STORY OF PRISCILLA MERRIMAN EVANS WIFE OF THOMAS DAVID EVANS, AS TOLD TO HER DAUGHTER, EMMA
Contributor: Kathe Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
I, Priscilla Merriman Evans, born May 4, 1835, at Mounton, New Marberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales, am the daughter of Joseph and Ann James Merriman. About 1839, father move d his family from Mounton up to Tenby, about 10 miles distant. Our family consisted of father, mother, Sarah, aged six, and myself, aged four. Tenby was a beautiful place, as are all those Celti c Islands, with remains of old castles, vine and moss covered walls, gone to ruin since the time of the conqueror. Nearby was Castle Hill, with its old castle, most beautiful in its decay. It was moss and vine covered, and most beautiful in its architecture. Near it, and in fair condition, was a building belonging to the Castle, which was fitted up for a school. It was
called the National School of Tenby. When we were settled in our new home, we girls were sent to school, as children were put in school very young. There was a path leading up Castle Hill to the school, and another leading around the beautiful old moss covered Castle down to the seashore, where the children played in the sand and gathered shells at intermission. The children also loved to wander around in many rooms of the Castle, but shunned the lower regions, or basement rooms, for they had heard weird stories of dungeons and dark places, where in early times, people were shut up and kept until they died.
Besides reading, writing, spelling, and arithmetic, we were taught sewing and sampler work was done in cross stitch, worked in bright colors, on canvas made for that purpose. The designs were churches, houses, trees, lawns, animals, flowers, etc. We were also taught the Bible. I was greatly interested in school, but was taken out at 11 years of age, or in my twelfth year, owing to the illness in our family. I was a natural student, and greatly desired to continue my studies, but mother's health was very poor, so I was taken out to help with the work. My sister, Sarah, continued school, as she did not like housework and wished to learn a trade. She went to a Mrs. Hentin and learned the millinery trade. Mother's health continued poor, and she died at the birth of her eighth child, Emma. I had many duties for a girl so young, caring for my sisters and brothers. While Sarah was learning millinery, she would sometimes wake me in the night to try on a hat, one she was practicing on. She learned the millinery business then went up to London, opened a shop of her own and was very successful. She married a gentleman by the name of James Harris, who was devoted to her, and followed her to London. She died at the birth of her fourth child.
Mother died on the eighth of November 1851, when I was 16 years old. The responsibility of the family rested on my young shoulders. I remember an incident which happened when my sister and I were quite young. A Russian Gypsy came and wanted to tell our fortunes. Among other things, the gypsy told my sister that she would learn a profession, and that she would grow up to be a great lady, dressed in her silks and satins, and live in a beautiful home in la large city. She told me that, owing to my good heart, I would not have the opportunity to become like my sister, and I would have to work and help others, and eventually I would cross the Great Waters. I had forgotten all about the gypsy's fortune telling until I had been in Utah some years, when my sister sent me, among other things, a beautiful black silk dress pattern and many beautiful things to wear, which were too nice for my circumstances. She sent presents to me by missionaries who visited London, and to whom she was very kind. I remembered then, the gypsy. My sister was a grand lady in London, and I had crossed the Great Waters, to America, "The Land of the free, and the home of the brave," and was happy in my growing family and rejoiced with my husband and family in the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After the death of my mother we were very lonely, and one evening I accompanied my father to the house of a friend. When we reached there, we learned that they were holding a cottage meeting. Two Mormon Elders were the speakers, and I was very much interested in the principles they advocated. I could see that my father was very worried, and would have taken me away, had he known how. When he became aware that I believed in the gospel as taught by the Elders, I asked him if he had ever heard of the restored Gospel. He replied, "Oh, yes, I have heard of Old Joe Smith, and his Golden Bible." When my father argued against the principles taught by the Elders, I said, "If the Bible is true, then Mormonism is true." My father was very much opposed to my joining the Church, but I had found the truth and was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tenby, February 26, 1852, by John Thorn [Thain], President of the Tenby Branch. My sister, Sarah, took turns with me going out every Sunday. She would go where she pleased on Sunday, while I would walk seven miles to Stepaside and attend the Mormon meeting. My father was very much displeased with me going out every Sunday. He forbade me to read the Church literature, and threatened to burn all I brought home. At the time I had a Book of Mormon borrowed form a friend, and when Father found out I had it, he began looking for it. It was in plain sight, among other books, in the book case. I saw him handling it with other books, and I sent up a silent prayer that he might not notice it, which he did not, although it was before him in plain sight. I do not think my father was as bitter against the principles of the gospel as he seemed to be, for many times when the Elders were persecuted, he defended them, and gave them food and shelter. But he could not bear the idea of my joining them and leaving home.
About this time, Thomas D. Evans, a young Mormon Elder, was sent up from Merthyr Tydfil, in Glamorganshire, Wales, as a missionary to Pembrokeshire. He was fine speaker, and had a fine tenor voice, and I used to like to go around with the missionaries and help with the singing. Elder Evans and I seemed to be congenial from our first meeting, and we were soon engaged. He was traveling and preaching the restored Gospel, without purse or scrip, and I was keeping house for my father and five little brothers.
Perhaps his mission will be better understood if I give a little account of his work here. Thomas David Evans is the son of David Evans and Jane Morris Evans. He was born Feb. 14, 1833, in Troedyrhiw, three miles from Merthyr in Glamoganshire, Wales. His father, David Evans, died and left his mother a widow with eight children, Thomas D. being four years old, and the youngest. He was placed in a large forge of 2000 men at the age of seven years to learn the profession of Iron Roller. At nine years of age, he had the misfortune to lose his left leg at the knee. He went through the courses and graduated as an Iron Roller.
When set apart for his mission to Pembrokeshire, it was predicted that the days of his life spent in that country should be spent in expounding the Gospel Scriptures, and that he never should be confounded by the enemy, so long as he kept the commandments of God, which promise has been verified. In the spring of 1852, he left his home in Glamorganshire to go to Pembrokeshire, South Wales, to travel as he had been traveling, and preaching the Gospel on foot without purse or scrip. After he came to Pembrokeshire as a missionary, we met in one of his meetings.
There were about 10 young girls in our branch, and we used to meet with the Elders and help them with the singing, and we girls would often meet together and sing the beautiful songs of Zion. It seems to me now, when I think of that time, that we had put the world aside, and were not thinking of our worldly pleasures, and what our next dress would be. We had no dancing in those days, but we were happy in the enjoyment of the spirit of the Gospel.
My people belonged to the Baptist Church, and I attended their meeting and Sabbath Schools before joining our Church. As previously stated, the Bible was taught in the National School of Tenby where I attended until in my 12th year, so that I was familiar with the bible doctrine and when I heard the Elders explain it, it seemed as though I had always known it, and it sounded like music in my ears. We had the spirit of gathering and were busy making preparations to emigrate.
About that time the Principle of Plurality of Wives was preached to the world, and it caused quite a commotion in our branch. One of the girls came to me with tears in her eyes and said, "Is it true that Brigham Young has ninety wives? I can't stand that, Oh, I can't stand it." I asked her how long it had been since I had heard her testify that she knew the Church was true, and I said if it was, then it is true now. I told her I did not see anything for her to cry about. After I talked to her awhile, she dried her eyes and completed her arrangements to get married and emigrate. She came with us. My promised husband, Elder Thomas D. Evans, was president of the Pembrokeshire Conference for the last two years; so he was released from his missionary labors. We went to Merthyr to visit his mother, brothers, sisters, and friends, preparatory to emigrating to the Valley. His family did all in their power to persuade him to remain with them. They were all well off, and his brothers said they would send him to school, support his wife, and pay all of his expenses, but all to no avail. He bade them all goodbye, and returned to Tenby.
I think I would have had a harder time getting away, had it not been that my father was also going to be married again, and I do not suppose the lady cared to have in the home, the grown daughter who had taken the place of the mother for so many years. Pres. Evans and I walked 10 miles from Tenby to Pembrokeshire, secured our license, and were married on the 3rd of April, 1856. On our return from Pembrokeshire, we found a few friends and relatives awaiting with a nice supper, which was very much appreciated. After visiting with our friends and relatives for a few days, we took a Tug from Pembroke to Liverpool, where we set sail on the 17th of April, 1856, on the sailing vessel "Sam Curling." Captain Curling said he always felt safe when he had Saints on board. We heard that his ship went down later with all on board, but there were no Saints that trip. We were on the ship five weeks, and lived on the ship's rations. I was seasick all the way, and had a miserable time. We landed in Boston on the 23rd of May, then went by rail 300 miles to Iowa City, where we waited three weeks for the handcarts to be made.
When the carts were ready, we started in the Bunker Company. The weather was fine, the roads good, and although I was sick and weak and we were all tired out at night, still we thought it a glorious way to come to Zion. We began our journey of one thousand miles, pulling our handcarts. Some families consisted of just the husband and wife, and some had a number of children. Each cart had 100 pounds of flour to be divided, and get more from the wagons as needed. At first we had a little coffee and bacon, but that was soon gone, and we had no use for any cooking utensils but a frying pan. The flour was self-rising mixed with water, and cooked in the frying pan over the fire. That was all we had to eat. After months of traveling we were put on half rations, and at one time before help came, we were out of flour for two days. We shook the flour sacks in the water to make gravy, but had no grease of any kind. Our company was 300 Welsh Saints. There were about a dozen in our tent, six of whom could not speak the Welsh language, myself among the number. Don't you think I had a pleasant journey traveling for months with 300 people of whose language I could not understand a word? My husband could talk Welsh; so he could join in their festivities when he felt like it. There were in our tent my husband with one leg, two blind men, Thomas Giles being one of them, a man with one arm, and a widow with five children. The widow, her children, and myself were the only ones who could not talk Welsh. My husband was commissary for our tent, and he cut his own rations short many times to help little children who had to walk and did not have enough to eat to keep up their strength. There were five mule teams to haul the tents and flour. We were allowed to bring but 17 pounds; the remainder to make up the amount was in an oil cloth sack. Just our commonest clothing, which would stand the hard wear of traveling as we did. The tent was our covering, and the overcoat spread on the bare ground with the shawl over us was our bed. My feather bed, and bedding, pillows, all our good clothing, my husband's church books, which he had collected through six years of missionary work, with some genealogy he had collected, all had to be left in a storehouse. We were promised that they would come to us with the next emigration in the spring, but we never did receive them. It was reported that the storehouse burned down so that was a dreadful loss to us. Edward Bunker was the Captain of our Company. His orders of the day were, "If any are sick among you, and are not able to walk, you must help them along, or pull them on your carts." No one rode in the wagons. Strong men would help the weaker ones, until they themselves were worn out, and some died from the struggle and want of food, and were buried by the wayside. It was heart rending for parents to move on and leave their loved ones to such a fate, as they were so helpless, and had no material for coffins. Children and young folks, too, had to move on and leave father and mother or both.
Sometimes a bunch of buffaloes would come and the carts would stop until they passed. Had we been prepared with guns and ammunition like people who came in wagons, we might have had meat, and would not have come to near starving. Pres. Young ordered extra cattle sent along to be killed to help the sick and weak, but they were never used for that purpose. One incident happened which came near being serious. Some Indians came to our camp and my husband told an Indian who admired me that he could have me for a pony. He was always getting off jokes. He thought no more about it, but in a day or two, here came the Indian with the pony, and wanted his pretty little squaw. It was no joke with him. I never was so frightened in all my life. There was no place to hide, and we did not know what to do. The captain was called, and they had some difficulty in settling with the Indian without trouble.
In crossing rivers, the weak women and the children were carried over the deep places, and they waded the others. We were much more fortunate than those who came later, as they had snow and freezing weather. Many lost limbs, and many froze to death. President Young advised them to start earlier but they got started too late. My husband had the misfortune to lose his left leg at the knee when nine years of age. In walking from 20 to 25 miles per day, where the knee rested on the pad the friction caused it to gather and break and was most painful, but he had to endure it, or remain behind, as he was never asked to ride in a wagon. One incident shows how we were fixed for grease. My husband and John Thayne, a butcher, in some way killed an old lame buffalo. They sat up all night and boiled it to get some grease to grease the carts, but he was so old and poor, there was not a drop of grease in him. We had no grease for the squeaking carts or to make gravy for the children and old people. We reached Salt Lake City, October 2, 1856.
William R. Jones, took us to his humble home in Spanish Fork, where we landed among the rocks, sagebrush, and dugouts. We were tired, weary, with bleeding feet, our clothing worn out, and so weak we were nearly starved, but thankful to our Heavenly Father for bringing us to Zion. I think we were over three days coming from Salt Lake City to Spanish Fork by ox team, but what a change to ride in a wagon after walking 1330 miles from Iowa City to Salt Lake City. We stayed in the home of Mr. Jones a month, then we were taken into the home of ex-bishop Stephen Markham. Him home was a dugout. It was a very large room built half underground. His family consisted of three wives, and seven children. The wives were Aunt Mary, Aunt Annie, and Aunt Lydia. There was a large fireplace in one end with bars, hooks, frying pans, and bake ovens where they did the cooking of the large family, and boiled, fried, baked, heated their water for washing. There was a long table in one corner, and pole bedsteads fastened to the wall in the three other corners. They were laced back and forth with rawhide cut in strips, and made a nice springy bed. There were three trundle beds, made like shallow boxes, with wooden wheels, which rolled under the mother's bed in the daytime to utilize space. There was a dirt roof, and the dirt floor was kept hard and smooth by sprinkling and sweeping. The bed ticks were filled with straw raised in Palmyra before the famine. Aunt Mary put her two children, Orvil and Lucy, in the foot of her bed and gave us the trundle bed. I do not remember whether her baby in arms was Don or Sarah. Oh, how delightful to sleep on a bed again after sleeping on the ground so many months with our clothes on. We had not slept in a bed since we left the ship, Sam Curling.
Can you imagine the hospitality of the dear, big-hearted, generous Stephen Markham, who took us into his large family, and made us feel like one of them? Mr. Markham had been one of the Prophet's bodyguards, and then was a Colonel in the Nauvoo legion. He went all through the driving and persecution of the Saints, and his great heart was ever open to the wants and suffering of those less fortunate than himself. And Aunt Mary, the first wife, what a grand, lovely woman she was. My second mother, for she surely was a mother to me. She had one son, by a former marriage, Edgar Houghton, and Mr. Markham also had a son by a former marriage, Stephen. Palmyra, a little place on the river between the present location of Spanish Fork and the Utah Lake, was settled about 1856. After the famine, the people of Palmyra, about 50 families, moved to Spanish Fork. They nearly all lived in dugouts that season and winter, as they had no time to build houses. Spanish Fork derived its name from the fact that the Spanish priest, Escalante, and his companions camped on the forks of the river--hence the name Spanish Fork.
On the 31st of Dec. 1856, our first daughter was born. My baby's wardrobe was a rather meagre one. I made one gown from her father's white shirt, and one from the lining of the old oilcloth sack we brought with us. Aunt Mary Markham gave me a square of homespun linsey for a shoulder blanket, a neighbor gave me a roll of old underwear, and I never wasted an inch. A man at the adobe yard told me that I could have a pair of gray wool pants he was through with. The backs were good, and I had brought the shawl with me. The pants were made into petticoats. I walked down to the Indian Farm and traded a gold pen to an officer for four yards of calico, which made her some dresses. Could we have brought the bedding, clothing, and so many things we had to leave, we would have been quite comfortable.
I don't think I was any happier in after years when my babies were born in a good home, surrounded by everything to make one comfortable, than I was to find a resting place in that dugout after walking 1330 miles and pulling a handcart. One day my husband went down in the field to cut some willows to burn. The ax slipped and cut his good knee-cap. It was with difficulty that he crawled to the house. He was very weak from the loss of blood. My baby was but a few days old, and the three of us had to occupy the trundle bed for awhile.
Wood and timber were about 30 miles up in the canyon, and when the men went after timber to burn, they went in crowds, armed, for they never knew when they would be attacked by the Indians. Adobe houses were cheaper than log or frame, as timber was so far away. Many of the people who had lived in the dugouts after coming form Palmyra got into houses before the next winter. They exchanged work with each other, and in that way got along fine. Mr. Markham had an upright saw, run by water. The next spring they got timber form the canyon, and my husband helped Mr. Markham put up a three-roomed house and worked at farming. He worked for Wm. Markham a year for which besides the land, we got our board and keep. The next spring we went to work for ourselves. We saved our two acres of wheat, and made adobes for a two roomed house, and paid a man in adobes for laying it up. It had a dirt roof. He got timber from Mr. Markham to finish the doors, windows, floors, shelves, and to make furniture. My husband made me a good big bedstead and lace it with rawhides. There were benches and the frames of chairs with the rawhide seat, with the hair left on, a table, shelves in the wall on either side of the fireplace, which was fitted with iron bars and hooks to hang kettles on to boil, frying pans and bake oven. A tick for the bed had to be pieced out of all kinds of scraps, as there were no stores, and everything was on a trade basis.
If one neighbor had something they could get along without, they would exchange it for something they could use. We were lucky to get factory, or sheeting to put up to the windows instead of glass. We raised good crop of wheat that fall, for which we traded one bushel for two bushels of potatoes. We also exchanged for molasses and vegetables. We had no tea, coffee, meat, or grease of any kind for seasoning. No sugar, milk, or butter. In 1855-56 the grasshoppers and crickets took the crops and the cattle nearly all died. They were dragged down in the field west of our place on the other side of a slough, they called it, and a mud wall between the settlement and the field. Before my second baby, Jennie, was born, I heard that a neighbor was going to kill a beef. I asked her to save me enough tallow for one candle. But the beef was like the buffalo we killed crossing the plains, there was no tallow in it.
By this time I had two children, with no soap to wash our clothes. Grease of all kinds was out of the question. I took an ax and gunny sack and went into the field where the dead cattle had been dragged, and I broke up all the bones I could carry home. I boiled them in saleratus and lime, and it made a little jelly-like soap. The saleratus was gathered on top of the ground. My husband had traveled and preached the six years previous to coming to Utah, and he knew nothing about any kind of work but his profession of iron roller. His hands were soft, and white, but he soon wore blisters on his hands in learning to make adobes, digging ditches, making roads, driving oxen, and doing what was required of pioneers in a new country. The large bedstead came in good, for when my third child was born, two had to go to the foot of the bed, but it did not work. Jennie had to go to the foot alone. Caroline Louisa, or Carrie as we called her, was the third child, and although Emma was the oldest and just a baby herself, she could not be tempted to go to the foot of the bed, but was determined to sleep on her father's bosom, which she had done since the birth of Jennie.
We went down to the marshy land and gathered a load of cattails, which I stripped and made me a good bed and pillows. The were as soft as feathers. Our first fence around our lot was made of willows. Slender stakes were put in a certain distance apart, and the willows woven in back and forth. There was a board gate with rawhide hinges and flat rocks were laid on the walks, as we were located down under a long hill, and when it rained it was very muddy. There were many mud walks in the early days of Spanish Fork, as the material in them cost nothing. The mud was mixed stiff enough with straw in it so it would not run, and a layer was put on, then allowed to dry. Then another layer was put on, until high enough. Rock fences were also used, and were very durable. There were no stores. Sometimes someone would come around with their basket of needles, pins, buttons, thread, and notions, but I had no money to buy with. Men who had no teams worked two days for the use of a team one day. Shovels were so scarce that when men were working in the roads and ditches, they had to take turns using the shovels. My husband worked at Camp Floyd and got money enough to get him a good yoke of oxen. One day, while working in the canyon, a man above him (Mr. Beck) let a log roll down and broke the leg of one of the oxen. That was a calamity.
I traded for a hen with Mrs. Robert McKell, and got a setting of eggs somewhere else, and I have never been without chickens in all of my married life since. I could not get thread to sew so I raveled a trip of hickory shirting for dark sewing and factory for white sewing when I could get it. When we could get grease for light, we put a button in a rag, and braided the top setting the button in the grease, after dipping the braided part in the grease.
On the 4th of Aug. 1861, our fourth child, and first son, David T., was born, and in Dec. 1862 we were called to go to Salt Lake City to receive our endowments and sealing, which took place Dec. 6th, 1862. In that year my husband's mother and step-father came from Merthyr, Wales, Mr. and Mrs. David Jones. They had one son, Isaac, and his wife, Eliza, who also came. They and my husband were the only ones of his family who joined the Church that he knows of besides a cousin, Mrs. Haddock of Salt Lake City. His parents lived in with us, making eight in the family. Our rooms were small, and as grandma had left a good home and plenty, she became quite dissatisfied with our crowded condition. They drove their own team across the plains, two oxen, two cows, and they brought many useful things for their comfort.
We bought a lot on Main Street, and my husband gave his parents our first little home with five acres of land. They had a good oxteam two cows, a new wagon, and they soon got pigs, chickens, and a few sheep, and it wasn't long before they were well off. We moved up near our lot into a one-roomed adobe house with a garret, so to be near while my husband was building our new house. While living in that one room, the Indians were quite bad, and he was broken of his rest by standing guard nights and working in the day time.
It was indeed comfortable to be in a good house with a shingled roof and good floors. He set out an orchard of all kinds of fruit; also currants and gooseberries, planted lucern between the trees, and in a patch to itself, for cows and pigs. We had a nice garden spot, and we soon had butter, milk, eggs, meat, we raised our bread, potatoes, and vegetables. While our fruit trees were growing is when the saleratus helped. When I had the babies about all the same size, I could not get out to gather saleratus as others did; so we went with team and wagon, pans, buckets, old brooms, and sacks, down on the alkali land, between Spanish Fork and Springville. The smallest children were put under the wagon on a quilt, and the rest of us swept and filled the sacks, and the happiest time was when we were headed for home. The canyon wind seemed always to blow and our faces, hands, and eyes were sore for some time after. We took our saleratus over to Provo, where they had some kind of refining machinery where it was made into soda for bread. It was also used extensively in soap making. We got our pay in merchandise.
Another source of income before our fruit trees began to bear was the wild ground cherries. They grew on a vine or bush about six inches high, were bright yellow when ripe, were full of soft seed and about the size of a cherry. They made fine pies and all we had to spare sold readily at a good price when dried. Most people who had land kept a few sheep which furnished them meat, light and clothing. We had no sheep, but I , and my oldest daughter, learned to spin and we did spinning on shares to get our yarn for stockings and socks, which we knitted for the family. Before this time my sister, Sarah, had sent me a black silk dress pattern, with other things, which I sold to Mrs. Morgan Hughes, and I bought a cow and a pair of blankets. Before the building of the Provo factory, the people had wool picking bees. The wool was greased and the trash picked out of it, then it was carded into rolls. We made our own cloth, which was mostly gray in color, for dresses, by mixing the black and white wool. If a light gray was wanted, more white than black was put in, and dark was added if a darker gray was wanted. The dresses for grown people were three widths, and for younger women two widths, one yard wide. There was a row of bright colors, red, blue, green, etc., about half way up the skirt, which was hemmed and pleated onto a plain waist with coat sleeves. When our dresses wore thin in front, they could be turned back to front and upside down, and have a new lease on life. With madder, Indigo, logwood, and copperas, and other roots, I have colored beautiful fast colors.
My husband had a bottle green suit while on his mission and he got so tired of seeing all gray suits that he asked me if I thought I could make him a bottle green suit. He bought the wool, and I had it carded into rolls, then I was particular to spin it very even. I scoured the yarn white, then with Indigo, yellow flowers, and a liquid made from rabbit brush, the color was set. The yarn had to stay in this mixture for some time, and when it came out it was a pretty dark, bottle green. I took the yarn down to one of Pres. Hansen's wives who wove it into cloth. I ripped up an old suit for a pattern and made his suit all by hand, backstitching every stitch, until it was as smooth on the right side as machine work. We did all of our sewing by hand. I took a large dinner plate and cut from the cloth the crown of a cap, lined it and put a band on it. He got a patent leather visor in Salt Lake and when it was all finished it was surely swell for those days, and would not look out of place in this day of caps. We were kept busy in those days carding, spinning, knitting, and doing all of our sewing by hand.
After getting settled in our new home, my husband went over to Camp Floyd, where he worked quite a bit. He found a friend who was selling out prior to leaving for California. He bought quite a number of articles, which greatly helped us. One thing was a door knob and lock. He also bought me a stepstove. Stoves were very scarce at that time in Spanish Fork. I had never cooked on a stove in my life, and I burned my first batch of bread. Where I came from people mixed their dough and had it baked in the public oven, and at home we had a grate with an oven at the side. When the soldier Camp broke up, they left many useful things which helped the people.
On the 9th of July, 1863, our second son, J. J. Evans, was born. He was the first child born in our new home. After our fruit trees began to bear, we invited in our neighbor's young folks and had cutting bees. The peaches were spread on a scaffolding to dry, and when dried sold readily at a good price. We kept some for our own use. On July 16, 1865, our daughter Sarah Amelia was born, now Mrs. David Williams of Spanish Fork. On May 4, 1867, Charles Abram was born. Thomas Isaac was born on May I, 1869, and died when six months old. My husband farmed down on the river bottom, and between times he freighted produce to Salt Lake City, as he had come to Camp Floyd before the soldiers left, and brought home merchandise for the people. After the death of bishop John L. Butler, A. K. Thurber was bishop until 1867, when George D. Snell was sustained as bishop. Bishop Thurber was called to Grass Valley to show the Indians how to farm. He moved his family to Richfield, Utah, July 1, 1870. Our daughter, Mary E., was born and is now Mrs. Fred Cox of Salt Lake City, and the 4th of August, 1872, our son John W. was born.
My husband had poor luck farming. His farm was in the low land, near the river where the sugar factory now stands. Sometimes it would be high water, sometimes grasshoppers, crickets, would take his crop; so he got discouraged with farming, sold his farm and put up a store. We had just got well started in the business and had got a bill of goods, when in the spring of 1875 my husband was called on another mission to England. I was obliged to ask for a release on the manifold duties as secretary of the Relief Society. At that time I had already ten children and ever since the organization of the Relief Society in 1857 I had kept all books and accounts for the society; so I asked to be released. Before starting on his mission he sold his team and all available property, also mortgaged our home, for although he was called to travel without purse or scrip, he had to raise money enough to pay his passage and his expenses to his field of labor in Europe. He had too tender a heart for a merchant; he simply could not say no when people came to him with pitiful stories of sickness and privation. He would give them credit, and the consequence was that when he was suddenly called on a mission, the goods were gone and there were hundreds of dollars coming to us from the people, some of which we never got. Everything was left in my hands.
On the 24th of October 1875, after my husband's departure, our daughter Ada May was born, now Mrs. A. M. Coppin of Salt Lake City. I nursed her, also my little grand-daughter, Maud, as twins. The mother came near dying with a sickness from which she had not yet recovered. Ada May was our 11th child. To help us out, our oldest daughter got a position as clerk in the Co-op Store. I appreciated that of the board very much, as before that time they had not been employing lady clerks, and she was the first girl to work in the store. Before my husband's departure, he put our oldest son, David T., and a young man whom we had taken in some time before, Tom Holding, as apprentices in the Co-op store in the shoe shop, under Mr. Chiverel, manager. They did not get much pay for the first year, but every little helped. I had considerable sickness in my family during my husband's absence.
After my confinement I worked, paying debts and straightening up the business to the best of my strength and ability, until his return, something over two years. I supposed there is plenty to do, for those who are willing. After my husband's return, I was sustained as President and Secretary of the Relief Society in Spanish Fork. Each month I took my little boys and team, and gathered up the wheat the sisters donated, and took it to the storehouse. Sometimes we had a hard time getting places for storage. The Bishops helped us out, especially Bishop Benjamin Argyle. He would sell it when it was high in price, then buy it back when it was cheap. In that way he greatly helped us out. He also furnished a storeroom for our wheat in the tithing office, which we greatly appreciated. We had more than paid the principal of the mortgage on our home in interest. My husband's health was not good after his return. He had pneumonia twice. We sold our home on Main St., paid off the mortgage and put up a little house on the five acres of land we had given to his parents. They deeded it to us when they died. We have some of our children as near neighbors, and are quite comfortable in our new home. The city is extending down into what used to be the field, and the land is very valuable. There is no trace of the old mud wall which used to separate the city from the field. All of the old adobe houses, and in fact, most of the old landmarks have gone and nice modern homes have replaced them. Nov. 1, 1877, my last and 12th child was born. In that year, my oldest daughter, Emma P. Married James Little, and started pioneering again in Kanab, Utah, 300 miles south. We have been blessed with seven daughters and five sons, and have raised our twelve children to man and womanhood.
The motto of my life has been, "Not to look back, but onward." I have always thanked the Lord for a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints for I know it is true. I have thanked Him for a contented mind, I have thanked Him that I have been privileged to come to this glorious land of Promise, for had we remained in our native land, which was by the sea, we never could have owned a foot of land. This is a glorious country, but it is little appreciated by people who know nothing of the old world. Out of my father's family of five sons and three daughters, I am the only one to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It has always seemed strange to me that the blood of Israel is scattered in families, two of a city, and one of a family. I hope to keep the light of the Gospel, and continue faithfully to the end.
JOURNAL OF THOMAS D. EVANS
Contributor: Kathe Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
My name is Thomas D. Evans, I am the son of David Evans and Jane Morris Evans. I was born in Troedyrhiw, near M erthyr Tydfil Glamorganshire, South Wales, Feb. 14, 1833. My father David Evans, died when I was three years old, leaving my mother a widow with eight children, five sons and three daughters. At the age of seven I went to work in the iron works. The first work I did was lifting the door for the puddlers in a forge room where there were two thousand workmen employed. The lifting had to be done regularly, for iron like a ball of fire passed through the hot state into grooves to make rails, nails, and many other things were made from the hot iron. It was a very responsible position for a man, but such were the child labor conditions at that time in Europe. I continued taking the courses, one after another, until I had completed the trade or profession of iron roller.
An unlucky calamity happened to me when I was about nine years old. My mother sent me to Sunday School one morning, but I was so confined to the steel plant during the week that I concluded to play truant. I went off to play and the wheels of a train went over my leg just below the knee. I had a good Doctor but he had to amputate my leg, and I have worn a wooden leg ever since.
When I was about sixteen years of age, I and my companions, Benjamin Haddock and Watkin Reese, were down on the public green a place where they held their sports. It was on Sunday and we saw a large crowd gather on the street. Thinking there was a fight or boxing going on, we ran up there and found it was two Mormon Elders preaching to the people. They were the first I had ever heard, and I was so impressed with the truth of the principles they taught, that I invited the elders home and gave them food and lodging. After a few days of investigating the doctrines they taught, I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My two companions were also baptized. From that time on I had to stand many persecutions from my fellow workmen.
I was soon ordained a Priest and took hold of the ministry. I converted my mother and step-father, David Jones. They being the only ones of my family who joined the Church. I was ordained an elder and called to the ministry. I traveled among my friends, neighbors and relatives preaching the Gospel of life and salvation. It was not long before I had a branch of the Church organized in my birth place. I was then called as a home missionary where I traveled and preached in what was called the circle, consisting of Merthyr, Pendarren, Dowlas, Romey and Aberdare, and Irwin for one year.
I was present when a great miracle was performed. While working in a coal mine a large rock fell on David Richards. The doctor had given him up as his back was broken. He covered him up with a sheet and said he was as good as dead, but they sent for the elders and at the request of Pres. William Phillips, Richards was annointed by Thomas Reese, then again by Thomas D. Evans (myself), and was then administered to by Pres. William Phillips, when you could hear the bones snap together like the cracking of an old basket. In a few days Bro. Richards was traveling around bearing his testimony to the goodness of God to him, and he converted many to the truth. The power of God was so strongly manifested in the room that the brethren wept for joy. President Phillips was a man of great faith. I was said of him that he could almost raise the dead. The account of this wonderful healing is recorded in the Millennial Star with a mistake in one of the names. In Pres. Phillips note to Orson Pratt, Henry Evans is inserted instead of my own name, Thomas Evans. I am an eye witness and took part in the annointing, and kept a record of the event in my journal of missionary labors. After the publication of the event in the Star I did not rectify the mistake as I did not care for the notoriety, but am correcting it here for my children, as I have related it to them many times.
About that time I was subject to quinsy, my throat closed so I could take no nourishment only by inserting a silver tube. I had been subject to it for many years. I had a bad spell of it when a brother, Hugh Merriman, asked me if I did not have faith to be healed. I was suffering very much so he called for a wash bowl, he then washed and anointed my throat and administered to me, and I immediately threw up a lump that had gathered in my throat. I have never had quinsy since.
[Quinsy is a very severe form of tonsillitis caused by a strep or staph infection. It causes an abscess behind one of the tonsils that can grow very large. Today, with the treatments available, it would be very rare for an abscess to grow as large as Thomas describes here. The greatest threat is that it could rupture causing the pus to drain into the throat where it can enter the lungs with fatal results. Interesting to note is one common characteristic of quinsy...a "hot potato" voice, which Thomas may have had. The abscess muffles the sound and distorts vowel sounds so that they sound as if the person is talking with a piece of very hot food in their mouth.]
I was in the habit of repeating the name of God too often in speaking and praying, also in using the words, brethren and sisters, which was annoying to those presiding, for which they reproved me many times. One night I had a dream and at the foot of my bed I saw a printed paper with the Lord's Prayer plainly printed on it, and the name of the Lord was only repeated once. I soon broke myself of that habit. There was a sick man most unto death and he had sores on his legs, and President Phillips told him that he had broken the commandments of God, but if he had faith and would repent and sin no more, he would be healed. T. C. Martell annointed him, and Pres. Phillips administered to him and he was instantly healed.
I had been doing all my preaching in Welsh, and Pres. Phillips called me to go to Pembrokeshire, where I had to study the English language to be able to convey my message to the people who did not speak Welsh, and can bear testimony to you that the Lord helped me in overcoming my difficulties. When I was set apart for that mission it was predicted that the days of my life spent in that country should be spent in expounding the Gospel scriptures, and that I should never be confounded by the enemy so long as I kept the commandments of God, and studied His word, which promise was verified.
In the spring of 1852, I left my home in Glamorganshire, to go to Pembrokeshire, South Wales, to travel as I had been traveling and preaching without purse or script. About a mile from my home brother Abram met me and gave me a sovereign, about $5.00. He said, "It will help you on your way." I had a companion David Reese, like myself, without money. We reached Swansea when our money gave out. It was very rainy and muddy and we had to walk. Not being used to walking we were in a sorry plight, we were tired, footsore, and hungry. We thought to get food and rest with an aunt of David Resse's, but when she found out we were Mormons her love turned to hate and she would not let us stay in her house. Imagine, if you can, how we felt. After walking fifteen miles farther to the home of brother Howell of Stepaside who received us kindly, God bless him, they got up out of their beds and gave us their warm places, after giving us food and dry clothing.
The weather was very rainy in Wales, and my wooden leg would sink deep in the mud, and it took a great deal of my strength to pull it out, so when we reached brother Howell's, I was tired all over and could scarcely walk. We rested there a few days then started on foot to the town of Pembroken, a distance of about ten miles, where we were to report to headquarters. We were assigned to travel among the Saints of that conference for awhile. I had been studying the English language and all my preaching was done in that tongue as the people in that part of Wales did not speak the Welsh language.
It was while traveling in Tenby that I met Priscilla Merriman, who later became my wife. About that time the tracts came out advocating the principle of plurality of wives. I was assigned to travel among the Saints and explain it to the satisfaction of the people. There were then about three hundred Saints in my district. The Saints had heard nothing of that principle, and it brought on a great deal of persecution to the Saints also the missionaries of the world. However, with the help of the Lord, I could prove my point from the scriptures, and they eventually calmed down. I was going down to Morlas one day and had traveled about 12 miles before having any breakfast, when a man, Jimmie Hughes, left his work in the field and came out to meet me. He told me he had seen me the night before in a dream, and he knew I was hungry, so he took me in and provided for my wants although he was very poor himself.
One time when my companion, D. T. Davies, and I were in Pembrokeshire, a mob got after us and marched us out of town to the music of pans, horns, and bad eggs. They stood on the bridge and held me by the hair of the head over the water and threatened to throw me in if I did not deny that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I always felt to trust in the Lord while doing his work. They were the frightened ones when a large man walked into the crowd and they scattered. When I turned to look for the man to thank him, he was nowhere to be seen. The thought came to me many times that he was one of the three Nephites. In the early days of the Church the Lord protected his faithful servants in many marvelous ways.
I was then called to fill a mission to Cardigan, North Wales. The city contained about twenty thousand inhabitants. There had been elders sent there to preach the gospel but the people were so rebellious against Mormonism that they frightened the elders and drove them out before finishing their missions. I was sent there without a friend, or a cent, to provide for my wants, but determined to stay there and fill my mission if it cost me my life. I had walked twenty miles without my breakfast, and I was very tired and hungry, everything looked dark and gloomy, so I sat down on a rock by a cooling stream to rest before crossing the stream and entering the city. I could not help comparing my present situation of need and assistance to my mother's home of comfort and plenty as I thought of my friendless condition. So I knelt down by the rock and in the humility of my heart asked my Heavenly Father to bless and comfort me and help me perform my duty as His servant. I arose from my knees with renewed courage and crossed the bridge and at once everything looked brighter. I could hear my birds singing, see the sun shining, and a load seemed lifted from my heart, and I knew that my Heavenly Father would not desert me in time of need if I was humble and kept His commandments. I went into the city of Cardigan and hired a bell to announce a meeting place at 7 P.M. When I reached the place at the appointed time, there was not a person there, so I opened the meeting by singing. "Hark Listen to the Trumpeters," then I opened with a prayer and sang again. By this time there was a large and attentive audience.
I lodged at the Plough and the lady who kept it was very kind to me and often gave me food when her husband was away, he being very bitter against the Mormons. I frequently traveled on the outskirts of the city among the farmers who were not so hard hearted. Many times I was glad to dine in a turnip patch. Once when I was holding a street meeting, I was arrested by a policeman, whose accusation was that I had stopped the thoroughfare. He kept me in jail overnight. Having to plead my own case, proved to them that the people not I closed the street, so I was set at liberty.
I was out selling tracts one day when a lady beckoned to me from the opposite side of the street. Thinking perhaps she meant some children near me I waited to reach the crossing and go up the other side. But when I was opposite her door she was there, and said, "Come in and sit down. You are hungry, aren't you? The lady had the table set for two, and when we were seated she said, "I saw you in a dream last night and I saw that your stomach was empty. So I knew that you were hungry." She said I was dressed just as she saw me in her dreams. I talked with her and explained my mission, unfolding to her the principles of the gospel for which she had been praying. I baptized her with three or four others. They had to leave the place as persecution was so great against them. Before leaving, Elder David Reese came up to make me a visit, when an incident happened. We were traveling around that vicinity and had walked twenty miles without anything to eat. While going through a little village, we were mistaken for two Baptist Ministers who were expected there that day. The lady who was expecting them ran out to meet us, and invited us in to dine. She asked us if we had traveled from Cardigan, we told her we had, she inquired about the weather and wanted to know if my name was Evans. I told her it was, so she seemed satisfied and asked us in to sit right up to the table and help ourselves. I can assure you that we did justice to the good things before us. Presently a girl was sent over to the public house to procure some beer for the Ministers when Lo and behold, there was a man there who knew me, and asked the girl what she was doing with those Mormon elders over there. The girl ran back much excited without the beer. We had enjoyed a good dinner, thanked the good lady for our entertainment, left our blessings with her, and took our departure. We continued on our journey of five miles more very much refreshed and thankful.
I was in Cardigan and vicinity six months when I was released by Dan Jones, who appointed me to preside over the North Pembrokeshire conference. David T. Davis was my companion at the time. There were quite a number who were baptized at that time in Fish Grand the home of Joseph A. Reese. This so enraged the enemy that the police and mobs tried to drive us out of town. Influenced by ministers, we were driven out by the mobs and told to leave and threatened with violence if we did not go. We had nowhere to stay that night, so we walked about two miles, when a kind lady took us in and provided for our wants. I returned to Fish Grand in a few days. The policeman who helped to drive us out said, "I thought I told you to leave." I said, "You did, but you didn't tell me not to come back again." The answer was so amusing to the officer that he took a liking to me and proved to be a friend of mine as long as I remained there.
I was released from the Pembrokeshire conference after spending two years after which I began to make preparations to come to Zion. I had traveled on foot without purse or scrip for six years, preaching the glad tidings that the Prophet Joseph Smith had seen an angel; that through him the Gospel of Christ had been restored, the Church of Jesus Christ organized, and missionaries sent out to warn the nations and preach to them the gospel of life and salvation. I had the satisfaction of baptizing and converting many people to the Gospel of Christ. I went to Troedyrhiw, the home of my mother to pay a visit to my mother, brothers, sister, neighbors and friends. When I told them I was soon going to America, they felt very bad and tried to persuade me to stay home. I told them I was all ready and was going to get married. They promised to keep my wife and send me to school if I would stay. They were all in good circumstances, while I, the youngest of the family who had left home just after completing my trade and not yet 16 years old, to travel and preach the gospel on foot having no money and no friends except the ones I converted and my heavenly Father, had nothing that is no worldly goods; but I considered myself richer than my kindred who had rejected the truth, for I felt richer in the principles of the ever lasting gospel.
I went to Pembrokeshire and was married to Miss Priscilla Merriman on April 3, 1856. We walked ten miles to Pembroke, procured our license, were married and walked back to Tenby where a few friends awaited us. They had prepared supper and we felt very grateful for their kindness to us.
We set sail for America on April 17, 1856. We did not have much of the world's goods when we started, but we had enough to help some who were more unfortunate than ourselves. We lived on ship rations for five weeks. I was not seasick so was able to wait on my wife and others who were very sick. We landed at Boston in the month of May, traveled to Iowa City by rail, remained in Iowa City three weeks waiting for the handcart company to be made up. We had many inducements to remain there and work at my trade, as iron rollers were scarce then. I was offered $10 per day to remain but money was no inducement to me then, as I had looked forward so long to the time when I would be released to emigrate to Zion. Many of those who stayed behind to better their circumstances died of cholera, and many apostatized.
When the handcarts were ready we started on a three hundred mile walk to Winter Quarters on the Missouri River. As we traveled through the places, many made fun of us for walking and pulling our carts, but we had fine weather and good roads and felt happy in being thus far on our journey to the Valley. About the 1st day of July, we started on a journey of one thousand miles on foot across the plains. We arrived in Salt Lake City October 2, 1856, being six months on our wedding tour. We were met at the public square by William R. Jones who took us to his home in Spanish Fork, in Utah County. We lived with the family of Stephen Markham for one year. I then began a home for myself and family. I had worked for William Markham who gave me two acres of land, and I made enough adobes to build two rooms. I raised one hundred bushels of wheat, and traded one bushel of wheat for two bushels of potatoes, which gave us enough to last through the winter of 1857. We had no meat, butter or sugar that winter but we got along all right and thanked God for his blessings in bringing us to the land of promise, and that we had a home of our own and could raise up our family and have them with us.
Spanish Fork City had been settled in the spring of 1856, about fifty families had just moved up from Palmyra and settled near the Spanish Fork river. I was one who helped kill the snakes, build the bridges, dig the ditches, get the water out to irrigate the land, and build up the city council and held many offices of trust. I was a teacher in the ward for many years. I also traveled around the settlement as a home missionary. When the Fiftieth Quorum of Seventy was organized in Spanish Fork, I was ordained a member. I was Supt. of the Sabbath School for fourteen years.
Previous to this I purchased a lot on main street, and built a four-room adobe house. I had a good team so I hauled produce to Camp Floyd and procured many useful things we needed. I bought a farm down on the river bottom, but was scarcely fortunate enough to harvest a crop. It could be crickets, grasshoppers, high waters or rust until I became discouraged farming. I sold my farm and built a little store in Spanish Fork. At that time the Cooperative Mercantile Store did all the mercantile business of the place, only individuals with money would go to Salt Lake City and buy their goods at a reduced price. The people were advised to do all their purchasing of goods at the Z.C.M.I., the parent institution, located in Salt Lake City. I, with my little store, was the only competition they had at that time.
A Mission to Wales
In the spring of 1875 I was called on a mission to Wales, my native land. I was set apart and left Salt Lake City, May 12, 1875.
17th-I landed in New York City
29th-I landed in Liverpool.
30th-I preached in Liverpool on Kings Street, under the monument of Richard the Third.
June 1st-I went to Troedyrhiw, Wales, to visit my brothers and sisters. I stayed there one night, then went to Pembrokeshire on business.
10th-I returned to Mother's and preached in my Brother Daniel's club room to a fine audience of relatives and many old friends. After visiting my relatives a few day [sic], I bade them goodbye.
17 & 18th-We held meetings in Swansea. I visited my cousin, the Rev. A. Jones, a Baptist Minister. We conversed two days and half the nights on the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
19th-We went to Llanelly and preached there.
21st-Went to Pengad and held a meeting. We stayed with Brother Fisher, who gave each of us a shilling and sixpence.
22nd-We went to Carmarthin and stayed at the Temperance Hotel that night.
23rd-We visited the Mayor of the city and tried to get the market house to preach in as it was raining. He was sorry, but could not let us have it without the consent of his lawyer.
24th & 25th-Sent out word by the bell man to inform the people that Evans and Martell of Salt Lake City would preach to them in the Town Hall at 7:30 P.M. We had a full house, an attentive audience.
28th-It rained all day, so we could not preach out-of-doors. We went that night on the 10 o'clock train and arrived at 11:30 at the home of William White at Neyland. They had retired to bed, but when they found out who we were, they got up and gave us supper and a good bed.
29th-We stayed with Brother White and had the pleasure of seeing the Regatta, a boat race.
30th-We went to Milford where we sent the Crier out to announce that Evans and Martell of Salt Lake City would hold a meeting in the Market House at 7:30. The weather being fine and the audience too large for the house, we held our meeting on the street. While I was speaking, a man accused president Brigham Young of being a murderer. I defied him, or any other man, to bring the decision of any man or any court to prove that he had broken any law of the land.
July 2nd-We preached on the green to a large audience at 7:30 p.m. We went back to Milford that night in the rain and were disappointed in not getting a bed at Johnson's and could not get a place to stay, so we walked the streets all night in the rain and were very tired in the morning.
3rd- We stayed at Milford, at the home of my father-in-law, Joseph Merriman. It rained all day, but Mr. Merriman was very kind to us and invited us to come again as he had plenty to eat and drink.
6th-We went to Pembrokeshire, but were disappointed in not finding any Saints there, so we visited an old castle and went in the room in which Henry the Seventh was born.
7th-We went to Tenby, the home of my wife, where we sent a crier out to announce our meeting to be held on the Sands that evening. The devil, or some of his imps, sent a sleight-of hand man there, and we could not preach.
9th- We went to Nevlith. It rained all day, but we held a meeting in an old independent chapel. The people would not listen, but asked questions regarding the plurality of wives. I told them I would answer any questions they desired to ask, one at a time, as we could not understand each other in such confusion. I told them we were here to preach the gospel for their own good and not to quarrel with them, but they whooped and yelled like hell had broken loose and dragged us out by our coats. We got away and left them fighting amongst themselves.
14th- I stayed at Salva, and it rained all day and night. I could not get a place to preach in, so was obliged to spend that night in a ship.
20th- Brother White gave me a shilling in silver, for which I was very thankful as I was out of money. I stayed with him that night, as I had traveled on foot through the mud the week before and was very tired.
22nd- I preached at Marloes in the open air to about three hundred people. The Baptist choir came out and sang for me, the leader played his clarinet and the people listened with the greatest of pleasure, although it rained during the meeting. After the meeting, the people came forward to shake hands with me and gave me money, some two pence, some three pence, and one person gave me a shilling. It seemed to me like the widow's mite. I thanked and asked God to bless them. They invited me to come again. They were God's poor, and my heart was so filled with love for them that I could not keep from shedding tears. I felt as if the disciples of Jesus were there.
24th- I went five miles on foot to Neyland and stayed with Brother White.
25th- We went to Stock Rock and St. Gaineswells. There were thousands of birds on the stock--they were just as thick as they could stand. It was a great sight.
29th- I walked twelve miles to Haverfordwest, but was too tired to preach.
August 2nd- I went to Neyland and stayed with Brother White. Sister White gave me one pound in silver. We went to Marloss in Brother White's trap and preached to about three hundred people. The Baptist choir again sang for us, and the people gave us pennies.
5th- I stayed in Marloss and held cottage meetings with the people. I preached there to about three hundred people and spent the night with Joshua Mathias, who gave me three and six pence all in copper. The people felt good toward me.
9th- I started for Tenby on the last rain.
10Th- Went to Haverfordwest and from there to Tenby. Stayed there until the 13th, holding cottage meetings.
18th- Went to dinner with John Jenkins, who belonged to the church, but was cool in the faith. He said he would do better.
19Th- I went out tracting. I applied for the town hall and got it for two shillings and six pence. The crier charged one shilling.
23rd- Went to Little Haven. Most of the people were very attentive at the meeting held at 2:30 p.m. About a half dozen young people kept disturbing the meeting, saying "See old Brigham, well done."
29th- I went to Mother's and held a cottage meeting and conversed with the Saints upon the principles of the Gospel.
30th- I went to Troedyrhiw and stayed with my brother, Dan, and my brother, Abram. Found them all well and held a meeting at Abbergarkey. We had a full house and an excellent meeting.
Sept. 1st, 2nd, 3rd--I stayed with my brother, Abram.
4th- I went to Troedyrhiw and visited my sister, Amelia, and some of the Saints in Merthyr.
6th- I left on the one o'clock train for Pembrokeshire.
October 1st- I walked to Neyland, a distance of twelve miles, and stayed with Brother White.
2nd- I stayed in the house, as I was very tired after walking in the rain.
Dec. 4th- I went back to Wales and held a meeting at the house of Brother Jones. The Baptist choir sang again for me and we had a fine meeting.
11th & 12th- Visited and held cottage meetings. Called on Sister Richards and family who were very poor. I gave her one shilling and two pence to buy bread for the children.
23rd- I went to Pembroke and visited Mrs. Jones, who had been a member of the church for 25 years. She treated me very kind. I tried to get a house to hold a meeting, but could not. I met a sister-in-law of Mrs. Sennet and conversed with her for some time.
29th- We rode with Brother White to Newport and applied for the town hall, but was unable to get it, so went on foot ten miles to Cardigan and put up at the Fat Ox. The police told us if we preached on the street that night, he would lock us up. We went to the Mayor to try and secure the town hall, but the price was two pounds. We had no money so told him we would take it some other time.
30th- We went to Litterton, six miles, and from there to Little New Castle. We could get no house, so stayed there December 1st and 2nd and held cottage meetings.
December 3rd- Went to Wales, held a cottage meeting at the home of Thomas James and had a good time.
4th- Went to Haverfordwest, applied for the town hall, but didn't get it. We stayed at the Black Horse.
29th- We visited the Saints on the green all day and went to the grave of Abel Evans, who died while on a mission to Wales.
30th- I held a cottage meeting at the home of my sister, Charlotte, in Abercanaid, and had a full house.
January 1st, 1876--I stayed at [A]Berdare and attended the funeral of the child of Brother Smith, and dedicated the child's grave.
3rd- I went to see the tin works, examined the process of making tin and from there I went to Treharb Art and stayed with my brother, Abram. February 1st- I went to Little Heaven and held meetings at the home of Thomas Jones.
2nd- I went to Aberstam and baptized Mary James and confirmed her a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
March 16th- I had two hundred handbills printed as follows, "Mr. Thomas D. Evans of Great Salt Lake City, will deliver a lecture on the falling away and the restoration of the Gospel, to be given at Haverfordwest on the 20th."
April 2- I went to Nevlith and visited Mr. Scory and my wife's uncle, James Merriman.
Note: The last of the Journal giving his missionary labors is missing. It seems to be different places of meeting and dates. Most of his missionary labors were done on foot. After returning from this mission he worked at farming and also kept a grocery store. He was well versed in the scriptures and doctrines of the Church, and many young men came to him for an explanation of the principles. Before starting on his mission to Europe in 1875, he had been Superintendent of Sunday School. When he got to the depot some of the boys took him on their shoulders and put him on the car. They all sang, "Stay at home, Tommy, don't go." He was of a fun loving and jovial disposition and had many friends among the young and old. He always attended his meetings and church duties.
He regretted all his life the loss of many valuable books, also the genealogy he had gathered during his first six years of missionary work. He could not bring them with him on the handcart, so the books, bedding and clothing were left to be sent later, but he never received them.
He died August 2, 1906, and was buried in the Spanish Fork Cemetery.