Fernando and Eliza Fackrell
Contributor: Sandra Haller Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Fernando Sumner Fackrell and Eliza Sorenson Fackrell
By Howard L. Fackrell
He was born in Bountiful, Davis County, Utah on November 28, 1865. He was the ninth of fifteen children. He was a son of David Bancroft Fackrell and Susannah Sumner. The family moved to Southern Utah while my father was still in infancy and he grew to manhood and got married to Eliza Sorenson in the town of Orderville.
We would have to admit that the people then lived in dire poverty by today’s standards, but they never lacked for food and clothing, and entertainment was of their own making. In this particular town the people lived the United Order until many years after the Mormon Church had abandoned the practice in other areas where the church members were in the majority.
My father said many times it was their favorite sport to hold a track meet with the Indian boys of the area. The main areas of competition would be foot-racing, wrestling, jumping and tests of muscle strength; and my dad could beat any of them his age. He told me so, and I believed him. I had no reason not to - he was my father.
The United Order was dissolved in the late 1880’s and my dad’s share of the community property distribution was 2000 sheep which was a fair consideration for a young man, newly-married and a small family beginning. But the financial panic of the Grover Cleveland administration of 1893 caused him to go broke and a few years later, in 1898, he moved to Idaho where some of the Fackrell’s had previously moved and encouraged him to come and help settle west of Blackfoot, ID. This was in 1898. The mode of travel was horse and wagon. Putting all their earthly belonging in a covered wagon and leaving no debts, they hitched up a team and made their way from Orderville to Blackfoot in just 30 days, a distance of about 500 miles.
Before going to Idaho and after the Grover Cleveland financial panic they were called to go on a settlement mission together with several families to the Little Muddy River which they thought was in Utah, about 100 miles southwest of St. George. After two years of struggle, clearing land and fighting the inclement weather, they found out they were in Nevada, not Utah, and Nevada demanded back taxes in the amount of a few dollars per family, which they could not pay, so they abandoned the Little Muddy and moved back to Orderville, then later to Idaho.
My first real vivid recollection of my father was when I was about three years of age in Riverside Idaho. He was deputy sheriff and had been gone several days hunting a fugitive from justice in Bingham County. My older sister, Vella, and younger sister, Mae, and I ran to meet him coming down the country road on horseback. He got off the horse and greeted us, then put us all on the horse, one in the saddle and two behind the saddle. The horse began to buck and we were all thrown to the ground - luckily, no injuries.
Dad was deputy in Bingham County, Idaho, for several years. He terminated his lawman career one night when he and Deputy Dave Chamberlain, a relative of the Fackrell’s, were chasing escaping prisoners along the Snake River near the Porterville Bridge. There was a running gun battle. They were all armed and shooting and running the prisoners, all five of them, trying to escape the pursuing lawmen; and the deputies trying to recapture the prisoners who had escaped county jail at Blackfoot. They had made their way to the thick willow brush along the Snake River about six miles from the jail. Dad had hold of one of the prisoners and was dragging him along in hot pursuit of other prisoners when he was shot in the leg. The bullet shattered the bone in the ankle, cutting off the bow of his shoelace as if by a knife. Dad fell and was in pain, lying there for hours until he could attract help from other deputies pressed into action.
He held onto the prisoner and held him captive until help came and took him to jail and Dad to the hospital. His leg was amputated and after several months in the hospital he got a "thank you very much" from the County of Bingham for his services.
Even though he was disabled in the line of duty, and extraordinary duty it was, he did not receive any compensation or disability, not even the hospital expenses. The kind businessmen of Blackfoot honored him with a few gifts of money - enough to pay the doctor and hospital, and influence was used to get Dad a job as a guard at the State Prison at Boise where he put in 27 years of service as a prison guard. His pay was $75 per month. With this money plus $50 per month my parents received for my brother Hugh's death in World War I they supported the family in Riverside and sent two boys on missions. Dad would say that he had put in more time in prison than most of the men there under life sentence.
Dad was strict, but he had a kind heart and was always helping “down and outers.” He was proud and would not accept charity. He would work hard for small pay and even help others less fortunate than he.
He had an abiding and practical faith in God and was proud to be a Fackrell and surely honored the name to make us proud we are Fackrell’s or relatives of Fackrell’s.
Fernando Sumner Fackrell by Arlen Clement
Contributor: Sandra Haller Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Fernando Sumner Fackrell was only two years old when his father and "aunt" Hannah went to the Muddy Mission. He would be six years old before they were all together again in Mt. Carmel. What an exciting life this must have been for this rough and tumble young man. He was ruggedly built with a constitution to match. A good measure of innovative mischief [which was passed on to several members of our family] was evident early on. An account of three boys [names were never revealed] in Orderville who slipped into a room and made off with "a sure to win 1st prize" cake just before judging, could easily have been Fernand and friends.
At age 16 Fernand was called to be Secretary of the first Primary which at most shows a lot of maturity, respect from his elders, and willingness to serve. At the other end of the spectrum it might have been that his mother [who was called to be President] put the arm on him. At any rate, he served and served well.
The account of Fernand shearing the docked sheep tails, to earn money for "store bought pants" showed he was a good planner. There was always failure lurking at every step in this complicated scenario. But the best part was his triumphal entry at the dance, at just the right moment, to make the girls swoon. A separate account says a girl ran across the floor and kissed him as he stood there in his new pants. I don't think even in his most optimistic plan he could have anticipated such a rich payoff.
Fernand probably worked with his dad in the store and helped in the soap making enterprize. Somewhere along the way he picked up carpentry skills.
a)FERNAND AND ELIZA MARRY
Before he and Eliza were married, he built a room on to Susanna's house that they lived in until they got there own home. Fernand and Cyrene farmed their 60 acres for about 10 years in Orderville. When they arrived in Blackfoot, after traveling from Orderville, a cousin of Fernand's was rough in handling the horses, who resisted being driven down into the big Snake River. Fernand jerked the lines out of his hands and told him not to drive them again. He was kind to animals as he was to his friends. I would never want to be on the wrong side of him though.
After arriving in Idaho Fernand worked around with his team, filed on a farm near Thomas, and sheared sheep in the spring. No one afraid of work ever sheared sheep. It was hot, backbreaking, long hours, work. It took a good man to do it, and a better man to keep doing it. Fernand helped build the 2 story brick home in Riverside for David B., Susannah and family. He got $100. for this job and with that $100. he bought all the materials to build the house in Riverside that Fernand, Eliza, and the family lived in until it burned in 1937.
b)FERNANDS LAW ENFORCEMENT CAREER
Fernand worked as Deputy Sheriff in Bingham County for a few years, and then went to work at the Idaho State Penitentiary at Boise. After a trip home to Riverside in March 1915, he was sitting in the train depot, waiting for the train that would take him back to Boise. The Sheriff came running in saying there had been a jail break and would Fernand come and help. Fernand went with him immediately, evidently he carried a gun, and apprehended the desperados near the town of Rose, on the Snake River. A shootout ensued, some say the sheriff laid in a ditch and made himself scarce. Fernand shot one of the escapees and was himself shot. Even after being shot in the leg, he held the other criminal until help came. He lost a lot of blood, but the worst part was that his leg had to be amputated, just below the knee.
Fernand would not go back to his job at the Prison for almost a year, even though the warden begged him to come back and that they would give him a light duty job. He was an independent rascal and didn't want to get paid until he could pull his own share. They say he would try to drag himself up the rows, weeding crops, and would beat the ground with his fists in frustration. The protruding leg bone [faulty amputation by Dr. Mitchell] left his leg always sore and made it very difficult to wear an artificial limb. Eliza commented, " No wonder he was sometime cross". That year Eliza, Howard, Mae, and Alice went to Wolverine with Cy to help him on his dry farm [and leave Fernand to work out frustrations of adjustment maybe]. Soon he was back at work again at Boise, this time as a "lookout guard" on the wall. He used to tell me he had a big gun and he knew how to use it if he had to. He never talked much about shooting anyone or brutality of working with convicts [suppose that might have been official policy of the prison], but he did say he witnessed several hangings, [in a working capacity, I Assume] and that the neck of the hanged stretched out very long after the gallows door was tripped.
c)GOOD SAMARITAN FERNAND
This story is out of time sequence, but I wanted to tell about Fernand's kind heart. Garth and I had gotten suckered into buying 24 small cans of salve [each with a picture of a wolf howling at a full moon] which the advertizement said we could sell for a large sum of money, then we would be rich. We pounded the streets and couldn't sell any. Footsore and downhearted we told Grandpa of our dilemma. He said, "I really like that picture. I'll buy all of them". And he did. Grandma tells of "down and outers" coming by their house and needing food. They were never refused and often Fernand would put them up for the night.
d)FERNAND AT PLAY
Grandpa liked to play cards, and he was serious about it. Vella, Grant, Fernand and I would often play racehorse pinochle. Vella would always be Fernands partner because she could remember every card that had been played and did not make mistakes, just like Fernand. He was very quick of mind and a little impatient with those who were intellectually lazy. I played poker with him a lot and he would keep my scarce cash if he won. This forced me to concentrate on the finer points of the game and think. These lessons extended beyond poker and I thank him for these indirect and valuable teachings.
Grandpa had nicknames for we older kids. Garth was Skeesix after the cartoon character of that day. I was Corky [cartoon character again]. Connie was Doodle [Connie doodle]. Shirley was Cracker [as in fire cracker, which matched Shirleys temperament early on]. Lyle was Jake because as a young boy of 3 or 4 he would wear his big floppy cowboy hat and looked like a movie star villain that wore such a hat.
Grandpa wasn't much for church. He wasn't much for hypocrites either. He practiced a brand of religion that involved being honest with your fellow men, not looking down on the less fortunate, helping those in need, and doing it without much hullaballu. He told me the story of an Indian that used to come into Orderville and because he looked somewhat like a man who had been a bishop in a town near there, they called him Bishop. Bishop Chamberlain had just recently been called as the new Bishop in Orderville and was anxious to be friendly with every one and fulfill his responsibility well. As the Indian "Bishop" rode up on his horse, bishop Chamberlain vigorously greeted him with arms upraised, and a loud, "howdy do 'Bishop'." The Indians horse was spooked and threw him off head first in the gravel. "Ol Bishop" picked himself up, dusted himself off and told Bishop Chamberlain, "Too much howdy do, Bishop." Fernand probably prayed somewhat like Bishop Howard O. Spencer [the first bishop of Orderville], when after a long conference, with visiting Authorities and plenty of good advice, he simply prayed, " Lord, make something of us if you can."
e)FERNAND AS A PROVIDER
Neither the State of Idaho nor Bingham County would compensate Fernand for being injured in the line of duty. He didn't get paid for over a year, after he was shot, and on top of that he had the medical bills. They had 7 children at home and a son [Hugh] on a mission. They did have their home and 4 acres [on the end of the ditch], so they had cows and raised a lot of their own food.
Two more sons would be supported while on missions and many more were supported by fernand. About half of each letter from Boise struggles with the problems of making his salary reach and cover all the good causes. No doubt he was a soft touch. While Grandma was struggling in Riverside to make ends meet, Fernand was receiving "end run" letters from non frugal family members for $10 or $25. As a result of these leaks, the money bucket was usually empty or nearly so. Yes, Fernand and Eliza were apart a good part of their life, both in geography, and effective communication. But they loved each other, and wanted to do what was best for their family members. If they erred, it was on the side of "soft love", and what a wonderful family they raised. They both loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it showed in their lives.