Sunday, November 2, 2014

Second lieutenant Smith, Captain Samuel Smith, Elder Smith, Postmaster Smith, Major Smith, Judge Smith

Tullidge’s Histories, Volume 11, pages 118-122

Tullidge’s Histories, Volume 11, pages 118-122 Samuel Smith 22 May 1818 - 2 October 1895 By Edward William Tullidge There are few men of northern Utah who have had a more interesting and eventful history than Samuel Smith of Brigham City, Box Elder County. He is the son of Daniel W. Smith and Sarah Wooding. His parents were both members of the Mormon Church. His father was a High Priest and died at Nauvoo in the fiftieth year of his age. His mother came to Salt Lake City with one of the pioneer companies; she died at the age of sixty-eight years. Samuel Smith was born at Sherrington, Buckinghamshire, England on May 22, 1818. When quite a boy, he was employed in the Royal Matting Manufactory, where they made the matting on which the princes and princesses walk at the time of their coronation. He continued there a long time, and then engaged in other pursuits. At the age of twenty-two years he became foreman in a large oil-cloth establishment in London. Two years later he was employed as foreman in a mercantile house, and subsequently he became an importing merchant on his own account. On October the 12th, 1837, he was married to Miss Mary Ann Line, at Hemel Hemstead, Hertfordshire.
In 1841, he heard some of the Elders of the Mormon Church preaching and expounding the doctrines of Mormonism. After attending their meetings and listening to them for some time he became convinced that the doctrines were true, according to the scriptures, and on December 26th of the same year he was baptized into the Mormon Church, in London, by Elder Lorenzo Snow, the same who baptized his parents. In 1842, Samuel Smith was ordained a Priest in the Church and commenced to preach the Gospel in the capitol of England. During his ministry there he had some very interesting experiences, among which he relates the following incident: “Sometime after I had been ordained to the priesthood, my sister, Jane S. Turpin, was seized with cholera. Her case became critical and she was soon struggling in the throes of death. Three ministers and two physicians were attending her. They all said the case was hopeless and that she would die. As soon as I heard of her condition I went immediately to her residence. I found my father there, and told him she would not die. I then took hold of her hand, and in the name of Jesus Christ I rebuked the cholera and told her to arise, which she did and was healed. I then bore testimony to them that the fullness of the gospel was restored, and that it was by the power of God that she was healed. In a subsequent interview with them--her husband and herself-- they told me that they heard a voice speak to them and tell them that my testimony was true.” On another occasion he was the means of averting much trouble and difficulty from the authorities of the church in London. He says: “When Apostle Parley P. Pratt and others of the apostles were in England in 1842, some of the Elders acted very impudently while preaching in London in speaking in terms of severity and criticism on the British government. The report of their utterances reached the throne, and the Queen instructed the police authorities to institute inquiry into the matter. On the following Sunday, officers were sent to the meetings of all the religious denominations in London. I was intimately acquainted with one of the magistrates in the borough, who informed me of the instructions given to the officers. On the day named, I was appointed to preach in the open air. An immense congregation had assembled to hear. I preached on the principles of the gospel which inoculates ‘peace on earth, good will to men’ and sustaining and upholding the constituted authorities of all governments under which we live. The reporters discovered that the Mormons taught not treason but loyalty to the throne, and so reported to those that sent them. Had the elders who had acted imprudently been present and preached as they intended on that occasion, they would have been arrested on charge of sedition.” During his ministry in London, Elder Smith baptized a number of new members into the church. Early in January 1843, Samuel Smith, with his parents and family, went to Liverpool, and on the 15th of the same month they sailed from that port to America—their destination being Nauvoo, Illinois. They reached Nauvoo in the following April. Here he became acquainted with the prophet Joseph Smith and the Patriarch Hyrum Smith, and must of the leading authorities of the Mormon Church. In 1843, when the fifth quorum of seventies was organized, Samuel Smith was ordained and set apart as a member of that quorum by President Joseph Young, brother of President Brigham Young. The same year he was enrolled as second lieutenant in a rifle company of the Nauvoo Legion of which Joseph Smith was first lieutenant-general. He continued to serve in that position until the year 1845, when he was appointed captain of the guard of a company of the legion who were sent to a settlement four miles south of Nauvoo, known as Evans’ Settlement. Here they had to guard the people and the property day and night against the insursions of a ruthless, lawless mob who were constantly watching for an opportunity to steal cattle, destroy property and take the lives of the Mormon people. Captain Samuel Smith remained with his family at Nauvoo, participating with the citizens in all of their persecutions and sufferings until after the fearful tragedy in which Joseph and Hyrum Smith were so cruelly murdered in Carthage Jail by a band of lawless ruffians into whose hands they had been betrayed by those who hands they had been betrayed by those who had plighted their faith to protect them. In the notes furnished us by Mr. Smith, he says “In the year 1846, we were driven from our homes in Nauvoo, and compelled to cross the Mississippi River on ice. Many thousands of others suffered in the enforced exodus. We were in a destitute condition, having to fly and leave nearly all we possessed behind us. We stopped in Iowa, where I took contracts that furnished numbers of my brethren with employment, which enabled them to procure means necessary to continue their journey further into the interior where the body of the church had gone. My wife and three children had already gone forward to Mount Pisgah, where a large number of families were encamped with Elder Lorenzo Snow.” “At Mount Pisgah, many of the Mormon people had become prostrated by hunger and fatigue. Sickness broke out and death made terrible inroads into the camp. Some of them died of destitution and starvation. The entire camp was without food. As soon as I heard of it, I started for that place with a wagon load of flour and bacon. When I reached the camp, I found my family sick and dying. Two of my children died, but with careful nursing, my wife and the other child were saved. I delivered the entire load of provisions to Elder Snow, to distribute among the Saints and thus saved many from death by starvation. I then took my wife and child back to camp.” While Mr. Smith remained back in Iowa, he had many rough experiences and narrow escapes from death at the hands of the mobs who threatened to kill him. On one occasion, on Fox River, a mob collected to tar and feather him because he would not renounce Mormonism. Mr. Smith ascended a mound, drew a pistol to defend himself and told them that whoever advanced to tar and feather him would never live to do it. The bold and fearless front he thus assumed saved him. The mob retired and left him thereafter unmolested. In the spring of 1850, he started with his family to travel west for the Rocky Mountains. The feelings of the anti-Mormons were bitter against him. The county authorities were under the necessity of calling out a body of the militia to guard him and his family from attacks until they reached the county lines. After their escort left them they still experienced much annoyance, and were often in imminent danger until they reached the Missouri River, where the Mormon people were organizing companies to cross the plains. Elder Smith was enrolled in a company of which Aaron Johnson was elected captain, Daniel D. Hunt, chaplain, and himself clerk. There were about one hundred wagons in the company. They started their journey in June. When they reached Salt Creek, the cholera broke out among the people, many were prostrated by it, and in a few days eighteen persons died of the scourge; other recovered. When they reached the Platte and while traveling up the river, sickness broke out again. “And here,” says Mr. Smith, “we witnessed some singular instances of healing by the power of God. One night I had a singular vision. I thought a man stood me, and said to me ‘You must stop here, clean out your wagons, wash yourselves and all of you be rebaptized and then your sick shall recover and no more death or sickness shall come upon your company.’ I told my dream to the chaplain and Captain, and they each said they had heard and seen the same things.” “Early one morning, Daniel D. Hunt, the chaplain, who had been afflicted with a terrible cough and could get nothing to relieve him, called for me to visit him and administer to him. He suffered severely and his system was very much shaken and emaciated by the affliction. He said it had been revealed to him during the night that I had the power to rebuke the complaint, and he was immediately healed and was never troubled with the ailment again. My wife also had been similarly afflicted and was healed in a similar manner.” “After cleaning up, washing and baptisms, this sickness left us; we resumed our journey and reached Salt Lake City in health and safety on the 5th of September, 1850.” Elder Smith first settled at Big Cottonwood, ten miles south of Utah’s capitol. There he was appointed clerk of the ward. He was also appointed watermaster. Subsequently, when the twenty-third quorum of the apostles of the seventies was organized he was ordained and set apart as one of the seven presidents of that quorum. In 1855, he was called upon with a company of others, by the authorities of the Mormon Church to go to Box Elder County, and to help build up a city there with his family. In April of the same year, he moved there with his family. There he made a plot 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. Elder Smith was next engaged opening canyons, making roads to the timber and superintending public works under the direction of President Lorenzo Snow who presided over Box Elder County. In same year, 1855, Samuel Smith was appointed postmaster of Brigham City which office he held until he was disqualified by the provisions of Edmund’s Law in 1882. A special agent of the Postal Department was sent to induce him, if possible, to give up Mormonism, in which event they would give him a good position in the postal service. He told them his religious convictions were dearer to him than all things else on earth besides; that he neither could for would give them up for any earthly emoluments that could be offered. Of course he was removed from office. In 1858, the militia of Box Elder County was organized. Every able-bodied man in the district was enrolled and mustered into service. Samuel Smith was elected first mayor of calvary, and also was appointed the commander of the northern post. He commanded the citizen-soldiers in that district in all of the expeditions against the hostile Indians (and other foes of the people) whom he did much to subdue and taught them that the Mormons were their best friends. In 1860, Major Smith was elected Probate Judge of Box Elder County, by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah. He served the people in that capacity for fifteen years, when he became incapacitated for the office, by the same law that disqualified him to be postmaster. He had served the government and the county in these offices for thirty years, but the operations of proscriptive enactments have deprived both the government and his services, and have also deprived him of the right of franchise. In 1871, when the Utah and Northern Railroad was being built through Box Elder County, Judge Smith was appointed by Hon. John W. Young, superintendent of construction. He continued to hold that position until the road was completed to Franklin, Idaho. At the August election held by the stockholders in 1872, Mr. Smith was elected one of the Directors of the company, which office he held until the road was sold to another railroad corporation. He was then appointed to assist to settle up the business of the company. In his closing notes to the writer of this biographical sketch, Mr. Smith says: “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 home industries, in developing the resources of the county and encouraging the people to husband their means; to utilize the elements for their own elevation, 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 covenants to murder me when a favorable opportunity was offered to do so. But through all, the Lord has 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 the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all who will receive it.” Thus will be seen by persuing the above pages that Samuel Smith is rightfully classed among the city founders in this part of the Western Hemisphere and that his life has been devoted to promoting their growth and permanence, and establishing peace and goodwill on the earth. He is now in his 70th year, and is the father of 51 children, 22 sons and 29 daughters. He has 53 grand-children.

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