The Land West of Leavitt
This land lies west of Leavitt, Alberta, Canada. It is between the Rocky Mountains and the city of Cardston. It consists of rolling hills, covered with tall grass and all kinds of wild flowers like buttercups, twinkling stars, red tiger lilies and hyacinths, and my favorite crocuses that thrust their heads through the sow in the springtime, so the hills are lavender and purple. The winters are harsh with the wind blowing off the mountain peaks.
The nights are special, black sky with stars twinkling so close you feel you can reach up and touch them. The moon throwing light across the meadows. Silence except for insects chattering, an occasion cow mooing, or owl hooting. Even the trip to the out- house is a beautiful experience. I think if I, a newcomer to this land, feel this strongly, Glynn, who spent his early years riding horse- back, driving a team of horses or a tractor, plowing fields, cutting hay, growing up with the feel of the black soil under his fingernails, the urge to return was stronger. He walked or rode a horse to school in Leavitt, two miles over the hill. Swimming in Lee’s creek with his friends, (they dynamited the creek so they could have a swimming hole.) Working summers painting boats at Cameron Lake, Fishing at Waterston Lake.
Glynn’s grandparents John Ephraim Redford and Sarah Almira Leavitt drove a team of horses pulling a covered wagon from Cache Valley, Utah to homestead the land in Leavitt. There were a lot of Leavitt families already settled in Leavitt. All descended from Robert Patefied Leavitt.
The land stretched from Lee’s creek on the south and to the Indian reservation on the north. They built their first home about five miles south of the reservation. It was built of logs cut and hauled near Waterton, as there were few trees on the home land. They raised nine children; Owen, Nora, John, Blanche, Arvin, Eleanor, Antoinette, Julia and Arilla. The log cabin home was still standing when we lived there, being used for an animal shelter. John and Sarah then built a large two story home over by Lee’s creek. They sold off some of the land during the hard times.
When Pearl and Owen got married, John and Sarah moved into Cardston to work in the Temple. Pearl and Owen bought the land from his parents. John Ephriam made Owen promise that he would never let the land go out of the Redford name. Life on the land was never easy for Owen and Pearl. Pearl lost two children at birth and almost died both times. Glynn remembers his mother being sick a lot when he was growing up. When Glynn was 6 years the house burned down with everything they owned. The family moved into John and Sarah’s old log cabin. They started to build another home, which consisted of a bedroom, main room and a kitchen. Hauling water from a spring, heating and cooking on a large coal stove. Coal oil lamps at night, an out- house with a Sears catalogue. Glynn had a brother Sidney and a sister Leola, Leola left home when she was about sixteen years old to work in Calgary. In 1941, Glynn was 8 years old his brother Sidney had considerable abdominal pain and was taken to the hospital in Cardston to have his appendix removed. The doctor came out to tell Pearl and Owen that Sidney had died, it was not his appendix, but yellow jaundice and they should not have operated. Sidney was 20 years old, just getting ready for his mission.
This left Glynn alone on the farm with his grieving parents. Owen bought a large herd of cows, to calf in the spring. That summer there was a draught, the hay was low, and couldn’t be bought anywhere. Then Owen along with other ranchers sent their cattle by boxcar to Edmonton (where there was lots of hay) the cost of shipping and boarding the cattle soon took the cattle and Owen and the others lost everything on that venture. They sold off some farmland to pay the bank and other expenses.
John Clark Redford was born Oct. 5, 1943. Glynn and I were married in 1950.
The house Owen and Pearl were living in caught fire and burned down, (after Glynn was married) once again they lost everything. This time Owen was able to build a home with electricity and running water. They tried raising sheep and cattle. Pearl would card the wool and make quilts. Owen worked on threshing crews and in the lumber camps, He also broke horses for the Indians. Owen also played a Tuba for a band. The band played for dances around the area.
In 1965 we left Orem and moved into Cardston until Pearl and Owen could make arrangements and get moved. The bank was able to loan us money to buy 100 head of cows. Once again disaster hit, the cows were diagnosed with hoof and mouth disease, and infection called ‘Brucellosis”, which caused the cows to abort their calves. There were several cases around. It was very infectious and the cows had to be killed and burned. This was a difficult time for us but the government paid to destroy the animals. We borrowed some more money from the bank and bought 150 head of cows that were ready to calf in the spring.
Christmas came with lots of snow, cold and windy the boys had to walk about a mile to the road to get the school bus, as it would not come up our road until the road was cleared. While getting a Christmas tree our family was in a car accident in Mt. View. A few days after Christmas Glynn started to have back pain. He had to go to Calgary for back surgery.
The Redford home was located in the middle of nowhere. The rocky mountains about 12 miles west, Cardston about 12 miles east, and the little village of Leavitt about 5 miles east on the highway. We were two miles from the main road leading to Waterton Lakes. Glynn’s aunt Ella lived about 2 miles down the hill north of us by the highway. We didn’t see much of their family. We had a dirt road running uphill to the farm; it was kept ploughed by the municipality when school was on. The school bus would come to the house and turn around, most of the winter the kids had to walk through the snowdrifts to the highway.
When the boys got home from school, they fed the pigs, fed and watered the horses and checked the cows in the fields. The farm was covered in snow most of the time with a strong west wind blowing off the mountains, often we had blizzard conditions with the temperatures dropping to 30 degrees below F. Then a Chinook wind would come through bringing the temperature to 40 degrees above F. within an hour. Then everything was warm and muddy.
While Glynn was in the hospital in Calgary all was going well, the cows decided it was time to calve, and then it started to snow, one of the worst snow storms Southern Alberta ever had. In three weeks we had 72 inches of snow, which stayed on the ground. And this was the end of April and 1st week of May 1966. The cows were out in the field without hay, the phones were out. Glynn’s parents and John were in Cardston, and couldn’t get to us as the roads were covered with snow drifts and impassable. I’m sure they worried about us city folks trying to care for 150 head of cows ready to calf.
Rod and Derek with their great ingenuity saved the cows. They took the hood off an old junk car, turned it upside down and attached ropes to it and piled hay on the hood. They attached the ropes to the saddle horn, got on the horse and pulled the hay out to the cows a couple of miles away. The third week Glynn’s parents had hay dropped in from a helicopter to the cows in the field.
Meanwhile Randy and Robbe dug a tunnel through the snow to the pig barn. The mother sow had ten baby piglets. Three of the piglets were not doing very well so the boys brought them into the house and fed them with a baby bottle. We put them in the bathtub. Lori was four years old and she thought the piglets were fun and would let them run all over the house.
Derek and I got on the horse and went out to check the cows in the field. On the way home a blizzard came up and we were not able to see the horses head. We prayed and the answer came to Derek, he said he had read a book where the guy just let the horse find the way home. So we tied the reigns to the saddle horn kicked the horse and put our heads down and prayed while the horse led us to a fence which we could hardly see, and the he followed the fence to the house. We were warm in the house with propane gas, enough food, and plenty to do. I remembered my favorite scripture in Proverbs. Where it says to trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not unto thy own understanding and He will direct thy paths. He certainly answered our prayers and directed us home.
It was a tremendous experience, but we were glad to see a snow plough coming up our road with Glynn’s parents behind it.
Once we got out we went to Calgary to bring Glynn home. He was in a body cast from neck to top oh his legs. Doctor said he would be in the cast six months. It was hard for him, when he couldn’t help with anything on the farm.
We soon realized that Glynn would not be able to manage the cows with a body cast. We were all heartbroken to leave the farm and move into Cardston, as we felt we would never be back again. We just knew our future did not lie in Southern Alberta.
We moved into a house across Lee’s creek . It was a large house with an apartment upstairs. We settled into the ground floor apartment, I continued to work at the Cardston Hospital. The boys were able to continue going to the same schools. Glynn was able to take care of Lori and the home while in his body cast. He got around well with a cane for balance.
When Glynn got out of his cast, we moved to Salem Oregon. Glynn worked in the State Penitentiary and got an associate degree in business. I worked at the State mental hospital. In 1976 we purchased a 60 bed nursing home in Eugene, Oregon. Later we built a 120 bed rehab nursing home which we owned and managed until we sold it in 1995, retired and went on a mission to Sudbury, Ontario. When we returned home we served as ordinance workers for 10 years in the Portland temple.
Written by Glynn and Millie Redford in 2017.
Four years after Thomas Rowell Leavitt married Ann Eliza Jenkins, he married a second wife, Antonett Davenport. She was born 2 Sept. 1843 at Hancock, McDonnough County, Illinois. They were married at the endowment house at Salt Lake City by Pres. Brigham Young 9 March, 1861. She was as beautiful young lady, tall and graceful with dark hair and eyes that sparkled. She loved life and people and especially her religion. She understood the principles of plural marriage practiced in the church at that time. The first wife had to give her consent before this marriage could take place.
Two apartments were built exactly alike, a large living room, and one bedroom downstairs and bedrooms upstairs. Ann Eliza and her family lived in one apartment and Antonett and her family lived in the other one. After this house was completed Antonett moved from her home in Wellsville. While Antonett lived in Wellsville, Thomas bought her a four-lidded cook stove. All the neighbors came to see it. She had plenty of work and hard times all of her life. Like most pioneer mothers life was hard, especially as her husband could not be at home while their children were young. Most of their children were born on the farm. About this time persecution was rife against all polygamist families in Utah.
When her tenth child was due, Antonett’s husband Thomas, was in hiding in the canyons south of Wellsville. He felt impressed that he was needed at home. He traveled on foot in the dead of the night. When he arrived home he found his beloved wife, Antonett dead, not being able to deliver her child. Dr. Armsley at Logan had been sent for but declined to come. His own child had the croup. When he came the next morning Grandfather met him at the door and ordered him off the place. He said, “My wife is dead. You would not come when we needed you and we don’t need you now.”
Antonett was strict with her children but a wonderful mother, a staunch Latter-day Saint, a loving wife and neighbor. She died at the age of 37 years and is buried in the Wellsville cemetery. What a comfort Ann Eliza and Antonett had been to each other. They shared their joys and sorrows and lived in constant fear for the safety of their husband. When he could not be at home with them, Grandmother Ann Eliza told her friends, “I’m glad there is someone else who can love him just as much as I do.” They shared and shared alike in times of sickness and health. They went to church with their little children. They sang beautifully together. But now what could they do? This was a very sad time for the family.
From the book: The Life of Thomas Rowell Leavitt. page 33
“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.