Who knew that my great-great grandfather was arrested for 'cutting timber on Uncle Sam's domain'? Certainly not I. That detail was left out of any written histories I have seen about him.
William Henry Piggott was born 15 July, 1841 in New Bedford, Massachusetts to George Washington and Catherine Allen Howland Piggott.
George, Catherine and their little family were among the mormon pioneers traveling with Captain C. Wheelock and arriving in the Salt Lake Valley October 16, 1853.
William married Elizabeth Edwards Cannon December 1, 1869. In 1870 William was working as a saw hand in a lumber yard in Salt Lake. He eventually worked his way to the position of buyer. After earning this new title he always wore a white linen suit starched to the hilt!
He was called by the church authorities to go to Liberty in Idaho Territory and set up a sawmill to furnish lumber for the Bear Lake area. Three years later he moved the mill to Bloomington Canyon and set it up at the foot of Paris Peak.
I have in my possession a partial sheet from his lumber business ledger.
Lumber from the Piggott mill was always in demand because of its high quality and even size. When William was called away in 1882 to serve as a missionary in Leeds, England, he leased the mill with the understanding that there would be enough money to take care of his wife Elizabeth and family as well as his needs while on his mission.
When he returned home twenty-two months later he discovered that the men he had leased the mill to were incompetent fools. All the boards were cut unevenly and did not sell causing the business to go under.
They got by for a while on farming and Elizabeth took in sewing as well as taught music lessons on her precious melodeon that was given to her by her step-father Charles B. Taylor.
Eventually he re-established his lumber business and worked there till he no longer could. He became the Bloomington Postmaster January 27, 1899 and delivered mail until June 18, 1908.
It was September 3, 1890, three months after Idaho Territory became the 43rd State in the Union that William was arrested by the U. S. Marshal for cutting timber on "Uncle Sam's domain". His business must have been doing well for him to give $1000 in bonds.
I haven't been able to find much information on this whole business of arresting sawmill owners, but I was able to find one more article in the Deseret News:
- Claude and Elma Reay, Edited by Beatrice Cannon Evans and Janath russell Cannon, Cannon Family Historical Treasury, George Cannon Family Association, 1967, Pages 295-298.
- Salt Lake Herald, September 4, 1890 chronicilingamerica.loc.gov
- The Deseret Weekly, Vol 41, page 494