Autobiography of Joseph W. Bates II
Contributor: lindac65 Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
(Joseph W. Bates, son of Joseph and Mary Bates, was born January 16, 1827 in the town of Dudley, Staffordshire, England. Died June 30, 1890 in Payson, Utah)
January 1, 1828 my parents emigrated to America and landed at New York City on March 26, 1828. They lived there about one year, then moved to Albany where they lived about six months, then moved to Cleveland in the state of Ohio, where they lived about two years. They then moved to South Port in Ufrer County. After one year there my father died. He was burned to death in a charcoal pit on July 8, 1833.
On December 18th (1833) my mother married a man by the name of Matthew Mansfield and on Christmas Day was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In the year 1836 my step-father and the family moved to Far West, Missouri. During 1838 and 1839 we were driven from the state with the balance of the Mormons to the state of Illinois. We stayed in Adams County, eleven miles from Quincy on the Columbus Road. We lived there until the spring of 1840 when we moved to Nauvoo where I worked with my step-father on a stone quarry until the spring of 1841 when I went to work to learn the stone cutting trade. My boss’ name was Buckley Anderson. I worked on the temple until it was finished in 1842. I joined the church and was ordained a deacon in the fall of 1845. I was ordained a seventy and placed in the 32nd quorum the same fall.
I was called to go out west as a pioneer with the first company of the Church. We went as far as Far River. At this place, I with George Bean and Hyrum Fellows, were discharged. We then started back to Nauvoo. We traveled all the way back to Nauvoo on ten cents worth of grub. We lived fat—you bet my back and belly would flop together as I worked. The cause of this fat was we had been stall fed for some six weeks on parched cornmeal and stinking beef. This kind of feed would make the poorest man in America fat in a short time. Well, we got back to Nauvoo where I then helped my folks to move out west as far as Mount Pisgah. I then helped my step-father to clear off a piece of land and plant it in corn and potatoes. We finished planting the 23rd of June.
On the 7th of July I started for Council Bluffs to join the Mexican Army and on the 16th day of the month I joined Company E., Captain Daniel C. Davis’ company, and was organized with the second mess. Our messes names are as follow: T. C. D. Howell, Jacob Earl, Jesse Earl, J. W. Bates, Lot Smith, and Harlem McBride. We went from Council Bluffs to Fort Leavenworth where we received our outfit for Mexico. The outfit we received was in the shape of muskets, cartridge boxes, haver sacks, nap sack, wild Mexican mules, and Pennsylvania schooners. We left Fort Leavenworth about the middle of August and traveled to Santa Fe which took about seven weeks. We stayed there fourteen days, then started for California. We got to California some time in January 1847. We were then stationed at San Louis about 6 weeks and we were then ordered to Pueblo De Los Angeles (City of Angeles) where we remained until we were discharged on July 16, 1847.
I, with five others, namely: Calvin W. Moore, Christopher Layton, Walter Barnes, Albert Knapp, and Shadric Holdaway, went to work for a man by the name of Julian Williams. I worked for this man some five or six months when I, with C. W. Moore, A. Knapp, W. Barnes and S. Holdaway, went to Monterey, California and worked at this place until August 1848. We then went to the gold mines which had just been discovered on the South Fork of American River. I worked in the mines twelve days and worked out 1800 dollars. I then started for Salt Lake.
I traveled over the California Mountains in Ebenezer Brown’s company. After we got over the mountains we made up a little company of ten, namely, B. Stewart, R. Stodard, W. Weaver, C. W. Moore, J. Reed, A. Bredingburgh, L. Fifield, O. F. Mead, Wm. Beers, J. W. Bates. We came on ahead of E. Brown’s Company and arrived at the old fort at Salt Lake on the 7th of October 1848 where I found my mother and step-father.
I lived with them that winter and the next year also. In the spring of 1849 in the month of March, I was called to cut stone for the Council House. The same spring I was organized with 99 others as a minute Company M to protect the settlements throughout the territory from the prowling Indians. This, with stone cutting for the Council House, occupied my whole time until December 1850, when on the 10th of this month I married me a wife, whose maiden name was Harriet Billington.
From this time on I did not watch the Indians quite so much but I spent all my time on the public works. On January 27, 1852 my mother departed this life. She lived to see my first born, Eliza Jane. This daughter was born November 20, 1851. In 1854 my wife’s father moved from Salt Lake City to Council Buffs, Iowa. On October the 1st in this year my first son was born and I named him Joseph William. In the spring of 1855 I was called to go to Provo Lake to catch fish for the poor people of the First Ward. This was the year after the first Grasshoppers War. I spent about six weeks at the Lake and caught some eight tons of fish. When I returned home, I again went to work on the public works cutting stone. I worked there the balance of the year, 1856. I worked on the Public in the spring of 1857. I was sent to the mouth of Big Cottonwood to cut granite for the temple in Salt Lake City. I moved my family out to this place and stayed there until November, when I was called back to Salt Lake City to take part in the Echo Canyon War in the Winter of 1857 and 1858.
I was called and set apart as one of the standing Army of Zion. In the spring of 1858 while I was out helping to herd Johnson’s Army, my family was moved from Salt Lake to Payson, Utah County. In the following May, the Mormon Army was disbanded, when I came to Payson where I found my family all well and among friends. On the 18th of this month my 2nd son was born. We named him Hugh Franklin. The following summer and fall I worked for Bishop C. B. Hancock. In the spring of 1859 I bought a city lot of C. B. Hancock’s and built me a log house. I also farmed ten acres of land belonging to O. Simons. The spring of 1860 I joined the Martial Band of Payson and was elected captain the following summer. In the spring of 1861 I was taken from the band and elected Captain of the Young Men’s Company of Payson in the place of John Pierce, who resigned. I held this position until the spring of 1864 when I resigned in favor of W. C. Wightman. The following fall I was elected Lieutenant Colonel of the Payson Regiment. I should have mentioned the death of my son Hugh Franklin. He died September of 1859. In the summer of 1865, I received my commission as Lieutenant Colonel. In this summer I built the Meeting House foundation.
In the spring of 1866 the Indians made a raid in Sanpete County. When Colonel McClellan was called upon to furnish fifty men to go to Sanpete to help the settlers protect themselves from the Indians, I was called to act as commissary to outfit this company for the trip and the way I got this outfit was to go from house to house and beg it and take what the people were a mind to give me. Some would give a few pounds of flour, others again a piece of pork, and once-in-awhile one would give twenty-five cents in money. By persuasiveness and hard begging I got the outfit and then most of these men were married men and had grain to water and gardens to hoe which made another tax on the people.
In the course of the summer I received orders from Col. McClellan to watch for certain Indians that were buying powder and lead and carrying it to Black Hawk, the Chief of the hostiles, and if I could find them to take them prisoners and keep them until further orders. I succeeded in capturing one of them, namely Jim Murto, and gave him in the charge of Nephi Loveless and John Spencer, and I gave them strict orders to not let him get away. In the evening of the same day he made a break to get away and Nephi Loveless fired at him and broke his thigh. After this was done the sympathies of the big men of Payson were aroused to a fearful pitch for the poor Indian, and they talked of giving Loveless and myself up to the Indians to be butchered by them for hurting the poor Indian. We put the poor devil in an old house and the sympathizers got the doctor to dress his wound and they made him some sweet cakes and pies and petted him terribly. After keeping him some two or three weeks somebody heard a pistol shot and the Indian was dead. Then there was a big powwow you bet, but it all wore off after awhile and Loveless and myself escaped without a scratch. About this time General James Snow made a push for the Indians. He took two hundred men and marched across the county to Fish Lake. He came in sight of the Redskins. He then ordered a retreat and cold weather came on so the campaign ended.
In 1867 I burned lime and worked at mason work. In 1868, I with six others, went out on the Union Pacific Railroad and went to work for Joseph Nouman, and worked all that season. In the year 1869 I worked in Payson until December when I went on a prospecting tour hunting for gold or silver ore in Tintic Valley. I discovered two lodges of silver bearing quartz, and named them Argenta and Buckeye, and with ten or twelve others organized the district. In the year 1870 I worked in the mines, also in 1871 until August when I and E. O’Hara and G. S. Rust sold a claim on the southern extension of the Sunbeams for $4,750. I should have received one-fourth of this, but G. S. Rust swindled me out of 400 dollars. One half of this 200 I paid to the men that did the work to develop the mine previous to the sale; the other 200 was money that I loaned to him.
On January 6, 1982 my oldest daughter was married to P. P. Sabin. In the spring and summer of this year I worked at masonry. On October 22nd of this year, my oldest daughter died. She died in childbirth at my house in the town of Payson. In the spring of 1873 I worked at my trade in the Tintic Mines until September when I built a large cellar for Dan Tanner. After building the cellar I built two chimneys for the same man and while I was the laying the hearth R. E. Collett kicked a slick of timber from the attic down on to me which broke three of my ribs and injured me internally, which I shall never recover from. In 1875 I built myself a new house which cost me $1200 dollars. In 1876 I was sick most of my time. In 1877 I followed cutting tombstones. In 1878 I followed the same trade until November when my youngest son was taken down with the diphtheria, which lasted him 9 days when he departed this life on the 3rd of December. While my boy was sick my wife was taken down with the typhoid fever. She lay for three weeks in a state of helplessness. In the spring of 1879 I was making ties for the
U. S. Railroad until June when I went out to Parley’s Park and chopped cord wood and built log houses until October when I returned home. On the 2nd of December I had a terrible sick and came very near dying.
Life Sketch of Joseph and Martha Brown Billington
Contributor: lindac65 Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Transcribed from the Hatch book by Marjorie Eddy and Kathleen Savage Judd.
This account compiled from “Eliza Billington Welch” by Eva Dunn Snow and from In Grateful Rememberance of My Parents by Gladys E. H. Butterfield.
Audlem, Cheshire, England
Joseph Billington was born to Thomas and Elizabeth Holmes Billington in Audlem, Cheshire, England on July 29, 1804. Martha Brown was the daughter of John and Margaret Evans Brown. She was born on March 12, 1800 in nearby Faddiley.
Joseph and Martha wed, settled in Audlem, and had three children: Eliza born on December 16, 1824; Hugh, born on September 5, 1828; and Harriet born on November 27, 1831. Christening records for the children list Joseph’s occupation as a bricklayer.
The Billington family lived in a very nice cottage on the banks of the Liverpool-Birmingham Junction canal. According to family tradition, Joseph worked as a keeper of the locks, lowering and raising freight boats on the canal. They were very happy and comfortable in their home. Their children attended school in the community.
When the Gospel of Jesus Christ was introduced, they readily understood and accepted its truths. They wanted to join the saints in Zion, so they gave up their work, disposed of their property, and in the autumn of 1842, sailed for America. It is suspected that they sailed on The Sidney, The Medford, or The Henry which left Liverpool in September, though passenger names for these voyages were not recorded.
During the voyage, Eliza met a young man named John Welch also on his way to Nauvoo. The company was stranded in St. Louis due to ice on the Mississippi River and did not arrive in Nauvoo until the following spring on April 1, 1843.
The Billingtons enjoyed being in Nauvoo with the saints. But tragedy would strike the family. On April 30, 1843, Hugh died of lung fever and was buried in Nauvoo. The next June, the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum were murdered by a mob. The family was with the mourners who viewed the remains of Joseph and Hyrum. Life in Nauvoo changed dramatically.
Eliza married John Welch on May 18, 1845 in Nauvoo. Then Joseph and Martha received their endowments on February 7, 1846 in the Nauvoo Temple, the same day as Eliza and John.
During this time, Joseph married a widow whom he had known in England, Sarah Tomlinson Holland. He helped them get a wagon and cross to Winter Quarters.
Eliza crossed the plains with her husband after the birth of her first child in April. She settled in Paradise, Utah. Joseph and Martha also traveled with the saints into Iowa.
Martha’s Death at Winter Quarters
Joseph and Martha reached Council Bluffs, but unfortunately, the journey had taken its toll on Martha; it left her weakened. It is unknown if she died of an illness she contracted while crossing Iowa, but she died on September 6, 1846 at Council Bluffs, Iowa. Her grave was unmarked, and its exact location is unknown.
Sarah's Death at Winter Quarters
Joseph's second wife, Sarah, died of black canker the next month, October of 1846.
Travel to Utah
John and Eliza traveled on to Utah. Harriet arrived in Salt Lake. There she married Joseph Bates in the Endowment House on February 9, 1858 and moved to Payson, Utah.
Joseph took Sarah’s son Thomas Holland in 1848 to Utah. Between 1848 and 1850, Joseph married Ann Bocking. She is listed in the 1850 and 1860 census records. Joseph did not like what he found there and so returned to Iowas, but left Thomas in Utah.
Thomas’s Life in Iowa
Joseph returned to Iowa and become a member of the Reorganized LDS church.
Records show that Joseph remained in Iowa. He married Sarah (last name unknown; birthdate December 28, 1810) in 1847, but she died on September 20, 1847. Joseph then married Ann Bocking (?) (she was born on July 27, 1799).
A parcel of land was deeded to him by warranty deed, dated 13 Apr 1859. He applied for citizenship in the State of Iowa on May 4, 1864.
In June of 1871, Thomas died in Kane Township, Iowa. His grave site is also unknown.
His obituary was found in the The True Latter Day Saints Herald Vol. 18:416 which reads, “At Indian Creek, near Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Tuesday. morning, June 13th, 1871, Br. Joseph Billington. The deceased was a native of England. Went to Salt Lake at an early day, but returned to the above place several years ago, and for the past ten years has been a member of the Reorganized Church. He had lived upwards of, three-score years and was more active than many at that age, enjoying excellent health; but the day previous to his death he was kicked by a horse, and died as above. Truly in the midst of life we are in death.”