AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JAMES HARWOOD 1834-1912
RECOLLECTIONS OF INCIDENTS OF THE EARLY LIFE OF THE FIRST SETTLERS
OF DRY CREEK, NOW CALLED LEHI.
I was born in England, July 24, 1834. When I was sixteen years old, I sailed from Liverpool on the ship, "Olympus." After a very stormy voyage of eight weeks, I landed in New Orleans and took a berth on a Steam Boat up the Mississippi River for St. Louis. Cholera broke out and many died. We were all put ashore on Quarantine Island and kept there until all danger of contagion was over. We were then sent to St. Louis but arrived too late to cross the plains that season. The next April we went up the river to Keokuk, a town of a few inhabitants. We put our wagons together, loaded our provisions, and I took my first lesson as a teamster. I drove four yoke of oxen and a wagon about fifteen hundred miles along the Mississippi River in April of 1852. We arrived at the spot now called Lehi in September of the same year.
The settlers had moved up from Snow Springs and built their cabins on the ground called the Garden Lots on the banks of what was then called Dry Creek. The log meeting house was standing just inside the field near where the D.&R.G.W. railroad now runs. The settlement was called Evansville. There were also a few families living at Lott's Settlement near the lake.
The first person I saw after I arrived here was a young girl, whose name, I afterwards learned, was Martha Evans. She was standing by the fence in the lot, and she asked me if I wanted a watermelon. I said I did and she handed me one through the fence. I never forgot it.
The people were not to remain in that scattered condition long. On July 13, the Indians commenced their raids on the cattle, driving them off and killing the settlers. It was found necessary to build a fort.
A call was made for men to go South to protect the small settlements that were being made in Millard County. Fillmore was then the Capitol of Utah Territory. A State House was built there, the Legislature Session being held there. Captain Sidney Willis was ordered to take his company to Fillmore. William Wordsworth, Abner Hatch, Sylvanis Collet, William Ball, George Coleman, John Hacken, and myself, with others from American Fork and Pleasant Grove made up the company. It was quite an undertaking to find horses and saddles, as but few horses were used at that time. Oxen were about the only animals used for teams and work on the farms.
By the latter part of July, we were on the way and succeeded in getting through without any attacks from the Indians. A company from Salt Lake, a day or two ahead of us, were attacked at Willow Springs this side of Nephi and some were killed. When we got to Fillmore, we were detailed to guard the settlement and their cattle while they harvested their crops and put themselves in a condition to defend themselves.
After that, we were ordered to gather up all the surplus stock and bring them to Salt Lake for safety. When we left, we took a cannon with us, John Hacken and myself having charge of it. We never used it, but I think it had a good effect on the Indians. (That cannon is now in the Salt Lake Museum.) We learned afterwards that the Indians said they did not mind being shot at with guns but did not approve of being fired upon with wagons.
When we got to where our homes had been standing when we left, they were not there. On investigation we found that all the cabins had been moved and formed into a fort, a square being formed. The meeting house stood about where the Post now is.
In the year ‘55, the town was laid out and called Lehi City. It consisted of sixteen blocks, each block twenty rod square, with streets six rods wide running at right angles between the blocks. Each block was divided into eight lots, five by ten rods in the following manner, showing the lots after the one rod sidewalk is taken in.
Afterwards the lots were thought to be too small and the council passed an ordinance allowing the fences to be moved and the sidewalks taken in, leaving the streets four rods wide. That is what makes the corner lots on the sixteen blocks one rod larger than the inside lots. Corner lots were six by eleven: inside lots, five by eleven; and a block twenty_two rods square. That is what has made considerable misunderstanding in disposing of the lots. A man owning two lots, a corner and middle lot adjoining, sells the middle. The party buying thinks he should get five and one half rods when his deed only calls for five rods by eleven.
After the town was laid out it was not considered safe until a wall was built around it. It was agreed that one should be built of mud, six feet from the ground, with bastings on each side, also a gate on each side__the one on the South line opposite First West, the one on the West line opposite Second South, the one on the North line opposite Third West, the one on the East line opposite Main Street. The wall was about five hundred twelve rods in length, staked off in stints of four rods. Each person getting a lot must make four rods of fort wall and when he received a certificate that his stint of wall was satisfactory to the official in charge, the title to his lot was completed.
From ‘53 up to the present time, the Indians continued their depredations. Sometimes it was the Walker, then the Black Hawk, and the Tintic and others. Things would be quiet for a time, and then all at once, word would come that some settlers had been killed or their cattle stolen, so we had to be constantly on our guard.
When we went to the canyon for wood or timber, we had to go in armed companies. Guards had to be maintained at night around the fort, the cattle had to be herded during the day over the river by armed herders, and at night driven into a large stockade made by logs set in the ground in an upright position close together. A night guard walked from one corner to another guard at the other corner. With attending our crops, standing guard at night, building the fort wall; fighting grasshoppers and the hoppers coming out victorious by robbing us of our prospective harvest, we were kept busy.
While I think of it, another element we had to fight was the water. In putting in our dams we were not able to make them as substantial as was necessary to withstand the floods. The consequence would be that our dams would go right in the season of irrigation. No more watering could be done until the dam was repaired. One instance I have in mind was on a Sunday in the middle of irrigation season. We were all in meeting. Services had just commenced, when word came that our dam had gone. We all had to go home, change our clothes, (those that were lucky enough to have a change) take our shovels and ax, and cut brush, haul rocks and gravel until the breach in the dam was repaired. This would sometimes take several days. During the early days, the water was not divided in different channels, but all of it came down the main creek, and it was a hard task to control it. We found that water was a good friend and a bad enemy.
In those days we had another enemy to contend with. That was the grasshopper or locust. In the Fall they would come in clouds and light in the fields, and clean up everything that was green. Then they would lay their eggs, and when the warm weather in Spring came, they would hatch out and commence on the crops, and keep at it until they had cleaned up everything. In June their wings would develop and they would fly to other fields. One season after they had gone, we plowed up the ground and put it in corn. The season held out late in the Fall, and we raised a splendid crop of corn.
One day in the summer of ‘54, David Clark and myself, with ox and team, one yoke on each wagon, started for West Canyon for poles. We had no bridges over the Jordan River at that time, so we had to cross it at the rapids near the point of the mountain. The river was quite high, so we fastened the two wagons together, one behind the other, and hitched the two yoke of oxen together. Dave rode the lead one. I sat on the front of the first wagon and held the bedding and guns so they could not get wet. We drove down into the river and it was so deep the cattle had to swim. But we managed to keep them upstream. When we got to the middle, the last wagon came uncoupled and turned over. Our chains, axes, ropes and our shoes were tied on that wagon and they all went to the bottom. We finally got to the other side. The wagon floated down the river, but the current carried it over to the west side, so that by wading we could reach it. We got it out, hitched up and went on with what we had. Our rations were on the first wagon and a hatchet was in our bedding__we had that left to cut our poles. We drove on to Cedar Fort. When we got there, the settlers had all left. The log cabins were entirely deserted. We were surprised, for the Indians had been peaceable for a time. We decided to stay there for the night. We found some old shoes and made use of them, which was a lot better then none. The next morning we drove up one of the canyons to a grove of poles, got one load and started for home. We found the river much lower and succeeded in getting over with our loads all right. On getting home, we learned that the Indians had driven the people from Cedar Fort. They had gone to another settlement for safety.
In February of '56, the Indians made a raid on the men that were guarding the cattle on the other side of the lake near Pelican Point, killing John Callin, Joseph Cousins, and George Winn. The Indians had been driving off and killing the cattle. The above-named men, together with William Clark, Bill Skines and others I do not remember, were gathering up the cattle and bringing them into the settlement. They had stopped at Pelican Point to camp for the night and were taken by surprise while collecting wood to cook their supper. They were near a clump of cedars and all at once the Indians attacked them with the above results.
In the year '54, the Lehi Dramatic Association was organized with Thomas Taylor as President and James Taylor as Stage Manager. The other members, as I remember them, were William Taylor, Edwin Standring, James Harwood, William Hudson, John Nield, Joseph Field, Robert Stoney, Andrew Anderson, Prime Coleman, George Coleman, Riley Judd, William Sharp, Mrs. James Taylor, Emma Evans, Margaret and Elizabeth Zimmerman, Emma Laurence, William Vandyke, Oscar Taylor and his wife, and William Ball. The first play presented was in the old log meeting house. The play was "Luke, the Laborer."" Our light were tallow candles; scenery, wagon covers, drop curtain, the same scenery painted with charcoal and red paint from the rock quarry.
In '57 Bishop Evans was appointed to take a company and explore the White Mountains and the Beaver Valley. He called on William Taylor, Richard Bee, John Norton, William Skines, Doctor Williams, Thomas Randall and myself. Some took oxen and wagons, and some rode horseback. We took tools and provisions to last for some months. In June we started going south to Fillmore. After leaving there we traveled south until reaching the spot where Beaver City now stands, and camped there for the night. The frost was so sharp it froze thick ice. In the morning we started west, following the Beaver River through the canyon into Beaver Valley. There we struck a large grove of trees. Many were cut down by the beavers and used for making their dams. We continued to follow the river until we came to a large spring that came out of some large black rocks. We called it Black Rock Spring. There we camped and at first we thought of making a settlement there. We plowed a ditch from the spring for irrigation purposes.
A tribe of Indians visited us and made themselves at home. They enjoyed our rations very much and called us "Wino" for "good Mormons." They liked us so well, they all wanted to be Mormons. After the interpreter had told them what they must do, and that they must be baptized, they assented and they were all baptized in the Beaver River. That made us all "Wino Mormons", and they ate our provisions with more pleasure than ever. After we had been there a few days, Bishop Evans took some of the party and went over to the White Mountains country to see what they could find. There was a rumor that there was a mountain there, that was almost solid silver, and our mission was to find it and locate it. But it was not done. The mountain was there and it was white, but not with silver. After we had been there for about a month, we received orders from headquarters to abandon the idea of making a settlement there and come home. The Indians were quite displeased at our leaving.
In the summer of '54 we celebrated for the first time the entrance of the Pioneers into Salt Lake__the twenty_fourth of July. We had a parade and marched through the streets of the fort. It consisted of twelve young men and twelve young ladies__the young men in white trousers and white shirts and the young ladies in white dresses. The costumes were not made of expensive material. Every one could find in the family something that would make a necessary article of dress; sheets were not excepted.
The band consisted of A. D. Rhodes, S. H. Pierce, Sil Collet, with Robins at the head, followed by the young men and young ladies. Next came the officials of the Militia, Church, and other officials, followed by citizens. I, being the only one in the fort that knew anything about painting, was appointed to get up the flags and banners. I made them out of bleached domestic, painted with red paint from the rock quarry and indigo__making the stars and stripes__the red, white and blue. The Indians and grasshoppers, being reasonably quiet at this time, we had one of the banners with the motto, "Peace and Plenty." We had others appropriate for the occasion. After marching around the fort we went to the log meeting house, where in front we had erected a bowery of poles covered with green boughs, and continued to celebrate the day with speeches, songs and dancing. Although everything we had was of a very crude and primitive nature, we enjoyed ourselves to as great an extent as we do now, with fifty_five years of experience since the foregoing celebration.
Alfred Bell was the first Precinct Justice. He was one of the first that introduced sheep raising in this county. He, as Justice, had charge of elections for the precinct. He was the only Judge. I was, for some time, Clerk of Elections. It was held semiannually on the first Monday in August. In those days there was only one ticket. The voter presented his ticket to the clerk, who wrote the number on it, then the name of the voter on a list with the number of the ticket opposite the name. Then the Judge put the ticket in the box, after which the box was sealed up and sent to the County Clerk. We each received three dollars for our services.
Bishop Evans was the first Post Master. He used a small room in his house for an office. All the equipment it had was a small green box, partitioned off in pigeon holes and lettered alphabetically. It is now used at the Co_op Store, as a place for the mail to be sent up from the Post Office for those people who live in that part of town. Until the railroad was built, the mail was brought from the East and West by the Overland Stage Coach. During the Winter, some times three or four months would elapse before we got letters or papers.
Speaking of papers brings to my mind the difficulty we had in the first few years in regard to light to read by at night. Before beef cattle became plentiful, tallow candles were something that could not be used, except in cases of necessity. About our only accessible light was sage brush. One member of the family would have a pile of sage brush in one corner and keep up a supply of light by putting small pieces of sage brush on the fire. (We all had open fire places on the hearth at that time, both for cooking and for warmth and light.) I have read for weeks at a time with no other light. After pigs were more plentiful, and we had feed enough to fatten them, we would use the cheapest of the grease. We put it in a saucer, tied a piece of rag around a button, placed it in the grease, lit it, and it made quite a good light. When fat beef became more plentiful, each family would kill their own and make part of the tallow into candles. Those who did not have candle molds, would borrow from their more fortunate neighbors.
Now that I am on that subject, I will give an extract from my Journal, showing how we commenced married life in those days. On the thirtieth of June, I was married to Sarah Jane Taylor, daughter of James Taylor. I had previously built a house, intending to live in it, but a man was killed there, so I sold it for another lot. I got adobe bricks and went to the west mountain canyon for logs, took them up to Alpine where there was a saw mill, and got them sawed into lumber by giving one third of it for sawing. I then built me a room, having previously learned the mason business. My wife helped me by putting the adobes on the scaffold. I got it finished with board roof and mud on the boards. I bought three chairs, one table, a frying pan, a kettle to bake and cook in, a tin plate, cup, knife, fork and spoon each. I made a bedstead out of poles. A soap box held all our extra clothing. But we were happy, with all our Indian troubles and famine, from grasshoppers causing us to live on thistle roots and fish. We would go out with a sack, get it full of pig weeds, pick out the best for ourselves and give the remainder to the pigs. The people found and bought twine and made a large fish net and would go on the lake and bring fish for the settlement. Some would dry and some would salt them, but it was a great help.
In those days the clothing we brought had about worn out. But with the increase of sheep, the wives and daughters carded the wool, and then with their spinning wheels made yarn. There were two or three home made looms. I remember one Mrs. Bell, the wife of the Justice, had and she, as did others, took the yarn and made cloth for men’s wear and lindsey for the women, and did it on shares on so much a yard. With all our hardships, I believe we were just as happy as the people of today.
We had our social parties and our dramatic entertainments. After the log house got too small to do for a theater, we fitted up the upper room of the tithing house and had a performance every week. Tickets were sold for all kinds of produce__grain, potatoes, squash, wood, and sage brush. A season ticket was one dollar and fifty cents, and for those that could not get one any other way, a load of sage brush was taken for the season ticket. A great deal of rehearsing was done by the light from sage brush.
In the year ‘55 the people decided to build a meeting house and school house combined. A committee was appointed. Daniel Thomas was the Chairman. I was appointed assessor and collector. A tax of one dollar fifty cents on the one hundred dollars was levied, one dollar to be paid in labor and fifty cents in cash or grain. The adobe makers were all set to work, the teams to hauling rock for the foundation, and as the adobes were ready, they were hauled to the ground, and the masons at once commenced putting up the walls. An adobe was one foot long, six inches wide, four inches thick, and the walls were four adobes thick. In the early Spring and Fall, men and teams were sent to the West Canyon while the snow was still on the mountains. The timbers were cut and the bark taken off so they would slide easy. Those with skis worked over to the side and started them down. When they reached the bottom, cattle were ready to be attached to the logs with chains, dragged to the wagons, and then loaded on. When they got to Lehi, they then had to go to Alpine to be sawed.
A few loads of specially good logs were brought to the ground, sawed into blocks the length of a shingle, then split up and shaved into shingles. It was used for school houses, meeting houses, theaters, and all kinds of gathering places.
The Choir of those days that sang in the old meeting house is worthy of notice. The leader, who came in ‘52, was William Hudson. Some of the members of the Choir, as I can remember were, Samuel James, David Clark, James Taylor, Edward Edwards, John Mild, James Harwood, Mrs. Robinson, Mrs. Folkner, William Sharp, Martha Clayton, William Littleword, Mrs. William Littleword, Annie Brown, S. I. Taylor, Sam Taylor, Richard (Shepley) Bradshaw. Later there were the Broadbents and Foxes (father and sons), and others.
I think there are some of the early settlers that will remember being awakened during the night before Christmas by the soul inspiring music of the Choir singing "Joy to The World, the Lord Has Come,” and “While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks by Night, all seated on the ground, an Angel of the Lord came down and glory shone around." Before the last note had been sung, the door of the house would open, the blazing cedar logs on the open hearth spreading warmth and light around and revealing the hot coffee and cake on the table. I can tell you it did not take much of an invitation to induce those men and women with cold fingers and warm hearts to partake of the cheer their host had provided for them. After the chill was removed from their bodies, their souls broke out in another Anthem of praise, and out into the night again they would go, to gladden the hearts of others with the glad tidings which the angels brought to all the world.
After fighting the Indians and the grasshoppers and coming out victorious, we thought our days of warfare were over. But we were mistaken, as the following will show. In the summer of '57 we were enjoying ourselves, following our different vocations of life, when a dark cloud appeared in the form of an express messenger from headquarters in Salt Lake to Bishop Evans, who held the office of Colonel of the Militia in Utah County. He was, at the time, spending a few days at the Rock House on the west shore of the lake. The express brought word that a large army, commanded by General Johnston, had started for Utah to drive us from our homes. The message ordered him, Colonel Evans, to send a company of Cavalry from his command at once to join other companies in Salt Lake. From that point they would go East. I carried the message to the Rock House. In receiving it, the Bishop returned home and the Company was sent. Some of the names I can remember are: Captain Willis, John Lot, Sylvester Collett, Willie Skines, Riley Judd, Frank Molen, Joseph Thomas, and John Rarren. Later on in the same year, I think it was in October, another company was called to go. They prepared to stay all winter if necessary, with guns, ammunition, and provisions. Major Hyde (then a resident of Lehi) was ordered to take a detachment, which consisted of men from Battle Creek, American Fork, Alpine and Lehi. The names of those from the latter place that I can remember are: William Hyde, Thomas Taylor, John Brown, Edwin Standring, James Harwood, William Clark, Samuel Smith, William Hudson, Robert Maw, James Commander, Luke Titcolm, and Edward Cox.
We were ordered to Salt Lake and camped on the Public Square for a few days. In the month of November, we started for the Weber, traveling through Emigration Canyon, over the big mountain when the snow was piling up ready for winter. After reaching the Weber River, we marched to the mouth of Echo Canyon where there was already a large Military Camp stationed. We were ordered to stop there until further orders.
After we had been there some time, word was received that Johnston's Army was going into winter quarters, the snow being so deep they could not make headway. If that was the case there was no need for us to remain, and we were ordered home, which was the cause for much rejoicing. We packed up and went on our march with lighter hearts than on passing over the same ground in the opposite direction.
Although no one that I know of felt like deserting, at times our hearts were heavy when we thought of the object of our campaign. We were on the way to meet and attempt to turn back one of the best equipped armies the U.S. government ever fitted out. There was a large troop of cavalry, some of the best drilled in the army; a large company of heavy artillery, and about two thousand infantries, followed by several large trains of military supplies. Their orders were to enter Salt Lake at any cost and, prepared with all modern munition of war, to carry out their object. I can tell you it is no wonder that at times we felt a little fainthearted, knowing that if we met that army, some of us would never see our loved ones again. And, as I said, we felt light hearted when on our way home.
But our cheerfulness lasted only until about midnight, when we were camped on our return journey in a little canyon at the foot of the big mountain, rolled up in our blankets. A messenger arrived with orders to march at once to meet the army. They had not gone into winter quarters, but were coming this way. Back we went, tramping through the frozen snow until we had to stop from exhaustion. We made camp, first shoveling away the snow to pitch our tents, and make a fire, which was a slow job because everything was so wet. After getting some warm coffee, we got some sleep, and in the morning started on the forward march again, along the Weber River, until we reached the mouth of Echo Canyon, then on up until we came to the main body of the Nauvoo Legion, commanded by General Wells.
The camp was near the overhanging cliffs on the left of the canyon, the road running at the foot. The camp presented quite a military appearance, with hundreds of white tents and crude wagons. As we marched into camp, the band played. The tune is sung to "Ye Mountains High." We soon got settled down and learned to regulate all our actions by the bugle call, and the tap of the drum.
All the routine work of a military camp was gone through. We put ourselves in shape in, but each company provided themselves with a large wickiup built of poles put up in a circle, together at the top and thatched with pine boughs. By putting them thick enough, they would turn off the wind and snow. We built a large rock hearth in the center, and made our fire on it and at night sat around it telling stories and singing songs.
We were well supplied with plenty to eat, not luxuries, but beef, bread, and beans, and coffee to drink, so that we did not suffer in that line. I gained twenty pounds in weight during the trip__in fact we all enjoyed ourselves by making the best of everything.
One night I recall we were all sitting around a big fire, when a scouting party that had been back to the army came up. They had been driving off a lot of the army's beef cattle. Bile Skeens, and Riley Judd were among the lot, they being from Lehi. They came up to our fire spinning yarns of their trip, when all at once Bile Skeens, who was on the opposite side of the fire, reached across to Riley and said, "Here is your powder horn, Riley." With that he let it drop into the fire. In about a second the party scattered, but there was no explosion. Bile knew the horn was empty, but we did not.
But our time was not all spent in play. We had drill every day, also work with the spade and shovel. A large trench was dug and an embankment made across the canyon, and fortification made of rock on the cliff and large rocks rolled into position of the precipice. This work was done in preparation for receiving the army as it came down the canyon. In doing so they would march near the foot of those cliffs and the plan was for part of our men to be above them and as they came along, the rocks would be rolled down on them. The main body of the men would be placed in the trench, which reached across the canyon, and those of the army that escaped the rocks would be met by a volley fired on them by men in the trenches. That would have been one of the greatest massacres known. Hundreds would have been killed on both sides, but the outcome no one could doubt__the troops would be victorious. One reason, besides many others, is that we had only about forty rounds of ammunition each, and everyone that knows anything about the average of those killed in battles by well-trained soldiers with a given number of rounds of ammunition, can form a good idea of the outcome from forty rounds each by a lot of raw recruits such as we were.
Our officers knew what the consequences would be. I was sitting in the tent one day reading, and some of the officers came in and were talking on that subject, using about the same language as I quoted above. But I do not believe it was ever intended to let the two bodies come together. If the troops continued to come on down the canyon, our men would be withdrawn. The officers and authorities of the Utah troops were human, and would not commit such a massacre with their eyes open.
While in Echo Canyon a very thrilling scene occurred__something I shall never forget. One morning, after roll call, we were all marched across the creek to a large flat. There we were formed in a hollow square. An officer then informed us that we were about to witness an execution, by shooting, of one of the men who had been tried and found guilty of a crime, the penalty of which was death. We had not long to wait. An armed squad was approaching from the guard house with solemn step, to the tap of the drum, and the prisoner was in their charge. They walked to the center of the square. The prisoner was asked if he had anything to say. He did not. One of the guard tied a handkerchief over his eyes, and then stepped aside. Four men with guns stepped from the ranks and walked to within a few paces of the prisoner and all was ready. A great commotion took place in the ranks on one side. A horseman rode through and handed a paper to the commanding officer. He read it aloud, and it was a reprieve. We all marched back to our respective camps with much lighter hearts than when we came.
Day after day passed with the same routine going on__drill, guard duty, and whatever work needed doing. Every day word came in by some of the scouts, telling where the army was, and what they were doing. The snow was deep, consequently they traveled slow. One day scouts brought word that they were on the lookout, and discovered a train of wagons loaded with army supplies. They were out of sight of the main army, and were all drawn up together. They set the wagons on fire and burned up everything and then stampeded the mules. At other times they would tell of capturing a herd of beef cattle belonging to the troops. One day the scouts brought in some prisoners they had captured. They were Government teamsters. I recognized one man as a passenger that had been on the ship I came over on. He said he hired out as teamster, thinking it would be an easy way to get to Salt Lake.
One day some of the boys came in that had been out watching the movements of the army. They reported that the troops had all gone into winter quarters on Black Fork. That was good news for us. It was not long until orders came to break camp, and march for home. We were not long in putting that order in execution. With as few a steps as possible after leaving Echo Canyon, we traveled down the Weber River. We learned that the road over the Big Mountain was impassable on account of the deep snow, so we took the trail that led to Parley’s Park through Parley’s Canyon. Our last camping place was in that canyon. The snow was so deep we did not attempt to clear it away, but made our beds on the snow.
In the morning we found ourselves covered with a blanket of snow that had fallen during the night. Our fire (which was kept up all night by the guard) had melted a hole down in the snow. We were smoking with steam from the warmth of our bodies and the melted snow. However we soon remedied that by rousing up our fires and by drying ourselves and we were soon on our way again down the canyon.
On arriving at Union Fort, the people there welcomed us by getting up a good meal in the meeting house, which we did ample justice to. After a good rest, we started home that night, a tired but happy lot, expecting, when Spring opened, to renew the campaign.
What caused the government to send the troops to Utah, is a question answered by some prominent men that were in a position to know, (so they said.) They claim that the nation was on the eve of a Civil War. The North, or the free states and the South slave states were bound, in a short time, to come together in battle. Floyd, who was Secretary of War, together with President Buchanan, used his power in ‘60 to prepare the South to attempt to destroy the government. They were in sympathy with the South. The outfitting of the army to Utah cost many millions, and the troops that were sent were the flower of the standing army. Captain Johnston, being a Southerner and in sympathy with the cause, could and did abandon Camp Floyd, and take his command with him to fight under the confederate flag, the glory of which was of very short duration. He was killed in his first battle after reaching the scene of conflict.
The spring of '58 came, but we were not called back to the mountain. Negotiations were on foot for a settlement of the trouble. A commission was appointed and were on their way to Utah, to find out the real cause of our disloyalty, and to talk to the people and try to bring about a reconciliation and remedy the wrongs which had brought about the present condition in Utah.
The people, having still a distrust of the officials at the head of the approaching army, decided that all living North of the point of the mountain should leave their homes for the South. They at once began to put that decision into effect, and thus began the great move so often referred to by older people. In imagination, I can look back to those times, and see a continuous stream of vehicles of all kinds__hand carts, wagons, buggies, carriages, and in fact anything and everything on wheels. People were on foot and horseback; some driving a herd of cattle; another a lot of pigs; a shepherd with a flock of sheep; wagons with cows tied behind; others with a box fastened on the back with fowls of all kinds in; wagons loaded with grain and all kinds of provisions; others with all manner of farming implements, and children of all ages stringing along this side of the point of the mountain to Lehi, until every vacant spot, shed, shop, meeting house, and every house that had room for another family was occupied, and the big fort wall that surrounded the town formed one side to temporary cabins and dugouts that were hastily put up with slats, adobes, mud, or brush, until the town was full and running over.
And on the stream would go to the next town, and fill it up in the same manner until the great move was complete. These people had left their homes on a condition that they would all be burned to the ground; if they should be certain that the invading army were intending to confiscate them they felt like they would rather destroy their homes than let them be occupied by those that had no right to them.
When the commissioners from Washington arrived in Utah, they came to Lehi and stopped at Bishop Evan's house. A mass meeting was called, and an audience was collected, many coming from surrounding settlements. The meeting was an enthusiastic one. The speeches made by those men inspired confidence in the people, and the proposals of peace were ratified by the people. The troops were allowed to come in. The new Governor and Federal Judges appointed by Congress assumed their offices without opposition. Colonel Johnston marched his army across the river into Cedar Valley, and established themselves near Fairfield, and named it Camp Floyd.
Their coming to Utah, instead of bringing death and destruction, turned out to be a great blessing, by providing us a market for our vegetables, butter, chickens, and eggs at good prices and putting us in possession of the means of obtaining a great many necessities that we could not have had otherwise. It provided us a market for our supplies of hay, and they also paid a good price for straw to use as bedding for their horses of which they had a great many. Other industries were benefitted by the camp. A large amount of adobes were required that gave employment to the adobe makers. It also set to work the masons. A great many buildings were put up as comfortable residences for the officers and long rows of buildings for the privates. After peace was proclaimed, the people that abandoned their homes, returned and all went on as usual.
In the spring of '61, after the Civil War broke out, Colonel Johnston made preparations for evacuating Camp Floyd, by offering for sale at public auction, all their surplus supplies, which lasted several days; and men that had money, laid the foundation of future prosperity for themselves. Thousands of bushels of wheat were sold for twenty_five cents per bushel. Large quantities of the best of army flour at fifty cents per hundred pounds. Army bacon at fifty cents per hundred pounds. New government team hames for two dollars per double set, and any amount of other things at similar low prices. Before all was disposed of, a gang of men were discovered stealing and carrying off goods they had not bought. When the Colonel was informed of this, he stopped the sale, and ordered everything that they did not intend to take with them, hauled outside camp, piled up and burned, and that caused the destruction of thousands of dollars worth of property.
During the war between the North and the South, it was a difficult and dangerous time on account of roving bands of guerrillas that were under the guise of soldiers, raiding and taking possession of everything they could lay hands on. On that account the merchants quit, in a great measure, bringing the trains of goods across the plains, and everything was sold at enormous prices. I paid one hundred twenty_five dollars per hundred for sugar and coffee; five dollars per pound for tea; calico, sixty cents per yard; bleach domestic, one dollar fifty cents per yard, and all other things in proportion. Of course, this was partly owing to the depreciation of treasure notes and green backs, which for a long time was worth only fifty cents on the dollar.
I think it was in '63 (I was in the mercantile business) that the Salmon River Gold Mines were discovered and caused a great rise in the price of produce. I took to Salt Lake two loads of flour, and sold it for one hundred twenty dollars per hundred pound. Wheat brought fifteen dollars per bushel; oats, three dollars, and potatoes two dollars. We sent all kinds of provisions to Salmon River Mine, our pay coming back in gold dust, at the rate of sixteen dollars per ounce.
In the fall of '72 the first passenger train on the railroad, then called the Utah Central, arrived at Lehi, where the San Pedro station now stands. That part of town was a very busy place. Stores and Saloons were opened. The People's Co_op Store was organized, and they opened their first store there. I built a harness shop and commenced business there, that point being the end of the track. All freight for the South was unloaded there, and loaded on freight wagons drawn by five or six span of mules. It was a very busy spot until the road went further south. The freighters then went to the next point where the end of the track was. Consequently, business dropped off, and most all the business moved from there. The buildings, being made of lumber, were easy to move. I had four span of mules attached to my shop and taken to Main Street. Others did the same and that was the first building up of Main Street, although previous to '72 there was some business down on that street.
The Lehi Exchange had a store on the spot now owned by the Racker Mercantile Co. George Gusmundson had a Jewelry Shop; Richard Bradshaw, Sen., and myself opened a dry goods and grocery store on the spot where the Corner Grocery stands. The street was named Main Street. Later on Louis Gariff built his store. Joseph Dorton built a butcher shop. Mr. Charrington carried on a furniture business, and I put up a building for the Post Office. In the fall of '82 the Lehi Academy was established by the New West Educational Association, and has been successfully carried on to the present time.
In the year of 1882, after the passage of the Edmonds-Fricker Law, disfranchising all pobijarnots and disqualifying offices, I learned that P.M. Evans was about to be removed. I made application for the position of Post Master and in 1882 was appointed, which office I held until the election of President Cleveland in the year 1893. Being a Republican, I felt it my duty to resign, which I did, having been Post Master for eleven years. I believe that "to the victors belonged the spoils." Prune Evans was my successor and held the office for years. When McKinley was elected, S.W. Ross was appointed.
Until the year '84, we had only surface wells for domestic use, and they were rendered very unhealthy. Through irrigation the water used for that purpose seeped through the places that were not used for purposes of the cleanest nature. For a long time I had studied the ground below the surface, and from the melting of the snow on the mountains and higher land, I felt convinced there was a large amount of water that was held by a layer of clay or hard pan, and if a pipe was driven through these strata, a flow of artesian water could be brought to the surface. I bought some one and one_fourth inch pipe, and had a steel point welded on the end and holes drilled in the pipe for about six feet, up the first joint. We drove the pipe in the ground with sledge hammers. I was laughed at and criticized by some people, but we kept on driving for weeks. Some days, after we had struck hard pan, we didn't make one inch during the day. The curiosity of the people was great as they watched from day to day. At last we were rewarded. Upon reaching a depth of seventy_five feet we struck water. A nice stream was running out of the pipe. It had proved a success. People came from all parts of the county to see it. That pipe is still in the ground on the same spot, only it is driven down one hundred forty_five feet and supplies a fine stream all the year round.
Another incident or two has come to my mind that may be interesting to those in the future if not the present. In the early days we did not build such residences as at the present time. We had no brick or lime so we used either adobes or logs for the walls and in a great many instances, dirt floors were used. The roofs were often made by putting rugs across from gable to gable then laying on a course of willow and straw or cane, and then plastered with mud and dry dirt put on top. Those a little more fortunate would use boards instead of willows and straw, but the boards had to be covered with mud and dirt. We did not lath and plaster the ceiling. The roof was all the ceiling we had. We plastered the walls on the inside. Six light eight by ten was the usual size window; twelve light was extra and unusual. When I got so I could afford it, I had the dirt roof taken off and a shingle roof put on and the rooms lath and plastered. The shingle nails cost one dollar per pound, the shingles ten dollars per thousand.
In the year '53 my father and I raised our first crop of wheat. We hauled and stacked it, but there were not threshing machines to thresh it. We cleaned off a threshing floor near a stack and then laid the bundles of wheat in a circle. We then yoked up a pair of cattle and drove them around and around on the grain until it was threshed out. Then the straw was raked away and another lot tramped out in the same manner until the stack was finished. The wheat and chaff were piled together and when the first strong wind came the wheat was held up a basket at a time and slowly poured out. The wind would blow the chaff away and the wheat would fall to the ground. The next year a threshing machine came to the place. The power that ran the machine was a horse on a large box with a tread mill attachment. The horse was constantly climbing up but getting no higher.
If the foregoing incidents and reminiscences should be of interest to the readers, I shall not think my time wasted in writing them. As it is principally given from recollection and events as my mind goes back to the past, it may be possible that inaccuracies in dates have occurred, but the events are correct and as they happened.
Lehi City, Utah County, Utah
January 4, 1909.