Chapter LIII.


Other Brethren Visit my Proposed Purchase--Their Good Report

--Death of my Son, Wiley--My Return to Salt Lake City-- A New Invention

I NOW made up my mind to get the best understanding of various tracts of lands, then for sale. I succeeded to my satisfaction. I wished, before leaving Mexico, to get some of our people to go with me and see the tract of land that I had been recommending, for many persons supposed that I had exaggerated its merits.

I again visited Brother Snow's headquarters, hoping that I could get someone sent to see this land. I knew the parties who had purchased it, and had reason to believe it could be bought of them still at a reasonable figure, considering its qualities.

I succeeded in getting the brethren interested enough to let two of the Elders--Brother Spencer and Bishop Williams, two of the most reliable pioneers in camp--to go with me. We were gone fourteen days. On their return they reported that I had shown to them the best country they had ever seen--Illinois and Kentucky not excepted; also, the most hospitable and well-disposed people they had ever met.

I now felt satisfied, as far as duty was concerned. This land was acknowledged to be much better than I reported it to be.

I now left Mexico, with the feeling that I had done all I could at that time. I came to Salt Lake again and offered some other good lands that I had listed for sale; but all faith in Mexican land matters seemed at an end. A great many persons, having visited and seen the country purchased, left in disgust, supposing there was none better.

The only way to account for this good land being passed by is simply to use the old hackneyed expression, "Wait; the time hasn't come yet."

After stopping in Salt Lake City for a short time, I started for home, in Arizona; on my way home I called upon the gentleman who had bought the land. He knew all about my efforts to secure the property, and pledged himself to me that I should have the handling of the property, should it ever be wanted.

When I arrived at home I found my son Wiley very sick. From over-work and exposure he had become consumptive. I was advised to move him to a cooler climate. We fitted up to go. His desire was to move to Mexico. I felt like doing anything to please him, for he was good and faithful to me and in every respect a true man.

He had been with me on some of my hardest missions and was always faithful. He tried hard to get me to load him into a wagon and start, but I could see that he he was fast failing. After being confined but a few days to the house he gave up, saying, "Well, pa, I can't pull through. I will have to give it up. What shall I tell ma?"

I never saw a more common-sense death than his was.

This was a hard loss to me, for he was like a father to the children in my absence.

Another son, 16 years of age, was now taken quite sick, seemingly almost the same. We were about fitted up for a move. I now determined to start for Utah. Death seemed to desire the lives of my family. Others were complaining.

My sick son seemed uneasy and wanted to move, so we started out. After being on the road but three days, he died and was buried at the Vulture mining camp. My three oldest sons remained in Arizona, and are there yet.

I would often find myself counting over my children to see how many I had left. Sometimes I felt almost bewildered. After leaving Vulture, five children, two grand children and myself traveled through alone, coming by the way of Scanlan's Ferry.

We had no further trouble. After this Death seemed satisfied for the time being. We met travelers at different times along the road, sometimes a single wagon, never more than two or three.

As grass and water are scarce in many places, large companies cannot travel as well as small parties. The country is now safe to travel on any of the routes through to Mexico. Ranches and settlements wherever it is possible to locate for water.

We arrived in Fairview, Sanpete County, where my daughter, Mary, lived. We bought a home for the family. My daughter, Ella, having lost her husband, took charge of the children when I came to Salt Lake City to start business at my old trade. This I found would be difficult to do, as the trade had somewhat changed, and it would take time and capital to get a start. So I concluded to start on a project I had had in mind for a number of years. That was to invent a better side-saddle than any yet in use and make the same adjustable to different-sized riders. This I have finally accomplished, after hard work and much more delay than I expected when I commenced.

I will now give what I have formerly promised--a short account of something I have learned about some of the Indian tribes I have visited.

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