Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chapter VII Samuel SMITH History Box Elder

3. Frances Ann INGRAM (Ingraham)
third wife of Samuel SMITH.
4. Janett Maria SMITH SMITH fourth wife of Samuel SMITH.
5. Caroline SMITH SMITH fifth wife of Samuel SMITH.
Janett and Caroline are sisters.

The Smiths in Box Elder County
Early in April of 1855, Samuel and his two wives (he did not marry Frances Ann until July of 1856) (SSR) [Note 10] moved to Brigham City in Box Elder county to help build up a settlement of Saints there. There Samuel made a plat of Brigham City and the surrounding country which was examined and approved by the proper authorities. He also assisted materially in surveying that part of the public domain.

Samuel also engaged in the hazardous work of opening canyons, making roads to the timbered areas and superintending public works under the direction of Apostle Lorenzo Snow, who also served as President of the Box Elder Stake.

In the same year he was appointed a member of the high council and counselor to President Snow. He also had the watchcare of all the Seventies in that county.

In July of 1856 he made a trip back to Salt Lake City where he and Frances Ann Ingraham were married. They then returned to Brigham City to start their married life. [Note 11]

Earlier in 1855, Samuel was appointed postmaster of Brigham City: an office he held until he was disqualified by the provisions of the Edmunds' Act (which forbade those engaged in plural marriage to hold appointive or elective office on the federal level) in 1882. At that time a special agent from the Postal department was sent to Brigham City to try to induce Samuel to give up Mormonism so his job as postmaster would be secure. Samuel told the agent, in no uncertain terms, that his religion was more important to him than anything else on earth and that he neither could nor would give up that testimony for any earthly reward. As a result he lost his postmaster assignment but served as a shining example of steadfast integrity. (Much of the above data came from Tullidge's Histories, pp. 120-121).

Sarah gave birth to their second child, Daniel William, on November 5, 1855. Then, on December 31, 1857 she presented Samuel with their third child. The third child was also a son and he was named Isaac. So Samuel had not only burgeoning responsibilities in the community to care for: he also had a growing family to support. He also had two new wives for he had married his nieces Janette Maria Smith and her sister Caroline Smith on the same day: June 7, 1857. [Note 12] Janette was 18 1/2 years old when she married Samuel, she having been born January 20, 1839. (NP) Her sister Caroline was nearly two years younger, having entered into this world November 4, 1841.

There is a story current in the family that the parents of Janette Maria and Caroline were incensed about Samuel's marriage to their daughters. Myth has it that George and Caroline Smith (the girl's parents) were so angry about the situation they left the church and went to Nevada where they were instrumental in starting up the famous Harold's Club in Reno. [Note 13] It is just that; a myth.

Evidence seems to indicate that George and Caroline did not leave the church over the plural marriage situation. Records as far back as 1847 (June 14) indicate that George was even then not a member of the church, though we know not why. However, it is true that George and Caroline did not stay in Salt Lake Area after the two girls married Samuel. Instead, they moved to the Washoe valley in Nevada. There they, along with their children James 23, George 21, Sarah 16, Joseph 14, Emma 10 and Leonard ("Lorenzo" in Amy's record) 6, were listed in the 1860 Territorial Census. George (the father) was listed as a rancher. A letter from Phillip Earl of the Nevada Historical Society dated July 15, 1985 declares that this information was "found on page 121 of the census for Carson county." Other than this, we have no information on this family.

In 1858 the militia of Box Elder County was organized. Every able-bodied man in the district was mustered into service. Samuel was elected first major of the Cavalry and was appointed commander of the northern post. He also served as physician to the unit and put the healing skills he had been taught by his mother to good use. Tullidge's Histories notes that Samuel "commanded the citizen-soldiers in that district in all expeditions against the hostile Indians and other foes of the people." Though willing to fight, Samuel did not enjoy bloodshed. He believed, as did Brigham Young, that it was more humane and cheaper to feed the Indians than to war with them and he did much to prove that the Mormons were among the Indians' best friends.

On January 22, 1858, Frances Ann's first child, Esther Ann, was born. On April 20, 1858 Abraham, Janette Maria's first child entered this world. Delina Caroline, Caroline's first child was born June 23, 1859. Not only was Samuel's family growing rapidly, but so was his list of responsibilities. In 1859 he was elected Probate Judge of Box Elder county--a post he held for fifteen years. During this time he was very active in
civic affairs. He saw a need for reasonable hotel accommodations for travelers and so he opened the first hotel in Brigham City to give weary sojourners every comfort the frontier could be expected to provide. It was in this building that the Post Office was also maintained. In later year, Dr. Oliver Ormsby (who married Maretta October 11, 1869) had a drug store in the same building.

In the decade between 1860 and 1870 Sarah and Frances each bore Samuel five children. Sarah's were Sarah Eliza, born January 13, 1860; John Wooding born May 12, 1862; Susannah born May 24, 1864; Frances Mary born January 9, 1867; and Franklin Richard who lived by one year, being born August 20, 1869 and passing away August 6, 1870. The other four grew to maturity and married although John Wooding (who married Mary Neelev on January 20, 1880) died November 13, 1884 at the age of 22.

Frances Ann's children born in that decade were Priscilla who was born January 14, 1860; Elias Ingraham, born Dec. 27, 1861 and who died nine months later on August 13, 1862; Mary Elizabeth, who lived but 11 months, born November 8, 1863 and dying October 12, 1864; Olivia Jane, born July 22, 1865 and who died at the age of 22 on September 7, 1887, nine months after marrying John Thomas Kelly (they were wed January 3, 1887) (NP); and Phoebe Ellen, who entered this life November 18, 1867 and departed May 23, 1874 at the age of six.

Janette and Caroline were also doing their part to build Zion. Janette had four children in the 1860-1870 decade. Caroline also had four. Janette's second child Letitia was born May 3, 1860; Thomas was born October 22, 1862; James George was born November 3, 1965; and Leslie was born April 21, 1869 but died a few months later (November 18, 1869).

Caroline was severely tried during that ten year span. She had her second child, Jacob, March 18, 1861. (SSR) He died 10 Jan. 1885. Rose Emma was born June 27, 1863 and died in October of the following year. Eliza M. was born July 5, 1865 and died 12 years nine months later (March 1, 1878). Nettie was born July 17, 1867 and died at the age of six years nine months on March 1, 1874; and Lorenzo D. was born July 10, 1869 and died in January of 1874, aged four years, six months.

In addition to all the other activities in which Samuel was engaged, he was also elected mayor of Brigham City for two terms. The terms spanned the years between 1870 and 1881.

When it was thought best by the leaders of the Church, Samuel turned his merchandise over to the Cooperative venture. The merchandise was valued at $10,000--no small sum in those days! This merchandise was then to be used in cooperative stores which were opened in place of private concerns. Samuel later became one of the directors of the Brigham City Co-op and also served as its Assistant Superintendent.

The decade between 1870 and 1880 saw increased family and civic responsibility. on February 5, 1870 Frances gave birth to Roxy Althea. This young girl lived only four years and three months, passing away May 5, 1874. Janette gave birth to Lester but he too was destined for a brief tenure on earth: he was born September 7, 1870 and died in April of 1874.

Sarah Jane had her last (ninth) child on July 18, 1871. The child--Alice Rosezella--was destined to live over seventy years. Caroline had a little girl later that same year. Cynthia was born November 12, 1871 but she died March 8, 1874 at the age of two years four months. on February 25, 1872 Frances had a little girl, Viola May, who lived less than three years, dying October 18, 1874, just five months after her four year
old sister Roxy Althea died. Caroline's eighth child Vilate was born November 13, 1873 and was destined to live over 84 years, passing away November 3, 1958. (NP) She was the next to the longest survivor of all of Samuel's children (only Everett lived to a later date).

Frances had Eliza Beatrice on September 29, 1875 and Janette had Earnest C. on August 18, 1875. Edessia was born to Caroline on October 8, 1875 and Warren Samuel was born to Frances on September 22, 1877. Caroline had Janett Laura on January 20, 1878 but the child died before she was twelve years old on December 12, 1890). Frances' eleventh child Everett was born April 7, 1880 and, as was noted earlier, was destined to live the furthest into the twentieth century of all the 52 children. [Note 14] He lived one month shy of 81 years, dying March 13, 1959. (NP) He had been preceded in birth by Janette's Charles Eli who entered this world March 11, 1879.

In the early 1880's the child-rearing years ended for all the wives. Caroline had Theodore on July 13, 1880. He lived less than nine years, dying on December 6, 1889 (although the tombstone reads 1892 as the year of passing). Frances had William Rufus on December 7, 1881. Caroline had Tobias C. on January 28, 1882. Again, the child's life was cut short: he lived six years and eleven months, passing away December 18, 1889. The final child be born was born to Frances on February 4, 1884. This child, named Phosa, lived until she was 44, dying March 29, 1928. (NP)

Polygamy presented its particular challenges to the family, but it was a satisfying way of life to those converted to it. In that practice, Samuel had his first wife's complete support and it was she who helped train the other four in the management of a pioneer home and the care of young children. There was, according to Frances Ann, "no marriage relationship until [each wife] was established in their own home.' Beatrice Smith Olney, reminiscing about the life shared by her mother Frances Ann and the other four wives pointed out that II ... although each of the girls had a nice home, it was understood that all of Samuel's business was to stay at Aunt Mary's. Aunt Mary's house was called the fbig House', as it had once been the Brigham City hotel. All the entertaining of church authorities and government officials was done at Aunt Mary's home, with the older girls of her own and the other wives families helping prepare the house for guests, getting the meals ready and also serving them on such occasions... They [Samuel and Mary] decided that since the girls [other wives] had their homes close to them, father would spend what time he could with each of them but no more with one than with the others. I think he spent a week at each home. he would always eat breakfast with Aunt Mary; that wy the younger mothers could give more time to their families in the morning."

In 1871, when the Utah and Northern Railroad was being built through Box Elder county, Samuel was appointed superintendent of construction by the Honorable John W. Young. Samuel continued in that position until the road was completed to Franklin, Idaho. At the August election held by the stockholders in 1872, Samuel was elected one of the Directors of the company, which office he held until the road was sold to another railroad corporation. Even then, he was appointed to help settle the business of the company.

While in the midst of all these events, tragedy struck. On September 4, 1872, his second wife, Sarah Jane Ingraham died at the age of 35 years, eleven months. Apparently while sewing she had held a needle in her mouth, inhaled it into her lungs and the complications killed her.

The other wives quickly moved in to help raise Sarah's dependent children although Thyrza Ann was old
enough to do much in that regard. But on October 14, 1872 she married Heber Chase Tippetts and began making her own family home. But the children who were still in need of mothering received ample guidance and direction from the remaining four wives. In addition to his church and civic responsibilities, Samuel was also manager of the first grist mill in the county and served in that position for many years. In fact, he still held the post at the time of his death, although by then the day-to-day activities had been turned over to younger men.

Perhaps 1874 was the most traumatic year for the Smith family collectively. In that year Samuel and his wives lost seven children. Frances Ann lost three: six and a half year old Pheobe Ellen; Roxy Althea, who died at four years and three months, and Viola May who died at two years, eight months. Janette lost Lester, who was three years, seven months old. Caroline lost three children also that year: four and one half year old Lorenzo D.; Nettie, six years, 9 months; Cynthia, two years and four months old. As strong as these women were, they shed many tears over their mutual losses.

Samuel spoke often. As a preacher he expected a degree of decorum from his listeners. Frances Ann tells us "If he arose to pray or preach a sermon in any church gathering and there was one person or more chewing gum in the congregation, he would stand looking at them for a few seconds and if they did not take the gum out of their mouth he would than ask them to do so."

Tullidge's Histories quotes Samuel in an autobiographical sketch written about 1887. In it Samuel summed up his career to that point in these words:

I have served the people thirty-two years in this mission of founding and building up Box Elder County. I have assisted all I could in establishing industries, in developing the resources of the country, and encouraging the people to husband their means; to utilize the elements for their own elevations, physically and morally; I have fearlessly rebuked every kind of corruption wherever I have found it. For this last, my life has been sought many times. Men have combined, and bound themselves by secret covenant to murder me when a favorable opportunity was offered to do so. But through all the Lord as preserved me from their wicked machinations to the present time. And I still bear my testimony that God has established the gospel on the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith; and that gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to all who will receive it. (p. 121)

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