Life History of Robert Wright Baxter

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Robert Wright Baxter

I was born in the parish of Bellgvester {Ballyvester, Donaghadee Parish, Ireland}, where my mother lived with her parents, John and Jane Wright, although the home of my parents was in the parish of Donahadee which I claim as my place of birth, in County Down, Ireland. In the year 1852, July 20th, I commenced to make a small record of my life. I was born Feb. 2, 1820. I was the first born of my parents. When my father and mother got married, I don’t remember to hear them say, but when I was born they lived at my grandfather Wrights, and for 2 or 3 years after. My father would be away working as there was little to do at home, while my mother stayed with her parents. When I was about 3 or 4 years old my father was working a diving bell at Dumberton, about 18 miles below the city of Glasgow on the banks of the river Clyde, west of Scotland. Afterwards, he returned to Donahadee where his father, Robert Baxter, my grandfather, lived in this place. My grandfather died before I was born and my father fell heir to some few houses and land, and my mother got a cow from her father at the time of marriage. So by industry and economy they got along very well until about the year 1832. I was put as apprentice to one James Hill to learn shoemaking. About the year 1830, my father got some more land and settled down at home.

When I was about 18 years, I left home, 1836. I went to Scotland and finished my apprenticeship with one James Neilsen in the town of Stranvar{Stranraer} on the banks of Lachyen {Loch Ryan}, Wigton Shire Scotland. At this time my parents had eight children born to them, four boys and four girls and afterwards had another son which in all made nine children. Their names as follows: Robert Baxter, born 1820 {1819}, John Wright Baxter born 1822{1820}, Mary Baxter, born Sept. 6, 1825; Jane Wright Baxter, died when young 5 years old born 11 Nov. 1827; James Wright Baxter born 14 Mar. 1829; William A. Baxter born Nov. 11, 1831; Elizabeth Jane Baxter born 16 Feb. 1834; Sarah Wright Baxter born 14 July 1836; and David Baxter born 11 Nov. 1842. My sister Jane died when she was about 5 years old. It was supposed to be Cholera, which was in the neighborhood at that time. But to return to finish my apprenticeship in the town of Stranvar. I boarded with a cousin of my mother’s, Robert Agnew, who kept a public house in a place they called the tavern. I received for my labor one shilling per week for three months with which I bought paper and ink and books to read and write and then improve my mind, in my spare time, for my education was very limited.

I then went to a town called Maybole, in Ayrshire and stayed there about 4 months. Then I went home to see my parents. On my arrival, I found them all well, but during the time I was absent, my parents lost a house and cow which was against them, and at the same time my father was confined to his bed with a strained leg. I remained nine days and returned to Maybole, but trade being dull, I returned to Girvan, a town 12 miles west of Maybole, I worked for one, David Chambers, for 15 months. While here my brother, John, came to me to learn the shoemaking trade. I again moved back to Maybole and took my brother with me, but he thought best to go home again, and I remained in this placed about two years. Here, I made my first acquaintance with my first wife, Isabella Gray. I went to board in her father’s house and there got acquainted with her. She had a brother in the town of Kilmarnock. He was a cutter in a shoe shop and he sent me word to go there and he would find me a good seat of work. I started out a foot, the distance was about 21 miles. On my arrival I found one of my old shopmates there who was glad to see me. We went to lodge and boarded together again. His name was Samuel McWilliam. There were two others of our own town boys come to board and lodge with us, and we all worked together. Their names where Robert Drake and William Kilpatrick. They were all shoemakers.

I stayed in Kilmarnock about 3 years. While here I first heard the Gospel by Elder William Gibson. At this time, we, all my shipmates with me, used to go first to hear one sect of Religious persuasion and then another. We could not make up our minds to join any of them. In the spring of 1844, Elder William Gibson was preaching in what was known as the Scientific Hall. This evening, being Sunday, we called at one William Vacocks (another shoemaker) and said we did not know where or what Sect to go to hear tonight and he said he had been at Scientific Hall the Sunday night before. He persuaded us to go with him which we did, and we heard a good discourse on the First Principal of the Gospel. This man told us before we went to hear Elder Gibson, that he had never heard a man speak as he did before, and to my astonishment, as soon as we came out of the meeting, we were asking one another what we thought of the preaching. I expressed my faith in what I had heard as being the truth if there was any truth in religion. At that moment they all turned upon me and said I must be converted. I replied, “call it what you like, I believe he taught the truth.” Afterwards, the landlord and landlady with whom we were lodging joined in with those against me and James and Thomas Clarks, two brothers for whom I worked, and discharged me before I joined the Church.

I left Kilmarnock and went to the City of Glasgow, a distance of 21 miles, and as my old landlord and family that I boarded with in Maybole had moved to Kilmarnock, I returned there and went to board with them again.

The 31st day of Jan. 1845, I and Isabella Gray got married by one, J.P. Jamison, Minister of the Sessision Church. She was born Mar 12, 1822, in Maybole, Ayashire, Scotland. She was the daughter of John Gray and Elizabeth McCutchison.

I attended all of the meetings of the Latter Day Saints which were three times every Sunday and a prayer meeting on Thursday nights. On the 9th of March, 1845, I retired to the field to pray and as I kneeled behind a thorn hedge, I prayed earnestly to know whether the Latter Day Saints was the church of Christ of not, and whether God acknowledged it or not. I went to meeting that evening. John Lyon was preaching. At the close of the meeting I was convinced to my satisfaction of the truth and I requested Baptism. Elder John Lyon and a few others went with me down home and baptized me in a mill race. Immersing me in the water. After we came forth our of the waters, we went into Brother Ivey Thomson’s house and there, Elder John Lyon confirmed me. I was the first that Elder Lyon Baptized. On June the 20th, 1946, I was ordained a Deacon by Elder John Lyon (Kilmarnock).

About 14 months after we were married, my father{John Baxter whose wife was Margaret Wright} paid us a visit to inform me that he had been in America and had taken my brother, James with him, and that he bought a farm at Half Day, Lake County, Illinois, and left my brother in the same, until he would return and take out the rest of the family. My grandmother Wright (mother’s mother) {Jane Agnew wife of John Wright of Ballow townland}was still alive and mother wished to stay while her mother lived. As father had sold out all his possessions before he went to America, he went to work at what was known as the Ptna Iron Works, west of Scotland on the farm of Kiers. On the first of Jan. 1855, I went to visit them before I left, as I was about to immigrate to Zion (Salt Lake City, Utah) and my father gave me a pound or about $5, and mother gave me about $2.50 and they treated me very kind indeed and were very sorrowful at me leaving. About 2 years previous to this my brothers John and William and John’s wife immigrated to America (1853) and joined my brother James in Illinois. To return to the 16th day of June, 1846, my wife, Isabella Gray, gave birth to a daughter. Through the weakness of this mother, and other troubles that she fell into thru the neglect of the doctor attending her, preventing the child from having the care she required, the child died when 2 weeks old, June 29, 1846. My wife got worse when her child died, and her trouble went to her head, so that she did not know what was doing. I gave her all the attention I could under the circumstances, and for eight successive days and nights I waited on her myself, without any rest, and in about three months from her confinement, she was able to get up and walk a little and in the midst of all this trouble, I attended my duties as a deacon, and rejoiced in the work of the Lord.

The spirit of the Lord was poured upon the Saints to a great extent and many enjoyed the outward manifestations of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, interpretations, prophesying, healings, etc. About this time the Elders would go out and preach in the surrounding towns and villages. The first time I ever spoke out of doors was in a town the name of Golston and from that day to the present I have continued to bear my testimony wherever an opportunity was given me. About the middle of August 1846, at a Sunday evening meeting, Brother Robert Elvin (priest) was called upon to preach, and on standing up to address the meeting, he tried to quote the passage in the 2nd chapter of Acts 38th verse. The more he tried to read the verse he would read saying, “repent not and be not baptized” and the Evil Spirit was in possession of him. It threw him down with his head against the grate in the fireplace, and raised to lumps on the back of his head about the size of a hen’s egg each. I ran for water, down the stairs, and when I returned he was still laying foaming at the mouth as if he were dead by Elder John Lyon and two or three more of the Elders layed their hands on him and rebuked the evil spirit in the name of Christ, and that moment the evil spirit left, and he looked up, and he arose and went home. I called and saw him about one hour afterwards and he said he was well with the exceptions of the lumps on his head.

In this month, August 1846, there was a shoemaker strike, and I sent to (Greenock) a town on the Clyde of Scotland about 60 miles from Kilmarnock. The next day after I arrived in Greenock, I was taken sick, so much so that I was unable to get out of bed. There was a branch of the church here, but I had not found out where any of them lived and I was boarding with strangers. I wanted one of them to send for the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but this astonished them, and they were sorry they had taken me in to board with them, but I was getting weaker every day. They went for a doctor and when he came he said that I was very sick (this I knew for myself) but he said I might get better as I was dark complectioned. His charge was on shilling and he left. My landlord and landlady began to consult with themselves what was best to do with me and they concluded to turn me out on the street, but as the law would not allow them, the concluded to send me to the infirmary, but I insisted on them letting me stay a few days to see if I could get some of the Saints to come and administer to me, but to this they would not harken. Then I asked for paper and pen and ink, which they gave me and I wrote a few lines to Elder John Lyon in Kilmarnock, stating my condition. My letter arrived on Thursday evening, and a number of the brethern were present at the time, and Brother Lyon requested them to unite with him in prayer in my behalf and the next day I was able to sit up. I requested in my letter also that as the following Sunday was the Glasgow Quarterly Conference, and Brother Lyon would be going there, to report the Kilmarnock branch, that he would call at Greenock and see me, which he did. He brought a bottle of consecrated oil with him, and he anointed me with the oil, and layed his hands on my head, and blessed me. I went down to the steam boat with him and he left for Glasgow. I returned and went to work in the shop about six weeks.

After I went and brought my wife to Greenock. About five months later my wife took very sick, and she was convinced in her own mind that she was sick unto death, and believing the gospel, but not being baptized yet, she desired very much to get better sufficient to go and be baptized. We united in prayer that she might obtain strength to go to the water, which was about one mile off, and in 2 days she was able to go afoot to the water. This was March 17, 1847, and Elder Malcomb McCallum baptized her in the Clyde of Scotland, Greenock, Refrewshire. On returning home from the water I offered her my arm to assist her, but she refused saying she could walk quite well. Next day I wrote a letter to her parents in Kilmarnock and she took it to the Post Office which was about one and on-half miles. After this she began to get weak so she was unable to go to meeting to get confirmed, and on the 17th days of March 1847, she was confirmed in her bed by Elder Peter McIntyer and she continued sinking until the 4th day of June 1847 she died, age 25 yrs, 2 mos, 23 days. She was buried in the new cemetery, Grave or lot No. 508 in Class 3, Section L. Greenock, Scotland.

Early in the spring, Feb. 1st, 1848, I married Jane Love. She was born on 11 Dec 1825, in the parish of Kilbery Argyle Shire, Greenock, Scotland. She had a sister married to one Archibald McPhail. They were both in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and this sister, Elizabeth McPhail, died about the same time as my first wife died, and brother McPhail being left with two children, this Jane Love, my present wife, left her services and came to keep house for her sister’s husband (Brother McPhail) and take care of the children. At this time I went to board at Brother McPhail’s, and here I got acquainted with her. On the 17th of July, 1847, she was baptized by Elder John Smith and confirmed on the 20th day of July 1847, by Elder Malcomb McCollum in Greenock, Scotland, and as stated above, early in the spring of 1848 we got married by Elder Duncan Campbell, President of the Greenock branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We continued to live with Brother McPhail and on the 2nd of Nov. 1848, our first son was born. He was named Robert Baxter and blessed by Elder D. Campbell Nov. 19,1848.

The following spring I was sent out to preach in the surrounding towns and villages. One day, I think in the beginning of May, I was in company with Elder George Deniston preaching in the open air in the town of Gurick three miles below Greenock and there I caught a fever called typhoid. Four days after, my wife and I both, were taken to the infirmary and there we remained for one month. Our child was given to a nurse, he being a little over six months old at this time. We got better slowly. On the 18th of June 1850, we had a second son born to us. He was named Archibald McPhail Baxter. On the same morning the steam ship Orion was wrecked off Port Patrick, and about 30 lives were lost and one of the proprietors was lost also. This ship sunk between Glasgow and Liverpool. On July 14th, 1850, our second child was blessed by Elder Peter McFarlin. Trade being dull, I went into a sugar refinery to work, and in the year following, I was offered helper wages in a sugar refinery in Port Glasgow, which I accepted. On the 11th of October 1851, we removed to Port Glasgow 3 miles above Greenock. On the 31st day of the same month, we had a daughter born to us. She was named Jane McPhail Baxter, and blessed by Apostle John Taylor. On the 9th of Nov. 1853, we had a third son born to us. He was named Willard Snow Baxter and blessed by Elder Edward Martin, President of the Glasgow Conference, on the 11th of Dec. 1853. He was named for Elder Willard Snow, who was sent on a mission from S. L. City, Utah territory, U.S.A. on Sept. 7th, 1851 to England. He was appointed to labor in Glasgow Conference at which time I had an opportunity of seeing and conversing with him. I thought him a very fine intelligent man. In about three months, he was appointed to take the presidency of the Scandinavian Mission where he took suddenly ill and died August 21st 1853. (See Millennial Star, Vol 15, No 37, Page 598) At this time when I heard of his death, I felt sorry for his family and would have done anything for them to comfort them, but this was not in my power, so I named this son for him. It was all the respect I could show.

While we remained in Port Glasgow, in connection with Brother Jon Cameron, we succeeded under the blessing of the Lord in holding meetings in private houses and preaching out of doors. We baptized quite a number of persons and we were organized into a small branch and I was set apart to preside over the same, and we seemed to enjoy ourselves and rejoiced in the principles of the Gospel. The gifts and blessings of the Holy Spirit were made manifest among the saints to a good extent. Previous to this there was a brother John Martin, appointed to labor with me in the district of Kilmalcomb, where we preaches for a whole summer, but we received no encouragement. About the close of the season for preaching out of doors, we concluded that we would not go back to Kilmalcomb any more, but leave them undisturbed so far as preaching the Gospel was concerned.

On a Saturday evening after retiring to bed I slept and dreamed that I was in Zion in America, and I was in an upper room where I saw a number of the brethern of the Latter Day Saints, assembled together in the form of a circle, all dressed in white and in their midst sat the Lord, our Saviour. He was instructing the members of the circle and after instruction them, he turned his eye to me, (I was not in the circle, but looking over the shoulders of those who were in it) and said, calling me by name, “go back to Kilmalcomb and go into their houses and read My scriptures to them and all those who will not hear you, turn away from them and go to another house until you go to all the houses in town, and notify them to meet you and believe the Gospel to prepare themselves with such robes as you see me have, (thus lifting His robes with his hand) for I come quickly.” At this time I awoke, and I wondered at what I had seen and heard. I fell asleep and the same thing was repeated over again. I awoke and slept and the third time the same thing was repeated over again to me. By this time, it was daylight and I lay some time meditating on what I had seen and heard. I arose and dressed and Brother John Martin just stepped in. He said that we would have to go back to preach in Kilmalcomb. I answered, “How was that?” He continued saying he had a dream last night and heard a voice saying, “go back to Kilmalcomb.” and he saw a field of wheat, that was ripe and he was to thrust in his sickle and reap, and then I told him my dream. After hearing it, we both concluded we would go and obey the instructions we had received. That morning we went, fasting and praying, and as we drew near the town which was located in a low place we went over a fence where we could look over all the town and knelt down and prayed. Just as we returned to the road we met the owner of the field who threatened us with the law for trespassing. We passed along without seeing much of him. On reaching the town, we commenced our labors as we had been instructed in the dream, but we received no better encouragement. We continued our labors with no better prospect until one day a note was left at my house in Port Glasgow asking us to go to a certain farm house at 11 o’clock that night for there were some that would like to talk with us upon the principles of the gospel. We went and found three young men and two young girls, all servants in the house and farm, waiting to be instructed in the principles of the gospel. That night they were all convinced of the truth of the same. Afterwards they were all baptized unto the church and rejoiced with us. It was after this that I was set apart to preside in the district of Port Glasgow. This was under the Presidency of Elder Edward Martin, President of the Glasgow Conference. One of these young men, converted at the farm house, named Robert McQuarie, while bearing his testimony said that the old farmer (Robert Helms) which he was hired to, said he would leave him 300 lbs if he would stay with him while he (his master) lived and that since he had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, his master told him that he would not leave him anything. He testified that if he would leave him enough to take my (Robert Baxter) family to Zion, to Salt Lake City, he would appropriate it for that purpose. In about three or four weeks after, the old man died, and left this young man one hundred pounds, which sum he left out of the Greenock Bank, and on his way home he called into my house and put it down on the table saying, “Now take your family and go home to Zion.” I then blessed him and said, “may the Lord bless you four fold.” to which Brother Edward Martin, President of the Glasgow Conference being present, said, “Yes, his master, sent for the lawyer and willed over to this same young man five hundred pounds”, thus fulfilling the promise the blessing of President Martin and this same widow divided all the remainder of her property to this same young man’s parents, and family which enabled all of them to gather home to Zion.

On Feb 13, 1855, I started with my family and brother Hector McQuarrie, brother to the young man, Robert McQuarrie, who gave me the money to immigrate my family, (before leaving I paid a visit to my parents as mentioned on page 15 of this book). I sailed from Greenock at 11 o’clock and arrived in Liverpool at 4:30 p.m. Feb 14th. The vessel we were to sail in not being ready, we took boarding at the Immigrants Home, Moorfields. I paid nine shillings (9s) per day for 6 days and went on board ship the 20th and there was a scene of confusion, everyone trying to get fixed up for their berths and a place for the beds, boxes, etc. We lay in dock until the 23rd and pulled out to the river and remained there until the 27th. At 8:30 a.m. we put out to sea by the aid of a tug boat, and we tossed by the storms on the mighty ocean until the 20th day of April at 4 p.m. when we arrived in Philadelphia. We stayed aboard all night. Distance from Liverpool 3500 miles, Fare (S315) about $18.00 (dollars) for adults, for children under 14 for $16.00 provisions included, (storage passage). On the 21st we were engaged in getting luggage inspected and taken to the railway station. The 22nd, Sunday, the Saints met and heard a good discourse from Apostle John Taylor, and took a walk through the city. I think is one of the finest cities I ever saw. The 23rd, we left and took the car for Pittsburg. We called at Parksbury, Lancaster, Columbia, Meadowtown and passed several towns during the nights. The 24th at 10 a.m. we called at the city of Tyrone and changed cars at Alton, at 2 p.m. We passed through some of the roughest country I have ever seen, called the Pennsylvany Horseshoe Bend, 25th of April, arrived in Pittsburgh, a distance from Philadelphia, 350 miles, fare $3.50 per head. We preceded to the boar 2 miles from the station. On the 26th, the steamboat, Monoghal, pulled out and we started for St. Louis, run aground at 2 p.m. got off alright. 27th, weather dry and pleasant, passed several cities and towns. Called at Louisville, Wheeling, Cincinnati, Newport, Kerra, etc., and arrived in Saint Louis Monday, May 7th. Distance from Pittsburgh 1200 miles, fare about $3.00 per head. The 8th of May sailed on Poller Star, for Atchison, Kansas and arrived May 13th. Distance from St. Louis 600 miles, fare about $5.00.

The night before we arrived Cholera visited us and two sisters died with it, one sister Monkum, who grave I helped to dig. At Atchinon, Brother Hector McQuarrie (the young man who was with our family) was taken very suddenly with Cholera and to all appearance was dying. We administered to him and the Lord heard our prayers and healed him. There were four who died out of one family. This family I waited upon and several others, and then we moved our camp about 5 miles from there to a grove which we called Mormon Grove and the disease left us and here we went to work and built and fenced in a quarter section of land, built a house and planted corn and other seeds. On the 30th day of May there was an independent company organized to start across the plains while we remained to plow and to plant on the farm. This farm was named the P.E. Fund Farm. It was intended to aid in the future immigration of the saints and on the 6th days of June, we were organized as a company with Richard Ballintine for our captain and William Glover for Captain of the guard.

The 3rd day of July we made a start, and the first accident that happened was a sister Margret Thomson, who was in our wagon, fell out and was run over. He legs were bruised but she soon got well. We had two yoke of cattle and one yoke of cows to the wagon and 10 persons and 10 sacks of flour with all our bedding, cook utensils, tent, etc. There was in our wagon besides the 6 of our own family, the young man Hector McQuarrie, a sister Diamond, Margret Thomson and another young man named Arnold Goodliff, a very good young man, kind and affectionate. We had a few serious accidents during the journey. Three sisters were run over, one of which died, and many cattle died and horses strayed off and were lost, and on the 26th day of Sept, 1855, we arrived in great Salt Lake City, and camped on the Union Square. Many of our Brethern and Sisters came to see us, and the general cry was “what is this people going to do for bread?” The reason for this was, the grasshoppers had eaten up everything and left nothing for the people to live upon. Indeed, we met the grasshoppers on the plains, so thick that they darkened the sun, but had no ideal of the destruction that had made in Utah. While camped on the Square, Brother John Lyon paid us a visit and his daughter, Lilly, who was now married to one Brother William C. Stains, and invited us to Brother Stains house to have dinner, which we accepted very gladly and while at dinner, Brother Lyon remarked saying, “eat hearty for you may not have as good a dinner for the next twelve months.” which was verified to the very letter. It was very true.

We returned to our camp on the Square and I found that some of the Brethern had been at camp inquiring if there were any shoemakers in the company. I found their place of business and agreed to work for Golding & Ralaigh, who were carrying on a tanning and shoe business at the old bathhouse. I got for my pay, boots and shoes, but what to do with them I did not know, bread we wanted, and boots and shoes, would not get it, for it was not in the country. During the winter, we were 7 weeks at one time, and 6 weeks at another time, 13 weeks in all that we never had bread. We lived on roots and once in a while we would get a piece of very poor meat, as stock was poor in winter time. When spring opened we gathered weeds and dug roots. I payed $2.50 per bushel for long roots which resembled a large grub, but as soon as what is termed as the pigweed grew, we were greatly relieved. We would get a little milk and butter and those weeds and roots together would make a dish that would cheer the hearts of the hungry persons. But through all of this we lived and assembled together and worshiped God with all our hearts and enjoyed much of His spirit. I now bought a city lot in 19th Ward adjoining the bath house lot, for which I payed two hundred dollars, to be payed in boots and shoes. I got to put in a crop and everything looks well, and along in the latter end of May I got a team and loaded it up with boots and shoes, etc., and made a trip south as far as Palmyra or Spanish Fork. By and by, I succeeded in trading for a little flour, butter and cheese, which relieved us considerable. About the beginning of July everyone was seen going amount the wheat, clipping off the ripest heads and taking them home and dry them, and grind them in a coffee mill. And so we got along until harvest, which as a general rule was good.

On September 8, 1856, I and my wife received our endowments and sealings (my first wife and I were sealed at this time) for time and all eternity, to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection to inherit thrones, dominions, principalities and powers, etc., by President Brigham Young, and on the 17th day of October 1856, we had the fourth son born to us. Mother and child doing well. We named him Stephen Golding Baxter. He was blessed Nov. 9th, 1856, I being the speaker and on this same day Brother Archibald McPhail family arrived bringing the sad news of Brother McPhail’s death, which took place near Bear River, about 3 days travel from Salt Lake City, on Thursday, the 4th day of November 1956. He was a good man and one I was very much attracted to, but we shall meet again. We took the family in with us which consisted of his wife and one daughter by his first wife, Elizabeth Love, who died in Greenock, May 28, 1847, Scotland, and another little girl of his second wife’s sister, which was adopted in the family. He also had a son by his first wife name John McPhail, who died in Port Glasgow, Dec 24th, 1854, his second wife’s name is Jane McKinnon or Jane Love. She was childless. On Dec 28th, 1856, I married his widow. On July 10, 1857, she received her endowments. On Dec 17th, 1857, she gave birth to a daughter, stillborn.

On June 23rd, 1857, the Nauvoo Legion was organized into Battalions of 100's, companies of 50's, and platoons of 10's. I was appointed Adjutant in 4th Battalion, 3rd Regiment, first division and on the 4th of July we mustered on Union Square, under the new organization, and on the 9th day of Sept. We met at council house and organized preparatory to going out to Echo Canyon on the Eastern Expedition. We mustered at council house on the 9th day of Nov. 1857, and marched from the council house to Brother Rockwood’s residence where we received such little things as we needed. Our captain being sick I was put in charge of the Battalion of 100 men, 10 wagons and 20 yoke of cattle and at 5 p.m. we marched and camped for the night, about 1 1/2 miles up what is known as Kinawen or Killyans Canyon, in about 3 feet of snow. It took us all the next day to get on over the big mountain and we camped on east Camon Creek. Next day, the 11th, we traveled about 7 miles and camped on the divide. The day following, we reached the mouth of Echo Canyon. Here we commended to build houses and made a permanent station. At this time the U.S. Army was laying at Fort Bridger threatening to come in and destroy us a as people and hang up our leading people by the neck, and had made their boast that they had brought their ropes along with them for that purpose. They did not venture to come any farther, but lay at Fort Bridger all winter and ate Mule meet without salt until spring of 1858 when we all moved south.

I with my family moved to Pond town, since that time called Salem. During the time of the move, the army came into Salt Lake City and went south to Rushvalley and established Camp Floyd, as a military post. About this time at the request of one Thomas L. Kane, President Buchanan of the U.S. sent to Utah a peace treaty, and in July we returned to Salt Lake City. One the first day of Jan. 1859, we had our second daughter born to us, and in the spring of 1860 we moved to Cache Valley. This was council given by the first presidency for the people to move and take up farms and secure the country. After arriving in Cache Valley, we were more than pleased with the appearance of the country, but we had to live in dugouts and wickiups and go to work making canals and water ditches and break up new land with very poor teams and plows and live on small rations. We seemed to get along and enjoyed a good spirit and would send our boys and teams back to the frontiers to gather the poor from the various nations of the earth. I think it was in ‘63 or ‘64 that I sent the only team I had, and hired teams to do my work, and the following year my oldest son, Robert, went back as a teamster when he was about 16 years old. Elder Simson Malen was captain of the company and there were 6 of the brethern drowned and some of their animals. My son was thrown into the river and floated down steam and had a very narrow escape at the time, from being drowned.

On the 10th of Nov. 1867, I was appointed to preside over the Seventies as a Mass Quorum in Wellsville. Previous to coming to Cache Valley, while living in S. L. City, I was ordained a Seventy (Feb 16, 1857). On the 5th day of Aug. 1865, I was appointed adjutant of Company E, 3rd Battalion of Cavalry, 1st Regiment, 1st Brigade, Nauvoo Legion, in Cache Military District. I received my Commission from the Governor, Edward Higgins, May 14, 1868. In the fall of 1866, while we were engaged in putting a telegraph line through the canyon between Wellsville and Brigham City, our 5th son was born to us. His name is John Love Baxter, born Nov 1, 1866. On Oct. 11, 1868, I married Marion Stewart, daughter of Daniel Stewart and Catherine Glenn. On Oct. 20th, 1870, we had a daughter born to us and named her Cathern Stewart Baxter. On the 25th of Oct, 1872, we had a son born to us, named Daniel Stewart Baxter. On March 15, 1873 this child died. On Aug 27th, 1873, my son, Archibald McPhail Baxter died through an accident that happened while hauling lumber to Ogden City, Weber County, Utah. He was the second son of my wife, Jane Love Baxter, and was 23 years, 2 mos. and 10 days old.  He was born in Greenock, Scotland, June 18, 1850. On Oct. 21, 1877, I was set apart as a home missionary under the hands of Milton D. Hammond. On Nov. 7, 1880, I was set apart in connection with C. J. Larsen of Logan as home missionary for 3 months. On Feb. 5, 1881, the seventies of Cache Stake were organized with 3 districts. I was set apart to preside over the southern district, comprising Paradise, Hyrum, Wellsville, Mendon, Benson, Newton, Clarkston and Weston. Elder Eli Bell of Logan over the Central District and Elder Monson of Richmond over the Northern District. On the 9th of Sept. 1883, the 28th Quorum of Seventies was transferred and organized in Wellsville, at which time and place I was set apart as Senior President. In the winter of 1879, my wife, Jane Love Baxter was taken sick with nervous prostration and has been confined to her bed most of the time ever since.

The Logan Temple was dedicated May 24th, 25th and 26th, 1884. I had the pleasure of being there for the three days and I must say I never witnessed anything like it and a better feeling and great flow of the spirit of the Lord I never experienced. The dedicatory prayer was read each day and discourses followed by the Brethern and the order of the priesthood. On the 17th of June, 1884, my wife was taken to the Logan Temple and was baptized for her health and she felt better for some time, but afterwards fell back to where she was.

In May 1886, Bishop W. H. Maughan, F. Gunnell, Livi Minerly, Charles Bailey and myself went to Rexburg, Idaho, as we learned we had been indicted for unlawful cohabitation and the marshals were hunting for us. We returned the latter end of the same month and kept out of the way, by laying in the fields, etc., until Sep 19, 1886. Bro. Gunnell and I started to S. L. City, with the understanding that Bishop W. H. Maughan, Thomas Levitt, Charles Bailey, W. S. Poppleton and Daniel Hill would follow us as soon as they could fix up a team suitable to go to old Mexico. On the 29th of September, the brethern arrived in Salt Lake City, accompanied by Bro. Broadbent and his wife. I visited the museum and sat in the chair that Joseph Smith, the Prophet, sat in while he translated part of the Book of Mormon. While I sat in it, the spirit of prayer rested on me, and I uttered the following prayer: “O God, the Eternal Father, in the Name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, I ask Thee to let a portion of Thy spirit, the same as was possessed by Thy servant, the Prophet Joseph Smith, who occupied this chair, rest upon me that I may be a patriarch to my family, and that whatever blessing I ask for them, that he may be given and sealed unto them, therefore, O Lord, may Thy blessings be upon my wives and children that they and their children for many generations, may live to serve Thee faithfully and keep Thy commandments, and pardon and forgive me all my transgressions, and may I be preserved on my journey and be permitted to return and enjoy the society of my family for many years upon the earth, Amen.”

On the 6th say of October, 1886, Bishop W. H. Maughan, F. Gunnell, Thomas R. Levitt, Daniel B. Hill, Charles Bailey, W. S. Poppleton and I, started from Salt Lake City for Old Mexico, and traveled to Draperville, 18 miles south of Salt Lake City, and camped for the night. He we picked up Bishop E. F. Sheets, and on the 7th, we traveled to Brother Miller’s 3 miles south of Provo, where we put up for the night. The 8th we traveled to Santa Quin, and as soon as we arrived there, we were informed that there was a posse of marshals on our track. A number of the brethern secreted themselves in an orchard. I took off my coat and set to work throwing down lumber, and building it up again in the tithing yard, so as to avoid any suspicion, and after the marshals left, the brethern all came out of their hiding places, and were not disturbed for the night. The 9th we continued our journey and put up in the tithing yard. Now we were 100 miles south of S.L. [Salt Lake] City.

The 10th, Sunday, we traveled to Warm Creek, 27 miles. This was the worse day for wind and sand I ever traveled. Sometimes we could not see our teams for clouds of sand carried by the wind. We put up here over night. 12th, we started out and passed through Salina and put up at Aurorah, 20 miles, stayed over night. This is a nice little town with about 1600 inhabitants and has a good store, surround with good farming land. 14th, we left Richfield and traveled through Elsinor and arrived at Marysville, a distance of 30 miles, and put up here for the night. 15th we started out and passed through Circle Valley, Piute County, and camped at Twin Ridges at Sever Canyon, distance 30 miles. 16th, we started early and traveled to Panguitch, 24 miles. This is a nice place and has 1000 inhabitants and very fine Brick Tabernacle. Here we lay over Sunday, and had a good bath and a change of under clothing, and went to meeting and heard the news from the General Conference, which was held at Coalsville, Wyoming. 18th, we left Panguitch and passed Hillsdead, and moved on the Sevier thence to Sheepranch and camped for the night 15 miles. Here it snowed about 2 inches during the night. 19th, we moved camp at 9 a.m. and at 11:20 were on the top of the divide, called the rim of the Bison, and thence around the head springs of the river and arrived at President Woolley’s at upper Kanab, 18 miles. Here we concluded to lay over a few days to rest our teams, and brother Woolley, Bishop Sheets and F. Gunnell went to visit Pipe Springs, and brethern Levitt, Hill, Beitz and W. S. Poppleton all went to Long Valley to see friends. Bishop W. H. Maughan and myself were left with the camp and sister Woolley treated us very kind and gave us all the milk we wanted, and on the evening of the 25th, Brother Gunnell and Woolley returned from pipe springs, and on the 26th, Bros. Hill, Levett, Beitz and Poppleton, returned from long valley and brought some very nice fruit with them such as grapes, apples, etc.

(Note: Woolley is sometimes spelled as Wooly.) We are preparing to pull up camp, and [a] big goodbye with Bro. Woolley and family, and said “God bless them for their kindness in furnishing a pasture for [the] teams.” Here we traded horse with President Woolley and made a grand mistake as the one we got was of very little account. We started for lower Kanab, on the 29th, and traveled 10 miles down the Kanab Canyon or Kanab Wash and nooned at the dam. This canyon takes a serpentine course through gulphs or openings in perpendicular mountains of rocks of all color, shapes and dimensions. We continued our journey, passed through Lower Kanab and camped 5 miles west of town about 30 miles from upper Kanab in all. On the 30th, we moved camp and traveled to pipe springs, 15 miles. This is in Mohave Co., Arizona Territory. Here President B. Young, had a substantial stone fort, built right over the springs, as a protection from the Indians which is in good preservation to this day, and two families live in it. This place holds the key to a very extensive ranch, as all the stock must come here to water. 31st, being Sunday, we lay over. Nov. 1st, 1886, cold frosty morning. Today we engaged with Pres. Wooly and Bishop Sheets to build a stack corral. On the 2nd, we commenced work and completed the corral on the 22nd, for which labor we received about $130, which enabled us to get a fresh supply to carry us on our way to Mexico, so on the 23rd, we pulled camp and moved from pipe springs, and traveled 13 miles and camped for the night at temple rock. On the 23rd, we got into Kanab, 7 miles, where we laid in our supplies. While here I visited an old friend, the name of Rubin Broadbent and had supper with him and family and Bishop W. H. Maughan, and they treated us very kind and gave us a good supply of fruit and wine without charge. (Kanab town is surrounded on the west, north and east by red mountains of rock almost perpendicular from 800 to 1200 feet high, but opens to the south with a beautiful landscape and a sunny climate. Kanab Wash comes down on the north and passes on the west of town.)

Nov 25, 1886, this day, brother Levitt, Hill and Bailey concluded not to go any farther and we divided up our supplies and team, three animals for the buggy wagon and one span for the buggy, and a little grey mare of Wl L. P.’s which was more trouble to us than any good. 26th, we left Kanab and traveled east to Navo wells and camped for the night, 18 miles. Here we filled our barrels with water. 27th, we started and traveled to the foot of Buckskin Mountains, and here we got stuck and had it not been for Bro. Alberet Minerly dubling on to us, we never could get up the mountain. When we reached the summit, we nooned, thence traveled until we reached the valley east of the mountain, and passed the grave of a child of Bro. Turlys, who passed some time before us, on his way to Mexico. After traveling about 17 miles this day, we camped for the night. 28th, continued our journey, we reached house rock. Here we took in water and continued until we came to a nice grace bench and camped for the night, about 21 miles. 29th, made an early start and traveled to Jacobs Pool. Road very sandy, so that we made but 11 miles today. Nov 30th, 1886, we moved camp at 8:30 and traveled to Sape Springs, then to Badger Creek, nooned and continued until with about 7 miles of Lees Ferry. Traveled about 20 miles this day. On our left are mountains of rock 600 to 1000 feet high. On our right is the notable Colorado river. I mounted the little grey mare and rode to the river, which was about three or four miles east of us, and it is the most romantic sight. I rode down a wash as far as it was safe to take the mare, then I tied her to a rock and went a foot. As I approached the river, the wash or ravine closed to a narrow opening and on each side the mountains of rock towered up a thousand feet, and the river seemed to be about the same distance below. I left the scene and had great difficulty in finding where the brethern camped for the night, as my way was intercepted by very rough and steep washes, and it seemed that I could neither cross them or get around them, and about dark I struck the camp. Next morning we traveled to the river, 7 miles, and here on the sand on the bank, we nooned.

Dec 1st, here we took the ferry boat which cost 3 or 4 dollars per team. After leaving the river, we have a very steep, rough road to climb until we come to Navaho Springs, where you get water and grass, 7 miles from the ferry. Here we put up for the night. Dec. 2nd, morning fair, we traveled 10 miles to Better Creek, rough road, bad water and hard to get to it, good feed for stock, then to limestone tanks 12 miles, and pitched tent for the night. Road and feed fair, but bad water.  Dec 3rd, we pulled up and traveled 8 miles to McClellen’s tanks, but found no water, drove 6 miles farther and nooned, but no water. Feed and roads good, moved on to Cottonwood tanks, 17 miles, got a little water about 1 1/2 miles to [the] right of the road, stopped for the night. Dec. 4th, we pulled out and traveled to Willows Springs, 15 miles. Here we watered our teams, and filled our barrels and continued 4 miles and nooned, thence to Moaby Wash or Moan Coppa, 11 miles, thence 8 miles and pitched our camp. Dec 5th, we moved out and traveled 13 miles and nooned on the Little Colorado, roads heavy sand, thence 11 miles and camped for the night. Dec. 6th, cloudy morning, horses strayed off, the Bishop and Poppleton out hunting them. Here we visited the black granite falls, which are from 25 to 30 feet high. We found our horses and moved camp about 12:30 and crossed the chalk range, and struck the crossing of the Little Colorado after dark, 17 miles from black granite falls. Here we got stuck in the middle of the river with our baggage team and had to unload everything out of the wagon before we got it out of the river. After crossing, we camped for the night. Dec.7th, we traveled 19 miles, road good, no water and little feed.  8th, we traveled 22 miles, no feed and out of grain, animals suffer. Reached Winslow and camped for the night. Winslow is a little town on the Atlantic Pacific Railroad. Here we bought grain and hay for our teams, oats 1 3/4 cents per lb. hay 2 cents per lb. Here we went to a restaurant and had a square meal. 9th, we started out from Winslow and traveled 24 miles to Saint Joseph. Here we found Joseph Richards, president over the small ward of Latter Day Saints, living in the United Order, and they treated us very kindly, especially Bro. and Sister Richards. We stayed with the Saints for 4 days and met with them on Sunday, and had a good [time] and good liberty to talk to the people. Here the sisters united and washed all our clothes and we had good bathes and changes of our under clothes, which made us feel comfortable, also we got our board and grain for our teams free of charge, for which we felt in our hearts to bless them. They were living in a fort, but had just laid out a town site which we visited. There were 10 acres of orchard, and [I] thought it a very nice place for a settlement beautiful climate and good people. We found several brethern here on the underground or in exile. The only hindrance to the Saints at Saint Joseph is the trouble to keep their dam solid in the Little Colorado on account of quick sand.

Dec. 14th, 1886, at 10 a.m., we traveled from Saint Joseph and traveled to Hollbrook, 12 miles. This is a very nice little town on the Atlantic and Pacific R.R., built among large cottonwood trees. Here we left the R.R. and traveled to Woodruss 12 miles and put up for the night. This is a nice little town, about 140 families, and a very large brick store and with Bishop Owens presiding. Grain and hay is high, oats 2 cents per lb., potatoes 2 cents and wheat the same. Dec. 15th, we left Woodruff at 10 a.m. and traveled to Snowflake, distance 22 miles. Here we camped for the night and had supper at Bro. William Flakes, who had just been released from the Yuma Prison where he spent 6 months for living with his wives and paid a $500.00 fine. We remained until the 18th and were very kindly treated by Bro. Flake and family, also by President Jessie N. Smith. On the evening of the 16th, we went to hear a lecture delivered by Pres. Smith to the Relief Society, subject, Family Government, to which he did justice. We all had the privilege to bear our testimonies. Snowflake is a nice little town of about 60 families. Her we traded for a span of mules as the team we had was not suitable for the journey. A fine brick tabernacle with galleries adorn this town.

Dec 18th, we left and traveled to Taylor 3 1/2 miles. Here we pitched our tent on the banks of Silver Creek, and spent the evening with Bro. Joseph Key, and had a good time chatting about old times and the folk at home. We lay over here until Xmas and met with the saints to worship the Lord and we took part in the services. We found the people very kind and sympathetic. We also paid a visit to Bro. Charles Shumway and he and family were very kind to us. He lives about 6 miles south of Taylor and he has a very nice place with a nice little gristmill, orchard, and a good water right and he seems to be comfortable. We also visited the graves of Bro. And Sister Keys (Joseph Key’s father and mother) who lay side by side in the Taylor’s grave yard. Dec. 27th, we pulled up camp and just as we were leaving, one sister Salomon sent with a girl, 10 or 12 lbs. of sugar to me as a present, for which I felt very thankful. This day we traveled to Bro. Joseph Frisby’s, distance, 20 miles. We called at Bro. Lon Mirell;s by the way and had dinner with him and family and they were glad to see us. We camped at Bro. Frisby’s for the night, and before retiring, the mail carrier called and gave me a letter from Bro. W. F. Darley, which brought me the good news that all the folks were well at home. This is good timber country called the Forrest, or the Mokahon Mountain. Dec. 28th, this morning cool and cloudy, left Frisby’s at 9 a.m. and traveled through a dense forest mostly of all kinds of timber, and no underbrush, for 26 miles and had plenty of feed and good water, and camped at a beautiful spring for the night on the head waters of White River. Dec 29th, we moved camp at 8:30 a.m. and traveled to what is known as Turkeys Creek, 8 miles, and here we pitched tent for the night. Here I will mention that the last two days travel was through the most beautiful country that I have ever seen in its natural state for time and grass and water and natural parks. Here we are at Turkeys creek. We camped within ten rods of where John Henderson was killed by the Apache Indians.  We visited his grave which consisted of a pile of rocks. We was first shot and tied up to his wagon and burned with his wagon. It was this same John Henderson that built the Bradshaw house in Wellsville.

Dec. 30th, fine morning, left Turkeys Creek and traveled to Black River 9 miles, thence over the mountain to Bear Creek, 3 miles. Here we nooned, good feed and water, thence 12 miles to Soldier Springs and camped for the night, a little water, feed fair. This days travel has been over the worst road I ever traveled with a team, for rocks and mountains and deep ravines and no water or feed until we came to Greenhill. Here we found a little water, but no feed for the team. Here we took lunch, grained our teams and continued our journey over a worse road still, for 15 miles and struck the Gila River, and camped for the night and spent our New Years eve on the sand on the banks of the Gila, and called to our remembrance our families and friends at home and wondered what preparations they were making to spend the New Year. Today we passed what is known as the Joshua Tree. It is a very peculiar tree, has no branches or leaves on it, and it stands from 15 to 30 feet high in this shape with bark like a prickly pear and full of prickells.

Jan. 1st, 1887. Morning cool, after prayer we ate breakfast and wished all the folks at home a happy New Year. At 9 a.m. we pulled up and traveled along the banks of the river for 12 miles, and nooned, thence we traveled three miles and crossed the Gila at Fort Thomas. This is a large military post. We continued our journey 12 miles and arrived at Pima. Here we put up in the Tithing yard, and had supper with James H. Martincaw. Today we passed fields of what is called Yants. They are like Indians standing holding picks above their heads. They seem to belong to a family called ous. Jan. 2nd, Sunday morning, all is well, had breakfast at Brother Martineawas and agreed to board at his house while we stayed at Pima. We spent this day straightening up and writing to the folks at home. Jan. 3rd, we have concluded to lay over here for one month to let our animals recuperate, and visit the surrounding settlements and take in the sites around Pima. Today we attending a primary meeting preceding the election which is to come off tomorrow. This city is laid out the same as the towns in Utah, the streets running at right angles. A block contains 6 acres, giving 1 1/2 acres to the lot, this making 4 lots in a block, giving each lot holder a corner to build upon. This town site is about 1 miles east and west and 1 1/2 mile north and south. It is a very nice location on the banks of the Gila, but at present it is covered all over with miskite and other prickley brush, which makes it rather unpleasant to walk around. This farms generally lay between the town and the Gila River. The people are building a fine brick tabernacle which will be a credit to the town when it is completed. There are about 500 inhabitants and three stores. The land is very rich and fertile. One crop of wheat and one crop of corn can be raised on the same piece of land, in one season, and land on which they have lucerne yields 4 crops. At present the people have a good market for their products , lucerne 12 dollars per ton, grain 29 cents per lb., eggs 40 cents per doz. and butter 40 cents per lb. The military post creates the market, also the mining camps by which the country is surrounded. Jan. 4th, we are now looking around the country and meeting with the saints in their meetings for public worship and having a good time generally. Today was election day. James H. Martincaw was elected mayor of Lima City. We visited Pres. C. Layton today and had a good time. He lives about 5 miles from Lima. We took a dinner with him and afterwards returned to Pima and had a good time in the evening at Sister East, president of the Relief Society of Saint Joseph Stake.

Jan. 9th, Sunday, Bro. F. Gunnell goes to Curtis 6 miles down the Gila River and the rest of us go to meeting. We had good liberty to talk to the people. Bro. F. Gunnell returned in the evening. Jan. 11th, beautiful weather in the day, but frosty at night. Today, Bro. F. G. goes to Saint David in the interest of tithing, distance of 110 miles from Pima, southwest of here. Jan. 13th, Bishop W. H. Maughan and W. S. Poppleton went fishing in the company with one Bro. Willkins, and they were very successful in getting a good catch with a sein. They got about 50 fish, some of them weighing 10 lbs. Jan. 19th, we have just been reading the papers and saw the passage of the Edmund Tucker Bill, which gives us very little encouragement to return home. Jan. 20th, we went to Spafford today, 9 miles, and upon returning, we took dinner with Bro. Monteith at Thatcher. He used to live at Paradise, Cache Co., Utah. Jan. 23rd, Sunday, Bro. F. Gunnell returned today from Saint David and apostle Moses Thatcher with him. We went to meeting and had a good time. Bro. Gunnell spoke first and he talked well and Brother Thatcher gave us a discourse on various topics. He read from Daniel 12-7, showing that the power of the Holy people would be scattered, meaning the leading men in the priesthood. Tonight we had a good time with Bro. John Moody for 11 yokes of cattle and 3 wagons, to log with in Mexico. Brother Thatcher leaves here and goes to Saint Louis, to purchase a sawmill, plaining mill, and lath mill and before he left, old sister Rosebury, gave him $5.00 towards building a temple in Mexico, the first donation for that purpose. Jan. 26th, Bro. Thatcher gave us another discourse on the order of the priesthood which was grand. Jan. 27th, Bishop Maughan was very sick. We had a good time at Sister Cutler’s, formerly Sister Mary Price of Wellsville, Cache Co., Utah. Jan.28th, Bishop Maughan feels a little better today and is somewhat encouraged. We are now making all preparations for a start to Mexico, purchasing fruit cuttings and seeds of various kinds and figs, and getting our teamsters engaged, etc.

Feb. 2nd, this being my birthday of 67, all the brethern wished me many happy returns and years to come. Feb. 3rd, we left Pima this morning and traveled about 18 miles and camped for the night, plenty of feed, but no water. Feb. 4th, all is well, cattle strayed off, found the cattle and traveled about 9 miles to Salt Springs, and camped for the night, good feed, but we had to buy water, at 5 cents per head. Feb. 5th, traveled to Baily’s ranch, 6 miles. Here we paid 10 cents for a span and 10 cents a yoke for water, moved and traveled 7 miles, and camped for the night, feed good, but no water. F. G. Gunnell and William H. Maughan came up. Feb. 6th, we moved camp at 9 a.m. and traveled 16 miles to San Simon Dan, where we camped for the night, plenty of feed and water. Feb. 7th, wet morning, we layed over all day on account of rain. Feb. 8th, we moved camp and traveled 7 miles to the S.P.R.R. Watered our teams and thence 5 miles along the S.P.R.R. and camped for the night, good feed but no water. Feb. 9th, 1887. Fine morning two of our cattle gave out, we had to leave them, traveled 10 miles to Stains Pass R. R. Station on the S.P.R.R. on the divide between Arizona and New Mexico. We had dinner and traveled 2 1/2 miles down into the Animis Valley and camped for the night. This is a very large valley, grass in abundance, but no wood or water. Feb. 10th, wet morning, layed over all day. Feb. 11th, we moved camp and traveled 18 miles to Lordsburg and camped for the night. Here is a nice little R.R. town with a branch narrow gage road running to Clifton, a mining town on the Gila River 50 miles from Lordsburg. We traveled 10 miles east of Lordsburg before we camped, 28 miles total. Feb. 12th, morning cool. We traveled 10 miles to Separ, watered our animals thence 4 miles and nooned, thence 16 miles to Guage and camped for the night. We have to buy our water all along the S.P.R.R.

We are now in Grants Valley, a very large valley with plenty of grass but no water, only as you buy it at the R.R. Station. The grass is bunchy and dark and is what is called the black granna. Feb. 13th, Sunday, we left Guage at 8 a.m. and traveled 20 miles to Deming, where we went to a restaurant and had dinner and puled out, about three miles to Bro. Richens and pitched camp here. I received two letters, one from Son Robert and one from my wife, Marion, both telling what a wind storm they experienced in Cache Valley, Utah, and that all was well at home. Feb. 14th, all’s well, now we are waiting for the ox team which we left at Stains Pass 80 miles back, also for the machinery shipped by Apostle M. Thatcher, from the east. Feb. 15th, today Bro. F. Gunnel and I went into Deming to purchase supplies for the camp. Feb. 16th, wet morning, rained all day blowed a hurricane at night. Feb. 17th, clear but windy. Bro. Gunnell sick with severe headache. Feb. 18th, fine day, Bro. Gunnell some better. Feb. 19th, cold day, Bro F. G. worse today, ox team arrived. Feb. 20th, fine morning, F. G. no better. Feb. 21st, morning pleasant, Bro. Gunnell much better. John W. Campbell arrived from St. Louis and said the machinery would come into Deming with the freight train. Feb. 22nd, Bro. Gunnell still improving; the machinery from the sawmill arrived; blowed all day. Feb. 23rd, loaded part of the machinery today. Feb. 24th, all’s well, continued loading the machinery. Feb. 25th, finished loading today, apostle Mose Thatcher and Arron Farr, arrived this evening at Deming, by S.P.R.R. Feb. 26th, fine morning, went to Deming and returned to camp, pulled up and traveled 12 miles and camped for the night. Feb. 27th, Apostle M. Thatcher and Aaron Farr with us; broke camp and traveled 8 miles and watered our animals at a ranch and continued for 12 miles, and nooned. Near the line dividing old Mexico and the U.S., thence we traveled 20 miles to the Boka Grand and camped for the night. Feb. 28th, broke camp at 8:30 a.m. and traveled 20 miles and nooned, thence 20 miles and arrived at Colona Dier, where we met apostle Erastus Snow. Here is a settlement of the Saints who had to find a resting place from the persecutions resulting from the Edmonds Bill. They purchased 7000 acres of land from the Mexican Government.

Mar. 1st., We took a walk though town and met Bro. John Spuirs Barber from Salt Lake City. He said he did not know where to go or what to do. This is a good country if there was water, but all the water has to be drawn from wells. We sent back 3 span of mules to assist the ox teams and the machinery arrived. March 3rd, Bro. E. Snow and M. Thatcher succeeded in getting part of the machinery through the custom house at La. Ascension, 4 miles from Dier. March 4th, we went to the customer house today and took a stroll through the town which contains about 500 in habitants and their houses are built with adobies and shaped like brick kiln ready to burn. The hogs run loose and the dogs are chained. March 5th, Apostle E. Snow left for Juariz, 90 miles. Still at work at the Custom House. 6th, Brothers F. Gunnell and Campbell and Apostle M. Thatcher are crowding things through the custom house today. March 7th, After having all our effects examined by the custom officers, which takes us all day, we returned to Brother Maxwells in La. San Shan for the night. Bro. Maxwell is one of the Mormon Battalion. March 8th, Still under the injunction of the custom houses, offers to give bonds for our wagon, etc. At 3 p.m. we pulled out of La. Ascension and traveled 15 miles and camped for the night at the mouth or entrance of Carolutis Valley, plenty of grass, but no water. March 9th, we pulled out and traveled 18 miles and nooned on the banks of the Casses Grande River, thence to Caraluts 6 miles, thence to cotton woods at a point on the river 10 miles. We camped here for the night. March 10th, Broke camp and traveled 15 miles to Cassas Granade City. This is a Mexican town of 500 yeas standing, and it seems to be going backward in place of progressing. The town is built seemingly without any system or order. The large Adabu walls around their gardens and orchards are falling down and many of their houses are in the same fix, indeed the whole town as the appearance of being deserted and the few people you see look as though they were half starved and half naked and their hogs the same. After spending an hour or so, we pulled out and traveled to Juaris, 10 miles.

March 11th, in Juaris we find about 30 families living upon the banks of the Pedra Verdes River in San Diego Valley in little huts of hasty construction. The people were poor and unable to build comfortable dwellings, but the people are very kind, hospitable people and are here in exile. (All good Latter Day Saints.)  March 11th, 1887: We find them making every preparation to move into their new town, which they have laid out about two miles up the river on the north side with the view that in a short time the town will extend across the river. The people have completed their city water ditch at a cost of $1500, and now they are fencing and plowing and planting their shade and fruit trees. I went up to the head of the ditch which is about 4 miles long, which is supposed to be made in an old Nephite ditch. March 12th, Bro. Gunnell went to Casasis Grande to get a registered letter and to meet the ox teams. Today, I followed Bro. Isaac Turley, while plowing his potatoes, and I gathered a good big mess of potatoes which were in the ground all winter. Here they can raise two crops of potatoes in one season. This seems to be a very mild climate and good and well adapted for almost all kinds of fruit. March 13th, Being Sunday, we all went to church. Bishop W. H. Maughan and myself, Apostles Erastus Snow and Moses Thatcher all spoke, encouraging the people in their home and predicting prosperity in their future. A good kind spirit prevailed in the meeting.

March 14th, We are preparing to go to work on the Kynon Roads to get the saw mill up to the timber. March 15th, We go to work on the roads and continue until the 12th of April, when we moved the [saw] mill up to the timber. March 14th, we commended to lay the foundation of the mill, and from now until the 30th of April, we were building the mill and preparing to stock the mill. On the first day of May, while the mill was running, we had a shock of earth quake which shook the mill so that we rocked to and fro like the rocking of a ship on the ocean. It throwed the rocks down off the mountain into the canyon and set fire to the dry grass and some thousands of acres of grass and timber were also destroyed. The town of Vibusta, is about 40 miles northwest of where we were. The school house in Saint David, Arizona, was thrown down, but all the children were out for recess and no one was hurt. In Vibusta a great many of the people were killed.

Bro. Gunnell and myself continued to work on the saw mill until the 18th of May, 1887 and then we concluded to leave and return home and risk the consequences of being arrested, as our food was worse than we would have in the penitentiary. For about two weeks we had nothing but black beans and red pepper mashed up together. In settling for our labor at the mill, my account stood $54.73. May 19th, Bro. Gunnell traded for a little span of mules of Bro. Wilson and for $250 in stock in the saw mill and we had a set of old harnesses and an old church buggy. May 20th, we left the mill and traveled to Juaras 20 miles from the mill and put up with apostle Erastus Snow for the night. He treated us very fine, furnishing us with supplies and quarters for ourselves and our animals. May 21st, We left Juaras and traveled to Cassis Grande, 12 miles, and put up for the night with Brother George Lake and traded a wagon cover with him for some corn to feed our animals. May 22nd, we traveled to Carolutos, 25 miles, and put up for the night at Bro. Anderson’s. We bought some chickens and had them cooked to do us until we would arrive at Deming, New Mexico. May 23rd, we traveled to LaLanshane, 30 miles, and being late at night, when we arrived at La Ascencion, we turned out our animals and lay down by a brush fence for the night. Next morning, the 24th, we could not find our mules. This was at Daies, 4 miles north of LaAscension. Here we met Brother Richans and had breakfast, dinner and paid them for the same and on the night of the 24th, we slept in the tent with Bro. John Squire, barber by trade, from S. L. City. He was on the underground like ourselves. In the morning, 25th, we left, leaving or forgetting all our chickens and supplies which were to do us to Deming, 100 miles, but as good luck, Bro. Richans was coming after us and caught up with us the next night and shared with us, for which we were very thankful, 18 miles. May 26th, we traveled 41 miles and camped for the night. May 27th, we traveled 32 miles which brought us to Bro. Eaton’s, about 4 miles south of Deming. May 28th, our mules strayed off, but Bro. Richans found them, and now e had to pay $117 to pay our fare on the train and all the money we have was about $80. We proposed to Brother Richans to buy our mules and we sold him our miles, harness, tent and a good wagon cover and all our cooking utensils for $175. $50 we got down and we took his note for $125, and never got it as I know of, for shortly after that Bro. Richans was arrested himself and sent to prison for polygamy or unlawful cohabitation and all his teams, etc., taken for his debts.

May 29th, we took the train at Deming at 9:40 o’clock a.m. and traveled on the S.P.R.R. to Rincon, 75 miles, and took dinner. After passing the Rio Grande River thence to Engle and to Lava, 111 miles from Deming, thence along the banks of the Rio Grande River and across to San Marcial, and so, continued up the river until night closed upon us. May 30th, we took breakfast at Los Vegas and dinner at Lansing, arrived at LaJunta at 4:30 a.m. 578 miles from Deming. Here we had supper and had to lay over until 2 p.m. May 31st, I took a walk through town and down in the business part of town, and the streets are very narrow and sidewalks ruff and narrow, the upper part of the town is composed of the businessmen’s residences which were neat and of better taste some beautiful blocks in circle form all green and kept in good order. At end gate in front of the residence was a sign stating to beware of the dog. I suppose this was intended for tramps. There is a population of 15,000. It resembles Ogden City in Utah. At the depot there is a cut of a cottonwood tree 28 ft. In circumference, pretty much covered with advertisings. At 2 p.m. we left Pueblo, and went up Arkansas Canyon and over the Marshall Pass and through Grand Gorge.

June 1st, we left S.L. City. My son, Robert Baxter, Jr. come down and took us home with his team and covered wagon and arrived home at 9:00 p.m. on June 6th. After being away for 9 months I had the privilege of calling to see my family after night as I dare not be seen though the day as the marshals were always on the alert looking for Cohabs as they were termed and so this state of things continued until July 25th, 1886, which I was arrested by Steel and Whetstone, two deputies. I was taken to Logan in the night and placed in the commissioner’s offices, and I was put under 1800 dollars bond with Bro. Charles McAlistere and his son, William, going my bondsmen. Nov. 9, 1888, I was arraigned before the court in Ogden. Judge Hendersen was on the bench and I took the statutory time to plead by advice of my counselor Henry Rolapp. I pled guilty to unlawful cohabitation Nov. 14th and Nov. 24th was set for sentence. When I appeared the Judge asked me if I had anything to say why sentence should not be passed upon he. I answered that my first wife had been confined to her bed for 9 years. Though nervous prostration and it was over 20 years since I married my second wife and I was 69 yrs. old. The judge asked me if I was a naturalized citizen. I said yes. He said, did you not at that time agree to obey the laws of this country. I answered yes, but at the time there were no laws against polygamy that I knew of.  He asked me if I held a prominent position in the Church. I said, “No sir.” He asked me if I was an elder in the church. I said yes. He asked me if I had preached polygamy or advised others to practice it, and I answered not since the law was passed against it. Then he sentenced me to two months in the penitentiary and costs of court. I took my seat under the care of the officer. Bro. Charles Bailey and Willard Hansen were sentenced, the former to 4 months and $200 fine and costs of court. After this I was recalled and the judge said he felt to reconsider my sentence and gave me a $50 fine and costs, which all amounted to $100 which my attorney settled for and I was released. I had to sell 20 acres of land to pay my fine and costs. Arrested again on Dec 21st, 1888, I was arraigned before commissioner C. C. Goodwin to answer to the charge of adultry and give bonds in $1000 and $100 for my wife, Marion, to appear on Saturday, the 22nd at 2 p.m. Erin Owens and John E. Caralile went our bonds. We appeared according to appointment and we found Charles L. Low the complainant, and Zeal Riggs the principle witness. He said the night of the 14th of Dec. 1888, he had been drinking beer and liquor and while passing Mr. Baxter’s place, he went over the fence for convenience and while there he saw a man go to the house, but as it was a very dark night and his sight was not good, and the man he supposed he saw was 10 rods off and while the man was going to the house, he, Ziel Riggs, fell and before he got up the man was gone and he went to the window and harkened but could not hear any person speak, so this case of adultry was dismissed. Another charge was presented, unlawful cohabitation, to which I must appear on Thursday, 27th. On the appearance day I appeared, and on the testimony of C.L. Low, the apostle, on finding my coat in the house on the 25th of July when I was first arrested, I was bound over on $1800 and my wife, Marion, on $200, to await the action of the grand jury at Ogden on Jan 18, 1889. That day my wife, Marion, appeared but as we never heard anything more about it, it was supposed that the case was ignored by the grand jury. Again on the 25th of Sept. 1890, I was arrested for the 4th time by McLellen and Henry Whitestone and on the 26th, I in company with my wife, Marion, appeared at Logan City before C. C. Goodmen and heard read against us for unlawful cohabitation and I was bound over on $1000, and my wife, Marion, on $200, to appear before the grand jury, with Gibbs and Farans going my bonds. This case also must have been ignored as we never heard anything more about it, but it seemed that they were most determined to annoy and trouble us.

From that time until 1891, we were afraid to stay at home at nights lest some of the marshals should step in and fine us, so I had a bed made in the tithing office in which Bishop W. H. Maughan and myself frequently slept, but upon the evening of the 29th of June 1891, he went off to some other place to sleep and on the next morning, June 30, 1891, he come into the tithing office and woke me up and asked me if I had heard the news. I answered no. He said my daughter had a son born to her and that she said Robert Maughan, his son, was the father of her child. All this seemed to add to my troubles and brought sorrow and grief to our families, but as Robert Maughan was away from home at the time, it was thought proper to wait until he returned. To our astonishment, when Robert Maughan returned, he denied all about it, but the marshal placed him under arrest, and on July 29th, 1891, the case come up before commissioners Flecthers Court, held in Logan, Cache County, Utah.

At this time the Government of the United States had confiscated from 1 to 2 millions of the Church property and it seemed as if we were to be robbed and broken up as a church entirely but the Lord, as on other occasions, came to the rescue and revealed to his servant, the Prophet Wilford Woodruff, the manifesto, dated Sept. 24th, 1890. In the words of President Woodruff, “In as much as laws had been enacted by congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the Court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to these laws and to use my influence with members of the church over which I presided to have them do likewise and I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter Day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.” Signed Wilford Woodruff, President of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, contributor Nov. 1890.” At the general conference [on] Monday, Oct. 7, 1890, the above was read, and Apostle Lorenzo Snow offered the following motion, “I move that recognizing Wilford Woodruffs as the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the only man on earth at this time fully authorized by virtue of his position to issue the manifesto, which has been read in your hearing and which is dated Sept. 24, 1890 and that as a church in general conference assembled we accept his declaration concerning plural marriages as authoritative and binding.” The resolution was unanimously adopted by the vast assembly present. (Editorial Contributor - 1890.)

The greatest desire that I have is that I with my family and grandchildren will remain true and faithful to the gospel and to the Holy priesthood and also all of their future generations. Amen.

About two years ago, June 1898, I had the pleasure of going back to Illinois and Wisconsin to visit my relatives. I arrived in Chicago June 9, 1898, and there I met my brother, John Baxter, whom I had not seen for 49 yrs. When I parted with him in Greenock, Scotland, where he left for America. After arriving in Chicago, we proceeded to Waukigan, 35 miles, where my brother resided. My son, Robert Baxter, was with me and on Saturday he went back to Chicago to visit the stock yards. Sunday, I went into Chicago and met with the Saints and bore my testimony of the gospel as revealed to Joseph Smith, the prophet of God in this dispensation and to the love of the union of the Saints in the valleys of the mountains. In the evening, I returned to Waukigan to my brother’s and found my son there, he having left Chicago in the morning and we passed each other in the morning train. Monday, the 12th, we went back to Chicago and stayed there all night and next day, my son Robert left for home. I intended to go to LaCross but on account of the road being damaged and though a great tornado that swept thru the country, I was delayed 3 days, so that I returned to Waukigan and stayed there with brother John until the road was opened. On Wednesday I went to LaCross. There I found my nephews Mathew, Joseph and William Spears, and on Sunday I went to Bergan to see my sister and remained there 3 days, and went to see my brother David’s family at Victor. I returned to my sisters’s and here her daughter Maggie, accompanied me to LaGross where I spent a pleasant evening in Mother Spear’s home with the family, and with William and Joseph and a Mr. Aberson and his wife, and left at 11 p.m. for Chicago. I returned to Waukigan to my Bro. John’s and next day I went to my Bro. John’s farm at Half Day, 17 miles from Waukigan and returned. In the evening the following day, I visited William H. Wilson’s family and had a very pleasant time and I gook the train from Waukigan to Chicago and left for Utah that evening.

I arrived in Ogden 2 days later at 4 p.m. Here I learned that my old friend, W. F. Darley was dead. I arrived in Wellsville in the 30th of June and found my family all well as when I left. On Nov. 28th, 1893, my wife, Jane Love, died. The 13th of Jan, 1902, I was ordained a High Priest and Patriarch by M. W. Merrill in the Logan Temple. On the 18th day of June 1906, we had a reunion of the family, all being present except 18. Grand children and great grandchildren were present at the reunion, over 100, and we had a most pleasant reunion with the family and a few invited guests. The love and good spirit that prevailed and the exercises that were announced, the music by the orchestra, the songs, recitations shall long be remembered. The reason I selected the 18th of June was to celebrate the birth of my son, Archibald Baxter, who was born on the 18th of June, 1850, in Greenock, Scotland, and died Aug. 27, 1863 in Ogden, Utah, and although he was dead, hew as not yet forgotten.

Feb. 2nd, 1910, being the 90th anniversary of my birth, was celebrated with a feast of the good things of the earth provided by my family and a few friends numbering one hundred and fifty at the house of Peter Maughan and Jerusha Baxter Maughan. A large ball in the evening and a program were held, consisting of an address of welcome by Patriarch Robert Baxter, a Scotch recitation by Peter McBride, a piano solo [by] Barbara Maughan, recitation, “He’s faithful been for 90 yrs.” by grandson Parley B. Maughan, song by Granddaughter, Marion B. Nielsen, a short speech by Peter M. Maughan, song by Alexander Maughan, a Medley by Willard S. Baxter, Bishop Gunnell, Chaplin. Afterwards the dance continued until 12 o’clock and all went home rejoicing over the good time they had had.

Feb 6th, I went to high priest meeting and set apart Alexander Spence as president of the high priest quorum of the Wellsville Ward. Attended meeting in the afternoon and partook of the sacrament and gave sister Ivy Colburn a Patriarchal Blessing.

During his time as Patriarch from Jan. 13, 1902, until his death, May 31, 1913, he gave 214 blessings. He followed the profession of shoemaker, the trade he learned in Scotland, all his life.

Note: Robert Wright Baxter died May 31, 1913, at Wellsville at the age of 93 yrs. 4 months. His funeral services were held in the Wellsville Tabernacle, June 3, 1913. He was buried in the Wellsville Cemetery.

L. K. Wood