Sunday, December 27, 2015

Just One New Year's Resolution for 2016

Just one New Year's Resolution this coming year: finish my book.

The book is called Slaves in Zion: African American Servitude in Utah Territory, and is under contract with an academic publisher. It will tell the story of approximately 100 African American slaves who lived in Utah Territory between 1847 and 1862. 

Why 1847 and 1862? 

In 1847 the first three African American slaves, Oscar (Crosby) Smith, Hark (Lay) Wales, and Green Flake, entered the Salt Lake Valley several days ahead of Brigham Young.

In 1862 Congress ended slavery in the territories and the blacks who remained enslaved in Utah were freed.

About a quarter of the 100 slaves in the story went to San Bernardino in 1851. At least one man lived his entire life in Utah, from birth to death, and some of his descendants still live in the Salt Lake Valley. It has been a real pleasure to work with the descendants of the slaves, and with local historians, academics, and librarians all over the Western United States.

A number of authors and historians have told parts of the story of African American slavery in Utah Territory, but the time had come to use the many resources now available online to figure out what was legend and what was fact, and give an accurate and honest account of the lives of these many men, women, and children.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Keeping the Saints Informed: John Morgan and the Southern States Mission

While he served as President of the Southern States Mission, John Morgan or his missionaries sent regular letters to the Deseret News keeping the Saints in Utah Territory up to date about the missionaries and converts. Here is a letter I saw today while looking for something else.

The letter is written from Covington, Indiana, December 1879. Morgan describes the immigration of the Southern converts to Manassa, Colorado, both a company that left in November and one scheduled to leave in March. Negotiating with the railroads was an important part of his mission, and he mentions a detail or two about that. He mentions specific missionaries and encourages those missionaries called at Conference to show up: " would lighten the burden on the rest of us materially, and be the means of doing much good; thousands and thousands of people in this mission have never met an Elder and are in absolute ignorance of what we teach."

He tells about a visit to St. Louis, and, "Passing through Illinois, I called to see my parents, whom I had not met with for four years; a church house was opened for me and I was invited to preach, which I did to a crowded house who paid close attention." He met Elder George Nebeker in Covington, and was planning to head immediately to Kentucky.
Asking an interest in the faith and prayers of Israel, that our missionary labors may be crowned with success, I remain your brother in the Gospel of Christ,
John Morgan.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Maria Tanner Lyman, Plural Marriage, and the Godbeites

I am slowly starting to build a case that the Tanner family disliked plural marriage and, with the possible exception of Nathan, only practiced it later and with great reluctance, and then largely as a social safety net for needy women. Here is one more data point.

In 1872 more than 400 Utah women sent a petition to Congress requesting that the Territory not be admitted as a state as long as the Church was still practicing plural marriage. The petition was created and circulated by the spiritualist Godbeites, who were seeking to wrest political and economic power from Brigham Young. 

In the case of a similar petition the Church claimed that its signers did not know the exact contents of the petition, but it is probably impossible to tell if it was the case with the women listed in this petition. There were a number of acute stresses in the Territory in the early 1870s, and many families would have been struggling.

Here are three excerpts from the petition; the first from the cover letter, the second from the actual petition; the third from the list of names.

The language is very strong, but Louisa Maria Tanner Lyman had suffered greatly as the first of many wives of the polygamist and probably mentally ill Amasa M. Lyman. By this point he had been ousted from the Quorum of the Twelve and excommunicated. Is it possible that he put her name on the petition without her consent? It's probably impossible to say.

(In case anyone questions the identification, although she went by the name "Maria," she usually went by the name Louisa M Lyman in government documents, and there were no other women of the same name in the Territory.)

Additional Reading

Edward Leo Lyman, Amasa Mason Lyman: Mormon Apostle and Apostate, A Study in Dedication, 2009.
Ronald Walker, Wayward Saints: The Godbeites and Brigham Young, 1998.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Autobiography of Ann Prior Jarvis

In 1890 Ann Prior Jarvis sat down with a new blank book and wrote out a clean copy of her autobiography. She got 33 pages in and then never finished, so years later her daughter Josephine copied the rest of her mother's history from another book, added some biographical information, added a history of her father, and donated the book to the Washington County DUP.

DUP President Jeanine Vander Bruggen kindly sent a copy of the book along with biographies for the other women in the Eminent Women of the St. George Temple project, a project I'm planning to resume once I finish my book on the slaves in Utah Territory.

There is a copy in the Church History Library in Salt Lake City, and several years ago I added a link to the catalog entry. The link became broken over time and a Jarvis cousin wrote to ask about the document, so I added the entire autobiography to Ann's FamilySearch Family Tree Memories section, split into three parts since it's so large. (Look in the "Documents" section and click "More..." The three files are near the end.)
Ann Prior Jarvis: Memories
Here are images of the first few pages.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Finding John Tanner among the Country Roads and Farms of Greenwich, New York

From Flickr, used as is.
Sometime in 1810, perhaps in the later half of the year after the harvest was over, a census taker followed the winding country roads of Greenwich, New York, to provide an accurate list of all the inhabitants of the town, black or white, free or slave.

The census taker recorded two John Tanners in Greenwich, both men with families of about the same age.

Unfortunately neither entry matches our Tanner family genealogy. The most likely scenario is that the second John Tanner is ours, since he is listed close to his mother Thankful, but neither entry is a perfect match.

Here are the numbers. The first group is how the Tanner family should have looked in the census, based on the genealogy. The next group is a John Tanner family living with two free blacks. The third group is the John Tanner family living close to the widowed Thankful Tanner. Neither family has slaves; by 1810 there were only eight left in Greenwich.

Note that extra individuals in the family do not matter one way or the other since families were often more fluid than today due to early deaths. The more concerning data points would be the lack of small children who should have been at home with their mother.


Under 10  2-3 William (age 7-8), Sidney (age 1), possibly Elisha (age 9-10) unless he was living with the Bentlys
Under 16  0-1 possibly Elisha (age 9-10)
Under 26  0
Under 45  1   John Tanner (age 31-32)

Under 10  1  Matilda (age 5-6)
Under 16  0
Under 26 0
Under 45  1  Lydia Tanner (age 26-27)

OPTION 1 (Page 4, bottom half, line 6)

Under 10  2
Under 16  1
Under 26 0
Under 45  1

Under 10  0
Under 16   0
Under 26   1
Under 45   1

Free blacks 2
Slaves  0

OPTION 2 (Page 5, top half, line 14)

Under 10  1
Under 16  1
Under 26 0
Under 45  1

Under 10  2
Under 16  0
Under 26 0
Under 45  1

Free blacks 0
Slaves  0

The first entry works if Elisha was counted as 10, Matilda was put in the wrong age group, and the Tanners had two free blacks living with them. The second entry works if Elisha was counted as 10 years old and the census taker accidentally recorded one of the little boys as a girl.

Note that Thankful's entry is strange: she is listed in the under-45 category, but she was actually in her 50s. She also has four boys ages 10-26 living with her (Pardon, Francis, Joshua, and William) and one girl under 10 (perhaps a granddaughter; could this be Matilda?).

Another option is that John Tanner was living elsewhere, but this is not supported by the family history or by any online indexed copy of the US Census. If anyone wanted to read through the entire Washington County Census to check for a wrongly-indexed entry, the easiest way would be to read the copy at
Washington County Census
Washington County starts on page 291 and goes through 379. Greenwich is at the very end, and the concluding page of the census (381) notes that it was filed on February 7, 1811.

Another avenue of investigation would be to figure out the identity of the other John Tanner and decide out if he is an obvious match for one of the census records.

This is a case where we do not have enough data to make a final decision, but since John was shown farming his father's land in the tax records, it's likely that he was located close to his mother, if we can assume that the census was geographical in nature.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Freighting the Tabernacle Organ ... or Whoops, Did I Repeat an Urban Legend?

From Wikipedia.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was broadcasting from the Salt Lake Tabernacle instead of the Conference Center this morning, so I told my son the story that I saw in the family history and wrote into a biography of Sidney Tanner:
The Tanners lived in San Bernardino until 1857, when Brigham Young called the settlers back to Utah Territory at the time Johnston’s Army was threatening the Saints. Sidney and his family settled in the beautiful valley of Beaver, Utah, after Sidney delivered the new Tabernacle pipe organ to Salt Lake City.
Sidney Tanner
I pointed to the great bank of organ pipes and said that it had some of the original pipes that Sidney would have helped transport. Then my History Hogwash Meter™ kicked in and I remembered that the Tabernacle was built in the 1860s, several years after the Saints left San Bernardino.

An official History of the Tabernacle notes that Joseph Ridges constructed the organ for the new Tabernacle out of ponderosa pine from Pine Valley, Utah, a logging settlement in the mountains above St. George. Like our Bryant-Parkinson-Stapley family, Joseph Ridges was an English emigrant from Australia. His family settled first in San Bernardino, then moved to Salt Lake City during the Utah War

But it would be a mistake to abandon the family story even though it doesn't fit into this timeline: the Tabernacle shown above was the second Tabernacle the Church built. The first one was an adobe building situated where the Assembly Hall is now, and it did, in fact, have an organ built by Joseph Ridges in Australia and transported across the Pacific Ocean and then across the Mojave Desert and through old Utah Territory to Great Salt Lake City.

1855 Carl Flemming map of the Southwest, David Rumsey maps

Here is the story of the first organ from a Church News article provided by Joseph Ridge's family.
[Around 1853] Joseph became convinced of the truth of the gospel. He and his wife were later baptized. 
In his spare time he began to build a small, seven-stop pipe organ. Fascinated with the instrument, Mission President Augustus Farnham asked Ridges to donate it to the Church in Salt Lake City. Ridges agreed, and when Pres. Farnham sailed for Utah, he was accompanied by the Ridges—and the organ—who were among a company of 120 aboard the Jenny Ford. When the ship landed in California, they accompanied the members to San Bernardino.... 
Joseph H. Ridges
The following spring Brigham Young sent teams and wagons to haul the organ to Salt Lake City, where it arrived in June 1857. The small organ was installed in the small adobe tabernacle that was built on Temple Square where the Assembly Hall now stands. But with Johnston's Army approaching Utah, the organ was dismantled and packed, and was evacuated to the south along with the population of Salt Lake City. When the fear of war was over, the organ was returned to the old tabernacle, and when the Assembly Hall was built, many of its pipes and better parts were incorporated into the Assembly Hall organ. 
In the 1860's, construction on the present Tabernacle began. Brigham Young asked Ridges, who was then farming in Provo, if he could build a grand organ for the new building. Although Ridges' only previous organ-building experience was on the small organ, he had no doubt that he could build a large organ.... (Source.)
Stuart Grow's thesis "A Historical Study of the Construction of the Salt Lake Tabernacle" specifies that the organ was transported by teams sent from San Bernardino by Charles C. Rich and Amasa M. Lyman (Sidney's brother-in-law). The organ was played for the first time in the Old Tabernacle on October 11, 1857. (Link.)

The Old Tabernacle to the left of the New Tabernacle.

Since the family preserved this memory and Sidney was one of a small group of Mormon freighters running the dangerous trade route between Salt Lake City and San Bernardino, the biographical note about transporting the Tabernacle organ is undoubtedly true, and I will leave his biography mostly as is, but add a note about it being the Old Tabernacle organ.

According to the Church News article, part of the Australian organ was used for the Assembly Hall organ after the Assembly Hall was built on the site of the Old Tabernacle. Here is a picture.

Creative Commons, used as is, Aaron Goodwin, Flickr. 

Note: There's a new well-reviewed history, Michael Hicks, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: A Biography (2015). I haven't read it yet, but the reviews are positive.

Friday, September 25, 2015

... still screening ...

The front page of the October 27, 1857 Daily Alta California is still not showing up in FamilySearch. If there is a review process, it is very slow. If it has been censored, it would be good of FamilySearch to let me know the reason.

(The newspaper shows as "Screening in process" in multiple accounts. I added the document to three entries on August 19.)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

... still screening ...

After I put up the last post about Sidney Tanner and the Mountain Meadows Massacre, I added the newspaper to his FamilySearch entry and also tagged William Mathews and Ira Hatch. The terms in the title or description must have triggered a review by a human, because two weeks later the newspaper still shows as follows.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wills and Probate: Sidney Tanner

Have you heard about Ancestry's wonderful new U.S. Wills and Probate collection? I've been using it all day and have found some great information for my book, including a notice that was misfiled into a probate folder although it belonged elsewhere, but was valuable in explaining a strange part of the history of a Missouri family.

Since I've been concentrating on Sidney Tanner's history recently, I pulled up his probate record. It was a difficult situation, since he had two wives, but only one was legally able to appear in court.

Each probate file is indexed by contents, as you can see in the right sidebar, making it easier to navigate through the file. I do wish it were possible to download the entire file with one click!

Sidney's file does not include a detailed inventory, which is disappointing, since that's my favorite part of any probate, but it does give a snapshot into the circumstances of his later years.

Have you used this new collection yet? Find anything interesting?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sidney Tanner and the Mountain Meadows Massacre

Daily Alta California, Mountain Meadows Massacre, October 27, 1857, 1.

Sidney Tanner and William Mathews were freighting between Salt Lake City and San Bernardino. They left Salt Lake City and made their way down along the rough pioneer road and drove into Cedar City just after the horrible tragedy at Mountain Meadows.

Their wagons were stopped and they were not allowed to go any further. Finally they negotiated travel through the area, guided by Indian missionary Ira Hatch. They could not have known that Hatch had just murdered Abel Baker, the last of the Arkansas emigrants killed in a massacre directed by Isaac C. Haight and John D. Lee and others, and carried out by the men of the Iron County Military District of the Nauvoo Legion. 

The account in the Daily Alta California was collected by a reporter writing under a pseudonym, and included the accounts of two travelers, George Powers of Arkansas and P. M. Warn of New York, who had been traveling with Sidney Tanner and William Mathews.

Sidney Tanner and William Mathews were not participants in the Massacre, and although they were taken past the massacre site at night, they must have seen proof of the awful carnage, which was represented to them as being the work of the local native tribes. Mathews was a former Southerner and a slave-owner and had a fiery temper, which is evident in the newspaper report of his comments after the Massacre.

For reliable information about the massacre, see the book Massacre at Mountain Meadows (Walker, Turley, Leonard), with important data summarized at

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sidney Tanner Obituary

When Sidney Tanner died, the fact of his advanced age and reputation and large number of relatives meant that his obituary was front page news across the state territory of Utah. 

Here is the article from the Deseret Evening News. It ran from one column into the next so I cut and pasted into a single file and transcribed it while I was at it. 

(I already quoted most of this obituary in his biography, Sidney Tanner: A Life of Remarkable Industry.)

If someone was paying me to do family history I would do this for each of my files, but usually I just do this for my professional work.

An Old Beaver Citizen Passes to Another Life—Salt Lake Relatives to Attend the Funeral.
By a telegram to Mrs. Barlow Ferguson and Mrs. George Crismon, his daughters, in this city, it is learned that Sidney Tanner, of Beaver, died last evening. Elder Tanner was born on the shores of Lake George, in the state of New York, in 1808, and was consequently 87 years old. He was a man of marvelous constitutional powers, and endured the hardships common to the early settlement of this Territory as well as that of southern California. He was one of the earliest settlers of Beaver and has done much to build up that place; and he now leaves behind him a large family of his own, as well as a host of kindred numbering more than 600, all the descendants of John Tanner, who was prominent in the early history of the Church in Kirtland and Nauvoo, and who died soon after his entry into the Territory. The helpless condition of Elder Sidney Tanner during the last few years of his life was such as to make his departure not wholly unexpected to his family and relatives, a number of whom will leave this city and Utah county tomorrow morning to be present at the funeral services which will take place next Sunday in Beaver.

He was known as a man of remarkable industry, temperate habits, generous disposition, and unswerving integrity.

Deseret Evening News, “Sidney Tanner Dead,” December 6, 1895, 1.

Picture from FamilySearch family Tree, courtesy of jonahlstrom.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Media Coverage about James Glade

Toward the end of James Glade's life, he was in extremely poor health. Beverly Wessman thought he had diabetes, but the recorded symptoms are not exact enough to say for sure.

In the 1870s and 1880s there was not anything the doctors could do to help him, besides a little bit of ineffective pain relief mostly based on opiates, so in an attempt to control the excruciating pain he resorted first to alcohol, and then to morphine. None of it worked; in February 1881 he overdosed on morphine. His business partner said it was on purpose; he claimed it was accidental.

Almost two years later he was returning from his job in Ogden to visit his family in Salt Lake City and collapsed in the street. The police assumed he was inebriated, which would confirm a forensic diagnosis of diabetes, since diabetic ketoacidosis can resemble intoxication. An inquest was held, and the officials said his collapse and death were not due to any type of inebriation, but to his health difficulties and "intemperance" (attempts at pain management).

It must have been hard on James's wives Eliza and Isabella to deal with his illness and support the family and maintain a place in society, but they did so. Their children married into other stable families and their descendants have continued to be an important part of intelligent, friendly Utah society.

Here are the articles covering James's unfortunately public state of health.

First, a few background notes from the papers.

Deseret News, December 11, 1878, 1.

Ogden Standard, September 15, 1880, 2.

The newspapers prematurely report James's death.

Ogden Standard, February 12, 1881, 2.

And then they quickly retract the story when he lives and disputes the reported story.

Salt Lake Herald, February 9, 1881, 3.

Ogden Standard, February 12, 1881, 2.

His health only got worse, and at age 51 he collapsed and died.

Ogden Standard, December 5, 1882, 3.

Deseret News, December 6, 1882, 12.

The family held his funeral at home. This was a common arrangement at the time.

Salt Lake Herald, December 6, 1882, 8.

It took years to settle his estate. 

Salt Lake Tribune, April 14, 1892, 8.

The entire file is available in the Utah Probate Records (Series 1621),  Salt Lake County, but the collection is unindexed, and the case files are not organized in a way that makes them easily searchable by date. The James Glade file is Case Number 1547, if anyone would like to locate it. (Click on the first link in this paragraph and select Salt Lake County. The files are marginally sorted by date.)

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Story of James Glade, Part 5: Dreams, Aspirations, and Fortitude

They had a good social life. They went to the Salt Lake Theater, entertained and visited friends, attended lectures and music at the Tabernacle, dances at the church, church on Sunday, and picnics. Black Rock on the shore of Great Salt Lake was their favorite resort. They loved to attend the 24th of July parades where James played the flute in the Nauvoo Legion band. 

Ogden Standard, September 15, 1880, 2.

James was an excellent and knowledgeable musician. He affiliated with the Nauvoo Legion Third Regiment Marshall Band, as it was called, playing the flute and/or fife. He also played the concertina.. James was a slender man, about 5’ 8” and 130 pounds. Later he played the flute in the Salt Lake City Municipal band. He loved to sit on the veranda and play the concertina and sing old Welsh songs. He would practice with other musicians on a summer’s eve. The family loved to listen to the band practice.

James Glade's instrument

The 1880 Census listed 10,768 people in Salt Lake City. The white walls of the temple were nearing completion. Taxes paid for the Glade property and home at 331 C Street on 14 Nov 1881 were $9.60. After long hours of work in the Walker House, James would come home and work in the garden but his health began to fail. James was a quiet soft-spoken man and rarely talked about himself.

Cohabitation was a problem for these polygamist families for fear of prison and fines. James had eight living children and two wives. He promised Isabell her own home but lost so much money by the May partnership that he never could build her a home of her own.

In 1881 James took his oldest son James Richard (Jimmy) to help him as a baker at the Beardsley Union Hotel in Ogden. James was not well. He had a sore on his leg that never healed. They thought it was a spider bite but he probably was a diabetic (unknown then). He worked at his baker’s bench but had to rest his afflicted leg on a stool as he worked.

In March 1882, the Edmunds-Tucker Act was passed by Congress making cohabitation illegal and punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment.

On Saturday December 2, 1882 with his health failing, James told his son Jimmy that he had to go home to see his family. He took the train to Salt Lake. He bought two packages of meat in town and was walking up State Street when he passed out and never regained consciousness. He was taken home and died Sunday, December 3, 1882. 

[Editor's Note: James was in very bad health. Diabetes is a good guess, but the recorded symptoms are not exact enough to say for sure. There was not anything the doctors could do to help him, so in an attempt to control the excruciating pain he resorted first to alcohol, and then to morphine. None of it worked; in February 1881 he either accidentally or purposefully overdosed on morphine. Almost two years later he collapsed in the street, as told here. The police assumed he was inebriated, which would confirm a forensic diagnosis of diabetes. An autopsy found his collapse and death were due to his health problems rather than another morphine overdose.]

He was 51 years old. The funeral service was held in their Victorian Parlor. James was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

The two young widows continued on in the same home. They sold some of the property to pay bills but kept one quarter block on C Street and 7th Avenue. They took in washing and ironing. Later Isabell did nursing care. They were frugal and managed well together even though they were of different temperaments.

Eliza died of a stroke 7 January 1920. Bell died of cancer on 5 March 1921. Eliza and Isabell are buried in the Glade plot at the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Mary’s unmarked grave is in Nebraska somewhere. They are not forgotten. A part of them is alive in each of us.

It may seem that their dreams and aspirations were not fully realized but these people suffered, worked unceasingly, had fortitude to carry on in face of sorrow and trouble and they persevered. Through faith and endurance they enjoyed the good times and had hope for better. They adhered to gospel principals. Of the 15 children, two of Mary Dyer’s, eight of Eliza Mary’s, and five of Isabell’s, only nine grew to maturity. Seven married and had fine families. We honor them and respect them for the great heritage that is ours. There were over 2,500 descendants in 1990.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Story of James Glade, Part 4: Life in Salt Lake City

He had a good job as a pastry cook at the leading hotel, the Salt Lake House on East Temple, now Main street, where the Tribune Building is now located. They lived in a small adobe home in back of the Salt Lake House. James was ambitious. He went into a business partnership with Dan Towler at the Globe Bakery-Restaurant next to the State House, the largest building on the west side of East Temple (Main St.) and south of South Temple. This was an unprofitable business and he lost money. 

Then he worked at the Townsend House as a pastry cook. He tried another Bakery-Restaurant on the east side of Main between 1st and 2nd South near the Salt Lake House. John Lollin was his partner. This was another unprofitable business. James furnished work and money and his partners furnished poor management. 

Then he worked at the Walker House, the hotel across the street. He was a good baker and always found work. 

James and Eliza Mary lived in the 13th Ward at 6th South and 2nd East. During this time, three children were born; James Richard, Francis Ann Elizabeth, and William John. Baby Francis Ann died during September 1867 at age 14 months.

That same year on December 14, 1867 in the Endowment House, Eliza was endowed and sealed to James by Wilford Woodruff. Mary Dyer was sealed to James. Eliza Mary’s mother and father, the Litsons were endowed and sealed. This has a great day for the Glade family. 

In 1868–69 they lived in the 8th Ward on 5th south between East Temple and 1st east. Beyond the 4th Avenue mud wall and the canal was the property he wanted. James and Eliza saved money and bought the property, which was G of a block on the northwest corner of Pine Street and Mountain Avenue, which is 7th Avenue and C Street today. He finished the two-story house in 1869. It was in 1869 that Great Salt Lake City became Salt Lake City. 

The house faces east. You enter the front and on your left is the Victorian Parlor. The large room you are standing in had a staircase up to the two bedrooms on the north and the dormitory on the south for the children. On the main floor to the right was the large kitchen with a coal stove for heating and cooking on the west well. The north wall had a sink with a cistern outside to catch the rainwater and you could pump fresh water inside to the sink. They were very careful with the water. They carried water from the canal on 4th Avenue to 7th Avenue. He dug two different wells but the wells caved in because of the soil and the slope of the hill. Any excess watered the primroses on the path or the lilacs and woodbine that shaded the porch on the east and south sides of the house. James had four terraces on the side of the steep hill. He had fruit trees and a grape vineyard. They had a barn with a cow, chickens, rabbits, and a goat until the goat made a mistake one day and ate someone’s clothes off the line. He didn’t stay long.

They were busy. It took much work. James had met a young Scottish housekeeper when he worked at the Salt Lake House. He and Eliza had her to their home on many occasions. With the consent of Eliza, James married Isabella Love on June 28, 1869. He bought his new wife a green parasol. He also bought Eliza a blue parasol. He always tried to treat his wives equally.

Isabella Love Glade

It is said they were an ideal polygamous family. The children called Eliza Mary Auntie Liz and Isabell was called Auntie Bell. Auntie Liz (Lies) was soft spoken and quiet. She used praise and soft pats on the head. She liked working outdoors, gardening and animals. Auntie Bell was outspoken and more talkative. She showed love by darning your socks or sewing on truant buttons. She did the indoor work, sewing and cooking. They worked well together and had a great capacity for love. The children loved them both.

In 1870, the post brought them good news, James’s Uncle Will in England left them an inheritance. They bought some furnishings for 331 C Street. Then James furnished the money for a new partnership, the May and Glade Butchers in 1871. He suffered heavy financial loss because of his partner’s bills. This was his last business venture. His partners took advantage of his trusting nature and money. Three times he had suffered financially. He knew disappointment, but he was a hard worker. He spent long hours at his baker’s bench, often 12 hours a day. He always had good work. He and his wives were industrious. They had a good home life.

For special occasions like Christmas, James baked fancy cakes and candies when sugar was $1.00 a pound. The nuts had to be shelled and raisins and fruit cleaned. The family sat at the table working and whistling to keep the children from eating the nuts and fruit. At meal times James sat at the head of the table. On each side of him sat one wife. Next to her sat her youngest child, with the other children arranged according to age on her side of the table. The wives never spoke unkindly to each other. 

The children went to school as often as finances allowed them to go. They went to the 20th Ward school until 1875.

ln 1876 they went to the 18th Ward and went there to school. Sometimes they attended Brigham Young’s school or two private schools for 25 cents a week for each child. 

Eliza Mary had five more children: Eliza Mary, Jennetta Georgeina, Joseph Robert, Grace Katchlaina, and George Litson for a total of eight. On November 18, 1878, a diphtheria epidemic took the life of Joseph Robert at age 3-1/2. Six days later six year old Jennetta died in the morning then baby Grace, 11 months old, died a few hours later. She was buried in the arms of her sister. (Francis Ann had died 11 years earlier.) 

Isabella had five children: Annie Isabell, James David, Margaret Elizabeth, Alice Addelina, who was almost three when she died, and Orson Henry. 

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Story of James Glade, Part 3: “Dear Mother, I will tell you—and do not be angry...”

[James and Eliza] were married shortly after they arrived. 

James and Eliza Mary Litson Glade

Just after they were married he sent a letter to Eliza Mary’s parents and it reads as follows:

3 Oct. 1863

Dear Brother and Sister Litson,

I hope you will forgive me for the step that I have taken in marrying your daughter without your consent, but you know how we are situated, a long distance apart and it takes a long time for correspondence. So I sought the counsel of my Bishop’s wishes. He gave me his consent and blessing. He knows well what I am and what I have been ever since I have been in this city and as long as I got consent of the servants of the Lord, I trust you will have no objections. You know I crossed over from Cardiff two years ago and my wife died in crossing the plains, which I have been across since, living single until I was called upon by the Bishop to go down to Florence to help to bring up the Saints. I went there and saw Brother Morgan and your two daughters. I got a wagon for Brother Morgan to drive and took Joan and Eliza in my wagon and fixed it up for them as comfortable as I could and returned to this city. Soon after we came home, Eliza and I got married. The reason that we got married was because we love each other and saw enough of each other’s ways to know that we could live together happily. I know Eliza is a good girl and delights to make things around us comfortable. She feels happy and cheerful all the time since we have come in. I have not seen a sad look on her countenance.

You may depend, Dear Brother and Sister, that I will study to make her comfortable and to lead her into the Celestial Kingdom of God. It is salvation that I am fighting for and have been ever since I first embraced the Gospel. Mormonism was true to me when I was in Cardiff; it is still truer now that I know the theory of Mormonism. Now I know the practical part, my desire is to be faithful to this work and obey the servants of God. When Brigham says I go, I go; when he says come, I come. I know he is a good man and superior to all others now living on earth. I have worked for him and boarded in his house the first winter I came here.

Please to give my love to all the saints that know me and those that don’t know me as well, for we all shall know each other someday. Tell them to hold fast to the old ship and all will come out all right.
My prayer is that God will bless you continually with his spirit and to enable you to be faithful unto the end. I remain your dear brother in the Gospel.

James Glade
Great Salt Lake City
Utah Territory
North America

October 30th (1863)

Dear Father and Mother,

It is with a feeling of gratitude to my Heavenly Father that I embrace this opportunity of writing to you to inform you of our arrival in this peaceful valley. We left Florence on the 7th of August and arrived here on the 4th of October. We had a pleasant journey in crossing the plains, very pleasant weather all the way and have had ever since we have been here. 

I can truly say I felt to rejoice after traveling nearly 7,000 miles and got in sight of the city. I like the place very much and the people that live here as far as I have been acquainted with them. We came here two days before Conference so we had the privilege of going and seeing the Prophet of the Lord. A more handsome and fine looking man I never saw. His very countenance is a blessing to the Saints of God. 

Dear Father and Mother, I feel proud to be associated with the people and dwell in the beautiful valleys of the mountains where we can go and hear the Gospel proclaimed in its fullness and the Servants of the lord teach us how to live day by day and to prepare ourselves for Eternal Exaltation in our Father’s Kingdom. I hope the time will soon come when I shall have the pleasure of meeting you and my brothers here. Then how happy will be the meeting (and) joy each bosom will feel when we shall each other greet on Zions twice sanctified hill. When we came in the City Brother Glade drove the wagon with us and our luggage to Brother Keates’ from Cardiff. Jean Jenetta is still living there (in the) services of Brother Keates. I guess she will stop there this winter. Brother I.W. Morgan had got a good place with Brother Godby, the druggist. He is doing very well. Most of the Cardiff Saints have gone to Oregon excepting Samuel Evans, and he and his family are living here. He is working on the temple. We have not seen John Lewis since we left Saint Joseph in the States, but Brother Glade saw him at Florence and he told him that he was coming across in one of the trains behind us. Sister Davis crossed in the same train as we. She is stopping with some of her friends 4 miles out of the City. We saw Elizabeth Thomas at Conference. She is living at Casshens 12 miles from this City. She is married and doing well. 

Dear Father and Mother, I hope this will find you and our dear brothers quite well, as I am happy to say it leaves us at present. Thank God for it. We have enjoyed very good health ever since we left home except a little on the Plains when I suffered severely with the toothache and I have had it some since we came in, but I hope to soon get rid of it. 

Dear Father and Mother, I have told you all about the rest, but I have not said anything about my own condition, but Dear Mother, I will tell you—and do not be angry—I am married to Brother James Glade from Cardiff. We are living in the City and doing well. I have a good home and everything to make me happy. My husband is working at his trade and gets very good wages. He was called upon last spring to go to the States to assist in bringing up the Saints, which he obeyed and returned with the blessing of the Servants of the Lord upon him. It was there at Florence I got acquainted with him, and we came in his wagon. He got a wagon for Brother Morgan to drive which he got his passage free and had 40 dollars besides. 

Dear Father, I need not to ask you to make every effort to come here for I know you will, and you may demand that we will do the same for you here. There is some talk here that there will be emigration through the States next year, but I do not know if there is. Please write and let us know what prospects you have for coming and we will see what we can do to assist you. I believe it will not be long before the way will be closed up. Uncle Sam is determined to destroy this people if he can, but Brigham says he can’t do it. They are trying to send soldiers here all the time to keep the Mormons under subjection to their corrupt laws, but they never will do it. We have the Law of God revealed to us from time to time, and that will stand in spite of all opposition, and it will grow and increase in power and greatness until all wickedness is destroyed and righteousness reigns predominant over the earth. 

Dear Father and Mother, we want you here, and all good men and women to help build it up and become legal citizens in the Kingdom of God. I feel thankful unto the God of Israel for gathering me and my Sister out of Babylon and placing us where we are in these valleys of the Mountains. My prayer is that God will continue to bless us with His spirit, that we may be able to do right and live our religion and hasten the time when you will come here and be happy with us. Please let Uncle John and James know how we are and give our best respects to them. Tell them to obey the Gospel and gather out of Babylon. Please to remember us to all the Saints and friends. 

I told you that I did not know where John Lewis is, but I was going up to the City today and saw him. He is living in the City with James Chaning. When you come bring with you some light shoes for crossing the Plains. They are much better for traveling in fine weather that having (heavy) ones. We have the boots that Brother Peard made us. They are nearly as good as they were when we left home. Bring with you everything that is worth bringing, especially clothing. You (will) find thread very useful here. All (such things) are very dear in this country, but above all bring yourselves as quick as you can if you have to leave all behind you. Now dear Father & Mother, I must close for the present and wish you goodby until we receive a letter from you, which I hope you will write as soon as you get this. 

Kiss our little brother for us and tell Richard to be a good boy and grow up to help drive the cattle across the Plains. I have not enclosed a letter for Mrs. Roberts as I promised her I would for I intend to write a letter to her alone and tell her a little about Mormonism. Now I must wait for the present, wishing you every blessing that God can bestow upon you, from your dear and affectionate daughters,

Eliza Mary Glade
Joan Jenetta Litson

To be continued...

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Story of James Glade, Part 2: Emigration to America

These exhausted immigrants now crowded onto the Blackhawk, a riverboat, for a two or three day journey upriver to Florence, Nebraska, arriving on July 2nd. Travel from New York to the bustling frontier town of Florence took five train changes and two riverboats in two weeks. They had come over 7,000 miles.

The travel weary James with wife Mary and 19-month-old Mary Jane had to outfit a wagon with food and belongings. The wagon was probably shared with others. For crossing the plains, we do not know which company they joined but think probably it was the John R. Murdock Company or the Sixtus E. Johnson Company. 

Mary Dyer Glade

At mid-July they left Florence for the final 1000-mile journey westward to the Territory of Utah, Great Salt Lake City. 

Before they had traveled a half-day’s journey, the arduous trip proved too much for the delicate Mary Glade. She passed away before noon. There was only time to bury her in a shallow grave and place rocks on top for protection. After a brief ceremony they continued on west. 

That evening a sad James walked all the way back to his dear Mary’s grave. His wife of six years, their plans and dreams of a better life were all changed here on the plains of Nebraska. In the moonlight he heaped more rocks and cut limbs from trees and bushes to fence off the grave to protect his wife’s remains from animals and trespassers. James mourned and said his last farewell to Mary Dyer Glade. 

James kept busy to assuage his grief. He became the handy man for the company. A baker now turned pioneer and frontiersman. There was plenty to do such as keeping wagons repaired, helping others with animals, food, and anything to help the saints reach their goal, Zion. They were bound together by a common faith. Half-heartedly he continued on. 

Mary Jane was only 19 months old and she also missed her mother. A kind woman named Maria Argent took care of Mary Jane. To keep her from crying too much, a bacon rind was tied around her wrist so she could suck and chew on it to help her grief. 

James and little Mary Jane arrived in Great Salt Lake City on 16 September 1861.

In 14 years, Great Salt Lake City had grown to 8,236 people. Brigham Young had walled in his property with an Eagle Gate for the entrance. James boarded with and worked for Brigham Young that first winter. 

At the corner of East Temple and South Temple (where the Hotel Utah now stands) was the Deseret Store. The tithing office was behind it. The temple block was walled in. The saints now used the first tabernacle. The old Bowery is behind it. East Temple (now Main Street) had a modern telegraph office seen above the wagons. This telegraph office had received the news of the Civil War between the North and the South. Brigham Young sent a telegram to President Lincoln to inform him of the status of the saints in Utah territory. The overland mail had replaced the Pony Express. It only cost three cents to send a half-ounce letter.

Brigham Young devised the down end back wagon trains. Teams and wagons from Utah took manufactured goods and food back to Florence, Nebraska to aid the migrating saints to come west. Brigham Young asked James to assist in this project as he was so capable at fixing things and a hard worker.

In a letter James said, “When Brigham Young says ‘Go,’ I go.” He took a team and wagon back and forth in 1862 and again the next year in 1863. Each time he would stop to restack the rocks on Mary’s grave and fence it with more sticks, because other pioneers had removed them for firewood. 

Before he left in 1863 to go to Florence, James received his own endowment at the Endowment House. At Florence, James met two young Welsh sisters, Eliza Mary, age 18, and Joan Jennetta Litson, age 16, whom he had known in the Cardiff Branch. They came with a Brother Morgan, so James got Brother Morgan a wagon to drive and James put the Litson sisters and their belongings in his wagon. By the time they got into Salt Lake City, he and Eliza had fallen in love.

To be continued...

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Story of James Glade, Part 1: The Glades of Yarcombe

Beverly Glade Wessman researched and wrote "The Story of James Glade" for a 1991 video presentation of the life of James Glade. 

Here is the text of her history.


Our story begins in England, south and far west of London in Dorsetshire and Devonshire. Ten generations before James Glade was born we trace our roots to about 1504 in Wambrook, a small village in county Dorset. Roger Glade, a yeoman (or farmer) paid tithing to the King’s army.

The 12th century church is still standing at Wambrook where six generations of Glades were christened and married. Here are the names of those who were married in this church.


(1) About 1535 Roger married Christian.

(2) Their son John married Johan in 1563.

(3) Their son John married Joan Starr on 5 November 1593.

(4) Their son John married Mary Collier on 19 January 1631.

(5) Their son John married Bathshua about 1663.

(6) Their son George married Mary Pinny about 1684.

Each of the next four generations married in other churches.

(7) The 7th generation son John married about 1711 to Mrs. John Glade at St. Nicholas.

(8) Their son William married Betty Grigg in Whitestaunton on 10 February 1767.

(9) Their son George married Grace Willie on 14 April 1795 in Churchstanton.

(10) Their son John, the 10th generation, married Grace Knight on 11 April 1822 in Yarcombe, Devonshire.

The church in Yarcombe. From Keltek Trust,
used as is with a non-commercial Creative Commons license.

In the 318 years from 1504 to 1822, ten generations of Glades lived and married near Wambrook and Yarcombe within a 10-mile circle. The 5th and last child of John and Grace was our James Glade. He was born 17 April 1831 and christened 5 June 1831 in the Church at Yarcombe. Yarcombe looked much the same in 1989 as it did when James was born. It is a beautiful green cropland, a farming and dairy country. The road is paved now but the cows still use it to get to their barns. A silver ribbon of a river, the Yarty, winds down through the green hills. Low rock walls or hedges separate the farms.

We do not know where the John Glade family lived. The gray schoolhouse of James’ day has been converted to a hotel. This is where James probably went to school because he could read and write. Across the road from the school is the Inn still serving food and ale. Next to the Inn is the same church James went to. It is in a prominent spot at the bend of the road.…In the cemetery Clarice [Glade Sloan] and her husband [Monte L. Bean] found the grave marker for John and Grace and their son John Glade. The marker reads: “In Memory of John Glade Son of John and Grace Glade. He died 16 Aug 1840 aged 15 years. Also of Grace Glade, who died Oct 30, 1840 aged 42 years. Also of John Glade, who died Dec 16, 1867 aged 70 years.” In 1840 James was nine years old when his older brother John died. Two and a half months later his mother died and was buried there.

As a teenager James left Yarcombe and his remaining family, his father John, two brothers William and Robert and his sister Betsey. It is my opinion that he had greater aspirations and ambitions than farming—so he traveled north, crossing the Bristol Channel, to Wales. He passed through more farming country and arrived at the busy port city of Cardiff. Then and now, Cardiff is a charming interesting city. An old castle is in the center of town. The shopping malls of our day are interspersed in the areas that James knew. Between the docks and town center there is a market area known as “The Hayes” where James lived and worked. He apprenticed and learned the baker-confectioner trade.

James met Mormon missionaries here and was baptized by Elder John Watts in February 1854. He was confirmed by Elder John Evans. He also met a pretty, dark-haired young girl named Mary Dyer, who was a member of the LDS church. She worked as a spinster (one who spins yarn). They were married on Christmas day in 1855. He was 24 and she was 19. What a handsome couple. He had dark piercing eyes and wavy dark hair. She was beautiful and small in stature. One can easily picture them walking and talking along the river Taff near the Hayes area.

Their first child, a boy named William Franklin, was born March 16, 1857 on Christina Street. He died in April one year later of pneumonia.

They moved frequently. All the addresses we have are replaced now with new buildings. Even the Bethany Chapel where they were married. James was very musical and sang in the fine Welsh choir, which he also conducted later. Mary Jane, their second child was born December 29, 1859. She was blessed in the branch in Cardiff January 22, 1860. This branch had 250 members. At this time members of the church were urged to gather together and build Zion in the Utah Territory. James and Mary heeded the council, saved their money and booked a passage on a ship. While packing their clothes, Mary also packed her mother’s sampler made in 1796. James brought his flute and silver watch.

On the 10th of May 1861, with 28 other Welsh church members, James, Mary, and 16 month old Mary Jane boarded a train for the 100 mile trip from Cardiff to Liverpool.

Liverpool was bigger and busier then Cardiff. They left Liverpool on May 16, 1861. They were well organized and bound together by a common faith. They sang, prayed, and had regular meetings together.

Their ship, the “Monarch of the Sea” was a clean, nearly new, three masted, three deck, fast, strong clipper ship. The Monarch was the largest sailing ship used by the saints up to this time. All 955 passengers were Mormon converts: 580 were Scandinavian, 193 from England, 31 from Wales, 53 Scots, and 88 Swiss.

The cooking, eating, and sleeping was all done below on three decks. There were 11 weddings, 9 deaths, and 4 births on ship in their 34 days at sea. According to one diary, they narrowly missed two icebergs off the coast of Nova Scotia. They dropped anchor on 19 June 1861 at the Castle Emigrant Depot in New York City Harbor.

After registering and paper work in the old Castle, several set apart missionaries transferred the sea weary travelers onto harbor barges for transport to the Jersey City railroad depot. The states were busy fighting a civil war at this time. Train travel was difficult, often in cattle cars. It took four train changes to get to Chicago.

They traveled northwest to Dunkirk, New York, west along Lake Erie to Chicago, southwest to the Mississippi River at Quincy, Illinois, (which was 55 miles south of nearly deserted Nauvoo.) Then they went by steamboat to Hannibal, Missouri. They took another train across the state of Missouri to St. Joseph.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Faded Rose Petals and Perfumes

In a recent visit to my parents' house, I opened a box labeled "Wessman genealogy" and found a hat box stuffed full of old treasures. Here are a few of them.

Wrapped in a silk handkerchief inside an elegant string bag was a lock of hair and a note that these petals were roses from Lucile Green Glade's wedding bouquet.

The other items in the box included two fans, leather gloves too small to fit my hands, a crocheted needle booklet, a gold-leafed perfume bottle that smells like my forty-year-old memories of Lucile Glade, two bone-handled utensils, and a ring dish.

Lucile was introduced to Lester Glade on a trip to Yellowstone by her aunt, May Green Hinckley. May and Lester had served together in the Central States Mission after his stint in the Army at the end of World War I. This is a fun picture with Lester smiling at Lucile, obviously smitten.

Lester, May Green, Rulon Sperry, Lucile, Bill Birkenshaw.

This is Lucile's engagement picture.

I don't see any wedding photos in my collection, but here is a picture of Lester and Lucile from one of their many camping trips.