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Wagon in which President Brigham Young arrived in Utah

WHEN JOHN W. YOUNG made the trip to Moencopie Indian Village in northern Arizona, he drove the very same wagon in which his father was riding when he first viewed Salt Lake Valley and uttered the prophetic words, "This is the place." John W. later drove this wagon to Apache County and abandoned it at the Windmill Ranch belonging to Ammon Tenney, about twenty-five miles northeast of St. Johns, considering it as just an old worn-out wagon.

During my first year in St. Johns (1880) I learned of the whereabouts and history of this wagon, and that it was in danger of being dismantled and carried away by passing Indians. I hired a man to go out with a team of oxen and bring this wagon to St. Johns. We built a shed for it on the tithing lot where it was stored. In 1897, the year of the Golden jubilee of the Church, a call was sent out for all pioneer relics to be sent in to Church headquarters. I notified them that this old historic wagon

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was in St. Johns, Arizona. The committee sent ten dollars to cover the cost of crating the wagon, and Elijah N. Freeman, one of the first pioneers, hauled it over to the railroad at Navajo Station where it was shipped to Salt Lake City. For many years it was in the museum of relics at the Utah State Capitol Building. It is now in the Pioneer Memorial Museum located near said Capitol Building. For some reason unknown to me there was never any


mention made of the fact that the wagon was taken to Arizona, nor of its return by me.

President Wilford Woodruff

This sketch of President Woodruff will pertain to his journeyings and ministry in Arizona in the years 1879 and 1880.

In the early spring of 1879 Wilford Woodruff and Erastus Snow left St. George, Utah, for Arizona, going

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by way of Moencopie (near Tuba City), which was headquarters for the Indian Mission for Arizona and New Mexico.

The following extracts I have had copied from President Woodruff's Journal in the Church Historian's Library:

April 17, 1879. We left Moen Copy (sic) to visit the San Francisco Mountains. We drove to Little Colorado--the first time I ever saw that river. John W. Young, William Gibbons and myself forded the river.

Gleanings from journal, August 13, 1879. President Woodruff visited Round Valley, staying with Brother Christopherson and "went up the creek with Jacob Hamblin and Brother Christopherson and caught 10 trout."

During a later time in August and early September, be visited the Zuni Village and the Isletas and Lagunas, all in New Mexico. He was in Snowflake September 26, 1879, and stayed at the home of Jesse N. Smith.

San Francisco Mountains, November 22, 1879. On the road today I saw some 300 antelope ... they had been driven out of the mountains by a snowstorm into the cedars. They were in flocks like a flock of sheep. By this time a messenger arrived from Sunset and brought me six letters ... and one from Ammon M. Tenney, which was a very important one. He bad made a bargain with Mr. Barth, the Jew, to buy out St. Johns water and land for 750 cows to be paid for in one year. He had the offer of the place for the sum and was waiting for reply to know if he should buy it. I was very weary and thought I would stop until Tuesday morning and go to Sunset and write Brother Tenney an answer. I went to bed and slept until 12 O'clock and I awoke, and my monitor, guide, or Spirit of the Lord, call it what name you will, said to me, "Arise, tarry not, go to Sunset. Counsel A. M. Tenney to close

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the bargain, buy St. Johns and send the missionaries to take possession of the Colorado Meadows for much depends upon your action in this matter."

According to these instructions I arose early on the 23rd and prepared myself and left the place in company with Brother Moffat and traveled about 50 miles, half the way over a very stony road, to Sunset arrived at 7 o'clock in the evening, very weary, having ridden part of the way on horseback. I conversed with Brother Lot Smith upon the subject and lie agreed with me about writing to Ammon M. Tenney to close the bargain in buying St. Johns and to possess the meadows (an oasis six miles below St. Johns). On the 25th I wrote two letters to Ammon M. Tenney and to Brother Greer. I advised Brother Tenney to close the bargain with the Barths; to buy the place but to make his purchase and to send brethren to occupy the Colorado Meadows, and we called upon four missionaries to prepare themselves to start tomorrow, to get there and to take possession of the meadows. I wrote to Brother Greer and John Hunt to also send a man. I also wrote a letter to President John Taylor of six pages, concerning what we bad done in purchasing St. Johns and taking possession of the meadows, and sent an extract of Brother Tenney's letter and retained a copy. (Insert added.)

January 6, 1880. I rode up the river to St. Johns, crossed the toll bridge* and conversed with a number of citizens. (President Woodruff accompanied by Lot Smith.)

After a year or more in Arizona, President Woodruff returned to Salt Lake City. During this year he was especially interested in his work among the Moquis, the Zunis and the Pueblo Indians on the Rio Grande River in New Mexico. His journal states many times that these people are Nephites, not Lamanites; that they are industrious,

*Toll bridge referred to above was six miles below St. Johns and was on the government road on which the troops traveled going from Ft. Wingate, New Mexico, to Ft. Apache, Arizona.

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intelligent, honest, virtuous, and are a home-loving people of refinement and a characteristic culture.

On President Woodruff's way to his home in Salt Lake City he records in his journal that David K. Udall was needed to be Bishop of the St. Johns Ward. This call came subsequently from President John Taylor. During the colonization period of St. Johns his journal shows that he met in counsel and often traveled with Lot Smith, John W. Young, Jesse N. Smith, Ammon M. Tenney, Andrew S. Gibbons and sons, and other brethren laboring as Lamanite missionaries. His teachings and instructions in Arizona were often quoted by the old settlers.

President Woodruff located our people on the townsite in the valley below St. Johns. The first year the colonizers lived there and then under changing conditions the people were advised by Apostle Erastus Snow to move to the present townsite of St. Johns, leaving the lowland which was called Salem. President Woodruff arranged with a Mr. Ladd, county surveyor, to survey the townsite of Salem.

In 1884 colonizing conditions in St. Johns became acute due in part to persecutions and prosecutions for polygamy, and in part due to the fact that the country was crowded with flocks and herds on the numerous ranches that were being taken up by people unfriendly to the Mormon settlers. These stockmen were flocking in from Texas and other western states. For a number of years Apache County was a waving meadowland of grass.

The Church, hoping to strengthen this outpost of Zion, called 102 families as missionary colonizers to St. Johns. There were then some twenty organized stakes in the Church and a specific call was made on each of

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these stakes to furnish their fair apportionment of colonizers based on the number of families in their respective stakes. Wilford Woodruff was the chairman of this committee. On April 10, 1884 he made a written report to President John Taylor, setting forth the proposed apportionment of families, which was approved.

In September 1885, our St. Johns Ward was in great need of food. President John Taylor, trustee-in-trust of the Church, sent us a donation of flour in the amount of two carloads. It was a great blessing to the people. It was distributed and signed for by nearly all heads of families in St. Johns.

Lot Smith and the United Order

My first acquaintance with Lot Smith was in the spring of 1880 when he came to Kanab with Apostle Wilford Woodruff after the latter's year of missionary work in Arizona. By Brother Smith's request I let him take my best team to take Brother Woodruff to St. George. It was only a few weeks after this that my call to Arizona came, instructing me to meet Apostle Erastus Snow at Kanab Stake Conference to be held at Glendale in June, where Brother Snow would set me apart for my mission. My next meeting with Lot was at Sunset, Arizona, the home of this unusual man and his United Order colony. We were on our way to St. Johns and he took us in and treated us with great kindness. On reaching St. Johns I soon learned that President Lot Smith had been a good friend to the colony of poor--yea, destitute saints. Having nothing better to offer during the summer of 1880he furnished the people in St. Johns with barley, which they ground in coffee-mills and made into coarse bread. This helped them to live until their menfolks, who were working on

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their railroad contract, could come to their relief with flour that was shipped in from Colorado.

My next acquaintance with him was during the time of President Woodruff's administration in the Church when I was appointed as one of the committee of five to adjust and settle the many perplexing questions involving tens of thousands of dollars in property owned by the membership of the United Order at Sunset, over which Lot Smith had presided. The people had disbanded and scattered from Mexico to Canada. The other members of the committee were John Bushman of St. Joseph, chairman; Hubert R. Burk of Alpine, Frihoff Nielson of Ramah, and Thomas Brockbank of Sunset. We went through all the records, hunted out the old colonizers and wrote them for statements of claims and grievances. We had many meetings during a period of three years, some held at Mormon Dairy, at Woodruff and various ranches. A more conscientious body of arbitrators in my opinion could not be found. Hundreds of letters were sent out and received in all patience and without any remuneration. We journeyed from place to place, meeting time and time again until we finally adjusted the business between the members of the company; so far as I know giving satisfaction. Our final report met with President Woodruff's endorsement and he blessed us for our services.

At the conclusion of our last meeting at Mormon Dairy I went to bed on the kitchen floor in a ranch house. Before daylight the next morning Lot Smith came into the room where I was sleeping and asked for a light and some paper. He sat at the dining room table and wrote a note to me expressing his deep appreciation for my disinterested efforts in the committee work, as I was the

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only committeeman who had had no business relationship with Brother Smith or the United Order. Naturally, the. other brethren often had pronounced differences in their opinions. The note contained also an order for a span of mares that I might choose from Lot's band of fine horses. Naturally, I did not claim the mares but have always appreciated Brother Smith's words to me when I asked him why he had given me this order. He said, "I have done this because you have eyes that can see and a heart that can feel." My sympathies at times were drawn out to this strong man, a warrior by nature and often misunderstood, but a true friend to the people over whom be presided. He sat at the common table for years eating humble fare with this group of saints. He was a natural economist and home-builder of the old Mormon type. Through his thrift and foresight he was truly the leading spirit in an organization which built tip great flocks and herds and ranches, mills and farms. Had they been able to continue on unitedly and have stayed with the "Order," they would have become a great and wealthy people.

Often I had the feeling in my heart and would say, "God bless Brother Smith," and I believe He did. He must have been a great man, a great spirit, to have been called by President Young to lead the brethren who went out to meet Johnston's army. I have been told that President Young, after being disappointed in the efforts of the Church to colonize Arizona, said, I will send a man who will stay there," and the man chosen was Lot Smith. The last time I saw Brother Smith was before daylight that morning in the ranch house at Mormon Dairy. I have always felt thankful that in my dealings with him and other outstanding spirits I was blessed with trust and friendship.

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Pearl's Continents on Patriotism, Etc.

One of my early memories is associated with listening to father read aloud a history of the United States called "The Story of a Great Nation." He was recovering from influenza in the spring of 1890. I remember his voice as he read to mother and made comments on Washington and other patriots. Whether father realized it or not he gave me then my first lesson in loving my country. Later in my childhood he was "orator of the day" on one Fourth of July, and his fervency in recounting Colonial and Revolutionary history made the chills run up and down my back as I sat there thinking that my father must be one of the best "orators" in all the United States.

Throughout our lives by word and example father has taught us it is a privilege to pay taxes to support a government such as ours. Once, I recall that Isaac Barth, then district attorney, said to father, "You are putting that property in at a higher valuation than is customary, Mr. Udall." Father looked at him for a moment and said, "Let it go at that, for I am sending a big family of children to school."

Luella says that as proof positive of father's patriotism, always on the morning after election day, as we children will remember, he prayed most fervently for "our newly elected President of these United States." The fact that the new president-elect might be a Democrat made no difference in father's prayer, even though the day before he had voted the Republican ticket.

The federal officers in Arizona used their authority improperly and sent our father to an unjust confinement within prison walls, but they had no power to rob him

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of his love for his country and its institutions. As proof of the loyalty he had and inculcated in his descendants, it is of interest to note that his sons, David and Jesse, served in World War I and Jesse and Don in World War II. Also in World War II there were twenty-one grandsons and granddaughters who served their country with distinction. Two of these made the supreme sacrifice: Lt. King S. Udall, son of John H. and Leah Udall, and Lt. Franklin D. Udall, son of Don T. and Emily Udall.

Father offered most fervent and impressive prayers suitable to the occasion. It was only rarely that such were prepared in advance. One such occasion was the following prayer offered at the dedication of the Apache County Courthouse on April 2, 1918. This bespeaks his love and understanding of the government of our country, and is typical of his style, viz:

Oh, God, the Eternal Father, agreeable to the appointment of our county officials, we citizens and members of Apache County in the great state of our beloved Arizona meet this beautiful day for the purpose of dedicating these desert grounds and this splendid building, our COUNTY COURTHOUSE. We dedicate them for the purposes for which the grounds were purchased and the building constructed. May this day be a day of amity and rejoicing and may we be blessed with love and kindly feelings in carrying out the program outlined for this joyous occasion.

We feel in our very souls to praise Thy name for our great and glorious country and its institutions, and for our freedom to do the right and to worship Thee, Our Father, according to the dictates of our conscience; we thank Thee that Thou hast raised up at this momentous time such a wise and cautious man as our beloved president, Woodrow Wilson. We thank Thee for the members of his cabinet and the host of loyal and patriotic helpers in our government; we thank Thee for our

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army and navy, for our soldiers and sailors and for the many devoted men in the allied countries. We love them all and pray that through each day Thy blessings may bring valor and victory for truth and freedom. May Thy servants who offer their lives in support of these God-given principles have good cheer and consolation in the right.

We do offer unto Thee the gratitude of a grateful people for the blessings of our homes in this goodly county; we thank Thee that our county commissioners have been prospered in their official duties and have succeeded in borrowing the money needed for construction purposes; we thank Thee that they could agree upon this beautiful plan offered by the architects and that they secured the services of an efficient builder of skill and judgment; we thank Thee especially that this building has been completed without harm or accident to any of the workmen.

Now at this time and in these services we, as citizens assembled in behalf of the local taxpayers and the owners of the railroad and other corporations who pay taxes in this county, do offer and dedicate this building in its entirety with the grounds upon which it is located for the use and purposes for which it was built--as the home of our county government, as a gathering place for the citizens of the county, state and nation, as a center for educational purposes and for matters pertaining to the redeeming of this desert country. May the men and women who represent us be men and women of patriotism and loyalty.

We pray Thee, Holy Father, that this may be a country of happy homes; may there never in all time be any spirit of rebellion or anarchy within these walls or on these grounds. As time passes may our officials do their whole duty by the people; may graft and dishonor never succeed in this county; and may Old Glory never be dishonored in floating over this edifice and on the heights of these hills. May our fellow beings who may be confined here as prisoners be treated humanely and in a Christian manner. May all of its work for the betterment of society, and may justice receive her own.

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May the spirit of right and justice prevail in this building and all its departments, in its office rooms and corridors, and in the courtroom may only just decisions and judgments be given by jurors and judges, and preserve this building from destructive elements now and during future generations. Our Father, wilt Thou bear our prayer and bless this building and this county with peace and prosperity, forever. All of which we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.

Previous Chapter:  VIII  Home Life and Business Affairs (part 1of 2)
                            VIII  Home Life and Business Affairs (part 2 of 2)

Next Chapter:  X  Golden Weddingy Anniversary

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Arizona Pioneer Mormon:
David King Udall: His Story and His Family, 1851 - 1938

Published by Arizona Silhouettes
Tucson, Arizona