Born: 21 February 1834 in New Salem, Massachusetts
Spouse(s): Hannah Maria Woodbury Haskell on 4 October 1855, Margaret Johanna Edwards on 15 September 1857
Married: 4 October 1855, 15 September 1857
Died: 13 July 1909 in Manassa, Colorado
Parents: Ashbel Greene Haskell and Ursula Hastings
Family Line: Irene Ursula Haskell
Hole in the Rock Foundation, Biography on Thales H. Haskell
Once, when Bishop Nielson apologized for repeatedly enlisting Thales’ help, Thales humbly replied, “Don’t feel bad about that. You know that is what I am here for.” His attitude was always one of modest obedience and willing service. Fellow Bluff settler, Kumen Jones, wrote that “within the body of Thales Haskell was one of the purest, brightest, kindest, interesting spirits; high minded, brave to a fault, always too big to do or think anything low or unworthy. ‘A man among men’ that could be trusted and that was an all-around true friend.”
. . .
Kumen Jones recorded an interesting story about Thales and a notorious local Indian named “Navajo Frank.” In his mid-twenties, Frank was vigorous, charismatic and crafty. He was a known horse thief, though he tried to shrug off the accusation of “thief” with the excuse of just “borrowing” animals from the Mormon settlers. One day, however, he was caught by Thales and others riding a stolen horse. In the words of Kumen:
“Brother Haskell eyed Frank seriously for some time and then quietly but seriously told him that if he continued to steal from the Mormons that he would take sick and die. Haskel [sic] said but very little more. Frank gave us the ‘horse laugh’- but gave us the stolen horse and started for home.
Frank carried on his devilment for some time, and then it was several months before he was seen or heard from again, but what a change had come over him – you could scarcely believe he was the healthy, rugged Indian we had known some months before. He was thin and haggard. His full chest was all sunken in, and he made inquiry for Haskel [sic], saying that he wanted Haskel [sic] to write a letter to the Lord and tell the Lord that Frank would never steal from the Mormons again if his life was spared. . . .
Frank went up and told Haskel [sic] his story and plead for Haskel [sic] to intercede with the Lord for him. But Haskel [sic] told Frank he could not promise him for sure what the Lord would do, as Frank had been warned but he had had no ears. But it might be that if he would cease all his stealing and use his influence with the other Indians to have them stop their stealing and be friends to the white men, he might get well.
Navajo Frank is still living (1919) and while he is not the man physically that he was in 1882, he has never been known to give the settlers any more trouble.
Diary of Thales H. Haskell, 1859-1860
That night I got to thinking of my misfortunes, could not sleep and finally I believe had what some people call the blues. After a short time the scene changed and I was happy. The riches of this world and the ups and downs, disappointments and sufferings of this life seemed like nothing compared to the work of God. It seemed to me that it was the Lord’s will that I should be one to tarry with the Indians, still I was happy though a few minutes before I had dreaded to go having once before suffered many hardships.
. . .
Wednesday 25th—The Indians are striping cane the stalks of which they fix up to the side of the shop to hold the plaster. Snow fell about an inch during the night. br Shelton is very sick today, tried everything he could think of to cure himself but nothing seemed to do him any good. He requested me to administer to him which I did to the best of my understanding and his faith was such that he arose onto his feet and said he had not felt so well since he arrived here.
THALES HASTINGS HASKELL: PIONEER – SCOUT – EXPLORER – INDIAN MISSIONARY
1847 – 1909
Assembled by Mr. Albert E. Smith
1523 Brayan Avenue,
Salt Lake City,Utah, 1964
THALES HASTINGS HASKELL crossed the plains with the early Mormon Pioneers in 1847. At that time he was a lad of about fourteen years of age. He was rather large for his age and was given a man’s responsibility in the work to be done. He drove ox teams, herded cattle, stood guard at night, helped build ferry’s to cross the large streams, and accompanied many parties on extra duties to help find and recover lost and stolen live-stock.
After arriving in theSaltLakeValleyhe made himself useful in the development of the city and was at times selected to accompany relief trains back on to the plains to assist and rescue stranded emigrant companies.
When about twenty years of age, and after establishing himself and mother rather comfortably, for the time, in the city, he was called, with a group of others, by President Brigham Young to go on a mission to explore and to colonize Southern Utah, Northern Arizona, andSouthern Nevada. To preach peace to the Indian tribes occupying these lands, to teach them the Gospel, and if possible, train them to farm an sustain themselves. He accepted the call and for the period of nearly thirty-five years devoted himself to the accomplishment of this mission.
He was often sent out into different parts of this wild country to guide travelers across it and to recover their livestock stolen by the Indians. These trips often lasted for months at a time. One time he was held as hostage by the Moqui Indians of Northern Arizona for the safe return of some members of their tribe who were persuade3d to visitUtahon a peace mission.
In this same country he helped to build trails and roads, locate water and campgrounds, and to build forts for the protection of those who should come afterwards. His life was one of almost constant danger and adventure. An Indian atSanta Clara,Utahkilled his first wife Maria Woodbury Haskell on June 21, 1857.
His name is prominently connected with the early history of Ft. Harmony, Santa Clara, St. George, Parawan, Cedar City, Pinto, Washington, and Bluff, in Utah and with Sunset, Tuba City, and Moenkopi in Arizona and with that of Manassa in the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado, and with Las Vegas in Nevada.
Among his companions were Jacob Hamblin, Ira Hatch, Ammon Allen, Dudley Leavitt, and others who were prominent in the Southern Indian Mission at this period.
Many things developed to cause misunderstandings between the Indians and the white settlers and it seemed to be his mission to help straighten these out and to help keep peace among them. He always dealt fairly with the Indians and had, as one of his friends often remarked, “An uncanny way of making the Indians understand that he meant what he said.”
During his contact with the Indians of the Southern Area, Thales learned to speak fluently five different Indian dialects and the Spanish language in addition. He early learned the Indian Sign language and could often send and receive important messages at long distances.
His service in the Mission depended greatly on an intimate knowledge of live3stock, especially horses, and for many years seldom a day passed that he did not saddle his horse and ride on some errand or to transact some important business related to his work. During hisMissionamong the Indians his life often depended on the condition and endurance of a good horse and he learned to choose good ones. His love for livestock and especially horses was always very keen and even in the days when his health was failing he would enjoy a ride on horseback which seemed to rest and revive him. He sat his mount straight as an Indian and seemed always very alert as had been his practice while among the Indians.
Information for this history has been gathered from many sources, foremost of which were his two short journals, a short autobiography, church records, files of the Deseret News of that period, journal and mission histories at the Historians office of the L.D.S. Church Salt Lake City, histories and records in the Satat Historical Society Archives, Histories of Mormon settlement in Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado where his work was of influence . From family letters, especially a set of twenty four letters published by the Utah Historical Quarterly captioned “Letters of a Proselyte”. The Haskell Pomeroy letters coving a period of early pioneer history of approximately ten years.
One of Thale’s Journals was published some time ago in the Historical Quarterly Volume 12, Nos, 1-4, 1944. This gave a day-to-day account of the second trip of the Mormon Missionaries to the Hopi Indians of Northern Arizona in 1859-60.
Personal interviews, letters and records in the hands of Thale’s family members and many friends, have been a never-ending source of information. Many stories and statements of personal relationships have been received and for which thanks is hereby expressed. This cooperation of family members, Publishers, Persons and Firms together with the writers intimate knowledge and association with his beloved Grandfather covering a period of about twenty years have made the writing of this story a real pleasurable experience.
Albert E. Smith
Salt Lake City,Utah
Early History and Associates
Thales Hastings Haskell was born in North New Salem, Franklin County, Massachusetts, February 21, 1834. He was the son of Ashbel Greene Haskell and Ursula Billings Hastings. Ashbel was the son of Benjamin Haskell and Sarah Foster. Benjamin was the son of Joseph Haskell and Catherine Greene. Thales mother was the daughter of Consider Hastings and Phoebe Page.
Three brothers, ancestors of these Haskell people, came to Americain 1649 A.D. William located in Massachusetts, Mark in Connecticut, and Rodger in Rhode Island. From these places their posterity spread in New England, New York, and Pennsylvania. 1
Benjamin was a loyal citizen of theMassachusetts’s Colony and at the time of the trouble betweenEnglandand the American Colonies, he joined the Revolutionary Forces and fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill by the side of General Warren.
Soon after this battle he married Sarah Foster, then as a soldier in the Continental Army he left his young bride and served faithfully along with his brothers and friends until the colonies gained their independence.
Battle of Bunker Hill
At the close of the war Benjamin returned to Massachusetts, secured a large area of wooded and farm land where he and Sarah became the parents of a family of eleven childre3n the youngest being a son whom they named Ashbel Greene, whose son Thales is the subject of our history.
Ashbel inherited a part of his father Benjamin’s estate. To this he added a considerable area of timberland. He built a large comfortable home for his family, bought an interest in a saw mill and directed most of his time to working in the timber and building trades where he helped to build a number of flour and saw mills in the Northern party of Massachusetts and Southern part of New Hampshire. In this work he was regarded as a very ingenious and resourceful Millwright.
The family of Ashbel and Ursula consisted of two children, a girl whom they named Irene and about eight years a boy whom they named Thales Hastings. These two children attended the schools in North New Salem. Thales records that Emmaline Woodward (later Emmaline B. Wells), was a school mate of his sister Irene and that they attended the same school and classes together. Thales attended until he was about ten years of age and says that the braiding of palm leaf hats was their spare time occupation and that he saved the money he earned to buy himself a pony.
To be of help to her husband Ursula opened a boarding house where the men working at the mill and in the timber could be fed at reasonable rates and kept near their work. Life went along quietly and they were prospering.
Attracted By a New Religion
Missionary activity of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints commonly called Mormons, reached into this district early in the history of the movement and some converts were made resulting in revisits occasionally by Church representatives and traveling Elders who frequently held meetings to explain their doctrine and encourage membership in the new order.
One evening Ashbel G. came home rather late and explained that he had attended a Mormon meeting where and Elder Mogenn had spoken more reason and good sense than any other religious minister he had ever listened to. He informed them that other meetings were scheduled and invited his wife and daughter to attend the next one with him. He had not been in the habit of going to church meetings of any kind so to please him they went along. They were very much impressed by the sermons heard, several of their friends were also interested and after a period of investigation they attended a baptismal service where the Haskells, including Irene and her mother, the Ponds, the Farrs, the Aikens, the Woodburys, Emmaline B. Woodward and others were baptized into theL.D.S.Church.
There was much prejudice toward the Mormon religion in the New Salem area at this time and when news of Ashbels interest in the new religion his friends and some relatives began ridiculing and otherwise persecuting him and his family thus making life uncomfortable some interest was being considered in gathering to the Church center located at Nauvoo Illinois.
About this time a young man by the name of Francis M. Pomeroy came to work at the sawmill on the Haskell homestead. At the boarding house he became acquainted with Irene, her mother and others of the Haskell family. He enjoyed their fine cooking and good company. He was especially in condition to enjoy good meals for he had just lately returned from a lengthy ocean voyage where good cooking and food had not been so satisfactory.
The history of Francis records that he left home at an early age and joined the crew of a whaling vessel on which he served for a number of years. He had reached the rank of first mate by the time he was twenty-one years of age and had seen much of the world. On his last trip his ship was wrecked off the rocky coast of Peru. He clung to a spar for many hours and was finally washed up on the coast more dead than alive. He was found by a Peruvian guardsman who took him home and nursed him back to health. He lived in Perufor two years before making his way back to the United Statesby way of the Isthmus of Panama and New Orleans. 2
As time went on Francis and Irene found themselves very much in love but Irene refused to marry until Francis had thoroughly investigated her new religion and decided for himself whether he could be satisfied with it. This investigation went on until in July of 1844 when a Conference was held atPetersboro,New Hampshirewhere Francis had the priviledge to hear sermons by Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, and others. Here Francis became converted and asked Brigham Young to baptize him, which he did.
Before the three days of Conference was over Francis had seen Brigham Young again and this time Elder Young performed the wedding ceremony uniting Francis M. Pomeroy and Irene Haskell as man and wife, July 14, 1844. It was also at this Conference that word reached Brigham Young and his companions of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith atCarthage,Illinois.
For a time after the founding of Nauvoo persecution of the Church had been less violent and with the concessions made to the City ofNauvooby the Illinois State Legislature and leaders looked forward to a period of peace. Elders on missions and others began urging the saints everywhere to gather at Nauvoo where a newTemplewas in the course of construction and where the tenets of their religion could be better worked out. The Woodburys, the Ponds, the Farrs, Emmaline Woodward, Irene’s friend, and other converts from New England had already gone toIllinoisand had written back to their friends of the wonderful city ofNauvooand the fruitful country surrounding it.
Peace there did not continue long however, for the assassination of the Church Leaders was accompanied with fresh and more violent persecution and it seemed that the Church was threatened with destruction from within and without. The mobs fromMissouriandIllinoiswere demanding that the Saints move out. An agreement was worked out to the effect that within a year or as soon as the Saints could dispose of their property they would move. Work continued on theTemplehowever, and the enemies took this to mean that no move was going to be made, at least, not soon. This caused more persecution, the burning of homes and other property and other acts of vandalism which made life there unbearable and hazardous.
Word was sent out by the Twelve Apostles that the Church was preparing to move West, out across the plains to the Rocky Mountains or toCaliforniawhich was at that timeMexicanTerritory, or to the Oregon Country which at that time was claimed by the British where they could be away from their persecutors.
Before persecution had become so bad however, the Haskell Family had made plans to cast their lot with the Saints and move to whatever station the Leaders selected. 3
After consultation the family decided upon the following procedure: Francis Pomeroy and his wife Irene Haskell Pomeroy would go overland toNauvoo,Illinois. Ashbel G. would join the passengers on the ship Brooklyn and sail fromNew YorktoSan Franciscowith the Brannon Company while his wife Ursula and son Thales would join another company of Saints who were planning to go later by ship fromBostontoNew Orleansand from there by river boat up theMississippi Riverto Nauvoo.
Considerable time was spent selling the farm, the cattle, and other livestock, the farm equipment and packing articles, which they wished to take on their journey.
Journey: New Salem To Nauvoo
On May 1, 1845 Francis and Irene left North New Salem forNauvoo,Illinois. They went down throughConnecticutby way of Somers where they visited with the parents of Martin Pomeroy, then toHartfordwhere they took a boat across Long Island Sound toNew York City.
AtNew York Citythey met Samuel Brannon and other Mormon leaders and gained additional information and instruction about the plans of the Church to move west. Irene sent this information back to her parents at New Salem to aid them in making their plans. FromNew Yorkthey traveled by various means—by railroad and canal boat toPhiladelphiaand on toPittsburg,Pennsylvania, from there by river boat down the Ohio River toSt. Louisand up the Mississippi River toNauvoo,Illinois.
At Nauvoo they visited with many of their friends. The Pond family furnished them rooms. Emiline Woodward provided them with a table and they purchased chairs from a local carpenter. Provisions were cheap; they got flour, sugar, vegetables, meat, fruit, etc. and lived well. Francis and Mr. Pond brought timber and lumber by river raft from the North down theMississippiand sold it well at Nauvoo. Francis also worked for a time on a steamboat going fromSt. LouistoGalena, a place north of Nauvoo. He also worked considerable on the great new temple, which was just nearing completion.
On September 24, 1845, Irene’s first child was born. This added a new interest to their family life and a new urge to Irene’s mother to hasten to her daughter’s side to see the new arrival. They named the new girl Eugenia Francella Pomeroy.
It was not until March of 1846, however, that Ursula and Thales (Irene’s mother and only brother) arrived at Nauvoo as planned, so much had to be accomplished before they could leave.
Ashbel Greene Haskell left New Salem, Mass., according to plan, and he joined the group to go by water around Cape Horn to California. The company was composed of 238 Saints with their leader Samuel Brannon. 4The ship Brooklyn was fitted up and loaded with all manner of farm implements, machinery for two grist mills, carpenter and blacksmith tools, saw mill irons and machinery, a cow, some chickens, all manner of household goods, cloth, clothing, fire arms, and ammunition, a printing press, paper, and other equipment needed for publishing a newspaper, some freight for the Sandwich Islands, and numerous other things.
The Brooklyn left New YorkHarboron the 4th of February, 1846, and after a stormy and dangerous trip reached theBay ofSan Francisco, then called Yerba Buena, July 31, 1846, five months and twenty-seven days after starting fromNew York.
With others Haskell went to work and soon had a sawmill set up and operating. The captain of the Brooklynaccepted lumber in payment for the alleged extra costs of passage and provisions furnished. 5The ship loaded for its return journey leaving the new colonists debt free so far as the ship was concerned.
Haskell At Sutters Fort
During the next two years Haskell assisted in the building of other mills nearSan Francisco, Sutters Fort atSacramento, and at the mill on theAmericanRiverwhere gold was discovered January 24, 1848. This discovery is credited to James W. Marshall who was in charge of a group of laborers from the Mormon Battalion. These men were digging the millrace for Captain Sutter when their shovels turned up some yellow nuggets with the soft dirt. Bullard’s History of New Salem, Mass. Records that Greene Haskell was there and was first to recognize the yellow nuggets as gold.
The finding of this precious metal was kept quiet for a while, but by February, 1849, the news had spread to the far corners of the nation, and thousands of people came toCaliforniato acquire wealth. In summer of 1848 word was received by the family that because of Green Haskell’s experience and ability in building mills and other structures, he had constant work and was being paid $10.00 to $15.00 per day almost three times the wages paid other laborers, that he had saved considerable amount of money and that he had gold enough to keep his family in fine style the rest of their lives.
He started for Salt Lake Cityin July of 1849 with the company of travelers who reported that he died on the way and was buried in a place called RockValley. 6Francis Pomeroy in company with Charles C. Rich and others went back over the described route but could not find any indication of the burial place or learn of any wealth left.
On March 12, 1846, approximately six weeks after the father, Ashbel Green, left with the Brooklyn Company, Thales and his mother Ursula, left their home for Bostonto join a company of Saints under the leadership of George B. Wallace going by ship to New Orleansand up the Mississippi Riverto Nauvoo.10″> 7
They were accompanied to Bostonby a cousin named Wilson Andrews. They traveled by stage to Worcesterand by rail from there to Boston. Enroute they visited Bunker Hillwhere Thales’s grandfather, Benjamin Haskell, fought by the side of General Joseph Warren in the battle that took place there on 17 June, 1775, during the war of the Revolution. 8
At Boston they found the shipGloucesterwith Captain Bullard as commander being prepared to sail and to take the company as passengers toNew Orleans.
The idea of going to sea on this ship pleased Thales very much for he had listened intently to the stories of the sea told by his brother-in-law Francis Pomeroy, and he had imagined he would like to be a sailor when he grew up. 9The trip was attended by some bad management, however, and the first night out they encountered a bad storm. Many of the sailors were drunk, and there were not enough sober ones to properly manage the ship and the captain reported afterward that they had been in grat danger of being wrecked. All passengers on board became very sick. The waves rolled mountain high and salt water frequently splashed into their berths and over the decks.
The experience on this ship cured Thales of his imagined care free life as a sailor.
It took the company on the Gloucester28 days to make the trip from Bostonto New Orleans, and the passengers ere thankful when they landed and could get their feet on land once more. 10
During the trip Thales contracted measles and was quite sick for a time but he soon recovered after landing atNew Orleans. From here they engaged passage on a large riverboat called the Pride of the West bound forSt. Louis.
AtSt. Louisthey found a boat named the Tempest ready to sail for Nauvoo. They engaged passage on this and in a few more days arrived at Nauvoo where they found Irene and babe well and happy because of their arrival. Francis was away at the time.
Thales relates: “We found the Saints in much trouble. The city had been greatly harassed by mobs, and people were fast leaving. It was necessary for us to join with the rest and prepare to cross the plains.” 11
Nauvoo To Salt Lake City
As soon as Francis returned from his river trip, preparations began to be made to start out over the plains. Francis went toSt. Louisto purchase supplies for himself and others: sugar, flour, coffee, tea, raisins, powder, shot, and everything needed.
A good wagon was prepared with eight bows 19 inches apart covered with 3 thicknesses of heavy drilling and strong sheeting, of the umbrella type was taken along. In the wagons were put ham, sausages, dry fish, lard, two cans of 100 pounds each of sugar, 16 pounds coffee, 10 pounds raisins, and many other things advised by the leaders. Clothing was put in chests and flour in barrels and these were so loaded that comfortable beds could be made on top of them for short camping. A hencoop was attached to the back in which there were four hens. Two yoke of oxen were required to pull the wagon and load. The company left west and camped for the night. Continuing on, they had many troubles for neither Francis nor Thales knew much about the loading of wagons or the driving of oxen. It is related that at first they loaded the wagon with the heaviest weight on the hind wheels and that they got stuck in the first mud hole they attempted to cross. An experienced neighbor came along and helped them to adjust their load and they got along better.
They soon found out that their ox teams were to light. At Jack Oak Park, Francis traded the light teams for heavier ones, but they still seemed not heavy enough to handle the load. Finally he traded for a large yoke of white oxen, hitched them to the load with the others and got along much better.
About twenty miles out the company stopped for several days waiting for others to come up. Here they met the Lorin Farr family again and traveled along with them. It was not many days before they bid adieu to the last houses they expected to see until they had homes of their own. Often they would travel for hours, seeing nothing but the wide expanse of heaven and the waving prairie grass.
On this route they were lucky enough to find water and fuel sufficient for cooking a good meal at least once in 24 hours. Each wagon company was instructed to take along wood and water enough to prepare at least one meal of coffee and hastepudding.
The company they were with killed several fat calves and always divided the meat among the people in camp. In this way they traveled until they reached Council Bluffson the Missouri River. Here they found many people with their tents and wagons waiting for a boat to be built so that they could cross the river. There was a delay here of about two weeks for this to be accomplished. As soon as all were across the river, President Young counseled a large group, among which were Francis and family, to go on into the Rocky Mountainsthis year. The company consented, went to work cutting grass for the cattle, and building log houses for their families. Francis and Thales made their house of split logs and had it very comfortable. 12There were many fat cattle killed and fresh meat furnished to the travelers every week. Grass near where these travelers located was very plentiful and large stacks were prepared for winter-feeding of the livestock. In addition to the heads of cattle and horses a herd of 700 sheep, belonging to the church, was brought along to this point. 13
Food, for the most part, was plentiful here. Thales’ mother states that they had the good luck to secure a lot of honey in addition to their other supplies and for a meal “the warm biscuit and honey and a good cup of coffee is not so mean.
Mormon Battalion Called
It was here that President Polk sent two army officers to President Young to recruit five hundred able-bodied men for service in the Mexican War. The government would furnish everything and pay the soldiers seven and one half dollars per month, captains $40 per month and so on to the different officers. President Young started out immediately from camp to camp and soon got the required number of men enlisted. The men were sent toFortLeavenworthto receive their orders and pay. They remained there for a while, received money, and sent home to their families most of it which was put into the hands of President Young for the benefit of the church. He sent one thousand dollars at once toSt. Louisto purchase much-needed goods of all kinds for the travelers.
“Winter Quarters during this winter was quite a sickly place and a great many died, but our family enjoyed fairly good health. Francis with a few more men spent the winter herding cattle on the lush bottom lands up the river.” 14
Pomeroy With First Company Pioneers
Early in the spring of 1847 an advance company was selected to go on west and locate a place for settlement. Francis was chosen to go with this company. Thales, although 14 years of age, was left to take care of the folks, do a man’s work. He went with George B. Wallace down intoMissourito buy provisions. Of this trip he says, “We bought our loads and came back to Winter Quarter without any serious accident and soon began to start across the plains in company with many others, destination not known. In a few days we were organized into companies of hundred, fifties, and tens. A.O. Smoot was captain of our hundred. George B. Wallace was captain of our fifty, and a man by the name of Smithie was captain of our ten.”
“I had never been accustomed to driving ox teams and in a bad place managed to run one wheel of my wagon into a bank and broke an axle tree. I heard a great many making remarks about me being a very careless boy to let such an accident happen. I thought if they had cautioned me a little beforehand it might have done more good. Next day we got a stick of timber and with the help of friends had a new one put in.” 15
When the advance company reached thePlattRiverit was necessary to arrange facilities for a ferry in order to get the wagons and provisions across. A leather boat was secured from some travelers atLaramie. This warked well so far as the people and light provisions were concerned, but it was necessary to construct log rafts to ferry the wagons and heavy supplies across. A fairly good business developed as soon as the ferry was in working order as there were a great number ofOregonpioneers on the road and they were willing to pay well in provisions and livestock to have their wagons and other freight taken safely across the river. Francis was an expert swimmer and very good at handling the boat. Because of this boating and river experience, he with nine other men was left at the crossing to operate the ferry to assist oncoming Saints andOregontravelers to cross the river. For this service Francis and company were paid in food supplies, which was a great, help to them.
During his stay at the ferry, Francis was so much in the water he contracted rheumatism which caused him much suffering throughout the remainder of the trip and intermittently during the remainder of his life.
Word reached Francis about the accidental breaking of the wagon and he made his way back to meet his family. Thales says, “I now considered quite a load of responsibility taken from me, but Francis was soon taken sick with rheumatism so badly that he could not get out or into the wagon without help. This made it rather hard on me again. I was large for my age and though very young, I was expected to do a man’s work standing guard, herding cattle and horses, etc.”
Grant’s Company Stranded
All was going along quite well when word was received that the teams and livestock of Grant’s company, which was following us, had been stampeded and many of them stolen and lost. It was necessary for our company to assist them. “We turned out a yoke of oxen to help them and put in our team two yoke of cows to take their place. Shortly after this, one of the other oxen got tender footed and had to be turned out so our team then consisted of one yoke of good oxen, two yoke of cows, and a single ox in lead.” They traveled this way until they reached the SaltLakeValley. 16
At Pacific Springs they were met by Brigham Young and some others traveling back with him who told the company that they had found the proper place for the Saints to locate. This encouraged all of them very much and they traveled on with lighter hearts.
Meet Jim Bridger
After a few more days travel they reachedFortBridgerwhere they rested their stock for a week, repaired their wagon, etc. and then traveled on. FromIowato Bridges they had been in Indian country and Thales states that they saw a great many Indians most of them being well dressed and possessing good horses. They also saw many wild animals including great herds of buffalo from which the hunters kept the company well supplied with fresh meat.
At For Bridger they heard many tales about theSaltLakeValleyand theRockies. Mr. Bridger said that grain could not be raised there and that the snow fell so deep that the buffalo had all died off.
In spite of all these discouragements, the company began moving on as soon as ready. After leavingFortBridger, the roads became very rough. Francis was worse from rheumatism and every rock the wheels would strike he would scream with pain. “I was given daily lectures about the careless driving, but did the best I could,” said Thales.
The nearer that we got to the Salt Lake Valley the more excited the members of the company became and soon began to get divided up, the best teams taking the load. Captain Wallace even got so excited he left some of his command in the background and rushed among the first to the valley.
The last night before entering the valley, the company camped on top of a high mountain (BigMountain). The wind came up so bad they had to block and lock the wheels of their wagons to keep them from being blown back down the grade. They started early next morning and soon reached a place where they got their first view of the valley. This created great excitement and happiness among them.
On arrival they camped near where the earlier companies had started building an adobe fort. Francis was taken to the hot mineral springs north of camp shortly after their arrival and after bathing for a few days in this hot spring water, his rheumatism was so much relieved that he went to work with the others getting out logs from North Canyon with which to build a cabin which we built on the middle line of South Fort. 17
During the winter a great many soldiers arrived from Californiaand food became very scarce. 18Many cattle were butchered; some were so poor that they were said to have no marrow in their bones.
Although the soldiers arrived without very much in the way of food supplies, they brought quite a large number ofCaliforniahorses, Spanish saddles, and riggings. Many of them by this time were professional horsemen. Their dashing daredevil way of riding greatly appealed to the young men of the community and they were greatly taken up with their Spanish horsemanship.
One morning a man by the name of John Forsgreen promised that if Thales would help him catch his horses he could have one to ride to the Hot Springs which was about two miles north of where they lived. Thales said, “I was elated with the idea and struck out running and racing on foot and after about half a day succeeded in catching them. I borrowed a Yankee saddle from one of the neighbors and started for a ride in the rear of Friend Forsgreen who rode at the rate of about 25 knots an hour. I had the luck to set the little mare to the Springs and back almost home when we got to running a race. As we came opposite the house, the mare suddenly stopped and I went off rolling in the dirt. I smashed my ankle and was laid up for several weeks. This cured me of riding Yankee saddles on Spanish horses.”
Buy Farm On Mill Creek
Thales and Francis traded for a piece of land out on Mill Creek and in the spring went out to put in a crop. Because food was so short, Thales related that they had to subsist on sego bulbs, milk, and a very little corn bread. After getting their planting somewhat under way, word reached them that the Indians had gone on the warpath and had threatened to massacre them all. Everyone rushed back to the fort to find that the threat was a hoax.
Thales began herding cows taking them out onto the unfenced pastures in the morning and then returning them in the evening. He took his savings, which up to that time was $5, and gave it to Francis to help purchase a pony from John Nebeker. This animal was of great help to him in herding the cows. Later he acquired a black dog with white stripes around its neck to accompany him in his herding work. He staate4s that, “from then on I considered myself well equipped and with some other boys followed herding cattle from which we were paid two cents per day per head.”
A small crop was raised that season but the crickets got most of it and all the pioneers as well as the soldiers were forced to live on short rations for another winter. Food became so scarce that many had to live on rabbits, wolves, and foxes.
The next spring, 1849, Francis, Thales and families moved on to city lots in the Second Ward. Farming lots ere surveyed and numbered and people drew tickets for them. Of this Thales says, “I got a splendid five-acre lot down near the church farm on which I raised wheat for several years without irrigation.”
Pomeroy Called OnMission
In the fall of 1849, Francis was called to go on a mission to Californiawith General Charles C. Rich. 19He told Thales that if he would stay at home, raise wheat, and take care of the family that he would bring him a fine horse with saddle and all other riggings when he returned. This, Thales concluded, was a good deal, so he went to work, raised a good crop of wheat, kept plenty of firewood for the home, and did all other necessary chores and farm work.
Donates To The Perpetual Fund
While he (Francis) was away, Thales sold a yoke of steers to someCaliforniaimmigrants for ninety dollars in gold. Thales had traded his pony for these steers a while before and he was waiting for a chance to sell them for cash.
After receiving the money for these; and although he was not yet a baptized member of the church, he donated $40 to the Perpetual Immigration Fund. 20When Francis returned, he gave Thales a span of mules and an accordion instead of a horse and saddle. This did not disappoint Thales too much for the mule team proved to be a good one and provided some good help on their farm. He did not take to the accordion very much until his mother persuaded him to take some lessons from an immigrant fromPoland. He soon became interested and in time became quite a fine accordion player.
About this time word reached the family of the death of their father, Ashbel Green Haskell. According to reports he died on the road fromCaliforniatoSalt Lake City. A letter from Ashbel, written some time before he left California, stated that he had collected considerable gold at the Sutter Mill site and that he had made good wages, $5 to $10 per day, for quite some time and was very anxious to reach his family so that they could have the benefit and help of money he was bringing to them
He started for SaltLakewith a company under the leadership of Alondus L. D. Buckland who was a passenger on the ship Brooklyn from New Yorkto Yerba Buena and no doubt with whom Green was well acquainted. It was reported that he was sick and died as a result of the sickness after they had been on the road about three weeks. 21
The only thing of value to reach the family was a bolt of some very fine cloth, which he was bringing for his wife and daughter.
The family was very much broken up because of this misfortune; and although Francis on his return fromCaliforniatried to find the place where Ashbel had been buried, he was not successful. The last time they had seen their father was when they bade him good buy at the old homestead in New Salem, Massachusetts.
Family Moves Closer Into City
After Francis returned from California, the family decided to sell their lots in the Second Ward and buy a little nearer the center of the city. They bought lots between 5th and 6th East on Emigration Street (3rd South) in the 12th Ward. Here they built a nice two story brick home and here Thales says, “They enjoyed peace and plenty for a time.” About this time Francis accepted the principle of Plural Marriage and on April 20, 1853 he married Sarah Matilda Colburn as a second wife.
Together Francis and Thales bought another tract of hay land out about 15 miles southeast from the city from which they harvested good crops. They all kept busy trading and looking after provisions, for the family of Francis was increasing and schooling and all other problems of which the pioneer families had to cope with were theirs.
When the new house was built, Thales’ mother, Ursula, was given her choice of the rooms. She chose an upstairs room and with the help of Thales and Irene fitted it out very comfortably.
Joins Nauvoo Legion
They entered into the life of the community. Thales joined the military company and began to be called out to help pacify the Indians and rescue the emigrants. 22They gathered to themselves what happiness they could and took much joy in seeing the growth and development of Irene’s family, which, by this time, numbered four. Thales liked Francis Ashbel very much and often said that there was not another boy inSaltLake who knew as much or who could do as much as Ashbel at his age.
Later two other children and a pair of twins blessed the home of Francis and Irene giving them pleasure and responsibi9lity of training and providing for the large group. Grandmother Ursula helped Irene at every turn and together thy lived and prospered until the time of the move south to escape the U.S. Army under General Albert Sidney Johnston which was sent out to captureUtahand put down a reported Mormon rebellion which did not exist. During this time the Mormon people left their homes to be burned, if necessary, to prevent the army taking them and went south into the valleys and canyons where they could the better protect themselves.
On February 27, Francis married a third wife, Miss Jessamine Routledge. Francis and families and Grandmother Ursula went to the southern end ofUtahValleysomewhere in the neighborhood of where the town ofSalemnow stands. Here they camped and here on a rainy night the twins, Ella and Emma, were born.
Irene Accidentally Burned
During the stay at this place, Irene accidentally suffered a severe burn on her hands and arm which failed to heal properly and sometime after they returned toSalt Lake City, it was found necessary to amputate her hand and part of her arm to save her life. She submitted to this ordeal. Although there was very little in the way of anesthetics, she stood it bravely. The shock was great and her weakened body recovered slowly.
During this trouble the family moved to their ranch cabin on their Cottonwood Creek farm to better help the men folks handle their crops. Irene became ill and came to her home in the city to get treatment. Instead of getting better, she grew worse. For help she went to the home of her girlhood friend, Emiline Wells. All possible was done for her but quick pneumonia had progressed to such a stage that she died within a very short time—so sudden in fact, that the family at the farm could not be notified in time to reach her before she passed away. She had lived her life in just 36 years, 5 months, and 14 days. 23
This was a severe shock to the family. Thales at the time was more than 300 miles away and due to the slow methods of travel was unable to come to the funeral.
Sorrowfully they laid her away in the SaltLakeCemeteryand Ursula, her mother, took over the family of Irene’s eight children, the oldest 15 and the youngest twin girls just 2 years old. She kept them together until in 1864 when their father, Francis M. Pomeroy, needing additional income to support his growing families joined Charles C. Rich in a sawmill, shingle mill, and gristmill enterprise and most of the family moved to Paris, Idaho located in the Bear Lake Valley. 24Mother Ursula Haskell , the oldest girl, Francella, and Irene’s three younger children remained inSalt Lake City until the twins were almost ten years old.
In the meantime Francella married a fine young man by the name of Charles I. Robson. They made their home in SouthSaltLakeand later moved to Arizona. Francis prepared a home a Paris, Idahoand desired Grandmother Ursula and the twins to move up there. Thales thought that his mother should come and live with him as he was now her only living child and he made the long trip from southern Utahto see her and to take her back with him. She felt such a responsibility for the Pomeroy twins, Ella and Emma, however, that she could not leave them. She said it would be easier for her to part with her two hands than to be separated from them, so Thales had to return to his home without her. This was the last time he ever saw his mother alive. She moved to Paris, Idahoand cared for the twins until they were married, thus fulfilling her great desire. Much of the time in her new home in Idahoher health was bad, and on the 5th of August, 1875, she passed away and was laid to rest in the little cemetery atParis,Idaho. (At the time of her death, Thales was in the state ofNevada on theCalifornia road helping to protect an emigrant train bound forCalifornia and whose horses and cattle had been stampeded and some stolen by the Indians.)
Except for the two twin girls, the Francis Pomeroy family did not remain in Idaholong after Grandmother Haskell’s death. In 1877 they, with several other families, moved to Arizonaand became some fo the original founders and pioneers of Mesa City. 25Francis died there on October 29, 1886.
Thales diary states that after becoming fairly well located in Salt Lake City, he kept his mule team and himself in readiness to go on any trip upon which he might be called. The first long trip was from Salt Lake Cityto Parowan, 26or Little Salt Creek as it was called. “I took with me the family of Elisha Coves.
Goes Back On Plains To Help Emigrant Companies
Soon after his return from Parowan with some others, he was called to take a team and outfit and go back along the road toGreen Riverto meet and help some companies coming into the valley. Brother E.K. Fuller was captain of the croup. AtGreen Riverhe was detailed by Captain Fuller to take letters to the companies farthest back, learn their condition as to help needed, etc., and bring word back to him.
He started alone on one of his mules without firearms, provisions, or matches. It was indicated to him that he would always find company with which to camp. The first night he found no campers. He rode his mule far into the night and as both the mule and he were very tired, he was forced to spend the night alone. That was quite and ordeal for a 15 year old boy. The large gray wolves of the Sweetwater country gathered around him and kept up an unearthly howling all night. “They did not attack me, though I would have given considerable for a gun or even a match with which to start a fire. I made the trip, however, without serious accident and met the last company about half days travel beyond Independence Rock. 27
Eli B. Kolsey was captain of that company. He delivered to them all the instructions and letters sent out by Captain Fuller. He then traveled with them for a day or two, learned their condition, and started back.
“I soon overtook a small company being led by Brother Beebe that was making faster time than the Kelsey Company, so I traveled with the. One of his animals gave out, and I let my saddle mule be hitched in to help move the company along. At Henrye’s
Fork Camp we lost our animals. We hunted all day for them without success. In the evening an old Indian and two or three young bucks came into our camp and talked as though they knew where our horses were, but refused to tell us. I was so disgusted I felt like giving the old Indian and all the others a good sound thrashing, but Brother Beebe advised me to keep quiet when my head was in the lion’s mouth”
“I asked Mr. Indian how much he would take to bring the animals in. This was evidently what he wanted. He said that if we would give them a blanket and some provisions, he would bring them in. We consented and piled out the blanket and provisions he wanted. The old Indian then sent one of the young bucks out, and in half an hour the animals were returned to us. It was an Indian trick to run the livestock of the travelers off at night in order to collect pay for finding them in the morning. This was a dear lesson and we were careful to guard our stock more carefully in the future. By doing so we arrived in Salt Kale without further trouble.” 28
Social Life In Salt Lake City About 1852-53
From this time on for a while Thales states that he spent the time attending day school, writing school, and dancing schools. He ws very fond of the theatres and attended every one he could. Life in the community was very interesting and he ente4red into it vigorously. He kept the family provided with firewood, hauling aspen, cedar, and cottonwood to the yard in the fall and cutting it up at odd times during his school days to keep the family well supplied.
In the Nauvoo Legion he attended regularly to drill and other functions of the organization; and his mother, Ursula, said, “It was quite a sight to see how stately and dignified Thales looked in his new uniform, 29green coats trimmed with red, white pants, blue caps, and green gaiters. It makes a colorful group when they get together for drill or a social affair.” On his eighteenth birthday, February 21, 1852, he was baptized into the church by Brother Eli B. Kelsey. About this time he and Francis formed a partnership and bought a piece of land at the mouth of Willow Creek. He sold his five acre lot in town to help pay for it. A log house was moved onto it and he says, “We spent much time herding cattle away from it as they were continually breaking through our fences. We, consequently, made very little from it.”
Trip South to get the Livestock and Bring Them to Safety
“I joined the Minute Cavalry Company and we were sent on a trip south 30as far asCedarCity to quell some Indian disturbances. The Indians were so hostile that the church leaders advised us to gather up all the surplus livestock from the different communities and drive them north to a place of safety. The company was commanded by George A. Smith and William Kimball.
AtCedarCitythe people were unwilling to cooperate as they did not realize any danger from the Indians and refused to let their cattle be taken north. At Red Creek a fort was torn down and the people moved to Parowan. The cattle were driven toSaltLakeand no more was seen of the hostile Indian band.
Sent to Capture Bridger
“The next day after our arrival home, a call was made for a company to go out to FortBridger 31to take Jim Bridger a prisoner, if possible, and settle the quarreling which had been going on over theGreen River ferries.”
Our company soon formed into line and as we had just returned from a hard trip south, a call was made for volunteers. I, with many others, volunteered. I was put in captain of ten and was allowed to pick such of my comrades as I chose. The ones selected by me were Brigham Young, Jr., Steve Tayler, Ed Peck, Joe Peck, William Peck, Steve Moore, Lot Huntington, Tom Clayton, William Carr, and Len Waynes. If we were not a gay crowd, I would not know where to look for one.”
“We arrived at FortBridgerand learned that neighbor Bridger had gone. We took possession of the fort, property, etc., and managed it for a while to suit ourselves.” 32
Missionaries Called to Southern IndianMission
At a general conference of the church held in Salt Lake Cityin April, 1854, a call was made by the church authorities for a number of missionaries to go on the Southern Indian Mission. Francis Pomeroy was called with about 60 others. Thales says in his autobiography, “Francis came home from the meeting and told me that they had yoked me in with the others to go. I told him he had done it but he said no, he had seen my name on the list, but he was not going he had so much business to look after, Others came and told me I was to go so I commenced getting ready. We attended a meeting at the council house and were set apart for the mission on the 10th of April, 1854.”
“Samuel Knight and I shared a wagon and outfit together. Our load and outfit consisted of 1 wagon, 2 horses, 1 cow, 400 pounds of flour, 2 bushels of wheat, 1 bushel of corn, 2 axes, 2 guns with ammunition, notions, etc.” 33
Rufus C. Allen was elected president of the mission and company with David Lewis, First Counselor, F. Atwood, Second Counselor, and these three with the following persons answered the fiscal roll call—Jacob Hamblin, Samuel Knight, Lorenzo W. Roundy, Thales H. Haskell, Richard S. Robinson, Ira Hatch, Amos G. Thornton, Prime T. Coleman, David Fullis, Benjamin Knell, Augustus P. Hardy, Clark Ames, Hyrum Burgess, Thomas D. Brown, Robert Ritchie, John P. Murdock, John Latt, Elanthan Eldredge, Isaac Riddle, and William Henefer.
“Our business was to travel with and make friends among the Indians, learn their language and teach them the gospel. We were to make a settlement at Harmony.”
“When we got as far as Battle Creek, I learned that I was a substitutes for Francis, he having declined to go on account of pressure of business and having said he had a brother-in-law who could go as well as not. This troubled me a great deal and I seriously thought of turning back but was advised to go on and fill my mission and that I wou8ld not be the loser in the end.”
Brigham Young VisitsMission
This company arrived safely at their destination in April of 1854 and at once began preparing ground for planting and digging of a ditch four miles long to bring water from the creek to the crop land they had selected, and they started building a fort. Later that summer a party of church officials led by Brigham Young visited the “Mission” and held meetings with the missionaries there. They were encouraged by the visitors and given instructions as to the future and purpose of their work. Brigham Young advised them to learn the Indian language, make friends with them, and teach them to work. He also advised the missionaries to move from where they were and to build their fort in a better location for more protection if they ever needed it.
A short time after this visit, a group of half a dozen Indians invited some of the men to go deer hunting with them, Jacob Hamblin, Amos Thornton, and Thales Haskell agreed to go. “The Indian guide led us over rough rocks, high ledges, and through thick brush until we were all tired out. We had to camp without water, saw one deer but did not kill it and returned much wiser, if not better men.”
Visit toSanta Clara
“A short time after this a party of us went to theSanta Clara, about 50 miles south from Harmony. From this place I was sent with Brother Henry Evans and an Indian guide up theSanta ClaraRiverto find, if possible, a new route to Harmony by way of Mountain Meadows and Pinto Creek.”
“Our guide took us into a large camp of Indians to spend the night. These Indians were very savage and insisted on opening our sacks of food, and one wanted to trade me an old butcher knife for my rifle and got angry when I would not trade. At this time we were not much acquainted with their language or habits. We did not like their attitude so told them the best we could that we would go up the creek were we could get good water and feed for our horses.”
“Instead of camping, we made it our business to get as far as possible away from them. The next morning as we were eating our breakfast, our guide overtook us. He agreed to guide us back to our camp at Harmony. We made up our minds to follow him as we figured we could manage one Indian, if need be.”
“We reached our camp tired and hungry but with considerable more information about the country and the Indians which we had seen. We paid our guide giving him a shirt and some provisions which satisfied him.”
“A short time after this trip we were asked to help harvest the crops at Parowan. We were glad to accept this as it made it possible for us to get flour and other produce for use in the coming winter.”
Marriage atSalt Lake City
“After the harvest we returned to Harmony for a short stay; then with a few of the other missionaries I went toSaltLaketo visit my folks.”
“While on this visit, I again met the young lady for whom I had earlier formed an attachment, Her name was Hannah Maria Woodbury and on October 4, 1855, after a short courtship, we were married at the residence of her mother by Thomas Woodbury, bishop of the 17th Ward.”“From Salt Lake we returned to Harmony, then to Santa Clarain company with a few thers 34among whom were other missionaries with their wives Samuel Knight and his wife, Caroline B. Knight and Lyman Curtis and wife. To these ladies goes the honor of weaving the first cotton cloth from cotton grown inUtah’sDixie. From about 100 plants, which grow and produced cotton, 75 pounds of seed cotton was harvested. After it was ginned, Sisters Caroline Beck Knight, Maria Woodbury Haskell, and Sister Lyman Curtis carded, spun and wove the cotton into 30 yards of cloth. We spent the winter among the Piutes learning their habits and language and in building a rock dam across the creek so water could be taken out to irrigate the land for the Indians and the missionaries.”
“Much help was given by the Indians in the construction of this dam; and although they had been suspicious, their fears and suspicions were relieved when the dam was finished, the water turned in, and they saw that an equal amount flowed into each ditch.”
“A good crop of beans, corn, and squash as well as watermelons was raised. The Indians watched the crops grow, went through the fields many times, but so far as I know never took an ear of corn or a melon without permission.”
“Traveling bands of Indians continually invaded our camp and the camp of our local band of Indians. Many times on the pretext of trading, etc., they kept stirring up trouble. Most of the time, however, they were looking for something they could steal.”
“We did all we could to keep the Indians in a friendly mood and to regain stolen animals. Oftimes we would follow a renegade bunch for days before we were able to contact them and convince them that we were friends who came to live among them and to teach them that it was wrong to steal our stock. Though we were doing our best, life there at that time was one continual round of privation and hardship.”
Thale’s Wife, Maria Shot and Killed by Indians
“We had been married just about one year and eight months when on June 21, 1857, my wife Maria, was shot and killed supposedly by accident by an Indian.” 35
“That day I had gone up the creek a considerable distance to try to find out if water losses could be checked so that we could have a greater amount for use on our crops. A messenger overtook me and informed me of the awful happening. I returned home as quickly as possible and found my wife mortally wounded. The bullet had pierced her body as she was preparing the noonday meal mortally wonding her and killing our unborn child. She lived out four days after the accident. We made a rough casket from the boards taken from a wagon box and laid her away with the babe in her arms as comfortably as we could at a grave site in the red sand soil of the Santa Clara. She was the first white person to lose her life in that desolate location so far from home, former friends, and relatives.”
“The Indian boy was a friendly Indian chore boy who did much to help the missionaries and claimed he was just examining the gun and that it accidentally discharged. Many of the older Indians wanted to hang the boy, but his plea that it was an accident seemed so truthful that I said no and to let him live. Our friendly Indians were quite shocked that I would let the boy go, and I think they did away with him some time afterward, for I never saw him again. Several years afterward I questioned some of them about why he never came back to the settlement and if they knew where he was. They answered that he would not be back, but they knew where his bones were.”
“After this terrible happening, I went to Salt Lake to be with my folks for awhile. President Young and many other church leaders called to see me. They were all full of sympathy, and in a later talk with President Young he advised me to get married again as soon as the right one came along.”
In the fall of 1857, Jacob Hamblin came to Salt Lake to be married to Miss Priscilla Leavitt. Being missionary companions, he and Thales had many friendly talks about their experiences in the Southern Utah Mission.
Thales had made the acquaintance of a young lady by the name of Margaret J. Edwards who had emigrated from Wales to America in 1854. She was born May 5, 1835 at Abernant, Carmarthenshire,South Wales. She was the youngest daughter of John Jones Edwards and Sarah Williams Edwards. Her mother died when she was eleven years old, At age 19 she joined theL.D.S.Churchand came to American with a group of other L.D.S. members on the sailing vesselGolconda. They landed at New Orleans, Louisiana and from there went up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Missouri where they made preparations to join another group to cross the plains to Utah. They reached Utah in September 1854.
The Ship Golconda sailed from Liverpool, Lancashire, England, on Saturday, 4 February 1854 and arrived in New Orleanson 18 March 1854 under Captain George Kerr. The Golcondawas carrying 464 Mormons who were supervised by Elder Door P Curtis, assisted by Elders Thomas Squires and W S Phillips. The emigrants were organized into seven branches, and meetings were held five times a week with many reported spiritual manifestations. Winds were contrary early in the voyage, but after a few days the weather was favorable which made the crossing pleasant most of the time. After a forty-two day passage Captain Kerr brought his ship safely to New Orleans. Two marriages were solemnized during the voyage and there was one death. At New Orleansthree emigrants were quarantined. Having crossed the Atlantic safely, ten people died on the Mississippi River between New Orleansand St. Louis.40″> 36
Thales and Margaret Edwards Marry
Inasmuch as Jacob Hamblin was soon to return to the Indian Mission with a new wife, he persuaded Thales and Margaret to be married and return with them. This Thales decided to do and on September 15, 1857 they were married in the Endowment House at Salt Lake City by President Brigham Young.
Within a day or so the two newly married couples left for the Santa Clara Mission headquarters in southernUtah. It took twelve to fourteen days travel to make the trip from Salt Lake to Santa Clara if you had a good team. If a poor one, it took much longer.
They were only a few days out when they met a horseman coming post haste to deliver a message to President Brigham Young that the Indians and some white men had massacred a company of immigrants at Mountain Meadows who were on their way toCalifornia. Later and a little further on they met some Indians whom they questioned about the deed, but they were sullen and ugly and acted as though they did not want to answer their questions. Finally the Indians said that these people had poisoned the water in several places and it had killed many of their horses and sheep.
In his journal Thales writes, “We felt that this was a terrible deed and knew that the road we were to travel took us right through the place where this awful thing had happened. Jacob and I had some long and serious talks between ourselves about this terrible deed and the probable effect it would have on both the white people and the Indians. We did not tell our wives that our road led us through the very ground where this most terrible thing had happened for we thought that they would probably be too frightened to travel through if they knew about it.”
Mountain Meadows Location
“About the tenth day after this tragedy we arrived on the grounds. The messenger had described to us the exact place where it happened. We halted our teams and told our ladies to stay in the wagons for we were going to look around a bit. We had not gone far when we discovered the bodies of several persons lying in the brush. We went some 50 or 60 yards further and saw more.”
“Our wives noted our great concern, got out of the wagons and went to the first place we had stopped. They were greatly horrified when they saw the dead bodies strewn on the ground. In answer to their screams, we hurried back to our wagons and drove away as quickly as possible.”
“This was a terrible experience to have while journeying to our homes so far away from civilization, and for the rest of our lives we thought in horror of the experience of that day. After a day or two more of travel we arrived at Santa Clara where my home had been so sadly broken up.” 37
Here Thales built a log cabin 12 feet square. Their furniture was all home made, of course, and they became quite comfortably located considering their isolation.
From Santa Clara numerous explorations were made into the Indian country south, east and west. In the spring of 1856, Thales was called to go with President Rufus Allen and six others to Las Vegas and to explore from there down the Colorado River country and bring an account of the country, its possibilities and the temperament of the Indians found there. While on this trip, Thales composed the following lines describing some experiences of the trip.
We have bid farewell to Goold’s place
Exploring we are bound.
Instead of taking a straight course
We circle round and round.
The rocks they are so high
And these hills they are so steep,
We can hardly find a place, boys
To lie us down to sleep.
Then when we find a level place, the rain falls so like sin
We might as well be in the creek at least up to your chin.
And when the rain is over, here comes the deuced guard
And calls you out on duty, I think it’s rather hard.
This thing they call exploring looks pretty in a book,
But if you follow it up, you wear a disappointed look
For the country is a wilderness, there is no Indian sign,
We have no trail or guide and we have to go it blind.
We have clambered up the clay hills, the compass we have boxed,
We have traveled over mountains and canyons full of rocks.
This trip would try a Quaker, it cannot be denied,
For the old white horse of Pocketville has tumbled down and died.
The union is a rope of sand,
Its days are numbered, it can’t stand
But soon a union will be framed
And liberty will be proclaimed.
And so the world goes round.
We’ll rally round the standard then
Which has been raised by honest men
Within our lofty mountain heights
Where all good men can have their rights,
And so the world goes round.
Our bugler found a hornet’s nest which caused him to retreat
But everyone acknowledged that he performed a feat,
For like a Bronco rider, the saddle he did stick
While the mule was trotting off with him and seemed inclined to kick.
We have crowded through the quaking asp
And over fallen pine
And bursted up our cracker sacks and stewed our flour behind.
Some animals got off track, the boys politely swore
That they never dove a pack mule in such a place before.
When we got back to Cedar
The Bishop took us in
And gave us all our supper and bid us call again.
But when we got to Parowan,
The Bishop gave a bow
And said it’s not convenient, boys,
To entertain you now.
I wish I had a clean shirt,
I wish I had some shoes,
I wish that my old mules was fat
And I didn’t have the blues.
If ever I get home again,
Contented I’ll remain
And never go exploring
Till called upon again.
The coming of a U.S. Army toUtahin the fall of 1857 under the command of General Albert Sidney Johnston gave the settlers much concern. By this time they had learned the language and many of the habits of the Indians by which they were surrounded, and every effort was made to keep up friendly relations with them and to conserve supplies, especially ammunition and food.
Early in 1858 Ira Hatch was sent into southernNevadato a place called theMuddyValleywhere it was hoped he might, through some missionary effort, Keep the Indians located in that are4a favorably inclined and against attacking emigrant trains passing through the country to and fromCalifornia.
Hatch was among these savage Indians for about two weeks alone when Thales Haskell was sent to him. They camped in a broken-down wagon, which some travelers had abandoned at that point. They reported that their main trouble was preserving an protected their food supply from the Indians who descended on them like a swarm of grasshoppers and showed their friendliness by stealing everything they could carry away and begging for food which the missionaries were obliged to share with them
During the winter in which these two missionaries labored there serving as guides to travelers and keeping the Indians friendly, they were frequently in danger of attack and some outlaw Indians had to be threatened by use of their pistols and their fire shown to produce a little fear and to show the skeptical ones what they may expect in case they attacked the missionaries.
Thomas L. Kane Visits Missionary Camp
During their stay on the Muddy, an interesting incident happened. Col. Thomas L. Kane who had done so much for the Mormon people at the time of their exodus from Nauvoo, and his party passed through on their way toSalt Lake Citywhere Col. Kane had been sent to act as mediator between the U.S. Army atFortBridgerand the Mormon people ofUtah.
While at camp on the Muddy, a large number of Indians were gathered together and a treaty made based on certain trade articles that were to have been furnished by the Utah Indian Agent. It is not known if these articles were ever sent to the Indians, but peaceful conditions prevailed most of the time following the treaty. 38
The Virgin Ditch
A group of missionaries was sent to the Rio Virgin near where the town of Washington now stands to help a small group of Indians located there to take out the water for irrigating their small farms and to teach them how to apply it. They did much work in an attempt to construct a permanent dam in the river and to make ditches that would stay; but on account of the sandy texture of the soil and the frequent floods in the river, the work had to be continually re-done, and the missionaries, as well as the Indian helpers, became greatly discouraged before any permanent facilities were had.
Commemorating this effort, the following verses were written by Thales H. Haskell entitled “The Virgin Ditch” to the tune of “Come Let Us Anew”
The Virgin Ditch
We are but a few I own it is true, ro9lled down in the South,
But we’ve never stood still or looked down in the mouth
Our own chieftain’s will we’ve endeavored to fill
And our country improve by the patience of Job
And no rain from above.
Our life on the stream, “The old Virgin” I mean glides swiftly away
But the contrary ditch refuses to stay.
The ditch has broke down the water has gone
And the mineral so salt rises up to our view
And our Virgin crops halts.
Oh that each in the day of his coming may say, I have put up my fence
I have worked on the ditch and have gained recompence.
Oh that each in this cause may receive the applause
Well and faithfully done enter into the shade
And don’t work in the sun.
Dealings With the Indians at the Muddy
In the summer of 1858 another company of missionaries was called out by Jacob Hamblin to go to the Muddy to attempt to quell the hostile spirit of the Indians which seemed to be created among them on account of the Mountain Meadows Affair. In the party were Samuel Knight, Dudley Leavitt, Ira Hatch, Thales Haskell, and the leader, Jacob Hamblin.
This trip took them on to the Las Vegas Springs and from there south along the Colorado Riverinto the land of the Iyats and Mojaves which tribes had become friendly to the missionaries through the bravery and labors of Ira Hatch and Dudley Leavitt. These men were miraculously saved through a prayer offered by Hatch and interpreted to the chiefs by a Piute interpreter. 39
Leaving Las Vegas, they traveled to a smallvillageofIyatssituated on the Colorado River at the foot ofCottonwoodIsland. The missionaries took along as interpreter the Vegas Chief Patsarump whose presence gave the white men added prestige.
After a short visit during which time some trading was done and a good feeling created, the missionaries left.
Thales Visits Steamboat as Spy
The day after leaving the Iyats, some Indian visitors coming from the villages below the one just visited informed the missionaries that Americans were coming up the river and that they were expecting them to take the land belonging to their Indian tribes. Hamblin describing this incident says, “We saw a steamer lying on the opposite side of the river and the Indians reported that there were a great many whites coming up the river on the opposite side—some were on horseback and some on foot. Knowing as I did the feelings of the parent government toward the Mormon people, I felt anxious to know the business of this boat and, if possible, to get some information on this river expedition. Consequently, I asked Haskell to go opposite the boat and hail it and, if possible, go on board it and find out all he could in relation to their business and the operations of the government on the Colorado, that he need not tell them that he was a Mormon, but if they asked him, to tell them that he had relatives belonging to the church and that he was on his way to California; but as the Indians were very bad on the old Spanish trail, he thought it best to keep down the river.”
“I accompanied Haskell to the riverside and secreted myself in the willows until they came with a yawl and took him on board the boat. I then returned to camp and anxiously awaited the morrow and his return. 40
Of this particular time Haskell’s journal says, “The news of an army being sent into Utah to manage our affairs caused us much excitement and worry, but we felt that with the help of God we would be able to stand our ground and that all would turn out all right. Elders, coming home from foreign missions by way ofCaliforniaand theMormon Road, seemed to think that the government would try to send another army intoUtahby way ofCalifornia. This added more unrest among the people and the Indians. The Indians again began attacking emigrant trains more with the idea of plundering than of murder. The men in the littleSanta Claracolony were kept very busy. They were constantly called on to go out and help recover animals and other things stolen by the Indians from the emigrant trains. We counseled together and Brother Hamblin requested that I try, by any means I could, to get information as to what the purpose of the expedition was. This was my first real experience at espionage. I hailed the boat crew from the willow thicket while my companions hid themselves in the brush. Soon a small boat was sent out to the bank for me. I posed as a renegade fromUtahand asked to be taken aboard their boat. This they did and questioned me most of the day and night.”
“I found the outfit to be in charge of a man named Ives who had been sent out by the government to map that area and to find out if an army could be taken into southernUtahby waterway if it were needed to subjugate the Mormons. I appeared as innocent as I could and listened to their horrible stories about the Mormons and what they intended to do to them.”
“I soon overtook my companions and told them all. Jacob was very much worried. The next day an Indian we knew overtook us and said that after we left, an outfit came from down below the islands, came ashore with a load of blankets and trinkets and offered the Indians come “big pay” if they would bring in any Mormons they found in their country.” 41
“On our way home we were constantly among wandering groups of Indians and did all we could to cultivate their friendship. Some, we found, were still excited from the Mountain Meadows Affair. The reports of soldiers coming into their country from the south and the west only added flame to the already smoldering memory of what was done at the Meadows the fall before. It took time to convince some of the leaders of these tribes that neither they nor we were in any immediate danger from soldiers coming in from the south but that honest friendship must be maintained.”
“I arrived home just in time to be present at the birth of our first child which was a sandy-haired girl born on April 6, 1858. We named her Maria in honor of my first wife, Maria Woodbury, who was killed here atSanta Claraby an Indian little over a year before.”
The next 3 months were spent closer to home helping the settlers and Indians to plant their crops and to do things to strengthen the fort and otherwise prepare for their safety. On several occasions it was necessary to call out almost every able-bodied man to go out west, north, or south on rescue parties to help recover livestock stolen by the Indians or to protect companies of emigrants who safety was threatened.
During some of these times, local Indians would boast that they could massacre all who were left and take away everything they wanted before word could be sent to the mean who were away. They dared not cause any trouble, however, for they knew they would be severely dealt with when the missionaries returned if they permitted any such thing to happen. We always advised the people at the fort before we left, however, to be very careful not to leave their axes or anything else lying around which an Indian could use to kill a person.
Practically all the fire arms were taken by the men on scouting duty, but the women were as full of courage as the men. Every night the axes were put inside the fort were they could easily be reached if an Indian attempted to break in at a window or a door. The only lock for the door was to pull in the latch string so that the latch could not be raised from the outside.
Second Visit To the Hopi Settlement
In the fall of 1859, Jacob Hamblin was directed to make a second trip to the Moqui Villages in Arizona. He selected the following men to accompany him: Marion J. Shelton, Thales H. Haskell, Taylor Crosby, Benjamin Knell, Ira Hatch, John W. Young, an Indian interpreter named Naraguts, and James Davis, a Wolsh interpreter. 42
It had been reported that included in the Moqui language were some Welsh words and this led to the belief that these particular tribes were of Welsh origin. This was the reason for taking along someone familiar with the Welsh language. This interpreter, however, was unable to detect any words in the Moqui language which seemed to come from the Welsh, so they decided the rumor was without foundation.
Some years later, about 1878, however, a Mormon missionary by the name of Llewelyn Harris (himself of Welsh extraction) visited the Zuni tribes, a pueblo dwelling people living east of the Hopi, and reported that this people had a great many words in their language which resemble the Welsh and have the same meaning.
Their tradition says that over 300 years before the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, some white men lande4d in Mexico and told the Indians that they had come from lands east beyond the sea. They say that from these white mean came the ancient kings ofMexicofrom who Montezuma descended.
These white men were known to the Indians of Mexico by the name of Cambarazai and are still remembered so in the traditions of the Zuni Indians. In time these white people became mixed with Indians until scarcely a relic of them remained. A few traditions of the Mexican Indians and a few Welsh words among the Zunis, Navajos, and Moquis are all that can be found of that people now. 43
Some communication was had with the Moqui by the missionaries through their Piute and Spanish interpreters, and after spending several days with the tribe, four of the missionaries – Thomas Leavitt, William Hamblin, Andrew Gibbons, and Benjamin Knell – were left to continue teaching them the gospel and to try to learn their language and customs. The rest of the company made a difficult return journey home, a part of the way through snow. They returned by way of Ute Ford.
The missionaries left with the Hopi spent the winter with them and returned to Santa Clara the next spring.
On investigation, it was found that there were seven villages belonging to the Oriba group and all were visited by the missionaries. All the villages were situated on the tops of high mesas where only narrow passage ways led up to the villages and all were constructed so as to provide adequate defense against roving tribes who otherwise might attack and massacre them.
Hopi Indian Pueblo (Housing Complex)
“The houses in the villages were mostly three stories high; the second and third stories were set back successively from the front story, about the same width apart giving the roofs the appearance of terraces. For security, each story could be entered only by ascending to the roof, then going down the ladder into the room below. To protect the house, the ladder used outside need only to be drawn up to the roof.” 44
Exploring New Country
“In the summer of this year I went out with a company of men to explore a new piece of country. We got lost and were so long without water, our tongues swelled until we could hardly speak. What spittle we had would fly like cotton. We thought our time had come to die. We could not see a living thing to direct us to water.”
“I had two by mules, one, old Sante Fe, I used as a pack mu7le, the other, Old Bett, I rode. After resting a fe4w minutes and deciding we were lost, I climbed on Old Bett, gave her reins and told her to take me to water and I would never part with her as long as she lived. She turned and went the opposite direction from what we had been traveling. I hung on, although at times I felt that I could only fall off and die I was so thirsty. I let her go. She went about ten miles and straight to water.” 45
“I was so near exhaustion I could hardly get off her back, but was overjoyed to see water. As soon as we had cooled our parched tongues and rested a bit, I filled my canteens and hurried back to my comrades, Old Bett had saved our lives and I kept her and fed her well all the rest of her days.”
Indians Attack Emigrant Party In West
“A short time after we returned home, news came that the Indians were making ready to attack a small party of emigrants who were on their way to southernCaliforniaand who by this time were well out past the Las Vegas Springs. With eight other men I was sent to overtake the party and, if possible, persuade the Indians to change their savage plans.”
“We traveled as fast as we could and rested only long enough for our horses to gather a little necessary feed. On the morning of the fourth day out, we saw the smoke of what we at first thought to be an Indian signal fire, but by watching it we soon discovered it to be the smoke of a much larger fire than the ones used for signaling. We rode our horses as fast as they could travel over the rough country. From an elevation I took a look with my spy glass and could make out the forms of a wagon and some other things still burning . We knew then that the Indians had carried out their dastardly threat and had attacked the party. We hurriedly arranged ourselves in groups of three, one group going out around the camp to the north and west, the other group going to the south and west, and I, with two others to ride directly into camp. If Indians were sighted, a signal was to be given, but none were seen.”
“On arriving at the camp the scene was horrible to behold for there we found some dead and partly burned bodies of men and women who had been brutally murdered and scalped and after pillaging the wagons for food and other things, they had piled them together and set fire to them to destroy what evidence they could of their savage deed.”
“The struggle had evidently been a desperate one. Many arrows were left sticking in the ground and remains of the camp. One of our men picked up a shoe which had evidently been worn by a child of one and one-half or two years of age. We searched the wreckage through finding no other articles of child’s clothing or the body of the child. The thoughts of what might have been the fate of this little child horrify my mind to this day whenever I think upon it.”
“We buried the dead as best we could and took a round-about course home to see if we might learn which tribe or tribes were guilty of this awful deed, but the Indians we saw were saucy and mean and we learned little about it.”
Moved To Pinto Creek
“This year I purchased a small piece of land on Pinto Creek and settled my family there with the Thorntons, Knells,Harrisonsand a few others. This seemed to be a sage place at the time and one which could be more easily defended in case an army were sent in by way ofCaliforniaor theColorado River.”
“I had been home but a short time when Hamblin came with the word that we were to go over through the Navajo Country east and south of the Colorado Riverto the Moquitch villages, learn more of their language, and, if possible, teach them the gospel. 46
“I accordingly made arrangements for the care of my family and with Brother Benjamin Knell started for Santa Clara Creek on October 4, 1859 to meet the others of the part and outfit ourselves for the trip. I took with me two mules and a yoke of oxen to pull a load of provisions, which consisted of rawhides, bedding, rolls, food, and water kegs. Had plenty of trouble getting started. Went by way of the Mountain Meadows were I broke my wagon and during the stop for repairs lost one of my oxen. I finally found it and after two and one-half days travel arrived atFortClarawhere I met and waited awhile with my old and trusted friend, Ira Hatch.”
“Here I learned the names of the other members of the party and together we spent the next two days getting all things ready for the trip, writing to our families, etc.”
“Members of the party were Jacob Hamblin, Benjamin Knell, Jones Pierce, Isaac Riddle, Marion J. Shelton, William Young, Taylor Crosby, and myself.” In addition we expected to take along one or two Indians as guides, but the ones we wanted were out hunting and we left without them trusting to luck that we would be able to pick up one or two for guides along the way.”
“In addition to our riding horses and mules, we took along a cart on which to haul our provisions, and tow yoke of oxen. This cart we intended taking as far as the Colorado River, We got along fine until we got in the steep hills were after several upsets we abandoned the cart and decided to pack the bedding and provisions on our mules. We had a great time doing this as several of the mules had never worked under pack before and no sooner had we tied it on than they began to buck to try and get it off. One yoke of cattle was sent back, the other was taken along for beef.”
“About the seventh day out, Brother Isaac Riddle became sick and we thought it best for him to return home. He went back with Brother Sidney Littlefield who accompanied us up to this time. They took with them a mule and yoke of oxen.”
“Not having guides, we found it hard to get through the rough country after going long stretches without waster either for ourselves or our animals. After nine days travel, we reached Pipe Springs at which place we arrived tired, hungry, and thirsty. Here we found plenty of feed for our horsed and cattle and rested for a couple of days.”
“There was a bunch of Piute Indians here with which we did some trading and Brother Hamblin tried to get one or two to go along as guides. None seemed willing to go. We took turns guarding our stock during the night, and we had a lot of trouble with the oxen which seemed determined to return.”
“We left Pipe Springs taking direction from the Indians there as to where we could expect to find water and camping place. We either go lost or the Indians deceived us for we had to camp that night without water and did not find any until late the next day. The weather was hot, the trail sandy, and both men and animals suffered of thirst. Water was found up the canyon by Brother Pierce and Brother Hamblin with plenty of grass for our stock. This cheered us amazingly and we stopped here for a day to rest and let our animals graze.”
“While here, Brother Pierce went to the top of a high peak and made big smoke thinking to raise some Piutes fro guides, but none came.”
“From here we came into a heavily timbered country and had a hard time following one another over the blown-down timber and rocks.”
“The morning of the 21st day out, we packed up and started before breadfast and went too far to the right. We wandered around for some time in the timber and then Brother Shelton struck out alone to the left. At last we turned down the canyon to the left, and after trailing and plunging over oak brush and rocks for two or three hours, managed to find our way out. After we got down the mountain we repacked, ate a bite of dried muskmelon and cracker dusts, and went ahead arriving at a small spring about an hour by sun. Here we found good feed and water. We killed one of the beef cattle. We were beginning to feel somewhat troubled aboutShelton, but he came in sight just about the time we finished skinning the beef. The cook now fried meat, made cakes, and called us all to supper. We destroyed this meal with uncommon zeal, hobbled our animals and went to bed.”
“The next day we spent drying meat which we hung on our lariats and lash ropes. During the next night the oxen left and we found them some 10 miles back on the side of the BuckskinMountain. During this stop, Brothers Hamblin, Crosby, and myself dug out and walled up this fine spring and named it Jacobs Pool.” 47
“That night we were aroused shortly after midnight by some Piutes who stood off at a distance and yelled to know if we were Mormons. I, being awake, answered them and told them to come into camp, which they did, They seemed glad to see us and we were truly glad to see them to get some information about the trails and watering places.”
“They stayed with us the next day. Brother Hamblin gave them the head and entrails of the beef and they stuffed themselves to their hearts content. We traded some with them and they all left but one old gent who honored us with his presence overnight.”
“It rained during the night. This set us back in our meat drying, so we remained another day and employed our time greasing our saddle rigging, guns, etc. From here we found some very hard going. We climbed over a very steep, sandy, rocky mountain some two miles from the top to the bottom. This was very hard on our pack mules and in places, very dangerous. We, however, had no bad luck.”
“As we were traveling along here, we suddenly saw a smoke rise and then the fire was as suddenly put out. We concluded that we were discovered by Indians. Brother Hamblin stopped and made a smoke in answer to the signal and the rest of us went on. After going for some distance, we found a hole in the sand, which, by cleaning out with our spades, furnished us with water for our animals. We stopped here to rest and ate our dinner.”
“While we were eating some Indians made their appearance, one of whom had never seen a white man before, He acted very wild and timid. We have them some meat to eat and they seemed to relish it very much. They appeared to be friendly and one agreed to go along with us as a pilot.”
“A short distance from here we came on to the Old Utah Trail. We then felt more secure for we knew it would take us to the Ford. After going along this trail fro some distance we came to a small creek of alkali water and found a camp of Indians. After talking with them for some time, we traveled on through a rock pass just wide enough for our mules to single file through. The rocky ledges on each side were perpendicular and very high. After going through this, we encountered some very rough trail down a steep, rock ravine to theColorado River.”
“After we had succeeded in getting to the Ford, our tow Indian guides said that the river was too high to cross and refused to take the lead. We, however, concluded to try it and Brother Hamblin and myself started in. We persuaded the Indians to come along. They provided themselves with long willows and anchored themselves to Brother Pierce, he holding to one end and they to the other.”
“We got out a short distance when the Indian guides got frightened and went back to the shore yelping and telling us all to come back or we would be drowned. We, however, went ahead, but got into deep water, floundered around awhile and fanally took the Indians’ advice and came back. We were not in a very good humor, by the way, as we were all wet up to our middles, packs, blankets, guns, and all. It was a devil of a cold night in the bargain.”
“We unpacked and I gave the Indians quite a lecture for being cowards and good-for-nothing skunks for not taking the lead as they know the Ford. We built a fire, cooked supper, and burning up all the wood we could find trying to dry out our blankets and clothes. We went to bed wishing we were on the other side of the river.”
“The next morning the guides told us that there would be an Indian in camp who lived on the other side of the river and he would not be afraid to take us across. He arrived in due tome with several others, They stood on the back and jabbered for awile and finally said that the water was too high said that we had better wait eight or ten days until it got lower.”
“Brother Pierce, in the meantime, discovered an old raft made of a couple of poles with bulrushes locked across. This, we supposed, had been made by the Utes. We debated about fixing it up, ferrying our supplies over, and swimming our stock across. Brother Hamlin thought that a couple of us had better try the Ford again horse back to see if we could not get across. The Indians by this time had all gone. I saddled my mule, stripped off everything but my garments and hat and , in company with Brother Shelton, started across expecting any minute to have to take a long swim in cold water, We, however, had the luck to get across without swimming. I carried some matches in my hat. I made a fire and waited with some anxiety to see the rest of the boys come across. One other animal followed us across which left the others minus a pack animal. They packed up the rest of the animals and started in.”
“About half way across, the ox refused to go any further and they had to let him go back. The men and horses got pretty near across, but bearing a little too far to the left, got into deep water and had to swim. One mule of Brother Crosby’s, being heavily packed with meat, got off his balance and went rolling over and over down the stream, He finally struck bottom and lay with his feet sticking up kicking. All hands gave him up as lost and the meat supply with him, but he suddenly made a desperate struggle, raised up and came to shore much to the satisfaction of us all.”
“One pack and the ox still remained on the other side. BrothersSheltonand Pierce volunteered to go back and bring them over. They got over safely and part way back when the ox turned and decided to go back and we went, in spite of all that could be done. They got over safe with the pack and decided to let the ox go until tomorrow.”
“It looked like rain. We set up our tent, built a fire, cooked some food and remained there until morning. The next day we spread out our things to dry, took breakfast, and gazed with amazement at the rocky cliffs and the old Colorado which wound its zig zag course through the. We began to thing about getting the ox over. Brother Hamblin told me to choose someone to go with me and to go over and get the ox. I chose Brother Young, he being a good swimmer, in case of accident. We rigged up a long pole with a spike in the end and took a rope to tow him and started over. We got him safely over this time, Brother Young leading him and me behind brightening up his ideas with a spike pole.”
“This was the 27th day since we left home. We traveled up over the rocks and about fifteen miles to Honey Comb Rock where we found plenty of wood, water, and grass for our cattle. We were all thankful to be safely across the river and that night we sang songs and felt in fine spirits.”
“The next morning we got up, fixed breakfast, and prepared to start, but could not find the ox. We hunted all through the willows and brush. Soon Brother Crosby found his tracks going back toward the river. They tracked him back to the Ford and found that he had crossed back over during the night. Brothers Hamblin and Young went back after him. The rest of us traveled on over a very rocky, uneven country to Cottonwood Creek, a place where the rocks are so high and the brush so thick that we had took straight up to see out. Here we camped and just as we were striking a fire, Brothers Hamblin and Young came in with the ox. They said that as he swam the river, they came near losing him. He drifted downstream and came near going below the landing where the cliffs were upwards of a hundred feet high right to the water’s edge.”
“As we traveled on we had the luck to meet several bands of Indians who directed us to water and good feed. On the tenth of November we arrived at theOriboVillage. These Indians were friendly and offered us a room in which to camp, but we wanted to kill the beef so went down the rocks about half a mile to a pool of clear water and camped. We killed the ox and prepared the meat for drying. The next day we spread it upon some high rocks out of the way of the dogs and wolves. As soon as this was done we got on our horses and mules and moved up into town and occupied the room offered us.”
“The next day we got an Indian to herd our animals and all except Brothers Hamblin and Young went back to care for our meat. When we got back to camp, we found Brothers Young and Hamblin surrounded by hundreds of Indians talking to them and trading with them.”
“That night after we had eaten supper, Brother Hamblin said he would like to talk with me a few minutes. He said that I had been among the Indians so much that he hated to ask it of me, but that if I was willing, he would like me to stay with Brother Shelton one year among these Indians, learn all we could about their language and customs, and teach them the gospel, is possible. I told him I was willing to stop and do the best I could.”
“The next day Brothers Hamblin, Young, Crosby, Knell, and Pierce started to the other Moquitch village about 25 miles further on leaving Brother Shelton and myself at the OriboVillage. After they had gone, we decided to try and find a more suitable room in which to live as the one we had was cold and disagreeable.”
Thale’s Haskell’s family in 1885
- See Appendix 1 “Ancestry of the Haskell Family” by Mrs. Zula. R. Cole, Great Grand Daughter of Ashbel Greene Haskell. ↩
- “Sketch of the life of Francis M. Pomeroy” by Zula R. Cole Unpublished manuscript. 1950.LoganUtah. ↩
- Utah Historical Quarterly “The Letters of A Proselyte” Vol. Xx111 Jan. 1956. ↩
- Bancroft, History of California, Vol. V, p.546. Ashbel Green Haskell’s name appears in the list of Mormon passengers. ↩
- Brooklyn loaded lumber for return cargo. (Unable to see additional footnote information) ↩
- Unable to see footnote. ↩
- Haskell Pomeroy Letters,Utah Historical Quarterly, 1955. ↩
- Source Book, an International Encyclopedia, Perpetual Encyclopedia, Comp. Chicago. Vol. I. P. 418. ↩
- Thales H. Haskell, a prominent scout and missionary to the Indians who pioneered Southern and SoutheasternUtah, Northern Arizona, andSouthern Colorado. See “Journal of Thales H. Haskell, “Utah Historical Quarterly XII. January-April, 1944, p. 68-98. ↩
- HaskellPomeroy Letters,Utah Historical Quarterly, 1955 Letter No. 11, p. 29. ↩
- Thales H. Haskell, Autobiography Unpublished M.S. ↩
- Haskell Pomeroy Letters, op.cit. No. 12. ↩
- Haskell Pomeroy Letters, op.cit. ↩
- Haskell Autobiography, Op. cit. ↩
- Haskell, Thales H., Autobiography. M.S., Op. cit. ↩
- Company of Jededian M. Grant (Friday, September 10, 1847), Historical Record, Church Encyclopedia, Book 1, p. 104. ↩
- See Journal – Jesse N. Smith, Deseret News Publication, 1955, p. 12. Tells how forts were built and located. ↩
- Jensen Historical Record (5 volumes,Salt Lake City, 1889), Vol. 8, p. 930. ↩
- Jensen, Church Chronology (Salt Lake City, 1899), p. 38. List of persons called on missions at a conference held inSalt Lake City, October 6-7, 1849. Perpetual Immigration Fund started at this same conference. ↩
- HaskellPomeroy Letter,Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, 1955. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Military Record, Utah State Historical Society (lists Thales as teamster in James Ferguson’s Company, 1853). ↩
- Irene died June 15, 1860. ↩
- Jensen, Church Chronology, Op. cit. ↩
- McClintock, Mormon Settlement in Arizona (Phoenix, 1921), p. 212, Mesa, p. 215. ↩
- Autobiography, T. H. Haskell, Op. cit. ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- Autobiography, T.H. Haskell, Pub., MS Op. cit. ↩
- Autobiography, T. H. Haskell, Pub., MS Op. cit. ↩
- U.B.H. Letters, No. 19, p. 4 Roberts, Op. cit., Volume 4, p. 58, 1853 Indian War, “General orders No. assigned the command of all military districts of the territory south of Salt Lake City to George A. Smith with instructions….to see that all surplus stock was driven to Salt Lake City.” ↩
- Neff, Op. city., p. 233, Statement of I. G. Haight, “we met a large posse going out to arrest Bridger and some of his gang.” ↩
- Neff, History of Utah, 1817-1859, pp. 232-233. Cannot read the rest. ↩
- Autobiography, T. H. Haskell, Op. cit. ↩
- Under Dixie Sun, Washington County, D.U.P., p. 62 ↩
- Under Dixie Sun, Op. cit. ↩
- Online: http://www.ozigen.com/tree/p478.htm ↩
- Brother T. H. Haskell, Op. cit. ↩
- Mormon Settlement in Arizona, McClintock, Op. cit., pp. 106-108. ↩
- McClintock, <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Mormon Settlement in Arizona</span>, Phoenix, Arizona, 1921, p. 61. ↩
- Jacob Hamblin, Little, Op. cit., p. 33. ↩
- Haskell, Op. cit., p. 30. ↩
- James A. Little, Jacob Hamblin, p. 18. ↩
- McClintock, Mormon Settlements in Arizona, pp. 64-65. ↩
- Hamblin, Op. cit. ↩
- Personal Interview with Thales H. Haskell, Manassa, Colorado about 1896. ↩
- Journal, Thales H. Haskell, Op. cit. ↩
- Thales H. Haskell, Op. cit. ↩