Thursday, January 31, 2013

David H. Smith Visits Cache Valley

This is the third articles about the Reorganized Church in Cache Valley from an essay I wrote for school.  I is available at USU Library special collections.

David H. Smith, posthumous son of Joseph Smith, made two missionary trips to Cache Valley.  On the first trip, in 1871, he was accompanied by Josiah Ells.  They were able to reorganize a branch of the church in Providence which had been subject to emigration, and organize a branch in Logan.  The branch in Providence was among the Swiss people and the meetings were held in German.  David Smith returned to the Midwest from this trip due to "brain fever."  He was traveling with his brother, Alexander, who had mostly served in the Salt Lake area and had returned home as his wife was sick.
In 1872 David H. Smith was accompanied by Amasa M. Lyman, ex-Mormon apostle, to Cache Valley.  Meetings were held in Brigham City, Providence, Logan and Franklin.  Lyman at this time was practicing spiritualism and séances were held by the group.  The strain of the mission, accompanied by the effect of the spiritualist séances lead David Smith to a physical and spiritual break down.  David H. Smith was returned to the Midwest by Josiah Ells. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Great Debate in Cache Valley, 1899
The Great Debate in Cache Valley, 1899 
After 1890 the presence and influence of the Reorganized Church in Cache Valley was very small and insignificant.  The 1890 census showed 33 members in Richmond and a handful in Logan.  Most of those who had earlier converted had left the valley, returning to the East.  By the turn of the century very few members remained. 
However 1899 marked a significant event which was recorded in the Journal under the title “The Great Debate.”  For a week, January 17-22, the great debate took place in the second ward meeting house in Logan.  S.D. Condit, missionary for the Reorganized Church, and Melvin J. Ballard.  Melvin J. Ballard was a young man of 26, the son of a bishop, had been on a couple of missions, and twenty years later would become and apostle.
The debate was moderated by Reverend Newton Clemenson.  The debate lasted six days, and each day the church was packed and people had to be turned away.  The first three days covered the truthfulness of the Utah church and the last three days the veracity of the Reorganized Church.  Reverend Clemenson thought S.D. Condit the winner.  The local paper proclaimed Elder Ballard the victor.  The paper concludes, “Thus ended one of the most important events of a religious nature that has ever taken place here.  Elder Ballard in the opinion of his hearers had far and away the best of the argument, although Elder Condit made perhaps as good a showing for his church as anyone could have done.  People generally will do considerable thinking on the matter.”
A history of Melvin J. Ballard describes this event.  “In January, 1899, he held a week's discussion with one of the ministers of the Reorganized Church upon the question of succession, and succeeded in establishing in the hearts of the hearers the fact that the authority of the Priesthood is with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Joseph Smith III Visits Cache Valley

Joseph Smith III visits Cache Valley (This information is taken from a paper I wrote while attending Utah State University entitled: “The Reorganized Church in Cache Valley.”  It is available at special collections at the USU library and includes the source material.
Joseph Smith’s son visited Cache Valley on three occasions.  He was eleven at the death of the prophet, and took over leadership of the Reorganized church in 1860 at the age of 27.  He would serve as the president of the church for 54 years.
His visits to Cache Valley were generally proselyting visits.  His first visit however, was more recreational.   He passed through the northern corner of the valley, traveling from Malad.  He and his companions took a swim in Swan Lake.  This was 1885.
In 1889 Joseph III entered the valley a couple of times during his missionary labor.  He first made an appearance in Oxford, Idaho.  He was accompanied by A.J. Anthony, head of the mission in Utah.  He was granted permission by Bishop Lewis to use the meeting house for one service.  (This was with the condition that an Elder from the Utah Church, Milo G. Andrews be allowed to speak after he had finished.)  Several hundred people attended the meeting, most of them women.
After spending a few weeks in Malad (where the reorganized Church had a group) he returned to Logan.  The group was able to use the basement of the tabernacle for three consecutive days.  The upper floor of the building was still under construction.  President Smith addressed himself to the major conflicts between the two churches—claim to authority and polygamy.  He addressed the first question the first night, and the question of polygamy the second.  This night he and Apostle Thatcher of the Utah church engaged in a shouting match for some time.  This ended when one of the brethren on the stand stood up and said, “Do not interrupt the son of the Prophet again.”  After the service Apostle Thatcher asked for Joseph Smith’s apology.  The Logan Journal reported on the meeting, “Joseph Smith Jr. President of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saint gave a series of lectures during the past week—the last of which concluded Thursday evening—in the basement of the tabernacle.  He drew good attendance most of the time and particularly on the nights when he dwelt upon the marriage relation.  He did not leave a very profound impression and it would be no difficult matter to beat him to death in discussion by nailing his own weapons.”  
From Logan he traveled to Richmond where he was able to present three meetings in the tabernacle.  From Richmond he traveled to Hyrum where they held one meeting.  He met Bishop Molen of the Utah Church and James Unsworth, minister of the Church of England over the Hyrum congregation.  From Hyrum he traveled South.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Camp Farragut: Daily Life

I wrote a previous blog about Camp Farragut but gave general information.
This blog deals with the daily life at the camp.  Quotes are from my father's letters.
Daily life
In a letter to his parents, after being in camp a little more than a week, Dad described his daily activities:
You asked me to tell you what I do.  We are getting up at 4:30.  We have until 8:00 to eat, clean the barracks and wash.  At 8:00 our working day starts.  There is no definite procedure we follow then.  We drill a lot, take physical fitness in the drill hall, run an obstacle course, take tests, see military pictures, and numerous other things.  We don’t do all these things in one day but we are kept busy.  At about 11:15 we go in the barracks and generally by 11:25 we are on our way for dinner.  We have to march from one end of the grinder [parade grounds] to the other to get to ‘chow.’  It is over a quarter of a mile long.  We generally wait in line for 15 minutes before we get our food.  At 1:00 we again start on the grinder [marching drill.]  Until 4:15 we work and from there on, our time is our own.  We eat, shower, do our laundry, got to pictures, or go to Ship’s Services.  At 9:00 the light are put out and there can be no talking after that.
There were some specific things about camp life which he mentioned in his letter.
Food:  Dad didn’t care much for the food.  One particular deprivation was milk.  “I had the first milk tonight that I gave had since I left home [over three weeks.]  It certainly tasted good.  I got three glasses of it.  You were only supposed to get one but I worked it through to get three. 
Haircuts:  Dad got a haircut shortly after arriving.  “It doesn’t take them more the 1 ½ minutes to have all you hair off.”  Dad documented at least three haircuts curing his couple months there.
Cleanup:   Everyone had to clean.  However the platoons alternated between morning and evening clean-up.  “I help in the morning now.  I have to swab the floor between rows of bunks the length of the barracks.”
Clothes: Dad had a lot of laundry, his clothes and his bedding.  However he did not do any ironing.  “We roll our clothes here.  You roll them tight so no wrinkles are in them.  It is pretty effective.  I put all my clothes in a sea-bag.  That way it conserves space.” 
Barracks: Dad described their barracks:  The whole company sleeps in one big room.  There are over 130 of us.  We have beds with a lower and upper bunk.  We have six rows of bunks the length of the barracks.  There are eleven bunks in each row.  We hang our sea bags at the end of each bunk."  Dad had an upper bunk.  "It is a lot cleaner than a lower bunk."
Ship's Service:  Ships services is like a canteen.  A small store and recreation area.  You could everything you needed--laundry soap, ice cream, fountain drinks.  When they first arrived they could go to ship's twice a week, and then after after three weeks, they could go five times a week.  "We get to go over the ship's service five nights a week so it isn't too bad."
Recreation:  Dad indicated they had most evening off after 5:30.  "There was a swimming pool, in one of the drilling buildings.  They play basket in the rest of it."  "They have a bowling alley, table tennis, pool tables, and a library and play room in the recreation building also."  There were boxing bouts to watch.  They showed movies and you could go a couple times a week.  "They were all free."  There was also a U.S.O. stage show, and Dad's company got to go a second time as they were the best in drill.  Dad also played checkers with a friend from Idaho Falls, Rex Kirby.
Liberty:  Liberty was provided on an occasional basis.  Dad's company missed there first liberty.  A sailor had come down with scarlet fever and they were quarantined.  Dad went on his first liberty a couple weeks later.  "Well I had my first liberty yesterday.  I had a pretty good time.  I went into Coeur D' Alene...  About the only place to go was the U.S.O.  They had a dance there and they have a playroom and reading room.  You could buy all the candy and gum there you wanted.  They served cookies and cake...  We went out on the lake [Lake Coeur D' Alene] in a motorboat.  It was a lot of fun.
Duty: Duty was assigned tasks to a company.  On was the clearing of brush.  here was also guard duty.  One week Dad's company was assigned to guard duty all week.  The had irregular shifts, often during the night.
Medical:  They had a 2500 bed hospital at Camp Farragut.  The sailors received numerous vaccinations.  "I have gone through another physical and my arms are a little stiff from vaccinations."  "I hear you spend a bit of your first two or three weeks in the hospital getting vaccinated with everything they have."  Dad took advantage of the medical dispensary a couple of times; once with a bad cold and once with a boil on his toe which they lanced.  They also had facilities for dental work, and everyone was expected to see the dentist and get all their work done.
Training:  Different courses included drill, plane identification, cross-country, shooting, rowing, swimming, putting on you gas mask and other courses.  Everyone had to swim.  The gas mask training was with tear gas, and there were consequences if you didn't get it on fast enough.  There was also a cross country competition while my dad was there.  He competed for his company in a camp wide cross-country race and game in 22nd with a time of 13:25.  The course was a couple of miles, almost all up and down hills.
Testing:  Camp concluded with aptitude and skills tests.  My father certified as a swimmer.  However one of the purposes of the tests was to determine what course work you might be assigned to after basic training.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Bear River Battle and Aftermath

I noticed this article in the Deseret News, which is a good recounting of the  Battle of Bear River or Bear River Massacre.  On this date it is reported 300 Native Americans were killed.  This is more than any other massacre of Native Americans in a single day.  I previously wrote a blog about the massacre:
However this article also deals with the aftermath.  It talks of the dream they had to go to the Mormons, and the baptism of over 1200.  The making of a ward at Washakie, Utah.  This is a very proud heritage.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Great Depression

The depression started with Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929 and continued for almost ten years in the United States.  Unemployment reached 25 percent, family income was cut in half, and generally it was a hard time for most families.  This is a story of my father's family during the depression.  It is mostly told through the eyes of his older sister.
Grandfather Wilford (my dad’s father) decided to move his family to Salt Lake City, as he had a job working in an auto body shop.  This job lasted two ears, when he lost the job due to the depression.  The family moved back to the Teton Basin to victor.  Grandpa worked as a sheepherder as this was the only job he could get.  Audrey and Lula (dad’s older sisters) went with him. 
He then moved the family to Lincoln, outside of Idaho Falls, and followed the sugar beets.  During the depression, there was plenty of work, but not enough money.  It seemed his parents were always on the verge of poverty.  Aunt Audrey related the following with regards to this period:
This was really the depth of the depression.  My parents were so poor I don’t know how we survived.  What my parents must have gone through.  Papa would work the sugar beet run and then do what odd jobs he could.  The two summers we were in Lincoln he contracted to thin and hoe huge fields of beets for different farmers.  I worked side by side with him, all day, every day but Sunday.  Lula helped too and my mother walked to the field and worked when her housework was done….One time we had no flour and no money to buy any.  I know my parents were frantic.  As we sat around our kitchen table after supper there was a knock on our back door.  When we answered it, there, in our little lean-to porch, was a 50-pound sack of flour.  We never knew who brought it….But what a heaven-sent gift.  (Chase, Audrey’s history)
Audrey relates another story, about a year later, which illustrates the economic condition of the family.  This was after Audrey had worked a summer in Pocatello:
I got paid $.25 an hour at my job.  One of my most precious memories was the result of my job.  No children in our family had ever had a bike.  It was something totally out of reach.  But my brother Wilford dreamed of one.  Most of his friends had one.  He went to Victor to stay….While he was gone I got him a bike for his birthday.  He got back the day of his birthday.  I had put the bike in his bedroom, which was a tiny room down a long hall and at the back of the house.  I told him there was something for him in his room.  He dashed back there.  I’ll never forget his face as he wheeled out that beautiful new bike.  At $.25 an hour, it took me most of the summer t pay for it, but it was well worth it.  (Chase)
From Idaho Falls the family moved to Pocatello where Grandpa worked on a W.P.A. project.  These were “government projects President Roosevelt had started to help the poor.” (Chase)  He worked for civic projects with a pick and shovel on bridges and buildings.  From there the family moved to Salmon, Idaho, and stayed about a year before moving back to Pocatello.
Aunt Audrey had received a two-year teaching certificate, and taught for a year at Bates School in the Teton Basin.  She saved enough money she was able to help her parents make a down payment on a farm the following year.  Aunt Audrey described this as a fertile farm, in Riverton, Idaho just west of Blackfoot.
Grandpa Wardle lost the farm after two years:
He got a little behind in the payment.  A man was sent to see him about it.  My dad reacted as he usually did and beat the fellow up.  He made that payment, but the fellow told Ellis, (Audrey’s husband) “I’d have worked with him, but now I’m just waiting to see him get behind again.  When he does, I’ll get him!”  Papa got behind again and lost the farm. (Chase)
From there they landed on a farm near Rigby, renting a couple of poor farms and eventually purchasing one.  This farm had rocky soil.  They farmed beets and potatoes, hay and livestock.  I know Dad also raised livestock—pigs, chickens and milk cows.  He also herded sheep with his father.  This community became the permanent residence of my Grandparents.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Yellowstone National Park: 1940s

Yellowstone Falls

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

These pictures are of Yellowstone in the 40s.  I can recognize the Yellowstone Falls, and found a picture matching Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  But the others I cannot place.  Perhaps if someone is more familiar with the park they can place them.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Map Review: Overland Trails: Opening the American West

This map follows many trails which crossed the West, Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail, Pony Express Trail, California Trail, Santa Fe Trail, Lewis and Clark Trail, as well as many cut offs and short-cuts of each of these trails.  Not only does it map the trails, but also has commentary and quotes.  This is a sample.
"There's is a story of grit and faith overcoming heart breaking hardship.  Wagon trains became mobile communities, with leaders elected and justice enforced, sometimes harshly.  Family life continued as babies were born on the trail, children were raised, young folks courted and married.  Women cooked repetitive meals over buffalo dung fires.  Men guided teams and stood watch at night.  Death rode along too,  with uncountable graves marking the trail.  Disease, often cholera, claimed the most.  Others died in accidents involving firearms, wagon mishaps and drowning.  A few were claimed by Indian attacks."
"Fort Laramie is situated on the shores of the Laramie River, about two miles above its junction with the Platte.  The numerous and extensive public buildings were neatly built of adobes, or sun dried bricks, and to travelers who had been journeying long without seeing civilized habitations, they made a fine appearance.  The place was lively from the numerous soldiers stationed there, the workmen and teamsters employed and the Indians encamped in the vicinity drawn thither for the purpose of trading with the whites."  Thaddeus S. Kenderdine, 1858.
"Thursday July 14--  It is dust from morning until night, with now and then a sprinkling of gnats and mosquitoes, and as far as the eye can reach it is nothing but a sandy desert, covered with wild sage brush, dried up with heat; however it makes good firewood."  Diary of Mrs. Amelia Stewart Knight, 1853.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

WWII: Camp Farragut

My father did his Navy boot camp in Idaho at Camp Farragut.  When I wrote my dad's I did some research about the Camp.  Camp Farragut was in the panhandle of Idaho on the southern tip of Lake Pend Orielle.  Dad's first reaction to it was, "This is certainly a big camp" (Quotes from my father are taken from his letters.)  About a week into camps he said, "The scenery around here is beautiful.  There are mountains all around.  They are covered with pine trees.  I haven't seen the lake yet but I hear it is beautiful"
I found several descriptions of the station, which give further insight into why it was located in such a remote area:

After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, the U.S. Navy began immediately to build naval support facilities in the continental USA.  On of these was Farragut Naval Training Center, a huge facility built on the south shore of Lake Pend Orielle.  Its inland location and general anonymity outside of Idaho were obvious assets when West Coast locations were vulnerable to Sea war.
Farragut grew rapidly and was operating within a few months.  By September 1942, the population of 55,000 at the camp made it, in effect, the largest city in Idaho at the time.  The training center was organized into six self-contained camps, each with its own barracks, parade ground, swimming pool, and rifle range among other features.  The hospital had beds for 2500 patients.  German prisoners of war eventually arrived and did the gardening and general maintenance. 
Each camp accommodated 5000 sailors at a time, passing them through their training in two or three months.  The men learned to rig boats, handle lifeboats, manage gas masks, suppress fires, and shoot rifles and other firearms.  Liberty trains carried them from the camp to Spokane, Washington, and on to their ships.  By the time the Navy decommissioned the camp in 1946, nearly 300,000 men had passed through the center. (Idaho, a portrait)
At the start of construction in 1942, twenty-two thousand men worked on the project.  Each of the five camps built was designed to be self sufficient....They had their own mess hall, dispensaries, basketball courts, swimming pool, barracks, and rifle ranges.  As one camp was being completed and occupied, construction on the next began.  (Bonner County Historical Society)
Nestled at the foot of Cour d'Alene Mountains in the Bitterroot Mountain Range..., Idaho welcomed it first Naval recruits on 17 September, 1942.
From then until 10 March 1945 when the last class graduated, Farragut was the second largest U.S. Naval training station in the world.  During the 30 months it was operational Farragut trained 293,381 recruits.
19 states sent Naval recruits to Farragut.  They were California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.  (Farragut, Idaho)
Between its opening in September 1942, and its decommissioning in June, 1946, the stunning expanse of 4000 acres served as temporary home to almost 300,000 Naval recruits.  Located about 30 miles from Sandpoint at the far end of the lake, the Farragut Naval Training Station--briefly to become Idaho's largest city--served as boot camp for the "Blue Jackets."  During basic training, recruits left home for the first time, came to Farragut and learned how to march, row, swim and use firearms before heading off to the Mediterranean Sea or the South Pacific.  Others received additional training as signalman's gunner's mates, the hospital corps or radiomen.  WAVES (women Naval officers) served as nurses at the base hospital.  (Love, Marianne)

The station was divided into six camps: Camp Ward, Camp Peterson, Camp Waldron, Camp Bennion (named for Captain Bennion,) Camp Hill and Camp Scott, each named for an honored seaman who had passed away during the war.
The base commander was Captain F.H. Kelley U.S.N.  In an introductory pamphlet he said, "Navy Men--must be fighting men--with a fighting spirit.  The foundations of the Navy are based on honor and integrity, discipline and obedience; and while you are a Navy man it is your duty to live up to the Navy's tradition by your every act." (U.S. Navy)

The base was named for Admiral Glasgow Farragut, of Civil War fame.  It was he who said at the Battle of Mobile Bay, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead." It was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who named the camp,  President Roosevelt visited the base in September of 1942. (U.S. Navy)
Camp Farragut Daily Life

Friday, January 18, 2013


I wrote this poem as I wrote my father's Navy history.


The world changed that day,
And young men felt the need to respond.
"We'll give ours back, we'll make it right,
We'll stand up, We choose to fight."

From the gridiron field, to the battle field,
From the school play to the battleship,
From the farm, from the literary club,
From the service group, From the study of books.
      They came to the boot camps to learn how to kill,
      And were taught to live in a world--

      Of bombs,
          Of bullets,
              Of torpedoes,
                  Of Knives,
      Of shells,
          Of oceans,
              Of bayonets,
                  Of strife.

They learned radar, and signaling, gunnery and knots,
Radio, mechanics, how to survive gas attack,
To jump from the deck of a ship,
God forbid they ever have to jump from the deck of a ship.

      And they drilled, and drilled, and drilled, drilled, drilled.
          They learned how to drill.

And they hoped when the time came,
When they passed through fire, that they might survive,
And return to the farms, the clubs and the fields,
And love their mothers and their children and their wives.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Relutant Immigrants of Utah: The Uncompahgre Utes
This is the third in a series of articles about my father's thesis.  In the first two articles, we saw how the residents of Colorado, and the U.S. government slowly reduced the size of Ute Country.  However they had not gained their ultimate goal of expelling the Utes from Colorado.  The opportunity came with the Meeker Massacre in September 1879.  Nathan Meeker was the BIA superintendent over the White River Utes, and was very intent on forcing the Utes to farm.  He enlisted the help of the army.  The Utes ask that the army hold off and when they came anyway, the ambushed them.  Then a group when and attacked the agency, killing Meeker and others.  Some women and children were captured.  Ouray chastised the White River Utes for their actions, and insisted they return their captives, which they did.
This action however lead to renewed negotiations with regards to land.  The clamour of the population and governor of Colorado was that all Utes must leave.  A party went East, and thought they were giving away the mountains, not the valleys, of their land.  However the government insisted they gave away all their territory, and another place was to be found.  The treat specified the area around Grand Junction, unless not enough land could be found then they could also find land in Utah.  The agents who helped in finding an alternative sight of the Uncompahgre, were all supporters of Colorado.  They insisted there was not enough farm land in this area, and found an alternative location in Utah.  This is an area left alone by Mormon settlers, because the area was so arid and barren.  However the Ouray extension of the Uintah reservation was set aside for them.  The Uncompahgre were ordered to Utah.  "To the Uncompahgres the possibility of their being evicted from their homeland of ages was like a nightmare that surely must pass." (p 125)
After the Meeker incident, the Army was well positioned in Colorado.  They congregated close to the Uncompahgre reservations, six regiments and Calvary and nine of infantry.  Finally, in August of 1881 the order was given that the native population must leave.  They were given one day to decide if  they would leave peacefully or fight.  The reluctantly consented.
Agent Berry that the departure was "cheerful and happy."  However a local paper described the scene, "There can be no doubt that the very heart of the Ute was torn by his giving up and removal from the time-out-of-memory abiding place of their people.  The kissed and seeming endeavored to embrace the ground; they raised their hands and eyes filled with tears; in moaning prayers to the hills and sky; their words and hearts were burdened with sore lamentation and sorrow." (The Gunnison Review, Oct 1, 1881)
By the end of October the Uncompahgre were relocated.  Their new land was very poor, much worse the the White River Utes who instigated the Meeker Massacre.  The only means of survival was to leave the reservation and hunt as it was surrounded by mountain ranger on three sides.
The first treat by the u.s. government was in 1849.  Within a little more than thirty years, they had been removed from Colorado and lost all their land.  During this time they had also lost over half of their population to disease and encroachment.
My only desire with my dad's thesis is that he had talked more of the effects after the removal to Utah.