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Parry, Joseph Hyrum - Journal 2


Written by Himself

1855 -

Father- John Parry 1789 - 1868
Mother- Harriet Parry 1822 - 1901
Louisa- 1857 - 1935
Edwin- 1860 - 1935
Henry- 1862 -

My father, John Parry (57), born February 10, 1789 at Newmarket, Flintshire North Wales, was an expert stone mason by trade. The churches, public buildings, castles, great halls, and dwellings in North Wales are constructed of stone, almost exclusively. He was a poet and scholar and loved literature. He was a singer and musician of some note in his native land, playing the harp, piano, and flute. After coming to Utah in 1849 he was in great demand as a singer, and became the first leader of the since famous Salt Lake Tabernacle choir, holding this position several years. Issac Nash, later of Malad, Idaho, being his assistant.

Father was an active churchman in his native land, became a lay-preacher in the Episcopal (English state) Church, but being of an enquiring mind, ever seeking for the truth, he thought the Baptist Church was nearer the truth, and forsook the faith of his fathers and became a Baptist preacher. Later, when the Campbellite or "Apostolic" church came along, with a church organization conforming more closely to the primitive church, he joined hands with them.

On first hearing of Mormonism he was prejudiced against the restored Gospel, and warned his sons to beware of it. But after careful investigation, and weeks of prayerful deliberation and moral conflict, in view of his past religious experiences, he became convinced of the truth of Mormonism and was baptized on September 12, 1846 by Elder Thomas Wilson, and he became a strong supporter of the restored Gospel to the close of his life. He and his daughter Sarah (149), who died the same year, sang and preached their way into the hearts of the people in all that part of North Wales.

When I was on my second mission to Great Britain I traveled and preached through North Wales in the summer of 1878. At Carvwys, about seven miles from Denbigh, Elder George R. Emery and I had the privilege of preaching at the same spot in the open air on the village common where my father had preached some thirty years before. Some of our hearers remembered him and related the following incident: "When your father testified to the restoration of the Gospel and of the different gifts and operations of the Holy Spirit, some malicious person sent out to him a glass of poisoned water, which of course he did not drink, but went on preaching with the glass in his hand."

With his wife, Mary Williams, (daughter of William and Mary Williams, of Mold, Flintshire, North Wales,) and his sons William and Caleb, my father sailed from Liverpool, England, February 25, 1849, on the ship "Beuna Vista", with a company of two hundred forty-nine emigrating Welsh Saints, under the direction of Captain Dan Jones. They arrived in New Orleans April 19, thence by steamboat up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to St. Louis and Council Bluffs, Iowa. On the river boat his wife died of cholera and was buried at Council Bluffs. The remaining members of the family came to the valley in George A. Smith's company, arriving in Salt Lake City, October 28, 1849- over eight months on the way.

My half sister Mary and her husband, John Williams, who came to Utah some years later, made their home in mill Creek, about five miles south of the city, where they reared a large family of fine girls, losing a son in death. My half brother John emigrated in 1856, later moved to Logan, Utah, and was the master mason on the Temple building.

My half brothers William and Caleb, both fine singers, located the first at Ogden and the second at Marriott's, a suburb of Ogden. They walked down to Salt Lake City frequently to visit their father, and on of my earliest happy remembrances was that of hearing the three sing together. Lacking the gift of melody or "something," my father despaired of making me a singer, as music seemed to be left out of my makeup. My brother Edwin, however, inherited richly the talent of music and poetry, being a god composer and performer.

Wales is a land of mountains, of little alpine heights, ranged on the western coast of Great Britain, set between plain and sea, full of hill fastnesses.

In planning for the accommodation of the emigrating Saints, President Brigham Young thought to reserve the north-east section of the city; the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains- for the Saints from Wales, on account of its hilly aspects, so like their native land. But apparently they wanted no more hill climbing, so on their arrival in the Valley, the Welsh chose to make their home on the west side, a level plane some five to eight blocks west of the Temple square, in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Wards. My father located in the Sixteenth Ward, on the northwest corner of Fifth West and South Temple Streets, where he acquired a city lot of one and one-fourth acres, and built a modest home of adobe. He followed his trade for a few years until his health failed. He was present at the laying of the corner stones of the Temple in 1853, and helped build the wall which encloses the Temple Block of ten acres.

In the early fifties my father married Mrs. Patty Sessions, a Pioneer widow who came with the Saints from Nauvoo, Illinois in 1848. There were no children. She outlived father many years.

My mother, Harriet Parry, of St. Asaph, Flintshire, North Wales, was born October 18, 1822, arrived in Salt Lake City in Joseph W. Young's ox-team company October 10, 1853, walking the plains from Council Bluffs, Iowa. Some of my mother's fellow travelers from Wales rather disdained the offer to cross the plains with an ox-team, so they stayed behind at Council Bluffs to wait for a horse or mule caravan. Later in the season, however, they were glad to join a hand-cart company and "pull and push" their way over the dreary wastes for a thousand miles.

My mother was married to father April 2, 1854, in the old Council House. There were five children born of this union: Joseph Hyrum, born Wednesday, August 8, 1855, Bernard Llewellyn, born Friday, August 10, 1855, Louisa Ellen, born Tuesday, September 22, 1857, Edwin Francis, born June 11, 1860, and Henry Edward, born Tuesday, February 11, 1862. My twin brother died in infancy.

Father died January 14, 1868, in Salt Lake City, when I was a few months over twelve years of age. He has not been able to work at his trade for ten or more years before leaving us, but from the products of the city lot, which included a small orchard nursery, the family subsisted. He was a lover of flowers and trees- a born gardener. He planted a small orchard and produced fine fruit. He harvested one hundred twenty dollars worth of apples from one tree in the year when the soldiers from California came here on their way to the South to join the Union Armies. We grew strawberries and pieplant... (rhubarb)... for which we obtained very good prices, fifty and sixty cents a quart for the berries. I have been reliably informed that father was the first to grow alfalfa in Utah, from seed brought here in 1852 by his cousin Mary Parry, sister of Edward L. Parry. We kept one or two cows and the fine butter which mother made was always in demand at good prices. We produced an abundance of peaches and plums in the little orchard and dried them in quantity, exchanging some for groceries at the store.

For sweetening our daily corn meal "mush" or cereal, and to spread on our bread in lieu of butter, we used sorghum syrup, made from the "cane" we grew on our little town lot.

All of us children helped in the home work and thus we got along happily and above want; how mother managed so well has ever been a marvel to me. I don't recall a single occasion when we children went to bed hungry. To us she was a model leader and disciplinarian, kind to a fault, but firm as adamant for right and proper conduct.

We attended the little district school in the winter, and our mother encouraged us in acquiring the taste for good reading, which we never lost.

While my sister, Louisa, kept the home fires burning, my mother and I spent the autumn of several years in gleaning wheat after the harvesters were through on farms bordering the city. We threshed the wheat at home and carried it to a local mill. Thus we got the flour for our winter's bread.

Some incidents connected with our gleaning experiences will linger long in memory. We very tired before we reached home with our sheaves of grain, but mother never once mentioned it. Harvesters often left "fat fields" for the gleaners, while some fields were not worth viniting. Some owners, like Bonz of old, were kind to the gleaners, but others grudgingly tolerated them, and some drove them from their fields. A field just west of the city and near the Jordan River, about a mile from our home, owned by one Isaac Hunter, was one day swarming with gleaners, following close after the harvesters. The owner, thinking perhaps that we had too easy picking, harshly drove everybody from the field, creating disappointment and no little resentment. The sequal was rather tragic, as that proved to be the last crop of grain that Brother Hunter got from that fields due to floods, spring freshets, and over flows of the Jordan River and City Creek, which made a slough of the farm site.

Coming home from the farming country one day in August, 1868 - the sixteenth - tired, though happy, for we had had a good day, I met a neighbor boy, Emmett D. Mousley, who asked me, after casual greetings, if I wouldn't like a job at the Deseret News printing office in preference to gleaning in the wheat fields? If so, I was urged to apply at seven-thirty next morning. He told me to bring my dinner with me and assured me of a job to succeed him as "printer's devil," so that he might leave the press room and go into the typesetting department, where he was long past due as an apprentice.

That was the last gleaning day for both mother and me. I was promptness itself the next morning at the office door, where I found the business manager, Angus M. Cannon, and asked for a job. He looked at me keenly and thought that I was in dead earnest and confident of getting what I asked for, as was evidenced by the accompanying dinner bucket in hand. He told me afterwards that my appearance with dinner pail forbade him turning me down, so he sent me to the foreman of the press room, Richard Matthews, with instruction to put me to work. Thus I began my career as a printer, at one dollar a day. The pay for many years consisted of farm and garden produce, and orders on the little stores of the city. Money was a rarity. The produce from out little orchard, augmented by my little wage, enabled mother's little family to live more comfortably.

To help solve the clothing problem of the family, mother cleaned and carded wool, spun it into yarn and had it woven into cloth for our clothing, genuine, "homespun," warm and durable.

For three months, January, February, and March, 1870 - I obtained leave of absence from the printing office to attend John Moran's commercial college. This and a few months' night school at the same institution, for which I purchased a life scholarship, constituted my only formal schooling since my thirteenth year. I early acquired the reading habit, however, which largely compensated for the lack of schooling. But without direction as to what to read and how to study, I did not get out of reading a tithe of what I might have done had I known how to read with a purpose, and had the right books. But books were scarce and expensive.

At Brother George Q. Cannon's suggestion, I studied Pinneo's Grammar. It was at first a hard, dry subject, but due to my mother's discreet prodding, I fairly mastered it. I thus got started on the study of English which I followed as a hobby through life. The study was of incalculable help to me in my later publishing business as editor of several minor publications, and as a proof reader and department editor on the "News," and also on the Salt Lake "Herald" and "Tribune."

George Q. Cannon, of the quorum of the Twelve, was the head of the Deseret News establishment- situated on the north east corner East and South Temple Streets. He was also editor-in-chief. In 1870 - March 31- I was formally apprenticed to him for four years, to learn the printing craft, and was well treated throughout my apprenticeship, and acquired a good mastery of the art. Brother Cannon was always kind and considerate, and I esteemed him as a father. He had in his bearing something in his poise and character, which won confidence and respect. In my estimation he towered in moral grandeur above his fellows like a mountain peak above the foothills.

The Sunday Schools were few and far between in my youth, but my interest in them was kindled by my mother's narrative of her experiences in her native land. Practically all the schooling mother ever had was in the Sunday School. When I was about ten years old, one of the sectarian churches sent emissaries to Utah to regenerate and convert the Mormons. One of their first moves was to establish Sunday School to reach the youth. On hearing of the project, being "zeea" to get all the schooling obtainable, I pleaded long and earnestly to get my parent's permission to attend. They very reluctantly assented. Before the day came for joining this sectarian school, however, I learned that one of our own L.D.S. Sunday Schools was being organized in the Fourteenth Ward, and I identified myself with it. I joined a New Testament class of boys. Alexander Ledingham was one of my first teachers. Brother Peirce, as I remember, was the first superintendent, afterwards Thomas Taylor, George J. Taylor, and Henry P. Richards. I formed during my connection with this Sunday School many life-long friendships.

Within two or three years a Sunday School was started in my own ward, the Sixteenth, which I later joined and became in succession teacher, librarian, and its first secretary. William J. Newman and Daniel Wolstenholn were the first superintendents, acting on alternate Sundays. Many of the classes were also taught alternately by two teachers. Later, Henry Emery, became superintendent and during his incumbency I was his assistant as well as the secretary. Later James W. Phippen was superintendent for many years.

When I went to Manassa, Colorado, in the Spring of 1880, I was appointed superintendent of the Sunday School and also choir leader. On my return to Salt Lake in December of the same year I became secretary of the Salt Lake Stake Sunday School Union. President George Q. Cannon was general superintendent. The Salt Lake Stake then, and for many years after, comprised the whole of the county of Salt Lake. For nearly forty years I was identified with the growth and development of this grand institution, watching it grow from its humble beginning to its present unapproachable magnificence, - the pride of the Church and the best in the world.

In my youth I was very jealous of the honor of those I loved, and especially of the Church leaders, and when I met one who treacherously traduced the good name of Joseph F. Smith, of the quorum of the Twelve, I was active in an open effort to bring him to book. This occurred in the winter of 1873-4, when the Salt Lake "Tribune" was heaping bitter abuse upon our leaders and people. In consequence of my activities in exposing an ineidious traducer of my friend Apostle Joseph F. Smith, I was charged with "libelously defaming the good name" of James McKnight, and cited to appear before a special council of High Priests of the sixteenth Ward. Brother Smith attended the hearing and spoke in my defense. I came off vindicated, and McKnight soon thereafter dropped out of view. Brother Smith was a warm personal friend from that time until the day of his death.

Soon after this occurrence, Joseph F. went to England to preside over the European Mission, and in the summer of 1874 he wrote to President Brigham Young requesting that I should be sent to him in England to fill a mission. September second was the day President Young called me to his office. I gladly accepted the call and began immediate preparation to leave in a week. I had no money for my fare, but the "News" was owing me one hundred sixty-four dollars in "cash back pay," but couldn't pay it, so I went out among my friends and rustled advanced payments on subscriptions and collected all of it in four days.

On Wednesday, September ninth at six A.M., in company with Elders Jacob Sundel of Willard City, Henry Eyring, Bishop of St. George, William Greenwood of American Fork, John Woodhouse of Lehi, Dirk Bockholt of Salt Lake, and Vernee L. Halliday of Provo, and Sister Harriet Cook Young, wife of President Young, (who was going to the States on a visit), I left by rail for England on my first mission. At New York we boarded the steamship "State of Virginia," traveling in second cabin. Our fare each from Salt Lake to Glasgow, Scotland was one hundred twelve dollars and fifty cents, plus four shillings from Glasgow to Liverpool (one hundred eight miles) where we arrived Monday, at six-thirty P.M. September 28. We were warmly welcomed by President Joseph F. Smith and the office force at Forty-two Islington, the mission headquarters.

I was assigned to labor with Elder John Woodhouse in the Leeds conference, which had been President Smith's first English mission field. The conference reached form Hall to Halifax in Yorkshire. I spent about eight months here, traveling alone for the most part- when I was transferred to the Liverpool conference, with Elder William B. Barton of the Eighteenth Ward, Salt Lake City, as president. I did little traveling but assisted Brother Barton in getting the emigrating Saints on shipboard. I had charge of the Liverpool branch part of the time. Most of my time I spent in the printing office assisting to getting out the "Millennial Star" and "Journal of Discourses." Every evening for a whole year, when weather permitted, I took a chair from the office and went on the great St. George's Square - about one fourth mile distance - and held open air meeting. An old gentleman, Brother White - a convert from India - often accompanied me and held my hat, frequently being only auditor for ten or fifteen minutes. Occasionally I had a visiting Elder come out and help me. President Smith rescued me from a threatening mob on a few occasions, though I seldom had trouble, as I was not radical in speech or manner.

In the summer of 1876, I spent some weeks in Flintshire, North Wales, with my kindred, who treated me very cordially, but cared little to hear talks on the Gospel restored. I gathered much genealogical data from the church parish records of Newmarket and St. Asaph, where my father and mother came from; also from the neighboring parishes of Tremershion, Henllan, Whitford, Llanasa, and Dyserth. I copied everything recorded of the Parry family, with the object of doing all possible for the redemption of departed kindred in the Temples, - which was my mother's life work, begun years previous, aided by her children. Except for my time, the cost was very trifling. Most of the ministers, who had charge of the parish records, were very courteous and gentlemanly, kindly aiding me, and usually listened very courteously to my story of Mormonism in reply to their questions. They sometimes provided a light lunch when my researches were lengthy. Only in one parish, that of Henllan, did I encounter any rebuff. Here the old minister abruptly dismissed me before I finished my research. The record from 1762 (or '52) remains to be obtained. I also spent nearly a month on the beautiful Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea, assisting Bishop Thomas Callister, of Fillmore, Utah, in getting from the parish records, genealogical data of his progenitors, with satisfactory results.

Wednesday, June 28, 1876, was another red letter day in my career. After filling a happy and successful mission, I was honorably released to return home. Having done the best I knew how, from day to day, I felt that my labors were acceptable, though many times not so well done as I could wish. My want of education and other limitations were not easy to overcome. But by observation, study, and patient striving for betterment, and above all by the help of the Lord, I filled a good mission and gained a rich experience. The people's indifference to the Gospel message, which I met with everywhere, was my greatest trial and regret throughout my mission. Without hesitancy I can say that the past two years have been the happiest and most profitable of my life.

At three P.M. I left Liverpool for home, on the Guin Line steamship "Wyoming," in company with six hundred nineteen emigrating Saints: three hundred ninety-nine from Scandinavia, one hundred nine from the Swiss and German Mission, and one hundred eleven from the British Isles, with twenty returning Elders and three returning Utah visitors. At a meeting in the evening, the following organization was effected to make our traveling orderly, safe, and pleasant: Nels C. Flygare president, with Bishop George L. Farrell, John U. Stucki and Bishop William H. Maughan assistants, Varnee L. Halliday captain of the guard, and Joseph H. Parry assistant. The company was divided into eleven wards with a president over each ward; five chaplains were also selected to have prayers with their charges daily at seven A.M. and nine P.M. Bed time, ten P.M. Part of the sea trip was very rough.

The returning missionaries had first cabin accommodations, while the Saints were made as comfortable as possible in the steerage. They were assidulously looked after by the Elders from the time of sailing until the journey's end, and all came through without trouble or mishap. We arrived in Salt Lake, Tuesday, July 18, at 9:35 P.M. and were heartily welcomed by a great concourse of friends. It was but a short journey of three weeks, as compared with nearly eight months when my father made the same journey, with sailship, riverboats and oxteam, twenty-seven years before.

Not finding work at my trade I was employed in President Young's offices, transcribing genealogical and Baptismal records, as I wrote a pretty good hand. My old friend, George Reynolds, the President's secretary, found the position for me. Meantime, on September 4, 1876, I married my mission sweetheart, Miss Parthenia Kesler, daughter of Bishop Frederick Kesler, of the Sixteenth Ward, and we started housekeeping.

During the winter of 1876 - 77, I was appointed with others to go out over the territory and hold meetings to promote the Y.M.M.I. Associations. My first assignment was to visit and hold meetings in the wards of Summit and Morgan Stakes. After this, in company with Elder J. Reuben Clark, Jr., of Grantsville, I visited most of the wards in Davis, Weber and Boxelder Stakes. Everywhere the movement was enthusiastically received.

My situation in the Church offices brought me in frequent contact with President Young and leading men in the church, and I enjoyed through life the acquaintances and the confidence these associations afforded. I learned particularly to love very dearly our president, and to appreciate his grand and noble character.

Apostle Joseph F. Smith was again presiding over the European Mission, and in July 1877, sent a request for missionaries to labor in Wales. President Young delegated me to go out and seek some Welsh youths to answer the call, and suggested that I go with them, but, on account of my recent return from my first mission, was not insistent, but his son and counselor, John W., insisted, and set me apart for my second mission, to leave in less than eighteen hours' notice. The others had but two days' notice. The ones I selected, and approved by President Young were boyhood chums and neighbors, all splendid, most excellent and spiritually minded young men - Wm. W. Williams, Walter J. Lewis and Thomas F. Howells. Each filled a successful and honorable mission.

Apostle Orson Pratt, my wife's grand uncle, was appointed to go to England to publish the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants in the phonetic or reformed spelling system, and the Welsh Elders were to get ready to accompany him on Wednesday, July 18, 1877 - hence the brief time for preparation. The parting with my bride of but a few months, was a severe trial; she was not well and feared to be left alone. But I administered to her and blest her, and we made the best of the trying situation, for we were nearly destitute, trusting that the kind and merciful Father would protect and preserve her, and supply her wants until my return. Firm in this faith I left my happy home for my second mission, resolving to make my labors worthy of and be in keeping with the sacrifice involved.

At seven A.M. July 18, was our starting hour, and though it was early, many friends and kindred were there to see us off. President John W. Young and Apostle George Q. Cannon and others. As we could not afford a Pullman we slept in the day coaches. Elder Pratt declined a sleeping berth proffered him by the conductor, as he did not wish to be separated from us boys. We enjoyed his company very much.

We were hurrying to make a certain boat leaving New York on the next Tuedsay, missing which we should lose a week in reaching Liverpool. On Sunday noon, July 22, on approaching Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, our train was stopped and we had to get out and walk on the tracks into the Grand Union Station, thence to a hotel, carrying our grips with us. There was a very serious strike on by the iron workers and the local railway men were striking in sympathy with them. A few minutes after we passed through the railway station it was fired and destroyed. Freight cars were broken into and merchandise of every description was pilfered or destroyed by the throngs of strikers and riff-raff. The strike affected the Pittsberg terminal of all the roads, and the damage mounted to millions.

Early Monday morning we walked out of town to Lawrenceville, a suburb, and got there just in time to board a special train on a branch line, and a little farther along we reached the main line again, where we changed to a fast train to New York, where we arrived at one A.M. Tuesday. But the steamship we expected to make postponed its departure for a week - much to our disappointment and expense. We spent the week at a hotel, sightseeing, visiting, studying, and writing letters.

We paid $30 a piece for a second cabin passage to Liverpool on the Guion steamship "Montana," and left Dock 53 at 9:35 A.M., Tuesday, July 31. Our table fare was very poor and highly unsuited for sea traveling. The boys were sick most of the way, so when we sighted land on my twenty-second birthday anniversary, August 8, all were heartily glad the trip was so near ended.

On Thursday, August 9, we reached Queenstown, Ireland, at two A.M. where we were delayed a couple of hours awaiting the tender to transfer the mail. Then at the bar of the Mersey River another delay occurred, for the tide to rise. When opposite New Brighton the regular tender came alongside, and President Joseph F. Smith and Elder Henry W. Naisbitt came on board and gave us a warm welcome. We reached "42" Islington, midnight, and enjoyed a fine supper prepared by Sister Smith. A fine and cheerful letter from my wife awaited my arrival.

The boys for Wales stayed here for a few days and we held several outdoor meetings, on the streets and upon my old stomping grounds - the old St. George's Hall Square. Elder Pratt's son Lorus, whom we brought with us from New York, to finish his mission in England, accompanied us on our street gatherings.

Elders Williams, Lewis, and Howells were appointed direct to Wales, but I was assigned to the Liverpool conference again, which included North Wales. By keeping near Liverpool it was designed that I should assist Elder Pratt in the preparatory work on the phonetic editions of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, in getting out a type schedule for the type foundry, also indexing the Doctrine and Covenants. For three weeks I was busy on this work, and holding open-air meetings in the evenings, whenever weather permitted. I was assisted in this work by Elders Charles W. Nibley, Lorus Pratt, and others.

On Thursday, August 31, a cablegram came from Salt Lake bearing the sad and startling news that President Brigham Young passed away two days before at four P.M., August 29, Salt Lake time, following a very brief illness, (of appendicitis, which was not at that time known to the medical profession).

On September 3, a cablegram came from the Apostle's quorum in Salt Lake City, releasing Apostles Pratt and Smith to return home, leaving Elders Charles W. Nibley and Henry W. Naisbitt in temporary charge of the European Mission.

President Smith was up nearly all night writing letters of instruction, releasing Elders whose terms were nearly completed, and making appointments. He appointed me to preside over the Welsh conference, to succeed Elder Samuel Leigh of Cedar City, who was released to return home, sailing September 19th.

This of course changed the program entirely, and the phonetic publishing plans, concerning which President Young and Elder Pratt were extremely solicitous, came to naught. When Elder Pratt came back nearly eighteen months later, it was decided to print the two books under contemplation in standard English, in short verses, like the Bible, with ample marginal references and notes.

On Tuesday, September 4, I bade good-by to the friends in Liverpool and took train at noon for Merthyr Tydvil, South Wales, the conference headquarters, about one hundred fifty miles. At 6:45 I arrived at Dowlais and from there I walked two and one half miles down to the conference house in Merthyr and was made welcome by Brother and Sister Edmund Harman, who kept the "Conference House."

As soon as the traveling Elders and the retiring President Samuel Leigh came in we went over the affairs of the conference, which were in fine shape, and discussed plans for the future.

We laid out the conference into three districts, placing an Elder in each, who was responsible for its welfare. The Elders, however, for the most part, traveled alternately in one another's district, while I traveled with the odd member over the conference. I always deemed it best that the missionaries should travel in pairs, as the Lord had directed in early days.

I made my initial round of the conference with one of the retiring Elders, John R. Young of Orderville, Utah - a missionary of long and varied experience and a member of the United Order in Kane County, southern Utah. I met a warm reception everywhere and found the people very friendly and hospitable, earnest, and firm in the faith - many old veterans of forty years standing. Brother Young was a very genial companion, well equipped in missionary love from long experience in California, Hawaii, and at home, also as a pioneer and plainsman. He was but fifteen years old when he was called to his first mission.

Mormonism was an old story in Wales, and the indifference to our advances was very disheartening, but we planned and carried on a vigorous campaign throughout the sixteen months following. As the people would not come out to hear us, we made every conceivable effort to reach out to them. We held frequent district and general conferences, also gave lectures on "Utah," "Mormonism," "Joseph Smith the Prophet", also gave concerts, and held cottage meetings in out of the way places, etc., all well advertised. As we were thus kept very busy out in the field all the time, we decided that we could dispense with the "conference house" or "home," so it was closed. We, however, met once a month with the conference clerk to get out reports, etc.


In the winter of 1877-8 the people of South Wales were in very sore strain, many in abject want -- dependent upon charity for bread. The iron and steel mills and the collieries were formerly flourishing industries, employing hundreds of thousands; the people had work and they lived fairly well, but never in luxury. But the workers, feeling that they were not getting a due share of the princely profits of industry, nor accorded a square deal in other respects, began a long series of strikes for better wages and better working conditions. Their demands were denied, and the iron and steel works, for which South Wales was famous, were shut down and left to rust and ruin, without even a caretaker to keep up appearances.

The Welsh collieries did an equally extensive business in coal in the far and near markets of the world. Some five hundred collieries were furnishing employment to many thousands and the people fared well, but lost their heads and initiated extensive strikes against their employers. These, like the iron "barons," refused any concessions to the miners, preferring to shut down the mines, expecting thereby to coerce the workers into unconditional surrender. At the time referred to there were about twenty collieries running on full time, a few here and there were working part time. The coal trade was ruined, while the people were brought to want and real famine through unemployment.

Our people suffered with the others. The more fortunate were making a scant living, while others were in constant want and destitution, and fed by charity. Public relief committees were well organized and doing what they could to succor the destitute whilesoup kitchens were established in the larger towns to feed the hungry.

On February 5, 1878, my missionary companion Walter J. Lewis, and I visited one of the large soup kitchens in Merthyr Tyrdvil, where we saw hundreds of ragged and hungry children given a good meal of excellent soup and bread. The children were seated around improvised tables - much as the Old Folks are feasted in Liberty Park each summer. For grace, the little children very sweetly sand the Doxology, "Praise God from Whom all blessing flow." Many of the children were barefooted and scantily covered with odds and ends of clothing, badly worn and tattered.

I wrote letters to the Deseret News and friends graphically describing conditions in Wales, briefly recounting the plight of our people, and appealing for help to rescue them from distress. Much interest was awakened among our people at home, especially among the Welsh, who had friends and relatives in Wales. Elders Elias Morris (an old-time missionary in Wales- 1865 - 69) and Samuel L. Evans, of the firm of Morris and Evans, building contractors, Salt Lake City, undertook on a large scale to raise relief funds. They sponsored concerts and other entertainments given in nearly all the wards of Salt Lake City and surrounding towns, during the spring and early summer, to raise funds for the relief of the Welsh. The nature of the relief decided upon was the providing of means to get the needy Saints out of Wales and bring them to Zion, where they would be in a position to help themselves. Enough money was raised to emigrate nearly all the old time active members of the Church. Unbounded joy was brought to our people when they learned of the results of the work of their friends in Utah, and the Elders shared in their happiness. It revived hope in many a despairing heart. Many had been in the church thirty or forty years, waiting for deliverance who in all that time had struggled with want and poverty, unable to save enough to emigrate, but kept the faith and maintained the Welsh mission as best they could, and now their happy day was at hand!

It then became the pleasure of the Welsh missionaries to get in close touch with the people, verify their records and present standing, and see that none of the loyal and worthy was denied the opportunity to go to Zion and escape the ills of the depression. Nearly one hundred were thus helped.

On Friday, May 24, 1878, I left South Wales to pilot the first company of migrating Welsh Saints to Liverpool, and got them on board the steamship "Nevada" which sailed the day following, with a good sized company, in charge of Elder Thomas Judd, of St. George, Utah, and other returning missionaries.

On the Monday following, the S.S. "Wyoming" arrived in Liverpool from New York bringing a large company of missionaries, among them were Elders John G. Jones of Provo, Utah and George R. Emery, a close friend and neighbor from the Sixteenth Ward, Salt Lake City. These were assigned to labor with me in Wales. Brother Jones went down to the South to join my three companions downthere, but George remained with me to spend the summer in North Wales, a labor I had long contemplated in consonance with the wishes of President Joseph F. Smith, expressed to me before he went home the September previous.

My co-laborers in the South got the Saints together and put them on the through train there, and Brother Emery and I met them at the railway station at Liverpool and put them on board the boat that carried them westward, furnishing their traveling equipment in the steerage, making them safe and comfortable. In between sailing dates, Elder Emery and I went over by boat to North Wales, only fifteen or twenty miles off, and made a vigorous campaign, in town and village throughout the north, holding well attended meetings on the streets on nearly every fine day through the summer. I had a strong voice to carry the air of our favorite hymns, and George put in a fine bass, so we gathered a crowd pretty promptly when we found a promising location. In Mid - Wales we met Elders William N. Williams and Walter J. Lewis who had been covering the south as we had in the north. We had a fine reunion and George and I continued our way down to the south, and the others went north to go over that ground again. Wales thus heard more of Mormonism in the summer of 1878 than it had heard in a generation. George and I read the Book of Mormon through three times that summer.

When we got through with that season's emigrating activities the Welsh mission was almost empty, with "very few Saints left." Some months later the Welsh mission or conference was closed and became a part of the Bristol Conference.

I went to Liverpool to pilot the last company of emigrating Saints for the season which left Liverpool Saturday, October 19, with eighteen of our Welsh Saints, making a total of one hundred eighty-six from Wales. Including the Hirst family from Yorkshire, ninety person had been assisted by the Welsh fund, a fine showing, and I made a report thereof to Morris and Evans.


Following is a summary of my mission activities for 1878

I walked two thousand six hundred sixty-seven miles; rode by rail or boat one thousand five hundred twenty-three miles, making a total of four thousand one hundred ninety miles. I preached at two hundred forty-two public meetings, including seventy open air meetings, - mostly in North Wales. I wrote one hundred fifty letters, ninety-four to Utah, besides many local notes, telegrams, etc.

My mission activities were about on a par with those of my splendid missionary companions; we made Wales ring from end to end, and let every body know we were there, and what we were there for. I cannot too highly praise my mission associates, every one of them, for their constant courtesy, loyalty, zeal, and fidelity.


After a most wonderful experience of nearly seventeen months in the Welsh Mission, my labors in Wales were ended. We had emigrated a great number of the older members, but additions by baptisms were gratifying.

At a general conference held at Pontypridd Sunday, January 5, 1879, attended by about three hundred members and nonmembers, Bishop William Budge, president of the European Mission, and Apostle Orson Pratt were the principal speakers. I was sustained as president of the Welsh Mission "until such time" within the ensuing three or four weeks - as I should be called to assist Elder Pratt in the Church publishing office in Liverpool," in getting out the new editions of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, these being the first additions in short verses with marginal references. Elder William N. Williams was sustained as my successor. Some weeks before, Elder George R. Emery had been transferred to the Manchester Conference and Elder Thomas F. Howells to London, while Elder Walter J. Lewis was sent to Bristol, thence later to the Liverpool office in the printing department.

Elder Williams accompanied me during my farewell visits to the Saints and few remaining branches, during the following three weeks, then I went to Liverpool to assist Elder Pratt in the publishing department.

As the Church printing plant in Liverpool had no electrotyping or stereotyping facilities, and in other respects was unprepared to handle so large an undertaking, it was decided after long investigations and consideration to have the work done by a large printing plant in London.

This change in program left me free to take another task, so I intimated to President Budge that if he had no contrary plans he might have me transferred for the remaining part of my mission call to the Southern States Mission, presided over by Elder John Morgan, my old friend and college teacher. In this field I felt that I should get some real old-time missionary experience - and I was not disappointed.

President Budge was agreeable, and when I wrote President Joseph F. Smith about it, he consulted President John Taylor - who had just succeeded President Young - the plan was approved all around and the transfer made. President Budge was very kind to me, as were all the others in the office. He gave me a very fine send-off in my letter of transfer, approving most heartily my labors in Wales, and wishing me continued success in my new field of labor.

On Saturday, February 1, 1879, I boarded the Guion line S.S. "Wyoming," Captain Henry Gadd, traveling first cabin. President Budge, Elders Charles W. Nibley, and my former Welsh missionary companion, Walter J. Lewis accompanied me to the boat landing. The office paid my fare to my new field of labor.

After the two first days of rough weather, - the only time I ever used or wanted coffee, - the passage was a very pleasant one. I arrived in New York February 12, called at the Church emigration office, and also visited one or two church members, then got a second class ticket for Rome, Georgia, for $21.30, leaving at five P.M. on the thirteenth.

At Washington I stopped over for a day to pay my respects to our esteemed Delegate in Congress, George Q. Cannon, my old master printer in the Deseret News. He was glad to see and entertain me, and show me through the Capital.

President Morgan's stirring letters in the Deseret News were usually dated from "Rome, Georgia," the Mission headquarters. This was the only address I had. I arrived Sunday, February 16, and began enquiries for Elder Morgan or any Church members. For two or three hours I wandered about the pretty town of six thousand inhabitants, but as all public offices and stores were closed I could get no clue to the whereabouts of my friends, until I met two men who had heard Elder Morgan preach two years before. They remembered a certain family named Manning living some seven miles out in the "woodsey" country, where Elder Morgan might be found. They gave me the general directions to the Wm. R. Manning home on Beech Creek, which I found after following the rough, muddy, and tortuous road as directed, but no President there. He was absent on one of his frequent jaunts into new territory to pen up new mission fields where inquires gave indications of interest. This time he was working in the South - west tip of North Carolina. If successful in creating interest he would assign two or more Elders to carry on and build up a branch.

Brother Manning and family and other members of the little branch received me very kindly and I soon felt very much at home. I met Elder Ralph Smith from Logan, Utah, president of the Georgia conference, but who later finished his mission in England. He was gratified to have a traveling companion for a few days while I awaited the return of President Morgan.

I spent a little more than three weeks with President Smith visiting and holding meetings with Saints and friends in north-west Georgia - in Maclemove's Cove, Haywood Valley, Dirt Town Valley, Cassandra, Lookout Mountain, Pigeon Mountain, Troutman's Tannery, Beech Creek, and Harris's Tannery. At the "Cove," on March 11, I parted with Elder Smith after a very pleasant association - he to go to Alabama to visit Saints, while I remained in Georgia to await President Morgan's return. Two days later, at Haywood Valley, I met my old boyhood chum, Elder Andrew S. Johnson, an old associate in both the Elders' and Seventy's quorums in Salt Lake City. He had been laboring in Polk, Haralson and Paulding counties, but came up to recuperate his broken health. We worked together visiting and preaching for three days, then went back to Beech Creek, about fourteen miles from Heywood Valley, as we learned President Morgan had returned.

On Sunday morning March 16, I met President Morgan after four weeks of the busiest and most varied mission work that I ever experienced. He gave me a most hearty reception, and assigned me to go to Cherokee County, North Carolina, to carry on this work that he had just begun at Brasstown and vicinity. He assigned as my companion Elder Thomas S. Higham of Salt Lake City, a fine young man of twenty-one, just out on his first mission.

In the few days following I spent much of the time with Brother Morgan and other Elders, and learned to more fully appreciate the fine spirit and personality of this wonderful missionary leader, who, in grandeur of character, poise, intelligence and ready wit, has few peers, yet is humble and approachable as a child. Little wonder that he made friends everywhere in the South. As a ready and attractive conversationalist, I have seldom met his equal. In his association with his missionary corps, and in his counsel and instruction, he was like a father or a big brother.

The week following I went by train to Varnell's Station, forty-nine miles and thence walked through the woods to the hospitable home of Captain D.H. Elledge and family, where I met Elder Joseph Standing of Salt Lake City, who had been here about a year upon his second mission. He was a splendid and well informed young man, highly esteemed by all. His father was a member of the Monday evening prayer circle which I attended in my youth. Later I met Elders Charles W. Hardy and Thomas S. Higham of Salt Lake City, and Edlef B. Edlefsen of northern Utah, all splendid boys recently from Zion. President Morgan joined us here prior to his departure in a few days to take a company of Saints to a new outpost of Zion - to Manassa, a new settlement in Southern Colorado, which our southern Saints were founding.

At a council meeting March 21, President Morgan gave us his parting counsel and assigned Elder Edlefsen, our nineteen year old boy missionary, to accompany Elder Higham and me to North Carolina.

On March 25 my companions and I started for our field of labor, going from Varnell's Station to Cleveland Tennessee, twenty miles due north. We made a mistake in not stopping at Cleveland to hold a meeting, but not having hotel fare we deemed it best to press on to our destination, so we struck out for Ducktown, forty miles directly east of Cleveland, in the extreme southeast corner of Tennessee. After traveling about three miles darkness overtook us and we stopped for a meager supper at twenty-five cents each, but could find no lodging, so we trudged on and found a camping place in the open brush, building a fire of readycut firewood in the vain effort to keep warm. We struck out early and found breakfast for three for forty cents. We got a lift on a freight wagon at twenty-five cents apiece. Our route was along the Tocoa River for twenty-eight miles, through a narrow but picturesque gorge between the mountains. Our supper, lodging and breakfast took the last cent we had, so we began the last lap of the way to Ducktown, literally without purse or scrip. We tried to make lunch of parched corn, given us by a Teamster, so we were very hungry when we reached the little town at two o'clock. We passed through the place finding it very inhospitable. Ducktown is an old copper smelting and mining town, but now nearly abandoned. As we were about leaving the place we felt impressed to try once more and ask at a certain house for entertainment. Had our coming been the return of long absent sons we should not have fared better, or given greater welcome. We were given a very good dinner, and spent the afternoon talking and singing to them and left them some tracts. They pressed us to stay all night, and we sat up very late talking Mormonism and singing our favorite hymns. They kept us talking and singing long after dinner the next day and urged us to visit them again. 'Squire Wm. Butler Nelson was the old gentleman's name who was so kind to us. He told us that when he saw us coming to his door, he "guessed" who we were, though he had never seen a Mormon Elder before. He and his good wife, daughter, and his son J.M. Nelson and wife, of Nelson's Mills on Shoal Creek, Cherokee County, North Carolina, (twelve miles distant), are all intelligent kindly people. They urged us to come again to Ducktown and their son assured us a welcome to Shoal Creek. We accepted both invitations during the ensuing summer and always had enjoyable visits, the old 'Squire was ever as glad to see us as if we were his own sons.

In the late afternoon of our second day with the Nelson's, we started for Persimmon Creek, over the state line in North Carolina. Getting over the mountain by nightfall we began to seek a place to lodge. Finally after many refusals, and traversing about twelve miles from Ducktown, we were received kindly by John N. Craig and family. A number of neighbors came in next morning and we had a friendly talk with them. We were the first Mormons they had ever met. Four or five miles farther we came to Nottla River and met some of President Morgan's new made friends, George Dickey, Wm. L. Webster and 'Squire Wm. Albert Gray, who received us very cordially. We carried with us a letter of introduction from President Morgan, who had made a very good impression on his recent visit. After a couple of days we moved on for Brasstown, about fourteen miles from Nottla, and about ninty miles from Varnell's station. We arrived on the last day of March and were very warmly received by the Saints and by Leander Teems and family. He was the president of the branch, and we made our headquarters with him. His home was situated on a little stream or creek in a very small valley surrounded by hills. Close by he had a mill pond, where he impounded water to make an occasional run on his little saw and grist mills.

Since arriving in America, wherever I had opportunity to meet people on trains, on the highway, in private homes or anywhere else, I made it a practice to open conversation with people and indirectly bring on the subject of Mormonism and the Gospel Message. By discreetly following this course the Elders can do much in spreading the truth. A chance word will often go far afield like thistle-down and find lodgment in some fertile ground. We didn't know it at the time, but this procedure along the Ducktown road and beyond to our destination, made our coming into North Carolina as widely known throughout the whole countryside as though we were accompanied by a brass band, stirring up both friends and foes, as we were made aware almost immediately.

Some weeks after our arrival in Brasstown we learned that our friends - the enemy - dogged our footsteps from the hour we first crossed the state line; they knew every move and call we made, and arranged to give us a "public reception" upon our arrival.

On our first day - Tuesday, April 1st - two committees waited upon us. On their return from the postoffice, three miles away, Thomas and Edlef were met by a committee of three who warned them to leave the State. In the evening Edlef and I went out in the woods to pray, as was our custom, Thomas had gone to visit a neighbor family. Before going many rods from the house we were waited upon by a committee of nine armed men, headed by a Methodist minister named Henry Green, who handed us the following "Resolution:"

"We, the undersigned have decided that we will not put up with doctrines of a certain class of men called Latter Day Saints, and it is decided that if they do not get our within twenty-four hours of this date, we will put them out. Given under our hands and seals this first day of April, 1879."

He would not let us read the signatures appended to the strange document, but we got the following nine names from our friends who recognized them: - Henry Green, John Stephen Bell, Henry Green, Jr., Marion M. Webb, John Ditmore, Jefferson J. Bell, Harrison Hampton, Zebulon Allaway, Robert Coffey, and twelve others. They had been in caucus all afternoon, they said, getting up this "resolution."

Asked for a reason for their course, they said: "Well, you men come in here preaching strange doctrines, the doctrine of laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and belief in prophets, apostles, and revelations; we do not believe these things, and will not put up with them. You are raising such a disturbance among the people with your doctrines that we hear nothing else but Mormons and Mormonism in everybody's mouth. We are Christian people and want to be left alone in peace, and you must leave in the specified time. We give you this warning for we don't wish to hurt you if you will leave, for leave you must. This is our unanimous determination and this committee represents three hundred others."

With the courage of ignorance we were more clam and serene in listening to their ultimatum than we were in delivering it, and when they got through with their "say" we turned loose upon them a more vehement Gospel discourse then they had ever before heard, and we bore earnest testimony to the Divinity of our message. Whether they liked it or not; we told them whose servitors they were and warned them of the consequences of the actions.

The professed minister spoke up saying, - "Didn't I tell you they would quote scripture to prove their stand? They are so learned and well versed. But gentlemen, we won't stand for it, and you must go; will you?"

By this time we got warmed up and spoke more plainly, declared our Divine call, and emphatically answered that our duties were "right here; we cannot and will not leave. We are here on the Lord's errand; - He sent us here, and we will remain here - the Lord willing - till He releases us; and we trust him."

The men became furious on hearing our replies, and poured out a volley of profane abuse and left us.

This was but a preliminary skirmish of their proposed program. The gang scattered and some if its members spent the night and all the following day in stirring up blind passion and hate, and calling out the people of the whole countryside to gather at a mass meeting to devise ways and means to drive us out of the State. The day following, April 3rd, the clans began to gather early on the sunny hillside overlooking the Teems' homestead, where the Elders were gathered with several friendly neighbors. The rabble deliberated for several hours but could come to no conclusion, for the reason that there were a few present of the better class of people moved by fair play and sounder judgment, who advised a let alone policy. A delegation from this better element rode down to the house and informed us how things stood and desired to learn our views and feelings. This friendly delegation consisted of five men: A.J. Lloyd, Wm. F. Platt (a justice of the peace), George McClure, George Zimmerman, and George Sballcup. We answered them as we had answered the "committee" on the evening of the first, but of course in a more conciliatory and deferential manner, as these spoke and acted like gentlemen, and we listened and replied to them as such. We explained our calling and duties in coming to North Carolina, simply to preach the Gospel in peace; that we were not there "to break up their churches" or "disrupt the government." We bore a strong testimony to them; and assured them of our intention to stay and finish our mission. They returned to the mass meeting, promising to do all in their power to ward off violence.

There were about fifty men in the crowd, mostly armed, prepared for any contingency that might crop up. About half of them were against making trouble for us, but the others carried on like frustrated furies, and would have gone to any length if unrestrained by the better element, who were inspired by an overruling Providence.

Toward evening and choring time, the crowd dispersed, and thankful to our Father for His care, we were left to pursue our labors in peace and a sense of security, through the strengthening of our faith.

The affair advertized our advent into the State better than any method we could adopt. If its purpose had been for publicity and advertizing, nothing else could have been such a signal success. It made us many warm friends and the church members more loyal and devoted. During the summer we were entertained and welcomed at the homes of some of the very men who gathered to pass judgment upon us on this stressful occasion. They had a "change of heart" and thereafter treated us kindly. But for the jealous, slandering ministers, I doubt if we would have had any trouble at all, or any publicity either.

The idea seems so preposterous that three Mormon youths entering into the state in the peaceful pursuit of preaching the restored gospel should create such a fuss, and be charged with "disturbing the peace of society," and "designing the breaking up of their churches." But such was the assumed excuse offered by these maranders for their efforts to expel us from the state, and we felt amply justified in refusing to desert our posts of duty. We felt to leave the outcome in the hands of the Lord, in whom we felt to trust as never before.

We spent the ensuing summer months visiting the people throughout that mountain country, also in South Carolina, and over the line in Georgia and Tennessee. Early in June our missionary force was increased to five by the arrival of Elders Charles W. Hulse and Thomas Lloyd, who left Ogden, Utah, May 20. They were driven out of Varnell's station, Georgia, where we were two months before, by a furious mob, (and traveled thence to use "as miners seeking work.") They were past middle age. We had so many calls and invitations that we could have used much more help, as the interest in Mormonism grew rapidly. We received some tracts and books from home, also from President Budge in Liverpool, which aided greatly in getting over the Gospel message. We literally worked day and night to develop promising openings, making many friends everywhere.

Elders Joseph Standing and Rudger Clawson came up from their mission field in Fannin County, Georgia, and we visited them in return.

We baptized a few in the Brasstown branch and ordained some to the priesthood, thus rekindling threats of mob violence.

We seldom let pass an opportunity to make friends and acquaintances, and apprize them of our mission and calling. While we were constantly on the go we labored literally "without purse or scrip," and never lacked for food or shelter. The people of the South are noted for their hospitality and they certainly lived up to their reputation in the generous treatment we received. With very few exceptions they gave us very attentive hearing in public and in private, and were particularly moved by the story of the Book of Mormon. They would come miles through the woods, day or night to hear us, and then would remain two or three hours after meeting to listen to us sing the favorite songs of Zion. And in our visits they frequently had us copy words of the songs and teach their children to sing them, with marked success. Except for constant threats from mobs, we were undisturbed throughout the early summer.


When I was sent to Brasstown, North Carolina, in March 1879, it was understood that I should labor there until about the middle of July, then make my way down to Haywood Valley, near Rome, northwest Georgia, attend conference there on July 25, and at its conclusion I should be released to return home. This would complete the usual two year mission terms.

I arranged matters to this end and began my farewell meetings and visits about the first of July, intending to visit several branches on the way to conference. Two new Elders from Zion, Elder Hulse and Lloyd had recently arrived to help carry on the work in our far flung field and were paired with my former companions, Elders Thomas S. Higham and Edlef B. Edlefson, so that there should be no interruption in mission activities. But on the second of July I received a letter from President John Morgan written from Salt Lake City June 21, giving a glowing account of the conditions in the Southern States Mission, which then had forty missionaries. It was a most heartening letter, except for the last paragraph, which ran as follows:

"As the time draws near for you to leave the Mission, the more I regret your departure; still, I suppose you have been away from your family so long that it would be cruel to say anything; but I feel that you could do so much good by a little longer stay. But do not consider these thoughts into a desire upon my part to throw ought in the way of your return home."

Here was a predicament wholly unlooked for. What it portended the Lord only knew - but a crisis nevertheless. When I came to think it over I felt just as my president did, and sensed the situation as keenly as he did; but I was practically on my way, and my family looked for my return in four weeks. Had President Morgan said "stay" I should not have hesitated a moment, but he left it to me to decide for myself. Torn between the compulsion of duty and the almost irresistible love of home and family, it was difficult to arrive at a decision that would be for the best, and in accord with heaven's will.

Why President Morgan was led to write in such an irresistible manner as he did, and to post the letter so that it reached me just in time to interrupt my departure within an hour from Brasstown, are incidents which will be hard to explain, unless one believes in an overruling providence. I prayed over the matter for many hours before I decided to remain and put in a little more time in the grand mission field, finish my work, whatever it was, and forget my temporary disappointment, which proves to be but an intimation of the way of God. This decision probably saved me from a martyr's fate, as subsequent events manifested themselves. I learned by vivid experience the beauty and depth of meaning of President Wilford Woodruff's favorite hymn:

Good moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour,
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is His own interpreter
And He will make it plain.


The next few weeks were very eventful ones in my experience as a missionary - more thrilling than ever dreamed of.

First, - was the sad occurrence of the martyrdom of my friend and fellow missionary, Joseph Standing, who was slain on July 21, by a mob in Georgia, while in the discharge of his duties.

Then followed the care of the members of the little branch of the Church at Brasstown, who were cruelly beaten up and driven from their homes by a cruel mob at midnight, July 20 - 21.

Afterwards, Sunday night, August 3, I had a close personal encounter with a mob, at Nottla, and had to submit to the pain and indignity of a thrashing with hickory withes.

Later, in October, I had the joy of piloting the Brasstown refugees to Zion - to the new settlement of Manassa, Conejos County, in southern Colorado. There I tarried a week and assisted in the construction of the fine log meeting house, and was the first to preach therein. Thence I returned home, where I arrived October 30, 1879, after an absence of twenty-seven months and twelve days, finding all well and happy.


During the early summer, in our visits to each other's field of labor, which were but a few miles separated, Elder Joseph Standing and I had practiced a number of favorite Mormon hymns and songs, which we intended to sing on our way to and at the conference which was to be held at Haywood Valley, Georgia, July 25. We were to meet at Varnell's Station, northern Georgia, about July 20, visit the branch there for a day or two, then go down to conference, singing at the various branches as we traveled through. Elder Standing kept the appointment faithfully, but it was the rendezvous with death and martyrdom for him and probably would have been mine also had not President Morgan's providential message intercepted my departure only an hour before the time of leaving Brasstown.

Elder Standing and his companion, Elder Rudger Clawson, were waylaid soon after their arrival at Varnell's on July 21, by an armed mob of ten or twelve men; Joseph was shot down in cold blood, and his body riddled with bullets after he was slain. Elder Clawson fearfully faced the mob, but was spared and permitted to take Joseph's body home for burial. For a detailed account of the slaying of Elder Standing see "Improvement Era" for January, 1932.


Except for frequent threats of violence from those who still harbored the spirit of hate and intolerance, my companions and I carried on our missionary labors with some success in and around Brasstown, Cherokee County, North Carolina, through the spring and early summer, with no thought or apprehension of trouble. The field grew so large that two more Elders, Charles W. Hulse and Thomas Lloyd, were sent to assist us. Elders Thomas S. Higham and Edlef B. Edlefsen were fast becoming very efficient, with the vigor of youth and young manhood, augmented by faith and confidence. The two new helpers were middle aged men of more experience.

The mob spirit had dissipated we hoped after our first encounter on arriving in North Carolina. Elders Hulse and Lloyd, however, were hurriedly driven out of Varnell's Station when the called there on their way to join us at Brasstown, and traveled incognito to escape further trouble.

But the growth through baptisms of the Brasstown branch, and increased interest generally in our message of the Gospel, stirred up afresh the spirit of intolerance. During the absence of the missionaries from Brasstown, July 20, a cruel and heartless mob made a midnight raid upon the members of the branch, and some non-members, rousing them from their beds and beating them up most cruelly, and warned them to quit the country at once of suffer worse. One helpless old couple, Pappy James Harrison and his wife, suffered the most severely. To escape further vengeance, both members and friends were obliged to sacrifice their humble homes and belongings for practically nothing, and seek refuge where they might. Elder Edlefsen and I were at Nottla, fourteen miles away.

Upon hearing of the plight of our friends we went to Brasstown to give such help and counsel as we could to keep them from utter despair, and to prevent their scattering. As the Saints were too much frightened to have us stay in their homes, we could remain among them but a few days, sleeping in the woods at night to avoid bringing trouble upon our friends. Our people got out before further trouble, the most of them went down to Vanzant's Store, (Standing) in Fannin County, Georgia, where Elders Standing and Clawson had been laboring. There, among Saints and friends, with Elders Hulse and Lloyd, they found refuge for a few weeks, until my final release to return home, when I had the pleasure of piloting them to our new settlement of Manassa, Conejos County, Colorado.

I wrote a lengthy letter to Governor Jarvis of North Carolina, apprizing him in detail of the mobbing in Brasstown and the threats of further violence, and asked him to take steps to protect our people. Save for his writing to the state attorney general, and to the sheriffs of Clay and Cherokee Counties, nothing was done to redress the Saints or punish their assailants.

After getting our people out of Brasstown, we continued to work at Nottla and at Persimmon Creek, under constant threats of visits from the despicable Brasstown mob, made up largely of the ill-reputed guerrillas of Civil War notoriety. For weeks we lived as thought dwelling under a smoking volcano which might erupt without warning any day or night. But we never felt better, nor did we lose faith, but enjoyed the spirit of our calling as never before.

Our friends, if possible, were more considerate and attentive than ever, and our meetings were well attended.

So isolated in this mountain section that we did not learn of the slaying on July 21, of Joseph Standing until August 6, two weeks after it happened, and we were living in blissful ignorance of real danger. Elders Higham and Edlefsen were over on Persimmon Creek, keeping up the interest there, while I was alone at Nottla visiting among friends and holding meetings.

It was at the end of a perfect day when the long threatened trouble came, on Sunday, August 3, 1879. I spent the morning talking with the family and neighbors of my host, Wm. L. Webster. Held a splendid meeting in the late afternoon in the shade of the fine two story home of the Webster's, where I also tarried for the night, retiring before ten o'clock. There was no hint through the whole busy day of the swift turn in the stirring events which marked my mission in the South.

Some time before midnight a body of armed ruffians filled the yard of the Webster home, awoke and terrified the family with their hideous oaths and fiendish yells, and clamorously demanded the surrender of "that Mormon Elder." From observations some of them had made during the afternoon, it was known that my companions were absent, else probably they would not have come that night. Mr. Webster attempted to pacify the mob but to no purpose, as the disreputable rabble became more threatening and would brook no interference. Deeming resistance to be useless, and that it would endanger the lives of others, and the destruction of my hosts's home, I took the advice of the very much frightened Mr. Webster, hastily dressed and joined the mob - but not alone or afraid - trusting in the Lord for the outcome.

I was immediately escorted by them into the woods about a quarter of a mile. Under a large live oak tree near the county highway they halted and began to wrangle as to what they should do with the Elder now they had him in their power. As they were far from agreed as to whether to slay or beat me, I audaciously took a prominent part in the discussion, taking it largely into my own hands, making them listen to earnest reasoning and vehement remonstrance against such outrageous conduct; reminding them that they were violating the laws and Constitution of our country which gave me the right to preach the Gospel to them and to their neighbors, and this they knew, was my only offense. For an hour or more I made them hear me. I preached to them what will always be my most earnest and eloquent sermon and testimony of the truth of Mormonism. I was led to warn them that if they persisted in their determination to do me harm they would reap sorrow; and also declared that the live oak tree under which I stood would wither and die as a witness against their wrong doing. My lengthy talk softened the hearts of some of the band, but the leaders became more infuriated and determined to flog me with hickories, but conceded without my asking for it, the privilege of selecting my assailants; and they said that I must leave the state at once. This led to more talk and expostulation, and further delay while I mingled with the crowd, very deliberately pretending to select the weakest muscled men or boys to wield the lash. Many of them hovered around me pleading - "Choose me; I'll not hit ya hard." It was moonlight, and in moving among them I discovered they were trembling with fear and excitement. The young men I finally selected to wield the withes, were true to their promise, despite their pretense to the contrary. But the profane loud-mouthed leader, suspecting that I was not getting enough punishment, commenced to belabor me with a hickory cane - the only real hurts of the thrashing - when the others interposed and cried "enough." I was then permitted to go, being directed back to the Webster home. Several members of the household, including one colored man, had followed the mob and were witnesses to all that occurred and near enough to hear the talk, but were too intimidated to interfere or make known their presence.

Feeling inexpressibly grateful that my life had been spared, and that I had fared no worse, I returned to the house and slept well the remainder of the night.

The next day, Monday, August 4, was Court day at Murphy, the County seat, and I filled an appointment to preach on the court house grounds, before my largest southern congregation. On the way Elder Edlefsen joined me, coming from Persimmon Creek. Despite the harrowing experiences of the night before, and an inflamed eye through presence of some foreign substance, I spoke with the greatest freedom on the Gospel restoration and first principles, winding up with an appeal for religious freedom and tolerance, and protection from mob violence. I was given very respectful hearing througout.

But though the civil powers of the State were duly apprized of the trouble in and around Brasstown and Nottla, and appealed to for protection and redress, nothing resulted but a few letters from the Governor and the Attorney General of the State. In the case of the Brasstown affair, affidavits were got out and filed with the proper officers, but were never afterwards heard from.

Speaking of the trials and troubles that should be the lot of His servants and people, Jesus said: - "It must needs be that offenses come, but woe to them by whom they come." Again, He said that whosoever offended one of the least of His servants, "did it unto Him." "God will not be mocked; whatsoever ye sow that shall ye also reap," is another of our Savior's warnings. Within a few weeks after the Nottla occurrence three of the ringleaders of the mob met with violent deaths by accidents. The stately tree under which the whipping was done withered like as if burned, and died in a few days. It stood as a mute testimony that the Father takes note of His humble servants, for He "notes even the sparrow's fall." For many months the tree was a menace to travel on the highway; the road supervisor and county employees feared to attempt its removal but cut out a detour around the tree. It stood for months, being finally blown down by the wind. But the stump remained for years until carried away piecemeal as souvenirs by visitors from far and near. Elder Zenos M. Johnson was doing missionary work in that neighborhood in March, 1899, wrote up this story much as I have it here, as he learned it from one who was very familiar with the details, except the name of the Elder "James Perry." It was published in the "Southern Star", the mission periodical. Elder Wallace Strong of Salt Lake, in 1913, was on a mission in the South and visited that section; from some of the old citizens he heard the story of the beating and learned the fate of some of the mobbers, as related before, and of the "Mormon oak tree" that withered and died. He brought home a chip from the stump and gave it to me a few years later.


Five years after my mob experience, the murderous spirit of intolerance broke out again in Tennessee. On Sunday morning about eleven o'clock, August 10, 1884, the morning meeting was just about to being, with four Utah Elders and a number of Saints present, at the home of James Condor, near the head of Cane Creek, Lewis County, Tennessee. Without warning a mob rushed past the sentry at the door and into the house, then shot and instantly killed Elders J.H. Gibbs of Paradise, Cashe County, and Berry of Kanarra, Kane County, Utah, and two young men of the family were severely wounded as well as Sister Condor, by a parting shot through the window. The two other Elders very narrowly escaped harm. Elder B.H. Roberts and others, at the risk of assassination, disinterred the bodies of Elders Gibbs and Berry, which were brought home for burial.

Memorial services were held in all the meeting places of the Saints thoughout Zion, at the same hour that the services were conducted in the home towns of the Elders. Old time Southern missionaries, acting as guards of honor, met the bodies in the eastern part of Utah and accompanied them to their last resting places. Elder Jesse M. Smith and I were the escorts for the remains of Elder Gibbs; President John Taylor and other leaders spoke at this funeral, held at Paradise, Cashe County, Utah.

During the winter of 1879-80 I was called to take an active part in promoting the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association work and visited and held meetings in the wards of Summit and Morgan Stakes, and in the Davis, Weber, and Boxelder Stakes.

In the spring following my return home my second mission, I went to southern Colorado, taking with me my little family to Manassa, to aid in the colonizing of the Saints from the Southern States Mission. On my return at the end of the year to Salt Lake, I engaged in the book business, later establishing a printing house; published the "Book of Jasher," also Geo. Reynolds' "Story of the Book of Mormon," edited and published "Parry's Literary Journal" for four years; and when in -1894 - 5 the Salt Lake Herald, under the management of Richard W. Young, published a "Church and Farm" supplement, I was its editor until its discontinuance. Later I was proof reader and correspondence editor on the Deseret News, under Charles W. Penrose and others. For nearly forty years I was a member of the Sunday School boards of the Salt Lake and Granite Stakes.

I established my orchard home south-east of the city in 1904, 3387 Highland Drive, and engaged in the Insurance business as agent of the Utah Home Fire Insurance Co., in the Wilford Ward, where I continued my activities in Church work.

I was twice married and reared two very fine families of boys and girls. On September 4, 1876, shortly after my return for my first mission, I marred Miss Parthenia Kesler, daughter of Bishop Frederick Kesler and Jane Elizabeth Pratt Kesler. To this union were born seven children; -Florence L., Joseph H. Jr., Lynn L., Eston M., Gwen D., Oliver K., and Parthenia K. Parry. Ten years after my first marriage, on July 19, 1886, I married Miss Lydia Hanks, daughter of one of the members of the first company of the Utah 1847 Pioneers, Alvarus Hanks, and Mary A. Cook Hanks. Four children were born of this union- Mary H., Harriet Eula, Lydia H., and Alvarus H. Parry. All born in Salt Lake City.


Parry, John

Parry, Joseph Hyrum


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