Autobiography of Clarissa Isabell Wilhelm
CLARA WILHELM AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN THREE PARTS
Transcribed from copies owned by Lydia Gibbons Hunsaker (Granddaughter of Bateman H. Wilhelm)
Transcribed March 26, 1988 by Corlyn Holbrook Adams (Great Granddaughter of Bateman H. Wilhelm)
I was born in Rockville, Washington Co., Utah on March 27, 1870. My parents were Bateman Haight Wilhelm and Lydia Hannah Draper Wilhelm. I had six brothers and sisters, three brothers and three sisters, seven of us in all. I also had one half-brother and five half-sisters, as my father was a polygamist. My mother and father was married five years before he took his second wife, Grace Tibbits (Tippets) Jose. My father and Mother were very happy until this woman came into their lives. I was the first child born to mother after my father took the second wife. I had one brother and one sister older than myself. My mother's parents names were Zemira Draper and Amy Terry Draper.
Mt. Carmel, Utah
We lived in Rockville until I was 3 years old and then we moved to a little town called Mount Carmel. My father’s mother and his oldest sister, Aunt Susan, moved there also. We lived there until I was 4 years old.
The United Order in Orderville, Utah
Then the church started the United Order and they called father to help head the Order at Orderville, where we moved about two miles from Mount Carmel. A little while after we moved to this place, I had a little sister born. She was named Amy Elnora. She lived until she was 21 months old and then she died of indigestion. Mother was unable to get proper food for her. She was a sweet, little golden-curly headed doll like kid. At this age of 4 I started to school, I will always remember the book I was supposed to read part of it was the Doctrine and Covenants. I can think of trying to read with horror. I forgot to state that father was put in as first councilor to the president of the stake. I will try to tell as near as I can how the Order was carried on.
They built the houses in fort shape and right in the center of the square of buildings, was built a large kitchen and dining room. They would select a set of 12 women to work for six weeks as cooks in the kitchen and one man helper and at the end of six weeks, they would choose another 12 women, and so on. There were enough women so they would only have to go into the kitchen every three months. But while our mothers were working, we children would have a good and lonesome time of it, for a home without a mother in it is a pretty lonesome place for little kiddos, especially. Mother would go at 4 o’clock in the morning and probably wouldn’t get home until 10:00 o’clock at night. That made the days pretty long. In the dining room, they had three long rows of tables, the length of the dining hall. I don’t remember the length of the hall, but it seemed very large to me then. In the mornings, they had a bugle call to call every one out of bed and they had one to call the grown people to their meals. The tune "Hard Times" was used to call people to arise of a morning and the tune "Do What is Right or The Old Oaken Bucket". for the meals. Then they would clear away the dishes and wash them and call the young people over 12 years of age to eat and the tune was "Oh, Come, Come away from Home" a school song. Then came the children’s turns under 12 years of age and their tune was : "In Our Lovely Deseret" and it has always sounded like something to eat to me since then. They had nice old ladies to help serve us children. We always called them Auntie. I remember Auntie Harmon, and Auntie Blackburn (the name now a little spoiled) and Auntie Clarage. Of course there were more of them but these were My Aunties that waited the tables where us children ate. There was also a man that walked up and down in the aisles between the tables to keep the children quiet. I remember of how I have been hit a lick on the side of my head with a roll of papers for whispering to some child eating near me. It would sure make one’s head ring when a lick came unexpected. They also had little girls 9 years, well I said little girls I should have said little girls over 9 years old, none younger and oh my, I did so want to be old enough to help wait on the tables. But I was Baptised in the summer and we left there in the fall, that same year, so I never had the pleasure of waiting tables before we left there.
I remember a little happening that has always remained with me even since I was grown: We children were all out playing and very much interested in our play and the bugle blew for us to go to supper. I said to the rest of the kids that I didn’t care for any supper and there were some few others who stayed to play as well. When the others came back from supper, they said that they had had bacon. I didn’t know what bacon was, as my father always cured his own pork and he called it salt pork. I just grieved about it for a long time. They didn’t have any more bacon or if we did I thought it was just pork and I thought I had missed such a treat.
We used to get very hungry sometime as there was nothing in our homes to eat. No matter how we felt or how hungry we got, we couldn’t go to the breadbox or the pantry and get a piece of bread and cake. We just had to wait from one meal to the next.
At first, they had good meals and plenty of dishes to eat out of but finally, there were so many drifted in that the eats were sure poor and many a time I have gone away from the table hungry after trying to eat bread and milk from a dinner plate, not a soup place, just a flat plate, with a fork, and no spoon. As I said before there were all kinds of people drifted in and there were so many people that wouldn’t work, and many others that couldn’t work, old ladies and old men too old to do anything. Cripples and half-wits, and all other kinds that were a burden to those that could and would work. Then young people would marry and come in without bringing any housekeeping outfits, and it just simply overtaxed the rest and soon dissatisfaction crept in.
Oh, yes I had a half-sister born while we living in the Order, too. It was my birthday and mother fixed us children a picnic and we walked down to Mount Carmel and when we came back, we had a little sister. They named her Lucy Luesa (Louisa). I was six years old then. While we were living there we got a pair of magpies. One of them got killed but we had the other one for a long time. One day, a little pup was out in the yard gnawing a bone and the magpie saw him and it went over to the pup and looked at it gnawing the bone. Then it walked around and got a hold of the pup’s tail and pulled at it. Then it would walk back and see if it had the pup pulled away from the bone and it would still be nibbling at it. It made ever so many trips that way before it gave it up. We thought it sure was a cute trick. It would steal thimbles and little things it could find. And it would also pick the horses sore shoulders and backs and we had to have it killed and it sure made us feel bad.
I remember at that time, they were sure making it hot for the polygamists. They were also after the President of the Stake, a man by the name of Howard Spencer. He had killed a man in self-defense. They were after him for nearly a year before they got him. But they finally got him and he stood his trial and was turned free.
I remember President Brigham Young and his company coming to conference. There was a man with the outfit that always kept minutes at their Meetings, and I fell in love with him. Every time he would took my way, I could feel my face burn. I would blush, as I thought of course he was looking at me, I was only five years old at that time. This was my first love affair and no one knew anything about it but myself. Since I was grown, I have heard of similar cases. They tell me that every child has their first love affair at an early date. I should guess that this man was all of 35 year old.
Back to Rockville
My folks began to he quite dissatisfied and Apostle Erastus Snow was calling men to move to Arizona to build homes. He called father, so he went with Bro. Snow’s company to look for a place to build us a new home. There were 8 men, I think I heard them say. Edward Noble (Aunt Nancy’s father) was one of the company, Bro. John Nail ( or Naegle), Wm. (Bill) Maxwell were others. So they all decided to move to Arizona. As Mother was in delicate health, he decided to take her down to her mother’s in Rockville, and leave her there for a year and take the other family to Arizona. So he drew his property out of the Order. Each one that joined the Order kept a list of the property that he had turned in and they had one in the Order. As I remember, father drew out 3 work teams, 2 farm wagons and one saddle pony and he and his mother drew 50 head of dairy cows besides some dishes and other things. They bought a nice lot of provisions, fresh pork, cheese, butter and other groceries. I thought I never saw anything look so good. Then father started with us down to Grandmother Draper’s.
I remember the first night we camped, Mother fried some of the fresh pork and when we were eating supper my brother George ate piece after piece of pork, and the grease fairly ran out of each side of his mouth. We were under-nourished and half-starved. The folks were watching him eat and mother was afraid that it would make him sick, but Grandmother said it wouldn’t hurt him, so they just let him eat all he wanted. He would eat a piece and say, "Please pass the poke!" Grandmother asked him if he wouldn’t like a little butter spread on it and he said he would, but they didn’t put any on it for him. I know that the folks didn’t know just how us children had suffered for something to eat, that is, food that would nourish our bodies, until we had left the Order and they had started to feed us at home.
Then father took the other family and grandmother and went out in to Arizona. He settled in a little town called Concho. I guess it ran him pretty short of money moving into a new country with such a large family to support. I forgot to state that he took my oldest brother Haight with him.
We ran out of provisions at grandmother’s and one of mother’s sisters came to live at grandmothers also. During this time, I had a sister born, on the 14th of April, and mother named after her two sisters: Fanny Marilla.
Mother finally concluded to see if she could get a place of her own and move into it. Grandmother told her she couldn’t make it, but mother felt like she was imposing upon her mother, so she went on trying to find a place to move into. She could not find a house, but she heard about a dugout on a man’s place (Frank Langston). She asked him if she could move into it and he said she could, but that it was full of gopher holes and the first time he irrigated his orchard, it was liable to fill with water. She said she would risk it, so she had it fixed up and we moved into it.
I remember how it seemed so fresh, clean and cool. Us children were so happy, as children always are. They always enjoy moving. But with Mother it was different. It came time for supper one night, and she said all we had to eat was bread with a little butter. My brother George spoke up and said he had some dried plums that he had traded marbles for, and sure enough, he had some green-gage plums. Mother stewed them and there were enough for supper and breakfast. All we had was enough flour to make one batch of salt-rising bread, so mother put some to rise. But she didn't have any salt to put in it. I thought it was sure funny, salt-rising bread without any salt!
After breakfast, mother started out to find work and she met a woman that was hunting for someone to do some quilting for her. The woman’s name was Cheddle Misner (she was Mrs. Alma Miller’s sister), so she gave mother some work. I know it was the answer to our prayers of that nite before and of that morning. Well, we only lived there in the dugout a little while, as the Relief Society had a small lumber room, where they had been raising silkworms, and as they had went out of the silkworm business for some reason, they told mother that she might move into the little house.
Mother was very glad to do so, as a great deal of the time she went out and did washings and house cleaning and she would take my oldest sister along to care for the baby, and she was afraid that the water would come in during her absence and fill up the dugout. For anyone that doesn’t know what a dugout is; it is a square hole dug in the ground and a roof put on, and just a little window in the back or at one side of the door. So we moved into the little house. It was right across the street, east from Grandmother’s place. Mother did everything she could to support her little family. She made flowers for hats out of horsehair, woven with wire and decorated with crystal beads. She made comb cases and wall-pads out of pasteboard and sold them. The people were all very kind and bought whenever they could.
There was a terrible murder done while we lived in the little place. We were all out in the yard and one old lady named Mary Parker, was passing. She stopped to tell mother that it was her birthday and that she was 63 years old. She had been down to the store (owned by Bishop Charles N. Smith, father of Eliza Morris here in Mesa) and had a small parcel with her. She said she was invited to Uncle Jacob Terry’s place for her birthday dinner and seemed to be very happy. I will have to go into the old lady’s history a little to make my story more clear; she only had one son and he had had some trouble with a certain party, and this party told him to get out of town and if he came back, he would kill him. Little towns were built up and down the river (it was the Virgin River) and there were 3 or 4 of them and they were from 1 1/2 to 3 or 4 miles apart, but the old lady used to go from one to the other as she pleased without saying anything to anyone. So it went on about a week and then someone missed her and started to inquire for her but nobody knew anything about her. They came to find out that she was last seen at Uncle Jacob Terry’s place (he was Mother’s uncle). There was a young man by the name of Jarod Dalton had called there while they were eating dinner and told her that her son wanted to see her and that he didn’t dare to come into town for fear of being killed. He said to meet him out about 3 1/2 miles, upon a mountain. They started a hunt for her and about noon, they found her murdered body, with her throat cut and sticks run down her mouth. She had been raped and still had the little parcel with her that she had bought at that fateful morning.
When they found her, Jarod offered to go for the Justice of the Peace to hold the inquest. He came to our house, the most unlikely place that he could have looked for him. He got off from his horse and sat down with his back against a tree, on the sidewalk and seemed to be in no hurry whatever. He talked calmly about the old lady and her case. While he was talking, another old lady by the name of Mrs. Stalks, came out to where mother and Jarod were talking, and after talking a little while, she came right out and said "Jarod, you killed that old lady!" He denied it of course, but mother was horrified and half out of patience with Mrs. Stalks and said "He is the last one I ever would suspect of having done such a thing." He was a boy of 18 or 19 years old and always been good and steady and mother felt like it was impossible for him to have done such a thing. But he was tried and convicted and sent to prison for 20 years, but he was there 12 of them and was turned out for good behavior.
There was another party implicated, hut he wouldn’t tell who it was, so he was never brought to justice. Before they found out who it was that committed the awful deed, people were just simply terrified. Two or three families would pile up in one house to sleep, just scared to death and not knowing who to be scared of. For a while, one of mother’s sisters came and stayed a night or two, but mother thought it was too much trouble, so we stayed alone.
I remember while we were living at this place, mother left me with most of the housework to do. I always had the light bread to bake. The days were sure long. There would be just my brother George and myself, alone all day, and you can be sure they were long days.
Moving to Arizona
Then it came time for us to think about going to Arizona. As I have said before father took my oldest brother with him out to Arizona. We got a letter from father with $50 in it to pay for our move. Father sent Haight (my brother) back after the family. He was then 15 years old. There were two men came with him as far as Kanab. They names were Edward Wild and the other was Curtis. The man Wild was counted to be wild in life as well as in name, hut he was a diamond in the rough and lie surely had a big heart. The mules that my brother drove were not very trustworthy. This man Wild gave Haight a large ham, a nice big cheese, as well as a nice lot of canned stuff and then tried and tried to give his bed to my brother. As I guess his bed was none too good. We will never forget his kindness.
Oh, what a trip for a boy of 15 to make, no roads hardly at all and with a span of mules that were only half broken. Father sent for a molasses mill, too. There were 6 in the family to go in one wagon and with the mill on it, we could not have had much room, so we had to walk almost all of the way. Mother started to get ready to move. Father said to wait for company to travel with.
I remember well the day we left the place of my birth. I had the sore eyes very bad. We bade the folks goodby and went on our way, I remember when we passed thru Kanab. Then we came to a place called Johnson, on account of there being so many people there by that name. We were here for two weeks and us being children picked currants on halves, or for 10 cents a qt. Mother began to worry for fear our provisions would run out due to the fact of our having to wait so long for company to travel with. But finally there were two families came along, by the names of Olsen and Pitcher, Ted Pitcher. They proved to be only a little better than nobody, as Olsen was so old and his son-in-law
Pitcher was only about half there. They depended entirely on my 15 year-old brother. They would get lost if there happened to be two roads and then Haight would have to hunt them up.
I remember one morning, a funny thing happened in camp; we were all getting ready to move on when we heard the awfullest scream from the Olsen camp. And come to find out, the old man was greasing his wagon and was putting on the wheel and he pulled a little too hard and it slipped off from the thimble of the wagon pushing him into a bucket of water. The hub of the wheel went between his legs, pinning him down but didn’t hurt him at all, only scared everybody. It might have been serious, but it was sure funny, him sitting in the bucket of water screaming at the top of his voice.
Mother walked with us kids and there was nothing happened to mar the trip. We came to Holbrook, then known as Horsehead Crossing. There was only one family living there, a Mexican family by the name of Barradas, who had a little store. This was 65 miles from where father was living, so mother got us some shoes. She did not dare to get us any before as she was afraid she would run short of money for the trip.
Well in a few days, we pulled into Concho, where father and the other family were living and Grandmother Wilhelm, my father’s mother also. I forgot to tell about us crossing the big Colorado River, they sure did have bum boats. They made the horses swim the river and took the wagons to pieces and put them on an old raft-like boat and took the people over in a little boat that leaked so badly that they had Indians dipping water out of it as fast as they could to keep it from filling up. Oh my, but we were scared, but we got across all right.
We found the folks all well. Aunt Grace had had another baby girl, born on the 4th of July, so they named her Independence Grace. Father had had a hard time of it. There were about 15 families living in this place and there was a scarcity of flour. Father sold some horses and bought barley and had it ground and they lived on barley for six months. He furnished the people barley to live on also. So while mother was having it so hard, father was not having it very easy. We lived here for a short time.
Here it was that I first met my brother-in-law, Joseph Rogers. He was living with a man by the name of Jessie Brady, a very nice old gentleman. But it was five or six years later that my sister Isora married him.
Then we moved to a ranch called Malpais and we lived there a year, during this time, father moved mother and his mother there. It is now known as the Wilhelm Ranch and it was then that it got its name. They went up there for the purpose of making butter and cheese and so that father could look after his cattle. I staid a lot with Aunt Grace and while I was living with her, I had a very disagreeable experience.
There used to be ox-team trains used mainly for hauling wool, as there was a great deal of wool raised in that country, maybe not anymore than there is now but they did not have the ways of transportation for it like they have now. Anyway these teams sometimes would have 8 or 10 yoke of oxen and some large government wagons, with beds so deep that a man could hardly see out of them. They could carry terrible loads of wool, as well as other stuff. There would be 8 or 10 of them, sometimes more or less, in the wagon trains.
There were three drivers to each outfit, Mexicans, all of them. One on each side of the oxen and one in head to lead them. When an ox would get out of the road, a driver would turn up and give it a push and a kick in the belly to get it back into the trail. They had big bullwhlps and how they could crack and pop them. You could hear them for 2 or 3 miles. They used to stop and camp near the Malpais Ranch. The oxen would come to the spring to drink and they would walk up and down in the water the way cattle always do and they would make the water so nasty that father told us kids that every time we saw them to go and drive them back and not let them wade right up into the spring itself.
One day, I saw some oxen coming to water, so I went up to guard them back and on the way back to the house I had to pass by the driver. He was sitting on a little flume, or trough that we had in the ditch to catch water in a bucket, the stream being so small. He said something to which I did not understand as at that time I did not understand Spanish very well. I asked him over a time or two what he said, so then he made some dirty motions so that I could not have been mistaken in what he was trying to say. I was half scared to death and I ran to the house crying. I was between 10 and 11 years old then. It made Aunt Grace very angry and she gathered up a club and went after him. She called him all the names she could think of. He had his big bull-whip with him, but he lit out running and looking back at her. She was a small woman, but oh my, when she got mad, she made people think that she was going to eat them up. The Mexican didn’t know that she was alone with her little family and that I was older than any of the other children, or he might have knocked her cold if he had of understood how things were.
A little time later, father moved the rest of us to the other ranch and the winter that we lived there, it stormed so much that the roads were impassable and we ran out of flour and had to grind wheat in a coffee mill. It sure was a job. As fast as one would set the mill down, another would have to pick it up if we got enough ground. It sure gave us an appetite so that we could grind more wheat to get more appetite. We were milking 50 head of cows, five of us. We milked 10 cows each. We lived in tents, and the dairy house was built tent fashion, out of timbers. We had a big cheese vat and Grandmother sure did know how to make good cheese. Most of them weighed 50 pounds. Our corral was built on a little slope and there was a swale ran thru it.
It was a very rainy season and it rained most every day. The manure was more than a foot deep, yes, it could have been two feet deep, and wet so by the rain that the cows kept it stirred into a loblolly mess. We would have to take off our shoes and stockings and pin up our dresses (we wore dresses those days) and wade in the muck to do the milking. I think the water from our spring was the coldest I’ve ever saw. It made your teeth ache to drink it. Father made a pond right below it where we could wash our feet every night and morning, but the cold water didn’t seem to hurt us at all.
The Apache Indians used to come and pitch camp right near us and we used to get a little nervous as they were sometimes a little hostile. Our calves used to eat a poisonous parsnip that grew along the little creek and it would kill them and we lost quite a number that way and us kids had to drag them off by hand. I remember one day when a crazy Indian came by our camp, having got lost. They called him Loco, but I think he was just harmlessly foolish. A calf died while he was there and as we didn’t have a team at the ranch, we children got ready to drag it off by hand. The boys tied a rope on its hind feet and then took three sticks and tied them along the rope so as to make handholts where two of us could pull on each stick. There were my three brothers, one sister and myself, so we lacked one of having enough for the six handholts. So the boys ask Loco to help and he was willing to do so. Then they talked it over among themselves and they agreed to make me pull along with Loco. I cried and said I wouldn’t do it, but I had to after all. As we were pulling along, he would look at me and grin and I guess he was wondering what was the matter. We had to drag the dead calves about a half a mile away and then the bears would come and eat them.
It was here that I got my first chance to marry. Oh no, it wasn’t to the crazy Indian, but to a very nice Mexican boy, but just think! I was only 11 years old. The boys father asked my father for me, as was their accustomed way of doing. Father was feeling playful, I guess, so he told the old man that it was all right with him if any of his girls wanted the boy. The old man said that he would look at us girls and see which one he wanted and he chose me, but nothing doing! The man, or boy for that was what he was at the time, was killed latter by the same outlaws that killed Frank LeSueur and Gus Gibbons, but I will tell about later and about which all of my children already know. He, Carlos Taffoia (Taffoys) and William Maxwell, Jr. were killed while following some outlaws.
Back to the Malpais Ranch
The Indians killed two men not far from our camp, so we had to move. We went back to the Malpais Ranch. We had some hogs to take so us kids had to take turns driving them in the rain, dripping wet. Oh, those were happy days! In some ways it was happy, but in other not quite so much.
Father went into St. Johns to find a place to move to, as mother was in delicate health. While he was in town, he heard that the Apache Indians were strickly out on the warpath, so he hurried back in the middle of the night and brought Brother Joseph McFate with his team, to help move us. Oh my, that was a terrible trip for us. Every black object we saw in the darkness, we were sure was Indians. We had a load of cheese in the wagon that I rode in (Brother McFate’s) and we, my sister Isora and I could not lie down.
St. Johns, Arizona
Just as the sun was coming up we drove into St. Johns, a tired and sleepy bunch. It must have been awfully hard on poor, dear mother, for we hadn’t been in St. Johns a week when my little brother John Benjamin, was born.
We left our chickens locked up in their coop with enough feed and water for a while, and some other stuff. Father went back to bring them in, but when he got there, there were nothing but their heads and feet left. They had called some troops out on account of the Indian outbreak and in passing there they found the chickins so handily penned up and as they were colored gentlemen, who never get along with a chicken unless it’s inside of them, they proceeded to do just that. The rest of the things weren’t bothered.
We moved into a house that belonged to a man named Joseph Hingley, a white man with a Mexican wife. That was in the days of the open saloon and oh, the drunken men. All night it was tramp and tramp, tramp of the feet of drunken men, passing our house. Mother sure did suffer, not being well at all.
There was one thing that happened while we lived there; Mrs. Hingley asked me to help her clean her house and as my half-sister Francis wanted to help me, I told her all right. The lady wanted to know if I would take some cloth for pay and I told her that I could. But she handed the cloth to Aunt Grace and she measured it and said there was just enough cloth for a dress for Francis and so I never got a thing for my work. I was three years older than my half-sister so I got the work and she got the pay. That was the first thing I ever earned and I will never forget my disappointment, but it was always that way with Aunt Grace. We lived here a while and then we moved to a house that belonged to Thomas Pares (Perez). While we lived here, a horrid thing happened.
There was a murder committed down on the Colorado River. A man by the name of Breed was killed in his store. Two men were arrested and put in the St. Johns jail and there was a Mexican in there also for killing his brother up at the Mineral Canyon. He had been tried before father’s Justice of the Peace Court at Concho. At this time, a lawyer by the name of Clark, employed to defend the two men against the murder charge, was boarding at our house. He and Aunt Grace were always joking and one evening as they were talking, Aunt Grace jokingly said "I wish those two men would he hung in the morning and you would lose your fee." Next morning, the lawyer went up town and when he came back, he said "Well, Mrs. Wilhelm you’ve got your wish!" She asked him what wish and he told her that the men had been hung during the night. All three of them had been lynched by an unknown mob. They had been hung in the jailhouse door and as it was too low, they had to double up their legs and tie them there so that they couldn’t reach the floor while they were being hung.
After we moved In the Thomas Pares (Perez) place, father put up a butcher shop, killing and selling his own cattle. He did well for a while, but he began drinking badly. Soon, he moved the other family over to Concho Spring and left mother in St. Johns to support herself. Flour was $12 a hundred and we were forced to take in washing and ironing to make a living. Us children had to hunt the wood, mostly willows, to do the work with, but mother saw that we were going to starve to death on what she was earning, so she had to hunt for something else to do, so she went up town and there she met Adam Dash, the jailer, who was looking for some one who would board the prisoners, so mother told him she would do it. There were four of them and she got $1 each for feeding them. There were two white men, in for stealing horses, a half-breed Mexican, who was in for stealing cattle, named Don Wahl, half—brother to Willie Wahl, our old friend (Mable’s old beaux, who was going to marry Dick Gibbon’s daughter to spite him on account of some difference they’d had over a sheep deal) and the fourth was a crazy man by the name of Aaron Adair, a white man. He had spells of being crazy but I guess most people are that way. They would come with the jailer and the sheriff for their meals, but the crazy man would sometimes have to have his meals taken to him, for when he had a spell, they didn’t dare let him out. They had on their shakles and chains and they would clank, clank as they walked. They had a chain around their ankles and fastened to their belts. We used to have a scared feeling, knowing that they were criminals. The crazy used to say that the devil was always telling him to do things. Mother boarded them for six months, and then the sheriff thought he might as well have the money himself, so he though he’d board them himself, but it sure did help us for a while we had it.
Back to Concho
It was nearing the Mexican’s big day, St. Johns Day and they wanted the house we were living in for some of their relatives to live in, so we had to move out. We couldn’t find a house, so Brother John Harris (Aunt Ellie’s and Aunt Elizabeth’s father) let us have his tent and Brother Babbit and Holgate (Uncle Will) put it up for us, while we lived St. Johns this time. I remember of hearing Grandpa Gibbous speak in church several times and I little thought at the time that the Gibbons people would ever mean anything to me. I was 12 years old then. We lived in the tent just two days and then father sent Haight and a young man by the name of John Maegle (Naegle) to move us to Concho, to the spring where the other family was living.
The next day after we left there, was the big St. Johns celebration day and in which, Father Nathan Tenney and a cowboy by the name of Jim Vaughn was killed and the Greer boys, who were pretty tough cowboys. They came very near being lynched. They had to keep a strong guard around the jail to protect them and the Gibbons men played a very important part in guarding them. We lived at the Spring for a short time and then father moved mother’s family to the Mineral so that Haight could look after the cattle and he moved the other family back to Concho. We lived at the Mineral for a year and then father did the worst thing that he ever did in his life; he sold his cattle and bought a store and a saloon. In a short time, he went broke, for he kept drinking all the time and he let so much out on credit and gave so much away that the store did not last long. Then he went to farming and we moved back to Concho and had to start taking in washing and sewing again.
Here, let me say, is where my sister Isora and I had our first beaus. I was 13 and Isora 15 years old. We went to Moses Proctor’s one night and two boys took us home. Their names were Joseph Rogers and James Brady. Joe was the only fellow that Isora ever went with and after going steady for two years, they were married. The next morning after the boys took us home, I heard mother tell father that the girls had brought some beaus home last night and when father asked who they were and mother had told him, he said that it was alright for Isora but that Clara was too young. So the next time that Jim asked me, I had to turn him down. We sure did have to work hard and then I tried to go to school along with the work. We lived near the school and I would work at the house until the bell rang and then I would run to school and then at recess, I would run home and work until the bell rang again. 1 tried it for a month and then had to quit it, for mother said that it was too hard on me. I did the house work while mother and Isora sewed, washed and ironed. Mother didn’t have a sewing machine and so she had to pay half of what she made to other women for doing the stitching. She got 25 cents for a shirt, 12 1/2 cents for her and the same for the other women, $1 for a dress, making her share 50 cents and as she had to get the sewing, cut it, fit it, make buttonholes and sew on buttons and then take it home, it was a slow way of making money but she finally got $35 together and a machine, but it took a lot of long, hard work to do it.
It was in this time that Bro. Sextus Johnson was Bishop of Concho. He had 4 girls near my age, two of them being twins, Amy and Addie. Their mother was dead. He had two other wives, Mary and Mary Ann. The two other girls were Ina and Ella and were the daughters of Mary. There was also two boys near my age, Seth and David, Seth being Haight’s pal. Then there was a granddaughter of Bishop Johnson’s too, Edith Hilton, daughter of Anna Johnson Hilton, a very good neighbor of ours. I spent many happy hours with these girl friends of mine when I could get away from my work. Seth was an own brother to the twins and Dave (as we called David) was brother to Ina and Ella. I think it was about two years that we lived there, maybe a little longer. We then moved over to the little reservoir, as they called it about a half, or three-quarters of a mile. There I had another half-sister born and they named her Mary.
The officers got after father for polygamy, but he got on his horse and left for Mexico (Old Mexico) in the night. An Old Mexican friend went with him. His name was Desiderio Gallego. There were two men by the same name who lived in Concho. This one was Pedro Candelaria’s brother-in-law.
My sister Isora got married to Joseph Rogers. We had the wedding over in town at Grandma Wilhelm’s place. I’ll never forget when we went home without her. It was just like a funeral to me. I had never been away from her before and she had been such a good sister to me. She never wanted to go anywhere without me. There were too few like her.
After father got down into old Mexico, he sent for us to join him. Aunt Grace was willing, but mother refused to go. Haight took father’s team and Joseph and Isora went with him to help move their outfit. Father owed D.K. Udall for the store he bought, so we turned all of father’s property over to him as payment and we bargained for a place from Bro. Walter Windsor. Mother and I supported the family by washing, ironing and sewing while the two boys Haight and George, paid for the place. It was a hard scrabble, but we finally made it.
Isora, my sister, was 17 years old when she married arid the next wedding in our family was Haight’s my oldest brother. He married May Baird. During this time Isora had two little kids, a little boy named Joseph Wilhelm Rogers and a little girl, Harriet Isora Rogers. The little boy died when he was three years old.
We sold this place and moved to Vernon, where we homesteaded a dry-land farm. We got sheep for the place and it was here that I got better acquainted with Richard Gibbons and in 1892, we were married at the Pinetop Conference, on July 4th and I went to St. Johns to live again. We moved in with Grandmother Gibbons, but part of the time, I went on camp with him, with his sheep.
St. Johns, Vernon, and St. Johns again
In 1894 we had a baby boy born to us and we named him Edward Richard. We had a very hard time of it as wool went down to 5 cents a pound and we couldn’t even pay expenses. We had a little girl born to us on June 16th 1896 and we named her Mable Clair.
I forgot to mention that when Edward was 10 months old, Grandmother Gibbons died of paralysis, on March 17, 1894 on her mother’s birthday (Grandmother Knight). We had bought the old Gibbons home, but when she died, some of the rest wanted it, so we turned it back and moved to Vernon, where we had a small house built, a place where my folks had lived. We lived here for about two years, then we bought the old Mour place, across from Marinus Christenson and moved back to St. Johns again.
Father was gone for about 8 years and then he and his other family separated and he came back and wanted mother to take him back. He had to talk very pretty before they made up. We were in hope, that he had given up his habit of drinking but we were disappointed.
Here in this little log house, we had another little boy born to us on February 22, 1899 and we named him, that is his father named him Wilhelm Smith after both of his grandfathers. We came very near losing him and would have if we hadn’t have had him circumsized.
The murder of Gus Gibbons and Frank LeSueur
When Wilhelm was about a year old in 1900 was when Gus Gibbons and Frank LeSueur was killed by some outlaws. It was a terrible thing. Gus was working for us and one evening when he was thru work he came into the house and was playing with baby Wilhelm. He was lying on the floor with his head in the baby’s lap. Next day was my birthday, so I told him to tell Pearl (his wife) to come down to dinner as he was figuering on coming to work again next morning and he said all right. But the next morning, just as it was getting daylight, we heard some one calling outside and we found out who it was, a man the Sheriff had sent to get a posse of 8 men to go after some outlaws that had just killed a beef to eat. They had cut some steaks off from one hind quarter and left the rest go to waste. The Sheriff wanted Dick to come and help for he was going to get the outlaws if it took all summer.
The Sheriff’s name was Edward Beeler. We got up to fix for him to go with the other men and just as he was going to milk the cow, Gus Gibbons (his nephew) came along. Dick asked him where he was going and he said he was going to the post office to get his mail, so Dick asked him to get ours also. When he came back, he said that they had got him to be in the Posse and that he would have to find a horse and saddle. He was a little late in getting one and the rest had already left when he came along to find which way the men had gone. He was pale and very much excited. I sat down to the table to give the children their breakfasts and to try and eat a little myself but I already felt full without anything to eat. A rap came at the door and it was Pearl (Gus’ wife). She was crying and so was I. She said that the reason why she came so early was that she was so worried. The boys had only drank a cup of coffee and couldn’t eat any breakfast.
We had a large field glass and Pearl and I went out to the end of the house and were scanning the mountains and ridges to see what we could see, when all at once we saw the Sheriff and his posse come riding into town. The wind was blowing a heavy gale, and I was very worried because the rest of the boys were still out on the trail and did not know that the Sheriff and part of the men had came back in to town.
Mrs. Mary Heap was with us all day. I never could experienced a worse thing I know. Pearl said, "Clara, I’ve been thinking. If one of the boys should happen to be killed, which one of them would it be best to get it?" I said that I thought it would be better for my husband to be the one, for I had three sweet little children to comfort me and that she was all alone, but she looked at it differently. She said that she would not have as much responsibility while I would have three little ones to care for, but we were both feeling fearful and the wind kept blowing hard all day, adding to our unrest. Pearl finally said she was going up town to see if she could hear anything from the boys and when she came back she said that Beeler and men had gone to bed.
Mr. Ruiz, the father of one of the Mexican boys who was with the 8 men, went to see Beeler and tried to get him to go back out and see about the men that were left on the trail of the outlaws, but he refused to do so and said that the boys wouldn’t even see the outlaws’ dust. But when we came to find out, Beeler and his men had been drinking and gambling all of the night before and had been told nothing about them then. Beeler even let them come into town and stock up on ammunition and provisions pass on thru town and camp 3 miles below. Next morning, they’d wasted a lot of time before they saddled up and then they went down and fired at the outlaws without any warning and stirred them up like a nest of hornets. They wounded one man and one horse and after they had gotten away, then he sent in for our men to follow them. But we didn’t know all of this until afterwards.
Pearl tried to get me to go back up town with her to see the Sheriff, but I told her that if he wouldn’t listen to the father of the Ruiz boy, there was no use for us to go. I would have had to drag my three little kids along with me. Uncle Bill Gibbons, Gus’s father, was out of town at the time. Night came on with the wind still blowing terrible, and about 9 o’clock, my husband came home alone. Gus wasn’t with him and when we asked about him, he said they left Gus and Frank and the two Mexican boys out on the trail. We were all sure that they would be ambushed and killed. We went to bed but none of us slept much that night. Pearl slept with me in the bedroom and Richard slept in the front room.
In the morning before it was light, some one came to see why the boys hadn’t came in yet. It was J.T. LeSueur, father of Frank LeSueur, and he was greatly worried and wanted to know if Richard would get some men and go and see if he could find the boys. Dick said he would, so he got Will Gibbons (Gus’s older brother), Bill Sherwood, Beeler and several others. They followed the trail and found several places where the out laws had thrown away quilts and other things to lighten their loads on their horses.
The day before, they had divided up the men in order, they thought, to help Beeler for they thought he was ahead of them, trying to head off the outlaws, so 4 men went one way and 4 went another and they all agreed if they didn’t see certain signs, to come back and meet at a given place, but the four boys were so over anxious to help the Sheriff that part of them didn’t do as they had agreed to do. They wanted to go to the top of the next ridge and see what they could see from there, but the outlaws had hidden behind some rocks and trees on that very ridge, and as the boys were going up it leading their horses, they were shot down. Frank fell to the first shot, which struck him in the throat and he fell on his face with one leg doubled under him. Gus ran and they shot at him as he was running. He ran about 150 yds. and then a bullet struck him and he fell. They then shot Frank between the eyes with his own gun and shot Gus’s head full of bullets.
It was 6 miles to where they could get to them with a wagon, so they had to put the two bodies on one horse and lead him six miles out of the Badlands, one man leading the horse and another holding them on. There were four of them together when they found the bodies, Will Gibbons, Will Sherwood, Dick and another. They saw Frank’s body first upon the side of the ridge, that is they saw something blue, but they were afraid to say any thing and tried to make themselves think that it was a quilt or something else that the outlaws had thrown away, but each knew what it was. They were riding along in silence, when one of the horses shied and when they looked for the cause there lay Gus with his face turned up to the sun and head shot to pieces. His clothes were all unfastened. They had rifled his pockets and in order to get into them, they’d unbuttoned his pants. They agreed that two of them should get the bodies out of the Badlands while the other two went back to town after a wagon. So Will Gibbons and my husband stayed and Will Sherwood and the other man went for help.
They lifted the bodies onto the horse, a big horse belonging to Uncle Bill and who was very gentle. It was a big gray horse. They had found the boys in the afternoon and it was after dark when they got to where the wagon could reach them. The country they had to cross was the Badlands, a sloping upgrade, just full of gullies and washes ands covered with rocks and brush. They unloaded the bodies and built a fire and waited for the other parties to come, half expecting all the time that the outlaws might be in ambush and might attack them any time. It must have been a terrible nerve strain. They were sitting and talking, just the two of them, when they heard a noise like some one hollering or calling. They ran as fast as they could down into a wash that was nearby and hid, but soon, they saw that it was some wild birds flying over and making a queer noise. They were sure relieved when they saw what it really was and not the outlaws. About midnight, the wagon came and they put the bodies in to it and started for home.
During this time, Pearl and I sat out at the side of the house most all of the day, but we didn’t have the big field glass we had had all the day before for the men had taken it with them on their hunt for the boys. A few people had gathered at our place to wait for news from the boys on the trail. We saw the two Mexican boys come in in the afternoon and we began to have a little hope for the other boys.
The two Mexicans had turned back and left the two white boys on the trail alone. If they had have all turned back this might not have happened, but the outlaws were watching them from the top of the next ridge and of course, their being stirred up so, they might have followed them and killed all four of them. About 4pm, we saw Loman, another of Gus’s brothers, coming on the run and we knew that there was news of some kind. He came to the door as pale as a sheet, stepped up on the door step, staggered back and said "Dead!" That was all he could say, but that was enough. Pearl gave a scream and threw herself on the bed and would not be comforted. My feelings were something awful for I was afraid that the robbers would stay near where they had killed the boys and maybe kill the rest who came to look for the boys’ bodies, but they got out of there while the getting was good. They took the horse and saddle that Gus was using, but Frank’s horse had hurt herself. When the outlaws had shot at the boys, she jerked away and fell and hurt her neck when she rolled down the ridge, for it was very steep. They never did capture the outlaws.
That was one memorable birthday for me, March 27, 1900.
Part Two: THE UNITED ORDER IN ORDERVILLE
We moved into the order in 1874 when I was four years old. My father Bateman H. Wilhelm was one of the men that was called by President Brigham Young to help take high charge. Howard O. Spencer was president of the stake and Father was first councilor.
The Houses were built in fort shape in a square. There was a large House built and a little one side where the officers lived. here is where we lived along with others. In the center of this square of buildings was the kitchen and Dining room, where everybody went to eat.
The people were awakened at six by a bugle playing the Tune "Hard Times Hard Time Come Again No More".
They had a set of twelve women to cook for three weeks then they would be replaced by twelve more. Until they all had a turn that was able. They also had a man helper in the kitchen.
In the Dining room they had three rows of tables the length of the room and had nice old ladies to serve us children. To the tables where us children eat there was Auntie Clarage. Daughter of second wife of Uncle Samuel Clarage. Also Auntie Blackburn and Auntie Harmon. Then a man to keep order among the children.
I don’t think the parents really understood just how he operated. I have had him hit me side of the head with a roll of paper he carried until he would almost wacked of of the bench I was sitting on and my head would just roar a long time after, for just whispering to some other child. I guess us children just thought it had to be for my parents did not know if it.
The old people were called first by the bugle call. To the Tune "The Old Oken bucket" or as we knew it then "do what is right let the concquence follow". Then they would clear the dishes away and wash then reset it.
Then the Bugle would call the young folks over Twelve years old. The Tune, a school song Tune, "Oh Come Come away from school and all its pleasure".
Then the tables would be cleared again and the children below Twelve years of age would be called to the Tune of "In our lovely deseret". That Tune always sounded like something to eat to me.
Oh how hungry we got nothing to eat in the House. No sandwich between meals.
They got along fine until they opened the gates and wanted every body that wanted to come and there was so many old people that couldn’t work and lazy people that would not work that the order was over done and dissatisfaction begin to creep in.
I remember so well when they the officers were after the polygamists and they were after Howard Spencer for killing an Army officer in self defense. It seemed like something terrible to me. Just like a bad dream.
One little instance that happened while we lived there always amused me. Quite a number of us children were playing and the bugle blew for supper. I said I did not want any I was so interested in my play. When the other children came back they said they had bacon for supper. I did not have the least idea what it was, and the children would not tell me. I sure did think I had missed a treat.
It was here that I was baptised by man named John Robin. I wanted to get to he nine years old, for girls 9 years old and older could help wait on the big tables. I had three sisters born here. One own sister and two half sisters. Amy Elnora was born here and died here when she was two years old of indigestion. She was my own sister. Then Susan Amelia and Lucy Louisa she was born on my birthday March 27.
Later Bro. Spencer stood his trial for killing the officer and was turned free. I started to school at four years of age, but they did not have any school book like they have today. I tried to read in the Bible and the Doctrine Coventens. It wasn’t much to interest children. But when I was 8 years I could read in the 4 reader.
We lived here 4 years. Father was called to Help colonize Arizona by Apostle Erastus Snow and he came out into Arizona in 1878 and settled in a small place called Concho. Here he was Bishop for some time. I was living here when I was married to Richard Gibbons and then moved to St. Johns we had five children. Then we moved back to Concho and had two more children borne there this place tho small it has figured a great deal in my life.
Writen by request of my Daughter Lydia.
April 8th, 1934
by her Mother, Clara Gibbons.
Part Three: CLARA WILHELM GIBBONS, HER STORY
My Father Bateman Haight Wilhelm was Born in Cayuga Co New York. Nov 14th 1843. his Father John Benjamin died when he was 8 years old. Leaving his Mother a widow. There was a Family of six Children Two died in Infancy. John and Elizabeth. and the Eldest son James went of to work. sent word to his mother that he had got his wages and was coming home. But never came. They never knew what happened to him. They were sure he was killed for his money.
My fathers Mother Clarissa (Harding) Wilhelm. came into Utah In 1851. Lived in Salt Lake City for some four years. here his eldest sister Susan married a Man by the name Samuel Snyer. Later they moved down into southern Utah. Where he met my Mother Lydia H. Draper. Her Father Zemira Draper. and Amy Terry. crossed the plains in 1848. They endured many hardships. Their family consisted of two little girls Ellen Agginess and Baby Rebecca who took sick and died and was burried on the plains. Grandmother Draper was in delicate Health which made it very hard for them. It was very hard for her to get out and in the wagon she would get the food ready to cook, hand it out to Grand Father and he would do the cooking. One day they were getting ready to eat and Grand Father went to hand the coffe pot to Grand Mother into the wagon. It slipped from his hand and scalded one of her legs very bad. she felt so bad and worried about it so much. That when my mother was born she was Lame in one lege her left leg was only about two thirds as large as the right one, and the one was a little shorter than the other which caused her to walk with a slight limp. But the strange thing about it her leg pained her all through child hood. But after she was grown it did not give her any trouble that way any more. But her knee Cap use to slip and let her fall some times. Which was very bad. They arrived in Salt Lake Ciy in 1848 just a very short time before my mother was borne. They lived here a few years. Then they moved to a place at that time called Willow Creek about twenty miles from Salt Lake City West. Later called Draperville for my Father they being the first settlers. There was also William Draper. Grandfather Drapers Father settled there also several of his brethers. the Indians were very hostile at this time and they had built a fort for protection. They built a High mud wail about 4 feet thick in a square and little houses inside of it. Grandfather was a Bishop in this place for several years. Mothers oldest sister Ellen was married here to a man by the name of James Green. They lived until mother was 12 years of age and they moved into southern Utah to a town on the Virgin river called Rockville. Here father and Mother were married Father was 19 years of age and Mother 15.
There was two in the Family older than I. A girl Lydia Isora (June 10 1867) and a bro. the oldest of the Family Bateman Haight Junior, born June 27 1865. We lived here until I was three years old. I also had another bro born here George Zemira. Then we moved to a place in Long Valey, called Mount Carmel. Grandfather Draper died shortly after we moved here. We lived here about a year. Then they started the United Order ldia (ldea) and Father was called to help take charge. He was first counclar to president Howard Spencer in the Order called Orderville. Shortly after we moved here I had a sister born Jan 31 about 1875 she lived untill she was two years old then she took a stroke caused by indigestion and was buried here at this place. Her name was Amy Elnora.
I was baptised here by a man by the name of John Robson. The Order was very prosperous for Four or Five years. Then so much --------- drifted in people that were to old to work and people to lazy to work. Besides others that was cripled. That: It worked a hardship on the people and dissatafaction creept in and Apostle Erastus Snow was calling Family to go into Arizona to build new Homes and Build up the country.
So Father was called to go and he was glad to go. Up to this time I had one half Bro and Three Half sisters. Aunt Nancy Gibbons Father Edward Noble was called to Arizona the same time, also Brothers John C. Neagle, Wm Maxwell and many others. Mother being in delicate Health. Father took her down to Rockville — To her mothers. It being a new country — and no place prepared to take her to. he thought it best. Then he would send back for her. He sent my oldest bro Haight with him to help him drive the stock as he had 50 head of cattle. Grand Mother Wilhelm his mother went with him also.
He had a very hard time the first years out in Arizona. Their crop failed them and they had no flour. Father traded a horse for some Barley up at Springerville and had it ground for bread. Concho was at that time a small town of about 12 or 15 Family. But he furnished Barley Flour for the Town not another crop. Father and Will Flake and Jessie Brady was the founders of the place. He, Father was Bishop here at this place for several years.
In about a year and a half he sent for the Family, he sent my bro Haight fifteen years old at that time. Without any roads in some places. And a span of half Broke mules. He also sent for a malloses mill, so we moved a family of 6 and the Heavy Iron rollers and all of our belongings in one wagon. Not very much for a Family of that size.
The baby borne at grandmothers was a little girl her name Fanny Marrilla. Born April 13 1879. Mother and us children walked most of the way us children bare footed. The ground was very hot. Father said for us to waite for company so we went on far as Johnson. A little town not far from Kannab. We waited for two weeks before we found any one going to Arizona. There we found two Family. But they were very very poor company. One old fellow so old he could hardly do anything his name was Oldson he son inlaw Ted Pitcher. He was not the most brilliant. My Bro had to take charge of the little company. The others getting lost if they ventured a head at all, several times he had to go and hunt them as they would get on the wrong road . When we came to Lee Ferry. We found they had a very poar way of crossing the river. They had quite a large raft. Now it might not of been very larage as I was a child. but they put the wagons on that. It was made of Logs. Just flat with a lumber floor, and they made the Horses and cattle swim the river. They had a very small Boat. that leaked terrible to take the people acrossed. It leaked so bad they had 4 Indians dipping the water with Buckets to keep It from sinking. We all sure felt shakey. It sure keep the Indians moving to keep the water out. Two of the Indians was from the town where we lived. Indians I had known all my life. We had a very good trip considering everything. It was a long to walk bare footed.
We passed thru St. Joseph. Mother called in to see a cousin Lee Howard was his name. While waiting for her the mules being only half broke got to raring in the harnesses and almost scared us children to death. Then we came to Holbrook. or where Holbrook now stands But there was only one Family living there A Mexican Family who had a store. By the name of Barradas. Mother got us some shoes as she was near enough to our own destination that she knew she could spare the money. This was 65 miles from Concho. Where Father and the other family were living. Father and WillIam J. Flake and Jessie J. Brady. Bought the land of the Mexicans and Finally Father bought it all. It was not a very large place as I have said before.
We moved up to the White Mountains for the summers. So Father could take care of his Cattle Interests. and we made butter and cheese as Grandmother was an expert at making cheese. We milked 50 head of cows and made cheese that waeghed 50 lbs. This was only about 50 miles from Fort Apache. The Indians would come and pitch there camps right near us. and Father had to be gone most of the time looking after the Cattle. It gave us quite a lot of worry. for you never know how you stand with an Indian.
One day a squaw came into our camp and she did not act very nice. We thought that she might of been drinking. Mother told her to git out. But she paid no attention. So Mother got after her with a club. She sure drifted. Then we worried all night. For Father was away and we did not know what the Indians might do, But the next day they moved camp. We were living in tents at the time. Mother said afterword that it was a very foolish thing to do at that time as the Indians was very disagrable at that time. But it seemed she had to do something. There was just three women in camp. Fathers mother and his other wife. They finely got so hostile that we had to move into Town.
Father came for us in the middle of the night. It was a very disagrable ride every dark object we saw we would think it was Indians. We got into St. Johns just as the sun was coming up. I think that was the longest night I ever saw and poor Mother was in delicate health. and we had only been in St. Johns Two weeks when my little Bro John Benjamine was born, Sep 6, 1883. The sun was just coming up when we got into St. Johns. That was one terrible night I never could forget. I was 11 years old. We lived here for a year or so untill the Indians quieted down and then we moved out onto the ranch again.
It was during this time that the Greer Boys and some other Cowboys and the Mexicans had there fight on St. Johns day. The Mexicans had passed a rule that nobody was to carry fire armes. Every bod(y) was to be unarmed during their celibration. Every bod(y) these days carried their six shooter and some times two of them and a gun besides, but they want everything to go smoth and not have any trouble. But the Cowboys would not give up their arms to Mexicans. The Greers had caught a Mexican stealing a colt and had cut off one of his ears and there was bad Blood between them anyway. so the shooting started — and old Father Nathan Tenny and 3 cowboys by Jim Vaughn was killed. Harris Greer the youngest of the Greer boys was wounded and several Mexicans. We were lucky for once for we had left St. Johns the day before for we lived right in the Mexican Town and would of been right In the thick of the fight. Your Father garded the jail a week to keep the Boys from being linched. We moved to the Mineral ranch now owned by my Bro George. We lived here for a year then we moved back to Concho. Father bought a store and saloon. sold his cattle. and was broke and went to Farming again. Bro Sectus Johnson was Bishop of Concho there was 4 Johnson Girls in the Johnson Family all about my age. Mrs. Ella Mc Neil is one of the girls she is living near us at present. We were about 13 years old at this time. Here is where I had my first beau. I would not mention this only for the fact that both of us girls my sister and I had beaus that night and sister married the boy she went with. Never went with no others. Their names were Joseph Rogers and James Brady. The next morning I heard Mother telling Father he asked Mother who they were. she told him he said it would all right for my sister. But that I was to young. But I didn’t think so as every one would surley know. But the next time he ask me I turned him down. Which went against the grain very much. Sister went with Joe for Two years then they were married at Grand Mother Wilhelms place. A place we bought after I was married and Lydia and Clyne were born.
They got after Father for plagamy. and he left for Old Mexico a horse back in the night. In company with an old Mexican man Friend named Desidena Gregao. Father sent back after the Familys. But mother wouldn’t go. She had been imposed on beyund ennrounce (endurance?) If the other woman had been the patient kind soul that Mother was it would of been a different storry. Father owned several homes in Concho and he owed D K Udall on the store he had gone broke on. so he sent word for mother to pick out the home she wanted and turn all the rest of the property to D.K. We were living on a place that was not yet paid for. so we decided to stay on this place finish paying for it. and let D. K. have all the rest, so he would be sure of his pay. So Mother and I took in washing Ironing and sewing. and maintained the family while the two boys payed for the place. I wish I could tell of the many hardships we went through but it would take to long. But we finaly got the place paid for and lived there for several years.
During the time we were living there a young man by the name of Richard Gibbons came and stayed several times. I little thought that he would be my futher pardnor for life. I respected him at this time was all. We sold the old place and moved up to a ranch at that time it had no name. Mother George and I and two younger children Homesteaded the first place up there.
My Brother Haight married a girl by the name of Maggie May Baird. about a year before we moved up to this ranch. he stayed at Concho and worked and we went to this ranch and half starved homesteading it. for Two years we sure did undergo some tearible Hardships. Richard Gibbons came to our place on several trips for he was in the sheep man. We corsponded for about six months. and on his return trip from the country below Holbrook. he camped at our place. on the night of the 11 of April 1892 he asked me to share his lot through life to which I agreed to do. and I can truthfully say I have never regreted it. he was kind and good to me. An Honest up right man.
So we were married on July the 4 at the Pinetop Confrence. at the time that the 4 stakes met. we were married by George Q. Cannon. There were 7 other couples married the same time. I went to St. Johns to live and left poar old Mother alone on the ranch. I Hated to leave her as she had been a good Mother to me. after we had been married about a year Father came back as he and the other Family had broke up. and the other woman had gone to Kansas. He had to talk pretty hard to get Mother to take him back, but finaly they came to some agreement and he staid.
Then the next event was the birth of our first child, a little Boy on the 14th of May 1894. his Father gave him the name of Edward. and I the name of Richard after his Father. I moved from place to place to be with him with his work and to help him all I could. Both when he had sheep and then when he went in to the Cattle Business. We would move into the White Mountains for the summer and back to town for the school in the winter. In a couple of years our first Girl was born June 16th 1896. I named her Mabel Clair.
When Edward was 10 months old Grandmother Gibbons died March 17 1894 at Uncle Jashe’s and Nancy home of aprlectic strok. When they found her in her room she could not speck was unconcious She lived 4 days after they found her.
Then we had another Boy born Feb 22 1897. His Father named Wilhelm Smith for his two Grand Fatahers. Then in about two and a half year’s we had another baby born, and I gave him the name Howard Haight for my oldest Brother. Borne on Sept 1st 1901. When he was about three months old his Father Left on a mission to the southern states Georgia Tennessee. When he got to Salt Lake City. He under went an operation on his nose and ears He had a piece of bone taken out of his nose a very severe operation. he suffer Terrable with his nose. He was in Salt Lake City for about a month. Then he went on his mission.
I was left with 4 Little children. In a financial way I was left well provided for. But The Two little ones took sick and we came very near loosing them and I had rehatisum in my right Hand and could hardly do anything for several months. It seemed I could hardly get any help at all. and what I did get weren’t at all reliable I guess if I had of realized How dangerous it was for the Missionaries in the south at that time my Troubles would of been compleat as only a year or Two before. Elder Reevy and Gibbs had been mobed and murdered. and another Elder or Two. The Childrens Father wrote to them and told them to pray for him. as he was loosing his Hearing. I think the change of climate was to sudden after having under gone his operation, as the climate is very damp. The Three little one prayed very earnest for their Fathers Hearing. and one day. we got a letter from him. in it was a letter addressed to Edward and Mabel the two oldest Children and he did not mention Wilhelm the next to Baby. They listened to the letter read all standing around my Knee. pretty soon Wilhelm started cry and sob as hard as he could. I said what is the matter. The little Fellow said papa never said nufin to me. and I am not going to pray for him any more I am just going to let him die. He had said his hearing was getting better and he thought it was because Edward and Mable had prayed for him and he did not mention Wilhelm’s name. and it was sure sad for he had prayed just as earnestly as the other Two Children. He was just Three years old. I wrote and told his Father about the offence he had given. and his father wrote him ever so many letters trying to make things right with him. But I thought it was cute a little childs Faith in prayer.
He stayed a year but his hearing got so bad he had to come Home as they said it was putting in to much dander him not being able to hear. But before he left to go on his mission he sold out his sheep Intrests and bought Cattle. He was also Elected to go to Phoenix to represent the people of Apache County in the Legislature in 1901(?) Then he came Home and he went into perdnershlp with his Brother Ray. and they Bought more Cattle and the Malpais Ranch. and we moved out about 16 miles from St. Johns here is where we were living when my father died in 1903 and here our second Girl was borne. June 4, 1904. We named her Amy Rizpech (?).
Then Mother came back from (New) Mexico. George went after her. she came and lived with us for a year. Then she went to Vernon and took up a Home Stead and Built her a home. Then Ray got tired of the Cattle business and we bought him out soon we sold the Malpais Ranch and moved to Vernon. My Brother George and my husbands niece Naomi Gibbons were married here at Malpais ranch. We wanted to get some where close to the Cattle ranch to send the children to school so we bought a place in Concho that once had belong to my Grand Mother Wilhelm and moved there, and here Lydia Agusta our Third Girl was born June 10, 19 . We moved to (there seems to be a page missing here)
In the fall, we went to Utah to go thru the Temple in Salt Lake City. Fred Nielson took us and Ben Loman Gibbons and his wife Pearl Peterson Gibbons, rode to Navajo Station to take the train from there. There was quite a bunch of us went. There were: Martin Jensen and his wife, Lydia Platt Jensen, Brother Freeman and his daughter, Luie and Alice Lesueur. They were to take the train for Provo and took the train at 1 o’clock. We were about three days on the road to Utah. We arrived at the Draper depot after dark. . Aunt Ellen and Uncle Jim Green were there with their buggy to meet us. Aunt Ellen came out to the train and howled out, "Is there anybody named Gibbons on the train?" They took us to their home, a nice quiet place out in the country. They are old people now and had never had any children and have lived here on this place ever since they were married. They both died here about thirty years later. They were very loveable old people. Aunt Ellen was mother’s sister. We were there and rested for a few days, then went to Salt Lake City and thru the Temple. We left the three little kiddies with Aunt Ellen two days and one night.
Written January 18, 1934