William Zera Pulsipher

4 Mar 1863 - 18 Aug 1887

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William Zera Pulsipher

4 Mar 1863 - 18 Aug 1887
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Material Furnished by his Daughters - Eunice Cropper and Edna Taylor William Pulsipher was the ninth child of a family of eleven children. He was born January 22, 1838, in Kirtland, Ohio. His father, Zerah Pulsipher, was born June 24, 1789, in Rockingham, Windham County, Vermont, son of John and Eli
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Life Information

William Zera Pulsipher

Born:
Died:

Provo City Cemetery

610 S State St
Provo, Utah, Utah
United States
Transcriber

trishkovach

June 8, 2011
Photographer

Drewski

June 7, 2011

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History of The Life Of William Pulsipher

Contributor: trishkovach Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago

Material Furnished by his Daughters - Eunice Cropper and Edna Taylor William Pulsipher was the ninth child of a family of eleven children. He was born January 22, 1838, in Kirtland, Ohio. His father, Zerah Pulsipher, was born June 24, 1789, in Rockingham, Windham County, Vermont, son of John and Elizabeth Stowell Pulsipher. His mother, Mary Brown Pulsipher, was born March 2, 1799, in Kent, Litchfield County, Connecticut, the daughter of John Brown and Sarah Fairchild Brown. William was much loved and wanted by his family. But as a child, he grew up in the troubled times the Mormon people were living. The histories of his parents and older sisters and brothers recorded in this book, give in detail the hardships the family endured. The move from Kirtland to Missouri and then to Illinois, where on the 27th of June, 1844, the Prophet and his brother, Hyrum, were shot and killed at Carthage jail by a band of about 200 painted ruffians from Missouri and Illinois. The enemies of the Mormons expected that with the death of their leader, the church could be dissolved and the people scattered. They didn’t realize, however, that this was God’s Church and the time had come for it to be upon the earth and it couldn’t be destroyed by wicked men. The “mantle” of Joseph fell on Brigham Young and the church grew. The persecutions became unbearable and these innocent people were driven from their homes again. The only thing left for them to do was to move still farther westward into the vast unknown, inhabited only by the roving red men and a few white trappers. William was ten years old when this long journey across the plains started, so it made a lasting impression on him. He helped with the camp chores, and helped look after the stock. It might be interesting to acquaint the readers with a few of the facts concerning the trek. Zerah Pulsipher, William’s father, was a born leader and his ability was acknowledged to the extent that he was made Captain of the first division of 100 wagons. The first division consisted of 1229 souls, 397 wagons, 699 cows, 74 horses, 19 mules, 1279 oxen, 184 loose cattle, 411 sheep, 141 pigs, 605 chickens, 37 cats, 82 dogs, 3 goats, 10 geese, 2 hives of bees, 8 doves and 1 crow. This division left the Elk Horn River June 1, and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, September 20, 1848. (Quote from the book “Journal History” at the Church Library in S.L.C.) The Pulsipher family, by their united efforts, soon built themselves a comfortable home in this new land. William was very industrious and did his share to develop the land that crops could be grown. He took advantage of every opportunity for education and development in church activities. It is recorded in the history of his brother-in-law, Thomas S. Terry, that when he was called on a mission in 1856, that he engaged William Pulsipher, who was then 18 years old, to look after his farm and his families at Union Fort Cottonwood, while he was away. Family stories have it that during the fall of l856, William was called with others to go back over the mountains to assist and take supplies to some of the struggling Saints who were making their laborious way to the Salt Lake Valley. Before he got back homes the weather turned very cold and snow fell. Due to exposure in such weather, William became very ill and was sick for a long time and it seemed as if his time had come to leave this frail existence, but through the goodness of the Lord and the tender treatment of his family, he recovered. It so happened that the Pulsipher family lived on the same block as the family of John M. and Mary Parker Chidester. An important member of this family was Esther, who was born May 18, l846 in Montrose, Iowa. William was attracted to this lovely young lady and had paid her special attention for two or three years. However, he hadn’t approached the subject of marriage. When he was called to go South to the Dixie Cotton Missions he felt that he needed a companion to go with him and help him make a home in this new land. Esther was very young and did not care to leave her mother, thereby refused him. He pulled her onto his lap and said he would hold her until she said “yes”. He finally told her he would not go into polygamy if she would consent. He also promised her that her mother and family could soon come down there. They were both in love with each other and the parents approved of the match, so they were married by John Madison Chidester (her father) in the endowment house in Salt Lake City on the 27th of October 1861. He was 23 and she was but 15 years old. Not much is known concerning their experiences on their trip south, but records show that their first child, William Zera, was born in Washington, March 4, l863. William and Esther were not permitted to remain in this fast growing section of the country, but were called by Apostle Erastus Snow to go out in the wilds to Shoal Creek, to establish a home and help look after the Church cattle. Here a quotation is taken from a news paper article concerning Shoal Creek, written by a relative, Lamond Huntsman, Enterprise in 1947, called “Blazers in the Deserts“. “Chief Moroni claimed the upper meadows for his home. He camped near a spring, called Moroni Springs after him. He gladly welcomed Father Zerah Pulsipher and his son William who joined him in the summer of 1864.” He goes on to tell how Chief Moroni and his little band had great confidence in their white friends and would ask them to look after their squaws and papooses and protect them from marauding Indians of other tribes. As more people came into this locality to make homes, they moved from the creek up on to the bench where there was more room for a town. They called their little village Hebron. William worked hard to provide a comfortable home for their fast growing family, and moved out of the covered wagon that had been their home for so long. This home was of logs, consisting of one big room, with a foundation laid for another room. This dwelling was used to hold Church Sunday School, and all entertainments in until after 1869. Their children were born as follows: Besides Willis, who was born at Washington, there were Mary Esther, born November 20, 1864, at Shoal Creeks; then John Madison, April 22, 1867; Eunice, 1869; Charles Henry, February 27, 1871 - died 1876; these were all born at Hebron. In the fall of 1873 they moved to Clover Valley, Nevada, where Augustus C. was born October 21, 1873 and died August 2, 1876. Excitement was running high about this time because of the doings of a notorious outlaw, Ben Tasker and his gang. They would drive off horses and cattle belonging to the settlers and if a man happened to get in the way of their purpose they wouldn’t hesitate to shoot him down in cold blood. Eunice tells an interesting experience her father, William, had with this outlaw. “Ben Tasker sent word to father he was going to kill him on sight and father did not know what Ben Tasker looked like. So, one day father had been riding to tend his cattle and horses all day. He changed horses the third time - he was awful tired. If he had ridden home he would not have arrived until very late. Being close to Deep Springs and Ben Tasker’s ranch, he decided to get acquainted. He rode to the door, threw the bridle over the hitching post and knocked on the door. A man father knew answered the door. When he saw father, he just trembled and said ‘Why William. What on earth are you doing here? Are you acquainted with Ben Tasker?’ Father said, ‘That is my business here.’ So he led father into a long room where 35 men were sitting on either side. He went to the farther end and said, ’Mr. Ben Tasker, allow me to make you acquainted with Mr. William Pulsipher.’ Father took hold of his hand and said, ‘Mr. Ben Tasker, I understand you are going to kill me on sight.’ Ben said, ‘No’, he was his best friend. He ordered a good supper and fixed a good bed, and the man father knew slept with him. Father was so tired that as he struck the bed he was asleep. He had a nightmare, gave an unmerciful yell, and awoke everyone in the house. The yell awoke father too, and he raised up and excused himself to his companion. He said he was so tired he could not help it, laid right back and went to sleep again. But Ben Tasker thought there was a posse outside that had come to destroy them all and thought father was giving them the signal to come. The man father was sleeping with said that when Ben Tasker went to wash for supper that night he took his belt and scabbard off and laid them on top of the cupboard and left them there and it was the first time he had ever been known to do it. He was so nervous that father gave him his gun and scabbard and told him he was not in the habit of carrying them except when he was out on the range. Next morning, Ben gave him a good breakfast.” (Another story about William's contact with Ben Tasker was published in the Feb/Mar 2000 issue of the St. George Magazine was written by Bart Anderson. This particular incident must have taken place after the event reported above, as Ben and William know who each other are.) In 1880, The Utah Territorial Governor in an address to the territorial legislature reported that the "territory is infested by bands of cattle thieves who commit depredations upon the ranges and dispose their plunder in mining towns of southern Utah." During the 1880s, ranchers in the Kanab region united to form the Southern Utah Stock Protective Association to protect their holdings from the "raids of cattle thieves." A parallel group formed in 1874 in Washington County but had little success in contending with the rustlers. Washington County ranchers believe that much of the rustling was conducted by a group of renegades living at Desert Springs in Iron County, a stage stopover between Silver Reef and Pioche, Nevada. The leaders of the group, Ben Tasker, Idaho Bill, and Black Jack Ketchum were elusive criminals who had been arrested several times, but were always released for lack of evidence. Frequently, the large corral next to Tasker's place was found filled with cattle carrying the brands of pioneers in Washington County. When quiestioned, Tasker always pleasantly assured any stockmen or law officers that if they could prove ownership of any animal he had, he would return it with regret that it had been found in his corrals. It was during one of these checks by an Enterprise rancher and lawman, William Pulsipher, that a legend was born - the "fastest gun in southern Utah." The outlaws had a large herd of cattle coralled, justwaiting for the right chance to ship the stolen livestock to Silver Reef. Pulsipher dicided to see if his brand was on any of the herd. Unafraid, Pulsipher rode up to the corral where Tasker and his men were relaxing. Pulsipher asked if any of his brands were within the wood fencing, and without getting any answer, hitched his six-shooter in place, and climbed over the fence. He had no more than hit the ground when a big steer made a dart at him. Without even slacking his pace or taking time to aim, his six-shooter was out of the holster and he shot the steer, which fell at his feet. In this manner he dropped five big steers in such rapid succession that the outlaws, afterwards, said they weren't able to see the gun leave the holster until it had been fired and returned to its place. Each shot took a deadly toll. It so happened that they all were his own steers, and he dicided he would be just as far ahead to kill them in that manner as to let them be taken and sold in Silver Reef. Besides, the outlaws could see that he was not afraid of either the cattle or the rustlers. Later, the outlaws told other people that they would rather not have Old Bill Pulsipher on their trail, for he was sure to have brought them in hanging over their saddles. On another occasion William and Esther were all ready to go to Panaca on a visit and to get currants and gooseberries to put up, when William noticed a man coming on a horse. It was a messenger with a telegram from Sheriff Jim Pearson of Pioche, Nevada, deputizing him to try and stop the Tasker bunch who were making their way toward Dixie with a band of stolen horses. He told Esther they were going to Dixie to see her mother instead of Panaca. When Will got to the other side of Diamond Valley, he saw the dust of the men with the horses. Eunice tells it this way: “Father jumped out of the buggy and told mother to drive and he would take one of the saddle horses that was on the side and let mother go into St. George alone while he went and took them alone. Father couldn’t get her to drive. She jumped out of the buggy and said, ‘I’ll not drive a step - it would mean you would just go to your death to try to get those horses away from those thieves without help.’ This made father angry and he jumped back into the buggy and he drove until they got past the forks of the road, where one road went to Middleton and the other went to St. George. The dust was out of sights so mother said, ‘Now if you want to take both of the saddle horses and go into St. George and get help, I will drive the team.’ So father did that - got help and went to Middleton and caught the men and took them into St. George and locked them up until the next day when Jim Pearson came after them. Father told them that he would like to guard them until they got to Pioche, but one of them swore at him and said, ‘Bill Pulsipher, I have been to your house three times to kill you, and if I ever get loose again, I will surely kill you.t and had dinner waiting for them when Jim Pearson and Mort Moore came and said some masked men raised up in the rocks at the Black Ridge, ordered the men out of the carriage and never unlocked the chains from their hands or feet, but just shot them and left them laying there at the side of the road.” The following incident was sent in by Laura A. Pulsipher, second wife of William’s son, Johnnie: “Johnnie has told me so many times of the incidents of the killing of these men up by Diamond Valley and showed me the place many times where it all took place. Where they had the horses secluded and how Gus Hardey and his helper stayed way back while Grandfather Pulsipher took the two men. He shot the third man but he got away by running between the horses. He traced him by the blood to the River and assumed he drowned, but many years after, this man returned to St. George staying for only a day or so. Johnnie did not get to see him as he was at Enterprise.” “Whenever cattle or horses were stolen, Father Pulsipher was always sent after them as he always got the culprit without injury. He was known far and wide for his undaunted bravery, for his quick and unfailing shots. He was never known to aim at just any object.” There was a time in those early days when the Indians were very unfriendly. One morning Will looked out and noticed eight Indians painted and adorned with their feathery head gears indicating they were on the war path. Esther was very frightened. As they came up, one of them brustled up to Will, seemingly to make trouble. Although rather a small man, Will didn’t intend to be bluffed by them, so he grabbed the intruder by the shoulders and jammed him down on a rock. He got up and came back for more, but again Will pushed him down. Another came at him and he was treated the same way. They soon gave up and acknowledged that William was a “Heap strong man.” They shook hands and called him the “Big Spirit” from then on. On another occasion when they were living in the wagon before they got the house built, Esther stayed at camp one day, because she didn’t feel wells instead of riding out. Along about 10:00 around the camp fire and sat down. This Indian just smiled and began talking to her, telling her the names of things and made her understand by motioning. He made a habit of coming back every day and teaching her the Indian language and customs. The Indians took to going out on the range and killing a beef, and taking what they wanted and leaving the rest to waste. Will told them the Big Spirit did not like to see things wasted, and they must come and ask for meat instead of wasting it that way. Once they went and killed another one and ate so much of it that it made them sick. They thought the Big Spirit was in them and they must sweat it out, so the other Indians put them in their tents and made a fire to sweat it out. When they were all sweaty they took them out and dipped three of them in a creek. Ed Hamblin happened along and saved two, but the three they dipped were killed instantly. They never bothered any more cattle on the range. They said ****** Abb was the main leader and when they wanted beef they came and asked for it. William used to trade the Indians horses for pine-nuts and buckskin, so the family always had one or two sacks full of pine-nuts and could have them to eat anytime they wanted. One time William and Jacob Hamblin were out riding and just at the mouth of a big canyon they saw five Indians on the warpath. William had a gun called a needle gun. He could touch a lever or a spring and three long spears would come out, and he worked it so fast that it scared the Indians. They wanted to see the gun, but William told them he would show them and he told Jacob, “I’ll get this one and this one and that one with the gun and that one with my daggers but you must get that one.” That was the first gun of this type in that country, and it was quite a novelty to watch Will throw those long needles back and forth as he worked the lever. When we would not let them take the gun, they got scared and never bothered anymore. Esther was the proud owner of the first sewing machine in that part of the country. She could sew anything on it. She made pants for her husband out of buckskin. It seemed there was no “wear-out” to those buckskin breeches, though they weren’t so good when they got wet or dirty, but Esther was glad to replace them with new ones. This machine was a “Hows”. It took nice stitches and never ripped, so she was in much demand to make clothes for other people, even men’s suits. She was an exceptionally fast worker. Thus accomplishing more than most. Her earnings gradually amounted to about $300.00 A $2.50 gold piece was quite a novelty in those days, but they were in circulation, when ever Esther would see one she would trade silver to the owner for it. These she put in a special long box. In 1875 William was called on a mission to the Sandwich Islands, now known as the Hawaiian Islands. He did not know what to do because he had loaned all his money out on interest. It was the wrong time of the year to sell his cattle and he was indeed blue and discouraged, until his good wife brought forth her little secret box filled with the gold pieces and asked him if there was enough. Imagine his surprise and joy to have his prayers answered in such a way so that he could take advantage of this great opportunity that had come to him. It was rather hard to bid adieu to his loving companion, who was expecting a child and the five children. He knew much of the responsibility would fall on Willie, who was then 12 years old. It was early in April of 1875 when William left Hebron -- destination the Sandwich Islands. While on the boats a terrible storm arose on the Pacific. Four of the passengers were on the deck, drinking and playing cards and as the two missionaries passed, one of the men said he could whip any d--- Mormon on the boat. William took off his coats rolled up his sleeves and said he’d take the men on one at a time. But they were fearful and said no more about it. As the waves dashed high and rocked the boat, the four men became alarmed and went to the captain for help. He soothed their fears by telling them two Mormon missionaries were with them and they’d land safely. William was seasick crossing the ocean; then when he got to Honolulu he did not get any better and could not eat their food, so they just put a little Kanaca man to take care of him. Finally, when he began to get a little better he saw a coconut on a tree and asked this Kanaca if he could have it if he would shoot it and the Kanaca told him “yes”. So, William shot it and after that he lived on coconuts and drank the milk and improved. When Brigham Young found that Elder Pulsipher was on a mission sick, he sent him his honorable release and said he could fill a mission home by donating to others, so he got home the night his little daughter, Minnie was born, December 17 1875. He was gone eight months. After that two more children were added to the family - Sarah Edna, born February 12, 1878, in St. George; and Anna Luella, born August 27, at Shoal Creek. William and Esther had three homes - one in St. George, one in Hebron and one in Clover Valley, Nevada, - (where they had) a dairy, where they made butter and cheese in the summer. There were two big rock cellars - one had a spring in it to keep it cool for the butter and milk - the other just to keep cheese in until it cured for market. The floor of the kitchen was the roof of the cheese cellar. You came out of the kitchen into a big shed where the cheese factory stood - another door led to the shed. Then there was a front door to lead out to the main road on the south and across the road was a big hay barn where the hired men slept. William once had a claim on the biggest gold mine in Pioche, Nevada, but sold it to a company. It was called the “Raven and Ely mine” but they never did pay for the claim. He also had a ranch at Beaver Dam where those Indians ate too much meat. He also had another place about 15 miles this side (?) of St. George. He was a very religious man and devoted much time and money to the Church. His excellent health came from strict observance of the Word of Wisdom. Though they raised grapes in abundance and always had grape juice in their cellar, he would not drink except as fresh juice; he did not partake of wine. His church affiliations were always uppermost to him and living on the frontier as they did, his home was always open to meetings or Church affairs. Nothing was more important to him than his faith in the principles and ordinances of the gospel. He and Esther frequently traveled to Salt Lake City for the semi-annual conference, spending a week there visiting etc. They were regular attenders at Stake conference in St. George also, jolting along in their light wagon or buggy. Esther used to make the expression that “Dixie had the worst roads in the United States”; nevertheless they were grateful that they were able to attend. He was a financier of great ability in his day. His stocks and bonds were plentiful, making him one of the leaders in that part of the state. He was a staunch advocator of education. A few years before he died he told his wife if anything should happen to him, she was not to give the children money, but give them an education for no one could rob them of that as they could of the material things. He was caught out on the range in a snowstorm, (which was) quite unusual in Southern Utah. He contacted a severe cold which settled on his lungs, causing a fatal case of pneumonia. He passed away March 12, 1880, at the age of 42. He was buried in Hebron on the 15th of March by the side of his three children who had passed away in early childhood. Each shot took a deadly toll. It so happened that they all were his own steers, and he dicided he would be just as far ahead to kill them in that manner as to let them be taken and sold in Silver Reef. Besides, the outlaws could see that he was not afraid of either the cattle or the rustlers. Later, the outlaws told other people that they would rather not have Old Bill Pulsipher on their trail, for he was sure to have brought them in hanging over their saddles.” “Father jumped out of the buggy and told mother to drive and he would take one of the saddle horses that was on the side and let mother go into St. George alone while he went and took them alone. Father couldn’t get her to drive. She jumped out of the buggy and said, ‘I’ll not drive a step - it would mean you would just go to your death to try to get those horses away from those thieves without help.’ This made father angry and he jumped back into the buggy and he drove until they got past the forks of the road, where one road went to Middleton and the other went to St. George. The dust was out of sights so mother said, ‘Now if you want to take both of the saddle horses and go into St. George and get help, I will drive the team.’ So father did that - got help and went to Middleton and caught the men and took them into St. George and locked them up until the next day when Jim Pearson came after them. Father told them that he would like to guard them until they got to Pioche, but one of them swore at him and said, ‘Bill Pulsipher, I have been to your house three times to kill you, and if I ever get loose again, I will surely kill you.’ He also said, ‘This is the second time you have arrested me, but it will be the last.’ After they got started, Jim Pearson rode a saddle horse to guard and told father to go on to Chadburn Ranch and other dinner, so father and mother went and had dinner waiting for them when Jim Pearson and Mort Moore came and said some masked men raised up in the rocks at the Black Ridge, ordered the men out of the carriage and never unlocked the chains from their hands or feet, but just shot them and left them laying there at the side of the road.” Along about 10:00 o’clock in the morning she heard an Indian outside her wagon. With fear and trembling she pulled the bed clothes securely over her for protection. As he did not leave she at last gained courage enough to climb out of the wagon and went clear around the camp fire and sat down. This Indian just smiled and began talking to her, telling her the names of things and made her understand by motioning. He made a habit of coming back every day and teaching her the Indian language and customs. The Indians took to going out on the range and killing a beef, and taking what they wanted and leaving the rest to waste. Will told them the Big Spirit did not like to see things wasted, and they must come and ask for meat instead of wasting it that way. Once they went and killed another one and ate so much of it that it made them sick. They thought the Big Spirit was in them and they must sweat it out, so the other Indians put them in their tents and made a fire to sweat it out. When they were all sweaty they took them out and dipped three of them in a creek. Ed Hamblin happened along and saved two, but the three they dipped were killed instantly. They never bothered any more cattle on the range. They said ****** Abb was the main leader and when they wanted beef they came and asked for it.

Biography of Esther Chidester Pulsipher

Contributor: trishkovach Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago

Biography of Esther Chidester Pulsipher (1846-1914) by her daughter Edna Pulsipher Taylor, March 15, 1944 submitted by Linda Cropper Christensen Esther Chidester was born on the 18th of May, 1846, on the west bank of the Mississippi River, to John Madison Chidester and Mary (Polly) Josephine Parker. The place is now called Montrose, Iowa. It was the morning after Saints had been mobbed and driven out of Nauvoo, that beautiful city located on the east bank of the Mississippi River. During the night it had rained, making it very inclement weather for a child to be born in a covered wagon. Her father, John Madison, dressed in women’s clothes so that he might care for the mother and child unmolested. The family remained here for two weeks, during which time her father ferried other Saints across the river for the small fee of ten cents a ride in order to sustain his family until they were able to travel. He constructed a raft from trees which he cut and trimmed in the immediate vicinity; and though it was crudely built, it served its purpose and helped many weary Saints to safety across the river. Protecting the Prophet Joseph Smith - John Madison Chidester was born the 22nd of January, 1809, in Pomeroy, New York, and was an early convert to the Church, along with his wife, Mary Parker, who was born the 2nd of April, 1809, at Vernon, New York. John and his wife Mary were well acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and his wife Emma. More than once he shielded the Prophet from the mobs who were constantly seeking to take his life. While he was peddling apples just out of Nauvoo, the prophet approached him and asked if he could hide him from the mob. He lay down in the wagon and was covered with the loose apples. Being in such hurry, he failed to conceal his feet, but when the mob arrived to search the vehicle, the precious fruit was so attractive that the feet were overlooked although John could plainly see them against the rear of the wagon box. John turned around and started for home without doing any peddling. When he came to a fork in the road, he decided to take the short cut into Nauvoo. A flash of lightening came in front of the oxen, frightening them so they ran about five hundred yards before he could control them. This started him on the long route. When he reached home, he found he had missed the mob as they had taken the shorter road. Fearing to keep him in his own house that night, he fixed a bed for the Prophet in the chicken coop. John loved the Prophet as he loved his own life and was proud to tell of his experiences with him. After two weeks stay on the river, they traveled on to Winter Quarters, Nebraska. While there, John used two large flat rocks to make corn meal for bread. The top rock was round with a handle fastened to the middle making it easier to crush the corn into a fine meal. So successful was his venture that others were glad to buy the wholesome product, thus helping the family financially. The Chidesters were of English descent, but John Madison was the second son so would not inherit any of the fortune. This provoked him so he decided to come to America. On the boat he changed the spelling of his name which was “Chichester”, making it “Chidester”. He was a direct descendant of Lord Chichester. Mary Parker, his wife was a daughter of Marrow Darrow, a French lady. Mother was very proud of telling her children of her choice ancestry, showing the picture of her grandmother and referring to her dainty small hands with tapering fingers. A man by the name of Blair, an uncle of mother’s, was very wealthy. He built an orphanage, adopted four hundred children, and was proud to eat mush and milk with them every night for supper. He made it a real home for the little ones and was delighted as a bachelor to say that he was the father of these four hundred children. Miracle of Food - In 1848, while the family was crossing the plains on their way to Utah, food became quite scarce. The ample supply of meal John Madison had provided for his family had been shared with other Saints, so real hunger was felt by all. A group of them collected in a circle and united in humble prayer, asking their Heavenly Father that food be provided in some way. Immediately a flock of ravens flew over their heads as thick as a cloud. They lit upon their shoulders and were clean and fat and easily secured. They had a bounteous supply of meat in answer to their fervent prayer. David Chidester, Esther’s brother, was eight years of age and related this thrilling experience to the family often in later years. As they traveled along, enemies of the Saints took great pleasure in driving away the buffalos so they couldn’t get them for food. In many places wood was scarce so they used buffalo chips for fuel. They arrived in Utah in the fall of 1848. Esther was two years of age. They located in Salt Lake City, just half a block from the Pulsipher home. The two families became good friends. Courtship and Marriage to William Pulsipher - When Esther Chidester was very young, she became a favorite of William Pulsipher who was eight years her senior; and when he was called by President Brigham Young to go on a mission to help settle the southern part of the State of Utah, he at once proposed marriage. Esther, being very young and much opposed to this answered in the negative as she felt she couldn’t go so far away from her mother. Her folks liked him very much so they didn’t put a straw in his way. A number of times he came to the home and went away without any satisfaction. Finally he pulled her onto his knee and said that he would hold her until she said “Yes”. He at last said that if she would marry him, he would promise not to go into polygamy. This was much appreciated by her as plural marriage was being practiced by many, and her jealous nature might not agree to it. So she consented to be married and go with him to Southern Utah. They were married on the 27th of October, 1861, in the Salt Lake Endowment House when she was fifteen and one-half-years old. Her father, John M. Chidester, performed the ceremony. They soon left for the South and settled in what is now known as St. George. The young man was engaged in raising stock and very often the child wife accompanied him into the country where he went to take care of the cattle. Living near the Indians - Their first child, William Zera, was born on the 4th of March, 1863. On one occasion when she and her babe were in the covered wagon, a group of Indians came up the road singing, “Wait for the Wagons and We’ll All Take a Ride.” Being fearful of these wild Red Men, she lay in the very bottom of the wagon and covered both herself and the babe with a quilt while they passed. Many, many times during her residence there, she was met by both Indians and bandits. William and Esther Chidester Pulsipher, living in southern Utah, had much trouble with the Indians so an agreement was made with the chief that especially in William’s absence they would not come and disturb his family. To bind the bargain, Mr. Pulsipher gave him one of his best riding horses with a new saddle and blanket included. As soon as he left on a trip sometime later, the chief and his tribe came to the home. They got up on the house, beat their tom-toms, damaged the shanty roof and made wild noises. The young mother, very frightened of such actions, loaded her pistol, fully intending to shoot at the first one who came through the roof. She was an excellent marksman and may have crippled him for a time. She heard a peculiar noise outside and the disturbance ceased on the roof, so she was sure someone had come. Mr. Pulsipher had returned over a shortcut, being forewarned of the danger at his home. As he rode up to the house, an arrow whizzed by his head just ticking his hat. It came from the bow of one of the tribe. This angered him greatly so he alighted from his horse and proceeded toward the house. He took one of the Indians by the shoulders and jounced him up and down on a pile of rocks before the onlooking braves. This he continued until the Red Man begged for mercy, calling him “The Iron Man”. Through his superior strength, he gained the confidence and love of the Indian. This particular one became a great friend and would guard father’s life with his own. He thought the “Great Spirit” was with him. This terminated further trouble with this group of Indians and they showed all the respect in the world for father after that. He always was kind to the Red Men if they would do their part. Mother knew if she would be brave, there wouldn’t be so much danger of the Indians hunting for her. She heard one coming up the road singing, “La-De-Da-Wait for the Wagons and We’ll all Take a Ride”. She immediately climbed out of the wagon and sat on a rock not far from a Red Man. She asked him what different things were, pointing to rocks, leaves, the wagon, and other objects. This helped her to master the fear that had overcome her so many times. After that, this Indian became her friend and she made favorable acquaintance with many others, and through conversations with them she could talk Ute, Piute, Navajo, Mexican and Spanish. When the women were left home alone, they sometimes dressed as men to fool the Indians. Mother, being very lonely urged her folks to move to Southern Utah, so they settled at Washington and Leads, near St. George. William had so many business interests, that he did a great deal of traveling and was always pleased to take his wife along. While she was visiting with her relatives, he was clever in discharging his affairs, and often said that it made him more successful when he took her with him. William became one of the wealthiest men in the locality; his possessions included cattle, sheep, and horses. He owned a ranch at Pioche, Nevada, a country home at Hebron and one in St. George. He was part owner in the Co-op store in the Woolen Mills. The blankets and yard goods manufactured were an exceedingly fine quality. One woolen shawl was in constant use for over thirty years; it was red and black, very rich colors, about a yard square, light weight and very warm. The other products and blankets were equally as good. Their second child, Mary Esther, was born the 20th of November 1864, and died the 24th of May 1868. Esther always spoke of her with a very sorrowing heart. Travel to General Conference twice a year - Time and money were not too precious to take the place of their church activities. William and Esther and the children would travel in a light spring wagon to Salt Lake City twice a year to attend conference. This journey required a week of travel each way over what Esther described as “the worst roads in the country”. When they stopped at night to camp, they would make a bonfire and cook a hot supper. The next morning they would have a hot breakfast before starting on their way. During conference, which lasted a week, they and others would camp on and around the tabernacle block. Their bed was made in the wagon box. William’s activities in the church were such that he devoted his entire time to all sessions of the conference. He was not a fluent speaker, but when he bore his testimony, it was in earnest. Not one could offer a more humble prayer than he. Their third child, John Madison, was born the 22 of April, 1867, and Eunice, the fourth child, was born the 15th of March 1869. You’ll be all right - Esther never knew a doctor’s care in maternity as she had a midwife for each child. Before Eunice, the fourth member was born, she was sick for thirty-six hours, and they all thought that she was going to die. Esther’s father, John Madison Chidester, came into the room and seeing the seriousness of case, covered her body by pulling her night dress down over her feet, threw back the bed clothes, took her by the feet and stood her on her head; he then shook her real hard and laid her in her bed again. After that, he said, “Now gal, you’ll be all right” and soon her baby was born. When Eunice was able to sit alone, John Madison would take her out under a tree and while he slept, her hands were going enough to keep the flies off him. When Eunice was just a few years old, she was very ill; they said she had the “death hiccoughs”. John Madison came into the room, and then went home, a block away. Just as he was going through the little gateway, he turned right around and came directly back to the sick room. After warming his hands at the fireplace, he went to the bed and administered to her and said that she was not going to die. She recovered and lived a long life. William was very fond of Esther and the children and often gave witty sayings warning her of the care of the children. When her first child was born, he said “You’ll lay him down on his back, and then, Hi-tit-ty-tie-ta-te”. She always remembered it and laughed at his timely warnings. Zera Pulsipher was an early convert to the LDS church and he baptized Wilfred Woodruff with many others, and became a patriarch. He lived to be 83 years of age. He was born the 4th of June 1789. Mary Ann Brown was born the 2nd of March 1799 and died the 7th of November 1886. Charles Henry was born the 27th of November, 1871 and Augustus C. was born the 21st of November 1973. These two boys died just eleven days apart with diphtheria when they were six and four years of age. Esther never spoke of them except with a sigh over such a sad loss. At that time the doctors had no control over the disease. Later a German doctor came, who prescribed a medicine to be taken inwardly and a gargle to be used alternately. Three different times afterward a younger member of our family contracted the dread disease but was cured without the rest of the children getting it. Sewing Machine - The first sewing machine in the United States was a Howe which William bought for his wife. Esther became very proficient in its use and when her husband was away on business she would do sewing for others, making suits, hemming yards of ruffles for ten cents a yard. She was very adept at making suits of clothes for men who had come from far and near to get her help. When the seats and knees wore out, she’d put pieces on the outside and sew them with fancy stitches. She called it “foxing”. They paid her well for her trouble. She used to make buckskin pants for father. It was very hard to sew them. Father didn’t know she sewed for others as she had all the work put away early so she was ready to receive him when he came home. When paid for the work she would exchange the money for a $2.50 gold piece which she kept in a little box. She made cheese, carded wool for quilts, and made soap in addition to the numerous other duties of a home where modern conveniences were out of the question. When the first children were very young, William secured a six-year-old Indian girl of Dudley Levitt who owed him for three steers, two sacks of flour, and a sheep. The church authorities had asked him to take the child as she was treated more as an animal with these people; having to go barefoot and carry the milk pails out to the corrals in all kinds of weather. Her bed consisted of a sheep skin put on the floor in front of the fireplace. If it became too cold during the night, she would put wood on the coals to keep warm. Her food was whatever was left when the others were through eating. When he asked Esther about taking the child, she said it would be hard to mix black and white. He had a pair of young stallions hitched up and wanted her to take a ride. He drove around to see the Indian girl and just the sight of her face softened Esther’s heart, and she was taken home with them that very evening. Her hair had to be cut quite short as it was matted to her head with dirt and had not been combed. Having bathed her and put on clean night clothes, Esther put her into the foot of her bed to sleep. Susie was so overjoyed with the new environment that she looked into Esther’s face and said “Are you going to be my new mother? Don’t ever let anyone take me away from you.” By 3 a.m., Esther had finished sufficient clothing for the child to be dressed the next morning so she went to bed, but was aroused by something crawling on the bed toward her. This little girl kissed her and thanked her for all she had done, saying that she had never before had such care. Susie became an efficient cook and a fine housekeeper; she was very reliable with the children and a very willing helper around the home always. When the family moved to Provo, Susie preferred to remain in Dixie where she was acquainted and would be better understood. Money for a Mission - In the spring of 1875, Apostle Erastus Snow, who was president of the mission in Southern Utah at the time, met William and asked him how he’d like to go on a mission. He was always faithful to every call from the church, but was bothered because he had no extra money available. When he asked Esther what he might do about it, she asked him what he’d say if she handed him $300, the needed amount. He laughed and said that she couldn’t do it. She had saved the two and one-half dollar gold pieces, earned from sewing ruffles. Early in April of 1975 he left for a mission to the Sandwich Islands, where he spent eight months in faithful work in learning the language and ministering among the people. He was released when President Brigham Young learned that he wasn’t well as the food didn’t agree with him, and he didn’t entirely overcome a severe spell of sea-sickness out on the boat. He arrived home on the 16th of December 1875, and Minnie, his seventh daughter was born the next morning. Esther used to tell us of his experiences while on the Islands and of the lovely letters she received, many of them written in poetic verse, which were truly precious to her for she kept them and occasionally read them to us. Runaway Horses When Minnie was a very young child, William and Esther were riding in a light spring carriage when William left the vehicle to talk with a man on business. The fractious horses became very uneasy, so mother picked up her baby, wrapped her securely in a shawl and dropped her to the ground between the wheels under the carriage and sped down the road with the spirited team. The man was much concerned about the little wife, but father quieted his fears by saying that she’d be able to manage them all right, and hastened to pick up the child. In due time, she returned with the horses under control. Her life was full of just such episodes. She was skilled at riding and driving horses. She was also well trained in the art of shooting. William’s Death Edna, Esther and William’s eighth child was just over two years old when William died on the 12th of March, 1880, leaving Esther a widow. Six months later, Anna Luella was born, coming to gladden the heart of this young widow, who was only 34 years of age. She was grateful that two boys and four girls were spared to lend solace to her life and give her inspiration to continue the wonderful work she had set out to perform. Move to Provo Esther felt keenly the necessity of living where she might have the convenience of better school facilities than were afforded at that time in Southern Utah. In 1882, she applied to President Erastus Snow for a release from their mission in Utah’s Dixie. Her petition was granted and she brought her family to Provo, all except the two boys, William Zera and John Madison. They had their own stock to take care of. They made St. George their permanent home, but came up to Provo for school during the winter, each taking his turn caring for the cattle. Esther purchased a half block of land located on Second South and University avenue where she ordered a residence built. She arrived in Provo in the spring and found the builders had enlarged the edifice ten feet each way and had added a half story, so it was not ready for occupancy. The family boarded at the home of Mrs. Deborah Billings, who they learned to love and call Aunt Debby. When Esther moved to her new abode with her four brown-eyed girls, (Eunice, Minnie, Edna, and Anna) she found it much too large for convenience as a home so she decided to establish a hotel under the name of the “Pulsipher House” or the “Oxidental Hotel”. Before the family moved to Provo, the eldest son, William, was sent to attend school at the Brigham Young Academy located at the old depot on the upper floor of the Z.C.M.I warehouse. Some of the hired men in Dixie wanted to create a little excitement for Willie, as he was called, so they wrote a letter to President Karl G. Maeser, telling him to teach this young man to pray. In the morning at the general assembly, Brother Maeser said, “Bro. Pulsipher, will you please open by prayer?” As Willie looked for a place of escape but seeing no possible chance, he started by saying, “O Lord, bless - - -, bless - - -, bless - - -, bless who?” One of the women students screeched out, “Brother Maeser”, and he said, “Brother Maeser, Amen.” He was asked to pray at every assembly for one week; and when he wrote home he told mother that he could pray with anybody now. During the first winter in Provo, Willie was in Provo and proved to be an excellent partner for Esther. He enjoyed dancing and was proud to take his mother out as they were both jolly and good at making new friends. When Esther found her son was out later than 10 p.m., she inquired of him what he might be doing and he answered that he didn’t want to tell her as he knew she wouldn’t like it. She insisted, so he told her that he and three other boys were playing cards. He knew that his father had not allowed cards in the house. She immediately told him to invite the boys there and she would serve them supper; being so anxious to know what evil might be so as to check it before it became worse. She watched them play and enjoyed the fun with them, feeling much better about it than to have her son deceive her. He was a faithful, good young man but died at the age of 24 years on the 18th of August, 1887, of Bright’s Disease, contracted through riding horses and neglecting his own health. This great sorrow was shortly after losing her husband. The Oxidental hotel became a popular place for students and travelers, Provo’s population being then about 4,000 inhabitants. Esther was often called to St. George on business as she held shares in the Woolen Mills and the Co-op Store. She had a ranch in Nevada where the stock were kept. Willie and John, now grown sons, were doing their best to oversee the caring of the cattle, such as sheep, cows and horses. Much of the little fortune left to Esther had to be forfeited because of evil men who were ready to steal her cattle at the least chance. William, her husband, was out in a blizzard and snow storm when he fell ill with a cough which developed into pneumonia; he died within two weeks on the 12th of March 1880. He had no idea that he was seriously ill so nothing was done to make the property secure. As a result, Esther suffered many losses of the stock. Esther and her older sister Eunice were always very closely associated. Eunice left Southern Utah and moved to Provo for a short time and then to Huntington, Emery County. These two sisters reared their children as faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, proving their own conviction to be true and showing gratefulness to their ancestors for the fine heritage they had received from them. Levi Harmon, Eunice’s husband died at the age of forty-six. Thus Esther and Eunice were widowed while quite young. Marriage to John Chauncey Snow On the 26th of October, 1883, Esther married the second time to John Chauncey Snow, in the City of Salt Lake, in the Endowment House. Their first child LaPrelle was born at the Oxidental Hotel on the 10th of September, 1884. Mr. Snow was a widower with four children, mostly grown. In the summer of 1885, Esther sold the hotel to William D. Roberts in exchange for a two-story house of Fifth West and Second North Street with a quarter of a block of land and an eighty acre farm on Provo Bench. At that time abstracts on property were not popular so the owner’s word was accepted. He said there was no encumbrance on any of the property. In two years a mortgage fell due so that half of the farm had to be forfeited with a large number of water shares which were so valuable and were much needed. With the numerous defeats which had come to her in the past from her property in Southern Utah and this new hardship following, she held steadfastly to her own fine convictions that “Honesty is the best policy” and was able to keep her family in school through her diligence in taking boarders and renting her farm as well as part of her large house. The farm supplied vegetables, grain, hay, and poultry so that the home was well supplied and was a welcome place for relatives and friends to visit. Two more girls were born, Myrtle on the 24th of July, 1887 and Arletta on the 16th of October, 1890, making twelve children to complete the family. With each addition, there was always rejoicing. Esther often said that any woman who brought a dozen normal children into the world should receive a crown of glory in eternity. The last six of her flock were girls. They and Eunice, the older daughter, were very closely associated with each other and all but one of them taught school. The one married before she was old enough to teach. Esther was proud of this accomplishment as she knew they could be self-supporting, should they be left without a husband as she had been. Minnie, the seventh girl, taught school for nearly thirty years. Music - Esther was fond of music and delighted in having the children play the organ, which was replaced by a piano on the 12th of February, 1896. It gave her great pleasure to get the family around the piano to sing the lovely songs of the day or to rehearse the Latter-day Saint hymns as they sang in the choir. She had a clear soprano voice and many are the songs she used to sing. Some of them were: “O Don’t I Love My Honey” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”. Her sister Eunice used to sing “The Mistletoe Bough” written in a high key. These two sisters were happy relating stories of their earlier life and would laugh heartily at the many good times they had together. Esther’s brother, David, was always choice in her life and would come to visit with his dear wife Becky Ann. His plural wife Jane was also a frequent visitor. The two women were half-sisters and reared families living just two blocks apart at Leads, Utah. When the Manifesto was passed, Uncle David, was told that he must either forsake his second wife or go to prison for six months. He went to the State Penitentiary in 1890 as he said that he loved both of his wives and all of his children. He was one who lived the law of polygamy in a worthy way. David lived to the age of 86 years; he had all of his teeth and had never been in a dentist’s chair. He was strictly a true vegetarian and tried to obey the “Word of Wisdom” throughout his entire life. John Madison Chidester spent a summer with Esther and family when he was about 80 years old. He was of a lively disposition and eager to do his part. He came from his home in Washington County, Utah, in a covered wagon and enjoyed taking the family for a ride. His horses were gentle but lively and when he made them trot, it afforded a great deal of fun for the children and their laughter was music to his ears. He always laughed at the children’s fun. Esther had a very eventful life and was proud of her large family. She lived to see all of her children married and was so happy to have them take an active part in the church as her interest in the gospel became even greater as she grew older. Picture shows or movies were then being flashed on the screen and she was very anxious to see one called “A Hundred Years of Mormonism”. She and LaPrelle, who was not yet married, started for the show. It was early in March of 1913 and the snow was about a foot deep on each side of the path This made it difficult to walk and Esther became exhausted and fell. She was in poor health for a while but rallied and lived until the 24th of November, 1914. She was ill for two weeks and passed peacefully away about 11:00 p.m. the night before Thanksgiving Day. Her body was buried in Provo Cemetery near her beloved son, William Zera Pulsipher.

Life timeline of William Zera Pulsipher

1863
William Zera Pulsipher was born on 4 Mar 1863
William Zera Pulsipher was 17 years old when Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time, in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed "The Wizard of Menlo Park", he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.
1879
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William Zera Pulsipher died on 18 Aug 1887 at the age of 24
BillionGraves.com
Grave record for William Zera Pulsipher (4 Mar 1863 - 18 Aug 1887), BillionGraves Record 12244 Provo, Utah, Utah, United States

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