|Andrew Madsen Sr.|
About the middle of August, 1958, James R. Ivie, Ben E. Clapp, Joseph R. Clemens, Isaac Allred, Sr., James Allred, Jr., James Allred Sr., Reubin W. Allred and Richard Ivie were chosen at Ephraim as an Exploring Committee to select a suitable location for a new settlement in Northern Sanpete Valley.
This committee traveled northward until they reached the spot where Madison D. Hamilton, five years previous attempted to colonize and settle, but was later driven away by the terrorizing Indians. The Indians regarded the retreat of Madison D. Hamilton as an indication of weakness on the part of their white foes, and rejoiced that the waters of Hamilton Creek and the grasses of the broad meadows were to remain undisturbed as the famous hunting ground of the Red Men of Central Utah, but such a site could not be overlooked by men in search of homes and desirous of founding a city where the natural facilities were everywhere present and where the climate is tempered by the altitude and pleasant breeze, never too hot in summer or too cold in the winter. The cool mountain waters fresh from the snow and the clear bracing atmosphere, made life a continuous round of pleasure.
These brave men determined that this was the ideal spot for the location of a city and returned and reported their views to the emigrants, who had reached Ephraim to remain over the winter. A meeting was called and a petition was drafted, signed by sixty men who were desirous of locating further north, at the place selected. Not knowing just how to proceed or what to do, James R. Allred and James Ivie were chosen as a committee to go to Salt Lake City and present the petition to President Brigham Young.
The committee arrived in Salt Lake City, September 6th, met Elder Orson Hyde on the street and at once stated their purpose, after which, he kindly escorted them to President Young's office. After the petition was considered, the President expressed himself as perfectly in favor of the place designated. President Young, not being desirous of choosing their leaders or Bishop at this time, drafted the following letter, which was sent back with the committee and submitted to the petitioners.
Great Salt Lake City, Sept. 6, 1858
"To Brother John Reese and the rest of the Brethren whos names are on the list.
I am perfectly willing that you shall go ahead and make a settlement, but we must consider whether it will be safe or not. You wish to know my mind on the subject. It is this: That you must build you a good substantial Fort to live in. Use every caution that is necessary against the Indians. Your Fort wall must be 12 feet hig, 4 ft. thick and good stone or dobies laid in lime mortar.
I also wish you to select one of your members as President and one for a Bishop.
You will have to be very careful of your stock or you will lose them. You should have a good, substantial corral for them. In choosing your farming land get it as near together as possible. It would be better to have only one piece, fenced, then you are compact in case of an attack on you of Indians or white men.
I think this is all I have to say on this subject.
Perhaps you would like to hear the news. Everything is quiet here in the City. There are a good many gentiles but they behave themselves pretty well.
May God bless you, is my prayer for all other good men."
(Signed) Brigham Young.
P.S. This is my counsel to you.
September 14th. The committee returned from Salt Lake City and notified the petitioners, who at once called a meeting.
The letter received from President Young was presented and read and the contents therein noted, which advice was favorably received.
At this time a committee of three, viz; James R. Ivie, James K. Clemens and Isaac Allred were chosen to go with the surveyors to choose and select a site where th Fort should be built and to lay out city lots and twenty more tracts of farming land. This was done and 1300 acres of choice farming land was selected and platted, together with a number of city lots, after which the committee returned home about the middle of October.
Upon the return, a meeting was called by the petitioners. Their report was accepted and later thy drew lots by number for the land aned lots which were pointed out to them by the committee the following Spring.
January 10th, 1859 the petitioners again called a meeting which was held in the school house for the purpose of organizing and to make preparations for moving to the new quarters. After a discussion of some length James R. Ivie was chosen their President and Redick Allred was chosen Bishop, after which the meeting adjourned.
Redick Allred not being sure whether or not he would move north with the party in the Spring declined to accept the position as Bishop over the colony.
About the last of February I, Andrew Madson, in the company with my four brothers Mads, Peter, Christian and Neils, and George Frandsen, Rasmus Frandsen, Neils Widergreen Anderson, C.W. Anderson, Sidney Allred, Peter Monsen, Christian Jensen1st, , Alma Allred, Peter Johansen, Mikle Christensen, soren Jacobsen, James Meiling, moved north until we were just west of where the settlement was to be located. We pitched our camp in a ravine on the west side of the Sanpitch River and began cutting posts, which were to be used for fencing farms as soon as Spring opened up.
Here we were joined by Alma Zabriskie, James Allred and Sidney Allred, who had gone up prior to us with cattle and horses to winter, they being the first to move towards the new settlement.
After remaining at the camp for a short time, Alma Zabriskie, James Allred and Sidney Allred, with five yoke of cattle, their wagons with seed wheat, drove through the deep snow to the present site where Mt. Pleasant now stands.
March 20th we broke up camp and moved our wagons and tents to where the Fort was to be built and pitched our camps on the bank of the creek, which is now Pleasant Creek. Some of our party remained and myself with the balance returned to Fort Ephraim to see our families and get a supply of provisions. We returned again to the new quarters on April 10th in company with President Ivie, Isaac Allred and their sons. Also C.C.A. Christensen, P.M. Peel, Martin Aldrich, together with a great many others, carrying with us our farming tools (such as they were, all homemade) and a supply of seed wheat and grain.
Neils M. Burrison, Phillip Burrison, James Hansen, frederick Fechser and a number of others from Utah Valley arrived there about the same time.
My farming in 1859 was very limited. The sagebrush on my land was large and dense, the soil being very rich.
I like the other settlers, had to work hard for we had all we could do and no mans to hire help with.
We began plowing on the 16th day of April and settlers continued to arrive from various parts. It became necessary for President Ivie to call upon the surveyors to plat out more land and at this time there was 1200 acres more platted making a total of 2500 acres claimed.
On April 20th, President Ivie directed a letter to Brigham Young advising him of the organisation they had affected and also of the move from Ephraim and the progress of the colony. He also made mention of the constantly arriving settlers.
A short time later the following letter was received from President Young in reply to the one sent.
(James R. Ivie,
In reply to your letter oof the 20th inst. I have to inform you that I have heard no complaint concerning your new settlement and trust there will be no grounds for any reasonable complaint by anyone disposed to do right. In your location it would seem to be an easy matter to manage your affairs justly for the benefit of all concerned and to take early and efficient steps for building a secure Fort that you may be safe in an Indian Country and conduct all your affairs upon wise principles, living industriously and humble that you may make your settlement pleasant and beneficial to yourself, the Country and territory at large, in all of which you have the best wishes of your Brother in the Gospel."
(signed) Brigham Young
We continued in planting crops until we had cleared and cultivated about 1000 acres, built a number of irrigation ditches and conveyed the water upon the land.
Later in May, when the planting of crops ceased, we united ourselves together and built and erected two and one half miles of fence along the east side of the big field.
Much trouble was experienced in taking care of our oxen, as they would stray off for miles during the night.
On May 11th Isaac Allred was assaulted and killed by Thomas Ivie, resulting from a quarrel over the differences of a small herd bill. Mr. Ivie at once left the territory and never returned.
Just as soon as the opportunity afforded, myself and brother, Mads Madsen, built a dugout jointly and about May 12th we went to Fort Ephraim for our families, returning a few days later.
May the 15th, a number of families arrived from Pleasant Grove amongst who were W.S. Seely, John Carter, Moroni Seeley, Jesse W. Seeley, Justus Wellington Seeley, Orange Seely, John Tidwell, George Farnsworth, Harvey Tidwell, Jefferson Tidwell, Nelson Tidwell, John Meyrick, George Meyrick and others. They were received with welcome. Allotments of land were given them upon arrival and they began to till the soil.
On May 30th, President Ivie called a meeting for the purpose of discussing the building of the Fort and as to what methods to pursue. In conclusion four men were appointed to supervise the construction of the wall. Jahu Cox was allotted the north side, Thomas Woolsey the west side, Wm. S. Seely the south side and John Tidwell the east side. Workmen were organized in companies of ten and the work commenced immediately with rapid progress.
This list herein contains a complete record of every person who contributed labor towards the erection of this great stone wall.
During the month of June we were kept very busy utilizing every spare moment in attending to our crops and the building of the large Fort Wall, which was four feet wide at the bottom, two feet wide at the top and twelve feet high, enclosing one of the large blocks in the center of the colony of about five and one half acres. This wall was constructed, leaving port holes for every family therein, and the space between was utilized for the erection of one house for each port hole.
July 9th, Apostle George A. Smith and Amasa Lyman visited the Colony, giving much good advice and instructions unto the people, stating that they had come for the purpose of perfecting an organization and to organize them into an ecclesiastical Ward. Wm. Stewart Seeley was chosen, sustained and ordained as Bishop, Harvey Tidwell his first councilor and Peter Y. Jensen, his second councilor.
The office of President was vacated and Brother Ivie felt much pleased from being released of the responsibility placed upon him in the establishing of the Colony with which he had worked so faithfully.
The name Mt. Pleasant was adopted for the Colony, giving credit to its pleasant location, the beautiful fields and surroundings.
Work continued on the Fort Wall until July the 18th, when the same was completed.
A few days prior to July 24th, thepeople assembled together and arranged for a program and grand celebration, it being the anniversary in honor of the Pioneers arrival in Salt Lake Valley, July 24, 1847.
A bowery was erected in the southwest corner of the fort. Much time was spent in arranging for the program and luncheon.
Pitch pine wood was brought from the mountains to be burned in order to furnish light for the dance and amusements in the evening.
On the morning of July 24th, salutes were fired at daybreak, drums were beat and at 9 a.m. the people gathered together at the bowery.
The services were commenced with singing by the choir. The invocation was rendered by Bishop Wm. S. Seely, the remaining program consisted of singing, speech making, music, recitations etc., which kept up until about 1 p.m. when luncheon and picnic was served in abundance. At 3 p.m. everything was cleared away for amusements and dancing, which continued until 2 a.m. July 25th. A good many of the people danced in their bare feet and on the bare ground. The celebration was characterized all the way through by the good feelings which prevailed among the Saints.
About August 1st, we began harvesting our hay crops which consisted of the natural grasses, which grew in abundance in the lowlands between Mt. Pleasant and Ephraim, som of it being hauled as far as ten and twelve miles. We were not equipped with modern machinery and our only means of cutting the grass was with homemade cythes and swathes, raking with wooden rakes and pitchforks, which were made from the native wood.
Much time was consumed haying on account of this simple method and the use of ox teams and the hauling of the hay at so great a distance.
As soon as the hay crops were put up, harvesting of grain began, which was handled in about the same manner as haying. The grain was cradled, raked up into bundles and bound by hand, then hauled to the yards and thrashed by being trtramped with oxen or flailed by men.
The system of separating the grain from the chaff was accomplished by waiting for a light wind or breeze, at which time the farmers would toss it into the air, the grain falling on a canvas, while the chaff was blown off. This was continued over and over several times until the wheat would be thoroughly seperated. The crops were good and much grain was raised. However, some of it matured very late; some was frozen, owing to the fact that some of the settlers arrived late in the Spring and did not get their seed planted early enough in the season.
More to come.