Decided to send exploring party 1878:

At the suggestion of Apostle Erastus Snow, himself a pioneer, statesman, colonizer and patriot, whose prophetic visions pierced the future, the decision was reached to plant a colony somewhere in the neighborhood of the "Four Corners" where the territories of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and the State of Colorado cornered together.

This was a a stake or district conference held at St. George in the latter part of the year 1878. And at a stake conference held at Parawan, Iron County, Utah about the 27 day of December 1878, a number of young men were called to explore this part of the country, with that aim in view under the direction and leadership of Silas S. Smith of Paragoona, Iron County, Utah, who proved to be a prudent, wise, resourceful man, particularly well equipped by nature and experience for a leader in that undertaking.

Company start April 15, 1879:

After a little more than three months preparation, on the 15 day of April 1879, a start was made by the Iron County boys consisting of the following from Paragoona: Silas S. Smith, Captain, Silas S. Jr., John A., Jesse J. Steven A., and Albert Smith, all sons of the leader.

From Cedar City: Robert Bullock, John C. Duncan, John Gower, Thomas Bladen, George Perry, George Urie, Kumen Jones, H. J. Nielson, James L. Davis and family. From Parowan: Harrison H. Harriman and family, George Hobbs, James B. Decker, Isaac Allan, Adelbert McGreggor, Hanson Bayles, P. R. Butt, Zacheriah Decker, Nelson Dalley, John C. Dalton, and sometime later John Buttler from Panguitch and Hamilton Thornton from Pinto Creek, joined the party on the San Juan River.

The Route:

The company, leaving Paragoona traveled up Little Creek Canyon down Bear Creek up the Sevier through Panguitch, past Upper Kanab, through Johnsons, past the north end of Buckskin mountains to Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River and on the main Arizona road to "Moancopy," afterwards named Tuba City. The company layed off at this point, sending out an exploring party to find a way to cross the Navajo Reservation to San Juan River, (this being their objective.)

This party was made up of the following: Robert Bullock, Kumen Jones, and Nathan Tanner who accompanied the party as interpreter. This party followed up the Moencopy Wash, out to "Red Lakes" over marshes past by the head of Lagoona Creek by Kayenta and later crossing the Chinalee about 35 miles from the river, and on to the San Juan River, following the main a north earterly direction, coming on the river at the Brewer Bottom, about 4 miles below the mouth of McElmo Creek and about the same distance above the Montezuma wash.

Soon after passing Chinalee Creek, one of the party was sent back to bring up the company who had remained at Moancopy, where they had been royally treated by John W. Young and others of that village.

Captain S.S. Smith's leadership shown:

It soon became apparent that water was going to be the source of our greatest anxiety, and wherever a damp place was found, shovels, spades, and picks were soon brought out and digging for water commenced, and as a rule, plenty of water was soon secured, which fact was easily used to our advantage with the quick witted Navajos, as they were told that the watering places would be theirs as soon as we passed on, this news was soon spread, and the Indians ahead were all anxious and gave us a hearty welcome, occasionally bringing a mutton out to show their appreciation. It may be added here that some of the watering places developed by the company some time later have been used up to the present as permanent waterholes.

An incident occured before reaching the Chinalee showing the tact of our captain. Upon passing a large camp or village of Pahutes, one of their number (later known as Peeagament) came blustering out and demanded $500.00 before the train would be allowed to proceed through his country. The Captain's being the first team, a short stop was made to try and passify the old fellow.

A few mild explanations were attempted, the only effect being to cause the old man to press his demands in a higher key. Noting this, Smith ordered him out of the way, and proceeding some distance, struck camp for dinner. The captain quietly passed the word around camp that it would be the right thing to give the Indians a little something to eat, or other small gifts such as tobacco, etc. Especially the small children were to have something to eat, but no one was to give the noisy old fellow anything or notice him in any way. The result soon made the wisdom of this course apparent as the Indians old and young were all jolly and friendly, and the old man was a psychological study, thoroughly whipped and the lesson seemed to last him all his life.

Barring the above, our travels through the reservation was agreeable and pleasant on both sides, and reaching the San Juan on the last day of May we crossed the next day.

During the following two months, exploring parties were out at all points of the compass and those who were left at camp were kept busy making roads, taking up claims, and working on a dam that was being built in the river by a family by the name of Mitchell, whom we found on the river on our arrival, having come down from Colorado the previous year.

August 13, 1879 Start for home:

On August 13th orders came from the captain to make ready for a start for home by way of the Salina Colorado road or trail. A part of the company including the captain remained on the river waiting for mail of importance to the expedition that was expected from Apostle Erastus Snow.

A start was soon made and road making was again the "order of business." They followed the Recapture wash about 25 miles and followed up Mustang Mesa to the foot of Blue Mountain, thence going around the east base of the Blue and making a camp at what afterwards became known as the Carlisle Ranch, and just recently purchased by Redd, Perkins, Adams, and Dalton.

At this date this was the most beautiful and promising location that had been found since leaving Iron County. Many tons of excellent hay could have been cut. Deer, sage hens, jack rabbits, cottontails were plentiful.

After the arrival of the captain and the party, another start was made, and at this point an opportunity was afforded us of finding out how much difference there may be sometimes in men's opinions.

The three scouts who had been ahead reported as follows: 1) It would be practically impossible to make any kind of a wagon road down "Peter's Hill." 2) In one month there could be a way worked so that the company could get down the hill. 3) In five or six days a way could be worked so as to let us pass down the hill.

After some counseling, it was decided to tackle the "Peter's Hill" proposition and next morning all hands went to work, and by night, rocks were moved, trees were cut and a few dug-ways were made, so that the next day the company not only passed down the hill but made 20 miles on the homeward journey.

Traveling on through Dry Valley we struck the old Santa Fe trail at Coyote wash. Our route from this point led through Little Grand Valley, where Moab now stands, Crossing Grand (now named the Colorado) and Green Rivers, through Castle Valley, over the mountain range and down Salina Canyon into Sevier Valley, reaching our homes September 16th and 17th.

In direct travel they party had made 900 miles, not counting side trips, explorations, etc. They had made 275 miles of new road, thoroughly explored the country outlines for us by the authorities, maintained friendly and pleasant relations with all Indians and white men who were met on the way. Order and discipline (both military and church) were maintained, as kind and friendly feelings were almost always the prevailing sentiment permeating the whole camp all the way through.

Religious devotions were attended night and morning by the whole camp, or in groups when the camp was separated for any purpose. Observance of the Sabbath was maintained by resting and "cleaning up," and for the benefit of those who maintained camp on the river, a Sunday School was organized.

The 4th and 24th of July were fittingly observed, with programs, sports, etc., which were participated in and royally enjoyed by all members of the camp as well as visitors from the Mitchell Rance, and straggling Indians who enjoyed the artillery part of the program.

The humble writer of these early incidents of, or in, the early history of the San Juan Mission, wishes right here with uncovered head, to render honor and praise to the memory of Silas S. Smith, who so wisely and faithfully managed and in such a quiet careful way, acquitted himself in the responsible position that had been placed upon him by the authorities of the Mormon Church, proving very conclusively that no mistake had been made in his being called to that important position.

Silas Smith:

Silas S. Smith, as I knew him and as I sized an old man up from the beginning of our acquaintance, being myself an inexperienced back wood young fellow in the rough, after fifty years I find that my first impressions are fully justified. Quiet, unassuming, careful, resourceful, nothing flashy, but when the occasion required, there was a real man behind it all. In case he knew he was right, fear was the last thing he thought of if he thought of it at all. Thus, with rich and full experiences along so many lines, he was prepared to meet almost any problem or emergency that pioneering may bring out.

He had a good full understanding of the Gospel, and was well up on financial matters, practiced economy and thrift; was true to the Church, and loyal to the authorities of the Church, State and County.

Silas Smith filled many places of responsibility in the Church and State. He passed through the early Utah Indian troubles, thus acquiring experience that proved an asset to the San Juan pioneers who were surrounded on all sides by Utes, Pahutes, Navajoes, etc. who were not always friendly. Being isolated from all other white settlements, it was soon discovered that outlaws and renegades from all Indian tribes, made this their headquarters. The rough broken nature of so much of the country offered an excellent hiding place, secure from pursuit.

Our dealings and contacts with the Indians in our early pioneering days followed the wise, friendly, fair policy introduced by Silas S. Smith as the leading spirit, and Thales H. Haskell as interpreter and contact man, both past masters in their places, with both of whom I enjoyed the most friendly association, and for the humble measure of success I attained in assisting the maintaining friendly relations whith these descendants of the prophets Lehi and other Book of Mormon characters, a major part of the credit goes to Smith and Haskell.

I feel that I am getting old (75) but I pray that the good Father will permit me to retain my faculties of mind and body as long as I remain in this mortal state, at least enough so that I may do some good for myself and fellow-pilgrims, and bring glory and honor to His name as well as His works and His people.

It is not in my power to appreciate fully the many, many good things the Lord had given to me and that is in store for all of His children who remain true and faithful to Him until we reach the end of this mortal trail, getting more patient, charitable, and kindly disposed, especially to the household of Faith, and all Indians, loving the truth and all that is good and true and hating all evil and impure things in the sight of heaven, and our store of charity to be broad enough to cover the human race--everyone.

Above all give charity for and to the erring ones. They are the ones to do the worrying and our charity should be broad and sincere to cover the whole human race.

General Move to San Juan Mission:

During the latter part of October 1879, the greater part of the pilgrims that were to make up the company, booked for the San Juan Mission as then called, were on wheels headed for the Colorado river at a point east of the Escalanta desert, the supposed route having been looked out in the summer previous by Bishop Schow, Charles Halls, and others of "Potato Valley," but the exploring could not have been thorough, as later developments plainly proved, as the road or makeshift that answered them temporarily for a passageway, was abandoned within 12 or 15 months, another route having been opened up about 30 miles up the river to "Halls Ferry" on the Colorado river, and intersecting the "Hole-In-The-Rock" road about 8 or 10 miles southeast of the river crossing.

The greater part of the company had gathered at the forty-mile spring early in November 1879. There were representatives from practically all the counties, from Weber, south to Washington.

After the arrival of President S.S. Smith at the above mentioned rendezvous, matters took on a business aspect and parties were sent ahead to ascertain the possibility of the proposed route across the Colorado river which was some twenty miles northeast from camp.

The first exploring company had not gone far when they met a party of prospectors returning with their burro packs and told us it would be useless to attempt to make a road where the proposed route had been pointed out. They said "If every rag, or other property owned by the people of the territory was sold for cash, it would not pay for the making of a burro trail across the river."

In the journal of Platte D. Lyman, describing the prospects at that time and place, the following occurs: "Worst country I ever saw. Some of our party are of opinion that a road could be made if plenty of money was furnished, but most of us are satisfied that there is no use of this company undertaking to get through to the San Juan this way."

However the boys went on, and crossed the river. (The boat improvised for that purpose was a box about 10 feet long and same width as a wagon box, one shovel and one spade were used for oars, and two of the boys bailed water out while two plied the "oars." The water being low in the river, we crossed without any serious difficulty. Several of the boys were detailed to look over the country at and near the river and four (George Hobbs, Wm Hutchings, George Lewis and Kumen Jones) were fitted out with a blanket each and lunch for a few days scouting farther out in the country.

Explorers report different opinions:

After about one week's trampling, the boys returned and gave in their reports, and there were about as many different kinds of reports as men. As a sample, the four that were out farthest toward San Juan reported as follows: 1) It would be out of the question for the company to attempt to get through on this route. 2) With some assistance from the legislature, (that was about to convene) and by all the camp uniting in the undertaking, we could get the wagons and stock through, but no permanent road could be made. 3) A good road may be made over the proposed route in a few weeks without much trouble. The fourth did not report.

Several meeting were called by the men at the head and it was finally the almost unanimous decision to go to work and make a way to get through. One thing or condition that made for this decision, was the fact that on account of deep snow on the mountains over which we had just passed, it would be almost impossible to return for several months; accordingly, preparations were soon underway to commence work.

Organization of camp effected:

December 14th, 1879, the following traveling organization was effected:

Captain Silas S. Smith 4th Ten Henry Holyoak
Assistant Captain Platte D. Lyman 5th Ten Z. B. Decker Jr.
1st Ten Jens Nielson 6th Ten Samuel Bryson 
2nd Ten George W. Sevy Clerk C. E. Walton
3rd Ten Benjamin Perkins Chaplain Jens Nielson

Captain S. S. Smith returns to the settlement to obtain assistance:

Next day after above organization of camp, Captain Smith returned to the settlements with the view of obtaining assistance from any source. Especially from the legislature, and the authorities of the "Mormon Church," both of the latter coming to the assistance. The legislature $5000 and the church $500, whereby powder, provisions etc., were obtained, also several extra men were sent out to assist in the road work. They were mostly men who had had experience in mining where powder is used. Good progress was made, and a hearty good feeling prevailed throughout the whole camp.

In a camp consisting of 90 or more men, about 30 women, 60 children, moving in 83 or more wagons through an extremely rough country one would naturally look for some trouble and accidents, but this was not the case, all was hustle and harmony.

Explorers sent out. Hardships endured. Divine guidance:

About this time Dec. 17th, it was decided to send men out to look over the proposed route to ascertain whether it was possible to get through to the San Juan, at the point where the former explorers had made locations during the summer before, and for this purpose George W. Sevy, L. H. Redd, George Hobbs, and George Morrill, were chosen or volunteered. They took with them only four animals, a small quantity of provisions and bedding, expecting to replenish their lunch bags when arriving at the camp of those who had remained on the San Juan the fall before. But in this they were somewhat disappointed, as provisions had run very low, with this camp. In fact the outlook was so slim in the provision line that the explorers did not feel justified in remaining long enough to recuperate after their long hazardous journey, but at once prepared for the return trip, only remaining at the river camp one day. The trip out had taken 12 days and the return 11 days.

The scouts sent to check up on the country between Colorado River and the San Juan some 125 miles up.

Just before reaching the camp at Montezuma, the party who went out in the spring, for the exploration, met two miners who were making the start to hunt for the lost pasheekine mine reported by Navajoes and others as being very rich in silver and which had been worked by Navajoes, but had been lost as the few Indians who had worked it were killed off by the soldiers when they were being rounded up several years before, when they were taken to Santa Fe.

These prospectors tried to persuade our scouts to go out with them, promising that they would lay over for them and would let them in on the big sure thing mine. Had our men fallen for this wild proposition, it may easily have resulted in failure of the San Juan Miss, at least at that early date, for the following sad reason. These two men (Myrick and Mitchell) were killed by the renegade Pahutes, and a few Navajoes as they, the prospectors were returning, with their pack animals loaded with ore supposed to be from the lost mine. For particulars of this fateful event see story by Albert R. Lyman, printed in Improvement Era (October 1936), "The Outlaw of Navajo Mountain" which has the particulars as fully and accurate as possible.

Our men would most likely have met the same fate and our company could not have got the news of what became of them for a month or two, and a great portion of our camp were strongly of the opinion that with such a terror of a country for a road as it appeared to them that would have been enough to put finis to the whole undertaking, that was as far as that almost impossible route was concerned.

Our Church is not easily turned aside from going through with any measure they undertake and the San Juan mission would no doubt have been carried out but on other lines, President John Taylor, Erastus Snow and Joseph F. Smith and others at the helm, were not weak-kneed, all being used to unusually hard and cruel opposition, especially where Church or religious movements were involved.

This exploring trip of those four men will always be remembered by all those who were acquainted with it, and more especially those who were acquainted with it and who took part in it, as one of the hardest and most trying in the way of perseverence and persistant endurance as well as one where the participants must have had the assistance of our Heavenly Father of any undertaking connected with the settlement of the San Juan Mission. It has been a source of wonder to all those who have become acquainted with the country through which those explorers traveled, since those early days, how they ever found their way through deep snow, and blinding snow storms in such a broken, timbered country all cut to pieces with deep gorges, for such a long distance, without compass', trail, and much of the time no sun, moon, or stars to help them in keeping their course, and the only answer that helps explain the mystery must be that a kind Providence came to their assistance in answer to their humble fervent prayers.

George Sevy was a man of sterling qualities about 40 years of age at this time of indomitable courage. Sturdy, honest, fair, in all his dealings, with men accustomed to hard work together with about all the qualities for an ideal pioneer. Upon the organization of the Bluff Ward, he was chosen as first counselor to Bishop Jens Nielson, but conditions not known at the time came up later making it necessary for him to change his program, and we next hear from him in Old Mexico where his ability was soon discovered and he was made a bishop.

He raised a large family. Several of his sons became later prominent in busines and other ways in our state. Brother Sevy was all man and will enter Celestial Glory.

Lemuel H. Redd Sr. (also about 40 or 45 years old at the time of which we write) was a man of strong characteristics of a kind, fair disposition, full of experience in all things associated with pioneer life, full handed in a financial way, wirey in body, agreeable and a traveling companion. And altogether well equipped for an arduous journey such as we attempted to describe above. Brother Redd also was blessed in standing at the head of a very large family, many of whom have taken an active and important part in the development of the San Juan Mission also in Mexico and other outposts. He passed the latter part of his life in Mexico where a number of his children now reside.

Hobbs and Morrill were young men, about 24 years of age. They came from strong sturdy stock, and are sure to have been first class citizens in the localities favored with their membership.

The four scouts (Sevy, Redd, Morrill, Hobbs) are deserving of more credit for the part taken by them. It will take one more gifted as a historian than I am to weave in to the beginning of this wild rough job.

It would seem that the two hundred mile stretch from "Forty-mile" Springs down the desert southeast of Escalante to Bluff, Utah, could have been planned for one of nature's hideouts for wild animals. Desperadoes, and the outlaw Indians who were in full possession of it when we arrived, and for many years after. How those L. D. S. scouts made that trip and returned, all alive with the weather, food, shortages, etc., all against them may, as many other obstacles encountered by those pioneers of early days, be credited to the kind Providence whose service we were in held out His hand. Having gone over this same country many time riding after cattle it seems more impossible as time passes.

Upon the return of the above mentioned explorers they reported that it would be possible to make a road through to the San Juan, as by far the roughest and most difficult country was at and near the "Hole-In-The-Rock" or within a few miles of the Colorado River where work was being pushed as fast as possible, with the tools, that was in the camp.

A long and interesting story could be written about the travels and workings of this large, well organized, good natured, jolly camp, but for the purpose of this little story I will just say that the great majority went to work in earnest and a good healthy Christian atmosphere pervaded the camp. Sabbath was observed singing hymns, and prayers were attended to at least each evening, and occasional dances were had, more especially at the "Hole-In-The-Rock" where nature had made the smooth flat rock floor on purpose.

Camp Broke Jan. 26th, 1880:

January 26th, 1880, after about six weeks work and waiting for powder, etc., a start was made to move the wagons down the hole. I had a well broken team and hitched it on to B. Perkins wagon and drove it down through the hole. Long ropes were provided and about 20 men and boys held on to the wagons to make sure that there would be no accidents, through breaks giving way, or horses cutting up after their long lay off, but all went smooth and safe, and by the 28th, most of the wagons were across the river and work had commenced again on the Cottonwood Canyon another very rough proposition. There was another item that was important. The matter of finding forage for the workhorses, for it will be readily seen that there was a great many animals needed to move the 80 odd wagons of the camp and the open country was limited, and many hands were occupied with that part of the work.

April 6th, 1880 San Juan River was reached:

After working and traveling nearly two and a half months, on the 6th day of April, 1880, the future site of Bluff was reached and surely the Hand of Providence had been over the traveling pilgrims. No serious accidents had befallen any of them, only two tip-overs, several babies had been born, provisions were anything but plentiful, but good health prevailed, and the roughest wagon road in North America had been gone over, without any serious smash-ups or break-downs. About 325 miles had been traveled, 210 of which had been over an unsettled country through which a wagon had never gone before. The main portion of the camp had been 5 1/2 months on the journey, and everybody as well as the faithful work teams were ready for a rest. However, many were more or less disappointed in the country, and if their teams had been able, many more would have accompanied the few who moved on.

Besides H. H. Harriman and family, George Hobbs, and Jas. L. Davis and family who had remained on the river since the S. S. Smith party came in the summer of 1879, we found our old friend and neighbor Thales H. Haskell here, having been sent in by the Church authorities to act as Indian interpreter, which was a pleasant surprise to all old friends.

[Brought from inside front cover, explanations as to my reasons for attempting to write]

My friends who know me best will wonder why I attempted such an impossible work. Had I been a natural or trained historian, with what I have gone through, or have witnessed, all through the whole of my frontier life and experience, I should have something worth while to tell, and be able to tell it to good advantage.

My first job, as I recall, was that of a herd boy. At first I guarded only our own milk cows, and then our neighbors arranged for me to look after their cows along with ours. It was not long before I had partners. As I recall it, this grew into a regular town cow herd, run by Jimmy Clark, who stuttered very badly, and who, sometime later, suffered a broken neck, or at least a badly injured neck, leaving it very crooked, but he made a faithful herder.

On my starting out to herd cows, I took a pair of small mules to look after for a Mr. Dilly, and while there was no regular bargain entered into, when spring time came and the mules were put again to work, I was paid off and released from further obligations. My part of the pay check was a bull pup, enough calico for a shirt, a pair of store pants, dark striped; and a boy's store hat. I doubt whether I have ever felt as wealthy since as I felt on that pay day.

Our dear mother made all our clothing from our shoes up and she exchanged labor with the shoe man for our shoes. When I dressed up in my store clothes, I "swelled up" with pride.

That bull pup turned out to be the only real dog I ever had, and it spoiled me for having any other dog.

After I was six years of age and until I was ten or eleven I attended school, and although I played hookey once in a while, I did not run away from Sunday School. I felt that I wanted to become a naturalist, to find out about the animal and vegetable kingdom.

Right here may be a good place to take a backward look and "cast a figure over the past," as Haskel used to say. I rather favored the idea of preparing to follow blacksmithing, and made several attempts, by working with three different smiths at Cedar, two of them imbibed too freely, and the other was soon tired, so my blacksmithing aspirations died out.
Indian Missionaries:

The names of war heroes are had in great honor among all people and nations (more or less justly so) even the savage has some way of showing his respect or reverence for those who have shown courage in battles. Then we have organizations of veterans and the common soldiers from the "G.A.R." to the different societies down to those who have taken any part in a campaign of even a month's or a few days length. We have great honors to bestow upon our inventors, composers, explorers, editors, statesmen of all grades and stations; philanthropists, reformers, financiers, businessmen of all grades, humorists and etc. But whoever heard of the Old Indian Missionaries being given any recognition only among a very limited number of immediate relatives and friends, and many times even among their own neighbors, they are more or less slighted and their self-sacrifice is not appreciated.

But we surmise it will be different when the Allwise Father of us all goes to mete out rewards and punishment to His children as their lives have merited. In His Allwise wisdom and justice He will say to the faithful Indian Missionary, "Come, Inasmuch as you are willing to give up wealth, comfort, worldly pleasure, your social standing, and all that man naturally seeks after and enjoy, to become peacemakers in its broadest and truest sense." "Come! I have real honor and joy for you, that shall never end, but shall grow sweeter and brighter as time goes on, and your families who have shared the sacrifice with you shall also participate in the honors and blessings that shall never end."

Within the body of Thales Haskell was one of the purest, brightest, kindest, interesting spirits; high minded, brave to a fault, always too big to do or think anything low or unworthy. "A man among men" that could be trusted and that was an all-around true friend.

On very rare occasions he imbibed a bit freely, but those who will reflect a moment will readily account for this in taking into account the many, many years he had spent among the Indians away from family and civilization; and we'll all join those who were fortunate in being intimately acquainted with him in saying that he belongs among the real peace makers referred to heretofore. His services were indispensible to the Indian situation. The Lord bless his memory was the order of the day.

Those who had decided to remain at Bluff, which had been selected as headquarters, at least for the present. Locating and surveying a townsite, also a canal to get water from the river out onto land and arranging for camping grounds etc., kept everybody working but "pa" and he worked double time.

In the fore part of May several teams were sent back for provisions that were hauled to the river (Colorado) by teams from the older settlement and our boys went to bring the stuff from that point, George Sevy, Hyrum Perkins, and myself and there may have been one other outfit, am not quite clear as to the exact number.

The weather was exceedingly hot and teams thin in flesh, we necessarily had to make haste slowly. We met President S. S. Smith soon after starting out who came to Bluff and effected a temporary organization for the carrying on of the work. Platte D. Lyman was put in charge with Jens Nielson as counselor or assistant. Sunday School was organized with James B. Decker as Supt. and gave good safe counsel to pioneers.

The George Sevy company returned in due course of time with the flour, etc., which had been sent down the Colorado river by the Church authorities, and which was sorely needed by the pioneers at the future site of Bluff, Utah. Ordinarily this trip would not be of sufficient importance to go on record, but some future historian, especially one who has gone over the route traveled by the pioneers of San Juan between Escalante and Hole-in-the-Rock to Bluff, Utah, will not call that trip unimportant.

Late in the Fall of 1881, I made another trip as far as Escalante for freight which had been left there by William Hyde who, in that year, opened an Indian trading post on the river. This was late in the Fall, and Bishop Jens Nielson rode with me as far as Escalante. We rode in separate outfits from there to Cedar, where the bishop remained till the spring of 1882.

When I returned with my load from Escalante, I overtook an outfit at the river, and we were about the last teams to pass that way. Bishop Nielson and others came another route, leaving Hole-in-the-Rock road a few miles out east of Escalante, and traveling down the Escalante Wash. Then they turned northward through Muley Twist and down Grand Wash to Hall's Ferry on the Colorado River, joining again with the former road four miles north of Hermit Lake, or Pagahrit, as the Indians call it.

This route was again changed to come through Rabbit Valley over into the head of Grand Wash, and intersecting the former road where it came out of Muley Twist. This was traveled for a few years and again changed by turning eastward around the north end of Henry Mountains, following the east base of the mountain and turning down Trachyte Wash to Dandy Crossing, going from there eastward up through White Canyon and joining the old road at Harmony Flat, south of Elk Mountain.

Harmony Flat got its name from a party of the original pioneers who came from New Harmony who laid over there a few days to hunt some of the horses that had strayed away.

The distance from Escalante to Bluff by the Hole-in-the-Rock road, or the Halls Crossing way through Muley Twist, was approximately 200 miles. Through Rabbit Valley from Loa to Bluff by way of Dandy Crossing, it was about the same distance.

It has been many years since any vehicle of any kind has been taken over any of these roads, that is, over the whole distance. They have all been abandoned, and they have to be repaired in some places even before a pack outfit can be taken over them.

To one who crossed the Colorado at Lee's Ferry in 1879 and who in the following four years crossed at Hole-in-the-Rock, Hall's Ferry, Dandy Crossing, and at Moab where the crossing had to be made by fording with small boats, the experience of traveling those roads under conditions prevailing then, gives one a great sensation of pleasure in traveling our modern highways in autos or on railroad trains, at Grand Junction and at Yuma where bridges span the Colorado.

It may be that the experience we had in traveling those roads under conditions that prevailed in those early days, gives one a great sense of pleasure in riding over these improved modern highways in an auto, or a modern railroad train, "leastwise" the desire to go over it again in the covered wagon has entirely left me, and I enjoy riding in the new style, "just like a kid."

I have traveled all trails or roads approaching Bluff, Utah from all directions, and before I pass on I would like the pleasure of traveling over both the proposed new routes, that is, from Blanding by way of Mexican Hat suspension bridge, Monument Valley, Tuba City, and Lee's Ferry bridge; and from Blanding by the Natural Bridges in White Canyon, Dandy Crossing and the scenic wonders near Rabbit Valley, joining Bryce Canyon highway at Fish Lake, when these highways are completed and improved.

When I have traveled these highways and have seen an Indian school completed and in use at Bluff, I will be ready to pass on.

The County Organization of San Juan: Silas S. Smith put the matter of a County organization up to the legislature, in the territory of Utah, which was in session in the winter of 1879-1880 at Salt Lake City, Utah. The Governor appointed and the legislators agreed to the names of James Lewis as Judge for the new County; C. E. Walton, Clerk; Platte D. Lyman, Jens Nielson and James B. Decker as selectmen; Benjamin Perkins, Assessor and collector, and Kumen Jones as County Superintendent of Schools.

COPY OF AN AGREEMENT of the committee for an Indian School at Bluff: San Juan County, Utah agrees to relinquish all right to the Piute Strip, including all the land west of the tenth meridian in Utah west to the Colorado River, in consideration for which the Indian Department were to remove the Indians from the north side of the San Juan River east to Montezuma, where the Navajos were to have the country from the river up the west bank of Montezuma. This was to be somewhere near the state road then to a line more or less direct to the McElmo Wash. The Utes and Piutes were to give up all allotments filed on along Recapture Wash and the lower end of White Mesa, remove the Utes and Piutes from the country as soon and as many as possible. The government was to build a highway across the reservation from Bluff to Tuba City, and put up an agency and school at Bluff, Utah, to care for the Piutes north of the San Juan River, and care for and educate the Navajo children from the northwestern end of their reservation.


The big kind hearted Lincoln had ended slavery in the United States, and the brave Kit Carson had rounded up the Navajos at Santa Fe, from which they had been turned loose stripped of any thing on which to live. Besides this, President Brigham Young had made two treaties with the Navajos before it worked.

Here is where and when the idea of the San Juan Mission was born, about 1877 in St. George. The death of President Young delayed the execution of the plan till the latter part of 1878, when about 100 men, most of them young men, were called at a conference held in St. George.

There are two powers that work among mortal men, a good and an evil power. Any movement for good and tending to move men upwards is always met by the evil forces which oppose and fight it. My purpose in this humble effort in writing about it, is to convince my children and my descendants of the fact that this San Juan Mission was planned, and has been carried on thus far, by prophets of the Lord, and that the people engaged in it have been blessed and preserved by the power of the Lord according to their faith and obedience to the counsels of their leaders. No plainer case of the truth of this manifestation of the power of the Lord has ever been shown in ancient or in modern times.

This humble writer of the story of the San Juan Mission sees now, in looking back over it, the inspiration of appointing Erastus Snow as head colonizer of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. He was of natural wisdom backed up with wide experience, he had more than ordinary good common hard sense, and above all, he had the inspiration of the Lord.

The appointment of Silas S. Smith to lead the explorers, and the first scouts, who looked out the way to San Juan, and located the pioneers at Bluff, is proof that he was the right man for that difficult work. He was a natural leader of wide experience in many lines. He was acquainted with Indian, with legislation, Church organization and Church History, a relative to the martyred prophet.


Indian agent, W. T. Shelton and others: The habit of seeing and feeling that the hand of Providence is plainly made manifest in the affairs of men is an interesting and profitable study. It enables us to understand some mysterious happenings that otherwise would remain unsolved mysteries.

When W. T. Shelton was sent in to superintend that part of the Navajo reserve extending along the north side of this reservation west of the 110th meridian, and next to the San Juan River on the south, it was a streak of good fortune for the Mormons as well as for the Navajos. He proved to be a real friend towards the latter, and absolutely free of prejudice towards the former.

He understood the Indians and their needs. He and his queenly Christian wife had no children of their own, and their natural love for children found vent towards these bright young brownies of the canyons and cliffs and sandhills of the Navajo lands. The kind, friendly feeling soon grew to be mutual, for the youngsters reacted nicely to the treatment he offered them.

Supt. Shelton if questioned, could give two or three reasons for every move he made towards the development of the Shiprock School plant. For example he provided a small building to serve as a hospital and when they had patients brought in for treatment, he would invite some of the brightest of the natives that were convenient and would have them follow the doctor and nurse in their treatment of the ailing ones.

We may easily guess that it would be somewhat different from the treatment of their own medicine man. However, I am a firm believer that the Indian people, as most of the Heathen peoples, have their prayers answered and that their sick are healed by faith however different they may approach this question than do the Christians.

As soon as Agent Shelton discovered that his Mormon neighbors were friendly and were interested in the welfare of the Indians it pleased him as being something "new under the sun." One of his major troubles was keeping peace between the Indians and settlers bordering on the reservation, and the friendship between us soon became warm and mutual, and each was in a position to render assistance to the other.

For instance, he as agent, seeing the demoralizing influence of gambling, undertook to discourage it in every way possible, and asked traders and all settlers living near the reservation to cooperate with him.

He also wanted to use the Indians in all unskilled labor on a school and in preparing to operate a farm in connection with the institution. For several reasons he did not wish to pay high wages, the school was solely for the Indians, and if they got their money too easy it would be a greater temptation to use it in gambling--an almost universal weakness among them. We were more than willing to cooperate with him in these matters and many others, more especially where the Indians would be helped to a better standard of living.

Supt. Shelton and the Sectarian school people couldn't find any common ground where they were able to cooperate and there was more or less friction between them from the start, finally resulting in Supt. Shelton's removal. This was through the Indian Right's Association which was largely dominated by Sectarian influence. Several of the schools on the Navajo reserve were operated by the different denominations. Shelton was not a policy man but frank and straight forward asking no special favors of friend or opponent. He understood the Indians and their limitations and opportunities and he had the respect of all the better well disposed men of the nation. He had a system of putting his regulations over with refractory individuals, and at the same time winning their respect.

In regards to the Mormons, if there was any prejudice in him, it was in our favor right from the start. As soon as he discovered our attitude of friendship toward the Indians it may be that this very thing had something to do with the trouble with him and other religious people, and that his attitude towards us brought about his removal. It was a great disappointment to us, and we believe it was an irreparable setback to the Navajo nation, as well as to our government which has the job of bringing the Indians up and out of the condition they are in.

Of all the Indian agents or superintendents we have contacted since we landed in San Juan, Supt, Shelton stands way in the lead as a man of ability to help the Indians. However, since Shelton's day here, the Indian agents have aimed to be fair with us and to give about the best that is in them for the benefit of the Indians, but they just simply didn't know how. At least this is the honest opinion of a commoner who wishes every human being well and I feel that I am a little better man because of my association with Supt. Shelton.


Some checks and balances that assisted in holding bad forces from gaining too much power in early San Juan history: A group of young fellows came in from the eastern part of the United States, the Ptelomy brothers, Ervin McGrew, Louis Pauquin, Henry Goodman, James Frink, Bob Hott, Bob Moncur, the McGalyards and others. There was George Hudson of the Hudson and Green company, O'Donald, Pat and Mike. They were fairly well educated and had been brought up in good Christian homes and were men who stood for law and order. They were without the knowledge of just who the Indians or Lamanites were but they had the business sense to see that their safety depended on keeping on friendly terms with the Indians and that fact naturally added strength to the forces of peace. The Mitchells were the exact reverse, trouble makers.

Quite early in the game of our pioneering there was a change made in the northern division of the Navajo reservation. A former agent who was prejudiced against the Mormon colony at Bluff and a similar Mormon colony at Fruitland, New Mexico, was replaced by W. T. Shelton. Providence must have suggested this change for it turned out to mean so much to the best interests of the San Juan Mission as well as the welfare of the Saints in New Mexico. Best of all it turned out for the best of the Navajos themselves for in Mr. Shelton they were getting a broad gauged Indian man as Supt. at Shiprock school.

No other change could have been made with just one or two men involved that could mean so much to the pioneering of this whole region and for the real good and advancement of the Navajos. It is just another instance of showing that Providence is over all, especially where much is at stake in the program of Latter-day Saints. On the other hand, the program for the upward movement and progress of His work is met with forces to oppose and tear it down.


A record as between pioneers of San Juan County, Utah, and San Juan Indians. Between the years 1879 and 1937, there have been 85 killings in the county, about half Utes and Piutes, and half white men. Twenty-five of the worst of the Indians have died from unknown causes, not from natural causes, such as common ailments, but they could not, or would not, tell as to what ailed them.

Following the Navajo war, in which about all the nation was rounded up and starved into subjection by Uncle Sam's army, in which the noted Kit Carson played a prominent part, the Navajos were turned back on their reservation in an extremely destitute condition. It was a case where their only choice was in stealing and robbing their nearest neighbors, or starving themselves. From the best information we have, there were but few of them starved to death, but many of their young, able-bodied men became adept at stealing. Southern Utah offered a fruitful field for their practice of cunning exploits, as the Colorado River provided a natural barrier against the pursuit of their marauding bands.

The Utes on the north and east side of the Navajo reserve offered them sure punishment if they ventured in that direction, as their late experience had taught them. If they went east they would encounter the soldiers, and there was nothing for which they could be justified in venturing south, so the southern part of our then territory was their only field for operation, and they worked that field successfully for a number of years to the serious disadvantage of their victims, until a treaty was concluded between the Mormon people and the Navajo nation.

That treaty was conducted by President Brigham Young through the medium of Jacob Hamblin on our side, and the Navajo chief, Manuelito, on the side of the Navajos. This was the early "seventies" and the Navajos, as such, have kept their word fairly good.

Navajo Frank was one of the exceptions in that treaty-keeping arrangement, and I shall give a short sketch of his history. At the time of which I now speak, 1881 to 1884, Frank was between 24 and 27 years old, and as good a speciman of vigorous manhood as one could wish to see. Besides his own language, he could speak Piute, Moki, Mexican, and he had quite a smattering of English. He was of a jolly good nature, and what we would now call a "mixer."

One Saturday afternoon about three o'clock I turned to our foreman, "Ben" Perkins, who had the oversight of our crew of ditchworkers, and said I wished to be excused for the balance of the afternoon as I wanted to cross the river and look after my horses. "Uncle Ben" rather objected at first, but as I insisted, he finally said "all right."

Removing my clothes and carrying them on my head, I was soon on my way down on the south side of the river, and had not gone far when I came to an opening on the grove of cottonwoods that covered the bottom, so that I could see a horseman going up next to the cliff nearly half a mile away. He was riding what I recognized as my pet horse, Old Frank. I made off across the bottom calling loudly for the person to stop which, a little to my surprise, he did.

It proved to be our friend, Navajo Frank, who put up the story that his own horse had left him, and he intended to return my horse as soon as his own was found. But my catching him riding my horse away, only confirmed my suspicions that he had been slipping away with ponies that we had been missing for the past two or three years.

After scolding him and telling him that I did not believe his story, I took my horse and went down to where my other horse was, crossed back over the river and went home feeling that I had been prompted from the unseen world to look after my horses, and that I had discovered at least some of the source of our losses.

A short time after this another horse or two was missed and could not be found. Bishop Nielson suggested that Thales Haskel take another man or two with him and follow Frank Navajo and try to locate the missing animals. Brother L. H. Redd, Jr., and myself were chosen to accompany Haskel. It was several days before we were able to locate our friend, Frank. With the voluntary assistance of other friendly Navajos, we finally caught up with him riding one of our lost animals.

Brother Haskel eyed Frank seriously for some time and then quietly but seriously told him that if he continued to steal from the Mormons he would take sick and die. Haskel said but very little more. Frank gave us the "horse laugh" but gave us the stolen horse and we started for home. 

Frank carried on his devilment for a short time, and then it was several months before he was seen or heard of again. But what a change had come over him--you could scarcely believe he was the healthy, rugged Indian we had known some months before. He was thin and haggard. His full chest was all sunken in, and he made inquiry for Haskel saying he wanted Haskel to write a letter to the Lord and tell the Lord that Frank would never steal from the Mormons again if his life was spared. Our old friend, Haskel, in the meantime, had moved up to Fort Montezuma, and Frank was told to go up there and see him about it.

Frank went up and told Haskel his story and plead for Haskel to intercede with the Lord for him. But Haskel told Frank he could not promise him for sure what the Lord would do, as Frank had been warned but he had had no ears. But it might be that if he would cease all his stealing and use his influence with the other Indians to have them stop their stealing and be friends to the white men, he might get well.

Navajo Frank is still living (1919) and while he is not the man physically that he was in 1882, he has never been known to give the settlers any more trouble. His first wife quit him while he was sick and in trouble, but he married another woman with considerable property, and has gotten along well and has used his influence for peace and honesty.

This instance may seem strange to some, but there were so many who knew of it at the time, that it could have been substantiated in any court of justice.

Apostle Erastus Snow, in speaking to the people in public soon after they located in Bluff, said that "Inasmuch as the Latter-day Saints of the San Juan Mission would live their religion and obey counsel, the Indians who would not be friendly, but would steal and persist in their hatred and meanness towards us, that the hand of the Lord would be made manifest in their destruction."

The story of Navajo Frank is only a sample of the many cases where the above promises or prophecy was fulfilled to the very letter. "Aunt Mary" and myself and several neighbors counted, on one occasion, 14 of the worst of the Utes and Piutes that had died off within a few years, all of them healthy-looking men. At that time we could name them all, and tell what family they belonged to.

We read of the ways in which the ancient Israelites were delivered and how the Nephites were delivered from bondage and from the power of their enemies, of the Hebrew children from the fiery furnace, and Daniel in the Lion's den, etc., but the hand of the Lord in the preservation of the San Juan colony from the savage Indians is as marvelous to me as any of the miracles of old, for we were absolutely at their mercy.


In case the new organization wishes to use the land and water stock in the company, and if (for any cause) there should be a failure of the C.S. Plan, the land, water stock, etc., should revert back to original owners. This is a matter that should be understood and made plain to all parties concerned. Everyone with a good sound heart hopes and prays that it will succeed steady and go forward, not backward, but more of us are pretty well accustomed to looking out for ourselves and family connections, and the jar may be too sudden. We may have to go thru a "trimming" before we are prepared for the Enoch, or U. O. or the plan that worked so long and successful in the Nephite and converted Lamanite days, after the Savior's visit to this continent in His resurrected body.


At the time the Navajo Nation was conquered along in the 60's by Kit Carson they numbered about 14,000 souls. They were held for some time; their property was destroyed or taken from them, even their peach orchards, etc., were cut down, and when turned loose they were in a destitute condition, and being turned back to their reservation where water for irrigation is scarce, rainfall light, soil for the most part not rich in plant life, the poor Indians were in a sad plight, and being naturally thrifty, industrious, hardy as a race from their point of view, they had been robbed, and if robbing was the white man's game they may as well try their hand. 

The Utes on the north of them, and the small Indian tribes south of them were for the most part shiftless and had nothing worth stealing, so that all that was left for them was to cross the Colorado River and replenish their cattle, sheep, and horses from the settler's herds of southern Utah to the west and northwest of their country, and for some few years they were very successful, making some large hauls of horses, sheep and some cattle; finally getting so bold that they would enter good-sized settlements by night and helping themselves to teams and saddle animals from barns, corrals, etc.

However, the Navajoes made no attempt to kill the settlers only as they were followed too closely and as they thot almost compelled to fight or be killed themselves. They lost a few of their number, but it may be they thot that belonged in the game. The people became alarmed; put the matter up to the Governor of the Territory, and the Church Authorities. The latter decided to head the trouble off at its source by sending Jacob Hamblin with other Indian missionaries out to the Navajo Chiefs with an invitation to the leading men or the Navajo Nation to come to Salt Lake and talk the matter over with the view of coming to a better understanding between the Mormon people and their friends, the Indians. The mission was entirely successful, the Navajo Chiefs coming to Salt Lake, where the matter was fixed up, trouble composed, and all concerned feeling fine, the Navajoes returning to their homes, their horses loaded with presents, and feeling that they had found new friends.

Not long after the treaty of peace of "gentlemen's agreement" (as it would be called now, 1922) an event occurred that upset, for a time at least, all the work of our peacemakers, as follows: A party of Navajoes, 4 brothers, were in thru the Mormon settlements on a trading expedition. Having traded their blankets and other trinkets for ponies, etc., they were returning home and camped near the head of Grass Valley, at what was known as McCarty's Ranch, where they were overtaken in a heavy snow-storm and were forced to lay over for a time, and getting out of provisions killed a calf. The McCarty's coming on to them camped at their ranch, and seeing signs of their having killed a calf, opened fire on the Navajoes, killing all but one, and he fled very badly wounded, and from the way the Indians describe his condition on reaching the reservation, it seems a miracle how he ever made the long journey without food, very scanty clothing, and having to swim the Colorado in the condition he must have been in, taking into account also the season of the year. The Indians of this ill-fated party were connected up with one of the most influential families of the western part of the reservation. Naturally this created great excitement, it going thru the nation with electrical effect, instantly calling forth a declaration of war. Quite naturally the Navajoes laid the killing of the Indians to the Mormons, as it was in the Mormon country. Word was sent by friendly Indians to Tuba City of the war spirit that was developing and that all was off in regard to the peace understanding of recent date. The Church Authorities, upon learning of the new trouble, hastened to send a few select old standby Indian missionaries over to inform the Navajoes that the killing of their friends was the work of "pilicans" (non-Mormons.)

Under conditions that prevailed this mission of Jacob Hamblin, Ira Hatch, John Smyth (and others whose names I have been unable to obtain) required the taking of their lives in their hand, and the stuff of which real men are made of, to face the situation and convince the overwrought Indians of the truth that the Mormon captains or their people had broken faith with them. The story of Hamblin, and the Smith Brothers who stood by him as true brave men would do, of the night and day of praying, pleading, etc., in an attempt to convince the enraged savages of the truth; of their final decision that he must die, and the Smith boys could return home, as they knew they had had nothing to do with the killing, of the Smith's prompt refusal to leave Hamblin, and of the working of that unseen power, which is not of this earth, finally softening their savage spirits, and of their agreement to send representatives with Hamblin to Salt Lake to test out the truth of his representation.

The story of Hatch and Smythe has not been so well published, they having gone out in another direction, ran onto the homes of the families and close relatives of the murdered Indians, where the wounded man who escaped at the time of the killing lived, and whose wounds had not yet healed. A noted chief named Peagone, a giant physically, and a man of wealth, being the father, or uncle of the unfortunate victims of this story. This chief called a hurried council, to which the wounded man was brot, the excitement being almost unbounded. Now Ira Hatch, having previously married an Indian girl, which according to Indian custom amounts to joining the tribe, which fact of itself placed him beyond danger of being seriously molested, so that left Smythe as the only one to deal with, and from the starting of the council he was to pay the extreme penalty, the mode only was up for discussion: Hatch doing the talking; and knowing justness of their cause, the far-reaching results of it, the weight of his responsibility rested heavily upon him, but his pleadings appeared to add fury to their savage natures. Some of them were proceeding to gather wood for the roasting, some were sharpening long knives, occasionally making threatening gestures by drawing knives across, and dangerously close to his (Smythe's) throat. 

After hours of pleadings, protests, etc., when it seemed utterly hopeless to continue the attempts to soften or appease their determination to take revenge on the man who was entirely at their mercy; Bro. Smythe, who had sat thru the trying ordeal without showing the least symptom of fear or weariness, told Elder Hatch to ask permission to pray before they proceeded to put their decision into effect. This request when interpreted to them immediately caused a profound silence which continued throughout Bro. Smyth's calm and fervent prayer, at the conclusion of which the Chief requested the words of the prayer to be interpreted to the Indians. Brother Hatch told them that Elder Smythe had asked the great spirit to bless the Navajoes, cause that their eyes may be opened and their hearts softened so that they might see that the Mormon people were their true friends, and that in case they put him to death to forgive them as they believed him and his people guilty of the killing of their friends. The effect of the humble prayer, the calm bravery of Bro. Smythe was magical. The big chief called all the Indians inside the large council hogan, sent his men to get the brethren's horses, stood in the door to hold all the Red men inside, and told the two men to go home before the Indians had time to change their minds again. The suggestion made to the Navajoes by the two delegations noted above, that the Indians in company with Hamblin and Hatch or others go to the place of the killing of their friends the previous winter, and investigate for themselves, was accepted, and some of the leading Indians, in company with the Indian missionaries, went over the ground and found that the brethren had told them a truthful story, the Indians being treated so well by their friends, that peace between the Navajoes and the Mormon people was left on a sounder basis than ever. And this good understanding may be made permanent, the idea of extablishing a permanent outpost or settlement out among or near the Indians was born. And with this object in view a call was made for about 150 young people from the southern part of the Territory to go out and establish homes, for the purpose of fostering and encouraging and maintaining friendly relations with the Indians, Navajoes and Utes, Pahutes, etc.

It is the purpose of this little humble story to show that the San Juan Mission has been to some extent at least, a success; and also to secure to the Church leaders, and especially those true, brave, peacemakers, (the Indian Missionaries), their need of honor and credit, (as far as this effort of one having been associated in a more or less humble way with the "Mission" from the first, I put in no claim, only as having taken an humble part in fostering peace between friends, or those who should live in friendly relations together.)

The effects of the patient, kindly labors of the Mormon missionaries was apparent. The Indians, especially the Navajoes, had the name Mormon associated in their minds as friends, and from President Silas S. Smith (who had had more or less experience in dealing with Indians,) and our old friend Thales H. Haskell, I got ideas and pointers that was a help to me in the part that fell to my lot later. For example, "Always be plain, frank and straight in talking with them." "Treat with them as you would with children." "Don't accuse or charge them with wrong doing without being sure of your grounds or never attempt to run a "bluff." As a rule you will be safer without a gun or weapon of any kind, if your aim is to be a peacemaker."

Be unselfish, patient, let them do most of the talking; get their viewpoint and deal with them from what they think is right.

One faze of our experience with the Indians has been to meet and overcome their tendency to leave their reservations, and encroach upon the cattle and sheep ranges that we have used for many years. After we had been located in San Juan for a number of years, and the Indian Agents discovered that it was the "Mormon" policy to treat Indians right most of them gave us the privilege of keeping the Indians off the ranges we had been accustomed to use, but while we all understand that Indians as well as whites have to have to a certain extent the same right to the use of the public domain, still there's an unwritten law which governs in this matter among people who have right ideas as to actual prior use and have more or less range improvements. However, among all people there are a few who are inclined to encroach upon their fellows. To the credit of the Indians along this line, be it said that while we have met some determined resistance and taken some time and patience, we have never failed to make our point, and better still, after we have come to a peacable understanding, the Indians have never broken these agreements. 

At one time many years since the renegade band of Utes and Pahutes gathered and located in about the center of our winter range northwest of Bluff, on what is named Black Mesa. They were ugly and saucy, and while we were unable to catch them at it we knew by the cows that had been seen by our cowboys with big fat calves would be found bellowing around without their calves. One of the boys speaking of the Indians at that time said "they were all fat and saucy, even to their dogs, and they had dozens of them." The situation becoming almost unbearable, Bishop Nielson of Bluff called a council of all those interested, and decided to send a committee of our men out and take up a labor with them and see if we could not prevail on the friendly ones to help us put an end to a conditon that could not be permitted to go on. I had been sick, but the Bishop and other authorities insisted that if reasonably possible, I should go, which I finally consented to do, and this controversy turned out as the dozen or more other like undertakings. After calling out some of the older, and some of the more peacably disposed ones, they finally agreed to remove as we asked, and even these poor, ignorant renegades kept their word.


INDIAN MISSIONARIES: Jacob Hamblin, Smith Bros., Smythe, Hatch.



At the breakfast table the first morning after returning home from St. George, Utah, where "Aunt Mary" and I were married in the temple, (this was Dec. 19th, 1878) I told the family of a dream I had during the night. The main features of the dream were about as follows: In company with others, most of whom were strangers to me including Indians, we were all busily engaged at the building of a large stone building, in which the Lamanites were deeply interested. The country was strange and new to me. Near the place of our operations was a river that I could see, the water of which was not quite clear. As this dream had left quite an impression on my mind, I asked our Mother to interpret it for me, and without hesitating, she said, "You will be called with others to go and live among the Indians." This was Dec. 22nd, 1878. About a week after this date word came from Parowan, Utah, that 16 young men had been called to make a scouting trip out in the country in the neighborhood of the "Four Corners" where the state of Colorado, and the territories of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah corner together.

Left Iron Co., April 14, 1879. For the personnel, etc., route, traveled, distance, direction, etc., what we found and short story of Indians, etc.

Oct. 24, 1879. The general move for San Juan, the Cedar City contingent left home; only two or three of those who had made the summer trip started out on the second movement. See page 7 {Perhaps in another journal?} for some of the high points of this.


There have been many times in San Juan Mission history when "Failure" seemed to be in the "Cards" for us, even before the main company of pioneers got far on the journey moving out to locate permanently here. This occurred at the "40 Mile Springs" down on the Escalante Desert, 40 miles from the town of Escalante. Scouting parties had been out as far as the Colorado River, and met the vanguard of the moving company, and informing them that an impassable barrier had been discovered at the said river, a "council" was called, and other scouts were sent ahead, and about two weeks was spent investigating up and down the river, with the result that nothing more favorable was found than "The Hole in the Rock", found and reported favorable by the scouts ordered out from Escalante the summer before by Church authorities. Their report sent to headquarters at Salt Lake City and forwarded to our leader, Silas S. Smith, is what started us out this route, but the Escalante scouts were looking for a road that would be a great blessing for their town and could not see the actual condition; they could see an opening in the solid wall and could see the river about 2000 feet below, and what appeared to be a fairly open canyon leading out to a flat topped mesa on the east side, all looked favorable to them, but to the 20 or 30 scouts from our company upon a little further examination, appeared impossible.

Test #1 for the San Juan Mission. By this time it was getting well along in November and extra heavy fall of snow on the Escalante Mts. had the road blocked from our getting back home. Many of the men of the company had been called as on a mission and that served as an urge to go thru, as it did for "Father" Escalante 103 years earlier, when he and party went thru all kinds of hardships in this same neighborhood, in the winter of 1776, when for his church he was bent on finding a better and shorter trail connecting the missions of Santa Fe and California.

Our Church wished to plant a colony near the Navajos of Arizona, New Mexico and the Utes of Colorado, and Paiutes of different clans (some renegades) of this corner of Utah. Our business was to "cultivate and maintain friendly relations with them" in anticipation of the time when missionary work would be opened up with them as a remnant of the house of Israel "to be gathered together again in the due time of the Lord."

Out of all the scouts from the company, only two of them gave any encouragement to the idea of attempting to make a way thru on this route, one saying we could make a road thru in about a month. The other one thot that by securing powder, tools, and provisions, also a few experienced miners, a way may be made to get thru, but no permanent road could be made, unless our U. S. Government would take hold of it.

Here is where a decision was made that has affected the San Juan mission for all time. The country would have been settled, but it would have been under a different lineup, for that same bunch could not have been gotten together again.

The miracle of this decision came just as soon as the leaders of the company gave orders to sail on, sail on. It went thru the camp like an electric shock, and all was good cheer and hustle. Captain Smith started back with a large team and light buggy, with some of his sons with horses to assist in breaking a trail thru the snow. The next we heard from him he had been successful in obtaining the necessary tools, powder, provisions, experienced miners (thru Church authorities), and a five thousand dollars appropriation from the Territorial Legislature then in session, all of which made it possible to blast and work our way thru. This will be known while the earth remains in its present shape as the impossible being made possible thru religious influence and loyalty, just as Father Escalante 103 years earlier faced snow, cold, starvation, savage Indians and this same rough impossible country, to find a trail that would connect the Catholic Missions of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the missions out in California, without having to face the long round about high mountain country north, or the trackless, waterless hot sands of the southern route. End of failure #1.

Second breakup of mission is threatened. An extra freshet, or flood in the river washing out about 2 miles of the head of the canal, along with other discouraging problems, both the pioneers as well as some of the leading authorities of our Church felt that we were overmatched, as members of our colony kept dropping out of the game, leaving such a small force to overcome such a flock of problems, the sluggish, changeable river carrying so much silt, and subject to raising and falling so sudden being the most serious for so few.

Accordingly, Pres. Joseph F. Smith, with others, came out for the purpose of releasing, and locating the colony in a more favorable locality, and still remain near enough to the Indians to accomplish the object had in view in the original call and not have to throw away the sacrifices already made in a failure.

After carefully and prayerfully going over the situation with the members of the courageous, depleted little colony, Pres. Smith and Apostle Erastus Snow, and others, decided that this mission should be maintained. This location situated so that a direct contact could be had with the Navajo Nation on the south, southern Utes on the east, and the mixed scattering bands on the north, must be held. Our mission and business was to cultivate and maintain friendly relations with the remnants of scattered Israel, preparing them for the gathering after the fullness of the Gentiles shall come to pass, and the more wicked part of them (the Gentiles) may be destroyed. This is near at hand and causes one to shudder at the very thot of it.

After making a canvas to find out just how many would be willing to stay and "hold the fort" until reinforcements could be called in to help carry on, Pres. Smith and Apostle Snow blessed the church members who were at the meeting being held at Bluff, Utah; blessed those who had made all preparation to move away, in a spirit of kindness and sympathy, hoped they would prosper and succeed in finding favorable locations, and especially remain loyal to the Church. Then in the spirit of prophecy said, "I promise those who are willing to remain and face this difficult situation that they will be doubly blessed of the Lord," and turning to Bishop Jens Nielson said "For your obedient and steadfast response at this time, you shall be blessed and prospered of the Lord both in spiritual and temporal things."

The above prophecy and promise came to pass, every whit. Again religious impulse and the spiritual urge prevailed over all discouraging elements. Another threatened failure had been averted. Under a Bishop (Jens Nielson) who thot and planned in terms of a Ward unit and members who trusted in his spiritual and financial ability, as well as his native justice, all united in making a record in Church activities, as well as temporal affairs, that brot commendation of Church authorities and surprise from friends of our little colony. This record consisted of missionaries sent out, tithing and fast offerings paid, attendance at all Church meetings and activities, Church papers, magazines, periodicals, etc., subscribed for. The credit of this community was gilt-edged with banks, merchants, farmers, and stockmen of southwestern Colorado. Our relations and dealings with our Indian neighbors for many years, with very few minor exceptions, were very peaceable and considering the conditions involved as to the ranges, etc. (where our interests could easily have caused differences), we got along remarkably well together. In later years, thru outside influences, a few unfortunate incidents occurred to mar our otherwise neighborly history.

Third Crisis: Colorado as a state, at an early date in our San Juan History attempted to have their Indians (the Utes) removed from the southwestern corner of that state into San Juan County, Utah, just across the line from the west end of their reservation. The persistency of our neighbors on the east has been worthy of a better cause, going so far at one time as to pack their Indians up and order them to move over into Utah; or at least all that would "fall" for their "bluff". But our Utah state officials failed to see it in that light, and lost no time in coming in and calling the bluff. After engaging in a more or less prolonged pow wow during which some strong language was used, the Indians promised to return peaceably. Col. D. F. Day was removed from his acting agency with some mild censure by his superiors, thus ending peaceably what might have resulted in serious trouble. At another occasion a tentative arrangement was entered into whereby the pioneers of our county were given the privilege of choosing a place or lands in Colorado in exchange for our places in Utah for the Indians, but that arrangement did not get far.

The Indian Rights Association (IRA) the great majority of whose members are good, well meaning people, but who are unfortunate sometimes in choosing men to direct the policy of their organization have made it difficult and dangerous for all settlers, prospectors, stock men, living near the reservations; and many of the agents in charge of the different schools or other activities between Indians of their different reservations and our government officials of the IRA assume that their place is to defend their clients, as a lawyer is supposed to do, right or wrong, and when we take in to account that this tied up with some officers of the government, makes it easily to be seen how the advantage would be lopsided in the Indians favor, but it has not worked out as the eastern sentimentalists figured. The progress of the Indians was retarded, they drew false conceptions as to what was right or wrong in living their lives and in dealing with their neighbors about them. Those of us who knew these things do not feel to censure the Indians (many of them were peaceably inclined) for the serious trouble that was the direct result of the unwise leadership of their supposed "Washington Friends."

The unfortunate trouble and outcome of it (the particulars of which are related elsewhere) reveal one of the outstanding evidences of the hand of providence in the affairs of His spiritual offspring, in the preservation of the lives of our boys from the bullets of their misguided neighbors. To me if the hand of our All wise Father was not in that unhappy affair, how could it be explained away. None of our boys received a scratch, and the young Paiute who resisted the officer of the law, and the leader of the outlaws (Posy) were all that were killed or wounded in the War which was carried on in the roughest part of a broken, rocky, timbered country, which afforded the Indians all the advantage, they being familiar with the caves, cliffs, and every turn of the extremely rough trails, also having better guns, some high-powered ones, than any of our boys had.

We have the Indian problem very much unsettled on our hands yet, but with the experience of the past to guide us we may face the future with faith and unafraid. The Lord has taken care of the San Juan people even many times in our misunderstandings when we have been more or less at fault among ourselves, when the way has been made difficult, and dangerous by some of our prejudiced neighbors, butting in and knowingly misrepresenting us to government familiar and also to the Indians.

These outside people and influences have been the foundation of practically all our differences and difficulties with our Lamanite neighbors from the time of our first reaching the San Juan. It has been our settled policy from the first landing in 1879 to the present, to secure, by fair and friendly means, the confidence of the leading spirits, as well as all the peaceably disposed Indians of the different band. Knowing from whom these Indians sprang, our friendship for them could easily be sincere and strong.

THE WINNING OF MISS SAN JUAN COUNTY: Approximately six million acres, out of the state's fifty-four million acres, or one-ninth part of the State of Utah. There are two mountain ranges, Elk and Blue; and part of the LaSal range. The balance of the county consists of high and low mesas, cut up with rough canyons heading mostly in the mountain ranges and running in all directions, emptying mostly in the Colorado and San Juan Rivers. A small part of LaSal Mts. drains into the Dolores River. The Elk range of mountains has many millions feet of lumber standing untouched to this date (1935.) A small portion of the land which is suitable for dry farming has been reclaimed from its natural state, as yet only enough to assure settlers that it may be done successfully.

A few stock men first entered the county in the fall of '78. The Odonall's Bros. (Pat and Mike) turned cattle loose at the Dodge Spring, two miles south of Verdure Creek, and there were parties located at the mouth of McElmo on the San Juan River by the name of Mitchel in the spring of 1879. For an account of the colony that located at Bluff, Utah and Montezuma on San Juan see original record.

Mention should have been made in the proper place before that we found Peter Shirts on River (San Juan) in the first days of June, 1879. He had wandered in from Escalante the fall before (1878), with two burros, saddles, etc. He had been out thru the Montezuma Valley, over on the Dolores, up and down the San Juan River, etc. Don't recall whether he came in by way of Lee's Ferry or crossed Greene and Grand Rivers, and followed the old Santa Fe Trail, which forked at the Coyote Wash west of where La Sal was located, one branch going out towards Montezuma Valley and one fork going up thru dry valley past where Monticello is located, crossed Devil Canyon on down to San Juan, and up San Juan River to Canyon Largo and over to Santa Fe. A few light wagons had followed this old trail out to Colorado by way of La Sal up the "Steps" over to Paiute Spring, past Dove Creek to Dolores, one fork being to Animus La Platta, coming in to join the one up San Juan at the mouth of Canyon Largo. However, opinion is divided as to whether any of these is really part of the old Santa Fe Trail or not. Peter Shirts was an intelligent scout and should have made some valuable history and have it laid away some place in L.D.S. history as he was the first to discover much new in Utah and other states.

Ute and Paiute and Navajo Indians were wandering thru the impossible country, with no signs of permanent homes or farms, or other permanent improvements. The only sign of wagon traffic of any sort was where a few wagons had followed what went by the name of the "old Santa Fe Trail", crossing the Grand River at where Moab was located 1879-1880. However, an Old Rock Fort, partly fallen or torn down, that had been built by Mormon missionaries to Indians some 10 or 15 years earlier (Little Grant), but whom after having serious trouble with the roaming bands of Indians--several being killed on each side--the missionaries withdrew, being at a great disadvantage on account of numbers and the rough, broken nature of that country. In fact almost the entire county offers an excellent place for an outlaw element, or as the Book or Mormon calls "Gadianton Robbers" "Hold out", in carrying on their depredations. It seems, from all the history we were able to get, that many who had been outlawed from Arizona, Colorado, and southern Utah, took advantage of this big, rough holdout, to ply their rough stuff for a living, and whenever other avenues were closed to them they would steal, fight, and otherwise carry on among themselves, especially would these terrible rows occur between the wise Paiutes, who would unite against Navajoes who were more numerous, and it would be war to the limit.

In case this trouble would begin on the north side of the River (San Juan) the Utes from Colorado would be called on for help, and the Navajoes would get out of it the best they could, leaving the spoils to the conquerors, and conversely if the racket opened on the south side of the River, the Navajoes would fall heir to the spoils of war. Usually there would be prisoners fall to the winners. This led to slavery. However, the Navajoes would offer a difficult problem to this question as they felt as a tribe or nation much superior to the Utes or Paiutes, especially, and would take any and every chance to escape, but not so with the Ute or Pahute boy or girl, who would find living conditions so much better in almost every way that with kind treatment by the wise old Navajoes, many of the captives would soon be won over to liking the change.

The conditions described above were in full swing when our people appeared on the scene at San Juan, and feel sure that we may justly claim much of the credit for assisting in bringing about a better way of getting on with one another.

There has been and there are still many strong, high-class Indians among most all the Indian tribes, as well as "outlaws", and I am glad and thankful that it has been my lot to live and labor among some of them, and also it pleases me to know that much of the prejudice that prevailed has modified on both sides, but the Indians are improving, and sorry to say it the American White races are standing still or retrograding in many ways. The time is drawing near when the Indian or "Lamanites" will come to their own, when the scripture will be fulfilled, when a "Nation will be born in a Day." I should be pleased to take part in that event. With my memory there has been very little of the time within my memory when the Indian has had a square deal from the agents or other authorities who have contacted the Red Man, and while I believe it has been the desire of the heads of the nation (American) to give the Indians a square deal, very few of the agents and those under them have really measured up, and the result has been the Indians have not made the headway they may or would have done under good leadership. Some years ago I met and became quite well acquainted with the Chief of the Navajo Nation, and all things considered, he would have measured up with the heads of the civilized nations. His name, Manuelito, was honored by white people that knew him, and was loved by his own people, and had he the training and background of favored races he would have made many of the rulers of modern times look like thirty cents--weight somewhere over 200 lbs., quiet, unassuming, was a wise, careful leader for his people, who numbered about fifteen thousand at the time of the advent of the L.D.S. pioneers at the site of Bluff, Utah, April 6, 1880. Chief Manuelito exercised a kind, wise influence over his people as far as the Mormon pioneers were concerned. It was a providential arrangement among the many other problems confronting our little colony.

NARAGUINUP, UTE CHIEF, 1880. Another outstanding character who was chief of the Colorado Utes, in connection with Manuelito (of Navajoes), tried to keep peace between his people and the Whites; and it is an easy matter for me to say and think that a kind and wise providence arranged this program and thereby made possible the settling of our San Juan country at that early date by a people who understood the Indian, from whence he came, and where he belongs, and what part he will take on the program of the near future. I may not live to witness, or take part in the happenings of the future, but I see in my mind's eye that great changes are due in the near future.

I am not up to date on the statistics of the Utes of Colorado, but as was our policy, made friends of the leading peaceably disposed ones, among all Indians we contacted, and when all the best ones were won over to our side this gave us the advantage when trouble arose, and we naturally worked this point all along the line.

Not being as well posted on the Ute question as Navajos, I may be off on some points. "The Southern" Utes are located in the southwest corner of the state of Colorado, about 900 at Towaoc (formerly Navajo Springs), where a nice large school is established, also a hospital, and formerly there was between one and two thousand located at Pine River, and another allotment in the Uncompahgre in the north central part of Colorado on one fork of the Gunnison River. I'm unable to give details as there has been changes going on, and I have not kept up to date on Ute history. But in early days I knew many of the Indians from the Navajo Springs and the southwestern Colorado Utes, and the majority of them were a well-behaved bunch of Indians, and were a great help to us in keeping our San Juan renegade outfit in line, at least partly so. On the other hand there would be occasionally some of the Colorado Utes get in trouble and would come down, and would have no trouble in getting help, and were it not for a few of our San Juan Indians on our side who were good dependable fellows, many times we would have been over-matched. But that does not seem to be on the program. "There must need be opposition in all things." (Alma, Book of Mormon) This is doubly true with the Gospel or many things the Savior or Our Heavenly Parents have to do with.

REFLECTIONS AT THE PASSING OF ROY JOHNSON, adopted son of Ezekial and Annetta Nielson Johnson.

What is man that he should be proud, or the son of man, that our Heavenly Father should go so far and do so much for him to try to save him and give him eternal life. This constitutes His glory, and the blessings are all ours, helpless, dependent creatures.

It was no accident that "Zeke" Johnson, missionary to the Northwestern States, was led to meet the child Roy "Northern" and whose condition and environment (having lost his mother, and whose father had given away to that soul destroying habit of drinking) appealed to him, and he was willing to take the risk of adopting the child into his own family, and raise him as his own, and for the kindly noble way the family did their part, great honor and credit has and more especially will be theirs in the eternity to last forever.

Brother Roy entered into the spirit of the Gospel, accepted of the splendid education offered in the organizations of our Church, and as time went on he accepted of another gift from the Lord, better than lands or gold, an helpmate with good common sense, an abiding faith in the Gospel thru whom they have brot five good healthy children into mortality, and with whom they have laid the foundation for a kingdom, the limit and greatness of which no mortal mind may grasp. As far as Brother Roy, himself, is concerned, the second chapter of his full life closed yesterday when the exceptionally beautiful services in the Blanding Chapel, and sweet service at the cemetery ended. We all believe that the Eternal Life Insurance he took when he was eight years of age was kept in fairly good shape by his living up to the requirements by the payment of his dues and his obedience to all the laws, and working when and where he was asked to work. We will look and wait with happy and fond anticipation to join him and his sweet little family at the opening of Chapter Three of this wonderful charming story, which will never end. He has passed all danger of failure. He will now have the pleasure of meeting the One Perfect Judge who will check up on his time, receive his initial time check with the welcome plaudit, "Well done, my son, Thou has been faithful over a few things, and I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou in to the joy of the Lord." He will join the spiritual forces in a bigger , more extensive work than is here for mortals to take care of for the reason that the "dead" are more numerous than the living, and we have more relatives "over there" in the spirit land. For the lack of specific knowledge on this line of my subject, I will return to the promising little part of the Roy Johnson's kingdom in embryo. For some wise and glorious purpose they have been left to face this mortal "test" without their worthy scout, father and husband, whom they will sorely miss, but the Lord will care and provide for them, with the assistance of some of the best relatives and friends in the world.


My friend Jim Joe (Husteen Joe) Navajo. We first met at Bluff, Utah, in the summer of 1880. Jim was about 18 to 20 years of age. I was 24. It was soon apparent, to an observer of human nature, that Jim was above the average of his people. I think he was raised by one of his uncles, who was a prominent leader among the Navajos of the northwestern part of the Navajo reservation, industrious, thrifty, careful with his means, hard worker, large manly fellow. By the time he took unto himself a wife he was full-handed (a young man among the Navajos wins a flock of sheep and goats with his bride)--as a rule, as the sheep are owned or claimed by the women while she lives.

Jim always has looked upon lying or stealing as beneath the standards he set for himself to follow, always frank, open and straight-forward in his life and dealings with friend or foe of any color or class.

Many times he has helped us regain property that was stolen from us by whites as well as Indians; sometimes has joined officers of the law in hunting desperate characters such as bank and train robbers, cattle and horse thieves, and many times has followed his own people and made them return small items they had pilfered.

Just one instance--A party of tough characters selected a camp about 35 or 40 miles below the town of Bluff in an out-of-the way locality, rough, broken, very seldom visited by the white folks, and were working up a trade with the Navajos and Paiutes, trading our cattle for ponies and also Navajo blankets, silverware, etc. But as soon as our good standby (Jim) got wise to their stuff, he very promptly notified us and accompanied the officers, leading them to their camp, also notified the Indians that they would have to return the cattle, come in and reclaim their ponies, etc. It was some time before all of the cattle were reclaimed, but Jim accompanied us out on the reservation to get cattle that had been driven some distance away and Indians were a little loath to give them up, as in many instances, whiskey was an item mixed up in many of the deals. The effects of the whiskey had all disappeared, and they were out some in the transaction, but Jim stood by us like a "brick" until we recovered about all our stock, and the thieves were convicted (Jim, with other Indians, even going to Salt Lake City as witnesses.)

William T. Shelton for many years supt. of the Shiprock Indian School, in the northeastern district of the Navajo Reservation, attempted many times to induce Jim to work on his police force, but the uniform and star, etc., had no charms for Jim, but he preferred to be free and especially disliked the limelight. But Supt. Shelton insisted that he would hold Jim responsible for the behavior of the Indians in his neighborhood, as he was about the only one the Indians would listen to. Thus the matter rested, Jim consenting in a way to talk to the Indians and try to keep them going straight. An incident occurred soon after this last understanding was had, to show that Jim's heart was right. A very prominent old Navajo, who was wealthy and influential among the tribe, got in some difficulty with the Supt. and an attempt was made to discipline him. I think he wanted to put his old wife away and marry a young one, and the authorities were trying to stop that old custom that had prevailed among the Indians, and on the other hand, the older women thus deserted would take her sheep, and pick up a timid inexperienced young Navajo to "get even" with the old boy.

To return to the trouble, the Indians rallied around the old man and became so serious that the noted old standby General Scott was called upon to compose the trouble, but before Gen Scott could locate the offender the Navajo Nation was worked up to a frenzy of excitement and were gathering and driving their stock out on "Black Mountain" where the women and children would herd them, while their warriors would go out and put Uncle Sam thru a good trimming. The excitement and war spirit got down in Jim Joe's "sphere of influence," and Jim was unable to reason them out of the air by telling them they had all gone crazy. Jim had been out to Washington and around where he had got the U. S.'s number pretty well, and knew that the Navajos wouldn't make a breakfast lunch for him. But Jim wasn't able to pacify them, but finally got a bunch of 25 or 30 to come in, as Shelton the Supt. had told Jim that in case he came on to something he was not able to handle, he better go and talk with Tugelchee, and he would tell them what would be best. They were finally talked out of committing suicide, and that Jim was right--only another evidence of Jim's sound judgment and dependability. The truth finally filtered into the excited minds of the Indians, who gradually withdrew from their senseless undertaking and left Gen. Scott and the old Navajo to talk matters over, leaving friend Jim still climbing in respect of Whites and Reds.

There are lots of Indians, both Navajos and Utes and Paiutes, that are worthy of our kindest respect, considering their condition and opportunities, but take Jim all around from first to last, he's in a class almost alone. My last experience with him was just a few days ago. His eyes have gone back on him, and I have been trying for nearly a year to have him put in a hospital where his eyes could be treated, and finally after having a doctor come in and examine his eyes, who after looking him over decided a good chance for overcoming the cause of his blindness, if taken where he could have the proper care and treatment, but after the Indian authorities have been milling about his case and not deciding where to have him taken, I took a chance myself and took him out to Kayenta, where the government has a good hospital, but are treating only T. B. cases. But after my insistence, the doctor in charge finally consented to care for him until the head supt. came and decided where to place him. One of the reasons the agency people had for an alibi for not having Jim's case attended to was that the doctor who made the exam for Jim said that Jim had told him and also had told the Navajos that he would not go to any hospital, nor would he leave home, as he had no confidence in their doctors. Anyway, he was about ready for the junk man and would hang around home. In one of my visits since he had lost his sight, he told me that he would do whatever I thot best about being taken out for treatment; so when I got ready I made arrangements for a young Navajo (Randolph) who could speak English fairly good to accompany us on the trip, and as Jim lived off the highway some distance, I had Randolph go down from Bluff in the evening before we were to start for Keyenta with auto. Jim was to make ready and meet the auto out on the road next morning. Next morning about the time for Jim to leave his home, rain began to fall, and I hardly expected, under the circumstances, but when Randolph told Jim that Tugelchee would be on the road for him, Jim was there, rain and all. Riding in the closed car made Jim very sick, and here again, the genuine sport came to the surface. He would laugh it off, saying pretty soon, all right. Late that evening, after a good bath and lunch, and located in a clean cot with an educated young Navajo attendant with whom he could talk, under those circumstances we bade him "adios" with a bright smile on his face while he was telling us of his appreciation, and it looked as tho he was going to feel at home and with a prayer in my heart that his sight may be restored, I felt repaid.


There are aristocrats among Indians as well as among Whites or any other color, and I think sometimes they wear that attitude as becomingly or more so than some other classes of people, and many Navajos have comely-well-shaped features, as well as traits and characteristics that are desirable and praiseworthy. All they need is the right kind of education and training to bring them to the front. As far as my experience with all Indians has been, that I have no trouble in gaining and retaining the friendship of practically all that I have become acquainted with that have been on the square or reasonably so.

We would have had very little trouble, even with the renegade Indians, were it not for the interference and underhanded work of some of our outside neighbors, some of whom misrepresented us to those Indians and also to Indian department people. There have been just a very few of those trouble-makers, as we have been well treated and in our dealings and associations have neighbored together in the most friendly way with the great majority of the good, fair pioneer people about us.

As to the religion and traditions of the Indians of this part of the country, as near as I have been able to get it from some of their older leading men, whose duty it is to learn and teach legends, etc., to their people. Navajos believe the first two (Navajos of course) came out of a big cavity in a large tree, near the ground (connecting up with trees, etc., of Eden.) They have a more real story of the flood and some saved in a big boat; a hazy story of the Tower of Babel; of the two rival beings, The Creator, and Satan--Paco-cheete, and Chindee. They believe in a literal resurrection, that we will have physical body, very much as we are here, only all will be peace, the hunting will continue, only there will be no drought or sickness or misery. They have a more or less clear idea of the former visit of the Savior, of His teachings, and that He will come back and restore peace and good will again, only it will be by force, by means of his enormous size, being so large that He may stand with one foot on the western sea shore and one other foot on an island of the sea. Their understanding of the moral law is more or less distorted. However, it is no more mussed up than those of our moderns; and in their native state before the advent of the white man (speaking of the Navajos) their moral and sexual regulations were on a higher standard than the average people of the white race, and for natural unaffected modesty the Navajo maidens have the world beat or equaled. Every homebuilder has his door face the east so that where possible he may see the sun as it rises, as there is a place in their worship for the sun raising and setting, and making sand paintings. They have quite an elaborate harvest home celebration, which the whole nation takes a hand in, feasting, singing, and dancing. They also have special occasions when they meet, such as for sickness, especially for prominent members of their tribe. Also in case of drought, famine, etc., and they have special songs for the different occasions, such as war songs, hunting, sickness, for rain, harvest, marriage celebrations, etc., in all of which the women folks all join.

The Navajos had a tribal organization which was a kind of a theocracy, or religo-political arrangement with which any serious breach of tribal laws or customs was tried, offenses of a tribal nature would be heard before a court consisting of the head chief, with his two assistants, and twelve head men, who were located at different points of their country or reservation so that each division may have access to at least one "Head Medicine Man," to whom all trivial matters were referred for settlement. It was also the business of each of this council of twelve to call members of his district together occasionally to rehearse the legends, songs and ceremonials of the nation or tribe.

Manuelita was the head chief when the San Juan pioneers landed (1879). Beleethlezin (Blackhorse) was one of the two councilors and Huska was one of the 12 district judges. This latter is one from whom I obtained most of my information about Navajo History. He was a born orator. I have heard him harangue a gathering of his tribe for hours, and not able to understand but little of what he was saying, but he was an expert at getting his message over to one, by signs, etc., when occasion required. But they have a language to use with their own people and a very different one they use in talking with all other people.

When the government took over control and located them on reservations and established schools, etc., the agents or supts. organized a police force, which finally did away with all the old tribal order, and have all the time up until the present time persuaded them to forget many of their old superstitions, such as going to all kinds of trouble to avoid meeting their mother-in-laws, also having a deadly fear of occupying a hogan in which a person had died, or they would not go near a person who had met with a serious accident, nor would they allow anyone else for a certain length of time to see if the one hurt was going to survive enough to call for help, and many other oddities too numerous to mention.

They have great faith in their medicine men, both in healing their sick and also in praying and singing for rain to save their crops and bring grass and feed for their stock, and it is my firm belief that the father of us all hears and answers their petitions as well as others of His children. The Navajos are a thrifty and resourceful race, and show their Jewish blood and shrewdness, etc., making bargains, etc. They are a healthful, virile race of people, having a dry rough country they are used to hardships, cold and hunger and privation, for had they been without these traits and the experience they could not have survived the ordeal they passed thru during and after the trouble with Uncle Sam with Kit Carson as guide, and later Captain, the history of which is so devoid of an excuse that those who were responsible for it have left very little record for the public, and since I have become acquainted with their country and have gathered from the Navajos themselves and others who were in a position to know the conditions those people were left in after that ordeal, that whatever prejudice I had towards the Indians for crossing the Colorado River and helping themselves to cattle, sheep and horses belonging to the Mormon settlements in southern Utah has been at last greatly modified if not entirely obliterated. From their standpoint they had been grossly ill-treated and robbed, so they felt justified in trying their luck at robbing, and in doing so made victims of innocent parties, in fact their own friends and sympathizers, and also a people who knew what it was to be robbed, plundered, and driven away from their homes. I suppose these experiences were what caused a sympathetic fellow-feeling to develop between us and to head off any trouble in the future when the San Juan missionaries were called to come and live near them.

Instead of Navajos belonging to a "vanishing" race, they are increasing quite rapidly, being three times as many as when we came to this country. Their country is naturally dry, and for a number of years lately the climate has been much drier than usual, and at this time many of them are in hard lines, even for food and clothing and an exceptional cold stormy winter must cause more or less suffering (1921-32 winter.)

The great majority of these Indians are hard working, thrifty and given half a chance will succeed in living comfortably well, but some of their customs are a handicap to them; for instance, in case of sickness they will drop everything, go or send for their doctors, gather their own relatives and friends, and go any distance for medicine and spend days, weeks, sometimes months, neglecting their own affairs, feeding the singers and using their food and money, horses and sheep, many times going bankrupt and having to start all over again. Again there are as is usual with any class of people some that are shiftless, drifting from one camp or village to another, gambling and living off the more thrifty ones. It seems impossible for a Navajo to eat in their own home and see one of their tribe present not eating with them, and thru this trait of character some are imposed upon. The Navajos as a nation do not waste any useful substance, there being one exception, that is when they are out on their hunting trips. Many times in the past when deer or other game was plentiful many time they carried along with them little but the hind quarters and the hide, sometimes only the hide, but as a rule, if weather conditions were favorable, they would "jerk" the meat.

Navajos are lovers of their offspring, especially the boys, and they will make almost any sacrifice in reason for them.

Marriage with the better class is solemnized with more or less pretentious ceremonies, exchanges of gifts, the singing of their special marriage songs, sprinkling of the sacred meal which has been blessed by their medicine man, who also gives the participants a solemn lecture, and the contract is lived up to as good as among white folks. Considering their condition, they have us beat.

They have ability along artistic lines, which is shown very prominently in their handiwork, weaving and also in their metal and woodwork.

There is a more or less disappointing feature in regard to the idea of civilizing the Indian, in that for some cause the young people from among them who have attended most of the white man's schools have not reacted to the education offered in those schools as favorably as could be wished for. For example, White people who employ them will tell you that they get better work and can depend on the Indians taken in their native state than the educated ones, and the usual verdict is that this is more noticeable in what are termed "mission schools" than government schools, as in the latter it is said the discipline is more strict, and they are taught thrift and economy and habits of industry.

I have become very much prejudiced in favor of the Navajo as a nation.


No history of the struggles involved in the pioneering of San Juan County would be complete without the heroic part taken by them was recorded. Not only their fears, worries and heartaches were contributed to the energy used in the problems solved, but the actual physical, spiritual and intellectual assistance contributed all the way along its development. The Creator Himself knew His job was only half done when He put Adam together, and straightway improved on the little practice He had had and improved on that first job by making the helpmate a little better for the strenuous life of this mortal existence. It is natural that men on an average will hold out longer at heavy work, but even in this there may not be as much difference as we have habitually supposed. They have had something more important to follow and have not practiced up on hard, heavy work. Had they done so they may beat us to that also. The winter the big company worked the road on the way moving to San Juan, 1879-80, the women folks had the hardest, most disagreeable time of the journey, as it was one of Utah's coldest, stormiest winters, as stock of different kinds were reported frozen to death on the ranges and in corrals at the homes. The women cared for camps, cooking food out in the open, there being very few tents, and firewood was extremely scarce, and much of the way no shelter. There was but one camp during the coldest of the winter where we had plenty of wood and some shelter from the cold winds. That was in Cottonwood Canyon after crossing the Colorado River. Toward the last of February and thru March the cold eased a little. Even then we had extremely cold, disagreeable spells, but fire wood was plentiful. The wagon box was the only "house" or home, and even they were filled pretty well with tools, small implements, a stove, etc., to be used at the journeys end. This besides provisions, clothing, etc., and this inconvenience, continued for about another 6 months before our first log cabins were ready to occupy, but Oh, what a luxury to get out of the blazing sun under a cool dirt roof, even if the floor was dirt too. The men folks could get away from the home most of the time but the women folks were tied down to these inconveniences, and to look back now to those early days and think that the log cabins with their dirt roofs and floors were to serve as our only home for 12 to 14 years, no wonder that as I have told my friends many times that only once I have been very thankful that I was not born a girl, and that's been all the time.

There is once in a while a man who appreciates his wife and his mother, but the majority of us just don't know how. I expect we will have to get well on into the next estate before it dawns upon us just where the women's place is in the general scheme of things. In addition to the hardships and privations of ordinary pioneer life in a rough, sandy, rocky country, with the bare necessities, and none of the luxuries of life, long distances from R. R. communication or neighbors of any kind, with the exception of Indians, and they were saucy and mean many of them. We were up against a determined effort to get the whole of San Juan County for the Indians by strong and influential parties from Colorado and elsewhere. This movement persisted for many years, and acted as a hindrance to the improvement and development of our country and making permanent homes, etc. and the women folks were the hardest hit for it put off the time when more and better conveniences could be furnished them. No one felt like making permanent improvements while the spectra of having to pick up and move on again stared them in the face. And now, after naming and describing the foregoing trying conditions, we have the most important and most soul and body testing experience of all to name, which is the bearing and caring for the souls of men. The majority of San Juan pioneers were young married people, and all of them believed in being obedient and fulfilling the first great commandment given to our first parents of the race--to multiply and replenish the earth. And their record fully shows their faith and works along that line. Here again we have to remove our hats, make as graceful a bow as we can, and say, "All honor to Motherhood."

Our pioneer mothers found a partial reward in later years in seeing their sons and daughters filling missions out in the world, and places of responsibility at home, in church, and State. At one time there were five organized Wards in San Juan County, and over each was a Bishop who was trained in Bluff.

"MAINTAINING FRIENDLY RELATIONS WITH OUR INDIAN NEIGHBORS" has not been secured without paying the price in time, effort, study, and diplomacy, sometimes taking chances of getting into trouble, and while it is not the purpose of this little write-up to make any play for a pension or any other reward of any kind of a monetary nature, the question comes up--When is it not more important or praiseworthy to use wisdom and tact in keeping neighboring peoples out of trouble, than to fight our way out after trouble begins.

The reclamation of San Juan County has not been brot about, as far as it has been, without taking advantage of every precaution, and using the experience of the past, so that others who have made the trails and used them before us should receive their proper credits. People who deal with the average Indian, soon discover that they have to be handled to a great extent as we do children, but always remembering their potential power for doing great harm when aroused, so that playing for their confidence comes first on the list of settled policy for dealing with them.

From the time of our first landing in this part of the country to the present we aimed to not let a chance go by for convincing them of our friendship for, and our interest in their welfare or behalf. Sometimes our interests or ideas as to our interests have clashed, and it became necessary that we discuss matters and find out if possible which side should modify their claims, or agree on a compromise. These differences have occurred mostly in regard to the division of the ranges for our stock (that is the open government land.) Our condition in these matters is somewhat unusual, as from the beginning there has been one thing after another "bob-up" to unsettle the subject of a permanent settlement being made in this corner of our state; and the Indian question furnished the major portion of our diplomacy for accord.

JOSEPH B. HARRIS--First Counselor to Stake President of San June Stake (Wayne H. Redd.)

He has been in San Juan County less than half the time many have been; there are but very few who have accomplished as much for the advancement of the stake as Joseph B. Harris. His activities are along educational lines, as our church is just a big training school or institution. He has been a pillar of strength in support of the best in education in Church and State. He is an expert at getting any worthy movement started and then keeping it moving along after it is started, after his aids, or would be helpers, drop out all along the trail and at the same time his own personal and family affairs have suffered for want of his attention. However, he is winning out, thru his never ending industry, perseverance, and just hitting the ball almost day and night for so many years showing a capacity for hard, long drawn out work almost unbelievable. He is getting a very comfortable, well-planned home completed that is highly creditable, while at the same time he has had almost the whole responsibility of the building of a County High School Building, which is apt to stand as a monument to the untiring efforts of Brother Joseph B. Harris, using his time, interest and credit to the full. All young people who have an ambition to go straight and climb upward have a real friend in Brother Harris, as well those who slip occasionally and show any signs of wanting to be back up.

L.H. (PAP) REDD, Sr., raised two large families, boys and girls about equally divided, about all of whom have lived in San Juan County and been a force for good. Grandpa Redd came of good strong Southern stock, one of the thousands who left their native land for the Gospel, left good prospects and comfort, friends, relatives, etc., and cast his lot in with a people who were outcasts and evil spoken of by all the world, made a good success of his own life and furnished the Church with one of the leading strongest large families who are a bulwork of strength to the Church, and this one of the movements to which there is no end. Filled with charity, patient, slow to anger, good sound judgment, a good judge of horses, cattle and all domestic animals, as well as humans. Believed in and lived the Gospel; died a Patriarch with the spirit of that holy calling; loved, honored, respected by a host of his people who hold his life and memory sacred.

GEORGE W. SEVY One of the finest, most lovable characters one ever met; not a trace of yellow in his makeup, hard worker, fair and honorable. He did his boasting, not by word of mouth, but by what he accomplished with his hands and by the hard knocks he was willing to go thru to get the things done that were assigned for him by those in charge. The San Juan Mission lost a stalwart when thru force of circumstances he was forced to leave Utah and finally landed in Old Mexico, where his worth was soon discovered, and he was made Bishop, and thru hardship and exposure his health failed. He gave his all for his friends and the church of which he was a loyal member. Brother Sevy was one of four men who left the big company on the desert about 20 miles from the "Hole in the Rock" (an opening in the high mesa down to the Colorado River Canyon, being between a mile or one and a half miles from the high mesa and over two thousand feet below to river.) The object of this scouting party was to determine the feasibility of getting thru to the bottoms on San Juan River. It was without doubt the hardest exploring undertaking in all the locating and settling of the lower San Juan county. He was sustained as first counselor to Bishop Jens Nielson of Bluff Ward, Sept. 2, 1880, helped locate Bluff town and ditch, and worked some on the canal.

IN ADDITION TO MEN that have been noted elsewhere in the former or following pages, some strong characters who took a leading important part in holding "The Fort," and out on the firing lines in the pioneering of San Juan County, all of them filling responsible positions in civic and religious activities:

Hanson Bayles and wives and family
*James and Annie M. Decker and large family
*Joseph F. and Harriet Barton and large family
*J. Joseph and Ida Nielson, and large family
*"Uncle" Ben Perkins and two wives and large family
*Hyrum and Rachel M. Perkins and large family
*Joseph A. and Nelly G. Lyman, and large family
*Charles E. and Jane Walton and family
Samuel and "Aunt" Jodie and Emma Wood and families
William and Mary B. Adams and large family
John Larson and later Minnie Larson
J.A. Scorup and wife, Emma, large family of girls
*Jens P. and Jennie R. Nielson--did more hard work than any one man
Fletcher B. and Clistie B. Hammond and large family
*J. Monroe and Lucinda Redd and family
Jon Allan Sr. and Agnes and Jan Allan and daughters
John Allan, Jr. and family (old, sturdy, dependable pioneers)
Peter Allan, and family (faithful and true)
D. John Rogers and wife and large family--just the kind of stock for frontier pioneers.
*John Pace and family 1st few years - solid character
*Orrin Kelsey and family, 1st few years
John Tanner and family, came late; stayed few years.
*Samuel Cox, wife and daughter; stayed few years; public spirited
Ann Bayles, came in to help her brother H. Bayles at loss of wife
Willard Butt and family

* Came with 1st company and helped blast Hole in Rock Road, 1879-1880.

Some items to remember in history of the Story of San Juan showing the hand of the kind, wise, perfect Father: Modern Prophets, and inspiration: Ward, the Deputy U.S. Marshal sent down during "The Posey War."

In case the story of Bro. A.B.B. is used it will be referred to as a martyr for Zion.

Inspiration and prophesying, shown in this story from the beginning and the end is not come yet.

FRANCIS A. HAMMOND: First regular Stake President of San Juan Stake with two counselors. Joined the Church in early days; spent a number of years as a sailor, went around the world. Born in New York at a place called Patchog. Well along in years when called to the San Juan. After residing in Bluff, Utah, a very few years, removed to Mancos, Colorado, that being in San Juan Stake for many years. Finally the wards and branches of southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico were segregated from San Juan and named Young Stake.

Francis A. Hammond was a strong character, energetic, resourceful well posted thru travel and wide reading and meeting up with people; also a student of scripture. In his travels around the stake visiting the different wards, it was his habit to start very early of mornings, getting five or ten miles on his way at the coming of daylight, always being accompanied by his faithful wife, Martha, who acceded to his every wish. They both would easily be placed among high class people and never let anything interfere with the doing their full duty in their Church positions. It was on one of their regular visits that President Hammond met a violent death, driving a spirited team of horses which became frightened, tipping their buggy over against the corner of a log building, and throwing the president with great force against the logs. He lived a short time but did not regain consciousness. This accident occurred at a branch of the Church called Hammond (after the president.) He was taken to Salt Lake for burial.

WILLIAM HALLS: First counselor to Francis A. Hammond in the Stake Presidency of San Juan Stake.
I accept and look up to William Halls as one of the Father's the Lord gave me to help make up for the one he took away from us when I was a small child. His (Wm. Halls) was one of the choice and noble spirits that it has been my privilege to associate with while passing along this mortal trail, with its trials and perplexing problems. His advice and council was always wise, sound and dependable. He was a philosopher by nature and thru a long life of study and use he had broadened and enriched his attitude to cover all of life and living into the eternal state. He was gifted with a rich sense of humor. Had he followed this gift up and commercialized it, he could have easily had "Mark Twain," "Bill Nye," or our more modern good-hearted Will Rogers, back in the shade, just for clever "dry" wit of high class. He was full of rich witty sayings and stories, which he would tell on opportune occasions, without the least sign of change in voice or facial expression. He would use this gift on many occasions, in a way to make wrong doing or saying appear ridiculous, making the offender seriously feel that they would never be guilty of that particular offense again. His sense of justice was strong and clear. At one time his brother, George, was hailed before a Church Court by a fellow member, and as the trial proceeded; on more than one point where the testimony of the witnesses in favor of his brother, Bro. William questioned the statements and very pointedly insisted that the plaintiff have a square deal, and the testimony was corrected when the change was going against his own brother (to whom he was devotedly attached.) His riches consisted, not in lands or gold, but in the rich full high class life, filled full with service for the Master. I cherish as above price his confidence and friendship, as well as his wise teachings and council to me. The very thot or remembrance of William Halls cause a sweet, peaceful influence to come to one who knew him well.

Bro. Halls later in life was ordained to the office of a Patriarch and enjoyed the spirit of that high calling and Priesthood in rich abundance for the blessing and encouragement of his people.

PLATTE D. LYMAN: personal mention. Platte D. Lyman helped as much or more than any one of the Pioneers to carry in to and establish a clean, sweet Christian civilization out in the desert wilds. It would have been a great privilege and pleasure to have been acquainted with him casually, but to have been associated with him intimately in business, social, and in a religious way, was an inspiration and an education that is the opportunity of few mortals. It would be almost impossible for a person to entertain an impure thot, let alone use an unclean word, in his presence. His sympathy was with the Indians, and in his dealings with them (degraded as they are) his course was prompted by the "Golden Rule" and within the scope of his influence or acquaintance he would tolerate nothing but fair treatment of that unfortunate race. In his own home his was a model life, kind, quiet, thotful, careful, frugal, studious, making confidants of each child, and by his own example bringing them up to be self-sacrificing for one another, the only attitude that should prevail in a home worthy of that sacred title, an able, fluent, consistent defender and expounder of the faith of the Gospel of our Savior, both at home and in the mission field, where he filled two or three appointments, the last one holding the important position of President of the European Mission.

After suffering with a cancer for several years (the last few months very acutely) he passed away in what should have been the very prime of life, at the age of fifty-three, loved and honored by all who had come within the scope of his acquaintance, leaving the world better by far than he found it, going to receive a glorious crown, the reward of a true, faithful and well-filled mortal life. His logical calling should have been a full-time preacher of righteousness, where his outstanding, pure life would have fitted in, with the natural gift of a preacher of the Gospel.

Being more or less frail physically, he had followed stock-raising before coming to San Juan. He invested in cattle, intending to follow that occupation here, but his choice of a range proved to be an unhappy one, 100 miles from home or anywhere else, a wild, broken country and in dry seasons with wind and sand, made of it (as he so fittingly described it) "The abomination of Desolation," and the job of attempting to move cattle out to the summer range and for the sale of steers, etc--it was a time of passing thru "Hades" demanding a heavy toil of starving and choking livestock, and famishing, worn out humanity. "Uncle" Platte passed these grilling tests for the loved ones to whom he was so sweetly devoted and whose devotion was so richly reciprocated.

President Heber J. Grant said in an address in the Tabernacle, Hollywood, California, 1932, that "Platte D. Lyman was one of the best men" he ever met.

President Joseph F. Smith in a general conference of the Priesthood, "Brother D. Lyman was one of the best expounders of the Gospel we have had in this dispensation."

ALBERT R. LYMAN, oldest son of Platte D. Lyman, and a worthy son of a wonderful sire.

Some wise man has said that "an honest man is the noblest work of the Creator." Those who are fortunate enough to know Brother Albert will have to place his score up mighty near the 100% mark right on the start. Another very wise man says that "Whosoever is diligent in his work is worthy to stand before the King." Brother A. R. Lyman is and has been diligent in the work he has set about to do.

Our brother is raising an extra large family, to whom he is very much devoted (just half the story.) They are just as devoted to him which finishes and makes a full story, making a record that any man may well be proud, and who knows the end thereof.

Brother A. R. Lyman is one of the outstanding students of our community, and the record he is making is not only a wonderful blessing for his friends and people while he lives, but will be a help and inspiration to and for all who follow after him while time shall last. His history of San Juan County, Utah, from the beginning, is full and dependable, and has taken a lot of painstaking research thru many years. The Children of the Lord, whom he has been able to do much with, and also for, have been a record keeping people. That is apparently the only way He is able to keep us wild mortals civilized, so prone are we to forget.

The study of history, both ancient and modern, fits nicely into the Church genealogy studies now being taken up and worked out far more systematically than ever before in a Church movement. Brother Albert has been the head instructor over a large and enthusiastic class here in Blanding, and this class is making good progress, as is attested by the temple excursions from San Juan Stake, which are undertaken quite regularly in increasing numbers, with Blanding leading in the good work.

Brother Albert was one of the prime movers in a Sunday afternoon class or meeting for children (using the time of the Sacrament Meeting and using the Sunday evenings for the regular Sacrament Meetings) working fine. The human mind may not reach the limit of the good that will result from the teaching and work of our brother, A. R. Lyman, among the young people of our community as well as the older members. The Lord bless him, his family and his posterity to the end of time.

BISHOP JENS NIELSON born April 26, 1820, on the island of Loaland, Denmark; converted 1852 and did missionary work in his home country over 2 years.

As for the physical or practical part of the establishing of the San Juan Colony, Bishop Nielson stands first. With a strong, unflinching faith in the Gospel as he had accepted it in his native country in 1852, with an abiding confidence in the authority that stood at the head of the Church of which he was a loyal member and to which he gave his first and unswerving devotion, giving unlimited proof that he could stay put, or as he used the term "stick it to too de." He went to work with all his big strong soul, and being a natural leader, he had the faculty of getting his plans put thru just by force of his strong personality, and for good sound safe judgment in all purely practical things he had few equals, and for the measure of success the members of Bluff Ward attained in their temporal affairs next to the blessing of Our Heavenly Father, the credit and honor must always be given to him more than anyone. The thing that gave him influence with the people was his sound judgment and his strong sense of justice and absolutely fairness. I have met many men in whose hands I would be willing to place my life, and would easily place as the first one among that number Bishop Jens Nielson. His confidence and friendship is above price in my memory, which continued almost all my life without a jar. He must stand as one of the strong, sturdy characters, straightened or more or less developed by his association with the Mormon Church. The Gospel served to bring out strong points which may otherwise have lain dormant. He held the best that was in him for the service of the Master.

As one of the many kind favors of the Lord to me I appreciate the meeting of, and the association formed in living and working with Jens Nielson, for the daughter he gave me, and shall pray for the time when I may trim off my weak points and be worthy to again take up the broken thread and enjoy the strengthening and perfecting of our association thru the eternity that is before us.

One recent unusual event in my experience has given me renewed assurance that our association will endure--that was a visitation from him in a vision that was so real and impressive that I could never doubt or deny it, which served to cement friendship of a lifetime. Bishop Nielson was Bishop of Bluff Ward from Sept. 2nd, 1880, to Jan. 1st, 1906, and in a few months passed on from this life, loved and honored by all who knew him, to a reward he had so faithfully earned.
ADELIA R. LYMAN, wife of Pres. Platte D. Lyman

Devoted companion and strong support, or in other words, took the father's as well as mother's part, as well as teacher, guardian of their large family, and few children have had a more faithful, devoted mother; and was another of the pioneer mothers of San Juan who made great sacrifices in leaving their own relatives enduring untold privation and want even of the common necessities of their physical wants. The further we get as to time from those early experiences, the more tender I feel and the more my sympathies for and with our wonderful pioneer mothers towards them goes.

L. H. REDD, Jr.--L. H. Redd was president of the San Juan Stake from November 13, 1910 to the date of his death, 1923; and Bishop of Bluff Ward from Jan. 1, 1906, to Nov. 13, 1910. One of very few men of the first pioneers of San Juan who was fairly well educated, he having had fairly good advantages along that line. This with native strong personality and financial ability, soon worked his way up and out of the lead in the different activities of the community in church and civic affairs. Soon became full-handed, but did not allow his wealth to change his life or attitude toward his Church duties and responsibilities, paid a full tithing and all other Church dues, liberal towards all funds for worthy purposes. Notwithstanding, all these good qualities and many more that could be named over here, I believe his strongest attribute was his whole-souled loyalty to those who were his superior officers in the Priesthood of the Church, and stood ready to defend and uphold them and the doctrines and organizations they stood for.

Bro. Redd raised a large family, most all of them more or less prominent in their home towns. Pres. Redd was a patient, consistent friend to all Indians, always advocated being fair and just with them, but would not permit any bluffing or crooked doings on their part. He was one who led out among quite a bunch of young fellows who could be depended upon in a tight place when it would seem that trouble was in the offing, and when a streak of "yellow' would be fatal.

Horse thieves followed by Redd, Perkins, Lyman--In the month of Sept., 1882 an incident occurred that spread gloom over the San Juan Mission. Two tough characters passed thru Bluff going west on the "Hole in the Rock" road, and it was several days later before the town people noticed horses missing, and at once suspected the two hard looking men, who had acted up peculiar at least. Brother Redd (subject of this sketch), Hyrum Perkins and Jos. A. Lyman took their trail, overtaking them at the Colorado River at Hall's Ferry (or a few miles out), where the thieves had unpacked and returned to waylay our boys whom they had discovered were following them. Hastily rounding all their horses, loading all the camp outfit and taking a short cut back to river and were out on the river with the last boat load when the renegades came up and opened fired, which was returned by our boys, but as they landed a bullet shattered the knee of Bro. J. A. Lyman. This was one place in human experience that required nerve, plus quick thinking and acting, as well as praying. Our boys were forced to move on, as the outlaws were left without food, bed or horses and 100 miles from where they could get any of these necessities, and one of the two was thot to be wounded, likely mortally, as there was but one of them reached Lee's ferry in the boat and he was in a famishing condition. Our Bro. Lyman passed thru indescribable suffering for several days getting to Bluff, and would have fared much worse had not a Navajo medicine man providentially appeared on the scene and found water for the distressed boys, and also found prickly pear plants which he cooked a little and mashed up for a poultice which immediately brot relief. Bro. Redd was directing spirit all the way thru.

After Pres. Redd had built up an estate estimated over half a million, he would purposely wear patched and common clothing, so as not to embarrass any of his less fortunate friends and neighbors, showing the good heart that was in him.

Sheepmen to the southwestern Colorado cowboys served as a red flag to an angry bull, putting fight into them right now, as the following incident will reveal. Colorado state has more summer range than their winter open range will care for, and the reverse is the case with southeastern Utah, in San Juan and Grand Counties. In view of this condition, Pres. Redd made arrangements with the forest officers to get part of his sheep up in the higher mountain range controlled by the government, but driveways were not arranged for at that early date as at present, and it was necessary for one to find his way thru as best he could. His drive also happened at a time when the cattlemen were in the midst of their spring roundup and were on the ground in full force in the country he was forced to go thru. He visited them at their main camp and tried to reason with them, explaining conditions to them, but all he got in reply was curses and profanity and as he arose to leave them he said, in substance, "Gentlemen, I would much prefer you would intimate to us which way you would prefer I should go thru, but I am going the route that appears to be kind of a driveway. I will go thru as quickly as possible and in case I do you any damage shall be willing to foot the bill," but their answer was threats of what he may expect in case he tried it. Pres. Redd went thru with no opposition; those cowboys may not read many books, but were able to read character.

On another occasion an Indian and White man killer, ex-county sheriff, and all around bravo, located a ranch (horse ranch) up towards the head of Cottonwood Wash next to the forest reserve, published it far and wide (by mouth) of his intentions, etc., etc., how he would fix "Lem" Redd all ready for the undertaker in case he attempted to pass his sheep up thru Chimney Park again.

Brother Redd moved his sheep up thru Chimney Park on regular schedule, unopposed, a short time after which our boisterous friend had a change of heart, as also his plans, occasioned by the meeting of a real man, and looking up a place for his home ranch some other place. To come right down to "cheese and raisins" all my respect to the good red-blooded men who take the straight trail and keep quietly going on unafraid.

This is to notify all the relatives and descendants of Lem Hardison Redd, once Bishop of Bluff Ward, and president of San Juan Stake, that while not perfect, he would easily come in the class imperfectly described in the above notes, by one who knew him as well if not better than any other man.

WALTER C. LYMAN came to San Juan County from Millard County at an early date, had the benefit of pioneering from the early beginning. Bro. W. C. would go farther, stay longer, work at physical work harder, stand more hardships of cold or heat and privation with least complaining, for his people than any man that has lived and worked in the San Juan Stake (in my opinion.) Is well posted in the principles, ordinances and discipline of the Church, is loved and honored by Church members, being helped along in this line by his good natured gift of humor. Raised a large family, all of whom are respected, honest, straightforward members of the L. D. S. Church and society. He is still going strong, working hard, has good health, and is still willing to take a chance at roughing it to start up most anything that offers something that will put the community ahead--just running true to form, the job he's been at ever since I knew him, and he deserves to succeed.

Filled a mission very successfully in the North Central States, the greater part of the time as district president over quite a strong force of missionaries; was President of San Juan Stake for several years; had the confidence and respect of old and young, both members of the Church as well as non-members; would go out of his way or put his own interests to one side at any time to procure and retain the friendship or good will of everyone. Not any wonder that he is "Uncle Walter" to the whole community.

Most of all of the above tribute has direct reference to this mortal probation; whom of his acquaintances could dare make a guess as to the station he will fall heir to in the eternal kingdom. I hope to take this humble little story up later, under or in a new setting.

WAYNE H. REDD, President of San Juan Stake

At the passing on of his oldest brother, Lemuel H. Redd, Brother W. H. Redd was sustained to take his place as President of San Juan Stake, and has and is still making good in that position, faithful, energetic, loyal, true, a pure Israelite and is headed for that station where in case any of his friends expect to meet him they will need to procure a passport for the Celestial Kingdom. He has been associated with and has secured the esteem of some of the best of our Father's children in mortality and has chosen the straight and narrow way from his youth, and "Don Cupid" led him to one of the queenly companions of this earth who has brot a choice and large family of spirits into mortality for him, starting a kingdom no mortal can imagine the end or the greatness thereof.

President Redd is a well-balanced man, thrifty, wide awake, good provider, and were he to turn all or the greater part of his time and ability to financial matters would make a good success, but he deliberately refuses to neglect the better part to acquire the things that perish. Just another good man with whom it has been my privilege to live and labor with, which I hope to be able to appreciate and continue to take counsel from while this mortal life shall last, and then just beginning the real eternal association. We are brothers-in-law and that may assist in the attraction that beckons us on and up. I take it as a favor, and a blessing to me personally to have Pres. Redd point out my weak points, and show me where I do better. Those are our real friends.

ELIZA A. WESTOVER REDD, wife of the late Pres. L. H. Redd, Jr., San Juan Stake; born in 1854. One of the strong, outstanding characters whose name and influence must always remain an indelible part of the conquering of lower San Juan County. Being naturally of an unusually refined nature, which if given the opportunity could have taken a full hand in the arranging and building of a modern, well arranged convenient high class home, good judgment, good common sense, and an artistic taste, this supplemented with a fairly good education fitted her to take a prominent and useful place along progressive religious and social lines in city life of modern times. All the more credit is due her along with others who came out and took a prominent part in creating a condition described by Professor Byron Cummings (formerly of Arizona) who used to tell his friends that "If they wished to find culture of the highest type go to Bluff, Utah, one of the most isolated towns on the earth."

Aunt Eliza Redd, who still remains (Jan. 1932) with us, eyes sparkling, mind clear and calm, tho unable to get around much with her crippled leg, has made a remarkable success of this mortal probation, done her full duty in raising a large unusually fine family, and by precept and example implanted in their hearts high ideals of life. This is my judgment. Don't think it will change here, or hereafter. Sister Redd had her trials, and carried them thru bravely and heroically.

March 2, 1933

Dear Brother Kumen:

I am thinking of you today and of the sad, sorrowful event thru which you and your family and neighbors are passing in the little town of Blanding, as the hands of the clock move around, in my mind I am there, can see it all, and feel the sweet sorrowful spirit that hovers over the little throng.

My heart goes out to you, dear brother, knowing this is a most trying hour for you. It is much like one of the dear ones of my own family passing to the other side and can feel deeply what it means to you. But for the gospel and the blessed knowledge it has given us, I sometimes feel these partings would be more than we could bear. But because of the goodness of our Heavenly Father, even with the sadness that hovers over me in the thot that a dearly loved friend and sister has left us, there comes a feeling of peace and joy in contemplating the beautiful and splendid life she has lived, and of the happiness that must be hers in meeting her loved ones who have gone before. There is no doubt in my mind of the rich reward that awaits her there.

I know of no one more deserving, no one who has done more to help and comfort humankind in any way possible by her kind ministrations through her whole life, than has sister Mary. I have never forgotten--it has lived in my mind, how in those olden times and early days of dear old Bluff, when I was so far away from my dear mother, to whom in all my young life I had gone to with my heartaches--never failing to get comfort and wise counsel; neither did I have a single relative in that far away land. It was then I learned to love and appreciate dear kind sister Mary, who came to me with her sympathetic, understanding heart. Always in sickness and trouble she was there with what seemed her natural efficiency to do and help. I have no words to tell how much it meant to me, and feel guilty now that I have so poorly shown her in words and actions how much I love and appreciate her.

I know I can say nothing, dear brother, that can take away the sorrow and loneliness that this hour brings to you, but I want you to know that I remember and appreciate more than I can express the friendship and close ties of my dearest and worthy old time neighbors.

Dear Mary has suffered so much physical pain and through it all has put up such a brave fight to stay on--I am sure more for the sake of her loved ones here than for a desire just to live on. Now the dear soul is at rest, free from pain and happy in the wonderful reunion over there.
Your dearly beloved, faithful, life-long companion has stepped through the veil a little ahead of you, where in God's own time she will greet you with joy and the union will be complete, never more to be disturbed.

It has been so good that you could be with Aunt Mary during her most trying and painful months, and now, perhaps, more than ever, you have need to bear up and continue the work begun in partnership, of counselor and comforter to those in whom she was so deeply interested, and to whom she has been a real mother. Please remember me with love to Mamie. I know she will continue to be a great comfort to you as she always has been to both of you. She is a fine type of womanhood and worthy the love and pride you hold for her. Also, I would like to be remembered to all members of your family, all of whom seem near to me. Praying the blessing of Heaven will rest upon you in abundance, that your heart will be comforted to the extent that you will be able to carry on in the good work you have so nobly sponsored throughout your life, I am your, with love and kindest regards,
Sister Eliza A. Redd

SISTER JOSEPHINE CHATTERLY WOOD, wife of Samuel Wood, came to San Juan at an early date, fitted to fill a useful, important place in a new country where pioneers were needed in all lines.

"Aunt Jody" right soon accepted positions in primary activities and nursing the sick, at both of which she continued as long as she lived, endearing herself in to the love and kindly respect of everyone. Her jolly, kindly disposition worked psychological wonders among the sick, likely as much or more than the packs, poultices, or herb teas she used in her mission of mercy among the sick and discouraged, and in the midst of and during all her useful life for others she was the loving and indulgent mother of a large family of her own. The Lord bless the memory of this faithful pioneer woman. Her loving, sympathetic heart was almost broken upon the death of her missionary son and a daughter whom they lost, at a time, and under circumstances more or less unusual. Several of their children have filled places of responsibility in the communities of the county and wards.

BISHOP F. I. JONES of Monticello, Utah, born in 1851; died Oct. 18, 1925. With but very little "book" learning made his way up to the front with his good sound common sense and judgment. Good, solid citizen, good judgment, hard worker, honest, successful farmer, kind in his family life, unflinching in defense of family and friends. All around good clean sport; one of the leading characters in founding of Monticello, Utah; would be honored and respected among good people anywhere at any time, more especially among pioneers where real men were needed out on the firing line.

"Fred" came of good thrifty sturdy family stock; took a lot of the responsibility of helping to provide and care for his father's large family, even before he was grown, and the father appreciated and honored his son, taking counsel from and trusting him, felt the loss to himself and the sacrifice the family were making in permitting him to respond to the missionary call that came from Church leaders. Taking it all in all it is easy to acknowledge the Allwise Hand of providence in the whole movement of the San Juan Mission. Brother F. I. Jones helped to bring out this last thot in his faithful life. He chose as a companion, Mary Mackelprang, of sturdy Danish stock, careful, thrifty, just what is needed to assist in the pioneering of a country such as San Juan. They raised a large family, furnishing several of our boys with good helpmates, and sons who fell in line in the work of conquering the elements of a new county and making it possible for people to live in.


Napoleon once said, "We do not really hate only those we have wronged." We are reminded of this saying in reviewing our late experience with our Indian neighbors (summer of 1921.)

Among the old settlers of San Juan County there is a total absence of real hatred, but an almost universal disposition to favor, and not harm them, inasmuch as they pursue good behavior, or show a desire to be half decent, and on the whole it is doubtful if the record made by the original settlers of the San Juan Mission in regard to their treatment of the Indians (especially when it is considered the Indians are made up of outlaw bands from the different tribes of Utes and Paiutes and also mixed with some families of the Navajo Nation who were not conquered at the time of the Kit Carson "roundup") may be found in all the dealings of the White man and the American Indian in recorded history. Having read one time or other most of the common histories of the settlement of United States, Mexico, Central and South America, I have yet to find an instance where a new settlement has been established so far from other centers of civilization and entirely surrounded with Indians who were the outlaws and renegades from so many tribes and clans, and with none killed on the Indians side, and but one on the side of the White settlers. And this is to be especially emphasized when even the nearest White settlers on the northeast, east and south, were also more or less prejudiced against the Mormons and no doubt a large percent of them would have rejoiced to have heard of the wiping out of the settlements of those Mormons. For a number of reasons the fact of our having so little serious trouble for many settlements in 
Try is more than . Let us imagine a company of the average people of any of the western states "picked up" and attempted to found a colony where Bluff, Utah was started in 1879-80. We may imagine what to have expected from the experience of the Mitchels, who located at the mouth of McElmo Canyon in the fall and winter of 1878-79. The older one of them, as soon as he found out that they were to have a colony of Mormons for neighbors made unconcealed boasts that they would soon give the d__m Mormon outfit the same medicine that he had assisted in giving them back in Missouri. Let us see how it really happened. The Mitchels spent a very few troublesome years, sending out for soldiers and cowboys to come in and protect them, and get them out of scraps they had brot on themselves, hit the trail back out, much worse off than when they came in. The Mormons were still here, plodding along, building up a civilization that gives promise of enduring, nothing to boast very much about, but making headway slowly (1929.)

Other people have not fared so well, neither Whites or Indians of this neighborhood.

Mitchell and Merrick in spring of 1879 or 1880. 
Smith, Thurman and May at or near Paihute Spring 1881. 
Men killed following the Utes for killing later 3--12, this includes 2 Wilson boys from where Moab is now. 
Men shot but not killed in spring on verdure, 3 (1884). 
Warrington, Government Scout, and cowboy (White Canyon--1884). 
Killing in gambling row near Blue Mts. (4--1884.)
Men killed near or at Ren Con (4--1886)
Killing near McElmo (4--about 1886)
Hopkins and one other White killed (2--about 1887)
Men killed near Verdure, two medicine men (2--1888)
Killed over line in Colorado by San Juan Indians (5--1900)
Between 1906 and 1923 (10)
48 + 2 = 50
In dealings, etc., in and near San Juan County since 1880, not one punished by the courts.

FRANCIS NIELSON. Having known Francis longer than any other of the prominent leaders of San Juan, and take it all together been more closely associated in business and in other activities with him, and in all of which I always found him on the square, naturally became very much attached to him. Our association on the range as cowboys continued thru many years. I have worked under him and he has worked under me as foreman on the range, and I always found him quiet, kind and fair, considerate, and thotful of others feelings and sound in judgment--in this regard being somewhat "a chip off the old block" (Bishop Nielson.)

As a small boy he was nervous and timid but as time went on he overcame the nervous trait, but never entirely overcame his timidity, but thru sheer force of character he worked his way up into many places of public importance, liked, honored and trusted by the great majority of the people. He served as counselor in the Bluff Ward Bishopric for about fifteen years, worked in the superintendency of the Sabbath School, Presidency of Mutual Association, School Trustee, etc., and took a prominent part in all business affairs and public enterprises; served as County Commissioner many terms; held the highest office within the gift of the country, that of representative to the legislature, several terms; made a splendid choice of a wife, Leona J. Walton, to whom eight children were born, six of them are still alive (3 boys, and 3 girls.) All together they comprise a family that would be far above the average anywhere on earth. If I have the good fortune to be permitted to continue our associations in the great beyond, for my part it will be more than satisfactory to me. Brother Francis and wife assisted materially in establishing a civilization in the wilds of San Juan County, Utah, that ordinary mortals may well be proud of.

The KILLING OF AMASA M. BARTON at Rencon: shot June 9th, died June 16, 1886.

When some of the Apostles of the Mormon Church and other leading men came to the San Juan County after the pioneers first located here, and "sized up" the situation, finding the people located so far from any white settlers, their council to the people was to keep together, build forts and not scatter out over the country for a few years until other settlers came in, or the Indian question assumed a more favorable condition. Along about 1885 some few of the settlers became uneasy and restless and felt that the time had come when they felt that it would be safe to spread out.

A.M. Barton was one of these, and came to Bishop Jens Nielson and asked his counsel on the matter. Bishop Nielson cited to him the very pointed counsel on the subject, and said that he (Bishop Nielson) did not feel at liberty to change the program outlined by the Church leaders. But Amasa and others that were in the sheep and merchandising business together felt that conditions were favorable and safe for their spreading out a little. Accordingly a trading post and headquarters for sheep and stock camp was established at Rencon, 10 miles west of Bluff, where fortune seemed to smile upon their efforts for a time with Amasa as the leading spirit, he having developed into an all-around hustler and hard worker, being also very fair in a business way. But apparently, without any just cause, one of the bad blooded Navajo men came in with a partner one morning prepared for trouble, and in a short time the family at their dwelling house could see that something of a very serious nature was going on at the store; there being no other men folks at the place at the time, the women folks could do nothing, and in less time that it takes to write the story, the Navajo had accidentally killed his own partner and mortally wounded Brother Amasa, who, however, lived a week before passing away, with two bullet holes in his brain. Sister Barton started a Ute runner (Old Cheeaputes) for Bluff, and the Navajo fled, taking the body of his partner across the river with him, but soon returned with several other Navajos who looted the store of all the goods they could pack, leaving with their plunder as Bro. Platt D. Lyman and myself arrived on the scene from Bluff. The week following this trouble was one of extreme sorrow and suspense, watching over our mortally wounded brother, and trying to give comfort to the stricken family (Sister Barton having just got up from her bed of confinement.) All was uncertain as to what the Indians would do. There was no doubt as to what they could do, as we were absolutely at their mercy. The Indians would come in large numbers to the top of a high ridge about 1/2 mile across the river, apparently undecided as to what to do about the trouble. After several days a friendly Indian, Tom Holliday, came up from some 50 miles down the river, and without any hesitation came over, having it in his heart to act as peacemaker, and assuring us of his wish that no further trouble should occur between our people and the Indians. He finally prevailed on two or three other friendly disposed Navajoes to come over and talk with us, but the Indians mostly were sullen.

Amasa lived from the 9th to the 16th of June, 1886, without regaining consciousness or taking any food. His body was brot to Bluff for burial. Having become very well acquainted with Amasa M. Barton, having passed thru some trying times with him, becoming acquainted with his real worth, the loss to me was of a warm personal friend, as well as a loss to our little colony of a resourceful useful member.

A short time after this about 100 Navajo warriors came in all painted up, about all having guns, and giving us to understand they were prepared to fight. Bishop Jens Nielson, Elder John Allan, Jr., and myself being all the men folks that were in town just at that time we told them to lay down their guns and we would talk about making peace as friends should; a few of the older ones put up their firearms and were willing to talk peace, but most of them were sullen and were not inclined to talk peace talk. Finally after their "orators" had eased their minds of threats and complaints without making any headway, we told them that fighting was not in our line, but that if they were determined that they must fight we would send out and have soldiers whom we paid to do our fighting for us come in and give them what they ask for. This seemed to strike home for a wave of hands went up in protest against the soldier proposition, as they all recalled the Navajo war of 1868, when they were rounded up and starved into submission in the campaign in which Kit Carson played a prominent part. All the fight talk was gone, and after smoking the "pipe of peace" and eating a lunch provided by us, a general hand shaking, and the war was over.

In the late fall or early winter of 1886 or about that year, three strange men turned up in the neighborhood of the south side of Blue Mts. No one seemed to know how or where they came from, but as was the custom in cow camps at that period they were given the freedom of the camp belonging to the L. C. outfit in the mouth of Montezuma Canyon, and as storms came on making travel difficult they remained for the winter, not only getting their own food and keep, but their ponies were given oats along with the horses belonging to the camp.

On awakening one of the fine April spring mornings, William Ball, foreman at the L. C. Ranch, made the discovery that their visitors had quietly "evaporated,' and also that in the darkness they had by mistake or otherwise taken two or three of the favorite cowponies belonging to the camp, among them Ball's pet horse. Four of the camp boys were soon scouting the country for the trail by which the horse thieves had left with their ill-gotten booty, soon finding the tracks they had made eight or ten hours earlier going south in the direction of Bluff, which is about 45 miles southeast of their camp. The pursuers followed a lone fresh track in to Bluff, which proved to be one of our Bluff boys (Robert Allan) who in returning home from Elk Mts. had seen the desperadoes, and in attempting to go to them was ordered back at the point of their guns. This information from Allan gave Ball and party a direct lineup on the men they were following. After lunch, being joined by six or eight Bluff boys, pursuit of the outlaws was continued and overtaken about eight miles west of town at Navajo Springs in Comb Wash, where they were leisurely taking lunch. After a hasty consultation the pursuers were almost unanimous in ordering the thieves to throw up their hands, and in case they refused, or made an attempt to escape, our party were to open fire from a safe position behind rocks, but Mr. Ball said he wanted to give them a better opportunity to surrender, which decision proved his own undoing, as far as this life is concerned, and caused a revolt in the ranks of the pursuers. In a few moments, with Ball in the lead, the pursuit was continued up the Comb Wash, our party keeping back out of sight until night came on, when both parties left the main traveled road and quietly passed the night with saddles on and bridle reins in hand awaited the approach of daylight. And as soon as day dawned the thieves could be seen about half a mile across a canyon from our position. We had gone about one mile in their pursuit when Ball suddenly stopped and asked me if I would take one other man and take the road that leaves the Comb Wash for the west and try to head off the men we were after, as at that time no other trail or way out on to the Cedar Ridge, other than the wagon road of the pioneers of San Juan, was known. Before leaving Ball and party I very earnestly warned Mr. Ball of the danger of following that trio of outlaws too closely in the rough country which they were going thru, telling him that men who would steal horses from a man that had treated them so well, would not hesitate to shoot their pursuers from ambush, and we were then traveling thru an outlaw's paradise. But Ball felt sure the men would not fight. The four of us who where detailed to make for a point in the road where it was expected the men would have to come to the "Twist," the only outlet we were aware of going west where they were evidently heading for; after making as good time as possible, and finding a favorable position awaited developments. The outlaws knowing the possibilities of the country better than we who lived here, (having looked out a trail the fall before as they were coming in to the country, likely with the view of an emergency such as they were now going thru) had gone out on the south side of "Road Canyon" and after being closely pursued for several miles, selected a favorable ambush and opened fire. Being at close range Ball was mortally wounded with the first volley, and some of our boys narrowly escaped the same fate. Bro. James B. Decker, Sr., sprang from his horse just in time to save himself as a bullet struck the back of his saddle. Not knowing just where the outlaws were located, and being entirely at their mercy if they attempted to go in their direction, our boys took to cover behind rocks and trees that were available, and tried to locate the bandits who had all advantage and took what time they needed to withdraw and make their escape. With Ball mortally wounded, suffering for water, and none within several miles, the boys placed Ball on a horse and two held him on and started back toward Bluff, while some of the boys scoured the neighborhood for water. But the wounded man could not stand to ride far, begged the boys to set him by the side of the trail and let him die in peace. The boys let him off and it was but a short time until he passed away. After digging a hole in the sand, they removed his boots, covered his remains as best they could and returned home.

About three weeks after the sad event noted above, a posse of 20 cowboys came thru Bluff for the purpose of following the trail of the murderers of William Ball, asking Bluff to furnish two boys to act as guides, and Amasa M. Barton and myself were the ones selected for the job. This was about the middle of May and very warm. The outfit headed for the Colorado River and the second day out found the trail of the bandits, following them to and down Red Canyon to the camp of Cass Hite. The main camp, however, was made a few miles from the river, and the boys took turns guarding the crossing as another party had gone around by railroad, having heard that the murderers of Ball had a camp in or near Henry Mts., and the party going around were to rout the desperadoes from the west and our party were to intercept them at the river, but after giving plenty of time for the working out of the program arranged before leaving their homes in Colorado, our party thru two of our number came out in sight and hailed Cass Hite over the river with his boat, and as he stepped off his boat the two boys drew their guns on him and placed him under arrest. During this brave performance in which the boys gave unmistakable evidence of being greatly agitated, Mr. Hite spoke quietly but coolly to them, saying he did not think they intended to shoot him, but in their nervous condition they may accidentally pull their triggers off, in which event they may have serious regrets, and on seeing the bunch of men they had near them, told the two who were still pointing their guns at him that he couldn't see what they had to frighten them so.

For a time there was strong talk and threats of lynching Mr. Hite here on the spot. It was made known in the angry discussion that was being carried on that two of our posse had followed horse thieves to this ferry the year previous, and it was charged very strongly that Mr. Hite must have a stand-in with the outlaw element, and raving under the disappointment of our failure to locate the men we were after, with the exception of we two boys from Bluff, the sentiment was unanimous for the proposed lynching. Bro. Amasa M. Barton and myself talked the matter over quietly and decided that we would oppose the killing of Hite, which at that time looked as though there may be some danger in so doing. The captain, a Mr. McGood (foreman at that time for the Carlisle Bros., and English Cattle Co. operating at the Blue Mts.) saw that we were counseling together stepped up and asked as to our attitude in regard to lynching Mr. Hite. As I was the older one of the two the question was directed to me. I answered that that was a very serious step to take and told him to do as we had done, that is, place ourselves (by way of example) in Mr. Hite's position, and ask himself if he would not like for men who may find us in his position, and ask ourselves if we would like the other fellow to have a little better evidence than we have against Mr. Hite before taking as serious measure as is proposed to take in this instance. He finally admitted that he rather believed he would, and after calling other of the leading spirits, and cooler heads into our council, our stand was finally accepted as the better way, but not without heated objection and harassing profanity from the rougher element in the posse. After further discussion Mr. McGood addressing Mr. Hite said, "In case any of the boys of this party are under the necessity of following horse thieves or other outlaws to this ferry in the future and find that he has put them over the river and takes no step to notify the proper authorities, he need look for no mercy again."

Not finding out anything as to the whereabouts of the murderers of Ball, and our provisions running low, our party started for home, but before leaving Mr. Hite some of our posse told him that the two "Mormons" were after his scalp, and the Colorado boys had trouble in talking us out of having him killed, and people passing by his camp were told that at the first meeting of Jones or Barton and himself something very serious would happen, but it didn't as I proved a few years later when I camped with Hite and was taken in and treated fine, and after supper I took occasion to tell him the truth in regard to our former experience with the posse from Colorado.

The first night on our return trip some of the posse from Colorado showed a desire to learn something about the Mormons and their religion, and as Brother Barton suggested that I handle our side of the discussion, I had pleasure in answering all questions, and the greater part of the night was passed in the interview, and considering the rough element of which the greater portion of the posse was composed, the attention and respect they gave us was something remarkable. A young graduate from one of the leading universities of the east, named Kamp, or Kemp took the leading part on the side of the Colorado boys, and the "tack" he showed and his attitude in general, insured an orderly discussion, and it seemed that all the outfit of them were taken by surprise to learn that there was so much to Mormonism, especially were they interested to hear the story of the Book of Mormon, and the Prophet Joseph Smith. Many of them would speak up and admit that all they had heard of the Mormons and their religion was bad, but in future their opinions would be different on the question of our people. On breaking camp the next morning the friendship of the great majority of the boys was apparently warm and sincere, and altho I have never met but very few of the posse I feel sure most of them would always remember some of the things they heard that quiet night at the Dripping Spring in the wilderness west of Bluff.

To close the story of the murder of "Bill" Ball. His remains were brot in and buried in the Bluff cemetery by some of our boys some time in the fall of 1886.


After one of our Stake Quarterly Conferences held in Bluff, about 1890; as was usual in those days, arrangements were made for a rousing dance and social party to wind up the conference gathering. Committees were appointed to look after the different features of the occasion and make arrangements for all to be cared for. The committee on invitations, in order to magnify their calling, sent invitations to the cowcamps for all to come in and join in the merry making, and it so happened that this particular party came at a time when quite an extra number of visitors were at the cowcamps and also as was very uncommon the boys all decided to come in and have a "time," and when they kept coming in such unlooked for numbers the authorities became alarmed, and decided that the invitation committee had exceeded their authority, and it was finally decided that the cowmen should be notified of the error and that they would not be allowed to take part in all the functions of the party, but that part of them would be allowed to participate, but the boys did not take kindly to this arrangement, and the more reckless of them went for their guns, determined on having their say as to how the party was to be managed, and it looked for a time that nothing could avert serious trouble. Quite a number of our boys secured their weapons and prepared for the worst. The one thing that made for the pacifying of the angry, wrought up members of the visiting cowmen, was the absence of liquor, and the sense of chivalry possessed by a good percent of the otherwise rough cowboy element. This, with the persuasion of the older heads of the cowmen, and the modifying of the program on our side, finally brot about a compromise and quite a number of the visiting cowmen came in the party and took part in the dancing, etc., but quite a percent of them remained outside berating those of their party who had showed the white feather and gone in after being snubbed. The hostile party, however, carried the trouble no farther than "shooting" with their mouths, until after the party was out, when they mounted their ponies and yelling and shooting off their guns rode out of town at full speed.

A short time after the above event occurred two of us cowboys of Bluff were riding with the "Texas Outfit" in the Comb Wash, when the full force was taking part in their spring roundup, when one day the conference party and other troubles between the older men of Bluff and the cowmen was up for general discussion. They went on becoming a little more heated as time went on, and while they didn't seem to have anything in particular against us two boys, yet the greater part of the demonstration was apparently for our particular benefit. It seemed that Bishop Jens Nielson (then between 65 and 70 years of age) Thales H. Haskel and "Father" John Allan, also about the same as to age, were the arch offenders, but the Mormons in general were a pretty bad lot. After allowing them what time was necessary to work most of the vile stuff out of their systems, I spoke up and asked them when they would allow us a turn to say a few words. It seemed to take them by surprise. Turning toward me they became as quiet as mice; taking immediate advantage of this condition I felt that the psychological moment was mine and proceeded to read them the "riot act." The great majority of that bunch (about 18 or 20) cowboys could see immediately that I had them at a disadvantage, as they could see that they had gone altogether too far with their tirade against the Mormons in general, and the above mentioned old standbys in particular, all of whom had treated them more than fair, with the one exception, that of the party above referred to, in which we had given them the benefit of the doubt and apologized for that apparent misunderstanding.

Among other things I spoke of their shooting off their guns and yelling like Comanches. The only possible effect it could have would be to frighten nervous women and little children, and that no one with any manhood about them would care to do that. I told them that there wasn't anything a man could do that appeared more cowardly and contemptible than that. While I was easing my mind of these sentiments for about fifteen minutes there was not a move or a sound from the roundup bunch. The above confab took place at the noon hour, and that afternoon it so happened that I was placed to ride with two of the hardest cases of the roundup, and one of them spoke up and said he did not think any man could talk as I had to that outfit and not get killed, but says he "You simply had truth and right on your side and it had to go," and also saying, "I don't expect to be very good, for it isn't in me, but I've packed my last gun while in a town where there are women and children," and as long as that roundup lasted I was treated with every respect, and heard no more running down or berating of the Bluff "Mormons."


About the 2nd day of May, 1881, the late Hans Joseph Nielson brot word into town (Bluff) that he had just been "rounded up" by a party of 30 or 40 Utes who ordered him to hot foot for home, and because he would not go as fast as they thot he should, they fired several shots over his head by way of a reminder of what he may expect in case he failed to take a hint. When he left them they had a bunch of Bluff horses gathered together and were starting off with them, and being alone he naturally made haste to notify the town people, and in a short time a party of about 12 or 15 of the younger men were on the way to overtake the Indians, but as it was late in the evening before the boys got far, the Indians were not found that night, but 3 of our party went far enough so as to be sure they were in ahead of the Indians and the balance camped on the mesa near where we expected the Indians to camp. Early next morning the town boys were on the move and soon found the Indian camp up in the rocks between Buttler and Comb Washes, and for the next hour pandemonium reigned. It seemed that after the "bluff" with Brother H. J. Nielson the evening before the Indians had decided to cut out and leave the horses that they had rounded up on mesa, but they had along with them several head that they had stolen the year before, and these they did not feel like giving up and showed fight rather than do so, and there were guns drawn and looked for a few moments as though there would be a young war, but in the midst of the greatest danger and excitement one of the Indians in his harangue mentioned the name Mormon, which had the effect of immediately quieting the Indians and in a very short time the Indians were all on the move leaving the horses in dispute with the lawful owners.

In two or three weeks after the above episode word reached Bluff that these same Indians had murdered 3 men (May, Thurman, and Thomas or Smith), and after the killing had taken 80 or 100 head of choice horses and quite a sum of money (mostly currency) together with all the camp outfit. After hearing of the latter tragedy, it will readily be seen how willing we were to acknowledge the hand of Providence in our deliverance from these savages in the Buttler Wash incident.

Names of those who took part in Butler Wash skirmish, 1881: Platte D. Lyman, James B. Decker, Orin Kelsey, L. H. Redd, Jr., H. J. Nielson, John T. Gower (interpreter (Ute)), Amasa Barton, Jesse Smith, Edward L. Lyman, Benjamin Perkins, H. Bayles, J. F. Barton, K. Jones, John H. Pace. There may be names omitted.

There was expended $4800.00 in labor at $1.50 per day on the road from Escalante to Bluff, Utah, during the winter of 1879 and 1880, out of an appropriation by Legislature of $5000.00. The Church donated $500.00, mostly in provisions.

Blanding, Oct. 24, 1925

Jack Ute tells the following in regard to his wife, daughter of Stubby Ute.

On the morning of Oct. 13, 1925 (Sunday, after having been very sick for several days, Jack says about 8 o'clock a. m. his wife to all appearances died, and remained as if she was dead for about half an hour, and then slowly came back to life. Again at noon, and then about 4 o'clock she passed thru the same experience. Each time while she was apparently dead she saw people both Utes and Mormons, many of whom she recognized as old acquaintances and relatives that had died before, who all looked happy, and were all in beautiful surroundings, and those who spoke to her wanted her to remain with them. Each time when coming back to consciousness she told Jack (her husband) what she had seen and heard and also told him that she wanted to go back and remain with those people and in the beautiful conditions they were in, as she did not want to remain here, and wept almost continuously until her death, which occurred on Oct. 20th, 1925.


During the first three years from 1880-83 the sum of $48,300 had been worked out on Bluff Ditch, and about 300 acres had been brot under cultivation, making $161 per acre for the land farmed.

First district school started in San Juan County in the fall of 1880. First at Montezuma in early November, 1880, with Parthenia Hyde, teacher. Second at Bluff in late December, with Ida M. Lyman, teacher.

The San Juan Cooperative Company, organized April 29, 1882, with the following officers: Platte D. Lyman, President; Jens Nielson, Vice President; C. E. Walton, K. Jones, H. Perkins, Directors; and L. H. Redd, Jr., Secretary; B. Perkins, Treasurer--was organized for the purpose of engaging in general merchandising. Continued in business until Jan. 21, 1920, at which date the business was sold to John L. Hunt.

Two years six months and 20 days without mail service. Oct. 26, 1882, first regular mail arrived in Bluff, being two years, six months and twenty days without that boon of civilization. There was naturally much rejoicing.

First County Officers of San Juan County, having been appointed by the governor and legislature during the winter of 1879 and 1880; James Lewis of Kanab, Utah, Judge; Charles E. Walton, Sr., County Clerk; Platte D. Lyman, Jens Nielson, James B. Decker, Selectmen; Benjamin Perkins, Assessor and Collector; Kumen Jones, Supt. of Schools. This was brot about at the suggestion of Silas S. Smith, who had left the camp of pioneers at the Colorado River to solicit help in the making of the road to San Juan, in which he was successful, getting $5000 from the state thru the legislature and four or five hundred from the Church (the latter furnishing supplies thru the Tithing.)


The Perkins Bros. "Uncle" Ben, and Hyrum, as pioneers from early beginnings, would rate far above an average. Industrious, hard workers, both in a public and a private way. Hard work was indispensible on roads, canals, home building, cleaning and fencing farms, etc. They were consistent Church members, also in a social way. Not easily ill-discouraged. They were exemplary as observers of the Sabbath day, and the Word of Wisdom, Tithepaying, etc., loyal to church authority, law-abiding as citizens; both had large families, and were an asset in an educational way. Many of their children have taken their places as officers in civil and church positions. May their tribes increase. While neither one of Perkins Bros. B. and H. were much at preaching. Oh, how many there are who would be willing to do their preaching for them in exchange for their good honest hard work. And then the boys were in good shape thru training and practice to sing their way into the courts of glory and join in the heavenly choirs for the joy and blessing of all, for they were gifted and trained experts in that indispensible field of service. Both joined the Mormon Church in their homeland, Wales, with their family of father, mother and 22 children, about the year 1867 or 8; locating in Cedar City, where about ten years of hard work was spent before coming to San Juan with the first company of pilgrims of the fall and winter of 1879-80. Here their training as coal miners in their native land had qualified them to render extra good help in blasting and pick and shovel work for the six months road work in one of the roughest places a wagon road was ever attempted, and where "blowers and blasters" were needed, for most of the heavy work was in the rocks, and road making in our county has been trailing along with one tenth part of the acreage of the State and with one percent of the population or less, and have needed several thousand more Perkins men to play even with road requirements. At hard physical work "Uncle Ben" and "Uncle Hyrum" had few equals and no superiors, and filled places as outstanding characters in this mission, where men of this kind were at a premium and indispensible.


Just a little human story to illustrate getting on among the native children of the "Desert" of San Juan. Brother Hyrum P. called on me to go with him to try and recover a pair of new shoes that had been stolen by a Navajo lady. After crossing the river (San Juan) by Bluff and out several miles on a prominent mesa south, we found the "Lady" sitting comfortably in her hogan, and how she did protest her innocence when we inquired about shoes, inviting us to search the premises, pointing in different directions, which we proceeded to do quite thoroughly, but all the time keeping an eye on her. After searching every place in and about the hogan that offered a hiding place for the shoes, finally asking her to get up, and the protest she did offer and the fuss she kicked up until we had to take her by the arms and forcibly raise her up, revealing the stolen shoes amid her screams and jabbering. She was a big fat husky lass and it was no child's play. We returned with the shoes and for some time after this occurrance she had a good laugh when she met either of us.


Among the pioneers the name of William Adams should be mentioned. As a careful, shrew, close figurer, a kind of a Benjamin Franklin to live within ones means, just what was needed to set the pace in a new isolated country. Had a large family of boys, all of whom developed into wide awake stockmen, them and also their children.

William Adams was a man of strong religious faith and lived a consistant Christian life, both by precept and example, and came from a race that has furnished the world of other nations many strong characters, furnished our nation many police and other peace officers.


Showing how very important it is to have an education if one would get rich. 
There was a man in our town who could neither read nor write. He was foreign born and had never been in school, yet he had a pleasing address and some natural gifts. He heard that the position of sexton at the Church was vacant, and being out of a job he applied for the post. Having good recommendations, and being of sober habits and industrious he was favorably received. The trustees were about to grant him the place when one asked him if he could read and write. He answered no. They declined then to employ him. It would never do to have a sexton who was entirely illiterate. He had a friend who kept a tobacco shop. To him he told his failure. "I'll tell you what I'll do for you, Tony," said his friend. "Here's a box of cigars I'll give you, go out and sell them, go ahead." "All right," exclaimed Tony. He sold the cigars. With the proceeds he bot more, and so on. He discovered that he was an excellent salesman. It was not long until he set up a little cigar store of his own. His business thrived; his middle name was business. He had in his veins the blood of a profit. A little while and he had a dozen stores all doing well. Then he bot a lot and store building. He sold at an advance. He pursued his real estate operations and was uniformly successful. One day he came into his bank out of breath and said to the cashier, "Say, I want a hundred thousand dollars and want it quick. Could you let me have it. If I can get it before three o'clock I stand to make a big killing. Go on now and lend it to me." The cashier looked at him curiously and smiled. "What do you want to borrow money for, Tony? Do you know how much you have in here?" "No." "Your balance is over 250,000 dollars." "Gee." "Didn't you know?" "No, I don't know nothing about figures. I can't even read and write." "Good Heavens," cried the cashier, "What might you have been if you had had an education." "Well," replied Tony, after a moment's reflection, "I might have been a sexton."


BARTON BROTHERS, JOSEPH AND AMASA, tidy, orderly, thrifty, resourceful, honest, all around good citizens, consistent members of the L.D.S. Church, both husky strong men. Amasa was murdered by two Navajo Indians. (The account of this unfortunate affair is told in another part of these writings) will just say here that not a particle of evidence was ever brot out to show that Amasa had wronged the Indian in any way. Had Amasa known that the Indians had come for trouble he could easily have done both of them up, as he could have knocked both of them cold, or he could have used a pistol that he always kept convenient. To his own undoing he permitted them to take him at a disadvantage with a taut rope around his neck, and one of them locked on to his arms from behind, and it was not until Amasa had been shot a time or two in the top of his head did he realize that the two Navajoes meant business, and he jerked them around so rough that the one with rope and gun missed his aim and shot the Navajo behind, who let go all holds and ran outside and fell dead without a groan or a word. The other Indian finding himself alone, fled in haste, but during the skirmish our powerful, big-hearted friend had received two or three pistol shots in the top of his head; like the giants of ancient, lived 7 days with those bullets in his brains.

Joseph F., one of the partners in the company that was located at Rencon, 10 miles west of Bluff, Utah. The company consisted of Amasa and Joseph F. Barton, Ernest and Frank H. Hyde. I think their company name or business was "Hyde and Barton."

Joseph F. took a leading place in education, civil and religious, and financial affairs, held official positions in all of above features of progress and civilization. Having him and family as my nearest neighbor for 24 years, I found them 100 percent fine. Brother Barton was an all around handy, helpful, exemplary neighbor; quite a veterinarian, understood many of the ailments of domestic animals, and for planning all corrals, outhouses, etc., his gift or ability along those lines was an asset to the community where he lived, and later in life he had the opportunity of "building a home by the side of the road and being a friend to man."--a home and surroundings that stood as a credit to southeastern Utah. This was at Verdure, Utah, where he and family resided for many years, and where he passed on from this mortal school. One of his sons, Karl S., is living with his family at Verdure.


JAMES BEAN DECKER, another of the outstanding pillars among the early pioneers, worked on the lead in many lines of San Juan's early school board for many years and made sacrifices to forward education by attending school himself at Provo and having his children also attend the Provo University. Did what was in his power to do to forward the art of music, taking the lead of the Bluff Ward Choir; a consistant church member; raising a large family of boys and girls, and was taken from mortality with four of their children in a seige of diptheria, just before science found the way to head that dread disease off.

Brother James B. Decker was even-tempered, cool, careful, good judgement, not easily stampeded, resourceful, a good husband and father, and citizen of our country, and a thorough Latter-day Saint. Headed for Celestial Glory. His children as well as the rest of us will need to step out and up if we keep along side of him and his faithful companion, Anna Mickelson Decker, who if she cannot say good things about people will keep still, with good Christian patience and faith for the future, still living (1933) and cheerfully doing her bit.

In very early San Juan history Brother James B. was with other good scouts in starting operations at Verdure, which appeared then, as always, to offer a favorable location for a few families. He did some work, besides filling the requirements of the land laws, for taking up homesteads; first the "cowboys" who were employed by the Carlisle Bros. (Harold and Edward, Ted.) The above named company had done a lot of fencing, etc., in different places, with the intention of bluffing actual settlers away. Brother Decker was not the kind to be bluffed, and in the experience that followed this matter Brother Decker fell heir to the title "Lawyer Decker."


(The following is the contents of a letter written to Alvin F. Smith, December 15, 1933 by Kumen Jones. Spelling, punctuation, etc. are the same as the typed letter received.)

Blanding, Utah
Dec. 15, 1933
Alvin F. Smith, Librarian, Historian's Office, 47 E. So. Temple St. Salt Lake City,

Dear Bro. Smith: Answering your inquiry of a day or so ago. Under the administration of Prest. John Taylor in the latter part of 1878, with others I was called to locate and establish an outpost as near the "Four corners where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona corner together as feasable a location as possible, where contact could be had with the different tribes of Indians, Navajoes, Utes and Pahutes located on Reservations in this neighborhood. Early in spring of 1879, under leadership of Silas S. Smith, a party of Scouts made an exploring trip going by way of "Lee's Ferry", "Moencopy" (now "Tuby City," then turning north easterly across the Navajo Reserve to San Juan River, after scouting the country in all directions and making some "Locations," started towards Home, north past Blue Mts., at its eastern base, and LaSall, near its west base, crossing "Grand River", Green River, through Castle Valley, Salina, Richfield, Beaver, back to Iron Co., making a complete circle. While we were away, the Church Authorities sent some scouts out southeasterly from Escalanta down to find a nearer route across the Colorado River to the San Juan taking these Escalanta Scouts report as to their finding a favorable crossing, the big company started out on the new found trail and reached the designated round up camp along in November where we first discovered that we had two choices, return or face The "Hole in the Rock." Former Governor's party were camped near where the photo was taken, you sent me and I asked the question "Well Governor what do you think of this for a road." After a moments thought His answer was; "Well, Mr Jones, we have a comfortable place at Provo for anyone who would think of making a road in a place such as this." But as with Escalanta 103 years earlier in this very neighborhood the Religious urge would not brook the thought of backing down, in or under any condition or circumstance, by the more or less seasoned members of our party and the younger members fell into line after several conferences of the big camp, resulting in united and jolly good spirit which lasted until the journey end.

It was the opinion of all in the company that the honor of driving the first wagon down through the "Hole" belonged to Uncle Ben Perkins, as the jolliest best workman experienced miner etc. But he hesitated saying his team was not trusty and turned to me with the excuse that a miner could not be expected to be good as a teamster and as I had a fairly well broke team I would hitch them on his wagon and drive them down and then put my own through.

There was 83 wagons and buggys went down and across the river with out an accident of any sort, as we left the river starting up Cottonwood Canyon had a "tipover" but nothing broken or damaged There were three children born, but no death, or any one crippled for which we felt to praise and thank providence for His wonderful care over us in this long journey over one of the roughest places for a road on earth. Hoping the above will give the information desired.

You brother
(Signed) K. J.

P.S. Having no typewriter I have been asking parties who are seeking for data etc, on San Jaun that in case they have it typed, after correcting the errors, to send one of the copies to me. K.J.