Jirene's Genealogy Treasures

Genealogical Information of Interest on my Ancestors: Morris and Ellsworth families including Lee, Halladay, Wanslee, Gordge, McFerren, and Blackhurst (England, Ireland, Wales, Australia to the US: Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Utah and Arizona), and the Butler and Adams families including Hancock, Lind, DeWitt, McCleve, Thetford, and Nielsen (England, Ireland, Denmark to the US: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri, Utah, and Arizona).

Jul 18, 2010

Called to Colonize Arizona at 25: David Edward Adams

Much is written about the LDS Pioneers to Utah, however, I was reading some family histories and was impressed by that same pioneering spirit that sent the LDS people to other parts of the country at the request of Brigham Young.  David Edward Adams and his wife, Caroline Henrietta Lind, are part of that story as they were called to colonize Arizona.

As you read below, you will find that this young family moved and colonized some 14 different places in Arizona:  Northern Arizona and the White Mountain areas of Joseph City, Show Low, Forestdale, Linden, Taylor and Pinetop, as well as the southeastern areas of Bryce and Central (near Safford).  It is hard to imagine living the life of a pioneer without all of the modern conveniences we take for granted, such as good roads, fast vehicles, and an abundance of food at every stop.  I hope that as you read this pioneer story that you too will appreciate what our ancestors endured to colonize this great country.

David Edward Adams (known as Edward), was born November 27, 1851, to David and Maria Thetford Adams in Northampton, England.  They had joined the LDS Church and desired to join the other saints in Utah Territory.  Their family's pioneer story to Utah sounds similar to other LDS pioneers in their day.  Edward was five years old when his mother and two younger brothers left England on November 1, 1856, sailing for two months on the Columbia before arriving in New York on January 18 1857.  (His dad had gone ahead to earn money for their passage.)  Their family remained in New York until May, then traveled to Council Bluffs, Iowa, to join the other LDS pioneers.  From there they traveled by covered wagon and oxen to Utah Valley.  Edward and his brother William walked most of the way.  He and his family settled in Mountainville (Alpine), Utah.

In 1876, Edward was called on a mission by President Brigham Young to help colonize Arizona.  He was only 25 years old.  He was courting Caroline Henrietta Lind at the time, and she said she would only go with him if they were married.  They were married on January 24, 1876 in the Old Endowment House in Salt Lake City.  Edward had to dispose of his land and property, bought the best pair of young mules in town, a new Schuttler wagon and harness (costing $700), and a year's supply of provisions and some farm implements.  Within two weeks these newlyweds were on their way.

They made their way through Kanab, Utah.  They had to leave half of their load in Kanab and would come back for it after they were settled.  After a couple of days, one of his mules had became so bad it could hardly be led.  He had to leave another wagon load, and by the time they made it to Lee's Ferry, they were even worse off.  They carried on and eventually settled at Allen's camp near the Little Colorado River in Arizona (near Holbrook).  He had left so much behind on the trail that during that summer he returned to Kanab three times to retrieve their things.

While at Allen's camp, there were about 60 men and 6 women total.  They build a long dining hall and a huge eight foot wide fireplace.  Edward was appointed the cook and the women assisted him in baking bread and other items in the dutch ovens.  The people at Allen's camp joined another group of people to build a dam across the river, and each company had a canal and irrigated the crops they had planted until a flood took out the dam and the crops died for lack of water.  Edward and friend Alfred Cluff decided to move farther down the river and built a fort to live in, but later relocated to where another settlement (now Joseph City, Arizona).  Times got worse, so Edward and Alfred Cluff decided to rent Show Low Ranch from a Mr. Cooley.  Show Low Ranch was a nice little valley at the foot of the Timberland Mountains, with a good irrigation stream running through it.  Having no vacant houses on the ranch, they hewed and cut logs and soon each of their families had comfortable log cabins.

In 1878, Mr. Cluff and Edward decided to homestead a little valley among the pines about six miles southwest of Show Low Ranch, to which Mr. Cooley was not very happy and tried to dissuade them.  They cleared the land and planted crops nonetheless, and soon they were joined by eight other families.  Their colony was called Forestdale.  (They also named one of their girls Maria Forestdale Adams).  There was no corn in the country, so Edward went to Utah and brought back the first 1,000 pounds of corn.  They did well selling it to the others.  He also began raising dairy cows and had quite a few stock.

After about three years of living in Forestdale, Edward and Caroline decided to visit Utah for Christmas.  He fitted a horse and team and headed north.  They only stayed a few days in Utah once they arrived, as he was worried about his cattle.  His fears were justified, as when he returned to Arizona his cattle were scattered and things were in a sad state.  Mr. Cooley (who was still unhappy with them) had been busy with General Cook in building monuments and putting up signs along the water sheds between the Gila and Little Colorado River.  Troops and Indian Agents were changed at Fort Apache, and apparently the reservation maps were destroyed.  David and Caroline pleaded their case in Congress for remuneration for their losses, but the new Indian Agent wrote Edward a letter telling him to get off the land.

Edward and his family had to move to Ellsworth Ranch and remained there the balance of the winter.  They had traded the last of their cattle for four mules and a heavy wagon, and began a freighting business.  Later they had to move again due to the Indian uprising, this time to Taylor, Arizona.  Edward bought a city lot and some lumber and built another house. He freighted for a while, but he got an offer from John Reidhead for 15 acres of land which afforded an opportunity for homesteading 160 acres total.  Edward accepted and built a house and out-buildings of considerable value, fenced 160 acres, and dry-farmed a large portion of it, as there was no running water within five miles.  They had a surface well which would dry up in the latter part of the season, requiring them to haul their cooking water five miles from the Show Low stream.

Other families soon joined them, a schoolhouse was built, and they called the settlement Juniper.  Through the efforts of Caroline, a post office was obtained.  Settlers submitted names for the post office, but the name Caroline submitted was chosen:  Linden (named after her son Lind, and her maiden name).  Juniper became Linden, and they lived there several years and had good success with their crops and stock, although at times it was necessary to herd the stock at night to avoid having them stolen.  Linden still exists to this day.

Edward thereafter went into partnership with Symon Murphy on a farm.  Times being hard, Murphy wanted to take a team of horses and mules to work on the railroad 200 miles northwest of Flagstaff.  Edward stayed and farmed their land.  When Murphy returned, Edward decided to rent the Scott Ranch on the Show Low Creek and preempted 160 acres nearby.  He built a house and other improvements on the ranch and lived there during the winter.  The ranch was on the road to Fort Apache, and being a well-traveled road by many, his provisions and hay soon ran out so he sold out to the Scotts and moved back to Linden.

While in Linden he and a gentleman named Oscar Reidhead accumulated 1,000 head of ewes.  They would drive them 150 to 200 miles northwest of Phoenix in the winter to the high grass.  This venture turned out to not be too good, so he returned home.  A neighbor, James Lee, talked Edward into a sawmill partnership at Pinetop for $3,000.  The sawmill proved a poor investment at the time, because lack of demand and people were too poor to buy or trade.  However, Lee was charged with an embezzlement charge on another matter and left in the middle of the night.  Edward was now the sole owner of the saw mill with a fair-sized debt, but he was able to pay for the mill in less than one year.

After three narrow escapes of the mill almost burning down, Edward decided to sell the mill and move to the Gila Valley.  He bought 160 acres of property in the Bryce area through a squatters right.  The property was fenced, had good springs, as well as a lumber house with improvements.  He sold the mill for cows and horses and stayed in Pinetop through December, 1896.  Most of his family was stricken with illness, several having typhoid and pneumonia, and the baby Mary (known as May, my grandmother) was sick with no doctor nearby.  Soon their health improved, and they left the Pinetop/Linden area for the Gila Valley.

Upon reaching Bryce, Edward felt the property he had purchased was so rough and covered with big stumps that they decided to buy 56 acres in Central, Arizona instead.  Edward bought the old Central White Rock School house and men helped him haul material to the property.  He built a nice house finished with brick.  Edward would grow and bale hay, and Alonzo Cluff would haul it to Globe for sale. He sold off a couple of acres of his land and purchased fruit trees, which later became a wonderful fruit orchard for his family.

In November of 1905, Edward decided to visit his parents in Alpine, Utah.  He also visited his wife's sister, Marian Lind Williams, who was a widow with six children struggling to maintain her family.  Edward convinced her to come to Arizona and assisted her financially.  Caroline had not been feeling well when Edward had left on his journey to Utah, and she worsened while he was gone those two months.  Her health continued to decline, and she died on September 10, 1906.

Edward and his sister-in-law Marian, both now being widowed and having small children, decided to help each other out with their families, and married on July 11, 1907.  Three additional children were born to them during their marriage.

About the time of Edward's second marriage, a large canal was taken out to irrigate the land above his farm.  Unfortunately, his farm became water-logged, killing his lovely orchard and 40 acres of alfalfa.  Edward had accumulated a good dairy herd as well, so he was able to rent Jim Porter's farm for $600 a year, complete with 40 acres of alfalfa and 40 acres of grain land.  He also borrowed $1,000 from a Safford bank to buy Porter's 16 head of Holstein dairy cows, only because Porter needed the money because he was called on a mission.

The first year crops were bad due to heavy rains breaking the dam and washing out the canal, also spoiling the hay.  His wheat was nearly destroyed by Bryce stock.  Marian's daughters helped harvest and bale what hay was left.  Edward had trouble making the loans and had to leave Porter's ranch, still owing him $18.  Edward traded his other property for 20 acres adjoining the 20 acres he already had, and moved once again to start grubbing mesquite tree stumps, leveling land, subduing alkali, making ditches and fences.  Edward borrowed money again and bought back 13 head of his herd he had sold, and fortunately in two years they had paid for themselves as well as supported the family.  They stayed in Bryce for several years.

In 1919, Edward and Marian went to visit Marian's daughter Elsie Palmer in Salt River, Arizona (near Phoenix).  Marian was quite taken with the country, and Edward was impressed with the pima cotton being sold on the land at the time.  Edward entered into a deal in the Orange Belt near the Arizona Canal on 16th Street, but later discovered his land was only an unimproved rock bed.  He was able to get the people to take the place back, but he lost $500 on the deal.

Edward and Marian returned to Bryce, and with the help of his two sons-in-law, William Butler (my grandfather) and William Watson, they got the crops planted and later sold them for $4,000.  He had tried leasing the land several times thereafter, but got his land back in worse condition than before.  He thought he had sold his land to Mort Merrill, and after a couple of payments the farm was sold for back taxes and water assessments due.  Edward was 81 years old at the time, and it looked like he had lost everything, but after a little more shifting around he came out on top.

In 1933, Edward was now 82 years old, receiving a $20 a month old age pension.  His youngest son took over the place, and he also sold some of the acreage to his daughter and son-in-law.  On December 18, 1833, the first electric lights came to Central, Arizona, and four light bulbs cost $25.  Edward and Marian enjoyed a life of traveling in their senior years, traveling to Utah again to visit family, and also to Phoenix and Prescott.  David bought an accordion and was overheard playing it while in Prescott, so he was asked to perform before 200 people at the Pioneers Home in Prescott.

At 87 years of age, he passed away at his home in Central on June 7, 1939.  Edward left a large posterity in Arizona to inherit the great state he was called upon in his youth to colonize.

Excerts taken from the life story told by David Edward Adams to his daughters, and submitted by granddaughter Lavona A. Cheney.

Jul 5, 2010

My Revolutionary War Ancestors: From Drummer to Serving under Benedict Arnold

This Independence Day weekend prompted me to research which of my ancestors served in the American Revolutionary War.  (It also helped that Footnote.com was offering a free search this weekend!).  I wasn't having too much success (problems with Footnote.com's servers being busy - go figure), so I decided to read blog posts to which I subscribe.

I came upon a blog post (Family History Expos' blog) that suggested when researching Revolutionary War veterans, to also research the databases of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.  I ran a few names from our family history through the DAR database and found some wonderful nuggets of information.  Here's a sampling of what I found:

Josiah Bearce (1755-1845), of New Milford, Litchfield, Connecticut:  He was a Private, and served under Captains Reuben Bostwick and Benjamin Stone.  He also served under Colonels Silliman and Fellows.

Supply Reed (1754-1847), of Chelmsford, Massachusetts:  He was a Private, and served under Captains Parker and Ford, as well as Colonel Jonathan Reed.

John Byam (1761-1835), also of Chelmsford, Massachusetts:  He was a Private, but was also a drummer.  He served under Captains Minot More and Foster, as well as Colonels Reed and Howes.

Jacob Ward (1756-?), of Somerset, Connecticut:  He was a Private serving under Captain Ames Walbridge and Colonel Charles Webb.

Stith Parham Sr (1730-1793), of Sussex County, Virginia:  Although he didn't fight in the war, he was recognized for his patriotic service in Virginia by furnishing supplies.

Israel Ellsworth (aka Israel Ellsworth Holliday) (1755-1834), of Pittsford, Rutland, Vermont:  He served in the Green Mountain Boys unit under Captin Peleg of Sunderland, Vermont.  He also was on the "line" with Cols. Ethan Allen (founder of Vermont) and Benedict Arnold (traitor for the British).   

Side note:  Benjamin Franklin wrote that "Judas sold only one man, Arnold three million."  Funny coincidence, though:  my sister's husband descends from Benedict Arnold.  Small world!

Although I don't know these relatives that well, I do know a little more about Israel Ellsworth Holliday because of the family "legend."  His true name is Israel Ellsworth, and the family story* is that following the war he disappeared about 1790, leaving his wife Hopestill Stevens in Pennsylvania with five children.  No one knew of his whereabouts until his Revolutionary War Pension Application in 1832 (which I did retrieve from Footnote.com; to be shared in a later story).  It seems Israel abandoned his family, assumed his mother's maiden name (Holliday), moved to Virginia, then married Ann Bennett.  He and Ann made their home in Fairfax, Virginia, and had four children.

Hopestill Stevens Ellsworth's version of the events (as recorded by a gentleman named Caleb Hendee) was that Israel, "in a fit of insanity," went into the woods and never was seen afterwards.  Hopestill left her Pennsylvania home and returned to her family in Pittsford, Vermont.  There she married again to a Mr. Patterson, with whom she lived for some years until he left her.  Later she married Willard Seaton.  It seems they were well matched, "both bad enough," and they lived together for some years.  Thereafter he left her and Hopestill went into Upper Canada and there married a fourth time.

Though I digressed into divulging "family dirt" about my ancestors (admit it, it's the fun part of genealogy!), I do have a sincere gratitude for their serving this great Country in its infancy.  I know a blog post remembering them does not compare, but learning these little nuggets about them instills in me a great pride.  Thank you, Patriots.

The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree.  
~Thomas Campbell~

*See book on Ancestry.com called Our Ellsworth Ancestors.
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