The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

By Maurine R. Rogers
(Published with Written Permission)

John Reidhead, Jr.

Joseph Fish and Bishop John Reidhead, Jr.


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

Many centuries ago, Cicero wrote a remarkable essay on old age, which has in it as much of wisdom for youth as for those who are older. . . "the harvest of old age," he said, "be sure you put away a few pleasant thoughts." And some time ago we cited this sentence from the eminent scientist, Gustaf Stromberg. . . "the memory of an individual is written in indelible script in space and time." This suggests that all men, whether they lived our length of mortal life there is a sharp separation between what we can take with us into eternity and what we can keep only for time. The Lord God gave us the good things of the earth to enjoy with "prudence and thanksgiving", but earnestly we need to keep a balance in our lives between what we can keep forever, and what is needful only now. The happiest harvest for time or eternity includes character and .knowledge, truth and intelligence, the satisfaction of service, respect, and trust; the love and goodness and purity laid up in life, and the assurance of peace and a quiet conscience, of everlasting progress, and of renewal of association with loved ones. And in acquiring memories of our own, and in making them for others, the whole long and everlasting length of life should be taken into account -- with memories - of friends, of loved ones, of service given, of the keeping of the commandments, memories of high standards and courage and conviction, (memories that will let us look unflinchingly into the eyes of every many we meet, and unto him who is the Judge and Father of us all). Since memory is written "indelibily in time and space" there are some kinds of memories we should remember to make old age -- and for all the ages after -- memories written on the everlasting record that would be kindly to recall.


Many precious stories of life, replete with faith-promoting experiences, triumphs over temptations and hardships; precious evidences of the loving watch-care of God over His struggling children, have perished utterly from the earth because of the neglect of the busy participants to write down the events while they were fresh in their memories. .

When we came into this world, gifts and talents were bestowed upon us by our Heavenly Parents. We inherited from them certain of their attributes - God-like attributes. 'God' is the Father of our spirits. When the spirit entered the body, the attributes were undeveloped as was the body. As the body grew and developed by the" use of physical powers, so the spirit developed by the use of its spiritual powers.

Each person has had a purpose for birth into this earth-life and a mission to perform. Our Heavenly Father gave to each qualifications and abilities to fulfill this mission. By the use of talents and gifts, the soul grows. In this way, we qualify ourselves to take our place in the family relationship and preserve the most priceless of all gifts, OUR OWN IDENTITY. In the book "Assorted Gems of Priceless Value," page J 92, we find this statement from a discourse at Brigham Young: "Cleave to light and intelligence with all your hearts, my brethren, that you may be prepared to PRESERVE YOUR IDENTITY, which is the greatest gift of God."


My life shall touch a dozen lives
Before this year is done;
Make countless marks for good or ill,
Ere sets the evening sun.

So this is the thought I always think:
The Prayer I always Pray.
Lord, may my life bless other live:;
It touches by the way.

Let us read Grandfather John's words which give reason for this book:

Woodruff, Arizona, 1900

I have been impressed of late to have my history published. If I had the means I would have it published. I believe there is very few men living that have had greater testimony from God than I have. When I was 15 years old in a great revival, I went in my secret place to pray and I could not pray and a voice said to me that all the religious sects of the world was wrong. From that time I have had great manifestations from God. I want you to keep all I write to you in a place by themselves.

I see in the Deseret News that the saints that have had great testimonies from God are to keep them and have them to leave for the future generations to read as we read the Bible today and many other histories of great men and I do not think there are many men that have had greater testimonies than I have had and I now have more testimony than I ever had.


Genealogy and its many unsolved problems just as deep, just as vast, and just as interesting with their many branches and heads, are our family records of Genealogy connecting somewhere with the main channel, flowing ever onward to eternity.
Note: All text and misspelling are left as original


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

Gathering strength and perfection as each one or branch con-tributes their part. May the spirit of the gathering flow on and on down through the generations to come.


And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God. And the books were opened which is the book of life. And the dead were judged of those things which were written in the book according to their works.

Rev. 20: 12

And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers. In this prophecy we discover that promises were made to the fathers that their children should do something for them which they could not do for themselves.

D. & C. 2:2

So let us therefore, as a children, as a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in His Holy Temple a book containing the records of our dead. Which shall be worthy of all acceptance.



Our fathers planted the family tree
And tended it with anxious zeal;
What did they know, what could they see,
Of future cares or of future weal?

Long have those heroes been asleep,
Leaving the labor to you and to me;
Many of the sons and daughters keep
For good or for ill the family tree.

Much has been done, there is much to do;
What shall we answer, what shall we say?
Have we kept the faith, have we all been true?
In the present light of a later day,

Of future labors, of future light,
What do we know, what can we see?
From the planting of oh, so long ago,
What shall the harvest be?

Israel Bennion, 1920-

The Reidheads came to America with the Argyle Highlanders in 1776 in the 74th Reg. A William Reidhead came during the Revolutionary War. This is undoubtedly part of the story handed down that John Reidhead of Findhorn who married Katherine Nishie had two sons whom he sent to Cambridge and they were shanghaied by the British and forced fo serve in the forces of the English against the American Colonists in the Revelutionary War in 1776. There is sufficient evidence to the effect that William Reidhead of Scotland did come to America then. And it is possible that a brother John Reidhead, just younger than William might have been shanghaied with William from Cambridge. We have no record of what might have happened to John, but a search of the Parish of Kinloss, Scotland, which embraced Findhorn, gives dates of birth of eight children born to John Reidhead and Katherine Nishie. Which are as follows:

John Reidhead, son of John Reidhead and Marjorie Wetson, born…; bap. 16 July 1727, Kinloss, Moray, Findhorn, Scotland; Married 11 Dec. 1755 to Katherine Nishie, born 12 Sept. 1726, daughter of Alexander Nishie and Janet Bremmer; John Reidhead died about 1816; their children were 1. son, William Reidhead, born 28 Oct. 1756 in Findhorn, Moray, Scotland, died 11 Dec. 1811. He married Olive Banks. 2. son John Reidhead, born 27 Oct. 1758, Findhorn, Moray, Scotland. 3. daughter Anne Reidhead, born 13 May 1762, Findhorn, Moray, Scotland, died child. 4. daughter Katherine Reidhead, born 18 Feb. 1764, Findhorn, Moray, Scotland. Married Robert Ranlon on 23 Jan. 1790. 5. daughter Anne Reidhead, born 16 Dec. 1765 Find-horn, Moray, Scotland. 6. son James Reidhead, born 21 Dec. 1767, Findhorn, Moray, Scotland. 7. son David Reidhead, born 9 May 1770, Findhorn, Moray, Scotland, died child. 8. son David Reidhead, born 9 Feb. 1772, Findhorn, Moray, Scotland. Married Esther Banks. It is from this son David and wife Esther Banks that is the direct line of John Reidhead, Sr., and son John Reidhead, Jr., the same John to whom this history is dedicated.

John Reidhead, Sr., and son John, Jr., were charter members of the Masonic Lodge, organized in Minneapolis. Their picture now hangs in the Masonic Temple in Minneapolis.

John Reidhead, Jr., kept a journal from which we hove compiled a brief sketch of his life. Great-grandfather desired to have his history published. So now, after half a century, we are able to make this dream a living reality. A true and living story that will thrill and bless the hearts of all that may read it.

He was one of the humble souls of God who was happy and will-ing to struggle or make any sacrifice that the high ideals of the gospel might be achieved and maintained. His personal wants and ambitions were secondary. Grandfather fought long and hard for the freedom and noble heritage with which we are blessed today.

John Reidhead, Jr., was the first son of John Reidhead and Louisa Peabody. He was born June 9, 1827 in Catine, Maine. He married Lucretia Henderson, his first wife, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, April 25, 1850. She 'was the daughter of Doctor Johnathan Henderson and Lucretia Radcliff, born 16 July 1834, died 28 January 1863.

John Reidhead, Jr., and (wife) Lucretia Henderson was baptized July 4, 1861, in Florence, Nebraska by Elder William Yates. John was confirmed July 5, 1861, in same town by Elder Hanham and Lucretia was confirmed by Elder Erastus Snow.

I, John Reidhead, Jr., have been active in the church since I came to Provo and was called to go to the Sevier River in the year 1865. I was chosen as one of the presidents of the 34th Quorum of Seventies in the year 1865. I was chosen by the Legislature for Notary Public of Sevier County in the year 1866. I was called to go to Arizona in the year 1877.


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

Children of John Reidhead, Jr., and Lucretia Henderson Reidhead: Son, Austin Reidhead; daughter, Marie Reidhead, both of whom were burned to death, 14 August 1856 in Minneapolis, Minn.; daughter, Florence Emma Reidhead, born 29 June 1855, married Richard Walter Brereton, died 1 March 1929; son, John Oscar Reidhead, born 10 August 1858, married Lucinda Fidelia Buchanan, died 27 Feb. 1907; son, Charles Reidhead, born 5 Jan. 1860. He went away to work and was never heard of again; daughter, Lucretia Jane Reidhead, born 10 Jan. 1863, died 11 Nov. 1863.

John, Jr., then married Julia Ann York. Their children were:

Lucretia Marie died at 7 months; Julia Ann married Joseph Fish; John III, married Helen Lavisa Deans; Alanson married Wilmirth Johnson, and wife, Julia Burgess, 3rd wife, Estella Hall; Katie Louisa married Joseph C. Fish and Maurice died on the way to Arizona (age four months).

John Reidhead, Jr., also married a third wife in October, 1865. He and Sarah Huggins had two children.

John William born 1867, Fountain Green, Utah. Died, 1868.

Girl, name unknown, born 1869 at Fountain Green, Utah. Died 1869.

John, Jr., was sealed to Mallisa Patten, June 14, 1872 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

At present we have little information regarding grandfather's wives, other than the first one, Lucretia Henderson. Lucretia died at an early age from child birth, her body was left in a weakened condition due to the shock caused from the tragic death of her two children as told in grandfather's Journal. We have procured more information on Julia Ann York

Woodruff, Utah, December 9, 1912      

Dear Emmer:

I received yours today, glad to hear from you. I like to write, al-though my hand trembles bad, but I am sorry that you cannot under-stand what I write you about your mother's folks. My sister does not know about your mother's folks. Your mother was the first child of Johnathan Henderson and her mother had one son, his name was William. Then Johnathan Henderson, your grandfather, married a girl by the name of McKinsey. She lived in the town Sedgwick, Maine. She had one daughter. Her name was Lizzie Henderson. Then he married a girl in London Dairy, Nova Scotia or Pigtoe, Nova Scotia, and I think she had 7 children and your granfather Henderson had nine brothers, all doctors, and they came from Scotland. I think your mother was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but I am not certain. She may have been born in Pigtoe, Nova Scotia, or London Dairy, Nova Scotia. I married her at her aunts in Portsmouth. Your mother's aunt married a man by the name of Stephen Leach. Your grandmother's maiden name was Rackcliff*. She was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The Gammons were a noted family, who were very numerous in an early day. If some of our missionaries in the state could go and find the name of Rackcliff and Leach, then they can find out all about your mother's folks. There you will find my marriage records In the year 1850. You can write to the postmaster, but the best way is to get some of our Mormon Elders to find out all about your mother's folks. You were born in Minneapolis. I do not know the names of your grandfather Henderson's brothers, his oldest brother's name was William. He died in Chico, California. He had a large family. The reason I was not married at your grandfathers was because he was a widower. I received the letter of Brother Talmages. I do not know your grandmother's name. All the names can be found in Portsmouth, but I think you can find the name of Rackcliff and and Leach by writing to the postmaster, and that will be the cheapest, but the best way and safest way is some man who is in the business to go and search the records.

From your dear father,

JOHN REIDHEAD                   

The surname Henderson is derived from Henry, Henry's son, which in time became Henrison, Hendrickson, Henderson. The name is old in Scotland, the family having lived there since the 15th century. The chief seat being at Fordell, County Fife, and "Henderson of Fordell" is a term of distinction, and well known throughout the United Kingdom. Many authentic and traditional stories are current portraying the valor and dexterity of the earlier generations, in peace and at war, and their fame extends across the continent.

Among the prominent members of the family is a line founded by John Henderson who married Miss Margaret McCain, daughter of Mrs. Susan McCain, of New London, Penn. They were in Virginia prior to 1740. Among their children were: John, who married Elizabeth Basnett; William and Margaret. John, Jr., was the father of Isaac, born 1773-5; Dorcas; Charles; Thomas, born 1781 in Albemarle County, Var.; William and Margaret. Mrs. Sarah Henderson Wiggins of Indianapolis is the chronicler of this family.

Now this we believe is the connecting line to the Johnathan Henderson father of Lucretia Henderson.

However, some have said that a Sir John Henderson and his wife Margaret Montieth, etc. most of this information is taken from "Burk" (1625-1850).

Probably the most complete and authentic record of this family in America is given by Dr. Jos. Lyon Miller of Thomas, West Virginia, in his concise little volume, "The Ancestory and Descendants of Lieut. John Henderson", (1650-1900); of Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The writer is a great-grandson of the subject of the work, who is supposed to have been a descendent of James Henderson, First Knight. of Fordell (b. 1450, killed in battle at Floddenfield on that fatal 9th of September, 1513); his son, John, also met his death at that time, as did their royal master, King James IV of Scotland. In 1494, Sir James Henderson was appointed King's Advocate and a few years later, Lord Chief Justice, as has previously been mentioned.

The name Rackcliff or Radcliff appears in the records both ways.


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

"Sir John Henderson married Margaret Montieth, heiress of Raniford; by whom he had five sons and five daughters, and was succeeded by his eldest son, John Henderson, Esq., who was created a baronet of Nova Scotia, 15 July 1664. Sir John married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Hamilton of Obieston, Lord Chief Justice Clerk; by whom he had two sons and two daughters, and dying in 1683, was succeeded by his second and only surviving son, Sir William, who married Miss Hamilton, daughter of Sir John Hamilton of Mountain Hall, by whom he had four sons and a daughter. He died in 1709 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir John, who married Christian, daughter of Sir Robert Anstruther, Baronet of Balkaskie, by whom he had three sons and five daughters. He was succeeded by his second and eldest surviving son, Sir Robert (died October 1781) married October 3, 1784, Isabella, daughter of George McKenzie, Esq., of Firne; by whom he had issue; John, his successor, and Sir Bruce, present Baronet (18341. Sir Bruce died childless, and the estate descended to his first cousin, George Mercer, who assumed the name of Mercer-Henderson."

John, James and Samuel Henderson, brothers and sons of William Henderson and Margaret Bruce and grandson of John Henderson, Gent. of Fifensyre, Scotland, came to Virginia about 1740. They all settled in Augusta county where they married and brought up families.

John Henderson was an Ensign in the Augusta Militia in the French and Indian War, and 1758 received 14 shillings pay. His will was recorded in Augusta County, 1766, and mentions a son, William, two daughters unnamed, and his wife, Rosa Finley, who was a sister of John Finley, one of the first justices of the county.

Samuel Henderson was also in the Augusta Militia in 1758, and received a like amount as pay. His will is recorded in that county in 1782, and mentions his wife, Jane, and the following children: James, Andrew, Alexander and Florence. James died in 1801 and his will mentions the wife, Isabella and children: John, Joseph, Jones, Alexander, Becky, Sarah, Margaret and Jean.

James Henderson (b. 1708 Scotland, d. 1784, Va.) also served in the Augusta Militia in the French and Indian War, first as Ensign and later as Lieutenant. On June 23, 1783, he married Martha, daughter of Audley Harrison Hamilton, Gent., and his wife Eleanor Adams. They were the parents of: David, John, James, William, Sarah, Joseph, Jean, Samuel, Archibald and Margaret. Dr. Miller brings the line of descendants of James and Martha Henderson down to 1900 and embodies many interesting biographical items. Either of these records or (two lines) can be a lead for further research. An interesting little story is linked through a certain Sir John Henderson which could be a decendent.

A romance of the family, as told by Miss Frances M. Smith, is furnished by a certain Sir John Henderson, who fighting the natives in darkest Africa, was "rescued by a lady", so the record says. She was a royal, or a. noble personage, which adds a touch of interest and thrill to the narrative, and she was probably wearing her crown (or string of beads) at the very moment of the rescue, for descendants of the hero of this story still preserve, under glass, "a picture of this lady, with a coronet on her head, and a “Landskip' " ---- a representation probably of the very scene of the rescue.

While on the subject of the attainments and worth of the House of Henderson, it will not be out of place to remind the patient reader of this family's hope and uprightness, thrift and enterprise, courage, ambition, religious sincerity and charitable generosity, philanthropic spirit and statesmanship.

  The following is Genealogy along the Banks line.
Bluehill, September 16, 1883

Mr. John Reidhead
Dear Sir:

You requested me to write your Genealogy. Accordingly I will begin as far back as I know. Aaron Banks came from old York settled in Major Bagwaduce, now divided into three towns: Castine, Penobost and Brooksville. He settled in that part called Castine in the year 1761. He was in the old French and Prussian War. He married Miss Perkins by whom he had the children whose names follow:

Boys: Eben, James, Josiah and Aaron Banks

Girls: Elizabeth, Lucy, Olive, Polly and Esther Banks

If he had any others I do not know their names. It is of Esther Banks you wish to know. She married a Scotsman by the name of David Reidhead by whom she had one son by the name of John Reidhead. He married a girl by the name of Peabody. John Reidhead and Miss Peabody were your parents. In tracing the Wardwells only have to trace my own Genealogy.

Daniel Wardwell came from Old York and settled in Penobost. He had four sons: Samuel, Daniel, Jeremiah and Josiah. Jeremiah married Elizabeth Banks by whom he had twelve children. The sons were: William, Eliakim, Eben, Joseph, Robert, Lewis, Seneca and Vespasian Wardwell. The girls names were: Nancy, Ruth, Betsy and Mercy. They are all dead now but Seneca and he is 82 years old.

John Reidhead married Olive Banks by whom he had two children: Catharine and Olive Reidhead. Olive married James Stover. Eliakim Wardwell married Catherine Reidhead, his cousin by whom he had eleven children. Their names were John, Mary, Ann, Ruth, William, Ira, Eliakim, Abagail, Burnham, Joseph, Catherine and Fersis. 'They are all dead but Ruth, Catharine and Burnham. Samuel Wardwell married Polly Banks by whom he had a large family whose names I omit. They are dead but Washington Wardwell. He is about 70 years old. Eben Banks died in the West Indies. He was an officer on board a British man of war.


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

Josiah Banks, I do not know what became of him. James Banks was shot when running away from an English man of war. Aaron Banks died a natural death in Penobost. Lucy Banks married a man by the name of Milliken. I know no more. I have taken you back one hundred and twenty-two years. You can safely rely on this record.
Yours truly,


Those names are all copied in the Genealogical Notebook.


English Ancestry of the Peabody (Pabody, Paybody, Pabodia) family.

About 50 years ago, Mr. Horatio G. Somerby, the genealogist of Essex County, Mass., and a personal friend of Mrs. George Peabody of London, made considerable research to discover the origin of this family. What he found was noted and his manuscripts came to the Massachusetts Historical Society which loaned them to the N. E. Historical-Genealogical Society. The latter courteously permitted Dr. Selim Hobart Peabody to study these notes and still later the present writer was allowed to review them. He then went to England in the summer of 1909, and carried the search further; examined documents at Somerset House, in the Public Record Office and the British Museum, traced through printed indexes and lists published within the past few years and through the manuscript indexes of several counties and dioceses; and particularly reviewed the documents of the county of Leicester, which Mr. Somerby had concluded and Mr. Pope also believes was the ancient home of this family, going through the transcripts of ancient parish records, etc.

The result of this work is here given for the inspection of all concerned.

St. Albans, whose minister certified to the worthiness of his parishioners the Tuttells, has been supposed to have also been the home 01 the rest of the passengers named in the list of the Planter. (See the heading in the article on Francis of Ipswich a few pages later.) But it is now known that "Francis Peabody" and other passengers were not residents of that parish. So it is concluded that the heading was intendent only to cover the case of the Tuttells. Hertfordshire had none of this family, nor had Essex, Suffolk, Middlesex or either of the adjacent counties, save a very few persons in one London parish.

Passing northward along a frequented highway, we find some in Northamptonshire (none of whom, however, will connect with the American emigrants); and then, going further into the heart of old England, we find the family in a very ancient period domiciled in Liecestershire at Lutterworth, famous as the residence and burial place of the noble and infleuntial reformer, John Wycliffe. His influence was still strong there when these records begin; and the impulse to join in New England's Puritan-pilgrimage was undoubtedly fostered by that influence. From items in the wills of several persons we find

that the Peabody family of Liecestershire was all connected with the Lutherworth group, and very likely derived from it. Positive links are not found; the absolute evidence of the birth of the American founders of this family is not here; but a chain of most valuable records, which seem to the writer to amount to real settlement of the question.

The name itself was variously spelled even in the same parish and on the same document. The oldest and most prevalent form previous to the settlement of New England was Paybody. Two common words, these syllables are, and perhaps they point back to a man or a succession of men in the 14th century (when surnames were crystallizing) who paid the servants, creditors and employees of barons, manufacturers of public officials. Body mean person or individual, pay-body would carry the same idea as pay-master or paying-teller. The name, if such be its origin, would be a memorial of ability and trust-worthiness.

A letter received by Florence Emma Reidhead Brereton.

Provo City, February 4, 1913

(No heading)

I received your letter that you sent Albert leach the carpenter. He came to me with it as he saw my fathers name Stephen leach. He thought I could give him the information required. I thought I would answer it and inform you that you have relation here. My mother passed away 17 years ago and my father passed away several years before, and I am the only child living of my family Your mother's mother was my mother's sister, Elizabeth Gammon it was, and she married Stephen leach and your father and mother was married in my parlor which was my mother's at the time I lived at home with my mother. She was a cripple for years. She lived to be 84 years old and she always thought the world of your mother and I always loved your mother. Did you ever hear her speak of cousin Annia. I remember well when your father and mother was married In this house. Does your father remember me? He came to see mother a number of years ago. He made a short call. Your mother's mother has one sister living. She lives with her youngest daughter in Lynn, Mass., and her oldest daughter lives in Portsmouth and one son in Saugust, Mass. There is no other Leaches that are relation to you. Well I suppose I am writing to my second cousin, Florence, and I am very glad that my dear cousin has one child to look after her father in his old age. How I should love to see him, and you also. Give my love to him. I shall be pleased to hear from you again and if there is any information that I can give you I shall be pleased to do so, In regards to the Hendersons. I did not know anything about them. I only knew him and Aunt Lucretias husband. Hoping to hear from you again. I will say goodbye for this time.

(No signature)


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity


Woodruff, Arizona
February 20. 1885.

I was born in Reedsville. Maine. October 23. 1833. My parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the year of 1837. Went to Missouri in the Kirtland Camp in 1839. in Joseph A. Young's company. Was driven from there by the mob that winter in the month of February. Went to Surgarbush. Missouri, in company with William, John and Grandfather Carter and families. The men worked together and built each a log house.

Then father was called to go on a mission to the Eastern States. He was gone 14 months and mother taught school to support her family. When he returned he was sick with inflammatory rheumatism, and mother had the family to support and to take care of father. We were surrounded by Gentiles. but they were very kind to us.

One family by the name of Grinning were very kind. After father got better. we moved to Lima. Hancock County. Illinois. In 1842 father went on a mission to the Eastern States. He had very little food to leave. and no way to get any, but mother went to weaving for the people. in that way she provided for her family.

When he had been gone eight months, my mother gave birth to a fine boy. born October 5, 1843; being the sixth child. He filled his mission and returned with joy, and found the family well and comfortable.

In the fall of 1845 we were driven by the mob to Nauvoo. The mob burned all of the houses in the place. They burned all the hay, wheat and oat stacks. and everything they could get hold of. Father and Uncle William Carter worked in a copper shop besides farming. Their shop and all their tools were burned and all of their summer's work including many flour barrels. Father's only horse was shot down at the door. Large crops of corn and vegetables which our people had raised were gathered by the mob. also cattle, fowls, and everything they had, and the people were left destitute to get along the best they could.

In the spring of 1846. we left Nauvoo and went west; stopped at Mount Pisgah. lived there four years.

Father presided over the branch of the Church there. In the early settling of that branch. it was very sickly. and there were many deaths. Father spent much of his day and night taking care of the sick and dead. He made coffins as there was no lumber. They had to cut down trees and split them by hand for coffins. He made two coffins a day until he got sick, then they were buried without coffins.

In the spring of 1850, we left Mount Pisgah and started for Salt Lake City. Arrived there October 22, with 11 in the family; for in the sickly time in Mount Pisgah a man by the name of Hallet with two women and four children died. The mother died last. and being at our house requested father and mother to keep the three children,which thy did. In the Spring of '52 we moved to Provo where we lived until 1862. He then moved his family with his second wife to Dixie leaving mother with a good home. His health was very poor in that country, so after living there six years he moved back to Provo, but he never regained his health. But continued to get worse being unable to do but very little work until his death. He died in the fall of 1882. Mother and his second wife are still living. They each had eight children, there were 11 boys and five girls.

I lived at home with my parents until 1850, when I married at the age of 17. Went into celestial marriage. In 1855 my husband was called on a mission to Australia. He got into trouble, was disfellowshipped from the Church and never came back. I had two children and one died very young; the other lived to be 11 years and 10 months old, when it was drowned.

After my husband left the church I supported myself and child the best I could, he being only 10 months old when my husband went on his mission. He left me with his mother, and without any way of supporting myself and child, but to work hard for all that we had. I lived a widow eight years, then married John Reidhead, October 24, 1863. Moved to Fountain Green, Sanpete County, Utah. .

The first year of our married life a cancer broke out on my forehead, and nearly took my life, and disfigured my face very much, but the lord had something for me to do.

My husband was a widower with three children for me to take care of, and one of my own, making six in the family. In October 1865 my husband married another wife. I had a little girl which J lost at the age of seven months. . We moved to Richfield, Sevier County. We were there during the Indian War in 1865 and 1867. We had to move, as 11 of the settlements in the Sevier County had to be broken up. The Indians were at war on the Mormons in Sanpete and Sevier counties.

We then moved to Gunnison, Sanpete County. Moved in March, 1867. In May, my son was drowned in the Sanpitch River, his body was never found. We lived there two years. In the spring of 1869 we moved to Provo again, where we lived until my husband was called by President Young to take his family and go to Arizona. We left Provo on October 17, 1877. On our way to Arizona we buried our youngest child, a boy 3 years and 10 months of age. Arrived at Brigham City, Arizona, May 4th the same year we moved to Show low, Apache County; Ariz., where we lived until we were driven from there by the Apache Indians who killed my husbands partner, Nathan Robinson; they were very hostile. June 4th, 1882 we moved to Taylor and from there, moved to Woodruff on the little Colorado, July 15, 1882. My husband was called on a mission to the Eastern States, he left home on the 3rd of August and returned in December on account of poor health. In August following, my husband and I, with our two youngest children went to St. George to work in the temple for his dead relatives. We were baptized for seven or eight hundred, were endowed and sealed for a great number. We were gone from home for three months.


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

On the 10th of February, 1885, my oldest daughter, with her husband started to Old Mexico to make a home on account of the persecutions of the saints who were living in polygamy.

October 19, 1887 my youngest daughter was married in the St. George Temple. November 10, 1888 my husband and I went to Salt Lake City to do work for the dead in the temple there. We visited the home of President Wilford Woodruff. His son showed us through and we had the privilege of sitting in the President's chair, which I thought was a great privilege.

My oldest son, John married Helen Lavisa Dean. They were married on the 26th of February, 1888, which caused a great deal of excitement and trouble. Her parents being opposed to the marriage, they eloped and were married in Gallup, New Mexico. August, 1889 I went to Provo on a visit to my mother and friends; was gone five weeks. April 24, I with my husband moved to Eagar, Apache County, Arizona, arriving there May 3rd. My husband went into the mercantile business. My youngest son went with us. November following my youngest daughter with her husband and family moved to Eagar to assist my husband in his business. My son-in-law was stricken down with rheumatism. Just one year from that, my husband, myself and youngest son started over the mountain to Mesa City, Arizona. When we went to Snowflake, I had a very bad swelling on my hand, and my husband decided to leave me there with my oldest daughter, Julia Fish, and he and my youngest son went to Mesa, November 1892. My husband returned in company with Walter Winsor and family, June 1893, and found me at my youngest daughters in Woodruff, where they had returned from Eagar; they had returned to their former home in Woodruff. My husband went back to Mesa in November the some year, as we had lost our home in Woodruff on account of business failure.

We were without a home, and my husband started out in his old age to get means to buy a home, when he returned home he bought Brother Dean's home. He gave $600 cash for it, we moved into our new home November 29. My son stayed in Mesa with Samuel Johnson.

I, Julia A. Y. Reidhead, resigned from Sabbath teacher of Woodruff Ward after being a teacher 23 years. Was teacher from the infant class to the highest class.

I was born in Reedsville, Maine, was blessed in Caldwell Co. by Joseph Smith, Patriarch of the Church, at six years of age, 1839. Baptized at eight years by Henry Deems, confirmed by John Deems at Hancock Co., Illinois; was rebaptized in Salt Lake City, Utah.

My parents were of Scottish descent. My husband and I lived together 53 years.

I now write the positions I have held:

I first belonged to a Relief Society when I was 10 years old, in Lima, IIIoinois. Then when the Society was organized in Provo, Utah, I was a member in the First ward, then in the Fourth ward. In the Spring of 1867 was set apart as first counselor to Aurilla Girns in Gunnison. Acted in that position two years, until I moved away.

Went back to Provo in the Fourth ward; was a member seven years. We then moved to Arizona; settled in Show low, and when the Relief Society was organized there, I was chosen and set apart as first counselor to Wilmirth East, November 24, 1880. Acted in that position until January 16, 1882, when I was set apart as president of the Relief Society of the Showlow Ward, to fill the place of Sister East, who moved away. June 6, 1882 we, or that settlement, was broken up on account of the Indians who became hostile and killed one of our brethren, Nathan Robinson. We then moved to Woodruff, Arizona, a small settlement located on the little Colorado. There I was chosen as second counselor to Sister Catherine Hatch. When she moved away I was first counselor to Lucretia Owens. In 1890 the organization was reorganized, and I was chosen as first counselor to Belle Webb, who was president. In 1892 we moved to Springville, Arizona. Came back to Woodruff May 3, 1894. I was then chosen as treasurer and remained as such ever since. This is March 16, 1903.


We have been lovers for forty years;
O, dear cheeks, faded and worn with tears,
What an eloquent story of love you tell!
I Your roses are dead, yet I love you weil!

O, pale brow, shrined in soft, silvery hair;
Crowned with life's sorrow and lined with care,
Let me read by the light of the stars above
Those dear, dear records of faithful love. . .

The above poem is given as a tribute of Grandfather John's love for his beloved companion, Julia Ann York. They lived together 53 years.


Page One

The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity


I was born in the state of Maine on June 9, 1827. I embraced the Gospel in 1861 and came to Utah that fall, have always been under the direction of the Priesthood. I was called to settled Richfield, I went there before there was a house in that country. I was in all the Utah-Indian wars, when we were all called to leave our homes and all our property. Then I was called to take a contract on the railroad, worked three contracts on the Union Pacific. Then I was chosen to take a contract on the Central Pacific Round, to put 500 men on pension. They failed and I lost all I had and came off the road over $10,000 in debt. Then I settled in Provo and was very prosperous in my business. Paid all my debts and had a good home. Then I was called in 1877, to go to Arizona. I left Provo with $4,000 clear of debt. Then I settled in Showlow, Navajo Co. and was in the stock business and was very successful in my business. Then the Apache Indian war broke out, and I was advised by President Jesse N. Smith to go to Woodruff and help put in the dam. There I lost all I had. Then I went down to Macy (Mesa) on the Salt River and was very successful. Came back to Woodruff and bought me a little home. Now I am nearly 90 years old and I would not give the experience that I have gained for all the riches of this world - spiritually and temporally.

I, John Reidhead, was ordained a Patriarch under the hands of John Henry Smith and John Taylor, February 20, 1898, in Snowflake, Navajo Co., Arizona. This position he held until his death in August, 1916.

Excerpts taken from patriarchal blessing of John Reidhead, Jr.:

Brother John, I lay my hands upon your head according to your desire and according to the desire of the Holy Spirit. I seal a patriarchal blessing upon you that shall be for your comfort and consolation. For you as a member in good standing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and in good fellowship with the Holy Spirit of Promise, which spirit shall be a comfort unto you. Which spirit shall bring things past, things present and to come to your mind, and shall be like a well of living water springing up unto life ever-lasting, so that you can comprehend the mind and will of the Lord concerning yourself and family and also to some extent what is coming to pass among the inhabitants of the earth.

Excerpts taken from a letter written to his daughter, Florence Emmer (Emma) Brereton.

You asked me about my rheumatism. It is in the back part of my legs and it hurts me to sit down. If it was not for that I should be like a young man. I will send you a letter from Lyday Dermandiz, and I want you to send it back to me. The native saints on those islandshear my letters. A lady reads them to the saints there and they had one of my letters published in the Hawaiian language. I am writing to many of the greatest men in the world, and I wished you could read the letters and answers that I receive. I read a speech delivered in one of our large cities by William J. Praint. He said that it was not education or riches that made a great man. It was revelation. I wrote to him a short letter and put it into Brother Smoot's letter. Then I knew he could receive it. I told him that I read his speech and I was so pleased to think we had a man at the head of our government that believed in present day revelation that I dropped him those few lines. I told him that he had a great work to do in this nation. He has been to Salt Lake several times and has spoken to large congregations, and there is where he learned about revelation. Some of the greatest men in the world today are looking with wonder at this people and the time is near when many of those great men will come into the church and many that do not believe will bring their gold and silver to this Church for safety and what looks bad it will be as the Savior said, "Many would come from the east and the west and sit down in the Kingdom of God while many of the Kingdom would be cast out". When I see the way that many of our young are going they will be cast out, many are going into the ways of the wicked. Oh, the lord shows me so much I have to write and talk all the time. He has called me to warn the people as He did the ancient prophets, and I can not write or tell all the lord shows me. It would do more harm than good. If the saints do not wake up and live near the Lord, they will be left out of the ark. God bless you my dear Emmer and all your family that will follow you. Be kind and loving to them all.

Your loving father,                   



NOTE - Observe the promises which were made in his blessing. These blessings are literally fulfilled. Indeed, John Reidhead. Jr. was an Inspired man.
NOTE - Florence Emma was better known as Florence Emmer. For through the years her father John Reidhead always called her Emmer.


Page One

The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity


Woodruff, Arizona, January 1, 1890

A sketch of the travels and the history of John Reidhead, Jr., also many wonderful escapes from shipwrecks, also many dangerous escapes from Indians, having been a frontiersman for 35 years.

I was born in the state of Maine, June 9, 1827, in the town of Castine. I am the son of John Reidhead and Louisa Peabody Reidhead.

My father moved to the town of Bluehill. My mother died when I was about 12 years old leaving four children, three daughters and myself. I being the oldest. My father married a second wife by the name of Carter. Owing to my mother's death, the family scattered and I went to sea. I made five voyages to the grand banks of New-foundland. I followed the sea until I was 23. Having been very unfortunate at sea, I resolved to leave the sea and try my luck in the west. I left in the spring of 1848. I left Bango in April, took a steamer for Boston, then the cars to the lakes, then stage for Glena, Illinois, then a steamboat up the Mississippi River to Saint Anthony Falls. At that time it was a wild country.

I then hired with a man to explore the Red Rivers of the North, it was a wild country only inhabited by Indians. But, they were very kind. I returned home to the state of Maine in the fall, got married in the spring of 1850, moved west in the spring to Minnesota, made a claim on the Indian Reservation, where the city of Minneapolis now stands. In the year of 1850 the soldiers drove me off, and I made a claim on the west side of the Mississippi River, eight miles above Saint Anthony Falls, cleared $2,500 in four months.

In the year of 1856, I put in to the pinery three teams, put in 250,000 feet of logs, sold for $25,000. The parties that I sold to failed and I lost $10,000. That summer I built a good barn, raised a good crop. After my crops were gathered and my hay and grain stacked around my barn, my two children set fire and burned up in the barn. My wife came very near burning with the children in trying to save them. The oldest, a boy five years old, the girl three years. This. was a great blow in starting out in life. But, I did not get discouraged but concluded it was all in the program of life.

Times became very hard and every man in business failed, but I resolved to pay my debts and made a great sacrifice of property to do so, and started in the year 1860 to cross the plains to California and made my calculations to go to Oregon and Washington Territory, then to the eastern states and make a visit to our friends and return to Minnesota. But when I got to Council Bluffs, there was great excitement about the gold mines at Pikes Peak, so thought I would turn my course to the mines. I arrived in Denver in June 1861, built a house in Denver; then went up in the mountains and kept hay for saleand set my teams hauling hay. I sold it for ten cents a pound. It cost a great deal to live in that country at that time. At that time, 25c a pound for potatoes, $5 a pint for whiskey. I made a contract to haul ore for a rich man by the name of White, and he failed and I had to go to Missouri River to spend the winter. I stopped at Omaha. In the spring I bought me a place, house and lot, and was making money fast. I bought all the hay there was for sale around Omaha. I set my mark trying to become a rich man.

Being dissatisfied with all sects of religion, I fell in with a Mormon in the spring, by the name of Latty. I asked him to ride with me, he was a stranger to me, and in our conversation, he asked me if I was a Mormon. He was the first Mormon I had ever seen. I had investigated religion until I did not want anything more of it, but I went as soon as I could with my wife and heard the elders preach at Old Winter quarters. The speakers were Erastus Snow, Milo Andrews and Jacob Gates. I cannot express my joy for the knowledge that I had received in so short a time.

I was a stranger, I had a great desire to bear my testimony to the brethren that had been preaching. After meeting they came back and I had the privilege; and Brother Snow told me my lineage, I told the brethren that I thought that my Father in Heaven had sent guardian angels to preach to me instead of the Elders. Brother Snow said there was no doubt of it. I went as soon as possible and was baptized also my wife. I sold out as soon as possible and started for Utah. I went direct to Provo, remained there about four years, my wife died in about one year after I arrived. I married again in about one year.

I went into merchandising and was very successful in business. I was called by Orson Hyde to keep a store in Manti. I did a large business, sold about $100,000 in about three years. I then was called to take all my effects and move to Sevier River and help build up that country and furnish the people with goods. About that time the Indians broke out and we had a hard time fighting and standing guard day and night for about three years. When the Indians got the best of us and we were called away by President Young, and I was advised to go to Gunnison and help protect that place.

I there bought a store of goods of Watson and Curns and became heavily in debt of about $9,000. I then was called to go out to the railroad and take a contract for the settlement of Gunnison. I worked on a contract in Echo Canyon for about $18,000. I then took a contract at the mouth of Weber Canyon for about $40,000. I then took a contract from Benson and West to put 500 men on their work. It was a costly and hard job. I put all my means on that work and lost it all and came out over $10,000 in debt. The cause being that West did not keep his books straight, and the work being very expensive and the contract being imperfect. They came out about $170,000 behind and they could pay me nothing. I was very badly discouraged and thought it useless for me to try to ever pay my debts.


Page Two

The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

I was reading in the Doctrine and Covenants a revelation given to Joseph Smith saying it is my wish that you should pay your debts, and if you will live humble and prayerful before me, I will open the way, and soften the hearts of those you owe, whereby you shall pay your debts. This gave me courage, and I had faith that my Heavenly Father was able to help me out, and the way commenced from that time to prosper me in my labors. A man by the name of W. C. or McWickerson came on from the coast and a stranger to me. I got an introduction to him by Brother John Taylor. He came into the Church in Canada in the beginning of the Church, and stayed away from the Church to get rich. After 30 years from the Church, he came out to Utah and was rebaptized; and told me he was going to catch up with Mormonism, but he got too old and too slow to ever catch up with the Church, and began to find fault with Brigham Young, and the authorities of the Church and soon went back and died. Poor man, he fetched out a stack of goods that he bought at Council Bluff for 50c on the dollar. He urged me to buy them as he could not sell them at any advantage, and he wanted to invest in the silver mines. And I bought them at cost and freight. I cleared at least $2,500 on them.

The next stranger came to me and sold me a lot of wagons and other goods, which I cleared over $2,000; I then went to Wasatch at the head of Echo Canyon to sell fruit and vegetables, while there, a stranger came to me and wished me to buy an old railroad outfit. He sold it to me very cheap, and I cleared over $2,000, and so the way was opened up before me as it had been promised that if I would be faithful He would open up the way for which I feel thankful to my Heavenly Father for bringing me into those tight places in order to strengthen my faith in Him.

From this time everything was in my favor, and I paid all my debts. I then resolved to settle down in Provo and make a home for life and stop rambling. I laid a good foundation by getting land near the city. I got over 200 acres and was making a good start when I was called and set apart for a mission to Arizona. I sold out and started with a good outfit. I had four wagons, 10 head of horses and mules, five yoke of oxen, 60 head of cows and my wagons loaded with provisions and such goods as were needed. I stopped at Brigham City on the Little Colorado and joined the United Order as it was called, which was not very profitable as regards to property, but a good place to learn wisdom, which is better than money.

I then moved from the river to Showlow Creek, near Coolege, but could not get land and the country being new, I went down the creek to the crossing and bought a place of a man by the name of Wolf, and began to farm and attend to my stock. We had organized a ward and was prospered in our labors and the spirit of the Lord was with us, and the Indians were our friends, but the devil did not like that, as he knew the promises that had been made to them through their fathers and some of our brethren moved on to their land and became covetous and the Indians became dissatisfied and had them removed. The Indians then came down to our place and killed my friend and Brother Nathan Robinson. It looked at that time as though we would all be massacred, and we had to abandon our homes and move to other places. I then moved to Woodruff, on the Little Colorado, and there struggled through difficulties until this time, January 13, 1890, and have gone through with most of my property by the loss of stock and the dam going out and raising very poor crops.

I have made a very short sketch of my business life and will fill out the rest of my history in the future as I have time.

A second history of John Reidhead, Jr., written by him in 1894*.

Woodruff, February 15, 1894    

I commenced my history from the year 1827. As I have forgotton dates and my memory being poor, I hope those that read this history will make great allowance for me, but what I do write will be correct, but I cannot give but a short sketch of my life, but as my life has been an eventful one, I have been advised to leave a testimony of the goodness of God to me from my earliest days to the present time. I will relate some of the manifestations of God to me by sea and by land.

After my mother's death, I began to think about religion, and as my parents were very pious, I was brought up to believe in the Methodist Church doctrine. My father being one of the leading men in that neighborhood, we attended meetings very regular.

My father had prayers in his house morning and evenings. There had been a great revival in that neighborhood through the winter, and the young people held their meetings to pray, sing and bear their testimonies. Finally in the spring it seemed necessary to join the church, and there was great desire among the different churches to get converts to join their church, and some of my friends wanted me to join the Baptists.

This caused me to reflect why there should be so many different sects of religion. There being but one God, as I had been taught, and one heaven, and it did not seem right to me for so many different religious beliefs proved by the same Bible. And I learned by reading history that there had been millions of people killed account of religion. Finally, as I was taught to pray to God in secret, I had a secret place in my father's barn where I had often retired in prayer. I went to this place to pray, and there I received a testimony from the Voice of God that the sects were all wrong, and had all gone astray. I could not pray, and father became worried about me. I did not have any desire to go to their meetings.

I had three sisters that were very pious and my father and sisters and friends would pray for me, and they got the ministers to come to my father's to pray and talk to me, but they could not do a thing with me, and said that some in the Latter Days would be given over to the hardness of heart and reprobate of mind, and it caused me to reflect if I was one of that kind.
* The greater part of this history Is an account or John's religious experience. However, you will note that he has repeated some of his history given before. But since each topic is followed by another interesting story and not wanting to change the meaning I have left It undisturbed. I feel that It must be kept a. original as possible.


Page Three

The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

I wanted to do right, and the people all gave me the credit of being an examplary young man. And all the fault they could find with me, I could not believe as they did. This caused me to begin to read the scriptures for myself, and I must say, I could not under-stand them. I tried to be a Universalist, but soon left that belief. I read in the Bible where it said, "Where is the man that sees the Spirit of man go upwards, and the spirit of a beast go downwards. I perceived that man hath no prominence over the beast, and when they're dead there is no remembrance of him forever."

This was a cause for me to reflect, and I read all the works on infidelity that I could get and finally gave up the Bible as being a very imperfect history of the people that had lived on the earth, and that God had nothing to do with it. I always had a spirit in me to pray, but concluded there was no God, and that I was more ignorant than the heathens for they had some image to worship, but I had none.

I was at sea with a very confirmed infidel. We had been on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and had not seen land for 160 days, but was returning home; but had lost our reckoning (directions) and had not seen the sun for several weeks on account of fog, but that we were nearly 200 miles from land.

I was a second mate of the vessel at the time and it was my watch below, and while asleep in my berth, I saw the vessel go on the rocks and go to pieces, and a personage stood by my bed and told me that the vessel would never go home. The next day I told the crew that the vessel never would go home. They wanted to know why I thought so. I did not tell them because it was a dream, and I was an infidel, but next night we ran on to the rocks, we were running about eight miles an hour and it broke in the bow of the vessel the first thing. It was between nine and ten o'clock at night. We went on the ebb tide; we tried to find a rock to get on, but could not find any that the sea did not break over. Finally before the tide arose again it became daylight, and we were near an island, and we were taken off by wreckers.

We stopped on the island about two weeks and the American consul sent us home. I had not yet learned that my Father in Heaven was learning me to become acquainted with Him, and had taken this course to learn me a lesson that I could not get any other way. I had resolved in my mind not to go any more to sea as I had had very bad luck in all of my seafaring life, but when a boy starts to go to sea, it is hard to stop the business. I had not been home long before I shipped on another vessel, a very fine vessel and a very pious captain, and I was on board of her about six months and we had been to the Grand Bank of Newfoundland and was bound home. We were running under a good sail breeze, just what we wanted to spread all sail for home. It was my watch below, but while I was in my berth alseep, I dreamed I was in my native land and I thought I could look on the ocean and see the vessel that I was then on, and I saw her go to pieces, and I beheld many other vessels wrecked, but it seemed that I was on my native land. A personage stood by my bed and spoke to me very plain these words, "This vessel will be lost and you will only be saved."

When the watch was called at 12 o'clock, this vision was plain before me and I told the captain that we had better take in sail and prepare for a heavy gale. He could not understand why I should be in a hurry and we had a crew of old sailors that was very reluctant in taking in sail, but the captain gave the orders, and we went to reefing and the wind commenced to blow, and we took in sail as fast as possible until we heaved to and wallow in the trough of the sea, and I never saw such mountains of water. They asked me how I knew this was going to be such a gale. Again I could not tell them because it was a dream and I was an infidel. This was 12 o'clock that I went on deck. Before daylight, everything was swept from our decks and I was the only one on deck. I was lashed to a timber to keep me from being washed overboard, and the voice of the spirit, which seemed to penetrate my whole body, "You will be saved", and about nine o'clock Sunday morning a sea struck our vessel in her bow that seemed to burst her open, and a voice that penetrated my whole system in these words, "You will be saved", and that is all.

The captain came from below and we started forward and soon found that we were sinking. I went to the forecastle and jumped to the floor, and the water was pouring into her bow. I got some blankets and put in the leak the best I could and started to go on deck, but when I was stopped by an invisible power, and I did not know anything for a short time. When it left me, I beheld a personage that seemed like a shadow, but my mind was clear, that we should be saved. I went on deck and the crew were all on deck, some praying, some weeping. I told them that we should be saved. The captain was wringing his hands, and said that we should all be in eternity in a few minutes. I told them that some spirit told me that we should be saved. I told the captain to take the wheel and run her before the wind, and I took charge of the men, and went to throwing everything overboard to lighten her bow, and it came to me, while I was in the forecastle, to cut a hole through the bulkhead and let the water back to her pumps. After about 14 hours, the captain became willing to die, and consigned himself and family to God. I told them we should be saved, but I could not tell them how.

The second day we have in sight of a ship bound to the West Indies. She bore down upon us, but the seas were so rough that they could not board us, and it came on dark and all gave up for lost for a short time, but I told them I knew that we should be saved. We could get nothing to eat or drink. The fourth day a ship from London bound to Quebec, her name was "The Proms of London", the captain's name was Retolick. She sent her boat and took us off the wreck, and our vessel went to the bottom before we left her. We saved nothing but the clothes that we had on, and that was very little.

We went to Quebec and were landed without money or friends. The captain and crew gave me the credit of being the means of saving all hands, and it was thought by all to be a great miracle. But I gave God the credit of saving us. We had to beg our way to Boston, but the people in Montreal were very kind and gave us money to help us home.


Page Four

The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

While I was on this English ship, I found the Bible and I was looking into it, and found it had a good deal to say about dreams and visions, and I would look promiscuously through the book and became so interested that I read it through, Old and New Testament, and it was a new book to me. I contemplated on what the Lord had shown me, and I knew it was not the wisdom of man.

I soon saw that the Bible was a history of revelations and I began to advocate that the Church of Christ taught revelations. My father said there was not a man on earth that advocated such doctrine as I did.

I told him there was not a man on earth that could take that Bible and confuse my doctrine, because it was the doctrine of Christ, and I should live to see my doctrine established on the earth. I was writing in a little book that I carried in my pocket for a number of years, to show the different sects their errors, and I got many enemies by advocating against the sects. I investigated spiritualism, I read Andrew Davis' works on Spiritualism, and took several of their papers and visited their circles, and the more I investigated, the more I became convinced that I did not want anything to do with it, although I believed there was an intercourse between embodied and unembodied spirits, but I could not depend upon them. I studied Astrology and finally concluded that Spiritualism, and Astrology, and Fortune Telling, and Witchcraft were all from the same source, and I wanted nothing to do with them. I became discouraged with all governments on earth and finally concluded that I was alone in the world as regards to my belief, but was happy to know that I was right, but I looked very absurd to my friends.

I started to travel west in the year 1849, being tired of sea-faring life, with the shipwrecks and hardships, and having read the travels and adventures of the west. I wanted to see for myself. My father offered me a good form to stop with him and my grandmother had a nice home, and wanted me to have it, as I was her only male heir, but I told them that I wanted to travel and see the world for myself. I took the steamboat and went to Boston, from there to Albany. I traveled by stages and private teams until I arrived at Galena. I then took a steamboat up the Mississippi to Lacross, which was at that time a reservation for the Winnebago Indians. I stopped there and explored that part of the country up the Black River and Lacross River. Shortly after I arrived, I ran into a town, and I bought property and went into business. I started the first meat market in that place. I then started a lumber yard, my business increased rapidly and I went to buying horses and cattle, and shipped them by steamboat up the river to St. Paul. I started a meat market at St. Anthony Falls. In the month of December I started back east to Maine to see my folks and get married. It was very cold and disagreeable across the prairies. In those days no railroads east of Michigan. Arrived home in January, stayed until April, took my girl to Portsmouth, New York and was married at her aunt's by the name of Leach. Then started west, arrived at St. Anthony Falls in the month of May, 1850. I then went up the river four miles above the falls and bought a claim of 160 acres from a Frenchman, by the name of Pillasie. This was before the government had bought the land of the Indians, and they were very hostile. My house was built on the bank of the Mississippi River, and I dug an underground passage that led into a deep ravine, that I might escape if they should surround my house, and I could not get out. I kept some good dogs to give me warning if there was danger, and plenty of guns and ammuntion. We had many narrow escapes at this place. My wife had two children, born at this place, and I could not get anyone to stop with us. The Squaw men wanted the Indians to drive off the settlers, that they could get our homes as they were valuable, but I stayed with my home and after the treaty with the Indians, I was offered $20,000 for it. It was a beautiful location on the bank of the Mississippi River, 80 acres of fine timber along the river, 80 acres of prairie.

The first year that I arrived in Minnesota, I made a claim across the river opposite St. Anthony where the city of Minneapolis now stands. But I was a trespasser on Indian lands and the soldiers from Fort Snelling tore down my house and drove me off. I then started back to the state of Maine.

I explored on the Red River of the North, as it was then called, which is now the Dakotas. I went to explore for fine timber on the head waters of the Red River. I had two good brave men with me, we traveled for six weeks and found fine timber, but would not pay to get at it. We had many hardships to pass through, a wild Indian country. We never saw but one white man after we left St. Cloud on the Mississippi River, but the Indians, for the most part, were friendly, and would bring us plenty of fish, which was very plentiful in the lakes and rivers. There were no boats or bridges and we had to ford many large and dangerous streams. We lost all our provisions crossing one of those streams and had to live on fish and game. We found the Frenchman that I spoke of living with a squaw at Otter Trail lake. He had children by this woman well grown. We returned home and I next went to explore on one of the tributaries of the Mississippi, called the Rum River, for fine timber, and put up hay to log in the winter. I left the falls of St. Anthony the first of August with a party of Chipoway Indians.

There were three of us in our party and 250 Indians, there was one white man with the Indians that had an Indian woman that he lived with. They were very kind to us, but tried to kill the white man that had the squaw. She was a Chief's daughter and he took his gun to kill him and she stepped before him and told her father to kill her first. That saved his life. The Indians left us to go to Mill Lake, there is where they bury their dead.

We traveled in log and birch canoes. We upset ours in the river, and lost all our provisions, guns and ammunition, and had to travel 65 miles in hot weather without food; with Indian moccasins on our feet, and the blood coming out of our feet. This was a hard trip. On that trip we had to carry our canoes on our shoulders across a narrow neck of land and I broke down my shoulders which I always have had to suffer very much.


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

That winter I put in a team of four yoke of oxen to haul pine logs with four teamsmen. I had to go in debt for all I had except one yoke of cattle. I sold my logs in the spring on the bank and paid all my debts and cleared to myself $2500. We were hauling our logs off from Indian lands. The camp next to mine, with 30 men, look a great advantage of the Indians, and would sell them whiskey and drive the bucks out of camp and lay with the squaws. That made them mad and they came down and killed five of the men, but treated me and my men very kind. It cost me a good deal to feed them.

July, 1856, I left home to explore the Chowing River for a chance to put in teams and put up hay. I put in that winter one light ox team, and one six horse team, and one four horse team. I hauled on the bank of the river 3,200,000 feet of lumber. I sold them for $8.00 per thousand feet to a firm that was doing business at Davenport and they failed, and I lost $10,000. I mortgaged my home for money to payoff my debts, and my home went under the mortgage.

That fall I built a good barn and had 40 tons of hay, and all of my grain and a pair of mules that I paid $500 for, and my two oldest children, all burned up. I had men working for me that kept their pipes and matches in the barn, and the children set fire to light the pipe. These were trying times for a young man and mother to see her children burning before her eyes, and not able to help them. She tried to get into the barn but the flames met her and she had to retreat I had a warning of their death the night before they were burned. I went to bed about nine o'clock and my eyes were closed, I saw two new graves in my floors, and a personage stood by my bed and pointing to the graves said, "They were for my children". I awoke my wife and told her what I had seen. She thought it was a dream, but I did not think it a dream but a vision, because I had many similar before, and it did not come so unexpected to me as it did to my wife, it nearly broke her heart.

After losing our children and property, we concluded to take a trip to California, Oregon and Washington territory, and spend one year traveling and go around Cape Horn and visit our friends in the east and then return home. I had plenty left to travel with. We got four-mule teams and good carriages and started for California. I hired an easy carriage to take my wife and children across the state of Iowa. When I arrived at Council Bluffs, there was great excitement about the gold mines at Pikes Peak and I turned that way to seek my fortune. I stopped in Denver and built a house, then went into the mountains to prospect, and I peddled boots packed on mules back to the miners. Then I went to keeping a hay yard. I found that I could not stay there with my family, everything was so high. I resolved to continue my trip to California, a few teams collected together and started on our journey. We traveled on and came to a stream called St. Verains, camped for the night, started next morning, stopped on a creek called Thomson Creek.

Following is my dream: About three months before this time I dreamed I was traveling at the foot of a very steep and rough mountain. I saw a number of bad looking men which looked dark, coming down a trail on the side of the mountain, carrying a dead body. They came and laid it down near me, then returned and brought another, then returned for another until they had brought five dead bodies. I then saw those bodies represented myself and wife, and three children. While I was looking at us, we all seemed to come to life, and a person seemed to stand by my side and told me it was a warning. When I awoke, I was very much troubled about my dream. It was a hard country at that time, a great many murders along the Platt River, and through the mountains it was a saying, if they did not have one or two men for breakfast every morning, it was dull times, and I was on my guard all the time. After turning out our teams and getting our dinner, I asked my wife to walk up to a cabin a short distance from the creek. There were in the house a white man, a Mexican and two Indian women and one child.

The youngest of the women was the wife of the white man and the child belonged to her. The old woman was the mother of the man's wife. I found the man very sociable, I talked very free with him. Told him my business. I had considerable goods to trade with the Indians, which I wanted to trade to him. But he did not wish to trade at last he seemed to become very much attached to me and wanted me to stop with him. He said he would give me half of his claim and a good riding horse and saddle.

He had a table in his house covered with very fine specimens of gold and silver, and various other specimens. He said they were in the mountains above the house and he would show them to me if I would stop. He gave me a very long, well tanned mountain lion skin, eight feet long from the end of the nose to the end of the tail, I had a vest made of the skin. He also gave me a very fine pair of buckskin pants, which I wore several years. They were covered with beads, he said they cost $30. He gave my wife six pairs of very fine moccasins worked with beads. I thought I had found a great friend and I resolved to stop with him and make my fortune. I told my company to roll on when they got ready, I had struck a good lead and would go no further. I had a man driving one of my teams, I agreed to take him through to the coast for driving my team, and as I had given up the trip, I thought it right to give him passage through. I gave one of the men that was going through my gold watch, which cost me $8.

After the train had started out, my new friend and I started for the mountains to seek our fortunes. We had not traveled far before I discovered the trail that led up to the mountain side, the same that I saw those bad looking men fetching down the dead bodies. A great fear came over me, I knew this was the place that I had seen in my dream, and was told it was a warning. But how should I get out of this trap? My companion was armed with two navy revolvers and it seemed death to retreat. I concluded to follow him and risk the chances. We rode very fast, he showed me several good prospects and returned to our camp. I saw he had no desire to show me much, only to decoy me. When we got to camp, my wife was the first to meet us. The man was ahead, the first thing he asked my wife was, "You are not afraid to trust your husband in that wild country, with him an old mountaineer?" The first words come to me, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

I concluded I would leave as soon as possible. I got ready and started for the stream, 18 miles from there, called the Cashlapooder, there I would overtake my company, and go on to the coast. I had good teams that very few horses could out travel. It was 18 miles to this creek, and I got there a little after dark that evening. A crowd of very bad looking men visited our camp, our company would not organize, some were for returning back. While I was eating breakfast, two strangers that came into camp made me a sign of Master Mason. He took me out by ourselves, asked my business and said he would give me a brothers advice, not to go through that mountain pass: He said it was infested with the worst robbers that ever traveled the plains. I was satisfied he was right and concluded to return, but how should I get by that dead fall that I had left the day before.

My father was with me, an old man, and my wife and children. That made our company. We had to stop at this place where I had seen the dead bodies. When we got back, the man and the rest of them were very cross and would not talk much. I secured my mules the best I could after we had returned. Just before dark, seven of the worst looking Mexicans I had ever seen came down that trail I saw in my dream. I knew that danger was near. The man came out of his house and his Mexicans. When they came out of the door, I saw the glimpse of a knife go into the Mexican's sleeve, and they came to the wagon. I stepped up into my wagon. The man wanted me to go into the house. He said I need have no fear of his company. I told him I would soon go in, I did not know at that time what to do. I had plenty of arms, but I could not make the first assault. In a few minutes the Mexican came out and said Jack wanted me to come into the house. I told him I would be in in a few minutes. I had not told my father and wife the danger that we were in. I did not want to frighten my wife. I told my wife I would leave and not be frightened. We were near the creek and the willows were thick. I jumped into the brush and was soon out of sight. The next thing was to cross the creek as I thought they would come to the creek to find me as they did. The water was very quick and deep and very dangerous to cross, but I got over all right. I then meditated what I had done. I was satisfied, if they did not get me, my family was safe, I thought. There were men cutting hay on the creek that I had passed over, and I struck for the creek.

It being dark, I could travel to advantage, and I struck the creek at the crossing where I had crossed when I came. There were two companies with one pair of mules that had traveled 60 miles that day to overtake the company that I had left. They wanted to go through to California. It was just daylight. I told them my business, but they did not seem to take much interest in it. I was very tired and my feet very sore, traveling with moccasins among the prickly pears. We got to my camp about 11 o'clock. The first man I met was the Mexican. He did not like it because I went away. He said Jack had accused him of killing me. I cannot write the feelings of my wife at this occasian, although, she thought as I did, that unless they got me, they would not touch the family. As soon as I left, they came to the wagon and asked my wife where I was. She told them I had gone to Cashlapooder, that was 18 miles. They told her she lied, but a part of them started for Cashlapooder, and a part commenced hunting up and down the creek. They were very mad and in the morning Jack said he felt very bad. He said he was afraid that I was murdered, and it would be laid to him and his friends. Now the next thing was how to get away. They watched me like a prisoner.

Towards night they came riding down the mountain trail that I saw in my dream, and they looked like demons. I knew they were determined that I should not get away again. There were nine of them. At sunset, a Mexican came in with some kind of liquor and they began to drink, but a part of them would keep watch of me. I told my wife and father that I would get away if I could and not to pay any attention to me, and if I got away to start in the morning and travel until I come to them. Now, how should I get away? They drank so much they were off their guard and all went into the house that was near the bank of the stream. I jumped over the bank that was about eight feet high and when they came out, their bird had flown. They ran to the wagon, and I was not there. They jumped their horses and rode away from the creek, as they did not think I could cross that point. The willows were thin, and I could hardly hide myself. I saw they were making for the creek and would follow the bank and find me, and I had to leave the creek. I had to creep almost in sight of them to a bunch of brush that was about 200 yards from the creek. I got in the brush and they camped up the creek as I thought they would. By this time, it was nearly dark. I felt very thankful when it was dark.

In the morning my folks started the team and I got on the highest ground where I could watch the road, and they came to me about eight miles from the ranch. They had been up two nights, and they did not follow in the morning. We drove that day about 50 miles to a mining camp, and told our tale, and related our travels. A part of the men wanted to go and kill the outfit. They believed they were the ones that had been killing people along the Platt River and in the vicinity, and it had been laid to the Indians.

I left the mountains that fall and returned back to Missouri River, and stopped at Omaha through the winter. In the spring I heard the first Mormon Elder. I got into business that spring and was doing well. I was going down the river about 12 miles and on the road I over took a stranger and asked him to ride with me as I was alone. My mind at that time was very much wrought up about religion and politics, and I was giving him my views about what I thought about the country.


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

I had a dream ten years before. I had seen in a dream three different times armies of men gathering together to fight, and I saw them fighting and killing each other in a horrible manner, which was all fulfilled between the North and the South. I also in a dream saw the Indians along the Platt River killing and burning buildings, and when I told the stranger my views, he asked me if I was a Mormon. I told him I was not, I asked him if he was a Mormon? He said he was a Mormon Elder sent out to preach the gospel. He asked me if I had not read a great deal about Mormonism? I told him I never read a book or paper on Mormonism, and if he was a Mormon, he was the first I had ever seen. He said I had been preaching Mormonism as well as he could preach it. When he told me that, I felt more pleased than if I had found a mountain of gold. No one knows the joy I felt. I had been so long without anyone that I could agree with on politics or religion and had told my father and folks that my religion was the only true religion on the earth, and it was the religion of Jesus Christ, and I should live to see that religion established upon the earth. I went home that night, got home at 12 o'clock. I went to my bedroom and awoke my wife and told her I had found a name for my religion, that I was a Mormon. This surprised her very much as I had thought they were the worst people on earth. And I had traveled back from the mountains to spend the winter and go on in the spring to the Pacific coast, but did not want to stop in Utah on account of the Wicked Mormons.

I then began to inquire for the Mormons, and I learned that they had a place at Florence to gather the poor. I went up with my wife the next Sabbath. This was in the year 1861. Erastus Snow, Milo Andrews, Jacob Gates were the speakers. This was the first meeting that ever pleased me. I had a great desire to bear my testimony, to those men after the forenoon meeting. I was with my wife under the bowery alone, when those brethren, that I had wished to bear my testimony to, came out and walked directly to where I was sitting, and I told them that was the first Mormon meeting I had ever attended. Brother Snow asked me what I thought of it? I told him it suited me just right. I then bore my testimony to them, how the Lord had spoken to me when I was only 15 years old, when I went to my father's barn to pray in secret and I had been asking myself why there should be so many different religious sects and all going to the same heaven and the same God. I could not pray when I heard these words that the sects of religion were all wrong. Shortly after, my father noticed. something wrong about me one night as he was going to meeting, he asked me to go. I told him I did not wish to go. He asked me if I attended to my prayers. I told him I did not. I was his only son, and he began to be very much concerned with me, and would pray for me and at last got the ministers to come and talk to me, but it would do no good. (I had forgotten I had given this part of my life before.) Well, after talking with those Elders, I went home to Omaha and began to prepare to join the Mormon Church, and to sell my place. I went up to St. Lawrence with my wife and the next Sunday we were baptized and confirmed into the Church.

When I offered to sell my place, my brethren told me not to tell them that I had joined the Church or I could not sell out, but I felt so pleased that I had found the Pearl of Great Price, that I wanted to proclaim it upon the house tops. I sold for a trifle and started for the mountains, arrived in Provo in the fall. After I had been in a short time, I became acquainted with J. W. Palmer. He told me about going to pilot a company of soldiers with Steven Mareto (?). He was in the same place on Thomson Creek where I fell in with Jack Slade the same summer that I was there, and they were fired upon. They had four mules and $700 in goods. The first shot, one of their wheel mules fell dead. They jumped on each a mule and left their wagon and everything and fled for their lives, while the bullets were flying all around them, but they escaped, and suffered with cold and hunger in the mountains.

The next I heard of these desperados, I was traveling on the Pacific Railroad, and bought the railroad guide with history of Jack Slade of his desperate life - murdering and robbing immigrants for many years. His last awful deed was at a place called Julesbury. He and gang tied a man by the name of Jules in a corral. Jack told him he was not going to kill him right off, but would torture him. He would shoot him and tell him where he would hit him. Then he would go and take a drink. He shot him 16 times, and took a drink between shot, and the 17th shot he put the pistol in his mouth and blew his head to pieces. Then cut off his ears and put them in his pockets, and when he wanted a drink, he would throw the ears at the bar and demand the drink, which was not denied him. It got too hot for him in Colorado and he went to Montana, there he was surrounded in a bush with 300 men and taken out and hung and that ended the career of old Jack Slade. This history I got from the railroad guide. I had seen two men that helped Slade. This was a time that I was preserved by a dream and there are many interesting incidents that are not written here on account of time.

In the fall of 1863, Orson Hyde, President of the Twelve, called me to go with him traveling through the southern settlements of Utah, which was a great blessing to me all my life, for the teaching that I received has been a great strength to me. I became acquainted with the country and people. Shortly after we returned home, I was keeping a small store in Manti, Sanpete County, but had a great deal to come against. The bishops did not want traders running around among the people cheating them out of their hard labor. Orson Hyde came to Manti and sent for me to go to his place. There he gave me permission to trade. He told me he would like for me to furnish the people with goods in Sanpete County as far as I could, and not to stop until I had orders from higher authority than himself. I sold about $100,000 in three years. Then he, Orson Hyde, sent for me to come and see him. He told me that President Young wanted him to call such men as he thought best and settle the Sevier River country. He wanted me to take all I had and help build up that country and furnish the people with goods. I went and looked at the place and it looked very forbiding. The barren red hills, so far from market and the people poor and no money. It looked like a poor place for a merchant, but I felt thankful that I lived in a day when r was worthy to be called by an apostle to help build up a new stake of Zion. When I heard my brethren bearing their testimonies, how they had suffered in mobbings and building new settlements, I wished that I had been with them, but now I had a chance. So I packed up all I had and moved on to the Severe at Richfield. The Indian war broke out while I was moving. They fired their first shot at me and two of my brethren. We were camped on the creek below the Indian farm between Manti and Gunnison. In the morning just as we got ready to start, the Indians fired from a hill above us and the bullets came whistling by us, but we did not think they meant any harm. But the next day they killed three of our Manti boys and then the war commenced which lasted about three years, and we had to stand guard night and day, and about 100 lives lost.


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

I shall not be able to recollect but a small part of the circumstances of that three-year Indian war. We could not go out of our forts without a guard had to herd our stock, and then they would kill the herdmen and take the stock until we were so destitute of stock that many had to be moved away by their friends, and at last when President Young saw that we could not stand against the Indians, he sent over 200 teams at one time and moved the people away, and we had to abandon our hard earned homes.

President Young wished all that could to stop at Gunnison to strengthen the frontier settlements, and I stopped there, moved into a log house with a dirt roof. My property was about all gone, the people were so poor, I had to trust them as long as I had anything. and many of them lost all their stock and had to be moved away. I had many narrow escapes of my life in that Indian war. I will try and recollect a few.

At one time I was traveling to Richfield with my family. I had two wives with me, and after dark, I had a presentiment that we were not safe. We took our beds and went to the banks of the river and I dug a place in the bank in the brush, so if they were there they would not find us. In the morning, we found that they had driven off our mules during the night and they were hobbled with iron hobbles and they could not get them off, and in a few days two men were killed at the place.

At another time, the people of the different settlements did not have guns and ammunition to protect themselves, and they appointed me to take their stock and go to the Northern settlements to trade for arms and ammunition. They brought their stock to Richfield where we could hold them in a strong stockade. When we got ready to start, there were 20 wagons going with us. We knew that the Indians were watching our moves and we had to go as strong as possible. I was appointed the captain. I asked the Lord to guide my labors. The night before we was to start, I dreamed a dream that worried me very much. I knew there was trouble ahead when some of the brethren got ready to start in the morning. I told them I thought we had better stop till next morning which they were very loath to do, as they were all ready. Finally, I told them my dream. I told them I bet they would see the interpretation before we got back. Next morning the express brought us news of a battle with the Indians near that place. There was about 100 warriers with 200 of our men under Colonel Pace, and the Indians drove our men. They came through from Round Valley. They killed the old man Joy and his son, and took $10,000 worth of stock and if we had started at the time we expected to, we would have met them between the river and round Valley Lake about 10 o'clock in a very rough country, thick with cedar.

We would have been cut to pieces there is no doubt, if it had not been for my dream. There was a man and his wife sleeping in a mill on the road above Round Valley about two miles. He had a dream, and he and his wife got up before daylight and left the mill. In a short time the Indians came to the mill and they were gone. George Q. Cannon had that incident published in the Juvenile Instructor. So you can see that our Father in Heaven will hear our prayers and protect us when we are in danger.


At another time I went to bed about 9 o'clock. I saw the Indians killing the whites in Thistle Valley. I told my wife what I had seen. We got up and dressed ourselves. It was 12 o'clock. We did not go to bed again. About daylight the express came and brought us the news that the Indians had killed a whole family in Thistle Valley. They had been told to leave the place, but they would not obey counsel and that was their reward. At another time the Indians made a break on the settlement of Alma, 12 miles above Richfield. As soon as the express came, Bishop Nelson Higgins had the people come together as soon as possible, and called for volunteers to go after the Indians. He wanted them to take three days provisions, and if they found the trail to follow them, but they took no food and were three days without any rations. I think there were 12 men. Albert Lewis from Richfield was their captain. It was a moonlight night and they started about 10 o'clock. The Indians were laying in ambush and at their first shot, Albert Lewis fell dead from his horse, and five others shot through their bodies. They got into the post at Marysvale, and sent an express to Richfield, then the drums beat for the people to come together.

Mayor Higgins called for volunteers to go and bring out the dead and wounded. I volunteered to go and take my team and go along with a man by the name of Smithy, and C. A. Anderson and Wiley Alred. That was all that would go. We had to go through the timber, and hills without any road. It certainly was a rough time to travel, but we got into the fort where our brethren were suffering great pain from their wounds of which were badly swollen. Wiley Alred was the surgeon. We went to the swamps and dug a lot of wild flag root and made a poltus and applied to their wounds. In a short time the inflamation was drawn out and the pain had eased. Two of the men had three bullet holes through their bodies. One was shot through the bowels, he lived three weeks after we got him home. One of the others died. George A. Smith came down the Sevier and gave council not to follow the Indians into the mountains and if his council had been carried out, all that trouble and death would have been avoided.


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

There were 100 lives lost in that Indian War, men, women and children. I don't know of a man that was lost that strictly obeyed council, and took particular pains to find out. At one time Warren Snow was going out east of Glen Cove after the Indians, and President Young was at Manti holding conference. He told the boys if they would go and obey council he would promise them in the name of the Lord, that there should not be a man fall. When they got out into the mountains near the Indians and were going to make a charge, Captain Snow told the men not to break ranks, but to keep close together. One of the men by the name of York (my wife's brother) broke rank and as soon as he broke the ranks a bullet struck him in the breast near the nipple and came out near the shoulder blade. He fell from his horse, and realized that he was dying. As soon as they routed the Indians, they came to him and in the name of Jesus Christ commanded the blood to stop. He told me when he came home that it stopped as soon as they laid their hands on him in the name of Jesus Christ. These circumstances are to strengthen the faith of those who read these lines.


Woodruff, Arizona, May 20, 1898     

I went to bed early and had many beautiful dreams through the night. Many principles of the Gospel was made plain to me which I know was given to me by the lord which I can not relate.

It was made plain to me that we must forgive all men and love our enemies, or we can not enjoy the glories of our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ and this was spoken to me very plain, and I was impressed to write these words.


Salt Lake City, Utah     
October 9, 1913     

Elder John Reidhead
Woodruff, Arizona

Dear Brother:

Your letter of September 25 has been received and read with great interest. I congratulate and honor you in having reached your 88th year with power of mind and body unimpaired, while I believe that some men and women are called from earth early in life because perhaps they are needed for special labor on the other side. Nevertheless, I know it is a mark of divine favor and honor unto who can live to a great and honorable age with the full enjoyment of faculties and powers.

I am interested in knowing that you are acquainted with my parents, both of whom have now passed to the other side.

Your reference to a report of an address given by myself in the Tabernacle here is very encouraging. I thank you for your good words and agree with you that there is a very close analogy between the way in which God. communicates with his children and the sending out of wireless messages through space whence they can be picked up by such receiving instruments as are in tune. There seems to me to be. Many close analogies between the workings of the Spirit of God and the operation of earthly phones. As you say, if we keep our ear to the phone we may receive and interpret messages which otherwise would pass without making us one whit wiser. And, dear brother, know too, as I do, that the Lord will continue to instruct and communicate with his children upon the earth and that those who are attentive will be instructed by the last news from Heaven.

I rejoice in belonging to the church that is up to date, a church that accepts and honors the scriptures of the past, yet holds them incomplete without the current scriptures of present day revelation.

Peace be with you, my dear brother, may you live as long as you have a desire to live and then pass on to the greater work that awaits you beyond the veil. We may not know when your time approaches and though I am 38 years younger than you, there is no assurance that I may not go first. But should you proceed me, be assured you toke with you my love and prayers for your happiness and I beg you should meet my friends and parents on the other side before I come, give them my assurance of my love and confidence. Hope that we shall all meet together again,

Prayerfully your brother in the Gospel,                   
JAS. E. TALMAGE                  

Woodruff, March 27, 1896       

Dear Children:

I am here all alone. Mother is over to Katy's and the weather is very warm. I have been writing to George Durnham. Emer, I was so pleased to get your letter. I feel very thankful that you can bear such a strong testimony of the gospel. I know that you have a testimony. If this world was all there is I would be like the Apostle Paul, of all men most miserable. Thank God I have a great testimony and some of my happiest moments is meditating on my future state and meeting with those that have been dear in this life. Although I desire to live as long as I can I do not think it is right to desire to leave this earth. We came here to learn the hardship of a temporal world, and we want to finish our mission and do all of our work and make this life as pleasant as possible. I am glad that you have such a nice boy. Every grandchild that I have I feel pleased. I hope that my posterity may increase to do the work through the millenium. Just think of the millions and billions that are in the spirit world waiting to be redeemed, and see what a work there is to do to revolutionize this wicked world. I feel thankful that Richard attends the Sabbath School. If he will continue and attend that school and ask God for a testimony he will get it and be a useful man in the kingdom of God. Let us keep praying for him. Do not get discouraged. Fast if you feel like it. It is good to fast for a blessing. Tell Faney not to forget to write to us. I feel very thankful that she has got a fellow that is near there to go on a mission. The gospel is spreading wonderful and it is going to take all of our boys as fast as they are qualified. Do you take the Deseret News and Juvenile? And I want you to tell Richard to be sure and take the Contributor. It is one of the best papers in the world. Be sure and keep out of your house all novels as for as you can. They are not fit for our young to read, or the old. They have a bad effect on the mind. I wish we could go and make a visit. I know if I could it would prolong my days and work in the temple, but I do not know as I can get means to go and get back. I have had a hard time to pay for my place, but I haven't paid for it for this is a hard country. Brother Simon said when he was here last he thought Woodruff was the hardest place to live in that there was in the Church, but someone has to live here and I think that it is as well for me as anyone else. This is a healthy place and a beautiful climate and a good people. No gentiles or apostates here in our place and I do not know but one or two but keeps the Word of Wisdom and I do not know of one that profanes the name of the Lord. Now isn't that nice in this wicked age of the world?


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

But the people are poor. So was the Savior and apostles and prophets and you cannot find one word in all of their preachings to encourage riches, but this is a different age. We need money to build temples and the Lord wants us to be the richest people on the earth and we will be and the world cannot help themselves. Look at some of our leading brethren and see the prosperity they are getting. The city of Zion has got to be built and the land purchased and the temple built and temples built all over the United States. Oh, what a great work there is for this people. When I begin to think I do not know when to stop. I wish I had a little home near you where I could go and work in the temple. You wanted Charles to go and see you. Did you mean your brother Oscar's Charles? We have not heard from Charles for two years. The last I heard from him he was in lappanasco. John and Alanson are on the Salt River.

My family are very scattered. I want you to write to us often and keep some of my letters for the children to read that they may know my mind about the great latter day work. I am writing a part of my history, but I cannot get dates and I have forgotten a great deal. I have passed through a great deal in my short life. Tell Richard to write to me. Emmer, never get discouraged and never fret at Richard. I do not know as you do. Do not work too hard. Take good core of your body that you can take care of your children. Joseph Smith said the greatest work we had to do was to look after our dead. It seems that I can hear my progenitors behind the veil asking me why I do not do their work. How shall I do it when I have no money? It takes money to do everything in this day of speculation. I have a good record started and I hope that some of my posterity will go on with the work. I think I have six or seven hundred baptised that I would like to have endowed and there has been a number died of late. That rich Gearde Peabody that died of late his death and history was published in the Juvenile Instructor. There is a great work to be done for the dead. I will close praying for blessings of the lord to always be with you.


Woodruff, July 13, 1899          

Dear Emmer and Richard and children:

I take this opportunity to write you a few lines. This leaves us all well. We are having our rainy season and everything looks beautiful

I wish you could see this place now you would think better of the country. Well, I feel very thankful that I am here in this barren desert.

We live in peace and can lay down at night with our doors open and no one to molest us and we are comfortable but do not have much money to bother us. I would like soon to go back and work in the temple. If my children knew the great treasure that they would lay up in heaven they would help me all they could to do that work. We shall soon meet our friends on the other side of the veil and I want to do my duty while I am here. Oh, what a great almighty work we are engaged in and how few people realize it. How many will wake up and pay their tithing after our Heavenly Father has called so loud from heaven. He will soon call down the judgments and there must be a place of safety for those that will listen to him and live true saints. I want my name on the books of the Lord and my children as it was in the days of Noah.

“A testimony Richard.”

This life is short and this is a place for us to prepare for the next and if we neglect we shall come short of great blessings that our Father has prepared for His children. He has sent His Son to prepare the way and has sent His angels in this day. What more can He do to save His children. If our children will not. Obey you, they must suffer the consequences. The great plan of salvation has been revealed to us and we must obey. I know it will try you to pay your tithing, but do come up this very year and pay your tithing and you shall be blessed and you shall realize that you are better off in your business. Well, there has been a great talk about Roberts since you were here. What do you think now about his taking his seat. There never was such a unanamous determination against this Church. The different religious denominations are at the present time but they will fail. Now take this as a testimony that God is with this people and the Church is cramped for means but they will pay all their debts and that soon and have money to purchase the land of Zion. Richard, I know what I am talking about. Write soon. The Lord bless you and yours.

Children Osco and family are well. I am very thankful that he has paid his tithing. His Bishop told me that he had paid a good tithing. He's a good man but, poor fellow, he has no education and cannot read and inform his mind. But I think God will be very merciful to him.

Brother Fish is putting up a good brick house for Julia, and she deserves it. I think she will be one that will have a call to go to Jackson County I shall be very thankful if I have one child to go back. But I hope to have more. I will tell you no one will go that does not pay their tithing, and I heard President Brigham Young say that if anyone went there unless they were chosen they would be cut off from this earth. Now, Richard, my dear boy, come right up into line and be saved. What good will your property do you the next life. What good did the property do the Jews when their city was destroyed. O, wake up, and have our name in the books of the Lord! Now, Richard, I want that blessing I gave you fulfilled and if you will do your part it will be to the very letter. I have said enough on this subject for this time. You must be patient with me for talking plain. I may not always have the chance. And I want you to keep this letter that it may be read when I am over on the other side of the veil. Now, Emmer, be sure and pay your tithing and every duty that is required of you and you will come out all right. And the believing wife will save the unbelieving husband. That is not exactly the language but you know what it means.


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

Now, why do you not write I have written a number of letters to you besides this one and have had no answer. Tell me all the news and how you feel both of you and the children.

I have got a splendid crop of oats. I think I could go back this fall and pay my fare there and back if you can help us while we are there. It will take some means to work in the temple. I know you offered us everything when you were here and I feel very thankful to you. And I will promise you in the name of the Lord that every dollar you pay out to help us in the temple you shall receive four fold and I will be able to pay you out of the property that I shall leave. I do not care for property when I leave this earth but will pay my debts. Thank the Lord I do not owe one dollar to anyone. Now, write as soon as you get this from your affectionate father.


Woodruff, April 1, 1902

Dear Daughter Emmer Brereton:

I send you some names that I have of our relation that I have not had the privilege of having their work done that you or your children may go and do their work and you must keep this very safe that they may know where to find our progenitors. My sister Katy died October 1, 1899. Morris (Maurice) Durnham, a nephew, died August 1, 1900. Pearl Reidhead died 1901. A brother you will find the name of Reidhead in the city of New Castle, England. You will find the name of Henderson in London darey, Nova Scotia. He is your grandfather and your grandmother on your mother's side lived in Portsmouth, N. H., her name was Rackcliff (Bettsia Ganson mother's name was Rackliff). My mother's mother’s name was Cathy Banks. My mother's name was Peabody, born at Jonesport, Maine. Her mother's name was Alley, born in Maine at the same place. I do pray that some of your children will look up these names and do their work. I am getting so old that I cannot do it for them. If this is lost they will not know where to commence. My health is very good and I am doing my work. The weather is fine but very dry. All well but Joseph and their baby. They are poorly. Charles has got the rumities. Osco was here last night. His health is good. He sold his wool for $1100. He has to pay his expenses. I have written to George Haws but I have had no answer. I do wish I could hear from him. I want to hear from Charles. Well, Emmer, I do not know what to write. My memory is so poor. I have been troubled for sleep this winter that it has nearly worn me out. I feel very pleased that you are so determined to do your duty in the Church as regards to the President of the Primary. Be sure and hold no feelings. Be sociable With her whether she is or not and pray for her. If we have the true spirit of the gospel we will forgive those that dispitefully use us. Think of the Savior when they were crucifying Him --Father forgive them they know not what they do.

Be sure and keep this in mind and you will always come out right. We must always be humble. Write soon. Give my love to Richard and the children. Tell Florence to raise me all the great grand children she can. I hope you will have time to go to the temple and do the work for our friends. I will send you more names. May the Lord bless you.

From a loving father,


Emmer, I want to send you the name of my sister Katy, and I want you to go as soon as you can and do her work because when we go over there we shall feel bad if we do not get her out of prison and I want you to go and get those books and leave them in the temple so that they will be safe. I never will be satisfied until all of my progenitors are redeemed. She was born in the state of Maine in the year 1834, died in Minneapolis, November, 1899. Be sure and do not lose this date.

Now, dear Emmer, write to me often and tell me all the news. Give my love to Florence and husband and all the children. Tell the boys to write to me. They will not always have the privilege. Give my love to brother Gillispie and wife. How is his health. I did not visit half what I wanted to but I did not feel well while I was there. I had such a cough and the weather was bad if I could be there in the summer I could have enjoyed myself better. John and Alanson are in St. George. If you send that bath tub to me let me know when you send it. I do think it would pay to ship it. If you have any use for it do you want me to send that stople that belongs to it. I pray the Lord to bless you all.

From your loving father,


(Excerpts taken from a letter.)

My mother then learned the trade of a tailoress where she made her living until she was 20 years old. She came home after she graduated with father and was married, and grandmother Gammon came to live with her until she died 36 years last March. Grandmother and the rest did not have anything to do with Dr. John Henderson. That too is why I wrote we did not like him. Cousin Anne thought I better not tell you as of course your mother's folks were not to blame but he was not good to your mother, Lucretia. He put her out to live with a family who did not treat her well and Uncle Stephen Leach took her in the same way and the people sent word to her father and he came after her and Uncle Stephen said she should not go until he provided her with a home and he did not want the care of her and he left her until she was married to your father, John Reidhead. He could tell you that this is true, but Lizzie and mother's grandmother cared for her until she was married and they were pleased with your father and said she had taken a good man.


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

We had a letter meanwhile I remember how badly we felt when I think it was your father who wrote about the barn burning and the children. It was enough to kill her, my mother being with me so much used to talk over her family that is how I remember what I have written, my mother has said so many times that her sister Lucretia was the flower of the family. She was a bright, happy disposition. Always singing and everyone loved her so much. If I could see you dear cousin I think we would enjoy it so much and we could do so much more talking then we can writing. I will try and fill out the lines of the blanks as near as I can. I should have done it before but I have been visiting my sister this summer and when I got home there was so much to do.

From your loving cousin,                   

SUSAN E. SMITH                 
465 Maplewood Avenue         
Portsmouth, Maine                 

Woodruff, February 15, 1912          

Dear Emmer:

I am alone today. Mother and Katy have gone to Holbrook and I thought I would talk with you a few minutes. I am not feeling very well. I guess it is old age. Although I feel well in spirit. Never felt better. I can sit and be in communion with my Father in Heaven all the time. I do not have anything to do only to keep my ear to the phone and listen to what the Lord has to tell me and I know He will tell me everything that is necessary for me to know. I am too ignorant for Him to tell me much and I can hardly bear what He tells and shows me. There are very few on earth that realizes the great important time that we are living.

This is the day that the ancient prophet saw when there would be but few men left. Oh, the world is so wicked. They will not acknowledge or respect Him and He is about to destroy them from the earth but who can see these things? All we can do is to stand by the commandments that the Savior gave and keep them. This is an individual work. We must not look or depend upon anyone or look at anyone's faults. It is our dear selves. If we live right we then can be a help to all that we're associated with. It is a very simple thing to be a Saint. All we have to do is to keep the commandments of the Lord. Think of how often we go to the house of God and partake of the sacrament and there covenant to keep the commandments that we may have His Spirit always.

Now look around and see how many are keeping these commandments. We have plenty preaching but very little doing a thing. Of the words of the Savior: "Why will you say Lord, Lord and do not the things that I command you. It is like a man that built his house upon the sand." I think you will say Father has all that old story to write over and over so many times. I know I do all I can say to the Saint, is to keep the commandments of God and then you will always have your ear to the phone. Oh, what a name we have, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. love your enemies. Do good to those who despitefully use you. The nearer we can keep these commandments, the more light we shall receive from heaven. The nearer we can live the life of Christ, the more we shall be like Him.

Then think as man is God was and as God is man may become. Find it in the book in the gems of Joseph Smith where he said that a man that embraced this gospel with an honest heart and was determined to keep the commandments of God and was hungering and thirsting after righteousness the Lord would say to that man, "Son, thou shalt be exalted." Then He said that the Saviour would come to him and converse with him. Oh, think of these sayings from the mouth of the greatest prophet that ever lived. No one can know and appreciate these things only a pure latter-day saint. These things that I am writing are true and they make me rejoice. I want to live as long as I can do any good for myself or any of God's children on this earth. The more I learn of the gospel here on this earth the better I shall be prepared to present the gospel in the spirit world and the nearer I can live the life of Christ here on earth the sooner I will get my resurrected body.

The Lord has shown these to me, Dear Emmer. I write these great things to you that you might be comforted and I want you to keep them and show them to the true saints. Read them to my old brother, the patriarch. Tell me what they think of these things. This gives me something to do this morning and will give you a rest in your easy chair and change your mind a little from your worldly cares. Give my love to the sisters Taylors. Where is Brother Taylor and Brother Cowley? I cannot write half that I would like to. There are so many glorious things come to my mind all the time. I like to write because the Lord gives me a lot of glorious things and I write as they come to my mind and I get Katy to read my letters so I can know what I have written and I am as pleased as you are to hear them read. Now you will think this is strong. Oh, my dear Emmer, make all the friends you can. Try and love everybody so they will love you. It does no good to let hatred and malice around you. They are from the evil one. God is all love. Remember that after God made this world all things He pronounced good. Oh, I wish the saints could understand the principle of love. I will stop and ask the Lord to bless and comfort you. I want to know how you and your friends like the spirit of this letter.

Love to all. Tell Florence Glazier and family I love them and to write to me.

From your loving father,                   

JOHN REIDHEAD            

Woodruff, April 2, 1912            

My Dear Emmer:

As you do not write, I will write to you as I do not have much to do and I do not like to sit and do nothing. I am better than I have been for a month. I wrote to the postmaster in Rockland, Maine, to know if there was anyone in that city by the name of Peabody and told him that I joined the Masonic Lodge in that city in 1850. I soon received a letter from him. He said he found my name in the lodge books. I wrote him about my mother's estate on the island. He wanted me to give him a sketch of my travels since that time. I answered his letter and gave him a short sketch of my travels by sea and by land and he had it published in a paper. The paper has a great circulation and a man in the town of Camden, Maine saw my name and wrote me that his mother's name was Elsie Peabody, a daughter of Solomon Peabody and his mother nursed my mother when I was born and he sent me two papers printed in that town. So you see how the Lord opens the way to find our dead relatives. If we will do our part, but I am getting so old and farsighted and if you or your children do not take hold of the work I do not know how long our dead will have to remain in prison.


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The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

Now you can write to the postmaster and find any names you want and if they want a little money for their trouble, send it to them. They never have charged me anything. I will give you a few names of some of the towns. My people live in Reaclaland, Maine; Camden, Maine; Jamesport, Maine; Belsisland, Maine. Now by writing to the postmasters you can find many names. My father's mother's name was Banks. Lived in Castine, Maine and the Wardwells are our relatives. They live in Panobracait, Maine. Our grandmother Peabody's name was Alley. Your grandfather died in London darey, Nova Scotia and some of his family lived in Pigto, Nova Scotia. Your grandmother's name was Radcliffe. Lived in Ports. mouth, New Hampshire and if you will write to the postmaster of Portsmouth for the name of Leach you can find all about your mother's folks. I think you can find all their names in the Genealogical books. I cannot do much more and our kindred are waiting for us and when we do their works, we're laying up treasures in heaven.

I do hope you will have some of your family that will be in spirit to take hold of this great work and what a great day we are living when God has sent angels from above in these last days to prepare His saints to build up His Kingdom on this earth and prepare a place for His Son, Jesus, to come and rule the earth and Elijah the great prophet to open the way to do the work for the dead and when we see the saints neglecting these great things for money and pride and pleasures, I do not believe they will be prpared to go on board the ark when it floats as sure as God has spoken it. Famine and pestilence and the sword will soon come and destroy the wicked. Look at China and Mexico. Look and see the trouble in old England. Millions of men out of work. Anyone that will read and look at the world will see what is coming upon the nations of the earth, then see how many of the saints are not preparing for great troubles. Many are called but few are chosen. It is time for the saints to keep the commandments of God and study the life of Christ and His saints.

I was called to the stand last Sabbath and I told the people that we must keep the commandments of God. We must render good for evil and love our enemies and do good to those that despitefully use us. The people were very pleased with my remarks and a good woman came to my house after meeting and wanted to know how anyone that was tantilized and abused could be kind to them. I told her to look at Christ that came to set up a pattern that hadall power and could have called legions of angels to assist Him, was nailed to the cross, with thorns on His head and tantalized by His friends. Then He looked upon them and said "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do". And He said if we would do these things that He commanded us, the things that He did, we would be blessed of the Lord. When I explained this to this good woman, she wept and said she would try and forgive her enemies.

I want to live to teach the people this great principle that is the only way the lion will lie down with the lamb. The Savior said, "I am the light and the life". I wish you would read a piece in the news of February 26, 1912, on animal life up in the Yellowstone Park in Wyoming. Joseph F. Smith wants it read in all the church. Be sure and read it if you have to send to Salt Lake for it. It will show you how to render good for evil. This is the greatest lesson that has ever been given to the saints and when we, as saints, learn and practice this thing we shall have power over our enemies and not before. And when we can practice it, then the Lord will open the windows of heaven and the veil will begin to raise and God will show His saints things past, present and to come, as for as they are ready to receive it. If the saints could only realize this great principle and live it, our enemies would have no more power over the saints.

I wish I was your age. I would travel among the saints and try and show them this great principle that will tame the lion and the rattlesnake. Thank God He has shown me this glorious principle. Now I am happier than I ever was. I love all of God's children and I can look at them in their failings and ignorant traits and thank Him that I have been born so lucky in these last days to hear the voice of the true gospel. All mankind are God's children and He loves them all and He will save them all with some kind of glory. Somehow we knew that some were greater than others before we came to this earth and we were some of those great and noble spirits that the Lord showed Abraham.

Now if we have been so blessed, what is our duty? It is to help those that are weak. Christ said He did not come to save the rich ones but the sinner. He said the well do not need a physician, but the sick. Oh, if the saints will only study the life' and the sayings of Christ, they will be a happy people, but we must put these things into practice.

I must now stop to go and administer to a very sick man. I am better in my health than I have been for six months. Have you written to Sister Carter about my books? Have you found them? If we cannot find them, I think we can find my work in the St. George Temple. I think you had better send them to me unless you can have them put into a safe on account of fire.

Well, tell me how you feel and the news. I do not worry about anything. I can look back on my life and am proud of everything. I have passed through a lot and I have lived so long. I have been to school all the time to prepare to graduate and go back and take my resurrected body. May the Lord bless and comfort your heart.

Love to all,                        



Page Fourteen

The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

Portsmouth, Maine, March 14, 1915

Dear Cousin Florence Brereton:

I have just received your last letter. I have been intending to write you for some time, but I am a busy woman and do not like to write letters. I have written you all I could tell you. I was away at the time your mother was married. My sister a baby and she says she could not tell you anything as she does not know anything different from what I have written to you. I will try to mark a plan that none of the Leaches except Uncle Stephen who married Aunt Elizabeth. Your grandmother's sister. He is the only Leach in the family since father. They had two sons older than Annie that have been dead a long time. Annie was 74 the 6th day of the month. I hear from her but have seen her only once. This relation the Rackcliffs you speak of are no relation to us. Mrs. Radcliff was a friend and neighbor of Aunt Lizzie Leach. She was grandmother Gammon's oldest child. Your grandmother Lucretia Gammon Henderson. Her second child Grandmother Gammon has been dead 38 years today, the 14th of March. She was 94 if she had lived till June the 12th.

Thats all I can remember. Her maiden name was Launa Mack. She had three brothers - Joseph, Clemot and Nathan. One sister Betsy Mack. That is all anyone here can tell you about grandfather Gammon. Had a brother and sister Thomas and Betsy. They never married and lived at her house where Annie Mitchell now lives where your father and mother were married. I never knew them so I cannot tell anything more about this and as my cousins are young they do not remember of your father or mother. We do not care too much for those who are so for away. There are so many things to take up my time that Genealogy does not matter very much up here now days. Uncle Thomas Gammon has the third child, he had two sons when in the west, but I could not tell you where, for I never corresponded with them and there are two daughters who are both invalids. One is almost blind and not able to care for themselves I would go see them but they say they do not remember anything about you folks. They are much younger than I am. I being the oldest child and my brother Frank and sister Lucy Gerish. I am glad to hear your father is well and able to write letters. It must be a comfort to you. I am sorry I cannot write you any more about this family.

With love                              

SUSAN E. SMITH              

Woodruff, July 18, 1915       

My Dear Emmer,

I received your loving letter and thank you for writing to me so often. And I thank my Father in Heaven for preserving my life so long and giving me strength to write as well as I do. You asked me about my rheumatism. I have it in my legs and it hurts me to sit or walk. I am glad that you are so enthused about our dead. I know they are waiting very anxiously for us to get them out of prison and I am anxious to prepare myself to go and preach the gospel in the spirit world. I grow more enthused all the time in this great latter day work, and that is the reason that the Lord is preserving my life for so long. I feel that I am one of the most blessed men on this earth and have passed through a great experience. I cannot write it, and the older I grow the greater my experience and it takes the devil to learn us experience and the Savior had a hard experience when the devil took him up into the high mountain and he had to fast 40 days.

That is what we came to this earth for and if we do not watch very closely he will get the best of us, but thank God the devil cannot hold the priesthood or the Holy Ghost. Oh, dear Emmer, all we have to do is to be obedient to God and keep His commandments. I know you are doing all you can and the spirit of the Lord is with you. I have written so much on this subject that I am afraid that you will be bored, but the Lord has given me a test the rest of my life. The principles of love and to render good for evil that is the only weapon that will overcome the devil and all the saints that will not practice this principle will not stand the great test that is coming to this people. When we do as God tells us then He will fight our battles, but we shall be afflicted by the devil as long as we live until he is bound and the chain that will bind him is love and kindness, render good for evil.

I know you want to hear something about your dead kindred. I cannot tell you very much. I never did know about your mother's people. I know that her father came from Scotland and I think they first situated in London Darey, Nova Scotia. He had nine brothers and they were all doctors and your grandmother married him in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. That is where I married your mother at her aunt's house. She (your aunt) married a man by the name of Stephen Leach. I cannot give- you any dates or ages. Now you had better get some of the missionaries that are there to go and get the history of the Rackcliffs. They were some of the first settlers of that city and some of the most wealthy citizens, and their records, no doubt, can be found as you can write to the postmaster to look them up and you can pay him for his trouble.

I think you can find the history of the Hendersons by writing to the postmaster of the city of London Darey, Nova Scotia or the city of Pigto, Nova Scotia. There is where they first situated and I think you can find a record of the Hendersons in Buxport, Maine. I hope you will keep this letter so your children can have some guide to find their forefathers. I know all their work will be done.

There will be a thousand years to do the work for the dead and I believe many will be given by themselves by revelation, but if we do not do all we can we shall lose a great blessing because God has sent his prophet Elijah to this earth in this our day with the keys to work for the dead and the prophet Joseph Smith said that we cannot be saved without our dead. I believe you had a glimpse in the vision you wrote me and if you desire the Lord will show more to you. I was in the old endowment house and heard an old lady from Denmark tell how she found her dead by a dream. She did not know anything about her kindred until she had a dream that opened the way for her to do the work and many of her dead. Our dead are not far from us and know what we are doing.


Page Fifteen

The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

My dear Emmer, I am pleased that you are so interested in this great work. God will reward you in His Celestial Kingdom, and you will not have to stay in the spirit world very long. Then you will receive your resurrected body and go to live with your dear mother forever. This hope gives me strength to put up with the trials of this life. Do not worry more than you can help.

We received that money and thank you very much. Give my love to sister Ruth Hatch. Tell her that the lord loves her for her purity.

Your loving father,                              


And so we find continued inspiration from more letters written by his hand to his daughter, Florence Emma Brereton, and also we read the references marked by Grandfather's own hand, from his well worn and beloved book, the Old Family Bible. To the finish, Grandfather John Reidhead, Jr., left to all his descendants just everything in which to feed and to nourish our souls.

Let us each and everyone, adhere to the warnings and teachings of this great pioneer and faithful servant of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. and the devoted grandfather of us all.

Woodruff, Oct. 8,1915

My Dear Emmer:

You can read this long letter when you have time to rest. I am sitting all alone. I thought I would write you a few of my thoughts. Most all my old correspondents are gone and you are almost the only one left. I cannot write anything about money or pleasure. My mind is on things higher. You do not have time to write as I do. I like to write my thoughts. I set thinking how this great almighty work of God is spreading over the earth. I was alone thinking about our missionaries, over two thousand, all over the world.

Now the lord has softened the hearts of the leading men of the nations to let all people have their religious liberty to preach the gospel. Now the lord says to our Elders to have all the saints that embrace the gospel to stay where they are now. We can build churches all over the earth. Now we have more than 100,000 missionaries all over the earth. O how God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.

This morning I was reading in the news about the irrigation congress in Salt Lake City. Some of the greatest men of our nation. Men from every state in our union and from most all the nations of the world, come to Salt lake City, where they can see for themselves the Mormons and hear the gospel and the kindness that have been shown them by our leading men. You must read their report in the news of October and that Irrigation Congress will preach more gospel and do more good than anything that has happened since the day of Joseph Smith. Very few of the saints realize how the gospel is spreading over the earth. The time is now, when the people will come to our church for honest, good men to lead this nation. I see in a paper from California the remarks of one of the great men of ournation. He said that Senator Smoot was the greatest man in congress. I am satisfied that Taft takes him for his counselors. Smoot for his counsel and he has more faith in this gospel than he lets the people know.

The time is near when God will choose the people to go and build the City of Zion. He will put men to lead this nation that will give the saints their right to build the City of Zion. Now my dear Emmer, prepare to be chosen. God is the one that will choose those that are worthy. There are lots of hypocrites in this Church and God knows how to purge them. Emmer, we have the right to be in full communion with God all the time, if we will be pure and keep his commandments. We must learn to do as we would be done by and render good for evil. The Lord cannot dwell in an unholy temple.

You can read in the history of Joseph Smith when he was translating the Book of Mormon. His wife, Emma, made him vexed and he said something to her that was wrong and he went into his room to translate with the Urim and Thummum and the Lord would not talk with him and he had to go to Emma, his wife, and ask her forgiveness. then the Lord would talk to him. That shows use how pure we must be to talk with the Lord. Think of the words of Christ - if we will do all commandments the things that he alone, we can do things that he did and if we have faith we can move mountains. No one can have full faith that will not keep the commandments of God. We must live pure and keep His commandments before we can gain the glory that is prepared for us. The nearer we live the life of Christ the more light we shall have from heaven.

Oh, my dear Emmer, I cannot express my feelings on this subject. I cannot write it. You must taste it for yourself. I might tell you about the taste of bitter but you would have to taste for yourself. You would have to be burned yourself or you would not know how it felt. That is what we came to this earth for, to pass through all kinds of trials. All I ask is Oh, Lord, give me strength to stand my trials and realize that is the only way that I can gain my blessings. I am telling you these things to help you to put up with your trials.

I am doing my best all the time to encourage some one in the Church to preach the gospel to those out of the Church and I love all of God's children, but I cannot love some as well as others. When I go home to my Father in Heaven, I want .to look back on my past life with pleasure and thank God for every lesson I have learned. I want you to take this letter and keep it and show it to your friends.

I am well, but I do not know how long I shall remain and I do not care a lot. I will stay as long as I can. I don't want to stop until I can get my diploma. I am learning more all the time. I have learned more the last year than all my former life and all my friends say that.1 do not grow old and I feel that I have the blessings, that is what makes me feel so well. I do not want anyone to respect me only for my good works. I do not boast of myself, but I must boast for what my Father in Heaven has done for me, but He has not done for me any more than He wants to do for all of His children. When I begin to write or talk there are so many things come to my mind that I can hardly stop.


Page Sixteen

The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

Oh, dear Emmer, keep your wireless telephone in order and your ear to the phone and the Lord will tell you everything that He wants you to know and He will tell you as fast as you will prepare yourself to receive and know faster. The time is near when the rebels will dynamite our railroads and cause famine and pestilence because the people are so wicked. I feel as the Savior did when He said I would gather as a hen gathers her chickens, but you will not. Oh, how blind the people are in the world and many of the saints, some of those that call themselves saints. I think the Lord will wake up the people that have any faith. This is a good people. The only thing is they are asleep and it will take thunder and lightning to wake them up, but many will come from the east and the west and sit down in the Kingdom of God, while many of the kingdoms will be cast out. Write soon. God bless you forever.

Your loving father,                              


Among his last letters written to his daughter Emma, not long prior to his death.

Proceeding are the marked references of Grandfather's Bible previously mentioned:

In Deuteronomy, Chap. XXVIII heading blessings and cursings (as afore mentioned, His words of meaning to each reference will be written).

Leviticus Chap. XII and XIII of womens purifications and offerings. Unclean.

A great sermon from Christ Chap. XIV XV.

"Signs of the last days" Chap. XXIV

"Important" Chap. XIV verse 30

"They that are whole need not" Chap. VI in St. Luke - "Bless them that curse you" Chap. VII. "This is fulfilled" VII - "The lost Son and was found" Chap. XV. "Read This."

\St. Matthew, Chap. XXVIII

Ecclesiasticus, Chap. XLVIII

Job, Chap. XXXII (his words again) "Be sure and read this."

Chronicals, Chap. VI "Read this"; Chap. XXVII and 3-4 "Read about David"

Proverbs, Chap. VII- VIII "Very important."

Isaiah, Chap. XXIX "Be sure and read the greatest of all"; Isaiah, Chap. LlVLLV "Read this"; Isaiah, Chap. XII "His is Zion, read it"; Chop. LXI, LXII "Be sure and read this about the last days".

Ezekiel, Chap. XVII and 3, "Be sure and read these parables."


Ruth Irene Reidhead. daughter of John Oscar and Lucinda Fidelia Buchanan Reidhead, was born 28 May 1902; married 16 March 1929 to Amasa Willis ,born 6 March 1886.

Children: 1. Edna Ruth Willis born, 3 March 1930; 2. Clarence Herbert Willis, born 9 December 1932, died March 1933; 3. Amasa Marion Willis, born 5 April 1938; 4. Vera Louise Willis, born 14 June 1940; 5. Margery Ann Willis, born 11 December 1943.


Edna Ruth Willis, daughter of Amasa and Ruth Irene Reidhead Willis, was born 3 March 1930; married Laurence Robles.

Children: 1. Daria Jean, born …………. 2. Donna Lee, born …………. 3. Laurence (Larry), born ………….


Amasa Willis, son of Amasa and Edith Perkins Willis, was born 6 March 1886; First married Edna Freeman.

Children: 1. Erma Willis, born …………. 2. Sarah Faun Willis, born 6 July 1913; married first Ernest Alvin Reidhead and second Fred Andrew Talbott 3 August 1931; 3. Glen Willis, born …………. 4. Myrtle Willis, married first Lavoy Hancock and second Harold Gardner after divorcing Lavoy Hancock; 5. Elmer Willis, born ………….

Amasa Willis married Ruth Irene Reidhead. (second wife)


Clarence Lloyd Reidhead, son of John Oscar and Lucinda Fidelia Buchanon Reidhead, was born 26 February 1905; married 8 May 1948 to Velda Marie Cramer.

Children: 1. Lloyd J. Reidhead, born 15 July 1949; 2. German Ernest Reidhead, born 3 June 1952; 3. Marvin Ray Reidhead, born 5 July 1954.

The old family home and property is now owned by Clarence Lloyd. He and his three sons are living alone since his wife became ill and went away shortly after the birth of their lost baby (Marvin Ray). Clarence (Uncle Clad), has faithfully to the best of his ability cared for the boys. He is, as has been a remarkable trait of all the Reidhead brothers, a most kind and loving father. The children are doing well and seem to be very happy with their daddy on this beautiful old farm, following along the banks of the some old Silver Creek still as lovely and as picturesque as ever. Success to you and your sons Uncle Clad. We all wish you life's best.


Page Seventeen

The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity

John Reidhead, Sr.

The same house, home of John and Julia Ann Reidhead as it stood in 1958. The last people to own the property was George Quackenbush. It burned down about two years after he bought it

John Reidhead, Jr.

Julia Ann (York) Reidhead

John and Julia's home in Woodruff, Arizona. This is the humble home Grand-father John Reidhead, Jr. built and lived in until his death.

Family group - Front row: Joheph Lazelle Fish, Charles Franklin and Alvin. Second row: John Reidhead, Jr., Julia Ann York Reidhead. Back row: Joseph C. Fish and Katie Louisa (Reidhead) Fish.

The Reidhead Sawmill in Linden, Arizona. Different members of the families Reidhead brothers, their wives and children) are seen in the background. Lillie, Maggie, Cora and Bell, among others.

The History of John Reidhead, Jr. and His Posterity
by and with permission of:
Maurine R. Rogers

Maurine Rogers - Celebrating her Birthday

Sadly Maurine Reidhead Rogers passed away June 21, 2010

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow
May the soft winds freshen your spirit
May the sunshine brighten your heart
May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you
And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.

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Maurine R. Rogers

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