896, just two years after the Young brothers, Will Henderson brought his herds of sheep into the area and began to homestead on Ranch Creek. He eventually built a beautiful ten-room lumber home and painted it white with green trim. His three oldest sons and their wives lived here, caring for the sheep and the farm. Leo and George Dutton were the hired hands who herded the sheep and tended the crops when the Hendersons were away. George and Ted Graff also herded sheep for Mr Henderson. The children of these sons came back to live at the ranch each summer and they were close friends of the Youngs' children.
Clayborne L. Elder and his wife Elmina Stoker moved to the Henderson area in the summer of 1907 from Junction Utah. Their closest neighbors were the Henderson, Young, and Riddle families. The children of these four families all became fast friends. Golda Elder Mangum later wrote: "Sill Riddle, from Antimony (then called Coyote), hired my father to bring his family and spend the summer on his ranch on Ranch Creek. We always called it the Riddle Ranch. In our family, besides our parents, there were five boys: Leo, Claude, Ren, Barlow, and Que, and myself. We ranged from 16 to 3 years of age at the time we moved into the valley. Father and my brothers who were big enough to help, put up the wild hay that was raised on the ranch. The wild hay grew beautifully in the valley, anywhere it could be irrigated. They also milked fourteen cows, and my mother made butter and cheese from the cream and milk. Father filed on a homestead of 160 acres that summer and later filed on a Desert Entry of another 160 acres, making 320 acres in all. After a few years it was all under cultivation through the hard work of my father and brothers. The largest crop we ever raised in one summer was 3,000 bushels of grain and 100 tons of hay--most of the hay was alfalfa."
At this time it was a lonely valley about fifteen miles long and six miles wide, covered with sage and rabbitbrush, with the East Fork of the Sevier River running along the west side. Each spring there would be an abundance of water in the creeks and river to irrigate with until mid summer. Then about the 24th of July it always seemed to rain a lot. The families depended on the water from these rains to continue irrigating so they could raise a good late summer crop. Frost came as late as the first of June and again in early September, so the growing season was short--not long enough to raise wheat, but barley, oats and rye grew well--along with one crop of alfalfa. In order to get irrigation water on the new farms, it was necessary to build a dam across the Sevier River on the west side of the valley. Sometimes the high water would wash away their abutments, and they would have to rebuild them. It was a lot of hard work, but the hope of getting water for the farms kept them going. Then, too, a canal had to be dug across the valley. This was done with iron scrappers forged in the local blacksmith shop and pulled by horses.
There were very few homesteaders in John's Valley who didn't struggle for an existence. No one had a tractor in those days. All the farm work was done with horses. Nearly all the land needed clearing. The tall sagebrush had to be dug out and ditches made to bring water for irrigation. There were many different methods for uprooting the large sagebrush. One involved a large log with huge metal hooks driven along its length. This was pulled through the sage by two to four horses. The hooks would snag on the brush and pull it out. It was dangerous work as the log would flip over and the driver had to be nimble of foot to avoid being hit. The sage was wind-rowed in this manner and burned. Another technique for removing sagebrush was by using a section of railroad rail with a chain connected to each end. The chain was attached to the front axle of a heavy wagon and the length adjusted so that the hind wheels sat on top of the rail. Four horses were harnessed to the wagon dragged it around the field to tear up the brush.
Rabbits ate the grain to the ground while it was young and tender, so the ranchers built rabbit-proof' fences around their farms by weaving brush closely through the wire. In addition, they organized large rabbit drives to kill as many as possible. The rabbit meat was sent frozen by train from Marysvale to Salt Lake where it was sold for food. In spite of the discouragements, the Youngs, Elders, Hendersons and Riddles had the best farms in the valley. The soil was deep and rich as indicated by the six-foot high sagebrush, and there was good grazing for their livestock in the mountains. They had to travel twenty miles to Coyote or sixty miles to Marysvale for for supplies. They often made a trip to the gristmill, forty miles away at Kingston for flour. A garden was of prime importance. They found that peas, carrots, lettuce, potatoes, and rutabegas grew the best.
The Riddle, Young, and Elder families were instrumental in getting the first mail into the valley. To get it going, the boys from these three families -- Clell and Chess Riddle, Leo, Claude, and Ren Elder, Riley, Wesley, and Leonard Young -- carried the mail on horseback from Coyote three days a week for three months without pay. Mahonri was the designation given for this first John's Valley post office (mail to Coyote), established 21 Mar 1908. It was named after Mahonri Moriancumer Steele Jr who was a public school teacher and later superintendent of Garfield County Schools. Dick Young's sister-in-law, Lucetta T. Shurtz was postmistress from 21 Mar 1908 until it was discontinued on 15 Sep 1909. The first school in John's Valley was held in one room of the Young's home and was taught by Rosa Goulding.
In 1909, the families living in the north end of the valley decided to organize a town. They made a proposed drawing of the town plat, had it surveyed and applied to the Garfield County Commission for establishment. It consisted of 80 acres of land laid out in blocks and lots. The town was named in honor of Will Henderson who donated part of his homestead and paid for the survey. Besides donating the land, Will Henderson also furnished the water pipe for the town, which came from a spring in Horse Creek. He was later sustained president of Panguitch Stake 3 Feb 1921, in which capacity he served fourteen years, until 1935. He died 28 Oct 1945 at Panguitch, Utah. Plat A of the town of Henderson was officially approved by the County Commission 13 Apr 1916, and a school district was included. In the winter of 1911, school in Henderson was held in one of the rooms at the Riddle Ranch, with about fourteen pupils. Inez Sudweeks from Kingston was the teacher, but stayed only a few months. Dan Goulding had married Gladys Young on 26 Oct 1911 and he finished out the year as teacher. Clayborne Elder was made trustee and his responsibilities included getting the school organized, obtaining supplies and paying the teacher. Ren and Claude elder hauled the first school supplies and books from Marysvale to Henderson & Winder. It was so cold on the trip they nearly froze their feet. Later school teachers in Henderson were Roseltha Bosen, William Brandon, Cora Goulding, Johanna Henrie, Jean Heywood, Fred Hoffman, Matilda Jacklin, Elva Sorenson, Eva Beebe Swanson, Rachel Thompson, Blane Watson, and Alma Wilson.
It was not possible to make the two-day trip to Coyote for church at the Marion Ward in summer, and in fact the record indicates that the Youngs were only partially active in Escalante from they time they were married. But it is obvious that his parents' deaths in 1910 awakened something in Dick Young, and he must have determined to repent. Long neglected ordinances were performed in 1910 & 1911, and the Youngs joined with their neighbors in John's Valley to start a Sunday School. They met in each others' homes. The Church designated them the John's Valley branch of the Marion Ward in Coyote on 10 Dec 1911. Delbert Twitchell was the first Presiding Elder. Jasper Henderson (son of Will Henderson), and Perry Shurtz were Presiding Elders in later years. Gladys, Leonard, Gertrude, Simon, and Elizabeth were all baptized and confirmed 18 Jul 1910. Dick Young was ordained an Elder 26 Mar 1911 and served as the first Superintendent of the Sunday School in John's Valley, a position he held for a number of years. Gladys was endowed 26 Oct 1911 and married on the same day in the Salt Lake Temple to Dan Goulding. Wesley Young was baptized & confirmed 12 Nov 1911, ordained an Elder 2 Dec 1911, and endowed & married in the Salt Lake Temple to Minnie Irene Willden 13 Dec 1911.
When the Henderson Branch membership became larger, Leo & Ren Elder and Wesley Young went into the mountains and chopped logs to build a meetinghouse. Clayborne Elder and Delbert Twitchell hauled the logs to Dick Young's sawmill in South Creek. Mr. Young sawed them into lumber, and the men and boys built the meetinghouse on the lower end of Will Henderson's farm. The building was used for church, school and dances. The tiny branch continued until August 1917, when the membership was transferred to the Widsoe Ward. The town of Henderson continued to exist even though the church branch was absorbed by the Widtsoe ward. Don Carlos Pope wrote that he lived in the town of Henderson in the spring of 1917 when World War I broke out.... "where I was second counselor to the Presiding Elder Gilbert Beebe, president of the MIA, and Justice of the Peace." He also lived in Henderson in the winter of 1921 when a son Ivan was born 19 Dec 1921, and again during the summer of the following year when his daughter Iris was married 12 Jun 1922. Reed Beebe said that "after the church-schoolhouse was built in Henderson (we were still a part of the Marion Ward in Coyote, later Antimony), we went to school there. It was a 'try-weekly' school; go one week and try to get back the next. We danced at the old Riddle Place on the earth floor (well-sprinkled down) of the cabin. Music was generally by Clayborne Elder and family on guitar and fiddle, and everybody had a fine time. Dances were the important thing then. We would dance all night on a Saturday night, and some did not even go home before Church the next morning. We always stopped for an hour or so during the dance to enjoy the food brought and prepared by the ladies. Golda Elder wrote that my father and brothers, accompanied by an organist (usually Gladys or Simon Young) played the music for the dances in Henderson."
Members who went on missions from the Henderson branch were Perry Shurtz who went to the Southern States; Leo Elder to the Central States mission; Delbert Twitchell, his wife Eva, and son Leland Twitchell all went to the Samoan Mission. Perry Shurtz and the Twitchell family were relatives of the Youngs. Riley Young was ordained an Elder 2 Dec 1911--the same day as his older brother Wesley, endowed and married to Clara Savage 14 Mar 1912 in the Manti Temple. Gertrude Young married Joseph Bullock in Henderson on the same day that he was baptized & confirmed 2 Jul 1914. He was soon after ordained an Elder 18 Jan 1915, and they both went to the Salt Lake Temple for their endowments and to have their marriage solemnized 14 Feb 1915.
The U.S. Postal Service re-established the Henderson post office 20 Jan 1915 with Nettie Ackerman as postmistress. There were 15 homes around the church-schoolhouse and the post office was in part of the Ackerman home. Mame Sprague had a small store. Lavina Moses Twitchell wrote that the children who attended school in Henderson in 1915 walked a mile through snow so deep it covered the fences and brush. Grover C. Orton took over as postmaster 21 apr 1917, then Vera B. Robinson continued as postmistress from 7 Feb 1920 until 29 Sep 1923 when it was discontinued. Beatrice Twitchell Gleave wrote that after returning from his mission to the Samoan Islands, her father Adelbert Twitchell "helped to survey and lay out a townsite which was called Henderson. They built a church-schoolhouse (one building served both purposes) on this townsite. When the state highway was built a mile to the west of this town, the church-schoolhouse was moved down to it. Adelbert was branch president for many years after it was moved to the highway. There was also a post office; Vera Robinson was the postmistress. There was also a store kitty-corner from the schoolhouse, which was owned and run by the Winkles of Richfield Utah. Many good times were had in the school building, such as dances and banquets." The Henderson post office was again re-established on 23 Feb 1924 and Joseph J. Anderson worked as postmaster until it was discontinued for the final time on 15 Dec 1924.
The Gilbert Beebe family also located in the Henderson area. His son Reed Beebe wrote: "During the sumer of 1909, my mother's stepfather, John S. Baler, made several trips for lumber up on the East Fork to Emery Valley, now known as Johns Valley, to the George M. Bybee sawmill located on Flake Bottoms. In recounting his first trip, he told of the wonderful meadows of tall bluegrass (as he called it) and how it was belly-deep on the horses; that unused water ran from several side canyons, that a small river flowed the entire length of the valley -- cold, pure, and clear; how sagehens were in abundance; cottontail and jackrabbits were fat and plentiful; that bands of wild horses dotted the landscape; that it was a veritable Garden of Eden. My father was so impressed that he made a trip into the valley, which was forty miles south and east of Junction, Piute County, where we then lived. Grandfather and father planned to file applications for homesteads on some of the land, buy other land from the State of Utah, and colonize the area. But on his last trip, Grandfather Baler broke his leg and died late that fall. The next spring, Father leased the Riddle Ranch in the lower end of the valley at what we called the 'bend in the river,' and we moved up into what we considered the 'great valley.' Here we milked from forty to sixty head of range cows."
Marie Sandberg Memmott wrote that thier family moved to the Henderson area in 1923 from Salt Lake. "My closest neighbors were Ida Steed, Ruby Sandberg, Nettie Ackerman, who lived a mile either way from my place, and Eva and Nancy Twitchell who lived two miles away. We attended church in the town of Henderson for some time. It was in Henderson, that Georgia Beebe ran the post office, and Gert Winkle ran a store. Later on, we had to go to Widtsoe to attend church. I was put in as Relief Society President (in the 1930's) with Luella Adair and Tillie H. Nelson as my counselors. We were the last (Widtsoe Ward) officers to be put in. We have never been released, but our members all moved away, and our ward died! The remaining membership was transferred to Antimony Ward. And we still have the ranch."
Dan Goulding wrote that he, "was from Panguitch Utah and Gladys Young was from Johns Valley. We came as a married couple to homestead in 1912. We filed on 160 acres in 1912 and gained title in 1917, on SE 1/4 sec 5 (or 6), twn 34 R 2W. We had a desire to get our land under cultivation and to see the whole valley growing good crops. We were interested and active in the Henderson Branch of the Church, and later in the Widtsoe Ward. I taught school one winter in Henderson. We helped in any way we could in the development of that part of the valley. We were interested in all of the wonderful entertainments, social programs, and dances that were held in the valley. Our neighbors were Grover Orton on the north of us, and Bert Halladay on the south. We had no neighbors on the east or west. We lived on the homestead nine years, and in that period of time there are bound to be many experiences--some funny, some serious, and some sad. When we moved onto that homestead, we built four walls about four feet high and stretched a tent over them. We built some shelves in the northeast corner for the wife's dishes. We had a bronco we wanted to break for a workhorse. The day came, and I hitched him to the wagon with a horse that was gentle. Well, the only object that bronc could see was that tent, and he made straight for it. The front wheel hit the northeast corner and goodbye to my wife's wedding dishes! Soon after this we built one room, 12 x 14 feet. The outside walls were green 1 x 12 boards, nailed horizontally to the studs. The boards dried and left cracks! While I was away for a day or two, there was a hard windstorm. When I got home my wife was about ready to go back to her mama. The house and everything in it was saturated with John's Valley dirt. These and many other happenings were serious to us then, but we laugh about them now. The first few years we were on the homestead my father owned sheep. In order that we could have some money to live on while we got the land ready to make a living (so we thought) I was away from home from one day to a week at a time. So Gladys spent many lonely days on that homestead. But, for some reason, we were happy! We left there in 1922, and we reside in Murray, Utah. Now? We wish we still owned that old homestead, and if we did, we would spend the summers there."
Maria Southam Gleave wrote: "My husband died in 1920, leaving me with four children of our own plus my brother Don's daughter, Margaret, who I had taken to raise when she was thirteen months old, because her mother had died. My children and I decided to leave Vernal Utah and move to Johns Valley where I had three brothers. We arrived in Henderson in September 1921. The first winter the boys and I did the janitor work for both the school and church--which was the same building. We were provided a house to live in and $5 per month. Margaret did housework for the Wallace Adair family in Widtsoe. Vera Robinson was postmistress at Henderson. She had added a room to her house so she could use one of her other rooms for the post office. She needed the room lathed and plastered. The carpenter was too busy to come when she needed him, and the weather was getting cold, so I put all the lath on and had part of the plaster by the time he arrived. He said, ‘The lath job is as good as anyone can do; the plastering is very smooth and good, but it will be pretty darn expensive the way you are mixing it’."
Delilah Hermansen Brown wrote that their family moved from Elsinore, Utah to the Henderson area about 1916. They were there for short periods to prove up on the land, but became discouraged when early frost would not permit crops to mature. She admits that her father was a blacksmith, not a farmer. She said they attended Church services in a small frame building in Henderson, but were not there long enough to become very involved. "My parents often mentioned the many good friends they made in the short time they lived in Johns Valley. Most all of them had one thing in common--They were trying to build a new country, which was not easy. I think this brought them closer together, religiously, and as friends. Our neighbors were Mr Partridge on the north and Mr Young on the south."
Fredrika Hermansen Clinch wrote about their family migration from Denmark to Utah. It was quite a shock trying to adjust to the rigors of the new country. They lived in Elsinore for a short time and then decided to homestead in John's Valley. She gives a vivid description of the pioneer trail from the point of view of a child: "All day the horses pulled the wagon through the winding, dusty roads of Marysvale Canyon. We spent the night by Rock Candy Mountain. Father took the harness from the horses' tired backs, and put oat bags on their noses. The horses shivered their muscles and switched their tails and stomped their feet, trying to keep the horseflies from biting them. The mosquitoes kept biting us. The blood-sucking insects flew everywhere and buzzed in our ears. Father put green branches on the fire (smoke drives insects away), but the smoke made us choke. Over the campfire, mother cooked something for us to eat. As soon as supper was over we went to bed on the ground. When the campfire burned itself out, I was still awake. There seemed to be sounds from all directions; the wind in the trees, the water splashing against the rocks, the horses moving about. From the brush and rocks came a chirping sound, the mosquitoes hummed in my ears, and out of the darkness came the weird screech of an owl and the howl of a coyote. I moved closer to my sister for protection. The following morning, we left Rock Candy Mountain just as the sun was coming over the mountains. For three days the wagon was our home, as we traveled onward to our new home.... the valley previously claimed by rabbits, groundhogs, and coyotes which howled in the restless wind that blew so often. The sagebrush was as tall as trees, and before the crops could be planted it had to be uprooted. Logs were hauled from the surrounding mountains for cabins, and they had to build the cabins warm to keep the howling blizzards out. Then the cold blizzards came, fires had to be kept going to keep the frost from creeping in and forming ice on the water buckets.... weekdays they went to school, and Sunday they worshipped God. It was dimly lit, and lacked electricity and plumbing. Drinking water was kept in a tin bucket along with a dipper. Everyone drank from the same dipper, often putting it back with the extra water they didn't drink. It was little wonder in 1918 that the flu spread so explosively, and medicine made little headway with it, and the cemetery on the hill started to fill. I remember when Mabel Woodard tried to get us to make paper cups to drink from."
Following the lead of settlers in the north end of the valley, Julia Maxwell Adair gave a portion of her land in the south end of the valley, to be made into another town in September 1910: "I, Julia M. Adair of Tropic, Garfield Co Utah, hereby certify that I am the owner of the SW 1/4, NE 1/4, Sec. 22, Tp. 34 South, Range 2 West, S.L.M., the land embraced in the within .... have caused the same to be platted as shown .... into lots, blocks, and streets, that the lots and blocks will be deeded as shown by number and that the streets are hereby dedicated to the public and that this plat shall be known as Plat "A" Winder Town Survey, signed Julia A. Adair." All streets were 5 rods wide, the blocks were 20 rods square, and all lots were to be 10 rods square. The buildings were to be 100 feet from any street. Approved by the Board of County Commissioners in open session, witnessed, signed, and given the seal of the County Clerk in Panguitch, Utah 19 Sep 1910. An adjoining portion of ground, Plat B, was approved by the county commissioners 13 Apr 1914. Garfield County Records.
For some reason, Julia Adair's town of Winder attracted more people than Henderson in the north end of the valley, and a ward called ‘Houston’ was established. The name of the town was later changed to Widtsoe because they did not want to become confused with the Winder neighborhood in the Salt Lake Valley, and the name of Houston Ward was changed to Widtsoe Ward. During the 1913-14 school year, Dick Young's youngest daughters Elizabeth and Maud Young were listed as attending the Winder public school with Olive Woolley teacher of 1st-4th grade and Clinton Burt teaching 5th-8th grade. But a photo taken during the 1916-17 school year shows them at the Henderson School with Alma Wilson (not shown in the picture) listed as teacher.
In the spring of 1911, George and Minnie Willden came into the valley from Salt Lake. They brought their oldest daughter Jane and her husband George Kilner with them. Jane and George had two little girls, and the Willdens had seven other children. Their oldest son Ira who was 22, had taken a job as an accountant in Milford Utah. These two families filed on 160 acres each, and the Willdens bought an acre of land in Winder, later called Widtsoe. They left Salt Lake early in June and Minnie's face was very white when they left. She had opposed the move and hated to sell her beautiful home. She disliked the idea of her children leaving school for the farm and the hardship which she remembered from her childhood. George Willden bought a covered wagon and a team of bay horses named Tom and Dick. George and Jane Kilner also purchased a team and covered wagon. Their horses were gray and called Duke and Monty.
The children were excited about this big new adventure, and George Willden had always dreamed about having a farm of his own. Of course they had a picture-book farm in mind with chickens, cows, pigs and horses, with beautiful fields and pastures. But instead, they found a wilderness with little else but pinion pine, cedar, sage and greasewood. During the two years they were there they lived for months on beans and brown bread, and prayed for potatoes. Even though Minnie Willden was a renowned bread maker in Salt Lake, she could not bake with the flour that was milled in John's Valley from frozen wheat. George built a home on the lot in the Winder and put a tent on the homestead, where he lived when he was working the land. But the altitude was so high that most garden vegetables would not grow, let alone ripen, and despite George's reputation at gardening, the only thing he could raise was heartache. The house had two stories, with two very large rooms on the ground floor. The largest was the kitchen and dining room combination, the other was a parlor where he and his wife slept. The two upstairs rooms were where the children slept -- one for the girls and one for the boys. The stairs went up the north wall of the kitchen, and underneath was a pantry. The kitchen had large windows on the east and west. The door was on the east. The parlor had windows on the west and south. George made most of the furniture and soon they had a very cozy home. Minnie was a master at cleanliness and soon after the Willdens arrived, many people asked to borrow her wash tubs, wash boards and soap. They were so poor, they lacked these things themselves.
Minnie would tie cows to the fence to milk them so the family could have butter and milk. Warren lost half of his right index finger when he got too close and the wild cow his mother was milking kicked its hobbles loose and caught his finger between her toes and jerked it off. Yet, the family had some good times in John's Valley. Any celebration was a family affair and everyone came to the dances. There was a lady who played the organ and an old man who played the fiddle. In the combination church-school house that George Willden helped to build, the benches were pushed back to thea walls and babies were put to bed on them. Everyone danced the waltzes, two step, square dances, polkas and quadrilles. Everyone seemed to be able to dance well and enjoyed themselves very much. Norman and May Willden were asked to help take care of the building. Norman had to cut the wood to heat it and May helped keep it clean. They were promised $12 for the school year to share between them. George Willden had built the large table and was paid with quilts.
Their daughter Irene, age 19 married John Wesley Young 13 Dec 1911. They traveled to Salt Lake to be married in the Temple. The following spring, on 3 Mar 1912 Jane gave birth to a son that they named George Earl. He was born in Tropic Utah, the nearest place where there was a midwife. On 29 Oct that same year, Irene also gave birth to a son named Jay Wesley Young. Ira Willden never married. In 1912, he went to Texas to work for a land speculation company as a bookkeeper and accountant. He began sending his father and mother the literature, and soon George Willden could talk of nothing else but going to Texas. He sold all the family possessions and again, Minnie had to part with her home. The following poem was written for Minnie Willden by Louisa A. Mangum when she left:
Time is fleeting, Time is speeding
All are tested in life's race --
Only he is most victorious
Who in hearts have found a place
Only he who loves his fellows
And in turn, their love compels
Only he the most unselfish
In this race of life excels.
Let me say we had among us
For the two years almost past
One in whom we ever trusted
One whose influence will last
She has been so useful to us
Ever steadfast earnest true
And the friends she's made among us
Can't be numbered with the few.
Those who went to World War I from Henderson were Leonard Young, Arthur Openshaw, Claude Elder, Barlow Elder, and Fred Hoffman. Wilford Ackerman, Leo and Que Elder had calls to the Army but they were canceled because of the influenza epidemic of 1918, and the sudden ending of the war. Simon Young had left home and joined the Army at 16. When it was discovered that he was under age, he was sent home. He stopped at his sisters', Gertrude Young Bullock, in Salt Lake City on his way home and she and Simon both became ill with the flu-- also Gertrude’s new infant. Simon died 8 Oct 1918, and Gertrude and her infant baby died 12 Oct 1918. A funeral was held in Salt Lake and then all three bodies were transported to John's Valley, where they were buried. Everyone in the valley was shocked by it. Others also died as the epidemic spread.
The winter of 1918 was the most severe the John's Valley pioneers had experienced. Heavy snow fell early, and by November high drifts had accumulated. The cold sharpened its edge each day and it seemed that the wood was being carried in all the day long. Outside, the bitter cold waited for the wood cutter. Everyone in the valley it seemed had the flu. Throughout the winter the settlers seldom washed from top to toe all at once--it was simply too cold--only their hands, of course, before each meal. Vird L. Barney wrote that the children in John's Valley always had a lot of fun sleigh riding in the winter, but he said that, "The winter of 1918 brought more heartbreak and sorrow than fun. The flu raged wild, and fresh graves were dug each day. It was hard to dig them fast enough. My older brother, Van, helped to dig graves. There was another fine bodied young man (Richard Frederick Robinson, while digging Gertrude Young Bullock's grave) who remarked one day as they worked at that task. ‘One of these days you'll be digging a grave for me.’ His words were sadly prophetic. Three days later he was dead."
Despite the hardships, there were many fond memories of life in John's Valley. Each season had its pleasantries. They would look foreword to springtime, when the long winter months came to an end and wildflowers covered the mountains and valley. How good the first garden peas tasted! And fresh watercress could be picked in the mountain streams. The warm summer days brought town celebrations and family outings. Edgar Bert Stoddard wrote: "Frequently during the growing season, we as a family, would go fishing for four or five days. Most frequently to Deer Creek and Black Canyon, but I liked the trips south to the Tropic Reservoir and up Podunk Creek much better, as we never saw any rattlesnakes up there. Also there were green meadow valleys, tall pine trees, aspen groves, and more small streams." In the fall the people would gather pinion cones and have pine nut roasts-- putting the green cones in the campfire until they were good and hot, the sap melted off and they popped open. Then the roasted nuts were eaten with with great delight. Margarett Pope Campbell wrote that, "In winter we in Henderson would go in a crowd to the dances in Widtsoe, sitting in a wagon bed, or in a bobsleigh, dressed warmly and bundled in quilts to keep the chill of the wind out. As we were riding home at night late in the winter, what a beautiful sight it was with the snow-covered valley and the moon shining on it, creating a billion glistening diamonds with all the colors of the rainbow. I think that nowhere else on earth was the snow so pure and white and beautiful as in that valley!"
The following history of John's Valley was written before 1962 by Ida Adair Marshall, which she called ‘My Memories of Widtsoe’: "A great poet has written the lines --"You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will, But a scent of roses will hang round it still." -Thomas Moore. It is in the spirit of these words that I live again in memory the life story of years gone by. Some tell us that this is foolish sentiment, but to me it is a real job and satisfaction. For the most cherished things of life are the associations of father, mother, children and old friends. I am certain we are all happy to think back on our homeland in spite of the fact that it has succumbed to the ravages of economic ills. My first remembrance of Johns Valley was in 1902. In the winter of 1901, my father, Jedidiah "Adair, told mother, Julia Maxwell Adair, and the family he was planning on moving to Johns Valley as soon as school was out in the spring and filing on some land for a homestead. He wanted to farm and have work for his boys, and also have a dairy business. He said it was a beautiful open valley with hundreds of acres of farm land. There was a green meadow in the mouth of a canyon that was called Sweetwater, with a spring of clear water running out of the pasture. Father asked his family what they thought of his plans. We always thought our father's judgment was very wise. He was thinking about the future of his family. He had two wives and twenty two children, and they had lost two children. Father was a strong man, a tireless worker, and mother stood by his side and bore the burdens of pioneer life like a real heroine. They knew the life of pioneers as they had lived under the United Order in Orderville, Kane Co Utah, before moving to Tropic. They both were from early pioneer families in Utah. Grandfather and Grandmother Adair came to Salt Lake in 1847. Mother's father, William B. Maxwell, was one of the Mormon Battalion who came to Utah and helped settle Utah County. In 1902, when school was out in Tropic, furniture, bedding, and food were loaded in the wagon with eight children, and we were on our way for our summer home. We did not know what kind of home or place we would live in. We enjoyed the ride through the valley surrounded by beautiful mountains, but all we could see were jackrabbits and prairie dogs. It looked dreary to us and we began to feel lonely. My sister Charlotte and I began to sing 'Home, Sweet Home.' Father laughed and said, "Never mind, girls, someday this valley will be waving fields of grain, and you will see large stacks of grain being threshed, and there will be cattle in the fields." The picture he painted looked bright for future farmers. After traveling nearly all day, we arrived at the place we were to call home. It was one mile below the green pasture called Sweetwater. All we could see was an old sheep shed where the sheepmen sheared their sheep in the spring. Father said, "This is the place." Mother smiled but didn't say a word. Again, we girls sang, 'Home, Sweet Home.' Imagine a wife and eight children landing in such a place. The shed had a rough lumber cover over the top with no sides. But we loved our father and respected his visions of the future. The first things unloaded were hoes, rakes, and shovels to clear the ground that was to be the only floor we were going to have. Father hung wagon covers around the sides and laid a piece of linoleum down where the stove and table were to sit. As we scraped the ground, the sheep smell was terrible but we did everything to make things pleasant for father and mother, as they never complained. We soon had homemade carpet laid where the beds were to be. We stretched heavy wire across the corners of the room, and curtains were hung for our clothes closets. Mother soon had dinner cooked for our first meal in our new summer home--one of the first homes in Widtsoe. Father smiled when he sat down to eat and said, ‘It begins to look like home’. He asked the blessing on the food, and all seemed happy but a little homesick. There were two ranches down in the valley about five miles away -- Riddles’ from Antimony in Piute County, and Dick Youngs’ from Escalante...."
Lillie Zabriskie Cuyler wrote that, "In 1917, we bought lot 3 in block 11, Plat B in Widtsoe. Living in Widtsoe, our good neighbors were; on the east, Jacob and Caroline Barney; southeast, my brother George and his wife Adella; south, Rob and Eugenia lay (later the Dick Youngs, and still later Duane and Irene Heaps); on the west Lige Goulding; northwest, my sister Emma and George Pinney; north, Roy and Mae Shaw; northeast, Rex and Bertha Meacham Taylor. Living on the upper east side of town, it was always interesting to see who the early risers were. We could tell by the smoke from their chimneys when they built fires in their stoves. Most families came into town from their ranches to attend Church, and afterward, we seldom ate Sunday dinner alone--everyone was neighborly."
The following was taken from the Widtsoe Ward (originally Winder and then Houston Ward) Records 1914-1923, FHL film 0002046. The ward was organized as Winder Branch 30 Aug 1911; organized as Houston Ward 8 Nov 1914; name changed to Widtsoe Ward 24 Jun 1915:
The following records were transcribed from the John's Valley Branch of the Marion Ward, Antimony Utah Record 1914-1923; FHL film 0002046:
JOHN W YOUNG, father, Willis Young, mother, Ann Cherry, born 26 Nov 1860 Toquerville, Kane Co Utah
MARCY ANN S YOUNG, father Don Carlos Shirts, mother Elizabeth Williams, born 18 Mar 1869, Kanara, Iron Co Utah, baptized 18 Aug 1877 by Andrew P. Schow
JOHN WESLEY YOUNG Jr, father John Wesley Young Sr, mother Marcy Ann Shirts, born 31 May 1888 Escalante Garfield Utah, baptized & confirmed 12 Nov 1911, ordained Elder 2 Dec 1911 by James Houston
WILLIAM RILEY YOUNG, father John Wesley Young Sr, mother Marcy Ann Shirts, born 30 Oct 1889 Escalante Garfield Utah, baptized & confirmed 14 Sep 1902 by George B. Wilson, ordained Elder 2 Dec 1911, removed to Marion Ward (Antimony)
GLADYS YOUNG GOULDING, father John Wesley Young, mother Marcy Ann Shirts, born 25 Oct 1892 Escalante Garfield Co Utah, received from Marion Ward 20 Jan 1918, baptized & confirmed 18 Jul 1910, Temple marriage to G D Goulding, removed to Boulder 30 Nov 1921
LEONARD YOUNG, father JW Young, mother Marcy A. Shirts, born 17 Jan 1894, Escalante, Garfield Co Utah, baptized & confirmed 18 Jul 1910 by Adelbert Twitchell
GERTRUDE YOUNG, father JW Young, mother Marcy A. Shirts, born 17 Aug 1897, Escalante, Garfield Co Utah, baptized 18 Jul 1910 by Adelbert Twitchell
SIMON YOUNG, father John Wesley Young Sr, mother Marcy Ann Shirts, born 17 Mar 1900, Escalante, Garfield Co Utah, baptized & confirmed 18 Jul 1910 by Adelbert Twitchell, ordained Deacon 24 May 1914, died of Influenza 8 Oct 1918
ELIZABETH YOUNG FRANDSEN, father John Wesley Young Sr, mother Marcy Ann Shirts, born 16 Jan 1902 Escalante Garfield Co Utah, baptized & confirmed 18 Jul 1910 by Adelbert Twitchell, civil marriage to Vernal Frandsen
MARCIA ANNE PROWS, father J. W. Young, mother Marcy A Shirts, received from Ogden 4th Ward, removed 8 Dec 1921
JOSEPH AARON PROWS, father Joseph Prows, mother Caroline Hansen, received from Ogden 4th Ward, removed 8 Dec 1921
MERRILL WESLEY PROWS, father Joseph A Prows, mother Marcia A Young, born 17 Jul 1908 Salina Sevier Utah, received from Ogden 4th Ward, blessed 6 Sep 1908, removed 8 Dec 1921
VIRGINIA PROWS, father Joseph A Prows, mother Marcia A Young, born 22 Nov 1910 Salina Sevier Utah, received from Ogden 4th Ward, blessed 6 Feb 1911, removed 8 Dec 1921
SIMON TED PROWS, father Joseph Aaron Prows, mother Marcia Ann Young, born 20 Jan 1919 Henderson Utah, blessed 17 Jun 1919, removed 8 Dec 1921
MINNIE IRENE WILDEN YOUNG, father Andrew George Wilden, mother Minnie Holt, born 16 Oct 1893 Salt Lake, Salt Lake Co Utah, baptized 2 Jul 1904, confirmed 3 Jul 1904
CLARABELLE SAVAGE YOUNG, father Alma Savage, mother Mary E Vest, born 14 Mar 1892 Greenwich Piute Utah, (located in Grass Valley, 24 miles north of Antimony) baptized 1 Sep 1906, confirmed 7 Oct 1906, received from Marion Ward
SHIRLEY BELLE YOUNG, father Wm Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born 31 Dec 1913 Coyote Garfield Utah, blessed 3 May 1914, removed to Marion Ward (Antimony)
MARGUERITE YOUNG, father Wm Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born 17 Nov 1915 Coyote Garfield Utah, blessed 29 Mar 1916, removed to Marion Ward
PHYLLIS YOUNG, father Wm Riley Young, mother Clarabelle Savage, born 29 Jan 1917 Coyote Garfield Utah, blessed 10 Dec 1917, removed to Marion Ward (Antimony)
GEORGE DANIEL GOULDING, father G Joseph Goulding, mother Lydia M Pinney, born 6 Sep 1887 Hillsdale Garfield Utah, received from Marion Ward 20 Jan 1918, baptized & confirmed 1896, temple marriage to Gladys Young, ordained High Priest by JM Henriee 20 Jan 1918, removed to Boulder 30 Nov 1921
MADA GOULDING, father George D Goulding, mother Gladys Young, born 30 Jul 1912 Henderson Utah, received from Marion Ward (Antimony) 20 Jan 1918, blessed 1 Oct 1912, baptized & confirmed 3 Sep 1921, removed to Boulder 30 Nov 1921
ERNA GOULDING, father Geo D Goulding, mother Gladys Young, born 8 Oct 1914 Henderson Utah, received from Marion Ward (Antimony) 20 Jan 1918, blessed 6 Dec 1914, removed to Boulder 30 Nov 1921
JUNE GOULDING, father Geo D Goulding, mother Gladys Young, born 26 Jan 1917 Panguitch Utah, received from Marion Ward (Antimony) 20 Jan 1918, blessed 1 Apr 1917, removed to Boulder 30 Nov 1921
ARDETH DAWN GOULDING, father Geo D Goulding, mother Gladys Young, born 16 Apr 1921, blessed 25 Jul 1921
GERTRUDE YOUNG BULLOCK, father John Wesley Young, mother Marcy Ann Shirts, born 17 Aug 1897 Escalante Garfield Utah, baptized & confirmed 18 Jul 1910, died of Influenza 12 Oct 1918
JOSEPH BULLOCK, father Joseph M Bullock, mother Elizabeth F Ballwinkley, born 27 Aug 1887, baptized & confirmed 2 Jul 1914, ordained Elder 18 Jan 1915
JOY FRANDSEN, father Vernal Frandsen, mother Elizabeth Young, born 29 Sep 1921 Widtsoe Garfield Co Utah, blessed 6 Nov 1921
MAUD R YOUNG FRANDSEN, father John Wesley Young Sr, mother Marcy Ann Shirts, born 6 Nov 1904 Escalante Garfield Utah, baptized & confirmed 5 Jul 1914, civil marriage to Harold Frandsen
When the state road was built through the center of the valley in the early 1920's, some of the people in Henderson wanted to move the town down on the road. The church-schoolhouse and some of the homes were moved about two or three miles west of the original site, which was near Horse Creek. This proved to be the beginning of the end for Henderson, since there was no water either for culinary use or gardens. Eva Beebe Swanson wrote that her parents, Harry and Eva Swanson, returned to Johns Valley in October 1918, where they homesteaded 160 acres of land. They moved a house, which had belonged to Mame Sprague, from upper Henderson townsite to the homestead. Eva taught school in Henderson during the years 1919-20, 1920-21, and 1921-22.
Most of the Henderson people stayed on their ranches or moved to Widtsoe during those years. Dick and Marcia Ann Shirts Young left their home in Henderson and bought the house of William H. Lay in Widtsoe. Dick Young went into Salt Lake and bought one of the first cars in John's Valley. In August 1924, when the Garfield Stake Quarterly Conference was held in Widtsoe, it was noted that this was the year of the greatest crop production in the history of the valley, more grain was produced than in all the rest of Garfield, Piute, and Kane Counties combined. During this time, Widtsoe was booming. A good school was established with David Woodard and Carl Mangum as school board members. The trustees were Orson Adair, Dick Young and Clayburn Elder, who organized the school with Eugene Hickman (age 19) as first teacher and he taught all grades.
Meanwhile, settlers continued to move into the Henderson area, and to them it was a whole new adventure. Ida Steed wrote that two days after she married Milton Steed on 29 Nov 1922, they left Syracuse Utah in a new truck which could not be driven faster than twenty miles an hour, and set out for Johns Valley where Milton's father had purchased a ranch. There was no heater in the truck, so they heated rocks to keep them warm, and put on two pair of long underwear. The first day they went as far as Nephi and stayed in a hotel. The next day they made it to Marysvale and stayed at the Pines Hotel. It took them from early morning the next day until after dark to arrive at the Johns Valley ranch -- "and I thought it was the end of civilization, or of the world. It took us three whole days to make the trip.... The ranch was located on the east side of the valley about in the middle of a large open valley, almost completely covered with sage and rabbit brush. West of the ranch about a mile, on the state road that went through the center of the valley from north to south were the Henderson post office, a little store, and a schoolhouse--a square frame building. Scattered around in the north end of the valley were several ranches. This was the town of Henderson, Utah of which we became a part. Our ranch was located at the foot of the beautiful tree-covered eastern mountains, with streams of water coming out of Ranch Creek and Birch Creek. We attended meetings in the little schoolhouse, Henderson being a branch of the Widtsoe Ward for about one year. We also had parties and dances and funerals in that little building, which remained standing like a silent watchman long after the greater part of the people had left."
A picture of the Henderson school children (all eight grades) for the year 1921-22 shows 13 students, including the three oldest children of Wesley and Irene Young -- Jay, Delsa, and Smith. Wesley moved his family into the home of George Pinney in Widtsoe during the winter of 1926, so the children could attend school. While there, they started the famous Widtsoe town candy 'factory.' Wesley's wife Irene had worked as a chocolate dipper at the Sweet Candy Company in Salt Lake City when she was a girl, and Wesley also had worked in a candy factory as a young man for a short time. They ordered some copper kettles and a round stove with removable top so the kettles could sit over the fire, and purchased the ingredients for candy making. They first rented and cleaned an old empty house in the north part of town but then had a chance to rent part of a new building downtown and moved the shop. Dick and his wife Marcy Ann spent Christmas day with their son Wesley that year. It was a warm sunny day, and Marcy Ann mentioned the old saying to her grandchildren that a "green Christmas meant a full graveyard." She died two days later of a heart attack and was buried 1 Jan 1926 in the Widtsoe cemetery.
A few days after the funeral, being lonesome for his wife and not feeling too well, Dick Young closed up the house in Widtsoe, took a granddaughter (Iris Bullock who had been living with them) and went to California to visit his daughter Marcia Prows and son Leonard Young. In April, Dick decided he wanted to go back home to Utah. His daughter Marcia let her son Merrill drive them in the car. They camped out overnight in a park in Cedar City, and during the night the old John's Valley pioneer had a bad stroke. Merrill drove him on up to Widtsoe where Wesley and Irene put him in his bed and cared for him until he died 19 Apr 1927. The Young's ranch on Birch Creek is now owned by the Steed family. If one travels south out of Antimony toward Bryce Canyon National Park, they will come to an intersection where a dirt road turns east toward Escalante. The town of Widtsoe was located at this spot. About 1/2 mile further south, on the east side of the dirt road (in a grove of juniper trees) is the tiny Widtsoe graveyard. The headstones of Dick and Marcy Ann Young are marked, and the cemetery is enclosed with a wire fence common to the farmland. Their two children, Gertrude and Simon, who died during the influenza epidemic are buried next to them.
Widtsoe was a thriving community at this time. It could boast of a cafe, two stores, a candy factory, a service station and garage, and a modern two-story hotel with indoor plumbing and its own electric power source. Olive Wooley Burt (one of the single young teachers in Widtsoe) wrote that during these times, "We did a lot of horseback riding, sage-hen shooting and cooking, sleigh riding in winter, visiting, etc. As I recall it, everyone was always visiting someone--after Mutual we'd get in a wagon and away we'd go--to Coyote or Henderson or somewhere. Dances lasted all night long. I'd get home just in time to change my dress and go to school. Orlene Zabriskie Chesnut wrote, I remember going to school, to church, to dances, and how the men smelled of Schilling Lemon or Vanilla--80 proof. I remember the ball games, rodeos, circuses, feasts, bazaars, the shows--silent movies--the vaudevilles, too. It was in Widtsoe that I first heard the radio.... The homemade root beer tasted so good, and ice cream. I remember the Confectionery with their fancy glasses from which to drink and eat ice cream, and the candy factory and the luscious candy--they made every shape. I remember the two stores where we could get a big sack of candy for an egg, and the candy bars that cost only a penny and how good they were.... I remember the building of the dam at Pine Lake and picking wild strawberries. I'm sure we all remember the good pine nuts. And how we would run to a favorite tree to fill our pocket before recess was over, and the various ways we had of eating them so the teacher wouldn't know we had them in school."
For a number of years the crops in the valley were good, and many had built nice homes on their lots in town. There were seven hundred people in the Widtsoe Ward, with Robert W. Pinney as bishop and Charles Stoddard & Daniel Goulding counselors. The first school bus began transporting children in 1929. David W. Woodard headed the state agricultural experiment farm and helped many in selecting the early-maturing grains. A wealthy man-- Mr William F. Holt--who helped develop Imperial Valley in California had moved into the area. He purchased the hotel from Robert Pinney and hired Neldon and Kathrine Marshall to run it. He brought his new wife with him and she was much younger than he was. He bought thousands of acres of farmland and built ten homes on part of it for his farmhands. He hired men to build a reservoir to store water for the farms and a large canal in East Canyon near Pine Lake for better irrigation to the Widtsoe town lots and his ranch. He raised large crops of grain and furnished work for many of the local men. He also built two new homes on a sidehill in Black Canyon down toward Antimony. He lived in one and his electrician in the other. He had his own power plant and his home cost approxiately $25,000, which was a fortune in those days. He also built a flour mill and creamery there, which he called Osiris, a name taken from the Greeks. His secretary, Miss Heaton from Orderville, lived at the hotel.
Wesley Young filed on a homestead near his father's ranch during this time. His brother Riley went on down to Grass Valley to a homesteaded on the bench above the town of Antimony, where he raised his family. Dorothy Wymore Elder wrote a long poem about John's Valley and presented it at the annual Widtsoe reunion in 1965 and 1966 at Pine Lake, which in part reads: "Some from Junction, other places too; Ackermans, Beebes, Morrels, and Stokers, As well as Hoffmans, Nielsens, Zabriskies, Frandsens--just to mention a few. Perry Shurtz is a name some of you older folks will recall, The Riddles on Ranch Creek; the Youngs on Birch Creek, and all! Wes Young, Waldo Littlefield, Phil Cuyler, and Roy Mangum, too. The Alveys, Rex Taylor, Sam Meacham, these were here, just to mention a few. Who labored day by day, diligently, long and hard as could be, To make this reservoir and lake what it is today, as now you see."
Threshing times were an event in those days. The threshing machine itself was huge, and a wonderment to all who watched it operate. It took a crew of six or eight men to do the threshing, and it was a big day for all, including the womenfolk who had to be up early to fix breakfast for the men and then dinner. There was lots of good visiting while the men, smelling of straw and chaff, ate and talked and laughed and ate some more. The children watched the process in utter amazement . Threshing was accomplished by a rotating cylinder that cut the stalks and freed some of the seed from the straw. Rubbing action freed the rest of the grain as it passed through a small space next to the cylinder. Rows of metal teeth combed the grain. Large screens only let the grain pass through. At one side of the machine was the power unit, called the master wheel, which looked like a big wheel lying on its side. From the center, or hub of the wheel, six sweeps or 'spokes' ran outward. A team of two horses was hitched to each sweep and the horses were then driven forward in a circle, turning the master wheel. As the wheel was turned, power was transmitted from the hub to the threshing machine through a series of pulleys, gears, rods, and shafts. The gears near the hub of the wheel turned a shaft called a tumbling rod, which turned the gears and machinery in the threshing machine. For part of the way, the tumbling rod with its three universal joints ran close to the ground--about six inches above it, and as the horses walked in a circle, they were forced to step over this rod each time they came around.
Many of the ranchers had mortgaged their property to buy cattle. In the first years, they did quite well by putting them on the range in the summer, and raising enough hay to feed them in winter. Then the cycle of drought came, and the great depression. With no storms and dry seasons, the mountain streams became low and there were no crops. One spring, the price of cattle fell to nothing and they could not be sold for any price. With the drought, there was no hay to feed when winter came. Rather than see the cattle starve, some of the ranchers simply killed and buried them. The people could not even pay their taxes. Garfield County took over a few farms for unpaid taxes, but found that it merely lost money by this practice, so the people were permitted to remain even though many were too poor to pay. Many began moving away from the valley to find work. Wesley Young took his family to Salt Lake City--then found work herding sheep for wages on the Agee Ranch in Nevada. From there they went back to Salt Lake, and then up to the Stewart Ranch in Summit County Utah where he was hired as herdsman.
In the spring of 1934, local leaders invited the Federal Resettlement Administration to come in and survey John's Valley with the idea in mind of purchasing the land and moving the people into other more developed sections of the state. A formal meeting of the citizens was organized and a plan was presented to resettle the people elsewhere. Many did not want to go, but when it was stated that all the public buildings, including the ranger station, post office and schoolhouse would be taken out--so that there would be no school for the children--the citizens relented. They voluntarily agreed to end the town of Widtsoe by a majority vote.
Still there was no other coercion. Anyone could have stayed who wanted to, but the exodus was general. People in the valley were frightened by the stories that circulated--that their neighbors would be gone; there would be no school for their children; there would not be enough left for a ward or branch, so no church house; that John's Valley would be a place devoid of people and lonely, and eventually their farms would be condemned for the project. The Widtsoe Ward was disorganized 31 Dec 1937 and the remaining membership was transferred to Antimony Ward, however the Steed and Sandberg familes did not agree with the bann on plural marriage and they were cut off from the Church. So there was no one left to go to Antimony.
The people were given pennies on the dollar for their holdings. Many were left with bitter feelings because of the way it was handled. Good sized houses were sold for only fifteen dollars, without giving the public an opportunity to bid on them. The post office was closed. The State Road Commission removed the Widtsoe and Henderson town names from the highway. The buildings were abandoned and Mr. Holt moved everything he could away. Some of the houses were sold and moved to surrounding towns, others were burned and the rubble covered over with soil. The pioneer community of 1500 people passed out of history. Many mementos and treasured keepsakes were destroyed when some of the cabins were burned before people had completed their moving-out activities--before they had a chance to retrieve valuables that were priceless to them, but of little worth to another. What was once Widtsoe--surrounding ranches and back country (26,143 acres)--had been returned to the public domain where it was used as grazing land as it had originally been. Daisie Campbell Johnson wrote that, "The rainbows were beautiful in John's Valley as they melted into the hills. As a child I wondered about the gold at its end. We found that the gold was the rain that watered the earth for irrigation. A Mr Holt who improved the Imperial Valley in California tried to improve the water situation. I suppose the valley will bloom again in God's due time."
The following was taken from the childhood memories of Delsa Young Duncan (daughter of Wesley and Irene Willden Young). Written copy in possession of Ted and Virginia Young: "Many of my earliest memories were of a one-room cabin that we stayed in during the summers at Grandpa Young’s (John Wesley [Dick] Young Sr’s) ranch on Birch Creek, north of the town of Widtsoe, Garfield County, Utah (also called John’s Valley after the Apostle John A. Widtsoe). Once, when I was about four years old, I had a pair of brown & white striped rompers someone had given me, that I was very proud of. My cousin Merril (Willden) came on a horse and I went out to show him my rompers. He began teasing me by riding very close. Then he told me to run and started after me. The horse seemed to enjoy the game and chased me up the step and would have come right in, except mother (having heard the commotion) met us at the cabin door. Boy was she upset! She seldom scolded other people’s children, but Merril got a scotch blessing on that occasion. Merril didn’t indicate any remorse but he was scared."
"Farm wife duties included cooking, and preparing meals for the crew when it was Dad’s (John Wesley [Wes] Young Jr) or when it was Grandpa Young’s turn to get their wheat threshed. Another farm chore mother often had was milking the cows. She had to round them up first and then herd them into the corrals, but they would sometimes get stubborn because they knew it was milking time, and hide out in the brush or some trees. Then mother would have to leave me to watch a baby or two, take Jay and go hunt them out. When that happened, it would often be dark before she could milk. Once a cow picked the wrong place to hide and slipped off into a dry wash on her back. Mom and Jay didn’t find her until morning. When they found her, mother sent Jay to find some men to get the cow out of the wash and onto her feet. She didn't give any milk for a day or two! Then there were the ornery ones that would kick and had to be hobbled before they could be milked. Some even had to have their heads tied to a fence on occasion. Besides the milking, dad and mother made cheese and butter when we lived on Uncle Riley’s homestead up on Horse Creek. Mother was often left to do it alone. She then got a 12 year old girl to come and help her (That brings up a very stinky subject, the "skunk episode," which included the rabbit brush broom!)."
"There was only one thresher in the valley and if I remember right, the various farmers took their turns on the threshing crew until all the grain was done. Then Dad would take his wheat to Kingston, Utah by team and wagon to be ground into flour. The surplus was sold to get money for supplies such as sugar and other staples, as well as our winter clothes. I remember that excess grain was often stored in strongly built, tight bins in the house. If we children got a craving for something extra to eat in the fall, winter, or spring it was often a handful of wheat (a turnip, carrot or handful of raw peas in summer). The summer we lived in "our new house" (we were only able to live there about a year), our wheat developed some sort of black growth in it called smut. This caused the flour to be dark (not brown but dark gray). We had to use it anyway (for awhile at least). As a result, the sandwiches Jay and I had in our lunches at school had this odd color and one little girl after watching us eat, remarked "your mother makes dirty bread!" I was in the second or third grade at the time."
"All the transportation we had that I can remember, was a riding horse of Dads’, and a donkey which would let us kids ride for awhile. Then it would head for a small creek that was close to the house and brush us off by wading in the water under the willows."
"I am not positive, but I think we were still living there when the deadly flu epidemic broke out during World War I. Dad’s youngest brother Simon had left home and joined the Army at 16. When the Army discovered that he was under age, he was sent home. He stopped at his sister Gertrudes' in Salt Lake City on his way home and she and Uncle Simon died within 3 days of each other -- also Gertrude’s new infant. Dad took us to the funerals and we also got the flu. Mother struggled with Dad and the kids sick. One of us had croup and one a very bad nosebleed. Mother said "I know you are sick Wes, but you will have to get dressed and go get me some help for these kids, or we may lose them." Dad got up and got dressed but keeled over on the bed in a faint. Mother put him back to bed and hacked it out alone till Dad was strong enough to go for help. I think we spent that winter in Salt Lake City. After we recovered, Dad worked and rented us a house to live in. This was the time of the Great Depression. Smith was undernourished and would try to eat ashes out of the ash pan in the heater every chance he got."
"We moved back to the log cabin on the farm in the spring. When Christmas came, we went to Grandma and Grandpa Youngs’ in Widtsoe to celebrate along with Aunt Gladys’ family. Aunt Beth (Elizabeth) and Aunt Maud were still at home. I remember I was much more fascinated with Grandma Young’s organ than what I got for Christmas. Sometime between Christmas and April, Dad’s folks moved somewhere else and Dad moved us into the house where they had lived so mother could have a midwife to stay with her. Dad used to go back and forth from the town of Widtsoe to the farm on Birch Creek to do his chores. One time, he didn’t get back as a real blizzard came up and Keith was born in a howling blizzard on the 10th of April, 1920."
"As soon as summer came, we moved back to the farm again. Neither Jay nor I had started school yet but Dad had taught us our 2X tables. Aunt Gladys lived in Widtsoe for awhile and I used to go over to play with her girls. One day, she made a cake with chocolate frosting. I had never seen a chocolate cake before. When I got home, I struggled for the words to describe the frosting. The nearest thing I could think of was the polish we put on the stoves to make them shine, so I said I had cake with blacking on it!"
"When we went back to the log cabin, we had quite a struggle for something to eat till the garden was ready and then -- the first peas. We could hardly wait, but tragic disappointment! Mother went to season them when Dad came in for supper, and the lid came off the pepper can! Mother tried to dip the pepper out, then she tried to rinse them with water but they were still much too hot to eat. About this time mother had a real bout with toothache and abscesses. She used bread & milk poultices to get the abscesses to break. One day during that summer, (or maybe it was the next summer, when Marion was a baby?) Grandpa and Grandma Young came up to the cabin and took Mother and us kids to Uncle Rileys’ in Antimony with them. Ok! How we all enjoyed that ride, even though it rained on us a bit. It was just a gentle summer shower. Anyhow, it was a lovely ride and a treat to get away from the farm for a day."
"Late that fall when the crops were harvested, Dad decided to go back to Salt Lake on the train from Marysvale to work. He took me as he was allowed one child on an adult ticket. I was 6 years old at the time. Mother was left to come later when Dad got a payday, so he could send her some money and clothes for the other kids. We stayed with Grandma Willden in Salt Lake till they came. I do not know how my Mother got to Marysvale with the four boys, unless Grandpa Young took her in the new Ford he had bought in Salt Lake that spring. And I don’t know who took care of the horses or put the harnesses in the cabin and locked it up. But I was sure glad when Mother and the kids arrived in Salt Lake City. We had Christmas at Grandma Willdens’, along with Aunt May and Uncle Jack, their two boys Jack & Andy, Aunt Essie and Uncle Charles and two children, Phyllis & Charles, and Mother’s brothers who were still home, Uncle Norm, Uncle Warren, Uncle Marion, and I think Uncle Andrew."
"We sure had a measley Christmas! Aunt May’s boys, at least one of Aunt Essies and one or two of Mothers’ came down with measles shortly before Christmas, and I broke out Christmas morning -- thick and sick. After we all recovered from the measles, our family went to live in a little house near Aunt Mays’, and Jay began school in the first grade. I was old enough but they didn’t start me."
"Around Eastertime we all began to get the chickenpox. We kids used to play in an empty chicken coop, so they teased us and said that’s where we got it. That was the winter I learned to sew on buttons. Mother used to have me sit by the table and replace missing buttons as she ironed. It was pretty tedious work for a six-year-old! That spring, Dad wanted to stay in Salt Lake and work, but mother thought they best go back and save the homestead. They had to plant a crop or build fences and outbuildings to retain their rights. Mother said she often regretted that decision. I often wondered why they didn’t spend the winter before Smith and the winter before Keith were born in Salt Lake City, instead of the winters after."
"Shortly before Christmas that winter, the people on Henderson’s Ranch just below ours, asked Dad to do their chores and feed the stock while they stayed in Salt Lake City. We moved into the Henderson house, and Jay & I went to the school in Henderson that fall and winter. I remember Dad bundled us up with hay (or straw) and hot rocks in a bobsleigh, and we all went to the Christmas program given by the school and Sunday school in Henderson -- then went home all excited to wait for Santa, and had a very enjoyable Christmas. How we loved our stay in that house! We had a kitchen and living room with a south porch (don’t forget the porch) downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs. After a one-room log cabin it was heaven!"
"Sometime in January or February, Dad moved us into three rooms in the back of a big brick house Grandpa and Grandma Young were living in, so Jay and I wouldn’t have so far to walk to school. Also, Mother would be in town when Bob (Marion) was born. Bob had beautiful weather to be born in (the first day of spring) and I remember, Grandma took a sudden interest in the woodpile. She herded all us kids out to see who could build the biggest house out of chips. Dad had hurried to town and soon came back with a traveling doctor to take care of Mom’s "stomach," but when the Doctor left, there was this beautiful baby boy with long black hair! When Smith or Keith asked where we got the baby, we were told the Doctor had him in his black bag. I wondered if that was true, why hadn’t he kept him, as we had four children and he only had one!"
"Keith was not quite two years old at this time, and still in diapers. Grandma Young washed the new baby’s diapers, but stood me on a small wooden box by a tub of warm water and showed me how to wash Keith’s dirty diapers on a washboard. I saved them up till they were all dirty and the water got pretty thick before I got a tubful done! It was a good thing we had lye water to boil them in."
"While mother was still in bed, (women spent a full 10 days in bed after childbirth in those days) when she got word by phone that her youngest brother Marion had died with an ear infection. She couldn’t go to the funeral and couldn’t even make a phone call to her folks, so she decided to name her new son Marion. Dad agreed, but almost at once started to call him Bob. That is how he came by two different names."
"That winter was the winter we ate carrots, boiled or fried in butter, creamed, mashed, whole -- any and every way Mom could think of to fix them. As you can guess, we had had a good crop of carrots that year! Fortunately we also had plenty of milk, cream, and butter, and of course bread. About the end of April, I think we moved back to the log cabin. During the years we lived in the log cabin, there were several outstanding things maybe worth noting. There were always squirrels and deer mice (which seemed to find easy access), houseflies, deerflies, horseflies and millers which liked to flutter in and around the lamps at night. We had no screens and if you were eating supper, you better watch what was in your bread and milk! There were also wood ticks, which would get in the armpits and around the hairline on the head. We sometimes found them on our legs or back, but they usually hadn’t fastened on till they reached the hair, then they had to be forced to let loose with turpentine or kerosine."
"We had a plank floor in the cabin with cracks between, which Mother kept scrubbed white with lye water left from boiling clothes. She would also sometimes use the bucket of water we kept for cooking, drinking, and washing dishes, then send Jay and I to the creek for fresh water to drink. Dad always cautioned us to get the water from the creek above where he watered the horses, and we sometimes stayed to play in the water. If we were gone too long, Mother came looking for us. We kids often lost our silverware between the cracks in the floor, then Mother got the hammer to pull up a plank and retrieve them. Sometimes we would find other things of interest like a penny or two which would buy candy in those days! We kids always thought the face on a penny was that of Dad’s uncle Perry Liston, because it looked like him. He was a favorite visitor because he usually had one or two of his pictures to give us."
"The log cabin was the only place we lived that I can remember the flash floods that sometimes came down the creek (when there was a thunder and lighting storm). You could usually hear the roar in time to get to the creek and see the muddy water rushing and rolling on its way, trees and boulders bouncing on top like match sticks and making the creek bed wider and deeper in the process. One summer (I can’t remember if it was before Keith was born or the summer after), Aunt May brought little Jack and I think Andrew, on the train to Marysvale. I don’t know if Dad went there to meet her in his whitetop, two seater spring buggy we had then, or if she got to our place some other way. I’ve tried to remember how Mom and Dad put another adult and two more children in that tiny cabin! Aunt May got to witness one of those floods while she was with us."
"One day while Aunt May was visiting, we all went to Widtsoe in the whitetop buggy to buy supplies and visit Dad’s folks. I was playing in the buggy while waiting for everyone to get ready (in my new white dress) and gouged my head on a bolt that was sticking out. Mom and Aunt May had to doctor my head. I got blood all over my new dress, but had to wear it anyway because that was all I had at the time. Mother was quite disappointed about that. While in Widtsoe, we stopped at Dad’s sister Beth’s place and I still remember her front yard full of beautiful flowers in bloom -- Cosmos, Poppies, Cox comb and others. I think Aunt Beth’s little house was across the street from where Keith was born. There were no lawns in Widtsoe except at the Ranger station."
"Then we planned an outing up to Riddle Lake. We all rode on the wagon reach or somewhere cause Dad was going to bring home a load of poles (so we couldn’t take the wagon box). We were going to treat Aunt May to field potatoes and sourdough bread cooked in a baking skillet on the bonfire, but we forgot to take matches. Therefore, we had to make do as best we could without the bread and "taters." I think we found some fresh watercress though."
"Mother used to take Jay, Smith and I for a walk across the hill to visit Aunt Marcy or down to the town site to visit Aunt Gladys. We had no sidewalks -- just dusty roads to walk on, and I would get dirt and gravel in my shoes & socks. I would aggravate Mother because I refused to continue walking until we sat down to shake the dirt and gravel out! We children usually received only one new pair of shoes for school, which had to last all winter. We also got rubber overshoes that buckled to the knee to keep our feet dry and save our shoes from extra wear. Nevertheless, school shoes were worn out by spring so we usually went barefooted during the summer. Occasionally we received everyday shoes, sturdy and heavy, and a pair of best shoes -- but not always. I remember Mother used to have a special Hoo-Hoo call to have Dad come to dinner. He could hear it quite a long ways, but if he was out too far to hear, we kids went barefoot up through the grain stubble to get him. We usually got to ride one of the workhorses back. Boy were our feet tough, but they sometimes got sore and cracked and bled."
"A highlight in our lives was when Aunt May would send us a bundle of papers and magazines in the mail. Mom would read the stories to Dad in the evening and we children loved to listen to them. In the daytime, she would read the funnies to us kids. We got a lot of "naughty" ideas from those Katz and Jammers Twins. Aunt May, bless her, would also send us a crate of ripe cherries by mail. That was a highlight of our summers when we would go to the post office at Henderson and get that crate of cherries, um, um, good!"
"Mother used to fix up play dinners out of sandwiches (or crackers), and a mild tea which she made from hot water and Yarrow herb which grew freely around the cabin. We usually ate these play dinners out on the porch, using boxes for table and chairs. Sometimes if the sun was too hot on the porch, we ate under some willow trees that grew between the cabin and the creek. Mom usually shared our play dinners with us and we thought that was great."
"Mother also took us with her to irrigate the garden which was then quite a ways from the house. There was the foundation for our "new house" there, with a sub-floor and Mother would put the baby on a quilt in a box or a horse collar while she watered and weeded the garden. A garden was a precious thing to the whole family then, but Mother loved flowers and would plant Cosmos, Bachelor Buttons, and California poppies, of which we would pick a bouquet to take back to the cabin. The folks had planned on building our new house up by the garden spot, but changed their minds and decided to build a little farther down the creek, closer to the west end of the farm and the Henderson Ranch. Dad put in a foundation and sub-floor and in the fall they began to build. When good weather began to run out, Dad took Mother, Jay and Smith to help him put the roof on. I was left at the cabin to look after Keith and Bob and keep a fire. I remember how disappointed Mother was when she put on a kettle of beans with salt bacon to flavor them. I was to watch that they didn’t boil dry and keep a fire in the stove. I watched them to add water, but also subtracted a few pieces of the bacon to eat on bread. By the time Mother came back, there was only beans, no bacon for flavoring!"
"About that time, Mother and Dad decided it would be easier to wash the dishes on a grassy spot down by the creek rather than pack water all the way up the bank and to the cabin. Also, Mom could heat her water in a tub over some rocks and save heating the cabin up. Dad put Mothers’ hand-cranked washer down there. Its tub was composed of wooden slats and we kept it filled with water between washings so the slats wouldn't shrink when it got dry. One sultry day, we heard a loud clap of thunder, and soon heard the roar of the flood. We rushed to the creek bank in time to see tubs, washboard and washer picked up and bouncing on the muddy water along with boulders and trees. The washer slats were bouncing and flying like kindling wood with hand cranked wringers hanging to them! Mother was distressed, wondering how she was to do the family washing."
"We didn’t have the new house finished by Christmas but we moved in anyway, using one of the bedrooms for a kitchen. Dad set up a big tree in the middle of the largest room, which was to be the kitchen. The boys danced around the tree on Christmas morning, sucking candy canes and singing "our new house, our new house!" Dad built some chicken pens, so we had chickens and pigs and raised a fine garden the following summer. Mother made curtains out of some white lawn cloth and crocheted around them. We loved our house and had a great summer."
"During this time, Aunt May and Uncle Jack and Jack Jr & Andrew came to visit us in their car. Smith and Jack Jr were about the same age. Keith and Andrew were the same size, and both tow-headed, so when their backs were turned we couldn’t tell which was which. While they were visiting, we took our dinner and went to Bryce Canyon for the day. The park was quite new then (as a park) and had no guard rails. We were kept pretty busy keeping Keith and Andy away from the edges of the cliffs. We had a watermelon that Aunt May brought and we cooled it overnight in the creek. Also, we had a macaroni, tomato & cheese casserole. After we ate, the folks prepared to wash the dishes. Dad had put two barrels in the creek to collect water, but it was muddy because of a recent storm, so he had left the barrels with water to settle the dirt to the bottom. But when he went to get the water out of the barrels, it was muddier than when it was put in. Evidently, Smith and Jack had thought it great fun to throw dirt in them (they were about five years old then)!"
"Uncle Warren lived with us part of that summer. I don’t know if he came with Aunt May or if he left with them. Early in the fall, Dad took the team and wagon to Escalante for a load of fruit. Mother was hard put to bottle peaches, tomatoes, pears, and plums, and some apples before it all spoiled. She couldn’t just turn on a burner -- it was all canned with a wood fire. But we kids put away as much as Mother would let us eat. It all tasted so good! Dad also brought home a blue pony he got from the Indians while on the fruit buying trip. It was for Jay and I to ride to school, but it didn’t want to go there. We usually had to drag it most of the way and were often late, but we took the pony because it sure would get us home in a hurry! I understand now that the poor thing just didn’t want to be tied up all day without water while we were in school."
"Maybe the horse didn’t work out so good, because in November, Dad moved us to a big drafty lumber house that belonged to his father. It was across the road from the school. I was quite thrilled though because Jay and I didn’t have to take lunches and we got to go to Sunday School on Sundays (I think it was the Henderson Branch). I remember all the neighbors in the community got together for Thanksgiving dinner. We were there for Christmas also. Mother made me a large rag doll for a present and used some of her own hair for the doll’s hair. I also got a piece of purple corduroy from Aunt May, and Mother sent me to Grandma Youngs’ right after Christmas to see if Aunt Beth would make me a dress. She did, but she made it so skimpy Mother was very disappointed and said she wished she had made it herself."
"While I was at Grandma Youngs’, Dad moved the family to a two-room lumber shack at Pinney's Sawmill in the mountains near Widtsoe. There was no more school or Sunday School for us that winter, but there was a lot of sauerkraut! The folks had very good luck with their cabbage crop that summer, made sauerkraut out of it, and then stored it all in wood barrels. Boy, we sure ate a lot of sauerkraut and salt pork that winter -- ugh! We didn’t have much milk, except canned milk. When we moved in the spring and found some fresh watercress, what a treat! We have some German Ancestry, but we didn’t enjoy an almost daily diet of sauerkraut! One morning at breakfast, Keith choked on a bacon rind he was eating. Dad got him by the heels, held him upside down and whacked him on the back till the rind came loose."
"Marion (not quite two years old) didn’t have any shoes to wear that winter, so Mother made him a pair of moccasins. Not very waterproof, but they served the purpose till Dad got paid and bought him pair of shoes when he went to Widtsoe for supplies. The new shoes didn’t last him long though. Little Bob had seen Dad warm his shoes at an open heater fire and decided he would try it, only he threw his in! Mother tried to rescue them but they were too badly burned, so it was back to the moccasins until the following year."
"Bob’s shoes weren’t the only thing that got burned that winter. I burned my hand badly during a potato roast we were having one evening. I guess I learned the hard way that you don’t pull hot potatoes out of a bonfire with your bare hands -- you use a stick or shovel to rake them out! But the winter wasn’t all bad. We kids had a lot of fun playing in the clean sawdust at the mill. Jay even learned to operate the lumber car that ran on narrow tracks, and we would ride on it sometimes when Dad wasn’t around."
"Also while we were at the sawmill, Dad’s sister Maude rode up on a horse one day to tell us that Uncle Riley’s oldest daughter, Ruth had died. We all felt very badly, but we didn’t go see them at the time or go to the funeral -- transportation problems in winter I guess."
"Dad had a running gear for a kid’s wagon and made a box for it that winter. He stashed it up in the sawmill loft and worked on it in the evenings after the kids were in bed. He carved Smith, Keith and Bob on the sides. It was ready for them to play with when we moved to Grandpa’s ranch in the spring."
"Dad asked if we would rather live on Grandpa’s ranch in the summer or move back to the new house. We opted for the new house, but Grandpa’s ranch won! Anyway, at the end of April, I think, we moved to a one-room garage house on Grandfather Young’s ranch. Luckily, there was a fairly good tight shed where the folks put two beds for the boys to sleep. I slept on a home-built couch in the house. Then we found bed bugs! We had to paint everything with coal oil and wash all the bedding in hot water. No easy task when you have to pack all the water to the house and heat it on a wood stove. Boy, that house got hot. After my little couch was painted with kerosine, the folks moved it into a wagon box sitting out in the yard. One night, I got frightened by a lot of sheet lighting, but mother explained it wouldn’t hurt me when there was no thunder (it was just sheet lighting). Mother used to show us the stars at night and teach us how to pick out the big and little dippers. Also, how to recognize different birds. She loved the song of Meadow larks early in the morning."
"Mother always had the chore of figuring the amount of hay in the stacks before it was sold. She used to get a little perturbed because Dad would be in a big hurry to cut, rake and haul the hay and would leave her to do the milking and see that we kids pulled weeds to feed the pigs. But if some man came along, he always had an hour or so to talk! I remember one day after the hay was stacked and topped, Dad, Uncle Warren and the boys had come in for dinner. We were just finishing our meal when Smith came running in all excited to say Keith and Bob were up on the new haystack. Dad and Uncle Warren bolted out the door. Dad yelled and Keith turned & started to climb back down the ladder, but Bob just sat down and began sliding off the edge. Uncle Warren made a few long-legged leaps and got there in time to catch him in his arms. I can still see them! Mother was a bit shaken afterward, and Dad didn’t leave ladders up against haystacks after that."
"After the nights got cooler in September, my couch was moved back in the house, and a grocery box was left sitting on it one day. Marion climbed up and was bouncing up and down in the box. It tipped off onto the floor and hurt his little shoulder. He fussed a lot and when Grandpa Young came later in the evening to check on the hay (and us) Mother told him about it. Grandpa said it seemed to be dislocated, and he asked Mother if she had some string and a clean dish towel or diaper. He folded the cloth into a triangle and flipped Bob’s shoulder back into place, then put the string under his arm and bound it with the triangle. Bob’s screams could be heard all over the ranch, but it seemed to be the right treatment and his shoulder soon got better."
"After the grain was thrashed that summer, Dad took a wagon load to Kingston to have it ground into flour. He took Smith (and I think Keith) with him. They stayed overnight and fished for suckers in the Sevier River. The fresh fish sure tasted good for a change! Mother and Dad emptied our straw ticks we used for mattresses. Mother washed the ticks and they were filled with fresh straw. They were quite bulky and unwieldy when they were first filled, but they smelled good."
"In October (1924), we moved to the old Woodard house in Widtsoe, a drafty, sprawling hard-to-heat place. Jay and I went back to school and I think Smith started in the first grade. Jay had to do a big share of the wood cutting for the cook stove and the two or three heaters it took to try to keep the house warm. Mother’s brother Andrew brought Grandma and Grandpa Willden to visit, and Grandma stayed with us while the men went on a camping trip to hunt deer. The day they left, Ted must of decided (in heaven) that if he hurried to be born, he could go deer hunting too! Ted was real serious about it and decided to come in the night. They got Jay up to go for the midwife Mandy Pope. Her sister-in-law Mrs. Southam also came with her. Ted didn’t quite arrive in time to go on the deer hunt, but was born in lovely weather and waiting for the men when they got back. I slept through it all, but about 4:30 or 5 in the morning, Marion got sick and threw up all over me, the bed, and the floor. I went to Mother for help and was very surprised to find I had a new baby brother! I was told that Grandma had been up nearly all night and to not wake her. Mother told me I would have to handle it myself and where to find a dry quilt and blanket. I had to change the bed and clean up the mess as best I could alone. Then I washed out the bedding the next morning. How lonesome I felt having to depend on myself on such an icky situation!"
"After that we all got along fine, except Jay got a little cranky and wasn’t too enthused about cutting all the wood we needed. One day, Grandpa Willden baked some bread for us and placed it on the table to cool with a white dishtowel covering it. Bob who was about two and 1/2 years old decided he was hungry and helped himself to one whole loaf! I think Grandma Willden was a bit perturbed. Mother told me afterward that she was hurt because her Mother also took a dim view of her clean straw tick mattresses and said that she should have a real mattress for a baby to be born on!"
"That Thanksgiving, we went to Grandma Youngs’ for dinner and also to celebrate Grandpa Young’s birthday which came on Thanksgiving day. Aunt Maud and Uncle Harold Frandsen & baby Gail were there, along with aunt Beth and Uncle Vernal Frandsen & their little girl Joy. That year, the government opened up part of the Uinta Indian Reservation to homesteaders and the morning after Thanksgiving, these two sisters of Dad and their families left with teams and covered wagons to try their luck as pioneers in Myton, Utah, and they never returned to John’s Valley. Grandfather Young asked Dad and mother to name the new baby after his youngest son Simon (nicknamed Ted) who died of the flu. It made Grandpa Young so happy when they named the baby ‘Ted Simon Young’ that he gave Ted a pair of red and black shoes for his first birthday (Ted still has these shoes). Also I remember the winter Ted was born, our neighbor across the road got the first radio in John’s Valley -- a battery operated earphone set. We could stand outside on a clear night and hear music from the airail antennae."
"Right after Thanksgiving, Keith started having trouble with his stomach. It kept getting worse and worse. When spring came, it was time to move again and we were waiting till Keith got a little stronger, but he wasn’t really. Mother had quite a sick boy on her hands that winter. I think he may have developed adhesions which Mother managed to care for, but he complained of pain in his head and Mother felt helpless. There were no doctors handy and we had no phone or car. Mother put me on a horse to go to Widtsoe with a note for the store owner who was also the Bishop. She asked him to send her some aspirin for her sick child, some cooked cereal, and one or two other medications, saying Dad would pay him as soon as he could sell a pig or some hay. He refused. Mother was beside herself. What to do now? That night Keith woke Mother, crying again. His nose had been bleeding and Mother wiping the blood away, went to wipe what she thought was a snuffler and out came what looked like a long red tube. Mother screamed and tried to push on it, but a little more came and Mother saw the other end of the "tube" and the blood stopped. Keith’s pain was relieved at once. Mother was crying and Keith put his arms around his Mom’s neck and said, "There now, the Lord has made me better and you won’t have to cry and pray any more!" Mother was so thankful and relieved -- maybe a bit bitter at the Bishop for his lack of compassion for her family with a very sick child and a baby less than a year old, but I didn’t know that till many years after."
"In October (1925) just before Ted’s first birthday, we moved back to Widtsoe to the George Pinney house so us kids could go to school. Smith went to a little one-room schoolhouse, just across the fence from our kitchen door (the same building Mother taught Sunday School in years before). Clara Orton was Primary president and lived just across the street. She got Mother in as one of her counselors in Primary and we were so proud of her. At Halloween, they had a costume dance in the afternoon. I helped Mother find costumes for Smith, Keith, and Marion. We had a time for me, but finally I dressed as a Negro Mammy. I didn’t have any lipstick and wanted my lips to show up redder so I rubbed some mustard oil on them. Wow, did that burn and the more I washed, the more it burned! We dressed Marion as an Indian papoose and with his Dutch cut black hair, he sure was cute. Mother didn’t get to go for some reason, so Grandma Young took us. All the ladies wondered who that ‘cute little Indian girl was’. Grandma said that it wasn’t a girl -- it was a boy and it was Wesleys'! They wouldn’t believe her till she threatened to prove it to them."
"Sometime later, while mother was working in Primary, a lady made a slighting remark that hurt her. She told President Clara Orton about it and Clara put her arm around Mother’s shoulders and said, ‘Oh Irene, I thought your shoulders were broader than that!’ Mother took the lesson to heart, and always remembered it."
"While we lived in the George Pinney house in Widtsoe, Mother and Dad decided to try their hand in the candy business. Mother had worked as a chocolate dipper at Sweet’s Candy Company in Salt Lake City when she was a girl, and Dad also had worked in a candy factory as a young man for a short time. They ordered some copper kettles and a round stove with removable top so the kettles could sit over the fire, got all of the ingredients for candy making. They first rented and cleaned an old empty house in the north part of town but then had a chance to rent part of a new building downtown and moved the shop. Mother went to help in the shop when I got home from school and I would tend the younger children and give them their supper. She often left bread, ready for me to bake."
"We all grew closer to Grandma and Grandpa Young during this time, as they only lived a short block up the hill and came down to the town hydrant which was located near the corner of our lot to get water. Grandpa wasn’t very well, and was very short-winded, so he often stopped to visit and let one of us kids carry his water home. They spent Christmas day with us that year. It was a warm sunny day, and Grandma mentioned the saying that a ‘green Christmas meant a full graveyard.’ She died two days later of a heart attack! The fine weather didn’t last and she was buried in a heavy snow storm on New Year’s Day. I was not acquainted with death and funerals, and it seemed horrible to bury her up in those trees in all that snow. I had nightmares for weeks about it. A few days later Grandpa closed up the house, took a granddaughter Iris Bullock who had been living with them and went to California to visit his daughter Marcy and son Lenard who lived down there. We all missed them sorely for awhile. However the first part of April, Grandpa decided he wanted to come home. Aunt Marcy let her son Merril drive them home in the car. They camped out overnight in a park in Cedar City, and during the night Grandpa had a bad stroke."
"Here was Merril, just a kid really, with a pre-teen girl (Iris) and his very sick grandfather to care for. He called the store in Widtsoe with the message and Dad's brother picked him up in his car and they went to Cedar after them. They brought Grandpa to our house and put him to bed in a sunny, southeast bedroom. Dad and Mother took care of him though Mother had the major share maybe, trying to fix appetizing meals he could eat. They padded his bed with paper and quilts as there were no plastic mattress covers then and mother had these to wash every day along with his other bedding and clothing (by hand -- no washers). Poor Grandpa, he was so unused to being totally helpless and causing Mother so much extra work. He was paralyzed all over, but was so happy when he found he could move a big toe, he had to have Merril see it. He could only speak a word or two and wished he could say what he wanted (maybe swear a little)."
"When Grandma Young died, Mother and Grandpa were taking turns sitting with the body one night and Grandpa cried out in anguish, ‘Oh Woman, Woman, what am I going to do without you?’ Then after Grandpa had returned from California and had been paralyzed in bed about a week with stroke, Mother and Dad finished getting him fixed for the night one evening. Mother came out in the front room to stand behind the heater to get warm when she suddenly saw the form of a person dressed in white float past the window! She rubbed her eyes to be sure, but it was gone, and she said she felt no fear at all. Then she heard Grandpa (who couldn’t talk) call ‘Oh Woman, Woman!’ Mom yelled at Dad who was going out the kitchen door (to do chores) and they went running into the room. Grandpa died a few minutes later. Mother was certain the person she had seen go past the window was Grandma Young, being allowed perhaps to escort Grandpa to a much better place."
"I had no nightmares after Grandpa died. Mother expressed how unhappy and embarrassed he had been to be helpless with his stroke, and that he must be happy with Grandma in the next world. Soon after Grandpa died, we moved up the hill into his house and planted some trees and flowers and a large garden. Grandpa had wanted to go back to his house so bad, but never got to. It was just as he had left it before going to California. We had a nice neighbor (Dessie Goulding) who lived on the lot in back of ours. Our families enjoyed visiting together. Audrey Cuyler was our neighbor on the north. Mother was put in secretary of the Relief Society, and could do much of the work at home. She said she didn’t know there could be so many different records and different funds to keep track of. Mother was also the Registration Agent for awhile so earned a little money of her own (I still have one of the old registration books). Dad worked for the Forest Service building roads, and would be gone several days at a time. I think he also worked and used his team at trying to build a reservoir out of Pine Lake."
"Mr. Holt, a wealthy man from California, came and stayed at the Widtsoe hotel for some time and fell in love with John’s Valley. He had a dream of bringing water from Pine Lake to water the fertile but dry land. The climate was wonderful for raising vegetables, especially peas, cabbage and head lettuce. He built a mill down in Black Canyon, close to Antimony. I think he figured on using the creek water for power for a grist mill. There was to be a dairy to process butter and cheese and an ice plant to pack head lettuce for shipping. He also built two fine homes for workers to live in on the upper side of the creek. Part of these buildings still stand (though in sad state of disrepair). The main problem with John’s Valley had been the lack of a way to market their crops. Mr. Holt had a dream to furnish water from Pine Lake for farmers to grow the wonderful crops that the climate and soil could produce, and the means to process and ship them. He invested heavily in these projects. The farmers were so excited about the plans they neglected to plant their crops that year and took their teams and scrapers to help develop the lake into a reservoir. They all worked hard but the reservoir refused to fill."
"That same summer (perhaps the hopes of the ‘Holt lifeline’ for the valley had some influence) the school board decided to build a brand new brick schoolhouse. We children were so thrilled and watched each step of the process with interest. That fall, the schoolhouse was ready, with three rooms, an office, and storage closets. Also, some playground equipment, which Widtsoe school had never had before. But Mr.Holt went broke and so did his dreams, and the farmers found themselves in a dilemma in the fall with no grain to harvest for flour, and no feed to sell for cash."
Delsa left the following poem that she said reminded her of her mother, Minnie Irene Willden Young. She said: I've done most of it myself, but maybe not so much in one day! D. Y. D:
End Of A Perfect Day
Grandmother, on a winter's day,
Milked the cows and fed them hay.
Churned the butter, baked a cake.
Then exclaimed, "For goodness sakes!"
Slopped the hogs, saddled the mule.
Then got the children off to school.
The calves have got out of the pen!
And then went out and chased 'em in again.
Did the washing, mopped the floors.
Washed some windows and did other chores.
She gathered the eggs and locked the stable.
Back to the house and set the table.
Cooked a bowl of home dried fruit.
Pressed her husband's Sunday suit.
While she cooked a dinner that was delicious.
Then afterward washed up the dishes.
Swept the parlor, made the bed.
Baked a dozen loaves of bread.
She let the cat out and sprinkled the clothes.
Mended a basket full of hose.
Cut some firewood and lugged it in.
Enough to fill the kitchen bin.
Then she opened the organ and began to play.
'When you come to the end of a perfect day.'
Cleaned the lamps and filled them with oil.
Stewed some apples so they wouldn't spoil.
Delsa was a kind and gentle lady. Her brother, Marion D. Young often said that she was the big sister that always watched out for him. Her brothers all loved her very much. She left the following: "My mother used to say this poem when I was a very little girl and to each of the children after, so I remembered it that way. Love, Delsa Young Duncan"
Two Little Kittens
Two little kittens, one stormy night.
Began to quarrel and then to fight.
One had a mouse and the other had none.
And that is how the quarrel began.
"I'll have that mouse," said the biggest cat.
"You'll have that mouse? We'll see about that."
"I'll have that mouse," said the biggest one."
"You shan't have that mouse!" said the little one.
An angry old woman was sweeping the floor.
And swept the poor kittens right out of the door.
Out in the rain and the hail and the snow.
Those poor little kittens, had no where to go.
So they lay themselves down on the mat by the door.
Until the old woman finished sweeping the floor.
Then they crept in, as quiet as mice.
They were all wet with snow, and with ice.
They found it was better, that dark stormy night.
To lie down and sleep where it was warm & bright.
Much, much better than to quarrel, and to fight!
This history is
copyrighted and is offered for personal use and
It is not to be reprinted or used for commercial purposes without written permission.
Copyright ©2000 by Gary Dean Young
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