Tuesday, December 31, 2013

James D. Simpson and Rebecca Ruby Beckstrom Home ~ Researched by Tudy Barentsen Standlee

Submitted by JoAnn Hafen Granger

You will agree that this is goose-bump stuff.

Comment: To all, Thank you for a wonderful year of terrific stories, photos, and updates that you have provided to all of your readers and descendents of the pioneers who settled in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. Your site is the one I visit every day. Also thank you for the Andre Rieu performance of "My Way" - very moving. Best wishes to all of you for a very Happy New Year! Sincerely, Ardith Madsen Renning Milner

Monday, December 30, 2013

What does RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT Have to do with Mt. Pleasant? JOSEPH SIMPSON

Ripley's Believe It or Not! is a franchise, founded by Robert Ripley, which deals in bizarre events and items so strange and unusual that readers might question the claims. The Believe It or Not panel proved popular and was later adapted into a wide variety of formats, including radiotelevision, comic books, a chain of museums and a book series.


You can find more articles about Joseph Simpson and "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" 
in Utah Digital Newspapers, Mt. Pleasant Pyramid.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Photos From the Carrie Jensen Collection ~ submitted by Leslie Pack and Lynda Bench (Carrie's Granddaughters)

We appreciate Leslie Pack and Lynda Bench for sharing these photos.  Can anyone identify the child or the four ladies?  The Band Concert photo looks like it may have been on a postcard and is very interesting.  We would like to know the year and occasion.  Please help if  you can.
Find more unknown photos at: http://mtpleasantunknown.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

PIONEER STORY OF MARY YOUNG WILCOX ~ taken from History of Mt. Pleasant by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf.

 Mary <i>Young</i> Willcox

By Annie Carlson Bills
       Mary Young Wilcox was born June 6, 1831, in Upper Canadadaughter of James and Elizabeth Seely Young.

       In the spring of 1846 they started from Kainsville, Iowa, on their westward journey across the plains to Utah.

After traveling about three hundred miles, the call carne from the government for five hundred of their young men to go to Mexico. This was the choosing of the "Mormon Battalion."

       The Battalion was packed with their packs, which weighed about thirty-five pounds.

The scene which followed, Mrs. Wilcox says, she can never forget. Widowed mothers parting with, sometimes, their only son, sweethearts, husbands and wives, a scene which only the ones who witnessed can realize the sadness of.

After the Battalion marched away, they resumed their journey, traveling as far as Winter Quarters, where they camped for the winter.

They built log cabins, with no windows, and taking their wagon boxes off the wagons, placed them inside of the houses, replacing the bows and covers. These they slept in. They had no stoves so a hole was dug in the center of the house and a fire was made in it. A hole in the center of the roof served as a place for the smoke to escape and light to enter. Thus they lived during the winter, suffering with cold and hunger. Many died from disease, through being so poorly nourished and clothed. Wher­ever a grove of timber and trees could be found, as many as could made cabins and stayed there through the winter.

Mary left Winter Quarters in May 1847. Traveling on the plains from Winter Quarters to Salt Lake Valley, she yoked and unyoked her oxen and drove them every step of the way, and was only sixteen years old. Suffering with the rest on the journey, she reached the valley on September 29, 1847. After resting a couple of weeks, they began making preparations for winter. She went with her father to get logs for their cabin. She also made the adobes that made the chimney for their cabin. She says, "No kings could be happier than we, when we reached the valley and had built our first log cabin."

The houses were so built as to form a fort, it being two blocks long and one block wide when completed. Two gates, one at the north and one at the south, were made. It being located about where the Seventh ward is.  About Christmas of 1847, their cabins were ready to move into.

On March 14, 1848, she was married to John Henry Wilcox. Spring came and they began to survey the land and let each couple have a chance to draw for the land. They drew the land where the Sugarhouse Ward is.

They made a brush "shanty" and began to work on their land. Her husband grubbed the brush and she piled and burned it, and prepared the land for plowing. They sowed a nice piece of the land and had a nice garden planted, having brought the seed across the plains with them. The seeds took root and grew and looked very prosperous. But by this time the crickets had hatched out and they soon consumed the whole crop. Then came the blessed "Sea Gulls." They came in great Hocks and devoured the crickets. They would stay a few hours at a time, then fly away
 with a squawk, and after a while return for more crickets. It was not too late to replant, but no more seed could be had.

After the crickets had destroyed their crops, the people went back to the fort for the rest of the summer.

After the people of the northern sections had harvested their crops, they allowed them to go and glean. Her husband grubbed oak brush for a peck of corn a day and boarded himself out of what little they had. In this way they saved a little for winter. Later her husband went to the canyon and got a big load of poles. A man offered him forty pounds of wheat and he sold the poles to him for the wheat. He sowed one and one-fourth acres of ground where the crickets had eaten his crop the spring before. The next summer they threshed seventy bushels of wheat from the forty pounds of seed.

The first potatoes were brought from California on pack animals and sold to the people for twenty five cents a piece and only four being allowed to each man.

       In the spring of 1849 they planted a peck of potatoes; when they dug them they got thirty bushels.

       In the fall of 1850 they were called to settle Manti. They stayed there three years. Built homes and raised a crop.

In the spring of 1853 her husband went to Hambleton. The Indians killed all his cattle and oxen and burned the wagons, saw. mill. and all the lumber, and they were left once more without anything. They moved to the fort at Manti.

In 1853 they gave all they had for one yoke of oxen and wagon, and moved to Pleasant Grove. In 1860 they moved to Mt. Pleasant. They lived in Mt. Pleasant ever after. 

There are five living generations. Her mother also lived to see five generations. Mrs. Wilcox died May 16, 1929.

The following additional information comes from:

Birth: Jun. 6, 1832
Ontario, Canada

Death: May 16, 1929
Mount Pleasant
Sanpete County
Utah, USA
Parents: James Young and Elizabeth Seely
Married John Henry Wilcox
COD: Myocarditis, chronic

Death certificate State of Utah

Records may also be found under Wilcox

Family links:
  James Young (1804 - 1894)
  Elizabeth Seely Young (1807 - 1900)

  John Henry Owen Willcox (1824 - 1909)

  Hazzard Wilcox (1849 - 1925)*
  Sarah Wilcox Bills (1853 - 1936)*
  James Henery Wilcox (1855 - 1939)*
  John Carlos Wilcox (1858 - 1938)*
  Mary H Wilcox Day (1860 - 1946)*
  Clarissa Jane Wilcox Meiling (1863 - 1951)*
  Sabra Ellen Willcox Oliver (1865 - 1914)*
  Hannah Wilcox Carlston (1868 - 1943)*
  Martha Anna Wilcox Westwood Foy (1871 - 1962)*
  Justus Azel Wilcox (1874 - 1945)*

*Calculated relationship
Mount Pleasant City Cemetery
Mount Pleasant
Sanpete County
Utah, USA
Plot: A_128_2_7
Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]
Maintained by: Penne Magnusson Cartrigh...
Originally Created by: Utah State Historical So...
Record added: Feb 02, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 139581

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Excerpts From Andrew Madsen Sr. Journal

This segment tells of Delegates sent to the Utah Convention, the prevention and punishment of polygamy.  Andrew tells of the building of his own home, the simple entertainments of the day, the simple fashion and humility of the Saints.  He also tells of those who were volunteers to go help incoming emigrants cross the plains and mountains.

1862 - 

Delegates were sent to Salt Lake City to attend a Convention held on Monday, January 20th, for the purpose of establishing a State Government.

The Convention of Delegates chosen by the people adopted a State Constitution for Utah and a Memorial Congress, praying the first time for the admission of Utah into the Union, as a state, with the name of Deseret.  George Q. Cannon and William H. Hooper were elected Delegates to present them to Congress.

April 8th, Mr. Morrill of Vermont, introduced a bill in the United States House of Representatives at Washington D.C. to punish and prevent the practice of Polygamy in the territories of the United States. It was read twice and referred to the Committee of Territories.

This Bill also made it unlawful for any religious or charitable association in any of the United States Territories to own real estate worth more than $50,000.00.

The Anti-Polygamy Bill was approved by President Abraham Lincoln on the 8th day of July and signed.  Lincoln at the time of the signing the bill, stated that it reminded him of a large stump which stood in the middle of his father's farm that they could plow around.

The principle of Celestial or Plural Marriage had been revealed many years ago by the Prophets of old and practiced by Abraham, the friend of God and revealed by the Prophet, Joseph Smith, of the latter days, The Saints who had taken unto them more than one wife did it by mutual consent and in accordance with the teachings.  There was no law prohibiting it up to this time and they felt that they had broken no laws and were in now way interfering with the rights of others and that they had the right to obey that principle in worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience.

Early in the Spring I and my brother, Mads, began to build me an adobe house.  Material was very scarce and hard to obtain.  The house was built after the pattern of my brother's and was one and one half story high, with a dirt roof.  It has since been remodeled considerably.  The roof has been taken off and rebuilt with an addition to the back and porches in front, adding much to the appearance.  It is now one of the most modern up-to-date dwelling houses in the city.  It consists of nine large comfortable rooms, bathrooms and closets fitted with water and lights throughout.  It is overshadowed with large pine trees, which were planted at about the time the house was first built, extending into the air fully forty feet, intermingling with the poplar and locus shade trees and beautiful lawn borders on the south and west side.
Andrew Madsen Sr. Home located 300 North State East side
of the road.

Andrew Madsen Sr. Home
as it looks today (2013)

At the time I was erecting the house, I made a trip to Payson, where there was a nail factory.  They manufactured nails from scraps of iron picked up and gathered together from broken down wagons and carts found along the emigrant's road across the plains and mountains.  The nails were very clumsy and brittle, but answered our purpose.  I secured what I needed at a cost of twenty five cents per pound.

These goods were occasionally brought in by peddlers and emigrants who brought with them occasionally a small surplus.

It is surprising to reflect upon how well and satisfied we felt under these trying circumstances.  One reason was that we looked to the future and had faith that better times were coming.  We were united in performing all public work and improvements.

fashion of 1901
In these days there were no fashion books for the ladies to be guided by and no choice in cloth.  Sewing was all done by hand and consequently everything was made up in the simplest styles, guided only in the economizing of cloth.  There was no class distinction and we were all considered equal as brothers and sisters.

The people would often gather together in one of their humble little dwellings to feast and dance and  enjoy themselves.  Oft times singing the good old song of "Hard Times Come Again No More," feeling that God had blessed the Saints who had come here to worship him giving them health and strength to endure the hardships which they were daily combating with.  The feeling and spirit which existed at this time will never be fully realized by the reader as it was by those of us here, who have passed through the ordeal.

President Brigham Young fully realized the conditions of the Saints, their great need of clothing.  Therefore he called many of them to go and settle the St. George Country in order to grow and produce cotton.  There were but few sheep within the territory and consequently we did not raise much wool.  

President Brigham Young at once ordered a cotton mill built at Salt Lake City in order that the cotton could be spun into yarn.  The wool the women spun into yarn by the use of spinning wheels, which was mixed with cotton and woven into cloth, but not of a fancy type, the same being commonly known as the "Hard Times Cloth".

President Young also advised the people to organize co-operative canneries throughout the territory and requested the shoemakers to remain at their trade in order to provide men, women and children with shoes.

April 20th, there was a call from President Brigham Young for men to go to Missouri to assist the poor emigrants in crossing the plains to Utah, and in May, 262 wagons, 293 men 2,880 oxen with 143,315 pounds of flour at once started across the mountains and plains for the emigrants.

They traveled in six companies under Captain Horton D. Haight, Henry W. Miller, Homer Duncan, Joseph Horn, John R. Murdock and Hansel P. Harmon.

Mt. Pleasant was always willing to shoulder its share of burdens, so it sent the following men who braved the journey with their other comrades:  Joseph Page, Orange Seely, Neils Waldemar, Wm. Barton, Magnus Ferando and Peter Adolph Fredericksen went along and acted as Night Guard.

Some of the Saints furnished one ox, others a yoke of oxen, and others would furnish the only yoke of oxen they had, while some of the people remaining at home would volunteer to do their work on their farms for them during their absence.  By this method they were fitted out for the journey.  This afforded the poor emigrants better acomodations in crossing the plains and mountains than was afforded those who were compelled to work their way over the deserts and plains during the previous years, drawing their hand-carts with them, which contained their rations and ofttimes their little children and clothing.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Greetings from David and Kathryn Gunderson

     Merry Christmas 2013

     Kathryn & I hope this Christmas will be a special time of year for each of you and your families.

     As I think back over the many Christmases of
my life, many of them are especially memorable. Mostly, memorable because we spent them with you our treasured family and friends.

     I can remember some details of most of my early Christmases, there was a windup tractor, a glass washing machine (there is a story about that but I’ll save it for another time), my tricycle, the tinker toys, etc. But the Christmas of 1942 stands out as one of the most memorable, and I owe much of that to my “teasie” Uncle Bruce. who never missed an opportunity to make things “interesting” for his nieces & nephews.   
December of 1942 found our family staying with Aunt Hilda and her nephew, my mother’s brother, Uncle Bruce in Mt. Pleasant. A fire at the site of the Duchesne Tunnel[1], where my father was working as an engineer, had destroyed the generator and compressor plant. Because of WWII, the damaged equipment couldn’t be replaced and work on the tunnel had to be postponed.
As we left our home in the mountains a heavy snow storm moved in, effectively cutting of all access to our former home until spring. My father was reassigned to the Salt Lake office, but from Thanksgiving to New Years, while my parents were searching for a place to live in Salt Lake, (not an easy thing to do in those wartime years)  our family stayed in Mt. Pleasant.
As Christmas approached, Uncle Bruce repeatedly cautioned me that since we had moved so late in the year, I shouldn’t be prepared to have Santa miss me at our new address.  
On about the 15th of December, Dad asked me if I wanted to go with him and Uncle Bruce to the Mountains east of Mt. Pleasant to find a Christmas tree and I readily agreed.  But as I remember it, I just stood, cold to the bone, at the bottom of a steep hillside in mud not quite deep enough to cover my boots, listening to Dad and Uncle Bruce argue the virtues of various tree. (I really don’t know why Dad worried about the shape of our trees. He always remade them when we were decorating them anyway, adding branches or taking them out as he felt necessary.) I did, however, take the opportunity to learn some of the great sounding new expletives I was hearing.
When I got home, I was anxious to show off my new vocabulary and got my mouth washed out with soap for my efforts.  Dad and Uncle Bruce got scolded but they didn’t get the soap treatment. I remember of thinking that maybe Mom and Aunt Hilda had just given up on them.
A few days before Christmas, Uncle Bruce really started to give me the business, he explained that I had probably waited too long to let Santa know that we had moved so he could re-arrange his pack to deliver my presents in Mt. Pleasant, and that my presents would probably be left in our old snowbound house and worse yet, before we could get there in the spring to pick them up, skiers or snowshoe hikers would get there and find my presents. Thinking them abandoned, they would naturally take them home for their own children, who, unlike the children for whom they were intended, would appreciate them.
Well that really got my attention. Uncle Bruce promised to do what he could to “help” me in my desperate situation and he did. Mom and Aunt Hilda didn’t say much but they did assure me that Santa would find me as he had found other children through the centuries.
To understand the rest of the story, you need to understand that, like other families, my mothers family used to have a cutter, complete with a set of sleigh bells.
In those early years of my life I didn’t know about the cutter or the sleigh bells, but Uncle Bruce did.
Early on Christmas Eve day, Uncle Bruce came back home with great news. He had seen Santa and explained my situation. Santa had agreed that my situation was desperate and that he would try to work me in to his busy schedule, but that I should remember that he might have to come by a bit early and that the strict roles could not be changed. Before he could come I must be in bed and asleep.
In the late afternoon of Christmas Eve, thing really started to happen. Just before dinner, I suddenly heard the sound of sleigh bells, but running to the window, I saw nothing. Soon afterward, Uncle Bruce came into the Kitchen and asked if we had heard the bells. We told him we had and he warned that I should probably have been in bed and asleep because Santa may not be able to make another run.
During dinner, Uncle Bruce suddenly remembered some important chore and needed to be excused for a few minutes. While he was out we again heard sleigh bells.
After coming back, Uncle Bruce asked if we had the bells and again warned that I should have been in bed and asleep, because Santa had already made two tries and may not be able to make another run for me. Aunt Hilda reassuringly said that I should just leave it to Santa. We heard sleigh bells again several times that afternoon and each time Uncle Bruce (after coming back into the house) would warn me that I should already have been in bed and asleep, because Santa could not just keep trying.
After Dinner, we held a family Christmas Eve Devotional in the parlor, where the Christmas tree was located and where I was to sleep. I was just frantic, but Aunt Hilda casually read from the Gospel of St. Luke and set out a tray of goodies for Santa. We all heard bells once or twice more during the evening, but soon, excited as I was, I became so sleepy that I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.

When I awoke on Christmas morning, I found that Santa had been right there in our parlor where I had slept, eaten the snack we had left him and just as Uncle Bruce had arranged, built a “Toyland Town all around our Christmas tree”.
It wasn’t until many years later that I realized that every time the sleigh bells rang, Uncle Bruce was away on some important errand.
Uncle Bruce went to great of effort to make sure that we had a great Christmas that year and I love him for it. But, I think he had just as much fun as I did.
I don’t remember what Santa brought that Christmas, but I do remember that he made the effort to find me. Over the years I have come to see the symbolism in this and recognize how grateful I am that the Prince of Peace has made the effort to come to find each of us, regardless of race, religion or status just as Santa found me

  With Much Love, We Wish Each of You a Very Merry Christmas
                  David & Kathryn Gunderson

[1]  The Duchesne Tunnel is part of an irrigation project. It is located 18 mi east of Kamas, Utah. We returned to it in 1949

Benind Time ~ an 1890 Essay by Neil Madsen ~ from the Johanna Madsen Hafen Collection

Time is one of the most important things. It is with time that man does his work.  If we begin to think that we haven't time to do a certain thing and put it off til another time, then it brings us to neglect till we haven't time to do anything. But if we take time and do it quick as possible then we begin to always have time for our work (and) are always up to time at our ......at the appointed hour.

One of the most important lessons to be learned in life is the art of economizing time.  There is an instinct that tells us that the man who does much is most likely to do more, and to do i in the best manner.  It is much easier for one who is always exerting himself to exert himself a little more than for him who does nothing to raise himself to action.  Give a busy man ten minutes to write a letter andhe will dash it off at once.  Give an idle man a day, and he will postpone it til tomorrow or next week.

A little done this hour and a little done the next hour, day by day and year by year brings much to pass.
Even the largest houses are built by laying one stone upon another  It is said that the mine sweepings of the floor of the gold workroom are melted and coined.  Learn from this the nobler economy of time; glean up its golden dust; economize with the utmost car those days and bits of hours.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lost Cousins

These are cousins of my mother (Helen Olsen Rodgers Rigby)

 Charles and Bonnie were children of Charles and Elvina Olsen Peterson
Ernest may have  been a son of Sena Olsen Neeka  (not sure)
 Irene ???

These children were grandchildren of Hans Peder and Anna Maria Kjerstina Madsen Olsen who came to Mt. Pleasant in the 1860s from Denmark.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas history...shared by Dave Harris

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.

Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor.. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'

And thus began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Brinton Celabrate Golden Wedding Anniversary ~ 1964


Genealogy Quote

"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from."

~Alex Haley

L.D.S. Temple

L.D.S. Temple
Manti Temple