Relic Home and Blacksmith Shop

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

John and Jane Tidwell ~ A history written by Lettie Phipps Peterson, granddaughter

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John Harvey Tidwell - by Lettie Phipps Peterson, his grandaughter


John Harvey Tidwell [John Tidwell] was born January 14, 1807 in Shelby, Kentucky. Jane Smith was born June 5, 1812 in Clark County, Indiana. They joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and came to Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois where the Saints were at that time. After the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith they came to Utah, arriving in Salt Lake City June 18, 1852. There a baby girl, Emma Jane, was born and died. After about four or five months they moved to Pleasant Grove, staying there until 1859. While there their 12th child was born, Emeline Mariah on June 29, 1855. Emma did not die, she is my fourth great grandmother. (Kathy Hafen) June 9, 1859 they moved to Mt. Pleasant, Utah, Sanpete County when Emeline was 4 years old. They lived in the old Fort during the Indian trouble. After peace was established the people moved out of the Fort. Each family was allotted a quarter of a city block to have as their home. John built a two room adobe house on his place, which is on the corner of 2nd South and State Street, where John K. Madsen lived for many years, and where Grant Johansen now lives (1962). It was here they lived the rest of their lives. He later added two more rooms built of lumber with a large fireplace in the living room. This was the only way they had of heating their home except with a small cook stove in the kitchen. Grandmother did most of her cooking in the fireplace--baking bread on the red-hot coals in a large iron Dutch oven, boiling water and making soup in a large iron pot hung on heavy iron brackets over the fire. I was just a small child but I can remember the blue checkered tablecloth on the table, and how good the hot bread would smell and how good it would taste spread with butter and honey! Grandmother would churn butter and sell it for 10 cents a pound and also sell eggs for 10 cents a dozen. Grandfather engaged in farming and cattle raising--owning land west and south of Mt. Pleasant. He had several beautiful horses which were sometimes used in the parade on the fourth of July by his son, John (or Jack as he was called). They planted most of their lot in fruit trees and how well I remember the good times we children had sliding down the straw stacks and eating apples, sleeping in the large front room and waking up in the morning to the bright fire in the big fireplace B and Uncle Jack sitting by the fire! The Tidwell boys were called "Minute Men" for when there was trouble with the Indians they had to be ready to go at a "minute's" notice. Jefferson Tidwell beat the drums to call the men together when there was trouble with the Indians. John (Jack) Tidwell, Jr. was the Pony Express Man, carrying the mail and other news to the surrounding towns. Jack had a pony that could scent the Indians when close by. His pony saved his life one time when he was carrying the mail to Spring City. The horse would not go across the big Cedar Creek at the regular crossing, so Jack let him go down-stream and crossed at another place. After crossing, Jack could see Indians at the other crossing. Had he crossed there, the Indians would have killed him. John Harvey Tidwell was Captain over a group of Saints who crossed the plains to the Salt Lake Valley. He was the first Sunday School Superintendent in Mt. Pleasant. He had a lot of faith in the gospel and had the gift of healing and through his faith and administrations, many people were helped and made well. Mrs. Willie Winkler's mother told me that she had been healed under his administration and my father was also. The book, "Mt. Pleasant" stated, An elderly Englishman by the name of Lee (father of Brig Lee) was working at a shingle mill. In some way he got his arm in the machinery and it was crushed. He was taken to his home and John Tidwell was called. There were no doctors in Mt. Pleasant at that time. Mr. Lee was placed on a table and four men held him while John Tidwell performed the operation of amputating the arm, which took 40 minutes. The only operating tools available were a knife and a meat saw. Brother Lee recovered and lived many years after that incident occurred. John Tidwell was good at making tubs and churns and pails out of wood, bound with wooden hoops which were used by the Pioneers. Jane Smith Tidwell was in the first dramatic company organized in Mt. Pleasant. They played for some years both in the Fort and after the new meeting house was built outside of the Fort--wheat was accepted as cash for tickets. John and Jane Smith Tidwell had their endowment in the Nauvoo Temple, but hey had to have it done over again in the Salt Lake City Endowment House. John Harvey died on January 14, 1887. John Harvey left all of his property, land, cattle and horses to his youngest son, John (Jack) if he would take care of his mother the rest of her life. This he did and never married. He was considered quite well to do at that time (This is John Harvey) as he owned land west of town and east of father's home. (the Jerome Zebriskle and Arthur Averett place). I know nothing about Jane Smith Tidwell's early life. I can just barely remember her, and I remember that once she walked out to my father and mother's place on the farm. She was at her husband's side in all he did. She died on May 20, 1893 and buried in Mt. Pleasant City Cemetery. I have a hat of hers and some dishes that she brought with her across the plains.

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