Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book Review: The Beehive House

This is the second book I read with regards to the Beehive House.  Both from the book exchange at our ward. http://bwardlehistory.blogspot.com/2012/11/book-revuew-beehive-house.html
This book was published  by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1978. It doesn't have sketches but actual photos of the Lion House.  It also uses about half of the book and provides a history of the Church, a history of Brigham Young,  Westward migration, the coming of the railroad.  It includes sections on the Salt Lake Temple and the Tabernacle.  Also pioneer culture.  It mentions the Handcart Pioneers. One thing I found interesting was a conversation of the role irigation played in the taming of the valleys.  My Great-great grandfather helped build the first irrigation ditch to carry water to the West side of Salt Lake Valley out of the Jordan River, Beckstead Canal in South Jordan.







Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cache and Cachians

This is  publication put together by the Special Collections at Utah State.  It is subtitled Twenty Publications Important to the Study of Cache Valley.  It is dated 1976.  These items are from Special Collection, Merrill Library Utah State.  The twenty publications it lists, which would have been on display are:
1. Northeastern Utah and South Eastern Idaho, 1877 George M. Wheeler Cartographer.  This is the first map showing the valley floor of Cache Valley.
2. The History of a Valley: Cache Valley, Utah-Idaho, Joel Ricks Editor 1956.  I have this book in my possession.
3. A Detective's Experience Among the Mormons or Polygamist Mormons: How They Live and the Land They Live In.  Fed E, Bennett, 1887.  A look at polygamy from the side of the law.  Detective served mostly in Franklin area.  Available from Cornell University online http://archive.org/stream/cu31924031249455#page/n31/mode/2up  or through Amazon for over $100
4. A Soil Survey of Cache Valley Area, Utah: Parts of Cache and Box Elder Counties, United States Department of Agriculture, 1974.
5. Intermountain Railroads: Standard and Narrow Gauge,  Merrill Beal, 1962.  AMazon has for $10.  A review on line at
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/merrill-p-beal/intermountain-railroads/#review
6. The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, Hafen, LeRoy R., editor  1965-1972
 “From at least 1824 to 1834 Cache Valley was the center of the Rock Mountain Fur Trade.  The great rendezvous of 1826 was held here, probably near the present city of Richmond.  There are numerous books dealing with the trapper era, but the ten volume work of trapper biographies edited by Prof. Hafen probably contains the most comprehensive data on Cache Valley’s roll in the fur trade.
Available through Amazon Books and excerpts online:
http://content.lib.utah.edu/cdm/ref/collection/wwdl-neh/id/3767

7. Corianton, and Aztec Romance: A Romantic Spectacular Drama, in Four Acts.  Bean, Drestes, SLC 1902
A four-act play…is Cache Valley’s principal contribution to American drama.  The play was first produced in Logan’s Thatcher Opera House and was taken on several successful nation-wide tours by a Cache Valley company.
Online:  http://archive.org/stream/coriantonanaztec00beanrich#page/60/mode/2up
8. The History of Smithfield: Olson, Mr and Mrs. Leonard, Smithfield 1927
“The Olson history is in every sense a “commissioned” history.  It was requested by the Smithfield City Council on August 5, 1925, and published by the city two years later… While this work uses many commonly available sources, it was partially derived from interviews with Smithfield pioneers still living in 1926 and thus may be considered a primary account of Smithfield history.
I could not find this book on the web but this article cites this book:
http://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclopedia/s/SMITHFIELD.html
9.  The Mormons,  Wishard, Samuel E. New York Presbyterian Home Missions, 1904
“Gentile History is the great unknown in Cache Valley history…Wisard’s little book outlines the early history of the Presbyterians in Cache Valley.
I tried to find ebook but not successful.  Copies (reprinted?) are available through Amazon, Alibris, ebay.
10.  Ten Years Before the Mast.  Shipwrecks and Adventures at Sea!  Religious Customs of the People of India and Burmak’s Empire:  How I Became a Mormon and Why I Became and Infidel, Metcalf, Anthony, Malad City, Idaho 1888.
“:Only one copy of this book is known to exist.  The autobiography of Anthony Metcalf it records the difficulties of being a member of the Reorganized LDS Church in Cache Valley in the 1860s and 70s.”
I have been unable to find any ebook, but there is internet discussion of a quote from David Whitmer and being a witness to the Book of Mormon, which people seem to use to try to disprove the witnesses.
11. Newspaper Supplements: Special newspaper editions The Journal New Years 1892 devoted to La Plata and the Cache mining industry, The Herald Journal Centenial 1956, Golden Spike Centenial 1969 Ogden Standard Examiner.
12. Ground Water Supply in Cache Valley, Utah Available for Domestic Usr and Irrigation, Peterson, William, Logan Bulletin Utah Cooperative Extension Service 1946.
13.  Brigham Young College Bulletin: Final Volume, Final Number, Logan 1926
“This bulletin is the last published work of Logan’s BYC, an LDS College which operated from 1878 to 1926.  This publication contains the proceeding of the 48th annual commencement with the tests of the addresses on the history of the institution.”
14.  Hometown Album: a Pictorial History of Franklin County, Idaho—Horse and Buggy Days and early Auto Era, Hart, Newell, Preston Idaho 1973.
“This magnificent volume with 843 illustrations of all phases of life in northern Cache Valley is probably the finest book yet to be published on Cache Valley history.  Mr. Hart has fathered and laboriously identified each photograph and compiled as an appendix a basic chronology of north Cache Valley from 1860 to 1930.  The volume is superbly indexed.”
15. History of Northern Utah and Southern Idaho, Tullidge, Edward W. Salt Lake City 1889
“Volume II of Tullidge’s Histories.  This volume is the first historical account of Cache Valley.”
http://books.google.com/books?id=V9yNdroBfdgC&pg=PA137&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false
16. The Trail Blazer: History of the Development of Southeastern Idaho, Danielsen, Marie, Compiler, Preston, Daughters of the Pioneers, 1930.
“This little volume remains the basic history of Franklin county, Idaho.  Compiled in the 1920s, at least partially from pioneer interviews, it is the primary source for all subsequent histories of northern Cache Valley.”
17. Cache County: The Eden of Utah, Logan, the Logan Republican, 1916.
“This “chamber of commerce” guide to Cache County was published by the Logan Republican in the spring of 1916.  It is apparently the first such publication in Valley history, a special promotional brochure designed to encourage investment and new population growth.
No ebook
18. Logan City and Cache County Directory, 1905-1906, Polk R. L. & Co Salt Lake City 1905
19. Geologic Atlas of Utah: Cache County, William, J. Stewart Salt Lake City 1958
20. The Story of Old Ephraim, Crookston, Newell J. Logan 1959
“Cache is a valley-oriented society.  Very little has ever been published about the mountains surrounding us or the wildlife therein.  Crookston’s booklet is one of only two works on the bears which once roamed the mountains and the valley floor.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

William L. Todd, Bear Flag Revolt

After watching the Lincoln movie, I was reminded of the role Mary Lincoln's nephew played in the Bear Flag Revolt.  It was he that created the Bear Flag which was raised in Sonoma on June 6, 1946 in which a few men declared their independence from Mexico and declared themselves the Republic of California.  William said he used blackberry juice for the star.  The star was to show sympathy for the Texans, and indicate in similar fashion California was leaving Mexico and hoping to join the United States.  The grizzly was added, a symbol of strength.  When General Vallejo, Mexican general taken captive at Sonoma, saw the flag, he said the grizzly looked more like a pig.  A bar of red cloth was sewn to the bottom of the flag, making a broad red stripe.  This is the basic design of the California Flag today.
picture of original flag which was destroyed in fire, San Francisco earthquake
recreation of original fag adding colors
California Flag
 http://bwardlehistory.blogspot.com/2010/10/william-ide-bear-flag-revolt-renactment.html
William Todd continued to help the revolters, running recannsance.  A couple of those with this duty were captured by Californios and murdered.  William Todd was also captured.  However the Bear Flag revolt was able to rescue him before he received a similar fate.
Those of the Bear Flag thought they would meet the same fate as the Alamo.  They prepared for final value as what they thought what was the Mexican Army approached.  However they discovered it to be General Fremont and his men of the U.S. Army.  The Mexican Army stayed in the Monterrey area, and did not challenge the Bear Flag Revolt.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Utah War

Utah War This is taken from "The Mormon Experience" by Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton.
http://johnstonsarmy.blogspot.com/  This blog has some nice quotes.
In 1857 Utah territory was invaded by a hostile force of American soldiery.  The events and influences that led to this confrontation are difficult to establish.  The conflict was triggered in 1855 when David H. Burr, a non-Mormon appointed to be surveyor general of the territory, found his work impeded by Saints understandably anxious about any official survey of lands that they possessed only by right of occupation, not by any explicit declaration or approval of Congress.  Burr and his assistants left the territory and reinforced the reports of Mormon skullduggery already prevalent in Washington.  Garland Hurt, and energetic Indian agent, added his disturbing opinion that the Mormons were teaching the Indians to distinguish between the “Mormonee” and other Americans.  Not willing to accept the explanation that Mormons had to adopt some means of letting the Indians know that they shouldn’t be held responsible for the brutality practiced by other Americans, Hurt alleged that the Mormons were planning to employ native Americans in a war of vengeance against all non-Mormon settlers and travelers.
Troubles with surveyors and Indian agents were overshadowed by continuing strife between Mormons and federally appointed judges.  After 1855 the Utah judiciary was headed by three non-Mormons: W.W. Drummond, George P. Stiles, and John F. Kinney.  While on the surface Kinney was friendly to the Mormons, he represented them to Washington as being seditious and unruly.  Stiles and Drummond did not bother to temper their distaste; the latter, especially, came to personify for the Mormons all the injustices of the territorial system.
The Mormons found Drummond to be a “lithesome specimen of humanity.”  Norman Furniss, a recent historian, wrote that he was “as unsavory as any man appointed to office.” Drummond’s flagrant association with a prostitute offended the moral sense of the Saints.  Perhaps most threatening was his attack on the probate courts, with Mormon bishops as probate judges, which had ruled on both civil and criminal cases.  At the time he accused Mormons of destroying court records, an accusation later proved false.  Offensive as his personal character might have been, Drummond played an important role in sparking the national reaction to Utah.
By the spring of 1857 the disgruntled officeholders were assembled in Washington clamoring for the newly inaugurated president, James Buchanan, to do something about the state of affairs in Utah.  Although he had not considered the Mormon issues important enough to mention in his inaugural address, Buchanan was sensitive to public opinion.  Between April and the early part of May he decided to replace Brigham Young as governor.  By the end of the month he had chosen an even more drastic course of action.  What had led him to these two momentous decisions?  We do not know exactly, but there are several clues. 
The Mormons had picked an awkward time to establish their semi-independent kingdom in the West.  The issues of slavery and states’ rights were already dividing the nation.  Northerners wanted to make an example of Mormon rebelliousness, while some Southerners hoped and anti-Mormon campaign might relieve the pressure on them.  One Southern leader wrote to Buchanan urging a vigorous Utah policy that would “supersede the Negro-mania with the almost universal excitement of an Anti-Mormon Crusade.”  The thousands of European Saints flocking to Utah made it difficult to ignore the “Mormon problem,” and in fact aroused some early anti-immigrant nativism.
But such considerations lay in the background as predisposing conditions.  On the front of the stage Drummond, Hurt, and others somehow persuaded Buchanan that the Mormons were in a state of rebellion.  They contended that through threats, boycotts, and murder the Mormon leaders hoped to drive all non-Mormons from the territory.  A stream of newspaper articles, pamphlets, novels, and public speeches enumerated supposed Mormon treacheries and called for reprisals as extreme as a holy war of extermination.  When Apostle Parley P. Pratt was murdered in Arkansas in may 1857, many newspapers greeted his death with undisguised glee.
Buchanan and his cabinet officers found themselves in a climate of public opinion that seemed to support any move to protect the rights of non-Mormons, suppress Mormon home rule, and eradicate polygamy.  The President became convinced that a vigorous anti-Mormon action could only be to his credit.  By May 1857 he had decided upon a show of military force as the best and quickest solution.  But he seriously underestimated the degree to which it would be opposed by the Mormons.  In the ensuing two years he found that his solution was anything but quick, and even the political popularity of a Utah campaign was to prove disappointing.
Indecision, incompetence, and competition for lucrative contracts surrounded the preparations of the Utah Expedition.  The first body of soldiers did not leave Fort Leavenworth until mid-July.  Others did not straggle out until September.  Within weeks they were plagues by foul weather and the indecision of their officers.  William S. Harney, originally chosen to command the army, was replaced by Colonel Albert Sidney Johnson.  During the winter Johnston engaged in a running dispute with the newly appointed governor of Utah, Alfred Cumming of Georgia and Missouri, who accompanied the troops West.  The Colonel seemed to be intent on a military victory over the Mormons, whereas Cumming was primarily concerned with acceptance of himself as governor.
Although Mormon leaders had suspected something was afoot, they first heard of the impending invasion on July 24, 1857, the tenth anniversary of their entrance into the valley.  Four dust-covered horsemen galloped into a festive assembly and announced that a large force of American soldiers was on its way to install a non-Mormon governor and prevent any further “rebellion.”  Buchanan’s action conjured up memories of Missouri and Illinois—of mobs aided and abetted by the military.  The President had even neglected to send an official communication to Brigham Young, who, in his own mind still the official governor, chose to regard the approaching troops as a hostile army invading Utah Territory. 
Determine to greet the invaders with force if necessary, The Mormons hoped to avoid bloodshed with “scorched earth” and harassment policies that would lead the invaders with a precarious line of supply.  Young called out the territorial militia and asked each community to donate men, firearms and provisions to the defense.  By the fall of 1857 eleven hundred men were fortifying the mountain passes east of Great Salt Lake.  Other parties were dispatched to burn Fort Bridger and Fort Supply, Mormon-owned outposts at the eastern entrance to the territory.  By November 1857 a troop of eighteen hundred federal soldiers and camp followers were huddling around the charred ruins of Fort Bridger, desperately trying to avoid starvation until spring, when they could resume their campaign.  Mormon raiders managed to burn three wagon trains sent to supply the expedition, destroying three months’ provisions and bringing federal troops to the brink of starvation.  Young added insult to injury by offering to provide the embattled U.S. troops with salt, flour, and cattle.
It was miraculous that the Utah Expedition did not end in a bloodbath.  Unleashing military force is always easier than restraining it, and for the Mormons to attempt harassment of the invaders and destruction of supply trains while avoiding the taking of life and open battles was, on the face of it, a delicate combination that would not seem to have much chance of success.  Yet there were practically no casualties except from frostbite and exposure.
Young’s initial anger at the Utah Expedition was tempered as he realized the futility of open warfare against the U.S. Army.  He cautioned raiders to do all they could to delay the force but not to heighten the troops’ belligerency toward the Mormons, but the official position emanating from Washington had already begun to change.  Through Colonel Thomas L. Kane, Young had initiated peace feelers.  While Kane was sailing to California to mediate between Governor Cumming, Young, and Colonel Johnston, Buchanan dispatched a presidential peace commission overland, an action motivated mainly by congressional unrest over the vast amount of money and manpower being used to provision and reinforce the Utah Expedition.  Both Young and Buchanan, therefore, now sought a peaceful settlement.
While negotiations were still in process, Young decided on a dramatic gesture.  This was a decision to “move South,” to abandon the entire northern sweep of the territory to the army, leaving men behind with instructions to set fire to any settlement the soldiers made moves to occupy.  Hoses Stout recorded the decision in his diary:
Thursday 18 March 1858: Attended a general Council at the Historians office of the first Presidency, Twelve, and officers of the Legion.  The object which was to take into consideration the enemies, whether to attack them before they came near us or wait until they come near, or whether it is yet best to fight only n unavoidable defense or in case a large force is sent against us this spring whether to fight or burn our houses and destroy every thing in and around us and flee to the mountains and deserts.
Adopting the “Sebastopol plan,” which had served a similar purpose during the Crimean War, yung was attempting to muster some national sympathy while demonstrating that the Mormons were not willing to submit to a blatant military occupation of their homes.  Throughout the spring the Mormons streamed south to temporary encampments near Provo and farther south.
Meanwhile, Governor Cumming made a trip to the Salt lake Valley, assured himself there was no rebellion, and returned to Camp Scott, the bivouac at Fort Bridger.  In April, agreement was reached that the expedition would be allowed to march through Salt Lake City and establish a position some forty miles distant from which it could ensure the rights of the presidential appointees without seeming to “occupy Mormon territory.”  In June, after announcing that Buchanan had granted the Mormons “free and full pardon,” the new territorial officers and an escort of more than fifty-five hundred soldiers, teamsters, and suppliers marched through the abandoned streets of Salt Lake City.  To the south, some thirty thousand Mormon faithful waited, fearful that their homes might be either occupied or destroyed.  Nothing of the kind occurred.  The Utah Expedition marched beyond the city and across the Jordan River to Cedar Valley, some forty miles south of Salt Lake City.  There they established Camp Floyd, named in honor of the Secretary of War who had supported the mission.
The peaceable march of the army through Salt Lake City, the unopposed installation of Cumming as governor, and the subsequent return of the Mormons to their abandoned farms and homes ended a confrontation that had been heralded as apocalyptic but had always had something of the incongruity of comic opera.  The President of the United States had dispatched the largest peacetime army in the nation’s history to oversee the installation of half a dozen officials in a minor territory.  He had done so without thorough investigation of charges made by a few disgruntled or economically interested individuals.  He had neglected to notify the Mormons or to inquire after their viewpoint, until nearly a year after the expedition was sent.  The Mormons, in turn, had once more been uprooted from their homes, interrupted in their development of the territory, and labeled a rebellious people.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Uncompahgre Utes: Leading to Their Forced Removal

This the second of three posts I am writing, using my Dad's thesis for material.  http://bwardlehistory.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-uncompagre-ute-indians.html
The Tabaguache (Uncompahgre) had very little contact with the American culture before 1858.  Kit Carson, who was Indian Agent for the Southern Utes, wrote this description:  They are by far the largest band of the Utahs.  Their main hunting grounds are within the limits of this territory [New Mexico].  They range from the Grand [Colorado] River [on the] West to the headwaters of the Del Norte [Rio Grande] [on the] East....They have never joined any of the bands of the Utahs that have waged war against the citizens of this territory.  I would respectfully suggest that and agent or sub-agent be appointed to reside among them.   They are by far the most noble of the Utah tribes.  They have not, as yet, been contaminated by intercourse with civilized man.
However in 1859 gold was discovered on Pikes Peak, and the Whites began to move into their area.  This resulted in an outbreak of hostilities on both sides.  "With this outbreak of hostilities Kit Carson changed his opinion of the Tabeguache, described them as 'wild and warlike,' recommended they be punished, and withheld supplies he was to deliver them."
In 1861 the Colorado Territory was formed.  In New Mexico the settlers encouraged trade with the Indians.  The attitude of Colorado was they had to be tolerated, and forced onto smaller and smaller parcels of land.
The original Ute territory covered all of the mountainous area of Colorado.  They also frequently left this area, to travel out into the plains to hunt buffalo.  However the same pattern happened over and over.  The Utes, usually through Chief Ouray, negotiated a treaty to cede land to the U.S. with promises of money and promises of protection from White incursion onto the property.  Whites would find some value to the property, agricultural or mineral, move onto the land.  The U.S. Army would threaten eviction if the settlers or miners didn't leave.  The encroachers would not leave, and so another negotiating round would take place.  Often times the agreed upon money would not be given, just enough subsistence to keep the Indians from starving.  Other ways of getting property from the Native Americans would be through surveying, and also by having other tribes cede property which didn't even pertain to them.  It didn't matter, once land was ceded it was never given back.
The last parcel, prime farm land, five mile square, called Uncompahre Park was promised to the Tabeguache.  At first it was surveyed smaller than it was originally.  Then White farmers moved in, as it was a prime place to raise crops for the mines, and finally a negotiation ceding the land for money which was never paid.  Eventually the cry changed from moving the Native population to smaller and smaller poor pieces of land, to "The Utes Must Go!"

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Vanishing Indian

This is a footnote from my Dad's Thesis.
The "Vanishing Indian" is a prominent motif in American folklore.  There are many works of art which graphically portray this theme.  Perhaps the most famous of these is "The End of the Trail," a sculpture by James E. Fraser.  Displayed originally at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition at San Francisco in 1915, it is no enshrined in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Dean Krakel, End of the Trail: The Odyssey of a Statue (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1973).  It depicts an Indian warrior weighed down in deep despair, the point of his was lance touching the ground in defeat, astride a weary horse so exhausted it can hardly stand.  This work has been widely reproduced as paper weights and objects d'art.  I some of these forms the miniature reproduction is encased in a fluid filled glass ball which when shaken causes a white mica substance to move in the fluid adding the vivid appearance of the Indian and his horse perishing in a swirling snowstorm.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Swine Flu Epidemic of 1976

http://www.capitalcentury.com/1976.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/27/AR2009112703248.html


The swine flu epidemic was felt by millions of Americans; not because they became ill, but because of the inoculation program.  There was reason to scared when a young military recruit  from the flu.  It was the same flu which struck in 1918-1919 and killed half a million Americans (including some of my father's family).  However in the end more people died from the vaccination than the disease.  (See the above links for more information.)  I got my shot this evening, with a new air gun type delivery system.  It didn't hurt much.  This is a report on the inoculation program in rural Hyrum, Utah from the Hyrum Crusader, November 1976

 Swine Flu Vaccines: Hyrum Residents Receive Shots
"No I'm not scared; I haven't really worried about it," Mrs Eldon Nielsen said as she waited her turn to be vaccinated for swine flu.  Mrs. Nielsen made this comment on the evening of October 29 when she and approximately 1400 other people were vaccinated at Lincoln School in Hyrum.
Marlow Archibald said he felt it was OK that the federal government was spending money for vaccinations, but didn't know if it was a necessary precaution.
The swine flu vaccination program is being sponsored by the federal government.  The vaccinations given in Hyrum were given by the Bear River District Health Department centered in Logan, with the help of several local volunteers, according to Dr Bailey, director of the Bear River District Health Department.
When asked why a special vaccination was being given this year, Bailey pointed out swine flu has not been carried in humans recently and therefore have no natural immunity to the disease.  It is felt that the low resistance to the disease could be dangerous it broke out.  Recent cases were reported in Kentucky last year and were the first since 1920.
Dr. Bailey also pointed out there is no correlation between this flu virus and other flu viruses.  "This (swine flu shot) has no effecgt on the regular flu shot," he said.
He also said the swine flu virus has been carried in animals for some time and has only recently jumped to men.
The shots are still pretty experimental, Dr Bailey added.  "They may last two or three years or just one, we'll have to wait and see."  This is the first time this vaccine has been used.  He explained this is why they weren't sure if people aged 18-25 would need two shots or one.
When quizzed about the use of the "gun" as a method of vaccination, Dr. Bailey felt both systems (the gun and the needle) were just as effective but the gun could give more shots faster.  He said neither hurt very much.
Although approximately 1400 people were vaccinated at the Hyrum clinic, it is no indication of how many Hyrum residents received the vaccination.  Hyrum citizens have gotten shots at other clinic s and also all the people who got shots in Hyrum were from Hyrum, Bailey concluded.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Uncompagre Ute Indians

I am using for my information the first three chapters of my Dad's thesis: Reluctant Immigrants of Utah: The Uncompahgre Utes.  My father is James W. Wardle and his thesis is available at the library at Utah State University.  These chapters talk about the history of the Utes, from their first beginning to their territory becoming part of the United States.  The traditional territory of the Uncompahgre was on the Utah, Colorado border and centrally located from North to South.  This area was close to the area of the Anasazi, and then the Fremont.  These groups coexisted for a time, and then ceased to exist about the same time, about 1300 A.D.  A lingering question for archeologist is to determine the cause of this extinction.
The first historical mention of the Utes was 1540 A.D. when they came in contact with Coronado's expedition to find the lost gold cities.  They were fist known as the Tabeguaches and later as the Uncompahgre.  Escalante documented them as being in the are of the confluence of the Dolores and Colorado rivers.  They were a desert nomadic people.  The Spaniards improved the lifestyle of the Tabeguache as they were introduced to the horse, and became more a Plains type Indian, hunting buffalo and living in teepees.  It also brought increased opportunities for trade.  They traded for horses, guns, needles and brandy.
No one is sure when they name of this group changed to Uncompahgre, nor the reason for the change.  During the early 1800s this area pertained to Spain, and then Mexico.  Early American explorations visited the area.  Lieutenant Zebulon Pike in 1806 visited the area, but was escorted by the Spanish to Chihuahua where he and his men were permitted to return to the United States.  American interest waned during the War of 1812.  However it picked up, and early explorers often met the same fate as Pike.  Over the years an American presence was allowed in the area with fur trappers and trading posts.  However it wasn't until the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that the relationship between this group of Native Americans and European settlers began to change.  This treaty signed in 1847, concluded the Mexican American War and this area became a part of the United States.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: The Beehive House

This is a pamphlet with artwork and text by S. Dilworth Young.  It is undated, but mentions the restoration of the Beehive House in 1960.  I came upon it on the book exchange shelf at the Nothland Ward and will be returning it to this shelf. 






This pamphlet is brief, and appears to be intended to accompany one's tour of the house.  I toured the house many years ago, but Miranda took the tour on our last trip to Utah.  There are a couple points of interest.  The first is the wall which was built around the property.  This was used to offer employment to many Saints who had just arrived in the valley.  On the grounds were offices which included the office for governor of territory until 1857 and for the president of the church until 1918.

The Long Hall or parlor was upstairs, and was used for entertaining. Dignitaries were received in this room, and it also served for the receptions of his daughters when they married.  The home also included a family store.  This was not a store in terms of selling goods, but was used for distributing goods to Brigham's different families.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jamestown, Goldhunters?

I was watching Pocahontas Disney movie, and had to wonder; Did the Jamestown Company (The Virginia Company of London) really search for gold?  In searching this question, I must conclude that the answer is yes.  Initially the members of the company spent too much time searching for gold and silver.  As a result the efforts to support themselves were lacking which caused hunger and a poor economy.  Many of the early settlers died due to hunger, disease and the elements.  John Smith was instrumental in getting the colony to focus on agriculture and taking care of their needs.  The philosophy became, if you don't work, you don't eat.
http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h519.html
http://www.nps.gov/jame/historyculture/the-virginia-company-of-london.htm

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Camp Hollow Revisited

This is the article I wrote for the Hyrum Crusader November 1976, before the marker was moved.  It says:  Camp Hollow, the sight where Hyrum was first settled, is in miserable shape.  Weeds have overrun the area where a monument to recognize Hyrum's founders was placed in 1962.  Not only have weeds taken over the place, but untrimmed trees crowd the area, looking like the snarl of spider's webs.  Fallen leaves and branches left the area an unbecoming sight.
The sight has recently been worsened.  A pipeline was put along the road in front of the sight.  The upturned dirt is unbecoming.  The digging also left a "grand canyon" through a hill bordering the area.  A picnic table is offered at the Hollow, but to get to it one must first conquer mud, trees and leaves.  The sight, located on the east of of 100 North, where Hyrum's founders settled on April 8, 1860, deserves better than it is receiving.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Review: In a Goodly Land


Stake Presidency with Vern Wardle on the right



Book Review: In a Goodly Land: Latter-Day Saints of the Stanislaus, John D. Nash and Mary M. Nash, Linrose Publishing Company, Fresno, CA 1997.  This book, on the title page says: A Hisotyr of Four Stakes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint (the Mormons) in the Great Central Valley of California: Modesto California Stake, Modesto California North Stake, Manteca Stake, Turlock Stake.
This book I found in the used book store, and was very excited about it.  In reading it I found the best description of New Hope I have read.  It includes a mad.  It clarified for me that the Saints did not all leave after the flood, but held on, and actually harvested their winter wheat.  They had plans for irrigation ditches for the farm, and had started working on these.  In the end Sam Brannan advertised for sale the property and the equipment, including the mill.  It would appear more dissension that lead to the doom of the community that the flood.  Also Brigham Young had selected the Great Basin as the home for the Saints rather than California.  However he initially asked the Saints to build where they were, and thus the title “In a Goodly Land.”  However a couple years late he called for the Saints to come to Utah.  Most of them did, and for a period there were not Mormons in the area.
The book describes the early missionary efforts in this area.  However most of the growth came from transplanted Saints from other areas.  However there was always some growth through missionary efforts.  The book also deals extensively with building funds and construction of new buildings.  I was interested in the Manteca area where we now live.  Manteca started as a Sunday School of the Stockton Ward.  They initially met in rented rooms, but eventually grew to an independent branch.  The first chapel was known as the Pine Street Chapel.  When the Modesto Stake was organized in 1964, Manteca became a part of this stake, while Tracy remained with Stockton Stake.  The Manteca area became part of the Modesto North Stake in 1975.  However when the Manteca Stake was created in 1981, Tracy and Manteca were reunited in a stake.  At that time there were five units, two in Tracy and three in Manteca.  As the Manteca chapel was more crowded, Tracy was used as the stake center.  The Union building was finished in 1984 and became the stake center.  However the stake continued to grow for some time. 
D. Leon Ward was the first stake president.  (His son is in our ward.)  The first stake patriarch was Charles Eitelgeorge.  He is still serving and has been the patriarch continuously since the stake was formed.  At one time there were two patriarchs as D. Leon Ward had been a patriarch before being called as the stake president, and returned to this call when released where he served until he moved from the stake.  Other stake presidents have been L. Dee Wallace and Rex A. Brown [President Crockett our current president was sustained after the book was published.
This book has a picture of our friend and distant cousin Vern Wardle, who served in the stake presidency.  It is fun to look at the appendices, as it lists all the bishops of the wards.  It is amazing how many of the members of our high priest group are former bishops.  It also lists the stake high councilmen.  I would by fun to have an updated book.
A couple other points of interest:  It describes the development of the welfare projects which were under ward or stake leadership.  It describes the establishment of the young women’s camp; Sister Dorothy Eitelgeorge played an important role in developing the spiritual “golden hours program”.  Richard Hammerstrom, whose son is in our high priest group, played important roles in the community with the Boys and Girls Club.  The dedication of the Oakland Temple in 1964 had a great effect on the Saints in the area, as temple blessings were within almost an hour.  There was at one time a youth chorus in Manteca, conducted by Kathy Harvey.

Friday, October 19, 2012

William Jackson water colors from Westward America











These pictures are from the book Westward America by Howard W. Driggs with water colors by William H. Jackson.  The publisher is American Pioneer Trail Association.  The author, painter are both deceased and the publisher no longer exists.  I attempted to contact family for permission to publish the illustrations but was unsuccessful.  Each of these pictures plays a part in young Isaac's trek across the plains.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Garth L. Lee By: Sara Buff

This was published in the Hyrum Crusader in the series "Personality of the Month"

Garth Lee
     Purchase of a stake farm, construction of a new stake house, and a joint purchase of a new recreation center are some of the things that have "come to pass" since this issue's personality, Garth Lee, has been stake president.
     President Lee, now in his seventh year as stake president, was ordained March 29, 1970.
     Garth Lee has been stake president for six and a half years, but his church involvement goes much further.  He served a mission to the Central States Mission.  He has served as a bishop twice and of Hyrum First Ward ten years.  He has been a branch president in Colorado and in a branch presidency in Toronto.  He has been a Sunday school president.  He was once a district president in a mission.  He has also served as M.I.A. secretary, home teacher, and taught many classes.
     President Lee's church activities are only equalled by his educational experiences.
     After graduating from the University of Utah with his bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry, he went to Toronto, Canada, and earned his doctorate at the Univeristy of Toronto.
     He first taught at the University of Colorado in Boulder, but since has come to Utah State.  He has been at Utah State for 22 years now, teaching chemistry.  Of those 22 years, he spent seven years as the head of the Chemistry Department.  This year, however, he has retired form his position as Dean of Chemistry to devote more time to teaching. 
     Garth Lee has written and published two freshman text books.  "General and Organic Chemistry" and "The Principles of Chemistry" are his works that have been published nationally.  He is now in the process of rewriting "The Principles of Chemistry."
     In the community, President Lee was a member of the Lions Club for several years.  He also ran for mayor seven years ago, but said he was soundly beaten.
     Making furniture of driftwood is one of President Lee's hobbies.
     President Lee was born in Hinckley, Millard County, Utah, on September 25, 1920, to Lafayette C. and Pearl Mortenson Lee.  He was raised in the south end of Salt Lake.
     He married Lila Lee, who has served as Blazer Scout Leader in First Ward for ten years, and recently received the Silver Beaver for her efforts.
     President Lee has nine children, six of whom are college graduates.  One has a doctorate in chemistry, and another is close to receiving his doctorate in chemistry.
     His children are Harold, Milton, Wayne, Larry, Claudia, Vivian, Brenda, Edgar, and Steve.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Year of the Miracle

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=180&sourceId=81ded0640b96b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

This is an article published in the Ensign with regards to the year of the miracle.  It mentions our stake president in Hyrum, Garth P. Lee.  I actually missed this except through my mother's letters.  I was on a mission to Argentina.  President Lee set me apart.

“Rain in Due Season”

David Carl Danielson, “‘Rain in Due Season’,” Ensign, July 1978, 68–69
I often find myself pinpointing events in relation to other more profound experiences—the year I was married, the year my father died, the year we built the house or the dairy barn. … 1977 was such a year. For me, it will be the year of the miracle.
I am a farmer in Cache Valley, Utah. Every farmer knows that weather has more to do with his success or failure than everything else combined. The long, dry fall of 1976 allowed us to do many things usually left unfinished in an ordinary year. We did the plowing, repaired the sagging fences, and leveled several dusty fields. Then, because there was nothing left to do, we went “rock picking”—about the only thing my usually helpful family despise. Fortunately, in their eyes, most seasons do not last long enough to schedule a “rock-picking” time. Usually we just jump, bump, and roll over the same old rocks season after season.
But December of 1976 was warm and dry. We used every Saturday in December on the hated task and even—to the family’s dismay—part of the holidays between Christmas and New Year’s Day. By January 1 the field was clean and smooth—but still dry. The month drew to an end with only a skiff of snow; even the mountains were bare and gray. Only the thin white covering of fluff gave our valley some semblance of winter.
During this time the stake presidents in the Logan Region were called to meet with our Regional Representative, Brother M. A. Kjar. On Sunday, January 23, the outcome of the meeting was made known to the members of the Hyrum Stake, as we met for the first stake conference in our newly completed stake house. Brother Kjar outlined plans for a special fast. Our stake president, Garth Lee, announced that the fast would begin January 26 at 6:00 p.m. and that on the evening of the 27th we would hold a prayer service.
This was the beginning of the miracle. The fast was observed with enthusiasm. Over fifty percent of the stake assembled for the prayer service—old people, men and women with young families, teenagers, and college students. We sang. President Lee led our congregation in a prayer, asking the Lord to send us the needed moisture in due time that we might plant and harvest.
The moisture did not come that night, nor did it come in the following weeks. February was warm, melting what light snow remained. I returned to the field to work down the plowed ground, hoping to take advantage of the little moisture. But the hard lumps would not give way. Obviously the Lord’s answer was “not yet,” but in our impatience we sometimes found it difficult to hear him.
In mid-February the governor declared Utah a disaster area. The whole economy was suffering. Most winter resorts had failed to open at all; others were operating at limited capacity. Tire stores featured snow tires in an ironic, never-ending sale. Communities urged citizens to use water carefully. Now the skeptics began to mock those who had put their faith in God. One such even wrote a letter to the local paper asking if we did not know that nature, not God, controlled the weather.
What the skeptics did not know was that prayers and fasting were continuing. Time and again I turned to the promise, “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
“Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.” (Lev. 26:3–4.)
In March our faith was renewed. Several good snows came; precipitation for the month was “normal.” The last week was clear and warm, and the ground dried quickly. I returned to the fields. The once-hard lumps yielded easily to the disk and the harrows and a good seedbed presented itself. On March 21 and 22 I planted forty-six acres of barley; a week later we finished planting the grain on the stake welfare farm.
Now the testing began again. The month of April came and went without rain. At stake quarterly conference President Lee concluded, “Plant your crops; the Lord has heard your prayers.”
By now Porcupine Dam Reservoir was barely half-full and the runoff from the mountains had already stopped. March’s moisture had penetrated the ground only six or eight inches; experts gave us little hope of any crop on dry farms and less than fifty percent harvest on irrigated land. Local irrigation boards set up plans for summer rationing. We continued to pray in public meetings and private supplications.
On May 5 the answer began. From that moment, few could doubt it. It was as though the Lord had waited for the test of our faith to be completed, and then accepted it fully. Day after day the rain fell on the young crops; May was the wettest month in the recorded history of our valley. When hay-cutting time arrived, this valley had one of the best crops ever.
Statistically, 1976 is recorded as a drought. But the rains came as the manna fell for the ancient Israelites—as we needed it, but with none to spare. As each crop matured in its season, it was average or better.
As the season of the sign drew to an end, our barns were not only filled; they were running over. Our stake welfare farm yielded its best crop—so did my farm. My granaries were filled, and my heart was overflowing.
Our stake met again on September 22 at the call of our stake president, this time to express gratitude to the Lord for his mercies. Approximately fifty percent of the stake gathered once more to share in the prayer of thanksgiving.
I left the meeting calm and peaceful, my faith and testimony strengthened by the test. I would never again doubt miracles. Driving home, I recalled another scripture: “And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.” (D&C 59:21.)
Suddenly, I realized that rain was falling against the windshield.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Camp Hollow, Hyrum, Utah: When History Changes



In my youth, Camp Hollow was almost a sacred place, where the first year in Hyrum, the pioneers had built dug outs into the hill the side of the hill to ward off the cold.  School field trips took us there to hear the stories of these pioneers.There was a place to picnic, but truthfully it was underused.





Then one summer that history changed.  This must have been 1977.  A contractor decided to develop the property, the monument was moved, and the story changed to anywhere along the ridge, which runs a mile or so, was the original spot, we're not sure exactly where.  The monument was moved to the rodeo grounds park, about a half mile away.  No trees or picnic table; but park grass, a playground and tennis courts.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book Review: California Gold Rush: Search for Treasure

This is a children's book written by Catherine E. Chambers and published by Troll Associates, 1984.  I have this book from when I was a history consultant.  This book is very good on describing the discovery of gold at the while making a channel for water to run a mill wheel.  The story in the book tells of the wealth of John Sutter.  It downplays the role of the workers in the discovery of gold, and focuses on John Marshall, the foreman.  Many of the workers were from the Mormon Batallion, which is not mentioned in the book. 

One thing it does do well is talk of how John Sutter hoped to keep the discovery of gold a secret.  He knew it would be hard to employ people in his workings, if they were all chasing gold.  Sam Brannon, a recent Mormon emigrant spoiled this as it was he who brought news to San Francisco, "There is gold on the American River."  He also put a notice in his paper and sent this East, which sparked the rush. 

California's economy was based on the gold mine.  It was only later that the gold of the soil was discovered, which became the backbone of California's economy.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Book Review: San Joaquin City

This book was written by Earle Williams, who is a former resident of San Joaquin City.  San Joaquin City is a ghost town which was located close to the San Joaquin River and the Durham Ferry.  This is now were Airport Way crosses the river, on the West side of the river and South of the road on S. Kasson Rd.  The author attended New Jerusalem School.  For a look at the area now:  http://bwardlehistory.blogspot.com/2012/08/caswell-park-picturesnew-hope.html

This book was loaned to me by Linda Hicken from the Ripon Ward.  I have already explored what it said about New Hope in a couple of blogs:  http://bwardlehistory.blogspot.com/2012/05/new-hope-aka-stanislaus-city-revisited.html
http://bwardlehistory.blogspot.com/2012/06/new-hope-aka-stislaus-city-revisted.html

San Joaquin City was first established as a river boat town, where first wood was shipped to San Joaquin for wood stoves and steam heat.  It then evolved into a grain shipping town, and much of the wheat, when the valley was covered with wheat, was shipped to market from this town.

There are a couple of men that bare mentioning.  These are men from San Joaquin City.  The first was William H. Riecks who was sheriff of San Joaquin County for almost twenty years. 

The other was George Williams.  George had developed a smokeless gunpowder, and pursued this invention with almost manic drive.  He as a youth attempted to rob a train and ended up in juvenile detention as a result.  When he came home he lived on the East side of the San Joaquin River, opposite San Joaquin City.  A friend from the detention center lived with him, and when George could not get parties interested in funding his research and development of the gun powder, they decided to rob a train.  The attempt took place where Manteca is currently located.  They made a fire on the rails to stop the train.  However when George went to get the car opened with payroll money, a transient emerged, and as he surprised George, he let lose with his shot gun and killed him.  This caused George to leave the attempt, and he just left and went back to his home on the river.  His partner took off as well.  George was arrested as they found a letter that had fallen from his coat.  After he was arrested, his partner was also.  They were both tried for train robbery.  The murder was never tried.  Both were sentenced to life in prison and sent to San Quentin.  However years later George was paroled and returned home.  His partner was never released and died in prison. 
George was a character that lived on the river for many years.  He developed his own electricity for his place, fished for sturgeon, his home was on sturgeon bend.  Raised bamboo for fishing poles. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Victorian England

In writing the history of my great great grandfather Isaac Wardle, I have written a good description of Victoian England
 
Chapter One: Childhood
“I Did Not Have the Privilege of Going to School Much”

Bah, Bah a black Sheep,
Have you any Wool?
Yes merry have I,
Three Bags full,
One for my master,
One for my Dame,
One for the little Boy
That lives down the lane. (Wikipedia)

    Isaac John Wardle was born to John and Mary Kingston [Kinston] Wardle.  He was the second child to this union, his brother William preceding him.  His mother also had a child from a previous union, Thomas Morton.  To William and Mary were born three more children, in the order of their birth, Joseph, his sister Hannah, and the youngest brother James.  (Family Search)
    The surname Wardle is English.  “English: ...habitational name from places in Cheshire and Greater Manchester (formerly in Lancashire) called Wardle, from Old English weard ‘watch’ + hyll ‘hill’.” (Hanks)  Uncle Norval Wardle, at a William Haston Wardle family reunion, said it may also have come from ward of the well.  (Personal memory)
    Isaac described his early life in this manner:  “Isaac J. Wardle; born June 14, 1835 in the Theune [town] of Raven Stone [Ravenstone,] Lester Shire [Leicestershire, pronounced Lestershire] England; son of John and Mary Wardle.  I had four brothers and one sister.  I did not have the privilege of going to school much as I was put to work at the age of seven years old.”  (Wardle, Isaac 1) Isaac John Wardle was born June 14, 1835 at Ravenstone, Leistershire, England and was the third son of John and Mary Kinston Wardle.  (Wardle, Isaac 2)
    Mary’s first husband, William Morton, died sometime before 1832.  In an email I received from Kathy Taylor a descendant of Thomas Morton she says, referring to William, “I only have an estimated death date of before 1832.  I don't know why it shows just the year and not before.  Since Mary was remarried in 1832, I had the date in my file as a place setter.  This was an old Ancestral File submission.  Beth White has done most of the research on the family.  I got the information from her.”  (Kathy Taylor email)
     I could not find any record of the marriage, or of the death of William Morton.  After his death, Mary would have been expected to grieve for up to a year.  “At the moment of death, clocks would be stopped, curtains drawn over windows, and mirrors covered. Black apparel was quickly donned or if black cloth was not available, the household would quickly dye their clothes to a darker hue.  Widows from all social classes were expected to maintain mourning for a full year, and withdraw as much as possible from Victorian life. For women with no income, or small children to care for, remarriage was 'allowed' after this 12 month period.”  (About Britain)
Mary Kingston Wardle, her first husband and Thomas were born in Snarestone, Leicestershire, England.  (Family Search)  (Another Family Search record puts Mary’s place of birth as well as her parents, at Shackerstone which is also in this same area.  Both Snarestone and Shackerstone are within five miles of Ravenstone.  Family Search indicates Mary’s parents were Mary and Edward Mouton.
Thomas was born December 23, 1830.  His name is also given as Thomas Martin. (Rupp)  I have a photograph of Thomas, from after he came to Utah.  It is inscribed on the back, “Thomas Martin, Grandfather Isaac Wardle’s half-brother.”  I do not know who wrote the inscription. Thomas remained with his mother as indicated in Isaac’s description of his family and census information. (Census 1841, 1851)  He was listed as Thomas Wardle for the census information, but reverted to his birthfather’s name as an adult.  (Coalville Church records)
John Wardle’s parents, Isaac’s grandparents, were born in Ravenstone.  He was the son Thomas and Elizabeth Wardle.  (Family Search)
Family Search shows John Wardle and Mary Kinston Morton marrying in Ravenstone, November 12, 1932.  My brother took a copy of the marriage register from the Family History Library.  John is labeled as a bachelor and Mary as a spinster.  They both made their mark of an X instead of a signature.  (Marriage Certificate)
William was born just two months after the union of his parents, January 26, 1833.  (Family Search) Just over four months after his birth William was christened in Ravenstone.
     Isaac followed William, making him the middle child of the family.  The day after his birth, he also was christened in Ravenstone.  (Family Search)  Ravenstone Church is called St. Michaels of all Angels. (The Free Dictionary)
Isaac was followed two years later by his brother Joseph in Ravenstone, date of birth not given.  Hannah [Mary,] his sister, was born July 22, 1839 in Whitwick, Leicestershire.  Whitwick is a coal mining community about four miles from Ravenstone, on the other side of Coalville.  His youngest brother, James, was born in Ravenstone, October 16, 1841.  The christenings of his younger siblings are not a part of the family search record.
    Isaac indicated he had four brothers and a sister.  (Wardle, Isaac)  Other histories I have mention only three brothers.  (Rupp; Wardle, Orrin)  The census of 1841 includes three brothers, Thomas, William and Joseph.  The census of 1851 includes four brothers adding James who was born in 1841.  These histories also mention that all of Isaac’s brothers came to Utah.  (Rupp; Wardle, Orrin)  However there is no record of Joseph immigrating in the Church History, Mormon Pioneer rosters.  I wonder if Joseph passed away before his family emigrated in 1860.
    Ravenstone is just to the West of Coalville, which is the center of the Leicestershire coal fields.  It is a small community in Northwest Leicestershire.  (Wikipedia)  This community has a seasonal climate.  An early description was included in the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales in 1870-72 by John Marius Wilson's:

RAVENSTONE, a village in Leicester, and a parish partly also in Derby, but all in the district of Ashby-de-la-Zouch. The village stands 2 miles W of Coalville r.[ail] station, and 4 S E of Ashby-de-la-Zouch; and has a post-office under Ashby-de-la-Zouch. The parish comprises 550 acres in Leicester, and 580 in Derby. Real property, £2, 520. Pop., 248 and 144. Houses, 54 and 55. The property is divided among a few. The manor, with R.[avenstone] Hall, belongs to L. Fosbrooke, Esq. R.[avenstone] House is the residence of the Rev. R. G. Cresswell. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, £320; Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church is early English, in good condition; and has a tower and spire. There are a Wesleyan chapel, a national school, and an alms-house-hospital for 36 women. (Vision of Britain)

    The area was rural, barely over one person per acre.  (Vision of Britain)  About half of the population attended the Church of England.  Many attended the Wesleyan Methodist or the Baptist churches.  Everyone was Christian of some denomination.  The birth rate was also very high, about 185 births per 1000 women between the ages of 20 and 49.  About 30 percent of the people in this area would be considered lower class; about 56 percent middle class and 14 percent upper class. (Vision of Britain) 
This compares favorably to England in general.  During the English Victorian period, 70 percent of the population was considered poor (laborers,) 15 percent middle class (doctors, lawyers and teachers,) and 15 percent wealthy divided between gentry (those who earned their wealth) and aristocracy (those who inherited.) (Damon) During this period, the lives of children varied greatly, depending on the social class of the family.  The children of the wealthy had spacious rooms, tutors and lessons, toys, beds and linens, dances and social gatherings.  The lives of the lower class children were very different:

On the other side of the coin, poverty was a way of life for many Victorian children. There often wasn't the time or energy for play. Food was whatever could be found, scraped together, or stolen. Starvation and cold were facts of life.
Clothing most often came from trash barrels, or was purchased with whatever few coins a person had on hand. Sniffles would be allowed to grow into colds. Ill health was often cured only by death as the poor could not afford medical care.
Although perhaps not played with often, Victorian toys were available for a bit of joy. Boys would use yo-yo's, tin soldiers, and toy drums. Marbles were popular.
Girls would make their own dolls from bits of rags and buttons. These dolls would be loved just as much as the wax dolls available to the wealthier little girls. A hopscotch game could be held at a moment's notice.
If toys couldn't be found, rolling a hoop down the street would use any energy which was left over from a day of work. Games of hide-and-seek and Blindman's Bluff would be enjoyed by groups of children.
Working for a Wage: Children were expected to help supplement the family budget and were sent to work quite young. These weren't gentile jobs, they were manual labour paying extremely low wages.
Factories employed the young to crawl beneath huge machinery - into spaces which adults were too large to enter. Long hours of drudgery would be the order of the day, often starting before dawn and continuing after dark. Conditions were unsafe. Children who crawled beneath working machines were often killed.
Coal mines wanted children to open and close ventilating doors. Until the middle of the 1800's, children as young as five would often work up to 12 hours a day underground, often barefoot.
If not employed in a business, youngsters would roam the streets looking for work. Being a messenger was a 'clean' job, as was selling flowers. Others would polish shoes, sweep front steps, or become chimney sweeps.
Some poorer Victorian children found that criminal activities made their lives easier. Pickpockets were everywhere. Snatching food off food-vendor's carts and quickly running away was often the only method of getting something to eat.  (About Britain)

Rural homes where somewhat less crowded than urban homes.  Living in a Coal community, many of the homes were built by the coal industry, and would have been similar in appearance and very basic.  The diet of the poor was centered around bread and potatoes, with meat on rare occasions.  Other items may have been cheese, sugar, butter and tea as finances allowed.  The food may have been flavored with bacon.  There was no cold storage, so items had to be used within a couple of days from purchase.  This meant frequent trips to the small markets.  (See Damon.)  Bread and drippings were popular.  “Dripping was the fat from roasting meat; household and institutional cooks sold it to dealers.  Used instead of butter, dripping gave bread a tasty meat flavor and supplied some needed fat.” (Mitchell)
Because so much of the day was spent in work, there was very little time for recreation.  Isaac’s father, and older brothers, were likely away from home over fourteen hours every day, and after a day of hard labor would have been too tired to engage in much home life.  As evidenced by their marriage record, Isaac’s parents were illiterate.  Poor lighting from cheap candles, and the illiteracy of the family would have limited any opportunities to read.
Isaac indicated that he was not able to “attend school much.”  (Wardle, Isaac)  However, Isaac did have some schooling.  “As a boy he attended the common school of his toun and Sunday school of the “Church of England.”  (Wardle, Junius) “During my boyhood I attended the Sunday school of the church of England.”  (Wardle, Isaac 2)  The Northwest Leicester area had a higher rate of school attendance than the rest of England. 65 percent of the youth were eligible for voluntary education, and 65 percent of those attended.  That represents over 40 percent of the youth.  Attendance at Sunday school was 75 percent compared to 59 percent throughout England.   (Vision of Britain)  Sunday school was initially established for more than religious instruction.  “Sunday schools, when they were first started, taught reading and writing as well as religious subjects.  They were intended for working children who received no other schooling. (Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia)
During the Victorian industrial period, most English children had some schooling.  “As with society and clothing, schooling for Victorian children was very much divided along financial lines. Although receiving an education was not mandatory until the end of the 1800's, except for the very poor the majority of children had some sort of learning, if only to read and write their name.”  (About Britain)
There was likely little furniture in the Wardle home.  “Furnishings typically were minimal: a table with wooden chairs; a few hooks on the wall and a small tin or wooden trunk (called a box) for keeping clothes; one bed for the parents and one shared by all the children.  The kitchenware—a kettle and two or three pans plus some knives, forks, spoons, and plates—was kept on a shelf over the fireplace.”  (Mitchell)  There would have been a lack of privacy as the home was likely small.  “Sometimes there was a curtain that could be pulled to allow some privacy.” (Mitchell)
(The family likely had attitudes about privacy similar to those of William Haston Wardle, Isaac’s son.  He was living in the Teton Basin in the early 20th century.  Thomas Cheney, who was baptized by William Wardle, tells of the experience of going into the Wardle home after his baptism.  It was the wintertime.  William told him to get his wet clothes off and stand by the fire.  He was hesitant, until admonished again by Grandpa William.  William’s daughter, Delilah was baptized at the same time and also nude, warming herself by the fire.) (Cheney)
An advantage of living in a coal district, and working for the coal industry is that coal would have been readily available for the fire, for heat and for cooking.    In referring to coal miners Sally Mitchell in her book on Victorian England said, “They were well paid in comparison to other workers and often had free housing as well as free coal.  (If coal wasn’t given to them as a perk, their children could easily pick up all that was needed for family use from the scraps overlooked in the slag heaps and along the loading platforms.)” (Mitchell)
Mary (and later Hannah) would have had a difficult time keeping the home clean.  “Cleanliness was important to the respectable working class—and not easy to maintain, what with unpaved streets, horse traffic, and coal fires everywhere.” (Mitchell)
The working class man wore clothes that were practical.  Trousers were popular at this time, and a short coat would likely have been worn.  The working class generally did not wear night clothes, sleeping either in their underwear or in their work clothes. (See Mitchell)  Isaac talks of falling asleep after coming home from work, and presumably slept in his work clothes. (Wardle, Isaac)  Children wore clothing similar to their parents.  Clothing was often purchased second-hand, or handed down.  Girls generally wore the same dress day after day.  They would protect the cleanliness of the dress with layers of under clothing.  Woman also wore hats out of doors.  If shoes were worn, they would likely have been hand-me-down and may not have fit well.  (See Mitchell)
The area not only appeared to be more religious and better educated than England in general; people also lived longer.  The age of the populace was 40 percent under 15 and five percent over 65.  Of England 4.5 percent were over 65.  (Vision of Britain)
Political situations in England at the time contributed to the high rate of poor in the country.  Suffrage did not extend to all citizens.  Initially only property owners could vote or be members of parliament.  The Reform Act of 1832 allowed merchants to also vote, but to be elected you still had to own property.  (Wikipedia)  As a consequence, the laws were written so as to benefit the property owner, the farmer.  An example of these were the British Corn Laws: (which applied to all grains)

The Corn Laws were a series of statutes enacted between 1815 and 1846 which kept corn prices at a high level. This measure was intended to protect English farmers from cheap foreign imports of grain following the end of the Napoleonic Wars… The beneficiaries of the Corn Laws were the nobility and other large landholders who owned the majority of profitable farmland. Landowners had a vested interest in seeing the Corn Laws remain in force. And since the right to vote was not universal, but rather depended on land ownership, voting members of Parliament had no interest in repealing the Corn Laws. The artificially high corn prices encouraged by the Corn Laws meant that the urban working class had to spend the bulk of their income on corn just to survive. Since they had no income left over for other purchases, they could not afford manufactured goods. So manufacturers suffered, and had to lay off workers. These workers had difficulty finding employment, so the economic spiral worsened for everyone involved.  (Britain Express)

Several reformist groups grew out of these laws.  Primary of these was the Chartist Movement.  They fought for suffrage for all (males) as well as repeal of the Corn Laws.  The Corn Laws were repealed in 1846, but many of the other goals of the Chartists were not accomplished until into the 20th century.  (Britain Express)
The poem “Baa, Baa, Blacksheep” may have been a commentary on some of these conditions, particularly taxation.  Although the proportions where not a third, the church and the state each extracted their share of taxes.  (See Wikipidia)
The Wardle home was not one of luxury, but typical of working families during the industrial/Victorian era in England.  They lived in the coal mining district of Leicestershire, Ravenstone, Coalville and Whitwick.  Coal was, for the most part, the family employment.  The children had to work outside the home to make ends meet. (Wardle, Orrin)

Child Labor in England

This is a chapter from my Great Great Grandfather's history I am writing.  It is a very good essay on Child Labor in England.

Chapter Two: Child Labor, Coal Miner
“I Was Put to Work at the Age of Seven Years”
The Cry of the Children
Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers,
Ere the sorrow comes with years?
They are leaning their young heads against their mothers---
And that cannot stop their tears.
The young lambs are bleating in the meadows;
The young birds are chirping in the nest;
The young fawns are playing with the shadows;
The young flowers are blowing toward the west---
But the young, young children, O my brothers,
They are weeping bitterly!---
They are weeping in the playtime of the others
In the country of the free.

Do you question the young children in the sorrow,
Why their tears are falling so?---
The old man may weep for his to-morrow
Which is lost in Long Ago---
The old tree is leafless in the forest---
The old year is ending in the frost---
The old wound, if stricken, is the sorest---
The old hope is hardest to be lost:
But the young, young children, O my brothers,
Do you ask them why they stand
Weeping sore before the bosoms of their mothers
In our happy Fatherland?

They look up with their pale and sunken faces,
And their looks are sad to see,
For the man's grief abhorrent, draws and presses
Down the cheeks of infancy---
"Your old earth," they say, "is very dreary;"
"Our young feet," they say, "are very weak!
Few paces have we taken, yet are weary
Our grave-rest is very far to seek.
Ask the old why they weep, and not the children,
For the outside earth is cold,---
And we young ones stand without, in our bewildering,
And the graves are for the old.

"True," say the young children, "it may happen
That we die before our time.
Little Alice died last year---the grave is shapen
Like a snowball, in the rime.
We looked into the pit prepared to take her---
Was no room for any work in the close clay:
From the sleep wherein she lieth none will wake her
Crying, 'Get up, little Alice! it is day.'
If you listen by that grave, in sun and shower,
With your ear down, little Alice never cries!---
Could we see her face, be sure we should not know her,
For the smile has time for growing in her eyes---
And merry go her moments, lulled and stilled in
The shroud, by the kirk-chime!
It is good when it happens," say the children,
"That we die before our time."

Alas, alas, the children! they are seeking
Death in life, as best to have!
They are binding up their hearts away from breaking,
With a cerement from the grave.
Go out, children, from the mine and from the city---
Sing out, children, as the little thrushes do---
Pluck your handfuls of the meadow-cowslips pretty---
Laugh aloud, to feel your fingers let them through!
But they answer, "Are your cowslips of the meadows
Like our weeds anear the mine?
Leave us quiet in the dark of the coal-shadows,
From your pleasures fair and fine!

"For oh," say the children, "we are weary,
And we cannot run or leap---
If we cared for any meadows, it were merely
To drop down in them and sleep.
Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping---
We fall upon our faces, trying to go;
And, underneath our heavy eyelids drooping,
The reddest flower would look as pale as snow.
For, all day, we drag our burden tiring,
Through the coal-dark, underground---
Or, all day, we drive the wheels of iron
In the factories, round and round…

And well may the children weep before you;
They are weary ere they run;
They have never seen the sunshine, nor the glory
Which is brighter than the sun:
They know the grief of man, but not the wisdom;
They sink in man's despair, without its calm---
Are slaves, without the liberty in Christdom,---
Are martyrs, by the pang without the palm,---
Are worn, as if with age, yet unretrievingly
No dear remembrance keep,---
Are orphans of the earthly love and heavenly:
Let them weep! let them weep!... (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
Northwest Leicestershire is an area with an abundance of coal under the surface of the ground; hence the name of the largest community in this area, Coalville.  (The Free Dictionary)  Coalville was set up as a residence for those who worked in the coal mines that surrounded the city.  Even though some coal had been mined since the 13th century, (Semper-Eadem) coal mining was just being developed in this area in the 1830s.  This followed the completion of the Leicester-Swannington Railroad in 1832.   The rail line was designed and completed by George Stephenson.  It provided for the inexpensive transport of coal to urban areas.  It was the second railroad in the world to go through a tunnel.  The line was not built to accommodate passengers, but a passenger car was often added to the work trains. (Wikipedia)

In the census of 1851 three percent of the laborers in Northwest Leicestershire worked in the mining industry.  By 1861 this was 10 percent and eventually increased to a high of about 30 percent.  On the other hand in 1851, 35 percent worked in manufacturing, 28 percent in agriculture and 28 percent in service.  (Vision of Britain)
Isaac’s work career began when he was seven years old.  “I was put to work at the age of seven years.  At nine years old I was to work in the lead mines.  I was after put to work to learn the rope making business.  I only stayed at that work a short time as the family moved to the town of Coalville.  I was put to work in the coal mines again.  I continued to work at the same place until I was 18 years old.”   (Wardle, Isaac)  There is some discrepancy between Isaac’s histories.  In his other history he wrote, “I was put to work at the age of seven years in a rope factory at nine years I went to work at the coal mines where I worked for ten years.” (Wardle, Isaac 2)
There were four major collieries around Coalville: Whitwick, Ibstock, Bagworth and Snibston.  Snibston was developed by George Stevenson and his sons in 1833 and he settled in Ravenstone.  This mine was the closest to Ravenstone and was a great success.
An unfortunate consequence of the industrial revolution was the need for cheap labor.  Children worked cheap.  Grolier defines child labor as, “…Work performed by children that either endangers their health or safety, interferes with or prevents their education, or keeps them from play and other activity important to their development.”  (Grolier)  Young people had always done work on family farms, but the use of child labor during the industrial revolution was much different.  Children were used in manufacturing, agricultural, mining, service and chimney sweep industries, often in conditions that were not favorable.
Child labor not only serviced the employer, but because of poverty, is also helped the families who had no other means of support:

   That the shameful practice of child labor should have played an important role in the Industrial Revolution from its outset is not to be wondered at. The displaced working classes, from the seventeenth century on, took it for granted that a family would not be able to support itself if the children were not employed…. The children of the poor were forced by economic conditions to work, as Dickens, with his family in debtor's prison, worked at age 12 in the Blacking Factory. In 1840 perhaps only twenty percent of the children of London had any schooling…. The others were working. Many of the more fortunate found employment as apprentices to respectable trades…or as general servants... but many more were not so lucky. Most prostitutes (and there were thousands in London alone) were between 15 and 22 years of age.
   Many children worked 16 hour days under atrocious conditions, as their elders did. Ineffective parliamentary acts to regulate the work of workhouse children in factories and cotton mills to 12 hours per day had been passed as early as 1802 and 1819. After radical agitation, notably in 1831, when "Short Time Committees" organized largely by Evangelicals began to demand a ten hour day, a royal commission established by the Whig government recommended in 1833 that children aged 11-18 be permitted to work a maximum of twelve hours per day; children 9-11 were allowed to work 8 hour days; and children under 9 were no longer permitted to work at all (children as young as 3 had been put to work previously). This act applied only to the textile industry, where children were put to work at the age of 5, and not to a host of other industries and occupations. Iron and coal mines (where children, again, both boys and girls, began work at age 5, and generally died before they were 25), gas works, shipyards, construction, match factories, nail factories, and the business of chimney sweeping, for example (which Blake would use as an emblem of the destruction of the innocent), where the exploitation of child labor was more extensive, was to be enforced in all of England by a total of four inspectors. After further radical agitation, another act in 1847 limited both adults and children to ten hours of work daily.  (The Victorian Web)

Over time the consciences of people were pricked by literature, including Charles Dickens’ "Oliver Twist" published 1838.  Of note are two poems.  The first, The Chimney Sweeper was written by William Blake in 1789 and rewritten in 1794.   The 1789 version begins:

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue,
Could scarcely cry weep weep weep weep,
So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.  (Blake) (For complete poems see appendix)

Just as poignant were the words written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning in 1844 (cited in entirety at the beginning of this chapter):

Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers,
Ere the sorrow comes with years?
They are leaning their young heads against their mothers---
And that cannot stop their tears.  (Browning)

The life of Isaac reflected this poem in many aspects.  “Grandfather has told us how his mother would have his supper ready for him when he would come home after a ten or twelve hours of work at the mine and he would sit up to the table too tired to wash himself first and that he would go to sleep while eating and then his mother would wash and clean him up, putting him to bed without him ever washing.  Then he would be up and at the mine the next morning at seven o’clock for another long day.  This would seem impossible to us for a child to work such long hours at such hard labor.”  (Rupp)  “He would sit at the table, he remembered, too tired to wash himself.  Then he would go to sleep while he was eating.  His mother would then wash and clean him, little boy that he was, and put him to bed.  The night never seemed long enough as he had to rise early enough the next morning to be at the mine by seven o’clock for another long day…  These long hard hours were endured six and sometimes even seven days a week.  Play, as known by the children of our day, was an almost totally unknown part of growing up so far as Isaac was concerned.” (Wardle, Orrin)
Poetry pricked the consciences of people, and laws dealing with child labor were passed.  These included the Chimney Sweep Act of 1840, Mines Act of 1842 and Factory Act of 1844.  A discourse before parliament by Anthon Ashley Cooper Earl of Shaftesbury, in relation to the Mines act in 1842, talked about the horrid conditions of children and women in the mines.  It compares the mines, and indicates children as young as five were in the mines.  This included those in Leicestershire.  However it makes the point that women were not employed in the mines in the Leicestershire district.  He points out that after fourteen, or sixteen hours in the mine, sometimes children would have to walk “a mile or two at night without changing their clothes.”  The children often had constrained posture because of the lowness of the ceiling, and there were often drainage and ventilation problems.  (See Kessen)  He lamented the lack of education.  “…It is a mockery to talk of education to people who are engaged, as it were, in unceasing toil from their cradle to their grave.”  (Kessen)
Cooper had proposed that women not be allowed to work in the mines, as well as children under thirteen.  The Mining Act of 1842 prohibited women from working inside the mines, and children under 10.  It was decided an education in the mines was worth more than a reading education. (Kessen) The Factory Act of 1844 limited the work day of children to six hours and women to twelve.  (Wikipedia)  Even though laws had been passed, enforcement was another issue.  The Mining Act of 1842 was not initially enforced and it would be some time before if would keep children from working in the mines.  In fact the number of children under fifteen working in the mines increased with the censuses of 1861 and 1871.  It wasn’t until the census of 1881 that the number started to show significant decline—1851 37,300; 1861 45,100; 1871 43,100; 1881 30,400. (Economic History Association)  These numbers don’t differentiate those working on the surface and those below ground.  If strictly enforced, Isaac could not have started working in the mines until after his tenth birthday.
Coal mining was an industry where child labor played an important part.  “Child labor… proliferated in coal mining. Half-naked children as young as six labored incredibly long hours in the damp and dark. Many of them carried coal in packs on their backs up long ladders to the surface.”  (Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia)
The industrial revolution increased the demand for coal, but unfortunately methods of extraction were not improved:

   Coalmining was another industry that was heightened by the advent of the Industrial Revolution.  However, the technology employed in mining remained unchanged.  Most of the mines refused to implement advanced means of mechanical conveyance and remained inefficient and labor-intensive.
   Child laborers in coalmines were employed to work with haulage and ventilation.  Most child miners worked in underground haulage operations as 'putters' (pulling carts and sledges) or as 'drivers' (driving horse and pony carriages).  The narrow roads and low ceilings have made it inevitable to use increasing numbers of child laborers in coalmining industry.  Some children 'trappers' opened and closed the underground ventilation door to maintain the direction of air currents, for the miners were always at the risk of explosion and suffocation due to accumulations of toxic gas.  According to an interview conducted by the Children's Employment Commission in 1841 in Britain, only thirty percent were working in ventilation whilst fifty percent were in haulage.  Also, it is notable that only few children remained as 'trappers' beyond the age of eleven or twelve and the vast majority of coalmining children aged ten to fourteen remained concentrated in the haulage sector.  The hazardous working environment, poisonous gas, and lack of sunlight posed lasting threat to the well-being of the child laborer.  (Chung)

Isaac worked in the mines starting from as early as the age of seven.  “He had very little schooling as at the age of seven he was put to work as a runner at the coal mines.  At the age of nine he went to work inside the mines.” (Rupp)  Whether Isaac started in the rope business, or as a runner for the mines, we know he was working at seven, and by nine years old was working inside the mines, where, much of the year, he would go to work in the dark, be in the dark mine all day, and then come home again in the dark.  In Isaac’s history he mentions working in the lead.  (Wardle, Isaac 1)  It is possible lead coexisted with the coal.


George Cunningham, a fellow hand cart pioneer, also worked in the coal, starting at the age of seven.  Of this experience he said, “I labored there for six years, often working twelve or fourteen hours a day, sometimes not seeing the light of heaven for a whole week, only on Sunday… No one knows the danger and privations experienced there, only those who have gone through the same.  (Olsen, p 44)
Coal mining was often a family career, with brothers and fathers and sons working the same mine.  I noticed this in reviewing the rosters of the dead and injured from mining accidents. (The Mining History Resource Centre)  Isaac and his older brothers, as well as Joseph, are listed as coal miners on different census reports.  “…Boys and girls opened and closed the vents that controlled the supply of air underground.  (Most of these children came into the mines with their fathers or some other relative.)” (Mitchell)


Earl Anthony Cooper pointed out that working in the mines affected the character of the children.  “A clergyman, the Rev. W. Parlane, of Tranent, says—‘Children of amiable temper and conduct, at 7 years of age, often return next season from the collieries greatly corrupted, and, as an old teacher says, with most hellish dispositions.’  See, too, here how the system superinduces habits and feelings of ferocity that are perfectly alarming.” (Kessen)


A novel I read, tried to present this change in attitude.  It tells of a young man, who worked in the mines with his family, comparing the mines to his life on the plains:

   “I am free here,” he says.  “I can stand up straight.  Stretch out my arms and legs.  Look up whenever I choose and see the sun.  You have no idea what it is like to go for days and days without seeing the sun because you are buried in the belly of a mine.”
   …”Papa took me to work with him the morning I turned thirteen,” he says.  “I felt proud of myself as I walked in the colliery with him.  I was a man.  Just like Papa.  Just like my brother…”
   “By the time Papa and I reached the pithead, I was sick with excitement.  I couldn’t wait to enter the mines with the rest of the men.  I stepped into the crowded pit cage, waiting to be lowered to the bottom.
   “They dropped us nearly a quarter of a mile.
   “The ride was fast and hard and dark.  Bits of dust and coal blew into my face.  Wind whistled in my ears.  I screamed, Charlotte.  In front of all of them…”
   John shrugs, “I hated the deep darkness of the pit and the way is smothers a soul like a filthy blanket.  I hated tasting dust and slithering on my stomach through tight places.  And I hated myself for hating it all...”  (Cannon)

Isaac was initially a “runner” which would give the impression that he was not working inside the mines, but was running messages or materials, and other duties as assigned.  At the age of nine he started to work inside the mines, most likely as a “trapper.”   A trapper was in charge of opening and closing doors to control the flow of air when those hauling coal needed passage.
The job of “trapper” was important, as failure to do the job properly could result in a lack of oxygen or a build-up of gas which could be hazardous.  In 1841 the deaths of 32 persons at a mine in Northumberland were blamed on a “trapper” not being at his post as the deputy viewer of the colliery explained:

I am further of the opinion that the accident happened as I have stated, from the body of the boy, the trapper, Cooper, being found at a place he could not have been forced by the explosion and who must, in all probability, gone there to play with two other boys, who had also charge of trap doors near to where he was found, add one of whom was found close to him. My son had come through the supposed deserted trap door, to put some coals from the board where the explosion took place. The consequence of that door being left open would be the accumulation of the gas in the middle and northwards boards, from the total absence of the proper current of air which would have passed through them had the door been kept shut.  


Several other witnesses were of the same opinion and the jury returned a verdict of ‘Accidental Death from the explosion of hydrogen gas.’ (The Coalmining History Resource Centre, April 1841)

As Isaac grew older he likely worked as a hauler known also as a “hurrier” or “putter.”  “Work as a ‘putter’ was very difficult.  You had to work a tub of coal (which usually did not have wheels) from where it was mined to where it could be taken by a central route to the surface.  ‘…Hurriers’ dragged away the cut coal in wheel-less tubs or small trucks to the pit bottom, where it was hoisted to the surface or carried up ladders in corves [baskets].   (Damon quoting J.F.C. Harrison)  Women often did this job.  A girl who worked at the mines as a hauler testified before a commission set up by English Parliament in the 1830s to look at problems of working children:

I never went to day school; I go to Sunday school, but I cannot read or write; I go to the mine at 5 o'clock in the morning and come out at 5 in the evening; I get my breakfast of porridge and milk first; I take my dinner with me, a cake, and eat it as I go; I do not stop or rest any time for that purpose; I get nothing else until I get home, and then have potatoes and meat, not every day meat. I work in the clothes I have now got on, trousers and ragged jacket; the bald place upon my head is made by carrying the coal buckets. I carry the buckets a mile and more under ground and back; I carry 11 a day; I wear a belt and chain at the workings to get the buckets out; the miners that I work for are naked except for their caps; they pull off all their clothes; I see them at work when I go up; sometimes they beat me, if I am not quick enough, with their hands; they strike me upon my back; the boys take liberties with me; I would rather work in a mill than in a coal-pit.  (Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia)

    Isaac, when older, also likely worked at the end of the hole, as a “hewer,” extracting coal.  These men often had to stoop and but weight on their knees in an uncomfortable manner while using pick and shovel to extract the coal.  “At the coal face the “hewers,” naked and on their knees, hacked away at the coal with their picks.  In narrow seams,…the face worker had to lie on his side, use his elbow as a lever, and pick away at the coal.  (Damon quoting J.F.C. Harrison) 


    D.H. Lawrence, whose Uncle died in a mining accident, described coal mining in this manner:

A coal mine remains a hole in the black earth, where blackened men hew and shovel and sweat.
The men might be crushed or buried alive by a sudden fall of earth that blocked their way out of the mine.  The deep pits might suddenly be inundated with floods or choked with poison gas and firedamp [a combustible gas…].  The miners’ lungs were clogged with dust as they breathed the odors of stinking horses and sweating men… The mines were always dark, dirty, and dusty as well as hot, wet and cramped.  Eating, drinking, urinating and defecating all took place in a confining space, and rats ran through the stagnant water. (Damon quoting D.H. Lawrence)

Cooper provides some documentation of the abuse towards the children:

Isaac Tipstone says—“I was bullied by a man to do what was beyond my strength.  I would not, because I could not.  The man threw me down, and kicked out two of my ribs.”  Jonathan Watts says—“A butty has beaten a boy with a stick till he fell.  He then stamped on him till the boy could scarcely stand.  The boy never told, and said he would not, for he should only be served worse.”  Boys are pulled up and down by the ears.  I have seen them beaten till the blood has flowed out of their sides.  They are often punished until they can scarcely stand.  John Bostock, speaking of Derbyshire, says—“the corporals used to take the burning candle-wicks after the tallow was off, light them, and burn his arms.  I have known my uncle take a boy by the ears and knock his head against the wall, because his eyesight was bad, and he could not see to do his work as well as others.”  (Kessen)

Coal mining was not only detrimental to children; it was hazardous to all who worked in the mines.  Life expectancy for miners was only a little more than 45, while productive life was less than that.   (Engels)  Frederick Engels, who was a major player in the development of communism, wrote a report of working conditions in England in 1845, which included an assessment of the mining industry.  He reports on the consequences from mining of poor health and shortened life span.  His report may be biased as indicated in the title of the chapter, “The Mining Proletariat:”

   In the coal and iron mines which are worked in pretty much the same way, children of four, five, and seven years are employed. They are set to transporting the ore or coal loosened by the miner from its place to the horse-path or the main shaft, and to opening and shutting the doors (which separate the divisions of the mine and regulate its ventilation) for the passage of workers and material. For watching the doors the smallest children are usually employed, who thus pass twelve hours daily, in the dark, alone, sitting usually in damp passages without even having work enough to save them from the stupefying, brutalizing tedium of doing nothing. The transport of coal and iron-stone, on the other hand, is very hard labour, the stuff being shoved in large tubs, without wheels, over the uneven floor of the mine; often over moist clay, or through water, and frequently up steep inclines and through paths so low-roofed that the workers are forced to creep on hands and knees. For this more wearing labour, therefore, older children and half-grown girls are employed. One man or two boys per tub are employed, according to circumstances; and, if two boys, one pushes and the other pulls. The loosening of the ore or coal, which is done by men or strong youths of sixteen years or more, is also very weary work. The usual working-day is eleven to twelve hours, often longer... Set times for meals are almost unknown, so that these people eat when hunger and time permit…
   The children and young people who are employed in transporting coal and iron-stone all complain of being overtired. Even in the most recklessly conducted industrial establishments there is no such universal and exaggerated overwork… It is constantly happening that children throw themselves down on the stone hearth or the floor as soon as they reach home, fall asleep at once without being able to take a bite of food, and have to be washed and put to bed while asleep; it even happens that they lie down on the way home, and are found by their parents late at night asleep on the road. It seems to be a universal practice among these children to spend Sunday in bed to recover in some degree from the overexertion of the week. Church and school are visited by but few, and even of these the teachers complain of their great sleepiness and the want of all eagerness to learn. The same thing is true of the elder girls and women. They are overworked in the most brutal manner. This weariness, which is almost always carried to a most painful pitch, cannot fail to affect the constitution. The first result of such overexertion is the diversion of vitality to the one-sided development of the muscles, so that those especially of the arms, legs, and back, of the shoulders and chest, which are chiefly called into activity in pushing and pulling, attain an uncommonly vigorous development, while all the rest of the body suffers and is atrophied from want of nourishment. More than all else the stature suffers, being stunted and retarded; nearly all miners are short, except those of Leicestershire and Warwickshire, who work under exceptionally favourable conditions. Further, among boys as well as girls, puberty is retarded, among the former often until the eighteenth year…  Distortions of the legs, knees bent inwards and feet bent outwards, deformities of the spinal column and other malformations, appear the more readily in constitutions thus weakened, in consequence of the almost universally constrained position during work… The women seem to suffer especially from this work, and are seldom, if ever, as straight as other women… The coal-miners suffer from a number of special affections easily explained by the nature of the work. Diseases of the digestive organs are first in order; want of appetite, pains in the stomach, nausea, and vomiting, are most frequent, with violent thirst, which can be quenched only with the dirty, lukewarm water of the mine; the digestion is checked and all the other affections are thus invited. Diseases of the heart… are readily explained by overwork; and the same is true of the almost universal rupture which is a direct consequence of protracted overexertion. In part from the same cause and in part from the bad, dust-filled atmosphere mixed with carbonic acid and hydrocarbon gas, which might so readily be avoided, there arise numerous painful and dangerous affections of the lungs, especially asthma… The peculiar disease of workers of this sort is "black spittle", which arises from the saturation of the whole lung with coal particles, and manifests itself in general debility, headache, oppression of the chest, and thick, black mucous expectoration. In some districts this disease appears in a mild form; in others, on the contrary, it is wholly incurable... Here, besides the symptoms just mentioned, which appear in an intensified form, short, wheezing breathing, rapid pulse (exceeding 100 per minute), and abrupt coughing, with increasing leanness and debility, speedily make the patient unfit for work. Every case of this disease ends fatally… Rheumatism, too, is, with the exception of the Warwick and Leicestershire workers, a universal disease of the coal-miners, and arises especially from the frequently damp working-places. The consequence of all these diseases is that, in all districts without exception, the coal-miners age early and become unfit for work soon after the fortieth year, though this is different in different places… This applies to those who loosen the coal from the bed; the loaders, who have constantly to lift heavy blocks of coal into the tubs, age with the twenty-eighth or thirtieth year, so that it is proverbial in the coal-mining districts that the loaders are old before they are young. That this premature old age is followed by the early death of the colliers is a matter of course, and a man who reaches sixty is a great exception among them… (Engels)

    Engels mentioned the mines in Leicestershire on two occasions.  First he mentions that the stunting of growth is not so pronounced giving the impression the caverns were larger and so the miners were not as confined.  However this is not to imply that things were good.  A statue from Bagworth, Leicestershire, honoring the miners of a past era, shows the miner on his knees as he picks the coal.  (Wikipedia)  The other advantage was the dryness of the mines in Leicestershire as compared to others in England, thus reducing the rate of rheumatism.


In addition to poor health, the mines were also dangerous.   An accident occurred almost daily in some mine in England.  (Engels)   There were over 164,000 mining injuries and deaths between 1700 and 2000. That is over 500 a year. This included over 15,000 children. These numbers are likely conservative, as before 1850 accurate records were not kept.  (The Mining History Resource Centre) Damon indicates that over 1000 miners died annually due to accidents.  (Damon)  I have reviewed much of the data with regards to the mine mishaps.  The most common accident was explosion in the mines.  There were also fires, collapses, drowning (when water from one shaft would flood another, elevators falling, boilers blowing, injuring workers on the surface.  The fatalities from the mining accidents killed children as well as men and occasionally woman.


In reviewing the record I only found one accident in the Coalville mines.  This was at the Whitwick mine in 1898.  33 men and two boys were killed.  The timbers of the mine caught fire and because of the fire it was impossible to get the men out.  The men succumbed to carbon monoxide gas.   There had been problems with fires at this mine prior to this, but no one had been killed.  (The Mining History Resource Centre)


During the time when Isaac was working in the mine, March 1847, a mining accident occurred at a mine in Church “Gresley, Derbyshire, about 20 miles from where the Wardle family lived.  This accident occurred as the elevator was letting the miners down the shaft to enter the mine.  The rope of the elevator broke, and the elevator fell about 230 yards killing nine men and boys and injuring others.   The inquest for this accident took place at Leicester.  (The South Derbyshire Graveyard Rabbit)


Although Isaac primarily worked in the coal, he also worked for a time in the rope making business.  “I was after put to work to learn the rope making business.  I only stayed at that work a short time as the family moved to the town of Coalville. (Wardle, Isaac 1)  “…He was put to learn the rope making trade, but only stayed with it for a short time…” (Rupp)  “When he was about eleven or twelve, he was put out by his parents as an apprentice to learn the rope making trade.  This didn’t seem to work out because he stayed with it only a short time.”  (Wardle, Orrin)
To be “put out” refers to learning a trade through apprenticeship:

APPRENTICE signifies a person who is bound by indenture to serve a master for a certain term, and receives in return for his services instruction in his master's profession, art, or occupation. Apprentices and masters are equally bound to perform their portion of the contract towards each other; and if the master neglect to teach the apprentice his business, or the apprentice refuse to obey his master's instructions, both are liable to be summoned before a magistrate to answer the complaint against them. A master cannot legally compel his apprentice to work an unreasonable length of time. There is no specific duration marked out by law, but doubtless the habitual employment of an apprentice for more than twelve hours daily (exclusive of meal times) would be deemed unreasonable. Compelling an apprentice to work on Sunday is clearly illegal… Indentures may be cancelled by mutual consent; the safest and most economical mode in such a case is simply to cut off the names and seals of the parties in the indenture, and endorse thereon a memorandum, signed by all parties, to the effect that they give their consent to the cancelling of the same… A master may administer reasonable corporal chastisement to his apprentice, but he cannot discharge him...


   The usual term of apprenticeship is seven years, namely, from fourteen to twenty-one years of age, but that period of probation is not always necessary, and, generally speaking, it is optional to determine upon a shorter term.  (Human Resource Management)

Isaac going back to the mines was likely a mutual decision between Isaac, his parents and his apprentice.  The exact nature of this is not known as Isaac simply states his family moved to Coalville and he felt compelled to go with them.  (Wardle, Isaac)


Isaac may also have worked as a brick maker’s assistant.  The census of 1851 gives this as his profession.  (findmypastUK) The 1851 census included the occupations of the family.  It lists John, the head of the household and his two oldest sons, Thomas, 21 and William, 18 as coal miners.  Isaac, 16 is listed as assistant to brick maker.  Joseph, 14 is listed as an assistant to coal miner.  Hannah, 12 and James, 9 are listed as “at home.”  No occupation is listed for the mother, Mary.  Perhaps the child labor laws were starting to have an effect as James was listed at home at nine years old.


Isaac worked in the mines almost exclusively from age seven to nineteen.  He tried rope making, and perhaps brick making but worked for ten years in the coal mines, and for two years before entering the mines.  “I went to work at the coal mines where I worked for ten years.”  (Wardle, Isaac 2) He must have known of the dangers to health, and the risk of accident involved.