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Ormond, John - Biography



John Ormond, Jr.

I was born 3 February 1832 at 3 o'clock in the morning, at Marloes Perish, Pembrokeshire, South Wales, Great Britain. When I was about two years old my family moved to Haverfordwest in Shut Street, about three blocks from the Market House and a very crowded time on Saturday with carts and other things. Mother and Dorothy my second sister went to market leaving me with my older sister at home. I started off and went up thru the pic market then down street till I came to the lane that turned up to the east door or the bakc door as it was called. The large door was made in two parts; one part was mostly closed and I stood right there looking to see if my ma was coming. By and byshe came and my sister with her. She had in her arms a bunch of pie-plant which I did not know the name of, nor did I see it again for six years, for shortly afterwards the family went back to the old place and we lived there until the year 1849. Now I used to talk to my folks about my runaway, but they did not think I could remember anything about it and they made light of it and they said that I thot I could remember but it was only by them talking about it. My father run a private mail from Dale to Haverfordwest four times each week. He had this job for twelve years. He of course put us boys to ride to town while he was doing something else. Now I will come to the point and prove to my folks that I could remember that circumstance. When I was eight years and six months old my father took me to town and took me to the house where we lived six years before. "Now," he said, "Do you remember the place?" Said I, "To the right of the passage you will find a door to go upstairs and when you go up and turn to the left there is the room we used to sleep in." "Alright," said he, "Then come to the Market House." So he said, "Now take me there then." I said, "This is the way." So we went up thru the pig market and then down the only way and up to the door. "Here is the place I stopped." He said, "That is alright. Come into the Market House." So we went in and I was pleased to see such grand things, and by and by I spied the red sticks as I called them. "So, " said I to my father, "Here is the red sticks, what is the name of them?" He said, "Reubarb." This, then is settled.

In a short time after, I was seated in the saddle and had to go to town. I continued this job for four years when the government took hold of it. Then my father got up a conveyence and run from Haverfordwest to Mirther and down. Well, then he started me on that job. This was in the year 1845. I run this one year. In 1846 I went to work in the mine in Pendorran in the level raven with a man by the name of John Hayes. The wages he gave me was eight shillings a week for the first two months. Afterwards my wages increased from time to time. In the year 1845 I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I enjoyed myself with the Saints. They spoke with new tongues and prophesied, healed the sick and cast out devils. Those signs were a common thing in those days of the Church.

In the year 1847 I had to run he conveyence for another year, which I did. Afterwards, I returned to the mines, and worked there until the year 1848, when I was counseled by my father to work on a farm for Mr. Thomas Childs. The name of the farm was Wintorn. There I stayed until January 8, 1849, when we made ready to sail for Liverpool. But there was a misunderstanding, we did not sail until February 1849. In the meantime, we went up the river and stayed with a family by the name of Frank and Fannie Pircie. They had a boat and made a livelihood by catching oysters. I put in my time with them. We caught every day until the tide came in. After many years Frank went to Logan for a while then moved to Hyde Park (Utah). On February 14, we came on board the steamer Milford. There we met Dan Jones and five hundred Saints. There were some of them very sick. At four o'clock we left the harbour passing Saint Anns light house and then we were out on the sea and it became pretty rough. Most all went below but I attempted to go down, but hearing the passengers throw up, I went back on deck and remained there until reaching Liverpool. We arrived safe and went ashore and was taken up to a house which I never learned the name of or the number. We remained there until March 1st. During our stay in Liverpool we would travel and take in sights of different kinds. There was one very large market house and in that you could buy anything almost, and it cost us quite a sum to stay in the city two weeks. We pushed out into the river on the Hartley; that was the name of the ship we crossed the sea in. Here I must explain the delay. In Liverpool the ship we should have went with was too small to take us all so that took Dan Jones and five hundred, therefore we were left, that is fifty of us to come with the other Saints.

On the 9th of March the tugboat took us out and left us go. We were 258 in all. The first two days and nights it was pretty rough so as it threw the tin pots and tin pans from one side to the other more than once or twice. There was but few that could keep anything for a while. The best joke was that there was a barrel of molasses broke loose in the store room under the cabin and the little door opened into our berths. The captain hearing the noise supposed some of us were driving nails into the cab. He sent down two sailors to see. This was about four o'clock in the morning. Every fellow was in bed or holding onto something and when the sailors came near our berths their feet began to stick and they thot they had a mess. They finally got into the small room and tied up the barrel or what was left of it-it was badly broken. After this we had a splendid time, we held meetings and the Gospel was preached. It convinced four sailors and when we came to New Orleans they were baptized and later on they married four school girls and came to Utah. I saw one of them in Ogden some years later. They done well. We came by way of Jamacia and thru the hole in the wall which is three islands close together in this shape [triangle]. They were so close together we thot we could throw a stone to either one some days. After this we had three days with calm and clear bottom and lots of fish. They were whitefish. The captain one near this time. We were near the Gulf of Mexico when the captain gave orders to cast anchors, so it was done. The next morning the wind turned in our favor and they drawed up one alright but the other broke loose. We left it there and came into the Gulf alright with the exception of one small baby died out there but was smuggled to shore and buried on the banks of the Mississippi. We came to New Orleans and stayed there five days then came up the River. We left in the evening about five o'clock. Next morning about eight o'clock there were eight persons to be burried from the cholera as we had a very bad time. We burried 37 in eight days. We then arrived in St. Louis where we stayed six days and sent 20 more to the hospital which I never saw again. This left 57 starting up the Missouri River and after a great deal of trouble we got up to Savanna Landing and burried 20 more which makes 77. This winds up our passage on the river. We are now landed in the State of Missouri on May 10, 1849. There were tow of my sisters buried on the banks of the Mississippi, the names of them were Letteshe (Lettisha) and Elener (Eleanor). My sister Dorothy was taken sick and almost died before I came in from seeing them burried, but we attended (Administered) to her and after twelve hours she began to mend. Then after leaving St. Louis about three days my father had the Cholera. He was so bad that we all thot he could not recruit. But God blessed him again with health. There was something similar about that which I will state the facts in the case. We was on a small stream boat and the river raised very rapid so that the captain had to tie up the boat and I went on shore and I went to a house some distance off and got some eggs and a chicken and four quarts of buttermilk and carried it to the boat and put it under the berth. Then planned to have a good dinner with my two sisters but we was all called on shore to see what could be done, whether we would go ashore there of go back to Savanna. At this we was surprised for we had paid to go to Council Bluffs and now we was about eighty miles from there. The men talked things over and found that such a small boat could not go against such a big stream and the pilot said that if we stayed there we would all die of Cholera so we came to the conclusion to go back to the Savanna Landing but the pilot left us right there and went down to the nearest house about one mile to stay over night. But he died there about four o'clock in the morning so we had to stay there until another pilot could be had. Now while we were on shore father got the can of buttermilk and drank it all and so I was put about and could not imagine where it had gone for we were not gone over half an hour. And father said nothing but he was some better and commenced to be better from that time on so when he was alright he told us all about drinking the buttermilk. He drank it all before he took the can from his head and he believed to the day of his death that it saved him from the grave at that time. Now we landed at Savanna Missouri landing which was twelve miled up the river from St. Joseph. First day after landing I took my gun and went hunting. I had good luck and killed 13 squirrels and 11 rabbits and one grouse and one hog. So the company had fresh meat to eat. The next day the people began to junt up some teams and some wagons and in a short time they moved to Council Bluffs. That left us and James Aynon the only two families who hadn't any money to buy teams. There I got acquainted with brother Cruckston and Welshes families. We stayed there a few days then moved up to Savanna where we got some work. I got fifty cents per day for working in a stone quary for two weeks getting some stone for a bridge across the river by the name of 102. My father worked at a hotel for twelve dollars a month. My sisters, Dorothy and Elizabeth, stayed at the same place I did so we all had a place for two weeks. After this father rented an empty house which we fixed up and then him and Dorothy started a confectionary shop and I worked to the hotel in father's place. I worked there till the first of August when I went into a butcher shop to do the slaughtering. I got a dollar and fifty cents per day in cash. We all done well and made money, for things were very cheap. On the first of November we started for Council Bluffs by team which took us three days. We now found ourselves in the old settlement of the Saints. Nothing to do, so we went down one and one-half miles to the place called George A's Hollow. There we rented a house for two months and went ot work and fenced a piece of land and built a log house so then we had a home to live in but no work to earn money. Things we had brought with us, some notions, father would go around to the farmers and trade for some meat, cornmeal and butter and whatever we could get ot sustain us. I worked at fencing and anything I could do at home to make a start. On the first of March in the year of 1850, we moved the house which I had built up to Council Bluffs. On my arrival at that place I was met by a crowd of folks for there was a large camp of emigrants who were there at that time bound for California. They christened my house the "Elephant." Soon after my father met me there with a basket of pies and cakes and I returned with the borrowed oxen and as soon as I was home father returned and said, "I have sold all the Stuff." So my sisters and I went to work baking and we baked up a lot of stuff thinking it would be enough for the next day but it was not half enough. So we worked day and night for a while and father made money very fast as long as the emigrants stayed there. Now I will tell you what kind of a house this was. It was a frame covered with factory or sheeting as it was called. It was built l4 by eight feet and seven feet high then divided in the center so that gave room for eight or ten to stand while father had room for himself and the stuff behind the counter. Now the house had a floor of inch lumber and two axels and four wheels made out of oak plank which my sister and I sawed out of a stump with a large crosscut saw. While the stump stood on end we sawed six pieces splitting two for cleats and pegged them on the others. Then circled them round and worked them round with the ax. The third morning when father went to town we could not find the shop for the boys had lots of fun that night with it and had left it out of sight, so we found it and got it back to the place. When I came with the supply then we took off the wheels and put blocks under the "Elephant" as it was called. About the first of June father bought a house from a man that was going to Salt Lake and paid a hundred dollars for it. It was a little ways off main street. In a few days after he bought a small piece on mainstreet. It was eleven feet front and twenty feet back, just large enough for a good stand so I went to work and built a frame building on it. Now you would ask how is it that youdone all the work, where is your father that he is not doing this work as well as you? I will tell you. He is a tailor by trade. He had but one arm he could use at hard work, being just from the old country he was like some others, thot he could not work at anything but his trade. Therefore he pushed me along and I am glad of it for that g:ive me a start to be a "jack of all trades" as you will find out from my history if I continue to write.

That summer and winter I worked at whip sawing with Thomas Tailor. He was boarding with us at that time. He had the chills and fever every day or two so I had plenty of time to do a good many chores such as going up into the hills and fetching some wood and kindling and killing some beef for one and another. A dollar a head was the price for killing a beef at that time so we got along fine. In the spring of l851 I started for Utah with one by the name of David Wilkins. He had eight wagons and a hundred head of young stock, mostly heifers. On the way we had to work some of those in the teams for it was not long before the oxen was tired. There was only two yoke on a team and it was too light for such a load, long travel, little feed and poor living. The first of June l851 we left Council Bluffs and crossed the Missouri River. The water was very high so they thot it was best to go up and "hed the turn", so we was gone two weeks, and there was a company of men sent after us to fetch us back for they stated that word had come to Brother Orson Hyde that the Indians was very saucy and said they would kill and plunder if they could not have what they wanted in beef and flour and so forth. So we returned with three other companies of fifty each. After returning there was a treaty made with the Indians so we all started again. After traveling 370 miles Brother Orson Hyde came up to us and he had a measuring machine and he told us the distance we had traveled. This was the very bad track of travel. In the first part there was much water to encounter with bridges to make when we could get timber and it was scarce so we had to ford a great many streams. Then we came to sand hills and little water, then came the trouble. We came among a herd of buffalo and our cattle became wild and they would run off in spite of all we could do. They broke down trees and wagons and at night we had to repair them the best we could and travel along until we came to the Platte bottom. Then we came into a mess of Buffalo Indians. They had been on the war path with the "Shones" and some had been killed on both sides. Those Indians that stopped us was the Cheyennes. They came down upon us very friendly. That was the two chiefs on horseback, and we stopped and shook hands as was the rule to do with the Indians all along the plains. Pretty soon the road was blocked with Indians which came down from the hills on foot. They would have taken all they wanted but David Wilkins being owner of most of the outfit, ordered us to close down the covers of the wagons and he having with him two old tragone pistols put one in his shirt and the other in his belt so the Indians thot we was all well armed so they made signs to let the Mormons go and they was out of sight in a hurry and we started on our way rejoicing. But we had not gone very far when we saw two more coming this way. That was about two o'clock and we had not reached water and we was fairly suffering for water. This put us in a bad fix but we did not stop but made the faster .speed toward them because we knew there was water not very far ahead. So we whipped the oxen and put on speed and when we came up to them they were two white men belonging to some of the stores in Salt Lake. They were traveling along carelessly and alone part of the time. The Indians came down upon them and took just what they wanted and left them alone there. So we had to help them travel along. We arrived to water that nigh and was very thankful to God for his care toward us. The next morning we started as usual. We met with the "Shone" Indians and the interpreter's name was Pearse and he told us what was the matter. There was a company of California emigrants ahead and they had shot a squaw of the Cheyennes but got away and the most was the "Shones" on the road. Now the Cheyennes did not stop to ask if the "Shones" had done the deed or not but found a way to get their revenge which was the custom in those days. It did not matter whether they got the right party or not so they got two for one was all they cared. After this we traveled along thru sage and gravel barefooted and half worn out in every respect. Our grub was very short and it gave out entirely before we came into Salt Lake so we had to do without for two days, when I was dispatched to the city on horseback to get some provisions and I made good time, you bet. I got some beef, potatoes and flour. By the time I got back to camp they had come down into Emigration Canyon. That night at supper (Nov. l8 l85l) the grub had to suffer for we we were all hungry and tired. The next day we moved camp into the city.

Then there was another scene for everyone had to hunt another home for himself the

best he could. I stayed with David Wilkins, the man with whom I had crossed the plains.

I looked after his stock which he had brought across the plains and turned them across

Jordon after we came into Salt Lake City. This was not one of the best of jobs, riding around in the snow and taking the stock and moving them every day to once a week or so.

So I worked along till spring when I had a settlement with my boss and he paid me in full

with one yoke of oxen and sixty dollars on tithing script which I paid to Heber C. Kimball

all for a city lot in the sixteenth ward. As soon as the weather was warm enough to dry

adobes I went to work at adobe making and I had very good luck. I sold enough to pay my board bill and pay for a team to haul rock and other stuff to build a home on my lot. So I sold the oxen for lumber and sold some of the lumber to get other stuff. By July 20 I

had a house built and finished in rough state. The house was sixteen by twenty-eight. It

was plastered, it had two rooms three dorrs and two windows. I had the lot plowed and

planted with potatoes and corn. I accomplished all this and paid up all as I went along

with my work. I done most of it myself. I made my furniture out of rough lumber and it

answered the purpose as I had been engaged to be married for some time to one by the name of Jane Jones who I crossed the sea and the plains with. She had no relatives in this

church but came a long with a family to Council Bluffs where we both kept on good terms

one with another. On the eighth of August l852 we joined in wedlock. In September, I got on the public works and worked three until October l853. I must say here my wife Jane died 25 August 1853 in the Fiftaenth Ward Salt Lake City. (A confused statement here is left out) She died of childbirth. She was baptized in North Wales in 1848. Sealed to me Nov. 4, 1855 with Martha Jenkins as proxy. She was the daughter of Evan and Gwen Lloyd Jones and was endowed 13 August 1886 at Logan with Martha M. Mortimer as proxy.

The 25th of August I was left alone again. But my father and two sisters came in the year before so I had somebody to comfort me a little. I then sold out all I had and received nearly $500.00. Now what to do I didn't know for if I remained a single all my

money would go and I thot the best thing for me to do was hunt up another companion. I

should not have done so so soon but young women were scarce at that time, they would all marry the first chance they had. So here came along a train and some young women and I thot I had better look up one and again settle down. So I spoke to the first one I saw out of that train and in a very short time she said yes. And in a short time we were married. That was in September 24, 1853» by William Lewis a High priest, Fifteenth Ward, Salt Lake City. Her name was Martha Jenkins. She was born 2 January l826 in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, South Wales, Great Britain. She was the daughter of Enos and Francis Jenkins.

In October we hitched up and with some others. We went to Box Elder which is now called Brigham City. The first to do was to build a house so I joined in with two others to get logs. After we had cut some the other two men had me stay at home to build and they got the other stuff on the ground. The dimensions of the house was twelve by twelve, dirt roof and floor. The windows were three lights eight by ten. Block chimneys, door five feet high, center rib from the floor seven feet high. This was our dwelling house, kitchen, parlor, drawing room, granery, milk house, and bedroom with all our furniture and we were happy. The next thing was to get flour and other stuff so I went to North Ogden and bought wheat and took it to Ogden mills. Then for wood 1 got twelve loads in ten days, it was ample on the side hills. That winter passed alright. No work for anyone in that place. In the spring I went to work and plowed ten acres of land and sewed it with wheat and a small patch of garden stuff then fenced it. It came up alright but when warm weather came and I had to water it alkili came up and burned it all up so I lost all my seed and work. So I got a job and helped build a sawmill and after it was built, I had the job to run it as there was no sawyer in the country any better than myself. I followed that until next spring. There was not much pay in it so in the spring 1855 I went and made adobes for John Nichlos and built a house for him, then Hanson Call had me to build a house for him and he paid me wheat for it. It was a Godsend for that winter was a hard one such as has not been known since. I had plenty. Some people suffered great. Many people had to gather roots. In June there was a flower bed sprang up in the bottoms and the hands turned out and when they plowed a few roots they looked like onions. They gathered quite a lot and returned home. They washed and boiled them. They was very relaxive and the Indians said they was keawino. They boiled them with a little flour and bran and a little milk and it was so. This was in the summer of 1856, it was on account of grasshoppers in the year l854 and l855 so wheat was very scarce. In the year 1858 I took my family and moved south as far as then called Pondtown, near Payson, Utah. Returning to Brigham City, I had planted three acres of wheat just before starting south. It grew alright so we had bread to eat. There was an increase in the family in July. Then we returned to Brigham City, in passing thru Salt Lake City I met with a shoemaker and he wanted me to make him a set of lasts so I did. After settling down I made him a ful set worth twenty dollars. I took them to him and got my pay then taking orders for three sets more for another farmer. That fall and winter I was kept very busy for there was scarcely a last left after the move. Shoemakers could not take them South and they burned most all they had in that line, so it gave me all I could do for some time. Not having much land to raise bread for my family I thot as Cache Valley was to be settled in the year 1860 I sold what I had and hitched up my team of two yoke of cattle and came to Logan. I got a city lot and ten acres of land. After plowing and planting and helping to get the water out I then went up Green Canyon, cut logs and built a house. The grasshoppers and crickets spoiled my crop that year so I went to work at shoemaking and done well for some time. Then I bought a share in a threshing machine with Thatcher, running on it eight seasons. Between times I helped to build a sawmill for Thomas X. Smith and Hans Anderson and run it quite a while. I done some farming with the help of my boys. In the year l870 I went to work in Weber Canyon on the railroad when the U. P. and C. E. P. came into Ogden. At this period of time I came home and went to work with Linquist in the furniture shop until the year l872 when I was called with the surveyors to go to help locate

a railway line from Logan to Soda Springs (Idaho). I was gone six weeks leaving my farm in the hands of my children, they done well. Then of course I had to see for something to do to get clothes for the family. In a few days I put out and had not gone far before I got

work on the grade with pick and shovel. But in three weeks I was called to take care of

the engine. That job lasted six months, then I was called as a fireman and that lasted

six months. Then I was called to run andengine to construct an extension from Ogden to

Willard. After that to contract from Logan to Franklin.

I was called as a military Captin of Co. A. and trained the boys of Logan. I was

called as a Scout when Johnson's army was coming into Salt Lake. I was earlier called into services and drilled under Captain Pearse in 1860. When I came to Cache Valley I drilled under Charles I. Goodwin and later I became captain in the first company.

My son Enos started a small store and meat market and did butchering. Then he decided to homestead a piece of land in Idaho and settled there, leaving the store and meat shop for me. (Note: this little shop John Ormond run until his death 17 Sept. 1913)


Ormond, John


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