HYRUM SMITH LEWIS
1868 - 1955
A Collection of Writings
His Grandson, Lee Lewis
August 22, 1991
Hyrum was a contributor. He wrote much about others, particularly his father, James Stapleton Lewis, and the homesteading of his farm. I rather suspect that his daughter, Rachel, had a hand in many of the things that he wrote, particularly those for the newspapers and the Seventy-niners.
He contributed in many other ways, too, to the heritage that he had and left a heritage for those of us who follow. He served his fellow man, his country, and his religion. He was a leader, serving several terms in the Idaho House of Representatives, including Speaker of the House. He was the kind of leader that inspired others to follow.
HYRUM S. LEWIS
Birth and Parentage
Hyrum S. Lewis, farmer and rancher at Declo, Cassia County, is one of the oldest native sons of southern Idaho. He was born at Montpelier, one of the early communities in Bear Lake County, May 12, 1868. His father was a pioneer of both Utah and Idaho. Mr. Lewis is a son of James Stapleton and Mary (Swenson) Lewis.
His father was born in Bellbrook, Green County, Ohio February 22, 1814, son of Joel Lewis, a soldier of the war of 1812, and grandson of Joseph Lewis, who was a soldier in the American Revolution.
James Stapleton Lewis was 38 years old when he came across the plains to Utah in 1852. His wife was born in Calmer, Sweden, November 4, 1832 and came to Utah alone about 1865. James Lewis spent all his life as a farmer. He was one of the early settlers at Albion, taking up a homestead there June l, 1875. He was the first elder of the Latter-Day Saints Church at Albion and served as a member of the High Council of the Cassia Stake. His wife was the first counselor of the Women's Relief Society in the Albion Ward. James S. Lewis was a Democrat in politics. He died in May, 1901 and his wife [died] in 1918. They were married in Utah. Of their three children, two are living: Rachel, wife of Thomas Harper, and Hyrum S.
Hyrum S. Lewis attended the first school taught in Marsh Basin [Albion], Idaho, later spent five months in the Brigham Young College at Logan, Utah, and during the following winter attended the Albion State Normal School. He began farming at an early age, and his experience as a farmer and stock raiser covers over forty years.
Homesteading the Declo Farm
In 1904 he entered the homestead which is the nucleus of his present holdings. He cleared off the sagebrush and his labors have been a contribution to the general development of this section of the state. Cattle raising and farming have been his chief business.
Mr. Lewis is a Republican in politics and has served as High Priest of the Latter Day Saint Church. He did missionary work for his church in the Indian Territory Mission, and in Oklahoma in 1892. He was the first presiding elder and Sunday School Superintendent in the Marshfield branch, now Declo. He also served as the first Justice of Peace in Marshfield, and he took a leading part in the creation of the Marshfield precinct, and has been precinct committeeman most of the time since.
He is a member of the organization known as the 79ers which meets every year at the Albion State Normal [School]. He was elected president in 1923, and since 1925 has held that office continuously. At the meeting in 1931 he was presented with a key which opens everything at the school.
His Wife, Her Parentage, and Their Children
Mr. Lewis married, November 8, 1888, Harriet Hunsaker. She was born at Brigham City, Utah, March 13, 1871, daughter of Abraham and Harriet (Beckstead) Hunsaker.
Abraham Hunsaker's name is enrolled as a member of the famous Mormon Battalion. He was born in Union County, Illinois, November 29, 1812, served as a first sergeant of Company D of the Mormon Battalion, and after his service with that organization during the Mexican War arrived in Utah October 3, 1848. For many years he was a bishop of his church. He was a farmer, stock raiser and miller.
The children of Mr. & Mrs. Lewis are: Hyrum Leroy Lewis, a stock raiser at Albion, Idaho; Harriet Eola, wife of Robert F. Fisher; Camilla, wife of James Bronson, Jr., a farmer and sheep man at Springdale, Idaho; Rachel, and Oleen, both at home; Wayne, on his father's farm; and Reed Hunsaker Lewis of California.
HYRUM SMITH LEWIS
Sunday, October 9, 1892 - Salt Lake City, Utah
... went to the Tabernacle at 10:00 am. My wife not being able to go on account of LeRoy being unwell. Pres. Wilford Woodruff spoke and bore a powerful testimony of the work we are engaged in. He was followed by Apostle F.M. Lyman who spoke concerning the temple and its completion. Met with Pr. Thomas Harper. Mr. Harper and wife, also A. Kimball and other friends - he went to the Cannon House and lunched with us.
Met at the Tabernacle at l:30 pm. Listened to the remarks of J. George Q. Cannon. After, met Bro. D.K. Green. Went to Bro. Kimball's house and made acquaintance with Sister Kimball, Kelly, Woodburry and the Elders Lows. The time was spent in conversing upon the Indian Territory Mission.
After supper, we went to the Temple Block. They went to the meeting, but I returned to my family at the Cannon House. LeRoy seemed to be no better, so I went in search of Dr. Young, but he was not at home.
Monday, October 10th
LeRoy seemed to be no better. Dr. S. B. Young was summoned and he advised me to remain for a few days until he got better. Did not give any medicine. I met Dr. Wright and advised to get him to attend him. He came and examined him and in the eve. gave medicine and treated him. Said his bring was involved.
I went to the Historian's office at 10:00 am and gave in my genealogy and at 2:00 pm we met there with all the Elders who were going on missions and after prayer by S. B. Young we were set apart. I was blessed and ordained to the office of a seventy by Apostle J.H. Smith assisted by S. B. Young and B.H. Roberts. After all the elders were set apart, we received instructions for Apostle J. H.Smith, F. R. Lyman, S. B. Young, and B. H. Roberts. I was made acquainted with Elder Rawlins, presiding elder of the Indian Territory Mission.
Tuesday, October 11th - Salt Lake City
We purchased tickets and made arrangements for our journey in the fore part of the day and in the afternoon my wife and I walked around on Main Street. I received a blessing for Bp. Thomas Harper and assisted in blessing Bro. R. M. Parker. We, the Bro. Harpers and I administering to LeRoy who was sick after which I blessed my wife Harriett and daughter Eola.
About 8:00 pm we said goodbye and parted in tears asking the blessings of God upon each other.
We reached the Denver & Rio Grande Depot and found Bro. Hyrum Holmes waiting and soon came Bro. W. M. Rollins and Joseph and Tom Lowe which composed the company of Elders for the Indian Territory. Pres. A. Kimball and Elder T. C. Stowford came on board of the train and bade us goodbye. I did not sleep but very little during the night and was glad to see the light of day at Green River.
Wednesday, October 12th
After passing Glenwood, where the train stopped one hour and forty minutes at the entrance of the Grand Canyon, a large rock was found in the track. The train stopped and it was moved off. The scenery in the canyon was grand. There was quite a bit of snow which made things look like winter and it snowed and stormed some all day which made it seen quite gloomy. We passed through seven tunnels, the first 1300 feet and the last 26 feet; changed cars at Grand Junction and trainmen. Ate breakfast. Arrived at Pueblo at 1:20 am.
Thursday, October 13, 1892 - Pueblo, Colorado
Snowed in Pueblo. Waiting for train to go to Ft. Gibson. Train arrived 9:30 am and after 30 minutes delay was on our journey after waiting eight hours for the train which was blockaded in the snow. We arrived in Genesea, Kansas at 8:30 pm where we had to stop until 7:40 am. Registered at the Pacific Hotel and had a good night's rest.
Friday 14th, Genesea, Kansas
7:00 am up and dressed. Came to depot found train in. After passing thousands of acres of cornfields, we came to Andale. There were two Catholic Bishops on train and they got off. There the flags were flying in the air, brass bands out and we expected a grand parade. The procession started and the music too, but the team and buggy that the Bishops were in balked and they had to get out and walk to the church.
We arrived at Wichita, Kansas at 11:30 am. Had a walk in town which is a fine town. Population about 2500 and has about six miles of beautiful paved streets. We left on the 9:45 pm train which was late. Arrived at 2:00 am at Yates Center and changed cars. Left there 3:20 am.
We beheld the light of day when we reached Coffersville and passing another station brought us into the Indian Territory. We arrived at Fort Gibson at 11:00 am and there met Bro. Nicles Allen and Labrum who gladly welcomed us. Among them Bro. Harper Holmes and myself took stage for Maynard________ wife's distance and there met Uncle Hendry and wife. Martin and wife and son.
Had dinner and after dinner went to the meeting house which is a good house 24x14 made of oak logs. Had a good meeting. Bro. Woodbury and Bro. Rawlins occupied the time. After the meeting, the Elders practiced some Hymns. We then returned to Uncle Hendricks and the evening was spent in music and singing and jokes. Uncle said it was bedtime. Prayer offered by Pres. Rawlins and we retired about 11:00 pm.
Sunday, October 16th
Breakfast being over, Bro. R. M. Harper and I went into the woods.Found some water and had a good bath. Went to the meeting house and practiced some hymns with the elders and at 10:00 am our meeting commenced. There were present ten traveling elders and some local elders. The congregation numbered about 50 souls. Opening prayer was offered by H. S. Lewis and a hymn sung after the dedicatory prayer was offered by Pres. Rawlins. Had a good meeting. Met at 2:00 pm. The evening spent in singing and music. I gave a recitation.
Monday 17th October 1892
I wrote letters to Father, wife and Deseret News Company. Met at 2:00 pm in Priesthood meeting. I spoke and bore testimony. I was set apart to labor with Elder Rawlins by H. M. Rawlins assisted by Elder George Labrum. 7:00 pm met at the meeting house and had a full house. Had a good entertainment consisting of singing, music and a speech by H. M. Rawlins.
Tuesday 18, 1892
After breakfast, I hunted the cows and assisted Bro. Rawlins to milk. It was raining. The team was got by the boys and we started for Fort Gibson arriving at the U.S. National Military Cemetery of Ft. Gibson at 12:00 noon. We stopped was were introduced to Mr. Dickson by Leslie Nicholas.
The Cemetery was established 1868 contents: Interments 2123, Known 156, Unknown 1967. After singing some hymns and music on the organ, we surrounded the board spread with the bounties of life and partook freely thereof. After dinner,we walked into the cemetery and viewed the marble stones that stand in remembrance of those that died for our (that freed our) country. We then went to Ft. Gibson. I bought a pair of shoes for $2.00 and there separated with Joseph Lowe, Geo. Labrum, and Uncle Mabry who went to _____________.
On our way back to Maynard, Elder Rawlings put Elders Homes and Lowe out to seek shelter and find refuge. Showed them the house and a little further on, Reese and I started almost dark to ask for lodging. We were kindly taken in by a Mrs.Patten who prepared supper and after we talked some in regard to our faith and the principles of the gospel. We retired to rest at 10:10 pm.
Wednesday, October 19
After enjoying the sweet sleep of the night, we arouse at 6:00 am and I walked into the cotton field and viewed the beauties of it. Made preparations for breakfast and we again partook of foot. We left about 9:30 am and went into the woods where we thanked God for the blessings we were enjoying. Sat down on a log for some time and walked on until we came to a house where we inquired the road and passed on to the next house where we got a drink of water and they gave us an apple. We thanked her and told her we would call again.
We walked to Auntie Hicks and were ready for dinner which was provided for us. After dinner, I asked if we could stop all night and she said we could. We then went to the post office about one mile east. Uncle Hendricks informed me there were two letters at the house for me, so I went and glad to learn that LeRoy was better. After supper, we spent in writing. We walked five miles.
Thursday 20th, 1892
We arose at 7:00 am and prepared for breakfast. I then wrote to Alva and at 9:30 am we started for Maynard. I wrote a letter to Fred Ottley. After dinner, we were sent to Sister Freeman, a distance of 2 1/2 miles. We took a wrong road and walked about six miles and found the house at 4:30 pm where we were welcomed. We sang some hymns.
While supper was being prepared and after supper, I read tract No. 1 written by Elder J. Nicholson on the first principles of the gospel. Bro. Harper talked and testified to the truthfulness of our work and labor of God. I offered prayer and we went to bed at 9:30 pm.
Friday, October 19, 1892
Rained most of the night. Very cloudy this morning. Busied ourselves posting in our journals. Had boiled chicken, honey, and____ for breakfast. 10:00 am -- still raining and we are tired to reading for a change. I wrote to Wm. F. Brimm and then read more. After dinner, we started through the rain to Uncle Hendricks and_____. Arrived at Uncle's at 3:00 pm and pretty wet. The boys had a good joke on us. The day before we started for Sister Freeman's and took the wrong road and went in the opposite direction and found ourselves at the post office.
Saturday, 22, 1892
Packing grips and preparing for a trip north. Studied some before dinner. We went to the meeting house. Bro. Rawlins offered prayer. Before we separated, had dinner about 3:00 pm and soon bade each other adieu. Bro. Rawlins and I went to Auntie Hicks and stopped. The evening was spent in singing hymns and talking. I offered prayer and we retired at 9:00 pm. It rained most of the day.
Sunday, October 23
We arose - storming but somewhat colder. After breakfast, I went into the woods and had prayer. After we studied some, Bro. Rawlins and I went and had prayer. I cut some wood. The remainder of the day spent in studying scriptures. Took a walk in the woods. Talked to Auntie Hicks. Bro. Rawlins offered prayer and then I read two chapters in the Mormon Doctrine.
Still at Mrs. Hicks. Storming some. Intended going to Sister Freeman's tonight. Will wait to hear until mail comes from Ft. Gibson. After dinner, we went to the post office and found no one there. Went up to Uncle Hendrick's and stayed only a few minutes. Went from there to Sister Freeman's, a distance of 2 l/2 miles. We walked about five miles. We had supper and then held a meeting. Prayer by H. M. Rawlins and then singing. I spoke a few minutes on the first principles of the gospel and then a hymn was sung. Brother Rawlins spoke 35 minutes on the principles of the gospel comparing it with the one taught by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There were present three ladies, three children making a total of eight persons. Benediction pronounced by Hyrum S. Lewis.
Tuesday, October 25
Found the ground covered with white frost. The sun came out clear and beautiful. Started for Sister Weaver, a distance of three miles. Arrived there at 12:00 noon and after dinner, Bro. Rawlins and I went around and notified the neighbors that we would held a meeting at 7:00 pm. There were present six males and two females and one sister - total ten persons.
Meeting opened by Hyrum S. Lewis. Bro Rawlins bore testimony to the principles and explained the gospel. Hyrum S. Lewis testified to the remarks of Bro. Rawlins and that Joseph was a prophet. Benediction by H. M. Rawlins. After meeting, questions were asked by Mr. Dye and answered by Brother Rawlins. We walked six miles.
Wednesday, October 26
After breakfast, we walked to Sister Kelles'. She was not home. On our way back, we sat on a log and sang some hymns. Arrived at Sister Weaver's at 12:00 noon and went to studying. Had dinner about 2:00 pm.
Later on we took our hymn books and went into the woods - sang and had prayer. I felt somewhat melancholy, but when we came back, that feeling had left. The evening was spent in singing and reading pages by Bro. Rawlins. I had my first experience with needle and thread during the night. Bro. Rawlins almost had a chill; he felt quite bad. We traveled seven miles.
Brother Rawlins is better, but has a headache. We both feel under the weather. We leave Sister Weaver`s at 10:00 am. Stopped at Jones- read and talked to Mrs. Jones. Had dinner and she related a vision or trance her husband had while sick. The elders administered to him.
He consented to get baptized and recovered immediately, but has not fulfilled his promise. Stopped a few minutes at Mr. _____ house. Came to Mr. Morgan's. Made arrangement to hold meeting at 7:00 pm. We went around to notify the people. Had a good turn out. There were 30 grown and 10 children making a total of 40. I walked about seven miles.
After breakfast, we were asked to sing some hymns which we did. After bidding them goodbye, we started on our journey and arrived at Mr. Gound's place at 1:00 pm where we had dinner. Talked to them in regard to the gospel. They were friendly. We then went to Mr. Barr- Pecan Creek - a distance of nine miles from Mr. Morgan's. We helped unload a wagon box of apples and bring some from the field.
We were called to breakfast at 5:00 am and quickly dressed and made arrangements for the ______. After breakfast, we went to see the trustees to get the school house to hold meeting tomorrow. One consented, but the other objected, so we concluded to hold the meeting in the trustee's house at 11:00 am. We traveled around notifying the people. After dinner at Mrs. Barr's, we went to Tahlaquah - a distance of three miles - for our mail where I received two letters, one from father and the other from my wife. We walked 14 miles.
Sunday, October 30th
After breakfast, Brother Rawlins and I went into the cornfield and had prayer and then we fixed for meeting. Went in Mr. Barr's wagon with him and family to Mr. Frank's house, a distance of two miles,where we held meeting. Had a good time. They invited us back and were very friendly. There were ten souls to meeting. The remainder of the day and evening was spent in reading and talking on various subjects from the Bible. I wrote two letters, one to father, and one to wife. The crack in Mr. French's chimney has been in use 59 years.
Monday, 31st, October 1892
We arose at 7:00 am -very cloudy and it rained in the night. Had breakfast and after, we ground axes and helped Mr. Barr to raise_____.
Tuesday, November 1, 1892
Still raining. Bro Rawlins and I went together for the horses, but we had to seek shelter under a large elm tree until the rain passed by. We helped Mr. Barr raise ______ in morning. Rained so we could not work after dinner.
In the evening we walked to Tahlaquah through the mud, but when we got there, our hearts were made glad as we each received letters from our loved wives. The evening was spent in talking and reading politics and other topics of conversation. We had a good bath, also prayer and retired to our good bed. It rained a good part of the night and thundered some. We walked six miles.
Wednesday, November 2, 1892
After enjoying a sweet rest of the night, we arose at 7:00 am and found everything wet and muddy. After breakfast, we fed the horses and hogs corn and then washed our handkerchiefs and a pair of socks. The forenoon was spent in writing and reading. Took a walk in the woods and had prayer. Had an appointment for a meeting, but no one came.
Thursday, November 3, 1892
Fast day - we observed it. Left Mrs. Barr's and went to Tahlaquah and sent some letters and a photo of Mrs. Barr's family to my wife. Came to Mr. Hubbard's at 11:30 am. Had dinner there. After dinner,we got the privilege to hold meeting in his house. In the evening we proceeded to notify the people. Mr. Rowe's family came and at 7:14 pm we began our meeting. There were 14 present. Bro. Rawlins spoke 50 minutes on the first principles of the gospel. Walked 10 miles.
Friday, November 4th - Fortune Mile Creek
We left Mr. Hubbard's and arrived here, a distance of 9 miles. Had dinner at Coon_____. After dinner, we went to J. Parris's, a trustee to the schoolhouse to get permission to hold meeting. He was not at home, so we went to Mr. Wilson's and got permission. We then proceeded to notify the people. We found a good deal of prejudice towards us. Mrs. Wilson said she did not go to hear Mormons preach and _____ we were Mormons, so she did not wish to come. We had supper at Jim Pans's and went to the meeting.
There were only two who came, one of them a young Methodist school teacher who came to confront us, but was badly defeated. We could plainly see the hand workings of God in our behalf. We were in the schoolhouse and knew not where to go when a Mr. Smith told us if we could put up with them, we would be made welcome and we gladly accepted. We arrived at the house and found it well crowded. Amongst the host was a hard shell Baptist, also a lawyer.
In a very short time the Baptist and Elder Rawlins were in conversation which lasted until 11:00 pm when Mr. J.H. Smith asked Bro. Rawlins to offer prayer, which he did. J.H. Smith and all the others were very much interested in the debate though they thought the Baptist had been badly defeated. Mr. Smith desired that we remain and preach at his house the following evening which we consented to do. Walked 16 miles.
Saturday, November 5th
A lovely morning, sun warm and bright. Walked around into the woods and read and talked to each other. Went to Coon Prairie to notify them of the meeting and had dinner there. Walked back and went into the field and feasted on grapes. Had prayer and spent a very pleasant day. There were nine present at our meeting. All seemed interested and a good spirit prevailed. It as arranged we would preach at the same place at 4:00 pm Sunday. Walked four miles.
Sunday, November 6, 1892
Rained during the night. At breakfast table, I slipped a piece of bread in my pocket and at 10:00 am, we went to a spring and partook of the emblems of the broken flesh of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We sang some hymns and read. Held meeting at 4:00 pm according to appointments. There were present 14. Spent a very pleasant evening. I read some of Joseph's prophecies and a number of hymns were sung.
Monday, November 7, 1892
Rather chilly. Bro. Rawlins had a drench chill in the night. He felt rather bad, so we concluded to postpone the day. Was in bed most of the day. I got very lonesome and felt quite blue.
Tuesday, November 8
Bro. Rawlins much better. We concluded to travel on. We bade Mr. Smith goodbye. They wished us success and said we would be welcome anytime and never pass without stopping. We stopped a few minutes at Mrs. Ingram's. Bro. Rawlins got very tired before night. We arrived at Pegg's Pramia about 4:00 pm and were made welcome by Auntie Squirrel. We had wild turkey for supper. Walked ten miles. In the evening we beheld a northern light.
Wednesday, November 9
Snowed some during the night. After dinner we started for Mr. Griger's, a distance of 7 miles which place we reached at 3:00 pm. The road was very rough and through the timber. I felt very drowsy and retired early to a good bed where I enjoyed the pleasant night's rest.
Thursday, November 10
After breakfast, we made arrangements for meeting at Mr. Griger's house in the evening and we proceeded to notify all the neighbors. Walked 6 miles and at 7:30 pm we began meeting. H. M. Rawlins presiding. I spoke on the first principles of the gospel and bore my testimony. There were 11 present. I closed the meeting by prayer. During the day I wrote a letter to my sister.
Friday, November 11
We started to the P. O. at Loius Grove, a distance of 6 miles to post letters and then visited the orphan asylum 5 miles from the post office. It is a brick building enclosed with a board fence in a 5 acre lot. There was 140 people. It is for the education of the Cherokees. They have a fine field of wheat. Just this side of the asylum, the Cherokees are doing more than any other government on earth for the education of their children. We stayed at Mr. Frank Adair's place. He was not at home in the evening, but came in the night. Walked sixteen miles.
Saturday, November 12
Morning found him to be the perfect gentleman, well informed in science and educated. He did not wish to talk on religion and left us. He is a Methodist. We stopped with him until after dinner and assisted in raising a crib and putting rocks under the corners. We were invited to call again. Started for Mr. Girder's, a distance of 10 miles. We arrived at 5:00 pm.
Sunday, November 13, 1892
Studied in the forenoon and at 2:00 pm the people began to gather for the meeting which we had appointed at that place and at 2:30 pm we commenced. I presided. There were present 21. In the evening we held Sacrament meeting; after partaking of the emblems of the body of our Lord Jesus, I spoke and bore testimony of the work and of Joseph Smith being called of God. Also of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. A good spirit prevailed. There were 8 present.
Monday, November 14
After breakfast, we drew water and had a good bath. After dinner, Bro. Rawlins shingled ______ assisted to unload some corn. We went to dig Irish potatoes for dinner. Found hard work to get any.
Tuesday, November 15, 1892
Wrote to my wife and we blessed the children of Wm. Francis Taylor and Adelaid Rachel Grider Taylor. Hummen Jones Taylor, born March 12, 1888 blessed by H. M. Rawlins assisted by Hyrum S. Lewis. Julia Taylor, born October 20 1889 blessed by Hyrum S. Lewis, assisted by H. M. Rawlins. Jacariah Taylor, born February 9, 1892 blessed by H.M. Rawlins assisted by Hyrum S. Lewis.
We bade them goodbye and started on our journey; after doing some two miles, Bro. Rawlins discovered he had left his tie. We went back after it and at 11:50 am we continued our march. We thought we were lost and called at B. F. Bangise's and had dinner. They asked us to call again. We arrived at Wirnberley about 4:00 pm where we were made welcome. The evening was spent in discussing religion. Walked six miles. A script of my first month's work given on the pages preceding:
Number of meetings 10 Blessed children 3
Meetings-no one came 2 Preached to 141 Miles walked 130 Mi. rode in wagon 4
Letters wrote 12 Letters received 6
Meetings took part in 10 Meetings presided 5
Wednesday, November 16, 1892 - Grand River
We arrived at the river and crossed in a skiff. It is about 300 feet wide. The river being very low. We called on Mr. Geo. Lewis and found him to be a perfect gentleman. Inquired about a meeting and a school house. We were referred to a Mr. Smith and soon on our way to find his place. He being absent, but his wife consented and we proceeded to notify the people; when we left Mr. Lewis's and got to the gate, he called and said, "Boys, come back to dinner" which we did.
We had 19 to meeting and a good order prevailed. We came back to Mr. Lewis's and had a beautiful furnished room and bed to sleep in which we appreciated very much. Mr. Lewis is a large man of 265 pounds and has a noble heart and a fine wife. We walked six miles.
November 17th - Thursday
Rainy, windy, and a disagreeable morning, but after breakfast, we started on our journey. When we got about a miles distance from Mr. Lewis's, it was so bad we concluded to stop, so we went into Mr. Smith's and stayed until after dinner. I had contracted a very bad cold and felt very miserable. We walked about four miles and it being my turn to ask for lodging, I did so. It was a fine large house and every indication of plenty and prosperity, but she informed me they were Methodists and could not accommodate us, so we walked to the next house. Bro. Rawlins asked, but they could not keep us.
The next house I tried with the results of above. We traveled on and arrived at Pryor Creek at 7:00 pm and there we found lodging at _________ house. Had a good bed which we enjoyed very much after walking 11 miles through rain, wind, and mud.
November 18 - Friday
We sat down and rested many times. Stopped at a house and inquired for Mr. Billings. We were informed it was about 5 miles. We were then hungry and tired. I asked if they had been to dinner and she explained they had. They seemed very cool -- they were from Missouri. I asked if she had any milk. She said they did not get very much and we started on and arrived at Mr. Billings's very tired and hungry. They were very much pleased to see me and we were made welcome. Mr. Billings soon prepared dinner for us and we appreciated it. The evening was spent in talking over old times. I felt like I was at home. Walked ten miles.
November 19th Saturday
I wrote to father in the morning. After dinner, we walked a distance of 3 miles to Adair to see if we could get the meeting house to preach in. Mr. Longley, being the 1st of the trustees we met, readily consented and also did the others, and soon word was circulated that Sunday at 11:00 am we would hold meeting. We went back to Mr. Billings's making a distance of 6 miles.
November 20th, Sunday
At 10:00 am we left Mr. Billings's to hold our meeting and we were compelled to walk as fast as we could in order to get in there when Sunday [School] was out, and arrived just in time. At 11:00 am called our meeting to order. I prayed and spoke. Our congregation consisted of 60 in number. After we dismissed, Mr. Langley, one of the trustees, invited us home with him to dinner. Had a pleasant talk with him and at 3:00 pm we went to the house where there was a meeting of the young folks and remained until it was out. We then walked to Mr. Billings's making a distance of 6 miles. After the family had gone to bed upstairs, we had Sacrament.
November 21st, Monday
We started to find Mr. J. B. Lewis, who I thought to be a relative of ours. We walked some 4 miles to his place and found no one there, so we started back and had dinner at Mr. Smith's on Rock Creek. We then started towards Chelsea where we expect mail. We got some 5 miles west of Adair. We asked for a place to stop. It was a very large house and barn and the proprietor, G. W. Clark, was one of the councilmen. We were made welcome.
After supper, we talked and explained the gospel. Had a very interesting time singing by two young ladies. We were called to prayer and one of the young ladies gave me her bible to read from. I read the 26th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles and Bro. Rawlins prayed. None of them kneeled. They belong to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. We were then given each an apple and soon escorted upstairs to a good bed where we enjoyed the rest of the night. We walked some 12 miles during the day.
November 22, 1892
We bade the family goodbye and were asked back. Arrived at Chelsea about 12:00 noon. I received 3 letters, two from my wife and the other from W. F. Brim. Passing up the main street among a crowd of men we heard the words, "Hello, Boys. Are you lost?" Bro. Rawlins answered, "We may be. This is the first time we were ever in the county." We walked into the crowd. He said his name was Conch and we were soon introduced to several of the businessmen of the town as being Mormon preachers. He took us through the "Mormon Temple" as he called it, a rock building for store purposes. Also on top if it there was a hall of 66x27 where we could hold meetings in it.
Wednesday - November 23
Walked down to the creek, a distance of about one mile and there had prayer. Came back to the hall and cleaned it out in order to hold a meeting in the evening. Gave notice to the two school[s]. Sent a letter to father. Partly wrote one to my wife. There were 35 present at the meeting and a good spirit was in our midst. I presided. Notice was given out for a meeting the following evening.
Thursday - November 24, 1892
Thanksgiving - chilly wind. Finished a letter and mailed it to my wife. We had a fine dinner consisting of roast turkey, turnips, bread, butter, pie, fin cake, oatmeal, fresh grapes, cranberry stewed and other luxuries too numerous to mention. Held meeting in the evening. There were present 13. H. M. Rawlins presided.
November 25 - Friday
We wrote some letters. I wrote to Pleasant Gooens, Shaddic, Oklahoma. I received a letter from Harriet and we intended to journey westward, but J. J. Delozier sent word for us to come and stay with him, so we did. Found them to be a nice family although he was on a spree. He did not bother any and Bro. Rawlins explained the gospel to them for some time and he offered prayer. We went upstairs to bed.
November 26th - Saturday
We left Chelsea and started for Sarah Jane Follen's 3 miles from Foyile Station. We arrived there at l:00 pm and were welcomed there. She is a member of the church. We concluded to hold meeting at her house Sunday at 3:00 pm and gave notice to that effect. We sang a few hymns and I offered prayer and we retired. We walked 12 miles.
November 27 - Sunday
We went a distance of 1 1/2 miles to where a Baptist meeting was being held and gave out notice to the effect, but when the time came, no one came. In the evening, we partook of Sacrament; just as we got through, there were four persons come and we held a meeting. Our congregation consisted of six in number.
November 28 Monday
We left Sister S. J. Fallen's and started for James Chamber's. We arrived at that place about 4:00 pm and were somewhat wearied of walking. Had no dinner. Our trip was through the oak trees, over hills, and hollows. It was a distance of 16 miles. The evening was principally spent in conversation of different topics, eating apples, and etc. I wrote from the History of Sequoyuh in regard to his life and labor.
November 29 - Tuesday
We started for Lewis Ferry on Grand River. Had good prairie road to travel over. Called at a rock house for a drink and they were eating dinner, but did not ask us to partake with hem. When we were leaving Auntie Chambers came with some apples and told us to fill our pockets as we might not get any dinner. We found it the case, and the apples were fine. We passed through Choutean, a nice little town on the railroad. I mailed two letters and bought 10 cents of crackers. I asked to stop at a fine large house, but they could not take us in.
When we arrived at George H. Lewis's, they were eating supper, and we just sat down and partook. After supper, Mr. Lewis had a sport of weavers and we retired to a splendid bed where we enjoyed the rest of one that was tired. We walked 22 miles.
November 30 - Wednesday
When I awoke, the canary bird was singing so sweetly. I felt rested and we arose and breakfast was ready for us by the time we were prepared to eat. Mr. Lewis took us across the river in the skiff. He would not charge anything. We called at his renter, Mr. Wamburley, and she was pleased to see us. He was not there. She invited us to remain all day, but we could not. We arrived at Bro. Griden's about 11:30. Walked 8 miles. They seemed to be pleased to see us.
December 1, 1892 Thursday
Fast day - we made arrangements for our journey and with our breakfast. Arrived at Grammie Squirel's about 10:00 am and there we had a lunch not thinking it not wise or proper to go on without something to eat. We arrived at Mrs. Smith's at 2:30 pm. They were well pleased. He came to meet us - wished us to hold a meeting and assisted in notifying the people. Prepared dinner for us. Our meeting consisted of 9. We walked 18 miles.
December 2 - Friday
Bade our friends goodbye and started on our march to Uncle Lunder's where we arrived about 2:00 pm. Our walk was through the timber mostly. We walked some 15 miles. They gave us some apples to eat. Had some in the evening.
December 3 - Saturday
We arrived at Monard at 10:00 am. Found R. M. Harper and Lessil Nichols here. Found some mail - five letters, some photos and gloves from my wife. The evening was spent in talking and in______.
December 4 - Sunday Monard
The forenoon spent in writing in my journal. Had a meeting appointment at two where there were 8 present. The speakers were Harper, Nichols, and Rawlins. In the evening I wrote to my wife.
December 5 - Monday Monard
Bro. Harper and I hauled two loads of wood for Sister Freeman. When we came back, it seemed like an evil power had possession of me. I went into the woods and read and offered prayer. I felt better when I awoke in the morning - the tears were running out of my eyes.
December 6 - Tuesday Monard
Rained during the night and most of the day. I tried to cover the Bro. on a horse, but could not. The day was spent in writing and studying.
December 7 - Wednesday Monard
I fasted until supper time and prayed many times for wisdom and knowledge that I might understand the gospel and be strengthened. I wrote to father and Abbie also. Received a letter from Linda and wife. Bro. Harper and I started for a short trip and arrived at Sister Weaver's about 4:00 pm where we stopped and talked on the gospel. There was a Mr. Miller who seemed to be interested. Retired about 11:00 pm. Walked three miles.
Thursday - December 8
Sister Weaver's - we started for Mr. Morgan's where we tried to told a meeting. Called in at Jones's - arrived at Morgan's about 10:30 am. Found a sick lad there that prevented us from holding meeting. After dinner, we went to Bom's. We found them well. Walked eleven miles.
December 9 - Friday Pecan Break
We tried to get meeting. Went to see Hubbend's - found no one home. Proceeded to Mr. French's where we had a conversation with Mrs. French. He is not at home. She doesn't believe our doctrine and wants to know where we get the Laying on of Hands for the Holy Ghost. Bro. Harper read from Acts, 8th verse and 19th chapter. We left there and started on. Arrived at fourteen mile creek and asked a lady if she ever met any elders. She replied she never wanted to. I told her "He that judgeth a man before he heard him was not wise", but could not reason with her. Arrived at Wiley Taylor's. Had dinner about 4:00 pm. The evening was spent in conversing. Had a very pleasant time. He did not believe a man could fall from grace. I walked 11 miles.
December 10 - Saturday Fourteen Mile Break
We arrived at J. H. Smith's about 11:00 am and after dinner, we appointed a meeting for Sunday at l:00 pm and gave notice to that effect. We spent the evening in reading. Walked five miles.
December 11 - Sunday Fourteen Mile Break
At breakfast I procured bread. We went to the spring where we partook of Sacrament. I wrote two letters. Dinner and then for meeting. There were 15 present - good order.
December 12 - Monday Fourteen Mile Break
Raining in the forenoon. Had a conversation with a Methodist. He wished us to explain the 12th chapter of Revelation which we did to the satisfaction of those present. Also spoke on subject of the gospel. In the evening we walked to Coon Pomis's and only remained a short time. It rained the greater part of the day.
December 13th - Tuesday
We traveled in a north west direction calling at all the houses. We called at one Lulivous, a Methodist preacher for 20 years, and had quite a time with him. They would bring up polygamy for to defend themselves which slurred us considerable. Showed a great deal of weakness for a man who claimed to have preached the gospel for 10 years. Our northwest was through hickory timber mostly and no settlement.
I felt impressed to leave the road and climb the hill to see if we could see any houses and we found an old sawmill where two white families lived, but neither would take us, so we tried a full blood whose name was Jno Levi. They could not talk, but could understand. The evening was spent in reading and singing by a pitch pine light from the chimney. A bed was proposed for us and we lay down to sleep. Walked 15 miles.
December 14 - Wednesday Spring Creek
We were cold all night not having enough cover. The ground was covered with frost and very foggy. We took a north westerly course through the timber and finally arrived at Roses Prairie. We then proceeded to a Baptist Church to hold meeting in that night and gave notice to that effect. The Baptist minister rang the bell and lighted the house for us. There were 12 present. Walked 15 miles. Stayed at Grandma Rose's. The elders never had held meetings there before.
December 15 - Thursday Rose Prairie
We had a good bed to sleep in. Bro. Harper awoke me. I was dreaming of home. We arose and had prayer in our room. There were two men in a wagon who stopped over night on their way to Tahlaquah. After breakfast, we all started together and we rode with them for about 10 miles. They stopped to feed for ______. We went on and arrived at Jno Rottengood's and went in. Their daughter was sick with typhoid fever. We were just going to start when her sister asked if we could not stop for 1/2 an hour and she would prepare dinner for us. We stopped all night.
___________ No. 1650
Educated in English Language 700
Mixed Blood 650
Most all understand the English language to some extent. Three government buildings for school purposes. One built in 1873, one in 1875, and one in 1892. They cost from $3,000 to $3,800. They still maintain their chiefs which are 16 in number. There are five bands. They draw from $5.00 to $6.00 per head per quarter. The group has no expense. All is paid by the Indian money.
They are decreasing as a people - as increase of about 50 during the last three years on account of finance. Children learn readily. Are a nice people. Take to the vice of the white rather that to the virtue. In the state they mix rather with the lower class.
Schools in session cost $140 per capita. Mixed with the Catholics. The mixture is with the French almost exclusively as on the account of French traders. Catholics support two priests, but they hardly get twelve out on Sunday except those who are compelled to attend. The agent is a Quaker of profession, but has been separated for 20 years from his church.
Major S. J. Miles
Release ordered September 10 and was received October 9, 1893.
Started home October 10, 1893. Enroute on the AT&SF Railroad, Bro. Gooings taking us. Elder Lowe to Oklahoma City. He intends to accompany me to Coffeyville, Kansas, then proceed on his way to Manard to attend conference. Separated at Winfield, Kansas.
Arrived home October 14, 1893 being four days enroute. Visited Denver and had a pleasant trip home. The first night I was very sick at Newton, Kansas.
GOING TO MARSH BASIN
Hyrum S. Lewis
The year 1875 is perhaps the most memorable year in my life because of the experiences we encountered. While these experiences might seem like a dream or the hallucinations of a deranged mind, they are absolutely true.
In February father decided to seek holdings in the frontier; so with his son Alva and grandson Jimmie, he traveled farther West, wending his way through snow, over mountains, much of the time without even a trail. After many days they landed in Marsh Basin; this they considered a utopia, a haven of bliss. In a short time father and Jimmie returned leaving Alva to get logs and build a cabin to be ready for our return.
On March 24th brother Isaac, who was working in the mountains was killed in a snow slide. Weeks went on and his body was not found, some days as many as two hundred men were trying to locate him. I was still six years old, and every day I walked with father the length of the slide, and how I wished that I might be the one that could find the body of my brother.
Alva was still in Marsh Basin with no means of communication, no letter or word. One night Alva dreamed that Isaac had been killed in a snow slide, in his dream he saw the location and also discovered the body. So impressed was he that at daybreak he was on his way. He had a horse that he rode part of the time and with almost no rest he pushed on to Corinne, then 120 miles. There he found his dream was true and a few days later in the early morning he found the body which had been buried in the snow six weeks.
We were now anxious to get to our haven of rest and peace, but another disappointment was ours. The horses had wandered away and search seemed in vain, but after a long time they were found. Then a long hard journey was begun. For several days we were in sight of the snow slide which had taken Isaac's life and in imagination we could see his widow and four small children.
On June first we arrived in Marsh Basin. At that time it was most inviting with green grass in abundance, streams of sparkling water, everlasting hills surrounding us with plenty of timber and it was nearby that later man was to organize and execute the laws on the spirit of "what-so-ever ye would that man should do unto you, do the same unto him." Neighbors, well they were few and far between.
When asked how did we live, I don't know. We planted a garden, father's words were, "never had the labor of his hands been more remunerative in bringing an abundance than in this place." Our health was good, appetites hearty. We built a log room about 16 feet by 16 feet. This was our home. Earth floors and earth roof, a fireplace and as for furniture, there was none. Mother had a shelf on the wall which was used for cupboard, china closet and other things.
Death of a Child
Early in the fall a committee of one came to our home informing us of the death of a little child. There was not enough lumber in one place to make a little casket and he wanted to know what we could contribute. Without hesitation or reservation this shelf's contents were placed on the dirt floor, no paper or anything to place under them, and the shelf given to serve as a lid for that little casket. A grave was dug in the wilds, and a pole about twenty feet was raised a short distance from the grave that it might be found. A few of us gathered and the sorrow was intense.
I was there with bared head and feet, not altogether because it was sacred ground, but because I didn't have those useful articles. As we stood around this grave the only service was the reading of the prayer of the Galilean by father. This was the first death and burial in Marsh Basin.
Starting point: Brigham City, Utah
Snow slide: Ten miles north.
Persons in the Company: father; mother; Rachel, my sister; Hyrum S., writer of this sketch; Alva, my older brother; his wife and the following children: James, Williams, Wilford Wolford, my brother.
Camping grounds and stopping places: Bear River, Malad River, Point Look Out, Blind Springs, Dillies Ranch, Curlew, Deep Creek, Pilot Springs (here Alva and his family left us and went to Nevada), Devil's Drive, Round Mountain, Kelso, Clear Creek, Raft River, Cassia Creek, and Marsh Basin.
CHRISTMAS AT ALBION, 1875
CHRISTMAS OF 74 YEARS AGO
AT ALBION REMEMBERED VIVIDLY
BY DECLO SETTLER
DECLO, Dec. 23 -
Blue smoke from juniper fires slipped from the stone chimneys of a handful of scattered frontier cabins and rose straight up into a calm blue sky. It was a clear morning, Dec. 24, 1875, in Marsh Basin, now known as Albion. Mrs. Mary Lewis stood in her doorway and looked down wistfully at those cabins. She shaded her eyes against the glare from tremendous wastes of billowing, glistening snow, broken here and there by fringes of willows along stream banks and by distant basalt bluffs of rimrock bounding what is now called Albion valley. Mrs. Lewis was hemmed in by this snowy valley and sentenced by a queer prank of fate to pass a lonely winter here alone with her two small children, Rachel, 9, and Hyrum, 7.
The first of November her husband, James S. Lewis, went to Corrine, Utah, for goods and winter supplies and was blocked there by an early and heavy fall of snow. Roads were quite impassable. Freight wagons from Kelton and Corrine no longer lumbered through Marsh Basin and roads were unbroken. The few families had left the bleak and dreary little valley to spend the winter among friends and relatives in Utah, as the food supply was low.
The Lewises had moved from Brigham City, Utah, to Marsh Basin, arriving with all their belongings in a covered wagon on June 1, 1875. During the summer they had built a one-room log cabin which had a dirt roof and a dirt floor. Only a few of the new settlers had put up a little wild hay and kept a milk cow or two.
The outlook was not encouraging for those hardy settlers who had elected to winter in Marsh Basin and it was truly discouraging to the lonely and homesick little mother who looked hopelessly toward the Cassia creek summit, the way her husband would come. Now as Christmas was near, she realized her man could not cross that pass blocked with drifts from three to 30 feet deep which would not melt until spring. She wondered how to make their food last until then.
She had plenty of wood which had been hauled during the summer and stored along side the one-room cabin. She also knew she and her children would have to cut the wood to burn in the open fireplace. They had no stove. Her little home looked dreary and comfortless this morning, the day before Christmas.
She gazed toward the present site of Albion and wondered what sort of holidays her neighbors miles away could possible enjoy. She also thought of the happy times she had had in her native land of Sweden. And as she looked, she seemed to see something moving down below on the surface of the snow. She called her children and they watched the moving object. As it came closer and seemed to be bound toward their home, their excitement could not be restrained.
Finally, slowly battling through the heavy drifts, the object came close. It turned out to be a chariot of deliverance in the form of a sled driven by a representative of Santa Claus himself. It was Hebe Potter with an invitation to spend the holidays with the Potter family six miles away.
Never was an invitation more heartily and joyously accepted and never was a Christmas time more thoroughly enjoyed. They had a real cedar Christmas tree, and the decorations were of shavings whittled from soft pine. On Christmas morning, each of the children was given two pieces of fancy, bright colored store candy. And so with arousing welcome and good cheer and joyous laughter the first Christmas celebration in Marsh Basin came to an end. It was truly a frontier holiday.
Those were the days of log cabins with dirt roofs. Sometimes the dirt floors were covered with flat rocks and perhaps a deer or cowhide, pegged to the dirt with the hair up, as a rug. Those were the days, too, of rock fireplaces with iron pots and bake ovens, rough-hewn tables, home made bunks, patchwork quilts, tallow candles and frontier food.
With them went wholehearted hospitality, friendliness, neighborly interest, cooperation and unity of purpose. These attributes broke the stern antagonism of the wilderness and bound into a firm brotherhood the steadfast men and women of that time.
OF ROWAN COUNTY
Lewisiana records have of these Lewises that Joseph Lewis of Rowan County, N.C., 1752-1779, a breeder of fine horses, was killed by being thrown from his horse, was reputed to have been a soldier in the Revolutionary War, was one of five brothers, two of whom, Daniel and Isaac, were first white settlers at the falls of the Ohio. Lewisiana has records of the descendants of Daniel, 1767-1820, who married about 1792 Hannah Stapleton whose parents died in Maryland about 1750.
Among his descendants is a tradition that they are descendants of Major John and Francis (Fielding) Lewis and were near relations of Captain Merriwether Lewis, the Oregon explorer.
Joseph Lewis married Sarah Lewis, who married (2) John Hendrix of Rowan County, N.C. Joseph's only son, Joel, born Feb. 1, 1776 in Rowan County, O., living near Bellbrook, thence to Cass County, Ind., near Logansport where he died Jan. 20, 1840. He served in the War of 1812 with General Wayne Anthony building forts across the states of Ohio and Indiana. He was also in the State Militia, Captain John Clark`s company, Oct. 18 to Nov. 10, 1812 and Aug. 10 to Sept. 5, 1813. Later he was a great hunter and carried the United States mail through the Indian country.
He married 1796 Rachel Stapleton, born in Maryland, one of the four sisters from Maryland who were left orphans at an early age. Of their seven children (E.V.L. omitted Richard) Joel, Jr., born Bellwood, O., Sept. 8, 1806, married Oct. 13, 1825, Mercy Fallis of Greene County, O. He was also a famous hunter having, it is said, a particular gun for each kind of game; had eleven children. Lewisiana has names and also record of the descendants of the youngest, Andrew K., born Randolph County, Ind., Jan. 14, 1846, died Sept. 8, 1916, Winchester, Ind.
James Stapleton Lewis, born Feb. 22, 1814 in Greene County, O., was a farmer at Albion, Idaho; married May 10, 1833 Anne Jones, Daughter of Rev. John and Sarah (Sumpter) Jones. He claimed kinship with Daniel Boone, the pioneer of Kentucky, and also with General Fielding Lewis, who married Washington's sister Bettie, that Merriweather Lewis, the explorer, was own cousin of his grandfather, and that Colonel R. Lewis Wood and James Hamilton Lewis were near relations of his father.
Lewisiana has no parentage for United States Senator James Hamilton Lewis who does not broadcast the date of his birth nor his parentage even to his constituents in Illinois, who hoped that he rather than Roosevelt would be their candidate for President. Although
Lewisiana has thousands of records, only one other James Hamilton Lewis has been found, a Justice of the Peace at Meadville, Pa., son of David Lewis, 1790-1820, and his second wife, a daughter of James Hamilton, Esq., of Fayette County, Pa. She married second James Doughty.
Singularly enough it is claimed that his grandfather was a disowned son of Colonel Fielding Lewis and that he was visited once in Pennsylvania by his cousin, Captain Merriweather Lewis. All of which may or may not be so.
James Stapleton Lewis had a son, Hyrum S., born Montpelier, Ida., May 12, 1868; resided at Declo, Ida., and a daughter who resided at Brigham City, Utah. C.A.L.
How Man Reclaimed
the Drab Wilderness
By Hyrum S. Lewis
I wonder if ever a song was sung
But the singer's hear sang sweeter;
I wonder, if ever a hymn was wrong
But the thought surpassed the meter;
I wonder if ever a sculptor wrought
Till the cold stone echoed his arrant thought,
Or the painter with light and shade
The thought of his inmost heart protrayed?
If it is possible, permit the imagination to carry you back over a period of a few years and behold in vision a picture containing some of the possibilities which the God of nature hath placed in the path of man and with which for ages man's wisdom has been unable to cope in the dramatization of this picture.
We behold a mighty river whose power has defied the arm of man to change or to molest it form pursuing its onward course as it has been doing for ages. On either side of the screen shows great acres of fertile yet valueless soil because of their parched and desert condition.
No vegetation is beheld in this picture save only the ashen hue of the sage brush with here and there a few blades of grass. The occasional howl of the coyote could be imagined while in pursuit of his prey. To add to the already-mentioned barriers, this scene has for its background those ever-lasting mountains and rolling hills.
Now if you have beheld this picture, shorn of loveliness, beauty and grandeur, you are now prepared to enter into the second scene, where the wisdom and courage of man challenges this mighty river with its power; challengers this great desert covered with nothing to rest the weary eye save only the sage.
It would almost appear from the picture that the challenge could only meet with defeat; but the thought is strengthened by the words challenging Him,
"What is man that Thou art mindful of him and the son of man that Thou visited him. Thou, O God hast made him a little lower than the angels of Heaven. Thou hast crowned him with knowledge and power. Therfore, thy dream shall be realized and thy desire granted. Thy challenge shall baffle and smile at the very thought of defeat. Go to with all they strength and power and thou shalt surmount every obstacle in thy path of onward progress."
The mighty river can be harnessed that its power can be utilized. The desert can be deprived of its barrenness and its uninviting and dreary appearance.
In hastening to the consummation of the dramatic scene, a new era is born into view and we behold the arm of man at constructive work. And in a very short time, the atmosphere presents an entirely different attitude and we breathe the moisture of vegetation.
Challenges Facing Early Settlers
The scene is not without disappointment, not without a long struggle to win in the challenge for supremacy and power. It required the strength of a nation; a great congress in earnest assembly was importuned for help in assisting to solve the great problem and that great congress appropriated a vast sum of money to assist in the challenge for service. And after all the desert land was claimed and cabins builded, when hope was found in every heart, a great disappointment came to test the strength and courage of every home builder.
The money appropriated by the great congress was transferred to another project and the home builder was left high and dry. A mass meeting was called, and at that meeting, a water users association was organized. It was resolved that we would build the canals, the dam across the river, the power equipment, and all the necessary means needed for the completion of this great work.
Unitedly, All Press Forward
The organization effected, script was issued as there was not enough money in the treasury to buy stationery. Again, the system of canals must be completed within a specified time or we would have lost our priority of right in the great river. In order to secure and hold this right, every man and team were almost drafted into service.
Suffice it to say that the work was completed in specified time and the water flowed freely through these canals. The getting of the water into the canals was the big thing, but not the only necessary element, for there were other tests of courage to be worked out.
Battling the Cattle Stock
Stockmen had ranged their cattle on this desert in great herds and they felt it was theirs by priority of right. Petitions were circulated requiring them to take care of the stock. The homebuilder was unable to fence.
A legal battle ensued and each side appeared in court, each hoping for a victory. The homebuilders' case was presented first. The court listened to the testimony and the reasoning of the attorney representing the homemaker.
The attorney clinched his reasoning with the words like this:
The homebuilder is so financially down, he is unable to fence. I refer to one instance which is typical of all. A little baby was born in a home and they didn't have a wash basin to bath it in, but had to take the bread pan.
The able counsel for the stock grower addressed the court and used language like this:
There sits an old gray-haired veteran who came here when this was a part of Owyhee county and he's lived here every since. When their first baby was born, they didn't have a bread pan to bathe it in, but had to take it down to the
Cattle Not the Only Obstacle: Jack Rabbits Worse
The side having the bread pan won the decision, but there was another test even worse than the cattle, and less profitable. "The jack rabbit -- how to get rid of him," was a most serious problem.
Great drives were made by men, women, and children; fences were built, and the jack was corralled. At one of these drives, a lady from the city resolved to show her courage. True, she had never placed her foot upon a mouse, neither had she ever beheaded a fowl for the table, but she felt she could kill a jack rabbit when they were in the corral by the thousands.
She didn't know how hard a blow it would require for her club to kill it. After striking it a number of times, she finally dealt the death blow and remarked, "now then, die, damn you, die!"
How the Changes Have Taken Place
The cattle are now found upon the many farms, but of a different type. The jack rabbit is gone, and the sage brush has passed the zenith of its glory and today a fertile valley greets the eye. Travelers a short time ago came around the hill east of Declo at night, beholding this project and stopping at a gas station they inquired: "What city are we nearing where all the lights bespangle the darkness?" On being informed that these lights were located on the many farms, they were astonished.
A few years ago, a branch or a ward was organized in Burley. This ward extended to Jackson on the east, Willow Creek on the south, Milner dam on the west, and the Snake River on the north.
Today, in a little less than the territory of this ward is located the Burley stake with nine wards. Beautiful chapels, schoolhouses, homes, everything to please the eye and gladden the heart.
In only a few years, we have builded and maintained an empire second to none in all the world. With our climatic conditions, soil and power, we are destined to shed an effulgent ray of light to all mankind. And as men who see and feel the halo, we will exclaim in joyous ecstasy that the challenge given for the might river and desert has been awarded to us, regardless of the many disappointments, the struggle for mastery, the hardships encountered.
The First Railroad Passenger
There were avenues from which comfort came. A tired and worried mother, after a day of disappointment carrying water two miles from the river to quench dry lips, retired to seek rest and dreamed this dream. She thought she saw a railroad just a few rods from the house in full operation, and it seemed the little child was still a small child.
In the morning she related the dream and the father, who was of a cheerful mind, said, "This will all come true." Calling the little child by name, he said, "She will still be small when the train passes here."
A peculiar coincidence occurs here for in less than two years, this mother received word of the death of a brother in an adjoining state and desired to attend his funeral. It was necessary to come to Burley to take the train. This dreamed of road was being constructed, and the father asked of the superintendent if this mother could ride to Burley.
He replied, "We are not prepared to accommodate passengers, but if she will be at the side of the track, we will stop and take her to Burley." So this mother and little child in the dream were the first passengers from Marshfield [Declo] to Burley.
Sure this world is full of trouble,
I ain't said it ain't,
Lord I've had enough and double
Reason for complaint.
Rain and snow have come to fret me
Oft the skies are gray.
Thorns and brambles have beset me
On the road, but say --
Ain't it fine today?
[This article was part of a group of articles received from Dorothy Lewis Balch in 1981. She had received them through the collection of the Lewises in Declo. –Leland R. Lewis, September 7, 1991.]
Part of a Letter From
Arthur K. Love -
Cousin from Indiana
I hinted to you that there was a connection between the Boone and Lincoln families when you were here, but I did not know just in what manner or if it would be of special interest to us. But it is of great interest to us because it appears we are involved in it.
Last Wednesday I went to Indianapolis and spent the whole day at the State Library and went thoroughly into the Boone - Lincoln matter and I can tell you now that we have a family connection with the Lincolns which comes through the Lewis - Wilcox marriage.
I have enough data to strongly support the position. I have taken that Sarah Wilcox, wife of Daniel Lewis (1) was the daughter of John Wilcox and Sarah Boone Wilcox. Sarah Boon Wilcox was the sister of Daniel Boone.
Sarah Boone also had a brother, James Boone, and Ann, daughter of James Boone, married Abraham Lincoln, the grandfather of Abraham Lincoln, Civil War President of the United States. The grandfather Lincoln, who lived along with the Boones and Lewises in Berks County, Pennsylvania, migrated to Virginia and later to Kentucky where he was killed by an Indian bullet. His son, Thomas, was the father of the President, Abraham Lincoln.
I want to put this Lincoln record in typewritten manuscript in duplicate and will send you a copy in the near future. Isn't it thrilling to think about!
[This article was part of a group of articles received from Dorothy Lewis Balch in 1981. She had received them through the collection of the Lewises in Declo. Leland R. Lewis, September 7, 1991.]
Historical -- Explanatory
In 1887 the Honorable Frank Pardee Lewis, then of Lisle, New York, began the publication of The Lewis Letter, a little eight-page monthly devoted to the biography, genealogy and history of Lewises. Enlarged to twelve pages, this paper was discontinued at the end of Vol. 3 owing to Mr. Lewis's removal to Seattle, Washington.
In 1893 Carl A. Lewis, now of North Branford, Connecticut, revived this paper under the name Lewisiana, enlarging it to sixteen pages. Many issues contained extra pages and the concluding volumes, 167 and 17, contained 260 and 208 pages respectively. The Editor has had his personal copy bound with blank leaves between the printed pages on which he still is pasting clippings and entering records from other sources which in any way supplement the printed records. All this is indexed, in black and red, in three card indexes: (1) Lewis males, (2) Lewis females, (3) other names than Lewis. A few moments tell whether he has and just what he has of any Lewis.
Besides he has an alphabetical list of records of other Lewises -- thousands of them. More are wanted: yours, too.
Help complete the records of LEWISIANA.
East and West -- North and South
Everywhere Are Saying
I AM A LEWIS
I am proud of my name.
Knowest thou the history of America!
Then thou knowest the story of the Lewises.
"My forefathers were America in the making:
They spoke in her council halls;
They fought on her battle-fields;
They cleared her forests.
Keen eyes o mine foresaw her greater glory:
The sweep of her seas,
The plenty of her plains,
The man-hives of her billion-wired cities."
Today Sons and Daughters of the Revolution
attest the patriotism of my sires.
I am proud of my past -- of my name.
I AM A LEWIS
Today, as of yore, Lewises are at the front.
Who;'s Who gives ninety and seven of us.
Others more or less well knows,
Doing "our bit" in this broad land,
Wherever "Old Glory" waves,
Are true Americans too.
I am proud of my name.
I AM A LEWIS
Are You In This Grand Chorus of LEWISES?
BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS
Biographical and Genealogical.
Genealogy of Lewis Family in America.
Lewis and Kindred Families.
Biography of Francis and Morgan Lewis.
Lewis Congress -- 1694-1894.
Book XVIII of Genealogy of Lewis Family.
Edmund Lewis of Lynn, Massachusetts.
Lewis and Grisell Families.
Family History of Ladd J. Lewis.
Randall Lewis Family.
Word and Work of David J. Lewis.
Rhys Lewis (names are fictitious).
Biography of Dio Lewis, A.M., M.D.
Life of Reverand Samuel Savage Lewis.
Ancestry and Posterity of Joseph Smith (The Mormon Leader) and Emma Hale (daughter of Elizabeth Lewis).
Lighton's Lewis and Clark.
Brooks' First Across the Continent.
Dye's The Conquest.
Lewis with Collateral Lines.
Lewis Pioneers of East Tennesse and Indian Territory.
Lewisiana or the Lewis Letter -- 17 volumes.
Lewis and Lewises.
Our Line of the Lewis Family.
Autobiographical Memoir of Seth Lewis.
Captain Meriwether Lewis -- Old South Leaflet.
History of Eli Lewis and Family.
David Lewis -- Terror of Cumberland Valley.
Wanted (Can You Help?)
Additions to this Collection of
[The following is a newspaper article clipped by Lee Lewis from the San Jose Mercury-News.]
Dear Miss Rule: Could you give information on my maiden name LEWIS. -- Mrs. R. W.
Mrs. R. W.: The English surname LEWIS from the German given-name Ludwig, means "renowned warrior." Before the German usage it was "Levi" in the Old Testament.
In America most Lewises are of Welsh ancestry. Welshmen Anglicized their name Llewellyn into Lewis over 500 years ago. The Welsh Lewises claim descent from Llewellyn, Lord of St. Clair, whose ancestor was Cadivor, and 11th century Prince of Wales.
Their coat-of-arms is a black rampant lion on a gold shield. Among the first of the family in America was William Lewis, Married in Farmington, CN in 1644.
Manard, Indian Territory
December 27, 1892
Mrs. Hyrum S. Lewis
Dear Wife and Children,
Your most welcome letter came today. It's contents penised with joy and satisfaction. I have been looking several days for it. You said, "I did not say whether or not I was pleased with the insurance." I thought I did. I congratulate your success as a manager and competent business lady and wish for your future welfare.
Our grips are packed ready for to start tomorrow for our winter walk. Christmas was spent here – a very quiet day. We had Sacrament in the P.M. and received comfort for before well all felt very quiet. None had much to say.
In the evening we had songs, recitations and candy. It was warm, but cloudy and it turned cold in the night. I snowed a little yesterday. I and Reese went to Fort Gibson. It was very cold. One of my ears got scorched a little. I had to get me a pair of pants for to start out on our trip. They cost $5.00. They are good. I think. I had to get me a collar – my neck got too large.
We are all well and feeling fine. Glad to know your are doing so well and that the time is passing and it will soon go and I hope we can look back with joy on what we have accomplished.
You have improved in writing since I left. This is nice progress and advance all you can.
I do not like the way they are doing about your organ. They are depriving my family of what I paid for and what they should have. It is not right, but I hope you will get it.
Brother Rawlins gave me a large handkerchief. He was disappointed because you did not get to see his folks. Also Brother K -- I wrote to him last week the 28th.
I have been busy this morning fixing my pants. I am hemming them around the bottom with oil cloth. If you can send me a pair of garments, they will come in good when I get to Oklahoma. Do not send them until I tell you. I want Woolen ones. I do not like to call on you so much. There has been some complaint about some of the Elders going too slouchy. We are expected to be exemplary men not only in our dress, but everything else. People have more respect for a man who is respectably dressed. Be careful of what I write to you that it may not make feelings or trouble which aforethought would avoid.
Tell Ma I often think of her, but as she gets to hear my letters, I do not write to her, but her many acts of kindness will never be forgotten and I may never be able to repay her in this life, but I trust God will reward for all.
Tell Zade thanks for the chair he gave my daughter. What did they name their baby? I would be ever so glad to hear from some of the boys.
I am thankful that all is well, but I often wish I could have left my family in better circumstances than I did, but I have left for a good cause. One that we will never regret if we are true to our covenants and to our duty.
God bless you all - wishing you a Happy New Year. Remember me to all of my friends and relatives. Kiss the little pets for Papa and receive my best wishes.
Write often. A letter is the most welcome of all visitors. I remain your companion.
Do not send the garments until I order them and tell you where to send them. Send all letters to Manard.
Hyrum S. Lewis
Reese, Lessil and Brother Rawlins wish to be emembered.
September 2, 1944
Received Mother's picture and copy of the services. Was very glad to get them, but if made us very blue & sad to read it. Reed just cried like his heart would break. We miss Mother's letters and when Rae would write she'd tell us how Mom was feeling, all that is missed very much. Reed is going to write today. Did Dad get the letter Reed wrote to him from Gentry's? You never said, so Reed was wondering about it.
I bet it was hard for you to get home from Boise and no one there to greet you and hear about your trip. I just know how hard it is on Dad & Rae. It's awfully hard.
Reed & * worked last night and I'm so tired today, too. I guess I'll struggle through it somehow. Reed and I sure come home from work with a wonderfully stinky perfume from the onions. I've got to wash my hair each day that I've worked the night before or else no one could stand it around us.
Took the kids to Santa Cruz at the beach last Sunday and they had a grand time. Vestal sure had fun in the ocean. I'm glad that we took him before Marzo got here and that he was able to play in the water and on the beach. He sure enjoyed himself.
Well, I must get busy and get my work started. Glad you enjoyed the pears. I've got a whole box to can. We are all fine, hope this finds you all in good health.
Helen, Reed & Boys
August 24, 1944
I'm going to try and get this written before the mailman gets here. Don and Lee are out playing, Vestal is having a nap. He sure is a good child. He minds me very well. Never fusses when he's told to lay down for his nap. If I ever get the other two still long enough for a nap, I'm doing awfully good.
We are teaching Vestal to say his prayers again and he's having quite a time. He's sure cute. You should hear him talk. He's going to be a better talker than his Daddy.
I haven't been feeling any too good lately. Don't know what's wrong. This weather is terrible. It's a wonder we aren't sick all the time.
Reed is very busy with his work now. He's in charge of the shipping, too, now and it really keeps him hopping. He never gets home before 6 p.m. any more and on Sundays he goes out to work for 3 or 4 hours. It's their busiest time out there now.
Well the mailman just came, so will have to mail this uptown later.
Your letter came. Sorry to hear about the car. So glad you or Dad weren't hurt. Reed just called me on the phone and I told him about it. He made me read your letter so he'd know that you weren't hurt. He couldn't wait until tonight to read it or he would have worried about it at work.
It's terrible about poor Pete having a wife like he has. I know if my Reed was in Pete's place, nothing or no one could keep me away from him. We wrote to Pete. Hope he gets one letter. We feel so bad to think that he lost his arm.
Hope you got the pears O.K. and that you'll enjoy them.
Write soon and hope you're feeling O.K. from your shake up.
Love, Helen & Reed
P.S. Reed called to ask if I wanted to go there and work on the coring line. They're so short of help that they are trying to get all the men's wives to come out to work for a few nights a week about every other night for 6 hours a night so I guess I'll go out and give a hand to them. On the nights I work, Reed will work also out in the plant. Will give us some extra money. We'll have to be getting the boys ready for school and that will cost a little. I'll get 75 cents and hour and Reed will get 85 cents an hour if he works out in the plant extra.
August 18, 1944
The boys and I just got through eating breakfast and when I finish this letter to you, we are going over to Mother's to wash clothes.
Yesterday I washed windows, aired out drapes, and put the couch and chair coverings back on. The day before I washed and pressed them, what a job.
My brother-in-law is going to get me some pears tomorrow. He's going to bring me an extra box and I'm sending it up to you. If he gets here early enough tomorrow with them, I'll ship them tomorrow. We will express them. So will you be on the watch for them? If we send them tomorrow, they should get there Tuesday, so keep in touch with the express Office in Burley.
The boys are O.K. and are getting along O.K. Still have their little fights and I really have my hands full sometimes, but we are getting along all right. Reed is still working hard, but doing all right. He got caught up in his back work, but is awfully busy. He doesn't get home until 6 P.M., then he goes back, sometimes in the evenings. He told me he had sent Dad a business letter the other day.
I bet it is sure lonesome for you at home. It must be awfully hard for you. Wish we could be with you, but I know that no one or anything can erase that empty feeling you have. We just have to go on though and make the best of it because nothing or no one can ever take Mother's place. We catch ourselves referring to Mother a lot and they boys are always talking about her and telling Vestal that some time we'll go up to see Grandma Lewis.
Hope you and all are well. Take care of yourselves for us.
Love Helen - Reed Boys
August 10, 1944
I've been real busy since I came back because all my work was piled on top of my desk. I have left the writing to you up to Helen until now.
The people here were certainly wonderful about expressing sympathy. Nearly all the businessmen have seen or called, City Marshal, Chairman of Planning board, Councilman and all the employees at Gentry's.
Mr. Bennett was very well pleased with Dad's letter and my telegram was placed on the bulletin board. The local newspapers were swell, too.
It was sure hard for me to leave to come back and I couldn't say anything I was so choked up. I had to get back to my work and you have to carry on with yours. Mother's work was all finished, but her spirit will be with all of us and enable us to complete our assignments.
Some changes have been made at the plant. The Superintendent resigned and he is going to be missed. Others have also exchanged jobs here in the plant. Everyone is very busy.
Thanks for the package you sent, it was swell and will be enjoyed and appreciated. I'm sending you a small package in a few days and another one in about 10 days. Hope you can use them.
Write when you can, take care of everything, keep well and we'll do the same.
Love to all, Reed
July 6, 1944
Reed went to work today. He had a lot to catch up with. Yesterday when he went out there he said his desk was stacked up high with work. He rested yesterday and started in this morning. They were all glad to see him back. Mr. Bennett told Reed he received your letter and what a nice letter it was. They really missed him out there. Reed is going to work pretty hard for a week or two. None of the invoices were paid while he was gone. They couldn't be paid without Reed's approval and he has all that to catch up with.
We had a good trip home. No car trouble at all except for a tire that went flat at the auto court we stayed in Salt Lake. We took our time coming home. Stopped in Auburn over night with Karl and Mary Lou.
Vestal came home with us, so now we have the three boys. They sure are happy to be together and Reed and I are, too. We came by San Francisco and stopped at the zoo and at the beach. Vestal really was thrilled with it all and also seeing the ocean and the bridges. He sure is having a good time. He sure can talk, but he forgot how to say his prayers like he did when we had him in Honeyville.
Coming back from Declo, the boys stayed overnight with Roberts in Tremonton and we stayed with Ann at Uncle Will's. He and Aunt Alfa were out to the dry farm, so we didn't get to see them. Roberts brought the boys in the morning on their way to Brigham City where Mr. Roberts works with his son-in-law.
We want to send this off this evening, so will stop for now. Hope all is well. Take good care of yourselves.
Love Helen, Reed & Boys