John Edward Wall History
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LIFE OF JOHN EDWARD WALL
To those who may read the following either out of curiosity or otherwise, the enclosed statements are true experience which occurred during my probation here on earth.
Strange to say, strange things began to occur upon my arrival in this sphere. It was the second month in the year Eighteen Hundred and Ninety (February 13 1890), and the day was Thursday. Dawn was breaking. The night had been a fulfillment of Verse 22, Chapter 4, of the book of Moses, when I first screamed to see the world. My screams undoubtedly brought joy to my mother, Susan Elizabeth Bench Wall, but it was also the beginning of anxiety and trouble for both my parents.
My father, Francis George Wall, had not dared to proclaim my mother openly as his wife, for it was a plural marriage, having been performed in the Logan Temple, February 18, 1887.
The town Marshall must also have been expecting my arrival for I had scarcely settled down for my first sleep, when one by the name of Cuttyback presented himself and demanded to know the whereabouts of my father. My father had be advised by the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints to go to Mexico and he was forced to leave without even seeing his baby boy and consequently my mother was left at my grandfather's home, which was at Manti, Sanpete County, Utah the place of my birth.
Mother lived at grandfathers's John Longman Bench, for two and a-half years. During this time she was continually harassed by Marshals who were doing all they possibly could to find father, that they might put him in the penitentiary because he had complied with one of the laws of the Latter Day Saints. Their efforts were in vain for he had gone to Mexico to make a home for his wife and bouncing boy.
At eight days, I was christened John Edward Wall, (John for my grandfather and uncle, and Edward for the other uncle, mother having only two brothers.) Within a few months my step-grandmother came to live with us. My real grandmother died when my mother was only twelve years of age. She decided there were too many Johns and Johnnies and Eddies and she wanted to call me Teddie after an old sweetheart of hers. It was adopted and I carry the nickname of "Ted" to the present writing.
At the age of three months, my first picture was taken. You see me here as I was young and handsome. this, however, was almost completely destroyed by girls who tried to take it from me when I was large enough to show it to them. The remaining time I spent at Grandfather's was of little importance, at least as I remember it. Mother waited anxiously for word from father which finally came. She went by train to Demming, New Mexico where I first saw my father when he came to meet us. Demming, at that time, was the place of entry to Mexico. We traveled in a wagon from Demming to Colonial Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, the place I grew up from infancy to manhood.
Soon after our arrival at Juarez, I contracted sore eyes. Doctors could find nothing to help me and they questioned if I should ever be able to see properly. I remained in a darkened room almost continually because the light made my eyes hurt so badly I could hardly stand it. I seldom went anywhere. But on one thanksgiving Day, Mother was invited to eat Thanksgiving dinner up at Seveg's Ranch, about two miles up the river. They had a number of turkeys and I had on a red sweater. Out of curiosity and to satisfy my desire to chase one, Mr. Gobbler, I went out to the corral. Mr Gobbler saw me coming and evidently took a dislike to my sweater for he made a charge; I was knocked down, my eyes filled with dirt and before aid came to me, I was pecked severely on the face and hands. This experience made my eyes much worse and it was thought I would go blind. For many weeks after, I could not stand any light at all.
The red sweater of mine seemed to bring me no good luck. On another occasion, I ventured out on the street, and a cow coming down the road laid eyes on my sweater and made a charge. This time I was tossed over the fence, lighting in a ditch, which fortunately for me was filled with water.
At age six I made an attempt at school but my first day ended rather abruptly. A bully boy saw me with my large dark glasses, called me a sissy and said he would cut my ears off. That ended my first day of school. My first teacher's name was Sarah Clayson and she is the outstanding figure in my childhood. Within the week we were moved to a private home because the school building was too small. During this year I saw my first tragedy. A home caught fire across the street from our schoolroom and we watched it burn down. I have always been afraid of fires since then.
Colonial Juarez is a small town situated between two hills. The Padres Verde River runs in a south easterly direction through the center of the valley. At a point know as Harper's bend, the river strikes a solid rock bank and makes a right angle turn to the southwest. Here the water is quite deep and the place is used for baptisms. It was at this place on March 5, 1898, I was baptized by John E. Harper. Two men, brothers Albert and Arthur Wagner were also baptized the same day. On march 6, 1898, in the school and meetinghouse, I was confirmed by Joseph Charles Bentley.
School was always hard for me because of my eyes. As I have said, my eyes were always weak and looking back from the time of this writing, I guess I never did see more than half the things of life. My school work was always hard for me, and I now suppose that it was because I could not see and did not know that I was not seeing.
My early school days, that is up until I reached the fifth grade, were spent in private homes, as the school house was not large enough to accommodate all the children. It was in the fifth grade that I spent my first years school in the basement room of what we called the real school house. This same year the annex was completed making possible high school studies to be given.
At the age of twelve, I was ordained to the office of a Deacon by Eli A,. Clayson. Those were days to be remembered as a boy. We held Deacon's meetings each Saturday night and after meeting we would spend an hour or so playing such games as Run Sheep, Pomp, Steal Stick, hide-and-go-Seek and other games. We would also appoint certain nights to go and chop wood for widows and missionaries' wives. On the last Saturday of each month we had to visit each family of the ward and gather Fast Donations, this consisted of flour, potatoes, meat and other substances the people wished to give. We also had to clean up the schoolhouse each weekend for Sunday services. When I had been a deacon three months, I was put in President of the Third Quorum of Deacons. In the course of time, I became a Teacher and later became President of the Teacher's Quorum. I was ordained to be a Priest and later to become an Elder.
Ordained a Teacher, 14 October 1908, by Erastus K. Killerup
Ordained a Priest, 22 September 1910, by Eli A. Clayson
Ordained a Elder, 24 March 1912, by
Sunday School was not strange to me as a boy, for each Sunday morning found me filling the place that could be filled by no one but myself. When I succeeded in reaching the Second Intermediate Department, I was chosen to be a teacher in the Sunday School of the Juarez Ward in the Juarez Stake of Zion and from that time on I was an officer or teacher until I left the ward in 1912.
During those days and years, to me they were dream days. The Ward members had built a new Academy Building on the opposite side of the river from our first school and only one and half blocks from my home. In February of 1908, the high school students marched form the old and crowded building to their new quarters which became know as the Juarez Stake Academy.
On May 23, 1891 a baby girl arrived at our home and she was given the name Myrtle Mae. But I did not get acquainted with her very well for she died on 24 August 1891, staying with us only three months. On July 12, 1893, a brother came to spend a short time with us. He lived for seven years and four months but we had a lot of fun and I missed him very much when he left. He died 27 November 1900. Angus LeRoy came next and he lives in Provo, Utah at the present writing. He was born 5 December 1895. Two sisters came next, 11 February 1898, but they didn't stay long either. They were named May and Mable. On 14 December 1900, May died of the same disease that Clyde did in November and in February 11, 1901, Mable died. Three children in less than four months. It was called membranous croup. Today it would be called diphtheria. George Milne was born on 14 September 1900 and he barely pulled through the plague that had hit our home. In the spring, Mother took a trip with her three remaining children to visit my grandfather Bench in Manti, Utah. The place of my birth, I well recall one instance that occurred at Grandfathers that summer. Grandfather had a pet canary which would sing his heart out to you and once a week he was allowed to fly loose in the kitchen while Grandfather cleaned his cage. I would stand at the kitchen door and see that it was always closed when Dick was out of his cage. One day the door got left opened and out went Dick to freedom. Grandfather was heart broken and even cried as did we all. After hunting all morning with no success, I went into my bedroom and knelt down and asked my Father in Heaven to cause Dicky to come back. I got up and went out in the back and as I stood praying in my heart I saw a movement in the leaves of the tree. I called to Grandpa that here was Dick. He was there in a minute and called "Dick, Dick, come here"and Dick dropped down out of the leaves onto Grandpa's hand. A direct answer to a boy's prayer.
We returned to Mexico and on 29th of February, 1904, my sister Leah was born (she was born Leap year day) My youngest sister Dora was born 26 October 1907 and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
History of a Grey Wolf
As a boy, I went each night after our milk cows, which were pastured on the hills west of town. Other boys had the same duties. As the sun sank behind the hills, we boys would bring down from the hills into town, some fifty or seventy-five head of milk cows.
One occasion I failed to find one of ours, nor did she come home during the night. In the morning I set out to find the Prodigal cow. I had a small dog called Penny which was my constant companion. We went up the hill and over a mesa toward a point called the Monument. As we neared this place, Penny suddenly rushed between my legs and began to shiver pitifully. I looked around to see what had caused his worries and not more the two rods behind me was a large grew wolf. He was large, but to me he looked enormous. What should I do? I had read of such an animal eating Red Riding Hood's Grandmother and now he had come for me.
I reached down and picked up a rock and then stood facing him. It seemed hours before he moved. Then slowly, slowly, he began to walk in a circle around me. He made several circles, all the time I turned with him watching every move. Finally he began to walk away slowly, stopping ever few feet and looking back. I did not move until he had disappeared over the brow of the hill some five or six hundred yards away. It was then fear succeeded in getting the best of me and I set out for home and it was no slow pace, believe me. It was only the unseen protecting care of my Father in Heaven which kept me from being breakfast for Mr. Wolf.
I had a small black pony, who was called *** and from a boy's point of view he was the only horse, gentle, kind and trusty and I don't mean slow either, because we won many a race between other competing animals. On Saturday a group of some fifteen or so boys, went up above town to a good swimming hole for our weekly bath. We had a fine time and when we were ready to call it a day and started to get dressed, one of the boys accidentally fell into the water with his clothes on. This gave the rest a bad idea for they started pushing and pulling each other into the water until all were wet but myself. I managed to keep dry. On the way back, the large canal crossed the road and the water was about knee deep to the horses and about thirty feet wide. As we neared this crossing, the rest of the gang started plotting to pull me into the canal. So, thinking I would outwit them, I leaned over on ***'s neck and said, "Come on, old fellow, let's get out of this bunch." Away we went, I in the lead and the rest fast in pursuit. As we went into the canal, the water struck up to the horses knees and over went *** and myself into the water. On came the pursuers and rode over and some under as I was. No one was hurt but we all got another wetting, both boys and horses.
When we neared town, there was quite a stretch of straight road so we decided to have a race into town and we were again on our way. My *** and a pinto horse named Rocino, belonging to Grant Ivins, took the lead. As we neared the town and decided to slow down our ponies had different ideas. Neither wanted to call it quits and as we only had a rope around their noses we could not stop them. They continued to speed on into town and at an intersection Rocino, thinking it was where he should turn to go home started to turn and then became aware the it was the wrong street. He turned back, but off went Grant onto his head. He was quite badly hurt, a result of boy's foolishness.
My father had a J.I Case threshing machine and each summer found me as one of the crew which ran the threshing. I did work at every place there was to work when a thresher is in operation. After several years as general flunky, I took charge and operated the thresher for many summers. Ours was the old horsepower using six teams of horses.
I never did do much in school although I was valedictorian when graduating from the eighth grade. George S. Romney was the principal of the grade school at that time.
As a boy I used to love to watch my Father operate a ferry across the river in high water season. The river ran catty-corner through the town and for several weeks in the summer there was no way of crossing the river. Father put up a cable across from the corner of our lot to the opposite side of the river anchored to two large trees. Then he made a boat and with a rope at each end of the boat looped around the cable, the current of the river would take the boat over to the opposite side.
As I said I used to sit on the bank by the hours and watch the boat cross and recross the river and when I got a chance to ride which was occasionally that was a thrill I will never forget. After several years, the townspeople decided to build a swinging bridge which was used for years, then the finally put up a wagon bridge.
On one occasion in the spring, as we were thinking of Easter and an outing which we as young people nearly always took, a group of fellows were together one Thursday night planning for this outing. We happened to be on the wagon bridge across the river. There was a loose plank laying on the bridge floor and we picked it up and dropped it, making a loud bang. Then we dropped it several times to imitate the shooting of a gun and finally went on our way happy and forgetting the noise we had made. As we came near the school house about two blocks from the bridge, choir practice had just let out and there were three young ladies who had to cross the bridge to get home. As we came up, they asked what the noise was on the bridge and being kids and not using good sense, we said it was drunk Mexicans shooting. One of the girls was my sister, Jessie, the others, a daughter and sister of the President of the stake. The girls asked us to take them across the bridge and home, and we being heroes, volunteered to do so. It was not a put-up job but one of the fellows slipped away and ran ahead and onto the bridge and as we came onto the bridge, he began dropping the loose plank. Well, the girls went hysterical and scared stiff. The next morning, I saw the President of the Stake go down the street and onto the bridge looking around for something, then he returned to his home and sent for me. I was directed into his office by his wife. Without raising his head from his desk, he told me to sit down. I could not imagine what he wanted of me. After some time he said, "How would you like to go on a mission?" This, with the long wait, left me speechless. Then he finally said, "I just wondered if you knew those Mexicans who were shooting on the bridge last night?" Well, to make my story short, his sister had become hysterical during the night due to the fright. Well, our prank almost was a tragedy.
We had to make our own entertainment as there were no picture shows in those days. As a part of the amusement we held a dance every other Friday night. This group did the music while the rest of the students enjoyed themselves. I played the trombone with the orchestra. However, we had the last laugh because we got all of .75 cents for three hours of playing. (.75cents each). The dances were the square dance, shadish wentworth, polka and the like. Round dances or the waltz were not allowed. We danced at arm's length. Maybe that was a reason for my preference for the slide trombone.
In September of the same year I registered as a Freshman in the Academy and here through years following, I received my high school education.
In the spring of 1912 and the later part of the school year, I met, and dated a few times, a young lady from the state of Sonora by the name of Ada Ray. She was just a little different than other girls, a passing thought no doubt. The final week of school came and, of course, I invited Miss Ray to go to the dance with me. At the close of the dance and because she would be leaving the next morning, I asked for a good night kiss and was told that she kept all her kisses for one man. I, not willing to be out done, replied "I hope I am that man. The next morning she left for her home in Sonora and I waved merrily goodbye. (For more on this read the life of Mrs. Wall)
On the 11th of November, 1911, a shot was fired near Jackson's Mill about nine miles from Juarez, which later proved to be the first shot of the Mexican Revolution which ravaged the Republic for many, many years. From this time on, roaming bands of outlaws commonly know as Red Flaggers were a continual menace to the colonies.
About the middle of June we were ordered by the Mexican Government to turn over all fire arms to the Government; and on the following Saturday, you could see men and boys carrying a gun and going toward the bandstand, the place appointed for collection. Oh, for the variety of guns.
President Taft of the United States had sent word to all Americans to leave Mexico. The Railroad had had such a hard time keeping the line in running order that they decided to close the road down. The officials of the railroad sent word to the Colonies that July 28, 1912 would be the last train to leave for the United States.
The general authorities of the Church had told people to be neutral, but some people cannot take advice and as a result brought trouble on all the people. The leaders called a Priesthood meeting to discuss the situation and after much discussion and arguing, at 2 A.M. it was decided that all old people and children and women should be sent out on the train to El Paso. One of the strong advocates of staying was Thomas Romney. In the early hours of the meeting stating that he would not leave his home under any conditions. When it was decided to send the women and children out he made this statement."I guess it is best to send the women folks out and I think a strong man or two should be sent along to protect them, I volunteer to go for one." He went and never returned.
Sunday morning, July 28th came and I took my entire family which consisted of Father, Mother, Angus, Milne, Leah and Dora to Pearson, a point about 8 miles south of Colonial Juarez, the point at which they were to board the train. The road that morning was a continuous line of vehicles. Old men and women leaving all they had accumulated in a life time. Young women and children leaving their husbands and fathers and brothers behind not knowing what the fate of either party would be. Was not this sacrifice Read Doc. & Cov. 64:23-25. When we reached Pearson, a band of outlaws were there to intensify the parting. They would jerk the bridles from teams, slash the horses with a whip, yell and shout and the team would go frantic from fright, other outfits would cut the harnesses in pieces. (Let me say here that only the protecting hand of the Lord kept someone from being hurt that day).
Final goodbyes were said and the train began to move. Only a poet can describe that parting. Women and children weeping, calling goodbye from the train windows while the young men tried to be brave and call goodbye with a smile, while the outlaws began shooting, yelling and cussing the American cowards, as they called them. Those who stayed, did not know if the train would ever reach the U.S. and those on the train knew not what the fate of the remaining would be.
There was not much mirth among the fifty-four vehicles which returned to Juarez that Sunday afternoon, July 28, 1912. The next few days were indeed lonesome. There was a group of men at all times of the day congregated in front of the store with the ever same question, "Have you heard anything new."
I had put my father and mother, 2 brothers and 2 sisters on the train and was returning to do what I could to take care of our home and property. It was agreed that each morning each man was to report to the Post Office and leave word where he would be during the day. Remember it was summer and there were crops to harvest and fruit and vegetables to be taken of. In the evening we would meet again at the Post Office to hear news and swap talk. This we did from Sunday until Thursday.
On this day I was cutting alfalfa in the field and about 4:00 p.m. a rider galloped up the road and called out that we were leaving town that night and were to meet at McDonald's Springs in the mountains. I left my mowing machine in the field, took my horses home, did my chores, turned the cows and calves into the lot together, went to my father's store and got a 50# sack of flour, salt, a piece of bacon, frying pan, matches, and went back to the barn and made a pack of the provisions. I put it on one of the horses, saddled the other, then went into the house to prepare some supper.
While sitting at the table, a rap came on the door and before I could answer, it opened and closed and I got a whiff of carbolic acid. A voice said, "I am wounded, go out and see if anyone is around." I obeyed without question. When I was sure there was on one around, I entered the house and learned that the President of the Stake had crawled through a barbed wire fence and scratched him and had received first-air from a neighbor. He asked me to come and go with him to his home. While he got the Stake records together, I stood guard outside while he was in the house. He left by his back door and up through the lot to the foothills.
I returned home, taking care, but I thought of all the things I was leaving, then mounted my horse and leading the pack animal (by this time it was way past dark). I finally reached the place of meeting at McDonald Springs, where I found a group of the townsmen all ready. During the night we made our way to the top of the mountain known a Flat Top, and from which we could see the town and our homes which we had left. It took most of the night to wend our way up through the rocks and scrub oak. At the top we found a group of more than one hundred men, and we soon discovered that there was nothing in camp to eat except the flour and bacon I had brought. Well, we stirred up some flapjacks and fried the bacon and spread it as far at it would go around. By noon, some two hundred or more men had assembled, some bringing provisions. Jim and I returned to town, put some provisions from my Father's store into the wagon and with a four horse team we made it up to the top of the mountain and later found it was not as easy to get down the other side as it was coming up. At one point we took the wagon apart and let it down piece by piece. After two days of doing the impossible, we arrived at the head of what is called the Stair canyon. We camped here another two days during which time decisions were made and plans for our trip to the U.S.
Quite an interesting trip to the border, never a dull moment. One afternoon just before sundown we made a camp for the night in a beautiful green little saucer-like valley, a beautiful clear evening. About one o'clock it started to rain and by two o'clock we were waist deep in water. What a night! The next morning some 250 men were hunting in 2 to 3 feet of water for saddles, guns, and any other equipment they had. A number of rolls of film got wet that night and some of my cherished pictures.
With permission from the U.S. Army we camped at Dog Springs overnight and the next morning began our march to Hatchietta, New Mexico. Here the group of some 250 or more men were disbanded, each going different directions, wherever the thought best. I headed east along the Southern Pacific Railroad line, my desired destination was El Paso, Texas. Traveling with my team a lonely day and night and most of the second day, a distance of approximately 100 miles, I arrived at El Paso. There I found my family, Father, Mother, and Brothers and sisters whom I had put on the train at Pearson, Mexico some three and a-half weeks before. I stayed in El Paso some six weeks and tried to get work, but was not successful. After this period, a group of eight young men and myself returned to our homes in Mexico. Here I found gardens and crops in a state of unruliness because no on had taken care of an abundant production. We found a Mexican family living in the house when we got back. My dog Blanco hadn't eaten anything from the time we left. When we found him he was just skin and bones. He was so glad to see me that he was under my heels every minute for then on.
To go back always, before we got to the border of the United States, there is a barb wire fence following the line with an opening or gate at our point of entry. Here a near tragedy occurred, but was not revealed until we had made camp at Dog Springs, the U.S. Army Camp. Until I die, never will I be closer to death that at that time.
A NEAR TRAGEDY
At the time this instance occurred, no one among the Mormon refugees thought of danger. That was behind us. It came to light after it was over. At this point on the U.S. and Mexican border line and not far from Dog Springs, (a border line garrison), there was an opening in the wire fence as a gate. There had been a number of raids by Mexican bandits at this point and orders had been given that the soldiers were to shoot to kill when raiders appeared. The soldiers had been watching a large dust in the desert in the south and had taken up positions behind large rocks just inside this border gate with orders to shoot on command.
The Mormon refugees had been organized into military manner with a general in command and other officers. I had a Kodak camera and had been taking pictures and was allowed to move at will on the trip. Two Hundred and fifty men and some Five Hundred loose animals stirred up quite a dust in the dry desert and this was what the U.S. Army was watching. As we approached the entrance to enter the U.S., I rode ahead and entered through the gate and took up a position just in front of the large rocks or boulders to get pictures as the main body came through.
A group of our scouts came next and one of them, Ammon Tenney, came over to where I was and began commenting on how glad he was that we were in the states. He spoke in a rather loud voice and I wondered at it because he was quite close to me. I later realized that if he had not spoken loud, the U.S. Army officer who was waiting to give the command to shoot would not have heard him. The officer recognized Tenney's voice as an old acquaintance. He stepped out and demanded of Tenney who we were, and said, "You can thank God you are not all dead men." I have often wondered since if it was some unseen power that caused Brother Tenney to speak so loud while commenting to me
In the early part of 1915, I returned again to Mexico and as a number of other people had made their way back also, school was again held for a few students. Due to the trouble in 1912, the graduating class of that year did not complete the year. So in the spring of 1915, I with Bernice Spilsberry (later ****) and Lucian Mecham, made up the graduating class of 1915, the first to graduate since 1912.
In 1916 General Pershing of the U.S. Army made his expedition into Mexico for the purpose of capturing Pancho Villa. This brought considerable work and money to the people who had returned.
During my life I think I have worked as a teacher or officer in most of the organizations of the church. The greatest honor came on the 27th of February 1917 when I was chosen as Second Councilor to Bishop John J. Walser with Daniel Skousen as First Councilor. I was 27 years of age at that time.
At different times I made my way back to El Paso due to lack of work and unrest and anxiety. My Father had rented a house in a place called Highland Park, outside of the town of El Paso. I sought continually to find work, picking up whatever I could. I worked sometime in a trunk factory, for a time at the El Paso Cement Plant, the El Paso Electric Railway and carpenter for a man by the name of Hitchcock, a real fine friendly gentlemen. I say this because most people were bitter toward the Mormon refugees. Such statements as, "that we should have been driven into the Gulf of Mexico instead of being allowed to come into the U.S." Much hatred was shown to those seeking work. This type of existence continued for about 2 ½ years.
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER - OR TO FORGET
A lady friend, that I had been showing some attention to, was at this time teaching school in the town of Dublan, about eighteen miles from Colonia Juarez. As I had not seen her for some weeks, I told my folks where I was going and mounted my bicycle. (that being the only mode of transportation at that time). In about two hours over a dusty dry road, I arrived at the home of my destination. There I found the home depressed and in a state of anxiety. Needless to say, my lady friend was glad to see me, but the evening and night was not what one would have enjoyed. Word hand been received that day that Pancho Villa would arrive in town that night and his intention was to burn all homes, and other intentions more tragic. This event has been told by others but this is as I remember it.
The people living in the Colonies at that time were all under a fear of unexpected events. We had no place to go nor any physical protection. Our leaders, the Stake President and Bishop and others, had been in conference most of the day and as evening came on, word was sent out for every one to go to their homes, remain indoors, no lights and to spend the night in prayer. That the Lord would protect us was our only hope. Darkness came and the hours slowly moved on. Someone would walk to the window and cautiously peek out. Even the moon was not in a position to show any light and the stars were dimmed by a haze. Really it seemed as if there was no hope, no light. As for me, I found myself saying under my breath, "Please protect us". As time moved on, maybe ten or eleven o'clock, a light began to show up in the north and as we peeked through the edge of the window blind, we could see flames of fire shooting into the air and soon the sky was red. Outside of town, about a mile north of the town proper, was the home of a brother Eccoles. We realized that Villa had arrived to that point and had begun his devastation. Mr. Eccoles had moved his family into town at the suggestion of the leaders. The sky increased in redness as the flames reached skyward.
As for me, my heart sank lower, but to be a hero, I had to whisper to the lady friend that all would be well. But, at that time, I didn't believe a word of it. So for the next hours, we sat in darkness, except for the light that came from the burning house. Little was said, only thoughts pervaded. The silent hours dragged on and finally the faint outline of the neighbor's home across the street could be framed in the grey light of the approaching dawn. Silently and anxiously we sat and waited. Slowly came the light of day and trees took shape outside the window. The day had arrived. We were still alive and our home was intact, but no one seemed to want to venture out. Villa and come to within a mile of the town and set fire to the Eccoles home with full intentions of doing the same to the rest of the town. Then, for some unknown reason, changed his mind, ordered a retreat, returned a number of miles and took away over the mountain into another valley and on south past Dublan.
As you remember, the early orders were that there were to be no lights in the homes, a blackout. Mexican neighbors who had left town and gone into the hills to hid out, reported that when the Eccoles home began to burn that lights appeared all over the town and yet no one in town had lights on. All homes were dark. Know this, Villa back tracked and did not come into Dublan. A miracle to those who lived throughout that "'Night to remember".
In the fall of 1919, Franklin S. Harris came down to Colonia Juarez to represent the Church in a Conference and he encouraged me to go to Logan, Utah and attend College. So in the later part of September, I left Juarez with my sister Jessie and arrived in Salt Lake City. The 3rd of October, I went to Logan.
I arrived in Salt Lake City on Saturday and made contact by phone, with one Ada Ray, whom I had not seen for seven years. Through a misunderstanding I did not actually meet her until Sunday morning at noon after Conference. We spent two days together and then I went to Logan and attended college the winter of 1919-1920. In the spring I got a job with a cement company which was construction grain elevators. The ones at the present Central Mills were built at that time. (Dunford Weston and Brothers own the mill). He is a old friend of Ray, my oldest son.
On September 8th, 1920, I married Ada Ray in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. We came to Logan to live and located in the Fourth Ward, where we have lived ever since. Here I went to school again and spent four more years getting through College. Here were born to us six children, three sons and three daughters; Ruth, John Ray, Edward Ray, IVon Ray and Iva (twins) and Ada Mae. (Their records are recorded elsewhere.)
On April 4, 1921, I started working for the bluebird, making candy and ice cream. O. Guy Cardon was the owner and I worked for this company until December 31, 1965, a total of forty-five years.
In the Church, I have acted or officiated in Ward and Stake positions, and have attended the Temple many, many times to work for the dead. In 1946, I was chosen First Counselor to Bishop Theodore M. Burton in the Logan Fourth ward, Cache Stake. Brother Norman Sadler was Second counselor. In 1954, I was called to be Improvement Era director for Cache Stake MIA and am still active in that assignment. In 1964, Bishop Virgil Cornia called me to act as General Secretary of the Adult Aaronic Priesthood and I am still acting in that capacity. With the Two positions, I manage to keep active in the Church.
At present, 1967, my wife and I are residing at the family home, 369 North 2nd East, Logan, Utah. Our children, years ago, went to make homes for themselves. Ruth, (Mrs. Don M. Walker) live in Vernal, Utah. Ray married Irene Freeman and live in Bountiful. Ed.R married Jean Mortensen and live in Ogden. IVon married Janice Brevan and live in Bountiful. Iva (Mrs. Roy D. Wilcoxson) live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ada Mae (Mrs. Eldon R. Griffin) live in Seattle, Washington.
I have been greatly blessed in my life. All the children are active in the Church and all of them were married in the Temple, the greatest blessing I could ask for.
An Experience of John E. Wall
Sunday morning, March 7, 1954, I was awakened by the telephone ringing. I answered it and to my ears came the voice of my son, IVon, telling me that he had a son born that morning at 1:30 a.m. He weighed 7 ½ #, black hair, and mother and baby doing fine. I returned to bed and lay there contemplating on the blessings that had come to me and mine and as I counted my many blessings I evidently fell asleep and dreamed. I was at home with my family and were expecting the married ones to come for a family reunion. They soon all arrived except IVon. All was pleasant, warm and cozy.
Presently, the door bell rang and I went and opened it and there was IVon, His wife and new infant son. As I opened the door I became aware of a cold and miserable feeling outside and I could see people. I thought they had come with IVon and was about to invite them in out of the cold when the door banged shut and I could not open it. I turned to ask IVon who they were and I saw two persons who said they were looking for their children. I looked outside and said, "Are those the ones you seek?" I looked back and instead of seeing the two people, all I could see was records, family group sheets, and pedigree charts. A few were finished, but most of them were part or blank records. Records everywhere. I looked and I could also see the people outside and sensed the cold that was there. I thought I would let them in and in my effort to get the door opened, I awoke.
It left me with a very funny feeling because it seemed so real.
Will you who read this make an effort to find those people and bring them in where it is warm?
Paraphrasing the Scriptures
Six things I assure you of, yea seven I bare witness too you.
That Jesus was and is the Savior of mankind; That He died and was resurrected; That by obedience to His commandments we may have eternal life.
That Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God reveling to the world that God and Christ have bodies like unto man. That Harold B. Lee is at present the prophet and mouth piece of God.
Follow, ye, their teachings.
Of these things I leave my witness.
John E. Wall