Monday, April 27, 2009

More on George

In Salt Lake City, George and Mary stayed with Mark Lindsay for one night, then left for Centerville on August 28 where they stayed with John Ford, Sr. Arrived in Willard on Aug 30. In Willard they lived on what is known as Old Wells Corner. George worked for Bishop Virl Dives, and lived in a one-room house. William Facer was born here on July 13, 1861. George Q. Cannon told them to go to North Willard and they would succeed, but earning enough money to buy property was difficult. They had no change of clothes. Mary washed them every night so they would be dry in the morning. Benjamin Taylor gave them their Christmas dinner. They had no shoes or boots, but wrapped their feet in burlap and tied it on with a string. They had no soap and no matches. when they needed a fire, they wrapped a cloth tight on a stick, then went to the neighbors, set it on fire, and carried it home. Sarah Ann was born March 26, 1863, and died January 13, 1864.
Bishop Dives gave them a cow, and they continued to save. George was finally able to buy the Bankhead property in North Willard. It's now called the old Facer Homestead. Mr. Bankhead was a slave owner at the time, but moved to Wellsville after the property sold.
Next week I'll include some personal information about George.

Monday, April 20, 2009

George Facer

George Facer was my great-great grandfather. A brief history was written about him by one of his sons, so here are some excerpts and facts.
Born 4 Jul 1834, Eynesbury, Huntingdonshire, England
Died 22 Feb 1903, Willard, Box Elder Co., Utah
Parents- Henry and Mary Jarvis Facer
Baptized by J.B. Price in August, 1854
Married 6 Sep 1857 to Mary Prior in Eynesbury, by the Parson Mall.

George's father died when he was 2 years old. After George was baptized, he worked on the farm of Edward Peck, saving his money and making payments to an emigration fund for Church members to come to Utah. He gave all of this emigration money to the Church, by request, and then sorted onions for Peck to earn more to come to Utah himself. George and Mary started their journey on March 27, 1860 with their 16-month-old son George Henry. They arrived in Liverpool the next day and sailed for America on March 30 on the ship Underwriter with 594 other Church members. James D. Ross was president of the company. The journey was very rough, with much sickness on board. They arrived in New York after 32 days, landing on May 1, 1860. They continued to Florence on the Missouri River by boat and also traveled by rail. In Iowa, George worked for a Mr. Ford digging post holes for which he received some food. At Florence a handcart was prepared. It was a two-wheeled outfit with a tongue at which 2 people could pull. The box was about 6 feet long and 3 feet wide, with a cover, containing bedding and 1 week's provisions for 5 people. On June 14, 1860 the company started for Utah. Captain Dan Robinson was president of the company from there. It was the first company of the season, consisting of 233 people, 43 handcarts, 6 wagons, 30 oxen and 10 tents. The trek was difficult with blistered hands, bloody feet, and food shortages due to feeding the Indians. It was either feed them or fight. George shot and wounded a buffalo, but didn't kill it so it got away. The Indians were determined to have Mary and another woman in the company, Hannah Slater. They offered 3 ponies for the women, and caused a lot of trouble when they were refused. The company finally arrived in Salt Lake City on August 27, 1860.
More next week!

Monday, April 13, 2009

More on John

This picture was taken in 1943 when John's grandson Jack was home on leave from the military (he was in the Pacific during WW II). L to R- Frank Huntington Clark (John's son), Afton Madsen (Frank's wife), John's great-grandchildren LuDean, Billie Darleen, Jack Owen and Shirley. John is on the end.
Now more about John. All these experiences were related to me by my grandma Afton. His life was saved many times as an adult because he listened to the promptings of the Lord's Spirit. During a hunting trip with his brother-in-law, they began crossing a ravine. John heard his father's voice say, "John, don't cross there." They stopped to decide where else to go, and suddenly there was an avalanche in the ravine. During another hunting trip in White River country, which was Indian territory, they stopped to eat lunch and John heard a voice say cover the deer with snow." They did so, and then climbed into a nearby pine tree to hide. Soon a party of Indians came, circled around where they had been, and, finding nothing, rode away.
In another instance, John was hooking up the wagon to get wood. When he got to the gate, he heard a voice say, "John, don't go." He'd had enough experiences in the past to know he should listen, so he put the wagon away and stayed home.
John's family was considered some of the original pioneers because they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley before the railroad was completed in 1869. John worked construction and as a miner, and was the Springville city marshal for many years. He also worked at the county infirmary, which people called the poor house. The conditions there were so bad that John hoped he would never have to go there as a patient. He was blessed with good health for most of his life, and died at the age of 88.

Monday, April 6, 2009

John Lafayette Clark

John Lafayette Clark was my great grandfather on my mother's side. I've decided to start with him because not only have I heard the most stories about him, but my kids are familiar with some of the stories as well. First, some statistics:
Born 14 Feb 1859 in Centerville, Appanoose County, Iowa
Died 14 Oct 1947 in Springville, Utah County, Utah
Father- Hyrum William Clark, born 8 Dec 1818 in Canton, St. Lawrence County, NY
died 17 Aug 1911 in Springville, Utah County, Utah
Mother- Nancy Ann Wood, born 12 Feb 1825 in Ripley, Pulasky County, Indiana
died 27 Apr 1911 in Springville, Utah County, Utah
Siblings- George, Erastus, Silas, Lucina, (John goes here), James, Albert

John's father, Hyrum, had consumption (a general term for any serious lung disease), as well as Hyrum's sister who lived with them.John's mother, Nancy, was convinced that Hyrum would be healed if they followed the Latter-day Saints to the Salt Lake Valley, even though their doctor said Hyrum only had about a year to live. They purchased 2 wagons for the journey. Nancy made the covers for both. The provision wagon was pulled by a team of horses and a yoke of oxen. Their supplies were mainly jerky, dried fruit, cornmeal, flour and maple syrup. "Mother's wagon" was pulled by a yoke of oxen and 2 cows. Hyrum's sister laid in the back of this wagon with the rest of their belongings. Hyrum rode on horseback to be in the open air. John was about 5 years old when they left. He remembered standing up in the wagon with a long whip yelling "Gee" (right) or "Haw" (left) at the oxen. Silas and Lucina gathered wood and buffalo chips for the fire, which Nancy cooked over for the whole family. At one river crossing, the opposite bank was too steep to get the wagons up, so the family had to go further downstream. While moving down the river, they saw Indians with bloody scalps hanging from their horses. John was afraid of Indians from that day on.
In Wyoming, Hyrum bought a tin stove with an oven at one of the forts. Nancy cooked on it for the rest of the journey. They settled in Springville where other relatives were living. It had taken 2 months to cross the plains, and all symptoms on Hyrum's consumption were gone. He lived to be 92.
More on John's life next week.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I've got the bug, and I hope it's contagious! I've been interested in family history off and on for ages, but only recently have I started to do anything about it. Not long ago I realized that all the stories that my Grandma Clark used to tell me about our ancestors were going to be lost if I didn't write them down. I loved hearing them as a child, and felt like it helped me to know them. I have no idea how accurate they are, because we all know how memory can change things, but they're still great stories. As I share what I was told, I'll try to add some information about these people like birthdates, where they lived, etc. and maybe it will be someone you would like to know about as well. Like the blog description says, they could be Facers, Clarks, Holbrooks, Madsens, and on back we go.