Frederick Thomas Yeates Born 31 July 1863 – Died 7 February 1931
Contributor: MargieW Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Frederick Thomas Yeates
Born 31 July 1863 – Died 7 February 1931
Fred T., as he was affectionately known, came to Cache Valley at the age of two years with his parents, who settled in Millville, Utah. He grew up as a normal child under pioneer circumstances, and attended elementary school in Millville. He followed farming along with his father and was regarded as an expert horseman. As a young man he broke horses for Lorenzo Hansen, who operated a dairy in Millville. He also worked part-time for Mr. Hansen hauling cheese to Logan for shipment, and hauling cheese boxes to Hyde Park and Wellsville, where he operated other dairy plants. Mr. Hansen fed several hundred hogs at his Millville plant and Fred T. helped take care of them.
At the age of 23, he married Annie Francis Jessop, and for several years following his marriage he worked for his father-in-law, who was a railroad contactor, building railroads in Northern Idaho, Oregon and Washington. When Thomas Jessop retired from railroading, Fred T. settled back in Millville permanently and again took up farming and dairying. He was elected town Constable, which position he held for a number of years. As peace office for the community when the State was still in pioneer status and men were rugged and adapted to drink, it took a lot of courage to maintain law and order in public dances and other places of amusement. He was considered fearless in carrying out the law and maintaining peace in the community. Many times he hauled men in his wagon to Logan, a distance of four miles, and locked them up for fighting and disturbing the peace. He was once asked to run for County Sheriff, but he refused.
He was of a religious nature and was always active in the Church. He was ordained a seventy before he was 30 years of age. When he was 34 years old, he was called on a mission to the Society Islands in the south pacific. He left home, his wife and four children, on October 27, 1897, just ten days before his daughter Eulalie was born. He sailed from San Francisco, California on a vessel that took him 34 days to reach his field of labor. His education was very limited, but with his great and abiding faith, he mastered the native language and became a fluent speaker in the native tongue. He had many faith promoting and harrowing experiences among the natives, even to the extent of having his life threatened on several occasions. He was appointed by the Mission president to be a Conference President, and when word came that two Elders were in difficulty on one of the distant islands, he was sent alone to assist them. During his voyage on a small sailing vessel, a tidal wave hit the ship and carried it onto a small island where there had been no missionaries for 30 years. The island had been abandoned by the Latter-day Saints missionaries because the natives had threatened to burn them at the stake. It was only through Elder Fred T.’s great faith and the power of the priesthood he exercised that he was saved from destruction by the tidal wave. He was on this island for six months before he had the opportunity of leaving or of letting anyone know where he was, as there was no communication with the world outside. During that period, his family and his mission President, hearing nothing from or about him, presumed that he was dead. However, he was anything but dead. Although he lived among the natives and never tasted bread during that time, he was fulfilling his calling as a missionary. Through the help of the Lord he converted 34 to the Church and organized a Branch of the church before he left the island.
He was known among the Elders and saints in the mission for his great faith, even as one who could calm the elements through the power of the priesthood. He served on his mission for 3 ½ years, returning to his home and family in April 1901. At that time his family had not heard from him for six months. His wife and brother Israel had met the train in Logan every day for two weeks and had decided not go any more until they were sure that he was coming. At this time his cousin, Annie Yeates Barlow, died in Bountiful and her family telephoned Bishop John E. Roueche to let the Yeates family of her passing and they also passed the word along that Fred T. would arrive home that day, but not to tell the family because Fred T. wanted to surprise them. But Bishop Roueche could hardly keep the secret as he went and told Annie about Mrs. Barlow, then said “Aren’t you going to meet the train today? I feel in my bones that Fred will be home today.” Of course, Annie thought that the Bishop had had a little inspiration and so they prepared to go once more. The train was due in thirty minutes. Old Diamond was hitched to the buggy and they covered the distance of four miles in 20 minutes flat. Fred T. had changed so much in his looks that they hardly knew him. When he left he weighed 160 pounds and was clean shaven. When he returned, he weighed 220 pounds and had a long red beard that reached almost to his waist.
The word was spread in the village that Fred T. Yeates had returned from his mission and that night a rousing welcome home party was given in his honor in the meeting house and every grown person in the ward turned out to welcome him home.
He was very active in the ward and stake and was called on two home missions in the Hyrum stake. In 1906, he took up a homestead in Pocatello Valley, Idaho. He spent part of his time farming out there until 1916, when he sold his dry farm and built a new home in Nibley on the spot where he had lived most of his married life. In 1911, he was called and set apart as second counselor to Bishop James Jenson in the Millville ward. He held this position until 1919, when the ward was divided and he became a member of the new Nibley ward. He was selected by the new Bishop Alma Yeates to be chairman of the building committee for the erection of a new chapel. He gave many days and weeks of faithful service to Bishop Yeates and Bishop Eugene Johnson before the building was completed.
He served as road supervisor for the County in Millville precinct from 1915 to 1920. He was elected director for the Millville Water Works and the Millville Irrigation Company for a number of years and was Water Master for a number of years.
Fred T. was a great student of the scriptures and became well informed in church teachings and gospel principles. He was regarded by members of his ward to possess the power of healing through the priesthood and he was called out to administer to people almost daily, which gave him much satisfaction and he made many loyal friends who regarded him very highly as a spiritual leader. The last church job he held was custodian of the Nibley ward chapel. He took a great deal of pride in keeping it clean and inviting, as he had worked so hard to help build it.
In 1927, his health began to fail him. In February 1931, he passed away, leaving a wife and seven children to mourn his death. He is buried in the Millville-Nibley Cemetery.
Missionary Blessing given to Frederick Thomas Yeates
Contributor: MargieW Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Missionary Blessing given to Frederick Thomas Yeates, in the Historian’s Office
Salt Lake City, 25 October 1897, by Apostle F. D. Richards
Brother Frederick Thomas Yeates: We lay our hands upon your head, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, bless you to go to the society island to preach the everlasting gospel to the people of those islands, and we ask our Heavenly Father that He will bless you from this very moment, especially for that particular labor and service. We say unto you, receive you the spirit and power of this holy calling and mission to which we now set you apart; and inasmuch as you seek this with all your heart, you shall go forth in safety and no harm shall come to you by land or by sea. The spirit of the work shall enter into you, and your heart shall be filled with loving kindness and blessing to that portion of the human race. The lord will bless you with His Holy Spirit; and if there is danger in your path He will warn you of it; and if you will faithfully keep His commandments, He will qualify you in body and in spirit, and He will adapt you physically to the changes of climate, and the changes of the manner of living, also the changes of water, and preserve you and strengthen you, and you shall be preserved from sickness. You shall be able to learn the language, and you shall have ability to acquire it readily, and to come into sympathy with the people. You shall have power to prevail with God for blessing for them, and you shall be able to convince them of the truth of the work of God. You shall persuade many to embrace the truth, and to walk in the way of righteousness. You shall be blessed with all things necessary to make you efficient in wining souls unto Christ. Walk in the statutes and ordinances of the Lord, and He will make you able to accomplish a good work – a work that shall make you satisfied with His goodness, and you shall have thanksgiving and praise, and have souls given you in this mission, that shall be as the stars in your crown. Go forth in faith, relying on the Lord, and abide in Him and He will abide in you; and you shall come back full of joy and rejoicing, thanksgiving and praise, and grow up in a life of usefulness, and be a savior upon mount Zion.
We reseal upon you all your former blessings. All of which we do in the authority of the Holy Priesthood, and in the name of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, Amen.
Martin S. Lindsay, Reporter