Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Autobiography of John Herbert Wessman, Part 2 of 5

In entering New York, we saw the statue of liberty and landed at the dock six and a half days from Liverpool. It took five and a half days from New York to Salt Lake City. We went to stay with my sister, Fanny Parker, then I went to live with the Charlie Eleason Family at Millville Utah. I stayed at Eleasons for five and a half years, and had many experiences that were new to me. I set traps for wild animals, muskrats, mink, wild cats, coyotes and Mountain Lions. For the bigger animals I used to get help to set the traps at home, for they were so big. I carried them down to the pastures set.

One morning I rode my horse to the pasture when in the middle of the dam, I ran into 3 Mountain Lions. The horse gave one snort and whirled, jumped a 4 wire fence and raced for home. Mrs. Eliason said to her husband there is something wrong, Herbert doesn’t ride his horse like that. He ran to the corral, jumped the poles and stopped. I was still on his back. Another morning I went to the traps and found that a mountain lion got in one of the traps and had gone up the canyon. I was not well and the folks, they said I better stay home. Three young fellows took after it. It had dragged the pole seven miles. They shot it and skinned it. The skin measured 7 ½ feet over the back from foot to foot.

Done very well in school, after 3 years in school I out-spelled everyone at the agricultural college in Logan. I started at the A.C., but was not able to finish because my mother needed me at home…and I thought it was the only thing to do.

I can remember as a boy I had earned two dollars working and it was the first money I had earned. I handed it to her (my mother), she said “no, it is your money, you spend it”. I insisted that she should take it. She said “put 20 cents of this in your bank, and 20 cents is your tithing. The rest is yours, to do as you think best. If you pay your tithing you will never be in want. The was surely a prophecy, thank God I have never been in want.

When I was fifteen years old, living with the Eleason family, my brother Henry took very sick. Seven doctors gave him up. The said it was inflammation of the bowels, and couldn’t do anything for him. The Elders administered to him and said he would get well and live to raise a big family. A lady doctor, Semmill was her name, took the case. Said “while there is life, there is hope”. She operated on him at our home. When she put the scalpel in him, the pus hit the ceiling. She done what she could, told my sister “there is no chance for him”. She put the sheet up over him and said “I’ll come up in the morning”. My sister took care of him, washed him off, and gave him all the water he wanted to drink. Said “if he is going to die, I can at least give him water if he wants”. She looked up and there stood my father at his head. He shook his head and disappeared (father had died the year before). The doctor called the next morning and was very much surprised when mother told her he was alive and seemed to feel better. They put him in an ambulance and walked the horses to the St. Marks Hospital. The Elders were called in and administered to him, said he would live and raise a large family.

In the meantime, Henry was very low and on the 3rd day, the Intern pronounced him dead, and he was sent to the morgue. A few minutes afterward my sister and mother came to the hospital. They were told he was dead. My sister said “I don’t believe it, he was told by the Elders that he would live and raise a large family”. She called the doctor. She came at once and said to the intern “where did you get the permission to put him in the Morgue?” She put a mirror to his lips, and in a few moments said “he’s alive”. She rushed him in and applied restorative. He lived and raised a large family.

There was a special train of Surgeons (250 of them) at Ogden, on the way to San Francisco, read of the case. The train came to Salt Lake and looked over the patient, asked many questions. Dr. Semmill said “this was not my skill, but was an act of God”. She made this statement several times. The Surgeons were very much surprised. One of them picked up a jar had water in it. They gave gold pieces, filled the jar with them. This was really a blessing fulfilled.

Pictures from Flickr: Statue of Liberty (Bob Jagendorf) and Cache Valley (Brett Neilson)

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