“It was about five o’clock when they passed down the streets of Salt Lake City, then a town of about five thousand people. People came out to wave them greetings. The trees along the open ditches were large enough for some shade, flowers were in bloom in the yards, corn stood ready to tassel, beans were climbing along the poles in the gardens. Surely this was a zion, “indeed a haven for the weary travellers.” They pulled into Union Square just before sunset. Captain Andrus, now on horseback, directed the last wagon in place, then lifted his hand for attention and said, “Brothers and sisters. We have been blessed. We have come to the end of our journey in safety. When we separate, it will be up to each one of you to locate according to your own judgement. Let us unite in thanksgiving to God who brought us here in safety.” People gathered in the streets. A tall, young man with a smile on his face worked his way through the crown and came toward the wagon. No one noticed until Priscilla called, “Mother, there’s Lem. There’s Lem, Mother!” What a happy reunion. Lemuel had married Melvina Thompson and they had a place ready for them at Dual settlement. This was truly a homecoming, especially for the weary mother. Later that winter Mary Amelia married William Hamblin. This left Dudley, Thomas, Betsey and Priscilla. They stayed at Dual settlement until spring and then moved to Tooela. They lived quite comfortably in a two-room log house with home-made furniture. Although they worked hard they had their good times as well. Dudley and Thomas learned to dance. House parties and other church gatherings were great fun. They lived here for three years.
“It looked as though they would become quite prosperous until the Indians became troublesome. They would sneak down at night and steal anything they could get their hands on or drive away. It became so annoying and dangerous the church authorities decided to withdraw the Saints from Tooela About this time a call came to help settle the Dixie country as it was then called. In 1854 Jacob Hamblin was chosen President of the first Indian mission and to help colonize a Mormon setlement at Santa Clara. Dudley had married and was called to take his family in 1857. He took his mother, Sarah Sturdevant Leavitt and Priscilla with him. Jeremiah and Lemual also left with their families in 1857.
“Now you will ask about Thomas. On the 30 June 1857 he was twenty-three years old, a young man of medium height, dark hair and eyes. He was a well-built man with a strong, healthy body and mind. Although he had a quiet disposition, he made friends easily as he had a wonderful sense of humour. He was a good clean sport and had courage to stand for what he knew was right. Having pioneered he became courageous and fearless. He worked with his brother-in-law William Hamblin. Much of his time was spent directing scouting parties or travelling back and forth, as he had a mother in the south. On several of these scouting trips he had many encouters with the Indians. His bravery won their admiration and he learned to speak their language well.
“He had been in Utah seven years when he met the girl of his dreams, Ann Eliza Jenkins. She was born 23 April 1941 at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Ill. She was a beautiful young lady with a beautiful voice and a sharp sense of humor. They were married 1 March 1857. He built the first house in Wellsville, Cache Valley, Utah, for his young bride. The following year before their first child was born they had their first real encounter with the Indians. Betsey, Thomas’ sister, tells her own story:
“The morning had been chilly and clear with a stiff breeze blowing off the snow-capped mountains. Gleaming in the distance seven new log cabins stood proudly in a clearing near the point of a hill. Around the hill a rough trail wound its way, which had its beginning at Salt Lake City. Seven pioneer families had come with all they possessed to spend the spring and summer making butter and cheese. This was a profitable business. Instead of hauling their products regularly into Salt Lake City, they were assured a steady market and a good price from emigrant trains en route to California gold fields which eagerly bought up all the dairy and farm products they could supply. This was the beginning of Wellsville, Cache Valley, Utah. Salt Lake City was fast becoming an oasis in a desert to these weary travellers.
The cabin farthest from the point of the hill belonged to Betsey and William Hamblin and the one beside it belonged to her brother Thomas Rowell Leavitt and his wife Ann Eliza Jenkins. Betsey had come to live here while her husband William Hamblin was on a business trip to California. She came alone with her two children Billy, two-and-a-half years and Jane, only two months. She brought a few milk cows, also her two white oxen which had drawn her wagon from Salt Lake City.
“On the morning our story begins Betsey and Ann were washing in Betsey’s cabin while Thomas, having nothing more to do, sat on the hearth making bullets for their guns. Beside him lay a powder horn and bullet mold. On the glowing coals he held a frying pan in which a large bar of lead was slowly melting. It was now near noon and Betsey decided to build up a fire in the huge fireplace and prepare dinner. Needing wood and not wanting to disturb Thomas she ran to the wood pile a short distance from the house. As she bent to pick up the wood her ear caught the sound of horses’ hooves. Her heart pounding in sudden fear, she glanced toward the trail just as the first of a band of Indians appeared around the point of the hill. Filled with the pioneers’ dread of the redskins she snatched the two keen-bladed axes and raced for the house. “Indians!” she screamed. “Lots of them.” By this time the Indians had been seen by the settlers. Ann had been sitting on the bed resting and thinking as she held baby Jane. It would not be long, only a few short months before she would be holding her own child in her arms. A glow spread over her sweet face as she smiled to herself in happy anticipation.
“Startled, she looked up. She caught that one word “Indians”. All the color drained from her face and her dark eyes reflected the horror of this word as no other instilled in her. “Dear Lord have mercy upon us,” she cried, and fell in a dead faint, the baby slipping from her arms to the bed. Thomas sprang to her side and took her gently in his arms. Meanwhile Betsey snatched Billy off the floor and placed him beside the baby on the bed saying, “Thomas, put Ann beside the children. Then help me move the bed into the corner so that the foot will be behind the door. Now I am going to prop the door wide open and you talk to them.If they are the Ute tribe you can talk to them if they give you a chance and I’ll keep running bullets. We might need all we can make.” So saying, Betsey quickly busied herself at the fire. She took a long thin pole sharpened at one end and stirred the fire. Then picking up the pan which held the lead Thomas had started to melt, she sat down on the hearth and went to work.
“At almost the same instant Betsey had sighted the Indians, others had also seen them. Amid cries from women and children and hoarse shouts from the men, all rushed to their cabins. Doors were shut and bolted and guns snatched from brackets over the beds. Now grim-faced men watched the approach of the band through the cabin portholes.
“Strange to say the Indians did not stop when they reached the first cabins, but silent, grim and forbidding, as their chief who led them, they filed past, not stopping until they reached Betsey’s cabin where they quickly formed a semicircle. They quickly dismounted, securely holding their horses by the lariats which were tied around the horses’ necks. Their bows and arows were held in the other hand. The chief took his place in the centre facing the white man Thomas, standing in the door. The picture they formed as they crowded their horses together was one to chill the heart of a much older and harder man than Thomas who was only twenty-three. There must have been a hundred savages, their bodies, save for a loin cloth, were naked and painted, their hair had been plastered with mud and feathers were stuck in the back, but the most horrible picture of all was the scalps dangling from their waists. Beautiful brown tresses of some unfortunate girl and long, grey hair of some elderly lady, were reminders of recent savage brutality.
“It seemed to Thomas he lived a lifetime while he waited for silence among the Indians. When the last horse was quieted he stepped into the circle and called a greeting to the chief. A grunt was the only answer as the chief glowered at him, hate andl ust to kill in his black eyes. Thomas went bravely on with his speech. Speaking slowly and weighing every word carefully, “We are peaceful people. We have never harmed you or your people. We ask you not to harm us.” “Ugh!” grunted the chief. “White men liars. We kill all white men. My braves want blood revenge for brothers killed.” In his hand he held a long thin pole sharpened to a point at one end, not unlike Betsey’s poker. Now he raised his hand and threw it to the ground with such force it stood upright, buried in the earth deep enough to hold the rest of its weight. Immediately scores of arrows from his warriors encircled it. His brain working with lightning rapidity, Thomas slipped quickly back into the cabin. Going up to Betsey he said, “Do you know what that means?” Betsey answered, “Yes, I know, but Thomas we will not give up here.”
“Laying his hand on her shoulder he said,”That kind of courage always wins the day.” He seized the poker from beside the fireplace, then standing in the doorway he raised to his toes and threw it with all his strength close beside the chief’s spear. The makeshift spear stood just as proudly as the Indian chief’s in the circle of arrows.
“A surprising grunt came from the chief and he eyed Thomas with his hostile eyes. The white man walked boldly to where the chief stood beside his horse. Immediately the silence was broken as the savages, keeping time with their moccasined feet, started a low weird chanting of their war song. Thomas joined his voice with those of the wariors, singing as he had never sung before in his whole life. After the song ended each warrior, placing his hand over his mouth, gave a blood-curdling war whoop. The chief, laying his hand over Thomas’ heart said,”White man brave, white man not afraid.”
Thomas spoke again, “My sister and I and the other people in their cabins do not want to die, we want to live and be friends to the red man. Do you want to die? Do you love your warriors?” At once the chief swept the circle with his hand and then placed his hand over his heart. “Yes, I love them very much. They are all brothers to me.” Thomas took advantage ofthis. “We may die, but some of your warriors that you say you love will die also – maybe even you, their chief will die first, for inside every cabin are white men with guns watching you through little holes in the wall. If you start to kill us they will kill many of you with the guns that are all loaded and pointed at you right now.”
“At this point the Indians began their war chant again. To Thomas it seemed to hammer at his brain and the whole thing seemed like a horrible nightmare closing in on him. The stench from the Indians’ bodies,the horses and scalps made him deathly sick. With an effort he pulled himself together. He stepped back into the house and went quickly to Betsey’s side. “Betsey,” he said in a steady voice, “the chief says we are brave people and because we are so brave he will be good to us and those in their cabins if we will give them all of our cattle, food and clothing, they will let us go peacefully over the mountain to Salt Lake City.”
“As the full import of the proposition struck home to her, she jumped to her feet, standing straight and bravely before him she said, with deep feelings, “No,Thomas, no. We will not do that. It would only mean death in the end, if not from cold then from starvation. We could not hope to get over the mountain. There is still snow in the pass. We will die fighting first.
“You are right,” said Thomas. “I’ll go and see what the others say. The chief has granted me permission to talk to them.” He was back in a few minutes. “Most of them say accept the terms. They say maybe they will take everything.”
“Thomas,” said Betsey thoughtfully, “if the Lord has made these Indians merciful enough to suggest terms at all when they can take everything by killing us and the price would be just a few warriors, then I feel He is opening the way to spare our lives. Go tell them they can have the two white oxen and that is all. Tell the chief I have my gun aimed at his heart and he will be the first do die, but tell him this as a last resort.”
“Again Thomas stepped out into the semi-circle. He strode up to where the chief stood waiting, stopping only a few feet from him. He drew himself up and looking the chief full in the face he spoke swiftly in the Indian dialect. “My sister and I cannot accept your terms because we would all die anyway. We could not get through the deep snow in the mountain pass, with no covering for our bodies, for we are not tough like your warriors. My brave sister says for you to take the two white oxen because they are the best we have and are fit even for an Indian chief. Take these and go in peace.”
“Thomas held his breath while the chief gave him a grim solid look. Suddenly the chief seized Thomas in his strong, brawny arms. He hugged him as though he could not restrain his admiration for this white man’s bravery. Betsey, watching from the cabin, almost fainted. She thought surely her brother was being killed. Then she breathed again as she saw the chief release Thomas. This broke the silence. “White man and squaw talk brave, very brave. We no kill. Take oxen and go.”
From the book: The Life of THOMAS ROWELL LEAVITT And His Descendants p.21-27
The true Indian story involving Thomas and his sister Betsey was
included in the book by Betsey’s granddaughter, Josephine Alger Pursley;
HISTORY OF LETTICE ECKERSALL REDFORD
by MARY R. STODDARD, G.D. and ALTA C. BRENCHLEY, G.G.D.
Sometime later she met and married Robert Patefield Redford, another mysteriously converted Saint on April 12th, 1841. Unto this union were born five boys and one girl. They managed a green grocery, going about the vicinity with pony and cart selling produce, and other commodities. They were called “Dippers”, because of their new Religion, and had a difficult tine obtaining and keeping work, being turned out of one factory after another. Although they were Superior Trades People, they kept getting poorer every year.
At last, having been advised by the Missionaries of opportunities in America, Robert decided that if he emigrated, he could soon earn enough money to bring his family over. So he left his wife and children and sailed in Nov. 1854 to the land of Opportunity, after which time she never saw him again, he having died before she was able to join him. The two older boys tried to go on managing the Green Grocery. They took the donkey and cart and went about trading and trafficking, but they were getting poorer each day, so they had to sell out.
Two months after Robert’s departure, their sixth child was born, Ephriam. Times became even worse. Flour was so scarce, that when she was fortunate enough to get some to make bread, she would gather her children about the pan, and they would kneel down while she prayed to the Lord that it might last until she was able to get more. (Now I, a Great Granddaughter, understand why John told his children, and grandchildren, never to burn a dry crust of bread, that if it couldn’t be used someway in meal preparation, to throw it outside so the birds could have it.) Joseph, then John, 13 – 11 obtained employment at the Print and Dye Works, but were allowed half a day until they reached fourteen. They would get up at five and walked two miles to be at work at six. If they were late, they were docked one-fourth day.
Ann soon joined them there, but wages were so low they just couldn’t manage. Many times they would have gone hungry had it not been for the goodness of the Saints. How grateful she was to them and to the Lord for raising them up in their hour of need. Even though trials seemed to mount, her Faith increased. She knew God lived and answered prayers, and sooner or later, all things would be righted. She must be courageous before her family. Had she not been blessed with a strong body and good health for this very purpose? Had she not been privileged to be numbered among the Saints of God? Her innermost desire was to teach her children to be devoted to the Gospel, to keep home a Fortress of love and strength, brightened with the cheer of music which acted as a medicine to their spirits. All were taught to sing the songs of Zion, and they directed the singing of them in the Branch, and later in Utah.
Joseph decided to buy a shovel and work for the Navy. By the time he was 19, he was determined to see what he could do to get the family away from this poverty. At the wish of his Mother, he contacted his Aunts and Uncles to see if they would give a little of their abundance, but with scoffs the few pennies they gave, were used for his fare back home. George Q. Cannon, interested to get them to Utah, asked if he could cook dumplings? “I can that,” he said. Arrangements were then made for him to cook on the ship to pay his transportation. Lettice moved the family to Bessies of the Barn, only to be moved soon to Chapel Field, located on the hill that led into Radcliffe City (the home of the L.D.S. Branch). Here Lettice and children worked at Farrers Factory. The thought came, if John could go to America, the rest would soon get there. So he left in April, 1864, who also worked on the ship, to pay for his fare.
Shortly afterward, Ephriam took very sick with consumption. He suffered for three years and died the 8th of November 1865 at the age of ten. He had been a loving child, very witty and quick to learn. He was such an accurate marble shooter, his friends avoided him, as he won all the marbles. During his sickness, the Elders came often to administer to him. At one time he was ordained an Elder—Brother Hatch said he was prompted three times to do it and followed the dictation. Abram was somewhat confused at hearing this prayer and asked his Mother if Ephriam would go on a mission. She answered, “No, why?” He then repeated to her the blessing given that she did not hear because of deafness. She soon realized that her boy was not long for this earth. Ephriam had saved a few pennies that different people had given him, and told his Mother to put them away, saying, “I know you will have a hard time to bury me.” It was a hard time as well as a sad one.
At the time of Robert’s death in America, July, 1865, Lettice dreamed that he took her to the place of his burial. When she arrived in Wellsville and visited the cemetery, It was just as she had dreamed.
In May, two years later, Ann came with the John Hilton family, having her way paid for helping with the children. Finally the money came to pay their passage. At last her dream was realized, for on the 30th of June 1868, fourteen years after her husband, Lettice and her last two sons sailed from Liverpool on the Steamer, “Minnesota”. Leaving behind a dear one and a weary past, but with Faith and Hope, they embarked on this venturesome journey to a new land and a new life. Ann and a friend had a man take them out on a boat in the New York Harbor to see if anyone was on the ship they knew. When she heard the voice of her beloved family calling to her, she was overcome with happiness. At Immigration Headquarters, they found funds waiting for their train ticket across the Plains to Laramie, Wyoming. Lettice was very sick on the way, but had recovered and was able to resume the journey to Salt Lake by ox-team in the Chester Loveland
Imagine what a joyous moment when Mother and sons met on the Plains. John had been called in the Cache Valley Train, to bring Immigrants and to take a load of flour to meet Seeleys Train, and run into the Company his family was in. They reached Salt Lake in a group of 400 Passengers, August 20th, and came directly on to Wellsville, with John, arriving 23rd of August and lived in his home for some time.
The first homes of John and father Robert were located in the south-west of Wellsville, Cache Co, Utah. John’s south of Rone Myers. He gave Robert a city lot to build a home on, and have a room for Lettice. In November of 1877, John homesteaded 80 acres south of Wellsville (later named MT. Sterling) and sold 40 acres to Robert, who built a large home, with a room for Lettice, now the Walker Home.
Joseph had 80 acres directly north to put his home. A block farther west he built a molasses mill. The corner above into the horizon was called, “Redford’s Hole.” The outset of thunder storms.
Lettice lived 20 years with Robert, who made her fire in the mornings, and tucked her in at night during cold weather. The week following her 86th birthday, as he went into her room at night, she said, “Robert, turn me on me side. That is fine, now I shall sleep.” The next morning as he entered, he found her just as he had tucked her in, sweetly sleeping her last sleep. Until the day of her death, she bore a strong Testimony of the Truthfulness of the Gospel, and the Mission of The Prophet Joseph Smith. She had full Faith in the law of tithing, paying and teaching it religiously. She was buried by her husband, 3rd of March 1900, in Wellsville, Cache Co, Utah.
Lettice Eckersall Redford, was born 22 Feb. 1814, at Pilkington, Lancashire, England. She was the daughter of Joseph Eckersall and Betty Brown. Her Mother died at the time of her birth leaving six children, four boys and two girls, Thomas, John, Alice, David, James and Lettice, the youngest.
The family were very poor and the two little girls endeavored to keep house for their father and brothers, but at an early age, in connection with the male members of the family, the girls were forced to work in a cotton factory to enable the family to obtain the bare necessities of life.
Her Father married again, and Lettice kept her place in the factory, although she lived at home with her Father and Stepmother, who were kind to her. They were Spiritually-minded Christian people and taught their children honesty and thrift. Lettice with expressive brown eyes, dark hair, grew into a beautiful young woman, and married William Crossley. They had a baby girl named Betty. Shortly after the birth of their baby, her husband died of consumption. Heart broken, she returned with her baby to the home of her Father.
One evening, sometime later, as she was returning home from work, two Mormon Missionaries were holding a street meeting. Her attention was attracted by their singing. She, herself, was a beautiful singer, having been the soloist for the Charity sermons of the Methodist Church of which she was a member. When she heard the Elders singing, she paused on her journey and listened. This was surely different from anything she had ever heard. There was spirit and hope in this singing. Still she tarried, for at the close of the songs, they began to preach. This also had a different ring in it. She was riveted to the ground where she stood. Surely, this was an experience she would never forget. And this singing and preaching, how unlike anything she had ever heard. She could not shake off the feeling she had received at the Meeting. Their message had found a resting place within her heart and gave solace to her confused mind. In few days later, she was secretly baptized. 30th May. 1840, by Walker Johnson. She attended the Meetings in secret also, for she feared her Father’s wrath if he should find out. One night as she was preparing to leave for a Meeting, her Father having heard that she had affiliated herself with that much despised religious sect, asked where she was going? As she hesitated to answer, he denounced her and her religion. He demanded that she forsake it or leave home at once. She asked, “Whether shall I go?” “Go anywhere, Ye shall not remain here.” This also meant that she must suffer the heartache and separation from her baby, for her Father kept the little girl who lived to be twenty-three years of age, and also died of consumption.
Snow covered the ground, and a raging blizzard was at its height, but she didn’t hesitate to take her choice, preferring to face the terror of the elements, than to denounce her newly found Religion, for it gave her such a Faith and Peace of mind such as she had never known before. She took her few belongings in a bundle, bid her little girl Goodbye, and started down the street, not knowing where to go or what to do. She had traveled only a short distance when the door of a cottage opened, throwing a light like a Halo about her. She was recognized by a neighbor who called, “Lettice whither are ta’ going?” I don’t know, she returned. “Father has turned me out because I am a Mormon.” Thou must come in and stop with us tonight, remarked Maey Mather, the neighbor, Thou can not stay out in such a night as this. How thankful she was. Surely there was a God in Heaven, and indeed this was His Gospel. She went in and made her home with them for a time. Throughout her life she was the only member of her family to join the Church.
PEARL HASLAM REDFORD
Funeral January 7, 1994
Brothers and Sisters, family and friends, it’s an honor and a privilege for me today to officiate and assist the Redford family as we pay our respects to this loving pioneer. I’d like to thank all those that have helped the family, assisted or done acts of kindness to help them in their mourning at this time. It’s greatly appreciated. I’d like to thank those who will be participating in the service today. I pray that the Lord will bless them that they will deliver the message, whatever they’re doing, in a manner which will be pleasing to the Lord and also to the family. I’d like to thank also, the staff at the long term care for the loving attention they provide to those that are confined to that facility. It is greatly appreciated.
The plan of salvation is a beautiful plan instigated by our Father in Heaven and directed through our Savior, Jesus Christ. He has done what no mortal man could do. He rescued each of us from physical and spiritual death. Sister Redford knew his plan. She was one of His chosen servants. She had a very strong testimony of the gospel. I had the privilege on one occasion, while I was visiting with her to ask her about her testimony. We talked for a few minutes. She expressed her love for the Savior, the gospel and her family. That was a special experience for me to feel of her spirit. She had a sweet, simple testimony, but yet a strong conviction. As this service continues, we will find and hear more about her love for the gospel and her family. To all of us and to each of her posterity, in particular, cherish the love that she had for you. Teach your children about this elect lady. In talking with her family, she was an avid keeper of a journal. Take the time to spread that journal around. Copy it, let people know of her life. I know I cherish my ancestors and their journals. She loves each of you and she wants to have an eternal family. I know that she is on the other side working to prepare a place for each of you. The Lord loves each of us. That’s why he gave his Son, a supreme sacrifice, so that we could return to Him. It is through His mercy that each of us have that possibility. I leave this testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
Sister Pearl Haslam Redford, born September 12, 1899 at Leavitt, in the Northwest Territories, passed away January 4, 1994 in Cardston, Alberta Canada. Assisting the family at the registration book is Sister Nola Boehmer. The Organist and accompanist is Sister Erica Burt. Brother John Redford offered a beautiful family prayer. The opening hymn for today’s service, “Our Mountain Home So Dear”, by the quartet of Rod Beezer, Daniel Burt, Mark Easthope and Don Pierson. The invocation will be given by Sister Leola Zemp. The biography will be given by Glyn Redford. The granddaughters have prepared a special number, “Walk Tall You’re a Daughter of God”. Our speaker for today is Brother Paige Boehmer. The closing hymn will be given by Brother Lervae and Joyce Cahoon, “Whispering Hope”. The benediction will be offered by Brother Ronald Leavitt.
The Honorary Pallbearers are Gordon Zemp, Douglas Zemp, Randall Redford, Brent Zemp, Sidney Zemp, Cameron Zemp and Justin Redford.
The Pallbearers are Rodney E. Redford, Robbe D. Redford, Bradley J. Redford, Derek L. Redford, Sean R. Redford and Trent B. Cleverly.
The Interment will follow at the Leavitt Cemetery with a graveside dedicatory prayer being offered by Brother Glyn Redford.
We will now proceed with the service with the opening hymn.
Opening Hymn: “Our Mountain Home So Dear” by Rod Beezer, Daniel Burt, Mark Easthope and Don Pierson
Invocation: Leola Zemp
Biography: Glyn Redford
You know, when I offered to do this, I didn’t think it was going to be much of a problem, then all you people showed up. Pearl Haslam Redford was born to Samuel and Eliza Haslam in Leavitt on September 12, 1899. When she was about 12 years old, her grandfather came up from Wellsville and took the children back with him. He wrote to their parents and told them, “if you want your kids back, come on down and get yourselves sealed in the temple.” So I guess that’s the start of her experiences in the church. She began teaching Primary when she was the age of 14. She has been involved in teaching, in one form or another, until a few years ago when her eyesight prevented her from reading. She was able to teach by memory then. She always taught by the spirit. She seemed to be born to teach. She seemed that that was her purpose here on this earth, was to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
She always had a positive outlook on life, never putting anyone down. She was compassionate and always looking for the good in people. She spent much of her time doing genealogy work. That seemed to be her love. While she was doing that, one of the challenges she had was one of her ancestors by the name of William Steers. He seemed to be very elusive and didn’t want to be found. It hasn’t been very many years ago that it came to her. She saw the image of this person who presented himself as William Steers. On a couple of occasions, each time as he presented himself, he would, what she thought at the time, would salute before he left. It came to her finally that he wasn’t saluting, he was pointing to his hat. All that we could find out about him was that he had died at sea. Everyone assumed that he was in the Navy. They figured because he died at sea, he was a sailor. But then she paid attention to the hat. He wasn’t saluting, he was pointing to it. It was a hat of an army man. So they started looking in the army records and that’s where they found him. Since that time, thousands of names have been opened up for genealogy research and work.
She made the statement at one time that she didn’t want anyone to dwell on any good things that she might have done, because she wanted her blessings in heaven. She cared only about what her Heavenly Father thought. I think right now she needs to care about how I’m going to put this together.
I use to question her dedication to service to others. To me, it seemed like she spent a lot of time away from her home. She’d get us kids started on tasks, things to do, before she left. She knew just how long it would take to get them done and then she would go away and take care of other responsibilities or commitments she had. I can remember one instance in particular, and I never mentioned this before, I was at home and it was my responsibility to gather the potatoes that had been plowed in the garden. Potatoes, at that time, were a staple item. They were very important and at that time there was a lot of them. I had a team of horses and a wagon going up the row. She had a Relief Society meeting she had to attend to. While I was gathering up the potatoes, I was also supposed to be babysitting my brother, John who was only about 2 or 3 years old at the time. I would throw potatoes on and he would walk along the furrows with me. This one particular time, he slipped and fell under the wheel of the wagon. The dirt was soft so all that was hurt was my feelings and his pride, I guess. He wasn’t hurt in any way. But, then it began to reinforce my feeling that perhaps she should be here taking care of her family. I’ve since learned better. She taught by example, she was a good example.
There were some things that she had given to me 5-6 years ago. One of the items was her biography she had written. So this is what I need to read to you right now. I quote,
“This is my biography as I would like it given. I want to thank Owen for choosing me as his wife, the mother of his children. I do thank my Heavenly Father for sending some of his choicest spirits to us. In trusting us with them. I thank him for the choice spirits each one has married. I thank my Father in Heaven for sending his choice spirits to their homes and their children’s homes and the choice sons and daughters of his that each one has married. I thank my parents for letting me be their daughter and for making it possible for their relationship to go on throughout eternity. I thank my brothers and sisters for accepting me as their sister. I thank Owen’s parents and brothers and sisters for accepting me. I want to thank all my friends for accepting me as a friend. I want to thank the temple workers for all the kindness they have shown to me. I want to thank the people at Temple Villa for letting me be one of them. I do give a big thank you for the staff of Chinook Lodge for being so kind and concerned. Also for the people who live there for their love and concern for each other. I want to thank all those I have had the privilege of teaching in all the organizations, for the things that they have taught me. I want to thank the bishops in the wards where I lived, giving me those opportunities causing me to have to study. I want to thank members where I have lived for accepting me as a member an one of them. I know that God lives and that Jesus Christ, my elder brother died for me to make these things possible for me. I owe him an immense debt of gratitude and the biggest thanks of all. Father in Heaven gave me the gift of life. What I have done with it is my gift to him. I hope it is acceptable.”
Mom was predeceased by her husband Owen, 1 son and 2 daughters, and her immediate family. She left behind one lovely, talented daughter, two witty and debonair sons who married above their station, 20 grandchildren, 46 great grandchildren, 3 handsome brothers, 4 beautiful sisters and many, many wonderful nieces and nephews, and so on.
In closing, I would like to read to you a portion of her testimony that she left for her family. I quote:
“I want my family to know that I know God lives and is very interested in each one of us. I know that Jesus, the Christ, lives and he came to earth and gave his life that each one of us can live. If we are faithful, we will all be together in exaltation in his kingdom together as a family. I know that we must learn to live together here as a family so we will be able to do so over there. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet chose before he came to this earth, to usher in the last dispensation. I have often wondered just how he felt as he translated the Book of Mormon and came to passages that told of himself and his work that he would be doing. I know that every prophet since him has been the man of the hour. I marvel at the fast pace of President Kimball, but I am sure he has a vast amount of health from Heavenly Father.”
As you can tell, she wrote this when President Kimball was still alive. I leave that same testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Speaker: Paige Boehmer
My brothers and sisters, I deem it a privilege and honor to be asked today to take a moment in the life of this special and lovely lady. As I consider some of the words that Brother Glyn has expressed, this lady didn’t want to have any bouquets given to her because she wanted to receive her rewards in the life hereafter. But, I know that she can testify and attest to the fact that she had received great blessings in this life through her service and her love which she has given. I first became acquainted with the Redford family when I started dating a lovely young lady from Leavitt. From that association I learned to appreciate this family and the spirit that was in their home. The spirit which Pearl tried to emulate throughout her life. There’s a little poem that I think kind of gives a little thought along the things that she did for each of us.
By Lawrence Holtzberry
There’s a comforting thought at the close of the day,
When I’m weary and lonely and sad,
That sort of grips hold of my crusty old heart
And bids it be merry and glad.
It gets in my soul and it drives out the blues,
And finally thrills through and through.
It is just a sweet memory that chants the refrain:
” I’m glad I touch shoulders with you! ”
Did you know you were brave, did you know you were strong?
Did you know there was one leaning hard?
Did you know that I waited and listened and prayed,
And was cheered by your simplest word?
Did you know that I longed for that smile on your face,
For the sound of your voice ringing true?
Did you know I grew stronger and better because
I had merely touched shoulders with you?
I am glad that I live, that I battle and strive
For the place that I know I must fill;
I am thankful for sorrows, I’ll meet with a grin
What fortune may send, good or ill.
I may not have wealth, I may not be great,
But I know I shall always be true,
For I have in my life that courage you gave
When once I rubbed shoulders with you.
I think we can feel of that special spirit that Pearl gave. She lifted those around her, because of her life which she devoted to her family and to her husband. She was a devoted mother. Over the past few years she had spent much of her time in the temple and doing genealogy work. Through all of this she was a great mother.
Now you might ask just what is she, this mother? Well, it is certain that according to today’s wage scale she was worth more than her weight in gold. She was a housekeeper, a cleaning woman, a laundress, a seamstress, a cook, a nutrition expert, a chauffeur, a nurse, a wise shopper, a bargain hunter, a business manager and an executive vice president of one of the busiest and most demanding institutions in this country, her home.
Is this all she does? Oh no, this is merely just the busy work that occupies her hands while her mind and her heart and her soul are intent upon a greater and higher calling. That higher calling of womanhood and motherhood. A sharing in creation, a sharing in nurturing, a sharing in exaltation, as she sews the seed I her children’s soul. That will and large measure determine their harvest in adulthood and in eternity. She’s a teacher, a counselor, an advisor an example. Is there any greater influence for good or evil in human life? Oh, mother, what a grave responsibility that you have. What an infinite opportunity. Security, affection, a deep and unselfish love. These are your first special gifts that you give to those little ones. That no one else can give quite so well as you. And what about the unnumbered things that you teach that no one else can teach quite so well as you. It is from you a child learns love. Love of God, love of the gospel, love of family and of friends. It is at your knee that a child learns prayer. It is your example that teaches thoughtfulness, courtesy, honesty, respect and authority, obedience to laws and to the laws of the land. Yes, mother, God himself has given you a calling. In it’s important, second to none. May he likewise bless you with the strength and the courage with the wisdom and the love to enable you to fill in the fullest your sacred calling here and now and to serve your place as a priestess and queen behind your husband in eternity.
Would not that be this mother that we talk of here? I would think so. I would think that would be the mother that we know. She was that mother because she recognized her role in this life. She recognized where her duty and responsibility are. She knew that because she was a daughter of God.
Some years ago the Young Women organization had a theme given, about 1986 or 87 that I think tells us a little bit about this mother.
We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Faith • Divine Nature • Individual Worth • Knowledge • Choice and Accountability • Good Works • and Integrity.
We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.
Sister Pearl was a daughter of God. She knew that, she recognized that and she lived her life in accordance with those values. What are those values? Faith, faith I God the Father and in his son Jesus Christ. She knew that she was actually the daughter of God and as such, recognized her individual value. She strived throughout her life to secure the knowledge that was important to her for her exaltation. She made the right choices and knew that because her choices and decisions, she would be held accountable.
Her good works affected all who knew her. Temple and genealogy and the love for family were many of her good works. Because of her integrity, she kept sacred those covenants which she has made and prepared to receive the blessings of exaltation.
I think that that portrays to us today what Pearl would want to see in this family. What mother is there that would not want to see their sons and daughters actively involved in the gospel of Jesus Christ with a testimony that God lives, with a testimony that the Savior came, that he died, that he suffered, that his atonement is for all. What mother would not want to see her sons and her daughters full of integrity, love for those around them, devoted to service to their fellow men. I think all mothers would, as this mother wanted. Just as she portrayed by her actions.
Sometime ago there was a mission President who was being released. They gathered together at a small conference. The mission President related a little story. He had served well in the capacity he had. But, it was a trying time. The years had shown on him and he was weary and tired from the service that he had given. But, he spoke of great love and the assurance that those things which he had been called to do were important. One time as he was returning from a conference, he contemplated his service that he had given. He wanted to have a confirmation from our Father in Heaven that the service he was rendering at the time and that he had given was all that he could have done. It weighed heavy on him. He wanted to know that the Lord was satisfied with his work. He said it felt like the Lord placed a hand on his shoulder and he said this, “My son, you have done all that I have commanded you to do. Return to your home in peace. You have been faithful and I am pleased with your labors.” Could not this be said of Pearl? I think so.
Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.
Brothers and sisters, I bear testimony that God lives and that he hears us. That he hears us. That he answers our prayers. That we were with him in the pre-existence. That we came here as spirit children of His to a loving, caring, understanding family. I bear witness that the Savior also came. Even the atoning Savior of the world. That he taught, that he directed, that he organized his church. That he died upon the cross and was resurrected. Because of that resurrection and that atoning sacrifice, each of us shall be resurrected. That through him and of him and because of him we can return to our Father in Heaven and because of what we can accomplish and are able to accomplish in this life and the way that we live, we shall receive with him eternal life. Does not it tell us in the scriptures, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”(1 Corinthians 15:22) I believe that my brothers and sisters. May that testimony burn in our hearts and our lives to further us towards that goal which we have. I express to this family my love. They have had a great heritage from a lovely mother and a lovely father. May you remember that heritage. May you draw on the spirit and testimony which is there. May we as Pearl can say and as the Savior has said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful in little things, thou shalt be ruler over many. Enter now into the joy of your Lord.” May we recognize that this lovely lady has done all to make her worthy of that exaltation. May each of us live worthy of being with her. I bear my witness to that, praying God’s blessings upon you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Closing Hymn: “Whispering Hope” by Lervae & Joyce Cahoon
Benediction: Ronald Leavitt
Jacob and Barbara (nee Hochhalter) Helm, whose strong faith in God gave them the courage and confidence to brave the unknown when they emigrated from South Russia to the United States. They left their homeland, their family and friends, crossed a vast ocean and travelled many miles by train to reach their destination, Lehr, North Dakota.
Because of their great courage, we their descendants have the privilege and honor of being citizens of the United States and Canada.
Introduction; Researching for information and compiling the material into a history of our family has been a work of love. I am not a trained writer, historian or genealogist. I am an amateur who endeavored to make this record as accurate and informative as possible.
The history of our family covers the years 1770-1984 It begins in Kassel, Russia where Karl Helm and Barbara Hochhalter grew up as neighbors in the same Dorf-Settlement of Kaiser.
Jacob Helm was born Aug 16 1849 to Karl Helm and Barbara Doerr. He married Barbara Hochhalter. They had five sons and daughters. Christina, Fredrick, Karl, Adam, Christian Charles, Jacob, Magdelena, Lydia.
Jacob and Barbara lived in the Dorf of Woynitschi. Population unknown. Rows of Houses stood in a straight line on both sides of the street. The streets were 100 yards wide and lined with trees, mostly Acacia trees. Each yard was 90-100 feet wide and 240-360 feet long with the front area containing the dwelling, flowers, gardens, summer kitchen and wells. The back consisted of the threshing Floor, straw stacks and barns. The houses were one story gable ends and built of sandstone, Limestone or clay brick. The men folks left for their fields early in the morning, taking food and water for themselves as well as for their horses, and worked until evening. They sowed wheat, oats and other grains, They also grew fine grapes from which they made wine. Cattle, horses and sheep were raised. They also had mulberry and oak trees. The village was kept neat and tidy.
The Helm Families were of the Evangelical Lutheran Faith. There were few pastors and often one served from three to eight villages. When the pastor was not present, the sexton (also the school teacher) conducted all religious services. The Church used its influence to preserve the German Customs. School 1n the village were strictly church schools.
Clothing was practical. Men wore their work shirts with the collar open during the week, but closed on Sundays. They wore no ties. Wore caps with visors were typical head gear. Fur coats were worn in the cold winter months. The men wore felt coats in between seasons. Women wore their hair swept back and parted in the middle and pinned back and plaited in the middle and pinned together to form a bun at the back. Mature women always wore a head covering. This was usually a black three cornered scarf or on Sundays it might be a white one, artistically tied in the front. Woman never wore coats, In the winter they placed a long woolen cloth around their shoulders which was held fast inside with one hand. In the summer when the women went to church they often stopped at the flower garden and picked a spray of “schmerkraut” (a type of mint) which they placed in their prayer books. This was used to refresh themselves during service.
Everyone worked long hours, but when winter arrived there was leisure and recreation time for all. A lot of visiting back and forth was done during this time, and the young people went skating, sleighing and often there were horse racing contests.
The good times did not last forever, as land was becoming scarce and the German people had to serve in the Russian Military. The community and schools were no longer self-administrative. Friends and relatives who had come to America wrote and told of the many opportunities to those who were willing to work. It was a very difficult decision to make, Jacob at 52 years and Barbara at 51, had to leave their home and families to migrate to a land so far away. But the decision was eased somewhat knowing they would be with their daughter Christina and her family and their son Karl who lived in South Dakota. It also meant leaving their son Fredrick, his wife Rosina and family in Russia. Relatives took the family and their scant belongings, bedding, clothing and a few personal Items, from Woynitschi by wagon to Tiraspol. They then took the train to Bremen Germany where they had to wait the arrival of the ship.
On April 22,1902 they began their journey across the ocean. sailing on the ship Kronpiez Wilhelm. Barbara was very sick all the way over, she became melancholy and depressed. They arrived at the port of New York on April 29, 1902 and after clearing customs, began the long train ride to Eureka, South Dakota. They settle on a farm southeast of Lehr, North Dakota.
Barbara passed away in 1902. In 1903 Jacob married Rosina George (nee Ziegenhagel) at Lehr, she also predeceased him in 1930. Jacob went to live with his sons, Christian and Adam in Canada for several years. Later he returned to Lehr to live with his daughter Lydia Schauer . He passed away Nov 23 1936 at the age of 87. He was laid to rest in the Lehr cemetery Nov 29 1936.
Written by; Martha Magdelena Helm Salway (granddaughter)