Friday, May 31, 2013

Family Tragedy

William Heber ROUNDY son of  Lauren Hotchkiss ROUNDY and Joanna CARTER
and wife and first cousin

William Heber Roundy

Birth 5 Feb 1846 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois
Death 23 Jul 1899 in Alton, Kane, Utah

Husband of Malinda PARKER daughter of John Davis PARKER and Almeda Sophia ROUNDY.  William and Malinda were the parents of ten children. 
Kanab, 1899: 
William [Heber] Roundy and Daniel Seegmiller, both respected citizens, engage in a quarrel over irrigation water. Each is looking after his own family--his own special group--each wanting to make sure his family gets its fair share. Resentment grows into rage, and Roundy kills Seegmiller. Shortly afterward, he kills himself.
On July 23, 1899, Wm. Roundy, finding no water in the ditch, became enraged and going to the home of Bro. Seegmiller, he called him outside and a few minutes later shot him through the heart. The murderer then returned to his home and ... (Latter-Day Saint biographical encyclopedia:)
Resentment grows into rage, and Roundy kills Seegmiller. Shortly afterward, he kills himself... (Utah History Society)
Sun. 23 Daniel Seegmiller, counselor to Pres. Edwin D. Wooljey of Kanab Stake, wasshot and killed by Wm. H. Roundy in Kane County. Utah. (Church chronology: a record of important events pertaining to the history of ...)
... Roundy had often accused Dan Seegmiller, on whose land the reservoir had been built, of stealing other ... (Western folklore: Volume 18)
Daniel Seegmiller, Counselor to President Edwin D. Woolley of Kanab Stake is shot andkilled by Wm. H. Roundy. (Improvement era, Volume 2, Part 2By Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association)
The proper edge of the sky: the high plateau country of Utah By Edward A. Geary p.118 -120
There is scarcely a town in Utah that has not had, somewhere in its past, a violent dispute over water rights.  Most cases have been resolved as quietly as possible and consigned to the dark unspoken underside of the community’s Memory.  But occasionally one survives in the literary record - for example, the anonymous folk ballad titled “The Recent Kanab Tragedy,” memorialize sing an event that occurred on July 23, 1899In Kanab they will always remember This Twenty-Fourth of JulyFor this year there’s no celebration, No band plays and no pennants fly.The speeches they give in the Church house,Do not boast of our brave Pioneers;There’s no shouting, no dancing, no picnic,  But there’s sorrow and mourning and tears.For two of the town’s best men are lying In their coffins awaiting the earth;[Line illegible where paper was folded]There’s no room in our hearts now for mirth.It happened because of hot anger -A quarrel about their water right,William Roundy accused Dan SeegmillerOf stealing his turn in the night.So Roundy jumped up on his pony, Rode right down to Seegmiller’s door;He shouted, “Come out and I’ll show you, You’ll not steal my turn any more!”And Dan, little thinking of trouble,Came out with his babe in his arm;His wife Emma stood there beside him,Neither yet felt the faintest alarmThen Roundy quick lifted his shotgunAimed it straight at Dan Seegmiller’s heart;Emma screamed and ran forward to stop him,[Another illegible line]Dan fell to the ground with his boyWeeping, poor Emma knelt down,Not knowing if both husband and babyWere dead beside her on the ground.Roundy turned then and rode to his own house,Where he kissed his wife fondly goodbye,Then out into the yard he staggered,By his own cruel hand there to die.So today there is no celebration,Kanab has no thought for Pioneers;Two fine men now lie in the Coffins -No wonder the town’s bathed in tears!Other reports of this murder-suicide indicate that the ballad-writer has taken some poetic license.  Roundy apparently shot Seegmiller in his farmyard after an exchange of angry words, rather than at his doorstep without warning. As the ballad suggests. And there is no indication that Seegmiller was holding a child when he was shot.  On the other hand, the killing was in some respects more vicious than portrayed here Roundy severely wounded Seegmiller with the firs shot, then pumped two additional shots into him as he attempted to escape. …But the main point of “The Recent Kanab Tragedy” is precisely that the killer and his victim were both community insiders, “two of the town’s best men.”  The Seegmillers and Roundys were large and prominent families in southern Utah, and the feud over water rights therefore threatened to divide the community.  The ballad, evidently composed shortly after the events is commemorates, can be viewed as an attempt at healing the community wounds. 

Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia Volume 4 Biographies Seegmiller: 

Daniel Seegmiller, Daniel, second counselor in the presidency of the Kanab Stake from 

1887 to 1899, was born Dec. 6, 1836, in Preston, Canada, the son of Adam Seegmiller 

and Anna Eve Knechtel. As a youth he located in New York City, where he became a 

convert to the Church and was baptized there Sept. 3, 1853. He came to Utah in 1861 and the following year 

returned as far as the Missouri River with Church teams to assist in bringing L. D. S. emigrants to Utah

Altogether he crossed the plains six times in that capacity. He served on the police force in Salt Lake City and

at times acted as body guard for President Brigham Young. He filled a mission to Germany and Switzerland

from 1877 to 1879, during which he presided over the East Swiss, Zurich and Frankfurt on the Main

conferences successively. Previous to, going on this mission he located in St. George, Utah, where he acted as 

Chief of Police and later as Sheriff of Washington County. Later he moved to Kanab, Kane County, where he 

operated a farm and raised choice stock. On May 24, 1887, he was set apart by Apostle Francis M. Lyman as 

second counselor to Edwin D. Woolley, president of the Kanab Stake, which position he occupied until his

untimely death. For some time previous to this tragedy, a  misunderstanding had existed between himself and a

neighbor, Wm. Roundy, over land and water matters, their land being contiguous and their water interests 

vested in the same system. On July 23, 1899, Wm. Roundy, finding no water in the ditch, became enraged and 

going to the home of Bro. Seegmiller, he called him outside and a few minutes later shot him through the heart. 

The murderer then returned to his home and after bidding farewell to his family, shot himself with fatal result.   

Bro. Seegmiller had three wives, 1st, Ellen Smith (daughter of Joseph Smith and Sarah Sailor), who bore him 

three sons and five daughters; 2nd, Artimesia Snow Woolley (daughter of Erastus and Artemesia Snow, and the 

widow of Franklin B. Woolley, who was killed by Indians in 1862), 3rd, Emma Isabella Carroll (daughter of 

Charles Negus Carroll) who bore him four sons and one daughter. Bro Seegmiller was a frontiersman with a 

commanding appearance and knowing no fear. But to his family he was a kind and loving husband and father

and was highly respected by his associates in the Church. He died, as stated, July 23, 1899, at Upper Kanab.


Jordan Reasor said...

I just told this story to Amanda like last week.

A Daily Double said...

Thank you for posting this. Daniel Seegmiller is my great grandfather. The baby mentioned in the story is my grandfather. I always love finding additional information from many sources.