The History of WILLIAM FLINT Written by Fidella Flint Jacobs CHAPTER 1 BIRTH --- LINEAGE I have been requested by Sister
Susa Y. Gates, daughter of Brigham Young, to give a history of myself and family for the benefit of my posterity inasmuch as I am a daughter of two of the very first pioneers who entered the Salt Lake Valley. I am now 75 years of age and an ordinance worker in the Salt Lake Temple, which position I have held for the past nine years. My father, William Flint, was born January 28, 1814, in Spafford, Onondago County, New York; his father, Josiah Flint, was born August 21, 1784, in Windham, Shafford County, Conn.; his father, Luke Flint, was born December 20, 1752, Hampton, Conn. My father embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in his native state in 1847, and was baptized by William Hyde that same year. He presided over a branch of the church there until he started for the Rocky Mountains, May 26, 1848. Joseph F. Smith's mother's team was driven by my father from Elk Horn, 18 miles west of Winter Quarters, to the three forks of the Sweet Water River; he, with Elder George Terry, was then sent back to help other emigrants to the valley; arriving here with companies of President Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, September 26, 1848. My mother, Mary Jane Flint (whose name previous to her marriage was Goodridge, daughter of Penelope and Benjamin Goodridge) was born June 11, 1825 in Lunningberg, Mass. She, with her father, mother, one brother and six sisters, left for the Rocky Mountains May 21, 1850. They left with the Wilford Woodruff Company, which was divided into smaller companies of tens, fifties, and hundreds, with a captain over each. Their company was under the command of Leonard W. Hardy, who later married three of mother's sisters. On July 10, 1850,
they reached the Platt River where my mother, her father and brother George were baptized by Wilford Woodruff. The other members of the family had previously been baptized. I have often heard my mother tell of the many trials and hardships they went through while crossing the plains and of her experiences while driving an ox team across the plains. There were quite a number of deaths. On the 9th of July, four women died; namely, Lucy Johnson, Matilda Hardy, a Sister Snow, and Emily Huntington. On the 15th of July, a severe storm arose and a Brother Ridge and his oxen were killed by lightning. Stampedes of oxen teams was very common. The teams consisted of from two to five yoke of oxen to one wagon, and in a stampede, there would often be from thirty to forty teams running in all directions; knowing that everything that happened to be in their way would be smocked down. Wilford Woodruff ran in the midst of one of these stampedes and rescued his wife, Emma, and others who happened to be caught in it. At another time, Prescott Hardy was injured in the arm and thigh, and many others were also injured at this time. After many other hardships, breakdowns, and delays, their company arrived in the valley October 14, 1850. On December 24 of the same year, my mother married William Flint, having known him only three weeks. When he asked her to marry him, she said,- "Why, I don't know anything about you." He asked her to see Brother Heber C. Kimball, which she did, and Brother Kimball told her she would do well to get such a fine man for a husband. Brother Kimball performed the marriage ceremony at the home of her mother. From this union, eight children were born; namely, Sarah Jane P., born October 20, 1851, at Farmington, Davis County, Utah, died in Salt Lake City, January 10, 1886 of pneumonia; Valeria Ann, born January 4, 1853 in Farmington, Davis County, Utah, died January 1, 1930 of pneumonia; William Lenard Flint, born March 24, 1854 (Still 1iving); Fidella L. born October 21, 1856, in Farmington, Davis County, Utah, (still living); Abel Josiah, born January 22, 1859, Salt Lake City, Utah, died December 9, 1908; Harriett Rosella, born January 22, 1861, Bountiful, Davis County, Utah, died January 16, 1923; George Martin, born
January 22, 1864, Salt Lake City, killed in an accident November 28, 1908; Sophia Lois, born November 22, 1866, Salt Lake City, Utah, (still living). CHAPTER II CHILDHOOD - GIRLHOOD As I have mentioned before, I was born at Farmington October 21, 1856. I was blessed by my father when eight days old. My father was a member of Lieutenant David H. Well's Company of the Nauvoo Legion; the name by which the militia was known. Hearing that Johnson¶s army was coming, they established headquarters at the Narrows in Echo Canyon. These companies was small in number, but through camouflage were made to look like a great army. President Brigham Young said "They say that the coming of this army is legal, and I say it is not. I am not going to permit these troops to drive us from the lands we possess. I am sworn, if driven to extremity, to utterly lay waste this land in the name of Israel¶s God and our enemies shall find it as barren as when we came here." Thirty thousand people were ready to leave their homes, so dearly earned, and travel southward with guards left to burn them if the hostile army should invade their land. The roads everywhere were filled with wagons loaded with provisions and household furniture. The women and children were often without shoes and proper clothing. My mother and family were among this number. I was then a babe of sixteen months. The army entered Salt Lake Valley, June 26, 1858, and true to their pledge given to President Brigham Young, preserved excellent order and marched to Cedar Valley, thirty-six miles west of Salt Lake, where they founded Camp Floyd and remained there until 1860. The Famine of 1856 left the people about destitute, but the establishment of this camp was a financial blessing to the people. At that time, over four million dollars worth of merchandise was sold to dealers for about one hundred thousand dollars. Early in July, 1858, President Young and Mormon leaders returned to their homes and were later followed by the whole community, who came back to re-
inhabit their homes. Father and Mother went back to Farmington and continued to live in their old dugout until they could get enough logs to build a cabin. I was baptized by Brother Redfield when eight years of age. It was in the winter of 1864, at a place near the Hot Springs, and I had to walk a half a mile in my wet clothing before I could dress to go home. I was confirmed in the 19th Ward in the same year, by Brother Luther Twitchell. I remember well the day this occurred. After reaching home, my father took me on his knee and said, "Now you are baptized, Heavenly Father wants you to be a good girl." It made quite an impression on my mind and I always tried to be a good girl. I often heard my mother relate some of her experiences while living in. Farmington; most of them were very trying. The rattlesnakes were very prevalent at that time and one day just as they were about to partake of their noon-day meal, a snake dropped down over a pan of milk and hung there by its tail wound around the roof of the dugout, and there was a similar instance of a snake curled up under a chair mother was sitting on. Another time, when father was away from home standing guard against the Indians, an Indian came to the house, and, needless to say, the Indians at that time were quite hostile. Father used to keep a large gun in the corner back of the bed. As soon as the Indian saw the gun, without saying a word, he jumped across the bed and grabbed it. He pointed the gun at mother and was just about to pull the trigger when our big dog came in and made a mad rush at the Indian and grabbed him by the leg. The Indian pleaded with mother to call him off, which she did; and furthermore, bound and dressed the wound made by the dog's teeth. When Father came home, the Indian begged him to let him stay, and out of the goodness of his heart, father gave him a blanket and allowed him to curl up in front of the stove for the night. Early the next morning he left and never bothered them again. In 1859, we moved to the 19th ward in Salt Lake City and lived in a house on the corner of Second North and Second West. Mother's sister, Harriett, lived with us, teaching school in one of the upstairs¶ rooms. She afterwards became the wife of Leonard W. Hardy. My father was a gardener and he cultivated and harvested the ground which was known as the Public Square; the place where the West High School is now
standing. He later bought an acre of land a half a block farther north on Second West and built a log house on it, where we lived a great number of years. This little cabin consisted of one room and a dirt roof for its covering. I remember very clearly one day when I was coming home from school I noticed a crowd of people gathered around our house. The dirt roof had fallen in ant' covered up my mother and little sister, Harriett, crushing them through the floor into the cellar. The night before a heavy snow had fallen and its weight had caused the crash. Father was frantic on account of mother's condition. It was just a short time before my sister Sophia was horn. He and some neighbors lost no time in trying to extricate them. After some work they finally rescued mother, who received no serious injury from the fall, but they couldn't find anything of sister Harriett. After working and digging for some time they finally noticed a piece of her yellow dress. When they got her out, they thought she was dead. A doctor was called and after working over her for quite awhile, he finally got her respiratory organs working again, but her little chest had been injured and she felt the effects all her life. The roof hadn't been fixed at the time of mother's confinement and one day a severe storm came up and umbrellas had to be rut over her head to keep the rain off. In those days, people were very poor and the scant living we had was made by my mother. My father was hurt in a runaway accident which left him in poor health the rest of his life and was never able to do very much for his family thereafter. This made it doubly hard for mother. She was a weaver and made linsey from which dresses were made. She also made beautiful carpets and rugs. Although mother's time was pretty well taken up in the making of a living, she was always greatly concerned about the proper rearing of her children; instilling' into our hearts the true principles of the Gospel and never losing sight of an opportunity to correct us when necessary. When I was about seven years of age an incident occurred that made a deep impression upon my young mind. Dishes were very scarce in those days. There was an old china cup that mother used to keep by the well for drinking purposes.
One day I accidentally broke it. I was terrified, wondering what to do about it. Finally, I dug a hole in the wall of the cabin and hid the pieces. When mother missed the cup she asked me if I had seen it. I lied to her and I think she could tell I had lied by the guilty look upon my face and she began looking around and saw the fresh dirt in the wall and found the broken pieces of the cup where I had hidden them. She gave me a good spanking and said, "Now remember, the spanking isn't for breaking the cup, but for lying." I saw the first train that entered Salt Lake Valley. I was about fourteen years of age, and at the time, I happened to be washing dishes. When I heard the toot of the engine, I left those dishes and ran as fast as my legs would carry me down to the Nebeker Corner, just one block from our place. There were great crowds of people around, and I think that it was one of the greatest thrills I have ever had in my life. How the pioneers had been looking forward to the advent of this railroad and what it would mean to them! When this was first talked of many people in the east thought the Mormons and their leader Brigham Young would be greatly opposed to it, but on the contrary, President Young, as a standing and irrefutable testimony that its advent was desired, took a contract to complete the grading of the highway from the head of Echo Canyon to Salt Lake Valley. On the 10th day of May, 1869, at Promontory on the Northern Shores of Great Salt Lake, the last spike was driven that welded into one, the Union and Central Pacific Railroads. Seven days later, ground was broken near Ogden for the construction of the Utah Central Railroad. The road was built by the people and was purely a Mormon enterprise. Amid the rejoicing of thousands, the last spike was driven by Brigham Young, January l0, 1870. An address was given by him reminding the people of their many blessings and calling attention to the poverty of the Saints on their arrival in the valley with no friend save God, and yet, how they had been able to build homes, cities, cultivate farms, dig canals, water ditches, subdued the country, fed the stranger, clothed the naked, emigrated the poor, fed and clothed the Indians, and now built a railroad. "Who has helped us to do all this?´ said Brigham Young.
"I will answer, God Almighty. What are the causes of our success? Union and oneness of purpose in God." Some of the people who lived around us on Second West were: Orson Pratt's four families; Henry Grow, the architect of our Great Tabernacle, lived just across the street. His daughter was a very dear friend of mine; Joseph Ridges, a very close friend of my father's, lived just around the corner. He was the man who built the great noted organ in the Tabernacle; and the family of Heber C. Kimball also lived nearby. Their daughter, Alice, and I were very close friends. I must pause here to tell of a little incident that happened to Alice and myself. We were just a little over 14 years of age. When the railroad reached as far as Draper, the Sunday School of the 19th ward gave an excursion. Alice and I had a misunderstanding about the time the train would leave and when we arrived at the depot the train had gone. We had looked forward to this trip with a great deal of anticipation, so we decided to go anyway and walk. We followed the railroad track so we would he sure to find the way. It was a beautiful sunshiny day and I suppose we had gone about ten miles laughing and talking and enjoying our trip when suddenly we heard a man who was working in a field nearby. He hollered to us and said, "Hello, there, old women, where are you going?" You can imagine how it frightened us. There were no houses to be seen so we started to run as fast as we could. It was getting pretty well along in the afternoon and we began to feel tired and hungry: we had eaten our luncheon hours before. Now, we were beginning to worry, wondering where we were, if we would ever get there, or if we would miss them and have tip walk home. A short distance away we noticed a house so we decided to go there for some information. A young girl met us at the door and after inquiring where we were, explaining our predicament, she invited us in and informed us that we were in little Cottonwood. She said her mother had gone to Salt Lake and that her two brothers had gone to the canyon for some wood, but she felt sure they would be glad to take us where we wanted to go as soon as they returned. She fixed us some bread and milk, which we enjoyed very much.
By this time, the boys had returned home and when we told them our experience of the day they had a good laugh. They said our train would soon be coming back and that they would take us to Lovendahl Station to catch it from there. Had it not been so far away and being so tired and footsore, we would have much rather walked home than catch the train because we were a pitiful sight to look at. Our arms, neck and faces were almost in a blister by the hot sun. In those days we wore little pancake shaped hats without any brims. When we got on the train we were so embarrassed we didn't know what to do. When the conductor came for our tickets, he asked us how it was that we had boarded the train there. When we told him, he, too, had a good laugh and said, "Well, next time you had better try getting up a little earlier." As the boys and the girls would pass through the train and see us they would say, "Why we haven't seen you before today." And we would answer kind of sheepishly, "That is funny.´ We want you to know we were surely happy to get home that night, arriving there about six o'clock. Alice and I were great pals and were seat-mates in school over sixty years ago. Her family, also, were quite poor. For a change we would often exchange dresses. She later married President Joseph F. Smith. When he died, she was left with five children. She is now getting quite feeble, having very-poor health. I visit her occasionally, and we enjoy going over and recalling our youthful days. I well remember, as a child, how I loved to go to church. I nearly always went with my Grandmother Goodridge. One Sunday, I was unable to go and upon grandmother¶s return home, she related a very remarkable experience. It was in the winter time and it was very slippery and to get to the church it-was necessary to cross City Creek, which had only a small plank to cross onto the other side. She said she stood there hesitating and looked up and down the street and could see no one to help her across the plank. However, as she stood there hesitating, a man
stepped up and said, "I'll help you across." Upon reaching the other side, she turned to thank him and there was no one there. While in the Tabernacle on Sunday when I was fourteen years of age another remarkable thing happened. It still stands out very vividly in my mind as though it had happened only yesterday. It was on September 4, 1870. Martin Harris, an old man of eighty-eight years of age at that time, feebly made his way to the stand and gave this testimony: "These hand s (holding up his two hands) have handled the golden plates; these eyes have seen the Angel of the Lord; and I testify to you that they were translated by the gift and power of God," and a few other things that I don¶t recall, and sat down. President Brigham-Young arose and said for fear all in the building didn't hear he would repeat it. Just thirteen days after this, on September 17, 1870, he was rebaptized into the church, and was confirmed by Edward Stevens. He had been severed from the church for thirty-three years. I went to work at the age of fourteen. I couldn't bear to see Mother working so hard. I shall never forget the place where I first worked. I received two dollars a week and gave mother one of them. The mother of the home treated me pretty nicely, but she had a sister living with her and she and her daughter never missed their chance to make me feel small and insignificant. The daughter would often taunt me about my shabby clothing and that I was, after all, only a servant girl. On one occasion I remember of telling her I was at least honest and upright. She was a very beautiful girl. In later years there was a peculiar coincidence. Fate was not as kind to them in later years. Some thirty-five years later, while I was President of the Relief Society in the 17th Ward, on one of my visits carrying foodstuffs and clothing to the needy, I came across this mother and daughter. The daughter had never married and had grown to look the picture of misery. My heart went out to the poor creatures and at Christmas time, I would always put in their basket something extra to try to cheer them a little. After leaving this place, I went to live at the home of Orson Pratt, in which place I lived for three gears. I kept company with his son Loras for a long time.
While living there, I was rebaptized by Orson Pratt in Pugleys Mill Pond and the following day Loras and I had our endowments. This was on January 6, 1874. After leaving the Pratt family, I went as nursemaid in another home. My wages, also, were two dollars a week at this place. When I had been there about a year, the lady became ill with typhoid fever, and in waiting upon her I contracted the disease and was sick a long time. While convalescing, I spent the time with a friend out in Cottonwood. The change of air did me a wonderful lot of good and I daily grew stronger. My school days were limited. The cost of tuition and books were more than mother could afford, but the little time that I did go were happy days always to be remembered; although, some of our teachers were very strict and sometimes cruel. My first recollection of school days was in a private home, paying my tuition by keeping the room clean. My teacher was Lona Pratt, one of Parley P. Pratt's daughters. Another school I went to was in the 19th Ward. My teachers were Paul Litchenburg and Lucious Peck. Many happy hours were spent in dancing on the back porch of the school house.