IIANTHONY WOODWARD IVINS - 1837-1934
|Website Link Index|
Orson Pratt Brown's Good Friend, Connection through the Romney line
Apostle Anthony "Tony" Woodward Ivins
Anthony Ivins is the son Israel Ivins and Anna Lowrie. He crossed the plains to Utah with his parents in 1853, and moved with them to southern Utah in 1861, they were among the first settlers of St. George, Washington County, Utah. Israel was a surveyor and a physician.
Ivins' first cousin was Apostle Heber J. Grant. In 1878 Ivins married Elizabeth Ashby Snow, the daughter of Apostle Erastus Snow and Elizabeth Rebecca Snow. Erastus was one of the foremost missionaries and colonizers of the early Mormon period, as well as an apostle of the church and one of the first to enter Sal Lake valley on July 21, 1847.
Anthony was called as President of Juarez Stake and chose Helaman Pratt as one of his councilors, which position he held until President Ivins was called to the apostleship, sustained at General Conference on Oct. 6, 1907.]
1875 Ivins performed an exploratory mission to Mexico in company with Dan. W. Jones, Helaman Pratt, James X. Stewart, R.H. Smith, Ammon M. Tenny and Wiley C. Jones. They went as far south as the city of Chihuahua, west to the Sierra Madre mountains, and north through the section of Mexico where the colonies were establshed.
1977 Ivins was appointed constable of St. George.
1878, in company with Erastus B. Snow, Elder Ivins went on a mission to the Navajo and Pueblo Indians in Arizona and New Mexico.
1879 Ivins was chosen president of the Y.M.M.I.A. of the 4th Ward in St. George and later as president of the four organizatiions of the stake.
1881 he was chosen as a member of the High Council in the St. George Stake.
By 1882 Ivins was a prominent figure both politically and ecclesiastically in St. George, He served as constable of St. George precinct, city councilor, city attorney and mayor; he was elected prosecuting attorney of Washington County and for six years assessor and collector for Mohave County, Arizona..
In 1882 Ivins was called to serve a Mission to Mexico.
After Ivins' return from the Mexican Mission in 1884, he once more settled in St. George; again was active in local politics; and became a rancher. He was the manager of the Mojave Land and Cattle Company and one of the owners of the Kaibab Cattle Company, the two largest owners of cattle on the Arizona Strip. A side effect of this expansion into Arizona was Ivins' appointment as county assessor of Mojave County, Arizona.
In 1888 Ivins helped organize the "Sagebrush Democrats" in a technique designed to move away from the local People's and Liberal parties.
1888 was called to act as first counselor to Daniel D. McArthur in the Stake Presidency (until 1895). Ivins gained in political popularity and influence, serving in a number of elected positions, as well as Special Indian Agent for the Shivwits Indians. He was elected to two terms in the Utah territorial Legislature.
1894, was chosen as a representative to the Utah State Constitutional Convention. In that body, Ivins made a strong impression. He secured the first appropriation for the benefit of the Shebit Indians, and was appointed government Indian agent for these Indians, under which appointment he acted two years, when he resigned to accept nomination for representative to the legislature.
!895 Ivins (along with Orson Pratt Brown) successfully engaged in the cattle business, both privately and as manager of the Mojave Land and Cattle company and part owner of the Kiabah Cattle Company, both of which were incorporated companies with ranches in the northern part of Arizona.
December 9, 1895 Ivins was again called to Mexico to colonize as the president of the Juarez Stake of Zion (to 1907) by President Wilford Woodruff of the LDS Church to go to Mexico to aid in the establishment of a series of Mormon colonies, to be used particularly by those polygamous members who sought sanctuary from what was, in their eyes, unnecessary harassment and persecution for personal religious convictions. Ivins comments on this development in his journal (p. 212), "I answered the letter received from Presidency telling them that I would go to Mexico as soon as possible. I did not want to go to Mexico. . . ." He then lists and supports his reasons for being reluctant -- ranching and other business interests, a bright future in politics, an affection for the people of St. George and his aging parents. Then he writes, "I immediately commenced to make preparation to dispose of my property and go to Mexico." Ivins' first cousin, Apostle Heber J. Grant, wrote him a letter congratulating him on his new assignment. (http://history.utah.gov/FindAids/B00002/b0002.html)
Ivins spent twelve years in Mexico with his headquarters at Colonial Juarez, Chihuahua. He was president of the Juarez LDS Stake and vice-president and general manager of the Mexican Colonization and Agricultural Company, under which auspices the Mormon colonies were founded. He was, therefore, the final word in the running of the eight Mormon colonies in the states of Chihuahua and Sonora. Even after he left Mexico in 1907 to become a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the Church, he continued to take some responsibility for the administration of the Mexican colonies. In 1913 when the colonists were being forced out of Mexico by the effects of revolutionary activity, Ivins wrote to Joseph C. Bentley, one of the colony leaders, “The snow is falling, it is ideal Christmas weather. Were I not worried and harassed over Mexican affairs I would be happy.”
1907 Ivins was called to leave Mexico and return to Salt Lake City as he had been chosen as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (to 1921).
1910 the Ivins Investment Company was incorporated with Stanley Ivins as manager and bookkeeper.
1921 Chosen second counselor to his first cousin, Heber J. Grant, president of the LDS Church (to 1925)
1925 Made first counselor to Heber J. Grant (to 1934)
(AWI to JCB, 12/28/13 (http://history.utah.gov/FindAids/B00002/b0002.html)
Reminiscences of Orson Pratt Brown, 1898, Page 36:
"A prophecy and fulfillment by Apostle John Taylor: In the year 1898 Apostle John W. Taylor, A.W. Ivins, Brother Helaman Pratt and myself went to Colonia Oaxaca, Sonora, Mexico to try and settle some land difficulties between the brethren living there."
Reminiscences of Orson Pratt Brown, c. , Page 45:
"On my return home I found there had been a new organization in the stake with Brother Anthony W. Ivins as Stake President and Henry Eyring and Helaman Pratt as his counselors. I was called into counsel by these brethren and asked if I would accept the calling of a High Counselor in the Juárez Stake and was set apart and ordained. My association with these brethren, both in the council and in visiting the stake and wards was always a joy and satisfaction as well as an inspiration to me. I had the privilege of becoming very intimate with these brethren and found them to be of the highest type of manhood and sincere and devoted Latter-day Saints."
Reminiscences of Orson Pratt Brown, 1901, Page 46 to 51:
"In the early part of 1901 as we came out of a high counsel meeting, President Ivins put his arm into mine and walked over to my gate with me. When we got there he said, "Orson, every time I think of Colonia Morelos I think of you and I cannot think of it only with you in my mind. I know that it will break you all up financially for you told
me of your plans for building but I feel that there is where the Lord wants you to labor." I said, "If there is where the Lord wants me to labor there is where I will go; I am no better than you or any other servant of the Lord that I should not make any sacrifice." And we both shed tears together and he went over to his home.
I did not sleep much during the night, thinking of the matter and early at daylight I was up and over knocking at President Ivins' door; he, having awakened early, let me in. I said, "Brother Ivins, I have come to tell you that regardless of what sacrifices, financially, it may cause to me, I have come to say to you that I want to go and be where the Lord wants me and where his servants see fit to call me."
And we both shed tears of joy again together. He said, " Your name has already gone up north. Prepare yourself and make ready to move." So I began to get ready to move to Colonia Morelos, Sonora, Mexico....
A few days later in connection with Brother Ivins and Helaman Pratt I
went to Colonia Diaz and from there to Colonia Morelos and was presented to the people and ordained Bishop. One of my counselors was the most faithful man I have ever known, Patriarch Alexander Jameson. The other was elder L. S. [Lorenzo Snow] Huish. I began to move my families over to the Colonia Morelos. But previous to this time Brother Ivins had sent me to Colonia Oaxaca to try to arrange a settlement with Colonel [Emilio] Kosterlitzky and Parson G. H. Williams. A runner had come over from Oaxaca stating that Parson Williams had made the announcement that the Colonel was coming with his men and they were going to confiscate all of the interests of the people because they had not made their payments on the land. President Ivins and Pratt were not able to go. On arriving at Oaxaca the next day the Colonel with about twenty men including the Presidente and judge of Bavispe, Sonora came down to Morelos and the brethren were all called together to the little school house and the Colonel arose. He said, "You people have not paid your payments on these lands and we are going to confiscate all of your personal property, together with your improvements and unless these payments are made within ten days time you can walk out of here."
And Parson Williams, in a very rabid and excited manner, abused the people and told them that because they had failed it had made him fail in payments. I then asked the Colonel what his legal status was and who had given him such executive power to confiscate this property without having given them opportunity to appear in their own defense. He said, "The judge has the document and is going to execute judgment." The people were very much excited but I said to the Colonel, "Let the judge read the document and let us see what it contains." I told the judge, "Please read that document that you have."
The judge arose and read the document and when he got through I found that it was an embargo on the property of Parson Williams only, and
that he was responsible to the Colonel for the deed on the land. Then with considerable emphasis t counteract the audacity of their plans I spoke. I said to the Colonel, "Apply the confiscation where it belongs but in the name of justice I defy you or Williams or this court who have brought here your plans, to place their hands on any part of this people's property."
Then I turned to the people and said, "Brethren, rest on your arms; I am here to help you defend your interests against these imposters who have come to take from you that which is yours." With cursing, Colonel Kosterlitzky arose and said to his men, "Vamanos! Vamanos!"
And I followed him to the door and he and Parson Williams went towards the Parson's home and I turned to the brethren and told them to be calm. I said, "The devils are whipped at their own game. I am going down and prod the lions in their own den..."
Later, in connection with Brothers Ivins and Helaman Pratt and Bishop Scott,
I went to Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico, where President Ivins received titles to the Oaxaca lands, showing that right will prevail when you have the spirit of the Lord with you.
Previous to the settling of Colonia Morelos I had made two trips into Sonora with Brothers Ivins, Pratt, and party hunting for a place to colonize some of the brethren who were coming from the north and on the last one of these trips I was very much inspired with the wisdom and sincerity and greatness of Brothers Ivins and Pratt and on a third trip that I was making with them, when we arrived at Ojitos we drove up and there were a lot of men around. I noticed one man ride up to another and he was cursing. I could not hear just what he said but as he rode off the other man, Charles MacDowell, came up to me. He said, "Mr. Brown, do you see that fellow going off? I think you know who he is; he just said to me that if you had you just dues your head would be shot off." He also told me this fellow had said I was going to get mine and for me to look out. I walked into the store and Brother Ivins followed closely as a guard. In the store a man by the name of Barker said to look out because people were after me. I had previously received a letter from an American from Montezuma, Sonora and one from a Mexican in Basaraca, Sonora, stating that an outlaw and cattle thief by the name of Henry Ward was going to kill and was supported by Colonel [Emilio] Kosterlitzky. This man Barker who was running the store said, "Henry Ward is due here on the 17th; this is the 14th, and I as a friend am telling you to be careful because he is a bad man and killer and knows he will get protection from the Colonel."
We journeyed on to Colonia Oaxaca that night and the next morning
early I got up and saddled my horse. I said to President Ivins, "I believe that I shall return to Ojitos and get this famous outlaw, Henry Ward. I don't like the idea of those kind of fellows following me around and making threats."
Brother Ivins put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Orson, I will excuse you from the rest of this trip as I feel you are doing the right thing; but don't let him get you! If anyone bites the dust, let it be him."
And with this injunction and his blessing I got on my horse and returned to Ojitos and laid for my man three days and nights. He never appeared. I then went to Mr. Barker's store and wrote him a letter and left it at the store. I stated that this country was too small for me and him together. I said I knew of his threats and that if I did not get a satisfactory answer in ten days of the date that this country would not be big enough for us unless one of us was under the sod; that I was going to Juárez where I would wait his answer.
On the fourth day after leaving Ojitos a messenger came with a letter from Ward pleading with all that was in him that I let him stay in the country; that he had made those threats because an enemy of both of us had tried to get him to do some dirty work and while he was drunk he had made these boast. He said it was impossible for him to live in the U.S. and he had a family here.
I made my calculations and met him near the stock pens at the Tres Alamos, or Dublán stockyards. I went up to him and said, "Is it peace or war?"
He threw up his hands and said it was peace. Two of his companions came up and we talked the matter over and he was always very friendly afterwards. He was murdered about twenty-five miles south of Morelos, together with his wife by a band of outlaws who had previously murdered three other Americans."
Reminiscences of Orson Pratt Brown, c. Page 55:
"Previous to my going to Colonia Morelos I had a wonderful impression. At this time Joseph F. Smith was president of the church; John Henry Smith was one of his counselors. President John Smith and Heber J. Grant were guests at our house and while we were discussing matters pertaining to the colonies and the church I had a very strong impression come to me that Heber J. Grant would be the next President. I spoke about this matter to Brother Ivins. He said, "That could hardly be possible, Brother Brown, because there are four brethren that have the seniority of Brother Grant and besides from natural conditions it would be hard because Brother Grant's health is very bad and he might be the first one of the five to go." I said, "He will be the next President of this Church." "Maybe you are right. We cannot always tell."
Reminiscences of Orson Pratt Brown, c. , Page 67 and 68:
"Then a little later I went to President Joseph F. Smith and in his private office I presented the records of sealing that were performed by [Bessie's father] Patriarch Alexander Macdonald.
He looked them over and said, "Brother Brown, all of this work that Brother Macdonald performed was duly authorized by me and I want you to take these records back to Mexico with you and keep them until a later date as we do not know under the present conditions what search may be made by our enemies for records of these kinds; and when the time comes, bring them back and have them deposited with the Church recorder."
At the breaking of the Revolution I had those records deposited and took them from their place for fear they might be destroyed and on the return of Apostle Ivins from El Paso during that period after our people had been driven out of Mexico, I gave them to him to be taken to Salt Lake City to be deposited as I had been instructed by Joseph F. Smith."
Reminiscences of Orson Pratt Brown, c. 1907, Page 70 and 71:
[March 7, 1907, A.W. Ivins was released from the Juarez Stake Presidency to assume his duties in SLC as an Apostle. Left Mexico in 1907 to become a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. First counselor to his cousin, Heber J. Grant. Sustained at General Conference on Oct. 6, 1907.]
"About the year 1907, President Ivins and Brother Pratt came over to Colonia Morelos and asked me if I would like to be released from my position
Page 71as bishop in that ward as they needed me over in Dublán to help bring together the contentious elements that were existing there and to help construct the canal to the reservoir. I replied that I would like to go anywhere the authorities wished me to go. So, in accordance with this, they released me as Bishop and advised me to arrange my business affairs and to go to Dublán as soon as possible. There I was called to be a member of the high counsel and assistant superintendent of the stake Sunday School with Bishop Jesse N. Smith and Lorenzo Payne This seems to me that our policy as to defending our interests and protecting our homes makes the conditions unendurable and we will not be able to do so."
The Green Co. had quite a large grading outfit including mules, plows, freznos and harnesses and other material which they had been using in an independent grading camp of their own. I went out to El Paso and there found the real status of their interests which proved to be hardly more than ten percent of what they were supposed to be. I immediately reported to Brother Bowman this condition for he was intending to take notes from the Green Co. for the amount of money due the Union Mercantile Co. I suggested to him that they take this grading outfit instead. They had already attached this outfit but were about to release it and take notes instead of the outfit.
I went up to Juárez and met President Ivins who was president of the Union Mercantile Co. and laid the matter before him and he came down and had a consultation with Mr. Bowman, the manager, and Willard Skousen who owned part of the company and they accepted my recommendation and the Mercantile Co. got all of their money and considerable more out of the outfit."
Reminiscences of Orson Pratt Brown, c. 1910, Page 87 to 90:
As we rode along up the side of the steep hill, climbing up onto the upper mesa, my saddle cinch became loose and I got off my horse and while I was cinching my saddle I was surrounded by a number of black rattle-snakes; one of them especially large. He jumped at me and bit me on the left arm. After a fierce battle I was able to shake them off and I got on my horse and we rode along up the ridge. In the face and eyes of this large rattle snake was represented very vividly the picture of General Salazar and as we rode on top of the upper mesa I said to my son Ray who was ahead of me, leading the pack horse: "Take the left hand road and we will go around and back into the United States and these rebels will not get us for I know these rebels under Salazar are going to attack our people and they will have to come out of Mexico."
This dream so impressed me that on Monday morning I went to President Ivins who was in El Paso and I told him Salazar and his rebels were going to drive the people out of Mexico and I related to him my dream and the impression that I had received.
He said, "O, I guess you are mistaken. I have not had any impression in regard to this matter."
At this same time I wrote a letter to the President Junius Romney to this effect:
I feel impressed to say to you that Salazar and his rebels are going to demand the arms and ammunition of the colonists and will then drive them out into the United States. It seems to me the best policy to follow would be to deliver them the old arms and old ammunition and keep the new guns and ammunition that I have sent for your protection. I feel sure that the people are going to be driven out of their homes. I have received communications from Senator Smoot stating that he had just
visited the Secretary of State and the President in regard to our critical condition and that if we did anything that might bring on international complications in Mexico, the American government would not give us assistance or protection.
This seems to me that our policy as to defending our interests and protecting our homes makes the conditions unendurable and we will not be able to do so."
The following day I received a letter from my sister, Cynthia Layton, in Thatcher. It said my mother was very sick and desired very much to see me; that she felt she might die at any time. I showed this letter to Brother Ivins.
He said, "I think you had better not go just now."
Then on Friday morning's mail I received another letter from my sister, requesting my immediate presence in Thatcher, Arizona; that my mother was much worse. I showed this letter to Brother Ivins and asked him what I should do.
He said, "Well, I think you had better go."
I said to him, "Brother Ivins, things in the colonies are in a terrible condition and I don't feel like deserting my post but if you say go, I will go and if anything happens while I am gone, you can wire me. At any rate, I will be back here next Monday morning.
I arrived at Thatcher Saturday at noon and found that my mother's condition was somewhat improved. She had received a wire I was on the way. On a Sunday afternoon while I was in Thatcher I was privileged to speak in meeting. While addressing the assembly I briefly related the critical conditions of the Saints in Mexico and asked the people of that community for their faith and prayers for the preservation of the lives and property of the people in Mexico and I was inspired to say that not only did we need their faith and prayers but also their materiel help, for at this
time I knew the people would be having to leave because of Salazar and his red-flaggers.
After meeting was over I was asked to go and administer to one of our sisters who had previously lived at Colonia Morelos. On my return from that sister’s home I met President Kimball with a telegram from President Ivins.
It read: "Conditions serious return immediately."
When asked by President Kimball what I thought it meant, I said, "It means that our people have been attacked and are being driven out of Mexico by those bandits."
I returned home on Monday, finding that a train of our people who had been driven out had arrived at El Paso. I immediately took steps to find places of refuge for them and make them as comfortable as possible. It was one of the most heart-rending scenes I have ever witnessed in my life to see those women and children who had been driven from their homes and most having left behind their husbands and sons and their anxiety for their safety was a terrible scene. They continued coming out until all of the women and children from all of the colonies arrived in the United States.
Then I went to Douglas where I met the people coming from Colonia Oaxaca and Colonia Morelos; these had come bringing their teams and wagons. Then on going to Hatchita, New Mexico I met Brother Junius Romney and the brethren from the Chihuahua colony who came later. The reception of the colonists in El Paso, Hatchita and Douglas by the people who resided there was certainly wonderful. They seemed to try to outdo one another in their kindness and appreciation of our situation. This made the cross that the people were bearing, much lighter than it otherwise would have been.
We took the matter of transportation up for it had been deemed advisable and wise that our people be scattered among their relatives and friends in the United States. The railroad companies showed a wonderful spirit
of help and gave us a wonderful rate of one cent per mile.
Through Senator Reed Smoot and the U.S. government, a relief fund was passed and all of the colonists were given rations and provisions, which proved a great blessing. This fund was not only for the Mormons but for all Americans who had been forced to flee from Mexico.
Previous to these existing conditions, the conditions around Colonia Diaz had become almost unbearable. One of our brethren had found a Mexican’s horses in his wheat and his fence torn down so he drove the horses over to his Mexican neighbor and asked him to take care of them. The Mexican raised his shovel and beat his brother to death.
A little later, this same man that killed his brother together with his friend went and robbed the store of a great quantity of merchandise. An alarm had been given and the brethren tried to intercept the thieves but the thieves opened fire on them. The brethren returned the fire and killed one of them but the other escaped to Asencion and said the Mormons were going to come and exterminate them.
This word was sent by a courier to Ciudad Juárez and General Orozco, the father of Pascual Orozco, was in command of the rebel troops at Ciudad Juárez and he immediately organized an expedition and began training his men and horses to go to Gusman and from there to Diaz to disarm and drive out the Mormon colonists.
I had also received a communication from Bishop Ernest Romney in Colonia Diaz stating the facts in the case that these robbers had broken into the back of the Union Mercantile store and while escaping with the merchandise one of the brethren had tried to stop them and they had returned the fire. The brethren immediately sent a courier to Columbus with the information to me." (Read full story at .)
Reminiscences of Orson Pratt Brown, c. 1912, Page 108:
"[Stake] President Junius Romney and myself began to look for some place for our refugees to get homes and we visited the Pacos Valley in Texas, also Carlsbad, New Mexico and found what looked like suitable locations. We went to Salt Lake City and laid the matter before President Ivins (then Apostle), and he sent us to the First Presidency and treated us most kindly and gave the following advice:
"We feel that it will be better for the Mexican Saints to scatter among the settlements of the Latter Day Saints than for them to locate all together."Reminiscences of Orson Pratt Brown, 1925, Page 105:
"On March 26, 1925 I was again admitted into the Church. I was baptized by Bishop Arwell Pierce and confirmed by my very true and good friend, Brother Thomas Kimball of Thatcher, Arizona, at El Paso, Texas. In 1927 I moved to Colonia Dublán, beginning again my appreciation and sense of the blessings of the Gospel.... on the first of March I received a letter from my son Miles Brown, asking me to come to the Centennial celebration [of the Church, April 6, 1830] in Salt Lake City. He sent me fifty dollars and said he had told the other boys to do the same and was sure they would; and I had the glorious privilege of accompanying Brothers Keeler, and Arwell Lee Pierce, to Salt Lake City to the Centennial.
While I was there I met President Ivins and he took me into the office and said he had been instructed by President Grant to confer upon me my former blessings. He laid his hands on my head and gave me all of my blessings and resealed my wives to me, and also my children."
Anthony Woodward Ivins died on September 23, 1934 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
ANTHONY W. IVINS