Chapter XLVI.


We Locate on Salt River--Letter from President Young--We

Commence Work on our Ditch--Hire Indians to Help us-- My Associations with the Red Men

WE passed down the Virgin river, crossed the Colorado at Stone's Ferry, then through Mineral Park, Walapai Valley, Cottonwood, Anvil Rock, Oaks and Willows and Walnut Creek, leaving Prescott to the left. We continued on the most direct route into Salt River valley.

The trip was made without losing an animal or suffering in any way worth mentioning; in fact, to this day many of the company speak of the trip as one of pleasure rather than suffering. Everything was under strict discipline. No one can travel safely through a wild, dangerous country and be neglectful, no matter what those may say who are too lazy to stand guard without grumbling.

One incident of the trip I will relate that might be profitable in putting others on their guard.

One day, while traveling through a hilly, broken country, my son Wiley and Chas. Rogers, both young lads, took their guns for a hunt. It was cloudy; I warned them not to go far from the road. This they intended to obey, but soon after they left the train the road turned off to the right and changed the direction. It soon commenced to storm very hard, and we went into camp. We were now uneasy about the boys. The storm was the first of the season--cold and wet, and the boys were without their coats. I tried to keep from showing anxiety for their mothers' sake; but I felt about as much concerned as I ever did, for I knew there was great danger. About night I went on to a high hill, piled up several cords of dried cedars and set fire to them. About 9 o'clock we heard a loud hello. We knew they were coming. They were almost dead with fatigue.

After finding they were lost they had traveled round and round to keep from freezing to death. Their strength had almost failed when they saw the light. They had no matches, but were trying to strike fire with their guns, when the light was visible from where they were. There was quite a mountain ridge between them and the fire. It was in a different direction from where they expected; it had barely shone a dim light in the mountain top.

Wiley said, "That's pa!" and started for the fire. This saved them.

On arriving at Salt river it became plain to see that we were not in a condition to go further, and, as everything seemed inviting to us to stop here, we took a vote on the question of continuing. All voted to locate on Salt river, except one man.

We made camp where Mr. Miller had directed me to the ditch site. Next morning we commenced work on the head of the ditch. Ross R. Rogers began surveying the ditch with a straight-edge and spirit-level.

We had been to work but a few hours, when a party came and claimed that we were on a ditch site already staked and owned. Mr. Miller had posted me on this.

The survey had been made and staked set, but sufficient work had not been done to hold the right of way. So I told the gentleman in charge of the party that we would not interfere with his survey; that we had noticed his stakes and would not disturb them. He finally offered to sell us the right of way.

I told him we were not prepared to buy, but would try and be careful not to interfere with his rights. The party left and we heard no more from them.

We arranged affairs to the best advantage possible, according to the wisdom we had, and went to work on what was registered and is known as the Utah ditch.

On reporting to President Young, the following letter was received:


"Elder D. W. Jones, Camp Utah; Arizona.

"DEAR BROTHER:--On my return from Ogden, last evening, I found your note awaiting me. The brethren who have been called to go to Arizona reside in various parts of this territory. They will start as they get ready and come dropping in upon you from time to time, without any special instructions from the Presidency of the Church, only to commence their labors at as early a date as they reasonably can. For this reason we cannot say anything about making arrangements beforehand for their flour; but they will have to do as we have done before--get it best they made after their arrival.

"We should be pleased to learn from you how far you consider it from your camp to the settlements on the Little Colorado river, and which road you deem the best thereto. We should also like to know what your intentions are with regard to settling the region for which you originally started. We do not deem it prudent for you to break up your present location, but possibly next fall you will find a consistent to continue your journey with a portion of those who are now with you, while others will come and occupy the places vacated by you.

"We do not, however, wish you to get the idea from the above remarks that we desire to hurry you away from where you now are, or to force a settlement in the district to which you refer, until it is safe to do so and free from the dangers of Indian difficulties; but we regard it as one of the spots where the Saints will, sooner or later, gather to build up Zion, and we feel the sooner the better.

"Last evening I returned from Cache valley, where I had been resting a few days. Tomorrow myself and party start for Juab and Sanpete counties to organize a Stake of Zion there, while Brothers Lorenzo Snow and Franklin D. Richards will go to Morgan and Summit counties and organize there.

"We have thus to divide or we should not get through with the organization of the Stakes in time to commence the quarterly conferences in those that were first organized.

"We have no special counsel to give you or your company at present, only to live so as to retain within you the Spirit of the Lord, that it may be to you a present helper in every time of need, and a guide that can be called upon on all occasions. Be prudent in all the measures you enter into; economical with your time and supplies; be just one towards another, and kind and friendly with all men; do your utmost by precept and example to win the hearts of the Lamanites, and ever use the influence you acquire over them for good, for their salvation and education in the arts of peace and industry. In this course the blessing of the Lord will be with you, and you shall be established in peace, and prosperity shall attend your efforts to build up God's kingdom. That this may be so is the prayer of

"Your brother in the Gospel,


We commenced on the ditch March 7th, 1877. All hands worked with a will. Part of the company moved down on to lands located for settlements. Most of the able-bodied men formed a working camp near the head of the ditch, where a deep cut had to be made.

We hired considerable help when we could procure it for such pay as we could command, as scrub ponies, "Hayden scrip," etc. Among those employed were a number of Indians, Pimas, Maricopas, Papagoes, Yumas, Yaquis and one or two Apaches Mojaves. The most of them were good workers.

Some of these Indians expressed a desire to come and settle with us; this was the most interesting part of the mission to me and I naturally supposed that all the company felt the same spirit, but I soon found my mistake, for on making this desire of the Indians known to the company many objected, some saying that they did not want their families brought into association with these dirty Indians. So little interest was manifested by the company that I made the mistake of jumping at the conclusion that I would have to go ahead whether I was backed up or not; I learned afterwards that if I had been more patient and faithful that I would have had more help, but at the time I acted according to the best light I had and determined to stick to the Indians.

This spirit manifested to the company showing a preference to the natives, naturally created a prejudice against me. Soon dissatisfaction commenced to show. The result was that most of the company left and went on to the San Pedro in southern Arizona, led by P. C. Merrill. After this move, there being but four families left, and one of these soon leaving, our little colony was quite weak.

The three families remaining with me professed to sustain my management for a little season. Then they turned more bitter against me than those who went away; no doubt but they felt justified in their own feelings, and, as I am writing my own history and not theirs, I will allow them the same privilege.

It was not long until it became manifested that I would have to either give up the Indians or lose my standing with the white brethren. I chose the natives, and will now give as truthful a history of my labors among them as my memory will serve.

In about six weeks from the time we commenced we had sufficient water out to plant some garden stuff and a few acres of corn. When this was done Brother Turley took a number of teams and went to freighting for Mr. Hayden to pay the debt we had now made--some fifteen hundred dollars. This debt could soon have been paid if all hands had stayed together, but as the most left, the debt finally fell upon me to finish paying up.

This tied me up on Salt river for some time.

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