Albert Douglas Dickson Autobiography
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AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALBERT DOUGLAS DICKSON
John Dickson was born at New York, Aug. 24, 1781, Moved to Upper Canada and received the gospel about 1836 or 1837. Elders John E. Page and James Blaksley officiating. He made a visit to Kirkland and received his patriarchal blessing under the hands of Patriarch Joseph Smith, Sr. in 1837. He returned to Canada and in 1838 moved with his family to Far West, Missouri. It was at this time that the Prophet was taken prisoner. Col.. George M. Hinkle surrendered the Mormons at Far West to the mob, and betrayed his honored trust causing a number of the brethren and the Prophet to be taken prisoners.
Billa Dickson, second son of John Dickson, was born March 8, 1815, in Upper Canada Was with his father in the above named instances. He married Mary Ann Stoddard about 1837. He, in company with his father's family, traveled with the Saints until they arrived in the valley of Salt Lake in 1852,
Billa Dickson and wife made a visit from I11. to Porter Co., Ind., to preach the gospel to Samantha Stoddard, mother of his wife, but she would not receive the gospel. It was here that Albert Douglas Dickson was born Jan. 26, 1840. He, with three brothers and two sisters, came with their parents to the valley in 1852, with the rest of the Dickson family. Judson Dickson, born April 20, 1843, and Alvira Dickson, born Jan. 26, 1846, Hancock Co., Ill. He, with his father's family removed from there up into Wis. to the lead mines and remained there a couple of years to obtain substance to live on and come to the mountains in which they were successful in obtaining an outfit and also some sheep which they brought to the valley of the mountains.
He remembers of seeing the Prophet at Nauvoo, Ill,, when he was four years old. The family came from Wis. to Iowa near Eddieville on Desmond River. William H. Dickson was born in 1850 at Monroe Co., Iowa. Albert and the family lived in Monroe Co., Iowas in 1849 when the big rush to the California gold fields was made. They moved to Pig Piegon in Iowa in 1850, In 1851, they raised 17 acres of corn and he culti-vated it three times, twice in one furrow and three times in the other. He moved to .Kainesville, Iowa, in 1851, and bought a farm there in the spring of 1852. He sold his place and bought two yoke of oxen and two yokes of cows. Went to the Missouri river bottom where Ezra T. Benson organized the saints gathered there into the fourteen company. They left for the Salt Lake Valley in the spring of 1852.
Crossed the Missouri on a large flat boat which took two wagons to the trip. Three men to the oar and one to the rear to stear. They would land down the river about a quarter of a mile from the starting point, and pulled the boat back with oxen. The company consisted of 50 wagons and five groups of ten each with a captain for each group. Our captain was :David McConley, We made the westward start and went over to the Elkhorn River and found an old decayed flat boat of about 4 or 5 ton capacity. We supposed it to be the property of some fur traders who had lost or left it t here. The next camp was on the Platte River where the cholere broke out and two of our number died of the dread disease, which did not leave our company until we reached Loup Fork which is up the Platte River from our first camp. Ten more of our company died of cholera.
At this point someone threw out a buffalo robe and stampeded about 50 wagons and one woman was thrown out and killed. Traveled along to the Grand Island, then two days up the river and saw the first buffalo on the route. There were six or eight of them. Father and some of the men tried to kill one and shot and crippled one bull and our dog took up the chase of the injured buffalo and melted itself and died. We children mourned the loss of our noble dog, and the hunt was unsuccessful for we got no buffalo. Went on two more days and the first buffalo was killed by our company by Wm. Lindsey. It was equally divided among the company. After this we saw them every day and got one any time we needed meat for there were thousands of them. and we would stop the train and watch the vast herds pass, :now, of course, there were lots of buffalo bones and we begun to learn somewhat concerning the advance companies for they would write their messages on the skull bones and set them by the road side and we in like manner would leave messages to the companies still to come. It will be remembered that we were going up the north side of the Platte and now in a few days more could see thousands of buffalo on the south side of the river, but none on the side we were on. So when we had used all our meat, it was necessary for some of the company to cross the river and try and get some for meat. So my father, Ephrium Lindsay, and George Micks, waded the river and killed some night came on and in the darkness they dared not cross the river to the camp, so they had to lay out all night which greatly alarmed the rest of the company and I never expected to see my father again. The next morning a search party was organized, but before they could get ready to start, the men came into sight carrying all the best meat they could.
Further up the river small bluffs and cedar were in sight, the cedar, however, being on the other side of the river. We observed that a large number of the wagon tires were getting loose so we camped by a small bluff and the men with their shovels soon dug around piece of earth which was used for an anvil block. In the mean time, some crossed the river to get a load of cedar. On their return they made a pit by setting the wood on end in the form of an Indian wigwam and then covered with grass and dirt and then burned and the next morning with the charcoal they cut and welded the tires and set them.
We passed Ash Hollow after several days travel. The next place of importance was Chimney Rock. About 12 miles further on we came to Scotts Bluffs, and 64 miles from here we arrived at Fort Larame. Here we forded the Platt to the south side. We stopped at Deer Creek to do the washing for the company.
I went with Father hunting and we saw a bunch of buffalo, about 50 head. They run out on a large plain. Two men were after the same ones as we were and they were on one side and we on the other, but out of sight. They shot and they came straight toward us up a hill for we were on top. When within 50 yards of us, Father shot and killed one and the others came on in their mad rush not seeing us till their hoofs were nearly on us. They just parted enough to keep from killing us. We went down to the buffalo which Father had shot and found that he was not dead and Father had to finish him with a butcher knife. The two men then came over, they belonged to a Welch Co. Father cut out a piece of meat, all he could carry and gave the rest to them, the first buffalo they had on their trip. We got back to camp after dark.
We traveled a few days and stopped again for repairs, setting tires, shoeing oxen, and other things. Went on up the Platt until the last crossing and we crossed back on the north side. After traveling for a
few days we arrived on the Sweetwater. Here a man overtook our company who belonged to the company in the rear and said he had broken his wagon tire. Father was sent back to make the repair. He took a piece of wagon tire and a drill and with four rivets made the mend and then made a fire and set the tire and it came through to the valley.
Passed Independence Rock and next to the Devil's Gate, run short on tar, found some nice pitch pine. We had a big sugar kettle in our company. We split the pitch pine in small pieces and drove these into the kettle in an upright manner as tightly as possible. Turned the kettle bottom side up on a large flat rock and then made a fire over the kettle and was successful in making enough tar to grease our wooden axles and linch pins to last us to our journeys end.
We went up to the three crossings of the Sweetwater and camped. Father and some of the other men went out and killed a buffalo, the last one we saw on the trip. It must be remembered that we also killed ante lope and Father was the only one to kill a deer on the trip. The next place is Ice Springs where there is several boggs; some say that there is ice there the year round if dug after. Crossed over rocky ridge and several small streams and camped on Pacific Creek. This place is the divide of the continent. They named the creek "Pacific Creek", because the water runs into the Pacific Ocean. Went over to Dry Sandy, thence to Little Sandy. In this vicinity is where the road forks, one fork going to Oregon and California and the other to Salt Lake. This is called the Sublett Cutoff.
The next point enroute is Big Sandy. Traveled down this until we came to Green River. Crossed the river and went over on the Blacks Fork. Traveled up this for a few days to Fort Bridger. Next to the Muddy Creek, from here over to the Pioneer Ridge. Came to a little creek called Wolk Creek. The next place of note is Bear River, from here to Needle Weeks on Yellow Creek and there we buried a young man by the name of Sherman, the last death on our long and wearysome march. From here we came down a fork of Echo Canyon. We came down and passed Reddins or Cache Cave. Traveled down a day or two and come to Weber River. Traveled down the Weber four miles and crossed where Henefer now stands. Went about ten miles southwest and came to East Canyon, Beaver dams and mud holes and brush make it very difficult for us to drive the sheep. It will be remembered that we brought sheep across the plains. Went up East Canyon and then up a hollow to the right nearly to the top of the Big Mountain. From here we crossed over the Little Mountain. Late that afternoon and down Emigration Canyon into the Salt Lake Valley. About the last of Sept. or the first of Oct. 1852.
I looked down and saw a few houses scattered around and I thought "Great Heavens, do I have to live here the rest of my days?" This makes 59 winters I have lived here and I like it.
We went up to Centerville and visited with Mother's Uncle Lyman Stoddard two or three weeks. And then we moved down to American Fork. The same fall we built two houses and a blacksmith shop. Father and John Myres and they got the logs out of Alpine Canyon. We got out living that winter by blacksmithing. In the spring of 1853 we broke up some land and raised our first crop. My younger brother, John, was born here in the fall of 1853, in Nov. In the spring of 1854, my Father, John Myres and Alvea Nicles made a chaff p.iller, Alva Nicles done the wood work, Myres done the iron work and Father cut the cogs. In the fall we moved up into Davis Co. We threshed with one of the :machines we had made, up in this vicinity we thrashed nearly a11 winter shoveling the snow off the stacks of grain.
We rented a piece of land from Henry Dalton in the spring of 1855 in Centerville. The grasshoppers ate nearly all of our crops. In 1856 we moved up to Paysville and rented another piece of land and we raised a successful crop. This was the hard year for the people. In the spring of 1857 I was called to build (unreadable) for the B.Y..Express Co., thirty three miles west of Fort Laramis. On the 24th of July, 1857, word was received that Johnston's Army was coming to Utah. This, of course, interfered with the plans of the B.Y. Express Co., and we were called back home. Gov. Young called out the militia to go meet the army and find out what they were coming for. I was out to Fort Bridger when Lot Smith picked
out a company under the direction of Gen. Wells, to go and meet the army and I was one of the men chosen.
We left Fort Bridger on the 7th of Oct., 1857, for the east and met the army at Green River. They came west and we went east. Our company divided and part went on under Lot Smith and burned the Government train of supplies, consisting of 74 wagons. I was with the part that came back, but the next day we joined the main company and I saw the smoking wagons. The soldiers and the teamsters drove the cattle over to Hams Fork and the soldiers left the cattle in charge of the teamsters. We made a charge and took all the cattle away from them, which numbered about 700 head. We went back up on the head of Hams Fork and another company of ours took the cattle over to Fort Bridger. We met some of the soldiers who were trying to get back to camp, and we were between them and the camp. When we turned, they followed us over a ridge and when we were in the bottom of the hollow, they came on the top and shot at us, but none of us was hurt. One of the horses our men were riding fell and the soldiers yelled for they supposed they had hurt him. The night before we were camped close to their camp. Their mules brayed, but ours never answered. We considered this very providencial. From here we went over to Fort Bridger and then over on Bear River and to Echo Canyon and I and James Stevenson came back home.
In 1858, the time of the move, I was called to go as a soldier again and Judson Stoddard fitted me all over with a saddle and pack horse, but a peace treaty was signed and I did not have to go. I made several trips between Kaysville and Spanish Fork, driving cattle, etc. We came back in the fall. I was in Centerville when the U.S. Army came in.
In 1859 we bought a farm up in Kaysville, now Layton. On the first of April 1860, I started back to the States in company with Judson Stoddard. After freight with mule teams. I was married to Nancy Shipley on the 28th of March, 1860.
When we were camped on the Muddy, the first Pony Express rider we had seen came by. A man on a pony passed us about sun down and the next morning we saw another rider coming from the east. They passed each other at the Green River.
We got down to the Missouri River on the 7th of May, 1860, and started home on the 22nd of June, 1860, and arrived there on the 9th day of Aug. of the same year.
In 1861, the 2nd of April, we started for the States-- for the same purpose that we went the year before. We were camped on the Platt River when the stage coach came by and the stage driver was yelling the war has commenced, Fort Sumpter has been fired upon. And this was the first we heard of the war. We went down to the Missouri River. We crossed the river to Bluff City and went down the river into Missouri with ,,udson Stodda.rd and bought 120 yokes of cattle. We bought 40 yokes of cattle for the Church and 80 yokes for Kimball and Laurance. Now the men who Mr. Stoddard bought the oxen from were holding a conselatation as to whether they would sell their oxen. They were in one room of the building and I was in the room next to theirs. Mr. Stoddard had left me there to watch the money with which he was going to buy the oxen. I want to bear testimony of the Prophesey of the Prophet Joseph Smith wherein he said: "I prophesy that you, Stephen A. Douglas, will aspire to the Presidency of the U.S., but it you ever raise your hand against these people, you shall feel the hand of the Almighty upon you." One of these gentlemen in the cause of their conversation, said that it-was something very peculiar that Old Steve Douglas went gray in 24 hours and that he withered up until there was nothing left of him, but skin and bones. He had just died and they were remarking of his death. I could not help thinking how remarkable this was. I had heard my father talk of this Prophecy, and how Senator Douglas in a political speech characterized Mormonism "As a loathsome ulcer on the body politic and recommended that congress should apply the knife and cut it out."
We came back to Bluff City, crossed the river into Omaha, and delivered the cattle to their owners. We started for the valley and arrived in the fall. I went out west 250 miles with oats for the overland mail when the over land telegraph line was finished.
In the spring of 1862, I went to work on the farm. In June, I with others from Davis County, joined the company of Robert T. Burton and went over to the Weber to help rescue the prisoners from the Moresites. We were forced to use force and several of the Moresites were killed and others taken prisoners. We lost two men. Went back to the farm and stayed there the rest of the year. Put in a crop in the spring of 1863, and in the summer, we went up into Richville, Morgan County, and built a house where the year before Father and I bought a farm. In the fall of 1863, we moved up to Richville. I helped to make the roads and water ditches and the school houses and worked in the canyons and the saw mills and the charcoal pits. I served as road commission trustee for many terms and water master for years. I sent a yoke of oxen to the states with flour to assist the poor Saints cross the plains, also aided with my means to build the Temple.
On the 1st of July, 1877, when the Morgan Stake was organized, I was ordained the Bishop of the Richville Ward under the hands of Apostle Franklin D. Richards, which position I have held ever since and I am the only one of the officials that was ordained that day who is left. A11 have answered their final summons with the exception of three which, however, have changed from one position to another.
On June 27, 1878, I was married to Harriet Flint. I have lived here ever since 1853. In .the year 1892, I made a trip up into Canada.
In conclusion .I want to say that it has never cost any man a dollar to have a grave dug in our ward. We have always helped bury our dead with as little expense as possible to the family,
I have copied this account from a book owned by Asa L. Dickson. In this report I have tried to follow the style of writing used in the original copy. I have only clarified some of the situations which were not quite clear. I was able to do this from reading another account of the same experiences. The account from which I made this copy was dictated to Able Dickson, son of Albert Douglas Dickson, by Mr. Dickson.
Written in Behalf of Bishop A.D. Dickson-on His 42nd Birthday
Thou servant of God, the returns of this day,
Has caused us to gather a tribute to pay.
And within this kind circle, may your heart be made glad,
As we appreciate you in the path that you tread.
Many years have you spent in the Kingdom of God,
And many are the trials that you have withstood,
And as years roll on, may wisdom be given,
That still will enable thee to keep the laws of Heaven.
May the smile of God be upon you each day,
And His hand ever lead thee along the rough way,
And as duties increase if Faithful thou art,
He will grant unto thee the desires of the heart.
In Loving Rememberance of Bishop A.D. Dickson's 80th Birthday
Eighty years of summer's sunshine,
Eighty years of winter's snow,
Eighty years of joy and sorrow,
Springy steps grown tired and slow.
Many times we've seen him bending
"Neath afflictions heavy rod,
Always with a faith unshaken,
Uncomplaining faith in God.
Often times his feet have traveled,
Paths with hardships all unguessed,
But today his children's children
Ride to call the father blessed.
God did not forget His servant,
Battles were not fought alone,
But with faithful true companions,
With courage equalling his own.
And we gladly pay him homage
At the sunset of Life's day,
Hoping it may prove a flower,
Strewn upon life's checkered way.
May the coming years deal gently,
May his last years be his best,
While the hands that toiled in sorrow,
Reap the harvest of the just.
By Friends of A.D. Dickson
By Friends of A.D, Dickson
The late Bishop A.D. Dickson, who served as Bishop for thirty-seven years, was one of those outstanding, honest and true blue Latter Day Saints. The Gospel was all to him, yet he was a "Sport." He took great interest in baseball and other sports. Those mottos which were ascribed to him were: Be on time, Play fair, and be men. He branded his children with honesty. lie had the love and respect of all who knew him. He was always true to authority. He earned his reward .
Morgan has King Bee Baseball Fan
Morgan, June 30 1922-----Interest in baseball in this locality is not in anyway curbed by such a minor thing as a person's age. Last week Bishop A.D. Dickson, enthusiastic fan and father of 14 stars and former star ball players, climbed on horseback and traveled four miles to witness a league contest. Mr. Dickson still rides like an Indian in spite of the fact that he is 82 years old.
A warm summer day in 1922, at an interesting moment of a hotly contested base ball game between Morgan and Devil Slide, the conversation between two admiring fathers of players on each side. Brent, playing the
line for Morgan, was at bat and made first base by a close margin after a sharp single. "A mighty fine runner, isn't he, Bishop?", says Dan. The effort was made to steal second, Bert, catching for Slide, pegged him out by ten feet. "By Godfrey, Dan, how is that for a peg?", says the venerable Bishop, to the amusement of all in the Grand Stand.