THOMAS SIRLS TERRY (1825-1920)
I was born October 3, 1825. I was the second son of my father´s family. My father´s name was Thomas Sirls Terry. My mother´s maiden name was Mary Ann Murkins.
I will now proceed to give the genealogy of my forefathers to the best of my knowledge. My grandfather, John Terry, was born March 25, 1763, and he died September 16, 1824; his age, 61 years, 5 months and 22 days. My grandmother, Elizabeth Terry, died September 15, 1826. Her age I cannot tell as I do nto recollect the year she was born. My grandmother was married twice, her first husband´s name was Hegman. She had two sons by him; Henry and John. Her first husband died a few years after their marriage. She then married John Terry. She had four children by him; My father was the oldest child.
My grandmother, in the time of the Revolutionary War, waited on the soldiers as a landlady, and I have one of the glass tumblers which they drank out of.
On my mother´s side, my grandfather´s name was James Murkins. I do not know his age, but he departed his life June 15, 182--. My grandmother, Elizabeth Murkins, departed this life September 19, 1829.
My grandfather Murkins was from England. He emigrated to America when quite young. He married when quite young. His family consisted of three sons and five daughters. My mother was the second daughter. I cannot give the genealogy of my progenitors as full as I would like to have done as I have no history of their to refer to. I believe that my forefathers on my mother´s side were formerly from Wales.
My father, Thomas Sirls Terry, was born in Bensalom Township, Bux County, State of Pennsylvania, July 17, 1789. He lived at his father´s until he was twenty-one years of age. He was an industrious young man. At the age of seventeen, he weighed one hundred and sixty-five pounds. At the age of thirty he stood on one foot and hopped twelve feet and one half. He could stand and jump thirteen feet on the level. His match in throwing a figure stone could not be found. He could throw a stone from his right hand five hundred yards. He was a great hand at skating, and when a boy he was feared by his playmates in playing ball, owing to his great strength in throwing a ball.
My mother, Mary Ann Terry, was born in Bidtry Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, August 24, 1797. She lived at home until the age of fifteen, and tehn was put out to work. At the age of seventeen, she became acquainted with Mr. Terry, and was married to the same at the age of eighteen. Mr. Terry being , at the time, twenty-eight years of age—making ten years difference in their ages. I will now give the names and ages of my father´s family as they came in their places:
Elizabeth Terry, their first daughter, born June22, 1818
David Terry, their first son, born October 15, 1820
Rebecca Terry, born May 4, 1823
Thomas Sirls Terry, born October 3, 1825
Murkins Terry, January 10, 1828
Luther Martain Terry, born Octo 23, 1830
John Wesley Terry, born July 3, 1833. (Died in 1834)
William Henry Terry, born September 3, 1841
My father was a farmer, and in the early part of his married life, he followed drift net fishin in the Delaware River at Markets Hook which is below Philadelphia. Through much exposure in fishing, he was subject to diseases which in later life caused him a great deal of sickness, which at last caused his death.
My father was a great singer. His voice was beautiful and sweet. At one time, on one of his fishin excursions, while passing Wilmington in a schooner, he was lying on his back on the deck and was singing a song called “The Willow Tree”. It was said by the people stading on the wharf that it was the best singing that was ever heard on the river.
I will now proceed with my own life according to my best recollections:
I was born in Bristol Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty five. My father lived at that time on what was then called the China Farm, which is on the Delaware River about three miles below Bristol. At the age of five years, my father moved his family to Bridgeport, a small town on the Meshamiana Creek in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. We lived here two years and then moved up the creek four miles to Humesville (same county). My father at this time was, through much sickness, reduced to a poor man. All the children, who were then old enough, were put out to work in a cotton mill. I was at this time seven years old. I was also put to work in the mill. At the age of fifteen my father moved his family to Shreeveville, near Mount Holly, Burlington County, New Jersey. Here I worked in a cotton mill for two years, which made me seventeen years of age. I then went to work in a clico mill, or pring works, to learn to print calico. I served four years under Frank Butterworth, who was then boss printer.
In the Fall of 1841, I first heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons. It was rumored through the country that a man by the name of Joseph Smith had found a Gold Bible. The same Fall there was a man by the name of Joseph Newton who came in the neighborhood of our place at a town called Pemerton. At this time, there were two of them; the other man's name was William S. Appleby. I recollect that the day they were to preach was Sunday. I, with a few other boys were to hunt chestnuts. THere were a few of the men of our town who went to hear the Mormon Elders preach. I retruned home in the evening with my companions. The next week, the Mormon Preachers were the general conversation. I listened, very anxious to learn all I could about the doctrine of these curious people. One of the men who was at the meeting asked one of the preachers to visit our town. One of them promised he would and according to promise, about one month afterwards, Joseph Newton came to our town. I think it was on Monday in the month of November, 1841. He obtained a private house to preach in --- at Mr. William Roberts'. After I had my day's work done, I hastened to eat my supper, that I might go to the meeting. I listened very attentively to the remarks. I became convinced that the doctirne he advanced was true according to my understanding of the religion of Christ. I had, in my youth, gone to all kinds of meetings but never before did any preaching come with such force to my understanding as did the remarks of the Mormon Preachers. Elder Newton met with some success. He continued to hold meetings, in our town and in the neighborhood. I attended the meetings regularly until the next spring. During this time, Benjamin Winchester also preached with Elder Newton. I was convinced, through their preaching, and on the twelfth day of March, 1842, I was baptized under the hands of Joseph Newton. I was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Elders Newton and Winchester continued to preach in our place until the summer of 1843, then both moved to Nauvoo. By this time they had built up a branch of about 50 members. In the Spring of 1843, the doctrine of the plurality of wives came out through Elder Newton, who betrayed the confidence which Elder Brigham Young had placed in him, and it upset the whole branch except two of the members, which were Thomas Crompton and myself, but through the means of Brother Jedediah M. Grant, who was the President of the Philadelphia Branch about half of the members were reclaimed. We still held our meetings until the Spring of 1844, the year before our presiding Elder apostatized and Elders Newton and Winchester had moved to Nauvoo, and we were left ot do the work we could. In July of the same year, we got the news of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, which was sad news to me.
In August, 1845, I became master of my trade and was put in as boss printer. On September 25, 1845, I quit work and left home and went to shift for myself. It now seemed to be a new era in my life. I had never before lived away from home. I was unused to the ways of the world as it had always been my happy lot to live at home. But I had had the tuition of a hind parent and was brought up to know what hard work was because I was put to work when I was but a child of only seven years. I thought I would see what the world was made of, but yet I had a greater motive to inspire me than all this, and this was that I had joined the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, and I was determined to gather to where the Saints were gathered. These were hard times and work was scarce and waged low, but I was not scared at this. I accordingly set out in quest of work. I had no money, as my father had all of my wages, but he gave me a little money before I left home. I left the second morning after I had quit work. I walked to Mount Holly, which was two miles from our village. I got into the stage and rode to Burlington; here I took the steamboat to Bridggesburgh in Pennsylvania. From here I walked three miles to Frankfort. I called at print works to get employment, but they had hands enough. I also called to see an Uncle in the same place, my mother´s brother, Ely Murkins, whom I had not seen for about fifteen years. I met him at his gate and made myself known to him, but he did not ask me in to his house, but he stood and talked with me about fifteen minutes. It was 12:00 o´clock and I was hungry. I waited some time to see if he would ask me in. I waited until I was tired. I bid him goodby and left him and his kindness to himself. I proceeded on my way and walked five miles to hamlesburgh. Here I called to see John Wright, my old friend. When I arrived at his house, it was half past 1:00 o´clock. Jo´s wife gave me some dinner which satisfied my hunger. They were Mormons and were baptized in the same Branch that I was and by the same Elder. I stayed there two hours and tehn walked three miles to Maple Hill to see my Uncle James Murkins. Here I was received with kindness and his family was glad to see me . I was also happy to see my Uncle and his family and stayed here all night. We spent the evening very agreeable together. Next morning, to Bustleton. I stopped at the print works and inquired for work, but they had hands enough. In the afternoon, I returned to Frakfort and took the stage to Philadelphia. I called on John and Elzy Bales, who were my cousins. They were very glad to see me. I stayed with them all night. Next morning I started out in quest of work. In the afternoon I stopped at a brick yard. Here I got work but did not last long. It was too late in the Fall for making bricks. I worked here two days. The third day it commenced to rain and it continued for several days and because of this they had to turn off several of their old hands and I with them. I got $2.00 for my two days work. I then left for Trenton, the capital of New Jersey. I had two friends here working in the print works. Here I got promise of work in another two weeks. I then returned home. I stayed at home until the two weeks were up and then returned to Trenton and got work according to promise. Here I worked at mixing colors for the printing until the 24th day of December, 1846, and I found out that the firm was going to break. Here I had engaged to go to Conshehawking to work in another print works there. I left on Christmas Day, 1845. I took the cars for Burlington. Here I left my clothes and took stage for home to spend a few days. After I had paid my folks a visit, I left for Burlington. I found my clothes all right. Here I took the cars for Philadelphia. I then took the cars for Conshehawking. I worked her two months. The owners then …in business. I lost a month´s wages, which left …….board of…….. But my work was good for the pay. My companion, Emerson Schooly and myself started off to hunt for work. We looked around two days together, but could find no work. We parted at Brinkfort, and a thought at this time struck me to try my old business again. Accordingly, I went to Gloucester City in New Jersey and obtained work in the cotton mills at cotton spinning. This brought about the first of March, 1846. Wages at this time were poor, as work was very scarse. I spun by weight, and made four to five dollars a week. It was bery small waged, but I was determined to work at something until I could get money enough together to gather where the Saints were gathered. I was a good hand at the business, and I was liked by my employers. In June my brother Luther came to see me. I was glad to see him and obtained work for him with me. The same month I paid my friends a visit at Conshehawking and paid my old board bill. In the Fall of the same year, I obtained work for all of the family, and father moved his family to Gloucester City in November of the same year. I obtained work for my brother David as the Boss Blacksmith. He also moved his family here a she was married in 1841. He had at this time a wife and two children.
I kept at work until the last of March, 1847. By this time, I had got me some good clothing and also had sufficient money to carry me to the West. I now notified my father and mother that I was going to start for the West. They both, and the rest of the family, tried to persuade me to stay at home, but all of their persuading was of no use. I was a Mormon, and was determined to gather with the Saints. Although it was critical times with the Saints as they were driven from Nauvoo the year before the Church was on the move, and they had no home, and more than this, but a very few friends. But their God was my God and if they died, I could die with them.
I quit work the last of March, 1847. At this time there were two companies of Saints fitting up; one in Boston and the other in New York. The one in Boston was in care of Augustus Farnum and the other in Elder Miles´care. Both companies arrived in Philadelphia the 15th of April, 1847. I left home the same day and joined them in Philadelphia. We left here next morning, the 16th, at 10:00 o´clock, in the Columbia cars on the Pennsylvania road. We arrived in Columbia about 5:00 p.m. Here we took the canal boat for Pittsburgh. From Ppittsburgh we took the steamboat for St. Louis. We traveled 800 miles on the Ohio River. We passed Cincinnati and Louisville and other small towns on the river, and then traveled up the same 200 miles and arrived in St. Louis on the evening of the 13th of April.
In St. Louis we were dispursed among the Saints, who then lived in the place. I stayed here about two weeks. It was now understood that a large body of the Saints would start fo rthe Rocky Mountains in search of a home for the Church, and that President Brigham Young with about a hundred and twenty had already started in search of a place for the Saints to gather to. While in St. Louis I became acquainted with Brother Darwin Richardson who was one of the company which was then fitting up in St. Louis for the purpose of accompanying the Saints on their way to the Mountains. I engaged with Brother Richardson to drive one of his teams. The company left St. Louis on the evening of the 11th of May on a steamboat for Council Bluffs where the Saints were stopped as a place of winter quarters.
The afternoon before we left St. Louis there was a very hard thunder storm, and as I had charge of Brother Richardson´s goods I was out in most of the storm and got wet through. I took cold and the next day was taken very sick with the diarhea and was sick all the way to the Missouri River, and I was thought by my friends that I would not live. We were two weeks on the River and arrived at Winter Quarters at Council Bluffs on the evening of May 27. We were on ship next morning. I was now very weak in body. I could walk and that was about all. Brother Richardson and family made their quarters at Brother Joseph Steaten´s. The most of our company bought teams here and also their wagons. In about three days, I commenced to get better very rapidly and in about a week was able to go out with the boys to herd our cattle. We got ready to start, and our wagons left Winter Quarters on the 9th of June, 1847. We traveled about twenty-eight miles to the Elk Horn River. Here we waited until all of the wagons came up. On the 18th of June there was 656 wagons on the ground and was all organized into companies of ten, and tens into fifties, and fifties into hundreds. Out wagons were in the first ten and the first fifty and first hundred.
Our fifty left next morning for the mountains in the command of Perry Green Sessions and Elijah F. Sheets, Captain of the first ten and Daniel Spencer, Captain of the hundreds. We left Elk Horn River June 19, 1847. We were on the road three months and six days. We were pilgrims in search of a home. We were banished by a ruthless mob, who was sanctioned by the authorities of our government, from our homes and the land of our birth, to seek an asylum in the far distant west among savages and the wild beasts of the mountains. But the noble band of pioneers who were led by Brigham Young, who was a Prophet of God, had started in the Spring. We followed their trail as the heavy rains and the high grass has covered it all up. Our journey was toilsome and fatiguing; yet we had many first rate pleasure and joy while on the plains. It was a new life to me and suited me well. I enjoyed good health and the time passed away pleasantly.
After a journey of 1030 miles, which took us three months and six days, we arrived on the 25th of September in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, where the pioneers had arrived on the 24th day of July, 1847, and which place they had selected for a home for the Saints.
When we arrived here the country was new and it was barren and very dry. We were now out thousand miles from any settlement, and the country was untried by any living being. We did not know that the soil would produce crops or not, but we had faith in God who had led us here.
The pioneers, before they left to return to their homes in Winter Quarters, had selected ten acres of ground to build a fort upon and had left a few men to commence the work. When all of the companies had arrived, we found that the lot was too small. We went to work and laid off 25 acres more. We then commenced to build our houses and before Spring had opened we had built a row of houses around the 35 acres, also three row of double houses across from side to side, which separated the houses into four forts.
The winter was very favorable; it was mid and pleasant. Our poor cattle did well during the winter and they fattened and made good beef for us in the Spring. We sowed considerable wheat during the winter for we could play every month during the winter.
President Brigham Young enjoined it upon every Latter Day Saint who entered this peaceful vale that they should be re-baptized. I, accordingly, was baptized something during the winter. (I have forgotten the date.)
The next Spring, March, 1848, we commenced to plow for our Spring crops. The Spring was very wet. We also fenced in a very large field which enclosed all of our farming land. Our crops commenced to grow and look well. The crickets commenced to work on our crops about the first of May and were very destructive. But God was ever ready to bless his faithful children and sent the gulls, who were timely saviors in our behalf and saved our crops from total ruin. We were not used to irrigating our land, which we had to do in this country, but we did the best we could and our crops matured, and we commenced to harvest about the first of July. Our crops were light but yet we raised enough to do us until another harvest.
I still remained with Brother Richardson during the Winter and Summer. During the fore part of Summer, I was ordained to the office of Priest under the hads of Bishop Edward Hunter and Joseph Starpten. Brother Starpten was the Mouth. During the Spring we built a bowery for the purpose of holding meetings and under which, in August, we had a Harvest Feast, at which I enjoyed myself well, and here was the first time I ever danced in my life. Yruly this was a time of rejoicing among the Saints. We were now free from our oppression, and we were also free from the thoughts of starving to death. We raised a liberty pole and hoisted our colors on it in token of peace. We hoisted a white flag, and in token of our gratitude to Almighty God for his blessings of a rich harvest, we hoisted up the same pole a sheaf of wheat and also one of oats, which was presented to the company by Brother John Van Cott. This was a day long to be remembered by the Saints of God. That day made manifest many a happy hearts. Both old and young rejoiced in the dance before their God who had delivered them from the had of their oppressors. Never did one rejoice more than I did upon that day. True, I had not passed through the sorrows and tribulations as my brethren had through Ohio, Missouri and Illinois, yet I was a member of the Church of God and all their sorrows were mine and also all of their joys. And I felt free with my brethren and felt to rejoice in the dance before God, and also that I was gathered with my brethren in this peaceful bale of the mountains.
I have not written anything concerning our suffering and privations for want of food during the winter, spring and summer, but I will just say here that I was as well off as anyone of our company, but still at the same time I went hungry, but I was always satisfied with my lot. I worked many a day on nothing but rennet put into milk, which made curd, with a little cream on it, and also thistle tips for greens, but that was good living to what some had. For particulars I will refer you to your Church History. But I will just say here that there were many who at times had to eat rawhides to keep alive, so you will see there were many who suffered for the want of food.
I now quit work at Brother Richardson´s and went again to work for myself. I quit work on August 16, and on the 20th of the same month I engaged to work for Brother John Van Cott by the month. About the middle of September our emigration commenced to come, and in the course of a month´s time about 800 wagons had arrived. Among the number of the emigrants that came this year was President Brigham Young, President Heber C. Kimball and the rest of the heads of the Church. During this time I was teaming. I hauled the rock and adobe for the first two-storied house in Salt Lake City, which was Brother John Van Cott´s. This same Fall many of the brethren built small houses on their city lots; the foundation of the Council House was laid in November.
January 1, 1849 --- The Winter passed away, although very cold, and Spring came. I then commenced my farming operations. I put in 25 acres of crop. The Spring and Summer mostly passed away without much of interest. I did not reap much from my crop on account of the crickets and drought. During the Summer we built a large bowery in which we held our meetings and under which we celebrated the 24th of July in commemoration of the day the pioneers entered the Valley.
During the past season I became acquainted with John Bills, by which means, on the 29 of July, 1849, I became acquainted with Miss Mary Ann Pulsipher, who afterwards became my wife. On the 25th of December, 1849, I received the had of Miss Mary Ann Pulsipher in marriage by Heber Kimball, I being at the time 24 years of age and my wife 16years of age.
January, 1850 --- In the Spring of 1850 I commenced my farming operations on Mr. Bill´s farm. This tear I did moddling well. In the Fall I bought a span of horses and a cow. In November, I took up forty acres of land on Little Cottonwood and built a house on the same. In the same month I delivered up the affairs of Mr. Bills into the hands of Nathan Tanner. About the first of December, I moved into my log cabin and commenced business on my own hook. On the 14th day of December at 8:00 o´clock in the morning, my wife bore me a fine daughter which we called Mary Ann.
During the Winter, one of the horses died and about the first of March my cow and calf also died. And a large sow pig, of a year old got poisoned and it died. I had three cats and they died also. My dog, somebody killed. This was about the amount of my livestock. I now had one horse left with which to continue farming. In February I commenced to fence my farm. I fenced with other brethren in joint enclosure about 150 acres. I commenced to farm about the first of April. I had worked around among the brethren until I got owing to me team work worth to the amount of breaking of ten acres of land. I broke my land with two yoke of cattle. I drove team and held plow myself. I put in 5 acres of wheat, one of oats, 2 ½ of corn, and one acre and a half of garden sauce.
In June I took a fishing excursion up to Utah Lake in company with Father Burgess and his son William and several other. We had a pleasant time and caught 500 pounds of fish and returned the next day after we left home.
I commenced to harvest my crop the last of July. I had 85 bushels of wheat, 25 bushels of oats, 50 of corn, and 70 bushels of potatoes and considerable garden sauce. My crop was light but I had enough to do me until another harvest. I had now got a start again in life. Only six months before fortune seemed to forbid my prosperity in life.
I will now write a few words of encouragement to my children. You will see by reading the past that I have been thrown into various circumstances in life. Being of poor parentage, but yet honorably so, you will see that in all of my ups and downs in the world that I had the spirit of perseverance. In my travels through life, when misfortune seemed to press down hard upon me, I always pressed forward the harder and would accomplish that which I undertook to do. And when famine and starvation stared me in the face, and hunger had so weakened my mortal frame, that when at my labor I would have to sit down to rest in order to gain strength that I might perform my day´s work, still I hung on to my faith and integrity in the Lord. And when false brethren betrayed the confidence which teir best friends had placed in them, and when only two of us stood alone for the truth, out of a Branch of 50 members. And when a mist of darkness had darkened the horizon of truth, and when the prophets of God, who were slain for the testimony which they bore, by the wicked fiends of Hell, and when destruction seemed to the total overthrow of the whole Church, my faith was still in the Lord, and would serve the God of Israel and would never let anything shake me from my firm position in the commandment of Christ. Therefore, my dear children, let nothing of an evil nature persuade you from a righteous course through life and always carry out your righteous decrees and be firm in your determinations.
I will now insert a few letters which I received from my folks in the East, beginning with one which I received from my father:
Gloucester City November 12 1849 --- Dear Son: I take my pen in had to let you know that we are all well at present and hoe this letter will find you in the same state of health and happiness.
The letter you sent we got in October 1 an dare hoping we may see you once more in Gloucester. Murkins works in the blacksmith shop and Luther in the machine ship. David and Martin´s families are all well and Elizabeth has saved since you left $300 and upwards.
All of your friends in Gloucester send best regards. We ever remain your affectionate father and mother. Thomas S. Terry.
Arneytown, (Allentown now) June 28, 1852 --- Dear Brother: I received your letter and was pleased to hear that you were all well. I write to let you know that your father is deceased. He died on the 12th of September last at Mary Bales in Philadelphia. He went on a visit and was taken sick and could not be moved home until after his death. He was then moved to your sister Rebecca´s in Gloucester City. He was there buried in the Methodist cemetery. I was down to Gloucester City this Spring and they were all well then.
John and Rebecca, Martin and Elizabeth lives at Gloucester, New Jersey, and Murkins and his wife live at Camden and Luther and his wife live at Trenton. Luther was married on the 25th of December. Mother keeps a room and sews. Sometimes she nursed, but nursing is too hard for her, for she has been sick and quite unwell for nearly a year, but she is quite smart again. David and I live at a place called Arneytown 10 miles from Bordington. He is carrying on blacksmithing and has plenty to do. Mary Elizabeth and Thomas and Sarah Ann are the names of my children. Sarah Ann, the youngest is 4 years old this winter. Thomas is a good big boy and looks like his uncle Thomas did when he left the Jersey shores. William Henry is a good big boy and is now with us. William and my three children had the measles this summer, but they are getting over them now. Holongshead Martin had got to be a good-sized boy. Rebecca has buried her son Thomas who was quite four months old and he is buried where father is. Mother says that her children have all gone one by one until there is only William Henry and herself left of the family, and she says that she will take care of him as long as she has strength to do. She says that you being so far away has worried her a great deal, but since she has learned that you were married, it has relieved her mind thinking that you have somebody to take care of you when sick. When William Henry is with us mother don´t have any board to pay for him but when he is with the rest she had to pay for his board. Mother wants to know how money matters are our there and what kind of clothes you wear and if clothing is scarse. She want you to write and let her know if there is any way she can send your daughter some presents. Mother sends love to you all. David sends his love to you all. Give your love to your wife and a share to yourself. If the Lord spares you to get this I want you to write as soon as you can and let me know how you are dear brother. I hope as the world grows wiser that we may grow better. Mary Bales always sends her love to you. She lost her mother last summer. From your sister Ann Terry.
You will see by the above letter that my father died on the 12 of September 1851 in the city of Philadelphia at his niece´s. He went to pay a visit and was taken sick and was so bad that he could not be moved home. After a lingering sickness of about a month he died and was buried in the Methodist Cemetery at Gloucester City, Camden County New Jersey which made him at his death 62 years one month and 25 days old.
My father was a man of sober and industrious habits and a man of good information. He was an experienced farmer and was sought after by his neighbors for information in agricultural pursuits. It was calculated by his neighbors that he was one of the best hands to sow grain that there was to be found in the country. He was a great hunter and had much experience in match and game shooting. He was a great had to shoot gray squirrels and ducks. He took great pleasure in hunting excursions. He was a man of great temper and would not take an insult from any man. He was and expert at wrestling and had great strength in his arms. He had a correct view of the Holy Scriptures and delighted to converse on the same but yet he belonged to no church until he joined the Church of Latter Day Saints which was on the 12 of March 1842 and continued to be a firm believer in the same until his death.
1853: I will now go on with my history. The fall and winter I spent my time at home and occupied my time mostly in reading. On the 16th day of February 1853 at 5:00 o´clock p.m. my wife bore me another fine daughter, which we called Adelia Terry.
I commenced to farm about the first of April. I put in considerable of a crop which kept me busy during the Spring. About the middle of April my children caught the whooping cough and were very bad with it for two months and there were a great many children who died with it in our neighborhood.
About the first of June the….made an appearance in the valley and they were very destru….with part of the country sweeping everything …. Very very destructive to oats and …. About two acres which …. I ……. ( bottom of page 11)
"wind. A part of them lit in our settlement. My oats were perfectly alive with them and they cut the heads off just like a knife would. I went and hired three men to cut them down immediately and I kept the grasshoppers off till the oats were down.
About the first of July Captain Walker the great Indian Chief of the Utah Band declared a three years war against the white inhabitants of this territory and he seemed to be quite determined in his course. And it was quite dangerous for a person to be out at night or alone during the daytime. The Territory was immediately put under martial law and guards placed every point where the Indians made a break. At this time most of the inhabitants lived on their farms in a scattered condition, hence it was necessary that something be done immediately. Therefore, it was deemed necessary that the people should move into squads and build forts which was thought by the authorities to be the most safe plan that could be adopted. The council was immediately carried out which plan proved effectual to the overthrow of the plan which the Indians had adopted for our destruction. And when they saw that we were determined in our course, they were willing to give up and made a compromise. The war was amicably settled and peace was again declared although several of the brethren lost their lives.
NOTE: -- by Nora Lund family historian. Due to the length of Grandfather´s diary it will not be possible to record it all in this book. From here on excerpts will be included quoted in his own words. Please note also that his history is treaded through the histories of his wives and children which are included in this book.
"At the October Conference 1856, I was called to go on a mission to the United States. I left the same month to fill my mission in company with other missionaries. I arrived in Philadelphia in the later part of November. I was called to labor in the Philadelphia Conference. After my appointment I went to see my mother and sister in Glouster City, New Jersey. I arrived on Thanksgiving Day, just nine years and seven months from the time I first left home to go West. When I first met my mother she did not know me. She spoke to my sister Elizabeth, 'Who is this gentleman?' She said, 'It looks like Thomas S. Terry.' We were in each others arms. Oh, what a happy meeting it was a feast day indeed."
"During the winter of 1856 and 1857, I labored in New Jersey. In the spring of 1857 I met Apostle Parley P. Pratt. He wanted me to go home with him. At the spring congerence I was released to return home with him. I was to meet him in St. Louis. When I got to St. Louis he had gone. I was on time but he obliged to leave.
"In crossing the plains coming to the Valley I was put in charge of a company of Saints as Captain. We left Florence the last of June 1857for the five hundred mile trip. I had hard work to get the company along as they were not used to traveling with oxen. In crossing Loop Fork, one branch of the Platt River we could not go straight across. It was very high. We had to start in and then go up stream half a mile then cross to the other side.
"We were all day in getting over. In getting the teams across I crossed the river eleven times. The last time was after dark. I could only see my way by camp fires on the other side of the river.
"When going to bed I heard a rap at my wagon. Óh Captain, my daughter is dead.´ It was Brother James Stevenson I dressed myself and went to his wagon. His daughter Lucy had passed to the other side. She was dead. I sent for Captain John Dustin who was Captain of the second te. Brother Dustin was a man of great faith. We administered to her, but she did not revive. She did not come back to life. After some time we administered again but of no use. She still layed in death´s arms.
"I spoke to Brother Dustin and asked him to stay with the family, that I would go out but would come back soon. I went to my wagon and got my Temple clothes. I went off in the darkness a quarter of a mile, dressed myself in my Temple clothes. I knelt down and asked my Heavenly Father in the name of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, that if it was His will that the spirit of the young sister return to its body.
"After I had returned I found Sister Lucy still dead, the family were all crying. I said to Brother Dustin we will administer to her again. We placed our hands upon her heaad and I asked my Heavenly Father that her spirit might return to its body. Before we took our hads off her head her Spirit returned and she came to life. The time altogether was one hour. She came to the Valley and was married.
"We traveled on next day. Two days after Brother Jessie Murphy was taken very sick with a high fever. We blessed him and the next day he was up driving his team. We continued our journey till we got to Buffalo Creek about one hundred and sixty miles east of Fort Laramie. Here we had a stampede. It was awful! Yes, it was a fearful thing. Forty wagons and three carriages were all jammed together. There were five who were very badly hurt. As soon as I could I went to attend to those that were hurt. In this I was alone, while the Brothers looked after the wagons and teams.
"The first I administered to was Brother Pallard and his wife. I found them bothe dying on the ground. Sister Pallard was lying as if she were dead, she had been knocked down by the teams. I administered to them; they both got up. The next one was Brother Bratt who was from the South. I found him also very badly hurt. He had been knocked over. I blessed him and he got up and was alright. While I was administering to him I heard a sister call out óh Captain Terry come here!´ It was sister Mousley. I went to her . Brother Martin Lincy was holding Whihelmina in his arms. When I got to her she had passed away, the blood was running a stream . Her face was very fearfully, her sister was lying by her with an injured spine. She could not get up. I administered to them both. Whihelmina come to; her sister got up. By that time the Brethren had the wagons separated and the camp formed.
"I had the good will and feeling of my Brother and Sisters all the way. Some years afterwards I met Brother Pallard in Salt Lake City. He introduced me to a friend of his. He said ´Brother Bywater, had it not been for Captain Terry I never would have seen Salt Lake City.´ In this narritive I do not wish to boast but my Heavenly Father blessed me with his Holy Spirit in administering to my Brethern and Sisters. I was Blessed the day I got to the City. I met my beloved wife, Eliza Jane and our dear little son Zera P., at her father´s home in the city. After two days visiting with my wife, I went to my farm at Union on Little Cottonwood to see my first family. My beloved wife, Mary Ann, and our four darling children, Mary Ann, Celestia, Adelia and our sweet little baby, Lydia. She was born a short time after I had left on my mission.
"December 27, 1857, Miss Lucy Stevenson was sealed to me as my third wife.
"The next spring, 1858, my time was employed in looking after my family at Springville and my farm on Cottonwood. I moved back home to the farm in the fall of 1859. I was called and made Second Counselor to Bishop Silas Richards of Union.
"Now in regard to my family affairs. Lucy, my wife caused me some little trouble. In the spring of 1861, she left me without cause. She was a great dancer, she loved to go to parties and dances. There was a party at Union and she became very angry and left me because I would not take her to the party. She went home to her father in Springville. About this time her father and mother apostized and left the Church. They took her to Camp Floyd at Cedarville, Utah County. She was there engaged by the theater and danced on the stage. From there she went off and married an outsider. The last I heard of her she was dead.
"In the fall of 1862, I , with my families, were called on the Dixie Mission. I sold my farm and in November, 1862 we started on our mission. It was very cold and the children had the whooping cough on the road. My family at that time consisted of myself, my two wives and eight children. We got to St. George on New Year´s Day and reported to President Erastus Snow. We stayed in St. George durnign the winter. There we had two girls born to us Aluna and Lenora. (Aluna was Eliza´s and Lenora was Mary Ann´s)
"In March of 1863, I was called by President Snow to take my families to Shoal Creek, Washington County Utah to help to establish a settlement there. Brother John Charles and William Pulsipher had been sent there the year before to herd the St. George cattle. They were the first on the Creek. Father Pulsipher and family had moved on the Creek the fall before. In 1865 Clover Valley was settled. Panaca in Meado Valley was settled in the spring of 1866. During the past three years my time has been spent in taking care of the carrel and some farming" End of this history.
ADDED EXPERIENCES ON THE LIFE OF THOMAS S. TERRY By Grandsons Amos Frank Terry and Thomas George Hunt Sent in Feb. 19, 1956
Amos Frank says-“I have been thinking for some time of writing a couple of experiences in the life of grandfather, Thomas S. Terry, Sr., that I feel are worthy of record since I am a living witness of his statements made regarding them.
In the year, and just before William McKinley was elected to the President of the United States, my father, Thomas Nelson Terry, and Uncle Zera, due to Grandfather´s persuasion, moved their families on to the Beaver Dam Wash Ranch where Grandfather, with Aunt Hannah´s family lived. Before moving, father and I took our stock down. On this occasion Grandfather related the following story, which as a boy, ever searching for the truth, noted very carefully. I have lived to see it fulfilled. Directly quoting Grandfather´s words, I write:
"Aunt Hannah and I were camped for the night and had just retired to bed when four characters appeared, following each other. Three of them wrote on a board as though advertising their wares. The fourth did not write. It was President Heber C. Kimball. He looked me squarely in the eye and pointed his finger ar me as I´ve seen him do many times and said: ´There shall be four more Presidents then we will have a terrible war and blood shed in abundance.´”
Grandfather then said, “At first I wondered if it meant Presidents of the Church or Presidents of the United States, but the interpretation came to me that it was Presidents of the United States.”
Amos Frank goes on- It made such an impression on me then, at the age of 16 years, that I determined to keep close check on the future. McKinley was the First President. Theodore Roosevelt was the second President, William Howard Taft was the third President. Woodrow Wilson was elected in due time as the fourth President and then came the war, which involved the world in a great bloodshed.
While conversing with grandfather a short time before his death I asked him if he remembered it, he said “Yes, Yes! If I had been a betting man, I would have bet that Woodrow Wilson would be that Fourth President.”
Then he told me something else that would come and said, “I will not live to see it, but you will take your notebook and pencil and write it down for you will live to see.” He then said, “I have the vitality to live and would like to do so, but because of this affliction on my face, if it is the Lord´s will, I would like to go right now. Right Now.”
The next day or two me mother-in-law came into the field where I was working in the hay and told me that Grandfather had stepped into a hole and broken his leg. Because of the nature of his conversation to me, I was so sure it was his time to go that I sat down and wrote a preparatory warning to my father at Ruby Valley, Nevada. Of course, we all know that the Lord did answer his plea and took him at that time.
Another incident which I will relate also happened while we were living on the Beaver Dam Wahs. Grandfather arose one morning and during the day said to my father in my hearing:
"Something has happened to Tom Price. I saw Tom pass by as plain as I can see you. Before night we will hear something."
Well, the Beaver Dam Wash was about 35 miles from Canan´s Ranch on the west and no means of getting word only by someone passing that way. However, about 4 P.M. o´clock, a white-topped buggy came across by way of Canans Ranch from Delamar, Nevada, going up to St. George to Tom Price´s funeral and got my father´s black team, nig and Coaley, to go on into St. George, leaving their team with us until they returned. In the rig was Jode Price, Tom´s bother, and Ann Price, Jode´s wife; John Alger and My Bryson. So we did hear before night.
A few days later, as they returned, we learned that Tom and his son Bert, about 16 years old, were in the mountains (toward the Cliff Station from the Indian Reservation) fro wood when Tom was run over with the wagon and killed. Young Bert mounted one of the horses and rushed to St. George for help.
Thus, I, Amos Franklin Terry, am a living witness to the inspiration of the Lord upon a humble and great man, Thomas Sirls Terry,
In the Biographical Encyclopedia Volume 3 by Church Historian Andrew Jensen the following is quoted:
“Brother Terry built a ranch at the so called Moroni Springs, five miles above Hebron where in 1874 he was taken very ill and went to Hebron to be taken care of. While lying in the room writes Elder Terry, ´I was visited by the devil. Standing before me with his hand upon the bed post he said, ´You are sick and had better give up and die and not go through the sickness in store for you. You will never have another passage through tour bowles.´ I did not answer and the evil one left the room. Immediately I called my wife and said: ´I am going to be very sick. I want you to see that I have a passage of the bowles every day.´ For six weeks I was at death´s door but through the administration of the Elders I recovered.´
“In 1876 Bother Terry was ordained a High Priest and Bishop and set apart to preside over the Hebron Ward occupying that position until September 9, 1894. In 1878 he married Hannah Louisa Leavitt. In the year 1885 Brother Terry moved from Hebron to the Beaver Dams Wash in Washington County.
“During the anti pologamy raids he had several barrow escapes from being arrested by the U.S. Deputy Marshals.”
NOTE: I would like to include here a touching little story sent in by Thomas Nelson Terry Jr., of Payson, a grandson, to be put in this book.
“When I was a small boy about 12 years old my father and family lived at Spring Creek Ranch about three miles south of where Enterprise is now located. He had a crop of grain to be cut and Moroni Canfield of Mountain Meadows was on his way to the ranch to do the cutting. As he passed Holt´s Ranch. John Armstrong and McGarey the U.S. Marshels, were eating dinner there. They asked him to stop and eat but he refused and asked them where they were going. They said "Over to old man Terry´s place to get him."
"Well as soon as Mr. Canfield got out of sight of them he whipped his team into a gallop and got back in the ….. wagon so as nto to lose any….. When he got ….. (bottom of page 15)
“Father ran to the stable saddled a horse then caught me by the shoulder, tossed me into the saddle and spatting the horse on the hips with a board said, ´Get to Terry´s ranch as soon as possible and tell Grandfather the Marshals are after him.´
“I cut through the hill from Spring Creek Ranch to Erran Huntsman´s Ranch and came in to the road must ahead of the Marshals. I rode on to Terry´s Ranch as fast as I could get me orse to go notified Grandfather and he and Uncle Joseph Terry saddled two horses, took two sacks of hay and rode off through the hills.
“So, Moroni Canfield, Father and I saved Grandfather from falling into the hands of the U.S. Marshals and probably from serving a prison term.”
Brother Jensen goes on.
“After the danger of the raids were over. Bishop Terry moved back to Hebron, where he remained until the ward there was discontinued. He was ordained a Patriarch by President Francis M. Lyman, June 14, 1908. (And gave some 500 blessings.)
"His wife, Mary Ann, died September 18, 1913 and was buried at Enterprise. By his three wives Bishop Terry became the father of 30 children. By his wife, Mary Ann he had Mary Ann, Adelia, Celestia, Alydia, Mina, Almira, Lenora, Thomas Sirls Jr., Susan, Elizabeth, Luther and Joseph.
"By his wife, Hannah Louisa, he had Maud Etna, Mary Elsie, David Dudley, Jeddiah Murkins, Edward Sirl and Exie.
“Patriarch Terry adds the following in his own words. ´In the fall of 1913, while at my house in Enterprise I knelt in prayer and there appeared before me a Heavenly light in the form of a circle. While looking at it I was impressed to go to Panaca, Nevada, where one of the families lived. On reaching that place the next evening. I was enjoying myself with my family when I was called out to see a lady who had been ill or nearly four months and had not spoken a work for three months.
“I seated myself by her bedside and kept close watch of her, but couldn´t tell what was the matter. Assisted by the brethren present, I administered to her, rebuking the devil and commanding him to leave her and go to his own place. Immediately she arose and then talked as though nothing had ever been wrong with her from the day until this the lady has not been troubled. I space would permit. I could related many such manifestations of the power of the Lord.”
NOTE: Grandfather was affected with a cancer on his nose however, his general health was sufficiently good that he hoped to live to be 100 years old. But one dark evening he went out into the yard of his home, he fell and broke his leg. This accident caused his ….. (bottom of page 16)…. Of 94 years, 11 months and 9 days. August 12, 1920 and was buried in Enterprise, August 15. He had lived a full life and was well prepared to meet his Maker and his loved ones who had passed on before.
His wife Eliza Jane died May 5, 1919, in Panaca, Nevada, and his wife Hannah died January, 1938, at St. George, Utah.
A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THOMAS SIRLS TERRY By a daughter Maud Etna Terry
On a beautiful little farm called Cherry Hedge and Cherry Land in Bristol Township, Bucks County Pennsylvania, on a crisp October morning the 3rd day of the month there came to earth a tiny red faced baby boy. The child of a family of eight children. This child was very frail and a few hours after his birth his mother declared his name to be Thomas for his father. His nurse said, “Give him a middle name to distinguish him from his father.” The mother then added Sirls ( the surname of the nurse who was a very dear friend).
Thomas Sirls then grew up a very delicate child, small in statue but with a bright intellectual mind. Twice before his second year he was pronounced dead by the family physician and was laid on what was then called his cooling board. His grieving mother hovering over his still little form detected a pulse beat in his hand and hastily began to revive him. The second time she would not permit him laid out but watched for some time and again discovered life.
The family at one time was well to do for those times, but at the close of the Revolutionary War their property was in ruins with the exception of some few fishing boats which were leased and finally lost at sea. This left the family or the father to build up his own fortune. The father´s health was broken and at the death of his wife´s parents he had taken over the guardianship of her eight younger brothers and sisters rearing them as his own. This large family added to his own children and his broken health necessitated the selling of his home and moving into a city where the family could go to work. They moved across the Delaware River a little to the south to Camden New Jersey. Here the children were placed in the print works to learn a trade and also help in earning their living.
Thus at the age of seven years Thomas, though very frail went to work at 7:00 a.m. and worked the year around for ten and sometimes twelve hours a day. HE often told of the great joy he experienced on his two holidays- the 4th of July and Christmas. Being a frail lad he was too greatly fatigued after his strainous hours of service to attend the night school. His mother gave him his lessons at home. She was called quite learned and her teachings accounts for his flowery accent and refinement of speech. Always, even in his old age strangers mistook him to be of English birth and culture. Thomas Sirls was very ambitious and this made him a great favorite of his associates. He rose from a bobbin boy in the print mills to a cotton superintendent or second floor manager of his department.
The gospel of the Latter Day Saints was brought to their home when he had just turned sixteen. His father´s family was greatly impressed and began an investigation of this doctrine which resulted in the baptism in the Delaware River of his parents and their older children on March 13, 1842. This ordinance was performed by Elder Joseph Newton, a traveling elder.
The family had by this time moved to Philadelphia or Bridsburg, a suberb of Philadelphia. Here in his father´s house a group of converts – 42 in all- met each Sunday for worship and a closer study of the gospel. They were happy and greatly enthused in their newly found religion for some time or until William Smith a brother of the Prophet came to their colony. There he met a beautiful girl and began advocating plurality wives. This resulted in the breaking up of the colony and the apostatizing of most members. When this word was sent to Nauvoo the Prophet sent Jedediah M. Grant to investigate the affair. He succeeded in bringing a few members back. Thomas´s parents had never doubted the gospel so their home was again the gathering place of the Saints.
Thomas from the time of his baptism had begun to rapidly gain strength and he began to grow until to grow until at the age of 21 he was fairly good-sized man with handsome features – laughing violet blue eyes and dark brown curly hair. He was admired and loved by his friends and fellow laborers. He ha always planned in his own mind to go west as soon as he had reached maturity. So on the day he was 21 his parents in keeping with an old family custom gave him a coming out part. They bought him a nice dark greenish-black suit of broad cloth for the occasion. Before the close of the party his father made the announcement that Thomas Sirls that day had reached his manhood and from then on would continue to live on with his parents until he saw fit to branch out for himself, but he was his own master. Thus given his freedom to do as he chose, he began to plan to join the saints and share their lot. Early the next spring he left his fiends and home against their pleadings and tears and started west to join the saints.
At Philadelphia he joined a company of Morman immigrants from Boston and New York. Arriving at Winter Quarters, now Florence he discovered he must have a different lot of clothing than he had. … missing page 19
Of course there was romance in Thomas Sirls´ life. He had been reared to think there was no good ever came from a dance but that was the pleasure of the day and according to the old adage “when in Tome do as the Romans do” he decided to learn to dance. He singled out a very pretty young girl by the name of Amanda Nebiker who was a very graceful dancer. He asked her to instruct him in the art of dancing, which she smilingly consented to do. He soon learned her choicest favors were reserved for a young man by the name of Boyl with whom he had formed a real and lasting friendship. He made a compact with this young man to treat the young lady in question as a sister and it was Thomas Sirls´ pleasure to be best man at their wedding which was one of the first in the state.
However, in the spring of ´49 just after building his little room on his land while at church one Sunday in the old Bowery, he was standing in the back of the congregation. There were no upholstered chairs, the sears in this place of worship were of split logs and the floor of dirt. He was talking to a friend when an unknown voice said, “There is your companion for all time and eternity.” He looked around but saw no one that he did not know and he went on conversing. Again the voice said, “There is the girl you are to marry.” He turned and this time he looked down the aisle a short distance from where he was standing. There he met a pair of brown eyes in a beautiful face with rose-carmen cheeks and lips of a deep cherry-red. As she turned her head to hide a blush for being caught gazing at the handsome young stranger, the long black curls fell in clusters around her head. He asked his companion who that pretty little brunette was.
Thomas ´s friend answered, “Why she is Mary Ann Pulsipher, Brother Pulsipher´s girl. You know Brother Pulsipher, his is one of the first seven presidents of the seventies. He has a wonderful family.”
Thomas was not slow to find this out for himself. A colorful romance followed which brought about a marriage on Christmas day, 1849. This union was a happy and eventful one. With the exception of four Christmas Days was for sixty-four years celebrated by Thomas Sirls and his wife in thanksgiving for their perfect love.
By this time he had acquired a farm at Union Fort where he and his wife, Mary Ann had labored hard and had built up a nice little home. They had moved on to this farm with a wagon box for a bedroom and a leanto or shanty for a kitchen. His father-in-law gave them a cow. Thomas Sirls dug ditch for a young sow pig. His wife´s mother gave them a hen and a friend gave them a cat, iron kettle and fire shovel. His wife had a quilt, a sheet and straw tick. Mother Richardson gave him a pillow. He had worked for a quilt and some buffalo hides. Thus this city bred young man and his beautiful bride ….. (bottom of page 20)
The first year the cat and her increase, the hen and her chickens, the cow and her calf, their sow and all her pigs died. But December 14, 1850 the first of their twelve children was born.
On May 6, 1855, he married Eliza Jane Pulsipher as a plural wife. Eliza was Mary Ann´s youngest sister. On March 16, 1856, Zera Pulsipher, the first son of Thomas Sirls was born to this union.
At the April conference Thomas received a call for a mission to the states. Utah was then a territory. He left his wife, Mary Ann, at Union Fort, his wife Eliza with her parents in Salt Lake and set out in May with a company of Elders to fill that mission.
He was assigned to labor in his native state and he received permission to visit his family at Thanksgiving. It is a real touching story the way he tripped up the street to his mother´s gate. His father had passed from earth five years before. His unmarried sister was sweeping the front steps. As he reached the gate she dropped her broom and rushed into his arms.
He was revered by all who knew him – Jew and Gentile, the reving Indian or thoughtless cowboy. Old men and little children came to pay their homage to him. He lived to the ripe old age of 95 years 10 months and 9 days, dying from a broken leg. His body was laid beside his wife Mary Ann who had proceeded him in death some 5 years earlier. He passed on blessings to his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren. He left three acting bishops and five highpriests from his 9 sons. Also he left many talented and lettered grandchildren – A POSTERITY TO PRAISE THE MEMORY OF THOMAS SIRLS TERRY – PATRIARCH, COUNCILER, AND FRIEND.
Thomas Sirls Terry — Born October 3, 1825 — Arrived in Utah September 25, 1847
I kept at work until the last of March, 1847 (working spinning cotton in the cotton mills of Gloucester City in New Jersey.) By this time, I had got me some good clothing and also had sufficient money to carry me to the West. I now notified my father and mother that I was going to start for the West. They both, and the rest of the family, tried to persuade me to stay at home, but all of their persuading was of no use. I was a Mormon, and was determined to gather with the Saints. Although it was critical times with the Saints as they were driven from Nauvoo the year before the Church was on the move, and they had no home, and more than this, but a very few friends. But their God was my God and if they died, I could die with them.
I quit work the last of March, 1847. At this time there were two companies of Saints fitting up; one in Boston and the other in New York. The one in Boston was in care of Augustus Farnum and the other in Elder Miles' care. Both companies arrived in Philadelphia the 15th of April, 1847. I left home the same day and joined them in Philadelphia. We left here next morning, the 16th, at 10:00 o'clock, in the Columbia cars on the Pennsylvania road. We arrived in Columbia about 5:00 p.m. Here we took the canal boat for Pittsburgh. From Pittsburgh we took the steamboat for St. Louis. We traveled 800 miles on the Ohio River. We passed Cincinnati and Louisville and other small towns on the river, and then traveled up the same 200 miles and arrived in St. Louis on the evening of the 13th of April. In St. Louis we were disbursed among the Saints, who then lived in the place. I stayed here about two weeks. It was now understood that a large body of Saints would start for the Rocky Mountains in search of a home for the Church, and that President Brigham Young with about a hundred and twenty had already started in search of a place for the Saints to gather to.
While in St. Louis I became acquainted with Brother Darwin Richardson who was one of the company which was then fitting up in St. Louis for the purpose of accompanying the Saints on their way to the Mountains. I engaged with Brother Richardson to drive one of his teams. The company left St. Louis on the evening of the 11th of May on a steamboat for Council Bluffs where the Saints were stopped as a place of winter quarters.
The afternoon before we left St. Louis there was a very hard thunder storm, and as I had charge of Brother Richardson's goods, I was out in most of the storm and got wet through. I took cold and the next day was taken very sick with the diarrhea and was sick all the to the Missouri River, and it was thought by my friends that I would not live. We were two weeks on the River and arrived at Winter Quarters at Council Bluffs on the evening of May 27. We were on ship next morning. I was now very weak in body. I could walk and that was about all. Brother Richardson and family made their quarters at Brother Joseph Steaten's. The most of our company bought teams here and also their wagons. In about three days, I commenced to get better very rapidly and in about a week was able to go out with the boys to herd our cattle. We got ready to start, and our wagons left Winter Quarters on the 9thof June, 1847. We traveled about twenty-eight miles to Elk Horn River. Here we waited until all of the wagons came up. On the 18th of June there was 656 wagons on the ground and was all organized into companies of ten, and tens into fifties, and fifties into hundreds. Our wagons were in the first ten and first fifty and first hundred.
Our fifty left next morning for the mountains in the command of Perigren Sessions and Elijah F. Sheets, Captain of the first ten and Daniel Spencer, Captain of the hundred. We left Elk Horn River June 19, 1847. We were on the road three months and six days. We were pilgrims in search of a home. We were banished by a ruthless mob, who was sanctioned by the authorities of our government, from our homes and the land of our birth, to seek an asylum in the far distant west among savages and the wild beasts of the mountains. But the noble band of pioneers who were led by Brigham Young, who was a Prophet of God, had started in the Spring. We followed their trail as much as possible. It was sometime difficult to follow as the heavy rains and the high grass had covered it all up. Our journey was toilsome and fatiguing, yet we had many first rate pleasure and joy while on the plains. It was a new life to me and suited me well. I enjoyed good health and the time passed away pleasantly.
After a journey of 1030 miles, which took us three months and six days, we arrived on the 25th of September in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, where the pioneers had arrived on the 24th day of July, 1847, and which place they had selected for a home for the Saints. When we arrived here the country was new and it was barren and very dry. We were now out a thousand miles from any settlement, and the country was untried by any living being. We did not know that the soil would produce crops or not, but we had faith in God who had led us here. The pioneers, before they left to return to their homes in Winter Quarters, had selected ten acres of ground to build a fort upon and had left a few men to commence the work. When all of the companies had arrived, we found that the lot was too small. We went to work and laid off 25 acres more. We then commenced to build our houses and before Spring had opened we built a row of houses around the 35 acres, also three row of double houses across from side to side, which separated the houses into forts.