Contributor: MollyM Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
Written by himself and his daughter Zeffie Zina Field Reeves
I, James Field was born at Standlehill, Parish of Bosbury, Herefordshire, England 17 March 1830, the son of William Field and Mary Harding. My grandfather on my father’s side was James Field. He married Mary Harding, a sister to my mother’s father, whose name was James Harding. I resided in my native land until the spring of 1844 being then in my fourteenth year. Up to this time I had worked with my father part of the time on the farm. When my father joined the church he could not get work at his shoemaking job, as people were so against him. Even his own sister and parents going against him, so he moved to a farm. My father now being a farmer and a shoemaker, I had little time or chance for very little schooling.
In the fall of 1839 I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints together with all my father’s family that was old enough for baptism. At this time there were at Standlehill quite a bunch of church members presided over by Elder Joseph Pullin, the same Elder that baptized me. I was baptized in the night as most all who join the church at that time were. We then came back to the meeting and I was confirmed a member of the church. About the year 1840 the Saints began to emigrate to America and on to Nauvoo. Most of the Saints in our Branch came with the first company, leaving the meeting and business of the Branch at my father’s house until my father with his family immigrated in the spring of 1844 on the ship Glasco, with Captain Lambert to New Orleans, La., then up the Mississippi to Nauvoo with Elder Isaac Clark as the President of the company.
When we reached St. Louis my father’s money gave out and we were about to stay there. When Pres. Clark heard of this he came to my father and persuaded him to borrow some money from a man by the name of Kelby, who was with the company, from the Isle of Man. This he did to the amount of 30 dollars. We were strangers in a strange land but the Lord provided us with a friend in the person of Elder John Chees, who took us in when we landed at the Station House in Nauvoo. He was a neighbor of ours in our home in England. Hearing of our coming he came to us and took us to his home and provided for us until we could get a place for ourselves. Soon after our arrival in Nauvoo father suffered a sunstroke from which he never fully recovered.
In the year 1844, being very troublesome times, father was called upon to take his turn standing guard to protect us from our enemies. He filled this job until he was sick and confined to bed. When they came for him I offered to take his place, I being only 14 years old they thought me rather young but I told them I would do the best I could seeing my father was not able. Where upon one of the neighbors, Thomas Evans, offered to take me as his partner and from that time until all the Saints left Nauvoo I was kept on duty. I worked in the daytime on the Nauvoo House, until we had to quit because the mob pressed us so hard.
In the fall of 1845 death came to our family. My father’s sister died one Friday and my father on the next Sunday about 2 o' clock and my eldest sister three days after. I was left, the next eldest with a family of seven to care for in a strange land with nothing to feed them on. Soon after our arrival in Nauvoo my father was ordained to the 18th Quorum of Seventies. After his death the Pres. Of the Quorum thought it best that I be ordained to fill his place. In 1846 I was ordained to this Quorum. Our family remained in Nauvoo after the main body of the Saints left. When the mob came on to us again to drive those that were left, they came to me and said they would give me 20 minutes to leave or they would shoot me. I went and got from a man by the name of Kimble, who was in favor with the Mormons. He took my widowed mother across the river where the Saints were camped. As I passed where the enemy was camped they stopped me and searched my wagon and then one of them placed his gun on my shoulder and fired burning my face and filling it with powder. When we reached the river we were taken across on a ferry boat. We camped on the opposite side of the river for about nine weeks having no conveyance to move farther. While there it rained nearly everyday. One day being there without food or shelter I went one day into the woods to see if I could find something for us to eat, finding nothing I started back through the woods when I saw some quail. I looked for a stick that I could hit one with but not finding one, I caught some with my hands without any trouble, to the amount that we could use that day and then the rest flew away. From then on while the Saints stayed there the quail came each day. We could catch enough for the day and the rest would fly away, except on Saturday, we could catch enough for Sunday’s dinner too.
While camped on the banks of the river we stood and watched our enemy burn the beautiful temple that we loved so much and had labored so long to build. Finally I got a job chopping wood. I moved my mother and family up the river into a log house without windows or doors. Here we stayed until late fall when my cousin came and moved us to Burlington, Iowa. His name was Richard Hill. Here we remained until the spring of 1848.
My mother married a man by the name of Elzy Enslow. We lived in Nauvoo until early spring 1849 then we moved again to Burlington, Iowa. Here I worked with my step-father cutting wood. He became ill and died Sept. 1849. Three months later my mother gave birth to a child, making one more to care for. I worked here until 1850. My step-father had left us a team so we moved on to Winter Quarters. That season I was able to raise a small crop to help support the family. In 1851, leaving my mother and family at Winter Quarters I immigrated to Utah in Alfred Cardins company, driving his ox team. We arrived in Salt Lake City in Sept. 1851. That same winter I went sliding logs in Bingham Canyon. Coming to Ogden in the spring of 1852 I took a contract to make adobes for Captain Brown. I also helped build the Ogden City canal and helped to open the Ogden Canyon road. In the fall of 1852 my mother and family came to Utah. We bought a home in Slaterville where we lived until the Indian trouble. We were called with others to move to Bingham Fort. I helped to build the wall around the fort to protect the people from the Indians. When the Indians became peaceable we moved back to our farm in Slaterville
In 1857 when war broke out I was called to stand guard in Echo Canyon. In the winter of 1857-1858 I stood guard when Johnston’s Army came into the Salt Lake Valley. In 1858 the people were adviced to move south. When danger was over we again moved back to our homes in Slatterville. I labored as a teacher for many years. In 1861 I bought a home in Bingham Fort now known as Lynne. I still reside in this ward.
On 16 July 1863 I married Catherine Daniels Brown of Wigan, Lancashire, England. We witnessed many hardships with the crickets and grasshoppers eating our crops. In 1864 when the Lynne ward was organized I was ordained as second counselor to Bishop Robert Baird. This position I held for 12 years. I served two terms as trustee (school) in this same ward.
Written by his daughter after her fathers death:
Father’s health failed him and he was sick for many years and unable to work. On 17 Jan. 1907 he died at the age of 76 at Lynne, Weber, Utah. He left a widow, ten children, 19 grandchildren, one great grandchild.
Father was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery.
His children were as follows:
Mary Elizabeth Field 29 June 1864 2 - Dec. 1944
Married: John H. Cole 12 Oct. 1882
James Franklin Field 5 Apr. 1866 - 27 Mar. 1913
Ida Amelia Field 20 Aug. 1867 - 18 Jun. 1940
Married: William R. Moore 4 Nov. 1908
Eva Catherine Field 6 Apr. 1871 - 25 July 1961
Married: William Stevenson 7 Jan. 1897
William Cyrus Field 23 Feb 1873
Married (1): Sarah Farnsworth 13 Feb. 1901
Married (2): Margaret Moran 17 Nov 1904
Charles Winslow Field 17 Jan 1875 - 20 May 1962
Married: Nellie Farnsworth 28 Mar 1900
Margaret Helena Field 7 Jul 1877 - 10 Sept. 1979
Married: Joseph Baird 22 Nov 1899
Riley Orin Field 12 Feb 1880 - 13 Dec 1969
Married: Lena Summers 15 Nov. 1905
Ruby May Field 14 May 1882 - 29 Aug 1970
Married: Ernest Edward Conlin 4 Dec. 1902
Zeffie Zina Field 14 Apr. 1884 31 Jan. 1967
Married: George A. Reeves 28 Sept. 1905
Riley Orin Field - Autobiography
Contributor: MollyM Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
*This story was in our family records. There is no record of the date it was written.*
Riley Orin Field was the son of James Field and Catherine Brown. I was born February 12, 1880 at the Lynn Ward, Utah. I was baptized October 4, 1888 by A. O. Perry. I went to school at Lynn in a one roomed schoolhouse and at Slaterville in a one room, frame blue schoolhouse and then they built a new one room schoolhouse in Slaterville.
I went to Sunday School and meetings at Lynn. My Father and mother took me with them to the temple when it was dedicated.
I worked on the farm when I was a small boy and then my next work was at the brick yard at Harrisville. Then I hauled brick with a team and wagon. Then I bought a truck and trucked brick. I had four new trucks. I farmed besides working at the brickyard. I worked there about thirty-five years.
I married Lena Summers, who lived at Plain City, November 15, 1905 at the home of Charles H. Middleton. In the spring of 1906 we went through the Salt Lake Temple. I lived in Lynn, Plain City, and Harrisville. I am the father of four children; three sons and one daughter: Lavere Orin, Reuben Guy, Louis (died in infancy), and Bernice. I have six grandchildren; three grandsons and three granddaughters. I also have six great-grandchildren.