HISTORY OF JOHN PIDDING JONES and his wife MARGARET LEE JONES
Contributor: Todd Millett Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
HISTORY OF JOHN PIDDING JONES and
his wife MARGARET LEE JONES
The genealogy of John Pidding Jones, show his father to be Isaac Jones, who was born 24 February 1771 in Mildenhall, Wiltshire, England and died 11 June 1854 in Blackburn, England. The mother of John Pidding Jones was Mary Pidding who was born 1 May 1774 in Marlborough, Wilts, England, and died 8 April 1827 in the same place. The father of Isaac Jones was William Jones who was born about 1734 in Mildenhall and died 19 June 1762, Wilts, England. Isaac's mother was Jane Shipway born about 1738 at Marlborough, Wilts, England.
The genealogy of Margaret Lee shows Joseph Lee to be her father, who was born in 1776 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England. He was married in 1797 and died in 1844, Her mother was Margaret Crosby, and she died in 1821. The father of Margaret Crosby was John Crosby, and he was born in 1754 in St. Hellens, Lancashire, England and died in 1829. Margaret Swift, his wife, was born June 13, 1783, in St. Hellens, Lancashire, England and she died in 1821. The father of Margaret Swift, was William Swift and his wife was Ellen Swift.
John Pidding Jones, was born 10 June 1819 at Craven, Yorkshire, England. He was born of goodly parents of good old Norman stock. His father and brothers were mechanical engineers. They helped to build the first stationary steam engines in England and transported some of them to foreign countries and some were sent to Austria. The engines were manufactured at Blackburn, England, where John's brother, Thomas Jones, was living. His address was No. 71, James St., Blackburn, England. Referring to an old letter that was written to John Pidding Jones, who was in America, by his brother Isaac Jones, the letter stated that their father was in Spinneril, Austria, setting up engines that they had previously made at Blackburn, England and would not be home for eight months.
John Pidding Jones did not have much schooling. He went to work in an iron foundry when ten or twelve years old as an apprentice boy to learn the trade of a moulder. Under the laws of England, a boy had to serve seven years to learn a trade and received very little pay. This John did and received his degree as a moulder. During the time of his training John became acquainted with Margaret Lee. She was at this time, janitor of the Church of England chapel in the town where she lived. They fell in love and shortly after were married in the old Church of England chapel in the year 1839.
It was soon after this that they first heard of the gospel, According to John's dairy they heard the first principles of the gospel explained about the 1st of May, 1841, by Elders John and William Frodsham, who were laboring in St. Hellens, Lancashire, England. Quoting from his diary he says, "I was not baptized until 2 Aug. 1846 at about 8 o'clock in the morning in a river near by, because there was no opportunity to do so earlier. I was confirmed the same day, both the baptism and the confirmation being done by Elder Charles Miller. My wife had also been touched by the message of the gospel and she was baptized Sept. 23, 1846 by Elder Miller and was confirmed by Elder Isaac Riddle the same day."
Again quoting from his diary, “When Apostle John Taylor visited us in December of the same year, 1846, he advised us to be re-baptized and we both heeded his council and were again baptized by Elder Miller and confirmed by Apostle John Taylor."
From his diary again, "On Feb. 7, 1847, I was ordained a priest by Elder Miller and on Feb.14, 1847 I stood up to preach for the first time. On Feb. 28, 1847 I had my two sons blessed by Elder Miller. John Lee was blessed first and was blessed to live to a great old age and Joseph was to live to do much good. March 7, 1847 a third son, Daniel was born to us, and ten days later he was blessed by Elder Scofield and Elder Miller who were visiting us. My wife also received a blessing and was promised she would go to Zion and receive every blessing pertaining to the Kingdom. Our baby Daniel died when only seven months old which caused us great grief, but the knowledge we had received from the Gospel made it easier to part with him for we knew we would see him again."
Margaret Lee Jones was born in Liverpool, April 11, 1821. She was a woman of great intelligence and ability. Her mother died when she was five weeks old and her father, Joseph Lee, being unable to care for the babe alone, found a good home for her with Daniel and Betty Large. They had no children of their own and little Margaret was loved and cherished by them. As long as John and Margaret were in England they knew they had a welcome in the Large home and could turn to these good people when they were in need of help. She married John Pidding Jones in 1839.
John's work in the Church continued to grow and by September 1847 he was ordained an Elder by Elder Orson Spencer and Elder Mitchell. He was called to serve as a missionary in Kirkstall and spent every spare bit of his time explaining the Gospel to those who would listen. A little later he was called to preside over the branch of the Church where he lived.
Because of his activity in the Church, his oldest brother Silvester, became bitter against him and was determined to hurt him by dissolving the partnership in an iron foundry that existed with the three brothers, Silvester, Joseph and John. An opportunity to accomplish this dissolution came very soon. August 15, 1848 was a sad day for him. He went to work at half past six in the morning and when he reached the foundry Silvester was angry because he was a half hour later than was his usual time. He called him many vile names and sent him home. He had always tried to do his best and yet he seemed unable to please him. The fact that he had been able to convert his other brother Joseph to the truth of the gospel may have had something to do with this rude dismissal. He'd had the great pleasure of baptizing his brother Joseph and his Sister Jane the previous April and though he tried to explain the Gospel to Silvester, he would not listen. However, he was sure his work in the Church was the cause of his dismissal from the partnership.
He took his family and left Leeds on the 22nd of August and went to St. Hellens, to his adopted family, Daniel Large and was received very kindly.
John with his family set sail for America from Liverpool, England, September 7, 1848, in the ship "Erin's Queen", in company with two hundred thirty two saints under the direction of Simeon Carter, and were bound for New Orleans. After two or three days on the ocean the wind stopped blowing and they had a calm, and the ship began to drift in the wrong direction. The calm continued several days and the saints felt sorrowful, so they all bowed down in prayer and asked the Lord to send a favorable wind so the ship might move towards the promised land. There was great Hosannas in song and praise raised unto the Lord as the wind began to waft the vessel over the mighty ocean. A report of the trip as printed in the Millennial Star (L. D. S. publication of Liverpool) September 15, 1848 is as follows: "The ship Erin's Queen sailed from Liverpool for New Orleans on the 7th day of September, having on board 232 second cabin passengers, including infants; all of these, with the exception of two or three persons, were saints. The people of Liverpool were astonished to see the order and regularity among them. While large companies of emigrants upon other ships have cursing and swearing, and finding fault one with another, songs of praise and prayer are ascending up to heaven from the Erin's Queen.”
After six long weeks they arrived in New Orleans. John's finance was such that it was necessary for him to find employment at once in order that they might secure equipment to continue their journey west. But he could find nothing in New Orleans, so they decided to take a boat on up the river to St. Louis. He had to borrow money to do this but Elder Leathem offered to loan him enough for the trip. They landed in St. Louis November 5, 1848, and he obtained employment at the first place he tried for which he thanked his Heavenly Father.
There was a branch of the Church in St. Louis so they joined it and met with the saints. A choir was organized for the branch, and it was said that Margaret was the best singer in the choir, and many-remarked what a wonderful person she was. She led the choir and could sing most all the hymns in the Latter Day Saints hymn book and many anthems that the saints brought with them from England, written by the great composers of England.
In St. Louis two sons were born to them; Sylvester Frazier on December 5, 1848 and Frederick Isaac on February 6, 1851.
After obtaining money enough to buy two yoke of oxen, chains and yokes and wagons without tires on them, they started to move with other saints west. They brought supplies, clothes and etc. to last them one year. They traveled west through part of Missouri and Iowa, to place called Winter Quarters (Council Bluffs) where many of the saints had to remain over the winter. As they journeyed west they had great difficulty traveling. The roads were axle deep in mud part of the time, as a great deal of rain and snow fell. The roads were rough and rocky, which was very hard on wagons. John had one yoke of oxen that knew how to work. The other yoke of steers had not been broke to work and as he had never driven an ox team before in his life, it was very difficult for him to drive them.
When they arrived at Winter Quarters most of his wagon wheels were broken and most of the fellies split, due to the fact they had no iron tires on them. They were unable to go farther on their journey so John and some of the other men decided to return to St. Louis and work to get money to buy more wagon wheels with iron tires on them so they wouldn't break down again. The broken wagons were left at Winter Quarters for the family to live in, and they bought a small farm, which had been planted in wheat and vegetables by some of the saints.
The men started back to St. Louis and were supposed to be at the Missouri River at a certain time to catch the boat to take them up the river to St. Louis. They were ten minutes late so missed the boat. It had only been gone a short time when it took fire and exploded and most of the passengers were killed. The men were very thankful to their Heavenly Father that they were not on the boat and that their lives were spared. They boarded the next boat and proceeded to St. Louis.
During the winter, while her husband was in St. Louis working, Margaret lived with her children on the edge of civilization, where there were many Indians and no conveniences. The snow came early and it was necessary for her, with the help of her two small sons, John Lee and Joseph to dig under the snow to get the carrots and turnips that were still in the ground. They had nothing to dig with except their hands and they got very cold. One son, Joseph, caught a cold and in a few short days was gone. Her troubles seemed more than she could bear. Here she was alone, with no way to get word to her husband of the death of their boy and no way to bury him. A neighbor, Bro. Thomas Davenport, came to her assistance and built a little coffin from a packing box, into which she placed the body of her darling. Then with his ox team and wagon, Bro. Davenport took her with the body to a burying ground where some saints had been buried. They dug a shallow grave in the snow covered ground and left her boy in the wilderness. Only her faith and her firm belief in the gospel and he constant prayers made it possible for her to endure her affliction. She prayed, "0 Lord, be Thou my shield and buckler and a very present help in every time of need." "Give me strength to endure this loss."
Great was the rejoicing when John returned form St. Louis, and though saddened by the word of the loss of their boy, they were anxious to get on their way to the west. They had traveled several thousand miles thus far on their way to Zion, and had yet about one thousand miles to go. They now had a wagon with iron tires on, two yoke of oxen, one cow and one years provisions, and into this wagon he must pack all their belongings and carry his family. Their happiness was dampened by the fact that they must leave one little boy in his grave in the wilderness, but they were glad when they were finally ready to leave on June 20, 1852.
They soon found the road ahead was a hard one. It was perfect succession of hills, valleys, bogs, mud holes, quagmires with stumps of trees a foot above the surface of the watery mud. Without the utmost care the wagon would be overturned many times a day. Oh, for the roads of Old England, they thought every day. Each day they had hoped the roads would be better but each day they seemed to get worse. There were storms, hard storms, typical of that part of the country and then the streams would be swollen and a problem to cross. Bridges had to be made, swamps to get over. At night the wolves howled so loud it was difficult to sleep. With many of these people unlearned in the ways of pioneer life, one of the great difficulties was kindling a fire when things were wet and the wood was green. To overcome this difficulty, the guide finally explained the proper way to build a fire, telling them to avoid green wood and that when the branches had leaves on them, they were too green to burn. One Englishman listened intently and then gravely replied, "Well I can soon pull them bits of things off."
As each company came to the buffalo country there was the excitement of killing the big animals for food. At one time two Indians had killed a buffalo not far from the camp and one of the lads in the company was taken out to see the trophy. The Indians promptly offered to trade the buffalo for the boy. Thoroughly frightened, thereafter, the boy watched the buffalo from the shadow of the wagon.
Not even warlike Indians were more to be feared on the plains than was a herd of buffalo that was stampeding. On one occasion while one company of emigrants was in the big bend of the Platte River, they detected above the rattle and chuckle of the wagons a sound which resembled low rumbling of thunder to the north of them, although the sun was shining brightly and no clouds were visible. They held a brief conference and concluded the noise came from thundering buffalo. Warning had been given to each company starting out to avoid the path of stampeding buffaloes.
This company felt the situation was critical. They swung the wagons into a tight circle, locked the right front wheel with the left rear wheel of the wagon immediately ahead. When this was done the oxen were unyoked and turned about facing towards the off one's tail then yoked in again. In this position as long as the yoke and bows held there was no danger of the oxen stampeding. The horses and oxen began to get nervous for the smell of buffalo was in the air.
The men were all stationed with loaded rifles in front of the wagons to try to turn the tide, if possible. The low rumble soon changed to a clattering trample. It swelled to a roar and they saw a long bobbing black, ragged mass pouring like a woolly flood out over the prairie. A sea of buffalo. They moved on straight for the wagons, a mantle of dust enveloped them. The noise was now a roar. Short tails erect, panting heavily and black tongues out a foot from their jaws, this living mass of animals turned slightly and passed not a stones throw from the wagons. It was a thankful group of saints that saw the last of the black shaggy mass pass on before them.
On reaching camp in the evening everyone had his chores to attend to but when the evening meal was over they would gather around the campfires for songs, dancing, playing the fiddle and later on, prayers. William Clayton's song, Come, Come Ye Saints had become a favorite with the pioneers crossing the plains.
As the saints neared the west they could see in the far distant the mountains. their summits capped with snow. It was a strange sight to these people from the rolling hills of England. Soon new obstacles must be met, the steep ascents and descents necessitated hard work and made the travel slow. Mountain clefts had to be widened to let the wagons through, in all it was a forbidding aspect and the towering cliffs made a deep impression on this band of emigrants. Never had they gazed at such an abundance of grotesque and fantastic shapes. The mountains in places crowded so closely together that it seemed strange for wagons to be able to squeeze through the passageways. The echo in the ravines made the rattling of the wagon wheels rebound from canyon sides with sounds as if a number of carpenters were wielding busy hammers on boards inside the highest cliffs. The lowing of the cattle seemed to be answered on beyond the mountains.
Finally, after days of slow difficult travel, up hills and down, they came to the summit and there before them was a beautiful valley with the blue waters of Lake shimmering in the distance and all surrounded by snow capped peaks. They had reached the land of Zion, the place they were seeking. They knelt and thanked God that they had been spared to come to this promised land.
They had arrived just in time for the October 1852 Conference and such an inspiration it was to see all the saints gathered together to worship God and to hear the teachings of our great leaders, and the Prophet Brigham Young himself. They thanked their Heavenly Father that they had been guided to this land.
Their journey was not yet over for President Young had asked them with others to move on to Cedar City, Iron County, Utah, where the iron industry was in the process of being developed. After a weeks rest in Salt Lake, they pushed on to Nephi, Juab County, and by the time they reached there, winter had set in and it was impossible to go on. They hurriedly built a log room to protect them from the cold and they spent the winter in it. It was a long cold winter, the snow came the first part of November and laid on the ground until the next March.
March 15, 1953 saw them packed and on their way again to what they hoped would be their last stop. They reached Cedar on the 2nd of April 1853 and found a good sized city for even by that time there was population of more than one thousand. They thanked God for his protecting care during their long, long journey from England to this new land so far in the West, this land that was to be their abode for the rest of their lives.
They settled in the old fort and lived in a cellar for the first year of their life here. The iron industry was receiving a great deal of attention and John's services were at once in demand to help with it. In the year previous to his coming to Cedar a furnace had been built and iron had been smelted. The first iron to be made west of the Mississippi River.
By 1853 the construction of a larger and better furnace was began and it was on this furnace that John spent a great deal of his time and efforts. This furnace caved in and it was decided in 1855 to build one of quarried rock. This would require a great amount of work but when completed it worked very well and 1700 pounds of good iron was run off at one time. From it were made many household articles and farm tools. The old community bell was made at this time. While he worked for the iron company the family was very short on the necessities of life, food and clothing. He naturally thought that he would be paid for his work but such was not the case. These were trying times for the Jones family. The long trip from England had been filled with hardships but no worse that they experienced that first few years after they reached Cedar. Their clothes and food were gone when they reached Cedar and with him giving so much time to the iron works, there was no time to get crops in for food. They had to live on anything, pig weeds, dandelion greens, sego bulbs, wild berries, ground cherries, and anything they could find that was suitable for food. It was hard to feed this family of growing boys on such food and it worried them for they knew they were hungry much of the time. However, in December of the first year in Cedar, another baby was born to them, their first girl, Elizabeth. They were happy to welcome this fine daughter to their home and they prayed that they would be blessed that they might raise her to womanhood. Conditions continued hard for this family and added to the lack of food and clothing, there was the constant threat of Indian warfare. They finally were able to by a cow and three sheep from a neighbor and then they fared a little better. The cow gave milk and the sheep increased and gave them a little wool to make their clothes. They also purchased a few acres of land, cleared and planted it to wheat, corn and potatoes. Seed was very scarce. The people had to unite to build flour and saw mills.
They had no more than overcome some of these difficulties when word came that Johnston's Army was on its way to Utah and it seemed to be this unsettled condition that stopped the interest in the production of iron by the then organized company. However, John and family did not give up as easily as others and after the big company stopped working its furnace, he, George Wood, and another man whose name is not mentioned in the journal, built themselves a small furnace or quepelo, and with the help of his sons, John and Sylvester, who went to the west hills and got the iron ore, then to the canyon for the coal, he was able to make enough iron to make many useful household articles and farm implements.
After the Johnston's Army had been here, he secured a large pile of cannon balls that were melted and made into many needed items such as, fireplace grates, machinery parts, castings for the mines in Pioche, molasses rolls, flat irons, nails, horse shoes, and such things. There are people living in Cedar City who have grates that were made by him.
On May 2, 1856 another son, later named Isaac Charles Jones, was born to this family. At the age of two and a half years the baby died of croup. This caused sadness in the family for the baby was a fine promising boy.
The purpose for which these people had come to Utah was not forgotten for after living in the fort for four years and with as little to go on as they had, they felt they should go back to Salt Lake to the Temple to secure their endowments. So on March 5, 1857 they started to Salt Lake City and arrived there on March 20th. They were baptized in the evening and received their endowment on the 21st. They started home on the 21st and arrived home on the 8th of April 1857 after a pleasant journey of five weeks with an ox team.
After living in the old fort for two years and on the advice of President Young the location of Cedar was moved nearer the east hills. Here they built them a log house of cottonwood logs that he and son John had squared with an axe. They were no sooner located when the location of the City was moved again, and this time it was to the location where Cedar now is. The family moved the logs again and built them another place with them. On the third day after the house was completed, another boy, Hyrum by name, was born to them, and he is the son who contributed to this history.
It was during these years that more land was acquired by the family and most of the tools used on the farm were made by John. They purchased another cow and a few more sheep, and to feed these animals through the winters the men folk would cut wire grass or hay on the meadow, which was located in the north-west, part of Cedar Valley. The hay was cut with a scythe then hauled to Cedar with the ox team and wagon. The two oldest sons, John Lee and Sylvester would go to the meadow and stay several days and they would cut the hay; and would load it on the wagon, and the youngest son, Hyrum would drive two yoke of oxen, six miles to Cedar with the hay, where it would be unloaded then he would drive back to the meadows the next day for another load, that the two sons would have cut by then.
After being located in the new Cedar, John built a log blacksmith shop close by the house also an adobe brew house next to the shop. In this place he brewed beer from wheat malt. Beer and crackers had always been a afternoon pastime in Old England and they enjoyed renewing this custom.
Later, he and George Wood and Samuel Leigh formed a company and built an adobe cabinet shop down by the Coal Creek bank and began making furniture. They built a large overshot water wheel to drive their machinery, also, to drive burs and stones to grind flour. John also built another small iron furnace for there was a great demand for household items.
During the next four years two more daughters were born to this family, Margaretta Jane and Mary Crosby.
Along about this time in 1866 or 1867 Cedar City had grown to be a pretty little City. John in connection with others organized a dramatic company. He was made stage manager. He made all the nails, hooks and hinges that they used. The company used to play most of Shakespeare's plays, they also played "Two Blind Orphans," "The Miller and his Men" and many others.
In 1871 the little cabinet company dissolved and John got the grinding burs that they made flour with as part of his share, and these were taken with the family when they moved to Johnson' s Springs, now called Enoch, Utah. The log house was also taken down and moved with them. John and his four sons formed themselves into a company, known as the John P. Jones &: Sons Company. They went into agriculture and stock raising business and worked as a company for a number of years, as long as the entire family remained in Enoch.
Making iron was part of John, and it was not long before another foundry was built at Enoch. He would melt old cast-iron and make new parts for their machinery, also he continued to make grates for the fireplaces so that coal could be burned. He also made friend with the Indians by repairing their guns. He made dog irons, cog-wheels for the carding woolen mills and rollers for the molasses mills down at Dixie. At one time he made a large hammer for the Washington Irrigation Company. It weighed 500 pounds and was almost more hot iron than the furnace could hold. The blast for the furnace was furnished by horsepower. It took three pair of horses to furnish the necessary power, and the horses must go fast, almost on a trot to keep the bellows working. There was great excitement in the little village when the furnace was fired, and at this particular time, there was keen anticipation. Everything had to be right or the big hammer would be a failure. All boys had a job, feeding the furnace, tapping it, carrying the ladles of hot iron and keeping the horses going.
The operation was successful and the hammer was perfect. It was used to drive large piles across the Virgin River for the dam they were building. John did a lot of work for the mining company at Silver Reef, making large hammers for them to crush the ore. He also made a large kiln on which to roast the ore and thus separate the minerals form the rock.
During the year 1870 and 1871 he helped to build the St. George Temple. He gave at one time, with other donations, about forty bushels of wheat to feed the men working on the Temple. He and his wife attended the dedication of the temple and did a great deal of temple work for their immediate relatives and friends.
John was Adjutant in Company "D" in Iron Military District from 1857 to 1859.
In 1884 John entered into plural marriage, by taking unto himself a second wife, Fannie R. Chapman and one child was born to them, a girl, Fannie Chapman, named for her mother. At that time plural marriage was practiced in the Church, and while this family was trying to live the church principles, it caused Margaret much unhappiness. Because of the plural marriage John served a six month term in the Utah Penitentiary. His two sons John Lee and Sylvester also served a six month term for plural marriage.
Shortly after moving to Johnson's Springs to live John was called to preside over the newly organized branch of the Church and he filled this position for several years. He was a High Councilman for many years in the Parowan Stake of Zion. Also filled several home missions in the church.
He worked at his trade most of the time, and in the blacksmith shop keeping his machinery in repair. He had a good deal of it by this time, such as threshing machines. mowing machines, rakes, and harvesters.
A few years after he returned from the penitentiary he met with an accident which ended his life. The sons were threshing grain in the feed yard, and he had been watching them. It was late in the evening, at dusk, so he decided to return to the house. While he was walking up the road his grandson and a neighbor boy came riding up the street at a great speed on a wild horse. He did not hear them until they were close to him, he stepped to one side so the animal could pass him but the wild horse was mad and ran right over him, knocked him down and trampled him under its feet. This was in 1890 at the age of 71, and he was buried in the Cedar City Cemetery.
John's death was extremely hard on Margaret. She felt sorrowful all the remainder of her life. She lived eight years after her husband's death and she was 79 years old when she died and she was buried beside her husband. She was a lover of the finer things of life. She was a genealogist at heart as she kept a diary most of her life.
Source: Story found in files of Leah Dalley Jones, copied and filed by contributor
Mission to the Mountians
Contributor: Todd Millett Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Fredrick I. and Mary M. Jones were living in Cedar City, Utah when they heard about a mission which the church proposed to establish in the faraway and unknown San Juan corner of the territory.
The church was looking for young people of integrity, people who could adapt to adverse conditions, and who could be depended on to act wisely and courageously among Indians. It was proposed to build and maintain a Latter-Day Saint town right in the midst of the war-loving Navajos and Paiutes, and win by kindness and fair dealings the good will and confidence which military operations do not inspire.
Dread anxiety became a reality, and a meeting was announced to be held in Cedar, where the names would be read of men called to the San Juan Mission. The meeting house had been crowded to overflowing; almost breathless as they waited to hear the fatal list - "we were among those who were called". Both said "We will go."
The time set for their departure was 18 October 1882, three years from the starting date of the first company that left in the fall of 1879, to fight their way through by way of the notorious Hole-In-The-Rock crossing of Colorado. "We moved slowly away from our beloved Cedar with aching hearts after saying goodbye to our loved ones, and our homes and the land of our birth, not knowing when, if ever, we would see them again, and not knowing where we were going," wrote Aunt Jody Wood in her journal.
What they saw and what they suffered, while they toiled through about 300 miles of raw, roadless wilderness, defied all their powers of description, the reality of their weariness, frustration, and anguish could never be fully described to anyone who had never experienced it. Their children suffered with them, and one little boy, John was ill. Day by day they hunter desperately for water. "Water is one of the greatest blessings we can have while traveling. It is so priceless we pour a cup of it on one man's hands, and other hold his hands under that, and four or five wash with one or two cups of water."
It is not known just when they arrived at Bluff, and how much more than a month, if any, they spent on the road. From Aunt Jody's journal again we have the quote, "We are happy to get to Bluff. Our horses are tired out, so are we, but we got here alive; the Lord surely was with us." (Later research reveals date - 18 November 1882)
They were glad to be alive after the strenuous journey, and thankful to the Lord for their arrival in Bluff, on the San Juan River, but what did it have to offer them? For the present, nothing but the cramped quarters in the little log fort with it's mud roofs that they built for protection. When the people of Bluff began moving out of the fort in 1884, Fred Jones built a log cabin or room thatched with mud. A spirit of love and good cheer prevailed with these builders of the remote mission; they had all made great sacrifice to come and begin this difficult work for the sake of friendly relations with the Indians, and they drew together for mutual purpose and mutual defense.
In the winter of 1886, Fred I.Jones was called, with several other men, to establish the first town near Blue Mountains, and t be the first bishop of the new town. The problem of beginning and maintaining a Mormon town, with Mormon ideals and the kind of substantial claim to land and water, and the foundation of vital industries, in the face of the unscrupulous out-law element prevailing at that time--that was a fearsome problem calling for real courage and faith to make a beginning. Besides the outlaws there was a bill pending in Congress proposing to give San Juan County to the Utes, and the way that bill hung fire for years would have disheartened the majority of men. Not so with Fred I. Jones, he went right on as if he intended to stay, and he did stay, regardless.
Carlisle's Ranch was five miles north of the new little town, and he challenged the right of settlers to begin a town in the heart of his cattle range. He challenged their right to the water. He employed, or at least sheltered, a formidable gang of gun-men and outlaws who tried to frighten the bishop and his people with their appropriating loose horses and other stock on the range. They rode through the streets of the town, firing their guns, and howling like Comanches or the warpath.
Bishop Jones was not gun-man. His courage was something which relies on defenses more potent than guns. Yet there was an occasion when he was about to use a gun, and no doubt would have use it if providence had not intervened. The desperadoes of that time delighted to boast of how they made men dance, while they fired bullets into the ground near their feet. Of all the men in Monticello, there was not one who would dance them into more boasted glory than the Mormon Bishop. To tell of making the bishop dance would be a big story to tell.
Among the drunken gang that came riding into town one day from the ranch to the north, was a loud bully, call Bill Johnson, who boasted he was going to make the bishop dance. He talked of it so loud and so long as the liquor in him made him more desperate and daring that the word was relayed to the bishop, as he was watched by the bedside of his sick wife. He could see the noisy rabble a little more than a block away to the west, and he kept an eye on them, hoping their boasted intentions would evaporate in bluster.
He saw Bill Johnson come swaggering down in his direction, and he calculated coolly what would have to be done. He looked at his gun on the wall, and prayed, "O Lord, if you don't want me to kill that man, then stop him, for he cannot come here to enter my home, and terrify my sick wife." Now, "the Lord moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform," and he had a mysterious, but an effective way of saving Johnson from the bishop's gun. In that crowd had been a notorious hoodlum, call Kid Jackson, and he had staggered down from the crowd and fallen into the ditch, from which he was too drunk to get out. He could raise up enough to see Bill Johnson, and he took a friendly shot at him. At this, Johnson went to him, and the two drunks scuffled and wallowed there in the mud, forgetting the bishop while he put up his gun and thanked the Lord. Bishop Jones was given providential warnings many times of serious danger into which he would have fallen but for the warning.
The bishop's little log home, and later a large brick house, was a hospitable refuge for both friends and strangers. The meals bounteous, well-prepared, and served with a welcome in full keeping with everything that was brought to the table. A perfect example of the kind of rugged frugality, fearless industry, and the kind of manhood and womanhood which, with the favor of the Lord, provides for its own wants, and is always able to help others.
Bishop Jones was a well educated man. Not that he had attended school; school was not the place for him to get the kind of training which fitted him so perfectly for his task of starting a town and establishing order in a den of thieves. He deserved a degree as farmer, builder, diplomat, pioneer. What he lacked in what the conventional school could give, was more than compensated for by his good common, reliable horse sense.
As a farmer he set for the pioneers of what community about the best possible example that they could understand and follow, about the best that was known at the time. Before dry farming was discovered and introduced into the country, he had thought it out and was testing it in little experiment farms. He fenced a little piece of ground for the purpose and raised wheat successfully there util her knew it could be done before the experimental farm was begun north of Verdure. He had not only the understanding of it, but he had the implicit faith that it could be done.
In one of the Stake Conferences held in Bluff in the nineties, I heard him make an impressive talk on the text, "Keep your platter right side up," meaning plow and plant and have your ground ready to yield when the rain comes. If you haven't faith to do that, how will you benefit by the rain when the Lord sends it?
He had the know-how to meet unprecedented situations, to make turns and apply means and remedies he had never had occasion to use before. He was strong to endure under difficulties; no weakling could have held the fort and laid the foundation for the prosperous town on the east slope of Blue Mountain. What the bishop does for a town reaches a long time into the future, and Fredrick I. Jones has immortalized his name by the town built on the foundation which he laid
---From the writing of Albert R. Lyman in the History of F.I. and Mary M. Jones
Contributor: Todd Millett Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Mom was raised as a rancher's daughter, actually a rancher's second daughter (her older sister was Karma). She was suppose to have been born a boy (best laid plans and all that) and her nickname, growing up, was Jim-Boy. The next child in the family was a boy, Harold. The family rounded out with the youngest boy, Jerry.
Jim-Boy had a horse called 'Squatty,' she rode in the town's kid races, and Squatty would ride atop the truck when her Dad brought in a load of hay or sand from Dry Valley.
The family would spend 'summers' in Dry Valley (actually near the summit of Peter's Hill) and 'winter' in town (Monticello, San Juan, Utah) in their 'brick house.' Her parent's instructed them in the 'brick house manners' they were suppose to exhibit, especially at the dinner table. Polite, no elbows on the table, knowing how to use the napkins, knowing the difference between fork and spoon and knife, etc. After all, they were, or at least considered themselves to be the 'blue-bloods' of beautiful Monticello (San Juan, Utah).
To show how comfortable they were, when their father, Claud, would mention 'brick house manners' one or another would quip 'and who is going to teach us?' Claud was a bit 'rough' around the edges but Inez was quality!
Inez' parents came through "Hole-In-The-Rock" and were among the first ones to established Monticello - her mother's father was the Presiding Elder, when the community was established, and later became the Bishop of Monticello for four or five decades, a lifetime calling back then.
Bishop Jones is mentioned several times in the Gerald Lund's Undaunted series( Undaunted, Soar with Eagles, Only the Brave), which is historical fiction about the "Hole-In-The-Rock" trek.
After graduating from Monticello High School, Claudia stuck around Monticello for a year or so because her father, Claud, had died in a ranching accident (a horse rolled on top of him and he bled internally, dying before he could reach medical attention). Eventually she attended LDS Business College in Salt Lake City and she was set-up on a blind date with a 6'2" dark haired UofU student named Claude B. Duerden. Claude became enamored with Claudia, but Claudia only wanted to be married in the Temple and Claude was an inactive member. So she got him to start attending, he joined the 'Senior Aaronic' program and eventually they went through the Temple Prep classes; being married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple became a reality in January of 1948.
Their first child, Gregory Claude, came in May of 1949 (born in Salt Lake City). Next was David Scott, August 1952 (born on Saipan, Marianas Islands, Trust Territory of the Pacific - Dad was a Public Health Educator working for the World Health Organization on Saipan for a couple of years). Number 3 son was Richard Young, born July 1955, back in Salt Lake City (by this time Claude was working for the Utah Heart Association as Exec. Director, with a Masters Degree in Public Health from UC-Berkley). Son number 4 is Scott Bronson, born July 1957 (born at home in Bountiful, Davis, Utah).
In 1959 the Duerden family moved to Provo, where Claude took a job teaching Health Education at BYU. They built a home on Apple Avenue, where they lived for the next 35+ years. During this time Greg went on a mission (to the Pacific NW) and got married. Dave went on his mission (to the Columbus, OH mission), during which Claude passed away (in 1974) and he came home and got married. Rick went on his mission (to Denmark), came home and got married. Scott went on his mission (to Davo, Phillippines) came home and got married. All four boys attended BYU, started families and now have grandchildren.
When Claude died, Claudia was alone for a couple of years and a neighbor (who lived on Cherry St., also in the 'Tree Streets' area on the East side of Provo) who had lost his wife to breast-cancer started 'coming around' and 'sharing scriptures' during Sunday School with Claudia. This man was Floyd Brienholt, artist and professor of fine art, former chairman of the fine art dept., at BYU. They were married - for time only, in the Provo temple, sold both of their homes and moved to the upper Oak Hills area. They built an art studio on a nice home and Claudia is living there still, but Floyd passed away in 1997, after 21 years of marriage.
After Floyd died, a friend of Floyd and Claudia's lined her up with one of their friends who had just lost his wife, Harmon Steed. Harm had been a bank manager of a branch office in Provo for a number of years and had retired to St. George. Floyd and Claudia had a home in Kayenta (outside of St. George in the Ivins area). After a year or so Harm and Claudia were married -again, for time only-, in 1999, and went on a 2-year honeymoon (aka: a senior couple mission, to Rochester NY Mission).
Floyd's only son, Mark, was the Mission President in Rochester. He and his wife, Susan, had a couple of young daughters in the mission home with them who missed their grandmother. So Mark asked for the new couple to come on-board as site-missionaries for the LDS Historical Sites of Hill Cumorah, Smith Farm, Martin Harris Farm, Book of Mormon Print Shop, and David Whitmer Farm. Elder & Sister Steed enjoyed their mission/honey-moon and received an honorable release from their mission in 2001.
With the Missionary Badge saying 'Elder Steed,' another of Gerald Lund's books came into play, especially for Harm. In the Work and the Glory series the fictional family weaving through the historical facts of the Restoration of the Gospel was the 'Steed Family.' Harm could tell who had read the books as they saw his badge and their eyes would get big. He 'kiddingly' would reach under the desktop and pull out a map of the Palmyra area with 'Cousin Steed's farm' near-by the Smith Farm, etc. Elder Steed enjoyed that way too much!
Harm passed away in 2016, just short of his goal of being married to Claudia for more then 21 years. So, Claudia is alone once more.
Now at the age of 92 she doubts if she will marry again. She is currently in good health and still living in the Oak Hills Studio home, on the foothill behind the Provo Temple, at the north end of Y Mountain, near the mouth of Rock Canyon. She is well loved by her 10 children and step-children, hundreds of grand and great-grand children, plenty of cousins, nieces and nephews, friends and loved ones. Life is good!
Her second son, David, stayed with her for the passing of Harm and the next year or more; providing home-care and being someone she could continue to mother, for awhile.