Faith Promoting Story from the life of William Johnathan Clegg



by a daughter, Malicent C. Wells


During the winter of 1896-97, Father and his brother-in-law, Henry McMullin, hauled wood to help support their large families. They would cut the wood in the canyons east of Heber. Some was hauled to Park City to the mines. Here they would trade the wood for merchandise which they brought back to Heber.


They also hauled many loads to Provo to sell. It was a long hard ride from Heber to Provo in those days. When returning home from one such trip, Feb. 18, 1897, they got as far in Provo Canyon as the County Toll Gate. It was maintained by Billy Ferguson, a "Scotchman." Here he had a half-way house which furnished accommodations for weary travelers. He served lunches and had knick-knacks" for sale. His home was always made beautiful with flowers, both the wild and house varieties. He had several pets also.


Hay was furnished for the horses and oxen who also needed rest. Father and Uncle Henry arrived there in the late afternoon. After eating and a brief rest they had a "hunch" (or a strong feeling) that they should go on a little farther before making camp for the night. Mr. Ferguson urged them to stay, saying he was lonely and that later he would play his violin and they could have a pleasant evening. However, they still felt they should go on. They made camp near what is now known as Deer Creek. The next morning at about 4:00 a.m. a huge snow slide swept across the canyon from the south where the "Toll Gate" was located, (about a half mile west of Vivian Park on the north side of the canyon) . This kindly man, Mr. Ferguson, his pets and all his possessions were completely buried and destroyed!


Many times I have heard my Father tell this story and how grateful he was that they didn't stop over that night at "Toll Gate." And, especially that they took heed of the still small voice that prompts each of us.