Monday, April 29, 2013

Idaho Territory Sesquicentennial ~ Henry Needham & Sarah Mathias Bake

Henry Needham Bake & Sarah Mathias

Henry Bake was born to John and Elizabeth Needham Bake, 7 Mar 1826 at Bollington, Cheshire, England. He came to America in 1849 when he was 23 years old. According to grandma Hazel, he was a stowaway and used the name of Needham which was his middle name. They discovered him too late to send him back. He settled in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania and worked in the Bethlehem steel mills.

Sarah Mathias was born 9 Jan 1824, Myrthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, South Wales to Daniel and Rachael Jones Mathias. In 1839, Sarah along with her mother and siblings sailed to America on the ship Queen Victoria arriving in New York 5 Sep 1839 to reunite with her father. He had sailed to New York on the Pulaski arriving 24 August 1832.

Sarah was the widow of David Evans when Henry met her.  They were married about 1851 in Pennsylvania. He gained three stepchildren with this union; Ann Josephine, Daniel Mathias, and Sarah Cornelia.  

Around 1856 Henry and family had converted to the LDS church. Henry and Sarah took the children and headed west with Captain Ira Eldridge's Company leaving the 1st of July 1861. Among the travelling youngsters were the three Evans children and their four; Elizabeth Needham, John Alfred, Rebecca Hannah, and Oliver Cowdery.

Little 4 year old Rebecca had to walk a lot of the way. She said she couldn't walk very far at a time. Her mother thought it would help both the oxen and herself. Her memory of that trip and the hard times that followed was very vivid. Keeping warm seemed to be very difficult. They had to gather almost every dry thing they could find, even buffalo chips to burn or make fires. Their drinking water was bad. They met with some Indians at different places, but had no trouble.

By 1864 they were in Bloomington, Idaho. The story is told in her daughter's history that while living in Bloomington, Henry left his family for a load of flour in Hyde Park. On his way back he became stuck and had to leave his load of flour in Emigration Canyon and came home without any. The family was forced to eat boiled wheat all winter. Sarah was in poor health and their home consisted only of some willows put up to form a shelter. It was here with a three inch cover of snow on her bed that she gave birth to David Dillie who lived less than 2 weeks.

Family tradition says Brigham Young gave Henry Bake an assignment to go to Southern Utah and settle. At this time his wife Sarah was bedfast and unable to be moved. She died at this time and Henry became bitter and parted ways with the church. 

He then joined the Reorganized Latter-Day Saint Church. He was baptized Nov 1869 in Malad, Idaho and became a presiding elder. Henry was expelled from the RLDS Church Jan 1889.

Henry married Rosina Bigler about 1868 or 1869 and settled in St. John, Idaho. They had two children Rose, and David Henry. Their marriage ended in divorce.

  • History of Bear Lake Pioneers, p. 293-4
  • Hand written story by, Hazel Rebecca Madsen

Leslie Ann

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Edmund Woodgreene, Mariner

I finally got around to transcribing the will of Edmund Woodgreene.  It's a good thing that I am in a nautical state of mind because I almost forgot about it!

Edmund was my 10th great-grandfather. He was a mariner from, as he put it, 'the towne and port of Dover in the county of Kent'.

 There are a few words that I can't make out.

In the Name of god Amen The ffourteenth Daie of February Anno Domini One Thousand Six hundred fortie three in the Nyneteenth year of the Reign of our Soveraigne Lord Charles King of England that ___ ___ __ I Edmund Woodgreene of the Towne and Port of Dover in the Coun-tie of Kent Mariner, weake and in _______ in Bodie, but of good and perfect memorie praised bee God Doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Tesstament in manner and fforme folowing That is to saie ffirst I recommend my Soul into the hands of Almighty god my maker trusting ________ ________ the _____ of Jesus Christ my Saviour to bee made partaker of life everlasting And _________ my Bodie over with a good Will and free heart I give it over commending it to the earth whereof it came from I make and ordaine my sonn Robert Woodgreene and my daughter Katherine Tiddeman mine executors of this my Last Will and Tesstament And of the execu-tion of the same I make and ordayne John Loome of the Town and Port of Dover aforesaid juratt overseer And I herby revoak and adnull all and everie other for-mer Testaments Wills Legacies Bequests executors and overseers by mee in anie wise before this time named willed and bequeathed Item I will and devise unto my sonn Isack Woodgreen and to his heirs forever, my messuages Tenemt wherein I now dwell with all and singular the edifires buildinge Courts yards Gardens and appurtenances thereunto belonging scituate and being in the Towne and Port of Dover aforesaid Item I will and devise unto my said sonn Isack and to his heirs for ever my Messuage or Tenement wherein my sonn John Woodgreene doth nowe dwell with the Backside and appurtenances thereunto belonging scituate and being in the Town and Port of Dover aforesaid provided all___and my will and meaning is that my sonn Robert Woodgreene and his heires and asignes shall from time to time, at all times forever hereafter have the use and benefit of the Backside loft above mentioned to doe his and their necessary buisines there, and also of the well in the said Backside to drawe have take and fetch water there __ the said Robert Woodgreene his heires and asignes finding and alowing one half of the charges towards the repayring keeping and amending of the said well well roap, Bucket and Curb of the said well when and so often as need shall require. Item I will and devise unto my said sonn Robert Woodgreene and to his heires for ever my messuage & Tenements in Whitefeild which I purchased of Simon Goad (?) to bee equally divided betweene them item I give unto the poore of the Parish of St. James the Apostle in the Towne and Port of Dover aforesaid Twenty shillings to bee paid and distributed unto them by my executors att their discretion Item I give and bequeath unto my said Sonn John Woodgreene Twenty shillings Item I give unto my said Son John John Woodgreene two ____ five Pounds a peice of lawfull money of Eng-land to bee paid unto them by my executors within Two years next after my de-cease Item I give and bequeath unto my said sonn Isack Woodgreene my Quarter part of the good ship called the Jacob of Dover whereof Richard _____ is now master, and of all the stocke ffurniture apparell and appurtnances thereunto belonging or appertayning Item I give unto my fewer grand children which my sonn in Law Edward Goodwyn had by my daughter Jane Ten Pounds a peice of lawfull money of England, to bee paid unto them within Two yeares next after my decease Item I give unto my Grandchild Mary Tiddeman daughter of Katherine Tiddeman aforesaid ffiftie pounds of lawfull money of England to bee paid unto her within two yeares next after my decease Item I give unto my Grand child Mary Tiddeman my best Bed and Bedsted standing in the loft over my Parlour, My best ______, Two Blankets, and two paire of sheetes with all the furniture and appurt-nances belonging to the said Bed and Bedstead Item all other my shipping money of plate Goods and Chattels whatsoever not formerly given and bequeathed, my Debts Legacies and funerall expenses being paid and discharged I give unto my said exe-cutors Robert Woodgreene and Katharine Tiddeman to bee equally divided be-tween them In Wittness whereof I the said Edmund Woodgreen have here unto sett my hand and seale Dated the Daie and yeare first above written Signed Sealed published and declared in the presence of John Loome Edmund Gwiliam (?) Sr _______ that ____ will above said was ______ _____ of the S ____ ____ _____ _____ of the _____ Edward gwiliam Sr
Reference: PROB 11/204/623, The National Archives, Kew
According to this will, Edmund had a quarter interest in a ship called Jacob.  I haven't been able to find out anything about the ship so far. I wonder who else had an interest in this ship. Unfortunately I can't read the last name of the ship master. Can you read this?

This is the first time I have came across the term 'my fewer grandchildren'. I'm not quite sure what that means.

Leslie Ann

Monday, April 22, 2013

Idaho Territory Sesquicentennial ~ Old Idaho Penitentiary Inmates

Photo by | Copyright: DieselDemon

The Old Idaho Penitentiary was a functional prison from 1872 to 1973.   The first building, also known as the Territorial Prison, was constructed in the Territory of Idaho in 1870. 

There is a catalog that provides a comprehensive list of Idaho territorial and state penitentiary prisoners including men, women, and children between the years 1864 and 1947.

You can access the list through the following links

  1. Catalog: All inmates 1864-1947
  2. Sub Catalog: Women 1864-1947
  3. Sub Catalog: Miners 1865-1910
  4. Index to inmates 1948-1975
As I was thumbing through these catalogs I couldn't help noticing the inmates with Bear Lake County connections. One in particular that happens to be my second great aunt's uncle.

Hyrum Adolph Neibaur, who is listed as Hirum A. Neibaur in the sub catalog miners, was convicted of assault with intent to rape and was convicted in 1901.

Strangely enough, his wife spent her own time in the pen for adultery. They were living in Madison County at the time 50 year old Alice Neibaur aka Alice Neighbor was convicted in 1922.

I tracked this couple in census records. In 1900 they were living in Lehi, Utah and had been married for six years.  In 1910 they were living in Dayton, Idaho. I don't know how long Hyrum stayed in the pokey but it wasn't more than two years because he had a child born in 1902 and one in 1904. 

They were living in Salem, Madison County, Idaho by 1920 just two years before Alice strayed.

I queried the Idaho State Archives about the fees for the files on these two.  If you are in the Boise area, you can go in and make copies for twenty cents a page. But for those of us who are not in the Boise area, they charge $38 per file plus fifty cents a page for any copies they send. Since they are not my direct descendants, I will sit this one out.

There's actually quite a few inmates listed from the Bear Lake jurisdiction. One of them used to pal around with Butch Cassidy. Henry Wilbur "Bob” Meeks was with Cassidy when they robbed the bank in Montpelier, Idaho.

I know we don't like to think of our ancestors as being jailbirds, but inmate records can be a good source of information so don't forget to check them.

Leslie Ann

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past ~ Unidentified Groups 2 & 3

These two photos from grandma Nancy's photo album look like they were taken the same day.

All I can think is that these mysterious groups may have been organizations within the Mormon church in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, England.

Sure would like to know the story behind these photos.

Leslie Ann

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nautical State of Mind

I don't know why, but lately I have been in a nautical state of mind.  This past week I have started 3 genealogy projects over at Geni.

  1. Salty Dogs, Captains, and Mariners.
  2. Lighthouse Keepers.
  3. Ferry Keepers.
So if you are on Geni and have any ancestors that fit those descriptions,  go spice up their profiles and add them. Please?

As for my own seafaring ancestors, there is one that I have talked about before. About three years ago I posted about Captain George Cannon, my Manx mariner, being a slave trader. But before that, he was a merchant mariner who dabbled in privateering and smuggling. 

Captain Cannon's house had as many rooms below ground as above, as did many of the houses in Peel. In fact, the town was a storehouse for foreign skippers to leave their vast quantities of goods that were then carried away by the smaller Manx vessels into Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland. 

Captain Cannon's house still stands today. It sits on Michael Street in Peel and has been turned into 3 flats and 2 shop fronts. Over the top it has the name CAPTAIN CANNON.  I even found a 2005 listing for it:

One of my distant cousins was lucky enough to go to the Isle of Man and has a picture of the house on his blog.

George's father Hugh Cannon was a Peel fisherman. Peel's herring were reputed to be the choicest,its fishermen the boldest and most skillful in the whole kingdom. was honored with the position of Admiral or Vice-Admiral of the Peel fishing fleet.  In addition to being superintendent of the taking of the sea harvest of fish, Hugh operated his fishing smack in carrying the catch to the English markets, notably at Liverpool.
During the lull of the herring season, he more than likely did a little smuggling himself. He owned his own vessel, which, though small, was seaworthy enough for quick trips to the coasts of France and Holland. Whatever adventures he found, his end was peaceful. He died in bed at his home in Peel in 1801.

Source: Cannon Family Historical Treasury, published 1967 by George Cannon Family Association.

Leslie Ann

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Idaho Territory Sesquicentennial ~ Two Families and the Town of Paris, Idaho

Today I am happy to present guest blogger Evan Filby. Mr. Filby is a writer and author of the blog South Fork Companion where you can read even more about Idaho history. He currently has two books for sale, Boise River Gold Country, and Before the Spud.

 Two Families and the Town of Paris, Idaho

Charles C. Rich - photo from
Illustrated History of the State of Idaho.
Fall 1863: Charles C. Rich, Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “the Mormons,” led a small band of settlers to a spot about 40 miles north-northwest of Logan, Utah. There, north of Bear Lake, they established the town of Paris. This action continued an influx that had begun over three years earlier.
In the spring of 1860, Mormon colonists founded the town of Franklin, about twenty miles north of Logan. The hamlet and its outlying areas grew slowly, partly because of continuing depredations by the Shoshone Indians. Even the discovery of gold far to the northwest in what was then Washington Territory had little effect.
Then, on January 29, 1863, Colonel Patrick Connor led U. S. Army troops in a retaliatory attack on an Indian encampment 10-12 miles north of Franklin. The Battle of Bear River – sometimes, with justification, called the “Bear River Massacre” – cost the Indians dearly. Those losses, and continued Army pressure, seriously weakened the power of the tribes in the region.
Congress and President Abraham Lincoln created Idaho Territory on March 4, 1863. Some months later, the major Shoshone bands signed a peace agreement, the Box Elder Treaty. That reduced the Indian threat and made Apostle Rich’s expedition possible.
However. because the area had not been formally surveyed, no one knew that Franklin was a mile north of the Idaho border. Paris was about sixteen miles north of that line, yet everyone assumed the Mormon colonies were in Utah.
Charles Coulson Rich was a towering figure in the early history of the LDS church, so I shall only summarize his amazing life. Born in Kentucky, in 1809, Charles converted to the Mormon faith in 1832. Throughout his life, he repeatedly answered the missionary call of the church. He was named to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, the next-to-highest governing body of the church, before he was forty years old.

Joseph Rich - photo from
Illustrated History of the State of Idaho.
More colonists followed Rich into the Bear Lake region in 1864, and several other towns were founded. Among the newcomers were many members of Rich’s extended household. Following the then-practice of the church, Charles had six wives, who eventually bore him fifty-one children. Sadly, fifteen perished as infants or young children, and one girl died at age 19. We will soon learn more about one of his sons: Joseph Coulson Rich, who was 22 years old when Paris was founded.
The Utah legislature created a new county in 1864 to include the colonies. Originally called Richland, the name was shortened to Rich County four years later. For the next eight years, Charles officially represented the county in the Utah legislature.
Meanwhile, his son Joseph, a self-taught surveyor, spent several years surveying villages and towns in western Wyoming and eastern Idaho. He also studied law on his own. At one point, Joseph accompanied his father to Salt Lake. There, he landed a temporary job as an Assistant Clerk for the House of Representatives. Joseph married in 1869, but was immediately called to a mission in Illinois and Kentucky. That kept him away until the spring of 1870.

William Budge - photo from
Illustrated History of the State of Idaho.
The second family of interest arrived that same year, when William Budge came to Paris. Brigham Young had appointed Budge as Presiding Bishop of Rich County. Born in Scotland, Budge converted to the LDS faith in 1848, when he was twenty years old. He served as a missionary in England and on the Continent and then, in 1860, brought a party of about 600 converts to the United States. More 
adherents joined the group in New York before William led them on to Salt Lake City.
The family that Budge moved to Paris included three wives and many children. (He would ultimately father 36 sons and daughters, but ten of them died in infancy and another before she was eight.) In a moment, we’ll learn more about one of his sons, Alfred (born in 1868).
On February 15, 1872, the Interior Department certified the exact location of the Utah-Idaho border, proving that Paris and the other northern Mormon communities were actually in Idaho. That little detail did not, however, stop Charles Rich from attending to his duties with the Utah legislature. He also, apparently, represented the area at a constitutional convention called in another attempt to secure statehood for Utah. (The attempt failed.)
Valley inhabitants found themselves part of Idaho’s Oneida County, a heavily non-Mormon area, but it took them a couple years to accept the situation. Fearing that newly-awakened Mormon vote, Oneida County leaders lobbied for a split. Thus, in January 1875, the legislature established Bear Lake County, with Paris as the county seat. The Idaho Statesman, in Boise, reported (January 21, 1875), “Message from the Governor … I have the honor to nominate and appoint Joseph C. Rich, Jonanathan [sic] Pugmire, and Ed. Austin, as County Commissioners of the county of Bear Lake.”
Later that year, voters elected Bishop William Budge to the Idaho Territorial Council (roughly comparable to a state Senate). He would be elected for a second term four years later. Meanwhile, in 1877, Budge was made President of the LDS Bear Lake Stake.
Two year after that, voters sent Joseph C. Rich to the first of two consecutive terms in the Territorial House of Representatives. For some years after his second term, Joseph focused more on county affairs and a growing legal practice. By then, he had earned a reputation as a skilled frontier lawyer, fluent and forceful in debate.
Despite his age, Joe’s father began organizing a new colony for nearby Wyoming in 1880. During that process, however, Charles suffered a stroke. Although he recovered enough to attend stake meetings, he never fully regained his health. Charles Coulson Rich passed away November 17, 1883.
The following year, church leaders authorized the construction of a tabernacle in Paris, with President William Budge as superintendent. The structure was built with mostly local labor and local materials, including red sandstone quarried from the ridges east of Bear Lake. Within two years, the project was “progressing finely,” according to a correspondent to the Deseret News in Salt Lake City (August 18, 1886). Officials dedicated the tabernacle three years later.
In 1892, one of Joseph’s brothers became Second Counselor to President William Budge of the Bear Lake Stake. (In such a small community, the families had interacted extensively, but here we see a direct public link.)
Two year earlier, Idaho had become a state, which, among other things, opened up the executive and judicial branches of government to popular elections. In 1891, Alfred Budge, son of William, had received his law degree from the University of Michigan. He returned to Paris and opened a practice. Three years later, voters elected him as District Attorney of Idaho’s Fifth Judicial District, which encompassed much of the eastern side of the state.
About that time, Joseph C. Rich returned to a more active role in politics. He first became a delegate to the state Democratic convention, and then attended the 1896 national convention that selected William Jennings Bryan as the party’s Presidential nominee. Bryan lost nationally, but “Joe” was elected to the Idaho Senate, where he served for a time as President pro tem
Two years later, Rich chose not to run for re-election. Instead, he was elected Judge of the Fifth Judicial District. William Budge took his place in the state Senate. Alfred Budge became Prosecuting Attorney for Bear Lake County.

Alfred Budge - photo from
H.T. French History of Idaho
An ironic twist occurred in 1902: Alfred Budge (younger at 34, and a degreed lawyer) foiled Joe Rich’s re-election bid as Judge of the Fifth Judicial District. Judge Alfred would be repeatedly re-elected to that post for over a decade.
In 1905, the Budges joined with one of Joe’s brothers to found the Bear Lake State Bank in Paris. The Idaho Statesman reported (June 26, 1905) that “The incorporators are President William Budge, Judge [Alfred] Budge, … Hon. W. L. Rich … ”
The following year, William Budge – then approaching eighty years of age – moved from his position with the Bear Lake Stake to become President of the LDS Temple in Logan, Utah.
After losing the judicial election to Alfred, Joseph essentially retired from politics. In 1908, he and his wife moved to Centerville, Utah and had a house built there. But Joe never got to enjoy the new home; he passed away there in October 1908.
Alfred Budge moved to Pocatello in the spring of 1910, mainly because much of the Judicial District activity took place there. The following year, under the provisions of a new constitutional mandate, the Judge filled in for an absent member of the state Supreme Court. Three years after that, the Governor appointed him to complete the term of a Supreme Court Justice who had died in office. Judge Budge then ran unopposed for a full term in 1918.
That same year, poor health forced his father to retire from his position as President of the Logan Temple. William Budge passed away in March 1919.
About a week after his father died, Judge Budge purchased a home in Boise and moved his family there. For the next thirty years, he ran successfully for the court position – “most of the time without opposition.” He passed away half way through his sixth term, in January 1951.
These two pioneer families bequeathed an amazing legacy on the West. The siblings of Joseph C. Rich included four lawyers (one a judge), two medical doctors, two successful ranchers (one of whom became mayor of Paris), a newspaper publisher, and a rising horse trainer and breeder (who, sadly, died young in a riding accident). The siblings of Alfred Budge included seven medical doctors, a dentist, a lawyer (who served a term as mayor of Pocatello), and a prominent businessman and banker.
Both families – including other individuals engaged in less “prestigious” occupations – played significant roles in local government, as well as in the LDS church: as missionaries, teachers, and church officials.

Main sources:
Merrill D. Beal and Merle W. Wells, History of Idaho, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc. New York (1959).
Jesse R. S. Budge, The Life of William Budge, The Deseret News Press, Salt Lake City, Utah (1915).
Hiram Taylor French, History of Idaho: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests, Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago (1914).
James H. Hawley, History of Idaho : The Gem of the Mountains, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago (1920).
An Illustrated History of the State of Idaho, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago (1899).

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday's Faces From the Past ~ Unidentified Group

The next photo I am sharing from grandma Nancy's photo album is this lovely group of ladies. Sure wish I knew who they were.

The photo was probably taken in Nottinghamshire somewhere. It may be a family group, but I'm thinking that it's more likely an organization of some kind. Maybe a women's church group, or even a school group.

One of these ladies may be a member of the Buck, Taylor, or Stafford families of Hucknall Torkard, Nottinghamshire, England.

Leslie Ann

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pardon My Dust

If you happened to stop by yesterday, you were probably thinking 'what is that crazy lady doing?' You know how sometimes you just feel the urge to rearrange the front room or change the wallpaper? Well that's what the ancestors here are thinking.

Please have patience with me. I may try a few more wallpapers before I'm done.

Leslie Ann

Monday, April 8, 2013

Idaho Territory Sesquicentennial ~ Territory Seals

I was kind of excited when I realized that within my special shoe box are official Idaho Territory seals imprinted on some of T.J. Smedley's land documents.

This first one is from an 1884 land deed that was notarized by John Ulrich Stucki. Speaking of J. U. Stucki, I want to thank him for keeping journals! I just found a compiled PDF of them online. I thought while I was there I might as well run a search for my ancestors from Bear Lake County and sure enough I found new information. He made note of attending two of my ancestor's funerals, now I have burial dates for Grace Price Poulsen, and William Henry Piggott!

The next two seals are from an 1881 Deed regarding the transfer of  "Lot three and east half of lot four. Block six containing one and half acres, Lot ten, Block seven containing one acre, and Lots one and ten, in Block five containing one acre each" from George Osmond, Probate Judge of Bear Lake County to Thomas J. Smedley.

One is the Seal of Probate Court for Bear Lake County, and the other is seal for the Bear Lake County Recorder.

The Probate Judge of Bear Lake County in 1881 was George Osmond. The county Recorder at that time was John Ulrich Stucki.

I don't know about you, but I think it's cool to own a piece of Idaho Territorial history.

Leslie Ann

Monday, April 1, 2013

Idaho Territory Sesquicentennial ~ Christian Madsen

Today I am pleased to present a guest post written by my fourth cousin, Della Smith for the continuing Idaho Territory Sesquicentennial series. Her story is about her 2nd great-grandfather Christian Madsen and his journey to Idaho.

Back Row, left to right:  Jacob Ezra, John Christian, Louisa Alberta, Sylvia Elizabeth, and Royal Eller Madsen.

Front Row, Left to right:  Aseneath Musette, father Christian Madsen, mother Louisa Roxana Welker Madsen, and on the far right is my great grandmother, Dortha Roxana Madsen Rollins McKinney.  

Life Story of Christian Madsen, born November 14, 1844 in Jutland, Denmark and died March 9, 1921, Safford, Graham County, Arizona
According to my mother, Christian Madsen came to the US from Denmark in 1853 with friends of his parents who were given a sum of $500 to care for the 9 year old boy in the new world. Supposedly, they abandoned him on the streets of New York City once they arrived in the US, and took his money with them. The Mormons picked him up and cared for him, and eventually took him to Utah where they settled and he became an elder in the Mormon Church. Later he relocated to Arizona and was still affiliated with the LDS church. I don't know how much of this story is true, but it's what I remember my mother telling me about him.
However, a diary kept by Christian Madsen’s daughter (my great grandmother, Dortha Roxana Madsen Rollins McKinney) said that the family who brought Christian Madsen to America were actually friends of his parents, and they stayed in the East for a while before they could go to Utah. Christian stayed with them at that time, although they were not very kind to him, according to what Dortha wrote in her diary, as shown below:
"My father came to America from Denmark at the age of 9 years. His parents having been converted to the Mormon religion, prepared to immigrate to this country. There happened to be, at that time, another family who, for the same reason, was sailing for the U.S. My father’s parents were not quite ready to leave, as they were trying to dispose of their worldly goods. Having a large family, for some reason or other, they sent father on with these people and gave them five hundred dollars to care for him until they could join him there. (NOTE: Christian Madsen's parents, Jacob and Dorthea, were not able to come to the United States until around 1856 or later. Christian's youngest brother was born in Utah in 1860.)
I have forgotten the length of time that elapsed before they left Denmark. They sacrificed a great deal of money and property, not being able to take much out of their country. It took several weeks to cross the ocean in those days. My father was very ill most of the way. The people to whom he had been entrusted were unkind to him and also neglectful of his comfort and needs. He was lonely and home sick, a little boy on the wide ocean, friendless and frightened, in route to a strange land where he could not even talk or understand the language.
The family he was with remained in the East for some time, several months, or until they could arrange to start their weary trek with other Pioneers across the plains to Utah, which was the place they and my father’s family had started for, a home in the rocky mountains of America, where they would be free to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience, free from the hands of royal rule, to a land with new possibilities and freedom.
However, these God loving and God fearing people continued with their indifference toward the lonely little boy. They themselves suffered terrible hardship, but they had no sympathy for anything but their own. For many weeks they struggled with desert sands and mountain trails with bleeding feet and half filled stomachs. They would camp at night with hearts filled with fear from the attacks of hostile Indians and fear of the loss of an animal out of their teams for which there was no chance for replacement.
Many hard and extreme were the sufferings of this one family among many others of whom my father was a member at this time. Many were the incidents, thrilling and heart breaking, which our father related to us children as bed time stories in years following, and which have almost faded from our memory. These were experiences that molded into his life a stronger faith in both God and in the brotherhood of man, unselfish, untiring against all obstacles. Truthful to the extent of risking his life to keep his word to a friend or debtor, honest to every one but himself, always running over the measure, prayerful and hopeful in the face of the worst discouragements, such was the character which grew up through great tribulation and which these few weak words can make only a dim picture.
When winter came, father worked in the mountains with teams of oxen, getting logs for the lumber mills. The snow would be awful deep and the big pine trees carried tremendous weight, too heavy work for horses, except for hauling lumber or equipment and supplies. The oxen would be shod the same as horses, but did not use harness, they were yoked together with heavy neck yokes and were guided about their work by telling them to Gee for one direction and Haw for another. It took great patience, strong lungs and strong physique to handle these powerful creatures.
Many is the time I have ridden behind the oxen on the “running gears” of the wagon. The boys used to ride on their backs as they would a horse, except with no saddle or bridle, of course. The ways of getting the logs to the mill was very interesting, but I won’t go over that part of it. Suffice it to say this work kept father away from home a great deal in the winter. It was a hard life and there was much danger of having feet and often ears frozen. There were blinding snow storms, and dangerous snow slides when the snow began to melt.
Every year men and teams lost their lives in that way, but at home we all did our bit to take care of everything which was no easy job, and was a great tax on our mother’s strength with all else she had to do. However, there were always kindly neighbors or relatives to lend a hand.
When the sledding got too tough there was no possible chance for a man coming home at night or over the weekend in those days of slow transportation. But young as we children were, with our mother we suffered great anxiety for his safety. We never failed in our daily prayers to plead for his return to us. And what a welcome sound was the creaking of the snow under his feet, which told us he was home. Many, many times, long icicles were hanging to his whiskers. Men had to wear a beard on their face in that extreme cold, or they would be frozen.
I remember how father would put three of us behind him on a horse and take us to school and back during a snowstorm. Snow would fall in large flakes so thick you could only see a short distance through them. Very beautiful and quietly the snow would cover the ground, several feet deep, then the wind would come, boosting and piling it into large drifts against buildings and fences. We would walk over the tops of fences under the frozen snow all winter, seldom seeing even the top of a fence post. Once the snow was drifted and frozen, it stayed that way until the spring thaw.
We had to keep a shovel in the house all winter during snowstorms to shovel the drift away from the door and a trail to the barn and woodpile. We had no indoor water supply, such as pipes or faucets, no sink in the kitchen or the luxury of a bathtub. The water buckets would be filled from the well at night and in the morning would have to be set on the hot stove to melt the ice. We never kept fires burning at night, only in times of someone being sick. All day the house was warm and cozy with the best of pinewood to burn, and no matter how the storms raged outside, there was no time to loaf or be idle.
When father was home he took such days to work making a new set of harnesses or mending an old one. He could make beautiful leather harnesses. For heavy team work there was the extremely heavy harness. Brass rivets were used where the greatest strength was needed. Other parts were sewed with what we called buckskin string, and it really was that very thing.
He would take the hide of a fresh killed deer and, strange as it seems, he preferred buckskin to the female of the species. He would scrape off all the hair and treat the skin until it was soft and pliable, almost as silk. It was a big job and took experience and skill. When ready for use some of us would have to take a tight hold on one side of it with both hands and keep the skin straight and smooth while father held onto a part of it and with a keen, sharp knife, cut into strands that could be threaded into a large harness needle. And he sewed parts of the harness with that.
He used an awl to punch the holes for the stitches, having no machinery, but all made by hand. He had a big workbench which he sat astride as he sewed and riveted. And oh how our fingers and shoulders would ache holding that skin while father would cut and when ever he would slack his grip or get to the end, we would reel backwards and often times sit flat on the floor. We would laugh and make a joke about it, not every time, of course, as it really was hard work but just as important as the sewing and fitting.
We kids that were large enough would take turns and mother even would have to change off with us. Sometimes while the skin was large it could be fastened to the wall by the top edge and it was fascinating to watch the long evenly cut strings drop away from the edge of the sharp edged knife. It was not harness only that father made from buckskin. He braided the most wonderful whips which it would be utterly impossible to describe the fine workmanship and durability.
The threads were woven evenly and smoothly, all by hand. The whip was not flat, but round. When it was finished there was a stick of smooth hard wood called the whip handle to which it was attached. Some were made long for the use of four horse teams, while others were short, used only on one span team.
Like the harness, there was the heavy or work kind and the fancy. How priceless even one of them would be now, as a relic of days when the finest work in art and for durability were made by just human hands.
Father would sing and whistle all the while he worked. After 60 years or more, the same songs are being sung again, "Darling Nellie Gray", "Buffalo Gals", "Jeff Davis", "I Long to be Single Again", and many, many others. We children would romp and play around him and he worked. He would not be annoyed with one noise and seldom scolded us. But at night when he was reading, he wanted quiet. We kids used to laugh so hard the way he would keep going shush over and over, not looking up from his papers.
In 1879 or 1880 or near that time, Grandpa Madsen died and soon after a great change came into our lives. Some citizens of our town drifted to Arizona and began writing unbelievable things about climate and advantages of the sunny south. It spread a fever of unrest among many of the families who were some of the afflicted with rheumatism. Grandmother Welker (mother’s mother) suffered with asthma. The long cold winter season was not a pleasant time to prepare for hurrying through the short but beautiful summer to be battling the long cold spell of snow, the springtime of mud when the snow melted, so many were the excited conversations that took place on the sunny side of the one and only store of the town.
And while the blizzard was drifting the constant falling snow in the months of February and March, the letters would arrive from the south land telling of green fields, fruit trees in bloom, five crops of hay per year, etc., etc., and the winter weary citizens began to plan to hitch the teams to the covered wagons, sell or mostly gave away their homes, farms and prosperity, and strike out again to what they hoped to find, a utopia in a promised land. The green fields, the sunshine, the blossoms, the long season to work were the upper most things in their minds.
The cheerful correspondent had not warned them of the disadvantages to encounter nor did they realize the long months of intense heat they would be so unprepared for, housing problems, a different way of doing everything they had ever done nor did they know that from a quiet peaceful God fearing little town of people where a man was a man and every neighbor was just one big family, that just the opposite conditions would face them.
I do not know if having known this would have prevented the exodus, be that as it may, on the day of September 13, 1883. The children and other few necessities were loaded in the wagons along with grain for the teams, bedding, clothing, and quite a supply of food stuff, but leaving a heart rending amount behind, we set out. My brother John, age 12 years, drove the wagon with one team of powerful horses in which mother and the children rode. Father drove a team of four horses. Grandma Welker drove a team and light spring wagon all the way from Bear Lake County Idaho to Safford, Graham County, Arizona, a distance over mountain trails as such they were. In some places the men had to cut trees and break a way through.
After several days of travel, the company would camp to let the teams rest for a day or two. Then the washing and baking was done and the load repacked. All the money that was received for possessions sold was carried in the wagons. Three thousand dollars in gold was put some where among the things. We were never molested although we met some very suspicious characters and traveled through Indian territory and at times Indians on horse back rode along for some distance, filled with curiosity, and had they desired, could have made a tremendous haul in everything.
On that long trip from September 23 to November 5th, there were no serious illnesses or accidents or loss that I remember. God’s protecting care sheltered us and as was the habit at home, our parents knelt in prayer morning and night and gave thanks for this protection and asked for guidance in the great task they had undertaken again as pioneers in a new and strange land."


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