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
Excerpts from the history of Fredrick I. and Mary M. Jones
Contributor: Todd Millett Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Fredrick Issac Jones was born 6 February 1851, in St. Louis, Missouri. His parents were John Pidding Jones and Margaret Lee. He died in Monticello, Utah on the 18 October 1925.
Mary Mackelprang Jones was born 3 September 1851 in Cedar City, Iron Co., Utah. Her parents were Peter Mackelprang and Sophie Margrethe Mackelprang. She died 22 September 1946.
Fredrick Issac Jones and Mary Mackelprang Jones were the parents of eleven children; Fredrick Peter, John Henry, Margaret M., Issac M., Mary M., Anna M., Ella Christina, Clara M., Hyrum M., William M., Inex Henrietta M.
Fredrick I. Jones served as presiding Elder and Bishop in Monticello from 25 years, his wife Mary M., was Relief Society President the same number of years. During their lifetime their two sons, F. Peter and John H. (Budd) each served two missions and most of the grandchildren have church positions.
Before the death of Mary M. Jones in 1946, her husband and five of her children had preceded her in death; Margaret, Isaac, Hyrum, William, and Anna. She was a widow 21 years. The last years of Fredrick I. Jones were painful ones. He suffered six years with an incurable disease, in intense pain much of the time. He life of toil and excessive hardship had broken his physical body. His last years, regardless of his suffering, testify of his great love and esteem for his wife, Mary. He couldn't bear to have her suffer or sorrow. He knew she had quite a share of that. At one time he became so ill it seemed he could not recover, but he did live, only to prolong his illness several years longer. He stated afterwards that he thought he was going to die, but he saw Mary so grief-stricken and he chose to remain with her. At his death Mary realized his only relief from suffering could come through death, and she couldn't ask him to suffer longer. When Fredrick accepted the call of the church to San Juan he accepted as a life's mission. He had never been released until death released him -- exactly 43 years from the day he left Cedar City, Utah, 18 October 1882.
When Mary died she passed serenely on, without tasting death. The Lord had taken her kindly, gently, with no fear of suffering.
They are both buried in Monticello Cemetery, with four of their children and a daughter-in-law, in the family plot.
At the date of this writing, May 1960, the posterity of Fredrick I and Mary M. Jones is as follows: 11 children, 38 grandchildren, 101 great grandchildren, 47 great-great grandchildren, total 197.
Through her husbands great responsibilities of bishop and leader, and all that position required at that time, Mary's duties and service were greatly magnified also.
Fredrick and Mary faced the loom of life hopefully, and laid themselves upon it, as though the dark threads were as necessary in the pattern as the light ones, believing there was a purpose running through the stern forbidding process. What they learned in their suffering, was not to know the explanation, but to know that there was an explanation. And religious faith alone gave them confidence that human tragedy is not the meaningless sport of physical forces, making our life what Voltaire called it, "a bad joke". But is rather a school of discipline, the explanation of whose mysteries is in the heart of God. No one who has live deeply can ever call such faith a "matter of words and names." To multitudes it is a matter of life and death.
They came out of their experiences not filled with rebellion, despair and bitterness; but rather with triumphant faith in God Their Father. "As a diamond cannot be polished without friction nor man perfected without trials."
"I am thankful to my Father in Heaven for all the trouble I have been through, and the sacrifices I have made. It has all made me a better woman, and in everything that came to me the Lord was with me and helped me to do my part and bear my sorrow. It has all been a blessing to me. We were far happier in the pioneer days than we are today, for we all lived like one big family." --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.