Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Absalom Smith and the Pony Express

I just finished reading "West Like Lighting, The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express," by Jim DeFelice.  The Appendix included the known list of the pony riders as well as the pony express stations from East to West.  Imagine my surprise when I realized that Absalom Smith assisted Orrin Porter Rockwell as a station keeper.  I found the following information on the Internet.

Orrin Porter Rockwell

Have you heard of Porter Rockwell?
He’s a Mormon triggerite.
They say he hunts for horse thieves
When the moon is shining bright.
So if you rustle cattle
I’ll tell you what to do;
Get the drop on Porter Rockwell
 Or he’ll get the drop on you. 
(Lyrics from song about Orrin Porter Rockwell,
 Larson, "The Modern Samson")

Orrin Porter Rockwell

Orrin Porter Rockwell was born June 28, 1813 in Belchertown, Massachusetts. He was a close friend and bodyguard of Joseph Smith and was later a bodyguard for Brigham Young. He was a well-known and respected lawman who apprehended a number of criminals in the west. He died from heart failure on June 9, 1878 at the age of 64 years old.

"Orrin Porter Rockwell, as I knew him, was a diamond in the rough. It was great to know his inner self. His honest loyalty to church, country and friends was deep and lasting. He abhorred deceit and intrigue as did I. He knew the need and power of prayer, and did I. He was above average height, quick in movement, with strong arms and chest, and gray eyes - cool and searching. He was always well armed since his Nauvoo experiences, although the Prophet Joseph told him to wear his hair long and he would never be killed by an enemy." - George W. Bean's recollection of Orrin Porter Rockwell (Schindler, 1993)
Orrin Porter Rockwell portrait

Hot Springs Brewery and Hotel/ Rockwell's Pony Express Station

In Harold Schindler's biography, "Orrin Porter Rockwell", it states: On July 29, 1858, Orrin Porter Rockwell counted out $500 and purchased from Evan M. Green sixteen acres of real estate at Hot Springs near Point of the Mountain (on the road between Great Salt Lake City and Lehi). The trail was traveled by every city bound trooper in Johnston's Army. Mr Rockwell had it in mind to build a place where a man could buy a glass of home brewed beer, stable his animals, stay overnight, or just stop to pass the time of day. He called it the Hot Springs Brewery and Hotel. In it's prime this property included a hotel with dining facilities, stable, brewery and a Pony Express station. At the peak of business, the Hot Springs Brewery and Hotel claimed to produce 500 gallons (16 barrels) of "good lager beer" each day.
Brewery Advertisement (Valley Tan, 1859-06-01)
Advertisement for Hot Springs Brewery and Hotel, The Valley Tan, 1859-06-01

Hot Springs Brewery and Hotel drawing
Sketch of Hot Springs Brewery and Hotel, Stable

Rockwell Stage Station
Photograph of Rockwell's Stable (the stones from the stable's foundation were used in Rockwell's Monument)

 Amy Emily Downs and Absalom Wamsley Smith 

I went on Family Search to Memories and found the following in a written history of this couple.

 "Absalom came directly to Draper, 20 miles South of Salt Lake City, and began farming. He did much to help build up this community in the way of road construction and other community projects. He and his wife, Amy, built a 2-room adobe house, which was later replaced by a large home containing 14 rooms. It was used as an inn for travelers, one of whom was an old man whom Bro. Smith kept with him all winter. He was a shoemaker, and kept the Smith family in shoes for the winter months.  Many travelers passed along this road, to whom Bro. Smith gave shelter.  Porter Rockwell often called, and so did other church leaders. This home also served as a stage station."

A hand drawn map of Draper with Absalom's home at bottom center. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Grandpa Ostler's one true cousin

Hans Jensen and Dale Bernice Hale

It has been fascinating to explore the family tree of the Mansfield family.  My grandpa, George Ostler, was adopted by his mother's second husband.  He did not learn until in his thirties that his birth father was Gervis Mansfield.  I have wondered lately if he went out of his way to meet Gervis's sister, Henrietta Mansfield Hale Dives' only child, Dale Bernice Hale.  She would have been his only cousin as Henrietta and Gervis were the only living children of their mother, Henrietta Almeda Douglass who died when they were very young.  Their father, Brigham Young Mansfield, remarried so they had half siblings and my grandfather would have had half cousins but Dale Bernice would have been his only full cousin.

One of the highlights of my own life has been the enjoyment of my cousins.  I would have wished the same for my Grandpa George.

This photo showed up on Memories on Family Search.  It was labeled Dale Bernice Hale but I can't help wondering if this is not a photo of Henrietta with her daughter, Dale.  The clothing and hair styles look more like the early 1900's.  Both mother and daughter look much like each other in the adult pictures.

She had three children with her husband Hans who was several years older and who passed away before she did.  Her cousin, George, also had three sons; Gary, Max, and Paul.  I hope that they all have become acquainted with one another on the other side.

Many members of her extended family are buried in Washington Heights Memorial Park in South Ogden near her grave.

Grave Marker of Grandpa George
in the Sugar City Cemetery, Sugar City Idaho

My grandpa George was able to meet his birth father in Preston, Idaho when Gervis lived in the hotel owned by his sister, Henrietta.  At one time Dale Bernice and her family also lived in Preston.  Perhaps he was also able to meet his cousin, Dale.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Day of the Tartan and Family History from Scotland

My great grandmother, Lucy Walker Hendry, seated on the right of her sister, Hazel, immigrated as a child to the United States from Scotland.  You can read more about her life here.

Today is celebrated as Tartan Day in Scotland so I did a bit of looking about for the Tartans of my ancestors.

This is the Hendry Family Crest.  I was unable to find a Tartan pattern for this name.

Her mother was a MacGregor and I found both Family Crest and Tartans.

In fact, I found four Tartans.  Those MacGregors have quite the story and history.  You can read more about it at here.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Smoke rolls over the Vermillion Cliffs

In November we traveled from Provo to Mesa.  As we traveled over the Kaibab Plateau we noticed smoke which was not unusual has there have been a series of controlled burns recently.  However, as we exited the pine forest it was highly unusual to see smoke rolling over the Vermillion Cliffs.

 It was so unusual to see this view of the rock cliffs.

The smoke was not as dense further to the east as a full moon rose in the sky.

Unusual but beautiful at the same time.

I love it when the sun has started to set in the west and these cliffs begin to glow.

A view back at the Kaibab where all this smoke had orginated.

It is always fun to observe something new on our many trips north to south and north again.

New Cedar City Temple

It has been a delight to watch the building of the Cedar City Temple as we would fly by on Interstate 15 heading south to Arizona.  It is located on the west side of town and from a distance looking south from the freeway it reminded me of the Nauvoo Temple.  It opened for a public viewing last November so we stopped by on our way south last November.

It has simple lines but is beautiful both inside and out.  Each temple bears the words, "Holiness to the Lord, The House of the Lord" at the entrance.  This is the front of the Cedar City Temple.

It was a bright and sunshiny day, thus the dark blue sky.

I loved several features on the inside including a painting in the baptistery which is a larger version of the same artwork that I pass each time I provide service in my home temple, the Provo City Center Temple.  Columbine flowers, ceder trees, feathers, and other symbols of the area are part of the interior decor and stone work.  It was a pleasure to visit this temple.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Bird Quilt

When I first saw this bird quilt pattern by The Pattern Basket I knew that I needed to make it for my bird loving son, Ryan.  It is the perfect quilt to make from a jelly roll of fabric.

The wide array of fabric colors will make each bird a bit unique.  I loved putting those blocks together.

I used green "scatter dots" on white fabric from Bee Lori's fabric for the background.  The pattern had directions for right and left facing birds.  I used the left over strips of jelly roll fabric to make a scrappy binding.  I love the mish mash effect.

These were my two practice blocks.  They became my tribute to my son's birds Tonka and Gemma.  Amazingly their coloring mimics that in their blocks.  Fun  quilt to make!  I understand that it is a pretty popular quilt to cozy under at my son's house.