Saturday, September 24, 2022

Black Hawk Treaty Debate


There is an ongoing debate as to where the Blackhawk Treaty was signed or agreed to.  Even Hilda in the Mt. Pleasant History Book didn't make note of it. 

When I first joined the Mt. Pleasant Historical Association I made a call to the Utah Historical Society and asked if they had the treaty there.  They told me that there was nothing signed on paper and that it was just a word-of-mouth agreement.  

Virginia Neilson, of  Ephraim, said that the actual treaty was signed under a tree there in Ephraim.

John Alton Peterson in his book "Utah's Black Hawk War" states that "Black Hawk and his band of thirty warriors and their families totaling nearly a hundred individuals came to Mt. Pleasant to meet with Brigham Young near the end of June1868. The church president
appears to have been unavailable, but Orson Hyde met with the Indians in the settlement's social hall where they signed a treaty of peace.  Mounted on a new saddle, a gift from Young and head, Black Hawk left the conference committed again to try to get the other members of his confederacy to come to terms."

 In the footnotes of Peterson's book reference is made to Telegram of Orson Hyde to Brigham Young 31, June 1868.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Father Morley Tells How Sanpete County Was Established ~~~ taken from "Saga of the Sanpitch 1979 " On To Manti by Leah B. Lyman

 “I have much to tell,” said Father Morley, and they all settled down to listen.

“I will make it brief and to the point,” he said. 

“On June 14, 1849, there rode into Salt Lake City a delegation of Ute Indians led by Chief Walker. At their request they were conducted to the office of President Young. With many grunts and motions the Mormon leader was made to understand that the Indians wanted some Mormons to come to Sanpitch Valley to teach the Indians how to build homes and till the soil. In August and exploration party of four men, with Chief Walker as guide, set forth. They found a beautiful valley through ran a creek of good water. They found the soil good and the surrounding mountains gave promise of plenty of timber both for fuel and for building. Within a few day they returned reporting that everything was favorable for the building of a community.”

 For a moment the speaker hesitated. So far he had only told of things in general, but when he spoke again it was in a reminiscent mood, for he was recounting experiences in which he had played a major part.

 “A company of some fifty families,” he continued, “was organized as soon as possible, with Seth Taft, Charles Shumway, and myself as commanders. We three were set apart to govern in Church Affairs, keep law and order, and advise in the things pertaining to the building of a new town. It was late in the fall when we left Salt Lake. We had to clear roads and build bridges as we went. We reached the chosen valley November 22, 1849, too late to make much preparation for the winter that was upon us. We camped near the creek in our wagon boxes and in a few days it began to snow. Soon it was more than three feet deep and still coming down. We were forced to seek the shelter of the south side of the hill that projected out into the valley. Some of the saints made dugouts in the hillside, while others used tents and wagon boxes for shelter.” 

The recounting of these events was painful, his voice choked and tears flowed down his cheeks.

 “I hope I never see another winter such as that,” he went on. “The men and boys shoveled snow daily, piling it into win rows to provide shelter for our horses and cattle, and also to uncover the dry grass for our starving animals. We even sharpened the horns of our cattle to make it possible for them to break through the crusted snow and find feed for themselves and also to help them to protect themselves from wild animals. “We lost many of our horses and cattle that winter, but it was not a total loss. We gave them to the starving Indians camping nearby and they greedily devoured them to ward off starvation. Even they had never seen snow so deep. It was as if the almighty God was testing our faith in every possible way. 

“Spring of 1850 arrived. With the warm weather came a new terror. Myriads of rattlesnakes came from crevices in the hill. Hissing their way into the homes of the saints, they wriggled and writhed about in their boxes, beds, cupboards, or anywhere they could get. With the aid of pine knot torches, we killed nearly five hundred of the reptiles in one night and soon had the country rid of this latest menace. The remarkable thing was that not a soul was bitten. In spite of everything we had endured we all came through the winter in good health.” 

There was a sigh of relief but no one made a comment. When the narrative was resumed it was in a lighter vein as if the crisis was past.

 “In August of that year President Young visited us and christened our town Manti, in honor of one of the notable cities told of in the book of Mormon. He also named the county, changing the name of Sanpitch to Sanpete. To make sure that we did not neglect the education of our children, he furnished part of the money for the erection of a school house. Jesse W. Fox was our first teacher. Our only method of making flour was with a huge coffee grinder which was passed from home to home. So President Young helped me to make possible the erection of a small grist mill in the canyon east of town.

“On the 9th day of September 1850, by an Act of Congress, Utah Territory was organized and Brigham Young was appointed Governor. Charles Shumway and myself represented Sanpete County in the

First Legislative Assembly in Salt Lake City. On the 5th of February 1851, an Act was passed incorporating the three towns now existing outside of Salt Lake City. Brownsville on the Weber River was incorporated under the name of Ogden. The town here in Utah Valley known as Fort Utah was incorporated under the name of Provo. Third was our own town of Manti. We were proud when we returned home. Soon the city of Manti was laid off, ten miles square, and divided into city lots. The settlers soon chose their lots and moved from the hillside to start homemaking in earnest.”

 Father Morley looked about as if trying to read their thoughts. “Well, that is about all there is to tell, only that there are plenty of city lots left. 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

World War One


People Respond to Every Call During World War I

World War

When the United States entered the World War, the people of Mt. Pleasant loyally responded to every call, and made a record of which it may well be proud. One hundred and eighteen boys enlisted from Mt. Pleasant, and a number of Mt. Pleasant's sons enlisted from other communities. As the boys, one by one or in groups, boarded the train, great crowds, although sad at heart, cheered them as they left for the front. Three of the number died in service. Ralph Braby, while in California, was drowned, Jacob Hafen died of disease, and Henry Merville Zabriskie was killed in action, over seas. The Sanpete County Council of Defense was organized as follows: J. W. Cherry, chairman; Burke McArthur, secretary; Ed. Johnston, treasurer; Committee chairmen, Finance, N. S. Nielsen; Publicity, ,Burke McArthur; Legal, J. W. Cherry; Sanitation and Medicine, Ed. Johnston; Food supply and conservation, L. R. Anderson; Industrial survey, Orlando Bradley; Labor, Christian Willardsen; Military affairs, J. Morgan Johnson; State protection, H. R. Thomas; Survey of manpower, L. P. Brady; Woman's work, Mrs. G. W. Martin. In June 1918, there were deposited in the Mt. Pleasant Commercial and Savings Bank, by Mr. N. S. Nielsen, county chairman of finance, to the credit of W. G. McAdoo, treasurer of the Nation¬al American Red Cross, seven thousand five hundred dollars. 200 The citizens went over the top in the various other drives conducted. Liberty bonds, postal savings, Soldier's Welfare Re¬lief, Christmas boxes, tobacco, conservation of food, etc. Local committees were organized, among them the local Red Cross. The officers of this organization visited the neighboring cities, Fairview, Fountain Green, Moroni, Wales, Chester, and Spring City, and in cooperation with them, purchased material and sewed articles called for. There were checked out something over $3000, which had been obtained by weekly canvasses made by women and girls, and by other volunteer donations other than the National drives. Mt. Pleasant headquarters were established at about 122 West Main, where the women, some representing different organizations, met and did sewing, etc., as required. Many ship¬ments of goods were made. The officers at this time were: C. L. Johns, president; Mrs. Grace Madsen and Miss Irene Nielsen, vice president; Miss Hilda Madsen, secretary, and treasurer. History of Mt. Pleasant HML pp 199-200

Monday, September 12, 2022

Boyd Reid Beck ~~~ PhD Chemistry ~~~ Snow College Professor

Boyd Reid Beck died peacefully on August 31, 2022, at his home in Spring City after a well-fought, life-long battle with kidney and heart disease.

He was preceded in death by his parents Osmer Hayes and Sarah Phyllis Sorensen; by his son Robert Dennis; his brothers Richard and DeVon; his sisters, Phyllis and Lois; and his prized pet sheep Billy. He is survived by his wife Sandra Aiken; his children, Sherene (Kerry) VanDyke, Anna (Jeff) Adams, Amy (Chad) Thompson, and Russell (Kacy) Beck; his sisters Neva, and ReNee; and no less than fourteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Boyd was born on July 22, 1945, in his parents’ home in Spring City. He had a good childhood—filled with picnics, microscopes, and pets—but after getting sick at a young age, Boyd realized he wouldn’t be able to carry on the family profession of raising sheep. So, he dedicated himself to studying instead. In his own words he “decided to live like [he] was going to die next year, but learn like [he] was going to live forever.”

Under doctor’s orders, he was asked to rest for half of seventh grade. His mother said that he had to always keep one foot in bed, and he did—technically. Whether or not he actually got much rest is up for debate. Boyd learned to develop film under his covers that year, and managed to play with his nieces and nephews despite bed rest. His illness flared up again at fourteen, and he was again asked to stay in bed. This time he found a tutor. His uncle Boyd Blain took it upon himself to educate his nephew. Boyd Beck often credited Boyd Blain, an English teacher, for instilling in him a hunger for learning that simply never waned.

Boyd served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in California, Arizona, and Nevada, which was the first time he left Utah. He adored his mission—especially because he had thought his health would prevent him from being able to serve. Later in life he would go on to hold various church callings including service in the Manti Temple and some stake callings at Snow College. Boyd graduated four times—from North Sanpete High School, Snow College, Brigham Young University, and finally the University of Utah, with a PhD in Chemistry—and it seems that he didn’t know how to graduate from somewhere without being at the top of his class. During the summers, to help pay for school, Boyd was a sheep herder up on the mountain. He filled his sheep camp with mutton, textbooks, and sourdough.

He was equally accomplished at work. As a chemist Boyd worked for 3M, Albion Labs, sBioMed and Harris Research (among other places). He held several U.S. and foreign patents, including such useful products as carpet cleaners that can lift stubborn red Kool-Aid and anti-fog solutions that can be rubbed on glasses or mirrors. But his real vocational pride was the work he did as a teacher.

For over 31 years Dr. Beck taught chemistry to thousands of students at Snow College. He had a goal to learn all his student’s names by the third day of class—which, by all accounts, he achieved. He personally helped hundreds of students go onto successful careers, including many pharmacists, doctors, and scientists. Dr. Beck loved his students; he often had a line out his office door that never seemed to diminish. He would individually tutor any student who asked for it, no matter how long it took. He was an exceptionally gifted teacher and mentor. His family has long forgiven him for setting such an excessive precedent for personal and professional success.

In 1999 Boyd received a kidney from his son Russell. He often credited that generous donation for tacking on twenty extra years to his life. His children attribute his longevity to the tireless, loving support of his wife of 53 years, Sandra. The fact that Boyd lived to 77 years is because he and Sandra were simply too stubborn to let him die. He would always thank the medical professionals who offered him care over the years, many of whom commented on his positive attitude despite his awful health.

Looking back at his life, Boyd was a man filled with contradictions. He was chronically ill from a young age, but optimistic almost to a fault. He nearly failed out of elementary school only to go on to be the valedictorian of every school he graduated from. He was a sheep herder and a chemist. He was consistently kind, even when life wasn’t kind to him. He was the smartest person in every room he entered, but he would never let anyone know that. All the people who got to know Boyd will miss him—whether they met him clad in a white lab coat in a classroom, or on the mountain smelling of campfire smoke, or dressed in a suit behind a lectern.

The family would like to thank our friends, Anita Johansen, the dedicated hospice team, and the many doctors who helped Boyd during these last years of his life. If you would honor Boyd’s memory, we ask that you reflect on how many lives he managed to change for the better—through service, through teaching, through chemistry—despite so many odds stacked against him. Boyd’s life reminds us that we should never despair, that despite our burdens we, too, can persevere.

There will be a funeral service held on Saturday, September 10, 2022, at 11am in the Spring City 2nd Ward Chapel (150 South Main). Viewings will be held Friday, September 9, 2022, at Rasmussen Mortuary (96 N 100 W, Mt. Pleasant) from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. prior to services at the church. Interment will be held in the Spring City Cemetery. In lieu of a donation, consider learning something new, taking a drive up the canyon, holding a baby, or petting a dog.

The recordings will be available for 60 days from 9/10/2022

Click Here to watch recorded Funeral Service.