By Mrs. A. B. Sidwell
(Written about 1889)
  1. The Pioneers Enter Sanpete Valley
  2. A Year of Privations
  3. The First Summer
  4. Health, Indians, Grist Mill
  5. Walker, the Crafty Indian Chief
  6. The Indians on the War Path
  7. The Indian Troubles Continue
  8. Novel Indian Move Gave Sanpete County Impetus
  9. Maniti's First Settlers
Chapter II

A Year of Privations

A decision of permanency regarding the site of our future home having been arrived at, a few teams were sent back to Salt Lake for supplies, there being no settlement between that place and Sanpitch, a distance of 150 miles, unless we except a small domicile built of cotton-wood logs and bearing the dignified name of "fort" situated near the present site of the now flourishing city of Provo.

Our people at this time were living, in some respects, conformably with the rules of what has since been denominated the "United Order," every person sharing and fairing equally with his neighbor, the motto being "share and share alike," a system that almost universally prevailed throughout the entire church during their transit across the plains and in the early settlement of Utah.

Father Morley advised the settlers all to move on the south side of the hill, or stone quarry, as they might thus be protected from the icy blasts of the north, foreseeing with his usual clear-sightedness the near approach of winter; that inclement season would be upon them before sufficient protection could possibly be provided elsewhere. When the first fall of "the beautiful" occurred, those who were fortunate enough to have a dugout or cabin completed considered themselves lucky, in-deed, while those who were still encamped on the creek with their wagon boxes set up end wise and the covers stretched across, discovered this was but a poor temporary refuge, entirely inadequate to protect them from the pitiless storms of winter, and were glad to follow the humble example of their wiser brethren and, as Pres. Brigham Young, in great disgust, expressed it, "huddle together beneath a stone quarry," said stone quarry with it's protecting ledge of rock being now known as "Temple Hill." The President's mind probably reverting to the fact that, had there been more unity among the colonists, they might, in all probability, have erected a fort fully as good as the one called Utah fort.

Up to this time, Dec. 24, the cattle of the colonists had subsisted upon the dry grass, of which the Sanpitch swamp would have afforded a plentiful supply, had not the Indians with their usual wanton destructiveness, burned the most off, just previous to the advent of the colonists; but now as the depth of snow continued to increase with fearful rapidity, the stock were transferred in a body to a place about two miles south, designated "the warm springs," where each morning the men and boys, with a desperation born of necessity, would seize their shovel sand labor all day removing the snow from off the grass for the sustenance of the poor, starving beasts; but notwithstanding the strenuous effort made by the men who, in shoveling, at the same time windrowed the snow, thereby providing the cattle with a meager protection from the keen winds; and the horns of the animals were also sharpened by filing, to enable them more effectually to protect themselves against the ravenous attacks of the wolves and coyotes, they began to perish, until the major proportion that were brought to the valley had died of starvation and cold; but, stiff and stark in death, they were undoubtedly more serviceable to the settlers than they would have been living, probably saving the lives of the colonists by keeping the Indians in good humor, as they utilized all the carcasses for food, and considered the white people princes of generosity in giving them all the beef, reserving only pish kish (biscuits) for their own use. Out of 240 head of cattle brought to the valley, there were only 100 survivors in June.

Although the depth of snow was, from Indian legend, unprecedented, the winter was not so rigorous as some have since been known, the weather being for the most part cloudy, with but little wind after the commencement of the deposits until the February sun came out, and, reflecting its brilliancy on the encrusted and crystallized snow, soon rendered nearly all the men snow blind; and the little boys now made themselves available by leading the men to the warm springs where their labor only ended at nightfall to be resumed in the morning. Snow! snow! snow! nothing whatever to rest the vision upon but one vast expanse, and dreary, monotonous waste of snow! And while the cattle were faring thus badly, the people themselves were none too well provisioned, and a general feeling of anxiety prevailed throughout camp, owing to the non-arrival of the teams that had been sent back to Salt Lake for supplies, nothing having been heard of them until sometime in January, while the snow still held to its own unparalleled depth,and but thinly encrusted-the camp was electrified by the arrival of a very tired Indian, Tabinaw, who brought the startling intelligence that a white man was lying beyond Sanpitch at the foot of the West hills, in a nude, exhausted and almost dying condition; a relief party on snow shoes was immediately organized and sent across the valley to his rescue; he was found in a most precarious plight! The crust of the snow had been insufficient to bear his weight, and the constant friction of "breaking through" had worn his clothing to shreads; and thus, with bare feet, naked limbs, completely exhausted, and totally snowblind, he was borne to camp by the relief party. When sufficiently recovered, he explained that Daniel Henrie and wife, with Jerome Bradley and the rest of the returning supply party, were imprisoned by the snow at the forks of Salt Creek Canyon, unable, owing to the depth of the snow, to advance or return. He estimated the snow on the divide to be about eight or ten feet on the level and twenty foot in the drifts and hollows.

George Bradley (later Bishop of Moroni) and a few others, binding snow shoes on their feet, started (with Tabinaw) to make the prisoners a visit, and accomplished the perilous journey in safety. The imprisoned supply party informed Bro. Bradly that they were detained a week at Utah fort, on account of Indian hostilities, it not being thought prudent by the authorities there for them to proceed, until two friendly Indians, Ammon and Tabinaw, brothers of the great war chief, Walker, had volunteered to join their party. Tabinaw and Augustus Dodge were carrying the tidings to their friends in Sanpitch; but that when within a few miles of Salt Creek Canyon they encountered a violent snow storm and were three days making six miles; and the snow continued to increase with such fearful rapidity that they were compelled to forego any further attempt at traveling. Their teams were provided for in a similar manner to those in Sanpitch, but faring somewhat better. While the "snow shoe" party remained at the forks, an express of ten horsemen arrived from Utah fort, having followed the trail made by the supply party. They brought advices of a general hostile uprising of the Indians in that section, warning the settlers in Sanpitch to be vigilant and cautious for a battle had been fought at Utah fort between the "minute men" commanded by Gen. Wells and about seventy Indian warriors under Big Elk in which several were killed and wounded on both sides.

As their horses could proceed no farther through the unbroken snow, the horsemen returned, leaving their dispatches to be forwarded by the snow shoe party, who immediately returned to Sanpitch.

Another party was sent on snow shoes to cheer and strengthen those at the Forks, with instructions for all to come in as soon as the crust on the snow would bear the weight of a hand sled; This was not until March, when loading one sled with bedding and provisions and placing Sister Amanda Henrie on another, they commenced their hazardous journey, which they were four days in completing, and, like the Eskimos, constructing snow houses, or rather dugouts, in the snow, in which to pass the nights-and unlike Bonapart while crossing the Alps, they left none of their number on the march.

On the 24th of November (about the same time the teams left for supplies,) P. P. Pratt's exploring party left Salt Lake to explore southern Utah, passing through Sanpitch Valley. He said if the settlers could spare a man, he wanted him; and in accordance with his request four men were selected to accompany his party; they were John Lowry, Jr., Sylvester Hulet, M. D. Hamilton, and G. G. Potter.

On January 21 Pratt's company, after exploring southern Utah as far south as the mouth of Santa Clara, went into winter camp on Chalk Creek.

Twenty-four of the men, with their best horses and mules, pushed on to Salt Lake (so says Church chronology).

Three of our men started on snow shoes to cross the mountains for their home in Sanpitch, carrying their "grub" and blankets on their shoulders, said grub consisting of a few hard biscuits-leaving Sylvester Hulet with the party remaining to guard the wagons. Our heroes on snow shoes camped one night near the summit of the mountains and, building their fire in a clump of firs, lay down beside it to rest.

In the morning their fire was fifteen feet below them and still going downwards-so says John Lowry, the sole survivor at the present time of the little party-though they all arrived in safety, after encountering many perils, such as wading the Sevier river up to their armpits, carrying their clothing and bedding across on their heads, suffering snow blindness and nearly perishing from starvation and cold.

The last of March the remainder of the exploring party started for home, Sylvester Hulet arriving at his home in Sanpitch the first of April.

The generous qualities in the nature and disposition of John Baker, a young single man living with the family of Jezereel Shoemaker, promoted him to return to Salt Lake, where, as he said, he might obtain employment and earn his food, as he was young, strong and robust; and what would be required for his sustenance could be reserved for the use of the helpless women and children, as food was becoming so scarce and no present prospect of progress from the valley to obtain more. Therefore, binding snow shoes on his feet he resolutely started on his long, cold, and solitary journey; all went well with him until he arrived at the Obanion Springs, (situated in Juab) where, meeting a hostile party of red skins from the vicinity of Provo, in compensation for his unselfish magnanimity, he lost his life. He was the first white man from Sanpitch murdered by Indians.

In Heaven, I trust, his recompense will be more equitable.

The policy of the whites toward the Indians, in accordance with President Young's instructions, was strictly one of non-interference; but when the Indians, on the eve of a temporary absence, Larietted and penned up a number of old squaws to die of starvation, it was rather more than humanity could endure to look upon.

Surreptitiously, lest it should bring trouble upon the weak settlement, some of the women carried food and water to the poor wretches, but notwithstanding their efforts they perished miserably. (The writer is certain these were aged women of their own tribe and not captives.)

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